Discussion Groups Report on Conference Activities in Atlanta
Annual Conference Information
The reports below are summaries of the activities that took place during meetings of ALCTS discussion groups held at Annual Conference in Atlanta. Included are groups whose reports were received by the editor as of July 14. For information on discussion groups not shown here, see the ALCTS Organization page on the ALCTS Web site.
Division Discussion Groups
The Automated Acquisition/In Process Control Systems Discussion Group heard a panel and group discussion organized and facilitated by Linda P. Lerman (chair, New York University) on the topic “Migrating to a New ILS: Map It or Lose It; Options and Tips from ILS Vendors and Librarians.” It included ILS vendor representatives from Endeavor Information Services, SIRSI, Ex Libris, and Innovative Interfaces, and library representatives Katharine Farrell (Princeton University) and JoAnne Deeken (University of Tennessee). Discussants offered practical advice on premigration strategies to improve the quality of the data to be migrated, selection of data to be migrated, understanding where the data is stored in the system, and requirements for the RFP process. One of the significant outcomes was the agreed-upon desire by ILS vendors and librarians to work with the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and NISO to develop minimal standards for acquisitions data that can be mapped and migrated as required data by any ILS system.
The Electronic Resources Discussion Group covered the rule changes in Chapters 9 and 12 of the Anglo-AmericanCataloging Rules, 2d ed. revised. Robert Freeborn (Pennsylvania State University) and Rebecca Lubas (MIT Libraries) spoke to the group about the rule changes in Chapter 9 that affect direct and indirect access to monographic electronic resources, for example, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, floppy disks, etc. Steven Miller (University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee) and Steve Shadle (University of Washington) presented information about how the revised Chapter 12 will effect the cataloging of electronic serials.
The Chapter 9, Electronic Resources, changes are already in effect. The term “electronic resource” has replaced “computer file” wherever it appeared throughout AACR2. It is important now to bring out all aspects of an item, instead of concentration on just the physical form of the item in hand, including content, carrier, type of publication, bibliographic relationships, and whether it is published or unpublished. In addition, the GMD (interactive multimedia), which while accepted by some libraries but not AACR2, will no longer be used.
Electronic resources exist in one of two modes, direct access or remote access. Direct access has a physical carrier (disk, cassette, cartridge, etc.) that can be described and must be inserted into a computerized device or an accompanying peripheral. Remote access has no physical carrier, and access is provided by use of an input-output device (e.g., a terminal) connected to either a computer system (e.g., networked resource) or to resources located on a hard disk or other nonremovable storage device. This includes, of course, Internet resources. The chief source of information is now the resource itself, instead of just the title screen. Information may be taken from any formally presented evidence within the entire resource. Area 3, the file characteristics area, is now called “type and extent of resource area.” This is the 256 field in the MARC record.
Miller and Shadle gave an overview of the forthcoming changes in Chapter 12, currently known as “serials,” which will be known as “continuing resources” in the upcoming changes. These 2002 revisions will be published within a few months, and LC and CONSER will not be implementing them until December 1, 2002. The LCRIs will be published late this summer, and it is hoped that the CONSER Cataloging Manual will be ready by early fall. The CONSER Editing Guide update will be issued by the end of 2002. The biggest change is the idea of a continuing resource, which is “bibliographic resources issued over time with no predetermined conclusion. Continuing resources include serials and ongoing integrating resources.” An “integrating resource” is “a bibliographic resource that is added to or changed by means of updates that do not remain discrete and are integrated into the whole. Integrating resources can be either finite or continuing. Examples include updating loose-leafs and updating Web sites.” An “iteration” is “an instance of an integrating resource, either as first published or after it has been updated.” In other words, how it looks at a particular moment in time.
The Discussion Group meeting was well attended, with approximately one hundred people in attendance.
