Annual Conference Reports

Discussion and Interest Groups Report on Conference Activities

This report consists of abstracts of the activities of ALCTS discussion and interest groups that took place during the 2007 ALA Annual Meeting, June 22–27, in Washington, D.C., based on reports received by the editor as of August 1, 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)

Demands to improve a user’s experience with library catalogs has stimulated thinking about ways of storing and manipulating data to achieve more optimal results. Software providers are working to make the wishes of many library workers and users a reality. The LITA/ALCTS CCS Authority Control Interest Group panel at ALA Annual 2007 “Authority Control Meets Faceted Browse” included four speakers. The program introduced the history and theory of facet analysis (which in turn supports faceted browse), showcased commercial and open source software that use faceted approaches to information retrieval from online catalogs, and facilitated discussion on the relationship between structured authority data and this type of navigation.

Reading much of the current professional literature on library databases, one might expect any meeting between Authority Control and Faceted Browse to be confrontational. However, attendees of the Authority Control Interest Group program found that rather than coming out of their corners swinging, Authority Control and Faceted Browse walked on stage hand-in-hand. No engagement was announced but any good old-fashioned matchmaker would have left the meeting convinced this was the match of the century.

Kathyrn La Barre (Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Library & Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) focused on the theory but reminded the audience that it was a theory that Ranganathan developed after he saw a need for it in practice in his own library with that library’s patrons. Basically, facets are based on properties, attributes, characteristics, functions, or concepts. For instance, facets related to buildings might include location, composition, purpose, style, date constructed, and associated persons. The facet analysis that follows for a particular resource might result in values such as rural, stone, eighteenth century, etc. Facets are not applied randomly to an item or concept. To improve access to materials, it is essential to have significant intellectual oversight of the database (i.e., authority control) to show interconnections and interrelationships of terms, items, and concepts. The use of facets on commercial websites began to be widely implemented in 2000, supported by companies such as Endeca, Siderean, and Aduiri.

Charley Pennell (Principal Cataloger for Metadata, NCSU Libraries, North Carolina State University) covered the good, the bad, and the specifics of NCSU’s implementation of Endeca, a change that has been well received by patrons and staff. The process uses metadata that is available in both the MARC bibliographic records and item records. The ability to pull data and re-order it exposed the need for more care and thoroughness in input and control over the actual data. Linkage between terms must be maintained to allow limiting within a term without losing context, and a massive clean-up of subject subdivisions was necessary to provide accurate displays. There is no authority control within Endeca itself, and it relies on the authority control provided within the online catalog.

Mary Charles Lasater (Authorities Coordinator, Vanderbilt University) focused on Vanderbilt’s project with Ex Libris to use PRIMO to search two library resources, the library catalog and the TV NEWS Archive, a non-MARC database of 750,000 records of television news segments dating back to 1968. Facets from both were demonstrated. Authority control issues were discussed in relation to how poor data control was exposed with the introduction of faceted browse.

Casey Bisson (Information Architect, Plymouth State University) brought a non-cataloger’s perspective to the discussion. He showcased Scriblio, a free and open source product that is still under development, as it has been applied to the Lamson Library website and catalog. Bisson demonstrated how data found in the MARC record is used in an easily searchable web-based format. Surprisingly, to some, Casey Bisson pointed out that leveraging the search experience with faceted and clustered terms is very dependent on good data management, commonly referred to as “Authority Control.”

In summary, it was agreed that the faceted browse and clustered displays are a useful enhancement to library databases and catalogs. Of equal importance is the fact that significant attention must be given to the categories of data input and maintenance so that the added access points of facets are accurate and useful. Each of the software products and projects described relied exclusively on the quality of the authority control present in the data. The closer we are to selecting the facet categories our users need for a given collection, followed by authority control of the data we apply, the greater the value that these displays will provide to our users.

All presentations are available on the LITA web site.

Automated Acquisitions/In-Process Control Systems Discussion Group

The meeting topic was “Are there Benefits to Managing e-books in ERMs and, if so, How Would Managing e-books in ERMs Change Library Receiving Workflows?” Marsha Garman, Discussion Group Vice-Chair/Chair Elect, served as moderator.

The panelists were:

  • Ted Fons, Senior Product Manager for Acquisitions, Innovative Interfaces Inc.
  • Peter McCracken, Co-founder and Director of Electronic Content Management, Serials Solutions
  • Kari Paulson, President, Ebook Library (EBL)
  • Christopher Warnock, CEO and CTO, ebrary
  • Angela Riggio, Head, Digital Collection Management, Digital Collection Services, UCLA Library and Steering Committee Member, Digital Library Federation Electronic Resource Management Initiative.

The panelists provided comments on their perspective on the topic. This was followed by a wide-ranging discussion amongst panelists, and between the panelists and meeting attendees.

Catalog Form and Function Interest Group

After a brief introduction of the officers and welcome to the twenty-five attendees, the meeting consisted of a sixty-minute managed discussion session and a twenty-minute business meeting. The discussion topics and a summary of the discussion follow.

"Who's Driving our Catalog?"

This topic explored how decisions about the public interface to the catalog are made in libraries. The following questions were raised: What roles do catalogers and others in the "collections and technical services" areas play in making and/or implementing these decisions? What is the impact of changes in how people view and access metadata have on cataloging practices?

Wanda Jazayeri, Chair, provided a discussion summary. Decision-making models vary, particularly with respect to size. One institution might employ a committee with representation from all library sectors, while in another library decisions are made by two people. Generally, the broader the representation, the more buy-in. In contrast, the smaller the number of decision makers, the faster the process. Some libraries have to make compromises with implementations for the good of consortia. Catalogers and other technical services staff have input at some places. The question was raised: Do we want more? The answer was “yes,” particularly so that search options make better use of available MARC data. The vendor is a primary driver of the catalog from the visual design to the underlying implementation of MARC fields. How well does the product provide search abilities that take advantage of the full range of MARC fields? Finally, to control costs, some institutions are moving towards utilization of the vendors’ “out of the box” public interface with minimal customization. Patrons are increasingly using keyword as the default search. Patrons also expect relevancy ranking. If patrons cannot build effective searches using metadata, they will not use it.

"It Came from Outer Space"

A look at the pros and cons of incorporating data from external commercial sources into our catalogs either as catalog records, or as separate data streams. The following questions were also considered: Are there data quality issues, or other concerns? Do our users need the link to Amazon?

Vice-Chair Laura Akerman provided a discussion summary. Although MARC records supplied by vendors may be "better than nothing," there are often quality problems that are costly to resolve. If they are “as is," they result in poor search ability. Some vendors are open to improvements and will work with libraries; some are not, and others have very restrictive contracts. All agreed there is a need for record sets for vendor products in OCLC, so that the library's complete holdings can be represented for ILL, OCLC web services accessed by users, or a WorldCat Local catalog. There were concerns about the quality of vendor records currently in OCLC, particularly Baker and Taylor and other "brief" acquisition records that do not follow content standards and are almost unusable. There are often quality problems with record sets for collections, regardless of availability in OCLC. Problems include: lack of subject headings; subjects identified as LC headings that are not actual LC headings or are too specific; non-standard subjects and other non-standard data in tags which cannot not be indexed or used in catalogs; publisher advertising blurbs in records; records for one manifestation provided for another without sufficient review/changes, (e.g., microform records used for electronic version with no change to OCLC control number); and records coded for a higher bibliographic level than they actually represent. The quality of information is also a concern regarding links to Amazon and other outside sources. Amazon's poor searching and need for authority control were mentioned, but users' desires for the service outweigh decisions regarding what to provide. At some institutions catalogers are usually involved in decisions about record set purchases or other "outside data.” When they are not involved in such decisions, it can be costly to the institution. We need to think about how we can be more proactive within our institutions and with vendors to achieve the quality our users need.

"Beyond Subject"

Explored how catalogs enable users to search or filter searches by "genre, form or type" or other aspects. The following questions were considered: Are improvements needed, and if so, how would they impact cataloging operations? Does MARC meet these needs?

Walt Walker, a member and a past chair, provided a discussion summary: The third small group discussed implementation of form/genre searches and/or filters in our catalogs. The Library of Congress has recently announced that they will begin to create form/genre authority records in September 2007. How to distinguish form/genre headings from subject headings, how to define the form/genre headings we use, and how to use LC’s form/genre authority records were discussed. One participant’s institution uses an Endeca based catalog that presents material types from the item records grouped into hierarchies and classes, along with form/genre headings, in facets. Faceted browsing can help the library catalog user locate materials in different forms, genres, and material types. Older records in the catalog may lack form/genre data coded correctly (i.e. 6xx $x for topical subdivision instead of 6xx $v for form subdivision) or not coded at all (the general material designator). Some form/genre headings are currently coded as 650 subject headings in our records and some are absent and may need record-by-record.

Business Meeting

The business meeting consisted of a discussion on the restructuring of the officers of the interest group to ensure continuity and the election of a new vice-chair and member-at-large. The leadership of the group will now consist of the chair, vice-chair/chair elect, and two members-at-large. The term of the members-at-large is one year. One member-at- large will generally be the past chair, and the other will be elected annually. The 2007–2008 officers are: Laura Akerman, Emory University, Chair; Charley Pennell, NCSU Libraries, Vice-chair/Chair-elect; Wanda Jazayeri, UCI Libraries, member-at-large; Stacy B. Baggett, East Carolina University Library. The business meeting concluded with a discussion of possible topics for future meetings.

