ASSOCIATES (vol. 2, no. 1, July 1995) -

Table of Contents



                           Don Dowdey
                        Subject Cataloger
                     NASA Technical Library
                           Hampton, VA

As Internet connections become more and more common in libraries,
technical services employees are often overwhelmed with the
problems of finding and using information that helps them to do
their jobs.  In this article, I want to summarize two types of
Internet information that people working in circulation,
acquisitions, cataloging, serials, and interlibrary loan
departments might find useful.

The first section will deal with e-mail lists, giving summaries
of recent discussion threads to help you decide which lists might
be most interesting to you.  The second indicates some of the
information available from the World Wide Web by focusing on some
of the thousands of links available through ACQWEB.  I will give
basic information about subscribing to e-mail lists and Web URLs,
but you should contact your systems people about how, and
whether, these services are available to you.


To subscribe to a LISTSERV send an email message addressed
to the email address provided in the "Subscription Address"
field.  Leave the subject line blank.  The text of the message
*must* read: SUBSCRIBE LISTNAME Yourfirstname Yourlastname

(LISTNAME means the name of the list..e.g. if the List Name field
says LIBREF-L..the LISTNAME is LIBREF-L).  Do not include any
other text and *leave the subject line blank* as this is being
read by a computer program and not a person....the program just
won't understand and will bounce back your command if it is not
worded as specified above.


     The Acquisitions Librarian's Electronic Network


Acqnet is an electronic journal.  Subscribers cannot post to
the list directly.  Posts are reviewed and collected by the
editors of the list.  A new issue of ACQNET comes out every few
days and contains anywhere from 1 to half a dozen posts.
Articles include announcements of Conferences on Acquisitions
sponsored by ALCTS and others, comments on references products
used by acquisitions librarians (such as Global Books in Print),
reports from conferences on such topics as "The Wired Collection
Manager", evaluations of vendors services, the University of
Illinois policy on licensing CDROM products, job announcements,
discussion of vendor changes of address, suggestions for
searching for out-of-print and foreign materials, the
announcement of a new list BACKSERV to provide a forum for the
listing of both available and desired serial issues in all
subject areas, a request for advice on automating an exchange
program, a final draft of a statement of ALCTS's "Principles &
Standards of Acquisitions Practice" (and information on how to
obtain a suitable for framing copy), a statement from the editor
about changes in the list, evaluation of several publishers
catalogs available on the Internet (mostly considered to be to
sketchy to be useful at the present time), workflow issues for
acquisitions departments, and an excellent issue on outsourcing
with an annotated bibliography on the topic.


     Library Cataloging and Authorities


Although the traffic is heavy, this is an absolutely essential
list for anyone who does cataloging. Discussions range from the
theoretical (what should AACR3 try to do) to the specifically
practical (how do I set up a heading for a USENET group).  Recent
threads included discussions on smart barcodes, the correct MARC
code for unique, but Dewey-based call numbers, whether the LC
Bulletin and Changes is worthwhile for smaller libraries, how to
send an electronic error message to OCLC, how to code an edition
statement for a photocopied book, and how Books In Print on CD
ROM might be integrated into acquisitions and cataloging
procedures.  Of particular note are posts from abroad and from
librarians using card and book catalogs, who argue persuasively
for or against changes that would effect them.

Also, LC and ALA committees regularly post surveys to AUTOCAT
concerning changes in rules or procedures, and the list makes
wide-ranging discussion possible.


     Circulation and Access Services


Very heavy traffic, but well-focused on circulation concerns.
Nearly all issues receive many several responses.  Recent threads
included eight messages on 3M self check machines, three on
converting from manual to automated check-in, six on automation
and renovation, three on barcoding collections, eight on the
advantages/disadvantages of using cash registers to collect
fines, sixteen on circulation of journals, three on circulation
of laptop computers, six on dealing with delinquent patrons who
graduate, seven on dealing with faculty members' reserve
requests, twelve on ways to desensitize materials in large
batches, eight on loan periods, nine on searching for missing
materials within the library, seventeen on dealing with mutilated
materials (especially newspapers), thirty-six on fine policies,
twenty-seven on photocopying of reserve materials (including
copyright concerns), twenty-four on staff borrowing procedures,
nineteen on evaluating student assistants, and five on surveying
students about library policies.

