University of Sydney Library Newsletter

Issue Nº 23 - June 1995

ISSN 1326-2785
Newsletter archive

Expired URLs removed

In this Issue

University signs contract for new automated library system

On 31 March the University of Sydney signed an agreement with Innovative Interfaces Incorporated to purchase a new automated library system to enhance electronic access to the country's largest university library collection. The system, known as INNOPAC, is being funded from DEET Quality Assurance funds received by the University in 1994. The signing marks the end of a long and extremely rigorous system selection process.

INNOPAC, currently used in several hundred sites throughout the world including major university libraries in Australia, provides a "total" library computing system. For the library user this means greatly improved access to records of items held by the University of Sydney Library; direct access to a selection of heavily used databases of broad interest; and other features such as the ability of library users to reserve urgently required items themselves, as well as detailed information on library use to assist management planning and decision-making. Implementation of the system will also provide library users with access to the Internet and campus-wide access to a range of commercial information databases.

The University Librarian, Dr. Neil Radford, praised the University's determination to ensure that its Library's new system would be of world class. "With funds so tight it took courage to make the substantial commitment required," he said, "but I am confident that the result will be well worth it."

Quality principles will be employed throughout the forthcoming system implementation phase, Dr. Radford said. "Quality Assurance funds supported the process and quality principles will guide the implementation of the system. We will be looking to the users of the system to assist us in how best to configure and offer features of the system, which will include screen design and the user interface in general."

"Users' needs are at the heart of our new system and are central to quality principles," Dr. Radford said. " it will be with the best possible system providing an improved range of features for our primary users - the staff and students of the University of Sydney."

Library staff and users will now proceed with a staged implementation schedule. This schedule includes the formation of an Interface Module Team which will actively seek the input of staff and student users of the Library system. Staff and students seeking involvement in this Team should call the System Project Team on Tel: 692 9757.

Live change-over to the new system is planned for December, 1995, initially offering Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), incorporating a selection of electronic databases, as well as circulation, acquisition and cataloguing services.

Information about the new system or on progress of implementation may be obtained from the System Project Team, Level 7, Fisher Library.

Joanne Threlfall, Professor Derek Anderson, Judy Campbell and Dean Leith at the signing of the agreement for the new Library system.

Continuous Improvement program

Recently the Library has announced its commitment to a program of Continuous Improvement in all of its activities. The initiative will have far-reaching and beneficial effects for both Library staff and users.

Continuous Improvement emphasises the continuous and systematic examination of work practices. A major element in the process is the involvement of Library staff in the continuous review of work processes to ensure that procedures and services are as efficient and effective as possible. The process will also involve the establishment of performance measures or benchmarks for services.

Another important element of Continuous Improvement is the focus on the customer. The 1993 Review of the Library placed considerable emphasis on the Library establishing closer contact with its user groups and aligning its services more closely with the needs of the users. As part of the Continuous Improvement process the Library will be systematically listening to and tracking users' needs to continually improve services and to develop new approaches for delivering services.

As the first step in the program a number of workshops giving an overview of continuous improvement principles and techniques have been conducted for Library staff. The implementation of the new integrated system is being conducted using continuous improvement principles and a number of additional projects will be set up as the program develops.

The Library is facing a period of considerable change, with the implementation of the new automated system and the proposed organisational restructuring. Other organisations have found that a program of continuous improvement, with its emphasis on continuous review of processes and focus on the user, is a major factor in developing the skills and tools to meet such challenges successfully. The aim of the program is to provide more efficient services which meet the needs of our various user groups. Continuous improvement will result in steady progress in many areas rather than dramatic innovations but Library users will, over time, see the results in improved services.

Research Express

In the April issue of the University of Sydney Library Newsletter, researchers were alerted to the enhanced Reveal service offered by CARL UnCover. This "table-of-contents" service now enables users to store search strategies, which are automatically run against the database on a weekly basis. Results are forwarded to the researcher's e-mail address.

UnCover has now introduced a charge for the Reveal service: US$20 per year for each individual profile. The Library has recently purchased a site licence for UnCover Reveal, which will enable up to 200 University researchers to use the Reveal service free of charge. If you are interested in becoming part of the site licence.