Creative Ideas in Technical Services Discussion Group

Attendance was approximately thirty-three participants, which is below average for this discussion group. The drop in attendance was possibly the result of a number of ALCTS-related and other conflicts at the 1:30 time slot that was temporarily moved due to what we understood to be the mandatory no-conflict time for ALCTS. The group will return to the 4–6 pm timeslot for future meetings.

Of the ten tentatively proposed topics for breakout discussions, five were discussed, based on participant interest and volunteer availability:

  • Best practices for incorporating special projects into the regular workflow
  • Management/employee supervision and motivation issues in technical services
  • Collection development and technical services: how are they/can they/should they be coordinated?
  • Staffing and workflow changes as a result of the move from print to e-journals
  • Genre terms in MARC records.

Breakout discussions were facilitated and recorded by volunteers. The chair and vice-chair supplied facilitators with proposed discussion questions, but the interests of the participants directed discussions. Evaluation forms provided the chair and vice-chair with topics for future meetings and feedback from participants on the format of the group, which was largely positive.

The discussion group meeting was announced on several lists as well as the Annual Conference Wiki. In the past few years, all the volunteers for chair and vice-chair have had cataloging backgrounds. For this reason, we are particularly mindful of maintaining the group’s orientation as a forum for discussion between different segments of technical services. Meetings are announced on Serialist and AcqNet, and topics of interest that extended across traditional departmental boundaries are discussed.

Linda Lomker, Specialized Cataloging Section Leader at the University of Minnesota, is the new Chair. The new Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect is Mary Finn, Catalog Librarian at Virginia Tech.

Electronic Resources Interest Group

Chair Allene Hayes opened the meeting and recognized the vice-chair, and past chairs in attendance. The first order of business was to elect an incoming chair. Thanks to Jennifer Lang of Princeton University, there is now an ALCTS ERIG Blog. Presentations from the meeting will be posted to the ALCTS ERIG web page and the new blog.

The 2005 Midwinter Meeting focused on “Electronic Resources Management from the Field.” We discussed experiences from institutions that had purchased or were about to implement commercial Electronic Resource Management Systems (ERMS). The title of this meeting discussion was: “ERMS Continues: More on Standards and Systems.”

A program abstract follows: After the enthusiasm of acquiring a new electronic resource management system (ERMS) subsides, libraries are often overwhelmed by the extent of infrastructure adjustments and sheer manual keying that accompany the care and feeding of an ERM system. This program addresses some of the exciting merging standards from ONIX for Serials, ONIX for Licensing Terms, and the NISO Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) that could expedite the assimilation of information from content providers (via aggregators and PAMS) into a library’s electronic resource management system.

The speakers were:

  • Kathy Klemperer, Library and Information Systems Consulting in Acton, Massachusetts
  • Linda Miller, Library of Congress

Drawing on her experience in libraries, the subscription industry, and standards groups, Ms. Klemperer introduced the standards work, pointing out the types of library activities that can be facilitated with vigorous implementation of these new standards efforts.

Ms. Miller described current efforts to integrate an ERM into the suite of software serving the Library of Congress, discussing some of the challenges and pointing up areas of the system that can benefit from robust support for the new standards related to management of electronic resources.

The presentations were followed by thirty minutes of questions and further discussion. The Chair and Vice-Chair received feedback that the meeting was very timely, interesting and informative.

MARC Formats Discussion Group

Topic: “MARC 21 Format for Community Information: The Forgotten MARC Format?”

Helen E. Gbala gave a presentation on the MARC 21 Format for Community Information. While the format has not been adopted widely, Ms. Gbala identified two libraries that have made some use of the format. She described how the Gale Borden Public Library District in Elgin, Illinois uses the format. One use is a directory of local organizations and officials. The other use is an index to the local newspaper, with emphasis on obituaries and other data useful to persons doing genealogical research. The Gale Borden Library uses an Innovative Interfaces system. Although the use of the MARC 21 Format for Community Information at the Gale Borden Library reflects some non-standard applications of the format, it illustrates the potential use of the format in a library setting.

Ms. Gbala also described the use of the MARC 21 Format for Community Information at the Pasadena Public Library in California. The Pasadena Public Library uses format to provide a community directory of organizations in the Pasadena area. Pasadena Public Library uses a Horizon system from SirsiDynix. The community directory offers both a labeled display and a MARC display of the data in the community organization records.


Comments reflected on why this format has not been adopted more widely. Some of the reasons offered by discussion participants included: the amount of labor needed to establish and maintain entries in a community information database, and the fact that the World Wide Web has made it fairly easy for users to find information about an organization just by searching the web via Google, or other search interfaces.

Discussion participants felt the application would be more viable if community organizations could play a role in creating and maintain their entries in the community information database, or if libraries could ingest data about community organizations and create or update records in the MARC 21 community information database more seamlessly and efficiently. There were also comments that the ability to control names in the community information database would provide a valuable service.

Newspaper Discussion Group

Chair Sue Kellerman welcomed attendees, reviewed the agenda, and acknowledged the speakers for the meeting.

Historical Newspapers Database Product

Invited speaker Rod Gauvin, Senior Vice President of Historical Newspapers, ProQuest, provided an overview of the Historical Newspapers database product that was launched in 2001. Over 5.5 billion newspaper pages are stored in their microfilm vaults. The Historical Newspaper program’s focus is to make newspapers available electronically at the article level. The database offers full-text and full-image articles, along with full-page and article images available as downloadable PDFs. The ongoing program offers titles dating back to the eighteenth century. Titles include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Constitution, The Boston Globe, and The Hartford Courant. It was noted that ProQuest is committed to microfilm and the preservation of its digital assets for the long term. ProQuest’s mission to provide on-line accessibility of newspaper content compliments the NEH/LC National Digital Newspaper Program. Gauvin also noted that ProQuest recently released its Civil War Era newspaper product, covering 1840-1865. The Civil War Era product includes eight titles from southern, northern and border states.

The United States Newspaper Program

Helen Aguera, Senior Program Officer, Division of Preservation and Access, National Endowment for the Humanities, offered remarks on the conclusion of the United States Newspaper Program (USNP), a twenty-plus-year program of funding to preserve newspapers. Funding for the program reached $55 million resulting in 70 million newspaper pages that were being converted to microfilm. All fifty states and United States territories participated in the Program. Currently, NEH is partnering with the Library of Congress to fund pilot and statewide projects for the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

With the 2007 cycle of funding, the NDNP date coverage was expanded to include 1880 to 1910. With the next funding cycle the date coverage will expand to 1880 through 1922.

Mark Sweeney, Library of Congress (LC), provided an update on the NDNP and the United States historical newspaper database, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers . LC’s role in the NDNP is to make historical newspaper content accessible for the long term, promote best practices, and to serve as an aggregator for the nation’s newspapers. Chronicling America, released in March 2007, provides basic level of access and delivery. Over 140,000 bibliographic records, associated local holdings records and newspaper page images from thirty-six titles representing 300,000 pages are now available. Sweeney reported that since the database has gone live, the site has had 50,000 hits. Earlier in June, LC released a version that featured new functions including a revised calendar, searchable title essays, a save search function, and improved page viewing.

Project updates were provided from the following attendees:

  • Henry Synder (California - NDNP) reported on his institution’s NDNP experience and other newspaper activities underway. He noted that over 200,000 pages are currently available online. It was also announced that UC- Riverside will host a celebration of its newspaper project activities in mid-October.
  • Becky Ryder (Kentucky - NDNP) provided an update on their progress to date. The University of Kentucky will be offering its film-to-digital workshop in Lexington on September 10. Announcements are forthcoming.
  • Errol Somay (The Library of Virginia - NDNP) shared his experience and provided an update on status of the project
  • Sue Kellerman (Pennsylvania - USNP) offered an update on their PA filming project and their local digitization projects at Penn State: the Pennsylvania Civil War Newspaper web resource and the Penn State student newspaper the Historical Daily Collegian site.

Future discussion topics for the DG culled from the attendees include:

  • Google’s mass digitization program
  • Selection and copyright issues, especially post-1923
  • Distributed and collaborative projects
  • How to preserve current published newspapers when publishers stop microfilming
  • What is our responsibility to preserve hard copy newspapers?
  • Librarians need to/should develop a dialogue with newspaper publishers and newspaper press associations to share concerns and challenges facing the changing environment of newspaper publishing and long-term preservation of digital assets.

Note: The group recommended that a panel of publishers, librarians and newspaper association representatives be assembled to discuss these issues at next year’s ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.

New Business

Errol Somay from The Library of Virginia was unanimously elected as the new chair.

Pre-Order/Pre-Catalog Searching Discussion Group

This was a special "focus group" session devoted to considering new directions for the discussion group, which under its current name and description, has been described by participants as too limiting and attempts to address an activity within the technical services environment that is no longer compelling. The group had the following objectives:

  • to maintain the discussion group format versus an interest group, in order to provide for fluid and interactive sessions
  • to develop a mission that would extend across division interests, including acquisitions, collection development and cataloging.

The new group proposed a preliminary name of the "Workflow Efficiency Discussion Group" and has the following charge-in-progress:

Charge: To provide a forum to discuss and analyze techniques, new developments, problems and technological advances in the workflows associated with the evaluation, selection, acquisition and discovery of library materials and resources.

In addition, this group will continue as a non-section specific discussion group in order to provide an opportunity for conversations that are more fluid and interactive and less panel-driven. While a main topic may be emphasized, anyone may bring other issues within scope for consideration by the group.

Strategic Plan Fulfillment

The discussion group’s decision to modify its scope fulfills at best the following items:

Goal Area 3, Item 3: Provides opportunities to exchange information and share experiences. Attendees have expressed a desire that this group continue at ALA conferences in its own time slot, rather than merging with existing groups, or discontinued altogether.

Goal Area 5, Item 1: Develops an agile, flexible organizational structure to promote a dynamic environment. The group is responding to changing emphases within our information environment, in recognizing the limited range of the existing group and in identifying areas that could be addressed to a greater depth in our meetings.


The discussion group would like to submit the following recommendations to the ALCTS Board, or other bodies as appropriate:

  • Discontinue the Pre-Order Pre-Catalog Searching Discussion Group
  • Grant the Workflow Efficiency Discussion Group preliminary status as a division-level discussion group
  • Assign the preliminary group the same time slot at ALA as the Pre-Order/Pre-Catalog Searching Discussion Group (Mondays, 1:30-3:30 pm)

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

The meeting opened with introductions around the table, and attendees included eBooks 2.0 Open Forum organizers Ann-Marie Breaux (YBP) and Corey Seeman (Kresge Business Library, University of Michigan), as well as some new faces interested in PVLR issues. Final plans for the open forum at Annual 2007 were discussed. The discussion was then opened to topics for future forums. The topic for the next forum, “What is the ‘Core?’” suggested by Bob Nardini of Coutts, had been decided at the last meeting. Nardini and Amy McColl will soon begin selecting speakers for the next forum. There was also a discussion on the possibility of polling selected people from each area to determine if there is consensus regarding the definition of “core,” or if the concept is still relevant.

Anaheim Topics

Possible topics for the 2008 Annual Conference in Anaheim and beyond were discussed, including the previously discussed topics of “Branding/Marketing for Libraries, Publishers, and Vendors,” and “Patron Driven Acquisitions.” It was felt that both topics would still be of much interest to librarians, publishers, and vendors. The topic for Anaheim will be finalized at the Midwinter 2008 business meeting. There will also be a brainstorming session for Annual 2008 and beyond.

PVLR Open Forum

PVLR sponsored an Open Forum on Monday, June 25, 2007 morning with the title “eBooks 2.0: Now Are We Ready?” The turnout was once again good, despite the early hour and the fact that our forum was held at the same time as other “hot topic” programs. Forum planners Ann-Marie Breaux, Corey Seeman, and Amy McColl did a great job of getting the word out and lining up some very impressive speakers. Jeffrey Earnest, Assistant Director for Collections and Technical Services, National University, discussed National’s experience in acquiring large numbers of eBook packages, and offered advice based on that experience. Michael Levine-Clark, Coordinator of Collections Management, University of Denver, discussed librarians’ assumptions about acquiring eBooks, barriers that prevent them from being added to library collections, and solutions to ease the acquisition of eBooks.

  • Brian Weese, Director of Sales and Marketing, Island Press, discussed the fact that libraries are far ahead of publishers in considering eBooks. The technology exists, but there is still a lot of fear about pricing models and little knowledge regarding how eBooks are being used.
  • Rich Rosy, Vice President, Business Development–Far East, Ingram Digital Ventures, discussed the confusion caused by the various models and platforms offered by publishers and vendors. He feels that eBooks should be included in approval plans to enable integration into library collection development practices.

How are eBooks being used?

This is the next big question facing all parties. Leslie Lees, Vice President for Content Development, ebrary, presented the results of ebrary’s survey on eBook pricing models and usage. He agreed that eBooks need to be incorporated into approval plans, to be more visible to librarians who make collection development decisions, and noted that there is no real “front door” to provide viewing in one place for all eBook resources.

Ann-Marie Breaux did a wonderful job as panel moderator. There were many questions from the attendees after the panel, the presentations have been posted to the PVLR website.

A description of the forum and publicity flyer follows:

“eBooks 2.0: Now Are We Ready?” Many libraries experimented with eBooks when they first emerged in the late 1990s, and many of those experiments resulted in concerns about the quality of content, access restrictions, clunky interfaces, and low use by patrons. Are we finally ready to commit to eBooks now that the there are new models for access, pricing, and content? Are our users ready to incorporate eBooks into their research as widely they have incorporated e-journals? Listen to our panel of librarians, vendors, and publishers discuss how they have been integrating the re-emergence of eBooks into their collection development and business practices.

Scholarly Communications Interest Group

Peter Hirtle, Technology Strategist and Cornell University Library Intellectual Property Officer and Brent Allison, Director of Social Sciences and Professional Programs, University of Minnesota, discussed author rights, author addendums, and library programs on copyright.

Allison provided an overview of copyright-related activities in his library. He discussed e-reserves, activities of the library’s Copyright and Education Office, and the recently issued CIC author addendum that the faculty at the University of Minnesota are encouraged to use. Hirtle discussed author copyright addendums and his research on the various addendums.

The following group discussion addressed faculty’s acceptance and use of copyright addendums, various publishers’ copyright transfer policies, marketing strategies, tools to assist librarians and faculty in resolving copyright issues, university resolutions about faculty publishing and scholarly communications, and the NIH policy and submission process.

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

Michael Boock, the current Discussion Group chair, opened the meeting of approximately forty-five attendees. Roberta Winjum was nominated and elected the next chair of the Medium Heads Group for 2008.

Boock described the meeting agenda as an opportunity to learn about and make suggestions regarding plans for implementation of RDA. He introduced guest, Marjorie Bloss, who discussed issues of RDA. adoption and implementation, including up-to-date information about RDA. as well as the beginning plans for orientation and implementation.

Topics included:

  • Implementation schedule
  • How managers can get ready
  • Tools for learning RDA
  • Formats in which RDA will be available
  • What staff need to know in advance (FRBR, FRAD, etc.)
  • The effects of RDA on our online systems and vendors
  • The effects and interrelationships between RDA, the MARC format, Dublin Core and other metadata schemas.

A summary of the main points follows:

There are multiple reasons to replace AACR2. RDA will make library workflow and costs more efficient, is compatible with other formats, works with traditional print, and will create data that can be used in other metadata schemes that may harvested for our online catalogs.

The RDA group’s new name, as of April 2007, is Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA. RDA will be divided into two parts:

  1. Description and Relationships (relation of work to those who created it, translations, adaptations, criticisms, etc.), and
  2. Access points and authority work.

Chapters will be organized by element, e.g. title or series, regardless of format. RDA focuses purely on content, not how it is displayed. Certain elements will be required if they exist, others will be optional. Heading formats will be similar to those prescribed in AACR2, and RDA records will be compatible with AACR2. RDA focuses on content, not encoding, but MARC might be modified as a result. A group is developing an RDA element vocabulary and application profile.

The initial release of RDA. will be online with tiered pricing. Some institutions will have the ability to edit it online, which will make revisions faster. A custom view will be available to limit to rules relevant for a specific person’s work.

There is a survey link to provide comments until July 15. The site includes a prototype of RDA Online to enable users to comment on how the online version works.

The first target release date is early 2009; day 1 is not the implementation date. The JSC wants to identify those to spearhead implementation, e.g. to see first what national libraries will do.

The following are steps that may be taken by interested individuals:

  • Become more familiar with FRBR
  • Review RDA drafts
  • Check the listserv RDA-L for comments
  • Look at the online version and comment
  • Compare RDA to AACR2
  • Think about what one needs to make the transition, share ideas
  • Talk to ILS vendors
  • Provide comments to the RDA implementation task force, which will form soon

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

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

Cataloging and Metadata Initiatives

Members of the group and invited guests provided updates on a number of initiatives in this area.

  • Bob Wolven, Columbia, and Chris Cole, National Agricultural Library, reported on the two meetings held by the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, noting that the final planned meeting to gather testimony would be held at LC on July 9 and 10.
  • Guest John Attig, Penn State, current ALA representative to the Joint Steering Committee, provided an update on RDA and the outcomes of the recent meeting at the British Library.
  • Robert Keift, Haverford College, whose Rich Cat project is sponsored by the group, was invited to provide a review of progress to date.
  • Michael Norman, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, provided an update on the work of the Automating Metadata Generation Task Force.
  • Group members Bob Wolven and John Riemer led discussion of de-coupling the user interface from backend systems, and the effect of this trend on the work of technical services was considered. Wolven provided a brief update on the Digital Library Federation (DLF) plan to create a working group on the model of the ERMI Working Group to develop requirements for de-coupling the array of current services as a first step. The report of this group, which will be chaired by John Ockerbloom, Penn State, is due to the DLF in December 2007.

