---------------How to Access Electronic Information---------------
CD-ROM stands for "Compact Disc-Read Only Memory".
Most people are familiar with CD-audio, the compact disc that has replaced vinyl records. A CD-ROM disc looks just like a CD-audio disc and is as easy to use. CD- ROMS are quickly changing the way that you can find information either through your
library or your personal computer.
One of the most exciting features of the CD-ROM is its immense storage capacity. One CD-ROM can store several years worth of a major daily newspaper or an entire encyclopedia! CD-ROM technology offers many enhancements including voice, sound, graphics, photography, and animation. When these are combined, what you see, hear, and read is referred to as multimedia.
For example, if you are interested in the Beatles, you can look them up in a CDRom encyclopedia. What you will get is written information, photographs, and sound. By using a mouse, you can select a picture of the Beatles and, with some simple commands, it will become a music video.
Information is available in many forms through CD-ROMS. For example, a teaching guide to fly fishing "Learning Fly Fishing" contains almost an hour of video with sound and close to 40 illustrations, such as photos, paintings, and schematic drawings. It also includes text about fly rods, species of fish, and how to tie flies. There is even a glossary of fishing terms. So if you don't understand the meaning of a word while you are reading, a click of the mouse gives you a definition right on the computer screen.
Information research tools
Many CD-ROMS in libraries are information databases. These databases are indexes of newspapers, books, magazines, or even television programs. Some indexes may only show you in which magazine you can find the article, while others may include a summary, the full text, or a portion of a television program. Other databases provide statistical or business information such as stock prices, financial or census data. Special subject databases cover areas like education, history, psychology, religion, and business. Some Statistics Canada information is available on compact disc.
For Canadian information, look at the Canadian Periodical Index (CPI), a bilingual index of over 400 English and French language journals. (Continued)
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