CLIR Issues Number 7
CLIR and Emory University Establish New Digital Leadership Institute
by Deanna B. Marcum
News from The European Register of Microform Masters
by Hans Rütimann
Nine Case Studies in Innovation and Technology
by Abby Smith
IN THE OPENING chapter of The Mirage of Continuity, Pat Battin and Brian Hawkins sound this alarm:
True transformational change continues to be constrained by the misguided belief that the technological revolution can be contained within the old organizational structures….To recognize the new conception of the library is to recognize and accept the inevitability of a new conception of the university.
The recognition that new leaders for the transformed universities will be essential led CLIR to seek funding to establish an institute that will prepare such leaders. Thanks to a grant of core funding of $1.2 million from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, and pledges of support from EDUCAUSE, the Association of Research Libraries, and individual research libraries, CLIR, in collaboration with Emory University, has announced the establishment of the Billy E. Frye Digital Leadership Institute. Its purpose is to effect fundamental change in the way universities manage their information resources in the digital era. The mission of the Frye Institute will be to provide opportunities for continuing education to individuals who currently hold, or will one day assume, positions that make them responsible for transforming the management of scholarly information in the higher-education community. Over the course of the next decade, the Frye Institute will train a cadre of 600 to 700 professionals—most likely to be in midcareer and drawn from library and administrative staffs, computer centers, university presses, bookstores, and faculties—who can preside over this transformation of the nation’s campuses and comprehend its far-reaching implications for the way universities allocate their financial resources and fulfill their educational mission.
CLIR and Emory University have developed a Digital Leadership Institute to help universities transform the management of their information resources in the new digital era.
We anticipate that the Frye Institute will have an initial life of 10 years, during which it will enroll 50 to 70 individuals each year. Participants will undergo a training experience that begins with a two-week seminar on the Emory University campus, proceeds through a subsequent year-long practicum on the individual’s home campus or in some other setting appropriate to the goals of the individual, and concludes with a summary session that reunites the participants to discuss and evaluate what they have learned. The Frye Institute’s program will equip these future leaders with a sophisticated understanding of the characteristics of digital technology and its radical effects on traditional academic management.
The Frye Institute is intended for a dedicated core of individuals whose motivation for attendance is directly tied to serving their institutions more knowledgeably and effectively. The atmosphere at the institute should be very different from what prevails in standard continuing-education circumstances. In fact, the institute is planned as a kind of living laboratory where problems facing academic institutions today can be considered by members of a class who, because of their professional experience, may have as much to contribute to the sessions as the instructors who are presiding over them. There should be a shared intellectual exhilaration to the atmosphere of the Frye Institute that erases the line between teacher and student.
Planning for the Frye Institute is just beginning. An advisory committee made up of three representatives of EDUCAUSE and three from the Association of Research Libraries has been appointed to help establish the institute’s curriculum. CLIR staff, with the assistance of consultants and the advisory committee, will assemble readings, identify faculty, and prepare application materials over the next several months. The first Frye Institute class is scheduled, appropriately enough, for the year 2000.
A Report on a Workshop on Access Management Held in Washington, D.C. on April 6, 1998
by Donald J. Waters
IN JANUARY, THE Digital Library Federation will release its first publication, Enabling Access in Digital Libraries: A Report on a Workshop on Access Management, edited by Caroline Arms with Judith Klavans and Donald Waters. The report tackles a complex and critical issue for research libraries today: how to manage access to digital information that is sensitive, proprietary, or protected by copyright.
Addressing this issue requires the attention of four groups of participants:
- Policy makers concerned with questions of privacy and protection of data
- Legal experts who draft contracts and licenses, the terms of which must be implemented through automated systems for authenticating users and authorizing access
- Technologists who design software for controlling electronic use and misuse
- Publishers and librarians, who, as major providers of information, play a central role in striking a balance between protecting copyright and enabling access to the record of knowledge
Under the auspices of the Digital Library Federation and the Center for Research on Information Access at Columbia University, and with the support of the National Science Foundation, such experts and practitioners gathered at the workshop held in Washington, D.C. on April 6, 1998. They explored a variety of pressing questions, including:
- How do members of a university that has subscribed to an electronic journal prove that they are authorized to access an article?
- How finely can information providers discriminate among potential users when making their materials available?
- What options do public libraries have in authorizing the use of licensed materials to the general citizenry that they serve?
- What means do custodians have to ensure that the cultural record is accessible but that the proprietary rights of authors and creators are protected against widespread copying and redistribution?
- Should digital data be fitted with a digital lock that can only be opened by users with matching keys?
“The report tackles a complex and critical issue for research libraries today: how to manage access to digital information that is sensitive, proprietary, or protected by copyright.”
Such questions and the discussions they stimulated led workshop participants to identify five properties for the design of access management systems that will be important for their adoption by research libraries and the communities they serve.
- Simplicity. The less complex a system of access management, the more readily it can be adopted technologically and organizationally, and the more acceptable it is to all involved in its implementation.
- Privacy. Systems that manage access to the cultural record must protect the privacy of users from detailed tracking and disclosure of use. User privacy must not be compromised.
- Good faith. Agreements on access to scholarly information rely on trust among the parties involved. In an access management system that implements these agreements, users and providers would each prefer to depend on reasonable barriers against abuse, rather than on complex restrictions that inhibit use.
- Trusted intermediaries. Intermediaries play an essential role in providing access to the cultural record as parties trusted by both users and providers and as efficient aggregators of distribution and usage. System design must take the role of intermediaries into account.
- Reasonable terms. Access management systems and license agreements must recognize the distinction between access and use. Overly tight control of access to a resource may impose inappropriate constraints on its use, especially in teaching and research contexts. The most useful system will not limit access to specific user groups known in advance to be interested in a resource but will be reasonably open to serving unlikely users whose curiosity and research interests may lead them in directions not predicted by those responsible for making the agreements or designing the systems.
Workshop participants also called for research and project evaluation in two key areas: system usability and economic models. First, an effort must be made to understand the ways in which users interact with systems, their needs in relation to new information types, and the functionality of these types in the emerging digital environment. Second, new standards of measure must be found to assess the usage of digital resources and thereby to develop alternative pricing schemes and payment mechanisms.
Although the conclusions reached at this workshop relate specifically to the problems of managing access to the cultural record in digital form for research and teaching purposes, they apply to other realms as well, including business, medicine, insurance, credit card transactions. and logfiles from Web browsers, all of which involve more sensitive information. Enabling Access will be available in print from the Council on Library and Information Resources and on the Web site of the Digital Library Federation.
by Hans Rütimann
Incorporating Latin American Records and Preparing for Inclusion of Digitized Items
THIS YEAR, THE European Register of Microform Masters (EROMM) will celebrate ten years of gathering international bibliographic records of microform preservation masters by adding to its database the bibliographical data on microform masters collected during the first phase of LAROMM, the Latin American Register of Microform Masters. During LAROMM’s initial phase, when it was supported by CLIR, the National Library of Venezuela managed to merge more than 20,000 records from institutions in Venezuela, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Panama. In addition to adding the LAROMM data, EROMM is exploring the possibility of data exchange with Australia and South Africa.
EROMM has also begun accepting records of digitized items. Werner Schwartz, EROMM’s main coordinator, says that “EROMM is approaching this question pragmatically by accepting records of digital forms from any library that pledges to indefinitely store and refresh the digital file of the image scanned from the original.”
EROMM was originally set up in 1989 by the Commission of the European Union (CEU). Its establishment represented a significant step towards a goal supported by the International Program of CLIR and its predecessor, the Commission on Preservation and Access (CPA): to avoid duplication of effort by keeping track of what has and has not already been put on microform. With reliable information on what materials have already been filmed, librarians, already struggling with severe financial restrictions, can better marshal their resources to preserve the world’s printed heritage, and institutions can work more efficiently and cost-effectively.
CPA recognized a kindred spirit and agenda at EROMM’s founding, when the CEU outlined its goals as follows: to open cooperative opportunities to all libraries in the European Community as well as to libraries in the rest of the world; to encourage increased archival efforts by national centers; to further collaboration among European libraries; to promote international archiving standards; and to avoid duplication of effort. CPA quickly established contact with the CEU and joined in the planning for EROMM’s first phase along with the four founding partners—Portugal, Great Britain, France, and Germany.
EROMM began as a pilot database at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris and became an international database in 1993, when the first bibliographic records of microform masters from the founding partners were merged and made available for consultation by European libraries and archives. Now housed at the Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek in Göttingen, Germany, EROMM offers 2.3 million bibliographic records of reformatted books and periodicals, of which 1.9 million are from the U.S. and 400,000 from Europe.
The European records represent microform holdings of some 40 institutions in 10 countries. Two-thirds of the European records are for books and periodicals of the “acidic age,” dating back to the middle of the nineteenth century. The preceding century (1750-1850) is represented to a lesser extent, with almost 20 percent of the records. The 250 years between 1501 and 1750 make up another 20 percent. French is the leading language, comprising almost half the European records because the Bibliothèque nationale de France led reformatting efforts and also converted to machine-readable form its entire retrospective register of microform masters (including the fonds indochinois, filmed collections of Indochinese origin). English-language records, contributed by Great Britain, make up nearly a third of the European total. German-language records constitute only 5 percent of the EROMM database, closely followed by records in Latin. The remaining records include titles published in Italy, Spain, Russia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, and other countries.
EROMM does not restrict its scope to Europe, but seeks to include records of all reformatted printed works of any kind from all over the world. In 1996, EROMM entered an exchange arrangement with RLG (Research Libraries Group). In exchange for the EROMM database, RLG made available to EROMM some 1.9 million bibliographic records of preservation masters, bringing the total of EROMM’s resources to 2.3 million records. The exchange arrangement is ongoing and periodic updates are planned. Mr. Schwartz wrote in RLIN Focus (No. 29, December 1997): “This exchange supports both organizations’ goal to build a global access point for reformatted items for preservation.” EROMM representatives are also involved with the RLG Preservation and Reformatting Information Working Group, which is preparing recommendations on how digital preservation copies should be recorded in the MARC record. If at all possible, the EROMM group will implement these recommendations.
“EROMM is a work in progress whose importance is increasingly being recognized, especially in Europe.”
EROMM is a work in progress whose importance is increasingly being recognized, especially in Europe. The initially low level of use of EROMM’s online facilities will rise as the database grows and research becomes increasingly dependent on electronic access. European governmental and private funding agencies have started to require that funding recipients provide bibliographic records of their reformatting projects to EROMM. If EROMM continues on its well-charted course, it will be able to provide answers to questions such as this one from the Director of Preservation at the National Library of the Czech Republic, Dr. Vrbenska Frantiska:
“We have a great problem. We obtained a grant from the Open Society Institute for the preservation microfilming of collections of rare Russian newspapers from the period of the German occupation during World War II (about 300 titles). We believe that our collection is unique, but we need to be absolutely sure if these titles were microfilmed before—somewhere, sometime. Could you please tell me if the EROMM database could provide the answer?”
EROMM records show the technical features of microforms and digital forms, and indicate where the preservation masters are being held. From printing masters, copies can be produced in a variety of formats. EROMM’s facility for requesting copies is available while the item appears on the screen. For more details,
- Visit the Website: English, French, or German
- Contact the EROMM Secretariat in Göttingen, Germany via e-mail: EROMM@mail.sub.uni-goettingen.de, fax (49) 55-39-3468, or telephone (49) 551/39-9525
- Subscribe to the mailing list which has been set up as a forum for discussing all aspects of preservation by reformatting and for distributing information about new developments by sending an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following two words in the first line: subscribe erommlist.
by Abby Smith
CLIR WILL SOON publish on its Web site nine case studies of colleges and mid-sized universities whose libraries have used new information technologies to improve education on their campuses. Funded by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, members of CLIR staff and one of its advisory groups, the College Libraries Committee, have been studying the experience of college libraries that are using new information technology to enhance library services and provide information resources to students and faculty in innovative ways. The nine colleges and mid-sized universities that are participating in the study are: the California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon University; Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis; Lafayette College; Point Park College; Southern Utah University; Stevens Institute of Technology; West Virginia Wesleyan College; and Wellesley College.
The studies will explore the innovative ways that college libraries are using information technology to improve teaching and learning.
The case studies identify the numerous ways that libraries are anticipating the needs of their students and helping to prepare them to become productive in a world that is being transformed by new information technologies. One college has put laptops into the hands of every incoming class since 1996. Another has forged a long-term partnership with an urban public library to provide critical information resources in a beautiful landmark building adjacent to the campus. A third has cut all hard-copy journal subscriptions and relies exclusively on electronic delivery of journals. In some cases, libraries have been aggressive in forging new, often unusual, and challenging partnerships with other parts of the college or university. Others have found ways to combine collections and reading rooms in order to make possible the installation and service of much-needed new software. In each case, the library has played a leadership role in introducing and effectively integrating new technology onto the campus.
