As of 22 April 2009 this website is 'frozen' in time — see the current IFLA websites
This old website and all of its content will stay on as archive –
Access to library film/video collections has always presented a challenge to media librarians. Most library online catalog systems or library automation search engines were primarily designed for retrieval of print materials. This paper discusses how media librarians can best utilize Web-based information and telecommunication technologies to improve access to traditional library media collecti ons at a large university library through the use of the Macintosh-based database package FileMaker Pro with the CGI search script on a library Web server. The development of the Web has created a major online resource, as well as an opportunity, for media librarians. Several important issues are also discussed including network bandwidth, interactivity and effective multimedia indexing.
Understandably, most automated library online public access catalog systems (OPAC) are primarily designed for the storage and retrieval of print materials. In addition to using the OPAC as a basic electronic access point to audio-visual material in general and film/video in particular, many libraries have either a separate or an add-on media module (e.g. MediaNet) or offer local media database s by the employment of commercial database packages such as Access, Dbase or FileMaker Pro, which are available across multiple platforms.
Todayís library media collections reflect how information technologies have changed the library institution itself. Since the 1900ís there have been several major technological tools developed that have revolutionized library media collections. These include film-making, microfilm and microfiche, radio and television, VCR, OPAC, and recently the World Wide Web. Needless to say, library media c ollections and services which may be described as a window of information technologies, have also been undergoing a fundamental technological transformation. In 1990, Charles W. Bailey reviewed and summarized the research and development in those areas of multimedia computing systems and digital technologies which could have profound impact on library OPAC or similar information storage and retr ieval systems. He suggested a conceptual framework of a library multimedia computer system:
A few years later the Web presented itself as such a system with similar capabilities and great potential.
The Web browser which is designed for discovery and retrieval proves to be a powerful and useful tool for bringing the most advanced multimedia networked information resources to any user's fingertips. For example, NCSA Mosaic provides a unified interface to the diverse protocols, data formats, and information archives used on the Internet. Because of its easy to use interface, interactive cap ability and hyperlinks, a Web browser (e.g. Netscape) enables library patrons to view and retrieve online multimedia resources, including full-color images and sounds embedded in HTML format, smoothly and effortlessly. It is likely to become the predominant interface of future library OPACís.
Behind every library World Wide Web site, there is at least one Web server that delivers library information in HTML format to a library patron through a Web browser. A Web server is the computer that stores and retrieves HTML documents and other Internet or intranet resources using HTTP. On the Macintosh platform, the most popular HTTP server packages are WebSTAR and its shareware predecessor, MacHTTP both created by Chuck Shotton. Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a standard that allows Web servers running external applications. ROFM CGI (formerly FileMaker Pro CGI) allows searching, adding, modifying and deleting records in FileMaker Pro databases via the World Wide Web. It requires a Macintosh running WebSTAR or a CGI-compatible WWW server.
It should take no more than a few days to learn the administration, planning and management of Web Sites on the Macintosh . The database comprises nearly 6,000 bibliographic records of video/film at the Media Center, University of Illinois Undergraduate Library. Records in the database have been created by using Dbase IV for DOS. Catalog records were created in accordance with Anglo-American Cat aloguing Rules, 2d ed., revised (AACR2R). Each record contains basic video or movie descriptive elements: title, director, format, year, cast, subject, length. Part of the records added picture/still image and audio fields converted into FileMaker Pro data. From the Centerís homepage, users can search the database, view retrieval lists, display records, and follow "hot links" to the described res ources. The project would not have been online without help from the University Computing and Communication Services Office and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois.
Additional information is available from the Media Center home page with
The use of the Web to disseminate library media information is still in its infancy. This project raised several issues on how to create an effective multimedia database on the Web.
April 11, 1996