The Vision for NOVEL
Overview of the Plan
NOVEL Steering Commitee and Advisory Groups
The five NOVEL initiatives
Increase Access to Electronic Resources on a Statewide Basis.
Expand Resource Sharing in New York State to Improve Electronic and Traditional Access to Library Resources
for All Users.
Develop a Coordinated Program for the Digitization of Information Resources in New York Libraries and Other
Enhance the Availability of High-Speed Telecommunications for New York's Libraries Across All Regions of the
Develop a NOVEL User Interface (or Portal) that Integrates the Services and Resources Brought Together under
Appendix A: EmpireLink
Appendix B: The NOVEL Planning Team and NOVEL Web
Appendix C: NOVEL Statewide Forum and NOVEL Listserv
Appendix D: NOVEL Proposed Funding and Fact Sheet
NOVEL, the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library, is a new program and set of initiatives recommended by
the Regents Commission on Library Services in its final report, Meeting
the Needs of All New Yorkers: Library Service in the New Century (July 2000). The Commission wrote, as
its first recommendation: "Create NOVEL, the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library, to deliver high-quality,
reliable digital information to all New Yorkers." In expressing its vision for access to information, the
Commission stated these beliefs:
To function successfully in today's society, New Yorkers must have equitable access to information resources-including
high-quality, reliable electronic resources. New York must help close the digital divide for all its residents
by making high-quality electronic information accessible to library users, regardless of economic circumstances,
geographic location, or disabilities.
Implementation of NOVEL will build on many years of work to establish modern library services, including reliable
access to high-quality electronic information resources, through all libraries in New York State. This effort,
known as the Electronic Doorway Library Initiative, is described fully at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/edl/thirdpln.htm.
The majority of libraries in the state currently qualify as Electronic Doorway Libraries.
NOVEL and the Electronic Doorway Library Initiative complement one another, i.e., NOVEL will provide a statewide
approach to technology-based library services, and the local capacity established through the Electronic Doorway
Library Initiative will enable access to these statewide services. Although implementation of NOVEL will begin
soon, efforts to build local capacity must continue so that access to NOVEL services will be available through
all libraries in the state.
New York has already taken the first step in building the electronic content of NOVEL through its EmpireLink
project. Launched in January 1999 by the New York State Library, EmpireLink provides access to electronic resources
for users in thousands of libraries statewide free of charge (see Appendix A). EmpireLink is currently a pilot
project funded through the Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). However, the intention of the New
York State Board of Regents is to support EmpireLink and all other NOVEL components with state funding.
The Regents Commission anticipates that NOVEL will stimulate greater cooperation among libraries "as new
links form between different types of libraries" and library systems, and as librarians support one another
directly and indirectly, offering their own particular resources and expertise. For example:
- Public and school libraries will gain access to valuable resources of academic, medical, and research libraries
to meet the higher-level information needs of their users.
- Academic libraries will welcome better-prepared, information-literate students and offer distance-learning
- School libraries will have public and academic research libraries to supplement students' access to needed
electronic information during evenings, weekends, and holidays.
- Public libraries will acquire an informed, information-literate new generation of patrons.
The NOVEL Planning Team has already demonstrated such positive effects. As members participated in intensive
meetings and a statewide forum, they gained an increased appreciation for the responsibilities, needs, and aspirations
of their colleagues in academic, public, school, and special libraries and all types of library systems. By building
on this foundation of shared interest and understanding, NOVEL will be a key component in enhancing access to information
for all New Yorkers in the new century.
The Vision for NOVEL
After extensive discussion of the Regents Commission's recommendation for NOVEL and careful review of input
from those who attended the statewide forum or commented by other means, the NOVEL Planning Team crafted the following
vision for NOVEL:
NOVEL will provide all New Yorkers with round-the-clock access to high-quality, thoughtfully chosen, easy-to-use
electronic information, closely matched to the needs of local communities and well integrated with existing library
systems. Help will be available at any time so that NOVEL users can locate and use the rich array of electronic
All types of libraries, regardless of their size or resources, will be able to offer a selection of NOVEL's
resources to their communities. Excellent staff and user training, on-call system support, quality documentation,
adequate state funding, and equitable treatment of all libraries are the key factors that will ensure NOVEL's success.
