These reports are summaries of ALCTS interest group activities up to and during the 2012 ALA Annual Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, Texas, held January 19–23, 2012.
Cataloging & Metadata Management Section Interest Group Reports
Authority Control Interest Group (with LITA)
The Authority Control Interest Group Midwinter Meeting is usually reports and updates, not a formal program. Janis Young from the Policy and Standards Division gave an update from the Library of Congress, including names, subjects, and genre/form headings.
Robert Bremer of OCLC provided updates on the Virtual International Authority File and other authority control projects from OCLC. A question and answer session followed, and we also welcomed questions from the floor.
A business meeting was held after the program. A lengthy discussion of plans for the ACIG Annual Program for Anaheim was the main focus of the meeting.
Cartographic Resources Cataloging Interest Group (with MAGIRT)
About twenty-five people attended the Interest Group session that covered provider-neutral cataloging, RDA, and form/genre headings. Susan Moore began by relating her experience cataloging a digital cartographic image using the PCC provider-neutral (PN) guidelines; she indicated that it was not difficult. A PN record includes only the bibliographic information that applies to all manifestations of the resource. Notes about specific providers or packages are considered local. URLs may be provided as long as they are general and provide access to all users without restrictions.
RDA topics included proposed changes to RDA for cartographic resources. Min Zhang from LC explained that there are two ways to propose changes; one is a fast track for straightforward requests; that is, we may submit our requests to Min who will forward them to our JSC Representative, John Attig. Some problems encountered by LC catalogers:
Projection - RDA says to transcribe projection statements. For foreign maps we have always translated these to English. LC plans to continue using English.
Work vs. expression for cartographic resources - How do we differentiate between work and expression? Scale, projection and relief are attributes of an expression. An example is the CIA maps; one has relief, the other version has none, and LC makes separate records because the shaded version is not the same map. RDA requires a 240 preferred title for the work (“uniform title”) in this case. LC does not want to differentiate among expressions. The group agreed that such a 240 would have to be qualified by too many different elements, because too many cartographic works carry the same title! A straw poll of members present was taken and the unanimous vote was to continue current practice of creating separate records for expressions. Min will relay our opinion to LC.
CIA maps and OCLC Duplicate Detection - Jay Weitz explained that it is hard for duplicate detection algorithms to recognize separate records for CIA maps when the only differences are in 500 notes (shading and relief differences). The use of an appropriate edition statement would usually prevent DDR from acting incorrectly. There is an LCPS (LC Policy Statement) for RDA encouraging use of edition statements when other bib information is identical. Paige Andrew asked if the relief fixed field codes could serve to differentiate. Jay thinks this is so.
LCPS and CM - Could the LCPS replace the Cartographic Materials manual? Subjects and classification are not part of RDA, however.
240 Preferred Title for the Work for atlases - When a title proper has changed, such as with a revised edition of an atlas that has long been known by the same title, a 240 would be needed for the new edition. This 240 is useful for the patron’s knowledge. Min will check on whether an additional note is required.
Form/Genre headings - The group discussed the usefulness of the genre heading “thematic maps”. Min’s team decided against using it because it is not specific enough; LC’s collection is too large, and it would not be consistently applied. Paige favors using it because the user can distinguish between a general map (i.e., only geographic in nature) and a map that includes at least one topic or subject in a retrieved subject-based search (as long as the local system indexes form/genre headings in a subject index). He noted that sometimes a generic title for a place is used on the map when in reality the map shows at least one distinguishing topic, so the f/g heading of “thematic maps” added to the record, along with a topical subject heading, assists the user in this situation. “Thematic maps” is applied when a specific established form or genre heading such as “Topographic maps” or “Tourist maps” does not apply to the cartographic item in hand.
Relationship designators - At present LC only adds relationship designators to authorized access points for names when the role is clear and explicit. Paige stated that we as a community need to consider expanding the relationship designators currently in RDA by suggesting new ones. Some do not consider these worthwhile to apply, while others, particularly for historical map and atlas creators, would find them useful. For example, with historical maps, engravers are important. Susan Moore said that we could submit additions to the list of relationship designators as fast-track recommendations to John Attig via Min Zhang.
