Vol. 1, No. 4                                   
September/October 1996

In This Issue:

        From the Desktop:  Editors' Note
        Desktop Delivery: A Science and Technology Virtual Reference
                by Gerry McKiernan
        Infofilter:  More Than Just Another Review Site
                by Eileen Flick
        Automating a Card File:  The Evolution of Reference Documents
                by Ellen Berne
        Internet Toolkit:  Plug-Ins
        Coming Soon...

Internet Trend Watch for Libraries is published monthly by LEO:
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Internet Trend Watch for Libraries is looking for library professionals to
write about the Internet's application in libraries.  If you have a
project to highlight, an experience to relate, or an opinion to voice,
please let us know.  Send an e-mail message to leo@leonline.com with your
name, position, institution, phone number, and the topic you'd like to
write about.  

From the Desktop:  Editors' Note

With the number of Web sites increasing rapidly (by some reports more than
doubling every year) and the number of users growing just as quickly,
searching the Web has become very much like finding the proverbial needle
in a haystack. Search sites such as InfoSeek and AltaVista, armed with
robots and spiders to cull information from the darkest corners of the
Web, offer constantly improving search choices but continue to be
frustrating for casual or untrained searchers.  Subject trees, which (like
Yahoo!) are category-oriented listings of resources, offer ease and
browsability but are restricted in size and breadth of coverage.
Searchers, often even experienced searchers, are often left wondering
whether there might be a better way.  

Does the answer to the Web's lack of organization lie in technology, such
as larger and faster search engines, or in human resources, such as small
collections of carefully evaluated links?  It's possible that the Web,
with its amorphous, equalizing approach, its changeability, and its status
as a natural forum for self-publishing, will remain largely unorganized.
Library and information professionals have the skills needed to address
the challenge of bringing structure and sense to the Web, and as we'll see
in this issue many have already begun.

We'll hear from three library professionals who are involved in existing
projects to bring some type of order to the Web.  Gerry McKiernan of
CyberStacks (sm) discusses using Library of Congress classifications to
organize online science and technology resources in his article on
"Desktop Delivery:  A Science and Technology Virtual Reference Library."
In "Infofilter:  More Than Just Another Review Site," Eileen Flick
describes building a unique collection of Web resources which centers on
librarians and other users contributing reviews.  Ellen Berne shares her
experience in utilizing the Web to develop a subject-based catalog in
"Automating a Card File:  The Evolution of Reference Documents."

Make sure to give us your two cents worth on how Web users navigate and
find information, as well as on how the Web might best be organized, in
our Feedback column at the end of the issue.  And visit the ITW World Wide
Web site at http://www.leonline.com/itw/ for hyperlinks to all the URLs
that appear in the newsletter. 

Linda W. Braun and Jennifer Fleming, Editors

Desktop Delivery: A Science and Technology Virtual Reference Library
by Gerry McKiernan

Beginning in the summer of 1994, a series of queries requesting
information on then current efforts to organize Internet resources were
posted to variety of appropriate newsgroups and listservs
(bit.asis.listserv, PACS-L, LIBREF-L, AUTOCAT, STS-L, LITA-L, INDEX-L, and
so on).   We learned of a number of noteworthy efforts that sought to
provide some added value to accessing World Wide Web resources.  However,
few provided the type of structure, organization, or description that
could effectively enhance access and use of the rapidly increasing number
of scholarly resources that were being made available on the Internet.  A
year later, in the fall of 1995, our prototype virtual library called
CyberStacks(sm) was formally established on the homepage server at Iowa
State University:


As a digital library, CyberStacks(sm) seeks to enhance access to Web
resources by providing users with an organizational framework in which
they can navigate a selective collection of links to significant Web

Enhanced access to the collection is provided by use of the Library of
Congress Classification system, a classification scheme used by a majority
of research libraries throughout the United States and throughout the
world. Using an abridged Library of Congress call number, Cyberstacks(sm)
allows users to browse through virtual library stacks to identify
potentially relevant information resources. Resources are categorized
first within a broad classification, then within narrower subclasses, and
are finally listed under a specific classification range and associated
subject description that best characterize the content and coverage of the
resource. The majority of resources incorporated within the collection are
monographic or serial works, files, databases or search services. All of
the selected resources in CyberStacks(sm) are full-text, hypertext, or
hypermedia, and of a research or scholarly nature.

