Currents No 9 May 2002
digest of cross sectoral information management events, issues and ideas in
organisations, libraries, archives and museums, with special emphasis on
arts and the humanities.
Key Needs study
study of the key needs of Australia's heritage collections, undertaken by
Deakin University on behalf of the Department of Communications,
Information Technology and the Arts, was considered by the Australian Cultural
Ministers Council in May. While definite areas of difference between the four
parts of the heritage collections sector (Archive /Library /Galleries /Museum)
are acknowledged in the report, it was agreed that enough commonality exists
to warrant the development of joint solutions to address what were seen to be
common needs, particularly in relation to conservation. :
response to the study’s recommendation to achieve greater national and state
coordination and integration of heritage collection policy, programs and
services, encourage cross-sectoral collaboration and communication rather than
competition and minimise duplication. the Council agreed to establish a
National Collections Advisory Forum to provide strategic advice on collections
and to identify priorities for government in addressing the ongoing needs of
the sector. A key focus for the
Forum will be to advise Ministers within 12 months on the feasibility
of establishing an industry body to represent the collections sector.
Membership will be announced in the near future.
The council allocated $160,000 in 2002--03 to enable the Forum to
address its Terms of Reference, which are to:
the current and future needs of Australia's collections, including
benchmarks and standards, and recommend strategies and programs to
address these needs;
strategies to identify the community value of collections and support
their potential as instruments of social, cultural and economic
on means of enhancing the coordination of programs of support offered by
the three tiers of Government and industry; and
a report to CMC, within 12 months, upon the feasibility or otherwise of
establishing a national industry body to represent the library, archives,
museum and gallery sectors.
Heritage Information Network
Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), has launched its new website,
with free access and a new search engine. CHIN has more than 700 members and
archives over 2 million collection records and 200,000 images from Canadian
cultural and natural history museums. New offerings also include the
publication Creating and Managing Digital Content
with membership of (http://www.chin.gc.ca/English/.
museums' concerted lobbying
Chicago Tribune on 9 April 2002 reported that 13 Illinois public museums have
formed a consortium to request funding of $400 million over 10 years from the
state even "though the state faces one of its worst revenue
shortfalls." The request involves a $1 million match from each of the 13
institutions for every $2 million from the state. http://www.chicagotribune.com/
Australian National Audit Office has released its Assurance and Control
Assessment Audit of Recordkeeping on the ANAO Website at http://www.anao.gov.au/.
The audit was undertaken across four Commonwealth organisations to
assess whether their Recordkeeping policies, systems and processes accord with
requirements under the Archives Act 1983, with relevant government policies,
and with accepted standards and recordkeeping principles; and to identify
better practices and recommend improvements. The audit addressed both
electronic and traditional records. [Source: Aus-Archivists']
electronic records guide
the Collaborative Electronic Notebook Systems Association, has released an
updated version of The Legal Acceptability Guide for Electronic Records
(LAGER), developed by members from major R&D-driven business
enterprises, with strong participation from the leading government agencies
and archives on three continents and “detailing requirements for legal,
patent and regulatory compliance, quality assurance, information technology,
and records and archives management groups to follow in setting up programs
and systems”. Website:
Companies Benchmark Study
Saffady’s Records and Information Management: A Benchmarking Study of
Large US Industrial Companies has been published by the American Records
Management Association (Catalog #A4710; available for download only at US$149
for ARMA members, US$275 for non-members;).
It reports on RIM programs, policies and practices in large US
industrial companies, including preparation of retention schedules, offsite
storage, vital records protection, use of records and information management
technologies, and involvement in records and information management issues
related to corporate acquisitions, mergers, and divestitures. According to the
blurb, it is the only publication available that examines the current status
of records and information management initiatives in American businesses and
“is specifically intended for records managers, strategic planners,
management analysts, consultants, and others who want information about RIM
policies and practices for benchmarking and program evaluation”. [Source
and Dartmouth College have launched a new website, Collaborative Facilities,
designed to collect, organize, and disseminate information about model
collaborative facilities on college and university campuses. The site helps
information professionals, administrators, faculty and other interested
visitors to view documents related to their planning, design, administration,
staffing, services, and funding and provides contact information for each
participating institution in order to encourage the development of an
interactive community devoted to collaborative facilities.
facilities integrate the services of information technologists, librarians,
instructional technologists, multi-media producers, and many others to serve a
wide range of faculty and student needs. The organization and functions of
these facilities vary widely, but all include a distinct physical space,
participation by at least two separate campus units, and staff members
dedicated to collaborative work. Collaborative facilities range from
"information commons" that provide equipment and reference services
to students and faculty to distance-education offices that address
institutional concerns to centers that assist faculty in integrating teaching
and new technologies.
higher education institutions are invited to submit materials on collaborative
facilities for inclusion in this website. The materials will be reviewed to
determine that they meet the primary criteria of the Collaborative Facilities
project (1) facilities must be physical spaces; (2) facilities must involve
more than one unit of the institution, e.g. computing center, library,
teaching faculty, instructional technology group, etc.; (3) facilities must
involve the use of information technology. Website: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~collab/index.html.
