ALA Annual Meeting Program Hosted by the
    ACRL, STS, Forum on Science & Technology Library Reserach

            Date: June 28, 1998 - Time: 2:00-4:00 PM
              Place: Doubletree Hotel, State Room

The ACRL Science & Technology Section, Forum on Science and Technology Library
Research is pleased to host the following three speakers presenting research on
Science & Technology in Libraries.

1. "Stretching the Dollars for Library Materials in Science and Technology
in Illinois," by Virginia Baldwin, Associate Professor, Booth Library, Easter
Illinois University.

The Cooperative Collection Management Program (CCMP) is comprised of 61
academic libraries in the State of Illinois.  The activities of the CCMP are
coordinated by the Cooperative Collection Management Coordinating Committee
(CCMCC) and funded by the Illinois Board of Higher Education through Higher
Education Cooperation Act grants.  A major goal of the program has been to
increase the depth and breadth of the total collection of library materials
in Illinois by reducing the dollars spent for duplicate materials and applying
those dollars to materials which otherwise would not have been purchased
anywhere in the state.  To accomplish this goal, bibliographers from CCMP
libraries defined levels of collection partnerships and a model for ongoing
cooperative collection.

The purpose of this model is to provide grant funds as incentives for
libraries to strengthen and maintain a research level collection in one or
more subfields of a discipline.  The fields of Biosciences and Materials
Technology were among the first to be funded.  The presenters will describe
the process and result of determining model disciplines, their subfields, and
participants.  They will explain the development of this model as a method of
providing ongoing cooperative collecting and establishing monograph and
periodical print deselection responsibilities.

Consortial purchases of periodicals are also sponsored by the CCMCC. The model
collection partnership and the shared responsibilities for print subscriptions
afford the science and technology bibliographers in Illinois the opportunity to
establish collegial relationships and a strengthened statewide academic library
collection in Illinois.  The example of Illinois might serve as a model for
other consortial groups.

2.  "An Investigation of the Efficacy of Intelligent Agents in Collection
Development," by Jennifer Weintraub, Collection Development Librarian,
Mann Library, Cornell University.

Identifying and selecting high quality web resources for delivery via
digital library collections is a labor intensive process.  Currently
web selection is carried out by serendipity, by conducting hundreds of
searches using web search engines, and by notification and evaluation
tools.  I am conducting a research project at the Mann Library of
Cornell University to test the efficacy of intelligent agents in
identifying web resources which conform to the library's collection
policy.  Intelligent agents are software programs which search the web,
retrieve sites which conform to a carefully drawn profile, and organize
these sites for evaluation.  My hypothesis is that a web search
conducted by intelligent agents will retrieve a greater number of
relevant academic and scholarly resources in less time than one which
relies on human manipulation of freely available web-based search
engines. Using identical search terms, weekly web searches are being
performed using a commercially available intelligent agent application,
a meta-search engine application, and standard web search engines.  The
results are compared in terms of: 1. numbers of relevant sites identified
in the amount of time spent, (as measured by the number ultimately selected
for description and delivery in the Cornell Library Catalog), and  2. amount
of further web searching or "training" of the agent required after an initial
search to find relevant resources, and 3. functionality of the applications.
The proposed paper will present the results of this investigation and
recommendations on the potential of intelligent agents for efficiently
identifying and evaluating relevant web sites for potential addition to
digital library collections.

3.  "The Work Demands and Information Seeking Behavior of Ph.D Physics
Students: A Comparison Across Roles," by Kevin McDonough, Reference and
Research Support Librarian, Northern Michigan University.

This study examined the work demands and information seeking behavior of
Ph.D physics students across three roles: precandidates taking classes,
instructors teaching classes, and candidates conducting independent research*.
Using a qualitative research methodology, 5 precandidates, 5 instructors, and
7 candidates were interviewed using a semi-structured interview technique.
Core questions asked participants how they used technology, people and the
library to get at, produce, share, or present information in order to meet
work demands associated with a specific role. Also, participants were asked
their most successful means for getting information. Qualitative methods
were used to provide an integrated account of the students information
seeking activities.

Responses revealed that candidates are much larger users of technology and
the library to get information.  Because of the nature of physics and the
pedagogical approach taken by the Physics Department at this university,
precandidates and instructors do not seek out information very far.  Both
groups meet their information needs through personal knowledge and classroom
resources: textbooks, laboratory manuals, notes, and fellow classmates or
instructors.  Candidates is the entire research community in their field of
interest.  Resultantly, they use technology to collaborate with colleagues or
gain access to literature or data.  The library is frequently used as a
storage facility for retrieving known items or occasionally for browsing.
Participants in all three roles, however, mention people as important sources
of information. If supported through studies with larger samples, these
potential differences in information seeking activities based on roles can
have important implications for librarians providing service to graduate

*Part of larger study at the University of Michigan which also included a
comparison between humanities students (English, History, and American
Culture) and M.D. students (1st and 2nd year).


One or more editors from prominent academic library journals will be invited to
help energize the question, answer and discussion period.  The Forum for
Science &
Technology Research Libraries invites all ALA attendees to join us!  Look for
meeting location in forthcoming ALA Annual Conference programs and listserv


Laurel E. Duda
Science Reference Librarian                     P: 508-289-7002
Marine Biological Laboratory Library            E: [log in to unmask]
7 MBL Street                                    F: 508-540-6902
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1015 USA           I: