President Atkinson delivered the "thunder" so if youíll bear with me Iíll describe a little bit about the gathering of the clouds and where some of the sprinkles are falling. The California Digital Library (DLC) is a new kind of library. It is a framework. Created about a year ago following a very broad based planning effort one of its goals is to provide collaborative leadership in effecting change in scholarly communication in a networked environment. The CDL is to do this, as well as accomplish its other goals, by providing an appropriate framework for leveraging the collective investment of nine campuses in content, technology, and human resources many of those human resources are in this room today, quite a number were involved in the planning for the CDL and many are also involved in current activities. The CDL is a "co-library." "co" stands for "collaborative" and collaboration is really one of its major strategies.
I want to review the planning a briefly . It looks really orderly but I think President Atkinson was right: itís really coming together because of an alignment of the planets and I would observe that heís probably one of the main planets that has been aligned. The main point here is how the library moved beyond talking to the converted to getting scholarly communication to be considered to be a university problem, not a library problem.
A small group of librarians and faculty began working in 1995 to address what we thought of as quite a crisis for the UC libraries. They did get attention at the highest level, and a much larger group was appointed consisting of academic and information technology administrators , faculty, and librarians. Some of their planning conclusions:1. The current library models cannot be sustained.There were a number of recommended strategies. Iím only going to highlight those that pertain to scholarly communication. The task force had as its primary goal that UC should seek innovative and cost-effective means to achieve comprehensive access to scholarly and scientific communication for all members of the university community. This morning weíve seen several examples ofinnovative models that are available to all members of the community models that do not only take print journals and make them electronic.
2. Leveraging is essential; libraries cannot meet these challenges alone, 3. The sustainability crisis is rooted in scholarly communication and academic advancement (it was important that someone other than librarians officially stated this for the University).
4. Strategic action is preferable to a traditional, detailed plan.
5. University culture rewards incremental change rather than collaborative risk-taking.
The first recommendation was to establish the California Digital Library, which again is basically a framework. "The programs of the CDL," (Iím quoting from the report), "should, in addition to supporting information access and delivery preservation, storage, retrieval, support new forms of scholarly and scientific communication." The CDL is a framework through which the nine campuses can focus these efforts. I think it is a framework for collaborative risk-taking as well, it protects individual libraries.
Second, UC should seek mutually beneficial collaboration with libraries and museums, other universities, and industry. That is, UC should adopt collaboration as a strategy, not only to extend access and share costs, but to develop an academically and economically sustainable model of scholarly communication. Again, the CDL provides the university a single locus through which to concentrate these efforts.
Third, UC should play a key leadership role in national efforts to transform scholarly and scientific communication. Those are the efforts weíre talking about today. Licensing content from commercial providers is seen as only a short-term strategy from which to transition to comprehensive access. The CDL should be identifying opportunities to support innovative alternatives for dissemination. I think Bill Armís comment was very interesting: that UC faculty still may not be exposed to the costs involved as we license these journals and make them available. It all looks very simple. There is a lot of pressure from both faculty and librarians to put our energies into licensing content but we need to devote some of them to supporting transitional models.
Fourth, UC should organize an environment of continuous planning and innovation. This environment is highly fluid and I think itís important that the university didnít decide the job is done, but in fact appointed another high level systemwide library and scholarly information advisory committee (1998-2000). Again, scholarly communication is not a library problem. This is probably the first time scholarly information has been the charge for such a group in the universityís history. And it certainly helps to have the attention of the President.
So what can we actually do? What are we starting to do? Libraries canít change scholarly communication, I think Dr. Ginsparg made that particularly clear. Change has to come from the scholars. However, we can perhaps provide some support for this activity: As a focal point for dialog with faculty on alternatives. We may be able to facilitate by learning what they need, organizationally and technologically, in order to transform communication.
Second, using technology to expand the libraryís traditional role. The libraryís traditional role has been access, and now weíre looking at how we can use technology to partner with faculty at the beginning of the communication cycle: creation and dissemination as well as access. I think over time our resources have to shift to spend fewer on access and more on this kind of partnership. Our third focus is collaboration with others.
The CLD as focal point for faculty dialog. Two of my colleagues here today; John Ober of the CDL and Cindy Shelton from UCLA, are involved in a project called Editorsí Forums.
I believe these are going to start next week at UCLA and then follow at Berkeley and potentially occur at all the campuses. We have identified UC editors of some of the most prestigious journals in social sciences, humanities and the sciences. Twelve per cent of the two thousand titles reviewed so far have UC editors. We know that the faculty who have been involved in some of these planning efforts are well aware of the problem. It will be interesting to see what the level of awareness and interest is amongst these editors.
CDLís national efforts: no one today has mentioned the Digital Library Federation (DLF) yet. The CDL is a DLF partner with about twenty-two other libraries in major institutions including UC Berkeley, the Library of Congress, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. This organizationís life is only expected to be five years but within that time it is committed to sharing investment and developing the means to federate libraries of digital works; and itis committed to leveraging digital library facilities to support the redesign of scholarly communication. One of the things DLF is interested in is assuring that some of the repositories described today have durable institutional homes that are not dependent upon soft money and on the energies and resources of single individuals.
Finally, CDLís Collaborative Initiatives: this is what the President alluded to when he said the CDL is actively exploring with some other major institutions a plan for action. They hope to come forward somewhere in mid-1999 with very specific plans which would probably be discipline-based. Faculty are integral to such a plan This is why the Editorsí Forums are important, to involve faculty in any plans. I think someone mentioned that university administrators ought to follow some specific course of action . All of us in the University of California know that the faculty are critical not only to scholarly communication but also to the governance of this University.
Finally, we better assure that any new models we create really are more sustainable for the University than the current model. Everything I heard this morning suggests that they really can be.