LINC: NEWSPLAN Panel minutes The twenty-fifth meeting of the Panel was held at the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, on Thursday 19th April 2001 at 1.30 pm. Present Ms. E. Melrose (In the Chair; Yorkshire Libraries and Information) Mr. P. Baird (West Midlands) Mr. E. Button (East Midlands) Mr. P. Chapman (Northern region) Mr. R. Dixon (Northern Ireland) Mr. N. Fox (South-Western region) Mr. I. Jones (NLW) Mr. J. Lauder (NEWSPLAN:2000) Mr. E. King (BLNL and Secretary) Mr. S. Lester (BLNL and Minutes Secretary) Mr. T. Munford (Society of Archivists) Ms. C. Newton (NLS) Mr. J. Pepler (North-Western Region) Ms. S. Smyth (NLI) Mr. M. Timms (LASER) Ms. A. Walker (NPO) 1. Membership The Chair welcomed members and those representing their regions on behalf of members. Two new members of the panel were introduced: Ms. C. Newton (National Library of Scotland) and Mr S Lester (BLNL: Minutes Secretary). Special thanks and best wishes were recorded for Chris Payne, the out-going Minutes Secretary, for his contribution to the work of the Panel over the last ten years. The Chair also expressed thanks to Pat Wressell and Associates who have stepped down from the Panel for the present, pending any further requests for work. Mr Chapman explained that he was representing the Northern Regional Committee of NEWSPLAN. Due to the absorption of Information North into NEMLAC (North East Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council) on 1 April 2001, the sponsoring body of the Northern Committee was likely to be LINE (Libraries and Information North East). Mr Chapman has been asked to report back on the LINC NEWSPLAN meeting to Dr John Hall of Durham University who is chair of LINE, and to copy the report to Mr Michael Long who is now Director of Operations at NEMLAC. A request was made for any further changes to the NEWSPLAN Panel Mailing list to be sent to Mr King so that an updated version can be prepared. 2. Minutes of the previous meeting The minutes of the meeting on 5 Oct 2000 were approved as a correct record. 3. Matters arising from the Minutes of the previous meeting 3.1 (4.3) NEWSPLAN Development Plan: Action pending: ‘The Chair asked the Secretary to circulate the definitive plan to Panel members and to forward a copy to LINC’. 3.2 (6.3) Draft Guidelines for Indexing Newspapers: Action pending: The Secretary is to circulate the guidelines to regional newspaper organisations. 4. Library and Information Co-operation Council (LINC) 4.1 It was confirmed that LINC will continue in its present form for the current year, during which time the Panel will continue to be known as the LINC: NEWSPLAN Panel. 4.2 It was noted that as LINC is likely to be discontinued at the end of the year the future position and accountability of the LINC: NEWSPLAN Panel will have to be reviewed. 4.3 The Panel agreed that it would submit a group response to the Library Association questionnaire on the need for a cross sectoral body to represent the Library and Information Sector. The Secretary agreed to co-ordinate this with the advice of Mr Fox. 5. NEWSPLAN 2000 5.1 Mr Lauder tabled a report on the position of the NEWSPLAN 2000 as at April 2001. He explained that all of the practical details concerning implementation of the project had been agreed by the HLF, although some clarification on financial matters was outstanding. 5.2 A draft tender has been written and subsequently revised by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The draft tender will now be scrutinised by the Tender Board, which has been set up for this purpose, and the final version will be ready by May 2001. 5.2 Partnership funding: The Newspaper Society has taken on the role of liaising with the UK press onthe Project’s behalf, and a meeting with representatives from local and regional newspaper publishers is about to take place. Details of the amount of partnership funding that has been secured may be available by early May. 5.3 Final lists of titles to be filmed have now been agreed by all regions. The original lists have been revised by the Project Officer following the HLF requirement that complete runs of titles should be filmed and that, in general, those in the national collections should be used. The final lists from each region will now be input to the microfilming schedule which is being prepared by the Project Officer. 5.4 The Project intends to place the titles from the regional lists onto monthly timetables or schedules of filming. In planning the schedules of filming it will be necessary to achieve a balance to ensure that the microfilming is allocated evenly across all the regions. The Project Handbook, together with the detailed monthly schedules of microfilming should provide all the information needed by the each participating library to plan and cost the microfilming of titles. 5.5 Microfilm readers and reader printers. It remains the aim of the NEWSPLAN 2000 Project to supply the full number of microfilm readers and reader printers in year one of the project. The Panel will be advised if there is any significant change to this. 5.6 Mr Fox asked whether the HLF would require all the matching funding to be in place at the beginning of year one. Mr Lauder advised that sufficient matching funding would have to be definitely secured for year one, before release of year one funding by HLF would take place. Release of funding by HLF for subsequent years would also depend on the matching funding for those years being available at that time. Therefore it will be necessary to have a firm assurance of matching funding for year one in place by July 2001, which is the scheduled date for the Stage-two pass by HLF. Mr Fox also queried what would happen if the amount of matching funding available were to be less than the full amount required by the HLF. Mr Lauder confirmed that if this were to occur the amount awarded by the HLF in any one year might be reduced in proportion to the shortfall. 5.7 Mr Button asked whether the Newspaper Library would be taking part in a bid to carry out microfilming. Mr King confirmed that the British Library was part of a consortium which is considering placing a bid. 5.8 The HLF has stipulated that wherever possible a ‘complete run’ of a title should be filmed, rather than selected years which are most at risk. The definition of a complete run is one that is as complete as possible. 5.9 It was noted that filming of complete runs and the revised policy of filming from the sets held in the national libraries will result in a major change in the emphasis of the project. It will have a direct effect on the type of resource required from individual libraries to either service copies of titles selected for microfilming or to consider the payment for the service costs to the relevant national library, if the national library’s set is microfilmed. 