ZILLANE Final Report Section 1 Introduction to the Study and the by moti


									Illinois Library Automation and Resources in the Networked Environment                                  October 2002

                                               Section 1
                            Introduction to the Study and the Final Report

1.1 Introduction to the Study

This report presents the results of a study of the Illinois Regional Library Systems and their shared
bibliographic control and access systems (frequently referred to as the LLSAPs). The research study
entitled Illinois Library Automation and Resources in the Networked Environment (hereafter referred to as
zILLANE) had as its primary goal the identification of strategies for enhancing access to Illinois libraries’
holdings, where the strategies ensure the best stewardship possible for state and federal grant dollars for
library automation and resources.

A study team from the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge (TxCDK) at the University of North Texas,
under the direction of Dr. William E. Moen, worked with the Illinois State Library (ISL), the twelve Regional
Library Systems (RLS), and other stakeholders from December 2001 through September 2002 in a multi-
method research strategy to collect and analyze data to address the overall study goal.

This report includes a description of the historical and current context of Illinois RLS, a description of
methods used to collect and analyze data, findings developed based on the data collected, and a set of
recommendations and strategies to assist the ISL and the RLS to improve access to library resources.

1.2 Scope and Objectives of the Study

The twelve Regional Library Systems are engaged in a wide range of activities that serve the needs of
their member libraries. The focus of this study was primarily on the shared bibliographic control and
access systems operated by the RLS under the auspices of the Local Library System Automation
Program (LLSAP). In this report, the terms “LLSAP”, “shared bibliographic access and control system”,
“shared system”, and “shared bibliographic system” are used interchangeably. These shared or consortia
systems provide a range of services to participating libraries. In addition, the study examined possible
roles and responsibilities of the RLS LLSAPs to provide new levels of bibliographic access to library
resources in the evolving networked information environment.

A set of objectives identified at the outset of the project guided the study’s activities:

        Document the current information technology landscape of the Regional Library Systems
        Document costs of various bibliographic system implementations and configurations
        Document existing LLSAP cost sharing arrangements
        Document current and identify expiring LLSAP contracts and licenses for databases
        Identify the benefits of consortia/shared bibliographic systems and the services and products
         based on those systems.
        Identify challenges and opportunities for the LLSAP and non-LLSAP libraries in the evolving
         networked information environment
        Develop an appropriate technical and organizational architecture that meets the information
         needs of Illinois citizens in a fiscally responsive manner, and can serve as the foundation for a
         long-range plan

The ISL, the RLS, and RLS member libraries are the primary stakeholders from the perspective of this
study. Other library consortia, individual libraries, and library users can also be considered interested
parties (i.e., stakeholders) in enhancing access to Illinois library resources. The zILLANE study team
worked throughout the project to understand the opportunities and challenges in enhancing access to
Illinois library resources and to build consensus between the ISL and the RLS on strategies that are
responsive to their concerns and needs.

Texas Center for Digital Knowledge                    Section 1 – Page 1                     University of North Texas
Illinois Library Automation and Resources in the Networked Environment                            October 2002

1.3 Study Questions

Compiling the appropriate information to identify strategies to enhance access and make decisions about
those strategies is essential. To collect the information needed by the ILS and RLS, the study team
developed a set of questions to be addressed by the zILLANE study. These questions are derived from
the study’s objectives, and they guided study data collection activities. The questions address a range of
issues including: costs of operating shared systems, membership in and the benefits of participating in
those systems, possible roles and responsibilities of RLS in enhancing access to library resources, and
the use of new and emerging technologies. Table 1-1 presents the specific study questions that were
formulated in discussions between the study team, ISL, and the Illinois Library Systems Directors
Organization (ILSDO).

The questions in Table 1-1 can be summarized:

        What is the role of shared bibliographic access and control systems in enhancing access to
         library resources in a statewide architecture? What are the economics of these shared systems in
         the context of local standalone systems?
        What level of standardization and what standards are necessary in information technology
         implementations to achieve the vision of enhanced access to libraries’ resources? How can the
         ISL, the RLS shared systems, and other libraries and consortia reach consensus on these
        What are the costs associated with various bibliographic system implementations (e.g.,
         consortia/shared, standalone)?
        How can this information serve as a basis for marketing shared bibliographic control and access
         systems and services to current and potential customers?

To answer these questions, the study team developed a research strategy to collect the necessary data.

1.4 Study Strategy and Methods

The design of the zILLANE study incorporated a number of data collection and analysis techniques. The
primary study strategy was to conduct site visits at each of the twelve RLS. The study team carried out
these visits from February through April 2002.

Each site visit included between two and four focus groups and/or individual interviews with RLS staff,
representatives of member libraries (both LLSAP and non-LLSAP participants), and members of the RLS
board of directors. Participants in the focus groups also completed a short questionnaire, the results of
which were entered into a database for subsequent processing. For each site visit, the study team wrote
a summary report that compiled the output of the focus groups and interviews. These summary reports
and the focus group feedback forms provided the study team with much of the data upon which the
study’s findings and recommendations are based. While onsite, the study team collected pertinent
documents for subsequent analysis.

The study team also conducted a survey of RLS member libraries (both libraries participating in the RLS
shared systems and those that do not) to collect information via a questionnaire on the costs to the
libraries for their automation system.

To ensure the accuracy of critical data, the study team provided an opportunity for each RLS to review
and correct information prepared by the study team. This was done through two follow-up questionnaires
completed by each RLS.

