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Published in November 15, 1997.
University of Minnesota
The 62nd IFLA Conference in Beijing in August 1996 gave me a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a very fruitful six-week trip to mainland China. While there, I had the privilege of teaching, with a group of colleagues from the United States, three workshops on information technology and the future of libraries at Shanghai University Library, Shanghai Jiaotong University Library and Peking University Library. Besides these workshop hosts, I was also able to visit several other leading Chinese academic and research libraries in Shanghai and Beijing, including Fudan University Library, Shanghai Library and Shanghai Institute of Scientific and Technical Information, Chinese National Library, Tsinghua University Library, and the Chinese Institute of Scientific and Technology Information. These activities allowed me to observe and to discuss with many Chinese librarians recent library developments in China, particularly in the area of information technology applications and library automation. It is my great pleasure to share with my fellow East Asian librarians what I have learned from the trip on this subject. My discussion will focus on the following areas: bibliographic utilities, automated library systems, application of network technology, and development of electronic resources.
The benefits brought by bibliographic utilities to a modern library system go far beyond shared cataloging. They are the cornerstone of library automation, and their impact is felt on almost every aspect of library services, including collection development, cataloging, document delivery, and resource sharing. China has talked about cooperative cataloging for many years. The concept of an online cataloging system and MARC format have been taught in Chinese library schools since the late 1970s. Several experiments in establishing a China MARC standard have been made since the late 1980s. However, little was done in implementing the idea of cooperative cataloging for Chinese publications until the 1990s.
Thus, I was very pleased to see two major regional cooperative cataloging initiatives during my visit. One was the Shenlian Online Cataloging Project in Shanghai and the other was the Jinxintu Online Cataloging Center in Beijing. Using the newly-adopted national standard China MARC format as their input standard, both initiatives focus on online cataloging of materials in Chinese languages. Headquartered in the library of Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shenlian has more than fifty members--mostly academic libraries--in the Shanghai metropolitan and surrounding areas. Aiming at serving the libraries in Beijing and the surrounding areas, the Jinxintu Center has worked aggressively to recruit member libraries and to add more bibliographic records to its database. Similar regional effort was also made in Guangdong, the area of China where the most economic growth has taken place since economic reform. These regional initiatives are very encouraging steps that Chinese libraries have taken towards establishing cooperative cataloging utilities for the country. The next few years will be critical for our Chinese colleagues to expedite the growth of the established initiatives, to expand their efforts to cover libraries in less developed regions, and to turn regional initiatives into the establishment of a national utility.
Automated Library Systems
Three different approaches have been taken by Chinese libraries in automating their service functions. These are: home-made systems, acquiring foreign-made systems, and acquiring domestic systems.
1. Home-made systems
The dream of modernizing their libraries by computerized systems is rooted deeply in contemporary Chinese librarianship. Since the late 1970s when Deng Xiaoping came to power and the country began the first steps toward implementing its ambitious plan of the "four modernizations," library automation was perhaps the most discussed topic in Chinese professional literature of librarianship. Over the years, many attempts to develop computerized programs to automate various functions of library services were made by Chinese libraries, often along with their parent institutions. Though there are plenty of successful stories among these efforts, such as Shanghai Jiaotong University's system and Peking University's system, the home-made approach has some inherent problems. First, the design of such a program or system was often to meet the local needs of a particular library. Several similar activities and developments of this sort might be going on in a given time with little or no coordination among them. As a result, people were not only "reinventing wheels," but also making products without common standards. These products were neither easily adaptable by other libraries, nor compatible with an open system environment. Another major problem of this approach is upgrading the system. It is common knowledge now that a library needs to upgrade or even replace its automated system every five to seven years. As technology innovations keep bringing new applications to the library world, the demand for system upgrading will remain, if not intensify. This demand requires constant investment of both monetary and human capital from the institutions involved, which could post a great burden on them. Obviously, a home-made system is not a cost effective approach and is hard to maintain in a fast moving technological world.
2. Foreign-made systems
It does not take a genius to figure out that buying, rather than developing in-house, is probably a better way for libraries to get a good system. There are plenty of good library systems available on the market. Many foreign library system vendors are trying hard to open the potentially lucrative market of mainland China. However, for Chinese libraries, buying a foreign-made system was not really a valid option until recent years. The biggest problem was, of course, lack of necessary financial resources. For one thing, all of the foreign-made systems are expensive. The prices for these systems were prohibitive for almost all Chinese libraries. However, this situation has changed gradually in recent years due largely to the fast growing economy and increasing wealth of the country. To some elite institutions at least, purchasing a foreign made system is no longer an out-of-the-question desire but a viable option. For instance, among the libraries that I visited, three of them chose recently to take this approach to automate their libraries. Tsinghua University purchased for their library in 1996 a U. S. made integrated library system by Innovative Inc. to replace their home-made system. Shanghai Library and Shanghai Institute of Scientific and Technical Information signed a purchase agreement with Ameritech for its latest product, the Horizon system, in November 1995. This system was to be installed in their newly constructed library, an architectural show case and a landmark building in Chinese library history. During the summer of 1996, Peking University Library was evaluating a number of library systems available in the international market. Recent information is that the SIRSI system, also made in U. S., is at the top of their selection list.
Another obstacle preventing Chinese libraries from purchasing a foreign made system was that there were very few good systems available on the market with Chinese character processing capability. For many years, the need for processing non-roman scripts was largely ignored by American and European system vendors. Years ago, Japan was probably the only foreign country which marketed library systems adaptable to the Chinese environment. This situation has also changed in recent years as Asia became an emerging but very important market to library system vendors around the World. Innovative Inc. was the first American company to develop a system capable of handling Chinese characters and among the first to sell their products in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China. Other companies also sought ways to get their systems modified and enhanced for the Chinese library environment. For instance, Ameritech contracted with Fudan University and Shanghai Jiaotong University to hanhua ("make Chinese") their Horizon system for the Shanghai Library and Institute of Scientific and Technical Information. The SIRSI company is discussing with Peking University the possibility of a joint effort to localize their system to meet Chinese standards and fit in a Chinese environment. Such cooperation also occurred between Innovative Inc. and Tsinghua University. Although the Innopac System is capable of handling Chinese characters, there is still a lot of room for further improving its adaptability to Chinese environment. Obviously, close cooperation between U. S. system vendors and Chinese libraries in introducing U. S. made systems to China can be mutually beneficial to both parties and will have an impact on Chinese libraries in catching up with technology.
3. Domestic systems
For vast majority of Chinese libraries, however, neither of the above approaches is a valid option. Financial realities simply rule out the possibility either of buying a foreign-made system or making their own, yet their desire for automation is as great as that of their colleagues in elite institutions. To meet this demand, the Chinese government, research institutions, and libraries have launched several projects to develop domestic made systems for different size of libraries. These include the Shenzhen Integrated Library Automation System and the General Integrated Library Automation System that was jointly developed by Xi'an Jiaotong University Library and Zhengzhou University. The Shenzhen Library project was to develop a system for research and large public libraries. As a national priority project that was supported by Chinese government, this project drew system designing experts and computing professionals from eight major public libraries nationwide. The latter project, the General Integrated Library Automation System, aimed at developing a system for small and medium size libraries. These projects differ from the previous efforts of home-made systems at least in two aspects: they were no longer designed based upon a single library's needs, and the projects promoted cross-institution collaboration.
The Shenzhen system was a great success and won a number of provincial and national "technological advancement" rewards in China.1 To make the system marketable to libraries of different size and types, effort was made, after the initial success, to develop a series of the products that are suitable respectively for mainframe and minicomputer, as well as microcomputer operations. Recently, the Shenzhen system was re-engineered based upon client-server architecture for a LAN environment. More importantly, the entire management system has been shifted from a state-fund institutional entity to a commercialized and financially independent corporation. The corporation will include not only a research and development section, but also marketing, sales, and customer service sections.2 Obviously, this change will give the organization the necessary dynamic and flexibility for growth and for coping with changes brought by technological innovations. By early 1996, the system had been sold to more than three hundred libraries in 26 provinces in China. Undoubtedly, as Chinese libraries strive to automate their services, we will see more and better domestic automation systems available on the Chinese market and a rapid increase in installations of such systems in Chinese libraries in the years to come.
Networking and Internet Application
What impressed me the most during my visit was the enthusiasm that many Chinese librarians and library administrators expressed towards building information network and the application of Internet technology to improve library services. A big difference this time, compared to the similar passion that Chinese librarians had in 1980s for developing bibliographic utilities and library automated systems, was that they were not only talking loudly but also taking quick actions. Some of the institutions that I visited already had campus networks and Internet connections to their libraries. The others were in active planning and implementing phases. Among those who were networked, Tsinghua University Library led the others in applying network technology to improve library services. Using Netscape as the interface, the Library designed a gateway front-end with connections to various integrated local and remote resources. From the interface, one could search the Library's OPAC database running on a recently-installed Innopac System with full capability of handling Chinese characters, retrieve information from the newly-connected OCLC FirstSearch database and make requests for document delivery, check for campus wide information from web pages mounted by various departments, institutes, units, and branches of the University, or surf the Internet for remote web sites via carefully-selected and well-organized hyperlinks provided by the Library. The system librarians with whom I had the privilege to talk were all very knowledgeable and competent with the new information technology. I was very much impressed with their HTML form-based interface design, which, in my opinion, was as sophisticated and user friendly as any designs that I had seen at the time from American academic libraries of comparable size.
The new Shanghai Library is another showcase of new technology application among Chinese libraries. At the time of my visit, the construction for the new building was not yet completed, but implementation of new technology applications was already being aggressively pursued by the Library. These included 1) installing the newly-purchased Horizon Integrated System, which was engineered for client-server architecture with full Chinese language functionality, 2) developing a CD-ROM database which will contain scanned images of the Library's special collections, and 3) building a local area network which will provide local and remote access to the Library's online resources. The new building will be the home for the old Shanghai Municipal Library and the Shanghai Institute of Scientific and Technical Information, an organizational merge that gives the new Shanghai Library not only a new face (the building) but also a new body (the new organization) with mixed functions of the traditional and the new. The new library is the first such merger of a major public library and a scientific information service agency, adding more academic and research focuses to its traditional functions of cultural and public service. The new library will also serve a larger user community with more diversified interests. To meet these challenges, the Library has high expectations of library automation and network technology to help deliver the expected services with improved quality.
One major problem that I observed in the area of networking and Internet application in China was insufficient technological infrastructure, which hindered the growth of library networks and prevented libraries from taking full advantage of Internet applications. In some libraries that I visited, the off-campus network connection was incredibly slow, though the on-campus connection ran at a reasonable speed. Apparently the bottle neck in information transmission was the routers connecting the campus network to the outside world. Although in recent years the Chinese government has invested heavily in building network backbones such as China Education and Research Network (CERNET) and Chinese Academy of Science Network (CASNET), more effort must be devoted to greatly expanding the capacity of established network backbones and in enhancing network structures at the city level. I was told by a friend who recently visited China that the speed of Internet connection has greatly improved on those campuses since last summer. However, as the number of Chinese academic institutions joining the Internet and the usage of existing networks keep increasing, meeting the ever-growing demand for network structure expansion will remain an issue for China for at least the next few years, especially for less developed regions.
Compared to libraries in the United States, collecting electronic resources is by no means as common yet in Chinese libraries. However, most libraries that I visited did have an electronic resource or multi-media reading room. The basic, if not entire, resources available in those rooms were in CD-ROM format. Most of these facilities provided equipment with Internet connections and web browsers. Thus, "net surfing" for web sites was readily available despite the problem of transmission speed in some libraries. However, for most libraries, subscription and access to commercialized online resources was still a relatively remote concept rather than a daily practice. Among the CD-ROMs collected, imported bibliographical databases account for a large proportion, while domestic CD-ROM products have increased rapidly in recent years.
The electronic reading room in the National Library has a CD-ROM local area network (LAN) with a sizable collection of databases, which included products from most, if not all, major U. S. CD-ROM vendors, such as SilverPlatter, UMI, IAC and EBSCO. The reading room provides fee-based service and has become one of the most used facilities of the Library. Tsinghua University Library's multi-media center has collected a good number of Chinese CD-ROMs including multi-media and full text products. Coverage ranges from electronic dictionaries, bibliographies, and selected art collections to travel guides, Peking opera and cook books. The Library also served as the training and promoting center for OCLC FirstSearch in China, introducing subscription to online access and document delivery services to Chinese libraries.
I was impressed with the spirit of entrepreneurship displayed by some Chinese library administrators in the course of modernizing their libraries. The cooperation between Tsinghua University Library and the OCLC Asian Division in introducing FirstSearch to Chinese libraries was only one example. This partnership with OCLC brought the Library not only a substantial discount on FirstSearch, but also additional financial support from the University administration and some outside sources to equip the Library with a large number of state-of-the-art computers and networking facilities. Shanghai Jiaotong University Library's Tulip Multi-media Center was another good example. The Center is a "joint venture" of the Library with Tulip Computer Company in Holland. The Company provided the Center 25 Tulip multi-media workstations, and for its part the Center agreed to serve as a training center for the Company's products--hardware and software--in the Shanghai metropolitan area. This cooperation gave Shanghai Jiaotong University Library a major portion of a much needed initial investment for establishing a multi-media center in the Library. At a time when libraries budgets are very tight and the pressure for automation great, this kind of entrepreneurship, creativity, and flexibility of library leadership is certainly much needed and appreciated by Chinese libraries.
Electronic publishing has just started to pick up momentum in China. China has a written history of five thousand years. The earliest documents in Chinese extant today-- inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells--can be traced back more than three thousand years. China has one of the longest and largest accumulations of written records of human civilization in the world. China also ranks No. 1 today in the world in total number of annual publications, with 101,381 monographic titles3 and 7,583 periodical titles published in 1996.4 The rich cultural heritage of written documents and a dynamic contemporary publishing industry give the country great potential in the emerging market of electronic publishing and digitization. Several sectors in the Chinese society--government, industry, and book vendors--are well aware of this great opportunity and have started investing in the new adventure of electronic publishing. Academic institutions and libraries also play an important role in this endeavor. For instance, the National Library is producing the CD-ROM edition of Chinese National Bibliography (1988 to date) and Chinese National Bibliography 1949-1987, a retrospective database in CD-ROM format. Shanghai Library is putting its publication Index to Chinese Newspaper and Periodical Literature (Quanguo baokan suoyin) on CD-ROM. Tsinghua University formed a national research center for CD-ROM products, consisting of faculty and graduate students from its departments of physics, computer science, electronic engineering and others, to produce a full text database of 3,000 academic periodicals in Chinese and English languages (published in China) in CD-ROM. The database, divided into eight subject clusters, will be published monthly. Staff from Tsinghua University Library involved in designing and fine-toning the database's retrieval system. Another example of this kind is the CD-ROM version of Reprinted Newspaper and Periodical Literature (Fuyin baokan ziliao), a full-text database of selected Chinese newspaper and journal articles, which is produced by the People's University in Beijing. Peking University Library initialized a national project to create a full text database of periodical literature in social sciences and humanities, and the project has received support from the State Commission of Education. Like that launched by Tsinghua University, this project also has a very ambitious objective.
The development of electronic publishing in China will undoubtedly change the landscape of Chinese publishing industry. As an East Asian librarian, I am encouraged to see that China has made great efforts in using new technology to improve the accessibility of its academic publications and research resources, which is certainly welcome news to our patrons in Chinese studies. At the same time, I am anxious to see what the implications of such developments may be on our work. I believe that the rapid growth of electronic publishing in China is likely to have an impact on East Asian collections in North America in the areas of collection development, collection management, and reference services in near future.
