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A press release on the General Assembly in Amman is available at www.eifl.net/news/. On the eIFL site, at the MEMBERS ONLY section, you can also find the presentations by all speakers at the conference and lots of photos while in Jordan. You will be duly informed on progress related to the ongoing initiatives and new areas of collaboration that were presented at the meeting. The online GA evaluation survey was closed on November 1st, and soon a summary with comments and suggestions by respondents will be posted, too.
As fresh news, we are glad to announce that Serbia has offered to host the eIFL GA 2007. We thank Biljana Kosanovic, Serbia country coordinator, and Kobson, the national library consortium, for their availability and willingness to work on this major eIFL event next year.
On October 29-30 the eIFL Open Source Software for Libraries Program kicked off officially. The meeting took place in the incomparable landscape of the Monastery of the White Friars in Cupramontana, Italy, and was attended by an international group of Library and Software professionals, including experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, IFLA IT Section, University of Virginia, University of Oxford, the Library of Congress, Tactical Technology Collective, Human Info, Canada, France and some country coordinators and representatives from library consortia in the following eIFL countries: Armenia, Georgia, Malawi, Russia and Zimbabwe. Discussions were about how to best implement this new work area by taking into account eIFL countries needs. This program is well on the road to defining the roadmap towards the design of the "library in a box" and the steps to take in the next months. A press release is now available at www.eifl.net/news/.
Following the success of the first online course that NELINET carried out for eIFL members in February, we are glad to announce that 3 more courses are to take place in the coming months. These courses will address cutting edge issues in the librarianship field and give eiflers an opportunity to learn about how to best apply this knowledge in their libraries. The courses offered are: "Podcasting: What, Why and How" on November 21, "Emerging Metadata topics" on December 8 and 12 and "Open Archives Initiative: an overview" on December 21.
Registration is still open and will be on a first come/first served basis. The total number of people who may attend a session is limited to about 10 simultaneous users. For additional details, please contact the eIFL office.
We open this new section in an attempt to share activities and initiatives that the local library consortia from eIFL countries carry out on a regular basis. If your consortium is working on a special project or making visible progress on its activities you are very welcome to send us the news for the next issues.
AZLIC will organize a workshop to raise awareness on the benefits and importance of Open Access Repositories at mid-November. Lala Hajibayova, eIFL country coordinator, was one of the eIFL-funded participants to the Open Scholarship: New Challenges for Open Access Repositories Conference in October that brought together librarians, OA advocates, funding agencies, policymakers, researchers and publishers to discuss a wide range of issues pertaining to Institutional Repositories.
BIC, the Bulgarian Information Consortium (www.bic.bg), plans to hold two events by the end of this year. The Technology Day will take place on November 10th with the participation of library representatives from the University of North Colorado and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, local institutions and publishers. For its part, the BIC National meeting will be held in December.
On November 27-December 2, on the occasion of the "Lire en Fete" Celebration COCUREL, the local library consortium, will hold a roundtable with the media and the general public to explain its mission, goals and activities. This initiative falls within the marketing campaign that COCUREL has just launched.
The National Science and Technology Library (NSTL) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) will be hosting iPRES (International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects) in 2007. Following on the successful 2006 conference held in Cornell, USA, in October, this major event on digital preservation will be organized again in the country where it kicked off in 2004 thanks to the invitation made by the CAS and eIFL.
The Lithuanian Research Libraries Consortium (LMBA, www.lmba.lt/) is turning 5 years old on December, 4. The celebration of its anniversary will take place at the Martynas Mazvydas National Library of Lithuania in Vilnius.
On October 23-30 several presentations over the usage and management of scientific e-resources were organized to the academic community at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University and St. Clement of Ohrid University. Miodrag Dadasovic, eIFL country coordinator, explained to the audience the MEL mission and goals as well as all the benefits derived from eIFL membership.
The eIFL Direct Moldova Consortium held its General Meeting on October 20, and this was an excellent occasion for Silvia Ghinculov, country coordinator, to report on the eIFL General Assembly 2006 in Jordan. In addition, the consortium discussed negotiation issues and ways to improve its effectiveness.
