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An Educator's Guide to Technology and the Web
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ProQuest

By Charles G. Doe - Posted Nov 1, 2014
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Company: ProQuest. proquest.com; multiple contact forms are available online.

Price: These are essentially yearly subscriptions. Contact ProQuest for costs in your school. Free trials are available.

Audience: ProQuest products and services are available for nearly all library, research and educational situations, at all levels including government and business.

Format: All ProQuest tools are web-based databases in a variety of formats and include digitized and original materials with information of nearly every kind, from full text to image to multimedia to video and audio. ProQuest services feature everything from webinars to on-site training, administrative, and organizational tools.

Collection types include databases, ebooks, newspapers, microfilm, primary source materials, and dissertations and theses on a wide variety of subjects. Essentially, these materials take the place of the old, hard copy library
reference section.

System Requirements: As with many web-based services, ProQuest tools and services work on a wide range of computers and systems. However, they work best with newer computers with fast internet access. Tablet and smartphone versions of some products are available as well.

Description: ProQuest develops information content and technologies which provide vast and varied information, packaged in multiple formats with digital technologies that enhance discovery, sharing, and management. Innovative services aid acquisition, management, and discovery of ProQuest content and your own library’s collections.

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

 

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: This is a matter of selecting and purchasing appropriate equipment, being sure the correct hardware and connections are available, and training users in the correct and efficient use of the materials. Installation: A

Content/Features: As stated earlier, ProQuest materials take the place of library reference sections and more. This includes databases that have been available for quite some time such as SIRS and ProQuest periodical databases. Most can be accessed at home or in schools. However, the number and nature of these products and services have expanded tremendously and will, I think, eventually lead to all or mostly electronic libraries with very limited hard copy content (what ProQuest refers to as eLibraries).

eLibrary, one such product, is a user-friendly general reference tool that has one of the largest general reference collections of periodical and digital media content. It is designed to support every range of user, including elementary students, college-prep and college-level researchers, and professional educators. Educators can also search for resources that correlate to state and national standards.

Another example is the ebrary Reader, which has a simple interface with intuitive navigation and user-centered design. It uses modern web technology and enables researchers to access content anywhere, anytime on most mobile devices. The new Reader was designed with both laptop and tablet usage in mind to enable offline reading on iOS (iPad and iPhone) and Android devices.

These and most ProQuest products are outstanding and will certainly help develop search, research, and digital literacy in nearly every situation. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Some ProQuest products are large and complicated and may require some training to use. However, both online and other documentation are well done and useful. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: A huge collection of support materials is available both with subscriptions and at additional costs. This includes a large library of online materials, downloadable, PDF manuals and documents, webinars, and much more. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: ProQuest products are well thought out and developed. Some or a combination will enhance use of any library at any level, and I highly recommend the acquisition of as much as possible. Highly Recommended

Reviewer: Charles Doe is a 39-year teacher, including 10 years as elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools in Hastings, Mich. For the past 15 years, he has written articles and reviews for Internet@Schools (charliegd@sbcglobal.net)


 
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