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January 15, 2007

Using the Engineering Literature, Bonnie Osif, ed - A Review

.: Happy New Year everyone! I am pleased to report on a very positive review for the book, Using the Engineering Literature, edited with love and care by the amazing Bonnie Osif at Penn State. (Having a chapter in the book myself has nothing to do with my enthusiasm!) :-)

The review by Roddy MacLeod appears in the Internet Resources Newsletter, n146, December 2006. Roddy writes:

As Bonnie Osif, the editor of this impressive work, points out, quality information retrieval skills are often lacking in the engineering profession. The publication of Using the engineering literature will hopefully go some way to rectifying this situation, and will help those within, and without, the profession to discover and exploit the many information tools that exist – some of which are at present unfortunately underused.

This book is targeted at practicing engineers, engineering librarians and library school students. It consists of twenty chapters, written mostly, but not exclusively, by engineering librarians in North America, and amounts to 614 pages, including an excellent 65-page index. Each chapter covers a sub-discipline within engineering, apart from the first two (which provide an Introduction by the editor, and a chapter covering general engineering resources). The remaining chapters consist of an introduction to the sub-disciplines in question (Aeronautical and aerospace engineering, Agricultural and food engineering, Architectural engineering, Bioengineering, etc) and a full analysis of the most important information resources by format.

The basics are covered very well. There are hints on searching library catalogues (relevant Library of Congress subject headings are suggested). The main abstracting and indexing services are listed and described, as are subject specific databases, bibliographies, dictionaries, directories, encyclopaedias, handbooks, textbooks, journals, websites, search engines and portals, conference proceedings, reports, gray literature, professional associations, data compilations, standards and yearbooks.

A lot of work has gone into compiling this book, and the resulty is an extremely useful reference work which should be purchased by all libraries serving engineers of any kind.

© 2006 Heriot-Watt University

My thanks to Roddy on behalf of Bonnie, my chapter co-authors and myself for this very positive review. Roddy writes, "A lot of work has gone into compiling this book", and having experienced this first hand, I can tell you he knows of which he writes. I put more work into my chapter (on petroleum engineering and refining) than on anything else I have ever written. It was well worth the effort, however, to be able to give something back to the world of engineering libraries.

The book is also mentioned briefly in ASCE News, v31 n9 September 2006. The review suggests that "It is hoped that this publication will guide all ASCE members, whether students or practicing engineers, to resources that will enhance their work and studies."

August 29, 2006

Using the Engineering Literature - Edited by Bonnie Osif

.: The new book, Using the Engineering Literature, edited by Bonnie A Osif, has finally appeared, and it is a title you will want to add to your engineering reference collections. For novice engineering librarians, it is a must read.

Before I continue, I need to preface any and all remarks made here with the following disclosure: I am the author of one of the chapters in the book, "Petroleum Engineering and Refining", and my good friend and fellow U of Alberta engineering librarian, Mr Jerry Kowalyk, is the author of the chapter, "Mining Engineering". (In fact, a number of good friends and colleagues contributed other chapters as well!) As a result, my enthusiasm for this volume is quite subjective, but that said, I must report that this is a work of critical importance to the field of engineering librarianship.

At 614 pages, Using the Engineering Literature covers a lot of ground. It is divided into 20 chapters, and offers extensive detail and coverage of the following topics and disciplines: general engineering resources, aeronautical and aerospace engineering, agricultural and food engineering, architectural engineering, bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, engineering education, environmental engineering, history of engineering, industrial and manufacturing engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, mining engineering, nuclear engineering, petroleum engineering and refining, and transportation engineering.

I hope to return with another post soon, with further details and a brief review. I want to congratulate Bonnie for her support, encouragement, and brilliant editing and indexing, and for putting up with (way too) many e-mails from me asking when the book would be published. As well, the most heartfelt and well-deserved congratulations to fellow friends and colleagues who contributed chapters to this seminal work. It does feel good to be able to give something back to this great profession. - Randy

May 24, 2006

What Are Your Core Reference Tools?

.: Diane Kovacs of Kovacs Consulting is conducting her "Current 'Core' or Essential Reference Tool Surveys". In an e-mail sent to various discussion groups, Diane asks, "Please take the time to share your understanding of which reference tools are most important for you to do your job in the following areas:

Diane also notes the following: "As always, I will post the data I've gathered on core subject reference topics back to the lists I posted the surveys to for everyone to share as well as posting the data to http://www.kovacs.com/misc.html. Last year's data is available on that page now - scroll down past the current survey links. I'm in the midst of compiling data from the other reference tool surveys that I sent out earlier this year. Moving slowly, but steadily."

