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Telematics for libraries: Call for Proposals 1996

Expansion of Research Tasks: context and scope of Call Topics

[ Introduction ] [ Summary list of call topics by action line ] [ Check-list of priorities and characteristics of projects ]


Libraries is one of the sectors in the Telematics Applications Programme under the Fourth Framework Prorgramme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities. Work in the libraries sector aims to help increase the ready availability of library resources across Europe and to facilitate their interconnection with the information and communications infrastructure. The libraries sector workplan is structured into three Action Lines - A, B and C - each with a number of Tasks and a list of issues involved. It is essentially a framework document and the Tasks defined in it represent specific objectives (Task Goals) rather than concrete actions or definite areas of activity.


In order to help potential proposers, the framework has been expanded into a series of Call Topics which provide additional context for proposed actions under the libraries sector workplan. The Call Topics provide a series of scenarios or action areas through which the Action Line goals can be addressed and which include the main technical, professional and user issues identified in the sector workplan. They are not intended to be comprehensive or mandatory. However, proposers are encouraged to use the Topics as a focus since they reflect priority actions with good potential to contribute to the programme objectives. They address both continuity with the previous programme and innovation in the area of electronic library services and networked information.


This document reflects the structure of the workplan. The Call Topics are grouped by Action Line, A, B and C. For ease of reference, the Action Line title, its objectives and Task Goals have been included exactly as they are presented in the workplan.

For each Action Line , the group of Call Topics is introduced by a description of the Action Line and a discussion of its rationale and objectives (the Background).
This is followed by the Context for the Call Topics which links each Topic to the Action Line and to each other.

The description of each Call Topic in the Action Line then follows. For each Call Topic there is the Scope , describing the range of issues which may be pertinent to the Topic and which proposals addressing the Topic should take into consideration, as appropriate.
The brief Rationale section explains the background to the Topic and its relevance and importance. It sets the Topic in the context of the wider library environment and, where appropriate, of previous library actions at EU-level.
This is followed by an indication of the key Issues (principally service and organisational) and main Technical factors . A list of the types of organisation who might participate in projects under the Call Topic is also included.
At the end there is a selected list of cross-references to past and ongoing projects: it is clearly important that proposals for new projects do not repeat existing work but that they demonstrate how they build on and extend other initiatives and how they are innovative in relation to past work and services.

This version

The Call Topics were first issued to support the Call for Proposals in March 1995. This is the second version. It has been modified to clarify the descriptions and to eliminate areas of ambiguity between the Call Topics which existed in version 1. These mainly lay in the references to 'User access tools' (principally Call Topics 5 and 11 , but also Call Topic 2 ). These have been clarified to put the focus on the delivery of services to users and on the context of that service delivery ( local library, networked or distributed libraries , and the networked information world ).

The modifications are:

  • to the titles of some Topics which have been re-drafted to make their focus clearer - these are identified by bis after their number;
  • to Call Topics 4 and 5 , Action Line B which have been merged to emphasise the delivery of services;
  • to Call Topic 7 - this was previously aimed at models and scenarios for projects for future Calls and has been modified to focus on models for distributed digital library services that will meet library and citizens' needs over the next decade, with an explicit emphasis on alliances with other memory organisations holding digital collections;
  • to Call Topics 8, 9 and 10 , Action Line C - these all reflected aspects of value-added services and have been rationalised by merging them into a single topic.
The reference list of projects and ongoing work has been updated with the results of the first Call for the libraries sector under FP4 (referred to as CfP'95).

For further information see:

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Summary List of Call Topics by Action Line

Action Line A Network-oriented Internal Library Systems

Objectives: Ensure that libraries are better placed to offer network-based services.
  • Call Topic 1: Integration tools and interfaces for library systems in the local network;
  • Call Topic 2:Tools and methods for the creation and use of library materials in electronic form;
  • Call Topic 3: Development and testing of tools for the management and administration of library services in an electronic environment.

Action Line B Telematics Applications for Interconnected Library Services

Objectives: Improve co-operation, resource development and resource sharing between libraries and encourage the shift from collection to access based services through interconnections between libraries, suppliers and publishers.
  • Call Topic 4 -5 bis: Distributed library services;
  • Call Topic 6 bis: Services for the acquisition and supply of materials to libraries;
  • Call Topic 7 bis: Models for distributed digital libraries and associated services.

Action Line C Library Services for Access to Networked Information Resources

Objectives: Build on and extend information resources and services mediated and delivered by libraries.
  • Call Topic 8-9-10 bis: Adding value to networked information services delivered through libraries;
  • Call Topic 11: User applications supporting unified access to combined networked information and library-based resources;
  • Call Topic 12: Integrating library services with distance learning environments.
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Note : This check-list is derived from the workplan. It indicates properties or characteristics which will be taken into consideration when projects are evaluated.
  • Projects and applications based on real needs and requirements, leading to concrete results with practical and visible demonstrators and capable of replication and multiplier effect ;
  • Focus on systems and applications integration into new library service areas and on the integration of existing and emerging technologies into demonstrable applications ;
  • Consolidation and exploitation (e.g. by transfer, further development) of results from the preceding libraries programme in order to build on the impetus developed ;
  • Continuing emphasis on commitment to open standards ;
  • Human resource issues, knowledge and skills transfer, and organisational issues remain critical to the successful implementation of the change needed if disparities in level of service, across all types of libraries throughout the EU, are to be reduced ;
  • Scope for links with other programmes (e.g. distance learning, telematics for research, language engineering, information engineering) where common problems or user communities exist for services or where libraries can be used as test grounds for results ;
  • New alliances - with traditional partners (e.g. publishers, distributors) or with new partners (providers of distance learning, new networked information providers, network service providers etc) and even with other "memory organisations" (in order to arrive at common solutions in areas of common interest such as preservation and access).
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[ Action Line A ] [ Action Line B ] [ Action Line C ]

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