Исследование развития сетей обмена информационными ресурсами
между университетскими библиотеками в Китае

Research on Development of Networks for Resources Sharing
In China Academic Libraries

Дослідження розвитку мереж обміну інформаційними ресурсами
між університетськими бібліотеками в Китаї

Яфан Сонг, Циньхуа Ге

Библиотека Китайского Университета Ренминь, Пекин, Китай

Yafan Song and Tingxia Ge

Library of Renmin University of China, Beijing, China

Яфан Сонг, Циньхуа Ге

Бібліотека Китайського університету Ремінь, Пекін, Китай

Создание сетей обмена информационными ресурсами предполагает два аспекта: определение инфраструктуры сети и формирование собраний документов и информационных ресурсов, что является основной тенденцией развития библиотечного дела. В докладе проанализированы и предлагаются для обсуждения соответствующие вопросы и проблемы, а также меры и подходы к решению проблем. Обсуждается общая идея развития сетей обмена информационными ресурсами между университетскими библиотеками в Китае.

Construction of networks for resources sharing covers two aspects: establishment of network infrastructure and building of document and information resources which are the main trend in development of librarianship. In this paper, current status, issues and problems as well as measures and approaches on this topic are analyse and discussed, from which we hope to give readers both home and abroad the general idea on development of networks for resources sharing in China university libraries.

Створення мереж обміну інформаційними ресурсами передбачає два аспекти: визначення інфраструктури мережі і формування зібрань документів та інформаційних ресурсів, що є основною тенденцією розвитку бібліотечної справи. У доповіді проаналізовано і пропонуються для обговорення відповідні питання і проблеми, а також засоби і підходи до вирішення проблем. Розглядається також загальна ідея розвитку мереж обміну інформаційними ресурсами між університетськими бібліотеками в Китаї.


I. Introduction

Now, the worldwide resources sharing develops rapidly with the growth of development of modern information technology and the extensive application of networks. In China, university libraries, the number of which has come to 1,100 at present, are working together to establish nationwide networks for resources sharing. Up to date, more than half of universities and colleges have established their own networks at campus, some of them have already linked with Internet, the world largest network today. This provide better conditions for co-operative establishing networks for resources sharing among them both regionally and nationally. Furthermore, the collections not only in printed form but also in electronic forms provide rich information for the networks, which has been growing rapidly year after year. Besides these, a large team of professionals has grown up in recent years, at present time, the number of librarians working in China university libraries has come to 40,000, near 10% of them are highly qualified professionals, who make great contribution to the advancement for promoting information and document resources sharing and the information service, and play an important role in scientific research and higher education in the country. The development of networks for resources sharing in China university libraries will certainly promote the nation's economic construction, education, science and culture, and make great contribution to the worldwide resources sharing.

II. Current Status

Being a developing trend in library and information cause, networks for resources sharing is a combination in the concept both of resources sharing and network, which is different from library automation network and computer search network. It is a high-level combination, based on computer network, both of library automation technology and librarianship which adopts modern technology with computer technology as its core in document arrangement, storage, retrieval and delivery, utilizes computer network in supporting information exchange and communication among libraries and information institutions, institutions and information resources, institutions and users, as well as information resources and users.

1.1 Development of networks for resources sharing

As one of the six major document resource systems in China, the establishment of university library networks for information resources sharing has undergone a long way, which can be divided into three stages.

1.1.1 First stage, from late of 1970's to mid of 1980's, is a start period toward library automation. During this period, such has mainly been done:

1.1.2 Second stage, from mid of 1980's to early of 1990, is a period toward integrated automation system and local resources network, what has been done at this stage was mainly as follows:

1.1.3 Third stage started from early of 1990's. The goal at this stage is to continue the establishment of integration practicability and realize the sharing of resources and computerized networks. During this period, the State Committee on Development and Planning approved the project “China Academic Library and Information System (shortly: CALIS), a major program in building up Public Service System for China Higher Education which covers those as follows:

All above laid a good foundation for establishment of networks for resources sharing in China Universities.

1.2 Construction of document resources

As mentioned above, the networks for information resources sharing is a high-level combination both of library automation technology and librarianship, for many years, lots of work and preparation have been done on document resources construction in China university libraries.

1.2.1 Firstly, document collection has been enhanced through increasing the number of volumes for books and periodicals, expanding coverage of subjects and disciplines, establishing document resources insurance system, i.e. enriching documents on fundamental theories in the field of traditional discipline to maintain or expand the exist advantages so as to make the key documents at 90% of the collection on average. As for the documents on new subject or in the field of high technology, frontier science or cross subjects, collections have been strengthened to keep the key ones at 80% on average.