The final agenda topic was a general discussion of different models for managing e-resource workflow. Group members described the intent behind decisions to integrate this work into regular technical services functions, or to create specialized units at their institutions to support this work. The discussion also considered the place of e-resource management systems in the workflow.

The chair elect called for agenda topics for the 2008 Midwinter Meeting, and the group provided a short list which will be refined in the coming months.

The chair thanked the discussion leaders and adjourned the meeting.


Acquisitions Section (AS) Discussion & Interest Groups

Acquisitions Managers and Vendors Interest Group

Steve Bosch, Materials Budget and Procurement Librarian, University of Arizona, served as moderator for a panel discussion on e-books. The panel consisted of:

  • James Gray, President/CEO, Ingram Digital Group and MyiLibrary
  • Kari Paulson, President, E-Book Library (EBL)
  • Olaf Ernst, Director, E-Content Development, Springer Publishing
  • Nader Qaimari, Senior Director, Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Chris Thorpe, CEO, Knovel Corporation

About eighty people attended the meeting. Bosch explained that the University of Arizona has tried many e-book models and described a general picture of the market: collections or individual titles can be purchased or accessed by subscription, and there are pay-per-view and rental programs. In the future, there may be capability for rental or purchase of chapters or snippets. Bibliographic records in the online catalog are the traditional path of discovery, and librarians request MARC records from vendors. There are also aggregated databases such as the Springer collections. Locating titles through browsers is important since all users do not begin their searches in the library catalog. Usage statistics are improving, but are not as mature for e-books as other resources. Circulation rates at the University of Arizona are at 50 percent of available e-books. The benefits of e-books to libraries are ease of use, broader access, searching inside the text, and space savings. Detractors or barriers include pricing problems (150 percent to 200 percent of retail), the chicken and egg problem of lack of content and lack of use (that is, more content would result in more use and vice versa), proprietary readers cannot be used across desired equipment (such as PDAs), counter-intuitive interfaces, and Digital Rights Management (DRM) issues that result in frustrations, such as having to print page by page. Librarians desire discovery through web browsers as well as the catalog, use on familiar platforms, linking (lateral movement from content to content, whereas right now we still have the equivalent of print put into digital form), and lower pricing because publishers could use libraries to penetrate a larger market.

Olaf Ernst agreed with the need to make e-books easy to use and attractive to users. Usage is more visible with e-books than with print. Researchers are more concerned with trustworthy content to meet their needs whether the format is a book or a journal.

e-books and Engineers

Chris Thorpe followed that line of thought by explaining that Knovel’s vision is to satisfy the reference information needs of practicing engineers and some of the content happens to be in e-book format. When searching for the term “pump” in Knovel, it will be a niche-oriented search that will not produce results that include women’s shoes. Knovel’s business is about 75 percent in the corporate marketplace and 25 percent academic. Research libraries are important customers so Knovel delivers MARC records, but echoed Olaf’s feeling that it is all about usage. Knovel knows their users are using Google not Yahoo or Ask Jeeves, and wants to utilize that knowledge.

Marketing Format Choice

James Gray of Ingram Digital Group and MyiLibrary (an aggregated e-book platform) noted that the market is evolving rapidly, Google is raising awareness of retrieval, and there are innovative publishers like Springer while other publishers are now realizing the need to offer format choice. There is a need for standards to facilitate resource discovery, and then there can be a move toward more utilization of content such as inputting notes and sharing. Gray thinks pricing issues will come under pressure, and called Springer’s offer “phenomenal.” His other thoughts included: aggregation is an important part of how the market will evolve, federated searching is not yet what we need it to be, MARC records are a poor form of discovery, and we will look for solutions for archiving. Gray encouraged the audience to share any great ideas since “we are writing the rules as we go.” He also noted the need to integrate with an efficient acquisitions process since vendors struggle with getting thousands of publishers to negotiate contracts.

Acquisitions Workflow and Patron Needs

Kari Paulson of E-books Library (EBL) discussed workflow in libraries where selectors desire title-by-title purchases but lack time to. There is a move away from databases to individual titles in the collection. Paulson echoed Bosch, stating that we are not yet taking advantage of using books at a chapter level. He stated that when content is available, patrons will use it, and we will then achieve a critical mass. She noted that there is less delay on accessing the content with e-books, and usage exceeds expectations in cases where EBL’s catalog is loaded into the library catalog. Aggregation makes less correlation with usage and it is difficult to divide up payments to authors and publishers in an aggregated model. Regarding DRM, we do need to make it easier on users. EBL partners with traditional suppliers like Blackwell’s Book Services and Yankee Book Peddler so that it is possible to do approval plans and make things simpler for librarians. Demand-driven acquisitions and just-in-time delivery, can now work, shifting the paradigm of buying up front. Paulson said that we have “hit a tipping point” because we are hearing that patrons are confused when they do not find the e-book in libraries that offer some e-books.

e-reference books: Just the Content, Please

Nader Qaimari discussed use of books for information rather than the books that are read cover-to-cover, and indicated that Gale’s focus on reference was suited to a database-like format. Other platforms do not meet the needs of reference use because it is desirable to have both HTML and PDF. Gale’s offerings have expanded to include forty partners so that it is not solely content from Gale. Elsevier signed an agreement with Gale on June 23, 2007. Qaimari remarked that the “Google issue” is one that needs to be faced since everyone uses it and cited Gale’s Access My Library initiative to make periodical and reference content available through search engine crawling as great advocacy for libraries. Qaimari also noted a need to minimize emphasis on platforms since users do not want to navigate different platforms and want to do more than just view the content.

During the question and answer session, an attendee agreed that the tipping point has been reached, and DRM will eventually be overcome. However, libraries are concerned about losing resource sharing with e-books. James Gray responded that publishers set the DRM and with a $31 billion market, mostly through sources such as Barnes & Noble, and the library market is a very small share and could not cover the revenue loss through the bookshops. When an attendee asked if the music industry might lead the way regarding DRM, Gray responded that publishers want to avoid the issue plaguing the music industry, and there will not be a single provider as is the Apple scenario for music. Ernst (Springer) said that selling unprotected PDFs would be a huge step requiring internal discussion, but that the lesson from the music industry is “if you want people to use it, you have to make it easy.”

Another attendee asked about lateral linking and why it had not taken off with books yet as with journals. Paulson noted that since publishers do not provide content with linking, this would require lots of expensive manipulation which in turn would increase the cost of the books. The starting point is still print, which is being converted to digital instead of starting digital. Thorpe noted that in the journal market, users want linking to see what others are doing and publishers accommodate them. He added that standards are necessary to meet the user needs. Gray added that Oxford University Press and Springer are asking authors to write book/chapter abstracts, and author-supplied metadata can help. Aggregators cannot afford to do it downstream because libraries do not want to pay for it. MARC records are not good for chapter-level linking right now (which reinforced Thorpe’s comment on the need for standards).

Gifts and Exchanges Discussion Group

All present introduced themselves. The following topics of interest to attendees were discussed.

  • There was an update on large gifts processing workflow/regulations. This was an action item and the Chair agreed to send the related e-mail message to all in attendance.
  • There was a review of processing: who does what, such as acquisitions versus collection management. The discussion included downplaying gifts in an environment of increasing numbers of retiring faculty.
  • Other discussion topics: Are contracts with resale services (e.g., Better World Books) really necessary? Gifts backlogs and discards; Decreasing book sales; Disposal of items by making them free for the taking in libraries; The administrative organization of gifts runs the full spectrum of all acquisitions to all collection development, and hybrids in between, even within the tiny sample of those at this meeting.


Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS) Discussion & Interest Groups

ALCTS CCS/MAGERT Discussion Group for Cataloging Cartographic Resources

Susan Moore is the new chair, and will commence her tour of duty with the Midwinter meeting in January 2008.

There was an update on the preconference “Rare, Antiquarian, or Just Plain Old: Cataloging Pre-Twentieth Century Cartographic Resources.” The instructors of the preconference received excellent reviews. Many of the preconference attendees suggested that the instructors provide an open forum to continue the discussion on cataloging antiquarian materials. It was suggested that they create a listserv for cataloging pre-twentieth century cartographic resources.

A discussion on core level records versus minimal level records generated ideas for a library requesting information on the best method to catalog a collection in a timely manner. A review the core level requirements and standards was suggested.

There was also a discussion of form/genre, specifically using the 653 field in map and atlas records to add uncontrolled vocabulary topics as the form/genre. Several libraries disagreed with the usage of this field for that purpose. It may confuse patrons and/or catalogers as to which terms to add for which topic.

Lastly, there was a discussion on input standards for the 007 and the 052 fields, and our recommendations to OCLC and MARC standards for 007. The general consensus of the group was to recommend to OCLC to change their standard for the map and globe 007s from “Optional” to “Required” if Applicable.

Catalog Management Discussion Group

Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Archives and Special Collections Catalog Librarian, University of Minnesota (UM) Libraries discussed UM's series practice following the Library of Congress’ change in series treatment. UM had traced all series for many years. In order to gather more information on the usefulness of series authority control for access, they consulted with peers in other institutions and with public services staff, and sent queries to various listservs. They also examined the number of series authority records they created every month (about ten). That number would no doubt increase. Since that was not an overwhelming number, they decided to continue tracing all series and will track any increases. They will also revisit their decision every six months.

Outsourcing and Vendor Records

Magda El-Sherbini, Head, Cataloging Department, Ohio State University Libraries, discussed the impact of outsourcing and the use of vendor records on catalog management. Outsourcing impacts three areas:

  • Preparation for contracting and its impact
  • Contract management
  • Results
    • Resolving backlog issues by combining in-house processing and contracting
    • The process demonstrated more creative ways to deal with the cataloging of other materials such as CJK
    • Flexibility in cataloging and staffing was learned
    • Experience enabled them to serve as a contractor for other libraries.
    • They learned to contract as a contractor.
    • Their visibility was enhanced.
    • Contracting is a learning process.
    • Knowledge is power. Now we act like contractors.

Contracting was very beneficial and educational. It achieved what the library could not do in fifty years. It showed them how to shift cataloging from professional librarians to paraprofessionals and student assistants.

It helped to explore options in catalog management. The experience helped her department to expand and work for other units in the system, such as the law library. On the management side, it created a need to train librarians how to manage contracts.

Catalog Management and e-books

Ann O'Bryan, Associate Librarian, Head, Bibliographic and Metadata Services, University Library, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis discussed the impact of a large e-book purchase, such as NetLibrary, on catalog management

Ms. O’Bryan gave a brief overview of the issues and problems, and presented four questions for discussion:

  • Who (catalogers or systems staff) is loading the records?
  • What kinds of quality control mechanisms are needed?
  • How can we work with ebook vendors to get records we need with as little human intervention as possible?
  • What are the authority control outsourcing options?

Cataloging and Classification Research Discussion Group

The ALCTS CCS Cataloging & Classification Research Discussion Group meeting was very fortunate to have Sylvia D. Hall-Ellis, Associate Professor, Library and Information Science Program from the University of Denver discuss her research topic “Puzzles, Problems, and Predicaments: Research Applications for Cataloging.”

The following quote illustrates the focus of Ellis’ presentation:

Research as a powerful tool for catalogers to examine problems and investigate challenges that affect workflow, service delivery, and leadership development; research methodologies and their applications in the cataloging department and library workplaces; research strategies as organizational development and measurement tools; and also outlined how and why structured investigations are vital components of communication and leadership in today’s cataloging environment.

The topic was timely and provided attendees a wealth of ideas for research in cataloging. Approximately thirty attendees actively participated in the question and answer portion of the meeting.

CCRDG continued the evaluation process as a way to improve meetings and discussions and to receive feedback on descriptions of potential research taking place in the profession.

Cataloging Norms Discussion Group

Co-chair Dr. Susan Matveyeva introduced the session's topic "Changing Workflows of Catalogers Working with MARC and Non-MARC Metadata” and welcomed incoming officers Tatiana Barr, Yale University, and Lihong Zhu, Washington State University (co-chairs), Birdie McLennan, University of Vermont, and Adrienne Aluzzo, Wayne State University (vice-chairs). Co-Chair Jennifer Lang introduced the speakers. Over sixty people attended the program.

Designing Workflows That Meet Local Needs

Jackie Shieh, Senior Associate Librarian, Data Loads and Development (Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, University of Michigan) presented "Designing Workflows that Meet Local Needs: Two Case Studies," and compared cataloging workflows of the University of Virginia and University of Michigan. The starting point at the University of Virginia was TEI-header metadata, which was converted to MARC. University of Michigan's staring point was MARC records, which were converted to various project-based metadata formats, such as BibClass, Dublin Core, DC for OAI-PMH, MODS, etc. In both cases, an original cataloger was responsible for creation and conversion of records as well as for communication to System Administrator of specific Perl module needs regarding record conversion.

Integrating Non-MARC Metadata into the Tech Services Workflow

Melanie Feltner-Reichert, Metadata Librarian and Assistant Professor, and Marielle Veve, Catalog Librarian and Assistant Professor (both are from the University of Tennessee Hodges Library) in their presentation "Integrating Non-MARC Metadata into the Workflow of a Traditional Technical Services Department: Perspectives from Librarians at the University of Tennessee Technical Services and Digital Access Team" explored their recent experience of adding the creation of Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) records to the traditional duties of technical services librarians and support staff at the University of Tennessee Hodges Library. The presenters discussed their local process of integration, lessons learned from the early stages of implementation, and the surprising modifications to workflow that emerged from the practice.

Developing an Open Catalog Platform

In the final presentation "Building Library 1.1," Charley Pennell, Principal Cataloger for Metadata, Metadata and Cataloging, and Kristin Antelman, Associate Director for the Digital Library (both are from North Carolina State University) shared their experience of development of an open catalog platform by creating a web services layer to support features such as RSS and integrating structured data from outside of the ILS. The development began with classification and geographical hierarchies, and potentially might be extending to chronological hierarchies, FRBR "work-level" records, and academic discipline-related vocabularies. These efforts pointed to the need for access to additional data that was outside the local machine environment. Presenters looked at some of these data sources and addressed the obstacles that still need to be overcome before library catalogs, and librarians, will be able to fully join the broader Web 2.0 discovery environment.

Revised Charge

The existing CNDG charge concentrated on production norms of original catalogers. In the current situation, when even basic cataloging norms became questionable, the focus of the group's interest shifted toward the exploration of definition, typology, and dynamics of cataloging norms. In the CNDG Charge Review, the group requested the revision of the charge and submitted the proposal for the revised charge to the CCS Policy and Planning Committee. The group worked with PPC Coordinator Tina Shrader on the text. Diane Baden presented the revised version to the CCS Executive Committee. After discussion, the Committee made suggestions and approved a proposal as following: "To offer a forum for the exploration, communication, and exchange of ideas and best practices on the dynamics of cataloging/metadata norms and workflows in the hybrid environment." The revised charge will be posted to the group’s website.

Copy Cataloging Discussion Group

The meeting began with a brief business meeting. A short discussion of the day/time for Midwinter’s meeting followed, in which it was noted that CCDG will return to its usual 10 am Monday timeslot. Judy Mansfield, Library of Congress, gave a short LC cataloging update. The program, revolving around workflow changes in copy cataloging, as presented by Bruce Evans, Baylor University, and Magda el-Sherbini, The Ohio State University. Questions and discussion followed, and the group adjourned shortly before 10 am.

Heads of Cataloging Discussion Group

There was a panel discussion with various types of libraries represented. The topic examined whether level of cataloging and format of material influence of the level of personnel assigned to perform the work. If so, how? Do the answers to these questions vary by type of library?

Rebecca Mugridge, Head, Cataloging and Metadata Services, Penn State University Libraries, addressed the topic from the academic library perspective. Mugridge discussed how the grading system in her library influences duties, with professional librarians being given increased responsibility. She indicated that the level of cataloging and type of format cataloged influences the level of personnel assigned to perform the work. The size of the library staff also provides flexibility in diversifying assignments.

Sarah Simpson, Technical Services Librarian, Tulsa City County (OK) Public Library, represented the public library perspective. Her major responsibility is to determine who does what in the cataloging department. Simpson noted that cross training in cataloging of different types of materials is therefore a must to keep up with intended production level. Other types of changes such as LC treatment of series reduces the “usefulness” of LC records and slows down the cataloging process. The public library is considering various options to remedy the lack of qualified staff to perform these more complex tasks. Outsourcing cataloging (particularly foreign languages), in addition to aggressive cross training of existing staff and workflow changes to allow one person catalog an item from a beginning to an end, are being considered. These changes bring forward a whole slew of staff reclassification issues and salary adjustments, plus time needed for training that at least temporarily slows the cataloging production.

Lowell Ashley, Head, Original Cataloging Section, Cataloging Services Department, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, indicated that there is a distinct correlation between level of cataloging staff and formats cataloged. The Smithsonian staff are divided into the Cataloging Management Section (CMS) with four high- level staff, and two lower- level catalogers, and the Original Cataloging Section, consisting of eight and a half professional catalogers. CMS performs 65 percent of all cataloging activities, versus 9-14 percent original cataloging done by OCS. Only 10-11 percent of records come through PromptCat. His advice is to increase amount of books purchased versus gift books, and/or to employ contract catalogers to handle the more time consuming cataloging of older materials.

Beacher Wiggins, Director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Control, Library of Congress, discussed personnel reorganization at the Library of Congress (LC). The shortage of catalogers has prompted LC management to revise responsibilities of existing librarian and technician personnel. Wiggins indicated that the goal of this “revolution” is to obtain an “optimal outcome with optimal output of staff redeployment.” The change will be to merge Cataloging with Acquisitions to harvest already existing foreign language expertise among LC staff members, and to reach the better ration of staff to supervisors and to work being performed. Job descriptions will be revised to include acquisitions and metadata components alongside with collection development activities and consultation, training and mentoring (when applicable).


In short, the librarians will be required to independently acquire materials from assigned countries and catalog them using their subject expertise. Technicians will be required to do copy cataloging and perform online searching and material processing. The long-term goal is to have them provide all descriptive cataloging that in turn calls for more foreign language expertise on the technicians’ part.

LC’s cataloging organizational chart will be simplified by collapsing fourteen existing divisions into ten units that will have 600-plus combined acquisitions/cataloging staff. The reorganization’s catch phrase is “one does as much to an item as one is able to do then passes it on to the other specialist.”

