Midwinter 2009 Reports

Interest Groups Report on Denver Activities

The following reports summarize activity during meetings of ALCTS interest groups held during the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. All reports that were received by the editor as of February 16, 2009 appears here. For information on interest groups not shown here, see the ALCTS Organization page on the ALCTS Web site.    

Division | Acquisitions Section | Cataloging and Classification Section | Collection Management and Development Section | Continuing Resources | Preservation and Reformatting Section


Division Groups

Catalog Form and Function

The meeting began with a forum, “Old Records, New Records, New Interfaces.” Three librarians presented, each of whom has recently been involved in implementing “next generation” catalog interfaces

  • Charley Pennell, Principal Cataloger for Metadata, North Carolina State University Libraries, Endeca presentation
  • Mary Charles Lasater, Authorities Librarian, Vanderbilt University (Tennessee), Primo presentation
  • Cheryl Gowing, Director, Information Management and Systems, University of Miami (Florida), Encore presentation

The presentations detailed the features available in each product, and the ongoing implementation decisions and changes involved. Pennell discussed NCSU’s Endeca implementation, and its expansion to serve their consortium with “skins” for each institution. Lasater explained how implementing the new interface raised many questions about the handling of topic and genre headings and controlled versus uncontrolled vocabulary. She also discussed faceted browsing, and the capabilities of the new system. Gowing discussed the resources of a recently implemented Encore system, including details of relevance ranking and tag clouds, “soft launch” and user feedback gathering. All addressed cataloging and data cleanup issues. The presentations were followed by a question and answer session.

At the end of the meeting, Charley Pennell was elected chair. Richard Guajardo, head of the integrated library system at the University of Houston Libraries (Texas), was elected vice- chair/chair elect.

Past chair Laura Akerman volunteered to lead the effort to develop a wiki site. Interested members stayed after the meeting to discuss the development of a section of descriptions and functional evaluations for MARC record sets, with a goal of having something available before the end of the summer.

Creative Ideas in Technical Services

The Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group meeting was divided into four discussion groups:

  • Streamlining Technical Services Functions and Workflows
  • Improving Library and Information Science Education
  • Using Vendor Cataloging Records and Shelf-ready Services
  • Cross Training Staff across Functions and Formats

Volunteers facilitated the discussion at each table using questions provided by the chair and vice-chair as a guide. The discussions were lively and the hour of sharing ideas went quickly. A recorder noted the highlights of each discussion and summaries from each table were given to the entire group at the conclusion of the session.

Networked Resources and Metadata

The theme of this year’s discussion was taxonomy development. The first portion of the meeting featured a presentation by Laura Dorricott, Project Delivery Manager of Taxonomy Services with Dow Jones. Dorricott’s slides are available from the NRMIG Blog. She then led a discussion that touched on topics such as return on investment, experience and training for taxonomists, and differences between the corporate and library perspectives in regards to taxonomies and thesauri.

A short business meeting was held after the managed discussion, consisting mainly of reports from the officers and liaisons. Program co-chairs Jennifer Roper and Joanna Burgess discussed the program on metadata workflow tools that NRMIG is sponsoring at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. The group will also sponsor a preconference entitled “Manipulating Metadata: XLST for Librarians.” In addition, NRMIG will be co-sponsoring the LC/ALCTS workshop, “Metadata Standards and Applications.”

The Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA)/Resource Description and Access (RDA) liaison Steve Miller summarized the latest news from CC:DA, primarily the report that CC:DA submitted to CCS on RDA, and the preliminary plans for RDA testing by the national libraries. Holley Long reported on the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) meetings of interest. Erin Stalberg, current chair, reported that she submitted the interest group’s renewal petition with a name change request (Metadata Interest Group), as discussed on the discussion list and agreed to by the NRMIG Board. Stahlberg also announced that NRMIG now has a formal relationship with the Music Library Association’s metadata subgroup and will have a representative present at meeting at every Annual Conference. For the next three years, this representative will be Jenn Riley. The ALCTS Board voted to establish the formal relationship in November.


Chair Errol Somay welcomed attendees, commented on the success of the ALCTS Newspaper Discussion Group at the Annual Conference in Anaheim, reviewed the agenda, and acknowledged the speakers for the meeting.

Invited speaker Jennifer 8. Lee, New York Times columnist and author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, gave a lively presentation about the use of newspapers in the research for her book. Lee referred to both analog and digital historical newspapers, tracing the development of Chinese cooking in America to show that Chinese food as we know it is distinctly American and actually quite foreign to most native Chinese. Attendees were particularly interested to see how an end-user takes full advantage of digital resources such as those provided by ProQuest, the National Digital Newspaper Program, NewsBank, etc.

