During fiscal year 1996, the Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC) worked to meet the changing professional and service needs of the federal library and information center community. FLICC's annual information policy forum featured expert panelists exploring the balance between open access to and protection of government information. FLICC also reinstituted its annual symposium on the information professional, this year focusing on the importance of forming liaisons with computer professionals. FLICC working groups finished reviewing the results of the FY94 nationwide survey of federal libraries and information centers and worked with the National Center for Education Statistics to publish the tabulations; developed new educational initiatives for advocacy, library technicians, and distance learning; updated the five-year-old FLICC bylaws; initiated an information technology listserv; and published a background paper on qualifications requirements for federal librarian positions. FLICC sponsored 26 seminars and workshops for 1282 participants. Staff also conducted 108 OCLC and Internet training classes for 1122 students. FLICC's cooperative network, FEDLINK, continued to enhance its fiscal operations, successfully passing a General Accounting Office audit and completing a very productive systems compliance review by an outside contractor. FEDLINK Network Operations (FNO), with advice from the FLICC Information Technology Working Group, implemented the FLICC/FEDLINK web site (http://lcweb.loc.gov/flicc), including hot links to FEDLINK vendor home pages. FEDLINK completed the year with 101 vendors, including two new service areas--technical processing services and copyright clearance. In addition, FEDLINK initiated subscription options from many of its online database vendors.
At the first FLICC Quarterly Membership meeting, Executive Board members led small group brainstorming sessions to reconsider FLICC's VISION 2000 statement and to identify crucial issues for FLICC members and specific actions for FLICC and FEDLINK for the next five years. Crucial issues fell into four general categories: Technology, Personnel/ Staffing, Funding/Service, and Shifting Organizations.
The second Quarterly Membership meeting featured FLICC member Phyllis Christenson, Director of the Information Services Center, General Accounting Office (GAO), who initiated FLICC's year-long focus on library advocacy by reporting on her recent experience in defending the Information Services Center in the GAO downsizing actions. Small group discussions highlighted strategies for promoting federal libraries and information centers, such as Home Pages, focus groups, user group presentations, initiatives to agency management, and library committees.
The third FLICC Quarterly Membership meeting continued the advocacy focus with a panel on both internal and external library committees. Laurie Stackpole, chief librarian, The Ruth H. Hooker Research Library and Technical Information Center, Naval Research Laboratory, described NRL's reconstituted, proactive library committee. Comprised of research division heads, this committee has raised the library's visibility and status. Nancy Cavanaugh, acting director, Collection Development and Technical Services Division, National Library of Education, discussed the formation and accomplishments of the National Library of Education Task Force, an external committee mandated in the law that established the Library. Finally, Carol Watts, director, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Library, traced the development of NOAA's Library Advisory Council, which includes library champions from line, staff and program offices who are appointed for two-year terms. In addition, each of NOAA's 30 libraries in the field has its own advocacy group. Other FLICC members also shared their experiences with "user" committees.
The fourth Membership meeting hosted a guest lecture on "Making the Case for Library Support" by Dr. Betty Turock, Professor, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, and immediate Past President of the American Library Association. Professor Turock presented several methods for evaluating a library's success and stressed the importance of constructing a mission statement to use as a planning and measuring device.
In addition to program planning activities, the FLICC Education Working Group concentrated developmental efforts in three areas--advocacy, library technician training and distance learning; the results of these efforts will be evident in FY97 programs. In FY96, the Education Working Group directly sponsored: the 1996 FLICC Forum on Federal Information Policies, "The Public's Information: Striking a Balance Between Access and Control" on March 19; a CD-ROM Instruction brownbag discussion on February 12; "Just in Time: Making Real Choices-- Interlibrary Loan vs. Document Delivery" on July 22; "Clause and Effect: Negotiating License Agreements for Digital Publications" on August 1; the 1996 FLICC Symposium on the Information Professional, "Dangerous Liaisons? Partnering with Computer Professionals to Create Digital Information Services" on September 24; and a series of three brownbag discussions on copyright issues culminating in an all-day symposium, "Copyright in the Digital Age: Issues and Applications for Federal Libraries" on May 21. Once again, the Education Working Group sponsored a downlink site for a second series of "Soaring to Excellence" programs for library technicians. In addition, the working group co-sponsored five programs: "This Library is Closed..." on November 13 (with the D.C. Library Association); the Joint Spring Workshop on April 26; "Technical Services Workstations: The State of the Art in Cataloging" on April 29 (with the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services and the CAPCON Network); the Federal Law Librarians' "Agency Day" on June 17 (with the Law Librarians Society of Washington, DC); and "Electronic Journals Today" on September 10 (with the CAPCON Network).
The FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group began meeting in February to develop the FY97 FEDLINK budget. This budget ultimately held FEDLINK service fees to FY96 levels and reduced FEDLINK program costs by 2% relative to the FY96 budget. The FLICC and FEDLINK voting members unanimously supported the FY97 budget proposal.
In FY96, the recently-established Information Technology Working Group focused on the three areas identified by FEDLINK members as of greatest concern to the federal library community: information sharing, Internet, and licensing/acquisitions agreements. To increase information sharing, the group worked toward the development of a database identifying the automated systems used by federal libraries and information centers. With the help of an Army librarian on detail, FLICC staff created a questionnaire to collect this information; following review by the Survey Working Group, the questionnaire will be distributed and the database created in FY97. To better use Internet resources, the group initiated its own information technology listserv, FEDLIBIT, moderated by a working group member. The working group has also taken over responsibility for planning FLICC's annual Information Technology Update, which, in 1997, will highlight intranet issues. To explore licensing issues, a subgroup held several meetings to outline problems and opportunities and then presented a half-day symposium entitled "Clause and Effect" on August 1, in cooperation with the Education Working Group.
Beginning in FY94, the FLICC Membership and Governance Working Group has been reexamining the FLICC Bylaws, which have been in effect since 1991. During FY96, the group finalized its review of the Bylaws and presented its proposed revisions to the FEDLINK Advisory Council and the FLICC Executive Board (FEB). The proposed revisions include substantial language clarification, updates, and changes to the election process. After reconsidering its proposal to accommodate FEB comments, the working group will submit a modified package for approval by the FLICC membership and the Librarian of Congress in early 1997.
In FY96, the Nominating Working Group oversaw the 1996 election of the following three FLICC Rotating Members who will serve a three-year term (1997-1999): Ann Parham, National Defense University; Jewel Player, Army Materiel Command; Mary Augusta Thomas, Smithsonian Institution. The group also managed the election of the following five FEDLINK members to FLICC for the 1997-1999 term, with the three candidates achieving the highest number of votes (*) also serving for three years on the FEDLINK Advisory Council (FAC): Nancy Cavanaugh, National Library of Education; Barbara Huckins, Veterans Administration; Bonnie Klein*, Defense Technical Information Center; Denise Lomax*, Federal Bureau of Prisons; and Janet Wright*, National Agricultural Library.
The Personnel Working Group edited the background paper they had prepared in 1993 to support the Masters degree requirement to qualify for federal librarian positions. At the end of FY96, FLICC published the document, entitled "Qualification Needs for Federal Librarians: A Position Paper prepared for the Office of Personnel Management," and made it available to federal libraries and information centers.
In FY96, the FLICC Preservation and Binding Working Group hosted a downlink site at LC for the two-hour teleconference, "Mass Deacidification for Paper-Based Collections," on October 26, 1995. Then, on April 19, the group sponsored a symposium on "Preserving Federal Depository Library Materials for Today's User and Users in the 21st Century," to coincide with the spring meeting of the GPO Depository Library Council as it considered the congressional initiative to convert to electronic distribution and archiving. For the June issue of "FEDLINK Technical Notes," working group member Karma Beal wrote an assessment of " Preservation on the Worldwide Web." At year-end, the working group was updating preservation reference and resource listings to provide complementary information on FLICC's own web site.
In FY96, FLICC reconstituted its Policy Working Group to include seven federal information policy experts and leaders in addition to the members of the FLICC Executive Board. The group agreed to abandon on-site meetings and develop communications via a closed listserv maintained by FLICC staff to share information on such topics as: GILS (Government Information Locator System), the electronic Federal Depository Libraries proposal, appropriations status, documents exchange and surplus policies, and the role of Chief Information Officers vis-a-vis federal libraries and information centers.
The FLICC Reference/Public Services Working Group continued communications over FEDREF-L, FLICC's open listserv for reference librarians. The group also supported four brownbag lunch discussions about reference issues relating to the Internet, and another lunchtime discussion of CD-ROM user training.