By expanding information access for all New Yorkers, NOVEL will stimulate community support for libraries and leverage
New York's investment in the future.
Overview of the Plan
This document outlines a process and provides a framework for implementing NOVEL. It is not a detailed implementation
plan but rather a guide to the steps that will be required to establish NOVEL as a robust and invaluable resource
for all New Yorkers.
As identified in the Regents Commission's report, the Commission's vision of NOVEL includes four components:
- Electronic resources purchased on a statewide basis to provide tremendous economies of scale
- Shared electronic catalogs of the holdings of all types of libraries, including the high-quality, specialized
resources held by New York's academic and special libraries
- Opportunities for libraries to digitize their unique collections
- Enhanced opportunities for high-speed network access that will enable libraries to deliver all the benefits
and features of NOVEL
The NOVEL Planning Team (see Appendix B) developed an initiative for each of the four components, and added
a fifth initiative to the implementation strategy. The five NOVEL initiatives offer the basis of a program that
will greatly expand access to bibliographic and full-text electronic information for New Yorkers. As NOVEL develops,
emerging needs and concerns may call for adding other initiatives to the plan.
The five NOVEL initiatives developed by the Planning Team are as follows:
Initiative I: Increase access to electronic resources on a statewide basis.
Initiative II: Expand resource sharing in New York State to improve electronic and traditional
access to library resources for all users.
Initiative III: Develop a coordinated program for the digitization of information resources
in New York libraries and other repositories.
Initiative IV: Enhance the availability of high-speed telecommunications for New York's
libraries across all regions of the state.
Initiative V: Develop a NOVEL user interface (or portal) that integrates the services and
resources brought together under NOVEL.
The Planning Team also discussed alternatives for organizing the ongoing work of NOVEL over time. NOVEL is a
collaborative project that will depend on the cooperation, goodwill, energy, and resources of many constituencies.
To that end, the NOVEL Planning Team recommends creation of a NOVEL Steering Committee and five Advisory Groups.
Advancing the NOVEL initiatives depends on the creation of the NOVEL Steering Committee shortly after this plan
is issued in August 2001. The Steering Committee will then name an Advisory Group for each initiative to implement
specific tasks. The Planning Team's intentions for the Steering Committee and Advisory Groups are presented below,
followed by discussion of the five initiatives.
NOVEL Steering Committee and Advisory Groups
The NOVEL Steering Committee will define and coordinate policy, planning, and responsibilities for each initiative.
Initially, members will come from the NOVEL Planning Team to ensure continuity. As original members rotate off
the Steering Committee, new members will be added to represent the various constituencies and the broad range of
interests and concerns among New York's libraries. The Steering Committee will be charged to do the following:
- Define the roles and responsibilities of the various library groups in implementing NOVEL, including the Advisory
Groups, the State Library, the State Education Department, library systems, and other library organizations in
- Provide a statewide perspective on all NOVEL initiatives and coordinate the initiatives with other cooperative
library efforts within the state.
- Serve in an overall advisory role for coordinating and maximizing effective use of state and federal funds
in support of each initiative.
- Create a financial plan for using NOVEL funding, participant resources, aggregated financial resources across
the state, and new funding opportunities.
- Address strategic planning and overall policy issues, including training strategies, continuity of collections,
- Devise practical ways to resolve apparent conflicts between regionalization and groups organized around library
type or user type in supporting statewide licensing of electronic resources.
- Encourage full participation in NOVEL by the major universities and research libraries.
- Communicate recommendations and operational issues to the State Library.
- Identify the appropriate organization(s) to represent NOVEL initiatives in vendor negotiations.
- Create five broad-based constituent Advisory Groups with specific charges relevant to each initiative, and
ensure that the work of the groups is integrated to avoid duplication of effort and the development of conflicting
The proposed Advisory Groups will be charged to-
- Address specific issues and tasks for their assigned initiative.
