Thursday, May 28, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Occupational health & safety

Electrical safety
Personal injury is generally due to electric shock or burns.

Electric shock
Electric shock occurs when a person becomes part of an electrical circuit and the current flows through their body. A person receives an electric shock by touching a live electrical cable, or by touching equipment which has become ‘live’ due to an electrical fault, lack of maintenance or a short circuit. A person may suffer irreparable damage to their body tissue. A fatal shock is called electrocution.

Electrical burns
Electrical burns are caused by the direct passage of electrical current through the body. A burn can also be caused by direct contact with a hot surface, such as a lamp.

While the surface of the skin may not show evidence of burning, electrical burns may affect deep tissue. Electrical burns are often slow to heal, and medical treatment should always be sought.

Using a first aid manual such as St. John ambulance’s Australian first aid, write down the first aid steps for managing electrical burns.

MayoClinic. Electrical burns: first aid

While helping someone with an electrical burn and waiting for medical help, follow these steps:
1. Look first. Don't touch. The person may still be in contact with the electrical source. Touching the person may pass the current through you.
2. Turn off the source of electricity if possible. If not, move the source away from both you and the injured person using a dry nonconducting object made of cardboard, plastic or wood.
3. Check for signs of circulation (breathing, coughing or movement). If absent, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately.
4. Prevent shock. Lay the person down with the head slightly lower than the trunk and the legs elevated.
5. Cover the affected areas. If the person is breathing, cover any burned areas with a sterile gauze bandage, if available, or a clean cloth. Don't use a blanket or towel. Loose fibers can stick to the burns.

Electrical fires
Electrical fires can be caused by overheating of electrical wiring or equipment. You need to know fire alarm and evacuation procedures.

Write down the fire alarm and evacuation procedures in your organization.

Know who the fire wardens are. Know how the alarm sounds. Know where to exit. Know where to evacuate to. Know what to check. Know what to take. Know who to notify.

First aid
Delay in the rescue and resuscitation of an electric shock victim may be fatal, so the first few minutes are vital. Contact expert help if readily available.

Using a first aid manual such as St. John ambulance’s Australian first aid, write down the plan of action for rescuing an electric shock or burn victim.

Remove person from danger. Don’t expose anyone else to hazard. Turn off power. Call for first aid. Check for and/or manage burns. Lie person down. Raise person’s legs. Turn on side. Check airway is clear and/or open. Begin resuscitation.

General safety precautions

  • Keep equipment in safe working order by regular inspections and a preventive maintenance program.
  • Disconnect broken appliances.
  • Keep equipment away from water and wet areas.
  • Always switch off equipment at the power point before pulling out the plug.
  • Don’t overload circuits and fuses by using too many pieces of equipment from one power point. Use a power board with individual switches instead of double adaptors.
  • Inspect plugs and electrical cables for damage. Have broken power points replaced by a licensed electrician.
  • Keep electrical cords off the floor to reduce damage to cords and risk of tripping.
  • Know the location of the main electrical supply or fuse box.
  • When replacing fuses and lamps use the correctly rated replacements.
  • Take care when replacing a lamp in a projector which has been recently used. The lamp may still be hot. Use a cloth or glove.
  • Use trolleys to move heavy or bulky equipment.
  • Use trolleys to raise equipment such as projectors to the correct height. Don’t balance equipment on piles of books.
  • When setting up rooms with equipment ensure that people can exit easily and quickly. Consider the positioning of equipment, screens and chairs.
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers.
  • Know the location of fire escapes and emergency exits.
  • Use equipment correctly. Follow operational and safety instructions in the manual.

Complete the following table, listing possible occupational health & safety hazards and the precautions which can be taken. Precautions include safe work practices and hazard reduction procedures.

Hazard Precaution
Electric shock Good maintenance of electrical equipment
Safe work practices including dry work area,
not carrying out unauthorised procedures
Power off
Lifting/carrying/moving Correct lifting procedures
Safe work practices including dry work area,
not carrying out unauthorised procedures
Power off
Bright lightTurn equipment off when not in use
Avoid looking at operating light source
Burns (heat lamp)Let equipment cool down
Wear protective clothing
Power cords/cablesPlan equipment layout
Tape to floor
Good repair

General machine handling hints
Not only do you need to take care of yourself, you also need to protect the equipment you use.
· Follow operational and safety instructions in the manual.

  • Use equipment safely and only for its intended use.
  • Never force parts of equipment that do not fit or operate easily. However you may need to ‘gentle’ a part – e.g. releasing the Fresnel lens on an overhead projector.
  • Don’t drop or knock equipment.
  • Wrap power cords around the leg or handle of a table or trolley.
  • Do not use a machine unless all parts – e.g. cooling fan – are working properly, as you risk damaging the equipment or software.
  • Prevent heat buildup by allowing adequate air circulation – e.g. do not block ventilation slots by placing equipment on a soft surface or by operating it in an enclosed area, such as on a shelf.
  • Keep operating instructions in a secure area. If necessary, keep photocopies of operating instructions with equipment.
  • Read the manual.
  • Always test the equipment before use, and after performing any maintenance tasks – e.g. changing a lamp.
  • If you need to replace a lamp, do not touch the glass with bare hands. Use a cloth, glove or the plastic sleeve which comes with the lamp.
  • Power cords should be folded loosely and stored in the compartment if the machine has one. If power cords are separate they may be folded loosely and tied to the equipment.
  • Do not wrap power cords around equipment unless it is designed to do this (e.g. some overhead projectors).
  • Check that all components of a piece of equipment are kept together. Label equipment or case with a list of components and check on issuing and return of equipment.
  • Remove batteries from equipment when storing for any time, or if it is to be used routinely with mains (AC) power.
  • Make sure equipment is OFF when plugging AC cord into outlet.
  • TO disconnect any cord from a machine, grasp the plug (some plugs may need to be turned or pins compressed). Never pull the cord.

Revision quiz

Use the following questions to revise your understanding of occupational health and safety.

1. What are your responsibilities with respect to oh&S? Take care of yourself. Don’t put others at risk.
2. When does a person suffer electric shock?
Becomes part of the circuit and the current flows through the body. If they touch live cables. If they touch live faulty equipment. If equipment lacks maintenance.
3. How can you protect against electrical fires?
Prevent heat build up. Allow adequate air circulation. Maintain wiring and equipment.
4. What are some general safety precautions that you can take when working with electrical equipment?
Regularly check equipment. Keep equipment away from water. Don’t overload circuits/fuses. Keep cords off floors. Know fire extinguisher locations. Use equipment correctly.
5. What are some ways of keeping equipment in good order?
Use safely for intended purposes. Never force parts. Wrap cords around table legs. Don’t use equipment unless it works. Read the Manual. Fold power cords loosely and store in compartments.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Opaque projectors

Opaque projection is a method of enlarging and displaying nontransparent material on a screen, e.g. pages from books or magazines, maps, etc. It makes a wide range of visual materials available for group viewing. The opaque projector is used to project photographs, drawings, book pages and the like onto screen for group viewing. It performs this function by using a strong 1000 watt incandescent lamp to reflect light off the surface of the material. The image is reflected through a lens onto a screen. As the light is reflected off the material rather than passing through it, opaque projection is classed as an indirect projection system.

Indirect projection is less efficient than the direct projection process used for showing slides, filmstrips, motion picture film and overhead transparencies. Much of the light is absorbed by the material being projected, thus making the screen image dim. The room must be completely darkened to view the material properly.