Although this list has a decided bias toward academic libraries,
much of the discussion could apply to public and special
libraries as well.  Evaluation of staff, copyright issues, use of
cash-registers, bulk desensitizing, searching for lost materials,
and surveying users are concerns of any librarian.


     Interlibrary Loan


An indispensable list for interlibrary loan librarians because of
the quick help in finding items, especially those located or
published in other countries.  During this period, documents were
located in Australia, and a major supplier of British theses
(BLDSC) explained their policies in detail.  Another common use
of the list is for the announcement of changes in interlibrary
schedules because of system failure, moving, or (in one case)
pregnancy leave.  Other threads included charges for interlibrary
loans, requests for evaluation of document delivery services
(especially for information on how they handled copyright
problems), addresses for publishers, e-mail addresses for
interlibrary loan departments, a discussion of increasing postal
rates, a summary of responses on the effect of the OCLC First
Search/ILL link on ILL requests, and discussions of work flows.


     Serials in Libraries


Excellent list for serials catalogers.  Recent threads dealt with
specific questions on specific journals, bindery concerns,
experiences with cancelling the print version of Chemical
Abstracts in favor of on-line access (eight different types of
libraries reported substantial savings and no accreditation
problems), policies on circulating periodicals, discussion of
CONSER's core record proposal, comparison of journal holdings in
several large public libraries, concerns from Abstracting and
Indexing companies about changes in their subscription charges,
ISO standards for serials holdings in OPACs, and treatment of
uniform title qualifiers.


     Library Administration and Management


A very heavy list, but postings contained many different
perspectives, from academic, public, and special libraries.  Many
threads concerned issues of interest to any Technical Services
supervisor, including software for statistics gathering,
borrowing privileges for different types of patrons (including
alumni and public library board members), ways to deal with 3M
security system's computer interference (unfortunately, there was
consensus only on the fact that this is a big problem),
organizing Friends of the Library groups, advice and comments on
the advantages and disadvantages of compact shelving, food and
drink policies, ways to organize serials workflows, suggestions
for library science research (especially in how patrons use
OPACS), the effect of Oregon's anti-gay referendum on libraries,
self-checkout systems, telecommuting, and wet-process microform
reader/printers.  An interesting thread dealt with the issue of
gender in library supervisory and administrative positions.

This is an eclectic list with valuable information for any
Technical Services personnel with administrative
responsibilities.  It would be very useful for those serving on
Library policy committees.


     Public Access Computer Systems--Receives CURRENT-CITES
          (Monthly Letter for Library Technology)


A heavy list, but very informative on all issues concerning
computers in libraries.  Recent threads included comments on
Internet kiosks in Post Offices, Internet access for public and
academic library patrons, software for creating newspaper
indexes, building WWW homepages with WYSIWYG (What You See Is
What You Get) software, hardware and software for the physically
handicapped, getting access to sound files in Mosaic, and ways to
protect computer mice from theft.
Current Cites is regularly posted to PACS-L.  Published by
Information Systems Instruction & Support of the Library of the
University of California, Berkeley, a recent issue had articles
reviewing recent publications on electronic publishing,
multimedia and hypermedia, networks and networking, and optical
disc technology.  Current Cites can also be subscribed to
separately by sending the message "sub cites [your name]" to, replacing "[your name]" with your
own name.

PACS-L and Current Cites are highly recommended for any
Technical Services personnel with responsibilities or interests
in computers in libraries.


