Free Puppies: Integrating Web Resources into Online Catalogs

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



This chapter describes means for selecting websites and the resources needed to add them to online catalogs. Reasons are given for including websites in online catalogs such as timeliness and geographic specificity. A historical overview of Choice Reviews, wikis, and web-based sources of websites is given along with an overview of Minnesota state resources from the point of view of using them as collection development tools for finding web resources. Social work librarians in the state were surveyed about their websites selection processes and the authors conducted time/cost studies of cataloging of online web resources. Findings were that librarians had little time to seek out websites and relied on Choice reviews to keep abreast of new and changing sites. Sources from the library literature and logs of staff time for cataloging of websites were used to approximate the costs of providing access. Although the cost/time study applied only to one library, the methodology and findings can be applied in almost any discipline and different types and sizes of libraries. While budgetary hardships will make librarians think hard about adding free resources to their catalogs, this chapter helps to quantify the necessary resources, implications, and reasons for inclusion of free web resources in online catalogs.


Library Services

Publication Title

Advances in Librarianship: Librarianship in Times of Crisis