University of Sydney Library Newsletter

Issue Nº 27 - June 1996

ISSN 1326-2785
Newsletter archive

In this Issue

Library Photocopying Changes

The Library's contract with its Facilities Manager of 16 years, Quality Copy Service, finished at the end of 1995. In response to University policy and with the aid of a consultant, the Library went to tender for a new Facilities Manager. At the same time it was decided to update the card system used to access the copiers and make use of new networking technologies to provide security to the Library and the service's users.

The Tender

The response to the tender was very good with 14 companies competing for the contract. BEAR Solutions was chosen because it met the criteria set out in the tender with the added extra of a secure ATM system using existing phone lines. This system also enabled us to offer copying at the same price as it was before.

The Project

BEAR Solutions began its installation of the new system in January. This installation proved to be a bigger project than was at first estimated and there were some unfortunate delays which affected customer service. The project required the installation of new card readers on approximately 220 machines, card vending machines in 14 libraries, network cabling in 20 libraries, new phone lines and network monitoring equipment. A temporary system was put in place to provide access to copying while the new equipment was installed. Camden Library is not yet included in this networked system for technical reasons which we hope will be resolved in the near future.


The advantages of the system selected are:

  • cards that work on the copying facilities of all networked Libraries including Health Sciences
  • account security. Cards are PIN protected. If a registered card is lost, the credit balance can be transferred to a new card
  • no price increase
  • quick network response time
  • efficient management of the copying service

Facilities Management Team

The new Facilities Management team is headed by Mr Bruce Pink. Bruce ran the copying services in the Library at UNSW and so is familiar with the service requirements of Library users. Bruce can be contacted on ext 13750 or ext 12195. Photocopying is available in all Libraries.


Copying Service provides access to photocopying machines in all Libraries. Microform reader-printers are available in selected Libraries.

Photocopying is available in A4 and A3 sizes. Double sided copying is also available. Colour copying is available in Fisher Library. Transparencies can also be copied in many Libraries.

Medical Librarian Appointed

Monica Davis is the new Medical Librarian, but is no stranger to medical libraries. For the last two years Monica has been Area Manager (NSW, Qld, NT and NZ) for DA Information Services, a company providing document delivery and online services. Prior to her move into the commercial world, Monica was Biomedical Librarian at the University of New South Wales from 1986 to 1993 and Manager of the Gardiner Library, University of Newcastle from 1981 to 1986.

At UNSW she pioneered various IT developments by successfully bringing together vendors, the Library and University Computer Services Department to improve online information services, first by networking CD-ROMs in the Biomedical Library and then offering Medline across the University network. She has carried out several consultancies, including one in Vietnam for the World Health Organisation.

Monica can be contacted on ext. 13618 or e-mail

Artworks for Badham

Patrons of Badham Library will be aware of the recently completed improvements to the Library's foyer. The refurbished area now includes a new service desk and an increased number of computer workstations for accessing the Library's online catalogue and the Internet.

The bareness of the newly repainted walls has been alleviated by artworks provided by Ms Pamela Bell, Curator of the University Art Collection. It is Ms Bell's policy to make this fine collection more accessible to staff and students of the University by displaying selected works in public University spaces.

Works by well-known local artist Ewan McDonald, entitled "Casablanca Parts 1 and 2" feature at the far end of the foyer. Sketches of fungi by Gladys O'Grady are in keeping with the life sciences theme as are several floral works by A E Aldis. There is one painting by Yvonne Boas entitled "Boatsheds".

Members of the University are welcome to visit the Badham Library to view these artworks and to make use of its wide range of information resources and services.

Current Serials and Monographic Series on INNOPAC

One of the major tasks to be accomplished as part of the implementation process for the Library's new online system, Innopac, is the inputting of more than 20,000 accessioning records, currently manual, for current serials, monographic series and looseleaf services.

Innopac includes a number of features which had been lacking in the Library's old catalogue:

  • material is accessioned online so that up to date holdings information, including latest issues received, is able to be viewed;
  • it is possible to ascertain from the catalogue which issues are at binding;
  • the electronic databases Applied Science and Technology Index, Biological and Agricultural Index and Expanded Academic Index are linked to the Library's serial collection, enabling the user to see immediately whether the serial cited is held;
  • Access to serial records is improved with an increased range of access points and a separate journal title index.

As of 1 May 1996 some 10,000 current serial records had been added to Innopac, 7,000 of which are for titles held in the Branch Libraries. It is anticipated that the inputting of Branch Library titles will be completed by the end of May 1996, after which the remainder of the Fisher titles will be added.

Records for all current serials have been added in Badham, Camden, Chemistry, Curriculum, Engineering, Geography, Mathematics, Medical, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physics and Wolstenholme Libraries.

Library's WWW Homepage

To coincide with the launching of its new online system, Innopac, in December 1995, the Library has upgraded its World Wide Web service.

World Wide Web is currently the easiest way to access most information and services available on the Internet, the worldwide network of computer networks, and also to publish information, which is organised into documents, or pages, that can be viewed on a workstation. These pages contain links, called hyperlinks, to other, related Web pages on computers worldwide. By pointing the cursor at a link, which is highlighted on the page, and clicking a mouse, a request for a desired document, directory or file is sent and a copy is transferred from the remote computer.

The Library's World Wide Web homepage, or introductory page, has been designed as the electronic gateway both to information about the Library and its services and to many of the services and databases the Library provides for the University. The design of the homepage is based on a multi- directional signpost, pointing to Library catalogues, electronic texts and journals, databases, hours and services, subject guides, what's new, search/index and help. Pointing at and clicking on any one of the signs establishes the link to and displays the relevant information. In addition to factual information, there are also electronic forms to allow users to communicate with the Library, for example to place an Interlibrary loan request, as well as direct links the Library catalogue and other databases, subject guides to research and tools for searching the Internet.

Access to the Library homepage and its connected Web pages is available at Fisher and Branch libraries, and from many other workstations connected to the University network. Workstations require software, specifically a graphical browser, such as Netscape, to view the full graphical version of the homepage. The Library has acquired about 180 Power Mac workstations for use in public areas. These run Netscape and allow access both to the Library's Innopac and the homepage. Library staff are able to switch quickly between the two according to demand, although a connection to the Innopac catalogue is always available on Netscape. Currently there is predominantly a demand for catalogue access but, where the homepage is obviously available, for example in Fisher Library, its use is already quite heavy.

Feedback on the design and content of the homepage is encouraged by the provision of an electronic visitors' book and an e-mail form. Comments and compliments have been received from students, for example in Canada, Malaysia and Belgium. In addition, it has been listed by Todd Library, Middle Tennessee State University, as an innovative Internet application in libraries, the only Web site outside North America to be listed.

The Internet address for the Library homepage (its Universal Resource Location, or URL) is:

New Full Text Database

Over the last few years the library has provided access to an increasing range of electronic databases covering most disciplines taught at the University. Most of these databases consist of indexes and abstracts of the research literature in particular subject areas. These improve access both to the Library's own collections - especially of journals - and publications held elsewhere. Electronic databases are now expanding their coverage to include the actual text of journal articles, research reports etc in addition to indexes and abstracts. The Library is now providing University-wide access to such a database, ABI/Inform.

ABI/Inform Global Full Text 1985- contains over 550,000 citations to articles in 1,000 international periodicals and the full text of the articles in 500 journals. The database covers business and management as well as related functional areas including trends, corporate strategies and tactics, and competitive and product information. As many of the Faculties in the University are offering management education, the database has a wide applicability in almost every discipline.

Journals in full text include:

  • Air Transport World
  • Banking
  • The Economist
  • Engineering Economist
  • Environment Today
  • Equal Opportunities International
  • Far Eastern Economic Review
  • Federal Reserve Bulletin
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Foreign Investment Review
  • Franchising World
  • Information Technology & Libraries
  • International Financial law Review
  • Journal of Applied Business Research.

ABI/Inform complements other existing electronic resources in the fields of business, industry, finance and management and additionally supplies text of journals not held in print form.

Citations and the text of articles can be saved to disk and printed.

Access to ABI/Inform is available on workstations in the Fisher and Branch libraries and from any workstation connected to the University network using client software available from the Library.

Details are available on the Library's World Wide Web page: http://WWW/ or telephone: 351 3560.

New Space Design for Expansion of E-access

Library users coming into Fisher late last year discovered not only a new online catalogue system, but also a redesign of public workstation space complete with new furniture and new computers. The introduction of the Library's new catalogue system created an opportunity for refurbishing this area. Focus was on making more efficient use of the space, providing ergonomic work areas, and increasing the number of workstations and applications for public access.

In consultation with a couple of vendors the Library chose a modular design which groups work areas into pods or clusters. The modularity allows for a variety of grouping configurations, as well as adding on units and redesigning as needed in the future.

The new furniture provides reasonable space and privacy for the users, allows several users to gather together around a workstation, and is at a height which allows the Information Desk staff to see across and be aware of usage, problems, etc. Power and cabling connections are neatly run through an interlocking system, out of sight, which links the units together. Two of the units have been configured for special needs access with desktops which are high enough for wheel chairs. In total there are 47 individual work areas.

Library users are spending more time at workstations - searching the online catalogue and the two journal article databases it also provides, searching the CD-ROM and other electronic databases, and of course now more and more searching of Internet resources via the World Wide Web. Searching these databases can also involve downloading results and consulting with Library staff on search strategy and technique. An ergonomic design was therefore very important. The desktop of each unit is shaped in an inverted curve providing good access to the keyboard. The computer sits in the middle of the desktop and the mouse can be placed on either side. Chair height is adjustable.

Along with the new furniture and new design, workstations with access to the World Wide Web via the Library's home page are now provided. At this time ten Macs are being logged in as Web workstations. The PCs which have access to the CD- ROM and electronic database network are also located in the pods.

Most of the pods have Macs which are logged into the Library Catalogue. Actually, all the Macs have access to both the Catalogue and the Web, but at this time we are logging them in as either one or the other and specifying the preferred application with signs. The Macs with Web access have Catalogue access also from the Library's Web home page. We have doubled the number of access points to the Catalogue with the new design and computers.

With the new furniture and computers, Library users can explore the Library's expanding electronic resources in an ergonomic and pleasant space. As for improving searching efficiency, please consult with the Library Staff!

Two views of the redesigned reference area on Floor 3, Fisher Library
Photographs by courtesy of Jill Brown

Library Regulations

Notice is hereby given that I intend to make the following alterations and additions to the Library Regulations.

Neil A. Radford
University Librarian
1 May 1996

Present Wording Suggested New Wording Rationale
Regulation III

Conditions of Borrowing

(e) 2.Research Library - except where the item has been reserved for another person, the borrowing period may be extended by up to two extensions of two weeks each for holders of undergraduate borrowing privileges, by one extension of eight weeks for holders of academic/higher degree privileges, and one extension of four weeks for interlibrary loans.
Regulation III

Conditions of Borrowing

(e) 2.Research Library - except where the item has been reserved by another borrower or by the Library, the borrowing period may be extended to the following extent:
  • Staff and students of the University of Sydney

    Undergraduate borrowing privileges:
         5 extensions of 2 weeks each

    Academic/Higher Degree privileges:
         5 extensions of 8 weeks each
  • All other borrowers

    Undergraduate borrowing privileges:      2 extensions of 2 weeks each

    Academic/Higher Degree privileges:
         1 extension of 8 weeks each
    Interlibrary Loans:
         2 extensions of 4 weeks each
In the past the principal argument for limiting the number of renewals has been that books should be available for the browsing reader. However, the capacity of the Library's new system to display "browsing" screens with items in the same order as they are on the shelf provides users with an effective means of perusing the Library's holdings in their field of interest.

It is felt that a loan extension should not be refused to a borrower who demonstrated a clear need for the item on the basis that someone else might want the item.

The limit of 5 renewals requires the user to periodically present the item physically but does not preclude a further set of renewals if required.

* Metropolitan Universities Borrowing Agreement (MUBA) Reciprocal Borrowers have further borrowing restrictions as itemised from time to time in the MUBA contract.

III. Conditions of Borrowing

Present Wording Suggested New Wording Rationale
Regulation III

Conditions of Borrowing

(f) The following conditions apply in relation to the recalling of items on loan before the date due:
  1. If the item is needed for a Reserve Collection - recallable after the expiration of one week from the date of initial loan.
  2. If the item has been requested by another borrower - recallable after the expiration of one week from the date of initial loan (two weeks if borrowed under academic/higher degree privileges).
Regulation III

Conditions of Borrowing

(f) Items on loan may be reserved and are recallable if needed by a Reserve Collection or by another borrower, after expiration of one week from the date of initial loan. Metropolitan Universities Borrowing Agreement (MUBA) Reciprocal Borrowers may not place reservations on items which are on loan.
If an item on loan is in demand and attracts one or more reservations it should be made available to as many users as require it without undue delay. The use of such items for a minimum of one week offers equitable access without favouring any particular borrower group. If an item attracts a large number of reservations it will normally be placed in the Reserve Collection.

MUBA borrowers may not place reservations on the basis that reservations will only need to be placed if an item is on loan. It is felt that it is inappropriate that staff or students of the University of Sydney should be required to return material early to accommodate the needs of these borrowers.
Third Schedule

I. Fines

(a) Items borrowed and overdue from the Undergraduate Library, Research Library or Branch Libraries:

90 cents for each day the library is open (excepting Sundays and public holidays) to a maximum of $25.00.
Third Schedule

1. Fines

(a) Items borrowed and overdue for any Library collection (other than Reserve Collections):

$1.00 for each day to a maximum of $25.00. No fines will be imposed on Sundays, Public holidays or days on which the Library is closed.
Fine levels have remained at 90 cents per day for some five years and the cumulative effect of inflation during that time warrants a rise to $1.00 per day to maintain their deterrent value.

CPI December 1990 - 106.0 points
CPI September 1995- 117.6 points

This represents an increase of 11.6 points or 10.9% in the CPI. If this is applied to the current fine rate of 90 cents per day, it would result in an increase of 9.8 cents.
Third Schedule

II. Other Penalties

(a) Failure to return a recalled item: A borrower who fails to return an item recalled under Regulation III(f) within one week of the issuing of the recall notice will have borrowing privileges suspended until the item is returned and will be liable for fines as if the item was overdue.
Third Schedule

II. Other Penalties

(a) Failure to return a recalled item: A borrower who fails to return an item recalled under Regulation III(f) by the date indicated in the recall notice will have borrowing privileges suspended from that date and will be liable for fines as if the item was overdue plus a further fine of $1 per day until the item is returned.

Holds are a clear indication of heightened demand for particular items. An effective Holds system is essential if the use of material is to be optimised. Past experience has indicated that in the case of material in heavy use - the material most likely to attract Holds - normal fines are frequently not effective in persuading more selfish users to share material with fellow users. The application of higher fines should not only assist in expediting the return of material in demand but would be a crucial support for the more flexible renewal policy recommended previously.