[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 18 February 8, 2004

Catalog Records Project
Raises Profile and Use
Of Valuable Microforms

Some of the Libraries' most valuable but lesser used resources are our large sets of books, pamphlets, and other material on microform and microfiche. One example is The History of Women, an extensive collection on microfilm of monographs, periodicals, manuscripts and more that documents the history of women throughout the world through 1920. The collection is housed at Alexander Library and includes nearly 10,000 individual titles. Another example is the Major Studies and Issue Briefs of the Library of Congress Congressional Research Service, also at Alexander Library, which includes nearly 12,461 reports reports published by the CRS.

These collections provide critical primary sources for researchers in many disciplines, including political science, history, women's studies, urban studies, and literature, but are often quite difficult to use. In the past, a user would first have to know that we own a particular microfilm collection, then work his or her way through an often-cumbersome paper index to identify individual titles. As a result, these sets have been woefully under used.

To make these important sources more accessible, the Libraries purchased MARC records of the items in some of our largest and most important microform collections and added them to IRIS. In addition to the two sets mentioned above, we now also have records for Pamphlets in American History, Model Cities Reports, and Spanish Drama of the Golden Age. In total these collections contain about 40,000 items that users can now search for directly in IRIS.

The systems and cataloging departments, with support from Alexander Library's collection services department, surveyed the locations and holdings of all of these collections. The two departments use the collected information to add detailed call numbers, holdings information, and reel or fiche numbers to the titles. With this information, users can now go directly from the IRIS record to the microform cabinet or shelf. New Brunswick Libraries reference librarians and requests staff in access services have already noted increased use of these materials.

The Libraries hope to add more sets in the future as our budget allows. We purchased the records at a very reasonable cost from OCLC, so this project not only had a significant impact on our collections and services but was also extremely cost- effective.

This project provides a model of collaboration among selectors, library unit staff, Technical and Automated Services, and Libraries Administration. Congratulations to the Libraries personnel who actively supported this project: Nancy DeNicola (authority control clean-up), Tom Glynn (lead selector), Rhonda Marker (reviewed MARC records), Ann Montanaro (arranged purchase of OCLC records), Robert Sewell (allocated support from collections funds), Gracemary Smulewitz (interpreted locations and holdings data), Linda Turzynski (data scrubbing), and Chris Sterback (customized and loaded records).

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Business Research Guide
Recognized as One of the Best

Best of the Biz Web logo

It seems like one good award leads to another, and another and another...

The Libraries Business Research Guide was recently chosen by FIND/SVP as one of their 60 "Best of the Business Web" selections. FIND/SVP identified and described the research guide site in a 2003 issue of their Best of the Business Web Eletter (http://www.bestbizweb.com).

FIND/SVP is a publicly traded company based in Manhattan that offers a full suite of custom business intelligence, advisory, and consulting solutions to address clients' critical business issues.

The Libraries Business Research Guide was created by business librarians Ka-Neng Au, Theo Haynes, Wen-Hua Ren, Roberta Tipton, and Ryan Womack, with assistance from Mary Fraser and Yoshiko Ishii. The research guide has previously received recognition or awards from Argus Clearinghouse, the Internet Scout Project, Infomine Scholarly Internet Resource Collections, and the University of Michigan School of Information's Internet Public Library (IPL).

Congratulations to all the authors of the Business Research Guide for netting this online award!


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January 25, 2004
January 11, 2004
The Agenda Archive

Contributors for this issue were Ka-Neng Au, Tom Glynn, and Rhonda Marker. Contributions for future issues of The Agenda should be sent to Harry Glazer, editor of The Agenda, at hglazer@rci.rutgers.edu.