Web Magazine for Information Professionals


Elizabeth Gadd and Paula Kingston report on progress with Project ACORN.

Project ACORN (Access to Course Readings via Networks) is one of eLib’s electronic reserve projects. It is a partnership between Loughborough University, Swets & Zeitlinger B.V., and Leicester University.

Acorn Launch

Having gained permission to digitise 211 (66%) of the journal articles requested from 54 (60%) of the publishers approached, ACORN is now preparing to launch on April 21st. Library staff training was undertaken in the week beginning March 3rd. Six sessions were offered and, in all, 67 library staff attended, which is apparently a record! Evaluations were very positive, but indicated that some staff would like more time for hands-on practice nearer the launch date.

ACORN Logo The week beginning 10th March was devoted to student training. Eleven sessions were arranged in students lecture periods with the permission of academic staff, covering students on 11 of the 24 target modules. In all about 300 students attended these sessions, 50% of the total target group for the Acorn service. The majority of student training sessions had to be done by overhead projector as lecture rooms did not have computer equipment readily available. Consequently, there were some pleas from students on the training evaluation forms for hands-on sessions. We are learning that there is no substitute for hands-on training.

We are having an official launch ceremony on April 24th where Loughborough University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor David Wallace, is to ‘press-the-button’. Major stakeholders in the project - including publishers - have been invited.

Publishers’ Seminar

On June 11th ACORN is holding a seminar for participating publishers and other invitees in London. The purpose of the seminar is to gather important information on publishers’ views on electronic ‘short-loan’ charges, document security, the role of an intermediary, and digitisation issues and costs. It is hoped that this will provide a valuable forum for publishers to air their views and concerns, while also being a stepping stone to increased co-operation between publishers, libraries and intermediaries for the provision of such electronic services.

Web pages update

We have recently updated our Web pages with a number of items which appear to be in great demand. These include a document on the Acorn System Design, a Manual of Procedures on Copyright Clearance, our Acorn user guide and flier, a permissions update and an overall progress report. Do come and visit our Web site [1].

Copyright permissions list

Elizabeth Gadd, ACORN’s Liaison Officer and Andrew Brown, Project Officer for the University of Derby Electronic Library, have recently joined forces to set up a new mailbase list for copyright permission seekers. Seeing the need for a ‘safe environment’ in which permission seekers could share copyright owner contact information, prices and policies, they have set up Lis-copyseek to provide just that. To join please send a message to lis-copyseek-request@mailbase.ac.uk stating your email address, name, job title, organisation, telephone, and a brief description of your involvement with copyright permission seeking. It should be stated that this is a closed list, for obvious reasons, and the owners reserve the right to refuse membership.


  1. Project ACORN Web Site,

Author Details

Elizabeth Gadd,
ACORN Project Officer
email: E.A.Gadd@lboro.ac.uk
Tel: 01509 222403
Fax: 01509 223993
Address: Project Acorn, Pilkington Library, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire. LE11 3TU