Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Library News- April 2000

April 5, 2000
For the March 2000 Library News,

From time to time, the library is offered free trials of electronic databases. The librarians always check these out, to determine if in our judgment the particular offering is one which we should pursue further (that is, if it has the right combination of utility, relevance and affordability for the Millikin curriculum). However, in the past we have not made such trials available beyond the library, for the very real reason that we may end up having showed you something that you like but which we then end up not making available long-term, thus disappointing you. (We never like to disappoint you!) 

On the other hand, even the short-term availability (if that is all it turns out to be) may be of use to someone. In that spirit, we are showing you some of the databases that are being considered for next year through the IBIS system. To access, use the IBIS Trial Databases link on the IBIS page.

  • I note that we already subscribe to MLA through FirstSearch, though the IBIS option may turn out to be less expensive. On the other hand, EconLit may continue to be more economical for us through FirstSearch where we currently offer it ("Group #2", on right). As to Newspaper Abstracts, we believe the Lexis-Nexis News section to be superior. 

If you enjoy having access to test offerings, with the caveat that "test" means just that, we will make them available to you again in the future. Tell us what you think!

    A nice, if little used, feature of the Ovid system (under which our IBIS databases run) is the Save Search feature (the Auto/Alert (SDI) Service).  With this option, you can have a specific search automatically re-run for you whenever the database is updated, and get the results e-mailed to you either on or off campus. For instructions in how to use the feature, on any IBIS/Ovid page click the "help" button (upper right) and then choose "saved searches" from the left hand column. Alternatively, we would be happy to give you a quick tutorial (10-15 minutes) at a time convenient to you.

    Note the following:

    • To use the feature, you must be signed into Ovid as yourself. From the library's IBIS page, that means logging in from the RIGHT side of the page. If you have already arrived in one of the databases through the direct link (left hand side of the IBIS page), log off using the Ovid logoff button (upper right on screen) which will bring you to the personal sign-on screen (same as the link in the previous item above). 
    • Your Patron ID # is either your Social Security # (no hyphens) or 2111[your Millikin ID#]00.
    • The "save search history" button is the middle button under the "Search History" box.
    • The "Citation Manager" which follows your search result display refers to the search results, not to the search statement itself.

    Fortunately this whole process is simpler in reality than it sounds like when explained.

Here's yet another new page on the library's Web site, this one providing Staley Library facts. I've created a print version of the same page, intended as a hand-out. I will keep both of these pages up-to-date, as one way of responding to regularly recurring inquiries from University offices and individuals for these numbers. (I'm pleased for the interest!)

Indexing for Millikin's JMS projects is now available on a database in the library.  This database catalogs the over 400 projects completed since the JMS program began in the late 1970s. Inquirers can search by authors, titles, major subject discipline, and project advisor. The projects themselves are available by request from a reference librarian or from the Circulation Desk.

The JMS index should be of particular interest to sophomore and junior JMS students as they begin the process of determining their projects. The database is accessed from the library's CD/ROM workstation (click on the JMS icon).

For seniors and others who are thinking about where to attend graduate school, CollegeSource is another database that should prove useful. The set of six CD's is available from the Circulation Desk, for use at the library's CD/ROM workstation.


Did you know that during the Summer of 1978, the library staff moved the entire Gorin Library collection to Staley Library using shopping carts? According to that year's Staley Library Annual Report, there were 145,364 volumes to be moved, and the shopping carts held about 60 volumes each. (This of course is another teaser for you to look at the Millikin University library history exhibit on the web. The hard copy exhibit is still up in the library too.)

As we move into April, we are still kept quite busy assuring that Millikin students, faculty and staff receive the library services they need right now. At the same time we are now looking ahead to next year. We have a number of projects to accomplish over the summer months, beginning with intensive planning for the next three years. Some specific projects which we expect to work on:

  • The librarians will be completely overhauling the library's Web site, not so much in order to alter the content (though we will continue to update, expand and refine that) but rather to present that content in ways that more closely match the way we see people approaching library inquiries. Do you have some ideas on that topic? Please let me know!
  • Similarly, we will be thinking about how we provide instruction, to the end of being even more effective in that endeavor.
  • At the same time, we will be reviewing the many resources we acquire for the library, to make sure that we have the best possible databases, periodicals, books, and other materials for Millikin's curriculum. I will continue my collaborations with faculty and others in this area.
  • We will also be looking at how we use the physical space in the library (study areas etc.), especially in light of some student concerns this year about noise in the library. I am not expecting to make as many changes this summer as we made last summer, although we may all end up being surprised?
  • The Circulation staff, meanwhile, will be doing a great deal of shifting in the stacks (so that all parts of the collection have enough space), as well as shelf reading the collection (which makes sure that everything is shelved correctly and also accounts for missing materials). 
  • Along with these and other projects we will of course continue to provide our usual day-to-day services to the library's users. While we have fewer users overall in the summer, one group we see more of then is Decatur community people.

This will be my last newsletter until August 2000. I hope you have found these monthly newsletters to be useful. They have been instructive for me to put together!

Next August we will also publish another issue of our libuser broadsheet, to alert everyone on campus to what is new in the library, as well as to what remains reliably the same. Talk to you again then!

University Librarian

Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL