KidsClick! project: same home, new parents
jkuntz at ansernet.rcls.org
Thu Jun 7 16:50:04 EDT 2001
KidsClick!, the Web Search for Kids by Librarians service, will soon have its first change in management. Starting in June, 2001 The Colorado State Library will oversee the development and maintenance of the KidsClick! web site [http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/KidsClick!/] and database of cataloged sites. Originally developed by the Ramapo Catskill Library System (Middletown, NY), KidsClick! has been managed by RCLS since February, 1997. The Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE provides hosting services, allowing KidsClick! to handle traffic that nears 10,000 visitors per hour during peak school hours.
KidsClick! was initiated as a positive response to both the polarizing filtering debate and a dearth of quality web search services for children. Although seeded with a 1997 $12,000 Library Services and Technology Act grant, the project has operated without a budget since that time, relying on the efforts of its corps of volunteer maintainers and its hosting institutions. KidsClick!s technical design was based on the Librarians Index to the Internet, and was adapted through the efforts of Roy Tennant on the SunSITE end and Jerry Kuntz on the RCLS end.
With hundreds of schools and public libraries linking to KidsClick!, it remains one of the most successful web projects developed by a library institution. KidsClick! catalogs over 6500 hand-selected sites, offering comparatively lengthy (and indexed) site descriptions, a reading level indication, and a graphical content indication. It provides hierarchical subject browsing, keyword searching, alphabetical subject browsing, online search skill tutorials, and links to spell checkers, image search sites, sound search sites, and other search sites. KidsClick!s list of cataloged sites has long been made public, offered freely to interested non-profit or for profit organizations.
Concurrent with the management change, KidsClick! will be soliciting for new volunteers to suggest and catalog sites. The Colorado State Library has already adapted use of the KidsClick! database in its Colorado Virtual Library For Kids web site [http://www.aclin.org/]. With this experience and access to the Berkeley database and maintenance files, the Colorado State Library is positioned to test alternate methods of accessing the KidsClick! database.
For more information or to volunteer as a KidsClick! site selector (you must be a professional librarian or library school student), contact kclick at webjunction.org.
Electronic Resources Consultant
Ramapo Catskill Library System
jkuntz at rcls.org
Author, KidsClick! Web Searching Skills Guide, http://www.neal-schuman.com/db/3/173.html
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