1995 ELD/ASEE Annual Conference



The summaries linked to below originally appeared on ELDNET-L and were transcribed by ELD members attending the sessions.

Getting Acquainted:

Monday, June 26, 1995
Notes by Jim Ottaviani (hellpop@umich.edu)

This is the first of a series of summaries of the Engineering Libraries Division sessions at the recently completed American Society for Engineering Education conference. What follows is Jim’s summary of the Get Acquainted Session, traditionally ELD’s opening session of the conference. Because of the structure of the session and the sheer volume of information offered by the 50+ people present, please be aware that not every little detail may be exactly correct, and that this summary will doubtless be one of the longest you’ll see. Jim’s fingers were almost smoking from keying notes into his laptop, and the laptop’s battery (and maybe Jim’s?) were both running low before the session was done. Any names or other information Jim was unsure of are listed in brackets in the text below.

In order of presentation

  • Tom de Petro
    • Wichita State
    • Working on guide to aerospace literature, using a software package called Papyrus, which he has found very useful. Requests that we (ELD) take a look at our role in the Virtual Engineering Library. He has an article in an upcoming issue of Science and Technology Libraries. Ruth Seidman at MIT is the editor and is accepting articles.
  • Gene Alloway
    • University of Michigan
    • Here to represent the UM Digital Library Project (sponsored by NSF/ARPA/NASA). He currently does work on the interface, and is also adding collections (including non-Internet/non-public domain materials). More details to follow in a later session.
  • Bob Chang
    • University of Arizona
    • Restructuring the entire library (personnel-wise) through a strategic planning process. U of AZ is also beginning to work with/under an annual planning cycle.
  • Dena Thomas
    • University of New Mexico
    • “Holding the line.” so not a lot of new projects are underway. U of NM is working with less staff, searching for a director. State legislators are starting to support education and libraries, so bond money is arriving which has allowed them to work on the book collection.
  • Jill Powell
    • Cornell
    • Will describe the ICE Project in detail in a later session. Their WWW service is generating a lot of interest, and they are teaching html authoring to classes that have waiting lists for entry.
  • Donna Swischer
    • Linda Hall Library
    • The engineering collections are still arriving at the library from the old Engineering Societies Library. All expected to arrive by September (?). An online system is up, and a WWW page is in the offing.
  • Lisa [Emer?]
    • Taylor & Francis
    • Here representing the company. Her position is “Engineering Acquisitions Editor”.
  • Andy Stewart
    • University of Missouri, Rolla
    • The U of MO system is switching from local cataloging and to a III system. Also converting government documents and cataloging them as well. The budget picture looks good.
  • Fred O’Bryant
    • University of Virginia
    • Their WWW project has taken a lot of time.They’re going public in August. They have a new electronic classroom in the library, using it to teach using electronic services. The library is changing from NOTIS to “something else”.
  • Glee Willis
    • University of Nevada-Reno
    • With a new building coming up, she is involved in re-planning the space, using a 3-D program to help visualize this. Mixed feelings on combining 2 libraries.
  • Paige Gibbs
    • University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
    • Announced that the Homer Bernhardt award is being given to Clifford Lynch later at the conference. Working with the Boston Library Consortium — they are trying to build/become a state university system. Her poster session will address teaching faculty use of information resources.
  • Ann Ward
    • Cal Poly-Pomona
    • The engineering library and services for it work within a general library setting. The budget is still bad. They are putting together an interactive electronic classroom, and are getting ready to (have already?) put up some Wilson databases on their OPAC.
  • Don Richardson
    • WPI
    • A lot of effort going into web related resources with a goal of creating a campus-wide system. The library homepage has been one of his focuses, and training has taken up much additional time — again, classes are oversubscribed.They also have a new president.
  • Locke Morrisey
    • University of California-Irvine
    • They have just finished and moved into a new (award-winning) science library. The university will soon appear in People magazine regarding some improrieties at their fertility clinic. Building and adding to their WWW pages, and also working on team building.
  • Karen Greig
    • Stanford
    • Reengineering technical services and moving from a mainframe to a client-server architecture. They are evaluating the Sirsi system, and working on keeping up with the web explosion.
  • Karen Andrews
    • UCLA
    • Karen is now head of reference and circulation. The library is moving to client-server architecture. A debate is underway as to whether the engineering web pages should have the same look & feel as the main library. During the poster session, she will present the survey data compiled from ELD responses. Moving to UC-Davis in the fall.
  • Patsy Hulse
    • University of Auckland, New Zealand!
    • Working on CD-ROM networking. They too are looking to change from a NOTIS system to something else.
  • Kate Herzog
    • Freelance Engineering Librarian
    • Will present information on serials at a later session.
  • Lizbeth Langston
    • University of California-Riverside
    • Has openings, and copies of the position descriptions. A new science library is coming up, and their engineering programs have started graduating people. They too are working on the WWW.
  • Godlind Johnson
    • SUNY-Stonybrook
    • The budget picture is bad. Working with “Engine-Net” to do distance teaching and pooling of teaching resources — moving from videotaping to real-time interactive video. They are also getting new equipment (public workstations) but no technical support. Removing books, as well.
  • Bonnie Stableford
    • University of British Columbia
    • Undergoing a systems reassessment, and plan to have a new system by Sept. ’96. A new library building is coming in at the same time. They are canceling serials, consulting on collection policy — faculty are looking at and asking for interdisciplinary collections. Adding Georef remotely, Ei via Citadel. They are restructuring the library (organizationally?). End-users can submit their own ILL electronically using a package called Pegasus, which works well). IPO is on its way. There will be a vacancy there soon, too.
  • Beth Brin
    • University of Arizona
    • They have recently added 4 new librarians, and will soon hire two more sci-tech people. Completed a needs assessment survey to find out about customer desires. Have moved from IHS on fiche to CD-ROM. Developing an “information commons”. Working to improve ILL, reserves, and reshelving. Also looking at outsourcing in technical services.
  • Jean Whelan
    • University of Colorado-Boulder
    • Migrating (actually a long march) from CARL to Innovative Interfaces Inc. — clean-up is immense! Concerns include how to pay for it. Looking at front ends and searching interfaces. The University of Denver library school is returning, and appears to intend to serve commuter students. Their FirstSearch system is now up and running. They are experimenting with ILL online.
  • Flossie Wise
    • University of Tennessee-Knoxville
    • Engineering works out of a central reference library — engineering does not predominate the work. Moving from GEAC to Sirsi, up and running in January. They have their CD-ROMs on an server. They are working towards full Internet access for the public. Their TULIP project is not delivering full images to the desktop — doing table of contents and abstracts. Creating a library-wide conspectus, and doing a lot of weeding. Newer instructional programs for undergraduates are designed to make them information literate. They now have a librarian in the computer center [Jose-Marie Griffiths].
  • Ron Rodrigues
    • Knight-Ridder (DIALOG)
    • New job — he is no longer with customer services, now senior staff consultant. Their new science marketing strategist is a PhD biologist. He will present ScienceBase information at the poster session. Also touting Probase, (a European product) which supports full boolean, and their Expressnet product for image delivery.
  • Katalin Harkanyi
    • San Diego State University
    • SDSU is having budget problems, haven’t subscribed to new journals in years. Working on web page design.
  • Mike Reid
    • Knight-Ridder
    • In charge of CD-ROM [product development? Marketing? Science and technology?] He’s interested in knowing whether the CDs should be online analogs or should they be actual slices of the literature sold directly to end-users?
  • Lucille Wert
    • Emeritus Professor
    • University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
    • A past ELD member, currently on editorial board of ACS’s “Chemtech”. She is advising on pricing, and looking for manuscripts on improving access to information.
  • Alan Gould
    • University of Nebraska
    • Has had success with joint funding on some projects (adding Mathsci, purchasing automated patent systems). Has dropped a couple CD-ROM titles and recently undergone a 17% cut in serials — 24% next year.
  • Vladimir Borovansky
    • Arizona State University
    • They are now doing collection development in support of strategic planning. They too are shopping for a new OPAC. They also have a new homepage and an automated patent system (the cost picked up by Motorola).
  • Deborah Kegel
    • University of California-San Diego
    • Discussed the UC IEEE project — trying to load in full image of CDs off of IPO disks. They are looking to have three years up by the end of the summer. More shared decision making training going on here as well. They now have a cluster system for science libraries. Doing ILL via the WWW, also working on Ariel to make it deliver to professor’s desktops. They have recently resumed 7 day library hours.
  • Kim Douglas
    • Caltech
    • They have a new director, and are building a new library.
  • Nancy [Zacariasin?]
    • Caltech
    • Finding out that web pages are not a thing you start and finish… Caltech is getting started on participating in digital library projects.
  • Sharon Gause
    • University of Colorado-Boulder
    • Working on building gateways to as many networks as they can. All of Colorado is now connected electronically. Working with the engineering departments, they are teaching how to find information rather than play on the Internet. Staff remains the same while use goes up.
  • Christina Byrne
    • University of Washington (Seattle)
