"IntelliSearch": Toronto Public Library
The IntelliSearch service offers to find journal and newspaper articles, compile company
information or market and industry profiles, conduct subject or trademark searches, monitor
new information on topics or subjects of interest to the customer, create bibliographies, and
even help to locate lost friends, relatives and missing heirs.
The fee research service can be contact by phone and e-mail, or the research request can be
done through an order form (of course, confidentiality is guaranteed).The researchers will
try to locate and deliver the information in 24 to 48 hours (or sooner). For a small
surcharge, rush requests can usually be completed the same day if received before 2 p.m.
Deliver is done by fax, courier, mail or email, or the material can be picked up at the
Solutions for online delivery and usage of material
There are examples where library services clearly can add to covering some of the overall
costs of an institution, in particular document supply, provided since a long time and now
additionally offered electronically. An example of this is mentioned in the QUEST e-Value-
study:"The British Library currently generates 20% of annual funds through its document
supply business. Although a key revenue driver before the advent of the Internet, the last
five years has seen business grow by 22% from £ 21m to £ 25m. Although only 7% of the
requests are currently delivered electronically (this figure is due mainly to electronic rights
issues), more than 88% of the orders are received online." (QUEST, 2000: p. 41)
New approaches to deliver scholarly and educational material in digital form, have been
extensively explored in the last few years.The examples range from providing access to
huge volumes of journals' backfiles (e.g. JSTORE) to Internet editions of scholarly journals
that experiment with added features (e.g. Stanford University Libraries' HighWire Press:
<http://highwire.stanford.edu>).The results in terms of sustainability (or profit) are as
diverse as the missions and models that drive the projects.
An illustrative example is JSTOR (<http://www.jstor.org>): JSTOR, started in 1995,
currently includes the entire runs of 147 journals, and serves over 1,000 institutional
subscribers in more than 40 countries.While the initial capital costs of digitising the
journals in JSTOR's database were supported by grants from major foundations, the current
running costs of updating the database and providing access to it are supported by fees paid
by participating institutions."JSTOR defines economic self-sustainability as the point at
which, if it stopped adding journals to its database, it could reliably maintain its archive with
the resources on hand and the annual contributions made by participating institutions."
A major "test bed" for online library services has been the UK Electronic Libraries
Programme, known as eLib: <http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/services/elib/> (See the evaluation
documents, in particular the Summative Evaluation of Phase 3 of the eLib initiative: Final
Report, conducted by ESYS limited, May 8, 2001). eLib was a huge enterprise, spanning 5
years, involving 70+ projects and hundreds of people, and costing in excess of £20 million.
Of these projects, in commercial terms, only a few have been successful, from being more or
less sustainable to having mutated into a spin off that became a publicly quoted company,
the latter being the spinoff of the BIDS JournalsOnline service: ingenta.