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3.00 FYI France: Enewsletter and archive
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Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France enewsletter, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Enewsletter subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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Date: Sun, 15 May 1994 14:09:43 CDT From: Jack KesslerP>XXX
FYI France: President's Report (reprise), Cons.Sup.des Bibl.(pt.1of2) There have been several requests for additional translation of Michel Melot's Presidential Report for the Year 1993, from the French Conseil Supe'rieur des Bibliothe`ques. The report is very informative, on French library and networking current events, but it is too long to be translated in its entirety here. Last month the Introduction and sections entitled "The Development of Electronic Networks" and "The Weakness of Music Libraries" appeared. This month the translation of "VII. The European Programs of the Libraries of France" gives a fascinating glimpse into the political workings of European librarianship. These are complexities and headaches which no American librarian will envy. They have to be understood, though, by any American librarian or networker who really wants to interact with foreigners in the field. Asia, Latin America, and Africa no doubt will have their own complexities; for now it is enough at least to sympathize with what the Europeans must go through, as judiciously and often eloquently described here by Melot. The full text of the Report is available in French as follows: 1) By anonymous ftp: ftp.grenet.fr cd /pub/doc get csb.ps (postscript version) get csb.txt ( ascii -- "version texte seul avec accents quand me^me") 2) By gopher: gopher.grenet.fr path /OPAC/rapport du CSB/ 3) By mosaic URL //ftp.grenet.fr/pub/doc/csb.ps (or csb.txt) 4) By mosaic page "reseau documentaire de grenoble" URL http://www.grenet.fr/anteserveur/anteserveur.html *** Printed text citation: Conseil Supe'rieur des Bibliothe`ques, _Rapport du Pre'sident [Michel Melot] pour l'Anne'e 1993_ (Paris : Association du Conseil Supe'rieur des Bibliothe`ques, 1994). ISSN 1157 - 360. Section VII. Translated by Jack Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org. Contents: VII. The European Programs of the Libraries of France Mid - Way Evaluation of the European Plan of Action The Perspective of National Libraries The Perspective of Public Libraries The Third Call for Proposals The French Part in the European Plan of Action for Libraries The Role of the Council of Europe in Books and Reading Text: VII. The European Programs of the Libraries of France Mid - Way Evaluation of the European Plan of Action Inserted in the third Community Executive Program for Research and Technological Development (1990 - 1994), the Telematics Program -- within which may be found, among many other concerns, the European Plan of Action for Libraries -- has been the object of a mid - way evaluation by the DG - XIII, the directorate of the European Community's Commission which has this responsibility. The chapter devoted by the editor to the plan of action for libraries expresses a certain number of concerns which recall for many the concerns which the French committee has had from the beginning. These reservations, although they are numerous, do not reflect on the basic principle of the plan of action and the considerable wisdom which it brings to library affairs. At the very moment when the budget for the fourth Executive Program for Research and Technological Development (1994 - 1998) is being negotiated, criticisms must not be permitted to compromise the redirection of the plan in favor of libraries. This is why, relying on the position of French experts, the President of the Conseil Supe'rieur des Bibliothe`ques has -- in a letter to the General Director of DG - XIII -- asked that the plan of action for libraries be maintained and in fact intensified, taking into account the conclusions of the editor. In fact, the project of the fourth Executive Program for Research and Technological Development (1994 - 1998) retains, for the Telematics Plan, the importance which was accorded it in the preceding program, and maintains, in similar terms, the plan of action for libraries, following a double orientation: 1) the development of systems facilitating access to library resources, considered generally to be under - exploited; 2) the interconnection of libraries, among themselves and with the telematics infrastructures of Europe, guaranteeing the inter - operability of different applications and of different types of systems. These projects also concern the creation of virtual libraries, permitting the dial - in access to collections and the rapid furnishing of documents by electronic means. In his response to the President of the Conseil Supe'rieur des Bibliothe`ques, M. Carpentier, Director of DG - XIII, recognizes that his work needs the support of libraries and that budgetary restrictions risk having a constraining effect on the Commission's actions in this area. He confirms that, "the preparatory work for the fourth Executive Program will take account of the Mid - Way Evaluation... and will take advantage of the results of the third Executive Program and of the experience gained so far." If the first results have been deemed disappointing at times by the editor, the reasons for this stem less from the actions themselves than from their environment: libraries have little experience in international cooperation, as we ourselves often have pointed out for our French case; their means are feeble, and the market which they represent is of little interest to industrialists; American domination, and that of the Library of Congress, make difficult the establishment of a European system in a world in which communication is instantly global. These reasons are reinforced by the structure of the European programs: libraries are a part of DG - XIII, which has a direction oriented toward the development of technology. The plan of action therefore leaves aside teaching, legal, or cultural programs which ought to accompany these developments, particularly in countries which still are poorly developed in these respects. Thus the programs of education and of educational exchange, demanded with insistence by the national experts, were dropped from the plan of action. The criteria of selection of projects over - valued technological innovation in an area which, not carrying great economic weight itself, has an interest in using existing technologies rather than inventing new ones. The emphasis was put on systems rather than on contents, and the projects for joining the two -- of specialized centers which could unite different documentation practices -- were not supported so much as were minute, isolated, researches. Legal questions and those of standardization -- without which nothing can be accomplished -- for these same reasons have rested outside the purely technical program of research. Finally, the cultural aspect of libraries, particularly their role in the national patrimony and in the development of reading, ought to be taken up by DG - X, which is responsible for culture, and which seems to have left the libraries sector entirely to DG - XIII: it is not pleasing to see that the programs proposed by the national libraries, which very much are preoccupied with national patrimony, and those concerned with public reading, are under - represented in the plan of action. Coordination of the two directions in this regard is a necessity, in order to consider, at the same time, technology, use, and contents. On certain points, modifications already have been made of the plan of action. In particular, the procedure of the Call for Proposals which, by the heavy investments which it assumes (the preparation of complete files, propositions supported by precise studies, negotiations with foreign entities) excludes small organizations by definition. For the third Call, in 1993, financial aid was offered to candidates who asked for it. But there was feeble representation in the first two Calls for Proposals of projects emanating from national libraries or public libraries; most of the projects proposed and retained emanated either from research libraries or from private companies. DG - XIII therefore organized two workshops, one on the needs of the national libraries, held at Paris on September 24, 1993, and the other on those of public reading, held at Luxembourg on November 11 and 12. The Perspectives of National Libraries During the meeting held at Paris, four lines of action were outlined for permitting national bibliographic services to integrate themselves better into the European Plan, and four working groups were created, for: 1) the improvement of national libraries and the enlivening of their information content; it will be presided over by Finland, joined by Switzerland; 2) the study of the needs of users of national bibliographies, particularly of their costs and means of diffusing information; it will be presided over by Germany; 3) the accessibility of national bibliographies on the networks, their opening to other organizations, and the distribution of notices; it will be presided over by Great Britain, assisted by the Netherlands; 4) technical problems and their development: for example the diversity of character sets and of authority files; it will be presided over by the Netherlands, assisted by Great Britain; France is represented on each of these working groups, and has let it be known that she willingly will accept to be charged with any of the programs, which will be defined by the groups and confirmed by the Commission in September 1994 as part of the fourth Executive Program. *** (Next: public libraries' attitudes, the European Community's efforts and the French role, and a new library role for the Council of Europe.) *** FYI France: President's Report (reprise), Cons.Sup.des Bibl.(pt.2of2) (Michel Melot, President of the French Conseil Supe'rieur des Bibliothe`ques, has been describing recent library and networking events in Europe, and the particular problems of National Libraries there. Here he continues, with a consideration of public libraries' attitudes, the European Community's efforts and the French role in them, and a possible new library role for the Council of Europe. Translated by me from his 1993 Report: full print citation and references to online fulltext French language versions appear in Part 1.) *** (continued) The Perspectives of Public Libraries The examination of the needs of public libraries was made during a two - day workshop held at Luxembourg (November 11 - 12, 1993), which united forty experts concerned with three subjects: 1) the perfecting of automated management tools, 2) the use of "new media", and, 3) the role of public libraries in that which one has become accustomed to call, after the British practice, "open education" (which should not be confused, taking into account the active role which a librarian assumes, either with the concept of auto - didactic education or with those of professional training or continuing education). Six French representatives were invited, in addition to Jean Gatte'gno, who represented the Council of Europe. The Director of Documentation of the National Center for Educational Documentation, M. Sanz, spoke on the concept of "open education", insisting that technological development could not be separated from legal studies, and calling for a study of users in each country, in order to avoid the imposition of insensitive models. In fact it is not likely that the notion of "open education", already known to the libraries of the Northern countries, is adaptable as it is to those of the South, and particularly to France, considering the role there of National Education. Inversely, the existence of the Minitel permits in France a development of telematic relations between librarians and their users which cannot be applied to the general public in other countries. The President of the Conseil Supe'rieur des Bibliothe`ques presented a round table on the use of new media in public libraries, also insisting on the necessity of accompanying technological developments with programs of professional training, to be given priority by the Southern countries, and of considering legal implications. Presided over by P.J. Th. Shoots, director