The Public Access Computer Systems Review vol. 1 no. 2 (1990)

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    Libraries with Glass Walls
    (The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, 1990) Bailey, Charles W., Jr.
    As an increasing number of academic libraries provide Internet access to their online catalogs and other databases, the nature of library services is changing.
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    EndNote at Dartmouth: A Double Review
    (The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, 1990) Finnegan, Gregory A.; Klemperer, Katharina E.
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    Public-Access Computer Systems and the Internet
    (The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, 1990) Halbert, Martin
    Recursive Reviews is a new column that will identify and briefly describe articles that deal with public-access computer systems (PACS) and related topics in both library and computer science literature. The "recursive" in the name of the column emphasizes the idea that the discussion of information technology in libraries changes the underlying precepts of the discussion. The dialogue concerning uses of library technology redefines itself in this way, and can therefore be seen as recursive. Enough introduction, let's go on to the reviews.
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    (The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, 1990) Crawford, Walt
    Your patron access systems probably have help screens available at the touch of a key. There are dozens--maybe even hundreds--of carefully-worded context-sensitive messages to help the frustrated patron. Some systems even incorporate the patron's problematic command into the help text. How often do those help screens get used? If you're typical, not very often. From what I've heard informally, systems with logging facilities show that help functions are so rarely used that, if they were indexes, they would be prime candidates for removal from the system. Not only in patron access systems, but in most interactive software, even the most superbly-crafted help facilities go unused--even while they could solve most problems that users face.
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    Z39.50: Where is It and Who Cares?
    (The Public Access Computer Systems Review, 1990) Hinnebusch, Mark
    The Z39.50 Information Retrieval Service Definition and Protocol Specifications for Library Applications, published by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) in 1988, defines a mechanism to be used by a computer system to search for and retrieve information from another computer system, not necessarily made by the same vendor. While the standard is geared to the manipulation of bibliographic data, it is general enough to support a large range of information types. The standard was written to be an application level protocol of the ISO Open Systems Interconnection model (OSI) and as such appeared to be inextricably intertwined with the evolution of the entire OSI suite of protocols. Recently, there has been interest in building OSI applications on top of the well-established Department of Defense TCP/IP protocols running in the Internet. In addition, at least two major vendors (DEC and IBM) have released full OSI protocol stack support. These two trends have combined to make Z39.50 implementation feasible in the immediate future.
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    A CD-ROM LAN Utilizing the CBIS CD Connection System
    (The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, 1990) Smith, Steve
    Like many libraries, the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks has been exploring ways to expand access to the growing number of commercial CD-ROM database products, which are supplementing and replacing traditional print and online reference sources in libraries. Over the past few years, we have increased the number of CD-ROM titles in our collection; however, due to the popularity of these databases, the queues to use them also grew, which resulted in patron frustration. This paper will briefly chronicle our library's implementation of a local area network (LAN), which is primarily used to provide multiple-user access to CD-ROM databases.
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    Symposium on Staffing Issues and Public-Access Computer Systems
    (The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, 1990) Ridley, Mike; Bailey, Charles W., Jr.
    The introduction and proliferation of public-access computer systems has had a significant impact on staffing in libraries. In an attempt to address staffing issues, The Public-Access Computer Systems Review asked a panel prominent commentators to respond to five questions. The comments of the symposium participants form a detailed assessment of the current issues and provide a diverse set of approaches and recommendations.
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    Zen and the Art of CD-ROM Network License Negotiation
    (The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, 1990) Wilson, Thomas C.
    Multi-user access is one of the fastest growing areas of the CD-ROM marketplace. Since several library sites have tested the merger of multiple technologies to build such networks, clearly it is technologically possible to provide either in-house or remote networked access to some CD-ROM databases. As with many experiments in library automation, the technological hurdles that must be overcome belong to the first stage of the process and, complicated though they may be, do not represent the totality of the problem. License agreements represent another challenging area in the universe of CD-ROM networking. The first indication of the complexity at hand is the lack of standard methods for initiating, negotiating, or determining such arrangements. Each vendor is likely to produce a unique license agreement and, in some cases, is likely to have different arrangements with each institution, regardless of the similarity of their network environments. CD-ROM network license agreements are also frequently extensions of or riders to existing single-use agreements, not separately designed legal documents. This situation is further complicated by the implied separation of licenses for data and licenses for software. Additionally, some agreements require that the established relationship be held in confidence, thereby limiting customers' ability to learn how others have handled specific licensing dilemmas. It is clear that this segment of the information industry has not fully matured. End-users, network managers, database producers, and product vendors all approach licensing issues from different perspectives. Even within these groups opinions, policies, and procedures vary greatly. It is also the case that none of these groups have a corner on clarity or sensibility. The issues are often fraught with philosophically opposing motivations, but that is not to say that compromises can not be made. This paper will outline several descriptive categories of CD-ROM network license arrangements available in the marketplace at this time and will attempt to examine and clarify some of their pitfalls.
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    (The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, 1990) Bailey, Charles W., Jr.