Teri Sierra, Assistant Chief, Serials and Government Publications Division, the Library of Congress, reported on recent developments within the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The Library of Congress is the national coordinator for the NDNP and is processing massive batches of digital materials in support of the program. Teri also announced that she would be giving demonstrations of “Chronicling America” at the LC booth in the Exhibits Hall.

Barbara Paulson, Senior Program Officer, the Division of Preservation and Access, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) initially reported on NEH activities as they related to newspapers. Paulson then expanded her talk to update attendees on a wide array of projects and initiatives supported by NEH.

Peter Stevens from Unlimited Priorities released information about the future release of Accessible Archives’ new digital edition of the Virginia Gazette. This is exciting news as it adds another historically significant newspaper to the list of titles that have already been presented online.

Mary McCarthy of the Colorado Virtual Library at the Colorado State Library gave a brief description of newspaper activities in the Colorado region. It was an engaging talk. McCarthy told of citizens raising money to digitize their local newspapers, primarily in eastern Colorado.

Carolyn Ciesla, ICON Program Coordinator, Center for Research Libraries (CRL), updated attendees on the ICON project as well as CRL’s work with NewsBank and the World Newspaper Archive digitization efforts.

After the meeting, the chair met with a few attendees to discuss program ideas for the Annual Meeting. This was one of the best-attended Newspaper Interest Group gatherings in some time.

Publisher/Vendor-Library Relations

Forum Report

The session title was “Who’s at the Wheel: What We’ve Learned about Patron-driven Collection Development.” Moderator Steven Bosch, University of Arizona, opened with brief remarks. He made the point that patron-driven selection is no longer an experiment but has become an integral part of collection management strategies at many libraries.

Lynn Wiley, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, described patron-selection programs for print materials that have been integrated into an already well-developed statewide interlibrary loan (ILL) system. Titles that have been received by the library but are “in process” are displayed in the OPAC as available. At patron request, they are expedited and delivered to the patron as an ILL title would be. This same system has now been extended to include approval plan books that have been received. Patron requests tripled with introduction of this service. These materials are also delivered to patrons without ever going to the “New Book Shelf.”

Rick Lugg, R2 Consulting, reviewed the findings of the famous Kent study at the University of Pittsburgh, which found that a high percentage of titles selected for the library never circulated. An informal R2 survey last year confirmed this result. Given this record, Lugg questioned the utility of “expert selection,” and suggested that patrons “deserve a shot at it” at the very least. He suggested dedicating a fund, perhaps 20 to 30 percent of available money, for patron selection of books. He speculated on the likely implications for publishers of patron-driven selection, concluding that frontlist sales might decrease but backlist sales might increase if, for example, a library loaded MARC records as selection devices for patrons to use.

Kari Paulson, EBook Library, explained that EBL began experimenting in 2003 with a demand-driven acquisition model, whereby the library does not buy an e-book title, but pays per use. Today the model is growing, and some 60 percent of their customers already use it to some degree. She reviewed advantages such as giving patrons access to a wider universe of titles than a purchase model, and disadvantages such as budgeting challenges.

Jim Dooley, University of California, Merced, presented two case studies of his library’s patron-driven acquisition programs with EBL and with MyiLibrary/Coutts. Between January and September 2008, 565 titles were purchased under this method with EBL, where a single access creates a purchase, amounting to $60,000 in expenditures. Among these titles, 30 percent saw additional use following purchase. From 2007 forward, UC Merced has purchased 446 titles from MyiLibrary, where two accesses create a purchase, among 2,035 titles accessed at least once. Among the purchased titles, 44 percent were accessed more than twice. He noted that MARC records need to be available for loading in a timely way and that accurate invoicing is “harder than it sounds” to achieve. He said that if a budget situation called for the program to be closed, it would take only an hour or two of systems work to suppress the MARC records that offer patrons the access/purchase opportunity.

Business Report

Amy McColl welcomed everyone, and explained that she was filling in for the current chair, Ann-Marie Breaux, who was unable to attend the conference.

After introductions, the group discussed any last-minute planning for Monday’s forum. The topic of the forum would be, “Who’s at the Wheel?: What we’ve learned about Patron-Driven Collection Development.”

The group then discussed ideas for their next forum in Chicago, and in Boston next Midwinter. Some of the previous ideas included succession planning and carriers for bibliographic data. New ideas included e-books, new content, online trials, and print-on-demand.

Print-on-demand turned out to be the pick for the group’s ALA Annual topic. With books going out of print so quickly due to shorter print runs, how do libraries acquire out-of-print titles quickly and cheaply?

