Grolier and Americana Online Available
for Free Trial and Group Purchase

By James Speed Hensinger

Imagine the power of having both Encyclopedia Americana and the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia as a single, combined package available on the World Wide Web.

Grolier Online is offering these two products, in a combined package, to BCR member libraries for a two-month, free trial and participation in BCR's low-cost group subscription (at 39-cents per FTE). The Encyclopedia Americana Online, based on the distinguished, long-standing print product, is geared to the sophisticated research needs of more advanced students, while the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Online offers a freshly developed general reference database rich in multimedia content suited to users from the upper elementary grades through adults.

The breadth of content, online tools and advanced features offered by this combined package is very impressive. These two online products are significantly better than their paper predecessors. Together they provide 133,000 carefully selected and updated web links, 120,000 article-to-article links, 80,000 articles, 1,300 tables, 980 fact boxes, 830 maps, 8,200 pictures and line art and much more.

Subscription access to the Grolier package is regulated by IP numbers. Any library lacking a static IP number can have a cookie set in the library's browser to avoid needing passwords for patrons. Note, however, that during the library's trial, access is controlled by user name and password only.

BCR's special pricing is based on FTEs (full-time equivalent students, employees or citizens). A year's worth of unlimited access is just 39-cents per FTE. All kindergarten through third graders get free access as part of a district or regional purchase. For fourth grade through 12 grade students, payment is based on each FTE. Business and government libraries pay only for employees with web access. Public libraries pay for 10 percent of their population served. Higher education pays based on 100 percent of their FTEs.

Enrollment for the free trial begins immediately. To obtain BCR's special pricing, libraries must sign up by April 15. (There is a possibility of an open-enrollment option occurring in October.) Go to register on one of two Grolier forms:

For more information, contact BCR's Karen Graham.