7.0520 ARL-E-RESERVE Midwinter Report (1/272)

Thu, 24 Feb 1994 23:32:00 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0520. Thursday, 24 Feb 1994.

Date: Thu, 24 Feb 94 17:56:30 EST
From: Jeff Rosedale <rosedale@columbia.edu>
Subject: midwinter report

Here it is, hope you enjoy it; all subsequent postings on this topic
from me will go to the arl-ereserve listserv which is now definitely in
full swing.



LAMA SASS Circulation and Access Services Discussion Group
Meeting of February 6, 1994 in Los Angeles
Summary prepared by Jeff Rosedale

Susan Marks of the University of Iowa requested that a discussion on
Electronic Reserves systems take place at the meeting. As a result, a panel
was formed consisting of the following individuals:

Jeff Rosedale, Columbia University Libraries (moderator)
Duane Webster, Association of Research Libraries
Don Bosseau, San Diego State University
Kay Flowers, Rice University
Paul Kobulnicky, University of Pittsburgh.

I began the discussion with a brief overview of electronic reserves issues.
In my role as a department head at Columbia, I have felt inclined to find
alternatives to traditional reserves services due to pressures of staffing,
workflow, and the vision of implementing the virtual library. The attitudes
of vendors and permissions services in this process have been helpful, but
ultimately they have been unable and/or unwilling to deliver the goods- so
it's up to us as academic librarians to define and shape direct instructional
support in the electronic environment. Doing so represents a challenge and
also an opportunity in reshaping the expectations and behaviors of faculty.
Doing so effectively means sharing experiences on our plans, visions,
assumptions, and real-life experiences. Although there are some complex
and unresolved questions of intellectual property and costs, work in
planning, design and implementation continues.

Duane Webster followed my introduction with a dynamic and inspiring
presentation. ARL will sponsor a presentation entitled "Transforming the
Reserve Function: Providing Instructional Support in an Electronic Age" at
Duke University from June 2-4, 1994. This workshop will showcase
existing solutions for electronic reserves that have been developed at Duke
University, San Diego State University, and Rice University. It will be a
hands-on workshop including case studies, demonstrations and discussions
lead by experts in the field. Technical issues, copyright concerns, policy
issues, campus partnerships and the larger context of instructional support
will be addressed. This workshop is designed for institutions intending to
implement some form of electronic instructional support by next fall-
between five and ten out of the 100 attendees at the meeting indicated they
are in such a position. For more information contact Diane Harvey at ARL,
21 Dupont Circle NW, Washington DC 20036 (or email diane@cni.org).
Duane indicated that there might be another gathering planned for the
institutions that are "just thinking about it".

Duane spoke about the intellectual property issues directly. ARL is not
advocating lawlessness or trying to provoke one or more publishers into
litigation. The Library community has worked hard to establish the right of
fair use and re-use of materials. Advancing the rights of fair use and
special uses for libraries should be one of the goals of the Electronic
Reserves initiative. We need to put systems into practice to determine
what constitutes reasonable use. Lawyers should alert us to the potential
risks of our system designs, but the values and goals of scholarly
communication should not be sacrificed on the altar of risk avoidance.

Duane also mentioned that ARL has teamed up with the National Association
of College Stores because they share a common interest in supplying
information to students. The aforementioned workshop is co-sponsored by
NACS, and institutions wishing to participate are asked to invite a
representative of their college store to join the librarians in the

After Duane, Don Bosseau took the podium to relate some real-life
experiences from the first practitioners in electronic reserves. Don began
his talk by indicating that technology is not the issue in delivering
electronic reserves, rather it is the campus politics and policy issues
surrounding copyright that challenge the developers of such systems. He
mentioned several opinions about the definition of the scanning and
networking process involved in electronic reserves, including the view that
the reformatting of documents into electronic form constitutes
republication. The differences of opinion have limited the technological
development of the access side of SDSU's system; efforts have gone towards
the development of item-level tracking of the use of materials, and to
establish an audit trail to assess and collect fees for use. Nonetheless
SDSU is working on a second generation system which will represent great
strides over the original, featuring UNIX compatibility and off-site access;
it will be designed to be a turnkey system. To date, friendly advice from
University counsel to "keep the University out of court" has limited the
possibility of taking the technology as far as it can go. Nonetheless, the
new system will represent the implementation of a service-driven agenda,
not something technology-driven. The current system provides the
equivalent of access to an unlimited number of "copies" of an item, since
nothing is ever "off the shelf" or "checked out"; it is possible for a student
to print out the entire semester's worth of readings for a class, in effect
manufacturing his or her own "course pack". One unanticipated benefit of
the system is that it is used to print up "replacements" for paper copies
that had been lost, stolen or damaged. The system is based on bit-mapped
images, which publishers find more acceptable since they are difficult to
download or manipulate. In fact, SDSU does not allow downloading, but they
have not had complaints about this. There is a charge for laser printing of
the images. This represents some continuity with pre-electronic systems
when as many as 85% of users used to take physical items directly to
photocopiers. Interestingly, users are not allowed to sit at workstations
and view entire readings on the screens. Just as interesting is the fact
that no suggestions requesting that facility have been received.