Catalog Form & Function Interest Group
The group considered various topics proposed for the IG session at the 2012 Annual Conference, examining each in the light of the changing conception of what is the ‘catalog’. Users and librarians may have entirely different conceptions of what is the ‘catalog’, especially with the introduction of next-gen and/or discovery systems in many libraries, supplementing access providing by the traditional OPAC catalog. Cloud-based developments in library systems, often with a community/shared catalog, will also likely affect the future of the catalog. Other topics discussed included the effect the Library of Congress’ “Transforming of Bibliographic Framework” initiative will have on catalog systems, perhaps driving libraries away from the traditional MARC-based OPAC to discovery systems that can accommodate non-MARC metadata. The question of whether patron goals and searching behavior is markedly different between traditional library catalogs and the new discovery layer services was raised as a something that could be explored through usability studies coordinated across several institutions. Finally, there was a call for nominations and/or volunteers for the Vice-Chair position, as the original holder of the position has to step down due to scheduling conflicts with another committee commitment.
Cataloging & Classification Research Interest Group
CCRIG hosted three speakers on the topic of “Traditions and Transitions in Batchloaded Catalog Data” to explore the benefits, challenges, and best practices for batchloading vendor catalog records.
Rebecca L. Mugridge, Head, Cataloging and Metadata Services, Penn State University Libraries described the results of her research on “Batchloading: Current Practices and Future Challenges: A Survey of Large Research Libraries.” A survey distributed to the ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Interest Group examined how academic libraries are handling increased workload of batch records for electronic resources. A paper on survey results has been accepted for publication in Library Resources and Technical Services (LRTS).
Stacie Traill, Cartographic and E-Resources Cataloging Coordinator, University of Minnesota Libraries, and Chew Chiat Naun, Cataloging Strategist, University of Minnesota Libraries, presented “Quality Issues in Vendor-provided Records for E-books.” Since 2003, the UM catalog has not merged batch duplicates into a single provider neutral record. Traill and Naun studied record errors, divergent practices among vendors, and omissions that may affect access. The speakers suggested creating a list of critical record content problems and addressing these with vendors, as well as finding collaborative ways to share file edits.
Kathryn Lybarger, Coordinator of Cataloging and Metadata, University of Kentucky, spoke on “Fast, but Accurate? Pitfalls of Batch Metadata Editing.” She addressed problems that may arise with vendor records distributed through large cooperative environments such as OCLC. She recommended using a local editor such as MarcEdit to check and batch edit records, coupled with a file management system such as Mercurial for edit version control. She suggested the need for feedback systems to identify and report dead links, since generic link checkers can be ineffective.
Audience responses during the panel discussion that followed the presentations indicated that many institutions are experiencing similar issues with batchload workflows and there was interest expressed in an opportunity to dialog with vendors and explore solutions to obtaining better data or sharing record edits.
Cataloging Management Interest Group
The meeting of the Cataloging Management Interest Group featured the following four presentations on topics related to enhancing the quality of library catalogs.
“Towards Better Discovery of Video Materials” presented by Cathy Wang, Head of Cataloging, The College of New Jersey and Yuji Tosaka, Cataloging/Metadata Librarian, The College of New Jersey. The College of New Jersey Library (TCNJ) began enhancing video records to improve discovery several years ago. This multi-phase undertaking has included implementing new pre-catalog processing procedures; adjusting copy cataloging policy to reduce backlogs; systematically and retroactively adding genre terms; consistently providing relator codes for film directors; and adding local genre terms for foreign language films. These changes have made the library’s more than 10,000 video titles easier to discover and has been praised by public services librarians. The presentation illustrated how TCNJ undertook these projects to provide better access to their video collections.
“A Little Breathing Room Please! Catalog Management Projects That Make a Difference” presented by Ruth S. Ziegler, Authorities/Catalog Management Librarian, Florida State University Libraries. Most academic libraries today have crowded main stacks, basements, and remote storage areas. The stacks at Florida State University were severely constrained, at 95 percent capacity for open stacks and 100 percent for two remote storage facilities. Withdrawal projects at Florida State University have included print journals duplicated by online backfiles, out of scope journals, reference materials, government documents (federal, regional and state), and the selective withdrawal of multiple copies to create space for new acquisitions or to repurpose space for new library services. There has also been an ongoing inventory of the collections. These projects have made a significant difference in freeing up space for new books and for repurposing space for new services. The presentation covered the planning process, the departments involved, the procedures that were developed, the projects that were completed, outcomes, and ongoing efforts.
“Cooperative Quality Control for Cataloging: Initiatives in Error Handling” presented by Ian Fairclough, Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian, George Mason University. Cooperative quality control can take many forms. This presentation focused on handling errors that occur in the cataloging process. During the past ten years, the presenter found that work needed to be done to upgrade master records in OCLC WorldCat. Where authorized to do so, he made corrections directly in those records. In other cases, when the record originated from the Library of Congress (or from another national agency), he reported suspected errors directly to the library. The extent to which such remedial work was required upon records was astounding. The cooperative aspect was greatly extended through the use of electronic mail. In particular, Fairclough initiated electronic distribution lists using Listserv® software, each list having one or more co-listowners and dedicated to addressing a specific concern. The presentation reviewed these initiatives, with an eye toward incorporating such practices into the routine activity of any library. Future potential developments and further initiatives were also discussed.
“Separate, Merged, and Separate Once Again: Un-mulvering the Mulvered Records” presented by Lucas Mak, Metadata and Catalog Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries. For a number of years, Michigan State University Libraries (MSUL) put print and microform theses on one catalog record. These mulvered records had data elements for both print and microform manifestations. Some of these records even had multiple OCLC numbers, which meant they were merged into one record after being separately cataloged on OCLC. Since 2006, MSUL had ceased merging records of different formats into one record but had not gone back to change existing mulvered records. Separating 7,400 mulvered records by hand would be prohibitively labor intensive, so an XSLT was created to automate the process. This presentation provided an overview of the issue and then focused on the logic of the XSLT, factors that affected the project, and the limitations of this process.
Cataloging Norms Interest Group
The Cataloging Norms Interest Group is traditionally a gathering of speakers for any interested audience who desires to attend. We had a successful program of three speakers (program described below). There were 124 people in attendance, most of whom stayed for the question and answer section at the end of the program. We have noted that of current concern to catalogers is the trend of downsizing cataloging units, and interest in non-traditional description of resources. With this in mind, we selected speakers who addressed these two issues.
Diane Hillman, Cornell University, presented on statement-based management of metadata. She discussed the ‘statement-level management’ of metadata and how it works. She believes that managing statements instead of records has significant potential for us as catalogers begin to think of ourselves as consumers as well as providers of data.
Susan A. Massey, Head of Discovery Enhancement, Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University of North Florida, presented “Envisioning and Integrating New Cataloging Workflows.” She is interested in continuing to meet user needs, with a reduced cataloging staff. In particular, she demonstrated a very interesting methodology for charting cataloging functions carried out by the different staff, as a tool for determining how to reconfigure functions while reorganizing cataloging staff more efficiently. She also discussed preparing staff for change, marketing to administrators, analyzing tasks and competencies to identify efficiencies and training needs, examining internal and external trends, and the challenges of change.
Roman S. Panchyshyn, Catalog Librarian, Kent State University, presented “Batch Processing of E-Resource Records in a Local and Consortial Environment: Streamlining Cataloging Workflow at Kent State University.” Also concerned with improving efficiency, KSU has developed a checklist process that is used to record decision points for each batch project to upload e-book and e-serial MARC records to both their local Innovative catalog and their consortial central catalog. The checklist also documents workflow processes for departmental reference and consultation. They have found that the use of this checklist system provides a variety of benefits for staff and users, both locally and consortially. Benefits include creation and maintenance of a document trail, duplicate record prevention in the consortial catalog, establishing guidelines for staff training, and quantifiable data that a library can use for future research, vendor negotiations, and decision making.
Our current goals in relation to the ALCTS Strategic Plan relate to following trends and issues in the profession and the exchange of information. We concentrate on innovative topics, ideas and areas of concern when we select speakers. The Q&A section of the program encourages the exchange of ideas and fosters dialog. Presentations are later made available via ALA Connect.
Competencies & Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group
The Competencies & Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group held its very first managed discussion at ALA Midwinter 2012 and selected a topic that resulted in a stimulating discussion among the 75 participants on succession planning. Highlights from the meeting were recorded by Frederick Augustyn of the Library of Congress in an issue of Cognotes. April Grey, Assistant Professor of Library Science and Head of Cataloging at the University of Louisiana, delivered a presentation, “Effective Succession Planning and Strategies to Identify and Prepare New Managers for Cataloging and Metadata Departments,” which offered helpful tips on ways to develop succession plans when there are decreases at one’s institution in staffing and resource levels, a factor that appears to be occurring commonly in today’s faltering economy. Ms. Grey offered various suggestions for new managers on managing operations with dwindling resources, including a tactic to develop a wiki to document various workflows that might not be commonly known among staff and managers. This approach can assist managers to understand the tasks that staff participate in on a daily basis. Others in attendance offered their ideas, including using wikis interactively for training purposes, use of LibGuides to reproduce instruction manuals, creating shadowing experiences to pass on institutional and job knowledge, cross training in multiple areas to create a hybrid environment of multitasking, and enhancing lower level staff’s skills by having them take on higher level tasks. This presentation is available on ALA Connect at: http://connect.ala.org/node/112511.
