Nebraska Library Commission
          Network Services

                november/december 1996 vol.2 no. issn1082-4383

Where in the World is Galileo?
Guest Columnist: John Reidelbach
Five Month Trial: Just the Facts
The Good, the Bad, the Apple

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


August 22-23, 1996

The goal of this retreat was to provide a setting for librarians to talk with one another about resource sharing projects, specifically (1) to identify resource sharing projects which are currently in place in Nebraska, (2) to dream aloud about expanding these or adding others, (3) to identify limitations and barriers to resource sharing, and (4) to brainstorm about the ways we might overcome these barriers. The retreat was attended by 34 librarians representing public, academic, school, and special libraries as well as library systems.

Keynote speaker, Kate Nevins, Executive Director of SOLINET, set the tone of the dialogue by describing several resource sharing projects (GALILEO, VIVA, LOUIS and MONTICELLO) which have been set in motion in the SOLINET network. Bill Miller, Department of Administrative Services, Director of the Nebraska Divisions of Communication and Central Data Processing, provided an overview and update on the state of telecommunications in Nebraska and Deonne Bruning, Legal Counsel, Public Services Commission, demystified the "Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996." The general feeling of the audience was enthusiasm: Kate inspired us with her examples, Bill showed us that the blocks are in place with which we may now build our unified vision into reality, and Deonne explained the challenges and opportunities inherent in the Telecommunications Act.

The vision: ONE NEBRASKA
Participants spoke of "One Nebraska," the resources of all being one resource for all. This is the virtual or electronic library of Nebraska and includes:
• access from home, school, business office, or library;
• information is available anywhere, anytime, to anyone;
• seamless access to the electronic holdings of the whole state's library system;
• supportive policies, i.e. statewide mandate for library service.

Building blocks
We must start with our greatest resource: the librarians. Here we have the commitment to provide quality library service to all citizens. Here also resides the ideas and knowledge needed to make this vision a reality. It was generally agreed that we must all buy into this project in order for it to be a success. It may be necessary, as it was in the SOLINET projects, for librarians to set aside individual goals to achieve the vision of "One Nebraska." For example, if it is our goal to bring all libraries up to a basic level, then we must be willing to place a great deal of resources toward this, accepting that there may be a minimum payback to individual libraries but an incredible payback to Nebraska libraries as a whole and to our customers, the citizens of Nebraska.

We need to expand our resource sharing projects and models which are already in place. Continued communication is necessary for us to identify those projects most suited for statewide expansion. We must be willing to give up ownership of projects, and experiment with new formats.

We must minimize duplication whenever possible. An example of this is the Summer Reading Program. Librarians agree on a theme and buy in bulk hence saving staff resources as well as pooling economic power. Another example of this is the FirstSearch Group Purchase. Up to 18 users may access FirstSearch at the participating libraries, a number which no individual library in the group could have afforded on its own. It was suggested that this same concept of "buying in bulk" might be applied to other purchases including computer hardware.

The Nebraska Library Commission is seen as the facilitator in these projects. Participants specifically identified the Commission as the agent for facilitating training, purchasing and the forming of interest groups and consortia. The Commission also has a role in facilitating partnerships beyond libraries.

Barriers and Solutions:
• State aid effort
• Seek outside funding, e.g. grants
• Unify our efforts
• Publicize our stories
• Identify advocates
• Be advocates for ourselves

• Pursue statewide library service mandate
• Pursue interjurisdictional agreements
• Educate policymakers; connect!
• Address hot topics, use buzzwords
• Have one voice; there is strength in numbers
• Use past successes to illustrate benefits, e.g. group purchasing
• Do things until we are stopped or "When do we need permission?"

• Training for staff
• Grass roots participation
• Increase communication across library types and outside libraries
• Agree to find solutions

• Promote effective use and diffusion of technology
• Use the expertise of our communities, including the young and the retirees
• On-demand technical support and help desk
• On-the-road training

Next Steps
• Develop a vision
• Create a succinct document from the vision
• Communicate and market
• Seek out funding

In summary, we must:
• Develop a vision statement and a plan;
• Address barriers and offer solutions;
• Make a succinct statement with one voice;
• Communicate and advocate;
• Seek champions;
• Pursue funding; and

Communication An emphasis was placed on the importance of communication. Communication must be broad-based so that as many people as possible are able to give feedback, approval and eventually "buy-in." Without this, participants feared we could not be successful.

-Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission


GALILEO (Georgia Library Learning Online) is the collaborative product of a group of dedicated librarians at 34 institutions in the University System of Georgia. Through GALILEO the University System of Georgia is delivering journal citations, abstracts and full-text information to students at these institutions. In order to achieve this goal, the dreamer and worker librarians had to agree upon a set of guiding principles. The founding members of GALILEO all agree that without group adherence to these principles GALILEO would not have been possible. These principles were shared with those who attended the Resource Sharing Dialogue Retreat. It was suggested by some that we consider adhering to these principles or similar principles as we work toward making our vision a reality.

Let's help everyone, or
System-wide benefit

All for one and one for all, or
Affect as nearly as possible all 34 institutions

We all have "these," or
Focus on undergraduate education

There are no $200 hammers, or
Maximize use of resources

It's okay that I didn't get one, or
Continue building on the positive relationships

If we do it right now, we might get more later, or
Building foundation for future endeavors

We deliver, or
Build in accountability and assessment

No, we can't change it now, or
Work with the proposal as put forth

No "Yah Yah Yah'ing, or
Discussions on issues are encouraged (in fact, required), but once consensus is reached, then we move on

Don't air your dirty laundry, or
Discussions/disagreements remain "in-house"

-Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission


Suggestions from the Trenches

Many readers may already know that the Nebraska Library Commission has arranged for a five month trial (January-May 1997, See "Five Month Trial: Just the Facts" p.5) of various electronic products. Based on past personal experience, communications from these vendors will lead you to believe, that like television commercials for a well known brand of spaghetti sauce, whatever you want in their product "it's (already) in there." I strongly urge colleagues who have the time and interest to peer beyond the bells and whistles of the vendor offerings and empower yourself by utilizing this exceptional opportunity to give the product(s) of your choice a real "road test" to learn the advantages/disadvantages of these databases for your library and your customers.

To assist in developing your own local evaluation efforts, I offer the following topics as examples of issues to consider, fully cognizant that certain items may be more relevant to some types and sizes of libraries than others. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but hopefully it will serve as an aid in getting your own thinking started in determining what is important in your environment.

1. Number of titles in the database
Vendors offer literature indicating that they have "x" number of titles in their product with "y" number being full text and "z" number being full image. What they may not tell you is that this number may include some titles that have recently ceased, those with title changes, etc., thus inflating their gross title count.

2. Database coverage lists
Does the vendor's database list include information concerning when indexing began for each title as well as start dates for full text and full image when appropriate? How often are printed title lists updated for customers? Are title lists automatically distributed to all customers when updated? Are current title lists available online via the Internet or the World Wide Web?

3. Number of titles in various subject categories
If you are examining a general database, it may be useful to know what percentage of the database is devoted to subjects of a greater or lesser importance to your library and customers such as humanities, social sciences, sciences, etc.

4. Number of titles available in full text
What titles are available in full text and when does this coverage begin for each title? Inquire about the currency of the full text. How soon is full text available from publications included in the database? Is full text imported electronically into the database from publishers or keyed in by in-house or other personnel or some combination of these situations?

5. Extent of full text coverage
Regardless of whether full text is claimed as "cover to cover" or something less than that, closely scrutinize whatever claim is made. For example, is full text provided only at the article level or is coverage also available for book reviews, advertisements, want ads, letters to the editor, etc? Exceptions to full text coverage should be clearly spelled out in product literature. Randomly view full text for yourself to determine whether sentences as well as paragraphs are complete and/or garbled. How far back is full text available for each title in the database?

6. Full image availability
How does the vendor handle full image, if at all? Are images available to view on screen? What is the clarity of the image? Can the image be magnified, if desired? Can images be printed anywhere or is special hardware needed? Are tables, charts and graphs included and displayed? What titles are available in full image and when does this coverage begin for each title?

7. System availability
What is the documented record of system availability? What events have caused the system to be unavailable in the past twelve months? What was done to correct outages that were under the control of the vendor? How often, and at what time, is the system taken down because of system maintenance? How much advance notice do customers receive of planned downtime?

8. Abstracts
Are abstracts provided for 100% of the articles indexed in the database? Are abstracts written by in-house personnel, author supplied or some combination of these situations?

9. Printing/downloading search results
Can patrons print all records or only marked records if desired? Can the entire article, or only selected portions, be printed? How does the vendor handle local printing of full text with images? Can such images be printed at any printer, or must the results be sent to one centralized print station? Does the vendor provide the capability of e-mailing complete or partial search results if desired? Does the vendor provide an option for downloading citations and/or full text to a diskette? What options exist for the library to charge for printing search results if desired?

10. Local holdings
Does the vendor provide a method to indicate your local journal holdings in their database? How easy is it to view, mark, modify and update local holdings? What limitation is placed on the length of the holdings statement a library can use? How current is the vendor's journal holdings database? How often is the journal holdings database updated? How does a library find out about updates in journal lists? Are journal lists available for downloading via the World Wide Web? What options exist for downloading this information? Under what circumstances might the journal holdings database be more current that a printed list of titles from the vendor?

11. Statistical information
What type of statistical data is available from the vendor related to usage of the database at your library? How often is this data available (e.g. monthly, quarterly, annually)? In what manner is this data supplied to a library (e.g. printed, electronic)? Can the vendor cumulate this data for any desired period of time up to a twelve month period of your choice? Can the data be exported into a database, spreadsheet and/or word processing program for local manipulation if desired?

12. Training
How much and what type of training does the vendor furnish to new as well as ongoing customers? Is some or all training free? Is some or all training provided locally? Are user guides available in print or electronically as desired? Do these guides cover all interfaces provided by the vendor whether on CD-ROM, Internet, or the World Wide Web?

13. References
Ask the vendor for references of current customers familiar with the product you are evaluating. Follow-up with references to determine whether the vendor provides world class or third class service. Inquire about some of the issues raised above such as experiences with system availability, training, journal holdings updating, technical support assistance, value of vendor supplied usage data, ease of system use from the library and patron points of view. Does the vendor visit and/or call the customer on some regular basis to learn of problems, concerns, or needs of the customer? Perhaps most important of all, how quickly, thoroughly and accurately has the vendor responded regarding inquiries of various types from customers?

14. Vendor-customer communication
What options do you have for communicating with the vendor, e.g. 800#, e-mail, World Wide Web? Does the vendor maintain an up-to-date Home Page on the World Wide Web with links to topics such as frequently asked questions, new product announcements, vendor newsletters, the latest lists of titles in various databases, etc? Does the vendor offer moderated or unmoderated listservs for exchanging questions or comments from customers? For libraries without Web access, how does the vendor communicate this information to its customers?

