January 12 2007, RLG Programs Partner Update

From Jim Michalko, VP RLG Programs

Today I want to welcome you to 2007, share some news, point you to a few of the things we've been working on, and invite your comments on the directions we've set for RLG Programs.

What's new in Mountain View?

Staff news: With very mixed emotions, I am announcing that Anne Van Camp has been appointed the director of the Smithsonian Institution Archives. As the "Archivist of the Smithsonian," Anne will be responsible for managing the Smithsonian Institution Archives and for providing leadership in the management of the vast archival collections of the Smithsonian.

Anne's last day with RLG Programs and OCLC will be March 1, 2007. All of us in Programs and Research will feel the loss of Anne's expertise, guidance, vision, professional insights, fellowship, and friendship even while we're proud that she was selected to lead this extraordinary institution.

Web site: This month we've updated pages on programmatic activities on this site. Over the next few months, we'll be creating a new, combined Web presence for Programs and Research that will provide information on all our activities.

For now, you can learn more about the new RLG Programs at these Web pages:

New partners

I'm very pleased to report that the University of Alberta Libraries has joined us as a full partner in RLG Programs. The UA Asian Library has been affiliated with RLG since 1989, and we now welcome the chance to work more closely with vice provost Ernie Ingles (also chair of the OCLC Members Council) and Karen Adams, director of library services and information resources, as well as their colleagues.

New directions

In my October update I outlined the new directions we set for RLG Programs. This month, an article in OCLC's NextSpace describes our intentions and our aspirations for furture activities.

Programs and Research staff will meet in February to agree on the next level of detail about our work agenda. The RLG Program Council will meet in March to review that work agenda, adise on our strategic choices, and help us move ahead in delivering valued outcomes for the community. Stay tuned.

Since October we have made progress in a number of our key areas. Here are a few highlights.

Supporting new modes of scholarship

  • Drafted principles for mass digitization partnerships as a discussion document; sought input from a variety of partner staff; and handed the work off to ARL colleagues for futher development by their Scholarly Communications Committee.
  • Began exploring ways to understand the evolution of personal research environments and how those environments might better intersect with library services.
  • Renewed conversations around an e-book usage study.

Renovating descriptive and organizing practices

  • Started planning the 2007 RLG Programs Partner Forum, to address the need for tools that will reduce the costs of metadata production.
  • Held partner meetings in New York, London, and Seattle to gather current thinking around the future of discovery-to-delivery services in research libraries.
  • Developed program and speaker line-up for a symposium on discovery-to-delivery issues to be held on March 15-16, 2007 at the New York Public Library—registration is now open for this event.

Managing the collective collection

  • Published RLG DigiNews special issue on Asset Management in US Museums (Volume 10, no. 6, December 15, 2006).
  • Initiated a series of consultations and collaborations with OCLC colleagues, RLG partners, and strategic affiliates (CRL, Ithaka, and the " North American Storage Trust") around print storage challenges and opportunities.
  • Got planning underway for a partner event that will focus on extending new mass digitization models to special collections and primary resources.

Modeling new service infrastructures

  • Continued working with four New York City museum partners (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Frick Collection) to analyze their holdings and support their efforts to develop collaborative library services.
  • Further refined and extended the conceptual and organizational reach of the service framework outlined by Brian Lavoie, Geneva Henry, and Lorcan Dempsey in " A Service Framework for Libraries," D-Lib Magazine 12, 7/8 (July/August 2006).

Architecture and standards

  • Launched an initiative to build an Archives Institution Registry and formed an advisory group of RLG partners and community experts to participate in this effort.

Measurements and behaviors

  • Advised and assisted on CAMIO usability testing and organized current CAMIO subscribers to react to the new service platform.
  • Assisted in conducting an OCLC pilot for a WorldCat ethnographic study.

We've made this progress even while Programs staff members continue to invest themselves in supporting or managing service transition activities. The smooth migration and successful establishment of RLG services in their new environment is a high priority and advancing on schedule.

Mark your calendars

In January several of us will be converging in Seattle for the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association.

In February RLG Programs will be represented at the OCLC Members Council meeting in Quebec City.

In March we hope to see many of you at our symposium " Discovery to Delivery and Beyond: Issues for the Research Library."

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year and hope that you will continue to share your comments and ideas with us as we continue forward.

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.