Midwinter 2007 Reports

Discussion and Interest Groups Report on Meeting Activities in Seattle

Below are abstracts of the activities of ALCTS discussion and interest groups that took place during the 2007 ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 19–24, in Seattle based on reports received by the editor as of February 6, 2007. 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.


Division Discussion & Interest Groups

Authority Control Interest Group (ACIG)

The LITA/ALCTS CCS Authority Control Interest Group met on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2007. A business meeting followed. The attendance varied throughout the afternoon; the highest count was 130. (There is an overlap between the audience ACIG attracts and those who attend the PCC meeting that begins at 4:00pm; scheduling the meeting beyond 3:30 is problematic.)

The meeting began with an update from Ann Della Porta, Assistant Coordinator of the ILS Program at the Library of Congress (LC) on issues related to authorities. These included, in part, a snapshot of statistics from the Database Improvement Unit, changes to subject headings for God, Greek and Chinese characters added to LCC, and non-roman data in authorities. An opportunity for questions was provided following her report. The OCLC update was distributed as a handout prepared by Glenn Patton and Becky Dean. It provided news on Z39.50 access for name and subject authority records, the authority history database, and the OCLC terminologies service.

The bulk of the meeting consisted of presentations by three individuals, each representing a company that offers authority processing. The panelists were:

  • Mary Mastraccio, Cataloging and Authorities Librarian, MARCIVE, Inc.
  • Marsha Hunt, Database Services Librarian, Library Technologies, Inc.
  • John Reese, Product Manager, Authority Control Team, Backstage Library Works

Panelists responded to a common set of “twenty questions” that ACIG had prepared and sent to them in early December. Read the speaker’s presentations.

The LITA Program Planning Committee has vetted the ACIG program scheduled for ALA Annual in Washington, D.C. The program title is “Authority Control Meets Faceted Browse.” It is intended to introduce the audience to facet theory, showcase implementations that use faceted approaches for online catalogs, and facilitate discussion on the relationship between structured authority data (LC NACO NAF and SAF) and this type of navigation.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Kathryn La Barre, Ph.D., Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kathryn’s dissertation research explored the use of facet theory by information architects building commercial websites (see http://leep.lis.uiuc.edu/publish/klabarre/overview.htm). Kathryn will introduce or re-introduce the legacy theory of faceted analysis and classification to the audience.
  • Charley Pennell, Principal Cataloger for Metadata, North Carolina State University (NCSU). Charley has been part of the Endeca Implementation Team at NCSU and will share his experiences related to that implementation and NCSU’s authority files.
  • Mary Charles Lasater, Authorities Coordinator, Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt is a developmental partner with Ex Libris for Primo. Mary Charles will share her experiences with Primo’s faceted browse feature.

Three speaker invitations are currently pending. An additional speaker who has experience with a Siderean implementation, plus another who has developed an open source tool, WPopac, that facilitates faceted browse have been invited. The intention is to reframe the current understanding of faceting, and to take a fresh look at our authority structures and data related to its ability to be repurposed to support these newly possible types of displays. Speakers will be our own experts (librarians, rather than vendors).

ACIG’s current Vice Chair/Chair-Elect is Edward Swanson, and he will assume the office of Chair after ALA Annual in Washington, D.C.

Automated Acquisitions/In-Process Control Systems Discussion Group

The discussion topic was: FRBR: Will it positively impact Acquisitions? If so, how, and what will it take to get there?

Discussion Group Chair, Dan Miller of Blackwell's Book Services, greeted guests at the door and distributed handouts of the Entity Relationships in FRBR. Attendance included a total of sixty-four guests, the chair, and three panelists.

The panelists were:

  • Angela D’Agostino, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for R.R. Bowker
  • Ted Fons, Acquisitions Product Manager at Innovative Interfaces
  • Eric Redman, IT Architect for Blackwell’s Book Services

Opening remarks were made by Dan Miller, who introduced the panelists and provided a brief overview and history of FRBR.

Miller’s remarks included background information he obtained from a document prepared by the IFLA Study Group entitled Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records: Final Report. This document was the result of a 1990 seminar in Stockholm that focused on the bibliographic record to answer the following questions: What did it aim to do? What are the basic levels of functional and data requirements?

The group concluded that during the previous several years the environment for cataloging standards has changed dramatically. They noted that the bibliographic record was used not only by libraries, but also by publishers, distributors, and retailers. Furthermore, it has a wide range of application such as collection development and acquisitions. The group recommended a basic bibliographic record that would allow agencies to reduce their costs through creation of briefer records, while ensuring user needs are met. FRBR was developed to meet these requirements.

FRBR represents an attempt to apply relational database modeling techniques to bibliographic information by defining entities, relationships, and attributes. FRBR also recognizes the tasks necessary for making use of bibliographies and catalogs: the ability to find, identify, select, and obtain resources. There are three groups of entities in FRBR. Miller’s focus was on the first group of entities: the products of intellectual endeavor that are described in bibliographic records.

Miller described each entity within this first group:

  • Work: An abstract entity; the intellectual creation that lies behind the various expressions of the work.
  • Expression: The intellectual realization of a work; the form that a work takes.
  • Manifestation: The physical embodiment of an expression of a work.
  • Item: A single exemplar of a manifestation; a concrete entity; individual copies of a manifestation.

The discussion was then turned over to the three panelists. Ted Fons, Innovative Interfaces, was the first speaker. He said FRBR was first developed at Innovative as a tool for cataloging. At Innovative, although there was interest in developing the tool for the staff side, there was even more interest in developing it for the public side. The tool was successfully developed for the staff side, but a usable tool for the public is still in development. The staff tool represents the four FRBR categories, work, expression, manifestation, and item in a nice tree structure.

For collections folks in particular, FRBR is a great tool because it gives a nice representation of the staff’s holdings in a glance. In the FRBR view, entities such as language, format, etc. are all represented. The biggest advantage of FRBR representation for them is that it deals with a lot of intellectual items that cascade downward. It is particularly useful for the law library, making it easy to find the items. The tool has been extremely useful on the staff side because it speeds up the searching/finding process.

The second speaker was Eric Redman, Blackwell’s Book Services. Redman has worked at Blackwell’s for over twenty years. His talk focused on the use of FRBR from the bookseller's perspective. In 2000, Blackwell’s was facing the problem of an aging system. They needed a suitable alternative for representing their database holdings. Rather than displaying just titles of books, they wanted to display works. A new database was designed to gather information about books into a works family. This new database, designed on the FRBR model, allowed Blackwell’s to display all related data at hand, including new titles from the publisher, etc. This enables the vendor to link and deduplicate orders across the work family.

An online tool is used for linking by dragging things, such as expressions, and putting them where they belong under the correct work in Blackwell’s internal database. From the vendor's perspective, this is helpful, not only for deduping, but also for making a single full-text preview available for any manifestation of a work on Blackwell’s web-based Collection Manager selection and ordering system. Although this new tool is currently in use at Blackwell's by the staff, they are still experimenting with how to present the data to the customer. It would require users to learn the vocabulary of FRBR. Blackwell’s also hopes to receive information from its publishers early in the cycle that would identify like manifestations.

The last speaker, Angela D'Agostino, is part of a consortium that submitted a proposal to the International Standards Organization (ISO) for appointment as the International Registration Authority for the International Standard Text Code (ISTC). While ISTC is not, strictly speaking, part of FRBR, it may play an important role in its implementation. The ISTC will be used for the efficient identification of textual works. A specific code will be applied to a text work and all its manifestations. Codes can be assigned in advance for anything textually generated. The reason for establishing the ISTC is threefold: search and retrieval, rights and permissions, and publisher work flow. It has taken a long time to get the ISTC off the ground because a central repository needs to be established to prevent publishers from using duplicate numbers (similar to ISBNs). An RFP for developing a central repository ISO standard should be published this year and rolled out by the end of 2007. FRBR relates to the ISTC because it is a clear process that identifies manifestations and works that need to be identified with the ISTC.

Questions were then taken from the audience.

  • Question: What can libraries do to impress upon publishers some interest in FRBR and ISTC?
    Answer: Let them know it will help them to find all manifestations available to them.
  • Question: Is the FRBR tool available from the Innovative [Website]?
    Answer: No. It needs to be installed on one’s system. It is not currently available for OPACs. A library would need to request it from Innovative.
  • Question: Are any Innovative libraries using the tool?
    Answer: Only one European library.
  • Question: Is the Innovative index and display only on the deconstructed record and then FRBRized at the bibliographic level?
    Answer: Data is stored in records for appropriate display.
  • Question: Why does FRBR seem to have fallen off the radar?
    Answer: It has not caught attention.
  • Question: How will ISTC find home in MARC records?
    Answer: We need to first establish values, and then work on technical implementation.
  • Question: Who will assign ISTC numbers?
    Answer: A central registry will assign them. The numbers will be distributed in a manner similar to that used for ISBNs.
  • Question: How are publishers responding to the ISTC?
    Answer: Publishers are using it to help libraries have alternative selections. This helps publishers sell more books.
  • Question: Is the ISTC applied to digitized versions of a manifestation? Does it have a separate ISTC?
    Answer: No. Different manifestations link to one ISTC. This is complicated when applied to digital resources. For example, since many e-books are now being distributed by chapter, some feel each chapter should have its own ISBN. There is also disagreement about this approach.
  • Question: Do you have a sense of whether OCLC has any plans to take up the retrospective issue [ISTC assignment]?
    Answer: Not at this time.

Catalog Form and Function Interest Group

The ALCTS Task Force on Non-English Access and the Catalog Form and Function Interest Group co-sponsored a forum on the Task Force’s report at the ALA Midwinter Meeting on Saturday, January 20. Sixty-seven people attended the session.

The Task Force on Non-English Access was charged in October 2005 by the ALCTS Board of Directors to review past and current activities for providing access to materials in non-English languages, and to make recommendations for future actions by ALCTS and others. The report included recommendations for technical specifications, cataloging guidelines, continuing education, communication, and staffing. The full report and a complete list of the task force members are available on the ALCTS website.

Beth Picknally Camden, the task force chair, provided an overview of the report and discussed its six recommendations. She invited the audience to comment upon the report’s findings with the understanding that they would be incorporated into the feedback summary report to ALCTS along with other comments already received via the task force’s comment form and listserv. Other task force members in the audience contributed to the discussion.

The Forum was followed by a brief business meeting for the Catalog Form and Function Interest Group. Laura Akerman was elected as Vice-Chair for the remainder of 2006/2007 and Chair Elect for 2007/2008. Preliminary topics considered for ALA Annual 2007 included a follow-up session on the task force’s recommendations.

Creative Ideas in Technical Services Discussion Group

Approximately sixty-five participants attended the Midwinter 2007 meeting of the Creative Ideas in Technical Services Discussion Group, despite a last-minute room change. Six of the nine proposed topics for breakout discussions took place, based on participant interest and volunteer availability. The following topics were discussed:

  • Using MARC records from United States vendors and non-United States bibliographic agencies
  • Employing temporary librarians and other staff in technical services
  • Making the last five years of your career before retirement the best/most productive
  • Planning work space for technical services
  • Outsourcing journal check-in
  • Creating a catalog front end that integrates well in the Amazoogle environment.

The forty evaluation forms that were returned contained mostly positive feedback, and there were several suggestions for future discussion topics.

The discussion group’s meeting and topics were announced on several listservs, the Midwinter Wiki, and through ALCTS. The number of advance volunteers to record and facilitate was lower than in past years, but with the elimination of some topics and a few volunteers on the spot, all volunteer positions were filled. A full report of the discussion will be submitted to Technical Services Quarterly for future publication.

There have were two volunteers for the next vice-chair. The current chair and vice-chair will make a decision and inform ALCTS by the Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Electronic Resources Interest Group

Chair Allene F. Hayes welcomed newly elected Vice-Chair, Luiz Mendes, and thanked the outgoing Chair, Angela Riggio, for a job well done, and recognized former chairs, Susan Leister and Jina Wakamoto who have remained active and supportive of activities to date.

Hayes noted that all slides from the program would be available on the ALCTS ERIG Web page soon after the Midwinter Meeting. Volunteers were solicited to assist Hayes with hosting an ALCTS ERIG Wiki and/or a Blog. There are two volunteers.

Immediate Past-Chair, Angela Riggio shared information on the Digital Library Federation (DLF) Electronic Resource Management Initiative (ERMI) Phase 2 Steering Group which has been investigating interoperability between integrated library system acquisitions modules and electronic resource management systems. The ERMI-2 subcommittee charged with this work has released a draft white paper of their findings. The report is available a The steering group is very interested in feedback and the amount and type of feedback received will help gauge whether or not there is sufficient support and energy in our community to warrant further research in this area. Submit comments by March 15, 2007.

The program titled “Metadata Communities: What is in RDA for You?” followed. Metadata experts discussed the upcoming cataloging code Resource Description and Access ( RDA) and its relationship to specific metadata communities. They focused on issues such as: how is RDA faring with the different metadata communities? If RDA is attempting to be "all things for all," will it accomplish this goal? There have been many commentaries to the code revisions from "traditional cataloging" communities, but what is it to different metadata communities? There is little direct information from the metadata communities about the current revisions to the cataloging code and its potential to serve as a content standard for different communities, and its relationship to other standards as well as current metadata practices.

The panelists were:

  • Barbara Tillet, Library of Congress, provided an overview on RDA along with comments on the issues of RDA being adapted as it gathers input from these communities.
  • Murtha Baca, Getty Research Institute, spoke on the more cultural content standards, the Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO) and metadata schemas like Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA) Lite and the Visual Resources Association (VRA) Core.
  • Sarah Shreeves, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, focused on MODS and shareable metadata. She highlighted her work with the DLF on the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Harvesting Protocol guidelines to enhance the reusability of metadata.
  • Mary Woodley, California State University, Northridge, discussed how RDA and the Dublin Core (DC) community and lessons to learn from one another.

Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group (NRMIG)

The midwinter meeting of the Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group (NRMIG) consisted of a panel discussion followed by a business meeting. The discussion topic was "Metadata Creation and Management," and featured three speakers: Diane Hillman, Cornell University; Suzanne Pilsk, Smithsonian Institution Libraries; and Jody Perkins, Miami University. The presentations generated much discussion, particularly on the topics of staff training and workflow management.

A business meeting followed the discussion. Greta de Groat, NRMIG’s liaison to the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) provided an update on Resource for Description and Access ( RDA). Program Co-Chairs Michael Babinec and Holly Mercer provided an update on the program for Annual 2008: "Bringing Order to Chaos, Managing Metadata for Digital Projects." Future program topics will be discussed on the NRMIG listserv following the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Publications chair, Jennifer O'Brien Roper, was not able to attend the Midwinter Meeting, and intern Jen Wolfe reported on the recently established Metadata blog available at http://blogs.ala.org/nrmig.php. Holly Long, NRMIG's LITA liaison, listed LITA meetings of possible interest to NRMIG attendees. Brian Surratt, NRMIG Chair, announced that NRMIG is accepting nominations for officers to be elected at the ALA 2008 Annual Conference.

Newspaper Discussion Group

The Newspaper Discussion Group met on Saturday, January 20, 2007. Following introductions by the chair and attendees, chair Sue Kellerman reported on the recent Division review of the Discussion Group by the ALCTS Organization & Bylaws Committee (O&B). O&B periodically reviews ALCTS-level committees, discussion groups, and interest groups and reports to the ALCTS Board on the status of each group under review and recommends whether the group should continue as is or if change is needed. After submitting historical information on the establishment of the discussion group and sharing reports of minutes from previous meetings, the PARS representative on O&B recommended that “�the activities of the [Newspaper] Discussion Group should continue.” Kellerman will be attending the O&B meeting on Sunday, January 21, 2007 to answer questions that the Committee may have on the Discussion Group. [Note: On Sunday, January 21, O&B agreed with the recommendation that the Discussion Group continue as established].