I think lists of core reference tools would be of value to new and recent graduates who are becoming familiar with their subject areas. I would like to see the subject coverage of engineering be further subdivided into its subject disciplines. The previous survey for this area covered engineering, computer sciences, and technology - way too broad, and the results would be of little help to someone beginning work in engineering disciplines such as mechanical, materials, civil and environmental, electrical, and so forth. Further subdivision of subjects might include biological sciences down to botany, zoology, entomology, microbiology, and genetics, as well as splitting mathematics and computer sciences into their own surveys. The one subject missing is agriculture, and its subdisciplines as well. Would be great to see a survey for those subjects as well.

These are not criticisms, just suggestions! :-)

March 10, 2006

Remote Engineering Research Assistance - A Day In The Life

.: Yesterday I worked in ETLC 2-006. ETLC E2-006 is a computer lab in the Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex at the University of Alberta, where we (two engineering librarians) provide an engineering research assistance service four hours a week to engineering students. I had planned to be there from 1:13-3:00, but ended up staying until about 4:14. I had two questions, b2b, both lengthy and detailed.

The first student I helped was in Materials Engineering 365 (a design course), and was looking for kinetic data on GeO2, germanium dioxide. His design group is working on reduction of GeO2 to solid germanium, using H2, hydrogen. We did extensive searching through a number of databases, including Knovel, which had some related information. Eventually we searched SciFinder Scholar. We tried various combinations of search terms, including the using the CAS RNs. We then started screening the citations, and it became evident that the research in this area had been published decades ago, and primarily in Russia and Japan. Naturally, the few citations we found that seemed bang on were either in Russian or Japanese.

I had a feeling we might hold some of the older Russian journal titles, so we began to check them in the NEOS catalogue. Not only did we have all but one title, we had some of the translation journals as well. After I finished the second question, and went back to Cameron with the second student, who needed information from the Chemical Economics Handbook (CEH), the Mat E 365 student saw me, and told me that he found exactly what he needed in the translated versions of the Russian articles we found in SciFinder Scholar. Lesson learned: the old stuff in our collection is still very, very valuable - the translation journals to which we once subscribed provided the solution to this student's search question.

The second student was in Chem Eng 465 (another design course), and her group was working on a number of issues, including a solvent called selexol, the cost considerations when designing an ammonia plant, and gasification. She told me that her group's off-campus industry contact told her that there was information in an SRI report on ammonia, but that he couldn't tell her what it was. As we began to search the SRI web site, my brain kicked in and I realized that he was probably referring to the CEH, which I told her was in the Cameron SciTech Library.

We searched Knovel, and found the CAS RN and selexol, along with a list of its synonyms, in Sax's. In the Knovel search results was a book called Gasification. However, when we clicked on the book, we were asked for an ID and PW. It appeared that this title, and the next one, Surface Production Operations (2nd Edition) Volume 2 - Design of Gas-Handling Systems and Facilities, were new titles that were considered "Premium Content." I had my cell phone, so I decided to call our Knovel rep, who was available. He explained that Knovel just created a new subject area, Oil and Gas Engineering, and that some of the titles were in the Premium category. It was so new that Knovel had not yet turned on access for libraries whose subscriptions include access to Premium Content, which includes the U of A. Our Knovel rep initialized our access to these titles, and the student and I were able to view these titles, which contained valuable information for her group. (BTW, this is typical of our Knovel rep, who tends to respond quickly and thoroughly to any questions or concerns about the Knovel db; excellent service all around.)

As we continued to search for additional information using Compendex, she made a telling comment, and I paraphrase: "You know, it's not that we don't know how to search, it's just that we don't know where to look." She explained that she uses Compendex after I had demonstrated it in class, but beyond that is not sure what resources to use next. This is the dilemma we face - we deal with an incredible, large set of resources, and at best, can only skim the surface when we teach our 50-minute sessions on library and research skills instruction. This is why I always stress, repeatedly, that if the only thing the students take away from our classes is an awareness that there are important, relevant resources out there to help them with their research, then that's half the battle. They know they can approach us for help and guidance, which is why we are here.

I walked back to Cameron with her, and showed her CEH. The section on ammonia had a lot of information she could use, and she was very happy to have access to it.

A good day indeed.

May 10, 2005

More on Wondir

:: My previous entry on Wondir resulted in an e-mail from Allen Searls and a post on the Wondiring blog. In response to my query about what other librarians might be thinking about the service, he posted these two links to comments by Gary Price and Teresa Hartman. Barbara Quint also reviews Wondir at Information Today.

Here are a couple excerpts from Allen's e-mail, which provide more detail about Wondir:

  • "Wondir actually allows people to ask questions without registering. It's just as easy as typing in a search at Google. However, registering greatly increases the likelihood that you'll see your response (registered members get an email-alert when someone answers)."
  • "All in all, were trying to build a new kind of platform- free, live, open Q&A for everyone, and we're hoping to engage the librarian and information sciences community to helpregistering as members, filling out detailed profiles and answering questions in their spare time at Wondir. Have you tried the New Question alerts? It's part of the "My Wondir" section at the site and allows you to sign up to get email alerts when anyone asks a question containing keywords you've specified. This makes the process much more efficient."

May 5, 2005

Wondir - A Real Time Q&A Service

:: Rafael forwarded a link recently to Wondir, a service which provides real time answers to questions submitted by registered users:

Wondir is designed to help people find practical, focused answers to questions, with an emphasis on connecting people who have questions with other people who can provide needed help. These experts, tutors, mentors, enthusiasts, and peers might be volunteering on their own or as part of an organized online help program, such as an AskA service, government or social service, corporation, civic group, professional association, university, school or library.

In addition to live resources, Wondir utilizes FAQs, stored Q&As and other searchable web resources. Relevant human resources are integrated into the results and featured.

We think of Wondir as the blending of a universal search engine and a universal message board enlivened with real time communication. Wondir is uniting Search and Community - two pillars of the Internet that have not yet lived up to their potential - by making human help accessible and as simple as asking a question of a search engine.

There is no fee for the service. I submitted a general question about open access journals, and received a response within 10 minutes, which had some information that would provide some help to a novice user. In addition, when you ask a question, Wondir checks for related questions with answers, and web resources which might be useful. The related question to my query was about the Open Directory project, and among the web resources returned was SciCentral, whose homepage includes a link to "Journals", which in turn has a list of resources for "Free Full-Text Online Journals."

John Battelle comments on Wondir, noting that the site is answering 6-7,000 questions a day, and recently answered its one millionth question. The quality of the questions submitted seem to range from good to bad, or rather, serious to silly. I'm not sure how Wondir handles questions like, "is there any computer experts out there?", "what do dolphins drink?", or "why did the Flames lose the Stanley Cup to Tampa?"; many questions like this seem to be ignored by the respondents. Users of Wondir can change the "View" from "Mild" to "Wild". The "Mild" setting allows users "to choose a view that presents questions that are unlikely to be annoying or offensive to anyone."

Another way to submit or search is by Category, which eliminates peripheral and unrelated questions. Categories of interest to STM librarians include Computers, Science & Tech and Education, Homework & Reference. Librarians will be interested in Wondir because in effect, it is a form of reference service, available to anyone. I'd be curious to know if others have used Wondir, and what opinions scitech librarians have as to its potential use in our work.

April 27, 2005

Survey: Physical Sciences, Engineering, Computer Sciences and Technology Reference Tools

:: Diane Kovacs has posted the following message to a number of discussion lists, and is looking for input:

Dear Colleagues,
I've posted this survey to LIS-Scitech, STS-L, ELDNET-L, publib,
libref-l, LIS-LINK, DIG_REF, ERIL-L, Buslib-L, Govdoc-L, and
livereference. Please feel free to forward to your local or regional
discussion lists or individuals that might be interested:

Physical Sciences - http://www.kovacs.com/surveys/physscicoresurvey.html
Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology -
http://www.kovacs.com/surveys/engtechcoresurvey.html

These are updates of the core reference surveys I've been doing every
other year or so. I will post the data I gather back to the lists I
post the surveys to for everyone to share. I am revising and will
post additional reference subject core tools surveys well.
http://www.kovacs.com/misc.html

Thank you very much for your thoughtful assistance.
Cordially,
Diane
--
Diane K. Kovacs, Web Teacher

January 2, 2004

US Navy tries blogging for team communication

Yet another example of blogging making its way into organizational communication strategies... ScienceDaily News Release: Blog, Blog, Blog: The Navy Tests Web Logging For Team Communications

Blogging, or keeping a weblog, is often seen as a solitary effort. An individual can type frequent updates onto their log, sharing opinions or ideas with anyone with Internet access. The future of blogging could look a lot different. The Office of Naval Research and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) are testing out the idea that weblogs can be powerful communication tools to bring together teams of people.

