Yale University Library

 

Visiting Librarians: Anna Popova

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FINAL REPORT OF YALE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
FOR PARTICIPANT:

Anna Popova
Aug. 23 - Dec. 20, 1999

The program offered a broad span of activities encompassing all aspects of librarianship - traditional and modern. These activities can be summarized as follows:

  • Training and working at the Yale University Library (YUL) Slavic and East European Collection under the guidance and supervision of Ms. Tatjana Lorkovic, curator, and her team.
  • Training and working at the Yale University Library Cataloging Department under the guidance of Ms. Patricia Thurston, Slavic Cataloging Team Leader.
  • Visiting YUL unique collections and departmental libraries and getting acquainted with their collection development policies, traditional and electronic resources, public services improvements, Web research guides and tutorials on how to use the collections.
  • Visiting the most prominent libraries in US East coast: New York Public Library, Harvard University Widener Library. Three days visit at the National Library of the United States - Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
  • Attending the annual convention of the American Association for Advancement of Slavic Studies, St. Louis, Nov. 19-21, 1999, and being introduced to the Slavic Librarians community.
  • Participating in two kinds of training sessions at YUL: {a} for faculty, students, researchers; {b} for YUL staff. The first category includes training by YUL Reference Librarians at the Electronic Classroom on the following topics: Advanced Orbis searching, The World at your fingertips - how to use YUL workstation, News Resources, Electronic Resources in Music, Current Awareness Tools. The second category of training includes the following courses for the Library staff: Click here - Creating Library Web Pages, Intermediate NT, Beginning Access 97. The orientation tours for the new staff at Yale also fall into the second category: tours to Manuscripts and Archives, Library Shelving Facility; discussions on Collection Development and Public Services.
  • Attending the staff meetings of the Slavic Reading Room team and the Cataloging department which cast light on the management, organization of work flows, style of communication between the departments, and coordination activities.
  • Being involved in a number of discussions with Yale librarians on topics related to libraries on the Web, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, library development in my country, etc.
  • Exploring Yale's huge electronic resources in the YUL Workstation and reading materials from the YUL Web Page. By publishing all the guidelines, policies, and work flows on the Library Web, Yale librarians generously share their ideas, innovations, and projects, thus educating and inspiring librarians throughout the world. The Yale Library Web is a virtual Library School, which is worth visiting every day for distant learning.
  • Participating in the Yale community's social and cultural life - receptions, parties, exhibition openings, concerts.

Skills and Knowledge Obtained:

  1. Learning how to operate with the Orbis Acquisition Mode, which will considerably facilitate my work back in AUBG Library on implementing and running smoothly the VTLS Acquisition Mode. Learning the transliteration of the various Slavic languages using Cyrillic script.
  2. A good grasp of understanding MARC Bibliographic format and skills in creating order records, exporting records from the LC database and the two main bibliographic utilities OCLC and RLIN. Also getting a comprehensive idea of YUL participation in the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and YUL Policy on Cataloging Remote Electronic Resources.
  3. Collected data on: US and Eastern European publishing houses specializing in postcommunist countries; vendors providing resources (all types of materials) on Slavic and East European countries; free Internet resources on subjects taught at the AUBG, which could be useful for the entire Bulgarian academic community.
  4. Expanded my theoretical and practical knowledge on acquisitions, collection development and management of all types of materials as a result of:
    • Observing the Slavic and East European Collection's practice in selecting materials and participating in the East Coast Slavic Consortium;
    • Reading books and journal articles on new trends in Collection management; copying examples of Collection Development Policy Statements both for traditional and electronic resources;
    • Getting useful information on negotiating license contracts for electronic databases from the Yale LibLicense Site;
    • Since YUL has subscription to more then 170 electronic data bases, this gave me the opportunity to browse and search through many of them and obtain knowledge on the latest developments of electronic publishing.
  5. Became acquainted with the YUL management and organizational structure, patterns of communication, coordination between various divisions, as well as between departmental libraries. Along with the traditional Management Council and the Library Advisory Committee, a number of task force and coordinating committees are set up for working on a certain project, introducing innovations, coordinating and unifying procedures, or setting up policies and guidelines. I am impressed by the openness of the discussions, the goodwill for help and cooperation among the participants of these committees. The efficiency of their work is also due to the large amount of voluntary work and a profound commitment to this institution and its mission. All this enriched my knowledge in library management and showed me many examples to be followed - especially in cooperation and in seeking as many opinions as possible before making decisions.
  6. Developing and improving my computer skills, navigational and searching techniques. I learned: the basic features of HTML; how to scan images; how to create databases in ACCESS 97, how to organize files and folders in Windows NT, how to use EndNote software for citations. The most important for me was the training on creating and maintaining Web pages. The instructors emphasized the importance of Library Web administration and control, which I consider exceptionally useful for my future activities. The variety of electronic data bases at Yale gave me information on the latest generation of searching techniques.
  7. By visiting other research libraries and establishing personal contacts with American professionals, I gained a deeper insight into the dynamic development of traditional libraries towards virtual and global libraries. All these visits and contacts gave me a good overview of today's American Research Libraries Network. I believe that my experiences here enriched me considerably - which will help me to develop and implement some of my ideas for our Bulgarian libraries in the near future.
  8. Finally, the program gave me the unique opportunity to visit History and Art Museums and expand my general knowledge on the American and European heritage that resides in the most prominent US museums.

