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New & Noteworthy
New Opportunities FundAllocates Lottery Funding to Local Libraries
The People's Network scheme, which aims to provide the general public with access to digital content and e-services, government and community information and services related to reading and learning opportunities, has received over £23 million in funding from the New Opportunities Fund. The latest round of funding, at the end of April, saw Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Hounslow and Leicestershire libraries sharing over £2.5 million to bring online services to local communities and to develop information and communications technology centres in each one of their libraries.
Individual projects include Buckinghamshire's pledge to use the extra terminals to improve access to county council services and to multimedia information and interactive learning materials. They will also offer video conferencing so that specialist services can be accessed by users who cannot make personal visits. In Dorset and in Leicestershire, rural users in particular will benefit from many smaller and part-time libraries now going online, and in Hounslow, local councillors see increased Internet access as a means of closing the gap between the advantaged and the disadvantaged in the community.
Lottery Opportunities: http://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk
Computers in Libraries 2001Librarians Identify Key Issues
At the Computers in Libraries 2001 conference and workshops, which took place from March 14-16 in Washington DC, librarians identified a number of areas where technological improvements would affect many parts of their work. They felt that greater bandwidth would facilitate better multimedia and distance-learning projects, and some librarians revealed that they were studying Napster and considering it as a possible model for information sharing initiatives. They agreed that significant improvements needed to be made to the general public's IT education to enable them to benefit from the resources available, and they wanted library network interfaces to be more user-friendly to encourage the public to search using these rather than commercial search engines.
The conference also aimed to inform librarians about how to improve their automation systems and manage content, how to perform better online searches, how best to manage an intranet and how to create and manage Web pages. Sessions also offered tips on promoting library services, applying for grants, using XML and teaching Internet use. Computers in Libraries 2002 will be held in Washington DC March 13-15, 2002.
Information Today: http://www. infotoday.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Heritage Image PartnershipOffers Leading Image Collections Online
The British Library, the National Museum of Photography Film and Television, the National Monuments Record of English Heritage, the Science Museum, the National Railway Museum and the Corporation of London Libraries and Guildhall Art Gallery have founded the Heritage Image Partnership to make leading picture and photographic collections instantly available online; a further ten institutions may also add images to the site soon. The partner institutions have spent many years, and in some cases centuries, collecting, storing and cataloguing images in their area of interest, and this new online digital library project aims to make searching through this information easier both for researchers and for the institutions themselves.
Owing to the range of institutions involved, the total image holding for the group is extremely varied, but this service concentrates on the British people and their culture and history; subcategories include the British as discoverers and settlers, British influence on other countries and British science and art. Images can be searched for on the Web site and then ordered in any digital format required. Payment is also made online and there is a facility for regular users to set up corporate accounts.
Heritage Image Partnership: 1-2 Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R 0EU, 020 7929 5581 http://www.heritage-images.com
Royal National Institute for the BlindMakes Sight-loss Library Available Online
The RNIB has launched a joint online library project with the National Library for the Blind (NLB) to make its complete sight loss catalogue available online. The NLB works to give people with sight problems access to the same library services as sighted people. The RNIB holds Europe's most extensive research and reference library on blindness and sight loss, and the NLB has allowed the use of its GEAC library management system to bring the project to life and give easy access to the library to professionals, students, and relatives of the blind and partially sighted, via the Internet. Links will also be provided to library collections held by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
The site has been designed to be accessible to those with sight problems, and additional software will increase the size of the print on the screen or convert it to speech or braille. The site is divided into the research library and a services area and allows requests or reservations of publications and the searching of catalogue information; services include a current awareness service and information on how best to use library technology.