The ONR and NUWC are leading a government-industry team to develop a blog as a promising new approach to speeding up the exchange of information on new defense technologies--and thereby speed up getting the technologies into the field.

The blog is one of 12 pilot programs, selected for funding from a field of 120, for demonstration through the DoD Rapid Acquisition Incentive-Net Centricity (RAI-NC) initiative. The RAI-NC, managed by the office of the Pentagon's chief information officer, aims to demonstrate processes to speed up the development of net-centric, "transformational" approaches to defense technology development and acquisition. [Blog, Blog, Blog: The Navy Tests Web Logging For Team Communications]

November 5, 2003

20 Google Secrets

:: From Rita Vine's Sitelines: Tara Calishain, creator of ResearchBuzz, has written a short article called 20 Great Google Secrets. Many of these tips would be of use to us when helping our students search on the web. Like most searchers, most often I type in a word or phrase in quotations, and hope for the best. Some highlights from the article:

  • Using the expression intitle: at the beginning of a search restricts the search to the title of the web page.
  • I wasn't aware that Google could be used as a phonebook. Enter the person's name, city and state. If a result is found, it will appear at the top of the results page. Calishain advises that you can restrict searches to residential listings by prefacing your search with rphonebook:, and bphonebook: for business listings. What's weird is that there is no mention of these two search modifiers on the Google site where "Phonebook" is explained. How does Calishain know these commands exist? Problem for us in Canada: this feature only works for US listings.
  • Need a quick definition of a word or a phrase? Type define: followed by the word or phrase, and Google will search for the meaning of what you typed.
Another interesting feature: Google can restrict a search to a university site.

:: This is the homepage for the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Library. They offer resource guides in areas including engineering and science.

October 23, 2003

October issue of What's New @ IEEE for Libraries

The October issue of What's New @ IEEE for Libraries has been released and
is available to read on the Web at:

http://www.ieee.org/products/whats-new/wnlib/wnlib1003.xml

Stories in this issue include:

1. Sign Up for London Luncheon: "Patent Citations Prove R&D Value"
2. IEEE Authors Win Nobel Prize in Medicine for MRI Development
3. New IEEE Journal Seeks Submissions
4. IEEE Xplore Adds New Way to Access IEEE Spectrum
5. Visit IEEE at Internet Librarian & Charleston Conferences in November
6. The Institute Adds Coverage from What's New @ IEEE
7. Emerging Medical Imaging Technology Trends Revealed in IEEE Journal
8. IEEE Spectrum Identifies Top 100 R&D Spenders
9. Bioinformatics Proceedings Now Available
10. IEEE Press Publishes First Comprehensive History Of Information Age
11. Valuable Business Information Offered to IEEE Members at Discount

[posted on STS-L]

September 24, 2003

Librarian On-Site! - Remote Service to Engineering Students

:: I'm writing this from Computer Laboratory E2-006, in the Engineering Teaching & Learning Complex of the University of Alberta. Today we begin our Librarian On-Site! service for the Faculty of Engineering students and staff. When this blog began in late March 2003, I asked librarians on two listservs for feedback on providing remote or satellite service to their users, and I received a generous number of replies. Now, six months later, we are running a trial service beginning today, September 24, 2003, and running every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon from 1:00-3:00 pm, in the largest computer lab in the ETLC.

One major concern was how to advertise this new service. We submitted a short writeup to the weekly newspaper of the Engineering Students' Society, and I sent e-mails to all faculty and grad students, and encouraged them to advertise the service in their classes. We also designed a poster, which was also printed in a 24"x36" format for use on a sandwich board outside the computer laboratory, and posted smaller versions throughout the faculty and departments.

I promise to report back on our progress at a later date.

July 7, 2003

in-cites

:: in-cites is a useful online product from Thompson-ISI.

in-cites provides a behind the scenes look at the scientists, journals, institutions, nations, and papers selected by ISI Essential Science Indicators Web product. Read interviews and first-person essays about people in a wide variety of fields and professions. View selected overall and field rankings, pertinent statistics on the principles behind the data, the latest version of the database, including new entrants and most improved entities in the rankings, information on field definitions, citation thresholds, and graphing trends. Updated weekly is SCI-BYTES: a summary of whats new in research.
More information on in-cites is available here.

