MLAIB Discussion Group Meeting ALA Midwinter Chicago (2015)

Saturday, 31 January
10:30 am 11:30 am
Sheraton Chicago – Mayfair Room

Convenor : David Oberhelman

  1. Introductions
  2. Midwinter 2016:  physical or virtual discussion?
  3. MLA Videos
  4. Discovery services and the MLAIB
  5. Topics for Annual

Annual Conference, June 28, 2014

MLA International Bibliography in Academic Libraries Discussion Group
ALA Annual Conference Meeting 2014
Saturday, June 28, 2014
10:30 am – 11:30 am
Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N115


  1.  Introductions, announcements & any agenda items
  2. Vendor Updates:
    1. Gale|Cengage Learning (Peter Scott):
      Update on Artemis—it’s available and all content is cross-searchable—both primary and secondary  resources. Will be adding DLB content soon. MLA IB will be available both within Artemis and as a stand-alone.
    2. EBSCO Information Services (Ryan Bernier)
      36 fields to limit searches within MLA IB. New: source type “translation” and “editions.” Can sort results by two new source types. Can search on hit counts. 20 different indexes available. Within EBSCO Discovery Service, results will show names of databases in which content is found (i.e. MLA IB). This will allow you to link directly to MLA IB from results. EBSCO YouTube channel – will provide access to MLA YouTube videos.
    3. ProQuest (Stephen Brooks)
      Adding more options to “My Research” end-user tool. Counter 4 stats implemented. July = decommissioning CH LION interface/platform. There are some bugs to fix and they’re working on them (proximity searching, link resolvers). Will investigate the option of providing a stand-alone URL/access for ABELL.
  3. MLA Update (Barbara Chen & Greg Grazevich)
    1. 74,000 records added in 2013
    2. New help videos – “Names as Subjects” – available on ProQuest and will be on Gale soon. Foreign language versions of “What is the MLA International Bibliography” are being created, along with “What is the Directory of Periodicals.” Current videos available include:
      • “What Is the MLA International Bibliography?”
      • “Searching the MLA International Bibliography versus Using the Library’s Home Page Search Function”
      • “Names as Subjects in the MLA International Bibliography on EBSCO”
      • “Names as Subjects in the MLA International Bibliography on ProQuest”
      • “Keyword Search vs. Subject Search in the MLA International Bibliography on EBSCO”
      • “Keyword Search vs. Subject Search in the MLA International Bibliography on Gale”
      • “Keyword Search vs. Subject Search in the MLA International Bibliography on ProQuest”
      • “How to Limit Searches by Publication Date in the MLA International Bibliography on EBSCO”
      • “Searching Scholarly Web Sites in the MLA International Bibliography on EBSCO”
    3. New article on the MLA IB:
      Golomb, Liorah, James R. Kelly, and Barbara Chen. “Navigating the MLA Bibliography—Redux: Performance Across Vendor Platforms and Discovery Tools.” Journal of Library Administration, 54:2 (2014): 107-126. doi:10.1080/01930826.2014.903367.
    4. Enhancements for 2015:
      1. ORCID identifiers will be available for authors. More information on ORCID:
      2. More Choice reviews are being added.
      3. James Harner’s Literary Research Guide (6th) will be available in July 2014. Institutional site licenses (SERU) are available, along with a one-month free trial.
      4. David Oberhelman and Liorah Golomb are new members of the MLA IB Advisory Committee.
  4. Other:
    If anyone is interested in being chair of the discussion group, please let Sarah know.

 Minutes submitted by Faye Christenberry, University of Washington Libraries

Agenda for MLAIB DG at ALA 2014

Modern Language Association International Bibliography Discussion Group
ALA Annual Conference 2014 Agenda

Saturday, June 28, 2014
10:30am to 11:30am
Las Vegas Convention Center

Convenor : Sarah G. Wenzel
Minutes : Faye Christenberry

I.          Introductions, announcements & any agenda changes

II.         Vendor Updates

  1. Gale | Cengage Learning (Peter Scott)
  2. EBSCO Information Services (Ryan Bernier)
  3. ProQuest (Stephen Brooks)

III.        MLA update (Barbara Chen)

IV.        Discovery Services & the MLAIB

V.         Anything else

Midwinter Conference, January 25, 2014

ALA Midwinter Meeting, 2014
Saturday, 25 January  |  10:30 am – 11:30 am
Philadelphia, PA | Pennsylvania Convention Center,PCC-115 B

Convenor : David Oberhelman

I. Introductions

Oberhelman convened the meeting at 10:33 and introduced the vendors as well as Barbara Chen, Director of Bibliographic Services at MLA and Editor of the MLAIB.

