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New & Noteworthy
Library Technology ReportsEditor Howard White Retires
Howard White, editor-in-chief of Library Technology Reports for the last 28 years, has announced that he has accepted American Library Association's (ALA) Career Incentive package and will leave, effective April 14, 2000. Under his stewardship, subscriptions to Library Technology Reports and Library Systems Newsletter have generated net revenues in excess of $1million for ALA's general fund.
Library Technology Reports (LTR), now in its 36th volume, is a unique service to the library profession. Patterned after Consumer Reports, and using independent testing laboratories and consultants who are experts in their respective fields, LTR reports on products and services used in libraries. It has more than 1,600 subscribers in the USA and 36 foreign countries.
In the last two decades in which library automation has been an ever-increasing focus for the profession, LTR has published authoritative evaluations on that subject and on a variety of other products such as microform reader/ printers, library furniture and shelving, and mass deacidification systems including LC's DEZ project.
Some of LTR's test procedures have been adopted as national or industry-accepted de facto standards. In 1994, the LTR performance standard for single-tier library bookstacks was adopted as an American National Standard. The LTR performance standard for patron library chairs is currently being considered for promulgation as an American National Standard. LTR's RFP for the procurement of an integrated library system is the most widely used RFP in the industry.
Twenty years ago, White and Dick Boss of ISCI developed the monthly Library Systems Newsletter (LSN), which focuses on the field of integrated online library systems and the technologies they comprise. Its annual survey of library system vendors is an authoritative industry survey with comparable statistics covering a 15-year timeline.
Through the years, White has served on various standards committees, including the Illuminating Engineering Society's Library Lighting Committee, ANSI/PIMA IT-7 Standards for Educational A/V Equipment and Systems, and NISO's Standards Development Committee.
Before coming to ALA, White was assistant director of the Business and Economics Library at the University of Chicago, where he received his MA in library science.
Library Technology Reports: c/o American Library Association, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611.
NISOFive Standards Out for Five-year Review
Five NISO (National Information Standards Organization) standards are now being balloted for five-year review. The five-year review is an important step in the maintenance of national consensus standards. In this review NISO members and other interested parties will determine if the standard should be reaffirmed, revised, or withdrawn. Instructions on the review process (including the ballot forms) are on the NISO Web site at http://www.niso.org/review.html
The five standards now out for review are:
ANSI/NISO Z39.2-1994 Information Interchange Format.
ANSI/NISO Z39.9-1992 International Standard Serial Numbering (ISSN).
ANSI/NISO Z39.43-1993 Standard Address Number (SAN).
ANSI/NISO Z39.67-1993 Computer Software Description.
ANSI/NISO Z39.73-1994 Single-Tier Steel Bracket Library Shelving.
In other NISO news, the first national standard for library binding has been published by NISO Press (ANSI/ NISO Z39.78-2000; ISBN: 1-880124-43-2). The standard describes the technical specifications and materials to use in first-time hardcover binding of serials and paperbound books intended for library use and the rebinding of hardcover books and serials intended for library use. Re-binding is one of the primary preservation tools used by libraries. This new standard is the result of an eight-year collaboration between NISO and the Library Binding Institute (LBI); the new NISO/LBI library binding standard replaces previous LBI binding standards. Libraries are encouraged to reference this new standard in contracting for binding work. The complete text of the standard can be downloaded from the NISO Web site or hardcopy of the standard can be ordered from NISO Press.
National Information Standards Organization (NISO): c/o Pat Harris, 4733 Bethesda Venue, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: (301) 654-2512 or (877) 736-6476; Fax (301) 206-9789; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.niso.org
OCLCPilot Project Explores Increasing ILL Fill Rates
Eleven libraries are participating in the Strategic OCLC Union Listing Pilot Project, which was launched in December to determine whether libraries' use of the OCLC Union List service increases interlibrary loan (ILL) fill rates for journals.
In the first two months of the project, OCLC trained library staff to enter local data records (LDRs) in the union list service, and the staff then added records for their most-requested serials.
According to Cathy Kellum, pilot project manager and consulting product support specialist in resource sharing, the project's goal is two-fold: "We think union listing makes a difference in the ILL process, so we want to test our theory and see if it really does. And if union listing does make a difference, we want to analyze what we learn to help turn this into an ongoing service."
Libraries participating in the pilot are Auburn University, Alabama; Boston Public Library, Massachusetts; California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; Occidental College, Los Angeles, California; University of Colorado-Boulder; University of Delaware, Newark; Denver Public Library, Colorado; Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois; University of Texas at Austin; University of Kansas, Lawrence; and San Francisco Public Library, California.
OCLC will present an overview of the project and its results at an open meeting of the OCLC Interlibrary Loan Users Group and Union List Users Group at the American Library Association Conference in Chicago on Sunday, July 9, at 4:30 p.m. Project results will also be published in the OCLC Newsletter and on the OCLC home page http://www.oclc.org
Research Libraries Group and OCLCExplore Digital Archiving
The Research Libraries Group (RLG) and OCLC Online Computer Library Center have begun discussing ways the two organizations can cooperate to create infrastructures for digital archiving.
As a first step, OCLC and RLG have begun to collaborate on two working documents to establish best practices. Attributes of a Digital Archive for Research Repositories will outline the characteristics of reliable archiving services, and Preservation Metadata for Long-Term Retention will propose approaches for descriptive and management metadata needed in the long-term retention of digital files. RLG and OCLC will bring key players together to review progress to date and identify common practices among those most experienced in the archiving arena. The draft working papers will then be reviewed by key stakeholders around the world.
The papers are expected to serve as a basis for further exploration of roles and responsibilities of RLG, OCLC, and others.
Research repositories globally are working to develop infrastructures for identifying, acquiring, managing, and accessing digital materials. According to an OCLC release, organizational models for successful digital archives being tested in Europe, Australia, and North America hold promise for institutional and collaborative approaches and collaborative approaches to a wide range of operations and facilities.
The draft documents will be made available on the RLG and OCLC Web sites, and comments will be invited from interested parties before publication. More information is available from Nancy Elkington, RLG program officer, email@example.com or Meg Bellinger, president, preservation resources firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Libraries Group: Mountain View, California; http://www.rlg.org
OCLC: 6565 Frantz Road, Dublin, Ohio 43017-3395. Tel: (614) 764-6000; Fax: (614) 764-6096; http://www.oclc.org
ARL AnnouncesNew SPEC Kits
Recently released from the Association of Research Libraries Office of Leadership and Management Services (OLMS) are the results of two survey studies of ARL member libraries, SPEC Kit 254: Managing Printing Services; and SPEC Kit 255: Branch Libraries and Discrete Collections.
SPEC Kit 254: managing printing services for many libraries, an increase in electronic resources has brought an increase in printing use as patrons want to preserve what they have seen on the screen. Contrary to the practice of research libraries at the beginning of the 1990s, there is now a dominant trend to charge users for printing and contract out printing services. This kit shows how libraries have organized their printing services to meet the increased demand and manage costs. Julia Blixrud. December 1999. 119 pp.
SPEC Kit 255: branch libraries and discrete collections prompted by changing needs and available resources, libraries periodically centralize or decentralize collections and services. The best course of action, the survey for this Kit discovered, depends on the particular circumstances of the institution. This title shows how ARL libraries are managing branches and separate collections in the current climate of budgetary pressures and technological change. Karen S. Croneis and Bradley H. Short. December 1999. 114 pp.
Association of Research Libraries: c/o Bradley Houseton, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, 21 Dupont Circle, No. 800, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: (202) 296-2296; Fax (202) 872-0884.
SPARCJournal Gets Financial "Seal of Approval"
The Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) has pledged to pay all author fees for faculty members at all Utah academic institutions who contribute research to New Journal ofPhysics ( http://www.njp.org).New Journal of Physics, a SPARC partner, is published by Institute of Physics Publishing (UK) and the German Physical Society (Bad Honnef, Germany).
New Journal of Physics, entering its second year, is an electronic journal that publishes original research in all areas of physics. It is available on the Internet free of charge and supported by author fees. It presents an alternative approach to physics publishing, emphasizing a broad range of topics rather than a specific subdiscipline within physics. According to a SPARC release, the average article is published within 120 days of submission after a period of rigorous, automated peer review.
The fee for publishing articles in New Journal of Physics is $500.
SPARC is an alliance of universities and research libraries that supports increased competition in scientific journal publishing. Its membership currently numbers approximately 180 institutions and library consortia in North America, the UK, continental Europe, and Asia. SPARC is also affiliated with major library organizations in Canada, the UK and Ireland, Denmark, Australia and the USA.
SPARC: c/o Alison Buckholtz, Assistant Director, Communications, 21 Dupont Circle, Ste. 800, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: (202) 296-2296; Fax (202) 872-0884; http: www.arl.org/sparc