Another feature within in-cites is SCI-BYTES, a weekly current awareness service covering what's new in research. Also check out Special Topics:

The ESI Special Topics Web site is designed to complement ISI Essential Science Indicators Web product in providing citation analyses and commentary for selected scientific research areas that have experienced notable recent advances or are of special current interest. Each topic is prefaced with a description of its relation to the main ISI Essential Science Indicators rankings and the methodology used to assemble the data from the ISI Essential Science Indicators database. A new topics is added monthly. The data presented for each topic include citation rankings for scientists, institutions, nations, and journals. Most special topics also feature interviews and essays by prominent scientists in the area.

ESI Special Topics also spotlights New Hot Papers, Fast Breaking Papers (both have some comments/mini-interviews and are updated bi-monthly), Emerging Research Fronts, and Fast Moving Fronts, all of which deal with current and emerging trends in specialized areas of research. Methodologies for the various entities and commentary on data interpretation are also included.

June 23, 2003

We're Back

:: Greetings, everyone. Geoff and I have returned from SLA and post-SLA activities in NYC. Thank you for your patience.

:: Somewhat old news, but at the conference, SLA members voted to retain the name, "Special Libraries Association". SLA also appointed Janice Lachance as its new Executive Director.

:: Science has created a site dealing with SARS. Research papers are available as free content, not requiring a subscription to the online version of the journal.

:: The new NASA Technical Report Server has been available to the general public since April 2003. More information is available here.

:: The Internet Resource Catalogue of EEVL recently added its 10,000th record. EEVL is now available through Engineering Village 2.

:: Please see the Federal Communications Commission Release of Data on High-Speed Internet Access, which covers "summary statistics of its latest data on the deployment of high-speed connections to the Internet in the United States", during the period from July-December 2002.

:: Refereed papers from The Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference, 20-24 May 2003, Budapest, are now available.

:: For those of you working in libraries supporting civil engineering, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Civil Engineering Department has created a web site "devoted to providing resources that are intended to advance the use of the strut-and-tie method (STM) in education and design of structural concrete." This is a site that might be worth adding to your resource guide.

:: The Computer History Museum has created a timeline which explores the history of computing from 1945-1990. There is also a fascinating section on People and Pop Culture.

June 3, 2003

Search Engines, Blogs and Spam

:: Student: "Can you suggest a good search engine I might use to find general information on mafic dyke swarms?" Reference Librarian: "Whaaaa--?" After learning that mafic means an igneous rock containing between 45 and 52% silica, and is dark coloured, you then need to suggest a search engine (the student has already searched GeoRef, and now she wants to learn what's out there on the web.) The latest issue of Search Engine Watch's SearchDay asks the question, ">What's the Best Search Engine? In the article, Chris Sherman notes that Debbie Abilock's Chose The Best Search For Your Information Needs is one of the best resources to answer the question. Information needs are defined (example: I need a pinpoint search using a unique phrase or word), and search strategies and engines are suggested. I was vaguely aware of NoodleTools, "a suite of interactive tools designed to aid students and professionals with their online research."

:: Interesting article discussing how spam-blocking technology could cause major problems for legitimate e-mail systems.

:: A new company based in Germany, called 20Six, has launched Europe's first commercial blogging service.

June 2, 2003

Mixed-Bag Special 03.06.02

:: Often students visit the campus library and ask for help with a job search. Two useful sites for engineering students are justengineers.net and The Engineer Jobs, from e4engineering.com.

:: Nifty idea: MIT Libraries has created a Faculty FAQ. "This page provides quick answers and links to information on topics of high interest to faculty, including our teaching and research support services."

:: In August, Disney will begin issuing DVDs that self-destruct so that renters do not need to return them to the video store.

May 20, 2003

Teaching Resources for the Sciences

While at home this morning, doing battle with a tenacious flu bug, I was listening to the webcast of "Electronic Scientific, Technical, and Medical Journal Publishing and Its Implications" and learned of these two learning object repositories:

1) iLumina:

iLumina is a digital library of sharable undergraduate teaching materials for chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and computer science. It is designed to quickly and accurately connect users with the educational resources they need. These resources range in type from highly granular objects such as individual images and video clips to entire courses. Resources in iLumina are cataloged with IMS-compliant metadata, which captures both technical and education-specific information about each resource. An advanced search engine, quick search feature, and browse utility provide multiple methods for accessing resources in the library. iLumina contains thousands of educational resources and several virtual collections.

