Raleigh-Worcester-Lansing

Introduction

This travel log documents a three-legged trip starting in Raleigh on April 14, 1999, going to Worcester, MA to speak for the North Eastern Technical Services Librarians (NETSL), and moving on to Lansing, MI by April 19 to share some ideas about the immediate future of web-based services in libraries to a division of the Michigan Library Association (MLA).

Raleigh, NC

April 14, 1999

The trip began with a set of slightly horrific logistical nightmares .

Worcester, MA

equestrian
equestrian
mural
mural
spared no expense
spared no expense
chairs for standing
chairs for standing

April 16, 1999 - NETSL

Changes Is Scholary Communications: Implications For Technical Services

Clifford Lynch , Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) - His remarks centered around the ways technical services are going to change. "Change will be added to.... You never really get rid of anything, you just get new things.... Divisions between departments will become blurred and instead workflow will surround functions.

Journals have crossed the threshold and many of them are electronic for real. Archiving seems to be the last "issue" holding things back for them to go totally electronic. The electronic monograph is unusable since nobody wants to print them out. The business models are changing where we have agricators or entire distributions from a particular publisher even if you don't want the whole thing. These things are difficult to evaluate and don't fit in the usual technical services processes. Authentication and authorization are still needed to be addressed, but they raise the issue of privacy. In the near future the proportion of electronic to print-based materials in smaller institutions may be higher when compared to the same proportions of research libraries. Electronic services will provide the opportunity to collect usage data.

We should be digitizing special collections since they represent real opportunities for learning, but describing them is the more expensive aspect of this process. There is a demand for special collections. Art/image databases are/will be more important sort of special collections. Geospacial data is another transitional information source.

There are new genres of information, things that fall completely outside traditional scholarly publishing: scholarly websites, "collabratories", plain ol' video. These things fall outside our processing methods. describing and providing access to these sorts of materials will be a serious challenge. Other issues include rights management and trust management and price/rights combinations for pieces of material worth the effort needed to acquire it.

In short, all these issues are not necessarily centered around particular department but they are all issues that need to be addressed.

clock tower
clock tower
church
church
church
church
church
church

Serials Cataloging: Current Approaches

David C. Van Hoy , MIT - Van Hoy began by talking about uniform titles, and demonstrated its need with an example title called Focus. He then described some basic principles of uniform titles. He then shared some information about electronic serials, specifically the debate between separate record versus single record cataloging of them.

Steven Riel , Harvard University - Riel talked about designation (numeric and chronological), and all the details associated with designations. He described how to create linking fields and their relationships: chronological or horizontal. He talked about when and when not to make new successive records.

Some Possibilities for Technical Services Librarianship

Eric Lease Morgan , NCSU Libraries - This presentation articulated some possible service opportunities for technical services staff illustrated through Index Morganagus, the Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts, and MyLibrary@NCState.

Lansing, MI

capitol
capitol
portrait
portrait
rotunda
rotunda
rotunda
rotunda

April 18, 1999 - Bill Williams, Jr.

On this day I met Bill Williams, Jr . He and I will be working together to incorporate his concordance scripts into the Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts.

April 19, 1999 - MLA

Keys to Information Service Success for the Near Future: Beyond the Basics

Eric Lease Morgan , NCSU Libraries - I shared some perceptions and ideas about the current state of the web and suggested goals for the near future in this presentation .

Creating A Website With Dynamic Content

Larry Neal , Rochester Hills Public Library - Neal created a database from scratch, made it web accessible, and connected to it via his web browser. He demonstrated this entire process online during the presentation. He used these same techniques to create a local history database of pictures and well as a telephone directory.

Web Design To Deliver Services To Users

Suzanne Sawyer , Lansing Community College - Sawyer shared reasons why we, as libraries, should provide interactive forms on our websites. She enumerated the types of forms we usually have in our libraries (ILL, registrations, material requests, etc.). She talked about the advantages and disadvantages of digital, interactive forms, and tried to illustrate a number of forms she and her library use.

