Archive for October, 2008

PRDLA Meeting in Singapore

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance (PRDLA)

“Herding Tigers: Digital Proliferation and Management” Convened at the Li KA Shing Library, Singapore Management University

Representatives of the 32 member institutions gathered for its annual meeting for netowrking, papers, and culture. UCLA has been a PRDLA member now for only three years, so I am getting into the context of the issues being addressed by this ambitious group. More information about PRDLA is on its web site www.PRDLA.org. (To view the papers click on 2008 Conference and then program. The speakers are highlighted and their papers attached.)

The gathering was welcomed by President Howard Hunter of Singapore Managment University and Deputy President Joseph Mullinix from National University of Singapore. UC’s own Bruce Miller is the convenor of the group. The libraries from the two universities were co-chairs of the conference and their staff provided wonderful welcome and arrangements.

The Keynote address was delivered by Steve Night, Associate Director of the National Digital Lbirary of New Zealand. The afternoon sessions included presentations from the University of Otago (New Zealand), University of British Columbia and Hong Kong Baptist University discussed data and content management. Local area projects at the National Unviersity of Singapore, Wuhan University, Chinese Unviersity of Hong Kong, and the University of Hong Kong opened new vistas as to their digitization efforts. Papers will be posted on the PRDLA web site.

A most interesting panel discussed the Collaborative Digitization Project funded by PRDLA–the Oceana Digital Libraries Project. The project is coordinated at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, UC San Diego, and the Unviersity of Auckland.

My paper on “The Digital Library Program at UCLA” kicked off the session on mass digitization projects (http://www2.library.ucla.edu/about/2470.cfm). Similar presentations were made from UC San Diego and Zhejiang University.

The closing plenary was delivered by Andrew Treloar, Director of the Australian National Data Service Establishment Project.

National Library of Singapore

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

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Chinese Reading Room in the National Library.

Arriving in Singapore for the Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance meeting PRDLA), I had the opportunity to visit the new National Library of Singapore. Dedicated in 2005, this new building is quite exciting. It is a smart green building with an open plaza from the street drawing one into the complex rising some 16 stories. It includes a lending library open to the general public which was completely full of people with many sitting on the floor and crowded into the stacks. As the library rises into the sky various floors are devoted to research and national library functions. Broad open reading rooms, study spaces and collection are well displayed and accessible. Finding one’s way through the building is easy and the spaces well used. Walkways are filled with exhibitions and views of the city are spectacular.

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National Library Building

Cashin Lecture Delivered by June Wayne

Friday, October 24th, 2008

June Wayne delivered the Cashin Lecture in the Department of Special Collections last night to a standing room only crowd. She spoke of her long career (she is now 90) as an artist and particularly her work from John Donne Songes and Sonets published 50 years ago with her lithographs. We were all with her as she told us of her trip from Paris to Berlin carrying the litographs in a suitcase to join with the printer to complete the text for the ground-breaking artist’s book.

She was joined by Helen B. Brook, Stanford University, Paul A. Parrish, Texas A & M University and Jonathan Post, UCLA. Each related her art to the poems they had selected from Donne. Cudos to Vicki Steele and her staff for presenting such a wonderful event.

June Wayne with Gary Strong June Wayne with Gary Strong

New Head of Library Information Technology

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Vicki Terbovich has accepted the position of Head of Library Information Technology effective November 10, 2008.. Vicki was the Chief Technology Officer for the Maricopa County Library District in Phoenix, Arizona from 2000-2008. Maricopa County’s Library District covers 9600 square miles, from urban to rural settings.

Maricopa County Library District is an award-winning, 16-branch public library system that has pioneered innovative and user-centered initiatives such as RFID tagging, automated book sorting, wireless self checkout, and the use of tablet PCs for roving librarians. She also was responsible for leading the implementation of 45 self check-out kiosks and 9 self check-in kiosks, offering fine and fee payment by credit or debit card, throughout the 16 branches. For staff, it was her responsibility to lead the changeover from traditional telephony to VOIP (digital) phone service for over 400 stations.

Budget Update

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Susan Parker and I briefed the Management Council this morning with the latest information that is in our hands. We are now well into the 2008-09 year and have finished the submission of our budget to the campus. We have allocated the funds necessary to cover the costs of energy and deferred mainetenance within our current resources and do not anticipate further reductions during the year unless there is a significant mid-year cut imposed by the Legislature and in turn the Regents. We have also restored the 10% hold-back in the acquisitions budget to match last year’s allocations. These actions leave us a very small “carry forward” that is unallocated at this time.

While we are not imposing a hiring freeze, we are filling positions very carefully. Please be careful about all expenditures in all categories.

As to planning for next year’s budget (2009-10), we are preoceeding ahead as mentioned in my earlier post, but now believe that there may further cuts that will impact what we can accomplish. The early planning for 90% expenditure levels is very useful and prepares us to make the decisions that will be necessary. We will meet the March 2009 deadline for submission of our plans for next year.

Let me express my personal thanks to each of you in helping make this work for the library and our users. I fully realize that this is not comfortable or the direction any of us wants to be headed, but we are strong, vibrant, and have an exciting future.

We will soon begin a process that will create our next strategic plan. As we do our strategic planning, we will focus on identifying priorities for the Library that support the campus mission. Prioritization and strategic planning will feed into our budget planning as we prepare for budget cuts in the budget for 2009-10 and the year following.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

UC Libraries and the HathiTrust

Monday, October 20th, 2008

The University of California Libraries and the California Digital Library announced their participation in HathiTrust in October 2008. HathiTrust was initially conceived as a collaboration of the thirteen universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), the University of California, and the University of Virginia to establish a repository for those universities to archive and share their digitized collections.

HathiTrust, a shared digital repository, will enable scholars to access a vast array of material, produce customized searches, and discover new information previously too difficult to access or to study side by side. HathiTrust will increase the value of these resources to scholarship by ensuring long-term access, by creating scholarly tools, and by improving the quality of the digitized content over time.

Learn more about the HathiTrust:

  • CDL and the University of California Libraries join the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) in launching the HathiTrust shared digital repository. October 13, 2008 press release
  • About HathiTrust [HTML]
  • FAQ: UC Libraries and the HathiTrust [HTML]