Nebraska Library Commission
          Network Services

                january/february 1997 vol.3 no.1 issn1082-4383

JANUARY/FEBRUARY Issue Highlights:
Database Trials
Guest Columnist: Sue Ann Lewandowski
NEBASE Schedule of Workshops

N3 (Ncubed) Newsletter is published bimonthly by the Nebraska Library Commission Network Services team. It is the intent of Network Services to promote and support libraries in their cooperative efforts to share resources and information.

Circulation: 500. Published on PC software. Editor: Jo Budler. Word Processing: Jeannette Powell. Design and Production: Joanne Corson. ISSN 1082-4383

Send mail to:
N3 Editor
Nebraska Library Commission
The Atrium, 1200 N St. Suite 120
Lincoln, NE, 68508
Phone: 402-471-4031 or 800-307-2665
Fax: 402-471-2083
E-mail: [obsolete]
Home Page: /netserv/netserv.html


Over the past few months, I have attended several visioning sessions and planning sessions on the state and national level. The overwhelming presence at each of these is technology. If I were to use the metaphor of traveling down a road, I would say that technology has overtaken us and is a distant blob far ahead of us. And judging from the carnage one comes upon along the way, it is hard to tell whether technology is still the beautiful answer which many of us saw it as not so long ago or if it has become a hideous monster whom we should allow to escape us.

The truth of the matter is technology is a kind of Dr. Jekyl-Mr. Hyde. With all the problems it has brought, it offers us many opportunities. It is, indeed, the great equalizer: a library of any size in any location is able to access electronic databases through the Internet, hence opening a treasure chest of information to its library users. Carol Mahar told me a wonderful story of how one of her students used FirstSearch. He wanted to do a report on an alternative to lead fishing weights. He was concerned that when these weights come loose in a body of water, they cause water pollution. He found nothing in the traditional print sources on this subject so Carol linked him up with FirstSearch. He not only found information about corn-based alternatives, but also found the name of a professor who is working on this and with whom he has been corresponding. Perhaps this young man will be the person who creates a corn-based fishing weight!

Clearly this is the Beauty or Dr. Jekyl side of technology. On the other side, we have the technology which is fraught with challenges: the challenge of keeping up with the appropriate hardware (how many of us own a 286 which is incapable of running Windows 95?), the need for more and more training (we can't offer enough to meet the need), the demands from our users who see a commercial of a French farmer walking with his daughter in his vineyard telling her how he got his degree using the "electronic library" made available through IBM (is this a library in a box?). I'm sure there are many more, too numerous to name. Perhaps the greatest challenge of all is keeping a balance. We are being challenged to keep the values of old while incorporating the benefits of technology. None of us should be willing to give up the library of books, of the readers' adviser, the library as a place where you can go for a book discussion group, a poetry reading, a program on German Americans, or just to meet others in our community.

We have all heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. I think we should adapt that: it takes an entire state of librarians working together to tame the technology which is challenging us all-and to use it together to enhance the library services we want to offer to all of our citizens. That perhaps is the greatest challenge of all, even greater than those associated with technology alone!

-Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission


Ten Nebraska libraries took advantage of the fall CD ROM group purchase organized by the Bibliographical Center for Research (BCR) in cooperation with NEBASE and the Nebraska Library Commission. Those libraries purchased 87 CDs for a total of $3146.96. The spring group purchase will take place in late February or early March 1997. If you did not receive the fall list of titles, but would like to see the spring list, please contact Jeannette Powell, 402-471-7740, 800-307-2665 or e-mail: Jeannette Powell

-Jeannette Powell
Nebraska Library Commission


FirstSearch TRIAL

If you are participating in the statewide group purchase you may participate in a trial:

When: January 1-May 31, 1997
Databases: EBSCOMags UMI (January-February only) H.W. Wilson databases (Applied Science & Technology Abstracts, Art Abstracts, Biological & Agricultural Index, Biography Index, Book Review Digest, Education Abstracts, General Science Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, Index to Legal Periodicals & Books, Library Literature, Readers' Guide Abstracts, Social Sciences Abstracts)
Full text: EBSCOMags UMI
Cost: None
To register: see below