Ideas, Useful Tips and Valuable Information to be Conveyed to the Bulgarian Library Community and the Aubg Library

  1. All types of Bulgarian libraries and AUBG Library in Blagoevgrad need to develop and plan a long-lasting program for continuing education for library staff in: Library Automation, reshaping library services in the new environment and Internet applications in libraries.
  2. The management staff of the Bulgarian Research Libraries will be introduced to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and how YUL participates in this program.
  3. Knowledge of the YUL Web resource LibLicense, Licensing Digital Information (http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense), will be shared with academic libraries in Bulgaria which are presently taking steps toward cooperative acquisitions of data bases and will have to learn how to negotiate licence contracts.
  4. It will be useful to inform the Bulgarian library community and the AUBG Library about the YUL career ranks and performance expectations from librarians. An objective system for evaluation with firmly established values and requirements is crucial for motivating the library staff. We can not expect any positive developments if creativity and resourcefulness are not properly stimulated and rewarded.
  5. There are two types of Internet resources that I would like to make available to Bulgarian libraries by maintaining a Web site or by contributing to the professional journal Biblioteka:
    1. professional resources available on the Internet
    2. electronic bibliographies, free electronic journals, free searchable full-text databases
  6. The AUBG Library needs to maintain closer contacts with American academic libraries and the ALA by resuming its ALA membership and by using opportunities for exchanges of professional librarians (See ALA and CEP- Civic Education Project programs for placing American professionals to work abroad).
  7. Upon the successful implementation of VTLS software, the AUBG Library could start cataloging Internet resources and be a leader in this field among academic libraries in Bulgaria. The Yale Collection of all guidelines and standards on Cataloging Remote Electronic Resources (http://www.library.yale.edu/cataloging/netinfo/index.html) can be used as a training source for every librarian who wants to tackle the challenge to catalog the Net.
  8. The AUBG Library uses the Bulgarian transliteration system for cataloging titles in Cyrillic script. If not replaced by the LC transliterating system, the AUBG online catalog will not be useful for US readers. One of the solutions is to replace the existing records of books in Cyrillic with records extracted from RLIN or OCLC (depending on which of the utilities we will join).
  9. The AUBG Library could borrow the idea of creating Web sites for courses (see Yale Arts Library). These sites would provide not only syllabi and lists of required readings, but also image material scanned from the library's collection. This is a feature that could be developed at the AUBG, since we possess the necessary facilities and could employ enthusiastic students to work on it.
  10. The following lists of resources will be submitted to the AUBG Library Director:
    1. Lists of recommended RLG selectors titles in American studies, Policy studies, Classical Music, which every library should possess on a minimum, instructional and research level. The lists are published in Brief tests of Collection strength: A methodology for All Types of Libraries by H.D. White, 1995.
    2. A list of Book and Serial Vendors for Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union
    3. A list of Electronic Resources on East and Central Europe - to be added to the existing ones on the Library Web page
    4. A list of recently (1997-1999) published titles on history and economics of the post-Communist countries. Citations are copied from OCLC and will be offered to the AUBG faculty and Library staff for selecting and purchasing important titles not present in our collection.
    5. A list of professional resources (Cataloging Desktop, Maxwell's Handbook on AACR2 etc.) to be purchased for the library staff.

Conclusions:
It was an opportunity of a life time to spend four months at Yale. The Yale Library and librarians exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed the warm welcome and kind attention of the Slavic and East European Collection staff, the Slavic Cataloging Team, as well as all of the curators, reference librarians, team leaders and librarians that I met during my internship. I am sure that whenever I need professional advice or help, I will receive immediate response and encouragement. All questions related to my accommodation, travels, program activities and appointments were perfectly administered by Ms. Tatjana Lorkovic and her assistants. I owe Ms. Lorkovic and her team and also Ms. Patricia Thurston and her team my deepest gratitude for their efforts in organizing my internship and stay at Yale and also for their friendly responsiveness to my needs. As long as differences between the post-Communist countries and the West continue to exist, international programs like this and Ms. Lorkovic's commitment to train East European librarians will be needed and greatly appreciated.

Below is the schedule of activities in which Ms. Popova participated while at Yale:

August 23-31: The Slavic Reading Room team introduced me to the structure of the Yale University Library (departments, their locations, Sterling Memorial Library Stack Directory, facilities and services). I got an idea of how circulation desk operates and where computer workstations and periodicals rooms are located. Unlike the practice in many libraries in Europe, readers here are permitted to search freely among the stacks and retrieve books by themselves. Security staff at the exits checks everybody's bags. William Larsh helped me with all issues related to opening a bank account, e-mail account, social security number, Yale ID, registration at the Yale Health Plan.

My colleagues from the Slavic Reading Room started teaching me the procedures of ORBIS Library integrated system Acquisitions Mode. This includes:

  • Checking in (receiving) the newly obtained library materials by purchasing, exchange or gift. Orbis Acquisition mode keeps a track of author's name, titles, date of ordering and receiving, numbers of copies received, name of vendor, donator or exchange partner, funds allocated
  • Processing orders. Here Paulina introduced me to the Transliteration schemes for all languages using Cyrillic script. This is the ALA-LC Transliteration system, which differs from The Slavic and East European Countries Journal Transliteration system , as well as from ISO R9 1968 transliteration.

The American University in Bulgaria Library uses the Bulgarian transliteration system (which is a standard for Bulgarian Libraries and looks like the German one) for bibliographic records of materials in Cyrillic script. Example: Recnik instead of Rechnik. If not corrected, the AUBG Online catalog will not be useful for US patrons consulting it. One of the solution is to replace the existing records of Cyrillic books with the records extracted from RLIN or OCLC (depends which of the utilities we will join and subscribe to). Before ordering, all new titles are checked against Orbis catalog for availability at the Yale library. Procedure of searching and checking requires knowledge and skills in comparative grammar of all Slavic languages in order to successfully use the different tables of romanization for each of them. It also requires keeping in mind the slight orthographic differences between the Slavic languages: compare: Rus: Memuary, stenopisy against Bul: memoari, stenopisi.

During the first week I worked on some catalogs from Bulgarian (Bulgarian books- Irina Sokolova) and German (Kubon & Sagner) vendors. I was given the Bulgarian section of the catalogs in order to check all the titles offered whether they are already presented in Yale. The difficulty comes from the German catalogs, where different transliteration is used, so I have to be aware of it and at times guess the names of the authors. (See the difference: US - Khaitov, Germ. - Chajtov).

