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Electronic Library Network

Progress Report: October 1998 - March 1999

Goal 1

Provide access to a wide range of databases and services, and foster the development of intuitive electronic interfaces to worldwide information resources

Objective 1.1

Develop streamlined connections to ELN databases and services, using new technologies and protocols


  • improved ELN web site to facilitate access to content from the main page, resource library and database chart
  • worked with OLA and partner libraries to coordinate migration of ELN web site to new server, without service interruptions
  • advised partner libraries on authenticating remote users for database access, in support of institutionsí distributed learning initiatives

Objective 1.2

Pursue new database services that meet users' needs

  • adopted guidelines for usage statistics for web-based resources. Guidelines are based on principles endorsed by the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC), and their adoption strengthens ELNís framework for database evaluation.
  • investigated access issues and pursued options for meeting increased demand for the CINAHL database. Actions underway include upgrading server capacity at the UVic host site and negotiating increased simultaneous user access
  • compiled database recommendations from partner libraries, and consulted with a variety of vendors (e.g. OCLC, Faxon, Britannica Online, Micromedia, Electric Library Canada, ACS, ACM) to assess suitability of products for the ELN environment
  • developed draft survey to determine partner librariesí new database priorities. Design of web form and database to facilitate compilation and analysis of results is in process

Objective 1.3

Integrate instructional materials with database services

  • completed and distributed user guide for the OutLook OnLine interlibrary loan web version
  • expanded and enhanced BRS-Web (SLRI) search guide and ProQuest guide
  • integrated access to the OutLook OnLine and SLRI guides with the database services on the ELN web site
  • developed a database to enable customized reporting of journal lists from EBSCO fulltext databases

Objective 1.4

Ensure the most appropriate technological platforms, storage and delivery mechanisms for databases and services

  • managed the transition of the ELN Serials database from the UBCLIB interface (decommissioned by UBC) to the Impact/ONLINE web interface hosted by Auto-Graphics
  • developed and deployed automated software client to monitor and log ongoing availability of PsycINFO and EBSCO databases on the web. This allows ELN to track and evaluate database performance more systematically
  • coordinated librariesí evaluation of platform options for the PsycINFO database, to address access and performance issues. Migration of the database to a commercial host is now underway, in order to achieve the robust access required
  • coordinated backup access to PsycINFO database through SilverPlatter Norwood server to ensure database availability during period of instability on local server
  • optimized utility of CINAHL database through peak usage periods by negotiating special access rights with vendor, monitoring group training sessions at partner libraries, and liaising with UVic host site
  • assessed Y2K issues in consultation with the Open Learning Agency. Compilation of compliance and status statements is in process

Goal 2

Facilitate resource sharing among institutions to ensure users have timely and effective access to the province's collective information resources

Objective 2.1

Facilitate links to holdings from commercial services and databases


  • work initiated by SFU Library to integrate the GODOT Serials Holding/Requesting module with EBSCO fulltext databases
  • work initiated by SFU library to link web version of citation databases (i.e. databases available under the SLRI interface) to fulltext sources

Objective 2.2

Integrate user-initiated online ordering features into database services

  • see above

Objective 2.3

Provide leadership in establishing a coordinated provincial resource sharing network

  • launched the Interlibrary Loan Directory for BC Libraries on the web. Directory includes post-secondary and public libraries participating in the OutLook OnLine interlibrary loan network, and is a joint initiative with the Library Services Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs
  • issued an OutLook OnLine (OLOL) evaluation survey to libraries participating in the OLOL interlibrary loan network
  • appointed agenda team for Resource Sharing Forum, and held first planning meeting

Objective 2.4

Improve union databases

  • released 1998 versions of the OutLook and Serials databases under the Impact/ONLINE web interface
  • defined scoping groups for libraries in OutLook OnLine, allowing users to more easily identify libraries that own a desired item
  • completed and implemented a revised OutLook OnLine matching algorithm, in order to provide a cleaner and more efficient database through the elimination of duplicate records within the database
  • consulted with BCCATS (cataloguing group) and Media Exchange Cooperative (MEC) on the Media Database matching algorithm in order to realize the same efficiencies as with OutLook OnLine (above). These revisions will be implemented with the next iteration of the Media Database

Goal 3

Provide a mechanism for post-secondary libraries to play a prominent role in educational planning, policy development and program delivery

Objective 3.1

Participate on provincial/national projects and planning groups


Objective 3.2

Have a presence and impact within the Ministry and at the senior executive level of post-secondary institutions

Objective 3.3

Ensure ELN governance and organizational structures reflect the broad educational community and promote effective communication among stakeholders

  • new ELN governance structure approved by the Open Learning Agency Board of Directors

Goal 4

Promote organizational alliances that are mutually beneficial to users and service providers

Objective 4.1

Extend alliances and partnerships with public, school, health sector, government, non-profit & corporate libraries within B.C.


  • negotiated Britannica Online licence for post-secondary libraries. Negotiations resulted in advantageous terms for ELN libraries, under the umbrella of Ministry of Education licence for the K-12 sector

Objective 4.2

Extend partnerships on an inter-provincial basis

  • completed contract for production of 1998 Serials Database for the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL)

Objective 4.3

Expand national and international alliances

  • coordinated national meetings of Canadian multi-type library consortia, to begin working toward a national model for database licensing
  • participated in the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) meetings, October 1998 and March 1999
  • contributed to the development and adoption of ICOLC "Guidelines for statistical measures of usage of web-based indexed, abstracted, and full text resources"
  • contributed to the development and adoption of ICOLC "Guidelines for technical issues in request for proposal (RFP) requirements and contract negotiations"
  • contributed to resource sharing on a national level through the submission of the 1998 ELN Serials database to the National Library of Canada, on behalf of BC post-secondary libraries

Goal 5

Generate strong and diverse support for ELN products and services

Objective 5.1

Strengthen accountability and communications framework for ELN owners and clients


  • contributed to ELN members professional development through participation in the Academic Librarians in Public Service (ALPS) meetings and workshops

Objective 5.2

Pursue appropriate business opportunities to export ELN's services and expertise to other organizations or regions

  • undertook contract with Canadian Association of Research Libraries to prepare a $50M proposal to the Canada Foundation for Innovation for a national site licensing initiative
  • completed contract with Simon Fraser University to provide short term consultancy services to its CIDA-funded Eastern Indonesia University Development Project (EIUDP). Consultancy consisted of participation in a library information technology workshop and preparation of recommendations for information technology development in EIUDP libraries

Objective 5.3

Ensure sufficient financial and human resources to meet current and long range needs

  • recruited and trained one new staff member
  • secured reclassification of ELN Librarian/Analysts to Project Coordinators, strengthening ELNís ability to recruit and retain highly qualified staff
  • supported staff development in the areas of project and financial management, business communications, and software applications