a. Access to OCLC Databases Changing Soon

OCLC is making a significant change in the way they handle their Z39.50 databases.  The result of this change is that the FirstSearch databases available from CDL via Z39.50 will ONLY be available in OCLC’s web interface (native mode), sooner than the scheduled transition of December 2002.

This will have serious implications for users of these databases, and for reference and instruction library staff.   Note: access to all of the OCLC databases via native mode is available now.

Given our existing commitments for the Melvyl Catalog Transition, the CDL-Hosted Abstracting and Indexing Databases Transition, and the July 2001 CDL Release, the transition date for the OCLC databases has been moved up, rather than expend our resources on making programming changes.  This decision is based on the principles established by the Transition Steering Committee for determining when to decommission CDL-hosted databases.

Below is a list of the OCLC databases and the date that access to them via the CDL-hosted interface will end.

The OCLC databases that will change are:

WorldCat (WCAT)
PapersFirst (PAPR)
ProceedingsFirst (PROC)
ArticleFirst (JRNL)
ContentsFirst (JRNLT)
RILM Abs of Music Lit. (RILM)
    CDL-hosted interface ends as of
December 2001 (web and telnet)
December 2001 (telnet)
December 2001 (telnet)
mid-August 2001 (telnet)
mid-August 2001 (telnet)
mid-August 2001 (web and telnet)

As part of the A&I transition, we are reviewing options for providing access to RILM.  If this database moves to another vendor, we will make every effort to have the new access in place prior to mid-August.

Users must access the FirstSearch databases via the CDL Directory, since CDL does behind the scenes logon scripting.   URLs to go directly to the CDL Directory records for FirstSearch are listed at the end of this message.

Bibliographic instruction for Fall 2001
Given these changes, library staff are encourage to seriously consider using the native mode for fall term bibliographic instruction sessions.  OCLC offers a FirstSearch learning/teaching section on their web site, as well as a FirstSearch bibliographic instruction site.

FirstSearch Learning and Teaching Materials

FirstSearch bibliographic instruction site

URLs for Linking into Directory Records
Direct link to CDL Directory record for FirstSearch (all databases except PAIS & RILM) [http://www.cdlib.org/cgi-bin/search_title?title=FirstSearch+(OCLC)]

Direct link to CDL Directory record for PAIS

Direct link to CDL Directory record for RILM

You can also link directly to other individual FirstSearch databases via the Directory. See [http://www.cdlib.org/hlp/directory/linking.html] for more information.

b. Melvyl-T Update

The first step in the Melvyl-T (Melvyl transition catalog) implementation has been completed.  A pre-release version of the Aleph 15.2 software has been installed on the CDL development server.  Fifty thousand bibliographic records have been loaded to form a first “test database” for Melvyl-T.  The test database should be available shortly for CDL staff to begin evaluating the functions and capabilities of the Aleph software.

In late fall 2001 a prototype database (of about 500 thousand records) is scheduled to be released.  During this period, we will be gathering feedback from library staff and patrons and performing usability testing.  The first production version (all 20 million records) is scheduled for release in March 2002.

On June 20-22, CDL staff spent three days in systems analysis and training sessions with Ex Libris staff, during which many of the features of the new 15.2 version were clarified. Information gleaned during these sessions will be essential for the continued planning for Melvyl-T.