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Harvest - Library Newsletter July 2001

Library gains Investors in People status

On 20th April a group from the University Library attended a presentation ceremony at Winchester Guildhall to receive a plaque marking successful achievement of the Investors in People award. The awards ceremony was hosted by Sally Taylor from the BBC and included organisations and firms from around the region - dental surgeries, Sainsbury's and the libraries of the University of Portsmouth and King Alfred's College Winchester.

The presentation ends a process begun some time ago when we decided to go ahead for assessment under the new criteria. Other parts of the University such as Directorate and Science Faculty have been assessed under the old criteria so this was a first for the University and for our assessor. The new criteria differ from the old in that they are more focussed on continuous improvement, are outcome based and rely very heavily on talking to staff rather than on looking at documents - something of a culture shock for those of us who have been involved in QAA Subject Reviews.

We decided to go ahead with the assessment because we felt that our staff development record was good and improving all the time. The Staff Development Group, under the leadership of Jane Paine, had worked hard during the year and we wanted to check that we were on the right path. Also the information and HE worlds are changing so fast that the skills staff need now are radically different from what ere considered necessary in the past. We wanted to think about what we do in the area of staff development, to focus development more upon meeting the needs of the University community and to find out where the gaps are (although we thought we had a good idea of these). The first assessment in June 2000 found a number of areas of good practice but two areas in which we failed to meet the standard - these were in management training and in giving systematic feedback to staff.

In response to this we decided that the appraisal system had to be our main formal method of giving feedback to staff so this was extended to all staff no matter how part-time and we made sure all staff had attended appraiser/appraisee workshops. Appraisers also had a session with Jeanette Collins from Personnel about giving feedback. Management training was a bigger problem as we had been waiting for a University wide programme to be developed. We had pockets of training going on, usually externally delivered, but no centralised programme. When it was unveiled the new University Management Development programme was aimed at senior staff initially so would not address our immediate needs - only those of the University Librarian. We have decided to go ahead and develop something for all staff which will take place this summer (in consultation with Cheryl Rodgers, the University Management Development Co-ordinator) which is internally delivered and draws upon staff cascading what they have learned from training events held elsewhere.

Generally the IiP process itself was not disruptive, did not involve too much work and allowed staff to have their say. Approached as a diagnostic tool it was a very useful process to have gone through and the report emphasises many good points which is a motivator for all staff. Although receiving the award marks the end of one process it also marks the beginning of another as we will need to continue the good work in order to maintain the standard.

Investors in People Presentation

by Roisin Gwyer, Associate University Librarian
Contact: ext 3221 or Email roisin.gwyer@port.ac.uk

 

Library Association study tour to Lithuania

Last year, along with 11 other British Librarians, I flew out to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania for a week of visiting libraries and meeting Lithuanian librarians. The Study Tour was arranged by the Career Development Group (CDG), a special interest group of the Library Association, the United Kingdom's professional body for librarians.

Lithuania - the southernmost of the 3 Baltic Republics (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) that separate Poland from Russia - is a beautiful country situated on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea and covers 65,300 sq.km. It has 99km of coastline the beauty of the country lying in the diversity of its landscape.

Our host Emilija Banionyte (the current Vice President of the Lithuanian Library Association) arranged visits to many different types of libraries including public, medical, academic and children's libraries. The children's libraries were fascinating to visit as many of them had theatre rooms / puppet stands for the children to act our their plays etc.

Our Lithuanian colleagues told us about how they were trying to provide modern services with the encumbrance of antiquated systems and no general state policy on library development. It was fascinating listening to Lithuanian librarians talking about their problems and achievements. Anybody who would like to read a full report of my Study Tour to Lithuania is very welcome to do so; a copy is held in the University Librarian's office

Study Tour to Lithuania
Chris Harman is 5th from left.

by Chris Harman, Floor Manager, Social Sciences Team
Contact: ext 3241, Email chris.harman@port.ac.uk


Do you need bulk supplies of referencing guides?

The Library produces various short guides about bibliographic referencing which prove very popular with staff and students. If you need more than 20 copies of any guide, please let the library know at least 3 weeks in advance. Even thought we produce thousands of copies of the most popular guides, stocks go down very rapidly at certain times of the year and we may need to order a re-print of your request coincides with that of other staff. Many thanks for your cooperation.