of the Municipal Library of Rotterdam, the meetings took up a number of interesting points, which remain to be developed fully and for which the public libraries will be invited to propose European projects in the fourth Executive Program. The Third Call for Proposals The Technical Committee of the Telematics Plan, formed of experts from each member - State, met on April 23 to comment upon the results of the third Call for Proposals. It seemed to them that the projects conformed more to what the Commission had desired, and that the division among different countries was better. They noted, however, that the libraries do not consider themselves to be a terrain of experimentation for private enterprises, that the commercial objectives were not well - formulated, and that commercial vendors were not represented in the projects. The absence of a national political dimension behind these projects was emphasized, a need which the French committee will try to remedy. A third Call for Proposals was launched in mid - November 1993, for a deadline set for February 15 1994. The results will be known by mid - June 1994. In order to encourage French candidates, the French committee organized, on December 20, an information day for eventual candidates, to help them with their applications, although service companies and specialized centers formed the majority attending. The secretariat of the Conseil Supe'rieur des Bibliothe`ques, in the person of Madame Marie - Dominique Nicolas, ably supported the work of the French committee as it has in previous years: notice of the Call for Candidates was sent to over five hundred institutions and companies, of which seventy - five asked to receive a complete information file. The French Part in the European Plan of Action for Libraries It is time to render an accounting of the French role in the first two Calls for Proposals, even though this will not involve a technical evaluation. During the first Call, in 1991, French companies and institutions were involved in only four of the forty projects and ran two of those. These four projects were the following: 1) EDIL ("Electronic Document Interchange between Libraries") developed an electronic system for rapid furnishing of digitized documents among libraries. It brought together three French partners: Te'le'syste`mes and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in two of these partners (university libraries and INIST), with leading institutions in this area: the Dutch network PICA, the documents service of the British Library (BLDSC, Boston Spa), and the library of technical information (TIB) of the University of Hanover. Operations began in January, 1993, and have attained the stage of making specifications. 2) MORE ("Marc Optical Recognition") is directed by the company Jouve, in association with the Center for Computer Research at Nancy and the Royal Library of Albert I at Brussels. The project evaluates the possibility of using techniques of optical character recognition for automated retrospective conversion of library catalogs. It began in January, 1993, and already has produced specifications for automation, for dictionaries, and for pattern recognition. 3) ELISE ("Electronic Library Image Service for Europe") is a project studying the electronic transmission of image databases among libraries. It is led by the University of Montfort, at Leicester (Great Britain) with the British scientific center of IBM, the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the university library at Tilburg (Netherlands), and the Bibliothe`que Publique d'Information (Paris). Work only began in October 1993. 4) EBP ("European Books in Print") is a project for the equivalent publication, for the Southern countries, of our _Livres Disponibles_ or the British _Books in Print_. It naturally brings together groups of publishers, thus: for France, the Cercle de la Librarie; for Italy the ARA Group d'Anco^ne, Editrice Bibliografica de Milan, the Marciana library, and the Braidense library; and ELEA of Athens for Greece. For the second Call for Proposals, in 1992, five projects, among the fifteen, had French participation, and one was led by France. Thus: 1) ELSA ("ELectronic Library SGML Applications"), conducted by the Jouve company with the University of Montfort in Leicester and the Dutch publisher Elsevier Science Publishers BV. It is concerned with the development of access tools for electronic documents responding to the intentions of users, using the standardized document coding of SGML ("Standard Generalized Markup Language", which allows the retrieval and transfer to other media of any part of any marked - up text). The other French institutions involved in the European programs are: 2) The Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chausse'es, for EDUCATE, a teaching program about the possibilities of new technologies, which is distributed on the academic networks. The courses, each of about ten hours' duration, concern physics, electrical engineering, and electronics. These teaching programs, at reduced costs, may be found in libraries. 3) The Ecole Nationale Supe'rieure des Etudes Ae'ronautiques (ENSEA), for the project EURILIA, which furnishes extension and access services, and document delivery (texts and images) in aeronautics, for teaching and research. 4) The company Matra Cap Systems for the project BIBLIOTECA, which is developing a "toolbox" for document analysis, founded upon optical character recognition and various forms of electronic coding for treatments of natural language. 