LSTA: Evaluation of NOVEL, Appendix D

Evaluation of New York's Library Services and Technology Act

Evaluation of the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVEL)

Himmel & Wilson, Library Consultants
February 18, 2007

This document also available in .PDF


Executive Summary

The Evaluation


The Evaluation Process


  1. Focus Group Sites
  2. Web Survey Respondents

Summary of Focus Groups -- Librarian and End-User Sessions

Summary of Interviews with Library Professionals

Summary of Interviews with End-Users

Summary of Web Survey Results


Maps 3-12: NOVEL Usage 2005

  1. Entire State
  2. Western New York
  3. Finger Lakes
  4. Rochester, Syracuse, Watertown Area
  5. Adirondack Region
  6. Capital Region
  7. Catskill Region
  8. Greater New York City area
  9. New York City
  10. Long Island

Responses to Specific Questions Raised in the Request for Proposal for the NOVEL Evaluation


Appendices -- NOVEL Evaluation --

  1. Focus Group Report -- Librarian Sessions
  2. Focus Group Report -- End-User Sessions
  3. Interviews with Library Professionals
  4. Web Survey Report

APPENDIX D: NOVEL Evaluation - Web Survey Report

Over 1,200 librarians/school library media specialists, students, teacher/educators, business users, personal users, and other users responded to a web survey about the NOVEL databases between May 21st and October 31st, 2006.  They lived in 483 different zip code areas.  Seventy-seven percent (77.08%) of the respondents were women and fifty-one percent (51.34%) were between the ages of 35 and 54 years.  Thirty-three (33.16%) percent completed the survey from home.  (A compilation of the survey responses follows.  Note also that the percents given in the report are percents of those responding, i.e., the numbers used to calculate the percents do not include non responses to the question being asked.)


  • Twenty-six (28.42%) percent accessed one of the NOVEL databases several times each week. 
  • Respondents reported newspaper databases are accessed most frequently, followed by health databases.
  • Survey respondents have a fairly high level of success (3.92 on a 5 point scale) in meeting their information needs with the databases.
  • Eighty-seven (86.74%) percent said they had no difficulty in finding the information they sought.
  • Twenty-one (20.93%) percent of the business users indicated they had difficulties in using the databases.
  • Respondents are mixed in their desire for federated searching; some want the ease of a single search; others complain of too many useless hits.
  • What users like best about the NOVEL databases are accessibility, ease of use, and the fact that they are “free.”  They also cite the fact that some of the databases are full-text and that they cover a wide variety of topics as positive factors about the NOVEL program.
  • Overall forty-four percent (44.07%) said they learned about the databases through a librarian or a school library media specialist.

Background and Methodology:
As a part of the evaluation of the NOVEL program, the New York State Library Division of Library Development (DLD) promoted participation in a web survey about the program to various groups of people who were expected to have some familiarity with NOVEL databases.  The consultants and representatives of the DLD LSTA evaluation team developed the survey, which was mounted on the consultants’ website.  DLD then notified the greater New York library community of the web address of the survey and invited participation.  The groups invited to participate were librarians/school library media specialists, students, teacher/educators, and general users of the NOVEL databases who had the option of identifying themselves as users of the databases in relation to their job or business or users pursuing a personal interest.  Alternatively, respondents could choose “other” as a category.  The survey was accessible for participation from May 21 through October 31, 2006.

Individuals choosing to participate could click on a link in the invitation, which took them directly to the survey.  When they completed the survey, they were directed to click on “done” and the survey responses were sent electronically to the consultants for compilation and analysis.  The first page of the survey contained a screening question that sent the respondent to the appropriate survey.  (The surveys were very similar, but did vary in a few respects.) 

Who participated in the survey?
During the time the survey was available, 1,244 people completed it.  That number included 642 librarians/school library media specialists (51.61% of the total respondents), 182 students (14.63%), 92 teachers/educators (7.40%), 98 business users (7.88%), 188 who identified their use as personal interest (15.11%), and 42 who identified their use as “other” (3.38%).

Respondents were asked to give their home zip code.  While some individuals did not offer this information, 1,145 respondents identified 454 different zip codes.  The breakdown by category of users was:

Category of users

Total # of Respondents

# Unique Zip Codes

Librarians/School Lib. Media Spec.









Business Users



Personal Users



Other Users



Not surprisingly, the zip codes with the largest number of respondents were typically the most diverse in terms of types of respondents as well.  For example, the 37 responses from zip code 11215 in Brooklyn included 9 librarians/school library media specialists, 9 business users, 9 students, 7 personal users, 2 teacher/educators, and 1 “other” user.

Two hundred and seventy-six, or fifty-seven percent (57.14%) of the zip codes had only one respondent living in that code area.  There were only seventeen zip codes which were given by both teacher/educators and students.  The consultants surmise that this number is low because the ages of the students (see below) tended to indicate college aged students rather than high school students.  The teacher/educators were likely to be at the high school level.  Also giving a home zip code rather than the school or work zip code may have separated individuals as well.

Seventy-seven percent (77.08%) of the respondents were female.  The breakdown by type of participant or interest was:

Category of users



Librarians/School Lib. Media Spec.









Business Users



Personal Users



Other Users



While one might expect the librarians/school library media specialists and teacher/educator categories to have a higher percent of female respondents based on the general proportions of women in those professions, the high percents of female respondents for the other categories is somewhat surprising. 

Fifty-one percent (51.34%) of the respondents overall were aged 35 to 54 years.  This age group was the largest for all of the categories of users except the students.  The largest age category for the students was 35 or older, which included 23.90% of the student respondents, followed closely by 22.01% who were aged 25 to 34 and another 20.75% who were aged 18-20 years.

Thirty-three percent (33.16%), the highest percent, accessed the survey from home, but another thirty percent (29.76%) accessed the survey from work.  The chart below shows the top two places from which the respondents accessed the survey.

Category of users

Highest %

2nd highest %

 Librarians/School Library Media Specialists

Work   (34.55%)

Library (22.66%)


Home  (66.46%)

Work    (10.76%)


Home  (48.19%)

Work    (21.69%)

Business Users

Work   (46.32%)

Home   (40.00%)

Personal Users

Home  (54.29%)

Work    (24.57%)

Other Users

Home  (35.29%)

Work    (29.41%)

Twenty-one respondents checked the ‘other’ choice for location; most of these either worked in a library (and wanted to check multiple alternatives, which the survey did not allow in response to this question) or were accessing the survey from a library system office.

How often do they access one of the NOVEL databases?
Overall, the highest number (266 respondents), which represented 28 percent (28.42%) of the respondents said they typically accessed one of the NOVEL databases “several times each week.”  The second highest number (165) said “several times each month,” and the third highest number (137) said “daily.”  These numbers are highly impacted by the large number of librarians completing the survey relative to the other groups.  Among the 46 respondents who identified their use as “other,” twenty-one or sixty-four percent (63.64%) said they “have never used” the NOVEL databases.  The relative rankings of each category were:

Category of users

frequent response

Second most
frequent response

Librarians/School Library Media Specialists

Several times/week (40.00%)

Daily  (24.27%)


Several times/month  (23.42%)

Have never used (17.09%)


Several times/month (25.00%)

Several times/week (22.22%)

Business Users

Several times/week  (27.71%)

Several times/month (22.89%)

Personal Users

Have never used  (22.07%)

Several times/week  (20.00%)

Other Users

Have never used  (63.64%)

(No Response—9 people)

Which NOVEL database subject areas did they access most recently?
Overall the relative rankings were:

Type of database

% identifying
this subject





General Reference


Literary criticism or authors


Current Events








Social, political or economic issues


One hundred fourteen respondents checked “other” databases/subjects.  The most frequent “other” response from librarians/school library media specialists was EBSCO journals/magazines (4 have this response).  Among students, eight said education; among teachers/educators, five said education; among personal users, four said genealogy; and among the other users, four said they had not used the databases.  Three business users each gave a different answer. (Note: readers of this report should also refer to the text responses to the questions; those responses follow can be found later in this appendix.)

Among the various categories of users the highest percent was for the following subject areas:

Category of users



Librarians/School Lib. Media Spec.




General Reference



General Reference


Business Users



Personal Users

General Reference


Other Users

General Reference


(Actually the highest percent of responses given by the “Other” category of users was “other.” Of these three said they didn’t use NOVEL and another three said never or none, or not applicable.)

To what degree was their information need met during their last use of NOVEL databases?
Respondents were asked to rate how well their need was met by using a five point scale with 1 indicating that the need “was not met” and 5 indicating that the need “was completely met.”  Overall the mean score was a 3.92, indicating a fairly high level of success.  Remember that a 3.0 would be an “average” or midpoint on the scale, neither poor nor good.  Not surprisingly, librarians gave a mean score of 4.10 and teachers/educators gave a mean score of 4.00.  Both of these groups might be expected to have received training in the use of the databases and to be fairly knowledgeable in searching the databases.  Personal users gave a mean score of 3.83; students gave a mean score of 3.62, business users gave 3.60.  Only the “other users” group gave a mean score below the 3.0 midpoint; their mean score was 2.72.

Did they encounter any difficulty finding the information they were seeking?
The respondents overall seemed highly successful in using the databases.  Overall eighty-seven percent (86.74%) said they had no difficulty.  Among the categories of users this percent varied from a high of successful librarians/school library media specialists (88.69%) to a low for other users (66.67%). 

Category of users

% indicating no difficulties in using NOVEL

Librarians/School Lib. Media Spec.






Business Users


Personal Users


Other Users


Twenty-one percent (20.93%) of the business users indicated difficulties in using the databases.  Their comments ranged from “a lot (of difficulties)” to “could not find information on a few companies I was researching,” to things related to passwords and navigating the databases.  One said, “I wish I didn’t have to enter my library patron number each time.  Can’t a cookie remember this?”

Some representative comments on the difficulties of using the databases include, “It would be helpful to have one search hit all the databases.” (an educator)  “Often find abstracts when I want the full article.”  (a librarian)  “As usual, searches are only as good as the user’s ability to construct good searches: selecting keywords, subjects, using the thesaurus.  Not all the database work as well as the others.  The federated search feature at BPL is not very useful.” (a librarian)  “Hard to know which database to use for newspaper articles.”  (a librarian)  “I teach in a K-4 school and the database for this level are few and not very kid friendly.”  (a librarian)  “Not enough high end research information—this is what is needed for work in sciences.” (a librarian)  “The EBSCO databases I needed were not part of the databases provided by NOVEL.” (a librarian)  “It’s too hard and takes too long to get started.”  (an other user)  “I couldn’t work our system.”  (a personal user)  “Unable to find good health information.”  (a personal user)  “Get good results all of the time.”  (a student)  “Difficulty finding full-text articles.”  (a student)  “Too much information that was useless and hard to obtain.”  (a student)

What did they like best about the NOVEL databases?
Seven hundred twenty-six respondents gave an answer; some gave multiple answers.  Users in all categories cited accessibility, ease of use, and the fact that the databases are free to the end user as what they liked best about the NOVEL databases.  They also cited full-text resources and the variety, scope, and wealth of resources as positives. 

The top three responses from librarians/school library media specialists were (1) ease of use/user friendly, which was an answer 94 times; (2) comprehensiveness/variety of collection  (56 times); and (3) free access to all NY State residents  (54 times).  The top three from students were (1) ease of use (12 times); (2) ability to access materials externally, from home, without going to library (9 times); and (3) offers a wide variety of sources (6).  The top three from teachers/educators were (1) access to a variety of resources/wealth of information (19 times); (2) ease of use (6 times); and (3) free (5 times).  The top three from business users were (1) ease of use (8 times) and (2) comprehensive, depth of information, scope of information (7 times).  For the business users third place tied with 5 responses each for ability to quickly access the information I need,…at the library, at home, or at work and it’s free.  Personal users said (1) ease of use (20 times); (2) free (9 times); and (3) ease of access/accessibility from anywhere (8 times).  Other users said don’t know (2 times); helpful (2 times) and not applicable (2 times).

How did they find out about the NOVEL databases?
Overall forty-four percent (44.07%) learned about the databases through a librarian or school library media specialist.  The librarian/school library media specialist was named by the highest percent of respondents in each category of user.  Among the student users another nineteen percent (19.31%) indicated they had learned about the NOVEL databases through a teacher.   Nineteen percent (19.08%) of the personal users and fifteen percent (15.48%) of the business users said they had learned about the NOVEL databases through the State Library website.

Two hundred ninety-seven respondents checked the ‘other’ response.  Among the librarians/school library media specialists the top three responses here were (1) library system, which was the answer 48 times); (2) BOCES (27 times); and (3) through work, through my job (25 times).  Among the students three said a friend, and two said the Brooklyn Public Library website.  Teachers/educators checking the ‘other’ box said BOCES (2 times), from library website (2 times) and school library system (2 times).  Business users said library web site (3 times); Brooklyn Public Library’s website (2 times); friend (2 times); and NYSED/DLD (2 times).  Personal users said BPL website (4 times); I am a librarian (3 times); family member (2 times) and through the library website (2 times).   Other users said library workshop (2 times).

Other comments?
Respondents were also able to add other comments at the end of the survey.  Four hundred one respondents chose to do so.   Individual answers were sometimes lengthy and covered several topics.  The reader is referred to the Text Responses in Appendix D where the comments are grouped by category of respondent and then by recurring responses and themes.

While a few of the comments are simply “no,” meaning they had no comments to add, many of the comments are very positive, saying things like “Keep it up!” “Thank you for this important resource.” “A terrific use of tax dollars!”  It is also interesting to note that most of the users, and many of the librarians, who talked about the NOVEL program as a good investment of tax dollars assumed that it was funded by the State of New York rather than by LSTA funds. 

Librarians/school library media specialists were the most prolific in their responses.  Twenty-nine gave comments along the lines of: keep it coming!!! keep up the good work, etc.  Another eighteen said simply, thank you.  Twelve responded great!  Many of the respondents commented on the wonderful resource that the NOVEL databases are:  “A fine service. Something NY can be proud of,” and “These are excellent resources—comprehensive, diverse, and easy-to-use.”  Another cluster of responses talked about how grateful the respondents and their clients were for the access to resources they would not otherwise be able to afford.  “For a rural school district, our access to NOVEL databases could never be possible if our district had to buy it.  We rely on this set of databases for much of the research students do in our school,” and “Wonderful free resources, continuous availability providing equal access to residents throughout the state.  Especially useful for schools with limited budgets.  Provides an opportunity for all students to have access to quality information from home or school.”  

Librarians/school library media specialists also provided many suggestions for additional subjects or databases to be added to NOVEL.  While there were some requests for a genealogy database, presumably from librarians in public libraries, many of the school library media specialists requested databases appropriate for younger students—elementary and middle school students as well as high school students.  There were also a few requests for more scholarly resources.

Librarians/school library media specialists commented on improvements that were needed as well.  “Having to authenticate via library card or license number is still a barrier compared to Internet search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.).”  “From PR standpoint name NOVEL is easily confused with Ebsco’s Novelist; public still does not understand difference between articles indexed by NOVEL and information on the web.”  Several respondents wanted the number of databases increased: “I hope they keep adding to available resources and maintain the ones already in play.”  Others wanted full text.  Several wanted “more publicity and outreach.”

Other general comments made by the librarians/school library media specialists included:  “The concept is great.  It’s one of the best things in “state aid” to libraries.  Ease of use is primary need.  The state driver’s license access is an interesting beginning but needs a bit of refining as we go on with it.”  “The money spent by NYS on these resources is money well spent.  These databases give librarians and the community access to valuable information.”  One lengthy response was: “There’s a wealth of information in the databases, but when I do outreach presentations to seniors, students, etc., they are not aware that NOVEL is available to them so we are not doing enough to market this information.  Seniors and students also find the database titles to be confusing and are never sure what to use for their info needs.  We need to do better integration of these resources into our local ILS, better marketing and links or buttons that are more intuitive such as E Resources or E Library instead of online databases.  Patrons see the word database and think Access or Excel, not magazines or full text articles.”

Student comments ranged from “Keep it up!  Thanks!” to “It is great for grad school research,” to “Needs to be branded and promoted statewide.  Many people do not know of it even though the local libraries have tried to promote it in house.  Could use some really cool examples of what it could do for you.”

Teachers/educators also said “Great resource/keep it coming!”  Nine people gave this response.  Three of them asked in various ways about adding a general encyclopedia, especially for students.

Six business users simply responded “no” that they did not have additional comments, but their additional comments also ranged widely.  “An incredible public resource…for people who cannot afford a personal subscription to these databases, it is indispensable.”  “I love you! Thanks for providing the service!”  “Logging in is difficult due to needing to enter license # more than once.”  “Please keep the access available.”

Personal users also gave high praise.  Ten people responded with comments like great, wonderful resource, keep up the good work, love it, and thanks for asking.  Two personal users said “Need more publicity for this valuable database to the general public.”  Others commented:  “An easier interface, similar to factiva, would be great.”  “Full text of the Wall Street Journal would be nice.”  “Wish federated searching were available.” 

Among the thirteen comments made by the Others, at least five respondents seemed to have limited knowledge of the NOVEL database program.  One suggested providing more professional development using NOVEL databases and another said, “use a better name.”

NOVEL Evaluation -- Web Survey Report

  All Responses All Responses - % Librarians/
School Library Media Specialists
School Library Media Specialists - %
Students Students - % Teachers/   Educators Teachers/   Educators - % Business Users Business Users - % Personal Users Personal Users - % Others Others -   %
How often would you say you typically access one of the NOVEL databases?
Daily 137 14.64% 108 24.27% 11 6.96% 9 12.50% 3 3.61% 6 4.14% 0 0.00%
Several times each week 266 28.42% 178 40.00% 17 10.76% 16 22.22% 23 27.71% 29 20.00% 3 9.09%
Once a week 79 8.44% 36 8.09% 12 7.59% 8 11.11% 8 9.64% 15 10.34% 0 0.00%
Several times each month 165 17.63% 66 14.83% 37 23.42% 18 25.00% 19 22.89% 22 15.17% 3 9.09%
Once a month 65 6.94% 20 4.49% 15 9.49% 3 4.17% 7 8.43% 19 13.10% 1 3.03%
Once every few months 79 8.44% 18 4.04% 22 13.92% 6 8.33% 13 15.66% 18 12.41% 2 6.06%
A few times each year 45 4.81% 14 3.15% 17 10.76% 4 5.56% 3 3.61% 4 2.76% 3 9.09%
Have never used before 100 10.68% 5 1.12% 27 17.09% 8 11.11% 7 8.43% 32 22.07% 21 63.64%
No Response 308   197   24   20   15   43   9  
Please indicate the subject area(s) of the databases you used the last time you accessed the NOVEL databases. (Multiple responses allowed)  
Business 317 25.48% 183 29.42% 27 14.84% 8 9.64% 53 58.24% 41 23.56% 5 11.11%
General Reference 457 36.74% 207 33.28% 69 37.91% 57 68.67% 37 40.66% 77 44.25% 10 22.22%
Health 504 40.51% 335 53.86% 46 25.27% 32 38.55% 33 36.26% 53 30.46% 5 11.11%
History 325 26.13% 187 30.06% 51 28.02% 36 43.37% 13 14.29% 37 21.26% 1 2.22%
Newspapers 592 47.59% 382 61.41% 58 31.87% 42 50.60% 38 41.76% 65 37.36% 7 15.56%
Science 307 24.68% 184 29.58% 47 25.82% 35 42.17% 14 15.38% 23 13.22% 4 8.89%
Spanish language materials 40 3.22% 29 4.66% 0 0.00% 4 4.82% 3 3.30% 4 2.30% 0 0.00%
Multicultural issues 96 7.72% 72 11.58% 0 0.00% 24 28.92% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Social, political, or economic issues 256 20.58% 222 35.69% 0 0.00% 34 40.96% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Current events 332 26.69% 253 40.68% 23 12.64% 0 0.00% 20 21.98% 36 20.69% 0 0.00%
Literary criticism or authors 340 27.33% 275 44.21% 32 17.58% 33 39.76% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Magazines 38 3.05% 0 0.00% 38 20.88% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Other 114 9.16% 35 5.63% 26 14.29% 10 12.05% 3 3.30% 27 15.52% 13 28.89%
All Responses All Responses - % Librarians/
School Library Media Specialists
School Library Media Specialists - %
Students Students - % Teachers/   Educators Teachers/   Educators - % Business Users Business Users - % Personal Users Personal Users - % Others Others -   %
Degree to which information need was met (last use of Novel databases)
No Response 100 11 25 10 10 27 17
1 - Did not meet my information need 38 3.32% 10 1.58% 11 7.01% 1 1.22% 2 2.27% 7 4.35% 7 28.00%
2 41 3.58% 18 2.85% 4 2.55% 3 3.66% 9 10.23% 4 2.48% 3 12.00%
3 223 19.49% 81 12.84% 56 35.67% 14 17.07% 21 23.86% 42 26.09% 9 36.00%
4 518 45.28% 315 49.92% 49 31.21% 41 50.00% 46 52.27% 65 40.37% 2 8.00%
5 - Completely met my information need 324 28.32% 207 32.81% 37 23.57% 23 28.05% 10 11.36% 43 26.71% 4 16.00%
Mean 3.92   4.10 3.62 4.00 3.60 3.83 2.72
Did you encounter any difficulty finding the information you were seeking the last time you accessed the NOVEL databases?  
No Response 105 14 31 10 12 23 15
Yes 151 13.26% 71 11.31% 24 15.89% 11 13.41% 18 20.93% 18 10.91% 9 33.33%
No 988 86.74% 557 88.69% 127 84.11% 71 86.59% 68 79.07% 147 89.09% 18 66.67%
If yes, please specify  (see text responses)  
What do you like best about the NOVEL databases?  
(see text responses)  
From what location are you accessing this survey?  
No Response 67 11 23 9 3 13 8
Home 390 33.16% 100 15.85% 105 66.46% 40 48.19% 38 40.00% 95 54.29% 12 35.29%
Work 350 29.76% 218 34.55% 17 10.76% 18 21.69% 44 46.32% 43 24.57% 10 29.41%
School 44 3.74% 23 3.65% 9 5.70% 10 12.05% 1 1.05% 0 0.00% 1 2.94%
School or Academic Library 178 15.14% 143 22.66% 10 6.33% 11 13.25% 4 4.21% 9 5.14% 1 2.94%
Public Library 180 15.31% 124 19.65% 14 8.86% 4 4.82% 5 5.26% 24 13.71% 9 26.47%
Special Library 13 1.11% 12 1.90% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 1 0.57% 0 0.00%
Other 21 1.79% 11 1.74% 3 1.90% 0 0.00% 3 3.16% 3 1.71% 1 2.94%
All Responses All Responses - % Librarians/
School Library Media Specialists
School Library Media Specialists - %
Students Students - % Teachers/   Educators Teachers/   Educators - % Business Users Business Users - % Personal Users Personal Users - % Others Others -   %
How did you find out about the NOVEL databases?
No Response 157 61 37 17 14 15 13
Through a teacher 43 3.96% 4 0.69% 28 19.31% 4 5.33% 2 2.38% 2 1.16% 3 10.34%
Through a librarian/school library media specialist 479 44.07% 255 43.89% 69 47.59% 36 48.00% 38 45.24% 73 42.20% 8 27.59%
Through a flyer or other printed ad 19 1.75% 10 1.72% 3 2.07% 1 1.33% 2 2.38% 3 1.73% 0 0.00%
Through the media (newspaper, radio, TV) 4 0.37% 0 0.00% 2 1.38% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 1 0.58% 1 3.45%
Through Google or another search engine 30 2.76% 3 0.52% 5 3.45% 1 1.33% 5 5.95% 14 8.09% 2 6.90%
Through the State Library website 141 12.97% 63 10.84% 17 11.72% 10 13.33% 13 15.48% 33 19.08% 5 17.24%
Through a link on another website 74 6.81% 27 4.65% 8 5.52% 6 8.00% 6 7.14% 24 13.87% 3 10.34%
Other 297 27.32% 219 37.69% 13 8.97% 17 22.67% 18 21.43% 23 13.29% 7 24.14%
No Response 49 13 0 10 7 14 5
14 years or younger 2 0.20% 1 0.16% 0 NA 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 1 2.70%
15 - 19 years 14 1.38% 10 1.59% 0 NA 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 2 1.15% 2 5.41%
20 - 34 years 142 14.05% 69 10.97% 0 NA 13 16.25% 19 20.88% 35 20.11% 6 16.22%
35 - 54 years 519 51.34% 320 50.87% 0 NA 50 62.50% 53 58.24% 77 44.25% 19 51.35%
55 - 64 years 287 28.39% 205 32.59% 0 NA 15 18.75% 15 16.48% 47 27.01% 5 13.51%
65 - 74 years 41 4.06% 21 3.34% 0 NA 2 2.50% 4 4.40% 11 6.32% 3 8.11%
75 - 84 years 6 0.59% 3 0.48% 0 NA 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 2 1.15% 1 2.70%
85 or older 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 NA 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
Age - Students
No Response 92 NA 23 NA NA NA NA
Under 5 years (students) 0 0.00% 0 NA 0   0 NA 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA
5 - 9 years (students) 2 1.26% 0 NA 2 1.26% 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA
10 - 14 years (students) 7 4.40% 0 NA 7 4.40% 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA
15 - 17 years (students) 25 15.72% 0 NA 25 15.72% 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA
18 - 20 years (students) 33 20.75% 0 NA 33 20.75% 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA
21 - 24 years (students) 19 11.95% 0 NA 19 11.95% 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA
25 - 34 years (students) 35 22.01% 0 NA 35 22.01% 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA
35 or older (students) 38 23.90% 0 NA 38 23.90% 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA 0 NA
All Responses All Responses - % Librarians/
School Library Media Specialists
School Library Media Specialists - %
Students Students - % Teachers/   Educators Teachers/   Educators - % Business Users Business Users - % Personal Users Personal Users - % Others Others -   %
No Response 79 18 26 10 4 15 6
Female 898 77.08% 538 86.22% 111 71.15% 62 75.61% 56 59.57% 107 61.85% 24 66.67%
Male 267 22.92% 86 13.78% 45 28.85% 20 24.39% 38 40.43% 66 38.15% 12 33.33%
Home zip code of Respondents 1145 623 156 80 89 163 34
Other comments  
(See text responses)  

Web Survey Report Text Responses

DATABASES USED – OTHER  [114 respondents gave an answer. Note (#) after a response indicates the number of times that response was given; no (#) means that response was given once.]


EBSCO journals/magazines  (4)
Consumer Reports  (3)
General periodicals  (3)
Searchasaurus  (2)
Variety of subjects for elementary students  (2)
Alternate Health database
At a training session for Novel
Book reviews
Children’s databases
Children's reference materials (Kidsearch)
Educational and library professional materials; consumer information
Elementary student research
Epnet/ magazines
General reference for K-8 students
General research for articles
Health Reference Center
Homework help for students
Information on children
Information on children's lit
Lesson plans, book reviews
Library related issues
Library Technology
Looked, decided not to use
OCLC WorldCat
Research for papers - lots of topics - images and maps
Student research - music, biography


Education  (8)
English  (2)
Psychology  (2)
Scholarly articles  (2)
Social science  (2)
A school assignment
Academic search premier
Economics, Special Education
Harriet Tubman
Library Sciences/social sciences
Literary criticism
Management and creativity
Research for reports


Education (5)
Children’s literature  (4)
Free articles on struggling readers
Law, Housing Issues


Company research
Mental health and development


Genealogy  (4)
Literature  (3)
Consumer interest (3)
First time user  (2)
Fiction  (2)
Auto repair
Film studies
Health, science
Cat care
Madonna, borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy
Popular magazines for general reading
Spy thrillers
The information I need to make decisions about voting in public elections.


Have not used before/never used  (4)
Anything I am researching
AR workshops
Curriculum/management/special needs journals research
Education, psychology
I don't use NOVEL regularly
Interior design
Library Trustee
Not applicable
Obituary archive
Social Work, Social Services

DID YOU ENCOUNTER ANY DIFFICULTY FINDING THE INFORMATION YOU WERE SEEKING? (138 respondents gave an answer. Note (#) after a response indicates the number of times that response was given; no (#) means that response was given once.)


Some articles were not available in full text.  (11)
I had difficulty posting the site to our school portaportal for easy access for students  (2)
Sometimes older library computers did not have most recent version of adobe, etc. to print online articles.   (2)
4th graders needed specific information on New York State history and people: Dutch, 1600s, Iroquois, immigrants in NYS, Rochester history.
Database is very good; however, it needs to be expanded to encompass the academic needs of students and staff. We need full text articles in the New York Times beyond three years.
I do not find the EBSCO databases very helpful for middle and high school information searches.
I teach in a k-4 school and the databases for this level are few and not very kid friendly
My students have had difficulty finding literary criticism on NOVEL. I would like to see this area of the database expanded.
I work with elementary students and need to find information that they can use at their reading/learning levels.
It is often challenging to find age-appropriate material (elementary) on a given topic.  But this is more likely a reflection of the reading levels of the publications indexed, not the index itself.
Some information too technical for younger users.  We have age-appropriate issues.
We are a K-5 school. The NOVEL databases are more geared to older students. There are better resources available for the younger children.
We have a k-8 school.  Our 5-8 graders do a science project.  They can never find information in the NOVEL databases.  Also, the information is not applicable to K-8 curriculum at their level.
The info I found was not on the level of elementary school students. The children's portion was useless. I abandoned use of NOVEL.
Articles were slow to load and in some cases the page could not load.
Even with federated searching, NOVEL is still clunky.  I was unable to pull up medical information for a college student I was assisting at the reference desk.
Full text coverage for this particular periodical started six months after the date needed. In general, I find that most of the periodicals indexed in the NOVEL databases are not the periodicals that cover topics in depth.
The National Newspaper index is of limited use due to the lack of full text.
Had to have too specific a search term -- general questions not enough
Had to tweak my search words.
Hard to know which database to use for newspaper articles.
I could not access specific newspaper articles.  I had some difficulty navigating the site as a whole.
Kids do not like the multi-window choose database "continue" etc. to get to a search screen.  There is a definite need to streamline that part and printing a web clean page needs to be simpler.
I put all the search query information and it kept giving no results. I couldn't figure out why because I had the date of the Washington Post article but it didn't like the search query and the date information in the same query set. So I just went with the date and two words from the article title and finally got it to come up. When I had been using the author's name as part of the query it didn't like that.
I started with New York State Newspapers for an article I knew appeared in the NYTimes about 3 weeks ago. I couldn't find it, although I found editorials responding to it. Happily, I did find it in Custom newspapers, but I don't know why it wasn't in the first one.
Because we don't have the requests for its use, I find it difficult to navigate.  If I used it more I am sure it would be easier.
I tried the newspapers but did not find relevant information (on deadbeat dads and child support), but then I used EBSCO and got several excellent articles. (Helping a student with her term paper)  There were also some good articles which did not have full text.
I wanted specific information about blood thinners. What to avoid, what not to eat and the information was very, very general
I was looking for a specific article in the New York Daily News from two months ago in the Gale New York newspapers.  That issue was full-text in the database, but the specific article was not.  But usually I can find what I want.
I was looking for a very specific newspaper article.  It was not in the scope of the database
Clearly accessible descriptions of each database including holdings info (i.e., NY Times 1986-present) needs to be made available from INSIDE each database. People need to specifically just what they are searching!!
It depends on the topic - why does it always seem like you can't find an article for that one thing a patron wants? : )
Articles were more than 10 years old.  Very few articles were less than 5 years old.
It is very difficult to pinpoint which database would be appropriate for the info needed. Found that the business plans had older copyrights and did not seem to have examples of typical businesses folks are launching. When training patrons on NOVEL -- I have found that EBSCO Masterfile means nothing to them -- renaming to something more intuitive such as Magazines etc. might be more user friendly and understandable for the public
Magazine articles were not information rich - good for report writing.
Couldn't find good maps
Needs better annotations
No difficulties - using databases in my profession as a School Library Media Specialist.  The gateway on the NY State Library website makes it very user friendly.
Not enough high end research information -- this is what is needed for work in sciences.
PLEASE make the databases more full text and easier to understand how to do research. This is a WONDERFUL tool, but the general public needs to access it without having a librarian at their elbow.
Searching newspapers can be a bit inexact.
Sometimes ProQuest goes down and that can be a problem.
The business file did not contain enough specialized industry publications.
Customer I was helping expected the literary criticism to be of the depth and caliber of MLA which it is not.
The databases don't always match the questions.  For instance, I was looking for the distribution of the brown recluse spider.  I couldn't find it easily--although I found information on the spider itself--so I ended up with Google.
The EBCSO databases I needed were not part of the databases provided by NOVEL.
The individual resources were difficult to find, i.e. Kids Search was found on a "Services List" on the Novelist database. It was hidden and hard to find.
The NOVEL databases are lacking in terms of history based articles. 
The Twayne’s Author Series database would not bring up any results when an author's name was searched for in the search bar. The only way to find a particular author was to select their nationality and the time period in which they wrote.
Specific author was not listed in Twayne's Authors Series.
Twayne author series is wonderful for the authors represented but lacks some very important authors such as Maya Angelou.
We used the "find" function (under edit) since there is not index in the Twayne series.
There is a weakness in the Literary area.  It is difficult to find literary criticisms on the authors and their works that our students are studying.  Provision for a good encyclopedia would also be very helpful.
I sometimes wish there were more in the history area.  And I wish Twayne's Authors was searchable.
There needs to be a reduction in the number of links you have to click on to access information in the Business & Company Resource Center Database.  For example, if you want to search for information on a company, there are only two tabs accessible on your initial search i.e., Company Profile, and News/Magazines.  Once you click on Company Profile, the other tabs are active. From an end-user perspective, the other tabs should be accessible with the initial search. 
Too limited in detail.
Was looking for Dallas Morning News but could not locate it in any of the periodical databases.
When locating newspaper articles, I could only access those that had originally appeared in the newspaper I was searching.  No AP articles.
Would prefer TRUE PDF versions of full text articles rather than those which NOVEL databases sometimes provide.  Also, these articles sometime omit tables or make them difficult to read.