     Library Support Staff


A very heavy list, but obviously one which participants enjoy.
While the tone is more irreverent than some lists, the topics
discussed are serious.  Several of the posters mentioned that
they were working toward the MLS.  Recent discussion included
accessing OCLC through the Internet (requires a password), a
discussion of problems of searching different OPACS focusing on
keyword vs controlled vocabulary searching, and how to
effectively use volunteers in a library.  On a lighter note,
there was also a discussion of the different traditions which
Libraries have for celebrating holidays.  An excellent resource
for paraprofessionals who want to feel a part of a larger group
of workers.


     Public Libraries


Postings to this list are done in digest form, so that each
message has several separate posts within it. Recent posts
covered such topics as fines, special services for older adults,
management of electronic records, internet access policies for
patrons, budgeting, dial-in reference service, TQM and libraries,
fax policies, marketing public libraries, censorship, conference
announcements, inter-library loan, pamphlet circulation policies,
internet kiosks in post-offices, library fees, weeding policies,
Library Journal's annual public library questionnaire (sent out
for online response), bookmobiles, and computer security in a
Windows environment.

Highly recommended for all Technical Service personnel
working in public libraries.

                        WORLD WIDE WEB RESOURCES



This is a wonderful web-site.  This summary of what it offers is
in no way exhaustive, but merely suggestive.  Anyone working in
technical services should look at it.  Divided into eight large
sections, ACQWEB offers access to literally thousands of
resources on the Web.

authorized users of OCLC, RLIN, and WLN databases.  Also has
links, for authorized users, to research databases and full-text
online resources, including Dialog, Nexis/Lexis, UnCover, and GPO
Access.  In addition, ACQWEB offers access to virtually all
library catalogs on the Internet.

2) ASSOCIATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS: Homepages for twenty-four
Associations and Organizations, including ALA, with conference
and workshop announcements; OCLC, including online versions of
Technical Bulletins, Bibliographic Formats and Standards, a
manual on cataloging Electronic Resources, and Tape and Record
Export Formats Change Notices; CARL, including access to UnCover,
the journal table of contents service, and several databases
which require passwords, including Dialog, H.W. Wilson, and UMI;
the Antiquarian Booksellers Assocition of America, with a
searchable index of members current catalogs.

thirty-one sites, including current and back discussions/issues
from the e-mail lists and electronic journals ACQNET, ALCTS
Network News, Biblio, Newsletter on Serials Pricing Issues,
Citations for Serial Literature, MC Journal: the Journal of
Academic Media Librarianship, Current Cites, PACS-L, and

4) WEB REFERENCE RESOURCES: Offers access to specific information
of interest to Law and Music Librarians.  The Law link includes
Law and Politics Book Reviews, e-mail directory of Law School
Faculty and Staff, an archive of Law e-mail lists, and access to
26 Law Library Catalogs.  The Music link seeks to be "a
relatively complete set of all music resources available" and
includes discographies arranged by subject, a list of music e-
mags, access to music libraries, including the International
Library of African Music, and access to many other gopher and Web
sites devoted to music.

5) PUBLISHERS:  Offers access to 543 publishers catalogs, several
which offer online searching of their complete catalogs and
online order forms.  Also includes an index to publishers e-mail

6) LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE: Offers access to 26 sites,
including the Acquisitions Department Homepages from MIT and
Cornell; Vianne Tang Sha's Guide to Cataloging Resources on the
Internet; and the Library of Congress, including its Technical
Services subdirectory.

7) GENERAL REFERENCES SOURCES: Access to dictionaries, postal
information, including UPS and FedEx package tracking, US Postal
rates from Pitney Bowles, a searchable Zip Code directory, and
AT&T's 800 Number Directory.

section serves as a place to announce additions to the main
Homepage.  It is regularly updated.

As the Internet continues to grow, the amount of useful
information on it continues to expand.  These e-mail lists and
WWW pages only hint at the amount of information available.