II. Vendor updates

  •  Ryan Bernier, EBSCO
    Bernier discussed the MLAIB on the EBSCOhost platform.  There were not many new upgrades since his last report at the ALA Annual 2013 Discussion Group meeting.  He also gave a brief demonstration of the EBSCO Discovery service.  The EBSCO platform has a new, simplified look, and in the future will include added content such as media files in the search results.
  •  Stephen Brooks, ProQuest
    Brooks briefly discussed the MLAIB search interface on the ProQuest platform.  There have not been any major changes or upgrades since ALA Annual 2013.  He then showed the new start page and interface for Literature Online (LION) which includes the MLAIB along other indexes such as ABELL and other digital content.  The interface now resembles other ProQuest products and has improved navigation to the various content areas in LION.  There is also an improved mobile interface.
  •  Kate Hanley, Gale | Cengage Learning
    Hanley is the new MLAIB representative at Gale/Cengage Learning, and introduced herself to the audience.  She will attend future meetings with news about upgrades and other changes to the MLAIB in the Gale interface.

III. MLA update (Barbara Chen)

Chen reported that 74,381 records were included in the 2013 file of the MLAIB, and now her office is working on the 2014 file.  There were three focus groups at the 2014 MLA Convention in Chicago, and there is still ongoing discussion about dissertations.

A new, online-only edition of James Harner’s Literary Research Guide will be released by the MLA in 2014.  It will be available for individual or institutional subscription.

Chen also discussed the MLAIB tutorials available on the MLA website ( and also on the MLA’s YouTube channel (  She showed the audience the new MLAIB tutorial, “Searching the MLA International Bibliography versus Using the Library’s Home Page Search Function” (

IV. Discovery services and the MLAIB

The discussion focused on using discovery services such as Summon, Primo, EBSCO Discovery, etc. with or in place of the MLAIB.  The attendees shared their experience with teaching both the MLAIB and discovery services in classes, and how they combine both tools to do both broader, interdisciplinary searches and more focused, literary-only searches.

V. Topics for Annual

Oberhelman asked attendees to share ideas for the discussion group meeting at ALA Annual with Sarah Wenzel.  He also showed the attendees the new discussion group website maintained by Dawn Childress:  Anyone interested in being a contributor should contact Childress using the contact information on the page.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30.

Agenda for MLAIB DG @ ALA Midwinter

Saturday, 25 January
10:30 am 11:30 am
PCC-115 B

Convenor : David Oberhelman

I.       Introductions

II.      Vendor updates

a.       Ryan Bernier, EBSCO

b.      Stephen Brooks, Proquest

c.       Kate Hanley, Gale | Cengage Learning

III.     MLA update (Barbara Chen)

IV.     Discovery services and the MLAIB

V.      Topics for Annual

For item IV, you might want to have thought of times when you’ve used or taught discovery services in conjunction with the MLAIB, or the MLAIB instead of a discovery service, or vice versa. The idea is less a debate of their merits than how we help students navigate a world that we’ve made even more complex – and Google or Google Scholar look increasingly simple.

If a volunteer to take minutes could step forward now, he or she would be welcomed.

Annual Conference, June 23, 2012

MLA IB In Academic Libraries Discussion Group Minutes
Annual Conference, June 23, 2012
Anaheim, CA


Bibliography News: Barbara Chen

  1. Additions and enhancements:
    • Additional classification structures for subject authors: now allows for up to 5 subject author classifications, so no longer have to choose one classification over another
    • New template for pedagogy/profession
  1. 2012 Enhancements (coming in October)
          • Addition of Choice reviews
          • Addition of references (now adding Wiley-Blackwell, more coming in future)
          • Two new record types: Scholarly editions and Translations
          • “Website active” indicator: will allow limiting search to active websites only, for example
  1. Starting a new MLA internship program: the first intern begins right after ALA Annual
  2. MLA is up and running with Summon (Summon updates later in meeting)
  3. MLA News: MLA journals now supporting Open Access

Questions for Barbara

  • Will MLAIB add URLs for online journals?  Barbara: what happens when the URLs change, articles, move, publisher changes?
  • Is there a way to note that a journal is open access and online only? Barbara: There should already be a link to the main journal page

Folks should send issues and examples related to journals, links, etc. to Barbara – she gets things done!

Vendor Updates
Ebsco, Craig Brandt:

  1. Reported issues of subject headings not displaying has been fixed!
  2. Changes to facets:
          • Addition of record counts
          • “Language” is a new facet
          • All results are now incorporated (?)
          • New “Show more” view to select multiple facets
  1. Mobile:
          • Will automatically recognize mobile devices
          • Button to toggle between full and mobile views (for tablets and such)

Gale, Mary Onorato
In the process of unifying LRC and MLA home pages
New features/updates:

  • Relevance algorithm
  • Search assist & graphic search

Currently working with user for input
Beta released around mid-summer
Feedback encouraged – contact
Platform-wide update will address issues of linking out w/ SFX

Proquest, Sarah Brechner — filling in for John Pegum

  1. MLAIB on new platform: March 2012
  2. June 2012 update:
    • drop-down menu improvements
    • Looks up lists now show current labels
    • Can combine facets
    • Language name changing from abbreviated to full
  3. Still to do:
    • Data clean up: Country of Publication in publication directory
    • Name mapping for authors
  4. New features:
    • Set day of week for alerts
    • DB selection is improved: more prominent and can change with one click
    • Can set default search DB, bundle favorite search DBs
  5. Migration tips at
  6. Will add Cambridge Companions to Literature Online, will be mapped to MLAIB
  7. Contact John with questions/comments:
    John Pegum, Product Manager, Literature,

Summon, John Law

  1. The role of MLA & discovery:
    • “MLA will enhance discovery for the researcher”
    • Provides an “information literacy” moment: Summon will recommend subject DBs like MLA and search results will link directly to MLA record
    • DB recommender: uses trigger words in Phase 1, Phase 2 will use “result set analysis” — the percentage of results relative to the whole
  2. Will optimize use of MLA via discovery in Summon
    • Increased usage of MLA among traditional and non-traditional users
    • Enhanced visibility and perceived need by providing usage credit for MLA stats

Note taker: D. Childress

MidWinter Conference, January 21, 2012

MLAIB Discussion Group
Midwinter American Library Association Conference
Sheraton Hotel, Trinity 4. Dallas, TX
Saturday, January 21, 2012

Updates from Barbara Chen, Director of Bibliographic Services & Editor, MLA International Bibliography:

  • Barbara Chen opened the discussion group session by thanking all of the field bibliographers for their work during 2011-2012 and noted that training of new field bibliographers is going well. Work on the 2011 index had been completed and the MLAIB is only available online; the last printed volume was for 2009.
  • With the Bibliography now exclusively online, it became necessary to eliminate indexing steps needed only for print. In 2011, MLAIB eliminated “subject strings” to remove redundancies. In 2012, works comparing authors from two different subjects will no longer have to be classified in only one. For example, a work comparing Shakespeare and Hemingway no longer has to be assigned either to English or American literature; it can now be assigned up to five subject areas. Other major changes include adding film directors to classifications and eliminating indexing redundancies in sections on pedagogy.
  • MLAIB asked vendors if they would take the enhancements in fall of 2012. Additionally, if publishers provide metadata, MLAIB will add cited references, starting with Wiley-Blackwell. MLAIB also plans to add abstracts from Dissertation Abstracts International. MLAIB works with four discovery service providers: EBSCO, OCLC, Ex Libris/Primo Central, and Summon (not yet loaded as of January 2012).
  • As of March 2012, Choice reviews will be available to MLA members on the MLA web site. Metadata for book reviews will be added to MLAIB in the fall. Chen’s goal is to include the text of the Choice review in the MLAIB record itself.
  • A major goal of next edition of the MLA Handbook will be to make it easier for students to cite records; the new edition should be out in a couple of years. Kathleen Kluegel hoped that users could give input up front rather than late in the development process; Chen said that the revisers are very interested in getting feedback. Brian Vetruba, Millie Jackson, Sarah Wenzel, and Jim Kelly will be the first to review the new version. Others interested in reviewing the draft should contact Barbara Chen to indicate interest in reviewing the draft on the front end.
  • Helene Williams hoped that the new edition will be “forward looking” toward new media that students will use as resources.