Invited speaker Mark Sweeney from the Library of Congress (LC) provided an overview and update on the progress of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) to the thirty-eight attendees. Highlights of Sweeney’s comments included:

  • NDNP is in its second year with six pilot projects (development phase).
  • NDNP coverage years – 1880-1910.
  • 600,000 page images will be submitted to LC by the six pilot projects by May 2007.
  • LC has developed a prototype public database of legacy USNP bibliographic data and associated digital content supplied by the six pilot projects – called American Chronicle to be unveiled to the public by the end of February 2007.
  • Technical specifications for NDNP can be found at: http://www.loc.gov/ndnp/pdf/NDNP_200709TechNotes.pdf
  • A second round of NDNP grant applications (sixteen) have been received and are under review; awards will be made in May 2007
  • NEH/LC plan to have eight to ten digital projects underway at any given time
  • In successive grants, NEN/LC hopes to expand the coverage years

Sweeney reviewed the features and capabilities of the newspaper directory and its interface to access the digital newspaper content using PowerPoint slides. The FIND features include searching newspapers by place, date of publication, frequency, language, materials type, etc. The READ feature allows for users to access images by date or range of dates, keyword, or an A-Z listing of newspapers converted and available. Users will access page-level images with highlighted keywords. Page images were converted to uncompressed TIFFs, JPEG2000, and searchable PDFs. Both thumbnails and full-screen viewing of pages allow for navigation (the thumbnail size image) while the JPEG 2000 images are for full page viewing and downloading. Historical essays for each title in the database are not yet available.

According to Sweeney, the newspaper directory section of the database is completed with 140,000 OCLC bibliographic records and associated local data records (ldrs) loaded. LC will acquire and upload USNP records annually to update the directory in American Chronicle. Sweeney mentioned that with time, commercial newspaper online content might be added as a “pay-per-view” option.

Project updates were provided from the following attendees:

  • Andrea Vanek, Henry Synder (California) reported on their NDNP experience and other newspaper grant activities underway. California is using OCLC for its NDNP project. NDNP titles selected include the San Francisco Call, the LA Herald and other smaller publications.
  • Becky Ryder (Kentucky) provided an update on their NDNP experience. Kentucky’s project work is being handled in-house. A total of 60,000 pages have been delivered to LC with the goal to deliver 100,000 pages. Kentucky has developed a microfilm evaluation form for NDNP.
  • Errol Somay (Library of Virginia) shared his NDNP experience and provided an update on status of the project.
  • Karen Estlund (Utah) offered their NDNP experience.
  • Mary McCarthy (Colorado) reported on the statewide newspaper digitization program that is underway.
  • Sue Kellerman (Pennsylvania) offered an update on their USNP project and local digitization projects including the Pennsylvania Civil War newspapers online and the Penn State student newspaper the Daily Collegian. Kellerman also reported on an IMLS grant application proposal to create a centralized newspaper repository for collegiate newspapers. The University of Illinois will submit the IMLS application by March 1.
  • Sue Kellerman mentioned that OCLC Western, PALINET, and other partners submitted an IMLS grant proposal to develop model training programs for newspaper digitization.

Future discussion topics for the discussion group include:

  • Selection for digitization
  • How to preserve current published newspapers when publishers stop microfilming
  • What is our responsibility to preserve hard copy newspapers?
  • How are online newspaper content providers preserving digital content?
  • How do we reformat in the twenty-first century?

For more information on any of the projects and/or programs mentioned see the following online resources:

Pre-Order/Pre-Catalog Searching Discussion Group

The topic for the Pre-Order Pre-Catalog Searching Discussion Group was “Series World: Evolving Approaches to Searching and Control.” Lisa Spagnolo, Chair and Acquisitions Librarian at University of California-Davis, introduced the topic by recalling the Library of Congress’ (LC) 2006 decision to cease providing Series Authority Records (SARS). This was the second of two sessions on series during the ALA Midwinter Meeting (the other program was sponsored by the Heads of Cataloging Discussion Group).

Beacher Wiggins, Director of Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access, Library of Congress (LC), presented the workflow adjustments at LC since May 2006, noting that recent workload statistics reflect an overall increase in production, with name authority records compensating for the decrease in series authority records. He also remarked that while acquisitions can often be an overlooked part of the equation, LC provided workflow documentation and training for acquisitions staff, which was helpful during the transition.

Cynthia Whitacre, Manager of the WorldCat Quality and Partner Content Department at OCLC, explained the ways in which OCLC has provided support for series control through a variety of means, including modifying its program of Database Enrichment credits, altering its batch loading to protect controlled series access, performing CIP upgrades with book-in-hand from within Blackwell’s Book Services New Jersey warehouse, and working with various vendor partners to load upgrades.

Celia Wagner, Vice President of New Titles at Blackwell’s Book Services, reviewed the issue from the perspective of a materials vendor, and cited their use of a unique identification number for series as a means of providing control. She also noted that the goal of a materials vendor is to control duplication, and described the process that Blackwell’s used to perform that task.

Kathryn Loafman, Head of the Technical Services Department at University of North Texas, offered her perspective from within libraries and described the workflow changes that have taken place since the LC decision, such as acquisitions staff discontinuing a check of authority records on receipt as they had previously done.

The ensuing discussion was lively and touched upon a variety of topics including automating series review, foreign language series and the future of the series as libraries move to electronic content.

Following the topical discussion, Bob Schatz, Vice Chair of the Discussion Group and Director of United States Sales at Coutts Library Services, led a discussion to consider both the name and the future direction of the discussion group. It was noted that, while the current name and scope of the discussion group was limiting, the group did provide a valuable forum to discuss acquisitions issues within the context and scope of other groups. An alternative name, Acquisitions Workflows Discussion Group, was proposed. The Chair and Vice Chair will work with ALCTS leadership and the leaders of other discussion groups to develop a name and scope that responds to the needs of the membership and to coordinate programming for the ALA Annual Conference.

Publisher-Vendor-Library-Relations Interest Group (PVLR)

The PVLR welcomed Amy Wood, Director of Technical Services at the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), who discussed the ALCTS Planning Database. Wood will work with PVLR in planning for future projects and for using the database when it is live.

Ideas for the next Open Forum, which will be held on June 25, 2007 in Washington, D.C., were discussed. It was decided that the next forum would focus on some aspect of e-books, as this is again a hot topic. Ann-Marie Breaux of YBP and Amy McColl, Chair of PVLR, will organize the forum and compile a list of possible speakers. Other ideas included defining what is meant by the term “core collection,” which was discussed at the Janus conference. Bob Nardini, past-chair of PVLR, will take on the planning of this topic along with Amy McColl, and the plan is to hold this forum in Philadelphia in January 2008. Other ideas for future topics were “Patron-Driven Acquisition and Selection” and “Branding for Librarians, Vendors, and Publishers.”

PVLR sponsored an Open Forum on Monday morning titled “Libraries and University Presses Working Together?” It was the second of two forums dedicated to exploring the state of the university press. There was a good turnout for the early hour (about 100 people), and was likely due to the efforts of the organizers to line up stellar speakers. October Ivins of Ivins e-Content Solutions served as the moderator, and speakers included Terry Ehling, Director, Center for Innovative Publishing, Office of Scholarly Communications and Collections Development, Cornell University Library; Alex Holzman, Director, Temple University Press; and Monica McCormick, Director of Digital Publishing, North Carolina State University Libraries. The forum was organized by October Ivins and Will Wakeling (Northeastern University Libraries), and was a true discussion rather than a series of presentations. Ivins posed different questions to the panelists, who then responded. Audience members were active participants in the discussion, and those who attended made many positive comments.

Role of the Professional in Academic Research Technical Services Departments Discussion Group

The Role of the Professional in Academic Research Technical Services Discussion Group is a very informal group and the discussion is usually fluid and less structured. The group has dwindled considerably over the last few years, chiefly because it meets at the same time as another ALCTS discussion group, Creative Ideas in Technical Services. And while there is the potential for overlapping threads of discussion between the two groups, those attending the Role of the Professional Discussion Group at Midwinter felt that the two should not be merged. They believe there are enough differences to warrant having both groups.

