Digital Libraries: Questia

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A search for digital libraries returns a large number of choices. These choices include children’s, international, software, and ebooks in print or audio. Many of the libraries are themed like the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL). This library has many book offerings from around the world. English is but one language choice available. The ICDL has great potential with non-English speaking students. The Indianapolis Marion County Public Library (IMCPL) offers a fabulous collection of post cards and World War I posters among a few other things. North Carolina has a digital library (NCDL) of its own with 20 member public libraries. Anyone can browse the library, but a card from a member library gives full access. For those desiring one-source stops, the fuller library offerings of a subscription based library may be appropriate. Questia is an example of these and offers a one-day free trial membership to check it out. Questia has three options for joining: monthly, quarterly, or annually, so membership can be long term or short term and can be paid through credit card or check-card. In each subscription case, the same materials are available every day and around-the-clock. Secondary schools may subscribe to Questia, but the service is not available to post-secondary institutions. They have clearly stated privacy and cancellation policies. Questia’s overview states they have been in business for eight years and are marketed in over 200 countries. Eight language choices are available for the Questia web pages. The books themselves however are purchased in English. In addition to the library resources, Questia offers writing tools and search helps. Their books and other materials are full text and not abstracts or in... ... middle of paper ... .... The lack of illustrations and diagrams was disappointing, and the monotony of every page’s setup quickly became old. With the numerous materials offered, Questia may be a decent if less than robust choice for those looking for an online digital library. References: Digital collection. (2010) Indianapolis, IN: Indianapolis Marion County Public Library. Retrieved July 13, 2010 from http://digitallibrary.imcpl.org/ International children’s digital library. (2010). Manchester, MA: ICDL Foundation. Retrieved July 12, 2010 from http://en.childrenslibrary.org/about/foundation.shtml North Carolina digital library. (2010). Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Public Library Directors Association. Retrieved July 13, 2010 from http://ncdigital.lib.overdrive.com/ Questia. (2010). Houston, TX: Questia Media America, Inc. Retrieved on June 13, 2010 from http://www.questia.com

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