Results of 2007 Survey on Level of Cataloging versus Level of Personnel

Robert Ellett conducted a survey of cataloging managers. Most of the 275 respondents were from academic libraries (58 percent) with 28 percent from public libraries, 10 percent from special libraries including federal libraries and the remaining 10 percent from school libraries, vendors, and library consortia. The major preliminary finding of this survey was that professional librarians handled records lacking subject analysis such as classification numbers and support staff handled subject headings while records with these elements.

A lively discussion followed. Some audience members expressed the sentiment about the lack of correlation between cataloging level and salary level and the fact that there were too few responses in the survey from public libraries.

There were questions regarding LC’s reorganization. The questions included:

  • How is LC handling the fact that materials will be passed from one person to another during the cataloging process? Answer: In most cases, one-two people in one physical location will handle them.
  • How will redistribution of responsibilities impact staff GS classification? Answer: This is a union issue. Reorganization will enable better utilization of skills and language proficiencies; employees will be surveyed regarding existing expertise.
  • Do you anticipate any negative effects from the reorganization? Answer: A big drop in cataloging output that might impact the libraries nationwide. Also, this is a long-term training project, and Wiggins indicated that he is counting on increased contributions by PCC libraries.
  • Does this signal a cultural shift in form of next generation cataloging? Answer: For now, paraprofessionals are not allowed to represent cataloging concerns on national level since they lack an MLS. Encouraging paraprofessionals to get MLS degree is a possible solution.>

The meeting included a call for current position announcements.

Dustin Larmore, Cataloging and Metadata Librarian, Old Dominion University, is the new vice-chair/chair-elect of the discussion group.


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

Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group

Fern Brody, University of Pittsburgh, was elected as the incoming chair. There was a discussion of institutional reports, and there were questions from members regarding specific reports.

The report format and utility of the current format were discussed, and it was agreed that this practice should be continued.

Membership criteria for the group was discussed. It was agreed that ARL ranking is the basis for inclusion.

James Simon, Center for Research Libraries, reported on the AAU/ARL/CRL report of global collections. An extensive discussion followed

There was a discussion of institutional approaches to scholarly communications on campuses.

Janus Initiatives were discussed.

Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Interest Group

The interest group discussed e-book trends, including selection and evaluation in collection development. Most of the institutions represented in the group reported that they collected some e-books but none reported that e-books have become a major focus of their collection development plan. Most e-books were selected title-by-title; very few had purchased complete publisher e-book packages. The Interest Group discussed the features of e-books that most reported as being favorable and those that most reported as being unfavorable. Issues related to interoperability between various vendors’ platforms were also discussed.

The Interest Group next started a discussion of the impact of Institutional Repositories on collection development but did not have time to explore this issue fully.

Representing the ALA/RUSA/CODES Collection Development Policies and Assessment Committee, Jonathan Harwell (University of Alabama, Birmingham) asked the Interest Group to co-sponsor a program for either ALA Annual 2009, or for a discussion group for Midwinter 2008 on a broad issue of collection development and assessment. The Interest Group is interested in co-sponsoring such a program, and incoming chair, Brian Quinn (Texas Tech University) and incoming vice-chair, Roberta Astroff (Penn State University) will contact the ALA/RUSA/CODES committee after ALA Annual to start the process of developing a joint program.

Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries Discussion Group

The group was divided into five subgroups that discussed five different topics.

Working with Classroom Faculty to Promote Collection Use

Many selectors have instruction and outreach responsibilities in addition to collection development. There is an opportunity to suggest materials for classroom teaching and to observe materials usage. Attending department meetings and meeting with new faculty are also opportunities. Accreditation reviews are another opportunity to discuss information literacy with faculty. Attending new faculty orientation is a good way to begin building relationships. Creating and building subject web pages can be another way of collaborating with faculty. An additional way of collaborating with faculty is through teaching them about new technology. Librarians can take advantage of use statistics to promote quality resources that are underused.

Collection Development Collaborating with Interlibrary Loan

The lines between ILL and collection development are blurring. Many ILL departments have instituted on-demand purchasing and are tracking use of on-demand. ILL has also begun collecting use statistics that are relevant to collection development. Some libraries are combining ILL with acquisitions and collection development. ILL statistics are now available in WorldCat. ILL data can be used to adjust approval plans. Open URL resolver data might help to gauge how many users select a journal title that is requested via ILL. ILL data may be misleading since one user may request a title many times and is doing research for a limited time. It will be interesting to see if vendors permit e-books to be accessed via ILL. It is important to have ILL, collection development and acquisitions work more closely together.

Marketing and Outreach for Library Collections

In marketing, it is important to define goals. What do you want to achieve? It may help to form a committee within the library or to utilize governing committees. It also helps to have a methodology for promoting and marketing collections. The collection can be promoted in several ways, such as book and art exhibits relating to the curriculum and to university events. McNaughton bestsellers can be used as a marketing tool for the entire university community. Promoting databases to faculty who already feel overwhelmed may be difficult. Branding and consistency of look and feel in design and language are important. Another strategy for promoting library collections is celebrating faculty achievements such tenure. Developing the right informational materials can help to promote the collection, such as a message from the dean of the libraries. Other means of promoting the collection include promotional book sales, exhibits, readings, and online tutorials, as well as a presence in Facebook. Professors and students could be pictured with books, similar to the ALA “Read” campaign. This will help to garner marketing support from stakeholders in the institution outside the library. Game nights, pizza nights, and extended study hours can be ways to bring students into the library. How do we tie collections in with these events? Plasma screens can be used for announcing events and highlighting collections.

Models, Strategies, and Procedures for Collection Assessment

WorldCat can be an important tool for evaluating the collection since it enables librarians to identify strengths, gaps, and overlap with peer libraries. It may be necessary to obtain permission to access data from WorldCat peer libraries before conducting an analysis. WorldCat can handle multiple integrated library systems. It is able to distinguish between products and formats: monographs, dissertations, serials, videos, etc. Some questions that were raised include: Is it better to analyze subject areas or call number ranges? What methods can be used to evaluate the data?

WorldCat has recently added ILL enhancements. They allow librarians to compare borrowing requests over time to identify collection priorities. Libraries can determine their user needs by analyzing ILL requests based on age, subject, serial and non-serial items. Analyzing what the library is lending can indicate collection use patterns and strengths. There was discussion regarding who at the participant’s institution has learned to use the tool: selectors, bibliographers, ILL staff, etc. The types of training offered and the frequency, and who is expected to be proficient at running reports, were discussed. Participants discussed new practices that had been implemented and how this has influenced decision making. Other methods of collection assessment were discussed, including analyzing circulation of print materials, usage data for digital resources, and citation analysis. Use of the conspectus and whether it is still considered valuable was discussed. This was followed by discussion about issues related to conducting collection assessment prototypes and major projects. The final issue discussed was the outcomes of assessment.

Re-Envisioning, Significantly Retooling, and Completely Overhauling Collection Management Programs. Does this Involve a Complete Change or Simply Making it Better?

The definition of re-envisioning was discussed. Examples of re-envisioning for others include print on demand or just in time ordering, and the move from traditional departmental allocations to one central source of funds. Revision of approval plans can result in plans where returns are null. How will the Google book digitization project impact on collection development? What effect will e-books have on collection development, given that many e-books are sold in packages rather than individually? Some e-book packages allow for multiple users. Faculty liaison partnerships are moving from paper selection to digital projects. Libraries are outsourcing selection by using approval plans. Will creating profiles for e-books be the same as print? Do the platforms make a difference? The possibility of using social networking technologies such as blogs, wikis, etc. to alert faculty and students to new collection materials was discussed. There is a trend toward decreasing the number of selectors in order to streamline the selection process, reallocating funds to digital formats and institutional repositories. Perhaps we should let people choose what they want and have patron-driven selection. Consortial issues related to e-books were discussed, such as sharing and ILL, as well as preservation. Should the last copy of a book be in print or electronic form?

Collection Management in Public Libraries Discussion Group

Approximately forty-eight people attended this informative discussion on vendor ordering, collection assessment tools, and new collection formats. Kerry Cronin, ALCTS/CMDS and Jean Gaffney, RUSA/CODES led the discussion.

Vendor Ordering

The discussion related to vendor ordering focused on which vendors libraries are using for audiovisual materials, world language books, and downloadable audio books. Several libraries expressed satisfaction with Midwest Tape AV material due to the vendor’s partnership with OCLC, their ability to supply MARC records and customized selection lists, which can be distributed directly to individual selector accounts. One difficulty cited related to compatibility between music security tags and the library’s security system. The issue is currently being resolved via conference calls. The consensus opinion favored Midwest Tape’s speed of fulfillment and fulfillment rates over BWI’s. Baker and Taylor are cited as offering good customer service, but their AV division has demonstrated difficulties in supplying material with full physical processing.

Multicultural Books and Video, an OCLC partner, was mentioned as a good source for world language material. Other attendees expressed dissatisfaction with their customer service, Arabic holdings, physical markings, and poor bindings. Asia for Kids was recommended for Pan Asian, Korean, and Chinese material. Tsai Fong Books was also recommended for their customized selection lists, online ordering, and responsive customer service. DK Publishing is recommended for Hindi and Punjabi material. Kinga and Unicont were recommended for Russian material.

