Interest Groups Report on Conference Activities in Chicago
These reports summarize activities that took place during meetings of ALCTS interest groups held during the 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago. Included are groups whose reports were received by the editor as of August 15, 2009. For information on 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
Authority Control Interest Group | ALA Connect
25th Anniversary Program The Future is Now: Global Authority Control
The Authority Control Interest Group (ACIG) was established in 1984 to provide a forum for discussion of issues related to authority control for online catalogs and for international sharing of authority data. The ACIG Program at ALA Annual celebrated twenty-five years of discussing, reporting on, and fostering changes in the creation and use of standardized data terms. These changes have moved in the direction of more efficient and truly global participation in data control.
Presenters looked at the expansion of authority control through increased collaboration and technological control of data, as well as added languages, scripts, and vocabularies. Tim Spalding began with a look at LibraryThing and its Common Knowledge area. It enables a wider community to provide details about authors and subjects that add access and disambiguation possibilities.
Building on Spalding’s presentation, Jeanne Spala of CMI (Spydus Library Software) demonstrated global authorities in the local catalog. She demonstrated how LibraryThing is incorporated in the local catalog to enhance retrieval. Spala also showed how multiple thesaurus and non-Latin scripts can be used in the Spydus library system for improved display and automated maintenance.
Michael Kreyche provided the background of his lcsh-es.org and demonstrated the ability to search in either English or Spanish to find Spanish equivalents for Library of Congress Subject Heads. He noted there is overlap in usage with the different Spanish lists currently in use. Karen Smith-Yoshimura of OCLC demonstrated the methodology and purpose of the Cooperative Identities Hub, which in some ways has similar ease of enrichment noted with LibraryThing. The long-awaited Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) continues to expand to include more national authority files. Thomas Hickey (OCLC) provided background on the project and demonstrated the current searching interface.
Janis Young, Library of Congress, discussed the purpose and current status of the new LC SKOS based service. The project was undertaken to provide human and programmatic access to commonly found standards and vocabularies developed by LC. The final speaker, Diane I. Hillman, summarized the project Registering the RDA Vocabularies on the National Science Digital Library Registry. The goal is to have RDA terms available for easy access when RDA is published. The registered elements and concepts may be used in applications using either XML or RDF.
Updates from Library and Archives Canada, Library of Congress, and H.W. Wilson along with the PowerPoint presentations are available in the ALA Presentations Wiki. There was not time for questions, and attendees were directed to the ACIG space in ALA Connect to post questions and reactions to the program. Participants were also encouraged to use the ACIG wiki as a bookmark for authority control resources and issues and ACIG information.
The 25th anniversary program was presented on July 12, 2009 and was follwed by a celebratory reception sponsored by MARCIVE, Inc. Barbara Tillett, the founder of ACIG, provided brief comments before cutting the cake. A public business meeting at the end of the afternoon included elections and discussions of topics and format for future programs. This report was submitted by Mary Mastraccio.
Catalog Form and Function Interest Group | ALA Connect
The forum this year brought four speakers together to discuss how librarians are attempting to highlight electronic resources in their library catalogs. Two of the speakers showed how pre-coordinate limiting and post-coordinate faceting enable catalog managers to draw users directly to both licensed and open-access titles.
Michael Kreyche, Kent State University, demonstrated how his library had defined online resources through scoping based on the MARC 856 second indicator values (blank, 0, and 1) and by adding identifying holdings to records with these values. Problems with using the indicators were noted, particularly with second indicator value of "1", which includes tables of contents and summaries from Library of Congress records. Kreyche demonstrated statistically how online resources have quickly risen to the second most popular search limit in the first four months of the year.
Steve Shadle’s presentation showed some of the unique capabilities of OCLC's WorldCat Local catalog to draw attention to the University of Washington’s (UW) e-resources, including open-access titles from other libraries' holdings and even locally licensed resources which had not yet been cataloged by UW. Currently, "Internet resources" is the third most frequent format facet chosen in user searches following "Books" and "Articles". Shadle noted that WCL has become the second largest source of requests to the UW link resolver, not far behind ISI (Web of Science) and far ahead of EBSCO, PubMed and Google Scholar. OCLC is also automatically harvesting the library's OAI-accessible digital content, converting local metadata to MARC, and offering it for search in WCL even though this content is not in UW's local Innovative Interfaces catalog. Some problems related to WorldCat Local were also noted.
The final presentation detailed efforts at the University of Illinois at Chicago to provide improved consortial access to aggregated e-books through third-party MARC records purchased through Ingram/Coutts. Kavita Mundle and Kristin Martin outlined problems with records as received from the vendor, with massaging and loading those records into the CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries of Illinois) database, and with presentation within the shared and local catalog interfaces. Problems included lack of record roll-up, causing duplicate record displays for each institution sharing a title. Since UIC uses three catalog interfaces (Voyager, VuFind, WorldCat Local), they must deal with different issues each presents. For example, many e-resources licensed from vendors may not be loaded into WorldCat, preventing those titles from displaying to UIC's users through the WCL interface. WorldCat will also display inappropriate links from the master record for resources that UIC has licensed, but which are accessible via a different URL.
Attendance at Annual was about one third lower than at the 2009 Midwinter Meeting. There were sixty-seven attendees present halfway through the first presentation.
At the end of the meeting, Richard Guajardo (University of Houston) became Chair while Katherine Harvey (University of California, Irvine) volunteered as Chair-Elect. Charley Pennell (North Carolina State University) became Past Chair.
Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group | ALA Connect
About twenty participants attended the meeting on Sunday, July 12, 2009. Each person selected a table to join based on the topic to be discussed there. After opening remarks by the vice-chair, ideas about the topics were shared with others around the table. The topics selected for discussion were:
- “Less is less”: managing TS during a recession. Themes from the discussion included impacts, staffing, and collaboration.
- To catalog or to outsource, that is the question: vendor cataloging and shelf-ready services. Themes from the discussion included pros/cons, resistance, quality control and work flow.
- The untouchables: acquiring and providing access to e-journals, e-books, streaming media. Themes from the discussion included vendor support, cataloging, metadata and communication.
- “The people in the basement”: how to gain recognition and appreciation for TS from library directors and colleagues. Themes from the discussion included perceptions, contacts with colleagues and production impacts.
The discussion at each table was facilitated and recorded by volunteers. Although the chair and vice-chair supplied facilitators with proposed discussion questions, the interests of the participants directed discussions. At the end of the session, one member from each table summarized the main points of the discussion for everyone who attended. Thereafter, a lively open discussion was led by the vice chair.
Emily Prather-Rodgers, Technical Services Coordinator, North Central College is the incoming Chair. Guanxian (Tony) Fang, Media and Monographs Original Cataloging, University of Minnesota was elected Vice Chair/Chair Elect at the meeting.
Electronic Resources Interest Group | ALA Connect
Pay-per-view options were the topic the ALCTS CCS Electronic Resources Interest Group panel discussion presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, on Saturday, July 11, 2009. The speakers were Beth Bernhardt, Electronic Journals/Information Delivery Library, Jackson Library, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Nicole Mitchell, Reference Librarian & Optometry Liaison and Elizabeth Lorbeer, Assistant Professor/Associate Director for Content Management, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Ryan Weir, Serials and Electronic Resources Librarian and Ashley Ireland, Reference Librarian/Science Subject Specialist, Murray State University Libraries; and Mark Rothenbuhler, John Wiley & Sons.
Discussion centered on the experiences of the three libraries as they continue in various stages of implementing transactional access models. The panelists discussed why transactional access was right for their institution, the driving forces behind their decisions, and the outcomes of their endeavors. Additional information about using prepaid tokens for article access was provided in the presentation by Mark Rothenbuhler.
Pay Per View: Where We Were, Where We Are and Where Are We Going Next?
Beth Bernhardt began the session by discussing how UNC Greensboro (UNCG) set up several different types of pay-per-view options to provide its users with access to articles in unsubscribed titles. Beginning in 2002, UNCG began experimenting with pay-per-view through several companies including FirstSearch, EBSCO, the American Institute of Physics, Ingenta, ScienceDirect, Wiley InterScience, and Ovid LWW (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). UNCG was the first institution to work with the American Institute of Physics (AIP) to establish a pay-per-view model for its journals in 2003, although AIP has since stopped offering this service. Journals were chosen for inclusion in the pay-per-view services based on three criteria: the library did not have a subscription to the journal, the library had a print subscription but no electronic access, or the library had access to content electronically through an aggregator service that had embargoes on titles.
Bernhardt noted several reasons in support of providing articles via pay-per-view. UNCG discovered it could get more journal titles for its users (including back files), that pay-per-view was more cost-effective for low-use titles, and that access to articles through pay-per-view was quicker than through interlibrary loan. In addition, UNCG used statistics gathered from the pay-per-view services as a collection development tool, to see what was being used and what subject areas needed to be expanded.
Pay-per-view is not without its problems, however. Bernhardt noted that their ability to make budgetary predictions was reduced. She noted that pay-per-view is probably a good option for smaller institutions, but a larger, more research-intensive institution could use its entire pay-per-view budget very quickly if they are not careful. Additionally, the potential for abuse exists with pay-per-view—a user may be tempted to order everything available in a journal. To prevent this from happening, institutions need to track pay-per-view usage. In terms of usability, pay-per-view sometimes presents barriers to users (e.g., users are sometimes presented with a web form to fill out or will be prompted to add an article to a “shopping cart,” implying that some sort of payment is due) which makes educating users on what to expect with pay-per-view important.
When UNCG began using pay-per-view in 2002, the savings realized were significant. More money was spent on EBSCO than on FirstSearch, but if the library had subscribed to all of the journals included in the pay-per-view services, the total cost would have been over $200,000 as compared to the $24,000. More titles were added in 2003 and 2004, and the pay-per-view budget was increased. UNCG discovered that 84 percent of the library’s pay-per-view budget was spent on unique titles ordered four or fewer times, which was exactly where it was needed: journals that were used a little at a time. Nine percent was spent on unique titles ordered five to nine times, and seven percent was spent on unique titles used ten or more times.
In 2005, the number of journal titles UNCG offered through pay-per-view was reduced by 75 percent when the library joined thirty-seven other schools in the Carolina Consortium (which includes universities and community colleges in North Carolina and South Carolina) in setting up deals with Blackwell, Springer, and Wiley. Since 2005, the consortium has grown to 130 schools participating in over fifty deals. Despite joining the consortium, UNCG still faces a 23 percent cut in its journals budget, which may necessitate pulling out of some of the big deals. Bernhardt stated that UNCG plans to continue pursuing pay-per-view options with the American Institute of Physics. In addition, the library will continue to add titles to FirstSearch and IngentaConnect and will continue offering ScienceDirect pay-per-view for older back files. They are also investigating pay-per-view options with the American Chemical Society since they will be dropping their subscription because of the cost.