The group also discussed removing the words “Academic Research” from the discussion group name. The consensus was that technical service departments have the same type of issues regardless of type of library, and removing the term “academic” could attract other participants from public and special libraries’ technical services departments.

The current chair will work with the O&B liaison to complete the Self Study Review. There is no current vice-chair/chair-elect, and one person indicated possible interested in “running” for the position of discussion group chair. The current chair will work with her and the others who attended to develop a slate of officers for election at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Scholarly Communications Interest Group

Four speakers discussed the ACRL/ARL Scholarly Communication Institute. Georgie Donovan (Appalachian State University), Tim Jewell (University of Washington), and Cindy Krolikowski (Wayne State University) were participants of the July 2006 Institute and reported on their experience. Kara Malenfant (Scholarly Communications and Government Relations Specialist from ACRL) discussed the Institute from the organizer's point of view. Their reports were followed by an open discussion.

Technical Services Administrators of Medium-Sized Research Libraries Discussion Group (Medium Heads)

The Technical Services Administrators of Medium-Sized Research Libraries Discussion Group met at ALA Midwinter in Seattle on Saturday, January 20, 2007 in the beautiful Hilton Seattle Sound View Room overlooking the Puget Sound. Michael Boock, the current chair, opened the meeting by providing an overview of the discussion topic “Changes in Responsibilities, Organization and Staffing within Technical services Departments.” Approximately forty-five attendees sat at six round tables.

The chair solicited input from attendees regarding a possible presentation or panel on Resource for Description and Access ( RDA) for the discussion group meeting at Annual in Washington D.C., possibly with a focus on issues of management and training. There was concern that it would be too early to discuss RDA in any detail at annual, specifically as it relates to Technical services department management of RDA, and that the topic should be reconsidered in 2008. The chair will contact the RDA Project Manager to see what topics related to RDA they are prepared to discuss that would not be covered in the regularly scheduled project updates.

The topic of changes to staffing and organization within Technical services departments to accommodate changing responsibilities proved timely and provoked a stimulating discussion. The tables focused on questions related to the topic provided by the Steering Team:

  1. What new tasks and responsibilities are technical services departments taking on now and in the next three years?
  2. What tasks will technical services departments give up/reduce/outsource in order to take on these new responsibilities, and how?
  3. How will technical services departments be organized to take on these new responsibilities?
  4. How do we start training now for a future that is not totally clear?
  5. How will we help existing staff transition to new roles?
  6. What kinds of staffing will be needed in the future (e.g. MLS?, Paraprofessional versus professional, programming skills?) to take on these new responsibilities? What duties are assigned to which staff?
  7. How will libraries recruit to fill these positions?

Table representatives reported the table discussions to the group. Notes were taken at each table.

Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group (Big Heads)

The agenda for the meeting, published in advance to the participants, covered the following topics:

  1. Penn Tags in the context of the OPAC: the impact of social software and OPAC development on the work of technical services. Beth Picknally Camden, University of Pennsylvania, provided an overview of the Penn Tags social book-marking initiative, demonstrating the web site and discussion implications for cataloging and user services. The participants discussed possible applications to local environments and next steps in development.
  2. The impact of increasingly digital content on patterns of library staffing, both in traditional technical services and across the research library. Lee Leighton, University of California Berkeley, led this discussion of staffing issues that considered shifting priorities in research libraries and the impact that it has on staff at all levels. The discussion focused on the need to develop the levels of expertise of support and entry-level staff in order to free more experienced staff to work on new tasks. Examples included the provision of metadata for digital collections, the increasing focus on providing individual research consultations, and the need to staff to satisfy immediate user demands. Outsourcing the routine to focus on the exceptional was also discussed.
  3. There was a report on the Taiga2 Forum. Katharine Treptow Farrell, Princeton University, and several others who had attended the Taiga 2 Forum held the preceding day discussed the broad outlines of that meeting. This meeting was intended to provide a venue for AUL level staff in research libraries to discuss the shifting landscape of their portfolios. Using a technique called Open Space, the group of about seventy-five participants created an agenda that they wished to discuss, broke into small, flexible groups to consider a variety of questions such as organizational redesign; creating and managing digital content; recruiting, retaining and retraining staff; meeting changing user expectations; and maximizing efficiencies. Participants agreed that this kind of space for discussion among staff at this level needed to be ongoing and the last agenda topic focused on finding a permanent home for the Taiga Forum, heretofore sponsored by Innovative Interfaces.
  4. The final discussion item was “Cataloging reconsidered: changing models of metadata creation to meet the needs of today's users.” This discussion item, led by John Riemer, University of California Los Angeles, and Peggy Johnson, University of Minnesota, focused on the needed overhaul of cataloging practices at the local level to make better use of shared efforts. The group considered issues that surround appropriate levels of staffing; outsourcing; moving local work to the network level to eliminate redundancy; and rethinking what is needed from a catalog record in the current environment.

The chair thanked the discussion leaders and noted that planning the agenda for the ALA Annual Conference would be managed on the discussion group’s list.


Acquisitions Section (AS) Discussion & Interest Groups

Acquisitions Managers and Vendors Interest Group

Academic libraries are collecting increasing numbers of videos. Many librarians responsible for identifying, selecting, and obtaining these titles find unexpected challenges, and lament the lack of fully-developed vendor services such as those for books and serials. A core group of librarians who specialize in media offer websites and active listservs provide helpful information derived from their long experience. Some vendors have begun to offer services and databases that can help. Acquisitions managers can learn a great deal from all of these sources. This session addressed this topic with a panel consisting of James M. Steffen, Film and Media Librarian, Emory University; Cherene Birkholz, Action! Library Media Service; and Randy Pitman, Editor/Publisher, Video Librarian.

Steffen described concerns of media librarians relative to the items they wish to purchase for a library collection, such as quality of the print and showed images to demonstrate the point. Steffen explained that videos are more difficult to acquire due to decentralized distribution. Often the only way to purchase an item is online with a credit card. Licensing can be an issue as well.

Cherene Birkholz described the extent of services that a media vendor can provide. Birkholz explained that the vendor must make arrangements to work with a distributor and that the window of opportunity to make a purchase is short since distributors must return stock to the “publisher” on demand.

Randy Pitman explained that keeping up with new releases helps in acquiring during that short window of opportunity. Pitman has an extensive review database with frequent additions.

In the lengthy discussion that followed, attendees discussed how video acquisitions fit into the structure of their libraries, sources of information on videos, format issues such as DVD-R, and the necessity of using credit cards for purchasing. Other topics included:

  • Are approval or new title “notification” services needed or planned?
  • Licensing and performance rights issues were discussed.
  • What are some of the issues related to format?
  • Acquisitions issues such as the need for open accounts/invoicing, p-cards, PayPal accounts.
  • Workflow issues for video content.

Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS) Discussion & Interest Groups

ALCTS CCS/MAGERT Discussion Group for Cataloging Cartographic Resources

In June 2006, the ALCTS CCS Policy and Planning Committee (PCC) approved the following name change for the discussion group during the ALA Annual Conference: ALCTS-CCS/MAGERT Map Cataloging Discussion Group was revised to ALCTS-CCS/MAGERT Cartographic Resources Cataloging Discussion Group to include all formats of cartographic materials. The two-year term of the current chair of the group will end at the ALA Annual Conference in June. The Cartographic Resources Discussion Group is searching for a new chair. All interested persons should contact Iris Taylor at (202) 707-8529 or at itaylor@loc.gov. Carolyn Kadri, Seanna Tsung, and Nancy Kandoian provided information about the Pre-20th Century Map Cataloging Pre-Conference for June 2007.

