5.0202 RLG -- New Structure (1/109)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Sun, 30 Jun 91 22:16:29 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0202. Sunday, 30 Jun 1991.

Date: Thu, 27 Jun 91 15:04:53 PDT
From: "Connie Gould" <BL.CCG@RLG>
Subject: Research Libraries Group

This is a condensed version of a recent Research Libraries Group press
release that may be of interest to Humanists. The complete release and
a background paper on "RLG92" are available via U.S. mail from Jennifer
Hartzell, 415-691-2207 or bl.jlh@rlg.bitnet. [--ahr]


RLIN to Remain Fully Supported;
Negotiations with OCLC Terminated

June 24, 1991 -- Following the June meeting of the Research
Libraries Group's Board of Governors, RLG president James Michalko
announced a series of actions that inaugurate the corporation's
transition into "RLG92."

Restructuring RLG

Effective September 1, 1991, RLG will have only two categories
of membership -- "general" and "special" -- open to not-for-profit
institutions with an educational, cultural, or scientific mission.
All current and prospective members are eligible for general
membership; smaller institutions can opt for special membership.
All members will have unrestricted access to the corporation's
projects and cooperative activities as their needs and interests

This summer, all members will elect a new, 15-member Board of
Directors to take office on September 1. RLG's standing program
committees will be disbanded on August 31, to give way to electronic
conferencing and small task forces addressing specific projects.
The corporation's business and collaborative activities will be
conducted through these means as well as quarterly board meetings,
an annual membership meeting, and central staff operations.

The board also set annual membership dues for RLG92, effective
September 1, 1992, at $25,000 for general members and $3,000 for
special members. With a balanced budget for the transitional year
beginning on September 1, 1991, RLG management expects to accomplish
other changes needed in fee and cost structure, plus new revenue
sources, by the beginning of the following fiscal year.

New commission formed

In conjunction with this initial restructuring, Michalko has
created a special commission to consider how RLIN can be improved to
meet the current and future technical processing needs of RLG member
libraries. "Part of transforming RLG into RLG92 requires
restructuring the way in which RLIN provides processing suppport,"
Michalko said. "Universities and other research institutions have
invested in local information management systems and communication
networks. RLG will develop RLIN to acknowledge and leverage these
significant institutional investments."

The commission will report to Michalko at the end of September.
RLG program officer Linda West chairs the group, whose members
include: Emily G. Fayen, assistant director of libraries - systems,
University of Pennsylvania; Tia Gozzi, director of technical
services, Stanford University Libraries; Gerald R. Lowell, associate
university librarian for technical services, Yale University; Carol
Mandel, director, technical services group, Columbia University
Libraries; Lucia Rather, former director for cataloging, Library of
Congress; and Jennifer A. Younger, assistant director for technical
services, Ohio State University Libraries. Working with the
commission will be: Kathleen Bales, RLG software development
manager, Ed Glazier, RLG bibliographic quality assurance officer,
and Lennie Stovel, RLG intersystems applications manager.

Continued support for current RLIN uses

As he made his other announcements, Michalko assured present
RLIN users that RLG will continue to maintain the system as a full,
current resource for processing, shared resources, preservation, and
other cooperative activities. "In mapping out RLG's future course,
we looked hard at the real nature of RLIN features and the needs
they meet," Michalko said. "Two facts are quite clear: a resource
like RLIN is essential to the collaborative activities of RLG
members, and RLIN can provide needed support for bibliographic
processing. RLIN's present functionality will be modified only as
superior alternatives are found."

RLG Board rejects OCLC proposals for
linking systems and transfer of support

For many months, RLG and OCLC (Online Computer Library Center)
have been discussing an intersystems link between the OCLC and RLIN
databases. RLG's initial proposal was to implement a fully
functioning link in about a year. The transparent connection RLG
proposed would have enabled users to refer searches done in their
customary system environment to a file in the other system, and to
pay for this usage as part of normal, single-system invoicing.
RLG's Board of Governors voted unanimously at their June meeting
that the final features, administration, and three-year development
time table for the link offered by OCLC would not serve the users of
either system as desired and would not be pursued further.

Other negotiations to transfer RLG members' current cataloging
activity from RLIN to OCLC also fell short of early expectations,
and OCLC's offering was unanimously rejected. "OCLC's declared
inability to accommodate the business of a group of RLIN-using
libraries in less than 'two to three years' -- together with their
unwillingness to commit to the kind of intersystems link we needed
to take this step -- left us with nothing further to discuss," said
Donald W. Koepp, university librarian of Princeton and a member of
the negotiating team representing RLG's largest RLIN-using members.