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Library Agitprop Reality Check - (Follow-up) Commentary by Cindi Trainor

.: Recently I posted about my pal Cindi Trainor's recent editorial, called Library Agitprop. Cindi has written a follow-up piece titled OK, A Reality Check. She sums up how many of us feel with this statement:

I am mortified every time I get a research question that involves showing a student how to use the OPAC. The time for having to think about *how* to execute a basic keyword search has long past.
When I am working with a student, if I can avoid our online catalogue, I do so. One of the most painful things with which to deal is when SFX kicks in - a user is on a db, clicks on the link (here it's a colourful button with the words "Get It! ualberta". When the system works, it pops up a window with one or more links to the publisher's site, then to the journal article, and then to the pdf of the article. If it doesn't work (and often when this happens, we DO have the full-text but the link resolver can't find it for whatever myriad of reasons), the user is given the option of checking in the online catalogue to determine if we hold the publication in print (or online, if it be the case.) Next would come the difficult steps of trying to interpret the catalogue record for that publication (assuming the user actually chose the correct one), which would include finding the appropriate volume in the holdings, etc etc etc. Cindi includes a few screen shots that illustrate the difficulty in correctly interpreting detailed catalogue records.

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