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Hello LM_NETTERS! In order to avoid posting a long hit to the listserv, I
had been e-mailing this hit to those who request it. A thoughtful LM_NETTER
pointed out to me that I might want to reconsider posting the hit on the
listserv so it would then be a resource in the archives for people to find
later.(Thanks Judy!) I was actually a bit relieved since I have replied to
well over 50 requests so far :)
I better get back to work analyzing all this information for my paper!
Thanks again to a great group!

Sandee Ragusa,graduate student
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

Here are the responses to questions 1 - 3. Responses to questions 4 - 9 are
in the 2nd post.
1.      Which are your favorite print reference sources for children, and why?

--World book (ease of use)  and any dorling kindersley theme book(visual)
--Encyclopedias usually are able to answer their questions. I also like
Encyclopedia of World Biography, some of the specialized Civil War
reference resources.
--We like the World Book Encyclopedias and almanacs--they are current and
pretty comprehensive.  The reading level doesn't seem to be a problem (we
are a preschol -4th grade school)
--World Book - usually has the answers, kids get practice looking something
up and succeeding
--World Book encyclopedia because it usually provides the information the
students are looking for.
--For a bound encyclopedia, World Book is the preferred choice by staff and
students in our library. They find it provides more of the info they desire
and is easier to read. We also like the Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia and
World Atlases because of the info included plus abundance of graphics. We
also use the National Geographic Book of Mammals and Facts on File series
on animals because of the abundance of info, graphics and readability.
--World Book--coverage, illustrations, younger children can read at least
the initial paragraph in an article
--World Almanac, Merit Student Encycl., SIRS, Occupational Outlook
Handbook, Atlas, Rhyming Dictionary, The Kingfisher Encyclopedia of
Animals; The Grolier's Biographies; World Book Encyclopedia--ease of use
and good  information
--World Almanac, variety of atlases, Roget's SuperThesaurus, Webster's
Unabridged Dictionary, Asimov's Chronology of Science and Invention,
Strong's Concordance to the Bible, various quotation books, World Book
Encyclopedia.  The World Almanac is my favorite for every grade because it
answers frequently asked questions, is well-indexed, and cites sources for
statistics.  Physical, political, cultural, and historical atlases are used
in virtually every subject area, as are thesauri and dictionaries. Roget's
SuperThesaurus is comprehensive and easy to read.  Asimov's and Strong's
are two of the many specialized sources that our students begin using
heavily in high school.  World Book is well-written, liberally illustrated,
thoroughly indexed, and useful for our entire grade span (5-12).
--World Book - best source of general info,Groliers animals set (green) =
concise, complete Background Notes - up to date
--World Book,Golden Book, World of Animals, world Almanac and Field Guides
-depending on the grade level these books have the info needed
--World Book Encyclopedia because it is clear and is similar to the online
version in ways and it is just the facts.
--It really depends on the assignment....  The new Gale series "for
students" (Poetry for students, Novels for students....), Groliers set
Elements  and, of course, the world almanac
-- Marshal Cavendish Encyclopedia of Family Health because of photography,
consistency in format, clarity, appeal, and extensive use by students on
all reading and ability levels.  Note that some school libraries will not
purchase this because they consider the photography too graphic.
--World Book -  most thorough, best article format, lots of fact boxes,
charts. Grolier Amazing Animals - short interesting articles, good index,
fact boxes. Biography Today  - current celebrities and famous people that
kids are interested in. Zoo Books - short fact paragraphs, lots of great
interesting information
--World Book Enc - McMillan Dictionary for Children