Transactional Access: Fast Food Nation/Google Generation/Financial Down Turn...Meet the Library
Ryan Weir and Ashley Ireland, Murray State University (Kentucky) discussed their library’s transition from providing access to digital content “just-in-time” to “just-in-case.” Four years ago, the library’s journal budget was cut dramatically to re-establish the one-time purchase budget that had been specifically allocated to journals. The library does not want to rely solely on interlibrary loan to fill the gaps because the turnaround is not fast enough. After a literature review, querying discussion lists, and talking to colleagues and vendors, as well as discussing transactional access options with the deans of the colleges most affected by the budget cuts (mostly in the sciences), the library has decided to pursue a limited approach for the next three years.
The library opted out of its IP-based solution with ScienceDirect and is switching to a log-in approach that will be launched in August 2009. Each affected department within the colleges will receive a departmental login with an allotment of funds to be used for the fiscal year, and students will have access to resources through the reference desk. Usage will be tracked based on login to adjust the budget in future years (each department is to receive the same allocation for the first year). Users will be encouraged to request articles via interlibrary loan when the article is not needed immediately. Participating departments will see a small decrease in their one-time purchase budgets to help supplement the pay-per-view program. The library will work closely with the faculty to make sure that they are getting everything they need. After the initial three years, the library will continue to investigate other pay-per-view programs and plans to assess user satisfaction in order to decide whether to expand or discontinue the program in the coming years.
Developing a Pay-Per-View Model in a Financially Challenging Budget Year
Nicole Mitchell and Elizabeth Lorbeer, University of Alabama at Birmingham discussed how Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences is planning to deal with anticipated budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year. In 2006, the library’s budget was $2.4 million for journals and the collection had 37,000 unique titles. Today, the budget for journals is only $1.2 million, which has necessitated the canceling of bundles and cutting over 4,500 titles. The resulting problem is how to reinvent the collection to make it sustainable and relevant while getting users the articles they need in a timely manner. To plan for the smaller collection, Lorbeer looked at COUNTER usage reports for core titles (anything with a full-text download count of 700 or more was included on the “to keep” list), began a “Collections News” blog with Mitchell’s help, and used the library’s liaison program to communicate with faculty to discuss their needs and expectations (e.g., how long they would be willing to wait for an article). She later realized that they should have talked to post-doctoral and graduate students, too, because they have very different needs from the faculty (they are planning to include students from now on). As a result of her discussions with users, Lorbeer found she needed to reinstate only fifty-two subscriptions, which was a much lower number than she expected. The library charges $15 per article for interlibrary loan, but Lorbeer feels this amount is too high. Next year, some of the journals budget will be used to subsidize interlibrary loan so that users only have to pay $5 per article (they arrived at this amount by taking an informal survey). Lister Hill Library has some “best friend” relationships with other health sciences libraries that charge from $7 to $10 per article (as compared to $30 to $35 per article from publishers) and can fill requests in as little as quickly as one to two hours. Lorbeer feels the biggest challenge facing the library next year will be deciding to give money to the publishers for articles via pay-per-view in light of the reduced prices they are able to get from other libraries. For next year, Lorbeer plans to set up deposit accounts with publishers for pay-per-view access and to continue developing relationships with other academic libraries that supply articles at a discounted fee.
ArticleSelect Tokens: A flexible approach to accessing Wiley InterScience
Mark Rothenbuhler, who has worked for John Wiley & Sons’ Wiley/Blackwell division for about ten years, gave the final presentation. WileyInterscience offers tokens for over 1,400 journals (including back files), 6,300 online books, ninety major reference works, and sixteen current protocols (laboratory manuals). Wiley tries not to limit what is available with tokens, but there are some items that are not available due to specific limitations. Rothenbuhler explained that some newsletter-type products may never be available via Article Select Tokens because these are typically digitized as one PDF file with many of different authors, rather than having a separate PDF files for each article. Some smaller societies may limit Wiley on specific requests.
A Wiley token is one transaction that allows users to have access to an article for twenty-four hours. Within those twenty-four hours, individual users can go back to the article, and they have the same rights that they would under a full-rate subscription (e.g., articles can be put it on electronic reserve or in course packs). The base price for tokens is $30.00 but Wiley offers flexible pricing. Most purchasers of packs of tokens receive a discount; for example, the price might drop to $28.00 per token with a purchase of about 100 prepaid tokens. The price can drop as low as $10.50 per token, which is about Wiley’s standard price. COUNTER usage statistics are provided for all tokens, and if a library purchases and uses 115 percent of the cost of a journal title in paid tokens, Wiley will activate unlimited access to that journal for the rest of the calendar year at no additional cost. Wiley offers multiple authentication methods including IP access and SuperUser control, which allows a library to designate tokens for particular users.
Wiley has many two- and four-year institutions using tokens for a variety of reasons, including providing access to more than just a few core subscriptions, accessing back files, and filling in smaller requests for professors’ course packs. Some corporations use tokens because they are more interested in accessing content right away rather than archiving access. Not-for-profit institutions may use tokens because they are too small to buy full rate subscriptions, or they have no library or a decentralized library.
In terms of risk versus reward, Rothenbuhler pointed out that with tokens, libraries do not have to subscribe to the whole work, so they are able to get the most content available for one smaller, known cost. On the other hand, access runs out when tokens run out so the library may have to purchase more tokens to ensure access early in the year. Additionally, although Wiley has one cost per token regardless of content, privacy clauses prevent them from tracking who is using tokens. Finally, using tokens is great for saving physical space and for virtual libraries, but there are no archival rights.
The presentations were followed by a brief question and answer period.
FRBR Interest Group | ALA Connect
Rice Majors, Product Manager, Innovative Interfaces Inc., was the outgoing Chair of the ALCTS FRBR Interest Group. He served as the moderator and welcomed the audiences. A total of thirty-three people attended the interest group discussion.
Jim Hahn, University of Illinois, presented his research on FRBR Group 3 entity sets for search log annotation.
Vinod Chachra, President and CEO of VTLS, presented “FRBR SaaS and Reverse Trees.” The reverse tree is not defined in IFLA FRBR documents. Unlike a traditional FRBR tree which starts at the Work level and goes to Expression, Manifestation, and Item levels, a reverse tree starts at the Manifestation level and goes to Expressions linked to the Manifestation and in turn Works linked to the Expressions. According to Chachra, this is particularly useful for music and for “bound with” for printed works.
Discussion followed the two presentations. Participants called for more examples of using FRBR, suggested more collaborative activities with RDA, commented that is not much control on the Expression level, and suggested more active ways to inform RUSA and collection development librarians on FRBR developments. It is important to let public services librarians to see and understand the values of FRBR.
Judy Jeng was elected as the next Vice-Chair of the FRBR Interest Group.
Metadata Interest Group | ALA Connect
The Metadata Interest Group (MIG) organized a preconference and a workshop.
Manipulating Metadata: XSLT for Librarians
Speakers: Christine Ruotolo, University of Virginia Library and Frances Knudson, Los Alamos National Laboratory
This sold-out preconference, attended by thirty people, met the need for a hands-on workshop in XSLT for the purpose of transforming XML metadata from one format to another or for public display and delivery. Participants learned the fundamentals of working with XSLT, worked through examples of writing code using the Oxygen XML editor, and learned to troubleshoot the results.
Workflow Tools for Automating Metadata Creation and Maintenance
Speakers: Jenn Riley, Metadata Librarian, Indiana University and Ann Caldwell, Coordinator, Digital Production Services, Brown University
As digital projects become less peripheral and more integral to library operations, institutions must begin to address the implications of this change. With the increasing amount of digital content libraries are expected to create and maintain, data curation has emerged as a key objective. This session presented examples of current work at Indiana (Schematron) and Brown (home grown tools) and discussed opportunities for the development of better tools, aimed towards goals of efficiency & effectiveness in metadata creation. Attended by 250 people.
Discussion and Business Meeting
The title of Metadata Librarian first appeared in the late 1990s in conjunction with developments in information technology and digital library initiatives. Myung-Ja Han, Assistant Professor, Serials Cataloging, and Patricia Hswe, Project, Manager for NDIIPP Partner Projects, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented on their study of eighty-six job descriptions for metadata librarian positions and eighty-three job descriptions for cataloging librarian positions, all posted from 2000 to 2008.
The authors focused on three properties common to most of the job descriptions: education, required qualifications, and desired qualifications. As a follow-up to the research presentation, Steven Miller, Senior Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, School of Information Studies led a facilitated discussion on the topic of education for metadata librarians. What knowledge and skills do metadata librarians need to enter the job market and to develop while on the job? What do library schools currently offer to support this and what should they be offering that they currently do not offer? What continuing education opportunities are available to metadata librarians, from ALCTS and other sources, and what is not readily available that metadata librarians need?
Attended by twenty-nine people, 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 events MIG sponsored at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. CC:DA/RDA Liaison, Steve Miller, summarized the latest news on RDA. Holley Long reported on Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) meetings of interest. Jenn Riley discussed the goals and directions of the Music Library Association’s metadata subgroup. The 2009–2010 slate of officers was elected, and there was a brief discussion regarding how the section might utilize ALA Connect.
Newspapers Interest Group | ALA Connect
Errol Somay welcomed attendees, reviewed the agenda and acknowledged the three speakers, who gave engaging and quite varied presentations, though all centered on newspapers both current and historical. Access and preservation, the two pillars of much library work, were core themes in the presentations.
Frederick Zarndt, President of Planman – North America, gave a captivating talk about the many international initiatives currently underway to provide online access to newspapers. Zarndt did not just focus on historical newspapers; he described efforts to digitize in-copyright papers as well as providing ongoing access to born digital publications. A wide array of content conversion companies are at work to provide optimum access to newspapers with many of the projects having very large production goals of one, two and even three million pages. The national libraries of countries such Finland, Norway, the Netherlands are heavily invested in having its newspaper archives digitized and made fully available online.
Lou Ransom, Executive Editor, Chicago Defender, was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to speak before the group. Ransom gave an engaging and wide ranging talk, providing some biographical background to explain how he became the managing editor of a major African American newspaper, detailing the problems facing the current newspaper industry, and also provided his views on the future of the ink press version of the newspaper. Ransom, who also writes the occasional column “Ransom Notes,” believes the best hope for newspapers is in its close affiliation and commitment to the communities it serves.
