Text for Newsletter

              October 2002 ISSN: 0163-898X No. 258
OCLC
Newsletter
OCLC Research targets Digital Library Issues
Page 12Format Number of Percentage Locations of
records of total items cataloged
Books 40,428,366 83.61% 788,576,961
Serials 2,453,862 5.07% 26,614,419
Visualmaterials 1,498,870 3.10% 13,838,797
Maps 681,351 1.41% 3,390,984
Mixedmaterials 321,474 0.66% 390,994
Soundrecordings 1,661,318 3.44% 18,642,315
Scores 1,126,720 2.33% 8,786,484
Computerfiles 183,390 0.38% 912,428
Totals 48,355,351 100.00% 861,153,382
as of October 2002
October 2002, No. 258
The OCLC Newsletter (ISSN:0163-898X) is published by OCLC Corporate Marketing and is distributed at no charge. Its contents may be repro­duced in whole or part provided that credit is given. Send questions, subscription and address/contact updates to:
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About the cover
With the new QuestionPoint service, librarians can answer reference questions wherever the user is, including a beach in Santa Monica, California.
Photo by Bryan McKean, OCLC
The OCLC Cooperative
Governing Members 8,840
Members 14,925
Participating libraries 43,011
Libraries outside the United States 8,120
FirstSearch libraries 20,035
Countries & territories served 86
WorldCat
Highest OCLC record number 51,022,549
Languages in WorldCat 458
Total OCLC Interlibrary Loan 121,785,864service requests (since 1979)
Total end user searches of WorldCat 109,508,833on FirstSearch (since 1991)
OCLC by the Numbers
OCLC, a nonprofit membership organization, is engaged in computer library service and research
www.oclc.orgFeatures
Departments
4 Reference cooperative expands with QuestionPoint
At a time when many library users are turning to resources on the Web for help, the Library of Congress and OCLC are bringing the reference desk to cyberspace. “QuestionPoint is about redefining the role of the library and the librarian in the digital age,” says Diane Nester Kresh, Director of Public Service Collections at LC. The goal is to build a cooperative service that allows any user, anywhere in the world, to contact a professional reference librarian for credible, value-added advice and information 24/7. Read about the history, development, rollout and future of this new virtual reference service, and see how two libraries, Santa Monica Public Library and Washington State Library, are using QuestionPoint.
12Libraries change lives, and research changes libraries
To help support next-generation digital libraries, OCLC Research is focusing on metadata enrichment, knowledge organization, digital collection management and systems interoperability. Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, Research, explains these emerging themes and outlines an important new project in metadata creation and exchange called the Metadata Switch. In addition, practicing librarians talk about their most pressing research needs, why OCLC Research is essential and how it has supported them in the past. Also, brief explanations of six OCLC Research projects are given.
OCLC by the Numbers
2 From the President
22Updates
OCLC Members Council elects Jerry Stephens to OCLC Board, explores development of libraries worldwide with UNESCO Director
First chapters, new content and more added to FirstSearch
OCLC dedicates new Western Digital and Preservation Resources Center
The British Library contributes 51 millionth record to WorldCat
Gayle Palmer to manage new center
First reformatting project underway
Robert Harriman named Director of OCLC Digital and Preservation Co-op
netLibrary launches new offline reading solution
OCLC PICA opens Paris service center
Three new vendors join PromptCat service
Gale launches e-book program with netLibrary to create e-versions of reference classics
OCLC Connexion gets first quarterly update
OCLC Connexion tutorial debuts
Technical Bulletins 247 and 246 published
OCLC Board Chair William Crowe receives Budig Distinguished Librarian Award
New MindLeaders courses available
IFLA/OCLC fellows named for 2003
Middlebury College enters 121 millionth ILL, School for International Training hits 120 millionth ILL and Clemson University the 119 millionth
OCLC PICA brings French libraries together
OCLC opens online store for OCLC Language Sets service, adds new languages
Get the latest information on the Windows client interface for OCLC Connexion
National Library of the Netherlands, OCLC establish DPR center for European libraries; embark on 400,000 record conversion
OCLC and SCURL sponsor IFLA preconference
OCLC Trustee-Elect Ian Mowat (1946–2002)
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OCLC Newsletter October 2002 1
ContentsX OCLC Newsletter July 2002
www.oclc.org
2 October 2002
From Jay Jordan
People: the great strength of the OCLC Cooperative
One of the great strengths of the OCLC cooperative is the willingness of its people to get involved, at the local and network level, and the national and international levels. You are in 43,000 libraries in 86 countries. You use OCLC services on a daily basis. You participate in the local activities of your regional network, service center or OCLC service provider. You also serve on advi­sory committees, task forces, Members Council and the Board of Trustees.
As 2002 draws to a close, I would like to acknowl­edge and thank the many groups and individuals who provide OCLC with valuable advice.
Board of Trustees
In November 2002, four persons will retire from the OCLC Board of Trustees. Nancy Eaton, Dean of University Libraries, Pennsylvania State University, has been on the Board since 1987. Nancy holds the record for Board longevity—WorldCat contained 17 million records when she was first elected! Also leaving the Board are: Myer Kutz (elected in 1988), Chair, Myer Kutz Associates; Sharon Rogers, Library Consultant (1992); and Christine Deschamps (1996), President of IFLA and a citizen of France, who was the first trustee elected from outside the United States. I would like to thank these trustees for their service on the board, which totals 45 years. They have made enormous contribu­tions to libraries and to OCLC. The cooperative owes them a huge debt of gratitude. Their commitment to the mission of OCLC and to research, scholarship and education is truly impressive.
Filling these vacancies on the Board are two trustees elected by the OCLC Members Council and two elected by the Board itself. In May, the Members Council elected Larry Alford, Deputy University Librarian, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Ian Mowat, Librarian, Edinburgh University to six-year terms on the Board. Tragically, in September, Ian Mowat died in a hillwalking accident in Scotland. I had the honor of delivering a eulogy for Ian at a memo­rial service at the University of Edinburgh on October 28, and OCLC has made a contribution to a scholarship fund there established in his memory. In October, in a special election, the Members Council elected Jerry Stephens, Librarian and Director, Mervyn H. Sterne Library, University of Alabama at Birmingham, to a six-year term on the Board. The Board elected Edward W. Barry, retired President, Oxford University Press, and Martín Gómez, Executive Director, Friends & Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library, to four-year terms.
The Board re-elected as its Chair for the third consecutive year William J. Crowe, Spencer Librarian, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas. As many of you know, Bill has provided the Board and OCLC with sound leadership and will continue to repre­sent the OCLC cooperative in a variety of forums.
Members Council
Under the leadership of President Kristin Senecal, Assistant Director, Technical Services, Waidner-Spahr Library, Dickinson College, the OCLC Members Council met on October 20-22. It was the first of three regularly scheduled three-day meetings for www.oclc.org
OCLC Newsletter October 2002 3
Indeed, it is the commitment of librarians around the world to cooperation, to advancing knowledge and to passing it on from generation to generation that makes the OCLC cooperative very special.
An example of that commitment can be found in the words of the late Ian Mowat, who in running for election to the OCLC Board of Trustees earlier in the year stated: “Our aim should be to think positive, to welcome rather than to deter and reward commitment to the common good.” That vision for the OCLC coop­erative surely will resonate with librarians around the world.
It is an honor for us at OCLC to be entrusted with the stewardship of an organization dedicated to serving the common good by furthering access to the world’s information. We have much to look forward to in 2003.
the 2002/03 Members Council term with the dual themes of “Libraries, Their Present and Future Global Environment: National, Regional, Local,” and “OCLC Strategic Plans and Measurements for Success.”
Joining Kris in the leadership of the Members Council is the Executive Committee, which consists of Bob Seal, Vice President/President-Elect and University Librarian, Texas Christian University; and Delegates-at-Large Maggie Farrell, Dean of Libraries, University of Wyoming; Vickey Johnson, Director of Libraries, Sunnyvale Public Library; and Charles Kratz, Director, Library and Information Resources, University of Scranton.
I hope you were able to watch at least a portion of the Members Council webcast on October 21. The webcast, however, only provided a glimpse of the hard work and important deliberations that take place at a Members Council meeting. The changes made to OCLC’s governance structure this year enable Members Council to get even more involved in providing advice and counsel early in the strategic planning process.
For example, OCLC is phasing out four advisory committees on research libraries, public libraries, spe­cial libraries and college and university libraries over the next two years. The advice from these library types is not going away, but instead will be coming from delegates on Members Council. We will continue to use ad hoc groups and conduct market research using multiple venues. We will also be working closely with U.S. regional networks and other service providers in enhancing our communications with participating libraries. In short, we not only welcome your input, we need it to succeed.
Jay Jordan
President and Chief Executive Officer
OCLC
“It is the commitment of librarians around the world to cooperation, to advancing knowledge and to passing it on from generation to generation that makes the OCLC cooperative very special.”X OCLC Newsletter July 2002
At a time when more and more library users are turn­ing to online sources for answers to their reference questions, OCLC and the Library of Congress have developed a way to keep those questions and answers flowing electronically through the library reference desk: QuestionPoint, which became available to libraries in June, 2002.
Recognizing that users were turning to resources on the World Wide Web for information, the Library of Congress (LC) partnered with 16 libraries in 2000 to develop the for­mer Collaborative Digital Reference Service (CDRS), a pilot project designed to establish systems and methodologies for implementing a collaborative, 24/7 reference service. In early 2001, OCLC and LC signed an initial cooperative agreement to develop (in con­sultation with reference librarians) a pro­totype virtual reference service, which was named QuestionPoint in March 2002.
