Seamless access in ICT learning- the library context

Hall, T., O'Haodha, M., O'Brien, E., Hayes, P. and Joyce, D. (2005) Seamless access in ICT learning- the library context. [Conference Proceedings]


Back in 1994, Bill Gates in The Road Ahead suggested that research via the Internet would become so prevalent that researchers would become frustrated if they sought information on a topic via the web, and could not find it. Back then the World Wide Web was in its infancy. Today, electronic libraries are at a similar early stage. Will it be the case, that in ten years time, readers will become frustrated if they cannot obtain a book or magazine article via the web? In this paper we examine the likelihood that this scenario will unfold, taking account of the current state of play. Over 20 public libraries in the US currently offer ebooks to patrons, based on the Overdrive eLibrary service. eBooks are a regular part of eLearning amongst corporates. Major publishers, such as Reed-Elsevier, Penguin and Taylor Francis have made their educational texts available as ebooks. The Oxford University Press have an extensive econtent offering for individuals, corporates and libraries. In the paper we will examine the take up of these offerings and the user experiences. Issues discussed will also include delivery mechanisms, technology infrastructures, and how other forms of electronic content consumption, notably in the entertainment arena, are likely to influence the consumption and delivery of electronic media in the educational arena.

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