Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 8, no. 10, October 1997

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

Acting Editor Roy Tennant

The Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720
ISSN: 1060-2356  - http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/CurrentCites/1997/cc97.8.10.html

Contributors: Christof Galli, Kirk Hastings, Terry Huwe, Margaret Phillips, Richard Rinehart, Jim Ronningen, Roy Tennant

[ Digital Libraries ] [ Networks & Networking ]

Digital Libraries

Friedlander, Amy. "D-Lib Magazine: Publishing as the Honest Broker" The Serials Librarian 33 (1-4) (Spring 1998) (http://web.mit.edu/waynej/www/friedlander.html). -- Ask anyone involved in the creation of digital libraries what the most important journal is in their field, and most will name D-Lib Magazine. In it you get cutting-edge research reports, descriptions of production services, highlights of new projects, and much more. In the two years since it was begun it has already become an indispensable resource, for which the evidence is here in your hands (at Current Cites we cite only the best, and a number of D-Lib Magazine's articles have made cut over the last two years). The editor Amy Friedlander bridges the library and computer science communities with aplomb, and gathers articles that illustrate issues and advances that inform the work of both. In this piece she describes the philosophy behind the D-Lib server organization. -- RT

Duranceau, Ellen Finnie. "Beyond Print: Revisioning Serials Acquisitions for the Digital Age" The Serials Librarian 33 (1-4) (Spring 1998) (http://web.mit.edu/waynej/www/duranceau.htm). -- As many librarians have realized by now, the game has changed. Not only are we not doing the same thing we did five years ago, but in many cases we could not have even imagined it. If you need proof of this, read this article. Web-based serials simply cannot be dealt with in the same fashion as print, although even floppy-disk and CD-ROM-based serials were not enough to break the print mold. This article provides a thorough description of what makes Web-based serials so different in terms of library procedures. Read it and weep. -- RT

Dartois, Myriam, et. al. "A Multilingual Electronic Text Collection of Folk Tales for Casual Users Using Off-the-Shelf Browsers" D-Lib Magazine (October 1997) (http://www.dlib.org/dlib/october97/sugimoto/10sugimoto.html). -- I admit to having been very skeptical of the claim made by this article that an "off-the-shelf" Web browser could simultaneously display folk tales in three different languages -- English, French, and Japanese. Yes, Japanese. Without special fonts or language kits. It is a good thing I'm not a betting man, or I'd be eating my hat right now. Run, don't walk, to http://www.DL.ulis.ac.jp/oldtales and see for yourself. I loaded their applet over a 28.8K modem connection using Netscape 3.01 and was very impressed. By contrast, other (admittedly more complex) applets I 've recently tried to load over a 10Mb network connection using Netscape 4.0 have not only taken orders of magnitude longer to load but have also crashed my computer. This project is well worth checking out if you want to be either a producer or a consumer of texts in non-Roman character sets. -- RT

Xu, Amanda. "Metadata Conversion and the Library OPAC" The Serials Librarian 33 (1-4) (Spring 1998) (http://web.mit.edu/waynej/www/xu.htm). -- Every once in a while I run into an article that gives me a distinct impression that the person writing it is living before their time. This is one such. I have a feeling that most of what Xu writes about in this article will be barely understandable to most people and yet may be taken for granted within five years. Xu's basic thesis is that the best interface to information for library users is the library catalog. Given that, why should we force our clientele to use a separate interface to access Web resources? Why not "suck in" metadata from Web resources into our library catalogs and provide our users with "one-stop" shopping? Why not indeed? Well, the very idea is anathema to many -- mainly those charged with creating and maintaining a highly structured and high-quality library catalog database. To some degree, this philosophical issue is at the very core of our future digital libraries. Will our users increasingly see a division between print and digital? Or will we use technology to bring them ever closer together? Xu is of the latter camp, but unfortunately she may just be a few years too early for most readers. Read this article, read it again, then read between the lines. Then think about possibilities and our users who depend upon possibilities realized. -- RT