I reviewed two issues of Nota Bene - News from the Yale Library and got a general idea about the electronic reference services offered here, Web tutorials, retrospective conversion, Yale Finding Aid project, JSTOR - electronic journal archive (provides electronic access to complete backfiles of scholarly journals in many fields (www.jstor.org/). I went through the 1999 issue of SEES (Slavic and East European Section of College and Research Libraries Section of ALA) and copied some useful information about Slavic events in the USA, and a list of electronic resources on SEE countries. I opened a ASEE Resources file for saving useful information for my work at the AUBG.

Bill gave me a short tour around the Beinecke Manuscript Library.

Sept.1-2: Attended instructional session on Advanced ORBIS searching. Learning and experimenting searching techniques. Retrieving bibliographic information in the fields I am particularly interested in: Collection development, Digital Libraries. Advantages of ORBIS database, compared with other OPACs that I am familiar with (Heritage, Aleph, ISIS) : much more opportunities for in-depth searching - variety of options, limitators ( year, language, location, type of material), nesting. Became acquainted with the Main Reference Collection and reviewed the book Reference and Collection Development on the Internet by Elizabeth Thomson. Got an idea of Yale Finding Aids Project, designed to orient researchers all over the world about the content of manuscripts and archives housed and preserved at Yale Library. Exploring the AAASS Web site and copied the list of Electronic Resources on SEE countries for my SEE Resources file. Required SGML browser SoftQuad's Panorama, in order to view EAD- Encoded Archival Description standard. (Notice: Learn more about Yale Finding Aids Project at http://webtext.library.yale.edu)

Sept. 3: Searching new Russian titles from vendors' catalogs for their availability in Orbis. Exploring Yale Library Research Center - Electronic Classroom, Electronic Texts Center, Printing services (from the Yale Library Web site).

Sept. 7: Attended two instructional sessions:

  1. Electronic Resources in Music;
  2. Intro to Yale Library Workstation. Very impressed by the number of data bases made available to the Yale students and faculty! A number of University Libraries' Web pages simply offer links to free resources on the Net, while Yale Library subscribes to a number of huge and expensive databases, organized in a subject directory and also listed alphabetically on the Yale Web workstation. My Library could borrow the idea of Permitted usage of databases not only to inform users, but to know how to negotiate licence contracts with vendors in order to provide more liberal usage of data. There is an invaluable resource for librarians on the Yale WEB, called Liblicense, Licensing Digital Information (http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense), maintained by the Yale Library Council of Library and Information Resources. It consists of license vocabulary, licensing terms, licensing resources and bibliography. This resource should be spread among the university libraries in Bulgaria which are making steps toward cooperative acquisitions of data bases and are going to face the problem of negotiating license contracts. Searching newly published Russian titles for availability at Yale.

Sept. 8: Went on searching titles before ordering. Meetings with Associate Librarian Ann Okerson and Patricia Thurston. Started learning details of MARC bibliographic fields.

Sept. 9-10: Visited Beinecke Manuscript and Rare Books Library. Vincent Giroud, the Modern Literature Curator, introduced me to the Finding Aids for manuscripts and archives in both HTML and SGML versions. MARC field 856 of the manuscript records shows the URL, but the link is not active - you can't click and go to the Finding aids of the manuscript. Reading the Program for Cooperative Cataloging from its LC Web page. Reviewed the Yale cataloging work flow - procedures for finding records in LC, RLIN, OCLC and importing them to Orbis.

Sept. 13 - 27: Training at the cataloging department and working with the Slavic team.

Sept. 14-17: Searching RLIN and OCLC for bib records of the books recently received at Yale. Comparing the two union catalogs. Patricia Thurston, the Slavic Team Leader suggested that I explore the Cataloging Desktop, which consists of AACR2, all MARC formats, Subject headings guidelines, Country and Language codes. The Cataloging Desktop should be purchased for the AUBG catalog librarians! (As well as many other titles in LIS!). I also viewed Maxwell's Handbook for AACR2, 1997 ed. - indispensable tool for catalogers. I attended two staff meetings of the Catalog Department. They cast a light on the organizational structure, patterns of communication, hierarchy, and the coordination between the departments.

In my opinion, what makes this department work so efficiently, is: 1. the openness when discussing policies, guidelines and procedures; 2. A number Task Force and committees set up for drawing new policies and implementing innovations. 3. Functioning of Cataloging Coordinating committee, designed to: set up policy for implementing innovations and staff training; unify procedures; manage the overall maintaining of the catalog. Became acquainted with the staff ranks: C & T and M & P. It will be useful to inform the National Library Management Staff for comparison (they have recently revised the staff ranks). Absolutely important to convey this information to AUBG Library staff. Learned about different training programs: SCOPA - Standing committee on professional Awareness, Staff Development Program, Library Technology Training.

Sept. 16: I attended the Demo Presentation of the new WEB version (CrossPlex) of ORBIS online catalog, which offers faster searching and retrieving, subject lists associated with the keyword (subject), and also makes possible all the variety of search options that the standard Orbis offers.

Sept. 20: I attended the LC presentation CONSER - a new catalyst for change by the CONSER coordinator Ms. Jean Hiron. Important: Task Force established to contact Aggregators publishers to produce a block bibliographic records for the serials titles included in their aggregated data bases and thus enabling libraries to download these records directly to their online catalogs. I e-mailed this info to the AUBG Serials librarian and the Director, because of its relevance to our problems - we have subscription to Academic search Elite via EBSCO. Problems with the same titles , presented in several data bases - several records should exist which will differ in the fields for path for access, way of access, coverage, type of the file etc. For further references see CONSER on LC Web site. Learning how to establish call numbers for literature. Working with Patricia on several Bulgarian titles from the backlog for creating original records. Getting an idea on how to assign subject headings, and how to use the Cataloging desktop - which is a pure enjoyment.

Sept.18-23: Learning how to import bib records from LC, RLIN and OCLC. Became acquainted with CLARR cataloger's toolkit, which facilitates cataloger's job in terms of saving time and efforts for typing entries and headings again and again while searching. Reading all the documents concerning PCC (program for cooperative cataloging - LC documentation plus Yale implementation workflow). Getting an idea of how the Yale Library participates in NACO and SACO.

