October 23, 2006 RLG Programs Partner Update

From Jim Michalko, VP Programs Development

Welcome to the new RLG Programs activity year. I want to bring you up to date on how far we've progressed since July on a variety of fronts, introduce you to some new colleagues, and ask you to fill out some forms and return them as soon as is convenient.

RLG Programs affiliation & SHARES participation

Since July, with our new status, we have a new Partnership Agreement Form—Continuing Partners that we need each partner to fill out, sign, and return as quickly as you can. The form asks for the designation of the partner representative along with all relevant contact details—this will allow us to update our records and confirm that we're in touch with the right person.

Those of you who expect to continue participating in RLG's resource sharing program will need to fill out the SHARES Annual Agreement Form and designate this year's liaison. Please also print, sign, and return this at your earliest convenience. Those of you who wish to join the SHARES partnership for the first time should contact Dennis Massie (see staff contact list at the end of this memo).

Instructions for returning the signed forms are included on each form.

Continuing & new partners

I'm pleased to report that nearly all former RLG members have chosen to join us in our new configuration as RLG Programs partners. To date, over 95% of our pre-May institutional affiliates have made a positive decision to continue their association with us. See our current listing of partner institutions.

Further, I'm delighted to report that, since May, four additional institutions have joined us as partners. Please join me in welcoming new partner representatives:

What we're doing

The work that was underway in July continues. Here are a few highlights of what is happening:

  • This year's RLG Forum was held in August at the Folger Library. Attracting 125 staff from partner institutions. More, Better, Cheaper, Faster addressed the question: "How does one develop practical, effective, descriptive practices that consider audience, economy, and functinality, and strike the right balance among the three?" Presentations (texts, presentations, and mp3 files) can be found on our [[link to /en/page.php?Page_ID=20968 summary page]]. Positive feedback from participants in a follow-up survey is helping to shape planning for a 2007 forum.
  • Planning for a [[link to /en/page.php?Page_ID=20986 March 2007 symposium]] in New York City was kicked off this month when 24 staff from 23 partner institutions convened at Columbia under the leadership of Merrilee Proffitt and colleagues from both Programs and Research. The future of discovery, delivery, and use was the central focus of a lively and wide-ranging discussion. A second group will be invited to take part in a discussion session in London in early December under the leadership of Karen Smith-Yoshimura. Mark your calendars now for the symposium—to be hosted by the New York Public Library on March 15 and 16, 2007. 
  • SHARES librarians are working with Dennis Massie and others to select new software for their interlending and document supply activities (ILL Manager will cease to be supported in August 2007) and will be convening a series of regional meetings, the first of which was held on October 20 at New York University.
  • Günter Waibel is working with OCLC Research's Jeff Young and the RLG Museum Sharing Working Group to generate a museum-flavored version of OAICat—developed by OCLC with modifications by colleagues at the Getty. The goal of this activity is to lower the barrier for participation in sharing museum descriptive information and digital surrogates for the entire museum community. This will be a useful piece of open source software that Günter would be happy to explain in more detail.
  • Karen Smith-Yoshimura is working with colleagues to prepare RLG partners for the 2007 transition for technical processing users of the RLG Union Catalog. This has included a series of Web-based Live Meeting sessions, new documents in our Web site, regional visits, and large number of e-mail and telephone exchanges.
  • Robin Dale's successful joint work with the Center for Research Libraries on certification of trusted repositories is drawing to a close and will be reported on elsewhere in the coming weeks. Robin recently participated in two National Library of Australia workshops related to preservation metadata (PREMIS) and trusted digital repositories (RLG-NARA audit checklist) and also keynoted a day at the University of Melbourne on trusted digital repositories.
  • Anne Van Camp is working closely with colleagues on two related projects. The first is the potential development of an Archives Institutional Registry and the second is focused on an initiative to explore possible ways to progress work around an emerging archival standard, Encoded Archival Context. She and I met with colleagues at NARA this month and discussed several areas of mutual interest.
  • At the end of the summer, Constance Malpas relocated from New York to California, joining the RLG Programs team in Mountain View. Constance has been pursuing a number of initiatives in conjunction with RLG Programs and other OCLC colleagues, including a series of efforts to characterize the issues that affect the community as a result of global mass digitization programs. She will be representing RLG Programs at the DLF Fall Forum in Boston next month.
  • In July, Nancy Elkington moved from New York to Ohio and is now working alongside new Research colleagues at OCLC headquarters in Dublin. She was in touch with many of you over the past few months by phone and e-mail as you transitioned from RLG member to RLG Programs partner. She will be meeting with UK and Ireland partners next month in a series of meetings and visits in London, Manchester, Nottingham, and Birmingham.
  • Ricky Erway, Bruce Washburn, and Arnold Arcolio are splitting their time for now between RLG Programs activities, transitioning RLG services, and consulting with OCLC colleagues in a range of areas, including WorldCat.org, digital collections development, and more.
  • I've been working with Lorcan and colleagues to develop our coodinated agenda and logging miles traveling to Dublin, Ohio and places in between. Last week, I meet with many of you at the Association of Research Libraries fall membership meeting in Washington and joined in the Reception Celebrating the Coming Together of OCLC and RLG.

