SUNYergy Archive: Access to All Issues

October 2003
Volume 5 Number 4
Page 1

MetaLib: Virtual Library ServicesMetaLib: Searching Across the Spectrum
by Marc Keepper, Ex Libris

Cover Story

MetaLib: Searching Across the Spectrum

Features

Customizing ALEPH

SUNYAUGsome

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Editor's note: "Carey {Hatch} reviewed ideas for the future of SLiCAT that were discussed in a SAC subcommittee meeting. ...This [committee's] charge would focus on the selection of free online resources such as e-journals and institutional repositories/archives and the tools necessary to manage and harvest these types of resources. Carey said that MetaLib is worth exploring and will be scheduling a demonstration at a future SAC meeting." [SUNYConnect Advisory Council meeting minutes, September 24, 2003. The demonstration is scheduled for December 17, 2003]

What is MetaLib?
With MetaLib, the Ex Libris library portal, users enjoy easier access to libraries' e-collections, to services where and when they need them, and are able to personalize their environment for more effective and productive research. MetaLib provides access to a wide range of information resources, be they local or remote, freely available or licensed. Such resources include library catalogs, reference databases, e-journals, digital repositories and subject-based Web gateways.

MetaLib for Students
Students seem drawn to search tools such as Google that they can immediately use-without too much instruction and without replicating their search in different places. Using MetaLib's MetaSearch (TM), or cross-database search capability, students can simultaneously search selected electronic resources using a single interface and can retrieve a unified set of results.

MetaLib's QuickSearch option involves a pre-selection of databases for searching tailored by the librarian for specific user groups. This offers students the simplicity of Google but provides quality results from the library-licensed resources.

MetaLib for Researchers
In addition to its powerful cross-database search capabilities, MetaLib's research environment provides a comprehensive gateway to the library's resources, helping researchers find and navigate to resources of interest. MetaLib ensures that the expert user can easily access the resource's native interface and resource-specific features.

MetaLib also enables individual users to create powerful personalized approaches to research and discovery. Personalized services include the ability to save search histories, create information alerts, save results in an "e-shelf," and configure personalized lists of databases and e-journals.

MetaLib for the Library Staff
MetaLib helps library staff organize and present resources to their users. For example, library staff determine how to describe and categorize the resources they present to the users. The comprehensive KnowledgeBase provided with MetaLib contains details on many of the commonly available databases - including a brief description of the database and the configuration rules needed by MetaLib to search the particular database. Library staff customizes the KnowledgeBase by specifying which of the available resources to present to their users and provide connectivity details for the database such as the institution's ID and password.

MetaLib includes built-in support for various search syntaxes, character sets, record schemas (such as MARC and Dublin Core), data formats (such as XML and HTML) and interfacing protocols (such as Z39.50 and HTTP). Using a Web interface, library staff can

  • Customize the comprehensive MetaLib KnowledgeBase to fit local needs;
  • Configure and maintain library-specific resources;
  • Track collection-management statistics and create reports.

MetaLib at SUNY New PaltzWhat about SFX? How do MetaLib and SFX work together?
SFX is the Ex Libris OpenURL-compliant link server now in use at many SUNY libraries. The SFX software is included as part of the Metalib system. MetaLib and SFX together help library staff manage and provide greater access to electronic resources.

Those SUNY sites that have already implemented SFX will be familiar with SFX working in coordination with their library catalog and other resources as SFX sources. With MetaLib as another SFX source, users have increased access to the "appropriate copy" offered from the library's various resources.

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Cover Story

MetaLib: Searching Across the Spectrum

Feature

Customizing ALEPH

[Image: Bobby Approved Logo]

Feature

SUNYAUGsome

 

Additional SUNYConnect Updates

 


How to Contact Us

Linkable Links

Photo Gallery

 

Link to the SUNYConnect Committees List