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ONLINE User News - SAOUG - INTYDSE Nuus ISSN 0259-5656 issue 59

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ONLINE User News - SAOUG - INTYDSE Nuus ISSN 0259-5656 issue 59 Powered By Docstoc
					ONLINE User News - SAOUG - INTYDSE Nuus ISSN: 0259-5656 issue 59 march 2002

CONTENTS: Editorial Previous Meetings Future Meetings Using Wireless Technology - Where does the Library Fit in? New Products of Interest Google Offers Immediate Access to 3 Billion Web Documents Digital Reference: Too Little, Too Slowly Former Librarian Sentenced for Stealing Valuable Prints Smelly Feet Booked!

EDITORIAL This is a historic occasion. This will the last printed copy of the SAOUG Newsletter to be mailed to you! From now on, we will email electronic copies to you. This will save a lot in terms of printing, manpower and postage. We won't send it to the Listserve because non-members have access to that, we will only email it to our current list of paid up members - so make sure your account is paid! To enable you to keep track, I'll send an alert to the Listserve saying when it is going to be mailed so that you can follow up if you don't receive it! This should put paid to all the "lost in the post" stories! We' ll try it out and ask for feedback as to whether you are happy with the new system or not after the first couple of issues have been sent out. Having raised a couple of eyebrows with my inclusion of the story of the sex doll last issue, I thought I had better put the record straight! I have to admit that I did not include it in order to "break the mould" or "change the image of librarians", there was no deep underlying motive involved - I just thought it was a funny story that was relevant when saying that I hoped you had all had a good Christmas! In addition, I have never seen a sex doll so possibly I'd better research my topics before making them public! Anyway, maybe this newsletter is not the right place for such frivolous stuff and I'll keep on track from now on! So apologies to those with ruffled feathers but I hope it gave some of you a good laugh!

PREVIOUS MEETINGS 19 February 2002, Centurion Lake Hotel Peter Geldenhuys "Convergence: Beyond the Technological Paradigm" This was a very lively and stimulating talk on the future of the internet and what we can expect to happen - in fact "the future has already happened, it is just unequally distributed". Many technologies have already been developed they are just not available in the common market place yet. It was quite an eye-opener - the cellphone is definitely here to stay and in many different formats with an endless variety of functions! It will become the mobile access to the Internet, and also become our mobile wallets. Can you imagine doing your finances, paying accounts etc via cellphone to cellphone - with no banks involved at all?

TV viewers will change from passive to active participants - the viewer can be producer and publisher at the same time. Advertising can be customised and will be via SMS which can be sent via email. The world is going to change radically. Survival will lie in constant innovation. Radio and TV will be channeled through the internet. Through a system called Bluetooth which provides short range, wireless connectivity at high bandwidth to a variety of mobile devices, cars, fridges, and many other kinds of devices will contain Bluetooth chips which makes it possible for you to have remote control of your products. It sounds fantastic and very space-agey! What really appealed to us as librarians was the phrase "Copyright and intellectual property will become the Vietnam of the Internet"

FUTURE MEETINGS Remember to make time for the SLOSALL CONFERENCE - of which one afternoon will be comprised of SAOUG speakers. Venue: VW Centre, Midrand Date: 11 -12 June 2002 Theme: "The rhythm of change - dancing to a new tune"

USING WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY - WHERE DOES THE LIBRARY FIT IN? by Mary Peterson At the Online Information conference in London in December 2001, I spoke on how my library is taking up the wireless idea, specifically with hand-held devices, sometimes known as Portable Digital Assistants (PDAS) e.g. Palm Pilots, Compaq iPAQs. What I thought I'd do here was provide a personal view of the advent of this technology on the practice of librarianship. To do this, I'll look at the effect these devices are having on the work practices of our clients - library users - and how their expectations are in turn being changed. Background I work in a library serving a large teaching hospital and a pathology and research institute. Our users are clinicians, laboratory workers, academics and researchers. Their information seeking patterns and hence their demands on the library service vary. Academics and researchers perform complex searches of the published literature and often request large numbers of journal articles via our document delivery service to supplement that which we can supply from our own collection. Laboratory staff and clinicians use the library to find answers to tricky clinical questions or problems which may arise. Clinicians working in areas where quick responses are needed, such as the intensive care unit or accident and emergency department, use the library services for only minutes at a time, but the answers they find can be life-saving. These people rarely come into the library itself. We've noticed that use of the library's suite of PCs has diminished over the past two years. Most of the core information they need is available electronically - a fairly standard trend in the area of information delivery. But the advent of the hand-held computer has given them another platform through which to get at the information they need. Our task has been to find out what type of "library" owned information is best suited for the hand-held device.

