Access DISCUS at http://www.scdiscus.org
What is DISCUS?
DISCUS – South Carolina’s Virtual Library is the “information place” for all South Carolinians. DISCUS – which stands for Digital Information for South Carolina USers – provides free access to an electronic library that’s available 24/7.
What does DISCUS provide?
DISCUS provides a variety of organized resources, called databases, for individuals of all ages, educational levels and interests. The databases include:
- professional journals
- reference material
- student and teacher resources
- recommended Web links
- and much more!
Why should I use DISCUS rather than Google?
DISCUS resources use the Internet merely as a delivery tool to provide accurate information from recognized publishers. The DISCUS databases include high-quality publications and documents that are updated regularly and organized so you can quickly find the information you need. Google and other Internet search engines are designed to search the open Web.
What are the differences between DISCUS search results and Google search results?
When searching with Google or other Internet search engines, you're likely to retrieve lots of irrelevant, commercial and possibly poor-quality results. With DISCUS, you'll get the results you want without having to sort through lots of other “stuff.”
What libraries and educational institutions participate in DISCUS?
The following South Carolina institutions currently participate:
- all public libraries and their branches;
- all public and private (nonprofit) colleges and universities headquartered in South Carolina;
- all public school districts (K-12) and other state-funded K-12 schools; and
- most private K-12 schools accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) or the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA).
How is DISCUS managed?
The South Carolina State Library coordinates DISCUS in cooperation with the state’s school, college and public libraries. Statewide committees of librarians advise and guide DISCUS planning, evaluation and database selection. Librarians, media specialists and technical personnel at the participating institutions manage their local equipment, connections to the resources and support for local users.
How are DISCUS resources selected?
DISCUS selects resources that are appropriate for meeting the essential information needs of all South Carolinians. The DISCUS Database Assessment Committee, with representative membership from school, college and public libraries, identifies priorities and selection criteria for the resources most needed by users. The committee generally evaluates new databases through statewide trials and makes recommendations to the South Carolina State Library.
Will DISCUS always include the same resources?
DISCUS conducts periodic evaluations of its resources. Resources are renewed annually as long as they continue to meet user needs and funding remains adequate. When funding permits, additional resources are added.
Is there a fee to use DISCUS?
No. DISCUS is currently provided at no cost to residents of South Carolina.
How is DISCUS funded?
DISCUS is funded primarily by an appropriation from the South Carolina General Assembly through the K-12 School Technology Initiative. State funding covers most of the database subscription costs, as well as some administrative costs. Additional funding from the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) also supports DISCUS. Participating institutions use their existing Internet connections and computer equipment to provide access for their users.
How can I learn more about DISCUS?
Ask your librarian for your student's username and password today!
(Most of the information above was obtained at http://scdiscus.org/about-discus)