Thomson Gale, a publisher of library reference information and part of The Thomson Corporation, has announced AccessMyLibrary.com, which is its library advocacy initiative designed to help libraries capitalize on Internet search engines as a means of connecting library users with authoritative content. This initiative is intended to increase peoples' awareness and usage of the library resources users are entitled to and at the same time provide them with direct access to more information through Internet search.
Studies by a number of organizations, including research firms Electronic Publishing Services and Outsell Inc., indicate that student and faculty researchers have joined the legions of more casual information seekers who are augmenting their use of traditional information sources, such as libraries with Internet search engines. The growing reliance on Internet search engines as a means of conducting academic research represents a departure from longstanding research patterns, and according to the EPS, signals a need for libraries to evolve the way they manage and promote their resources to more effectively support their users.
With the launch of AccessMyLibrary.com, Thomson Gale has enabled its content to be crawled and indexed by major search engines such as Yahoo! and Google. In doing so, Thomson Gale is not only its content resources visible to a broader universe of information seekers, but is also believes it will help highlight the critical role libraries play as providers of quality information. Once desired content has been identified and made visible through the search engine's results, it becomes available through AccessMyLibrary.com if the searcher is an authorized user of a library that subscribes to that content.
Thomson Gale has released AccessMyLibrary.com as a beta program, which includes thousands of libraries that will enable their authenticated users to gain access to millions of documents from Thomson Gale's product lines. There are no additional setup requirements for libraries in the beta program. Thomson Gale's service will set the standard for how publishers, aggregators, search engines and libraries can work in harmony for the benefit of their users.
With AccessMyLibrary.com, when searchers select a Thomson Gale article from a search engine's result list, they will be given the option to connect to their local library and freely access the selected article. Users will need to have their library card number or other identification to connect to the library. The library's address and phone number will also be provided so that users can contact their library to obtain a card or to learn more about the library's resources.