CKDB Minutes - December 13, 2000

Present: S. Bartz, R. Gardner, S. Hines, R. Jantz, M. Kesselman, P. Page (recorder), K. Wenk


  1. Eliminate title searching in CKDB.
  2. Advise users at CKDB search screen that boolean searching not supported. Begin working toward providing boolean searching.
  3. Add help page with information about searching and content of CKDB.
  4. Add picklist for frequently selected items.
  5. Add IP address to statistics database.
  6. Send email to NB faculty and Information Assistants to encourage use of and contributions to CKDB.

1. Review of search statistics and possible improvements to CKDB interface:

Committee reviewed printouts from statistics database, which showed that users are having problems searching the CKDB effectively. Many are using natural language or are trying to do boolean searches (currently not supported). Also, many users are having trouble in the title field when they donít know specific words from a title.

The committee agreed to eliminate title searching (keyword searching covers title field also) and to put a notice in red on the search screen that "Boolean searching is not available." However, the committee will work toward implementing boolean in the near future. (To do this, we will need to re-index when we add records; we will link to a URL that handles this.) Bartz and Jantz will look into this.

Jantz will begin working on a Help page, which will be implemented when boolean searching is ready. We will include information about searching as well as content of the CKDB (using extracts from the CKDB section of the draft NBL Reference Manual).

Hines will review the statistics database to identify items that are frequently searched., such as JAKE and sublocations. We will develop a picklist (maximum about 10 items) for these on the search page.

Bartz will add IP addresses to the statistics database. This will help to determine if problems are occurring with target audience (RU librarians and info. assistants) or other users.

2. Building the collection:

There is a perception that CKDB is an ALEX tool. Out of the 640 total records, about 2/3 are from ALEX. We need to get more entries from other locations. Wenk noted that there were many things at LSM that she has found useful since her arrival there. She and Hines will review to see what things might be added to CKDB. Hines will also look at Douglass to see what might be added, and he will talk with Womack and Piermatti about Kilmer resources. We should encourage librarians in the reference exchange program to serve as members of an extended team and to contribute things they have found useful in their exchange experiences. Jantz will bring this up at the ISSG meeting on 12/14.

3. Marketing the CKDB:

Jantz will send general email to NB faculty and Information Assistants to encourage use of the CKDB and to remind everyone that they can contribute entries by sending them to the CKDB email. He will also include announcement about boolean searching and examples of when CKDB might be useful. This will be done when boolean searching is ready to be implemented. Since CKDB is not easy to locate on non-reference PCs, Jantz will include the direct URL in this memo.

CKDB has a "Become" account, which Bartz has been monitoring. There have been very few contacts from users. If traffic picks up, we may need to rotate this responsibility.

4. CKDB section of NBL Reference Manual:

Jantz distributed draft section describing how to access CKDB, types of information included, and procedure for maintainence. This will be included in the NBL Reference Manual, which is being developed by the ISSG and coordinated by P.Page. Members should review this section carefully and send feedback to Jantz. The Reference Manual will be used for orientation for all incoming NB info. services personnel.

5. New membership:

We need liaisons for Douglass, Kilmer and the Art Library. Hines agreed to cover Douglass, and he suggested K. McGuire (KAL Reference Associate) to represent Kilmer. He will check with J.Cassel on this. The new Art Librarian, when hired, will be invited to join the team. Members of the Reference Exchange Program will also be invited to participate as members of an extended team.

6. Other:

The CKDB audit is still incomplete. Jantz will look at the access database to identify those records without a 2000 revision date (probably less than 100). We can divide these among team members to complete the audit.

Members discussed ways to encourage more usage of the CKDB. It could be a useful tool for those doing the Ask-A-Librarian service. Generally speaking, we may be less likely to use the CKDB for things in our own libraries, but it can be especially helpful for providing remote service or dealing with things beyond our particular libraries. It might be useful for us to add more mainstream information and to identify important Camden and Newark collections/resources to include.

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