Some of the benefits of online libraries are, according to Michaelson and Garret, cheaper cost compare to the printed form in terms of binding and storing; convenient access for the users because they can access the information from anywhere around the world and at any time possible. Different from the traditional libraries, there is no potential that the information is not available because it is rented out. The information is also searchable and people can searh for the information more effectively without reading through all the pages.
The McNeese State University describes that the advantages of online libraries are its standard classification system which makes the information to be easily located; the quality of material is purchased based on selection criteria; and the information available are in historial format. Another advantage of online libraries may also include the simplicity of cataloguing and classification system, which are a little different from that of the traditional system.
The traditional cataloguing and classification are without links which tend to add to research time, while online libraries, if properly designed, may offer links that make users’ research time is more efficient. In addition, modern automated libraries, says Vrana, transform “their card catalogues first into online public access catalogues (OPACs), and then to Web public access catalogues (WebPACCs) offering means of information discovery by giving access to bibliographic records about information resources, which are part of library holdings.
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” Moreover, online libraries provide digital links to different sites that are related to the state information with search and retrieval tools that make it easy for the users to obtain the information at a click of the mouse. If the links are designed in such a way that would cover a global grid, the opportunity for the users to increase their knowledge in terms of qualitative research. globally also increase.
For the above advantages, universities in Western Europe, North America, and Japan have offered the delivery of their courses material in digitalized format including courses in health care. Online libraries do have some disadvantages, though. For example, the information acquired is based on planned acquisitions. Reynolds & Wilson describe that, though not exactly accurate, online materials compiled are often less up-to-date, for the historical data, they tend to have no explanatory notes, and no apparatus criticus.
The McNeese State University describes that the disadvantages of online libraries are that not all information are available because others, especially the important ones are available only in printed form. Similarly, digital format is not as complete as traditional format unless the online libraries are willing to extend their service to produce online information in the book format where users have access to complete information.
Vrana also indicates that the problem in some online libraries is that they do not have “dynamic links between bibliographic records and information” associated with the references they are giving. Unfortunately, says Vrana, digital libraries are still outnumbered by automated libraries because automated libraries are offering more diverse and aggregate information to both commercial and non-commercial audience, particularly to academic community.
In addition, online libraries open all the time and the material borrowed is not returnable or that users would not be penalized for late return. Since digital libraries are growing in demand for its services and content, and whose services are very important to academic and scientific worlds, Vrana suggests that it is important for online libraries to extend its contents by providing additional services such as direct linkage to citation or reference to the information in the form of full text stored in the database of either the library or in the database of different library.