The changing role of the library One of the maxims of special librarianship (where a library serves a specific user group: a legal firm, and engineering company or staff of a hospital) is that in order to be really effective, the librarian needs to have a real understanding of how the library users work, what other systems they use, what sort of information they need, when they need it and where they'll be using it. The intranet rollout represented a major change in the way our patrons used our services. As they no longer needed to come to the library to use our electronic services, we could no longer spot someone having difficulty with an online search, or not finding an item they were seeking from the library's collection. We relied on them to contact us if they needed help, and were aware that this didn't always happen. Since many of the difficulties our patrons encountered stemmed from a lack of familiarity with the way the Internet worked - even how to use a web browser - we instigated a program of handson Internet courses. In the first year after the intranet was rolled out (1999), we held a course every month, with a limit of 8 participants to ensure plenty of individual attention. We never had fewer than 6 participants, and we have continued to offer the course in subsequent years, albeit at less frequent intervals. Our experience here isn't unique - in fact user education is a regular item on library conference programs. What it demonstrates is that the librarian's role has changed from being the evaluator, custodian and organiser of information to include disseminator and teacher. The 'Librarian-as-trainer' has started to make regular appearances in the library literature. This role has been enabled by the advent of the new technologies of the past, say, 20 years. (Remember microfilm? One of my horror memories is that of trying to demonstrate a reader-printer to a group of senior physicians, and having the roil of film spring out of the spool and snake its way among their legs.) Wireless and the hand-held device Different types of devices have made their appearance in recent years. Free Pint had an article last year which provides a good summary of the different types of hand-held devices around, with plenty of links to relevant websites <http://www.freepint.com/issues/200700.htm#feature>. However, wireless connections were also tried and are being used in some libraries with laptops. Library patrons bring their laptops with them, are issued with a wireless card, insert it into their machine and they have access to the local network which may or may not include Internet connection, depending on organisational policy. This type of connection proved popular in many US hospitals - not only in the library, though that was where several pilots were done - and is still in use. Tablets have also been trialed in hospitals as an alternative to a mobile laptop. For some introductory information about tablets, see: <http://www.pcworld.com/news/article.asp?aid=9254>. The Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, trialed wireless connection to their electronic patient records using tablets in the renal unit in early 2001. Since the screen is about the same size as a laptop and the operating system was identical to that used by all the PCs (Windows), the tablet had a high level of acceptance among the clinicians. They didn't have to learn anything new! However, tablets don't seem to have taken off in the same way as the hand-held device. I'd argue that this is due to the aggressive marketing of the hand-held PDA. Hand-held devices offer a different approach to displaying information, bringing both advantages and disadvantages. They're smaller and lighter, to begin with. But their size

