IUG 2001 Conference Proceedings

Table of Contents

Session: L3/M1

Local Databases: Three Libraries, Three Perspectives

Coordinator/Presenter:
Patricia Tully, Harvard College Library

Presenters:
Betsy Graham, Innovative Interfaces
Susan Goldner, University of Arkansas at Little Rock/Pulaski County Law Library
Robert McDonald, Ehrman Medical Library, NYU School of Medicine


Betsy Graham presented an overview of the suite of products from Innovative related to creating local databases. She emphasized that local databases are created by the library with OPAC functionality but with custom data. Authority control is optional and may be purchased separately. This is a separate processing program with its own fixed and variable fields that may or may not be MARC and its own index rules.

Some examples of types of local collections that can be converted to local databases on the INNOPAC are faculty resources, special collections, archival collections, newspaper clippings, local history, music, community resources, etc.

Susan Goldner described the Arkansas Legal Index (ARLI) at the University of Arkansas/Pulaski County Law Library. ARLI consists of Indices to five Arkansas legal periodicals, to continuing Legal Education monographs, and to Arkansas legislative reports. The Arkansas Supreme Court Library had and in-house version and asked the University to continue and expand access. The primary patrons for this database are the faculty, students at U of A as well as attorneys and the general public. The reasons for the creation of ARLI are: it covers an entire run of periodicals, includes information and publications not indexed elsewhere and is freely available on the Web.

Innovative Interfaces was used because it was familiar to the staff, conforms to standards, simplifies authority work because the bibliographic authority module can be used, data can be imported from the main database and can link to holdings in the main database. There is a potential to eventually link to full-text in the future. Innovative provided continuing and excellent support throughout the project.

Some problems encountered include more cleanup than anticipated, unexpected data problems, separate backups required, and some hard coded options in the staff mode are not available.

Only positive feedback as been generated as well as good public relations so for the Law Library this has been a worthwhile endeavor.

Patricia Tully, now at Harvard, presented her experience with creating an Art and Artifact Database while at the Musselman Library at Gettysburg College in Gettyburg Pennsylvania. Reasons for migrating from Minaret to III local database were very similar to those presented by Susan, familiarity with the system for both staff and public, support from III, user-friendly displays and searches. Some of the points that needed to be considered in making the transition include past practices, national/international standards and vocabularies for describing resources and local standards as well as planning for the future. Displays were configured and sample databases created to test assumptions before the actual database work began. It is very important to document each step of the process. Eventually, it is hoped that the image link can be added to all records and the there can be simultaneous searching of the local database as well as the main catalog.

Conclusions: Plan and plan some more, work closely with the staff and patrons who will be using the database, research and incorporate national and international standards, and finally document all decisions.

Robert McDonald talked about the Ehrman Medical Library experience establishing a Faculty Resource Catalog. The reasons for creating this database and for using III were very similar to the experience of Susan and Pat. Authority Control was only used for names, subject authority not used because they wanted the National Library of Medicine subjects which were not available in MARC format. Records linked to STD MESH to get lists of what faculty is working on. There was some dissonance between III standards and terminology used at Ehrman that had to be resolved. Example, at Ehrman, D was for department and R indicated Research. III used D for research so this standard had to be changed. Additional changes include implementing full MARC and cluster into related information fields, re-index entire database, add additional fields for non-public data, and redefine OPAC labels for the College of Dentistry.


Handout:

Local Databases: Arkansas Legal Index


Reporter:
Diana Davis, CSU Fullerton