Midwinter Conference, January 15, 2005

MLA International Bibliography in Academic Libraries Discussion Group
ALA Midwinter Conference, January 15, 2005
Boston, MA


I. Introduction and Welcome: Kathleen Kluegel, Chair

A brief introduction to the format of the SearchOff.  It has its 5 vendor / librarian teams who prepared demonstrations designed to show how they dealt with the more challenging aspects of the large, complex, and multi-faceted MLA International Bibliography.  Each team had a very few minutes to show how MLA performs on that platform and to answer a couple of questions from the audience.  Given the overwhelming amount of information that was presented within each
demonstration, it was not possible to capture even the highlights and lowlights of each platform.  It is hoped that the SearchOff offered strategies and insights for testing some of the platforms in the home institutions of those able to attend.  Also, the MLA Bibliography site has a chart of features by vendor:  http://www.mla.org/bib_dist_comparison

Vendor/Librarian Presenting Teams are as Follows:

Gale: Peg Bessette/Mary Onorato & Faye Christenberry
OCLC: Chau Hoang/Deb Bendig & Barbara Durniak
CSA: Matt Martin/Patrick Julius & Jane Faulkner
ProQuest: Sarah Brechner
Ebsco: Susanna Van Sant

Checklist of Features Covered by each team: (Word)

II. Developments at the Modern Language AssociationInternational Bibliography: Barbara Chen, Director of Bibliographic Information Services and Editor, MLA International Bibliography

I will mention that the 2003 print edition came out in September 2004 with 65,975 records. These numbers were comparable with the 2002 volume. The indexing for 2004 is almost complete. This is our busy period where the indexers try to clean the shelves so I don’t have any numbers for you. I am hoping and expecting to follow our statistics.

The JSTOR project continues.  We have 4 titles left to be indexed from the 47 in their language and literature collection.  11 more are being added. 3 have been digitized. We continue to try to keep linking their new non-language titles.

The retrospective project is doing well.  We have reviewed all 160,000 records and are now expanding, standardizing and ISSN-ing (if there is such a word) 7,100 journal titles.  Next step is standardizing those older subject headings.

We are working with our IT dept. to add DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) to our records.  We had signed a contract with CrossRef this past summer.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that you will be able to use them this spring with the reloaded retro files.

Since our advisory committee added criteria for e-books, we have been working to add them, talking to vendors of collections in order to gain access.

I also spent a great deal of time this past year making sure our workflow was as streamlined as possible.  We moved more
field bibliographers online, notable Indiana University folklore project.  We are left with a handful of diehard typists who for a variety of reasons can’t go online. That is fine.

A final note on the inconsistency of indexing subject authors with/without dates. The differences relate to 1963-1980 data vs. 1981+.  We are working to clean up the older files and make them more consistent with current practices. Additionally, we have encouraged vendors to ignore dates in browse lists. I also sent the in-house staff to the library equipped with laptops to input their citations as they work. This is an effort to make them more productive.

Our next step with books is to be more systematic in our acquisition efforts.  We are working with an electronic resource to identify material for inclusion.  This will enable us to more quickly and accurately do our job in this area.

One of the members of the MLA Bib Advisory Committee suggested we pursue the possibility of indexing websites.  If any of you have recommendations in this area, please let me know.

I will note the change in vendors this past year.  As you probably realize this was not an easy decision for us but one that took a great deal of thought.  We sincerely believe we did what was necessary for the MLA and for our users.  No need to dwell.  We took time to listen to the needs of the librarians and worked with all who needed our assistance in the transition.

Other MLA news:

PMLA in JSTOR added the remainder of their issues where gaps in coverage had existed. PMLA continues to be available through Ingenta for current issues.
An ad-hoc committee on MLA electronic citation style met in the fall with Helene Williams representing the library community.

III. Information on joining the MLA Listserv

KK Note:  I am sending these notes to all attendees who indicated that they were not members of the MLA Listserv. Here is the URL for joining the MLA Discussion Group listserv:


The current listowner is Gail Hueting, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

IV. Planning for 2005 Annual in Chicago

Following the pattern established some years ago, the MLA Discussion Group at 2005 Annual will be a general discussion
meeting.  MidWinter 2006 would be an opportunity for vendors to present demonstrations of the new developments of the MLA database on their platform.


Kathleen Kluegel, Anne Barnhart, Sarah Brechner, Anthea Gotto, Richard Bleiler, Tom Kilton, Deb Bendig, Barbara Durniato, Tim Shipe, Karen Delorey, Susanna Van Sant, Sara Seten Berghausen, John Novak, Rob Melton, Laine Farley, Jim Harner, Jen Stevens, Lindsey Schell, Diana King, Jan Zauha, Mary Kay Filos, Beth Hufford, Barbara Chen, Laura Braunstein, Michael Rodriguez, Charlotte Droll, Helene Williams, Laura Farwell Blake, Judy Olsen, Bethany Close, Mary Orato, Peg Bessette, Joan Thompson, Angela Courtney, Patrick Julius, Mary Sauer-Games, Mary Beth Clack, Juliet Kerico, Robert Means, Michael Macan, Emily DeWolfe, Kittie Henderson, Kristine Anderson, Heather Jagman, William Gargan, Judy Reynolds, Mary E Bogan


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