The Newspaper Discussion Group heard Nan McMurry, bibliographer for history and coordinator of the University of Georgia (UGA) Libraries’s Preservation Unit, give an inspirational presentation about the Georgia Newspaper Project. She described the importance of the university as a state institution, explained the libraries’ history with newspaper collecting, and detailed the statewide Newspaper Project inventory. Preceding the field efforts of the United States Newspaper Program, newspaper microfilming was considered a priority and is ongoing in Georgia. The UGA libraries are also now leading the pack with in-house digitizing. The complicated nature of such an undertaking is daunting. Beyond just the physical scanning of microfilm is the conversion of text images to character data and tagging. The UGA libraries have rekeyed text in order to provide optimum searchability. Even more complex is tagging so that Boolean searches can be executed, for example, to locate advertisements for blacksmiths in the 1870s, which requires the system to relate data elements. Having given digitizing the old college try it appears that automated processes are imperative for adequate numbers of pages to go online.
Taylor Surface (Digital Content Services) moved us from the present into the future, describing the OCLC Digital and Preservation Cooperative. As analog paper and film collections are begging to be digitized, the future access, necessary migration, collection integration, and capacity for storage are imposing considerations that need attention. OCLC plans a model like the Online Union Catalog linked through FirstSearch to digitized collections that can be cooperatively created and managed in a central location. Olive Software has developed ActivePaper to scan, store, and manage digital newspaper collections. This sophisticated application permits browsing of a newspaper page, and mouse-overs highlight the extent of a complete article. Textual searching will retrieve citations that, selected from a list, can then be viewed in context. Editing of the index is possible, and file storage can either be remote or local, depending upon a library’s capacity. Running a software demonstration from a laptop, we got the effect of the Web without being online. Visually impressive and intellectually tantalizing, this service has as much potential as can be imagined.
The Out-Of-Print Discussion Group chose as its topic “Pushing Pause: Sources and Resources for Locating Out-of-Print/Out-of-Distribution Media.” Presenters included Gary Handman (University of California, Berkeley) and Brad Kugler (Distribution Video and Audio). Discussion focused on the nature of the video marketplace as it applies to out-of-distribution materials’ availability; current copyright pertaining to copying out-of-distribution materials; preservation copying, format transfer; and strategies for acquiring out-of-distribution media. Approaches for acquiring out-of-distribution media via the Web were also discussed. Kugler described his company’s role in the out-of-distribution market.
The Pre-Order and Pre-Catalog Discussion Group gathered an audience of about thirty people to hear Nancy Gibbs (Duke University) and Matt Nauman (Blackwell’s Book Services) discuss how ordering individual e-books has changed the workflow for both acquisitions and book vendors. Topics of discussion included workflow, appropriate staffing levels, and staff training required by both libraries and book vendors.
The Role of the Professional in Academic Research Technical Services Departments Discussion Group’s heard three speakers address the topic “Technical Services in Transition: The Role of Technical Services Librarians in Planning for and Managing Change.” Karen Akins (Texas A&M University, Commerce) focused on the transition when long-term technical services professionals retire from the perspective of the people who replace the retirees. Akins described what was done to prepare for the departure of four professionals (e.g., job shadowing, preparation of documentation, etc.) whose average stay at the libraries exceeded twenty-five years. She also talked about some of the difficulties experienced by the librarians who replaced them and some of their survival techniques. Taking on new management tasks, for example, was a challenge; encouraging a team atmosphere to take advantage of existing staff experience was a useful survival technique. Finally Akins provided some recommendations for both the Libraries and new librarians to help facilitate a smooth transition.
Timothy Gatti (State University of New York, Albany) addressed the topic “The Rise of the Young Turks—Generation X as Supervisor.” He noted that the combination of a rapidly aging population and the lack of interest by many current catalogers in becoming supervisors is leading to the rise of a younger generation of supervisors. While the number of new hires in research libraries increased by 35 percent in 2000, the number of new-hire catalogers is down 45 percent from 1985. If this trend continues, it will result in a shortage of not just catalogers but of supervisors as well. As Timothy noted, the vacuum is likely to be filled by Generation X-ers, who will bring their own unique supervisory styles to these assignments.