  • Materials such as pictures which lose much in reproduction processes can be viewed naturally.
  • Colour can be projected.
  • No special preparation of material is required.
  • Relatively flat three dimensional objects such as coins, plant leaves, and insect specimens can be projected for group viewing.
  • Prints, pictures, etc. can be viewed with minimum damage due to handling by numerous people.
  • Student work such as drawings, solutions to math problems, compositions, etc. can be viewed and discussed by a group.
  • Tracings and enlargements of printed or pictured materials can be made by projecting onto a blank sheet of paper.


  • Dim image means the room must be almost completely dark.
  • Machine is bulky, heavy, cumbersome to move.
  • High wattage lamp generates a lot of heat, making parts of the projector unsafe to touch. The heat may also damage materials being projected if they are exposed too long. Laminated or plastic book covers can bubble or melt, and the glue on paperbound books may melt.
  • Pictures must be flat or parts of the image will be out of focus.

Problem: No light after flipping switch
Solution: Be sure projector is securely plugged into an electrical outlet.
Check lamp. If burned out, replace it. Since you must push down very hard on the lamp while twisting it, be sure to use a cloth.
Switch may also be defective. If so, have a media technician replace it.

Problem: Line through picture
Solution: The piece of glass between the material and the lamp may be broken. Be sure to replace if with the manufacturer’s glass since this glass has special properties for resisting heat and pressure.

Glass is broken
Solution: Someone applied too much pressure when loading the material. The material should be snug in the projector – not tight.

Problem: Brown spot appears within projected image.
Solution: The material is beginning to burn. GET IT OUT!

Problem: Image won’t focus, even with lens out all the way.
Solution: Projector is too far from screen, move it closer, or material is not held flat, adjust the height of the platen.

Little maintenance is required.
Clean lens with a soft dry cloth.
Blow off foreign matter or dust if it gets on the mirror inside the projector.
The mirror scratches easily if touched.

Operating instructions

  • Plug in.
  • Place item to be shown on platen (stage). Place material face up with bottom edge toward screen.
  • Use platen lever to raise and lower stage.
  • Turn on projector with ON/OFF switch.
  • Focus image.
  • To enlarge image, move projector away from screen, to make smaller, move projector closer to screen.
  • Warning! Because of the heat generated by the bulb, do not leave photos or other paper material on the platen area for too long.

The visual presenter/document camera is an electronic version of the opaque projector. It is a video camera mounted on a copy stand, pointed downward at documents, flat pictures, or graphics. The image may be projected onto a screen using a data/video projector.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Cassette tapes

The earliest analog cassettes used ferric oxide tape, now referred to as “normal” or “Type I” tape. Many recordings are designed to record only on Type 1 tape. If you can’t find any switch or indicator on your recorder showing what type of tape it’s supposed to use, assume that Type I will work in all machines.

Many models can also use Type II cassettes, referred to as “chrome” or “high bias” tapes. Some recorders can recognize automatically whether an inserted tape is Type I or Type II. On other recorders you have to use a manual switch to set the recorder for proper operation with the tape type you’re using.

The highest quality cassette tape is called metal or Type IV (the short-lived Type III, or ferrichrome, was a blend of ferric and chrome oxides). Metal cassettes require much more bias current for proper recording, so using metal cassettes can reduce battery life in portable recorders by a third or more. But their sound quality, when used with a recorder that can drive them properly, is excellent.

Shell construction
A good shell provides environmental protection for the tape, keeps it packed smoothly, provides a low-friction path for the tape to move along during record and playback, and doesn’t warp in high temperature conditions. Shells made to closer tolerances for all these factors cost more money, but they’ll yield better sound quality and longer life for the cassette.

Many cassette shells are glued together or “welded” with ultrasonic vibrations. But the better shells are assembled with five screws, one at each corner and one in the middle. If an irreplaceable recording should ever suffer a jam or snap the tape, you’ll discover another advantage of screwed shells: you can disassemble the cassette, remove the tape, and splice or straighten it. Then you can reassemble the tape in the same cassette, or (if a damaged original shell was the problem) transplant the valuable tape to a “donor shell” from another cassette. In contrast, opening up a welded or glued shell requires prying and cracking which can further damage the tape.

For best results with cassettes, follow these guidelines:

Don’t use C90 or longer length cassettes. The tape in all cassettes up through C60’s (30 minutes per side, one hour total) is the standard thickness tape. The tape in C90’s and C120’s cassettes is thinner, and more vulnerable to damage, print-through and other problems.

If you reuse tapes for several recordings, bulk erase the cassettes to get rid of old recordings before making the new ones. This is particularly important if the cassette may get used in several different recorders: unless their heads are aligned exactly the same, one recorder may not be able to completely erase an existing recording made with another recorder.

If you intend to save a recording, break out the record inhibit tabs on the rear spine of the cassette. This will protect the cassette against accidental erasure.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Razor knife safety

This information is available as a powerpoint presentation from

Always be sure that blades are properly seated in knives and that knives are properly closed and/or fastened together before use.

Always use sharp blades.

A dull blade requires more force and is more likely to slip than a sharp one. Change the blade whenever it starts to tear instead of cut.

Always keep your free hand (and other body parts) away from the line of the cut.

Always wear a cut resistant glove on your free hand while cutting with a razor knife.

Always pull – never push the knife.

The blade could break off – wedging in the material and cutting your arm severely.

Don’t bend or apply side loads to blades by using them to open cans, loosen screws or pry loose objects.

Blades are brittle and can snap easily.

Never leave a blade open.

Always retract the blade when not in use.

When making cut-outs on rolls always pull the knife down. Never push it a way from you.

When using a knife to cut through thick materials, be patient – make several passes, cutting a little deeper into the material with each pass.

Tips for changing blades
  • Carefully remove the used blade from the knife.
  • Always hold the blade at the non-sharp side.
  • Discard the used blade in a safe place. Carefully wrap it in several layers of tape to cover sharp side and points.
  • Make sure to reassemble the knife correctly. Make sure screw is tight.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Safety & health in the “Office” work environment

What are some of the hazards we encounter in offices?
  • Ergonomic issues
  • Fire & evacuation
  • Electrical cords & equipment
  • Heat-generating sources
  • Hand & powered tools & equipment
  • Office machines (copiers, paper cutters, shredders, jammed machines)
  • Office chemicals
  • Slips, trips, falls
  • Housekeeping
  • Furniture/layout
  • Motor vehicle accidents

Slips, trips & falls

  • The #1 cause of office employee injuries!
    Occurring on level surfaces, elevated surfaces – standing on chairs, falling out of chairs, falling down stairs, manufacturing areas, parking lots
  • Awareness
  • Keep aisles clear
  • “Walk like a duck” on slippery surfaces – take care
  • Use the handrails on stairs
  • Report deficient conditions to facilities maintenance
  • Hold onto chair seats/arms when attempting to sit
  • Approved step stools & ladders only
  • “Sensible shoes”
  • Wipe up spills
  • Walk, don’t run


  • Emergency exits and passageways established and must be maintained
  • Furniture and equipment arranged, so far as possible, to:
    • avoid chairs and equipment jutting into walkways
    • avoid drawers from opening into walkways or doorways
    • obstruct the view around corners or partitions


  • Areas that are not lit adequately, or are lit too much, can cause headache, strain, and fatigue
  • Color plays a big role in eye fatigue
  • Use adjustable task lighting for tasks that require greater illumination
  • Take visual “breaks” every 30 minutes
  • Get regular eye exams…let your eye doc know if you are working at a computer!