Anne Worden, Languages Librarian
Contact: ext 3243 Email anne.worden@port.ac.uk


Your local PAL - Portsmouth Access to Libraries

The University Library co-operates with other libraries - locally, regionally and nationally - in a number of areas such as inter-library loan, document delivery, training, purchasing schemes etc. Recently, colleagues from the following libraries met to agree a framework for co-operation within the City:

As a first stage, a web page has been put together to give easy access to information about the collections and access to these libraries. This information will be useful to anyone in the area looking for information about libraries in the City and where materials might be held. See: http://pal.libr.port.ac.uk/

Ian Bonar, University Librarian
Contact: ext 3222 Email ian.bonar@port.ac.uk


The title remains the same

Famously the song remained the same for Led Zeppelin and now the title remains the same for Harvest. Despite a number of suggestions none were deemed a suitable replacement for Harvest. So Harvest it is and Harvestit remains.

 

Electronic Reprints Project

This project completed its first year in July 2000, and was then extended for a further year. The aim of the project has been to provide direct access to a number of essential undergraduate texts in digital format (Adobe Acrobat PDF), via the Web version of the Library's catalogue. These texts comprise both book chapters and journal articles. The advantages of the service are that:

In the first year of the project we digitised 36 texts, covering 7 reading lists. These texts are catalogued in the same way as other Library material, and bibliographic details appear on both the text-based and Web versions of the Library catalogue. However, in order to gain direct access to the texts, users will need to be in the Web version of the catalogue. For an example, search under 'Vander, Arther J. - Defense mechanisms of the body'. Then click on the words 'Click here' at the end of the line, under the heading 'Link', and the text should be displayed, preceded by a 'front page' containing copyright information. To return to the catalogue, use the back browser.

After the first year of the project, a number of drawbacks became evident:

Because of the difficulties experienced in the first year of the project, we felt that it was not possible to gauge its success immediately. We decided, therefore, to continue it for a further year with the same texts where possible, in order to be able to assess more accurately the level of its usage and its cost-effectiveness. Usage statistics were kept for the period 1/8/00 to 30/6/01, and most texts were used between 10 and 30 times, with two exceptionally high figures of around 200 times.

The service will continue to run, and if academic staff would like to suggest any undergraduate texts for possible inclusion in the Electronic Reprints collection, please contact your Subject Librarian in the first instance. However, please bear in mind that, whereas copyright permission costs for the texts were borne out of general Library funds during the two years of the project, they will now have to be met out of departmental Library funds (CLA permissions cost an average of 5p per student per page for the duration of a single course), and also that adequate notice should be given before the start of the course for which the texts will be used, due to the length of the process involved. Consideration should also be given to the other options available for providing undergraduate access to core texts: the Short Loan Collection and the Reprints Collection.

A fuller version of this article is available from Sue Ashby: Email sue.ashby@port.ac.uk)

See also
http://www.libr.port.ac.uk/policy/electronic_reserve.html for the full report submitted to the University Teaching and Learning Development Fund, which supported the first year of the project.

by Sue Ashby, Senior Cataloguer


ProCite 5.0

The University's Information Service Organisation will be rolling out the latest version of ProCite later this year, replacing Version 4.03 with Version 5.0. What are the differences between the two versions? Superficially very few; Version 5.0 looks very much like 4.03, and anyone familiar with the older version of the software should feel quite at home with the new one. The main change has been the introduction of Z39.50 compliance. What on Earth is that? I hear you say. Fret not dear reader, for Z39.50 compliance is something marvellous and very useful indeed.

Z39.50 Compliance: Z39.50 refers to the International Standard, ISO 23950: Information Retrieval (Z39.50): Application Service Definition and Protocol Specification, which defines a client/server-based protocol for information retrieval. It specifies procedures for clients to search remote databases, retrieve records identified by the search terms and sort the resulting set of records. The protocol limits itself to defining communication between the information retrieval application; interaction between the client and the end-user is not addressed by the protocol.