While the Library of Congress classification system permits the
incorporation of all fields of knowledge within its scope, the current
implementation of CyberStacks(sm) is restricted to those classes within
Science (Q), Technology (T), Medicine (R), Agriculture (S) and related
areas and limited to Web resources with reference value. These include
such standard types of reference works as dictionaries, encyclopedias,
directories, handbooks and manuals, as well as abstracting and indexing
services, bibliographies, and biographical sources. 

In selecting World Wide Web (WWW) and other Internet resources for
CyberStacks(sm), we have adopted the same philosophy and general criteria
used in the selection of non-Internet reference resources. Among the major
features considered in the selection of items for the CyberStacks(sm)
collection are authority of the source, accuracy of information, clarity
of presentation, uniqueness within the context of the total collection,
timeliness, existence of favorable reviews, and applicability to community

From the inception of CyberStacks (sm), we believed that users should be
offered a direct opportunity to develop the collection.  A variety of
features have been integrated to facilitate their involvement. During the
month of September 1996, we are inviting users to participate in
prioritizing the selection of resources for full incorporation within
CyberStacks(sm) by simulating the selection of topics and sub-topics in a
special hypertext outline of the Agriculture (S) section of the Library of
Congress classification scheme. The URL for this experiment is:


[Gerry McKiernan is the curator of CyberStacks(sm) and a faculty member at
Iowa State University in Ames, IA.  He can be reached by e-mail at

Infofilter:  More Than Just Another Review Site
by Eileen Flick

Infofilter.  The name may not immediately ring a bell, but like the Little
Engine That Could, it keeps chugging along, the little Internet review
project that could. Its aim is to seize the opportunity to allow
librarians to take a proactive role in becoming producers as well as
consumers of information on the Internet. Although there are other review
services out there now, such as Magellan, CyberHound, and Excite,
Infofilter has become as much a discussion forum as a review site.  We aim
to promote discussions of the need for some identifiable review criteria
for the Internet, just as librarians have provided a similar role in the
world of print.

The project began in January 1995 when Boyd Collins, then a librarian at
Mansfield University, posted a simple message to several listservs
detailing his thoughts on the need for librarians to take a more proactive
role in the evaluation of Internet resources. Discussions of objective
criteria, indexing, peer evaluation, and many other related issues arose,
and a core group of interested individuals began to form.  It was decided
early on that the project should be Web-based.  One of the first steps in
bringing the project to life was setting up our listserv, INTEVAL.  We use
INTEVAL to post and comment on reviews. The listserv also acts as a forum
to discuss the larger questions of what we are trying to achieve and how
we want the project to evolve.

The review process is fairly simple and has not changed much since its
original conception. Once a reviewer has a site in mind, they can download
a copy of the Infofilter review template that can be found on the
project's home page. The template has already undergone several updates,
for as the Internet has evolved, the criteria used to evaluate resources
have changed. The actual reviews use no rating system.  Instead, we try to
examine and describe all aspects of a site, from the technical to the
aesthetic, all in 500 words or less!

