[click to return to Agenda past issues] The Agenda - Published from the Office of the University Librarian
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Volume 25 Number 5 April 13, 2003

Vibiana Bowman speaks at the NJ ACRL/College and University section luncheon.

Rutgers University Libraries Shine at NJLA Convention

If they wanted to, attendees at the New Jersey Library Association's recent annual conference could have spent much of their time watching Rutgers librarians serve as presenters or speakers.

The NJLA conference, held March 31 - April 1st in East Brunswick, included the following features:


  • An early session on the Moving Images Collection project, led by Associate University Librarian for Digital Library Systems Grace Agnew;
  • Social Science Librarian Ronald Jantz and World History Librarian James Niessen, spoke to a crowded room about “The Crisis in Scholarly Communications: Political and Technological Perspectives”;
  • Robeson Librarian Vibiana Bowman officiated at the ACRL College and University section luncheon, in her role as outgoing New Jersey ACRL chairperson, and Robeson Librarian Julie Still took office as the incoming NJ ACRL chairperson;
  • Humanities Librarian Brian Hancock received an honorable mention award from NJ ACRL, in the technology innovation category, for his work with experimental operating system Plan 9 in the Scholarly Communication Center;
  • Brian also served as a panelist for an afternoon session on “Building Communities in Humanities Scholarly Publishing”;
  • University Librarian Marianne Gaunt made a presentation, on behalf of the Rutgers University Libraries, at a reception to honor outgoing SCILS Associate Dean Betty Turock.

Thank you to all the Libraries personnel who represented us so well at the convention!

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Save the Date -
Speaker on Open Archives
Friday May 2, at LSM

Professor Stevan Harnad of the University of Quebec at Montreal, a cognitive scientist and advocate of publishing reform, will give a talk on open access to scholarship in the Special Collections Room of the Library of Science and Medicine on Friday, May 2 at 10:30 AM. The presentation is sponsored by the Libraries' Scholarly Communication Committee and open to all Rutgers faculty and staff.

Harnad is the principal spokesman of the Open Archives movement, which proposes that scholars place their previously published articles on freely accessible Web servers. His talk is titled: “Making One's Mark in the Post-Gutenberg World: How to Enhance Research Impact Through Self-Archiving”.

For more information on this event, please contact Howard Dess at dess@rci.rutgers.edu or by phone at 732/445-3526. You may also contact James Niessen at niessen@rci.rutgers.edu or by phone at 732/932-7129, ext. 136.

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Coming to RUL:
A Web Content Management System

Note: The following article is excerpted from a presentation by Libraries webmaster Samuel McDonald as part of “Preparing for the Digital Future in RUL: Project Reports” on April 9th.

Why is a Web Content Management System (WCMS) being discussed as a digital project at the Libraries? The short answer is, we want to do more with the web site, and, in order to do this, we will need to put more 'power under the hood.'

The development of a WCMS for the Libraries has four primary goals:

  1. To allow the creation of a more dynamic web presence that includes services such as portals and wizards, so that the presentation and organization of our resources becomes more adaptable and useful to our users;
  1. To streamline and expedite the process of getting updated content to the web site;
  1. To enable more efficient management of the content on the web pages so that all content has a designated maintainer and that all pages have sufficient descriptive and system metadata;
  1. To allow us to keep up with emerging technologies, by using an adaptable and extendable technical architecture.

What this will mean for Library faculty and staff is that if you are a content writer of news, a research guide, committee minutes or reports, you will be able to write and publish them faster. You'll also be able to edit them as needed. If you are a mainly just a user of the web site, the site should become more consistent and useful. The Intranet, i.e. the staff pages, will at some point be made into a 'portal' itself. The goal is that it will support some personalization and have more services so that information you need will be 'at your fingertips'.

For our users, the increased consistency and accuracy of our content should enable the development of more online services. Our users are now sophisticated Internet users and want something more like Amazon or Google. The WCMS should enable the creation of increasingly powerful interfaces and tools to guide our users so they can fulfill their information needs. We want to start thinking of our online presence as not being just a 'web site', but as an interactive, online space that we invite users into so they can do their work and research.

