|New Series, No. 17||Newsletter of James White Library||February 1996|
A dream that Adventist librarians have held and nurtured for many years will soon become a reality. It is the dream of a global network for sharing and delivering information to their users affordably and effectively.
During a recent three-day meeting in Loma Linda, California, a small group of librarians generated the concept of an Adventist Electronic Library Consortium for the purpose of sharing important but expensive databases via the Internet. The group comprised the members of a Cooperative Information Access Committee, established more than a year ago by ASDAL, the Association of SDA Librarians, to explore possibilities for inter-library cooperation. Chair of the committee is Harvey Brenneise.
The committee believes the time for action has come. Changes in technology as well as financial considerations have opened up new opportunities for sharing. The ubiquity of the Internet and the position of Adventist libraries in the library marketplace--many small players in a large field--now combine to give Adventist libraries an unparalleled opportunity to do what was not possible previously: to jointly approach information vendors with the purpose of reducing our overall cost and/or gaining access to more information.
So the plan for a consortium of SDA libraries is rapidly developing. And the opportunities for membership will not be limited to North American libraries. Any SDA institution in any part of the world with access to the Internet may join the circle of cooperative information sharing. The possibilities for support of distance education are obvious.
Exactly what are we able to share? The committee discovered that there is widespread immediate interest in the following databases:
Many other databases will be of interest to a small number of institutions, including Andrews University. Examples might be: Biosis, Computer Select, Current Contents, Disclosure, Health Plan, Logos, Sociofile, and Sports Discus.
During the Loma Linda meeting, the committee had half a dozen major vendors demonstrate their database offerings and talk about consortium pricing. Under the plan now being worked out, contracts will be sought which allow for each member institution to opt in or out of individual databases, and the consortium will attempt to get pricing which is competitive with those available from other consortia. Says Harvey Brenneise, "It is important to note that while some SDA libraries may have local or regional alternatives to an SDA consortium, others, particularly those outside North America, may not enjoy that option. By working together we may be able to benefit the church's total educational effort on a worldwide basis."
Within the field of SDA electronic resources, Adventist librarians look toward the time when they can offer full-text delivery of contemporary SDA periodical articles, the contents of The Words of the Pioneers (historical texts), an electronic SDA bibliography, and electronic publications of SDA publishers.
Recently Keith Clouten, JWL director, circulated a specific proposal for an SDA electronic cooperative to other library directors in North America and abroad. Tentative hopes are for a foundation meeting of a consortium at this summer's ASDAL conference and the organization in place for database sharing by next Fall.
Thanks to the initiative and inspiration of the just-ended Creative Arts Festival on the Andrews campus, James White Library has brought its art out of the closet. A permanent display of twelve art works now hangs in the library. The works comprise original limited-edition prints representing artists from the early sixteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. The earliest print is from an Albrecht Durer woodcut, "St. Jerome in the Cavern". The seventeenth century is represented by Rembrandt with an etching titled "Christ Preaching." Other well-known artists include William Hogarth (eighteenth century) Picasso (early nineteenth) and Marc Chagall (mid-twentieth). The most recent work displayed is a lithograph, "Scroll of Liberty", by American artist Mark Tobey. Several of the pieces bear the artist's signature either on the front or back.
These art works were donated to Andrews University several years ago, and until recently were stored in the vault of the Adventist Heritage Center. The Creative Arts Festival led directly to their "rediscovery" and public exhibition for the first time.
James White Library took an extremely active role in the events of this winter's Creative Arts Festival. Events in the library included daily noon-hour "brown bag" concerts in the lobby, craft demonstrations each afternoon, and several exhibits of painting, sculpture, architectural plans and models. The noon concerts proved to be a popular feature, drawing people from the campus and the community. The variety of performers included string quartet, harpsichord, oboe, guitar, folk instruments, clarinet/flute duo, and a ladies gospel group.
The chair of the committee which organized the library events, Lauren Matacio, feels that the program was a success in every way. "We felt it was important for the library to be a part of the campus cultural scene", she said. "The fact that our concerts and exhibitions were held in the lobby was perhaps unique, but I think it succeeded in capturing the attention and appreciation of many who would otherwise have missed these events."
Use of the "Additional Items the Library Should Acquire" function on JeWeL for submitting orders for most materials is satisfactory, but when recommending videos, please send a photocopy of the page from the catalog or flyer instead. These pages typically contain extra information that is valuable or even essential for us to place your orders.
When sending orders for any material, the more information you can supply, the easier it will be for the staff to process your requests in a timely manner. Thank you for your help.
James White Library is preparing to establish a multimedia center and seeks input from faculty in the choice of applications for this new technology. An open meeting has been advertized to take place in the Sky Room on the top floor of the library on Wednesday, March 6, between 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm to hear and discuss ideas for the multimedia center. If anyone misses that meeting but has ideas to share or questions, please talk to Jess Oliver or Keith Clouten within the next few days.
While the Internet has been receiving all of the media attention, the Library of Congress has been quietly developing its own major electronic library of books, documents, and photographs. Known as the National Digital Library, this project has already made available on-line the full-text of several thousand documents, several collections of historic photographs, as well as the text of the daily Congressional Record.
In a just-published article in the journal, Civilization, the Librarian of Congress, James Billington, summarizes recent additions to the National Digital Library, including five newly digitized collections of US history materials: 241 broadside documents of the Continental Congress and the 1789 Constitutional Convention; 160 publications from the National American Woman Suffrage Association (1860-1920); 600 mid-19th century daguerreotype portraits; 900 photographs from a world transportation survey of 1894-1896; 351 African-American pamphlets on politics, slavery and civil rights before and after the Civil War; and 25,000 photographs of turn-of-the-century American cities and towns.
Billington describes major plans for future development of its electronic library. "Our goal is to add 5 million American history items to the National Digital Library by the year 2000, providing a model for the digitization of collections in other fields." 1
1 Billington, James H. On-line treasures to inspire students. Civilization, Mar/Apr 1996, p.93.
Contributors to this issue of UNCLASSIFIED are Sallie Alger, Harvey Brenneise, Keith Clouten, and Lauren Matacio.
Editor: Wanda Cantrell
UNCLASSIFIED is edited and produced by the James
White Library Director's Office. It is published in January, February,
April, May, September, October, and November. Items for inclusion should
reach the Director's Office by the first working day of the month of
Revised May 14, 1996