Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The virtual librarian; VERITY

VERITY will create a "virtual librarian", a system to help users with their information enquiries, in a context that will encourage the development and understanding of information seeking skills. It will teach young people to find and manage information held in libraries and on electronic networks.

-Enquiry Service. This, the kernel of VERITY, is an electronic interactive adaptation of a normal interview between a librarian and a user. Each Partner (except the UK, which will offer only English) will offer resources in their own language plus English.%
-Information Skills. A package of Web-based materials to help people find information, and then offer guidance on how to evaluate and manage the information.

-Referral Service. A database which will enable the user to be pointed at further possibilities that can offer relevant and valuable answers, such as reference to experts.

-The Fourth Element. This is composed primarily of the thesauri and the Metadata databases and underpins and manages the VERITY service.

Joint development of the core system will result in demonstrators in each of the 5 participating countries, with a common base and local variations, according to the needs of language, subject, target group etc.

The result will be a prototype tool that can be exploited and integrated in other areas (e.g. schools, home use) as well as adapted for different user groups and information retrieval services.

The Virtual Librarian is a new electronic library service for young people aged 13 to 19, enabling them to find information in the library catalogue, in a database of selected Internet sites, and also to address their enquiries to experts, persons or organisations. In addition, the service, through the Information Skills package, will help users to acquire the necessary information skills in order to locate, evaluate and manage the information needed. Young people will be better equipped to be independent learners during their student and professional life. The Virtual Librarian will be available on site or remotely, through the Internet, enabling the users to have access to the service from anywhere, at anytime. The resulting application can be implemented for users of all ages and integrated not only in libraries but also in various information retrieval services.

Reported by

University Of Sunderland
Chester Road
SR1 3SD Sunderland
United Kingdom
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