Year in Review
New FirstSearch Released
OCLC's FirstSearch has a new look. FirstSearch 5.0 was released in FY 2000, with many new features. New features in the administrative module include:
Access via Web browser rather than telnet
Turn on/off full-text by database
Limit access to full-text by choosing databases that require a password
Turn on/off ILL by database
Customize ILL form
Set default operators and/or search interface
Control number of cross-database searching to 1, 2, or 3 databases
Customize topic areas
Add library logo to FirstSearch screens
New features in the search interface include:
Expert searching (of interest to former EPIC users)
Full right truncation and wildcard options
Subject thesauri for the WorldCat, ERIC, PsycINFO/PsycFirst, and MEDLINE databases
Limiting searches to an individual library
Limiting searches to a group of libraries
Sorting search results
Viewing, marking, and e-mailing up to 100 records at a time
Searching one-to-three databases at a time
Linking to detailed serial holdings
Searching history for entire session
FirstSearch provides access to eighty-six databases representing a variety of subjects and including some full-text databases. More than 680 Nebraska libraries subscribe at no charge to the Nebraska package of twelve databases, financed by the Library Commission with state tax funds. For more information about these databases or to access FirstSearch 5.0 see the Commission home page at nlc.nebraska.gov, click on Electronic Databases.
Resource Sharing Facilitated
There are a variety of reasons for creating a shared library catalog. The first to come to mind is facilitating resource sharing. Resource sharing is cost-effective, allowing for greater use of material across the state; and efficient, allowing for librarians and library customers to search across the collections of libraries across the state.
The Library Commission facilitates this through our statewide union catalog within FirstSearch's WorldCat. Through our statewide FirstSearch contract, this catalog is available (at no charge to the library) to all libraries regardless of type and to all Nebraskans through remote patron access outside the library. When a librarian or library user searches WorldCat for material, if a Nebraska library owns that material, that library's or those libraries' symbols are first to appear.
Now, more than one hundred Nebraska libraries are adding their holdings to the statewide union catalog. Forty-three of these are using CatExpress, a Web-based product allowing small libraries to add their holdings and to download MARC records for their local catalogs. For more information about CatExpress, contact Christa Burns at 402-471-3107, 800-307-2665, e-mail: Christa Burns.