The Libraries will be implementing LinkSource, Ebsco s brand name for their open URL link resolver. While the implementation remains a work in progress, it is set to go live in the coming semester. The link resolver will provide item-level linking among databases. Users will not have to exit the online database they are using to start a new search in IRIS in order to locate full-text content or the location of print resources. LinkSource is not a search engine, it is a linking device that finds and provides links between items. Patrons do not have to select LinkSource in order to use it; it self-presents and will operate automatically. The open-URL capabilities are presented at the citation-level at the end of the search process. LinkSource will work with approximately 80% of the Libraries current periodical holdings, mostly those titles available through packages will immediately work through LinkSource, the remaining 20% will be added on a title by title basis. The user will always be directed to an IRIS search as a failsafe.
M. Page conducted a demonstration for PSC on the test site using Sociofile. The results list reads abstract / complete reference / external link resolver, which brings up the LinkSource resolver page and presents the user s options for obtaining copies of the citation in question (whether in print or in electronic full-text). When the LinkSource reads check IRIS for print and electronic records the IRIS record for the journal in question is brought up via an ISSN match, and the patron is led to the print holdings of the title. Searches in different databases produce differing results. It is important to experiment and become familiar with the terminology and results lists, and it is important to underline that a FAQ section will be available. There was some discussion about changing the term external link resolver, which some believe will be a barrier to student use and comprehension. M. Page stated that she would check if it is indeed even possible to change the term, if so we can revisit the issue at a later point.
PSC responded enthusiastically to the test, and was very happy with the concept and operation of the software. PSC recognized that work on the project will be done incrementally, but it was underscored that the worst possible result the end user will receive is to be directed to IRIS to check for print and/or electronic resources. Currently, the plan is for the software to be available early in the Spring 2004 semester. It was recognized that library personnel would likely wish to explore and experiment with the software in advance of the students returning for the semester.
PSC members scanned the websites and publications of library and other interested organizations for material specifically addressing services to undergraduates. S. Harrington noted that an Art Libraries Society of North America occasional paper addressed services to undergraduates in the context of instruction. J. Boyle shared with PSC members ACRL s model statement on The Mission of a University Undergraduate Library, and ACRL s Guidelines for University Undergraduate Libraries. Additionally, J. Boyle scanned RU literature and sites to note where the Libraries are mentioned. PSC reviewed the results of the survey Rutgers Rising to the Challenge: The Undergraduate Experience, which was conducted in 1997 and published in 1998. Overall, undergraduates viewed the Libraries positively.
S. Beck shared an extensive compilation of information regarding the information seeking behavior of undergraduates gleaned from the work of Carol Tenopir and others. Highlights of the information S. Beck shared included but were not limited to:
S. Beck is continuing to research this issue and will continue to share her findings with PSC.
M. Kesselman shared the results of his survey of the Douglass community. In response to a question asking where people did their research, the results were evenly split in thirds between the library, the computer lab, and home. The survey also found that those students who use the library regularly are those most familiar with the Libraries website.
In the discussion that followed, PSC members affirmed that the Libraries need to be a part of the first year undergraduate experience. Faculty-librarian partnerships are key, including enhancing faculty knowledge of the Libraries, and reaching teaching assistants and others who have contact with undergraduates. It was suggested that it might be a worthwhile endeavor to compile a list of services provided by the Libraries to undergraduates, and then consider how to erase barriers to those services.
PSC members had nothing to report, and the meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.