Comparing Library Alternatives


Lee Hadden writes \"The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article in the June 16, 2003
issue that compares Questia, Britannica, MSN Learning & Research and
eLibrary as alternatives to visiting traditional libraries.

\"Writing Tools: For students researching a paper, online libraries
are increasingly the way to go. Here\'s how they stack up.\" By LEAH MCGRATH

Paige Taylor, a 17-year-old high-school student from Laguna Beach,
Calif., says using online libraries cuts the time it takes for her to write
a paper in half. \"It\'s so much faster and it keeps me organized,\" she says.
\"I\'ve used the Internet for every single paper I\'ve done this year. I don\'t
think I\'ve actually gone to the real library in a long time.\"

Already, U.S.-based commercial Web sites offering research materials
make up a small but fast-growing segment of the Internet. Total revenue for
the group -- some of which make their money from subscriptions, some from
advertising -- increased 84% in 2002 from a year earlier, to $106.6
million, according to comScore Networks Inc., a Reston, Va., company that
measures consumer behavior on the Internet. The two most trafficked sites
are Microsoft Corp.\'s MSN Learning & Research site, with 7.7 million
visitors a month, and the Web site of Chicago-based Encyclopaedia
Britannica Inc., with 4.1 million visitors.\"

Steven Bell ads: \"What I found particularly annoying was the statement \"local libraries are getting in on the act\" that suggests that we\'re following the lead of commercial information vendors by making our resources available in web-based formats. But if that doesn\'t get you, the inevitable \"I don\'t have to use the library anymore\" quotes will.\"