Vendor Updates: Kathleen Kluegel asked the vendors to introduce themselves and to provide updates.

  1. Craig Brandt spoke about EBSCO’s authority files enhancements for the Thesaurus and Names as Subjects and said EBSCO provides twenty-six separate index files. He demonstrated “guided style” searching, touching on how field codes are only searchable in UPPER CASE. Labels can be translated into twenty-six languages. Brandt also highlighted “smart linking” of citations to full text in JSTOR, Project MUSE, etc. He briefly spoke about EBSCOHost Mobile for smart phones and Droids; statistics on mobile use for individual databases are not yet available, although this may become possible to collect later. Brian Vetruba asked if it was not possible to modify a mobile search; Brandt explained how to modify via the Search History.
  2. Mary Onorato from Gale spoke about how Gale had corrected open URL bugs and she described standard features, including diacritics, punctuation, Z39.50 support, and persistent URLs . She featured the integration of the Bibliography and the MLA Directory of Periodicals, showing how to move in and out of records for individual articles and journals in the Directory. She also spoke of the integration of names and topics in the thesaurus and highlighted cross-searchability between MLAIB and Literature Resource Center. Although a searcher cannot limit to full text at the start of a search, linking is much easier now.
  3. John Pegum highlighted how MLAIB works on ProQuest’s new platform. Many improvements were completed in December of 2011; ProQuest was still working on non-Latin characters early in 2012. He also noted improvements in the Thesaurus. A Narrower Terms and a Broader Terms option is available. Kluegel inquired whether the record count is yet available; when Pegum said not yet, Kluegel advocated including the citation count for each heading. Linking to Project MUSE and JSTOR has improved; work continues on linking to book articles (chapters) and to Boolean searching in the Directory of Periodicals. ProQuest has added a Chat widget for live chat during a search. Dual access to Chadwyck-Healey and Illumna will probably be switched off by September of 2012. Any concerns about this changeover should be sent to Pegum said that LION includes 345 full text journals, 83% of which are actively indexed in the MLAIB. ProQuest is working on licensing of criticism and reference works from Oxford University Press, Routledge, University of Florida, and others. Penguin Classics have been added to LION, including the introductions. In 2012, over 200 Cambridge Companions to Literature have been licensed, with over 3,000 essays.
  4. Jenny Walker from Ex Libris/Primo described how MLAIB has been loaded into their discovery service. Their service is unlike that of other full text providers, so libraries need to indicate which provider (such as EBSCO) that they are using.
  5. John Law from Serials Solutions spoke about “Summon,” which was introduced at ALA at Midwinter of 2009; usage of library resources has climbed from 30% to 300%. Summon is geared to users who don’t know where to start and don’t know which database to use. Chen is watchful about what this means for MLAIB.

    MLAIB is broader than many other fields. It is important with MLAIB to authenticate up front and it is crucial to handle metadata in the right way.

    Summon went “live” very fast with other databases and learned that there cannot be any duplicates. Summon had to put in place “match merge” technology, which operates on a higher level than a “dedup,” as it incorporates metadata from all sources of records, including catalog records. As of winter of 2012, there were 800,000,000 items in the database. It has been difficult to deal with user expectations of full text when dealing with abstracting or indexing only databases.

    Summon plans to roll out support for MLAIB at the June 2012 ALA.

18 people in attendance:

Craig Brandt, EBSCO
Stephen Brooks, ProQuest
Liz Brown, Project MUSE
Barbara Chen, MLA
Libby Chenault, U of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Michelle Emanuel, U of Mississippi
Jim Harner, Texas A & M
Kathy Johnson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Kathleen Kluegel, KRS
Heidi Madden, Duke
Mary Onorato, Gale
John Pegum, ProQuest
Mary Sauer-Games, ProQuest
Sheila Smyth, UCI
Christine Stokes, Ex Libris
Lidia Uziel, Yale
Brian Vetruba, Washington University
Helene Williams, University of Washington


Notes by Kathy Johnson, University Libraries, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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