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Internship Program 2000

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Newspapers Selected Internet Resources Online Databases Research Guide Online News Language Resources Archives of the Soviet Communist Party and Soviet State SEEC Library Fellows Program Related Yale Sites Librarian: Tatjana Lorkovic
Tanja Lorkovic
Email: tatjana.lorkovic@yale.edu
Phone: (203) 432-1861
Fax: (203) 432-7231
Mailing Address :
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
130 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8240


Sirje Riitmuru
September 20 - December 19, 2000

photo of Sirje Riitmuru

The main goal of the internship was to obtain an overview of the operations of one of the major research libraries in America - the Yale University Library (YUL) and to broaden the understanding of librarianship in general. It became possible through the generousity of Dr. Kristaps J. Keggi and the Yale University Library.

I. Introduction to Sterling Memorial Library operations:

  • Aquisition and Collections
  • Cataloging
  • Reference
  • Circulation and Usage
  • Departmental Libraries

YUL, being a main source of information for students and researchers at Yale University, is a very centralized and well organized structure supporting all the various research and academic fields with basic materials. Yale's system of area studies and special collections working together with the various academic departments allows it to efficiently co-ordinate the process of acquiring needed materials for researchers and students.

The Slavic and East European Reading Room deals mainly with acquisition and reference work. I had also the opportunity to visit the African, Latin American, Babylonian , Arts of the Book and Map collections and they operate in similiar fashion. The cataloging department has separate teams which deal with the different languages of the area collections. It should be pointed out that many books in the vernacular do not have annotations in English or other more widely used Western languages. This leads to the situation that often such books are not catalogued as quickly as needed. In the Estonian Academic Library (EAL) the Acquisitions Department is separate from the Baltica collection, so it was useful for me to become aquainted with the various ways of ordering and receiving books and periodicals online. It was also important to learn about the different approaches to dealing with vendors and exchange partners. Tatjana Lorkovic has created an excellent network of vendors to cover such a large area as the Slavic and East European countries and it was interesting to hear her recount her experiences in setting this up. It was also very interesting to me to learn the American system of transliterating the Slavic and East European languages - the Library of Congress Romanization tables.

The opportunity to work with Patricia Thurston and the Slavic Cataloging Team was very important for my future work. Having no experience in cataloging in the MARC system, I learned the basic rules, along with the main reference sources which catalogers use in their work- many of them online. These basic rules pertain also to cataloging early-printed and rare books. I became aquainted with copy cataloging and how to create full bibliographical records. The system we use in Estonia is slightly different - it allows us to add the copy statements to full bibliographical records created in other libraries. At Yale records are derived from such utilities as RLIN and OCLC and then adjusted to ORBIS. This was a useful experience because it is possible that the consortium of Estonian research libraries might become an associate member of the European union catalog with the right to use these records created in Western libraries.

YUL has created an excellent reference service - first of all with the web homepages of the library - a list of databases and online catalogs at Yale and a wide-ranging list with direct links to online catalogs of various libraries and other useful information sources from all over the world. I was even able to access the homepage of the Estonian Academic Library and links to the online catalog of Estonian Research Libraries! The homepage also provides a very important service for readers - through it the patron can instantly do the following - ask for book renewals, book requests, hold/recalls, interlibrary loans, etc. The webpages for area and special collections as well as other departmental libraries furnish similar services. In addition the staff of area collections are always ready to answer more specific queries and request for help in relation to their materials.

Departmental libraries visited: Social Sciences Library, Seeley Mudd Library, Kline Science Library, Engineering Library, Mathematics Library, Art and Architecture Library, Beinecke Rare Books And Manuscripts Library, Walpole Library, The Yale Centre for Area and International Studies. These visits gave me an excellent overview about different units of the YUL. It was interesting to compare the problems of the Estonian Academic Library to the problems that other libraries face here, many of which are similar. I got aquainted with many different projects in each of these libraries.

II. Other libraries visited:

  • New York Public Library
  • Columbia University Library
  • Harvard Widener Library
  • Harvard Houghton Library
  • The Library of Congress
  • US State Department Library

The program also gave me the opportunity to visit other libraries on the East Coast of the USA. Visiting mostly other Slavic and East European collections as well as the rare book and manuscript collections gave me many interesting contacts and broadened my outlook on the problems in cataloging rare books in general and especially in regard to Baltic collections.

III. Skills obtained in automatization:

  1. YUL online system ORBIS
    • Technical mode for acquisitions and cataloging (searching, ordering, receiving books and adjusting bibliographical records)
    • Online public access catalog (OPAC) via Telnet and Web
  2. Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN), (OCLC)
    • Operating major utilities (searching, deriving)
  3. Cataloger's desktop (CLARR, AACR 2)
  4. Computer classes for the staff of YUL
    • ORBIS workshop
    • EXCEL - introduction
    • ACCESS - introduction
    • NT Workstation - intermediate
    • information about software being useful in future (FilemakerPRO, End Note, Dreamweaver)

During my internship I have considerably developed my computer skills and searching techniques. It gave me new ideas concerning the project of creating the database of 16-century printed books in the Estonian Academic Library.

