New Librarians Top List of Changes
Web Services and Reference Librarian
New Periodicals Librarian
McIntyre Library Guide NEW and IMPROVED
"Do you have a radio set?"
ACLS History E-Book Now Available
The Red Book
QuestionPoint Pilot Project
Challenges and Opportunities
Notice of Recent Microfilm Cancellations
Project Vote Smart
How the Library Website Answers Your Burning Questions
CARL Reveal Alert Service Alternatives
Helping Students Find Paper Topics
Internet Search Engines: Review Trends and Tips
Faster than Interlibrary Loan: Universal Borrowing
Internet Information: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?
Off the Shelf - Fall 2002
McIntyre Library began the fall semester with several important changes in place. We welcomed new librarians, said good-bye to the Initiative in Curricular Software and Support division, and adjusted library hours in response to budget constraints.
New and Changed Roles Over a year ago, two prominent figures in this library retired: Richard Bell from Reference and Linda Cecchini from Periodicals. With the news of their intended retirements, the library conducted an analysis of how the positions should be used in the future. The result was to reallocate twenty-five percent of the periodicals position to retain in part what had been a temporary position, and use the reference position both for reference services and web development.
Web Librarian The Web has become a major means for the library to proffer its databases and conduct services. Faculty and students have become accustomed to searching the library’s catalog and databases from offices, labs, and homes. Interlibrary loan requests are increasingly made via forms on the library’s web site, and other services like electronic reserve are available through the Web. Jill Markgraf, Distance Education Librarian, served for several years as the unofficial Web Librarian, but the library needed someone to dedicate more time to the Web.
Thus in August the library hired Kate Hinnant, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois Library School, to be our Web Librarian. Kate will also staff the reference desk and conduct library instruction, but half of her time will be spent coordinating the library’s Web site.
Periodicals Librarian The Periodicals Librarian position has been reduced to seventy-five percent and the reporting structure has also changed. When Linda Cecchini was Periodicals Librarian, she reported to the Director of the Library, but with the personnel change, the Periodicals Librarian for Technical Services reports to Head of Collection Development, Janice Bogstad.
Ronadin (Roni) Carey has been hired to serve as Periodicals Librarian for Technical Services. Precise division of responsibilities is still evolving in Collection Development, but faculty should be aware that Roni is the person to ask about periodical collection development issues. Periodical circulation issues should be addressed to Mimi King, who has accepted the supervisory responsibility for Periodicals Public Services and Interlibrary Loan.
ICSS The Library expanded in 1997 to include the Initiative in Curricular Software and Support. The responsibilities of ICSS included faculty support for technology integration, software documentation, SPSS support, and training for faculty, staff, and students through the Center for Instructional Technology Improvement and Innovation (CITI) and Bringing Instruction in Technology to Students (BITS). Combining these functions within the library helped create new relationships and strengthened traditional library services and those offered by ICSS.
As a result of the campus "creating an LTDC-type organization" conversation last year, the Teaching and Learning Technology Development Center was created and the functions of ICSS were realigned with other ITM Units. The faculty support for technology integration and SPSS is now a part of the new TLTDC. BITS, staff training, and documentation have been moved to Computing and Networking Services. Kathy Finder is serving as the interim director of the TLTDC; Juanita Ikuta and Jeri Weiser are now a part of CNS.
The staff of all three units will continue to work together to serve the needs of the campus.
Library Hours Several years ago, in response to a Student Senate request, the library initiated a 24-hour open period during weekdays. Due to budget reductions, the all-night open hours have been eliminated. The library now closes at 1 a.m. on weeknights.
by Kate Hinnant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, I'm Kate Hinnant, the new Web services & Reference Librarian. I feel lucky to be here among the beautiful hills and trees after living for many years in prairie lands and cornfields of Illinois and Indiana.
I recently graduated from the University of Illinois' Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Before attending library school, I received an MFA in creative writing from Purdue University and a BA in socio-cultural anthropology from Cornell University. I also spent seven years managing the medical supply inventory of Purdue's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, so I know a bit about what makes cats, cows, and ostriches tick. I also taught composition and creative writing at Purdue, as well as served as the poetry editor of the literary journal "Sycamore Review" for a year.
As Web Services Librarian, on of my goals is to keep your needs front and center as I work with the library staff in maintaining and developing the McIntyre Library website. I hope to bring what I learn working at the Reference Desk to bear on the library website design and functionality, because what better way is there to understand what library users want than by working with you face to face? I also hope to implement periodic usability reviews of the site, as well as ensure that our site meets current accessibility guidelines.
I look forward to working with you.
By Ronadin (Roni) Carey, email@example.com
I am very pleased to be working at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. I could say my life has come full circle, because this is where I started years ago in the Environmental and Public Health program. After graduation, I moved to Texas and worked eighteen years at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. I managed the operations of the National Pesticide Telecommunications Network, an Environmental Protection Agency-funded hotline, and then spent another four years with the University Library. During this time I received my Masters of Library Science from the University of North Texas and started job-hunting in the Midwest. I worked a short time at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota before accepting this position at UW-Eau Claire.
One of my responsibilities is to manage the periodicals budget in coordination with Janice Bogstad, the Head of Collection Development. This will be a challenging year for all of us because the budget remains extremely tight. (See library director Bob Rose's article in this issue of Off the Shelf.) It is likely that we will be doing a major serials cancellation project again this academic year. I was told that during the previous cancellation, the faculty input was very helpful and much appreciated by the members of the cancellation project. I am looking forward to working with the faculty again in making these difficult decisions. It helps us to remember that, while it is a challenge, doing an assessment of the serials collection will help create a dynamic collection that will reflect the current curriculum and research interest of faculty.