Organized in FY91 to update the 1978 federal library statistics, the FLICC Survey Working Group continued working with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the Bureau of the Census to review results from the FY94 census of federal libraries and information centers. Chaired by Elizabeth Yeates, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the FLICC Survey Working Group assisted Census and NCES in interpreting responses and determining how to display tabulations for publication. Yeates and Executive Director Tarr participated on the NCES publications review board. The survey tabulations, available from NCES in print and via their web site, comprise 34 tables covering 18 distinct topics; sixteen of the topic areas are analyzed both by government organizational unit and by library type. The working group is also working with NCES to review a consultant's extended analysis of the survey results, to be available in 1997.
Publications: In FY96, the FLICC Publications and Education Office (FPE) supported an ambitious publications schedule with the help of a temporary writer-editor and the addition of a permanent editorial assistant in June, despite the resignation of Editor-in-Chief Darlene Dolan in March. During FY96, FPE produced ten issues of FEDLINK Technical Notes: October/November 1995 (8 pages); December 1995 (8 pages); January/February 1996 (12 pages); March 1996 (16 pages); April 1996 (12 pages); May 1996 (12 pages); June 1996 (16 pages); July 1996 (12 pages); August 1996 (12 pages); and September 1996 (12 pages); and five 8-page issues of the FLICC Quarterly Newsletter: Summer 1995, Fall 1995, Winter 1996, Spring 1996, and Summer 1996. FPE also published a 20-page summary of the 1995 FLICC Forum, "The Cycle of Government Information: Challenges of Electronic Innovation," and (in conjunction with FEDLINK staff) a fourth edition of the Checklist of Microcomputer Based Library Systems (52 pages) and the first edition of the FLICC/FEDLINK Education Catalog (32 pages), to be updated quarterly. FPE published expanded and enhanced materials to support the FEDLINK program including the 56-page FY97 FEDLINK Registration Booklet; 166-page looseleaf FY97 FEDLINK Member Handbook, with index, tabs and binder; and 60-page FY96 FEDLINK Books Package, as well as eleven FEDLINK Information Alerts and a comprehensive FLICC/FEDLINK information packet. FPE also produced the FY95 FLICC Annual Report (22 pages) and minutes of the FY96 FLICC Quarterly Meetings and bimonthly FEB meetings as well as all FLICC Education Program promotional and support materials including the four-color FLICC Forum announcement, Forum attendee and speaker badges, Press Advisories, speeches and speaker remarks and Forum collateral materials. In addition the office produced 29 FLICC Meeting Announcements to promote FLICC Education Programs, FEDLINK membership, vendor, and OCLC User Meetings.
Education: In conjunction with the FLICC Education Working Group, FLICC offered a total of 26 seminars, workshops and lunchtime discussions to more than 1282 members of the federal library and information center community. The FY96 FLICC education schedule underscored cooperative relationships as FLICC sponsored programs with other organizations in the library, education, and association community including: CAPCON Library Network; the National Institute for Library Personnel; Learning Resources Center and Library Technical Assistant Program at the College of DuPage; the Federal Librarians Special Interest Section of the Law Librarians Society of Washington, DC; Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Society for Information Science; DC Library Association; DC Online Users Group; Special Libraries Association-DC Chapter; and the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALA).
FLICC also provided organizational, promotional and logistical support to FEDLINK meetings and events including: the FEDLINK Fall Membership Meeting and Spring Membership Meeting; two FEDLINK OCLC Users Group meetings; the FEDLINK FY96 Vendor Briefing; and a program on How to Use FEDLINK in FY97 on August 7. The latter program was repeated in Denver on September 5 for 35 FEDLINK users in that region. FLICC continued and expanded its videotaping of FLICC programs and developed an arrangement with the National Library of Education to make FLICC video tapes more readily available to federal libraries through interlibrary loan.
In FY96, FEDLINK provided federal agencies with cost-effective access to an array of automated information retrieval services for online research, cataloging, and interlibrary loan (ILL). FEDLINK member agencies also procured publications such as serials, electronic journals, CD-ROMs, books and document delivery in FY96 via LC/FEDLINK contracts with major vendors.
The FEDLINK Advisory Council (FAC) met monthly during FY96 except in November and August. During the year, the FAC approved the FY97 FEDLINK budget, assisted in the Spring and Fall FEDLINK Membership Meetings, and reported on its 1995 Member Survey. Survey respondents were particularly interested in having FEDLINK offer the following services: 1) more training in information technology; 2) assistance in handling staff shortages; 3) consultation services to support decision making; and 4) help in communicating the value of library services to agency officials.
