The Gateway to Information
Project Number 15 – 1993
User Education Librarian
The Ohio State University
326 Main Library
1858 Neil Ave. Mall
Columbus, OH 43210-1286
Fax: (614) firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Individuals And Organizations Associated With The Project
Head, User Educationtiefel@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu
Coordinator, Library Automated Systemsslogan@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu
The Gateway to Information is designed to assist library novice users define their information needs, then easily find, evaluate, and select the most relevant materials regardless of format in the Ohio State University Libraries (OSUL). The Gateway provides help developing research strategies and enables individuals to become independent users of information. The goal of The Gateway is to improve students’ satisfaction and success using the resources of The Ohio State University.
The Gateway provides pathways to 18 CD-ROMs, the online catalog (LCS, Library Control System), and hundreds of encyclopedias, periodical indexes, biographical, statistical, and review materials. Source cards list the title, call number, years of coverage, abstract of contents, and location in the OSUL, as well as floorplans, campus maps, library addresses, collection profiles and hours.
The Gateway needs no information handouts, directions, workshops, or staff intervention.
Gateway takes users far beyond the online catalog, providing instruction and guidance in identifying which materials likely will best meet their needs, where the materials are, and how to evaluate and use them. Custom front-ends for each electronic resource eliminate the need for users to learn the separate commands for each database. All databases from any vendor are searched with the same commands and display information in the same user-friendly layout.
The Gateway also provides access to the OhioLINK central databases and catalog located in Dayton, Ohio. Access to other internet resources and catalogs will be made available through The Gateway as user demand grows. Thus, The Gateway is the foundation for even novice users to successfully move through remote electronic resources. The Gateway brings the future of information access to students and faculty…today.
The Gateway and The Coalition Project Proposals
The Gateway directly addresses the needs of library users overwhelmed by the available electronic and print resources available in the modern library.
The Gateway was developed with grant monies only, showing how projects can succeed with only small amounts of funding. It has been incorporated into all 26 OSU Libraries, in heavy demand by undergraduate, graduate, and faculty. Librarians have created advanced pathways for The Gateway to highlight their resources in Business, Communication, Latin American Studies, and Women Studies to point out relevant materials in subject fields and answer advance research inqueries when librarians are unavailable.
The Gateway is internationally recognized as the information access resource of today by libraries in Switzerland, Israel, Puerto Rico, France, South Africa, Canada and others. Harvard, Stanford, University of Arizona, Univ. of Michigan, Duke, and many others have expressed interest in purchasing The Gateway, recognizing that The Gateway allows users to become successful independent information users without workshops, flyers, or staff help. The Gateway has been successfully transferred to Univ. of Cincinnati and will be featured at EDUCOM 1993. OSUL is also working with Univ. of Michigan and Duke to make The Gateway available on their campuses as well. The Columbus Public Library and INFOhio (the K-12 linking of 26 school libraries) also want The Gateway.It is an answer to their shrinking budgets, shortened library hours, limited reference help and workshops.
A VT100 version is being completed that will operate on any terminal from labs, dorms, offices, and homes. This version will be easily customized using our unique programming tool, allowing staff with only limited computer to highlight collections and create pathways for any institution. This version will later have a graphical user interface to allow Macintosh, Windows and other interfaces to be displayed remotely in the design of Z39.50.
The Gateway also accesses the OhioLINK catalog and databases located in Dayton, Ohio, and could easily provide pathways and front ends to any internet resource as users demand these resources. Interlibrary loan, remote catalog searching, NREN access, gopher use…anything on the internet is potentially accessable and easily used by The Gateway.
(Mac version at OSUL)
Macintosh SI or better, B & W monitor, 80M fixed disk, 4MB memory
Mac System 6
Direct access to the Internet (can be done with modem, but slower)
Any computer with VT100 capability
B & W monitor
Direct access to the Internet (can be done with modem, but it’s slow)
LED display unit