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Electronic Library Network

Semi-Annual Report: April - September 1995

Prepared by Deb deBruijn, Anita Cocchia,
Sheila Comeau and Elizabeth Merritt
September 28, 1995


The ELN staff held a day-long planning meeting in May to review progress toward the 1995 milestones, agree on new staff responsibilities and priorities, and update action plans. During April - September 1995, staff concentrated their efforts on:



Sheila Comeau developed chapters covering the "World Wide Web" for ELN's Internet training manuals (Basic Internet Tools and Internet Research Tools), and continued working with the Standing Committee on Educational Technology (SCOET) to produce the revised manuals in electronic and desktop-published formats. The updated manuals are expected to be available on gopher and World Wide Web sites, and also as a Windows help file, in October 1995.

ELN will continue to offer Internet training during Fall 1995 through Vancouver Community College's continuing education program.

Union databases

The 1995 edition of the Serials Database was released on August 29, 1995, on schedule and under budget. Holdings information for the database is current to April 1995. As in the past, the database is mounted centrally on the ELN Server (eln.bc.ca), thanks to the support of the UBC Library.

New participants in this edition include Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Yukon College, and the Priestly Law Library at the University of Victoria. Efforts are underway to have the University of Northern British Columbia participate in the next edition of the database. ELN thanks all members for their efforts in contributing serials records in an organized and timely manner.

ELN staff met with Jim Looney of the Library Services Branch to discuss upcoming production of the Outlook (5th edition, 1996) and Media Databases. Discussion focused on possibilities for streamlining production and further reducing costs for both databases.

For the first time, ELN will coordinate the production of the three union databases at the same time. Libraries will be asked to submit tapes in early October for a release date of January 1996. This will set the production schedule of all union databases to the same annual cycle, and should reduce work for participating libraries to extract records and submit tapes.

InfoServ gopher and Web service

The new InfoServ gopher (infoserv.uvic.ca) and Web service (http://infoserv.uvic.ca) was released on July 21, 1995. The following enhancements were implemented:

Thanks to Kathryn Paul and the library systems staff at University of Victoria for their work on this project.

Index/Abstract databases

The planned release in August of feature to link the CARL UnCover table of contents service (eln.carl.org) with ELN libraries' serial holdings was delayed to allow UnCover to use the 1995 Serials Database rather than the 1994 version. The revised release date is October 1995.

In July, following consultation with library directors and members of the Reference Working Group, ELN suspended negotiations with Gale Research regarding a network license for the Canadian Periodical Index (CPI). Despite earlier and consistent assurances from both Info Globe and Gale that ELN's CPI license could be extended on the same terms as negotiated in 1994 with Info Globe and at no additional cost this fiscal year, Gale would not commit to that approach.

A Database Cost-Sharing Task Group was formed and met via teleconference to examine issues surrounding the current model for sharing database costs among ELN member libraries, investigate alternatives and make recommendations for the next fiscal year. Members of the Task Group are:

Paul Baldwin SFU
Virginia Chisholm Douglas College (Municipal Colleges rep)
Hilde Colenbrander UBC
Sheila Comeau ELN
Deb deBruijn ELN
Joanne Matthews UNBC
Brigitte Peter-Cherneff BCIT (Institutions rep)
Kathy Plett Coll. of New Caledonia (Intr. Coll. rep)
Donna Signori UVic
Gwen Zilm Okanagan Univ College (Univ.Coll. rep)

Preliminary recommendations of the Task Group are expected shortly, and will go to the Library Directors for discussion before final recommendations are made to ELN and the Advisory Committee.

OJAC Management

Five new sites joined the OJAC service in April, for a total of twenty participants. A teleconference meeting of participants was held on June 28, 1995, to discuss draft operational principles and agree on service enhancements. One outcome was that institutions will have the option of having the order blocking feature activated or deactivated, with each institution to review this decision on an annual basis.

Following feedback to the draft operational principles, the OJAC Services Policies and Principles document was completed and distributed to OJAC members.

A new email distribution list (ojac@lists.ola.bc.ca) was implemented to improve communications and facilitate discussion of OJAC service issues among participants.

Review of Resource Sharing Methods and Policies

On October 1, 1995, ELN assumes management responsibility for the B.C. Post- Secondary Interlibrary Loan Network (NET). A bulletin announcing the change was developed jointly by Deb deBruijn and Margaret Friesen, and distributed widely to participating institutions, related organizations, library associations, and the Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour. An information package, including procedural information and templates for request messaging on the Internet, was also sent to all NET and MEC participants.