The Fall FEDLINK Membership meeting was held on November 8, 1995. The principal speaker was Lisa Weber from the Policy and Information Resources Management Services, NARA. She addressed "Talking about GILS from a Library/Archives Point of View." The Spring membership meeting was held on May 1, 1996. Barbara Polansky from the American Chemical Society addressed "Copyright Issues and Concerns in Electronic Publishing: A Scholarly Publisher's Perspective."
During the first quarter of the fiscal year, 60 FEDLINK OCLC users attended the 1995 Fall FEDLINK OCLC Users Group Meeting at which the OCLC team outlined new and upcoming products and services. FLICC Executive Director Tarr hosted Susan Olson from OCLC and three other OCLC staff on October 26th for the annual review of FEDLINK as a regional OCLC network. OCLC deemed FEDLINK's performance and dedication of resources satisfactory. On December 4, a luncheon program on ILL and document delivery provided members with the opportunity to discuss the many options offered by OCLC and other providers.
During the second quarter, FNO staff helped OCLC make a telecommunications shift of dial access libraries from the OCLC Sprint Hubs to CompuServe in order to take advantage of lines which will allow access to OCLC at up to 28.8 bps. Staff introduced the new OCLC telecommunications software, Passport for Windows, in the Spring by conducting eight classes and a special "Passport for Windows for Catalogers" session at the Smithsonian libraries in July. The focus of the training shifted from installation and configuration to how to better use the software to assist the library in serving its mission.
In the third quarter, FEDLINK held the spring OCLC Users Meeting in the afternoon of May 1, 1996. Anita Reeb, OCLC Account Manager for FEDLINK members, provided an overview of the SiteSearch software and WebZ. On May 10, Patti Fields delivered a one-hour overview on Format Integration Phase 2 changes at the Army Library Institute in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as part of her afternoon program, "OCLC Cataloging Update."
In the fourth quarter, FEDLINK staff worked with the Library of Congress Technical Processing and Automation Instruction Office (TPAIO) to present the first FLICC/FEDLINK Cataloging Institute, July 29 - August 2, 1996. Attended by 60 students, the event provided 30 contact hours of training in cataloging concepts relevant to the participants' work places and provided a structured grounding in the most basic concepts of description and access in the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules using CDS's publication Cataloging Concepts: Descriptive Cataloging. Afternoon sessions furnished instruction in OCLC MARC applications. In August and September, FNO staff conducted significant regional OCLC training in the field, traveling to the following Air Force libraries: Fairchild AFB, WA; Vance AFB, OK; Goodfellow AFB, TX; Randolph AFB, TX; Laughlin AFB, TX; Scott AFB, IL; Columbus AFB, MS; and Maxwell AFB, AL.
Executive Director Susan Tarr continued to attend the quarterly meetings of the Regional OCLC Network Directors Advisory Council (RONDAC). At the spring meeting, Tarr was elected vice-chair/chair elect of RONDAC; her term as chair will begin in May 1997.
The FLICC/FEDLINK Web site was released in June 1996. The site provides access to FLICC/FEDLINK publications, information about FEDLINK services, including training and education, events, OCLC support, contracting, and the FY96 FEDLINK Services Directory. During the year, new listservs were created for the FLICC Information Technology Working Group and the Policy Working Group and a listserv was "loaned" to the National Biological Survey to assist with the integration of that service into the Geological Survey. Also, at the request of the FEDLINK Advisory Council (FAC), FEDLIB was converted to an interactive listserv to enable the FAC to increase its contact with FEDLINK members. Members of the FAC will moderate the listserv on a rotating basis. FEDLINK Network Operations staff continue to maintain three subject-oriented listservs: FEDCAT-L, FEDREF-L, and FEDACQ-L. At the beginning of FY96, staff converted the basic Internet class from a two-day course to multiple one-day specialized courses. In early 1996, FNO further redesigned the intermediate and advanced World Wide Web courses. FNO staff conducted six free Internet Brown Bag Discussion Sessions during 1996:
For the first time in its history, FLICC/FEDLINK created an exhibit booth and unveiled it at SLA in Boston in early June. FLICC/FEDLINK exhibited via the LC booth at ALA in New York in July.
One hundred and eight OCLC and Internet classes were conducted, with one thousand one hundred twenty-two students. (See Attachment B for details).
Database Retrieval Services: In June FEDLINK announced the availability of subscription pricing for online and CD-ROM database services. Members were able for the first time to order a subscription to an online system for a fixed period of time, a finite amount of service at a fixed price. Also, FEDLINK kept its database solicitation open during most of the year, resulting in the addition of four new vendors.