Susan Veldsman has represented eIFL.net at the Workshop on Electronic Publishing and Open Access in India on November 2-3. The workshop aimed to share experiences from India, China, Brazil and South Africa and discussed how developing countries can work together in advancing open access. The workshop has been supported by OSI and jointly hosted by the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, the Indian Academy of Sciences, the Indian Institute of Science, and the Current Science Association.
On November 2-8 Rima Kupryte has been dealing with several fundraising and PR related issues in Washington, DC, USA.
On November 6 Teresa Hackett joined the European library association (EBLIDA) for a legal briefing to review the impact of the European database directive on libraries, especially in the light of recent rulings by the European Court of Justice.
On November 16-17, Rima Kupryte will attend the International Seminar "Evaluation of Library and Information Services. Does it lead to innovation and effectiveness?", to be organized and hosted by the Training Centre for LIS at the Faculty of Communication, Vilnius University, Lithuania. The Seminar will address a host of issues related to the evaluation and assessment of library and information services, performance measurement, quality, impact and value of libraries.
LondonOnline will be visited by Rima Kupryte and Susan Veldsman on November 28-30 to touch base with publishers with whom we already have license agreements in place, as well as seeking new agreements with new publishers.
There are a number of licensee agreements that are expiring by the end of 2006 and we are in a process of re-negotiating for another three year agreement: EBSCO, BioOne, Cambridge Univ Press, and Oxford Reference works: OED, ORO. Waiting for updated prices concerning AMP package(which consists of 6 offers).
The following only need to be renegotiated by the end of 2007, and any consortium can join when their budgets allow for it: Integrum-Techno, IOP, OUP-e-journals, Emerald, Gale, Wiley and Sage.
eIFL is pleased to be a founding member of a "dynamic coalition" announced on 1 November 2006 at the inaugural meeting of the UN WSIS Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Athens. "A2K@IGF", as the coalition is known, is an alliance of civil society, governments, business and academia to promote access to knowledge and online free speech. It will work towards promoting the internet as a tool for development, education and freedom, and will focus on the proper balance for intellectual property rights in a digital world.
The multi-stakeholder group will work together on recommendations for "best practices" on particular issues that deal with online activity. Other founding members of the IGF dynamic coalition include Google, the Council of Europe, CPTech, IP Justice, Sun Microsystems, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Yale Law School Information Society Project, Free Software Foundation Europe and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The coalition will report on its progress at the 2007 IGF in Rio de Janeiro.
The coalition arose from an IGF Workshop on Free Expression and A2K: "Harnessing the Power of the Internet to Provide Access to Knowledge & Free Flow of Information".
Workshop information is at ipjustice.org/wp/campaigns/internet-governance/.
There were two major items of interest to eIFL members on the agenda of the WIPO General Assemblies in Geneva in October 2006. The outcomes were generally good for developing countries.
The WIPO Development Agenda was perhaps the most difficult issue to resolve. Members agreed to renew the mandate of the Provisional Committee on Proposals Related to a WIPO Development Agenda (PCDA) for another year. All 111 proposals on the table will be discussed at two five day meetings in 2007. A batch of 40 less-contentious proposals will be discussed at the first meeting and the remainder in the second. The PCDA will provide recommendations to the 2007 General Assemblies. "I think it is positive," said a senior negotiator from Brazil, one of the originators of the development agenda proposal. "We got a commitment from members to actually consider the full range of proposals in a structured manner without prejudging the outcome."
The General Assemblies did not rubber stamp a recommendation to convene a diplomatic conference (to finalise the treaty) on the protection of broadcast organisations. Instead, two special sessions of the copyright committee (SCCR) will be held in January and June 2007 to revise the current treaty draft. A diplomatic conference will be convened in December 2007 only if agreement is reached on amending the present draft to reflect a signal-based approach, which eIFL has been calling for, as well as the objectives and scope of the proposed treaty. This means that the General Assemblies will have the opportunity to discuss it again in 2007, leaving open the possibility that a Diplomatic Conference may not take place if there is no agreement.
Denise Nicholson, South Africa eIFL-IP representative, was representing IFLA. We had a hectic week meeting government delegates and the WIPO Secretariat as well as making our interventions at a special late night session. One of the highlights was the statement of Gilberto Gil, Minister of Culture in Brazil and legendary bossa nova singer, in support of the Group of Friends of Development.
