ALCTS Liaisons and Representatives Report on Midwinter 2003 Activities
Editor's note: We are featuring reports on groups outside of ALCTS to which we have formal liaisons, and joint groups with other divisions, in this separate article.
ALA Chapter Relations Committee met three times with the bulk of the business consisting of reports by various officers and employees of ALA. ALA President Mitch Freedman believes state and regional associations are vital to accomplishing ALA's goals. He noted the importance of inviting the ALA President to state and regional conferences: he has attended fourteen conferences this year. He talked about the Rally to Save America's Libraries and also touched on various hot topics including CIPA, the Patriot Act, copyright, the APA, and financial concerns. Judith Krug, Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom talked about CIPA and about the Patriot Act. She handed out flyers for the "Lawyers for Libraries" training institute.
Charles Beard talked about the Advocacy Assembly that will have one or more representatives from each state chapter serving for 2 years. He noted that advocacy had helped libraries do much better in some states; one purpose of the assembly is the sharing of ideas and materials. We must tell communities what libraries do for them; he noted that it is better to advocate for libraries all along not just when there is a crisis. Emily Sheketoff reported on activities of the Washington Office and handed out a "model civil liberties resolution." Librarians need to take leadership positions in their communities on the issue of privacy; and the ACLI will work with any librarian to help put on a program. She touched on the Electronic Surveillance & Privacy portion of the Patriot Act and UCITA.
Deb Davis reported on the Campaign for America's Libraries. Thirty-seven state associations are involved in the @your library campaign; many are supported with LSTA funds. Deb's office wants to know what libraries are doing. She noted that a campaign for academic librarians would be launched at ACRL in Charlotte. Carol Ashworth gave an update on the status of UCITA legislation in the states and also on UCITA "bomb shelter" bills. ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels said either he or the ALA President would like to visit every chapter every two years in order to build up partnerships and promote advocacy. He felt ALA's advocacy plan would be most successful if local trustees and boards saw it being helpful to them.
ALA President-elect Carla Hayden noted that the ALA President's initiative now must fit in with ALA's overall long-term plan. Her theme will be "equity of access" which she acknowledged means different things to different people. It is the fifth action area but has not yet been defined and developed. She wants to develop an inventory of what the divisions are already doing in this area and will develop Toolkits and tip sheets.
The issues discussion for Midwinter concerned the retention of library school graduates as state association members; many join as students but do not continue. One technique is making phone calls to new members encouraging them to get involved; New Member Round Tables are very important. A NMRT opening reception with all the officers is great. Associations should try to get vendors to provide "scholarships" to attend conferences. A "first timer" reception with ribbons, a continental breakfast, or a reception in the president's suite have all been used, as has an "Orient Express" where new members were involved in committee work. A formalized mentoring program with a "personal touch" is valuable.
ALA Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) reviewed the format of the committee's upcoming 2003 Toronto annual conference program--- skits addressing ethical questions, written and produced by the committee, followed by audience discussions. After considering a range of topics for the skits, the committee decided upon two: one skit will focus on library staff who advance their private interests during company work time; another skit will be an ethnic profiling skit. Writers were identified and asked to share their scenarios with the Committee by May 1st. The Committee discussed inviting the CLA Intellectual Freedom Committee to co-sponsor this program. The committee gave provisional consent to RUSA's request that they co-sponsor their program "How Today's Librarians Should Confront Issues of Information Access and Intellectual Freedom" at the 2003 Annual Conference in Toronto.
The committee reviewed the Intellectual Freedom Committee's effort to create a single checklist/toolkit for librarians considering outsourcing. (Currently, several ALA units have their own outsourcing documents). The Committee commented on ALA's "Policy on Outsourcing and Privatization," in preparation for the IFC's upcoming meeting to discuss this effort. COPE also considered the Intellectual Freedom Committee's request to develop a Q&A on librarian privacy in the workplace, similar to its earlier Q&A on librarian speech in the workplace. COPE concluded that this an important human resources employment issue and would be more suitably addressed as such rather than by a Q&A.
At the 2002 Annual Conference, COPE had expressed concern about the development of the Applied Professional Association, particularly about the possibility of APA censoring librarians. Since Council was to discuss the APA on Tuesday, the committee deferred further discussion on this topic until after the Council meeting.
The Committee considered several avenues for ALA members to discuss ethical issues including an ongoing bulletin board that would provide a web forum. Another idea explored was developing a one-day LAMA workshop on "ethics and core values". The Committee will continue investigating these and other possible forums in its future meetings.
ALA Conference Program Coordinating Team 2004 held an organizational meeting of the Conference Program Coordinating Team for Annual 2004 in Orlando. Deidre Ross, ALA staff liaison, gave a brief overview of the goals of the program tracking system, our committee's role in realizing these goals, and our specific meeting obligations for the next 18 months. Discussion topics included:
In response to requests for a two-hour morning program block, we agreed to add an 8-10am block as a choice on the program planning forms.
ALA Web Advisory Committee reviewed the new ALA web page, scheduled to debut in the spring. We discussed issues that are still problematic, including the members-only area, a greater focus on ALA, and an orientation away from a customer driven design. A task force was appointed to draft a privacy statement. Other issues to be addressed are accessibility training, usability testing, and deep linking. A report from the Committee will be drafted for Council's attention.
The ALCTS Board needs to begin to consider how it will respond to the new ALA design and content management system. Will the ALCTS web site be redesigned along the lines of the ALA site? How tightly will the ALCTS site be tied into ALA's content management system? What areas of the ALCTS Web should be restricted to ALA or ALCTS members? Will committees have to make changes to the process they use to post items to the web? Should ALCTS appoint an oversight committee for ongoing web development? These issues bear discussing if they have not been addressed yet.
Association for Information and Image Management International (AIIM): in the past six months, AIIM has considered and asked for votes on standards, as follows:
In September, an AIIM member informed the micrographics committees about a virtual exhibit: A History of Microfilm. AIIM along with several organizations and PARS members worked with the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Standards Committee AU. Their efforts resulted in a draft standard (NISO Z39.87/AIIM 20) Data Dictionary for Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images. Last spring, the role of preservation within AIIM became the topic of a spirited discussion. Within the past few years, AIIM's slogan had been Capture, Create, Customize, Deliver, Manage. Some members questioned where "preserve" fits in. The discussion seems to have made its mark, because by fall, Preserve is now part of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) label. AIIM defines ECM as "the technologies used to capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver information to support business processes."
The next Standards Week will be at the AIIM 2003 Exposition and Conference, April 7-9, Javits Convention Center, New York City. Individuals interested in participating in standards meetings at the conference are not required to pay registration fees.
Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies/Americans With Disabilities Act Assembly: The ASCLA/ADA Assembly continues to work on an ALA-wide membership survey, to determine how many ALA members have disabilities, and to see how these various disabilities affect services in libraries and at ALA Conferences and meetings. Further progress will be reported at the 2003 Annual Conference. The Assembly is developing a marketing strategy for the ALA Accessibility Policy. Information sheets for wide distribution are being developed, and they are working on a web link with the policy, where people could place "success stories", or tips on timely issues, such as budgeting for accessibility.
ASCLA has teamed with Hewlett-Packard to award accessible workstations to libraries. The first winners are the Cleveland Public Library, Milwaukee Public Library, Johnson County Public Library (Kansas), San Diego Public Library, University of South Dakota and Arizona State University ( http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2002/021024a.html). Libraries are encouraged to apply for these workstations. Further information can be found on the press release above. Another proposed initiative is an online tutorial on disability law in libraries.
Joint ALA/British Library Task Force to Reconceptualize Chapter 9 of AACR2: The ALA members met to decide upon a plan of action for carrying out the task force's charge. The task force will work jointly on revising the scope note in chapter 9, and will work in two member teams (one ALA member and one British Library member) on the scope notes, sources of information notes, physical description area, and notes area for all of the chapters in Part I of AACR2. An interim report will be submitted to CC:DA by March 1, 2003, in time for the Joint Steering Committee's spring meeting. A final report, along with rule revision proposals will be submitted to CC:DA at ALA Annual in Toronto, June 2003.
Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules: JSC and ALA Editions are fully revising the index to the 2003 revision. Among the critical issues covered by this meetings were design principles, specific indexing practices for AACR, communication routines and deadlines for the project. The national libraries will have three full weeks to proofread the index.
The JSC and the AACR constituencies have been working on a number of initiatives that would revise the rules in many important ways. The revisions, if made, would result in a new edition of AACR, an AACR3. Any "new edition" of AACR would take at least a few years of work to propose, agree to, and then publish and implement.
JSC is working with a consultant, Pat Riva, to analyze
AACR in light of the concepts and terminology used in
FRBR, and to propose rule changes. The JSC representatives and the
AACR constituents have reviewed and commented on Riva's draft analysis and proposals. Generally speaking, it is clear to all that incorporating terms and concepts from
FRBR into the rules is a subtle and complex change. No mechanical substitution of terms would be useful. New definitions, new explanations, and new structures within the rules would be needed. Thus, for example, this work affects the ongoing work related to a new conceptual introduction to the rules.
JSC and CC:DA have each been considering ways to better articulate and publicize the ongoing work being done on AACR and on the role of cataloging rules in making resources accessible to users. The JSC has created a publicly available Web site to provide information about AACR and the revision process. CC:DA and MARBI are developing a program on FRBR for the ALA Annual conference in 2003 at Toronto and a pre-conference on the same topic for the ALA Annual conference in 2004 at Orlando. These are good things. There is a strong need for clearly communicating information about rule change proposals. There is also a strong need for telling the larger context around those specific changes. This is especially important at a time of large-scale changes such as now.
LITA/ALCTS MARC Formats Interest Group heard a report from Cynthia Watters, who on behalf of ALCTS had reviewed MFIG's self-evaluation. She briefly described the self-evaluation process and the information on which she based her appraisal. She noted that while MFIG is a LITA Interest Group, it is a Discussion Group for ALCTS, since that Division currently doesn't have interest groups. She summarized her findings by observing that the group's continuing value can be seen in the many attendees at its meetings at each ALA.
A discussion on the Universal Holdings Record (UHR) was led by speaker/facilitator, Diane Hillmann (Cornell University) to provide Diane with the group's thinking as to what data elements ought to be included in a UHR. Diane began by defining and contrasting the concept of a universal holdings record with the current local holdings record. The idea underlying the UHR is to provide a 'generic' record that describes all issues published for a given work, without regard to multiple formats or sources of acquisitions that may be associated with the work. Where might individual data elements go? Are some more appropriate for the UHR, while others should remain in the bibliographic record? She reviewed the proposed definition and functional requirements for the UHR, as articulated by the CONSER Task Force on Publication Patterns and Holdings, of which she is Chair, noting that the UHR 'includes the complete pattern and published holdings of a particular title', and that it supports a number of activities, including:
The group broke up into small group brainstorming sessions. Each group of attendees was given a scenario from one of five articulated in advance of the meeting.
Diane noted the wide divergence of opinion articulated by the participants and the fact that there was in fact relatively little consensus as to what ought to characterize a Universal Holdings Record. Placing the discussion in FRBR terms, she stated that it is critical that in order for us to decide what goes where, we must have a clear understanding of the concepts of work, expression and manifestation. The concept of work, for example, needs to be abstracted to a level above that of our current bibliographic records.
We are the victims of our own efforts at bibliographic 'disambiguation', since many of our current views about record structure and bibliographic identification/description are based on convenience, technological capabilities, etc. These have complicated our ability to step back and view record structures and interrelationships conceptually. We're living in uncertain and highly fluid times and can no longer base bibliographic concepts on past experiences and conditions. Ultimately, it may be that what is 'universal' is best defined by the citation presented by the user. The user is our 'reality check'.
LITA/ALCTS Technical Services Workstation Interest Group has been active in addressing a number of areas, including ergonomics, the challenge of keeping technical services workstations up-to-date and in sync as most libraries move to a client-server ILS model, and software/hardware implications of non-traditional bibliographic control. Members have been engaged in discussions of best practices and have shared information formally and informally about how they manage workstations, work with systems vendors, IT support staff, and other stakeholders to keep all staff working productively and effectively. In so doing, we are assisting to meet goals 2, objectives 1 and 3 (sponsoring open forums for the exchange of information, discussing best practices, recognizing innovation and motivating practitioners to adopt new and improved practices) as well as goal 5, objective 2. They will conduct a managed discussion at ALA in Toronto on the topic of managing TS workstations effectively.
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication (CIP) Advisory Group: The focus of this meeting was the development of the New Books Project. In February 2003, electronic CIP will become available. The New Books Project takes electronic CIP one-step forward in that the information provided by publishers about soon-to-be-published books will be used to create records automatically, and the Library of Congress' Cataloging Distribution Service will distribute these records. John Celli presented the five parts of the project, seeking ideas and comments from the publishers and different types of libraries represented in the room as to what might be useful, what might be added, and what might be improved. He also sought input on potential weaknesses of the project as preliminarily designed. The five parts are:
North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) members participated in a Web-based survey September 10-22, 2002. The Strategic Planning Task Force received a 45% response rate. The task force attended a strategic planning retreat with the NASIG Board to report on their results. Membership remains steady at 1,327 as of Sept. 24, 2002.
The 17th annual conference at William & Mary in summer 2002 was a huge success and reaped a surplus of over $82,000. Mark your calendars for Portland, Oregon, from June 26-29, 2003, the site of the next conference. The theme will be "Serials in the Park: Blazing Diverse Trails in the Information Forest." The Portland, Oregon Visitors Association (POVA) will book all hotel reservations with the three major conference hotels. NASIG will implement online conference registration for 2003.