By Williams, Gary L.
Information Today , Vol. 10, No. 3
The Technical Library of the Tennessee Valley Authority's National Fertilizer Environmental Research Center (NFERC) in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, has recently expanded information services to its customer.
Beginning its history in 1935 as the chemical library for the newly established federal agency, the library expanded its collections to include agricultural and related information in 1961. Library resources have grown to accommodate the changing research activities at NFERC, and today its collection includes electronic and printed sources which focus on environmental stewardship, alternative technologies, site and materials remediation, and other key environmental issues. The library is internationally recognized for its extensive holdings on fertilizer development technology.
Four professional and five support staff manage cataloging, serials, acquisition and circulation functions using Data Trek software on a VAX network. A full range of library services are provided to its customers. The collection includes 30,000 volumes, 1,300+serial subscriptions, over 2,000 rells of microfilm, and over 1,200 linear feet of scientific, government, and technical report. Several internal databases are managed on an Alpha-Micro mini-mainframe computer housed in the library; these provide access to TVA publications, government and technical documents, proprietary reports of research-in-progress, and research queries handle by the reference staff. Online information services include Dialog, STN, Numerica, EPIC, OCLC, National Library of Medicine, Washington Alert, and Wilsonline. Connections to a variety of additional systems and databases are also maintained.
A number of chemical and regulatory databases are available on two of the library's four public access workstations. These are IBM/DOS stand-alone systems witch attached Hitachi CD-ROM drives. Two other workstations provide public access to the OPAC and internal databases.
In November of 1992, the library implemented new hardware and software which provide customers enhanced information access. With the addition of two Meridian CD-ROM towers to the VAX mainframe and the purchase of network licensing, 16 CD-ROM products are now accessible from the over 300 individual workstations on the VAX system. …