Carl Miller , Canton Public Library - Miller described how to create an interactive form whose content was delivered via email. His presentation is/was available online. He suggested using Perl as your programming language and hardware that can be acquired on a shoestring. He was going to demonstrate the creation of simple script Hello World script, but alas...

seated girl
seated girl
large sculpture
large sculpture
library
library

Effective Web Interfaces To Online Catalogs

Phyllis Valentine , University of Michigan - Valentine presented ideas and guidelines on how to implement good practices into your online catalog. She defined effective. She alluded to the fact that much of the content of her catalog was not lists of books, the traditional content of catalogs. "The environment is different even from ten years ago.... Keep a sense of humor.... Its like buying a train were you buy an engine and then try to manage the cars." She developed much of the integration of her OPAC and here web access to her site with WebZ. "Screen design is an important aspect of any website.... Solicate comments from your users, answer them, and act on them."

Demetrios Ioannedes , Michigan State University - Ioannedes uses Innovative Interfaces and the web interface to his catalog he described as an "add on". There are a basic set of screens available from Innovative but the interface is customizable. He described different approaches for making your online catalog web accessible as well as number of search engines like Zweb, WebZ, or Innovative. He described the advantages and disadvantages of some of these interfaces, more so with Innovative. "The online catalog is not alone on the web; it includes many more things other books."

Mary Ross , Western Michigan University - Ross uses Voyager to implement their web interface. She alluded to the experiences, opportunities, challenges, and problems surrounding the implementation of a web interface. She described how she changed the interface as it was delivered. There was a lot they can do to change with the system, but then again, there is not a lot of things they cannot change.

Network security and filtering

Rick Davis , The Merit Network - "[Security and filtering] are necessary services you need to implement in order to provide the best service." He described the uses of proxy servers and explained how they are excellent ways to filter your information and enhance security. Caching servers are a good idea because they reduce bandwidth. Proxies provide auditing services. He shared the advantages and disadvantages of proxy servers as well as firewalls.

Developing Intranets for Libraries

Bill Ott , Grand Rapids Public Library - He described what an intranet is and alluded to the fact that it is a web interface to the same stuff you had before. He described the advantages and disadvantages of intranets, most importantly communications and productivity. He outlined the hardware and software necessary to create a simple intranet and the demonstrated how it can be put together and used. (Apparently he builds all his own hardware.) An example report was the timesheet or a patron incident report.

Summary

flaming chalice
flaming chalice
Eric and Bill
Eric and Bill
rock sculpture
rock sculpture
frisbee dudes
frisbee dudes

April 20, 1999

As usual, I experienced a lot on this trip. First, I learned a bit about the inner workings of the airlines' reservations system, and the next time I will confirm my reservations twenty-four hours before the flight in order to leave plenty of time for correcting any mistakes that may exist.

It is always nice to hear Clifford Lynch speak because he really does seem to understand Library Land and has amalgamated his understanding with the functionality of computers. I was glad to meet Bill Williams; collaboration is always a good thing. Neal's presentation was an excellent demonstration of the use of a database application; it was very entertaining and smooth. Davis made me aware of new functionality embodied by proxy servers. I was also made aware of a number of the impediments public libraries have to providing best quality service. As a corilary, I am constantly reminded of the opportunities afforded by my employment at NC State University.

On the personal side, the organizers of both conferences and I had great conversations at dinner. It is always nice to talk about library. Worcester seems to be town of large churches and tangled streets. By contrast, Lansing is layed out in large squares, and as a center of government, it include a very nice capitol building, historical building, and state library. The university system was impressive as well. I played a bit of frisbee. I went to church. I collected some water, and brought back dried cherries. By the way, Flat Magan had a good time too.


Creator: Eric Lease Morgan <eric_morgan@infomotions.com>
Source: Based on personal experience; this text was never fomally published.
Date created: 1999-04-20
Date updated: 2004-11-20
Subject(s): Worcester, MA; Lansing, MI; travel log;
URL: http://infomotions.com/musings/raleigh-worcester-lansing/