Kay Johnson (University of Tennessee) described how vacancies in the leadership positions at her institution in both the acquisitions and processing department and the cataloging department prompted the merger of those two units into a single Technical Services Team. In this new environment, the cross training of catalogers and acquisitions staff and the training of both groups in original cataloging of monographs, has changed the nature of technical services at the University of Tennessee. Support staff now perform tasks previously assigned to librarians, and librarians have taken on tasks formerly accomplished by department heads. Some of the disadvantages of this new approach are that staff feel a lot of stress related to maintaining standards of quality while doing multiple tasks, and the reorganization has caused confusion for public services staff who don’t know who to go to with questions or problems. Among the advantages are an improved understanding by technical services staff of the work done by others on the team, increased pay for paraprofessionals to compensate for the addition of original cataloging, and more variety in the work done by technical services staff.
The Scholarly Communication Discussion Group addressed “Managing E-Scholarship and Solutions to Long-Term Digital Archiving Conundrums.” Digital preservation, e-archiving, or whatever name one wishes to assign to the monumental task that lies before the scholarly community, is of imminent importance to libraries, publishers, and scholars alike and must be a priority if we hope to ensure permanent access to scholarly literature. Attendees were given an opportunity to learn about solid steps that have and will be taken to address a variety of pressing digital archiving and scholarly publishing issues.
How can the present architecture accommodate future change and ensure long-term access to digital content? There are efforts underway on several fronts. JSTOR, the scholarly journal archive, is an example of successful early efforts in this arena. The Library of Congress has been appropriated significant funding by Congress to study and lead a national planning effort for the long-term preservation of the digital medium, in collaboration with representatives of other federal, research, library, and business organizations. The Mellon Foundation recently sponsored a series of projects about digital preservation, and there are random acts of progress taking place in the UK and other parts of Europe. Panelists shared their individual study findings, lessons learned from first-hand experiences in helping to promote comprehensiveness and stability within a technologically intensive infrastructure, and how they can be applied to the challenges that lie ahead.
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Acquisitions Section (AS) Discussion Groups
The Acquisitions Librarians/Vendors of Library Materials Discussion Group offered a panel discussion moderated by Janet Flowers (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) with panelists Ann-Marie Breaux (YBP), Colin Harrison (Everetts), and Forrest Link (Midwest Library Service). The panel explored the dynamic nature of vendor/library relations over the past five years from the perspectives of a large domestic vendor, a UK vendor, and a medium-sized domestic vendor.
There was near unanimity among the panelists in their observations, including a trend toward group, rather than one-on-one, meetings and increased involvement of library technical services and systems personnel as libraries have sought added-value services, including processing and cataloging. Panel and audience members alike bemoaned the dilution of erstwhile personal library/vendor relationships as such committee-based decision making has grown. Concern was voiced about the rise of Web-based booksellers who have begun to penetrate the library market without any appreciable personal involvement. Another trend noted was the growing use of e-mail as the preferred means of communication because of its ease of use and a general disdain for voice mail.
The panelists and audience agreed that ethical lapses in the library/vendor community were remarkably few. Audience members noted, however, a rise in questionable publisher practices, notably in telemarketing. Asked about future trends and hopes, the panelists saw an increasing need for standards and documentation as personal bonds are frayed by “groupthink” and the graying of the profession. It was anticipated that competition would remain intense and that recent budget difficulties are likely to endure for the short term.
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Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS) Discussion Groups
The Catalog Management Discussion Group selected “Student Assistants in Catalog Management” as their discussion topic. Linda Ballinger (Binghamton University Libraries) gave a selective overview of the professional literature on using student assistants in academic libraries. A managed discussion followed, moderated by Francie Mrkich (New York University Libraries), in which most of the attendees participated. The group asked each other questions and shared their experiences with hiring, training, supervising, and motivating student assistants in catalog management departments.
The Cataloging and Classification Research Discussion Group heard Ed O’Neill (OCLC) report on his research, “The FRBR-Entity Relationship Model—A Case Study.” After briefly describing the 1998 IFLA report on the functional requirements for bibliographic records, he presented details of his study that focused on manifestations (i.e., physical embodiments) of works. Randomly selecting one thousand records from OCLC, he sought out all examples of those works. He found that 80 percent existed as single manifestations while 0.1 percent have more than twenty manifestations. In a second part of the study, he looked at a single work (The Expedition of Humphry Clinker), and then categorized the 184 OCLC records of it. A lively discussion about the case study and the implications of the FRBR followed O’Neill’s presentation.
