September 11, 2007

Living la vida CyberTools

Posted in Integrated Library Systems, Vendors at 2:33 pm by Alexia

As I am sure you all have noticed I went MIA for a while.  Why?  Well, it was the summer of the ILS migration!  We had been using Professional Software since as long as I’ve been here (November 1994) and though it was a great system it was becoming outdated and the developer seems to have disappeared.  We had extra money in our budget this year and decided to take the opportunity to make the change.  We chose CyberTools for several reason including price and the fact that three of the other libraries in our health system and the idea of a union catalog was tempting.  We have not been disappointed.

No ILS is perfect but for our needs CyberTools has come close.  So far I’ve only really played extensively with the circulation module and the catalog module.  I am particularly enamored with circulation, especially the automatic email capability to remind patrons their books are due.  There is a similar feature for the overdues but I haven’t gotten that far yet.  Besides cleaning up records after the migration I am cataloging our electronic books, which excites me to no end.  Before CyberTools we had links on our web page to our ebook vendors and links to titles in our EBSCO AtoZ product but there was no way to search our catalog, find an ebook AND access it all from one resource.

Thus far, my only major disappointment with the cataloging module is the way it handles (or doesn’t handle) loose-leaf books (i.e. – Drug Facts and Comparisons).  It’s a monograph but I wanted a serials record to keep track of the updates.  CyberTools support was able to help me but they did a lot of the work behind the scenes and I can’t recreate it on my own.  This is a relatively minor issue since that is the only active loose-leaf book we have in print.  Nothing in the circulation module has disappointed me.  I have not dealt enough with the serials module to have a strong opinion but I like what I see so far.  Most of my problems with the serials module have to do with journal publishers rather than CyberTools.

I know there are features I haven’t even discovered yet, like the ability of the patron to edit their record and renew items.  I do wish CyberTools had an RSS feature that would let a patron save a search as and RSS feed so that their reader would be updated any time we updated our catalog with an item fitting the patron’s search. I would highly recommend this ILS to any hospital library, especially ones in health systems.


September 29, 2006

ANNOUNCEMENT: Elsevier and Wellcome Trust

Posted in News and Noteworthy, Publishers, Vendors at 9:43 am by Alexia


I am pleased to announce that Elsevier has made an agreement with the Wellcome Trust that allows authors who publish in Elsevier journals to comply with Wellcome Trust’s policy requiring grantholders to deposit final manuscripts of their research papers into PubMed Central. More information regarding this agreement is available on, at the following URL:
Information regarding the Wellcome Trust policy on PMC posting is available from:

Please contact me (or your Elsevier representative) if you have any questions.

Tony McSean
Director of Library Relations
32 Jamestown Road
London NW1 7BY
+44 7795 960516
+44 20 7424 4242

August 22, 2006

New OCLC Connexion tool

Posted in News and Noteworthy, Vendors at 11:00 am by Alexia

OCLC announced that it’s Connexion cataloging product now offers a tool that lets librarians automatically harvest and create WorldCat records for digital resources.  According to MLC:

Using either Connexion client or browser, librarians just type in a URL and the Metadata Extractor captures and formats data into a bibliographic workform for Web sites as well as locally stored .htm, .html, .pdf and .doc files.


August 15, 2006


Posted in Vendors at 9:55 am by Alexia

As everyone knows by now, EBSCO has purchased the CINAHL database and has decided to become exclusive distributors of said database.  The same is true for SPORTDiscus (a great database for finding sports medicine, orthopedic, and rehabilitation literature, btw).  Many people (myself included) are not happy about this.  I find the OVID search interface far superior to EBSCOHost, though EBSCO does offer RSS alerts for saved searches and table of contents (though they are only alerts that link back to EBSCOHost but it’s a start).  But facts are facts and as of January 1, 2008 EBSCO will be the only distributor of an updated CINAHL (and SPORTDiscus) database.  Ergo, if we (my hospital library) want to continue offering this database we will have to switch to EBSCO.

Yesterday afternoon the System librarians met with a couple of EBSCO people and it was a very interesting meeting.  They showed us all the new biomedical offerings, including Cinahl.  I continue to be underimpressed with the search interface but the reps promised a new and improved interface sometime this fall.  Realizing that many librarians are not fond of the search interface, the EBSCO reps focused on the “improvements” they’ve made to the databases, mainly full text journal content.  They discussed native PDF’s and the vast number of titles offered.  I noted that a majority of the titles had embargos (and long ones at that – 7 months or greater) and while that might be okay for an academic setting a clinically-focused library had far different needs.  I pointed out that many journals have posted rapid release articles in an effort to get the most current, vital medical information to clinicians.  In our line of work, 7 months may render information obsolete.  The EBSCO guy countered that delayed access was better than no access at all.  In the clinical setting this is not 100% true.  Oddly enough, when showing us DynaMed he made sure to point out that this product updated daily to get the most current information out there.  Sometimes you just have to love salespeople.

The bottom line for our hospital library is this – we wish to continue offering Cinahl to our nurses and nursing students.  Therefore we will need to migrate Cinahl to the EBSCO platform.  We also love SPORTDiscus and I will lobby hard to migrate that database also.  EBSCO is offering a 6 month trial which we will take advantage of, but not until the new search interface is deployed.  In all likelihood we will not migrate any other databases.  Our main question is that of what level of Cinahl and SPORTDiscus we get (database only, database “Plus”, full text).  As we work our way through this decision-making I will keep you informed of our progress.