- Represent and integrate a broad range of views from the library community to ensure that local needs are fully
- Make recommendations to the Steering Committee relevant to the assigned initiative.
- Communicate operational issues to the State Library.
- Communicate back to the constituent groups in the field.
The NOVEL Initiatives
Initiative I: Increase Access to Electronic Resources on a Statewide Basis.
Building on the foundation of EmpireLink, NOVEL will deliver high-quality electronic collections on a statewide
basis. Electronic collections as described below will reduce the burden on individual libraries of contracting
and paying for expensive electronic content. They will better serve emerging educational trends (such as distance
education and lifelong learning), and will recognize contemporary behaviors and expectations for retrieving online
- The NOVEL Steering Committee should create a broadly representative Statewide Electronic Collection (E-Collection)
Advisory Group, based on nominations from library systems and other library organizations. The Advisory Group should
include representation from a broad array of library constituencies:
- colleges and universities (public and private)
- K-12 schools (urban, suburban, rural, public, nonpublic)
- public libraries (small, large, medium, urban, rural, suburban)
- special libraries, including medical and health science, non-profit, and corporate libraries
- graduate, professional, and research institutions (public and private)
- the New York State Library
- The E-Collection Advisory Group will be charged to do the following:
- Identify ways of determining those electronic resources being used, or being considered for use, in libraries
throughout the state.
- Investigate "best practices" from other states that provide statewide access to electronic resources
for their residents.
- After gathering the information outlined above, the E-Collection Advisory Group will do the following:
- Identify a Statewide Electronic Collection that meets the general information needs of the state's major constituent
library groups, including consideration of various formats (e.g., online journals, e-books, indexes, reference
tools, images, etc.). The Advisory Group will evaluate the appropriateness of collection components, considering
issues of stability and continuity.
- Identify Extended Collections that meet the special needs of the various library constituencies, leveraging
their combined buying power.
- Perform periodic qualitative and quantitative assessments of the use of NOVEL resources.
- The NOVEL Steering Committee will recommend membership of the E-Collection Advisory
Group by December 31, 2001.
- The E-Collection Advisory Group, supported by State Library staff and with input
from the Steering Committee, will identify electronic resources being used and considered for use in New York State,
and gather data on "best practices" from other states (completion date to be determined by the Steering
Initiative II: Expand Resource Sharing in New York State to Improve Electronic and Traditional
Access to Library Resources for All Users.
The Regents Commission's vision of NOVEL includes the recommendation to expand New York's existing resource-sharing
efforts. Successfully carrying out this recommendation will require that the various online catalogs for all types
of library collections be searchable, individually or collectively, through the World Wide Web. It will also require
considerable research and the cooperation of many constituencies to address a number of far-reaching issues relating
to access and use of collections across institutional boundaries.
- The NOVEL Steering Committee should create a Resource-Sharing Advisory Group representing a broad array of
library constituencies, including the following:
- colleges and universities
- K-12 schools
- public libraries
- special libraries
- staff from the New York State Library, the State Archives, and the State Education Department
- graduate, professional, and research institutions
- Membership should include experts on interlibrary loan, technical staff who manage shared catalogs, and those
with similar responsibilities.
- In the short term, the Resource-Sharing Advisory Group will be charged to determine the need for and explore
the issues surrounding a virtual shared catalog and its relationship to resource sharing on various geographic
levels, e.g., system, region, state, and beyond.
- Over the longer term, the Resource-Sharing Advisory Group is charged with developing a methodology to investigate
- the current state of electronic access and delivery options
- best practices
- related technologies and standards
- In developing the methodology, the Advisory Group should address the following:
- the need to access catalogs beyond a user's primary library
- traditional interlibrary loan versus electronic delivery options
- user-initiated interlibrary loan and on-site open access
- application of standards to enable linking of library catalogs
- incentives for sharing catalogs and resources and for implementing standards
- the need for retrospective conversion
- the need for a statewide serial union catalog and scanning technology to supplement access to articles not
- implementation costs
- The Resource-Sharing Advisory Group, with the assistance of State Library staff and consultant support as needed,
will investigate the access options according to the methodology developed in Task C, closely coordinating their
activities with work of the other Advisory Groups, particularly the Interface Advisory Group (see Initiative V).
