PASSPORT FOR DOS: OCLC ended support for this software as of January 1, 1998. While OCLC will not block access to any of its services via Passport for DOS, this software will not be updated, nor will OCLC provide assistance in resolving any problems for members who continue to use it. For use with non-Web OCLC online systems, "Passport for Windows software is the recommended terminal emulation product." (News release of Nov. 12, 1997).
OCLC MULTIDROP COMMUNICATIONS: According to the 1997 edition of OCLC Communications & Access Planning Guide, distributed to member libraries in early December 1997, OCLC plans to discontinue its Multidrop communications by 2001 due to its increasing incompatibility with new services and technology. Libraries should switch to the Internet, OCLC dedicated TCP/IP, or OCLC dial TCP/IP as soon as they can, and replace older Multidrop workstations with Pentium-based workstations, also asap. Through various charts and "FAQs," the Guide offers extensive assistance on which telecommunications methods to choose.
OCLC ACCESS SUITE: On January 26, 1998, OCLC introduced the "OCLC Access Suite," a single compact disc that combines the most important software libraries needed to access OCLC's cataloging and interlibrary loan services. The CD includes the following OCLC software: Passport for Windows, ILL Micro Enhancer for Windows, Cataloging Micro Enhancer for Windows, CJK [Chinese/Japanese/Korean], and the Cataloging Label Program. Offered as an annual license, the price includes all updates issued in that time period. The first new product to be released as part of the Suite is CATME for Windows; OCLC intends to add more new products to the OCLC Access Suite on a regular basis. For the time being, Passport for Windows, ILL ME for Windows, and OCLC CJK are still available on their own diskettes. In the near future, these products, like CATME for Windows, will be available only as part of the Access Suite. Libraries may purchase software licenses for any of these products separately, but will receive the entire Access Suite, with permission to load only those part/s they have paid for. OCLC is encouraging all members to migrate licenses from individual software components to the entire Suite, and the pricing is established accordingly. Additional information about the Suite is available at http://www.oclc.org/oclc/menu/suite/index.htm.
OCLC CATALOGING LABEL PROGRAM REVISITED: I have one modification to make regarding my previous column's description of the "SaveBlock" macro. I mentioned that it might be necessary to assign a function key for this macro residing on the macro list as "PRSMUTIL!SaveBlock." Actually, <CTRL> <F12> is the default combination assigned for this macro; you need only to assign a key for this macro if you have already assigned <CTRL> <F12> to another macro (as we did in our library).
We've been experimenting with the OCLC cataloging label software for the last few months. Until late January 1998, labels were printed on a dot matrix KXP1124 Panasonic printer. This printer had several drawbacks. When printing multiple labels, the quality of the printing often seemed to vary among labels, with the first label in particular frequently coming out poorly. Sometimes, odd things would happen to the information on the labels themselves, such as the call number shifting to the title field. And last but not least, each label set took between 45-60 seconds to print. Rather frustrated, I queried OCLC User Support via e-mail about recommended printers to use with the program. However, they would not recommend a specific printer or even recommend a laser printer over a dot matrix. Luckily, I spoke with a considerably more helpful individual at OCLC, who suggested that the software would work much better with a laser printer. Just before submitting this article, we inherited an HP LaserJet 4V and used it to produce labels. The difference in performance was truly amazing! It only took 15 seconds to print the first page (a set of eight SL-6 labels, the number on one sheet) and subsequent pages printed in a second or two. The labels evidenced none of the variations in quality so apparent when we printed with our dot matrix. Based on these experiences, I would strongly recommend the use of a laser printer to any library trying this software. Too bad that OCLC, in its documentation concerning this software, does not recommend a laser printer; that might save a lot of needless experimentation.
Two other points of interest: In the November 1997 issue of SUNY/OCLC's Status Line (p. 5-8), Lauren Pinsley provides an excellent "Guerilla Guide" to downloading and using the OCLC label program http://sunyoclc.sysadm.suny.edu/sta97nov.htm#here. Her description of downloading and /installation options is more detailed than I could provide in this space. She also provides a list of vendors who offer label stock for laser printers, with order numbers, catalog cites, et al. One point of difference: I have not found it necessary to "mark the labels prior to printing" when printing a sequential batch of labels. To print all the labels imported into a file, simply select "Action" and "Print now". To print a sequential selection of labels, highlight them, and then use the same commands.
On December 29, 1997, OCLC announced the availability of Label Program Version 1.10. While I have not yet had an opportunity to test this upgraded version of the label software, it's major enhancement is allowing you to "unmark" labels previously selected for batch printing.
