Edith Sutterlin, Congressional Research Service, wrote:
My job is that of Librarian, or Information Resources Specialist. I work at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Every day I use computers for several different functions.
1. When I get requests for information or for a bibliography (list of sources of information) from Members of Congress or their staff, I need to be able to find the answers quickly. I search several computer databases. Several of the databases are created right in the Library of Congress itself: the Library of Congress Information System, which I use mostly to get references to books or serials, the Congressional Research Service Products file [which we use to keep track of what CRS analysts already have written for congressional use], and the Public Policy Literature File [which my section builds in anticipation of congressional information needs]. Some databases which I search are commercial, meaning they charge fees for the time I am connected looking for an answer. Some are available at no charge to our Library, as they are databases available directly from another agency in our U.S. federal government. I use Boolean logic and traditional questioning skills to try to find out exactly what information the requester really wants to know, and then construct a very narrow or broad search to find the references that I need. Different databases use different commands, and some are easier to search than others, but familiarity with each helps me to work efficiently and to know what kinds of sources I might expect to find. Sometimes I use Internet sources, although these vary widely in their reliability and ease in use. After I download or print out the references to the information sources, I sometimes just send these out to the congressional office who asked for that information. Other times I combine the information I have found and actually publish a bibliography or finding aid on that topic.
2. Electronic email is another daily use for the p.c. at my desk. I find out about meetings or answers to questions this way, and can subscribe to subject listservs if I want to follow a topic of interest.
3. I also use my p.c. as a basic word processor--to type memos or cover letters to go with the information I send out to the requester. Some forms at my office are already pre-loaded on the computer, so no separate trip to a supply shelf is necessary. For example, theres one form for our monthly personnel reports and another for suggesting new vocabulary terms for our own in-house data base.
4. Sometimes I use the computer to sign on and to search our in-house file, then order a print from the optical disk while I am right online. It is amazing how the computer can send the command to a remotely located jukebox which gets the correct optical disk location for that previously scanned article, and prints me out a copy. I can also ask to fetch a book from the stacks where they are stored, and my message is sent directly to a terminal in the appropriate area. After a staff member pulls the volume from the shelf, the book travels in a preprogrammed basket through several buildings, tunnels, and conveyor systems to arrive close to my office area, following information precoded as to the best route & each necessary turn.
5. There is a database which I work in for cataloging, abstracting and indexing the journal articles, congressional publications, and monographs that I want entered into our public policy database. It is set up so that many workstations can access the record sequentially, each one adding, parts until the record is complete and ready to send to the mainframe computer for adding to our Public Policy Literature data base.
Fri Oct 2 12:55:45 1998 from
Chris Billinsky <firstname.lastname@example.org> (Home Page)
To store all types of information, and then provide methods for easy access and display. Digital libraries are becoming reality.
Fri Jul 9 12:29:29 1999 from sute.loc.gov
Digital Reference Collections, Computerized searches not only on Internet, but also in many commercial or governmental databases, Work flow managment, Statistics, Memos, Monthly reports, Electonic mail communications, Circulation