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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship Summer 1998

Conference Reports

Heads of Sci/Tech Libraries

Nan Butkovich
njb@psulias.psu.edu or njb2@psu.edu

Notes from the meeting on June 28, 1998

After attending an excellent STS reception at the National Aquarium, the Heads of Sci/Tech Libraries Discussion Group met to hear presentations by Stephanie Bianchi of the National Science Foundation and Jeff Baer from Community of Science.

Ms. Bianchi discussed the challenges of producing the NSF Library's electronic newsletter (available by contacting Ms. Bianchi at sbianchi@nsf.gov).  She pointed out that with a staff of three (one librarian and two paraprofessionals) there usually wasn't time to dedicate to producing the newsletter.  Instead, it was done in little bits and pieces as time permitted.  She provided an excellent handout of some of the most common sources of information that she uses. 

She also commented that, although the newsletter often refers to the NSF webpage, most people will be unable to access this website since it is behind a firewall.  There are two versions of the newsletter: one for internal use at NSF and one for external consumption.  The latter has had local interest items and proprietary items deleted from it.

Mr. Baer presented an overview of Community of Science. Within universities offices of university research are more likely than libraries to initially subscribe to Community of Science.  However, many of these offices are not able to provide the support that faculty need to make effective use of the features provided by Community of Science.  He believes that libraries should step into this gap and provide faculty with the assistance they need to maneuver through the process of electronic submission of grant requests, abstract submissions, etc.  

He described two projects which he felt represented part of the future electronic world.  One was a joint project between Community of Science and the Entomological Society of America which involves the electronic submission of abstracts for presentations at society conferences.  The second was a project by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation which involved the submission of research grant proposals in electronic format.

The presentations were followed by a spirited discussion period.  Also someone announced that the Goddard Space Flight Center has a new webpage at http://library.gsfc.nasa.gov. At the end, a request was made for additional topics for future discussion group meetings.  Anyone wishing to submit a suggestion should send it to Nan Butkovich at njb2@psu.edu or Bart Lessin at aa3327@wayne.edu.

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