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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Richard Van Orden +1-614-761-5132 [log in to unmask]
Victoria Hanawalt +1-503-777-7280
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OCLC USERS COUNCIL MEETS TO DISCUSS
REGIONAL NETWORKS, CONSORTIA AND OTHER PARTNERSHIPS

     DUBLIN, Ohio, Oct. 31, 1996*During its meeting Oct. 6-8, the OCLC Users
Council elected Merryll Penson vice president/president-elect, discussed
strategic partnerships, and participated in the dedication of a new office,
conference and training facility and the naming of three buildings on the
OCLC campus for the three presidents in OCLC*s history.
     Victoria Hanawalt, Users Council president, presided over the three-day
meeting with a focus on *Model Partnerships:  The Regional Networks,
Consortia, and the States.*  It was the first of three meetings for the
1996/97 program with the theme *Model Partnerships:  Building the Electronic
Library.*
     Ms. Penson, director of the Columbus State University Library in
Columbus, Georgia, was elected Users Council vice president/president-elect
for the 1996/97 term.  Ms. Hanawalt became Users Council president in
August.
     Sharon J. Rogers, a member of the OCLC Board of Trustees and associate
vice president for academic affairs, George Washington University, spoke
about *Strategic Partnerships and OCLC* and the norms and values that govern
those partnerships.  She noted that OCLC has approximately 180 business
alliances that include regional networks, resource sharing groups,
professional associations and individual libraries.  *The partnership is
never an end in itself,* she said, *but a means to accomplish OCLC*s public
purposes.*
     David Brunell, chair, Regional OCLC Network Directors Advisory
Committee (RONDAC), and executive director, Bibliographic Center for
Research (BCR), spoke on *Strategic Partnerships and the OCLC Regional
Networks.*  He noted that OCLC*s partnership with regional networks has
lasted 24 years, while the average commercial partnership lasts less than
two years.  *The partnership between OCLC and networks continues to be
strong, productive and mutually beneficial,* he said.
     Thomas Shaughnessy, director of libraries, University of Minnesota,
described the CIC Virtual Electronic Library project.  The Committee on
Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and OCLC are working together to create a
Virtual Electronic Library to provide seamless access to information to the
500,000 students and 35,000 faculty associated with the CIC*s 12 major
teaching and research universities.
     *By the beginning of the 21st century, the CIC libraries will have a
cohesive consortial organization guided by a vision of the information
resources in the CIC as a seamless whole, whether those resources are
developed or owned individually or collectively,* said Dr. Shaughnessy.
     Ms. Penson spoke about GALILEO, the Georgia Library Learning Online
system that uses OCLC SiteSearch software to host a suite of databases,
local and remote, which includes journal citations and abstracts as well as
full text, and makes them available to libraries throughout the state.
     *Georgia has a history of collaboration and cooperation,* said Ms.
Penson.  *If groups are going to do something like this, they must be
certain to include and educate everyone as they go.  Collaboration through
GALILEO is benefiting all the citizens of Georgia.*
     Delegates saw demonstrations of the CIC Virtual Electronic Library and
GALILEO.
     In his President*s Report, K. Wayne Smith, OCLC president and CEO,
reviewed OCLC*s progress in three priority areas:   reference services and
electronic publishing, enhancements to cataloging and resource sharing
services, and international expansion.  Dr. Smith also spoke about OCLC*s
strategic alliances.
     *At OCLC, we enter into alliances because they can lead to new or
better products and services, to new markets, or to lower costs for our
member libraries,* Dr. Smith said.  *OCLC*s fundamental interests are
furthering access to the world*s information and reducing information costs
for its member libraries.  Every strategic alliance we have had or will have
must support this litmus test.*
     Delegates heard the OCLC financial report from Rick Schwieterman, OCLC
vice president for finance and human resources, and an update on OCLC
products and services from Liz Bishoff, OCLC vice president for member
services.
     Interest groups discussing communications and access, reference
services/electronic publishing, resource sharing, and technical services
met, and group leaders reported back to council.
     Delegates also met in small group discussions based on library type:
 public libraries, government and special libraries, small academic
libraries, medium-sized academic libraries and large research libraries.
 Each group discussed ways in which information organizations can strengthen
their partnerships and improve services they provide.
     Following the regular Users Council meeting, delegates participated in
the dedication of the K. Wayne Smith Building, the new office, training and
conference center on the OCLC campus named for its current president and
CEO, and the naming of the two other buildings on campus for Frederick G.
Kilgour, OCLC president from 1967-1980, and Rowland C.W. Brown, 1980-1989.
     The next OCLC Users Council meeting will be held Jan. 27-29, 1997, in
Dublin.
     Minutes from OCLC Users Council meetings, from October 1990 through the
May 1996 meeting, are available on the Internet.  Minutes from the October
1996 meeting will be available Nov. 15.
     To receive meeting minutes via the Internet, send a message to
[log in to unmask]  Commands should be typed on separate lines in the body
of the message, not in the subject line.  Enter the command, index uc to
receive the index of archived minutes.  Enter get [file name] to request
meeting minutes.  For example, enter the command get minutes.may96 to
receive a copy of the May 1996 Users Council meeting minutes.
     The Users Council comprises librarians from networks and other partners
whose contributions to the OCLC Online Union Catalog qualify them for
membership.  Representing the various interests of OCLC member libraries,
delegates ratify amendments to the Code of Regulations and advise on OCLC
strategic direction.

     OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit computer library
service and research organization whose computer network and services link
more than 23,000 libraries in 63 countries and territories.  OCLC is on the
World Wide Web at http://www.oclc.org/.     (RJM)

Questions or Comments?
OCLC Users' Council Delegates:
        Lee Hadden
        [log in to unmask]
        ph: 703-648-6088

        Bernard Strong
        [log in to unmask]
        ph: 202-287-9463

        Marcia Talley
        [log in to unmask]
        ph: 410-293-6905