    • Their renovation is completed and they have opened a new electronic classroom. Staff is a bit down, but new equipment is coming in. They have a new article delivery project underway and are balancing network/CD/Z39.50/whatever other protocols.
  • Carol Salomon
    • Cooper Union
    • Gave a background of the school, which grants degrees in studio art, architecture, and engineering. They have ~1000 students, 600 of whom are engineers. The architects don’t talk to the engineers… They are moving to a GEAC system, and have fiber optic line(s) coming in to the library.
  • Christy Hightower
    • University of California-San Diego
    • An H-P grant to equip their electronic information center, and have done a case study for HP as well. They brought up their own web site, and used it for integrating teaching with the web with the library. Compendex coming up on their III opac. They are also a TULIP site — TULIP is probably ending at the UC system as a whole, though a few campuses may continue.
  • Dorothy Byers
    • University of Cincinnati
    • They have a math and computer science library. The collections budget has taken a beating — they have moved to BNA. They are moving into document delivery using Ohiolink (uses III). Delivery works pretty well, and they use Uncover heavily. They are contracting out to run G.E.’s library. They are also involved in web work.
  • Sheila Curl
    • Notre Dame
    • $3.9 million are being added to the library’s (as a whole) base. They are now adding 2nd hand 486 machines and replacing their NOTIS system.
  • Charlotte Erdmann
    • Purdue
    • Teams are looking at a replacement for their OVID Tech. system. (They have recently added Medline and Current Contents to it.) A new undergraduate teaching classroom has been added, and new Pentium workstations are on the library floor. Some web development underway, and they have added some new staff.
  • Anna Wu
    • Purdue
    • Conducting a nationwide search for a new head of the library. A big weeding project is coming up.
  • Claire Swanson
    • Georgia Tech
    • The campus, part of the Olympic Village, is having/anticipating some security problems. They are sharing networked information across the state.
  • Carol Reese
    • ASCE
    • Manager for information projects. ASCE now has all 22 of their journals on CD, full-text, fully indexed. The society now has a press division.
  • Steve Gass
    • Stanford
    • Thanked the membership for the unanimous vote on the budget. Stanford’s libraries & academic resources and information technology divisions have split, after a recent merger. They are moving the major databases off of the mainframe and looking to migrate away from NOTIS. They received a 6% budget increase. The library is now producing the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) along with the society that published it. Noted that NASA Recon on the net has full coverage back to the 1960’s — it covers both STAR and IAA information.
  • Jay Waddell
    • Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo
    • Continuing to de-emphasize CDs based on a long-time policy decision. They have campus-only access to most of their electronic information.
  • Mel DeSart
    • University of Kansas
    • 15% journal cut this year. An RFP for the new online system went out this year. The 5 Regent’s Libraries in Kansas are participating in SWAP (a System-Wide Access Project) that will bring some common database access to all 5 institutions.
  • Tom Volkening
    • Michigan State University
    • The library now reports to the Vice-Provost of Computing and Technology. A private law school is coming on to campus. Will present information about a new manufacturing coalition at the poster session — a TRP project to support development and cataloging of internet manufacturing resources. ILL is now an end-user system at MSU.
  • Cecilia Mullen
    • San Jose State
    • Has created a computer-aided instruction package which describes 145 resources, hypertextually linked, on a workstation. Working on a 5-10 year plan on information for engineers — still no long-term plan in the works. The budget picture is not good. The library has a used book store and is using it to make some money, though it requires a lot of staff to operate.
  • Bob Schwarzwalder
    • Ford Motor Co.
    • The Technophile column (in Database) has been extended to a monthly. Ford is moving fast, and has added 3 new staff and a new liaison. Their web site will come up in early July — it will only be available to Ford employees, and will track queries and work flow of information requests. Ford is also working on TULIP, and also on a UMI product called ProQuest Direct. They are looking to use a non-MARC OPAC.
  • Mike White
    • University of Maine
    • They have been a PTDL since 12/93, and are the site for the entire state. They have new remote sensing and GIS databases under development. The library is leading a university-wide team on developing web pages for the Maine system. They are also active in teaching internet classes.
  • Jim Ottaviani
    • University of Michigan
    • ITIC (Integrated Instruction Technology Center) construction is proceeding. Moving planned for December 1995, opening for January 1996. The Engineering Library will combine with Art & Architecture and the Computer Aided Engineering Network. UM is moving TULIP from experimental to production mode — budgeting accordingly. Also preparing to experiment with real-time video reference delivered over the Internet, and exploring the feasibility of purchasing and delivering full text of U.S. patents. Their web site has been public for most of the year, and they continue to build on it.

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Serials: How Do You Manage:

Session 2241. Date? 1995
Moderator: Karen Andrews, UCLA
Notes by Ann Ward (aeward@csupomona.edu)

Jump to:
Serials you Love/Hate to Sink Your Teeth Into
A Financial Model for University Research Level Engineering Library Collections.

Serials you Love/Hate to Sink Your Teeth Into (A Good Serial is Hard to Find)

Kate Herzog.

Kate began her talk by reminding us that engineering librarians have always dealt with “difficult” materials (technical reports, gray literature, conference proceedings, etc.) and she reviewed the intellectual processes and decision making processes that we have used to deal with this material. For example:

  • deciding to acquire a serial, being proactive vs reactive
  • format to acquire, e.g. paper vs fiche
  • how to treat it, how we knew or expected users to look for it
  • how long to keep it
  • cataloging & access problems, e.g. conferences published in journals, report series, lack of analytical cataloging & added entries.

Now that our users have easier (electronic) access to our holdings information, the cataloging and access problems are even more apparent. She showed examples from online catalogs to illustrate some of the problems we face in finding our own serials and tech. reports and asked “If we have a hard time finding out if we own something, what are our users to do?” Kate also feels that the keyword indexing capabilities of many of our OPACs have not made up for the lack of analytical cataloging and added entries.

She then made the connection that with the advent of the Internet & Web we are experiencing deja vu, going into another era of diffuse, hard to find gray literature. We face many of the same problems, plus additional ones. Primarily, now we may not even own the literature and the owner may drop it at any time. So how do we collect? On local machines or use pointers to location (but the address may change). Other questions she raised:

  • Even if we manage to “collect” this material, will it be usable for our users?
  • What is the value of union catalogs?
  • It’s much more difficult to be proactive.

She closed by stating the need to develop standards in how to treat serials and how to look for them and reminding us to use the skills and knowledge we’ve already developed in dealing with the electronic environment.

Comments from the audience:

  • Rather than trying to apply our old systems, a new paradigm is needed for the electronic environment.
  • Much of the problem is really a cataloging problem. Kate replied that we needed to understand catalogers’ desire to follow standards and that we need to work with them to have materials cataloged and analyzed in a way that meets our users’ needs.

A Financial Model for University Research Level Engineering Library Collections.

Steven Gass, Stanford.

(published in Conference Proceedings, vol.1, pg. 1154)

Steve described a model he developed for the 1992/93 budget year to help determine the proper level of support for Stanford’s Engineering Library. Anyone interested in the details of his calculations should get a copy of his paper from the proceedings. It’s too complex to describe here.

Steve’s model is based on the ARL/RLG Conspectus and the draft Supplemental Guidelines for the Technology Conspectus. He also used price information from Faxon, MIT Libraries, Stanford Libraries, Ulrich’s, and Yankee Book Peddler. Primary components of the model are serials, reference, and monographs. Secondary components are access to information, document delivery, equipment, and retrospective needs.

To develop the model Steve:

  • used Publications Indexed for Engineering (sources used for EI/Compendex), determined those relevant to Stanford, and calculated the cost for a minimum number of titles needed for his library.
  • used data from Yankee (approval plan vendor) to determine acceptance rate in various call number ranges of primary and secondary importance to Stanford. Dollar values were then calculated.
  • calculated support for secondary components (access, etc.) by assigning each component a certain percentage of the total of the primary components.

The proposed budget resulting from the model was about 10% higher than his actual budget for that year.

Questions that arose included:

  • Is the Conspectus still relevant? Perhaps not, but it was useful for this exercise because it’s the only thing available.
  • The percentages and estimates used in the model need to be tested.
  • And of course, Steve’s faculty wanted to know if he was getting the right 50% of PIE titles.

The principle behind the model is that a certain percentage of annual scholarly output in engineering is appropriate for an engineering library to minimally serve its community. The model can also be adapted to other scientific disciplines and to undergraduate level collections by using other indexing and abstracting sources.

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Electronic Publishing:

Wednesday June 28, 1995. 8:30 – 10:15 am
Moderator: Jay Waddell
Notes by Jill Powell (jhp1@cornell.edu)

Jay Waddell mentioned that some 20 electronic peer-reviewed journals exist today and posed several questions for speakers to answer, including How do technical libraries deploy this new medium? What will happen in the near future with electronic publishing?

Jump to:
Publishing for Engineering Education – Today and Tomorrow
Network Access to Full-text IEEE and IEEE Publications
Establishing Criteria for Peer Reviewed Engineering Instructional Courseware

Publishing for Engineering Education – Today and Tomorrow

Wayne Anderson, John Wiley Publishers (wanderso@jwiley.com)

Our publishing environment is in transition. We are moving from an era when our intellectual properties are stored in atomic structures–ink on paper to an era when such properties are stored as electronic impulses. Weare moving from a Pre-digital to a Digital environment with the following comparisons:

Pre-Digital Digital
Atoms bits
Books, records, tapes CDs, electronic files
static dynamic
ownership access
transfer physically transfer electronically
transfer slowly transfer immediately
local transactions global transactions
sell license
buying subscribing
physical space computer memory
updating slowly updating/correcting quickly
media do not mix well media mixes well
can’t compress can compress
create and disseminate create and serve

Traditional Role of Publisher

Pre-digital Digital
Define publishing mission Role stays the same
create content or select creator Role stays the same
help focus content to meet need Role stays the same
get peer reviews Role stays the same
package into defined product provide access
sell license
inventory books maintain files
collect revenues and pay royalties same


  • Need new creative skills author, editor, programmer, designer
  • Copyright protection for providers
  • Need new/secure transactions methods
  • Need standard protocols
  • Need equal access

What is Wiley doing to address challenges?

  • recruit, train and acquire new skills
  • support agents that protect copyright
  • experiment with ways of providing information for profit
  • participating in industry standards committee
  • support agencies that promote equal access

YAIFS – yet another information format. It’s scary that the format is sometimes more important than the information itself.

Wiley’s Experiments:

  • partner with Engineering Synthesis Coalition since 1991
  • participant in several digital library initiatives
  • custom publishing for intro engineering courses
  • simulation and multimedia software to improve learning
  • Web site to improve service and test new ways of providing information and instruction for a profit (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/)
  • Entire catalog is in gopher file, information for authors, Journal of Image Guided Surgery, Journal of Computational Chemistry (a meeting place more than a journal)
  • Anton Calculus Forum – resource for instructors of calculus, especially those who use Howard Anton’s Calculus text.

Wiley, like other publishers is undertaking a number of experiments to determine ways of making a profit in the new digital world.

Network Access to Full-text IEEE and IEEE Publications at the University of British Columbia

Bonita Stableford, University of British Columbia (bstford@unixg.ubc.ca)

Presents story of how Univ. of British Columbia came to get network access to the full-text IEEE Proquest service. The network version is a closed test project, comprised of the following: Boeing (Seattle), Hewlett Packard Library, US Patents Office, and University of British Columbia.

Sees shift of use from print to electronic resources where available. Patrons like to find information without taking a step. Received a trial of full-text IEEE Proquest Service from UMI. Patrons delighted and asked when it would be networked and available from their offices. IEE and IEEE initially slow to agree.