Several attendees indicated that they work with OverDrive for downloadable media. They also recommended talking to both OverDrive and publishers to persuade them to add new titles to the downloadable audio book service. The Jackson Wyoming Public Library has a trial with My Library DVD, but indicated that promotion of the service is an issue. OCLC recently dropped their partnership with NetLibrary due to the simultaneous user business model in place. Tumblebooks was recommended as having a huge selection of audio books at inexpensive prices. None of the libraries represented reported using NetFlicks. One attendee described the NetFlicks business model as five videos for five dollars, with consumers qualifying for one hour of on demand service for every dollar spent monthly.

Collection Assessment Tools

The group also discussed collection assessment tools. OCLC’s collection assessment tool is primarily used by academic libraries, and only ten public libraries have subscribed to the service to date. Several attendees indicated that it is not a valuable tool for popular collections because it cannot be used effectively for collection development. The Philadelphia Free Library recently purchased SIRSI/Dynix’s Director’s Station Module, which will generate branch specific collection details and represent data with graphics. A representative from Solinet indicated that Spectra by Library Dynamics is a new competitor to OCLC’s collection analysis tool. Most ILS systems provide dusty books reports, monthly usage reports, and year-end reports with annual turnover rates. The ILS systems can also generate reports on high demand titles (reserve ratios), and circulation figures for a select timeframe.

New Media Formats

The last topic discussed was new media formats. While several libraries indicated that it is a goal to replace magnetic media with DVDs, most are keeping their audio book cassettes and videos for another year. At this point, Blue Ray appears to be the most popular, with 100 titles available at this time. Some new releases will only be launched in the new format. The Wal-Mart site was identified as a good source for tracking the popularity of new media formats.

Theft remains a problem with popular DVDs and vending machines for videos were discussed. The proliferation of downloadable media makes this a questionable investment. One library displays DVDs on a locked shelf. When patrons enter their library card number, they are able to unlock the case and obtain their requested DVD. The majority of libraries in attendance permit holds to be placed on DVDs.

Several librarians indicated that Playaways have not circulated as much as originally anticipated. Libraries generally offer disposable earphones and new batteries with each circulation. One library indicated that they use rechargeable batteries. Several stressed the importance of marketing the Playaway collection.

The Saint Joseph County Library in South Bend, Indiana circulates iPods with downloadable audio book content purchased from Apple preloaded on them.

The King County Library System uses OverDrive’s direct download stations, but indicated that the service has not been widely used to date.

Midwinter Topics

Anne Lee, Collection Development Manager at the Philadelphia Free Library, volunteered to coordinate a program on publisher presentations for the midwinter conference. Several attendees expressed enthusiasm for the program, and requested that it take place independent of the Collection Management in Public Libraries Discussion Group.


Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) Discussion & Interest Groups

Digital Preservation Discussion Group

Walter Cybulski, National Library of Medicine (NLM), gave a summary report on major issues and developments in digital preservation that were addressed at the 2007 Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) Archiving Conference. Priscilla Caplan (Florida Center for Library Automation) provided an update on PREMIS (Preservation Metadata Implementation Strategies). Caplan agreed to communicate the need for additional PREMIS tutorials to the PREMIS Editorial Committee. Jake Nadal (New York Public Library) presented the definitions for digital preservation drafted by a working group appointed by the PARS Executive Committee at Midwinter 2007. (See

At the suggestion of Discussion Group members, several wording changes were added to the preamble of the document for further discussion. The revised preamble and definitions were submitted to PARS Executive Committee on June 25, 2007. Evelyn Frangakis (NYPL) presided over a lively and extended discussion of the future of preservation programs in the digital environment. Suggested follow up included planning a conference program that would address some of the major issues raised during the discussion. Due to lack of time, Karen Brown (State University of New York at Albany) led an abbreviated discussion of digital preservation training needs. The Discussion Group approved the renewal of Cathy Martyniak (University of Florida) and the appointment of Rebecca Ryder (University of Kentucky) as co-chairs for 2007-2008.

Intellectual Access Interest Group

The Registry of Digital Masters and OCLC’s eContent Synchronization Program: Supporting mass digitization projects were the discussion topics.

Objectives were to:

  • Provide introduction and update to the Registry of Digital Masters
  • Provide information about OCLC’s eContent Synchronization Program supporting mass digitization projects
  • Provide firsthand information about how one institution (University of Chicago) began using the Registry, and who and what were involved in this process
  • Appoint a new interest group co-chair

“The Registry of Digital Masters: Introduction and Update” was presented by Susan Westberg, Associate Product Manager, Cataloging Products and Services, OCLC.

OCLC’s eContent Synchronization Program was introduced and discussed by Bill Carney, Product Manager, Business Development Division, OCLC. This is an OCLC pilot program designed to synchronize WorldCat with participating mass digitization programs to increase the visibility of digital materials at the point of need. Carney discussed the pilot and how it relates to the Registry of Digital Masters.

Renette Davis, Head, Serials and Digital Resources Cataloging, University of Chicago Library, shared information about University of Chicago’s experience initiating and using the Registry.

Discussion included questions about OCLC’s pilot eContent Synchronization Program and how to broaden participation in (and subsequent usefulness of) the Registry.

Jonathan Thorn, Reformatting Engineer at the Safe Sound Archive, will serve as new co-chair with Tyra Grant. Atalanta Grant-Suttie concluded her term.

Library Binding Discussion Group

Ann Marie Willer (MIT) provided a brief but insightful presentation on the binding of music materials. Music binding involves special challenges in that items must lie flat since they will be used for performances. In addition, they are often issued in parts and the parts must be "useable" for several performers.

Jay Hurd (Harvard) discussed book cloth options in conservation labs. He described a variety of materials used and treatment decisions which led to an open discussion on the importance of book cloth quality and durability.

Joe Dunham (LBS) discussed upcoming changes in book cloth due to manufacturer changes and market forces. A new cloth that might eventually replace buckram is entering the market. Jeanne Drewes of LC announced that their lab will be testing these new materials to see how well they hold up.

Suzanne Wiersma (Wallaceburg Bookbinding) provided a detailed demonstration of LARS, which showed how it can be an effective tool for binding preparation and production tracking.

A lively and large group provided for a jam packed meeting.

Physical Quality and Treatment Discussion Group

Jeanne Drewes presented on research and testing at the Library of Congress. The ongoing program goals are:

  • To extend longevity of all collections
  • Evaluate what they have now/perform testing
  • Test quality and longevity of collection housing and supplies (for example, deacidification)
  • Understand and monitor environmental monitoring (for example, work with Climate Notebook and IPI)
  • Establish library and national standards (for example, book cloth, buckram, high density storage). The scope of the Library of Congress’ scope is traditional paper and manuscript based collections.

They are also examining best housing practices for photographs. They are testing housing with argon gas and researching preservation issues with magnetic tape such as sticky shed, vinegar syndrome as well as the viability of tape analysis. They are working with particle physicist, Carl Haber on the digital imaging of phonographic discs, in the IRENE project. This project is currently able to non-invasively retrieve two-dimensional sound from images. They will work on three-dimensional surface imaging in the next phase.

LC is examining the long-term preservation of digital media hardware such CDs, DVDs, and thumb drives. They are conducting quality assurance of products and materials such as book cloth and PVA adhesive. They are researching fire retardants and suppressants in fire suppression.

They are also looking to other professional fields such as medicine to research haptic technology for conservation pedagogical methods that conservators can practice on materials before conducting treatments much like how surgeons practice incisions before surgery. A wealth of other equipment is being examined such as CHNO analyzers, colorimeters, and brightimeters.

LC also wants to invest more research funds into looking at storage environments so that they can produce more definitive and analytical answers.

High Density Storage at Fort Meade

Beatriz Hapso gave a presentation on the high-density storage facility at Fort Meade. Space has always been an issue at LC. First the Jefferson building was constructed, followed by the Adams building, the Madison building was constructed in the 1970s. By the 1980s, the Library still needed more space and they began looking into high density storage.

They decided to follow the Harvard model and were fortunate to receive a donation of land at Fort Meade. The original design was for thirteen modules. Module 1 has been built, and Module 2 is under construction. Module 1 holds 1.5 million books, has year round HVAC regulation, fifty degrees Fahrenheit and 30 percent RH, and 95 percent air return. It was designed to hold 125 cubic feet of records. The shelves are fifty-three inches in length and thirty-six inches in depth, which allows for placement of boxes two deep.

Processing for the depository occurs before shipment of materials to Fort Meade. There is a full inventory of each item, and all volumes going to Fort Meade are cleaned with a HEPA filter vacuum. The items at the depository are stored by size to optimize the space. Hapso noted it was initially difficult to convince the reference librarians and bibliographers to send items to off-site storage. They eventually became convinced after it was proven that books could be retrieved within three hours and that they were always on the shelf. The inventory management is all about the barcode, and not the book’s title. For this reason, there is a triple check system in place to insure the book is linked to the right box. The materials are transported in specially designed book trucks that fit the boxes exactly so that there is no shifting.