QuestionPoint provides subscribing libraries with online access to the expertise of a growing collaborative network of reference librarians around the world. Users at a partici­pating library submit questions to the service through the library’s Web site at any time of day or night. The questions are answered online either by qualified staff at the user’s library or by staff at another participating library around the world.
“QuestionPoint is about redefining the role of the library and the librarian in the digital age,” says Diane Nester Kresh, Director of Public Service Collections at LC. “The technology enhances the services we are able to provide to our tradi-tional users. It will also enable librarians throughout the world to collaborate with their colleagues and work with new audiences in creative and exciting ways.”
Enhancing the value of the library
Jeff Penka, Manager of QuestionPoint, says that OCLC’s role is understanding how libraries deliver reference service—not prescribing how they should deliver it. “We also want to help libraries retain quality reference service while increasing its usage.” So, OCLC and LC took a pragmatic approach in developing a service that supports the various ways in which users seek reference information.
The development of QuestionPoint recognizes that com­plex changes in the information age have expanded the methods that library users employ to find the resources they need. In addition to visiting the reference desk in person, or phoning or faxing reference requests to the library, users also frequently access online resources from outside the library walls.
QuestionPoint strives to reinforce and enhance the value of the library to users by enabling librarians to reach them with appropriate technologies at their point of need. It gives librarians a valuable tool they can use to reach out and con­nect with users who may not otherwise visit the library for their information needs. With a growing number of their users choosing online sources for information, librarians can harness the technology built into QuestionPoint to reach their users where the users are looking for information.
QuestionPoint enables skilled information professionals to get actively involved with their users online to provide them with reliable information in a timely manner. Without the costs of extending library hours and adding staff, libraries
www.oclc.org
Reference cooperative expands with QuestionPoint
by Brad Gauder
4 October 2002
“In the history of computing, the date to remember is the one when IBM produced the first PC. It’s not the originating date, it’s the maturing date. The Virtual Reference Desk movement may have reached such a juncture with the launch of QuestionPoint…”
—Barbara Quint, Information Today, July/August 2002that use QuestionPoint can demonstrate their worth as objec­tive and unbiased sources for authoritative information in a Web environment.
Version 1.0 functionality highlights
In a nutshell, Mr. Penka uses four concepts to describe what QuestionPoint lets librarians do: “Interact on the user’s terms; Cooperate with libraries worldwide; Build on shared resources and experiences; and Manage a versatile reference service that lets libraries monitor statistics and trends that reflect the ways in which users seek reference service.”
In its initial release, QuestionPoint offers easy-to-imple­ment solutions and abundant capabilities to help librarians locate answers for their users’ reference questions. Those capabilities include:• An interface that enables libraries to offer online reference
services locally and to refer questions to libraries locally,
regionally or globally.• Web-based question-and-answer forms and live chat.• The ability to track the routing of status of questions,
including system views for the user, the librarian and
the administrator.• Comprehensive profiles of libraries that participate in
QuestionPoint, including information about a library’s
demographics, subject expertise, collection strengths
and more.
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OCLC Newsletter October 2002 5
QuestionPoint helps users who seek answers to reference questions from outside their library facilities.X OCLC Newsletter July 2002
www.oclc.org
6 October 2002
• Local and global knowledge bases that store previously
asked and answered questions for later retrieval and use.• Usage statistics and reports to help librarians implement
and maintain QuestionPoint successfully in their libraries.• Integration with other virtual reference systems partici- pating libraries may already use.• A customizable administrative module.
Using QuestionPoint, library staff can respond to, track and manage users’ reference questions submitted via the Web and refer unanswered questions to other libraries in the cooperative based on availability and expertise. Questions that remain unanswered after this initial referral can be referred to expert resources in a global, Web-based network based on metadata about the user’s question and profiles of the expert resources.
“With QuestionPoint we are trying to facilitate efficiency and facilitate librarians’ recognition that they serve a shared community,” says Mr. Penka. “We also looked at how coop­eration happens. Anything we do in QuestionPoint should facilitate cooperation.”
Building quality into the knowledge base
In its initial release, QuestionPoint enables librarians to man­ually search its global knowledge base, a fully-searchable multiview database that holds pairs of previously asked and answered questions. Libraries can also contribute records from local and regional knowledge bases to the global knowledge base, sharing them with all libraries that use QuestionPoint.
Each library that responds to a user’s question through QuestionPoint takes responsibility for the accuracy of the response. A board comprised of QuestionPoint members and OCLC and LC staff monitors the quality of the answers provided to users and maintain standards to ensure the quality of the global knowledge base. Peer monitoring is also used to help ensure service quality. Mr. Penka points out that quality review by librarians focuses primarily on pro­tecting user privacy and copyright issues and follows stan­dards for fact-checking and quality.
Participating libraries are expected to follow guidelines that have been set to ensure the integrity of the service. These guidelines address general issues, quality and accuracy, response time and user-appropriate responses. For more information on these guidelines, see <www.questionpoint.org/web/members/memberguidelines.htm>.
QuestionPoint supports standards-based development and has representation on the NISO AZ standards committee to help ensure that all development applies to implemented industry standards. As the standards develop, QuestionPoint provides a principle test bed for the protocols, impacting both how the standards for exchange between services will work and how the standards will be implemented. In addi­The
QuestionPoint team holds periodic conference calls to discuss system developments that are being planned for the new service. Staff meeting at OCLC headquarters in Dublin, Ohio include (clockwise from lower left): Jeff Penka, Paula Rumbaugh, Pat Stevens, Virginia Songstad, Mark Basham, William White, Al Zavar, Grace Yong, Sue McKeown, Tom Miller and Meredith Dean. www.oclc.org
OCLC Newsletter October 2002 7
Partnership with Convey enhances users’ QuestionPoint experience
Libraries that want on-demand communication in an online reference service can find it in the OCLC QuestionPoint service. In the spring of 2002, OCLC part­nered with Convey Systems, an innovator in Web-based conferencing software solutions, to integrate Convey’s OnDemand software into QuestionPoint.
The OnDemand software provides advanced Internet communications that will enable librarians and QuestionPoint users to share desktop content and propri­etary database information, text-chat and see and talk to each other over the Internet. It was demonstrated in the OCLC exhibit booth at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Atlanta in June.
“This offering will afford the potential immediacy of on-demand communication with an expert whom the patron can see, talk to and share complex information with. Not only will libraries be able to help remote patrons, they will be able to virtually put an expert into the room with them,” says Frank Hermes, Vice President, OCLC Cooperative Discovery Services.
tion, the QuestionPoint team is working on providing an Application Protocol Interface (API) to other reference service and OPAC providers.
Participation encouraged through affordable access
QuestionPoint is priced affordably to encourage participa­tion, to improve efficiency through a comprehensive refer­ence management system, and to provide access to resourc­es that libraries may not have been able to afford before. Three packages are available:• QuestionPoint Local/Group Network and Global Network.
This package allows an institution to have virtual refer-
ence service locally and contribute questions to the
global QuestionPoint cooperative.• QuestionPoint Global Network. This package allows an institution to submit questions to and receive questions
from the global cooperative.• QuestionPoint Enhanced Communications. This pack-
age includes the virtual reference service at the local and
global levels and supplements it with the advanced com-
munication functionality provided by Convey Systems’
OnDemand Service (see sidebar below).
Libraries that commit to contribute in one or more ways to the QuestionPoint service qualify for a lower annual sub­scription rate. “Contribution” is defined as (1) making your
library available to answer questions routed through the global cooperative; (2) editing records added to the global knowledge base; or (3) contributing complete question/ answer pairs to the knowledge base.
Libraries are also encouraged to form groups of QuestionPoint participants, which can further reduce the annual subscription price.
Supporting the mission of libraries
The joint efforts of OCLC, the Library of Congress, libraries that participated in the former CDRS program and libraries new to the QuestionPoint cooperative ushered in a new era of collaborative, digital reference services.
QuestionPoint supports the OCLC mission and strategy of building a worldwide cooperative. “In bringing reference ser­vices, by nature a people-oriented endeavor, into the digital environment, OCLC leverages the cooperation that libraries rightfully expect us to foster,” says Mr. Penka.
“The service is built by librarians for librarians and is facilitated, administered and maintained by the Library of Congress and OCLC working together for the best interest of libraries,” says Frank Hermes, Vice President of OCLC Cooperative Discovery Services. “It continues OCLC’s history of pioneering cooperative services and products in library operations.”X OCLC Newsletter July 2002
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8 October 2002
Frank Hermes joined OCLC in July 1999 as Vice President, Marketing and Planning, with responsibility for establish­ing a central marketing unit at OCLC that would help better connect OCLC strategies with the needs of libraries. He currently leads the Cooperative Discovery Services busi­ness unit, which delivers reference and resource sharing services to libraries worldwide. Prior to joining OCLC, Mr. Hermes provided independent consulting services to OCLC. He worked as General Manager of OneSource Information Services, a provider of Web-based business information and also held senior marketing and sales positions with Standard & Poor’s and Citicorp. Mr. Hermes holds a bach­elor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA in marketing from The Wharton School.