3 levels of pricing

  1. IEEE All-Society periodicals package — partial discount
    all parts of IEEE Proquest and Electronics Letters
  2. as above plus one — maximum discount
    IEEE Conference Prepaid Order Plan or IEEE Conference standing order plan
  3. No IEE or IEEE publications — full price


  • 3rd party fixes hardware and software but liability of injury, theft not covered and has been a problem in negotiations.Inability to install debit cards, so users are printing for free (libraries are paying a per page charge in addition to subscription price).
  • The problem is UMI can’t guarantee users aren’t paying for other users’ print jobs on the network. While IPO standalone can see final pages, the network version can’t. Users do miss this.

Funding – 25% faculty, 75% library. For period Nov 94-June 95, 85,000 pages have been printed. 31,000 printed in EE department, 48,000 at the library, and rest at a computer lab.

UMI will not be will not supporting IPO after Fec. 96. All new customers are being referred to IEE/IEEE offices for their new Windows based product call IEL, the IEE/IEEE Electronic Library. It will be available in a standalone version only.

Establishing Criteria for Peer Reviewed Engineering Instructional Courseware

Professor Pamela Ann Eibeck, Mechanical Engineering, Northern Arizona University, Chief editor for NEEDS database (pae@pine.cse.nau.edu)

What is NEEDS?

NEEDS is a database of instructional materials put together by the Synthesis Coalition. It is expanding to include contributions from anywhere.

What is on NEEDS?

  • elements – such as video or sound clip
  • collections – such as flow visualization, images
  • courseware – digital material which conveys engineering concept
  • curricular units – has many concepts
  • potential users – instructors and students

Why Peer Review?

  • Easier access to good quality instructional material enhance author’s recognition (get credit for promotion)
  • greater exposure of courseware via reviewers
  • source of ideas for developers

What is Quality Courseware?

Speaker provided a few references.

Suggested Criteria

Content, engagement, user interface, diversity of examples, designappealing, easy to use consistent features, makes user active.


Few authors will meet all the criteria! Most reviewers are not qualified to review courseware.

Result – Three Tiered Review

  1. Nonreviewed material – verify only how it works. This level fosters creativity
  2. Endorsed courseware – peer review by gestalt questionnaire. Criteria: content errror-free, aethetically appealing, complete, author documentation available, potentially useful to another instructor
  3. Premier courseware – unique state-of-the art, measurable increase in students understanding relative to traditional lecture. Only 1 or 2 per year. Author must include learning assessment, student comments, detailed recommendation or pedagogical application.

For more information, contact NEEDS project manager:

Brandon Muramatsu

Will distribute software via CD-ROM, since takes so long to download huge files. Have non-exclusive rights to distribute.

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The Future of Engineering Libraries/Information Access:

Session 3541 June 28, 1995
Moderator: Mel DeSart, University of Kansas
Notes by Karen L Greig (kareng@leland.stanford.edu)

Purpose: This session explored the future of engineering libraries and access to engineering information in light of current and projected advances in information technologies.

Jump to:
Engineers and Their Information Needs: Are They Really Different?
Serving Information on ICE: Internet Connections for Engineering
W(h)ither the Engineering Library?

Engineers and Their Information Needs: Are They Really Different?

W. David Penniman, consultant to senior management in information systems, resources, and services.


Background of the National Engineering Initiative (NEII)
Roles of Council on Library Resources (CLR) and ASEE
Evidence of Need
Champions and Critics
Next Steps

Background of NEII

In 1992 a conference took place in Florida to explore the National Engineering Information Initiative. 90 engineers attended this conference, along with various other interested parties. (David can provide anyone interested with information on how to obtain the proceedings.) There is no national engineering library and a need for one was perceived. Between 1992 and 1994 CLR promoted the idea of establishing a national engineering library, submitted grant applications, etc.

  • Data Gathering (1992-1994) Funded studies
  • Pilot project funded: ICE at Cornell
  • NEII Strategy Meeting (9/19/94). The upshot of this was that there is still a divergence of opinion. The push needs to come from an organization grounded in engineering, not from the library community.

In 1995 there was a change in the lead organization from CLR to ASEE. (The 1993 ASEE proceedings includes a paper on NEII.)