  • Storage or placement of objects in aisles, below knee level or on other “office-type” floor surfaces
  • Overflowing, heavy wastebaskets
  • Dust accumulations
  • Maintaining condition of office equipment and work area
  • Orderly arrangement in all areas, especially storage
  • Storage must be 18” or more blow sprinkler heads

Furniture safety

  • Chairs should remain squarely on floor
  • Casters on all chairs should be secured and all parts of the chair should be sturdy and not present a hazard to the user
  • Close drawer s when not in use
  • Open drawers slowly and carefully
  • Avoid overloading filing cabinets, and distribute the weight of materials stored in cabinet to avoid tipping
  • Furniture should be selected and maintained without sharp edges, points, or burrs

Good workstation set-up is based on individual needs.But there are some general principles that can be taken into account…Rule #1: If you are uncomfortable, seek assistance!

Considerations in setting up a computer work station

  • How will the computer be used? How long?
  • What kind of computer?
  • What furniture will be used?
  • What chair will be used?
  • What can you see?
  • Posture!
  • Where will the computer be used?
  • Take breaks
  • Ergo. Gizmos – chair riser, keyboard brace

Good posture is essential to your health and safety!

  • 3 natural curves
  • Seated posture puts lots of strain on your body!
  • Exaggerated curves are bad
  • Stretch frequently
  • Maintain or build strength

Easy reach

  • Items to think about moving into the “easy reach” zone…
    o keyboard
    o mouse
    o telephone
    § could have a headset
    o calculator
  • Avoid over stretching to reach items


  • Some adjustments to check out…
    o Seat height, depth, angle/tilt
    o Back height, adjustability and angle/tilt
    o Lumbar support
    o Arm rest height – is it appropriate?
    o Swivel
  • Another pair of eyes. Does someone else think you’re sat safe and comfortable?

Your health &safety requires stretching/exercise “breaks”!

  • Two types:
    o Aerobic exercise
    o Micro breaks
    § Micro breaks: short breaks to relax, restore, re-nourish, gently stretch

Material handling

  • No lifting over 35 pounds on an occasional basis
    o Obtain assistance when necessary
  • Avoid lifting objects that are too heavy for you!
  • Plan the lift
  • Stand with your feet apart, alongside the object to be lifted
  • Use the “sit down” position, maintaining the natural arch of the spine
  • Tuck your chin
  • Get a good grip on the object
  • Keep the object close
  • Center the weight over your feet

Office equipment safeguarding

  • Copiers (sorting trays, moving parts)
  • Paper Cutter guarding to avoid contact with the cutting blade by the opposing hand (hand holding the blade)
  • When cutters are not in use, cutter should be down and the blade secured
  • Storage of letter openers and sharp tools (i.e. Exacto knives, scissors, etc.) should be appropriate to avoid tools rolling and falling off of desk surfaces
  • Use sheaths for knives and razors
  • Avoid twisting

11% of injuries = “struck by or between”

  • Struck by or between what?
    o Doors
    o Office machines & equipment dropped on feet
    o Falling objects (from tables, cabinets & storage locations)
    o Copy machines
    o “Addressing” machines and fans
    o Paper cutters

In accordance with Lockout/Tagout policy and procedures…

  • Office equipment has the potential to cause harm & is included in the Lockout/Tagout program
  • In order to clear a jam of electrically-powered office equipment, power must be turned “off” and disconnected from the power supply
  • Copiers that become jammed should be cleared in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions
    o Know the procedure for safely clearing jams
    o Remain cognizant of areas which may be hot

Electrical safety

  • Shut off electrical equipment not in use!
  • Properly equipped with guarding prongs.
  • Electrical cords should be visually inspected on a periodic basis to identify frayed and worn cords
  • Maintain electrical cords in areas out of walkways and passageways
  • Avoid extension cords in office areas
  • Surge protectors may not be overloaded and may not be used as an “extension cord” for other office equipment
  • Don’t overload outlets and surge protectors!
  • Combustible material, such as paper, may not be stored on or in close proximity to electrical outlets and connections
    o Remember that power is still connected!

Heat generating equipment

  • Coffee pot
  • Toaster oven
  • Microwave
  • Mug warmer
  • Heaters
  • Cooling fans
  • Soldering iron
  • Heat gun
  • Other electrical stuff
  • Ensure 18” or more of clearance from other combustibles
  • UL listed (Underwriters Laboratory)
  • Grounding prongs
  • Plug into outlet directly
  • Heaters need tip-over protection
  • Shut it off!

Chemical safety

  • What chemicals do we use in the office?
  • Read the label & hazard warnings
  • Read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
  • Handle and store the material properly, in accordance with the MSDS

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Non-print equipment & safety: General equipment safety

Use equipment for intended purpose only.
Use equipment exactly as manufacturer directs.
Save all equipment information.
Keep equipment clean.
When oiling equipment use very little.
Keep software clean.
Turn off equipment and unplug before dusting or cleaning.
Do not attempt to defeat built-in safety mechanisms.
Tag damaged or inoperative equipment immediately with an explanation of the problem.
Store damaged or inoperative equipment separately.
Replace original lid or cover on equipment not intended to be used for a long period of time.
Store AV equipment in a cool, dry place.
Do not attempt to repair AV equipment unless you are trained to do so.
Ensure controls such as on-off lamp and fan switches are off before plugging in equipment.
Remove loose paper from carts with equipment such as overhead projectors.
Insert loose connectors carefully, refer to operator’s manual if unsure of connections.
Provide orientation and training in equipment use.
Keep equipment away from rain or moisture.
Keep jewellery, loose clothing (especially ties), and hair away from moving parts.

Projectors and lamp safety

ALWAYS use the lamp code recommended for a particular projector.
Do not handle the glass portion of a lamp with your fingers.
Wrap used lamp in tissue and place in replacement container for disposal (mark as burned out)

Overhead projectors
Carry by the base not the arm or post
Ensure cooling fan turns on within specification set for equipment
Do not allow loose papers to be placed under projector.
Keep projector lenses away from direct sunlight.

Slide projectors
Remove cord and any accessories from storage compartments before use.
Handle heat-absorbing glass with care
  1. use a piece of cloth or glove
  2. once removed place in an insulating material
  3. keep glass covered while it is removed

Filmstrip projectors
Do not wind a dirty power cord around the take-up reel
Never try to stop a rapidly spinning take-up reel after rewinding

Opaque projectors
Caution users about heat generated by lamp
Do not use if fan not operating
Use a heat filter attachment to cover heat sensitive materials

Portable screens
Caution users re potential danger of injury to fingers

Television and VCR safety
Do not remove back or protective covering of TV and VCR
Protect equipment from jolts, smoke, ashes, humidity, dust, magnetic fields, etc.
If TV cabinet is broken or damaged unplug set and call qualified repair technician
Allow for proper ventilation of TV set
Avoid striking or scratching glass of picture tube
Clean TV screens only when set is unplugged
Keep TVs away from heat sources
If anything has accidentally dropped inside or if liquid has been spilled inside set, unplug and have set checked by repair technician
Relabel any TV with picture controls above picture tube or hidden on a pull-down panel

Other equipment safety

Display caution sign warning of heat
Do not touch heat rollers when machine turned on
Check from side that film is exiting properly
Do not lean over machine
Use caution when tearing completed lamination from serrated cutter

Paper cutters
Consider purchasing cutters with clamps/levers to hold material in position
Caution users to place fingers a safe distance from blade

Cart safety
Design consideration

Use carts with large (6”-8” wheels)
Cart heights should be 42”-48”
Purchase carts with three shelves if possible, place equipment on lower shelves lowering the centre of gravity
A flared profile design will reduce tipping potential
Avoid spot welded cars
Fasten equipment securely using straps or bolts