Diane Nester Kresh is Director for Public Service Collections at the Library of Congress. She directs a staff responsible for 15 of the Library’s reading rooms including the historic Main Reading Room and for custody and security of more than 113 million items in the Library’s general and special collections. She received her BA degree in Theater and MLS degrees from the Catholic University of America. Ms. Kresh was the Director of the Collaborative Digital Reference Service (CDRS), the Web-based, networked reference service that was the precursor to QuestionPoint. She is a frequent speaker at professional meetings and conferences and the author of several articles on digital ref­erence services. She received an Alumni Achievement Award from the Catholic University School of Library and Information Science in 2002.What strengths did OCLC and the Library of Congress contribute to the development of QuestionPoint?
Hermes: The con­cept of having a global network for cooperative refer­ence started with LC, and they did some of the pioneer­ing development work. OCLC became involved in January 2001 and now is responsible for development. I think we both contribute the skills involved in form­ing and maintain­ing a cooperative effort—witness WorldCat—and we share the vision for mak­ing this a powerful tool that showcases the resources and expertise of the library community—not only in the U.S., but around the world.
Kresh: I would characterize the LC/OCLC relationship as a true partnership in which both organizations are both responsible for development. While the technical work (i.e., programming) is performed at OCLC, the requirements definition and recommendations for system fixes, particu­larly in the area of automatic routing, are done jointly. I believe the real impact of QuestionPoint can occur in the international community where we have generated a lot of interest. We continue to improve the global routing but need interfaces in languages other than English and we need to provide an effective Dewey Decimal crosswalk. Virtually all public libraries and most libraries outside of the U.S. use the Dewey system, so this is a critical need.
Interview: Frank Hermes and Diane Kresh
OCLC’s Frank Hermes and LC’s Diane Kresh discuss the beginning and future of QuestionPoint
Photo provided by Diane Kreshwww.oclc.org
OCLC Newsletter October 2002 9
How will QuestionPoint increase membership in the OCLC cooperative?
Hermes: As more and more libraries and (consortial) groups of libraries implement QuestionPoint, they will be able to contribute in many ways—live reference, knowledge base, etc.—and thus attain membership.
Kresh: I would add to Frank’s comments that the more librarians who contribute their ideas and experiences, the better and more responsive to their needs the product will be. CDRS and now QuestionPoint benefited from the par­ticipation of all types of libraries. We want to encourage that same level of dialogue and contribution of ideas.
What type of critical mass is needed to make QuestionPoint a viable service?
Hermes: The beauty of QuestionPoint is that from the point of view of the individual library, it can be used to support a local “Ask a…” service. That said, the more libraries that join the “QuestionPoint cooperative,” the greater the reach and diversity of the service. And the reality is that more and more libraries are signing on with QuestionPoint.
Kresh: I agree that the more libraries join, the stronger the service will be. I cannot stress enough the need for us to be very visible in the international community and to form partnerships with libraries in other regions of the world to make those service connections possible.
How can QuestionPoint survive against Web-based services like AskJeeves?
Hermes: We believe that QuestionPoint will enable librar­ies to offer a superior service, given the proven quality of library resources and expertise of librarians. The cooperative aspect and potential for global growth will augment the local knowledge base, making QuestionPoint a service that cannot be commercially matched (except at very high cost). Key here will be our ability to integrate the other services of the library.
Kresh: I agree with Frank and especially the need to integrate QuestionPoint with other services a library pro­vides, like document delivery and interlibrary loan. Such features would allow us to offer full service reference and information.
Do you foresee QuestionPoint helping to revolutionize the delivery of reference information or complementing traditional reference service?
Hermes: I see it as both complementary and revolutionary: complementary in that it expands the “reach” of the refer­ence librarian to include, for example, distance learners; revolutionary in its potential to become a very powerful cooperative service—“the whole being greater than the sum of its parts” type of thing—that is truly global and multilingual.
Kresh: QuestionPoint and other virtual reference services still rely on the skills of reference librarians in tracking down information. The tools and methods and means, however, are different. Instead of having a patron in front of you, they may be located halfway around the world. The challenge for those of us creating these services is to keep the needs of our library users in mind as we develop them and if we don’t know what the needs are, we should ask to find out. I think the development of virtual services has been somewhat of a closed process up to now—librarians talking to librarians about what users want. It’s time to let the users in.
Five years from now, how will QuestionPoint look and feel different from the QuestionPoint of today?
Hermes: We are in the very early days, and in five years will look back on today’s QuestionPoint as being a fairly crude service. Not only will the technology (e.g., HW/SW—PDA devices—increased bandwidths here and abroad) bring advances, but the growth of the cooperative aspect of QuestionPoint, on a global basis, will lead to an incred­ibly powerful resource for information seekers everywhere. Imagine the person with the question in the middle of the night receiving an instantaneous response from the “ideal” (language, expertise, etc.) librarian and/or knowledge base, complete with pointers to library resources available at or through that person’s library. And all of this amplified by the ability to talk to/see each other. And why not some sort of conference call capability, enabling the person to talk to multiple librarians at the same time.
Kresh: I would hope that it would look very different but still be about, at its center, connecting people with information and sources at the point of need. The global network—connecting experts and collections around the world—is still, to me, one of the most exciting aspects of building virtual services. My goal is to build a service that allows anyone, anywhere in the world, to contact a refer­ence librarian and get credible, value-added information 24/7. I cannot think of anything more powerful or more reaffirming of the role of the library than that.
Interview: Frank Hermes and Diane KreshX OCLC Newsletter July 2002
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10 OCLC Newsletter October 2002
Interest in forming a group of cooperating QuestionPoint librar­ies in Washington state grew out of the Statewide Virtual Reference Project. This LSTA-funded inita­tive, coordinated by the Washington State Library (WSL), began in mid-2001 with a mod­est goal: “Combining the power of libraries, librarians and technology to help all Washing-tonians get information wherever they are.” When the idea of beta test participation was presented to the VRS Project Steering Committee, there was quick agreement that QuestionPoint offered an ideal opportunity to begin a multitype collabo­ration.
Eight libraries represented on the committee agreed to participate. Compared to other beta test groups, ours was decidedly diverse. We included small and large public libraries: LaConner Regional Library serves a population under 5,000; Ellensburg Public Library serves a community of 15,000; Timberland Regional Library covers five counties around southern Puget Sound and the southwestern part of the state; Seattle Public Library (SPL)—well, it’s big. The University of Washington (UW) and City University serve distinct academic communities. Two special libraries rounded out the group: King County Law Library (KCLL) and WSL.
Because of the wide-ranging interests of our respective institutions and clientele, QuestionPoint implementation varied. Some folks were quick to start; others lagged a bit. In most cases, a QuestionPoint Web form replaced an exist­ing Web form to provide reference service via e-mail. Jean Holcomb (KCLL Director), whose library has supported a flourishing e-mail reference service for three years, reported a fairly smooth transition. In general, the smaller libraries (with fewer decision-making layers) were quicker to experi­ment. Director Celeste Kline and her staff at Ellensburg were tickled when they received their first forwarded question from greater Libraryland. Both UW’s Suzzallo and Allen libraries and WSL continue to use only the Webform/e-mail feature. UW uses 24/7 Reference for chat-based service, but is pleased with QuestionPoint’s e-mail management. (“…fairly intuitive and easy to use…. Even the most digitally challenged easily answered the first question I assigned and commented that it was easy to maneuver,” according to Nancy Huling, Head of Reference and Research Services at UW and CDRS Board member.)
In the interest of continuing the QPWA cooperative, the Statewide VRS Project funded an initial subscription to QuestionPoint for all of the beta test group libraries in June. SPL, KCLL and the UW Health Sciences Library are col­laborating on a VRS grant demonstration project to provide triaged reference service. They will upgrade to the Convey enhanced chat, as will Timberland and City University. Director Verla Peterson (City University) is discussing shared chat coverage with the branch library in Slovakia, one of four cities monitoring QuestionPoint. We’ve heard interest­ing QuestionPoint stories, like this one from Nancy Foley, SPL reference librarian:
“A question was forwarded from Ellensburg asking for information on Harriet Shoudy Parkhurst and the education of Chinese children in Seattle in the late 1800s. This was perfect for our most in-depth special collection—Seattle History. The SPL History Department librarian used unique, in-house resources and within four hours, the Ellensburg patron had some very good information in his e-mail account. (And) it turns out that Ms. Parkhurst was the sister of the founder of Ellensburg.”
At the July QPWA meeting, members agreed to brief, flexible “who and what we are” guidelines, with the understanding that each institution would implement local policies and procedures that reflect individual needs. The partnership agreement commits members to posting a Web form on the library Web site, daily monitoring (during open hours) for referred QuestionPoint questions, sharing experi­ences and solutions, participating in regular membership meetings, and providing reports as necessary.
We’re anticipating increased and expanded use of QuestionPoint throughout our cooperative, and we hope that other Washington libraries will join us. We also look­ing forward to continuing the excellent working relationship we’ve established both with each other and the folks at OCLC. Frankly, we’re having fun!
QuestionPoint in the other Washington by Buff Hirko, Statewide Virtual Reference Project Coordinator for Washington State Library
“We’re anticipating increased and expanded use of QuestionPoint throughout our cooperative, and we hope that other Washington libraries will join us. ”
Photo provided by Buff Hirkowww.oclc.org
OCLC Newsletter October 2002 11
Participating in a beta test can be downright scary—espe­cially when you’re testing something you hope will become a premier world reference service. Even though we were a bit apprehensive, Santa Monica Public Library staff has been working with the Collaborative Digital Reference Service (CDRS) from its inception so it seemed natural to beta test the final product, QuestionPoint.
