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1997 Election Results

Many Thanks. . .

Sci -Tech Libraries Section Standing Committee Roster for 1997-1999

Sci - Tech Section Members

Section Anniversary

Report From Copenhagen

Honoring Robert Wedgeworth

Upcoming IFLA Conferences

Section of Science & Technology Libraries Medium-Term Programme 1998-2001

Sci-Tech Listserv


SLA Conference Travel Stipend

Section of Science and Technology Libraries Newsletter

Fall 1997

1997 Election Results

For IFLA 1997 was an election year and Copenhagen the election site with these (selected) results:

IFLA Executive Board

      IFLA President
      Christine Deschamps

      1st Vice-President
      Ekaterina Genieva

      2nd Vice-President
      Nancy John

      New Members:
      Klaus-Dieter Lehmann
      Kay Raseroka

      Ex officio
      Sissel Nilsen

Division II Special Libraries

      Division Chair and Member, Professional Board
      Ed Valauskas

      Jean-Philippe Accart

Science & Technology Libraries Section

      Patricia Yocum

      David Price

Many Thanks. . .

. . . to Sinikka Koskiala (Finland) for her years of service to the Sci - Tech Section and the Standing Committee and especially for her recent service as SC Secretary (1993-95) and Chair & Treasurer (1995-97). Also completing their appointments in 1997 were Sabine Barral (France) who served as SC Treasurer (1993-95) and Bernard Rieder (France). Congratulations, thank you and best wishes to all!

Sci -Tech Libraries Section Standing Committee Roster for 1997-1999

Patricia Yocum +
David Price
Nancy Anderson *
Oona Yang Dilebanye
Diane Ebro *
Alun Jenkins
Martin Kesselman
Donna McCool *
Wolfgang Neubauer
M. Nordlander *
Philippe Raccah *
Helga Schwarz *
Mette Stockmarr
Dan Stoica
Andrei Zemskov
   + reappointed
   * newly appointed

Special Advisors

David Bradbury
Francine Masson
Dennis Shaw

Corresponding Members

R. Gassol de Horowitz
Hong-Ying Xu

Sci - Tech Section Members

IFLA Headquarters reports that during 1997 Sci -Tech Section membership reached 113. This includes 17 association, 88 institutional and 8 personal members. Members hail from over forty countries on six continents:

North America
South America

Section Anniversary

Nineteen ninety-eight marks the twentieth anniversary of the Sci-Tech Section. Following preliminary discussions about the value of such a unit, the Division Co-ordinating Board and the IFLA Professional Board approved a proposal in 1978 to create the Section. An informative article about the founding and early years of Sci-Tech was published in the Iatul Quarterly, v. 4, n. 4, 1990, pp. 205-214. The history was written by Dennis Shaw (UK) who was involved in the founding efforts and went on to serve the Section as Chair, Treasurer and Special Advisor.

Report From Copenhagen

Copenhagen was the site of IFLA's 63rd General Conference August 31-September 5, 1997. The conference was a record - breaker with over 2,900 people from 141 countries attending. Most delegates stayed in hotels in the city center and took advantage of shuttle-buses to the Bella Center to attend sessions and meetings. Unusually warm weather, added to the renowned Danish hospitality, made for memorable stays and wistful departures.

Standing Committee Meetings

The Sci-Tech Standing Committee met twice during the conference, on Saturday 30 August and again on Friday 5 September. The lengthy sessions dealt with many items of interest. Among the most significant actions the SC:

  • Decided to test a new procedure to arrange for translating papers delivered at conference Open Sessions into the official IFLA languages.

  • On a trial basis appointed a newsletter editor who will also serve as Information Liaison to IFLA. Nancy Anderson (USA) agreed to serve for the next year.

  • Launched preliminary planning efforts for programs and workshops for the next several IFLA conferences.

  • Decided to investigate the feasibility of hosting informal vendor updates with some of the vendors exhibiting at IFLA conferences.

  • Made final revisions to the Section's Medium Term Programme Statement for 1998-2001.

  • Drafted a proposal to assess the needs of sci-tech librarians in the developing world as a prelude to identifying ways in which the Section might offer professional assistance.

  • Heard a preliminary report from Martin Kesselman (USA) about his project to develop a "Manual for Co-operation of Sci-Tech Libraries".

    Full details are given in the minutes of both SC meetings, available from Patricia Yocum, Section Chair.

Section Open Session

The Section's Open Session, "Improving Access to Electronic Scientific and Medical Information" was offered on Wednesday 3 September. Jointly sponsored with the Biological and Medical Libraries Section the program attracted a very large audience. Simultaneous translation was offered throughout the program. Abstracts of the presentations are listed below while full text of many papers can be found on IFLA's website, http://archive.ifla.org/index.htm

    "Re-engineering the Library for Improved Access to Electronic Health Information: One Library's Experience",
    by Karen L. Graves and Elaine R. Martin (Library of the Health Sciences, UIC, Chicago).

    Abstract: Organizational changes such as down-sizing, reinventing the organization, mergers, and customer-focused services are buzzwords for the 90s. One way organizations are dealing with change is by re-engineering themselves. Re-engineering is reinventing the way one does business, by stepping back and examining values, goals, and the systems processes used to meet these goals. Process redesign is often an outcome of this evaluation. However, the customer remains at the center of each process, with systems being redesigned to meet customer needs and demands. Technical services at the University of Illinois at Chicago is going through the re-engineering process which has had a major impact on public services offered to library patrons. Two of the re-engineering projects were discussed: access for electronic reserves and access to full-text journals. Related issues such as staff involvement and training, equipment, copyright, and user reactions to the new services were also discussed.

    "Changing Roles of Health Science Librarians in the Electronic Environment: Providing Instructional Programs, Improving Access and Advancing Scientific Communication,"
    by Ann C. Weller (Library of the Health Sciences, UIC, Chicago).

    Abstract: The electronic environment has created significant role changes for health sciences and science librarians. This presentation examined how librarians should expand their expertise into the areas of instructional programs, improving access, and advancing scientific communication. Librarians should design both training and instructional programs to help users understand and take advantage of electronic resources effectively. Three types of electronic access were discussed: full-text with print counterpart, unique electronic text, and electronic information available on the Internet. Access to electronic information raises a number of important issues: ownership, agreement with vendors, who uses the information, price, and the design or quality of the software systems. Librarians have the skills necessary to evaluate and organize health sciences information on the Internet. Librarians contribute to the growing body of scientific knowledge on the information seeking behavior of users and the evaluation of programs. Decisions for future directions should be based on scientific evidence.

    "The Situation of Science and Technology Libraries in Argentine Universities: Information Access Possibilities,"
    by Nancy Diana Gomez and Maria Floriana Colombo (Biblioteca Central "Luis Federico Leloir", Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires).

    Abstract: In Argentina, research in the basic sciences and technology is carried out for the most part within national universities. The ever increasing demand for information is catered for by libraries in these institutions which is why they should be examined closely. The authors presented an up-to-date survey on the situation of science and technology libraries in Argentine universities with respect to their capabilities for accessing electronic information. The state of libraries across the country is uneven, ranging from libraries with adequate information technology, and consequent access to services like electronic full text or electronic transmission of documents, to those which have only just started input into their first bibliographic databases. Nevertheless the demands of users in the area of sci-tech have caused these information units to develop faster than other libraries in Latin America. The survey focused on the developments which are leading to substantial improvement in information access, and also on the foundations of this develop-ment phase. The latter include the QIUF (Quality Improvement of Universities Fund) Programme; the UIN (University Interconnection Network) Project, which connects state universities with each other and the rest of the world; and the Science and Technology Information Workgroup working within MERCOSUR, whose aim is the regional integration in the information area as well as the optimal use of available resources. A main task of the library is to include itself and stand out in "the global village. Various authors suggest a strong dependence of real economic development on timely access to information. Since science and technology are essential to economic development, sci-tech libraries must have a proactive role in this process.

    "Electronic Resources on Campus: a Degree of Integration,"
    by David J. Price (Radcliffe Science Library, Oxford University, Oxford).

    Abstract: Over the past decade in the academic science and technology libraries of the UK, we have seen a growing dependency on electronic resources to the extent that bibliographic reference work is now almost exclusively conducted using electronic databases. The number of quality, refereed electronic journals is growing rapidly and we can expect them to be used either as an adjunct to hard copy or increasingly as substitutes. Electronic sources bring with them special problems of manage-ment, many of them technological, which in the world of books librarians have not had to confront before. Problems range from acquisition problems to access restrictions, authentication, copyright, preservation, software and the user-interface. This presentation addressed some of the more intransigent issues that confront us as we strive to integrate not only the electronic sources we provide for our readers, but electronic with traditional material.

