v.54 no.3, July 2010
The Evolving Role of the Metadata Librarian: Competencies Found in Job Descriptions
By Myung-Ja Han and Patricia Hswe
Metadata librarian positions have been increasing in academic and research libraries in the last decade, paralleling the expanded provision of, and thus description of and access to, digital resources. Library literature has only begun to explore the significance and implications of this new, still evolving role. In the context of a twenty-first-century academic library, what knowledge and experience should a metadata librarian have? How different is the job of a metadata librarian from the job of a cataloging librarian? One way to determine the kinds of qualifications and skills being sought is to consult job postings for metadata librarians. The authors examined job descriptions dating from 2000 through 2008 that were featured in advertisements for both metadata librarians and cataloging librarians, to determine where these two roles converge and diverge, and what these commonalities and differences convey about the role of metadata librarians today.
Challenges and Possibilities for Collection Management in a Digital Age
By Tony Horava
This paper considers some of the major issues concerning collection management in academic libraries in a rapidly changing environment. Specifically, this paper reflects on core values, scholarly communication issues, acquisition activities, access and delivery issues, and innovation. The paper concludes with ideas for incorporating shifts in these areas into a sustainable, forward-looking approach to collection management.
Notes on Operations
Letting Go: Closing a Branch Library of the Health Sciences Library System, University of Pittsburgh
By Leslie Czechowski, Renae Barger, Malgorzata Fort, and Gretchen Maxeiner
Closing a branch library is a complex and often a painful activity, but one that libraries frequently face in difficult economic times. This case study examines a project that closed a branch library in an academic health sciences library system. The authors describe the sequence of steps followed, challenges encountered, and solutions implemented to complete the project. The authors document lessons learned that can benefit other libraries faced with a similar situation.
Mass Management of E-Book Catalog Records: Approaches, Challenges, and Solutions
By Annie Wu and Anne M. Mitchell
Electronic book collections in libraries have grown dramatically over the last decade. A great diversity of providers, service models, and content types exist today, presenting a variety of challenges for cataloging and catalog maintenance. Many libraries rely on external data providers to supply bibliographic records for electronic books, but cataloging guidance has focused primarily on rules and standards for individual records rather than data management at the collection level. This paper discusses the challenges, decisions, and priorities that have evolved around cataloging electronic books at a mid-size academic library, the University of Houston Libraries. The authors illustrate the various issues raised by vendor-supplied records and the impact of new guidelines for provider-neutral records for electronic monographs. They also describe workflow for batch cataloging using the MarcEdit utility, address ongoing maintenance of records and record sets, and suggest future directions for large-scale management of electronic books.