makes them easy targets for theft, and the screen isn't always easy to read. Different models also have different operating systems, which makes it impossible to share resources between them. Until all hand-helds can be web-enabled, this will mean that they will depend on access to downloadable products, which again will be limited by the memory size of an individual device. The information imperative One of the more significant trends of recent years in health care has been the move towards evidence-based practice. Essentially, this means that clinicians should base their practice on the best possible evidence which shows that treatments will be effective and do no harm. Since research in medicine is widespread and ongoing, it is impossible for practitioners to read all the published information in their areas of interest, expertise or need. To this end, various groups such as the Cochrane Collaboration in Evidence-Based Medicine <http://www.cochrane.org/> produce regular reviews of the literature and treatments which distil research results into a readily digestible form. A good starting point for reading about EBM is the SCHARR website <http://www.shef.ac.uk/scharrlir/netting/>. In Australia, the Federal (National) Health Minister recently indicated that practicing according to the best available evidence could soon become mandatory, which has put health professionals under pressure to ensure that their access to information is timely and current. Enter the library In the clinical setting, clinicians have access to the library's electronic information sources on the networked computers in the wards, or via the Internet from home. However, with the advent of the hand-held computer and its use at the bedside, we began to look at the library products which were available for them which would assist in clinical decision-making at the point of care. First, we categorised our electronic products into groups: Drug databases Prescribing aids Dictionaries Textbooks Databases such as Cochrane and Medline Full-text linked to the above Electronic subscriptions to individual journals. Of these, the first four we felt would be suitable for use with a PDA at the bedside. However, the trials in hospitals in South Australia were done using a PC compatible device (iPAQs), and none of the products for which we had licenses were available in a downloadable form. We therefore tested the Internet versions, which, although they worked, weren't really suitable as the display was designed for larger screen sizes. But with the wireless-enabled iPAQs, our clinicians were able to use our "library" drug databases at the patients' bedsides to look up drugs before prescribing - something which one young doctor described as "just soooo cool!". Conclusions How does this affect the way we work as librarians? We have to be aware of our patrons' work patterns, which means going and watching them using the tools we provide. If I had not seen the squashed display on the small screen I may have incorrectly interpreted the enthusiastic response to the trial as "everything's okay". It's not. I must now begin negotiations with my product sources a bout developing a web-based PDA compatible display.

Similarly, I must develop a PDA version of the relevant sections of our website - the pointers to the look-up databases, for example. Perhaps we can develop a "Request a literature review" button so that our patrons can ask for information to be supplied later, via email. I have a few different ideas on how I'd approach this one. Our user's expectations of the library service have, of course, increased. It means they can get to look-up information as and when they need it most. It therefore fails back on us to look for this type of information resource when we're renewing our licenses or our suite of electronic resources, and negotiating with product developers to ensure that we can buy the resources in the appropriate formats. But the greatest things to come out of the trial are almost immeasurable. Goodwill. Enthusiasm. Support. Higher profile for the library. Which all boils down to teamwork.

NEW PRODUCTS OF INTEREST South African Trade Data is now available on TradstatWeb Use TradStat Web and TradStat Lite to: Assess market share Track competition Monitor trends in trade flow Identify potential trading partners Examine price fluctuations Track the movement of products around the globe Create graphs and reports to download into word-processing or spreadsheet programs TradStat Web and TradStat Lite are the most comprehensive sources for trade data on the web. Both now include South African trade statistics bringing the total number of countries to 29. 90% of the world's government trade statistics are available. You can create timely, accurate, customised reports and graphs for any commercially traded product in seconds. TradStat Lite A simplified version of TradStat Web, TradStat Lite reduces the number of search steps needed to find import or export statistics for one target country, and contains the most recent 12 months of available data. TradStat Web Having the most authoritative trade statistics online, TradStat Web allows users to view import and export figures for multiple countries, monitor trends in trade flow, and compile market information dating back to 1982. For more details, contact: Dialog - South Africa Tel:+27 (0)11 465 9867 Fax: +27 (0)11 467 2001

Butterworths DeedSearch This site allows you to access the same up to date information used by the banks, conveyancing lawyers, credit companies and estate agents. DeedSearch caters for both the casual user, on a simple "pay as you go" credit card

basis, and the regular user on a cost effective subscription service. The information provided by DeedSearch can be used in a number of different ways by companies and individual citizens. • • • • It can provide valuable financial background information before entering a property negotiation. It will provide proof of ownership and realisable asset value of a property for credit status. It can reveal hidden or undeclared assets to creditors It can assist Ratepayer Associations to check suspicious property acquisitions by possible developers.

DeedSearch provides statutory information held by the South African Deeds Office on the following: Property Title Deeds Property Bonds Registered Property Transfer History including selling prices. Notarial Bonds Sequestrations AnteNuptial Contracts

GOOGLE OFFERS IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO 3 BILLION WEB DOCUMENTS Award-Winning Search Engine Delivers More Documents, Latest News, and Daily Content Updates to Global Users MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - December 11, 2001 - Google Inc., developer of the awardwinning Google search engine, today announced it offers consumers direct access to 3 billion web documents - further extending the company's position as the world's largest and most comprehensive search engine. Google's diverse collection of documents includes web pages, images, and newsgroup messages. Google also unveiled several new enhancements that make available the latest news, refreshed daily web content, and for the first time, a 20-year archive of newsgroup conversations via Google Groups. In addition, Google Groups was released from beta today. "This announcement is an important step in Google's ongoing effort to provide search services that are fast, easy to use, and that help people find the information they need," said Larry Page, Google's co-founder and president of Products. "To search our collection of 3 billion documents by hand, it would take 5,707 years, searching twenty-four hours per day, at one minute per document. With Google, it takes less than a second." More information about Google can be found on the Google site at http://www.google.com.

DIGITAL REFERENCE: TOO LITTLE, TOO SLOWLY Library Journal, February 2002 Digital reference e-mail, chat reference, voice-over IP-is still in its experimental stage, according to Joe Janes, professor at the University of Washington's School of Information. "it's been marginal and marginalised. We build it but don't tell anyone. Then we wonder why no one uses it." Libraries must support digital reference and start focusing on it as a core service. Janes spoke before a crowd of about 80 participants at the Association of College and Research Libraries' preconference on "Digital Reference: Trends, Techniques, and Changes." He said that libraries were emerging from phase one of digital reference, a period characterised by "lots of experimentation in service, models, and software." The future, he predicted, will see many new products and vendors, as well as independent institutional projects, many - if not most- of which will cross institutional boundaries. Janes pointed to a possible "Opening in the vendor mindset" to support chat reference. He mentioned that Gale may offer different modes of licensing for material used solely by chat reference staff. An example of successful digital service is Cleveland Public Library's Know It Now. Cleveland "planned for it, financed it, and marketed it," Janes said. Unlike many chat services, which are buried several pages beneath a library's homepage, Know It Now is prominently displayed at www.cpl.org. "Digital reference is a way to get more people to use your services. Isn't that the point?" Jones asked. That most sacrosanct part of reference services - the reference interview - underwent some scrutiny. How can it compete with user expectations of information delivered at the speed of Google? As discussion among the participants made clear, we are entering an era when different reference modes will exist simultaneously, each with its own advantages. CDRS Poised To Advance The much-anticipated Collaborative Digital Reference Service (CDRS), launched by the Library of Congress and now in partnership with OCLC, is poised to move to a new phase this summer. OCLC's Chip Nilges said that at the annual conference CDRS will offer libraries a hosted virtual reference service that includes both tools for providing local reference services as well as a link to the CDRS network for questions that are beyond the library's expertise or might overload the system "We intend to keep the price to libraries as low as possible," he said, noting that the network-which currently has over 220 member libraries-improves with size. Nilges said that the new system also would allow libraries that already have local virtual reference services via different software to link to the CDRS network.

FORMER LIBRARIAN SENTENCED FOR STEALING VALUABLE PRINTS By Stephanie Hoops February 1, 2002 (To maintain my "break the mould reputation' I have included this article about the darker side of librarians, the smile that sprang to my mind after reading this article is that of a doctor who murders his patients - it just goes against the grain!) A former librarian at the University of Alabama was ordered Thursday to spend weekends in jail and weekdays at work to repay $185,000 in damages for stealing prints

