College & Research Libraries News

CONFERENCE CIRCUIT: The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI): Reports from the task force meeting

by Andrew R. Bonamici, Adrian W. Alexander, Charlene S. Hurt, Karyle Butcher, Sarah M. Pritchard, and Hannelore B. Rader

Ed. note:The following are summaries of several of the project briefings at the CNI meeting held November 29-30, 2001, in San Antonio, Texas. Thanks to the authors for providing these reports. If you’d like more information, many of the presentations from the task force meeting and the 2001-2002 CNI Program Plan are now available on the CNI Web site at

Partnership approaches to digital media creation at UT-Knoxville*

A recent survey by the Association of Research Libraries revealed steady growth in the number and variety of instructional support services offered by libraries to library and other instructional staff. Distance learning, Web course development, and instructional technology are services that experience the most frequent collaboration between the library and another institutional unit.

This trend was evident at the Fall 2001 CNI meeting in San Antonio, where Barbara I. Dewey, dean of libraries at the University of Tennessee (UT) described the creation of two new media production services housed at Hodges Library.

A collaborative project of the Office for Research and Information Technology and the University Libraries, Digital Media Services (DMS) is a drop-off production facility offering comprehensive digitization of course materials for UT faculty. DMS is staffed primarily by technologists, with consultation by librarians, and offers not only digitization, but also data storage and assistance in seeking and managing copyright permissions. DMS is a pilot project that will be evaluated after two years.

The second new service, The Studio, is a hands-on digital media laboratory for students and faculty seeking to enrich course materials with media. Full suites of media production software are offered on both Macintosh and Windows computers. Scanners and audiovisual equipment are available for digitization of source material, and digital still and video cameras are available for checkout. Consulting staff is on hand to provide one- on-one assistance at the computers or by appointment.

Ongoing issues for UT’s digital media facilities include: sustainability (the current budget commitment is for three years); visibility on campus; convergence of partners’ service cultures; assessment (it is critical to know how the services contribute to student learning); and integration into library, IT, and campus activities (the partners hope faculty will think of DMS immediately when planning courses).

About the authors

Andrew R. Bonamici is associate university librarian, administrative services, at the University of Oregon, e-mail:; Adrian W. Alexander is executive director of the Greater Western Library Alliance, e-mail:; Charlene S. Hurt is university librarian at Georgia State University, e-mail:; Karyle Butcher is the Donald and Delpha Campbell university librarian at Oregon State University, e-mail:; Sarah M. Pritchard is university librarian, University of California-Santa Barbara, e-mail:; Hannelore B. Rader is university librarian and dean at the University of Louisville, e-mail:

It was clear from Dewey’s presentation that the UT Libraries and their partners have successfully launched an ambitious and valuable range of instructional support services. For more information on these projects, see http ://digitalmedia. u tk. edu/index. html and —Andrew R. BonαmiciAndrew R. Bonαmici

Colorado Digitization Project's HERITAGE

Nancy Allen, dean and library director at the University of Denver, presented an update of the Colorado Digital Project’s (CDP) HERITAGE digital library, focusing on the results of a two-year LSTA grant. The grant enabled CDP to meet its goal of providing the people of Colorado with access to the written and visual record of Colorado’s history, culture, government, and industry through a collaborative effort of Colorado’s archives, historical societies, libraries, and museums.

HERITAGE is the Z39.50 compliant catalog for the CDP digital library, which is linked to other resources through the Colorado Virtual Library. Although it is very much a stan- dards-based system, using MARC, AACR2, XML, Dublin Core, EAD, RLG’s REACH elements for museums, and GILS, Heritage accommodates what Allen refers to as “metadata without mandates.” The system accepts both MARC data and metadata from various museum systems, converting both to Dublin Core. Additionally, CDP offers a Dublin Core data entry template to support contributing organizations that do not have descriptive records for their resources.

Metadata for the digital library is stored on a central server hosted by the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, however digital content can be stored in a decentralized fashion at local participating institutions. The CDP Web site becomes a key tool in this model, providing a single point of access to all participating digital projects.

The Colorado Digitization Project currently provides financial and technical support for more than 30 digitization initiatives at 48 institutions around Colorado. One of the major accomplishments of CDP thus far has been to move beyond traditional library collections to create a virtual presence for many local history museums in the state.

The project’s next steps include exploring a new phase of access based on the Open Archives Initiative and multistate collaborations with neighboring Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas. CDP has also received an IMLS grant to develop models for reaching K-12 teachers and librarians.