Publications Acquisitions: In May, FEDLINK created and distributed to members a 60-page package that contained a full-scale comparison of the services and costs for FY96 FEDLINK books jobbers/ publishers. To acquaint members with the expanding world of electronic journals, staff held meetings with the Academic Press to explore their pilot project, IDEAL, and invited the Johns Hopkins University Press to demonstrate and discuss its Project MUSE electronic journals system at a program on April 23rd. On September 10th, FLICC and CAPCON cooperated to produce a full day program on electronic journals. Publishers, librarians and intermediaries explained how they are meeting the challenges posed by moving from print to electronic media.
Library Support Services: In August five contractors signed agreements to conduct technical processing services through the FEDLINK program. These services include original cataloging, copy cataloging, retrospective conversion and physical processing. During the summer, FEDLINK concluded negotiations on a sole source agreement with the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), an organization that can provide an agency with an annual license to photocopy from the works of more than 9,000 publishers.
During FY96, FEDLINK enjoyed another successful year of operating performance during which Fiscal Operations (FFO): processed 12,005 member service transaction requests for current and prior years, representing $53.3 million for transfer pay and $66.2 million for direct pay FY96 service dollars; expanded vendor services for FY97 to include 5 new technical processing vendors, 4 new electronic information retrieval vendors and the Copyright Clearance Center; vouchered 67,583 invoices for current and prior year orders; incurred virtually zero net interest expense for late payment of FEDLINK vendor invoices; completed FY91 member service dollar refunds to close out obligations for expired appropriations; successfully passed the General Accounting Office audit of FY95 transactions performed by Price Waterhouse; successfully completed work associated with the FY95 Price Waterhouse task order to conduct a compliance review of FEDLINK's financial system and identify opportunities for electronic commerce; ensured that administrative expenditures/obligations did not exceed program fee projections; and implemented plans to have Abacus Technology Corporation perform strategic reviews of the FEDLINK program to enhance customer service, program planning and execution. During FY96 FEDLINK saved its member agencies an estimated $10.3 million in discounts and contracting cost avoidance.
Total FEDLINK vendor service dollars for FY96 represent $53.3 million for transfer pay customers and $66.2 million for direct pay customers. Database retrieval services represent $15.3 million and $49.2 million, respectively, for transfer pay and direct pay customers. Within this service category, online services comprise the largest procurement for transfer pay and direct pay customers, representing $14.0 million and $48.1 million, respectively. Publications acquisition services represent $31.9 million and $16.9 million, respectively, for transfer pay and direct pay customers. Within this service category, serials subscription services comprise the largest procurement for transfer pay and direct pay customers, representing $25.4 million and $16.0 million, respectively. Library support services represent $6.1 million and $0.1 million, respectively; for transfer pay and direct pay customers. Within this service category, bibliographic utilities are the largest procurement representing $5.1 million and $0.1 million, respectively, for transfer pay and direct pay customers.
Based on FFO analysis of discounts offered through LC/FEDLINK BOAs, FEDLINK discounts saved members at least $2.2 million in gross service dollars in FY96. Analysis of comparable contracting costs for establishing 101 BOAs and providing competition for 333 individual serials orders over $50,000 suggests that FEDLINK's centralized contracting activity saved the government approximately $8.1 million in cost avoidance (estimating $20,000 per contracting action). Thus, through discounts and contracting cost avoidance alone--not considering FEDLINK's invoice processing, education, and other services--the FEDLINK program saved agencies an estimated $10.3 million, an amount more than double the FEDLINK annual operating budget.
FFO accounts receivable processed FY96 registrations from federal libraries, information centers and other federal offices which resulted in 775 signed FY96 IAGs. In addition, FFO processed 3,641 IAG amendments (1,353 FY96 and 2,288 prior year adjustments) for agencies that added, adjusted or terminated service funding. These IAGs and IAG amendments represented 12,005 individual service requests to begin, move, convert or cancel service from 101 FY96 FEDLINK vendors. FFO executed service requests by generating delivery orders that were issued to vendors by LC/Contracts and Logistics. For FY96 alone, FEDLINK processed approximately $53.3 million in service dollars for 2,824 transfer pay accounts and approximately $66.2 million in service dollars for 245 direct pay accounts. Included in the above member service transactions are 694 member requests to move prior year (no-year and multi-year) funds across fiscal year boundaries. These service request transactions represented a contracting volume of $3.0 million comprised of 1,161 delivery orders.