All reviews must be submitted to the listserv, so before individuals can
start writing reviews for Infofilter, they must join INTEVAL. The
Infofilter site provides information on how to join.  After the reviews
are posted to the list, they are linked to the home page. Revisions and
updates to reviews are the responsibility of the review's author, and are
also posted to the list for comments or suggestions.  At the present time
there is no search engine in place and the organization is simply
alphabetical. Given the relatively small number of reviews currently
available, this is not yet a problem. We foresee a time when other options
will need to be put in place, and have been engaging in ongoing
discussions about possible classification schemes (always a popular topic
with librarians

An offshoot of the project has recently evolved, called the Criteria for
Online Net Resources Reviewing Task Force (CONRR for short). The purpose
of the task force is, to quote James Rettig, who convened the task force,
"to parse Internet information resources into genre and to develop review
criteria for each of these genre, and to then publicize these criteria
widely in multiple media and to encourage organizations and individuals
who review Internet information resources to adopt these criteria."  The
task force  members use INTEVAL as their discussion forum, so all list
members are welcome to participate in the resulting discussions. Boyd
Collins has, as a result of this task force's work, come up with a
preliminary set of genre descriptions:


We look on the work of the task force as a logical offshoot of the basic
precepts behind Infofilter.  We hope that the project can continue to grow
and develop, and welcome any and all interested Net surfers to take a look
at the Infofilter home page at 
http://www.usc.edu/users/help/flick/Infofilter/.  Instructions on joining
the listserv, review criteria, and, of course, the reviews themselves can
be found there.





[Eileen Flick is the Electronic Resources Program Specialist, Doheny
Library, USC.  She can be reached via e-mail at flick@calvin.usc.edu, or
on the Web at http://www-lib.usc.edu/~flick/.]

Automating a Card File:  The Evolution of Reference Documents
by Ellen Berne

I have been awed from the start by the number and value of resources on
the Internet. I remember discovering the Wiretap gopher several years ago,
and thinking that the directions for tiddly-winks was a really neat find!

My Ready Reference and Professional Guides, which have been available on
the Internet for two years (http://k12.oit.umass.edu/eberne.html), evolved
from such discoveries, and I like to think that my discretion has evolved,
too.  I have replaced tiddly-winks instructions with statistical and other
more useful resources.  

When I first started experimenting with the Internet, I developed a card
file to save site information.   It was exciting to realize the potential
for use of the Internet in the library. In a school setting, I was
intrigued by the number of colleges offering information online, and by
the country information freely available from the U.S. State Department.
On my cards, I called the sites by their names: Library of Congress, ERIC,
and University of Minnesota gopher.
As the Internet grew, I found that my card files were becoming unworkable.
After some experimentation with broad subject headings, I decided to use
my library training to organize my resources and make them accessible
using standard specific subject headings. The Ready Reference Guide uses a
modified Library of Congress arrangement. Originally designed for a gopher
site, I converted the document into HTML for the Web.

The Ready Reference Guide arose from a need to find information quickly
and easily.  There are many guides on the Internet, and some are labelled
"ready reference," but I have not seen another free tool that is organized
and labelled so that the user can find, in one step, answers to specific

I have continued to develop Web pages on specific subjects to help
students locate valuable information.. The pages on present-day Russia,
China, and Latin America (available from the Winsor Library page at
http://www.tiac.net/users/winlib/) are helpful for students working on
specific projects.

I believe that it is highly appropriate for librarians to locate,
evaluate, and organize information for patrons, whether the resources are
print or electronic. Assembling these pages is analogous to choosing books
to stock the library.   I look forward to continuing to take advantage of
the medium of the Internet.

[Ellen Berne is the Director of the Library, The Winsor School, Boston, MA
and an Instructor at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and
Information Science.  Ellen can be reached at eberne@tiac.net.]

Internet Toolkit

Internet Toolkit features noteworthy software tools to help library
professionals with Internet-related projects such as training, Web site
creation, bookmark management, and so on.  If you have a suggestion for
Internet Toolkit, send an e-mail message with your name and institution to
leo@leonline.com with the subject TOOLKIT.

Plug-Ins:  Can't Keep Up With Them, Can't Live Without Them

The race is on for software developers to create the hottest, newest, most
exciting plug-ins.  Plug-ins allow users to hear streaming audio or view
seamless video, explore virtual reality, improve the way people access
multiple file formats and documents via a Web interface, or add any number
of interesting features to a standard Web browser.. 

Plug-ins which support multimedia allow users to view movies or hear
sounds without leaving the browser or pointing and clicking endlessly.
When a file is accessed, the multimedia components are "inline" -- they
load to create what looks and feels like a seamless multimedia experience.
It can require a healthy amount of memory, hard drive space, and a fast
connection to make use of a wide variety of plug-ins, though thankfully
some of the plug-in software available is not only free but also realistic
for low-end machines.

The plug-in phenomenon may seem unrelated to how libraries provide access
to Web resources.  Take a look at the breadth and depth of plug-ins
available, however, and you will discover that there are a number of
potential library applications.  Plug-ins like the PointCast Network
provide users with access to up-to-the-minute news, while Real Audio makes
listening to news audio clips possible without downloading delays.
Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML) plug-ins allow users to explore
information and learning in some of the Web's newer three-dimensional
environments.  With plug-ins such as Shockwave Director and an MPEG
(movie) viewer, researchers and students can quickly and easily access
video clips of famous speeches, animal flight, or planetary rotation.

Listed below are some plug-ins that might be applicable in library
environments.  To find out more, visit the I-Way Magazine site
(http://www.cciweb.com/plugins/index.html) and read "Plug-In Playground,"
by Rebecca Rohan or pick up the September issue of NetGuide for an article
on "The World's Best Plug-Ins" or the September issue of The Net to read
their cover story on plug-ins.    Keep up with the growing list of
plug-ins available by checking Netscape's plug-in page
navcomponents_download.html) or Stroud's plug-in modules page 
(http://cws.wilmington.net/plugin.html).  The plug-ins below are all
available to download from Netscape's site.

Cool Fusion (http://www.iterated.com/)
Allows any .AVI video (for Windows) to be viewed inline as it is being

Acrobat Reader 3.0 (http://www.adobe.com/)
Provides access to PDF documents within the browser window. 

CyberAge Raider (http://www.miint.net/cyberage/)
An animated search engine interface which includes a thesaurus for
restructuring searches.

Cybersleuth (http://www.highwaterfbi.com/)
"Fingerprints" graphic images on the Web so users can contact the
copyright owner for permission to use.

HyperStudio Viewer (http://www.hyperstudio.com/)
Allows HyperStudio stacks to be viewed within the browser's window.

Intervu MPEG Player (http://www.intervu.com/)
Streaming MPEG audio and video for Netscape.

MovieStar (http://www.beingthere.com/)
View QuickTime movies from a Web site.  Try QuickMovie for a Mac
compatable plug-in which does the same thing.

PaperPort VX (http://www.visioneer.com/)
View a document scanned into a computer in the Netscape e-mail window.  It
will look just as it did on paper.

PointCast Network (http://www.pointcast.com/)
Up-to-the-minute news and information.

Power Point Viewer (http://www.microsoft.com/)
View Power Point presentations on the Web.

Quicktime VR (http://quicktime.apple.com/)
View panoramic scenes right in your browser's window.

Quick View Plus (http://www.inso.com/)
Send and use files in the Navigator window without format hassles.	

RealAudio (http://www.realaudio.com/)
Provides real-time audio on demand.	

Shockwave (http://www.macromedia.com/)
Interact with Shockwave presentations on the Web including animation,
audio, and video.

Sizzler (http://www.totallyhip.com/)
An animation viewer which provides viewing and interacting capabilities.

VRealm (http://www.ids-net.com/)
View and navigate 3D worlds. 


This regular feature includes news flashes, useful Web sites, and notice
of key journal articles. To suggest an item for Clipboard, send an e-mail
message with your name and institution to leo@leonline.com with the
subject CLIPBOARD.  

