Bender Library upgrades

New databases and thermometers installed

Bender Library went through various improvements this summer, including the installation of high-tech periodical services and data bases as well as some revamped old services which are ready for use this fall.

One major improvement, according to University Librarian Pat Wand, is a new service known as DocDirect, which was up and running two weeks ago. The service provides a printout of selected articles found in ALADIN, the computer system housing the periodical indexes for The American University and the Washington Research Library Consortium.

DocDirect applies to GENL (multi-subject periodicals index) and ABII (ABI/Inform business index) data bases only, but not to all articles in these bases. According to Wand, approximately 50 percent of these two data bases is currently attainable through DocDirect. Some journals are also listed in DocDirect, but the collection is incomplete. Many only provide articles starting with 1994. Wand said the limited access is primarily due to copyright charges.

Wand said the library also implemented six new data bases on ALADIN, to make a total of twelve. The new bases are as follows:

* PAST, a business periodicals, general science, humanities and reader's guide index

* BIOG, a biography index

* REVU, a book review digest and a cumulative book index

* ESAY, an essay and general literature index

* EDLI, an education index and library literature

* LEGL, an index to legal periodicals

In addition to the new educational technology, Wand said the library is also addressing physical concerns. Many students have complained about the heating system during the winter - that Bender was too hot.

In response to the problem, Wand said the library bought thermometers for different sites within the library for monitoring the temperature and improving the speed of physical plant in addressing problems.

"When students find the temperature uncomfortable, they should report it," Wand said.

Another aspect of the library that has been criticized in the past has been its shortage of resources. CAS junior Angela Gianato said she rarely finds what she needs in Bender.

"I have to often go to other libraries for books," Gianato said.

CAS graduate student Monique Morrissey characterized the library as "not the greatest, not up to date." She said she believes the reason is lack of sufficient funding. SPA sophomore Brendan Kehoe said he agrees.

"The library relies too much on WRCL and doesn't stock itself," Kehoe said.

Future plans for the library, Wand said, include analyzing space in the building to provide the utmost efficiency, and upgrading its CD-ROM terminals this fall.

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