Merger of Burkitt and Public Health Libraries

As a consequence of the refurbishment of the Anderson Stuart Building, the Burkitt Library is to be relocated in July. The collection is to be merged with the Public Health Library in the Edward Ford Building.

Some preliminary building alterations will be carried out in June. However because of the disruptions caused by building works, rearrangement of shelving necessary to accommodate this amalgamation and the movement of materials between and within locations, the libraries will be closed from 3 July. At the time of writing the period of closure has not been confirmed, but is likely to be until 21 July. Please consult notices outside the Library for more recent information.

As the integration of the two collections of bound serial volumes is a major task, this has been deferred until the long vacation. For the time being, the Burkitt serial volumes will be located on the lower level of the Stack. Other items from the two collections will be integrated, so that there will be one sequence of reference materials, one of current serials and one run of books in the main collection.

While the Library is closed, library staff will respond to requests by fax for items needed urgently from the collections. However, users are encouraged to use alternate sources where possible.

Burkitt users should note that they will need their ID card to borrow books from the combined library as loans will be handled through the Library's automated system.

Lajos Bordas will be the librarian in charge, Tel: 351 4363. For general enquiries: Tel: 351 4364, Fax: 660 2125.

Bell Collection

The Rare Book Library has recently acquired a valuable addition to its collections of Australian literary manuscripts: the collection of the Queensland based researcher Erica Bell which is concerned with developments in modern Australian poetry from 1968 to 1990. Much of the material included in the Bell Collection is unpublished and offers to scholars of Australian literature a large fund of new, primary research material. The core of the collection comprises interviews, in both recorded and hard copy formats, with sixteen poets, among whom are Les Murray, Allan Wearne, Robert Kenny, Jennifer Maiden, John Forbes and Martin Johnson. Also included are related materials such as taped readings, photographs, copies of published works, original manuscripts and draft copies of individual poems, and correspondence relating to both the interviews and the work of individual poets. Among the information that is given on each poet are autobiographical details, insights into each poet's own construction of the meaning of their poetry, and an understanding of how each poet sees his or her own work in relation to developments in Australian writing and poetry.

Access to the Bell Collection can be obtained through the Rare Books & Special Collections Library, Level 2, Fisher Library between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m., Monday to Friday. For further details on the collection contact Rare Books Librarian, Tel: 351 2992, E-mail:

Location, relocation and duplication of Library material

This is a summary of the general policies and practices that guide decision-making on location, relocation and duplication of materialswithin the Library network. More information concerning these policies are available from Ross Coleman, Collection Management Librarian, ext. 13352. Any comments on, or suggested changes to, these policies and practices are also welcome.


In any network of dispersed but related libraries the appropriate location of material to best support teaching and research may be an issue of dispute.

Current practices are that purchased material (books, serials etc.) is housed in the location suggested by the requestor, and that standing order, gift and deposit material is located on the basis of primary subject content by Collection Management or Serials Departments.


If a case can be made for a title to be relocated within the Library network a transfer can be made. The decision to relocate must also be balanced by the needs of the users and circulation in the library in which the title is currently located. If there are equal but conflicting arguments regarding relocation then the title will usually remain in its current location. In situations where titles cannot be relocated, duplication can be considered.

The current policy for serials and books is that the case for the request for relocation must be addressed to, and accepted by, the librarian of the branch where the title is held, or, for Fisher titles, the Collection Management Librarian. Requests for relocation of serials must also be approved by the Library's Serials Selection Committee.


Because of the dispersed nature of the Library network, on and off the main campus, there is a demand for the duplication of serials and books to support particular teaching and research needs. The need for some level of duplication is recognised, but due to the costs involved efforts are made to keep this to a minimum.

The policy in regard to serials is no duplication of titles for on-campus libraries, and limited duplication for off-campus libraries (decided on title by title basis by the Serials Selection Committee). However the old policy of not duplicating serial titles already held in the Sydney area no longer applies. Any case for duplication of a serial title can be made as a request for a new title to the Library's Selection Committee, addressing the need for duplication.