Sept. 23: I witnessed how Matthew Beacom, the cataloger of Networking Information and an Expert user, managed to import 277 records of electronic books from OCLC within an hour and a half. He made it possible by creating macro for Yale specific MARC fields and uploaded 277 bib record at once as a batch. Meanwhile I visited the Babylonian Collection and Judaica Collection. The Babylonian Collection is unique with its artifacts and cunei forms. In a few months, its catalog and finding aids will appear on the WEB, so that scholars throughout the world could find what materials reside at Yale.

Sept. 25: Searching the Social Sciences Internet resources from the Yale workstation. Became acquainted with a number of electronic data bases in the field of Social Sciences - IDEAL, Eric Online, Ethic News Watch, Current Index to Statistics, Anthropological Literature, Academic Universe, ABC Political Science, Wilson Web, Wilson Business Abstracts. Also finding information on the new role of Libraries in BRITANNICA Online.

Sept. 27: Reading rules for cataloging Slavic materials from the Princeton University Library Cataloging Documentation Slavic Cataloging Manual

Sept. 28: Visiting Holocaust Video Archive Collection. Amazing organization of Collection management. A special software program called Corel Paradox maintains data about donors, students in charge of translating and writing summaries, catalogers who edit the materials and records, dates of processing etc, preservation measures, etc. Detailed 520 MARC (Summary)field reveals the content of the documents. Every word of this summary is searchable which enables readers to search in depth. They are also working on a Video Archive Finding Aid which will allow scholars all over the word to find out whether the information they are looking for resides at Yale. Exploring various electronic databases from the Yale workstation, licensed to Yale patrons: Academic Universe, Britannica Online, Wilson Web, Eureka . Finding bibliography on Libraries and Internet - Expanding library resources with electronic resources. Reading books on Collection development.

Sept. 29: Visiting the South East Asia Collection. Discussing retroconversion issues with Patricia Thurston and Rich Richie; It was interesting to be involved in an interdepartmental discussion on the retro conversion workflow. Searching Orbis for titles offered by Kubon and Sagner.

Sept. 30: Searching WilsonWeb - a collection of periodical indexing databases covering the Arts, Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. Some of the articles are offered freely in full text. Copying pages from:

  1. Ch. "Collection Development policies components" from Library Collection Development Policies : Reference and Writers' Handbook by Richard J. Wood, Frank W. Hoffmann , 1996;
  2. Brief Tests of Collection Strength: A Methodology for All Types of Libraries by Howard D. White, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995. Becoming acquainted with INTERCAT - the OCLC catalog of Internet resources, consisting of more than 90,000 records of resources available on the Internet; selected, evaluated, and cataloged by librarians. Searching for Balkan and East European resources.

Oct. 1: Searching ORBIS for titles offered by Kubon and Sagner Became acquainted with the Yale Metadata Task Force - reading their overviews on Dublin Core, Heading control across digital library databases. Existing and emerging standards for cataloging the Internet is a topic that should be introduced to Bulgarian Library community.

Oct.4: Searched the Yale Divinity Library Ad HOC project: teaching and research materials. (HOC - History of Christianity). Paid attention to the content and organization of the database, maintained by librarians. Could serve as a excellent example for Bulgarian Libraries which host a number of manuscripts, albums with icons, Byzantine architecture, etc. Some time (I hope not in so distant future) the Bulgarian cultural heritage will be digitized and displayed on WNW or on CD-ROMs.

Oct. 5: Searching Orbis and the card catalog for titles offered by Kubon & Sagner. Watching how Patricia Thurston updated the Slavic Team web site (part of Yale Cataloging Dept. Web site) with new work flows on backlog books. She uses AOLpress free software for creating and maintaining Web sites: www.aolpress.com/press. Simple and user friendly software which everybody could download for free.

Oct. 6-7: Searching Serbian and Croatian titles on Orbis. (Kubon and Sagner). Planning my trips and further program with Tanja and Bill. Exploring again Yale Library research services, Electronic Text Center, Electronic Classroom calendar.

Oct.11-12: Searching Croatian and Slovenian new titles on ORBIS. Attending a regular instruction session on Online resources on Central and East European countries, Slavic Reading Room. Demonstration of the Universal Database of Russian newspapers, maintained by the University of Minnesota, and made available to Yale community through subscription. Showing the primary resources, stored in the stacks: printed newspapers, Radio Free Europe Archives. An ambitious project for publishing the Stalin archives is going on between Yale Publishing House and Ross Archive. Participating in the instruction session : Creating Bibliography Endnotes, Electronic Classroom, presented by a reference librarian. Useful program for creating references. Cost $99. Online version: www.endnote.com (30 days free trial). Important: Endnote is Z39.50 compliant!

Oct.13: Copying pages from Cybrarian's manual and Going digital. Adding new resources to the file ASEE online resources.

Oct.14: Visiting New York Public Library. At 9:00 I attended the Slavic and Baltic Division staff meeting. Mr. Edward Kasinec, Head of the Division, reported on his visit to Moscow the previous week. He described the current state of book publishing and book sale in Moscow depicting at the same time the way of life, as well as the law quality of services at public places. When the meeting was over, Ms. Tanja Gizdavcic, in charge of South Slavic Collections, gave me a tour around the Library, showing the stacks (which are closed to readers, unlike other American libraries), the circulation desk and public workstations (lots of young people waiting on a line for Internet access!), the special collections. I am very impressed by the size of the Slavic collection. Its Web site is very well maintained and, along with the information about the collections and services, it offers comprehensive bibliography on the history of this department. Last year NYPL celebrated the centennial anniversary of this remarkable collection.

