ALCTS Division Committee and Interest Group Reports, Annual 2013
Affiliate Relations Committee
The Affiliates Showcase program on June 29 was successful. It featured highlights from two programs presented at state library conferences:
- “Technical Services Assessment: A Survey of Pennsylvania Academic Libraries” presented by Rebecca L. Mugridge, Associate Director for Technical Services and Library Systems, University at Albany, SUNY and
- “The Anatomy of a Rules-Based Weeding Project” presented by Doug Way, Head of Collections and Scholarly Communications, Grand Valley State University and Patrick Roth, Head of Systems and Technology, Grand Valley State University.
There were thoughtful questions and discussion from the audience during Q&A. Susan Mueller has served as program chair for the 2012–2013 Affiliates Showcase, and was responsible for developing the concept in its inaugural year (2012). Shannon Tennant volunteered to be program chair for 2014, and Teressa Keenan volunteered to assist. Shannon will plan to identify a short list of possible presenters by Midwinter 2014, with input from committee members as they review the activities of their assigned affiliates.
The affiliate directory and the affiliate email list are close to being current; spring and summer officer transitions will be incorporated. Some affiliate contacts need to be verified. There are some new (or reorganized) groups identified as potential ALCTS affiliates.
Ideas for strengthening ALCTS-affiliates connection and improving two-way communication were discussed:
- hosting an ALCTS e-Forum and
- identifying and inviting state and regional presentations with potential for ALCTS publications, webinars, or Affiliates Showcase programs.
Budget and Finance Committee
At ALA Annual, the Budget and Finance Committee reviewed the FY13 budget as of May 2013. Overall, we should end the year with a net positive. The ALCTS revenue is 5.8 percent below budget. Membership dues and subscription revenue are below budget. Our membership revenue is projected to stay at 6 percent below budget by the year’s end. Continuing education (CE) revenue continues above budget through May with additional revenue expected from Annual Conference preconferences and additional Continuing Education (CE) events. Revenue from book sales is the highest in recent years. Direct expenses are 6.9 percent below budget as of May 2013. Most expenses are within budget with some exceptions.
In preparation for the Monday Board meeting, the committee reviewed the FY14 budget. The committee recommended and the Board approved the FY14 budget.
Emily McElroy reported on the ALA Planning and Budget Assembly. Janice Welburn, the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) liaison to ALCTS, visited the meeting. She provided an update from BARC.
The committee discussed the Emerging Leaders report on business and pricing models for LRTS.
Finally, the committee expressed its appreciation for Charles Wilt and the support he provides the Budget and Finance Committee.
Continuing Education Committee
The ALCTS Continuing Education Committee met from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, 2013. The committee discussed webinar ideas and schedules, the development of new web courses, and plans for posting e-forum summaries. Meeting and committee highlights include:
- Debra Spidal is rotating off the committee. She has been the marketing coordinator for all ALCTS CE events since the committee received its new charge in 2009. Debra won a presidential citation for her work on the committee.
- Including registration through September 2013 for this fiscal year, 453 attendees have registered for web courses. A Fundamentals of Cataloging web course is currently in development, and the committee is investigating a Fundamentals of RDA web course. Fundamentals of Acquisitions ran for the first time with its recently revised content.
- From August 2012 through May 2013, 2,825 individuals and 520 groups registered for webinars. Past webinar recordings are available on the ALCTS website and YouTube channel.
- The committee has been asked to develop Spanish-language offerings for international participants. We are creating a partnership with faculty at the National University of Mexico, and expect to have webinars available in 2014.
- There are more than 3,700 subscribers to the ALCTS e-forum discussion list, and 11 e-forums were held in the last year. The committee is investigating better ways to store the e-forum summaries, and plan to post them on ALA Connect and in the new ALCTS Institutional Repository.
- Revenues from ALCTS CE events remain strong, and are an essential part of the division’s positive financial outlook.