Please contact me if you have any questions about periodicals. For example, I can help you with questions about policies, periodical databases, journal requests, and holdings. When requesting a new periodical, the "Journal Request" form should be used. A link to the online version can be found in the "Master Index" located on the Library web page. When requesting a new journal, be sure to sent the request through your department biographer. You can also contact me if you would like a list of the Library's periodicals related to a certain area such as special education or business administration. You are welcome to stop by my office (L3042), call (715-836-3508) or e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
by Karen Pope, email@example.com
For the last 6 years each issue of Off the Shelf has announced the completion of yet another edition of the LIBRA Guide, including the increased price and estimated time it might become available in the campus bookstore.
This fall we are calling your attention to the new and improved PDF edition of the McIntyre Library Guide, now free and available 24 x 7 at: http://www.uwec.edu/library. From the Library INFORMATION LITERACY section, click Research tutorials and McIntyre Library Guide.
The PDF version will allow additions and changes to be made immediately available without the need to reprint and redistribute printed revisions.
The McIntyre Library Guide has been designed to introduce students to the collections, services and resources available in and through McIntyre Library by having them complete self-paced Guide sections.
- Many instructors find it useful to have their students work in pairs. Because many of the sections include working with online databases, like the library catalog, students have more success if one of the pair reads from the Guide while a partner does the keyboarding. Students need not use the same search examples or research topics in order to successfully work together. This interactive approach often strengthens and expands student learning opportunities.
- Even though the sections of the Guide follow the suggested research process steps, it is not necessary to assign all sections, nor do students need to print and do them in numerical sequence to benefit. It may suit your students to use the Introduction or the Glossary right where they are: on the library web pages
- The Guide will be most useful if you refer to various sections as your classes are assigned research. For example, if students are expected to locate books to compile an annotated bibliography, the sections on online library catalog searching and citing sources could be assigned and discussed. When students need to find and use current scholarly periodical information, the sections on online searching and finding articles might be assigned.
- Suggest your students work on Guide sections in advance of attending library research skills class sessions. The workbook sections are self-guided by design. If they become familiar with the library web home page, the online catalog and various online research resources they will benefit more from information literacy instruction and be able to ask questions specific to their research assignments as well as discuss problems (or successes) they encountered while working through selected sections.
Students may print sections as needed or as assigned by instructors. This fall we will add 2 quizzes and several appendices, including diagrammed screen prints explaining commonly used databases.
How do your students think about the research process? Do they understand the differences between and issues inherent in doing research using the library or using the Web? How about the library ON the Web? To assist them in developing critical evaluation skills, we suggest:
The McIntyre Library Guide should be used as one of several research resources. Because information is available from many sources and in many formats—such as printed text, television, videos, library databases and Web sites— to be "information literate" they need to know why, when, and how to use a wide range of information and to think critically about the content, accuracy, point of view and validity these sources provide. We also suggest that your students use TILT: the Texas Information Literacy Tutorial to get this "bigger" picture. TILT is linked from the same section of INFORMATION LITERACY Research tutorials on the Library home page. This is similar to an online tutorial we are planning for UW-Eau Claire campus use.
As always, we’d like your comments and suggestions for improvement.
And other questions included in the 1930 Federal Census
by Heather Muir, firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 1, 2002, the 15th U.S. federal decennial census was released to the public. The 1930 population schedules are available on 2,667 rolls of microfilm. McIntyre Library has purchased the reels that include the six-county region covered by the Eau Claire Area Research Center (part of the library's Special Collections department). The counties covered include: Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Eau Claire, Rusk, and Taylor.
Information Available in the 1930 Census
The primary use of the census information was to establish representation in Congress, but the census has taken on numerous secondary uses such as a source for genealogical names, dates, and places as was as socio-economic data. The 1930 Census did more than enumerate the number of people living in a specific location; it asked a wide variety of questions, such as, "Do you own a radio set?" According to a "New York Times" article from 1930, the purpose of this question was not for personal property tax reasons but rather "to provide the Radio Commission with information regarded as essential for effective administration of the radio law." Below is a list for information gathered:
- Street or road name, whether a house number or if a farm
- Name, age, and sex of each individual in the household
- Relationship to the head of the head of the household
- Whether owned or rented home and if mortgaged
- Value of home if owned or monthly payment
- Whether owned a radio set
- Color or race
- Whether single, married, widowed, or divorced
- Age at first marriage
- Whether attended school or college
- Whether can read or write
- Place of birth
- Father's place of birth
- Mother's place of birth
- Language spoken in home before coming to the United States
- Year of immigration
- Whether naturalized or an alien
- Whether can speak English
- Type of profession or kind of work
- Type of industry or business
- Class of worker
- Whether worked yesterday or the last regular working day
- Whether a veteran, and if so, what war
For many of the federal census schedules a Soundex index was created to facilitate access to individual entries within the Census. The Soundex index converts surnames to a code so that names that sound alike but are spelled differently are filed together so that the Ole Olson's index entries will be together. Unfortunately, for the 1930 Census the Work Progress Administration only completed Soundex indexes for twelve southern states. Individual organizations such as "Ancestry.com" and local genealogy groups are working on their own indexes to the 1930 Census. City directories for Eau Claire will help locate street addresses and ward locations for individuals. A complete list of Eau Claire County's 31 enumeration districts organized by town or city ward can be found at the National Archives web site at: http://1930census.archives.gov/resultsPlace.asp?page=1&state_code=WI&state_name=Wisconsin&1stCountry=18=Eau%20Claire&tboxPlace=&whichSearch=byPlace
With this information, researchers can more readily locate the enumeration district (ED) of their relatives or their area of research and request the specific rolls of microfilm. For example, the city of Eau Claire's Third Ward is covered by ED 18-9 and ED 18-10 on roll #2571, and the Sacred Heart Convent is enumerated in ED 18-7 on roll #2571.
