Annual Conference Reports
Discussion and Interest Groups Report on Anaheim Activities
The following reports summarize activities that took place during meetings of ALCTS discussion groups and interest groups during the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Reports received by the editor as of August 4, 2008 were included. For information on groups not shown here, see the ALCTS Organization page on the ALCTS Web site.
Catalog Form and Function Interest Group
The first part of the meeting consisted of a forum "Old Records, New Records, New Interfaces," which included presentations by librarians from three libraries who have recently implemented "next generation" catalog interfaces:
- Charley Pennell, Principal Cataloger for Metadata, North Carolina State University Libraries discussed Endeca
- Mary Charles Lasater, Authorities Librarian, Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University discussed Primo
- Cheryl Gowing, Director, Information Management and Systems, University of Miami discussed Encore
The presentations provided a lot of interesting detail about each product’s available features and the ongoing implementation decisions and changes involved. Pennell discussed the evolution and changes to NCSU's Endeca implementation, and its expansion to serve the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) consortium with "skins" for each institution. Lasater showed how implementing the new interface raised questions about handling of topic and genre, controlled versus uncontrolled vocabulary, how faceted browsing should work and what capabilities of the "back end" are available in the system. Gowing discussed the capabilities of their recently implemented Encore system, including relevance ranking and tag clouds, "soft launch" and gathering user feedback. All the presenters addressed cataloging and data cleanup issues. The presentations were followed by a question and answer session.
Charley Pennell was elected Chair and Richard Guajardo, Head, Integrated Library Systems, University of Houston Libraries, was elected Vice Chair/Chair Elect at the end of the meeting.
Outgoing chair Laura Akerman volunteered to head the effort to develop a wiki site, and interested members stayed after the meeting to discuss development of a section of descriptions and functional evaluations for MARC record sets, with a goal of making something available before the end of the summer.
Creative Ideas in Technical Services Discussion Group
A group of fifty librarians attended the Creative Ideas in Technical Services meeting on Sunday, June 29. They selected tables to join based on the preassigned topics. After the chair made a few opening remarks, ideas about the topics were shared with others around the table.
The topics were:
- Vendor supplied cataloging records and shelf-ready services
- Using macros, templates, programming, etc. to streamline technical services work
- Metadata, traditional cataloging and other data streams
- Cross-training staff across functions and formats
- Cost analysis of technical services work
- Organizational models for Technical Services
- Relationships between different library departments within and outside of technical services
The discussion at each table was facilitated and recorded by a volunteer. The chair and vice-chair supplied facilitators with possible discussion questions. However, the interests of the participants directed the discussions. At the end of the session, one member from each table summarized the main points of the discussion for everyone who attended. The evaluation forms from the session provided the chair and vice-chair with topics for future meetings and participants’ feedback, which was largely positive.
Linda Lomker, Specialized Cataloging Section Leader, University of Minnesota, will continue as Chair. Emily Prather, Technical Services Coordinator, North Central College, is the new Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect.
Electronic Resources Interest Group
Amira Aaron, Brandeis University, was elected as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect.
The program “ERMing for a Consortium: Are We There Yet?” focused on issues related to the implementation of electronic resources management systems for a consortium and provided the librarian’s, the vendor’s, and the consortium’s perspectives.
The program abstract follows: Are there successful Electronic Resources Management system (ERMs) implementation models for consortiums? What are vendors doing to improve systems to be deployed at the consortium level? What works and what does not work? What needs to be done for libraries to explore this option to integrate and implement an ERM at a consortium level? What functionality is needed?
Angela Riggio (Head, Digital Collection Management, University of California Los Angeles) provided an introduction to the issues related to an ERM for a consortium level in her presentation “ERMing for a Consortium: Are We There Yet?: Setting the Stage.” She reviewed the challenges originally identified in the Digital Library Federation’s Electronic Resources Management Initiative (ERMI) Report ( http://www.diglib.org/pubs/dlf102/), including the data elements, data structure needed for a consortial ERMs (e.g., multiple views, variety of search options, robust customer-defined reporting; cost share).
Jeff Aipperspach (Product Manager, SerialsSolutions) and Tom Jacobson (Director of Sales, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.) provided the vendors’ perspectives.
Aipperspach presented results of surveys showing libraries expenditures on e-content licensed via consortia, underscoring the importance of consortia for libraries in his presentation “ERMing for a Consortium: Are We There Yet?.” He demonstrated SerialsSolutions’ 360 Resource Manager, designed for a consortial ERM, including features that support consortia and multi-tiered organizations (e.g., managing member libraries, sharing objects, and member libraries working with objects) as well as the benefits for consortia managers, member libraries and patrons.
In his presentation “New Directions in Consortial ERM,” Jacobson discussed the current landscape of libraries with different systems and the challenges of implementing an ERM at the consortium level. He presented Innovative’s ERM module and its technical features that support consortium features integrated through Millennium. He then focused on a demonstration of those features that are necessary for a consortial ERM: discovery, privacy, separate user statistics, and multiple coverage databases.
Tommy Keswick (Member Services Coordinator, Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC)) and Rick Burke (Executive Director, SCELC) provided the consortium’s perspective. Keswick’s presentation drew on his experiences at SCELC, one of the first consortia to implement an ERMs. In his presentation entitled “Consortial Uses of an ERMs,” Keswick discussed the implementation of a consortial ERMs from a locally-created database (WISDOM) to the adoption of SerialsSolutions ERMs (360 Resource Manager) for all ninety-four member libraries. His presentation provided the detailed features of WISDOM and SerialsSolutions ERMs as well as future enhancements needed (e.g., integration with local database; migration of data from consortium ERMs to local ERMs) and benefits of a consortium ERMs.
The presentations generated a great number of questions and discussion. The presentations will be posted to the ALCTS ERIG blog.
Newspaper Discussion Group
Chair Errol Somay welcomed attendees, commented on the success of the ALCTS Newspaper Discussion Group at the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, reviewed the agenda, and acknowledged the speakers for the meeting.
Invited speaker Sharon Clairemont, Director for Content Research at the Orange County Register, gave an engaging talk on the history of the Register, a newspaper most noted for its historically Libertarian views on many of the larger social and political issues of the day. However, Ms. Clairemont’s presentation, which included visual slides, also ranged over the recent history of the Southern California region, where Anaheim and Orange County are located, in addition to the red letter days of the Register’s ink press copy. Ms. Clairemont described the challenges in cost to digitize a newspaper when the newspaper industry is slowly contracting, thus leaving dwindling resources to convert and make available online its historic back files.
Nadina Gardner, Acting Director, Division of Preservation and Access, National Endowment for the Humanities, offered remarks on the most recent developments with the National Digital Newspaper Program, a multi-year program to digitize and make available online, historical newspapers. Ms. Gardner announced the newest awardees from the latest round of applicants:
- Arizona Department of Libraries, Archives and Public Records
- University of Hawaii, Manoa
- State Historical Society of Missouri
- Ohio Historical Society
- Pennsylvania State University, Main Campus Pennsylvania Newspaper Project
- Washington State Library
At the time of the announcement, the NDNP had eight contributing awardees. The recent awards increase the number of cooperating participants to fourteen. Ms. Gardner added that the eligible dates for newspapers to be preserved and digitized have been expanded to 1860–1922. Ms. Gardner also reemphasized NEH’s commitment to and enthusiasm for the NDNP and is excited about its research potential.
Teri Sierra, Assistant Chief, Serials and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress, gave an up-to-the-minute report on the National Digital Newspaper Program from the perspective of the Library of Congress, which is serving as Program coordinator and where the main digital repository resides.
Marta Lee-Perriard, Publisher, Historical Newspapers and Global Microforms at ProQuest gave a succinct update on the recent releases by ProQuest of historical newspapers in both the domestic and international markets. The wide-ranging titles include the Irish Times, the Scotsman, and the Baltimore Sun.
Henry Snyder, Brian Geiger, and Alan Crosthwaite from the University of California Riverside’s Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research, gave a lively demonstration of their newspaper ingestion and presentation system that is currently in development at UCR. The demo gave a glimpse of the system’s potential to deliver newspaper images and search results quickly, to allow full-text searching. The system will also include behind the scenes ingestion, validation, and indexing features. Newspapers are particularly problematic for online presentation and access and UCR’s research and development efforts should help to push the technology forward with very positive results. The challenge is to develop features and functionality that are scalable and relatively easy to maintain. The presenters also noted that the presentation system is based on open standards and therefore should be adaptable on a variety of platforms. Visit http://cbsr.tabbec.com/ for more information.
The question and answer section addressed issues related to beta testing, pricing, and installation. UC Riverside has identified three domestic and three international sites for beta testing. This will give developers a better idea on pricing for purchase and maintenance. Given the open standards structure of the system, installation should be fairly straightforward, but nothing is ever really easy given the size and structural complexity of such systems.
During the open forum, Mary Molinaro (University of Kentucky) announced that UK will host year three of its successful meta|morphosis, a two day institute that focuses on managing film to digital projects and programs. See http://www.uky.edu/Libraries/meta/ for more information.
Future topics for discussion included creating a program that looks back on the success of NEH’s United States Newspaper Program, which funded projects in all fifty states and trust territories, and resulted in the creation of over 140,000 bibliographic records of United States imprint newspaper titles held throughout the nation.
Publisher/Vendor-Library Relations Interest Group
PVLR Business Meeting, Saturday, June 28, 2008, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
The meeting began with introductions around the table. Attendees included Outgoing Chair Amy McColl, Incoming Chair Ann-Marie Breaux, and Past Chairs Ruth Fischer and Bob Nardini, as well as others interested in learning more about PVLR. McColl began by thanking the organizers for the Annual PVLR Forum, Anne-Marie, Beth Bernhardt, and Ruth Fischer. The format for the forum was reviewed, and it was confirmed that all speakers had sent in their presentations to Breaux. Responsibility for distributing flyers for the forum in the Exhibition Hall was assigned.
Possible topics for the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver and beyond were discussed. Possible ideas included patron-driven acquisitions; succession planning for libraries, vendors and publishers; and supply chain for a book title (tracing a title from conception, through the publisher, vendor, and finally the library). The decision was made to finalize the topic patron-driven acquisitions for the Midwinter Meeting in Denver, and the topic will be finalized for the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Nardini agreed to be the main organizer for the Denver forum, with Breaux and McColl assisting.
A PVLR award for positive collaborations and partnerships between two of the interest group’s constituents was discussed at the conclusion of the business meeting. Breaux will investigate to see if a similar award already exists.
Attendees also discussed the possibility of meeting informally at the Charleston Conference, and exploring the possibility of changing the meeting time and length of meeting for the Business Meeting. Saturday afternoon is prime-time for many programs, and PVLR could attract more attendees to its Business Meeting if the group met for an hour at a different time. Breaux will look into this for Midwinter.
