Annual Conference, June 26, 2010

MLA IB In Academic Libraries Discussion Group Minutes
Annual Conference, June 26, 2010
Washington D.C.

Renaissance Mayflower, Colonial Room, Washington, DC

10:30am – 12pm



  • 17-20 in audience
  • 6 on panel: Barbara Chen, Jacqui Gilchrist, Kathleen Kluegel, Mary Onorato, Craig Brandt, Suzanne Kemperman

News from MLA International Bibliography – B. Chen (Editor for 9 years)

  • Noted size of room, and that there could be dancing.
  • Largest news: this is the first year there is no print product.
    • The last print volumes were a 4 volume set from 2008. 2009 no significant print volumes were released, although the MLA did offer for members a subset of the bibliography updates assuming there would be some scholars that still needed. In 2008 the MLA had several thousand members order individual paperback volumes, but in 2009, the MLA had only 28 customers for this “subset” volume. In the future, the MLA will offer volume 1 to members, but that’s it.
    • The switch to online-only makes it easier for MLA to produce the bibliography, as they only have to concentrate on electronic version. Will still have quality assurance processes at end of year, but should be transparent to users and customers.
  • New bibliography fellows were selected in April. Jim Kelley, a member of LES, was one. May be other librarians on the list — check the MLA Bibliography Facebook page for details. Barbara encourages librarians to apply for fellowships.
  • Added the Non-Preferred Names (NPN) enhancement based on Liorah Golomb and Aline Soule’s presentation at MLA comparing the bibliography on different platforms. It’s currently only in effect for last two years, but in October will be available for all years.
    • One result is that non-English names can be searched in the commonly known Romanization (for example, Tolstoy instead of Tolstoii). MLA decided not to display the Non-Preferred Name to make the search more transparent for users. If there is feedback that users do want to see these Non-Preferred Names, MLA can make the choice to display in the future.
    • NPNs do display if you look in thesaurus or subject heading indices. If you just do keyword search, will get all the data even if you don’t see the NPNs operating behind the scenes.
  • B. Chen was asked to speak about the upcoming MLA conference on behalf of Jim Kelley, who put together the MLA conference 2011 libraries and digital humanities session. This is the first session of the Libraries and Research in Languages and Literatures Discussion Group.
    • MLA was moved to winter, which is good news as it’s no longer over the Christmas break, but now potentially conflicts with ALA Midwinter. The audience asked whether the MLA Libraries and Literature events could be not scheduled on ALA days, but there’s no real way to control the MLA schedule.
    • The abstracts of the 2011 panel are here: Http://
    • B. Chen will put a link on the MLA Bibliography FB page.
    • There are 6 people who will be speaking at the MLA panel.

MLAIB news from GaleMary Onorato (Cengage) [PowerPoint attached]

  • Gale supports putting two or more URLs to different sites, since Gale now allows multiple URLs in the ECO field.
  • Showed example of how NPNs work in the Gale interface.
  • Showed increased integration of the MLA Directory of Periodicals: still available as a separate search, but now can also jump from citation to title in directory, or vice versa.
  • Subject guide (thesaurus) now also works in two directions: can go directly through subject guide, and terms now appear on left of search result screen.
  • Preferences can be used to change language of interface.
  • Showed types of links available in Gale: JSTOR, Muse, DOI, ProQuest Dissertations, Open URL/SFX, WorldCat/lib holdings, other Gale full-text databases
  • Question from audience: If libraries don’t own the target resources, can they turn off the interlinking? M. Onorato was not sure if that’s customizable, but it may be a coming enhancement.
  • Citation generator supports MLA 6 th and 7 th
  • If you subscribe to MLA, it can show up as tab in Literature Resource Center, and can go directly from LRC to standalone bibliography, although the actual search is not passed through. Ie, you start on LRC front page.
  • Coming soon: links to Gale Full Text in LRC or other periodical databases with results

MLAIB news from ProQuest — Jacqui Gilchrist (ProQuest)

  • First, updates on the MLA in particular:
    • Examples of NPNs in the ProQuest interface
    • Also multiple URLs in records
    • There will be an additional update to the MLADirectory of Periodicals within the year
  • The biggest news is the new ProQuest platform; urged librarians to stop by the ProQuest lunch or talk to sales reps if they had questions
    • Goal: single search box across all ProQuest, with dedicated landing pages for each product so power users can still get to advanced features. Combined what users liked from ProQuest and Illumina.
    • Single search does include MLA, but will not include LiOn yet, asLiOn has such a variety of content.
    • Has customizable subject areas, so can do the cross-database search but within a subset (ie, MLA, British Periodicals together)
    • Gave example of what MLA will look like. Can default to always open MLA to advanced search screen (per audience question).
    • Results list and individual citation screen includes advanced citation tools, save to My Research.
    • If you own MLA on Illumina, sales reps will contact you; ProQuest will not turn off database without library say-so.
    • LiOn is in phase two of move over to new platform. Sales reps will also be in touch with all ProQuest customers re: platform change; can try out at booth or ALA lunch.
  • Have bumped up journal content in LiOn, do try to pursue journals indexed in MLA.
  • Online audio of Shakespeare Arkangel series now available via LiOn.
  • Question from the audience: Is MLA/ABELL cross-searching still available? ProQuest DOES have comments that people want to keep, and have no intention of losing that cross-search ability.