In January 2006, eIFL responded to the European Commission online consultation on digital libraries. eIFL supported the concept to "digitise once, distribute widely" as the most effective use of resources and to maximise the range of available digital content. eIFL also called for the harmonisation of certain exceptions to encourage cross-border cooperation and exchange of material, policies to protect the public domain and solutions to the problem of orphaned works.
In August, the Commission published its recommendations on digitisation and preservation of Europe's libraries and cultural institutions, calling on EU Member States to set up large-scale digitisation facilities and for action in other areas such as the systematic preservation of digital content in order to ensure long term access to the material. Unfortunately there are no specific policy recommendations on copyright questions, perhaps unsurprisingly because this is one of the most controversial topics.
One outcome was the establishment of a Copyright Subgroup. In October, the Subgroup presented an interim report to the High Level Expert Group on Digital Libraries covering orphaned works, out of print works and digital preservation. It is reported (the report itself does not appear to be online) that there are proposals for concrete measures to be implemented by or with the direct involvement of the stakeholders i.e. publishers, libraries, archives, collecting societies, Member States. eIFL will follow the proposals with interest and provide input where necessary.
Background documents and recommendations are available at eIFL.net/services.
There is growing interest from eIFL countries in adapting or "porting" Creative Commons (CC) licences to the national jurisdiction. A new eIFL page provides a quick introduction to Creative Commons, what sort of stuff CC licences cover and how they work.
eIFL countries with national CC licences are Poland, Slovenia and South Africa. Jordan, Nigeria and Ukraine are in process and Macedonia is forthcoming. If you are interested in adapting a CC licence to your local law, check out eIFL.net/services.
On 3 October, designated "Day against DRM", a collaborative platform about the potential dangers of DRM was initiated by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). Libraries amongst other groups are very concerned about the impact of DRM on their ability to preserve our cultural heritage, to provide future access to public domain material and to exercise user privileges under copyright law. Contributors include eIFL, IFLA and a range of consumer organizations. Please see www.drm.info.
Prof. Xiaolin Zhang, Director of the Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and friend of eIFL, delivered a paper on the eIFL-OA Program at the 20th International CODATA Conference held in Beijing on 22-25 October. Prof. Zhang reports that there was a good understanding of eIFL's role within the OA movement. More info on his presentation is available at www.codataweb.org.
The DOAJ has added a new service called "Authors' Service" (www.doaj.org). The added feature allows authors who are interested in publishing their research as open access to search for those journals which are 100% OA as well as hybrid OA journals which offer their authors a choice to publish in OA in an otherwise subscription-based journal.
OpenDOAR has developed a new tool which can help administrators formulate their repository's policies (www.opendoar.org). There was great interest in this new tool when it was presented at the eIFL OA workshop in Poland.
In addition, OpenDOAR just announced a new full-text search service from their list of quality-controlled repositories (www.opendoar.org). This service has been made possible through the recent launch by Google of its innovative Custom Search Engine, which allows OpenDOAR to define a search service based on the Directory's holdings.
SPARC has created an important resource to assist authors when submitting papers to journals for publication. The Addendum is a legal form that enables authors of journal articles to modify publishers' copyright transfer agreements and allow authors to keep key rights to their articles. When authors sign publishers' forms they can attach the SPARC Author Addendum. For more information, please see www.arl.org/sparc/author/.
The dates have just been announced for OAI5. Mark your calendars for this important OA meeting. The OAI series of workshops is one of the largest international meetings of technical repository-developers, library, Open Access policy formulators, and the funders and researchers that they serve. The program contains a mix of practical tutorials given by experts in the field, presentations from cutting-edge projects and research, posters from the community, breakout discussion groups, and an intense social program which has helped to build a strong network amongst previous participants. More info is available on the conference website: oai5.web.cern.ch/.
In addition to the SPARC Author Addendum, SURF and JISC have released a model agreement that will help authors make appropriate arrangements with publishers for the publication of a journal article. This "License to Publish" aims to establish a balance of rights and interests in the emerging scholarly communications environment.
The main features of the License to Publish are:
The agreement is available in Dutch and English and can be used for publications involving more than one author. More info is available at www.surf.nl.