In late March 1999, CLIR will host an invitational conference that will bring together a small group of leaders in higher education with representatives of the nine sites to consider the implications of the case studies. Participants will focus their discussions on the issue of leadership in an era of unrelenting change. They will attempt to identify the skills and knowledge that their students will need to acquire during their college years to function effectively in the next century. They will also discuss the role that technology can play in developing those skills and the way that teaching and learning will most likely be affected by changes in the way information is created and disseminated. Of central importance will be close examination of the role that libraries can and must play in the education of the next century. What will the library of the future look like? What will be the relationship between the library and the information infrastructure of the college and university? How will students and faculty get the information they need?
The conference participants will also consider the type of leadership that will be necessary, at all levels and in all areas of the college, to create an environment that fosters innovation. They will examine the organizational and staffing implications for libraries that operate in an environment where providing access to information is more important than ownership of library materials. Finally, participants will take a hard look at the budget implications of introducing new digital resources for teaching and research and will discuss the techniques that institutions can use to position themselves advantageously in a competitive market.
The colleges and universities that are taking part in this study provide rich real-world examples of the problems as well as opportunities that new information technologies pose. A conference report, to be published after the event, will present the valuable lessons and ideas that have been gathered in the course of the study together with reflections of the invited leaders in higher education.
Publications Forthcoming from CLIR
CLIR EXPECTS TO publish the following reports in the first quarter of 1999.
- Avoiding Technological Quicksand: Finding a Viable Technological Foundation for Digital Preservation, by Jeff Rothenberg, on emulation as a model for digital archiving.
- Scholarship, Instruction, and Libraries at the Turn of the Century, results from five task forces appointed by the American Council of Learned Societies and the Council on Library and Information Resources.
- Why Digitize?, by Abby Smith, a brief consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of converting analog research materials to digital format.
- The Digitization of the James Boswell Collection, a report by Nicole Bouché of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University on the digital conversion of Boswell manuscripts and their use in developing a critical edition of his work.
- Digital Imaging and Preservation Microfilm: The Future of the Hybrid Approach for Preservation and Access, by Stephen Chapman, Paul Conway, and Anne Kenney, a position paper on hybrid conversion that articulates best practices and defines a research agenda for further development of digital access in the context of preservation microfilming of brittle materials. This report will be published only on CLIR’s Web site at www.clir.org.
- Viewing and Managing Digitized Materials: The Development of Structural and Administrative Metadata for the Making of America II Project, by Bernie Hurley, John Price-Wilkin, and Merrilee Proffitt, on the development of metadata standards needed to view and manage digital representations of a variety of archival objects.
- Enabling Access in Digital Libraries: A Report on a Workshop on Access Management, by Caroline Arms with Judith Klavans and Donald Waters, on requirements for systems of managing access to and use of licensed materials in digital form in research libraries. (See article on opposite page.)
- The Future of the Past: Preservation in American Research Libraries, by Abby Smith, a review of how research libraries have met the challenges of preserving print collections and of the problems of preserving hybrid collections.
- Securing our Dance Heritage: Issues in the Documentation and Preservation of Dance, by Allegra Fuller Snyder and Catherine Johnson, a report from the Dance Heritage Coalition on preservation of and access to dance materials.
IN SEPTEMBER, BOARD Chairman Stanley A. Chodorow was named chief executive officer of the newly formed California Virtual University (CVU). The CVU is a combined effort of the University of California, the California State University, the California Community Colleges, and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities to broaden the reach of educational access statewide and beyond. The CVU catalog lists programs of 89 campuses offering more than 700 courses in 70 programs—from extension courses to a Ph.D.
On November 23, 1998, Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, director general of Die Deutsche Bibliothek, was named president of the Berlin-based Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The foundation, started in 1957, aims to preserve, research, and develop awareness of and accessibility to artifacts and archives of Prussian culture and heritage. Mr. Lehmann assumes his new role on February 1, 1999.
We wish both of them the best in their new positions.
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The four current programs of CLIR are the Commission on Preservation and Access, Digital Libraries, the Economics of Information, and Leadership.