State Library Agencies
Information Technology Standards Policies & Procedures
A Study Sponsored by the National Information Standards Organization
William E. Moen, Ph.D.
School of Library and Information Sciences, University of North Texas
Denton, TX 76203
voice: 940-565-3563 -- fax: 940-565-3101
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is sponsoring a nine-month study (June 1998 February 1999) to identify:
- the extent of state library agencies use of information technology standards
- the concerns of State Librarians regarding information technology standards.
Why NISO Wants to Conduct This Study
The dynamic pace of technology change is challenging all organizations to identify and select standards on which to base mission critical operations and programs. State library agencies face particular challenges because of the increasing demands that publicly supported libraries provide access to increasing quantities and varieties of digital and paper-based resources. NISO believes that state libraries are in a unique position to influence the adoption and implementation of standards.
Goals of This Study
The goals of this study are to:
- help NISO better understand the current state of standards use and need for information about standards at the state level
- provide state library agencies with a national compilation of state library agencies policies, practices, and issues related to information technology standards.
The objectives of this study are to:
- survey state library agencies to document existing standards policies and initiatives
- document existing (or planned) processes and procedures for identifying, learning about, selecting, implementing, and reviewing standards
- describe the broader state government political environment that affects state library agencies standards policies
- describe models and best practices of standards policies
- identify key issues and barriers to standards selection, adoption, and use
- identify critical areas where standards are needed (e.g., access to content, interoperability, and integration of resources from multiple sources).
Benefits of This Study
As the national standards organization for the communities of libraries, information services, and publishers, NISOs goal for this study is to understand state library agencies concerns related to information technology standards. A primary outcome will be recommendations to NISO for better serving the standards needs of state library agencies (e.g., awareness and education).
For the state library agencies:
NISO anticipates that this study will benefit all state library agencies by providing a compilation of their standards policies and procedures, and identifying barriers and best practices related to information technology standards.
NISO anticipates that this study will benefit COSLA by identifying appropriate leadership opportunities for state library agencies in statewide standards policy development and deployment.
How will This Study be Conducted?
NISO is aware of the wide variety of state library agencies, their position within individual states political structures, and their missions and responsibilities. To accommodate this reality, the study will use a variety of data collection activities including site visits to selected state library agencies, focus groups with state librarians, document analysis of existing policies, and questionnaires to all state libraries. The study will ask:
- Which states have statewide library technology standards, and to what libraries or types of libraries do they apply?
- For those states with standards, what are the standards, how were they determined, how are they enforced, and what is the process for ongoing review and evaluation?
- For those states that do not impose standards, are they considering adoption of standards, is there a perceived need for state standards, and is there a mechanism for adoption and enforcement?
- What is the relationship between state library agencies and the broader state governments requirements regarding the promulgation of standards and administrative rule-making? Can adoption of or reference to national standards assist state library agencies in response to such requirements?
The digital information revolution continues to unfold bringing significant changes to state library agencies and their missions. The role of standards in addressing the challenges can be clarified by this study. NISO is extremely interested in serving state library agencies, and this study can provide NISO with essential information to extend and improve its standards services to state library agencies.
NISO is the only organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop and maintain technical standards used in information systems and services used by libraries and publishers and other information providers.
About the Principal Investigator
William E. Moen, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Sciences, University of North Texas. His recently completed dissertation was a case study of the development of ANSI/NISO Z39.50. He has worked for a number of years on projects related to the development and use of Z39.50, specifically in the Government Information Locator Service (GILS) and the Consortium for the Computer Interchange of Museum Information (CIMI). He has written and conducted research on standards policy, Federal information policy, Z39.50, and information access in the networked environment.
For information about the study, visit the studys website at: http://www.unt.edu/wmoen/projects/NISO/StateLibraryStudy.htm
[WEM June 26, 1998]