News from the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library
C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University
vol. 4 no. 1 Fall 1995
New Technology, New Users
Academic librarians help students and faculty find information while also
teaching them to develop the necessary skills for using library resources
on their own. C.W. Post has been in the forefront in this aspect of academic
librarianship, providing a broad spectrum of programs for library instruction.
Recently I ran across a manual that was used fifteen years ago in one of
these programs-the Library Skills Workshop, which is still offered to incoming
freshmen and transfer students. The manual represented one of the Library's
early methods to help students attain a greater degree of "library
literacy". Most of the discussion about finding books was devoted to
something that is now beginning to fade into memory-the card catalog. Only
two or three pages dealt with computers and described a type of touch terminal
for finding books that is no longer used. Since that time, the Library's
online public access catalog (CL-CAT) has undergone numerous upgrades and
is now even accessible via the Internet.
How times have changed! Library literate students of fifteen years ago would
be at a total loss in today's library without additional computer training.
If they look up a book, for instance, they would find that all of our holdings
for the last fifteen years are only available by computer. If they need
periodical articles, they would find that many of our most heavily used
periodical indexes are computerized on a CD-ROM network (even though we
still receive paper versions of these indexes). It is not just periodical
indexes and book catalogs that are computerized. Many reports are now only
available full-text online, such as the National Trade Data Bank in the
Information Department, and some companies' annual reports in the
Center for Business Research.
The trend toward computerized information retrieval has been incorporated
into the Library's instruction programs. These days library workshop teachers
probably spend half their time teaching computer related tools. Faculty
have recognized the need for specialized training by bringing their classes
to the Library in increasing numbers for bibliographic instruction. Students
themselves have become more aware of the skills they need to succeed in
today's academic environment, and have been signing up for CD-ROM instruction
and, recently, for Internet workshops. As academic librarians, we also find
ourselves spending more and more time on a one-to-one basis, helping students
learn to use computerized resources.
Librarians have always had to learn and then teach a whole range of new
tools on an ongoing basis. Each new technology requires new skills and new
approaches to research. Today's students for example, need to understand
not only the Boolean logic used in searching CD-ROM databases, but also
more complex search strategies necessary to retrieve the most relevant results.
Thus technology has changed not only the tools librarians teach, but the
skills necessary to use them.
New technologies have brought about another important change, occuring within
the users themselves. Today's students look upon computers a whole lot differently
from their predecessors. For every technophobe-rarer and rarer among the
younger students-there is at least one "techie" who is extremely
comfortable with computers. These students are adept and experienced in
a wide range of computer applications. They recognize the importance of
knowledge, and increasingly rely upon libraries to provide the support and
the skills necessary to do their own information gathering. New technologies
have created a new generation of users. In response, the Library continues
to anticipate their needs by developing innovative programs and services.
Periodical prices continue to rise, rise, rise. According to a Senior Vice
President at Faxon, a major subscription agency, "The basic market
condition is that library budgets are not keeping pace with the journal
price increases and that's been the trend for a number of years." (Library
Journal, vol. 120, #17, 10/15/95, p16). Among the factors in these large
increases, in addition to general economic inflation, are "page inflation,
climbing paper and postage prices, [and] subscription cancellations..."
Most libraries are being forced to cancel subscriptions just to keep within
their usual limited budgets; this adds to the cost of the journal for remaining
subscribers, thus forcing others to cancel, and so it goes. Projections
for 1996 journal prices indicate a 10-11% increase for domestic titles and
at least a 14% rise in British titles. European journals are even further
out of sight at about 23%! Keep in mind that these are average increases
for all fields. Prices for journals in the sciences and psychology continue
to rise at much higher rates. The following are some examples of what publishers
are doing. Page inflation: one journal added an additional volume for 1995
at a cost of almost $350. We were asked whether we wanted the extra volume.
What is our choice - to live without v. 58? Page deflation: the quarterly
periodical that now comes out in one issue, marked #1-4 and not much larger
than a single issue was in the past. The most creative wrinkle: turning
each monthly issue into a separate volume, and charging accordingly! It's
not easy keeping up with these shenanigans, but we continue to try.
Martha Cooney Named CBR Director
As the new Director of the Center for Business Research, Martha Cooney will
be responsible for the CBR's academic and fee-based services. Ms. Cooney
joined the CBR in 1991, bringing with her a comprehensive background in
both business and academic libraries. She has held library positions at
the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants, Montclair State
College, AT&T Communications, and Hofstra University. Since coming to
the CBR, she has edited the Business Alert, coordinated the CBR bibliographic
instruction program, and has been successful in soliciting grants for the
CBR. Ms. Cooney holds an M.L.S. from Pratt Institute, and an M.S. in Interdisciplinary
Studies from Long Island University. She replaces Mary Grant, the founding
director of the CBR who retired after seventeen years of service.
