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June 1999, Week 3


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Thomas Hill <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 11:17:48 +0000
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Colleagues:  Usually I do not add to the discussion, but I want to
interject a few thoughts, too.  Dalia's last point is a good one,
often overlooked:  those who can afford it have gone the "more
expensive" route, including the medical/academic centers and the
larger hospital libraries.  I have not seen the academic medical
centers training graduates to use PubMed/IGM and Loansome DOC, the
tools they can use almost anywhere they go to practice, but I have
seen the acedemic medical center libraries going to OVID and other
systems.  Does that not tell us something?  It says a lot to me and
leaves me wondering about the library world.
   Second, more than a year ago, now, NLM met and talked with
representatives of the changes and improvements needed in IGM and
PubMed.  We have, yet, to see any of them.  I am left wondering if
there are not more or other changes in the plans that will obviate
the comments and suggestions of the 15 librarians who met with NLM.
   Third,  there are major weaknesses with IGM and PubMed, that
honest programmers will tell you the DOS-based Elhill systems worked
wonders around.  DOS was fast and remarkable, but it has to go.  That
is not the issue, at least with me and others.  What we need is a
system that works.  Here is a major example:  try to do a PubMed
search on Wilson's syndrome, Grave's speculum or any apostrophe term.
 If it is not MeSH such as Klinefelter's syndrome, which you can
select as MH, you have major trouble retrieving citations in PubMed
or IGM.  This has been know about for more than a year.  I just spent
hours last week trying to be sure I had retrieved citations with the
PubMed system, when I would have been done in minutes in Elhill.
This is the complaint:  free PubMed/IGM is not free since it costs us
more money in time, our time, and TIME IS MONEY.  We are paying!
   Fourth, if you have tried to use LocatorPlus for cataloging, I
sure hope you have better experiences than we have.  We ues local,
modem access ISP, at best at 53K but usually at 28k or slower.
Locator is slow.  Graphic intensive that do nothing a simple word
(keyword, title, author, subject, etc. for example) would do as well
and would keep the cursor free to respond; search by ISBN and get no
results when we have item in hand and eventually can locate it by
other keyword searching; keyword searches that give different
results; etc., et al.   It is a point and click and wait system that
if frustratingly slow, inefficient of our time, and with results of
mixed blessing.  Which format do you use to get your cataloging
elements?  We have had four different users use Locator and all have
come away frustrated.  To say the system was beta tested on site only
leaves me wondering who the librarians were and what systems were
they using.  I am almost angry with NLM for having access to monies
and coming up with Locator as the final choice.  The system does not
meet our needs easily, efficiently, with forethought and insight to
our uses, or with precision, accuracy and trustworthiness.  Again,
what is free is in truth more expensive.  I can not believe Locator
will serve well as a OPAC for non-librarians.  We have seen the
response, here.
   So, colleagues, these are my observations.  Let us cut the
complaining about going from DOS to Internet, and get to the points
that need to be addressed:  the changes do not meet our needs; those
who can afford to, go elsewhere; health care students are not being
taught in schools to use the NLM products most non-academic or
smaller hospital libraries use; NLM products need design improvements
to meet Web-based user expectations and equipment; critical and
useful changes expected  and "promised" need to be delivered; our
time is an expense, too, and we are paying for these slow, difficult
to use well, limited, and down-right confusing systems.
   The promises of the Internet are not being realized.

 Date:          Fri, 18 Jun 1999 10:55:45 -0500
> Reply-to:      Webster Library <[log in to unmask]>
> From:          Webster Library <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject:       Re: Demise of Medlars access?
> To:            [log in to unmask]

> It seems to me that if PubMed can improve it's search engine and be a
> beat more like Ovid or other commercial sources, many of us will not
> spend the money and stick with NLM.  This way it's our tax dollars at
> work but with very limited respresention, and, those who can afford
> to go the more expensive way - do.
> Dalia Kleinmuntz                                          847/570-2664
> Webster Library                                      FAX: 847/570-2926
> Evanston Hospital
> 2650 Ridge Ave
> Evanston IL 60201                                 [log in to unmask]
> ______________________________________________________________________
> "..the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient"
>                                                 - Francis W. Peabody
>                                                      (1881-1927)
Thomas Hill, Librarian   Tel. 864-227-4851
[log in to unmask]   Fax. 864-227-4838
Upper Savannah AHEC Medical Library
Self Memorial Hospital
1325 Spring Street
Greenwood, SC 29646