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“Electronic Library” course

The University of Oregon Library has successfully experimented with a team-taught credit course, “The Electronic Library,” that includes classroom instruction in major information technologies. The course, which was open to both undergraduate and graduate students with no prerequisites of computer literacy, met twice a week for seven weeks. It utilized resources in both the University Library and the University Computing Center, where students used the computer lab and obtained VAX accounts for Internet searching.

The course curriculum included a HyperCard orientation to the services of the library; lectures in Boolean strategies, the MARC record, and differences between keyword and thesaurus searching; and demonstrations and hands-on practice with the Library’s online catalog (including the Expanded Academic Index), CD-ROMs, the Internet, government documents databases, and OCLC’s FirstSearch service. Instruction was shared among the Coordinator of Library Instruction (Paul Frantz), the Coordinator of Electronic Resources (Sara Brownmiller), the East Asian bibliographer (Robert Felsing), and the Interlibrary Loan librarian (Joanne Halgren).

Students reported that the course was an excellent introduction to resources that would change the way they did research, and the team of librarians gained experience and insight into different ways of presenting new information technologies. The course will become a regular component of the Library’s credit course offerings, and techniques used in the course will become incorporated into workshops and other instructional efforts. Anyone wishing copies of the course syllabus, assignments, and a list of class readings may obtain them through the LOEX Clearinghouse for Library Instruction, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan.—Paul Frantz, Coordinator of Library Instruction, University of Oregon

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