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Electronic Library Network

Progress Report: October 1999 - June 2000

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


  • redesigned ELN database matrix to enhance usability
  • ELN contacts database moved to dedicated server to improve reliability - database provides a searchable list of contact personnel in ELN libraries
  • advised partner libraries on authenticating remote users for database access
  • participated in tri-university systems meeting focusing on user authentication
  • participated in Virtual Catalogue meeting (Bath Profile) at CLA

Objective 1.2

Pursue new database services that meet users' needs

  • coordinated comparative trial of Wilson OmniFile and EBSCO databases; responses from trial participants indicated strong support for the continuation of the EBSCO license and the continued licensing of the Wilson Indexes
  • participated in national licensing initiatives as part of Consortia Canada, achieving significant cost reductions. Licensed products include: Canadian Almanac, Embryonic Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (ELS), AccessScience, Oxford English Dictionary, Books in Print, American National Biography, ECO: Canada in the Making
  • coordinated trial, licensing and subsequent implementation of WorldCat (FirstSearch) database
  • coordinated trial, licensing and subsequent implementation of Canadian Almanac and Directory database
  • met with representatives of Baker & Taylor, Bell & Howell Information and Learning, Bowker , Electric Library, OCLC, and OVID, to gather information on products of interest to ELN libraries
  • summarized and communicated to stakeholders the results of a web-based survey identifying future licensing prospects and assessing the extent to which current licenses support the needs of ELN partners
  • obtained Ministry funding to subsidize one-time cost of PsycINFO backfile (1887-1967)

Objective 1.3

Integrate instructional materials with database services

  • EBSCO Training sessions held in Victoria and the Lower Mainland

Objective 1.4

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

  • established alternate server for PsycINFO database at no additional cost, to act as backup in the case of outages on the main server
  • met with representatives of IHS Micromedia to discuss performance issues with hosted databases
  • decommissioned text-based Unix-SPIRS interface
  • provided funds for the purchase of a new server at UBC host site to house ERIC and CBCA Full-text Education databases. Database migration coordinated by ELN
  • coordinated trial of full-text ABI/INFORM database for sites not already participating in the ProQuest Direct license. Text-based access to the database discontinued
  • web interface and graphical reporting added to ELN automated client by SFU. Client monitors server response times. http://hermes.lib.sfu.ca/cgi-bin/perform2.pl

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


  • funded SFU development of GODOT parser for CBCA Full-text Education database
  • GODOT capability added to ERIC and CBCA Full-text Education databases by UBC
  • GODOT capability added to PsycINFO database by Micromedia
  • GODOT capability added to EBSCOhost databases by SFU. Link configured for partner libraries by ELN
  • developed perl script to generate statistical reports from GODOT log files

Objective 2.2

Integrate user-initiated online ordering features into database services

see section 2.1, above

Objective 2.3

Provide leadership in establishing a coordinated provincial resource sharing network

  • released OutLook OnLine Evaluation Survey: WebPAC and ILL Module: Summary and Actions Steps - confirmed easy to use and of value to respondents, itemized areas for improvement http://www.eln.bc.ca/dbs/union/survey_olol/index.html
  • new contract for union database production negotiated with AG Canada, in partnership with Library Services Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and British Columbia Library Association. Contract highlights include:
    • pricing in Canadian dollars
    • confirmed migration to new platform
    • improvements to statistics gathering
    • reduced cost for revision of Media Matching Algorithm
    • future implementation of filters and algorithms to reduce record duplication and improve quality
  • new contributors to union database include: TechBC (OutLook, Media, Serials)
  • new OutLook OnLine ILL participants - TechBC, Northern Lights’ Fort St John campus, UCFV
  • 1998/99 post-secondary library resource sharing summary report prepared and distributed to all participants
  • participated in Media Exchange Cooperative's annual general meeting

Objective 2.4

Improve union databases

  • implemented schedule to distribute submissions to union databases over a one-year period, to improve currency
  • held discussions with SIRSI regarding transaction-based updating
  • merged holdings in the ELN Serials database to reduce duplication and improve usability
  • drafted preliminary design of database production filters for improvement of record quality
  • worked with partner libraries to test transaction-based updating

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


  • submitted response to Educational Technology Policy Framework draft document

Objective 3.2

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

  • met with senior administrators of B.C. post-secondary institutions during on-site consultations with partner libraries, to increase awareness of ELN activities and inform strategic planning process

Objective 3.3

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

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.


  • organized and participated in the BC Library Showcase at the BC Library 2000 conference
  • organized and convened BC Library 2000 conference session on Consortia Canada licensing initiatives
  • hosted joint reception with Okanagan University College at BC Library 2000 Conference
  • staff member participated in Advocacy Summit, hosted by British Columbia Library Association, which included attendees drawn from across library sectors

Objective 4.2

Extend partnerships on an inter-provincial basis

see section 4.3, below

Objective 4.3

Expand national and international alliances

  • acted as lead consortium on Consortia Canada initiative to license Oxford University Press online products (Oxford English Dictionary & Dictionary of American National Biography)
  • participated in the 7th meeting of the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC7)
  • participated in Consortia Canada meeting at CLA conference to discuss ongoing database licensing initiatives
  • participated in meeting with National Librarian to raise awareness of consortia activities

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


  • obtained feedback from partner libraries through site visits and other channels to inform strategic planning process
  • completed draft summary of library feedback
  • reaffirmed ELN's purpose, vision and goals at a facilitated Steering Committee meeting

Objective 5.2

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

  • completed contract with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries to prepare a $50 M proposal to the Canada Foundation for Innovation for a national site licensing initiative

Objective 5.3

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

  • formed Search Committee for new ELN Manager, established criteria for selection, decided on recruitment strategies and issued job posting
  • new manager appointed as of April 1, 2000
  • submitted and received budget from Province of BC
  • supported staff development in the areas of project management and software applications