Good day fellows.

Here's a press release forwraded from the DIG_REF listserv.  DIG_REF is a
list that deals with issues for librarians and others working with Digital
Reference Services.

I wanted to take a look before I sent this along, so please forgive the

OK, I looked...Not bad!!  For those of you unfamiliar with the Internet
Public Library, it began as a class project at the Library School at the
University of Michigan.  The project was successful enough that it is now
grant-funded and has professional paid staff plus student support.

What they've done here, is pull together literary criticism and indexes
available on the web, generally from universities and reputable publishers
and scholars and make them available in a way that pleases my librarian
sensibilities.  Among the things I like, is a selection policy that
excludes high school and undergraduate literary criticism--giving the site
some authority.

The site is well-organized with enough depth to hold a student who can't
get to the library right away.  And, for some of the more popular
public-domain authors' more popular works, maybe enough to put together a
school report.  I followed links for those Romantic Americans, Hawthorne
and Thoreau and found some reliable-looking full-text.

Not all of the links are to full text.  This is especially true for 20th
Century authors. In these cases, links go to citations at fee-for service
sites, like Northern Light <>.  For example,
follow the link from Ray Bradbury to the interview in Playboy, which
actually links to the Northern Light service.  Of course, we can tell the
students to print these references out and take them to the library, rather
than order online. (BTW, How do public librarians deal with minors who
really do want the ARTICLES in Playboy?)

If you have questions about the service, direct them to the contacts below.



>Ken Irwin
>Katie Stottlemyer
>David S. Carter
>4033 SEB
>610 E. University
>Ann Arbor, MI
>(734) 764-4386
>[log in to unmask]
>4/28/98 - Ann Arbor, MI.
>Students seeking literary criticism on the Internet, rejoice! The
>Internet Public Library's brand new Literary Criticism collection
>( offers a fast and easy way to find
>criticism and biographical information for over 100 authors and their works.
>Focusing primarily on British and American authors, the Literary
>Criticism collection fills a gap that has long frustrated students,
>teachers and librarians looking for high-quality literature resources
>online. "We have always gotten lots of questions about finding lit crit
>online--it's been one of the hardest kinds of questions to answer. We
>hope this new collection will be a valuable resource for making the
>Internet's best literary criticism easy to find," says Ken Irwin, the IPL's
>User Services Librarian.
>The Collection contains links to sites about many important English
>language authors.  The authors selected primarily represent the literary
>canon taught in high schools and college English classes.  The collection
>was aimed to serve high school and college students, although it is expected
>to be of service to more advanced scholars as well.
>Many of the author entries include biography and interesting, relevant
>non-literary sources in addition to the criticism.  Attempts were made to
>obtain the critical pieces from reputable sources.  Users can browse for
>criticism and biographical information by author name, period, or
>work title.
>The collection was designed by Ken Irwin, Katie Stottlemyer, and David
>Carter with assistance from Patricia Memmott, Beth Atkinson, and Caitlin
>Tillman.  Over a four month period, these students and staff members
>researched more than one hundred authors and hundreds of web sites,
>choosing the over 1000 sites which make up the collection at the
>time of opening.
>The Internet Public Library ( is a project based at
>the University of Michigan School of Information, staffed by professional
>librarians with assistance from students and volunteer librarians from
>around the world, and has been visited by more than 7 million people from
>over 100 countries. The library maintains a collection of online ready
>reference works; responds to reference questions; creates web resources;
>evalutes and categorizes resources on the Internet; and provides a space
>for exhibitions.
>[/|\]  Ken Irwin, User Services Librarian
>|-+-|  Internet Public Library -
>[\|/]  "the Day Begins at Midnight"

   Elizabeth L. Brown, M.L.S.
   National Digital Library Program, LIBN/NDL/VC(1300)
   Library of Congress, Washington, DC  20540-1300
   [log in to unmask]                telephone: 202/707-2235

   Library of Congress Learning Page: