Trix Bakker

This double issue covers the 35th LIBER Annual General Conference Turning the library inside out in the Uppsala University Library, Uppsala, Sweden, 4-8 July 2006.[1] There were about 180 participants.

The Pre-conference was about digital library developments in Europe. The first two speakers took an opposite position concerning digitising collections in the context of the Google’s Library Project. Jean-Noël Jeanneney, President of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), was positive about digitising collections in Europe, but quite negative about the Google project because of the Anglo-Saxon cultural domination (Jeanneney, 2005). Robert Milne, Director of Library Services at the University of Oxford and Bodley’s Librarian, spoke about the Google large-scale digitisation project at Oxford; between 1 and 1,5 million volumes of 1900th century materials will be digitized. They intend to digitize printed material in every subject area and will cover alongside academic books and journals also recreational magazines, trade literature, post office directories, railway timetables etc. By analysing data from WorldCat it has been shown that about 50% of the holdings of the ‘Google Five’ (New York Public Library and the University Libraries of Harvard, Stanford, Michigan and Oxford) are in language other (!) than English (Lavoie, Connaway & Dempsey, 2005). The agreement with Google is non-inclusive. This means that Oxford receives an ‘Oxford Digital Copy’, and there will be a link from the Oxford catalogue to the digital copy which will be navigable and searchable. The third speaker Javier Hernandez-Ros, Head of Unit “Information Market”, European Commission, spoke about the “i2010: Digital Libraries” Initiative, with the main strands: digitisation, online accessibility and digital preservation of Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage public domain material.

The first session of the conference, organized by the Preservation Division, was around the theme “When the world turns upside down”. The first paper by Elisabeth Chapman, Library Services, University College London (UCL), was about the effects of the London terrorist bombs in July 2005 and how UCL multi-site Library Services responded and the effects on staff. This has led to a subsequent review of emergency preparedness which resulted in three emergency checklists (for management, supporting staff and follow-up to an emergency situation). Sarah Staniforth, National Trust, UK, spoke about the impact of climate change on historic libraries. You’ll find great pictures of her presentation on the ENSSIB website.[2] Christiane Baryla, General Librarian, BnF, and Director of the IFLA Core Activity Preservation and Conservation ( PAC). Christiane gave a presentation about flood prevention and protection at the BnF. The paper focused on the flooding of the Seine river, concentrating on the risk of a major incident at four BnF sites: Richelieu, Bibliothėque Musée de l”Opéra, Bibliothėque de l’Arsenal, and Tolbiac. Each site has its own risk preparedness and planning, but this is coordinated by the BnF in close cooperation with all the different actors of the Ile de France such as the Paris Police Headquarters.

The second session, organized by the Access Division, came up with the theme “The brave new world”. Michael Jubb, Director of the Research Information Network, spoke about the key challenges in seeking to develop a strategic framework for enhancing the UK infrastructure of information services to meet the needs and expectations of researchers who are exploiting new ways of operating and communicating with each other, and the role of the Research Information Network ( RIN) in seeking to address them. One of the tasks the RIN has set for itself is to articulate some key principles in areas including the stewardship of research data and in scholarly communications. The next speaker in this session was Eva Müller, at that time still in function as Director of the Electronic Publishing Centre ( EPC), Uppsala University Library. Eva introduced the DiVA project and the DiVA publishing system developed by the Electronic Publishing Centre at the Uppsala University Library. DiVA provides a good example of how a strategy of collaborative development between a number of institutions can work in practice. Through DiVA, full text documents from the participating universities are published and archived. The archive contains mainly doctoral and undergraduate theses and research reports. Monica Segbert, eIFL, gave a presentation about the activities of eIFL.net.[3] The last speaker of this session was Alma Swan, Key Perspectives Ltd., Truro, UK. She had a very interesting paper about new developments in Open Access worldwide. First Alma unravelled some myths about OA, then she mentioned other methods of peer review which are at least as appropriate and perhaps even preferable to established practice. Locating the growing OA content has received much attention the last few years by some big abstracting and indexing providers such as Elsevier (Scopus and Scirus) and Thompson Scientific (Web Citation Index), but also by Google (Google Scholar) and Microsoft (Live Academic Search), and there are now many written policies from many institutions and funders as can be seen on the site of ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies).

The third session, organized by the Library Management and Administration Division, had 2 sessions. The 1st session about “Measuring and improving quality” had three speakers. Stephen Town, Cranfield University, spoke about using LibQUAL+, a web-based survey tool designed to measure library quality.[4] Kaisa Sinikara, University of Helsinki, - with comments from Kai Ekholm, National Library of Finland, and Gunnar Sahlin, National Library of Sweden -, spoke about evaluation as a tool for quality management in academic libraries, with the University of Helsinki as a case study where international evaluations had been carried out in 2000 and 2004. These evaluation processes have resulted in excellent, new or renovated premises for the library institution that comprises in 2006 the National Library of Finland (formerly the Helsinki University Library) and the University of Helsinki Libraries, a coordinated network located on four campuses. The third speaker Helge Salvesen, University of Tromsø, had an interesting presentation on the quality assurance system for higher education in Norway ( NOKUT), and discussed what role libraries should play in the universities’ quality improvement programmes.
The 2nd session was on “Changing library organisations” with again three speakers. Gitte Larson, Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen, tried to answer some key questions for library managers and for institutions that are responsible for continuing education and professional development of library staff to be considered to prepare for new and changing roles and competencies of librarians. Suzanne Jouguelet, Bibliothèque nationale de France, presented an analysis of a survey of organizational structures in a representative group of LIBER libraries, launched at the end of 2005 by the Division. The main purpose of the survey was to gain insight into what organization charts can tell us about the evolution of research libraries. The key goals were to compare organization and service arrangements in a range of European libraries, and to analyse trends in the evolution of organizations.

The fourth session, organized by the Collection Development Division, had as theme “Visibility and accessibility - collection development today”. Graham Bulpitt, Kingston University, spoke about the changing landscape of teaching and research, and “the enhanced role for the information professional – to take their place as a full member of the research team”.[5] Klaus Kempf, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München, gave a presentation about Vascoda - an internet portal for scientific and scholarly information - as the German answer to visibility and accessibility in collection development. After a short exposition about the different kinds of cooperative structures of German libraries that offer single points of access at a national level, Klaus briefly sketched the main principles of the long-lasting funding programme of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft ( DFG). In order to enhance visibility and use of the special collections by the academic community as well as to integrate digital information resources, the DFG has provided special funding for the establishment of subject-based gateways by special collection libraries. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has its own subject-based gateway Chronicon which has an interface with vascoda. Vascoda is a multilayer initiative, interdisciplinary, national but also open to users outside Germany. Funded by the DFG and the German Ministry of Research and Education. Vascoda aims to become the platform for a nationwide cooperative content acquisition policy with a federated search functionality with modern search engine technology. The next speaker was Gerard van Trier, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, The Hague. The KB was the first to develop a permanent archive and is leading in the international field of digital archiving and permanent access. Since 2002 the KB signed several agreements with international scientific publishers (Elsevier, Kluwer Academic, Biomed Central, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford University Press, Taylor & Francis, Sage Publications, Springer, Brill and IOS Press). Access is only on-site for any registered user of the KB. Remote access is offered with permission of the publisher. In case of calamities or in case the publisher does not meet his obligations, the KB safeguards the access that licensees have paid for. The KB expects that worldwide permanent archiving of international scholarly journals will be taken care of by a limited number of institutions spread around the globe - Safe Places model. The KB is also actively contributing to international collaboration in the European project PLANETS and in the European Task Force Permanent Access with representatives from the science sector, academic publishers and libraries. Among the initial partners are large scientific organisations like ESA, CERN and the British CCLRC, but also JISC, the European Science Foundation, the International Association of STM Publishers, and national libraries like The British Library and the KB. The KB is discussing with all the parties involved the feasibility of new business models to cover the cost of storage space, the processing and management of the material, and the R&D efforts.
The last speaker of this session Janet Lees, OCLC PICA, addressed the issue of making library collections more visible on the web and in particular the OCLC WorldCat programme. Two recent OCLC report findings on student perceptions and habits were i.e. that 89% college students use search engines to begin information searches and only 2% begin their search on the library web site. For libraries to raise their visibility in the search engines results sets OCLC allowed Google en Yahoo! in 2004 to harvest limited field sets in the OCLC WorldCat records and results of a search could be displayed under the brand ‘Find in a library’. If a user clicks on a ‘Find in a library’ result (s)he is linked through to the OCLC WorldCat interface where (s)he can see details of the bibliographic records and a list of libraries holding the item. A geographic filter using postcodes helps the user to find libraries closest to hem/her and through deep linking (s)he can be directed to the selected library’s OPAC and also to other library services such as virtual reference and Interlibrary loan. WorldCat also provides ‘Buy it’ links to online booksellers. Microsoft is partner with Academic Live Search. Libraries who wish to have their holdings made visible in WorldCat must have their holdings included in WoldCat. OCLC PICA worked with OCLC to create an European model called the WorldCat Discovery model. This model creates a relationship between regional or national union catalogue owners and OCLC for the exchange of bibliographic records and holdings that can be harvested through the Open WorldCat programme. This summer there was a pilot in the UK and the Netherlands. Feedback form the pilot libraries will be used to further refine the service.

The last three articles in this issues are published because, we think, these are of interest for the LIBER community. Especially the final report of the Frankfurt Group “Survey on the impact of VAT on libraries and the scientific publication markets” is of interest to each of the member libraries, because VAT issues are a key problem in the current development - switch to electronic - of the framework of scientific publications in Europe.


Jeanneney, Jean-Noël: Quand Google défie l'Europe : plaidoyer pour un sursaut. [Paris] : Mille et une nuits, 2005, 114 p.

Lavoie, Brian, Lynn Connaway and Lorcan Dempsey: “Anatomy of Aggregate Collections. The Example of Google Print for Libraries”. D-Lib Magazine, 11(2005)9. http://www.dlib.org/dlib/september05/lavoie/09lavoie.html

Web sites referred to in the text

Chronicon. http://www.chronicon.de/

DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation). http://www.dfg.de/en/

DiVA - the Academic Archive online. http://www.diva-portal.org/

eIFL.net. http://www.eifl.net/

EPC - Electronic Publishing Centre, Uppsala University Library. http://epc.ub.uu.se/

European Task Force Permanent Access. http://tfpa.kb.nl/

IFLA-PAC - IFLA Core Activity on Preservation and Conservation. http://www.ifla.org/VI/4/pac.htm

Frankfurt Group. http://www.sub.uni-goettingen.de/frankfurtgroup/

LibQUAL+(TM). http://www.libqual.org/

NOKUT - The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education. http://www.nokut.no/sw335.asp

PLANETS - Preservation and Long-term Access through NETworked Services. http://www.planets-project.eu/

RIN - Research Information Network. http://www.rin.ac.uk/

ROARMAP - Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies. http://www.eprints.org/openaccess/policysignup/

Vascoda. http://www.vascoda.de/

WorldCat. http://www.worldcat.org/



Most presentations are mounted on the ENSSIB website: http://www.enssib.fr/article2.php?id_cat=220&idx=432&cat=Biblioth%E8que+num%E9ique. The whole programme can be found on the conference website: http://www.diva-portal.org/diva/getDocument?urn_nbn_se_uu_diva-6995__fulltext.pdf


See: http://www.enssib.fr/pdf/liber2006/sarah_staniforth.pdf


See. http://www.enssib.fr/pdf/liber2006/monica_segbert.pdf


See: http://www.enssib.fr/pdf/liber2006/town_stephen.pdf


See: http://www.enssib.fr/pdf/liber2006/graham_bulpitt.pdf