From ALCTS    

2010 Designated as the Year of Cataloging Research

Kate Harcourt, in her capacity as chair of the ALCTS Implementation Group on the LCWG Report, made a motion to the ALCTS Board of Directors to designate 2010 as the Year of Cataloging Research. The motion was seconded by the ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section and was approved unanimously by the Board. ALCTS Councilor Diane Dates Casey will present the resolution to the ALA Council at Midwinter for approval. The text of the resolution follows.


Whereas, the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association, provides “leadership and a program of action on the access to, and identification, acquisition, description, organization, preservation, dissemination of information resources in a dynamic, collaborative environment” as well as “forums for discussion, research and development, and opportunities for learning in all of these areas”, and

Whereas the division journal, Library Resources & Technical Services ( LRTS), begun publication in 1957, is recognized as a leading research journal in the field and supports a vigorous publishing program and collaborative information sharing, and

Whereas ALCTS encourages and recognizes new professionals and library support staff, outstanding contributions to the field, and excellence in scholarship and research through awards, and

Whereas ALCTS applauds and supports the recommendations of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control to support ongoing research by the following means: Encourage ongoing qualitative and quantitative research (and its publication) about bibliographic control, for various types of libraries and over a protracted period of time. Through library and information science (LIS) and continuing education, foster a greater understanding of the need for research, both quantitative and qualitative, into issues of bibliographic control. Work to develop a stronger and more rigorous culture of formal evaluation, critique, and validation, and build a cumulative research agenda and evidence base. Encourage, highlight, reward, and share best research practices and results. Promote collaboration among academics, the practicing library community, and related communities, as appropriate, in the development of research agendas and research design, in order to assess research needs, profit from diverse perspectives, and foster acceptance from the broader information community. Improve mechanisms to publicize and distribute research efforts and results.

Whereas organization of information, including cataloging and metadata creation, is a core function of the Library profession, and

Whereas a corpus of research to support continued growth and development in this core area is needed,

Now therefore, be it resolved that the American Library Association acknowledges the importance of outstanding research in the area of cataloging and metadata and declares 2010 as the Year of Cataloging Research.

ALCTS Bylaws Vote Results    

During the past year, the ALCTS Organization and Bylaws (O&B) Committee, at the request of the ALCTS Board of Directors, reviewed the ALCTS Bylaws. O&B’s charge was to examine the current Bylaws for confusing and contradictory language, outdated articles and sections, to provide clarification of references to different groups within ALCTS and ALCTS itself, and conduct a general analysis of its presentation, currency and relevance.

The ALCTS Board approved O&B’s Bylaws revisions during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago in July 2009.

In October 2009, ALCTS members were invited to participate in a special election to vote on the proposed changes to the ALCTS Bylaws. The special election was conducted rather than waiting for the regular ALA election cycle, which will begin in mid-March 2010.

The bylaws revisions were approved with 99 percent of members voting to accept; 1 percent of members voted no. The total vote count was 609, with 602 yes votes and 7 no votes. There was a 16 percent return rate for the election which, according to ALCTS Executive Director Charles Wilt, is not too different from the return rate for regular elections.

The revised Bylaws are available online. Many thanks to outgoing O&B chair Dale Swensen and his committee for their hard work.

New Members Interest Group Debuts    

The New Members Interest Group was established in September 2009 at the request of several interested members of ALCTS. The group seeks to cultivate the new members of ALCTS by capitalizing on existing ALCTS initiatives and ALCTS veterans to develop pathways for inclusion of new members into the ALCTS organization and a realization of the value of their contributions to the organization.

Keisha Manning, who recently co-moderated with ALCTS Past-President Dina Giambi the very successful ALCTS E-Forum ““What’s on Your Mind? How Can ALCTS Serve New Members?” is the IG chair. See “Midwinter 2010 Meeting Events” in this issue for more information on this group’s meeting date, time and location. The IG also has an online community in ALA Connect.

ANO Survey    

A survey of ANO readership was conducted during June 2009 through September 2009. There were 130 responses which included a number of excellent suggestions. The survey results and feedback will be available in ALA Connect by the end of December 2009. Many thanks to those who responded as well as to Christine Ross and Christine Taylor for collaborating on the survey with me.

Survey of Distance Cataloging and Metadata Programs    

Joy Wang and Ryun Lee, subcommittee members of Committee of Education, Training, and Recruitment for Cataloging-Continuing Education (CETRC-CE) have tabulated results from a survey conducted by CETRC-CE to determine the availability of online or distance education courses in cataloging, classification and metadata in North American library schools. An overview of their survey follows. Additionally, tabulated survey results are available in ALA Connect.

Environmental Scan of Online Cataloging, Classification and Metadata Courses    

By Joy Wang and Ryun Lee, subcommittee members of Committee of Education, Training, Recruitment for Cataloging-Continuing Education (CETRC-CE)

Background Information

Cataloging requires constant continuing education. The evolving cataloging standards and rules and explosion of digital resources present challenges to catalogers and require them to update their knowledge and skills regularly in both traditional and emerging areas. To remain competitive and continue to play a key role in shaping library services in the emerging digital information environment, competencies in cataloging and metadata are critical for catalogers. To support ALCTS’s efforts and activities in continuing education and programs and to conform to ALCTS’ Cataloging & Classification Section (CCS) Committee Charge (revised in 2007-2008), whose focus is on continuing education activities for practicing librarians or library staff, the Committee of Education, Training, Recruitment for Cataloging-Continuing Education (CETRC-CE) subcommittee has affirmed a 2008 proposal to conduct a survey for online or distance education courses in cataloging and metadata.