Santa Monica librarians had almost two years previous experience with CDRS at the time of the QuestionPoint beta so they knew the basic operation and philosophy of the service and were enthusiastic about the possibilities of enhanced resources for library clients. The quality of answers to questions submitted in the past gave us confi­dence in QuestionPoint as a resource.
QuestionPoint offers us several advantages in addi­tion to expanding our resources. Our technical staff likes QuestionPoint because there is no additional system to maintain and no new hardware or software. We already have what we need—e-mail and Internet access. As an administrator, I like the online usage reports and the indi­vidual profile we can adapt to our library’s collection and staff expertise. The profiles allow libraries of all types and sizes to participate and contribute. I also appreciate the ability to manage the librarians’ accounts and the ability to choose the level of service that matches our library’s needs.
The QuestionPoint format almost allows the librarians to train themselves—a real plus for busy staff. Clearly presented online Help menus facilitate learning. “Ask a Librarian,” the question asking and answering module, is simple to use. The functions are easy to identify (although we continue to argue terminology) and the individual logons allow staff to easily track questions assigned to them right in the system. No more creating our own Excel sheets to track a question’s progress and disposi­tion! Administrators can monitor the status of questions assigned to the institution for quality control and workflow. And time-savers like the “script” option to insert standard messages into the e-mail and live reference chat transac­tions are great. For libraries that are just starting virtual reference services, QuestionPoint makes it easy to provide a customized service that includes Web-based submission forms, e-mail-based interaction and live chat for clients. And the fact that the service can have the local library’s name on it and can have access links on every page of the library’s Web site is a winner.
Okay, the beta test is over. What now? Santa Monica subscribes to the Global Only service. Staff are pleased with the changes made in response to beta feedback and they remain enthusiastic about the possibilities QuestionPoint offers our clients. We continue to cri­tique things that aren’t working as well as we’d like and QuestionPoint staff encourages feedback even if they can’t provide a “quick fix.” We try to keep in mind that QuestionPoint is really very young and needs time to evolve into the perfect service that we envisioned a little more than two years ago. For this medium-sized public library, and for libraries of a variety of types, sizes and resources, QuestionPoint offers the promise of providing for local cli­entele reliable information on an infinite variety of topics that the library might not otherwise be able to provide. It really does deliver a global collection and global expertise to the local library and its clients.
QuestionPoint and the Santa Monica Public Library
by Nancy O’Neill, Principal Librarian for Reference Services, Santa Monica (California) Public Library
“For libraries that are just starting virtual reference
services, QuestionPoint makes it easy to provide a
customized service that includes Web-based submission forms, e-mail-based interaction and live chat for clients.”X OCLC Newsletter July 2002
www.oclc.org
12 OCLC Newsletter October 2002
Lorcan Dempsey became Vice President, Research in July 2001. To help libraries respond to changing pat­terns of library and information use, he has organized OCLC Research activities on metadata management, knowledge organization, digital collections and systems interoperability. The goal is to adapt and extend library practices to a complex digital information environment to deliver a richer user experience. Prior to joining OCLC, Mr. Dempsey worked in the United Kingdom as Director of the U.K. Office for Library and Information Networking, founding co-Director of the Resource Discovery Network, and Director of the Joint Information Systems Committee’s Distributed National Electronic Resource. He is a native of Dublin, Ireland, where he worked for some years in public libraries.
What brought you to OCLC?
Before joining OCLC, I was a member of the OCLC Research Advisory Committee and was very aware of
the creative personal resources of OCLC Research. Equally important was the extraordinary ability OCLC Research has to touch libraries. I am by formation and vocation a librarian. I believe that libraries change lives. My current job was very difficult to resist: I was offered the chance to work with one of the largest concentra­tions of library R&D activity anywhere in the world, and also to influence how OCLC, a major part of the library infrastructure, adapts to support emerging needs. I believe that we have an unparalleled ability to help libraries change, so that they continue to change the lives of their users.
What are your priorities for OCLC Research?
I want to make the work of OCLC Research more visible. Not for its own sake, but because of its value, within OCLC and more broadly within the community we serve. I also want to engage more strongly with external col­laborators and initiatives, again to create a two-way flow of experience and ideas. OCLC returns value to its membership through OCLC Research and other activi­ties. It is important that we maximize our impact, that we act as a shared resource in a community that does not have extensive R&D capability.
We also need to understand the environment in which the library operates. Technology may be changing the way we deliver library services. More importantly, it is also changing the patterns of research, learning and cultural engagement and the ways in which people con­verse and look for information. Libraries are not ends in themselves; they will continue to thrive as they support the needs of their community constituencies.
What major themes are emerging in the
research agenda?
These are the themes we are currently working with.
Metadata management and knowledge organiza­tion. This is the largest area of work and where we have unsubstitutable depth of expertise and experience. Broadly our focus here is increasingly investigating
how one manipulates, merges, augments metadata; how one extracts value from aggregations of metadata by mining and exposing relationships; how one further exploits the collective investment in structured data by the library community and makes it work harder for us. The Metadata Switch work and our work on Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records (FRBR) are examples here. A central component of this work is to continue to make knowledge organization services more accessible and usable in a wider range of contexts. Our continued work with Dewey and other vocabularies, the development of FAST and the Virtual International
Interview: Lorcan Dempsey
Libraries change lives, and research changes libraries
As next-generation digital libraries evolve, OCLC Research focuses on ways libraries can help users identify and connect diverse content across the networked information landscape.
As Vice President, Research, Lorcan Dempsey oversees the work of OCLC Researchers and participates in OCLC’s Strategic Leadership Team. www.oclc.org
OCLC Newsletter October 2002 13
Authority File, and Metadata Switch work advance this goal. We will increasingly see these approaches work together to make our collective accumulated investment in semantic richness deliver richer user experience.
Content management. With RLG we have taken a leadership role in the digital preserva­tion area. We aim to build on this experience by making a leading contribution to
economic and engineering challenges faced in the digital preservation arena as we move from consensus-making activity to implementation in production environments. We are working on a white paper on the economics of digital preservation, which we hope will advance our understanding in this area and provide a framework for moving discussion forward. We are recruiting additional staff to work on the technical challenges of building archival services that support preservation of multiple formats, complex objects, and so on. In this area we will work closely with the Digital Co-op recently established by OCLC. We want to leverage our effort through collaboration with Co-op colleagues, creating a basis for a significant body of work.
Management intelligence. A major focus will be work that explores the management potential of data mining and analysis. OCLC generates significant data that could be used to inform management decisions. The compara­tive collection assessment work described elsewhere will advance this area. As a community, we underexploit the data available to us. We believe this work engages with a leading concern of libraries in a period of transi­tion: to have better data on which to base decisions.
Interoperability. OCLC’s role in the standards arena is one that we take very seriously, and one whose importance is continually endorsed by our advisory and governance bodies. The effectiveness of future library services crucially depends on interoperability. This is usually described in technical terms, but it really boils down again to issues of value. The value of resources is realized in creative use as part of research, learning, personal development. A lack of interoperability imposes barriers to sharing, reuse, analysis, aggregation and so on; it diminishes the potential usefulness of a resource. We continue to support the Dublin Core, now in routine use across many communities worldwide. We support the exploratory development of Z39.59 Next Generation activities, looking at developing retrieval protocols in a ‘Web’ environment. We are working closely with the Open Archives Initiative, participating in the techni­cal and policy work that has supported it and making software openly available that supports it. In addition, much of our research work supports interoperability. The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Registry illustrates this.
Systems and interaction design. OCLC Research col­leagues participate on a consulting basis across the company to support new development, to maintain sys­tems and services and to problem solve. We work with colleagues on interaction design and have an ongoing interest in visualization and other approaches.
Can you briefly explain the metadata switch
and why it is important?
When we look at the ‘metadata landscape’ we see several new directions. Libraries are creating more meta-data for more types of material. They are using different formats, and in some cases may use different systems. So for example, it would not be unusual for a library to be creating metadata in MARC, in Dublin Core and in
Interview: Lorcan Dempsey
Jian Qin, Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies,
Syracuse University, is a Visiting Scholar who is studying digital learning objects and metadata schemas.
A member of the Research Advisory Committee, Herbert Van de Sompel, Digital Library Research Coordinator, Los Alamos National Library, is a founder and a driving force forthe Open Archives Initiative, an effort by serveral organizations to develop system interoperability standards for metadata harvesting.X OCLC Newsletter July 2002
www.oclc.org
14 OCLC Newsletter October 2002
the Encoded Archival Description (EAD). It would not be unusual for this activity to take place within a library management system or in a content management sys­tem, or in a custom developed database application. We are also seeing a growing interest in harvesting metadata, pulling metadata from different repositories, fusing it and turning it around in ‘union’ services. The mechanics of harvesting are becoming routine and well understood, and this is now introducing the interesting challenge of effectively fusing metadata so that a useful retrieval experience can be offered. This metadata will often not have been created within a framework of con­sistent practice; approaches to subjects or names will be different for example. The question we have asked ourselves is what type of services would be valuable to libraries in this increasingly diverse environment. The Metadata Switch project is a response to this ques­tion. We want to try to make sure that the accumulated expertise and value invested in libraries’ metadata management and knowledge organization approaches is deployable across the range of need.