1.2.2 Secondly, document and information collection from other resources has been strengthened through expanding computer and disk retrieval system, increasing collection of electronic publications, establishing various kinds of databases, improving communication conditions through extensive linking with network points both home and abroad, utilizing modern technology in on-line cataloging or joint cataloging and so on. At the same time, open up Chinese document resources for the whole world, i.e. to collect and arrange the cream of our national culture and the achievements in modern science and technology through a certain method such as making them into full-text disk or multi-media disk, to put them into the world market.

III. Further Development

For further development on networks for resources sharing in China university libraries, the following efforts should be made greatly..

3.1 Opening up integrated library automation systems in high quality

Compared with world advanced library automation systems, the following should be reconsidered in opening up China's own integrated library automation systems.

3.1.1 to reform the conception on software system

Advanced management thoughts and models should be fully embodied in the systems.

3.1.2 to enhance the networking function of the system

The function of the system such as on-line acquisition, joint cataloging, on-line public searching, making appointments with users for need documents, delivering full-text information on networks, etc. need to be enhanced through adaptation of TCP/IP communicating protocol. Besides the basic function on Internet, WWW Server and CGI as well as Z39.50 standard interface are major elements to be supplied.

3.1.3 to strengthen the exchanging performance for information of the system to improve the system's transparency.

In this case the system should be designed and manufactured into a large integrated searching system and resources sharing system. The consideration for this is good for reducing repeat work and increasing transparency for documents and information. For instance, the cataloging subsystem should have interfaces linking with other subsystems in the integrated system, with which, as the acquisition file is created in MARC format strictly, other subsystem such as cataloging, OPAC etc. can share its data resources, and as soon as the data in cataloging subsystem is renewed, what in OPAC subsystem will be renewed automatically at once. All above not only benefit for library's management, but also help users to better understand the library's information.

3.1.4 to strengthen the public searching function for the system.

Public searching subsystem is an appearance of software system, which faces the users directly. So, in designing and making the OPAC, the surface of which should have both pictures and texts, fit the users' searching practices and have features of various functions, such as easy operation, clear terminology, and both with basic and high-level searching performance. For reinforcing the searching function of OPAC, multi-searching points should be set up for bibliographic file search. Authorized files should be established for controlling the consistence of the bibliographic data and the completeness of searching result. Also, in circulation subsystem, according to requirements, policies set up for the system should be of flexibility to show the users' circulation status.

3.1.5 to open up the statistic function for the system.

Statistical work is very important in library. The policy-decision of library is mainly based on analysis of statistic data. So, in system designing, statistic function should be strengthened according to requirements which should include data statistics, collection statistics, statistics on increase of stock, borrowing and returning of books and periodicals, document utilization, quality control, as well as users' status and work load for librarians, etc.


3.2 Speeding up the building of databases

Database construction mainly includes two types: self-establishing or importing from foreign countries.

3.2.1 to self-establish databases.

For many years, a large quantity of document resources has been accumulated in China university libraries, which is still expanding each year to date. How to bring these resources into full play and to be better used by every user is a main task for China university libraries. The best way to do is to build up complete bibliographic databases and document databases as quickly as possible, which should include:

Those databases can be established jointly through division of labor on major disciplines or subjects in each university or college to avoid repetition.

3.2.2 to import databases from foreign countries.

This is another way for speeding up the building of databases. Since there are a large number of document resources abroad, and with the development of networks, a large volume of electronic documents appear on networks, for effectively utilizing these resources, importing the valuable databases from foreign countries is urgently needed.

Importing databases should include introducing medium and service. According to requirements and probability, coordination and planning are needed to avoid unnecessary repetition and interior competition. As for the type of importing databases, more attention should be paid on the balance of types as well as the acquirement for original documents.

The following three are major types for importing:

3.3 Training and bringing up a team of highly qualified professionals for construction of networks for resources sharing

In accordance with the requirement on the development of networks for resources sharing in China higher education, professionals in building up such projects should be of many fine qualities.

3.3.1 Those who work in the field of document resources establishment should have relatively high level professional knowledge on library and information, wide-ranging knowledge on disciplines and subjects, capacity of skillfully operating computers and other automation equipments.

3.3.2 For those who engage in developing automation systems, they should have a good grasp of basic knowledge on computer network and communication technology, capacity for better understanding and absorbing world advanced technology in this field, qualified skills in exploiting and designing networks for resources sharing, as well as ability on opening up or researching key technology.

As for the ways for training qualified and talented personnel’s, the following measures can be considered:

In brief, great achievements have been gained in the development of networks for information resources sharing in China universities and colleges, which will surely promote China's economic, educational and cultural construction. However, toward worldwide information resources sharing, we still have a long way to go. Let's unite and work hard together for the bright future.


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