Networks & Networking

Junion-Metz, Gail. K-12 Resources on the Internet: An Instructional Guide. Berkeley, California: Library Solutions Press, 1997. ISBN:1-882208-22-6. (Instructor's Supplement: ISBN: 1-882208-23-4) - An update of last year's edition, this workbook continues in the fine tradition of other Internet workshop guides published by Library Solutions Press. Serving a dual purpose as both a self-paced guide for individual teachers and librarians who want to learn about the Internet and as a model training tool for those teaching the Internet, this guide is divided into three modules: Module 1 provides a broad overview of the Internet and includes everything from the history of the Internet to the obligatory treatise on netiquette; Module 2 focuses on teaching offering suggestions for setting up a general Internet teaching strategy and creating assignments; Module 3, for those teachers and librarian who are not yet online, outlines the basic issues of acquiring the Internet. Each module contains an annotated list of resources for further exploration. New to this year's addition is an accompanying disk that can be used with a web browser and lists the most up-to-date addresses for the many resources listed in the print guide. Also new to this edition is a section on searching the web (gone are references to Veronica and Jughead). Of particular use in this volume is the extensive bibliography of books and journal articles (yes, print resources). As with the many other Library Solutions Press guides, the Instructor's supplement includes Windows and Macintosh disks which contain presentation slides that can be used for instructional purposes. -- MP

Auditore, John and Kristin Stoklosa. "Health Statistics" College & Research Libraries News 58(9) (October 1997):627-630, 639 (http://www.ala.org/acrl/resoct97.html). -- This guide to Internet resources lists sites for accessing current, relevant national statistics published by reputable organizations. The first part includes references to good starting points like the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) (http://www.cdc.gov/nchswww/nchshome.htm). Topics of other sections include aging, AIDS, cancer, environmental health, ethnic health issues and mental health. Most of the references are to U.S. sites but there is a brief section on international statistics. -- MP

Lan, Zhiyong and Santa Falcone. "Factors Influencing Internet Use - A Policy Model for Electronic Government Information Provision" Journal of Government Information 24(4) (1997):251-157. -- The article discusses four key issues that must be considered in order to foster widespread acceptance of the Internet: 1) Technical development efforts should focus on enhancing ease of use by increasing the speed of information processing as well as creating standard to avoid systems incompatibility. 2) Because Internet access is expensive, and because private investment is heavily involved in the information revolution, government information disseminated through the Internet only reaches the well-to-do. This factor must be considered in any attempt to render the Internet the primary mode of access for government information. 3) Institutional arrangements which lead to the centralization of information services and the effect of economies of scale which lead to monopolies in the information services market are factors that may hamper unrestricted access. 4) Finally, psychological factors influencing information processing to be taken into consideration include "fearful attitudes toward the Internet" as well as lack of acceptance of this new medium by users. -- CG

Max, J. and W. Stickle. "Humanities and Arts: Sharing Center Stage on the Internet". Request For Comments 2150; FYI 31. IETF Network Working Group, October 1997 (http://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc2150.txt) -- This is an easy-to-understand explanation of the Internet and all of its various services with the particular needs of artists and humanists in mind. For those who match the profile audience and who have resisted using the Internet, this may be just the document to inspire them to get online and describe what they can do when they get there. But give it to them on paper, please. In the early days of the Internet we would joke that one could learn to use the Internet if one could only learn to use the Internet, since everything describing how to use it was online. Better yet, give them a copy of this document and send them off on a long coffee break while you connect their PC to the network. Then, when they return all jacked up on caffeine, sit them down in front of a Web browser and show them how to type in the URLs listed in the RFC they just read. Just be sure to escape before they ask you what "Request for Comments" means. -- RT

Maxwell, Bruce. How to Access the Federal Government on the Internet. Washington, DC : Congressional Quarterly, 1997. An update of his 1995 guide, the 1998 version contains descriptions of more than 600 federal government Internet sites, hundreds of which are new to this edition. Maxwell does not claim to list every federal Internet site or every document ever produced by the government; for this reason, the first section of the book lists such important gateways such as United States Government Information (www-libraries.colorado.edu/ps/gov/us/federal.htm) or the U.S. Federal Government Agencies Page (www.lib.lsu.edu/gov/fedgov.html) describing these gateways as excellent starting points in a search for federal government information. Maxwell's descriptions of each site are concise yet evaluative. He also does a good job of putting the Internet into perspective noting that not everything published by the government is on the Internet and cautioning the researcher to question the accuracy of information retrieved. One wonders if the publishers of this guide, Congressional Quarterly, Inc., will ever make a website out of this guide. I, for one, would definitely place such a website high up in my list of bookmarks. -- MP


Current Cites 8(10) (October 1997) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright © 1997 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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