RNIB Library: http://www.rnib.org.uk/library
New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia 2001Digital Libraries Theme
The refereed annual review journal New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia (NRHM) is taking digital libraries as its theme for 2001. The journal is concerned with research into practical and theoretical developments in hypermedia, interactive multimedia and related technologies, making digital libraries an ideal starting point from which to explore all its areas of interest, which also include metadata, information retrieval and semantic Web and knowledge organisation systems. The recent rise in the number of digital library conferences, collaborative international projects and specialist meetings has highlighted the huge increase in interest in digitisation projects, which in turn has made new technologies, means of access to collections and advanced computer interface design necessary. All these aspects of digital libraries are of interest to the editors of NRHM who are requesting submission of articles, by August 1, on topics concerning areas such as subject gateways and discovery services, classifications and controlled vocabulary systems and advanced searching and browsing techniques. The journal intends to provide an up-to-date analysis of the issues and further details about submission and subsequent publication can be requested from the editor at the address below.
NRHM Editor: Douglas Tudhope email@example.com
Notes for contributors: http://www.taylorgraham.com/journals/nrhypnotes.html
South Bank UniversityBuilds Online Architectural Database
In April, the Library Information Technology Centre (LITC) at South Bank University began BuilDNER, a 12-month project to digitise its holding of approximately 20,000 pre-indexed 35mm slides of buildings and architectural features. On completion of the project the collection will be available in a JISC funded repository. The collection, which is now searchable by terms of reference such as subject term, period and material, was originally indexed according to the Building Industry Thesaurus, and this index has now been computerised and is accessible by prior arrangement from http://www.lisa.sbu. ac.uk/slides/. The collection focuses on historical buildings and those of particular architectural merit, as well as individual building artefacts and materials. The project will interest librarians from many disciplines as the material to be digitised has been compiled from a range of sources, including purchased slides, as well as those developed from books and original slides.
The digitisation procedure will take account of the measures outlined in the Helix good practice guide and practice that has developed in the digital imaging community since.
Project Web site: http://litc.sbu.ac.uk/buildner
LITC: Paul Sandford, Researcher, firstname.lastname@example.org
British LibraryHosts Major Digital Librarianship Conference
The British Library recently hosted an international conference, Issues in Digital Librarianship: Accessing the Future, which focused on e-commerce and information retrieval, while trying to identify the main issues and future concerns for library digitisation. The event also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Online Computer Library Centre's Europe, Middle East and Africa office. The conference attempted to identify areas where the library community could use global cooperation to meet future demands and develop strategies for the collection and preservation of digital materials, always bearing in mind users' needs. It aimed to create a shared awareness of trends and activities and to identify gaps in resources and skills.
The keynote speakers, from the British Library and the Council on Library and Information Resources, provided a strategic overview of the current position in the UK and the USA, and other speakers elaborated on digital preservation, the acquisition of digital materials and the avoidance of social exclusion. Speakers came from diverse organisations including the Networked European Deposit Library and Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Netherlands, the Distributed National Electronic Resource and Birmingham City Council. The conference allowed the international delegates to examine areas of common interest and lay the basis for global cooperative action.
British Library: http://www.bl.uk
IFLAApproves New Guidelines for International Lending
The IFLA office for international lending and the IFLA section on document delivery and interlending have cooperated closely to produce a new set of principles and guidelines for international lending and document delivery, which were recently ratified by the IFLA's professional board. The international sharing of library resources plays an important part in improving access to published material, and the updating of the principles governing this process plays a vital role in improving global access to library resources. The guidelines, which are not mandatory as each country must regulate its own interlending and document supply processes, aim to protect the interests of all libraries and they set out recommended practice for individual states for document provision.
The document, "International Lending and Document Delivery: Principles and Guidelines for Procedure" which is available from http://www.ifla.org/VI/2/p3/ildd.htm, identifies eight major areas of inquiry, each of which is supplemented by a set of guidelines. These areas are national responsibility, the national lending system, the national policy for international lending, request sending, item supply, copyright, responsibility for loaned material and charges and payments.
IFLA UAP Office: Sara Gould, British Library Document Supply Centre, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorks LS23 7BQ email@example.com