This meeting is basically an open forum for questions and answers and information sharing on various topics relating to cartographic materials cataloging. Topics which are continually discussed at the meeting include: the Task Force on Guidelines for Recording Map Sets and Series, the addition of coordinates to authority records, and discussion on GIS and metadata technologies. In addition, there are critical issues that the cartographic cataloging community are facing, such as the future of cartographic materials cataloging in printed format, the challenge of metadata standard (METS or MODS) in replacing MARC standard, and the integration of GIS technology standards and policies into the cataloging of cartographic materials.

Catalog Management Discussion Group

Two topics were discussed: (1) Options for delivering and accessing bibliographic information (presented and led by Magda El-Sherbini, Ohio State University), and (2) an operational model for metadata management (presented and led by Martin Kurth and Jim LeBlanc, Cornell University).

Cataloging and Classification Research Discussion Group

The discussion topic was “Name Authority and Name Disambiguation Challenges.” Despite a change in room assignment, there were thirty-five attendees. Denise Beaubien Bennett, Engineering Reference Librarian and Online Coordinator, University of Florida, moderated a discussion on her research project investigating name authority disambiguation challenges in and outside library catalogs, focusing on abstracting and indexing databases. Ms. Bennett’s research included insight into new tools and models for supporting name authority control and name disambiguation. There was a discussion of which tools might work successfully and how they scale up to large databases. She also prepared a selected bibliography on single authority files, linked authority files and models for disambiguation. Priscilla Williams (Chair) and Robert Ellett (Chair-Elect) distributed evaluation forms to solicit general feedback on the discussion group and suggestions for future discussion group topics. The results of the evaluation will be included in a later report to ALCTS.

Cataloging Norms Discussion Group

The Cataloging Norms Discussion Group (CNDG) meeting at ALA Midwinter had the largest attendance in recent memory, with over 100 people. The meeting began with Terry Reese, Oregon State University Libraries, demonstrating the program he created to harvest metadata from DSpace and transform it into MARC for the university’s theses and dissertations. Once the records are converted to MARC, they are loaded in OCLC and OSU’s online catalog. Find a complete description of the process on Terry's Web site.

Lai-Ying Hsiung, University of California, Santa Cruz, discussed the use of numbers as record and object identifiers and how they are used as match points and linking devices for searching, record loading, record merging, report generation, and global updates. Find her presentation online.

Casey Bisson, Plymouth State University, demonstrated WPopac, the open-source Web OPAC he created based on WordPress software. An interesting question and answer session followed. Find Bisson’s presentation online.

All three presentations focused on various ways that technology is influencing the use of traditional cataloging metadata. At a time when most cataloging norms are being challenged, these presentations made it clear that the availability of good and accurate cataloging metadata is more important than ever if we want to be able to exploit new technologies.

Following the meeting, the CNDG co-chairs met briefly with Tina Shrader, the group’s CCS liaison, to clarify some questions and to discuss the completion of the questionnaire for the CCS Discussion Group Review.

Copy Cataloging Discussion Group

The Copy Cataloging Discussion Group met on Monday, January 22. Fifty-five people attended. The two informational presentations supported ALCTS’ Strategic Plan, Goal 2. Objective 1. Sponsor programs and open forums to encourage collaboration and discussion of practices and problems.

Judy Mansfield, Chief, Arts and Sciences Cataloging Division, Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access (ABA), Library of Congress (LC), presented timely and informative data about increased LC copy cataloging productivity and workflow/staffing levels at LC. Ms. Mansfield then provided a brief overview of anticipated organizational changes in the ABA Division. A collegial question and answer period on these topics followed.

The second focus of the meeting was the continuation of Luiz H. Mendez's presentation at Midwinter 2006 "EL7 lccopycat Revisited: Rethinking copy cataloging." Arlene Klair, Head of Adaptive Cataloging/Database Management, University of Maryland, College Park, presented on behalf of Mr. Mendes, currently the Electronic Resources Librarian at California State University Northridge. The resulting discussion affirmed that Mendes and Klair should request from LC 500 Encoding Level 7 records. They will be compared to the OCLC database versions. If key LC data continues to not uniformly load into WorldCat, a recommendation to revise the OCLC load algorithm will be made. The discussion group members agreed on critical fields (tag 050, the LC 650 tags, and the 042 lccopycat).

Members identified two topics for the Annual meeting in Washington, D.C.:

  • Supporting Goal 5. Objective 1. Review the performance of discussion groups, the group performed the mandatory review of the discussion group charge, overlap with other groups, particularly Heads of Cataloging, and other required issues. Discussion group members felt the broad charge was a benefit.
  • Klair had also raised the issue of conflict of interest in the Heads of Cataloging Discussion Group meeting, also undergoing mandatory review. Both groups agreed having two groups provided two opportunities to have topics of interest discussed. Both groups will continue to coordinate meetings. CCDG members felt no other groups posed particular conflict. Having to choose among programs is a fact of ALA meetings and is not considered too negatively. These results will be reported to Diane Baden, the discussion group liaison.

Heads of Cataloging Discussion Group

The topic for this meeting was “Series Treatment after 6/01: The Impact of the Library of Congress’ Decision to Discontinue Creating Series Authority Records on Your Library.” Ninety participants attended

The primary focus was how different types of libraries dealt with the abrupt change by the Library of Congress (LC) to discontinue creating series authority records (SARs). The chair, Robert Ellett, acted as the panel moderator. After attending the fiftieth birthday celebration for The Cat in the Hat the previous night, Ellett likened dealing with the LC series authority record change to the predicament of Sally and her brother in The Cat in the Hat. Basically once the cat was in their house, they had to deal with his behavior. Similarly, he compared this situation to institutions’ need to react to LC’s decision according to their users’ needs. Ellett emphasized that the future of cataloging involves the cataloger’s ability to adapt to changes regardless of what comes his/her way.

The panel consisted of:

  • Beacher Wiggins, Director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Control, Library of Congress
  • Cynthia Whitacre, Manager of the WorldCat Quality & Partner Content Department, OCLC
  • Lihong Zhu, Head, Bibliographic-Control Department, Washington State University Libraries
  • Marlene Harris, Division Chief of Technical Services, Chicago Public Library (CPL)
  • Marlena Frackowski, Assistant Dean for Technical Services, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)

Mr. Wiggins stated that the infamous LC series decision has been made, and there is no point in further discussing its merits. Instead, he gave a quick review of the impact that an LC decision seems to have on LC itself, as well as, on the United States, and international libraries. He described the situation with the following statement: “It happened eight months ago, and the bibliographic control world did not collapse.”

Wiggins cited statistics that demonstrate how the series decision enabled production of name authority records (NARs) to increase. While everyone expected a substantial increase in SARs creation by PCC libraries, this did not happen. He cited numbers that indicate only a slight increase in new SARs creation (from 5,408 records created by PCC libraries in 2005 to 5,617 records in 2006). Wiggins assured participants that LC will continue to support PCC libraries in all things series-related, including answering questions, revising and updating relevant documentation, offering SACO training, reviewing newly created SARs, and posting to the PCC discussion list. In summary, he noted a positive effect of the “abandon SARs” decision on LC cataloging output that increased due to the substantial timesavings. He also remarked that LC public service librarians did not raise objections as to this decision.

Cynthia Whitacre reported on OCLC’s response to the LC series decision that included software changes that allow manual change capability for full-level users in series field (490 0_ to 440 _0). Many libraries are already making these financially attractive changes. OCLC relies on libraries’ reports to make changes to bibliographic or series authority records. OCLC series authority control reports indicate that SARs and series changes did not increase much, probably due to relatively short time that elapsed between the June LC decision and now. OCLC is still in the process of upgrading the “old” Cataloging-In-Publication (CIP) records, those created by LC prior to the series decision. Post-decision CIPs will not contain series statements and it is expected that need for creating series statements will double once the backlog of older CIPs is eliminated. OCLC asked contributing vendors (Ingram, Blackwell’s among others) to create or trace series in bibliographic records that they contribute to OCLC. Whitacre concluded that not enough time has elapsed to assess the full impact of LC series decision on the OCLC database enrichment process.