Branding: Claiming the Reader’s Mind Space
There was quite a large turnout on Monday, June 30, 2008 for the early morning forum “Branding: Claiming the Reader’s Mind Space,” with approximately seventy attendees. The forum started off with Chair Amy McColl welcoming everyone, and introducing the moderator, Beth Bernhardt, North Carolina State University at Greensboro. The first speaker was Emily Alford, Michigan State University, who demonstrated the power of branding by playing a fun, interactive game of Jeopardy with the audience. Evelyn Elias, Taylor and Francis, then spoke about why certain brands are retained, and gave examples of successful co-branding experiences. Scott Bernier, EBSCO Publishing, discussed the change in perceptions of branding over time, and the need to think into the future when considering brands. Brands should be in line with the organization’s main mission, but should also be customizable for libraries. Jenny Walker of Credo Reference spoke about Credo’s experience with a change in brand identity (Credo used formerly known as Xrefer). Important considerations include clarity, researching word meanings in foreign languages, and moving the company name up in the library A-Z list. J. Michael Williams of SOLINET talked about the emotional reactions evoked by some brands, and the change in meaning for his own brand from a division of OCLC services, to a broker of products and services, to a source of library expertise. The presentations were followed by a lengthy and informative question-and-answer period with the audience.
The full description of the forum from the flyer:
Branding: Claiming the Reader’s Mind Space
Monday, June 30, 2008
Anaheim Convention Center, Room 213C
In an increasingly competitive environment, publishers, aggregators, consortia, distributors, search engines, and libraries must all seek to maintain and/or increase name recognition among their users. Branding initiatives are expensive, but in terms of continued relevance and commercial success, they are crucial to all entities in the chain. How do these organizations approach the task? Are there ways to cooperate rather than compete? What is the effect of branding on the reader experience? Come hear what publishers, vendors and libraries are saying about this topic in an open forum where the follow-up discussion is sure to be provocative.
Moderator: Beth Bernhardt, Electronic Journals/Document Delivery Librarian, UNC-Greensboro
- Emily Alford, Reference and Technology Librarian, Michigan State University
- Evelyn Elias, Director for Wholesaler & Bookstore Sales, Taylor & Francis
- Scott Bernier, Senior Director of Marketing, EBSCO Publishing
- Jenny Walker, Senior Consultant, Credo Reference
- J. Michael Williams, Manager of Member Outreach & Communications, SOLINET
Role of the Professional in Academic Research Technical Services Departments Discussion Group
The discussion topic was “Filling the Management Void in Technical Services.” Increasing reliance on technology, continuously evolving standards, shrinking library budgets and the upcoming “wave” of retirements require that technical services professionals embrace principles of operational management like never before. We need new strategies and techniques for helping staff step up, accept new challenges, and take new risks. How can we develop and enrich existing positions, increase productivity, and retain staff? What non-monetary incentives have been used successfully to motivate both veteran and novice staff members? What else can we be doing in terms of succession planning?
The kick-off speaker was Bruce Evans, Bibliographic Access Unit Leader, Baylor University Libraries. His presentation followed this basic outline.
- Background information and details of transition from Southern Methodist University to Baylor
- Things that helped in the transition
- Beginning the work of rebuilding Bibliographic Access
- Rebuilding Bibliographic Access’ Personnel
- Rebuilding Bibliographic Access’ Professionalism
- Rebuilding Bibliographic Access’ Organizational Structure and Workflow
- Subsequent Changes and Improvements to Bibliographic Access Structure, Workflow, and Personnel
- Concluding thoughts on things learned and important points
Nearly an hour of open discussion followed the presentation, which was moderated by Ruth Fischer, the outgoing Chair of the discussion group. There was a high level of energy and participation.
There was a brief business meeting at the end of the session. Topics included the announcement that ALCTS Discussion Groups will become interest groups. New co-chairs (Michael Rice and Angela Laack) were welcomed. Co-Vice-Chairs were nominated for the coming year: Robert Rendell, Columbia University and Sandra Macke, University of Denver.
Topics for the Midwinter Meeting in Denver were discussed.
Scholarly Communications Discussion Group
The invited discussion leader was Lee Van Orsdel, Dean of University Libraries at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, a faculty member of the ARL/ACRL Scholarly Communication Institute, and co-author with Kathleen Born of the annual periodicals price survey and market analysis article which is published in Library Journal.
Van Orsdel shared her vast knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding scholarly communication as she discussed the unique relationship between faculty, publishers and the library. The conversation ranged from the economics of the publishing business to the realities of current faculty positions with regards to publisher/faculty practices and publishing experiences. It also touched on the current destabilizing forces rocking the status quo.
Six changes to watch in the very near future were enumerated:
- Open, circular and never-ending peer-review process
- Online journal format can be mined for differences from print
- Changes in scholarly practice
- Publishers driven by stakeholders, not stockholders
- Pay to publish
- Libraries will start subsidizing the cost of publishing
Van Orsdel proposed a series of questions that kicked off a lively and informative discussion that continued until adjournment.
Technical Services Administrators of Medium-Sized Research Libraries Discussion Group
The meeting was attended by approximately twelve highly motivated attendees. The meeting began with a call for nominations for a new chair. Jo Anne Deeken nominated Roberta Winjum who was unanimously re-elected. The group then discussed measures to increase attendance. The decision was made to rename the group to a more inclusive “Technical Services Managers in Academic Libraries Interest Group” and to change the meeting time to 8:00 a.m. on Saturday to avoid conflicts with other meetings. Several new members in attendance expressed an interest in joining the steering group to participate in the leadership of the interest group.
The discussion topic centered on the “7 Measures of Success,” taken from Jim Collins’ book of the same title. Attendees were supplied with a summary and questions related to the seven measures, grouped under three general headings: Commitment to Purpose, Commitment to Analysis and Feedback, and Commitment to Action. Much of the discussion centered on Measure 1, A Customer Service Culture, specifically to define our customers and their information needs, and understand how a new generation of users approaches learning. The future of the library catalog was discussed in this context, including its competition with other sources of information. Participants considered the difference between focusing on “how to make the catalog useful” versus our broader mission of “how to help users find information.” This included consideration of new roles for technical services and what changes must be made in order to take on these new roles. Following the discussion, the group agreed that the next meeting could involve further exploration of the 7 Measures. Those who were available then continued the discussion at lunch.
Technical Services Directors in Large Research Libraries Discussion Group
John Attig, ALA representative to the Joint Steering Committee, provided an update on the status of RDA. He noted that the work is moving from the development phase to the implementation phase.
- Confirmed that the structure of RDA is a reflection of user tasks as defined in the structure
- The committee has reviewed required/optional elements and replaced them with core elements
- A decision on core elements, based on assessment of fulfilling core user tasks, due in July
- RDA is focusing on workflows, allowing users to create workflows
- Expect to complete product on schedule (make available for review) by October-December.
- Review will be limited to internal consistency.
- MARBI is discussing MARC 21 implications.
- Attig noted various ALA events related to updates on RDA.
Reactions from non-United States national libraries were discussed. Other Anglo libraries will test in the same timeframe as U.S. libraries. Testing prior to implementation decisions will include other libraries-PCC partners, archival centers, and commercial vendors. The plan which will begin in the fall is to work with participants and begin testing at time of release. An implementation decision by the U.S. national libraries is at stake. OCLC is an important stake-holder.
Status report on the Non-English Steering Committee: Magda El-Sherbini reviewed the recommendations made by the Non-English Task Force and provided current status. An open list has been set up at nonEnglish@ala.org . A working group has been established to define requirements for the support of each script and language in library computer applications. CC:DA and CC:AAM are reviewing RDA to consider the impact RDA may have on cataloging non-English materials. ALCTS and PLA co-sponsored a program on serving the cataloging needs of public libraries with respect to non-English material. Various other programs are scheduled to continue to provide information on standards and best practices. MARBI has yet to take up the charge to examine the use of Romanized data in bibliographic and authority records.
Library of Congress Working Group: Beacher Wiggins reported LC’s response to the Working Group report was issued on June 1, noting it is a response, not an action plan. The Working Group will continue in an advisory role to LC. LC’s response continues to state full support for RDA development. The LC website will continue to record actions. Robert Wolven noted that the meeting with LC led the Working Group to clarify statements. In their continuing advisory role, they will act as liaisons and coordinate responses from various stakeholders. Janet Swan-Hill is recommending that ALA Council continue to advocate for OCLC review. An ALCTS Group has produced a list of action items and is forming a review group. Chris Cole noted that the recommendations need to be developed outside the Working Group, and that the report can be used as a check against various planned actions. Tierney and Camden pointed out the cultural shift toward the concept of an embryonic and evolutionary record and the impact that can have on workflows. Kastner stated that the challenge was to find ways to convince staff of the record growth concept. Cole stated that this was a natural outgrowth of thirty years of cooperative cataloging. Wolven saw the logical tension between good enough and continued record enhancement. Wiley speculated about inserting users in the process of record enrichment.
ILS Discovery Interface Task Force Proposal from the Digital Library Federation: Wolven reviewed the background on the appointment of the Task Force, which grew out of a discussion about the inadequacy of the connection between discovering an item and accessing it. The Task Force report is available at http://diglib.org/architectures/ilsdi/DLF_ILS_Discovery_1.0.pdf.
Wolven noted that the recommendations could be implemented with existing standards. The DLF is sponsoring another meeting, following on to the meeting that produced the Berkeley Accord, with ILS vendors to review existing standards. Wiley asked how this might work with open source or hybrid systems. McCutcheon responded that the specs should guide developers. Tierney asked how ILS vendors had responded, particularly since they have invested in their own discovery tools. It is the front end that distinguishes ILS vendors from their competition. Wolven noted that specifications will make managing on the vendor side easier. First level specs were intentionally modest aimed at producing quicker results.
Cost/value of vendor produced catalog records: Wolven reviewed the results of the survey on library preferences with regard to Casalini enhanced and core level catalog records. The survey will be posted on the Group’s ALCTS web page. The question was raised: Would we answer the questions differently for other vendors? The group agreed that the response would be the same for European vendors. Cost is still an issue; the Casalini cost model is not sustainable, and could not be replicated with other vendors. Wiggins noted that LC is looking also at Latin American and East Asian vendors as potential sources of cataloging. Swanekamp asked what we have learned about collections among the participating libraries, and about sustainability from year to year. Riemer questioned the status of authority work on the records; Kastner asked how this fits with the concept of an evolving record. Wiley noted that cost/benefit data was needed to assess sustainability. Wicks asked how the responses on the survey might inform our own cataloging output. Tierney asked what effect reduced level of cataloging might have on newly developed discovery tools; Mouw responded that adding non-LC type records and subjects has enhanced faceting. Wicks pointed out that we do not need to give all records the same level of treatment, but should identify what is important to our user community. Wiggins noted that LC is grappling with the issue of the diverse audience for the cataloging it produces. He wondered if LC’s responses to the survey changed the weighting. Wolven was not sure. Cole asked how RDA fits in to this issue, and notes that vendors need to participate in the RDA testing.
Report on the RLG Partner’s Meeting: Robin Fradenburgh reported on the recent annual Partners meeting at which participants were asked to establish priorities by voting on various initiatives. There were multiple areas of focus: the physical collection; digital assets, archives, and renovating descriptive practice. The transcript of the flip-charts and resulting votes are posted on OCLC’s website. The most important issue/action item was the need to develop systems, methods and tools for integrating and sharing at the network level metadata contributions. German noted the need to have local conversations about next steps. Leighton pointed out that tools were not consistent across libraries, museums, and archives and that museums and archives lack the history of sharing that libraries have.
Membership review: German called for three volunteers to carry out the periodic membership review. Reeb will chair, with participation from Gibbs and Mouw.
Chair-elect: The Group elected Beth Picknally-Camden incoming chair-elect. Mechael Charbonneau is incoming chair.
Workflow Efficiency Interest Group
More than forty people attended the Workflow Efficiency Interest Group where the topic of discussion was how to manage staff during major workflow changes.
The session began with a presentation by Ruth Fischer of R2 Consulting who gave an overview of the techniques that are needed to successfully manage staff in a changing environment. This included the following management practices:
- Know exactly what everyone is doing
- Document policies and procedures
- Commit to ongoing staff training and communication
- Be flexible in assigning tasks and acknowledge individual skills
- Break down departmental and unit barriers
- Define the behavior that is acceptable to you and be specific about expectations
- Reward good behavior
- Acknowledge the trauma of change
- Learn what is happening in the rest of the organization and participate in other departments
- Be trustworthy
- Envision the future and enable staff to see themselves in their new roles before dismantling their current duties and positions
A lively conversation followed, and participants shared some of the specific challenges they are facing and offered useful solutions and ideas to their colleagues. One of the issues brought to the forefront was the importance of communication both up and down an institutional hierarchy to ensure that all parties are informed during a time of change. It was noted that managers should be aware of a library's history because past experiences influence how staff will react to future changes. The group also acknowledged that libraries would benefit from providing more management training, and such training should be a regular part of library culture.
At the end of the session, participants offered ideas for future topics and voiced their approval of the format of the group that allows for a significant amount of time for discussion among attendees.
Acquisitions Managers and Vendors
The session began with an introduction of the two new co-chairs who asked attendees to send them suggestions for meeting topics as well as feedback on two possible future meeting topics: the role of vendors with libraries in the growing institutional repository movement; and what vendors should stop developing as well as what they should start developing based on library customer needs.
Rick Lugg served as facilitator for the panel discussion entitled “Many-To-Many: The Growing Complexity in Library-Vendor Relationships.” The panelists were Mr. Kim Anderson, Vice President of Customer Experience with Blackwell’s Book Services, and Mr. Rick Anderson, Associate Director for Scholarly Resources and Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
Rick Lugg set the stage with an overview of the characteristics of the vendor sales call to the acquisitions librarian and/or collection development librarian in years gone by, “a calmer time.” The visits were shorter and the discussion focused on fulfillment and writing effective approval plans. Sales representatives made two to three calls a day. Now sales representatives are expected to know a full suite of services (such as rush, out-of-print, shelf-ready processing) in addition to the various types of orders and how the vendor systems interact with the library systems and also third party systems (for catalog records and e-books). This complexity results in the need for more and longer vendor visits. Libraries need to understand the more complex relationships as well. It is possible on either side of the equation to become an expert in one part or another and miss a goal somewhere else. It is harder now to indentify decision-makers. The vendor may need to reach someone in acquisitions, serials, electronic resources, cataloging, collection development, systems or administration. Librarians or support staff may need help from a sales representative, a customer service representative, an approval representative, a technical services representative, a product manager (for web ordering and selection), someone in accounts receivable, or may be redirected to a third party, such as the integrated library system vendor, OCLC or an e-book provider. This complexity can result in missed opportunities, which can be unfortunate for the vendor and the library. Missed opportunities often fall into the following categories: training, under-utilization of vendor services, under-utilization of automated systems, and efficiencies to be gained.
Kim Anderson, Vice President, Customer Experience, with Blackwell’s elaborated on the vendor perspective from his thirty years of experience in academic book-selling. Vendor representative visits used to be about an hour and were organized to maximize the number of calls against the travel costs. Turn-around, fulfillment and discount were discussed followed by lunch with talk about books. Now there are two day meetings for the sales representative to meet with each library liaison. “Approval has really gone out of the plan because of shelf-ready being non-returnable.” Now there is electronic data interchange and electronic invoicing and discussion of various e-book platforms. Librarians expect vendor representatives to be well-informed and to answer in-depth questions without having to wait for the vendor to come back later with an answer. Blackwell’s Book Services created the Customer Experience group to manage this and to serve as trouble-shooters. They manage implementation of new services and have a project manager to work with representatives in the field. Not only do they help look for those potential missed opportunities that Lugg mentioned, but they help with the coaxing to new workflows by generating confidence in the shift.
Rick Anderson, Associate Director for Scholarly Resources and Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, elaborated on the library perspective, beginning with the observation that “in the past technical services in the library was about buying objects, with some services to deliver those objects in an efficient, economical way.” Now the objects come in “thousands of ways: different pricing, more formats, more ways to connect patrons to information, more workflows, and more ways for things to go wrong.” Anderson recommends taming complexity by prioritizing/discriminating; settling for imperfection; and outsourcing what is possible so that valuable internal knowledge is applied to things that can only be handled internally. Anderson characterized vendor/library relationships as more of an exchange, rather than a partnership—a relationship of equally benefitting each other when things are working right. He supplied a list of ten main attributes of a good customer: 1) Assertiveness; 2) Reasonableness; 3) Preparation; 4) Toughness; 5) Willingness to Be In Charge; 6) Knowledge; 7) Honesty; 8) Smarts; 9) On-the-Ballness; and 10) Kindness/Professionalism.
A question and answer segment followed and some interesting topics surfaced. There was a suggestion that library websites could have a section for vendors (in addition to sections for students, faculty, etc.) along with a wish for a dedicated vendor parking spot. There was general agreement among attendees that the new mode of moving away from a formal contract to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) works better. The MOU shows that both parties are accountable and specifies that accountability.
Cataloging and Classification Research Discussion Group
Jung-ran Park, Assistant Professor, The iSchool at Drexel, College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University, was elected as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of the interest group.
The program was titled “Paradigm Shift: Research Reveals New Directions and Roles for Catalog Librarians.” The following presentations took place:
“Roles and Competencies of Metadata Librarians: An Analysis of Job Descriptions from 2003 through 2006.”
Jung-ran Park was unable to attend ALA due a personal emergency. Caimei Lu, College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University presented for Jung-ran Park in her absence. Lu discussed this study in progress.
In this study, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jung-ran Park investigated the roles and competencies of metadata librarians by analyzing job descriptions from 2003 through 2006. She analyzed 349 cataloging position announcements posted on the Autocat discussion listserv from 2005 to 2006. New position titles included “Metadata Cataloger,” “Electronic Resources Cataloger,” and “Digital Projects Cataloger.” Emerging skills sought for these positions included metadata creation, electronic resources management, database maintenance, digital project management, and web development. The job analyses used four text fields to classify the data: title, required qualifications and skills, and preferred qualifications, and preferred skills.
Park concluded that metadata librarians require both the technical skills of applying cataloging standards and using bibliographic utilities with computer skills, and non-technical skills such as interpersonal communication skills, flexibility, creativity, professional commitment, independence, and problem-solving skills.
“Cataloging Tool and Resource Utilization in North Texas Public Libraries: Results of a Regional Study”
Shawne Miksa was unable to attend the ALA Annual Conference and Karen Snow, School of Library and Information Sciences, University of North Texas presented in her absence.
This presentation was based on an article entitled “A Survey of Local Cataloging Tool and Resource Utilization” by Shawne D. Miksa, that is in press for publication in the Journal of Education for Library and Information Sciences (JELIS), volume 49, number 2, Spring 2008. In 2005, Miksa received an OCLC/ALISE grant to conduct this survey. In her experience of teaching cataloging and classification online she often encouraged her students to ask to use cataloging tools and resources (e.g., DDC, AACR2, etc.) available from their local libraries. Very often, these materials were not to be found in the cataloging and/or technical services departments. The quality control of all bibliographic records, whether outsourced or original, is the responsibility of the catalogers who provide bibliographic control for one or more libraries. This responsibility, in turn, greatly depends on the catalogers’ knowledge of and expertise with the cataloging tools and resources available to them.
The primary purpose of this study was to discover the level of the support of cataloging procedures by examining the local cataloging environment of the North Texas public libraries through the use of an online survey. In particular, the study sought to discover the comprehensiveness of cataloging resources and tools within technical service departments and the level of utilization of these materials by staff, both professional and support. Data on the use of particular tools such as cataloging rules, classification schemes, and subject headings was collected from 103 libraries in an effort to understand how currency and reliability of tools and resources are determined and how often staff are trained or updated in their use. This study sought to get a sense of education level, positions, and type of library. The surveys were sent to library administrators who were asked to pass it along to the person responsible for cataloging. In most cases, it was the directors themselves.
The majority (80 percent) do not utilize another library’s centralized cataloging services, while twenty (19 percent) do. Furthermore, seventy-nine (78 percent) do not provide cataloging services to other libraries, five (6 percent) provide services, and sixteen (15 percent) responded that this question was not applicable to them. The responses to the question “Has your library entered into agreement with another library who assumes responsibility for your bibliographic services?” also varied in which eighty-nine (88 percent) have not, nine (8.9 percent) indicated that this was not applicable to them, and three (3 percent) did have an agreement.
The survey inquired about the number of hours per week devoted to complex or original cataloging, and found that sixty-nine (66 percent) performed less than ten hours a week, nineteen (18 percent) performed between eleven and twenty hours per week, and only fifteen (16 percent) of the total participants performed between twenty-one to forty hours per week.
Another question focused on the percentage of in-house copy cataloging, outsourced records, etc. Most of the in-house cataloging (ranging from 71 percent to 99 percent) is copy cataloging. In particular, copy cataloging accounts for 45 percent of cataloging within rural libraries, 71 percent within suburban libraries, and 71 percent within urban libraries. Snow noted that 23 percent, or nearly a quarter of the respondents, skipped this question.