Difficulty finding full-text articles.  (4)
The search had so much irrelevant junk that it was almost not worth the effort to sift through. (2)
I was having difficulty finding what I was looking for.  (2)
Get good results all of the time.
I don't like the initial interface--too confusing.  also would love to have full text articles from ERIC
I find it hard to find the stuff I need - maps and more interesting articles for my reports.
I couldn't find the specific information I was looking for, and sometimes there's not much variety of information available on the topic I am researching.
I was looking for very recent peer-reviewed journal articles on a particular topic that my professor said had to be since 2003 and had difficulty finding good articles within that time frame.
I was often unable to access pdf of the documents found in the electronic database.
I'm not sure how to access Lexis Nexis from home - It would be great to have a quick note or indicator that explains what's happening.  Is it only accessible from within the library or do you have to do something special?
Old screens are better
Overlapping of same news articles
Selecting the correct database for the info I needed
Some subject matter was not available
Sometimes the pdf files do not download properly and the information presented in the abstract is not as accurate as it should be
Sometimes, unrelated subject areas are included in the keyword search.
When I looked up literary criticism on The Great Gatsby, nothing came up that was useful.


I was looking for an article by David Brooks that had appeared in the NY Times with the word "marshmallow" in the title and I was unable to find it.  (I ended up Googling and I got it that way)
It would be helpful to have one search hit all the databases.
Not many available titles
Since the access screens were changed, it is much harder to find what I need.
Sometimes directions aren't clear
The amount of time to find the information
The current system does not allow for in depth research, consequently I often have to physically visit the central library in Manhattan. I think there should be some way for people engaged in extensive research to have access to historical archives.
The information is not in a format for young students so it usually does not meet my k-6 grade level needs.
The literary criticism area is weak.
Too difficult to navigate


Not able to find information I was looking for  (3)
A lot  (2)
Had a hard time filtering too many results and feeling confident that I wasn't missing something.
Hard to navigate and find correct database
I don't like the way the "federated search" works for Business & Company Resource Center.  Those underlying database are good, but the interface on top of it is lousy.
I find it very difficult and counterintuitive, and often have to run multiple searches to find what I need. I also hate that I can run a search of the New York Times or another paper, and get incomplete results.
I need to find online lists of business and contacts.  Hard to navigate… don’t know where to find it!!!!!
I was looking for a specific editorial piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer and I searched all the newspaper databases but I could not locate it. I found it later online. This is not the fault of NOVEL per se; it just seems that those databases don't have ALL the articles published on a given day in a newspaper.
I wish I didn't have to enter my library patron number each time. Can't a cookie remember this?
Selecting which database to use
Some passwords did not work
Sometimes, the citations are not available for free.  There is a charge for them.  One-time access can be as high as $39.00.  That is a bit steep for me.
There have been some changes to the database that make it a little more difficult to navigate
Trying to access


Could not find/couldn’t work your system   (2)
I wish there was more available in the collection regarding both film and more recent philosophic works
Didn't have the kind of in-depth information I wanted about a company.
Difficult to find the right articles with the keywords I was using... the items that came up were either too general, or I got no search results.
Federated searching didn't work
I don't use it that much because I am a member of the Friends of New York State Library, and have remote access through that website to many databases.  Because I usually need to access scholarly articles in various fields (but do not work for a university and thus don't have access that way), the NOVEL databases do not meet my work needs.  However, I just noticed how many trade magazines are included in Masterfile Select that I would read for personal reasons (i.e., Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, etc), so I expect I'll be using this in the future.
I was looking for a specific article from a back issue of Smithsonian; it proved tough to track down.
I was unable to access some of the Gale files because of a problem on their end.  Their message was rather cryptic and did not give a clear answer as to why.  It took a phone call from a librarian to find out what the problem was.  It was corrected.
It's often hard to find out what titles are included in the databases. This is particularly frustrating in the newspaper databases.
No guidance on the site about what the databases contain.
Some images in search results wouldn't load
Sometimes there appears to be unexplainable time lags with loading news information.
Quality of business information is spotty and not that current.
Sometime I can’t get the InfoUSA data base. Or the system sends me directly to INFOUSA when I log on at home. When I called the library, they had no one to help me change my browser settings.
The database acted erratically.
Unable to find good health information


I couldn't find any reference to the topic I was searching for. I believe part of the problem was that I couldn't find the newspapers I was looking for.
I found it very difficult to use in my school.  When I went to workshops, they did not explain how to register etc. for Novel or EBSCO.  When I went to, I found that it was very limiting. The children went to Google and found what they wanted much easier
I had difficulty finding the information, because I need more professional development using databases.
I need to research educational journals on curriculum, management, and special needs students.
It's too hard and takes too long to get started
Not applicable

(726 respondents gave an answer; some gave multiple answers.  Note (#) after a response indicates the number of times that response was given; no (#) means that response was given once.)