Representing the academic library view of the issue, Lihong Zhu explained the importance of controlled series-enabled browsing, as well as collocating of library materials, for university library users. Zhu noted the time-related impact on professional cataloging staff workflow that took place once a decision to control series locally was made. A possible solution is to train support staff to undertake this duty. This is not easy task for them, as it involves making informed cataloging decisions. Generally, Zhu indicated that LC’s decision did not have a major impact on the cataloging unit workflow, as yet, as they are using PCC records with associated SARs already created.

Representing the public library viewpoint, Marlene Harris explained that at CPL, MARC records for English language materials (which make up the majority of holdings) are bought from outside vendors. These records are not being upgraded in situ. LC’s decision to stop creating SARs will therefore have a bigger negative impact on public libraries than academic libraries that can create SARs themselves. Chicago Public provides original cataloging for only the foreign language materials for which the series statements are created, and will provide some NACO submissions (after a position for authority librarian is filled). During the discussion, a mid-size public library representative questioned the Chicago Public Library’s status as a truly “public” library. In the eyes of many public libraries, this institution is more “academic” in nature, therefore its wrestling with LC series decision does not necessarily reflect the real public libraries woes.

Chair Robert Ellett, Jr., represented the special libraries point of view. A special library, with independent NACO SAR-creation status that wished to remain anonymous submitted their SAR creation policy for discussion. Their policy basically remained unchanged from before the LC decision. Their policy is to create SARS where appropriate for all their all their PCC records.

Working in a special academic library, Ellett indicated that, at the Joint Forces Staff College, series in DLC and PCC records are not reviewed except in cases where generic series titles such as Papers, Briefing, Memorandum, Bulletin, etc. are present. In these cases, full series authority work is provided.

Marlena. Frackowski presented a sample Series Authority Control Policy created by TCNJ’s Library Cataloging Department under the leadership of Cathy Weng. TCNJ has decided not to follow LC’s new practice and continues to maintain consistent series headings represented in their online catalog.

During the discussion that followed, several participants expressed concerns:

  • Need for more libraries to join the PCC
  • Need for series classed together in the acquisition process

During the business portion of the meeting, the chair called for current position announcements; asked for positive or negative comments, requests for changes, etc., in the current Heads of Cataloging Discussion Group charge; asked for suggestions for topics for future meetings; and reminded the group about upcoming elections for Vice Chair/Chair Elect that will be held during the 2007 ALA Annual meeting in Washington, D.C.


Collection Management and Development Section (CMDS) Discussion & Interest Groups

Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group

Discussion topics covered in the meeting include:

  • Membership criteria.
  • Opportunities for libraries to be involved in the development and implementation of new academic programs and there were suggestions regarding development of templates for querying faculty on new program developments.
  • Migration to electronic-only journal collections and digitization efforts at member libraries.
  • Discussion with Library of Congress (LC) of proposed changes to the ARL statistics.
  • Discussion of organizational retooling at member libraries in response to changing environments in publishing, scholarly research and communication, and teaching.
  • Discussion of the ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication.
  • Extensive discussion of the challenges arising from the Janus conference at Cornell in Fall 2005. Specific challenges include:
    • Retrospective conversion of the scholarly record to electronic form
    • Prospective migration of scholarly communication to electronic form
    • Development of core collections to enhance organizational efficiency
    • Development of new licensing principles and publisher relations insuring the archiving of print, digital and born-digital materials
    • Developing alternative channels of scholarly communication
    • Discussion of the Janus challenges has become a crucial element of the Chief Collection Development Officers meetings.

A standing committee has been created to coordinate efforts to advance the challenges, and volunteers have been accepted to assist subcommittee chairs devoted to each specific challenge.

Collaboration with other national organizations was discussed. Others interested in the Janus Conference may consult the site, which is maintained by John Saylor of Cornell.

Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Interest Group

The interest group is charged with identifying the forces of change in the development and management of collections as they affect the individual selector, and as they contribute to the selector's ability to address and manage these changes. Thirty-nine librarians participated in this session, with each person expressing what issues or forces of changes related to collection development they found most challenging and would like to discuss. Two major themes emerged as having significant impact on collection development: training for subject specific collection development, and managing approval plans.

Most of the meeting time was spent discussing issues related to training librarians for collection development. The increased complexity of collection development has resulted in both novice and experienced librarians expressing a strong need for additional training, not only to get introduced to general principles of collection development and local processes within their institution, but also to learn how issues such as new technology and scholarly communication impact the way we collect.

A recommendation was made to present to the ALCTS Board of Directors. The interest group is interested in developing a conference program that focuses on training, preferably in collaboration with one, or more, of the standing ALCTS committees and also strongly recommends that ALCTS consider developing not only future conference programs, but also online programming, that addresses training for collection development. The group would also like the Board to consider developing a mentoring program for librarians engaged in collection development.

The group had also planned to discuss the role and management of approval plans in collection development, including how to make changes to the profile and how to assess how well the plan is meeting local needs. However, the group did not have time to develop this topic fully and deferred additional discussion to the group’s meeting at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries Discussion Group

The Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries held five separate discussion groups. Group One discussed the topic “Collection Development and the Future of Interlibrary loan (ILL).” The group discussed purchase on demand. Rush orders and second day shipping have made this option faster than ILL and it is becoming increasingly systematized in libraries. Uncover/Ingenta also provides an alternative to subscribing to journals. Instead, libraries can simply purchase individual articles as needed. E-books can also be purchased but vendors prohibit interloaning e-book titles. The scanning of books into Google has created increased demand for items not available locally. ILL use data can be valuable for collection analysis. The group discussed problems with online-only access to journals, and the fact that there are omissions in JSTOR and ejournal archiving. Access packages can change. Another concern is skyrocketing ILL costs, which can cost up to $50,000–60,000 per year for large libraries. Making ILL available for free to students results in them requesting titles that they do not need or that may already be in the collection. The group discussed how libraries might charge for ILL services, such as faculty only, students only, pay per use, etc. New electronic media, the changing journal market, and unpredictable budgets are challenging old assumptions.

Group Two discussed the topic, “Getting a Handle on Electronic Serials.” The group discussed staffing and organization, persuading faculty to choose electronic over print and addressing archiving concerns, the role of consortia, usage statistics for collection analysis, vendors and publishers and the creation of aggregated packages, and electronic management systems (ERMs). The group also discussed licensing and payments and the role of publishers in getting vendors to unbundle packages. With regard to usage statistics, the use of Scholarly Stats and Ulrich’s Serials Analysis tool were discussed as well as reshelving statistics. The decreasing reliance on microfilm subscriptions was also discussed. The group talked about the importance of perpetual archiving and the use of LOCKSS and Portico.

Group Three discussed the topic “Staffing and Training for Collection Development.” Their discussion included the subtopic of best practices for recruiting librarians. These include larger salaries, in-house recruitment, and the retraining of general reference librarians to do collection development. There are many vacant positions and library schools are not teaching or emphasizing collection development enough in their curricula. It is difficult to find librarians with well-developed collection development skills. Training tends to focus on basic skills, and neglects needed skills such as negotiating vendor relationships and contracts. There is a need for ongoing education beyond the MLS, and training is needed for librarians who also have other responsibilities. Most librarians lack skills related to negotiation, copyright, vendor relations, developing and writing proposals, grant writing, and writing collection development policies and documents. Selectors often select without knowing what their colleagues are buying and need to be able to talk with their peers about collection development. The group also discussed the value of writing collection development policies and whether they are useful. A policy can be useful if someone challenges a particular title in the collection. Writing a policy forces you to have a conversation with faculty. The group talked about the resources needed to plan and implement a successful collection development training and development program. Time is an important resource.