With this transition, the ELN Resource Sharing Implementation Task Group completed Phase I of its mandate. The Task Group has begun to work on Phase II, reviewing tiered levels of interlibrary loan service and identifying a rationale for alternative pricing structures. ELN has asked the Media Exchange Cooperative (MEC) to name representative to the Task Group, to bring media expertise to this phase of the group's work. Preliminary proposals arising from this phase will be consolidated in a discussion paper, scheduled for wide distribution by November, with feedback sought through focus groups and written comments.

ELN and the Library Services Branch developed a proposal for a pilot project to include ELN libraries on the LSB FileServer Interlibrary Loan Management System. The project will test the effectiveness of this system in reducing staff time to key and manage requests, improving response and delivery time, reducing telecommunications costs, and distributing the request load more evenly among supplying libraries. Ten ELN libraries are interested in participating in the project, proposed to commence in January 1996.

Electronic Documents

Acting upon recommendations of members and the ELN Advisory Committee, ELN has investigated several options for full text databases, and has identified two projects.

The first is a 6 month pilot project between SFU Library, UBC Library, and Malaspina University-College, commencing October 1, 1995. The project will extend access to SFU's UMI PowerPages full-image database to the other two participants. The PowerPages system is linked to the ABI/Inform database, and provides full-image documents for approximately 500 of the business and management journals indexed in ABI/Inform. The pilot project is seen as the first phase of offering this mode of full text delivery to other ELN libraries.

The second project involves an extension of ELN's license for the Canadian Business and Current Affairs database, to include full text for about 100 of the journals indexed. This upgraded license is called KIOSK:CBCA, and there is wide interest among ELN library directors and reference staff to pursue this option. A proposal outlining coverage, first year and ongoing costs will go to Library Directors and the Reference Working Group in early October.


ELN staffing

Maureen Witney, who had been on leave from ELN since January 1995, resigned her position as part-time Librarian/Analyst as of May 31, 1995.

As a result of the NET Transition recommendations endorsed by the ELN Advisory Committee, the part-time position was upgraded to full-time. Anita Cocchia was appointed to the position effective June 12, 1995.

ELN staff have participated in several OLA training and professional development programs, including sessions on performance enhancement and appraisal, quality service, and project management.

Preparation of documentation to support position classifications within OLA is still proceeding.

Ian Mugridge, to whom ELN reports, will be leaving OLA at the end of May 1996. Work has begun to identify options and propose an appropriate organizational niche and reporting structure for ELN following Ian's departure.


Strategic Alliances

ELN and InterLINK formed a liaison task force to investigate possible joint initiatives. Members are Ted Benson (West Vancouver Public Library), Ron Clancy (New Westminster Public Library), Lynn Copeland (SFU), Deb deBruijn (ELN), Pat Haffenden (VPL), Gordon Ray (InterLINK), and Frieda Wiebe (Capilano College).

The group met three times during the spring and agreed to explore:

Anita Cocchia represented ELN at the National Library of Canada's annual resource sharing meeting, held in conjunction with the Canadian Library Association (CLA) conference in June. The meeting focused on the future and role of the Canadian national union catalogue.

Deb deBruijn participated in two meetings of the B.C. Coalition for Public Information (a loosely organized group of community, cultural and information organizations, in part an outgrowth of the BCLA Information Policy Committee) on issues relating to B.C.'s draft Electronic Highway Accord. However, differing needs, expectations and agendas of diverse groups within the Coalition, and the resulting lack of an appropriate structure for consultation proved problematic, prompting ELN to withdraw from further participation.

Marketing and Lobbying

A proposal for a cohesive communications plan, including draft designs for an ELN visual identify and promotional brochure, have been developed for presentation to the ELN Advisory Committee on October 4, 1995.

Deb deBruijn made presentations to SCOET in April, and at the BCLA annual conference in May.

ELN staff submitted articles for publication in Feliciter (CLA journal), BCLA Reporter, CPSLD Newsletter, Contact.bc.ca (SCOET publication for the Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour showcasing educational technology initiatives in the province), Centre for Curriculum and Professional Development Newsletter, and For Openers (OLA's internal newsletter.)

ELN has been invited to participate in an international conference to be held at Harvard College Library in March 1996. The conference, entitled "Finding Common Ground: Creating the Library of the Future without Diminishing the Library of the Past" will feature approximately 90 jury-reviewed papers and presentations. ELN's successful proposal for a demonstrated paper is entitled "Leveraging our Investments: B.C.'s Electronic Library Network as Fulcrum and Agent of Change." Conference proceedings will be published by Neal-Schuman Publishers.