Use considerations
Do not allow children to move carts carrying equipment
Train all cart users in proper safety procedures
- use two adults to move carts with TVs
- push cart from narrow side
- guide person should stand on side of cart away from picture tube
- when entering an elevator, push cart at an angle
- do not overload carts
- wrap electrical power cords around cart post before plugging into wall socket

Electrical safety
Plugs and outlets

Three-pronged plugs need three-holed grounded receptacles
Regularly check all equipment for loose plugs and worn cords
Inspect all extension cords and equipment which have been used off site
Always unplug equipment before attempting minor repairs
Disconnect a cord b y pulling on the plug, never on the cord
Check floor outlets frequently for damage or caked in dirt
Do not allow anything to rest on, or roll over power cords
Tape down any exposed cords
Never force a plug into an outlet or extension cord

Store in a cool, dark, dry place
Remove from infrequently used equipment
Do not mix alkaline and zinc carbon batteries
Recharge only those batteries designed for recharging
Mark purchase date on batteries at time of purchase
Open battery components every month to check for leaks
Do not mix old and new batteries
Dispose of batteries in trash that will not be burned
Handle leaking batteries with care
- protect skin with cloth or gloves
- wrap leaking batteries in paper before disposal in wastebasket
- carefully wrap battery compartment
- wash hands thoroughly

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Extension cord safety checklist

  • Check cords regularly for damage or deterioration.
  • Use extension cords only as necessary and only on a temporary basis. Never use as a substitute for permanent wiring.
  • Do not fasten cords to a building or structure.
  • Use a three-prong cord for equipment that has a grounded three-prong plug.
  • Always grasp the plug to disconnect an electrical cord from an outlet, never pull on the cord to disconnect the plug.
  • Insert plugs fully so that no part of the prongs are exposed when the cord is in use.
  • Never place a cord under rugs or furniture or string it through doorways, windows, walls, ceilings, or floors.
  • Do not try to repair a damaged extension cord or splice two wires together. Damaged cords are a potential fire or shock hazard and should be placed immediately.
  • Avoid plugging two plugs together to make a longer one. Extension cords which are connected to one another, or that are too long will reduce operating voltage and the efficiency of equipment.
  • Use an extension cord with the correct size wire (gauge) for the intended use. Do not overload an extension cord or use a light, “household” cord to operate heavy-duty machinery. Overloading may cause excessive heat that may result in a fire.
  • Be sure to check the cord's tag or package for the maximum current and/or wattage rating of the cord.
  • Purchase and use the right cord for the job. Extension cords are sold in various cable sizes which are identified by numbers. Smaller numbers indicate larger wire sizes. For example, a number 10 wire is larger than a number 14.
  • Use good housekeeping practices, such as taping down exposed cords with duct tape, to prevent damage to extension cords and to keep cords from becoming tripping hazards.
  • Ensure the extension cord is used in a dry area.
  • Keep cords away from sharp objects, heat, oil, and solvents that can damage insulation.
  • Inspect all extension cords which have been used off site.
  • Do not allow anything to rest on, or roll over power cords.
  • Never force a plug into an outlet or extension cord.
  • Check floor outlets frequently for damage or caked in dirt.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Audiovisual carts advisory

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Teachers should not let children move or play near TV or audiovisual carts

Friday, May 15, 2009

Non-print & equipment services: Driessen. A Library manager’s guide to the physical processing of non-print materials. pp.4-11.

Management factors
The handling of print and nonprint materials varies in every library according to its particular combination of management factors. These factors generally include the users, the library philosophy, the budget, the facilities, the physical environment, the equipment, the available staff and/or time, and the various formats of the collection. Decision making depends on the unique mix of these factors in each library.

The users
Who uses the library? Students, members of the community, a specialized staff, a network, or some combination of these? Every library is different depending on the type of library, the size of its collection, the size of its staff, and the needs of its users. In academic libraries the users’ information needs are likely to come from formal scholarly research, instructional assignments, informal general education, and perhaps even recreation. The needs of school library users may be similar to those in academic libraries but at different scholarly levels. In public libraries the users’ information needs are apt to be more varied but usually will focus on general interest information, informal education, recreational topics, and children’s interests. Special library users may require narrowly focused but in-depth types of information on such fields as law, medicine, and business, or the users may be interested only in specific formats of information such as maps, slides, pictures, or archival materials.

The library philosophy
For whom and why (i.e., patrons and their needs) the library exists should determine the library’s goals and objectives. Goals are usually philosophical in nature and provide a general direction in which the library wishes to move. An overall goal of the library may be to create an atmosphere which stimulates learning, reading, listening, viewing, research, and exploration in an interactive environment. Objectives are more operational in nature. They are statements which relate to goals and describe what is to be done with specific resources. Objectives are measurable within time frames, and the outcomes can be specified. Specific goals might be either of the following:

Goal 1. To provide easy access to the collection.
Goal 2. To preserve the collection.

If we examine the foregoing two goals, we can see how each could provide different objectives, policies and procedures. If the first goal means that the library would provide unlimited access to the user, several objectives could follow.

Objective 1. The circulation period would be generous and all material types would circulate out of the building.

Objective 2. If certain formats require specialized equipment not readily available to most users at home, the library would provide equipment to use the media conveniently near the materials within the library, or it would make such equipment available to the user for checkout.

Objective 3. The stacks would be open to the user and all formats interfiled in a single classified subject arrangement. To accommodate such an arrangement, a processing decision might be that all materials would be packaged in uniform-sized packaging to accommodate shelving, and all formats would have complete identification labels on the packaging to provide the maximum information possible to the user when the item is taken from the shelf. Security would be a significant factor.

Objective 4. For the convenience of the user, accompanying information would always be kept packaged together with its primary parts.

If the second goal means that preservation of the collection is the primary goal of the library, several objectives could follow:

Objective 1. Circulation would be restricted to specialized clientele or to building use only. If items do not circulate outside of the library, the processing decision might be that uniform or extra protective packaging could be eliminated.

Objective 2. To reduce wear and tear from browsing and open access, materials would be housed in closed stacks and arranged by format in accession number order. If housed by format, repackaging might not be necessary because sizes within formats are often uniform.

Objective 3. Users would not be allowed to use original materials if some other arrangement could be made.
A. Sound and moving image materials would be handled by staff only and played from a central location for use in listening or viewing booths. Thus, the processing decision might be that sturdy packaging and detailed labeling would not be necessary.

B. Where copyright permits, copies of material would be available for use rather than the originals. Users might have to pay the library to make copies of pictures, slides, maps, etc.

If materials were to be used only in the library or if copies were to be circulated, a security system might not be needed.

Objective 4. Accompanying information could be housed separately as long as labels on the item indicated to the staff where it was available and as long as there was staff time for retrieval.

These two examples demonstrate how goals and objectives, as well as information about the type of library and its collections and patrons, are used to determine library policies.

The Budget
Budgetary considerations may be the overriding factor in all library decisions. Money is necessary to purchase a collection of print and nonprint materials and to process them. Money is also necessary to provide adequate space, staffing, shelving, equipment, materials, preservation, replacement, and supplies. The wise use of money must be examined continually. Every decision should consider these questions: How much will it cost? Is it worth it? What are the alternatives? Is there a balance between monies for salaries, cost of materials and effective services?

The Facilities
The physical space and its layout can affect many of the decisions the library manager must make. Every library will probably have space problems at one time or another. The organization of space is often critical to making decisions regarding open or closed shelving, compact shelving, physical arrangement of material on the shelves, security and staffing levels.

