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Ariadne presents a brief summary of news and events.

The Next UKOLN Conference, Summer 1998

Information landscapes for a learning society is the title of the next UKOLN conference, to be held at the University of Bath from 29th June - 1st July 1998. It is the third in the Networking and the Future of Libraries conference series and marks the 21st anniversary of UKOLN and its antecedent organisations at the University of Bath.

The conference will be opened by Brian Lang, Chief Executive of the British Library, with the closing address by Clifford Lynch, the Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) in Washington. The opening Keynote presentation will be given by Richard Heseltine, Director of Academic Services and Librarian, University of Hull, who is chair of UKOLN's management committee.

The conference will be divided into four main sessions:

  • Information Architectures: constructing the digital library
    will identify building block and how they will be assembled
  • Information landscapes: the accomodation of knowledge
    will look at the issues surrounding the emergence of integrated information environments
  • Information and the public sphere: an informed citizenry
    extends the debate to examine users and use in the wider context
  • Information exchanges: the library, the network and the future
    will look forward and consider how the network will continue to impact organisation, role and services.

UKOLN conferences are known for their national and international importance - and also for the beauty of their setting - this year's conference dinner will be held at the magnificent 18th century Guildhall Banqueting Room.

Further details and online booking is available at

Government Database Strategy Group announced

On the 3rd Decenber in the House of Commons, Ian McCartney, Minister of State at DTI, announced a new Database Market Strategy Group to monitor the impact of new copyright regulations on the education, library and publishing sectors . The regulations came into force on 1 January 1998 (see below). They seek to implement the 1996 EC Database Directive (Council Directive No.96/9 EC)on the legal protection of databases.

The Group's objectives will be

  • to identify developments in publishing, delivery technologies, and the library, academic and research environment, and their impact on the market for databases;
  • to monitor the impact, including the economic impact, of copyright, database right, exceptions to rights, and licensing agreements on suppliers and users in the light of changes in technology and markets;
  • to ensure that UK database suppliers are well-placed to take advantage of new market opportunities in the UK and overseas, whilst maintaining access for the education and research communities, so as to maximise the returns to UK industry together with the wider public interest;
  • to inform related policy issues, for example in the context of future EC proposals on copyright, the information society and electronic commerce, and initiatives relating to the library and education sectors.

The minister stated

"These regulations are introduced against a background of many changes and initiatives affecting the education, library and publishing sectors. It will be important to continue to monitor developments. The Government is therefore proposing to establish a 'Database Market Strategy Group'.
"This will monitor the impact of the regulations and undertake a strategic review of the way the market for databases is evolving and the implications of this for rights, exceptions and licensing arrangements. The Government intends to invite representatives of publishers, libraries, academic and research institutions to participate in the work of the Group."

New Database Regulations come into force

On 1st January 1998 new regulations came into force in an attempt to harmonise the laws of EC member states relating to the protection of databases in both electronic and non-electronic (i.e. paper) form.

The regulations make certain changes to the system of copyright for databases. The Regulations create an important new, free-standing, right to be known as 'database right'. This is a right to prevent the unauthorised extraction of the whole or a substantial part of the contents of a database.

The Regulations maintain the approach of copyright law to rights and exceptions. They largely continue the exceptions which operate in the copyright field. These relate for example to research, education and libraries. The Regulations also apply to database right the exceptions permitted by the Directive, of which the most important are those for illustration for non-commercial teaching and research, which are subject to a test of fair dealing.

ALA Cybercollection for Kids

The American Library Association (ALA) has launched a new *cybercollection* of links to more than 700 fun, exciting and useful Web sites for children and their grown-ups. "This is what librarians do best," says ALA President Barbara J. Ford. "We help kids connect to quality resources -- only today it's not just books. The Internet is an exciting new tool that helps us offer both global reach and local touch." The sites were selected by the Children and Technology Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children.

The site, which is sure to be a helpful reference point for similar UK initiatives, can be found at:

LTN98:Implementing Learning Technologies: Strategies and Experience

This conference, being held at the University of Southampton from Monday 6 April to Wednesday 8 April 1998, is aimed at academics actively involved in teaching, IT managers, staff and educational developers, those researching learning technologies, courseware development teams, library and information support staff and computing and audio visual support staff.

The conference is is organised by SEDA, The Staff and Educational Development Association, SEDA Learning Technology Network, The Teaching and Learning Technology Support Network and The Interactive Learning Centre at the University of Southampton .

Broad themes for the conference sessions are:

  • Learning Technologies - The Student Perspective Learning technologies in relation to current theories of student learning; student perspectives of the use of learning technologies in support of teaching, learning and assessment
  • Professional Development - Techniques and approaches to professional development which overcome barriers associated with new technologies
  • Achieving Institutional Change - Institutional or faculty based strategies for implementing learning technologies which enable real change to be achieved
  • Teaching Quality Issues - Integrating and using new technologies to achieve added value in the learning process
  • The Evaluation Process - The Hows, Whys, and Wherefores of evaluating learning technology materials

For more imformation see the conference web pages at LTN 98 online:

Date published: 
Monday, 19 January 1998
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