News from ALCTS
Midwinter 2008 Reports: Part II
The following reports summarize some of the ALCTS activities that took place during the 2008 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.
ALA Recruitment Assembly
Manuel Urrizola, ALCTS Representative to the ALA Recruitment Assembly
The ALA Recruitment Assembly met on Monday, January 14, 2008. Sixteen representatives and interested parties attended.
I reported on:
- ALCTS/SAGE Support Staff Travel Grant
- ALCTS Membership Committee mentoring program
- ALCTS Membership Committee recruitment program, especially toward public librarians
- ALCTS Membership Committee program to contact and visit library schools
- UCR and UCI Libraries Career Recruitment and Outreach Program in association with the Librarians Association of the University of California, Irvine and the UCI Career Center
- Associates, the premier online journal for library support staff, hosted by UCR
Other topics discussed included:
- ALA Web site redesign project
- ALA Placement Center
- Future of the Librarian Workforce project
- Article titled “Signature Story: the Next Chapter” in Forum magazine about ALA’s recruitment efforts and featuring a snapshot of the Recruitment Assembly’s efforts
- Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative’s latest recruiting brochures: The Mystery of the Fulfilling Career; and, Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of All Ages
- ACRL’s Western European Studies Section’s initiative to attract students to the profession
- Professional Options Fair for Spectrum Scholars
- Responding to ACRL white paper “Achieving Racial and Ethnic Diversity among Academic and Research Librarians”
- Emerging Leaders Projects: will go forward in 2009
- Recruitment Clearinghouse Wiki, a 2008 Emerging Leaders project
All representatives will contribute to the Recruitment Clearinghouse Wiki and will give feedback to the ALA Web site redesign project on recruitment links.
Electronic Resources Interest Group
Luiz Mendes, incoming chair of the ALCTS Electronic Resources Interest Group (ERIG), opened the meeting by acknowledging newly elected Vice-chair, Jennifer Lang, and thanked outgoing Chair, Allene Hayes for her work and accomplishments, recognizing in particular her efforts to implement the ALCTS Electronic Resources Interest Group Blog, developed and maintained by Jennifer Lang. Participants were informed that announcements and updates to upcoming programs, as well as speakers’ presentation slides, would be posted to the ERIG Blog. The program for this meeting was blogged by Jennifer Lang and presentation slides are currently available at the ERIG Blog.
The program focused on issues related to making e-resources management more manageable in terms of availability, source, and quality of the records for e-book aggregations and databases (integrating resources). The title of the program was: “Making E-Resources Management More Manageable: RECORDS.” Central to the workflows and management of e-resources are bibliographic records. While there is now a general, well-established workflow for e-journals, which are for a large part represented by standard CONSER records in most systems such as Serials Solutions and SFX, the same is not true for e-monographs and integrating resources (databases). Proposals have been made to guide the creation of records for e-monographs by publishers and vendors. There are also proposals are in the making for a provider neutral IR-record. Where are we? What are publishers and vendors doing in this area? After all, source and quality of records impact our decisions, workflows, and management of e-resources.
The program speakers were
- Nicole Pelsinsky, Product Manager, Serials Solutions;
- Timothy Savage, Senior Project Manager, OCLC; and
- Peter Fletcher, Cyrillic Catalog Librarian and Metadata Specialist, UCLA.
Making E-Resources Management More Manageable
Pelinsky’s presentation provided the perspective from services such as Serials Solutions related to the issues, problems, and solutions to e-content management for electronic book collections. Pelsinsky noted that Serials Solutions strives to acquire better data from publishers, and to build collaborative relationships in order to benefit Serials Solutions, the publishers, and the libraries.
Automated E-Resource Cataloging
Through his presentation, Savage provided an in-depth analysis of the issues and challenges related to the workflows for both the cataloging and management of e-resources for monographic materials, and suggested the adoption of “aggregator-neutral records” for e-monographs as a potential solution. During his presentation, Savage also presented current approaches used by OCLC for the creation of records for e- collections (e.g., template-based record cloning) as well as enhancements to publisher metadata, and stressed the importance of cataloging values, automation, and consistent application of standards. Savage showed examples of OCLC records created for e-content (e-book and streaming music).
Provider-Neutral Record for Remote Access Electronic Integrating Resources
Fletcher’s presentation outlined the proposal for a provider-neutral record for integrating resources (IR) based on the final report of the PCC Task Force on Provider Neutral Records for Electronic Integrating Resources. The report is available online. Fletcher presented the problems of multiple records for IRs and the benefits of a provider-neutral record, which would provide one authoritative record rather than several records, less duplication, and would make selection and editing of records from the national database more straightforward, providing a simpler record adaptable to local needs and facilitating the utilization of the record in serial management systems.
There was ample time for discussion and questions from the audience. The presentations engendered a great number of questions and discussion with participants and many remarked the program was extremely informative and the topic important and timely.
Association’s Association: Investing in the Next Fifty Years of ALCTS
Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director
In 2007, ALCTS celebrated its 50th Anniversary with many gala events centered on our theme, “Commemorating the Past, Celebrating the Present, Creating the Future.”
To honor one of ALCTS’ most outstanding members, the first Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award was presented in June to Brian E.C. Schottlaender, Geisel University Librarian, at the University of California–San Diego. This very special award, sponsored by EBSCO, was created to celebrate Ross Atkinson’s impact on the library community and ALCTS.
This past fall, a commemorative 50th Anniversary book was published as a fitting finale to the year’s celebrations, Commemorating the Past, Celebrating the Present, Creating the Future: Papers in Observance of the 50th Anniversary of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services. The volume, edited by ALCTS President Pamela Bluh, features articles by noted ALCTS members including Michael Gorman, Janet Swan Hill and Peggy Johnson. In addition, the ALCTS research journal, Library Resources & Technical Services ( LRTS) edited by Peggy Johnson, celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a special reprint of volume 1, issue 1, a cumulative 25-year index, and a commemorative article in the October issue, “A Look at Fifty Years of Library Resources & Technical Services” by Tschera Harkness Connell of Ohio State University.
As important as it is to look back into our history and honor all of ALCTS’ accomplishments over the last fifty years, ALCTS members now are turning their attention to the last portion of our theme, “Creating our Future.” In the ever changing landscape that members face at their own institutions and in the profession, which is then reflected in their association (ALCTS), the association must respond positively, creatively, and nimbly. ALCTS’ strategic plan outlines an aggressive agenda based on nimbleness, flexibility, adaptability, and collaboration.
In 2006, the American Society of Association Executives published a study titled “7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Association Do That Others Don’t.” This landmark study was based on Jim Collins’ work Good to Great. Over the next months, ALCTS’ leadership will be analyzing results of a survey conducted in December 2007 based on these seven measures. The measures provide ALCTS with benchmark comparison goals upon which we can judge our progress to becoming a remarkable association.
Moving ALCTS forward requires dedicated member volunteers. Are you ready? If so, ALCTS has a place for you!
Definition of Digital Preservation Now Available
ALCTS’ Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) is pleased to announce the publication of a definition of digital preservation. The definition is available on the ALCTS website.
The definition was developed to promote an understanding of digital preservation within the library community, our allied professions, and the user communities libraries serve. This definition emerged from a meeting of the ALA Digital Preservation Discussion Group at the 2007 ALA Midwinter Meeting. The ALCTS Board of Directors approved the definition at the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting. The definition was presented to ALA Council, and accepted as an informational document. The definition is being incorporated into the forthcoming revision of the current ALA Preservation Policy. PARS is coordinating this effort.
ALCTS Group to Analyze LCWG Recommendations
David Miller, Curry College
A new ALCTS Task Group has been formed to analyze the recommendations outlined in “On the Record,” the Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (LCWG). At the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the ALCTS Board of Directors charged this group to analyze the recommendations in the LCWG’s report and to identify those recommendations which ALCTS is well-suited to address. The recommendations are available online. They present great challenges to our profession, and while many of them are recommended for specific action by the Library of Congress, a wide range of stakeholders will be involved.
The Task Group will produce a document intended primarily for use within ALCTS, as compared with writing an “official” ALCTS public statement. During the course of the LCWG’s deliberations, ALCTS produced public statements responding to each of the WG’s public hearings, as well as a response to the WG’s draft report. This document, by contrast, is intended to help ALCTS itself prioritize some of its activities in the short to medium term.
The Task Group was scheduled to present our findings to the ALCTS Executive Committee, before the Committee’s spring meeting in late March.
Electronic Resources Interest Group Blog
The Electronic Resources Interest Group now has a blog. The ERIG blog was developed and is maintained by Jennifer Lang. Announcements and updates to upcoming programs and speakers’ presentation slides will be posted to the blog.
David Miller Elected as SACO Representative
David Miller of Curry College has been elected as the initial Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO) representative to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Policy Committee to represent the SACO membership and subject headings concerns.
Karen Darling Appointed to new E-Government Services Ad hoc Subcommittee
ALA’s Committee on Legislation (COL) has formed a new E-Government Services Ad hoc Subcommittee. Karen Darling has been appointed to the new subcommittee. The subcommittee’s preliminary charge is:
To develop policy recommendations, legislative proposals and other strategies for the ALA Committee on Legislation related to the role of libraries and the delivery of E-Government services to the American public. The subcommittee shall seek involvement from the broadest range of interested units within ALA and promote collaboration to determine and meet the needs for policy, training, research, legislation and other activities related to libraries and E-Government services. (from the E-Government Services Wiki).