To search for the EDs for other counties and cities in Wisconsin, the National Archives has provided a look-up directory on its web site at: http://stevemorse.org/census/ed1930.html
More information and articles about the 1930 Census can be found on the Internet. Check these sites:
1) NARA Comprehensive Guide to the 1930 Census http://www.archives.gov/research/census/1930
2) "Genealogy Notes: The 1930 Census in Perspective" By David Hendricks and Amy Patterson http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2002/summer/
3) 1930 Census Enumerator Instructions
4) Historical Forms and Questions for the 1930 Census http://www.census.gov/pubinfo/www/photos/Histforms/1930/His930FQ.html
The Special Collections department holds the population schedules for several of the Federal and State censuses. Researchers may visit Special Collections Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., to make use of these records. Due to high demand and limited resources, we are unable to perform extensive research in the census materials for off-site researchers, but we are happy to help those who visit the department.
by Mimi King, email@example.com
McIntyre Library now has UW System-initiated access to the American Council of Learned Society's History E-Book Project at http://www.historyebook.org/. ACLS is collaborating in this initiative with five Learned Societies: the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Society for the History of Technology, the Middle East Studies Association, and the Renaissance Society of America, along with a selected group of University Presses. The Project will assist scholars in the electronic publishing of high-quality works in history, explore the intellectual possibilities of new technologies, and help assure the continued viability of history writing in today's changing publishing environment.
Approximately 500 full-text books are included in the initial launch of the ACLS History E-Book Project. The ACLS will be adding approximately 250 books annually to the collection, as well as publishing 85 completely new electronic titles that have the potential to use new technologies to communicate the results of scholarship in new ways. If you would like to recommend a book of high quality and lasting merit in the field of history for this Project, please email the ACLS at: firstname.lastname@example.org with the title, author, publisher, and publication date, as well as your name, position, and affiliation.
You will find library Web page link to ACLS History E-Book Project in the Core databases section under History and also in the Subject list of databases under Arts/Humanities and Social Sciences. Records for individual tiles will appear in the library's online catalog when available.
The books are arranged in categories, broadly based on the American Historical Review's categories for book reviews. Each category is viewable by subsection sorted by either author or publication date. In addition to browsing the titles by author and title, the books are also fully searchable (simple, Boolean and proximity searches in full text, title, author, and subject fields). Subject categories on the Project are based on MARC subject cataloging.
American, Colonial to 1789
American, 20th Century
European, Ancient to 400 C.E.
European, 400 - 1400
European, 1400 - 1800
European, 1800 - Present
European, Russia/Eastern Europe
Middle East, General/Multiperiod
Middle East, Ancient to 632
Middle East, 632 - 1918
Middle East, 1918 - Present
History of Technology
by Janice Bogstad, email@example.com
Early last fall, the library was able to generate the first list of book, video, audio and related purchases made at the request of department bibliographers. The lists were initially sent in paper form to bibliographers, but they have been available online since spring of 2002.
You can also find the lists from the McIntyre Library homepage. Look at "What's New" on the right side of the screen. Click on Recent Acquisitions by Department, choose your department name and view the lists. They are alphabetic, by author and title (or just title, if there's no author). An item with a call number indicates that we had finished processing it when the list was generated. Items without call numbers had not yet been fully processed, but may be available now.
We release a new list every three months, so look for the fall list within a couple of weeks. If your request is not on the list, check the online catalog to determine its order status, or call Collection Development. We have already heard from several faculty members who appreciate this new feature. If you have any questions about items on the list, or the list process itself, please contact Janice Bogstad, firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-836-6032.
by Mary Hayden, email@example.com
McIntyre Library receives many queries about UW-System salaries. These figures were traditionally found at the Reference/Government Publications Desk, using a multi-volume set of "red" books titled University of Wisconsin System Budget. The print format of this red book has been replaced by two electronic formats, a website and a CD. A title search in the Voyager online catalog for "university of wisconsin system budget" will locate the record for both the website and the CD. Current data from four volumes can easily be accessed at http://www.uwsa.edu/budplan/redbook/. Searches for an individual by name should use the following format: lastname, firstname or an alphabetical search of the entire budget can also be performed. The CD is located in the Government Publications Department and is held for archival use.
by Mimi King, firstname.lastname@example.org
McIntyre Library has joined a consortium of Wisconsin libraries in a pilot project to introduce QuestionPoint and virtual reference services to Wisconsin libraries. The project will get libraries involved in assessing the concept, try the OCLC version of virtual reference and explore a Wisconsin reference consortium. QuestionPoint, the result of two years of collaboration between OCLC and Library of Congress, is a web based server service that enables libraries to deliver email and chat-based reference. Our library already offers email reference, so the new service for our users is the chat portion. McIntyre librarians will be available for online chat sessions from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Look for links to this service on a number of library pages.
by Bob Rose, email@example.com
Today's budgetary climate presents the library, as well as other campus units, both unique challenges and possibly unforeseen opportunities. With the budget reduction in FY 03 we have already begun to experience some major changes. With the possibility of even greater budget reductions in the next fiscal year, we will be faced with even greater challenges.
This year the library experienced a $49,000-plus budget cut. We consciously chose a method of dealing with the cut that sought to save permanent positions and to protect the collections as much as possible. We did this knowing that over time cuts in the collections dollars and permanent staffing would have the greatest impact on the library's ability to provide research resources and services. Consequently, almost all of the budget reduction came from the library's services and supplies budget and the LTE budget that had been used to fund overnight hours. In making these choices, we also sought to minimize, as much as possible, the impact budget cuts would have on our users. The impact of cutting the services and supplies budget will affect library staff far more directly than the library users. However, it appears likely that in the future it will be more difficult to replace staff computers and other equipment, especially since operating costs are already climbing at a faster than anticipated rate. That replacement slowdown may eventually affect the ability of library faculty and staff to provide some services to library users.
So if we protected the library's collections, you might ask, why then did we cancel approximately $21,000 worth of serial titles? Unfortunately, inflation still has a stranglehold on the prices of library materials. Journal costs continue to increase at an average rate of 8% or more a year and other library materials at rates that exceed the CPI. Since we had no increase in our budgets for library materials this year, inflation meant that we had a reduction in purchasing power of about 6%. This year will be another year of the same, and that means that we will be canceling yet more titles if additional funding is not found. In the past year we were able to reduce the number of titles cancelled from the number originally planned to be cancelled simply because we were able to find some additional money to go into the materials budgets. Serial cancellations and reduced firm order budgets will continue until a more stable library funding mechanism is created; fortunately, the UW System Administration and Regents have proposed that library collections funding be placed under a "cost to continue" model that will recognize that a budget increase is needed just to maintain existing collections.
This all sounds very grim, and it is. Libraries and library staff would always prefer to offer new or enhanced services or collections rather than cut existing ones. It is a cliché, but frequently true, that budgetary exigencies force us to look at the way in which we don things in a different light and subsequently may enable us to find more efficient ways in which to provide equivalent services. In fact, that we are able to provide the current breadth and depth of electronic resources is primarily due to the poor funding UW libraries have had over the past nearly decade and a half - ironic as that may seem. That lack of resources has encouraged a level of cooperation and centrally-funded resources that is the envy of libraries in many parts of the country. The UW libraries have adopted a "one system, one library" approach that has encouraged this kind of cooperation and collaboration and has enabled us to stretch available resources to their maximum. It has also resulted in such innovative services as Universal Borrowing - where users at one UW campus can borrow certain materials directly from another and have the material delivered to them, normally within two days.
With the specter of another, and potentially larger, budget cut to come, we will hope for the cooperation of UW-Eau Claire faculty, students, and staff in making responsible decisions to accommodate lower budgets. This year we will be conducting a major revision of the library's strategic plan and user input will be essential in making that revision a success. I hope that by all working together we may find ways in which to strengthen our services even in these tough budgetary times. It will be a challenge, but with some perseverance and luck, it will also be an opportunity.
by Roni Carey, firstname.lastname@example.org
The library, in response to recent and projected budget cuts, is assessing for cancellation those journals archived on microfilm or microfiche. We have made some recent microform cancellation decisions based mainly on the journal's microform usage statistics for the last three years and their availability through JSTOR. JSTOR is a database containing back files of over 200 journals; each issue is digitized cover to cover. Due to agreements with publishers, the back issues have a "moving wall" or fixed time range after which an issue can be copied. This time span or "moving wall" can be one to six years. The titles listed below are archived in JSTOR with a "moving wall" of two years or less. For these titles, we will no longer purchase archival copies on microfilm. Instead, we will continue to hold current issues of these journals in Periodicals for two years, at which time they should be available in JSTOR.
Further cancellations of journals and microfilm are expected as the library works to manage the flat materials budget. If you have any questions about this or the cancelled microfilm titles, contact Roni Carey, Periodicals Librarian, at 715-836-3508 or email@example.com.
The cancelled microfilm includes:
- American Journal of International Law
- American Journal of Political Science
- American Journal of Sociology
- Journal of Business
- Journal of Labor Economics
- Journal of Political Economy
- Shakespeare Quarterly
- Social Forces
- William and Mary Quarterly
by Leslie Foster, firstname.lastname@example.org
"A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy. . . a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
- James Madison
There are 26,110,000 potential voters in the United States between the ages of 18 and 25. These young adults have the nation's lowest voting rate. In the 2000 election just 36% bothered to vote.
The reasons behind these statistics are many. Some potential voters:
- know little about democracy and the political process
- do not see voting as an activity relevant to their lives
- believe they are too busy to explore issues and candidates' positions
- are tired of the issueless nonsense and abusive tactics of political campaigns
- are cynical after a seedy diet of spin doctors' sound bites
Project Vote Smart (PVS) is a group of citizens dedicated to providing Americans with dependable information about candidates who wish to govern the country. Regardless of their individual political persuasion, members of this group share a belief that citizens desire and need access to useful, factual, reliable information about political candidates and issues.
To this end, PVS examines voting records, campaign finances, position statements, and candidates' backgrounds. Candidates are surveyed about their philosophies and opinions. Over 100 competing special interest groups then evaluate the candidates' responses. The resulting factual information is available to citizens free of charge at the Project Vote Smart web site, www.votesmart.org and through their toll-free Voter's Research Hotline at 1-888-VOTE SMART.
If it succeeds in its mission, PVS will do much to attract, educate and involve 18- to 25-year olds in America's political process. It also will assist everyone else interested in making informed political decisions based on facts.
The success of a democracy depends on its citizens' civic engagement. Begin by visiting the Project Vote Smart display on the first floor of the library, and please direct your students' attention to it.
A side note: nearly half of U.S. political candidates are reluctant to respond to PVS's requests for information. If candidates refuse to provide you, their employer, with information about their positions, you might want to ask them why. Their refusal is somewhat akin to job applicants expressing a desire to be hired while simultaneously demonstrating reluctance to providing the vitae, resumes, and references upon which the decision should be made.
by Jill Markgraf, email@example.com
"How to I find a journal article?"
