Gaps in Digital R&D Programs of National Libraries, According to Report

Jan 20, 2006

A recent survey of new member states under TEL-ME-MOR, a project funded by the European Commission, looked at how well the new member states national libraries are achieving or can achieve its goal.

The survey revealed what makes it difficult or impossible for national libraries to be actively involved in research and development programs. The issues range from intellectual, financial and organizational, to the management experience of digitized and born-digital content, the size of digital collections, application and adoption of international standards, and technological infrastructure. The result is that only 4 of the 10 libraries surveyed had significant amounts of digitized content. The capabilities of these libraries vary. Those of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Slovenia have been involved with more European R&D projects and have also built considerable infrastructure such as digitization facilities, mass storage systems, Web harvesting, and search and retrieval gateways.

The survey concludes that libraries should find a more prominent role in their national R&D program; that more resources need to be digitized and new funding models uncovered and that more effective systems for the management of research need to be put in place. The report of the "Questionnaire for Analysis of Research Activities and Needs of National Libraries of the New EU Member States" can be found on the TEL-ME-MOR site.