I just heard of AccessMyLibrary for the first time today as I was listening to NPR on the way to work. The announcer read off that the program I was listening to was sponsored by “The Gale Group” bringing me access to information libraries “use” via AccessMyLibrary. Well of course that caught my attention. He didn’t say access to information “in” my library. Just information that libraries “use”. I’m pretty sure he said use not “trust” as listed in the tag line below, but I could be wrong. So I decided to look it up. The site is linked below.

AccessMyLibrary – News, Research, and Information that Libraries Trust

Apparently, it is a site through which registered users can authenticate to GALE content their libraries have purchased if their library has also registered. The attempt is to funnel Internet researchers to GALE content. It’s pretty smart, but very commercial. The pages are riddled with advertising. And it isn’t clear to me from the FAQ on the site if people have to pay for the service or not?

Have any libraries out there signed up for this? And, if so, what are your impressions?


WorldCat Beta versus WorldCat Identities

On closer inspection, it seems that WorldCat identities is a more Web 2.0 gateway into the WorldCat Beta site. It arranges materials by “identities” which include authors, named subjects, and more. But once you whittle down to a “work”, you are linked into Beta.

WorldCat Beta

In an earlier post I mentioned the OCLC test site called WorldCat Identities. Today while searching Google Scholar, I found myself in the free beta site. If you haven’t searched this free site lately, you should take a look. To compare it with my earlier post, here’s a link to the page for Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
The beta search seems to incorporate many of the features I liked in WorldCat Identities.

Nice features include the link to all the different editions of this book, the ability to search my library’s embedded search tools, the ability to create or add to a personal list of topics, the ability to export the citation in a particular bibliographic format, and the ability to add content. Here’s a screenshot.

Screenshot of Beta

What does say about local libraries? Here’s an excerpt from their What is Worldcat? page:

“Your library may let you search WorldCat from the online catalog on its Web site. (Again, you may have to log in with a valid library membership.) When you are physically at the library, you can search WorldCat using the FirstSearch reference service. Although the basic identifying information you’ll find on this Web site can fulfill most needs, WorldCat at your library includes extra features such as advanced search,”find similar items”, and links to published reviews and excerpts. ”

In addition to features listd above, it seems to me that some of the entries I looked at were lacking some MARC fields. I don’t know if the project is complete or still under test, but I would like to see the subject and author links more extensive. Still, this project is definitely of setting the standard for the future.

Now That’s What I Call a Catalog

On the listserv, NGC4LIB, I ran across a link to a new OCLC service called WorldCat Identities Wow! Maybe you’ve all seen this already, and I’ve just crawled out from under my rock, but I am definitely impressed. Now that’s what I call a catalog. If they would just give us the ability to add local holdings, I could imagine doing away with our own catalog completely. Check out the entry for the The Hobbit! WorldCat: The hobbit, or, There and back again,

Features I liked especially included that their was one entry per author. I liked the graph that showed the number of books published by and about the author in each year and that when I clicked on a particular year, it took me to those titles. I found it really great that when I scrolled down and clicked on the first title in the list of “most widely held titles” by the author, the first holdings that came up were in my library. I liked the tabs that allowed me to browse by edition, title, location, etc. It also used our FirstSearch subscription and the information we have provided them to link to my library’s catalog, ILL services, and link resolver.

Please OCLC, continue to fully develop this product and build in the ability for each library to add and maintain their own local holdings information!

Academic Wiki Website

I love this idea. Does anyone know of a wiki product that is robust enough to handle this? Also does anyone have ideas about how this might be made to be compatible with campus website design guidelines? Finally, are any academic libraries doing it?

Library 2.0: An Academics Perspective: The Ideal Library 2.0 Academic Library Web Site
In a nutshell, such a site would run on a wiki-based content management system. This system would be flexible enough to easily restrict individual pages from being edited and open up others. In addition, links to blogs would be strategically placed throughout the site to enable conversations between librarians and users about library resources and services.

Strategies and Frameworks for Institutional Repositories and the New Support Infrastructure for Scholarly Communications

This article by Tyler O. Walters of Georgia Institute of Technology appears in the October D-Lib Magazine ( I wanted to share it with our faculty and staff because it discusses an important shift in scholarly communication. Scholarly dialogue no longer takes place only in formal publications; the academy is beginning to recognize that important communication also occurs in informal ways. We are poised to be able to harness that intellectual capital and manage it ourselves in ways that adds to its legitimacy. The time has finally come when the balance of power is tipping away from publishers and towards owners of intellectual property. For those of us in small academic institutions, this represents a very positive trend that will eventually allow us to be able to provide our communities with access to information that was previously only available to the elite.

Strategies and Frameworks for Institutional Repositories and the New Support Infrastructure for Scholarly Communications
The definition identifies two broad categories of scholarly communication, formal and informal. Historically, librarians have been most concerned with the formal (i.e., journals, technical papers, conference proceedings, white papers, research reports). However, a growing body of informal modes, such as blogs, wikis, listservs, and other social software content, are being utilized by scholars and their students. Increasingly, new knowledge is exchanged through both formal and informal means.

Georgia Tech Library :: Information Services

The Georgia Tech Library is a good example of an academic library that is providing some information management services for their campus.

Georgia Tech Library :: Information Services
The Information Services Department serves as the Library’s principal information gateway and is responsible for critical activities such as providing frontline reference services, assisting with research, and facilitating referrals to appropriate individuals, departments or organizations. Librarians in the ISD serve as subject librarians to schools, departments, or colleges on campus and provide library classes and orientations, as well as one-on-one consultations.