Difficulties and Problems
Up to this point, I have focused on the positive developments that I observed in Chinese libraries. There are, of course, problems and difficulties facing Chinese librarians. The most frequent complaint that I heard, not surprisingly, was insufficient budget. Although the country has managed to sustain a double digit growth in its economy for the past decade, inflation has also been high. Book prices have been escalating at a rate higher than the general inflation rate. According to one report, the average book price increased more than 800 percent between 1983 and 1993.5 Such increases have continued at a similar rate to date. As a result, the increase of book budgets in most libraries can hardly meet the escalating book prices. To make the matter worse, the annual book production in China increased about 370 percent from 1980 to 1995, leaving Chinese libraries with a constant decline proportionally in acquisition of available publications.
The pressure to find money to buy more books certainly has had a negative impact on libraries' ability to implement automation. Understandably, except for perhaps a small number of elite institutions, Chinese library administrators often find it a formidable task to get the initial investment for an automated system, and even more so in the case of upgrading an obsolete system. Many Chinese libraries still reside in very old buildings with inadequate space for ever-growing collections and deteriorating working conditions for staff. For those libraries, even if the money becomes available, it is perhaps a higher priority to build a new building or an extension of the old building than to purchase an automated system for the Library.
Recruiting and retaining high quality librarians is another challenge that Chinese libraries have to face these days. Modern librarianship demands professionals with solid training, proficiency in English or other foreign languages, and computer skills. These are also the qualifications sought by many foreign joint venture companies and government agencies. The companies often offer much higher salaries while many government agencies offer generous bonuses and benefits and/or more attractive career ladders. In an environment where the traditional value of institutional and professional loyalty is challenged by the value of individual's economic well-being, libraries have to compete very hard to get and keep quality employees. Many libraries have tried various "innovative" ways to bring in revenue to better compensate their staff. However, unless the social and economic status of librarians in China improve significantly, losing able employees will remain a problem for Chinese libraries.
As Chinese libraries move toward a networked environment, they will have to endure tremendous changes--changes that go beyond catching up with technology, and changes that challenge some of the traditions rooted deeply in Chinese librarianship and society. In the tradition of Chinese librarianship, ownership was emphasized over resource sharing, protection of collections was emphasized over convenience of access, and institutional affiliation was emphasized over open access to all. Obviously, in the course of modernizing their libraries with new technology, Chinese librarians must also "modernize" the old values with new concepts and philosophy. Among these new concepts, resource sharing and institutional cooperation are the most critical. Chinese society has a strong sense of institutional affiliation and self-reliance. Borders between institutions are clear, and walls separating them are thick and strong. Cooperation and resource sharing, even among the same type of libraries, have never been strong in China. Given this background, nurturing and promoting a commonly shared value for institutional cooperation and resource sharing becomes more critical than ever before to Chinese libraries. Unless the concept of resource sharing is fully embraced by Chinese librarians and administrators, the road leading toward building library networks will likely be bumpy. Even if such networks were physically in place, libraries might still not be able to take full advantage of them.
There is no doubt in my mind that Chinese libraries are going through a very important period of modernization. The enthusiasm among Chinese librarians for automating their libraries and building library networks is great and the desire to learn and implement new technology is tremendous. Chinese libraries are pushing forward on several fronts of technological applications and are making impressive progress. However, a massive implementation of library automation with network technology in the country has not quite come yet. The development is uneven with wide gaps between elite and other institutions, developed and developing regions of the country, and between major metropolitan areas and other cities. Nevertheless, the librarians from many different regions and institutions with whom I had the privilege of talking, especially those who attended our workshops, seemed all to share a common vision that technology is the way to go for the future of Chinese libraries.
1. Jia Lu, "Zhongguo Zidonghua he Wangluohua" [Library automation and networking in China], Proceedings of the Special Conference on the Evolving Research Library and East Asian Studies In Conjunction with the 1996 IFLA Conference in Beijing, August 28, 1996 (Beijing, China: International Academic Publishers, 1996): 37. 2. Ibid.
3. "1995 Nian Quanguo Tushu Chuban Tongji" [1995 statistics for book publishing in China], Zhongguo Chuban Nianjian 1996 [The 1996 Yearbook for Chinese Publishing] (Beijing, China: Zhongguo Chuban Nianjianshe, 1996): 641.
4. "1995 Nian Quanguo Baozhi Qikan Chuban Tongji" [1995 statistics for newspaper and periodical publishing in China], Zhongguo Chuban Nianjian 1996 [The 1996 Yearbook for Chinese Publishing] (Beijing, China: Zhongguo Chuban Nianjianshe, 1996): 646.
York College of Pennsylvania
This past summer, we went to Shanghai, China to present our paper on Library resource sharing at the "International Symposium on Development of Libraries in the 21st Century" hosted by Shanghai Jiaotong University. Prior to the Shanghai conference, we also attended IFLA in Beijing and a pre-IFLA conference "The Hong Kong Library and Information Network: a Virtual Gateway to China" organized and hosted by Hong Kong Library Association. The whole trip was a memorable experience and we would like to share some impressions with you.
We started our trip in Hong Kong. From the idyllic rolling hills of Central Pennsylvania to the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, our eyes met more than we could see. Hong Kong has transformed itself into the center of Asia's financial world and its impressive economic success has a tremendously positive impact on Hong Hong's 763 libraries. Within the last ten years, there has been significant development in library services. Mergers, reorganization and automation have taken place in major institutions and expansion is seen in almost every category of Library. Ariel and DHL courier services are used for document delivery among academic institutions. Cooperative resource sharing is in place with reciprocal borrowing privileges offered to faculty, graduate students and final year undergraduate students. Uncover is used widely to locate information for interlibrary loan.
Nearly all libraries in Hong Kong are automated. Various U.S. automated library systems are used such as DRA, but many academic libraries have migrated to INNOPAC as it provides much needed CJK (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) language capability. This is important because so many collections are in the Chinese language. CD-ROM products are also widely used. Hong Kong University alone subscribes to 185 titles of CD-ROM bibliographic databases! Academic libraries are using or experimenting with the world wide web, and electronic journals are also finding their way to libraries. Digital library projects are underway and the first electronic library (with 1,000 electronic databases) for distance learning will be open in 1998. Because of its proximity to China, many library projects are linked to resources and events in China. In so many ways, Hong Kong libraries are serving as a role model for libraries in mainland China.
The conference included several library tours. Hong Kong Polytechnic University makes available on their OPACs as open access some highly expensive electronic databases such as Lexis-Nexis, FirstSearch and DIALOG, a luxury not many libraries in the United tates can afford. Its Audio-Visual Division has nearly one hundred multimedia workstations. Lignon College Library provides acquisition suggestions for patrons on the library web page. Public libraries are also well funded. Tuen Mun Central Library subscribes to over 500 newspapers. The amount of funding the Hong Kong government has provided for libraries is truly impressive.
It is worth noting that Hong Kong librarians are in a very enviable position when it comes to terms of employment. They are often paid at an associate level, much higher than their fellow professionals in the U.S. Since there is no library school in Hong Kong, most of the librarians were educated overseas. Many worked for American academic institutions before they were lured to Hong Kong. Despite all their huge successes, however, the librarians there are obviously concerned. With only a short time to go before China retakes Hong Kong, there is a steady exodus of librarians to North America, Singapore, Australia and Europe. This is certainly a challenge that current and future leaders in Hong Kong will have to face. Once we arrived in Beijing for IFLA from Hong Kong, we soon realized that the concerns of Hong Kong librarians are well-founded. The contrast between the two places are sharp and real. Compared with the rocky islands turned economic miracle Hong Kong, Beijing is still a centuries old city trying to catch up with the rest of the world. You can see on Beijing streets billboards of western name brands as well as mule-pulled carts. Libraries in China are not doing nearly as well as Hong Kong libraries despite the double digit growth rate in China for nearly a decade. Unlike the Hong Kong government, which has passed the benefit of economic growth to its cultural and academic institutions, the Chinese libraries don't seem to be well funded. Many library buildings have given way to business buildings, and many libraries have zero funding for their book budget. Some public libraries simply disappeared. The cost of periodicals and books has soared in China, often times over 30% annually, making it all the more difficult for Chinese libraries to provide much needed services. There are some show case libraries, but the majority of libraries have not been given the necessary funding and care they deserve. Funding support is a critical issue for the future of Chinese libraries. Chinese librarians welcomed IFLA in Beijing because they were able to hear open discussions about major issues facing libraries today. During the IFLA conference itself, there were general sessions devoted to discussions on sensitive topics such as access to information, freedom of expression as a basic human right, and the right to criticize and challenge the government.
The IFLA conference in Beijing was an enormous undertaking. The Chinese government spent a few years preparing for this international conference. Like all such conferences, it was taken as a political task and the government there made every effort to ensure that it went well. Delegates were given opportunities to visit churches, temples and mosques. Cultural entertainment and large-scale receptions were provided.
Delegates from 110 countries attended IFLA. The programs seemed well organized. However, we both felt the actual programs covered were either very broad or concerned with very specific interests, such as map librarianship. The poster sessions contained very few displays considering the size of the conference and number of attendees. Our Chinese host enlisted the support of many college students who provided hours of support. The Chinese host also had a computer company providing some workstations for Internet. Since the bandwidth was not large enough, it was difficult to send a message without a long wait.
The Chinese libraries are behind Hong Kong libraries in technology as well. They are starting their own automation systems, their own BIP, and their own OCLC. Foreign businesses are trying to have their share in the Chinese market as well. OCLC offered Qinghua University in Beijing free use of FirstSearch for three months in hopes that they will subscribe thereafter. The success of a project such as this depends on continual monetary and technological support.
Library tours in Beijing enabled us to see progress as well as problems in Chinese libraries. We saw highly automated libraries such as the one at Qinghua University, but we also saw students ho waited long periods for books from closed stacks. Reference titles from other countries are old. Qinghua University, for instance, has 1990's BIP and 1985 Ulrich's. Overall, China has started to enter the information age, but many issues remain to be addressed.
Our last stop was Shanghai, the fastest growing and most westernized city in China with special economic zones reminiscent of Hong Kong. The whole city is like a huge construction site with new high-rises going up every day. Among the city's top ten construction projects, the new Shanghai municipal library is on the top of the list and near completion. Shanghai seems to have a most promising future compared with other cities in China.
We were hosted by Shanghai Jiaotong University. The theme of the conference concerned the challenges faced by academic libraries in the next century. The conference included speakers from several countries who discussed a wide range of issues. The broad areas for discussion were services to the academic community, information technology, professional development, and library space and facilities. The smaller conference size enabled participants to get to know each other and exchange ideas and views. The hosts were incredibly hospitable and gracious. The library and cultural tours and ethnic dinners were wonderful additions to a well organized and thoughtfully prepared conference.
The trip was our first foray into the world of international conferences. We encountered some difficulties, such as translation problems or poor spoken English in presentations. We observed the lack of audience participation from Chinese colleagues, but we understood this to have more to do with the culture than with a lack of interest.
Our trip was a memorable experience that was professionally rewarding and personally enriching. We encourage our colleagues to be on the lookout for professional opportunities to travel, network and thereby broaden horizons.
Published in May 15, 1997.
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
There is a rapid growth of scholarly electronic journals on the Internet. The ARL Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters and Academic Discussion Lists included 110 electronic journals and newsletters in its 1991 edition, 240 titles in the 1993 edition, and over 400 titles in the 1994 edition. In 1995 the number was increased to 700 titles (up 66% from 1994), and in 1996 up to 1,688 (257% increase since 1995). New electronic journals are released in an average of 15 titles per day in NewJour, an update service for the ARL Directory.
The 1996 Directory notes that the number of e-journals published by the commercial publishers and scholarly societies is increasing, so is the number of peer-reviewed journals available on the Internet.
The majority of these electronic journals are in fact online versions or editions of the print journals. According to the "STM journal survey report" by Hitchcock, Carr, and Hall, 65% of the electronic journals in science, technology and medicine (STM) are electronic editions of print journals and 35% are published in electronic format only. The number of electronic-only STM journals was very small compared to the total number of science journals published in 1995. (Steve Hitchcock, Leslie Carr and Wendy Hall, "A survey of STM online journals 1990-95: the calm before the storm" In ARL 1996 Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters and Academic Discussion Lists)
While both the 1996 ARL Directory and Harter's 1995 survey report that 90% of the networked electronic journals are free, Hitchcock, Carr, and Hall find a much lower percentage (57% ) of free e-journals in science, technology, and medicine.
Modes of Access
Of these, some are hierarchically organized subject browsing lists, and some are search engines which collect data from the documents on the Net, create a searchable database, offer sophisticated search capabilities and present ranked retrieval results. Certain locator servers such as Yahoo have both browsing and searching capabilities.
Search engines offer automated resource discovery and indexing capability, use natural language processing, provide immediate access to a vast array of Internet resources. They are easy to use and maintenance-free. However, search engines offer no authority control for names or subject vocabulary, nor classification schemes for information organization. Neither do they provide cross-references or support field searching. The free-text searching on documents themselves, file name, URL, html title and document headers, etc. often results in extensive hits requiring users to wade through masses of irrelevant and incomprehensible entries to get the information they need.
Library catalogs provide access to journal titles which have been carefully evaluated and selected for the inclusion in a library's collection. Library catalogs use controlled author identification, subject vocabulary, and classification to organize bibliographic data in the descriptive surrogate records, providing selective and comprehensive search capabilities with high precision rate. A number of next generation library catalog systems are now capable of hot-linking the URL on the bibliographic records to the electronic documents being described. Catalog records provide content information which can help users to evaluate the resources before accessing, whereas indexing tools find a match and provide access only. Likewise, system requirements and access information on the catalog records are critical for users who must be able to have compatible computing environment to access. Library catalogs should provide equal access to traditional print serials and electronic serials in one integrated system. So users do not have to perform the same search in multiple systems. This is especially critical for those titles split-published in multiple formats. The applicability of cataloging rules and MARC formats in cataloging electronic journals have been challenged. Problematic cataloging areas such as editions, seriality, frequency, designation, and title continue to be addressed and solutions are being sought by the cataloging community. Another weakness of MARC record is its structure which is designed for single object description, and linear access does not adapt well to the description of multi-level hypertext objects on the Internet. Some people are skeptical about the usefulness and validity of the library cataloging approach in organizing Internet resources. Some are questioning the need to create bibliographic surrogates for electronic resources when the digital objects are available by a mouse click, and their title page and table of contents are both online. One of the major opposition against cataloging Internet resources holds that cataloging is too costly and labor-intensive, and the cataloging process cannot keep pace with the proliferation of resources available on the Internet. The OCLC InterCat project which calls for collaborative cataloging efforts demonstrates that libraries can play an important role in providing access to Internet resources. A recent study by Taemin Park finds 60.2% of the electronic journals listed in the 1996 ARL Directory have been cataloged on OCLC (Taemin Park, Bibliographic Control and Access of Networked Electronic Journals in OCLC and Local Libraries)
These special electronic journal pages provide linked access to selected or acquired titles. Being small in scale and very focused in coverage, these pages are more useful than the Internet finding aids such as Yahoo or AltaVista. Library e-journal pages are easy to navigate and can keep statistics for e-journal use studies. Some pages provide manually created annotations or unit records for each electronic journal included, serving as a brief description to help users determine if the journal meets their information needs. Some pages of e-journal directories (e.g. CICNet's EJC and NewJour) provide searching capabilities on title, topics, and/or descriptions. However, topic headings are generally too broad to be useful for file/document retrieval. Headings assigned do not follow any conventional thesaurus and are thus difficult to search unless one knows the vocabulary being used.
Library Web pages provide access by known titles only. there is no mechanism to provide variant title access and serial management control at all. Creating annotation or description records are labor-intensive and redundant tasks which duplicate the work of cataloging. For this very reason, a number of libraries are contemplating to discontinue the creation of annotations or descriptions for their e-journal pages. For those libraries who catalog electronic journals in their catalogs, keeping e-journal Web pages requires double database maintenance.
In summary, Internet search engines retrieve too little information on the objects to be useful. Library catalog model provides rich description and efficient access, but is too costly for the large amount of e-journals on the Internet. And library Web pages are merely title browse lists with links to the electronic resources.
The convergence of Web and cataloging
A number of research projects and developments attempt to either adapt cataloging principles to improve the Internet search engines or to utilize robot to assist traditional cataloging process. For instance, a few developing systems make use of subject analysis tools to incorporate thesauri along with natural language access to add controlled vocabulary automatically (Carol Mandell & Robert Wolven ). Some developing systems use part of the MARC fields, classification schemes, prepared abstracts, subject headings, etc. However, none of these fully exploit cataloging methods and standards. Data collected automatically by robot are not catalog record equivalents. Moreover, none of the indexing tools could substitute library catalogs.
Several research projects are undertaken to explore computer-assisted cataloging. Some approaches assume that less-than-full bibliographic description provides sufficient access to resources whose title pages and table of contents are both online. Projects Scorpion attempts to use DDC classification schedules to automate subject assignment for e-documents and present the search results to catalogers as a tool. There is the meta-cataloging approach which attempt to expedite cataloging process by attaching metadata to the resources they describe. This approach follows the traditional Cataloging in Publication model that descriptive data are supplied by the resource creators and can be mapped and translated into various codes and be used by search engines and traditional cataloging. Initiatives such as TEI headers, Dublin Core data elements, and the OCLC Spectrum Project attempt to establish a standard subset of basic data elements necessary for resource identification and retrieval using key metadata supplied by authors to create minimal-level surrogates which can be used for full level catalog records.
Despite the three options to access electronic journals, the basic question regarding journal article access remains unanswered. Although traditional catalog surrogate records have significantly enhanced the identification and access to journal titles, they do not point nor access to the journal content, that is, the articles per se. This is also true for the library e-journal home pages. The majority of library users searching journals in the OPAC have either a citation in hand or a topic in mind. Internet search engines are the only one of the three modes discussed above that provide limited author, title, and subject search capabilities for journal articles on the Internet. Article-level access has been traditionally provided by commercial indexing and abstracting services. Unfortunately, these services are lagging behind the publishers in providing access to electronic journals. On the other hand, some electronic publishers such as Project Muse and JSTOR are building search engines in their own databases for full-text indexing. As more and more index and abstract databases are moving away from the CD-ROM technology to use the Web interface, it seems that the next logical step is for the service providers to provide the links to the electronic journals on the Internet. Alternatively, following the "hooks-to-holdings" model, indexes and abstract databases can be linked to a library's holdings by ISSN number and provide direct access to e-journals by URL (856 field) instead of call numbers as currently used in the "hooks-to-holdings" model.
Cataloging will not be replaced anytime soon. And cataloging Internet resources deserves strong commitments from the library community. The development of computer-assisted cataloging is promising and should be further explored. Dynamic catalog records with hyper-link capability awaits for further research. Future development and applications of knowledge bases and robots for knowledge gathering and retrieval may have potentials to revolutionize or replace traditional cataloging operations. In the meantime, as we live in an environment where multiple approaches and options prevail, no one approach is perfect nor can any one approach provide access to all the networked electronic resources for all people.
San Jose State UNiversity
As the current president of CALA, I am very pleased to have this opportunity to share with you about CALA's role in Chinese and American librarianship, and its activities in enhancing the communications between the libraries and librarians between China and the United States. Since its founding in 1973, CALA has been making great effort in promoting the development of Chinese and American librarianship. After China opened its door to the world, numerous exchange programs, such as workshops, seminars, conferences were carried out by CALA, as an professional organization, or by its members individually. Today, among the 650 active CALA members, 19 are from China as either institutional or individual members.
CALA's first president Dr. Tze-chung Li has played an important role in promoting the exchanges between American and Chinese libraries. Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, CALA's former president, and Andrew Wang of OCLC have been very active in organizing workshops, seminars, and training programs for Chinese librarians. During the years, many CALA members visited China and participated in various exchange programs. They also sponsored numerous Chinese librarians to visit American libraries and receive training. In 1996 alone, there were three consecutive conferences in China which were co-sponsored by CALA. As a recognized professional association in the library world, delegates from CALA were invited to attend the grand openings of the new National Library building in Beijing, and the new Shanghai Library building in Shanghai. CALA's Book to China program chaired by Julie Tung has shipped numerous donations to Chinese libraries.
I don't have a complete list of CALA's activities involved in the development of Chinese librarianship in China, so I can only mention a few that I am aware of. Today, I'll focus on my personal experience of my latest trip to China attending three conferences in a row, on behalf of CALA last August. The first one was the first "US-China Conference on Global Information Access in Beijing"; the second one was IFLA in Beijing, and the 3rd one was the "International Symposium on Academic Libraries in the 21st Century", in Shanghai. With IFLA being recognized as the core conference, these conferences were labeled as the preconference, the conference, and after-conference. In Chinese, they are "hui qian hui", "hui zhong hui" and "hui ho hui". I took part in all of them. Since Angela already reported about the First China-US Conference on Global Information Access, I'm going to focus on CALA's activities at IFLA.
It was the first time that China hosted the IFLA conference. The Chinese government rendered great support to the success of the conference. The Premier of the State Council of China, Li Peng, addressed the opening speech; the State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council, Luo Gan, was the Chair of the Organizing Committee; the famous sociologist Fei Xiao-tong was the keynote speaker. China's key newspaper People's Daily published an editorial "Welcome the New Era of Library: Congratulations on the Opening of the 62nd IFLA Conference". Librarians became TV stars during those days on all Chinese TV stations. Therefore, IFLA arouse special attention from Chinese people. For the first time, librarians received so much nationwide attention and felt themselves treasured by the people who we serve. What a great feeling!
There were 2,500 attendees from 91 countries, with 800 Chinese delegates as the largest group, and 234 US delegates as the second largest group. Then, there were 135 from Japan, 117 from Russia, 98 from France, 84 from Korea, 65 from Denmark, 56 from Netherlands, 50 from United kingdom, 47 from Norway, and 46 from Malaysia. The seven day conference included 214 sessions, 18 poster-sessions, three floors of exhibits, and hundreds of presented papers. Robert Doyle had an article about IFLA in the American Libraries, which said "according to many experienced IFLA attendees, the single most impressive activity of the conference was the transportation" provided by the Organizing Committee. Delegates were transported in 75 buses escorted by the police like a 5-kilometer long parade, while the rest of Beijing came to a standstill during the rush-hour. This made the American delegates worry that we may not be able to provide transportation nearly as good as the Chinese did when the IFLA holds its conference in Boston in 2001. "Social events were held every night and it is often said that the receptions are where most of the 'work' is done at an IFLA conference. Because of language and cultural differences, the informal sharing of ideas and experiences across boundaries is critical."
During the conference, CALA sponsored a very successful panel discussion on "Chinese American Librarians' Activities in the Changing World" with the assistance of China Organizing Committee. The great success was due to the hard work of Susan Bau who coordinated this important event. I chaired this session and Mr. Lim Hong Too, former Director of Nanyang Technological University of Singapore moderated the session. The meeting room was overcrowded by the enthusiastic Chinese librarians. There was a total of 13 speakers from CALA. The presentations and discussions focused on three topics: "libraries as Gateways to Information", "Continuing Education of Librarians in a Changing World", and "Resource Sharing".
The presentations were warmly welcomed by the enthusiastic audience. After each presentation, questions were answered and ideas were exchanged. We ran out of the original 40 copies of the paper in five minutes. Additional 50 copies were made, but still not enough. Finally, we promised them that they could get the copies the next day, thus to ease the anxiety of the audience. Before the panel discussion, we decided to conduct this session in Chinese because we expect that it was most likely that Chinese librarians would attend the meeting, and it was more convenient for mutual discussion in Chinese. However, I noticed three Caucasian faces among the audience before the meeting. I went up to them to warn them that this session would be conducted in Chinese. To my great surprise, they said "mei guan xi" ("It is OK."). I learned a lesson, just like a Chinese saying "ren bu ke mao xiang" ("never make assumptions by one's appearance").
My next stop was Shanghai, my hometown. I attended the after-conference, the "International Symposium on Academic Libraries in the 21st Century", at Jiaotong University. I made a short speech on behalf of CALA. We did a membership drive during the three conferences. As a result, many Chinese librarians handed in their applications to me right on the spot.
While I was in Shanghai, I had the chance to visit the construction site of Shanghai Library. The new building was completed in mid-December last year. CALA sent a letter of congratulations to its grand opening ceremony. The library is highly automated. Rather than following the traditional closed-stack practice, it opens the stack to the public. I was very much impressed by its artistic architectural design, High-tech facilities its orientation to provide information and serve the readers in the most effective and efficient way. I offered CALA's assistance to them. However, I am afraid their technology may already surpass many of the American libraries. That's all about my experience in China last summer.
I am proud of CALA for its global involvement in promoting Chinese and American librarianship. I want to quote Mr. Zhuang Shoujing, former Director of Beijing University Library and CALA's 1995 Distinguished Service Award recipient. When he concluded his speech at the IFLA/CALA panel, he inspired us to "further strengthen the global friendship of Chinese librarians, and promote the development of librarianship in the 21st century."
Shu-fang Hsia Lin
Government Documents Librarian
St. Johns University
1. Federal Depository Library Program; a brief note
The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was originated from the Act of 1813 [3 Stat. 140] when Congress authorized additional copies of the House and Senate Journals and other Congressional documents be printed and distributed to institutions outside the Federal Government.
In 1858, a Joint Resolution [11 Stat. 368] authorized each Representative to designate a depository in his or her district. And one year later in 1859, each Senator was also authorized to designate one depository in the state he or she represented.
Title 44 of the U. S. Code and the Freedom of Information Act provides an important statutory framework for federal information dissemination. Title 44 Section 19 of the U. S. Code (44 USC 19) requires all federal agencies' informational documents, published at the Government expenses, have to be made available to the Superintendent of Documents for distribution to Depository Libraries, except a relatively small percentage of documents that belong to one of the following categories:
Government publications were distributed to all designated libraries from the beginning of the Depository Program in 1813 to 1922 when a law in 1923 [42 Stat. 436] changed this practice. By that law, libraries could make their selection in advance through the classified List of United States Government Publications.
Until the Depository Library Act of 1962 (P.L. 87-579) libraries had to retain forever what they selected except for superseded issues. P.L. 87-579 allows libraries to dispose depository materials, with the permission from their respective Regionals, after five years' retention. Each state has one designated "Regional Library" to receive all publications distributed through the Program, and keep them permanently for archival purposes.
In the FDLP, only the 53 Regionals are obligated to receive all Government publications. The rest depository libraries, that is, the selectives, select only categories of publications to meet the needs of their primary clientele and the general public needs in the Congressional District.
From the Act of 1813 to present, the Federal Depository Program has grown and developed into a system of close to 1400 Federal Depository Libraries and over 7,000 class stems today.
2. U. S. Government Printing Office and the FDLP
The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the Government Printing Office (GPO) have been intertwined for almost a hundred years. The 1860 Printing Act authorized the Superintendent of Public Printing to execute the public printing himself and to be solely in charge of administrating all related matters. The title of "Superintendent of Public Printing" was changed to "Public Printer" in 1876.
In order to consolidate Congressional Printing, the Government Printing Office began its public printing monopoly in 1861. Prior to that, all Congressional printing had been handled by private firms.
A landmark legislation of public printing laws, the Printing Act of 1895 centralized all public printing, and, transferred the office of Superintendent of Documents from the Dept. of the Interior to the Govt. Print. Off., which also paid all distribution expenses.
GPO has been the world's most prolific publisher. The documents, covering a wide variety of subjects, appear in monograph, serial, looseleaf, pamphlet, poster, map, microfiche, CD-ROM, and electronic forms. They come from all types of sources of the three branches of the Federal Government.
II. Depository Library's Role in Information Dissemination
1. Gateway to Government Publications
The mission of the Federal Depository Program is to provide free public access to information produced by the Federal Government through designated libraries in various Congressional districts. While Depository Libraries have the privilege of receiving government publications free of charge, they also make a legal commitment to provide government information to the general public, especially in their respective localities.
The primary goal of FDLP is to provide the general public with a means of free access to government documents, which are published at taxpayers' expenses. While the underlying principles is that in a proper functioned democratic society, citizens have a right to information contained in Government Documents, and the government has an obligation to ensure the availability and free access to those publications. Thus, Depository Libraries play an important role in availing the Federal Government to disseminate information on the one hand, and, to provide access for all citizens to obtain information from the Government, on the other.
Under the direction of its Collection Development Policy, each selective depository library selects, receives, organizes, preserves, and makes U. S. Government Publications easily accessible to users. Just like other types of libraries, a Depository Library also serves the following functions:
Each Depository Library plays an important role in information dissemination, and serves as a gateway to Government information, especially for people in its respective locality.
2. Taking Information to the User
Depository Libraries are, by law, obligated to provide free public access to the governments documents collection, which remains to be the property of the U. S. Government. Therefore, in some private institutions where libraries only serve their own patrons, their depository collection should still be free access to all, which includes but not limited to proper signage, restriction free, physically accessible, etc. In assuring public access, Depository Libraries are also obligated to promote public awareness of the FDLP's mission as well as the depository collection. Along the lines of assisting users in government information retrieval, in-house reference guides, handouts, and instructions are produced. Occasionally referrals are made to other documents/federal information repositories in the region when deemed necessary. Depository Libraries serve as an effective vehicle to carry out Washington's Mission in "taking Government information to the People", which ensures a wide availability of government publications to people in all localities.
III. Depository Libraries' Challenges in the Age of Change
1. Government Information in Electronic Format
GPO has been decreasing in massive paper printing of documents through the past two decades, due to significant cuttings in funds for printing and publishing from the federal expenditure. Budgetary constrains have deteriorated GPO's once centralized government printing. Since 1977 GPO has been increasingly producing more and more documents in microfiche format to reduce amount of paperwork, to decrease expenditure, and to save storage space for most libraries. At present, nearly two-thirds of items distributed to Depository Libraries from GPO are in microfiche format.
Thanks to the rapid advances in information technology in the past few years, GPO has been putting its full force in heading for distributing government information in electronic format, i. e. CD-ROMs, floppy diskettes, Electronic Bulletin Boards, on-line databases, etc. For example, from 1991-1994 alone, more than 800 CD-ROM products were distributed to Depository Libraries. GPO is marching into an electronic era in the 90's. Major developments can be summed up as follows:
The GPO Access service started with three full-text databases:
This new GPO Access program was officially inaugurated in June 1994. It enables Depository Libraries, with a validated registration with GPO, to provide free off-site access through their own computer system. And, GPO has been expanding the availability of the GPO Access WAIS (Wide Area Information Server) system by developing model gateways for no-fee public access to GPO's databases, such as the LUIS System in University of Illinois, the QUEST System in Seattle Public Library, the COIN System in University of Missouri, to name a few. GPO's direction is to extend the gateway program nationwide, and to use Depository Libraries to link the general public with the GPO system. Using Depository Libraries as gateways to provide no-fee off-site public access to GPO's online services is a vital step toward the electronic based depository library of the future. Effective Dec. 1, 1995, GPO Access became free of charge to all users.
2. Depository Library and Electronic Government Information
This is an age of information technology revolution. The FDLP is definitely on its way to a period of transition. On the Dec. 29, 1995 issue of the Administrative Notes, the Superintendent of Documents officially announced a Transition Plan for the Electronic Federal Depository Library Program, FY 1996- FY 1998, and a Policy Statement on "Electronic Information Access and Dissemination Services of the FDLP", in which it states, "The FDLP will rapidly shift to a more electronically based program." Based on the direction from Congress, GPO expects "nearly all of the information provided through the Federal Depository Library (FDLP) will be electronic by the end of fiscal year 1998". And, Depository libraries are expected to" provide no-fee public access to information identified in SOD Pathway Services as well as to information made available directly through the FDLP", and "offer users access to work stations with a graphical user interface, CD- ROM capability, Internet connections, and the ability to access, download, and print extensive documents."