This multi-method approach provided an appropriate strategy for collecting a range of data as well as
providing confirmation and trustworthiness in the data collected and findings presented in this report.
Section 3 and associated appendixes in this report contain more details on the study methods used.

Texas Center for Digital Knowledge                    Section 1 – Page 2               University of North Texas
Illinois Library Automation and Resources in the Networked Environment                                                    October 2002

                                                        Table 1-1
                                                 zILLANE Study Questions

    1.    How can the holdings of many Illinois libraries be coordinated and represented in a manageable number of Z39.50
          databases (e.g., regional catalogs)? Are there an optimal number of LLSAP bibliographic databases?

    2.    What are the potential roles for non-LLSAP libraries and consortia in the context of statewide virtual library initiatives
          and the evolution of library automation implementations? What are possible scenarios for representing and providing
          access to non-LLSAP libraries' holdings through VIC? What are the characteristics of non-LLSAP libraries in terms
          of library automation and their bibliographic databases?

    3.    What are specific recommendations for LLSAP development, 2002-2006, regarding cooperative automation,
          bibliographic access, and increasing participation in LLSAPs?

    4.    What is the status of existing LLSAP contracts with integrated library system vendors? Which contracts are nearing
          completion or have reasonable cancellation clauses?

    5.    Could existing LLSAP bibliographic databases be merged based on membership concerns, library system concerns,
          and ready cancellation terms of vendor contracts?

    6.    What are the estimated steps and costs for merging some of the existing LLSAP bibliographic databases? How
          much of this funding would be "saved" money from the cessation of existing LLSAP contracts?

    7.    What are recommendations regarding membership in LLSAPs? Should membership be based on regions of the
          state, types of libraries, or types of collections?

    8.    What are recommendations regarding cost sharing by library systems and individual libraries for LLSAP support,
          including costs for the central site, its staff, and supplies? How can new participation in LLSAPs be encouraged with
          pricing within a library's reach?

    9.    What are the minimal functional requirements for each LLSAPs bibliographic database (e.g., off-site patron access,
          patron self-service, and shelf status)?

    10.   What is the proposed timetable for implementing the consensus-based strategies to enhance statewide access to
          Illinois libraries' resources?

    11.   What are the average costs for library automation in the regional systems' member libraries (all types)?

    12.   What percent of regional systems' member libraries' budgets is allocated for library automation?

    13.   What cost sharing models for consortia library automation systems and services are available in the literature?

    14.   What are the component and total costs of the Illinois regional systems' library automation system and services?

    15.   How are the costs for Illinois regional systems' library automation system and services shared between members
          and the systems?

    16.   What policies and procedures do Illinois regional systems have for identifying who is involved in deciding how costs
          are shared between the regional system and its members?

    17.   What are the direct and indirect costs that regional systems and their member libraries pay for their LLSAPs?

    18.   What are the perceived advantages and disadvantages of various bibliographic system arrangements (i.e., being
          part of a LLSAP, using a standalone system, or a non-LLSAP consortia system)?

1.5 A Process– and Results–Oriented Study

The zILLANE study team assumed at the outset that a study focused on the technology of the shared
bibliographic control and access systems would not capture the richness and complexity of the current
environment. Such a focus would not provide the study team the necessary information to develop a
thorough understanding that could be reflected in useful findings and pragmatic recommendations for
change and improvement. The study team recognized early on that multiple stakeholder groups existed
and only by carrying out a study that gave opportunities to representatives of those groups to provide

Texas Center for Digital Knowledge                       Section 1 – Page 3                                   University of North Texas
Illinois Library Automation and Resources in the Networked Environment                            October 2002

input would the study team be able to present an accurate picture of the RLS shared bibliographic

Throughout the project, the study team tried to make visible the perceptions of various stakeholders and
to collect the appropriate data that would support those perceptions or might suggest modifications of
perceptions. The study provided an opportunity for all parties in the state to learn more about each other,
and the study team assumed a role of facilitating communication between the parties (e.g., among the
RLS, and between the RLS and the ISL).

The project has resulted in a set of key findings based on the data collected and a set of actionable
recommendations. One of the important benefits of this study, however, resulted from the process by
which the study team carried out the project. Because of this study, there appears to be a growing trust
among the RLS and the ISL based on a better understanding of the needs and intentions of all parties.
This may be one of the most significant and long-lasting results of the zILLANE study.

1.6 Structure of the zILLANE Study Final Report

This report consists of five main sections (including this introduction) and a set of appendixes. Following
this introduction the report includes:

         Section 2: The Context for Change
         Section 3: Study Design and Methodology
         Section 4: Findings and Conclusions
         Section 5: Recommendations and Strategies

The appendixes serve as important support for the main body of the report. For example, several
appendixes provide additional details on the various study methods and results of the data collection
activities. One appendix contains important planning documents developed by ISL in collaboration with
Illinois libraries and systems. Two appendixes contain the data provided the RLS on standard forms
supplied by the team. The report includes the following appendixes:

     A.    Sketches of the Illinois Regional Library Systems
     B.    Glossary
     C.    Site Visits: Methods and Results
     D.    Focus Group Participant Fact Sheet: Methods and Results
     E.    Bibliographic System Cost Survey: Methods and Results
     F.    Data Collection Instruments
     G.    Regional Library System Information Confirmation Follow-up Questionnaire
     H.    Annual LLSAP Operating Expenses and Revenue Data
     I.    Statewide Plans Affecting Regional Library Systems
     J.    References

The contents and supporting documents in this report should serve as a springboard for constructive
discussion among the key stakeholders.

Texas Center for Digital Knowledge                    Section 1 – Page 4               University of North Texas

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