I much appreciate your latest Chronicle posting:
The-3-Click-Dilemma: are library databases nearing the tipping point of obsolescence?
I am pleased that you (and others) are realizing the limitations of Linear Searching (as opposed to what I would characterize as True Navigation [:-)]).
As you may be aware, I've long been interested Sensory Information Navigation(SINs);
See my Morning Becomes Electric:Post-Modern Scholarly Information Access, Organization, and Navigation
As the World (Wide Web) Turns: Resources at Iowa State
I've been particularly interested in Information Visualization, among other SINs.
The Big Picture(sm):Visual Browsing in Web and non-Web Databases
Several years ago I wrote a review article on IV and e-Journals titled:
"New Age Navigation:Innovative Information Interfaces for Electronic Journals"
IMHO > Certainly with increased bandwidth and processing speeds, are we not now on the verge of navigating Databases via Sensory Information Navigation as well ?
Note: I am aware of one effort (EBSCOHost )
Your Thoughts ?
Science and Technology Librarian
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50011