Retrieval of electronic data requires capable personnel and compatible facilities. For Depository Libraries, the immediate critical issues involved are:
Without resolving those issues, to most Americans, GPO would only be a huge warehouse of unused Federal government information. How to meet the challenge of the electronic information in future? How to keep up with the expanding world of electronic information delivery, and, more importantly, how to select useful information from the proliferation of electronic data to meet users' individual needs? As the Superintendent of Documents Wayne Kelley pointed out, "Electronic publishing and dissemination technologies are shifting the emphasis from what a library owns to what the library user can access."
In recognition of the growing importance of information technology as a means of communication in a democratic government, the Clinton Administration sponsored a National Electronic Open Meeting on the subject of "People and Their Government in the Information Age", from May 1-14, 1995. The primary goal of the meeting was to enable as many Americans as possible to participate in the dialogue, to encourage public opinion/discussion/comments on the respective roles of the Federal/State/local governments, the library community, etc., in developing an effective and efficient government. The Meeting was divided into five Internet discussion groups, among which "Access to Government Information" was one of the five topics discussed. Based on the fundamental belief that government information is a public asset, this Open Meeting was an extension of the Federal government's efforts to establish a framework for government's roles and activities in the information age.
The "National Information Infrastructure Initiative" has been on the priority agenda of the Federal government. The current trend within the Federal government is to collect, store, and disseminate information in electronic format, i.e., building more and more the so-called "Information Super Highway." A special concern is that Americans might become divided between information "haves" and information "have nots" when most Government publication are only disseminated in electronic format. How to ensure a free access to the "Information Superhighway" for all Americans? The local Depository Library is the answer.
1. "GPO Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act of 1993" (PL 103-40, 8 June 1993), U.S. Statutes at Large 107, pp.112-114.
2. McGarr, Sheila. "Snapshots of the Federal Depository Library Program", Administrative Notes 15:11 (Aug.15, 1994) pp.6-13.
3. Morehead, Joe and Mary Fetzer. Introduction to U. S. Government Information Sources, 4th ed. Englewood: Libraries Unlimited, 1992.
4. "Paperwork Reduction act of 1995" (PL 104-13, 22 May, 1995)
5. U. S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations. Paperwork Reduction and Federal Information Resources Management Act of 1990, H. Rpt. 101-927, Washington, GPO, 1990.
6. U. S. Government Print. Off. Superintendent of Documents. Library Programs Service. "The Electronic Federal Depository Library Program: Transition Plan, FY 1996-FY 1998", Administrative Notes, 16:18 (Dec. 29, 1995) pp. 1-26.
7. U. S. Government Print. Off. 100 GPO Years 1861-1961: a History of United States Public Printing. Washington, GPO, 1961.
8. U. S. Government Print. Off. "Responses to Depository Library Council Recommendations from the 1994 Spring Meeting: Policy Issues", Administrative Notes, 15:13 (Oct. 15, 1994) pp. 14- 33.
9. U. S. Off. of the President. Technology for America's Economic Growth: A New Direction to Build Economic Strength. (Washington, DC: GPO, 1993), pp.28-30.
Published in November 15, 1996.
Asian Studies, Humanities and Arts Bibliographer
University of California, Riverside
Newspaper publishing in North America began in Boston, Massachusetts in 1690 when the first English newspaper was published in the Continent. Among the newspapers published in America during the last three centuries, a number of them are in Asian languages. Although they are few in number compared with English language newspapers, they reflect the diversity of American culture and are a colorful component of American journalism. This paper reviews the history of Asian language newspaper publishing from its inception in 1854. It explores how Asian language newspapers have flourished in a country where English is the dominant language. The paper examines the close relationship between immigration and Asian language journalism. It also discusses the present status of Asian language newspapers in the United States and their potential for survival. Since those newspapers have faithfully recorded the lives of people of Asian descent in the United States, they constitute an important resource for scholars conducting multi-cultural research. Unfortunately, due to their ephemeral nature and constant title changes, the bibliographical control of newspapers is inadequate. This presentation describes the current state of bibliographical access to Asian language newspapers and the role played by the United States Newspaper Program.
Newspaper publishing in the United States can be traced back 300 years when the first paper in North America Publick Occurences. Both Foreign and Domestic, was published in Boston, Massachusetts on September 25, 1690. During this period of 300 years, over 300,000 titles have appeared at one time or another. Those newspapers constitute a valuable resource for research in American history, for they have faithfully and vividly recorded the establishment and the growth of a nation. At a time with no modern technology like television and radio to disseminate information, newspapers were the most important source for people to get news and other useful information. Although newspaper publishing has already passed its golden years, its role in American history cannot be underestimated. Since the United States is an English speaking country, English is definitely the predominant language in newspaper publishing. But, there are also titles in foreign languages, including those in Asian languages. Those titles reflect the diversity of American journalism. They are an indispensable source for researchers in ethnic studies, immigration history, social history, and even economic history.
Although there were quite a few newspaper titles published in western languages other than English in the United States in the eighteenth century, newspapers in Asian languages had not been published until the middle of the nineteenth century. It is commonly believed that the first Asian language newspaper is the Chinese weekly Golden Hills' News, published by Howard and Hudson in San Francisco on April 22, 1854. This is a bilingual newspaper with an English editorial on the front page of each issue. In the first issue, the publishers claimed that it "will be published every Saturday, until the Chinese generally adopt it, when it will be published semiweekly." However, the Golden Hills' News only had a life of a few months. Although this paper was short-lived, it marked the beginning of the Asian language journalism in America.
The publication of the Golden Hills' News was not an isolated event. In the mid-nineteenth century, San Francisco was the center of newspaper publishing business on the west coast of the continent. But, the key factor that contributed to the birth of the Asian language journalism was the rapid influx of Chinese immigrants during the Gold Rush. 41,397 Chinese entered the United States from 1851-1860 as compared to only 36 people in the previous decade.1 Since the Gold Rush and the development of California demanded cheap labor, the majority of Chinese were settled down in California, with San Francisco as their primary port of entry. The arrival of new Chinese immigrants, in combination with the flourishing business of newspaper publishing in San Francisco, provided an ideal environment for the commencement of the Chinese journalism.
However, the initial years were extremely difficult for the Chinese press. Most of the papers did not survive more than three years, while the rest were in constant change of ownership. Several factors contributed to this: Although there was a rapid increase of Chinese immigrants, most of the new arrivals were uneducated farmers trying to escape the famine in their homeland. The number of people who could read was relatively small. At the same time, printing with the utilization of modern technology did not come cheap, especially when the Chinese characters were involved. Because of the high operating cost, the subscription fee was fairly expensive in comparison with the wages earned by most Chinese. This resulted in low circulation, which in turn deterred the further growth of Chinese newspapers. In 1882, the enactment of the Exclusion Act drastically reduced the number of Chinese immigrants and unfavorably affected the newly-started Chinese journalism.
Despite the odds, the presence of Chinese journalism in the United States was firmly established. Since few issues of Chinese newspapers from the last century survived, information on some titles is solely based on secondary sources. At least 26 Chinese newspapers were published in eight American cities in the 19th century.2 Among them was the Chinese Daily News of Sacramento in 1856, the first Chinese daily ever published in the world. Chinese journalism (and later on journalism in other Asian languages) started on the west coast of the United States and expanded gradually to the east coast. This is in contrast to journalism in English and other western languages, which originated mostly on the east coast. The first Chinese newspapers did not appear in New York until 1883. This delay was mainly due to the small Chinese population east of the Mississippi River.
Around the turn of the century, China was at the edge of political awareness and underwent a series of political changes. Many of the Chinese modern politicians sojourned in the United States. Compared with the tough censorship in late Qing dynasty and the lack of public forums in which to express their ideas, they found newspapers in America a useful tool to seek sympathy from individuals and special interest groups in Chinese American communities. The most noteworthy figure was Kang Youwei who founded the Chinese Empire Reform Association (Zhongguo Wei Xin Hui). In 1899, the Association took control of the San Francisco Chinese weekly Mon Hing Bo (Wen Xin Bao), changed the title to Sai Gai Yat Po (World Journal), and made it a mouthpiece of the Association. The publication of Sai Gai Yat Po set the precedent for political party affiliated newspapers. Since then, many Chinese newspapers have had a very strong political slant. They were either party organs or financially supported by political groups in China. To name a few: Chinese Vanguard (Xian Feng Bao) in 1927 and later the China Daily News (Meizhou Hua Qiao Ri Bao) by communist sympathizers, China Daily Times, Young China Morning Post (Zhongguo Shao Nian Chen Bao) published by Tong Meng Hui since 1910. In the 1920s, all the major fractions of Guomindang (Chinese nationalist Party) had their own newspapers in the United States.
The Chinese journalism in the United States during the first half of the century mirrored the turbulent social and political changes back in China. Those changes exerted tremendous impact on the Chinese newspapers in America. From a business viewpoint, the political patronage fueled much needed capital into the troubled Chinese newspaper business. Many Chinese newspapers that were struggling for survival were consolidated by those party patrons. Now those newspapers had the capital to purchase new equipment and to adopt new printing technology. Needless to say, such patronage effected political impact on Chinese newspapers. Due to the absence of censorship, the rival political groups found America a better place for political debate than their homeland. To some degree, this in turn influenced the political maneuvers back in China. For the local audience, those papers raised their political awareness and nationalist feelings. There was a steady increase of circulation among all major Chinese newspapers with its peak at the outbreak of WWII when people were eager to know the developments of the War. When the War was over, there was a large outflow of Chinese from the United States who wanted to settle down in their homeland which was now in peace. A sharp decline of Chinese newspapers occurred. Some of them suspended their publications while others were barely surviving and dependent on subsidies from their supporters.
Since the 1960s, with the economic boom in Asia, some major Hong Kong and Taiwanese newspaper groups tried to expand their business in North America by publishing American editions. The forerunner of this wave, Xing Dao Ri Bao, started its American daily publication in 1967. Its circulation reached 20,000 in the late 1970s and became the most popular Chinese newspaper in the United States at that time. However, when many other newspapers followed its trail, Xing Dao Ri Bao met huge competition and was forced out of business in 1987. From 1982 to 1989, several other titles, including Zhong Bao (Centre Daily News), also suffered huge losses and were closed . The most successful newspaper of the same background was Shi Jie Ri Bao (World Journal) that debuted in 1976. This newspaper inherited the name of the famous Chinese newspaper in San Francisco and is the most popular Chinese newspaper in the United States today.
With the open-door policy adopted by the Chinese government in the late 1970s, there has been a rapid increase of cultural and economical exchanges between the United States and China. Since then, immigrants began to arrive not only from Taiwan and Hong Kong but also from mainland China. This new trend changed the demographic picture of the Chinese in America and provided the Chinese newspaper publishing business something they needed desperately: the readers. In the last 20 years, we have witnessed another surge in Chinese journalism, along with a more balanced range of products. In addition to nationwide papers such as Shi Jie Ri Bao (World Journal) and Qiao Bao (China Press), there are papers published in almost all metropolitan areas that have Chinese communities. The main goal of those newspapers is to address local issues and concerns. Digest-type newspapers, for example: Shen Zhou Shi Bao (China Journal), Meizhou Wen Hui Zhou Kan (Sino Times) and Meiguo Shi Bao (Asians Today) have also won wide popularity. Beside news briefs, those newspapers carry special reports and articles covering social and cultural phenomena of the mainstream society and China. Today there are at least nine daily, thirty weekly, four semiweekly, and six monthly Chinese newspapers in the United States.
Towards the end of the last century when immigration from China suffered a rapid decline due to the enactment of the Exclusion Act of 1882, there was a significant increase of immigrants from Japan. During the 30 year period from 1880 to 1910, the number of Japanese immigrants grew very rapidly.
Although most of the early Japanese immigrants were settled in Hawaii, the Japanese journalism, like Chinese, was also born in San Francisco. The first publication entitled Shinonome (Dawn) was issued by Japanese political activists in 1886. In 1887, a mimeographed weekly called Shin Nippon (New Japan) was published in Oakland. In 1892, a daily called Soko Shimbun (San Francisco News) was born in San Francisco. In Hawaii, the first paper, a weekly called Nippon Shuho, appeared in 1892. It later became Nippu Jiji, one of the most important Japanese newspapers in Hawaiian history. In the 1890s, however, the Japanese journalism stood on shaky foundation. All those early papers were targeting the Japanese student-laborers and their circulation rarely exceeded 300. With the huge influx of new immigrants from Japan in the 1910s, the Japanese journalism was finally ready to flourish. The 1920s were the golden age for Japanese newspapers. Newspapers were published not only in places with large Japanese communities like Hawaii and San Francisco, but also in Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Denver. In Hawaii alone, there were ten Japanese newspapers serving a Japanese population of 130,000. The combined circulation of all those papers was a little above 30,000 copies, with Hawai Hoshi as the most widely read paper in the region.3 Other important titles during this period include Rafu Shimpo (1903-) in Los Angles, Ofu Nippo (1907-1942) in Sacramento, and Shin Sekai (1894-1942) in San Francisco.
Unfortunately, this prosperity didn't last. In the spring of 1924, the United States government enacted a new immigration act. This act virtually terminated the emigration from Asian countries to the United States. The impact of this legislation on Japanese language journalism was significant, since it cut the supply of Issei, the first-generation Japanese immigrants who were the primary audience for those papers. In the 1920s, another change affected the Japanese population in the United States, with the maturation of Nisei, the second-generation Japanese born in the United States. It was estimated that in that decade more than half of the Japanese population were native-born. Most of them grew up in the United States and spoke English as their native tongue. This demographic change brought tremendous challenges to Japanese journalism. Those young Nisei wanted to have channels to voice their concerns and opinions. They became a group of readers that could not be ignored. Since the 1920s, almost all the Japanese newspapers began to add an English language section and later some of those papers were published completely in English. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans were labeled enemy aliens. From 1942 to 1946, they were forced to leave their homes and transferred to ten detention camps located in the remote areas of seven western United States states. Many newspapers were suspended. In order to keep the Japanese in those camps informed of the community activities, WRA (War Relocation Authority) published over ten camp papers in tabloid-format. Those papers vividly recorded the life and hardship of the detained Japanese.
After the war, the Japanese journalism continued the trend started before the war by publishing papers catering to the need of the English-speaking Japanese population. Many papers ceased to have a Japanese language section. Today only a few titles still have a Japanese language section, for example, Rafu Shimbun, Hokubei Mainichi, New York Shimbun, Chicago Shimbun. In the past two decades, the satellite editions of newspapers published in Japan further nibbled the market share of Japanese language newspapers. Today, Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, and Nihon Keizai Shimbun all have satellite editions distributed in the United States. These papers do not have editorial offices in the United States and even their advertisements are for the audience in Japan only.
Newspapers in Korean and Other Asian Languages
Today, Korean Americans are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States. According to the 1990 United States Census, about 800,000 Koreans live in America. In comparison with the Chinese and Japanese, Koreans came to the United States relatively late. Koreans sporadically emigrated to the United States since 1883. Due to the small scale of Korean immigration, there is no evidence of any Korean publication before 1900. The first wave of Korean immigrants came to America between 1903 and 1907. A total of 7,226 Koreans were settled in Hawaii and California. Most of them were exiles and immigrant laborers. Soon after their arrival at various plantations, Koreans began to organize themselves into mutual aid societies. The most powerful organization was Kungmin Hoe (Korean National Association). After Kungmin Hoe was founded, it began to publish in San Francisco its own newspaper called Shinhan Minbo (New Korea) on February 10, 1909. At that time, there were two Korean newspapers published in San Francisco: Konglip Sinbo (Public News or United Korean) started on November 22, 1905 and Taedong Kongbo (Great Unity News) published its first issue on October 3, 1907. Konglip Sinbo was probably the earliest Korean newspaper published in the United States. Shinhan Minbo absorbed both titles and used Nov. 22, 1905 on its masthead as its date of establishment. Shinhan Minbo is definitely the most important title in the history of Korean American journalism, and it is an indispensable resource for research on Korean Americans. Today it is still published monthly in Los Angeles.
The first decade of the century was tragic for Korea. In 1905 Japan occupied Korea and officially annexed it in 1910. Because of that, independence was the predominant theme of Korean newspapers published before the World War II. Due to the limited population of Korean Americans before 1965, there were very few Korean newspapers during this period, and all of them were overshadowed by the presence of Shinhan Minbo. Starting in the 1970s, the rapid growth of the Korean population made it possible for the Korean newspaper publishing business to enjoy a steady prosperity. Today the Korean newspaper publishing market in the United States is dominated by four major dailies: Hanguk Ilbo (The Korea Times), Dong A Ilbo (Oriental Daily), Joong-ang Ilbo (Central Daily), and Segye Ilbo (The Sae Gae Times). The first three papers have their headquarters in South Korea. They started their United States operation during the post-1965 Korean immigration with the establishment of their fully functional branch offices in Los Angeles.4 Due to the location of their United States branches, these three papers are very influential on the west coast of the United States. Segye Ilbo, however, has its main office in New York and is controlled by the Korean Unification Church. In addition to those four dailies, there are also some business and religious newspapers such as: Korean Street Journal and Korean Christian Times.
As a nation of immigrants, the United States has admitted people from all Asian countries. Indians came to this country as early as 1850s, and the Pilipino immigration to the United States can be traced back to the turn of the century. But, there is hardly any evidence of newspapers published in Indian languages, and there is only one small newspaper found so far in Tagalog. This is no surprise, since English is the official language in India and a popular language in the Philippines. Newspapers by those ethnic groups in the United States are in English. In the mid-1970s, the Vietnam War created many refugees in Indochina. Many of them were resettled in the United States. Thus, a wave of immigration from Southeast Asia began. In the past twenty years, the United States has admitted over one million immigrants from Southeast Asia. Among them, the largest group is Vietnamese. A large percentage of them are now living in California. Nguoi Viêt, a daily started in Westminster in 1978, is one of the major Vietnamese newspapers. Many Vietnamese Americans live in Westminster, California. So the city has the nickname "Little Saigon". Other Vietnamese papers include: Viêt Nam tu do, Nguoi Viêt tu do, Mekong Tynan, etc. All of them are published in California. There are very few titles found in other Asian languages. In Los Angeles, there is a Thai weekly called Sereechai. Angkor Borei News in Anaheim, California, is the only Cambodian newspapers in the United States.
Future Perspective of Asian Language Newspapers
Newspaper publishing has never been a lucrative business. Today, under the competition with other news media such as radio and television, even English newspapers are struggling for survival. It is even more difficult for ethnic newspapers, since their ups and downs are correlated to the inflow of new immigrants. The primary readers of those newspapers are first generation immigrants. The newspapers' prosperity depends on new comers. When the first generation is not around any more, the newspapers are either out of business or need an English language section added for those of the second generation. Today, most of the second and later generations are assimilated into the American society. So they are generally not interested in reading ethnic press publications.
Even for the first generation, things have changed drastically in the past century. Unlike immigrants in the past, many newcomers today are well-educated professionals. They have good English language skills. Newspapers in ethnic languages are not so appealing to them just for the language itself. In addition, people are less and less confined to their cultural ghettos. They want to explore the mainstream society. For that purpose, they tend to read more English newspapers. Demographically, unlike old days when people lived in such physical ghettos as Chinatown and Koreatown, today's new immigrants live throughout the country. The newspapers have to be delivered by mail. Consequently, they can be several days late by the time they are received. This makes time-sensitive news obsolete. As a result, some digest-type newspapers have emerged in recent years. Those papers concentrate on special reports and serial novels. Since the information they carry is not time-sensitive, those papers are quite popular among the Asian populations not living in metropolitan areas. Due to the fact that the business of the Asian press is related to new immigration, predicting its future is like predicting the future of Asian immigration to the United States. Unfortunately, considering the political and economical situations on both sides of the Pacific, the future of Asian immigration to the United States is unclear.
Access and Preservation of Newspapers
By definition, newspapers are used as a tool to inform people. Ethnic newspapers, however, have a function even beyond that: they are chronicles of immigration history and carriers of ethnic culture. "The survival of ethnic communities and ethnic life in the United States is largely a result of the continued existence of the ethnic press... The ethnic press maintains the 'ethos', or 'spirit', behind an ethnic way of life."5 For researchers, newspapers are a valuable resource to find information about the past. Once lost, those vivid images of life in the past can never be recovered. Although newspapers are of such important historical and research value, they are very difficult to preserve due to their ephemeral nature and bulky size.
Meanwhile, in terms of bibliographical control, newspapers are also not easy to handle since title changes are so common and they usually have a long publishing history. In order to make newspapers accessible to users, there are three basic principles for bibliographical control:
In 1983, a major effort for cataloging newspapers was launched by the United States Newspaper Program (USNP) under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The goal of the USNP is to locate extant issues of all the newspapers published in the United States and its Trust Territories since colonial times; to enter their bibliographic and holdings information into a machine-readable database; and to selectively microfilm the most important titles for research. In order to obtain the original information, every state project is responsible for canvassing all local libraries, historical societies, and private collectors. All the bibliographic and holdings information of United States newspapers are stored in the database of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). The bibliographic records are maintained as a subset of the Cooperative Online Serials Program (CONSER) on OCLC, while the holdings records are kept in the OCLC Union List Subsystem. As of August 1996, all states have either completed a USNP project or have one in process. Among them, 31 states and 2 United States territories (Puerto Rico and United States Virgin Islands) have completed their USNP project, while 19 states and the District of Columbia have yet to complete theirs. The OCLC database now contains approximately 125,000 bibliographic records and 400,000 holdings for the USNP.
As a state with large Asian populations and numerous newspapers in Asian languages, California started its own project at the University of California, Riverside in 1991. Asian language newspapers were found in several locations including the University of Southern California, University of California at Los Angeles, and University of California at Berkeley. Since UC Berkeley is geographically close to San Francisco, it has the most titles. By March 1996, Asian language titles at those places have already been inventoried and cataloged. This is an important milestone for preserving those newspapers. Now researchers can retrieve online bibliographical and holdings information of all the extant copies of Asian language newspapers published in the history of California, and they can make arrangements to borrow them from the holding libraries. A large percentage of those titles have already been microfilmed on 35mm microfilm. Some others are in bound volumes. Eventually, all important titles will be microfilmed.
Once the USNP is completed, researchers all over the world with OCLC access can locate all extant copies of United States newspapers held in the United States. Certainly, many newspaper titles that were not collected in the first place are lost forever. But we sincerely hope that the surviving copies will pass on to our future generations since no text can give them more vivid images of the past than newspapers.
1. U.S. Department of Justice. Statistical Yearbook of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1993.
2, Karl Lo and H. M. Lai. Chinese newspapers published in North America, 1854-1975, (Washington : Center for Chinese Research Materials, 1977).
3. Shunzo Sakamaki. A History of the Japanese Press in Hawaii, (Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii, 1948).
4. Kil-nam Roh, "Issues of Korean American Journalism," Amerasia 10:2 (1983): 89-102.
5. Lubomyr R. Wynar and Anna T. Wynar. Encyclopedic Directory of Ethnic Newspapers and Periodicals in the United States, (Littleton, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, 1976).
6. Donald Davinson. Bibliographic Control, 2nd ed. (London: Clive Bingley, 1981).
This paper was presented at the "Round Table on Newspapers" of the 62nd IFLA Conference, held in Beijing, China on August 28, 1996.
Cataloging Nonprint Resources in the United States and China: A Comparative Study of Organization and Access for Selected Electronic and Audiovisual Resources, and Chinese American Newspapers and Periodicals in the United States
Yan MA, Ph.D.
School of Library and Information Science
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Audiovisual and especially electronic resources are growing in number and importance in libraries worldwide today. This study is based on the preliminary results of a survey conducted on current library practices in organizing and providing access to nine specific types of electronic and audiovisual resources in the United States and the People's Republic of China, and is conducted from a cataloging point of view. An analysis of the survey data has yielded valuable comparative information about how large libraries in the two countries treat nonprint resources, including: how many of these resources they own; how many they catalog; what standards they use for bibliographic description, authority control, and subject analysis; and how they classify, shelve, and circulate them.
Methodology for the Comparative Study:
Specially designed questionnaires were sent to the one-hundred libraries with the largest collection size in both countries. Some questions were specially designed to gather data for cataloging standards and practices in China.
Each questionnaire consisted of questions about library type, collection size, catalog, descriptive cataloging practice, subject analysis, classification, and user access for the following nine types of nonprint resources:
A total of forty United States libraries and forty-two Chinese libraries responded to the survey.
The majority of the surveyed United States libraries collect all nine types of nonprint resources, do full-level cataloging of them, and include them in their catalogs along with their print resources. Although most of the surveyed Chinese libraries collect relatively fewer of these resources, the majority do catalog those they own, with the exception of films. The Chinese libraries on average, however, perform less authority control and subject analysis for their nonprint materials, resulting in relatively poorer user access than in the American libraries. This is partially due to the fact that American libraries automated their cataloging systems earlier than those in China, and centralized, automated systems such as OCLC in the United States make a standardized database of authority files and subject headings more readily available to a large number of libraries. For statistical analysis of the data, please refer to the fuller version of the paper.
Note: The project was supported by a grant awarded by the Graduate School of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
[This is a summary of the paper presented at the 62nd General Conference of the International Federation of Library Associations, Beijing, China, August 1996. The fuller version of the paper will be published in International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control in 1997].
Yan MA, Ph.D.
School of Library and Information Science
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The Chinese newspapers and periodicals in the United States have played a major role in maintaining the identity, cohesiveness, and structure of Chinese communities. They are the major sources which represent Chinese culture, heritage, historical and present development of Chinese communities in the United States. They are the important media for the Chinese in America to communicate with Americans and other ethnic groups. They are the unique primary and secondary sources for historical and sociological study of Chinese Americans regarding their lives, social, political, and economic status in the United States. The development of Chinese American newspapers and periodicals reflects the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational status of Chinese Americans in this country. This study is an update to the author's previous National Survey of Chinese American Newspapers and Periodicals in the United States in 1987.
An extensive survey of Chinese newspapers and periodicals in the United States, which are presently published in the United States was conducted in 1995 and 1996. This survey results update the changes, development, variety, status, and trends of Chinese American newspapers and periodicals since 1987. The survey results also provide a most current directory of Chinese American newspapers and periodicals in the United States. The publication will be the most up-to-date, comprehensive, essential resource guide for librarians, scholars, historians, sociologists, and those who have research and general interest in Chinese American newspapers and periodicals in the United States.
Chinese American newspapers and periodicals are defined as publications which are presently published in the United States by Chinese communities, organizations, or individuals. Their main audience are Chinese Americans and/or Americans. These publications include dailies, weeklies, monthlies, quarterlies, biannials, and other irregular publications in print and electronic formats. Annuals are not included. The geographic scope of the survey included continental United States and Hawaii. The linguistic pattern covered English, Chinese, and Chinese/English.
Two principal methodologies were applied for the research: survey and bibliographic analysis. Forty editors of Chinese American newspapers and periodicals responded to the survey. A directory of these publications will be published in a professional journal in 1997. For a detailed report of this study and a historical analysis of these publications, please refer to professional journals 1997.
Note: The project was supported by a grant awarded by the University of Wisconsin System Institute on Race and Ethnicity. The author also thanks the School of Library and Information Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
[This is a summary of the paper presented at the 62nd General Conference of the International Federation of Library Associations, Beijing, China, August 1996. A directory of Chinese American newspapers and periodicals in the United States and a historical analysis of these publications will be published in professional journals in 1997. The author would like to take this opportunity to thank CALA members, librarians, colleagues, and friends who provided her with information on Chinese American newspapers and periodicals in the United States and their support for this project].
East Asian Library
The Ohio State University
As an East Asian Collection Manager and Cataloger at the George A. Smathers Library of the University of Florida, my job has been a real challenge for me from the beginning. First, there were no courses on area specialists in the library school I attended. In fact, no library schools in the United States offer that kind of courses, as far as I know. Second, as the only East Asian librarian at the University of Florida and in the State of Florida as well, one could not get any help from colleagues nearby. Still, the libraries are rapidly changing from storing mainly printed materials to providing multimedia information online. Many skills, especially computer-related ones that did not exist just a few years ago, are now needed for librarians to perform their daily work. Naturally, continuing education is indispensable to me in order to fulfill my job responsibilities.
Unfortunately, although laying a great emphasis on professional growth, the University and the Library are unable to provide much funding for us to attend formal courses, workshops, or professional conferences. The good part of being a librarian at a major academic institute in the United States though is that I have access to adequate equipment to do self-education online. By equipment, I mean hardware and software such as a desk-top PC, local network and connection to the Internet. Following discussion will focus on resources available on the Internet related to librarianship in general and to East Asian librarianship in particular.
The Internet is a catch-all word used to describe the massive worldwide network of computers. The word "Internet" literally means "network of networks". In itself, the Internet is comprised of thousands of smaller regional networks scattered throughout the world. Therefore, it is sometimes simply called the "net".
The most effective learning resources for librarians on the Internet, from my experience, are mainly electronic discussion groups and the World Wide Web pages.
There are two major kinds of electronic discussion groups according to different technical formats they use for online communication. One is news groups, which is also commonly known as electronic bulletin boards. Anyone interested in a certain topic can, with a software called news reader, post and read discussion on a relevant news group. The other is mailing lists or listservs, which provide means of discussion through email. After subscribing to a list, you can send messages to the list which will automatically forward them to the rest of the subscribers. In the same way, you will automatically receive others' postings. The Internet contains literally thousands of special interest discussion groups, each individually controlled by a program known as a listserver (commonly referred to as a listserv or a list). Discussions are often moderated by a list owner. Most lists can be provided to the user either in a digest form or on a post-by-post basis. Any member of the list may take part in a discussion or start a new topic.
As mentioned above, you need certain software to join the news group. Besides consulting your library's computer systems officers, you may also find details on many mail and news readers for MSDOS, Windows and OS/2 systems in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) posted to the "comp.os.msdos.mail-news". For a list of news groups, there is a Web page (http://miso.wwa.com/~boba/news.html) on which you will find a list of more than 6,000 representative news groups.
The new group I visit regularly is "alt.Chinese.computing". As the name indicates, people on this news group mainly exchange information on how to do Chinese computing, which is quite relevant to my needs.
Due to the variety of programs used to run mailing lists, the way of subscription may vary from one to another. The most common one though is as follows:
There are two very good directories of library-related lists on the Internet. One is Library-Oriented Lists and Electronic Serials compiled by Steve Bonario (JSBonario@aol.com) and Ann Thornton (Athornton@uh.edu). This document provides brief information about selected Internet and BITNET lists and electronic serials that are of interest to librarians. It can be retrieved via email by sending the following message to:email@example.com: get library lists f-mail
A World Wide Web version of this document is also available. To view it, use the following URL:http://info.lib.uh.edu/liblists/home.htm
The other is Library-Related E-mail Lists compiled by Randy D. Ralph. It has only the Web version:http://www.infi.net/~rdralph/library/listservs
Both of them have general information on listservers, which is good for beginners, and both are fairly comprehensive. However, the former, while containing a useful subject index, only includes lists and electronic serials that are open for general subscription. The latter has all lists' addresses on the page in "mailto:" links so that you can subscribe right away if you find the one you are interested in.
Following are some sample lists with their addresses grouped into three categories according to their nature. The similarity among them is that they all serve as the forum for subscribers to post questions, initiate discussion topics, provide examples, or share information, methodology, and solutions related to certain problems. Therefore, they are excellent resources for self-education.
1. Function-related discussion lists
a library cataloging and authorities discussion group
an acquisitions librarians' electronic network
a discussion list for use of CD-ROMs
a cooperative cataloging discussion group
an interlibrary loan discussion group
a forum for discussion on multimedia applications in libraries
an informal list open to members of the serials community to discuss matters related to serials/journals
2. Librarians/libraries organizations' lists
the Chinese American Librarians Association discussion list
Council on East Asian Libraries/Association for Asia Studies.
Note: This is the one I closely monitor and actively participate in, since I am a member of this Council. Similar lists in European are CJKlib and Sinolist, and in Australia, the (listserv@Info.anu.edu.au).
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
American Society for Information Science
It is worth to note that the Chinese librarians have established a significant presence on the Internet last year in the form of the Internet Chinese Librarians Club (ICLC). ICLC does not have a concrete building as its headquarters; all its operations, including correspondence, publications and other activities, are conducted mainly on the Internet. It aims at providing an environment wherein we Chinese librarians, at home or abroad, can discuss issued related to librarianship and information science, making full use of the cyberspace and computer technology to cultivate scholarship among Chinese librarians and information specialists. It plans to establish, stage by stage, 3 electronic journals, to offer volunteer services to the whole library world in Chinese collection development, Chinese materials acquisitions consultation, Chinese cataloging assistance, and Chinese materials reference. It has now over 200 members in 19 countries and regions from all the 5 continents. However, only 11 members are from the mainland China. I hope that more colleagues will join this club and utilize its list and Web pages as a learning resource and a door to the world.
3. Special library systems user group
a public list providing a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas and information about OCLC CJK products and services. Anyone who is interested in OCLC CJK products and services may join.
a forum to discuss the use of RLIN for technical processing and reference, directions and development of RLIN services, including CJK script support, and integrating RLIN within institutional local systems and campus network. This is open to all interested individuals, members and non-members.
an Innovative Interfaces Online Public Access Catalog discussion list
Now let us turn to the other topic, the World Wide Web (WWW, 3W, Web). Although the World Wide Web is mostly used on the Internet, they do not mean the same thing. The Web refers to a body of information, an abstract space of knowledge; while the Internet refers to the physical side of the global network, a giant mass of cables and computers. With the help of a popular Web software interface or browser, such as Mosaic or Netscape, it provides users on computer networks with a consistent means to access a variety of media in a simplified fashion. The Web has changed the way people view and create information, thus offering a good opportunity for librarians to take advantage of global network technologies to do our business -- information access, storage and retrieval -- in a more cost-effective, user-friendly and efficient manner.
To me, this means I have to learn how to locate and select resources on the Web as well as how to create Web pages to provide access for our users. In the beginning, I attended several short workshops on how to surf the Web and how to create Web pages at the Faculty Support Center for Computing on campus. I also got help from colleagues from time to time during the learning process. But I got the majority of the needed knowledge from the Internet. Among many sites I have visited, the following ones, I think, are good self-learning resources for the beginners:
Making use of the Internet resources, I accomplished two projects last year. One is the aforementioned Web pages. The other is the investigation of the feasibility for setting up a workstation which will be able to provide access to multilingual materials on the Internet. The current library automation system in use at the University of Florida Libraries can not display languages other than English, causing great difficulty for student and faculty to access materials in their original scripts. Committed to providing a better service, a Vernacular Workstation Task Force was set up in late 1994, which I chaired it, includes librarians dealing with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cyrillic and Hebrew. This is a quite complicated task, which involves many things we do not have knowledge of. Lacking local expertise on this matter, the Task Force members had to seek help from colleagues outsides. For example, I sent a help-seek message to the EASTLIB, and received feedback from many colleagues, for examle, the Chinese Studies Librarian at Arizona State University Libraries, Director of the Systems Office at the Library of University of California-Berkeley, and Library Service Officer at the Research Libraries Group which provides the RLIN bibliographic utility service. Other Task Force members did similar things. The valuable information we collected from various discussion groups and Web sites formed the base of our recommendations to the Library administration.
To sum up, self-learning as a form of continuing education of librarians is indispensable in this changing world. With the rapid advance of library-related technologies, it has become increasingly difficult to catch up. However, if we are willing to tap the almost inexhaustible resources readily available on the Internet, we will succeed.
This paper was presented at the panel discussion co-sponsored by the China Organizing Committee of the 62nd IFLA Conference and CALA, held on August 27, 1996 during the 62nd IFLA Conference in Beijing, China.
East Asian Library
University of California, Berkeley
Many people experienced the same problem when navigating on the Internet: Too many sites but not enough help to get what we really need. This especially applies to finding Chinese sites.
Among those search engines that we are familiar with in North America, some support searching by Chinese characters. These include Alta Vista, InfoSeek, OpenText, WebCrawler, and MetaCrawler. They are databases or collections of Internet accessible sites. Some have more than fifty millions of entries. However, when using Chinese characters as search query, the result often contains some unrelated items. Because of the size of these databases and the large number of simultaneous users, there is a frustration of slow response. What's more, sometimes the results produced by the above-mentioned search engines could not be displayed properly. Thus, a Chinese Web search engine seems to be the better choice in finding Chinese information.
A Web navigator may include indexes by categories. These indexes are useful for locating general information. The main function of a general index is for easy browsing. For specific search, advanced search techniques such as Boolean operators will bring better retrieval results. Using Boolean operators in keyword search for Chinese characters is very effective. It eliminates to a great extent the problem of homophones and reduces the unrelated search results.
There are more than ten Chinese Web search engines at present. One of the most useful ones is Yam. Yam is very popular and now has three mirror sites. Following is a brief summary about what is available at the site.
The YamWeb Navigator (Fan shu t'eng wang chi wang lu tzu y"uan so yin) has both Web index and search engine in Chinese and English. It started around May 1995 to build the index of Chinese Web sites. It is largely based on a Taiwanese Web list previously established by Mr. Chun-hsing Wu. Not until August 1995 did the first beta version of the YamWeb Navigator come to existence. The beta 2 came out in late September 1995 and the product version in February 1996.
The purpose of the YamWeb Navigator is to collect homepages in Taiwan and then expand to other Asian countries and the worldwide Chinese communities. Other Web indexes both in Chinese only or English/Western language are included for cross reference. Its coverage is not only limited to WWW but also Gopher, BBS and news sites. Some statistics and analysis of the Internet usage in Taiwan are also been collected and updated regularly. Its WWW address book, new site list, top site list, and new site registry function are very helpful as well.
Yam editing staff review each site, pick up the best URL address based on the site content and relevancy, write a concise description of the site, and then put it in a proper category on the index page.
On its index page, there is WWW information in the following categories:
On the other hand, its search engine has "and" and "or" Boolean functions to search by Chinese characters. Vocabulary may be further broken down by space or putting "+", "-", and "*". "+" is used for "must include" and "-" is for "must not include". "*" is the feature I use most often for "linking search vocabulary". It will search for abbreviated terms too if the characters are linked by "*".
By no means the YamWeb Navigator can be compared with those well-developed Web search engines like Yahoo! in its complexity or scale. Chinese Web sites listed there are mostly limited to those in Taiwan. Yet it is a good example of localized development in Chinese Web search engine and index. It has a very promising future. If you are ready to try now, here are the URLs:
Published in May 15, 1996.
The Indiana Local Group of the Midwest Chapter, Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) has been in existence for more than a decade and is one of the most active groups. It may be of interest to all CALA members to learn of the history and development of the Indiana Group.
CALA was founded in 1973 and has five geographical chapters: California, Greater Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, and Southwest. The Midwest Chapter covers 12 states, and the Indiana Local was organized in the fall of 1984 as a local group of that Chapter.
In the article entitled "Midwest Goes Local", one finds the following reports on the birth of the local groups in the Midwest Chapter:
"The Board decided to set up local groups at the state or regional level. Each group will be chaired by a Chairperson who is to organize their own activities and to function as a liaison between the chapter and his or her state members."1 Among the seven local groups2 established in 1984, Indiana Local is the only group that has been active, holding two meetings every year.
Initially there was one Chairperson serving a one-year term, but later the Indiana Local Group began to elect both a Chair and a Chair-elect. In the first year the Chair-elect would assist the current Chair, and the second year would serve as Chair of the Group. The first Chair was Julie Su.
It was decided from the start that the Group would meet twice a year (once in the fall and once in the spring). According to the Membership Directory compiled by Julie for the second meeting held on May 18, 1985, there were ten members from Bloomington, Indianapolis, West Lafayette, Muncie, and Greencastle. Since then, the mailing list has grown to over thirty people at times.
The Indiana Local is composed mainly of Chinese-American librarians from academic, public, and private libraries in Indiana. It also encourages participation of Chinese American Library Science students and includes them in the mailing list. Special student orientation programs were organized or incorporated in the fall meetings to introduce to the students the organization of CALA and the field of Library Science in general.
Even though the local group is a division of the Midwest Chapter of CALA, it was financially independent until November 1992. According to meeting minutes prepared by Thomas Lee, the local membership decided to "seek to receive budget support from CALA-Midwest as a source of finance for all its activities."3 The Group then began to receive a subsidy from the Chapter. At the same time, the Indiana Group members discontinued the practice of paying the full cost of lunches for student guests. From then on, all librarians attending the fall meeting would share half of the new students' lunch cost.
The purpose of the group was expressed as follows by the second Chair Marian Chou in her announcement for the fall meeting in 1986,
"Hopefully this meeting will give us the opportunity to get acquainted, to share ideas on programs for future meetings, to discuss our problems and professional concerns, and to have fun."4In her letter to Thomas Lee, East Asian Librarian, Indiana University Libraries dated March 1, 1988, Marian Chou explained, "the goals of our meetings include encouraging better communication and promoting professional growth among members. A speech is usually scheduled as our meeting program."5
Indeed from the start, the Indiana Local Chapter members attempted to promote professional growth by sharing professional experiences with their colleagues. Joe Lin and George Hing were two of the earliest speakers. Joe Lin shared with the members his experience as a Science Librarian in an academic library, and George Hing spoke on the topic of archive materials at the spring meeting of 1985. In 1988 Ming-ming Kuo gave a report entitled, "Issues of Collection Development in University Libraries". Thomas Lee presented "From Isolation to Conformity: Bibliographic Control of East Asian Materials in North America" in the spring meeting of 1989. Philip Shih spoke on "Management and Taxation of Public Libraries" in the fall meeting of 1994.
Speakers from fields related to Library Science were also invited. Linda Finch, then the Assistant Manager of Waldenbooks, was the invited speaker at the meeting held in October 25, 1986. Her topic was good gift books available for children. Dr. Kuang-liang Hsu, an expert in computer science, presented a lecture with slides, "Introduction to Expert Systems" at the meeting of April 18, 1987.
The presentations have also reflected the increasing influence of automation in the field of Library Science. At the meeting held on April 28, 1990, Julie Su introduced the implementation of IO (Information Online), the local NOTIS system at Indiana University Libraries. At the meeting the following year, Huijie Chen reported on his research project, "Campus-wide Computing Networks and Library Positions". Most recently, Jian Liu reported on the current status and future development of the World Wide Web at the spring meeting of 1996. Xuan Ma also related her experience in designing and developing WWW services and products through commercial Internet services providers at the same meeting.
The introduction of new topics in the field of Library Science is one of the main attractions of the semi-annual meetings. Another attraction is news updates concerning members. We enjoy sharing news of employment of student members, weddings, births, awards, etc.
From the past meeting minutes, one can discover many interesting facts. For example, until November 1993 the local meetings were always held in Indianapolis because of its central location among cities where members work. With the increase of student members, Thomas Lee suggested in the fall meeting of 1993, which was the first to be held in Bloomington, that in the future one of the two local meetings be regularly held in Bloomington. Although his proposal was not accepted right away, it was instituted later when the Group decided that for the purpose of welcoming new students, Bloomington is an appropriate site for the fall meetings.
The number of participants at the local meetings has increased over the years, with over twenty persons at our last spring meeting. In contrast, Julie Su and Marian Chou were the only two attendees at the fall meeting in 1987. The meeting was nonetheless fruitful. With four proxy votes, they elected the next Chair. Julie also proposed to send out an Indiana Local Financial Resource Survey to all members to discuss the issue of possible financial support from CALA.
With continuing support from its members, the Indiana Local remains a growing and active professional group. Its members have been heavily involved in CALA's Midwest as well as national activities. Many members also hold important posts in CALA at the Midwest and national levels. For example, Julie Su was the first Indiana librarian to be the President of the Midwest Chapter (1984-1985). Following her example, other Indiana members Ming-ming Kuo (1987-1988), Pei-ling Wu (1994-1995) and Liana Zhou (1996-1997) have also served as the Midwest Chapter Presidents. Ming-ming and Pei-ling served in addition on the CALA Executive Board.
Other accomplishments of the Indiana Local include: In recent years together with other Midwest local chapters, members participated in updating the Midwest Area Chinese American Resource Guide, and this was published in June 1995. The Bibliography of Chinese Books in Indianapolis Area compiled by Julie Su, Calli Hu, Pei-ling Wu, and representatives of two Indiana Chinese community organizations, was published in 1993. For the past two years, many members have joined in compiling its sequel, A Catalog of Chinese Collections in Selected Indiana Libraries, sponsored by the Midwest Chapter. The catalog will be posted on WWW by Telamon, a telecommunication company in 1996.
There have been major developments in the field of Library Science since 1984. Along with our colleagues in Indiana Local and elsewhere we have witnessed the changing emphasis from the increasing acceptance of MARC (Machine-Readable Bibliographic Records) Format to the increasing demand for Internet and WWW sites. The next ten years will undoubtedly bring new technological developments of interest to all of us. The local groups can help to support efforts of members to adapt to the changing profession.
(Special thanks to Pei-ling Wu and Julie Su for background on the Indiana Local Group and for editorial assistance.)
Notes and References:
Liana Zhou and Susan Heusser-Ladwig
Adult magazines, commonly known as girlie magazines or cheese cakes, are defined as:
More than 1500 titles of adult magazines have been collected throughout the Institute Library history and for each, the only information recorded on catalog cards consists of the title, the publisher and the holding information. Therefore, access to this collection is extremely limited. Only one set of the cards exists. So the library users have to come to the Institute to find what we have. And subject access is virtually non-existent. Few, if any, cross references are available. Needless to say, it is problematic for librarians to manage this collection, too.
Cataloging the adult magazines online became possible when the Institute Library automated its collection via Indiana University's NOTIS system in 1992. In early 1994, we started a pilot project of cataloging adult magazines into the NOTIS system, following the NOTIS MARC format for serials. The purpose of cataloging this type of materials online was to make them available to the University community, and ultimately, the international scholarly community via Internet, as primary resources for studying/researching erotica, popular cultures and sexual behaviors.
The pilot project consisted of 90 adult magazines of various types. We intended to achieve the following:
In the process, we have identified the following characteristics of adult magazines in terms of online cataloging:
Identifying/verifying the title, publisher, and publishing history is labor intensive and with varied results. Nevertheless, through the project, we have gained confidence, knowledge and expertise in bringing our serials online. Moreover, we have become aware of our future challenges such as revising the subject thesaurus to better fit serials. We believe that our experiences will offer suggestions and solutions to other librarians who are also struggling with popular press in their own collection.
Note: This project was first presented at 1995 ALA annual conference as a poster session.
Indiana Youth Institute
Many commercial providers mentioned here can get you a domain name and provide other services, such as a mail server, FTP server, and WWW server. Hope this short article will help you to locate an Internet service provider that matches your needs and pocketbook.