IV. Other activities attended:

  • Lectures and forums of the Standing Committee on Professional Awareness (SCOPA)
  • Reading books and journals on librarianship
  • English classes
  • Preparing interview with Mr. V. Koressaar, New York Public Library

Attending different lectures and reading newest information about the librarianship helped me become aware of problems concerning the new form of publishing - electronic publishing. Simultaneously, different problems have arisen for libraries: technological problems, licencing, cataloging, archiving, providing access for users, copyright concerns, additional costs. Electronic journals have brought up several discussions about models of scholarly publishing. In dealing with the fact that information has become available through the Internet, libraries need to rethink their traditional situation of being the middleman between the producer of the information (writers, scientific institutions etc.) and the user. Education and staff development programs will be needed to keep librarians in touch with their work as intermediaries in a quickly developing technological environment. YUL encourages their workers to participate in discussions, lectures, training sessions. Several task groups have been formed to face these new problems of a diverse and complex variety of electronic sources and other media (an example of this is WAG - Web Advisory Group). I have read and gathered information about the various webpages, journals, publications where these matters are discussed. And once again I noticed how much information is available through the Internet.

Visiting the New York Public Library gave me an opportunity to meet Mr. Viktor Koressaar - the former head of the Slavic and Baltic division. I intend to publish an article about his life and work in New York. Mr. Koressaar is a very important figure in Estonian culture abroad.

V. Research for Estonian Academic library:

  • Searching for Estonica
  • Comparing the desiderata list of the department of Estonian emigre literature to YUL card catalog

My stay here at Yale gave me also the opportunity to search for Estonica - books written about Estonia and in the Estonian language. This was very important for me because my library is compiling a retrospective national bibliography. I went through specific subjects in the card catalog and the online catalog. I did not uncover any new or unknown materials; however, I became aware of Yale's excellent collection of Estonica, especially in the areas of linguistics, literature and history - including basic reference books. Let me add that I really appreciate very much Tatjana Lorkovic's efforts to find new vendors in order to maintain Yale's collection at such a high level.

VI. Personal activities

I had a wonderful chance to participate also in the social and cultural life of Yale and the New Haven communities. I was astonished at how many opportunities are here for all kind of activities and many of them are free: lectures, language tables, concerts etc. I attended concerts in Woolsey Hall, Dwight Chapel, School of Music (Yale Symphony Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Organ concerts, Chamber Music concerts, Opera nights). I enjoyed visiting the excellent collections of the Yale Center for British Art , the Yale University Art Museum, the Peabody museum and the Pequot Museum. Due to my wonderful colleagues and friends I had many opportunities to visit American homes and also to see and learn about the different cultural communities at Yale and in New Haven.

My visit to the United States of America was a great experience - of both professional and personal value. All the contacts and knowledge that I have obtained during the past three months have been very valuable for my work. I believe that this will also favorably influence me in my work in the future at the Estonian Academic Library. I hope that my visit will also help to establish futher contacts between the Yale University library and the Estonian Academic Library especially as exchange partners.

My internship at the Slavic and East European Collection as well as my visits to the other area collections and departmental libraries gave me a very insightful overview about the workflow inside a major American research library. Touring some of the other libraries on the East coast gave me valuable information about the state of Baltic collections in the USA as well as establishing many useful contacts.

I appreciate the attention and the efforts of all the people who helped me during my stay here - especially Tatjana Lorkovic and her colleagues and Patricia Thurston and the Slavic Cataloging Team.

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

Week 1:
20.Sept.- arrival in New Haven.
21.Sept.- visiting Tax department, Human Resources and OISS; got acquainted with ORBIS aquisition mode.
22.Sept.- learning to search in ORBIS and LC; searching for books offered by T.Kozmenko (vendor from Russia). meeting with curators from the other area collections.

Week 2:
25-27.Sept.- dealing with formalities regarding my stay in Yale. tours in YUL; learning to create provisional records in MARC (fields, transliteration in Cyrillic languages); learning to create OPR records.
28.Sept.- meeting Kate Reynolds from SML Staff Training and Development.
29.Sept.- ORBIS workshop. Receiving books ordered by e-mail.

Week 3:
2.Oct.- searching books offered by the estonian vendor in abroad Hellar Grabbi
3.Oct.- lunch with Patricia Thurston (Slavic cataloging team); attending periodicals reading room; searching Estonian books in ORBIS.
4.Oct.- searching Estonian books in card catalog; getting aquainted with LC subject headings.
5.Oct.- ordering estonian books for money( ORBIS creates automatically an order slip); attending English classes in Yale International Center.
6.Oct.- ordering estonian books; attending the meeting of catalogers, introducing EAL

Week 4:
9-10.Oct.-ordering estonian books; searching for estonica in card catalog.
10.Oct.- Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, meeting with Vincent Giroud(Modern Books and Manuscripts) and Christa Sammons (German Collection).
11.Oct.- Lunch with Mr. Scott Bennett and Ann Ockerson. ordering estonian books; searching for estonica.
12. Oct- receiving books from vendors and exchangepartners. searching for estonica.
13.Oct.- receiving books from vendors (serials, monographs).

