OBS-SIS at AALL Annual Meeting 2002

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Program Descriptions & Materials

The Catalog vs. the Homepage? Best Practices in Connecting to Online Resources
Coordinator: Georgia Briscoe

View Materials: Includes powerpoint slideshow, selected web sites with links, and an updated bibliography.

Connecting users to the best available sources of legal information is one of the traditional functions of the law library. These best sources now include Internet resources like web sites, e-journals and subscription databases. What is the best way to bring these useful Internet resources to our users' attention? Is it through the library's homepage or its catalog or both? Who does the maintenance? Will new cross-database search technologies soon make the catalog vs. homepage debate moot? Public and technical services librarians who have navigated these issues cooperatively will discuss the problems faced and solutions found. They will cover topics such as visibility, maintainability, and quality of access, as well as their wish lists for future technologies.

How to Avoid “Search Reopened”: Hire the Right Technical Services Candidate the First Time Around

Coordinator: Barbara Plante

View the Materials:

St. Louis University Interview Guide (PDF)

Hire the Right Technical Services Candidate the First Time! / by Kate Reynolds (Powerpoint)

"Search reopened" is a phrase too often seen in current postings for Technical Services positions. Finding the right candidates for Technical Services positions at all levels is matchmaking without the "happily ever after." Are job advertisements too detailed to attract qualified prospects? Should we require a demonstration of expertise during the interview process, or are there other techniques for determining who is truly the best applicant? Using panel and skit formats, our speakers will educate us in the creation of succinct and explicit position descriptions; in the separation of fact from fancy as we evaluate incoming resumes; and in the critically important interviewing techniques which will enable us to accurately assess both the technical and the interpersonal competencies of the best candidates.

Publication Patterns: Creating Connections in the Serials World

Coordinator: Andrea Rabbia

June 2000 began distribution of standardized publication pattern data elements (used to describe a serial's pattern of issuance) into CONSER bibliographic records. This shared data supports creation of publication patterns,m required by library systems to build predictive check-in records, and MARC format holdings records. Standardized data elements also allow systems to extract the data (from field 891) and automatically build MARC-based serials check-in records. This program will discuss the future of the CONSER Publication Pattern Initiative, examine how libraries and systems use publication pattern data (from field 891), and equip librarians to advocate for systems vendors to fully use the format.

Rule Maker or Rule Breaker? A Reference Librarian’s Guide to Better Cataloging

Coordinator: Mary M. Strouse

As collections grow ever larger, librarians and library users depend on the catalog to identify and locate sources in the collection. Reference Librarians, as subject specialists and as catalog users, have a crucial role in ensuring the quality of catalog records. To play this role effectively, Reference Librarians should understand something of the constraints under which catalogers work, as well as the range of tools that are available to meet users needs. Finally, Reference Librarians are an untapped resource for recommending changes and additions to subject headings and classification schedules through the SACO project. Far too few are aware of this opportunity.

In this program, presenters explore the quantity/quality trade-offs law catalogers face. They discuss the pros and cons of adhering to uniform standards, and what happens when those standards are ignored. Next they show how local needs can be accommodated within the cataloging "rules". Lastly, they explain how conventions such as classification numbers and subject headings are promulgated and amended, and the importance of involving reference specialists in this process. Armed with this knowledge, Reference Librarians will be better equipped to engage with Catalogers in improving access to library collections.