The dilemma for many libraries is that nonprint materials were added to print collections almost as an afterthought. Space was unavailable for required equipment and staff. Therefore, nonprint materials often were not housed with print materials, and more often they were not intershelved with one another. That is, the printed version of Hamlet might not be shelved in the same room or maybe not even in the same building as the film and video versions of Hamlet. Further, the videotape version would not be shelved with the videodisc version, and the sound cassette version would not be shelved with either of the sound disc versions (analog or digital). The design of existing physical space, whether traditional or flexible, will affect the potential for change and growth in a library.

The physical environment
Other physical concerns include climate control and acoustics. The ability to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels is crucial to the preservation of library materials (especially to nonprint materials). If nonprint material is housed separately from print material, the media facility should have its own controls for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Acoustical considerations are important when using nonprint materials that have audio components. The ability to control lighting in certain areas of the library may also be critical in using certain print, film, video, and computer-based materials.

The equipment
Special types of equipment are necessary for the utilization of many nonprint materials. If circulation policies require materials to be used only in the library, readily accessible equipment must be provided for the patron in the library. This decision requires sensitivity to the noise generated by equipment, users, and staff. Quiet areas, such as special or archival collections, should be avoided. At the least, sound-absorbing partitions should be placed around equipment to preserve a noise-free atmosphere. When the library allows items to be checked out of the library for use elsewhere, the library may or may not want to provide the necessary equipment. For any library equipment, maintenance must be performed on a regular basis by outside maintenance contracts.

An additional set of concerns related to equipment arises when a library can no longer repair or maintain a particular type of equipment for a specific format. Should the library retain nonprint materials for which it no longer has the equipment? Does a library have a responsibility to retain such material when it is not available elsewhere in the state or region? Answers to these questions are essential when establishing processing decisions.

The staffing level
Adequate staffing levels are a key to every library’s success. The amount of staff time allotted for providing services to patrons, for circulation activities, and for the technical service areas of acquisitions, cataloguing, and processing will influence decisions and procedures throughout the library. It is important to remember that whatever decisions are made, staff should be consulted and involved in the process. When decisions are imposed from above without staff input, they are bound to fail.

The available time
Time considerations are extremely important when it comes to making processing decisions. One must weigh how important the time elements is in terms of processing and in preparing items for the shelf once they have been received. The following questions should be considered:

  • How much extra time do processing decisions add?
  • Does the time spent processing materials add sufficient value to the item?
  • Does the extra time make the item more usable for the patron or less likely to be stolen or damaged?
  • Does the time spent processing the item preserve its useful life?
  • Are there some types of items that always require rush processing?
The collection
The variety of formats included in a collection is another key factor in making processing decisions. Generally, there are special handling and storage considerations for each type of material. Not only does the packaging differ from format to format, but often similar formats come in different sizes and shapes. The determination of the physical processing needs for each particular format is a task in itself.

When one considers all of the management factors discussed so far, one begins to understand that processing decisions can be complicated. Taken together, all of these management factors should influence the kinds of decisions and policies that are established in any given library.

Library decisions and policies

In today’s Baskin-Robbins society, everything comes in at least 31

-John Naisbitt, Megatrends

Information today comes in all formats—CD-ROM discs, videotapes and videodiscs, computer disks, sound taps and sound discs, film formats, interactive multimedia, pictures, models, charts, maps, realia, and printed forms. Each of these formats requires different considerations for physical processing, yet each must be integrated into a library collection with all of the other formats for each access by the library user. What are some of the specific library decisions and policies that will have a bearing on the physical processing of all nonprint formats? The main ones include circulation, storage, preservation, and security.

How could circulation policies have an effect on physical processing decisions? All library materials must be prepared for circulation either in house or out of the building. The main consideration, of course, is whether certain kinds of nonprint materials are restricted to in-house use or whether all materials circulate beyond the library building or media center. If all materials circulate out of the building, processing decisions will generally be more uniform (i.e., all materials will need sturdy packaging, security strips or labels, date due slips, etc.).

On the other hand, if certain nonprint materials do not circulate, special provisions must be made to accommodate their use in the library building. Those that are machine dependent will have to have conveniently located equipment available for users in dedicated library space. Examples of such machine-dependent material include computer software, interactive media, sound recordings, videorecordings, motion pictures, films, filmstrips, and slides. Each format requires special equipment for its use, and in some cases various combinations of media and equipment may be necessary for use at the same time.

Some nonprint items which are rnot machine dependent may require other kinds of special library assistance. Large tables may be needed to examine original art, realia, flat pictures, and maps. The library may be expected to provide copies of some of these materials for which the user is asked to pay. If certain sound or moving image formats do not circulate, the library also may be asked to make copies of these materials when copyright provisions allow.

Instructing the user on the proper use of nonprint materials is often a function of circulation personnel. Staff must be instructed on the proper care and handling of nonprint materials and the proper operation of any required equipment. They also need to know how to troubleshoot simple equipment and software problems. Because circulation people are often responsible for handling and shelving of materials, they are in a useful position to identify preservation needs of the materials as well. It is a good idea to maintain an open line of communication between circulation personnel and those who are responsible for the physical processing of library materials.

The kind of physical packaging required for nonprint materials depends to some extent on whether the material will circulate. Circulating materials require sturdy packaging that will withstand being shoved into backpacks and that will protect the contents when the materials are returned in bookdrop-type receptacles. Various informational labeling may also be required. When nonprint material is handled only by library staff, special packaging and labeling often are not necessary. If the library has an automated circulation system, each circulating item may require some type of barcode be attached.

Every library must plan its storage options based on the needs of its users and the library’s space constraints. Many questions must be considered to arrive at the right decisions for each library. If the size of the facility allows users to browse the shelves, the collection may lend itself to intershelving formats and to classification in a single subject arrangement. On the other hand, if the size of the facility forces the collection to be closed to browsing, there may be no need to assign subject classification call numbers or to intershelve formats. In cramped quarters shelving by format and then by accession number (e.g., CD 100, CD 101) may be the answer because it uses less space than filing by classification number (which requires expansion space for each number).

Some librarians believe that a library which puts the needs of the user first would choose to intershelve all of the library’s formats (including print materials) in a single classified arrangement on open shelves. The advantage of this type of complete integration is that all materials on the same subject are together. The collection thus lends itself to browsing, and users may find materials in formats they never imagined were available. The collection thus lends itself to browsing, and users may find materials in formats they never imagined were available. . For a mo re comprehensive discussion of the advantages of intershelving the entire library collection, see Jean Weihs’s book, The Integrated Library: Encouraging Access to Multimedia Materials (Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1991).

Conversely, some librarians believe that the user would rather have formats separated because the user generally wants only one or two formats and is not interested in having to sort through everything in the library to find what is wanted. The advantage of dividing the collection by format is that it allows the user who only wants videorecordings to go directly to that material type. Once there, the materials can be arranged by classification numbers or broad subject areas for browsing. Closed storage of materials arranged by format will require the patron to go to a staff person for access.

Still other librarians choose to integrate some materials such as books, periodicals, videorecordings, and sound cassettes on open shelves and separate other formats in closed storage. Another arrangement is to have dummy containers located on the open shelves or in browsing bins and racks near the checkout area. A user can peruse the packaging, but the media is stored behind the circulation desk or in some other protected area where the item itself is retrieved at the time of checkout.

Finally, some librarians assign format type accession numbers to nonprint materials for arrangement on the shelves but add classification-based retrieval in an automated catalog. This procedure is especially useful when carrying out collection assessments for nonprint materials that are physically arranged by format and accession number. In this case librarians rely on the computer to provide various complex and sophisticated approaches to retrieving items (e.g. subject, producer, format, date, language, and physical details such as VHS, Beta, 12 inches, 4 ¾ inches).

