Our Committee held its annual AALL meeting on Monday, July 21. Despite the time of the meeting (7:00 a.m., rather early for at least some of us), about 30 brave souls attended, and were rewarded not only by refreshments, but also by Robert Bremer's excellent talk on the inner workings of OCLC's authority control mechanisms. Many thanks to Mr. Bremer, who has consented for two years in a row to be the OBS-SIS OCLC Committee speaker.
CATALOGING LABEL PROGRAM
Passport for DOS uses customized printer drivers that take over control of a printer completely to allow the production of high quality labels. Passport for Windows, however, uses the Windows printing system. This has the advantage of more printer compatibility, but has one drawback: it's hard to produce labels of the same quality, without manually programming your printer. (OCLC has designed a macro in version 1.10 in PpfW using the "F8" key, rather than "Shift F8" to produce labels: this produces a somewhat larger font size, but does not result in particularly dark labels). However, the cavalry has almost made it over the hill! In October 1997 OCLC introduced its new Label Program. It is be available (free!) at the OCLC Web site and via anonymous FTP. With this new software, you first import label content from text files, such as Passport for Windows or DOS, and then display, edit, and print the labels. Options include: printing in either immediate or batch mode; printing multiple copies of the same label; specifying print constants (such as "v"), ranges (such as vol. numbers), and copy numbers; creating new labels from a blank label work form; and searching the label file. The label program works with either laser or dot matrix printers, and supports the standard OCLC label formats SL4, SL6, SLB, and SP1. However, the Label program requires either Windows 95 or Windows NT (version 3.51 with Service Pack 5, or higher), and 20 MB of available hard-drive space. An extensive online help file is offered. More information on the Label program now resides at http://www.oclc.org/oclc/menu/label.htm.
TCP/IP ACCESS TO OCLC: AN UPDATE
OCLC expects that members now connecting to WorldCat via asynchronous dial access will switch to dial TCP/IP (it became available in September 1997). Unlike the regular dial access, the new type does not include any annual dial access authorization fees (varying somewhat by network, with $210 the charge for a SUNY/OCLC library). The online charge for both types of dial access is the same: $6.90 per hour, but dial TCP/IP's fee is based on connect time for your user identification code, not your OCLC authorization. The advantage: You can thus be connected to several simultaneous sessions for cataloging, resource sharing, OCLC Web pages, etc., and pay only for the length of your access connection, rather than the total connect time for each session individually. The new option is further described in OCLC's Technical Bulletin 224 (June 1997). Dedicated TCP/IP access to OCLC is scheduled to become available in late 1997 or early 1998. So far, pricing has been set only for 56 kpbs, single institution links, with monthly network facility and system access fees very close to the cost of multidrop line access. For example, a TCP/IP dedicated line consisting of three workstations (the minimum number allowed for this type of access), would cost a SUNY/OCLC library $506 for FY 1997/98. Currently, OCLC advises that multidrop libraries with one or two workstations should remain on multidrop, for the time being, but consider dial TCP/IP, Internet, or dedicated TCP/IP if you are a member of a consortium. Also, because of the rapid pace of telecommunications' development, it's quite possible that there may be additional solutions available in the next couple of years. Our library, as I imagine many other law libraries, currently employs a multidrop line with less than three workstations. Internet access appears to be an economical option, at least for searching and editing, but what if you need to purchase expensive new "OCLC gateway software" from your local system vendor in order to download OCLC records via the Internet to your online catalog? Local vendor considerations certainly complicate the picture.
OCLC WORKSTATION REPLACEMENT PROGRAM
Due to popular demand, OCLC is extending its 1997 Workstation Replacement Program until December 31, 1997. During this period, libraries receive $750 credit on each new OCLC workstation purchased. Also, for the rest of 1997, the price on both the M5133GS and the M5166 workstations has been reduced another $100, to $1366 and $1905 respectively. My advice is that if you plan to take advantage of this offer, don't wait till the last minute. First you need to request the multipage, somewhat Byzantine "Computer products request" form from OCLC or from your local network, fill it out, and make sure it's received by your local network before the deadline. (There's been talk of mounting this form on the Web, but at least up to now, it's available only in paper).
» Full text offerings on FirstSearch are constantly being expanded. During late summer, the "H.W. Wilson Select Full Text" database will become available as a FirstSearch option, both per-search and subscription. This database includes index, abstracts, and full-text ASCII for each of its records which drawn from over 430 periodical titles. And full text will be added later this year to five other Wilson databases, already on FirstSearch: Reader's Guide Abstracts, Social Sciences Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, General Science Abstracts, and Wilson Business Abstracts. Also planned as a late 1997 FS addition is the "Contemporary Women's Issues" database produced by Responsive Database Services. "It covers over 600 sources, both periodical and non-periodical, published by more than 100 organizations around the world," from 1992 to the present. Full text for more than 98 percent of the materials is provided. (News release- May 27, 1997).
» OCLC has enhanced FirstSearch WorldCat records, by retaining the 856 field, when used, from the OCLC. MARC record. URLs will now display in the field labeled "INTERNET." WorldCat on FirstSearch joins three other FS databases which currently may feature URLs in their records: NetFirst, FactSearch, and Consumers Index.
» The 3rd edition of OCLC FirstSearch Databases notebook is now available. Intended as "the central point for all FirstSearch end-user information," it supersedes not only the 2nd ed. of this publication, but also: Using FirstSearch , FirstSearch Quick Reference Guide , FirstSearch Document Supplier Card, and FirstSearch Advanced Reference Card.
» FirstSearch Electronic Collections service, previously described in the March 1997 issue of TSLL, was launched on June 16, 1997, after undergoing a successful trial by 24 universities worldwide. Electronic Collections Online, like pre-existing FirstSearch services, can be accessed using a standard Web interface, or it can be integrated into a library's local system. As of late July, 16 publishers and six subscription agents had signed up for the service, and the number of journals offered had jumped to almost 500. OCLC has also recently signed an agreement with CatchWord, an Internet publishing service provider. CatchWord utilizes "RealPage technology" to deliver electronic journals which preserve the original layout of the paper version to the fullest extent possible. Carfax, a British academic publisher, is the first "ECO" participant to provide OCLC with journals through CatchWord. A list of publishers and journals, instructions for automatic logon scripting, search strategy, as well as other information, may be found at the service's new Web site http://www.oclc.org/oclc/menu/eco.htm.
BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD NOTIFICATION SERVICE
This service, through which OCLC delivers updated versions of bibliographic records to the individual library, was offered free through the end of June 1997. For fiscal year 97/98, OCLC will be charging 10 ½ cents per record delivered, with volume discounts of five cents per record if the library receives over 7,000 records within the same OCLC fiscal year. Several enhancements were added to the system at the end of June: One oft-voiced source of dissatisfaction with the service was that you would receive records which had already been upgraded on OCLC by your own institution. Now, this category of records can be excluded from delivery. Also, the library can limit the delivery of upgraded records by encoding level, format, or publications date. Thus the library can now choose to receive upgrades of monographic records, but not for A/V records; or for material published in the last five years, but not for earlier material. Another improvement is that OCLC will now deliver records in which field 505 (Formatted contents notes) has been added or enhanced. If you select this last option however, you will receive records in all formats whose 505 has been enhanced, regardless of your format limitation option. In the third quarter of 1997 a location on the OCLC Web site from which you can download files and reports associated with OCLC's services, including Bib record notification, will be introduced. (See OCLC's Technical Bulletin 218, Rev. May 1997, for more information).
INTERLIBRARY LOAN DEVELOPMENTS
» ILL Management Statistics: OCLC has discontinued its paper distribution of ILL fee management reports as of July 1, 1997. Instead, subscribers are being offered electronic files of OCLC interlibrary loan activity statistics, which can be used with standard third-party spreadsheet and database software applications such as Microsoft Excel, Access, or Lotus 1-2-3. These reports keep track of information such as "Number of borrows and loans, borrows by library user status, department, and ID, fill rate, lender turnabout time, top borrowing and lending libraries, collection analysis information such as frequently borrowed and requested titles, [and] copyright compliance." An annual subscription to this service includes two monthly files from the OCLC Web site, one for borrowing statistics, and one for lending statistics. To subscribe to these reports, go into your NAD (Name address directory) organization record, and set the new ":ILL MGT STATS:" field to "Y" or "Yes" anytime between the 4th and 27th (inclusive) of each month. More information is available in OCLC's Technical Bulletin 223 (May 1997), and at a new section of OCLC's Web site http://www.oclc.org/OCLC/menu/ill_mgmt_stats.htm.
» OCLC ILL Direct Request should become available in third quarter 1997. This enhancement will allow the OCLC Interlibrary Loan Subsystem to receive and process requests from local systems with little or no library staff mediation. In order to take advantage of this enhancement, the requester's library must have a local system with an ILL module that is ISO 10160 and 10161 compliant, and can generate an ILL request form for the patron or a place on the institution's Web page allowing the same type of request. To indicate the source of the ILL request, a new system-supplied ":SOURCE" field will appear, with code "ISOILL" for records transferred using the ISO 10161 standard protocol. When a patron submits a direct borrowing request, a workform appears in the borrower library's message file under the status "Review." The new "Apply" (ap) command allows you to transfer data from bibliographic and locations records to a request in the review file. Also planned, but somewhat farther in the future, is the ability to transfer requests directly from FirstSearch to the OCLC ILL Subsystem, which will be indicated by a ":SOURCE" code of "FSILL." A "Guided tour" of the OCLC ILL direct request procedure may be found on the Web at http://www.oclc.org/OCLC/drill/drmap.htm.
» ILL Save Record Macro: A new macro has been written and tested that will save a full single or multi-screen ILL record (minus the session ID, database indicator, search key statement, and record count indicator at the top of the first screen). This macro, called the "illsave.mbk," is now available at the PpfW download macro Web page http://www.oclc.org/OCLC/passport/download.htm and the Product Services Menu. The current "Save Screen" macro prints only one screen at a time and captures everything on the screen starting at home position.
» Additional new ILL documentation: A substantial section entitled "Getting Started with OCLC ILL ME for Windows" has been added to the OCLC Web site in late July 1997 at http://www.oclc.org/OCLC/man/9567ilme/ilmegs.htm. A hypertext "Interlibrary Loan Reference Card" provides hotlinks to key information in the broader areas of Borrowing procedures, Lending procedures, and General information, all of which have been broken down into more specific areas.