Umbreit Library


A Publication of Muskegon Community College

Vol. 3, No. 5 - May/June 1998

Metadata: What's In It For Us?

Because of the immense size and complexity of the Internet, information professionals from around the world have been working on schemes to define the content and format of Internet files and documents. This is being done so that these documents may be more efficiently and effectively retrieved. The use of metadata is one of the outcomes of this recent work.

Metadata is the term used for the embedded definitions found in Internet documents and files. Not displayed by the Web browser, these definitions (for example, author, format, content) should make searching the Internet much more efficient and effective.

In May, the Michigan Library Consortium offered a one-day workshop for librarians to learn about the growing movement toward the standardization and use of metadata.

Four scholars in the Information Industry displayed the ongoing work in this area.

For some of the information presented at this workshop and additional information on metadata, see:


CD-ROM Corner

Two new CD-ROMs were recently added to our collection. They are the McGraw-Hill Multimedia Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and The Supreme Court and the Criminal Law.

The McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology contains over 7,000 searchable articles. It also contains a dictionary of over 100,00 scientific terms as well as a biographical section and study guides.

This product has been a standard in print form in our library for many years. With this new format, the encyclopedia now also offers animations which assist in bringing insight to difficult concepts. Additionally, there are graphics, a variety of maps, and crystalline animations for most chemical elements.

The CD-ROM version is very user-friendly.

The Supreme Court and the Criminal Law is used most by the Criminal Justice classes. We also have the print version of this in our Reference Collection. It covers cases, opinions and rulings from 1914 to present.

Internet Interchange

How to search for information in an efficient and effective manner on the Internet continues to be one of the most-asked questions at the Reference Desk.

As we do research at the Reference Desk, we use a wide variety of search engines and subject catalogs to find the information that we need.

Our top search engines, which also have some of the largest databases available, are:


These search engines generally locate the very specific information needed.

Our most-used subject catalogs are:


These searchable subject catalogs to the Internet have provided a wealth of information for our patrons.


Check These Out!

Selected and annotated by Roger Stoel

Facts on File Encyclopedia of Black Women In America. Edited by Darlene Clark Hine. Eleven volumes. Facts on File, 1997.

Darlene Clark Hine, the editor, is a professor of history at Michigan State University who has written extensively on issues involving Black women in America.

This handy eleven-volume set is aimed at a general audience. Each volume is indexed and is illustrated with black and white illustrations.

Volume 1 covers the early years, 1619-1899. The rest of the volumes cover the twentieth century and are arranged by subject areas:

  • V.2 - Literature
  • V.3 - Dance, sports, and the visual arts
  • V.4 - Business and professions
  • V.5 - Music
  • V.6 - Education
  • V.7 - Religion and community
  • V.8 - Law and government
  • V.9 - Theater arts and entertainment
  • V.10 - Social activism
  • V.11 - Science, health, and medicine.
Volume 11 also contains a chronology, bibliography, contents of the set, an occupations index, and a master index to the entire set.

Located in our REFERENCE collection:
E 185.96 .F2 1997 Vols.1-11


* * *
African-American Firsts. Joan Potter with Constance Claytor. Pinto Press, 1994.

This small-press publication has the subtitle of: Famous, Little-known and Unsung Triumphs of Blacks in America. According to the authors, the volume is aimed at the discovery and rediscovery of black history, to give credit to those who made history, and to show that African Americans have always been successfully engaged in areas of human endeavor.

Chapters of the book highlight contributions in areas such as business, education, law, literature, science, medicine, sports, and performing arts.

The volume is illustrated with numerous portraits and is excellent to answer questions like Who was the first African-American to be on the New York Stock Exchange? Who was the first black person to host a television show?

In looking through the volume, I found many facts that I was unaware of. For the first time in history, many African-Americans are being given credit for their distinguished roles in American history.

It's a handy little volume crammed full of many interesting and unique facts about African-American history.

Located in our REFERENCE collection:
E 185.96 .P68 1994

On Display

By Barbara Daniell

A new series of tapes, The Video Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs, is featured at this month's Umbreit Library video and book display. The ten-volume series cover:

  • Alcohol & Alcoholism
  • Alcohol & Teenage Drinking
  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Cocaine & Crack
  • Heroin
  • Marihuana
  • Nicotine
  • Prescription Narcotics
  • Teenage Depression & Suicide

These videos can be used as sources for research papers or to better understand a friend or relative with a substance abuse problem. The effects of drugs on the mind and body are presented along with addiction and treatment information. Each video is approximately 30 minutes.

Books and pamphlets about drug abuse will also be featured as well as free handouts listing local sources for help.


Umbreit Library Currents is published bimonthly by the staff of the Allen G. Umbreit Library at Muskegon Community College. It is distributed to faculty, staff and administrators of The College and to area libraries free of charge. It is available in print and electronic formats.

The mission of Umbreit Library Currents is to aid in our goal to keep all Umbreit Library users current about resources, policies, and staff activities.

Carol Briggs-Erickson

Contributing Editorial Staff:
Barbara Daniell
Roger Stoel
Robert Vanderlaan


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