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ICOLC Preservation Press Release

Of possible interest.  See also at:



16 November 2005

Support for Urgent Action to Preserve Scholarly Electronic Journals

The members of the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) 
agree with the authors of the document known as "Urgent Action Needed to 
Preserve Scholarly Electronic Journals" that the issue of long-term 
archiving needs to be brought into sharper focus by the library community 
and its partners in the domain of scholarly communication.  We also 
believe that preservation strategies must be investigated in the context 
of most effective access strategies to scholarly information.  Appropriate 
actions need to be identified, resources gathered, and the actions 
themselves taken.  As an informal body that brings together leaders and 
administrators of consortia across the world, ICOLC will consider this a 
prime topic for its upcoming meetings in 2006.

Preservation of digital information is a critical challenge in our time,
one that must be met if we are to continue to be a society with a memory
for its own thoughts and deeds.  In the second decade of "Internet life"  
there are few broadly agreed and reliable strategies for preservation of
valuable information over the long term.  Library consortia, working with
publishers and other vendors, typically insist on contract language that
assures electronic access in perpetuity.  However, we know as we sign
those agreements that our partners cannot really assure us that they can
deliver what they promise, nor have we the capacity to take the steps
necessary to assure success ourselves.  ICOLC anticipates that in 2006 we
will develop and issue specific recommendations for library consortia to
address the general concerns raised in the document.  These
recommendations may include information as to how consortia can help their
member libraries to:  (1) raise awareness of this issue within the parent
institutions; (2) identify risk factors if no action is taken; (3) work
with publishers to create meaningful archives; and (4) consider shared
library solutions for archives and access.

Full text of the document:  <http://www.diglib.org/pubs/waters051015.htm>
Authors of the document:  The document was written by a team led by Donald
J. Waters of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, but embracing a broadly
representative group who gathered in New York on September 13, 2005.

About the International Coalition of Library Consortia
The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) first met 
informally as the Consortium of Consortia (COC) in 1997.  The Coalition 
continues to be an informal, self-organized group comprising (as of 
September 2000) nearly 150 library consortia from around the world.  The 
Coalition serves primarily higher education institutions by facilitating 
discussion among consortia on issues of common interest.  At times during 
the year, ICOLC may conduct meetings dedicated to keeping participating 
consortia informed about new electronic information resources, pricing 
practices of electronic providers and vendors, and other issues of 
importance to directors and governing boards of consortia.  During these 
sessions, the Coalition meets with members of the information provider 
community, providing a forum for them to discuss their offerings and to 
engage in dialog with consortial leaders about issues of mutual concern.  
For further information, and to be listed on this web site, send e-mail to 
the address linked at the web site.  All consortia anywhere in the world 
whose members are in general agreement with the ICOLC Statement of Current 
Perspective are most welcome.
Please see:  <http://www.library.yale.edu/consortia>

For more information about this release, contact:

Ann Okerson
NERL Coordinator
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven, CT  06520-8240
Phone:	  203-432-1764
Fax:  203-432-8257
E-mail:  ann.okerson@yale.edu