I love my local public library system, the Columbus Metropolitan Library. I’m a big fan of its helpful staff, plentiful collections, and convenient delivery service. Today I appaud it for coming up with what I think is the best terminology for our patrons to understand what we mean when we say databases. In a box on their homepage with the heading “Beyond Google” the CML says “Your library card is all you need to access our premium online resources!” What a great phrase for those things — premium online resources. By using the word “premium,” this phrase points out the notion that these are things with added value. That added value may come from the fact that the resources are licensed and are therefore beyond what you would get just looking at the open web. Or it could mean that it is a curated collection created and offered to the open web by the library itself. Some may waver over the use of the word “resources” but I think that is a meaningful phrase
To really see this phrase in action, though, take a look at how it appears in their metasearch form. There are two radio buttons — one for the “catalog” (which is also a link to their home-grown ILS) and one for “premium resources” (which links to an alphabetical list of databases). With the heading “Find It” and its positioning in the upper left corner of every page, this search form really gets to the heart of the information discovery in today’s libraries.
Way to go, CML!