If you are NOT participating in the statewide group purchase you may participate in a trial:

When: February 1-March 31, 1997
Databases: FirstSearch Base Package (WorldCat, ArticleFirst, ContentsFirst, FastDoc, PapersFirst, ProceedingsFirst, ERIC, GPO, MEDLINE) EBSCOMags, UMI, (during February only) and H.W. Wilson databases
Full text: EBSCOMags UMI
Cost: None
To register: Contact Jeannette Powell, 402-471-7740, 800-307-2665 or e-mail: Jeannette Powell . You will receive a password and authorization to use during the trial.

-Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission


SIRS Inc. is joining EBSCO, Galenet, H. W. Wilson, and IAC in offering a five month trial of their online databases. The trial runs from January 1, 1997 till May 31, 1997. SIRS Researcher contains full-text articles from over 1,200 sources. To sign up for a trial of SIRS contact Lisa Larson at 800-232-7477 ext. 255 or e-mail her at More information about the trial is available on the Library Commission Web Page, /netserv/trial.html or contact Allana Novotny at 402-471-6681, 800-307-2665 or e-mail: Allana Novotny .


The following databases will be available free of charge from January 1 through May 31, 1997:

Academic Search Full Text 1000
Masterfile Full Text 1000
Health Source Plus
MAS Full TEXT Elite (audience: High School grades)
Middle Search Plus (audience: Middle School grades)
Primary Search (audience: Primary Grades)
Business Elite (when available)
If you would like to access these databases during the trial, please contact Jeannette Powell, 402-471-7740 or 800-307-2665, e-mail: Jeannette Powell .

-Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission



The Guides Online
Many readers may be familiar with NebGuides. For those who are not, they are short publications-sometimes just on a single, double-sided sheet, often several pages-that are loaded with useful information about agriculture, gardening, family relationships, personal finance and many other topics. Many cover agricultural topics because they are published by the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) and the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The first one came out in the early 1970s and over 1,300 have been published as of October 1996.

Now, if you have access to the World Wide Web, you can find the NebGuides online as well. They are available through IANR's Web site at or you can access each Guide directly through its own uniform resource locator (i.e. URL). They are also available on IRIS under the main menu item E-Journals & Full Text Materials. Then press E for Electronic Journals and Books. Move the cursor to the title of the Guide that you're interested in and press the enter key to see the full text.

So, other than browsing the Web site or the list in IRIS, how do you find out whether there's a NebGuide online on a topic that will interest you or your patrons? And, then, how do you find the URL? UNL's library catalog on IRIS contains hundreds of records for the online NebGuides, including the URLs. To access the bibliographic records for the Guides, get into the UNL Libraries catalog through IRIS. Then you can search for them as you would any other publication. Or search under title, NebGuide, to see the records listed by year and number.

UNL began cataloging the NebGuides earlier this year as part of Intercat, an OCLC project. The goal of Intercat is to catalog resources that are available online including Web sites, full text resources, electronic lists, electronic serials and several other types. All intercat records are available on OCLC in the regular OLUC database. The records are very similar to all other records on OCLC, but they include a few fields that are unique to electronic resources, such as notes for system details and type of computer file. All records that UNL has contributed have subject headings, call numbers and series access.

In addition to the NebGuides, the catalogers at UNL have been cataloging Web sites, lists, electronic serials and other full text publications. The project will be ongoing.

In August 1996, a list was distributed by the Intercat Project Manager ranking the top 25 Intercat Project participants based on the number of records produced. UNL was 8th with 136 records, above Harvard's 17th place and 79 records. UNL had cataloged well below the 908 of top-ranked Seattle Public Library, but it's great to have something to shoot for! The UNL catalogers have added another 100+ records since that list was distributed.

So, take a look at the NebGuides online. Here are a few titles that might interest you, and their URLs. Be sure to look at the UNL library catalog on IRIS for more.

Laws That Impact Our Lives

Making Yogurt at Home

Rock Retaining Wall Construction

Sunflower Production in Nebraska

Weaned Pig Management and Nutrition

Where do Weeds Come From?

-Sue Ann Lewandowski
University of Nebraska-Lincoln




In 1991 when Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web it was a text based communications medium. In the past five years the Web has exploded into a truly multimedia experience. Gone are the days of simply reading information on a screen; today information on the Web engages our senses with video clips, audio clips and three dimensional virtual worlds.

To access information on the Web, software called a Web browser is needed. At present the most popular browser is the Netscape Navigator. By itself Netscape will offer you some multimedia capabilities, but in order to experience full multimedia, you will probably need to install plug-ins. Plug-ins are software programs that enhance Netscape (version 2.0 or above) so that it can display, launch or access certain types of information. For example, you may run across a video clip (movie) on the Web. A video plug-in would enable Netscape to run the clip.

There are over 100 different plug-ins available that let you do everything from listen to NPR's "Morning Addition" to take a walking tour of San Francisco. This article will highlight just a few interesting plug-ins, but for a complete list go to

Live3D by Netscape
This plug-in lets you interact with 3D images that have been created with VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language). It is available for Windows 3.X, Windows 95, Windows NT and MAC and you can download it at The Live3D information page is available at

Shockwave by Macromedia
A must for experiencing audio, animation, interactive images and virtual reality. It is available for Macintosh 68K, Windows 3.x and Windows 95 and you can download it at Hardware requirements for Shockwave and troubleshooting tips are available at

Apple QuickTime Plug-in by Apple Computer, Inc.
This plug-in lets you view animation, video, and virtual reality, as well as hear music. It is available for Macintosh 68K, Power Mac, Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and Windows NT. You can download it at Hardware requirements and troubleshooting tips are available at

CineWeb by Digigami
Use CineWeb to view and hear several movie and audio formats. It is available for Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and Windows NT and you can download it at The CineWeb information page is available at

RealAudio by Progressive Networks
RealAudio offers live and on-demand real-time audio over the Internet. It works best with connections over 14.4Kbps or faster. RealAudio is available for Macintosh 68K, Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and Windows NT and you can download it at The RealAudio Help and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is available at

Acrobat Reader by Adobe
This plug-in lets you view and print Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The number of PDF files is growing on the Internet and this plug-in is a must. It is available for Macintosh 68K, Power Mac, Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and Windows NT, IRIX, Sun OS and HP-UX. You can download it at The Acrobat Help page is available at

-Annie Sternburg
Nebraska Library Commission


One question that I have heard asked a number of times is "Which search engine is the best?" There are a number of different articles that talk about search engines and try to define which one is best. Over the next few issues of N3 I will describe some of the more popular search engines on the Web. One article that I would recommend reading is "Search Engine Showdown" by Gus Venditto, (May 1996 issue of Internet World). The full text of this article can be found on the Internet World Web pages under the Back Issues section I would also suggest reading any help information and FAQ's that may be available on a search engine's Web site.

The Open Text Index provides two ways to search: Simple Search and Power Search. When using the Simple Search you have the option to select how you would like to search for the words you have entered: Search For These Words, or Search For This Phrase. The option Search For These Words will find pages that contain all of the words that you entered. Search For This Phrase will only find pages that contain all of the words in the exact same order as you entered them.

The Power Search provides the user with a number of search options. There are boxes to enter search terms then the user selects within what part of the document to search and how to combine multiple terms. Multiple words entered in one box are treated as a phrase. After having entered a term(s) in the box the user can select within what part of the document to search. There are five options to choose from:

Anywhere: searches the complete document.
Summary: searches in the summary of the page that Open Text has created
Title: searches the title of the page. The author of the pages defines the title. In Netscape and Internet Explorer the title appears in the top bar of the window.
First Heading: searches the first level headings of a Web page. The author of the page defines first headings.
URL: searches for the terms in the URL of the page. The URL is like the address of the page. An example of a URL is /.

When you are searching for multiple terms you must select connectors. The connectors dictate how terms will be searched. There are five possible connectors to use:

And: finds both terms.
Or: finds either one word or the other word.
But Not: finds the first word and then makes sure the second word is not in the results.
Near: finds both words - The two words need to be located within 80 characters of each other.
Followed By: finds the first term then looks in the next 80 characters following it for the next word.

When performing a search keep in mind that Open Text does not automatically search for plurals. For example, if you want information about dogs you must search for both dog and dogs. There are a number of different search engines available on the Web and more keep appearing all of the time. I would suggest trying a number of them to find the one that works best for you. Reading any help information about the search engine can also improve your searching ability.

-Allana Novotny
Nebraska Library Commission



This conference will be held in Arlington, VA from March 9-13, 1997.

Preconference: March 9, 1997
Cost: $195 ( paid by February 21)
$205 (after February 21)
Postconference: March 13, 1997
Cost: $195 ( paid by February 21)
$205 (after February 21)
NO DISCOUNT is available on the Preconference or Postconference.
Full Conference: March 10-12, 1997
Cost: $295 ( paid by February 21)
$305 (after February 21)

A discounted rate of $99 (for the Full Conference only) is offered to all Nebraska Libraries who register through the Nebraska Library Commission no later than January 31, 1997. To register, contact Sue Biltoft, 402-471-4009, 800-307-2665 or e-mail: Sue Biltoft .


Infotrieve, a company located in California, provides a fast, efficient, and inexpensive document delivery service. Infotrieve is able to deliver documents from academic, government, public, and corporate libraries as well as online sources and publishers.

Trial Period
Infotrieve has proposed a trial of one to six months during which libraries may order documents at a discounted price. At the end of the trial, pricing may be renegotiated to the satisfaction of all parties.

Base Price Plus Copyright Royalty Option
Orders per/mo.Price per/doc.
500+$7.50 + copyright
1000+$7.00 + copyright
1500+$6.50 + copyright
2000+$6.00 + copyright
3000+$5.75 + copyright

Flat Price Options (includes all copyright royalties up to $30 per document)
Orders per/mo.Price per/doc.

Turnaround Time and Fill Rate
Most documents are shipped the next business day. Over 80% of documents are provided within one week. Overall fill rate is over 95%.

Copyright compliance is assured by Infotreive on all photocopied materials. Since copyright royalty and purchase charges may vary considerably, it is recommended that a cost limit be set for the retrieval of documents. A limit of $25 is usually sufficient to cover retrieval of most articles.

Orders may be placed by fax, phone, e-mail, courier, via Infortrieve's WWW page, or through the mail.

Delivery options include First Class U.S. Mail, fax or by electronic methods at no extra cost.

Payment is via monthly invoice or deposit account statements. Deposit accounts are available for a minimum of three months estimated billing. If you are interested in a trial of this service, please contact Jeannette Powell, 402-471-7740, 800-307-2665 or e-mail: Jeannette Powell .

-Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission



Questions were asked on Internet Listservs recently about the derived search key for titles (the 3,2,2,1 coded title search). The confusion is over the use of the ^ (circumflex) to indicate nothing. For example, using the derived title search key of: no^,ti,fo,d to search for the title "No time for dogs."

Glenn Patton at OCLC explains the use of the circumflex as follows:

Use of the circumflex in cases in which the title has either fewer words than the maximum of four or in which one of the words has fewer letters than the maximum for that segment of the search key is fully described on page 5:16 of Guide to Searching the Online Union Catalog, 2nd edition. The key points are as follows:

Part of the confusion about "3,2,2,^" versus "3,2,2," may come from the fact that the derived title key works differently from the derived personal name key (4,3,1). For personal names, you can omit the third segment to make the search less specific. For example, "patt, gle," would retrieve headings with and without a middle name or initial. The search key "patt,gle,^" would retrieve headings with a surname and a forename but would not retrieve any headings with a middle name or middle initial. This is explained on page 5:20 of Guide to Searching the Online Union Catalog, 2nd. edition.