My final advice is to ASK QUESTIONS, verify the response, ASK MORE QUESTIONS and verify the response again. You might say that I am skeptical of vendor claims and promises and you would be right! If you are interested in similar databases (such as a general periodical indexing and abstracting service) from two or more vendors, I recommend comparing many of the above mentioned items if time allows. In particular, I strongly urge you to repeat the same search terms in similar products and closely examine your results. Based upon my personal experience, such results can be significantly different. Ask the vendor to explain the differences in your search results. Why did one database provide "x" number of hits and another database "y" number of hits. As I mentioned above, check out the explanation you receive to verify the response. The only way for you to find out if what you have been told orally and/or in print is accurate is to check out the details for yourself.

-John Reidelbach
Chair, Collections Management
University Library
University of Nebraska at Omaha


The Nebraska Library Commission is coordinating a five month trial of database providers including EBSCO Publishing, Gale Research, H.W. Wilson, Information Access Company (IAC) and UMI. The trial period is scheduled from January 1 through May 31, 1997. The following fact sheet should provide basic information about the vendors as well as contacts who can answer your specific questions about each information provider. For questions about the trial in general please call Allana Novotny, 402-371-6681 or 800-307-2665, e-mail: Allana Novotny .

Database Trial Fact Sheet

Trial Dates: January 1, to May 31, 1997. (UMI will only be available for a 45-day trial within the five months.)

Vendors: EBSCO, Gale, H. W. Wilson, IAC, and UMI.

Databases Available:
EBSCO: EBSCOHost Master File Full Text 1000.

Gale: Encyclopedia of Associations, Biography and Genealogy master Index, Gale Business Resource, Gale Directory of Databases, Research Centers and Services, Gale Ready Reference Shelf, Gale Career Guidance System, Super LCCS, Contemporary Authors, Discovering Authors Modules, Discovering Multicultural America, and What do I Read Next.

H.W. Wilson: Applied Science & Technology Abstracts, Art Abstracts, Biological & Agricultural Index, Biography Index, Book Review Digest, Wilson Business Abstracts, Cumulative Book Index, Education Abstracts, Essay & General Literature Index, General Science Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, Index to Legal Periodicals & Books, Library Literature, Readers' Guide Abstracts, and Social Sciences Abstracts.

IAC: General Business File, General Reference Center, and Health Reference Center.

UMI: ABI/INFORM-Global Edition, Periodical Abstracts-Research II Edition, Resource/One, and Newspaper Abstracts.

Gale: Yes.
H.W. Wilson: Yes for Wilson Business Abstracts, General Science Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, Readers' Guide Abstracts, and Social Sciences Abstracts.
IAC: Yes.
UMI: Yes where ASCII full-text is available.

EBSCO: None.
Gale: None.
H. W. Wilson: None.
IAC: None.
UMI: None for standard access. Additional services can be purchased.

How do you sign up?
Contact the appropriate sales representatives:

J. David Bethune
EBSCO Publishing
800-653-2726, ext. 229

Dee Cooper
Regional Licensing Manager
Gale Research
4147 Trumbull Unit #2
Detroit, MI 48028
800-877-4253, ext. 1787

H. W. Wilson:
Jeanne Spala
Databases Licensing Representative
H. W. Wilson Company
P. O. Box 187
Artesia, CA 90702-0187
800-367-6770, ext. 2703

Contact the appropriate person:
Public Libraries:
Don Kennedy
362 Lakeside Drive
Foster City, CA 94404
800-227-8431, ext. 5349

Academic Libraries:
Mike Knee
362 Lakeside Drive
Foster City, CA 94404
800-227-8431, ext. 5323

Contact the appropriate person:
Public Libraries:

Darrin Martin
708-820-3055 or
800-521-0600, ext. 2070

Academic Libraries:
Harold E. Way
913-491-3268 or
800-521-0600, ext. 2024
e-mail: HWAY@UMI.COM

Elementary and Secondary Schools:
Jay Ordoyne
612-825-4133 or
800-521-0600, ext. 3712

-Allana Novotny
Nebraska Library Commission


As a follow-up to our visioning and resource sharing discussion, the Nebraska Library Commission has arranged for a demonstration of two products: WebZ and CPS. WebZ is an OCLC product which allows a library user to search catalogs and databases using a single interface. CPS is a system which allows searching of online library catalogs and patron initiated Interlibrary Loan (ILL). If you want to see these products and learn more about how they might help us make our vision a reality, please see the information below. (For more about WebZ see article on p.13 entitled "CIC and OCLC building a Virtual Electronic Library.")

Learn about OCLC's WebZ and CPS Systems, Inc. Sponsored by the Nebraska Library Commission

Come join us on November 7 at the Nebraska Library Commission Crane Room or November 13, at the Gering Civic Center for a demonstration of OCLC's WebZ and CPS Systems, Inc. software. No charge for the demonstration. Lunch is on your own. Four hours C.E. credit.

Nebraska Library Commission 9:30 A.M. Registration
10 A.M.-noon WebZ Demonstration
noon-1 P.M. Lunch (on your own)
1-3 P.M. CPS Systems, Inc. Demonstration

Gering Civic Center 9:30 A.M. Registration
10 A.M.-noon CPS Systems, Inc. Demonstration
noon-1 P.M. Lunch (on your own)
1-3 P.M. WebZ Demonstration

WebZ is an HTTP Server and a gateway to Z39.50 servers that can provide you with one interface to a number of databases and catalogs. The WebZ demo Web Page is located at

CPS Systems, Inc. software allows you to create a "virtual union catalog" and ILL system. Their Home Page is located at Register early with Jeannette Powell! Space is limited.


Listserv lists, discussion groups, news groups-whatever you call them-continue to be a valuable resource for library staff. A comprehensive list of these resources that relate to libraries is available for ready reference on the Internet. Titled Library-Oriented Lists and Electronic Serials, the list is located at the following URL: A plain ASCII version is available at: gopher://

The ASCII version can be obtained via e-mail by sending the message GET LIBRARY LISTS F=MAIL to: Do not include any other text in the message.

Currently, there are over 230 entries in the directory, covering library topics from acquisitions to Z39.50, cataloging to CD-ROM, and many things in between. There are lists for various types of libraries: public, special, law, medical, music, etc. There are system and vendor-related lists: Ariel, Dynix, CARL, FirstSearch; seven for the NOTIS system alone!

The web version provides two basic listings: one by subject and one in alphabetical order by list name. Instructions on how to subscribe to each list are included. You can also view a list of those which are available as Usenet newsgroups.

This pioneering and ever-useful resource was started by Charles Bailey, Jr., Assistant Director for Systems at the University of Houston Libraries, also founder and initial moderator of the noted PACS-L (Public Access Computer Systems) list. He maintained, revised, and frequently published it from 1990-1994. Since then, it has been maintained by Ann Thornton and Steve Bonario. Last updated June 1, 1995, it is probably due for a revision any day now. Check it out!

-Will Stuivenga
AMIGOS Agenda & OCLC Connection


My Grandma always taught me to write a bread and butter letter after you've been a guest in someone's home. Several Library Commission staff have been to your "homes" training you on the Internet and we want to collectively thank you for your hospitality. From the coffee to the fresh doughnuts, you've treated us so well that we'll definitely come back. We've been able to renew and make new acquaintances and learn the faces that match names we've talked to on the phone.

The Internet training modules have been road tested since the end of July with more workshops scheduled into the beginning of winter so if your town isn't listed-take heart-we're probably scheduled to visit you soon. To date-here are the award winning places in our hearts and stomachs. To find out about Internet training, contact your system administrator.

Best Place for lunch: Desserts and More, Kearney, tied with the Chanticleer Drive-In, Ord
Most comfortable Hotel: Arrow Inn, Broken Bow
Best place for dinner: Peppermill, Valentine
Best Pie: Jack and Laura Jones' house (Julie Pinnell's parents), Ainsworth
Most smiles from community members: Broken Bow
Best local radio: Valentine
Best computer training lab: Bellevue University, Bellevue
Best sandwich: hot roast beef sandwich at the Back Rib, Hastings
First class to report 100% Internet connectivity: Southeast Library System, Lincoln
Best place to stop and rest in route to anywhere: Grand Island
Respectfully submitted and happy to revise.

-Lisa Brawner
Nebraska Library Commission



Ways to Use Collection Assessment Information in Budget Justification
The process of examining a library collection through assessment, evaluation of the results, and identifying priority actions is also a process of developing a statement of needs. Then money is acquired to purchase the library resources that fulfill the needs. Usually money is more successfully acquired after providing effective justification, or links, from the budget document to the statement of needs for library resources.

Whatever method is used to review and describe the collection, during evaluation the librarian will develop some statements about what the collection should contain in order to meet its goals for service. Changing narrative statements of need into numbers and dollar amounts is easier if the needs are stated as numerical collection goal levels. In the conspectus and RLG assessment methods goals are stated as numerical levels. There are guidelines about how many titles from the total publishing output are recommended to meet each level. The guidelines also address varieties of formats. A librarian can relate the goal level within a subject to the adequate amount of money that will purchase resources.

In a simplified example, for a library that wants to provide resources at the Basic Information Level (Level 2) which supports the needs of general library users through the first two years of college instruction, the desirable percentage of holdings in relation to publishing output is 5-10% of the U.S. annual publishing output. In 1995, 1162 business books were published at an average cost of $38.22 hardcover. If the library achieves its goals it will purchase 58-116 titles, spending $2216-4433 on hardcover books in the subject of business.

Most public libraries provide resources at a Definition Level (Level 1) which introduces and defines a subject. 1-5% of the 44,857 books published in 1995 U.S. book publishing output in 1995 is a desirable range to meet this goal level. At 1995 prices the example library would purchase 448-2242 titles, spending $14,909-74,613. If this library wanted to provide a level 1 resource of business books, they might plan to purchase 11-58 titles, spending $420-2216.

Publishing output and prices are reported annually in Publishers Weekly and the Bowker Annual of Library and Book Trade Information. American Libraries reports annually on serials and periodicals prices. Vendors such as Faxon and EBSCO issue reports throughout the year on changes in periodical price indexes.

These examples above show very broad ranges. Local needs will define a narrower range for the library's specific goals. Few collections need equal coverage in all subjects. A librarian can work with numbers in ways meaningful to a local library by tuning the details about what goes into the mix of resources. The librarian will do some "what if" thinking about usage patterns. For example, what if the library becomes a support center for a college extension campus? Will that change the goals in some subjects? How many titles and how much money are needed to meet that goal?

Other things taken into consideration are what information formats the library needs. Periodical, CD-ROM, paperback books, and video prices increase at different rates from hardcover books. For a library limited to a no-growth budget the pattern of erosion on book materials caused by periodical price increases can be devastating. Mixing the formats of information to include titles available in formats with relatively stable prices might be an option for cushioning the effects of inflation.

Publishing trends affect the ability to provide materials. Information about those trends, percentage increases, new formats and technology, can be expressed as numbers of dollars required in the library budget. When the amounts are clearly connected to numerical goals targeted to serve library customers the result is a needs statement with punch.

-Burns Davis
Nebraska Library Commission



All of us are involved, to one degree or another, in the chaos of the Information Age. This process includes new computers and Internet access for most of us. If your recent activity includes Internet access and you are currently a Dial Access user or have a dedicated line but would like another workstation for light OCLC activity, you have another option for accessing OCLC: the Internet.

Internet access to OCLC uses your current authorizations and passwords and can be set up as soon as you have a computer with Internet access. Internet connect charges are $3.60 per connect hour as opposed to $6.90 for Compuserv and $9.60 for the OCLC watts for Dial Access users and $128.00 per terminal per month for dedicated line users. The Dial Access Authorization fee of $120.00 for cataloging libraries and $50.00 for NEON libraries is dropped with Internet access. There are no Internet connect charges for Reference services which includes FirstSearch activity via the World Wide Web. There is no difference in the PRISM service itself via Internet vs. Dial Access or Dedicated Line. The OCLC commands and functionality are still the same. The major difference is the cost and reliability of your Internet connection.

You will need to be able to determine the exact cost of accessing OCLC via the Internet. The $3.60 per hour connect charge is the OCLC portion but the actual cost of the Internet access to your library should also be taken into consideration in order to determine if the Internet is really a cost effective means of access. You will also need to determine the reliability of your Internet connection and the critical nature of reliable OCLC access to your library. OCLC recommends that you do retain a backup access method. Not all libraries have to have access to OCLC every minute that they are open for business. For example, we at the Library Commission tested our Internet reliability for a couple of months before making the switch to Internet about a year ago. Things were great until the Olympics came to Atlanta this summer. Our lines slowed down to almost a crawl in the afternoons so we adjusted our schedules a bit for the duration of the games.

If the cost of accessing OCLC via the Internet is more cost-effective for your library than your current method, if your Internet connection is reliable, if you do not have a critical need to access OCLC at any given moment, or if you are looking for a backup or light use access method, then consider Internet access to OCLC.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Diana Boone at the Nebraska Library Commission, 402-471-4021 or 800-307-2665. Please note that Dial Access users who would like to discontinue their Dial Access authorization fees need to send a written statement of cancellation. Billing will not automatically be discontinued.

-Diana Boone
Nebraska Library Commission


You may have noticed some changes to the way the FirstSearch Web Page looks. OCLC plans an ongoing enhancement to the FirstSearch Web interface and the most recent improvements include making full text easier to find. There is now an indicator in the brief record list for items which have full text available. The indicator appears in home databases only, such as Periodical Abstracts, ABI/Inform, EBSCOMags, and Business Dateline. Databases such as ArticleFirst and ContentsFirst are not home databases and do not have the full text indicators. Also, users can now go directly to the full text article from the brief record list. (Again, from home databases only, for libraries which have access to the full text either through subscription or pooled searches, and not available to card users.) Other enhancements include increasing the number of records printed to 20 and UnCover was added as document supplier.

OCLC is also adding databases on an ongoing basis. Some recent and upcoming acquisitions include: RILM Music Abstracts, CINAHL, DataTimes Abstracts and Index, the New York Times. Full text databases are on the agenda for the coming months and include:

1. Business & Industry, 600 journals about half full text, 10/96.
2. World Almanac, 10/96.
3. World Book, International ed., 12/96.
4. H.W. Wilson's Current Biography, World Authors, American Authors, 12/96.

The base package gets a major jolt in the arm with the addition of NetFirst. NetFirst is OCLC's database of Internet resources and an interesting thing to notice about it is that it offers subject browsing of the Internet resources contained in it by leveraging the Dewey numbers. One could argue that this is true subject searching of Internet resources. Perhaps another interesting thing about this database is that OCLC is working on a collection development policy for adding Internet resources and hopes to have it approved sometime this month and eventually available on their web site. A collection development policy for Internet resources...should be interesting.

-Diana Boone
Nebraska Library Commission


OCLC has announced price changes for FirstSearch per search or block pricing. Effective September 1, 1996, OCLC reduced the number of price levels and lower per-search prices at the high end. The new FirstSearch per-search prices will be as follows:

1-9 blocks (500-4500 searches), $0.78 per search; 10-60 blocks (500-30,000 searches), $0.68 per search; 61-80+ blocks (20,500-40,000+ searches), $0.58 per search.

The increase in the minimum per-search price is the result of database expansion, system enhancements, and absorbing inflation cost increases. The decrease in the maximum per-search price is a deliberate effort to make it easier for small libraries to join the FirstSearch program. In addition to the price reduction, OCLC has lowered the number of blocks required to obtain the largest discount - from 80 blocks to 61.

[OCLC, edited]


Users of Passport for Windows software on a multidrop (dedicated) line may experience difficulties reconnecting after being timed-out by the PRISM service. PRISM will automatically time a user out (disconnect) if there has been no activity in that session for 30 minutes. This "disconnect", however, does not automatically run the logoff macro created for that session. The session remains open, but not connected. Since the logoff macro has run, Passport for Windows becomes confused and does not recognize that the machine is disconnected from the host. It will, therefore, only offer you the option to disconnect. If you try to disconnect, the logoff macro will run and will look for the expected response from PRISM to its logoff command. When it does not see it, an error message will be displayed.

To clear the problem when it occurs:
1. Stop the logoff macro by clicking on the red stop macro button on the toolbar (thirteenth button from the left)
(For a complete description of the Passport for Windows Toolbar, see /netserv/nebase/pfwtoolbar.html.)
2. Click on OK to the warning message telling you that the macro in progress did not complete
3. The session will now be closed.

To prevent this from occurring again, set up an inactivity time in the Session Settings:
1. Open the session
2. Click on the Session Settings button on the toolbar (fifth button from the left)
3. Click on the Macros tab in the Session Settings Dialog Box
4. Click on the "Enable inactivity timer box" and set the minutes to 28
5. Click on OK.

After 28 minutes of inactivity, the Passport for Windows software will automatically run the logoff macro and the session will be properly logged off of the PRISM service. You will see the message "DISCONNECTED FROM SERVICE" on the screen. The session still remains open, however, so to reconnect, click on the Connect button on the toolbar (seventh button from the left).

[OCLC, edited]


Printing with Passport for Windows can be more confusing that it was for Passport for DOS. Much of the confusion comes from the fact that Windows is the software that is managing the printing rather than Passport. OCLC and Passport for Windows users have come up with a variety of printing options.

The printing options which come with the Passport for Windows software include:
F8 Print Block No Graphics-allows you to print the label display using label stock. Sends information directly to the LPT1 printer port so the printing font is controlled by the printer and not the Windows software.

Shift-F8 Print Block-allows you to print the label display using label stock. Windows software controls the printing font.

Ctrl-F8 Print Screen-allows you to print a single screen display. Includes a form feed to move to the top of the next sheet of paper. Does not include information in the lines above the holdings line. Windows software controls the printing font.

F12 Print Record-allows you to print a full record in one key stroke, i.e. multi-screen records will print in their entirety. Includes a form feed to move to the top of the next sheet of paper. Prints only the MARC record elements and does not include the information at the top of the record which includes the holdings statement. Windows software controls the printing font.

When the Windows software controls the printing, the printer is printing in its "letter quality" or "graphics" mode. This is not a problem for laser or inkjet printers which are designed for graphics, but dot matrix printers can be painfully slow. Along with the F8 option which bypasses Windows and sends the print information directly to the printer, you can install a "Generic Text" printer in Windows to help speed up those dot matrix printers. For Windows 95 you will need to:

1. Click on the Start Button.
2. Move the mouse up to highlight Settings.
3. Click on Printers.
4. Double-Click on Add Printer.
5. Tell the printer "wizard" that appears you want to add a printer for the "Local Port." When you get the list of printer drivers available, choose the Manufacturer of "Generic" and the model of "Text."
6. If Passport for Windows will be the only program you use to print data to your local printer, you can make "Generic Text" your default printer. Otherwise, open your OCLC session. Click on Session. Click on Print Setup. Choose the Generic Text printer as the printer you want to use in Passport.

If the form feeds are causing too much paper to be wasted, OCLC developed the following macros:
Shift-F11 Print Buffer to File-basically a print screen command that sends the output to a file called "printer.out" instead of to the printer. This allows you to batch print screens.

Ctrl-F11 Print File-is used in conjunction with the Print Buffer to File macro. Prints the "printer.out" file created with the Shift-F11 key and automatically deletes the file after each printing.

Note: These macros are batch printing for Print Screen only. They are not appropriate for batch printing of label displays. The Ctrl-F12 Save Block macro saves the label display to a file called "labels.svs". You can then bring the file into a word processing program or notepad to print the labels. Delete the file after you have printed the labels. You can also modify the Print File macro to print and delete the labels.svs file.

Passport for Windows users have taken the basic OCLC-developed macros and modified them to do specific things. Most specifically, the Print Record and Print Screen macros have been modified to bypass Windows and print directly to the printer port and includes the lines at the top of the screen. For directions on how to add these user-modified macros to your Passport for Windows session, see the instructions at: /netserv/nebase/pfwmacros.html.

In short, if you have a printing problem, chances are good that someone else has already provided a solution. For more information or to share your printing solutions, contact Diana Boone at the Nebraska Library Commission, 402-471-4021, 800-307-2665.

[OCLC, BCR, MIT, edited]


Dewey for Windows, a CD-ROM version of the Dewey Decimal Classification, Edition 21 (DDC 21), is now available. The Dewey for Windows compact disc offers Dewey users the entire text of edition 21 in a convenient Microsoft Windows-based environment.

With Dewey for Windows software, users can search for DDC numbers and terms quickly and efficiently. They can choose a specific index for searching from among nine different options, pick a separate approach to number building from four different displays, click the mouse to drag and drop information between simultaneous window displays, and create a work area to store Dewey numbers temporarily while building and moving between schedules and tables. It is also possible to cut and paste Dewey numbers into OCLC bibliographic records using PRISM and Passport for Windows.

The Dewey for Windows CD provides access to over 4,000 new entries in the electronic index. These records include index terms and the nearest matching DDC schedule number with its caption, as well as built numbers from the Dewey Relative Index. Dewey for Windows also allows notes to be added to the schedules to reflect local classification decisions. Users can call up the Help screen or the edition 21 introduction and glossary, and let the Tour Guide walk them through typical classification scenarios.

Dewey for Windows requires a microcomputer with Microsoft Windows, Version 3.1 or higher (Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT, Windows 95). A minimum of a 486-based machine is strongly recommended for satisfactory performance. A color monitor, CD-ROM drive and a minimum of 8MB of memory are also required.

Please contact Diana Boone at the Nebraska Library Commission, 402-471-4021, 800-307-2665 if you would like to stop by and test drive the software. You may also contact OCLC Forest Press, 6565 Frantz Road, Dublin, Ohio 43017-3395, telephone: 800-848-5878, ext. 6237, or toll-free fax: 888-Dewey 21 (888-339-3921) for more information. Or visit the Dewey Home Page at

OCLC Forest Press, a division of OCLC since 1988, publishes the Dewey Decimal Classification.

[OCLC, edited]


The OCLC Web Page has been updated with information regarding PRISM ILL document suppliers. A brief description is given for each document supplier, as well as their e-mail address. OCLC also has provided "hotlinks" to the Web Pages of each document supplier. The Web Page containing this information may be found at the URL address:



OCLC has provided more information about the Virtual Electronic Library project that it is undertaking with the committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC)-the consortium made up of the libraries of the University of Minnesota, the other Big 10 universities, and the University of Chicago. The Virtual Electronic Library project will provide seamless, desktop access to information to the 500,00 students and 35,00 faculty associated with the CIC's major teaching and research universities.

The CIC Virtual Electronic Library uses the OCLC PRISM service, the Internet, and OCLC WebZ software to integrate electronic library resources and end-user services by offering a single interface to search local, group, and external resources and to allow patron-initiated interlibrary loan or document delivery requests, while allowing libraries to maintain local control for services.

When fully implemented, the Virtual Electronic Library will provide access to 60 million books, 550,00 serials, and countless databases and digital systems owned or licensed collectively by participating universities. It will allow users to search across the online public access catalogs (OPACs) of all the CIC libraries as well as other electronic sources. Document delivery is provided through a variety of options including traditional interlibrary loan, commercial document delivery, and full text online.

Funding for this project was provided in part through a U.S. Department of Education Office of Library Programs Library and Technology Cooperation grant (HEA II-A) awarded to the CIC. The project will be implemented in two phases:

In Phase I, which has been installed in nine institutions to date, OCLC WebZ software allows a user-transparent view of the CIC Virtual Electronic Library through a broadcast search sent to the CIC sites. This makes it unnecessary to build a physical union catalog or additional indexes for the project. WebZ servers at each CIC Sites provide a patron interface to a range of databases. Patrons can connect seamlessly to bibliographic and circulation information from local catalogs, locally mounted resource files, and remote databases like those available through OCLC's FirstSearch service. After an item is located, the same user interface allows a patron to either place a hold through e-mail for intra-campus delivery or initiate an interlibrary loan request through the OCLC PRISM ILL service that can be reviewed by library staff.

Plans for Phase II include building on functionality of Phase I for management data, adding the capability for end-users to query the system for the status of their request, and more.

OCLC WebZ software offers World Wide Web access to local and remote Z39.50 resources as well as a complete HTML-based interface builder's toolkit. With these building blocks, universities or other network-intensive organizations can link local information services, OCLC services like the FirstSearch service, and other Z39.50 or Web Resources into a custom electronic library.



The following OCLC information was mailed to your library in October. 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 .

Building the Virtual Library: OCLC SiteSearch Software
Delivering Copy Cataloging Automatically : OCLC PromptCat Service
Your Economical Reference Choice: The EPIC Service
The EPIC Service Price List
Efficiently Automating Routine ILL Tasks: ILL ME for Windows
Libraries, the Internet and OCLC
Major Microforms Service Update - June 1996
OCLC at a Glance
Integrated Solutions to Help Build and Manage Your Electronic Library: OCLC Collections and Technical Services
Product Services User Guide

-Jeannette Powell
Nebraska Library Commission


Apples have figured prominently in fact and myth over the centuries. What first comes to mind is Genesis, where the serpent tempts Eve with the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, usually reported to be an apple. The apple is still the stuff of reality and the stuff of dreams today, principally in its guise as the emblem and identity of Apple computer, Inc. It's hard to decide, however, what a bite of the apple will bring us today. I have mentioned in several NTN articles in the past that I see computers as tools. There are appropriate tools for every purpose, and the Macintosh, Apple's leading hardware product, is one of the tools whose many models make sense for various purposes. The words I am writing now are being typed into a Macintosh, a llcx with a page-size screen. It's very helpful to see an entire "typewritten" page at a time, and the word processing tool I use on the MAC, WordPerfect, works just fine for me. NTN itself is laid out using PageMaker on a Power Mac with a huge monitor. It's a very useful tool, and this computer is the envy of most people in our office. In addition to NTN, some of our other WILS publications and many Web Pages are created on the Power Mac.

The Worm
Alas, there's a worm in the apple. Macs cost a lot of money. The operating system hasn't seen a major upgrade in several years. Fewer companies are developing software for the Macintosh, meaning fewer choices for consumers, and sometimes higher software prices. These trends, and others, encourage migration to Windows-compatible computers. The tools on Windows machines for specialty areas where Macs shine, e.g., desktop publishing and multimedia development, are still not as good on the Windows platform. However, for many ex-Mac devotees they are good enough, considering the more-bang-for-the buck available on the Intel/IBM/Windows-compatible PCs. A higher number of users are willing to put up with a somewhat-less-friendly user interface for the sake of lower cost and higher power. There are myths surrounding the user interfaces for both the Macintosh and Windows. First of all, many people claim the Macintosh user interface (the Mac Desktop) is easy to use, completely intuitive. Well, sometimes. For the naive user it can be easy to get started accomplishing the simple tasks of producing documents or manipulating files using Mac tools. Intuitions run dry when it comes to more sophisticated tasks. Try PageMaker or Quark Publisher and you'll see how unintuitive the user interface can be. That's why it's necessary to receive training in these software products. There's nothing inherently wrong with the opacity of parts of these and other Mac programs. There are certainly many more Windows-compatible-based programs that are completely opaque than Mac-based ones. Unfortunately, some users have inappropriate expectations on the basis of both the hype about Macintosh from its more fanatical fans and also based on their own initial interactions with the Desktop and using other, less complex, Mac software. Not all Mac software is easy to use. Some of that is due to bad design; but more often, it is due to the fact that is very difficult to make complex interactions between human and computer transparent. Complex tasks breed complex user interfaces.