Rebecca Ryder, Head Preservation Officer, University of Kentucky, has an uncanny ability to give both an informative and entertaining presentation. This time, Ryder invigorated attendees with a lively presentation on her efforts to direct a massive project to digitize the venerable Daily Racing Form, the bible of horse racing. Not far away, Keeneland Racetrack and Auction House has the largest library on thoroughbreds and thoroughbred racing in the world Working with Keeneland officials, Ryder detailed her efforts to provide optimum online access to the Racing Form, a daunting task given the huge size of the back file (the DRF began in 1894) and the challenge of managing a varying number of daily editions. Nevertheless, she succinctly described the entire production process from disbanding the originals and creating a pristine microfilm file and running through the complex digitization process made all the more challenging given that much of the numerical data is printed in very small font sizes. There is no question that equine scholars will have a field day sifting through the pages of the Racing Form as they are made available in the coming months, and, hopefully, years.
Public Libraries Technical Services Interest Group
At its first meeting, the group heard a presentation from Bryan Baldus of Quality Books about the services they provide to public libraries. Following questions and answers, the twenty-seven attendees shared information about their own public library situations. The main discussion topic centered on what is unique about public libraries as opposed to other types of libraries, particularly academic libraries. Topics included:
- Meeting patron needs is different than what is provided in academic libraries
- The types of materials collected, such as audiobooks and entertainment DVDs, are different
- Children's materials are collected in large quantities
- There are multiple copies of resources
- Public libraries typically have multiple branches
- Public libraries serve as a computing center for the community
- Guerilla cataloging is used to make things quickly available to patrons
- Unique call numbers are not so important
- Concern was raised about Dewey-free and hidden-Dewey library trends
- Special subject heading needs
- Main entries are needed for searches patrons will use, and this information is applied not necessarily or exactly as stated by the rules (Geronimo Stilton was mentioned)
- Language sets from OCLC are frequently used
- Workflow changes (need data regarding what works)
- Floating collections
Any of these could serve as topics for future discussion. Attendees discussed frustration with having no home within ALA and hope this IG can provide such a place. Frustration with lack of funding for travel was also mentioned. In the future, the group hopes the IG can be scheduled in the same hotel as the Dewey breakfast. They agreed that no time slot is perfect, but that the Saturday morning timeslot is acceptable. The group also hopes to establish a presence on ALA Connect in a few months and to actively involve public librarians who may not be able to attend in person meetings. Marlene Harris (Alachua County Library System) is the IG chair for 2009-2010, and Sally Smith (King County Library System) was elected as Vice-Chair.
Publisher/Vendor Library Relations Interest Group | ALA Connect
PVLR was very lightly attended, no doubt because the location was changed from what was printed in the program. If at all possible, we would like to be sure that does not happen again.
- Last-minute review of Monday’s forum. Everything was ready to go in terms of speakers and publicity.
- Possible ideas for Midwinter’s forum in Boston were discussed:
- Perhaps a session on places that have done something radical in terms of shaking up their organization, such as Stanford walking away from old workflows, the University of Michigan Press dropping print and supplying everything as eBooks, the reorganization at LC, or Ingram having a new marketing division to help market publishers.
- Letting Go (the probable topic): what changes to your organization have been forced by budget or staff cuts? Have you given up things or services you never thought you would? (e.g., print runs, four-color printing, ceased series and/or imprints, no more printed slips, the brittle book program, e-book vendors that have obsolesced anything?)
- How our organizations are moving into each other's areas: Library as publisher and vendor (e.g. Cornell); Vendor as librarian; Publisher as librarian (cataloging demands, archiving demands).
- Due to the light attendance, a conference call will be scheduled with more PVLR attendees within the next few months to finalize a Midwinter topic and begin lining up speakers.
PVLR Forum on Print on Demand (POD)
The forum was well-attended, despite an early-morning timeslot relatively late in the conference. Four speakers represented various aspects of the topic.
Three Big Bangs of POD
David Taylor, Sr. Vice President, Global Sales, Lightning Source, discussed the “Three Big Bangs of POD,” and noted how it has revolutionized publishing. Lightning Source currently has 1 million+ titles from 8,000+ publishers. POD keeps books alive, resurrected, and published in a new way. In addition to the current POD projects, future possibilities include Wikibooks (building free books via Wikimedia), Espresso (may be useful in campus bookshops), Print+E books, e.g. Springer, where the library buys E, and a POD copy is printed for an end-user. Finally, there may be a revolution in large print publishing. With e-books and scalable text size, large print does not have to wait for a separate version to be published later.
POD at U. of Michigan
Maria Bonn, Director, Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Libraries, discussed how the University of Michigan (UM) has used POD in their publishing efforts. In 1996, the library released a group of digitized books on the Web as The Making of America. People began to want to buy hard copies of the books. In 2003, they met the demand for print copies by striking a deal with the campus bookshop to implement an online ordering system for 10,000 core titles. They started looking for a better solution, and began talking with Mitchell Davis, BookSurge, about short print runs and softcover editions. BookSurge was bought by Amazon, and UM has been selling their titles for three years via Amazon. They sold 300 books in the first year. They sold 18,000 books last year from their core group of 10,000 titles. Bonn sees new ways to use POD, including the restructuring of the university press to work with digital backlists, to eliminate inventory, and to change their traditional print production to POD. The library is also working with Google to digitize some 7.5 million library books. Approximately 20 percent of those are estimated to be in the public domain. Since they are now available online, they are good candidates for reprints; however, since the titles are not optimized for POD, there are no covers, and there is a lot to consider if they start to move into larger-scale reprinting. They are partnering with Hewlett-Packard Book Prep to put the files through pre-processing to create print-ready book files. They will begin selling these titles through Amazon this summer.
The library has also installed an Espresso book machine, using money from library donors. It has been used to produce copies of public domain books that local users have found on the OPAC and via Google. They have also handled some faculty projects and dissertations, and are looking at how it might support ILL operations. They may begin producing review copies for the campus university press. They expect to install Expressnet, which allows access to 150,000 contemporary Lightning Source titles. There are questions about what all of this means in terms of service provision by the library and its mission, as well as competition with the campus bookstore. However, Michigan’s Scholarly Publishing Office is definitely moving the library into more sophisticated services which are utilizing their rich print collection.
ePenn State Press and POD
Tony Sanfilippo, Associate Director, Pennsylvania State University Press, discussed the ePenn State Press and Print on Demand. Penn State UP was established fifty years ago. It became part of the Penn State Library System four years ago, and opened an office of Digital Scholarly Publishing, to seek publishing opportunities with the library. Access to the Press's OP titles is blocked by copyright and financial issues. Copyright problems stem from third party rights, especially for images, as well as dealings with author estates. Financial pressure comes from having to offset print and then inventory slow-moving titles. Art titles represent the most difficult digital rights issues, needing offset printing and having myriad copyright issues, so there is no good solution to bringing them back into print. Finally, with sellers such as Amazon, a new publisher copy may be competing with many cheaper used copies. POD is the solution for the copyright and financial risk. True POD is represented by Lightning Source, BookSurge, and BiblioVault, as opposed to most other companies which are really doing short run printing.
There tend to be four POD models:
- (1) The Backlist model, where OP hardcover copies are reprinted as POD paperbacks
- (2) The Romance Studies model, where the volumes of a specialized series are now all available online, but the press also sells POD copies
- (3) The Metalmark model, where digital public domain titles from the library are sold as POD copies; these represent pure profit
- (4) The typical Monograph model, with 200-300 hardcover books, most likely sold to libraries, and a POD paperback edition is available about a year later. POD helps to end the practice of returns, since a book is not printed or shipped until it is sold. It also helps with international distribution and shipping. The Press is doing POD immediately in the UK rather than shipping from the United States, except for art books.
History of POD and the Role of BiblioLife
Mitchell Davis, Founder, BookSurge and BiblioLife, discussed the history of POD and the role of BiblioLife. In 1989, CARL UnCover started, and custom materials from books and journals were faxed to customers. Lightning was launched by Ingram in 1997. In 2000, BookSurge was launched. The competition created by BookSurge moves technology forward and allows the retail transaction to drive the demand. In 2005, Amazon bought BookSurge and began using the technology in its fulfillment centers. In 2006, libraries began publishing public domain books. The need to manage data details across numerous channels for a many books, and to ensure data quality, emerged. In 2009, BiblioLife became a long-tail content distributor, with a server farm that allows for 10,000 personalized books per day. The system does cleanup and QA on files, and creates a cover with an appropriate subject image. In the longer term, they hope to connect to more subject librarians and real-world experts to fill in more data about the titles, such as LC class, descriptors, academic codes, and introductions. They may consider handling theses and dissertations.
Scholarly Communications Interest Group | ALA Connect
Guest speaker Dorothea Salo, Digital Repository Librarian, University of Wisconsin, characterized what is happening now in the world of scholarly communication as “creative destruction.” With regard to monograph publishing, university presses are in trouble. As the serials situation got out of hand, we as librarians formed consortia, brokered big deals, and plundered the monograph budget when it was already insufficient. The humanities have been hit particularly hard. The business model of selling a couple of hundred copies of a humanities title is problematic. Humanities scholars have problems in tenure track positions because they cannot publish in a form that their colleagues respect. The accounting mentality of university administrators forces university presses to abandon short runs in favor of more profitable works. Important works are losing a viable means of publication. The old guard faculty in the humanities are not willing to change the status quo and accept publication in electronic form. Libraries are trying to help. Libraries are not expected to turn a profit. They are mission driven and can take university presses under their wing and shelter them. The University of Tennessee, Rice University, and the University of Michigan are pioneers in this respect.
The situation is much tougher for serials. Libraries cannot subscribe to many titles as our economy is in recession. In terms of creative destruction, some scholarly societies are going to go under. Some journals are going to go under. Some big publishers will buy out small publishers. Smaller universities and liberal arts colleges may revolt against the big deal. The crisis in the humanities is going to spread to other disciplines. We now have an opportunity to host these journals in our repositories, but we are not going to make money on it.
Collection development and acquisitions librarians cannot respond to the crisis by creating a core list and putting everything else on the table. Scholarly publishers will respond by raising prices of the core journals to subsidize the marginal ones. If we continue to identify with the current system of scholarly communication, faculty will just see us as wallets. We have to innovate to break the log jam and to be something more to our faculty.
E-science is part of the next set of creative risks on which we are embarking. It is also a tremendous opportunity. Repositories are a difficult sell because we are asking faculty for the end product of a process on which we have little claim. We need to get in at the beginning of the life cycle of research. E-science promises to change that. We become partners rather than service providers. We have a chance to get a hand on new products of the research process. Raw data can now be manipulated in ways that were previously not possible, and we need to get in on the ground floor.
Mandates are another important issue in scholarly communication. The NIH policy is a funding mandate and should be very effective because money talks. Harvard’s mandate may be less so because, as Stuart Scheiber said, nobody can tell faculty what to do. Faculty do not realize that they have imposed a labor mandate on themselves and pushback is already happening. Some of the mandates may be voted back down. The process of creative destruction is messy, but finding, collecting, and preserving research will continue.