[OCLC, edited]


Need a refresher on how to request copies of magazine articles via OCLC? The basic steps are as follows.

You will first need to find the bibliographic record for the journal title in OCLC. Here are three ways to find the correct record, in order of preference:

1. Use the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) if available.
Example: 0191-0965 <F11>

2. Do a coded title search (3,2,2,1).
Example: YOG,JO,,<F11> You can try to limit the number of records retrieved by using qualifiers with your search such as Serial, Library of Congress record, and not microforms.
Example: YOG,JO,,/SER/DLC/NM <F11>

3. Do a scan title search (SCAN TI)

After you have found the correct record for the magazine on OCLC, look at the holdings information by typing in the union list command: ulne$a <F11>.

Call up an ILL workform by typing: wf tpb,tpb,tpb <F11>. Where "tpb" is the OCLC symbol of the library that holds the magazine, your resource center library, and/or the document supplier.

The workform is the same as when you order a book but you have more fields to fill in with a photocopy request.

Arrow down to the ARTICLE field and type in the author and title of the article you are requesting. Do not put the author of the article in the AUTHOR field. The AUTHOR field is reserved for the author of the entire work, such as the author of the book.

Example: :ARTICLE: "Why People Don't Heal" by Kristen Barendsen
Arrow down to the next line and fill in as much information about VOL, NO, DATE, and PAGES as you can. Some lending libraries will not even bother with a citation that is sketchy.

Set a realistic MAXCOST. If you are ordering from Nebraska or Kansas libraries that are a part of the KS/NE Project or are a part of the LVIS agreement and your library also participates, then "FREE" or "$0" is a realistic expectation. If your library and/or the lending library is not a participant then put in a MAXCOST of $5 or $10. Some out-of-state libraries will automatically charge a minimum of $10 for the first 1-10 pages because of the overall costs involved.

Fill in the Copyright Compliance field. Many libraries will not supply a photocopy if this is not filled in.

After you have everything filled in, press <Alt> <F10> (at the same time) to send the edits.

Proofread the screen after reformatting (press F2).

Send the request just like you do with books by pressing P <F11>.

[MLNC, Selective Notes, edited]


OCLC has developed a collection development policy for its NetFirst Database. NetFirst is an authoritative Internet directory and resource locator. It provides extensive coverage of World Wide Web sites, Listserv discussion lists, Usenet Newsgroups, and anonymous FTP sites. Once a record is added to the database, it is checked on a regular basis to verify that the resource is still active and available at the location indicated in the record. This verification is done automatically, and with a frequency determined by type of resource, with the more volatile resources (e.g., WWW pages) being checked more frequently than the more stable resources (e.g., Listserv discussion lists). On a less frequent basis, the actual content of the objects is evaluated. If an object changes substantially, the corresponding record is evaluated and updated if necessary.

NetFirst a part of the FirstSearch Base Package. The collection development policy is available at:

The criteria for selection include such things as substance, currency, durability, and interest. The scope of the collection covers guidelines on commercial sites, political materials, language of the site, personal home pages, sexually explicit materials, and guidelines for the removal of records from the database.

[OCLC, edited.]


OCLC is offering its new Bib Notification Service free until June 30, 1997. During the trial period, OCLC users are encouraged to evaluate the Service, which automatically delivers upgraded cataloging records. The automatic delivery feature allows library staff to initially accept less-than-full records knowing that they will receive upgraded records when they become available on the system. The upgraded records are based on original encoding levels of 2, 5, 7, 8, K, M. When records with these encoding levels are upgraded to I or blank, the new record is delivered.

During the free trial period, users may evaluate the Service to:

Beginning July 1, 1997, OCLC will charge for use of the Bib Notification Service. Pricing information will be provided in the spring to help users make a decision about whether to continue subscribing.



