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September 4, 1998

  1. Stanford Libraries Staff Association Annual Picnic
  2. Unicorn Trained to Roll Over as the Fiscal Year Concludes
  3. Lane Library Teleconference
  4. Congress Considers Copyright Legislation
  5. 1999 University Holidays
  6. 1998 Worst Serials Title Changes of the Year
  7. SUL/AIR Job Opportunities


Come and take a break from work! See friends from other branches and coordinates. Enjoy the food!

SLSA (Stanford Libraries Staff Association) Annual Picnic

When: Friday, September 18, 1998
Where: Galvez Mall Lawn
Time: 11:OO a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Questions? Contact Birgit Calhoun, bcalhoun@leland.stanford.edu, or James Liu, james@kryptos.stanford.edu.

--submitted by Birgit Calhoun


This past weekend, we concluded the 1997/98 fiscal year in Unicorn acquisitions by running a series of programs to "roll over" fund, vendor, and order records to the new 1998/99 fiscal year. This process is a true team effort between Systems and acquisitions staff, and we thought a brief sketch of the activities would be of interest to those not directly involved in the process.

The "roll over" programs simulate actual production, so we first created funds and vendors for the new year. We processed funds on Tuesday, Aug. 25 and vendors on Thursday, Aug. 27, after the close of production work on both days. We selected criteria for whether to copy records to the new year so that unnecessary ones do not clutter up the data or cause problems (such as when a fund changes its "series" across fiscal years). SUL loaded the assigned allocations to each 9899 fund via a spreadsheet, only one of the custom jobs that Systems provided for us, saving tedious hours of keying.

As we are on a "fiscal week" of Friday through Thursday, we concluded all payment activities on Thursday, August 27. This ensured that our final data for 1997/98 could be transmitted to Accounts Payable the following day. On Friday, August 28, all acquisitions activities were permitted except invoice processing, so we had no "down" time in ordering or receiving. At the close of business Friday, we began "rolling" orders, again selecting them using certain criteria so that we copied only the ones we will need in the new year. The process looked at all records in the system (across years), to locate the ones to "consider"; a great many more were reviewed. This process took from early Friday evening to nearly noon Saturday.


LAW: 31 funds, 457 vendors, 1163 firm orders, 1596 recurring orders
HOOVER: 64 funds, 258 vendors, 3404 firm orders, 4700 recurring orders
SUL: 356 funds, 3279 vendors, 33,892 firm orders, 38,180 recurring orders

After the canned programs ran, we used "custom" software developed by Systems to perform additional tasks: moving claim flags from 9798 orders to their 9899 counterparts, merging some variant vendor codes that were causing complications with Yankee EDI invoice processing, moving orders from old fund names to new, saving all reports generated as backup, and making a few minor adjustments to the custom software used by Payments.

This was a complex scheduling and timing effort that also involved communicating with nearly 100 staff members who use the system as to what tasks they could and could not perform as the process proceeded. Everyone cooperated admirably, and of the nearly 83,000 records we "rolled" only 16 did not process correctly--truly a miracle! Nearly all system functions were ready for use when the first staff came to work on Monday, Aug. 31, at 6:30 a.m.

Thanks go to the cooperative and patient staff of Search/Order, Monograph Receiving, Serials, Gov Serials, Payments, Music Tech Processing, Hoover Acquisitions and Serials, and Law Acquisitions and Serials, as well as to Jerry Persons and Jim Cruse of Systems; Karen Kalinsky, for conveying last year's folklore; and Carol Lawrence, the mastermind behind the whole enterprise.

--submitted by Miriam Palm


Lane Medical Library will be one of the San Francisco Bay Area host sites for a Medical Library Association satellite-linked teleconference called "Evidence-Based Health Care in Action."

This teleconference is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 16th, from 10-11:30 a.m. (PDT), in Room M106 of the Medical School. For more information, please send email to laneinfo@lanelib.stanford.edu.

--submitted by James Liu


The U.S. Congress is currently considering legislation to implement certain World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties signed in the last few years. These treaties seek to ensure international copyright protection for digital materials, such as those available online.

However, H.R. 2281 (the "Digital Millennium Copyright Act") contains an additional provision of interest to librarians and academics. The text of H.R. 2652, a bill to extend copyright protection to database manufacturers, was appended to the end of the Act. This provision prohibits the use of all, or a substantial portion, of the data compiled by another party.

A number of organizations are currently fighting to separate the text of H.R. 2652 from the less controversial parts of H.R. 2281. For an example of such efforts, visit the Digital Future Coalition.

For more information about this issue (and copyright law in general), see SUL/AIR's Copyright and Fair Use Web site.

--submitted by Vicki Reich


The 1999 dates for observance of designated University Holidays, as announced by Director of Human Resources Services, Peggy Hiraoka, are as follows:

New Year's Day (1999) Friday, January 1, 1999
Martin Luther King Day Monday, January 18, 1999
President's Day Monday, February 15, 1999
Memorial Day Monday, May 31, 1999
Independence Day Monday, July 5, 1999
Labor Day Monday, September 6, 1999
Thanksgiving Thursday, November 25, 1999 and
Friday, November 26, 1999
Christmas Friday, December 24, 1999 and
Monday, December 27, 1999
New Year's Day (2000) Friday, December 31, 1999
Birthday Holiday *

*The Birthday holiday may be taken on the employee's birthday or any other work day mutually agreed upon by the supervisor and the staff member as long as it is no more than 365 days after the employee's birthday.

