College & Research Libraries News

News from the Field

Mary Ellen Davis

OCLC and WLN begin merger talks

OCLC and WLN have signed a letter of intent that could lead, following negotiations, to the merger of WLN and OCLC.

WLN, a nonprofit corporation, serves 550 libraries in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada from its office in Lacey, Washington. OCLC is a nonprofit corporation in Dublin, Ohio, that serves over 30,000 libraries in 65 countries.

If negotiations are successful, the merger would result in the following: WLN users would migrate to OCLC cataloging and resource-sharing services and the WLN union catalog would be merged with WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog); WLN full member libraries would become OCLC general members; WLN would continue its MARS Authority Control, Collection Analysis, and bibliographic services; the WLN office would continue to be based in Lacey and become an OCLC/WLN Service Center; WLN’s Information Technology Research and Development staff would remain at the OCLC/WLN Service Center to supplement OCLC’s research and development.

The parties hope to conclude an agreement and complete the transaction by early 1999.

Europeans join efforts to expand competition in journal publishing

The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), based in the United Kingdom, have agreed to collaborate on a series of new high-quality, peer-reviewed electronic journals that will be offered at prices far below those of competing commercially published journals. SPARC also announced it will be represented in the UK and Ireland by the Standing Conference of National & University Libraries (SCONUL), which includes 129 libraries an has an affiliation with Denmark’s Conference of Directors of Research Libraries, an organization of 12 major libraries.

PhysChemComm, the first project of the SPARC-RSC partnership, provides rapid communication of articles in physical chemistry. With a 1999 price tag of $353 (200 Pounds Sterling) for site-wide institutional online access, it competes with a commercial title priced at over $8,000. The RSC title is an all-elec- tronic journal providing double referring, an international team of editors, searchable full text, multimedia presentation features, and Web availability.

A ceremony on September 23 commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Academy's Nimitz Library featured several speakers, including Vice Admiral John R. Ryan, Superintendent, United States Naval Academy (shown above), and Brig. General Vernon R. Tate (USAF, Ret.) whose father served as Librarian from 1956-66. Tate presented a plaque honoring the contributions of the library staff since the Academy's founding in 1845. The three-day celebration also featured a presentation on electronic journals by Peter Boyce, American Astronomical Society, and a faculty discussion of the roles of libraries in their teaching and research. A history of libraries at the Academy and the schedule of events for the celebration may be found at http://

“Over more than a decade now, journal price increases have far outpaced expansion in the amount of research disseminated,” said SPARC Chair Ken Frazier, director of the University of Wisconsin Libraries. “Industry consolidation has given a few major commercial publishers a free hand to do as they wish in most areas of science. By working with partners such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, SPARC supports buyer choices and a free marketplace.”

SPARC’s membership has grown more than 50 percent since June 1998 to 114 member libraries and consortia. ACRL is an affiliate member of SPARC.

Kranich, Schmidt to compete for ALA presidency

Nancy Kranich, associate dean at New York University’s Bobst Library, and C. James Schmidt, university librarian at San Jose State University, have accepted nominations to compete for the 2000-2001 ALA presidency.

Kranich currently chairs ALA’s Legislation Committee and recently completed a four-year term as a member of the ALA Executive Board and Council.

Schmidt is a former chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Committee on Accreditation. He has also served on the Library and In- formation Technology Association’s Technology and Ac- cess Committee and on the New England Library Network Board of Directors.

The mail ballot election will be held in the spring. The win- ner will serve as vice-president/ president-elect in 1999-2000 prior to becoming ALA’s high- est elected official in 2000-2001.

George Washington University joins ARL

George Washington University Li- braries (GW) were selected for membership in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) on October 16, 1998.

GW librarian Jack Siggins notes that, “One of the advantages of member- ship in the ARL is the recognition of GW as the major research center it is.” He also points out that membership in ARL will benefit both fac- ulty and students at GW because it will mean greater access to library resources through ARL reciprocal arrangements, and he believes mem- bership will foster cooperative development projects between GW and other ARL mem- bers.

ACRL 1998 President's Program videos available

A three-videotape set of the proceedings of the 1998 ACRL President’s Program, “The Value of Values: Changes and Continuities as We Face the New Millennium,” is available via interlibrary loan from ALA.

The first video features award-winning essayist, novelist, and critic William H. Gass, who spoke about the value books and libraries have for him and for other readers. A second video features a response panel and question/answer session following Gass’s talk. The third video, “A Question of Values,” offers comments from six academic librarians about their values and how to promote them. Each video may be requested indi- vidually. To borrow the tapes for a three- week period, send an ALA-approved in- terlibrary loan form to the ALA Library, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795. A nominal fee may be charged to cover postage. To reserve a video call (312) 280- 3277 or e-mail:

NCES releases statistics

The U.S. Department of Education’s Na- tional Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released The Status of Academic Libraries in the United States: Results from the 1994 Academic Libraries Survey with His- torical Comparisons. The report gives a sta- tistical description of the status of academic libraries, collections, staff, and expenditures in 1994. It also provides histori- cal comparisons to previous years, with a focus on comparisons since 1990. Copies of the $12 Status of Academic Libraries (stock number 065- 000-01186-7) are available from New Orders, Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. Fax credit card orders to (202) 512-2250. The document is also available on the Web at http:// A small supply of copies is available upon request from the ALA Office for Research and Statistics (e-mail:

Dedicated UC-Santa Cruz librarians continue to give

Seven staff members at McHenry Library at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) not only put their heart into their work, they put their personal resources, too.

The seven, Rolf Augustine, Rita Bottoms, the late Donald Clark, Margaret Gordon, David Kirk, Alan Ritch, and Marion Taylor, have donated gifts of $10,000 or more each to establish endowments that will support the purchase of books and other materials for the University Library.

All seven have been longtime employees at the library. Each has established a fund to support a special subject area. Rolf Augustine, who has been at UCSC since 1965, has given to the university twice before, and this year using funds from a family inheritance, made an additional gift of $100,000. This gift ensures that the Augustine Endowment will be a significant vehicle for preserving and expanding the library’s cataloging operation. After 33 years at UCSC, Augustine is eligible to retire but he plans to take his leave on the last day of the millennium.

Connie Kearns McCarthy, dean of University Libraries at the College of William and Mary, realized her dream of providing a social venue to bring together faculty and students with the opening of a Starbucks Coffee Cafe in the study lounge of the Earl Gregg Swem Library. Here she joins Director of Dining Services Frank Caruso for an unusual ribbon cutting ceremony. Caruso noted, "It goes without saying that coffee and studying go hand-in-hand."

Shop for out-of-print books on the Web has an agreement with Advanced Book Exchange, Inc. (ABE) to offer out- of-print and antiquarian books to its online customers. “The antiquarian book market has been under-exposed because of the difficulty consumers have had in locating the books they want from their local dealers,” said Steve Riggio CEO “With ABE’s national database of available books and book dealers, book lovers can easily find what they want as well as discover books they never knew before existed.”

Visitors to can now search for out-of-print titles as well as unique and unusual books—categorized by author, title, or subject—in the ABE database of millions of carefully selected used and rare book dealers. A list of book dealers will also be on the Web and in Barnes and Nobles’s 500 stores.

Thomson Financial Services focuses on Academic market

The Investext Group, a Thomson Financial Services (TFS) company has released Research Bank Web—Business School Edition, a product that provides academic institutions with Internet access to the same company and industry research that top investment banks, consulting firms, brokerage houses, and law firms have used for years to help make their strategic decisions.

“Research Bank Web—Busi- ness School Edition is among the most heavily used business infor- mation research tools at the Tuck School because the content is so perfectly suited to a business school student’s needs,” said Jim Fries, director of the Feldberg Li- brary at Dartmouth College.

Thomson plans to enhance Re- search Bank Web by integrating proprietary business information from other TFS companies.

For details about Research Bank Web, contact the Investext Group at (800) 662-7878 ext. 2 or visit the Web site: http://

UCLA and Getty offer summer institute

The Getty Information Institute in association with UCLA are offering a five-day course, “Museums, Libraries, and Archives: Summer Institute for Knowledge Sharing,” August 2-6,1999. The course will explore theories and practical application in cultural heritage information management and knowledge-sharing by museums, libraries, and other cultural heritage institutions. Contact Madi Weland: or Lynn Boyden:

UCLA Senior Fellow applications due

January 15 is the deadline to apply for the UCLA Senior Fellows Program. Fifteen leaders in the academic library community will be selected to participate in the August 8-27, 1999, program. The 1999 curriculum will emphasize leadership, including transformational and entrepreneurial leadership development and public policy.

Beverly P. Lynch, professor in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA, directs the program. Lynch was a Senior Fellow in the first year of the program, begun in 1982 at UCLA, and has directed and served as a faculty member several times.

For details contact Lynch at UCLA, voice (310) 206-4294; fax: (310) 206-6293; e-mail: or check the Web at http:// ■

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