Managing Information Review 1997

This is a fascinating review of Library World Records by the British journal Managing Information back in 1997 (July/August 1997 issue, Vol 4 Number 6), when Library World Records existed only as a website.

This single web page was taken from the Way-Back-Machine database search for the 1997 issue of Managing Information. The Way-Back-Machine database searches for old web pages that are no longer indexed in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Alta Vista.

Managing Information

From the July/August 1997 issue (Volume 4 Number 6)




Info Connect is a neat little product that appears to be compiled by a worthy soul in his spare time for the good of his fellow information professionals. It contains over 1000 links to web sites pertaining to all aspects of librarianship and information science, listed alphabetically. In addition, there is Info Connect Lists, a collection of records about libraries. Access to the site is free and it is updated every two weeks.

Attempting to compile a comprehensive resource like this is a tall order, but you've got to start somewhere, and its originator, Godfrey Oswald, has made a fair stab at it. An information scientist based in London, he began in 1995 with 85 sites and has added to them steadily ever since. Scanning down the list of Urls, all the usual suspects are present, although I think I detected a rather strong bias towards the biomedical field, the specialist subject of the 'author'. However, that doesn't really matter as the whole point of web-based services like this, is that they are ever expandable and are interactive. If you think a site should be included, then you can email the author to say so, and in this way a truly comprehensive product can be developed.

You can't search the site as such, merely browse through the listing, which with such a small number of hits is easily managed. The alphabetisation is a little strange in places: Managing Information is listed under A, for Aslib Managing Information, and some American organisations are prefixed by US. AACR2, the very first entry, is enough to frighten the life out of anybody who thought they'd left all that behind them at library school. The listing is certainly eclectic, taking in national libraries, library automation suppliers, professional organisations, recruitment agencies, and booksellers, to name but a few. The more you look at the list, the more interesting it becomes.

The second section of the menu, is called, confusingly, Info Connect Lists, and is subtitled List of Library Records. Without thinking, I imagined this to be a bibliographic database, and was amused to see that it really is a list of records, as in Guinness Book Of... There are not very many of these, and they are divided into sections. I tried to think of a use for them, other than for those setting a pub quiz, but was a bit stumped. However, they have all the pulling power of trivia, and I read through them smiling.

The oldest national library in the world is that of France, which although not sanctioned until the 17th century, has been in existence since 1480. The first subscription library in the United States was started by Benjamin Franklin in 1732, in Philadelphia. Not bad for a country that had barely woken up. And the G7 country with the smallest number of public libraries per capita is Japan: 2100 for a population of 120 million. This would appear to quash the notion that information is power.

However, it's not just libraries that are included; I was astonished to see that the world's most popular CD-ROM information retrieval software is SilverPlatter's Spirs, along with that of Ovid Technologies. How do they know, I wonder?

I found this to be an extremely useful little site, that I'm sure will continue to improve. It's a very handy thing to have a listing like this under one title in your bookmarks. Obviously it's dependent on the goodwill of one person and web sites of this type have been known to just disappear into Cyberspace, but I'll certainly be enjoying it while it lasts. I was visitor number 3044, who wants to be next?

Linik: Info Connect
Email Godfrey Oswald on

Moira Duncan