California Digital Library has launched eScholarship Repository, a website and
associated digital services to store and distribute academic research results
and working papers. The service includes a set of author and reader services
for the rapid dissemination of scholarship authored or sponsored by faculty
from the University of California. Its initial focus will be on working papers
from the humanities and social sciences.
Built under a co-development partnership with the Berkeley Electronic
Press (bepress), the tools behind the eScholarship Repository improve the
speed and efficiency of sharing the results of scholarly efforts. The
submission, processing, and dissemination of papers is managed through a
simple web interface, the bepress EdiKit system.
Readers can, at no charge, discover and view relevant research by
topic, author, or sponsoring research department. The system also allows users
to sign up for a service alerting them to new content in their specific areas
of interest. Website: (http://repositories.cdlib.org/
Science Foundation Infrastructure Initiative
Lynch of the Coalition of Networked Information reports that a National
Science Foundation (NSF) committee has released a draft report for public
comment on the future of scientific research and the role of the NSF in
establishing infrastructure to meet future research needs. The report, under
the chairmanship of Dan Atkins of the University of Michigan, proposes a
US$650 million a year concerted initiative involving [a] a new coherent
central organisation to ‘drive major new discipline-specific work as well as
provide massive new resources and maintain consistency; [b]
discipline-changing cyber infrastructure-based projects [c] shared middleware
and applications [c] shared physical resources [d] computing research [f]
workforce and education incentives.
“The individual disciplines must take te lead on defining certain
specializing software and hardware configurations, but in a context that
encourages them to give back results for the general good of the research
enterprise, and that facilitates innovative cross-disciplinary activities”
The [Source: CNI]. URL for the draft report is https://worktools.si.umich.edu/workspaces/datkins/001.nsf
Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), supported by a Mellon
Foundation grant, has joined with Dartmouth College Library to develop a
Scholarly Communication Institute. According to the press release: “The
Institute will bring together pioneers and innovators in scholarly
communication for a one-week residential experience that will allow them to
discuss, plan and organize institutional and discipline-based strategies for
advancing innovation in scholarly communication. The institute will foster
this cadre of leaders as mentors to the next generation of individuals who
will work at the forefront of the transformation of scholarly communication in
a digital environment. At least three annual institutes will be held, all on
the Dartmouth campus in Hanover, New Hampshire. The first is scheduled for the
summer of 2003”.
quality of the deliberations will be controlled by limiting the institutes
“to 20 individuals annually from the scholarly, library, publishing, and
technology communities. Individuals must be nominated by their institutions or
by peers from other institutions who recognize their work. The nominator must
submit evidence of the pioneering qualities of the work accomplished by the
is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to expand access to
information, however recorded and preserved, as a public good. In partnership
with other organizations, it helps create services that expand the concept of
"library" and supports the providers and preservers of information.
Scholars Portal Project
Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has announced the launch of the
Scholars Portal Project, a collaboration between several ARL member libraries
and Fretwell-Downing Inc. The goal is to provide software tools for an
academic community to have a single point of access on the Web to find
high-quality information resources and, to the greatest extent possible, to
deliver the information and related services directly to the user's desktop.
initial focus will be on deploying Fretwell-Downing’s ZPORTAL to deliver
cross-domain searching of licensed and openly available content in a range of
subject fields and from multiple institutions. The portal will aggregate and
integrate the results of the search, and support delivery of the content to
phases will add other services to the portal that improve user access to and
use of information resources.
For example, enhancements include integration of the searching tool
within the local online learning environment for a course and linkage to a
24/7 digital reference service to consult with a reference librarian.
initial participants in the Project and FD will collaborate to develop
additional functionality they identify as critical and will evaluate those new
capabilities in teaching and library production environments. It is
anticipated that in most academic environments, the tools developed through
the Scholars Portal Project will function as a library channel within a
university-wide portal. Further information: http://www.arl.org/access/scholarsportal/.
More information about the FD's portal solutions: http://www.fdusa.com.
Australian Society of Archivists Committee on Descriptive Standards has a
website at http://www.archivists.org.au/cds/.
The site has terms of reference, members, minutes, submissions, articles and
links and a work plan.
Protocol Metadata Harvesting Project
Open Archives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting v2.0 is scheduled for release
in June 2002. The full press release with additional details is available at
support funding from the Digital Library Federation, the National Information
Standards Organization (NISO) is evaluating the need for the development of a
national standard to facilitate the exchange of serials subscription
information. The final report will be made available to all NISO members in
June 2002. Web www.niso.org
Source: FOS newsletter]
issue of Cross Currents compiled by Paul Bentley.
Wolanski Foundation would be grateful for feedback
on the scope, format and content of this bulletin..