Thomson Gale Introduces Virtual Reference Library

Nov 21, 2003

Thomson Gale has announced a new program that integrates ereference books in a database interface. Gale Virtual Reference Library offers libraries the opportunity to select from an initial collection of more than 117 reference sources, including encyclopedias, almanacs, and series, to create a customized, integrated online library of reference works. Each library can customize Gale Virtual Reference Library to fit its needs, selecting from a selection of titles to serve children's, academic, and general audience needs. Gale manages the library's collection, showing patrons only the titles it has purchased, which can be linked from the library's OPAC through MARC records.  

Gale Virtual Reference Library is delivered from the Thomson Gale platform and is accessed from a common menu that integrates the library's Thomson Gale databases - eBooks, resource centers, periodical databases, and electronic journals from Ingenta. Users can search a single eBook or search across the entire collection. Hyperlinks are used throughout, allowing users to travel to related content within the collection, from the table of contents and indexes to appropriate text, as well as to relevant external Web sites.

While the titles have a variety of typical eBook navigation features--such as tables of content and hyper-linked indexes--search functionality is more typical of databases, with basic and advanced options that allow users to broaden or narrow their searches. Results screens look much like an InfoTrac search, with opportunities to mark, download, email, or view relevant articles and essays.  For archiving purposes, a copy of each eBook will be delivered at the time of purchase.

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