The FEDLINK Fiscal Hotline responded to a wide variety of member questions ranging from routine queries about IAGs, delivery orders, and account balances to complicated questions regarding FEDLINK policies and operating procedures. In addition, Internet email addresses were established for FFO to give FEDLINK members and vendors 24 hours access to fiscal operations. FFO continued the practice of scheduling appointments with FEDLINK member agencies and FEDLINK vendors to discuss complicated account problems and assigned senior staff to concentrate on resolving complex current and prior year situations. FEDLINK ALIX-FS maintained 2,824 accounts in FY96 and continued to provide members early access to their monthly balance information throughout the fiscal year. FFO prepared monthly mailings that alerted individual members to unsigned IAG amendments, deficit accounts, rejected invoices and delinquent accounts.
On behalf of transfer pay users, FFO vouchered 67,583 invoices for payment during FY96 for both current and prior year orders. FFO accounts payable efficiently processed vendor invoices and earned $100 in discounts in excess of interest payment penalties levied for the late payment of invoices to FEDLINK vendors. FFO continued to maintain open accounts for three prior years to pay publications service invoices ("bill laters" and "back orders") for members using books and serials services. FFO reviewed 68,302 invoices for current and prior fiscal years and rejected the following: 2,402 invoices for having no delivery orders; 885 invoices due to duplicate vendor submissions; 1,304 for having no signed IAG; 1,905 invoices for overdraft/insufficient funds; and 2,412 invoices for inadequate vendor information.
FFO issued 87,878 statements to members (24,439 current year and 63,439 prior year). FFO continued to generate current fiscal year statements for database retrieval service accounts on the 30th or the last working day of each month and publications and acquisitions account statements on the 15th of each month. FFO issued final FY91 statements in support of closing obligations for expired FY91 appropriations. FFO issued quarterly statements for prior fiscal years including FY92 and supported reconciliation of FY92 FEDLINK vendor services accounts.
Retirement of Prior Year Service Obligations: FFO completed all unfinished work associated with reconciling FY91 vendor obligations and payments and collaborated with LC/Financial Services to refund member remaining account balances. This facilitated member agency compliance with statutory requirements for retiring obligations associated with FY91 expired appropriations.
General Accounting Office (GAO) FY95 Library Audit: During FY96 FEDLINK successfully passed the GAO audit of FY95 transactions conducted by Price Waterhouse. During the May 7th congressional hearing of the Joint Committee on the Library, GAO Director of Corporate Audits and Standards Robert W. Gramling reported that the Library had done a good job of cleaning up problems identified in the 1991 audit with regard to FEDLINK accounts. FEDLINK's success with the GAO is attributed to staff efforts to revise program finance and procurement policies and procedures in response to the previous audit findings.
Price Waterhouse Compliance Review: FFO completed the task order with Price Waterhouse to perform a compliance review of FEDLINK's automated system (SYMIN). The system test and compliance focused on the SYMIN automated system, its inputs and outputs, its data, and its procedures . Price Waterhouse acknowledged the many enhancements and modifications made to SYMIN to improve its functionality and performance since the 1992 compliance review. Both the system test and the compliance review revealed areas for improvement or further evaluation. These findings confirmed management's assessment to evolve SYMIN from a DOS to WINDOWS based operating system. Price Waterhouse also provided guidance on issues that should be taken into consideration when designing the next version of SYMIN. All major recommendations are being incorporated into the SYMIN system plans to develop the successor financial system.
During FY96, FEDLINK ensured that administrative expenditures/obligations did not exceed the program fee projections. By year end, FEDLINK realized a $380,000 surplus due to fee revenue exceeding budgeted volume and unanticipated personnel cost savings. Because the surplus was not realized until the last month of FY96, FLICC management did not have sufficient time to rebate the surplus to members prior to year end. The fee surplus will be distributed to FEDLINK members' accounts and refunded upon reconciliation of their FY96 account activity.
In FY96 FLICC management and systems staff set directions for automation in FLICC/FEDLINK for the next five years through a formal process to review all outstanding task requests, and group and categorize them by priority. Much of the focus was on the next generation of the SYMIN financial management system; the plan deferred as many tasks as possible to that resystemization. Included in the preparations for the next five years was the decision to migrate to 32-bit Windows-based software from the current 16-bit DOS systems. Technology acquisitions during the year began establishing the infrastructure for the new system with Windows 95, Borland Delphi systems, Oracle database management and Windows NT file servers to host the Oracle system. An additional programmer was added to help develop the new software. Windows 95 was implemented on selected desktops to evaluate the impact and identify problems in migration; the last obstacle to Windows 95 implementation was resolved by year end.
