The reorganization and presentation of information is making a world of difference for users of the Fresno County Public Library’s online information system.
The online program known as Research It! is simplifying how online users find information they are looking for, and making the vast warehouse of books, magazines and reference materials readily available to patrons.
“It’s a series of web pages the library purchases, subscription databases that people use to do research on a variety of subjects,” said E-Services Librarian Kathleen Smith. “It’s information that is not freely available on the web.”
For example, Chilton’s Auto Repair Manual, a complete source for repairing various makes and models of automobiles, is available through the site. “We helped one man who drove to the library to pick up the book, and he was surprised to learn it was available through the library website,” Smith said. “He ended up not needing the book and said he would just look at it online.”
Free to library card holders, Research It! is organized under 12 headings, from General Research Government and Health & Medicine to Job & Career and How To. And unlike books, where patrons might have to wait for someone to return a book they wish to check out, materials on the Research It! site are available to multiple users at the same time.
“We’ve made it easier to use and more transparent,” Smith said, adding that patrons who will benefit the most are “those needing answers for something, from how to fix a car or how to start a business to what book should I read next. It makes it easier for them to get the answers they are wanting.”
To access the site, go to www.fresnolibrary.org and click on the Research It! link on the home page.