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     **Apologies for cross posting**
     
     The British Library Research and Innovation Centre has recently 
     awarded two new grants for research:
     
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     Review of digital library research
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     The British Library Research and Innovation Centre (BLRIC) has 
     commissioned CERLIM, the Centre for Research in Library and 
     Information Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, to 
     undertake a review of digital library research. The aim of this study 
     is to assess progress which has been made in recent years, not only 
     through the BLRIC's own Digital Libraries research programme, but also 
     in programmes like the UK Higher Education Electronic Libraries (eLib) 
     Programme, the European Commission's Telematics for Libraries 
     Programme and national programmes in the USA, Canada, Australia and 
     other countries. 
     
     The "Digital Library" is a rapidly developing concept which may be 
     described in different ways. In part it is represented by developments 
     in traditional libraries as they evolve to seize the opportunities of 
     new information and communications technologies (ICTs). In part it is 
     a development from computer systems in the academic and commercial 
     sectors, most obviously from Internet-based services including the 
     World Wide Web and public search engines. But Digital Libraries are 
     not just technology-based information handling systems - they also 
     represent an opportunity to expand the traditional library's social 
     and cultural roles, not least by using technology to counter 
     "information exclusion" in its many forms. 
     
     The Review is being led by Professor Peter Brophy, Director of CERLIM. 
     Comments and suggestions from interested individuals, groups and 
     organisations are invited and should be sent to CERLIM by email at 
     [log in to unmask], or by mail to Digital Libraries Review, CERLIM, 
     Manchester Metropolitan University, Geoffrey Manton Building, Rosamond 
     Street West, Manchester M15 6LL
     
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     Trend analysis of acquisitions in university and public libraries in 
     the UK
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     This BNBRF-funded project, to be undertaken by the Library and 
     Information Statistics Unit (LISU) and the UK Office for Library and 
     Information Networking (UKOLN), aims to analyse changes in 
     acquisitions and stock management practices in UK academic and public 
     libraries over the period 1980 to 1998, using the random samples of 
     records accumulated by UKOLN for the BNBMARC Currency Survey. 
     
     The following analyses are proposed: 
     
     *Tracking over time book acquisition dates in relation to publication 
     dates 
     *Monitoring changes in the patterns of acquisitions - in particular, 
     the acquisition of recently published material vis a vis older 
     material through replacement or stock revision programmes 
     *Quantifying over time the acquisition of paperbacks in relation to 
     hardbacks 
     *Quantitative changes in the acquisition of materials on different 
     subjects, using second-level BIC subject categories. A secondary 
     subject analysis will be done by Dewey numbers (first three digits) 
     *Quantifying over time changes in the average prices of materials 
     acquired, and relating these to average prices of books published over 
     the same period (using the Bookseller prices tables for public library 
     data, and LISU's Average prices of British academic books for 
     university library data). Price will also be analysed by subject 
     categories - where the BIC and Bookseller/LISU subject categories are 
     compatible
     * For selected libraries, monitoring the proportions of the original 
     stock samples retained in stock (and/or re-ordered) over different 
     time periods 
     
     Analysis of all these features will distinguish between public library 
     and academic library practice. 
     
     
     The Centre has also recently published two new reports:
     
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     A matter of choice: information used in public library book selection/ 
     by Capital Planning Information
     BLR&I report 143
     BNBRF report 92
     ISBN: 1898869464
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     Available from: Capital Planning Information, 91 High Street, Bruton, 
     Somerset BA10 0BH. Tel: 01749 812963; Fax: 01749812964; Email: 
     [log in to unmask] 19.95 
     
     The research on which this report is based arose from the changes in 
     public library stock management and book selection policies and 
     practice in recent years. It reviewed the information used in public 
     library book selection, the types of information used by selectors and 
     the relative importance of the components of this information, the 
     sources of information used, the timing of its use and the advantages 
     and disadvantages of the sources used. 
     
     The research concludes that there is considerable benefit in 
     maintaining discussion of the developing selection processes and of 
     sharing experience, that training and mentoring are important in 
     developing the expertise required for effective book selection, and 
     that book selection should be carried out within defined stock 
     management and selection policies and informed by accessible 
     management information. 
     
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     LOGOPLUS: the impact of local government reorganisation on public 
     library users and staff/ by Sandra Parker, Linda Banwell and Kathryn 
     Ray
     BLR&I report 153
     ISBN 0712397426
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     Available from: British Thesis Service, British Library Document 
     Supply Centre, Boston Spa, Wetherby LS23 7BQ tel: 01937 546229; fax: 
     01937 546286; email: [log in to unmask] Price in the 
     UK: microfiche 5.00; photocopy 12.00
     
     The report presents the findings of the LOGOPLUS project which took 
     place between January 1997 and September 1998. The objective of the 
     project was to ascertain to what extent the move to unitary 
     authorities during the re-organisation of local government impacted on 
     public libraries. The research question was to investigate whether the 
     new authorities delivered a seamless transition of services to
     public library users and staff. Case studies were undertaken in nine 
     authorities and their representatives formed part of the Steering 
     Group who identified the following areas of change: politics, finance, 
     integration, co-operation, staff, communication and users. Conclusions 
     have indicated a number of success factors which contributed to 
     seamlessness: councillors and managers who were committed to the 
     provision of excellent services; transitional finance sufficient to 
     cover the process of the change; effective leadership; clear 
     definition of mission and goals; multi-skilling where appropriate and 
     supportive users. Some libraries have suffered because councillors or 
     managers did not have a clear vision; there was insufficient finance; 
     managers were not good communicators and there was very little or no 
     training for staff.
     
     
     The Centre also reports with regret that the British Library Board has 
     decided to discontinue, from April 1999, the British Library Grants for 
     Cataloguing and Preservation scheme made via the Research and 
     Innovation Centre. A short announcement is available on the Library's 
     WWW pages at: http://www.bl.uk/information/news/cpgrants.html
     
     
     Full details of the work of the Research and Innovation Centre are 
     available from its Website: http://www.bl.uk/services/ric/
     
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     Simon Matty
     Information Officer
     Research and Innovation Centre
     The British Library
     2 Sheraton Street
     London W1V 4BH
     
     tel: 0171 412 7054
     fax: 0171 412 7251
     email: [log in to unmask]
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