The CDP library can be accessed at http://—Adrian W. Alexander

Open borders: Northwestern's joint library/IT effort in faculty support

In this session, Bob Taylor, IT director of academic technologies, and Diane Perushek, assistant university librarian for collection management, discussed an innovative joint use of a library facility at Northwestern University. The facility, Two East: Bibliographic Resources and Technology on Two, is shared by collection management, the library’s digital media services department (which reports to public services), and academic technologies—a department of the university’s instructional technology division.

Perushek proposed an analogy between the Two East arrangement and a garden plot with three separate beds, with possible future scenarios of more cross-fertilization between the beds. Taylor discussed a series of specific collaborative projects that have been proposed and/or implemented, including a repurposing of the Video Encyclopedia of the 20th Century‚ the Mellon International Dunhuang Archive, and the Oyez Project. He emphasized the importance of co-location, stating that it is “better to co-locate than merge.” The slogan “New Neighbors Build New Partners” was used to summarize a series of new partnerships between digital media services and the collection management department. Projects include the digitizing of slides for Slavic art, Early English Books Online, and links to bibliographers’ homepages.

Despite some initial apprehension, both the library and academic technologies have found the arrangement at Two East to be very beneficial. To facilitate a successful working arrangement, the groups at Two East have get-togethers four times each year, jointly teach classes and other workshops and seminars, collaborate on Blackboard pages, and publish 2Eαst: e Newsletter every two weeks.—Charlene S. Hurt

Broadband connectivity in wireless country

Representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and OnSAT Network Communications described their collaborative Native American Access to Technology Project during this briefing. The Gates Foundation partnered with OnSat to provide an innovative, cost-effective combination of satellite and local loop wireless solutions for Native American tribes in the Four Comers area. Solar Electric Light Fund, whose executive director also spoke at the session, came on board to donate solar power, enabling the off-grid sites to receive high-speed connections through satellites.

Many of the 165 sites receiving public access computers through the grant program previously had no access to basic wire service, and in some cases no power was available. By providing wireless connections, the collaboration has not only introduced current technology to the area but has also provided for reasonably inexpensive ongoing maintenance. By bringing in both wireless and solar energy, this project has made it possible for the people of Four Corners to make connections beyond their boundaries that were previously impossible. The placement of equipment alone, without enough energy capacity to keep it viable, would have fallen short of the mark.

The Native American Access to Technology Project offers a model that could be replicated in other remote areas whose most feasible options include going wireless.—Karyle Butcher

NINCH: The next five years

David Green, executive director of the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH), updated attendees on the directions and activities of NINCH at this session of CNI. Founded in 1993 jointly by CNI, American Council of Learned Societies, and Getty Information Institute, NINCH focuses on digital issues in the humanities and cultural heritage world related to both the creation of innovative “born digital” works and to the preservation of historic materials held in libraries, museums, and historical organizations.

NINCH has more than 100 institutional members and a broad agenda focusing on intellectual property, cooperation and communication about digital initiatives in the humanities, documenting economic models and best practices for digitization projects, and other strategies to address both practical and policy concerns. NINCH membership is international and cuts across libraries, museums, academic faculty, information technology groups, performing arts organizations, and scholarly societies. NINCH has been developing a guide to best practices, a series of copyright “town meetings,” and a database of digital humanities projects, all linked from its Web site at

NINCH’s hope for the future is to serve as a catalyst, for example, to bring together librarians, faculty, museums, foundation, and groups outside academia, to develop large-scale collaborative projects to digitize and preserve cultural heritage.—Sarah M. Pritchard

Integrity of "publications" on the Web and demands for post- publication revision

This session, which featured Thomas Clifford Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information, provided several intriguing insights into new issues related to how information placed on the Web increasingly inspires others to find relationships to ownership and thus demand payment.

Many Web sites are now making available large numbers of archival materials, such as documents, mailing list archives, and other materials. Search engines index these materials, making them more visible than ever. However, such materials are becoming more vulnerable to continuing challenges from corporations.

Many companies now scan the Web for sites whose text perceivably contains phrases having some status as trademarks. When these so- called trademarks are located, the companies send threatening letters demanding that the text be removed or altered and, if that does not occur, license fees are demanded. Generally, organizations are trying to use the Web to disseminate “fixed” editions, but these challenges and pressures from corporations do not respect this fixity.

During a breakout session, participants had an opportunity to discuss and compare experiences regarding the current situation, to share strategies for responding to these demands for revision, and to explore the implications of such demands for the integrity of documentation. —Hannelore B. Rader

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