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The Internet Public Library (IPL): An Exploratory Case Study on User Perceptions

Monica Maceli, Susan Wiedenbeck, Eileen Abels


The Internet Public Library (IPL), now known as ipl2, was created in 1995 with the mission of serving the public by providing librarian-recommended Internet resources and reference help. We present an exploratory case study on public perceptions of an “Internet public library,” based on qualitative analysis of interviews with ten college student participants: some current users and others unfamiliar with the IPL. The exploratory interviews revealed some confusion around the IPL’s name and the types of resources and services that would be offered. Participants made many positive comments about the IPL’s resource quality, credibility, and personal help.

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