This is arguably one of the most often asked questions at the McIntyre Library Reference Desk. The answer is not always a simple one, but revisions to the library's website aim to make the answer to this and other questions a little less complicated. A new heading on the library homepage, "Journals, Articles & Databases" takes the library users directly to resources for finding journal articles in McIntyre Library. Users will also notice many more active links on the library's homepage, reducing the number of links required to get the desired information.
"What's the difference between a scholarly and popular publication?"
The Information Literacy link on the library homepage provides an answer to this question, as well as to many other questions related to finding and evaluating different kinds of information. Library users will find guides to researching a variety of popular topics, as well as guides to citing sources, evaluating websites, finding literary criticism, using the census, and much more.
"How can I recommend a book for the library to purchase?"
On the newly revised Collection Development Web page, you will find the library's collection development policies and procedures. Collection Development Tools, also on this page, is a collection of handy online tools for finding books, out-of-print books, periodicals, audiovisuals and reviews. Once you've identified what you would like the library to purchase, click on one of the new printable request forms to facilitate the recommendation process.
"How can I find out what new books the library has received?"
You have a couple of options. If you would like to see what the library has recently received on a given topic, by a particular author, or in a certain library location or call number range, click on the Recent Acquisitions tab in the library catalog. If you are interested in a list of library materials purchased for your department, check out the new Recent Acquisitions by Department (see Recent Acquisitions in this issue of Off the Shelf."
"Where's the bathroom?"
The library website doesn't tell you that . . . yet. However, McIntyre Library is pleased to welcome Kate Hinnant in a new position as Web Services/References Librarian. For the first time in its history, the library will have a dedicated webmaster to plan and implement web enhancements and services. We have high hopes for the future of our website, among which are usability studies to find out how people are using our website, enhanced search capabilities, improved accessibility, and a virtual library tour, which - among other things - will indicate where the bathroom is.
by Mimi King, firstname.lastname@example.org
Since 1996, over eighty faculty have taken advantage of the CARL Reveal Alert service to receive current tables of contents for their favorite journals. Ingenta purchased this service and until recently had maintained it for pre-registered users only. Those of you who are already signed up will continue to receive your original ToCs until you inform me you no longer want them. Recently Ingenta began permitting new users to set up their own profiles. To sign up for Ingenta's Email Alerting Services visit www.ingenta.com. Go to "Sign up Now" and complete the personal registration form.
Select the journal titles for ToCalerts that you want to receive. To change the search alerts, login to the Ingenta website and select "Manage My Ingenta". Contact me for more information on the title availability and other questions.
During the hiatus of service to new users, I looked for viable alternatives and found several options using our current databases. Most of these are in the Sciences; however, CSA and ABC-Clio provide an alert service for Social Sciences. To use the alert option in any of the databases, you need to create an account and login with your personal username and password. Her is a summary of what I found.
ACS Publications' E-mail Alerts: two e-mail altering services
ASAP Alerts issues daily or weekly e-mail alerts when individual articles (Articles ASAP) are released on the Web, prior to being assigned to an issue. This service is especially designed for those who want to know about an article as soon as it is published. You will receive an e-mail listing the title, author, journal name, and Web publication date with direct URL link to the full article.
Table of Contents Alerts issues e-mail alerts when the entire contents of a new, complete issue are posted on the Web. This service is especially designed for those who prefer to know an entire issue's contents at once. The message contains the title, author, journal name, and actual page numbers, with a direct URL link to the full article on the Web.
Annual Reviews: two e-mail alerting services
ETOC allows you to be notified via e-mail when new content goes online. You may choose any or all of the following: notification that a new issue of AR (individual title) is online, complete table of contents for new or future issues, or special Announcements from AR.
CiteTrack Alerts allows you to be alerted when new articles matching search criteria are published in any individual Annual Review journal, or when new articles in a large set of important circles cite AR journal articles in which you are interested.
Institute of Physics Alerts: e-mail alerting service
The Institute of Physics database provides a personalization option, designed to keep you up-to-date with the publication of new articles within your chosen subject area, based either on specific journal or topic/author profile. After completing searches, Alert profiles can be created from your search history. Once you have created an alert profile, whenever articles matching your criteria are published, you will automatically receive e-mail messages containing their details (including the abstracts if you wish).
Nature: e-mail alerting service
e-alerts allows you to create a profile for web-only resources on cancer, drug discovery, materials, physics, or signaling, and a table of contents from journals published in a subject area. E-mail is sent to your inbox at the time of online publication providing both information and links.
SCIENCE Online: two e-mail alerting services
CiteTrack will immediately alert you by e-mail whenever new content in SCIENCE Online or a participating journal is published that matches criteria based on the topics, authors and articles you want to track.
e-TOCs service allows you to receive the current table of contents for Science via e-mail, or to be notified when new issues of Science are published online.
CSA provides email alerts for the following databases:
ERIC GeoRef/GeoRef in Process LLBA Physical Education Index Social Services Abstracts Sociological Abstracts
When you run a search in any of these databases, you will have the opportunity to save the search strategy as an alert. The saved Alert will be used to automatically search your selected databases for new content every week, and you will receive an e-mail message that contains up to 250 new records from each database that has new matching content.
You can generate CLIO Alerts from the America: History and Life database or from the Historical Abstracts database. CLIO Alert allows you to set up a research profile and then e-mails you when items matching your profile are added to the database of choice. To ensure success with a profile, use search criteria that have proven effective for searches on the current database.
by Mimi King, email@example.com
We all want students to develop their research papers on topics both of interest to themselves and relevant to their courses. However, students are often at a loss for anything of interest. If you find that your suggestions are taken as "hints" which remove any attempt to discover real interest, here are some venues where they can freely choose with confidence that "enough material will be available".
CQ Researcher, a standard source, provides short reports on hot topics of the day. Students can browse the online database by date to locate an interesting topic and will find background information, history of the issue, related statistics or incidents, and suggestions for ways to limit the topic in the "Next Step" section.
ProQuest database, ABI-Inform Newspapers (ProQuest), or Wisconsin Newsstand, have a "Topic Finder" feature that will guide students to current topics discussed in magazines and newspapers.
NewsBank NewsFile has a "Special Reports" feature on its homepage. Currently there are three broad categories: War on Terrorism, Public Health -- Infectious Diseases, and Mental Health. Under each category there are groups of article citations covering a variety of issues related to the broader theme.
ABC-CLIO's Clio Notes outlines historic periods (the modern world outside the Americas is covered in Historical Abstracts, while North and South America are covered in America: History & Life). Important events within each period are highlighted and provide links to articles on that event.
Early English Books Online has a "Featured Content" selection that can give English, History or Art majors source documents and ideas for further research.
Cambridge Scientific Abstracts has a list of "Hot Topics" in the Sciences and Social Sciences. The broad subject fields covered are Biomedical, Environmental, Social Science/Humanities, and Materials. Within each, students will find background reports on more specific topics. Each report gives a sampling of the resources in CSA and it provides an overview with key terms linked to a glossary, key citations, links to websites, and author information.
Annual Reviews allows users to browse all journals in its three "suites": Biomedical, Physical, or Social, and to find articles that review current research on topics covered by these fields of study. Students can also get more specific by selecting any of twenty-eight "series" titles.
Science Online allows students to browse archives of journals like Science Now and Science Magazine or "Subject Collections". The Subject Collections option provides a list of topics in the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Other disciplines, and miscellaneous topics. The subjects listed under each discipline show the number of articles on that topic.
Finally, Columbia Earthscape has a "News" section which gives the day's headlines on Earth and Environmental issues from BBC Science News, Environmental News Network (ENN), Environmental News Service (ENS), the New York Times Science News, Today@NASA.gov, and U.S. EPA in the News.
by Betsy Richmond, firstname.lastname@example.org
This article updates 1997 and 1999 Off the Shelf articles on the Internet search engines. In reviewing search engine history, some things are clear. The Internet culture shows enhanced capabilities, increased commercialism and proprietary databases, burgeoning volume and and evolving social, economic, and political environment. Search engine use by Internet searchers has become more sophisticated and new uses of search engines have evolved. Web masters increasingly contract with search engine vendors to market their webpages, sometimes paying for high results placement.
What's different and what's the same? How does it affect our use of search engines?
In 1995, leading search tools included Lycos, Webcrawler, World-Wide Web Worm, and Yahoo. The Gopher navigational tool Veronica (Very Easy Rodent Oriented Index to Computer Archives) was on its way out. The World Wide Web (WWW), developed at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, was just coming in. WWW was based on the new hypertext technology and was presented as a potential hypertext searchable connection for all of the Internet! To Gopher, FTP and telnet users, it was like going from algebra to geometry.
The mid 90's spawned a variety of general and specialized finding tools, almost always free, and often created by early adaptors of the technology or sponsored by universities or government agencies. Examples included Clearinghouse for Subject Oriented Internet Research Guides (University of Michigan), John December's Internet Web Text, and the Whole Internet Catalog (WIC), an early product of O'Reilly & Associates. Specialized tools included the Federal Web Locator, Blake Gumbrecht's Internet Sources of Government Information (Temple University), EconData and askERIC.
The 1997 search engine leaders included Alta Vista, Excite, HotBot, Lycos, Open Text, and WebCrawler. Top 1997 Internet Directories (which utilize humans, not robots, for selection) included BUBL, Infoseek, Lycos a2z Sites by subject, Magellan, and Yahoo.
The top players today include Google, FAST (which powers All The Web.com and Lycos) Alta Vista, Inktomi, and Northern Light, with FAST and Google competing for having the largest index. We still see specialized search tools, such as Scirus, a new search science-only engine. Scirus, however, as well as one of today's premier general search engines, Northern Light, is not totally free to the user. They reflect the new private/public collaboration model; some of the searches are free and some search proprietary databases, at a cost to the user.
Before we even get into size, it's useful to note that footnotes explaining the uniqueness or idiosyncrasies of each search engine would require another article. Also, big isn't necessarily better. The largest indexes may prove better searching for unusual or-hard-to-find terms, but are not as effective for popular searches.
Search Engine Size*
1999 Size July 2000 Size Dec 2001 Size Alta Vista 150 560 2,000/1,500** Northern Light 125 Alta Vista 350 FAST 625*** Inktomi/HotBot 110 FAST 340 Alta Vista 550 Excite 55 Northern Light 265 Inktomi 500 Lycos 50 Excite 250 Northern Light 390 Infoseek 45 Hotbot/Inktomi/iWon (tie) 110 WebCrawler 2
* Self-reported size, in millions of pages **Google indexes 1.5 billion pages but has the capability of linking to additional pages. ***FAST reported 2.5 billion documents as of June 2002, passing Google.
Today’s Trends - Remaining Challenges…some things stay the same
Metadata — it is not a searcher’s panacea but is valuable for preservation and administrative purposes and for on-site searching
"… search engines will not be dependable until Web designers provide consistent indexing information ("metadata,"or subject headings) describing the document’s content, date, author, file format, and the like." This was the hope in 1997. vi
"Meta tags are what many web designers mistakenly assume are the ‘secret’ to propelling their web pages to the top of the rankings. However, not all search engines read meta tags. In addition, those that do read meta tags may chose to weight them differently. Overall, meta tags can be part of the ranking recipe, but they are not necessarily the secret ingredient. "Search engines may also penalize pages [with metadata] or exclude them from the index, if they detect search engine "spamming." An example is when a word is repeated hundreds of times on a page, to increase the frequency and propel the page higher in the listings." vii
Search Standards and Protocols —rules and capabilities of search engines vary
"… Internet search engines are very much works in progress and their software, which seems to change by the moment, is not yet standardized." (1997 OTS article)
Search engine "math" and "wildcard" commands are a bit more uniform. Site search capabilities are more powerful but there are still no accepted standards.
