Nebraska Library Commission
          Network Services

                november/december 1997 vol.3 no.6 issn 1082-4383

Guest Columnist: Becky Baker
OCLC FirstSearch Base Package Databases
Continuing Education Opportunities: Am I a Crook?
FirstSearch Fall Festivals
and more!

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


It really is true what people say about new technology: it's hard to miss what you've never had, and hard to give it up once you've experienced its potential (remember microwaves? your first computer?). So it is with FirstSearch. Just hearing about the great things FirstSearch has to offer may not be enough to convince you to give it a try. However, once you have it in your library and truly use it to its capability, you will wonder what took you so long to sign up.

We use several of the databases on FirstSearch a great deal, but WorldCat in particular is one we would hate to lose. WorldCat not only helps us catalog new items, but allows us to find resources on specific topics for our patrons to interlibrary loan. Searches can be limited by language, format, and year of publication, so it only lists titles you really need and can use. It even tells us which libraries in the country own the items found.

ERIC is another database we use, although not as frequently as WorldCat. ERIC, though not full-text, provides citations to many articles and books on broad topics in education, and each entry has a thorough abstract so you know what the item will cover, should you choose to acquire it locally or through interlibrary loan.

With the addition of the H. W. Wilson Select database our use will increase greatly, as it provides full-text access to over 400 serial titles. A single search covers many indexes, and not only provides the citations, but allows you to view, print, or e-mail the actual text of each article found. What a fantastic way to expand our collection at a fraction of the cost!

Currently we have only staff using FirstSearch but as we become more acquainted with it we hope to open it up for patron use. The only drawback we see to this is that we have only one Internet station in our library, thus there may be some waiting time to get access to FirstSearch. For this reason we will continue to subscribe to hard copies of Books In Print and Reader's Guide. However, we feel the time will come when that will no longer be necessary, thanks to electronic resources like FirstSearch. Treat yourself to a look at the future. Subscribe to FirstSearch today.

-Becky Baker
Seward Public Library


Yes. It's true. Now through June 30, 1998, public libraries who subscribe to the FirstSearch Base Package for FY 97-98 (July 1, 1997-June 30, 1998) will be given unlimited access, at no charge, to two additional databases: ABI/INFORM and Wilson Select.

ABI/INFORM, produced by UMI, covers business and management topics including company histories, competitive intelligence and product development. It contains citations and abstracts of articles from 1,000 U.S. and international professional publications, academic journals and trade magazines. Journals covered by this database are listed online at

H.W. WilsonSelect (H.W. Wilson's Select Full Text) is a collection of indexed and abstracted records with accompanying full text from 430 periodicals from H.W. Wilson's Readers Guide Abstracts, Social Sciences Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, General Science Abstracts, and Wilson Business Abstracts. The list of titles are online at

The cost of a subscription for one year is:
Public libraries serving up to
5,000 people: $225
5,001-10,000: $325
over 10,000:* $425
*(Custom quotes are available for Omaha Public Library and Lincoln City Libraries.)

At a time when library funding is declining, subscribing to FirstSearch is a means of improving library service to your community. It is the Library Commission's hope that the addition of these databases will allow libraries to further improve their service.

Please note: This subscription must be renewed each year and ABI/INFORM and H.W. Wilson Select are being added on at no cost for this fiscal year ONLY. If you have any questions or would like information on how to start your subscription through the Nebraska Statewide FirstSearch Consortium, please contact Jeannette Powell, 402-471-7740 or 800-307-2665, e-mail: Jeannette Powell .

-Jo Budler
Nebraska Library Commission


The OCLC FirstSearch service is an online service with a rich collection of databases and with links to the World Wide Web, online full text, document delivery, library holdings, and interlibrary loan.

For the professional librarian, FirstSearch is a powerful tool that increases the availability of reference information at an affordable cost and improves service to your users.

For users, FirstSearch provides seamless electronic access to bibliographic, abstract, and full-text information, when and where they need it. Some of the ways FirstSearch can expand the power of your reference collection and help you meet the information demands of your users are:

Document delivery and online full text-information on demand in the form required. Meet requests for articles not held locally with document delivery and online full text, available on most FirstSearch databases. Users choose from a list of document delivery choices-online, e-mail, fax, mail-and from a variety of document suppliers.

Rich collection of databases-coverage to meet your users' demands. With more than 60 databases, FirstSearch provides in-depth abstracting and indexing to over 35,000 popular magazines, scholarly journals, encyclopedias, phone books, business directories and financial reports. Some are familiar databases from the leading information providers; others are OCLC exclusive offerings.

Searching and retrieval-powerful and easy to use. End users love FirstSearch because its interface is simple to understand yet there are plenty of tools for complex searching. No special computer knowledge or online searching training is necessary. Whether you access via Telnet or the World Wide Web, users are guided through the search process in just a few easy steps.

Access and support-seamless integration and comprehensive support. FirstSearch easily integrates into your current library system and information network and can be tailored to meet your specific needs. And, as part of your subscription, you receive everything you need to get the system up and the word out to your users.

Pricing-cost effective options structured for your needs. Whether you are buying as an individual library or as a library consortia, the choice of subscription or per-search pricing makes it easy for you to control cost and security.

For information on FirstSearch pricing, contact Jeannette Powell, 402-471-7740 or 800-307-2665, e-mail: Jeannette Powell .

[OCLC, edited]


What are they and what can they do for me?

The OCLC Base Package contains ten databases: WorldCat, ArticleFirst, FastDoc, ContentsFirst, NetFirst, ERIC, GPO Monthly Catalog, MEDLINE, PapersFirst, and ProceedingsFirst. The following is a brief description of each database and examples of questions you can answer with that database.

The world's most comprehensive bibliography, with 36 million bibliographic records representing 370 languages and covering information from 4,000 years of knowledge.
"I just finished a book by Margaret Atwood, would like to read more by her. Can you give me a list?"
"I want a book on floor radiant heat."
"Was Dinky Duck really a cartoon character in the 1950s?"

Contains bibliographic citations that describe items listed on the table of contents pages of more than 13,000 journals in science, technology, medicine, social science, business, the humanities, and popular culture. Each record describes one article, news story, letter, or other item.
"I'm looking for articles on pellet stoves."

FastDoc covers over 900,00 articles from more than 1,000 journals, virtually 100 percent of which are readily available online.
"Can you give me some articles on pellet stoves right now?"

Contains the table of contents pages and holdings information from more than 13,000 journals in science, technology, medicine, social science, business, the humanities, and popular culture. Although most of the journals are published in English, journals in other languages are also included.
"I saw an article in Time or maybe it was Newsweek, last week or the week before, on Attention Deficit. Can you get it for me?"

Contains bibliographic citations-complete with summary descriptions and subject headings-describing Internet-accessible resources, including World Wide Web pages, interest groups, library catalogs, FTP sites, Internet services, Gopher servers, electronic journals, and newsletters. Records contain location information that can be used to connect users to resources of interest.
"I'd like to get started doing genealogical research. Can you tell me some good Internet sources?"

Educational Resources Information Center has represented the most complete bibliography of educational materials available since 1966. The ERIC database is a guide to published and unpublished sources on thousands of educational topics, with information from RIE (Resources in Education) and CIJE (Current Index to Journals in Education).
"We're having a real problem with latchkey (unsupervised) children in our library. Do other libraries have this problem and how do they deal with it?"
"Our school system is discussing year round school. Are other school systems doing this and how well is it working?"

GPO Monthly Catalog
Consists of records published by the GPO since July 1976. Includes references to congressional committee reports and hearings, debates, documents from executive departments, and more.
"I'm thinking of buying a new car. Where can I get information about the best way to do that?"
"I'm going on vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park, in Estes Park, Colorado. Are there any publications that would be helpful in planning my trip?"

Covers all areas of medicine, including clinical medicine, experimental medicine, dentistry, nursing, health services administration, nutrition and much more. Indexes over 3,500 journals (most with abstracts).
"I heard snacking on nuts may protect your heart from disease. Is that true?"

Provides access to individual papers presented at conferences worldwide. A major research aid covering every congress, symposium, exposition, workshop, and meeting added to The British Library Document Supply Centre's vast proceedings collection since October 1993. Users may order the full text of papers cited in PapersFirst from The British Library using the FirstSearch online ordering service.
"I am looking for a paper which my niece, Allison Primavira, gave at a conference of the American Psychological Association at some time. Can you help me find it?"

Provides tables of contents of papers presented at conferences worldwide. Each record contains a list of the papers presented at each conference. Like its companion, PapersFirst, ProceedingsFirst provides access to The British Library Document Supply Centre's vast collection of conference proceedings.
"Could I find out what papers were presented at the American Psychological Association Conference held sometime last year?"

-Jo Budler and Julie Pinnell
Nebraska Library Commission


FirstSearch Web has been enhanced by adding two new features. Search History now provides the ability to manipulate search sets. A GO TO feature that allows you to go to a particular record in a set makes set navigation easier.

A print option that improves auto-detection of common printer emulations for FirstSearch TTY can now be turned on in the FirstSearch Administrative module.

Also, the changes planned by Disclosure, Inc. to make their two databases, Disclosure Corporate Snapshots and WorldScope GLOBAL, available by subscription and per-search were installed. The subscription databases now displays full information with each record. Disclosure and Worldscope, with brief records, are still on a per-search basis.

Changes to the FirstSearch Electronic collections Online service are: Fifty-six journals were added to Electronic Collections Online service in September, bringing the total number of available journals to 190. In all, 20 publishers have agreed to make approximately 700 journals available through the service. See for a list of participating publishers and journals.

Direct Journal Access, a function that enables libraries to create hypertext links from their Web page or Web-accessible online public access catalog to individual journals available through Electronic Collections Online, is now available. See for details on establishing Direct Journal Access links.

The following interface enhancements are also available now:
· Navigational links are now at bottom of all interface screens, making it unnecessary to scroll to the top of long screen displays.
· Search terms entered in basic and expert search screens are now persistent, so that they remain in place when you return to a search screen from a results list.
· Results lists and abstract displays now have an indicator of the full-text file format, such as PDF or HTML.



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 .

OCLC Bibliographic Record Notification: Questions and Answers
OCLC FullMarc: Technical Specifications
OCLC ILL Management Statistics: Automatically Tracking Your ILL Activity
OCLC Interlibrary Loan: Unique Global Network for Resource Sharing
Using WorldCat for Online Retrospective Conversion: Technical Specifications
OCLC M5166Gs Workstation: Powerful Pentium Technology at an Affordable Price
OCLC M5200 Workstation: A World of Information Online

-Jeannette Powell
Nebraska Library Commission



"Am I a Crook?: Copyright Issues on the Internet"

Date: April 2, 1998
Time: 2:30-4 P.M. (Eastern Time)
Cost: $85 per individual site
$75 per site for 10-19 sites
$65 per site for 20-40 sites
Registration Deadline: January 2, 1998

BCR (Bibliographic Center for Research) is purchasing a multiple-site license to downlink the PBS live satellite teleconference, "Am I a Crook?: Copyright Issues on the Internet." This informative program is scheduled for broadcast on April 2, 1998, from 2:30-4 P.M. (Eastern Time).

To make this teleconference as affordable to libraries as possible, BCR has set up a tier of prices, all discounted significantly from PBS' single-site price of $375.

The multiple-site prices are designed for library consortia, regional systems or state library agencies that want to downlink the teleconference at several sites. By participating in this group purchase, a library or organization can downlink this timely and informative program at a savings of several hundred dollars.