Based on their findings, the Resource-Sharing Advisory Group will make recommendations for expanding resource sharing
to the NOVEL Steering Committee and the State Library.
- The NOVEL Steering Committee will recommend membership of the Resource-Sharing
Advisory Group by December 31, 2001.
- The Resource-Sharing Advisory Group will report its findings and recommendations
from Task B by June 30, 2002.
Initiative III: Develop a Coordinated Program for the Digitization of Information Resources
in New York Libraries and Other Repositories.
A program to develop digitized collections from the rich information resources in New York's libraries and other
repositories will require careful coordination and planning. The program will build on existing projects and work
collaboratively to expand digitized resources.
- The NOVEL Steering Committee should create a Digitization Advisory Group composed of people who have demonstrated
a leading role in digitization in New York, and should include representatives from the following:
- all types of libraries
- record holders such as government archives and historical records repositories
- the New York State Library, the State Archives, and the State Education Department
- It should also include representatives of user communities, such as-
- education, including both K-12 and higher education
- the scholarly community
- related agencies, such as the Governor's Office for Technology
- The Advisory Group will assess the status of digitization efforts in New York, identify needs and issues, and
recommend directions for future developments and initiatives. It will be charged to investigate the following:
- Content-What are the priorities for materials to be digitized (based on an inventory of existing resources)?
- Access-How can we assure access to digitized collections? Does retrospective conversion of records contribute
- Standards - What existing standards are relevant to this initiative? What standards need to be developed? What
is the status of metadata development?
- Migration - How will migration to future technology be ensured?
- Criteria - How will competing priorities for proposed digitization projects be resolved?
- Copyright - What are the intellectual content ownership issues?
- Capacity - How can we provide adequate capacity to support digitization through training, facilities, and equipment?
Should regional centers be developed?
- Preservation - How does digitization relate to preservation?
- The Digitization Advisory Group will also be charged to do the following:
- Design an Inventory Project that will identify existing accessible digitized resources. The data from this
inventory will identify gaps in digitized resources and help to establish priorities for digitizing materials.
- Develop a strategic plan that includes digitization priorities.
- Identify alternative potential public and private funding sources, e.g., the Institute of Museum and Library
Services (IMLS), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), etc.
- Establish contact with digitization efforts throughout the state and nationwide.
- An Implementation Team including staff from the New York State Library, the State Archives, and the State Education
Department will work with the Digitization Advisory Group to do the following:
- Implement the Inventory Project. (The completed inventory can be made publicly available to raise awareness
and enable access.)
- Identify and support specific digitization projects. Consideration should be given to projects that use unique
or locally developed/global-interest collections; primary resources that support the New York State Learning Standards;
and resources that illustrate New York State's history and heritage.
- Pursue alternative potential funding sources (IMLS, NEH, corporations, foundations, etc.).
- The NOVEL Steering Committee will recommend membership of the Digitization Advisory
Group by December 31, 2001.
- The Digitization Advisory Group, in conjunction with the State Library, will
assemble an Implementation Team to support the Digitization Advisory Group by March 31, 2002.
- The Digitization Advisory Group will determine a method for conducting the inventory
of digitized resources and the most efficient and effective way to gather this data (completion date to be determined
by the Steering Committee).
Initiative IV: Enhance the Availability of High-Speed Telecommunications for New York's
Libraries Across All Regions of the State.
Expanding equitable telecommunications service throughout the state is a critical component that will provide
the infrastructure to make access to information feasible for all New Yorkers. To ensure the success of NOVEL,
legislation and regulation may be required to provide the needed connectivity. The involvement of public agencies
and their commissioners with legislators and telecommunications providers is key to establishing that connectivity.
- The NOVEL Steering Committee should create a Telecommunications Advisory Group. The Advisory Group should consist
of representatives from the library community, including those from rural and inner-city urban areas and the New
York State Library, as well as people with extensive telecommunications knowledge and experience-not just with
traditional telephone services but also with wireless, cable, and cellular technologies. Membership should also
include those with legislative, telecommunications regulatory, and library policy-making experience, as well as
a representative from the Regional Information Centers (RICs), which provide network support for schools and are
involved in E-Rate funding for grades K-12. The Telecommunications Advisory Group should work closely with the
NOVEL Steering Committee on policy issues.
- The Telecommunications Advisory Group will be charged to do the following:
- Identify service gaps and seek partners to develop practical ways to provide services to unserved and underserved
areas as follows:
- Document the existing connectivity level and costs of each library by using data from the Electronic Doorway
Library Initiative, E-Rate program, Plans of Service, Gates Foundation grants, Basic Education Data System (BEDS),
annual reports, and the Academic Library Survey of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
- Identify, analyze, and summarize gaps and inequities in telecommunications service.
- Review alternatives to telephone lines and hard wires: wireless, cable, cellular, satellite, etc.
- Articulate needs to the Public Service Commission, the State Education Department, the Office of General Services
(OGS), the Governor's Office for Technology, the New York Library Association, the State University of New York,
and the City University of New York, and collaborate to-
- make existing networks available to libraries or create new networks.
- promote the adoption of regulations and laws that support the goals of NOVEL.
- Identify groups that share telecommunications concerns, such as business councils, economic development offices,
Chambers of Commerce, and legislators, as potential collaborators in increasing access.
- Identify private-sector partners who are already providing no-cost or low-cost connections to libraries, and
leverage them as models throughout the state.
- Encourage a public policy discussion on equitable network access and bandwidth availability.
- Evaluate the need for funding as part of NOVEL support of telecommunications.
- To help build the future telecommunications environment for NOVEL, the Advisory Group will also do the following:
- Work directly to negotiate service extensions into unserved/underserved areas of the state.
- Create a strategy for the future that focuses on equitable access, i.e., connecting every library, business,
and home; bridging the digital divide; and contributing to economic development.
- Recommend standards to facilitate easy flow of information.
- Use Library Services and Technology Act funding for pilot projects.
- Develop legislative proposals to secure funding for NOVEL in subsequent years of implementation.
- Evaluate and make recommendations about the issue of filtering in networked information services (in conjunction
with the Interface Advisory Group).
- The NOVEL Steering Committee will recommend membership of the Telecommunications
Advisory Group by December 31, 2001.
- The Telecommunications Advisory Group will work with the State Library to identify
information needs and agree on methods of data collection. The State Library will document existing connectivity
by March 31, 2002.
- The Telecommunications Advisory Group will contact the Public Service Commission
and other critical agencies by June 30, 2002.
- The Telecommunications Advisory Group will contact business and community groups
with telecommunications concerns by June 30, 2002.
Initiative V: Develop a NOVEL User Interface (or Portal) that Integrates the Services
and Resources Brought Together Under NOVEL.
The ultimate success and utility of the other NOVEL initiatives will depend on how the products and services
developed under those initiatives are integrated into a seamless interface or NOVEL portal. The NOVEL interface
will be web-based; emphasize ease of use; be accessible at all times (24/7/365); and be customizable for local
libraries, user groups, and individuals. An Interface Advisory Group will define the customizable part of the interface;
however, the model for it should be a commercial service such as Yahoo or America Online.
- The NOVEL Steering Committee will create an Interface Advisory Group that includes representatives from the
major library communities in the state, their customers, and the State Library. A consultant familiar with the
construction and maintenance of customizable website portals will support the work of the Advisory Group. The Interface
Advisory Group must work closely with the other NOVEL Advisory Groups (perhaps through common membership) to ensure
proper coordination of recommendations and decisions.
- The Interface Advisory Group will be charged to do the following:
- Develop an understanding of the various types of portals and recommend a model for NOVEL. Draw on consultant
expertise to identify emerging technologies and solutions that permit personalization and customization of portals.
- Recommend appropriate authentication techniques for identifying NOVEL customers and controlling access to NOVEL
services and resources, especially those provided under contracts with commercial vendors.
- Assist in devising local integration strategies, responsibilities, and roles for individual libraries and library
- Recommend a general approach to creating local NOVEL portals, including development of logos, guidelines, standards,
and ways to acknowledge support provided by contributing organizations.