Although it can be fun and sometimes fruitful to simply browse links on
the World Wide Web, to get information on a specific topic it's best to
try one of the search engines. Also called spiders or crawlers or robots,
these are tools that will search for key words in the text of documents
and provide you with a list of sources that match your search terms. Even
though search engines make the web less tangled, they can be a source of
confusion themselves since there are many different search engines, with
new ones like Excite and Inktomi being created. Though they often provide
similar results, search engines vary in size and speed as well as how they
search for information and how the results are presented. At this point,
there is no single best search engine to use, so you may want to try a few.
The following is a list of several popular search engines and their addresses.
There are collections of search engines at:
Subject trees are also useful for searching the Web. These are lists of
sources arranged in a subject hierarchy. In addition to Yahoo and EINet
there's the WWW Virtual Library at:
To find out more about the differences between search engines you can use
a tutorial from Carlton College at:
Search Engines on the World Wide Web
Or you can read the following articles which are available in the Reference
Bordonaro, Karen and Patrick Lynch. "Search Engines and Subject Searching
of the World Wide Web." The Internet Homesteader 2 (August 1995):
Flynn, Laurie. "Making Searches Easier in the Web's Sea of Data."
The New York Times, (October 1995), D5.
Shirky, Clay. "Finding Needles in Haystacks," NetGuide 2 (October
Web Sites of Interest
Has the information superhighway piqued your interest yet? Well, here are
a few Internet sites from my keyboard to yours.
Columbia University's Project Bartleby (subtitled, "The Public Library
of the Internet") is located at: http://www.cc.columbia.edu/acis/bartleby
Poetry of authors such as Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Walt Whitman, Oscar
Wilde and William Wordsworth can be found here, along with Bartlett's Familiar
Quotations and William Strunk Jr.'s The Elements of Style. You can search
this electronic collection by keyword.
The online version of the New Rider's World Wide Web Yellow Pages
is available at: http://www.mcp.com/687746210766/nrp/wwwyp/
A keyword search gives you names of the web sites, descriptions, addresses,
and highlighted links to connect you to the sites. For example, for information
on creating World Wide Web pages, try using the keyword "HTML"
(hypertext markup language, the WWW authoring language). This will lead
you to sites with tutorials, HTML editors, guides and graphics.
These sites are accessible via the text browser Lynx, but for the
more visually inclined, try using the graphical browser Netscape,
available at the Academic Computing Center.
NEW!! Global Books in Print Plus was recently added to the CD-ROM
network. Comprising several BIP publications and names and addresses of
book publishers, this database is searchable by subject, title, author,
publisher, publication year, language, and keyword.
Ethnic NewsWatch has been expanded to cover the years 1990-1994.
Hot topics include affirmative action, the GOP's Contract with America,
and the impact of federal budget cuts on minority business communities.
Search tip: Use Article Type to refine your search if you are looking
for editorial comments, opinions or reviews. Highlight Article Type and
press F2 for a listing of search categories.
For further information or questions, contact Wendy Roberts at x2305, or
Does New York State Owe You Money?
The C.W. Post Government Information Department is one of ten libraries in
the state which receive the Unclaimed Funds CD-ROM from the New York State
Comptroller's Office. This CD contains approximately 5.5 million names and
addresses of people for whom the Office of Unclaimed Funds is holding amounts
over $10.00. These funds may be old utility deposits, dividends, or bank
There are two lists: one has the names and addresses of people and the code
number of the institution holding their funds. This code is used to search
the second list for the institution. With this information, the lucky claimant
can write to the Office of Unclaimed Funds. Once the person's identity has
been verified, the amount of funds will be disclosed.
Anyone who is interested in conducting a search should call x2142 for an
appointment. You may be one of the lucky people who are owed money!
New Interlibrary Loan Policy
LILRC, the network which processes our interlibrary loan requests, has recently
changed its policy concerning requests to libraries which charge for loans
or photocopies. LILRC will no longer send our requests to libraries which
charge, unless users specify the maximum cost which they would be willing
to pay. Therefore, if you are filling out an interlibrary loan form for
a book or article, please indicate the maximum amount you are willing
to pay for the loan or photocopy. (No maximum cost is needed for items
owned by other campuses of L.I.U.) We will probably continue to be able
to fill most requests for both loans and photocopies without incurring any
charge to our users. For more information, please contact Louis Pisha at
Dean, University Libraries:
Donald L. Ungarelli
Editors in Chief:
Production Design and Layout: