I have the honour of presenting my first OCLC PICA Annual Report since assuming my duties as Managing Director in April 2002.
The mission of OCLC PICA is to be the leading European library cooperative, helping libraries serve people by providing economical access to knowledge through innovation and collaboration. I am pleased to report that we made significant progress toward realising that mission in the past year. But before reviewing the progress we have made, let me pay tribute to Look Costers for more than 20 years of outstanding leadership and management.The opportunities we pursue today are a result of the impressive achievements of the past. We are grateful for Look's contributions and we wish him the best in his welldeserved retirement.
My initial year as Managing Director was focussed on meeting with our customers and partners and evaluating OCLC PICA services and programmes in order to establish a strategic direction for the next five years. During my visits with libraries, I found not only strong support for OCLC PICA and its mission but also expectations that we will work closely with libraries to meet the new challenges posed by the Digital Age.Your vital input into our review of programmes and services have led to a number of changes that I would like to share with you.
First, we completed the purchase of assets of OCLC's operation in Birmingham, United Kingdom and formally merged it with OCLC PICA.
This new, integrated OCLC PICA serves approximately 4,100 libraries and other cultural organisations in Europe and Africa. I would like to thank Jay Jordan, Rick Schwieterman, Jim Houfek, Sondra Kowaluk, and Jerry Smith from OCLC, as well as Rob Stricker, Dorien Hooman and Janet Lees from OCLC PICA, for their leadership in creating a streamlined, unified and integrated operation to better serve libraries and other cultural organisations in our markets.
Second, we reorganised OCLC PICA into a more market-oriented organisation. Our new structure emphasises a closer relationship with libraries that will lead to stronger partnerships and a better matching of needs and services.We are committed to listening more intently to you to determine our product development path. Our objective is to provide the services you need to help you realise your goals in a timelier, more effective manner.
Third, we became more international. We completed new implementations and developed new relationships with libraries and library groups in France and Germany.We opened a new office in Paris.We identified new opportunities in the United Kingdom and South Africa with our acquisition of OCLC Europe. We explored partnerships with libraries and cultural organisations in Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and the Nordic countries.And we began an effort to digitise and preserve the rich history recorded in centuries-old European collections by working with Strata Preservation N.V., a joint venture of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Royal Library of the Netherlands) and OCLC.
Taken collectively, the changes made, building on our traditional strengths, help position OCLC PICA for the future, ready to continue existing services as well as to provide new services based on the needs of libraries in their regions. While we have implemented these important changes we have remained steadfast in our commitment to our roots in the Netherlands and Germany. In the Netherlands, where our relationships date back more than 30 years, we continued to enrich the Dutch Union Catalogue by adding the 700,000 title book collection – 400,000 titles of which were unique – from the Technical University of Delft. We will add the book collection of the Technical University of Eindhoven this year. We also launched a project to create for the WSF libraries, 13 pubic libraries with a scientific collection, a state-of-the-art catalogue that supports interlibrary lending and full text and image digital content.These activities reinforce the Dutch national infrastructure.
In Germany, we worked with our partners Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund (GBV) in Göttingen, the Hessisischer Bibliotheksverbund (HEBIS) in Frankfurt, and Die Deutsche Bibliothek (DDB) also in Frankfurt to bring the OCLC PICA local library and central cataloguing systems to more German libraries.This resulted in the decision of the Stiftung Preussische Kultur Besitz to implement these systems at all of their libraries, which will add world-renowned collections from the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, the Berlin State Museums, the Secret State Archive and the State Institute for Musical Research into the GBV shared catalogue.
We continued our contributions to various library committees and user groups in Europe. In 2002, we became a main sponsor of LIBER, the organisation of research libraries in Europe.
As we pursue our opportunities and build closer strategic relationships with libraries, our financial health remains very strong. Revenues for 2002 were Euro 15,645,000 with a contribution of Euro 166,246.We have sufficient cash on our balance sheet that will help fund capital investments and acquisitions needed to realise our vision. Our product portfolio is strong.We will continue to develop our central and local library system. During the year, we completed the developments of our central library system in a Unix environment and started to migrate the systems in the Netherlands and Germany.The new system provides advanced features and enhancements that streamline work flow and increase productivity in cataloguing and interlibrary lending. In developing the central and local system software, we work with selected libraries to develop an integrated library system that responds to the needs of European libraries.
In France, we completed implementation of the Système Universitaire de Documentation (SUDOC) for the Agence Bibliographique de l'Enseignement Supérieur (ABES).Today, more than 2,000 workstations are connected to the system, which supports a national catalogue of 4.4 million titles and enables researchers, students and staff to use one system to search the collections of more than 100 French university libraries.We look forward to further developing this strong relationship with our French partner and customers.
We also signed an agreement to provide retrospective conversion services to the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) to convert 400,000 of its records to machinereadable form, making the records available online and the materials they represent more accessible to library users worldwide. OCLC staff will use the OCLC PICA GGC database, the Shared Cataloguing System, and WorldCat, the OCLC online union catalogue of more than 50 million records, to convert the KB records.The work will be converted to the GGC database offered through OCLC PICA.
In addition, we introduced new digital services in e-books and virtual reference to libraries in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. I am pleased to note that the British Library entered the 51 millionth record into WorldCat.As many of you already know, the British Library, OCLC and OCLC PICA have worked together for many years to facilitate shared cataloguing, interlibrary lending and document supply on a global basis. This is an exciting time for European libraries.With our newly integrated and reorganised organisation, OCLC PICA is uniquely positioned to meet the local needs of libraries in Europe and link them to the worldwide library network. I look forward to continuing to extend and improve the services of OCLC PICA to help European and African libraries fulfil their important mission.
Year in review OCLC PICA – Leiden
OCLC PICA continues work on the Plan and Covenant in Pursuance of National Coverage in the Netherlands as agreed with the academic Platform for Innovation IWI.The aim of this plan is to achieve national coverage of all large university catalogues in the Netherlands in the GGC, the Dutch Union catalogue. As part of this plan, the Technical University of Delft adds its book collection to the GGC, adding depth to the catalogue and making this unique collection available via interlibrary loan.The Wageningen Agricultural University collection as well as Delft's periodical collection were already added to the catalogue at an earlier date.The last step to conclude this project will be the inclusion of the book collection of the Technical University of Eindhoven.Through this project, the diversity of the GGC catalogue is greatly enhanced.
The advisory council LIIS meets twice with OCLC PICA.This advisory council advises OCLC PICA about the future strategic development of the Dutch national information infrastructure that consists of the Dutch Union Catalogue GGC and the ILL infrastructure. Representatives from all sections of the Dutch library community participate.The LIIS expresses its appreciation on the successes accomplished: completion of the project to migrate the central system to a Unix environment, the implementation of open standards (Z39.50) for search and retrieval in the OCLC PICA databases and the progress made in enriching the Dutch Union Catalogue with the Delft collection and with non-book materials. It advises OCLC PICA to make more use of the national infrastructure, particularly ILL, in all OCLC PICA services and to improve flexibility of the services by allowing more pricing models.
- The WSF libraries (13 public libraries with scientific collections) sign a contract with OCLC PICA to enhance their digital library service that includes building a new catalogue of their collections, adding interlibrary loan functionality to the system, adding advanced searching facilities and extending content in PiCarta and the ‘Krantenbank' with national and regional newspapers and magazines.
- NBLC, the Netherlands Association of Public Libraries, chooses for OCLC PICA services in two major agreements. Firstly, NBLC subscribes to nation-wide use of Publiekwijzer, OCLC PICA's end user reference service tailored to the public library market, as part of NBLC's effort to provide a base package of digital content to all Dutch public libraries. Secondly, NBLC and OCLC PICA agree to customise QuestionPoint to the Dutch audience and implement it as the backbone of a national question and answer service for all Dutch public libraries, called Al@din.The system allows libraries to offer reference services on the internet, and to make use of each other's expertise in answering the questions.