2.      Which are your favorite nonprint reference sources, and why?
--specific interactive cds for clarity and interest
--encylopedias. We also use the Internet quite a lot.
--We have a great selection of CD ROMs on specialty topics.  I replaced a
long time librarian--she bought a lot of good things from Dorling
Kindserley.  Our World Book Encyclopedia CD ROMS get a workout.
-- I've liked Encarta's atlas products, lots of info, ease of use, ease of
printing.  As they acquire more bells and whistles I like them less.
--The Internet, Encarta and BookShelf on CD.
--The Internet via the Google search engine because it searches and
provides access to many other search engines. The access to unusual info
and visual access to places and things far from our community are
--World Book, Internet--possibility of finding pictures and sometimes
easy-to- read text
--CD ency., Dorling Kindersley science CD
--World Book CD-ROM--ease of use; students like it
--Masterplots on CD-ROM, Academic American Online, InfoTrac Searchbank
Online (magazines), and the Internet Public Library.  Masterplots is
awkward to use, but contains a wealth of information and my English
department love it.  Academic American Online is short on bells and
whistles but fills gaps left by World Book nicely.  Searchbank gives our
students access to a wide variety of magazines, has about ten years of
backfiles, is easy to use, and is constantly updated.  The Internet Public
Library often leads us directly to high-quality web sources, saving time
and frustration online.
--Electric Library - up to date, easy to use. Grolier's three on-line
encyclopedias - only $50 state contract for all my elem students on all
online computers
--World Book CDROM-has most people and animals  researched
--When students and I have the time the internet is a great source but I
truly think at the K-5 level it takes adult-student interaction while
searching and reading on the internet to make it worthwhile.
--Short Story Criticism by Gale Research (serial publication) and Poetry
Criticism by Gale Research (serial publication) because of curricular need.
-The online (or CD) version of EBSCO's MAS (electronic periodical index
with full text articles).  This has revolutionized the topics students can
access and the depth to which those topics can be researched.  I prefer it
to general Internet searching because students locate quality information
more efficiently.
--Worldbook Online - the same reliable Worldbook with the advantages of
electronic features, including Internet links. Proquest - lots of good
articles on variety of subjects, very current
--Grolier Enc. McMillan Dictionary for Children

3.      What are your thoughts regarding print vs nonprint reference sources?

--print for more than one or browsing or narrowing topic, nonprint for fun
browsing or increasing interest or broadening topic
--Print and non print sources I have in the Media Center have gone through
the selection process; not so Internet resources.With the non print
resources I have a rogh time getting students to take real notes, not just
make copies.
--While we are very current on our technology, by far print versions are
more utilized and preferred by the teachers.  Our children are VERY
proficient with different media both at home and school, and they seem to
be eager to use both for their assignments or own curiosity.  I'm glad
there's a nice balance.
-- I would like the kids to use print first.  They wallow on the web.
World Almanac answers many questions they want to take on the web.
--Both are important.  I wish we could have access to an online periodical
service-I have seen them and they are wonderful.
-- I think there should be a balance - I especially like to search the
Internet using Google to find info not readily available in text forms. We
also maintain as rich a reference section as possible since we don't have
Internet access readily available for all students and staff and because
the Internet is not always available and can take a long time to access the
info you need.
--Non-print has the advantage of being readily printable so that  the child
can take it away and take the time to read it or study  the illustrations
--If administrators and teachers would try to find their information on the
internet in my library, they would be much more careful in assigning its
use. They don't realize that print is faster for MOST assignments. In
my community, print can be taken home, the computer is not available there.
-- I think they are both necessary and I try to teach the  students to not
rely on just one.
--Print sources are the backbone of our collection and will probably
continue to be over the next 3-5 years.  It's generally easy to determine
the costs involved in collecting them and the access points are usually
obvious.  Nonprint sources will become more useful as interfaces are
standardized, but having to learn and teach the quirks of each nonprint
source is a major drawback.
--At this time in elem both are needed - I am gradually spending less money
on print - some things I would have kept in ref I still buy, but circulate
now. Nonprint reference is good - but must there is yet no standard of
organization and each must be taught separately - and each year they change
enuf so that kids have to learn all over again how to use.
--students need to learn to use both. Nonprint is limited to the number of
computers available. Students think they don't have to read non print but
can simply print them out.
-Balance, balance, balance...
--Students and librarians need to learn the benefits of both.
--The Internet is wonderful when students are directed to specific
databases of information (like <www.thomas.loc.gov>).  Too many students
claim the "know" how to use search engines, but their knowledge is limited
and promotes inefficient use of time.  (And I am trying to correct their
lack of knowledge.)
--The answer depends upon the topic being searched and the students doing
the research.  Doing a report on a specific endangered species using print
resources in my library is easier than using other types of sources.
However, if a student needs to know the most current Red List, the Internet
would be better than even the current almanac.  Higher level students need
the Internet for in-depth coverage of health conditions and environmental
issues.  Lower level students need the organization, clarity,
and lower reading level provided by print resources.
--When I plan research units with teachers, we have students use print
references first, then we move to nonprint.  I want them to learn to use
print indexes, to skim for facts and take notes and not to just print out
an article and think that's it.
-- I prefer reference materials to be up-to-date.  It is a lot cheaper to
provide the non-print materials in the latest  edition.

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