Friday, September 29, 2006

Government Internet Use in Libraries

The August edition of Library Journal has several very good points about how the United States Government is putting libraries under pressure. Specifically, libraries are expected to provide public access to Government and State information and onliness services, but are not given increased funding to keep up with demands.

Between 1994 and 2004, library internet "connectivity" increased from 20.9% to 99.6%. In 1998, only 3.4 percent of public libraries had 10 or more public internet workstations, now the national average is 10.7 workstations. In 1998, two-thirds of public libraries had dial-up or direct connections. Now, only 2.1 percent have such slow connections. Wireless access in libraries has increased from 17.9% in 2004 to 36.4% in 2006. 72.8% of libraries are planning on replacing workstations.

Libraries are now expected to provide access for disaster victims, Medicare drug plans, benefits for children and families. The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) sends people to public libraries to sign-up for assistance.

Along with these requests come more technical problems for libraries: Florida DCF applicants signing up on computers are told that "they must be using the Internet Explorer browser 5.5 service pack 1 or above." "The Firefox Browser won't work with this application, and popup blockers must be disabled." People go to libraries for assistance.

If the government wants people to participate in e-government, it is essential that new support be provided for libraries. The government should encourage an understanding of the important contributions which libraries can and do make for our citizens.

About 90 percent of library funding comes from local government. The best way to help libraries would be an amendment of the E-government Act of 2002 showing how libraries fit into the new mesh of federal e-government and also the introduction/revision of state and local directives on e-government.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

We Have a Winner!

Several students stopped by the Organizational Fair on August 24 to find out what's happening at the Al Harris Library and to register for the gift certificate from Hooked on Books. Congratulations to Brady Surber who is the winner of the gift certificate! And a special thanks to all of you who stopped by to visit with us, have some candy, and sign up for the drawing. Visit the Library soon!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

IDIS/Web (Iowa Drug) update

Starting today, you no longer need a special IDIS/Web username and password. Instead, click the "Login by IP" button on the IDIS/Web site and you'll have immediate access to the database.

If you're logging into IDIS/Web from off-campus, you'll be asked to login to the library's databases with either your student webmail ID or your SWOSU ID number prior to seeing the IDIS/Web site. (Please note: you must use the IDIS/Web link on the library's Pharmacy Resources page -- other links and bookmarks to IDIS/Web won't work.)

If you have any problems logging onto IDIS/Web or need help finding articles, call the Reference Desk at (580)774-7082 or contact us via Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Facebook to Open to All Internet Users

ABC News | Facebook to Open to All Internet Users
Facebook, an online community now restricted mostly to high school and college students, will soon throw its doors wide open and welcome millions of Internet users currently left standing at the gates.

The move will allow existing users to invite their now-ineligible friends, but it also risks changing the tone of a community where trust and privacy are key. Just last week, users revolted when Facebook introduced a feature that allows easier tracking of changes their friends make to personal profile pages.

The change in eligibility will come soon, although Facebook officials were still deciding exactly when.