Win 95
The mythology on the other side of the computer fence, in the land of Windows 95, is no less deceptive. There are many people who are suggesting that Windows has been made just as easy as the Mac Desktop. Not true! As someone who uses both operating systems throughout the day, I can honestly say that the Windows 95 experience, while somewhat better that the Windows 3.1 experience, still does not approach the Mac Desktop for ease of operation. Hey Microsoft. Why not just bite the bullet and license some of those Apple design elements. In fact, you could probably get away with just appropriating them. After all, that's pretty much what Steve Jobs and his Apple crew did anyway. They took a field trip over to Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and come away with the look and feel of the Macintosh. Try doing the same. Windows 95 doesn't have a terrible look and feel. The new laptop computer that I have came with Win 95, and I think its pretty easy to use. It's no Mac Desktop. Nor does it need to be. Actually, the whole desktop metaphor may be a relic, but that's for another article. The real problem is that the user interface is nothing special. After all of this time it should be. Either Microsoft ought to have found a new, revolutionary user interface, or it should really have moved in on the desktop metaphor, as I suggested above.

Still as I say, it is not too hard to use. It's easy most of the time but klutzy once in a while. The area where Microsoft almost missed the boat, and Apple may yet manage to, is in Webbiness. The World Wide Web is where most of the development action today is centered. Microsoft caught on barely in time, and Bill Gates realigned his company to recognize the importance of the Internet and particularly the Web. He has aggressively positioned Microsoft to be a player, and an important one. He's acquired companies, where necessary, to deliver Web-based content. He's trying to make Basic and Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) the center pieces of Web development (although the names of Microsoft's Internet components have changed to ActiveX). What's Apple doing about the Internet? Cyberdog. The ideal is to use OpenDoc technology to provide a common interface to Internet applications. Opendoc is a standard pushed by Apple and some other vendors to provide an alternative to OLE. Cyberdog provides the capability for applications to seamlessly integrate Internet resources. Although Cyberdog is a good idea, it has only just been released for the Mac and will not emerge for Windows until after OpenDoc for Windows is available, slated for this summer. The seamless integration of Internet capabilities into other applications depends on adoption of OpenDoc and Cyberdog by other software companies. I think Apple's efforts on the Internet front may be too little too late. The real attention is being devoted to Microsoft, Netscape and Sun. Microsoft is muscling its way into the Internet market as I noted above. Netscape is a contender because the people behind Netscape invented the whizziest Web browsers and services and brought in-line graphics to the Web. Sun made it into the competitive triumvirate because of its Java programming language, which even Microsoft is licensing. All in all, the competition is moving to the Internet, particularly the Web, and Apple isn't pursuing Internet products aggressively enough or rapidly enough. Apple's failure to capitalize on Internet development can be seen in its failure to write and release Web tools. Maybe they've put all their eggs in the Cyberdog basket, but it may too late. At this point they are non-players.

Xerox Redux
It's interesting to compare what seems to be happening at Apple with what happened in the past at Xerox PARC. By most people's standards in end-user computing, PARC was way ahead of the game in the 1970s. The researchers there had developed all sorts of revolutionary computer systems. What happened? Xerox either failed to take the products to market or marketed them in an ineffective way. Xerox was a copier company and didn't know what to do with the discoveries made at PARC. So they either didn't do anything or they tried to sell products at wildly expensive prices and without carefully considering the marketplace. They tried to sell computers and computer networks like expensive copiers. It didn't work. Apple seems to be in a similar spot, increasingly out of touch with what's going on in the marketplace. It has always depended on independent software vendors (ISVs) to provide the applications that sold its hardware. Unfortunately for Apple, savvy software companies are heading to the Windows side of the fence. Or in some cases they're headed to the Internet side of the fence. (How many sides can a fence have?) For example, Sun's Java runs on multiple platforms, but is mainly touted as an Internet-centric set of software tools. Apple is making a few good moves now that it's under the leadership of Gilbert Amelio. For example, it is simplifying its product line by eliminating a number of Mac models. Amelio promised that all future Mac applications from Apple will ship "Internet-ready," able to access material from the Web even if they're not typical Internet-based software. Again, however, it may be too little, too late. Apple ought to push harder to get its software out the door in a hurry. Why do so many writers, pundits and hangers-on criticize Apple so fiercely? That's because, by and large, we (and you decide into which category I fit) want to see Apple remain a player in the personal computer industry. They've had good products in the past and have added a certain elegance to personal computer product design. They have helped to keep Microsoft honest in its bid to dominate the software industry. They can continue to do so, as well as deliver some interesting products. Let's hope it's not too late, but the fruit may already be overripe.

-Tom Zillner
New Technologies Coordinator
Wisconsin Interlibrary Services

This is one in a series of articles written for Wisconsin Interlibrary Services. This article is published here by agreement with the Alliance of Library Networks.

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