Monday, October 20th, 1997Contact: Françoise Vandooren,
orContact: Anne Ramsden, International Institute for Electronic Library Research
The TOLIMAC consortium funded by the European Libraries Programme started the second phase of its library smart card project this month. As the volume of better quality Internet information grows, so the pressure for libraries to provide brokerage and mediating services increases. The aim of TOLIMAC is to build a system, which provides controlled access to and management of networked information services for library users. TOLIMAC enables the user to access and pay, through a single card and a library web-based interface, a range of online services (e.g. electronic journals, electronic document delivery services, bibliographic databases etc) supplied by different data providers. The same card will be used to pay for library off-line services (e.g. photocopying). The system is based on smart card and encryption technology to ensure access control and user authentication and to secure easy online payment of chargeable online services.
The TOLIMAC acronym stands for "Total Library Management Concept" and the partners involved are the Library and the Department of Cryptography and Computer Security of Université Libre de Bruxelles; International Institute for Electronic Library Research, De Montfort University; INIST document supply centre; ABSEC smart card manufacturer, and XAFAX payment and access control systems supplier.
The project started in October 1996 and runs for two years. It is divided into two main phases of work. Phase 1, which ran for 11 months (15/10/97-14/09/97), was devoted to the definition of the TOLIMAC services, on the basis of the requirements of the library users' and INIST, the data provider, as well as to the technical specifications of the system. During the second phase of work, a pilot TOLIMAC system will be implemented between the libraries and the data provider involved in the project. The pilot will then be evaluated.
As networked information services continue to expand, so the problem for libraries of controlling access and management of these services increases. There are three problem areas for libraries: computer security with regard to open networks (confidentiality, authorisation, identification and authentication), delivery of electronic products (document integrity) and management of these services in the library environment (complex and time consuming administration of access to various electronic resources: managing different charging policies for user categories; financial administration of invoicing or handling small sums of money for mediated services, such as on-line searches or inter-library loans (ILL)). Users, in turn, have to cope with numerous passwords, different interfaces and charging mechanisms for these services. There are also inevitably complex problems for the data providers (DP) in terms of controlling access to these services, which have a large number of users.
Today's chipcards with built-in microprocessors, can serve not only as identity cards, but act also as pre-paid cards for a multiplicity of services including pay phones and vending services. There is, therefore, increasing interest in libraries in the use of these cards and their electronic cash for payment of, for example, photocopying and printing services, and ILL. Smartcards use encryption techniques to secure electronic payment transactions, so there is the further opportunity of libraries exploiting this technology for accessing and securing payment by users for a variety of electronic information services.
Smartcards have been introduced into universities and libraries as identify and payment cards. The TOLIMAC system offers more than just a card, it provides management functionalities for electronic information services such as access control to online services, a single interface in the user's language to access a variety of resources, a single and easy payment system whatever the service used, advantageous rates for library users, access and price control according to user categories etc. By providing libraries with such a management tool, TOLIMAC will enable them to become key actors in the electronic information chain.
Further details of the TOLIMAC project are on the Web at http://tolimac.ulb.ac.be
The School of Information and Media at The Robert Gordon University is pleased to announce the promotion of Jane Farmer and Dorothy Williams to Senior Lectureships, and Amanda Richardson to Senior Research Assistant.
The School has appointed a number of new Lecturers: Paul Green, formerly a Lecturer in Media and Marketing in the Business School at Grimsby College; Fiona Milne, formerly a Librarian at the Fire Service College in Moreton in Marsh and previously Stock Buyer with Heathcote Books in Warwick; Susan Parker, a Research Student in the School; and Kay Wilson, a Research Assistant.
The School has strengthened its research team by the appointment of Kirsten Mertens as Research Fellow in Cognitive Sciences. Kirsten has degrees from the Universities of Cologne and Dundee; a Diploma in Logic, Text and Information Technology from Dundee; and a recently completed Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, awarded for a thesis on the Philosophy of Colour.
Also joining the School as Research Assistants in the areas of Modern Languages and Publishing Studies respectively are Sylvie Davies, a graduate of the Sorbonne, who has recently completed her Masters degree in Information and Library Studies with a dissertation on the development of the new Mitterand Library in the Bibliotheque Nationale de France; and Sharon Jessa, an editor with Butterworths. Sharon has a law degree and a Diploma in Intellectual Property Law.
The MODELS eLib project at UKOLN, University of Bath has awarded the supporting study, "The likely role, nature and impact of electronic publishing on scholarly monographs and textbooks" to the Department of Information and Library Studies, University of Wales Aberystwyth and the Centre for Information Quality Management. The project is being directed by Ray Lonsdale and Chris Armstrong, will last three months and is worth UKP 9,800.
It is hoped that the final report and publications will show the extent of such electronic publishing (particularly in the UK) and detail some of the issues for collection management and users as well as those faced by publishers.Ray Lonsdale