Midwinter PARS Interest Group Reports

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.

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

Preservation & Reformatting Section Interest Group Reports

Book & Paper Interest Group

Four speakers were invited from local Texas institutions to talk about their exhibition programs for special collection materials, and how they had addressed the challenges of doing so in this time of limited staff and budget resources.

Kathy Hillman, Baylor University shared the robust exhibit programming they have coordinated from a formerly dysfunctional hodgepodge of spaces. Key ingredients involved establishing good communication lines amongst the various campus entities, flexible exhibit calendars to take advantage of campus events, timed release of online exhibit content to encourage repeat virtual visits, and get a Starbucks in the building to bump viewership!

Todd Samuelson, Texas A&M, shared Cushing Library’s exhibit successes, focusing on having all staff rotate through exhibit project leadership, paper catalogues of major exhibits that continue to promote collections well past their de-installation and promote overall library outreach, and including the description of the conservation process as a key element of their exhibitions.

Elizabeth Schaub, Visual Resource Center at UT’s School of Architecture, shared a fantastic central wiki documenting all policies, checklists, steps for mounting, documenting and taking down exhibits, which streamlined the management of their more transitory student worker base. And Katie Pierce, Charles Moore Archives project manager at UT’s Alexander Architectural Archive targeted the challenges of bending Drupal to create a rich, contextual virtual presence in conjunction with a multidisciplinary physical exhibit, emphasizing the importance of early collaboration, deadline follow up, and maintaining a different conceptual approach to linking the physical and virtual worlds beyond simply mirroring one another.

Our plans for Annual at present focus on an updating of current health and safety guidelines for preservation/conservation staff and spaces.

Digital Conversion Interest Group

Time was allotted at the outset of the meeting to discussing programming for the Annual meeting of the Digital Conversion Interest Group (DCIG). Ideas for programming were solicited and discussed.

The four panelists [Karen F. Gracy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science of Kent State University; Linda Tadic, Executive Director, Audiovisual Archive Network; George Blood, President, George Blood Audio and Video; Jacob Nadal, Preservation Officer, UCLA Library] were introduced and presented on their respective topics.

We asked the panelists to address some aspect of moving image preservation and the task of digital conversion, and to focus on providing practical takeaways for the audience. Mr. Nadal spoke on his efforts to build up an in-house AV preservation program; Ms. Tadic spoke on integrated Digital Preservation efforts into a workflow; Mr. Blood spoke on his recent work investigating the JPEG2000 format and interoperability problems; and Dr. Gracy presented on her recent research that illuminates moving image preservation efforts in library and archives institutions.

Questions and discussion followed these presentations.

Digital Preservation Interest Group

Thirty-eight people attended the ALCTS Digital Preservation IG meeting, held on Sunday from 8-10am. Three presentations were followed by a brief business meeting.

Michelle Reilly, Head of Digital Services, University of Houston Libraries spoke about how she developed a simple strategy for collecting and archiving born digital materials. She drew on familiar and easily accessible tools like e-mail and page2rss to capture and gather the materials and then converted all documents to a single file format (PDF). She then organized materials into categories and developed appropriate workflows for each. Reilly worked with the archivist to document collection development decisions (e.g., how deep to go into embedded links?), file naming conventions, and task lists (i.e., who does what and when). Reilly currently applies metadata, wraps in METS, and performs checksums herself, but she is looking towards improving the workflow and providing access to the materials (they are currently just collecting, not storing in a repository).

Ann Marie Willer, Preservation Librarian, MIT Libraries, and Nick Szydlowski, IMLS Preservation Administration Fellow, NYPL, gave a brief report on an assessment project they undertook at MIT Libraries on the preservation status of the Libraries’ e-journal holdings. They based the study on the PEPRS project, which produced the Keepers Registry [1]. The goal was to see how many of the Libraries’ 45,765 e-journal holdings were represented in the 4 major repositories: Portico, Hathi, CLOCKSS, and JSTOR. The found that for e-journals acquired through aggregators, only 22 percent had a match in one of the repositories, while e-journals leased by title had a 72 percent match. Some of the outcomes of this study were reports and tools that staff in other library departments can use when negotiating with publishers and data they will submit for an RFI on Open Access articles by MIT researchers. They also found this project to be a opportunity to work cross-departmentally, especially with their selec tors, who expressed interest in helping put the pressure on publishers who did not archive their e-journals in preservation repositories.