The Metadata Switch is an umbrella activity for a range of experimental modular services that add value to metadata. Such services include harvesting meta-data, ‘fusion’ of metadata from different sources, schema transformation, enrichment or augmentation of records with various types of data, terminology and name authority services, and others. We will also be test­ing how to expose this functionality as ‘Web services,’ modular Web-based machine-to-machine applications that can be combined in various ways. These services can be woven into people’s workflow and diverse sys­tems. They can surface valued functionality in new ways. They are deliberately discrete and the intention is that they may work together in various ways. Examples of potential services are:
1. A service that takes a record in one schema
(say Dublin Core) and returns it in another (say
MARC).
2. A service that takes a document or Web page
and returns a classification number or subject
heading.
3. A service that takes a class number and returns
an indication of whether it is valid or not.
4. A service that takes a name and returns a list
of candidate name matches from an authority
file.
5. A service that takes a name and returns a
cluster of names that appear to be the same
person, pulled from other databases.
6. A service that takes a record and enriches it
with data from other records for the same item.
7. A service that takes a class number or subject
heading from one schema and returns a map ing in another schema.
Some of the factors influencing this approach are:
Much of the value of what we offer is embedded in integrated systems that meet a central need, but that may not support the changing working patterns of all our potential users.
We need to explore how to break down services into components that our users can build back up within their environments and workflows (example: a service that took converted terms from one subject scheme to another could be used in a metadata creation environ­ment; it could also be used by a search system in a multidatabase environment).
We also need to figure out how to make our existing investment in structured metadata work more for us by mining, developing and exposing relationships across documents and other resources.
In parallel with technical development, work will be done on testing and developing market demand, and on potential business models, for such services.
How is the research agenda set?
We have many inputs. We are fortunate in having strong advisory structures. I mentioned the Research Advisory Committee. This meets twice a year, and reviews OCLC Research work, suggesting course correction or new direction. The current members of the Committee are Brian Schottlaender, Barbara Tillett, Herbert Van de
Interview: Lorcan Dempsey
At the August 2002 Research Advisory Committee Meeting, Barbara Tillett, Chief, Cataloging Policy & Support Office, Library of Congress, takes notes as she listens to a presentation. Among Dr. Tillett’s interests are metadata and authority control in a networked information environment.www.oclc.org
OCLC Newsletter October 2002 15
Sompel and Paul Gherman. Paul Gherman also chairs our Digital Libraries Research Interest Group, a special interest group of OCLC Members’ Council. This meets three times a year, and acts as a sounding board. We work closely with colleagues in other parts of OCLC. We also confer regularly with colleagues within OCLC. We have strong links in the practitioner and research com­munities. We have talented staff who have many good ideas!
What this means is that we have many more ideas than we can deploy in projects! This is especially the case as we look at the challenges of creating viable digital information environments. We need to be able to filter and select. This is something that we have been thinking about quite a bit this year, and we are working within some new guidelines. These provide a framework within which we can be more explicit about direction and process, while remaining flexible and responsive. We have worked out some criteria based on impact, whether we are uniquely placed to do the work, the leverage we gain from OCLC capabilities and others. These are located within an overall framework established by OCLC stra­tegic direction and our sense of priorities based on the inputs above. We have established some broad themes to orient this process.
How much of the research done elsewhere has a spillover effect on OCLC?
It is important to us that we remain current with good work being done elsewhere. Individual colleagues will have external contacts and collaborations. We also try to structure some relationships. We support the OCLC/ALISE Library and Information Science Research Grant Program, where faculty in schools of library and information sci­ence can bid for research support. We are especially pleased when such activity results in some synergy or collaboration with work being done in OCLC Research. We also support a Visiting Scholar program, where again we try to encourage structured collaboration in areas of mutual interest. As we look towards the future, we are interested in exploring further relationships where we might be able to offer internship or research assistant opportunities.
How does OCLC Research work with product development at OCLC?
OCLC Research has an interesting dual role. We support OCLC products and services. We also act on behalf of the wider community. For many libraries R&D activity is not possible. This means that we are keen to do work that at once benefits OCLC and the wider com­munity. Work on FRBR and digital preservation are good examples here. We are also keen, though, that where relevant, our work is used elsewhere in the company. We have established a framework for transition, which has dedicated management effort. Within this framework we ensure early communication and a staged process for transition.
From your perspective, where is librarianship
headed?
Up ...
Interview: Lorcan Dempsey
Chandra Prabha, Senior Research Scientist, is investigating informa­tion-seeking behavior.X OCLC Newsletter July 2002
www.oclc.org
16 OCLC Newsletter October 2002
Harvesting, communicating and integrating
metadata for learning objects
COLIS: Collaborative Online Learning and
Information Services
Lead Researcher: Ralph LeVan
A project of the Australian government, COLIS is developing collaborative online learning and informa­tion services that will integrate disparate systems and provide seamless sharing of digital learning objects and scholarly resources. OCLC is a member of the COLIS Consortium, and OCLC Researchers are work­ing with COLIS on harvesting metadata for learning objects, as well as communicating and transferring the metadata to different computer systems that sup­port online learning environments.
http://www.colis.mq.edu.au/index.htmlhttp://www.oclc.org/research/projects/mswitch/5_colis.shtm
Automating the conversion of bibliographic
databases to FRBR standards
FRBR: Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records
Lead Researchers: Thom Hickey, Ed O’Neill,
Diane Vizine-Goetz
FRBR is a set of recommendations of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to restructure catalog databases to reflect the conceptual structure of information resources. To simplify record retrieval, FRBR distinguishes between a work, an expres­sion, a manifestation and an item. Manipulating data using this approach will aggregate what can be an overwhelming number of record retrievals into a manageable set of
works that match a user’s search terms. The OCLC Research project will test the feasibility of implementing the FRBR structure in a large catalog database and look for ways to automate the process as much as possible.http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/frbr/index.shtmhttp://www.dlib.org/dlib/september02/hickey/09hickey.html
Mining data files for management information
Management Intelligence and Decision Support
Lead Researchers: Lynn Connaway, Chandra Prabha, Ed O’Neill
OCLC and netLibrary staff are researching and develop­ing software and systems that will collect and mine data to support decision-making for e-book collection devel­opment. The initial effort, the Comparative Collection Assessment Project, will identify and characterize e-book collection holdings by library type, both domestic and international, for the netLibrary collection. The project
also will analyze how effective the data is in helping
formulate strategies for netLibrary collection development and in contributing to the establishment of community-wide standards for e-book collections.
http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/mi/
OCLC Research Projects
Since its origin in 1978, OCLC Research has investigated trends in technology and library practice to identify technical advances that will enhance the value of library services and improve the
productivity of librarians and library users. OCLC Research Scientists are currently involved in more
than 20 research projects. Here are brief descriptions of six representative ones. A listing of all
OCLC Research Projects is available at http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/.www.oclc.org
OCLC Newsletter October 2002 17
Creating international name authorities
VIAF: Virtual International Authority File
Lead Researchers: Ed O’Neill, Chandra Prabha
A joint project with the Library of Congress and Die Deutsche Bibliothek, VIAF explores combining virtually the name authority files of both institutions into a single name author­ity service. OCLC software will match and link authority records for personal names from DDB and LC. German users can display a name in the form established by the DDB, while American users can view the name as established by LC. In addition, users in either country will be able to view name records as established by the other nation, making the authorities truly international and facilitating research across languages anywhere in the world.
http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/viaf/
Extending interoperability for the evolving Web Metadata Switch Project
Lead researchers: Jean Godby, Thom Hickey, Diane Vizine-Goetz
The Metadata Switch project is investigating how to extract, manipulate, merge and enrich metadata from different for­mats, databases, systems and repositories. The goal is to create a set of automated Web services that add value by har­vesting and aggregating metadata, linking diverse metadata records, converting metadata to different schema and assign­ing appropriate classification numbers and subject headings to metadata.
http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/mswitch/
Developing record classification and author­ity control for e-archivesePrints UKLead Researchers: Thom Hickey, Diane Vizine-Goetz
OCLC researchers are developing prototype knowledge organization services that will ana­lyze and enrich harvested metadata for the ePrints UK project. To encourage the use of digital archives, ePrints UK is using the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) protocol to harvest metadata from electronically published research stored in university repositories throughout the United Kingdom higher education community. OCLC’s prototype services will apply authority control and DDC classification numbers to the harvested records.
http://www.rdn.ac.uk/projects/eprints-uk/http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/mswitch/epuk.shtm
OCLC Research Programs
Open Source Software. OCLC researchers provide the source code for OCLC developed software to the library community. Other developers can extend and enhance the software and use it free of charge.
http://www.oclc.org/research/software/
Visiting Scholars. The OCLC Visiting Scholar program brings experienced scientists, educators and administrators with demonstrated research capabilities to OCLC to conduct research with OCLC staff, facilities and data resources.
http://www.oclc.org/research/scholars/
Research Grants. The Library and Information Science Research Grant Program, administered in partnership with the Association for Library and Information Science Education, provides grant awards of up to $15,000.
http://www.oclc.org/research/grants/
Distinguished Seminar Series. Each year, OCLC invites dis­tinguished professionals to lead half-day seminars reporting on recently completed or early stage research that they have undertaken.
http://www.oclc.org/research/dss/www.oclc.org
18 OCLC Newsletter October 2002
by Tom Storey
As the Web, new technology and new pub­lishing formats bring sweeping changes to computing and information management, how will libraries adapt and remain relevant?
The question has been asked many times before. In fact, some say librarianship has been in a period of continuous change since the first computers appeared in libraries 32 years ago.
