Wednesday 8 February 2006   1045 - 1115


Dr Warwick Cathro, National Library Of Australia

Improving information infrastructure: the recent activities of the National Library of Australia

In the two years since the last VALA Conference, the National Library has embarked on a number of initiatives aimed at improving the national infrastructure that provides access to information resources by Australian libraries and their users.

The key initiative has been the Kinetica Redevelopment Project, but the Library's strategy also includes:
o the development of significant digital content (including the initiation of a project, in partnership with the Australian National University, to digitise a core but substantial set of Australian newspapers, and to provide full text search access to them);
o engagement with the higher education research sector in three significant projects funded by the Government's Systemic Infrastructure Initiative;
o development of additional resource discovery services, such as MusicAustralia, the ARROW Discovery Service and a new service dubbed the "People Portal"; and
o significant changes to the Library's business model for providing access to the National Bibliographic Database.

This paper will review the Library's policies and the implementation of its strategy in this key area. It will also identify requirements for further improvement of the national information infrastructure.

The Library's involvement in the projects funded by the Systemic Infrastructure Initiative has enabled it to work collaboratively with the higher education in sector in the development of institutional repositories. The issues addressed in these projects include:
o how to make these repositories sustainable;
o how to support the harvesting and exposure of discovery metadata;
o how to incorporate an open source repository solution (such as Fedora) into an existing digital library architecture; and
o how to take advantage of developing solutions for authentication and authorisation.

The paper will also report to the library community on the conduct of the Kinetica Redevelopment Project, including the principles used by the Library in managing the Project, and the prospects for further improvement of this core national service. The Project itself provides an interesting case study, and in this light the paper will describe:
o the project management methodology;
o the ways that risks were identified and addressed; and
o the quality assurance process.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1045 - 1115

CONCURRENT SESSION 2: Digital Repositories

Dr Jane Hunter, DSTC, University of Queensland

Scientific models - A user-oriented approach to the integration of scientific data and digital libraries

Recent developments in digital technologies, experimental techniques and scientific instrumentation have changed the way that scientists work and led to an explosion in the rates of data generation in many disciplines. Simulations, observations, sensors, experiments and scientific instruments are currently capable of producing far more data than can possibly be analysed. Long term accessibility to ever increasing volumes of scientific data is essential to enable its re-use, maximize the potential derivable knowledge and reduce wasteful duplication. However many scientific communities are struggling with the challenge of how to manage the curation, archival and retention of the terabytes of data they are producing, often on a daily basis.

Although some research has been carried out on the long term preservation and archival of scientific data, practical, affordable solutions are sparse and most solutions are also short-term, special-purpose or handcrafted for a specific discipline or collection.

Scientific models provide a primary method for representing and encapsulating expert knowledge in many domains, including particle and high energy physics, astronomy, biological sciences, earth sciences, chemistry and nano-materials. They provide simplified representations of real world objects, systems or phenomena - often in mathematical terms - enabling scientists to better predict how complex systems behave under different conditions or parameters, or change over time, in order to solve problems associated with a particular research focus. The scientific model paradigm provides a means of linking the raw data, its' associated contextual and provenance metadata and the derived information and knowledge within a single package. It also provides the means to authenticate and track individual contributions to scientific collaborations. Scientific models also provide an ideal mechanism for publishing and disseminating scientific results and for integrating research in teaching. They also provide an ideal approach to selective archival and preservation of scientific data.

This paper will describe the tools, services and technological approaches we are developing that will enable scientists to capture, index, store, share, exchange, re-use, compare and combine different scientific models, both within disciplines and across disciplines, in order to expedite solutions to scientific problems. The plan is to analyse the needs of a number of specific scientific communities and to tackle the scale and dynamic nature of the problem by building the tools and services on top of an underlying Semantic Grid infrastructure.

The aim is to also provide tools that will encourage the submission of scientific research data to open access institutional repositories - for example, by enabling the easy attachment of standardized licenses expected to come out of the Science Commons initiative.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1045 - 1115

CONCURRENT SESSION 3: Teaching and Learning Environments

Mr Greg Anderson and Ms Alison Rigby, The University Of Newcastle, NSW

Internet café or learning environment? : The University of Newcastle's Information Common after the first 18 months

The Auchmuty Information Common (AIC) is a learning space within the Auchmuty Library at the University of Newcastle. It was opened late in 2003, and provides 24 hour access to a state of the art scholarly information and learning environment that is welcoming and stimulating. The Information Common is a food and drink friendly environment and provides casual areas for group work.
The paper examines the operation of the AIC in the first eighteen months of service, focusing on types of student use (recreational & study), user expectations and the service provided by staff. One of the major drivers for the study is the need to consider the impact of online learning systems on the way students study and use IT and the assumption - supported by environmental scanning of learning trends - that students now expect a learning environment which provides access to software, infrastructure and scholarly information resources on a 24 hour basis. This expectation has also provided the impetus to rethink information support services and service delivery, based on changing trends in information-seeking behaviours as well as the evidence available through the AIC's operations, to ensure that an appropriate level of service is available to assist with research and information discovery. The paper examines the range of services available and how they rate in terms of client's expectations, including our ability to respond to technical innovation. Client preference to use the AIC in lieu of on campus computer laboratories and private computing facilities at home is also considered. Is the ambience of a facility and level of service available informing student choice to come onto campus? A 20% increase in people entering the Auchmuty Library since the AIC opened suggests that the AIC has revitalized the library service.

The paper examines quantitative data collected during the first 14 months of operation, as well as reference to qualitative evidence such as client surveys, to ascertain usage of services for recreation or study purposes. Usage of software to support desktop applications as well as scholarly databases, and use of the library's OPAC and internet activity is considered. The paper includes staff members' perspectives on the AIC based on their experiences from working in a converged service environment which includes a café operation. The level of staff training required to support the Information Common service is discussed, including a review of strategies which worked well, or which required a different approach.
Wednesday 8 February 2006   1120 - 1150


Ms Ksenija Obradovic, The University Of Auckland Library, New Zealand

Intrepid traveller: the University of Auckland Library on the e-book journey

E-books continue to thrive with e-book technology companies developing a variety of solutions for libraries, many of which offer excellent support for teaching and learning. The objective of this paper is to present the University of Auckland Library's experiences in integrating e-books into the learning environment. This is a complex issue and will be considered from different angles: selection, purchasing, providing access, cataloguing and user support and satisfaction.

Access to the first e-book was provided in 1998, when the first link was created from the Library catalogue. Currently, the Library makes available for its users over 200,000 e-books. Access is provided through the Voyager Library catalogue, LEARN course pages, and directly through e-book databases. The majority of electronic titles are part of purchased collections (e.g. netLibrary, ebrary, Oxford Reference Online, Early English Books Online) but access through the Library catalogue is also provided for free books if they are important for teaching and learning.

Managing this vast number of books is not easy. The variety of purchase models that vendors offer, varying formats of e-books, obtaining bibliographic records, bibliographical control, choosing avenues to provide access are just some of the problems the University of Auckland Library has to face and solve.

E-books have become an important part of the learning environment at the University of Auckland and students and staff increasingly appreciate their advantages. But to achieve this we constantly have had to promote these new resources. From the very beginning there was an awareness of the need to educate users (both staff and students) about what is available and what advantages e-books can offer in their particular disciplines, and to point out the potential for using them in an academic environment. This has involved seminars and tutorials for students and staff, information on Library web pages, and presentations for Library staff.

This paper will also look at the perceptions, preferences and acceptance of e-books among staff and students. A 2004 questionnaire indicated that print is the preferred format in many instances - users will often browse the e-book to see if it is useful, and then get the printed copy for a more substantial reading. However, the integration of full-text searching with other search capabilities allows more comprehensive retrieval of information than ever before. It was also clear that e-books have expanded the level of library service.

The most interesting question is what happens next. The paper will conclude with some observations on future developments in e-book collections at the University of Auckland Library.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1120 - 1150

CONCURRENT SESSION 2: Digital Repositories

Mrs Julie Woodland and Joanne Ng, Curtin University of Technology, WA

"Too many systems, too little time": integrating an eprint repository into a University publications system

The development of eprint repositories in Australian Universities is a growing trend. It is generally the University Library who leads the initiative to establish, maintain and promote the use and growth of the repository. A principle encouragement to academic staff to place their research output in the repository is the potential exposure it will provide for their work; complementary to traditional forms of scholarly communication such as peer-reviewed journals, books and conference proceedings. Despite some early indications that repository use has a positive impact on citations rates, academic staff has frequently been slow to take up the opportunity to participate in their institutions' early stages of operating a repository. One of the general concerns of researchers is the number of systems into which they may be required to enter publications data. Universities will usually require input to a local publications data system, which records the nature and level of research output for that institution, and also provides reporting to DEST. This form of publication reporting is seen by the University's management as a priority for academic staff, through the time and effort involved is generally unwelcome by those who need to enter the data themselves, or delegate its entry to administrative staff. Faced with the additional input to an institutional eprint repository, many researchers will be reluctant to participate. Whilst expressing support for the concept of placing their research into the repository, they also express frustration at the need to enter data into "yet another" University system. Many researchers suggest that if they could enter data into one system, then they would be more enthusiastic about contributing to the repository. Their ideal system would be one that captures publication data for administrative, reporting systems, and also provides data for a system that helps to expose and promote their work to the international research community.

A new project at Curtin University of Technology is aiming to satisfy both of these needs for its research community. The Library is now working with the Office of Research and Development to design and implement a system which will streamline the work of researchers in managing and reporting their publications data, whilst adding value to the process by uploading the data to the University's eprint repository, known as espace@Curtin.
The current development of a new publications system to replace an older, less efficient one is allowing a collaborative effort of analysis, design and implementation. As the awareness of the rationale behind using a repository starts to build amongst research staff across the University, the opportunity to build in repository functionality to the new University publications system is timely. With the current focus on research performance in Australian Universities, attention is turned towards publications data; both its management, and maximising its potential. It is hoped that the project at Curtin University will establish espace@Curtin as an integral corporate system; easier and more efficient to use, and an important mechanism for establishing Curtin's reputation as a research-focussed University.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1155 - 1230

CONCURRENT SESSION 2: Digital Repositiories

Mr Martin Borchert, Griffith University, Qld

Changing user behaviour using a digital repository system

In implementing its digital repository project using HarvestRoad Hive software, Griffith University is extending beyond the immediately apparent benefits of providing a technical solution to the management of, and access to, locally stored teaching and learning and library collections. By implementing a repository that is seamlessly integrated with existing systems, and so easy to use, Griffith intends to leverage how such a repository can be used to challenge the established academic culture, and change individual user behaviour. Organisational benefits such as improved quality control, greater efficiency and return on investment are expected. The basis of repository design, and the application of a repository system to teaching and learning objects, course readings and eprint collections is discussed within the context if academic staff user behaviour.

Universities are investing heavily in the design and development of educational resources and experiences, created by academics and flexible learning departments, and made available to students via institutional learning management systems. The problem is that academics tend not to share their teaching resources as they would share their research, and often delete or re-invent learning objects instead. By creating repositories that promote cross-searchable access to both locally and remotely developed collections, Griffith intends to develop an environment facilitating the development of online academic communities engaged in peer review, sharing and re-use of learning objects.

The transformation to online learning environments has necessitated university libraries, at considerable expense, digitise their existing hardcopy collections of thousands of selected journal articles and book chapters selected by academics and commonly referred to as course readings. Academic libraries also typically subscribe to hundreds of databases and tens of thousands of electronic journals. The problem is academics are choosing new print readings to be digitised without first considering existing alternative reading sources available from databases and ejournals. By channelling academics through online workflows that force them to first search for suitable online readings available through databases, and then check for existing digitised course readings, Griffith is changing academic staff user behaviour to extract greater value for money from existing digital resources before investing in new resources.

Many libraries have implemented institutional eprint repositories and have found it difficult and costly to encourage researchers to contribute their content. Researchers seem reluctant or indifferent to self-archiving their prints, and so library staff have offered to do it for them. Even supportive researchers have been reluctant to go through the motions of contributing their research papers to an eprint service after they have already submitted the same paper online, together with the same metadata to their institution's Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training - Higher Education Research Data Collection (DEST HERDC) management process. The challenge is to combine both the DEST HERDC and eprint submission processes into one seamless workflow. Griffith is developing a workflow to force the deposit of research publications into the institution eprint service as a by-product of mandatory submission to the HERDC process, thus streamlining the submission requirements for academics and greatly developing the eprint collection.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1155 - 1230

CONCURRENT SESSION 3: Teaching and Learning Environments

Ms Anita Crotty, University Of Canberra, ACT

Would you like a LOMS with your ILMS? Converging the Library and Learning Management Systems

What do you get when you cross librarians with educational technologists and curriculum designers? A learner-centred system for managing information and learning resources that also supports efficient business processes - the scope of a project underway at the University of Canberra.

Current Practice
Tertiary education institutions have traditionally purchased separate systems to manage library services and to manage content for online learning. Increasingly, learning object management and online learning delivery systems are including functions reminiscent of an ILMS, such as e-reserve modules. A number of ILMS now support digital object management and customised portal delivery of learning resources.

These systems are often implemented separately and operate with limited or token integration because they are managed by very different units in the organisation with somewhat different operational objectives and business processes. However, the more the requirements for their functionality converge, the greater the risks of duplicating rather than consolidating each system's value in terms of learning and teaching support.

This paper describes a single project to replace both systems at once at the University of Canberra. The scope was for integrated management and access by students and teachers to all "learning" resources irrespective of origin and format. This extended the brief beyond the functionality of an ILMS to include digital content used for learning activities, and electronic rights and compliance management.

The objective was the virtual, if not actual, integration of information and learning environments using standards-compliant approaches in the selection of software and in the description of all data objects so that the objects could be used for multiple purposes and navigated or presented by various interfaces.

Investing in standards-compliant systems and technology was expected to deliver improved and more cost-effective productivity and convenience for academic staff and students as well as for staff in the Library, and the Flexible Delivery Development Unit.

The success of the project is measured by a set of experiential 'ideal' outcomes:
- Students experiencing a holistic view of learning content that is capable of being explored laterally and vertically without the sense that multiple systems are being used;
- Teaching staff locating required content and easily incorporating it into a learning activity, with copyright and license status verified or harvested, or short-term licenses brokered online;
- Library staff conducting the business of sourcing, ordering, paying, describing and providing access to content by creating or harvesting and augmenting data, using internal and external data stores;
- Content authors within the University efficiently creating, assigning rights and access levels, publishing, aggregating, manipulating and archiving digital 'learning content' objects.

The paper discusses aspects of the project beyond the traditional ILMS selection process, analyses critical success factors for scoping and project management , and offers an approach for collaboration when library, ICT and teaching staff all have high stakes in the outcome.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1400 - 1430


Ms Christine Lewis, Public Library Services, SA

Wireless Technology for South Australian Public Libraries: pilot project 2005

Wireless technology has been available on the market for some time now and is readily accessible to the home-user via simple units that can be purchased from any IT hardware store.
PLAIN supports the wireless concept as a method of providing more flexible access for library users without the additional cost of purchasing extra desktop equipment to accommodate growing use. Libraries are currently limited to the number of PC's they have available for Internet usage and wireless technology would allow customers to utilize their own PC's and still reap the benefits of free Internet access via the PLAIN Network.

For PLAIN, undertaking to implement this facility will provide a manageable and quality service with controlled security authentication and consistency across the PLAIN network. Failing to meet this need may result in Libraries choosing varying methods of connectivity making network support difficult and potentially unmanageable. Security is of critical importance to the network infrastructure and PLAIN is keen to ensure that using such technology will not open the network to unwanted intrusion or virus attacks.

A pilot project was endorsed by the Libraries Board of South Australia to connect three (3) libraries with wireless connectivity.

The challenge for PLAIN Central Services is to provide a solution that will take into consideration the following;

o Responsibility of all stakeholders involved in the project
o Identify risks and issues that may have the potential to impact project outcomes
o Configuration to control usage and availability to the service
o Cost effective method providing a high level of security that does not put the network at risk
o Bandwidth management
o Management of Anti-virus and intrusion software
o Product reliability, diagnostic capability and the ability to cope with the number of expected additional users
o Library management requirements for;
o User authentication
o Training and;
o Evaluation

Evaluation will rely heavily on input from Library Managers and staff to assess the success of the project and provide sufficient information to determine the future of wireless technology within the public libraries of South Australia. Reporting and monitoring of bandwidth impact will be crucial to the success of the pilot.

After the pilot is completed and depending on the success of the trial, a roll out for all libraries is intended. A state wide roll out would ensure equity and access across the state and enable public libraries to be marketed as wireless enabled throughout the state.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1400 - 1430

CONCURRENT SESSION 5: Digital Repositories

Geoff Payne and Andrew Treloar, Monash University, Vic

The ARROW Project after 2 years: are we hitting our targets?

The Australian Research Repositories Online to the World (ARROW) project was funded by the Australian Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training in 2004 to investigate institutional research repository issues. This paper describes the original project goals, the process of selecting the software platform, the rationale for those decisions, and the consequences of those decisions in an institutional infrastructure context.

In June of 2003, the Australian Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training issued a call for proposals to "further the discovery, creation, management and dissemination of Australian research information in a digital environment" The Australian Research Repositories Online to the World (ARROW) project received funding of A$3.66 million for the years 2004-2006.

The original design brief as encapsulated in the bid document said (in part):
"The ARROW project (ARROW) will identify and test a software solution or solutions to support best-practice institutional digital repositories comprising e-prints, digital theses and electronic publishing. A wide range of digital content types will be managed in these repositories ... Initially ARROW will be tested in the four partner institutions, prior to it being offered more widely across the higher-education sector. The solution will be open-standards based, or will support open standards, and will facilitate interoperability within and between participating institutions."

The architecture to deliver on this bid involved a common repository storage layer, a series of workflow modules dealing with different content types, and range of search/exposure services.

After careful analysis of available candidates, the project decided to choose Fedora (jointly developed by Cornell and the University of Virginia) as the repository layer. The original bid to DEST had envisaged that the project would hire its own software developers to write the necessary workflow software. The ARROW project manager realised that a potentially far better option would be to engage a developer, preferably one with experience with our preferred repository. In July of 2004 the project announced [HREF9] in July that it was partnering with VTLS who already had a product on the market called VITAL that was built on top of Fedora. ARROW has licensed VITAL and is working with VTLS to extend the functionality of Fedora by commissioning a series of Open-Source Web Services.

The search/exposure services are being delivered through the National Research Discovery Service developed by the National Library of Australia, by exposure of ARROW contents to web search engines, and by support for SRU/SRW.

Now that the initial versions of the software are available and working successfully, the project is turning its attention to recruiting content and exploring the flexibility of the software solution. Monash University is investigating ways to make use of ARROW beyond its original constrained research output remit. Much of this work is still at an early stage, and will be able to be described in greater detail at the conference.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1400 - 1430


Mr Damian Lodge, Charles Sturt University, NSW

What can librarians learn from the Internet's 10 most popular sites?

The following paper will discuss the results from research undertaken during 2005 which examined the Internet's ten most popular web sites and the functions and features of these web sites that can be applied to library web pages. It is the intention of the author to provide a guide for conference participants that will assist librarians and web developers in maximising the controllable features of a web site (of course some libraries have limitations on design aspects from parent company web design standards). The research results will provide valuable information from commercial web sites that can be used to improve the functionality, content, linkages and metatags of library web pages.

Using results obtained from comScore Media Metrix, the 10 most visited web sites for February 2005 where:

Rank Property Unique Visitors(000)
  1. Yahoo! Sites 115,981
  2. Time Warner Network 112,199
  3. MSN-Microsoft Sites 110,586
  4. Google Sites 74,502
  5. eBay 62,021
  6. Ask Jeeves 42,135
  7. Amazon Sites 38,416
  8. About/Primedia 37,969
  9. Viacom Online 33,307
  10. Symantec 29,556

Total Internet Users 160,287

(Taken from http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=564, site accessed 1st May 2005)

Each of the above websites where examined using the following generic web design criteria:

Display - colour, font, space, layout
Functionality - linkages
Technology - applications, XML, developments
Metadata - information describing the web pages
Content - audience, quality
Purpose - education, marketing tool, search engine etc

The top 10 sites where chosen as they are the leading web sites in regards to web traffic and have between 1 to 4 million visits per day from unique visitors. All 10 web sites have had considerable research and development take place to achieve a balance between customer and company needs and requirements. These popular web sites serve a particular purpose for their parent company. This purpose is varied between all 10 sites, from online shopping, searching the internet and entertainment.

Library web sites have a different purpose which is to provide specialised information through the use of such products as online catalogues, databases and guides. Different types of libraries such as public, university and special libraries also have their own particular purpose. Although libraries and popular web sites have differing purposes the features can be transferred and are equally applicable to all web sites, e.g ease of navigation.

Comparisons are made against a sampling of current Australian library websites that include the National Library, Victorian Parliamentary Library and Central Queensland University Library. With concluding remarks centring around appropriate developments from the top 10 internet sites that can be applied within the real budgets limits of Australian libraries.


ComScore Media Metrix, 17th march 2005, Press Release - February Web Activity, http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=564, site accessed 1st May 2005

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1435 - 1505


Sandra Jeffries and Corey Wallis, University of Southern Queensland Library

Exploring the Application of RSS for Library Staff Professional Development and SDI Services

In 2004, the USQ Library Systems team implemented a blog for keeping Library staff informed of changes and additions to our electronic resource subscriptions. This became the preferred method for distributing information relating to new subscriptions, downtime, workarounds, features and so on. In addition to providing a better mechanism for communication, it also gave us a nicely archived record of electronic resource issues. Library staff on various public desks or over in the Faculty appreciated having a central repository for all information relating to these resources which they could access instantly online, especially when they didn't have access to their personal email from shared workstations. It also meant individuals did not need to retain copies of notification about these resources as the information could be retrieved easily at any time.

In 2005, the blog was migrated to the WordPress platform on Linux, sharing the server environment we implemented for ePrints. In addition to the blog for communication about electronic resources, additional categories were created for communicating systems issues relating to the ILMS (Virtua), and another for Library announcements of interest to the wider USQ population. During these early experiments with blogging as a library-wide communication tool, the USQ Systems Team were monitoring RSS developments which indicated that library staff would be able to benefit from a broad application of RSS feeds, such as desktop notification of newly published articles, book lists and tables of contents from publishers in addition to improved mechanisms for scanning professional reading sources (such as blogs, online journals, other web sites and so on).

Our Electronic Resources officer discovered a plug-in for WordPress which enables syndication of RSS feeds into blog categories. This in turn can be fed as RSS to Library staff. The Systems Team decided initially to create a "Professional reading room" environment for Library staff to keep up to date across a range of online media. It was increasingly evident that a number of staff were monitoring similar discussion lists and forwarding topics of discussion to one another in an ad hoc manner. WordPress syndication of RSS appeared to offer a solution for aggregating items of interest into a central location for access by all interested staff. Another perceived benefit of taking this approach was that we would not require staff to use any additional products, such as RSS readers, as they could browse the Blog like any other website. Items of interest could also be added manually, for example when announcements were made on vendor mailing lists.

The paper explores the project, how well the project was received by library staff and the cultural change issues encountered. We will conclude by exploring ways in which the principles could be applied as an SDI service to the wider academic population.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1435 - 1505

CONCURRENT SESSION 5: Digital Repositories

Mr Kevin Bradley, National Library Of Australia, ACT

Digital sustainability and digital repositories

The tasks associated with managing and backing up digital data are well known to IT managers, but the mere presence of the data stream is not the only criteria for preserving and maintaining digital content. Digital sustainability recognises that the continuity of digital information goes well beyond basic storing and managing of data and is integrated into the lifecycle of the information object. It includes both technical, social and economic considerations.

The meaning of the term "sustainable" is considered, and the issues that constitute sustainability elucidated, these include; the sustainability of the raw data, that is the retention of the byte-stream in its proper and logical and logical order so that it can be delivered as required identically to how it was first deposited; the sustainability of access to the intellectual meaning, so that not only that the data is retained, but that it can be rendered in future technical environments and that the content can be comprehended in a manner commensurate with the creators' intentions and user expectations; the economics of sustainability, this includes the continued viable existence of the institutions that support the technology, and/or those that own, manage, or gain value from, the digital materials stored therein. The need to evaluate social and economic forces, as well as technical, is a necessary part of sustainable design in order to produce a whole solution; the organisational structure of digital sustainability; which asserts the certain practices adhere to certain structures that surround digital repositories, and the sustainability and the value of the data, that is the period of time in which the digitally encoded information is relevant and valuable to the given community.

In 2004 a DEST funded project, the Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories (APSR) initiated an investigative process to establish a centre of excellence for the management of digital collections. The proposal has an overall focus on the critical issues of the access continuity and the sustainability of digital collections, and this paper draws on the investigation of these issues in the University sector.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1435 - 1505


Stephanie Foott and Simon Huggard, Monash University Library, Vic

A usability study of the library catalogue at Monash University Library

In September 2003, Monash University Library decided that a user-centred approach was needed to re-asess the usage and usability of the library catalogue software, which had been in place since 1998. As most decisions about labelling, colours, design, display details, functionality and other aspects of the catalogue had always been done by library staff, it was felt that a group needed to be formed to look at all aspects of usability of the catalogue.

Background research and planning were done during 2003 and the usability testing was peformed in small task-based groups from August 2004 to April 2005.

The Library decided that instead of using an outside contractor to come in and perform the task analysis and user study, it would seek the assistance of members of Monash University's own usability team to conduct a usability evaluation, as they had a very good grasp of the tasks required, the level of testing needed, had a lot of experience in usability testing of the University's web site and would not charge the library for their services.

A reference group and project teams were formed, and various aspects of usability were discussed such as: Labelling, Usage statistics/logs, Behaviour observation and analysis, What do people do / what do they prefer, Functionality, Is something easily usable and intuitive, and
Layout and visual design.

A list of possible things which library staff wanted to test were drawn up, with all of these aspects ranked and discussed as far as their viability in being able to be researched, measured, and tested. Quite a number of aspects were examined and details were listed as possible features to test, such as: Catalogue terminology (labelling), What search types do users use and which do they prefer, Are multiple rows used in the basic search screen, do they use subject searches, Do users select the correct records, do users know how to make various
loan requests, Do users know why certain loan requests cannot be placed and so on.

After meetings within the library and advice from the usability group, it was decided to focus overall, on aspects such as improving ease of use and the aesthetic aspects of the design of the user interface, and integrating two new features into the system: a directory-based LDAP login and a new Inter Library Loan module.

Four methods were proposed for the collecting of data to inform designdecisions:
o Examination of log files (to be carried out by library staff) o Analysis of competitors using the same library software (to be carried out by library staff) o Task-based usability evaluation (to be undertaken by the usability team) o User interviews (to be included as part of the task-based usability evaluation co-ordinated by the usability team).

After completing three rounds of usability testing, and after various meetings and log analyses, the project was completed in May 2005, with the actual new design being implemented in December 2005.
Some of the outcomes were:
1. A number of new button labels were tested and worked well. Examples were the renaming of Basic Search to Search, My Details to My loans, adding "Find more like this" and "Back to titles" and the removal of "Renew my loans" .

2. Search interface:A new search interface (basic search - single line) to the catalogue home page was added, the "basic search" tab was moved to a more prominent position and extraneous library navigation links were removed, rationalised or moved to the bottom of the screen.

A number of search options on the basic search page were removed or relabelled, due to users not understanding what they were, or the fact that they were little used. Examples of these were E-descriptors, Author-title, Keyword (Boolean) and Browse author headings (no limits).

3. Requesting featuresThe requesting features in the catalogue were chaged a number of times, all of which caused usability problems during the testing. The outcome has been that the labels such as "make a request", "holds" and "document delivery" were changed to "holds and loan services and requests" .

4. Other featuresOther features and issues were examined, including further future research. These will also be outlined in the paper.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1510 - 1540


Mr Sean Volke, Thomson Gale, NSW

Encouraging interaction online: the emerging roles of blogs/wikis/RSS in fostering and encouraging user participation

the role of rss in delivering information to the desktop
eg alternative approach to newsletters, the user creating their own newspaper using feeds from a variety of sources (eg SMH, NYTimes, The Guardian), delivered to their desktop.

the use of rss to monitor website changes and blogs. ie reducing the need to visit a whole bunch of sites to see if they've changed or with blogs being able to read the new entries without visiting the blog itself.

sample a few rss news readers + extension within firefox.

include a demo of how to set up syndicated feeds demonstrating the above.

blog as an alternative approach to the library website...with multiple authors enabled means library staff can contribute to the library website easily without needing much code or dealing with IT. The use of rss feeds to notify users of upcoming events, news, etc.

