Dear Colleagues:

It was good to see so many of you this past month at our Spring Meeting. Robert Hauptman and Kristi Tornquist provided a remarkable and riveting start to the day. I am told that all the presentations went very well and the three I attended were delightful. Of course I'm really in this business for the good food and great company and there was plenty of both beginning with the very convivial Thursday evening dinner and continuing on through the Friday breaks and lunch.

Congratulations and thanks to each of you who helped make this a very successful conference. A very special thank-you and bravo to Barb Allen of UNI who was truly the creative genius behind this successful event. I'm already looking forward to seeing many of you at the ILA conference in Dubuque (John Pollitz and Mary McInroy inform me there are plenty of good ACRL related events scheduled).

Now to some thoughts concerning the very near future - In the very near future you will likely receive an e-mail or a telephone call from our good buddy and future ILA/ACRL president Ed Goedeken. Ed will ask you to volunteer to serve on a committee or to possibly consider running for office. OK so your first reaction is to just say no, after all you are quite possibly one of the most overworked individuals on the planet. A rational person with your responsibilities should just hit the delete key or reply "I'd really like to, but this Fall/Spring I'm going to be extra busy doing the overwhelmingly-impossible-thing-a-ma-jig --- call me next year after I've cloned myself." But before you do ... Consider the following:

  1. Many of the committee positions that are now available require very little time and effort and provide a wonderful opportunity to develop friendships with colleagues from around the state.
  2. Those few positions that do require some time and effort are very rewarding, build very healthy resumes, and provide an opportunity to work with a wide network of wonderful Iowa library-folk.
  3. You need have neither previous experience nor possess any extraordinary skills (the current president is clearly a case in point).

So volunteer for a committee position or run for office. You will enjoy the experience, make new friends, and help both your organization and your profession. Visit - pick a category or two - and let Ed Goedeken know of your intentions. Make yourself happier, make your colleagues happier, and make Ed happier. Volunteer now!

--Chris "all the witticism with only half the wit" Neuhaus


September is Library Card Sign-Up Month. For information see:

International Literacy Day - September 8, 1999. For information see:

Banned Books Week I - September 25-October 2, 1999. For information see:

The Fourth International Conference on Grey Literature will be held October 4-5, 1999 in Washington D.C.

The theme is 'New Frontiers' and follows a redefinition of grey literature at  the last conference as being "that which is produced on all levels of  government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers" (sic). Three sessions will cover: Global assessment of Grey Literature; Archiving Electronic Grey Literature; Copyright and Grey Literature. For details see:

The ILA Fall Conference will be held in Dubuque, October 13-15, 1999. The conference theme is "Iowa Libraries: Writing Our Next Chapter."

A conference - Powerful Learning, Powerful Partnership: Educating the University Community in a Dynamic Information Environment - will be held at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, November 11-12, 1999.  For more information see the University of Iowa in the NEWS NOTES section of this issue.

November 14-20 is American Education Week. For information see:

Attention new (or sort of new) ILA/ACRL members - the chance of a lifetime:

The Awards Committee of ILA/ACRL is once again offering a scholarship for conference attendance - this time at the ILA Fall Conference in Dubuque.  The scholarship will reimburse the recipient for up to $150 in expenses including conference registration, hotel and meals.

Take advantage of this opportunity to discover ILA, participate in an exciting conference and perhaps add on a Fall vacation in beautiful northeast Iowa.

Applicants must be paid members of ILA/ACRL, currently working in an Iowa academic or research library, and either attending their first ILA conference or resident in the state for three years or less.  For more information and a application form go to the ILA/ACRL web site: or contact Mary Beveridge, Chair, ILA/ACRL Awards Committee, Cowles Library, Drake University, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505,

To see what a life-changing experience receiving one of these scholarships can be, see the testimonial of Angie Schaper, our Spring Conference scholarship recipient, below.

"In May I had the privilege of attending my first ILA/ACRL Spring Conference and was asked to share my experiences and impressions.  My very first impression was how many people I already knew.  I graduated from the University of Iowa's Library School and have attended the ILA Fall Conference for the past few years, so many people and faces were known to me and I immediately felt as if I was among friends.  I also had several people recognize me as a newcomer and welcome me to the conference. Everything about the conference was first class, the organization, agenda, facilities, speakers and the hosts.  The conference committee deserves a lot of credit, especially its chairperson, Barbara Allen and ILA/ACRL President, Chris Neuhaus.

"The keynote speakers were very thought provoking, I'm still thinking about some of the scenarios suggested by Robert Hauptman and the ethical dilemmas we face when freedom of information and the complexity of human emotions collide.  The sessions I attended were all issues that we have been addressing at the North Iowa Area Community College Library such as: assessing user needs through data collection, finding better ways to orient students to resources, and making the information in NIACC's archives more accessible.  I don't think it was a coincidence that the sessions I attended were so pertinent to what we are working on at the
NIACC Library.  I think the issues we face are issues that all academic librarians face as we strive to provide better service with improvements in technology and available information.  And therein lies the value in getting together with fellow librarians in a conference such as this, to share ideas, solutions, and strategies for problem solving and innovation."

Mary Beveridge, Drake University and Angie Schaper, NIACC Mason City, IA 50401


Librarians involved in Internet instruction for students, faculty and staff at their institutions may find the following criteria useful. There are two Web addresses for linked examples. One of the examples has Internet sites focusing on American Indians.

Criteria for evaluating a Web site

  1. Authority: Who? Contact? Qualifications?
  2. Accuracy: Sources? Typos? Responsibility?
  3. Objectivity: Bias? Advertising?
  4. Currency: Dates - earliest, latest, sources?
  5. Coverage: Topics? Depth?

Linked examples

Feline Reactions to Bearded Men:
Professor Zimmerman's page on evaluating with annotated links on American Indians:

--- Ann Ford and Charlene Lehman, Reference University of Iowa Libraries



Gretchen discussed planning for the facility (1994-1998).  The librarians wanted a space where librarians and teaching faculty could hold instruction sessions that would allow for hands-on activities for all students, demonstration by teacher, and class discussions.  They created a planning document that included the philosophy, purpose, capacity and intended use of space. Brett then discussed the space that was built and how it has been used during its first academic year.  Librarians reported that students in classes in the IIF seemed more engaged in courseware and other faculty commented that they appreciated the opportunity to talk with the
students instead of computer monitors and that their students were attracted to the process, even if they were frustrated by the technology.  The room has also been used for workshops for administrative units, for sessions led by the College's Instructional Media Technology Specialists, and in the evenings and on weekends it has
been used as a general computer lab for students.

In order to make the facility work for all the various people and groups, students were hired to serve as Instructional Facility Monitors.  They monitor student use when the room is a computer lab, "ghost" the computers to restore standard settings, and assist classroom faculty when needed.

The dimensions of the IIF are 21' x 26'.  The budget total was about $98,000.

The IIF site can be accessed at:


Gerry and John discussed the separate roles they played in creating a local index to many of the UNI serial publications, especially the college newspaper.  The site is named Index UNI and is located at:   It indexes articles, photographs, letters, and creative work in publication by or about the University of Northern Iowa.

A University Archivist, Gerry had found other systems unsuitable for their needs (or too expensive).  He worked with the Information Technologies Department to create their own system.  John discussed technological issues including their software choices of Microsoft Internet Information server and Microsoft Access.  They discussed their 2-3 year planning and development period and details of implementation. Gerry and one staff member plus a few students have input records for over 27,000 articles in nine publications during this academic year. With the installation of a new server this summer, they will be able to add the additional records needed.

More details from the presentation are available at:


Jerry's presentation focused on an exploration of ways to extend the functionality of the online catalog at a time when many question its existence.  Using a well developed model site for the presentation (available at:,) Jerry demonstrated many possibilities for using the catalog. Interested librarians should read his entire presentation on the Web which includes the multiple examples he developed or linked to.

Two application of Catalog/Web possibilities were notable.  The first was the use of preformed searches in course materials and library guides to facilitate users locating needed information.  When queried about how to create these searches, Jerry suggested merely modeling his or other's searches.  The second application was "the ability to link dynamically to indexes and abstracts so that users may be apprized of the local holdings of materials found in searches of those tools."  This could greatly enhance users' research and reduce the amount of time to locate needed information.

--- Leslie Czechowski, College Archivist, Grinnell College


This program was a report of the User Needs assessment performed at the University of Iowa.  The complete report is available at   The presenters descriped the methodology of the survey and the results of the professional and graduate student survey.  The students responded with their opinions or by assigning a score on a wide range of library services.  The survey will help the University of Iowa Libraries to identify problem areas, and to decide to continue or strengthen successful services.

"KEEPING OUR WORD:  PRESERVING INFORMATION ACCESS ACROSS THE AGES." LISSA LORD  AND REGINA SINCLAIR, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES.   This is the address of the virtual exhibit Web page developed by Lissa Lord and Regina Sinclair, based on an exhibit on preservation.  Lissa Lord showed the Web page and distributed a sheet of tips on how to create this type of Web page as well as the images.  She also described how they requested feedback in the developmental stages of the Web page from the Friends of the University of Iowa Libraries


Faculty members often see problems with the papers their students turn in; problems such as poor evaluative thinking and lack of research skills.  The Information Literacy Initiative is a program to assist faculty members to emphasize active learning assignments as much as possible.  A number of faculty members have volunteered to participate in the initiative.  The presenters described the program, the historical approaches to bibliographic instruction and the teaching of critical thinking.

--- Ann Ford, Reference Librarian, University of Iowa Libraries


Kris Stacy-Bates, Iowa State University, reported on  research into 110 ARL reference Web sites.   Rather than send a questionnaire or interview the site's creator, our presenter examined the actual pages. The first type of site examined supported ready reference.  These sites provide access to electronic resources where the researcher could quickly locate factual answers to questions.  The second type were e-mail reference sites where researchers could submit questions.  While many of the pages shared the same patterns of naming and organization, she discovered that there is more than one way to organize these types of resources.  During the question and answer period, she mentioned the University of Arizona as providing a particularly outstanding reference site.   Stacy-Bates offered a number of suggestions for successful reference Web sites. Interested readers  may contact her  by e-mail: or by phone: (515) 294-6819.


Richard Reitsma, Northwestern College, presented details of his experience with creating longitudinal data for use in a library self-study.  In this type of study the same subjects are approached at intervals over a period of time.  Reitsma believes his charts of consistent longitudinal data reveal a number of trends that allow him to compare the library at a given point in time with past performance.  He gave several examples of the arguments he was able to support with his longitudinal information.   Reitsma's charts identified  trends and relationships, over several decades,  between the library's spending for materials and the library's circulation statistics.  Statistics gathered from college administrative reports and old grant proposals helped to place the library's performance within the context of the campus. Census or economic statistics, gathered from off-campus agencies, were also a useful source of data for the project.  Student enrollment, for example, was compared to regional population trends.  The self-study project  grew out of  a North Central Association accreditation report. Reitsma used his training as a historian to develop the project methodology.  For more information contact: Richard Reitsma at or (712) 737-7238.


Jerry Caswell, University of Northern Iowa, delivered a lecture that presented a rebuttal to those who feel Internet search engines are sufficient for locating online resources.  He believes detailed descriptions of online resources combined with the structured searching of online catalogs provide an ideal tool for delivering precise retrieval results.  Caswell demonstrated several projects in support of his enhanced online catalog.  One project involved a subject guide to economics, another a course reading list, and a third a journal citation.  All citations in each project had direct links to holdings of items held by the Rod Library at UNI.  Readers may see the projects as well as additional information at Caswell's Web site:  He may also be contacted at: or   (319) 273-2737.

--- Charlene Lehman, Reference Librarian, University of Iowa Libraries


Plans are being finalized for the Iowa Library Association conference in Dubuque on October 13-15, 1999. Some sessions of particular interest to academic librarians will cover Web cataloging, distance education, gender differences in the workplace, understanding faculty culture, competitive intelligence using Web agents, Iowa maps from the DOT, balancing electronic and traditional resources, and intellectual freedom in the digital age. The Support Personnel Forum will sponsor a session on techno-stress and another on the circulation department, both presented by Debra Wilcox Johnson. Conference speakers will include Paul Girsdansky (former Director of Communications for the New York Library Association), Michael Gartner (Chairman and Editor, Daily Tribune of Ames), and Iowa City author, Dr. Janusz Bardach. And you won't want to miss the All Conference Party -- a dinner cruise aboard The Spirit of Dubuque riverboat! More information and registration details will be in the July issue of The Catalyst.

--- Sue Lerdal,Librarian, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, Iowa State University


A Drake staff person's view point.  Drake University's Cowles Library had a new and rewarding experience spring semester.  Rodney Birch, who is completing his master's degree in library science at the University of Missouri-Columbia, did his practicum with us.  We were very lucky because Rodney is already a working librarian - he is the Director of the Library at Vennard College - so he brought a high level of professional skill and experience to the job.  Working with him was also a good experience for us as we have a low turnover and a, (ahem) {"mature' (!!) staff.   Having the input and enthusiasm of someone fresh out of school was invaluable.   It also forced us to look at some of our practices and re-evaluate them.  We are happy that Rodney will be a part of the academic library community in Iowa and heartily recommend the practicum experience to other academic libraries.

A student's view point.  This spring I had a very rewarding experience.  As part of the requirements for the M.L.S. degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia I had to complete a 180 hour practicum. Cowles Library, Drake University was very gracious in being the host site for this experience.  While I was already working in the capacity as a Library Director, the experience at Cowles Library was beneficial as I was able to see how  another library operates, to observe librarians who have been in the field for awhile, and to gain experience working in a larger library environment than what I typically work in. I was thrilled at the opportunity to glean from the professional librarians things learned through the years as well as sharing some of my insights and "new ways' of doing things with them.  I count it a privilege to consider the librarians at Cowles Library as colleagues, and look forward to working with them in the Iowa Library Community.  I would like to personally thank all of the Cowles Library staff for providing such a rewarding and positive learning experience.  I learned a lot from them.

--- Mary Beveridge, Drake University


Forty six librarians representing 24 institutions gathered at Drake University March 29, 1999 for the IPAL Annual Meeting. Rod Henshaw, Chair of IPAL and the Drake Library Staff hosted the meeting. The morning was devoted to an interactive planning session on IPAL's future with Sheila D. Creth, the University of Iowa's Library Director, leading the session. She also shared some of her own experiences in working with library consortia. The luncheon address was given by Ronald Troyer, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Drake University. Dean Troyer is a leader in curriculum reform in higher education and he shared his vision of teaching and learning communities in the 21st century and the role libraries will play. The afternoon began with the business meeting. The University of Iowa Osteopathic Medicine Library was approved and welcomed as the newest member institution in IPAL. In addition, John Hartung, President of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities gave an update on Iowa's education environment and Paul Cappuzzello from OCLC gave an update on the redesign of First Search.

--- Sandra Keist, Grand View College


* Community College Libraries

The Scott Community College recently received a grant from the Scott County Regional Authority for the SCC Library to purchase 2 LCD projectors and 2 laptops for faculty and staff use. The purpose of the grant is to provide resources for faculty to use in the learning process.

* Private Academic Libraries

"Marylaine Block, Associate Director of Public Services, at St. Ambrose University O'Keefe Library has retired after 22 years of service, effective July 1, 1999. She recieved her MLS degree at the University of Iowa. She began at St Ambrose University as the only reference librarian, and over her career has been instrumental in bringing the library into the digital age with a new building and a reference staff of four. She designed and maintained the Best Information on the Net (BIOTN), an award winning and internationally respected website ( She will continue to write a weekly opinion column for Fox News Online, has begun an independent consulting business for internet training and a weekly e-zine for librarians, Ex Libris (" ......AND

"Nanette Miller was recently appointed Head of Reference Services at O'Keefe Library, St Ambrose University, Iowa."

* Regents Libraries


Library News


Sheila Creth, University Librarian at the University of Iowa, has been named winner of the 1999 Library and Information Technology Gaylord award for achievement in library information technology.

The LITA/Gaylord award which recognizes outstanding achievement in the creative use of information technology for improving or enhancing library services, is given annually by LITA, a division of the American Library Association.

"Sheila has made an outstanding contribution to library services by initiating the creation and implementation of the Information Arcade at the University of Iowa," said Fred Gertler, award committee chair.

Ms. Creth will formally receive the award June 8 at the ALA Conference in New Orleans.


Barbara I Dewey, Director of Information and Research Services at The University of Iowa Libraries has been acknowledged by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Ms. Dewey has been awarded an outstanding paper prize for Scaling Information Literacy at the University of Iowa: Web-Based Approaches and Partnerships.

Ms. Dewey will be recognized with other prize winners and official guests at a special session of the June 1999 World Conference on Ed-Media in Seattle.


Lawrence Woods, Director, Health Sciences and Information Technology has been elected to the Standing Committee of the Section on Information Technology of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).


UI libraries staff responded generously when a staff member alerted them to the possibility of offering assistance to persons suffering from the crisis in Kosovo. Publicity for a local relief sale held by area Mennonite churches called for contributions to the Mennonite Central Committee's goal to send 30,000 health kits to refugees in the Balkans. Kits were to include twenty specified items such as towels, soap, toothpaste, and bandages. The original intent of library staff was to assemble all the items needed for one kit. Within four days, however, enough items were gathered to make up two complete kits.


