Nebraska Library Commission
          Network Services

                january/february 1999 vol.5 no.1 issn 1082-4383

January/February Issue Highlights:
Six Libraries to Receive OCLC Computers
Update on Databases in the Nebraska Package
Guest Columnist: Brian Striman
Free E-mail
FirstSearch Success Story Winner
Free Trial: OCLC ILL Direct Request Service

CD-ROM Group Purchase Biggest Yet

Since February 1996, NEBASE has participated in a group purchase of CD-ROM products organized by the Bibliographical Center for Research (BCR). This has allowed Nebraska libraries and media centers to benefit from some of the lowest prices on popular CD-ROM titles. In October, twelve Nebraska libraries and media centers participated, ordering 626 CD-ROMS for a total of $18,293–our biggest order yet.

Twenty-one large boxes were delivered to the Library Commission in November. Several staff members unpacked, alphabetized, and repacked CD-ROMs to ship to those libraries that had placed orders.

If you wish to participate in the spring CD-ROM group purchase, in February or March, and did not receive an order form in the mail last October, please contact Jeannette Powell, Nebraska Library Commission, The Atrium, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023 to have your library placed on the mailing list.

—Jeannette Powell
Nebraska Library Commission


Susan Knisely joined the Nebraska Library Commission staff as Online Services Librarian, December 7. Some of her duties at the Commission will be to provide training (Internet, online information services, OCLC products); assist in planning, evaluating, and arranging access for Nebraska libraries to online information services; monitor, select, and disseminate news and other information concerning electronic information resources, trends, and issues for staff and customer use; create fact sheets and training materials for librarians, and help to develop material for use by end-users.

Susan got her start in libraries during college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, when she got a job shelving books in Bennett Martin Public Library’s Youth Services Department. After earning a master’s degree in English at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), she returned to Lincoln for another stint with Lincoln City Libraries, this time as a library assistant at South Branch. Seeing a definite trend in her choice of jobs, she decided librarianship was something she was interested in pursuing professionally. It was several years before she had an opportunity to act on this interest (marriage and a move to Minneapolis intervened), but in 1995 she received her MLS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Prior to coming to the Nebraska Library Commission, Susan worked as a reference librarian at Midland Lutheran College, in Fremont, Nebraska, where she was responsible for reference and instructional services, interlibrary loan, and government documents. One of the things Susan enjoys most about working as a librarian is having an opportunity to assist patrons in becoming independent researchers. It’s always a rewarding experience for her when someone she’s worked with comes back to share the successes they’ve had on their own!

When not working, Susan enjoys cooking and going on walks with her husband, Will. She also enjoys reading and recently took up quilting.


KAPCO, a library supply company, is offering a 10% discount to all Nebraska libraries on anything in their catalog. In order to receive the 10% discount, you must reference NEBASE in your order. For more information about KAPCO and the products offered in their catalog, point your Internet browser to <> or call KAPCO sales representative Bob Haight at 800-791-8967 x.213.

—Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission


In partnership with the Nebraska Library Commission, OCLC is making six computers available to Nebraska public libraries. (For specifications of these computers, point your browser to </netserv/nebase/workstations.html>.)

The purpose of this project is to provide access to FirstSearch to a library community which otherwise would not be able to access this service. The criteria was as follows:

With the help of the System Administrators, 48 libraries were identified as possible recipients of the OCLC computers. Letters were sent to each libraries’ director asking if that library were interested in receiving one of these computers. The six libraries which will receive these computers are:

Oshkosh Public Library
Yutan Public Library
Arlington Public Library
Hooper Public Library
Osceola Public Library
Louisville Public Library

If you are interested in taking part in a program such as this so that your library might receive a computer (either an upgrade or new acquisition), please contact Jeannette Powell, 402-471-7740 or 800-307-2665, e-mail: Jeannette Powell .

—Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission

Update on databases in the Nebraska Package

Four hundred thousand dollars was added to the Nebraska Library Commission budget by the 1998 Legislature and the Governor. These funds are being used in part for statewide subscriptions to electronic databases and are intended to provide librarians and library users with:

It is the intent of the Library Commission that these databases be made available to all citizens across the state, free of charge. These databases provide an authoritative source of information on a variety of topics. While it is possible to search the Internet for an infinite number of subjects, sometimes a search on the Internet also produces an infinite number of hits. NetFirst, one of the databases in the Nebraska package of FirstSearch databases provides an index to Internet resources. These resources have been evaluated and cataloged by librarians and may be accessed from a point within the descriptive record which appears as a result of the users’ search.

H.W. Wilson Select, a database in the FirstSearch reference service, offers access to the full-text in 800 titles covering general subjects (as one would find in the Readers’ Guide to Periodicals), business, social science, general science and the humanities. The cost for access to these titles in print is cost prohibitive for one year alone. As a group we are able to subscribe to this database at a price which is cost-effective and we now have access to many years of these titles through the H.W. Wilson Select database.

But it is not enough to merely access information (which is often overabundant). It is in the best interest of individuals in our communities to acquire information in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. What better way to do this than to enlist the help of the community’s librarian, the trained information specialist? I believe it is the goal of all librarians to provide the best possible library service to Nebraska citizens regardless of where he or she might live in our state. Library Commission staff wish to assist librarians in doing this, specifically in providing content through database packages and providing training opportunities so that the librarians might hone their reference skills.

Thus far the Library Commission has made the following databases available to all libraries:

Books in Print with Reviews
H.W. Wilson Select
N.Y. Times
GPO Monthly Catalog
The World Almanac
Union List of Serials

In addition, 64 public libraries are participating in a six-month subscription to EBSCO’s Health Source Plus beginning January 1.

In partnership with Library System Administrators (Brenda Ealey, Sharon Osenga, Pam Scott, Carol Speicher, Kathy Tooker, and Dee Yost,) we plan to hold focus groups across the state. Information about these will be distributed electronically over listservs and on the Library Commission home page as well as in print publications. Through these focus groups we hope to learn how these services are effecting library service in our state. We will use the information gathered to assist the Library Commission in establishing priorities for future funding. I hope that you will attend a session to help us determine not only how our current program is helping to bring us closer to our goal of providing the best possible library service to all Nebraskans but also to help us determine our next steps.

—Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission

Library Advocacy

Plans are in progress for the new legislative year. The date for Legislative Day has been set for February 17. Now is an excellent time to make contact with your government officials. It is also an excellent time to search out those people in the community that can be strong library advocates.

FirstSearch success stories are all around us. Have you thanked your Senator for the support the Legislature gave to funding this program? If you haven’t, now is the time to write a thank you note to your Senator. Include comments on the FirstSearch programs from your patrons. They are also his constituents. Do you have a new Senator from your district? What better welcome could you give a newly elected Senator than an invitation to visit your library and see FirstSearch in action?

Library advocacy begins at home. Reach out to the community. Invite people in to see the FirstSearch program up close and personal. Take time to invite your local officials—county as well as city—to see what their tax dollars can do. Begin building your support networks right now, while you have some positive accomplishments to share with those who can be your best source of support.

—Margaret Harding
Nebraska Library Association Coordinator
Libraries for the 21st Century

Guest Columnist

Nebraska Library Commission, NEBASE and NEBASE Advisory Council—A Recipe For Success!

The Nebraska Library Commission, NEBASE, and the NEBASE Advisory Council have been working hard since 1996 to improve and enhance OCLC products and services for Nebraska OCLC members. Great strides have been made in improving communications, helping to set priorities for NEBASE, increase OCLC training on all the databases and subsystems such as cataloging, interlibrary loan, FirstSearch and Passport for Windows. New mechanisms for continuing improvements in communications and services have also been implemented.

As outgoing Chair of the NEBASE Advisory Council (NAC) I would like to discuss this "recipe for success" in a way that is fun to read and also conveys some serious points.

In 1995 and perhaps a bit before that, NEBASE OCLC membership was wanting something different for their meals. It wasn’t so much that the food could taste better, it was that the folks sitting at the dinner table wanted to be able to tell the Chef about what it was they were hungry for. They wanted more input on meal-making. They wanted to be able to have some say in the meal planning. They wanted to help out in the kitchen. They wanted representation, a voice in what NEBASE could do for them.

Before we get too far into our cup of this and tablespoon of that, you have to understand that NEBASE isn’t like the other OCLC networks. NEBASE functions with a relatively small staff, operating with limited state and federal funding, and having to serve a very large geographical state with all sizes and kinds of libraries and information centers scattered from Bellevue to Scottsbluff. The challenges of providing services to that kind of customer base is daunting. Let’s factor in the other element, that NEBASE OCLC members actually enjoy getting a great value. They enjoy having one of the lowest OCLC network fees in the nation! NEBASE membership didn’t (and still doesn’t) want to sacrifice low Network Services costs, to gain improvements in services. So with those concepts simmering on the back burners, let’s continue with our recipe making.

In 1996, after some discussions with various groups, the idea of creating some kind of advisory group was..."hatched." Policy and procedural details had to be cooked up; and, exactly how this group would advise NEBASE took some commitments and responsibilities of the Head Chef. The Head Chef would be the Nebraska Library Commission. The Library Commission is governed by "The Commission" which is composed of six commissioners, each appointed by the Governor of the State of Nebraska. For more information on the Commission point your Web browser to: </commis/commis.html>. This Commission is very active, meeting once every other month, and their duties and responsibilities are many. The Director of the Library Commission, Rod Wagner, reports to The Commission.

So who all was in the kitchen anyway? Prior to the fall of 1996, we had Rod Wagner, we had the six Commissioners, we had the NEBASE staff: the Network Services Director of NEBASE, Jo Budler; the OCLC Member Services Coordinator; the Network Services Staff Assistant, Jeannette Powell; and never to forget the Accounting Queen, Doreen Kuhlmann. Except for Doreen, they pretty much cooked up the meals. It’s not easy with a dinner table that’s over 400 miles long and 134 customers (NEBASE member libraries) all wanting something different from the menu. Was it possible to please everyone? No. Something needed to be done. We needed another set of hands in kitchen.

On November 9, 1995, the Library Commission approved creation of an elected group of seven council members, plus the delegate to the OCLC Users Council, to form the NEBASE Advisory Council. It was decided to have an advisory council made up of representatives from different types of libraries who could meet with NEBASE staff regularly to communicate needs, discuss priorities and keep council members abreast of happenings in the OCLC networks and OCLC users news via our OCLC Users Council representative.

Composition of NAC is below, with the Council representing 74 Selective Users (NEON libraries) and 60 Full-members. Three delegates from Academic (Full-members), two from Public (Full-members), one from Special/School libraries, and one from NEON libraries; plus our OCLC Users Council representative (an ex-officio to the Council), plus three NEBASE staff. This composition is likely to change slightly in the next month or so to include at least one other "ex-officio" member to provide geographic representation whenever needed. Terms of the Council are staggered three year terms, so continuity of most of the Council membership is maintained.

The Council sees itself as a working group and since our first meeting in the fall of 1996, we found NEBASE staff to be extremely cooperative and responsive to our comments. The kitchen was a warm and friendly place. Two NEBASE member surveys (and a special NEON survey) in the past two years have provided the Council with information to help set priorities and goals for NEBASE. We learned a lot about the inner workings of the NEBASE staff and they learned a lot about what the membership was needing.

Communications and distribution of the many OCLC and NEBASE publications were improved. One ingredient in the recipe which helps with communications was the creation of the NEBASE-L electronic list, and the Library Commission Web site. Communication problems were solved at that level, so we could proceed with the next crucial step in membership needs—training. Training needs across the state were incredibly diverse and the challenges to prioritize them, plus the challenges of how to improve access to training were hammered out.

Training was one of the biggest portions of the recipe for success with which NAC and NEBASE had to grapple. Paid trainers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, as well as special volunteers from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska Library System Administrators, several Nebraska state colleges and high schools, OCLC representatives, plus trainers in the NEBASE staff all combined to add their own special ingredients and expertise to add to the training recipe mix. We stirred in all the ingredients put it into the oven to bake, and as of this writing we are pleased and proud to state that in 1997 we provided 21 OCLC related training workshops, and for 1998 we provided a total of 65 workshops—of which 28 of those were FirstSearch workshops with 502 participants!

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about who buys the groceries so we have ingredients to make a successful recipe. The Library Commission provides the dollars needed to reimburse NAC members for travel time, and/or support for the van that carries NAC members to the different meeting locations. The Library Commission also provides for the training costs associated with printing, etc. for all the workshops if the host site requires it. Often, the host site generously provides space and equipment for the training. It’s a give and take situation in some cases.

Following this article, you will find the Council election results, so you will know who your appropriate representative is. Be sure to fill out any surveys that the Council mails out to you and don’t hesitate to contact the new Chair of the Council, Ella Jane Bailey, or your representative to voice your concerns.

It has been a privilege to be Chair of the first two years of the Council. The group is hard working and dedicated to the mission of NAC, which, formally stated from its original charge is: To serve as a channel for two-way communication between NEBASE and its members. With a group like this the recipe just has to be good!

—Brian Striman
Immediate Past-Chair of the NEBASE Advisory Council


In November, an election was held for two seats on the NEBASE Advisory Council. Sandy Herzinger, Chairman of the Cataloging Department at Love Library, University of Nebraska-Lincoln was elected as a delegate representing the Academic full-member NEBASE libraries. Sandy replaces Brian Striman, Head of Technical Services at the Schmid Law Library, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who chose not to run for re-election. Jan Traci Roth, Director of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia was elected to represent the full-member Special/School and Institutional NEBASE libraries.

Other Council members are: Becky Baker, Seward Public Library, representing the NEON/Selective user libraries; Lauralee Grabe, Creighton University and Ella Jane Bailey, University of Nebraska at Omaha, representing the Academic libraries; Dan Owens, Bellevue Public Library and Jeanne Saathoff, Kearney Public Library and Information Center, representing the public libraries. Tom Boyle, Midland Lutheran College, NEBASE’s representative on the OCLC User’s Council, serves as an ex-officio member of the Council.

At their November meeting, the Council elected Ella Jane Bailey as the Chairman of the Council.

—Jeannette Powell
Nebraska Library Commission

Free E-mail

Does your library have Web access but not e-mail access? Does every staff member want or need their own e-mail account but you do not have accounts for everyone? If you answered yes to either question you may want to look at one of the many free e-mail providers on the web. There is an ever growing number of sites that offer free e-mail accounts to people around the world. To use these free e-mail services all you need is access to the World Wide Web and a Web browser.

The question most asked when people hear free e-mail is how can it be free. The answer is simple. It is paid for by advertisements. Free e-mail providers have advertisements on their Web sites just like search engines do. Signing up for an e-mail mail account is as simple as filling out a form online. It is a good idea to read the service agreement. Below is a list of just a few sites that provide free e-mail. Additional providers may be found by browsing Yahoo or searching the Web. CNET recently reviewed free e-mail services on the Web. The article Free for all! CNET reviews the top free e-mail services around the Web can be found on their Web page <>.

Excite Mail <>

Hotmail <>

Yahoo Mail <>

ZDNet Mail <>

E-mail provides a timely and cost effective way to easily communicate with people at any time of the day or night. It is much faster than regular mail, or snail mail as it is often referred to. A benefit of having an e-mail account is that you can subscribe to mailing lists. A mailing list deals with a specific topic or subject. When a message is sent to the mailing list, a copy is e-mailed to all of the people on the list. This provides an easy way to send the same information to a number of people at once. The Nebraska Library Commission uses LISTSERV software to run a number of mailing lists. One of the mailing lists that the Commission maintains is Trial. This mailing list is used to discuss free database trials for Nebraska libraries, databases purchased, and problems with the databases. A complete list of our mailing lists is located on our home page, </nsf/lists.html>

Check out one of the free e-mail providers and get your own account today. Don’t forget to check the Nebraska Library Directory </libdir/libdir.html> to make sure that we have your correct e-mail address.

—Allana Novotny
Nebraska Library Commission

The Y2K Problem in Your Library

The year 2000 Problem has become a hot topic as the millennium approaches. Have you started planning for the future and the impact that it will have on your library? It’s easy to become caught up with the big problems people are talking about such as weapons, banks, and phone problems, but it’s important not to forget all of the little problems in your library. One "small" problem may be your computers. You have to think about the computer hardware, operating system, and all of the software on your computer. This may not be a small task.

The first place to start is your computer hardware. The simplest way to find out if your computer hardware is ready for the year 2000 is to visit the manufacturer’s home page. I looked at a number of computer manufacturer’s Web pages and all had a section dedicated to the Y2K issue. I found that most pages were linked off the main page or off a support or services page. The sites told you which of their systems where compliant or told you how to check your system. In addition there were a number of fixes available if your computer was not compliant. Libraries that have OCLC workstations should look at the article "OCLC workstations and Year 2000 compliance" on OCLC’s home page. < y2k.htm>

Next you need to look at your operating system. Windows users can consult Microsoft’s Year 2000 Readiness Disclosure and Resource Center <>. This site contains a Year 2000 Product Guide <> that lists a number of Microsoft products and their status of compliance. All versions of Windows that I looked at are "compliant with minor issues." Microsoft defines this as: "The product meets Microsoft’s standard of compliance with some disclosed exceptions that constitute minor date issues." To meet this level a number of the products have a prerequisite that requires a patch or service pack. Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT Workstation 4.0, and Windows NT Server 4.0 are all compliant with minor issues. Most of these products do have a prerequisite patch or service pack that needs to be installed. Complete information about compliance and any needed patches or service packs can be found on the Year2000 Product Guide <>.

Now that your hardware and operating system is compliant it’s time to move on to software. The list of possible software that libraries may own is endless. I would suggest going to the company’s home page and looking for information about the specific software that you own. The first place you may want to start with is any Microsoft products that you have. This information can also be found on their Year2000 Product Guide. This page provides a selection list that you can use to look up a product. It will tell you the status of compliancy along with any prerequisites.

Another major piece of software libraries need to think about is their automation and circulation systems. Again the best thing that you can do is check your vendor’s home page for information about the specific system that you own. At the end of this article is a list of some of the vendors that have Y2K information on their Web page.

The Year 2000 is approaching fast and libraries need to prepare for it. If you have not started planning for Y2K problems it’s time to start. It’s important to make sure that your computer hardware, operating systems, and software, including your automation and circulation systems, are Y2K compliant.

Automation and Circulation System Vendors

Ameritech Library Services <>

DRA <>

Follett Software Company <>

Gaylord <>

Innovative Interfaces Inc. <>


Winnebago <>

Additional Resources

"The year 2000: millennial implications for libraries?" by Jim Young and Vicki Slagle Johns. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. v. 24 no1 (Jan. ’98) p. 53-7 (Libraries with access to FirstSearch can easily find the full-text of this article by searching H. W. Wilson Select for the Accession No. BEDI98011131.)

Consumer FAQ: How To Fix Windows Y2K Problems <> - Y2K Special Report <>

Nebrask@ Online - Year 2000 Challenge <>

PC Magazine Y2K Resource Center <>

OCLC and the Year 2000 Problem <>.

—Allana Novotny
Nebraska Library Commission


The Nebraska Library Commission has used some of the funding appropriated by the Legislature and the Governor to purchase a statewide subscription to Books in Print with Reviews via the Internet.

What this means: Any Nebraska library may take part in this subscription, thereby accessing BIP + Reviews at no cost to the library. The subscription has been paid by the Library Commission for unlimited access through the Internet.

If you are already subscribing to BIP and have access to the Internet, you should consider canceling your subscription and taking advantage of this offer. This will save your library the cost of your subscription and these funds may be used for other services.

If you are NOT a BIP subscriber presently, please take this opportunity to become a subscriber through the Library Commission. You may register to be included in this subscription through the Library Commission home page at </netserv/bip.html>.

Remember: there is absolutely no cost to your library. This service is available to librarians and library users alike.

—Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission

IAC Joins the Gale Group!

Gale Research, Information Access Company (IAC), and Primary Source Media—three international leaders in the electronic and reference publishing arenas—have merged into one company within The Thomson Corporation: The Gale Group.

Combining the currency and contextual richness of IAC content with Gale’s editorial expertise and its authoritative databases, along with Primary Source Media’s depth of digitized primary research materials, The Gale Group will be able to develop the new generation of compelling products.

Be assured that we will continue to support all of our current products, and that all subscriptions will be honored. There will be no abrupt changes ahead. Tune into <> to keep up with our integration process. We thank you for your support.

—InfoTrac News
November 1998


FirstSearch Success Story Winner

Rod Wagner, Director of the Nebraska Library Commission, drew the first winner for the FirstSearch Success Story drawing. The November winner is the Mullen Public Schools sent in by Jennifer Rice. Jennifer sent in a number of success stories from students. The Mullen Public Schools will receive $50 towards attendance at the 1999 NEMA-NLA convention. The winning story is: Through using FirstSearch we were able to find Wilma Rudolph’s autobiography, which we then ordered through the interlibrary loan.

Complete details including how to participate in the drawing can be found on our home page </netserv/fsclass/stories.html>. All of the stories submitted are located at: </netserv/fssuccess.html>. Other stories submitted include the following:

Norfolk Public Library

We had another patron (state trooper) who was taking a course in which he had to do a paper on terrorism. He needed the information "yesterday" and so I got him started on H.W. Wilson Select. He found just what he wanted but the articles were lengthy and he did not have enough money for copying charges. I asked him if he had an e-mail address. He did, so I simply e-mailed the articles to his e-mail address!

C A Dana-LIFE Library (Dana College - Blair)

Early this afternoon a student in the education program walked up to the information desk and asked where the 1996 and 1997 issues of "Educational Forum" could be found. I told them they should be downstairs with the bound periodicals. They replied that they had looked there and a number of the issues from that time period were missing. We then checked with the newer issues to see whether they might not have been moved downstairs. The missing issues were not there either. Finally we went on Wilson Select, a database provided to us by the Library Commission. Sure enough the missing issues were there online in full text. In the course of the afternoon five other students from the class came in and asked about the same journals. The professor knew we had "Educational Forum" in the library and had suggested they read the articles for class.

If it hadn’t have been for the databases provided by the Library Commission we would have had to tell the students that the issues were missing and they would have to order them by interlibrary loan. Beings we are only supposed to borrow a journal title a maximum of five times during the year we would have had to tell the sixth and any later students who requested the journals that we were unable to get them the articles. Not only do the databases provided in the OCLC package provide our students and faculty with many new sources of information, they also provide help when journals we own come up missing.

In just a matter of a few hours, six students were provided with information that they would not have had access to without the databases provided in the Nebraska Library Commission package.

—Allana Novotny
Nebraska Library Commission

New Telenet Links to FirstSearch TTY

Two new telnet links have been implemented to give FirstSearch users more convenient access to the FirstSearch administrative module, a text-based resource. The new links were added in response to requests from FirstSearch users for an easier way to access the current FirstSearch administrative module.

One new telnet link is on the OCLC Web site, from the Administrative Documentation section of the FirstSearch page. To access Administrative Documentation at <>, users must enter the User name: first and the Password: staff. Once in Administrative Documentation, the option Telnet Access to the FirstSearch TTY Version opens a telnet session and takes the user to the point of entering a FirstSearch authorization and password.

Now users can link to telnet for FirstSearch TTY access from either the Administrative Documentation or Log on to FirstSearch at the <> sections of the OCLC Web site.

A second new telnet link has been added to the FirstSearch Usage Statistics Online <>. This link, FirstSearch (TTY), appears at the bottom of many screens throughout the FirstSearch Usage Statistics Online.

With the release of the New FirstSearch in 1999, users will have Web access to all FirstSearch administrative functions, so the telnet links will no longer be needed.

—Sonya Thelin Oliver
OCLC Reference and Resource Sharing Division
Bits and Pieces: Electronic support news for OCLC users
November 1998, No. 221

New FirstSearch Browser Requirements

Now is a good time for FirstSearch libraries to prepare for the full release of New FirstSearch in August 1999. Users will access New FirstSearch with their Internet-accessible workstations and a World Wide Web (WWW) browser. The New FirstSearch will take advantage of several advanced features of HTML and will require WWW client/browser software that supports those features. WWW software must support the features so that users may navigate the interfaces and view their content correctly. New FirstSearch will be tested with and will perform correctly with:

Netscape Navigator 4.0 or higher

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher

Lynx version 1.6 or higher

OCLC recommends that users select Enable JavaScript or Run ActiveX Scripts in their browser to use the New FirstSearch most effectively.

Version 4.0 or higher browsers will be required for access to New FirstSearch administrative module, due to the use of Java scripts. Users must enable Java scripts within their browsers to use the administrative module.

Libraries that still need text-only access to New FirstSearch may reach the service through a text-only option. This will provide access to the New FirstSearch for users limited to telnet access or those on slow Internet connections. Being text-based, access will be faster than graphical access to FirstSearch. Users will have the option of using the standard Web browsers or a Lynx browser.

Users will not need to have Lynx software loaded on their machines to access the Lynx interface. OCLC will run Lynx on its machines so users need to have only telnet access. Users with VT100 or terminal interface equipment will be limited to viewing only text-based information and may be excluded from viewing PDF, HTML, or RIF formats at their local machines. Additional information about Lynx is available at <>.

—Sonya Thelin Oliver
OCLC Reference and Resource Sharing Division
Bits and Pieces: Electronic support news for OCLC users
November 1998, No. 221


Free Trial of OCLC ILL Direct Request Service

OCLC will be offering a free trial of ILL Direct Request Service during the months of January, February and March, 1999, to all member libraries. Reduce the amount of staff time spent on searching and keying interlibrary loan requests—with ILL Direct Request Service, interlibrary loan requests generated by patrons go directly to lenders. To use ILL Direct Request Service, your library must do the following:

1. Set up constant data records to use with the requests;

2. Choose libraries your library will borrow from and enter those in Custom Holdings Groups and Paths;

3. Set up Profiles to identify patrons who can use the Service and materials they can borrow;

4. Turn on the FirstSearch ILL option, or have an ISO-10161 compliant interlibrary loan web form;

5. Educate your patrons.

Requests that meet the Profiles you have established will be produced immediately and listed in you ILL Message File as Direct Produced. Requests that do not match the guidelines you have set out in the Profiles, will be placed in your ILL Message File under the Review status. Daily reports will be available also to help track activity on this Service. The normal charge for this service is $.90/transaction which is slightly less than the charges for manually entering interlibrary loan requests.

There will be an informational meeting on OCLC ILL Direct Request Service on Tuesday, January 4, from 1-3 p.m., at the Nebraska Library Commission. For more information about ILL Direct Request Service, see OCLC’s Web site <> or contact Devra Dragos, NEBASE OCLC Member Services Coordinator, 402-471-4021 or 800-307-2665, e-mail: Devra Dragos .

—Devra Dragos
Nebraska Library Commission

Additional Data in OCLC ILL Management Statistics

The OCLC ILL Management Statistics now contain data that can be of great use to your borrowing operation. OCLC now includes data that indicates from a filled request where the lender symbol occurred in the five possible positions. The field includes a number from one to five. One indicates the library that filled the request was in the first position; five indicates the fifth position. You can use this simple yet powerful piece of information almost immediately.

To get the most from this data, sort the field. If you have many fives, you may need to work on your Custom Holdings or on selection of lenders. If you have had many ones, then your lender selection is on target. Review libraries marked three or four; perhaps you need to move them up in the Custom Holdings selection. Once you make these modifications, you should expect to see improved turnaround time.

—Tony Melvyn,
OCLC Reference & Resource Sharing [edited]

OCLC ILL Micro Enhancer for Windows Ver. 2.0 Update

OCLC is pleased to announce that development of Ver 2.0 of the ILL Micro Enhancer is starting soon. Production is anticipated in the first half of 1999. The end of support for ILL ME for Windows Ver 1.0 has not been discussed. Users dependent on OCLC Multidrop access lines will be limited to using Ver 1.0 until they migrate to another access method.

ILL ME Ver. 2.0 will be a 32-bit software program requiring Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0. It will support all the TCP/IP access options but will not support OCLC Multidrop access or TLP. The new version will fix errors in the current version, update functions to match enhancements to the OCLC ILL service, and include many user requested enhancements.

This version will not include an ILL management component. The type and number of advances in OCLC’s resource sharing arena make it necessary to delay development of this feature at this time. There will be minimal retrieve file structure changes. The file formats will be shared with the third-party developers and members who request them.

ILL ME Ver. 2.0 functionality will include the OCLC ILL service enhancements installed since Ver. 1.0 was released. It will download, save, and print the new Message File categories: Direct Produced, Online Produced, Review in Process, and Save. Users will be able to update ILL records to the Save status. Version 2.0 will automatically update Review records to Review in Process and remove Direct and Online Produced records during the download process. It will download and display the ILL Direct Request history information with Review records.

A redesigned Session List will facilitate "ILL triage." Users will be able to quickly view the downloaded ILL records and either print, transfer to an update category, and/or view next or previous records from a full record display. Already transferred records will display the update category in the record number list.

Other possible enhancements:

Multiple conditional lending notes

Scheduling multiple download sessions

Editing lending charges record by record

ASCII file output of download and ASCII import to update categories

Printing multiple copies at download

As development continues, OCLC will announce additional details.

—Judith Carter
OCLC Reference and Resource Sharing

CatMe Local File for Record Storage—An Alternative to the Online Cataloging Save File

The Cataloging Micro Enhancer (CatME) for Windows software includes a local file for record storage. You can store the records on your hard drive or Local Area Network. Files can be shared among staff members, and records can be moved from file to file. You can store up to 9,999 records in each file, and you can have as many files as you want.

Local files can be searched by author, title, OCLC control number, LCCN, and ISBN. You can limit your search by different status codes to retrieve records that are at the same point in your workflow. And, you can list all records in the file. Records can be sorted in various orders such as date/time they were added to the file, author, title, local number, and OCLC control number. The online Cataloging Save file is limited to a single sort order and retrieval by the save file number.

As with all computer files, it is important to regularly make a back up of your CatME local files. You can use Windows Explorer to make a copy of the entire file. Another option is to make a copy of the records in the file and copy them to a backup file by selecting and copying the records within CatME for Windows.

Records stay in the CatME local file until you delete them. You do not need to worry about records being deleted after 14 days as is the case with records in the online Cataloging Save file. If you have found that the 14-day timer in the online file is not sufficient, maybe you should give CatME a try.

The CatME software is available to all OCLC Cataloging members at no extra charge as part of the OCLC Access Suite. To download the software, obtain the order form, or see more information about the product, see the CatME home page at <> or the OCLC Access Suite download site at <>.

—David Whitehair
OCLC Product Management and Implementation Division
Bits and Pieces: Electronic support news for OCLC users
November 1998, No. 221


The Library of Congress and the National Library of Canada are pleased to announce that the harmonized USMARC and CAN/MARC formats will be published in a single edition in early 1999 under a new name: MARC 21. The name both points to the future as we move into the 21st century and suggests the international character of the format, which is appropriate and important given its expanding worldwide use.

