ERIC Number: ED437933
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
ERIC: Mission, Structure, and Resources.
Robbins, Jane B.
As a first step toward developing a strategy for a comprehensive external evaluation of the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) system, this paper contributes by providing an overview of the system's mission, structure, and resources. A brief review of ERIC's historical development and extant literature, the conduct of a key informants survey, coupled with comparative analysis with the two other subject-specific U.S. national library information systems are used to produce a preliminary assessment of strengths and weaknesses, followed by recommendations and approaches for further investigation. ERIC's mission, understood as a formal statement of purpose, is seen to have broadened considerably in audience and collection scope over the past 35 years, and is further expanded by the needs and realities of an information society. The structure of the system, understood as both formal and informal alliances and hierarchies between organizational units, has changed very little in its decentralized internal arrangement; however, ERIC's nominal integration with the National Library of Education in 1994 is seen as a critical change that still requires key organizational integration at all levels, encompassing mission, structure, and resources. Despite these far-reaching changes, ERIC's resources, understood as the products, people, and financial commitments that go into the system, have remained essentially level and are, therefore, insufficient to support the increasing number of products and services produced by the ERIC system. Findings and conclusions stress the need for mission prioritization and subsequent realignment of structure and resources based on this refocused mission. An appendix contains the survey results. (Contains 33 references.) (Author/AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Educational Resources Information Center (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A