Questions include the following:
  • Should nonprint materials be intershelved with books on the same subject?
  • Should similar formats be housed together?
  • How large are the nonprint collections and how much growth is expected?
  • Could commercial compact shelving be part of the solution?

Many librarians are reporting that nonprint collections are growing proportionately faster than traditional print collections. Although librarians want to make all types of materials equally accessible, they must face the realities of finite storage space. Intershelving a large number of nonprint materials with each other as well as with books and periodicals presents an additional space problem in many libraries because of the added variations in size and shape of materials. Twelve-inch sound discs and videodiscs require shelves to be at least 15 inches apart and 13 inches deep. Compact discs and sound cassettes require only 6-inch shelves. Inter shelving all formats may prompt consideration of uniform packaging because small items may come in big boxes, bags, or no container at all. Special shelf supports such as clip-on shelf holders, shelf supports that hang from the shelf above, pamphlet boxes, and various kinds of stacking units are other storage considerations. Shelving inserts are also available to assist in storing various media formats together; they help prevent small items from getting pushed behind larger ones or larger ones from falling over when something is removed from the shelf. Dummies for unusually shaped items or for flat materials such as maps and art reproductions are another alternative.

If space is a consideration, shelving formats separately may be much more practical (e.g., folded maps in drawers or vertical files, or wall maps in bins). Shelving by format also lends itself to having the appropriate equipment nearby if users are allowed to use the nonprint materials in the library.

When libraries decide to arrange materials by classification number, space will still be a consideration. Initially each shelf should be left at least one-half to one-third empty to allow for expansion within that range of numbers. If materials are arranged by format and accession number, every shelf can be filled completely except the last shelves for expansion. Oversize shelving will probably be necessary in either case.

In some cases, a librarian or library manager may have to make decisions he or she would rather not make. Lack of physical space in a nonintegrated shelving environment might dictate the decision to have nonprint materials housed in closed shelves by for mat or even in separate facilities. In other cases, such a decision may not be based so much on space or format but more on the subject matter and convenience of the user (e.g., a separate music library which houses music books, scores and sound recordings).

Storage questions may be the most critical decisions in organizing library materials (i.e., whether all materials should be integrated on the shelves by subject classification, or divided by format, or partially integrated). The answers to these questions will directly affect the physical processing decisions. For more detailed descriptions of the storage, handling, and care of nonprint materials, refer to Jean Weih’s book, The Integrated Library.

Driessen. A Library manager’s guide to the physical processing of non-print materials. pp.4-11.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Supplementary reading list

Cabeceiras, James. The Multimedia Library: Materials Selection and Use. 3rd ed. San Diego: Academic Press, 1991.

Driessen, Karen C. and Shelia A. Smyth. A Library Manager’s Guide to the Physical Processing of Nonprint Materials. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995.

Ellison, John. Selection, Acquisition and Management of Non-Book Materials. (Click on “Formats Covered” for table with links to student papers on a variety of software formats.)

Heinrich, Robert, et al. Instructional Media and Technologies for L earning. 7th ed. Columbus, OH: Merr ill, 2002.

Kaye, Alan L. Video and other Nonprint Resources in the Small Library. Chicago: ALA, 1991. (From the Internet Archive)

Storage, circulation & scheduling; processing
*See “Notes on Processing, Storage/Shelving…” and “Circulation of Nonprint Materials and Equipment”
* Driessen. pp.4-11

Lambert, Annette. Multimedia Seeds: a starting point for audio, video and visual resources See under “Collection Management” for sections on Processing, and “Housing and Circulating Materials”

Tiffany, Constance J. “The War between the stacks” American Libraries, Sept. 1978, p. 499. Available fulltext on EBSCOhost Academic Search Premier

Weihs, Jean. The Integrated Library: Encouraging Access to Multimedia Materials. 2nd ed. Phoenix: Oryx, 1991.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Circulation of nonprint materials and equipment

Policies will vary according to type of library
Considerations for a school library may include:

  • What specific materials are included in this category?
  • What specific equipment is checked out from the media center?
  • Can equipment or software be checked out to someone who has not been trained in its use?
  • Are non-book and equipment circulation limited to faculty and staff?
  • If students and the public can check out these materials, will there be a different circulation period?
  • Will someone who has overdue items be allowed to check out these materials?
  • How many materials can be checked out at one time?
  • Can these materials be renewed?
  • If so, how many times?
  • Is there a different circulation period for these materials?
  • What happens if students are absent when a video is shown to a class? Can he/she then check out the video?
  • Can equipment be taken from the school grounds?
  • If so, does it require the permission of anyone other than the media specialist?

Includes nonprint materials, av equipment, and space utilization of facilities.

It should be possible to circulate any type of material a library wishes to handle by advance reservation, as well as av equipment and to book in advance listening and viewing rooms and any other related facilities.

Need to accommodate nonprint materials and equipment

  • permanently in collection
  • temporarily in collection e.g. preview, rental

Some automation systems have available modules for handling media bookings.

Equipment must be barcoded and entered into the system.

Options for manual procedures for equipment checkout include:

  • handwritten cards/slips with name, serial number of item
  • equipment control board (when piece of equipment checked out number of item placed in room in which it will be used)

For manual reservation of equipment options include:

  • large laminated calendar on wall
  • binder with booking sheet for each piece of equipment
  • attachment of booking request on equipment (card pocket, tape)

For further information see
Kranch, Douglas A. Automated Media Management Systems. New York: Neal-Schumann, 1991.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Notes on processing, storage/shelving, circulation and scheduling of non-print materials

“A change is inadvertently being forced on traditional library practices because of the number of accompanying materials arriving in the library. These materials are placing new demands on management and the organization of libraries because they are exerting pressure on shelving space, affecting circulation, cataloguing and labeling, impacting on security as well as creating the need to devise stable and effective protective enclosures.”

Those Pesky Accompanying Materials

Library materials in all formats – books, periodicals, videos, microforms, sound recordings, CD-ROMs, etc. – have to be physically processed before they are “shelf-ready”. Depending on the type of the material, this may entail adding spine labels, date due slips, circulation cards and pockets, bar codes and security strips, ownership markings, protective cases and covers and/or reinforcements. Physical processing makes materials ready for circulation and prolongs their shelf life.

Procedures for processing nonprint depend on policy decisions for collection organization, e.g. if nonprint items are shelved in open stacks packaging becomes important. Often a manufacturer does not provide packaging or it is not sturdy enough for circulation necessitating repackaging.
Often overlooked when acquiring nonprint materials is the cost of processing supplies such as containers sturdy enough to withstand circulation and shelving.

Labeling for circulation may present a problem for some formats due to their size, shape and properties. For CDs, if a label is removed, the polycarbonate (reflective) side can be stripped from the CD making it inoperable. Glue from labels can seep through to the polycarbonate and accelerate the destruction of the CD. Some say even the pressure of writing with an inedible felt tip pen on the inner hub causes problems of ink eventually bleeding into the polycarbonate surface (Those Pesky Accompanying Materials)
For further information of processing check out the following resources:
Driessen, Karen C. and Shelia A. Smyth. A Library Manager’s Guide to the Physical Processing of Nonprint Materials. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995.

Radford University Library. Physical Processing of Non-print Materials.

Schaffer Library, Union College. Cataloguing Procedures.