The Cataloging Norms Discussion Group were led by four speakers. Aiping Chen-Gaffey (Slippery Rock University) described her observations as to how MARC records display for users. She looked at several library systems to see how four portions of the bibliographic records of web-based resources are displayed.
Control fields that include descriptions of types of material may or may not display, but the codes used in this area are often meaningless to users and do not describe material accurately.
Title fields that include information from the general materials designation may not display at the top.
Notes fields can also be problematic, particularly when notes that are not useful to the public are included. Display labels that identify notes may not be helpful to patrons.
The display of the hyperlink is very important. How and where it displays are significant things to consider.
Questions and discussion of the display of hyperlink characteristics followed.
Suzanne Grahma and Diane DeCesare Ross (University of Southern Mississippi) discussed how metadata was created for the Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive. This project began in January 2000, and prior to that time cataloging was usually collection based. With the digital archive, metadata became important to provide increased access. This was especially true for the visual materials, which have minimal subject access, as computers can’t automatically index image fields. A workflow for the project was created, and a civil rights thesaurus was developed. The thesaurus was LCSH–based and used a post-coordinate system. This system was most useful since it simplified training, helped to produce consistency, improved productivity, and helped to maintain interoperability.
Peter McCracken (Serials Solutions) described his company’s tracking of journals through HTML and print reports. McCracken has found that holdings data are key, and providing bibliographic records with this data in an OPAC is useful to patrons. Robert Maxwell (Brigham Young University [BYU]) presented information about the implementation of a separate genre form term index in the BYU library catalog. Along with the index, extensive authority control was implemented. Policies were developed for application of genre headings and any form subdivisions that were necessary. Many thesauri were included and a loose hierarchy of which should be the authorized one was developed. BYU is currently transferring old 650s into 655s. Discussion on genre form terms followed.
The Copy Cataloging Discussion Group discussed “Copy Cataloging Acceptance Policies: How Are Libraries Using Copy Cataloging?” Is there too much scrutiny of records, and what level of staff is involved? Arno Kastner (New York University) reported on a survey that collected information about copy acceptance policies and recommended ways to remove barriers to copy acceptance. Robert O. Ellett, Jr. (Joint Forces Staff College) described his ongoing study that is designed to examine the acceptability of Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) records by examining how seventy-two libraries of various types including academic, special, and public libraries use them. Following these reports, attendees discussed the use of copy in their libraries and shared ideas on how to make better use of copy cataloging.
The Heads of Cataloging Departments Discussion Group discussed “Choosing an Electronic Journal Management System.” Karen Darling (University of Missouri-Columbia) and Linda Gedsler (Library of Congress) spoke about TDNet, comparing its features with Serials Solutions. Tim Gatti (State University of New York, Albany) explained that his institution chose Serials Solutions based on cost and speed of implementation. Discussion covered development of other options, interest in MARC as part of e-journal management, the importance of subject access, implications for shared catalogs, matching points, and quality of data.
The CCS/MAGERT Map Cataloging Discussion Group focused on current topics in map cataloging, with reports from each of the attendees of their current activities. Among the issues raised were the use of bar codes and how government document maps are handled.
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Collection Management and Development Section (CMDS) Discussion Groups
The Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group received and discussed substantive reports from ARL, CRL, and LC, with information ranging from CRL’s strategic planning to LC’s problems with irradiated mail to the future of ARL’s Global Resources Program. Other agenda topics that generated significant interest included a report on developing licensing metadata and a thorough report on pricing indexes and their usefulness in an increasingly electronic and global publishing environment. An update on the California-systemwide Mellon-funded Journal Use Project at its halfway point in data-gathering stimulated discussion about the future of print publishing. A discussion of whether to continue the Sewell survey of collections budgets concluded that the group finds the data useful for comparative purposes; members were strongly encouraged to supply their data promptly. New York University will take over the survey from Rutgers. Other items that were discussed briefly but deferred until Midwinter Meeting were collecting contemporary primary source materials and raising faculty awareness of scholarly communication issues.
The Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries Discussion Group heard Cynthia Krolikowski (Wayne State University), Mary Ochs (Cornell University), Timothy Rogers (Johnson County Library, Kansas), Karen Schmidt (University of Illinois), Cynthia Shelton (UCLA), and Jim Stemper (University of Minnesota), members of the CMDS Administration of Collection Development Committee, present the initial results of a survey completed by 180 academic libraries on the management of electronic resources. The preliminary and most interesting findings were how libraries staff, budget, and manage the workflow of licensed resources. The audience discussed the issues raised and recommendations for analyzing and writing up the survey’s data.
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Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) Discussion Groups
The Library Binding Discussion Group covered a number of options regarding the binding of paperbacks: Andrew Hart (University of North Carolina) discussed deferred binding of paperbacks; John Dean (Cornell University) discussed paperback stiffening; and Oliver Cutshaw (Harvard University) described binding considerations prior to off-site storage. As a second topic, the ongoing process to develop and implement an appropriate automated binding interface was discussed, after which the group heard from representatives of Exlibris and Innovative Interfaces, who reviewed progress being made in the development of a bindery interface within their ILS software programs.
The Micropublishers Discussion Group held an abbreviated session, during which time it was decided we would try to generate more interest for Midwinter Meeting. It was noted that attendance was usually better if there was a featured presentation. Several options for presenters (e.g., Thompson/Gale, Adam Matthews Publications, Historical Society of Pennsylvania) are under consideration for Philadelphia. Another suggestion is to invite Amitech to demonstrate their equipment. Eric Kesse (University of Florida, Gainesville) will be providing the current chair with a list of micropublishers who might be willing to present or attend. The list can be used to generate interest among the remaining microfilm service bureaus. Looking ahead to 2003, connecting with Canadian micro/digital publishers for the Annual Conference in Toronto will be on the Midwinter Meeting agenda.
The PARS Discussion Group discussed rare book security for the preservation administrator; Jennifer Banks (MIT) examined micro stamping and marking within a rare book room. Our primary goal was to discuss the theoretical aspects of rare book security and marking.
A second topic led by Jeanne Drewes and Julie Page was a discussion about ALA Graphics and the possibilities of preservation posters once again being produced by the organization. The meeting closed with a call for topics for Midwinter Meeting. Two came to the fore: (1) stabilization for remote storage; and (2) the ARL Task Force on Special Collections and how that applies to dealing with security issues.
The Preservation Administration Discussion Group held a reporting session on a variety of topics.
The National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access received 220 applications for Preservation Assistance Grants. Seventy to 75 percent will be awarded. Changes in Preservation and Access grant eligibility guidelines now include library and archival materials. Other grant deadlines and budget requirements were also discussed.
University of Texas at Austin’s program is expanding to include digital preservation. An audio reformatting course is offered jointly with the University of Texas. A possible new audio reformatting laboratory is being discussed. The administration is trying to increase flexibility of course load under a new dean.
The Heritage Health Index is a major initiative to measure the condition and needs of the nation’s collections. Heritage Preservation is coordinating the Heritage Health Index in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and with funding from the Getty Grant Program.
Who Wants Yesterday’s Papers? The day-long symposium at University of Maryland brought together scholars, information professionals, and the general public in an exploration of changing perceptions regarding paper-based information resources. Leading experts discussed why they use and preserve information in various formats. More than one hundred people attended the symposium. No answers resulted, but data was gathered. A proposal to publish the proceedings is in the works.
Redefining Preservation, Shaping New Solutions, Forging New Partnerships. The conference sponsored by the University of Michigan Library and ARL had 150 attendees. Topics included large-scale solutions for artifacts; working with vendors; collaboration in the digital world; and building preservation programs locally. Recommended actions include a national print copy retention program, national selection principles, and funding CoOl. The next symposium will focus on preservation of nonbook and nonpaper resources.
