The reports below are summaries of the activities that took place during meetings of ALCTS discussion and interest groups held at Annual Conference in Orlando. Included are groups whose reports were received by the editor as of August 4, 2004. For information on discussion groups not shown here, see the ALCTS Organization page on the ALCTS Web site.
LITA/ALCTS Authority Control in the Online Environment IG: Ed O'Neill and Lois Mai Chan discussed their work on "FAST: a faceted LCSH-based subject vocabulary." The goal of the project is to create a controlled subject vocabulary that can be used without cataloging training, to enable cheaper inclusion of controlled subject terms in metadata records. LCSH bib headings were chosen as the basis for FAST rather than LCSH authorities, because many valid subdivisions have not yet been established. Eight facets were identified: topic, geography, form/genre, chronology, personal name, corporate name, conference name, and uniform title. Elements of LC subject heading strings were broken up into separate facets, and in some cases terms were modified. Plans are to make a beta version of the FAST database available in July 2004.
Barbara Tillett looked at authorities from an historical and international perspective. She discussed the creation of ACIG in 1984 to address the early automation of authority control. The goals of authority control have long been to increase precision in search results, to help users navigate among related terms and headings, to collocate related works, and to provide variant entry terms. The goals of international authority control have evolved from having each national library authorize its own name headings for general use, to recognition that authorities should meet the needs of users, who may prefer to see headings in their own language, regardless of where they are searching. To achieve this, national library authority files would be linked to records for the same entities or concepts in other national authority files, and, based on expressed user preference, the headings from another file could be captured for display in the local setting. Eventually, additional functionality might migrate from bibliographic records to authorities; for example, topical headings could be assigned to uniform title authorities, rather than to the bib record for each edition of a given work. For Tillett, the future of authorities is one of greater interconnectivity and more customized user service.
Stephen Hearn briefly reported on the work of the NISO Thesaurus Standard Advisory Group (TAG), which is revising Z39.19. The standard is being expanded to cover controlled vocabularies generally, and lists, synonym rings, taxonomies, and thesauri in particular; and to reflect online as well as print modes of managing vocabulary control. He pointed out that these tools are not necessarily intended for library catalogs-synonym rings, which are comparable to the cluster vocabularies proposed by Marcia Bates as part of the LC Action Plan for digital resources, may be more effective in accessing full text databases than in accessing library catalog records. Hearn also raised the question of how the definitions and term relationships which are often embedded in rules of application and in other records can be preserved in a context of less structured application of controlled vocabulary terms. The committee plans to complete its work and release the revised draft for review by the end of October 2004.
Arlene Taylor presented research about the importance of controlled subject headings for the success of keyword subject searching. After reviewing the history of disparaging attitudes toward subject headings, ending with the suggestion that they might be eliminated in favor of keyword searching, Taylor described her research with Tina Gross to measure the role of subject heading terms in keyword searching. From a transaction log of 3,397 keyword searches, a sample of 227 unique subject searches was examined. They found that on average 35.4% of hits would be missed if terms in subject headings could not be searched. They also examined the impact of enhancing records with summaries and tables of contents on searching, and found that search result sets were larger, but that precision was significantly less. Subject headings also have the advantage of being applied uniformly regardless of the language of a work, and of being more accurate markers of relevant works than terms in titles and summaries.
John Attig discussed work on FRBR (Functional requirements for bibliographic records) in relation to authority control. FRBR is a conceptual model that analyzes bibliographic objects in terms of entities, their attributes, and their relationships as a means of talking about how a bibliographic system functions to meet user needs. FRBR shifts the focus from individual records to catalogs, and from describing an object to mapping different relationships. Entities established as "subjects" such as geography and chronology may have a topical relationship to the FRBR work level, and a "production details" relationship to a particular manifestation or item. In addition to different relationships, subject authorities can differ based on language and culture. A term in one vocabulary may have no true equivalent in another; also, the interdependencies of terms in a thesaurus make it difficult to extract terms or partial sets of terms meaningfully. Still, sharing subject thesauri may help move us toward a greater number of equivalences.
At the end of Attig's presentation, attendees were offered cake to celebrate ACIG's 30th anniversary, though the party was cut short by a fire alarm in the convention center.
Automated Acquisitions/In Process DG: heard from Katherine Farell how Princeton uses vendor records: they can come into play at any point in the acquisitions process, from selection records on a vendor's site, at various points in ordering, to cataloging. Since Princeton's policy is to get the best record into their system as soon as possible, Princeton downloads records from a utility and then uses EDI to send an order to the vendor. Other libraries may get short order records from the vendors, with attached order information; others may choose to get records at receipt.
Shelly Neville (Dynix) concentrated on the Vendor Interface Protocol (VIP); Dynix is offering this interface to any interested vendor in the hopes it will become a standard. The VIP is the automatic transfer of a order without having to send an FTP or e-mail message between the library and the vendor. They have developed a tool kit for materials vendors to use in establishing their end of the VIP, which facilitates set up. The Dynix implementation of VIP lets a user place an order on a vendor site, and has an automatic check of the library's holdings prior to order placement. While this feature was popular with audience members, Dynix staffed stressed that this particular feature was in Dynix' application of VIP, and not a standard part of the protocol.
Several people in the audience talked about the need for standards for acquisitions data, although no one volunteered to work on them.
Catalog Form and Function IG: welcomed new attendees and explained transformation into IG. Discussed final details of the program, "The Portals Puzzle;" discussed how to handle the post-program discussion to which the second meeting is usually devoted. Decided for now to continue meeting twice at Midwinter & Annual, especially as we are new to the option of holding moderated discussions, like a discussion group. Brainstormed possible topics for future moderated discussions and/or programs, and will use listserv discussions to choose one or more topics for Midwinter discussion.
Creative Ideas in Technical Services DG: provided an informal venue that invited frank conversations about issues of concern to technical services librarians today. Discussion topics covered matters of interest in cataloging, acquisitions, and serials, and participants stated that they found the meeting both informative and of real value to them. One request that seems to be received each session is for more time...that one hour isn't long enough for the depth of information exchange that many feel is ideal. Perhaps in future the meeting can be expanded to 90 minutes.
Electronic Resources IG: The meeting's purpose was for the participants to learn about how the Library of Congress tracks the remote-access electronic resources, from recommendation and selection to cataloging and notification, and to learn how this approach might be applied at their local institutions. Allene Hayes, Digital Projects Coordinator, and Stan Lerner, Senior Programmer, described the workflow and demonstrated TrackER Program at the Library of Congress. A survey will be conducted this coming fall, to assess interest in LC's TrackER program. If sufficient interest is expressed, LC will provide the program as "opensource."
Networked Resources and Metadata IG: The preconference "Putting the Digital Puzzle Together" was a success, as was the program on "Metadata Enrichment." The Group voted to call our guest speaker forum the Ann Sandberg-Fox Guest Lectures. The group heard a report on the LC project Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT), which provides increased Web access to the Series of working papers for over 35 organizations.
Newspaper DG: focused on the current status of the United States Newspaper Project. Members of the California, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania newspaper projects gave progress reports. The Pennsylvania Project will be revitalized thanks to an NEH grant. They also discussed digitization and its place as an archival medium. The University of Florida received an IMLS grant to organize a state group that tests digitization of newspapers.
Pre-Order and Pre-Catalog Searching DG: discussed the division of responsibilities and improving communication between Collection Development and Acquisitions. The keys to success in closing the great divide between Collection Development and Acquisitions are communication, respect and negotiated policies. It is important to recognize that Collection Development and Acquisition staff members have different orientations, focuses, and roles. Different affinities, functions and status between Collection Development and Acquisitions staff had lead to a lack of trust. But these staffs are now seeing new roles for everyone - Acquisitions staff is now performing copy cataloging, and selectors are ordering from online slips and monitoring funds. There are individual, shared, and non-traditional roles. With the positive impact of technology, the future can be an Autonomous Collection Manager.
A lively discussion followed, with both sides well represented by the 32 attendees - approximately half from Collection Development, with the other half representing Acquisitions and Vendors. Some of the major conversational points were:
There was agreement that one of the primary goals is to work collaboratively to streamline procedures, and that communication is the first step to working collaboratively.
A revised charge for the discussion group has been drafted. No new topic was suggested for future meetings, so our Midwinter discussion group meeting will continue our discussion of the division of responsibilities and improving communication between Collection Development and Acquisitions.
Role of the Professional in Academic Technical Services DG: discussed a number of issues of interest: the role of support staff/professionals in academic technical services; better communication between administration and public services about what technical services does; and how to be proactive within and among colleagues and faculty.
Scholarly Communication DG: revised a discussion on merging digital preservation standards at the recent meeting of the ALCTS Scholarly Communications Discussion Group. Changing modes of scholarly communication-and the earlier move from library ownership to a licensing model--have shifted locus of preservation activity out of the library. Among the questions raised: does the open access model include preservation? (Is preservation properly the responsibility of the purchaser or the producer? Should libraries depend on publishers or aggregators to maintain digital files?) Some models for open access publishing seem to imply a need or want for preservation, but others argue that preservation requirements raise the bar and may discourage new open access developments. Institutional repository projects imply a preservation imperative without necessarily providing for preservation practices or processes. If the aims of the open access movement were a fully realized tomorrow, and the library no longer is paying for access to journal literature, where would that leave the library? What would its role be on campuses? Who will pay to preserve new forms of scholarly communication?
Heads of Technical Services of Medium Sized Academic and Research Libraries DG: facilitated four discussions revolving around the general topic Coping with Change.
Helping staff cope with change: Changes and other factors that affect staff include: the "graying" of the profession; results of newly popular strategic planning and reorganization by the administration; the writing of new job descriptions; technological changes, including the need to acquire and give access to electronic resources, and the implementation of new software developments for accomplishing technical services tasks; "too much change" going on, with staff feeling overwhelmed; physical relocation of staff and work areas; and the need to cooperate more with public services as they introduce metadata related issues such as digital exhibits.
Solutions and points to consider include: staff anxiety over the introduction of new (electronic) formats alerts managers to the need for training; at least some staff will show initiative and welcome the chance to acquire new skills and be recognized as capable; give staff time and a chance to cope with "loss" as old practices are discarded; supervisors should feel responsible for "coaching" staff and letting them have the feelings they have; as e-resources are introduced and staff trained with those particular skills and knowledge are acquired, be sure not to let current staff feel left behind; consider the possibility of having outside facilitators and counselors come in, perhaps from an office on campus that provides those services; staff's ability to cope with change is affected by the administrative "climate" in the library, and how open it is; how long have you and other technical services managers been on the job? (how well does the staff know you and your management style?) In sum, provide staff with the time, training, and resources needed to cope with change.
Developing cooperation between acquisitions and cataloging when implementing cataloging-on-receipt, PromptCat, "shelf-ready" materials; EDI for ordering and invoicing, etc. Discussion focused on vendor-supplied services, or outsourcing. This practice tends to free up lower level staff, which challenges managers to find new tasks for that staff. A unionized environment can affect how management reassigns duties. Authority work is a good candidate for new duties. Smaller projects that have been ignored in the past can be approached and completed, giving staff a sense of accomplishment, as would tackling "difficult" materials that have sat in a backlog. Cataloging staff can feel that outsourcing will negatively affect the quality of catalog records. Managers need to think about this issue and how to get cataloging staff "on board."
It is good to appoint groups or teams to plan and implement changes. They should include staff from various levels and units in technical services, and from groups outside technical services who can be affected, such as the stacks team and accounting. Another approach involves managers discussing matters with flexible and revolving groups of people, who then test ideas. If something doesn't work, try something else. Change needs to be seen as part of the culture. Sometimes changes are seen as more acceptable if they emanate from outside consultants, rather than the internal administration. Librarians should develop a network of consultant-colleagues in other institutions, who can be called upon to assist. There was discussion on whether technical services units can afford to give up staff freed up by outsourcing. Most said no but some said yes. It was suggested that these libraries go into the outsourcing business. This humorous suggestion was augmented when one of the participants revealed herself as a manager for OCLC PromptCat.
Adjusting workflows after migration to a new integrated system. It is important to select a vendor who provides training for the library's staff. There should be an implementation team of library staff who keep all staff informed and involved in the process. Systems or IT staff should definitely be part of the implementation team. Document decisions and get people involved from outside technical services who are impacted by the new system, including reference and accounting. A new system can produce various changes. New procedures might free up staff to work on new tasks and learn new skills. There might be a major impact on authority work, depending on the way the new system handles it. It might have a batch reporting function that facilitates authority work, or authority work might better be outsourced entirely.
Be very thoughtful when preparing the data for migration, since mistakes can be costly and result in lengthy cleanup projects. Give staff modest rewards for progressive successes in implementing a new system, such as a party when a milestone is achieved, or refreshments at training sessions. Above all, get staff involved, so they can take ownership of the process.
How to deal with a new dean, and how to convince the dean you need more staff and resources in order to cope with changes. Staff need to learn about the management style of the new dean. This will help staff frame requests and present information. Methods of determining the new dean's style include:
When requesting more staff and resources from the dean, determine why the department needs more staff and state this effectively. Be prepared to state how this will benefit the library as a whole. Be prepared for a trade-off: to get one thing you want you might have to give up something else. Be sure you are clear about your priorities.
Ways to increase the likelihood of success of a request:
Publisher-Vendor-Library Relations IG: Approximately 55 people attended "When are E-Books THE books," a forum organized by PVLR. Each speaker described e-Book models that had proven successful. Quite a bit of audience comment and question followed.
The chair of BISAC's Internet Commerce Committee briefed the group on the upcoming new ISBN standard, which will change from ten to thirteen digits in 2007. PVLR agreed to host a forum on the topic at the ALA Midwinter 2005, and material will be mounted on the PVLR Web site.
The Electronic Resource Management Initiative (ERMI) of the Digital Library Federation (DLF) has been working for several years to develop common specifications and tools for managing the license agreements, related administrative information, and internal processes associated with collections of electronic content, with a final report released in summer 2004. One year later, at ALA annual 2005, PVLR plans a forum to offer an overview of the ERMI findings, and responses to it from a publisher, a vendor, and a library.
Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries DG: Every three years the Big Heads review their membership based on the ARL criteria index ranking; however, Stanford is no longer a member of ARL. Should we therefore revise the criteria and/or look at attendance as a factor? It was agreed to postpone formal study of the membership criteria for two years.
The CONSER summit (Summit on Serials in the Digital Environment) held March 18-19, 2004, in Alexandria, VA brought together 70 people from all segments of the serials industry and the library community, to determine the future need for bibliographic and holdings data in the management of electronic serials, and to give CONSER advice on how to provide bibliographic records for electronic journals as well as on the full range of metadata for electronic journals. The participants agreed that access is to the article level rather than journal level. This led them to question whether you need a journal, or would just a link from the journal title be sufficient?
Publishers thought that journals had a role for validation of content, browsability for current awareness, etc. The role of OPACs (Online Public Access Catalogs) in finding journals is more ambiguous, however. It was stated that about 80% of journal access came from outside of OPACs. Publishers said there would continue to be print, but it is more likely to be print on demand. How important will volume and issue numbers be in this environment? If journal titles remain important, how important is it to describe these titles? More and more of us are looking to others to provide the data, but they are looking to us to provide the CONSER records. There is interest in subject access to journal articles but there are no standards for depth of subjects or what terminology to use. One desired outcome of the summit was cross-sector contribution to data creation and reuse. Further exploration on these lines is needed. Another panel focused on standards. Lots of work is being done on syntax rather than content. An important question is "Who owns the data?" More and more data is being put into proprietary systems that don't talk to other systems. Can you get the data out and re-use it? Those using ERMs (Electronic Resources Management) modules were asked to share their plans in at the January 2005 Big Heads meeting.
Vendor records for set analytics: Vendor-supplied records have been fixtures for a long time. Key points for such records are availability, quality, and price. We can't buy records that don't exist, and we won't buy records that do not help users gain access to the materials they describe. We have to have records that sustain the relationship between buyer and seller; if the price is too low no one will make records, but if the price is too high, we will not buy the records. Overall, vendors have been responsive to library needs, but the records can lack subject analysis. There are instances in which, in response to a request from a single library, a vendor made across the board changes that are not suitable for everyone; joint discussion with vendors is needed. Trying to direct vendors towards the PCC Web site where several task forces of the PCC Committee on Automation have provided a model for record content and format seems a better solution than individual negotiations with vendors.
PCC records: a survey that Big Heads did three years ago showed that libraries were making quite different uses of PCC records. How are high volume libraries using them today? Many libraries felt they are akin, or very close, to LC generated records; some need LC classification added to them. There was general agreement that more libraries should contribute them and more should use them. They enable all of us to do our work better by getting more records through quickly.
Acquisitions Librarians/Vendors of Library Materials DG: chose Electronic Resources management systems (ERMS) as its topic. Linda Lerman (Digital Library Federation) gave an overview of DLF initiatives on ERMS. Trisha Davis (Ohio State University) and Ted Fons (Innovative Interfaces) reviewed the development process for the III ERMS system that has been beta-tested by UC San Diego and OSU. Diane Grover (University of Washington) circulated a preprint of her upcoming article in Serials Review co-authored with Ted Fons, outlining the cooperative development process. Audience members discussed other issues regarding the management of payment, access, license and interface issues for electronic resources, and agreed that having functionality for management of this information in an ILS has become a necessity.
Gifts and Exchange DG: discussed "how to write an effective gifts policy." The chair presented overhead transparencies touching on the major points that should be covered by a gifts policy, and alerted attendees to ARL SPEC Kit 41, which contains many different types of gift policies, as well as Gifts and Exchanges: problems, frustrations and triumphs containing contains articles dealing with the subject. Several attendees expressed interest in discussing the processes and procedures entailed in the acceptance of gifts in kind. Although this discussion was secondary to the main theme, we were able to address several of the issues, such as responsibility for accepting gifts in kind, the processing of same, and acknowledging them.
Catalog Management DG: examined two database maintenance topics: URL link maintenance (presented by Zoe Stewart-Marshall, Cornell University) and quality control of the OCLC database (presented by Robert Bremer, OCLC). Both topics generated a lot of questions and discussion. Bremer thoroughly covered activities involved with database maintenance in a presentation entitled "Quality Control of WorldCat". He provided an overview of the history, statistics and staff in the Quality Control Section. Bremer indicated that priorities for Quality Control are determined by member reports, member surveys and feedback, analysis of editing habits, analysis of database errors and problems identified by OCLC staff. He reviewed the information needed and the variety of ways for members to send in change requests for errors (ca. 59,000 in FY2003) found in WorldCat, including rationale for the situations that require proof of the error. In the 2003 FY, OCLC QC statistics indicated that almost 7.5 million bibliographic records were changed, which averages 125 changed records for each change request received.
Stewart-Marshall outlined her study on URLs in the presentation "Link Maintenance and other Post-Cataloging Processes at Cornell: Planning and Execution". The study began with the basic assumption that URL maintenance, as an extension of regular database maintenance, is an absolute "good" thing. Initially, her study focused on identifying the extent of the problem in their OPAC. After excluding records for e-reserves, e-journals, and batch loaded e-book, e-journal and government documents, their database of five million bibliographic records was whittled down to 98,000 records as candidates for manual updating. These included: "unselected" electronic resources; multiple versions on one record; licensed resources versus free; locally housed digital resources; URLs to related resources rather than cataloged resources (i.e., LC records enhanced with TOC links and publisher websites). As a preliminary test for the viability of link maintenance at Cornell, a file of 15,721 records with non-Cornell addresses was checked with Xenu's Link Sleuth. 97% of the links checked in these records came back as OK. She found that Link Sleuth was fast (only took a few hours) and had good reports. Reports identified the problem with "bad" links as: page not found (404); forbidden request (403); no such host; server error; re-directs; timeouts and "stealth" dead pages (where content has been replaced).
After this initial test, Stewart-Marshall had doubts about her initial assumption that providing reliable access is an absolute good. Administration requested that she justify expenditures for link maintenance by proving the validity of her assumption. Is a 100% error free database a reasonable goal? Specifically, do users care when a link is broken, and if so, how much? Since the answer must be from the user's perspective and not from the librarian's, she is looking at tools (such as OPAC webserver logs) to examine how patrons use the links. Tools need to be identified to provide feedback on the actual effect that "bad" links have on the user. At this point, she continues to narrow parameters (identifying those URLs requiring manual work), analyze types of "bad" links for subsets, and propose workflows. In addition, she plans to execute time studies using sample link reports, and develop figures on the cost of performing maintenance (including staff/student time estimates, training, etc.). She concluded with a brief overview of other database maintenance projects at Cornell, such as untraced series flip and an initial article flip.
Cataloging and Classification Research DG: Jane Greenberg, Associate Professor, UNC/SILS, shared with attendees her Metadata Generation Research Project, a collaboration between UNC/SILS and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), through which she is developing a model to facilitate the most effective means of generation metadata; and the AMeGA (Automatic Metadata Generation Applications) project which is identifying functional requirements for applications supporting automatic metadata generation in the library/bibliographic control community. The AMeGA project is being conducted in connection Section 4.2 of the Library of Congress Bibliographic Control Action Plan. Professor Greenberg then led the discussion on issues related to automatic metadata generation.
Cataloging Norms DG: Susan Matveyeva (Wichita State University Libraries) discussed the usage of the online catalog by library staff, and showed the impact of staff's needs on quality of cataloging, in her remarks, "Cataloging quality as a communicative process." The presentation focused on methods of quality improvement of OCLC member records. Records have a communicative nature: in the contemporary era of copy cataloging, records are crafted for copying. Peers in OCLC and public services staff in a local library are two important groups that motivate a cataloger, by performing an informal control of his/her work. A cataloger, like the mythological Janus, is faced in opposite directions: toward peers in OCLC who motivate him/her to create a perfect record, and toward local public services staff who control consistency of records and labels. In a cooperative environment, more active communication often has the result of better cataloging quality. Matveyeva suggested two methods of quality control for smaller libraries where no professional reviewers are available: indirect communication with PCC catalogers via a record (later analysis of changes that have been made by OCLCQ and PCC libraries), and a non-PCC quality program targeted for new catalogers: OCLC members that can communicate electronically with experienced catalogers by using the new OCLC Connexion Browser Review File.
Qiang Jin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) addressed "Names not so commonly known in library OPACs." Catalogers have been trying their best to attempt to enter corporate bodies (and other entities) under the "name commonly known". This form is sometimes hard to determine. A random sample of AACR2 corporate headings for 1999-2002 from the Library of Congress Name Authority File (NAF) were searched on the Web via Google to find corporate home Web pages. The various name entries for forms of these corporate names in NAF and on official corporate home Web pages were compared. In nearly 20% of cases, the form of corporate names on the Web differs from the authorized form in NAF. The speaker recommended establishing the corporate home Web pages as a "predominant" authoritative source of information, as compared with a supplemental source to be cited in a 670 field. Corporate home Web pages can provide a useful source of authoritative information.
Maria Lai-che (Chinese University of Hong Kong) spoke about "Authority work for a bilingual community: challenges for Hong Kong libraries." To better serve their bilingual user community, Hong Kong academic libraries began in 1999 to work together to build a Chinese name authority database. A Hong Kong Chinese Authority Name (HKCAN) Workgroup was then formed, to study the appropriate authority model for equivalent Chinese headings, and to build an authority file for Hong Kong libraries. In 2000, after consulting authority work experts and the Library of Congress, it was decided that the 7xx model would be adopted for HKCAN authority records. Currently, the database contains about 120,000 Chinese name authority records. In 2003, a new XML version was developed to support UnicodeTM display, XML format, interactive transfer of records to library systems, and Z39.50 protocol. To prepare for future automatic exchange of data, it will soon be enhanced to become OAI-compliant. The establishment of this HKCAN authority database has helped the local libraries to have authority control performed in a "faster", "better", and "inexpensive" way, and increased the effectiveness of cooperative Chinese cataloguing among libraries. The presentation provided an overview of the authority project, the HKCAN record structure, and addressed some challenges and opportunities facing the cooperative program.
Copy Cataloging DG: heard Judy Mansfield, Acting Director of Cataloging at LC, speak on recent LC cataloging activities and achievements in "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The LC CIP Program But Never Had A Chance To Ask." John Celli (Chief of the Cataloging in Publication Division at LC) assisted by David Bucknam (Automation Operations Coordinator at LC) gave a detailed overview of how the print CIP and ECIP programs work between publishers and LC. They explained the current process, demonstrated the online forms using a dial-up connection, and also talked about upcoming changes. Mike Thompson (University of Houston) discussed how the treatment of CIP records at his institution fit into previous, current, and projected copy cataloging procedures. There was ample time for questions on LC copy cataloging and on the CIP program.
Heads of Cataloging Departments DG: Robert Ellett gave a presentation on his dissertation research, regarding the use of PCC records in libraries and how copy cataloging practices have been affected by PCC records. Discussion followed, along with announcements of open cataloging positions.
Map Cataloging DG: held a Map Cataloging question and answer session. Participants had the opportunity to pose both specific and general questions about map cataloging to a group of experienced map catalogers. Questions included dealing with historical maps and maps generated by GIS data.
Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries DG: A membership study was conducted based on a three-year average: two new libraries will be represented (NC State and Univ. of Utah), and three will no longer be represented (Kansas, Michigan State, and SUNY Buffalo). A proposed change in membership criteria generated discussion but no firm conclusion.
The North American Title Count will no longer be supported by ALCTS. The sense of the group was that it remained a useful tool for collection development and accreditation reviews, but not all members plan to participate in the next round. Reports were heard from the Government Printing Office, the Center for Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries. The topic of institutional repositories and how they are being used revealed differing definitions and expectations; it provided fodder for future discussions.
Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries DG: Three librarians led discussions on topics of current interest to CD practitioners in academic libraries. Sherri Barnes (UC Santa Barbara) spoke on their local efforts to train new collection managers and to keep seasoned professionals up-to-date through the development of a collection manager's manual. Susanne Clement related the developments at the University of Kansas, where the library has restructured its subject bibliographers into teams that align more closely with a changing university structure. They have created four subject councils (science and technology, humanities, language and culture, and social science), allowing bibliographers with related disciplines to work more closely together within a structured environment. Allan Scherlen (Appalachian State) introduced the topic of "Collection Development Librarians Confront the Open Access Movement: Liberation or Confusion?" He spoke of the need for collection development librarians, in particular, to keep abreast of developments in scholarly publishing and in evaluating these new sources of scholarly communication.
Collection Management in Public Libraries DG: discussed where Collection Management is placed in organizations, and staffing for selection, ordering, invoicing, processing, interlibrary loan, cataloging, databases, etc. The results of a survey with responses from eight libraries were shared: three libraries have Collection Management in Administration, three in Technical Services, one in Public Services, and one as a separate Department reporting to the Assistant Director. At some libraries, collection management includes acquisitions, but at others it doesn't; the same is true of cataloging and processing. All reporting heads of Collection Management were professional librarians, as were most selectors.
They also discussed reallocating materials budgets to AV materials; what's happening in terms of AV (move towards DVD only, downloadable MP3 audiobooks, ebooks, AV security issues); and problems with ISBNs (issues of same ISBN on different books or editions (overlaying records that shouldn't), the coming 13-digit ISBNs, and of lack of ISBNs on dvds and music CDs). Discussion topics for Midwinter will be the 13-digit ISBN and international collections.
Library Binding DG: discussed the decline in the volume of traditional library binding and what the future holds. As electronic publishing increases, hard cover library bindings decrease. While library binding will not be eliminated, the commercial library binders must find other revenue sources in order to continue to serve the library binding community. Recognizing that the library binding industry has a trust factor and knowledge that librarians have come to rely upon, there was consensus that in an ideal world, the commercial library binder would be the "preferred vendor" to the library, providing traditional library binding services, but also providing digitization, storage and print options.
PARS DG: Because the PARS Discussion Group is not focused on a specific topic, the co-chair announced that the DG would not petition for Interest Group status. Jennifer Hain Teper (UIUC) and Jake Nadal (Indiana University) described aspects of their institutions' procedures for preparing library materials for transfer to off-site storage facilities. Teper focused on recent time- and cost-studies she completed with a colleague, and she also described the workflow and staffing for the upcoming move of hundreds of thousands of books off-site. Nadal focused on making enclosures with the Kasemake machine. He passed around examples and distributed a "triage" treatment decision-making chart. He also had cost and space statistics for making enclosures for items being transferred to IU's off-site storage facility. The attendees had many questions for the discussion leaders, and several remarked that the session was very helpful.
Photographic and Recording Media DG: heard a report on the activities in the year since the first "Sound Savings" audio preservation conference was held in Austin, Texas. Many of the recommendations from that meeting are being moved forward by groups including The Library of Congress, The University of Texas at Austin Preservation and Conservation Studies program, and The National Recorded Sound Board. Meeting participants spoke of educational needs in audiovisual preservation, and a series of PARS programs on the subject, to begin at Annual 2005, was previewed.
Kate Contakos (Preservation Librarian at New York University) discussed the initial activities of a newly-established Moving Image Preservation Program at NYU, including work in inventorying and condition assessment of institutional video holdings. Selection for preservation, cataloging, and description of moving image formats were the main discussion topic following Kate's presentation, and the need for a glossary and set of "discussion starter" questions when meeting with other library staff about video material was suggested.
To round out the session, Charles Kolb, Program Officer, Division of Preservation and Access, National Endowment for the Humanities, updated the group on the growing number of NEH Preservation and Access grants, across all funding categories, which are going toward audiovisual preservation.
Physical Quality and Treatment DG: presented a summary of the information gleaned from the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Library Collections Conservation Discussion Group held in June 2004. The topics discussed in that session included stretching your conservation dollar and ergonomics for conservators. Ideas put forth at AIC for "doing more with less" include the use of work-study students, bartering supplies with other departments within and outside your institution, and deferring treatments for low-use items and boxing them instead.
The ergonomics topic resulted in a lot of information shared by participants. At AIC ideas such as looking outside the conservation profession to other similar professions (such as dental hygienists, factory work, rehabilitation professions, etc.), providing mobile furniture that not only rolls but can have its height adjusted, and setting timers or using software to remind you to take breaks and change positions, were raised. The importance of having support for ergonomic issues and training at the top levels of your institution (administration, departmental, etc.), and using training and print/online resources that may be available at your institution such as an office for health and environmental safety, ergonomics officers, cannot be overstated. It was also apparent that setting a good example was important to help staff feel comfortable in doing exercises or taking stretch breaks. Equally important is to let them know when you are not doing something correctly and not to follow your example, if you know that it may lead to injury or already has led to an injury.
The final topic for discussion was identification and selection for preservation and conservation. Many institutions differ in who identifies repair items, and how they are sorted through the workflow. It was apparent that there were as many ways to select damaged material as there are institutions. Differences in staffing levels, expertise, size of collections, training, staff turnover rates, and workflow issues (such as pre-shelving needs, use-based needs, etc.) all had an impact on how selection was accomplished at each institution. Discussion focused on how selection can be used to educate and train staff members, provide demand-driven solutions for workflow problems in other departments, and raise the overall awareness of preservation within the institution.
Preservation Administrators DG: Over the years, the meeting has taken on many forms, from reporting sessions, to formal presentations, to group discussion on a timely article or topic. It has been several years since PADG discussed the direction that the meeting should take, and the range of potential topics that the group would like to see discussed in future meetings. The first portion of the PADG meeting was devoted to exploring this topic. The second portion was devoted to honoring Jan Merrill-Oldham, this year's recipient of the Banks/Harris Preservation award.
Preservation Instruction, Education and Outreach DG: discussed two topics of interest. The first was centered on a symposium recently hosted by the Simmons College GSLIS Program on the future of preservation education. Summaries of the discussions were presented, and some next steps were high-lighted, including increasing cooperative work between existing library science programs; bridging communications between information science education and preservation education; improving vehicles with which to disseminate information on preservation education; and efforts to compile a list/bibliography of important literature in the field. Other possible areas for change include cooperation with ALISE and updating the Pres-Ed-Ex website currently off line and archived by SOLINET.
The second discussion focused on the recently published Preservation Education Directory and some updates and broken links that need to be resolved. Suggestions were made on how the Preservation Education Committee could improve the functionality of the on-line directory, and suggestions about how to make this resource more easily accessed by the audience we are trying to reach (prospective students).
Reformatting DG: met to discuss the ARL draft document Recognizing Digitization as a Preservation Reformatting Option . Bill Gosling (University Librarian, University of Michigan), Carla Montori (Preservation Librarian, University of Michigan) and Sherry Byrne (Preservation Librarian, University of Chicago) presented their work with the ARL Preservation of Research Library Materials Committee to recognize digital reformatting as a preservation reformatting method. The discussion touched on the development of the document and its reception amongst the ARL library directors, next steps for publicizing this work, implications of this document for non-ARL institutions, real-life stories of digital reformatting projects, and the effect this endorsement might have on the willingness of granting agencies to support digital reformatting.
Small to Mid-Sized Preservation Programs DG: What to do with the disposition of the original once it has been digitized? Librarians are facing this decision more and more. The meeting featured a panel discussion of representatives who have first hand experience confronting the myriad questions associated with authentication, and the reliability of fixity, and whether digital preservation can be a strategy to guarantee the integrity of the original. This group generated a lot of discussion about handling original objects selected for digitization. Suggestions for follow-up discussions will be forwarded to the Reformatting Discussion Group and they will be encouraged to pursue the use of the bibliographic record field 583 to document preservation activities, last copy depositories and what constitutes a "last copy."
Journal Costs in Libraries DG: reviewed the "big deal." Stephen Bosch (University of Arizona) discussed the short-term benefits of using "big deals" as a strategy for enhancing the availability of digital content for customers. Despite being an unsustainable business model, the big deal can be effectively used to stretch resource dollars while other models for scholarly communication mature.
Kenneth Frazier (University of Wisconsin-Madison) spoke about the opportunities and liabilities of operating a research library system that has consciously avoided "big deals." Although the consequences for Wisconsin have included the good, bad, and ugly, Frazier discussed the fast-moving changes in scholarly communication that are making fundamental changes in the dissemination of research articles.
Gary Ives (Texas A&M University) presented his findings on the content overlap among the Elsevier Backfile Collections, which range from 25.1% overlap for the Chemistry Collection with all other collections, to 94.4% overlap for the Veterinary Science Collection, with all other collections. Ives also described how to calculate unique content for collections not yet purchased, compared to overlapping content with collections already purchased and collections under consideration.
Research Libraries DG: chose as its topic Publishers, Vendors, and Libraries: The Chain of Customer Service. The intent was to bring together experienced representatives from the vendor and research library environments, with topics chosen that might further the understanding of the working relationship between these institutions:
Panelists were from University of Arizona, University of Pittsburgh, Ebsco and Harrassowitz. The discussion on the relationship among vendors, publishers and libraries, particularly the economic relationships between the publishers and the vendors and how that affects libraries, focused on the changing working environment. Many publishers are working directly with libraries now, and roles are not clear regarding service and pricing. Discount margins for vendors are shrinking and therefore changing the market, yet agents have more complex work in this environment.
The vendor's challenges in managing subscriptions arise from difficulties in communication and libraries' needs for additional services, especially in the current hybrid environment of print and online. All agreed that more expertise is needed in the online environment for all parties, and the individuals who have expertise need to become the "point persons" for communication among publishers, vendors and libraries. Pricing models need to become more creative or adaptive for the library community Libraries are looking for more creative service from vendors, since vendors own a great deal of information about libraries' buying habits, including amounts spent in each subject, types of material subscribed to in each subject, and pricing history. How can this data help libraries?
All of these issues were touched on with enthusiasm and can be a springboard for more in-depth discussion in the future.