Outsourcing of records ranged fairly evenly from 0 percent to 90 percent across each type of library, with approximately 30 percent of those libraries reviewing records either before or after updating their catalog. A small percentage (3 to 5 percent) specified that they only sometimes reviewed records before or after update for a variety of reasons (e.g., spot check bibliographic record vendor performance, add description, call numbers, subjects, holdings information, or when mistakes were discovered, etc.). As with the question on copy cataloging, just under 30 percent of respondents skipped the question on outsourcing.
Skipping the question, or answering not applicable, was a common occurrence in this survey, which is interesting in and of itself as it may speak to the lack of knowledge of common tools and resources.
Within each of the three types of libraries surveyed (rural, suburban, and urban), the seven urban libraries used LCSH the least (only one used LCSH daily via Classification Web), which is interesting since each library one self-identified as a main or central library.
The most common access point to subject headings across all three types of libraries occurred indirectly through another institution or source, such as the Library of Congress. Seventeen (16.5 percent) indicated weekly use and fourteen (13.5 percent) occasionally use.
Overall, eleven (10.6 percent) respondents skipped the question entirely, and on average sixty-three respondents (61 percent) responded with not applicable.
Miksa also cross-referenced the questions to determine how much time is devoted to cataloging and use of the tools. Overall, a combined total of twenty-nine respondents (28 percent) indicated their use of the MARC format for bibliographic records, and forty respondents (39 percent) indicated no use of MARC bibliographic format standard, despite performing some complex or original cataloging every week.
The results of this survey represent only a small sample of public libraries that are limited in both budget and staff. However, this study raises serious questions about the root causes for this low utilization. Are decisions to not use cataloging tools and resources a reflection of catalogers’ satisfaction that the cataloging product provided is sound and of good quality? Is it a reflection of lack of knowledge (and thus, education) of tools and resources, or of sound cataloging practices? Of particular interest is what this says about how cataloging educators have prepared students to be catalogers. Participants indicated the major factors affecting availability of cataloging tools and resources were budget limitations (71 percent) and staff limitations (60 percent), but thirty-nine (38 percent) also felt that they simply did not know enough about the tools and resources (e.g., one person commented “We are amazed at the resources out there!”). The most surprising finding, though, was that when asked if they felt “these limitations were detrimental to the service provided to library patrons as far as providing them with a reliable catalog system,” the overwhelming response (45 percent) was that they did not. What does this mean when compared with the current scramble to keep public libraries on the radar as continuing viable public resources?
Given the recent recommendations by the Library of Congress Working Group for the Future of Bibliographic Control (2008) regarding the need to “increase the efficiency of bibliographic production and maintenance,” it may be determined from this small set of data that a tendency to not reference even the most basic cataloging tools and resources has repercussions that need further study. This is particularly important if we want to evolve our practices to meet new information use and behavior needs.
Furthermore, Miksa feels that these findings should lend themselves to the dialogue surrounding employers’ expectations for desired cataloging skills, knowledge, and abilities. For example, Brian Schottlaender’s (2007) study of job position descriptions within the University of California at San Diego and the variety of position functions (e.g., aptitude for complex, analytical skills, create authority records, metadata standards, exercise creativity, etc.) listed are basic skills that one could reasonably expect to be demonstrated by catalogers in the course of using specific tools and resources or within interactions with institutions and agencies on a daily basis. However, there is no professional requirement to use any of these materials, nor is there any standard by which to check to make sure they are being used properly beyond that of examining the quality of cataloging products.
“Shifting Sands: Trends in Employers’ Expectations for Catalog Librarians, 1999–2008”
Presented by Sylvia D. Hall-Ellis, Library and Information Science Program, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver and JoAnne L. Patrick, Westminster Law Library, Sturm College of Law.
Hall-Ellis and Patrick discussed the results of a nine year study of employers’ expectations of catalog librarians. Hall-Ellis explained that the impetus behind the study was to discover how best to prepare entry-level catalogers and to validate the investment in cataloging courses. Patrick discussed the need to align course content and learning experiences with employer expectations. Hall-Ellis also emphasized the need for employers to continue to hire entry-level catalog librarians.
Their study analyzed 1,229 position announcements for catalog librarians from September 1, 1999 through May 31, 2008 from American Libraries, Autocat, OCLC-Cat, and the Colorado State Library jobline. About 30 percent of the jobs were entry-level positions, and the remaining jobs were for experienced catalogers and managerial jobs. Entry-level qualifications included an ALA-accredited MLIS and two years or less post-MILS experience. The majority of positions advertised were for academic and public librarians. The average entry-level cataloger salary was $40,655 (2008) compared with $33,400 (2002).
Hall-Ellis reported that employers expect entry-level catalogers to have knowledge and competency in using the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, Library of Congress Rule Interpretations, Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), and metadata schema such as Dublin Core, Encoded Archival Description (EAD), Metadata for Object Description (MODS), XML, etc. and evidence of taking (and succeeding in) a “real” cataloging course rather than an organization of information course or a course that addresses theoretical aspects of cataloging. Employers also expect entry-level catalogers to have an in-depth knowledge of authority work, the MARC21 authority formats, records, and files. Cataloger candidates also need knowledge and practice in using a classification scheme such as Library of Congress Classification, Dewey Decimal Classification, Superintendent of Documents Classification, and be proficient in and have experience with the Name Authority Cooperative Program, BIBCO, SACO, and CONSER program within the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC).
Employers also require proficiency in using the MARC21 bibliographic format, using OCLC, and an integrated library system as well as digitalization techniques. Employers expect applicants to have knowledge of subject headings, particularly Library of Congress Subject Headings, and other taxonomies and ontologies. Other qualifications included the ability to handle routine database problems, committee participation, flexibility, assuming responsibility for special projects, possessing effective verbal and written communication skills. In conclusion, employers expect entry-level catalogers to possess both broadly-based theoretical knowledge, and extensive hands-on experience.
Catalog Management Discussion Group
The ALCTS CCS Catalog Management Discussion Group met at the ALA Annual Conference, Anaheim on Saturday, June 28, 2008, 1:30-3:30 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County Grand B. The program was well attended; about twenty-five librarians participated in this meeting.
The meeting featured three presentations:
“Single-Record Approach for E-books”
Philip Young, Catalog Librarian, University Libraries at Virginia Tech
Adding online access to print monograph catalog records has become common in many libraries as a practical matter, especially when batch records are unavailable and backwards digitization is proceeding rapidly. The many advantages and disadvantages of this practice were explored as a prelude to discussion.
“Impact of Vendor Records on the Catalog”
Lai-Ying Hsiung, Head of Technical Services, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.
Vendor records are metadata created by acquisitions, cataloging or service vendors. Due to the new direction to make use of more bibliographic data available earlier in the supply chain and the thinking that good enough cataloging might be acceptable to users, more and more vendor records appear in OCLC and have been used by libraries, LC and OCLC for various purposes. The session outlined the attempts made by OCLC, LC, libraries and vendors/publishers to address the issues of record quality, record duplicates and their adverse impact on cooperative cataloging. Suggestions for additional action items by stakeholders were discussed. The use of vendor records has great impact on catalog management. It is redefining cataloging quality and concepts. Should we strive for perfection or should we value comprehensive and prompt access? The question of balancing user interest versus record management has raised questions on our current cataloging approaches: how to ensure proper linking among silo systems (ERMS, LINK+, WorldCat Local, etc.)? Can we adopt brief records when warranted? Should we use latest entry cataloging? Are separate records acceptable sometimes over single records? Should variance in tagging be compensated by the use of indexing? Various approaches to handling both MARC and non-MARC vendor data were outlined. Upgrading on OCLC and not locally had been proposed as one solution to address the record quality issue. The proposal for provider-neutral records was brought up to address the record duplication issue. Future trends were discussed. Some catalogers may become record managers, with in-depth understanding of relationships among cataloging, coding, display and indexing. Sophisticated technology will be applied to record management. More collaboration among vendors, libraries and national agencies, and with acquisitions, collection development and IT is inevitable. Integrating catalogs at the network and local levels will help to reduce cataloging redundancy, integrate bibliographic control, will require both ILS and network system redesign as well as mandate a consensus about what qualifies as universal data and what as local data, and how each should be coded for retrieval and display. It will also facilitate the use of brief vendor records so that we can do more with less.
“Temporary Employees: Managing Practicum, Internship and Volunteer Experiences in Technical Services Units”
Margaret Maurer, Associate Professor and Head, Catalog and Metadata, Kent State University Libraries and Media Services
Technical services librarians understand the value of experienced based learning for library school students, particularly as we seek to grow our own future professionals. However, many doubt the sustainability of regular participation in these programs. Through trial and error, Kent has found a few of the keys to sustainability. For example, they treat the students as if they are very temporary employees, applying employment and management best practices wherever possible. They recycle experiences to maximize efficiencies for them and constantly assess to implement improvements.
Cataloging Norms Discussion Group
The meeting was very well attended with about 115 attendees, including a number of OCLC representatives. The new chairs for next year, Birdie MacLennan, University of Vermont and Adrienne Aluzzo, Wayne State University were introduced at the end of the meeting. S. Michael Kim of the University of Miami’s Richter Library was introduced as the new incoming vice-chair. The request for volunteers for the second co-vice chair has been reposted since the librarian who originally volunteered withdrew. The group’s name will change to the Cataloging Norms Interest Group and the new chairs are committed to maintaining a dynamic forum for the group's charge, "the exploration, communication, and exchange of ideas and best practices on the dynamics of cataloging/metadata norms and workflows in the hybrid environment."
Scope of the Library Catalog in Time of Transition
The meeting began with Jina Choi Wakimoto, Faculty Director, Cataloging and Metadata Services Department, University of Colorado at Boulder. There has been a flurry of healthy discussions and debates about the future of cataloging and the catalog, from FRBR and RDA on cataloging rules (focus on content) to next-generation discovery interfaces on the catalog (focus on carrier). A segment that is not receiving as much attention is the scope of the library catalog. The library catalog can be viewed as the web in the local context because it has the potential to make accessible in one place many different kinds of resources: tangible ones, hidden collections, electronic resources, digital collections, and web resources. Her presentation illustrated the many ways that catalogs are being enhanced and offered an opinion on the scope of the catalog in a research library. She called for catalogers to actively participate in the improvement of the catalog and provided examples of some practical approaches catalogers can take to reposition the catalog. Wakimoto’s PowerPoint images illustrated how catalogers and their institutions are working to enhance the catalog: linking to digital repositories; serving as the foundation for new discovery tools, such as Endeca; the increasing number of ways the content can be enhanced both for research and for casual use, e.g. the LC BEAT program, various commercial solutions. She discussed the University of Colorado’s decision to make large sets of Asian materials more accessible to users. These were held by many libraries but stood little chance of ever getting table of contents (TOC) enhancements made available to them. Her department undertook a special project to scan and OCR the TOCs and placed the images into catalog records. This would enable a patron searching Chinook for “Akutagawa sho zenshu” to see the table of contents appear just below the bibliographic description. This project was received with a lot of interest by the group. An OCLC member noted that in his research, this is in fact is one of the most useful approaches currently being applied and highly valued by researchers. When asked was not this a major decision made by the institution to support staff time for the work, Wakimoto stated that the value of the work was sufficient reason to undertake it and it had been a departmental decision.
Elaine L. Westbrooks, Head of Metadata Services, Cornell University Libraries next discussed “Access, Fear, and Change: Bringing Catalogers along in the Non-MARC Metadata Arena.” According to
On the Record: Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, the future of cataloging will be shaped by the way in which we redefine bibliographic control and the bibliographic universe. Redefining these critical concepts would require library administrators and catalogers to abandon the prevailing system of cataloging. For administrators, the use of fear to instigate change (while ignoring the shortcomings of MARC encoding and the poorly constructed integrated library system) within technical services has been a widely implemented yet largely ineffective, hence a paradigm shift away from fear to use of positive incentives for change is necessary. For the cataloger, the shift from perfecting the MARC record has taken place in many institutions. However, the sense of accomplishment gained from creating access and facilitating discovery requires a paradigm shift that would highlight the connection between the cataloger and the end user. The purpose of this talk was to discuss methods by which this paradigm shift can be cultivated within research libraries to begin thinking about a new system of cataloging which can be less resource intensive and one that focuses on the user.
The final presentation "A California Adventure: WorldCat Local and Next-Generation Cataloging,” was presented by John Riemer, Head, UCLA Library Cataloging and Metadata Center, and Linda Barnhart, Head, Metadata Services Department, University of California San Diego Libraries. WorldCat Local implementation brings major technological and sociological changes to cataloging work. The University of California Libraries released their union catalog on the WorldCat Local platform on May 19, 2008. Riemer and Barnhart presented some of the key lessons learned from the implementation process as well as their thoughts on how this new product moves the profession toward next-generation catalogs. This far-ranging presentation presented a vivid picture of how the University of California moved to WorldCat Local. The major change was expressed in the phrase that cataloging at the network level means “working in a shared file of bibliographic records alongside a vast array of partners.” The decision to move to WorldCat Local was based on a report issued in 2005 titled “Rethinking How We Provide Bibliographic Services for the University of California.” With the move to WorldCat Local, many benefits for cataloging and catalogers have already been felt: the “catalog” now becomes a single enterprise; this eliminated duplication of and local variability in practice; creation of a single set of policies; expertise is shared more efficiently; and efficiency is improved. Questions that arise: then what is the role of the local OPAC, where is the “database of record”?, will the local ILS become an entirely backend tool? What records are needed in the local ILS, and to what extent do local records have to be maintained? They found that more time was freed up for original cataloging. They outlined some major attitudinal changes that have to be made to gain all the benefits of the new reality: learning to accept the master record, giving up customization, and accepting a “wiki” dynamic approach to bibliographic control. Chair Tatiana Barr asked the speakers whether we all have the license now to refer to OCLC as a “Wikipedia,” and their response was that this is their hope for the new Melvyl.
Copy Cataloging Discussion Group
The Copy Cataloging Interest Group met on Monday, June 30 and eighty-one people attended the meeting. The three presentations and discussion focused on training, practices, library interfaces and problems of copy cataloging. The annual meeting topic was “Copy Cataloging: Challenges for Training and Cataloging for the New Generation of Library Interfaces.” A collegial question and answer period followed each presentation.
Judith Mansfield, Chief, Arts and Sciences Cataloging Division, Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access (ABA) provided a Library of Congress (LC) update. Ms. Mansfield presented statistics on copy cataloging productivity, workflow, and staff at LC. She reported that the reorganization of the ABA Directorate is still scheduled for implementation on October 14, 2008. As a result of the reorganization, approximately 500 people will be moving to different workspaces at LC; the moves will take place gradually after October 14, 2008. The reorganization will merge cataloguing and acquisitions, in preparation for which many catalogers have been cross trained in acquisitions tasks, but not much cross training has occurred yet for acquisitions staff in cataloging tasks. The reorganized directorate will have nine divisions. Comments on copy cataloging at LC or other related topics can be sent to Judy Mansfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nancy Gibbs, Head of Acquisitions, Duke University Libraries gave a presentation titled “Copy Cataloging: Challenges of Training.” Ms. Gibbs discussed training of copy catalogers at Duke. Technical Services at Duke has been reorganized again recently, copy cataloging was moved from the Acquisitions Department back to the Cataloging Department. Ms. Gibbs described the workflow for receipts and copy cataloging at Duke and outlined the syllabus they have for training copy catalogers.
Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technology and Research, Vanderbilt University Library gave a presentation titled “Cataloging for the New Generation of Library Interfaces.” Mr. Breeding presented an overview of why there is a compelling need for new library interfaces for end users to be attracted to the library’s catalog, and described the inadequacies of current library public user interfaces. He also described what features are needed in the next generation interface, such as a unified point of entry when searching for resources, equal handling of print and electronic resources, including both local and remote content, user contributed content (e.g., tagging or reviews), relevance ranking of results, facets for narrowing searches and navigation, query enhancement (e.g., spell check, “Did you mean …?”), support for related requests, navigation “bread crumbs,” enriched visual and textual context, and a single sign on. More information can be found in Mr. Breeding’s presentation at http://www.librarytechnology.org/ltg-displaytext.pl?RC=13385.
Heads of Cataloging Departments Discussion Group
Lisa Robinson, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, Michigan State University, was elected as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect for 2008-2009
The structure of the meeting followed its usual panel discussion format with representation from various libraries. The discussion topic was “Perspectives on the State of Cataloging Education, Hiring, and On the Job training as Viewed by Experienced Cataloging Librarians.”
Three speakers reported on various aspects of dealing with of out-of-school cataloging workforce, including employers’ expectations as reflected through research analysis of recent job announcements, step-by-step training procedures as implemented by a major cataloging vendor, and a review of selected methods and tools of the future that might be employed by institutions to train newly hired catalogers.
Sylvia D. Hall-Ellis, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver, presented her findings and conclusions on employers’ changing expectations for catalogers as reflected in position descriptions posted 1999-2008. Her presentation entitled “Shifting Sands: Trends in Employers’ Expectations for Catalog Librarians,” included a background analysis of a education and work-related milieu in which the catalog librarians’ training and knowledge is shaped, versus need driven employers’ vision of level of performance expected from newly hired catalogers that might be incongruent with their out-of-school professional preparation. The study was designed to answer questions about who hires catalogers and how much these positions pay, employers’ expectations as to the academic preparation, technical skills and competencies possessed by the entry-level catalogers, how these expectations have changed over time and how they differ among various types of libraries. Descriptive content analysis of 1,229 positions announcements for catalog librarians produced following observations: While the average salary for entry-level catalogers increased over six years by 21.7 percent from $33,400 to $40,655, the employers’ expectations perhaps doubled or tripled during that time. The average position descriptions are longer and more complex, and include lists of required and/or preferred qualifications that call for comprehensive knowledge and competency with cataloging tools including various metadata schema, solid experience with subject headings, knowledge about authority work, classification, and NACO, SACO, CONSER certifications. Employers expect entry-level catalogers to handle various auxiliary tasks such as maintenance and policy development for bibliographic and metadata databases, electronic journals and serials management, and/or ILS support. Lastly, new hires need to be flexible, enthusiastic in undertaking special projects, they are expected to participate in committee work, conduct research, etc. These are serious demands that are out-of sync with the reality of academic preparation, internships and possibly part-time work that new catalogers undertake while in the school or soon afterward. The study’s findings provide validation for investment in cataloging courses, rethinking the whole course content to align the learning experience with employers’ expectations by seeking out their cooperation in educational process through well designed internships, and by doing that ensure that en masse hiring of entry-level catalog librarians, continue.
Catalogers’ recruitment and training at a major vendor has been a focus of the next speaker, Pam Newberg, currently the Manager of Technical Services, University of Northern Colorado Library. She previously worked as a manager of cataloging at Follett Library Resources for nine years. She reported on recruitment, assessment, training and evaluation of newly hired catalogers as defined by a commercial vendor’s production-driven specifications and needs. High volume cataloging output required an adequate number of highly trained catalogers to achieve 3,500-4,500 titles to be cataloged in all formats. Given a relative scarcity of people trained in this line of work, the company was always on lookout to replenish, or add to its cataloging workforce. As an example, Pam mentioned an effort to recruit new catalogers from among the SLIS students of the University of Wisconsin giving them a salaried opportunity to train on the job before they move on in their careers. The individualized training that the company used to train newly hired catalogers was tailored according to the results of an evaluating test applied during the interview process. All new hires, even those who would eventually be asked to catalog special formats such as audio-visual materials, underwent three or four months of rigorous training that always began with descriptive cataloging of a book. Gradually, the personal and corporate name headings were added to the mix followed by Library of Congress Subject Headings, Annotated Card Headings and the Sears headings training. Dewey was added last, and then other formats, as needed. Through the entire process a greater than 95 percent accuracy rating was targeted.
Questions from audience that followed the presentation included the future switch to RDA, and how vendors were prepared to handle change when it comes. The presenter did not know have an answer but she was skeptical as to an immediate demand on part of the company’s typical customer, the school library, which usually is not too eager to embrace change too quickly.
Robert Ellett, Catalog Librarian, Ike Skelton Library, Joint Forces Staff College Norfolk, and Lecturer at San Jose State University, reviewed e-learning online tools that might be used to enhance training of catalogers by offering attractive add-ons to the more traditional teaching approach. Instead of instruction sheets and desk manuals of the past, the cataloging audience of the future will use virtual training tools that are already available today, such as websites for Technical Procedures Online tools (TPOT), weblogs (blogs), wikis, and/or more futuristic e-learning interactive online tools.
One of the new generation e-learning programs is Elluminate, an e-training tool that caters to employees’ various learning styles through incorporation of sight, sound, and various kinetic devices such as a virtual hand rising feature to ask the instructor a question using a microphone, or e-mail. Elluminate, if used to its full potential, mimics a classroom learning environment but also offers a real-time feedback option for an instructor who would immediately know how he is doing in keeping his audience fully alerted and engaged. For example, use of emoticons indicate an action such as clapping, or leaving the room virtually, a chat window feature enables participants to choose to chat publicly or privately providing additional communication channels that run underneath a training session. One can use the microphone and also “see” who else is talking, or enhance his/her learning experience by utilizing other available features such as whiteboard tools, pens, shapes, clipart, screen capture, erasers, etc. There is a polling feature that provides students with feedback option to yes/no type questions, or multiple choice questions, there is a request feature that participants can use to ask an instructor to speed up or slow down the presentation. The notes feature allows participants to take notes that are being automatically saved, and also might be synchronized with recordings, imported or exported. Sharing of applications, files databases, websites during the session, or saving chat and whiteboard sessions are available as well. As of July 2008, annual subscription for Elluminate was $999 for ten seats, $2,395 for twenty-five, and 4,495 for fifty seats.
