- To ensure universal access to a core level of materials and information services for every student and faculty member in the University System of Georgia-regardless of geographic location, size of institution, or mode of instructional delivery: traditional residential, off-campus, or distance learning.
- To improve information services and support through increased resource sharing among University System libraries, thus providing a greater return on investment.
- To provide the necessary information infrastructure so that all students in rural or metropolitan settings in the University System can be better prepared to function in an information society.
- To enhance the quality of teaching, research, and service by providing worldwide information resources to all faculty.
- To ensure that adequate PeachNet bandwidth and statewide backbone are available to campuses to support library activities.
- To place the University System in the forefront of library information technology, enhancing its reputation, along with PeachNet and distance education.
The University System of Georgia libraries have a long history of sharing resources and working on cooperative projects. Primary illustrations of that cooperative spirit are as follows:
- The creation of the Joint Borrower’s Card, which allows access and borrowing privileges by System students and faculty members in System libraries on a case by case basis;
- Leadership provided by System librarians in inter-library loan and cooperation among all types of libraries, including the development of the Georgia OnLine Database (GOLD) and gratis inter-library loan among System libraries. (The University System loans more to Georgia libraries than it borrows.)
- Criteria developed by the Regents Academic Committee on Libraries (RACL) for standard automated systems for University System libraries;
- Georgia State University serves as the host for an electronic union catalog of all system library holdings, and the University of Georgia serves as the host for the Georgia Union List of Serials.
- Georgia State University and DeKalb College offer automation services to System libraries via PeachNet; and
- Cooperation by RACL librarians in selecting databases to be centrally mounted, allowing for distributed access and license fees. (Both the University of Georgia and Georgia State University are maintaining several databases for other System libraries.)
This proposal is comprised of eight objectives which support the aforementioned goals by using appropriate technology to share resources across all institutions in the University System.
- Provide PeachNet access to all University System and off-campus center libraries.
Access to PeachNet is vital to all libraries in order to locate and retrieve information, share resources with other institutions, and support distance learning activities. Five System and approximately twenty-five off-campus center libraries do not yet have access to PeachNet.
- Provide the electronic full-text of core academic journals.
Most libraries have never been able to provide the approximate 1,500 core academic journals that are required to support undergraduate instruction. Electronic access would make the information equally accessible to the System institutions and distance learning sites and avoid duplicating cost for multiple acquisitions. Several vendors now provide full-text for half of these journals-and are continually adding more-and provide indexing and abstracts for all of them.
- Convert all University System card catalogs to computer format.
In order to facilitate locating and sharing library materials Systemwide, card catalogs must be converted to computer format. Significant portions of each library’s collection are unique within the University System. While most libraries in the System have begun converting their card catalogs to computer format, they have only partially completed the task.
- Provide automation for each System library.
Today an automated library system is essential to any academic library to support the reference, circulation, acquisitions, and cataloging activities. Ten System libraries have not yet been able to afford an automated system.
- Support universal borrowing.
All University System students and faculty should have unimpeded access to materials held at any library. Universal borrowing requires a central database of eligible borrowers, a courier service for books to be sent from one library to another, and a facsimile system for sharing copies of articles.
- Facilitate sharing of research journals.
Research journals are essential to university level institutions and to faculty conducting research throughout the University System. Students at all institutions deserve the opportunity to use these journals when involved in advanced projects. Using a database loaded at the University of Georgia, students and faculty could review the contents of approximately 10,000 research journals, identify subscribers to the journals, and initiate requests for copies of articles of interest.
- Provide electronic access to state census data.
The data contained in the U.S. Census pertaining to Georgia is of great potential use for research and instruction as well as for economic development, but the process of obtaining needed data is very cumbersome and obsolete. Funding is requested for hardware and software to provide on-line access via PeachNet to the most used portions of the U.S. census data.
- Distribute state publications electronically.
Under state law, the University of Georgia Libraries are responsible for acquiring and making available all publications of state agencies. Universal access would support instruction, research, and service activities at all University System institutions as well as provide a valuable public service. Funding is needed to acquire and maintain the hardware and software to scan, store, and electronically distribute these publications.
- Every University System library has established formal procedures to assess and evaluate its programs, usage, services, resources, and personnel in accordance with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) criteria and University System assessment policies.
- Monitoring capabilities for assessing usage are also available in the electronic software being recommended for purchase in this proposal.
- Librarians in the System use surveys and usage statistics to improve their program’s effectiveness and to reach their stated objectives and goals by revising programs, initiating training programs, and publicizing services. Twenty years of library usage statistics and analysis are currently available for comparison and assessment.