CETRC-CE is a subcommittee of American Library Association, Association for Library Collections & Technical Services /Cataloging & Classification Section/Committee of Education, Training, and Recruitment for Cataloging (ALA/ALCTS/CCS/CETRC). CETRC-CE’s charge is summarized:

To foster and coordinate ALCTS CCS continuing education activities, programs and documentation. This includes responsibility for:

  • addressing CCS continuing education objectives in the ALCTS Strategic Plan
  • developing mechanisms for tracking regional programs

Survey Objectives

The study’s goal was to determine the availability of online or distance education courses in cataloging, classification and metadata in North American library schools. It is hoped that the findings will help ALCTS avoid duplicating its efforts by offering the similar cataloging and related areas training courses which are already widely available through regional networks, local consortia, state and regional library associations.

The subcommittee is also aware of the fact that many continuing education providers, including regional networks, local consortia, state and regional library associations, private (for-profit) providers are offering training courses, but they too difficult to track since they are generally offered on an ad-hoc basis. It was also decided that it would be useful to start the preliminary survey with library school offerings. Following the preliminary survey of library schools, the committee might consider extending the survey to library professional organizations, OCLC affiliates, consortia and regional systems.


A larger sample of library schools including ALA accredited and conditional ones in the United States and Canada was developed. Two subcommittee members were assigned to conduct the scan, which was conducted online. The library schools’ web sites were researched and emails were sent to the library schools. There are total of fifty-three ALA accredited masters programs in the United States, and seven universities in Canada offering library school programs. The scan began after the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting and concluded prior to the 2008 ALA Annual Conference.

Data was collected and updated collaboratively using a Google Spreadsheet for the convenience of sharing among the committee members. The data collected included: status of the library school, whether a distance education course in traditional cataloging or metadata is offered, the frequency with which it is offered, the number of contact hours for the course, and enrollment restrictions and costs. The initial survey was targeted to library schools in North America including both ALA accredited programs and those with conditional status. At the time that the survey was conducted, there were four programs with conditional status.


The data revealed that a vast majority of library schools do not offer distance education or web-based cataloging, classification and/or metadata course. Those schools that do offer web-based classes typically limit them to students enrolled in their graduate programs. They are usually expensive for out-of-state students and capacity is limited based on the availability of space as well as high demand from current MLIS students. There are only a few schools that do not require enrollment in the MLS program. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is open to anyone who wishes to get graduate credit, but is not currently enrolled in its graduate degree program. Rutgers University has adjusted its enrollment policy for online or distance education classes and will allow anyone who meets the requirements for the post-MLIS degree certificate program to take individual classes (including online classes) if space is available. WISE Program - Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) is a collaborative program for online LIS courses. It started as a joint effort between Syracuse University and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, with thirteen schools now in the consortia. The advantage of the program is that WISE students have the opportunity to take distance education courses through member schools and offered a variety of online courses, regardless of their location. Our data indicates that one has to be enrolled in WISE Program in order to take their online courses.

Follow Up Survey

As previously mentioned, this is a preliminary study. The subcommittee expects that future surveys on online course offerings of cataloging, classification and metadata might also cover library professional organizations, OCLC affiliates, consortia and regional systems. We believe that the results of the study would provide helpful information to ALCTS CCS and assist them in planning for continuing education programs and professional development activities in the future. It is also hoped that the results will provides some useful information to those interested in attending online training courses or workshop for cataloging and metadata.

Call for Papers: Emerging Research Forum at 2010 Annual Conference    

The ALCTS Collection Management and Development Section’s Publications Committee is sponsoring a research forum, "Emerging Research in Collection Management and Development," at the 2010 American Library Association Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

This is an opportunity to present and discuss your research. Both completed research and research in progress will be considered. All researchers, including collection practitioners from all types of libraries, library school faculty and students, and other interested individuals, are encouraged to submit a proposal.

The committee will use a "blind review” process to select two projects. The selected researchers are required to present their papers in person at the forum. Each researcher should plan for a twenty-five to thirty minute presentation, with a ten to fifteen minute open discussion following each presentation.

Criteria for selection are:

  • Significance of the study for improving collection management and development practices.
  • Potential for research to fill a gap in collections scholarship or to build on previous studies.
  • Quality and creativity of the methodology.
  • Previously published research or research accepted for publication prior to December 31, 2009 will not be accepted.

The submission must consist of no more than two pages. On the first page, please list: your name(s), title(s), institutional affiliation(s), and contact information (including your mailing address, telephone number, fax number, and email address). The second page will be a one-page proposal, and it should NOT show your name or any personal information. Instead, it must include only:

  • The title of your project
  • A clear statement of the research problem
  • A description of the research methodology used
  • Results of the project, if any

Notification of acceptance will be made by February 1, 2010. Please send submissions to: Stephen H. Dew, Collections and Scholarly Resources Coordinator, Jackson Library, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170; (336) 334-4300; (336) 334-5399.