Midwinter CRS Committee Reports

These reports summarize ALCTS committee activities up to and during the 2012 ALA Annual Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, Texas, held January 19–23, 2012.

ALCTS Division | Acquisitions (AS) | Cataloging & Metadata Management (CaMMS) | Collection Management (CMS) | Continuing Resources (CRS) | Preservation & Reformatting (PARS)

Continuing Resources Section (CRS) Committees

Acquisitions Committee

The committee discussed and worked out the details to their upcoming program, “Ending the Big Deal: Truth and Consequences” for next year’s Annual Conference in Anaheim. All indications are that the program is on track.

In addition the Committee brainstormed ideas for programming in 2013. A tentative topic of consortial e-book purchasing was agreed upon by the members and potential speakers, including vendor and consortia representatives, were discussed.

Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee

During our business meeting, the committee discussed the relationship with the CRS CC:DA liaison and how we can strengthen that relationship. We will ask the liaison to attend our business meetings in the future. We also discussed ways to gather and provide feedback to CC:DA about serials cataloging issues pertaining to RDA.

This topic led to a discussion of series training and whether the CRCC should be involved with it on a national and/or local level. We see this issue as important to all catalogers, but particularly those in public libraries who heavily rely on series authorities created by PCC libraries. We will look into possibly hosting a webinar on this topic in the near future.

The Chair will also look into live-streaming our Forum at Annual 2012.

Education, Research & Publications Committee

Syllabus for Serials Cataloging

The major focus of the meeting was to review the bibliography that is part of the Syllabus for Serials Cataloging, to identify additional references needing to be deleted. Mavis had previously deleted 45 of the 79 references and added 15 new references, leaving 51 references. We identified 20 additional references needing to be deleted, along with several that should be checked. In addition, we identified 6 new references that should be added:

  • Serials Librarian, by Steve Black
  • NASIG web site
  • ISSN web site
  • RDA web site (including RDA TookKit)
  • ALCTS webinar archive
  • ALA books and other resources on cataloging

With the foregoing actions, there will be approximately 37 references remaining, and possibly fewer if some checked items are also deleted.


In person vs. online. Meg Mering and Jacquie Samples asked for our input on the following questions:

  • Can we work effectively online in performing our committee work?
  • How would one committee meeting per year (annual) work for us?
  • Would there be a problem for committee members in getting funding from their institutions to attend ALA conferences if the committee didn’t meet?

Both Brian and Mavis felt we could work effectively online and that one in-person meeting per year would be sufficient, especially in the current environment with limited funding for travel. In-person meetings, of course, provide advantages in that dialogue can take place more easily than with online interaction. Both Brian and Mavis have been able to attend the ALA meetings twice annually. However, if the committee did not meet, it would likely affect funding for some committee members, depending on the requirements of the person’s institution.

Holdings Information Committee

The committee held its business meeting on Saturday, January 21, discussing upcoming forum logistics, topics for Annual, progress on standards in ALCTS, CONSER Update.

The forum, conducted in conjunction with the Standards Committee (Charlene Chou, chair) was held on Saturday afternoon with approximately 70 attendees. Summary of main points follows below. Presentations have been uploaded to ALA Connect.

The committee met by telephone in February to finalize topic for Annual.

Forum presentation summaries:

“Auditing Digital Repositories: An update on Standards, Preservation, and Usage” by Marie-Elise Waltz, Center for Research Libraries (CRL)

Marie Waltz gave an overview of the nearly 30-year history of ISO 16363 and described CRL’s experiences in testing six digital repositories, three in the US and three in Europe. The working group has made excellent progress and the standard is currently at the approval stage. Between May and July 2011, six repositories were tested. “A Trusted Digital Repository is one whose mission is to provide reliable, long-term access to managed digital resources to its designated community, now and in the future.” Certification means that the repository is “trusted,” findings are reported to the research community, and considerations for the length of the certification and re-certification. Certification of Portico and HathiTrust resulted in the provision of more information about preservation on their web sites, assurance they are adhering to standards and preservation strategies, and assurance that changes will take preservation into account. The success of the project depends on community feedback.

Melanie Wacker Metadata Standards Coordinator, Columbia University

Columbia was a formal RDA test partner in the test of RDA conducted by the US National Libraries RDA Test Coordinating Committee. During the test valid Dublin Core, MODS, and EAD records were created, mostly for unpublished resources. RDA core elements were not well represented in these records, perhaps because there may be an emphasis on published resources in the RDA core element set, while many unique materials are unpublished.

Treatment of print original and reproduction records in RDA differs from treatment in and “Digital Library Federation / Aquifer Implementation Guidelines for Shareable MODS Records” where both can be described in one record. RDA relationship designators that describe reciprocal relationships between the original and the digital reproduction can easily be coded in MODS and EAD and showing these relationships is an important part of RDA. The designator terms from RDA appendix J such as “electronic reproduction of (manifestation)” and “electronic reproduction of (item)” may not be the most user friendly but it is possible for other terms to be suggested as we continue to use RDA.

Making use of terms in open and closed RDA vocabulary lists is valuable and would be enhanced if more terms could be registered with URI in the open metadata registry.

Using RDA for visual materials raised the need for additional guidelines that can be used in conjunction with RDA. Deriving such guidelines from “Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images (CCO)” may offer help in making decisions about the work being described and recording of other elements.

The PIRUS Project: objectives, outcomes and next steps, presented by Gary Van Overborg

Van Overborg gave an overall picture of the PIRUS (Publisher and Institutional Repository Statistics) project from PIRUS to PIRUS 2. This project hopes to develop a global standard to enable the recording, reporting and consolidation of online usage statistics for individual journal articles hosted by institutional repositories, publishers and other entities. The presentation covered how institutions get benefits from PIRUS, the nature, the mission, the role of the Central Clearing House (CCH), PIRUS: governance, and PIRUS next steps.

Policy & Planning Committee

Policy & Planning discussed the most effective way that we could use our ALA Connect page. We also discussed our goals for the second-half of the 2011–2012 term. These goals include working with other CRS committees to review and revise their charges and make recommendations to CRS Executive Committee on potential action items for the section to pursue in the 2012–2013 term.

Standards Committee

Since three members could not attend the Midwinter Meeting, it was hard for two members to brainstorm the topics and speaker candidates for our update forum at the Annual. We decided to continue the discussion through e-mails or conference call after Midwinter.

We’re very pleased with the collaboration with the CRS Holdings Committee for the joint forum at the Midwinter Meeting, especially two of our proposed topics—PIRUS and RDA testing for non-MARC standards included in the program. This kind of collaboration may be considered again with other committees in the future, especially with topics of common interest, for the sake of resource sharing. The title of the joint forum is “Discovering and Cataloging Repositories and Unique Collections: An Update on Standards, Preservation, and Usage” on Saturday, January 21, 2012, 4–5:30 pm. Read the Forum coverage in this issue.

Our committee members are very pleased to see the topic of standards included on the agenda of CRS exec meeting and ALCTS board meeting since emerging standards are significant for the management of continuing resources. We wonder if current communication method is effective and what is a better way to respond to NISO liaison requests for inputs. Does the ALCTS submit names of possible members when new working groups are formed? One of our previous forum topics was to explain the process of new standards, and it may need to be revisited for further discussion and more awareness in future. In summary, CRS members should get more involved in standards-making, and strengthen collaboration with NISO and other groups in future.