Later I was introduced to the Collection development coordinator of this division, Natalia Zizelsberger, who informed me about the subject strengths of this collection (history, humanities, and social sciences to certain degree), described the main obstacles in acquiring East European materials. Tanja Gizdavcic shared her difficulties in finding a reliable Bulgarian book vendor and said she would appreciate my assistance in this problem. Mr. Kasinec gave me a copy of his and Mr. Robert Davis's article on the history of acquiring Romanov's collection at the American libraries, and a copy of an memoirs of Marc Reaff, a professor in Russian history, which is to be published in Biblion. I was very pleased to hear that Maria Louisa, the Bulgarian Princess, has donated 31 books from her father (King Boris III) and her grandfather (King Ferdinand) collection. I suggested to write a short info for the Bulgarian professional magazine Biblioteka, and Tanja promised to sent me the bib records of those books.

Oct. 15: General tour at the Divinity Library was given by the director Mr. Paul Stuhrenberg. It was very detailed presentation, especially when we touched the subject of the electronic resources. He showed me a number of teaching and research electronic resources on the Internet in the area of religious studies. Special attention was paid to the Yale Divinity Library projects Ad Hoc and AECON, developed here by Martha Smalley, the Reference Librarian, faculty members and graduate students. Unfortunately, Martha Smalley was attending a conference at the moment, and we decided to arrange a meeting with her later in November. It is amazing that all this work on the databases has been done voluntarily.

Oct. 18: Searching Orbis and the card catalogs for titles offered by a German vendor. While searching, paying attention to various Marc fields and details in 5XX, 8XX and 6XX fields. Also paying attention to the orthographic differences between the Slavic languages and how they reflect the transliteration.

Oct. 19-20: Visiting Harvard University Widener Library, where the Slavic division is housed. I was given warm welcome and very special attention by Grazina Slanda (head), Hanna Pyro (acquisitions and cataloging) and Prof. Thomas Butler, slavicist, author of Monumenta Bulgarica (1996). He was very pleased to hear that the Open Society Foundation in Bulgaria has supplied the academic and the public libraries in Bulgaria with copies of his book. He made me a present of a copy with his autograph, which made my day at Harvard. Later he introduced me to Kiril Aleksandrov (whose parents are from Pazardzik, Bulgaria, and I know some of his relatives), at present a president of Boston Book Review. We discussed recently published books on Bulgaria and Eastern Europe.

Hana Pyro gave me a general tour around Widener Library and also demonstrated Hollis (Harvard library integrated system). I got impression on how Hollis Reflection works (this is a Harvard developed product on the ground of Notis software). My impression is that Reflection provides easier way for extracting records from OCLC and RLIN, and loading them to HOLLIS, than Clarr (tool, used by Yale Library) does. I was told that the South Slavic collections are weaker than Russian, Ukrainian and Polish, and they have been becoming weaker in the last couple of years due to the lack of information on the book industry in those countries, lack of reliable vendors, and most of all - significant drop of the book exchange with Bulgaria and former Yugoslavia countries.

My colleagues in Widener had arranged a meeting with Michael Fitzgerald, Electronic Resources Reference Librarian, who was exceptionally kind to give me prompt and thorough answers of all my questions. He made printouts for me of a number of Internet free electronic journals resources, as well as electronic collection development sites (including Ann Okerson's page with a number of links to Electronic Resources Collection Development sites), showed me the best functioning and the largest academic online catalogs - to be consulted by Bulgarian Libraries which do not have access to OCLC or RLIN (for example: University of California Library, I would add OHIOLink ). He pointed out LABYRINTH as the most reliable source in medieval studies etc. He also gave me the web address of NERL - North East Research Libraries Consortium, which comprises of 18 academic libraries with the common objectives and cost containment, joint licencing, and possible joined development of electronic resources. In the end, I managed to visit two Harvard University museums : Fogg Museum of Arts and Arthur Sackler Museum of Arts , which added to much excitement to my Harvard visit.

October 23-24: Drawing comparisons between ORBIS (Yale OPAC) and HOLLIS(Harvard OPAC). ORBIS advantages: Long view, related subjects prompts, incomparable (with LMS that I know so far) number of search options. (Search by Yale Library location, type of material, format of material, genre of material, publisher, publishing place, except all more or less traditional searches). There is no other way to get oriented in a database of millions records and to quickly get exactly what you need, except to develop techniques for narrowing the search by year of publication, language, type of material. HOLLIS:In my perception it is not user friendly enough when displaying a list of search results. Many search options like author keyword, title keyword are developed, but limitators of years, type of material an language are not employed. Advantage: offers option for saving and e-mailing results. You could save all the results displayed in long view and send it to your e-mail address. In this regard HOLLIS looks like OCLC, RLIN , amd MELVYL (California Univ. Library).

Exploring Yale Arts and Architecture Library Web page. The main menu provides links to web sites of courses taught at the Art School. This is an attempt for online link of the teaching process and the library collections. It immensely facilitates the services. The courses Web sites provide not only syllabi and lists of required and recommended readings, but also image material scanned from the library collections. This is a feature which could be developed at the AUBG in Blagoevgrad, as we possess all the facilities and could employ enthusiastic students. I also came across on GROVE Dictionary of Arts, online version, and I was amazed by the advantages of the electronic reference books. Except articles and comprehensive bibliographies, Grove offers external Web links, which makes the dictionary invaluable in terms of collecting all the Web accessible information on a given topic. For example: August Rodin's entry offers external links to galleries housing his works. By clicking The Thinker you can get in a few seconds the image of the statue provided by the gallery where the work resides.

Reading the Report of Yale Task Force on cataloging remote electronic resources from the Yale Cataloging Web site. Upon the successful implementation of VTLS software, the AUBG Library should start considering cataloging Internet resources and become a leader in this field among the academic libraries in Bulgaria. Yale Collection of all guidelines and standards on Cataloging Remote Electronic Resources could be used as a training source for every librarian who tackles the challenge to catalog the Net. See also and consider for purchasing ISBD(ER) international standard bibliographic description for electronic resources : revised from the ISBD (CF), international standard bibliographic description for computer files, Munchen : Saur, 1997.