To understand what a WCMS can do, one must first understand what a WCMS is and what it is not. A Web Content Management System allows content to be created, edited, stored, retrieved, updated, controlled, then output in a variety of ways. However, it is incorrect to think of a WCMS as a product or a specific technology. It is actually catch-all techno- jargon term that covers a wide set of processes that is used when discussing the technologies that underpin the 'Next Generation' large-scale web site.

The first part of the term "Web Content Management System" is "Web Content". Web content refers to nearly all the pages on the web site. News, hours, "how-to's," research guides, databases, descriptions, service information, and the staff pages. The WCMS does NOT include IRIS, which is its own system that is generically called an OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog). Special projects such as EAD finding aids, image galleries etc. will be moved to the RU Repository, Luna, and other specialized information systems.

Under the rubric of "Management", a WCMS does not so much 'manage' the content but allows the easy 'manipulation' of content. Workflow and delegation of content to specific authors and the application of system metadata allows the content to be managed. Other aspects of management would be the generation of reports such as broken links, 'old content,' and statistics on usage.

As a "System" the WCMS consists of dozens of modules and thousands of lines of code. It handles authentication (passwords), authoring, templates, searching, database access, and lots of other functions. Once in place additional modules can be written for custom tasks such as designing portals, which will show certain kinds of content is a particular way for a specific set of users.

The idea behind a web content management system is to use automation and the power of an adaptable architecture to enable the sustained growth of online services and access to our resources.

In December and February two Web Content Management System thinktank meetings were convened, bringing 14 people from the libraries together including technologists, librarians, administration and technical services personnel. These two brainstorming and educational sessions discussed what a WCMS would do for the libraries and began work on the vision. For more information, please see: (http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/pub_serv/committees.shtml).

A sub-committee was delegated to review and select a WCMS. This group, CAT - the Content Management Action Taskforce, consists of Sam McDonald, Dave Hoover, Ka-Neng Au, Ron Jantz, Mike Giarlo, and Rick Anderson from Rutgers Continuing Education. The CAT team reviewed over 100 CMS's and selected eZ Publish, an OpenSource Web Content Management system, to install, test, and hopefully deploy. For more information, please see http://ez.no/ (best viewed in Internet Explorer).

A full-time programmer is in the process of being hired and will help configure the CMS. The plan is configure the system, design the templates, styles and workflows this summer and start moving the content in mid-October. The goal is to have the core system up for Spring Semester 2004.

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Looking at Luna
In the Libraries

Note: The following article is excerpted from a presentation by Systems staff member Kalaivani Ananthan as part of "Preparing for the Digital Future in RUL - Project Reports" on April 9th.

What is Luna?
Luna is actually the name of the software company that offers Insight Software. Luna's Insight software is image management and delivery software that delivers high-resolution images at high speed over the Internet.

It can manage collections of images, videos, audio clips, 3D images and multi-page documents. It can also manage collections of all sizes. At present, there are two locally managed image collections available at Rutgers, and we will be adding two new collections within the next few months. The NJ Maps Collection consists of 67 images, and the Art History Collection consists of about 4,500 images.

Insight software supports searching across collections that have different metadata fields. The Libraries have configured the software to use RU Core as the standard for cross-collection searching at Rutgers. It has resulted in reliable search results in Luna. Currently these collections can be accessed only through a Java client, but a browser version will be available within the next few months. The client software needs to be installed on your PC to access Luna, and we encourage you to do so. The URL to download the Java Client software is: http://lunaproject.rutgers.edu/insight.exe Detailed instructions to install the client can be found under Staff Resources-Systems-Procedures.

Insight software also has the ability to share collections with other Luna customers. For example, we have access to two remote collections. One is David Rumsey Map Collection and the other one is Japanese Historical Maps.

What is involved in Luna projects?
The Libraries need images and metadata to add a new collection in Luna. The collection providers or owners must provide us with the metadata and the scanned images. If the metadata is available in a database, we will work with it and load the data into Insight. If any collection providers or owners need assistance in creating metadata, the Metadata Working Group will work with them individually.

Currently the Metadata Working Group is working with the Classics department to create metadata. Soon they will start working with the Institute of Jazz Studies. Once we have the metadata and the images, we will add them to Luna and make these collections available to the users.

Luna's latest version includes a Cataloging Tool. It allows the data providers to catalog descriptive metadata and to link the object to the data record directly in Insight. This tool will become handy for those who do not have metadata in a database. We are evaluating this tool at present, but we are hoping to make it available to the Classics department and to the Institute of Jazz Studies within the next couple of months for data entry.

Who benefits from Luna?
Insight is a great tool for teaching. It allows professors to go beyond what's currently possible with a slide show or a power point presentation. The professors can create advanced digital presentations with images side-by-side, show details of images with super zooming, add notes and comments, and link to external websites.

These presentations can be saved and shared online with the students. Therefore, it saves a great deal of time each semester simply by editing and reusing the existing presentations rather than having to start from scratch.

Students can benefit by creating their own groups of images, saving them on their PCs, and using them for their class assignments outside of classrooms. This software is currently being used for teaching by the Art History department. The professor creates presentations prior to each lecture and uses it in the classroom for teaching.

Due to some copyright issues, this software is currently available for students only at the Art Library. But we are hoping to make it available to the students outside of the library in the near future.

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Marcadia comes to Rutgers

Note: The following article is excerpted from a presentation by Technical Services staff member Mary Alice Cicerale as part of the "Preparing for the Digital Future in RUL - Project Reports" presentations program on April 9th.

Marcadia is a joint service of RLG (the Research Libraries Group) and the Mark Link Corporation, which provides various cataloging services. The service that the Libraries use is an automatic search & match service in the RLIN database- which returns files of bibliographic records and reports of the results of the matching.

To use Marcadia, student assistants first search gifts and units in IRIS. When no match is found, they create brief bibliographic records for each item in hand and include an identifying MARC tag.

Next, batches of approximately 100 titles are selected based on a date range and two other criteria: a date cataloged as "Never" and an identifying tag which designates these records as "Gifts" or "Units."

Our systems liaison, Bob Warwick, extracts a MARC file of these records based on these criteria. Then he ftps the file to an RLG server and notifies MARC Link (The record-matching vendor) by email that a new file is ready to search.

MARC link searches our brief record titles against RLIN & selects cataloging copy matching our pre-determined criteria. This set of criteria includes records containing LC call numbers, for instance. MARC link returns full catalog records for those items which matched. We then load these records directly into IRIS.

One category of records, which we dub "Perfect Matches," fully meet our local cataloging standards and can be processed by any level staff, including student assistants. Our 'acceptable match' category of records generally needs to be reviewed by more experienced staff, but still have a quick over-all turn-around time. The remaining titles are re- shelved in date order for further review.

For the 3,740 gift titles sent to MARC Link to date, 65% were matched. To date, we have processed English language gifts through March 4, 2003. For the 1,784 unit receipt titles sent out, 73% were returned with records matches.

Clearly, Marcadia works. But, of course, it is not the answer to all our cataloging needs. With experience and an analysis of failed matches, we found that Marcadia does NOT work for:

  1. Items with older publication dates,
  2. Documents with special series and non-standard classification treatments, or
  3. Foreign language titles

In the future, we would like to use Marcadia for other cataloging. To do so, we would have to do two things. First, we would have to find a way to identify the groups of records we want to match, but no other records. Secondly, we would need to make sure that the records contain the necessary bibliographic information that will ensure an accurate match.

As we look at other applications of automated record matching, we will work to establish criteria to boost record matches. In doing that we will of course maintain our local standards, such as RU-CORE.

A number of staff members have contributed to the success of Marcardia at Rutgers. They include Bob Warwick; cataloging intern Angel Falcone; TAS staff member Mary Alice Cicerale; members of the monographs cataloging section: Angie Barbara, Roman Frackowski, Sarah Mozgai, Steven Perrota; and the many dedicated voucher staff members involved.

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Marcive promotes Federal Gov't Docs in IRIS

Note: The following article is excerpted from a presentation by Ellen Calhoun, Coordinator of New Brunswick Libraries Government Publications Processing, as part of the "Preparing for the Digital Future in RUL - Project Reports" presentations program on April 9th.

In July 1976, the Government Printing Office started to produce the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Documents using machine-readable data. This data was offered for sale as tapes, but in a very messy format that gave rise to many problems for libraries in loading the tapes into their library catalogs. The Marcive Company, along with Louisiana State University, Texas A&M, and Rice University, analyzed and removed the impediments to easy catalog loads. The product Marcive offers for sale today is known as the enhanced GPO database. The database includes over 500,000 bibliographic records for federal government documents. Records are available for titles distributed by GPO from mid 1976 to the present, as an ongoing subscription service, and as a backfile for retrospective conversion. Corresponding authority records are also available.

In the fall of 2001, Samson Soong convened a work group to explore the feasibility of adding catalog records for the federal depository collections to IRIS. Ellen Calhoun chaired the work group, with Ronda Marker, Tracey Meyer, Lida Sak, and Gracemary Smulewitz participating as members. The Work Group submitted a report in February of last year outlining a feasibility plan and received approval for funding in April. The Libraries began receiving files with our subscription service in August 2002.

During the 4 months in between fund approval and start date, we were very busy reviewing test files from Marcive to ensure that our subscription was set up the way we needed it. We also needed to review our profile, to be sure that we would get records for items in our collection. New Brunswick Libraries (ALEXANDER and LSM together) are a selective depository library, taking 5633 items or 94% of the 6040 items available for selection from GPO. Marcive uses this item selection profile to determine which records to send in our subscription files. For the Marcive SLS (shipping list service) subscription, we are excluding records for serials and topographic maps. For the enhanced GPO database, we are getting full records for serials and monographs, including online titles. We are also getting matching authority records for the enhanced GPO database.

There is now an ad-hoc working group, developing procedures and coordinating efforts within TAS and the library units. Ellen Calhoun is the chair and members Rhonda Marker, Elizabeth Leister, Harriet DeCeunycnk, Bob Warwick, Stephanie Bartz, Gracemary Smulewitz, and Wen-Hua Ren as current members.

Bob Warwick has created scripts to load Marcive records, since we regularly receive nine (9) different files from Marcive and each requires a different process to match and load records. Bob is also creating different reports for each file to enable cataloging and collection services staff to review the bibliographic records, reconciling duplicates and updating holding information. We have completed basic procedures for seven (7) of the nine files.

The first file we worked with was the SLS (shipping list service) file, which is a weekly file load. The SLS records are temporary brief records, based on the shipping lists from GPO for titles in tangible format. This includes print, microform, and CD-ROMs. The records include a title, as it appears on the shipping list, the government agency, and publication information. Marcive announces the file availability every Thursday, and by Friday Bob Warwick has loaded the records into IRIS. We are up to date with the SLS loads, and from August 2002 until April 3, 2003 have processed 4027 records.

The brief temporary records will be overlaid with full bibliographic records, received monthly in 3 separate files new print monographs, new online monographs, and changed monographs. Titles that are only available online load with the RU- ONLINE library designation. To date, we have loaded the August 2002 new print monograph file, with 509 records. There are 3332 records yet to be loaded in the full bibliographic records for monograph files, covering September 2002 through March 2003. We will be processing these files in order of receipt as we progress with bar-coding each load.

We are also receiving authority records for the enhanced GPO database. As of March 2003, we have loaded 11,470 authority records from Marcive. Ruth Bogan and the Database Management Team are handling these loads as they arrive each month.

The Libraries are at long last taking a systematic approach to providing full catalog records for our federal depository government documents collection. We have already seen the improvement in access to the collection, verified by the "Request this item" function in IRIS. Records for titles received on deposit appear in IRIS almost as soon as the titles appear on our doorstep.

Although our cataloging effort is based on the New Brunswick Libraries collection, it is adaptable to the collections in the DANA and ROBESON libraries. DANA is 45% selective; ROBESON library is 23% selective. Every item they select is covered under the New Brunswick Libraries item selection profile.

Most importantly, our Marcive subscription to the enhanced GPO database allows Rutgers to keep pace with the Government Printing Offices' transition to electronic format for the depository collection. Of the 97 new items offered by GPO for selection in the past two months (February and March 2003), only 12 items were designated for MF or print distribution. Eighty-five were designated for electronic online distribution only. The PURL provided and maintained by GPO in its catalog record is our best link to these online resources.

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March 30, 2003
March 16, 2003
The Agenda Archive

Contributors for this issue were Kalaivani Ananthan, Ellen Calhoun, Mary Alice Cicerale, Howard Dess, and Samuel McDonald. Contributions for future issues of The Agenda should be sent to Harry Glazer, editor of The Agenda, at hglazer@rci.rutgers.edu.