In conversations with practicing librarians, the OCLC Newsletter found general agreement that one of the best ways to advance the profession and shape the future is through library science research. Creating new knowl­edge, investigating new ideas—as well as studying today’s problems and practices—help the field to prosper and fulfill its public service mission.
Librarians also believe that OCLC plays an important role in fostering research and mov­ing libraries forward in a challenging new digi­tal universe that will require new information management processes and procedures.
The role of research
Carol Mandel, Dean of Libraries, New York University, is a leader in the library profession in several areas, including preservation, digital library services and electronic scholarly publishing. She believes that research will improve and even reshape the way libraries accomplish their mission in a com­plex information landscape.
“It is a very different environment than when all of our automation was in our integrated library systems,” she says. “All libraries are struggling with providing access to informa­tion in the digital, fully networked world. Research will help solve this enormous, less library-isolated problem and guide the development of new services that can make a significant difference in the resources we provide our users.”
Ms. Mandel notes that recent studies of students’ use of the Internet, including one completed by OCLC, are good examples of how librarians benefit from research. “We know what we wish students would do and what we convince our­selves they must be doing. But research makes us face up to what they actually do, and additional research can help us test ways of reaching them on their own terms.”
The good news, Ms. Mandel says, is that libraries are doing a better job of studying users and, thanks to the online environment, have better data on who is using resources and how often. The bad news is that with the loss of library schools, particularly the reduction in doctorate positions, the amount of rigorous library science research appears to be declining. “We are danger of not expanding the theoretical base for our work. Thank goodness for OCLC research!”
To help users identify and connect diverse content, OCLC researchers are developing software that libraries can use to harvest metadata for digital objects from standards compli­ant servers. The software can be enhanced by the library and is dependent on open systems architecture. Currently DSpace, a new system for electronically archiving books, lecture notes and scientific data created by faculty at Massa-chusetts Institute of Technology, is using the software.
“The availability of open source code like OCLC’s OAICat is vital to the ability of the library community to take advantage of new standards like the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting,” said MacKenzie Smith, Associate Director for Technology, MIT Libraries. “If each institution had to develop this code for itself we would be nowhere. That’s
Moving libraries forward in a Digital World
The OCLC Members Council Digital Libraries Research Interest Group meets three times a year to review and discuss research projects and issues. Members of the group include, from left, Tammy Rabideau, Swarthmore College; Michael York, New Hampshire State Library; Ken Bierman, University of Nevada–Las Vegas; and Paul Gherman, Vanderbilt University. Mr. Gherman serves as Chair and also is a member of the Research Advisory Committee.
Librarians say OCLC research will help solve today’s problems and tomorrow’s challenges of the networked environmentwww.oclc.org
OCLC Newsletter October 2002 19
issues and challenges we face. Research drives innovation, and innovation is essential for the survival of libraries in this rapidly changing information world.”
To speed cataloging of electronic materials, Ms. Diedrichs sees potential for OCLC’s FAST project, which is testing a simplified controlled vocabulary based on Library of Congress Subject Headings that can automatically be assigned to records.
“The profession needs to look at ways to streamline and improve cataloging productivity,” she says. “The economic environment and technological change demand new alterna­tives, such as FAST.” <http://wcp.oclc.org/fast/>
The research challenge ahead
Improving user access to information is the biggest challenge facing libraries and library researchers today, most librarians agree. A better understanding of how people look for and use information will lead to better system design for search­ing, retrieving, linking and displaying information.
“How do we organize, label and visually present rapidly growing collections of content?” asks Mr. Pope. “How do we make users understand the different types of information, the relationships between them and the tools to use to interpret them? There is still a great need for new approaches to make people know what is available, how to find it and how to use it.”
Both Mr. Pope and Ms. Diedrichs are optimistic about the future and do not see a diminishing role for libraries.
“When we become engaged with groups outside of the library, they are often stunned at our expertise,” says Ms. Diedrichs. “I sent our cataloging managers to a university meeting of webmasters and faculty who were developing digital projects and they quickly found out who the metadata experts on campus are. Librarians have many skills that will continue to be valuable in the world of the future.”
Says Mr. Pope: “There is a growing realization in other fields that libraries and librarians often best understand many of the issues facing today’s world.”
the whole premise of the DSpace system—we’ll get much fur­ther, faster as a community working together.”
The need for the research environment
Nolan Pope, Associate Director of Technology, General Library System, University of Wisconsin, Madison, says that OCLC’s involvement in library research is essential because OCLC can support long-term efforts and represent libraries in the infor­mation science community.
“Research by for-profit companies is narrowly focused on their own products, and academic research is constrained by grant funding, which is limited and short term,” says Mr. Pope, who has helped incorporate technology into the Wisconsin library’s operation for 17 years. “In addition, the need to publish for promotion in the academic environment produces considerable research that generally is not applied or used.
“OCLC Research is one of the few units focused on library needs with ongoing funding to continually drive the develop­ment of new approaches forward.”
As a former Director of the National Information Standards Organization, Mr. Pope credits OCLC with leading discussions for adopting a descriptive standard for metadata.
“The Dublin Core has gradually evolved and many varia­tions have been assessed,” he says. “Not only did OCLC researchers play a major role in its development, they had the support and expertise to participate in national and international technical discussions and activities. The library community has benefited greatly by having its own set of experts who could present the library issues and needs in communities like the World Wide Web Consortium, the Internet Engineering Task Force and Internet2.”
Paul Gherman, University Librarian, Vanderbilt University, concurs that research conducted by OCLC is valuable. At Vanderbilt, Mr. Gherman is currently working on offering Internet access to the 30,000 hours of video television news broadcasts as part of the university’s Television News Archive. While Library Director at Kenyon College, he was instrumental in integrating technology into the curriculum.
“OCLC offers the largest and most comprehensive research effort in library and information science directly targeted to the everyday needs of libraries,” he says. “We have been benefiting from these efforts for over a quarter century, and in the future we will need OCLC’s contributions even more.”
Assistant Director for Technical Services and Collections at Ohio State University, Carol Diedrichs believes that librar­ians need to constantly question their beliefs in a research environment to improve productivity and better serve library users. “I think of research as one of the approaches in a toolkit for managing libraries today,” she says.
Ms. Diedrichs manages and directs the Technical Services Division with responsibility for all activities associated with acquiring and cataloging library materials. She serves on the library’s Executive Committee and is past chair of the library’s Advisory Committee on Research.
“We often hold to ideas for which we have only anecdotal evidence,” she says. “We need to apply research to daily
Carol Diedrichs, Ohio State University, says that librarians must constantly test their beliefs in a research environment.www.oclc.org
20 OCLC Newsletter October 2002
Update
Meeting at OCLC in Dublin, Oct. 20–22, the OCLC Members Council elected Jerry Stephens to the OCLC Board of Trustees and dis­cussed development of libraries world­wide with Aziz Abid, Director of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Informatics Program. A portion of the meet­ing was available via a live webcast. It was the first of three regularly scheduled three-day meetings for the 2002/03 Members Council term with the dual themes of “Libraries, Their Present and Future Global Environment: National, Regional, Local,” and “OCLC Strategic Plans and Measurements for Success.”
In welcoming new and returning delegates, Members Council President Kristin Senecal, Assistant Director, Technical Services, Waidner-Spahr Library, Dickinson College, noted that Members Council has an important com­munications role to fulfill, not only to its constituent librar­ies, but also to OCLC. “What OCLC does is complex and con­stantly changing,” she said. “It holds a unique position in the library world—that of a nonprofit, member-driven library cooperative.” She stated that with the recent changes to OCLC’s governance structure, Members Council is increasing its involvement in OCLC’s strategic planning process and devoting much of its meetings to working sessions in task forces and library and special interest groups. “Members Council is changing,” she said, “and it’s innovating.”
Jerry Stephens, Librarian and Director, Mervyn H. Sterne Library, University of Alabama at Birmingham, was elected to a six-year term on the OCLC Board of Trustees. Council held a special election to fill the vacant Board seat of the late Ian Mowat of the University of Edinburgh, who was elected to the Board by Members Council last May and who died in a hillwalking accident in Scotland in September. Dr. Stevens will join the Board in November.
On Oct. 21, a two-hour webcast included a report from Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO; remarks by Aziz Abid; and a panel discussion with Robert Seal, Vice President, Mem-bers Council and University Librarian, Texas Christian University, as the moderator. Panelists were Shirley Leung, University Librarian, Hong Kong Baptist University; Hennie Viljoen, Senior Library Director, University of Stellenbosch, (South Africa); and Michael York, State Librarian, New Hampshire State Library.
Mr. Abid’s presentation, “UNESCO, Library Development and the Information Society,” provided an overview of library and information programs under way at UNESCO. “OCLC and UNESCO share the same values in further­ing access to information,” said Mr. Abid. He noted that UNESCO library staff consult OCLC WorldCat on a daily basis, and that the United Kingdom’s Public Records Office hosts the UNESCO Thesaurus online. He reiterated UNESCO’s Public Library Manifesto, which proclaims the public library “as a living force for education, culture and information.”
“We are committed to cooperating with IFLA and OCLC in the emerging information age,” said Mr. Abid. “Together we share a set of values that is a priceless commons for librar­ians and the world’s libraries.”
In addition to participating in small group discussions and committee meetings, the delegates heard a variety of reports. Charlene Hurt, University Librarian, Georgia State University, and Chair of the Members Council Task Force on OCLC’s Role in Library Staff Development, provided an update on that group’s activities, including a Web-based survey of libraries.
