4.1166 Research Library Group's Future (1/69)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 20 Mar 91 16:49:28 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 1166. Wednesday, 20 Mar 1991.

Date: Fri, 15 Mar 91 09:24:13 PST
From: "Connie Gould" <BL.CCG%RLG@Forsythe.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: Research Library Group


March 8, 1991 -- At the March 7-8 meeting of the Research Libraries
Group's Board of Governors, following the most successful fiscal
year in the corporation's history, the Board approved a
comprehensive proposal to take the organization into a new set of
activities and business directions. Management has been charged to
plan and carry out a set of changes that will concentrate on
activities where corporate leverage is greatest and that will enable
the organization to meet an array of emerging research information
needs. RLG will continue to advance through the cooperative
activity of its members, building on established strengths and
applying group leverage in new areas.

As envisioned, RLG will become a vehicle for the cooperative
development of research information management systems, technology,
and associated standards focused on primary materials,
nontraditional formats, and information delivery. "RLG92" will
offer its members and general-service users:

* major expansion of bibliographic access to archival holdings,
computer files, and visual materials;

* new, specialized data resources and management services;

* products and services to speed and enhance information

RLG president James Michalko explained: "In its first 15 years, RLG
developed activities and services focused on a set of basic research
library needs. Alternative sources have emerged for many of the
products RLG provided during the 1980s. RLG's efforts in the 1990s
should complement rather than replicate services members can obtain
through local systems or other established providers."

In addressing the Board, Michalko observed that "the time is right
for RLG to reformulate its programs, products, and services in
direct support of scholarship and research. Our landmark
assessments of information needs in the humanities, social sciences,
and natural sciences have demonstrated enormous scope for expanded
activity in the organization and management of nontraditional
information types. The success of RLG's technical and programmatic
support for archival and records repositories suggest that the 1990s
will be the right time to establish, definitively, effective
management and access tools for a broad family of unique research
resources. The recent successful beta-test of RLG's Internet-based
document transmission facility and the introduction of its
workstation-based interlibrary loan management tool position the
organization to capitalize on the widespread need for access and
management software -- designed to operate on affordable, local
platforms, but still capable of communicating with union databases
of scholarly information."

Michalko also announced at the March meeting that a proposal being
prepared by OCLC, the Online Computer Library Center, to the member
libraries of RLG might lead to an intersystem link between the two
organizations and facilitate service to the higher education and
research library communities.

In June, the Board will act on the first elements of an
organizational transformation that is expected to include
streamlined programs administration, new definitions and categories
of membership, and a new governance structure.