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How to Design a Digital Library

By ArifRahman1 Mar 19, 2013 1977 Words
How to Design a Digital Library What you do not learn in library school!


Project Information/Name/Number

Emil Levine Library Consultant Breitenfurter Strasse 426/3 Vienna Austria A1230 -------------------------------

Establishment of the UNXXX Library and Knowledge Management Centre Background: UNXXX decided to leave the existing Vienna International Centre Library and to establish their own independent library operated solely by UNXXX staff. The purpose of this project was to bring professional library expertise into UNXXX in order to plan the implementation of this decision in a cost effective and non-disruptive manner. This involves Planning, Implementation and Operations, with the objective of having an operational UNXXX Library and Knowledge Management Centre by 1 January 2001. The strategic mission of the Centre is to enhance the effectiveness of UNXXX. All planning for the library functions was done within a broader scope of the UNXXX Knowledge Management Architecture, assuring that these activities would eventually be in harmony with that system. Activities: The initial activity was drafting of an Operational Plan and schedule for development of the UNXXX Information Centre (Attached). This Operational Plan involves three phases, Planning, Implementation and Operations. A key goal of the Operational Plan is the transparent continuity of services to UNXXX Staff. Due to the short time available for the project, these three phases overlap in some tasks, with the results that the overall development time is shortened in many cases. The first phase, the Planning consisted of several simultaneous tasks including: • Requirements Analysis o Interviewed UNXXX staff to determine precise information requirements o Surveyed existing UNXXX library materials to determine space requirements o Re-certified journal requirements o Determined furniture and supply requirements o Identified electronic resource requirements (databases, CD-ROMs) • Developing external contacts o Established points of contact/vendors for services (e.g., Online services -DIALOG, Proquest from UN consortium, library support software vendor, British Lending Library for Inter-Library Loan, journal subscription service) o Interacted with other UN Libraries o Joined the UN Library Consortium o Announced the new UNXXX Library to all UN Libraries o Recommended services to be continued with VIC o Participated in UN and other Library/Information Science activities o Identified UNXXX information requirements outside of Vienna (Field and Regional Offices, Missions, NGOs, etc.) • Administration/Management o Developed budget

o Identified tasks and how they will be accomplished (Selection, Acquisition, Claiming, Cataloging, Shelving, Circulation, Reference, Inter-Library Loan, Training, Gift and Exchange, Collection Development, Depository Libraries, Electronic/Virtual Library) o Determined personnel requirements As noted above, some Implementation tasks will occur simultaneously with the Planning Phase. Tasks in the Implementation Phase will include: • Acquisition of External Services o Prepare solicitation of bids for journals for 2001 o Order library support software (Integrated Online Library System/IOLS) o Contract for online databases (DIALOG, Proquest, Lexus/Nexus, Reuters, etc.) o Establish Inter-Library Loan services • Internal Activities o o o o o o • Obtain and install furniture and supplies Move books from the VIC Library to D4 Establish “sub-libraries” throughout UNXXX as appropriate Movement of journals from the VIC Library to D4 Link and test digital resources (World Wide Web) Obtain existing library files from VIC Library and load into IOLS

Training o Obtain training on IOLS o Train existing personnel in Library and Knowledge Management Centre tasks (Selection, Acquisition, Claiming, Cataloging, Shelving, Circulation, Reference, Inter-Library Loan, Training, Gift and Exchange, Collection Development, Depository Libraries, Electronic/Virtual Library) o Train UNXXX personnel in use of online databases

Administration/Management o o o o o o Prepared job descriptions Recruit for new position(s) Provide limited reference support Develop promotional material Obtain library support material (journals, equipment, supplies) Attend UN and other appropriate Library meetings

The Operational Phase, targeted for early 200X, will also overlap with certain tasks in the Implementation Phase and several of these tasks will begin before that date. In general, the Operational Phase is designed in such a way that the transition will be


transparent to the users/patrons of the UNXXX Library and Knowledge Management Centre. This Phase will include: • Operations o Provide all currently existing capabilities o Continually upgrade digital/virtual library capabilities o Provide online services (DIALOG, Proquest, Lexus/Nexus, Reuters) • Administration/Management o Fully staff Library and Knowledge Management Centre and fulfill functions (Management, Selection, Acquisition, Claiming, Cataloging, Shelving, Circulation, Reference, Inter-Library Loan, Training, Gift and Exchange, Collection Development, Depository Libraries, Electronic/Virtual Library) o Continually train UNXXX staff (including information centre staff) o Utilize IOLS o Develop core documents (Collection Development Manual, Operations Manual, etc.) o Attend professional library/information science meetings to promote the centre. o Assume responsibilities and role in the UN Library Network • Planning o Integrate the Library and Knowledge Management Centre into the UNXXX Knowledge Management Architecture o Expand capabilities as appropriate and requested by UNXXX staff (open source exploitation, satellite imagery to support industrial development and environmental issues, cartographic library, etc.) o Expand services to appropriate users outside of UNXXX Vienna (UNXXX Field and Regional Offices, Missions, NGOs, etc.) Specific Highlights of the Project: The initial contract period was extended from 18 August 200X to 15 September 200X for the convenience of both UNXXX and the Library Analyst. Highlights of the project included: Preparation of the Budget/Staff – Several draft budgets and a final budget were prepared and submitted for planning. (Attached) Important variables in this budget included staff and library software. Planning included a P4 Staff Library and Knowledge Management Centre position, and a P2/P3 Reference Librarian, who would act in this position when required. Library Software Selection - Several options were available for selection and implementation of the Library Support Software (Integrated Online Library System – IOLS). The same system being used in the VIC library was selected. An option to “buy time” on the existing system was rejected, with the decision to purchase this system, called Cuadra STAR. This system will allow a transfer of all existing VIC library files into the UNXXX system, thereby


assuring an operational system on 1 January 2001. The system has the interesting possibility to be expanded with optional modules to support the UNXXX Archives/Registry, and other knowledge management subsystems. Staff interviews – Interviews were held with approximately 75 UNXXX staff members. The purpose of the interviews was to acquaint them with the plans for the new Information Centre, then to solicit their ideas concerning support, databases, journals, operational requirements, etc. The concept of “push technology,” using the power of the online systems to automatically provide periodic (daily, weekly, etc.) tailored reports via email was extremely well received. The importance of specific sources, for example EIU reports, was consistent with all groups interviewed. Journal Selections – The lead-time for journal subscriptions is approximately 120 days. Within UNXXX, this includes the competitive bid process. Therefore, considerable time was spent in the revalidation of journals to be obtained by UNXXX beginning in January 2001 to assure no loss of continuity. This process was significantly assisted by staff members of the VIC Library (as were all efforts in the transition). Journals to be ordered are attached. Journal lists consisted of “UNXXX Specific” and “Shared Cost.” These lists were circulated to UNXXX staff with requests for journals desired by priority and if by paper, electronic or both. The analysis and compilation process considered which journals will be included full-text in the online services being ordered (DIALOG, ProQuest, Lexis/Nexis and Reuters). The selection of journals involved comparison of all titles to journals available online through ProQuest, Nexis, Reuters and Dialog. This resulted in a decrease of the journal budget by approximately $25,000. Bids will be requested from 3-5 vendors in mid-September. Space Management and movement of the collection – Several options were considered for location of the new UNXXX Information Centre, including locations on D10, and finally D4 in part of the existing Archives. This latter location is ideal for the following reasons. • • • • • • • • • End of corridor, so no traffic; Book shelves in place (but some will have to be removed); Compact books shelves available for past journal collection; No room dividers; Excellent natural light; Co-located with archives to support research; Good security for the collection; Space is available as much of the archived collection is scheduled for destruction; Adjoining space available for library staff.

As a result of this decision, books (over 10,000) could be moved several months earlier that originally planned. This will result in a fully operational library on 1 January 2001. The VIC Library staff assisted UNXXX staff in 4

removing books from their shelves and “bar coding” them to account for their transfer to UNXXX. This also assures an accurate database for the UNXXX IOLS. Database Selection – The UNXXX Library and Knowledge Management Centre was envisioned from the beginning to be heavily dependent on electronic/digital sources including World Wide Web information. Based on past UNXXX staff usage of various online databases, as documented by the VIC Library staff, meetings were held with various vendors. As a minimum, it is anticipated that DIALOG, Reuters, Lexis/Nexis, ProQuest and Oxford Analytica will be acquired. Other smaller databases will be obtained via the UN Library Consortium. Staff positions – Job descriptions were written for the position of Head, UNXXX Library and Knowledge Management Centre (P4) and Reference Librarian (P2/3) (Attached). The existing full time UNXXX G6 and half time G3, now assigned to the VIC Library, will be returned to UNXXX. Both will receive training for new assignments, in particular in journals management. The G6 will also receive extensive training in online searching/support. The staff must fulfill the following library functions: Selection, Acquisition, Claiming, Cataloging, Circulation, Reference, Inter-Library Loan, Journals (Subscription, Circulation and Filing), Training, Online Searching, Profile Maintenance and Gift/Exchange, IOLS Operation and Database Maintenance. UN Consortium and UN Libraries – On 19 July 200X, the United Nations Information Systems Coordination Committee (ISCC), Geneva, made an announcement to all UN Libraries concerning the creation of the new UNXXX Library. UNXXX was accepted into the UN Library Consortium, and will take full advantages of the cost saving that are available through this group. Core Journals/Organizations: A list of core journals required for library support was provided. It was also recommended that UNXXX join both ASLIB and ASIS as an institutional member. Conclusion: The establishment of the UNXXX Library and Knowledge Management Centre is progressing in an orderly manner that should assure a transition that is nondisruptive to the UNXXX staff. The closeness of the facility to UNXXX, the specialized tailoring of databases and journals, and the ability to dedicate library staff to support, should enhance the efficiency (doing things right) and therefore the effectiveness (doing the right thing) of staff, and therefore, UNXXX. Higher first year start up costs must be accepted, as well as the realization that the library will require a new set (for UNXXX) of professional skills (Head Librarian and Reference Librarian). The importance of these posts cannot be over-emphasized, as the success of the entire program will depend on these positions. In early 2001, over 200 journals will begin arriving in UNXXX. This will involve a totally new function for the staff and one that will be used to judge both the


effectiveness and efficiency of the Library and Knowledge Management Centre. The same will occur with the several online databases. It is mandatory that the staff spends considerable time training in these functions prior to 2001. UNXXX is fortunate to have a strong data processing staff, which also understands information and library science applications. This will assure that the library operates using modern software, and that it will be in harmony with the eventual UNXXX Knowledge Management Architecture. The assistance and guidance of A and B and C were critical for this project.



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