v27 #1 A Website Review

The World Bank eLibrary

by Brandon James Lewter  (College of Charleston)

With the growing trend of libraries shifting from print to electronic materials, The World Bank eLibrary provides an invaluable electronic tool to subscribers looking for a comprehensive and current collection of literature on economics, business trends, and news from all over the world.

The World Bank eLibrary is broken up into five clean, well-organized sections.  There is the home page which features new books, journal articles, and working papers, as well as a column featuring the most popular items in the library and current news.  From the home page, as with all five pages, there is a conveniently located and intuitive search bar where you can search by full text, keyword, title, author, and more.  There is also an advanced searching option with Boolean operators and limiters such as publication type (book, journal, report, paper, and study type), topic, region, country, and publication date.  Another convenient element is an automatic search history record that is created from past searches and the option to save searches.

Three of the five main sections, Regions, Topics, and Collections, offer different ways to search or browse The World Bank eLibrary collection.  The Regions Page gives you the option to browse six world regions for literature:  Africa; Europe & Central Asia; the Middle East & North Africa; East Asia & Pacific; Latin America & Caribbean; and South Asia.  If you want more region-specific literature, you can browse over 300 alphabetically organized countries and economies.

The Topics page is broken up into twenty-eight categories from Agriculture to Gender to Transport, to name a few.  Each of the topic browsing pages can be organized by title or date.  For researchers looking for the most current information on specific topics, this interface will be very convenient.

The third and final way you can browse The World Bank eLibrary is by their collection types:  books, journals, and working papers. When you follow the books link, the records are organized in various ways that would be helpful to researchers.  The top of the Book Page features new titles, followed by the library’s flagship titles.  The rest of the Book Page is broken up similarly to the site as a whole, by region and topic.  The Journal and Working Papers pages are more streamlined as they list their publications by title and topic, respectively.

The final section of The World Bank Library is titled Using eLibrary.  Here you can find helpful information on how to search the site and access more content.  You can also access a FAQ and Help page with various resources to aide in searching the site, subscribing, or contacting customer service.

Another impressive aspect of The World Bank eLibrary is the information it provides on each record list and page, which is where the real content is anyway.  The record lists provide the main citation information needed with an option to view the abstract without navigating away from the list, and each record page provides complete citation information in a clean and organized manner, making it easy to identify.  In addition, each record page gives you the option to email the record, download the citation, get citation alerts, and add the record to a favorites folder.

Any library, public or academic, with patrons who have a need to research the most current news, economics, and business trends from around the world would greatly benefit from The World Bank eLibrary.  And The World Bank eLibrary makes incorporation very easy. It can be integrated with almost any library system, it can be indexed in discovery services, institutional branding is available, usage statistics are made readily available, and their MARC records and metadata are easily downloadable.  These are only a few of the benefits and services which make The World Bank eLibrary library-friendly.  For more information, visit the Subscriber Services page:  http://elibrary.worldbank.org/page/subscriber_services.

 

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