Filtering, Selection, and Guided Access. (Internet access in public libraries)
Creators:Diaz, Karen R.
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Citation:Karen R. Diaz, "Filtering, Selection, and Guided Access. (Internet access in public libraries)," Reference & User Services Quarterly 38, no. 2 (1998): 147-150.
In the great debate that continues on public Internet access, it is important not to lose sight of the difference between filtering and selection. The former seeks to keep a user from finding or viewing certain types of material. The latter seeks to aid discovery of useful information by only including that which is determined to be worthwhile. It is hard to practice selection without incorporating some amount of filtering in the process. A judgement that something is not useful is a filter of sorts. In addition to filtering and selection, the whole notion of guided access comes in to play. Pathfinders, reference service, signage, call numbers, shelving strategies, and more devices have always been employed to guide users to the information they seek. We like to think of these devices as providing the service of "saving the time of the reader" but in fact they act as labor saving devices for librarians as well. Personalized service for every patron who walks through a library door is not a practical solution. An ongoing dilemma continues for how to apply and refine these concepts to the unwieldy Web. The Library Channel provides for an interesting case study in dissecting and examining the value of filtering, selection, and guided access when it comes to the Web.