Non-book storage
Universal considerations

The following storage and care practices are universally accepted for all non-book formats.
  • Protective circulation containers are used
  • There is an established care and maintenance program
  • Users are debriefed on proper care (verbally or in writing)
  • Smoking, drinking, and eating are prohibited where materials are handled or stored
  • Smoke, heat, and water detectors operate around the clock
  • Air conditioning with a filtration system is used
  • Materials are protected from ultraviolet sunlight and unshielded fluorescent lighting
  • The temperature and relative humidity is recorded periodically
  • Basements and uninsulated attics particularly are avoided as storage areas
  • Storage cases are away from heat sources to avoid extremes in temperature and relative humidity
  • Shelving is away from outer walls
  • Each format is spot-checked once a year for deterioration and damage
  • Temperature and relative humidity gauges are available
    John W. Ellison. Non-Book Storage.


Traditional: separate “closed stack” shelving of each type of material according to format.

Advantages Disadvantages
Greater staff control over who has access to what Inefficient use of time in retrieving items
Faster shelving if each type of media is stored in one areaCost of purchasing special storage units
Storing by format possible which may save spaceDecreased use (out of sight out of mind)

Partial integration: integration of nonprint only in separate open stacks, with print shelved in separate section

Advantages Disadvantages
Nonprint interfiled in one open access areaTwo-stop versus one-stop shopping
No need to purchase specialized storage unitsNonprint may be seen as having a different function from print materials
Nonprint area could be located close to equipment needed for usePotential for decreased use of both print and nonprint

Total integration: total interfiling of materials regardless of format

Advantages Disadvantages
All items on a particular subject together and retrievable in one searchShelves look "messy"
May appeal to nonreaders or those who learn better through sight or soundFear of theft and damage
May increase circulation of all itemsNonprint items take up proportionally more space on shelves
Increased cost of processing
Equipment for use of materials in library may not be located close by
Not everyone is interested in searching through everything

Monday, May 11, 2009

Non-print equipment and services: Media formats

Nonprint Care Resources A listing of Internet links

Audio cassettes
  • enclosed in individual protective plastic housing
  • require little storage space
  • easy to use (no threading)
  • may be erased and reused
  • can prevent accidental erasing (breakout tabs)
  • easy to duplicate

  • can easily be erased
  • difficult to select a particular section
  • difficult to edit (if splicing one side, splices the other too)
  • lower quality fidelity than open reel tapes
  • longer C-90, C-120 tapes more likely to jam (thinner tape) broken tapes not easy to repair
  • avoid touching tape with fingers
  • if cold do not play, let come to room temp.
  • store in dust proof container
  • store on edges
  • store at room temp. and 50 % relative humidity o Recording tip:
    • before recording, fast forward tape to end then rewind it, this ensures the tape is evenly wound in the cassette (do this on first use, or if not regularly used, once a year)
    • tapes are magnetic; if placed near magnets they can be erased or damaged
    Compact discs
    Digital recordings stored on one side of disc. Signals read by laser beam.

    o Advantages:
    • very durable
    • better sound quality than audio cassette
    • compact and portable, require little storage space
    • random search capability
    • program order of tracks
    o Disadvantages:
    • currently more expensive than audio cassettes
    o Care:
    • handle discs by their edges
    • to clean use soft cloth and always wipe from centre to edge, NEVER wipe in a circular motion
    o Storage:
    • store in jewel case or other appropriate container (especially on shelves)
    • store on edge
    • store at room temp<
    Six ways to ruin a CD
    Permanence, care, and handling of CDs

    The following ways can ruin a CD:
    • Write on with ball point or pencil
    • Expose to sun
    • Peel off a label
    • Apply solvents
    • Expose to dust/dirt
    • Handle surfaces

    A strip of 35mm film with frames arranged in sequence. Sprocket holes on both edges.

    • Compact
    • Easy to handle
    • Inexpensive
    • Permanently sequenced
    • Can be used by individuals or larger groups
    • Easily stopped or backed-up for review purposes

    • Fixed sequence
    • Cannot replace outdated frames
    • Susceptible to damage
    • Waning popularity
    • Fades overtime
    • Can be separated from set
    • Replaced by videos and DVDs

    • handle only by edges
    • always trim rough ends before threading into projector
    • check for damage after each use

    • store in dust proof container
    • maintain at no more than 21°C with relative humidity between 15 & 50%

    Overhead transparencies:
    • info can be added and erased
    • info can be covered and displayed at an appropriate rate
    • inexpensive and easy to produce
    • presenter at front facing audience
    • sequence easily changed
    • easy to replace out-dated transparencies
    • can be used in lighted room allowing for eye contact, note taking, etc.
    • easy to use
    • can be printed/photocopied on, but this can not be erased

    • projector may block view for some of audience
    • subject to distortion known as keystone effect

    • handle only by edges
    • wipe clean with slightly damp cloth
    • avoid getting transparency wet
    o be aware of all points when dealing with washable ink

    • maintain at room temperature & relative humidity 50%
    • store unmounted transparencies between pieces of plain paper in a binder, vertical file or special cabinet
    • store mounted transparencies in envelopes in a vertical file or on storage shelves

    • compact
    • inexpensive
    • order easily changed
    • can synchronize with audio recordings
    • easy to replace outdated slides
    • fairly easy to replace damaged mounts

    • easily lost
    • cardboard mounts easily damaged and can jam equipment
    • can become easily disorganized
    • easy to orient incorrectly (upside down, backwards)
    • need darkened room to see images properly
    • fades over time

    • damaged by humidity and heat
    • avoid projecting for longer than one minute

    • maintain at room temp with r.h. between 15 & 40%
    • store in plastic sleeves – labeled individually - that fit in binders, plastic trays, or carousels

    16mm film
    • can be projected to large audiences
    • more detailed than digital films

    • needs darkened room
    • difficult to reverse for review purposes
    • when content dated must replace entire film
    • most libraries no longer collecting 16mm films
    • needs two light bulbs to push light through

    • handle only by edges
    • repair with splicing tape (resulting in missing sections)
    • allow to come to room temp before projecting

    • store on reels large enough to leave a ½ inch space between edge of film and reel
    • store reels in metal or plastic film containers
    • store in racks on edge, if must be stored flat stack no more than 8 high
    • store in a round canister; needs special shelving for reel
    • maintain at room temp with r .h. between 30 & 50% for active collections
    • do NOT store films with a magnetic soundtrack near a magnet or electric wire

    • no processing required before viewing
    • can be erased & reused
    • less expensive than film
    • self-contained & self-threading
    • easy to edit with proper equipment

    • picture quality low & deteriorates with use
    • video cassettes difficult to splice
    • can be erased & reused

    • purchase good quality tape to avoid noise, stretching and breakage
    • always check for cracked case before inserting in machine (cracked cases may damage camera or playback equipment)
    • keep tape s away from electric motors & demagnetizers, do NOT place tapes on top of TVs or video monitors (chance of accidental erasure)
    • after use return to case
    • do NOT lift flap or touch tape with fingers
    • to prevent accidental erasure remove tab on spine (tape spine to enable recording again)

    • store in case
    • store on edge, not flat
    • always rewind before storing
    • maintain at between 15 & 25°C & r.h. at 50%
    • do NOT store near any magnetic field

    Additional formats
    • microforms

    o microfiche, microfilm
    different considerations and properties
    • videodisc/laserdisc
    • DVD: see Dick, Jeff T. “DVD the Next Big (Digital Thing?” Library Journal 05/15/99, p. 50-51. Available fulltext on Academic Search Elite
    • Taking Care of Your DVD
    o clean DVDs from inside out
    o clearly caught on
    o more popular than videodisc
    o easily available from Internet
  • Friday, May 8, 2009

    Introduction to the Internet: Internet searching

    About web searching
    • The WWW is DAUNTING
      o It’s over 3.5 billon pages – we can only actually guess
    • You cannot search the Web directly
      o you search a database of selected sites
    • Success depends on
      o choosing a database right for your needs
      o understanding how to search the database

    Parts of a search engine

    • Spider/robot/crawler
      o A program that finds and downloads Web pages (new pages, updated pages)
      o Takes 2 weeks to 6 months
    • Index
      o Database gathering a copy of each Web page gathered by the spider
    • Search engine software
      o Software that allows users to ask for information

    How a search engine handles a query

    • Search terms input
    • Index file searched for matches
    • Matching page entries gathered and ranked by relevance
    • Results formatted
    • Results page returned to searcher’s web browser

    Typical criteria for matching

    • Title
      o Keyword in title?
    • Domain/url
      o Keyword in domain/url?
    • Style
      o Is keyword used in bold, italic, or in a < h1 > tag?
    • Density
      o How many times does keyword appear on page?
    • Outbound links
      o Who does the page link with?
      o What are the keywords in the link?
    • Inbound links?
      o Who else has linked to this site?
    • Insite links
      o What other pages in the site itself does the page point to? Outbound links
    • Meta tags
      o Allow page owner to specify key words and concepts for indexing
      o Subject to abuse so spiders should match meta tags against page content and reject those that don’t match

    Paid placement

    • Some directories and search engines load the top of their results pages with paid listings. These are usually listings of sites whose owners pay for high placement. In other words, they are essentially advertisements.
    • Not all search services do this, and some are more clear than others about what has been paid for and what has not.
    • For more information read, “The Straight Story on Search Engines” from PC World at,aid,97431,00.asp

    Search engines

    • Each search engine creates its own proprietary database and will differ in how it searches and what it returns
    • When you use a search engine you are not searching the live web but rather those pages gathered by the search engine’s spiders.

    Web disadvantages

    • Not all web sites are indexed
    • Technical problems are a fact of life
      o Downed networks, busy sites, poor connections, downloading wait time
    • Lack of quality of information
    • Explosion in growth of web increasing difficulty in locating relevant data
    • Search engines undergoing rapid change in search features and stability (here today, gone or radically changed tomorrow)

    Search engines

    • ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for locating information on the Web.
    • Many provide search options such as Boolean, proximity operators, nesting, truncation, and more

    Searching the Web effectively

    • Know what search engines will and will not do
    • Have a toolbox of resources to start with—and help narrow down your search
    • Focus on how search engines can help find the resource, not necessarily the exact item you want


    • Up until 2000, there were six major domains used in the United sites:
      o COM – Commercial
      o GOV – Governmental
      o MIL – Military
      o ORG – Organization
      o NET – Network
      o EDU – Education
      This has now changed
    • In November 2000, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) added its first new batch of international domain names which have started to appear:
      o BIZ – business
      o NAME – individuals
      o PRO – professionals
      o MUSEUM – museums
      o COOP – business cooperatives
      o AERO – aviation industry

    Search tips

    • MOST IMPORTANT identify exactly what it is that you are looking for. The Web can’t guess that when you typed “information” you were really looking for “information on literacy efforts in high schools”.
    • Formulate searches carefully, taking full advantage of the advanced search options available on your selected search engine
    • Suppose you found a Web site that completely answered your question. Try to picture what this “perfect” web site would contain, and formulate your search based on that criteria

    Sample search strategies
    Juvenile offers prosecuted as adults
    “juvenile offenders” prosecuted adults
    Privatization of prisons
    Title: prison privatization
    Mentally ill in criminal justice system
    “mental illness” “criminal justice system”
    Women’s rights issues in Third World nations
    “women’s rights” “third world”

    Search engines are best for

    • Distinctive word, name, title, or “word phrase”
    • A specific site
    • Interests people “put on the Web”
      o To share, promote, persuade, entice, sell
      o political, social
      o organizational, movement, controversy
      o businesses, investments
      o consumer viewpoints
      o activity, hobby, event, conference
      o ideas, theories, points of views, expert(?)ise etc. from the “collective human mind”

    Best general search engines
    Google (3+ billion)
    most popular results first
    Default And (ALL your terms)
    No truncation
    Capitalize OR if needed eg. water bottled OR tap
    - excludes
    “ “ quotes make phrase

    AllTheWeb (2+ billion)
    “Should include” alters ranking
    Default AND (ALL your terms)
    No truncation
    Parentheses to OR water (bottled tap)
    “ “ quotes make phrase


    • Officially launched in September 1999, it is currently the largest at over 3 billion pages indexed
    • Advanced features: language, date, domains, field searching. It also now includes an image search.
    • Ranks sites based on “Page Rank” which fives a page a higher ranking if it is linked from many high-quality sites
    • Google offers a cached copy of each result. The cached copy can be especially helpful if the site’s server is down or the web page is no longer available.


    • Launched in August 1999 under the name Fast
    • Second largest at 2+ billion
    • Now has advanced features, such as language, filters, domain and field searching


    • A crawler-based search engine officially launched April 2002, indexes 1 million web pages, now owned by Ask Jeeves
    • Three responses to each search
      o Results (relevant Web pages)
      o Refine (suggestions to narrow search)
      o Resources (link collections from experts and enthusiasts)
    • “Ranks by Subject-Specified Popularity”


    • Started in 1995 by Digital Equipment Corp.
    • Currently third largest at 1.6 billion pages
    • Offers proximity searching, truncation, link searches
    • Has country specific interfaces e.g.,, etc.
    • Has undergone numerous redesigns

    Meta search engines

    • Meta search engine: a server which passes queries onto many search engines and/or directories and then summarizes all the results, e.g. SurfWax, Ixquick, Dogpile, ProFusion, etc.
    • Alternative names: parallel search engine, multithreaded search engine, multiple search engine
    • Do not
      o have own databases
      o classify or review web sites
      o collect web pages
      o accept URL additions
    • Do
      o send queries simultaneously to Web search engines and/or directories


    • Separate retrieval e.g. Dogpile
    • Collated retrieval e.g. SurfWax, Ixquick
    • Utilities (must download to your hard drive) e.g. Copernic, Web Ferret


    • useful for retrieving a relatively small number of relevant results
    • good for obscure topics
    • a good option when can’t find results after using one or two “major” search engines
    • can search a variety of sources on same topic at one time
    • can see top hits from several databases at once
    • can search with one interface and method
    • gives an overall picture of what is available on your topic on the Web


    • use is limited primarily to simple queries
    • little or no field searching available
    • most return a limited number of results from each search engine
    • search may be slow and may have a timeout period eliminating a search engine which does not respond within limits set
    • results from noncollated engines can be redundant and overwhelming
    • some of largest search engines e.g. Google often not covered
    • may not process Boolean searches correctly


    • Collections of Web pages
      o gathered for a target purpose or audience
      o organized into subject categories
    • Built by human editors – often experts
      o size range from hundreds to 2 million +
    • Subject categories vary with the scope
      o some try to cover all kinds of information
      o some analyze a subject area or discipline
    • NEVER full text of the web pages linked to

    When are directories best for?

    • search engines don’t work
      o no specific terms or phrases
      o too much on the Web with your own word
    • finding more specialized directories
    • finding specialized databases
    • expertise, guidance, overview of a topic

    Good general directories

    • Librarians’ Index to the Internet
    • Infomine
    • AcademicInfo
    • Yahoo

    Useful Websites

    Search Engine Tutorials