News from the Nuclear Information Section
International Nuclear Information System (INIS), IAEA Library & SDSG

No. 15, December 2013


IAEA Library Services and Activities

IAEA LibraryThe growth of published information in its varied forms and the growing use of new communication technologies in library operations provide both opportunities and challenges for libraries. Various collaborative and effective techniques for the management of information services have increased as well. The IAEA Library made progress in collecting expensive resources through cooperative arrangements, while offering access to information resources through new technologies. The IAEA Library, in cooperation with other libraries, was able to negotiate subscriptions at a lower cost. Partnerships with IAEA procurement experts and vendors resulted in more cost-effective ways to obtain information. The IAEA Library’s subscriptions to electronic publications allowed the Library to substantially increase the total number of electronic subscriptions, while improving efficiency for its end users. As a result, the number of electronic journals available through the Library increased by 40% in 2013.

Library Services

New technology, combined with the changing nature and needs of library users, is redefining the role and functions of the library and may bring even greater changes in the future. The Library has successfully made the conceptual shift to a customer oriented approach, ensuring the quality of services provided to users. It maintains ongoing reviews of customer information needs in order to adjust products and services to meet changing demands.

In 2013, circulation services provided a personalized approach to make the best use of print resources and loans, which led to an increase of 24% compared to 2012. The Library assures compatible delivery of information acquired through partnerships using the inter-library loan and document delivery services offer users better access to information resources in other libraries. Due to the increase of e-journals, the number of requests for document delivery decreased by 15%, while the number of document delivery requests from Member States has more than doubled.

As the research process includes discovering, gathering, creating and sharing information, the Library has assisted researchers in pursuing these activities by offering current awareness or alerts services. Responding to customers’ demands for these services, the amount of personalized user profiles and information packages delivered increased by 18%. Among the current awareness services provided by the Library, the table of content (ToC) alert service provides a gateway to information content in journals. The number of e-journals delivered to users has grown by more than 20% this year.

New Mobile Library Website

IAEA LibraryAccess to the electronic Library via mobile devices is now available, allowing users to enjoy seamless access to information at any time and from anywhere. This new IAEA Library access point offers users the opportunity to access library resources and services regardless of their location.

Resource Description and Access (RDA)

The IAEA Library is also in the process of adapting the IAEA Library cataloguing standards to meet the provisions of Resource Description and Access (RDA) standard. RDA, designed for the digital world, is built on foundations established by the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR), and will provide a comprehensive set of guidelines and instructions on resource description and access covering all types of content and media.

Information Management Infrastructure

Due to the shift from printed to electronic publications in the Library collection, there is a need for a new Integrated Library System (ILS) to effectively manage the processes for acquiring, describing, and making available electronic resources. The Library developed comparators to measure the current ILS’s effectiveness against other market offerings to assure that the ILS selected for the Library offers the most advanced and effective system. Functional requirements for a new Library system have been prepared so that if fulfills the need to handle both formats and to enable the Library to provide better services to its users. The Library will continue comparing and searching for the most suitable ILS in order to prepare for a transition to the new system at the right time.

Collaboration & partnership

Collaboration has become the key strategic issue for all libraries. The IAEA Library has increased collaboration between the Library and sections within the IAEA, between librarians and their user communities, as well as with other nuclear libraries, UN libraries and key publishers and vendors. The IAEA Library has arranged regular consultations with the Library advisors and subject experts on acquisitions, sought feedback from users on resources and improvement of its services, developed collaborative links with other information providers, and expanded its services. Thus, it has managed to reach out to more users and establish customer links to more efficiently fulfil users’ information needs.

Library outreach

IAEA LibraryThe IAEA Library increased its outreach services to provide training and exposure to available information resources and services, in order to maximize return on investment for its products and services by encouraging wider use and self-sufficiency in using these tools. Marketing techniques, such as multimedia presentations of Nuclear Information Section resources and services (media corner) and the Library News bulletin, are used to ensure that clients know about available services. It is believed that this will further increase user satisfaction with the services offered by the IAEA Library.

Ah Win Daw
Head, IAEA Library