Ease of use  (user friendly)  (94)
Comprehensiveness/variety of collection   (56)
Free access to all NY State residents     (54)
Breadth of information and topics covered  (42)
Full text articles  (39)
Ability to find "vetted" information/authoritative/reliable information   (28)
Ease of access  (20)
Appropriate reading levels & student skill levels  (18)
Easy access from anywhere, not just the library.   (Virtual access)  (17)
Scope, quality, and timeliness of information available.  (17)
Free access to information for my students  (16)
Currency  (14)
Good coverage of current issues and health topics.  (11)
They save our library money (or provide access we couldn’t afford)  (10)
Enables everyone to receive information regardless of the size or wealth of their library.  (equity of access)    (8)
Access to newspapers and magazine articles.  (7)
A wide range of valid resources  (6)
Availability of New York Times   (6)
Convenience   (6)
Allows patrons to access library materials 24/7.     (5)
Ebsco databases, periodical articles (5)
Access to a variety of subject databases  (5)
All the choices available.  (5)
Good mix of information for the general public and professionals    (5)
Enhanced search capabilities  (5)
Fast  (5)
Easy to explain/teach/learn   (4)
Simply that they are available.  (4)
Accessibility   (4)
Access to current publications of information value to all students and faculty I work with.  (3)
Opportunity to teach users there is more than Google.  (3)
Diverse sources of information and data.  (3)
Being able to obtain multiple resource types with one search/federated searching (3)
E-Mail alerts on new articles.  (2)
Everything  (2)
Informative   (2)
No advertisements  (2)
Access to business info resources & articles  (2)
Keyword searching   (2)
Availability of one access point to all the databases   (2)
Children's databases.  Inclusion of lexile reading level.  (2)
The Gale products in particular are top notch.  (2)
The tremendous variety of articles on all different levels of complexity; informe'-very important. The visuals are very good.  There's the ability to print in different formats. There is visual appeal for students when they're using Infotrac or Ebsco, etc. It conserves the space for materials.  If it's in the databases if you don't have to have the material on your shelves and/or the students are seeking print copies of their subject studies and images for their papers.  Also - the Ebsco photo archive is great.
Health Reference Center
The Alternative Health Resource in the Health and Wellness Resource Center, the variety of newspapers and articles in the EBSCO and Gale databases and Topic Search in EBSCO.
The vast coverage of Ebsco, and the health info.
Additional resources to offer our students and faculty.  Having NOVEL means I can spend my limited budget on resources specifically tailored to our curriculum, while the NOVEL resources cover broader, more general interests and topics.  It's an excellent complement to our collection.
As a children's librarian I use InfoTrac Junior and Searchasaurus daily.  I teach a course on the databases to children grades 3-6 that we call "To Google or Not To Google" to show the kids that facts for reports and school work should come from vetted sources and that they will save time and energy if they know how to use the databases.
Available in Spanish
Broad coverage but need more k-12 databases
Business Source Premier is just astonishing all around. All different types of patron use this database....students, business people..
Choice of full, abstract or pdf text.
Ability to save searches and have the system contact me when new results occur.
Ease/reliability of access to a basic core collection that supplements our own library's databases in a few areas.
Great tech support, excellent databases and huge breadth of information, well indexed.
They provide intellectual and full-text literature access to business, consumer health and newspaper resources I otherwise would not be providing to my Medical Center Library patrons.
Electronics is "new age" and is good for older people to experience.
Familiar interface
Finding book reviews, help with student projects for patrons.
Peer reviewed articles and access to archived newspapers
Great content for our patrons; these databases really make a fantastic supplement to our electronic resources collection.  In particular, I think, they give us something for our education students (who will be teaching K-12) which we couldn't/wouldn't purchase without NOVEL.
Has the information that I am looking for
Author information
Helps me help the school library patrons!
I am sorry I have not had time to review novel.  I am a one person library.  I feel it would be great if I could just have time to check it out.  I was impressed when I took the training course.
My high school can not afford to purchase OPACs -- NOVEL provides full text for us allowing me to help students in different topics areas. I would be stuck  without it!
I am thrilled to be able to send children to databases that are kid friendly (Searchasaurus and KidSearch), thereby steering them away from the many frustrations of using Google.
They show me and our students that New York State is supporting our efforts.  Many of our students do not have access to this information from other sources.
I like being able to locate a journal article that the library does not own. 
I like how they are separated into the different categories. Having separate databases for newspapers, business, literature, etc. makes it much easier to find things, and helps my students know where to begin searching.
I like the ability for students to get information from a variety of reliable resources (which school libraries could not afford otherwise)in an interesting way (via computer) for research projects instead of relying solely on the internet. 
I like the precise and accessible information.
I like the supplements to the databases my library already has access to. 
It is great especially when so many children are not allowed to go to the library. Novel allows them the opportunity to access material.
It was OK.  Nothing great.
Categorizing the searching results.
Love EBSCO's Topic Search feature
MasterFile Premier and Custom Newspaper database have the most practical application in my job.
I love the author “readalikes.” 
My favorite database is Novelist.
Information for all age groups available
Not sure - need more resources
Novel databases provide the students in our school access to materials needed for school assignments.
NOVEL provides access to journals to which our library does not subscribe. It is also a valuable tool for students when they are doing research papers.  It is often easier to find the electronic form a journal article uses the databases rather than thumbing through print journals looking for an article on a particular subject.
Access to newspaper articles typically for fee elsewhere. 
Local newspaper database
Regional newspapers are extremely helpful
The access to newspapers
The newspaper indices.
The NY Newspaper database covers the NY Times full text for time period that is not covered by Proquest Historical NY Times and is easier to search than the National Newspaper Index (which is not full text)
The broad selection of databases--newspaper indexes, which cover a wide geographical area, health information, and also information suitable for students at all levels.  We are delighted to have these databases available.
New York State Newspapers
Custom Newspapers gives our patrons access to the New York Times articles on the day they are published.
Use as extension of library collection for curricular needs of students & teachers; use as a mechanism to teach information literacy skills.
Specific subject areas are easy to locate.
Students can get images, information, maps in one place.
That there are 2 health databases.  One is meant for patrons and it really does present the information in a more patron friendly style
These databases help me to access current and reliable information in the health care area in an easy to use format
The health information and Consumer Reports full text. I have found in training though that it is not easy for patrons to locate or know that this type of info is available
The access to all the databases for me as an educator and as student getting my MLS degree.  To help my students at school and home that they are able to access all the information they need.
They are an in depth complement to the databases I can afford for my high school library, such as the business, health, literature and newspaper databases.
The diversity of resources that are accessible through NOVEL, they are great for all areas of the curriculum in my district.  So I can recommend them for most, if not all, class visits.
The formats for kids are important e.g., Searchasaurus and EBSCO Kids. Also, the image database provides good pictures for school projects and includes source information.
The information is available to the kids easily and they have learned how to use them independently.
The majority of the time, I can find relevant information for myself or for my patrons.  The information is more authoritative than much of what one finds surfing the internet.
The NOVEL Databases are very important to libraries.  Often patrons come in looking for a specific title but I am able to offer them another resource if we don't have the book on site.  When patrons call from home I am able to email articles to them and save our resources, i.e. printing, paper.  Basically, NOVEL allows me to serve my patrons.
The NOVEL databases provide in-depth information on all subject areas.  NOVEL is an essential research tool for everyone!
The selection is very good, particularly for a high school.
The Twayne Authors Series - Twayne World, English, and US Authors
Twayne's Author Series is thorough and easy to use. Business and Company Resource Center has come in handy, but Hoover's would be more useful.
Twayne's Author Series is very easy to search. I can teach a patron to search Twayne's in person and over the telephone.
They are excellent resources and very cost effective for school districts.
They are not crowded with information on the screens & are therefore much easier to use than some databases. Search boxes are distinct & set up in the correct places.
They are relatively constant - don't completely change from year to year, which is useful for me as a personal user and as a librarian working with patrons.
They complement the databases purchased by the library to form a good selection of basic and specialized databases.
They contain a lot of good, basic information that students need on a regular basis.
Our patrons have access to reference sources in the GVRL when the library is closed.
They have not been very useful for us.
They have subject content that our patrons need and want.
Topics available...Twayne, ebooks, health & wellness to mention a few
Topic search
Up-to-date information with articles that are not extreme in length to be used by Special Ed Students.
Very clear and concise
Multimedia programs.
When working with the teachers and students in our Middle School, I can safely steer classes to the NOVEL databases.  I have used it in planning units with these classes: Social Studies; Science; Health; ELA.  The units have included current gov't persons & institutions; how to relieve stress in your everyday life; animal research; current science news; 20th century projects; author studies; etc.
Saves time when patrons are lined up for information needs.  We look good because the NOVEL information is generally very current.


Ease of use  (12)
Ability to access materials externally, from home, without going to library (9)
Offers a wide variety of sources.  (6)
I can find information  (4)
Never used before  (4)
Full text articles  (3)
Everything  (3)
it is good  (3)
Its wide variety of resources   (3)
Access  (2)
Free  (2)
Being able to search all of the available databases at once, and limiting searches to full-text sources.   (2)
Has a lot of info  (2)
Easy to find citations that I can then search through other databases to find full text articles.
Great for helping me out with my papers.
I like the fact that I have free access to the latest newspaper op/ed pieces not freely offered online.
I was not in school this past semester, so I do not recollect that much about my experience
It is readily available and reliable.
Mom was able to help me get great articles for my homework.
Real nice
Search results are specific and on point
The results are also presented very clearly.  And - major plus - through BPL, I can access Encyclopedia Britannica full articles and other resources for free, which require payment if I were to log on to them on my own.
The fact that it was available and with patience the answers I needed could be found
The selection of databases
The valid information
I learned how to use it in middle school and today as a Junior in college I turn to it whenever I need to find something and web searches are too broad or not helpful.
The ProQuest newspaper access


Access to a variety of resources/wealth of information  (19)
Ease of use  (6)
FREE  (5)
Reliable, current information at my fingertips  (5)
Easy access  (3)
Full text articles
I like the way it narrows the search.
I teach Library Science.  These data bases provide information that librarians can use to aid the public that they serve - be it public or academic.  During the academic year, I use them to demonstrate, to answer questions in class and to encourage research on the part of my students.
New York Times in full text and the images
Not as overwhelming as doing a straight search on the Internet
Simple interface. Good variety of resources within each database. Appropriate for high school audience.
That I have databases for the children to use for research since it is not budgeted for the elementary level.
The international newspapers
The students find the site easy to navigate through and they seem to always find information that is relevant to their studies.
They are an authoritative source of information.  They also give students the correct bibliographic format for their Works Cited pages.
They give my students access to databases at no cost to my school.  We are fortunate to buy additional databases, but I know that the money might not always be available and I'm relieved to know that my students can have access and learn these necessary and important skills as long as I have Internet access.


Ease of use  (8)
Comprehensive, depth of information, scope of information  (7)
Ability to quickly access the information I need, no matter if I am at the library, at home, or at work.  (5)
It’s free  (5)
Easy access  (4)
Full text  (3)
It is convenient, detailed, extensive  (3)
Access to newspapers archives  (2)
Accessibility; ability to access a variety of research needs in one place  (2)
Accuracy of information and ranking of sources
Handy tool all round.
I don't know.
I like that there are so many newspapers.
It's quick, efficient and available 24/7.
Nothing so far
That they exist
The availability options that make NOVEL available to all NYS residents.
The fact that it’s reliable information - not as overwhelming as the web.


Ease of use  (20)
"Free"  (9)
Ease of access/accessibility from anywhere  (8)
Access from my home computer.  (6)
It's comprehensive  (4)
The fact that they are on-line.  (4)
Authoritative/valid    (4)
I think the variety of different databases is quite a plus.  (3)
Up to date information on various resources  (3)
Accessibility  (3)
Convenience  (3)
Many full text articles  (3)
Everything  (3)
Availability.  Newspaper coverage - full text.  (3)
In depth information  (2)
Access to newspaper articles in a timely fashion
Available 24/7
Available to everyone.
Availability through my library which adds additional resources
Excellent quality.
Cross database circulation
Ability to access high-quality information that I wouldn't have access to otherwise
EBSCO magazine articles and the newspaper articles
Ebsco, and its breadth of coverage
Ebsco's MASTERFILE and Gale's Health - both have a wealth of information.
General content
Helpful in finding information
I am introduced to new authors
I don't feel like I have to worry about quality of information when using these databases. Also, I can't begin to subscribe to all of the periodicals that are part of the NOVEL set and so it is a great way to access thousands of quality sources for "free". Yes I know our taxes go to support these services.
I like the fact that NY state is making these resources accessible to people statewide. 
I love to use the databases to pursue personal information needs and interests.
Information prints out neatly on standard 8X11 paper.
Links provided so much useful and interesting material about all kinds of books and literature.
NY Times availability
Reliable source of basic information from established, authenticated sources.  More reliable and quicker than aimlessly wandering around web sites.
The Brooklyn Eagle!
The Health and Wellness Resource Center (though some of the reference books included are too old) 2001 is too old for health information.
The number of places it pulls info from.
Wealth of searchable information.


(26 respondents gave an answer. Note (#) after a response indicates the number of times that response was given; no (#) means that response was given once.)


Library System  (3)
I work at the Public Library  (2)
School library/work  (2)
Home, work and school.
Friends' house
Public library
School library system office
United States
Work - which is an academic library


Where Mom works

TEACHERS/EDUCATORS  (One person checked ‘other’, but gave no answer)


Church library
Home office       (2)


Make radio buttons accept multiple answers. I use the database at home AND at work.
Psychosocial clubhouse
United States
When I am traveling for business or pleasure


I'm at work, which happens to be a public library.


Don't know  (2)
Helpful   (2)
N/A  (2)
Don't use it.
Easy to use
Home Access is wonderful and allows me to do research when the library is closed.
I like that Novel databases take you directly to the source.
Its comprehensive nature and full text articles
Response Time

(302 respondents gave an answer. Note (#) after a response indicates the number of times that response was given; no (#) means that response was given once.)


