Abstracts Vol. 47, No. 1

How Can Classificatory Structures Be Used to Improve Science Education?

Olha Buchel and Anita Coleman

There is increasing evidence that libraries, traditional and digital, must support learning, especially the acquisition and enhancement of scientific reasoning skills. This paper discusses how classificatory structures, such as a faceted thesaurus, can be enhanced for novice science learning. Physical geography is used as the domain discipline, and the Alexandria Digital Earth Prototype project provides the test bed for instructional materials and user analyses. The use of concept maps and topic maps for developing digital learning spaces is briefly discussed.

Use and Perception of the DCRB Core Standard

M. Winslow Lundy

In January 1999, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging approved the core bibliographic standard for rare books, called the DCRB Core standard. Like the other core standards, the DCRB Core provides the framework within which catalogers can create bibliographic records that are less than full, but are as reliable as full-level records in description and authorized headings. In the three years since its approval, there is little evidence that the standard has been widely used. This study reports the results of a survey sent to forty-three participants who indicated in a preliminary query that they do use the DCRB Core or that they have made the decision not to use it. In the thirty-seven surveys that were returned, only about 16% of the respondents said they have used the standard to create bibliographic records for their rare books. The libraries that do not use the core standard find it inferior or lacking in a number of ways. Several of those libraries, however, are planning to use the standard in the future or are seriously planning to investigate using it. Such intent may indicate that the time is approaching when more libraries will find reasons to implement the standard. One impetus may come from the findings of a recent survey of the special collections departments of member libraries of the Association of Research Libraries that emphasize the size of the backlogs in those departments. If faster accessibility to specific portions of the backlogs would benefit users more than having full-level cataloging, application of the DCRB Core standard could facilitate reducing those backlogs.

Managing Administrative Metadata: The Tri-College Consortium’s Electronic Resources Tracking System (ERTS)

Norm Medeiros, Linda Bills, Jeremy Blatchley, Christee Pascale, Barbara Weir

This article describes the Electronic Resources Tracking System (ERTS), an administrative metadata management tool created by the Tri-College Consortium (Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore colleges). ERTS stores and provides access to data elements associated with electronic resources, such as license restrictions, authentication means, technical contacts, and statistics availability. ERTS was developed using the FileMaker Pro database application and is mounted on our intranet. The database is utilized by technical and public services staffs at all three colleges.