Delaware Division of Libraries Blog
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Division of Libraries

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We also “collect” websites.

Written on: June 2nd, 2009 by: in News

Books? Check. DVDs? Check. Newspapers? Check. Computer games? Check.

Everyone expects that libraries will of course collect all manner of physical media- it’s how we began and still at the core of the practical expression of the library mission. Up until the last decade or so, almost the entirety of human-created and human-collected information was committed through some type of physically encoded and tangible object. These objects can be collected, categorized, cataloged and preserved for access in all the ways that library users are familiar with.

How many webpages are there? The total number is pushing or may have already exceeded 200 million, and may be doubling every year! There are no publication schedules for the web, and few clearing houses announcing new publications on the web- publishing news is ad-hoc, second-hand, and almost immediately outdated! What’s a librarian to do!

Most library websites do publish a list of internet resources- usually ones that are very reliable, persistent links to reference resources of one kind or another- and there are a few librarian-managed websites that try to evaluate and categorize websites (here and here). One of the things we’ve done for the last year or so at the Division of Libraries is “collect” current and new websites through an online bookmarking service called Librarians who have access to the DDL account can bookmark informative and useful websites while they are searching for information, and add them to a list accessible to all of the other librarians in the state, as well as users. Based on the index terms assigned by the recording librarian, these sites are then added to a continuously updated “librarians links of the day” list on the main Delaware Library Catalog portal site (it’s “below the fold” a little bit, so you have to scroll down to see it!).

Most of these internet resources are keyed to current events or notable dates and anniversaries- they may not be here in ten years but they are useful right now- and the most recent topics for resources include the 40th anniversary of the Apollo Mission, various resources related to the Memorial Day commemorations, and the H1N1 flu virus.