FirstSearch enhancements were installed on September 22, making highly visible changes to the Web version of FirstSearch that improve full-text availability and strengthen OCLC's ability to provide Internet indexing through NetFirst. These enhancements mark the tenth major system upgrade since FirstSearch was introduced in October 1991.

This latest upgrade consists of three major enhancements:
(1) Full-text Direct;
(2) NetFirst Browse; and
(3) the consolidation of the copyright and search screens.

"These three enhancements extend FirstSearch's competitive edge," said Rick Noble, vice president, OCLC Marketing and Reference Services Division. "They also leverage user-requested investments we have made in ASCII full text and Internet navigation by making both easier to use and easier to administer."

Full text is now easier for users to access with the addition of links from the citation level to the full text of articles.

Users can find full text accessible directly from the brief records list in ABI/INFORM, Business Dateline, Business & Industry, EBSCO MasterFile, The New York Times and Periodical Abstracts. A hot icon for "full-text online" appears in the results list for those records that have full text available. To display the full text of an item, the user simply clicks on that icon. The icon will also appear in bibliographic records to enable Web users to view the full text immediately without navigating additional screens. The library must first turn on full-text from the FirstSearch Administrative module for the full-text online icon to appear in the results list. If the library chooses to require password access, the user will be prompted for the password before the full text display appears.

All current full-text functionality remains available, including navigation and e-mailing full text. From bibliographic records, users access full text through the document ordering module by clicking on the "Get/Display Item" button.

A new browse capability for NetFirst gives users a new way to search for Internet-accessible resources using a subject hierarchy based on the Dewey Decimal Classification. It is easier for a user than formulating and entering a search, and may be especially appealing to users who are unaccustomed to database searching.

Users click on the Browse button on the NetFirst search page to go as deep as three levels into the subject hierarchy. The NetFirst browser presents a series of lists in a stepped process that allows the user to choose from a list of ten broad subject categories that correspond to the ten main classes of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). The user makes a selection, then a list of ten topics (corresponding to the Dewey Second Summary) appears. Again, the user makes a selection, then a list of ten subtopics (corresponding to the Dewey Third Summary) appears. All three lists appear on the page together, enabling users to see what category they have selected, what topic they have selected, and the subtopics from which they can choose.

A user can retrieve records at any point in the process for any category, topic, or subtopic that appears. Searches are counted only when a user asks to see records. If no NetFirst records exist in a particular category, topic, or subtopic, the category, topic, or subtopic will not appear on the browse list. A user can retrieve all of the items in a selected category, topic, or subtopic, and can choose to enter a search for combination with a selected category, topic, or subtopic.

Browsing using the DDC scheme enables users to retrieve additional relevant items that may not be easily noticeable or accessible using traditional searching capabilities. Users can also exploit the power of NetFirst's subject indexing and classification information without a prior understanding of the DDC.

In the newest FirstSearch Web release, the copyright screen for each database has been consolidated with the database search screen to streamline the user's path to begin searching. When the user selects a database, a search screen appears for that database that includes the database copyright statement and logo with coverage information. The user can begin searching directly from that screen.

John Sullivan, director, OCLC Online Reference Services, said, "At OCLC, system upgrades are an ongoing process of adding new, user-requested features. We are committed to making a steady stream of enhancements to continually improve FirstSearch and maintain its position as the leading end-user information service in the library community."




Assessing a library collection is a process of taking as accurate a picture as possible of what resources the library has to support its service to customers. Comparing the picture of what resources are now on hand in relation to what will meet the goal suggests what action should be taken. To successfully complete a collection evaluation an assessment project will adapt standardized measurements in a way that will provide facts about local characteristics. Clearly stating in a collection review statement what the assessment needs to tell about the local collection is the place to start in adapting the standardized measurements.

The collection review statement expresses the overall assessment project plan which outlines what the assessment project will find out, what materials will be reviewed, and what methods will be used. The project coordinator will begin an assessment by carefully selecting data collection methods that will provide information related to the purpose of the project. For example, if the library will be providing curriculum materials to support adult continuing education classes, the assessment needs to find out the course syllabus and bibliographies, what resources are in the library in that subject, current use of materials in that subject area, how much is published, in what formats, and average costs. This information will aid the librarian to design an action plan for weeding and selecting in that subject area.

It may be necessary for the project coordinator to build local subject divisions or select searchable comments notes in the Conspectus® that can produce customized conspectus reports for the local assessment. Here is an example of how an assessment project can be adapted to fit a local library where the outcome desired is to show what resources will be needed in dollars, how well the space allowed in a new building will be used and its adequacy, and what weeding can be done in the collection.

The entire collection is assessed: all formats and special groupings. Methods used are shelf list measurement, shelf observation, and usage data about circulation, interlibrary loan, and reference. The WLN Conspectus® technique is applied.

In general, the collection might be assessed at the division level in a small library. Special aspects of the collection that relate to local service patterns and outstanding areas of the library materials collection can be profiled either by assessing selected categories or subjects within divisions, by adding local divisions to the conspectus, or by adding uniform notes in the WLN Conspectus "comments" field. Uniform notes in the comments field are searchable and reports can be printed from these notes.

Some possible Conspectus® divisions/categories/subjects and reports for this particular assessment are shown in the following examples.

Local divisions/categories/subject
Adult Fiction
Science Fiction and Fantasy
Adult Paperback Rack
Audio Books
Juvenile Fiction General
Juvenile Paperback
Juvenile Easy
Special Reports Using Uniform Notes
Curriculum Support Update
Electronic Information Resources Vertical File
Large Print Videos
Local History Weed

By reviewing customized assessment reports, the librarian would have background information to contact the community colleges regarding curriculum; and to design adequate shelf space, work rooms, adequate storage, and adequate computer use stations for staff and patrons in the building plan. Specific background information could be supplied with budget requests for the library materials allocation and staffing. Planning based on the assessment results can prepare staff with training opportunities in reference and computer skills. All the assessment information can be viewed according to the way the library's customers use the library.

For more information about collection management and assessment contact Burns Davis, 402-471-2694 or 800-307-2665, e-mail: [obsolete].

-Burns Davis
Nebraska Library Commission


The following OCLC information was mailed to your library in December. If there is anything on this list that you did not receive or you need extra copies of please contact Jeannette Powell, Nebraska Library Commission, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023, phone: 402-471-7740, 800-307-2665, or e-mail: Jeannette Powell .

FirstSearch Service Database, September 1996
FirstSearch Pricing Options
PRISM Usage Stats
Passport for Windows
What's New at OCLC, September 1996
OCLC CJK Services
OCLC Online Retrospective Conversion
OCLC AsiaLink Service
Building the Electronic Library: How the Washington Research Library Consortium Uses OCLC SiteSearch Software
Outreach, Access, Cooperation: The FirstSearch Story at Texas Tech University

-Jeannette Powell
Nebraska Library Commission


This is the question that all of us who own CD ROM drives and collections should be asking. In order to get a clear answer, other questions must be answered first. Exactly what is DVD? Where did DVD come from? What does it have to offer library users? Read on and inform yourself of CD ROM's heir apparent.

DVD stands for Digital Video Disc. Another name, less widespread yet more appropriate, Digital Versatile Disc. From a distance, DVD physically resembles CD ROM. Both are 5-inch Compact Discs. However, up close, too small to be seen by the unaided eye, are radical differences in the way information is burned onto the CD. The general result is a CD that has seven times the storage capacity of a CD ROM disc. A DVD disc contains 4.7 gigabytes compared to CD ROM's 670 megabytes. Greater lengths of improved audio, graphics and movies exemplify DVD's versatility. Developers claim that a single DVD disc will comfortably hold over two hours of MPEG-2-quality video. This compares to only 74 minutes on the current CD ROM. In this way, DVD can be viewed as the ultimate in multimedia formats. But even regular database users will enjoy the luxury of larger amounts of data per disc.