Lynn Kellar, Director, OCLC Enterprise Database Technology, and Glenn Patton, Director, OCLC Metadata Standards and Quality, gave a progress report on develop­ment of the new technological platform for WorldCat, which was followed by a panel discussion.
Nancy London, Executive Director, Library Services for the Americas, and José Antonio Yáñez, OCLC Representative for OCLC Mexico, briefed the delegates on OCLC’s business plan for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Members Council passed a resolution in memory of Ian Mowat and observed a minute of silence in his honor.
The next meeting of the OCLC Members Council will be February 9–11, 2003 in Dublin, Ohio. The 66-delegate Members Council supports OCLC’s mission by serving as the key discussion forum and communications link between member libraries, regional networks and other partners, and OCLC management. By providing a channel for recommen­dations and questions from Members Council delegates, approving changes in the Code of Regulations, and electing six members of the Board of Trustees, Members Council helps shape the future direction of OCLC.
http://www.oclc.org/oclc/uc/meet.htm
OCLC Members Council elects Jerry Stephens to OCLC Board, explores development of libraries worldwide with UNESCO Director
Aziz Abid, Director of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Informatics Program.www.oclc.org
OCLC Newsletter October 2002 21
http://www.oclc.org/firstsearch/about/news.htm#announce
First chapters, new content and more added to FirstSearch
Three new thesauri, 150 new electronic journals, e-book tables of contents, first chapters of 16,000 books and an improved display for WorldCat records are among the latest enhancements to the OCLC FirstSearch service.
http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/http://www.bl.uk/
The British Library contributes 51 millionth record to WorldCat
The British Library contributed the 51 millionth bibliographic record to WorldCat, the OCLC Online Union Catalog. The record was for the book, Tri-ang railways: the story of Rovex, Vol. 1, 1950-1965 by Pat Hammond and published by New Cavendish Books, London.
http://www.oclc.org/western/services/dpr/index.htm
OCLC dedicates new Western Digital and Preservation Resources Center
About 20 librarians, archivists and curators from Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington gathered October 1 to participate in a leadership forum and dedi­cation ceremony at the new OCLC Digital and Preserv-ation Resources (DPR) Center in Lacey, Washington.
Located at the OCLC Western Service Center, the new center opened in the spring and is providing micro-filming, digitization, training and consulting services to libraries, museums, societies and other cultural organi­zations in Western Canada, the Asia Pacific Region and the Western United States.
Speakers at the dedication ceremony were: Phyllis Spies, Vice President, OCLC Worldwide Library Services; Karin Ford, Director, Cooperative Library Services, OCLC Western Service Center; Andy Pflaum, Director, OCLC Digital and Preservation Resources Centers; Lizabeth Wilson, OCLC Trustee and Director of Libraries, University of Washington; and Victoria Hanawalt, OCLC Trustee and College Librarian, Reed College.
The leadership forum discussed a wide range of digi­tal and preservation issues, including training needs, standards development, metadata creation and digital project management. David Nicandri, Director of the Washington State Historical Society, said that the forum was very informative and that his organization will bene­fit from this initiative to bring museums, archives, librar­ies and other cultural organizations together to share expertise and information on digitization projects.
Facilitators for the forum were Tom Clareson, Program Manager for the Digital Cooperative, and Gayle Palmer, Digital and Preservation Services Manager, OCLC Western Service Center.
http://www.oclc.org/oclc/press/20020705.shtm
Gayle Palmer to manage new center
Most recently coordinator of the Washington State Library Digital Images Initiative, Ms. Palmer is responsible for assessing digitization and preservation needs of libraries and other cultural institutions, and matching those needs with services provided by the new OCLC DPR Western Center in Lacey, Washington.
http://www.oclc.org/oclc/press/20020816.shtm
First reformatting project underway
A project to microfilm a selection of titles from the University of Minnesota’s prized collection of mono­graphs chronicling the history of British-Indian inter-action is the first reformatting project for the new DPR Center in Lacey.
http://www.oclc.org/oclc/press/20020813.shtm
Robert Harriman named Director of OCLC Digital and Preservation Co-op
Former coordinator of the United States Newspaper Program at the Library of Congress, Mr. Harriman will establish and promote partnerships with libraries, library organizations, cultural heritage agencies and pro­fessional organizations interested in joining the Digital & Preservation Cooperative and developing digital content collections.
Updatewww.oclc.org
22 OCLC Newsletter October 2002
Update
http://www.oclc.org/technicalbulletins/247http://www.oclc.org/technicalbulletins/246
Technical Bulletins 247 and 246 published
Viewable in both PDF and HTML formats, TB247 announces changes to OCLC-MARC records based on: MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data Update, MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority New Data Elements Technical Notice and MARC Code List Technical Notices and Updates. TB247 also includes information about coding practices for integrating resourc­es. TB 246 announces enhancements to OCLC Cataloging Database Enrichment capabilities that allow users to add or edit more fields to existing records in WorldCat.
http://www.netlibrary.com/adobe/
netLibrary launches new offline reading solution
In partnership with Adobe, netLibrary is offering a new tool that makes offline viewing possible and automates the delivery and return of checked-out e-books. Using new tech­nology from Adobe, library users can download PDF-format­ted netLibrary eBooks and view them offline using the Adobe Acrobat® eBook Reader® 2.2 software application.
http://www.oclcpica.org/?id=1094&ln=uk
OCLC PICA opens Paris service center
Following its strategic plan for enhanced regional coop­eration, OCLC PICA opened a regional service center in Paris, France in September 2002 to serve the needs of libraries in Cyprus, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.
http://www.oclc.org/oclc/press/20020913.shtm
Three new vendors join PromptCat service
Matthews Medical Books, Theodore Front Musical Literature, Inc. and Coutts Library Services, Inc., U.S. and Canada divisions, are the newest vendors to partici­pate in the OCLC PromptCat service. An automated copy cataloging service, PromptCat works with your materials vendors to streamline copy cataloging by providing OCLC-MARC records and setting holdings for titles reported by your vendor.
http://www.netlibrary.com/about_us/company_info/press_news.asp
Gale launches e-book program with netLibrary to create e-versions of reference classics
Gale, a leading research and reference publisher for libraries, is launching an e-book program through an alliance with netLibrary, an OCLC division. Gale’s classic reference works will be available in ver­sions that library patrons can search and read via the Internet. The initial list of 36 titles is culled from four award-winning Gale imprints, including Charles Scribner’s Sons, Gale, Macmillan Reference USA and St. James Press.
http://www.oclc.org/connexion/enhancements/
OCLC Connexion gets first quarterly update
OCLC Connexion, the new face of OCLC cataloging, now has new functionality for label printing, a new logoff screen, a new index to search the bibliographic save file, additional custom­ization options for tabs and menus, changes to the MARC tem­plate view and a new Dewey-only session logon option.
http://www.oclc.org//connexion/support/training/connexiontutorial/ovuefnl/
OCLC Connexion tutorial debuts
OCLC has released “Using OCLC Connexion: An OCLC Tutorial,” a new tutorial that provides both an introduction to Connexion and a workflow-oriented approach to searching and cataloging. Within the tutorial, you can print review pages and use them later for online practice or as job-aids. The tutorial is suitable for existing and new OCLC cataloging users as well as catalog­ing users migrating from Passport. It is Web-based and is best viewed with Internet Explorer version 4.01 or higher.William J. Crowe, Spencer Librarian, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, and Chair of the OCLC Board of Trustees, received the first Gretchen and Gene A. Budig Distinguished Librarian Award at the University of Kansas (KU) on September 11, 2002.
Dr. Crowe came to KU as Dean of Libraries in 1990, was named Vice Chancellor for Information Services in 1996, and served in both capacities until 1999 when he was appointed Spencer Librarian. He is the inaugural recipient of the Budig Distinguished Librarian Award.
Former KU Chancellor Gene A. Budig and his wife, Gretchen, established the faculty award with a $50,000 gift to KU. The award will be presented annually to a library faculty member who demonstrates meritorious professional performance and service.
Addressing more than 100 faculty, staff and alumni at Spencer Library, Dr. Budig stated that “a university is only as good as its library.”
“Gretchen and I believe that strong libraries are a defin­ing characteristic of great universities,” he said. “Librarians themselves are critical to the search for and interpretation of information. They enable the scholarly pursuit of the uni­versity community, whether one is an undergraduate or a full professor. KU has a rich tradition of distinguished librarians, and this award represents our desire to see that tradition continue.”
Dr. Budig hailed Dr. Crowe as “a truly exceptional aca­demic and exceptional member of the academic com-munity.”
“Bill Crowe’s contributions as a librarian, an administrator and leader in the profession nationally have brought distinc­tion to KU,” said Stella Bentley, Dean of Libraries at KU. “His commitment to service and passion for librarianship com­mend him for this inaugural award.”
In receiving the award on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Dr. Crowe commented, “I believe that this gathering celebrates the persistence of our shared tradition of freedom, espe­cially the freedom to inquire, to seek freely after the truth, generation after generation…I firmly believe that KU’s librar­ians and the people who work in them are at their best when we are true to that tradition of promoting and safeguarding open access to information.”
Dr. Budig was named KU’s 14th chancellor in 1981. During his 13-year tenure, more than 180 faculty positions were established. He was an active fund-raiser during Campaign Kansas, the 1987-1992 campaign that raised $265 million from private donors. He left the university to be the president of baseball’s American League, and is now senior advisor to Major League Baseball.