The "Am I a Crook?" teleconference will address sticky copyright issues by:
· Providing examples of legal and illegal uses of copyrighted material.
· Using vignettes to illustrate potential issues.
· Clarifying what kinds of material can and cannot be copied.
· Discussing how much of a piece can be used.
This teleconference will help you:
· How can you tell whether material you download from the Internet is copyrighted?
· How do you know if you may lawfully include certain materials in an online course?
· How does the "fair use" section of the copyright law pertain to online applications?
· What are the differences in fair use between traditional classrooms and distance education?
· What is the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU)?
An online component will enable viewers to have input into the program and interact with each other before and after the live satellite event. Telephone and fax numbers also will be made available for questions. This program is closed captioned. To register, access the online registration form on BCR's Web site at For questions contact BCR's Sharon Hoffhines, 800-397-1552.



An introduction, overview and opportunity for hands-on searching of the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) FirstSearch Reference Service (60+ databases).
November 3, 9 A.M. - 12 NOON, (Limit 15), Central Community College, Grand Island College Park Computer Lab (B).
November 5, 8:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M., (Limit 6), Knights of Columbus Hall, Madison.
November 6, 9 A.M. - 12 NOON, (Limit 16), Sump Memorial Library, Papillion.
November 7, 9 A.M. - 12 NOON, (Limit 12), Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln, Heron Room.
Overflow classes will be scheduled in the afternoons, if needed.
Presented by: OCLC representative.
Registration: Contact Jeannette Powell, Nebraska Library Commission, 1200 N St., Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023, phone: 402-471-7740 or 800-307-2665, fax: 402-471-2083, e-mail: Jeannette Powell .
Three hours of CE Credit will be given. There is not charge to attend.


The OCLC Institute invites you to participate in an intensive, interactive seminar, "Knowledge Access Management: Tools and Concepts for Next-Generation Catalogers." Three new sessions of the seminar have been scheduled. The new dates are February 16-18, March 6-8, and March 16-18, 1998. Registration for these dates is now open, and the deadline for registration is January 5, 1998. Specifically designed for cataloging leaders, this 2½ day seminar explores and advances the boundaries of digital cataloging practice. A distance-learning component, accomplished in the month following the seminar, helps you transform learning into action.

Through expert instruction, facilitated discussion and demonstrations, hand-on workshop exercises, and individualized projects, you will gain a grasp of major issues facing the future of cataloging.

Topics include:
· Identifying and selecting electronic resources
· Applying and evaluating current cataloging practices and standards
· Understanding cataloging complements and alternatives such as TEI headers, EAD records, metadata, Web pages, and PURLs
· Investigating new roles for automation including automated record creations, subject analysis, and classification
· Planning for change now and in the long term
Additional information and registration is available online at


Let FirstSearch ABI/INFORM help you find the answers.

ABI/INFORM gives you access to full text articles from 570 journals.

· With the advent of Rubbermaid® on the container scene, has Tupperware® lost its sales value? (Find out by searching Tupperware and sales in ABI/INFORM.*)

· Interested in starting a business in your home? (ABI/INFORM - 3 articles full-text)

· Your place of employment is moving to team management and you want to read some information to help you prepare.

· Want more information on advertising on the Internet? (187 articles! Full Text)

*Hint: Don't sell your Tupperware® stock. It is still growing.

This service is being provided to public libraries at no cost by the Nebraska Library Commission with federal and state funds through June 30, 1998.


Full text from 430 titles covering everything from Aardvarks, (why didn't this wonderfully eccentric animal become extinct? Search aardvarks and extinction in full text.) to the Zephyr (and where it fits in railroad history).

CONSUMER INFORMATION: What are the pros and cons of pellet stoves?

HEALTH INFORMATION: Should I worry about Lyme disease in Nebraska?

HOMEWORK INFORMATION: When did the last dinosaur become extinct? Which species was it? What is the latest thinking about why dinosaurs became extinct?

This service is being provided to you at no cost by the Nebraska Library Commission with federal and state funds through June 30, 1998.

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