October 25: Visiting the Latin-American collection. The structure is similar to the structure of the other collections at Yale. Selectors and Acquisitions team and from one hand, and Cataloging team, from the other hand. Latin American cataloging team is an active participant in PCC (Program for cooperative cataloging) in its parts for Subject authority control and Name authority control. They create original records for title not available anywhere and contribute them to OCLC and RLIN, so that other libraries acquiring the same titles could extract already existing records from OCLC and RLIN. What is more, there is a distribution of duties among the academic libraries with Latin-American Collections regarding cataloging materials from different regions of Latin America. For example, Yale Latin-American collection is specialized in cataloging materials from Guatemala, Cuba and some other countries. It exchange those locally created records for records of other countries materials, created by other universities' Latin-American collections. I asked the curator, Cesar Rodriguez, if they participate in cooperative collection development, if they share the cost of expensive databases or collections with other University libraries. The answer is Yes. Actually this is done on an university level by Ann Okerson , who is a coordinator of NERL (North-East Research Libraries Consortium). On a collection level, there are agreements between libraries: if Yale purchases a given collection on Latin America, Harvard purchases another one, and the libraries exchange those materials via Interlibrary loan. Cesar Rodriguez is a chair of SALALM (Seminar on the Acquisitions of Latin American Library Materials) , a consortium organization which operates effectively. There are two other groups for cooperation in this field: LANE (Latin American North East Libraries Consortium) and Latin American Studies Consortium of New England.

Oct. 26: Tour, discussions and presentation at Arts and Architecture Library. The Associate Arts Librarian Christine de Valett gave me a general tour, pointing out recently developed services. This library is exceptionally reader-centered, giving opportunities to students to scan images from the book collection, to save and send them to their accounts, so that they could use the material as illustration to essays and class presentations. Part of most frequently circulated books is shelved separately and all those books are under different circulation regime: for 1 or 3 days, so that the book is available for more students. ORBIS shows the different locations and the status of those books. The students are satisfied with those kinds of services. There is a separate reading room for graduate students. The Arts Library has completed the retrospective conversion and all the records are on ORBIS. The most impressive for me is the Collection of digital images, scanned from the book collection by the library staff. This is made possible by Insight software program, a product of Luna company. Insight is a very expensive product. Yale has received a solid funding for purchasing it and maintaining this database as a part of Imaging America Digital Project. (Read more about the project from Yale Library Web site). The Yale Library Visual collection offers images (which could be moved, zoomed, combined, arranged for comparison of details and so on) with MARC bibliographic description (all words in the description are searchable). The professors are able to select images and arrange them in the desired order, size, situate them on the screen as they would like to show them in their class presentations. This new file could be sent to Web and opened in classroom. There is only one inconvenience and it concerns the copyright. The images, scanned from books, are owned by the copyright owner of the book, and according to fair use, they could be used for educational needs in class, but not made available over the Internet. That is why the Web version is restricted to users with Yale ID only.

Oct. 27: Tour at Yale Medical Library. Charles Greenberg, the Head of Reference Services gave me a general tour around the library. He showed me how to log on Medline database, restricted for Yale user only (because I failed to do it by myself the previous day). The reference collection is arranged by section, then by LC call number. (Sections like Organic chemistry, nonorganic chemistry). This deviation from LC is done in order to facility users. Everything which is reference book on Organic chemistry is placed in one section. There are also two additional section in the Reference, called Special collections: End of life and Consumers health. Those are books taken out from the main collection, in order for everything on those subjects to be visible and easily used. The Medical School curricula put strong emphasis on developing sympathy and deep understanding of deceased people. The library responds to the need by separating the collection.

I am very impressed by the technical facilities in this library. There is a number of workstations at the main reference room and in the Computer research laboratory. All they are supplied with laser printers and printing is free. Printing paper and toner are available at the Circulation desk. Workstations at the main reading room are consulted by the reference librarians, while those in the Computer Research laboratory are assisted by computer officers. There is also Self-serve scanning machines for both two-dimensional and three dimensional objects. In addition, a new slides scanning machine is provided, where faculty and students could scan their own slides.

What impressed me in the Periodical reading room, is that there is a shelf : Journals under consideration. It consists of samples of new periodical titles that are considered for subscription. Readers could express their opinion about subscribing those titles. Besides this, if a given journal has an online version, there is a small icon on the label: Online.

Toby Appel , the Head of Historical Medical Library, showed me the exhibitions of measures and weights (the library looks like a museum), the Rare books shelved first, by a century, then by authors and titles. The Print collection is also interesting - consists of reproductions of pictures and drawings in the field of History of Medicine.

Cindy Crooker, Collection development and management Librarian, told me about the Database Group (responsible for selecting and acquiring databases in medical field) Technology Planning Group (responsible to coordinate and solve all the problems related to implementation of new technologies). The Cataloging staff creates original records and contributes them to the OCLC and RLIN. The retrospective conversion is almost over. By the end of the year the entire catalog will be online. Cindy was so kind as to give me statistics on funds spent for monographs, serials and electronic resources . She also informed me what kind of periodical titles subscriptions are canceled - those available in aggregative databases (like Academic Search Elite via EBSCO).

Afternoon: I attended a training session on Intermediate Windows NT, as part of the Library Technology Training Program. Became aware of Windows NT (NT stands for New Technologies) multi-tasking capabilities, creating and sharing folders, copying and moving files. Now I am able to organize my files more effectively, arranged them in hierarchy in folders and subfolders.

October 28: General tour at Kline Science Library and a profound lecture on Electronic Publishing and Pricing and Libraries' policy in subscribing and acquiring electronic resources, given by David Stern, Director. First he drew a chart showing the structure of Kline Science Library. It is a full-service library. I was struck by the small staff working there, which must be very conscientious, committed and well organized to manage to do all technical work and public services. Their chemical sciences librarian not only trains faculty and students how to find information, but also how to manage it. Special database maintained about the use of periodicals in order to help them making decisions for canceling titles. Decisions finally are made on the basis of rank of usage and faculty perceptions. 19% of the budget is spent for periodicals. He drew my attention on the budget allocation, inflation rates, percent for new titles, demand for canceling a certain amount of periodicals , since the Library budget decreases every year with 5%. Then he explained the different approaches for paying for electronic information, as well as his observations of the present model of funding electronic publications and his predictions for future models and the way they will affect libraries' policies. In his opinion, scientists do not need to use OPACs for scientific journals, but electronic databases - citations, indexes, full-text databases. He is not in favor of creating a separate bibliographic record for the print and the electronic version of each title (gave me examples with Science). The more pragmatic solution is the Kline practice : they maintain a database Abbreviations, where scientists find the titles by their abbreviations, as this is the accepted and popular form. I find the Web page of Kline Library reader-centered and helpful. On David's personal Web page, there is plenty of his publications and views, a page which I would like to visit over and over again.

Additional useful information: Ariel is a software used for sending faxes over the Internet for ILL. The top RLIN libraries use Ariel. PubMed is a public version of Medline, funded by the government. Index available free. Sometime opportunities for getting free copies.

Oct. 28-29: Attended a course on Beginning ACCESS 97. Maintaining database in ACCESS could be useful in all aspects of library management - personal files, all kinds of reports, processing invoices etc.

Nov. 1-3: Searching Orbis and the card catalog for Serbian and Croatian titles. Attending the Welcome reception for Yale Library new staff.

Nov. 4-5: Started learning how to order books automatically via Orbis. Tanja explained and showed me the steps - how to create a provisional bib record, if the title is not available on LC, how to create an order record, including data about vendor, funds, who process the order etc. Attended instruction session on Current Awareness Tools (automated SDI!) at Kline Science Library. David Stern, Director, demonstrated AutoAlert and Current Awareness tools available in several databases: Current Contents (via Ovid), PubMed. AutoAlert, also known as SDI or Selective Dissemination of Information, is a saved search that runs automatically each time new data is added to a database of research literature. Your AutoAlert profile retrieves any newly added citations on a topic of interest and emails them to you without any effort on your part.

Attended instruction session on News Resources, presented by Sandy Petersen, Social Sciences Reference Librarian. Yale Library has subscribed to variety of databases offering news from USA and around the world: Academic Universe (Lexis -Nexis), ClariNews (rolling for two weeks only), NewsBank, Global NewsBank (3 years of data), Dow Jones Interactive, EIU viewswire (particular information on a country, oriented to economic resources, offered by The Economist Intelligence Unit), World News, (rolling for two years, translated news from foreign countries within 24 hours!) State Capital Universe, Ethnic News Watch, Historical Newspapers Online (Index). Barbara Rockenbach, bibliographic instructor in charge of the Visual database at Arts Library, taught me how to create digital images: scan, adjust and save pictures by using Adobe Photoshop. This will enable me to use images in maintaining a Web page.

Nov. 6-7: Exercising with Ovid's Current Awareness tools: saving search history and subscribing for getting the latest information on your search topics.

Nov. 8-10: Ordering Bulgarian books from Kubon & Sagner. Deriving records from Library of Congress database for already existing titles or creating a new record (provisional, or fast) for the acquisition of a book. Searching OCLC Web interface to find established author headings, when not available in LC. Copying on a floppy disk OCLC records for different types of materials (mostly computer files and mixed materials), as examples of cataloging electronic resources and manuscripts to be shown to Bulgarian catalogers.

Nov. 11: Reading the new instruction for creating preliminary bibliographic records (for titles ordered or recently received). The instruction is prepared by the Yale Univ. Library Cataloging Coordinating Committee and designed to unify the process of provisional (preliminary) bib records before establishing full MARC record for Orbis. The purpose is a certain standard of records to be reached so that those preliminary records can be sent to RLIN and OCLC (through CLARR) and matched against full records of the same titles in these union catalogs. Matching requires certain data to be correctly input. This instruction could serve as my manual when ordering books for AUBG Library and creating preliminary records in VTLS Acquisitions mode, no matter that for the time being we are not members of RLIN and OCLC. Inputting such data when ordering would be useful for whatever interfaces we develop later. The preliminary records should include the following variable fields: 1XX, 245(246), 300, 440 (if applicable), 700 (if a second author is presented). The most important in the fixed field is EL - encoding level, which should be 5 for provisional records (NB!)

Attended the presentations for the new library staff by the Associate University Librarians Ann Okerson and Danuta Nitecki. Ann Okerson addressed collection development issues and how Yale Library changes with the change of the world - switching to electronic resources and all the complications in terms of public services and re-inventing the library profession, where there is much room for imaginative professionals. Danuta Nitecki explained what is a quality service , four basic principles of quality services (reliability, responsiveness, accuracy, recovery). The most important is not only to know what the reader's expectations are, but to exceed them , thus raising the standards.

Nov.12: Reading and copying articles from Journal of Internet Cataloging and Journal of Library Administration, which address issues on the future of libraries, emerging standards for organizing the cyberspace, libraries' practice in developing electronic bibliographies and directories (Scout Report etc.), variety of opportunities that WWW provides for libraries to improve the overall services.

Nov. 15: Participating in Click here training session. This is a training on how to create a library web page using HTML or AOLPress documentation. During those three sessions I learned the basic commands of HTML language; how to place images on a Web page; how to transfer my HTML document from the local computer to the Web server; how to set up file permissions, so that the page could be read from any remote computer. I gained self-confidence that I could create and maintain a page of my own by myself. The training provided printed instructions and a number of links to free resources for further references.

The Yale Library Web Advisory Group has developed a comprehensive Web tutorial for the Library staff. I was struck again by the educational character of Yale Library Web. By publishing all the guidelines, policies, and work flows on the Web, Yale librarians generously share their ideas, innovations, and projects, thus educating and inspiring librarians throughout the world. Yale Library Web is a virtual Library School! It is wise getting free education from the Yale Web. Matthew Beacom's Web page, for example, is an invaluable directory of resources for professionals interested in Digital Libraries development and cataloging the Internet. The integrity of Yale Web is very impressing. Every page provides number of links to other activities, services and collections at YL. In addition to them, there is YUL Selected sites index which helps to quickly find what you need from this huge Web site.