Patricia Galloway, Professor at SLIS, UT-Austin, discussed the work of graduate students in her Problems in the Permanent Retention of Electronic Records course. Galloway stressed the need for digital archivists to know the materials, so she has emphasized a hands-on component of her class. Each class works together on preserving complex materials, such as e-mail attachments, multimedia tutorials, and video games. Students learn approaches to novel problems, like how to assess significant properties for complex formats, but they also gain practical experience in developing preservation infrastructure--working with DSpace and creating succession plans for stewardship of the materials they’ve preserved.

The presentations were followed by brief business meeting.

  • We’ve been meeting with related interest groups (digital conversion and intellectual access to preservation metadata in ALCTS PARS, and the new Digital Curation IG in LITA) to possibly coordinate some themed speakers for ALA Annual. Digital curation, in particular born digital and data curation. Focus on tools and practical approaches for smaller institutions. More info on this to follow as it develops.
  • There was a general call for program topic suggestions.
  • We’re looking for a new co-chair to start after ALA Annual. Michelle Reilly volunteered shortly after the meeting.

Intellectual Access to Preservation Metadata Interest Group

The Intellectual Access to Preservation Metadata Interest Group met January 21 at 4:00pm. Thirty-five people were in attendance.

Business meeting announcements:

  • The chairs are working with three related interest groups (Digital Conversion IG and Digital Preservation IG in PARS and the new Digital Curation IG in LITA) to coordinate a Digital Curation track for ALA Annual. Suggestions for topics or speakers are welcomed.
  • We are looking for a new vice-chair to be elected at Annual. Interested parties are encouraged to contact either Chair Meghan Bergin or incoming Chair Shawn Averkamp.

The business meeting was followed by a presentation by Joan Starr entitled “Dataset Metadata: Tools and Approaches for Access and Preservation.” Starr is EZID Service Manager and Manager of Strategic and Project Planning at the California Digital Library as well as the Chair of DataCite’s Metadata Working Group. DataCite is an international organization dedicated to enabling access to and preservation of research data through metadata standards development and identifier services. Starr gave a brief summary of the DataCite metadata elements but emphasized the importance of persistent identifiers, such as Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) and Archival Resource Keys (ARK), in the preservation of datasets. (DataCite and EZID are both services available to assist researchers and institutions in managing persistent identifiers for their data.) She also described some of the challenges that the data description community is dealing with in standardizing practices for versioning data and assigning identifiers to dynamic data. Next steps DataCite and EZID are taking to promote effective dataset access and preservation include: further development of DataCite Content Service, a web service that exposes DataCite metadata in multiple formats and a “tombstone page” service (EZID) providing last-known metadata for identifiers with dead target locations. Starr sees opportunities for libraries to a role in consulting with researchers on metadata management for datasets, pointing them to standards such as the DataCite schema and tools for easily applying and managing metadata.

Preservation Administrators Interest Group

Ann Marie Willer welcomed the PAIG attendees and mentioned that PARS membership growing and is an active group -- highest level of attendance at conferences of all ALCTS sections.

Julie Mosbo provided a Preservation Week update. Press kits and other marketing materials are being developed. New content is being developed, including on Facebook and Twitter pages. Language for these pages is being developed, using more broad language that is beneficial to institutions that don’t have preservation departments. The planned speaker’s bureau is also being developed, and is advertised on website as well.

The “@your library” preservation week website is aimed at the public. Themes during preservation week will focus on different material types. Both written and video content will be available.

Several presentations were made. Roger Smith, Head of the Preservation and Digital Library, UC San Diego, presented “Managing an Efficient Local Book Scanning Workstation.” Jacob Nadal, Preservation Officer for the UCLA Library, and Annie Peterson, IMLS Preservation Admin. Fellow at Yale University, presented “Scarce and Endangered Works: Using network-level holdings data in preservation decision making and stewardship of the printed record.” Julie Mosbo, Preservation Librarian at Southern Ill. Univ. at Carbondale, presented “Poor Man’s Mold: Preservation on a Penny.”