One high priority enhancement to SYMIN could not await the next generation system--delivery order check-in at LC/Contracts and Logistics. This task was accomplished by upgrading the communications line between the FLICC offices and LC and developing software to enable FEDLINK contracting officers in Landover, MD, to check delivery orders directly into the SYMIN system at FLICC. This enhancement eliminated the 3-5 day lag that existed when the paper delivery orders were being transported from Landover to the FLICC office before check-in.
During FY96, FEDLINK implemented plans to have Abacus Technology Corporation perform strategic reviews of the program in the following areas: program cost/benefit analysis; program cost allocation/accounting for transfer pay and direct pay activity; and development of a formal 5 year business plan. These studies will be finalized in FY97.
FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group
Chair: Sami W. Klein, National Institute of Standards and Technology
FLICC Education Working Group
Chair: Alexandra Campbell, TRALINET Center
FLICC Information Technology Working Group
Chair: Alta Linthicum, National Defense University
FLICC Membership and Governance Working Group
Chair: Fran Perros, Department of State
FLICC Nominating Working Group
Chair: Carol Bursik, Geological Survey
FLICC Personnel Working Group
Chair: Patricia L. John, Department of Agriculture
FLICC Policy Working Group
Chair: Peter Young, National Commission on Libraries and Information Science
FLICC Preservation and Binding Working Group
Chair: Paula Vincent, Department of Defense
FLICC Reference/Public Services Working Group
Chair: Murray Bradley, Naval Research Laboratory
FLICC Survey Working Group
Chair: Elizabeth Yeates, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
|Advanced Reference Services||1||9||-||-|
|Passport for Windows||8||77||1||17|
|Passport for Windows||1||13||-||-|
|Format Integration II||1||12||1||30|
|MARC for Descriptive||5||315||-||-|
|World Wide Web 1||9||93||-||-|
|World Wide Web 2||7||65||-||-|
|World Wide Web 3||3||25||-||-|
|WWW Special Topics:||1||10||-||-|
|WWW Special Topics:||1||12||-||-|
|Listservs & Newsgroups||1||6||-||-|
|Internet for New Users||9||73||-||-|
|Communications on the||1||5||-||-|
|LC Internet I||2||18||-||-|
|LC Internet II||2||19|
During fiscal year 1996, the Federal Library and Information Center Committee provided a variety of innovative educational and networking opportunities to the federal library community. FLICC's annual Forum on Federal Information Policy featured expert panelists exploring the balance between open access to and protection of government information. FLICC also reinstituted its annual symposium on the information professional, this year focusing on the importance of forming liaisons with computer professionals. In all, FLICC sponsored twenty-six educational events--on such topics as interlibrary loan vs. document delivery, database licensing, CD-ROM instruction, preservation of electronic Federal Depository Library documents, and copyright in the digital age--for 1,282 members of the federal library and information center community. The FY96 FLICC education schedule underscored cooperative relationships as FLICC sponsored programs with other organizations in the library, education, and association community including: CAPCON Library Network; the National Institute for Library Personnel; the College of DuPage; the Law Librarians Society of Washington, DC; Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Society for Information Science; DC Library Association; DC Online Users Group; Special Libraries Association-DC Chapter; and the ALA Association for Library Collections and Technical Services. FLICC continued and expanded its videotaping of FLICC programs and developed an arrangement with the National Library of Education to make FLICC videotapes more readily available to federal libraries through interlibrary loan.
At the first FLICC Quarterly Membership meeting, Executive Board members led small group brainstorming sessions to reconsider FLICC's VISION 2000 statement and to identify crucial issues for FLICC members and specific actions for FLICC and FEDLINK for the next five years. In calendar 1996, the FLICC membership meetings focused on federal library advocacy. At the February meeting FLICC member Phyllis Christenson, Director of the Information Services Center, General Accounting Office (GAO), described her initiatives to convey the importance of the Information Services Center during GAO downsizing actions. Then, in May, a panel on library committees--at the Naval Research Laboratory, the National Library of Education and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration- -discussed the benefits of such user advocate groups. In September, Dr. Betty Turock, Professor, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, and immediate Past President of the American Library Association, presented several methods for demonstrating a library's success in her lecture, "Making the Case for Library Support."
