Magazine article Information Today

Directory of Library & Information Professionals: (CD-ROM Data Base)

Magazine article Information Today

Directory of Library & Information Professionals: (CD-ROM Data Base)

Article excerpt

Directory of Library & Information Professionals:

Introduction

The Directory of Library & Information Professionals (hereafter DLIP) exists as a CD-ROM database and a printed directory of slightly less than 43,000 names of practitioners. The CD-ROM version, reviewed here, was produced collaboratively by the American Library Association, Research Publications of Woodbridge, CT and Knowledge Access International of Mountain View, CA, with the participation of a number of other information associations in the U.S. and Canada. DLIP utilizes Knowledge Index International's KAware2 Retrieval System software which features menu and command searching, and provides the option to use the Boolean operators or/and/not.

Names for the database were gleaned from the membership lists of 26 information associations and enhanced by obtaining the names of individuals making significant contributions to their respective associations. People selected for inclusion in DLIP, some 80,000, were sent a questionnaire to gather the necessary information. Follow-up mailings and, in some cases, telephone calls were used to gather information from the non-responders. By using these methods, full records were obtained for about 23,000 people, and include the following:

For the remaining 20,000, there are brief records including name, address, position, telephone, employer, employer type, obtained from the professional associations involved in this project.

My exploration of DLIP suggests the probable markets as personnel departments and those charged with recruitment or location of experts, library schools, companies in the information industry, publishers, professional associations, and people doing research in the area of library and information science.

Getting Started

The stated hardware and software requirements are:

* IBM PC, XT or AT, or a 100% IBM PC, XT or AT compatible;

* 640K RAM;

* 360K floppy disk drive;

* Hard disk;

* MS-DOS or PC-DOS version 3.1 or higher;

* CD-ROM drive (Amdek, Hitachi, Philips, or Sony);

* with MS-DOS extensions;

* Monochrome or color monitor;

* Printer (optional);

* DLIP program disk;

* DLIP CD-ROM

We used two different hardware configurations:

* AT&T 6300; 640K RAM; two 360K floppy disk drives; 20 MG Hard Card Plus; Hitachi external CD-ROM drive; monochrome monitor; HP Think Jet printer; and

* TRANSDATA portable computer (IBM AT-compatible); 640K RAM; high density floppy disk drive; hard drive; Sony internal CD-ROM drive; Hercules-type high resolution amber 9" display; no printer.

The documentation provided with DLIP is explicit, guiding the DOS rank novice, which I am, through the steps of creating a subdirectory and installing the program. If these suggested steps do not work, you will find no help in the documentation, or the errata sheet which supersedes the original set-up instructions, but will need to call Joel Lee at the ALA Offices or the staff at Knowledge Access International for assistance.

Getting Help Printed Documentation

The printed, spiral-bound manual supplied with DLIP is 10 chapters, in a scant 54 pages. It seems to have been adapted from a generic version for the KAware2 Retrieval System software. There is very little in the manual that customizes it to this specific product. An essential part of the manual, for this reason, is the section entitled "Guided Tour," which takes a user through one fairly straight-forward search, and a second, more complex one. These effectively reveal the power of DLIP. Had I not done the searches right away, I would not have found my way through the intricacies of the search software without several hours of trial and error. The rest of the manual can be recommended, generally, for its clarity, but faulted for its lack of examples for this database, and failure to describe how the data are gathered and structured. …

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