After a break, Ann Marie Willer, Preservation Librarian for the MIT Libraries and Nick Szydlowski, IMLS Preservation Admin. Fellow at the NYPL, presented “Preservation Assessment of MIT e-journal holdings.” We then heard from Brian Collins, Archivist in the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division of the Dallas Public Library and Tina Murdock, Music Librarian, Dallas Public Library on “Special Collections Challenges in a Public Library.”

Jenny Stone, Digital Asset Librarian at the Dallas Museum of Art, presented “Searching for Audio-visual File Storage Solutions.” Finally, Jeanne Drewes, Chief, Binding and Collections Care Division and Program Manager, Mass Deacidification Preservation Directorate for the Library of Congress, presented “Ongoing Developments at the Library of Congress.” Notes from the Library of Congress presentation include:

  • Deanna Marcum, director of library services has stepped down and retired. One of a number of key retirements at LC. Roberta Schaffer is now head of library services.
  • Budget cuts are being made and staffing loss occurring
  • In the conservation division, new program of documentation from analog to digital underway, providing digital files for all their conservation work.
  • In the preservation reformatting area they acquired a microfilm / fiche reformatting workstation
  • In binding: working with ABLE software and working with vendors. Still get 10,000 physical volumes per DAY at LC, so still lots of binding being done.
  • Mass Deacidification; Jeanne now overseeing, working with research and testing to do some long term testing of materials deacidifed, more than fifteen years worth of research files from the program, looking at some of the older files
  • Preservation Week: LC will do another preservation week program
  • New fellowship at LC, Mellon Fellow done in concert with CLIR, Digital Humanities Scholar. Looking at American Theater project and possibilities of digitizing that material.
  • Encourage people to apply for internships, some are paid but many not, always good to have LC on resume.
  • Worked with FEDLINK, summer preservation institute, opened up beyond federal employees.
  • Symposium on future of preservation available as webcast, along with topics discussions
  • Jeanne is editor of ALCTS paper series, Holly Robertson looking to do piece on continued preservation statistics. Also looking for authors to work on chapters in monographic series. Contact Jeanne for more information if interested in contributing, jdre@loc.gov.

Business Notes

  • Roger and George put out a call for folks interested in serving as PAIG co-chair, elections at Annual in Anaheim.
  • There was an update on the Fundamentals of Preservation Series; invite extended to PAIG colleagues to become one of the instructors. Course offered 5X year, 1 month each. There is a $300 stipend per session from ALA. Looking for folks with digital or AV reformatting. 2012 would be observation year, 2013 would see the volunteers formally join the faculty.
  • Bob Strauss reported that the reception for Bobby Pilette / Banks Harris Award will be at Annual, evening before the PAIG meeting. Asked for assistance in planning this session.
  • Andy Hart announced that he is running for ALCTS president; introduced himself
  • Ian Bogus: reported on progress of the Minimum Capture Guidelines Task Force, looking at what is available in the literature for recommended guidelines, looking to make minimum guidelines for sustainable digital files. Group is finishing a rough draft, should be finalized by annual. If anyone is interested in assisting this effort contact Ian at Penn.
  • NEDCC: Donia Conn: looking at major revamp of leaflets, call for peer reviewers of the leaflets, changing language to target small and midsize institutions who do not have preservation professionals. Review wanted to make sure that the publications still hit the target audience. Contact Donia if you are interested in participation, dconn@nedcc.org.

Promoting Preservation Interest Group

The PPIG meeting consisted of an update by Julie Mosbo of the activities at the Preservation Week booth in the ALA exhibit hall, a presentation by Carie McGinnis about the process of creating a patron care and handling video for special collections repositories at the Harvard College Library, a discussion amongst the audience of their plans for Preservation Week, and a review by Lauren Telepak of a recent AIC-sponsored preservation and conservation research trip to Cuba. The meeting ended with a call for volunteers for new co-chairs of the group.