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ELN Annual Report

April 1, 1994 - March 31, 1995

1994/95 was a year of transition and progress for the Electronic Library Network. ELN's accomplishments for 1994/95 are the result of:

The following accomplishments are grouped under the objectives identified in ELN's strategic plan.

Improving Existing & Identifying New Eln Services & Delivery Methods


ELN developed materials, including manuals and instructor kits, for two courses:

Basic Internet Tools and Internet Research Tools, and delivered training onsite at ELN sites, or through Vancouver Community College's Continuing Education department. Both manuals were published and marketed by the Open Learning Agency.

ELN also negotiated with the Standing Committee on Educational Technology (SCOET) to produce the manuals in three electronic formats (HTML for a World Wide Web site, ASCII for a gopher site, and a Windows help file for distribution to post-secondary institutions.) The electronic versions will be available in Fall 1995.

Union databases

The union databases are loaded, indexed, and made available to users through a contract with the UBC Library, on ELN equipment housed and maintained by UBC.

Serials Database: The 1993 version of the Serials database was produced by Auto-Graphics, and loaded on the ELN server at UBC for central access.

The attempt to merge the serials records proved unsuccessful, and was abandoned despite the best efforts of UBC Library systems staff. ELN concentrated instead on working with ELN libraries to include accurate ISSNs in all records contributed to the Serials database.

Media Database: Based on survey results from MEC delegates, media resource personnel and members of the ELN Media Working Group, ELN contracted with Auto-Graphics to produce the Media database on CD- ROM, using Impact search and retrieval software (same software as used for the Outlook database.) This change from the previous production and distribution as an Inmagic database has reduced costs, shortened the production and distribution cycle, improved the database by merging duplicate records, and allowed for future growth of the database. The CD-ROM version of the Media database was distributed for the first time in August 1994, with another update distributed in February 1995.

The updated Media database was also loaded on the ELN server for central access.

A shared media cataloguing task force and pilot project was also initiated, coordinated by Susan Weber of AEMAC. The objectives were to establish a provincial standard for media cataloguing; develop a means by which cataloguing for AEMAC records will be available to B.C. post- secondary institutions; and recommend means by which media catalogue copy can be shared within the post-secondary system.

In consultation with BCCATS, the group surveyed library directors, MEC delegates, and cataloguers to identify standards for media cataloguing and assess compliance issues. The group also investigated costs and quality for cataloguing media based on commercial and academic library suppliers, and has assessed cataloguing of three suppliers. A draft of the group's final report has been submitted to ELN for review. It is anticipated that the final report and recommendations will be submitted by June, 1995.

Outlook Database: The 4th edition of Outlook was produced by Auto- Graphics, and distributed on CD-ROM in February 1995. For the first time, Outlook was also produced on magnetic tape and loaded on the ELN server at UBC for central access. This has allowed for more extensive use of the database, and has also allowed some libraries to reallocate CD-ROM drives that were previously devoted to the Outlook database.

Index/Abstract Databases

ELN coordinated a project to negotiate consortium licenses for a suite of index/abstract databases. This project was made possible through a combination of special funding from the Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour ($55,000), central funding from ELN ($60,000) and contributions from twenty-six participating libraries ($169,000).

Databases to be licensed were based on recommendations from an ELN task group of reference librarians. Fourteen databases are currently licensed and made available on systems supported by UBC, SFU, and UVic. In addition, ELN negotiated a consortium license for a gateway to the CARL UnCover table of contents service.

The value of these databases was extended by linking twelve of the fourteen databases to ELN member libraries' serials holdings. This work was accomplished thanks to the efforts of the library systems staff at SFU and UBC. Work also commenced with CARL UnCover to link ELN serial holdings to the table of contents service.

Online Journal Access (OJAC) Service

OJAC combines searching of the index/abstract databases at SFU, an online document requesting facility developed by SFU, and rapid document delivery. ELN assumed responsibility for management of OJAC in January 1994, and facilitated a teleconference of OJAC participants to discuss management issues, directions, and member responsibilities. Preparation of a policy/procedures manual continues. As of April 1, 1995, there were twenty ELN libraries participating in the project.

