I was saddened by the cessation of Credo Reference from the Singapore National Library Board (NLB) eDatabase (probably sometime last year). It provided succinct pieces for the student (read: time savings!) and sparks for more extensive research.
No matter, I came to rely on others like Encyclopaedia Britannica Online still on the eDatabase. Like existing books from Scholastic (and many others), they provide differentiated articles on the same topic. Suppose you search for ‘war’, you would have seen 3 varied Reading Levels. Reading Level 1 is the shortest and 3 is the most comprehensive. In this way, working adults and not only students can more comfortably take on unknown subjects at their own pace.
This is important because the ability to learn and relearn (some also call this reinventing or innovation) has become essential. It is not limited to the private sector, especially the technology industry. Just ask the food safety executives or healthcare managers in the civil service. Protocols and processes (may) need immediate change when facing imported food that contain toxins or poison; the same occurs when reacting to ‘imported’ pandemics. Each second counts! Indeed, the ability to make such decisions come from having the latest information available (from reliable sources).
Postscript: Sadly, sometime after the post, Encyclopaedia Britannica Online was also taken off NLB’s eDatabase. There are likely still other useful ones of course on history and business for example. Other interesting areas for more research include the usefulness of reading aloud (this I believe is irrespective of age. I, as an adult experienced it as well.)
Updated – 2 May 2015