Group Four discussed the topic “Use of Information and Statistics for Collection Development.” This discussion included conversation about the OCLC WorldCat Collection Analysis Service. It enables users to see how their collections compare with peers institutions but does not indicate how well user needs are being met. Much of the data seems out of context. It might make sense for institutions that are part of a regional library network or consortium. The group raised concerns about the accuracy of the data. Each library tends to collect according to local needs, and collection gaps may be due to the fact that those subjects are not emphasized on that campus. Some librarians are using statistics to make decisions to deselect books or journals. This can be difficult to do if academic departments are helping to fund titles. Vendor statistics are inconsistent with each other and contain homegrown statistics. Electronic use statistics do not always clearly indicate whether a user is looking at an abstract or at full-text, and this is an important distinction. Vendors are afraid that use statistics will be used as a basis to cancel titles. The group discussed the growing use of federated searching systems and how this tends to complicate hit counts. Some libraries are using ILL statistics to help analyze their collections. Others are using circulation statistics to decide what to send to off-site storage. One library is building a data warehouse. There was discussion related to using curriculum and research data for collection development decisions, and maintaining a balance between titles that should be in the collection because they are core and those that are currently being used.

Group Five discussed the topic “Managing Collection Development in a Multi-Campus, Multi-Library Environment.” There was some discussion of the type of campus and number of libraries at each participant’s institution. Participants noted if their institutions had a centralized or decentralized system, and whether selecting was done locally. Another issue was whether individual libraries had their own budgets. Some libraries use a collection development committee to make decisions about big-ticket items. The issue of licensed access was raised. Certain titles may be available to all libraries on all campuses, yet local libraries must pay for localized needs. In some cases, use may be limited. Most participants in the discussion indicated that their libraries participated in some form of consortial arrangement. Membership on consortial committees is usually dictated by the nature of the librarian’s position. Subject specialists provide advance notice about products or weigh in on their strengths and weaknesses. The group discussed communication flows related to selection. It tends to filter up from below. ERMs can be used for internal communication, but it requires the user to look up data. Marketing to users is the selector’s responsibility. A newsletter can highlight databases purchased. Email can also be used.

Collection Management in Public Libraries Discussion Group

Approximately fifty-five people attended this informative discussion on centralized weeding and collection turnover rates. Kerry Cronin and Jean Gaffney conducted the discussion. Several libraries have started to conduct centralized weeding, particularly in light of the trend for large public libraries to float portions of their collections. Libraries that have begun to weed materials from a central location identified several different practices. Some libraries weed according to ILS generated reports, while others send out lists from a central department to public services staff members at other locations requesting deselection of specific items. Those designated weeders can opt to not deselect one or more of the items if they are award winners. Another library system deploys a team of “weeders” who travel to a location determined to have the greatest need for weeding. At one library, these swat teams are comprised of collection development staff and branch staff with a specialized knowledge and/or interest in the subject areas slated for weeding. Often the weeding criteria for the central library differs form that of its branches. The King County Library System uses dusty lists and “clean” lists, which are lists of circulating titles in storage that need to be replaced with new copies. The Chesterfield Public Library directs all last copies to collection development for review. One suggestion for weeding floating collections was to request that all candidates for weeding be routed to one location for consideration. Some ILS systems (i.e. Horizon) can generate reports that redistribute floating materials to new locations, so that the items have the opportunity to circulate from a new library before becoming candidates for weeding. The Vancouver Public Library maintains a blog for staff to post messages about the overabundance or need for materials in various subject areas.

Attendees identified several different practices for disposing of deaccessioned material. Some send weeded items to blogistics for resale, while others give them to a foundation that resells them through Amazon.com. Others opt to resell discarded materials locally.

The discussion on collection turnover rates revealed that they vary by library, making it difficult to determine best practices. The average turnover rate for books at the Phoenix Public Library is 2.7 times. They indicated that their goal is to have everything circulate at a turnover rate of five times or higher. The turnover rate at the central library of the Arlington County Library is higher than for the other locations in their system. The King County Library System (WA) does not employ a systematic turnover rate analysis, but indicated that turnover rates are used for floating collections. They determined that anything that circulates fewer than five times a year should be a candidate for weeding. Turnover rates have also helped with collection analysis and budget allocations. At the King County Library System, turnover rates have helped to justify teen fiction expenditures. Staff members recognize that increased turnover rates result in higher material budgets. Turnover rates can also be used to determine space allocations for portions of the collection.

PLA does offer some turnover rate standards. The weeding manual by the Gwinnett County Public Library (PLA) was recommended as a resource for turnover rates.

Suggested topics for the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC are as follows: Vendor ordering, collection assessment tools, and analysis of electronic databases: how to make better selection decisions.


Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) Discussion & Interest Groups

Digital Preservation Discussion Group

Cathy Martyniak (University of Florida) reported that an editorial committee has been formed to regulate editing and updating of the PREMIS (Preservation Metadata Implementation Strategies) data dictionary and schema. A revision will be released in June 2007. Karen Coyle’s commissioned paper “Rights in the PREMIS Data Model” was issued in December 2006. A best practices document is being drafted.

Liz Bishoff (University of Colorado) reported on the ALA Office of Information Technology Policy sponsored work to draft principles of digitized content and identify areas in which ALA policies related to digitization need to be revised. (See http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/contactwo/oitp/digtask.htm). The documents will be presented to ALA Council. Ms. Bishoff invited input from PARS. She also provided an update on the Northeast Document Conservation Center’s digital preservation site survey project. A handbook for assessors will be completed soon. More site visits have been scheduled. They plan to train more consultants and hope to be funded to survey digital collaboratives.

Margaret Byrnes (National Library of Medicine) reported for Robin Dale (RLG/OCLC) on recent developments related to the trusted digital repositories audit and certification checklist work. The checklist has been significantly revised. The audit criteria will be released soon. The work is being coordinated with similar efforts in the United Kingdom and Germany. An ISO technical committee recently has begun an effort to standardize digital repository audit and certification criteria.

Cathy Martyniak facilitated a spirited discussion on the definition of “digital preservation.” The result was a decision to request approval from the PARS Management Committee and PARS Executive Committee to form a small group to draft a formal definition and circulate it for comment before the annual meeting. Since there is not agreement on what the term should include, an approved definition would be useful to PARS members as well as the broader ALA community. It also was decided to request that a new ALA listserv for digital preservation be created to serve the common interests of preservation, cataloging and systems staff.

Margaret Byrnes facilitated a discussion of the roles of preservation staff in digital preservation activities at their institutions. Issues identified included: bridging the communication gap with IT staff; recognizing the need to incorporate preservation in planning for digitization projects; fostering broader understanding of digital preservation functions that should be in place in our libraries; and enhancing the knowledge and skills of staff involved in digital preservation.

Cooperative Preservation Strategies Discussion Group

The Cooperative Preservation Strategies Discussion Group reverted to its original name, Preservation Issues in Small to Mid-Sized Libraries Discussion Group, at the conclusion of the Midwinter 2007 meeting. The discussion group had a very lively discussion of its future direction. Participants included librarians and library staff from small to mid-sized libraries, as well as librarians from large libraries with small preservation programs and librarians from very large libraries with very large preservation programs. Great ideas and a plan of action for the discussion group’s next few meetings developed from the discussion.

Intellectual Access Interest Group

The group discussed the draft document “Guidance for Cataloging Locally Digitized Resources.” The objectives for the meeting were: (1) Provide background on the Registry of Digital Masters and MARC fields used in digital registry records; and (2) Discuss the draft document.

Sherry Byrne, Preservation Librarian, University of Chicago provided overview and background information. Glenn Patton, Director, WorldCat Quality Management Division, OCLC, Inc. provided an introduction to the Digital Registry. Debra McKern, Inventory Management Coordinator, Library of Congress provided an introduction to the MARC 583 field. Renette Davis, Head, Serials and Digital Resources Cataloging, University of Chicago Library, discussed cataloging guidelines to-date: Harvard practice and perspective was provided by Steven Riel, Preservation Cataloger and Projects Manager, Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard University Library. Lastly, a discussion took place that involved all the speakers plus Rebecca Guenther, Senior Networking and Standards Specialist, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress.

Library Binding Discussion Group

The meeting started with general introductions and was followed by an update on the Library Binding Institute (LBI) from Debra Nolan (Executive Director of LBI). The update focused on the changes to the library binding market and how it binders have adapted by offering additional services. With the services change, a change in LBI’s identity followed.