InfoServ Gopher

InfoServ operates on contract with the UVic Library, on ELN equipment housed and maintained by UVic. Based on recommendations of an ELN task group, UVic made significant changes to the InfoServ structure and menus. Although implementation of the new InfoServ was scheduled for early 1995, staff changes at the ELN office delayed the necessary testing and documentation. ELN anticipates that the new InfoServ gopher will be released in June 1995.

Review of Resource Sharing Methods & Policies

The Report of the Resource Sharing Task Group, chaired by Joan Sandilands, was received and endorsed by the ELN Advisory Committee. Among its recommendations were that ELN assume management responsibility for NET, as the first step in administering resource sharing for B.C. post-secondary libraries. The group also recommended that another task group be struck to review existing resource sharing structures and formulas, investigate other options, and recommend a new structure that would distribute costs appropriately but not inhibit the sharing of resources.

ELN subsequently established a Resource Sharing Implementation Task Group to investigate the operational requirements of ELN assuming responsibility for NET management, and to undertake the review of resource sharing structures, formulas and options. This process will be based on wide consultation among ELN members at the director and working group levels, as well as with other organizations such as MEC, AEMAC, etc. The Task Group's first recommendations regarding NET management are expected in May 1995.

Strengthening Eln Management, Governance, And Member Participation

ELN Staffing

Bob MacDonald retired as Manager on June 30, 1994, and Deb deBruijn was appointed to the Manager position effective December 1, 1994.

Maureen Witney accepted a temporary position as Acting College Librarian at Capilano College from January - August 1995, and Anita Cocchia was hired as temporary Librarian/Analyst at ELN, for the period February 13 - August 31, 1995.

Jacqueline Bradshaw resigned her position as full-time Librarian/Analyst with ELN, to assume a position as Manager, Instructional Computing Services with the Open Learning Agency, effective March 1, 1995. A recruiting process to hire a replacement for the position was undertaken in March.

ELN Decision Making Process

A document clarifying the ELN decision making process, and the roles of stakeholder groups (Advisory Committee, working groups, task groups, other organizations) was reviewed by library directors and the ELN Advisory Committee, and distributed to ELN member libraries.

Charter of Member Responsibilities

A Task Group to draft a charter of ELN member responsibilities was established, and preliminary work to identify desired elements and structure of a charter was done. The group plans to have a draft charter prepared for review by ELN members by Fall 1995.

Strategic Positioning And Financial Well-Being Of ELN

Strategic Alliances

ELN participated in the CASD initiative to select an integrated library management system for college and institute libraries. ELN helped review the RFP and participated in a week-long evaluation of systems and vendors. The ELN Manager joined the project steering committee in March 1995, and continues to work with CPSLD on strategies to carry this initiative forward.

ELN and InterLINK (consortium of public libraries in the lower mainland) established a joint liaison task force, to identify areas for cooperation and services that are of mutual benefit. The first meeting was scheduled for April 1995.

ELN participated in a seminar on restructuring interlibrary loan services, sponsored by the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries. The seminar was also attended by library staff from UBC, SFU, UVic and UNBC. This participation afforded ELN the opportunity to begin discussing regional approaches to resource sharing with COPPUL.

ELN Lobbying and Marketing

ELN staff prepared and delivered a presentation at the 1994 CLA Conference, as part of the ongoing effort to increase awareness of ELN and enhance its profile among various communities. Planning during the early part of 1995 focused on upcoming presentations for SCOET (April 1995) and for the BCLA Annual Conference (May 1995).

ELN also submitted reports for several publications, including the BCLA Reporter (February 1995 issue), the CPSLD Newsletter, and a SCOET publication for the Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour showcasing educational technology initiatives in the colleges and institutes (publication entitled Contact@bc.ca - published spring 1995.)