Participating in the Slavic Reading Room Staff meeting. Discussing the before mentioned instruction on how to create preliminary bib records. Tanja outlined again the objectives: records should meet specific requirements in order to be successfully matched with the existing records in OCLC or RLIN when the book is received in Yale. Tanja went through the whole instruction step by step discussing with the staff the new points of creating order records.

Nov. 17: Tour at the Library Shelving Facilities for the new staff, given by the Associate Librarian Danuta Nitecki. LSF is a huge modern and new storage building (1998) with air conditioning (maintains 50 F and 30 % humidity). Special software for maintaining shelf order, bar codes, and delivery to the libraries. Located in an environmentally clean area. Books coming from the main library buildings are first, cleaned, then assigned bar codes, put into book case, and then - shelved in a hall 30 feet high. Lifting car is used for reaching the high shelves.

Nov. 18-21: Attended the annual convention of the American Association for Advancement of Slavic Studies in St. Louis, Missouri. These four days were a unique opportunity to meet librarians, researchers, publishers and vendors devoted to Slavic studies. I attended several Library panels and round tables: New Resources for Slavic Reference , Emigre Collections in US libraries, Library Approval Plans and East Central European and CIS Collections in U.S. Research Libraries, and the two meetings of the Bibliography and Documentation Committee.

I collected information on current projects (Meeting Frontiers - LC, OSI- Russia Collection Development Program, Pushkin Library Program , CEU Press projects for publishing Stalin's archives and a General interest Encyclopedia in Russian, Microfilm projects etc.). I also collected SEE Web sites (Central Europe Online home page and many others). It was a wonderful opportunity to establish many personal contacts with Slavic librarians, publishers and organizations (Central Univ. Press, Orbis, Civic Education Project). At the Open Society reception I received very warm welcome by Kinga Rethy (CEU) and Martin Greenwald (CEU Press). Attended two panels on Balkan ethnic problems and Elections in Eastern Europe. The SWEETS representatives gave me copies of their Serials catalogs 1999 (both for print and electronic versions), which I sent to the National Library in Sofia, where they are most needed.

I found exceptionally useful for my acquisitions work at AUBG Library the Publishing Presses' exhibitions displayed at the exhibition hall. I added the AUBG Library address on the mailing lists of many publishers offering titles in Eastern Europe (in English), so that back in Bulgaria we receive info for the new releases. Also collected great number of catalogs on Eastern Europe to be considered for purchasing after consultations with the faculty and the Library Director.

Nov. 22-24: Ordering Serbian and Croatian titles from Kubon & Sagner. Creating order records or deriving them from LC. It feels good to extract and import a record from LC by giving two commands and pressing Enter key only! What enjoyment for librarians who have been so frustrated by typing the same entries hundreds of times! After learning how to order books in Orbis, the VTLS Acquisition Manual doesn't seem so frightening as before!

Exploring ABSEES - American Bibliography on Slavic and East European Studies, maintained by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (Yale Library has subscribed to it and provides a link from the Slavic Collection Home page, as well as from the list of databases on the Workstation page. The ABSEES home page provides links to a number of important online resources on SEE. Copying them for my file ASEE Resources.

The Arts Librarian Christine de Vallett showed me the Arts of the Books Collection. Yale schools print machines are displayed along with copies of the most beautifully decorated books. I visited the Interlibrary Loan department. It delivers books, articles printouts, and microfilms to America and overseas. The overseas loan charge is $20. The lending library pays this fee plus shipping expenses. Article copy up to 50 pages costs approximately $30. Stopped by the Microfilm collection, which houses over 300 000 reels. Microfilm printers are available (we need one like those in the AUBG Library). Kevin suggested that I find the Web sites of Minolta and Canon, Associated Microfilms Systems - Rhode Island, for price information. The machines in Yale are very expensive ($20,000), but there are cheaper models available from those companies.

Nov. 29-30: Creating order records of Russian books on Orbis.

December 1-2: Attending a presentation on the Yale Manuscripts & Archives collection. Creating order records for Russian titles. Finding reference books on Bulgaria in English to be listed among the books on other Slavic and East European countries - easy reference for freshman who do [not] know Slavic languages. Creating order records.

Dec. 3: Searching OCLC for books on postcommunist countries and copying the citations of the most recent - 1998-1999. The list will be offered to the AUBG faculty and Library staff for selecting important titles that are not present in our collection, thus attempting to fill the gaps.

Dec. 6-8: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. I was a guest of the European reading room. Mr. Predrag Pajic, Senior Reference Librarian for South Slavic countries, gave me a general tour around the Jefferson and Madison buildings. We had enough time to go through the Bulgarian Reference collection and evaluate its comprehensiveness. My impression is that it is full, all dictionaries in Bulgarian language and literature, published after 1990, are presented at LC. I was introduced to Beatrice S. Tolidjian, Acquisitions librarian for Bulgarian and Macedonian, and her boss - Caroline ... We discussed the problems of the books exchange with the National Library. Beatrice showed me how she creates preliminary bib records when receiving new books and asked for my assistance in finding exact data about some Bulgarian serials - when the change of title occurred etc. I saw at her desk ISBN novini , the ISBN Agency monthly newsletter, which could be useful for the Slavic selectors in the US Academic Libraries, given that they have a reliable book dealer in Bulgaria. Michael Newbert, Reference Librarian for Russia, demonstrated me the Meeting Frontiers database.

I visited the National Digital Library and was given a tour by Danna Bell-Russel, learning center specialist. She guided me through the most exciting digital exhibitions, including dance and movies performances. I managed to stop by the AUBG Washington Office and meet in person people that work on providing donations for the AUBG Library.

Dec. 10-15: Preparing the report.