Another e-learning tool, Articulate, available from www.articulate.com helps a speaker use the web for teaching. Ellett included an example of an Articulate screen with editing options to publish, view, record a narration, import audio, synchronize animation settings, insert web objects and flash movies that enables speaker to control, enhance and change his/her presentation at will. The current version of Articulate costs $699, and can be purchased online.
Map Cataloging Discussion Group
The Cartographic Materials Cataloging Interest Group meeting was well attended with twenty-four participants. The main topic of discussion was the cataloging of digital copies of cartographic items. There was a slight preference in the group for having one catalog record containing information about the analog original item and the digital copy. Decisions on this topic have been and will continue to be guided by local needs.
Other topics of discussion included:
- cataloging born digital maps,
- working with administration to increase support of cataloging,
- training copy catalogers.
Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries Discussion Group
Debbi Smith, Adelphi University, is the outgoing chair. Julia Gelfand, University of California at Irvine is the incoming chair.
Each group discussed their topics for forty-five minutes, after which they each reported their findings to the group as a whole for fifteen minutes, and then opened the topic for general discussions. The groups and a synopsis of their discussions follow.
Group 1: Status of E-Books
Facilitator: Susan E. Thomas, Indiana University
E-books are still most likely to be considered for the reference collection. The different vendor packages need to be analyzed taking into consideration who is going to read the books and why. It would be preferable to select titles on an item-by-item basis rather than obtaining a vendor package where the vendor provides the selection. Vendor statistics that state that e-books are used more than their print counterparts are suspect and subject to interpretation regarding how usage is defined. In many cases, the e-book acts as an access point to obtaining the print to read. The various vendor models and offerings are still evolving and confusing: print on demand, ownership versus licensing/access to content, audio downloads that lack iPod compatibility, and multi-media/interactive. Some big publishers are also pulling chapters in the online versions of a book, meaning that the e-book would not match the content of the print counterpart. There is also concern about how buying an e-book rather than a print book would affect standings in consortia. There is a consensus to state our needs to vendors rather than letting them dictate the terms. It is best that a library’s collection development policy address these issues.
Group 2: Conducting Annual Journal Reviews
Facilitator: Steven R. Harris, Utah State University
There are journal centered questions that focus on cost, inflation rate, usage, impact, value, and alternative access that must be addressed when conducting reviews. These are juxtaposed with user centered questions of how to get responses from faculty and students regarding priorities if cancellations must to be made or what new journals need to be added. Library journal budgets can be arranged by subject fund codes to organize their review. Sometimes the vendor’s budget cycle does not fit with the academic calendar, which means that the library must be very proactive in organizing reviews and prioritizing journals by their value to a collection.
Group 3: Experience with Use of Funding Formulas
Facilitator: Glenda Alvin, Tennessee State University
Alvin used Tennessee State University’s book allocation formula as a starting point for discussion. The formula is based on student credit hours, publishing intensity, and publication cost. This formula still requires tweaking and is based on the previous year’s statistics rather than projections for the upcoming year. Other participants include circulation statistics, foreign exchange rates, or FTEs in their formulas. Some formulas can allocate the entire budget for all formats by department or school, but no one in this group used such a formula. Approval and slip plans allow a steadier spending of budgets, but it can be tricky to divide funds between an approval plan and firm orders.
Group 4: Reinventing Collection Development in a Digital Library Environment
Facilitator: Brian Quinn, Texas Tech University Libraries
The big factors driving electronic collection development include need for space, growth of distance learning programs and online classes, and ease of use for reference collections. Increasingly, collection policies state that print should not be purchased if there is digital availability, particularly for journals. While there are still problems with aggregators dropping titles and embargo periods, costs for pay for view, and accreditation issues, budget constraints often do not allow the purchase of print over the electronic title. E-books are still of most value for reference collections. E-repositories are starting to have greater impact, particularly for special collections, but most teaching faculty do not yet see the value of putting their own work in an institutional repository.
Collection Management in Public Libraries Discussion Group
Sixty-three people in attended the Collection Management in Public Libraries Discussion Group. The discussion was led by co-chairs Melissa DeWild (Kent District Library, Comstock Park, Michigan) and Jean Gaffney (Dayton Metro Library, Dayton, Ohio).
The discussion topics follow:
In Dayton (Ohio), a new DVD Express collection began on June 1 which offers more box office hits in addition to the copies already purchased for the regular collection. The titles in the regular collection are usually filling requests for the first six months after arrival. In contract the DVD Express movies are not available for request, float and cannot be renewed. Each of the twenty-two agencies receives two to three copies of each new box office movie that has earned $25 million or more. About ten to fifteen titles a month are ordered for DVD Express. The purpose of the program is to have items on the shelf for browsers. DVD Express movies can be on the shelf on release date. Some other libraries that are also providing this type of service are the Boston Public Library, the New York Public Library (NYPL) and Cleveland Heights.
The hold ratio for DVDs was 6:1 but now is about 8:1 and 12:1 for television series since they cost more. Dayton uses Horizon’s integrated library system, and uses the ratio report. It is too early to determine if the availability of express copies has reduced the number of holds.
Midwest Tape offers shelf-ready DVDs. Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) does not permit holds for DVDs, resulting in an increase in circulation and door count. Their DVDs have a two-day loan period. The seven most popular DVDs are centrally ordered monthly for each branch, and the branches are given order sheets for them to select more movies. They use Midwest for cataloging. Midwest’s fill rate for older movies is good.
Gaffney indicated that their DVD collection is considered to be “self-weeding” and they do not do many replacements. Replacements are put on a systemwide replacement list.
The District of Columbia Public Library is currently buying resources in the Overdrive iPod compatible MP3 format. They may be viewed at http://www.dclibrary.org. NYPL and LAPL were disappointed in the titles available in this format. They want to support Overdrive’s effort to provide downloadable resources with universal compatibility and are buying titles for their collections.
The Friends group at Mountainview Public Library buys bestsellers with a seven-day checkout that do not permit holds. Orange County (Orlando, Florida) is looking at Overdrive, and also looking into partnering with DailyLit.com (similar to DearReader but sends the whole book) to make available to patrons
The San Francisco Public Library has a new collection development policy available on their website.
Mission Viejo Public Library offers a Book Club Kit in a Bag (they place barcodes on the bags, not the books).
Manchester Public Library in Connecticut is buying Blu-ray and usually buys two regular copies and one Blu-ray copy of a title. They began circulating better after December 2007.
Floating Collections, including Weeding Issues
Most of the collection floats at the Kent District Library (Michigan). Due to this policy, the amount in delivery has gone down. This has helped as gas prices have increased. Delivery has involved less staff time as well. The main issues that have come up have to do with clumps and gaps. These are mostly addressed through emails by staff to other staff when there is not enough of something on the shelf. Floating quickly exposes locations needing weeding. A weeding team has been developed to help with this problem. The team serves as a standing committee. It weeds by studying condition and dusty reports. Staff in the eighteen branches do not have time to weed. Items excluded from floating are reference, express collections, and specialty collections. The ILS is programmed for floating.
At the Baltimore Public Library, no ownership is assigned to an item until it reaches a branch due to floating. Floating began with AV last summer to get staff slowly acclimated to floating. Up to six months was spent talking and preparing staff for it. One problem that results from floating is people subvert the system by putting excessive holds on items wanted at branch.
Baltimore has a blog where collection issues are discussed. Staff are expected to read it daily and can state collection needs on the blog.
At another library, floating is a problem because items purchased by friends are expected to stay in the location where the item are donated. One way around this is to ask groups to donate furniture and to non-collection needs.
Floating poses special problems for consortia libraries. Floating items float into consortium libraries but blocks or flags do not pop up to notify consortium staff that materials need to return to the owning library system. These items must be visually identified by system unique labels.
More libraries are floating parts or whole collections. Houston Public Library (Texas) is gradually floating more materials. Indianapolis (Indiana) and Columbus (Ohio) are floating entire collections successfully and usage is growing.
Consistent labeling is needed with floating and some libraries have labeling committees to determine uniform system-wide labeling.
Reinventing Collection Development: How Collection Development Is Organized in Your Library
Collection development is organized differently among libraries. Many are centralized. Some are partially centralized while others are not. Places with centralized collection development refer to the structure as “little C,” “middle C,” and “big C.” The “little C” is used when collection development is an office unto itself and the work is primarily focused on selecting. The “middle C” is used when collection development is combined with acquisitions. The “big C” is when collection development encompasses all of technical services. Libraries also divide up ordering responsibilities differently. The following question was raised: What are some best practices for this division of labor?
Alameda Public Library has centralized selection using pre-marked selection lists from Brodart, which are reviewed by branch staff. They also use a pre-publication bestseller list from Brodart.
Los Angeles Public has a central library with different departments, which each have a selector. There are seventy-one branches. Branch staff formerly conducted book inspections and now use monthly order sheets from Brodart. Local friends groups can also buy DVD collections. They also have youth, young adult, and adult collection management offices.
Tulsa City-County Library has five selectors and two part-time media selectors. They are redesigning the department following retirements. Selection divided by subject specialty, age, and format.
Orange County (Florida) Public Library has twenty-one staff members in collections and technical services, with two full-time librarians in collection development.
Princeton Public Library raised the question of how far in advance libraries are ordering. A few libraries are ordering as far ahead as possible, which is as soon as they can find title information. The majority order two to three months pre-publication. Some use Baker and Taylor’s Automatically Yours or First Look program, or Ingram’s bestseller standing orders.
A librarian from Calcutta, India had questions about circulating DVDs. Libraries in the United States circulate them, but he has been told that he cannot circulate them in India.
Alternative Sources for Selections Such as Blogs, Websites and E-mail Newsletters
The article “Redefining RA: The RA Tool Kit” by Neal Wyatt in Library Journal dated June 15, 2008, lists many sites to keep up with the hottest releases and latest author news. See http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6566472.html for more information.
Specific sources mentioned during the discussion are:
- Baker and Taylor provides a Fast Facts email notification that lists media tie-ins. Anyone can sign up for this on their website: http://www.btol.com/fastfacts/
- Shelf Awareness also lists items featured in popular media: http://www.shelf-awareness.com/
- Nora Rawlinson’s Early Word blog is another good source: http://www.earlyword.com/
- Several attendees cited commonsensemedia.org of San Francisco. It is helpful when determining whether a children’s book should be ordered for children or teens.
- Publisher’s Weekly offers a newsletter on its website: http://www.publishersweekly.com/
- Powell’s Bookstore (Portland, Oregon) email newsletter contains titles that are not all mainstream: http://www.powells.com/
- Scholastic’s and McNaughton’s sites were also recommended.
Other topics suggested by attendees and briefly discussed
Series: How do libraries deal with purchasing an entire series such as Sue Grafton’s for locations? Collecting the entire series is common practice. In some systems, local managers decide how many titles of a given series that they want to offer. Some libraries place all titles of a genre series at only the locations where the series circulate the most. It is impossible to offer a complete series at a location when libraries float collections. One library that floats emphasizes re-ordering the first book in any series to help with availability of popular series at agencies. Since children do not participate in the request system, more attention needs to be given to providing series at locations.
Alternate formats: How do libraries systematically ensure that they are ordering all of the formats of a popular title, such as large print, audio books, and e-media versions? The consensus was that this is difficult. This involves searching of vendor sites. One system has a popular materials librarian who specializes in finding and ordering the alternative formats. Baker and Taylor offers the “alternate format” feature, which with a click, customers can see lists of alternate formats. Another person suggested searching popular titles in Amazon to see if other formats are listed.
E-mail Distribution Lists on Collection Development: How are collection development managers keeping in touch with each other to discuss issues online? The common source appears to be the collection management discussion group provided by Urban Libraries Council ( http://www.urbanlibraries.org/). Individuals may join by visiting the Urban Libraries Council web page and submitting a request to be added using the “Contact Us” link.
Sharing Review Journals Among Staff: One librarian expressed difficulty in getting staff to route review journals in a timely manner. This appears to be a common problem. Most reviews are now available on vendor sites, and this may be a way around this problem.
Topics suggested for the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting follow:
- How to begin centralized ordering.
- Collection analysis tools.
- Retail versus library edition audio books. How long will audio books be a viable format? One vendor is predicting seven years.
- Language learning materials and databases such as Mango and Tell Me More
Collection Development Issues for the Practioner Interest Group
The meeting opened with attendees introducing themselves. One attendee mentioned that she had “amorphous responsibilities,” which led to a brief discussion of the uncertain nature of collection development responsibilities. Many of those in attendance mentioned that they have multiple assignments including instruction, desk time, selection, outreach, etc.
The group discussed allocation formulas, which vary greatly among libraries. Attendees mentioned that their allocation formulas were based on such variables as size of department, number of majors, circulation statistics, etc. Allocation formulas can be problematic because no matter how sophisticated the formula, there are always inequities and dissatisfied selectors. Another drawback is that formulas are not flexible enough to account for changes in population or in publication. Enrollments can shift, new disciplines can appear and old ones may wane, and publishing activity can vary widely from year to year within a particular discipline. Some attendees managed to compensate for these changes by shifting money between funds, using seed money to cover new subject areas, or using unspent money from the previous year to help fund newly emerging subjects. Penn State University provides a general fund that selectors can draw on for special needs. Some libraries have an interdisciplinary fund that selectors can utilize to cover areas that fall between the cracks.
Management of funds requires some structure and a written policy to help ensure continuity in spending. Collection development policies for specific subject areas can be helpful, provided that they are periodically updated. There should be measurable goals and competencies for selectors. One selector noted that her institution has a set of bibliographer competencies. This led to a discussion of the critical importance of training and mentoring bibliographers. Attendees mentioned the need for training in selection, liaison work with faculty, and the use of tools such as WorldCat. Selectors also need to be taught how to evaluate their collections. A librarian from Iowa State mentioned that she created a training manual which is available online. A collection development librarian from California State Northridge discussed the challenge of getting selectors to spend their funds in a timely manner. She has resorted to taking funds away from selectors if they do not meet their spending quotas.
Attendees discussed what they select. Some librarians collect textbooks and others do not. There is a great demand for them, but they tend to quickly become dated, and are expensive to purchase. The University of Newfoundland uses textbooks donated from students to bolster their collection. Selectors should not be averse to buying textbooks for certain fields like mathematics in which textbooks may be an important source of information for students.
The topic of purchasing self-published books was raised. Several librarians mentioned the difficulty of determining whether self-published titles were of sufficient quality to justify their purchase. Many more academics seem to be involved in self publishing, which makes selection more complicated, particularly for literature and the humanities. Some self-published titles may be acceptable if they have been reviewed in reputable publications. Some publishers, such as Mellen, publish dissertations in book form and these may be good quality though many titles may be esoteric and of limited appeal. The bottom line is whether they help students and faculty do their research.
The meeting concluded with a discussion of e-books. Most attendees have just begun purchasing e-books, and these are mostly reference titles or titles in packages like NetLibrary, ebrary, Safari, or Springer. Only one selector mentioned purchasing e-books a la carte via Blackwell. One librarian asked if attendees were able to determine that their e-books were being used. Another mentioned that she was able to obtain good usage statistics that were Counter-compliant. The University of Newfoundland has a subscription to the ebrary academic collection. Use statistics are provided for ebrary, and usage is not limited to computer science titles. A disadvantage of e-books is that printing is limited to a few pages or a chapter at a time. Distance education and web-based education are helping to drive e-book collection use.
Journal Costs in Academic Libraries Discussion Group
The meeting began with a short update on Shared Electronic Resource Understanding (SERU). Three speakers then addressed the topic of backlist pricing for electronic books and journals. The presentations were followed by a brief Q&A session:
- Judy Luther, President of Informed Strategies, reported that approximately forty libraries and twenty publishers have signed the SERU registry. NISO plans to revive the registry and listserv and will be in communication with interested parties in the coming months. NISO is also preparing internal documents for publishers, libraries and legal personnel in order to provide more information about SERU and how libraries and publishers can participate.
- Heather Ruland Staines, Global eProduct Manager SpringerLink, focused on journal content, as Springer is not current selling e-book archives. The Online Archives Collection is a comprehensive body of scientific, medical and technical research that includes over 900 journals chronicled from Volume 1, Issue 1. Springer Online Journal Archives will be offered in subject area packages. Heather also discussed the challenges of digitizing back content, including missing content, rare materials and digital preservation.
- Adam Chesler, Assistant Director, Library Relations and Customer Service, American Chemical Society (ACS), suggested that publishers ask themselves why they want to digitize back content. ACS sees one-third of usage coming from back content. Chesler described some of the challenges ACS has faced in digitizing back content, including getting authors, editors and users on board with the project, hard to find content, abstracts, MARC records and if ads should be digitized. He also said that publishers should be ready to fix mistakes, particularly with poor scans. The idea of dividing content into smaller pieces was discussed. ACS sells back content as a database, but did consider the idea of selling individual bits of content. Chesler suggested that publishers look at cost recovery, sustainability, payment options, unlimited vs. restricted access and e-reserves before finalizing a model.
Rick Anderson, Associate Director for Scholarly Resources and Collections, University of Utah, Marriott Library, challenged the audience to think about the purchasing of back content not as a repurchase, but as a service. He pointed out that it is not about the pricing model, but the actual price. If a library can afford to purchase digitized back content and it is a good value, the library should make the purchase.
Research Libraries Discussion Group
The has undergone some changes: the charge has been updated and the name has been changed to College and Research Libraries Interest Group.
At the last meeting there were four speakers on three topics:
- Xiaoli Li (University of California, Davis) presented on a retrospective batch load project with OCLC,
- Beth Bernhardt (University of North Carolina, Greensboro) and Yvette Diven (Serials Solution) presented on Project TRANSER, and
- Steven Knowlton (ProQuest) spoke about how the current draft of RDA addresses cataloging of reproductions, facsimiles and microforms.
A discussion followed the presentations.
Digital Preservation Discussion Group
Announcements/Action Item Follow Up
Liz Bischoff and Tom Clareson reported on progress to develop a central authority and robust digital curation infrastructure in the United States. A meeting “is in the works” to bring to together stakeholders to discuss next steps. Their work was in response to a call to action issued at the Digital Preservation Discussion Group (DPDG) meeting at the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Priscilla Caplan, Florida Center for Library Automation, is coordinating this effort in conjunction with staff from OCLC and the Library of Congress.
Cathy Martyniak reported on “next steps” for the ALCTS approved digital preservation definition. She will lead a task force to develop a strategy and publicity packet to introduce the definition to other cultural communities that might have an interest in endorsing, adopting or promoting the definition. The PARS Executive Committee and the ALCTS Executive Board may want to review this plan before it proceeds.
Evan Owens, Portico, reported on the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), British Library and Digital Curation Centre workshop “What to Preserve? Significant Properties of Digital Objects” held at the British Library on April 7, 2008. The workshop focused on the tension/reality of defining significant properties and how they are handled in regard to long term preservation and access.
Cathy Martyniak reported on the DELOS Summer School and facilitated a discussion about “the perfect digital preservation workshop.” Another task force took shape to conduct a simple survey of digital preservation education needs.
Trusted Repositories Audit and Certification (TRAC): Implementation in the United States
Robin Dale, University of California Santa Cruz, provided an overview of TRAC and how it evolved from the high level OAIS statements into qualitative metric statements. She described the collaborative work performed by RLG, OCLC, the Center for Research Libraries, the National Archives and Records Administration and others to develop the audit approach.
Perry Willet, University of Michigan, described the digital repository audit process that began with TRAC in tandem with the DRAMBORA specification which focuses more on a risk management approach than a certification process.
Tschera Harkness Connell and Beth Black, Ohio State University, discussed TRAC with their DSpace implementation. This effort involved representatives from a complex university bureaucracy, but over time has strengthened the University’s commitment to and understanding of the preservation of its digital assets.
Shannon Zachary, University of Michigan, discussed the use of TRAC as a “teaching tool” in the School of Information at Michigan. Beth Yakel and she are developing “TRAC Lite,” a variant to work with a selected list of checkpoints for class projects. Beth and she will evaluate the effectiveness of TRAC Lite as a teaching tool and will report back.
- Emily Gore accepted the group’s invitation to serve as the new co-chair, replacing Cathy Martyniak.
- Topics for the first Digital Preservation Interest Group meeting at Midwinter in Denver were nominated:
- Reports from two task forces: Education Needs and Next Steps Definition
- Report from Liz Bischoff and Tom Clareson on the digital preservation curation program
- Conference reports particularly those hosted by the DCC, Digital Preservation Europe, JISC and PADI.
- Digital Repository 101: Do we need an official definition of digital repository? How is it different from “institutional repository” or “digital library” or “digital asset management systems”?
- File Format 101: Youth Wants to Know, or Why This Matters
- The Task Force will assess digital preservation education needs.
- The Task Force will develop publicity packet.
ALCTS Strategic Plan: DPDG helps fulfill the following objectives
GOAL 1. STANDARDS.
Develop, evaluate, revise and promote standards for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving information resources in all forms.
Objective 1: Monitor [the] need for new library and information standards.
Objective 2: Develop and maintain effective mechanisms for standards distribution, discussion, and comment, to ensure their regular review and timely revision.
GOAL 2. BEST PRACTICES.
Research, develop, evaluate, implement, and promote best practices for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving information resources in all forms.
Objective 1: Sponsor programs and open forums to encourage collaboration and discussion of practices and problems.
GOAL 3. EDUCATION.
Assess the need for, sponsor, develop, administer, and promote educational programming and resources for life-long learning.
Objective 1: Develop mechanisms for continuously surveying and addressing members' educational needs.
GOAL 4. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
Provide opportunities for professional development through research, scholarship, publication, and professional service.
Objective 1: Survey the membership to determine needs and identify program gaps.
GOAL 5. INTERACTION AND INFORMATION EXCHANGE.
Create opportunities to interact and exchange information with others in the library and information communities.
Objective 5. Promote inter-organizational communication on topics that are common to various library and information industry communities.
GOAL 6. ASSOCIATION OPERATIONS.
Ensure efficient use of association resources and effective delivery of member services.
Objective 6. Evaluate Web access to the Association's documentation.
Intellectual Access to Preservation Data Interest Group
The following objectives were discussed:
Objective I: Discuss PARS restructuring proposal
Specifically the proposal to establish a new Preservation Administration Interest Group that will comprise the Intellectual Access to Preservation Data Interest Group along with the PARS Discussion Group, and the Preservation Instruction, Education and Outreach Discussion Group.
The discussion concluded by supporting a recommendation that this group should remain an Interest Group for now, until its role and position within PARS can be determined. The interests of this group are varied and range broadly across many (if not most) areas of preservation and need to remain broadly active.
Recommended Midwinter 2009 Objective
Develop a list of intellectual access issues and prioritize these issues. These would be areas for multiple task force, publication or program activities (including workshops or educational activities) to develop. They would provide multiple and varied opportunities for participation, leadership or contribution based on specific interests.
Objective II: Provide information on Intellectual Access to Audio Preservation Data
- Reformatting Audio: generic project overview (Andrew Justice, University of North Texas)
- Metadata Decisions: Selection, Harvesting and Transmission (Preston Cabe, Safe Sound Archive)
- Standards and the future of Preservation Metadata for Audio (Jonathan Thorn, facilitator)
Action: Audio Metadata Task Force appointed
Group’s charge is: Develop outline, plan or recommendations for communicating audio metadata between institutions and vendors. Chair: Janet Gertz, Columbia University Libraries
Library Binding Discussion Group
The meeting opened with greeting and introductions: Laura Cameron, Stanford University, Outgoing Chair, Molly McIlhon, LBS/Archival Products, Current Chair, Beth Doyle, Duke University, Incoming Chair.
Laura Cameron began the meeting with introductions and a brief overview of the agenda. Everyone in the room introduced themselves. Total of eighteen people attended, representing eleven libraries, and seven vendors.
The introductions were followed with a discussion from Saturday’s program, “Staying Alive: Books through Print-on-Demand (POD) Technology” led by Debra Nolan, Library Binding Institute. Brian Baird, Bridgeport National Bindery, was available for questions.
In regards to the print on demand “Espresso Book” machine that had been exhibited at the New York Public Library, concern was raised over the overall quality of the book including paper, adhesives, binding methods, printing methods, inks, as well as copyright issues, would need to be reviewed before this could become a commonly used machine and method for POD. POD could have many potential uses including photo books, self-published books, and thesis printing. However, concerns may arise when these types of materials enter into library collections.
It was the general consensus of the group that a printed copy of a book is always better than a digital copy in terms of preservation. Many institutions are working with the Library of Congress to keep collections.
There was also a follow up from the Midwinter Meeting discussion on Book Cloth (C1-cloth). Ann Harris, Library of Congress, provided an update on testing. The Book Cloth test results range between C and F, and mostly meets F. However, the tear and break were not met for F Grade, and water and grease were also not met. Abrasion and light fastness met the standards. Requirements established are minimums and should at least meet this requirement. Copies of the report may be available from Jeanne Drewes. This cloth could lead to new standards for books under two pounds. The best way for libraries to test this cloth is to try it.
Beth Doyle, Duke University, provided updated information for the report at Midwinter. She still holds the opinion that the cloth is a good option for small to mid-size books. She reported that ninety-eight volumes bound in Book Cloth by HF Group on a variety of subjects were high used items. Items were recorded in a database, and returned to conservation since they were part of a test.
Books were returned weekly and this will continue for one year. Twenty-two books were returned twice for two to three times, and the rest were single use. All are holding up well. Recommendations were made to the Preservation Librarian and bindery that it is okay with Beth (Head, Conservator) to use.
Laura Cameron, Stanford University reported that Stanford has also covered several materials with the new C1 Book cloth and noticed that is makes for a lighter book. Those books covered seemed to hold up well.
Holly Robertson, University of Virginia (given by Laura Cameron) reported that Holly sent three Harry Potter books. One is covered in buckram, another is covered in a digi-cover, and one is covered in C1 book cloth. All three copies held up well during circulation, including the book cloth. Many thought the copy covered in the book cloth looked the best.
Molly McIlhon of LBS/Archival Products has been working with the supplier to make sure the Linen Cortina Conservation Buckram will continue to be available. Archival Products (AP) already has new stock of the Blue and Black and will soon have Maroon, Tan, and Gray.
Library Binding Tool Kit
Laura Cameron and LBI are working to create a Library Binding Tool kit. The idea is to give libraries, especially small to mid-size or those just beginning a binding program, a resource as well as some guidelines to aid library biding. The kit will likely be in the form of a binder and will include the Guide to Library Standards (Jan Merrill-Oldham, Harvard University and Paul Parisi, Acme Bookbinding), sample forms, templates, glossary, table of contents, as well as samples and diagrams. The kit will likely be available in paper or electronic form and may be available as soon as the 2009 ALA Annual Conference.
Group Merger Possible
Should the Physical Quality and Treatment Discussion Group combine with the Library Binding Discussion group to permanently become the Book and Paper Interest Group (BPIG)? Name suggestions, including BPIG, BPING, PING, were discussed. Most thought the combination was a good fit. Concern was expressed whether both groups could be adequately represented. It will be important to keep the vendors involved in the meeting to continue to promote good vendor/library relationships. The new group will deal with vendor trends and issues, binding issues, answer questions, and Publication on Demand.
Possible Topics for Future Meetings
Topics for future meetings were discussed andinclude:
- Changes in collection policies, such as moving from print to online subscriptions
- Thesis printing on demand printing and quality
- Print on Demand and creating a list of standards for libraries
- Environmental monitoring
- Enclosures types, such as pamphlet binders, boxes, four flaps, etc.
- Economics, including planning for budget cuts, and change of dynamics for PQ& T.
- How off-site storage is used (e.g., special collections, etc.)
- What is shelf-ready?
After all the agenda topics had been covered, the conversation turned to deferred binding in regards to budget cuts, paper versus hard bound, sort cards, retention over use, etc. It is often an Acquisitions policy to buy monographs and soft paper bound and then have them library bound.
Libraries are now considering allowing items to circulate x number of times before binding. This may also be a topic for future meetings.
Preservation Administration Discussion Group
The Preservation Administration Discussion Group (PADG) is intended to function as the opening session for PARS, providing a venue for discussion of issues that are important to most members of the section, and an opportunity for attendees to network and catch-up with colleagues. This PADG meeting featured two presentations, award acknowledgements, voting from a new PADG co-chair and acronym (PADG = PAIG pronounced “page”), a poster session, and time for announcements. The only action item was changing the acronym of PADG to PAIG.
1:30–2:00 PARS Chair Greeting, Announcements, and PARS Restructuring
Andrew Hart, University of North Carolina
2:00–2:30 Preserving Audio Visual Materials in Small Institutions: the University of Illinois AvSAP project
Jennifer Hain Teper, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Banks/Harris 2008 Award
Janet Gertz, Columbia University, recipient
Becky Ryder, University of Kentucky, Chair of Banks/Harris Award Committee
Cunha/ Swartzburg 2008 Award
Becky Ryder, University of Kentucky, recipient
Andrew Hart, University of North Carolina
2:45–3:00 Digital Preservation: Official Definition
Cathy Martyniak, University of Florida
3:00–3:30 Selection of New PADG Chair and Acronym
3:30–4:00 Break and Poster Session
4:00–4:30 Preservation of Information: University of Michigan School of Information
Shannon Zachary, University of Michigan
- Nadina Gardner, Acting Director, Division of Preservation & Access at NEH
- Jennifer Hain Teper, AIC update
- Dianne van der Reyden, LC update
- Nancy Kraft (University of Iowa): “Floods in Iowa”
- Laura Larkin, Melissa Straw, Jennifer Hain Teper, and Jody Waitzman (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign): “Mold Remediation in the Rare Books Room at UIUC”
- Ann Olszewski (Cleveland Public Library): “The Preservation Life Cycle of an Oral History Collection”
Preservation Instruction, Education, and Outreach Discussion Group
Adrienne Bell is the outgoing chair of the group. There were twenty participants at the meeting. It is unknown whether there will be a new chair for this group pending PARS reorganization.
The meeting opened with a presentation by Richenda Brim, Los Angeles Preservation Network (LAPNet), on LAPNet’s history, structure, and activities.
The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) provided an update on release dates of new online courses. The group discussed outreach activities at represented institutions. The conversation touched on disaster recovery, both in house and as outreach. Ideas for beginning outreach activities or stimulating area outreach groups were exchanged.
Recording Media Discussion Group
Digital Audio Preservation Findings
George Blood of Safe Sound Archive presented his finding that data is not correctly written to file over 85 percent of the time during the digital audio preservation process. The data output from the analog-to-digital converter is often not the same as the data written to file. Blood shared how Safe Sound Archive discovered and isolated this problem. He concluded that while the audio preservation community insists on 24-bit files, a huge number of files are not truly 24-bit and that perhaps this may be a more significant issue than debate over recommended sampling rate and bit depth for audio preservation (96 kHz/24 bit versus 44.1 kHz/16 bit).
Volunteers for chair of the interest group were solicited, but there were no volunteers.
The group discussed the proposed restructuring of PARS and the merging of the Recording Media Interest Group with the Reformatting Interest Group to form the Digital Conversion Interest Group. Some felt that the focus on media might be lost in the merger, and that there were so many developments in media preservation that the focus on media was worthwhile. Others felt that the restructuring would be beneficial.
Proposed topics for the Midwinter Meeting include video conversion, disaster recovery for audio and video, overview and update on metadata for audio and video, storage facilities for audio and video, and strategies for dealing with podcasts and video created by their institutions.