The Networked Services Policy Task Group (NSPTG) started in 1996 as a partnership between EARL (a public library networking consortium, now disbanded), the Library Association (LA) and UKOLN. As part of its remit, it produced briefing papers on networked services policy issues.
The aim of the issue papers has been to help library authorities develop their own networking strategies and policies. The topics for the issue papers emerged as key areas affecting the successful development and delivery of networked services in public libraries, and the papers aimed to provide relevant information pertaining to each issue, including options for consideration, examples of best practice, legislative framework where applicable, and known authoritative views.
Published between 1998 and 2001, the series was first edited by Sarah Ormes, Public Library Networking Research Office at UKOLN, from 1998 to March 2001 and then by Penny Garrod, Public Library Networking Focus at UKOLN, from September 2001 until 2002.
The Policy Issue Papers can still be found at http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/public/earl/issuepapers
An archive of the Papers is also available on the Internet Archive at http://web.archive.org/web/20011115000000*/http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/public/earl/issuepapers/
EARL was wound up in September 2001, and the future of the Networked Services Policy Task Group reviewed. In the interim period UKOLN published the final paper in the series.
The NSPTG was re-launched in November 2001 as an expert partnership forum comprising MLA, CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) and UKOLN. Its role was to promote best practice in the formation of networked services policy and inform the strategic development of networked services.