Pacific Union College's library has recently put its list of periodical holdings on the Internet. The periodical list is part of an experimental search page which also includes many of PUC librarian and historian Gary Shearer's bibliographies on church history and Adventist history. A referencing program containing the entire text of the King James Version Bible will be added to the search page soon. "The unique aspect of this is that the service is available 24 hours a day to any scholar who has Web access," said PUC reference librarian Dan Mitchel. "The library just can't be open at 3 a.m. when the urge to study hits."
According to Mitchel, the periodical list is useful when a scholar wants a particular title, but needs to know whether the library will have to request a photocopy from somewhere else or whether the item is shelved in the stacks. The database also allows one to download many of Gary Shearer's bibliographies on church history and Adventist history, which include references that are hard to find. Finally, the King James Version Bible reference program allows users to read or copy whole books and chapters, or search for occurrences of specific words or phrases.
The library's new search page may have to be shut down as soon as mid September if money does not become available to purchase a new computer as well as a permanent license on the software. The computer and memory chips will have to be returned to their intended tasks when school begins, and the software's temporary license expires December 1.
"This new search page is a neat little experiment," says Mitchel. "So far we have not spent any money, thanks to the programming skills of one of our student workers, Joey Lee. We want to find out whether there is enough demonstrated value in this search page to justify purchasing a computer powerful enough to be a server and to justify buying a permanent license for the software."