The Internet Presence Providers list on Yahoo lists companies that sell you Web space as well as other services. (http://www.yahoo.com/business/corporations/internet_presence_providers/)
The BizWeb lists network providers and companies that provide complete Internet packages. (http://www.bizweb.com/keylists/network.provider.html)
Another comprehensive and up-to-date list compiled by James Milles is available via anonymous ftp at liberty.nc.wlu.edu. The directory and file name are:
The following commercial vendors are the ones that we have researched during last year. The information was accurate as of Fall, 1995.
|Custom HTML pages||$50/hr|
|Image scanning and insertion||$250|
|domain name service||$250|
|(includes domain registration, setup,|
|one year primary and secondary name server|
|operation and maintenance)|
|Mail server (proxy)||quote|
|Custom creative graphics||quote|
2901 Hubbard Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-2467
|Web Builder Service||Costs|
|Initial five-page setup||$1,695|
|Each additional page||$150|
|modifications, and enhancements|
|(includes 10 MB of space on a T-3 node)|
|Each additional 10 MB of space||$20/mo|
|Basic start-up cost||$1,850|
|one time connect fees||monthly fees|
|monthly fee||$25.00 (minimum)|
|Max baud||hourly fee||setup|
TCP/IP dial up connection, Mosaic
Reference Librarian, Electronic Services
Heindel Library, Penn State Harrisburg
Middletown, PA 17057
Fulltext databases are charming as well as challenging to libraries. Today, there are many types of information available in fulltext databases, such as books, periodicals, newspapers, reference materials, as well as electronic publications. This paper focuses on the electronic versions of newspapers and periodicals, either in ASCII format or image format. I will discuss how fulltext databases are used as part of our library collection, and issues to consider.
I. Fulltext databases: Types and Usages
The library I am working for is a branch library in the Penn State University Libraries System. It is located 100 miles away from the main campus. It serves about 150 faculty members, 3,500 upper division and graduate students, and southern central Pennsylvania community. (For more information about the college, please check our home page at http://www.hbg.psu.edu/Hbg/pshoverv.html.) To serve this user body, we have included more and more fulltext databases into our digital library collection in recent years.
Lexis/Nexis is available with online subscription. We access Lexis/Nexis databases via the Internet connection. Under Lexis/Nexis's educational license agreement, library patrons (restricted to college faculty, staff, and students only) have unlimited access to a wide range of Lexis/Nexis databases in the library. An annual publication is provided by Lexis/Nexis with indication of three levels of coverage: complete fulltext, selected fulltext, and abstracts only. All covered articles are provided in ASCII format. The search functions include fulltext search, single publication search, single date search, etc. With the [PrintScreen] command, patrons can print or download a fulltext article screen by screen.
2. Dow Jones News/Retrieval
Dow Jones News/Retrieval (DJN/R) is also available via online subscription at the educational rate. It is provided for in-library use with linkage to DJN/R via the Internet. Under our license agreement, we don't have access to DJN/R's text databases. But we still have access to more than 600 publications in ASCII format through DOWQUEST section, including business and financial publications such as Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Print and download functions are both present. It is an enhancement to Lexis/Nexis because WSJ is not available in full text in Lexis/Nexis. There are drawbacks in DJN/R, however. Firstly, the list of coverage has been dropped from their recent users guide. Secondly, search interface provides no mechanism for known-item retrieval. Lastly, it only covers articles in the last six months. (Note: after submission of this article, the author found that DJN/R had removed DJREQUEST interface.)
3. Computer Select
Computer Select is a CD-ROM product from Information Access Company with a roll-over 12 month coverage of 113 computer journals, industrial newsletters, etc. Selected fulltext articles from about twenty-five publications are provided in the CD-ROM in ASCII format. The database has many search keys including single publication title and single date. Both print and download functions are available. The CD-ROM database is available for in-house library use only. We did not receive any updated coverage list since the initial subscription.
4. UMI Business Periodicals Ondisc
The Business Periodicals Ondisc (BPO), the fulltext version of ABI/Inform, is the only database in the library which provides a true cover-to-cover image coverage of more than 400 periodical titles. Some titles go back as early as 1987. The BPO is installed in the library, whose CD-ROM collection amounts to 500 by now. Two types of search engines are available: 1) conventional UMI ProQuest interface, and 2) a periodical directory. Using the periodical directory is pretty easy. User may trace an article by starting with periodical title, issue number, and then article title in a table-of-contents. With a laser printer, the quality of printouts is similar to a black-and-white photo copy. However, there is no download function for articles in image format. In our library, we have incorporated the BPO coverage into the library periodicals holding list and updated them annually with information provided by UMI.
5. Periodical Abstracts with Fulltext
This service, using UMI tape-load data, is available through Penn State university-wide Libraries Information Access System (LIAS) in ASCII format. Some fulltext coverage began in 1992, and many titles started after 1994. Only major articles are covered for each issue of publications. Through the LIAS interface, only the abstract parts of documents are searchable. It is possible to get a list of covered articles in a single issue of publication. Print, download, and email functions are provided. Library patrons can access this database from any Penn State libraries or from a remote location. A coverage list is provided.
Databases or services listed above have other coverage beyond fulltext newspaper and periodicals. They are not included in the discussion of this paper.
Fulltext databases have many unique advantages. Compared with the conventional library collections, fulltext databases are easier to store and search. Moreover, it is easier to deliver documents originally published in newspaper and periodicals with fulltext databases. They take much less shelf space to store. They come with all kinds of search engines. Contents can be printed or displayed as one wishes and are remotely accessible if permitted by the license and technology. But selecting and using fulltext databases can be difficult or confusing. Here are some major issues we should deal with regarding using fulltext databases.
1. Image vs Text
It should be clear from the start that two basic types of fulltext databases -- image-based or text-based -- serve different needs. Image format preserves the original document in verbatim, including tables and diagrams. (UMI's BPO can't handle color or gray scale images well, though.) There are many valuable information embedded in the layout of the original publication. When transferred to ASCII codes, many articles lose accompanying information, such as tables, diagrams and pictures. But text format enables users to print or download a document more conveniently with less technical requirements. It is especially true when one accesses the document remotely.
Our library patrons have a strong preference towards BPO over the printed publications, for it is more convenient to use than printed stacks in many ways. For text-based databases, on the other hand, Lexis/Nexis newspaper collection is an extreme success. Although articles in Lexis/Nexis have all the disadvantages of being in text format, they are preferred to microform copy. In Lexis/Nexis, patrons can easily search a known newspaper article. In addition, it is searchable by date in a single newspaper so that a patron can "browse/scan" newspapers more easily.
Today, fulltext databases in text format are more readily available than image-based ones. But popularity does not determine which format is superior to the other. In many cases, patrons are in the best position to decide if their needs can be met by using an image format or text format. Having access to a publication in text format does not means that every patrons can take advantage of this format. However, if librarians show patrons how to access to those fulltext databases, they will certainly offer more resources than otherwise available in the library.
2. Full Coverage
Not all fulltext databases deliver the promise of fulltext coverage. The completeness of coverage is a very important factor to consider including fulltext databases into your library collection, not even mention replacing some titles in our collection. Ideally, we should look for those with truly cover-to-cover coverage. Again, a good example is UMI's BPO. With BPO, you can access any content, even by page numbers, in a single issue.
In reality, however, we may or have to settle down with some databases that have less coverage. The real problem with fulltext databases is that many times we are left untold as to what articles are selected and what articles are not. Another problem related to the incomplete coverage is that the database users, either patrons or librarians, are forced to check it very closely before they can be sure that they do not have the article buried somewhere in the fulltext collection. It is a time-consuming task. Lexis/Nexis's coverage list is a useful tool for this situation, for it has indications for different coverage levels. UMI's coverage list, accessible through the online fulltext periodicals directory, is also very handy to identify if an issue is completely missed.
3. Known-Item Retrieval
When examining these fulltext databases, one important feature that should not be neglected is the "known-item retrieval" capability. A fulltext database should allow searching and retrieval of a known-item, that is, a specific article that a patron knows its title and/or author.
Ideally, the searching should be quick and straightforward, and the result matches the intended hit as closely as possible. A search result shouldn't need scrolling more than two screens. In another word, the search engine should give patrons explicit results whether the articles exist or not in the database as quick as possible.
The DOWQUEST in DJN/R is a negative example. Actually, the DOWQUEST's search engine is relative easy for subject search. It serves its purpose of finding "relevant articles" quickly and easily. But it is very difficult to search an article based on some known citation information which are non-subject related. The search inquiry is always treated as a statement in the "nature language" and the results are usually four screen long. Chances are that the article needed is not shown up on any of those screens.
It should be noted that fulltext databases tend to cover popular publications, many of which may have been in your library's subscription already. It is possible to see a heavy usages of these titles in fulltext databases. But again, fulltext databases, no matter how complete they are and how conveniently they can be accessed, are not the same as the printed counterparts. The digitized version normally comes later than the printed version, except some newspapers in Lexis/Nexis. The digitized version can't be viewed without a computer. The printout from a fulltext database may not as readable as the original printed version. It is always hard to browse a fulltext database. Thus, a library can't afford to cut subscriptions to those popular titles and simply live with fulltext databases. It should be kept in mind that fulltext databases may serve some needs but not all needs. For archival purposes, however, a library may choose not to bind, store or order the microformed copy of some newspapers or industry newsletters.
On the other hand, it should be aware that there is always some duplications among several fulltext databases. Once a publisher makes its publication available in digitized format, it may lease the contents to more than one database vendor. For example, PC Magazine, Fortune, Business Weeks, etc., can be easily found in several fulltext databases mentioned above with the same contents. When evaluating those fulltext databases, we should discount the value of these duplicated publications.
By introducing fulltext databases into library collection, we are gradually moving away from a collection-centered to a services-centered approach. Thus, the quality of services provided by database vendors are particular important to a successful use of fulltext databases.
For instance, can the vendor provide the fulltext databases in a long run? We know that the fulltext databases may partially replace some of archival collection. The problem is that we are not sure if the vendor can last as long as we are still in need of those databases. Even databases are still available, some publication titles may be dropped along the way. Far East Economic Reviews was considered as one of important journals we could get through BPO. But the title was dropped out of BPO in 1995.
Does the vendor have a reasonable license arrangement and price? For example, can we provide remote access to the database? Can we use the databases for a college wide need? Lexis/Nexis's educational license clearly states that the products can only be used for a curriculum related purpose. Using Lexis/Nexis materials for research, reference, and college administration is prohibited under our current contract.
Does the vendor provide a coverage list that reflects the contents of the database? Do they update the coverage list regularly and accurately? We have discussed this issue above.
Fulltext databases are a promising phenomenon. They bring in a new service dimension to libraries. From the viewpoint of the collection development, they are strengthening our collection while competing for limited resources. Based on my observation, it is clear that fulltext databases can not completely replace our conventional collection. However, they can be used to replace some piles of back issues of newspapers and newsletters. Beyond that, we still need to ask for more, better, and truly complete fulltext databases.
Special Library Association's 1995 State of the Art Institute
November 1-2, 1995
-- SUMMARY REPORT --
IUPUI University Libraries
The Institute consists of a keynote address, a session on intellectual property rights and issues, and four sessions of individual country reports. The countries covered are: China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Proceedings have been published in 1996.
East Asia: A survey of political and economic issues 1945-1995
The Honorable Ronal Palmer
Professor & Diplomatic Consultant
George Washington University
Southeast Asian countries have gone through many major political changes in the past fifty years. First the Nationalism or anti-Colonialism movement in many of these Southeast Asian countries led to their independence at the end of the World War II. Between 1945 and 1965, Communism swept through the region.
Today, the region is more peaceful than it has ever been since the 19th century, and its economy has experienced tremendous economic growth since 1970. The region's economic development has three distinctive characteristics: (1) dynamism (so much is done for so many in such a short time), (2) size (the region's economy reaches 7 trillion in 1992, surpassing that of the European community), and (3) integration (ASEAN has pulled countries of great diversity into a more integrated economy). The World Bank forecasts that by the year 2020, seven out of the ten top world trade markets will be Asian countries, and China will once again lead the world economy as the "Middle Kingdom".
Andy Sun, Ph.D.
Asia Pacific Legal Institute
George Washington University
The concept of intellectual property is nonexistent in the East Asian countries. China has the most severe problems regarding intellectual property (IP) issues. Malaysia, like many other Asian countries, has video/audio cassette piracy problems. The Philippines has copyright problems as well as computer software, laser disc, movie piracy problems. Taiwan was considered the piracy kingdom for a long time, but it is going through significant changes toward the regulation of copyright laws.
In the U.S. law, the Trade Act of 1974 in which Sec. 301 provides the criteria through which the United States trade representative will act on behalf of the individual industry to handle foreign piracy issues. In 1988 a so-called telecommunication 301 was added to Special 301 that linked international property with the trade. According to Special 301, U.S. Trade representatives shall issue a trade report by March each year, issuing warnings against other countries concerning trade disputes. U.S. is using bilateral and multilateral approaches in dealing with IP problems .
Director of the Telecommunications Research Project
Center of Asian Studies
University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a teleport and a telecom hub for China, and is also a center of business as well as a distribution hub in the Southeast region. This status has to remain true after 1997. Otherwise, both Hong Kong and China will suffer.
The Information Technology infrastructure makes Hong Kong very competitive in the region. Its excellent telecom infrastructure and financial service are the two most important reasons of locating business in Hong Kong. Eighty percent of central office switches are digital. Hong Kong has 600,000 mobile cellular users (10% of total population), 1,4 million pager users, and over 20 Internet providers. Over 27% household has personal computer and 6% has Internet access. Wireless technology is very hot. Video-on-demand service, home banking, and home shopping over the cable TV are on the way. In fact, Hong Kong has the most cable and satellite dishes at the lowest prices in Southeast Asia.
In the information services market there are service providers such as financial information providers, limited local database providers and recreational services providers. The cost of online database production is very high, and if Asia is to develop its own database, it needs to have a copyright policy. Major users of online service are banks and shipping companies.
Hong Kong's IT policy is that the government provides seed money and promotes information trade by consultation but is not directly involved in the information industries. The private sector is left to build the infrastructure of telecom. Hong Kong Telecom Company had the monopoly of domestic voice public switch telephone service until July 1995. Private foreign companies like AT&T and Hutchison are in the market. Hong Kong Telecom International Telecom retains the exclusiveness of providing circuit and basic voice service until the year 2006. However, currently all added value services for international services have been liberalized.
Issues and concerns of information technology in Hong Kong:
There are three notable economic policy developments in China, they are:
The development of information technology in China is closely related to the government's desire of building a close internal information network and to institute national control over local economy. This is manifested in the eight golden projects, in which computer networks are being developed to link tax office, banks, custom units, etc.
There is a plan for massive expansion of telecommunication infrastructure in China to build up mobile system, and fiber optical cables. Telephone networks are set up in major cities, with a target of adding 50 million lines in 1995 and eventually 130 million lines by the year 2000. China is building annually 3 times of the entire Hong Kong's telephone network. Internet is exploding, estimated 100,000 Internet users, mostly in the research community. China has only 3 or 4 Internet providers, and only 10 to 12 online databases with very primitive searching capabilities.
The problem of China's IT lies on the demand side. Although no market research has been done but there is not a high demand of information technology in general household, nor in public offices. In fact there is a genuine concern that technology may create unemployment. Mobile communications do not have high demand in China, but has potential in the future.
In principle, China does not allow foreign management, but accepts value added services with Chinese partnership. Although China can manufacture materials and equipment of telecom industry, hi-tech areas such ATM switching and transmission still need foreign technology.
By William Zarit
Commercial Officer at American Institute in Taiwan
Taiwan is a democratic society and has a very healthy economy with 6.5% GDP growth, very low inflation rate and zero unemployment.
Taiwan's production of computer hardware ranks number four in the world in 1994, and is predicted to move up to be number three in 1995, surpassing Germany. Taiwan is the world's leader in the production of monitors, motherboards, image scanners, mice and keyboards.
Current trend of computer hardware industry is moving from small companies to large dominant companies with a strong and increasing trend of migrating manufactures off shore and concentrating on the high tech industries. Computer software industry is far behind in both production and export, but has a projected 20% growth. The Taiwan government has recently established Nankang Software Park and has potential market of development Chinese software for Chinese speaking communities world-wide.
Taiwan has 2 million pager users and 790,000 cellular lines, and has launched Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN) services in four major cities.
Taiwan is in the process of liberalizing its telecommunications. A draft proposal of telecommunication law is currently pending in the Legislature Yuan, and has a good chance to pass. The key to this proposal is allowing foreign investment in all value added services, in wireless services, and in phasing services.
