submitted by Marlene Bubrick, Acquisitions/Electronic Information Librarian
Loyola Law School, William M. Rains Library
When my title was changed from Acquisitions/Serials Librarian to Acquisitions/Electronic
Information Librarian, I was asked to keep the law school faculty and the public
services library staff aware of the various electronic resources and web sites
that I was adding to our online catalog. An electronically distributed newsletter
was preferred, so that links could be provided directly to the sources being
described. A title was chosen and an introduction written by the Library Director.
In Fall of 1998, the inaugural issue of AcidRAINS (Named by the Director
after the William M. Rains Library) was on its way.
We are now in volume three, and I enjoy putting this newsletter together more
and more with each issue. I am becoming quite adept at converting the overwhelming
amount of information I receive about electronic subscriptions, new web sites
and online documents into a coherent, informative newsletter. I have established
a procedure for creating order from chaos.
- I first weed through the many current awareness services I subscribe to,
looking for sources that pertain to law or other known faculty interests.
I am also made aware of sources through my colleagues, who ask for certain
reports or web sites to be made available through LUCY, the William M. Rains
Library online catalog.
- Then I visit each site, or view each document, or read the table of contents
of each report, to determine the value of the information to our collection.
- After choosing the sources to be included in the current issue, I organize
the material into an attractive and meaningful presentation.
- I first create the masthead with its now recognizable (at least to those
at Loyola Law School) design.
- I then prepare the headings for each group of sources, each introduced with
a cartoon or icon.
- I begin with web-based resources that are available only to Loyola users,
i.e. those on subscription such as Wilson's Index to Legal Periodicals and
Business Periodicals Index or Hein Online.
- The other resources are divided into categories, such as California-related
materials or legal search engines or simply "A Mixed Bag of Web Sites".
Each includes a direct link and a short description.
- I make sure the reference desk staff has a current list of user names and
passwords for those sources that require them.
- URL verification, or checking the currency of links, is a regular part of
The last step in this process, after proofreading and link checking, is ensuring
that each catalog entry is complete (but that's another article). More and more
of our reference tools are now electronically available, and the public services
staff needs to know about them. AcidRAINS is one way of sharing this
information. Archival issues are currently available to the library staff, and
future projects include making them available to the public on our library's
web site and providing an index to resources covered.
Below is an illustration of the beginning of my most recent issue.
If you would like to see a copy of AcidRAINS, please send me an e-mail
at Marlene.Bubrick@lls.edu, and
I will e-mail an issue to you.