OCLC gave an update of current activities and invited participants to attend information sessions regarding digital and preservation resources at Annual Conference.
Library of Congress, Conservation Division reported on the October 2002 National Book Festival. Preventive activities, including monitoring programs, basic treatment and housing, paper splitting project, and development of collections storage specifications were discussed. LC has a five-year contract with Preservation Technologies for deacidification services.
“Widening the Picture: The IMLS Preservation Survey of Selected Non-ARL Libraries” was a two-part program to document the current conditions and challenges in non-ARL preservation departments. The results will be compared to ARL statistics. The goal is to help develop new strategies for preservation. This is a three-part project, currently in its first year and the surveys are in progress.
Smithsonian Institution Libraries are still irradiating all government mail. At last meeting it was determined that all federal libraries must act alone to determine best practices to protect materials from possible irradiation damage. Smithsonian Institution Libraries are using a secret P.O. box with a nongovernment zip code for receiving some materials. Eight to 10 percent of items received will need to be replaced.
Research Libraries Group announced an October symposium on selection for digital preservation. Discussion group updates ensued. There is a new digital workshop series at Cornell. IMLS and the government are providing support to educate and recruit librarians. An FLICC video on disaster recovery was shown.
The Preservation Instruction, Education and Outreach Discussion Group focused on preservation education and outreach to nonpreservation staff at your library. The panel included Julie Page (University of California, San Diego) who spoke about her staff preservation orientation class. Sue Kousky and Sue Boughman (University of Maryland) spoke about their program of preservation training for selectors and about developing learning curriculum for all library staff as part of the library’s transition to a team-based organization. Marcia Barrett and Patricia Ratkovich (University of Alabama) spoke about developing a Web-style training program, posted on their library’s intranet. The training program is directed at all staff in the library and includes a self-training and self-updating component. Though the speakers represented both the preservation and nonpreservation community, all the panelists agreed that motivating attendance is a big hurdle in initiating a learning or training program. Keeping sessions short and targeting the training to job functions and workflows is critical to engaging the participants.
The Small to Mid-Sized Preservation Programs Discussion Group has been talking about mold, prevention, and treatments for the past few sessions. Guest speakers in Atlanta were Pat Weaver-Meyers (University of Oklahoma) and Ellen McCrady (Abbey Publications). Weaver-Meyers shared UO’s experiences over several years in using chlorine dioxide to treat mold outbreaks. McCrady talked about the health concerns surrounding mold, dealing with insurance companies during a mold outbreak, and the role proper construction techniques play in preventing mold. There was active discussion, and the speakers were well received.
The Reformatting (Analog/Digital) Discussion Group heard Cathy Mook (University of Florida, Gainesville) comment on the use of 16mm microfilm for preservation purposes. 35mm is the preferred film size because of the prohibitively high reduction ratios required for 16mm image capture. It remains a major concern regardless of the type of camera system used to film the material. However, some libraries may wish to explore the option of having digitized items recorded onto 16mm computer-output (COM) film, using Kodak’s Archive Writer system or a similar film-and-scan hybrid. The single copy negative COM film would then serve as a back-up for the digital files. Implicit here is the institution’s commitment to store and migrate the digital files for the indefinite future. High reduction ratios, the quality of images redigitized from 16mm-COM film and reliance on a single film backup copy remain issues of major concern.
Roger Markham (Kodak) gave an informative and impressive presentation on the role of microfilm in the digital age. He touched on a number of quality issues and noted that Kodak is in the process of developing a system for recording digital files onto 16mm, 35mm or 105mm film stock. A possible scenario might be that institutions would send digitized materials to Kodak electronically or on CDs and have COM-film products generated onto whichever film stock is preferred. However, there are technical issues (the design and performance of COM systems) and quality concerns (the film products and their potential for digital re-capture) that will require further clarification and demonstration. PARS Reformatting looks forward to hearing more about Kodak’s and other film and digital reformatting options as part of the program on hybrid systems scheduled for 2003 Annual Conference in Toronto.
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