Copy Cataloging Interest Group
The Copy Cataloging Interest Group meeting included a managed discussion featuring three speakers. Dr. Barbara Tillett, chief of the Policy & Standards Division, Library of Congress, gave a presentation on “Copy Cataloging Textual Monographs with RDA: LC Decisions,” in which she described common differences between AACR2 and RDA records, and practices used by Library of Congress staff when importing records that are already RDA or that should be converted to RDA. Dr. Tillett also provided two handouts: “Importing Records for Textual Monographs: For LC RDA Catalogers and Technicians” (used by librarians and technicians trained in RDA practices at the Library of Congress) and “Links of Interest Related to RDA,” (a bibliography containing web links to RDA resources).
Karl Debus-Lopez, chief of the U.S. General Division and acting chief of the U.S. and Publisher Liaison Division, presented “The Library of Congress : CIP E-book Metadata Pilot,” in which he reported on the Library’s pilot project to convert publisher metadata to MARC format for electronic book records. In order to participate in the pilot, publishers must qualify for the Cataloging in Publication Program, e-books included in the pilot must be simulataniously published with the print copy, and publishers will be required to submit a complimentary copy of the e-book to the Library of Congress. For more information about the project, contact Debus-Lopez at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or go to the Cataloging in Publication Program webpage at http://www.loc.gov/publish/cip/.
Elaine Franco (principal cataloger) and Loretta Firestone (head, Monographs Copy Cataloging), University of California, Davis, prepared a presentation delivered by Ms. Franco entitled, “Copy Cataloging Gets Some Respect from Administrators.” In this presentation, Ms. Franco described how copy catalogers at her institution have been given more responsibility and how more specialized cataloging is performed as staffing resources decrease and as receipts of new materials are decreasing.
Chair Angela Kinney provided a written report issued by Susan Morris, special assistant to the Director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access at Library of Congress, which contains information on the importance of the copy cataloging program in light of recent retirements at the Library of Congress.
All of these reports are posted on ALA Connect at: http://connect.ala.org/node/64545.
Faceted Subject Access Interest Group
The meeting began with introductions around the room. A brief presentation by the chair on general aspects of subject facets in next generation catalogs and discovery systems and particular notes on Summon and Mango was followed by a very interesting group discussion. A desire to address possibilities of standards for subject facets had been expressed previously, and reference was made to the new NISO Open Discovery Initiative and to draft ISO 25964-2 to which attendees were encouraged to respond. It was observed that while it is not obvious to the user the subject facets usually employ a cutoff number of records from which the facets displayed are derived. Transparency in that aspect would be desirable. Also, when possible based on the distinctions in the metadata, it is desired that facets be offered in categories such as topical, geographic, chronological and genre/form. Both LCSH and FAST provide such distinctions. FAST headings are brief and work well as facets where display space is limited, but LCSH strings are usually cut into subfields for that purpose. Some of the systems commented upon in the discussion were Vu-Find, Primo and Encore. Better utilization of authorities data such as cross-references in next generation catalogs is desired. Members of the SAC Subcommittee on Genre-Form joined the meeting and contributed, including telling us about a discussion paper to look for dealing with audience and categories of creators. One complaint expressed was the loss of form subheadings of subjects as facets in Encore. For the annual meeting it was suggested that a vendor of one of the systems we discussed could be invited to present.
Heads of Cataloging Departments Interest Group
This was an incredibly successful event. The theme for the meeting was “Developing Service-Oriented Models for Cataloging and Metadata.” A national call for presentation proposals was made in the fall, and four were selected. Jee Davis, University of Texas, and Jina Wakimoto, University of Colorado, Boulder, presented “Cataloging IS a Public Service: Repositioning Cataloging and Metadata Services.” Teressa Keenan, University of Montana, presented “Charting a Course with NOMAP: Integrating Metadata Workflows into a Traditional Cataloging Unit.” Jennifer O’Brien Roper (University of Virginia presented “Envisioning Culture Shift: Building a Strategic Framework for Service Oriented Cataloging.” Sharon Wiles-Young, Lehigh University, presented “Technical Services Involvement with New Service: Are there Silos Within the Library.”
A total of 107 people signed the attendance sheet. Eighty-eight came from academic libraries, 11 from public/special libraries, seven from vendors, and one MLS graduate student.
Attendees were encouraged to offer suggestions for future topics/themes, and were also encouraged to self-identify if interested in running for Chair-elect for 2014. The Chair for 2013 will be Jennifer O’Brien Roper, University of Virginia.