Week 5:
16.Oct.- Babylonia collection; receiving books.
17.Oct.- receiving books; searching estonica from card catalog.
18.Oct.- cataloging department lunch with Ellen Jaramillo(Latin-America cataloging team) getting aquainted with the workflow (backlog-frontlog); learning how to search in RLIN, OCLC and derive record to ORBIS. attending English classes.
19.Oct.- visiting Yale Health Centre; lunch with Dorothy Woodson (the curator of Africana collection); searching books from backlog.
20.Oct.- visiting Latin-American collection and meeting with the curator of this collection Cesar Rodriquez; lunch with Kim Tran (Cataloging department); visiting Elizabethan club with Tanja Lorkovic, Yale Opera and afterwards the reception in Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscripts Library.
21.Oct.- participating in the opening ceremonies of Tercentennial of Yale
22.Oct.- reading articles about digital libraries

Week 6:
23.Oct.- searching books from backlog; lunch with Matthew Beacom (cataloging department); SCOPA Session I on Scholarly Electronical Publishing.
24.Oct.- searching books from backlog; attending lecture of Francis X. Blouin- the candidate for position as Head of Beinecke
25.Oct.- visiting Yale health Center; searching books from backlog; got aquainted with catalogers desktop.
26.Oct.- searching books from backlog; reading articles about electronic journals.
27.Oct.- visiting Walpole Library with Patricia Thurston and her colleagues;

Week 7:
30.Oct.- visiting New York Public Library - Slavic and Baltic division
31.Oct.- visiting Columbia University Library - Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies and Rare Books and Manuscripts.
1.Nov.- SEEC- receiving books from the Tartu University; learning how to transfer records from LC.
2.Nov.- receiving books from National Library of Estonia; searching estonica from the card catalog.
3.Nov.- learning to create a full bibliographical record in catalog department; reading articles about librarianship.

Week 8:
6.Nov.- receiving books from Estonian National Library; searching estonica.
7.Oct.- Visiting Arts of the Books meeting curator Jae Williams; visiting Art and Architecture Library, meeting Chris de Vallet and Barbara Rockenbach; receiving books from Estonian National Library.
8.Oct.- visiting Yale Centre for Area and International Studies, meeting with Haynie Wheeler- Director of Development and Public Affairs and Brian Carter -PIER Director of European Studies attending journals reading room.
9.Nov.- receiving books from Estonian National Library visiting Kline Science Library; visiting Engineering Library and Mathematics Library; attending SCOPA Session II on Scholarly Electronical Publishing.
10.Nov.- receiving estonian books; visiting Africana Collection and meeting with curator Dorothy Woodson.

Week 9:
13.Nov.- receiving books from Estonian National Library; searching for estonica.
14.Nov.- discussion with Tanja Lorkovic and William Larsh about exchange partnership between SEEC and Estonian Academic Library
15.Nov.- receiving books from Estonian National Library; visiting Map collection; attending English classes.
16.Nov.- receiving books from Estonian National Library; receiving books offered by Kubon & Sagner; learning how to create macros.
17.Nov.- visiting Social Sience Library and Mudd Library; receiving books from Kubon & Sagner; meeting Bradley Woodworth

Week 10:
20-21.Nov.- visiting Harvard University Library (Widener Library and Houghton Library)
22.Nov.- preparing the interview with Mr. Koressaar
23-24.Nov.- Thanksgiving Day holiday

Week 11:
27.Nov.- receiving books from Kubon & Sagner
28.Nov.- receiving books from Kubon & Sagner; reading Aleksis Rannit's uncatalogued materials at Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscripts Library
29.Nov.- Excel for beginners in the Mudd Library
30.Nov.- introduction to operations of the library systems office; reading articles about technology and scholarly information
1.Dec.- attending computer classes- NT Workstation; lunch with Mr. Ake Koel the former head of YUL Technical Services.

Week 12:
4.Dec.- attending computer classes - Access for beginners
5.Dec.- browsing Internet resourses and preparing trip to Washington; searching books sent from Library of Congress
6-8.Dec.- visiting Library of Congress and US. State Department Library
9.Dec.- lunch with Dr. Kristaps J. Keggi; Christmas Party of Slavic Department

Week 13:
11.Dec.- searching for books offered by Estonian National Library
12.Dec.- searching for books offered by ENL; "Yale 300" project- department of Archives and Manuscripts
13.Dec.- preparing for the interview with Mr. V. Koressaar
14.Dec.- visiting New York Public Library, meeting with Mr. Koressaar
15.Dec.- writing the report about internship

Week 14:
18.Dec.- meeting with Barbara Rockenbach from Visual Resourses; visiting Rare Book Cataloging Team; writing report about internship.
19.Dec.- lunch with colleagues from Slavic and East European Collection and Slavic Cataloging Team
20.Dec. - Departed New York at 5.50 p.m.