CATALOGING INTERENT RESOURCES: The second edition of Cataloging Internet Resources: a Manual and Practical Guide, edited by Nancy B. Olson, was made available in paper and on the Web in late 1997. Complimentary print copies for this publication (MAN2119) may be ordered via e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org, though supplies may not last much longer. The manual is also available at http://www.purl.org/oclc/cataloging-internet. Examples have been revised throughout the manual to reflect a more diverse array of resource types. "Appendix A" offers updated information on the use of field "856 -- Electronic location and access" field, in accordance with the changes recommended in MARBI Proposal No. 97-1: "Definition of Second Indicator (Relationship to Source) in Field 856 ... in the USMARC formats." (These changes were approved by LC in February 1997, but have not yet been implemented by LC or the bibliographic utilities). Perhaps the most significant change from the first edition of this work is the greatly expanded list of terms which may be used in the "File characteristics area" (field 256), part of the editor's attempt to bring this manual largely into conformance with the recently published International Standard Bibliographic Description for Electronic Resources (ISBD(ER)). Unfortunately, little guidance is given about when to use such problematic terms as "Computer online service," nor are the terms linked to the appropriate codes to be used in fixed field "008/26" ("Type of computer file" ). In fact, a conscious choice was made not to include any discussion of fixed fields in the manual, not even of 008/26. I consider this to be a significant omission, as evidenced by the late 1997 discussion on several listservs about the lack of clear guidance in coding this fixed field, a lack which is certainly reflected by OCLC's estimation that at least 25 percent of computer file records in WorldCat use code "u" ("other" or unknown) in the 008/26 field. This inaccurate coding also presents a formidable barrier to the conversion of existing computer file records in accordance with MARBI proposal 97-3R ("Redefinition of code "m" (Computer file) in Leader/06 in the USMARC Bibliographic Format"), and is a major factor in delaying its implementation by OCLC for several years. (The reasons for the delay are discussed in detail by Rich Greene of OCLC, in his AUTOCAT posting of November 24, 1997, 9:34 a.m. (Cross-posted)). Other facets of Internet resource cataloging which were much discussed on INTERCAT and other listservs, but which aren't discussed in the manual, include Cataloging bilingual or multilingual sites, Subject heading form subdivisions appropriate for these types of records (Computer network resources vs. Databases vs. Information services, etc.), and Parallels with the cataloging of looseleaf publications (title history notes, publisher history notes, etc.). Of course, there's no way to cover in one slim manual, or in one several times its size, all the difficulties inherent in cataloging Internet resources. This I suppose is part of the charm in working with such "materials." There's certainly much useful information in the new edition of the manual, and it can be considered one of the basic resources for the cataloging of Internet resources, along with CONSER Cataloging Manual Module 31: Remote Access Computer File Serials.
EUR-OP DATABASE: This database was originally mounted on OCLC as a joint pilot project with the Office of European Publications and OCLC. As the pilot has been concluded, this database is no longer available for searching or other cataloging activity, effective January 1, 1998.
FIRST SEARCH: The "SIRS Researcher" database from Social Issues Resources may now be accessed through FirstSearch, via subscription and per search. This database offers "full-text articles from more than 1,200 domestic and international newspapers, magazines, journals, and government publications." (SUNY/OCLC Status Line, November 1997, p. 14). "Periodicals Contents Index" is the most recent addition to the OCLC FirstSearch Service. Produced by Chadwyck-Healey, this multilingual database indexes the contents of pre-1991 issues of periodicals in the humanities and social sciences. It's offered in two editions: Complete (1770-1990/91), via subscription only and Subset (1960/61-1990/91), available under all FS pricing options.
FIRST SEARCH ELECTRONIC COLLECTIONS ONLINE (ECO): In early November 1997, Academic Press agreed to make all 175 of its scientific research journals available through OCLC's Electronic Collections Online. Also, Johns Hopkins University pledged in early December to make all 43 of its Project Muse journals available, thus bringing the total number of ECO journals and publishers to 1,100 and 24 respectively. Sometime in 1998, OCLC plans to begin linking the 65 FS databases with the full-text journals available through ECO, with the goal of eventually creating a fully integrated system.
ILL DIRECT RESPONSE:: In late 1997, OCLC introduced the first phase of ILL Direct Request, allowing the OCLC Interlibrary Loan Subsystem to receive and process requests from local systems with little or no library staff mediation. (See my September 1997 TSLL column). Now OCLC has added the capability of transferring requests directly from FirstSearch's WorldCat to OCLC ILL. In order to take advantage of FS/ILL Direct Request, it's necessary to set up your institution's "Direct Request Profile". Refer to the ILL Direct Request Web Site for details http://idr.oclc.org/idr/idr.pway. While it would be desirable to add the FS/ILL Direct Request capability to other FS databases, OCLC has determined that requests generated from these other databases would still require additional human intervention, due to technical problems associated with proper indexing and mapping of the data. No date has been set for supporting this function in the other FirstSearch databases.