In many ways, the past year stood out as a year of transition for DEFF, partly due to the reorganisation of universities and local government and partly due to the reorganisation of DEFF on the expiry of the mandates of both the programme groups in September 2006 and the steering committee from 2007.
During a residential conference this spring, the steering committee discussed a new organisation. A proposal was approved just before the summer holiday and the intention was to implement this over the summer. However, the issue as to how DEFF should proceed in relation to integrated search systems altered the agenda to such an extent during the last half of the year that it was necessary to postpone DEFF’s new organisation. The discussion about integrated search systems took up so much time mostly due to the fact that these systems are of great strategic significance to libraries and two fundamentally different types of systems were on the table. These were represented by the consortium linked to the Ex Libris system, Primo, and the State and University Library’s system, Summa.
Thus, to a large extent, this year was characterised by the fact that the activity level of the DEFF programme groups was not as high as their activity level over the past three years. Of course, the activity level of projects and the DEFF secretariat remained constant and there have also been investments in development. However, the absence of the programme groups during the second half of 2006 emphasised their significance for the level of DEFF’s activities.
At the end of 2006, the foundation was laid for DEFF’s new organisation, with a new steering committee, new programme groups and a new strategy. Thus, the transition from 2006 to 2007 does not only mark the beginning of a new year; it is the start of a completely new era for DEFF. In the light of this, in addition to the status report on the work carried out in 2006, I would like include in this year’s annual report a general report on DEFF’s programme areas, starting in 2003, when DEFF was formed as a permanent enterprise on the basis of the results of the project period (1998-2002), and ending at the end of 2006.
Experiences from 2003 to 2006
As during the project period, the motivation behind the creation of DEFF as a permanent activity was an academic vision of a library service for students and researchers and a desire to develop libraries. In addition to this, there was increased focus on the establishment of a collaboration to optimise use of resources. Both the Ministry of Finance and the two ministerial commissioners at the time attached importance to DEFF’s role in ensuring optimal use of existing resources, i.e. more value for money and the prevention of parallel development projects.
DEFF was subsequently defined as a cooperation organisation within which coordination and development are carried out jointly. The formation of the programme groups and the basic organisation of the system architecture programme contributed significantly towards ensuring the success of the organisation.
In my opinion, both initiatives have been very valuable and delivered significant results. They have also successfully formulated visions and goals for the development of the programme areas and implemented projects which contribute to the realisation of these goals. My own efforts have largely been focused on ensuring coordinated development and shared implementation but have also concentrated on encouraging increased consolidation. I note that this has succeeded in several cases and that the focus on increased consolidation is, at least, a central item on the agenda.
In an attempt to increase the coordination of the joint development, the visions have been somewhat curtailed. Nevertheless, there has been room for many new development projects, as this report shows.
New steering committee in 2007
In December 2006, DEFF’s coordination committee discussed the composition of a new steering committee. I accepted the offer to continue as chairman of the steering committee with pleasure as much has been achieved in DEFF but many new and exciting tasks remain.
I look forward to being a member of the new steering committee and to working together with the other committee members to develop DEFF.
I would like to see the steering committee play a more strategic role and the programme groups become more independent. I will make it a priority to ensure that, as a result, both the steering committee and the programme groups adopt a more outgoing attitude towards their partners.
Chairman of DEFF’s steering committee