The committee discussed the year-end wrap-up of activities and donations. Chair Lenore England reviewed the final ALCTS Fundraising Tracking Spreadsheet (includes final donations only) for 2012–13. The total funds raised were $18,000 and the total (estimated) in-kind donations were $1,808, for a total of $19,808. This meant a funding increase of 206 percent over last year and including the in-kind donations, a 224 percent increase over 2012. Thanks, everyone, for a job well done! We had a great year. We will aim for this same amount in 2013–14 and potentially increase to $25,000.
The committee then discussed various planning matters for the coming year, 2013–14.
- With the departure of Beth Callahan, Lenore will need to appoint a new volunteer on the committee to serve as liaison for the preservation fundraising activities. Last year, Beth and Miriam Centano very successfully raised funds and this will be an important point person on the committee for the upcoming year.
- Our priority events to work on right away at our August 2013 meetings are for the ALCTS President’s Program Committee events, a symposium at Midwinter Meeting, and the President’s Program at Annual Conference.
- The committee will want to continue to thank potential and actual donors for their sponsorship. Many thanks to Melinda Flannery for speaking with the sponsors at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. It is important to cultivate good relationships with the vendors. This will help with future giving. To help with next year’s fundraising, Melinda obtained a list of exhibitors at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.
- Charles Wilt prepared a sponsorship opportunities handout for potential donors, which the committee will use at ALA conference and other events. Lenore England will work on making a virtual version of this handout.
- The committee will begin to contact foundations next year, as a good potential source of fundraising.
- At ALA Annual in Chicago, Lenore was invited to speak at the ALCTS Board meeting on Friday, June 20, 2013 for about twenty minutes. There were three main results of the discussion. ALCTS may begin another member fund drive or individual and corporate giving in the upcoming year. Carolynne Myall, now Past President of ALCTS, would like to create a culture of philanthropy at ALCTS. Lenore also suggested that ALCTS cultivate fundraising relationships with donors and suggested to Charles Wilt later that we might want to host a thank-you reception for donors.
International Relations Committee
In Chicago, the ALCTS IRC discussed plans for a program to be given in Las Vegas in 2014, currently titled “International Developments in Library Linked Data: Think Globally, Act Globally.” Chair David Miller met on Saturday with the ALCTS Program Committee; following that discussion, the intention is to develop this as a virtual preconference as well as an in-person program, with the possibility of a webinar to follow later in 2014. For the live program, two of three speakers are tentatively confirmed. The preconference will allow for a greater number of presenters and global points of view. The committee also began plans for a Midwinter forum on the topic of international copyright and digital rights management issues.
The committee plans to repeat a survey of ALCTS international members, which was first conducted in June 2010.
Two incoming committee members were welcomed following the new committee attendance protocol, and outgoing members were thanked for their dedication and fine work.
Leadership Development Committee
ALA 2013 program hosted by committee, “Developing NextGen Leaders in Your Library and the Profession.”
Chair orientation webinars, including plans for next round (spring 2014).
Other potential webinars the committee could offer: possibly present one based on 2013 program on nextgen leaders or propose a 2014 program on virtual leadership.
Emerging Leaders 2014: LD will select the ALCTS-sponsored participant, probably in August. LD will propose an EL project about the use of social media by ALCTS.
ALA 2014 proposed program on virtual leadership: committee members will host e-forum in September to get a sense of interest in the topic; discussed potential speakers to invite.
Library Materials Price Index Editorial Board
Narda Tafuri handed out off prints of the LMPI Editorial Board's 2013 article which appears in the Library and Book Trade Almanac, which is published by Information Today. Offprints of the article were left at the ALCTS booth in the exhibit hall for members and anyone interested to pick up.
Stephon Bosch reported that he and Kittie Henderson are moving forward with their plan to create a new U.S. Periodical Price Index which should appear in the next article. They are hoping to get five years of data. They will use 2009 as the new base year for the index.
Catherine Barr will send Narda a copy of the final version of this year's article as a Word document and will also send the final version of the Excel spreadsheets. Narda will distribute the articles to the compilers so that they can reuse those portions of the originals that they want for next year’s article. This will save time and help to establish conventions in format.
Catherine Barr will speak with Owen McDonnell at Information Today regarding offering an enhanced version of the book (Library and Book Trade Almanac) for an additional amount. If this is something that could be done without a lot of difficulty, ALCTS would get some kind of revenue from the sale of the enhanced version. Charles Wilt would need to be consulted about this.
George Aulisio will investigate the possibility of getting data on British ebooks to establish a new index for the next article.
The idea of surveying the ALCTS membership regarding use of the LMPI article and indexes has been tabled for now.
Library Resources and Technical Services Editorial Board
The agenda was reviewed, and Mary Beth Weber (LRTS editor) made a suggestion to change the order of the agenda to permit Emerging Leaders Team D to give their presentation first.
Emerging Leaders Team D and member guide Erica Findley discussed their project and report “Developing a Financially Sustainable Business Model for Library Resources and Technical Services (LRTS), the Official Journal of ALCTS.” The report generated a considerable amount of discussion, which was continued by Editorial Board members after the Emerging Leaders concluded their presentation and left the meeting. A number of points were raised and Mary Beth Weber will follow up on them.
Mary Beth Weber reviewed her midyear report, which was distributed in advance. A total of twenty-two papers were submitted for the period from January 12 to June 13, 2013. Two additional papers were submitted in June after the report was distributed.
Norm Medeiros (LRTS Book Review Editor) summarized his report, which was also distributed in advance. He also discussed a proposed book review volunteer form that he will make available in Connect.
Board members brainstormed ideas for papers and also reported on their activities to solicit submissions for LRTS. These are normally separate agenda items, but were combined due to lack of time. Suggested ideas included the changing role of the research library and its impact on technical services, and predatory publishers and open access.
The Membership Committee approved its minutes from its Midwinter meeting in Seattle. The minutes of that meeting have been posted in the committee’s space in ALA Connect.
Committee members Amy Baptist, Dracine Hodges, Lori Kappmeyer, and Karen Wilhoit ended their terms on the committee. The chair thanked them for their years of service on the committee and for the work that they did on behalf of the committee over the past few years. Committee member Brian Falato has been reappointed for a one-year term. His new term expires in 2014. Intern Ruth Elder has been appointed as a member of the committee. Her new term runs from 2013–2015. Deborah Ryszka ran her last meeting as chair of the committee.
New members appointed to the committee: Randy Roeder will be the committee’s new Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) representative. Art Miller will be the committee’s new Acquisitions Section (AS) representative. Matthew Carruthers will serve as the committee’s new intern, with a term that runs until 2014. Susan Wynne will assume the responsibilities of chair of the committee.
The committee discussed this year’s ALCTS 101, held on Friday, June 28, 2013, in Grant Park 12AB of the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. This year’s event was a collaborative effort between the Membership Committee and the ALCTS New Members Interest Group (ANMIG). The committee members who participated in this year’s ALCTS 101 thought it wasn’t as successful and as well-attended as previous 101 events. Most thought the reason for the low attendance was due to the location of the event. Because of the low turn-out, those new and potential members who did attend the event received personalized attention and were able to have lengthy conversations with ALCTS colleagues and experts.
Thinking ahead to next year’s ALCTS 101 in Las Vegas, the members of the committee offered suggestions for how to improve and enhance the ALCTS 101 experience. These ideas were recorded by the chair and were included in the committee’s formal minutes. The committee expressed concern over the time and potential location for next year’s 101 in Las Vegas. The committee would like to see the event held at one of the hotels in town or one of the conference hotels and not at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Having the event at the Las Vegas Conference Center at 7:30–9:30 p.m. of the Friday night of conference might again limit the number of attendees at the event. The location of ALCTS 101 determines whether guests will attend or not.
Incoming Chair Susan Wynne led the committee in a discussion on the options for meeting virtually before or after Midwinter in Philadelphia. The committee members present were receptive to the possibility of this idea.
The committee also discussed ways to promote ALCTS and membership in it through social media avenues. Several potential options were discussed: Facebook, LinkedIn, a virtual ALCTS 101 (in addition to the in-person event at annual conference), and other possibilities. Kady Ferris agreed to investigate the options and report back to the committee with her findings.
After the committee finished its scheduled business, some of its members joined the Leadership Development Committee for a discussion of the projects and activities they are currently working on. The Leadership Development Committee reported that it will be organizing and hosting a program on virtual leadership at annual conference in Las Vegas next year.
ALCTS Monograph Editorial Board
The ALCTS Monograph Board met with the following publications in progress.
- linked data
- shared repositories, print and digital
- disaster planning
one new topic was added to the publication topics for development:
- high density storage.
New board members will be needed as all current board members’ terms expire 2014. Some board members indicated interest in serving another term.
ALCTS Organization and Bylaws
The final status of the 2012–13 renewals is as follows:
- Program Committee
- Role of the Professional Librarian in Technical Services Interest Group
- Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group
- Cataloging and Metadata Management Section
- Planning Committee
- Technical Services Managers in Academic Libraries Interest Group
Postponed to 2013–14:
- Publications Committee
O & B also discussed other business:
- The ALCTS Interest Group: “Auto-Acquisitions/In Process Control Systems.” was dissolved.
- The new process for reviewing committees was discussed.
- The timeline.
- The responsibilities and process for the review. O&B will create a checklist to assist with the section process.
Up for review next year (2013–14) are:
Committees: Affiliate Relations, Continuing Education, Publications
Interest Groups: MARC Formats, Metadata, Publisher/Vendor Library Relations, Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries
The ALCTS Planning Committee discussed feedback from the ALCTS Board regarding the committee’s preliminary outline for a process to update the division's strategic plan. With the ALCTS Board’s encouragement, the committee simplified data gathering phases of the process in order to make the timeline more realistic. The first major step in data gathering will be a survey to seek member input on high level issues. The committee identified tasks and assigned responsibilities to develop and test the SurveyMonkey questionnaire with a target of conducting the survey in early September.
The Program Committee met at ALA Annual 2013 on Saturday, June 29 at 8:30 a.m. and on Monday, July 1 at 1 p.m.
Charles Wilt spoke to the committee about expectations for Annual 2014 in Las Vegas. He suggested choosing topics for programs that would appeal to wider audiences rather than those that are more specialized, as attendance may not be as high as it was in Chicago. The committee should also look for what will work well virtually.
The Program Committee received eleven program proposals before and during Annual, and met with potential planners for all of them over the course of two meetings. In addition, Genevieve Owens met with members and talked about the progress that has already been made in planning the Midwinter Symposium and the President’s Program for Annual 2014. Two proposals for preconferences were also submitted and discussed. There was a variety of topics including managing virtual backlogs, metadata beyond the library, international developments in linked data, data management and virtual leadership. In some cases, the committee suggested a virtual alternative or addition to the proposed presentations. The committee will be actively seeking proposals for virtual preconferences in the new year.
ALCTS sponsored two virtual preconferences, four in-person preconferences and twelve programs, including the President’s Program and the Affiliates’ Showcase, before or at the 2013 annual conference. Most of the programs and preconferences for which counts were received were well attended and some exceeded expectations.
Erica Findley, Chicago Program Subcommittee (co-chair) thanked Michael Levine-Clark (co-chair), and Anne Liebst (member). Erica reported that fifty-two people attended the Publication Committee’s program, “Publish with ALCTS!” held on Saturday, June 29 from 1–2:30 p.m. in McCormick Place. Presentations were made by the editors of the four division publications: Alice Platt (ALCTS Newsletter Online), Jeanne Drewes (ALCTS Monographs), Mary Beth Weber (Library Resources & Technical Services), and Pamela Thomas (z687: Creating the Future of Technical Services) plus Helene Williams, Editor (Sudden Selector Series), Christine McConnell, and Dina Giambi.
Publicity Efforts to Solicit Content from Chicago
Emails were composed and sent by the division editors, Christine, Dina and Publicity Subcommittee Member Scott Phinney to solicit content from the Chicago conference presenters at ALCTS programs and interest group meetings. Speakers were reminded of the ALA policy of the right of first refusal for publication for sixty days following the presentation. If the speaker is not contacted by a representative of ALCTS by the end of the sixty-day period, the paper may be released to other publishers. Some responses were received even prior to the conference.
Emerging Leaders Project
Erica gave an overview of the ALA Emerging Leaders project. The four ALA Emerging Leaders who chose the project developed by the Publications Committee submitted their report, “Business & Pricing Models Report for Library Resources & Technical Services,” to the LRTS Board and the ALCTS Board prior to Annual. ALA Emerging Leaders Team D members included Sara Arnold-Garza, Regina Gong, Nathan Hall, and Yasmeen Shorish with Erica as their member guide with assistance from Mary Beth. The Emerging Leaders met with the LRTS Board and the ALCTS Board at Annual Conference. Erica was at the ALCTS Board meeting as the Board Intern and she commended the Emerging Leaders on their work. Dina attended the ALCTS Board meeting on behalf of the Publications Committee. The ALCTS Board passed a motion to accept the report. A second motion was passed to refer the report to the Publications Committee and the ALCTS Budget & Finance Committee for comments by December 1, 2013.
Christine reported that two new ALCTS publications will be available this summer. Institutional Repositories: Benefits and Challenges edited by Pamela Bluh and Cindy Hepfer should be available in late July, and the latest volume in the popular Sudden Selector’s Guide Series, Sudden Selector’s Guide to Physics by Michael Fosmire, will be issued in August. There are plans for print-on-demand in the future.
ALCTS Resolution to Honor Peggy Johnson
On May 15, 2013, the Publications Committee approved a resolution to honor Peggy Johnson for her nearly ten years of leadership and service as Interim Editor and Editor of Library Resources and Technical Services. The resolution was also approved by the ALCTS Board of Directors. The resolution was read at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony in Chicago. Since Peggy was unable to attend the ceremony, the reading of the resolution by ALCTS President Carolynne Myall was recorded and sent to Peggy who will also receive the framed resolution.
ALCTS Division Interest Groups
Collection Management in Public Libraries Interest Group (ALCTS/RUSA)
This year's meeting attracted the most number of attendees ever. Public Libraries from Canada to San Francisco were represented as well as some vendors, including Baker & Taylor, Ingram and Library Journal.
The ALCTS co-chair position is open. Current Co-Chair Margaret Murphy offered to stay on if there are no volunteers who would like to chair this year.
- Trending down of circulation across the country, flat to reduced budgets, rising cost of materials, introduction of e-books.
- E-book budgets, new platforms, licensing developments, the readers first developments how to track the growth, e-book vs, print stats, how do the different libraries measure success in e-book circulation.
- collectionHQ: the coming improvements, how libraries are using this tool to buy manage and promote collections. Comparison to other similar tools like Encore, Decision Center, and some home-grown tools.
- Floating collections once again remains a very hotly discussed practice. Pooling of materials, lack of weeding creating unequal distribution of materials in heavily used branches, low use and empty shelves in low trafficked areas. Attendees reported the lack of statistics. There was talk of a book being written on floating by Wendy Bartlett.
- Survey of various streaming products on the market, Hoopla, OneClick, Freegal. Most libraries wished to stop buying DVDs/CDs, and move to a streaming model.
The key objectives of the group are to develop a community of practice within a demanding challenging area of library services that would share knowledge and expertise with it members.
The subject is gaining popularity; other groups on this topic in ALSC and ACRL, etc. Perhaps there could be an all-committee meeting to help members distinguish among the groups.
Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group
Fifty-one ALA members convened together at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center for the 2013 Annual meeting of the ALCTS Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group. In February 2013, Chairperson Wyoma van Duinkerken, Texas A&M University, and Chair-Elect/Vice Chair Lynn Fields, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, met virtually to discuss possible topics for the interest group meeting. After reviewing the current literature and reading through discussion list archives, we decided to choose four topics to discuss: implementing a PDA project, implementing RDA, working outside technical services/collaboration with public services, and the role scholarly communication plays in technical services.
After the table topics were selected, the interest group’s chair and vice chair began identifying and contacting specific librarians to see if they would be interested in acting as moderators for each table. John Ballestro, an acquisition librarian from the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale was asked to moderate a table discussing “Implementing a PDA Project.” Kavita Mundle, Assistant Catalog Librarian and Clinical Associate Professor from the University of Illinois-Chicago was asked moderate the discussion on “Implementing Resource Description and Access (RDA).” Stephen Brooks, the Head of Monographic Services from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was asked to moderate a table discussing “Working Outside of Technical Services/Collaboration with Public Services.” Sara Potvin, a metadata librarian from Texas A&M University-College Station, was asked to moderate a table discussing “Scholarly Communication and its Role in Technical Services.”
FRBR Interest Group
The ALCTS FRBR Interest Group (FRBR IG) held a managed discussion at ALA Annual on June 28 at 10:30 a.m. Approximately fifty people attended the session. All the immediate past, present and future IG chairs were present: Karen Anderson, Debra Shapiro, Jeremy Myntti, and Scott Piepenburg.
Session planners Shapiro and Myntti decided on a somewhat provocative title “Loving and leaving FRBR.” Shapiro began the session by giving a few short remarks to kick off the discussion. Shapiro’s general conclusion was that the FRBR information model has taken cataloging thought into interesting directions, but in the final analysis, FRBR is too rigid to bring out the most interesting relationships in bibliographic data. Requiring the cataloger decide if particular attributes of an information resource exist at the work, expression, manifestation, or item, level does not help achieve the FRBR user tasks of find, identify, select, and obtain. Shapiro also asserted that organizing Resource Description & Access (RDA) according to FRBR was a really bad idea, resulting in an unwieldy set of rules.
Initially the attendees discussed as a whole group, then broke into smaller teams to discuss FRBR-associated issues. One of the ideas that came out is that FRBR has improved catalog displays. There was general agreement that FRBR is too rigid for bibliographic data. There was also agreement that newer information models, like BIBFRAME, and the move to linked data formats for bibliographic data, will continue to move library descriptive practices farther from FRBR.
Library Code Year Interest Group (ALCTS/LITA)
Since this interest group is still very new, this session focused on the plans for the future. A brief report was given about the Python coding preconference the IG held on Friday; it was very successful. Discussion about a hackathon took up much of the time, with logistics and possibilities discussed for ALA 2014. Volunteers and new chairs took responsibility for figuring out the details and planning such an event. A new name was discussed but not decided on as of yet. The group also brainstormed ideas for the future: session on code to teach kids, coding a project during IG session to take home (like Black Girls COde example), creating a blog with brief posts about librarians who code. We have a strong sense of where this group fits into ALA and how it can best serve librarians, so it is off to a good start and it just needs to pick up momentum and see what develops.
Library Linked Data Interest Group (ALCTS/LITA)
The LITA/ALCTS Library Linked Data IG (LLD IG) held a managed discussion at ALA Annual 2013, on Sunday June 30th at 8:30 a.m.
To kick off discussion, we heard a short presentation from Jackie Shieh, Resource Description Coordinator at George Washington University (GWU) Library. GWU Library was a BIBFRAME Early Experimenter in late 2012. In her talk, titled “Bib Data Experiment: the GW Journey” Jackie began by presenting some of the things GWU staff did to learn about linked data in general. She then described BIBFRAME, RDF Serialization, how library legacy data can be expressed as RDF and, finally, how George Washington University actually produced RDF/BIBFRAME data from MARC records and what that data looked like.
After Jackie’s talk, we broke into groups for table-top discussions. After allowing about 45 minutes for talk, we heard report-backs from the different groups. The most prominent topics that surfaced were:
A librarian from University of Iowa says they are preparing for BIBFRAME and linked data by building local vocabularies; staff from the Minnesota Historical Society says local vocabularies are under discussion there as well
Desire for more sharing around that process—what’s done locally, what’s done nationally
There is a wide range of levels of institutional and individual knowledge about linked data—some participants still want introductory linked data training, while others have initiatives in progress
Desire for specifics—not linked data in general, but how to use BIBFRAME, what tools, what training
How do we create resource descriptions in BIBFRAME? What will the cataloger interface look like? What about creating other flavors of linked data, not as closely related to MARC as BIBFRAME?
