Discussion and Interest Groups Report on Meeting Activities in San Antonio
Below are brief abstracts of the activities of ALCTS discussion and interest groups that took place during the 2006 ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 20–25, in San Antonio, based on reports received by the editor as of February 10, 2006. Contact information for interest and discussion group chairs and members may be found on the ALCTS Organization menu on the
ALCTS home page; in addition, some committees post minutes and other documents pertinent to their work on their Web pages. For information on committees not listed below, go to the ALCTS Organization menu and follow the links through to the appropriate section.
Automated Acquisitions/In Process Control Discussion GroupThe Chair introduced the discussion topic, “Interfaces Between ILS Acquisitions Modules and Parent Institution Accounting Systems: What Are the Challenges?” and the discussion leaders: Debra Denault, Virtual Product Manager, VTLS; Berit Nelson, Vice President of Technical Product Management, SirsiDynix; Carmit Marcus, Director of Strategic Accounts, Ex Libris; and Joan Lamborn, Head of Library Administrative Services, University of Northern Colorado.
Joan Lamborn described the interface developed at the University of Northern Colorado to transfer data between the ILS and the campus accounting system. She noted the benefits of efficiency and accuracy in data transfer, and pointed out that keeping key data current in both systems could be a problem. For example, vendor records are needed in the ILS for ordering purposes and also in the parent accounting system for payment purposes. The question of where responsibility and authority lie for entering and updating this information can be complicated to resolve. She shared a handout listing seven key points to consider when implementing an interface.
Carmit Marcus, Ex Libris, reviewed how the Aleph system facilitates export of payment data to an institutional parent accounting system using XML format. She noted that all accounting systems have different requirements. As a result, Ex Libris has created specific interfaces for individual customers.
Berit Nelson, SirsiDynix, noted that the Unicorn system uses APIs to provide export and import of data. Her company provides consulting services to assist customers in setting up an interface with a parent accounting system. She pointed out that even the same accounting system is not implemented in exactly the same way at different institutions, making it very difficult for the ILS vendor to re-use interfaces that they have created. She reminded the group that the question of who will do the programming is a key point to consider: is it the library, the parent institution, or the ILS vendor?
Debra Denault, VTLS, discussed the issues ILS vendors face in creating an interface. Generic fit is impossible because there are no standards. She pointed out that once an interface has been built, the question of versioning still exists. Upgrades to the ILS, or to the accounting system, result in changes that must be addressed with each release of each system. Both the way in which an accounting system as been implemented and the way in which the ILS has been implemented locally can have an effect on creating an interface. Debra asked about the future of such an initiative, speculating on the need for standards and the potential of Web services applications to facilitate this kind of data transfer.
A lively discussion followed the opening remarks. A poll of the group indicated that only about 6 of the participants had such an interface in operation, about twice that number were actively exploring an interface, and several more were in the thinking-about-it stage. Participants discussed a variety of issues surrounding the implementation of an interface with a parent institution accounting system: the need for a standard to allow simple implementation, the importance of examining practices and assumptions, the need to be clear about roles and expectations, and how to analyze cost and benefit.
Creative Ideas in Technical Services Discussion GroupFive preselected topics were presented for discussion: Acquisitions Functions, Authority Control and Workflow, MARC Records for e-Journals, Planning for System Downtime in Technical Services, and Shifting Journal Subscriptions from Print to Electronic Format. The Chair and Vice-Chair provided suggested questions designed to facilitate discussion. A facilitator and a recorder for each table were assigned from a list of volunteers compiled prior to the meeting.
After a fifty-minute discussion, each table summarized the discussions at their table for the benefit of the whole group. The participants provided positive feedback on the evaluation forms and expressed that they enjoyed the program, and appreciated the opportunity to hear about new ideas and options.
Electronic Resources Interest GroupThe program presented at the meeting, “Reality and Illusion: The Truth About Digital Projects and Metadata Sharing,” focused on the emerging trend of traditional catalogers using non-traditional metadata and tools to manage and describe local digital content.
Carol Hixson, Head, Metadata and Digital Library Services, University of Oregon began with a lively, down-to-earth session called “I Never Met a Data I Didn’t Like: Metadata Issues in Local and Shared Digital Collections.” Following a general overview of current metadata tools and issues, Carol gave the real picture of the challenges using DSpace and CONTENTdm with Dublin Core metadata for creating joint and local repositories for textual and image digital objects. Stressing the goals of agreed standards and consistency in joint projects, she acknowledged that being a “self-taught practitioner” required flexibility and willingness to accept what works best for the users. She ended with a suggestion to try our own metadata creation and defined a new metadata buzzword: “folksonomies” or on-the-fly terms that users invent to categorize information on the Web.
Ann Caldwell, Metadata Specialist, Brown University also presented a clear and practical session on how Brown has built a growing digital collection based on METS records with descriptive metadata in MODS for library or campus generated projects. Ann described how they developed local tools as needed and used students and interns (who received class credit) to deal with the “usual” situation of having no additional staff assigned to early digital projects. She also gave the audience an online demonstration of actual record creation.
Together, the speakers supplied the audience with ideas and innovations to bring back to their institutions. The use of standards is not enough—metadata specialists must look beyond a local application and think about ways metadata will be an economically viable product that will be shared, and perhaps repurposed by other institutions.
At the beginning and end of the session, a call was made for participation and input from all members of the audience.
Electronic Resource Management Interest GroupChair Greg Raschke summarized the purpose and mission of the interest group, outlined the agenda for the meeting, and introduced the invited speakers.
Tim Jewell (University of Washington) and Oliver Pesch (EBSCO) gave a summary of the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) presentation scheduled for the following day at the LITA Standards Interest Group meeting. The goal is to use Web services to pull usage statistics directly into Electronic Resources Management systems (ERMs). A prototype has been tested and the group is seeking vendor/publisher input for the pilot phase. A workshop for stakeholders is planned for April or May. The project Web site is www.library.cornell.edu/cts/elicensestudy/ermi2/sushi.
Ted Fons (Innovative Interfaces) reviewed the development of ERMs from home-grown systems to second and third generation vendor products. He discussed the possibility of ERMs having a greater collection development role, similar to that of the ILS for print materials, and reaching for the goal of less staff work for more benefit.
Ted Koppel (Ex Libris) spoke about needs to build on avenues for workflow and task management, including additional cut and paste capabilities, cross-installation searching, enhanced interfaces with other applications, and searching in non-Roman alphabets.
Nathan Robertson (Johns Hopkins) gave an update on the NISO/EDItEUR ONIX for Licensing Terms Working Group. The goal is standard XML expression for license information exchange that would allow direct transmission into ERMs. They hope to have a pilot test within the year. ONIX for Licensing Terms information can be found at www.editeur.org.
Per Greg Raschke, future developments could also include evaluating the electronic journal itself as a work, versus just looking at e-resource statistics. He hoped that vendors and libraries would explore ways to leverage ERMs capabilities for future needs such as work level journal displays and rights management for special collections.
Ted Fons (Innovative Interfaces) gave an update on the NISO/EDItEUR ONIX for Serials Working Group. Various subgroups are developing formats to aid the exchange of online holdings data, for publishers to communicate product information, and for publishers to send notification of a current release (similar to a check-in system). ONIX for Serials information can be found at www.editeur.org.
