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Electronic Library Network

Summary of Activities: October - December 1995

Prepared by Deb deBruijn, Anita Cocchia,
Sheila Comeau and Elizabeth Merritt
January 12, 1996

Strategic Plan

Work continued on accomplishing the milestones for 1995, as identified in the current ELN Strategic Plan.

Following consultation with the ELN Advisory Committee at its October 1995 meeting, ELN proceeded with two important initiatives:


IMPROVING EXISTING & IDENTIFYING NEW ELN SERVICES AND DELIVERY METHODS

Training

ELN staff taught two Internet training courses, Basic Internet Tools and Internet Research Tools, through Vancouver Community College's Continuing Education Division.

ELN continued to work with SCOET to complete revisions, including graphic design and layout, to ELN's Internet training manuals (Basic Internet Tools and Internet Research Tools). The printed versions are in production at OLA at the time of this writing, and will be available for order shortly. Contract work on the electronic (HTML) versions of the manuals resumed in late December after a two-month delay, due to illness of the original SCOET contractor.

An overview of BRS Search commands (search and retrieval software used for databases mounted at Simon Fraser University) was developed and distributed to the ELN Reference Working Group, to assist library staff with using and teaching the BRS interface.

Union databases

The new synchronized production cycle for the union databases (Serials, Media, and OutLook) began in late September 1995 with a call to participants to extract and contribute their catalogue records to Auto-Graphics. By December 1995, all participating libraries had contributed records. Review of the test databases is now underway. Anticipated release date for all three databases continues to be end of January 1996.

Index/abstract databases

A new feature linking ELN's UnCover table of contents service (eln.carl.org) with the 1995 Serials database was released in November 1995. Following the database release, ELN was notified of missing information by various members. After extensive troubleshooting with UnCover and Auto-Graphics, ELN supplied UnCover with another copy of the Serials tape and initiated a new ISSN match. This was completed in late December, and a much improved ELN UnCover is now available to members.

Preliminary negotiations began with vendors regarding 1996/97 database license renewals. Estimated costs will be distributed to library directors in January 1996 to aid in libraries' budget planning.

Discussions with vendors, publishers and ELN host sites regarding the Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL) database continue. An attempt is being made to secure affordable license terms, based on groupings of small libraries as a single "site," as well as to determine the most appropriate technological platform and search interface.

ELN staff investigated new commercial database and document delivery options, through attendance at the BCLA Document Delivery Roundup, meetings with EBSCO and IAC marketing representatives, and a demonstration of the IntelliDOC system.

InfoServ gopher and web service

There has been much positive response to the updated InfoServ gopher/web service. ELN continues to update links to resources, ELN member site information, and ELN information/documentation. A system failure of the InfoServ equipment housed at University of Victoria occurred in late November, with restoration ongoing.

A preliminary proposal for transition from the gopher to a full web service has been prepared by ELN, initially for discussion with University of Victoria as the InfoServ host site. ELN members' technological needs and user capabilities will be a major consideration of a transition plan.

OJAC Management

Following from agreement reached at the June 1995 teleconference meeting, OJAC participants specified their institutional decision regarding the use or suppression of an order-blocking feature for their sites. ELN coordinated these changes with Simon Fraser University, and all preferred blocking features for participants were implemented in December 1995.

Review of Resource Sharing Methods and Policies

On October 1, 1995, ELN assumed management responsibility for the B.C. Post-Secondary Interlibrary Loan Network (NET), including administrative services for the Media Exchange Cooperative (MEC). Comments to date indicate that the transition has been smooth. The service has expanded to include all ELN participants (new participants include Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Priestly Law Library (University of Victoria), Royal Roads University, and Yukon College). NET procedures have been streamlined through use of redesigned lending activity forms, and the first consolidated invoices and cheques (including NET, MEC, and OJAC transactions) will be prepared in January 1996.

The ELN Resource Sharing Implementation Task Group met once during October 1995. Linda Prince was subsequently named to the group as representative for MEC. A discussion paper planned for November 1995, regarding tiered levels of interlibrary loan service and a rationale for alternative pricing structures, has been delayed due to ELN staff workload in other areas.

