The basic idea of libraries has not changed much since ancient Alexandria. It has not needed to. Libraries make knowledge accessible by collecting the best and most needed works, labeling them, organizing them, cataloging them, and enabling people to find them on their own. Web-based libraries extend that idea by making many more types of knowledge resources-not just books-available to learners. And Web-based libraries keep longer hours.

This example shows the home page for a corporate library. Notice the wide variety of resources and access methods provided.

To find more examples of libraries, search the Web for virtual library or online library.

13.1.1. When to create a library

In a sense, the whole Web is like a library ... after an earthquake. The Web contains the equivalent of trillions of pages of information, but finding the one you want requires a lot of rooting around in disorganized piles.

Before you start creating a library for a subject area, search the Web to see whether one already exists. Perhaps you could volunteer to help extend and maintain it.

If you determine that a library does not exist, think about what your library will offer that fifty public search engines do not already offer. The one thing you can probably offer is an application of your knowledge of a field so that users of your library get better answers to their questions in less ...

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