How do we get MARC data into BIBFRAME, and still preserve the richness that exists, while not recreating MARC problems
Publishing linked data has many challenges. First of all, how do we do it? And what are we publishing? HTML pages with linked data embedded? RDF/XML? How do we produce different serializations for our graphs? Are there best practices to produce them and to upload them? Are some of the formats only for use by machines? How do we publish for machines?
Many of us have good data in relational databases but don’t know how to output linked data from the database. (but we think there’s an XML conversion in there)
Isn’t BIBFRAME just reinventing MARC?
How are BIBFRAME and RDA (or FRBR, or Schema.org, or XML) related? How do they work together?
Tools – do we need to write in native XML?
Karen Coyle’s Library Technology Reports, “Linked Data Tools: Connecting on the Web,” June 2012, v. 48, no. 4, good start; also the 2010 one on Semantic web— “Understanding the Semantic Web: Bibliographic Data and Metadata," January 2010, v. 46, no. 1.
Linked data and BIBFRAME and ILSs—both open source and proprietary—what is going on there? How can we be sure to be involved and get what we need/want?
The IG plans to submit at least one program proposal for the ALA 2014 conference—possibly for a preconference.
MARC Formats Transition Interest Group (ALCTS/LITA)
The ALCTS/LITA MARC Formats Transition Interest Group met on Saturday, June 29, from 3 to 4 p.m. The Interest Group hosted presentations addressing potential future transformations of MARC data from two different perspectives. Approximately eighty people were in attendance.
Kevin Ford of the Network Development and MARC Standards Office at the Library of Congress presented “On BIBFRAME Instance.” Ford began with a discussion of the principles behind BIBFRAME development and its linked data model: reliance on identifiers rather than strings, reduced ambiguity, decentralization of data, the ability to annotate or otherwise augment data, and flexibility for both cataloging and other uses. Ford then described efforts to identify BIBFRAME instances, which are individual resources that embody a work, based on the Library of Congress’s existing MARC bibliographic records. Instances are generated from MARC data based on varying combinations of ISBN and data in MARC 260 and 300 fields. Instances do not necessarily have a one-to-one correspondence with MARC records. Although there is some ambiguity, analysis shows that a relatively small number of LC’s MARC records are likely to represent multiple instances. Ford continued with a discussion of use cases for the level of atomicity provided by BIBFRAME instances, noting that it is better aligned with contemporary practice outside libraries and allows for improved linking, where instances can be easily combined under the work.
Brian Geiger, Co-Director of the English Short Title Catalog for North America, and Carl Stahmer, Associate Director of the English Broadside Ballad Archive, gave a presentation titled “Redesigning the English Short Title Catalog.” As part of a grant-funded project, ESTC is currently engaged in a process to convert their catalog from MARC to data-agnostic triplets. The ESTC’s existing MARC catalog does not allow the flexibility that scholars need to harvest and analyze the data, or to annotate it. Geiger and Stahmer emphasized that ESTC’s new approach is intended to be “agnostic” in order maximize flexibility, extensibility, and longevity. To this end, they are moving toward converting ESTC data to an event-driven RDF triplets model (which resembles BIBFRAME in some aspects). The outcome is that the data can be used to generate as many views as are desired; all that is necessary is the coding for machines to properly present each view of the underlying data.
Though specific approaches differ, the two presentations both highlighted the challenges of moving to a linked data model, as well as the great potential of linked data models to improve access and discovery.
Metadata Interest Group
The first part of the Metadata Interest Group meeting featured a presentation by Erik Mitchell entitled “Trends in Linked Data Adoption.” In this presentation, Mitchell shared the results of a content-analysis study of metadata services within LOD systems being developed or in use in LAM settings, those services being BIBFRAME, DPLA, and Europeana. He discussed and compared these three services at length, covering things like commonalities, unique features, and content rules, before ending his presentation with final thoughts and ideas for possible next steps. The slides for Mitchell’s presentation are available in ALA Connect: http://connect.ala.org/node/209107
The remainder of the meeting focused on business details. The MIG submitted two program proposals for ALA Annual 2014:
Proposal 1: Address metadata for open access materials and individual indicators that help users determine their access rights. Looking for proposals that would address OA vocabularies, faculty consultation, and education related to scholarly communication.