Technical Services Directors in Large Research Libraries Interest Group | ALA Connect
Beacher Wiggins (Library of Congress), Dianne McCutcheon (National Library of Medicine), and Christopher Cole (National Agricultural Library), co-chairs of the United States National Libraries RDA ( Resource Description and Access) Test Steering Committee, gave an informative update on the U.S. national libraries-led initiative.
Twenty-seven test partners representing diverse library communities were recently selected to assist in creating test records and evaluating the use of RDA. The three month test period is slated to begin in January 2010. Information concerning the initiative and testing methodology is available online.
Jim Dooley, Head of Collection Services at the University of California Merced Library, presented on the topic “Next Generation Technical Services: Rethinking Library Technical Services for the University of California.” The UC Libraries recently formed a group charged to fundamentally change how technical services are provided within the University of California Libraries system. The goal of the NGTS initiative is to develop a new model that will “… move technical services to the network level … and expand areas of coordination and collaboration among the UC Libraries technical services operations.” Dooley’s presentation may be viewed on ALA Connect.
Scott Wicks (Cornell University) and Robert Wolven (Columbia University) provided an overview of a new joint enterprise between their two institutions. By combining forces, the 2CUL partnership will strive to reduce overall expenses and realize greater efficiencies by integrating some of their library operations, services, collections, and resources. Initial 2CUL efforts will focus on technical services, global resources/area studies, and technology infrastructure.
James Mouw (University of Chicago) and Sally Rogers (University of Ohio) served as moderators during the Innovations in Technical Services open discussion segment. Rogers gave an update on OhioLINK’s efforts to design new technical services models of coordination and collaboration among the eighty member libraries.
Robert Wolven (Columbia), Jim Mouw (University of Chicago), Katharine Farrell (Princeton), and Michael Norman (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) presented the draft charges and proposed membership for the Big Head’s sponsored Task Force on Cost/Value Assessment of Bibliographic Control. The task force will be addressing Recommendation 22.214.171.124 from the Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control.
Beth Picknally Camden (University of Pennsylvania Libraries) led a discussion on projected impacts of budget cuts on technical services operations. Members provided updates on cost-saving measures implemented at their institutions.
Richard Reeb (University of Wisconsin), Nancy Gibbs (Duke University), and James Mouw (University of Chicago) presented the 2009 Big Heads Membership Committee Report. Due to significant changes in the ARL indices, a number of questions surfaced during the group’s review. Members will continue their discussion of the report’s recommendations offline.
Scott Wicks (Cornell University) was elected as incoming Vice Chair/Chair-Elect.
Future topics will include a report from the Task Force on Cost/Value Assessment of Bibliographic Control, a discussion of patron-initiated selection models, and an overview of next-generation integrated library systems.
Technical Services Managers in Academic Libraries Interest Group | ALA Connect
The group met to build further on the “Coping with Cuts” discussion from the 2009 Midwinter Meeting. The discussion was designed to center around the impact of budget cuts on the way we restructure technical services in the future, moving beyond how to deal with the immediate impact and beginning to consider long term changes that are necessary.
The meeting was called to order by chair, Roberta Winjum. Approximately fifty-five people were in attendance. The group began by holding an election for the new chair. An Ping (Annie) Wu, Cataloging Coordinator, University of Houston was elected as incoming Chair. She begins her new term following the conference. Discussion followed regarding a nickname for the group to fit with its new name. Since a better or more meaningful name was not suggested, the nickname “Medium Heads” will be retained.
The discussion was organized around five tables with five discussion leaders and four topics. Topics included how:
- To increase sharing across institutions
- To redeploy staff to cover vacancies
- To maximize efficiency (2 tables)
- technical services’ (TS) role is changing.
The table leaders were members of the group’s steering committee, which included Linda Lomker, Annie Wu, Jack Hall, Joanne Deeken, and Betsy Simpson. Each table also had a volunteer recorder. Reports at the end of the discussion period detailed the discussions. These reports were deliberately been left long for the benefit of those unable to attend our session.
Topic 1: How to Increase Sharing across Institutions
The group began by addressing the question of sharing space. For example, there are already groups of institutions with shared storage space; this is especially prevalent on the East Coast, but what about central technical services work spaces, built to be shared by several institutions? OhioLINK had an idea for technical services "hubs"; also, negotiations are underway for Cornell University and Columbia University to share space. How will this work for Cornell and Columbia, since they are separate private institutions and are not under a single, state-funded umbrella? It will be difficult to establish common expectations for the level of service to be provided.
Using a common space to house technical services staff from several institutions has the intention of reducing or sharing overhead costs (the building itself; computers and other equipment; books, databases, and other resources used by catalogers and other TS staff).
If technical services departments are moved far away into shared buildings, there was concern that this would lead to an "out of sight, out of mind" effect. If upper administration rarely interact with technical services, they are more likely to wonder what it is that they do. TS frequently deals with this issue when they are located n the same building with everyone else. How much worse would it be if we in a separate facility? TS space is coveted, and the pressure to relocate technical services and free up that space is unlikely to decrease.
A related topic was discussed: How should a vacancy be handled when, for example, a music librarian is preparing to retire? Should the library try to hire a replacement, or instead develop a relationship with another institution, perhaps making arrangements to share a Music TS librarian? Technology can facilitate the sharing of work (through messenger/voice/video services like Skype). Cornell and Columbia plan to share a Slavic technical services librarian. There will be some sharing of funds, but beyond that, the details are not clear yet. It is important for such a shared worker to retain the ability to make decisions to serve his own institution.
In addition to technology, organizational structure, and financial/accounting structures, cultural differences can create difficulties in forming partnerships, e.g., a large state school and a small private school. Furthermore, there is the problem of how to share public and private money—and the resources bought with these funds—in these instances. Private institutions could allow the public partners to "own" the last copy in a shared collection, choosing instead to withdraw their own; this way, the public institution could still meet its public obligation. Here, however, the specter of ARL statistics still looms—if resources are being shared between institutions, what can be counted toward each institution's statistics?
The discussion also included catalog records and how, for one reason or another, they cannot be shared. Records purchased from vendors cannot be shared, no matter how much post-purchase work has been done on them. In the long run, failure to share records creates silos of information—the very thing librarians are trying to avoid.
The need to track whose patron is whose regarding interlibrary loan and e-resources was discussed. Is this relevant when the overarching goal is to help patrons? It certainly matters to vendors since they charge more for libraries to provide access to non-affiliated users. Some consortia are further along than others in providing universal access to some resources for all residents of the geographic areas they cover. Consortial decisions can sometimes work to libraries' detriment, such as when states choose a particular ILS. In such cases, libraries do not have the autonomy to go against this decision.
Getting vendors to loosen restrictions on sharing remote access was discussed. It might be a matter of getting enough libraries on board to make it worth the vendors' time, or it might be a matter of having been fortunate enough to get in on such a deal. A suggestion was made to incorporate a statement into licenses that we would act as intermediaries, collecting "outside" patrons' payments for the publishers. A pay-for-service model exists with ILL and some other library services. It was agreed that this type of payment collection system would be an accounting nightmare. Instead, libraries might consider something along the lines of an enhanced Friends of the Library program (with proper accounting controls).
Digital repositories were also discussed. Repositories should be easy to share. Ideally, institutions invest in the technology once, then go to a shared content management model. However, some still do not have electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). Some places have ETDs that they can not use because the support software no longer exists. Younger faculty members dislike digital repositories because they can not get things published if their work is made freely available. The resistance is not uniform, however. Some states are taking the initiative and sharing of digital repositories and putting mandates in place. With digital repositories, we run into the same problems as for shared cataloging: ILS differences, etc.
Topic 2: How to Redeploy Staff to Cover Vacancies
Participants introduced themselves and described the current situation at their respective institutions. Everyone’s description pointed to challenging times now and in the foreseeable future.
Staffing issues are a major component of the challenges. The discussion started with management issues: setting priorities, what might be eliminated or done differently, dealing with expectations.
The discussion flowed naturally into the issues of working with the staff: changing assignments, resistance, stress over and fear of change.
Topic 3: How to Maximize Efficiency (2 groups)
What workflow changes or new workflows have you implemented to maximize efficiency in your area of technical services? How does your staff handle workflow changes? What was done to make the changes more acceptable? The following points were raised.
- Workflow changes resulted from the OCLC Expert Experiment practice. Change the master OCLC record after a local record is changed. It is necessary to go to the network level to solve cataloging problem via cooperative cataloging. It will help catalogers in the long term.
- Workflow changes came with position eliminations and new technology.
- Retirement shifts jobs—some work is not being done.
- Older staff recently took on new jobs with no raises for a couple of years.
- More project-oriented work is being done.
- One university almost eliminated series standing orders. Long term series now come piecemeal, and are harder to catch.
- Both staff and managers have stress with change, they are afraid they will drop a ball with juggling so much.
- One tip is to feed people to help adapt to change, i.e. camaraderie.
- Another tip is to voice your problem to your supervisor – e.g., not enough staff, no specially-skilled staff.
New Technology: Have you recently applied new technologies such as Web 2.0 applications to enhance efficiency? Is your staff receptive to the new technologies? Why or why not?
- A wiki is used to collect procedures, micros and standards.
- Sakai, an open source document sharing system, is used to record procedures, meeting minutes, etc. It enables keyword searching to find needed documents.
- One library awards small innovation grants for innovative projects.
- Big screens or dual screens are used by catalogers to maximize their efficiency.
- Google Docs and Spreadsheets are used for collaborative work.
Staff Position Changes: What staffing changes have you made in your area of technical services or your library? (e.g. combining positions: cataloging and ILL or technical services and access services) What caused the staffing changes? How did the staff cooperate with the changes?
- Do not expect reference librarians to do our work, but to understand and appreciate our concerns.
- Involve public services librarians in technical work such as building a reliable reference collection.
- Have public services librarians help with e-journals cataloging.
- Use students for limited and supervised cataloging projects.
- Train copy catalogers to catalog more complex formats such as e-resources and archival/special collections materials.
- New managers replaced ones that retired. New positions need to be justified.
- Serials and Acquisitions personnel were crossed-trained to merge as one group.
- Fewer materials are ordered with budget cuts, and there are no more backlogs. This is a good time for cross training.
Outsourcing: What kind of work is outsourced to vendors? What impact does the outsourcing have on staffing or job changes?
- PromptCat is used for the approval plan. Books are almost shelf-ready.
- So much is outsourced that the acceptable level of quality has dropped. Mistakes are not caught upfront.
- Outsourcing has increased the need for database maintenance.
- “Shelf-ready” still needs work.
- E-books cataloging has been outsourced to Serials Solutions. Their Knowledgebase does not provide coverage of all the e-books databases. We will need to work with Serials Solutions to include more databases, or we will otherwise need to batch catalog them ourselves.
- Gift books from Kuwait were outsourced to OCLC.