from university library books and selling them online and to an antique store. Anne Elizabeth Moss, 42, pleaded guilty to felony theft in the first degree and was sentenced to eight years in the penitentiary on Jan. 3 in connection with charges that she stole materials from UA's libraries by cutting more 5,000 pages from books. Following her sentencing, Moss was released on bond and returned home to Burlington, Colo., pending Thursday's probation hearing. At the hearing, Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court Judge John England ruled that in lieu of the eight-year sentence, Moss be put on custodial probation for 18 months, during which she will spend weekends in jail and weekdays working to pay restitution to the university. Once the 18 months are up, she will still be on non-custodial probation for five years. If she violates her probation, the eight-year sentence goes into effect. Several UA librarians and administrators gathered at the courthouse for Thursday's bearing. "There is some closure today, and I'm happy about that," said Anne Edwards, associate dean for access services for the university libraries. "it's been a very long time coming." Moss had access to the books as a university librarian and doctoral student in library sciences. She also had a private work space in the library. She committed the thefts using an Exacto knife on some books and tearing pages out of others. The crime took place over a two-month span ending in May 1997 when the university discovered that she had been taking prints from books and journals -- including some of the university's most important 18th- and 19th-century holdings. Edwards declined to describe the books and journals damaged, citing security concerns. But she said none of the materials were from the Special Collections Library, where the university houses its rare books, manuscripts and archives. Edwards said the university responded to the theft by conducting a thorough review of its policies and moving certain materials to restricted areas. Moss' action mirrors other similar thefts from university libraries. University of Georgia librarian, Robert M. "Skeet" Willingham, Jr., was sentenced to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay the state Board of Regents $45,000 for stealing rare and valuable library material in 1988. In 1982, James R. Shinn of St. Louis was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for stealing more than $100,000 in rare books from college libraries around the country. A few months ago, Benjamin Johnson, 21, of Hamden, Conn., was charged with stealing $2 million worth of rare material from Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, where he had a summer job. Included in the thefts were a 200-year-old letter from George Washington valued at about $350,000, early copies of "Moby Dick" and signatures from Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock and Benjamin Franklin. Moss, who wore a long olive-green dress and small oval-shaped glasses in court Thursday, didn't speak as her attorney, Ruth Brightwell of the Tuscaloosa Public Defender's Office, asked England not to put her in jail. Instead, Brightwell asked that Moss be ordered to perform community service work and obtain employment to pay for the damage. Prosecutor Marie Prine objected to the request that the former librarian be spared jail time. "The state and university would like to see her serve some jail time," Prine said. "Ms. Moss has a devil-may-care attitude and is only now showing contrition. She hasn't

learned." "I can tell you about the time she sat in my office and cried over this," Brightwell said in response. Brightwell pointed out that Moss, who was three-quarters finished with her doctoral work when the thefts were discovered, will forever have difficulty finding any more than a minimum wage job. "She's deeply embarrassed and very, very sorry. We're asking she get a chance to pay the university back," Brightwell said. The parties must appear before England on March 5 with proposed sentencing plans taking into account his probation ruling. "Ms. Moss, you must be back here on March 5th or you will be sentenced to the penitentiary," England said. "Do you understand?" "Yes, sir," Moss said softly. Moss has been out on bond since pleading guilty, working at a bowling alley in Burlington, Colo. She brought $250 with her to Tuscaloosa on Thursday to begin paying restitution. Court records contain a written report from Moss' Burlington doctor. The Dec. 14, 2001, report diagnoses her as having bipolar disorder, which the report said can involve impulsive and irrational behaviours. Theft of property in the first degree is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. Moss was also charged with criminal mischief, but those charges were dropped as part of her plea agreement.

SMELLY FEET BOOKED! Sunday Times 17/02/2002 A man with smelly feet has been charged with disturbing the peace after taking his shoes off in a Dutch library. A librarian at the Dutch University in Delft said people left the building because his feet smelled so bad. De Telegraaf reported that the 39year-old man had earlier promised to wash his feet regularly, saying he felt more comfortable without shoes. But the librarian said: It improved for a while but then he came back stinking so we took away his library card and refused him admittance. However, he returned and took off his shoes, so staff called the police.

Southern African Online User Group http://www.saoug.org.za Copyright © 2002 Update: March 2002


				
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