MLAIB News from EBSCOCraig Brandt [PowerPoint attached]

  • Fixed EBSCO search problem with names with initials. For example, J.D. Salinger would not find said author without the space between. Due to way received data from MLA, but with April load fixed re-indexed.
  • Gave example of the non-standard name display (Robert Zimmerman – Bob Dylan)
  • EBSCO does offer Directory or Periodicals as standalone if subscribe to MLA.
  • Relevance is now default search for academic databases; libraries can switch back using their local EBSCO Admin module. Got feedback that people will respond best to what’s most relevant at top of list, rather than most recent.
  • Interface change with all EBSCO products: pushing limiters to left, make search options a little clearer and limiters set more obvious
  • Gave quick review of EBSCO interface, and mention that Literary Reference Center customers can integrate that product with MLA
  • Reminder that EBSCOhost (and therefore MLA) is mobile-phone compatible.
  • Audience note: names-as-subject fields had disappeared/ was having problems, but that seemed to have been fixed.

MLAIB News from OCLC FirstSearch — Suzanne Kemperman

  • In March OCLC divested content (NetLibrary and FirstSearch) to focus on integrated discovery and access solutions, representing eContent within libraries
  • New OCLC Focus: published content and special collections; replace federated search with central indexing
  • WorldCat Local is continuing to work with MLA, which is part of integrated discovery, available through WorldCat and WorldCat Local. Anyone with current subscripction can access MLA on FirstSearch or WorldCat Local
  • Stresses WorldCat Local as discovery system for MLA content; showed a few screenshots noting that can search consortium wide, or within advanced search choose a specific database (like MLA Bibliography)
  • If people have more questions, librarians can stop by WorldCat booth to test and see specifically how MLA looks in WorldCat Local.
  • There was much confusion about presentation of MLA through WorldCat vs. WorldCat Local, and how MLA appears in both or neither, particularly if an institution currently subscribes to MLA through another third-party vendor, like EBSCO
    • If you subscribe to WorldCat Local and MLA through third-party, the patron is pushed from WorldCat Local whatever flavor of MLA the library subscribes to (ie, EBSCO)
    • Is there something we need to do to get MLA to appear? Libraries using WorldCat Local will notify OCLC of databases you have and MLA will thereby appear.
    • If you subscribe to WorldCat only, can search MLA but cannot get to full text, and may not be able to get to entire proprietary bibliographic record.
    • If you don’t have an MLA subscription, will NOT see thesaurus and bibliography.

Literary Research Guide licensing update — David Nicholls ( ), Director of Book Publishing at MLA)

  • Passed out postcards for free trials.
  • Notes that many use print version, a huge book, so it seemed a good candidate for moving into electronic environment.
  • For the latest edition, MLA released the print first, then electronic; electronic has some enhancements.
    • Lookup feature: can go from any title in bibliography to record in your catalog. Can also lookup in WorldCat and Google Books.
    • Personalization: save searches, annotate, use for research projects.
    • Research process: a web tool Jim Harner had on his website, now ported to Literary Research Guide
  • Sold in January as site license, directly to libraries. This is the first time for MLA selling licenses directly.
    • Did a lot of preparatory work, and did know that libraries would want/need to negotiate license, but still were not prepared for variety of licenses needed.
    • All licensing handled by one person at MLA, could not negotiate line-by-line with each institution as that’s not economical for MLA (as had to involve MLA counsel).
    • Worked with a few large groups and list of concerns, and have a revised agreement that seems to be working for almost everyone.
    • D. Nicholls asks: please keep working with MLA. Notes that there are cases where e-resource librarians seem to be stuck between their list of requirements and the MLA license. Sometimes a simple consult between e-resource librarian and lawyer would clear it up.
  • Question from the audience: for 4 th ed, revisions went online. Will the 5 th have online revision as well? Answer: Yes, the Guide will be automatically updated. Plan is for updates about every 6 months.
  • Suggestion from audience: a way to setup trial that’s a little less cumbersome (had to fill out form, approve by e-resource, University Librarian sign site license, send to NY – was very cumbersome compared to regular trial process.) Also had hard time finding pricing and contact info.
    • Response: Process does sound cumbersome, but MLA is small and site is not administered by them. Have to abide by legal ToS with hosting service.
  • Audience members note that love of Harner’s work has led librarians to work harder at getting info than they might normally, real fans of the product.
  • Comment from audience: should also be able to read site license before filling out forms. D. Nicholls notes that MLA has moved the license to a more public place.
  • Request from audience for live demo, as trial was so hard to setup.
  • Request from audience: site license for MLA Handbook, as MLA now has experience with site license. D. Nicholls points out that handbook does have considerations with Congressional laws on not bundling textbooks.

New Business — Liorah Golomb

  • Brief history of MLA Liaison process, and notes that ACRL is looking for candidates to be MLA liaison.
  • Need to be member of MLA and LES or WESS, keep eye on email lists.

MLAIB-L Update — Kathleen Kluegel

  • Minutes will be distributed via list.
  • Current owner/moderator may turn list over to K. Kluegel unless anyone else wants to. Will be final decision at Midwinter.
  • How to subscribe:
    • Send an e-mail message to saying Subscribe MLAIB-L (your name)  You will then be asked to confirm your  subscription.  Listserv also asks you to confirm your subscription once a year.

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