"There are many advantages to online searching, chief among them the ability to search within the text," Kobayashi said. "The major disadvantage is the need for a computer or devices with access to the Internet."
Kobayashi said her decision to use traditional or online resources depends on the question she wants answered.
"Sometimes subject knowledge and familiarity with standard resources may get faster results than keying in a search and sifting through results," she said. "If the search is broader, searching across several online sources may yield more options."
Britannica has thousands of experts' contributors from around the world, including Nobel laureates and world leaders such as former President Bill Clinton and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It also has a staff of more than 100 editors.
"To me, the most important message is that the printed edition was not what made Britannica," Cauz said. "The most important thing about Britannica is that Britannica is relevant and vibrant because it brings scholarly knowledge to an editorial process to as many knowledge seekers as possible."
Kobayashi said as information professionals, librarians see an important part of their role as directing patrons to trustworthy information sources.
"While Wikipedia has become ubiquitous, the Britannica remains a consistently more reliable source," she said.