What workflow changes or new workflows have you implemented to maximize efficiency?
The cataloging department was restructured starting with individuals who formerly provided copy cataloging handled all levels of complexity. Metadata teams were organized to catalog electronic resources and serials. Catalogers were paired an experienced monographs cataloger. A database management team consisting of a catalog librarian, a library specialist, and an additional staff person was also formed. The department previously had a siloed approach to handling work, which resulted in a lack of communication. They now work more harmoniously.
Elimination of serials check in for print titles has not caused problems. Check in for newspapers and ephemera have been eliminated, and check in is no longer provided for materials that are not retained for longer than six months.
Working on the institutional repository necessitates freeing up staff time. Many of the participants noted that they no longer place call number labels on certain types of materials. Moving to shelf ready materials was cited as another way to maximize efficiency. One institution will send materials directly to the shelves in the future, bypassing technical services.
The priority is to handle hidden collections. Automating invoices using EDI eliminates human intervention and frees up staff time.
Tolerating minimal level cataloging in the ILS by using vendor supplied records for acquisitions. The records are sent to Marcadia and matched to OCLC copy.
Pursuing efficiencies enables us to pursue new initiatives. Staff are needed to implement things such as ERMS and IRs. The approvals return rate is so low that shelf ready is an acceptable option.
Unique journal issues are shared consortially. One print copy will be retained in perpetuity and others will be discarded. Aqua Browser will provide seamless searching of issues.
No authority control is provided at one institution; they will not trace corporate bodies.
Many participants are no longer writing call numbers in books to save time.
How were the changes made possible?
It was agreed that money is an incentive, but upgrades are not always possible. Campus human resources make this difficult.
One institution is using CONSER level records for certain types of materials. The cataloging process has been honed down to things that require original cataloging, authority control, etc.
How do you motivate staff to accept change?
Some employees like challenges while others struggle with change and new technologies.
Appeal to the employees’ sense of service. Demonstrate how certain changes are more beneficial to users.
One institution offers support staff membership in local library organizations and encourage them to attend meetings. ALA’s support staff certification program will help staff to deal with change.
Web 2.0 technology has been a challenge for staff. One institution uses a wiki for online documentation that tracks changes via log-in name. Anyone who has suggestions for changes or additions to documentation is encouraged to make those changes. This has helped to keep procedures current.
Student assistants open mail, label materials, etc. They were mentored by staff and it was a positive experience with successful results. Another institution has used community service workers.
Purchasing on demand has been implemented via interlibrary loan. If a requested title is within scope, it will be purchased. The order will be placed, holdings will be provided and the item is loaned to the patron; cataloging is provided when it is returned.
Faculty positions have been replaced with high level support staff.
People have been resistant to the idea of change but are okay once things become official. Staff has been relieved not to lose their jobs, motivating them to deal with change. Talking about things in advance and often helps to gain buy in.
Topic 4: How Technical Services’ Role Is Changing
Does your library have a technical services department? If not, what tasks in which departments do you consider as technical services?
All but one library had a technical services department. One library had split acquisitions from cataloging/processing operations and each reported to a different associate dean. Cataloging/processing reported to the head of technical services.
What tasks should be performed in technical services?
One library has a Digital Library initiatives unit which develops metadata schema and creates “workbooks” or autocoding for catalogers; catalogers then analyze and complete the metadata. Another library has two separate cataloging streams: metadata and “regular” cataloging.
Some participants expressed frustration that technical services is viewed as “all about MARC”. It was felt that this traditional view held by some library administrators and others outside of technical services makes it difficult for TS departments to enter into partnerships with other units involved in digital library initiatives and metadata (non-MARC) cataloging.
It was felt that technical services departments need to “sell” their skill sets and unique abilities. We must point out that skills related to cataloging support “discovery” of resources by our users and create the “relationships” that are often key to discovery. It was noted that units adding materials to a digital repository often do not wish to create metadata and would prefer that metadata creation be handled by other staff.
What, if any, new tasks been added/removed in the last two years? Why were they added? If tasks were added, were people added to the department to cover these tasks or were current staff assigned additional duties?
One library has acquisitions staff performing original cataloging for electronic theses and dissertations (ETD). A participant asked if “ingesting” materials into a digital repository was related to acquisitions. One institution makes a very clear distinction between the acquisition of print and electronic materials. Another institution transferred responsibility for purchases made in response to an interlibrary loan requests to acquisitions. It was felt that this was a more streamlined and ultimately more cost effective approach.
One library no longer removes book jackets and feels the presence of jackets (not laminated) makes their collection appear more up-to-date and increases circulation.
One institution stated that the Special Collections Department was responsible for cataloging their own materials. Another stated that binding and preservation budgets were cut and only unique materials were considered suitable for preservation. Materials readily available through electronic means or interlibrary loan were not candidates for preservation efforts, rebinding or replacement. Decisions related to preservation were made by various departments (technical services; Collection Development; Preservation) depending on the institution.
From your dean or library director’s view, is the relative importance of technical services growing? Lessening? Staying the same?
One person felt that technical service departments are often “in the background being stodgy”. Another suggested that a technical services mission statement should include a statement such as “improve customer service for users by enhancing the discovery experience.” There was a general feeling that library administrators must allow for changing roles and decision-making within technical services departments.
Comments were made concerning the shrinking physical space in many technical services operations due to budget constraints, loss of staff, and the transition to electronic materials. One technical services department shares its space with the library systems and technology department and various archival processing operations.
For those of you who think your importance is growing, what specific actions have you taken to increase that relevance?
Several people mentioned that technical services staff were expected to spend some time on “service” desks and other public service points. One institution stated that they had cataloged “office collections” for faculty members, representing holdings in their catalog and OCLC as “non-lendable,” but increasing interest in these materials.
One library was gathering data to illustrate the costs (time and staff) of maintaining data. It was pointed out that our catalog records and metadata serve a larger public than ever before and that skill sets resident in technical services departments are needed to enhance discovery for that larger public. What and how much cataloging to outsource was discussed, catalog record enhancement, vendor-supplied cataloging and shelf-ready plans, using acquisitions staff to correct foreign subject headings, and eliminating “shelf-listing,” stress on staff members, use of students, cross-training of staff were also discussed.
Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group | ALA Connect
The group, approximately forty-five participants, met on Monday, July 13. The presenters, Lisa Barricella of East Carolina University, and Mary Konkel, of the College of DuPage, discussed how their libraries have been affected by changes in the economy, and how they have managed the accompanying challenges.
The presenters addressed the following questions:
- What strategies have worked in your library to cope with the economic downturn and the accompanying reduced and unpredictable budgets? What has not worked?
- What priorities have changed, and are there initiatives moving forward at a quicker pace because of the crisis?
- What projects or processes have you had to give up doing in light of budget crunches and shifting priorities?
Although the presenters addressed these challenges in different ways in their libraries, some overarching themes emerged in order to manage changing budget situations and to plan for the unknown as effectively as possible. Technical services librarians should be proactive, rather than reactive, in developing new processes and shifting internal priorities. By using economic challenges as an opportunity to embrace new workflows, there is the ability to further demonstrate the efficiency and value of technical services functions. When priorities and processes are modified, it is vital to communicate with a library's stakeholders so that they also understand why changes are occurring. As libraries determine the best way to meet economic challenges while serving their users, one valuable tool is the assessment of technical services. Although assessment was stressed as vital in today's climate, further exploration would be useful to determine more precisely how to assess the unique functions and priorities of technical services.
Acquisitions Managers & Vendors Interest Group | ALA Connect
A panel of academic librarians and vendors were invited to share about their experiences working together to realize innovation, solve a common issue/problem, or achieve a goal. Representatives included colleagues from the University of Mississippi, University of Florida, University of Denver and three vendors—YBP, Blackwell, and MyiLibrary. Gail Herrera (Mississippi) and Mike Walsley (YBP) discussed their efforts to modernize the acquisitions workflow at the University of Mississippi. Kim Anderson (Blackwell) and Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver) shared a PowerPoint presentation about their efforts to realize a patron drive acquisitions model for print and electronic monographs. Paul Lightcap and Steve Carrico (University of Florida), and Tim Johnson of MyiLibrary discussed their work to solve acquisition issues stemming from inconsistent e-book ISBNs.
Gifts Interest Group | ALA Connect
The group met Saturday morning in the Palmer House Hotel. Six people attended to discuss the management of gift materials in their libraries. Two of the people who attended were from Better World Books. They explained how Better World Books partners with libraries to manage gift collections and answered many questions from other attendees.
The new chair for 2009–2010 will be Joe Badics, Acquisitions Librarian, Eastern Michigan University. A suggested forum for midwinter is to discuss cost savings/cost studies regarding gift materials.
Susan Thomas received several email inquiries after the Annual Conference regarding a discussion list for gifts and exchange issues. This may also be something to pursue for this interest group.
Cataloging and Classification Section
Catalog Management Interest Group | ALA Connect
The Catalog Management Interest Group met at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on Saturday, July 11, 2009. About twenty librarians participated in the meeting, which featured three presentations.
Jay Weitz, Senior Consulting Database Specialist at OCLC, discussed the Expert Community Experiment, a six month project launched by OCLC in February, 2009. The project enables catalogers to update and enhance existing OCLC records. Weitz gave a brief overview of the project and answered questions from the group. He also presented a review of MARC updates slated at OCLC for August, 2009, and described OCLC’s new Duplicate detection and resolution program. This program will run through WorldCat as a whole in January, 2010.
Following Weitz was Betsy Simpson, Chair of the Cataloging and Metadata Department at the George A. Smathers Library at the University of Florida. Betsy discussed CatQC, a console application for Microsoft Windows developed at the University of Florida. CatQC is a program that reviews records from WorldCat and creates an easy to read report that highlights records with potential problems. Catalogers can then review only those records that require their attention, while allowing shelf-ready material to go directly from box to shelf.
Concluding was Ross Shanley-Roberts, Special Projects Technologist at Miami University Libraries. Ross discussed an open source discovery later that he and his colleague, Rob Casson, recently developed. The discovery layer is called Solrpac, and the two recently released their newest version, MULtifacet. Ross’ work on this project was to extract bibliographic and item records from the ILS, parse, and index them. He created a PERL program that parses and indexes the records and loads the results into a set of MySQL tables, which includes faceting and enriching the data. These tools also report when there are errors or inconsistencies in the MARC records. In his presentation, Ross discussed the automatic review of all tracings, including subdivisions, against the authority records and the report process for records that need human attention.
Cataloging and Classification Research Interest Group | ALA Connect
The Cataloging and Classification Research Interest Group held its meeting at Annual in Chicago on July 11. There were about thirty attendees. The theme centered around two major topics: methods for streamlining cataloging linguistically unique titles and what is the typical position in cataloging and how has it changed? Where are the jobs and how can we prepare to get and keep them?
