Midwinter 2002 Annual Meeting
1. New website design
The British Library's new website went live at the beginning of December. The main changes are:
- Moving from a frames-based site. This has freed up more screen space for page content and the new navigation menus allow users to scan quickly through the whole of the menu structure.
- A broader structure, so that users can move more efficiently to the content they require.
- There is supporting help for different categories of users, including those new to the site.
- The catalogues menu provides easy access to our web catalogues, including the BLDSC current serials file.
- A quick link from the home page takes users directly to the relevant ordering services.
We hope that the new design will bring easier access to the vast array of the British Library's information and service provision through our web site. We welcome any comments and suggestions through the feedback form on the site at www.bl.uk.
In December we began installing the Relais system. Initially this will be used only for electronic delivery by Ariel. At the moment we can only deliver to an Ariel IP address but we will soon be able to delivery by email. Three workstations are in place at the moment; others will be added during January. We hope that by the end of the month the vast majority of Ariel copies will be handled by Relais. The main advantage for customers is the vastly improved quality of the copies.
3. Global Sharing Program
During 2001 we joined OCLC's IFM service. This means that we have been able to join OCLC's Global Sharing Program. We hope that this will make it easier for participating libraries to identify the BLDSC as a location for items they are unable to find in their own country and to simplify ordering.
4. Ordering theses
We have added an online order facility to the thesis pages on our website. Registered customers can use this method of ordering as an alternative to submitting requests through our standard service. Individuals can use it to purchase theses and pay by credit card.
The service covers over 140,000 doctoral theses from UK universities. Brief records of these are included in the BLDSC book catalogue on the British Library Public Catalogue at http://blpc.bl.uk.
On our web site you can view details of a selection of books from British Library Publishing. Categories include: bibliographies, books about books, calligraphy, medieval manuscripts, science and invention, general interest, sports bibliographies, typography and book design, writers lives All the books can be ordered electronically via a secure server and are dispatched within a few days. To view titles and order, go to http://www.bl.uk, click on the Services box in the main menu, then go to Publications/Online Bookshop.
6. Pre 1950 books
About 500,000 records for the BLDSC collection of books published before 1950 have recently been made available to search and order on loan. This is a valuable research resource as many of the older books are no longer available in many libraries and few lending locations can now be found. The records have been integrated into the BLDSC book catalogue on the British Library Public Catalogue at http://blpc.bl.uk.
I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans.
British Library Document Supply Centre
Wetherby, West Yorkshire