Information Standards Quarterly, Fall 2009

Letter from the Editor

NOTE TO READER: Download the PDF of this issue.

Anniversaries provide us with the opportunity to reflect on where we are and what brought us here. History not only informs the present but also provides us with a guide for the future. In this seventieth anniversary year of NISO, we looked back in the previous three issues of ISQ at the major milestones in the organization’s past. Closing out our anniversary year in this last issue of 2009, we now look forward with a vision for NISO’s future.

We spent four years working through a strategic transition at NISO. Initially, we were focused on internal issues—mission, governance, staffing, and processes. In the past year and a half, we turned our attention outward. We are reaching out to other organizations in the community, collaborating on new projects, and proactively seeking input on where standards and recommended practices can best add value.

Our entire community is also going through a transition, as we are all, sometimes painfully, aware. Digital resources, multi-media, mobile technology, fiber-optic networks, Wi-Fi, and a technology-savvy user base are all coalescing to change libraries, publishing, and related services in ways we still can’t fully imagine. The need for standards has never been greater and decisions we make on formats, identification, descriptive structures, rights management, interoperability, and preservation methods will reverberate for decades to come.

In addition to the vision for NISO, this issue of ISQ contains a feature article by Rajesh Chandrakar and Jagdish Arora on the changes in higher education in India, the world’s second fastest growing developing country, and how Indian libraries are on a fast track to automate and integrate electronic resources to support those changes. The authors make it clear to us that the issues we face are international in scope and common to both developed and developing countries.

Several authors have contributed opinion pieces for the issue on technology and standards, providing us with much food for thought on ILS interoperability (Annette Bailey and Godmar Back), ERMS and workflow (Jeff Aipperspach and Leslie Lapham), and digitization (Jill Hurst-Wahl). Michael Giarlo shares with us the findings of a survey conducted by the institutional repository scenario subgroup of NISO’s Institutional Identifier (I2) Working Group. The survey results give us a picture of the needs and expectations for an institutional identifier in one of the three scenarios the I2 group plans to address with this new and much-needed identifier. The four conference reports for Fall provide further evidence of the varied challenges that our community faces as well as the many innovative experiments and solutions that are underway.

I hope that you have enjoyed our anniversary celebration this year of NISO’s past. It has been a great story—one that spans a tremendous number of transformative projects and an amazingly dedicated and influential cast of volunteers. Equally challenging and interesting work lies ahead and I hope all of you will join us in NISO’s current and future work. I also encourage you to share your own efforts on this journey to the future with our ISQ readers. We certainly look forward to bringing you the many stories of how our community is leading the way.