DLF Director's Office
Report to the Digital Library Federation
January 15, 2002


  • Catalytic initiatives
  • Research
  • Standards and practices
  • Publications
  • Communications

    The DLF is pleased to welcome New York University to the membership. NYU will be represented on the DLF Steering Committee by Carol Mandel, Dean of Libraries.

    The National Archives and Records Administration a long-time ally of the DLF, has joined the DLF as a full partner, and will be represented on the Steering Committee by Ken Thibodeau.

    I. Catalytic initiatives

    DLF members have endorsed the need for and funcational requirements of a service that registers the existence of digitally reformatted monographs and serials. Prototype development of such a service was discussed with representatives of OCLC at the DLF Forum in November 2001 where a plan to develop a prototype service was initiated. The November meeting also revised the functional specification so that the registry could incorporate born digital materials such as e-books and electronic scholarly journals.

    Archivists' workbench
    The DLF is supporting an initiative to investigate functional requirements of and a business case for a tool that will assist in the construction of EADs that conform to minimally defined good practices. The initial planning meeting took place in Santa Diego in February 2002. A report on the meting is expected imminently.

    The DLF is supporting an initiative to investigate the use of the FEDORA architecture in developing persistent and interoperable digital repositories. The initiative was kicked off at a meeting of FEDORA implementers held in Washington DC on November 9-10, 2001. It has received significant support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and will be reporting on aspects of its work from the DLF website.

    II. Research

    Open Source Software (OSS) for libraries
    The DLF convened a meeting to consider possible roles and values of OSS for libraries. The meeting recommended a number of practical steps including some formal assessment of the costs and benefits to libraries through their development and use of OSS. An author for the study is being sought. In addition, participants in the meantime are developing a registry that makes information about relevant OSS more readily available and provides opportunities for OSS tools that are listed in the registry to be reviewed, commented upon, etc. A report of the meeting is available from http://www.diglib.org/architectures/ossrep.htm. A prototype registry of OSS software is available at http://dewey.library.nd.edu/ossnlibraries/portal/.

    Perception and use of the scholarly information landscape
    The DLF and Outsell Inc. have designed a study to illuminate how students and faculty at universities and colleges perceive of and use scholarly information in their research, teaching, and learning. The study, when completed in April 2002, will assist libraries in their strategic planning by demonstrating how and to what extent the library currently contributes to that information landscape. In July and August 2001, Outsell and the DLF designed a survey questionnaire upon which the study will be based. In September 2001 DLF received funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to implement the study. Data collection is now complete and the study moves into its data analysis phase. More details about the study are available from http://www.diglib.org/use.htm.

    National Digital Information Preservation Program
    The DLF's director plays a role in a contract between the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and the Library of Congress whereby CLIR supports the Library of Congress in planning the national program. In particular, the director has convened a group of experts to identify and document challenges and opportunities involved in preserving various genres of born digital materials. He has also commissioned a survey of national digital preservation activities taking place outside the US. It is anticipated that these materials will become available in some form as the Library of Congress develops its plan.

    III. Standards and good practices

    Benchmarks for digitally reformatted serials and monographs
    DLF members have endorsed the idea of such a benchmark and recommended a number of modest changes. The final and revised version of the benchmark as endorsed is available at http://www.diglib.org/standards/bmarkfin.htm.

    Framework for good practices in the development of good digital collections
    DLF contributed to a forum convened by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to develop a framework for considering and promoting standards and good practices as may be adopted by the library community to guide the development of persistent and interoperable digital collections. After review by the DLF, the framework has been endorsed in a statement that recommends some modest changes. The statement is available from http://www.diglib.org/standards/imlsframe.htm.

    IV. Publications

    The following DLF-commissioned reports have been published by CLIR since the last Newsletter issue

    V. Communications