Don gave some valuable data about his experiences thus far: SDSU's
experience is that a large number of items (50%) change from year to year in
Reserves lists. Copyright permissions were obtained through the bookstore;
1059 permissions were required for a single semester. However, of the
publishers contacted, only 1.8% asked for royalty payments. Over 4200
documents, representing over 50,000 pages had been scanned, and over
238,000 pages had been printed over the course of the last two semesters.
The printing was roughly evenly split between copyrighted and non-
copyrighted materials. Marketing of the electronic reserves system has not
been undertaken due to the lack of resolution of the copyright issues.

In summarizing his experiences, Don expressed the view that libraries and
publishers should find common ground in providing networked electronic
access to educational resources. There are currently millions of pages
being photocopied with no commission for the publishers. 24 hour 7-day
access should be possible on and off the main campus, and this kind of
system could support distance education applications. The broad
implications of these services merit a unified approach from the library

The next speaker was Kay Flowers. She described a "small library" solution
for electronic reserves, based on Virtual Notebook System (hereafter VNS)
software. The service is networked via a file server for the reserves
operation (a shared SUN workstation) which is probably inadequate for the
long-term support of this service. Electronic Reserves at Rice was
conceptualized as a part of the Electronic Studio project, which aimed at
applying technology to instruction. Mosaic is under examination as a
platform for X, Windows, and the Macintosh. "Notebooks" of materials are
created from scanned articles and organized by class. Access is provided
both within the library and elsewhere on campus. Whole books are not
scanned as a part of this project; books continue to be circulated as a part
of the reserves operation. Non-copyrighted articles or photocopies can be
scanned with the permission of the author; with respect to copyrighted
articles, royalties could be charged for the reformatting involved in the
scanning process, and for each copy as well; alternatively, the scanned copy
could be treated as a master, with free access to other "copies" for one
semester. Royalty payments should be arranged if the use extends beyond
one semester. Other variables include the interpretation of specific
sections (language in sections 101 and 107 in particular), of the copyright
law. Mary Brandt Jensen's article of last March does the most
comprehensive job of explaining rights and obligations to date. It is
generally agreed that image format is more parallel to traditional reserves
uses, and thus to fair use rights, than is ASCII text.

In Kay's experience, the utility of the Copyright Clearance Center for
electronic services is currently limited to the production of anthologies;
rights for electronic access to individual documents have not been
negotiated. Access through the CCC means tracking use at the item level
and paying royalties for all use.

Monitoring of use has been added to the functionality of VNS.

The VNS system is UNIX-based and runs best on an X-Windows
interface. There is also a Macintosh version in production, and a Windows
version in development. There may be problems in trying to provide access
in a "least common denominator" form. Charging for copies is currently done
through the use of debit cards; it is also possible to charge to an account
over the network. This is desirable because it reduces money handling.
Initially, the scanning resolution was set at 150 dpi (equivalent to a
monochrome fax); this was found to be insufficiently clear, and the best
way to ascertain the ideal resolution remains old fashioned trial and error.
Optimal resolution is governed by the conflicting goals of maximizing
legibility and minimizing file size. Other problems include the variation in
screen resolution; the X-windows screen is 108 dpi, while the Macintosh is
72 dpi. A 150 dpi scan is about 1/3 larger on both sides than an X-terminal;
on a Mac it's twice as big in both directions, or 4 times as big. This makes
for a lot of scrolling around for some users. Photoshop software was used
for the scanning. Enhancing and altering the images is possible but the time
needed to do so makes the operation very expensive- there are a lot of
potential tradeoffs in time/cost that could reduce the efficiency of this
service overall. Security has been a concern, and access is currently
governed by two layers of IDs and passwords. Class accounts are also
possible but would reduce accountability and accuracy in tracking use.
Evaluation of the service is to be based on accessibility, legibility and
utility of the information in the system. This fall, the system will be used
for 2-6 test classes; full implementation is hoped for by the fall of 1995.

Finally, Paul Kobulnicky addressed the group. The University of Pittsburgh 's
libraries are using an electronic course reserves system as the beginning of
a learning process of distributing textual and graphic information over a
campus network, and concurrently trying to improve reserve services. Local
foundation support in the neighborhood of $250,000 serves as seed money
for this process. The University library system is complex, including an
autonomous law and medical library as well as four regional campuses.
Student computing fees are used to generate capital funding for automation
projects, and all of the various parties collaborate on planning. The
development of electronic reserves is envisioned as a 2-year process, with
a pilot in place by next fall. The ultimate goal is for open access to the
University community even if a user is off-site. Searching will lead to the
possibility of multiple forms of display and/or use, from "lowest common
denominator" terminals to laser printing and FAX transmission. High-end
display devices on campus will be utilized and client software will be
available. The system will initially be image-based. Paul anticipated that
momentum from user demand for such a system will fuel its development
and will motivate faculty to get further involved. Paul's intention is that
systems planning and copyright policy issues be addressed on two separate
tracks that will converge in time and action. Reserves can and should
evolve into a more effective vehicle of instructional support through the use
of technology- including full-text reserves articles, textbooks, multi- and

In a synergy session that Paul co-lead at a meeting of the Coalition for
Networked Information last fall, the consensus was that assuming access to
electronic information will be based on collecting royalties undermines the
right of fair use. We can and should extend the rights of fair use (as
expressed in the 1982 ALA guidelines) to electronic formats,
differentiating access according to the type of information and/or user
group. A sense of common practice in this area needs to be developed. Much
of the work in dealing with copying of materials has been undertaken since
the arrival of the photocopier. We should not have such difficulty devising
rules for electronic copying. Effective planning for these services, and in
fact the nature of electronic information itself, demands an opening to
access across institutional boundaries. Planning for electronic reserves is
not an endpoint, just a milestone. We need to avoid "legal free fall"- a
situation in which there is too much uncertainty and change is happening too
fast to codify. We should start by defining sets of principles to allow for
restructuring of operational guidelines. Forerunners in this area include the
Triangle Research Libraries Group and the AAU Intellectual Property task
force. On the local level, Paul has created a local Pitt task force with broad
constituency to develop intellectual property policy in the networked
environment. The task force includes representation from the libraries, the
faculty, the computer center, academic administration, legal counsel, the
University Press, the bookstore and the law school. This is part of the
process to educate the University community on the legal and ethical issues
in instruction and learning. Paul believes that the scholarly information
community can build on existing relationships with publishers in ways that
include some accountability for the use of copyrighted information but that
also recognizes the importance of fair use.

In the brief question and answer period that followed these presentations,
Don Bosseau mentioned that publishers are more likely to put time limits on
access to materials in electronic form than they are to restrict access by
user or ask for a fee.

Duane announced the initiation of a new listserv dedicated to electronic
reserves issues on the server operated by the Coalition for Networked
Information. To subscribe, send a message to listproc@cni.org with the

subscribe arl-ereserve <your name>

I was struck by Duane's comment during the question and answer period to
the effect that "experimentation will become practice, and practice will
become policy". This is the ultimate Electronic Reserves wake-up call.

With the attendance list now in hand, I can say that the following
institutions had at least one attendee at this discussion: University of
Arizona, UCLA, San Diego State University, University of Pittsburgh,
Wheaton College, University of Iowa, Boston College, Florida International
University, Loyola University, CSU Northridge, Stanford University,
University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, Washington University, University
of Chicago, MIT, Colorado State University, Rice University, University of
Michigan, Occidental College, Purdue University, Oregon State University,
Appalachian State University, Reed College, University of Akron, Ohio State
University, Penn State, Triangle Research Libraries network, University of
Florida at Gainesville, Columbia University, Southern Illinois University at
Carbondale, University of California at Santa Cruz, Brandeis University, Ball
State University, USDA National Agricultural Library, Brown University,
Library of Congress, Florida Center for Library Automation, University of
Pennsylvania, University of California at San Diego, University of the
Pacific, University of Delaware, University of Maryland, Yale University,
Vanderbilt University, University of Rochester, University of Wisconsin-
Stout, University of California at Santa Barbara, Michigan Technological
University, St. John's University, Texas A & M University, Arizona State
University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Northwestern University,
San Jose State University, George Washington University, Rutgers
University, University of Minnesota; also a representative of University
Microforms International.