Vicki Toy-Smith, Principal Cataloger, University of Nevada, Reno discussed the importance for catalogers to streamline methods of cataloging linguistically-unique titles in her library’s collection of resources. One such group of items that needed to be cataloged is a collection of several hundred Basque sound recordings. It is also important to have local cataloging procedures that are readily available, accessible, current and understandable. By combining a new local procedure along with minimal cataloging standards, the result was a streamlined and innovative cataloging project that resulted in bibliographic access to an unusual collection of Basque sound recordings. See the presentation online.
Sylvia D. Hall-Ellis, Associate Professor, Library and Information Science Program, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver and JoAnne L. Patrick, Director of Operations, Westminster Law Library, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver, presented a research piece on hiring and recruiting catalogers and discussed how the requirements for hiring catalogers are changing to include more qualifications. They also discussed where cataloger jobs can be found, who hires them, and how we prepare to get the qualified catalogers and keep them on the job.
At the end of the session, there was a lively discussion and exchange of experiences and knowledge.
Cataloging Norms Interest Group | ALA Connect
There was an extremely good turnout for this interest group program. Seventy-five people were expected and 125 attendees were counted. This was attributed this to some extent to the selection of four timely presentations from a strong pool of proposals that covered a broad range of issues facing catalogers and metadata specialists in the hybrid environment of today.
Jin Ma, Catalog/Metadata Librarian, Assistant Professor, Newman Library, Baruch College, The City University of New York began the program with, “Metadata in ARL Libraries,” which presented an overview of her findings of metadata implementation in ARL member libraries based on the survey “Metadata” conducted in spring 2007 (SPEC Kit 298: Metadata). She outlined the kinds of projects and initiatives which had been undertaken, what types of digital objects were associated with metadata, what schemas and tools were used to create metadata, how metadata quality and interoperability was ensured, who was creating metadata, what skills metadata staff need and how they acquired those skills, what were cataloging departments/catalogers' roles in metadata creation and management, and the organizational changes and challenges resulting from the adoption of metadata. Ms. Ma also discussed her observations of the findings and the main themes which emerged from the metadata practices in libraries. She assessed the changing context of metadata creation and management and the evolution of metadata workflow and best practices. Finally, she identified the roles and responsibilities of catalogers in metadata implementation and the implications of metadata practices for the cataloging divisions, technical services, and the libraries.
Myung-Ja Han, Metadata Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Christine Cho, MSLIS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign presented, “How to improve interoperability of Unique Metadata Fields for Special Collections,” which discussed that fact that in recent years many libraries have created digital collections derived from their special collections, rare book collections and archives, in order to provide greater access to these hidden resources. The items in these digital collections needed unique metadata fields that played an essential role in managing and describing 'special resources,' and which provided rich contextual information in native environment. CONTENTdm, one of the most widely used digital resource management tools, gives flexibility to its users to create and use such unique field names. However when the metadata is exported through OAI-PMH to service providers, these locally created field names are mapped to simple Dublin Core elements that cannot fully describe what the local elements originally intended to describe. The researchers analyzed twenty-one digital collections from fifteen institutions that are created with CONTENTdm to see what kind of unique fields were used for special collections and how these fields are represented in service providers' environments. Their presentation provided common characteristics of these unique metadata fields for the special collections and best practices for creating and mapping special collections metadata using CONTENTdm.
Yin Zhang and Athena Salaba, School of Library and Information Science, Kent State University presented, “FRBRizing Legacy Data: Issues and Challenges,” which reported on the issues and challenges they faced when applying the OCLC Workset Algorithm to FRBRize (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) to the Library of Congress collection detailing how existing MARC records were used to identify FRBR work entities, what issues and challenges the process involved, and what they did to address those issues and challenges.
Magda El-Sherbini, Head of Cataloging, Ohio State University Libraries gave a report, “Cataloging quality: problems and potential solutions,” which discussed the practical aspects of staffing and training new staff to provide bibliographic control. She revisited the question of cataloging standards, and offered alternative approaches and ideas to cataloging. Libraries are raising the question of what services they should provide to users and what role libraries can play in providing bibliographic access without diminishing the value of the catalog. Ms. El-Sherbini discussed innovative staffing solutions to reduce the cost of cataloging and help overcome the problem of staffing and staff training.
Due to time constraints questions were somewhat limited. They centered mainly on the very dense topic of FRBRizing material already in library catalogs.
The turnout at the program organized by this interest group was again larger than expected. Approximately 125 attendees responded to the diversity of topics.
Sai Deng, Metadata Catalog Librarian, Wichita State University Libraries, Wichita Kansas began the program with, “Beyond the OPAC: Creating Different Interfaces for Specialized Collections in an ILS System.” Deng discussed her experiment of creating featured web sites from specialized data in Voyager ILS such as faculty author books, leisure reading, new book lists and local Art Museum collection. These web sites were seamlessly integrated into public programming events and library instruction sessions to introduce local authors, featured collections and resources in a specific area. The web sites of Faculty Research Publications and Women’s Studies Video Resources at Wichita State University were showcased.
Deng also discussed the model used to create the web sites: selecting data from an Oracle database, presenting SQL query results, and creating the web sites using web programming for browsing and search. The option of transforming data from MARC to Dublin Core was also discussed. This model can be applied to different sets of data by slightly modifying the query, the programming and the web appearance. Some features of public web sites such as linking each record back to OPAC, adding RSS feeds, Syndetic and other cover images to the web sites were also addressed. Deng concluded her talk with a discussion of the disintegration of library data versus the integration of library data and the pros and cons of each method.
Second in the lineup was Elizabeth O'Keefe, Director of Collection Information Systems, Morgan Library & Museum, New York, N.Y. with “Cataloging Art and Cultural Works in Library Collections.” Works of art and material culture are found in almost every library collection, in the form of portraits of founders or donors, artwork donated for decorative purposes, or cultural objects in collections of papers acquired by the library. There are usually too few objects to justify the creation of a separate database; in any case, a separate database complicates collection management and fragments access.
The best way to provide access to these objects is to document them in the main library catalog. In doing so, librarians will find it helpful to look beyond rules designed for cataloging textual or published material, and to seek guidance from descriptive conventions developed by other metadata communities. In particular, Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images (CCO) is an invaluable source for the choice and formulation of information appropriate for the description of art and cultural works. The presenter described how the Morgan Library and Museum applied CCO as a supplement to library data standards such as AACR, DCRM, Betz, etc. when creating MARC records for art and cultural objects in its Voyager library system, and how these records are repurposed as metadata for web-accessible digital images.
Jennifer Bowen, Director of Metadata Management, Co-Principal Investigator, eXtensible Catalog Project, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y. followed with, “The eXtensible Catalog's Metadata Services Toolkit: Lowering the Bar for Automated Metadata Processing.”
Libraries are struggling with the challenges of integrating metadata from a variety of sources: MARC catalog data; metadata from institutional repositories, digital projects, and course management systems, into their web discovery interfaces. Combining such disparate metadata as part of a library workflow will require easy-to-use tools for automated processing of metadata to correct, enrich, transform, and aggregate metadata from these disparate sources.
The eXtensible Catalog (XC) Project is developing an open-source platform that will enable libraries to easily accomplish these tasks. The XC Metadata Services Toolkit (MST) enables the processing of metadata in any XML schema using pluggable services, automatically handles updated records, enables the scheduling of a variety of services, and makes the updated metadata available for harvesting by other applications. The MST offers an ideal platform for experimenting with new emerging schemas and standards, such as RDA. The presentation described the MST and its services, and the importance of this tool for libraries. It also included a demonstration of the latest version of the MST, which is currently being developed.
The program concluded with Betty Meagher, Head, Metadata & Materials Processing, Penrose Library, University of Denver, Colorado and Kate Crowe, Interim Archives Processing Librarian, Penrose Library, University of Denver, Colorado and their presentation, “Better, Faster, Stronger: Integrating Archives Processing and Technical Services.” Archival processing and library technical services are both undergoing radical changes in an attempt to stay relevant in an increasingly digital world. Archives have struggled to shift their focus from cataloging at the collection-level to deeper, more granular access to archival materials to meet increasing user demands for digital access to individual collection objects, while library technical services have begun to look for new activities as processing non-unique print resources becomes less of a focus. The archival community's issues are compounded by the fact that both metadata standards (EAD) and content standards (DACS) are geared toward the collection, rather than to the items in the collection. Archival professionals have traditionally viewed each collection, and each metadata record about each collection, as unique in and of itself. This artisanal approach has limited the archives' ability to extend processing to the deeper level of detail required to make digital access to collection materials possible. In contrast, library technical services have traditionally used streamlined and automated workflows for processing and the aggregation of content at the item level though subject terms as an organizing principle of access.
In an era of shrinking budgets, reduced staffing, and the need for units to show their value to the larger organization, this presentation showed how one library and archives saw these challenges as an opportunity to fully integrate archives processing into its technical services unit and develop a hybrid form of processing that respects the traditions of both disciplines while creating more user-focused metadata and access tools.
PowerPoint presentations for all four speakers may be found at the ALA Conference Materials Archive.
With the conclusion of the program at the ALA Annual Conference, Co-Chairs Birdie MacLennan, Director, Resource Description & Access, University of Vermont and Adrienne Aluzzo, Metadata Librarian, Wayne State University completed their terms and Michael Kim, Head, Cataloging & Metadata Services, University of Miami Richter Library, Coral Gables, and Rebecca Routh, Cataloging Librarian, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, began their tenure as Co-Chairs of ALCTS CCS Cataloging Norms Interest Group.
Copy Cataloging Interest Group | ALA Connect
About eighty people attended the meeting, which began with an update report on copy cataloging at the Library of Congress presented by Angela Kinney, Chief, African, Latin American and Western European Division of the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate. She reported that one of the goals of the new Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate (ABA) was to make more effective use of pre-existing bibliographic data, both in the form of traditional cataloging found in OCLC and other databases as well as data supplied by publishers. The ABA anticipates that within a few years, copy cataloging will account for one-third of all LC cataloging materials published in the US. This would be a large increase from the current rate of 20 to 22 percent.
The reorganization involved having the former Copy Cataloging Pilot Team dispersed through the six units of the new division so that it is no longer necessary to move materials to another work area. The cataloging technicians are responsible for validation and verification of the descriptive areas and access points, but do not assign subject headings. The Policy and Standards Division continues to provide necessary authority work, e.g. LC subject headings. The copy cataloging records are coded Level 4. The ABA continues to use technicians to do serials copy cataloging.