Meanwhile, Taiwan has already opened up 10 value added services to private companies for domestic competition. CE-2, pager, VSAT, and cellular technologies have been liberalized. Cable TV has been a very well developed industry in Taiwan for 20 years. According to the 1993 cable TV law, every cable network on the island will be retrofitted or completely redone, making Taiwan one of the most advanced cable networks in the region.
National Information Infrastructure (NII):Taiwan began its ten-year NII plan in the summer of 1994 with the goal to provide better education and health services, to push computer hardware industry and to pull Taiwan software industry for domestic development. Money has been earmarked for the Plan. Spectrum planning is going forward, technology tends to be cellular and radio paging, and one hundred percent of the spectrum are fiber optics. The artilleries of Taiwan NII are Internet and fiber optic backbone. There are estimated 100,000 Internet users, mostly in the academics. HiNet is a dedicated line for Internet services and is very congested.
Experimental HiNet band width networks are used in two projects. One project is running in the Hsinchu Scientific Industry Park where research institutes, administrative offices, universities and private companies will be networked. The project uses the ATM switches developed domestically. The second project will be focusing on distance education, health care sector and video on demand, and will be in Taipei. Three fourths of Taipei band width are hooked up by libraries.
Presented by Eui Koh
Asia Pacific Relations, INTELSAT
There are 133 public enterprises in Korea. The government is going through deregulating and trying to sell government utility companies to private companies. Korea Telecom had the monopoly for a long time until ten years ago when the government created a second and now building a third carrier. There are two mobile companies and 40 cable television companies.
Korea telecommunications profile:
Korea has very high teledensity (42.6 per 100 people ), and switching digitization (59% of the lines are switched to digital). Cellular subscribers grow annually 57.4% in Seoul. Paging is very popular, CT2 services are introduced in 1995 and PCS will be introduced by 1996.
Korea's National Information Infrastructure:
Korea is developing her own NII very quickly, the government proposes the establishment of Asian Pacific Information Infrastructure (APII) and wants to become the leader of APII. Korea's NII has a strong support from the government, with a budget allocation about 5 times higher than the Taiwan government. At present 95% of the country is covered by fiber optic lines.
Import and export of telecommunications equipment:
Korea has a strong foreign trade, 96 billion exports and 102 billion import. Electronics industry is booming, and has become a major industry in Korea. Within the electronics, semiconductor industry is the fast growing industry. The number of electronics companies grew from 496 in 1970 to 8,000 in 1993. Semiconductor and computer are the leading exports from Korea. Korea also imports very high volume of telecommunication parts and equipment from United States and European countries.
Thailand and Vietnam
Telecommunication Association of Thailand
Thailand is giving priority to information and communications industry and the government is committed to privatize state enterprises, and liberate financial services by the year 2000. A master plan for communication is brought up by the Ministry of Transportation to the Cabinet for adoption. The Plan calls for further liberation of telecommunication industry, and massive expansion of telephone lines in several phases. According to the Plan, the state owns Telecommunication of Thailand (TOT) for domestic communications, and Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT) for international phone service will be privatized by the year 1998. Private sector will have opportunities to bid the contract for building more than 6 million phone lines.
Computer and mobiles are popular in Thailand. There are three commercial Internet providers. Government employees are required to learn computer skills for promotion. Computer associations work together to donate computers to schools in remote areas. Software industry is booming, representing over 60% growth in 1994-95. The government has issued a copyright law to agree with APEC requirements and is reinforcing the law with the assistance of police department against software pirating. Qualified human resources in the IT field, including university faculty, are in high demand. Salaries for electronic or communication engineers are very good.
Thailand's CAT company has fiber optical lines connected with ASEAN countries through a number of cable networks and uses satellite services such as IntelSat, Asiasat, Palapa, and Globalstar. Thailand recently developed multichannel distribution system for the first time. More than 50,000 units are up in Bangkok this year, and 100,000 units will be expected in the next year. Thaikom has built many services for tele-education, and for commercial social messages as well. Video-on-demand are delivered to homes by fiber optic cables. Current projects for IT development include: Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), Metropolitan Area Network, EDI, and ATM.
It is very difficult to obtain telecommunication information about Vietnam because it has a closed government.
Australia in 1986/87 first offered to set up satellite communication lines in Vietnam. Since then, there are six stations in the country. Vietnam's current teledensity is one telephone to 6,000 people and has a project targeting for teledensity of one to 100 people in 1995. Vietnam could leapfrog to total digital without going through the analog technology.
Since Vietnam opened up in 1987, many countries rushed to invest in telecommunications in Vietnam. The first ones were Japan, Korea (offering digital switching), and France, and then United States, Australia, and Germany. It is very difficult to break the government bureaucracy and to make the right contact to establish business in Vietnam.
Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia
Presented by Dr. Meheroo Jussawalla
East-West Center, Honolulu
Malaysia has a strong economy growth and its telecommunication industry has a faster growth rate than its GDP. Indeed, its telecommunication industry has become the most important industry in Malaysia.
Malaysia tries to attain the leading position of the ASEAN countries. President Dr. Mahtia is proposing the formation of AFTA, and Malaysia is collaborating with other ASEAN countries to develop a regional telecom infrastructure.
Malaysia was the pioneer in liberalization when the Post Telephone Telecommunication Authority (PTTA) was privatized in 1990, and called Telekom Malaysia. It thus became a model followed by Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and India. Since then the cellular market exploded. Seventy percent of the country's transmission system and 78% of the switches are using digital technology. Malaysia plans to launch a state-of-the-art satellite by the end of 1995. The satellite will have 14 Ku Band and C band signals. Currently 64% of the Malaysian international circuits are supported by satellite communication, and thus enable Malaysia to reach not just the ASEAN countries but the whole APEC community. They expect to recover the satellite cost by leasing the transponders with a charge.
Like other ASEAN countries, Malaysia has opened up its telecommunication market for foreign investment following liberalization. Malaysia's telecommunication company Sapura has become a major exporter of cellular phone, pay phone, and fax machines of the Asian Pacific region. It also supplies public call offices and retail calls to Vietnam. Malaysia's semiconductor industry has grown rapidly. The industry has changed from traditionally foreign owned to domestically owned and operated. Even the board and chips are domestically produced. Today, Malaysia is the second largest supplier of semiconductor to the US market as well as the world's market.
Singapore, known as "the intelligent island", has been building a master plan called IT 2000 to develop the nation's information infrastructure. It is the first Asian country to build the information superhighway, and is one of the world's most intensive users of fiber optic cables. Singapore Telekom has a program called "Optical Fiber to the Curb", which plans to build fiber connection to every home by the year 2005, and digitize all 28 telephone switches. It has also laid submarine fiber optic cables to link the island to all Asian Pacific countries. Currently, Southeast Asia has a total of 42 underlining cables, making high quality communication activities in the region.
Singapore Telecoms has offered basic rate interface since 1989 and has begun to offer primary rate service for videoconferencing, and visual and voice communication. Singapore also launched a videotex system, known as Teleview.
Singapore Telecoms, being a public sector and with a complete monopoly over IT services until Dec. 1993, has bought the most sophisticated technology to make this country an intelligent island. The National Computer Board, a statutory board, launched a computerized tradenet system to document trading activities in Singapore's busy harbor. Singapore's telecommunication traffic, value-added services, and mobile services are growing. 27% of Singapore citizens have pagers.
Singapore makes international investment in telecommunication technology, and has shares in the telecom markets in Norway, the United Kingdom, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and the Philippines. It has a vision of its future investment in the Chinese telecommunication market.
Indonesia's two statutory telecommunication agencies are liberalized and open for foreign investment. Current teledensity is less than 2%. Indonesia is planning to build 5 million new phone lines by the year 1999, a remarkable increase as compared to the current 2.2 million lines. AT&T and Nippon Electronic Corporation (NEC) have already won the contract.
Indonesia is the first Third World country to have a domestically owned and operated satellite system, called Palapa Satellite, which was launched in 1976. Indonesia initially used the system to promote national language, integrate diverse population, and provide distance learning programs for farmers and universities.
Other Asian countries followed the ideas and began to lease transponders or rent channels on the Palapa satellite for their own domestic communications. The profits have helped the continued development and operation of Palapa satellite. Major satellite operators in Indonesia include Inmasat, Asiasat, and Indosat.
Indonesia plans to use a mobile satellite called Galupa satellite for cellular communication, and is entering contract with foreign investment on a "build, operate and transfer" (BOT) basis in the construction of new phone lines. Indonesia Telekom is also about to launch a new cellular technology using GSN standard, a digital technology to provide higher volume of voice and data. Rural areas are using cellular/pagers because of the low telephone density. In the cellular telecommunication arena, the big system of low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellites is being launched. LEO will support PCS and PNC services. Malaysia and Singapore and Indonesia have all invested in Inmasat, wanting to move forward to the latest technology in information. When the big LEO system becomes operative, cellular rolling will become a reality, and rural and remote areas can participate in the information revolution.
Asia telecommunication industry has leapfrogged into the 21st century. Many countries have installed the most advanced data switches, fiber optic cables, and wireless network, and are investing in multitechnology at a rapid speed. Even the low income countries are bringing their information infrastructure into the 21st century without being left in the 20th. A country like Vietnam with very low teledensity is selling cellular phone and building Internet facility. The building of information infrastructure is perceived essential for national economic growth and attracting foreign investment. Asian countries installed 23 billion dollars worth telecommunication equipment in 1994, and most of the investment came from foreign investment. It is a big market opportunity. AT&T has already bid 5 year switching in Indonesia, Taiwan, and Korea. Asian countries are eager for the low-earth orbiting satellite to be operative so that cellular rolling will become a reality and the rural and remote areas will be able to participate in this information revolution.
Amy D. Seetoo
Michigan Initiative for Women's Health
The University of Michigan
President, Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association
This year marks the 26th year since I took the first core course in Library Science at the University of Illinois. My interest in Library Science stemmed from my one-year experience as a research assistant in managing the collection in the study room of the Division in English as a Second Language. I believe I have benefited tremendously from my training in Library Science, which has offered me not only flexibility in career choice but also appreciation of life in this democratic society.
It may be strange to think that a degree in Library Science would offer job opportunities outside a building called "library". Apart from six years as an academic reference librarian, I have not been employed as a librarian. Nevertheless, I consider myself a librarian. When I was in the publishing industry, I trained staff and outside editors on Boolean logic and information retrieval via computer. I gave lectures and presentations on information management. When I worked for the Intellectual Property Office at the University of Michigan, I conducted researches on company information and new product information by using all the resources available in the library, traditional or electronic. While promoting the publication on women's health published by my current employer, I make sure that the campus libraries related to health and women's issues receive copies, because I know that the library is one of the important centers where information is collected, organized, and disseminated.
Furthermore, through my participation in Chinese American community activities, I came to the conclusion that Chinese American librarians are probably the single group of Chinese Americans that understand American culture better than the average Chinese American professionals. How did I reach this conclusion? First of all, at work, we handle every day the essence of American life, that is, the library materials. We have to make decisions regarding acquiring, cataloging, and retrieving such materials. In other words, we have immediate exposure to the essence of modern thinking. In addition, through our education in library schools, we have been indoctrinated in the concept of "freedom of information" and the duty to disseminate "diverse information", the two corner stones of democracy. Lastly, I have observed that our professional organization, the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), has been organized by our forward-looking founding fathers in such a way that it meets the standards of a well-functioned professional association, which affords "checks and balances" and "full membership participation".
With this understanding of ourselves, I urge all our members to participate in the Chinese American organizations in our communities and become an agent of change in introducing American democracy to our communities. Librarians can do more than just managing information.
I. Brief Introduction
Many of us have played on the Web for quite a while by now and may want to venture a step further from merely browsing to publishing on the Web. For those who work or study at an institution of higher learning in North America, it is not difficult to apply for an account on their institution's WWW server and set up their own home pages. But for those who are not affiliated with higher education, it might not be as easy to do so. To try one's hand with HTML on one's own computer is one thing. But to really publish on the Web is quite another.
One way out is to set up an account with a commercial Internet services provider. With payment, you are entitled to rent some disk space on that provider's WWW server. But not everyone of us are willing to pay to publish, especially so when we do not have a big publishing project to warrant the expenses. Windows httpd is thus coming handy for us to try publishing on the Web and moreover, to run a WWW server and be a real Webmaster!
II. System and Equipment Requirement
Windows httpd runs on Windows 3.1 and 3.11. It is free of charge for personal and non-commercial use. It supports up to 16 simultaneous users. And it is ready to use, without requiring your own configuration.
As far as equipment is concerned, you need at least a 386+ with 8+ megabyte memory. The later models (e.g., 486 or Pentium), the better. And the more memory (e.g., 16 mb), the better.
Besides, your computer must be on the Internet. In other words, you should not set up a WWW server with a dial-up module, for you will be assigned only a temporary IP address for each dial-up session. Without a permanent IP address, nobody can find or log onto your WWW server. So virtually, you probably have to use your computer at work that has a direct Internet connection.
In addition, you need to have Trumpet WinSock on your computer to run the server. If you have Netscape installed on your computer, then you are okay, for Netscape needs Trumpet WinSock to run, too. If not, you are not yet ready to run a WWW server on your computer.
If you have met all the above-mentioned requirements, you may proceed with following detailed instruction on installation.
A word of note. The following instruction is prepared for non-tech people or "dummies". For those advanced or well versed people, you may just follow the instruction provided by the author of the Windows httpd.
III. Installation Steps
The installation is not too difficult. Just follow the following steps:
1. Create a directory on your computer called httpd. For example:
2. Download a copy of Windows httpd (the file name is: whttpd14.zip) to the directory you have just created. The URL address of the Windows httpd downloading site is:
3. Exit from Windows to DOS. In other words, simply Exit Windows from the Program Manager.
4. Execute the pkunzip command to uncompress or decompress the zip file you have downloaded to the directory called HTTPD. Be sure to use the -d option to preserve the pre-set directory structure within the file. For example:
Just sit there until the computer has done the uncompressing or decompressing.
Then type EXIT at the C prompt, and you will return to the Windows environment.
5. Go to the File Manager and click on the directory called HTTPD. You will find a bunch of subdirectories and files.
6. Find the file called httpd.exe and drag it with your mouse to the work group on your desktop or Program Manager where you'd like it to reside. For example, the work group called TCP/IP or Main. And it will automatically create an icon for your WWW server.
7. Open your Notepad. It is usually in the work group called "Applications". Click and hold on File and move your cursor to Open. In the pop-up window, type
|\autoexec.bat||(and press [enter])|
So if you are in New York, you need to modify the line accordingly:
After you have added the time zone line to the autoexec.bat, you need to save it.
8. Still in the Notepad. Open once again. And in the pop-up window, type
|system.ini||(and then press [enter])|
9. Now you need to exit Windows and then reset or restart your computer to let the changes your have made take effect.
10. When you are back in Windows, go to the work group where you have kept the HTTPD icon and double click on the icon. It will first pop up and then minimize into a small icon at the bottom of your screen. Now your WWW server is up and running!
IV. Final Words
From then on, you can follow the instruction given on the screen and design your own home page. There is also a list of HTML guide and primer on the screen for your reference.
The URL address of your home page or WWW server is the IP address of your computer. To find out what your IP address is, you may either open your Trumpet WinSock where you will find the numerical address (e.g., 18.104.22.168) or you can access the CND Home Page (http://www.cnd.org) where you will be greeted with your alphanumeric address (e.g., lib44.lib.siu.edu) at the top of the screen.
When you are comfortable with running the server, you can announce your OWN home page and WWW server to the world with pride.
It is my sincere hope that we Chinese librarians will actively participate in electronic publishing on the Web. May the Web be the window of our talent and creativity. And may the Web be a significant tool to advance librarianship and information science.
When your WWW server is set up and running, please let me know. I will add your URL address to a special place on our CALA web pages. One by one, we will build a web of our own servers.
Published in May 1995.
This issue of CALA E-Journal is available in PDF format, click here to access it.