Online Northwest 2004 Conference


Session 2  

BI with Blogs

Jon Jablonski, University of Oregon

Blogs have become familiar terrain online:, Catalogablog, and Slashdot are daily reading for librarians. They are also increasingly being used as research tools to keep track of websites visited, to react to readings, and to record experimental results. Formerly the domain of cyber-culture scholars, “research blogs” are now seen in physics, literature, and history. Strategies are presented on training students to use freely available blog software to aid in bibliographic research, including organizing search results and producing drafts of research papers.


Northwest Digital Archives: Building New Horizons for Access to Primary Source Materials in the Northwest

Lawrence A. Landis, Oregon State University

The Northwest Digital Archives is a consortium of fifteen archival repositories in the Northwest striving to improve access to its collections by creating a database of 2200 finding aids using the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) metadata standard. This NEH funded project began on July 1, 2002. Oregon State University is the lead institution on the project. This session will explore the development of the NWDA, including the challenges and successes with establishing best practices, style sheets, and a Web interface; and with selecting search and retrieval software and a vendor to convert legacy finding aids to EAD.

Locally Built OpenURL Resolvers at Lewis & Clark and Willamette

Mark Dahl, Lewis & Clark College & Mike Spalti, Willamette Universtiy

The libraries of Lewis and Clark College and Willamette University have both developed searchable databases of their electronic and print journal holdings using open-source tools (MySQL, PostgreSQL) and locally developed scripting (Perl, PHP). Recently, both libraries have also developed OpenURL resolvers that leverage the data in these journal holdings databases. Mark Dahl and Mike Spaldi will discuss how OpenURL resolvers work and the technology behind their custom-designed resolvers. They will also compare and contrast their locally developed solutions with those available commercially. This session will be useful to any library that is considering building or purchasing an OpenURL resolver.


The Power of Perception: User Perceptions of Virtual Reference

Joel Cummings, Lara Ursin & Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University

Using surveys, interviews and usability testing tools, this study examined the gaps between what users in an academic setting expected to receive from an Ask a Librarian virtual reference service and their actual experience. The perception of the total virtual reference experience is to be contrasted with those that occurred in a traditional face-to-face reference encounter. What students think about online environments and the place virtual reference might have in that landscape are explored. Additionally, the implications of this research on the design and marketing of virtual reference services will be discussed.


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