Staff members frequently ask to have other time off to observe days of religious or other special significance. Because of the flexible scheduling allowed for the Birthday Holiday, staff members should be reminded that, with the concurrence of their supervisor, they may schedule their Birthday Holiday to provide paid time off on a day that has special significance to them.

--submitted by SUL/AIR Human Resources


Here is a list of the official awards given out at ALA by the ALCTS-SS Worst Serials Title Change of the Year Award Committee.

The "Asian Crisis Award" goes to Asia-Pacific magazine (1997), published by the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. This title continues New Asia-Pacific Review (1996-97), which is the offspring of New Asia Review (summer 1994-spring 1996), and the original Asia-Pacific magazine (Apr.-June 1996), both having a brief life-span. What goes around comes around. How true.

The "Healthy Choice (NOT) Award" nods go to Nutrition Forum (Amherst, N.Y.), published by Prometheus Books, for changing back to its original title; Nutrition Forum (Philadelphia, Pa.), after a short life (three issues, Sept./Oct. 1996-Jan./Feb. 1997) under the name Nutrition & Health Forum. Do they think health has NOTHING to do with nutrition?

The "No Business is Bad Business Award" is earned by the UCLA Anderson Forecasting Project for its UCLA Anderson Forecast for the Nation and California, formerly, UCLA Business Forecast for the Nation and California. Thanks, but no thanks for this most notable reduction in meaningfulness of title word.

The "I Want to Live, or, Walking Dead Award" belongs to Transactions of the Faculty of Actuaries, published by the Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland. This title is supposed to have merged with the Journal of the Institute of Actuaries to become British Actuarial Journal in 1995, but guess what? It came back to haunt us with nos. 285-286 in 1997, even though the v. 3, pt. 4 (1997) issue of British Actuarial Journal still says on its cover: "Incorporating Journal of the Institute of Actuaries and Transactions of the Faculty of Actuaries." Welcome to the serials Twilight Zone!

No one is more deserving of the "Most Miss-Guided Award" than Peterson's Guides for dropping the word "guide" from seven of its guide titles:

Peterson's Graduate and Professional Programs. Peterson's Graduate Programs in Business, Education, Health, Information Studies, Law & Social Work. Peterson's Graduate Programs in Engineering and Applied Sciences. Peterson's Graduate Programs in the Biological Sciences. Peterson's Graduate Programs in the Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. Peterson's Graduate Programs in the Physical Sciences, Mathematics & Agricultural Sciences. Peterson's Private Secondary Schools.

Practically, all these have merged to form PETERSON'S GUIDE TO FRUSTRATION (or, Peterson's Frustration?)

"The Medieval Torture in Electronic Age Award" finds its winner in the Medieval Review, formerly BMMR. This e-journal changed its title with the July 1997 issue but carried with it ALL the previous issues under the old title. This weird behavior caused CONSER to come up with a brand new solution:

"Incorporating Entry." What more can we say?

The "Snake in the Grass Award," a.k.a. "E-dentity Crisis Award," is presented to UCLA Library Staff Newsweb, an electronic newsletter published by the UCLA Library Administration Office. In its nominator's (Michael Randall) words: "After a staid and responsible publishing history of almost 33 years, the digital age wreaked havoc upon the Library Newsletter/UCLA. A new electronic version with the title UCLA Library Newsweb began publication with no. 837, on June 17, 1997. But not having drawn its last breath, Library Newsletter/UCLA continued publishing until no. 839, July 25, 1997. For this three-issue overlap period, both titles published simultaneously, with slightly differing contents. Could this be an occurrence of serial schizophrenia? Then, showing that change occurs quickly in the digital age, the title changed again, for no apparent reason and with no explanation, to UCLA Library Staff Newsweb, with no. 855, on March 16, 1998." Couldn't have said it better ourselves.

The WORST SERIAL TITLE CHANGE OF THE YEAR AWARD, or, The THREE STRIKES, YOU ARE (W)IN AWARD is bestowed upon the Royal Geographical Society of London for being the ROYAL PAIN IN THE BIB by calling the title of its magazine three different names in as many issues and for receiving three nominations, one of which is from the Netherlands! The magazine began as The Geographical Magazine (May 1936-Nov. 1988), changed to Geographical (Dec. 1988-Apr. 1995), and then to Geographical Magazine (May 1995-May 1997), followed by The Royal Geographical Society Magazine (June 1997), and back to Geographical (July 1997).

Not only did the title change unnecessarily and repeatedly, it always changed in the middle of the year and volume! To make things even worse, the numbering was also screwed up: June-Aug. issues of 1997 are numbered as v. 69, no. 6, v. 70, no. 7 and v. 71, no. 8 respectively. One of the nominators, Jeanette Skwor, said: "I cannot think of a finer example of the spirit of this award." Nor can we. It is only fitting that we grant this prestigious award from our capital to a recipient in another capital for committing such a capital bibliographical crime!

--submitted by Miriam Palm


SUL/AIR has the following open positions for this week:

Computing Information Systems Analyst, Senior

Computing Information Systems Analyst

Library Specialist II

For a complete list of all current SUL/AIR jobs, visit the Human Resources Web site.

Please send future submissions to SUL/AIR News to:

SUL/AIR News is an electronic publication of Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources issued weekly. Copy deadline is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. Submit items for publication to news@sulmail.stanford.edu.
Editor for SUL: Sarah Williamson, sarahcw@sulmail.stanford.edu
Editor for AIR and HR: Eleanor Brown, eabrown@leland.stanford.edu