- OCLC PICA begins working with the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in a three-year project to convert 400,000 of its records to machine-readable form.The records represent titles published before 1980 that are only available through the card catalogue.
- The Koninklijke Bibliotheek, University of Amsterdam, University of Leiden, University of Maastricht and the Northern School of Higher Education implement the online public access catalogue module of LSB4, the new version of the OCLC PICA local library system.
- Fourteen new libraries join in CCZ, a consortium of hospital libraries that use the GGC to catalogue and to add their holdings to their local database.This means an increase of CCZ participants of 20%, bringing the total to 81.
- The Technical University of Delft is the first Dutch library to purchase a collection of netLibrary e-books. Delft integrates these titles into its online catalogue.
- Staff of the OCLC PICA Information Technology Center (ITC) work closely together with the German partners GBV, Die Deutsche Bibliothek and Hebis to migrate to CBS4, the new version of the OCLC PICA Central Library System.The GBV migration is the last one to be completed, early 2003.
- The Stiftung Preussische Kultur Besitz in Berlin agrees to use the system at all of its libraries as part of GBV.This major addition will make the GBV system the largest and most complex CBS of all installations. In view of the decision of the University of Potsdam to install the OCLC PICA local library system, it also means that OCLC PICA achieves a stronghold in Berlin and surroundings.
OCLC PICA – Birmingham -
Seven libraries from the U.K Consortium of University Libraries (CURL) –Edinburgh University, Glasgow University, Birmingham University, Nottingham University, Liverpool University, the National Library of Scotland and The British Library– join QuestionPoint, a worldwide, collaborative digital reference service.
- eBooks@Richmond Libraries, an initiative of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, purchases a range of netLibrary titles to provide users with the first e-book collections in U.K. public libraries.
- To help shape the development of OCLC PICA's e-book service, a netLibrary European User Group holds its inaugural meeting at the Birmingham office.This forum provides vital feedback for ensuring that the future of e-books meets the needs of the libraries in Europe.
- To gather data for collaborative resource management, CURL and OCLC PICA complete a collection mapping pilot project that uses automated collection assessment software to analyse the holdings of CURL libraries, including overlap and uniqueness measures.
- The Scottish Confederation of University & Research Libraries and OCLC PICA hosts “New Directions in Metadata”, an IFLA preconference that attracts librarians from several countries and addresses the latest developments in metadata in a distributed environment.
- As part of its Online Newspaper Archive initiative,The British Library begins digitising Penny Illustrated using the OCLC PICA Historical Newspaper service, which is powered by Olive Software.
- The Laser (London and South Eastern Library Region) Foundation moves the Co-operative of Indic Language Library Authorities (CILLA) to OCLC PICA.This product assists libraries in meeting the needs of their Indic Communities by providing book acquisition and cataloguing services for Indic Language materials. - Cambridge University Library selects OCLC PICA to perform the retrospective conversion of its guardbook catalogue, which contains about 1.3 million bibliographic records of books and periodicals published between 1500 and 1978.
- Eleven libraries from the Linnea National Information Network for Libraries of Finland sign a cataloguing agreement with OCLC PICA.
OCLC PICA works with Sabinet (Online), OCLC PICA's Southern Africa distributor, and netLibrary to load bibliographic records for netLibrary eBooks for the World Bank funded African Digital Library in the South African Union Catalogue SACAT.The African Digital Library provides eBooks to citizens throughout the African continent.
OCLC PICA – Paris
A new regional service centre opens in Paris for the sales and support of OCLC PICA's products and services to libraries and library consortia in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Greece, Turkey and Israel. Nicholas Rawson and Philippe Martin are named Director and Account Manager. Philippe is OCLC PICA's first French member of staff and brings to his new role wide ranging experience of working with libraries in the southern Europe region.
