Magazine article Computers in Libraries

BUBL Bits: Follett and Figit

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

BUBL Bits: Follett and Figit

Article excerpt

Readers can find all the files relative to this column on the BUBL gopher service. The path to locate them is 2,7,2,3,13 from the BUBL gopher Main Menu, where the numbers refer to options on the various menus that you use to get to the files.

This month's column highlights the coverage of the "Joint Funding Councils' Libraries Review Group: Report" December 1993, commonly known as the "Follett Report," after the Chairman of the group that drafted the report, Professor Brian Follett, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, and associated files on BUBL.

The Follett Report was issued in December 1993 and provides many recommendations for the provision of library services in United Kingdom Libraries of Higher Education (university libraries) for the next decade. The entire report is held on the BUBL gopher service. We provide the report in two forms: the complete report, and split into significant chapters for ease of reference.

Within the same section as the Follett Report, you will find links to the responses of the British Library Association and the Institute of Information Scientists. In general, responses have been positive toward the Report.

The Follett Report indicated that it felt cooperative ventures using Information Technology (IT) to be "essential to create the effective library service of the future." It cites the space saving possible due to electronic storage of digitized material and free access for researchers to specialised research collections being made possible by networking such collections and datasets, all as being relevant to the need for IT responses. Conscious of the copyright implications involved by increased networking and electronics, it seeks to investigate how such issues can be resolved in practical terms. (See Chapter 8 for a summary of specific recommendations of the Follett Report.)

As the Follett Report also makes recommendations relating to non-IT aspects of Library provision, that is, short loan collection provision, extending open hours, strategic management implications, all library staff will find something of interest in it.


The funding councils have decided to pursue the Follett Report's recommendations with respect to Information Technology. As a result, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has been commissioned to take forward the implementation of these recommendations. As the sums for investment in order to achieve these recommendations are considerable (20 million pounds over three years), JISC has set up a subcommittee known as the Follett Implementation Group on Information Technology (FIGIT); chaired by Lynne Brindley. Other aspects of the Follett Report have similar groups to steer the implementation to fruition.

Naturally, here, we are interested in the computing element of the report, and indeed, Information Technology recommendations featured heavily in the Follett Report. We provide BUBL users with the "JISC Circular 4/94--FIGIT Framework," again linked from the Follett Report Directory of BUBL. This details how FIGIT aims to take forward the initiative and make the Follett Report's recommendations reality.

Briefly, FIGIT is inviting institutions/organizations to express an interest in developing programmes relating to any of the following broad areas of Information Technology, which were specifically highlighted by the Follett Report as being of value to the Higher Education community in the United Kingdom:

Electronic Document and

Article Delivery--includes

subject-based and

geographical consortia; development of

technical tools and standards;

provision and delivery of

services direct to users; funding,

costing, and copyright issues. …

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