Initial analysis indicates that name, contact, and program information are key concerns for staff. Various suggestions have been made regarding needed and unneeded information, size of fields, and others. Establishing standards for these components can
proceed while the larger analysis takes place. We will develop standards for the name, address, and program name components of our database.
I will soon receive some documentation from the Metro Community Information Centre regarding their standardization of these elements. These standards will soon be adopted by the Association of Community Information Centres. Metro CIC did extensive research using National Library and Canadiana (a national bibliographic registry) guidelines. Concerns they have regarding naming for retrieval and publication purposes are similar to our own. Furthermore, if these standards are suitable, we would theoretically be able to link our evaluative information on programs with the service information which they collect for public information purposes.
Each data element in our database will have a descriptive definition, an indication whether it is mandatory or optional, an indication whether it is unique or may be used in other records, rules indicating the correct source for the information, and rules explaining the valid uses of the particular data element.
As soon as the information arrives, I will review it and discuss its suitability with you. Initial implementation will aim at establishing clean, accurate records.