Roles of CLR and ASEE

  • CLR: facilitator/funder/fund seeker
  • CLR: lead organization
  • ASEE: champion
  • ASEE: fund seeker

ASEE’s role will also be in continuing education and aggressive information promotion. The April 1995 issue of Prism contains a statement about this.

Evidence of Need

  • External Sources (government agencies, industry, professional societies)
  • Literature review (Center for Information Studies, University of Tennessee)

The literature review yielded a report by Don King, with Jane Casto, and Heather Jones entitled “Communications of Engineers: A Literature Review of Engineers’ Information Needs, Seeking Processes, and Use”. This report is available from CLR for $25 (clr@cni.org). It is also available through the ICE page http://www.englib.cornell.edu/ice/lists/technical-communications.html [Link No Longer Active]. One of the conclusions of this report was that the library is used only as a last resort by engineers. Instead, engineers rely on local and internal information sources. They read scholarly journals less than scientists.

Focus Group study: David and a colleague conducted a focus group study which consisted of interviews at four institutions: University of Illinois College of Engineering (students and faculty), New Jersey Institute of Technology, Ford Motor Company (R&D, managers, engineers of all ages), and the New York Power Authority. Ten to fifteen individuals were interviewed at each organization.

The focus group study showed a high level of interest from management and engineers. There was recognition that there are problems in engineers’ accessing of information and there are increased expectations for solutions to these problems. The results of the focus group study were published in the CLR newsletter.

When asked what are the impediments to getting their jobs done, the participants zeroed in on information problems. Engineers are keenly aware of problems and they desire timely information and data and expect modern access techniques.

  • Internal access is equally problematic.
  • Competitive information (foreign and domestic) is desired
  • The clock is running faster. There’s more information, more results are expected faster, want information fed to them when they need it…
  • Younger engineers have greater expectations due to their exposure to new technologies such as the Internet
  • Parochial solutions aren’t enough to satisfy younger engineers

Champions and Critics

  • Strong vested interests of large societies. Want to be “one stop shop” for their members and are resistant to NEII.
  • Strong interest from “second tier societies” with smaller membership. Organizing these societies behind the initiative is the way to go.
  • Skepticism regarding “real” need by managers, including information managers
  • Belief that current research will solve the problem. It is naive to believe this will happen without a top-down initiative.

Next Steps

  • Accelerate efforts of ASEE
  • Produce proposal for development funding
  • Engage interested societies/organizations
  • Continue documenting need

Serving Information on ICE: Internet Connections for Engineering

Jill H. Powell, Associate Engineering Librarian for Reference/Instruction at Cornell University and co-principal investigator for the ICE Project. (jhp1@cornell.edu)

How to Access ICE:

URL – http://www.englib.cornell.edu/, or http://ice.englib.cornell.edu/ [Link No Longer Active] choose ICE

Public Lynx Client – telnet cuinfo2.cit.cornell.edu:400 [Link No Longer Active], select G(o) and enter in the URL shown above.


  1. ICE – What is ICE? Funding, Staffing
  2. Ice structure, examples
  3. How we use ICE and the Web for reference and instruction
  4. ICE Statistics (on back of handout)

What Is Ice?

ICE is a catalog of engineering-related resources on the Internet made accessible on the World Wide Web (WWW). It includes 37 subject categories.

Cornell received a one year (May 1994-April 1995) $14,000 grant from the Council on Library Resources. This grant was for non-equipment items only. This was enough for one part-time “miner” for one year and one part-time student. They are currently looking for new funding to keep one position through 9/95.

Why the WWW and not gopher? The Web is here to stay, company’s are spending money to be on the Web, publishing URLs in their advertising, etc.

Jill then showed the Cornell Engineering Library home page and then the ICE home page. “About the server” has a fact sheet. An alphabetical index is available. Electrical Engineering sources has been the most heavily used page. Electronic Engineering Times under EE is very good.

There is a History of Technology page which includes “Engineering Successes and Failures”. This has been a handy reference tool.

Under “Instructional Materials” is the Cornell Library Instructional Materials page which includes handouts covering html, patents, exploring the WWW, jobs, and more.

Jill showed a sample page from the HTML Authoring Class that was offered by the library.

Access statistics were given on the reverse side of Jill’s handout. The main ICE page is being accessed approximately 94 times/day, from 54 countries. EE is the most popular with 620 accesses/month.

Future: A student will be working on a search engine for ICE.

W(h)ither the Engineering Library?

Maurita Peterson Holland, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Information and Library Studies and College of Engineering Technical Communication Program (mholland@umich.edu)

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Wednesday June 28, 1995. 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Moderator: Jean Whelan
Notes by Locke J. Morrisey (lmorrise@orion.oac.uci.edu)

Conference Overview

Everything we’re doing is changing. There has been a “paradigm shift” and it is raising the following issues:

  1. We’re going from the library as a physical entity (building) to the library with no walls (virtual).
  2. Our selection methods are not only buying books, journals and conference proceedings but selecting Web Sites to point to as well (web mining)
  3. Just as we catalog and classify books there is a need for Web organization.
  4. Not only are librarians struggling to keep up with the new technology but so are publishers.
  5. How does the Net affect peer review and information authority?
  6. More and more licensing of information is going on rather than the outright purchase of this information.
  7. Some of the organizations we’re working in are changing as they go from a traditional hierarchical management model to a more team based approach.
  8. Many of us are looking at going to a client-based server model in the automation of our libraries.

The only thing that is certain is that change is occurring and will occur and many of us and our colleagues find the change somewhat frightening. We need to learn to deal with the old things in new ways. It will come eventually but in the meantime we need help through this transition period. We can’t be experts in everything but amongst us all we should be able to “cover the bases”

Assignment: write down questions/topics of interest to you. Some suggestions are Internet, Patents, Dissemination of Government Information, Innovative delivery of services, Digital Library Update. Questions will be gathered and then grouped together by like topics.

These topics are:

  1. Collection Development
    • Definition of the role of the library (archival vs access)
    • Cutbacks in format type/subject discipline materials/equipment
    • Software/format/equipment is helping to determine what goes into the collection
    • Ownership/leasing
    • Identify resources on the campus and make available on the OPAC
    • Selective electronic resources support (there is only so much money to go around how is priority determined)
    • develop a collections policy for electronic formats
    • campus departments will buy enduser equipment for access instead of library
    • new bibliographic utilities with client/server applications
    • weeding (especially how to do it for electronic resources)
    • still using subjects as a basis for collection and not format
  2. National Engineering Information Initiative (NEII)
    • what is it really all about?
    • how can librarians have a lasting impact on this (especially input and instruction)?
    • need to bring NEII to the forefront
    • define ASEE’s role in relation to NEII
    • executive committee should keep a pulse on NEII
    • what direction is NEII going and what are librarians/institutions roles?
    • what is ASEE’s direction?
    • ELD division needs to take the lead within ASEE in regards to NEII
  3. Internet
    • workshops for course related homepages (next year’s conference)
    • sharing Web/curriculum-based resources (e.g. ICE) in coordination with the ELD homepage.
    • how do we assure the maintenance of important Web resources we all use, such as ICE. Can we share the burden among us? (NOTE: UC Riverside’s INFOMINE is taking this approach) Is there funding available to help support?
    • how do we point to (i.e. organize) valuable web resources and how do we inform others of these sites?
    • how does this relate to ELD’s literature guides? We sell them now do we just put them up on the Web?
    • need to explore corporate (not just ASEE) sponsorship of Web initiatives
    • training of staff to use HTML and design Web pages
  4. Doing it all
    • dealing with new technologies (learning, instructing, etc.) yet getting the “old job” done as well
    • need for practical, time-saving tips
    • learn to prioritize (do less with less)
    • learn to say no
    • what can you stop doing (and how do you get feedback from users on this)
  5. Team Building/Partnering/Cooperation
    • what do our faculty really want?
    • we need to foster/nurture a relationship between the librarian and the faculty member
    • what is the role of the “digital librarian” on the campus? How is it being redefined?
    • where do we look for money
    • share case studies (e.g, curriculum based use of the Web) among colleagues
    • share lessons learned
    • share different models and processes used
    • evaluate different models and processes used (cost-benefit)
    • we need to balance partnering as it can work to our advantage in obtaining resources but also add unattainable expectations (and get us into trouble)

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