McColl announced that Publisher/Vendor-Library Relations has applied to continue as an interest group within ALCTS.

Role of the Professional in Academic Research Technical Services Departments

The discussion topic was “Tough Times Hit Technical Services: How T.S. Librarians are Coping with the Economic Recession.” Co-chairs Michael Rice of the University of Michigan and Angela Laack of Southern Methodist University (Texas) opened the meeting with introductions. A brief history of the group was presented, which highlighted various past discussion topics. Some initial questions were posed to start the forum.

Many participants reported that their libraries had already begun eliminating cataloging positions, implemented hiring freezes, or offering early retirement packages, for which a large proportion of staff were eligible. As a result of these reductions, remaining staff have more to do and work is being reassigned in new ways. This is an obvious challenge, but it can also offer greater opportunities, as individuals take on broader responsibilities and learn new skills.

Attendees also discussed the transfer of former professional responsibilities to paraprofessionals. They debated the benefits of outsourcing, particularly when it involves rare or special collections work, and its impact on the overall quality of the catalog. They deliberated the increased need for better collaboration between peer libraries, such as cooperative cataloging. They stressed the need to ease restrictions on the ability to enhance shared records. The conversation also included the necessity of improved communication and mutual understanding between technical services staff, public service staff, and more importantly, higher management. Managers need to make informed and equitable decisions when it comes to allocating reduced library budgets.

The meeting concluded with a brief discussion of possible topics for the next session in Chicago.

Scholarly Communications

The guest speaker was Ann J. Wolpert, Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries and Chair of the Board of MIT Press. She began by discussing how institutional repositories can serve the missions of libraries.

MIT was an early digital adopter and is moving toward a distributed, mobile, interinstitutional environment. They collaborated with Hewlett-Packard to create open source software that people could download and use. This had led to ontologies and intellectual frameworks for managing and sustaining information. The repository at MIT does not focus on collecting peer-reviewed literature but rather on gray literature.

Interdisciplinary labs use the repository to share not only among themselves but with neighboring institutions like Harvard. MIT is working with the Office of Sponsored Programs to help scholars share their work. They are also working with MIT Press to create a dark archive to preserve the digital work of MIT Press and eventually may make it an open environment.

The scholarly communication outlook is promising. Presidents and provosts are starting realize that their institutions are responsible for preserving their research output. Repositories can showcase work to legislators and alumni and promote the quality of the university’s contributions.

Technical Services Administrators of Medium-Sized Research Libraries

The meeting was managed by Linda Lomker and Elizabeth Brice, substituting for Roberta Winjum who was unable to attend the conference. The topic for the meeting was "Coping with Cuts: Handling Budget Reductions in Technical Services." Fifty-eight people attended the gatherting.

Four different table discussion topics were covered. The topics were:

  • How to manage staffing issues
  • How to deal with layoffs
  • How to manage workflow with a diminished staff
  • How to communicate impacts and changes in Technical Services

The staffing cuts that attendees described range from 3.3 percent to 15 percent with as many as fifteen to nineteen positions lost through layoffs and attrition. The different institutions represented were at different decision points. Some libraries are making cuts now; others not until next year. This year may bring minor cuts, but next year there may be draconian cuts. In some cases, staff members are being offered incentives to encourage voluntary retirements and departures. Other strategies include asking people if they would cut hours voluntarily, or closing the campus during break times (summer if there are no summer sessions, winter if classes are not held between semesters) to reduce hours and therefore payroll.

Other things being considered that impact technical services include: not accepting gifts, giving up Government Printing Office depository status if close to a regional depository, lengthening turnaround times and allowing backlogs to build, stopping claims of missing issues, stopping journal issue check-in, stopping special covers for binding or binding paperbacks, offering pay-per-view instead of subscriptions, not keeping the print copies of journals even if the library has to buy them to get the electronic version, and not providing subject analysis for theses.

Collection development priorities may change as a result of the budget cuts. If users are not using print materials much and building use is down, then shifts to e-resources may substantially reduce print ordering, cataloging and processing in technical services. Some institutions are looking at eliminating all print subscriptions and relying on the electronic versions only. With limited budgets, institutions are making choices between staffing and collections.

Technical Services Directors in Large Research Libraries

John Attig, the ALA representative to the Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR (JSC), briefed members on recent RDA developments. The full draft of RDA was made available in November 2008 and the deadline for community input is February 2, 2009. The JSC will be meeting on March 12th in Chicago to consider comments and discuss next steps.

Beacher Wiggins, Library of Congress, along with Dianne McCutcheon, National Library of Medicine, and Christopher Cole, National Agricultural Library, gave an update on the three national libraries’ development of a methodology for testing and evaluating RDA. Plans call for members of the U.S. library community as well as ILS vendors and OCLC to also participate in the testing.

Kate Harcourt, Chair of the ALCTS Task Group on the Library of Congress Working Group Report, presented a proposal to have Big Heads sponsor and charge a group to move forward on Recommendation Big Heads agreed to take on this task. Bob Wolven, Columbia, Jim Mouw, University of Chicago, Katharine Farrell, Princeton, and Michael Norman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will work with Harcourt in developing the charges and identifying committee members by March 1, 2009. The committee will be asked to submit their final report to Big Heads by June 1, 2009.

There was an update on the Open Library Environment (OLE) Project and a discussion led by Wolven and Jim Mouw, University of Chicago. Wolven and Mouw noted that OLE is not intended to be an ILS but rather a next-generation technology environment to meet future library operational needs. The goal is to create a system that will connect to other enterprise technology systems and address areas where traditional integrated library systems currently do not provide adequate support.

Peggy Johnson, University of Minnesota, led a discussion on strategies and efficiencies being explored within technical services operations for managing budget retrenchments. Prior to the meeting, members developed a list of some cost-saving measures already implemented or being considered for implementation at their institutions. Members also discussed various decision-making methodologies that could be deployed for exploring more efficiencies, such as streamlining workflows, and redeploying existing staff resources.

Future topics will include a discussion of the Big Heads Membership Review Committee’s final report and recommendations, a discussion of the recommendations stemming from the committee charged to review the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control Recommendation, and a follow-up on the impact on technical services operations and services in today’s current economic/budget climate.

Technical Services Workflow Efficiency

The Workflow Efficiency Interest Group discussed patron-initiated acquisitions of e-books, and was attended by over thirty participants. The meeting began with presentations by Kari Paulson, President of EBook Library, and Sue Polanka of Wright State University (Ohio) and “No Shelf Required.” They addressed the goals, workflow challenges, and metrics of success that go into patron-initiated acquisitions programs. Because this method of acquisitions gives patrons “what they need when they need it,” it can achieve 100 percent usage and an efficiency of budget and access that is not possible with traditional print acquisitions. Unique workflow challenges include weeding MARC records and reliably identifying duplicate MARC records. Vendors and libraries are working on methods to streamline these workflows. Many aspects of the process naturally fall into established acquisitions workflows, as the e-book patron-initiated acquisitions model resembles that of traditional print approval plans. Libraries are required to spend more time at the beginning of the process to determine the profile of e-book records that are available for patron-initiated purchase, and that also fit the collection needs of the library. This gives selectors a guiding role in the process, while patrons make the definitive decision whether or not to purchase a title. To measure success, libraries can evaluate and compare usage statistics of items purchased through patron-initiated acquisitions and through traditional acquisitions.

The discussion that followed showed that participants are very interested in continuing the conversation about patron-initiated acquisitions. Since the flexibility and control of patron-initiated acquisitions can vary based on the requirements of individual libraries, further education among acquisitions and collection development librarians is needed to make sure libraries are responding to patrons, streamlining new workflows, and fulfilling collection needs.



Acquisitions Section Groups

As of the report deadline, no reports have been received from the Acquisitions Section.    

Cataloging and Classification Section Groups

LITA/ALCTS Authority Control

Six speakers described cataloging developments that impact authority control. An opportunity for questions was provided after each presentation.

The RDA/MARC Working Group was represented by John Espley, VTLS. He covered MARBI proposals submitted by the group to get MARC ready for RDA data.

An excellent presentation on changing the MARC authority format was given by Jimmie Lundgren, Science and Social Science Cataloging Unit Head Cataloging and Metadata Department, Smathers Library, University of Florida. The presentation provided steps needed for others with ideas for changing the MARC authority format.

Bill Leonard, Information Standards Specialist, Library and Archives Canada, focused on AMICUS, the Canadian national catalog, and features of Canadian authority records.

Janis Young, Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division, provided details on developments at the Library of Congress on issues related to name and subject authority records as well as RDA.

Philip Young, Catalog Librarian, Virginia Tech, covered the purpose, past activities, and future plans of the SAC-Form/Genre Implementation Subcommittee. Participants were encouraged to subscribe to the Form/Genre discussion list to help formulate future policies and practices.

The OCLC update with statistics of current or recent projects supplied by Robert Bremer was made available online. Renee Register gave an overview of the OCLC Next Generation Catalog.

A business meeting following the regular meeting focused on future conferences, upcoming elections and the need to have a greater web presence for the group. It was agreed that in addition to providing opportunities to showcase cutting edge ideas in programs, The Authority Control Interest Group should also seek to provide education, discussion, and resources for authority control through programs, wikis, and blogs.

Cartographic Materials

Twenty- one people attended the meeting. The discussion focused primarily on the Library of Congress project to provide form/genre headings for cartographic materials. Janis Young from the Library of Congress was present to explain the project and get input from the cartographic cataloging community.

The discussion was lively. Points of discussion included:

  • Double record information should be avoided.
  • It is necessary to have access to atlases in addition to sheet maps
  • It is necessary to be able to subdivide form/genre headings by place
  • It is necessary for the terms to remain the same regardless of whether they are used as topical headings or form/genre headings

Most information and discussion will be shared on the Maps-L, Autocat, and OLAC discussion lists. Other topics covered included copy cataloging of cartographic materials (specifically atlases) and the addition of coordinates to authority records.

For the Annual Conference, part of the session will include a presentation on how to personalize Cataloger’s Desktop.

Catalog Management

The Catalog Management Interest Group welcomed two speakers to the meeting. Joshua Barton, Serials Cataloging Librarian and Bibliographer for Philosophy at Michigan State University, presented on the merger of his institution’s catalog with that of the Library of Michigan. In his presentation, “Turf Lines: Maintaining a Shared Catalog at Michigan State University Libraries and the Library of Michigan,” Barton discussed the reasons for the merger, the methods used to combine the catalogs, and the challenges both institutions faced in the process.

Annie Wu, University of Houston Libraries, led a discussion on e-book cataloging. Her presentation, “E-books Cataloging and Maintenance: the UH Libraries Experience” described e-book cataloging procedures developed by the University of Houston Libraries. Specifically, her presentation focused on cataloging e-books through batch-loading and by using MarcEdit software. Wu’s colleague, Anne Mitchell, assisted in the preparation of the presentation, but was unable to present at Midwinter.

Ed.’s note: The presentations from this session are available in the Midwinter wiki.

Cataloging and Classification Research

The program was very well attended; about 150 librarians participated. The meeting featured three presentations.

Rocki Strader, Assistant Professor and Catalog Librarian, The Ohio State University Libraries, discussed her research on “Author-assigned Keywords versus Library of Congress Subject Headings: Implications for the Cataloging of Electronic Theses and Dissertations.” The aim of this study is to examine the overlap between author-assigned keywords and cataloger-assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) for a set of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) in The Ohio State University’s online catalog. The project is intended to contribute to the literature on the question of keywords versus controlled vocabularies in the use of online catalogs and databases. The following questions will be addressed:

  • How much do author-assigned keywords overlap with LCSH (the same, or as a “see from” reference)?
  • How well do LCSH terms cover those used by ETD authors?
  • How well do author-assigned keywords cover the “about-ness” of their respective documents (that is, how many LCSH terms were assigned for which there was no corresponding author-assigned keyword)?
  • What are the implications for the construction and use of LCSH?

Charlene Chou, Catalog librarian, Columbia University, stated that the implementation of Unicode in the ILS and OCLC has strengthened the non-English accessibility of library resources in recent years. However, what are the key components to be improved, and what additional resources are needed to reinforce the missing links? This presentation examined several current challenges in library communities and developments in the web-environment that might help us address these problems.

Sylvia D. Hall-Ellis, Associate Professor, Library and Information Science Program, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver, and JoAnne L. Patrick, Director of Operation, Westminster Law Library, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver, discussed their research on “Cataloging in the RDA Environment: Skill Sets, Expectations and Challenges.” They addressed catalogers’ skills and how job descriptions are detailed to reflect the current needs of catalogers’ skills.

The topics discussed at the CCS Cataloging and Classification Research Interest Group initiated lively discussions and interest among the attendees.

Copy Cataloging

The Copy Cataloging Interest Group had a good turnout of about seventy people. After introductions, the first presenter was Judith Anne Mansfield of the Library of Congress, Chief, U.S./Anglo Division, Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate. Mansfield reported primarily on the reorganization at the Library. The administrative reorganization had been announced in October 2008 when the functions of Acquisitions and Cataloging were merged. The staff slated to move will do so in the spring, while a priority materials backlog has already been moved. The acquisitions backlog will move later. With the reorganization came some staffing imbalance due to retirements and staff leaving for other jobs. Staff allocations were estimated for the new organization and some corrections have to be made as excess allocations become evident. However, since LC’s peak activity is in the spring and summer, there is time. Training across all areas will also begin in the spring and Mansfield expects a drop in cataloging activity.

Joseph Kiegel, Head, Monographic Services, University of Washington Libraries (UWL), Seattle, presented a very dynamic and multi-faceted description of the libraries’ experience with WorldCat Local (WCL) and its impact on copy cataloging. UWL had always been interested in network cataloging, and when OCLC initiated WorldCat Local, they became the first development partner and the first beta site.

The move to WCL raised staffing and workflow issues that the University of Washington Libraries continues to address. They use a variety of staff levels to perform copy cataloging. Students do full- level records from select libraries and minimal level cataloging locally. Acquisitions staff does simple copy cataloging. Paraprofessionals with required training add call numbers and subject headings. About 80-85 percent of copy cataloging is done in Acquisitions.

Sara Shatford Layne, University of California, Los Angeles, discussed the extensive training program that was launched in the California system under the rubric, “Cataloging and Metadata Common Interest Group (CAMCIG) Training Initiative” in 2006. Broadly speaking, the training will prepare the University of California to participate in OCLC’s recently initiated Expert Community Experiment. The principle change is that those working in OCLC WorldCat Local have to learn to look at bibliographic data in a new and different way.

The audience questioned whether there would be a slowdown if libraries became more involved with WCL. Layne felt there would be an initial slowdown, if for no other reason than that the decision process would be different. Catalogers may take more time deciding what information goes into the local record and what into the master record. One concern was the continued presence of duplicate records, and that catalogers spend too much time distinguishing and choosing the best record. Layne said OCLC is working to develop a new duplication detection program. In response to whether all campuses will move to WCL, she reminded attendees that the University of California system has always had its own union catalog and there is some discussion of replacing the local OPAC.

The chair asked members of the interest group for topics for the next interest group meeting at Annual, members enthusiastically proposed:

  • Copy cataloging for special collections.
  • How to train copy catalogers in FRBR and RDA, FRBR being here already and RDA on its way.
  • Copy cataloging for special formats, such as electronic resources.
  • Copy cataloging and vendor records.

To propose additional topics, please feel free to contact Eugene H. Dickerson.



Collection Management and Development Section Groups

Collection Management in Public Libraries

Forty people attended the meeting. The discussion was led by co-chairs Melissa DeWild, Kent District Library (KDL), Comstock Park, Michigan, and Jean Gaffney, Dayton Metro Library, Dayton, Ohio. Discussion topics included starting centralized selection, economic downturn, and library versus retail edition audio books.

DeWild began the discussion by describing the implementation of centralized selection at Kent District Library in Michigan. Centralized selection was phased in slowly and emphasized communication with staff. Centralized selection is more efficient, and allows selectors to order the right amount of items for the whole system the first time. One helpful tool has been their online request form on the library’s website. Selectors place holds and email patrons concerning their patron requests. KDL uses First Look carts with grids from Baker and Taylor as well as Midwest Tape for most of its book and audiovisual collection. Other major vendors such as Brodart and Ingram also offer First Look type services. The library moved to floating when centralized selection began. To deal with staff resistance, DeWild said staff was encouraged to let selectors know what was needed and to create Baker and Taylor carts of items possibly needing replacement. Centralized selection is still a collaborative process between selectors and public services to ensure that local needs are addressed. She recommends involving staff to help with making selection profiles and standing order lists.

Gaffney shared what her library is experiencing and asked what is happening with other library’s budgets. Dayton Metro Library’s collection budget was cut by 13 percent. Gaffney said her response to this is to buy more of what people want and have less variety in the collection. Library staff at Dayton cut the core reference list in half, and they also cut some standing orders such as travel and irregular publications. A number of attendees said that they cut databases and reference. Another institution is doing more extensive collection analysis with circulation and turnover rate.

DeWild explained that KDL is buying both retail and library editions of audiobooks. They are generally buying retail editions when a lot of copies are needed to meet initial high demand, since buying a lot of multiple copies of the library edition is often not affordable. DeWild asked what other libraries are doing.

Midwest Tape provides a wide variety of books on tape at a low price. Even though publishers may claim an audio book is an exclusive, many of these can be found at Midwest. Librarians can also order prepublications from this vendor.Some libraries are not buying from Midwest due to cover art issues, but this situation has improved.Attendees reported that audiobooks with plain covers from Midwest are circulating and are still being purchased.Some audiobooks can only be purchased from Recorded Books since its offerings are proprietary. A smaller library may save money with retail editions, but those editions have to be repackaged for circulation.

Other topics suggested by attendees and discussed briefly included floating collections, holds-only media collections, electronic requests, e-books, and large print books.



Continuing Resources Section Groups

Journal Costs in Academic Libraries

Five speakers addressed the topic of perpetual access for electronic resources. The presentations were followed by a brief question and answer session.

Ann Okerson, Associate University Librarian for Collections and International Programs, Yale University, gave the contexts for perpetuity. She described the digital medium and the license definitions on perpetual access. Even though some successful efforts have been made to provide long-term access, it is not certain how these efforts will fare over time. She questioned the adequacy of the license language which should not be confused with long-term preservation. Okerson assessed that the most at risk are databases, multimedia and grey literature. Using print as a solution could be expensive, but shared print has made some headway. Many unresolved issues, e.g. standards, ownership, how, require further investigation. Okerson wanted the group to consider why and how much they want to access in perpetuity, the inevitable high costs and who decides or controls perpetual access.

Vicki Lange, Custom and Consortia Sales Manager, University of Chicago Press, regarded perpetual access as a byproduct of the electronic format. The ability to provide or track perpetual access is dictated by technical capability. Publishers should communicate clearly to the libraries their capabilities regarding perpetual access to reduce confusion from varying publisher policies. The Internet has allowed more options for formats and the ideal format should replicate the features of the active subscriptions. Publishers should strive for stability of the collections for the libraries, complemented by third party archiving initiatives. Implementation of the TRANSFER code of practice by all parties is a step towards perpetual access. With the rapidly changing technology, will there be a shift towards preservation of the original digital format over access? Publishers, suppliers and libraries should collaborate, cooperate and create to tackle perpetual access.

Mark Johnson, Publication Manager, HighWire Press, Stanford University, explained how HighWire Press is supporting perpetual access and the various forms of perpetual access which will be triggered by a change in the publisher status. It is the publisher who decides the policy, but it is the platform provider that provides the technology to support perpetual access with reliability and worst case planning and preparation. There are many external archives, and HighWire’s support for LOCKSS is seamless. The trend seems to be for publishers to provide free back file access to current subscribers.

Peter McCracken, co-founder and Director of Research, Serials Solutions, discussed how ERMS providers can participate in facilitating perpetual and continuing access to libraries and users by securing efficiently quality and timely e-journal data from various members of the knowledge base supply chain. Publishers, suppliers and libraries will all benefit from accurate content. The Knowledge Bases and Related Tools Working Group (KBART) is one of the many initiatives towards such a goal and ERMS providers have the added advantages of having close relationships with content providers and the expertise in managing knowledge bases. The whole process should be simplified and streamlined so that libraries are not duplicating work.

Patrick Newell, Electronic Resources Librarian, California State University, Fresno, LOCKSS Project, explained how LOCKSS contributes a low cost solution towards providing perpetual access for libraries to build and provide access to local electronic collections. Format migration on demand allows users to see the results of the best possible technology at the time of access. The free mode preserves free content while the pay mode preserves LOCKSS subscription (prospective, not retrospective) content and allows private LOCKSS networks to be built to preserve local collections. Publisher triggered events like title cessations or sustained failure of delivery platforms will prompt the LOCKSS board to release the contents from LOCKSS archives for continuing public access.



Preservation and Reformatting Section Groups

Digital Conversion

The first portion of the meeting consisted of a presentation by Nancy Kraft, Preservation Librarian, University of Iowa Libraries, entitled, “After the Iowa Floods: Salvaging Recording Media Collections.” Kraft gave an excellent overview of their experience salvaging recording media collections after the devastating Iowa floods of 2008.

Following Ms. Kraft’s presentation was a business meeting. The new draft charge for the interest group was approved and new chairs were elected. Suggested topics for the upcoming Annual Meeting were:

  • Focus on video (obsolescence of videotape and VCRs, digitizing obsolete video formats delivery standards for video)
  • Audio data management and file naming
  • Preserving born digital audio objects.

Digital Preservation

The group featured substantive reports from several major digital preservation efforts. Lisa Schmidt reported on the use of the audit tool TRAC, in certifying the sustainability of the H-NET archive housed at MATRIX at Michigan State University. Abigail Potter reported on the current direction of the National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program (NDIIPP), and Martin Halbert reported on the MetaArchive project, which is supported by NDIIPP. Reports were provided about two important digital curation conferences held in Europe in 2008. Liz Bishoff and Mary Molinaro reported on the ongoing efforts to sponsor a “Think Tank” to determine how to establish digital curation infrastructure for North America. This is a direct result from one of the first digital preservation interest group discussions held during Midwinter 2008.

Intellectual Access to Preservation Data

The Intellectual Access Interest Group assembled for a presentation and discussions. The PREMIS data dictionary and section restructuring were the topics of discussion. Rebecca Guenther, Senior Networking and Standards Specialist, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress, presented a one hour program on the PREMIS Data Dictionary. This was a nontechnical presentation discussing preservation metadata and PREMIS. The session introduced the goals and features of the PREMIS Data Dictionary, as well as the work of the PREMIS Maintenance Activity.

A question and answer period immediately followed the presentation. The last hour of the meeting was used to discuss the group’s future under the sections restructuring plan. Although the group was due to sunset, great interest was expressed in keeping the group moving into the future. This was expressed in words and through a strong attendance.

Library Binding/Physical Quality and Treatment

Twenty-nine people attended the meeting. Beth Doyle read the current charge for this group, which states “Discussion of matters related to books, paper-based materials, and other tangible Artifacts in collections, including care and repair, physical quality and treatment, and library binding.” Karen Brown, State University of New York at Albany, said the charge can be changed and presented to the committee.

Debra Nolan, Library Binding Institute (LBI) gave an LBI update. The Guide to Library Binding is now available. Paul Parisi shared a copy of the guide and mentioned that it is essentially a discussion of LBI Standards. Other interesting things happening at the Library Binding Institute included the development of the library binding toolkit, working to maintain a member’s certification process, and gaining popularity with the media through American Airlines Magazine and the LA Times.

Laura Cameron, Stanford University, gave an update on the Library Binding Tool Kit. A task force has been formed with Cameron as chair. The goal of the tool kit, according to Cameron, is “to expand knowledge of library binding and its uses as part of a preventative preservation program and as a cost-effective tool for prolonging collection in small to mid-sized libraries.” The idea would be to hold regional workshops, using the tool kit. After discussion, it was suggested that the tool kit should be available in a web-based format.

Molly McIlhon, LBS/Archival Products, provided information on library buckram from LBS. In an effort to stay a viable company in the market place, Holliston Mills will reduce the number of colors available in library buckram (F-grade buckram). Holliston will become more efficient by producing longer runs of fewer colors. LBS will release more information as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, concerns may be brought to binders or LBS. Jeanne Drewes, Library of Congress, stated that it is important to be supportive of this in an effort to keep cover materials, like buckram, available. There are very few suppliers of this material in the United States. Along with the change in colors, there may also be price changes.

Beth Doyle, Duke, and Carie McGinnis, Harvard, reviewed the selection criteria used at Duke and Harvard for quick treatments. How are decisions made between boxing and quick treatment? How are other library departments and curators incorporated in the decision making process?

The meeting concluded with an open discussion on suggestions for future meetings:

  • When is a book not repairable and who makes that decision?
  • How incomplete newspaper and journal series should be treated during a move? Should they be bound, even though they are incomplete? Should they be boxed until the missing volumes are collected?
  • In lieu of shrinking binding budgets, how can administrators be convinced that binding is an important and necessary part of preservation?
  • What should be done with a tangible book once it is loaded onto Google?

The topic at annual will focus on “Googleization,” specifically selection and how the Google workflow affects treatment choices afterward. The revised charge and new name of the group will also be discussed.


Walter Cybulski, National Library of Medicine, and members of the PARS Executive Committee opened the session and provided updates on the ongoing reorganization of PARS to align with the ALCTS Interest Group structure and become a more accessible and efficient section in its own right. A discussion period followed.

Sharon Quinn Fitzgerald, Head of Technical Services and Library Web Management, University of Maine, and Marilyn Lutz, Director for Information Systems Planning, University of Maine, gave a presentation on “Forging the Future,” a consortium of museums and cultural heritage organizations, that is developing a toolset based on preservation standards and strategies. This presentation focused on two of the tools: the Variable Media Questionnaire (VMQ), an interactive preservation database, and the Media Art Notation System (MANS) developed as a metadata schema to contain data gathered from the VMQ.Presenters showed how MANS compares with existing preservation metadata standards.

Poster sessions were presented by Kathleen Frear, on “Floppy Disk Preservation at the University of Chicago” and Martha Horan on “A Needs Assessment at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.” Lori Foley, Northeast Document Conservation Center, demonstrated the preservation curriculum materials that were developed by the NEDCC with support from IMLS and partners at numerous library schools. The materials, available online, include lesson plans, teaching guides, images for use in presentations, and reading lists.

Constance Malpas, program officer, OCLC-RLG Programs, Cathy Martyniak, Head of Preservation, University of Florida, and Roger Schonfeld, Manager of Research, Ithaka (N.Y.), gave a panel presentation on large-scale digitization, shared print storage and changing attitudes about libraries. The panel considered how these changes raise questions about how preservation programs are managed to meet local needs and support broader efforts to sustain the intellectual record. The presenters reviewed recent research findings and participated in a discussion on the ways that local preservation efforts can intersect with national trends in collection management and library development.