Internet Timeline
The September issue of Inside the Internet includes an Internet timeline
pointing out the highlights of the Internet's development around the
world. Included with the timeline is a chart which graphically
demonstrates the rise of Internet hosts over the past 26 years. Portions 
of Inside the Internet are available online at

Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives
The Department of Preservation and Conservation at the Cornell University
Library has published the book Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives.
This guide is based on Cornell workshops.  For ordering information,
contact Mary Arsenault, 214 John M. Olin Library, Cornell University,
Ithaca, NY, 14853, or mla4@cornell.edu.

Project Argonaut
If you would like to be able to do legal research online, you might want 
to get involved in Project Argonaut.  Project Argonaut
(http://rampages.onramp.net/~smcgarry/argonaut/argo.htm) is looking for
libraries, lawyers, law schools, governments, and law associations to
assist with the creation of a database of legal information on the

Ebsco Library Reference Center
At Ebsco Publishing's Web site, librarians will now find the Library
Reference Center (http://www.epnet.com/lrc.html) which provides access to
over thirty library trade journals. Access to the database is free.

Webmonkey:  Free Tuneups for Web Surfers
HotWired has announced Webmonkey (http://www.webmonkey.com/), "a service
station for the wired world."   At the Webmonkey site, you can find HTML
tutorials, reviews of Internet tools, and an interactive advice column.

Internet Policy Advisor at the U.S. Copyright Office
Looking for guidance on copyright issues in the technological world, the
United States Copyright Office has hired Trotter Hardy (law professor at
William and Mary College) to look into copyright issues which might
develop regarding authorship, digital communication, and the Copyright

Teleconferences to Check Out
Managing the electronic library and information literacy are the topics of
two teleconferences to be held this fall.  Exploring Internet 6: Managing
the Electronic Library will be telecast on October 2 and Exploring
Internet 7: Information Literacy:  Restructuring Learning in an Electronic
Environment will occur on Thursday, November 7. For more information call
or fax (317) 580-9393 or e-mail dfassoc@tbcnet.com.

National Geographic Goes Online
National Geographic (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/) has developed a
Web site which integrates high-quality exhibits and articles with forums
for educators.  This well designed site is worth looking at by all those
working with educators and youth.

Public Libraries and the NII
The July/August 1996 issue of Public Libraries includes an article by
Charles R. McClure, John Carolo Bertot, and John C. Beachboard on the
present position and future role of public libraries in the context of the
National Information Infrastructure.  The article features summary
sidebars on advocating for the need for high-quality access to technology, which 
may come in handy for librarians currently facing this issue.

How to Connect to the Internet
The American Association of School Librarians has developed How to Connect
to the Internet, a booklet in the ICONnect: Connecting Learners to
Information series.  For more information on the booklet and ICONnect,
take a look at http://ercir.syr.edu/ICONN/ihome.html.

Diana Tixier Herald, author of GENREFLECTING, has put together a Web site
which includes annotations of recommended books for adults and teens.
Each title's annotation includes a list of related genres that are covered
in the book. (http://www.oz.net/ica/genre/bookweek.html)

How do people search for information on the Web?  Given the current state
of the Web, where searching is done largely through cumbersome, slowly
improving search engines or vast, unmanageable lists of links, information
can seem strangely elusive.  Untrained or occasional surfers complain that
there isn't anything worthwhile on the Internet, often because the Web can
seem like an intimidating, unorganized tangle.  

Send us your observations about how users approach searching for
information in cyberspace.  What successful practices are the most common,
and what errors or barriers to effective searching are the most prevalent?
What do users expect in Web interface design?  Is there an ideal
navigation technique?  How can libraries provide users with the tools and
knowledge they need to become successful searchers?  What technology or
structures might need to be developed to address the Web's searchability
problems, keeping in mind common user practices?  Send your comments and
stories to itw@world.std.com.

Coming Soon...

Watch for these feature topics in upcoming issues of Internet Trend Watch
for Libraries:

November 1996 -- Internet for Everyone:  Connecting Underserved
		 Populations and Internet Resources
December 1996 -- Designing Internet-Friendly Facilities