IAEA Library Collection and Activities
Information Resource Collections
The information industry is rapidly developing and the market for information products is changing. The cost of science and technology journals has increased and new technologies have been introduced to the information world. The availability of open access information resources and new technologies offers many opportunities to expand the accessibility of scientific information worldwide. The IAEA Library’s response to these issues has been to balance the expenditures between different formats of information resources and to expand partnerships to sustain the level of access to these resources, as well as to develop new solutions in order to meet new needs.
Providing centralized access to scientific and technical journals has always been an important function of the Library. The Library has increased online subscriptions and captured more open access journals in order to facilitate this access. The number of e-journals offered by the Library has grown by more than 50 % in the last year.
In response to the increasing demand for digital content distribution and access, the IAEA Library and INIS, in collaboration with the Publishing Section, have implemented a project to preserve and provide on-line access to the full text of out of print IAEA publications. This comprises 402 volumes and 115 944 pages which were digitized and made available in 2012. Through expanded partnerships with, and among an ever increasing number of International Nuclear Libraries Network (INLN) members, the Library has been given valuable opportunities to enrich information sharing and closer collaboration among these members, improving the services offered to Library customers. The role of the IAEA library as a repository for nuclear information is being enhanced to reflect IAEA activities. Scientific and technical publications and documents related to peaceful applications of nuclear energy will remain at the core of IAEA Library collections. The Library will continue to maintain and preserve information resources and IAEA publications in both print and, where appropriate, electronic format to ensure the availability of this information in support of current and future IAEA activities.
Visitors to the Library grew by 25% between 2011 and 2012, and loans increased by 26%, due to the expansion of new book displays, the enhancement of its outreach activities, information coaching for newcomers and customized services.
Increased loan statistics indicate the continuing demand for printed material, while demand for electronic formats, both established and emerging, continues to increase.
The Library continued to develop centralized electronic journal delivery services, including delivering the table of contents to the user. The number of deliveries to e-journal users increased by 15% in 2012.
Customized, in-depth research support services were offered on a wide range of topics, increasing the number of user requests by more than 15%, while the number of general reference questions leaped 10%.
Responding to customers’ demands for personalized packaging of products and services, the use of personalized user profiles doubled and the number of information packages delivered increased by 14%.
Due to the high cost of scientific and technology journals, it is impossible to cover all the relevant information, resulting in more dependence on interlending and document delivery services in order to fulfill information needs and offer viable alternatives to the acquisition of resources. The number of requests for such services remained relatively constant in 2012.
The IAEA Library re-designed the library catalogue, which now displays book covers in both short title listings and full catalogue entries. Clicking from the title screen on the table of contents allows you to find additional information. It is also now possible to narrow results by author, subject, year, language, and format. An increase in loans shows that library customers recognize and value these enhancements. The Library is exploring ways to provide access functionality that goes beyond the resources available in the Library databases, extending the full range of digital resources that can be delivered directly to the users’ desktop.
The IAEA Library has created more innovative communication and outreach programs to customize the way users are informed about IAEA Library resources and services. The Library expanded regular training and outreach programmes by engaging in building customer relationships, not only within the organization but also among other international organizations. The IAEA Library became part of the Joint Vienna Based Organizations (VBO) Orientation, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Multilateral Diplomacy Programme, and offered embedded training in various IAEA Sections. The Library continues to seek new partnerships and to explore new areas of collaboration. The Library began hosting special events and lectures targeted to community partners, offering opportunities to discover the collections and services offered by the Library. In order to better connect with Library customers, the Library News has created innovative ways to promote Library resources and services. Creating new outreach opportunities is the way forward for the IAEA Library.
The IAEA Library will make staff and financial resources available and accessible to ensure that the best use is being made of their unique content and capabilities. The IAEA Library will continue to identify, select, organize, index and catalogue high-quality and important information resources acquired by the Library, or to which the Library has obtained access, that support the work of the Agency and its staff, in all available formats (print and electronic, available locally or remotely). The Library will foster a culture of access rather than ownership and continue to build customer-oriented services.
Daw Ah Win
Head, IAEA Library