In regard to books, duplicates or multiple copies to support course reading lists are made from the Student Monographs fund. Duplicate orders from department research allocations for single copies are reported back to the ordering Department with an indication of where the book is held. If the Library representative wants to pursue duplication of the order, it can be returned to Acquisitions with a request to proceed with the duplicate.

The Internet

Internet Training Program

Mr. Steven Ryan has been appointed till the end of 1996 to the position of Internet Training Co-ordinator and will lead a team consisting of himself and two additional senior librarians. The primary aim of this team will be to develop and deliver programs for instructing academic staff and students in the systematic and effective retrieval of relevant information resources available on the Internet. This appointment will also give the Library an opportunity to assess its future training role within the University.

Prior to this appointment Mr. Ryan worked for one year in Fisher Library as the Co-ordinator of Networked Information Resources. In that year he prepared and presented approximately thirty Internet Overviews for both academic staff and postgraduate students, as well as assisting in the preparation of several subject specific workshops for Psychology, Anthropology and Social Work.

The next year and a half will see the creation and presentation of new workshops, both general and specific in nature. Many of the subject disciplines that were not previously addressed will be covered in these future workshops. Future Internet Overview classes will be advertised in the Bulletin Board section of the University News. If you are interested in specific subject classes contact Steve Ryan or the relevant subject librarian.

A World Wide Web Internet training home page set up by the Library has been operating for the past year. Its aim is to keep University staff and students informed about available Internet training resources. This homepage can be found using Netscape or any other World Wide Web browser. The University of Sydney Library's World Wide Web information server also provides access to many useful electronic resources.

Engineering Library's Network Lab

A state-of-the-art computer lab has just been set up in the Engineering Library for teaching use of the Internet, as well as providing extra workstations for library patrons when formal classes are not in progress. There are seven IBM PCs and six Power Macs to accommodate people used to either sort of computer.

Classes will soon be available in the use of the Internet and the World Wide Web, so watch for notices of these if you are interested. The lab is intended to be a facility for the University Library as a whole, and not just the Engineering Library, although the first classes will be provided by Engineering Library staff. It will also be available for use by other sections of the university.


Lexis is the leading international data base of full text legal materials. It is arranged in a series of "libraries", the scope of whichare enormous. For example, it has the decisions of the US Supreme Court from 1790. The latest decisions are added within hours of being handed down by the court. Its US coverage also includes decisions from a large number of other courts and tribunals, legislation, major reference works and the full text of more than seventy law reviews. Lexis also has major European data bases including the decisions of the European Court of Justice. Australian case law has recently been added to the library of Commonwealth material. There are also major newspaper libraries.

For many years the library has had an educational subscription to Lexis which has enabled staff to conduct searches for academics and postgraduate students in the Faculty of Law. In 1995 the Library took out an additional subscription which allows access for four simultaneous users. This has enabled searching by end users and the law Library has begun a training program. Because Lexis is a very expensive commercial data base, there are a number of restrictions on our licence. At the moment the Library can only provide access to staff and research students in the Faculty of Law.

Although Lexis is not a complicated data base to use, and indeed can be relatively easily used by readers with visual impairments, there are problems of access. Our access is via Internet and the response time can be extremely slow. As with all Internet access, better results can be had early in the morning or in the evening. Recently the Law Faculty provided four work stations in the Law Library for postgraduate students, and these can be used for Lexisand other Internet services. Staff and eligible students should apply at the Law Library for a password, or contact Margaret McAleese on E-mail:

CJK contract signed on both sides of the Pacific

The National Library of Australia has signed a contract with Innovative Interfaces Incorporated for the supply of the INNOPAC software to the Australian National Chinese Japanese Korean (CJK) System. The contract was signed by Eric Wainwright, Deputy Director-General of the National Library and Chair of the National CJK Steering Committee, and Jerry Kline, President of Innovative Interfaces, at the end of March. Under the contract, the software will be installed at the National Library in July.

The National CJK System is a co-operative project of seven Australian university libraries and the National Library. Once the System is operational, it is expected that more Australian and New Zealand libraries with CJK collections will join. The libraries will use the System to build a union catalogue of CJK material and as a source of copy cataloguing. The System will provide full support for CJK characters. Access will be available, at a charge, over the Internet.