    "Electronic Journals and Digital Libraries: An Overview of Recent Developments in DOI Publishing,"
    by Arnoud de Kemp (Springer Verlag, Heidelberg).

    Abstract: Almost all STM publishers are working on electronic journals or books or launching new electronic ones. At present versions are not clearly marked. We must, for example, be able to identify on the Internet the electronic version of a printed paper journal. Central authentica-tion will be wherever there is the login; the problem will be solved within two years. The Digital Object Identifier (DOI holds much promise. A group of publishers have begun implementing DOIs in a prototype that will be presented for the first time at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, 1997. For more information refer to the Internet address: http://www.doi.org

Sci - Tech Section Workshop

On a sunny Thursday 4 September the Sci-Tech Libraries Section sponsored a half-day workshop offsite at the Rockefeller complex of the University of Copenhagen. "Access to Electronic Sci-Tech Information," was planned by Mette Stockmarr and David Price and moderated by Martin Kesselman. Very informative presentations were made by:

    Paul Williams, B. H. Blackwell Ltd., "Blackwell's Electronic Journal Navigator".

    Paul Donovan, EBSCO Publishing, "EBSCOHost".

    Connie Munsters, SilverPlatter Info Ltd., "SilverLinker".

    Nick Mole, Ovid Technologies Inc., "OVID".

    Jens Peter Winkler, Munksgaard International Publishers Ltd. Co., "Munksgaard Electronic Journals".

Because these were informal presentations no papers or abstracts are available. The second part of the workshop included a reception and tour of the nearby Danish National Library of Science and Medicine.

Other Copenhagen Sessions

The Copenhagen conference offered a great number of sessions of interest to sci-tech librarians. Of special note was the first Guest Lecture given by Sir Roger Elliott, Department of Physics, Oxford University, Chair of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), former President of Oxford University Press and former President of the Publishers Association. Sir Roger captured the attention of a large audience as he spoke on "The Impact of Electronic Publishing on the Scientific Infor-mation Chain." Included in his talk was an update on developments resulting from the 1996 ICSU/UNESCO Paris conference on electronic publishing in science. The confer-ence report and recommendations are available on the ICSU homepage:

The full text of Sir Roger's Copenhagen talk is scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue of IFLA Journal.

A sampling of other sessions of special interest to sci-tech librarians include:

  • Richard De Gennaro, "JSTOR: Building an Internet Accessible Digital Archive of Retrospective Journals".

  • A debate on "Issues in the Ownership and Availability of Electronic Information", sponsored by the Division of General Research Libraries and the Division of Collections and Services.

  • An Open Session, "Library Gateways and User Education", sponsored by the Roundtable on User Education and featuring five speakers from various countries.

  • "At what cost? Access to Digitized Journal Articles", a paper by Hazel Woodward and Paula Kingston (Project ACORN, Pilkington Library, Loughborough Univ, Loughborough), presented at a workshop sponsored by Serial Publications, Acquisition and Collection Development, and the UAP Core Program on the theme of "The New Economics of Publishing".

Honoring Robert Wedgeworth

Copenhagen marked the close of Robert Wedgeworth's six year service (1991-97) as President of IFLA. In recognition of Dr. Wedgeworth's work the USA professional associations which are members of IFLA proposed the establishment of a special Fund for IFLA Conference Participation from the Developing World. The IFLA Executive Board accepted the proposal with great enthusiasm and will be working with the American library community and other interested colleagues to establish the particulars. More news of this effort will be posted on IFLA-L and on IFLA's Web Site:

Upcoming IFLA Conferences

Mark your calendars now for these upcoming meetings:

  • Amsterdam 16-21 August 1998.

    "At the Crossroads of Information and Culture" is the theme of the 64th Council and General Conference.

    In an Open Session co-sponsored with the Bio-Medical Section, the Sci-Tech Section will explore how the electronic journal is affecting sci-tech librarianship. Philippe Raccah (France) is the lead Sci-Tech planner for this program.

    In lieu of a standard workshop the Section, led by Marianne Nordlander (Sweden), is exploring the possibility of a field trip to the Library of the Technical University at Delft.

    The Sci-Tech Standing Committee will meet twice during the conference. Section members are invited to propose items for consideration. Please send these to a committee member or to Patricia Yocum, Committee Chair.

    For general information on the IFLA conference,
    e-mail: ifla@congrex.nl

  • Bangkok 19-28 August 1999.