FLICC working groups finished reviewing the results of the FY94 nationwide survey of federal libraries and information centers and worked with the National Center for Education Statistics to publish the tabulations; developed new educational initiatives for advocacy, library technicians, and distance learning; updated the five-year-old FLICC bylaws; initiated an information technology listserv; established a closed listserv to consider federal policies related to information service; and published a background paper on qualifications requirements for federal librarian positions.
FLICC supported an ambitious publications schedule producing ten issues of FEDLINK Technical Notes, five eight-page issues of the FLICC Quarterly Newsletter, a twenty-page summary of the 1995 FLICC Forum, a fourth edition of the Checklist of Microcomputer Based Library Systems, and the first edition of the FLICC/FEDLINK Education Catalog. FLICC also published expanded and enhanced materials to support FLICC's cooperative network, FEDLINK, including the FY97 FEDLINK Registration Booklet; the looseleaf FY97 FEDLINK Member Handbook, with index, tabs and binder; the FY96 FEDLINK Books Package; as well as eleven FEDLINK Information Alerts and a comprehensive FLICC/FEDLINK information packet.
FLICC/FEDLINK released its own Web site in June 1996. The site provides access to FLICC/FEDLINK publications, information about FEDLINK services, including training and education, events, OCLC support, contracting, and the FY96 Services Directory, with hot links to FEDLINK vendors. During the year, new listservs were created for the FLICC Information Technology Working Group and the Policy Working Group and a listserv was "loaned" to the National Biological Survey to assist with the integration of that service into the Geological Survey. Also, at the request of the FEDLINK Advisory Council, FEDLIB was converted to an interactive listserv to enable the FAC to increase its contact with FEDLINK members.
The FEDLINK Advisory Council met ten times during FY96 to plan the Spring and Fall FEDLINK Membership Meetings and to follow up on member needs identified in the 1995 FEDLINK Member Survey:
In FY96, FEDLINK staff conducted 108 OCLC and Internet classes, attracting 1,122 students. Staff introduced the new OCLC telecommunications software, Passport for Windows, by conducting eight classes, as well as a special training session at the Smithsonian libraries. In April, 104 librarians attended the ALA/ALCTS Institute on Technical Services Workstations, a technology that brings the tools of cataloging together on a single computer; FEDLINK initiated this program for the D.C. area and co-sponsored it with the CAPCON Network.
FEDLINK staff also worked with the Library of Congress Technical Processing and Automation Instruction Office (TPAIO) to present the first FLICC/FEDLINK Cataloging Institute. Attended by sixty students, the event provided thirty contact hours of training in basic concepts of description and access based on Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules; afternoon sessions furnished instruction in OCLC MARC applications. In August and September, FEDLINK staff conducted significant regional OCLC training in the field, traveling to eight Air Force libraries.
For the first time in its history, FLICC/FEDLINK created an exhibit booth and unveiled it at the Special Libraries Association meeting in Boston in early June. FLICC/FEDLINK also exhibited via the LC booth at ALA in New York in July. In June FEDLINK announced the availability of subscription pricing for online and CD-ROM database services; members were able for the first time to order a subscription to an online system for a fixed period of time--or a finite amount of service--at a fixed price. FEDLINK completed the year with 101 vendors, including two new service areas--technical processing services and copyright clearance.
During FY96, FEDLINK Fiscal Operations enjoyed another successful year of operating performance during which Fiscal staff: processed 12,005 member service transaction requests for current and prior years, representing $53.3 million for transfer pay and $66.2 million for direct pay FY96 service dollars; vouchered 67,583 invoices for current and prior year orders; incurred virtually zero net interest expense for late payment of FEDLINK vendor invoices; completed FY91 member service dollar refunds to close out obligations for expired appropriations; successfully passed the General Accounting Office audit of FY95 transactions performed by Price Waterhouse; successfully completed work associated with the FY95 Price Waterhouse task order to conduct a compliance review of FEDLINK's financial system and identify opportunities for electronic commerce; ensured that administrative expenditures/obligations did not exceed program fee projections; and implemented plans to have Abacus Technology Corporation perform strategic reviews of the FEDLINK program to enhance customer service, program planning and execution. During FY96 FEDLINK saved its member agencies an estimated $10.3 million in discounts and contracting cost avoidance.