The emergence of wikis, what they are, where they're useful.

Wednesday 8 February 2006   1510 - 1540

CONCURRENT SESSION 5: Digital Repositories

Terry Morrow,JISC, UK

Introducing Shibboleth in the UK: a progress report

Since the mid-1990’s, the UK has been using a service-independent authentication and authorisation system known as Athens. Ahead of its time, Athens has been enormously successful with near universal take-up within the UK’s higher and further education communities. The majority of the companies and other organisations supplying services to the UK market have also made their services Athens compliant. Athens has, however, had limited adoption outside the UK.

Over the last two to three years the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC - the funding body that supports Athens) has been investigating, researching and reviewing developments in the area of identity management and access control and in 2004 reached the conclusion that it was in the UK’s interests to start moving towards adopting an infrastructure based on the Internet2’s Shibboleth architecture. Approximately £3.5million has been set aside to manage the transition, and this paper will detail progress to date, and put the UK’s work into the context of developments in the wider world.

Shibboleth seems a better long term solution for the UK for a number of reasons:
  • At the time of writing this abstract, it has already been adopted in the higher education and research communities in a number of countries including the USA, Finland, Switzerland, and several others in the process of investigating this and related technologies including Spain, France, the Netherlands and Australia. This makes it more attractive for commercial suppliers to make their products Shibboleth-compliant.
  • Shibboleth has intrinsic privacy protection mechanisms that better reflect the growing concern about these issues around the globe, especially in the USA and the European Community.
  • Shibboleth is a very flexible solution that can provide a sound basis for support of the growing number of both formal and ad-hoc multi-institutional and cross-border research and teaching networks that are arising around the globe.
The JISC is funding a range of activities including:
  • A research and development programme covering 15 different projects
  • Funding for the nationally-supported datacentres to modify their services to make them Shibboleth compliant
  • Supporting a series of distributed e-learning projects to enable them to support Shibboleth
  • Providing funding support for at least 20 institutions to help them investigate and introduce Shibboleth
  • The creation of a new support service that will provide information, advice and guidance to the “early adopter” institutions
  • Providing funding support for the existing Athens service to help them create gateways to enable Shibboleth institutions to access Athens protected resources and vice-versa.
By the time VALA 2006 takes place it will be possible to give a detailed account of progress with these activities, as well as reviewing how the UK’s work compares with developments in other countries. The presentation will also review progress in the supplier community, including academic journal publishers, subscription agents and the like, in making their services and products Shibboleth-compliant.

The author has been working in the higher education information services and library services sectors for over 25 years and is currently working on extended contract to the Joint Information Systems Committee on the project to migrate from Athens to Shibboleth.

Terry Morrow
JISC Consultant

Thursday 9 February 2006  1400 - 1430

CONCURRENT SESSION 8: Digital and e-publishing

Mr Paul Mercieca, RMIT University, Vic

Changing patterns in scholarly publishing: interim report on ARC funded research project

This paper reports on the progress of a three year ARC funded research project that is exploring issues associated with ongoing business models for digital scholarly publishing. The project, which commenced at the start of 2005, is based at the School of Business Information Technology at RMIT University and is being completed in association with CCH Publishing as an industry partner and representative.

While the ARC project itself is exploring broad changes within the publishing environment, this paper will focus on part of this research which is examining current Open Access publishing processes in the framework of ongoing sustainability; impact of policy change on access and potential changing patterns of usage of digital scholarly content.

Issues associated with the following questions are being explored:
1. What are the long term business models for sustainability of open access scholarly content?
2. What are the emerging access patterns for digital scholarly content and information?
3. What are the user needs and usage patterns in relation to digital scholarly content?

While initial debate within the literature on Open Access publishing suggested that new technology and open access publishing will 'cause the death of commercialised scholarly publishing', the current general acceptance is that multiple models co-exist in the scholarly publishing environment. However, there is not a clear understanding of the longevity of these models, especially on the potential impact on library purchasing pattern's and understanding of the changing reader's use and interaction within the domain of digital content access. As commercial publishers and aggregators continue to develop technology applications to foster ongoing access to their content; as aggregation services open their content for cross indexed access and as universities and professional association support and fund open access publishing, we need to develop clear understanding of the use and impact of such services on the actual reader. One of the aims of the ARC project is to attempt to map the changing scholarly publishing environment within the framework of both content provision and access.

To meet this aim a variety of data collection techniques will be employed. Specifically this progress paper will report on the interim results emerging from focus groups with selected industry representatives. These representatives are being drawn from current open access initiatives within Australian scholarly publishing houses, academic and student communities as well as from traditional publishing environments. While the paper is reporting on 'research in process', it will attempt to draw some initial trends emerging from the data collection process and indicate the ongoing focus for the project investigation.

Thursday 9 February 2006  1400 - 1430

CONCURRENT SESSION 10: Resource Capture and Access

Ms Anat Meitar, Jewish Museum Of Australia, Vic

Questions of terminology and classification in digitising a Jewish Culture Heritage Collection

The digitisation process of the collection of the Jewish Museum of Australia commenced in June 2004, using KE EMu software. The Jewish Museum has a collection of 12,000 items, which includes Judaica, documents, personal and organisational memorabilia, photographs, newspapers, textiles and contemporary art.

The purpose of the digitisation project and its benefits are well known. One of these is that local and international communities will be able to access the collection online in search for items. The audience's access to the online collection and the information available to them is largely dependent on, and limited by the museum's interpretation and classification of the objects. This paper discusses the role of classification systems in determining inner relationships between collection items. It also examines the way cultural Jewish language is used in electronic databases.

In the preliminary stage of customising KE EMu software to our collection needs, questions already raised regarding object types' definitions. Each object has the ability to be interlinked in a complex web of connections to other items in the collection, in a physical and historical context. These connections are to be determined by the curators of the museum, and will be available to the public as a given set of relationships. In the process of digitising our collection we acknowledged the importance of determining these relationships, and carefully re-examined our classification systems and terminology.

When looking at our current system, which is based on Robert G. Chenhall's System for classifying man-made objects, we realised it does not facilitate the special language needs of our collection. Jewish terminology, which consists of terms in Hebrew, Yiddish and English transliteration, is an unseparated part of the Jewish heritage collection. The digitising process provides an opportunity to look into this terminology and integrating it in the electronic database. A correspondence with Jewish museums around the world, which are engaging in a similar digitising process, emphasised the need for a unified terminology. Many of the museums shared our dilemmas and are building a set of Jewish related terms, and revaluating the currant terminology they are using.

What actions, therefore, do we need to take in order to bridge the language gap? To what extent do we determine for the users a prefixed understanding of the collection's items? What are the steps and considerations we should be aware of today, in this early stage of the digitisation project? These are essential questions, which are critical to digitising and electronically publishing Jewish heritage collections items.

Thursday 9 February 2006   1435 - 1505

CONCURRENT SESSION 7: IP, Copyright and Rights Management

Dr Marie-Louise Ayres, Dr Judith Pearce and Ms Dianne Dahlitz, National Library Of Australia, ACT

Bringing the stories to the people: online sound at the National Library of Australia

Over the last several years, the National Library of Australia has progressively digitised more than 100 000 collection items - in a number of different formats - and made them available online. Working on the principle of 'easiest to hardest', the Library has developed digitisation standards and workflows, persistent identification schemes, digital collections management procedures and applications, and digital delivery systems for pictures, printed music, maps, manuscripts and books. Each collection type has brought its own unique digitisation, management and delivery issues. Printed music and books, for example, requires administrative metadata sufficient to allow users to 'turn' pages. Maps require zoom and pan functionality. Images of manuscripts need to 'hang' off Encoded Archival Description finding aids.

The Library holds a 37 000 hour original sound recording collection, comprised principally of oral histories (many with timed summaries and up to 30% with transcripts) and folklore recordings. These resources have hitherto only been available to onsite users, or to users purchasing physical copies of sound recordings and associated documentation, limiting the collection user group to the serious or determined researcher. These 37 000 hours contain many of Australia's most important stories, ranging from interviews with senior politicians, leading arts figures and professionals to the stories and recollections of ordinary Australians from many walks of life to archival performance recordings of music in the Library's collection. Making these wonderful stories and sounds available to a much wider audience is a high priority for the National Library: considerable intellectual and financial investment has therefore been dedicated to making this possible.

This paper describes the National Library's project to make web delivery of its sound collections possible. The paper outlines the key infrastructure components required for routine web delivery of streamed sound files and XML encoded transcripts and summaries from a very large collection, and the standards adopted and/or adapted to facilitate delivery. It also describes the content conversion strategies required to convert analogue recordings to digital format, and to convert printed summaries and transcripts to encoded documents. It outlines the digital rights management infrastructure to be implemented in a further stage of the project, supporting mediated online access to items with restricted access conditions.

In addition, the paper discusses the cultural and workflow changes required to update existing acquisition, technical and descriptive procedures to recognise the new reality of online sound delivery. Problems encountered during the project - including a forty year legacy of less than transparent access conditions, more than two thousand hard copy only transcripts, the challenges of using proprietary streaming formats, and the difficulties of prioritising conversion work - are outlined.

The paper will conclude with a demonstration of the Library's online sound delivery system, and a brief view of the multiple discovery pathways to these remarkable resources.

Thursday 9 February 2006   1435 - 1505

CONCURRENT SESSION 8: Digital and e-publishing

Mr Ross Coleman, University Of Sydney Library, NSW

Sydney University Press - publication, business and the digital library

This paper will argue that the business strategies of the emerging e-press movement benefit from the values and standards that are part of the digital library.

The paper will discuss these values and standards and their relationship to the business processes of e-publishing. The paper will explore these relationships through developments at Sydney University Press (SUP), recently re-establishment as an electronic publisher based on the digital library platform of SETIS, the Scholarly Electronic Text and Image Service of the University of Sydney Library.

The business name and imprint of Sydney University Press - http://www.sup.usyd.edu.au/ - were re-registered in late 2003 and delegated to the Library to enable the University to address the new challenges of scholarly communication in a networked environment. The University Library has taken a leadership role in providing SUP as an electronic publishing platform "to undertake the publication of works of learning and to carry out the business of publication in all its branches".

The original Sydney University Press operated between 1962 and 1987 under the management of the University of Sydney. It's fate was that of many traditional University Presses - heavy in infrastructure and overly expensive to operate, the imprint was initially sold to Oxford University Press, then relinquished and left unused and un-registered from the 1990s.

Though re-established as part of the emerging e-press movement, the object of original Press resonated in the new networked environment - the objects of Sydney University Press shall be to undertake the publication of works of learning and to carry out the business of publication in all its branches [1962]. The imprint and brand name, also established and recognized, was adopted unchanged for the new e-press.

Many significant members of this e-press movement, in Australia as in the US and Europe, emerged from library environments, or from those collaborations that arose to address the challenges and opportunities around "scholarly communication". In Australia these operations include the Monash ePress, ANU ePress, and UTS ePress, and are cooperatively or jointly exploring means of collaboration and partnership within this new environment.

This paper will explore this transformation of digital library to publisher, the importance of the fundamental values, processes and standards of the digital library, the development of publishing infrastructure and the need for a pragmatic business approach, even as a value-add to open access. The paper will illustrate this transformation with example of publications and product. The paper will emphasise the importance of, as well as give a practical illustration, of the kinds of new roles and relationships that underlie this transformation - the new roles that in many ways reflect core values of librarianship

In its course the paper will also touch briefly on the realities and myths around the "scholarly communication" debate including the open access debate.

Thursday 9 February 2006   1435 - 1505


Ms Deidre Kiorgaard, National Library, ACT and Miss Ebe Kartus, Deakin University, Vic

A rose by any other name?: from AACR2 to Resource Description and Access

Resource Description and Access is a new standard for description and access designed for the digital world. Due for publication as a web-based tool in 2008, RDA will change the way information professionals work.

This paper charts the drivers which are shaping RDA's development, from the shift to online publishing to changes in the way information professionals work. It explains why simply revising AACR2 is no longer an option. Specifically the paper clarifies how the "class of materials" concept has limited the extent to which AACR could be adapted to new media, and has led to inconsistency in the application of rules for different media. The card catalogue approach, which is inherent in AACR2, is inappropriate in today's environment. The language and layout of AACR make it hard to use, and unlikely that the standard would be adopted outside the library community. Even within the library community, library administrators question the value of using a standard that is perceived to be unnecessarily complex, and they call for simplified metadata.

This paper describes how RDA responds to these challenges, and outlines the key features of the new standard. RDA will contain new introductions with clear statements of both the principles behind the rules and the functions of the catalogue. Part I covering resource description will remain, but it will contain more consistent general rules that are applicable to all resources and are more flexible to accommodate new media. Part II will now focus on access points and relationships, while a new Part III will be added on the form of access points or authority control. Together these changes will pave the way for improved catalogue design and a greater user focus. In recognition of changes to the way cataloguers work, RDA will be optimised for use as a web-based tool.

This paper also discusses the relationship between RDA and other international library standards developments, such as IFLA's draft statement of International Cataloguing Principles. The influence on the development of RDA of models such as FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) and FRAR (Functional Requirements for Authority Records) are discussed. The likely impact of the new standard on the ISBDs and MARC are examined. RDA is also placed in context with resource description standards from outside the library world.

Information is given on how individual information professionals or library administrators can influence the development of RDA. Until now, AACR2 has been revised and maintained by the Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR (JSC) acting on proposals from JSC's constituencies. The role of the constituencies, such as the Australian Committee on Cataloguing (ACOC), has now changed in relation to the process of rule revision. Both this new process and the timeframe for the publication of the new standard are outlined.

Friday 10 February 2006   1045 - 1115

CONCURRENT SESSION 11: Information Management and Knowledge Sharing

Eve Young, Lynne Horwood and Shirley Sullivan, University of Melbourne, Vic

Supporting e-research at the University of Melbourne

The Information Division is currently involved in a realignment to better support information management and eresearch. The paper will detail the strategies that the Information Division is implementing to support eresearch and information management within the University.

Existing examples of enterprise systems at the University of Melbourne include the Learning Management System and UMER (University of Melbourne Eprints Repository). UMER is a repository for research material, using GNU eprints.org, an open source software. Now that it has been operational for three years, the drawbacks are appearing; for example, the software does not handle materials other than print in a graceful manner. There is now a wider choice of open source software to handle institutional repositories. The University of Melbourne is considering a move to implement a more sophisticated software package than GNU eprints.org to manage digital assets in a multiplicity of formats.

The University also maintains a considerable number of non OAI (Open Archives Initiative) compliant databases. These contain scholarly information assets such as research output and data, and learning objects. Curation of these databases requires management informed by national and international standards and best practice. There is a need to extend OAI compliance to share metadata/taxonomies of digital objects to ensure both preservation and access.

These enterprise systems and storage facilities need to be robust and sustainable. They require central management and experienced Information Division (ID) staff to work with researchers and establish middleware. A further consideration is whether a single repository will be sufficient to meet the diverse requirements regarding formats and access conditions of the different communities, or whether an approach where multiple repositories will co-exist will better meet the University's needs for management of a wide range of digital formats.

The culture at Melbourne emphasises a client-focused approach where the ID staff partner with academic departments and business units to assemble suitable project teams to translate the vision into technical solutions. In developing a widely shared and understood information strategy, it is essential to work within the particular organisational structure and culture.

A raft of products has been purchased which, when implemented and integrated, will complement existing enterprise information systems. Some examples are the Common Search Interface, the Digital Asset Management System, and enhancements to the Integrated Library Management System, such as the Electronic Resource Management module. These new products will require workflow changes, along with concomitant training needs. They will also produce significant changes in the way information is managed and disseminated.

The paper will explore ID initiatives which support eresearch and information management using new technologies which emphasise interoperability and flexibility.

Friday 10 February 2006   1045 - 1115

CONCURRENT SESSION 12: Collaboration and Consortia

Ms Fiona Rigby, Micheala O'Donovan and Sam Searle, National Library Of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa

National, cross-sector, collaborative projects that worked at the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa

In the past year the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa has facilitated successful collaborative projects across central and local government and other sectors. This paper will focus on case studies of 3 collaborative projects that have made an impact on New Zealand's information landscape. Each of these projects has required different approaches to collaboration. The technical architectures, governance structures and cost models that have been tested through these projects have evolved to meet the needs of diverse audiences and to fulfil the missions of different sets of stakeholders.

This paper will share the many highlights and lessons learned and will suggest successful strategies that have been developed for managing collaborative projects.

The 3 projects are:

EPIC (www.epic.org.nz) - a consortium of 170+ libraries. In a move that is the first of its kind in New Zealand, public, education, research and special libraries have joined together to buy collective access to full-text e-resources, from Thomson Gale and EBSCO.

EPIC drew together an exceptional level of commitment from New Zealand libraries - with 88% of public libraries, 30% of special libraries, 95% of tertiary libraries all members of EPIC. The Ministry of Education has also funded every New Zealand school for the first two years. EPIC's point of difference is that the e-resource licence was negotiated as an 'all of country' deal: every person in New Zealand can access the resources through a consortium member library - be it local library, education library, work library or the National Library of New Zealand.

AnyQuestions.co.nz (www.anyquestions.co.nz) - a collaboratively run service which puts librarians online to help school students find quality electronic information at the right level for their needs. AnyQuestions.co.nz is backed by the Ministry of Education, and staffed by librarians from the Auckland, Manukau, Wellington and Christchurch public libraries and the National Library of New Zealand.

AnyQuestions.co.nz uses chat-based software in one-to-one transactions with students and makes extensive use of co-browsing technology. Although not a new concept, AnyQuestions.co.nz is noteworthy for providing:
" a reference service tailored to schoolchildren's curriculum needs
" a bilingual service - operators fluent in Te Reo M?ori staff the service for the first hour every day
" a transparent, accountable and safe service resulting from a design requirement whereby transcripts are unable to be edited by either party to the transaction
" a successful collaboration between central and local government agencies.

Matapihi (www.matapihi.org.nz) - a web-based metadata gateway service to the online digital collection of some of New Zealand's premier cultural organisations. As the lead organisation for the Matapihi project, the National Library of New Zealand has worked closely with archives, museums and galleries, as well as other libraries.

In October 2004, the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) awarded Matapihi the top Crème de la Crème Innovation prize at its (e)-vision Awards. The judges noted the innovative use of metadata, the successful collaboration, and the scalability of the distributed architecture, which will enable Matapihi to grow as more and more organisations digitise their collections.

Friday 10 February 2006   1045 - 1115

CONCURRENT SESSION 13: Information Literacy and the Digital Divide

Don Schauder, Graeme Johanson and Wal Taylor, Monash University, Vic

Libraries, ICT policy, and Australian civil society: issues and prospects from a national consultation

This paper reports and interprets, from a library viewpoint, findings from a national consultation towards an information economy strategy for Australian civil society. The consultation had two purposes:
- To assist with Australia's contribution to the second part of the UN/ITU World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS2, Tunis 2005)
- To complement Australia's Framework for the Information Economy 2004-2006 , a major policy statement by the Australian government.

