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Several of you echoed my concern about the changes which have occurred in
the electronic editions of World Book. You asked that I report what I
learned from other libraries. Suffice it to say that no one responded that
they were successfully using these electronic versions with 2nd-3rd
graders. Since no one here could tell me what I might do to make this
situation with the multimedia editions better, I called my rep who called
their tech department. I wanted to know if the single disc version which
we had been running was going to be updated but  remain as user friendly
as in the past. The technical person gave me the bad news that this
version has followed the path of the multiple CD version in making the
changes which have rendered it much more difficult to use. He did indicate
that he would pass along my objections to these changes.

The edition we had used had been updated through 1998. Since we were using
the CD, we own this version on single disc. It is the product the children
and teachers know and love. In an effort to be more up-to-date we ordered
the new network version on three CD's. I have looked at the version
running over the net and find that it, too, lacks the intuitive searching
strategy which marked the version we have. The version we like was a nice
parellel to our OPAC and made teaching both easy.

So, what do you think? Do we continue to run the 1998, although not
current? Do we try to find another encyclopedia for our lower school?
Suggestions? Do any of you run Book of Knowledge for your lower school
children? Do we give up and run this new version in spite of its
difficulty ( I mean this sincerely. Our technical director and I had a
terrible time with it and we have forty years of experience between us)?
What would you do?

In the meantime, if any of you wish to let your WB representative know
that there are concerns, please do so. Perhaps, our group strength will
get us back a product we can count upon as we have depended upon WB for so

Cathie Miller                   cathie_miller@pds.k12.nj.us
Middle School Librarian
Princeton Day School
Princeton, NJ 08542

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