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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The Netherlands has a long and creditable history of library cooperation. One of the effects of this is the very high use of public libraries, “between 500,000 and one million are delivered annually” on interlibrary loan and a further 150,000 via the national catalogue; all this in a country of only 16 million. In comparison the UK issues 250,000 for a population of 60 million. Even allowing for the fact that like is probably not being compared with like this is an enormous difference. Paula Braun, Leo Hörnig and Friso Visser describe the exciting project to allow Dutch citizens to order material themselves which is not in their local library; a project that will no doubt increase use even further. However the UK is also moving. The public library system in the UK has suffered from a lack of unity since the early 1990s when a split occurred. The combined regions (TCR) has awarded a contract to OCLC/PICA to introduce a new system that will include a similar citizen focussed service. OCLC has recently bought FDI that was the principal software supplier for the Dutch project so there are grounds for cautious optimism that the UK system will overcome the fragmentation of the last 15 years. Rob Froud describes the process by which the contract was awarded and its progress so far.
I will not fulminate any more at the notorious EU directive on copyright; suffice it to say that Joachim Schöpfel describes the fractious debate and unsatisfactory conclusion in France that has taken five years to come about. Theses are notoriously difficult to locate and then obtain; Eun-Ja Shin describes the development in South Korea of an electronic national repository that will link nationally and internationally. And from the same area of the world we have a report on the state of the open access movement in China from Conghui Fang and Xiaochun Zhu. Our French colleagues, Chérifa Boukacem-Zeghmouri and four others give us the first of a three part project that uses the decline in document supply at INIST to evaluate and answer some important questions. Your editor, Mike McGrath, provides an overview of the factors affecting document supply today based on a number of presentations that he has given over the past two years. Finally our regular literature review updates you on the most recent developments that affect document supply.