The consultation built upon similar work conducted in preparation for WSIS1. The 2003 consultation resulted in a Statement from Australian Civil Society, presented at the first part of the Summit held in Geneva.

The term 'civil society' is relatively little used in Australia, but is becoming a widely accepted international term. In Australia civil society is more commonly called the 'community' or 'third' sector. Alongside government and business, civil society shapes the context for the lives of all Australians - its health is a fundamental condition for a free, democratic and prosperous Australia.

There is much that the effective use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can do to strengthen the capacity of civil society to carry out its roles, ranging from local sports clubs and neighbourhood houses to international emergency aid. Effective information and knowledge creation, sharing and use are essential to civil society. Libraries, together with other knowledge institutions, have a major role to play.

The consultation was funded as a research project by the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA), with matching funds from the Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University. It was auspiced by the Roundtable on Australian Civil Society (RACS), and conducted by Monash University's Centre for Community Networking Research (CCNR) in conjunction with the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC) , a Brisbane based NGO. Consultation sessions were conducted in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with participation from interest groups across the spectrum of Australian civil society.

The paper will deal with the topic in three parts:

1) The genesis of the two rounds of RACS consultations in 2003 and 2005, and their design as participative research projects.

2) The conspectus of current views on ICT and civil society, which emerged from the RACS consultations, with interpretation of their relevance to libraries. Major themes that emerged from the consultations were:
· Perspectives on the nature of civil society
· Civil society, social capital and the learning society
· Ongoing networks and keeping up with technology
· Digital inclusion and consumer choice
· Participation in the political process: 'e-democracy'
· Governance and co-ordination
· Sustainability of programs and projects
· Research needs

3) The draft strategies on ICT and civil society proposed to DCITA as a result of the 2005 consultation, and their implications for libraries.

The paper concludes with suggestions as to how library stakeholders at the local, state, national and international levels can contribute to the strengthening of civil society through sustained policy and service development, underpinned by research, and undertaken in collaboration with other civil society stakeholders, business and government.

Friday 10 February 2006   1120 - 1150

CONCURRENT SESSION 11: Information Management and Knowledge Sharing

Mr Peter Thompson, La Trobe University Library, Vic

"Does it matter if the users are actually dead?" A database to re-connect with the borrowers and collection of a hundred year old library

This paper describes the development of a database to facilitate research into 19th century library management practices and borrower behaviour in Bendigo, Australia.

The technical aspects of the database will be covered, and these will be contrasted with the idiosyncratic yet effective approaches to information management developed in the Sandhurst Mechanics Institute Library over 120 years ago.

The applicability of these systems to a modern relational database schema will be explored.

As background, the library at La Trobe University Bendigo holds the remaining collection of the Sandhurst Mechanics Institute Library, numbering over 5000 volumes of material ranging from the late 18th century to the early 20th century.

A research project was undertaken to develop a web-accessible relational database of the collection, which had not been catalogued since the 19th century.

The database schema was designed to reflect the cataloguing and numbering systems utilised in the library in the 1880's. These systems were largely locally developed by library staff in the 1860's to 1800s.

The schemes proved surprisingly versatile and effective in a database environment, and worked well to both illustrate and model the organisation of the library and to manage the data in a modern database.

The talk will explain the contents of the database, which is focussed on the books as being artefacts, as well as bibliographic resources. Consequently, details of binders and booksellers labels and stamps, readers marginalia, presentation notes and any other physical evidence of how the books and the library interacted with the community are held in the database.

Similarly, the organisation of the borrowers ledger is an interesting and effective example of information management. The library holds the records of borrowing from 1900 through to 1945, all contained within one large ledger.

This too is being modelled in a database, to investigate user borrowing patterns, and reading interests in the early 20th century Bendigo.

Plans for the incorporation of images, and possible digitisation of individual items in the collection will be noted.

As well as illustrating what is basically a database development project, it is intended that the information management practices of a little-known and virtually unexplored area of library history be highlighted.

Nineteenth century library practices are often dismissed as being primitive and unprofessional. It is hoped that this talk will illustrate that these librarians, working in isolation, without benefit of formal training, developed and ran information systems which served their communities well, in this case for over ninety years.

The idea will be put forward that, just as is the case to-day, these librarians responded to information management challenges with inventiveness and discipline.

Friday 10 February 2006   1120 - 1150

CONCURRENT SESSION 12: Collaboration and Consortia

Geoff Chamberlain, North Shore Libraries and Jeff Shaw, North Shore City Council, New Zealand

Consortium - the way of the future

Early in 2002 five Auckland libraries decided to form a consortium to purchase and install shared library management software. The libraries involved are Auckland, Manukau, North Shore, Rodney and Waitakere which, between them, provide library service to over 1.2 million people, or a third of the country's population. The core of the system will be a combined bibliograpic database and a combined register of library patrons. The project, known as Smarter Systems, is run under the auspices of the region's shared services programme, and is one of the few local government initiatives to have gained serious traction. The project has lead to strong collaboration between libraries and Council IT departments which are providing the hosting for the new system.
The authors (who comprise the management Board of the project) outline the history of the project including the compilation of an RFI which met the needs of all the members, the selection of Innovative Interface's Millennium software as the preferred system and the year long implimentation process, using a team of at least 70 people, to reach the phased go-live in June and July 2005.
The paper discusses the effect the formation of a consortium has had on each library and its staff and the implications for the provision of services into the future. While the new system will not have a huge immediate impact on the library user the foundation is being laid for a future growth in services that no member library could afford individually. The paper will also discuss the mechanics of preparing 1300 staff for the changes and how elements of cost sharing were dealt with.
As well as the analysis of the pragmatic details of consortium formation, functioning and service vision the paper also looks at the importance of the relationships between the five library managers, and how this developed to include IT managers while still maintaining the original interpersonal co-operation and the shared vision. The authors look to the future and discuss what membership of a consortium means on an individual basis, the implications for loss of job security and autonomy, and balance it against the opportunities that now arise for significant growth in service to the region's residents and the potential to have the ability to concentrate on development, such as joint technical services, rather than on routine tasks.
Year 2 of the project which begins in July 2005 will see the installation of a further suite of software modules which are the growth element of the project and which will allow the consortium to engage more closely with library users. Expansion of the consortium is planned, probably for year 3, when at least one more Auckland region library will join. Interest in membership is strong from other regions around the country. There is a possibility that the only other New Zealand Millennium site will be Massey University which has an Auckland campus, a situation that will provide yet another oppportunity for collaboration.

Friday 10 February 2006   1120 - 1150

CONCURRENT SESSION 13: Information Literacy and the Digital Divide

Mr Barry Nunn, State Library Of NSW

Putting the pieces together: connectivity, content and confidence

Providing connectivity to public libraries has been a State Library of New South Wales priority since 1997. But without content and the skills for effective use of this content, connectivity is of little value. This paper explores initiatives to enhance the use of online content. Building skills and confidence in staff and clients are important elements in maximising the benefits of enhanced connectivity.

NSW.net -- connectivity and content
The tyranny of distance is a reality for many people in NSW. Because the cost of Internet access is still high in some areas people are missing out on information and online services. By providing cost-effective access to the internet for councils and public libraries, NSW.net has made greater community access to the Internet a priority.

NSW.net also provides public libraries and their clients with free access a number of quality online information resources.

With initial support from BHP Billiton and the Commonwealth government, the State Library of NSW's Skills.net NSW has been operational since April 2003. Skills.net uses a "train the presenter" model to equip public library staff with appropriate Internet and presentation skills to deliver a suite of Internet courses to local communities. Training materials for courses are developed and maintained by the State Library. More than 3000 people in over 100 NSW communities have now participated in Skills.net workshops. An evaluation in late 2004 concluded:

Skills.net NSW is a well-conceived program that offers public libraries in rural and regional NSW an efficient and cost-effective means to provide basic Internet training to their community… Participating libraries have welcomed the training materials, staff development and grant resources provided by the program, and can readily identify the benefits the program offers to them.

Strategic searching
An alternative approach to enhancing the use of online content is currently being explored in the development of a training course for public library staff. Called Strategic Searching, the four module course has been developed by UTS Training and Development Services on behalf of the State Library. Strategic Searching aims to fill skill and knowledge gaps in a diverse public library workforce of professionals and paraprofessionals, many of whom work in isolation. As a result, they often have little contact with their peers, few opportunities to update their skills and even more limited access to formal education and training.

Strategic Searching aims to increase knowledge of the Internet and databases, improve participant's skills in using them, and build their confidence. The course has been designed to assist participants integrate their learning with the day-to-day requirements of their work. Each module has an illustrated manual with examples and exercises, designed not only to support learning but also serve after the course as a reference tool. With improved knowledge, skills and confidence, not only can public library staff better serve their clients, they can also more effectively assist their clients to use online content themselves.

This paper will report on progress of the Strategic Searching and optimum modes of delivery.

Friday 10 February 2006   1155 - 1230

CONCURRENT SESSION 11: Information Management and Knowledge Sharing

Dr Andrew Treloar, Monash University And ARROW Project, Vic

The Monash University Information Management Strategy: from development to implementation

This paper describes the process of developing an information management strategy for Monash University, presents an overview of the end result, and describes the process of implementation so far.

The development process commenced in 2002 at a very low resourcing level, arising from informal discussions at an IT Strategic Planning Retreat. As interest grew around the university, the activity was then funded as a project in 2003. This allowed time-release for a project manager, and also helped to part-fund (CAUDIT also provided funding for this activity) a study tour in October 2003. This study tour visited sites in the UK that had taken part in the JISC-sponsored Information Strategy initiatives of the late 1990s, and in the US that had been recommended by Gartner. The study tour (report available online at http://www.caudit.edu.au/caudit/awards/2003/03traveltreloar.html) found that only one university (Glamorgan) had successfully developed an information management strategy that made a difference.

A steering committee with wide high-level representation was created in mid 2003 to provide input and drive the activity forward. The activity for 2003 focussed primarily on scope and definition issues, as well as on building consensus among the key players. The results of the study tour suggested ways in which information needs can be integrated into strategic planning but did not provide a clear model for the strategy itself.

Accordingly, in 2004 the project focussed on identifying clear principles for a strategy and undertaking a series of focus-group interviews to identify 'information painpoints'. The results of these interviews were analysed for recurring themes, and the strategy was created around these themes. The resulting document is a comprehensive analysis of information management challenges and issues at Monash University and runs to around 110 pages and 35,000 words. After first describing the theoretical work undertaken by the Information Management Steering Committee, it describes a set of 9 Information Management Principles. The strategy then analyses the university according to its realms of operation: Learning and Teaching, Research and Research Management, Administration and Support, Cultural Activities and Community Engagement, and Commercial Activities and IP Management. In addition to specific recommendations in each of these realms, there are a large number of what are described as 'common elements' that apply across more than one realm. For each area discussed, there is an discussion of the background issues, an analysis of what needs to be done, and a set of recommendations.

The strategy will be progressively implemented over the next 3-5 years as part of ongoing operational activity and new development projects. An internal communication plan for the strategy will be developed and rolled out in 2005. Implementing the strategy has already been accepted as one of the five key priorities for Monash University in 2006. A number of projects will also be funded in 2006 that directly flow from the work of the Information Management Steering Committee. The presentation at the conference will also be able to update attendees on progress over the whole of 2005.

Friday 10 February 2006   1155 - 1230

CONCURRENT SESSION 12: Collaboration and Consortia

Mr Andrew Wells, University Of New South Wales

The Dictionary of Australian Artists Online: an introduction

The University of New South Wales Library and College of Fine Arts are leading an ARC funded project to create the Dictionary of Australian Artists Online (DAAO). Other partners include the University of Sydney, the National Library and National Gallery, the State Library of NSW and the Art Gallery of NSW. This three year project commenced in 2005. The DAAO aims to be the authoritative online biographical dictionary of Australian artists by establishing a definitive open access source of information on Australian artists. The DAAO will be built on the foundation of works by the late Professor Joan Kerr, supplemented by Professor Vivien Johnson's work on western desert artists and Roger Butler's work on print makers. The DAAO's scholarly framework will be based on Professor Kerr's singular approach to her interpretation of a dictionary and her challenge to traditional ways of art history. Kerr drew indigenous art into the canon of Australian art.

The DAAO intends to build a publishing system for the submission, dissemination and archiving of orginal research on Australian artists. Linking to digitised content and related services in Australian cultural organisations is another goal of the project. Copyright and rights management are major complexities of the project. The project will also address issues in Indigenous art.

This paper will outline the origins and goals of the project, and provide a report on the current status of the DAAO. The project will proceed with two parallel streams: the technical will develop suitable database and publishing systems; the editorial will address quality control, rights management and copyright issues. As the range of stakeholders in this project is so wide, the governance and collaborative mechanisms will be described. Potential relationships to other projects will be addressed including the Australian Dictionary of Biography Online and the National Library's People Portal Project.

This ambitious project brings together academic librarians, academic researchers, curators in cultural institutions, librarians in cultural institutions, and information technology specialists into a unique collaboration.

Friday 10 February 2006   1155 - 1230

CONCURRENT SESSION 13: Information Literacy and the Digital Divide

Ms Jo Manuel, Public Library Services, SA

Impact of IT trainees in rural communities

Public libraries have a critical interest in the uptake and use of IT in their communities to deliver social and learning advantanges. Using the established public library network and working collaboratively with Local Government, councils, schools and various State Government agencies, SA public libraries have developed a suite of IT programs to address information technology issues on behalf of their customers.

Metropolitan libraries have developed programs such as Seniors On Line, developed specialised libraries with the youth market in mind and custom build IT training suites within new building projects. However, rural areas remain comparatively disadvantaged in accessing and developing information technology skills and competencies. The ongoing challenge has been to develop service delivery models whereby IT initiatives can be developed and sustained in a cost effective and relevant manner for rural communities.

Utilising established State and Federal government funding regimes and special grant funding, a program of IT Traineeships was developed specifically for rural libraries. In the Get Connected @ Your Library project, young people (aged 17-24 years) from local communities were offered a 12 month IT Traineeship which placed them in a local public library, supported their accredited Certificate III in Information Technology and provided them with opportunities to develop both workplace and vocational skills.

The partnership approach required significant commitment from councils and schools to be the employer with the Library Manager adn library staff providing ongoing supervision, workplace development and guidance. TAFE provided training with regional Career Employment Groups responsible for contracts and monitoring of incentive payments. PLAIN Central Services took on the project management role to facilitate outcomes for all stakeholders.

The impact of the program on rural communities will be presented in a series of case studies. The studies will include a joint use, school community library in the far north of the state in the mining town of Leigh Creek; a standalone community library in the regional hub town of Pt Augusta and a suburban fringe library located in the Adelaide Hills.

Outcomes to be investigated include the impact of a predominantly male IT trainees in the library environment, the community response from the younger demographic of library users and the development of informal mentoring relationships sponsored within the library context.

The trainees also have assumed a role in supporting the Local Government website design and development tool, Unity which is being rolled out across the state. The development of library websites that can be directly attributed to trainee involvement will be measured and assessed.

The paper will also consider which outcomes have been achieved against key performance indicators and what learning has occured to inform future initiatives for rural public library services in SA.

Friday 10 February 2006   1400 - 1430

CONCURRENT SESSION 14: Digitisation and Managing Digital Objects

Peter McGrath and Shirley Firth, State Library of Victoria

Heritage Map Digitisation: an adventure in applying aspects of Digital Preservation Policy

In November 2003, The State Library of Victoria (SLV) appointed a dedicated Digital Preservation Specialist. As part of the SLV's ongoing commitment to things digital, this represented a new paradigm for the Library. While preservation and conservation of analogue material is well understood, the framework and discipline of Digital Preservation is still in its infancy.

A key outcome of this position has been the development of a Digital Preservation Policy (V1.0 released April 2005) including planning and procedures for the handling and creation of digital objects.

The Policy includes a number of principles including:
o Image capture standards
o Metadata (embedded)
o Identification in the catalogue record
o Future proofing of digital objects
o Selection of "archival" media
o Copyright and rights management issues.

Many of these principles have been detailed into procedures/guidelines that sit immediately below the policy. Image capture standards have been established for continuous tone images, and include recommendations for line drawings.

In mid 2004 a project team was established to catalogue and investigate the feasibility of digitising a series of oversized plans from the collection. The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works plans (over 4000 in total) are the most comprehensive record of Melbourne's urban development held by the State Library of Victoria. The series was produced over a thirty year period from the early 1890s to the 1920s. The plans are extremely detailed with a scale of 40 feet to the inch. Many of the plans are in a very fragile condition, particularly those of the CBD. They are among the highest used in the Map collection at SLV. The purpose of the digitisation project was not only to increase access to the collection, but to create a high resolution master file that could be repurposed for other outputs than web delivery. One thousand of the plans, those of central Melbourne and the inner suburbs were selected for digitising.

This digitisation case study shows the how the Digital Preservation Policy influenced many aspects of the project.

To date, 250 of the MMBW plans have been successfully digitised. A dedicated XML programmer was employed as part of the project. Investigations of JPEG2000 as a viable web surrogate have been undertaken, and compared with other wavelet-based file formats. It is expected that online access to the MMBW collection will be available via the SLV website www.slv.vic.gov.au by late 2005. Starting with the CBD area, the maps in surrounding suburbs will be scanned until the total of 1000 maps is complete.

There have been many lessons learned in undertaking such a project, and this paper describes in detail how many of the decisions were made.

Friday 10 February 2006   1400 - 1430

CONCURRENT SESSION 15: Application Customisation and Open Source

Mr David Funnell, Eastern Regional Libraries, Vic

Brushtail - an open source library intranet

Brushtail is an intranet application developed at Eastern Regional Libraries that is now available as free software.

The purpose of the intranet is to provide a portal for staff to quickly access information. The intranet allows keyword searching of content. Previously, manuals and policies were in print format. Putting this information on the intranet has made it easier to keep documentation up to date and faster to search. A search result may retrieve information that is distributed across different manuals and policies.

When the staff intranet first began at Eastern Regional Libraries, it was composed of static html. This resulted in the "webmaster bottleneck" problem. All changes were made through the intranet administrator. What was need was a content management system that would allow distributed authorship, and allow that authoring to be done through a web browser. Brushtail was developed in-house to address this need. It was designed to allow the intranet to administrated through a web browser. The administration of user permissions and passwords is also configured through a web interface. Content management can be delegated to staff who do not need html skills.

The Brushtail application was developed in the PHP open source web scripting language. The intranet application runs on an Apache web server and stores data in a MySql database. This server software is cross platform and freely available on the Internet.

The intranet also included some booking systems. A PC booking system allows library staff to take patron computer bookings. This replaced a paper based booking system. Staff can now take bookings for any branch from any computer in the library. There is a resource booking system that can be used for equipment bookings, community room bookings, training room bookings, display cases and so on.

Calendar functionality is also included. The administrator can create calendars with different applications. ERL has a calendar that features library events, school holiday activities, public straining and staff training. This can easily be separated into separate calendars. The calendar system can be used to take bookings for library events and public internet training. Library staff can book themselves into staff training sessions.

