From your 1997-98 OCLC Users' Council Delegates:
Bernard Strong Marcia Talley
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ph: 202-287-9463 ph: 410-293-6905
NOTES OF THE OCLC USERS COUNCIL
COMMUNICATIONS AND ACCESS
MAY 19-20, 1997
Carolyn Snyder, Leader
Susan Baughman, Recorder
Each of the two sessions was devoted to information reports by OCLC staff.
On Monday May 19 the group heard from Shirley Hyatt and James Rubottom, who
spoke about price structures, the workstation replacement program, and
migration plans; and then about both dial and dedicated TCI/IP access
Dial TCP/IP will be field tested in June, with ten sites participating for a
two week period. Production is slated for July 1997. Pricing will be based
on connect time, with a single fee for multiple sessions. Asynchronous dial
access will continue to be available through CompuServe or 800 dial, or
The pace of migration to TCP/IP is still unknown. OCLC staff asked for
suggestions from the group about getting the word out to member libraries.
It was suggested that networks could be useful allies, and that OCLC staff
also work with local system vendors. The group was interested in learning
about use statistics; web-based activity is more difficult to capture and
library managers may not have as clean data as they would like. Staff will
keep this interest group apprised of developments.
The Tuesday May 20 meeting was devoted to staff presentations about client
server activities, particularly Z39.50 standards, with implications for
reference and cataloging; and to discussion of thin clients and network
OCLC has been actively involved in the Z39.50 Implementation Group (ZIG)
since 1987, to assure that software and services meet standards. For
Reference, Site Search 3.1 was released on April 7 with some very nice
features including thesaurus aided searching to target databases elsewhere.
For cataloging, pilot testing will continue through June 1997. While
pricing is not yet fixed, it probably will be similar to current pricing.
As one staff remarked, TCP/IP will support cataloging in a "very sleek
Thin clients and network personal computers were described in detail for the
group, in an effort to keep it apprised of rapid changes in technology, and
implications for OCLC customers. The presentation gave the group a basis
for understanding management issues for moving from PCs to network personal
computers. OCLC is monitoring these developments carefully and will keep
members informed if/when they think hardware changes would be cost and
service effective...probably not for two years.