The main focus of the meeting centered on the subject of quality control. Common types of errors and the use of review periods were discussed. Jeanne Drewes (Library of Congress) gave an overview of LC’s quality control process as items are sent to the commercial binder and when they are received back. J. C. Noyes (Bridgeport National Bindery, Inc.) discussed the binder’s role in quality control.

Physical Quality and Treatment of Library Materials Discussion Group

Jay Hurd showed an interesting PowerPoint presentation entitled “Hard Bitten and Hard to Handle." It contained many images of circulating collection books that had been damaged by patrons and/or their dogs. Also included were the "hard to handle" new items such as mixed media that required special processing and conservator judgment.

The slides were used to launch a wide-ranging discussion on how to repair the damaged materials, and the options. Overall, most patrons are helpful and respectful, but there are exceptions. Some contemporary patrons seem to confuse the library's property with their own.

User education is undoubtedly important. Gary Frost pointed out that many younger users view everything as a surrogate, a simulation of reality, and think that there must always be another book or copy of magazine available. This is particularly true when dealing with popular culture items. How do we convince the users to treat these items respectfully but at the same time encourage use? Resources are there to serve the scholarly needs of the patrons today, but also the patrons of the future. It was a lively discussion.

Announcements: Jay Hurd and Oliver Cutshaw have now completed their two years as co-chairs. Carie McGinnis (Harvard University Conservation Services) and Jane Kogi (Solinet) are the new co-chairs.

Preservation Administration Discussion Group

PADG is intended to function as the opening session for PARS, providing a venue for discussion of issues that are important to most members of the section, and an opportunity for attendees to network and catch up with colleagues. This PADG featured three pre-meeting smaller discussion groups with reports, four presentations, a poster session, and time for announcements. There were no action items.

The pre-meeting open discussion sessions were as follows:

  • Future directions in preservation management Bob Harriman, Preservation Technologies
  • Planning for a National Preservation Program and National Disaster Response and Training Jeanne Drewes, Library of Congress
  • Introduction to PARS and ALA Nancy Kraft, University of Iowa

The pre-meeting open sessions were followed by reports of the discussions.The four presentations that took place were:

  • Library of Congress Research and Testing Initiative Jeanne Drewes, Library of Congress
  • Digital Preservation Policies Janet Gertz, Columbia University
  • Preservation Initiatives in the Northwest Gary Menges, University of Washington
  • What Happens When Materials in High Density Storage Get Wet? Tom Schneiter, Harvard University

Preservation, Instruction, Education and Outreach Discussion Group

The stated agenda for this meeting was the modification and approval of the Core Competencies for Collections Preservation document, developed by members of the PARS Education Committee at the request of ALCTS. The document was discussed, modified, and approved for submittal to the PARS Education Committee at Midwinter 2007. Attendees were made aware that this is the first step in developing a curriculum for continuing education courses to be offered through ALA and that further developments would also be moved through this discussion group for approval prior to submission.

Recording Media Discussion Group

Mona Jimenez, Associate Professor and Associate Director of Moving Image Archiving and Preservation, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, presented the results of a random sample survey she conducted at New York University’s Avery Fisher Center for Music and Media. The group then discussed the purpose and benefits of a random sample survey as well as some of the challenges of evaluating condition and determining the availability of replacement copies.

Janet Gertz, Director of Preservation, Columbia University Libraries, gave an update on their work in developing a survey tool that inventories and assesses the physical condition and intellectual control of both audio and moving image materials, based on visual inspection. Lastly, the Sound Directions project is expecting to release FACET (Field Audio Collection Evaluation Tool), a survey tool for audio formats produced by folklorists and ethnomusicologists, on their website on March 1, 2007. In addition, a publication detailing the entire Sound Directions project is scheduled to be available on their website in May 2007.

Reformatting Discussion Group

The group discussed the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan and how they could meet them.

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 reformatting and preservation of different media but also addressed the issues of standards, or the lack of standards, that are being followed. Attendees discussed selection criterion, types of scanners that are being employed for in-house scanning, and quality control of images. Many attendees were very interested in metadata, both structural and preservation, and whether institutions had utilized the automated metadata systems.

Goal 2. Best Practices. Research, develop, evaluate, and implement best practices for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving information resources in all forms.

The participants discussed different approaches to reformatting that are successful at their institutions. Questions regarding converting film and providing the use of digital surrogates instead of microfilmed copies was discussed.

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 participants representing various institutions to discuss research projects, institutional programs and policies 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 Columbia University and University of Michigan where they are actively scanning brittle materials as part of a preservation reformatting program.

Goal 5. Interaction and Information Exchange.

Create opportunities to interact and exchange information with others in the library and information communities.

The panel introduced the topic of challenges in selection, quality control, metadata, delivery of Web images, intellectual property rights, and technology. The audience consisted of a variety of professionals from major research libraries (i.e. Harvard University, Library of Congress, University of Maryland, Columbia, etc), research entities such as the Center for Research Libraries, and vendors (i.e. HF Group, OCLC Preservation Service Centers, Etherington Conservation Services, etc) indicating the importance of this issue.

It has been almost three years since the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) published the Recognizing Digitization as a Preservation Reformatting Method report. The Reformatting Discussion Group wishes to host an open forum to discuss how digitization has been incorporated into brittle book replacement and reformatting programs. Please consider the following questions for discussion:

  1. How are brittle materials selected for digitization?
  2. Do your selectors make the decisions to digitize or microfilm or does preservation work with selectors in making reformatting decisions?
  3. Is your preservation staff conducting the bibliographic searching to find reprints or existing microfilm or does your collection staff do this work?
  4. Are weeding and transferring items to storage or special collections, options for brittle books or are these decisions made by selectors at another time such as when they review their collections?
  5. Approximately how many brittle items are reformatted digitally each year? Is this work done in-house or are you employing an outside vendor?
  6. Are you digitizing anything that is not in the public domain? How are you handling copyrighted materials? Are these scanned and printed on demand? Are they scanned and stored off-line?
  7. What scanning specifications do you have for brittle materials?
  8. Are you entering any reformatting/digital information into your MARC record i.e. 583? What metadata schemes are you using for digitization for preservation purposes?
  9. Do you have any plans for migration of digital material?
  10. Are demands for reformatting being driven by preservation needs or access needs or both?
  11. Does the original get used more or is the surrogate the medium of choice?
  12. How does funding play into reformatting decisions?


Serials Section (SS) Discussion & Interest Groups

Journal Costs in Libraries Discussion Group

Representatives from three different groups gave short presentations about their current activities. Each presentation was followed by a question and answer session.

Karla Hahn (Association of Research Libraries) and Judy Luther (Informed Strategies and President, Society for Scholarly Publishing) represented the SERU (Shared E-Resources Understanding) working group sponsored by NISO. The working group, jointly supported by ARL, ALPSP, SPARC, and SSP, is working to explore the development of a code-of-practice based option in lieu of licensing for e-resources. This document will be an expression of a set of shared understandings between publishers and libraries regarding subscriptions to electronic resources. Reception of the idea thus far has been generally positive amongst the target audience. More information on SERU may be found at www.niso.org/committees/SERU/.

Members attending the Janus Conference on Research Library Collections identified six key collection development challenges. Janus Steering Committee members October Ivins, Jeanne Richardson, and John Saylor focused on the PROCON (prospective conversion) challenge, which focuses on efforts to assist smaller societies and non-profit organizations to switch to an electronic format for publishing their journals while still maintaining viable business plans. A sign-up sheet was circulated to solicit volunteers to assist with further investigating, defining, and publicizing possible solutions to these challenges.

Society for Scholarly Publishing president Judy Luther and Will Wakeling, Chair, SSP Grants and Scholarships, discussed SSP’s outreach to librarians, students, and early career professionals in publishing and librarianship. SSP offers half-price membership and conference attendance to librarians. It is also offering travel awards to the June 6-8, 2007 annual meeting to students and professionals who have just started their careers in librarianship or publishing.