Other features include a "reference desk" for logging deferred reference enquiries, a calendar listing of casual staff and a noticeboard where managers advertise available shifts.

ERL has made this intranet application available freely available to any libraries that may wish to use it. It has a project homepage, http://home.aanet.com.au/brushtail, from where it can be downloaded. The website includes documentation and updates.

Friday 10 February 2006   1400 - 1430

CONCURRENT SESSION 16: Managing Internal and External Stakeholders

Sharon Karasmanis, La Trobe University, Vic

Online Tutorials: Delivering training in VDX Document Delivery to end users - on campus, off campus and offshore

In 2003 La Trobe University Library implemented VDX software to manage all interlending and document delivery activity. The Windows administration client manages all staff functionality; and Z Portal, the web based customer interface provides request management and desktop document delivery functionality for academic staff and postgraduate students. In March 2004, the product was made available to all end users on campus, as well as off campus and offshore students.

The system relies on end users to search and place requests for loan or copy from the search results. Loans are delivered to the home library for collection, and documents are scanned to the document store for online retrieval. Early on in the implementation stage it became apparent that training would be a significant issue particularly during the early stages. Training was carried out regularly on campus, and site visits were conducted to deliver training to the City Campus and medical research institutes, however due to staffing pressures, this was not sustainable in the long term. There was also concern about remote off campus students’ access to training, and in particular offshore students in China, Japan and Vietnam, and their ability to use the system efficiently.

In December 2004 five online tutorials were produced in response to this urgent need, and customised to each user group, depending on each group’s service entitlement. The idea of an audio/video product would enable the student to have a firmer interpretation and understanding of what the system and service offers. The simple mechanical step by step directions give a conceptual understanding of the processes required to search, place requests and retrieve documents. The software used was Camtasia Studio, a TechSmith product. This product creates professional looking videos of PC desktop activity in real time and can be published in Flash, CD-ROM or streaming video format.

This paper examines the problems delivering software training to library patrons both on and off campus, in particular to remote areas; and analyses one of the solutions in the form of online tutorials employed to address this need. The software used is explained, as are the methods utilised to record the tutorials effectively; and what factors were required to ensure a professional and functional educational tool was produced. Feedback from end users is examined and evaluated, to consider the ease of use and level of understanding of the tutorials. Electronic access problems are investigated and solutions for future improvements are considered.

Friday 10 February 2006   1435 - 1505

CONCURRENT SESSION 14: Digitisation and Managing Digital Objects

Mr John Laurie, University Of Auckland Library, New Zealand

Reviving the Past: The Early New Zealand Books Online Project at the University of Auckland Library

Libraries around the world are playing a major role in putting national literatures into electronic form. The ENZB project at the University of Auckland Library aims to provide the complete corpus of significant material published about New Zealand in the first two thirds of the 19th century.

This paper will look at the technical processes we are using to convert printed text to electronic format for presentation on the web. It will also discuss software, standards and costs.

The ENZB has been an in-house project using OCR software. Policies and guidelines have mostly been formulated in response to the problems encountered along the way. The system has been refined and improved with each new book and we now have a robust process which can produce proof-read text and page images on the web at a rate of up to 20 pages per hour.

Books are scanned on a flatbed scanner and spell-checked with FineReader 7. Images of pages are saved as 300dpi unpacked greyscale TIFF images for archival purposes. Text is saved as HTML to retain italics mark-up.

Editing the complete text for a book with NoteTab includes the removal of unwanted spaces and font tags, and the conversion of HTML tags to their XML equivalents. Further XML tags are added to create links to page images and illustrations, and to format footnotes, poetry and tables.

The text is proofread at the same time as it is marked up. Unusual nineteenth century spellings, especially of proper names, are added to a list which is part of the database and links researchers to standard forms.

TIFF image files are batch edited with Photoshop to create resized 96dpi JPG page images for the web. Illustrations are copied at normal and double normal size.

b-engine software is used to render the XML TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) files for the web. It provides very fast search capabilities, keyword-in-context display of hits and highlighted search terms in results pages. Page layouts, fonts and colours are all customizable. The full text of the original book is linked to images of each original page.

This is an important project for New Zealand. Many valuable 19th century books are out of print and difficult to access in closed collections. Putting them into electronic form, and making them available on the web preserves them for future generations and allows researchers and general readers to engage with them at their leisure.

Key books from this era are repeatedly mined for information on aspects of early colonial history and traditional Maori culture. A full-text database with good search capabilities, keyword-in-context display of hits and quick links to highlighted terms in the text provides fast access to these nuggets of information.

The paper will conclude with a brief look at future directions for electronic publishing at the University of Auckland Library.

The website is in the process of being upgraded for a public launch in May.

Friday 10 February 2006   1435 - 1505

CONCURRENT SESSION 15: Application Customisation and Open Source

Mr Tony Brooks, Mrs Sarah Field and Mrs Zan Li, City Library, Vic

If you can't but it, build it: adapting a generic commercial application to meet specific organisation goals

Launched in mid 2004 as a joint venture between The City of Melbourne and The Council of Adult Education (CAE), City Library has a comprehensive 90 000 item multi-format collection. City Library fulfills the needs of those studying a variety of short and accredited courses provided by the CAE. It also provides for the information, recreation and informal learning needs of people who are living in, working in, and visiting the City of Melbourne.

City Library has 28 computers available to all library users, with internet access and a wide selection of software and databases. The computers are administered by a third party and the systems architecture is based on a Citrix server and Windows environment. Computers are available to users for up to three hours per day, with different conditions and fees depending on membership status.

To ensure equitable use by all, a commercial automated booking system was purchased. However, it was soon discovered that this application would not operate in a Citrix environment. As a result when Stage 2 of City Library began operation, bookings for computers were taken on paper divided into 30 minute blocks. This system, while previously satisfactory was impractical and cumbersome as members increased.

o To find a way of automating the booking process as an interim measure.
o To ensure a robust operational system, with features such as the ability to monitor client use and ensure equity, easily show availability of computers, change password access daily and produce statistics on usage.
o To do it with a minimum of expenditure.
o To make the system easy to implement and train all staff in its operation.

o Used in-house strategic, technical and training expertise to evaluate the needs of the organisation and users and to design the system.
o Adapted the Microsoft Access application and use of its relational functionality to ensure the system would meet the operational needs of City Library and help to make computer usage equitable.
o Thorough testing, reevaluation and redesign of the system before implementation.
o Fail-safe preparation pre implementation including the ability to abort if difficulties occurred.
o Promotion of the system to management, staff and users and the design of a comprehensive training package before implementation.
o Constant monitoring and assessment of the system in the first weeks of implementation through observation, staff feedback and 'debugging' as necessary to increase usability.
o Provision of on-going training as needed.

o Successful operation since October 2004, with usage averaging 80% of possible booking hours per day.
o Automated booking of computers has allowed a structured and standardized system that ensures users are allocated the correct amount of time per day depending on their membership rights and has ensured that City Library policy is correctly followed.
o Usage of computers is now far more equitable and City Library has been able to compile reports for statistical analysis.
o All staff fully trained and with the ability to make use of all the systems functionality.
o The system is a stepping stone for a future migration to a fully automated program.
o High R.O.I. for time spent developing, testing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and redesigning the system through a more effective and efficient operational structure.
o Greater insight into strategic direction and the long term goals of the organization where information technology and its use are concerned.

Friday 10 February 2006   1435 - 1505

CONCURRENT SESSION 16: Managing Internal and External Stakeholders

Lily Gao, Bureau of Meteorology, Vic

Accessing and using Australian university libraries' online information services - offshore experience

Developments of information technology and improved broadband access have facilitated the expansion of global distance education. The past few years have seen the rapid growth of offshore programs offered by Australian Universities, specially in China and Vietnam (IDP, 2004, p.12). The offshore programs take several formats: offshore campus, distance offshore or online. The mixed mode of global education presents challenges to the university libraries¡¦ online information services, an important means of supporting offshore programs. In response to this new type of demand, many university libraries have been exploring ways to delivery library online information and services to the offshore students. New service initiatives are being introduced, such as web-delivery, e-book and interactive library tutorials (UTS, 2004). While efforts are made, by using state-of-art information technology, to delivery maximum benefit of the library resources and services to the offshore students, there is also concern that how and whether these services are being used to their potential.

In order to gain a sound understanding of the local context and the baseline information on offshore access and use of the Australian university library online services, the author conducted a study tour to Shanghai, China in June 2005.

The purposes of the study tour were:
  1. to gain a better understanding of the local information infrastructure in China and their implications for the Australian libraries;
  2. to obtain first hand experience on accessing and using the Australian library resources and services from offshore; and
  3. to provide evidence-based information for future effort in using library technology to improve library online services to offshore students.

Site visits included major academic libraries, Shanghai Library, local libraries as well as public culture venues where most offshore students could use for their study and Internet access. The visits not only served to improve knowledge of the local information infrastructure and but also provided face-to-face communication opportunities with local librarians and offshore students to gauge their impression of the Australian university libraries online services and their using experience.

This paper will report what have been seen and learned from the study tour. Useful information and data collected during the visit will be presented. Technological issues confronting the Australian university libraries online services will be discussed.

Here, the author would like to acknowledge the residency support from Australia/China Council, which makes this study tour possible.


IDP Education Australia Limited (2004) International Students in Australian Universities - Semester 2, 2004. http://www.idp.com/ [Accessed 13 February 2005]

University of Technology, Sydney (2004) 2004 CAUL Survey of Library Support for Offshore Students and Staff: Summary of Responses. http://www.caul.edu.au/surveys/ [Accessed 13 February 2005]



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Last updated 31 July, 2006