TITLE: Free Pint
Where can one find 49,000 library and information science (LIS) professionals to answer tough reference and technical queries that no one else in the office can answer? Free Pint, of course! Free Pint is a British Web site, which allows LIS professionals and students to exchange ideas and tips. Its founder, William Hann, was named European Special Librarian of the Year (2000-2001) by the European chapter of the Special Libraries Association. Information World Review and the Library Association Record are two of the many periodicals that have introduced Free Pint to their readers.
Free Pint offers two free online forums, the "Bar" and the "Student Bar." The "Bar" is where LIS professionals pose and offer suggestions. The queries range from the relevance of knowledge management to online discussions about the low salaries of LIS professionals compared to other professionals. At the "Bar," there are "tipples" small bits of information that librarians, researchers and information technology (IT) professionals can use to make their jobs easier. The "Student Bar" is where LIS students pose questions about LIS careers and request assistance on finding resources on a given topic. This is a great place for students to discuss topics that may be of interest in their classes or to other students.
The "Portal" is the site map for Free Pint. One can find links to previous and current articles and tipples. Also, there are links to doing research on various industries and countries. Those who like to sell things online, do online searches or build and maintain Web sites would be interested in this sections Internet links.
There is no charge to join Free Pint or to receive its online weekly digest and monthly newsletter. However, there is a charge to receive detailed reports about registered companies in the United Kingdom (UK) through the ICC Information link or to access the "Pub Crawl," a weekly compilation of articles from 188 information, library and Internet-related sources from around the world.
Free Pint is well suited for students and librarians who specialize in business research, electronic resources, technical services and IT. Because this site is based in the UK, its slant is toward issues that are of interest to British LIS professionals. Nevertheless, that has not stopped over 49,000 LIS professionals from around the world from joining Free Pint.
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