chapter  12
Looking Ahead: The Future of Portals
ByMary E. Jackson
Pages 16

Portals are emerging as a preferred enabling tool to connect users with electronic information resources. As currently being designed and deployed, portals provide a single point of access to a wide variety of high-quality content and a range of appropriate supporting services. Content may vary depending on the organization implementing the portal. Services will also vary. For example, a university portal is likely to provide services that permit students to register for courses, access grades, and discover current activities on campus as well as including links to library content as well as content from other university sources. Content in a library portal includes licensed electronic resources, freely available Web resources, finding aids and other materials in rare books and special collections departments, as well as links to other university-based resources and services. Services offered by library portals include links to interlibrary loan (ILL), links to online reference services, and perhaps links to bibliographic reference tools.