The Deep Web—the entire web cannot be accessed through search engines
THEN AND NOW
The Deep or Invisible Web was not much discussed in the 90’s, perhaps because the Internet was not as proprietary then. Search engines don’t search the "deep web", but merely "crawl the surface" of web sites. Content in the "deep web" is massive — approximately 500 times greater than that visible to conventional search engines — with much higher quality throughout. Resources in the "deep web" often are in proprietary databases, which charge for use, but may be of higher quality."viii Library databases such as Academic Search are part of the deep web and are not searchable by Internet search engines.
The Growing Information Industry—commerce is alive and well
Rules for searchers and for web masters alike are now part of a growing information industry, and may be focused as much or more toward web masters trying to optimize "hits" on their sites as to users. Also, increasingly, web sites pay search engines for traffic to their sites. Sometimes the Pay-Per-Click search engines identify the paid sites as "sponsored listings" or "partner links", but not usually. In other words, the top search results may be "bought and paid for". In addition, some search engines may not look in their full index but only in their collection of most popular sites.
Tips for Internet Search Engines:
- Find out what Internet search tools do and don’t do Internet search tools identify only what is in that specific search tool’s index or database. Consequently, it’s important to know the size of the database and what it covers. Remember that search engines don’t search the "deep web" and may be influenced by payment.
- Analyze your purpose before choosing an Internet search tool Are you looking for a common or obscure fact? A smaller search engine may be adequate for a common fact, but if you are looking for obscure information, the larger the index, the more likely it may be to retrieve that obscure information. While this may yield large numbers of "hits," it also can yield duplicate hits and multiple subsets of homepage URLs.
- Use search engines for material that is likely to be on the Internet Search tools may index a company homepage, but journal articles about the company’s market share may not be retrievable this way. For research articles, the library’s proprietary journal article indexes or full-text databases will be more effective than a search engine.
- 4. Find out what each search tool covers and how
- What’s included: Web pages? People? Newsgroups? Email? Specific file types?
- How are WebPages indexed? Homepages only? Text at the top of the page only or throughout the site? URLs? Page titles, or a combination? Are metatags searched? Some search engines search metatag descriptors, others do not. Not all search engines locate all files; many search tools do not find PDF files. Does the search engine use Pay-Per-Click and rank paid sites more highly?
- What are the search rules? Relevancy ranked? Boolean? A combination? Can you tell? Use the "Help"; read about search engines in sources such as the excellent SearchEngineWatch (http://www.searchenginewatch.com/).
- Use the "advanced search" for more precise searches
The advanced search choice usually allows more precise searches, additional dialog boxes for search terms, and more search fields. Advanced searches can be limited by language, file format, date, place of search term in the page, and many other factors.
- Read the manual! While Internet search tools have some common syntax and rules, read the Help for best results. Is the search protocol Boolean, "fuzzy" Boolean, natural language, or relevancy ranked? Are you required to capitalize Boolean operators (and, or, not)?
- Use the same one or two search tools Which search engines work best for you? Frequent Internet users express strong preferences for particular search engines, but may be successful because they know the rules of "their" search engine.
- Be aware if you are using a directory, a search engine or a combination Is the database hand-chosen by a person (a directory), built by a robot (a search engine), or a combination? Does the search engine have a rating system for sites, such as the popularity of those sites? Can you tell? Do you agree?
- Evaluate sites yourself and don’t rely on a search engine to find the best sites Perform searches to locate Internet sites that are known to you as relevant and good sites for a particular topic. See if the sites are retrieved in a search using several search engines.
- 10. Read professional articles and consult with colleagues to find good sites "Expert" recommendations may be more useful than search tools to identify "good sites". A list of Internet sites by discipline can be found under each discipline from the McIntyre Library’s Core & More web page Database Access
- Business Sources on the Net, 2nd edition, 1995. Anonymous FTP ksuvxa.kent.edu; gopher refmac.kent.edu 70 (no longer available)
- "Numbers, Numbers — But What Do They Mean?" The Search Engine Report, March 3, 2000 http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/00/03-numbers.html Accessed 8/28/02
- Reported in Search Engine Watch, February 1, 1999. Accessed 8/28/02
- Sullivan, Danny. "Search Engine Size Test" July, 2000, Accessed 8/28/02
- Sullivan, Danny. "Search Engine Sizes" The Search Engine Report, Dec. 18, 2001, Accessed 8/28/02
- Richmond, Betsy. " Internet Search Engines: Theory and Tips" Off the Shelf: April 1997, Accessed 8/28/02
- Sullivan, Danny, "How Search Engines Rank Web Pages", update June 26, 2001, Accessed 8/28/02
by Dan Norstedt, email@example.com
If you need a book that this library does not have, we recommend that you try Universal Borrowing through the library’s online catalog. If the book is at one of the UW-System libraries now participating in Universal Borrowing, your request will normally be filled within two to four days. To get to this search-and-order option, click the"Other Libraries" button on our catalog, and follow the directions. The most difficult part is to access the Blugold system to obtain a number which uniquely identifies you. Once you reach this number, it is a good idea to write it down so that the second and subsequent borrowings can be done more quickly. Then find an "available" copy of the book you want and submit your request. You will receive and e-mail notification when your book has arrived at our Circulation Desk.
by Mimi King, firstname.lastname@example.org
NetLibrary began with a core database of online books imported from the post-copyright books in Project Gutenberg. Today, under new management, NetLibrary is adding new titles for Wisconsin users based on selections made monthly by the thirty-six members of the UW System and WI Private College & University consortium. Three hundred nineteen titles have just been added to our "collection". We expect this resource to be used primarily for locating titles, browsing them online, and copying small sections for instant needs, but advise readers to request the title on Interlibrary Loan for complete reading.