Where we're headed

Program areas focus on issues of uncertainty and change for the communities we serve. This means that they are key areas for shared attention and collaborative action. They are important as a way of identifying priorities and maximizing impact as we help libraries, archives, and museums design their future. The following program areas have been identified as important to RLG Partners and therefore also to OCLC Programs and Research:

  • Supporting new modes of teaching and learning
  • Managing the collective collection
  • Renovating descriptive and organizing practices
  • Modeling new service infrastructures
  • Architecture and standards
  • Measurement and behaviors

The overall aim is to enhance the ways libraries, archives, and museums create value in the research and learning process. This makes it important to directly engage with and support new forms of research, teaching, and learning. Our first area focuses on this topic.

The next three areas embody professional means by which libraries, archives, and museums create that value. In each case, they are reengineering structures and practices to better support networked environments, support new behaviors, and introduce efficiencies. Major areas of attention here are managing aggregate or collective collections, evolving descriptive practices, and new service frameworks.

The final two are about assuring maximum reach of that created value through interoperability based on architecture and standards, and improvement based on measurement and observation.

All these overlap and connect in multiple ways; a forthcoming (December) document will amplify these connections and also itemize some specific activities that we will be undertaking in the coming months.

Consultations on the agenda are taking place this month with the RLG Committee (a standing committee of the OCLC Board of Trustees) and with the RLG Program Council (and advisory body that will meet for the first time in Chicago on October 27). By early December, we expect to have a well-shaped work agenda that can be shared widely with partners. I encourage you to stay in touch with your colleagues on the Program Council—in future years, this group will be a body elected by RLG Programs partner representatives.

Members of the RLG Committee of the OCLC Board of Trustees

James Neal, chair (Columbia University)
Nancy Eaton (Pennsylvania State University)
Carol Mandel (New York University)
Lizabeth Wilson (University of Washington)
Jane Ryland (Educause)
Elisabeth Niggemann (Die Deutsche Bibliothek)

Members of the RLG Program Council

Shirley Baker (Washington University in St Louis)
Nancy Eaton (Pennsylvania State University)
Kenneth Hamma (J. Paul Getty Trust)
Tony Hey (Microsoft)
Wendy Pradt Lougee (University of Minnesota)
Clifford A. Lynch (Coaltion for Networked Information)
Carol Mandel (New York University)
James Neal (Columbia University)
Chris Rusbridge (Digital Curation Centre, University of Edinburgh)
Gary Strong (University of California, Los Angeles)
Lizabeth Wilson (University of Washington)
David Zeidberg (Huntington Library)

Where we'll be in October & November

Want to talk, catch up, ask a question, or make a suggestion? RLG Programs staff will be covering a good bit of ground in the next few months—here's where you might bump into us:

  • October 19-20: Digital Archive Technologies Conference—Creating Research Resources, Taipai, Taiwan—Günter Waibel
  • October 20: [[link to /en/page.php?Page_ID=20993 SHARES Meeting]], New York, NY—Dennis Massie
  • October 20: Open Content Alliance Workshop, San Francisco, CA—Ricky Erway
  • October 29-30: OCLC Members Council, Dublin, OH—Jim Michalko, Nancy Elkington
  • November 8, 2006: [[link to /en/page.php?Page_ID=20988 RLG Programs Colloquium]], London, UK—Nancy Elkington
  • November 8-10: [[link to /en/page.php?Page_ID=20989 Digital Library Federation Fall Forum]], Boston, MA—Constance Malpas
  • November 8-11: [[link to /en/page.php?Page_ID=20981 Museum Computer Network Annual Conference, Pasadena, CA—Günter Waibel]]
  • November 17: Collaborative Linking: Libraries, Museums, and Archives, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan—Jim Michalko
  • November 18: [[link to /en/page.php?Page_ID=20980RLG-OCLC Transition Forum—Middle East Librarians Association]], Boston, MA—Karen Smith-Yoshimura

Stay in touch with RLG Programs staff

Many of the staff you've worked with for years are now part of RLG Programs. We closed the New York office this summer; Constance moved to California, joining us in our Mountain View office, while Nancy moved to Dublin, Ohio and now has an office in the OCLC Programs and Research offices. RLG Programs staff reached to most of you in the last few months and will continue to do so, but if you would like to get in touch with us, please do so at your convenience:

Arnold Arcolio, arnold_arcolio@oclc.org
Anne Van Camp, anne_vancamp@oclc.org
Robin Dale, robin_dale@oclc.org
Nancy Elkington, nancy_elkington@oclc.org
Ricky Erway, ricky_erway@oclc.org
Constance Malpas, constance_malpas@oclc.org
Dennis Massie, dennis_massie@oclc.org
Merrilee Proffitt, merrilee_proffitt@oclc.org
Karen Smith-Yoshimura, karen_smith-yoshimura@oclc.org
Günter Waibel, guenter_waibel@oclc.org
Bruce Washburn, bruce_washburn@oclc.org

In closing, I want to thank all of you for your continuing support and attentive interest through this stimulating period of change. We are committed to developing a work agenda that meets your needs and those of the community at large. Expect to hear from me again in December and don't hesitate to get in touch before then.

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration.