Sunday, November 25, 2007

Library Applications on Facebook Thing #17 1/2

I found the UIUC Library Search Assistant on Facebook and wanted to know how other libraries were using Facebook. However, I ran a search and found that most of the information was blocked because I didn't have an ID number that the University of Illinois recognized (big surprise). Relying on this sort of technology may be demanding more from our customers that we should. People assume that what they can get to through our webpage is freely accessible. I once had a very irate man tell me that he didn't understand why he had to pay for an article from the New York Times. He was accessing the article through the New York Times database, as opposed to one of our databases. I showed him how to use the databases we subscribe to through our webpage, but he told me that those databases were "for librarians." I tried to explain why the New York Times was now charging for articles that were over two weeks old but he clearly thought that being at the library meant that he should be able to get the article in a way that was easy and free for him. We're going to have to be cautious about advising people to use these other resources because they will have to know that not all websites are completely accessible to everyone.

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