Reactions to the Friday night meeting time were mixed. Areas of concern included lack of AV support and the fact that the ALA buses stopped running prior to the ending of the meeting. To address these concerns, Greg will explore a possible alternative meeting time for the 2006 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Greg and Vice Chair Kitti Canepi will explore possible co-sponsorship of related programs at ALA Annual.
Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group (NRMIG)The Committee on Cataloging: Access and Description (CC:DA) Liaison Greta de Groat reported on the NRMIG Resource for Description and Access (RDA) Review Task Force progress and new deadlines for submitting comments to the JSC. Greta will continue to collect and coordinate the group's comments on the draft of Part I of RDA.
Program Planning Co-Chairs Brian Surratt and Michael Babinec reported on progress for NRMIG's program for ALA Annual 2006, “Digital Rights Management and Institutional Repositories: Achieving a Balance in a Complex Environment.” The program will be held in New Orleans on Saturday, June 24, 1:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. (location to be determined). Speakers will include Denise Troll Covey, Carol Hixon, Karen Coyle, and Ed Colleran.
The regular NRMIG Sunday morning meeting at ALA Annual will include a panel of metadata librarians discussing what they do and how they learned what they know. Details will be determined.
Publications Chair Holley Mercer will look into developments with ALA Communities and other options for NRMIG online group communication and document sharing as well as updating the NRMIG Web pages.
NRMIG must petition for renewal as an ALCTS Interest Group in 2007. This should include a reconsideration of both the name and group's function statement. After a brief initial exploratory discussion, the group agreed to discuss this in depth at the ALA Annual Conference, possibly at a separate meeting.The bulk of the meeting consisted of an enlightening discussion with guest subject expert Karen Coyle on topics related to digital rights management metadata. Among many other things, Ms. Coyle stressed the importance of providing rights metadata for the public, including known and unknown copyright and ownership information and contact information for the right to use a digital object in a repository.
Out of Print Discussion GroupThe group met to discuss plans for the 2006 Annual Conference in New Orleans. In Chicago, those present unanimously requested inviting a representative from Google to attend and explain how their digitizing process is proceeding, and if librarians will be able to download for their collections those titles that they have digitized that are in the public domain.
Adam Mathes, Associate Product Manager from Google, attended our session, and said that Google would be glad to send a representative to our meeting in New Orleans. There are many questions to be asked of Google and interesting points to be discussed in New Orleans. We look forward to their participation!
Pre-Order/Pre-Catalog Searching Discussion GroupThe topic of this year's Midwinter 2006 Pre-Order Pre-Search Discussion Group was “Managing Approval Plans Amidst Changing Technology.” This included the concept of working with “virtual” approval plans. The discussion was led by three individuals representing both the library and vendor perspectives: Suzanne Kiker, Head of Monograph Acquisitions, University of Florida; Kim Anderson, Regional Sales Manager, Blackwell’s Book Services; and Carolyn Morris, Regional and Consortia Manager, YBP Library Services.
Mark Kendall welcomed attendees and introduced the discussion leaders. He began the discussion by suggesting that attendees consider what constitutes a “virtual approval plan” and how it might be defined. Definitions included paper or electronic notification slips as well as newer Web-based technologies. He further added that concept of a “bookless” approval plan is not new by any means, largely as a result of open Web access to information such as title summaries, tables of contents, jacket images, and excerpts. Opening questions Kendall posed to attendees designed to foster discussion were: 1) Are virtual approval plans financially viable for libraries and vendors? and 2) Can approval books be sufficiently reviewed online?
Suzanne Kiker offered some background on what led the University of Florida to adopt their virtual approval plan approach. The initial opportunity to explore new ways of managing approval plans originated from a statewide mandate that all state institutions migrate from the NOTIS system to Ex Libris Aleph. Combining this with the University of Florida’s campus move to both PeopleSoft and a new library building, there were now ample reasons to review the existing approval plan workflow. A lack of available space to display new approval book receipts for review was a challenge and the library’s thirty selectors still wanted books to arrive and to be processed quickly. The new solution was to allow selectors to utilize other means, such as Web-based bibliographic information, to review new approval titles. Senior Library Technical Assistants sort book notification slips and place them in dated online folders. Selectors then go online to review the titles and mark selections for ordering. Feedback on titles for selection is also gathered from branch libraries and access services. When the virtual approval plan program was initially implemented, titles not reviewed within one week were automatically accepted. More recently, as reduced budgets have impacted monographic spending, this procedure has been modified so that books not first reviewed by a selector are not accepted. However, if a book is still needed, it can be ordered as a firm order. This new process has saved library staff time in returning unwanted titles to approval vendors. Ultimately, Suzanne views the program as a success in that it has ensured that the actual books the library receives are those that are truly wanted. What began as a temporary approval workflow solution is now a permanent program.
Suzanne’s comments drew several questions and comments from audience members. Among them was one from Kathy Tezla of Carleton College who noted that her library has implemented a virtual approval plan procedure with faculty in the role of “collection builders.” Their preference is for electronic vendor notification slips, or online selection, as their paper slip counterparts lack sufficient information for faculty and selectors to adequately consider a title for purchase. A key part to the implementation of this program was the role of the vendor in meeting with twenty-three academic departments to introduce and orient staff members to online selection. The program has worked well as a result of this coordinated library/vendor collaboration in introducing this approach to selection.
Following Suzanne’s comments, Kim Anderson offered the first of two vendor perspectives on this topic. He stated that approval plans were originally a form of outsourced acquisitions. This fact poses the question: do virtual approval plans shift the acquisitions role from the vendor back to the library, and specifically, to the selectors? Kim noted from the vendor perspective there is a significant difference in how approval plans are profiled for a virtual plan versus a straightforward notification slip/form plan. The latter plan is more open in structure and typically results in a larger number of titles to consider, which in turn challenges the time and efficiency constraints under which selectors work. He noted that vendors need to address the needs of selectors balancing, in some cases, the desire for more bibliographic information with the “comfort” of paper notification slips. Kim’s experience has shown that vendors’ current electronic bibliographic databases (such as Blackwell’s Collection Manager and YBP’s GOBI) permit selectors and other library staff, particularly at larger academic libraries, to quickly and efficiently view tables of contents, book jackets, non-subject parameters and links between print and e-books as well as other ordering/selecting activity that may have occurred for a particular title at other libraries within the same system. Further, the addition of open URL technology to vendor databases allows librarians to configure link resolvers that will search the library’s OPAC and other Web resources. Kim added that the success of any virtual approval plan is ultimately dependent on selectors returning order slips promptly, otherwise they run the risk of the desired title moving to out of print or out of stock status. Two questions were raised: How can selectors be motivated to act quickly? and What is an adequate amount of time for selectors to review title notifications? This challenge increases when faculty are involved in the selection process as, from vendor experience, faculty are more reluctant to accept or respond to electronic data as opposed to paper notification.
Kim concluded his comments by posing a question to the attendees: Is there a role for prepublication notification within the context of virtual approval plans? The perception from Maureen Grant of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is that prepublication slips sometimes included titles that ultimately were not published or the publication titles later changed. In her view, these factors limited the overall usefulness of this form of notification. Lynda Fuller Clendenning of Indiana University added that she would prefer not to manage titles that may never come to fruition and would rather work with what has actually been published.
Carolyn Morris offered another vendor perspective on virtual approval plans. She noted that much of the success of these types of plans can be linked to the enhanced information in today’s vendor databases (book reviews, title activity within other libraries, selectors’ notes, etc.) In tandem with the growing desire for libraries to receive shelf ready materials, libraries use the virtual plan as a means to ensure as minimal an approval title return rate as possible. Carolyn pointed out that this approach is essentially a move within libraries from an approval book workflow to one more akin to firm ordering on a title by title selection basis. This raises the following challenge for libraries: Do they have adequate time and staff resources to permit this mode of title by title selection? Will this mode of selection impact the ability of libraries to spend their allocated monographic budget?
Following Carolyn’s comments, an open discussion ensued. Hope Barton of the University of Iowa spoke positively of her institution’s move to a virtual approval plan three years ago. Her experience was that title selection process moved much faster thanks to the advance overview of forthcoming titles and that one key result is a 50 percent reduction in firm orders. Initially, selectors were very concerned about making purchasing decisions without the benefit of the book in hand for review. Ultimately, selectors at Iowa formulated and adapted different ways of evaluating titles which proved to be a better use of time than reviewing physical approval books. Hope also noted that science librarians, in particular, prefer to use electronic notifications as means to also look up author names to verify their scholarly credentials.
Several attendees acknowledged that while there are efficiencies to be realized through virtual approval plans, there are some challenges as well. Among the challenges cited were less time for selectors to review titles as they assume additional tasks, such as building digital collections, teaching, and assisting with building and maintaining repositories. This indicates a trend away from traditional collection development work. The question of how to balance acquisitions workflows to function independently of selector actions (or inactions) as well as assuring selector input for the collection management aspect is a challenge several librarians noted. Stephen Corssin of New York Public Library added that several humanities and social science selectors within his library retired and there are no plans to replace them, resulting in less time for review of approval books. As a result, the library has expanded their approval plan to generate more book receipts and fewer library-generated firm orders, creating more of a blanket “purchase plan.”
Publisher-Vendor-Library Relations (PVLR) Interest GroupFifteen people attended the business meeting. The primary focus was to discuss the upcoming forum, “The State of the University Press” which is scheduled for the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. After a fascinating discussion of the topic and the approach the group would like to take, it was decided that October Ivins will chair the panel and that Will Wakeling will coordinate selection of speakers. Ann-Marie Breaux, Scott Perry, David Goldsmith, Ruth Fischer, and Amy McColl agreed to help. Furthermore, the subsequent forum, at ALA Midwinter in Seattle, will focus on relationships between the university press and its respective library.
The last item of business was to nominate and concur on the next chair. Amy McColl was nominated, and agreed to serve. She has been a member of PVLR for many years, and has often participated in the planning and coordination of the open forum.
The open forum took place on Monday morning. Some of the most difficult issues related to the management of electronic resources revolve around licensing. To help ease the pain, many are calling for a new set of industry standards to express license terms more clearly and simply. While all segments of the library market have a stake in these developments, their goals and requirements may sometimes seem to be in conflict with one another. Following an introduction by Tim Jewell (ERMI), libraries, publishers, and standards organizations described various perspectives on what is needed and how best to move forward. Speakers included: Trisha Davis, Ohio State University; Alicia Wise, Publishers Licensing Society, UK; Brian Green, EDitEUR; and Richard Fyffe, University of Kansas.
Approximately 100 people attended the forum, even though it took place at 8 a.m. on Monday morning. All five speakers were terrific, garnering a great deal of audience participation and enthusiastic feedback.
Role of the Professional in Academic Research Technical Services Discussion GroupThose present at the ALCTS Role of the Professional in Academic Research Technical Services Discussion Group meeting engaged in a wide-ranging discussion about the changes they have observed taking place in technical services departments today, and how those changes impacted the role of professional librarians in technical services.
The first change considered was the effect of digital projects and metadata on technical services departments in general and on cataloging units in particular. The discussion opened with a series of related questions:
- The profession has seen the emergence of MARC and non-MARC metadata specialists. What is the role of the “metadata librarian?”
- Should expertise in traditional cataloging and metadata co-exist in the same person?
- Should traditional cataloging and metadata services co-exist in the same department?
- How does this new focus on metadata affect the retention and training of existing librarians and staff, and the recruitment of new librarians and staff?
The third change affecting technical services is the changing nature of collections, which in turn fuel the need for technical services departments to reorganize. Several attendees described how their technical services department was reconfigured in light of the increased use of shelf-ready books, decline in the number of print journals being received, and the increased need to devote resources to electronic resource management (ERM) software. Reorganization was often seen as the opportunity to recruit new staff, to institute new technology and new workflows, and to retrain existing staff.
Scholarly Communications Interest GroupThere were informal reports on various aspects related to scholarly communications:
- Catherine Candee (California Digital Library) on the eScholarship program.
- Carol Hixson and Elizabeth Breakstone (University of Oregon) on the Scholar's Bank.
- Janice Boyer (University of Nebraska-Omaha) on various local forums and initiatives related to scholarly communications.
- Julie Bobay (Indiana University) on their D-Space institutional repository
Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries (“Big Heads”) Discussion GroupThe agenda was packed with issues related to evolving library roles, new workflows and technologies. A growing trend is to obtain bibliographic data from vendors. The discussion group explored issues related to the records for Italian materials being prepared for the Library of Congress and others by Casalini Libri. Beacher Wiggins (Library of Congress) noted that the issue of OCLC redistribution of the Casalini records has been resolved, and was confirmed by Glenn Patton (OCLC), who was in the audience. In a new development, Jane Ouderkirk (Harvard University) announced that Harvard has arranged for Harrassowitz to supply catalog records for German titles.
Many discussion group members are in the process of implementing e-resource management systems. Members exchanged advice and news about workflows and staffing requirements, as well as issues or concerns about these systems.
Catherine Tierney (Stanford University) and John Price Wilkin (University of Michigan) reported on their experiences working with Google on mass digitization projects. The demands of the daily production workflows have given rise to many new issues, including but not limited to the role of persistent identifiers and multi-volume works.
Cindy Shelton (UCLA) facilitated a discussion of the Janus conference on the transformation of collection development. It was an opportunity for members to offer input to the Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group (CCDO), whose agenda the next day was devoted entirely to discussion of the key challenges from the Janus conference.
The meeting closed with a housekeeping issue. The discussion group's membership evaluation year is 2006. A small group volunteered to study the issues and bring recommendations to the discussion group at the annual meeting.
Members provided “round robin” reports on activities of interest at their libraries. These may be found at www.loc.gov/bigheads.
Technical Services Administrators of Medium-Sized Research Libraries (Medium Heads) Discussion GroupAttendees chose between four focused discussion tables (Staffing, Digital Collections, Cataloging and Metadata Standards, and Acquisitions and Continuations) based on the general theme “The Future of Technical Services, Part 1: Threats and Opportunities.” The discussion focused on identifying issues and trends that present threats and/or opportunities for the field. The results of the discussion will be used to generate specific discussion topics for the Annual Conference meeting, which will continue with the same general theme.
Acquisitions Managers and Vendors Discussion Group“Managing the Acquisitions Workflow of Monographs” was the topic for the ALCTS AS Acquisitions Managers and Vendors Interest Group. Rick Lugg, of R2 Consulting, introduced the topic by listing challenges presented by changing conditions in libraries, and introduced the three speakers who initiated the discussion.
Janet Flowers, Head of Acquisitions at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, discussed workflow redesign at an ARL library, particularly the need for new staffing patterns to manage digital collections and the use of new value-added services offered by vendors. Sharon Propas, Fiscal and Data Services Librarian at Stanford, described two reorganizations that took place during the last decade, the most recent of which created two new units; one handles serials access and maintenance and the other provides fiscal and data services information for selectors. Jackie Coats, Head of Monograph Acquisitions, University of Washington, discussed acquisitions management at a very large library that has adopted online workflows and maximized use of vendor services. During the discussion that followed, topics included acquiring materials from Asia, streamlining the processing for gifts, managing bookplates with efficiency, outsourcing OP orders, dealing with staff reactions to reorganizations, listing skills for the next generation of acquisitions librarians, handling e-books efficiently, and finding some things to stop doing in order to make time for new responsibilities.
Gifts and Exchanges Interest GroupSuggestions for discussion topics were solicited and a vice-chair/chair-elect were chosen. Three basic topics were discussed:
- Place of gifts-in-kind in library’s organizational structure.
- How each/any library has addressed streamlining the processing of gift materials.
- Alternative disposition of gifts-in-kind.
Catalog Management Discussion GroupRoss Shanley-Roberts, Authority Control Librarian at Miami University, presented the topic "Does this Mean We have to Re-Catalog Everything?: a Systematic Approach to Upgrading and Enriching Bibliographic Records.” The presentation explored techniques for upgrading and enriching bibliographic records using scripting languages and databases external to the ILS. The examples were drawn from Innovative Interfaces, PHP and MySQL, but the principles discussed can be extended to most vendors and other open source software.
Ross described several projects at Miami University that made use of automated processing using software packages or languages such as PHP, MySQL, expect, Macro Express, and Innovative Interfaces. All are readily available and easy to use. Ross also pointed out that he does not have an IT background and described the learning process he used to gain expertise in the technologies he described.
Ross described in detail a reclassification project in which 20,000 volumes of juvenile literature were reclassed from Dewey Decimal Classification to Library of Congress Classification. The workflow was expedited by the use of automated batch querying of the library catalog and of OCLC’s database; creation of Web pages to process the books using PHP; and the use of Macro Express to edit the ILS. Use of these tools enabled the project to be completed within a very tight timeframe, without any special staff training.
Ann O'Bryan, Bibliographic and Metadata Services Team Leader from Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis University Library, presented “The Evolving Cataloging Department at University Library, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI).”
The Cataloging Department at IUPUI University Library was reorganized in order to incorporate metadata creation into the workflow. This presentation examined how the team adapted its role within the University Library, and how a major metadata project was completed by cataloging staff.
Prior to reorganization, all of the metadata for the items in InDiamond was created within the unit responsible for the respective digital collections. However, the team leaders for Special Collections, Digital Libraries and Cataloging realized that catalogers had the necessary skills for describing and classifying digital content, including text, images, and maps. Therefore, an effort was begun to move as much metadata creation as possible into the Cataloging Team.
Ann described the Sanborn maps digitization project, which used ContentDM. ContentDM allowed the catalogers to use controlled vocabulary and provided a workform template into which Dublin Core metadata elements could be input.
There were specific questions about the IUPUI Sanborn map project. Most of the questions addressed how traditional catalogers and paraprofessionals could make the transition to handling more automation projects. Jim LeBlanc, of Cornell University, and Ross Shanley-Roberts both offered suggestions about how to deal with staff who were not willing or able to take on these new skills and what reasonable expectations might be set regarding the division of responsibilities between Systems and Technical Services Staff.
Michelle Martin Robertson, Liaison to the ALCTS Policy and Planning Committee, read the group’s charge, and Ann O’Bryan led a discussion on the questionnaire distributed by the ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section Policy and Planning Committee in regards to review of the charge.
There were no recommendations for change. Some overlap of discussion topics with the Catalog Form and Function Interest Group was noted, as well as scheduling conflicts with other similar groups, in particular the Cataloging Norms Discussion Group, the LITA/ALCTS MARC Formats Interest Group, and the ALCTS/PARS Discussion Group. Interest was expressed to get a room with computer projection capabilities for future meetings.
Cataloging and Classification Research Discussion Group
Three reports on ongoing research were presented at the meeting:
Tami Morse McGill (Colorado State University Libraries) described a project at CSUL to determine the potential impact of implementing a FRBR-based catalog at CSU.
Glenn Patton (OCLC) discussed the current state of work by IFLA on the Functional Requirements of Authority Records (FRAR), formerly Functional Requirements and Numbering of Authority Records (FRANAR).
Lois Mai Chan (University of Kentucky) and Ed O’Neill (OCLC) discussed the formative stages and background of the IFLA working group on the Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records (FRSAR).
It was the first time that this discussion group was scheduled for a full two hour time slot, and the chair and vice-chair sought out individuals to report on their work, anticipating filling the time slot, which we did. There was positive feedback on the length of the meeting.
The group ran out of time and did not discuss the ALCTS Strategic Plan. Copies of the plan were distributed and individuals were encouraged to provide feedback on the plan before February 7, 2006.
There were approximately sixty-five attendees (it was standing room only), and the attendees actively participated in the questions and answer portion of the meeting.
Cataloging Norms Discussion GroupThree papers were presented to approximately sixty participants. Co-Chair Sandy Chen introduced the three speakers, and Co-Chair Duncan Stewart moderated.
Qiang Jin (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) discussed "Eliminating Redundant Entries in Bibliographic Records." Her paper proposed that the elimination of redundant entries in bibliographic records would help reduce user confusion when searching for resources by heads of state, etc. Jin suggested that by using bi-directional See references in authority records, catalogers would no longer need to make added entries in bibliographic records for persons who function in more than role because See also references in the authority records would collocate the bibliographic records. In a system with full authority control, the cross-references would be generated by a user's search. Jin provided examples of revised authority records for heads of states with additional cross references and suggested that AACR2 21.4D1 be revised to exclude making an added entry under the personal heading for the person. The presentation resulted in a lively question and answer period during which such questions about users' ability to recognize and understand cross-references in OPACs, how the elimination of added entries would adversely affect keyword searching, particularly for those users who expect catalogs to function like commercial search engines, how the proposal would affect retrieval in systems that are not under full authority control, and how this issue extends beyond the cataloging rules—it was agreed that this issue is one of search structure and record display as well.
Rebecca Routh (Northwestern University) presented a paper on "Measuring Cataloging Accuracy" based on her library's model of cataloging revision designed to calculate the rate of staff error in editing catalog copy, assigning valid Dewey call numbers, and performing authority control. She explained that the program followed a reorganization of the technical services department that revealed varying levels of cataloging experience and accuracy. The program, developed three years ago, is limited to errors that affect access. A conscious decision was made to focus on "accuracy rate" rather than "error rate." The program has resulted in an increase in accuracy overall, although it has cost supervisors a large amount of time. Questions from participants revealed that the program had no appreciable impact on speed of cataloging and that the program provided new insights into problem areas that require additional training. Rebecca also explained in more detail how the percentage of errors is calculated and provided a sample of the worksheet used to identify and calculate cataloging errors.
Charlene Chou (Columbia University) evaluated trends in digital libraries in her paper "Multilingual Digital Libraries: Viewing from MARC, Google, Babel Fish, etc." She suggested that one of the key factors in implementing a global library is the capability to do multilingual searching and explored the multilingual searching capabilities of Google and other search engines. Chou noted that cross-references to non-Roman scripts in authority records do not exist and questioned whether Unicode is the solution. She suggested that perhaps one record could be created collaboratively in many languages, with several countries making contributions.
Future presentation topics of current interest to catalogers were discussed. Possible areas of discussion include but are not limited to: RDA, electronic resources, FRBR, authority control, digital libraries, bibliographic control of media resources, and training of professional/paraprofessional staff. Presentations should be approximately 15-20 minutes in length. Additional time is permitted for questions and answers.
Copy Cataloging Discussion GroupThe Copy Cataloging Discussion Group discussed issues related to the unique Library of Congress (LC) practice of using cataloging level “7” for some copy cataloging records even if the record is a more complete record than minimal. In summary, any non-PCC records (no 042 of “PCC”) that LC obtains from other sources will have the Encoding Level (LDR/17) changed to “7” and an 042 added of “lccopycat.” LC uses the “7” rather than a higher encoding level because they do not necessarily check and complete all the fixed fields, 6XX, and 7XX headings.
Rich Greene of OCLC provided a summary of the process of loading LC copy cataloging records to OCLC's WorldCat. The record matching of LC records to WorldCat is more extensive than other files to identify predecided matches to avoid erroneous matches. Fifteen elements in the bibliographic record are used to ensure reliable matching. Merges are based on a ranking system. An lccopycat record, especially an encoding level "7" (EL7) record is lower in the seventeen levels of hierarchy so may be replaced with an OCLC member record.
Luiz Mendez provided a succinct overview of copy cataloging workflow and how it is impacted by the LC practice of using "EL7" in lccopycat records. Awareness of the LC "EL7 lccopycat" records should change practices for what is used in "Rapid Cataloging" (records accepted as is) and how "Full Copy Cataloging" reviews and edits records. As well as informing librarians of the impact of the LC "EL7" records on their copy cataloging, Luiz also recommended changes for LC and OCLC. Of significance to OCLC libraries is the current practice that 050 tags may be changed to 090, and some LC added subject headings may be lost. Further review of the impact of these records on copy cataloging in local libraries will be conducted between now and ALA Annual with further discussion at the June meeting.
Practices at both LC and OCLC may change as a result of this session. LC realized that this practice was having a greater impact on the cataloging community than they imagined. Several LC representatives besides Judith Mansfield attended to learn how their cataloging practices impact the copy cataloging community. Rich Greene of OCLC said they will also be reviewing their practices, in light of the impact on copy cataloging. Both LC and OCLC said they would seriously consider the recommendations of Luiz Mendes (UCLA) to retain all the LC modifications to the bibliographic record and to clearly identify lccopycat records that are more than a true encoding level "7" (Minimal) record.
Heads of Cataloging Discussion GroupAnn O’Bryan, Head of Bibliographic and Metadata Services and Liaison to Labor Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, led a discussion on the difficulties and conflicts faced by middle managers. She presented several scenarios and there was lively discussion.
As a manager reporting to her library dean, O’Bryan discussed the opportunities and challenges of dealing with upper management. Cooperation was a common theme in the scenarios she presented. O’Bryan also facilitated a discussion about collecting statistics in cataloging departments. Numerous participants explained their statistical procedures. The need to provide narrative statements explaining the statistics to upper management was emphasized. Marina Kolesnik of MARCNow Innovative Solutions presented her findings of a study of best practices in catalog department operations. There was much discussion and interest and many requests for her handout after the presentation.
Kolesnik presented the results of her survey on how cataloging managers prepare for the digital age and deal with outsourcing vendors. The demographics of the population in her study were unclear. The majority of the respondents (63 percent) in the MARCNow study did not create MARC records for all of their electronic resources as they preferred to use other means in locating these tools. Fifty-eight percent of the respondents also indicated that they prefer to train existing staff to catalog resources rather than hire new staff or outsource the work. Kolesnik also solicited the opinions of Heads of Cataloging Discussion Group participants to generate a lively discussion about outsourcing options.
There was an opportunity for comments on the ALCTS Strategic Plan, but since it had been discussed at other meetings at Midwinter, attendees had no additional comments.
The chair announced that the plan for sponsoring an ALCTS program in New Orleans on the cataloging of music recordings was cancelled due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on Tulane University, one of the participants. Sylvia Hall-Ellis, Ph.D., a professor in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Denver, will present on competencies for entry-level catalogers in the twenty-first century at the June meeting in New Orleans.
Map Cataloging Discussion GroupThe group read and discussed the charge since it is up for review this year. The group decided to change its name to “ALCTS CCS/MAGERT Discussion Group for Cataloging Cartographic Resources.” The group also decided to replace “map” with “cartographic materials” to cover all appropriate formats. Elizabeth Eggleston updated the group with an interim report on the MAGERT Cataloging and Classification Committee Holdings Task Force for Map Sets and Series. The task force is looking at two different ways of recording holdings--digitization or creation of index maps, and application of the MARC holdings format. Paige Andrew will join the taskforce. Paige has been working with using online digital index maps to record holdings. He will explore how to record editions, as well as holdings, using a digital index map. The Task Force is aiming to submit a discussion paper at the MARBI meeting at the ALA annual meeting. Other libraries discussed their methods for recording map set and series information within their OPACs.
Colleen Cahill reported that Jimmie Lundgren was putting forward a Discussion Paper at the MARBI meeting on adding coordinates to authority records. The idea is that a set of coordinates will represent a bounding box for a place name in an authority record and will allow retrieval of all materials linked by that common place name. There has been some discussion on the subject on the SUBCOOR listserv at LOC.GOV.
SUBCOOR is a moderated computer forum open to anyone interested in discussing issues related to the use of geographic coordinates for place name searches of various metadata systems. It provides an opportunity for members of the international community to participate in the discussion, which relates to the investigation of the need, format, and use of coordinates to allow searching of materials by geographically based interfaces.
Information was provided about upcoming map cataloging workshops. Paige Andrew, Mary Larsgard, and Susan Moore are the organizers of an ALCTS Preconference map cataloging workshop to be given at the 2006 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Carolyn Kadri (also representing Nancy Kandoian) and Seanna Tsung proposed a pre-conference on cataloging pre-twentieth century, rare, or antiquarian cartographic materials to be held at the 2007 annual conference in Washington, D.C. with a conference program as an alternate plan.
The meeting ended with an open forum for questions and answers. The question of how to handle city GIS data acquired through electronic transmission was raised. It resulted in a productive discussion of the topic.
Authority Control Interest GroupDuring the reporting session, the speakers described various developments in the field. Taylor Surface, Manager, Digital Collections Services, OCLC, reported on the progress of the OCLC Terminologies Pilot Project, which "[explores] a service that provides access to multiple thesauri for libraries, museums, and archives to create consistent metadata for their collections providing mappings across thesauri to assist in relating terminology." They hope to offer the service by June 2006 through the Connexion Client, in combination with the Research Pane option in Internet Explorer (version 6 and higher).
Ann Della Porta, Acting Coordinator, Integrated Systems Office, Library of Congress, provided an update on various issues relating to authority control at LC. She announced improved access to LC’s online catalog and authorities database, the integration of six overseas offices into the online catalog, and the completion of their Unicode conversion. She provided additional information on the continuing issues with vernacular data, particularly questions about how to handle non-Roman data in authority records. Finally, she elaborated on several recent changes in LC’s cataloging policy for parks, tribes, and dates in personal names.
Glenn Patton, Director, WorldCat Quality Management, OCLC, reported on authorities-related topics at OCLC, including upcoming changes in MARC authorities records, improvements to Connexion authority control functions, and a proposal to add 781 fields to authority records for geographic names. He also provided an update on database cleanup at OCLC, involving second indicator values in headings and changes in MeSH headings. OCLC is looking into developing an RSS feed to alert libraries to changes in authority records, which will especially help those without vendor supplied updates.
Jennifer Bowen, Joint Steering Committee, provided a brief report on the status of RDA, with some basic information on Part II (currently Chapter 21, AACR2) and Part III (authority control). She noted that Chapter 3 of the Part I draft had just been released for comment, and that the deadline for comments on Part I is February 7, 2006. A draft of Part II will be released for comment between May and September of 2006. The Part III draft is expected to come out between October 2006 and April 2007.
Ed Glazier, Principal Analyst, Research Libraries Group, provided an update on authority issues in the RLIN21 environment. New features in RLIN21 include a browse option from the Heading Browse Display for cross references; explicit see, see also, and narrower term displays; new indexes such as Heading Word, Pending Heading Word, and Fuller Personal Name Word; as well as the ability for NACO users to generate authority records from bibliographic records. RLIN21 will soon provide conflict checking to identify records that would normalize to the same form, with daily notification of conflicts to the Library of Congress becoming available later this year.
Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries Discussion GroupThe meeting was devoted to discussing and gathering further input from the audience on the six key challenges established at the Janus Conference, a recent conference held at Cornell University to discuss the future of collection development. During the first two hours each challenge was identified and explained:
- Recon (led by Edward Shreeves, University of Iowa) seeks to implement a plan for a national mass digitization project to convert holdings in North American research libraries
- Procon (led by Stephen Bosch, University of Arizona) seeks to ensure that future publications are in digital form
- Core collection (led by Thomas Izbicki, Johns Hopkins University) will develop core collections of materials in selected subject areas
- Licensing principles (led by Cynthia Shelton, University of California Los Angeles, for Dianne McCutcheon, National Library of Medicine) ensures that research libraries will negotiate collectively with publishers on the best possible access to e-content
- Archiving (led by Karen Schmidt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) seeks to provide assurance of persistent and predictable access to information resources, both print and digital, over time
- Alternative channels to scholarly communication (led by Margaret Landesman, University of Utah) will identify existing efforts and additional dollars to jump-start new models of scholarship.
Collection Management and Development in Public Libraries Discussion GroupThe group discussed how consortial purchasing can provide funding to add new journals and databases. Participants concurred that consortial discounts can provide limited funding to assist with the purchase of other materials. The main advantage of consortial purchasing is the opportunity to gain access to holdings of partner libraries. Whether the current models of consortial purchasing can be sustained was debated.
The group discussed use statistics for electronic resources. Problems with vendor consistency and reporting were discussed. Some libraries are using SFX information to supplement vendor supplied statistics. Metasearch applications can inflate use statistics. Consortial purchasing makes determining price per use more difficult. Although problems exist with present systems to gather data, inadequate data is better than no data when making cancellation decisions.
Ways to protect book budgets were discussed. The following suggestions were made: 1. Get academic departments to share the cost of resources for which their faculty and students are primary users; 2. Assess a library resource fee into student tuition package; 3. Strengthen cooperative resource sharing with neighboring institutions; 4. Cooperate with other libraries to aggressively negotiate for better contracts on e-resources; 5. Maintain a minimum percentage of the materials budget for monographs; 6. Recruit donors for funding for e-resources and brand such resources with donors' names; 7. Use endowment funding; 8. Prepay multi-year subscriptions; 9. Compare use statistics across disciplines to re-allocate funds where they're most needed; 10. Get more involved in scholarly communication initiatives.
The group also discussed patron acceptance of e-books. Titles selected specifically for an institution's needs are used more often. The ease of electronic searching makes reference e-books particularly valuable. Changing technologies, growth of distance learning programs, and increasingly sophisticated users can result in an upswing in use of e-books. Adequately describing e-books in the OPAC is important to patrons.
Tools and techniques for collection analysis were discussed. Participants evaluated various commercial tools for collection analysis and concluded that none adequately address their needs. Most used a combination of a commercial tool and an in-house system. Representatives from five universities shared best practices at their libraries. Common needs of academic libraries in the area of collection analysis include formulating goals, developing effective tools, hiring people with pertinent training and skills. The group concurred that a Web site of best practices would be helpful.
The last topic discussed was open access (OA) journals: policies and practices. The most common practice regarding selection is for bibliographers to select titles from the DOAJ using the same criteria used for subscription-based journals. Some participants reported faculty members in academic departments requesting specific OA journals. Once selected, OA journals should be added to the catalog and online journal A-Z list. Acceptance of AO journals by faculty may require a shift in the climate of the institution, giving the content of the journal as much importance as the name on the masthead. Tenured faculty are more likely to publish in OA journals than non-tenured faculty. Indexing of AO journals by A&I database would make the journals more visible and more accepted by university communities.
More complete reports of the discussions of each topic will be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) Discussion & Interest Groups
Cooperative Preservation StrategiesThe Cooperative Preservation Strategies Discussion Group met for the first time in San Antonio. This new discussion group was formed by combining the Cooperative Preservation Discussion Group and the Small to Mid-sized Preservation Program Discussion Group. Two speakers were invited to lead a discussion on planning for disaster recovery.
Lori Foley, Director of Field Service for the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC), Andover, MA introduced a new tool to assist cultural institutions with the creation of disaster recovery plans. dPlan is a free online planning tool that was developed with IMLS National Leadership Grant funds. dPlan is an easy-to-use template which provides up-to-date disaster recovery information and enables institutions of any size to create a disaster recovery plan.
The plan has been available for use by institutions in Massachusetts since 2004 and will soon be available to institutions outside Massachusetts. It contains a list of disaster recovery suppliers for Massachusetts and nation wide providers. dPlan allows each institution to add information about their local disaster recovery suppliers. As the number of institutions across the country using dPlan grows, the NEDCC will incorporate these local suppliers into dPlan. Currently, dPlan can be viewed by institutions outside of Massachusetts at www.zaks.net/dplan. When dPlan is ready for release to all, it will be found at www.dplan.org.
Sheryl Davis has been Preservation Officer at the University of California-Riverside Libraries since 1985. She recently moved to Special Collections full-time. In 1987, she founded the first disaster response network in California, the Inland Empire Libraries Disaster Response Network (IELDRN). Mutual aid agreements allow libraries and other institutions in a common geographic area to plan to assist one another in times of disaster. When a disaster occurs, a quick response time can be essential to mitigate further damage. A mutual aid agreement can offer a readily available source of trained staff and recovery supplies.
The IELDRN libraries agreed to pay a one-time $150 fee to join. This fee was enough to buy the recovery supplies and cargo containers to establish the network. Annual workshops are offered. Network meetings are held at the various libraries and give the members an opportunity to do a walk-through of the site. Each member library agrees to replenish the disaster supplies used to at their library. For more information about the IELDRN agreement, go to ieldrn.org.
Another helpful resource to be aware of is the Disaster Mitigation Planning Assistance Web site, http://matrix.msu.edu/~disaster/index.php. This site provides lists of disaster recovery suppliers and examples of disaster recovery plans.
Library BindingThere was an industry update from Jay Fairfield, President of the Library Binding Institute. Tom Teper gave a fifteen minute talk on his Library Binding book including updates on an anticipated publication date and a brief history on how idea for the book developed.
There was a discussion on importance of regional workshops and what the group felt their staff should be learning at library binding workshops. This topic will be continued at the Annual meeting in New Orleans, in addition to discussion of the San Jose workshop and the New Orleans preconference.
The second major discussion focused on product evolution and what needs to happen next in the industry. There has been a trend to "overbind" particularly for music books. Consensus of the group was that this topic requires further discussion at the Annual meeting in New Orleans.
PARS Discussion GroupAimee Primeaux from Northeast Documents Conservation Center spoke about the Persistence of Memory and School for Scanning Conferences held in fall 2005. Their next conference will be in December 2006 in Phoenix, and there will be scholarship and networking opportunities.
There was an update from Joan Gatewood on the Google Print project at the University of Michigan. In the second round of the scanning project, the file naming system was streamlined to match just the bar-code, and volumes are no longer gathered under one folder. Gaps have been identified, items are flagged as too brittle, foldouts, binding, and not scanned, but this rejection rate is low. Quality is still very good, but working with Google has changed everyone’s job from the top to the bottom, which maybe “pennywise and pound foolish”.
Cafeterias and Coffee Shops in or around library buildings do not seem to have an adverse effect on resources, given that trash is collected twice a day and there are designated break areas. Enforcement of a no food or drink policy was never easy and did not seem to reduce food related damage to materials.
There were impromptu reports from discussion groups. The Recording Discussion Group discussed the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts’ recorded media survey and selection. The Cooperative Preservation Strategies Discussion Group discussed D-Plan, a disaster planning tool and the Inland Empire disaster response network. The Education Discussion Group discussed the ALCTS education summit and core competencies and continuing education workshops.
New Orleans (Annual 2006) was discussed. More details are needed for the volunteer “Angels Projects.” Other new topics include crisis mobilization: the first forty-eight days, IMLS grants to train the trainers (establish infrastructure for preservation and recovery), and an education campaign may be more effective than rolling up our sleeves.
Physical Quality and Treatment of Library Materials Discussion GroupThere was a free ranging discussion on topics of concern in the field and which might make good topics for presentations at ALA Annual in New Orleans. It was a very lively meeting and the participants seemed truly involved in topics and interested in the sharing their views.
The following topics were discussed:
- Digital projectsÃ¯Â¿Â½ their impact on selection, staffing, and resources. Discussion pointed out the increasing integration of these projects into day to day workflow and the drain of resources from collection care budget to digital preparation.
- Commercial binding: Is it still lively, vigorous and supported at your institution? Lively discussion confirmed that the reports of the death of commercial binding are greatly exaggerated but that priorities are shifting from periodicals to monographs. Shifting from standard library binding to more wide ranging products was also discussed.
- Related topics: Where are the conservators of the future going to come from and how can technicians advance in the field? Are there any coherent surveys indicating what skills and training are needed and expected for conservator level staff and managers?
Other topics briefly discussed: were newspaper projects and collection care prioritization. Two topics will be chosen for presentation at the Annual meeting in New Orleans.
Preservation Administration Discussion GroupThis Discussion Group began with four break-out groups, simultaneously discussing topics of recent interest on the PADG listserv. Bob Harriman of Preservation Technologies led a discussion about future directions in preservation management. Karen Brown of SUNY Albany led a discussion about an Inter-Library Loan sticker policy. Nancy Kraft of the University of Iowa led a discussion about the role of PARS in regional disaster response. Cathy Mook-Martyniak of the University of Florida led a discussion about the creation of institutional repositories. Following the group discussions, each group leader reported out to the whole group.
Connie Brooks of Stanford University reported on the nature and status of the Audit Checklist for Certifying Digital Repositories and answered questions about the document. Jeanne Drewes of Michigan State University spoke to request the assembled preservation professionals consider publishing through ALCTS.
The break afforded attendees an opportunity to view eight posters about a variety of topics.
Alfred Lemmon of Historic New Orleans gave a chilling report about his institution's high level of emergency preparedness and how it was not a match for Katrina's challenge. Tom Connors of the University of Maryland followed with an update about the Heritage Emergency National Task Force.
The meeting ended with announcements from NEH and various attendees.
Preservation Instruction, Education and Outreach Discussion GroupThis meeting was devoted to discussing the ALCTS Education Summit, held on January 20, 2006 in San Antonio. Yvonne Carignan of the University of Maryland, Steve Dalton of Boston College, Kris Kern of Portland State University, and Ann Marie Willer of the University of North Texas participated in the Summit and reported back to the group. The discussion following their report focused on the list of core competencies developed by the discussion group last year, a new list developed during the Summit, and how to respond to the ALCTS Education Committee request that PARS develop another new list of core competencies for submission by Annual 2006.
There was an action item to the PARS Education Committee: Develop a comprehensive list of core competencies for submission to the ALCTS Education Committee.
Since the chair originally selected to serve for 2005-2006 had to resign, the co-chairs of the PARS Education Committee (to which the discussion group reports) chaired the meeting. Adrienne Bell volunteered to chair the discussion group at Annual 2006 and possibly continue as a co-chair for 2006-2007.
Recording and Photographic Media Discussion GroupThe group began with an update from Kate Contakos of the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts’ symposium “A Race Against Time: Preserving Machine Based Audiovisual Media,” sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and held in Philadelphia in November 2005. Charlie Kolb also noted that the NEH will be sponsoring an open workshop on recording sound at the joint conference of Society of American Archivists, National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators and the Council of State Archivists which will be held in Washington, D.C. in August 2006.
The open discussion focused mostly on ways in which to preserve media. Some methods discussed were duplicating at the point of use, or digitizing as requested. This led into discussion of space, digital storage maintenance, delivery systems, and databases. The difficulties with databases are inclusion of sensitive information, restricting access when used for clinical research or when identity needs to be kept in confidence. Attendees discussed controlling access to databases when using remote access, as well as, providing access beyond the library and potentially to faculty. How do different institutions control this? Also discussed were legality and copyright issues. What is an archival copy, use copy, can it be distributed within the library only? Another issue is machine obsolescence, and accessing when it finally comes time to make an archival copy. The topic for the next meeting is survey tools, as it seems to be discussed the most and is in demand.
Reformatting Discussion GroupThe Reformatting Discussion Group invited professionals with expertise on the storage and reformatting of different media. The panel discussed a variety of issues concerning standards, storage and the reformatting of different media and what kinds of decisions are undertaken for the preservation of hybrid formats as well as determining what is still the original.
Goal 1. Standards
Develop, evaluate, revise, and promote standards for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving information resources in all forms.
This discussion group not only articulated some of the challenges concerning the storage, reformatting, and preservation of different media but also addressed the issues of standards, or the lack of standards, that are being followed and the problems encountered that prevent an institution from adhering to the standard for a particular format. Panelists discussed how librarians and archivists can preserve different media while at the same time providing access and the role that funding plays in reformatting decisions.
Goal 2. Best practices
Research, develop, evaluate, and implement best practices for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving information resources in all forms.
The discussion group invited experts in the field to discuss services, policies, and procedures that may serve as the best practices in the future. Each panelist discussed his/her unique institutional approach to the issue, “Too many decisions, too many possibilities: what gets to be reformatted and why, and what happens to the original media.” The perspectives included institutions with microfilm, audio, video, maps and rare books collections. The panelists identified some of the key preservation issues in trying to incorporate electronic formats and technology into libraries, archives, and collections.
Goal 3. Education
Assess the need for, sponsor, develop, administer, and promote educational programs and resources for life-long learning
The discussion group achieved this goal by bringing together a panel of experts to discuss various research projects that may have great impact on the future preservation of library and archival materials. More educational efforts are necessary in the area of refreshing and migration strategies.
Goal 4. Professional development
Provide opportunities for professional development through research, scholarship, publication, and professional service.
The discussion included some of the best practices and work being done by the Research Libraries Group, the Digital Library Federation, and Cornell University to create standards for digitizing print collections. Other movements such as the Open Content Alliance assist in creating content that will be accessible without restrictions and encourage interoperability with other cultural heritage groups such as museums.
Goal 5. Interaction and information exchange
Create opportunities to interact and exchange information with others in the library and information communities.
The panel addressed the challenges in collecting, reformatting, and storing different media in libraries and archives. The audience consisted of a variety of professionals from major research libraries (i.e. Harvard, New York University, University of Chicago, Columbia University etc), public libraries, funding agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, and vendors (i.e. Preservation Technologies, Solinet, Safe Sound Archive, Acme Bookbinding, etc) indicating the importance of this issue.
The ALA Midwinter Meeting for the PARS Reformatting Discussion Group was held at the Menger Hotel in Ballroom C meeting room on Saturday, January 21. The Reformatting Discussion Group invited professionals with expertise on the storage of particular media. They discussed different strategies for the reformatting and storage of the media for which they are most responsible and they also addressed whether they are relying on the digital or analog copy for the master preservation copy. Standards for storage were also be incorporated into the. The panelists discussed how their unique media is reformatted and under what circumstances demand dictates when to reformat from the original to another media. Different perspectives were presented that give unique insights in how reformatting is undertaken for complex or fragile print materials, and electronic formats.
This panel discussed a variety of issues concerning standards, storage and the reformatting of different media and what kinds of decisions are undertaken for the preservation of hybrid formats as well as determining what is still the original.
The panel featured:
- Perspective on Microfilm Walter Cybulski, Preservation & Collection Management Section, National Library of Medicine
- Perspective on Audio Kathleen (Katie) McCormick, Reference Archivist and Coordinator for the Oral History Program, Special Collections Dept., J. Murrey Atkins Library, University of North Carolina – Charlotte
- Perspective on Video Carlton L. Jackson, Librarian, Non-Print Media Services, University of Maryland
- Perspective on Maps Patrick McGlamery, Information and Technology Services Area Head, University of Connecticut
- Perspective on Rare Books Martin R. Kalfatovic, Head, New Media Office and Preservation Services Department, Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Intellectual Access Interest GroupThe Intellectual Access Interest Group had an abbreviated meeting at San Antonio so that members could attend the new Digital Preservation Discussion Group.
Members focused on the upcoming Annual Conference (June 2006 New Orleans) on use of the MARC 583 which all agree needs improved foundation and more comprehensive understanding within our ranks.
The group plans to:
- feature presentations reflecting multiple perspectives on institutions using the 583 (either successfully or experimentally) and
- host as open discussion with the audience about goals and challenges for using the 583 and also determine the need for more comprehensive education for preservation professionals in this area.
The group will comply with Sherry Byrne’s request to receive copies of CIC institution results from the Preservation Data and Automation Survey that was conducted, compiled and reported (in 2004) during the group’s former incarnation as the PARS Intellectual Access Committee.
Steven Riel (chair of ad-hoc Task Force to advocate for continuing PARS-CC:DA relationship) shared a draft letter (for eventual PARS Executive Committee review) advocating the critical importance of retaining a liaison between PARS and CC:DA. Lastly, there is a plan to survey PARS membership on approaches to achieving access to preservation information. The Preservation Data and Automation Survey completed in November 2004.
Serials Section (SS) Discussion & Interest Groups
Journal Costs in Academic Libraries Discussion GroupTo promote discussion and represent multiple view points, the organizers invited representatives from multiple communities to address the topic “Are We Ready for Usage Based Pricing?” Three librarians Danny Jones (Librarian, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research), John McDonald (Acquisitions Librarian, California Institute of Technology), and Will Wakeling (Associate Director for Collections and Technical Services, Northeastern University); two publishers Robert W. Boissy (Manager, Agency Relations, Springer) and Aileen McHugh (Director of Electronic Publishing, Project MUSE and Johns Hopkins University Press); and representatives from a consortium and COUNTER Christine Martire (Director for Strategic Partnerships, PALINET) and Arnold Hirschon made up the panel. October Ivins (Ivins eContent Solutions) moderated the discussion described below.
Librarians and publishers are examining ways of basing pricing of electronic resources on usage statistics. Panelists discussed the positives and problems inherent in usage-based pricing. Models based on site-wide use and pay-per-view were discussed. The general consensus of panelists and attendees seemed to be that although there are problems in basing pricing on use (e.g. what constitutes a use, how much should a use cost, and the danger of highly-used resources becoming priced too high for a library’s budget, among others), it is a useful metric that is probably better than what has come before. While consensus was not the goal, but rather to air a variety opinions, participants and the audience seemed to agree that usage data should not be the only consideration for pricing, but could be effective if combined with additional factors such as Carnegie classification, FTE, etc. to derive formula for pricing. Librarians and publishers will need to work together to determine which models will work best for all concerned in each market.
Research Libraries Discussion GroupThe discussion topic was "Breaking Up the Licensing Log Jam." This discussion, led by Judy Luther and Selden Durgom Lamoureux, addressed the difficulty many publishers and libraries encounter in the process of licensing electronic content. Smaller libraries lack the wherewithal (staff time, legal expertise, etc.) to negotiate legal documents, and even at larger and resource-richer libraries, the licensing pipeline often becomes backed up. Meanwhile, small publishers do not benefit from the economies of scale enjoyed by larger publishers; hence, licensing is a cumbersome and impractical process for them too. Possibilities for bypassing or smoothing the licensing process were discussed.
The group discussed Objective 2.1 "Sponsor programs and open forums to encourage collaboration and discussion of practices and problems." Although we did not create a corresponding tactical initiative beforehand, our program fell directly into this area.