Part of any librarian’s job is to provide access to information people may not immediately know they need, exists, or is accessible. Amy Calhoun, Virtual Branch Coordinator at the Sacramento Public Library, understands this challenge as well as anyone. It’s why she and her counterpart Laurie Willis, an Electronic Resources Librarian at the San Jose Public Library, both set out to find a solution designed to ensure people would have access to information when and where it was needed. Expanding her library’s science-related content and making sure the information was current quickly became a priority. Likewise, Willis was determined to carry out her library’s mission of providing access to an array of information but also wanted to make the material easier to use.
Calhoun and Willis were both able to execute their plans and grow their libraries with Cengage Learning’s Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), an online library of reference titles for multi-disciplinary research, including texts related to American and world history, biography, health, arts, business, travel, religion, and multicultural studies. GVRL, which they had been using for quite a while, provided the librarians with on-demand content that quickly became attractive to a wide range of users. The accessibility to GVRL also knocked down some of the barriers that can prevent people from accessing the information they desire or need.