MARC 21 is not a new format. From 1994-1997 the USMARC and CAN/MARC user communities worked to eliminate all remaining differences in their two already-similar formats. Compatibility had been a feature of the development processes for both formats for many years. In 1997 and early 1998, updates to the formats were issued that made the format specifications identical. MARC 21, a continuation of both USMARC and CAN/MARC, publishes the formats in one edition under a new name.

Further announcements on the publication of the new editions of the five formats that make up the MARC 21 family of formats—Bibliographic, Authority, Holdings, Classification, and Community Information—will be made when printing of each is completed over the next year. The National Library of Canada will also produce simultaneously a French edition of MARC 21. For further information on the shared format, see the official format. Web sites at these locations:



—Rich Greene
OCLC Product Management and Implementation Division
Bits and Pieces: Electronic support news for OCLC users
November 1998, No. 221

Contents Note Editing Capability

OCLC has long encouraged users to enrich bibliographic records by adding contents notes to records without them. The addition of a contents note results in a Database Enrichment credit. Because contents notes are often lengthy and involved, typographical errors are common. These errors are easy to overlook and, with the advent of keyword searching of notes, may hinder access. Until now, Full mode users have been prevented from correcting contents notes and must instead report any errors to OCLC.

Beginning immediately, OCLC users with authorization level Full and above will be able to lock and replace records to edit contents notes (USMARC field 505). This allows the correction of typographical errors in contents notes, as well as the filling in of incomplete contents notes, without reporting those records to OCLC. Such replaces will result in a Database Enrichment credit when the institution’s symbol does not already appear in the 040 field. Users can continue to add contents notes to records that lack them, but cannot add additional 505 fields. All other Database Enrichment edits continue to be allowed in conjunction with this change. Please see the Cataloging User Guide, 2nd edition, Chapter 6 for details on locking and replacing records and on Database Enrichment.

This new capability is now automatically available to users of OCLC CatME for Windows, OCLC CJK software, and OCLC Passport software users without workstation software changes.

—Jay Weitz
OCLC Product Management &

New OCLC Macros Available

You may download the following macros from OCLC’s Web site:

This macro will create Dewey Cutters for you using either the Cutter Four-Figure Table or the Cutter-Sanborn Four-Figure Table.

Use these macros to process the new ILL Message File Categories: Online Produce and Direct Produce.


Multidrop Access Will End March 31, 2000

OCLC is pleased to announce March 31, 2000 as its end date for the multidrop. The migration to TCP/IP access methods is moving along quite well. Multidrop now constitutes less than 30% of OCLC’s overall traffic.

As libraries migrate from the old facilities, these shared "party line" style facilities become increasingly difficult to cost-justify. OCLC has moved up the end date to keep telecommunications costs as low as possible, and to insulate TCP/IP users from the financial impacts of those who are not ready to migrate.

Some sites do not share multidrop facilities with anyone else. Under OCLC’s standardized National Telecommunications Prices, the fees collected from these sites do not recover their related costs. As OCLC prunes its multidrop network and discovers these scattered lone institution sites, Network staff will contact members to encourage them to migrate as soon as possible.

Please direct your questions or concerns about this date change to Devra Dragos, 402-471-4021 or 800-307-2665, e-mail: Devra Dragos .

—Shirley Hyatt
OCLC Product Marketing Division
Bits and Pieces: Electronic support news for OCLC users
November 1998, No. 221

OCLC Communications and Access Planning Guide, 1998 Edition

The new OCLC Communications and Access Planning Guide, 1998 Edition, is available online at <>.


OCLC Users Council Discusses the Future of the Information Industry

The October 4-6 OCLC Users Council meeting focused on new technology and what it will mean to libraries and OCLC in the coming years.

The topic of the meeting was "Digital Libraries: Looking at the Future of the Information Industry." It was the first of three meetings under the 1998/99 annual theme "Digital Library Futures: Libraries, OCLC and New Models of Cooperation."

Users Council president Brad Baker—university librarian, Ronald Williams Library, Northeastern Illinois University—said that the goals of the 1998/99 Users Council include discussing the rapidly expanding variety of digital information resources and their impacts on libraries, networks and OCLC; studying how all types of libraries are balancing new and traditional collections and services; and reviewing OCLC’s activities in contributing to the development and deployment of the digital library.

"We need to examine the technological trends that are affecting libraries everywhere," said Mr. Baker. "By working together, we can help assure that OCLC member libraries have the information and systems they need to remain on the vanguard of information services as we enter the 21st century."

In an important step for Users Council and OCLC Asia Pacific Services, Janine Schmidt, university librarian, University of Queensland (Australia), attended the meeting as an observer from the Asia Pacific region. Network and regional representation to Users Council is based on contributions to WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog). Ms. Schmidt’s presence indicates that Asia Pacific is close to having its first representative on the council.

Users Council honored two people with resolutions. Delegates applauded Marshall Keys for his contributions to OCLC and libraries in general as a delegate to Users Council and as executive director of the NELINET network. Mr. Keys, who has announced his retirement from the network, was attending his final meeting as a delegate. Users Council also honored Liz Bishoff, former vice president, OCLC Member Services, for her work with OCLC and as a member of the American Library Association’s executive board.

A study group chaired by Merryll Penson recommended the establishment of a task force on OCLC WorldCat to consider issues related to the addition of complete holdings information to the database and the use of records. The task force will discuss these issues at the January Users Council meeting and make recommendations to the Users Council executive committee by May 1999.

The three-day meeting featured these speakers:

Jay Jordan, OCLC president and chief executive officer, opened the meeting by reporting on his first five months at OCLC. "In visiting libraries this summer, it was clear to me that OCLC is valued as a membership organization for the value it has delivered over the past 30 years and, perhaps more so, for the value it can deliver over the next 30," he said.

Clifford Lynch, executive director, Coalition for Networked Information, delivered an address on "Information Technology and Evolving Library Futures." "I think we may be a little constrained in our thinking about what constitutes the information technology sphere," he said. "We need to recognize that there are a lot of new components." Mr. Lynch cited e-mail, net-conferenced meetings and digital video as being among the newer media that pose new opportunities and challenges for libraries.

Terry Noreault, director, OCLC Office of Research and Special Projects, spoke on "Computing and Information Technology: Looking at the Future" in which he predicted some coming trends for information and library science. "Metadata, which is cataloging by a new name, is going to be an increasingly important thing," he said. "Of particular importance is the ability for us to integrate our MARC data, our form of metadata in libraries, with other forms of metadata that exist in other communities—for instance, the geospatial and museum communities."

Rick Weingarten, senior policy fellow, ALA Washington Office, presented "International Political Developments Affecting the Digital Library." "As they move into cyberspace, libraries will have to renegotiate their roles," he said. "Libraries are creatures of information policy. It guides what they do from day to day. Policy shapes the technology and information services they use, and information policy is globalizing."

In a talk titled "Publishing: Looking at the Future," Kate Wittenberg, editor-in-chief, Columbia University Press, said, "Most publishers would agree that there is definitely a future for print publications, however, what kinds of materials continue to be published in print will depend on the characteristics of the content. Publishers are realizing what end users have known—certain materials are appropriate for print, others are not."

In addition, Phyllis B. Spies, OCLC vice president, Worldwide Sales, updated delegates on OCLC’s recent activities, and Rick Schwieterman, OCLC vice president, Finance and Human Resources, provided an overview of OCLC finances.

In small groups, Users Council delegates discussed emerging global trends and developments affecting OCLC libraries. Jerry Stephens, librarian and director, Mervyn H. Sterne Library, University of Alabama-Birmingham, summarized those discussions in a general session for the delegates.

The next OCLC Users Council meeting will be held Jan. 10-12.

Minutes from OCLC Users Council meetings, from October 1990 through the May 1998 meeting, are available on the Internet. Minutes from the October 1998 meeting will be available by November 15. To receive meeting minutes via the Internet, send a message to <>. Commands should be typed on separate lines in the body of the message, not in the subject line. Enter the command, index uc, to receive the index of archived minutes. Enter get minutes.[monthyear] for the desired meeting minutes. For example, enter the command get minutes.oct98 to receive a copy of the October 1998 Users Council meeting minutes.

The Users Council comprises librarians from networks and other partners whose contributions to WorldCat qualify them for membership. Representing the various interests of OCLC member libraries, delegates ratify amendments to the Code of Regulations and advise OCLC on strategic direction.



OCLC and WLN Begin Negotiations to Merge

On October 21, 1998, OCLC and WLN announced the signing of a letter of intent that could lead, following negotiations, to the merger of WLN and OCLC.

WLN, a nonprofit corporation, serves 550 libraries in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. and Canada from its office in Lacey, Washington. OCLC is a nonprofit corporation based in Dublin, Ohio, which serves over 30,000 libraries in 65 countries.

The letter of intent results from extended discussions, started in April, between board chairs and senior management of each organization. According to the letter of intent, subject to satisfactory negotiations and approvals by both boards of trustees, the merger would result in the following:

The parties hope to conclude an agreement and complete the transaction by early 1999.

"The move toward a merger developed because of a growing realization by both WLN and OCLC that an increasing number of libraries were using the services of both organizations and that a carefully thought-out merger might best serve the needs of all of our libraries," said Paul McCarthy, president and CEO of WLN. "A merger can ensure the delivery of a greater number of products and services to each of our memberships on a much more cost-effective basis. We are excited at the prospect of the synergy between the staffs of the two companies. We think this synergy, especially in our IT efforts, will allow us together to more effectively meet a wide range of information needs for libraries now and in the future."

"We at OCLC believe that libraries and their users have much to gain from a combined WLN/OCLC," said Jay Jordan, OCLC president and CEO. "WLN libraries will join OCLC’s digital, global community for cataloging, resource sharing and reference services. And, OCLC member libraries will benefit from the inclusion of important libraries in the Pacific Northwest in the OCLC network. Working together, WLN and OCLC will eliminate duplicate services, introduce new integrated services, and lower costs for member libraries."

WLN is a nonprofit corporation devoted to the provision of innovative and high-quality information products and services, including an online bibliographic database, Internet services, CD-ROM catalogs, database preparation/authority control services, and collection assessment services <>.

OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization whose computer network and services link more than 30,000 libraries in 65 countries and territories.


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