Library System  (48)
BOCES   (27)
Through work, through my job   (25)
School library system  (24)
New York City School Library Services  (16)
Workshop/training/orientation  (13)
I learned about NOVEL from the State Library when it was introduced.  (12)
Email/listserv  (11)
Colleagues   (9)
It's on our home page/web site  (7)
3Rs council/newsletter    (7)
As a member of the library community; I am a librarian   (6)
NYLA       (6)
Library/school media specialist meetings   (4)
SCRLC   (4)
I help administer/manage databases for my library.  (4)
NYLINE    (4)
College professor, information science program  (4)
Professional development/staff development workshop    (4)
Through Library Connections  (4)
Library consortia  (2)
Speaker at a conference  (2)
System meetings  (2)
From my library director  (2)
Have used since its inception
I teach it
I was involved in setting up NOVEL
Installed at work on our pacs (public access catalog)
Just know public libraries subscribe to databases
NYPL Office of Reference and Information Services
Professional communication
As a library consortium, we've known about them forever!
Provided via public library
Strange, I don't even remember it's been so long
They were already in use when I started my position as an elementary LMS
Through CLRC
Tutorial by Birsell associates
Visit to Brooklyn Business Library


Friend    (3)
Brooklyn public library website   (2)
Exploration of the library website
My mom is a librarian
New York Public Libraries
Public library
Through Mid-Hudson Library System
Through working for the NYPL


From library website  (2)
School Library System     (2)
BOCES  (2)
From an informational notice when it first came out.
A friend
Library Connections Mentor
Library home page
New York City Board of Education
New York City School Library System
Office of School Library Services in NYC
Professional development for school librarians
School library meetings
Through a class taken at Library School (grad)
Through the librarian at my local library branch
Through a listserv.
Work as librarian.


Library web site   (3)
Brooklyn Public Library's website  (2)
Friend  (2)
At the library
Brooklyn Public Library
Don't remember
Familiarity with the library's website
Found out from a librarian.
Library board member
Library councils
Through my job - information from State Ed


BPL website  (4)
I am a librarian   (3)
Family Member   (2)
Through the library website   (2)
I used to work for a library and learned how to find resources
Library Day in Albany, NY state govt. building
Local library
New York City School Library Services, NYCDoE
Public library
School library system director
Through a handout in the library.
At work (work for a library)


Library Workshop  (2)
First time visiting site
From colleagues
I was brought to this page
This evaluation
Through this survey I am not even sure exactly what database Novel is
Use of library card
Work-related email message

OTHER COMMENTS? (401 respondents gave an answer. Some answers were extensive.  Note (#) after a response indicates the number of times that response was given; no (#) means that response was given once.  Some respondents in each group simply answered ‘no’ to this question, meaning they had no other comments.)

LIBRARIANS/MEDIA SPECIALISTS  (Because there were 285 responses from this group and few close matches, many of the entries below are loosely grouped by categories.)

Keep it coming!!!!  (keep it going…; keep up the good work…)   (29)
Thank you    (18)
Great!  (12)
Add more (unspecified) databases   (11)
Continue funding/supporting it   (9)
A general encyclopedia would be a good addition.  (9)
I/We love it!  (6)
No     (3)
A terrific use of tax dollars!  (3)

Wonderful resource:

A fine service. Something NY can be proud of.
A truly wonderful service which allows small libraries to do real reference work. It is a vital asset.
A wonderful resource for our high school staff and students
They have great value.
NOVEL is a fantastic research tool appropriate for everyone!
An excellent resource to help libraries of all types in NY stretch their database budgets.
As a librarian, I think that the NOVEL databases are an excellent use of NYS services available to their residents.
Excellent service for librarian professionals keep up the good work and the funding.
Extremely useful for a wide variety of information needs
Extremely valuable service. 
Find the databases to be helpful and I am thankful to NYS Education Dept. Div of Library Development for providing this service to all residents of NYS
Excited about the new access thru usage of driver's license.  Invaluable for personal as well as student research on variety of topics.
Good to have newspapers, journals and health information available.
I adore it.  And the fact that we are able to access NOVEL for the school library at no cost to the school, frees up funds for other databases that we purchase outside of NOVEL.
I am completely satisfied with your product
I am very happy with this resource.  I have used it to do graduate level research and been successful
I am very pleased with the resources that are provided in the NOVEL databases. Our students and teachers find them very helpful in their work.
I feel these databases are extremely helpful in performing my duties as a reference librarian serving patrons.
I have a friend who is a LMS in training in the Carolinas...she uses NOVEL to do research because NY is so far ahead of other states in this type of offering.  Bravo!
I'm completing this survey as a representative of my job, school library media specialist.  It is a perfect fit for students and teachers at school.  I also find it a valuable resource for home use; most recently finding information for a sick parent.  Thank you. 
This is a wonderful resource for all New Yorkers. My friends and colleagues in other states are envious.
This is a wonderful source of information and it fills many needs since our book budget is so small. We could never have enough books to cover the topics.
This is an excellent resource for research!
This is an extremely valuable resource for the schools of the state of NEW YORK...especially those schools with limited resources. Having these databases available provides access to important research sources for ALL students in our state regardless of socio-economic level. We use them all day at our school and would sorely miss them if funding were to be cut.
This is one of the best things the State of New York has done for libraries and those that use them.
It is an excellent service. It truly makes information accessible to any citizen of the state.
It is very useful and valuable for our high school students
It is wonderful that these databases are available to me and my library patrons!
My students and own children have enjoyed learning about this great resource!  Thank you!!!!
Novel is a wonderful resource for rural communities.
The databases are an outstanding resource to have available to my patrons and to search on their behalf.
These are excellent resources--comprehensive, diverse, and easy-to-use.
These are wonderful resources for library patrons in NYS; they bring some level of academic content to anyone, not just those associated with a college or university and as such are critical for democratic, egalitarian access to information to the digital have-nots.
These databases are an important part of the research process at my school.
A really valuable resource
This is a very valuable tool for small libraries
What a great resource.

Grateful for access/could not otherwise afford:

As a School Library Media Specialist in a rural area that can not afford vital databses necessary for students we could utilize the New York Times Historical, Gale Literary Database and other databases that would assist educators to meet the required NY state curriculum standards. 
For a rural school district, our access to NOVEL databases could never be possible if our district had to buy it. We rely on this set of databases for much of the research students do in our school.
I am very grateful that NOVEL exists. As director of a small library, I could never afford to offer so many databases on such a variety of topics.
I appreciate their availability.
I appreciate that we have access to these databases; I know I will continue to use them, even more as I make others in our institution aware of them.
I appreciate the access we have, I hope it continues, or even expands.
I appreciate the fact that NY State is willing to fund NOVEL databases.  Access to information is vital, and a great service to every New Yorker.
I hope NYS continues to fund NOVEL because many individual libraries could not afford to pick up the costs given their budget limitations.
Our school would never be able to afford it so we thank you for providing the link for us.
I am very grateful for the access we do have.  Thank you.
I really appreciate having them, and I especially also like the training materials online
It makes so much information available to us "smaller" libraries.  NOVEL truly has expanded our ability to better serve our public.  We could never afford these databases.
NOVEL databases are an extremely important resource for my students. As a school librarian, I would never be able to afford subscriptions to all of the databases that NOVEL provides. I hope to see NOVEL continued and expanded in the future.
Invaluable in this small, rural public school library.
It gives us a greater variety of options for our students - thanks!
The value of the information available to a district that cannot afford databases for the school libraries is incalculable.  The information my students and faculty can get fulfills curriculum and education standards.  It's my hope that use of the NOVEL databases will interest students in the use beyond high school as they become adult learners.
These databases provide a valuable resource to our students and we are grateful that they are provided for us because we could not even begin to purchase them on our own.
Thanks for providing this access for all libraries in the state.  It makes a difference - especially for students who don't have computer access at home (the have-nots) and districts who find it difficult to pay for on-line databases in their budgets.
They are fantastic and vital to a successful Middle and High School Library program.  We don't have budgets to access these great sources and need them to continue.
Through this project we are able to provide our patrons with online databases.  This is something we would not be able to do independently.  We are grateful for the NOVEL databases.
We are thankful for the databases that NOVEL purchases on our behalf, particularly Business and Company Resource Center and New York State Newspapers. 
Wonderful free resources, continuous availability providing equal access to residents throughout the state. Especially useful for schools with limited budgets. Provides an opportunity for all students to have access to quality information from home or school.

Suggestions for additional subjects/databases:

Ancestry is a big topic for searching today.
A genealogy database would be a popular addition to the suite of databases.
I recommend adding a genealogy database to NOVEL, such as Proquest's Ancestry database.
Our patrons are asking for access to a genealogy database such as or Heritage Quest, and an investment database such as Morningstar or Valueline.  Our library and library system cannot afford to subscribe to these databases.  We believe such databases would be valuable, well-used additions to the NOVEL databases.
Expand the Middle School/High School databases i.e., Opposing Viewpoints, CQ Researcher.
Expand to include more resources appropriate for middle and high school students.
Hope that more databases and/or e-books can be added to it.
Could some basic reference tools such as a dictionary for children and one for adults as well as a good encyclopedia for both be included?  Also, perhaps an almanac and more of the Gale databases.
I wish they provided more databases for elementary school students. So far, my students can only use the InfoTrac. Everything else is designed for high school students. I believe my students would use NOVEL more if there were more databases for them.
I wish we could have access to a more scholarly science database.
I wish we had EBSCOHost Academic Search Premier but I understand that cost is a factor.  Thank You for continuing to provide needed information to the people of NY!
I wish you had a "Gale" type of Biography Resource Center. The level would be jh-hs levels.
It would be wonderful to be able to access Facts on File, Worldbook Online, and similar materials.
I would like to see more databases that are specifically relevant to students, such as SIRS Researcher or SIRS Discoverer or Gale-Thompson’s Student Resource Center.
I'd like more in the way of literary criticism
I'd love to see genealogy and investment databases.
Include the West Encyclopedia of Law, if possible (our library added a separate subscription) to the VRL.
You need to add more databases. For example, Literature Resource Center by Gale would be a very useful database to have. I find I really only use Health Reference Center when I access NOVEL. The other databases I have no use for.
It would be helpful if the state would fund additional databases for the school libraries, GALE Student Resource Center, gold; Proquest for the NYTimes.
Consider making available the Health Business database from EBSCO.
More resources for lower elementary students would be wonderful!  More encyclopedia type databases.
More scholarly resources would be nice.
More school age resources are needed because they represent a huge group of NOVEL users.
Please add an encyclopedia, and perhaps a college level database with journal articles like JSTOR
Please add other databases like Wiley or Science Direct.  Thanks.
Please include some databases for younger learners.
I would like to have Gale's Science Resource Center added to the offerings. Would also appreciate access to some of the ProQuest products, too.
The only deficiency I find among the NOVEL offerings is when looking for historical information.  I usually don't find what I'm looking for in this subject area.
They are an amazing resources for reference work.  I would also like to see some very specific resources that might be more appealing to the general public such as Ancestry and Heritage Quest, Gale's Historic Newspapers, EBSCO's Automotive Repair Center and some type of Test Preparation Utility such as Learning Express.  I think these would be heavily, heavily used by the public and would be worth the extra expense. 
We really need more primary leveled databases. Our K-8 school would benefit from more basic data.

Improvements wanted:

As a LMS, please offer workshops that are geared to K-5 students.
As a professional, would like to see expansion of the program so individual libraries do not need to struggle with the high cost of purchasing these resources individually. Also would like to have NYS provide promo materials, bookmarks (for free or minimal cost) and pre-written press releases that can used in local newspapers/newsletters.
Better marketing of such a valuable resource, and in-house training to professionals (librarians, information assistants, teachers, teacher aides) on how to maximize usage and access so that they can further publicize the databases to the general public users.
Could EBSCO be a little easier (user friendly) for the patron?
Could you make the information for New York State Social Studies curriculum in elementary schools user-friendly and more abundant?
It would be great if there could be more "How to cite this article" links that our students could use for their bibliographies.
From PR standpoint name Novel is easily confused with Ebsco's Novelist;  public still does not understand difference between articles indexed by Novel and information on Web. 
Having to authenticate via library card or license no. is still a barrier compared to Internet search engines(Google, Yahoo, etc)
Should have a different name--Novel makes people think the databases are just about fiction titles.  Need publicity in newspapers and local magazines--MANY people are not aware these exist.
Has nothing for my elementary and middle school students.  Not much more for my high school students.  Why is it so heavy with college level material when most colleges pay and maintain their own databases?  NYPL websites are also free to all NYS residents and have many more choices.  Why can't NOVEL be like NYPL?
I would like to see it expanded to further meet the student curriculum.
I would like to see more databases added to the Novel list for schools
I have a patron who wanted to sign up for NOVEL.  He had to go to our county offices to get signed up.  This will never work if it is that inconvenient.
I look forward to expansion of these data bases.  I look forward to pages that guide the user to the overall use of the data bases.
I primarily use Health Reference Center Academic and while I like having PDFs, the quality of those files is not always the best and when printed they are difficult to read. The last time I looked at the Health & Wellness Resource Center I could locate full-text files, but not PDFs and most of my patrons want their articles in the originally published format.
Higher quality PDFs and in both databases would be a great improvement for this user's needs.
I hope they keep adding to available resources and maintain the ones already in play.
I really like using the EBSCO databases because they are easier than Gale's. I would like to see better statistics generated from both companies. I have been trying to figure out why some stats come to me monthly and others not at all. Some come in email messages and others as attachments. Some come in two separate messages. I don't understand how I can get them all to be the same format and the admin website is difficult to me. Why can't they just show my libraries when I log in. Why do I have to search through miles of usernames?
I sometimes find the graphic interface to be too busy
I think the newspaper databases are the clunkiest to use.  Consider another vendor?
I wish we could bookmark the page without having to log in with user ID and password each time.
I would like to see all newspaper articles include photographs, charts, graphs, maps, etc, so that they are more complete. I would also like to see Newsday full text added to the list of Newspapers it indexes.
I would like to see an even more comprehensive array of available databases.  I supplement NOVEL with the NYC public library website.
I would like to see more of the articles in full text instead of just abstracts.  Looking for information can be cumbersome - students still prefer the ease of Google. 
I would like to see the NOVEL collection expanded to serve the needs of the business community, in particular.  Also, all types of libraries and residents of NYS would benefit from more depth in a multi-discipline database, e.g., Ebsco's Academic Search Premier instead of MasterFile.
Expand to include World Book Encyclopedia, NY Times newspapers beyond three past year publications and academic databases plus more. State could purchase the databases at a lower cost than individual libraries and educational institutions.
Would prefer to be able to change my password to something I can remember instead of using drivers' license number each time.
Just to reiterate the need for complete descriptions of the contents of each database.
I'd like more training on how to use all the databases we have available to us.
Make accessing the databases easier...  have one web page which lists all the databases and with links which take you DIRECTLY to the databases' search boxes
Promote NOVEL as a virtual library for all New Yorkers which is available 24/7, not just as NOV
Make it easier to access through our library's web site.  The unique NOVEL site takes too many clicks!
More full text...Wider range of information to access.
More publicity would be great - not enough patrons know about them, or understand the difference between the quality of information to be found there vs. general Internet searching.
Need more for the younger child
Our students need more reliable services.  The Spanish database INFORME provided does not work and articles are often difficult to read.
Please find a way to advertise yourself without the large area of information a patron must go through before getting to the databases!
More publicity and outreach is needed.
The business databases are very poor in quality.  They are generally out of date and rely on many foreign publications to increase the number of titles indexed. 
The concept of NOVEL -- making these databases available to library users, through public libraries -- is wonderful.  But the databases themselves are either not the sort of thing that our users seem to want (e.g., literary criticism), or contain information that's easily available on the Internet directly (e.g., business and medical information).  Please, please consider adding a car repair database.  This is a perfect example of something that our customers would use and appreciate, and whose content is not easily available outside of a subscription product. 
The version of EBSCOhost MasterFile Select is insufficient as a general reference periodical index for public libraries.  NYS should seriously consider upgrading to MasterFile Premier at the very least or preferably Proquest's products.
We would like federated searching of the NOVEL databases for patrons who use their library cards much like your method of using a driver's license.  Also, we are not receiving any statistics if people access with their driver’s licenses and it essentially cuts libraries out of the mix.  We look forward to a solution.
When I attempted to do a federated search (search all NOVEL databases) I had no idea how; I couldn't find any directions anywhere; I still don't know how.
Where are the maps and images I need for reports and research?
Where are the resources for our kids - they need the right materials to do better in school.
Wish money was spent on advertising NOVEL database availability through public libraries instead of availability through the DMV.
Wish there was more for elementary children
We like to see more variety to the Gale Virtual Reference Library.
Would like an encyclopedia for K-12 students with graphics, not just text.
Would like to see audiobooks included on the NetLibrary collection
Would like to see more full text articles
I was never able to solve a problem with my ability to log on. I'm not sure if the problem was at my end--the note from your tech people said the inability to access the databases had to do with cookies, and I was supposed to disable them. Unfortunately, the computer folks in my building weren't exactly sure what to do about that and we never did get on. I hope to remedy the situation next year.

Don’t use:

Actually, I very rarely use the NOVEL databases because their content is either rarely called for in our library, or is something that I can find more easily on the Internet generally.  If the NOVEL offerings included car repair and genealogy I'd use them a great deal. 
Have not had any need to use the databases.
I am sure that larger libraries get more out of NOVEL. Not needing to use it regularly in this small library, I forget how to use it on the rare occasions I need it.
I don't use them often because I am a k-1 librarian.
I plan on using them more in the next school year.  Sometimes, I forget my password and that is what holds me back from using it more frequently.
I'm unfamiliar with them. If they were introduced through my school building, I did not realize it. Time is always a concern--or not enough of it. If I knew more and found it to be useful, I would probably include it in my websites most often visited. I am a math teacher and often use the NCTM site, as a member.

Other comments:

Accessing the websites via a public library card benefits both the State Library and local libraries as long as there is no charge associated with acquiring a public library card. Requiring the public library card number increases the awareness of local community library services.
As a librarian, I always like to promote getting information not only through the Internet but also through databases, which contain information with some authority. I liked letting my patrons know about databases that they can access, even if they currently did not have a library card.
As a reference library in a public library setting having access to NOVEL offers me the opportunity to expand my holdings.  Lets me help people find information that would otherwise be unavailable.
Before I held my current position, I worked as a librarian in the Westchester Library System.  Before NOVEL, the WLS subscribed to many of the databases in Novel, BUT to a more involved extent.  For instance, the information we received from EBSCO was much more complete and extensive.  One would think that NYS could do as well.
Ebsco is OK, but my library subscribes to Proquest, which has proven far superior.  People who live outside our library system frequently call me to get fulltext articles from Proquest for them.  Do very much like health dbs.
Having attended the presentation of NOVEL at the NYLA Conferences, I got a chance to hear and to meet the people behind this labor of (information) love.  They were excited, dedicated, and determined to implement this and more than willing to answer questions and to trouble shoot with us, the users.  The help desk is exceptional, too. At each NYLA Conference, Janet Welch and her staff update us and inservice us about NOVEL.  This is a wonderful help to all of us.
I cannot access the NOVEL databases through my home computer, perhaps because I have a static IP.  The Public Librarian and I cannot figure out exactly why.  I can and do access it from my husband's older PC, which is in the same room!
I don't know how, but we need to continue to fight to get the public more aware of this terrific resource, and to get library staff to use and promote it more.
I enjoy using the Novel databases tremendously and have greatly increased my own store of knowledge in many subjects as a result of my daily scanning and searches of appropriate articles and extracts for students and teachers.
I hope that public schools throughout the state will continue to have free access to these databases - they have become a central part of the library skills unit I teach my students.
I like the driver license access.
I use novel databases to get the most current information for patrons.
I use NoveList, Contemporary Authors, and Health Reference Center the most for answering reference questions.  (My students mostly major in education and nursing)
I use the Novel databases with my high school students and we find it invaluable.
I would like to know that more of my faculty and students are aware of and using these valuable databases
I would miss having it!
I'm glad to know it is there when I need it.
Important service which supplements what local libraries and library systems can provide. gives all citizens of New York state access to various topics of reliable information regardless of what their local public library can provide be it a small town library or under funded large library!
In this time of scarce library budgets, we need a resource as powerful as the NOVEL databases.
It would be worthwhile to increase the number of databases, so that NYS is not allowing the vendors to double (triple?) dip into the taxpayer's pocket. School, academic, public
It's great to have these available from home, but cumbersome to have to dig out the driver's license to log in - i usually don't bother. Since we have IP recognition here at our office, it just logs in.
Keep access for all.  Publicize more.  Improve connections and speed.  Thank you for recognizing the importance of quality information parity for ALL New Yorkers.
Keep this valuable resource; it is a credit to NYS that libraries and the public can access this information for their needs
My faculty, students, and I have appreciated the improvements added to the Ebsco database for younger elementary level students.  This had been a serious lack.
Easy access/great information source
My Library System's access to databases is very poorly designed. At my library we have had to create our own database page. Still, to get to Novel dbs, our patrons have to go through the very confusing Westchester Library System page. You should require a minimum of accessibility and usability or allow libraries access individually.
My students could not do their research without the NOVEL databases and my teachers use them for curriculum development.
My students have been successful at accessing information from the ebooks found on the Gale Virtual Reference Library.  This is a great addition!
Novel Databases are an important part of the research process.  Students need to be aware of databases and these services are very important for students to be able to access.  It is my hope that through library lessons students will use Novel databases with more frequency and become less reliant on Googling.
NOVEL is a great service to New York residents. Patrons are astounded at the breadth of information accessible through NOVEL.
Novel is a valuable tool for students and I hope to make students familiar and efficient at using the data base. It is my plan to use it with more frequency in my teachings. 
NOVEL is moderately helpful where I work, mostly for medical topics. My primary use is to download full text articles, pointing from Serials Solutions.
Sometimes I just don't think to use it as a reference.  I enjoyed receiving the NOVEL Infobits.  I'm not sure that locally, we've done a great job at selling it to our patrons.
Students were so impressed with the Business & Company Resources Center and thought that it wasn't well publicized enough that they took flyers to their department to promote.  Our students do not have access to such information other than through NOVEL.
Some of the e-mail alerts ProQuest sends are for articles that were published earlier. I wish they were more timely to the actual date of publication.
Thank you for the addition of the eBook collection. It has greatly expanded the way my patrons can find "book" information on varied topics of interest to them. NOVEL is one of the best things that I can say NY Libraries have to offer to ALL patrons state-wide. It always saddens me when I hear of a librarian who doesn't know what it is nor subscribes to it for his or her location.
Thank you so very much for making the Health databases available.  As a hospital librarian working in an environment of steadily decreasing funding I can't tell you how much we appreciate the state providing this valuable resource to us free of charge.
The concept is great.  It's one of the best things in "state aid" to libraries.  Ease of use is primary need.   The state driver’s license access is an interesting beginning but needs a bit of refining as we go on with it.
The money spent by NYS on these resources is money well spent. These databases give librarians and the community access to valuable information.
The newspaper databases are very useful and important to our patrons for a variety of reasons.
The NOVEL databases are very popular with our users, who use them frequently.
The NYS Driver's License access is great, except for middle and high school students -- They don't have driver's licenses yet.
Students are very busy these days meeting the Regents requirements. They don't have many study halls when they can use the school library, so they need access to the NOVEL databases from home.
The workshop made me very eager to use NOVEL but in reality it did not meet my expectations.
There's a wealth of info in the databases, but when I do outreach presentations to seniors, students etc. they are not aware that NOVEL is available to them so we are not doing enough to market this info. Seniors and students also find the database titles to be confusing and are never sure what to use for their info needs. We need to do better integration of these resources into our local ILS, better marketing and links or buttons that are more intuitive such as E Resources or E Library instead of online databases. Patrons see the word database and think Access or Excel not magazines or full text articles.
They are a good resource for librarians and their patrons  up to date information
These sources of information give students a reliable source of information that is an alternative to general internet or web articles. These are academic valuable and students learn the difference between a web article posted by "anyone" and a reliable, accurate, current article located through a NOVEL database.
They are essential to providing good customer service in our workplace
They are essential to the students here.  NOVEL is a critical part of our collection. 
They are essential, a benefit to all residents of NY
They are very helpful to my students; and I have also used them for myself & family.
They have greatly improved the quality of service we are able to provide our library patrons.
They really are wonderful.  They cover a nice range of materials.
This is a fabulous resource. I especially like to use the Journal Alert feature in EbscoHost to view articles from selected periodicals.
This is a necessary service for the public.
This is a resource I use daily. Always very helpful.
Use of Databases is so important a tool to the searching public, these should be supplied free of charge as a library service, and to all population regardless of library affiliation.
We really appreciate the state's efforts to increase the database offerings that are available to everyone statewide.  It allows colleges and universities to focus on the specialized resources that support their unique curricular needs.
Publicity is good....  but still students and teachers have not heard of it.... I would like single bookmarks for my library patrons with home access information.  I have made school bookmarks for individual topics with the school access information.
The databases really fill the gap for libraries that cannot afford to pay for this service individually.
Wonderful support to Public Libraries
Wow, do you really expect the average patron to remember if the databases he's used are from Novel or are one of the many other databases we have on our site, without providing a list?  This survey has serious validity issues.