2) ben (BiosciEdNet):

The BEN Collaborative, spearheaded by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and composed of professional societies and coalitions for biology education, is developing a revolutionary approach for transforming biology teaching and learning in undergraduate and graduate institutions, as well as in professional schools.

Through the development of a BEN portal site, the BEN Collaborative provides searchable and seamless access to the digital library collections of its Partners to provide users with accurate and reliable biology education resources.

Resources accessible through the site will impact the learning of the biological sciences by students with diverse interests and career aspirations. The materials are collected and maintained by respected professional societies representing a broad spectrum of biological sciences.

May 19, 2003

A Dictionary of Units of Measurement

Russ Rowlett, Director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has gathered a wealth of knowledge in his online A Dictionary of Units of Measurement. If you are looking to find out how many shetlands of beer you will require for your BBQ party, or the t-sun between the needles used during your last visit to the acupuncturist, this would be the resource for you.

This dictionary began as a collection of notes describing the relationship between various English and metric units. It gradually grew until it finally became too large a word-processing document; I couldn't find my way around in it any more. So I turned it into a folder of html documents and added it to my Internet site. For many months, no one looked at the site except me and my students. Then, gradually, the dictionary began to attract users from around the world. Many users were kind enough to point out errors; others suggested additions and improvements. Questions about units began to appear in my email inbox. Sometimes I could answer the questions, sometimes not.

Today the dictionary has become a kind of interactive resource. It grows slowly and steadily, mostly through suggestions from readers and my efforts to answer questions posed by readers. You can participate in this process! Please let me know if you find any errors on the site, or if you can't find what you wanted to know, or if you know of units used in your field of study or in your part of the world that aren't included.

May 11, 2003

Botanique and Invasive Species

The Librarian's Index the Internet (RSS) should be a regular read in your newsreader or your browsing routine. A few new biology-related links as seen on lii.org:

Botanique: Portal to Gardens, Arboreta, and Nature Sites A directory of more than 2,400 botanical gardens, preserves, parks, and other nature sites in the United States and Canada. Entries include descriptions of collections, location, facilities, and, for many, links. Resources has links to organizations, publications, forums, herbaria, a zone map, general gardening and agricultural sites, and "the catch-all-but-interesting, potpourri." Also includes a calendar of tours, shows, plant swaps, and other garden events. Searchable.

Invasivespecies.gov: A Gateway to Federal and State Invasive Species Activities and Programs
This site deals with the U.S. federal government's response to the impacts of invasive plants and animals. The site has species profiles, plus information and links for news and events, laws and legislation, agencies and organizations, transportation of species from one location to another, and many other resources on issues involving invasive species. This is also the Web site for the National Invasive Species Council, an inter-departmental coordinating agency.

April 29, 2003

The Roving Librarian (at Harvard)

The first post on this site addressed off-library, on-site reference and information services. Courtesy of Mel DeSart at U Washington comes word of a similar service being offered at Lamont Library of the Harvard College Library.

April 23, 2003

Standards Web Site


Chet Bunnell of Pius XII Library, St Louis University, recently launched a web site featuring links to web sites for standards. The site is still under construction, so please feel free to send feedback and suggestions to .

April 14, 2003

Responses to the question: Does your library offer remote reference and information services?

On April 7th, I posed this question to five: SLA-ENG, PAMNET, STS-L, ILI-L, and ELDNET-L:

Academic librarians traditionally liaise to their subject departments of responsibility while working out of offices in their institution's library building(s). Team meetings for those responsible for providing Reference, Collection Development, and Bibliographic Instruction Services are also usually held within that single location as well.

Question: Are there any academic institutions where liaison librarians are offering off-library, remote or satellite service, and whose use offices for this service which are located physically in a subject department, along with that department's researchers, course instructors, graduate students and classroom teaching facilities, away from the library building? Are there any subject/liaison librarians whose offices are in fact permanently located in their subject department(s)?

We are considering the benefits and disadvantages that could be realized by being resident within the subject department, and possible services that could be provided better.

The following responses were received, and with the authors' permissions, I am posting them here.

PLEASE NOTE: E-mail addresses are included, but are protected from spamming by being buried in a java script.

You may discuss these responses by submitting a comment at the end of the posting. Also, I apologize if I have incorrectly listed anyone's address, e-mail, etc. If you spot an error, please let me know.

Continue reading "Responses to the question: Does your library offer remote reference and information services?" »