This is all well and good, but what are the practical consequences of Z39.50 compliance? Simply this, that if you spend a little time configuring ProCite you can extract records from any Z39.50 compliant database (or OPAC) over the Internet and import the extracted records directly in to a ProCite database. The number of library systems that are Z39.50 compliant grows by the month, and the time will soon come that our own library system (TALIS) will soon be so too, so extraction of records from its database, and their incorporation on to a ProCite database will become a relatively trivial task. Amongst the growing number of sources of bibliographic data that are Z39.50 compliant are the Institute of Scientific Information's Citation Indexes on the Web of Science, the British Library's ZETOC Table of Contents database and one of the many free versions of Medline that litter the world wide web, the National library of Medicine's PubMed. Configuring ProCite so that it is able to interrogate a remote host can be a little tricky, and, as yet the Library hasn't amassed much experience in doing this. Nevertheless, being the helpful souls that we are, we're always willing to try to help anyone wanting to link ProCite to a Z39.50 compliant database. Anyone wanting such help should contact me for assistance.

Student Copies of ProCite: Students wanting a copy of ProCite 5.0 can obtain one from the Frewen Library. Please contact Sian Kennedy on Ext.3222 or email her at sian.kennedy@port.ac.uk. The copies, which are boxed and come with full documentation cost ?100 each, and they are restricted to student users only. Members of staff wanting a copy of ProCite 5.0 should contact Chris Boorman in ISO on Ext.3702 or Email him at chris.boorman@port.ac.ukNon-student copies cost ?235 + VAT + delivery.

ProCite Discussion List: Although the Library has accumulated a lot of experience in using ProCite, it's a complex and occasionally daunting program. There is an international discussion list (based at the University of Indiana) which can be very helpful. Go to this website, http://www.indiana.edu/~librcsd/procite/where you will find instructions on how to join the ProCite User Group, which was based at the Frewen Library, has been in limbo for a couple of years, but hopefully it will be resurrected soon, to provide yet another avenue of help for ProCite Users.

by Andy Barrow
Contact: ext 3236, Email andy.barrow@port.ac.uk

 

Old American reorganises Europe

In keeping with the current efforts of Neil Kinnock and others to reform the European Commission in a bid to reduce bureaucracy and fraud, the Library is currently reorganising its own little bit of Europe. The European Documentation Centre (on the first floor of the Frewen Library) has until now been organised according to a home-made classification based on the institutional structure of the European Union. This makes perfect sense in some ways, but only for those who understand that institutional structure. For others, the arrangement appeared confusing, if not impenetrable; an additional problem was that material on the same subject was separated according to whether it was issued by the Commission or, say, the Parliament. Particular confusion was caused by the different but similar institutions the Council of the European Union and the European Council: most labyrinthine of tall were those cases where a document was about the work of both bodies, or produced by one but about the other!

In an effort to overcome such difficulties and to make the collection more accessible to users, the decision was taken to convert to the Dewey Decimal Classification. This system, like any classification of subject, has its weaknesses, but it is the system in use elsewhere in the Library and is therefore familiar to users. There will inevitably be some disorientation for regular users of the collection, especially during the current interim stage in which some material has been converted whilst some remains in its old place. We apologise for this inconvenience but hope that you will soon get used to the new arrangement and find it comfortable to work with. Any comments about the changes should be addressed to the EDC Librarian, Ian Mayfield on Ext 3239 or by email ian.mayfield@port.ac.uk

By Ian Mayfield, Associate University Librarian


Databases available via Science Direct

A large number of electronic journals have been available from Science Direct (http://www.sciencedirect.com) for a while, but for a trial period - until the end of December 2001 Science Direct are also making freely available a number of bibliographic databases. A few of these are already available via other routes, but some are accessible for the first time.

The databases available are:

Embase (Biomedicine & Pharmacology)
* Beilstein Abstracts (Organic Chemistry)
* Biobase (Life Sciences)
* BIOSIS Previews (Life Sciences)
* Biotechnobase (Biotechnology)
* Compendex (Engineering)
Econlit (Economics)
* Fluidex (Process & Civil Engineering)
* Geobase (Geography)
* Georef (Geology)
* Inspec (Physics, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Computing)
* Medline (Medicine)
* Oceanbase (Marine Science and Technology)
* Psycinfo (Psychology)
* World Textiles (Textiles)

The search interface is the standard Science Direct interface, which is not as powerful as most database search engines. The databases do however have links to full text of the references found where they are available via Science Direct.

By Dave Brimage, Physical Sciences Librarian
Contact: ext 2325, Email dave.brimage@port.ac.uk

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