On NetLibrary you can browse the table of contents or the index to locate the precise section that provides the information you were seeking. So, you can preview the title before requesting it on Interlibrary Loan but you do not need to read the entire book online. We use the data on titles viewed, combined with ILL data to aid book purchase decisions.
Mark Beatty, WiLS Trainer, has developed a short online tutorial, NetLibrary Hands On, to assist first time NetLibrary users who need to create an account and learn to use the service.
by Leslie Foster, email@example.com
Recently librarians and researchers have been encountering a disturbing trend related to electronic information. The phenomenon is frequently referred to as "disappearing documents," and it occurs when Internet web pages, data and information managed by government or university entities suddenly cease to exist. It may happen with little or no warning, and too often there is no recourse. If print versions of the materials do not exist, the research, reports and statistics simply vanish from the information world. The worst-case scenario is that they are lost forever. Not much better is the possibility that they remain somewhere in cyberspace in a highly restricted, inaccessible location with no metadata tags, indexing or abstracting to guide interested parties to them.
The September 18, 2002 issue of Education Week on the Web calls our attention to a current example of this growing problem. A "clean-up" of the U.S. Department of Education website is planned. Assistant secretaries have received a memo that reads, "everything on the site dated before February 2001, just after President Bush took office, will be removed unless it is needed for legal reasons or it supports the "No Child Left Behind Act" of 2001" – the president’s key education measure – or other administration initiatives." At the time of the writing of this article, the deletion policy for the website was still under discussion, but the issue of preservation of research, reports, and documents formulated under previous government or university administrations remains a growing concern.
Unfortunately, updates on this issue are expected to continue. Retention, ownership and control of information and data posted on the public web sites are areas of serious concern to researchers and information professionals. For background information, see "Information is the Currency of Democracy," (March 2002) Off the Shelf.
Academic Year (new)
Sun. 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Mon.-Thurs. 7 a.m.-1 a.m. Fri. 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Special Collections (extended Hours-Fall Semester)
Mon., Wed., Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues., Thurs. 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Reference Desk (change)
Mon.-Tues. 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Wed.-Thur. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 6:30-9:30 p.m. Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sat. 1-5 p.m. Sun. 1-4:30 p.m.,6:30-9:30 p.m.
Check the library home page for other department hours and round-the-clock hours during finals week.
Display Cases in the Grand Corridor
Contact BebeAnna Buck at 715-836-3857, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Diana Germain at 715-836-5609, email@example.com if you or your students want to mount a display. Current displays are announced on the library homepage under Current Exhibits.
Student Library Tours
Tours of the library are offered during the first month of each semester. Watch the library home page "what's new @ your library" for the spring schedule.
Welcome to McIntyre Library’s newest librarians, Kate Hinnant, Web Services & Reference Librarian, and Roni Carey, Periodicals Librarian. They introduce themselves in articles elsewhere in this issue of Off the Shelf. We are very happy to have Roni working on 3rd floor, and look forward to Kate’s return from medical leave next semester.
- In April Carol Lonning joined the Cataloging Department as a full time permanent Library Services Assistant-Lead Worker, following her work here as an LTE. Originally from Illinois, Carol received her BBA from UW-Eau Claire in 2001 and she also has associate degrees from Chippewa Valley Technical College. Carol supervises student assistants, catalogs Reference materials and Wisconsin documents, and manages special projects. In her spare time Carol is a horse handler for Therapeutic Riding of Eau Claire clinics. Carol tells us she works to support the 1000-pound, 4 legged, fuzzy faced male in her life. Please join us in welcoming Carol to McIntyre Library.
- Sue Kelly transferred to the library office as a PA III, following the retirement of Phyllis Hambleton in April. Sue has many years of experience working at the University, most recently in the Foundation Office. Her interests outside of work include travel, dance, reading, and animals.
- The Reference Department is pleased to announce that Saturday desk hours will be staffed by LTE Karen Nimz. Karen received her library degree from UW-Milwaukee and has been a librarian for over twenty years in academic, medical, and public libraries. She is currently the librarian for the Stanley prison.
- Kathy Finder joined the library staff in 1997 and was manager of the library’s Initiative in Curricular Software and Support (ICSS). She has now assumed the interim directorship of the Teaching and Learning Technology Development Center (TLTDC), although she will maintain her back-up appointment as a member of the library faculty.
- Jeri Weiser, ITM Publications, and Juanita Ikuta, BITS Coordinator, and their respective areas of responsibility are now part of CNS. Jeri, however, is continuing to work as a library LTE, on the Information Literacy Online Tutorial project. Their hard work and many contributions as library staff members are very much appreciated.
- Kevin Hulke, formerly an LTE in ICSS, has joined the faculty of the Chippewa Valley Technical College. Kevin spent a year here consulting with faculty, staff and students, training through BITS and CITI workshops, and providing SPSS support for the campus. Congratulations, CVTC. We will miss Kevin.
- After six months at McIntyre Library, Zhang Xiaodan has returned to his job as reference librarian at Jinan University’s library in Guangzhou. His expertise in computer science has left a permanent mark on our library’s computer systems, and we will miss him at the Reference Desk. Those of you who want to keep in touch can send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.