5) The INIST ("Institut National de l'Information Scientifique et Technique". jk.) for the project AIDA ("Alternatives for International Document Availability"), extending a document rapid - delivery service to Italian and Portuguese libraries. These last projects were only initiated during the course of the year 1993, or are in the final phases of their negotiation. Although it is too early to evaluate their final results, these programs may be evaluated at the French level in order to gain the benefits of their experience for libraries. The Conseil Supe'rieur des Bibliothe`ques has proposed the organization, to this end, of a public information meeting, during the course of which the different institutions and participating companies will present their institutional experiences and techniques of this European cooperation. The Role of the Council of Europe in Books and Reading During the meeting of April 9, 1993, Jean Gatte'gno, a member of the Conseil Supe'rieur and chief of the Section for the Book of the Council of Europe, presented the role which the Council of Europe has defined in this area. The Council of Europe did not officially concern itself with reading until the month of October, 1992, following a conference of ministers of culture of the entire continent held at Paris, that itself held following a decision taken at the preceding meeting, in 1990, at Palermo. They were concerned to develop a number of recommendations, within the role of the Council, particularly considering the tenuous nature of previous Council efforts, notably the support of the Council of Europe for the organization LIBER, which functions as a sort of representative of the Council for assistance programs to the libraries of Eastern Europe. The Council of Europe has nothing in common with the Commission of the European Communities. It has no President, its General Secretary is not more than the secretary of the Committee of Ambassadors, which only can make suggestions and aid in the submission of propositions to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member countries. The budget devoted to culture by the Council of Europe for 1993 is 20 million francs, and that devoted to the Book is 500,000 francs. It therefore cannot subsidize programs and really cannot go further than the giving of advice. The program which the conference of ministers accepted was developed with a group of restrained experts, chosen to respect balances between East and West and among the professions (three librarians: an Englishman, an Italian, a Hungarian, a bookseller, several publishers). The program for libraries presents several methods for, first of all, helping the new democracies to re - integrate themselves into Europe in this area. It is not concerned either to create a new European structure or to integrate the libraries of Europe; the sense of the program is to help the countries which are rejoining us to adapt to a European environment already guided by the European Community and by IFLA. Once it was reaffirmed that the library is one of the essential links in the chain of books and reading, a certain number of important points were emphasized: 1) The question of national bibliographies: Greece doesn't have one. Portugal has interrupted the cataloging of its own. In other countries, one is far from having a satisfactory tool, and in the old Soviet empire, many years will be necessary to develop one. This therefore is an essential path to pursue. 2) The enrichment of the collections of the libraries of the East, to make up for a gigantic retardation and to correct the effects of the censoring of foreign collections. Such a program supposes the expenditure of considerable sums, but the German, English and French governments already have active policies in this area: Germany is devoting 60 million marks over three years in gifts of books for the libraries of the former communist countries; France and England, each three to four times less. This will not permit a complete recovery but will help in the renewal of the collections. 3) Inter - library lending must be very strongly developed. 4) Professional education, and particularly education for management and training in the new technologies, must be very strongly reinforced. 5) It is time to have a European Association of Librarians. This is the only professional group which does not have authority to have European representation. The Council of Europe is prepared to finance a meeting at Strasbourg in 1994, and the Germans are prepared to send out the invitation. These measures may seem banal and general, but at the same time, to the extent that it is the countries of the East which are the target, they can develop into true actions and cooperation with the nations of the West. France, by its Conseil Supe'rieur and its professional associations, must pursue these goals. Information sessions, and organization, will be supported by the Council of Europe. The Commission of Brussels is launching a program of support for the nations of the East via DG - XIII. In principle, a committee will prepare a seminar to define the exact actions to be undertaken. The accent will be placed, conforming to the role of DG - XIII, on the new technologies, but the Council of Europe will continue to defend the restoration and the conservation of the national patrimonies, particularly for the nations of the East, for which the national patrimony is very rich and recently has been abandoned. The responsibility placed upon the Council of Europe by this charge is light. Its role is to aid the States or the libraries to mount projects which then may be proposed to the Community for financing.
FYI France (sm)(tm) e - newsletter ISSN 1071 - 5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic newsletter, | published since 1992 as a small - scale, personal, | experiment, in the creation of large - scale | "information overload", by Jack Kessler. Any material / \ written by me which appears in FYI France may be ----- copied and used by anyone for any good purpose, so // \\ long as, a) they give me credit and show my e - mail --------- address and, b) it isn't going to make them money: if // \\ if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives are at http://infolib.berkeley.edu (search for FYIFrance), or via gopher to infolib.berkeley.edu 72 (path: 3. Electronic Journals (Library-Oriented)/ 6. FYIFrance/ , or http://www.univ-rennes1.fr/LISTESemail@example.com/ (BIBLIO-FR econference archive), or via telnet to a.cni.org , login brsuser (PACS / PACS-L econference archive), or at http://www.fyifrance.com . Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison - pen letters all will be gratefully received at firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright 1992- by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved.
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