The Library has an exceptional staff creating local collections and services to meet the needs of our various UC Berkeley populations. We are fortunate to be part of UC with a long-standing and effective infrastructure for cooperative collecting, access, and preservation. Our consortial strengths can be seen in many arenas, including discovery tools and resource sharing.
As the world of information becomes richer and more complex, information seekers need robust tools for discovering information. UC has built or licensed a vibrant set of discovery tools.
- Melvyl, UC's Shared Catalog of Library Holdings
The UC Berkeley Library is helping to articulate user needs for new types of discovery tools. Functionality users want includes a single search that
- results in hits from a variety of different sources (including public web pages, the deep web, and local public or private databases)
- delivers results from different formats of materials (e.g. text, images, audio, numeric data, etc.);
- organizes and ranks content; and
- provides ways of evaluating the relative merits of different sources of information.
The current information environment is a complex fabric of open and closed resources where individual collections and titles do not necessarily comply to emerging standards for discovery nor use a common interface. Resources are also often "gated" by vendors and publishers, restricting access to subscribers, group members, and/or other subsets of searchers. Given these realities, easy, cross-system searching is not currently feasible.
UC Berkeley joins with other research universities, federal agencies, and private industry in efforts to build new standards for both creating and retrieving information and to take steps now that will enable us to adopt real solutions as they become available.
UC Berkeley Library users can request any item they need, whether UC Berkeley owns it or not. The Library participates in a robust resource sharing infrastructure with other UC's, and has cooperative agreements with libraries around the world.
Each request results in a process that discovers the material and delivers it in the most timely fashion.
Requests can be submitted from home or office by using whatever methods is most convenient to the scholar:
- an online Interlibrary Borrowing Request for books, periodicals, or theses available worldwide
- CDL Request to automatically place a request for an item in the Melvyl Catalog
- UC-eLinks to request full text or interlibrary loan of items in article databases
- the Page NRLF feature in Pathfinder
- Pathfinder's "Stanford Request" or the RLCP Request form for direct borrowing of Stanford materials
- Articles are delivered to individual computer desktops via the web when possible or mailed to the individual's campus address.
- Books can be delivered to offices for UC Berkeley users who have BAKER accounts.
- Books are moved on an expedited basis between the UC's, CSU's and Stanford using a daily commercial delivery service.
- The Northern and Southern Regional Library Facilities have served UC campuses well by providing convenient and environmentally optimized shelving for items that do not fit on campus. Both facilities provide onsite access to users who want to work with long runs of materials, and will deliver items to campus libraries for user pick up. NRLF and SRLF can now provide seamless delivery of articles in storage directly to a patron's desktop.
Consortial purchase and careful licensing
The Library intentionally leverages the collection dollars we have in order to purchase the materials needed for instruction and research. For electronic and digital collections, it has proved very useful for us to join with other UC campuses and negotiate for discounts that would not be available to us if each campus were to contract with a vendor separately.
Digital resources are most often licensed, not purchased. The Library reviews every contract to ensure that it meets basic standards that provide for perpetual access and lending of materials under fair use laws. Legally these contracts are largely untested and various proposed changes in copyright laws raise a number of issues. UC Berkeley, like our sister institutions nationwide, are watching developments. As participants in national groups such as the Association for Research Libraries, we provide input to our state and federal representatives as they write and vote on information legislation.
Shared Print Archive
The shared print program began with a single print subscription to each of the 900+ Elsevier titles included in the electronic package negotiated by the UC libraries in 2004. Subsequent negotiations have created similar prospective print archives for several publishers including the following: American Association of Cancer Research (2006- ); American Geophysical Union (2005- ); American Institute of Physics (2005- ); American Psychological Association (2006- ); Anglophone Canadian monographic literature (2005- ); Association for Computing Machinery (2000- ); Blackwell Publishers (2005- ); British Medical Journal Specialty Journals (2004- ); Institute of Physics (2005- ); Kluwer (2004- ); Nature Academic (2004- ); New England Journal of Medicine (2004- ); Optical Society of America (2005- ); Sage (2005- ); SPIE Journals (2005 ); Springer LINK (2005- ); and Wiley (2004- ). A prospective shared print collection for Taylor and Francis is underway. A retrospective shared print collection is being established for a number of journals in JSTOR and IEEE.
Each campus can now make print retention decisions confident that UC users have access to a print version when needed. For the rare occasions when the electronic version is inadequate, the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF), home to the shared print collections, can provide web-based delivery of articles, or on a last-resort library-use only basis, can deliver the original print to the user's home campus.
The Library plays a significant national role as a publisher of digitized collections, making them available to the much wider audience than those who can visit in person.
- UC Berkeley Library Digital Collections
- The Bancroft Library digital collections
- Online Archive of California, Berkeley's holdings, a project of CDL
- Open Content Alliance, UC holdings in the Internet Archive. Project funded by Microsoft.
- Search Google Books, a partnership of UC Libraries and Google Book Search Library Project to digitize books.
Areas of current work include scalable digital library system architectures; developing efficient methods for creating digital library content; the long-term preservation of digital materials; and creating standards for digital objects, digitization, and archival collection descriptions.
UC Berkeley has a number of cooperative collection agreements. This allows us to assign purchase responsibilities for parts of subject areas or geographic region. The result is that the aggregate collection is richer than any single institution can create alone.
Archiving and Preservation
As budgets shrink, libraries cannot afford to acquire and maintain information in both print and electronic formats. Yet, as we shift to fewer print copies in the system, The Library and other UC campuses have a responsibility for ensuring that both print and digital collections are available in perpetuity. In addition to The Library's commitment to the shared print archives, UC Berkeley is a founding member of Portico and LOCKSS. UC Berkeley is also a participant in CDL's Web Archiving Service.
A number of alternative models are arising for scholarly communication in response to faculty awareness of and demand for high-quality, ubiquitous, and quick distribution of affordable scholarly information. A groundswell of new initiatives are arising, undertaken by publishers, libraries, universities, and individual faculty, each with the goal of testing how digital publishing can best serve the goals and values of scholarship.
The UC Berkeley Library is nurturing and providing a new infrastructure by
- providing information to faculty on the issues of scholarly communication.
- hosting pilot programs to support faculty in trying alternative forms of publishing (see the Berkeley Research Impact Initiative, funds for authors to pay open access fees).
- co-hosting campus discussions on the topic (see Faculty Conversation: April 14, 2008).
- redirecting users to alternative sources for high-quality information.
- actively providing financial support to new alternative publishers.
- redirecting library dollars to support information-sharing models that are financially sustainable.
We are fortunate to have access to groundbreaking alternative publishing infrastuctures being created at CDL's eScholarship, including pre-print and post-print repositories, as well as collaborations with UC Press to create and make accessible digital monograph collections. For more information, see eScholarship.