Technology provides more tools than ever at LRC

Home Features Technology provides more tools than ever at LRC

Erin Smallwood
The Corsair

Long live the libraries! Now more than ever students are turning to Internet search engines instead of entering the doors of the library to complete their term papers.

NetLibrary, a provider of eBooks, conducted a study of the online habits of 2,000 college students. Ninety-three percent claimed that finding information online makes more sense than going to the library.

“I usually go online to do my research,” said dual enrollment student Brittany Riley. “The Internet can be a good source of information if you know where to look.”

Unfortunately, some students don’t know where to look.

“From observation, I find that some people have no idea how search engines work and many simply settle for the first results on their hits list,” explained PJC librarian Virginia Vail.

According to BrightPlanet, an Internet search company, traditional search engines such as Google or Yahoo only access around one percent of what exists on the Internet because they do not access the “deep Web.”

The deep Web is a vague definition for Web pages that traditional search engines cannot access. It includes, but is not limited to: fee based Web sites such as The New York Times that require a subscription to view articles, databases that return full-text documents, or databases that are only available to members such as Spyglass.

With so much of the Internet hidden, students may be overlooking some of the most specific sources of information available over the Web.

Fortunately, the PJC library has made it easier to locate quality information by granting access to library resources from virtually anywhere. By logging onto, students can read a collection of more than 32,000 eBooks and access the library’s subscriptions to magazines, journals, and newspapers for free.

According to the Learning Resource Center’s Web site, PJC students and staff only need an activated PJC ID card to access Web-based resources.

If students are unable to find what they need through the LRC’s Web site, an online catalog of books held on campus and at other campus libraries is also available.

While the Internet offers a variety of benefits such as home access and up-to-date news from around the world, the campus library offers several tangible information outlets.

By walking into the library, students are instantly granted access to a collection of more than 70,000 books, audio-visuals such as DVDs or video tapes, and computers. Some of the online subscriptions to magazines, journals, and newspapers can also be found in print.

In addition to all this, the newly rebuilt library will have televisions available to view audiovisuals, private study rooms, a computer lab complete with microfilm printers, and even a coffee shop.

While some may believe that the day of the book may soon be gone, PJC librarian Charlotte Sweeney insists that her job has not changed much. The only things that have changed are the tools that she uses.

Instead of teaching students how to use a card catalog, she now teaches them how to get optimum results from Internet search engines.

“There’s a place for both the library and the Internet,” said Vail. “The question boils down to the best source and whether it is available on the Internet or not.”