DVD was born out of the combined efforts of two previously competing groups of CD ROM manufacturers, Sony/Phillips and Time Warner/Toshiba. After months of intense efforts to produce a high-density CD ROM standard and an unavoidable stalemate, all parties committed themselves to developing a single standard. What they came up with were a set of specifications for DVD software and hardware.

Both a boon and a bust to CD ROM technology is the backward compatibility of DVD players. On the one hand, libraries with a well established collection of CD ROM titles can invest in DVD hardware without losing years of collection development of leading edge technology. This is also good news if you work for a library that lends its CD ROM titles out to the public. Even if DVD players replace the CD ROM drive in home PCs, users will still find the library's collection of CD ROM titles useful. The bad news is that backward compatibility will be a welcome invitation for PC users to experiment with the new technology. The sole initial sacrifice will be in purchasing another peripheral, namely a DVD drive to accompany or replace their CD ROM drive. The end result will be a growing demand for libraries to stock DVD titles. If you don't think this can happen, recall how 1.44 Megabyte floppies replaced 720 Kilobyte floppies. Software developers utilized this increase in storage capacity because it meant easier delivery of their products to the end user. It's possible that publishers will make the same move to a more robust medium.

Noticeably missing from the current specifications is the ability to write a Digital Video Disc. When CD recordable technology became part of the mainstream of desktop computing, DVD developers were eager to offer DVD users the same ability to write their own discs. The use of such a technology was aimed at replacing tape backup systems and removable hard drives as the archivers' tool of choice. However, those in the motion picture business saw a potential risk for copyright infringement. After all, the movie industry views DVD as potential delivery device much like the now ubiquitous VHS tape. Nevertheless, until DVD developers can guarantee that DVD hardware can protect movies on Digital Video Discs from easy replication, the technology remains out of the hands of desktop computer users.

Will DVD technology rival CD ROM technology? The answer may lie in the difference in performance of either standard. The first DVD players on the market offer only a minimal improvement in seek times over the CD ROM drive. The DVD player's main strength lies in its ability to stream two-hour long videos to your computer's or TV's screen. So what does that mean to the library? Is it really important to provide another way of letting patrons watch major motion picture releases? Hasn't the CD ROM sufficed at providing a rich multimedia reference for students? Are we all ready to throw out both our CD ROM drives and our VCR for another entertainment device? I don't think so. Even if a Digital Video Disc offers seven times the storage capacity of text documents, the installed base of CD ROM drives and titles in libraries is enough to insure their importance in library services. In summation, DVD may eventually replace CD ROM drives in home PCs, but not in public or school's library media center. If people want the ability to search volumes of text in a timely fashion, we already have the CD ROM.

-Christopher Cook
Wisconsin InterLibrary Services, from New Tech News,
published here by agreement with the Alliance of Library Service Networks.


Nebraska Library Commission training opportunities including NEBASE and Internet training are available on our Home Page at /netserv/NEBASE/NebTrain.html or you may request a paper copy from Jeannette Powell at 402-471-7740, 800-307-2665 or e-mail: Jeannette Powell . Several NEBASE training sessions have been scheduled in Lincoln. They are as follows:

24 OCLC's Passport for Windows, 9:00 a.m.-12 noon
29 OCLC Cataloging I: MARC Format and Copy Cataloging, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

7 OCLC's Format Integration, 9:00 a.m.-12 noon
28 OCLC Cataloging II: Books, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

14 OCLC Cataloging II: Electronic Resources, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

APRIL 4 OCLC and the Internet, 9:00 a.m.-12 noon
22 OCLC Cataloging II: Maps, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

1 OCLC Cataloging II: Videore-cordings, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

1 OCLC Authority File: An Introduction, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

3 OCLC Cataloging II: Serials, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
17 OCLC Cataloging II: Sound Recordings, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Classes have not yet been scheduled outside of the Lincoln area. If you are interested in any of these classes at another location or at another time, please contact Jeannette. We will make every effort to meet your location and schedule needs. (Please note: there is a minimum class number in many cases. Whenever possible, we will try to work around this to offer the classes you request.)

-Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission

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