Annual Conference, July 6, 1996

Minutes of the MLA International Bibliography
in Academic Libraries Discussion Group
Summer Meeting, ALA Annual Conference, New York, July 6, 1996 

I. Progress Report on our projected publication, _The MLA International Bibliography: A Collection of Research and Critical Essays_.

Scott Stebelman, Discussion Group Chair, announced that ACRL has tentatively agreed to publish the Discussion Group’s compilation of essays on the MLAIB as a retrieval tool, its history, and how scholars use it. Manuscripts will be due in Summer 1997. The final chapter will be a bibliography of studies of the MLAIB.

Guidelines will be established for contributors of essays and annotations of citations. Citations are requested by January 1, 1997. There may be 100-150. Annotation is recommended. At this point, product announcements are being compiled. A decision will be made on whether to include them in the bibliography or in an appendix. Annotators will use their own judgment in deciding whether to include articles that only briefly mention MLAIB.

2. Status of our Web site and electronic list.

The Discussion Group now has a home page created by Scott Stebelman. The URL is:

The elist now has 108 subscribers. To subscribe, send the message SUBSCRIBE MLAIB [your name] *to* Send email messages to: The list has been used for meeting announcements. There has not been much discussion on the use of the MLAIB.

3. Report on MLAIB overlap studies and the possibility of their being placed on our Web site.

Authors of the reports will be asked to approve inclusion of their work on the Web site. Because the composite report is the work of an ACRL special committee, ACRL will have to give final approval. Elaine Franco is working on the details.

4. Report by MLA staff of any relevant news or activities from the Association.

Danielle Uchitelle reported that there is more consortium access and tape direct access to the Bibliography. It should come up on the OVID (formerly BRS) System in the next few months. There is nothing new with SilverPlatter. There is more movement toward internet access and away from CD-ROM.

Terry Ford reported on an ongoing project to provide English translations of work titles in the MLAIB thesaurus. They are working on a comprehensive list of gaps in Bibliography coverage. They are sending out an rfp for changing the MLAIB production system. The data will be restructured for use in different ways. This will not take place for another year. They are not revising the CIFT system or procedures for indexing. The specifications will allow for that at some point in the future; the facets will be more useful. Any errors discovered in the MLAIB can be reported to the MLAIB email address: They are updating language facets (for language of articles) for 1963-1980. In some cases the language facets are wrong; the default value was English.

5. Primary Discussion Group topic: SilverPlatter and FirstSearch representatives field questions about searching the MLAIB on their systems.

Daniel Shapiro from SilverPlatter and Robert Smith from FirstSearch gave brief presentations, answered questions, and distributed literature. Some general comments: FirstSEarch was designed for end users. It has a Web interface and uses Z39.50 protocol. Benefits include a link to ILL and document ordering, and the availability of other databases under the same protocol. It includes the full MLAIB database from 1963 to the present. SilverPlatter provides CD, Internet, WWW access to the MLAIB. SilverPlatter is the only vendor who puts the MLAIB thesaurus on CD.

6. Time did not permit discussion of a second topic: “Interdisciplinary Uses of the MLAIB.” This topic will be presented as the primary discussion topic at the Midwinter meeting. At Midwinter Rob Melton will lead discussion on a secondary topic, “Use of Web Pages.”

7. Inauguration of new Chair; Election of new Vice Chair/Chair-Elect Cathy Palmer of University of California, San Diego, took office as Discussion Group Chair.

Reinhart Sonnenburg, also of UCSD, was elected Vice Chair/Chair Elect.


Submitted by Elaine Franco


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