- Recognize filtering issues and help libraries to get technical assistance, in close coordination with the Steering
Committee and other relevant Advisory Groups.
- Develop customer feedback mechanisms to evaluate the portal and the means of customization.
- Develop a means of collecting data on the use of NOVEL portals and resources (especially commercial databases).
- The NOVEL Interface Advisory Group will work with an Interface Implementation Team made up of staff from the
State Library and the State Education Department, Advisory Group members, and consultant support as needed. The
Implementation Team will be charged to do the following:
- Identify "best practices" used by other institutions that have implemented Internet portals for delivering
library services on a statewide or regional basis.
- Based on guidelines provided by the Advisory Group, design NOVEL interfaces or interface mechanisms, a logo,
guidelines, standards, and the means of acknowledging support and contributions.
- Develop a prototype interface for NOVEL. The prototype will make NOVEL "real" for stakeholders and
decision-makers; provide a practical demonstration of the workability of the portal concept defined by the Advisory
Group; and show how NOVEL can be customized to suit different groups of users. The prototype should also take into
account the following:
- services currently available through EmpireLink
- appropriate authentication mechanisms for identifying users in ways that will satisfy both users and vendors
of commercial information resources
- methods of integrating search results from multiple sources
- ways of addressing issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act
- The NOVEL Steering Committee will recommend membership of the Interface Advisory
Group by December 31, 2001.
- The Interface Advisory Group, in conjunction with the State Library, will assemble
an Implementation Team to support the Interface Advisory Group by March 31, 2002.
- The Implementation Team will gather data on "best practices" for Internet
portals used to provide statewide or regional library services (completion date to be determined by the Advisory
Appendix A: EmpireLink
The following questions and answers describe EmpireLink, which will provide the foundation of the electronic
resources in NOVEL.
What is EmpireLink?
- Launched in January 1999 by the New York State Library, EmpireLink is a statewide project that provides access
to electronic resources. It permits free access to commercial full-text databases, including sources for health
information and general reference, and current or past editions of more than 100 domestic and international newspapers.
Who is eligible to participate in EmpireLink, and what benefits do they receive?
- Participation in EmpireLink is available to all member libraries of library systems in New York State to the
extent permitted by negotiations and contractual limitations. Every $1 that New York invests in EmpireLink results
in $25 worth of access at the local level.
How can users get access to EmpireLink?
- EmpireLink is accessible from any participating library in the state. Libraries that have the computer capability,
usually through their library system, may also offer library users remote access to EmpireLink from their homes,
schools, or offices 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
What resources are available through EmpireLink?
- Currently, three collections of resources are available:
- Health Reference Center-Academic (HRC-A), offered by The Gale Group
- Dialog@CARL-Basic Collection, offered by the CARL Corporation
- EBSCO MasterFile Select, Primary Search, and TopicSearch, offered by EBSCO
- The HRC-A database is a source of important health information for both medical professionals and consumers.
It currently provides access to full-text journals in medicine, nursing, and allied health; consumer health, including
nutrition; and more. HRC-A also contains full-text pamphlets and selected health-related articles from an additional
1,500 general-interest magazines, as well as health-related and topical overviews.
Dialog@CARL-Basic Collection contains approximately 300 multidisciplinary databases, including the News Collection,
which consists of more than 100 newspaper and newswire databases.
EBSCO's MasterFile Select includes 771 full-text periodicals covering general reference; news; current events;
and information on business, health, social sciences, humanities, education, and general science. TopicSearch provides
information on current events and social issues. Primary Search includes Searchasaurus, a search engine geared
for elementary- to middle-school-aged users.
How is EmpireLink funded?
- EmpireLink is a three-year pilot project funded through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant
to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
What other services are provided to participants in EmpireLink?
- An EmpireLink e-mail list, provided by the New York State Library, encourages communication among library staff
of participating libraries. An EmpireLink Help Desk service, also provided by the State Library, is staffed from
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to respond to questions and concerns about the databases offered through
More information about EmpireLink is available on the New York State Library EmpireLink
Appendix B: The NOVEL Planning Team and NOVEL Web site
In Meeting the Needs of All New Yorkers: Library Service
in the New Century, the Commission on Library Services states in its first recommendation: "The Commission
recommends that the State Library lead the implementation of NOVEL.." The State Library decided that the first
step toward implementation should be the formation of a NOVEL Planning Team.
The charge to the NOVEL Planning Team was to "develop a plan that outlines the NOVEL components and how
they will be implemented; establish a working timeline for implementation; and host a statewide forum on NOVEL
to discuss and obtain reaction to a draft version of the implementation plan, including timeline, before issuing
it in final form."
- Liz Lane, Director, Research Library, New York State Library
Fred Smith, Library Development Specialist II, Technology and Resource Sharing Team, Division of Library
Development, New York State Library
- Tom Alrutz, Associate Director for Central Library Services, The New York Public Library
Soumaya Baaklini, Associate Librarian, Research Library, New York State Library
Laurie Brooks, Director, Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES School Library System
Mary Brown, Director, Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System
Paul Crumlish, Director, Warren Hunting Smith Library, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Carol Ann Desch, Coordinator of Statewide Library Services, Division of Library Development, New York State
Loretta Ebert, Director, Folsom Library, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Christie Frost-Wendlowsky, Director, Schuyler-Chemung-Tioga BOCES School Library System
Carolyn Giambra, Instructional Specialist, Williamsville Central School District
Carey Hatch, Assistant Provost, State University of New York
Eleanor Heishman, Director, Binghamton University Libraries
Dottie Hiebing, Director, Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO)
Anne Hofmann, Chief Librarian, Donnell Library Center, The New York Public Library
Mary Elizabeth Jones, Library Development Specialist I, Technology and Resource Sharing Team, Division of
Library Development, New York State Library
Min Liu, Regional Automation Coordinator, Long Island Library Resources Council
Sara McCain, Library Development Specialist II, Technology and Resource Sharing Team, Division of Library
Development, New York State Library
Chuck McMorran, Chief, Technical Services, Queens Borough Public Library
John Meierhoffer, Manager, Data Processing Services, Information Technology Services, New York State Education
Betsy Morris, Computing and Network Services Coordinator, Pioneer Library System
Marsha Ra, Director of Library Services, City University of New York
Kathleen Roe, Archives and Records Management Specialist, New York State Archives
John Shaloiko, Director, Southeastern New York Library Resources Council
Carol Tauriello, Director, Erie 1 BOCES School Library System
Linda Todd, Library Development Specialist I, Technology and Resource Sharing Team, Division of Library
Development, New York State Library
Ex Officio Members:
- James C. Dawson, Board of Regents
Carole F. Huxley, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education
Janet M. Welch, State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries
Process and Timetable
Working with Louella Wetherbee, a technical consultant/facilitator based in Dallas, Texas, the Planning Team
met four times in Albany and hosted the statewide forum (also in Albany) in developing an implementation plan and
timeline. The dates of the meetings and forum were as follows:
- First meeting: January 17 and 18, 2001
- Second meeting: March 14 and 15, 2001
- NOVEL Statewide Forum: May 17, 2001
- Third meeting: May 18, 2001
- Fourth meeting: June 12, 2001
NOVEL Web Site
As the work of the Planning Team evolved, the team recognized the need for a means of communicating their progress
to interested individuals and organizations.
Before the March meeting, the State Library launched a NOVEL
web site. The immediate reason for establishing the website was to post the initial draft of the NOVEL Implementation
Plan and solicit comments on the plan from around the state. After the March meeting, the web site also provided
a means of posting information about the NOVEL Statewide Forum as well as a mechanism for forum registration.
