Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Desktop Delivery: A Science and Technology Virtual Reference Library

Vol. 1, No. 4                                   
September/October 1996

Desktop Delivery: A Science and Technology Virtual Reference Library
by Gerry McKiernan

Beginning in the summer of 1994, a series of queries requesting
information on then current efforts to organize Internet resources were
posted to variety of appropriate newsgroups and listservs
(bit.asis.listserv, PACS-L, LIBREF-L, AUTOCAT, STS-L, LITA-L, INDEX-L, and
so on).   We learned of a number of noteworthy efforts that sought to
provide some added value to accessing World Wide Web resources.  However,
few provided the type of structure, organization, or description that
could effectively enhance access and use of the rapidly increasing number
of scholarly resources that were being made available on the Internet.  A
year later, in the fall of 1995, our prototype virtual library called
CyberStacks(sm) was formally established on the homepage server at Iowa
State University:


As a digital library, CyberStacks(sm) seeks to enhance access to Web
resources by providing users with an organizational framework in which
they can navigate a selective collection of links to significant Web

Enhanced access to the collection is provided by use of the Library of
Congress Classification system, a classification scheme used by a majority
of research libraries throughout the United States and throughout the
world. Using an abridged Library of Congress call number, Cyberstacks(sm)
allows users to browse through virtual library stacks to identify
potentially relevant information resources. Resources are categorized
first within a broad classification, then within narrower subclasses, and
are finally listed under a specific classification range and associated
subject description that best characterize the content and coverage of the
resource. The majority of resources incorporated within the collection are
monographic or serial works, files, databases or search services. All of
the selected resources in CyberStacks(sm) are full-text, hypertext, or
hypermedia, and of a research or scholarly nature.

While the Library of Congress classification system permits the
incorporation of all fields of knowledge within its scope, the current
implementation of CyberStacks(sm) is restricted to those classes within
Science (Q), Technology (T), Medicine (R), Agriculture (S) and related
areas and limited to Web resources with reference value. These include
such standard types of reference works as dictionaries, encyclopedias,
directories, handbooks and manuals, as well as abstracting and indexing
services, bibliographies, and biographical sources. 

In selecting World Wide Web (WWW) and other Internet resources for
CyberStacks(sm), we have adopted the same philosophy and general criteria
used in the selection of non-Internet reference resources. Among the major
features considered in the selection of items for the CyberStacks(sm)
collection are authority of the source, accuracy of information, clarity
of presentation, uniqueness within the context of the total collection,
timeliness, existence of favorable reviews, and applicability to community

From the inception of CyberStacks (sm), we believed that users should be
offered a direct opportunity to develop the collection.  A variety of
features have been integrated to facilitate their involvement. During the
month of September 1996, we are inviting users to participate in
prioritizing the selection of resources for full incorporation within
CyberStacks(sm) by simulating the selection of topics and sub-topics in a
special hypertext outline of the Agriculture (S) section of the Library of
Congress classification scheme. The URL for this experiment is:


[Gerry McKiernan is the curator of CyberStacks(sm) and a faculty member at
Iowa State University in Ames, IA.  He can be reached by e-mail at

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ithaka S+R > Opening The Textbook: New Opportunities for Libraries and Publishers

In our latest issue brief, Nancy Maron, Ithaka S+R program director for Sustainability and Scholarly Communications, explores how these new models might develop, and proposes that there may be a role for academic libraries and university presses in this space.

"Perhaps the best of class textbooks could be produced through campus collaborations. University presses have needed expertise in developing collections, editing manuscripts, and managing distribution channels; libraries have a strong position on campus to support faculty and students and could identify useful materials, whether created on campus or elsewhere." 

>>> Thanks to Cable Green <<<

Source and Link to Full Text Available At

Friday, February 21, 2014

JISC > Call for Participation: Institution as e-Textbook Publisher

February 28 2014

We are today releasing a new call inviting UK higher education institutions (HEIs) and further education colleges (FECs) to participate in a three year national project to explore the viability of institutions becoming e-textbook publishers.

The project is looking to assess the following question:

Will the institution as e-textbook creator help students by providing a more affordable higher education, and promote a better, more sustainable information environment for libraries, students and faculty?

To participate in this call, bidders are required to:

  • Read the call documentation carefully
  • Submit a proposal that meets the requirements as listed in the call. This includes a project plan, risk register, budget and documentation to demonstrate your team’s skills and expertise.

Given that the focus of this call is on colleges and universities becoming publishers of e-textbooks, all bids must be led by one or more FECs or HEIs. To be clear, it is possible for institutions to group together to collaborate. In addition, FECs/HEIs bidding may subcontract parts of the work to other bodies (such as a university press, open access publisher, open source technology developer etc).

Successful bidders will be required to: 

  • demonstrate knowledge and experience of current and recent e-textbook practice and developments in the UK and elsewhere in the context of current pedagogic practice
  • produce two e-textbooks with appropriate functionality
  • document and cost the processes and staffing required to produce them
  • release and disseminate the e-textbooks using a specific business and licensing model
  • provide reports at the end of each year 
  • participate in the dissemination and sharing of knowledge and results to the UK education sector

How to submit a proposal:

Read through the Call for participation: Operational Requirement and the annexes
All bidders must register intent to submit a bid by emailing procurement@ja.net
All clarifications must be raised via procurement@ja.net
Submit your proposal by 5 March 2014 at procurement@ja.net

Download the Call for participation and annexes below


Source and Links Available At:


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

NISO Two-Part Webinar: E-books for Education Part 2: Open Textbook Initiatives > September 17 2014 > 12:00 p.m. (ET)

About the Webinar

Just as open access has revolutionized the world of journal literature, so too is it Increasingly being advocated in the e-textbook world. Part 2 of E-books for Education will focus on the efforts to make textbooks electronically available under free open copyright licenses as part of the broader open educational resources movement.



Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO


Registration closes on September 17, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. (ET)



  • NISO Member > $143.00 (US and Canada) / $164.00 (International)
  • NASIG Member > $143.00
  • Non-Member > $188.00 (US and Canada)  / 224.00 (International)
  • Student / $74.00
Source and Link Available At: