Sunday, July 10, 2005

Prepaid cards seen to boost access to national e-library

To create greater awareness of the national e-library project, the country’s largest online resource located at, its proponents will soon be issuing prepaid cards to allow individual users to download contents.

Access to the online database is currently limited to partner institutions and selected members although some materials, tagged as "free," can be downloaded and used by anyone as provided by the fair use doctrine.

The National Library of the Philippines (NLP), the project’s lead implementing agency, said the prepaid cards will be available on R100, R300, R500, and R1,000 denominations.

"Users are authenticated via the IP Address or with a valid login and password. Going directly to the database’s URL without passing the portal’s authentication will be denied access," the agency said.

The NLP did not say, however, when and how the prepaid cards will be made available to the public. Instead, it advised interested users to check the site for updated details.

Launched in April, the R166-million Web portal has a collection of more than 800,000 bibliographic records consisting of more than 25 million pages of local and international materials, 29,000 full text journals, and 15,000 theses and dissertations.

It is a joint undertaking of the Department of Agriculture, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Science and Technology, the NLP, and the University of the Philippines.

Funded through the egovernment fund of the Information Technology and ECommerce Council, now the Commission on Information and Communications Technology, the e-library aims to provide the information needs of all sectors of society in a convenient, affordable, and efficient way of delivery.

Since its launch, the site has received the most inquiries for download (2355 views), advance search (2128 views), membership (1364 views), electronic databases (968 views), and newsletter subscription (899 views).

Apart from the local content provided by the five partner institutions, links to foreign electronic databases and journals are also available to users of the portal.

Inside the site are functional groupings of knowledge classification (used in assigning call numbers in libraries).

These categories are derived from existing call numbers of each material, except in electronic databases, Filipiniana papers, and theses and dissertations.

Each category is mapped to Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and Library of Congress Classification subclasses.

For some situations, some of these categories include subclasses that belong to other categories.

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