This is a futuristic column in more than one way. It talks about digitizing, but it also talks about future programs that discuss the digital tools that are all around us. Knowing what will be available at AALL in Washington in 1999 can be useful in planning and justifying attendance at the meeting. There are many more programs that will be available; so, be on the lookout for the Program Announcement with your December Spectrum that will describe all that is offered. Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge the help of Timothy Coggins, Chair of the Annual Meeting Program Selection Committee (AMPSC); Anne Myers, AMPSC Member; Janet McKinney, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of TSSIS and coordinator of "The Internet in Technical Services"; Joe Thomas, Chair of TS-SIS; and Brian Striman, Vice-Chair/ Chair-Elect of OBS-SIS. I would also like to acknowledge again the very interesting Library Journal column, "Digital Libraries," by Roy Tennant. Roy Tennantís ideas will constitute the second part of this column.
At the Washington, D.C., meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries, an intriguing program is being sponsored by TS-SIS and coordinated by Pat Turpening, Head of Preservation & Archives at University of Cincinnati College of Law, Robert S. Marx Law Library. This program is entitled Preservation at the Crossroads: a Debate Between the World of Print and the Brave New World of Digital. It will feature two speakers - one who will talk about traditional preservation methods and another person who will explain the benefits of preserving content digitally.
Other technical services/online bibliographic services programs approved by AMPSC include:
(Just to complete the Washington picture, other technical services programs of interest are Loose-leafs at the Crossroads: Defining Seriality; Cataloging a la Carte; Classifying International Legal Materials; and Collection Development Policies for Electronic Format Materials.)
To segue to another digital aspect of technical services, I would like to refer to the "Digital Libraries" column by Roy Tennant of October 15, 1998 in Library Journal. It is entitled "The Art and Science of Digital Bibliography." Mr. Tennant, who manages the Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE and the listservs Web4Lib and DigLibns, has a view of cataloging worth considering. In the digital Internet environment, the MARC record is even more cumbersome than ever. Tennant proposes the use of bibliography instead. He sees annotated bibliographies for a selected audience as a prime service, central to the work of librarians. He refers to such bibliographies as indexes or subject gateways and lists their common qualities:
» Evaluation skills are important, special cataloging skills are not
» Annotations of description or evaluation are important
» Links need checking regularly
» These bibliographical services are targeted to certain interest groups
» Access is enabled with additional keywords
Roy Tennant lists several digital bibliography projects in his column. Among these resources are:
» Resource Organisation and Discovery in Subject-based Service (ROADS) (http://www.roads.lut.ac.uk)
» Internet Scout Project (http://scout.cs.wisc.edu/scout)
» The Access Catalogue Gateway to Resources (http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue15/main)
Tennant ends by saying that the library catalog is not the model upon which to base these services. He calls for specialized organization of knowledge that enables the searcher to investigate the subject in more than one resource at once. Law librarians familiar with Lexis may think of a mega;mega file in computer-assisted legal research. This is food for thought. As always, the challenge is to implement an ideal in a practical way.
A Few Words from the Athens of the South:
A special thank you to Webmaster, Martin Wisneski, for his superb job of handling TSLLís new look.
And welcome to Sandy Sadow, a new columnist for a new column -- Collection Development. Look for her in the next issue of TSLL.