Powerful Learning, Powerful Partnerships: Educating the University Community in a Dynamic Information Environment, a symposium, sponsored by The University of Iowa Libraries and The University of Iowa Center for Teaching, will be held at the University of Iowa, November 11-12, 1999.

The national conference will explore educational strategies and programs that assist faculty, students, and staff in learning in a dynamic and ever-changing information and technological environment. The conference will provide an opportunity for library professionals, technologists and faculty from a variety of academic institutions to share their experiences and successes.

For more information, see the following website:

Staff News


Keith Rageth, Head of Circulation and Document Delivery retired April 30, 1999.

Toby Lyles, Information, Research & Instructional Services (IRIS) resigned effective May 15, 1999.

Ken Clinkenbeard - Programmer Analyst- TWIST (Teaching with Innovative Style and Technology), resigned effective May 31, 1999.

Michael Levine-Clark, Government Publications Librarian, resigned effective July 23, 1999.

New Professional Staff

Neville Prendergast, Coordinator for Educational Services, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, effective May 3, 1999. Neville came to Iowa from the University at Buffalo's Health Sciences Library where he worked for 11 years, the last three as Head, Information Management Education.

Lisa Martincik - Head Mathematical Sciences and Physics Libraries, effective July 1, 1999. Lisa is currently Interim Head of the Mathematical Sciences Library. She has a Master's in Library Science from the University of Iowa and a BA in English from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Lisa has worked as a retrospective conversion volunteer in the UI Libraries Central Processing Services, as the Web Administrator for the UI Department of Human Resources, served as an intern at the American College Testing (ACT) Library in Iowa City and has worked at the Iowa State Historical Society.

New Library System

On July 7, the University of Iowa announced their plans for a new integrated library system to replace NOTIS, which has been used on OASIS (the libraries' database) since 1987. The new system software will be ALEPH 500 from ExLibris, Ltd. <>. Although the system has been installed in hundreds of European locations, the UI is the third major North American university to purchase the software. The University of Notre Dame has installed the system and McGill University in Montreal has contracted for the software. The new integrated library system system, scheduled for use starting in August 2000, will have a look and functionality familiar to Web users.

In a separate effort, 700,000 remaining paper bibliographic records now available only in card catalog files will be converted into an online format, says Sheila Creth, university librarian. Currently, there are 2.3 million records available through OASIS, but many items purchased before 1979 have not been converted to online form. The UI Libraries administration is contracting with an outside firm for the conversion project that will take three years and cost $1.5 million.


ISU Library is currently interviewing for a variety of positions: Associate Director for Public Services and Collections, Online Instruction Librarian, Government Information Librarian, Physical Sciences Librarian and Life Sciences Librarian. By the next issue of the newsletter, we expect to have all kinds of new staff to introduce.

William Nixon, an exchange librarian from University of Glasgow, Scotland, will be on staff at ISU Library for a year beginning in August. We look forward to his fresh outlook and his information technology expertise.

David Gregory, Interim Associate Director for Public Services and Collections, will be on staff at the University of Glasgow during the same period.


Kent Snowden joined the Rod Library staff as Head, Access Services Department on June 1, 1999. Kent comes to UNI from Harry M. Ayers State Technical College where he was the Coordinator of Media Services. Kent's research interests include Intellectual Freedom, Library Safety and Security Issues, and Copyright. Kent states for the record that he's "thrilled to be here" and that he is "engaged to be married to Trina Sadler this coming September." Welcome to Iowa Kent. We wish you a long and successful stay.

On April 25-27 Marilyn Mercado and Jerry Caswell of UNI and Sheryl Groskurth of Waterloo Public Library attended the Innovative [Interfaces] Users' Group conference in Oakland California to learn about the Millennium client/server product. Waterloo Public Library, which is the second public library to join the Cedar Valley Library Consortium, a multi-type library consortium in northeast Iowa, will be implementing Millennium in the fall of 1999. UNI provides technical support for the Consortium and will be upgrading its server to handle the new system during the summer.

Marilyn Mercado has been awarded the position of Associate Dean of Library Services. Marilyn has served as interim Associate Dean of Library Services for the past year. Prior to that Marilyn served as the Head of Cataloging for eleven years. The faculty and staff of the Rod Library are pleased with this most recent development and wish Marilyn many continued productive and rewarding years of service.

Susan Moore has been re-elected Secretary of the Map and Geography Round Table of ALA!

Newsletter Committee

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