The NOVEL web site includes the following:
- NOVEL: Libraries Expanding Information Access for New Yorkers in the New Century
- Implementation Plan downloadable as Word or PDF file
- Instructions for joining the NOVEL-L E-mail Discussion List
- NOVEL Statewide Forum Presentation in PowerPoint or html
- The Regents Commission's NOVEL Recommendation
- NOVEL Proposed Budget
- NOVEL Background Information (Origins, Components, Scope)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- NOVEL Planning Team (Charge, Process, Timetable, Membership)
- Links to Related Sites
- Regents Commission on Library Services
- New Century Libraries: Regents 2002 Budget and Legislative Initiative
Appendix C: NOVEL Statewide Forum and NOVEL-L Listserv
One of the most critical steps for the NOVEL Planning Team in carrying out its charge was to host the NOVEL
Statewide Forum. The Planning Team prepared a draft implementation plan, including a timeline, but the team consisted
of only 30 people. The forum provided an opportunity to discuss the Planning Team's thinking with representatives
from a wide variety of organizations and to obtain their reactions before issuing a final implementation plan.
On May 17, 2001, 200 library, education, and community leaders from organizations across New York participated
in the NOVEL Statewide Forum. State Librarian Janet M. Welch welcomed the attendees, and Regent James Dawson set
the context for NOVEL by discussing the work of the Regents Commission on Library Services and the New Century
Libraries legislative initiative.
George Needham, Vice President, Member Services, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., and former State
Librarian of Michigan, gave the keynote address. Mr. Needham's comments focused on his experience in establishing
AccessMichigan, and offered insights to New Yorkers for implementing NOVEL.
Louella Wetherbee, technical consultant for the NOVEL Planning Team, facilitated the forum program, which consisted
of three table tasks. The purpose of the first table task was to discuss the NOVEL draft plan and generate suggestions
for strengthening the initiatives outlined in the plan. The second table task elicited information about local
collaborative efforts related to NOVEL, and how New York could build on these efforts. For the third table task,
groups considered the best ways to generate and sustain momentum for NOVEL after the forum, and discussed how to
take NOVEL into the field.
The Planning Team reviewed the wealth of information obtained at the NOVEL Statewide Forum at two subsequent
meetings, and revised the draft implementation plan accordingly.
Based on the enthusiasm generated at the forum, the Planning Team established a listserv, NOVEL-L. The listserv
enables those who are interested to keep in touch with developments involving NOVEL and to contribute their ideas.
Those who attended the NOVEL Forum were added to NOVEL-L shortly after the forum, and many others have signed up
Anyone is welcome to subscribe to NOVEL-L. Instructions
for subscribing are posted on the NOVEL Web site.
Appendix D: NOVEL Proposed Funding and Fact Sheet
New Century Libraries
Board of Regents Legislative and Budget Initiative 2001-2002
NOVEL-New York Online Virtual Electronic Library
New Century Libraries (Libraries 2002) proposes that the State invest $14 million to create NOVEL,
the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library, to enable libraries throughout the state to-
- Share catalogs, digitize collections, and purchase electronic resources collectively at enormous savings.
- Offer swift access to research materials hundreds of miles away.
- Leverage local resources by supplementing their collections with quality databases, and other online materials
selected, accessed, and updated by librarians.
- Offer users access to full-text journals, databases, and other electronic information via the library from
their homes, schools, and offices.
- Digitize unique and fragile materials, such as rare historic documents, and make them accessible electronically.
- Provide Internet access for those who have no computer or Internet connections at home, bridging the digital
divide for all New Yorkers.
- The glut of information on the Internet is confusing and overwhelming, and Internet users are turning to librarians
as advisors and instructors:
- A recent CNN survey reveals 75% of Internet users also use the library, and the number of reference specialists
in public libraries has increased 56% in the past 5 years.*
- Public library visits in New York State increased almost 20% from 1996 to 1998.
- The cost of online journals and databases is prohibitive to most individuals and small businesses as well as
their local libraries.
- While 41.5% of American households have Internet access, the digital divide remains significant.**
- 73% of those with a disability do not have Internet access.
- 76% of minority households do not have Internet access.
- More than 64% of single-parent households do not have Internet access.
- More than 77% of single-parent, female-headed households in central cities do not have Internet access.
$14 Million to create NOVEL, the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library
*CNN online, November 28, 2000.
**Falling Through the Net, Towards Digital Inclusion, the National Telecommunications
Administration, October 2000.