Special Authorizations, Web Site Available
for FirstSearch Bibliographic Instruction

By James Speed Hensinger

BCR and OCLC are introducing two tools to help librarians do local bibliographic instruction with the OCLC FirstSearch service. OCLC now has a FirstSearch Bibliographic Instruction (BI) web site (www.oclc.org/oclc/fsbi/index.htm). And BCR has worked with OCLC to obtain special authorization numbers for you to use in accessing FirstSearch during training sessions.

The regular access authorization numbers limit the number of users who can access FirstSearch simultaneously. This can be a problem, particularly for libraries in the consortia-like Colorado/Kansas FirstSearch program, which has a total of 75 access ports. That means that no more than 75 users in both states can be logged on to FirstSearch at the same time. This presents a real problem when you want to log on an entire computer lab for Bibliographic Instruction. BCR's special authorization numbers are limited to 30, but you can use all 30 in your class without impacting other consortia members' access.

The passwords change weekly. To obtain FirstSearch special authorization numbers, contact BCR's Deb Pruitt. Be prepared to provide her with information about your planned use, including:

These BI authorization numbers are free.

Please make use of OCLC's new FirstSearch Bibliographic Instruction web site as a resource for your classes. OCLC is introducing the web site in two phases. Currently, the site features links to existing FirstSearch publications and documentation useful for bibliographic instruction, templates for producing customized materials, links to other bibliographic instruction sites and a link to the FirstSearch Guided Tour. The second phase will provide links to training exercises, sample searches and electronic style sheets. You will also be able to download a demo to use if your library's web site or FirstSearch is temporarily unavailable. The site also asks for librarians to provide suggestions for improvement.