Videotex and Libraries: Reports

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National Library of Australia, 1981 - Data transmission systems - 38 pages
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As part of its continuing interest in evaluating new technological developments, including videotex, the National Library of Australia presents a synopsis of a 1981 study by Insearch Ltd. and an in-house assessment of the potential usefulness of interactive videotex services for the Australian business and library communities. The Insearch study involves demonstration of Prestel International and British Prestel to librarians or information specialists from eight libraries and three business information centers, the collection of 303 questions received at these organizations and selected as appropriate for answering on Prestel, and follow-up interviews with study participants to ascertain their reactions to videotex. Evaluation of questions collected and difficulties in study methodology are discussed. The study finds that Prestel's incomplete information base and inadequate indexing are seen as hindrances to its general reference usefulness. Further reactions to videotex, suggestions for videotex applications, comments on U.K. and U.S. library/videotex studies, and proposals for continuing research conclude this report, with a sample data collection form and an extensive bibliography provided as appendices. Following Insearch's report is a brief assessment of videotex and libraries completed by the National Library of Australia in May 1981. This appraisal finds little potential for Prestel as an information source or as a vehicle for National Library information provision, but recommends monitoring of further developments in the field. (ESR)

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