Virtual Reference Library – Gale

Review by CCL-EAR Committee

Virtual Reference Library, a product offered by Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, has been a mainstay in academic libraries for years. It offers a simple and appealing perpetual ownership model for reference collections: buy an ebook and it belongs to the library forever with a very reasonable annual hosting fee. An institution purchases the electronic books either as a collection with deep consortium discounts, or individually.

Students can access GVRL titles from their computer, tablet, and smart phone 24/7. With an increasing amount of online classes and new ways of communicating with librarians (like chat, text, or twitter), students will find it extremely useful to have reference titles unbound from the physical library. In addition, GVRL has no digital rights management (DRM) policy, and instead offers unlimited simultaneous users, unlimited downloading and saving, and no need to check out ebooks.
Download the full text of our review for more details.
Download an additional comment May 2012
Committee’s Overall Assessment:

Committee’s Standard Evaluation Chart:

Database Content
Search Interface
User Support Services
Cost
Accessibility/Availability of Service

If you have any experience with this product, please leave a comment and rate its appropriateness for use in a community college environment.

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