- The completion of the implementation of OCLC PICA's Central Library System integrates the cataloguing and interlibrary loan activities of French university libraries.This important project, to develop and implement the Système Universitaire de Documentation (SUDOC) for the Agence Bibliographique de l'Enseignement Supérieur (ABES) started in 1997 and was mainly staffed by OCLC PICA personnel from the ITC department (Information Technology Centre) in Leiden.The implementation phase took 16 months, connecting all 110 French universities with more than 400 libraries. Each connection was preceded by functional training and a final update of the bibliographic data of the libraries. - Immediately after completion of the CBS implementation, OCLC PICA ITC staff start to migrate the ABES system to the new state-of the art, fourth generation. OCLC PICA completes this migration early 2003.
- Work begins on a French version of LSB4, the OCLC PICA local library management system, which will connect with SUDOC and be offered to academic libraries in 2003.
- The Bibliothèque nationale de France becomes the largest user of OCLC PICA's FirstSearch service. Other major French users are the Université de Nice, Université de Nanterre, Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire des Langues Orientales, INRIA, Groupe ESSEC and INIST.
- The OCLC PICA Paris office is pleased to work with a number of library consortia in the region, who use this type of arrangement to bring OCLC PICA services to their member libraries in a cost effective manner. All the consortia mentioned below use OCLC's FirstSearch service to enable their end users to access a wide variety of databases including links to full text articles on a variety of topics. Some member libraries of the consortia listed below use other OCLC PICA services and these are indicated where appropriate:
• UNAK: Some UNAK libraries conclude individual agreements for OCLC's cataloguing service and access to electronic journals. The UNAK consortium is based in Turkey and consists of a growing number of academic libraries.
• HealLink: Member libraries have access to a large number of electronic journals through OCLC's ECO service.The HealLink consortium is based in Greece and is composed of academic and college libraries.
• MALMAD: Members of this consortium evaluate OCLC's cataloguing service. Located in Israel, MALMAD consists mainly of academic libraries.
• IZUM, a library consortia in Maribor, Slovenia, purchases OCLC PICA cataloguing and e-journal services and begins implementing a customised Slovenian version of QuestionPoint, OCLC PICA's new collaborative reference service.
Logiser, based in Lisbon, Portugal joins DOC6 (in Spain), IFNet (in Italy), ITS (in Turkey and Slovenia) and Franklins (in Israel) as a distributor of OCLC PICA services in southern Europe. These distributors bring a more local understanding to the sales and support processes.
- The Universidad Pablo Olavide is the first Spanish library to purchase e-books from netLibrary.
OCLC PICA – Product and technical highlights
OCLC PICA ITC staff complete the developments of the central library system (CBS) in a Unix environment and start migration from the Tandem-based CBS3 system to the CBS4 system that runs on SUN Solaris.
All batch functions are migrated to accommodate the migration of CBS3 to CBS4. This leads occasionally to a complete redesign and the result is that CBS batch software is now more generic.
- The CBS software is further developed to the needs of academic and public libraries, for instance for the WSF project and for the iPort portal to increase the number of databases that can be searched with extended document order and deliver functionality.
- The search and index engine, based on input from German libraries, adds new functionality and new features to PiCarta.
- Work continues in developing LBS4 software.The OPAC module OPC4 is ready to implement whereas the lending and acquisitions modules will be finalised in 2003. OCLC PICA will implement LBS4 step by step, in close contact with customers.
A new release of iPort, OCLC PICA's portal software, provides advanced capabilities in authentication, interlibrary loan, circulation control and system interoperability and runs on the Solaris and Linux.
- The OCLC PICA central and local library systems incorporate powerful new security features (SSH, secure shell) to protect data from hackers. SSH encrypts any data that is being transferred.
- A new backup server with a tape library replaces older hardware to provide faster, more efficient backup mechanisms for OCLC PICA systems.
- A new brand identity debuts with redesigned interfaces for the PiCarta service and the OCLC PICA Web site, representing the new OCLC PICA house style.