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Instant access to authors

User stories from the knowledge front

Advanced search and other features enable visitors to C-SPAN's Booknotes.org Web site to more readily find what they are looking for.

Booknotes.org has more than 600 transcripts of interviews with non-fiction book authors that were originally aired on the Booknotes television program. The interviews, which date back to 1989, involve such well-known people as Colin Powell, Jimmy Carter, Henry Louis Gates, Jean Strouse and Betty Friedan.

The enhancements to the Web site result from implementation of Verity's K2 Enterprise software, which is said to improve the site's ease-of-use and accessibility through such features as advanced search, categorization and personalization.

"Booknotes.org has been an invaluable resource for students or journalists needing data on particular topics or authors, as well as for book lovers and enthusiasts," says Chris Long, director of new media for C-SPAN. "However, as the sheer quantity of data on the site has accumulated, it has become difficult to track down specific transcripts. Verity's years of experience helping major corporations improve the navigability and accessibility of their online presence was a major factor in our decision."

With the new software, Booknotes.org users will have the ability to search by author, title or keyword. Also, the advanced search page lets users search by "sounds like" or "spells like" words, easing the search to find information regarding author names or subjects that are difficult to spell. Users also can narrow a search to specific dates and search on more than a dozen pre-selected categories including American presidents, public policy, and media and communications.

C-SPAN expects the additional technology to particularly benefit the primary and secondary education community. Teachers can use the advanced search and classification capabilities to develop lesson plans, while students can search transcripts to uncover authors and viewpoints on historical figures as televised in Booknotes interviews.

The ability of the software to categorize data and its flexibility to customize the way results are displayed should be very helpful to users, says Mike Zuckerman, Verity's VP of marketing.

The Booknotes author interview program has been a forum for books about history, politics and public affairs for a dozen years, and C-SPAN's unedited, commercial-free format fosters in-depth discussion with authors.

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