Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Library Links 2: the QuickRef Library Page

I love QuickRef, and I probably don't say it often enough to our Reference staff.

Time was everybody maintained link lists, often annotated. Shortly after our library set up our web site, we added a list of useful links. Managed for years by Reference Librarian (& poet) Harriet Tippet, the page was known as "Harriet's Hot Links." Harriet is gone, alas, but our link list transmogrified into a great tool to help our librarians answer questions. It soon proved popular with other libraries and patrons.

That tool is QuickRef, and it contains separate pages on a variety of topics, each page with a categorized list of links. Part of what I like is the clean and easy-to-use design, but mostly I just like that it's useful and handy. Pages include: Books & Lit. Business , Education , Ready Reference, and many others -- but for this discussion I'll focus on the Library Page.

Categories, each of which includes from four to fifteen links, are:
  • Indexes
  • Libraries
  • Full Text Indexes *
  • Wisconsin Libraries (statewide resources)
  • WI Public Libraries & catalogs
  • WI Academic Libraries & catalogs
  • Other Wis. Libraries & Associations
  • Prof. Resources
  • Listservs
Needless to say, having the most useful links gathered beats the heck out of imperfect Googling. We'll have to see what the future brings -- will del.icio.us replace separately maintained link lists altogether? Some thoughts and examples of library links in the 2.0 environment in forthcoming part 3.

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