Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Digital Libraries

On behalf of the steering group mentioned below, I would like to make readers of this list aware of the good news that the Digital Library Federation (DLF) has established an Electronic Resource Management Initiative. (Some related upcoming discussion opportunities at ALA Midwinter are mentioned at the end of the summary.)

Tim Jewell
University of Washington
Steering Group Chair

DLF Electronic Resource Management Initiative

1. DLF Electronic Resource Management Initiative. The steering group that helped organize a May NISO/DLF Workshop on Standards for Electronic Resource Management has continued working via conference call since then. The group developed and submitted a successful proposal to the Digital Library Federation to create an Electronic Resource Management Initiative, which aims to:

  • Describe the architectures needed to manage large collections of licensed electronic resources
  • Establish lists of appropriate supporting data elements and common definitions
  • Write and publish XML Schemas/DTDs.
  • Identify and promote appropriate best practices and standards to support data interchange of licensing information

The initiative was recently announce in CLIR Issues (No. 30, November/December). A fuller description and list of deliverables" can be seen.

The members of the steering group are all excited to have this opportunity to extend and formalize the work done so far, and look forward to communicating actively with members of the library and vendor/publisher communities in the months ahead.

2. Meetings at the DLF Fall Forum. The initiative's steering group held a couple of working sessions at the DLF Fall Forum that resulted in important refinements to a shared understanding of the problems to be addressed and to the most useful approach to doing so, as well as a Birds of A Feather session during the conference. (A summary should be available soon on the DLF web site

3. Data Elements and Volunteers. At the open meeting on E-resource management held by the group at the American Library Association conference (ALA) last June, it was decided to enlist the help of volunteers to help review and refine the lists of data elements within the 3 areas of prime interest: Description, Licensing, and Access and Administration, and a number of people came forward to help with that work. Members of the steering group expect to be following up and contacting those volunteers again soon -- once the data element lists have undergone some more review.

4. Meeting/discussion opportunities. If you are interested in the initiative and plan to attend ALA midwinter, you will have two opportunities to hear more about it and the steering group's progress toward the initiative's goals:

  • ALCTS Symposium on Managing Electronic Resources. Tim Jewell (chair of the steering group) will be one of several speakers for the preconference planned for Friday, January 24th at ALA Midwinter. His presentation will focus on some of the best and most interesting features of the local systems described on the Web Hub, and provide an overview of the DLF initiative and the prospects for establishing relevant standards.
  • Open Discussion on E-resource management. The evening of the 24th (7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Wyndham Franklin Plaza, Philadelphia Ballroom) the steering group will also hold an open information sharing meeting for librarians, vendors and publishers interested in these developments. An agenda will be set closer to the conference, but we will probably begin with a status report on the initiative from members of the steering committee and provide time for discussion of it and local developments. (This meeting will once again be sponsored by the ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries -- whose support is again gratefully acknowledged!)
Posted with premission.