    The theme of the conference is "Libraries as Gateways to an Enlightened World" with a focus on preservation and conservation. For general information on the IFLA conference
    e-mail: exspafa@external.ait.ac.th

  • Jerusalem 13-18 August, 2000

  • Boston 2001

Section of Science & Technology Libraries Medium-Term Programme 1998-2001

Reviewed Beijing 29 August 1996, final revision made in Copenhagen 30 August and 5 September 1997


The Section brings together special libraries collecting materials in, and offering access to, information about the physical sciences and technology to users in science and technology departments of national libraries, university and polytechnic libraries, public libraries and corporate and government research libraries.

A major focus of the Section will be on computer networks and digital information for professional and scholarly communication. The Section collaborates with various national and international science and technology library associations.


  1. Provide a forum for discussion of working methods and services of libraries in the sciences and technology.

  2. Promote activities which advance the professional competence of science and technology librarians.

  3. Engage in projects, in cooperation with other Sections of IFLA interested in the subject, with IFLA core programmes, and with other organizations, for the analysis of challenges which science and technology libraries face, as well as for the preparation and implementation of appropriate proposals.

  4. Extend the effectiveness of the Section as an international focus for science and technology librarianship.

  5. Enhance the status of science and technology librarians.

Action Plan 1997-1999

  1. Organize cooperative endeavors with other national and international Sci-Tech organizations such as IATUL, ICSU, ISTI and the SLA Sci-Tech Division.

  2. Arrange publication and dissemination of papers delivered at Section meetings.

  3. Assess the potential of the Section to provide professional assistance to Sci-Tech libraries in developing regions.

  4. Prepare and promote the Manual for International Cooperation for Sci-Tech Libraries.

  5. Promote membership to increase the effectiveness of the Section by:

    • increasing the content of the Section newsletter and distributing it electronically,

    • publishing information on the Section's activities in the IFLA Journal and on the IFLA website (IFLANet).

    • opening the Section's listserv to all Section members and others interested in the work of the Section.

  6. Develop the Section's contribution to IFLANet and provide links to other Sci-Tech sites and discussion lists.

Sci-Tech Listserv

Section members and others interested in the work of Sci-Tech are cordially invited to join our open listserv maintained at Oxford University (UK). To join send an email message to:

Leave the "Subject" line blank. In the text area type subscribe. Be sure to exclude any other text (such as your name, address et al that might normally appear on your outgoing email).


Four papers presented at the Sci-Tech Section Open Session in Beijing were subsequently published in v.31, n.2 of INSPEL, the official journal of the IFLA Division of Special Libraries.

  • Suzanne Fedunok, "A Perspective on U.S. Co-operative Collection Development".

  • Xu Hongying, "Research on the Collection and Distribution of Foreign Sci-Tech Journals in China".

  • Oili Kokkonen and Eva Ijas, "Availability of Journals in Electronic Form".

  • Newton X. Liu, "Using the Internet to Share Information between China and the West".

Two papers presented at the Sci-Tech Open Session in Copenhagen have already appeared in v. 31, n.3 of Inspel.

  • David J. Price, "Electronic Resources on Campus: a Degree of Integration".

  • Nancy Diana Gomez & Maria Floriana Colombo, " The Situation of the Argentine University Libraries of Science and Technology: its possibilities of access to information".

Inspel is edited by Hans-Christoph Hobohm and published by Technische Universitat Berlin, Universitatsbiblliothek. Inspel is available in print and on the Web at:

Prospective authors whose articles deal with special libraries are encouraged to contact the editor:

Hans-Christoph Hobohm

Potsdam Applied University
Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 4
D-14467 Potsdam
E-mail: hobohm@fh-potsdam.de

SLA Conference Travel Stipend

The Science-Technology Division of the Special Libraries Association plans to award a travel stipend of up to $2,000 to a librarian from outside the United States and Canada to attend the Special Libraries Association annual conference 6-11 June 1998 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. For more information contact Nancy Anderson whose address is listed below.

This newsletter is published irregularly by IFLA's Section of Science and Technology Libraries and is distributed automatically to members of the Section. Others may receive it upon request. This issue was edited by Patricia Yocum with reports from Nancy Anderson.

Patricia Yocum

University of Michigan
3026 Shapiro Science Library
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1185 USA
E-mail: pyocum@umich.edu

Nancy Anderson

Mathematics Library
216 Altgeld Hall
University of Illinois
1409 West Green Street
Urbana, IL 61801 USA
E-mail: ndanders@uiuc.edu


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