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From Desktop to Hand-Held Devices: Are e-books a Viable Mechanism for Distributing Resources From the NIST Virtual Library (NVL)?



Barbara P. Silcox


The burgeoning electronic book (e-book) trend offers a new concept on how information is transmitted and utilized. NIST's Office of Information Services (OIS) undertook a pilot project to determine how the Research Library could make use of the emerging e-book technology to package and distribute NIST Virtual Library (NVL) resources. Selected NIST Research Library patrons were issued NuvoMedia Rocket-eBook readers loaded with a variety of resources from the NVL. Group training was provided on the use of the device and members were asked to consider the tool's usefulness in supporting their research activities. After several weeks of use, group feedback was solicited on a broad array of issues including usability, content customization, and future e-book service initiatives the Research Library could offer. Although the group felt that the tested device was not compatible with the way they read scientific literature, there were many attributes they valued and found useful. They appreciated having a great number of articles and documents on one compact device, found downloading resources to the device to be very quick and easy, valued the availability of reference links, and thought the display was very readable. Suggestions offered on how to improve the device included having the ability to toggle between several documents, enhancing the graphical display, and adding scientific reference materials to the repertoire of available electronic resources. These preliminary findings indicate the ultimate success of e-books in the NIST environment will depend on their ability to blend the best of traditional print media with the best of electronic display and hypermedia technologies.(The mention of trade names or commercial products does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.)
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Electronic Book 2000 Conference
Conference Dates
September 25-27, 2000
Conference Location
Conference Title
Electronic Book Conference


e-book, electronic book, library services, NIST, NIST Research Library


Silcox, B. (2008), From Desktop to Hand-Held Devices: Are e-books a Viable Mechanism for Distributing Resources From the NIST Virtual Library (NVL)?, Proceedings of the Electronic Book 2000 Conference, Undefined (Accessed December 10, 2023)
Created October 16, 2008