The results of ELN's August 1995 survey of reciprocal/extramural borrowing were presented and discussed at the Council of Post- Secondary Library Directors (CPSLD) meeting in October 1995. CPSLD subsequently adopted a policy of reciprocal borrowing for students, staff and faculty, with provision for individual libraries to exclude themselves if desired.

The ELN Advisory Committee endorsed a proposal for a joint ELN and Library Services Branch (LSB) pilot project, for ten post-secondary libraries to participate in the LSB FileServer Interlibrary Loan Management System. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Assistant Deputy Ministers in the Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, as recognition of the project's benefit to both the post-secondary and public library sectors.

During Fall 1995, FileServer project participants were surveyed for equipment and connection requirements. Preparation of the training manual and software installation instructions is underway. The Open Learning Agency Library began using the system as a test site, and preliminary performance of the system has been very good. It is anticipated that all project participants will have the software installed and receive training in January 1996.

Electronic Documents

A project to license the KIOSK:CBCA database (an extension of the current Canadian Business and Current Affairs database to include full text for about 100 of the journals indexed) was endorsed by ELN libraries. License agreements were made with the vendor, and Simon Fraser University began loading and testing data. The planned release date for the full-text database is mid-January, 1996.

A six-month pilot project involving the UMI PowerPages full image system began on October 1, 1995. The first phase of the project includes the SFU Library, UBC Library, and Malaspina University- College. The project extends access to SFU's Business Periodicals Global database (full image coverage of 500 journals linked to the ABI/Inform index database) to UBC and Malaspina, through unmediated electronic ordering and fax transmission of documents. A desired outcome of the project is that this mode of full-text delivery will be made available to other interested ELN libraries.

Technology Plan

ELN staff developed and distributed a technology survey to ELN libraries, in order to assess members' access to Internet services, as well as remote access to their library catalogues and local web/gopher resources. Data will help determine appropriate directions for ELN's InfoServ service, as well as form a basis for a future technology plan.

Site visits were made to the following libraries, to examine system configurations and discuss some local concerns: BCIT, Capilano College, Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, Kwantlen University College, Langara College, and VCC King Edward Campus.


REVIEWING, CLARIFYING AND STRENGTHENING ELN MANAGEMENT, GOVERNANCE, AND MEMBER PARTICIPATION

ELN staffing

ELN staff participated in several training and professional development programs, including the BCLA Fall Continuing Education seminar and an OLA session on giving and receiving feedback.

As part of OLA's annual Quality Service Awards, Elizabeth Merritt was recognized for her service to external clients, and the ELN staff were recognized for their team effort in providing quality service to external clients. Thank you to the members who submitted nominations on ELN's behalf.

Anita Cocchia was selected (from over 100 nominees) as one of 24 participants in the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute, to be held at Emerald Lake, B.C. in February 1996. The Institute's mission is "to assist professional librarians who have been identified as having leadership potential to develop, strengthen and exercise their leadership skills."

Member communications

ELN staff attended the December 1995 meeting of the Academic Librarians in Public Service meeting, and made a presentation on ELN activities and initiatives. The ELN Manager also met with staff at the following ELN libraries: Camosun College, Kwantlen University College, Malaspina University-College, and Royal Roads University.


STRATEGIC POSITIONING AND FINANCIAL WELL-BEING OF THE ELN

Strategic Alliances

ELN and InterLINK continued to work with Wilson to negotiate terms for including InterLINK libraries on the current ELN database licenses. A specific proposal is expected for consideration by ELN and InterLINK in early February.

Marketing and Lobbying

ELN responded to several government initiatives and documents, in order to promote the role of ELN and its partners in the networked and distributed learning environment. These included:

The ELN Manager also gave a presentation on ELN to first-year students at UBC's School of Library, Archival and Information Studies.

ELN proceeded with a contract proposal for design and development of an ELN logo, communications materials, brochure, and communications plan. Printed materials as well as electronic templates have been produced. Use of the new material will be launched mid-January 1996, with marketing packages and reproduction sheets provided to each ELN library to assist them in their communication and promotional efforts.