5.10 Mr King observed that the filming of complete runs of titles where the originals are held in more than one location will require a considerable amount of additional work and co-operation between the various libraries involved; the Project office; and the microfilming bureau. Roger Dixon also advised that it was important not to underestimate the costs of identifying and filling gaps in holdings, and that the bibliographic control of material selected and sent for microfilming can only be carried out effectively by staff with the relevant skills. 5.11 The service cost for each volume sent for filming has been set at £17.90. Mr Lauder advised that the true cost per volume may be in excess of this amount. In view of this, all libraries servicing volumes for microfilming were asked to carefully monitor the actual costs in year one. This may allow the Project to adjust to the ‘true’ cost in years two and three. 5.12 Mr King confirmed that the Newspaper Library will be closely considering the potential costs of servicing titles in its collection for microfilming. 5.13 The Chair summed up this part of the discussion by reminding the Panel that the ‘true’ cost of preparing volumes for microfilming is likely to be considerably in excess of the amount currently estimated, and that it is vital, especially during year one, that the resource required for this work is carefully monitored and is not underestimated. 6. NEWSPLAN North Western Region: Survey of use of historic newspapers. 6.1 Mr Pepler gave an account of the background to the survey and its main findings. Of these, one of the most significant was that a majority of users replied that microfilm was the easiest format to use. It was observed that this was perhaps a surprising result and that it may have been due to microfilm having been the only format available in some cases. 6.2 Mr King advised the Panel that it is intended to summarise the available regional survey results for the Autumn NEWSPLAN Panel meeting. If the format of any subsequent surveys from other regions is similar to that used for the North Western Region, this will help to facilitate collation of the results of the various surveys. 6.3 It was observed that if the responses from the other regions follow the pattern of the North Western Region survey and indicate a positive response to the use of microfilm, this would provide an endorsement of the use of microfilm as the preservation medium for NEWSPLAN 2000. 6.4 The Chair urged all regions which have not yet carried out a survey to do so, as it is a requirement of the HLF bid to provide details of usage. 7. Automatic Indexing of Newspapers. 7.1 Mr King tabled a discussion paper reviewing recent developments by three companies in the commercial sector. It was emphasised that rapid progress is now being made in this area and one company, Olive Software, has produced a prototype system specifically for newspapers. 7.2 It was agreed that Mr King would produce an option paper for the Autumn NEWSPLAN Panel meeting. This paper would identify and consider the possible ways in which the Panel should respond to and promote the use of new developments in this field. Panel members were asked to forward any suggestions for inclusion in this paper direct to Mr King. 8. Newspaper in the vernacular: Summary of responses. 8.1 Mr King tabled the summary of responses and explained that a full set of returns had not yet been received. Early indications are that there are not great numbers of titles held in libraries; that most libraries only keep back copies for a limited amount of time; and that microfilm is not normally made of Asian language UK newspapers acquired by libraries in the regions. 8.2 The Chair expressed concern at the number of regions which had not yet responded to the survey, and urged Panel members to progress this via their regional committees. All regions were requested to submit a full set of returns, even if these are nil returns. 8.3 It was agreed that the results of the survey would be sent to the Asian Librarians and Advisers Group (London). 9. Reports from the Regions East Midlands. A questionnaire for the survey of use of newspapers has been designed. The format will be similar to that used by the North Western region. It is anticipated that the survey results will be available in time for the Autumn NEWSPLAN Panel meeting. Ireland. Recent problems with the web version of the NEWSPLAN: Ireland report are currently being rectified LASER. As LASER is due to be discontinued after September 2001, the implications for LASER: NEWSPLAN are currently under consideration. Northern Ireland. The survey of use of newspapers was completed in February and the results are being processed. Current microfilming is concentrating on newspapers published from 1950 onwards. Northern Region. The survey of use of newspapers is scheduled for later in the year, although the results may not be available in time for the Autumn NEWSPLAN Panel meeting. North Western Region. NWRLS is currently being re-organised as Libraries North West. Scotland. The survey on use of newspapers will be taken forward at the next committee meeting in May. Wales. The NEWSPLAN: Wales report is due to be made available on the web in the near future. The National Library of Wales has increased filming of recent/current newspapers. West Midlands. The survey of use of newspapers should be completed in time for the Autumn NEWSPLAN Panel meeting Yorkshire and the Humber Region. The survey of use of newspapers is due to be discussed at the next committee meeting. A list of indexes to newspapers held by libraries in the region is now available on the YLI NEWSPLAN web- site. The NEWSPLAN report for the region is currently being automated and will be made available on the YLI NEWSPLAN web-site. 10. Any Other Business 10.1 The matter of a one day conference was discussed. The Chair and the Secretary will discuss this further with NEWSPLAN 2000 and members of the panel will be kept informed. 10.2 The possibility of asking LINC to fund a further issue of the LINC NEWSPLAN Newsletter was discussed. The Secretary agreed to progress this. 11. Date and venue of the next meeting The date was agreed for Thursday 11th October 2001 at 1.30 pm at The British Library. Members were requested to assemble in the St.Pancras entrance hall at 1.15 pm.
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