Dr. Crowe was elected to the OCLC Board of Trustees in November 1996 by the then OCLC Users (now Members) Council. He was elected Board Chair in November 1999. Before joining the University of Kansas, Dr. Crowe was assis­tant to the Director and then Assistant Director of Libraries at The Ohio State University Libraries, Columbus, from 1979 to 1990. Before that, he held management positions at Indiana University Libraries and technical services posts at Boston Public Library. He earned his bachelor’s degree, with high­est honors, in European history from Boston State College, Massachusetts. He received his master’s degree in library science from Rutgers University and his doctorate from Indiana University.
OCLC Board Chair William Crowe receives Budig Distinguished Librarian Award
www.oclc.org
OCLC Newsletter October 2002 23
http://institute.oclc.org/whatsnew.shtmhttp://institute.oclc.org/bin/catalog.asp
New MindLeaders courses available
With the recent addition of 45 new courses, the OCLC Institute is now offering more than 800 online courses from MindLeaders, a leading provider of e-learning courses to librarians and information professionals via industry-standard Web browsers. New course content includes additional training in Linux, Oracle 9i and Exchange 2000 Administration. To view the complete offerings of MindLeaders through the OCLC Institute, visit the Institute Web site.
http://www.oclc.info/oclc/press/20020820.shtm
IFLA/OCLC fellows named for 2003
They are: Selenay Aytaç, Cataloger and Information Specialist, Isik University, Istanbul, Turkey; Anjali Gulati, Lecturer, Department of Information Science, Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, India; Hyekyong Hwang, Researcher/Librarian, Korean Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea; Ibrahim Ramjaun, Librarian, University of Mauritius, Mauritius; and Thi Nha Vu (Viet Nam), MLIS student, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
UpdateX OCLC Newsletter July 2002
www.oclc.org
24 OCLC Newsletter October 2002
http://www.middlebury.edu/library-is/http://www.sit.edu/http://www.lib.clemson.edu/http://www.oclc.org/oclc/menu/ill.htm
Middlebury College enters 121 millionth ILL, School for International Training hits 120 millionth ILL and Clemson University the 119 millionth
On October 22, 2002, the Middlebury College Library, Middlebury, Vermont, USA, entered the 121 millionth request into the OCLC Interlibrary Loan service. The request was for the book Culture and Politics in the Information Age: A New Politics? and was filled October 23 by the University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA. On September 19, 2002, the School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont, USA, entered the 120 millionth request into the OCLC Interlibrary Loan service using the service’s Web inter­face. The request was for an article in the Journal of Social Work Research and Evaluation. On August 8, 2002, Clemson University Libraries, Clemson, South Carolina, USA, entered the 119 millionth request into the OCLC Interlibrary Loan ser­vice. The request was for the book Multivariate Data Analysis and was filled August 12 by Emory University Libraries, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
http://www3.oclc.org/languagesets/
OCLC opens online store for OCLC Language Sets service, adds new languages
Check out the new online store for easy ordering of OCLC Language Sets, ready-to-use collections for adults and
children in 12 different languages with full MARC cataloging and physical processing. OCLC Language Sets now includes 6 different languages in the Indic group: Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Panjabi, Urdu and Tamil.
Update
http://www.oclc.org/connexion/features/client/
Get the latest informa­tion on the Windows cli­ent interface for OCLC Connexion
OCLC is adding additional informa­tion to the Connexion Web pages about the upcoming Windows client interface to the OCLC Connexion ser­vice. The first release of the client, during the second quarter 2003, will include interactive, online functionality along with macros and labels. The second release, scheduled for the third quarter 2003, will add functionality for cataloging electron­ic resources and performing NACO activities for authority records. And the third release, scheduled for the fourth quarter 2003, will add additional offline and batch func­tionality, including offline local files and other “Cataloging Micro Enhancer-like” functionality.
http://www.oclc.org/oclc/press/20020906.shtm
National Library of the Netherlands, OCLC establish DPR center for European libraries; embark on 400,000 record conversion
OCLC and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek will operate Strata Preservation N.V., a center to digitize and preserve the rich history recorded in centuries old-European collections. In a separate agreement, OCLC and OCLC PICA will work with the Koninklijke Bibliotheek to convert 400,000 of its records to machine-readable form, making the records available online and the materials they represent more accessible to library users worldwide.
http://www.oclcpica.org/?id=1167&ln=uk
OCLC PICA brings French libraries together
A fully compliant UNIMARC Central Library System from OCLC PICA is integrating the cataloging and interlibrary loan activities of more than 100 French university librar­ies. The Système Universitaire de Documentation (SUDOC) was officially completed in May for the Agence bibliographique de l’enseignement supérieur (ABES). Today, more than 2,000 workstations are connected to the system. The new system sup­ports a national catalog of 4.4 million titles and 12.7 million locations and enables researchers, students and staff to use one system to search the collections of French university libraries.www.oclc.org
OCLC Newsletter October 2002 25
Librarians and researchers from numerous countries met for an OCLC and SCURL (Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries) sponsored IFLA preconference at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in August. After an opening address from Michael Anderson, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO, welcomed participants, emphasizing the global cooperative work of OCLC, a theme central to the conference.
Keynote speaker Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, OCLC Research, spoke about “Metadata in a distributed environ­ment: interoperability as recombinant potential,” emphasizing the move from metadata solely for the purpose of discovery, to metadata for the entire lifecycle of digital materials. This requires a greater degree of richness and complexity from metadata and metadata should add value to resources.
Subsequent speakers John MacColl, University of Edinburgh, and Chris Rusbridge, University of Glasgow, spoke on issues raised by Mr Dempsey, such as the place of meta-data in Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), and the applica­tion of the Open Archives Initiative for disclosing resources.
A session on collection description included an explana­tion of the current collection description activities in the United Kingdom by Pete Johnson (UKOLN). Dennis Nicholson (Centre for Digital Library Research, University of Strathclyde) and Gordon Dunsire (Napier University) presented a report of the Scottish SCONE project. Marie-Pierre Detraz (CURL) reported on the recent work carried out by the Consortium of University and Research Libraries in the United Kingdom using OCLC’s iCAS service. Richard Ovenden, University of Edinburgh, echoed the emphasis on collections, contrasting the approach of the librarian and archivist to resources.
To view presentations of the preconference, go to <http://oclcpica.org/?id=1111&ln=uk>.
OCLC and SCURL sponsor IFLA preconference
During the IFLA preconference, OCLC President Jay Jordan presented a bequest for a cataloged collection of archeological research materials to Dr. Trevor Watkins, Professor of Archeology, who accepted it on behalf of the University of Edinburgh. The bequest was a gift from Homer Thomas, a noted American archeology authority, who privately sought catalog­ing for his varied collection of archeological materials from OCLC before donating them to the University of Edinburgh.
The Board of Trustees, Members Council, management and staff of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, along with the worldwide library community, mourn the passing of Ian Mowat, Librarian, Edinburgh University Library, in a hillwalking accident on September 6, 2002. Mr. Mowat was elected to the OCLC Board of Trustees on May 19, 2002 and was to have started a six-year term in November 2002.
“Ian Mowat was an internationally renowned librar-ian,” said OCLC President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Jordan. “He was a vocal and persuasive advocate for growing global awareness within the OCLC commu­nity, among both its members and its management. He was a trusted colleague and a personal friend who will be greatly missed.”
Mr. Mowat had been a leader in the OCLC Cooperative since 1996, when he was first elected as a delegate to the OCLC Members Council. He served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Council. He also served on the Ad Hoc Membership Committee that redefined contribution to the OCLC cooperative and established new membership categories and levels of participation. In 2001, he chaired meetings on OCLC membership that were held in the United Kingdom and in South Africa.
Under Mr. Mowat’s leadership, the University of Edinburgh has been very active with OCLC and has been involved in pilots in the Web Archiving project, in a collection analysis project using OCLC ACAS software with five other UK libraries (University of Hull; Imperial College of Science, Tech-nology and Medicine; School of Oriental and African Studies; University of Liverpool; and Natural Museum of History), and the new 24x7 cooperative reference ser­vice, QuestionPoint.
OCLC Trustee-Elect Ian Mowat (1946–2002)OCLC
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Bodleian Library
commemorates 400 years
In 2002, the Bodleian Library, one of the world’s great research libraries and an OCLC member, celebrates its 400th anniversary. The library, which formally opened 8 November 1602, is named for scholar and diplomat Sir Thomas Bodley, who in 1598 wrote to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford with an offer to restore and restock at his own expense the library room that had been defunct since 1556. Bodley spent four years refitting it with book presses, benches and desks, and then filling the shelves with books and manuscripts.
Bodley had sufficient funds to endow the library and to buy books for it, and had help from many friends who don-ated money and books from their own collections. Through an astute agreement Bodley made with the Stationers’ Company in 1610, the Bodleian became, in effect, a library of legal deposit 150 years before the library of the British Museum was founded, a status it continues to hold.
The Bodleian Library has grown following the pattern Bodley established, accumulating internationally renowned collections of over seven million volumes, expanding into a variety of buildings, and serving students, Oxford academic staff and scholars from around the world. An extensive renovation of the reading rooms in the Old Bodleian Library began exactly 400 years after Bodley’s farsighted restoration of the original library room. As a result, the Bodleian begins its fifth century with its oldest building thoroughly restored and adapted for the provision of library service in a new millennium.
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