|OBS Local Systems Committee||Minutes|
The OBS Local Systems Committee met on Tuesday, July 17, at 5:15 pm. At least thirty people attended the meeting. This was a record number for recent years. As participants introduced themselves, Alan Keely (Wake Forest University Professional Center Library) kept track of the systems that people had and he reported that there were 17 with Innovative systems and 10 with other systems. By acclamation, George Prager (New York University Law School) was elected Chair for the next two years.
The meeting was billed as an open discussion entitled Enhanced OPACs: Streamlining Access for the Patron. The discussion focused on access to tables of contents and indexes, aggregator's full text, e-books, and e-reserves. It also touched on the question of multiple versions, maintaining URLs and proxy servers. This report includes many of the specifics that were discussed, since these might be useful to librarians who were not able to attend the meeting.
Five of the libraries indicated that they were providing access to table of contents or indexes through their bibliographic records. The products involved are Indexmaster and BNA. Librarians complained about BNA's inadequate authority control. All the libraries using these products are frustrated by the cut-and-paste method of adding the URLs to the records. Alan Keely said that he talked to Indexmaster about providing a batch of MARC records with only ISBN and URL fields. It would be very helpful, because it could be used by some systems to overlay otherwise protected records. But, the vendor may not have the capability to do this.
Providing bibliographic links to fee-based full text presents very similar problems. Eight of the libraries represented are currently doing this. The vendors involved include Hein, Matthew Bender, RIA, and CCH. None of the vendors produce cataloging for libraries to buy. Many of the individual products were cataloged by libraries and are shared on the utilities. We can help each other by continuing to do this. But shared cataloging does not solve the problem of knowing when titles are added or removed from a service. Alan Keely is planning to talk to Hein about cooperating with them to provide cataloging for HeinOnline. CCH presents an additional problem, because they do not offer the ability to link to an individual title, just to link to a particular "service".
E-books were not considered a big issue by the law libraries present. One library is providing access to NetLibrary resources.
Only three of the libraries had any form of electronic reserves. Other libraries want to do it, but are prevented by concerns over copyright issues. A number of the libraries make faculty exams available electronically.
There was some discussion about whether libraries use one or multiple bibliographic records for the various versions of a title. The practice varies from library to library. In particular, we talked about Internet titles that libraries print and bind (usually government documents). Several libraries currently create two records for this material: one for the Web site and one for the reproduction. This is time consuming, however. Susan Goldner (UALR William H. Bowen School of Law) catalogs the Web site and attaches an item record for the print version.
The other maintenance issue that all of these enhancements to the OPAC cause is the need to keep URLs updated. Susan Chinoransky (George Washington University) said that they are happy with the Innovative product, WAM, which they run monthly. Ellen McGrath (University at Buffalo) said that her campus uses LinkBot once a week and is pleased with the results. People have found that the GPO Purls are very reliable and can be ignored when they appear on URL reports.
A number of libraries use proxy servers to allow their patrons off-campus access to fee-based electronic resources. Heather Buckwalter (Creighton Law Library) is very pleased with EZProxy, the software they are using.
The meeting ended with talk about possible programs for next year. Two topics were of particular interest. The first is the relation between the library web page and the OPAC. Now, most libraries seem to be cataloging everything linked to from the library's home page and from subject lists or pathfinders found there. The second potential topic is that we are being asked to do more with fewer staff since all of the things discussed during this meeting are new activities. This topic could be included in a program on coordinating the workflow of electronic resources.
The meeting adjourned at 6:15 pm.
OBS Local Systems Committee Chair
July 23, 2001