The discussion focused most on workflow and training at LC, and how LC copes with today’s economic situation. Ms. Kinney did say that Congress has provided funds in the last few years for overtime for technicians to make inroads into the summer months’ acquisitions, and provided funds again this year. She pointed out that LC is also losing staff to retirements and is not replacing them, and uses technicians to make inroads into their backlogs. Training is emphasized and begins with cross-training. It takes a year to two years of formal experience to fully train a new technician for copy cataloging. They are also looking to use more technicians to do minimal level cataloging. Someone asked what level of verification LC does of other copy; Kinney replied that they verify all aspects of any record found in OCLC and those supplied by overseas vendors, Encoding Level 3 records as well. She would like to see a point reached when LC can accept records with less verification.
Becky Culbertson, of the Shared Cataloging Program, California Digital Library, Metadata Service Department, University of California San Diego, who was one of the co-chairs of the Task Group that developed these guidelines, spoke on the PCC Provider-Neutral E-Monograph Record Standard that went effect July 17, 2009. She emphasized that the chief idea of this standard is to “unpurpose” the monographic record for e-books and that this is definitely a jumping forward to RDA. The highlights of her report were and in her answers to the group’s questions:
- All information that applies to a particular institution will be in your local record only and you should work with your vendors to determine which fields to keep or not.
- The P-N Record will contain only URLs that are accessible to all users
- OCLC will begin to “neutralize” records in August—they will be doing this set by set, e.g. NetLibrary records) and will choose the record with the most holdings as “the best”.
- OCLC will also improve its Global Duplicate Detection and Resolution software (DDR) to de-dupe records as part of the “neutralization” project.
- New--All P-N records will now be based on the print version as in microform cataloging.
- The P-N standard applies only to books, not maps.
- All manuscript remote resource versions will now be considered “published”.
- New vendor guides will be available on OCLC web site.
- Workflow—if your copy catalogers can merge records, they must neutralize a record first and then merge
- Use of ISSN in the new 830. If it had an ISSN in print use the Print-ISSN, if and E-ISSN only, use that.
- The new standard does not affect IRs, only the Master Record.
Deborah Silverman, Technical Services Manager NA, Coutts Information Services, spoke next with a presentation entitled: “Look before You Leap: Integrating Vendor Copy Cataloging into Your Library Catalog”. Ms. Silverman has worked both in a library copy cataloging venue and now as a vendor and pulled both perspectives together. If “ RDA is look before you leap,” she said, “vendor records are like ‘stepping off the sidewalk’.” Her overall message was that libraries should view their vendors who supply records as “copy catalogers,” another “cataloger” who works for you, and work with them and “manage” them as they would their local staff. The only difference is that it is a value-added feature with purchase and the cost depends on the library’s understanding of what goes into these records and how they will be incorporated into the local workflow and the catalog. This is not “third-party cataloging” as in a contract project. Each decision saves or costs money. Coutts has forty-one catalogers, thirty of whom have MLS degrees, and operates very much like a cataloging department—books come in, books go out and are cataloged as needed. Her highlights and answers to audience questions focused on the features that distinguish a Coutts operation from your own library’s cataloging department:
- The catalogers customize for each customer and each cataloger has about two and a half customers.
- They see things internationally.
- They do both public and academic library cataloging.
- We do not have the luxury to wait for someone else to do the copy cataloging for us – the business is the sell the book now.
- Catalogers do not have a second chance to tweak a record.
- We rely heavily on our MLS holding catalogers because we do not have support such as books in stacks, reference, etc.
- Sometimes what customers want competes with each other, so we must make a decision as to what to put in the record for any one book.
- If Coutts can reuse work you ask of us for your library, it will be cheaper for you. If it is unique to you, it would cost you more.
- Coutts calls their record the “Intellectual Record”; concepts like “core” have so many meanings now.
- We think what would LC do with added attributes depending on the customer, e.g. Canada wants the Canadian number.
- The Library must balance the cost—if you want an MLC record, you will have to do more down the line; if you ask for a full record, you will do less. This is a balancing act.
- Shelf-life of a MARC record in Coutts’ database is short; it is not cost effective to do database maintenance for Coutts.
- “MARC-as-is” means that Coutts pulls a record from OCLC and uses it as is. If you want us to review the record, this is an added cost.
- Libraries should “manage” the vendors work as they would their own copy cataloging staff work.
Cartographic Resources Cataloging Interest Group | ALA Connect
The 8 a.m. Sunday meeting was attended by thirty people. The first item was a demonstration by Colleen Cahill on how to personalize Cataloger's Desktop. This was a very informative session. This was followed by a continuation of the discussion of form/genre headings that took place during the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. The meeting concluded with questions and announcements. The incoming interest group leader is Carolyn Kadri from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Collection Management and Development
Collection Management in Public Libraries Interest Group | ALA Connect
Suggested topics for discussion included:
- General discussion of floating collections
- Issues surrounding setting up a centralized collection development office
- Tips on selecting reference material
- What to do once the collection has been satisfactorily weeded
- How conversion to electronic resources impacts serials selection
What are libraries doing with their vendors to make selection more efficient?
This first discussion topic was led by interest group co-chair Melissa DeWild. Responses follow.
Standing orders for bestsellers.
Making greater use of vendor-supplied lists and/or carts.
Using pre-selection committees and digital resources such as BookLetters to aid cart building.
Continuing to centralize all aspects of collection development.
Outsourcing some collection development functions, using Baker & Taylor’s Parade Account for specific genres (NOTE: The participant stated, however, that she feels strongly that centralized collection development omits the expertise of staff subject specialists and that knowledge is lost for good.)
In Ottawa, Canada, no one initially wanted the newly created position of centralized collection development manager in spite of the fact that many staff vocally opposed the idea of centralized collection development since it deprived them of their role in collection building.
Some library systems that lacked a centralized main branch found it difficult to create and situate a collection development office.
Some library systems split the collection development responsibilities, i.e. the selectors do selection half of the time and perform reference or other public services for the other half of their time.
The model that most library systems seemed to prefer is centralized collection development with professional staff members continuing to contribute as pre-selection committee members.
Streamlining fund codes is essential to the model of centralized collection development regardless of the level of staff involvement.
Weeding junkets are an additional part of the evolution of centralized collection development.
Centralized collection development is more efficient since multiple titles can be ordered once rather than time after time after time (by different branches or locations), streamlining acquisitions, cataloging, book prep, transit, and more. This point was emphasized several times.
Splitting the materials budget (75 percent for centralized collection development to spend, 25 percent for branches to spend individually) does not seem to work. Branches seem to overspend or underspend their budgets repeatedly. There are often significant delays in ordering certain titles. Popular and/or important titles are missed more often.
Ottawa, Canada has a “service delivery model,” or template based on community size and profile. This template has a large role in deciding order quantities. This helps make centralized collection development more efficient. It is not a hard and fast template and the selectors can make order-specific changes. This concept is similar to outsourcing, but it is done internally.
In Phoenix, collection development has shrunk from 5 full-time staff to 2 ÃÂ¾ full- time staff due to budget cuts. This mandates outsourcing. The “holds list” (or patron request list) is where collection development does the most work. By outsourcing most of the collection development, the best and most popular items are ordered by the vendor well in advance of publication. This frees staff to do other work. Staff has anecdotally reported that they do not miss doing collection development as much as they thought they would.
Ottawa has not had to downsize because their public funding is structured very differently.
Phoenix also uses turnover reports, dusty book reports, patron requests, and staff suggestions to tailor and fine tune collection development.
Another library system used two sets of fund codes. One was for centralized collection development. The second set was for branches to use. This became redundant and unnecessary.
Standing order plans and customized carts were deemed a less threatening type of outsourcing that was still effective for centralized collection development.
Palm Beach uses detailed vendor profiles as the foundation for their own centralized collection development.
Ultimately, centralized collection development frees up professional staff to focus more heavily on public services.
What are libraries doing in terms of collection development to better manage continued budget cuts?
The discussion on this second topic was led by Matt Kish, Dayton Metro Library, Ohio.
Dayton Metro Library (DML) has already sustained numerous cuts to the materials budget. The book and AV budgets are 26 percent less than they were last year and have been cut 17 percent since January. Additional cuts are possible. Due to these cuts, the collection development staff created new guidelines to help facilitate selecting less and continue to offer as much of what patrons wants as possible. Kish shared the guidelines with the group, and they are listed below. Some of the ideas resulted from input about materials cutbacks offered on the Urban Libraries Council Collection Managers discussion list in June.
Purchase of New Materials Guidelines (June 17, 2009)
- Keep the focus for purchasing on bestsellers, patron demand, and box office hit movies.
- Fiction in adult and picture books in juvenile are to be emphasized in purchasing.
- Nonfiction with more than average turnover rates will be emphasized.
- Order fewer copies and add more copies as needed based on weekly demand report.
- Reduce the number of juvenile replacements to twenty items a week.
- Reduce “titles to order” carts to no more than thirty items a month per committee member.
- Reduce the 2010 comic book order.
- Do not renew downloadable video subscription in July. Only offer single-use video downloadables.
- Reduce purchase of reference items and focus placement of these at Main.
- Limit library science book purchases to the professional collection and those purchased should support the DML service program.
- Reduce buying for special collections such as foreign language and genealogy.
- No scholarly items to be purchased, except for library reference collection.
Duplicates and Replacements:
Demand ratios will be adjusted to:
(requests:copies) Revision of
Purchasing Ratio (requests:copies)
Books 3:1 3:1
Audio Books 4:1 4:1
Large Type 5:1 6:1
Music 4:1 4:1
Movies 6:1 8:1
TV Shows 12:1 12:1
Downloadables 4:1 5:1
- No duplicate/replacement orders unless there are requests on the item. The exception to this is juvenile book requests.
- DVD or music duplicates will not be ordered except for those appearing on the weekly demand report.
Patron and Staff Requests:
- Items need to be published within the last twelve months.
- Items substantially over the average cost may be rejected.
- No second tier movie titles to be purchased.
- No third tier items to be purchased. Suggested item must have the potential to be requested by other patrons as well. Refer more people to MORE and ILL.
(First tier titles – those with requests; second tier titles – those without requests but would probably see moderate circulation; third tier titles – niche interest, title circulates less than three times a year.)
Kish explained that the focus is on bestsellers and movies. They are purchasing less nonfiction. They have also had to adjust holds ratios. They can no longer purchase all patron requests due to the budget cuts. However, circulation continues to increase. In June, DML had a 12 percent increase in usage for the month and usage is up 6 percent this year to date despite cuts.
Dayton is not purchasing AV replacements unless there are holds. Last copy records are purged monthly.
How are libraries becoming more efficient at delivering patron holds? Are libraries using Netflix?
The third discussion discussion was led by Melissa DeWild, Kent District Library (KDL), Michigan.
KDL contacted Netflix to see about partnering and was flatly refused.
The Brooklyn Public Library system contracted with UPS to deliver material between branches.
In another system, there were so many patron holds that they were effectively crippling the delivery system so they began using UPS. The slowdown became so severe that some patron holds were not even delivered to the destination branch until the hold had expired. They were happy with UPS, although they indicated that the rates charged by UPS seemed to increase “every quarter”. The trucks and staff that had previously been used to deliver patron holds had been repurposed to other functions, including selling the trucks. In a sense, now they are “stuck” with UPS since they could not easily begin delivering patron holds themselves without considerable financial outlay.
St. Charles City County Library, a twelve-branch system which has deliveries three times per day, so patrons often receive their requests by the very next day. Patrons were very happy with this service, but it was also very costly.
Phoenix is working with Polaris to develop a Netflix-style queue system to allow patrons (who have a three item maximum for holds) to arrange their titles in a wish list and automatically move them into their holds queue once a slot is freed.
Another library system reported working on a similar “wish list” function which would allow their patrons to “hold” items that they had not yet requested. Holds on digital items were growing substantially, and these required no delivery costs.
Lafayette, Indiana still has such a low-income patron base that their VHS circulation is much higher than DVDs. Digital collections are a long way off for them.
In Los Angeles, the Friends of the Library have been buying DVD collections and actually renting these to patrons for a fee, almost like Blockbuster. This is completely separate from the library’s services, and these items are uncataloged.
Suggestions were put forth for vendors to help more with getting items into OPACs more quickly, although some libraries suggested they were already doing this.
Floating collections were discussed as an additional topic.
There were many questions about the best ILS for floating collections, and there was no real consensus since they all have strengths and weaknesses.
Many concerns were expressed regarding certain locations being inundated with returns while other branches see their material disappear. Branch buddy systems were mentioned, but there seemed to be little faith in these being stable and effective.
Questions were raised regarding how to handle patron requests since pull lists may lag behind to where items are actually floating. Suggested practices were vague and varied considerably based on the specifics of different systems’ ILS, practices, size, etc,
Odd problems with Innovative Interfaces prevented one library system from including their central library as an actual location within the floating collection.
Ottawa reported that they attempted to float the entire collection but were unable to do so and had to pull back. Collections became very lopsided, particularly juvenile books and French language books. Staff was not diligent enough to keep up with the constant requirement of pulling titles and sending them to other locations.
One system had considered floating laptops and asked if anyone had experience in this area.
Note: Reports for the Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries Interest Group and the Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries Interest Group had not been received for this Conference.
Continuing Resources Section
Costs of Continuing Resources in Libraries Interest Group | ALA Connect
Four speakers addressed the topic of Flexible Approaches Adopted by Libraries and Publishers During Challenging Times. The presentations were followed by a brief Q and A session:
Wendy Shelburne, Electronic Resources Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, reminded libraries, publishers and vendors to build strong relationships and explore various pricing models to meet the current unprecedented economic challenges. Help selectors understand the current landscape and business cycles of publishers to work out good deals for all parties.
Tom Sanville, OhioLINK’s executive director, and one of the founders of the International Coalition of Library Consortia, provided the vendor perspective and then the library perspective during tough economic climate. Libraries have to cancel subscriptions even if prices are reduced and they often cannot afford to pay for extra features. Publishers have to provide more frequent pay and opt-out schedules, reduce costs, avoid investing in bells and whistles, introduce tiered/multiple publishing models, stop title expansion, downsize, and find cost-effective models. Otherwise libraries may have to go elsewhere for solutions. One size does not fit all.
Ron Boehm of ABC-CLIO discussed how libraries, publishers and vendors should work together fast to change the dialog, agree on objectives and take steps toward long term sustainable solutions. Every stakeholder has to eliminate unnecessary costs, streamline, incorporate technology, revamp policies and decrease financial uncertainty for publishers without tying libraries' hands. Libraries help publishers know how libraries select, cut out frills e.g. book subscription with an embargo period, based on FTE.
Heidi McGregor, Director of Marketing and Communications at Ithaka, listed the various approaches that vendors have used to help libraries maintain their current subscriptions, get affordable access to new content and products and secure needed services at lower costs. Additional ideas like longer term commitments for lower prices, tiered discounts, special deals based on usage, open hours and free access on certain days or times. Future trends will include print elimination, revenues diversification, new models and cost-effective collaboration.
Preservation and Reformatting Section
Book and Paper Interest Group | ALA Connect
Debra Nolan, LBI and HBI
LBI director Debra Nolan recently met with other association leaders and discussed the importance of providing value to their members during this hard economic time.
LBI is happy to sponsor the Library Binding Tool Kit
LBI is working on a standard for photo books with I3A (International Imaging Institute).
Library Binding Tool Kit
Laura Cameron, Stanford University
The goal of the tool kit is to target small to mid-sized libraries through workshops and programs to promote and support collection-based knowledge, to extend life and increase accessibility of collections, and increase staff knowledge.
The charge of the Book and Paper Interest Group should state: “Discussion of matters related to the preservation and continuing role of books, paper-based materials, and other tangible artifacts in collections. Discussion includes, but is not limited to, library binding, physical quality and treatment.”
Mass digitization projects were discussed in relation to the following question: What is the role of the modern preservation program in these initiatives?
Throughout the discussion of the meeting, the following questions were posed and discussed:
- Does your institution participate in a mass digitization project?
Most institutions are participating in digitization in one way or another.
- How are books selected for digitization?
Selection is heavily determined by the capabilities of the scanning equipment used, and condition of the material being scanned.
- What are the implications for projects that select only books in good, functional condition for digitization?
Damaged or brittle materials are not being digitized at all or until they have been repaired.
- Do you have input on the digitization setup?
Some institutions do, while others do not have an opportunity for input.
- Do you train digitization technicians in care and handling?
Some libraries, like Yale, have had the opportunity to train staff or use their own staff for selection and scanning.
- Are books damaged during the digitization process?
Books can be damaged during the scanning process so in most cases the material is reviewed post scanning and may be sent for repair.
- How do you treat books from this workflow?
Due to the high volume of books that are found to need repair during this process, it is nearly impossible to treat every item.
- Do you repair damaged books before the digitization process (in order to facilitate digitization)?
Since materials must be in good condition for digitization projects, the projects themselves can benefit preservation by giving priority to items needing repair that previously were overlooked.
- Push for digitizing special collections. RBMS has assembled a task force to establish guidelines for such projects.
- As scanning of Special Collections happens Preservation should think about policies beforehand.
- Ideas for future consideration: Print is the gold standard; it stands behind the digital content for authenticity. Our role is to advocate for those materials and participating in those discussions.
Digital Conversion Interest Group | ALA Connect
Carl Fleischhauer, Program Officer, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), Library Congress, reported on the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative. Questions and discussion from the audience followed Fleischhauer’s presentation.
Ideas were solicited for Midwinter programs. Suggestions included distribution of the Kirtas Technologies abstract: “Digitize on Demand: A New Business Model for a New Generation of Libraries.” The consensus was that the Kirtas program would be interesting, and there was a suggestion to add another presenter. Another suggestion was for a program with case studies about conversion.
Digital Preservation Interest Group | ALA Connect
The Digital Preservation Interest Group (DPIG) included three thirty-minute presentations that were all very well received. Each presentation bears the promise of development or incorporation into a larger program.
Kathryn Lybarger, Coordinator of Cataloging and Metadata, University of Kentucky Libraries, presented a well-illustrated tutorial about the basics of preservation file formats. Who knew that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride” would be a helpful device for understanding binary code: “One if by land and two if by sea…!” This presentation could be included in a program or preconference with the theme: “Digital Preservation 101”.
Robin Dale, University of California, Santa Cruz, serves on the HathiTrust Strategic Advisory Committee. She provided an overview of the HathiTrust program, a cooperative trusted digital repository committed to serving and preservation a combined collection of over 3.6 million volumes. Her presentation created significant interest. Attendees expressed an interest in an expanded presentation or updates at future DPIG meetings.
Amy Rudersdorf, Director of the Digital Information Management Program, the State Library of North Carolina, provided an overview of the DCAPE Project, the Distributed Custodial Archival Preservation Environments. DCAPE builds on the infrastructure and iRODS (Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System) research at UNC in collaboration with thirty-two partners. State archives, private research institutions and university archives are testing a distributed model for the long-term preservation of agency records.
Following the three presentations, Walter Cybulski made a brief report about key sessions at Archiving 2009, and Liz Bishoff reported on a recent proposal to IMLS to initiate planning for a North American Digital Curation Center (NADCC). Becky Ryder explained the minor revisions to the ALA definition of digital preservation. Following the reports, Sue Kellerman was elected by acclamation as the new co-chair.
Intellectual Access to Preservation Data Interest Group | ALA Connect
The first hour of the meeting was a programmed presentation given by Sarah Shreeves, the Coordinator for IDEALS—the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship. The following is an excerpt of the presentation’s scope: "Saying What We Do and Doing What We Say: Preservation Issues (Metadata and Otherwise) in Institutional Repositories"
Sarah Shreeves, the Coordinator for IDEALS--the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship--will discuss her real world experience in trying to meet the preservation needs of an institutional repository. The challenges facing a repository responsible for the distribution and preservation of the wide variety of resources and formats contributed by faculty, students, and staff are formidable. Sarah's reflections will be embedded in an overview of the current preservation environment for institutional repositories.
Shreeves’ program was insightful well received, and addressed the interests of this group. The group’s annual business meeting followed the presentation and discussion. Nicole Saylor, Head, Digital Library Services at the University of Iowa Libraries was elected by voice vote to replace outgoing co-chair Jonathan Thorn, Safe Sound Archive.
The meeting was concluded by Janet Gertz, chair, Audio Metadata Task Force, which was formed by this interest group. Gertz reported on the task force’s progress. She proceeded to read the charge that was decided upon by the members of the task force at their meeting.
Note: The Preservation Administration Interest Group had not submitted a report for this Conference.
Promoting Preservation Interest Group | ALA Connect
The meeting began with a general welcome and an overview of the scheduled panel.
Donia Conn spoke first about Preservation Awareness week.
Kevin Cherry, IMLS, gave an overview of various grant efforts that IMLS has been involved with over the past few years. He also explained some of the processes involved with reviewing grants.
Martin Halbert, MetaArchive Program, and Liz Bishoff, BCR, spoke in detail on how their two groups worked together in securing funding for the MetaArchive expansion. They focused mainly on their project and how various elements from the process of securing funding can be applied to other funding endeavors.
Kara McClurken, University of Virginia, presented on four grant projects at UVA and made a point of selecting projects that received funding from different sources, such as federal, state, local, etc. She concluded her talk with numerous suggestions about how to get grants focusing primarily on not wasting time on grants that do not fit institutional goals/missions and on not giving up, resubmit with suggested changes.
The panel concluded with a general question-and-answer session with the panelists; audience and panel members asked questions of each other.