The boxes LC uses have lids. Other institutions do not use the top lids as much, but LC believes the lids add extra protection from light and dust. Once books go to off-site storage they cannot be returned to the library permanently and there is no reparation. This is due to the fact that it would be very difficult to replace an item in the boxes since they are grouped by size. Their retrieval system is a man-on-board system, not a robotic retrieval system. Individuals who operate this machine must be certified. The aisles are 100 feet deep, and have twenty-five miles of shelves.

Module 2 will hold 2.2 million books. LC currently sends 4, 000 books a day to off-site storage. The depository follows NFPF 13 Code and NARA requirements for fire protection. In this design they lose some space to sprinklers because nothing can be in front of them. Preservation was involved in the planning from the very beginning. Module 2 will also have two cold vaults. The first will be at twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit and 30 percent RH and used primarily for color film. The second will be at thirty-five degrees Fahrenheit and 35 percent RH and will be used for black and white prints, negatives and microfilm.

LC will plan for the interim while the high-density storage facility is being constructed. They need space at their facilities to prepare and send materials to off-site storage. They will hire extra staff to work on the project. On the whole, the project provides the opportunity to work on new and innovative collections storage solutions and the Library is very excited about the results they are seeing at Fort Meade.


Feedback from the questions and answer session was very good and the general consensus was that everyone enjoyed the speakers’ presentations and their topics.

Preservation Administration Discussion Group (PADG)

PADG functions as the opening session for PARS, providing a venue for discussion of issues that are important to section members. It is also an opportunity for attendees to network with colleagues. This PADG featured a panel discussion, three presentations, a poster session, and announcements. There were no action items.

The panel discussion topic was “Preservation Education and Internships.” Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa, University of Texas at Austin served as the moderator. Sherry Byrne, University of Chicago and Hilary Seo, Iowa State University were the speakers.

Walter Henry, Stanford University was recognized as the 2007 recipient of the Banks/Harris Preservation Award

Bobbie Pilette, Yale University gave a presentation on the High Density Storage Fire Test.

Jonathan Perricone, Schirmer Engineering Corporation gave a poster session on NFPA Code 13: Movable Compact Shelving.

Paul Gherman, Vanderbilt University discussed the North American Storage Trust.

There were three poster sessions:

  • Conservation of Aerial Photographs of Kansas, Kathryn Talbot, Kansas State University
  • Restoration of a 1968 Documentary in the Harry Ransom Center, Leanda Gahegan, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin
  • VHS in the Robert DeNiro Collection at the Harry Ransom Center, Megan Durden and Haley Richardson, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin

Recording Media Discussion Group

Janet Gertz, Director of Preservation, Columbia University Libraries, reported on a Mellon Foundation funded project to develop and test a survey instrument to inventory and access the physical condition and intellectual control of audio and moving image materials. Janet showed the group examples from the database. The group discussed the benefits and challenges of designing and populating such a tool.

Tanisha Jones, Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Research Fellow in the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department, New York University, presented on NYU’s Mellon Foundation funded project to test the validity of: 1. video and audiotape condition predictions based on a correlating findings from visual inspections with those of playback inspection, and 2. the use of random sampling methodology for assessing archival audio/visual materials.

Gertz and Jones also reported on how Columbia and NYU are working together to develop a freely accessible tool for comprehensive archival audio/visual inventory, assessment, and preservation prioritization. The group then discussed the particulars of such a tool and the need for variations in differing types of institutions.

Reformatting Discussion Group

The Reformatting Discussion Group hosted an open forum to discuss the role of metadata in planning for digital preservation initiatives. The discussion was followed by a report by Charles Kolb, Senior Program Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, who expanded on their activities.

Part I: The Role of Metadata in Planning Digital Preservation Projects

Questions were prepared in advance for an open discussion about the role of metadata in planning digital preservation projects. The plan was to address each question in sequence, but as the discussion gained momentum, that format was abandoned because the natural flow of the discussion proved more valuable as participants raised their own questions and concerns.

Vendors in the audience expressed the need for standards and a template or spreadsheet from clients to help determine project requirements. Through experience, they found that they need as much information upfront as possible. Several vendors concurred that there was a fear that they would discover halfway through a project that there was something that they should been told from the beginning, and this realization caused concern.

Other concerns included:

  • realization that there are different interpretations of what constitutes metadata
  • every item needs to be examined before scanning as it is not possible to do later
  • the complexities of providing metadata for sound
  • the labeling of collections is not always sufficient, particularly photographic collections
  • insufficient information about materials in a collection
  • how to search across all levels of a collection such as a photographic collection (i.e. collection, album, page, image.)

Export issues were discussed, as well as how this would be undertaken for a variety of requests, and how people may want to use the materials for other reasons. MARC XML, MODS and METS, WorldCat and OiSTER were also addressed.

In addition to these concerns, the discourse evolved into a discussion on how print collections have taken hundreds of years to develop whereas digital technology has been available for about fourteen years. This raised further discussion and questions about whom are the constituents of metadata; how does the mindset need to change, and how different solutions are needed. Funding was also discussed particularly the concern that the fiscal resources for externally funded projects are finite. One of the benefits of implementing metadata upfront is that it will be easier to update and go forward at a future date.

In summation, the predominant concern that was reiterated were the challenges to the preservation field regarding what has to be included on the front end of planning digital preservation projects. The discussion focused mainly on sound and photographic collections and elements of several of the questions that had been planned for the forum were raised during the natural flow of the discourse.

Part II: Preservation Activities of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Charles Kolb, Senior Office of Division of Preservation and Access expanded on the preservation activities of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He reported that NEH was emphasizing digital materials, public programs, preservation and education. A figure of $141.3M is now in the Senate/House Committee.

Kolb reported there are eight successful candidates for the Digital Newspaper Program. More training is needed in the digital area and the grant cycle for education begins in October.

Kolb also reported on several projects including: We the People Project; Afghanistan NEH (in which 28,000 audio tapes and cassettes from Radio Kabul/Radio Afghanistan had been reformatted); Digital Humanities Start Up Grants for small institutions and IRENE, a project to recover recorded sound from mechanically made recorded sound.


Serials Section (SS) Discussion & Interest Groups

Journal Costs in Libraries Discussion Group

Four speakers addressed the topic of changing models of pricing for e-content. Each presentation was followed by a brief Q&A session:

  • Ivy Anderson, Director of Collections, California Digital Library, discussed the concept of value-based pricing as explored in a report produced by the University of California. Elements of such pricing are the measurable impact of the journal, value-added institutional contributions to the journal such as editorial contributions, transparency of production costs and annual price increases, and transactional efficiencies afforded by consortial purchases.
  • Karla Hahn, Director, Office of Scholarly Communication, ARL, discussed tiered journals pricing and provided examples to help the audience understand how some tiered-pricing models work. Two main variables affect subscriber pricing: the price differential between the lowest and highest tiers and how the subscriber base is distributed across the tiers. Findings are discussed in the following article: “Tiered Pricing: Implications for Library Collections,” portal: Libraries and the Academy – Volume 5, Number 2, April 2005, pp. 151-163.
  • Geoff Worton, Global Head, Site License Business Unit, Nature Publishing Group (NPG), discussed e-content pricing from the perspective of a commercial publisher. In developing site license pricing, NPG must look at the complete publishing operation, including revenues from both print and electronic publications as well as revenues from advertisers and journal material in aggregators. Other factors include costs associated with submissions and editing, including the need for internal editors and evaluators of submitted manuscripts. NPG is also exploring different pricing options.
  • Judy Holoviak, Deputy Executive Director and Director, Publications, American Geophysical Union (AGU) provided the perspective of a society publisher. AGU unbundled print from the electronic content so as to more readily see when subscribers were ready for the end of print. They also structured pricing to reflect the utility of the content to the subscribing institution and to help replace revenue lost when subscribing members dropped their subscriptions as their institutions got online access. Member subscriptions have actually declined at a lower rate than expected. In the near term, AGU expects to keep the current number of tiers and to extend the model to accommodate multi-site institutions. The electronic version of AGU journals became the journal of record in 2002; they expect to see the end of print subscriptions in the near future.

Research Libraries Discussion Group

Outgoing chair, Selden Durgom Lamoureux, introduced the incoming chair, Cecilia Genereux and incoming Vice Chair/Chair Elect, Britta Santamauro.

A panel discussion “Doing Less to Do More: Incorporating Outsourced MARCs and Brief Bibs for Serials Discovery” followed. Panel members were:

  • Rebecca Kemp, Serials Supervisor Librarian, University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Paul Moeller, Serials Cataloger and Bibliographer for Religious Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Cecilia Genereux, Serials and Electronic Resources Coordinator, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Panel members described their experiences implementing outsourced MARC and other bibliographic records into existing ILS systems, and provided tips on what questions to ask and what to expect.

Many audience members were from institutions engaged in various stages of implementing outsourced and/or brief bibliographic records, and there was an active and enthusiastic interaction between panelists and audience members throughout the presentation.

Despite both the anticipated and entirely surprising issues and problems that may arise in the course of implementation, Paul Moeller posed this final question to the discussion group participants: “For those who have implemented outsourced MARC records, would you go back?” and received the unanimous and enthusiastic response “No!”