Keep it up!  Thanks!   (2)
Great service.  Hope you can keep up the funding!
I love the availability of this wonderful site
I enjoy it; I hope they continue to offer this.
It is great for grad school research.
This is a very useful tool, especially for students and researchers.
I had trouble accessing the databases at work in Manhattan - was this just a fluke or is this what is supposed to happen?  Also, as I mentioned above I had trouble accessing Lexis Nexis from home - are certain databases only accessible from the library - or do you have to do something special that I don't know? Otherwise, this is a great resources, thank you
I want to see more things available - Wikipedia has many more things
I observed in a NOVEL workshop I conducted for classmates in library school that some people are a bit confused with the federated searching in NOVEL. This aspect could be explained more clearly and prominently in the interface.
A professor said that when NOVEL is underused it is sometimes because libraries already have the databases offered and people tend to use the same way to access a database that they have always used. In other words, they might be using the databases offered by NOVEL but just not THROUGH NOVEL.
It is a good decision that you are gathering information on the use of the database.
It would be nice if the NOVEL database can broaden its research sources available, and that the research includes sources from various time periods, from a range of olden times to modern times.
It would be nice if there was a log in id and password instead of entering your library card number. At times I usually don’t have the card right with me when I want to use the site
Needs to be branded and promoted statewide, many people do not know of it even though the local libraries have tried to promote it in house.  Could use some really cool examples of what it could do for you.


Great resource/keep it coming!   (9)
No    (4)
Great, please keep the access open for free.  (3)
Please keep this available for all our NYC educators and students   (2)
There is a need for general encyclopedia information for elementary users, ESL and special needs    (2)
Add a good encyclopedia.  Look at more of Gale's e-books that are not time sensitive and add them to the Gale Virtual Reference Library.
I would love to see World Book Online as the online encyclopedia.
Highly worthwhile resource especially for small libraries that would not have the financial resources to offer such a selection of databases. 
I know that the data bases have more extensive information available on them. Is there any chance that NYS will add to the coverage?
I would like a schedule next year that would allow me to have the time to access NOVEL more frequently to help students with their research projects.
FAQs and quickie info sheets for each database
It is a great convenience for me, professionally & personally!!!
Please develop resources for young children and students who do not speak/read English well.
Please keep offering this service to the people of New York.  It is a real benefit.
Please make it more user friendly for younger students
The Newspaper Index is basically useless as I do not have access to the newspapers. If I could have the full text of the articles, then it would be wonderful!
Good resources for people who can't afford pricey alternatives. Nice to promote them more at the elementary level, send home flyers instructing parents how to access and promote more use.


No   (6)
An incredible public resource.  One of the major benefits of the library system, at both the state and city level.  Having these resources is one of the only ways that a citizen can certain kinds of research using modern database and search technology -- without belonging to an academic or business organization that independently subscribes to similar databases.  For people who cannot afford a personal subscription to these databases, it is indispensable.
Extremely pleased to have "discovered" NOVEL - I was unaware of it until only a few weeks ago.
Genealogical constituents express discontent about not being able to access a number of databases through NOVEL that are accessible at the State Library.  With terrible hours for access and worse parking, it is problematic to only have access at the Library itself.
I think it is a good foundation to continue building on.  The speed at which the system uploads information could be improved.  Also, if research reports for companies could be provided that would be fantastic. 
I think there are many places where NOVEL is underused because people get used to using databases they are familiar with and accessing them from sites they are familiar with. Many Universities and libraries that provide NOVEL already have a number of databases available on site or from their websites, so many times people just don't go out of their way to access the same or different databases through unfamiliar websites.
I wish they were marketed better to end-users.  I wish the feature to use your driver license to use them did NOT pop you into a federated search feature.
I'd like for it to be more comprehensive, and easier to use. LexisNexis or even Factiva are much more user friendly.
Keep adding more – what a wonderful resource for schools and libraries and their patrons.
Logging in is difficult due to needing to enter license # more than once
Once I've gotten results from my search, I sometimes have a problem identifying what is useful/relevant info.
Please keep the access available.
The databases are invaluable to our schools.
There needs to be a wider awareness of the availability and breadth of the resources of NOVEL
There really needs to continue to be a focus on the GENERAL NYS user; many users have expressed interest in a general encyclopedia (such as Grolier and its related resources). We DON'T NEED highly specialized databases that are good for only one type of user; the money needs to be more equitably spent to reflect the needs of all users.
This is a great service! Thanks so much for making it available! Please keep adding more materials.
Would like to see a link from NOVEL - especially NOVELIST to the Mid York library. 
- Logging out on EBSCO - not sure this is clear other than closing window. 


Great!/wonderful resource/keep up the good work/love it… /thanks for asking  (10)
No     (4)
Need more publicity for this valuable database to the general public.  (2)
An easier interface, similar to factiva, would be great
I think the interface could be much cleaner and much more appealing to the general public.  I am a librarian without easy access to a "real" library, so I use these databases when I have questions.  It's often hard to find out what materials (titles) are included in the databases.
Appreciate the State Ed dept is supplying this useful tool to all in NYS
Hope you can add more databases in the future
I am happy to see NYS spending money on something so useful as these databases.  They really level the playing field for children.
I hope NYS is able to continue funding NOVEL - many public libraries, especially the smaller ones, do not have the budget funds to support services of this type. State funding gives everyone a level playing field and access to basic information.
I teach a children's literature course, and also do a lot of personal research on local authors.  I use Contemporary Authors and NoveList a lot.  I also do personal research on health issues, for which I often consult Health Reference Center.  I use EBSCOHost to access Consumer Reports whenever I want to buy something.
I use a rural public library where there is no training for the general public on the use of these databases. The local librarian isn't familiar with them or able to train / promote them to the public. I wish there was money for small, rural libraries to have professional librarians come in once a month and provide basic search strategies on the various databases.
I would like to see a more complete set of the Gale Literature databases included in NOVEL. The Twayne Author series is very nice, but the other sources would be very much appreciated. Also, full text of the Wall Street Journal would be nice. Thank you for asking
I would like to see some of the resources put into a genealogical database
I'm very glad that my library subscribes to NoveList in particular!
It would be terrific, if there was a help desk that can answer any browser settings questions that inhibit using the InFo/USA site. Sometimes it works thru Brooklyn Public Library. Other times when I log in at home, the site send me to the Info/USA site where I need a subscription
More health info please.  Is it possible to get some health info in Spanish?
Please keep offering databases to NY residents.  Many small town libraries can't afford subscriptions on their own.  This is a great way to begin research at home.
The weak point is that too many articles are abstracts only and getting to the entire
article is then difficult.
They need to be promoted better on the Brooklyn Public Library site.
We could use an encyclopedia like Groliers.
Wish federated searching were available.
Would like to see higher end, "research" databases.


No   (3)
Even though I am a librarian, I have not used it.
I'm curious to know what the NOVEL database is. 
It's a shame that I work in a library and have very little knowledge about the NOVEL database. It was pointed out as a resource that's available to our patrons, but we weren't given any training on how to best use it. As a result, it's been pretty much forgotten about. When I do try to use it, I get frustrated and turn to Google instead.
More awareness about databases, i.e., to obtain more support for funding
Needs publicity and training for public, especially students.
Plan to learn more in new role as Library Manager
Please keep the info current
Please provide more professional development using Novel databases.
Use a better name.
While I have not had any personal need to access it, I feel that NOVEL is important to have.  I am president of our local library board of trustees and know that many of our patrons use it daily.

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Last Updated: June 3, 2009