Proposal 2: Metadata beyond the library. This program would focus on consultation and collaboration with faculty, staff, and students. The officers are specifically looking for examples of successful metadata consultation in the form of training sessions, workshops, and boot camps. It does not necessarily need to be focused on the data management hot topic. Instead, they are thinking pretty broadly. Metadata, outreach, and reference librarians could be presenters.
Reports were provided from each of the liaisons, including LITA, CC:DA, and MLA.
Elections for MIG officers were completed. The results were:
- Vice-Chair (July 1, 2013 to July 22, 2014): Jennifer Miller, Assistant Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services/Metadata Coordinator, Rice University
- Program Co-Chair (July 1, 2013 to July 22, 2015): Santi Thompson, Metadata Coordinator, University of Houston
- Secretary (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015): Steven Folsom, Discovery Metadata Librarian, Cornell University
There was open discussion on ideas for Midwinter presentations. Two popular topics were tools for librarians: what is available, how are they used, actual demos, and a Linked Data “hackathon.”
New Members Interest Group
The New Members Interest Group, in conjunction with the Membership Committee, hosted the ALCTS 101 event on Friday evening of the conference to introduce ALCTS new members and potential new members to the organization. After short remarks from our ALCTS President Carolyn Myall and President-Elect Genevieve Owens, we moved into the main event of the evening: Speed Networking! Five tables were set up, each hosted by a representative of an ALCTS section, as well as tables on publishing, how to get involved in ALCTS, and Resume Help from veteran ALCTS members. Each new member had the chance to network at different tables for twelve minutes before moving on to a new table. They also had the opportunity to relax with a piece of cake between table changes. Once we completed the networking portion of the evening, we handed out prizes to attendees and closed out the formal part of the event.
The New Members Interest Group then met for our business meeting and formally transferred the group’s leadership. We also received several names of new members interested in being a member of the group in the next year. The attendance was much less than we anticipated. We contribute this to the location and the timing of the event and hope to figure out a better location and time next year.
Public Libraries Technical Services Interest Group
A guided group discussion was held about creating job descriptions for Technical Services positions. We discussed what job duties and skills are essential. What skills can be taught vs. what skills are needed prior to hire? What level of education is asked for? A lively discussion ensued with great comments and feedback from all the attendees.
Lori Thorrat volunteered to be incoming vice chair for 2014.
Publisher/Vendor/Library Relations Interest Group (PVLR)
Approximately sixty people attended the Publisher/Vendor/Library Relations Interest Group session on Monday, July 1 at ALA Annual in Chicago, with a panel reflecting on the theme “Friends With Benefits: Assessing Publisher/Vendor/Library Relationships.” Panelists included Wendy Shelburne, Electronic Resources Librarian at the University of Illinois, Regan Harper, Director of Member Programs, LYRASIS, and Lenny Allen, Director of Institutional Accounts, Oxford University Press.
Wendy Shelburne spoke first, noting that she was a strong believer in communication, in both directions, when working with vendors and publishers. She commented that in her frequent contact with vendors and publishers, good communication was a requirement for a successful business relationship, as well as follow-through—keeping promises made. Poor communication can have consequences for continuing business relationships. Regan Harper spoke next, remarking that she had always thought of herself as a librarian, not a vendor, because she sees her role as advocating for librarians, not as a sales agent for publishers. Because LYRASIS is a member organization, Harper felt that her role was always to work first for the interests of their members, which in her mind minimized her role as “vendor” despite the fact that LYRASIS acts as a distributor and reseller on behalf of publishers in addition to offering continuing education and other services. Oxford’s Lenny Allen rounded out the conversation, with an overview of University Press Scholarship Online (UPSO), a collaborative effort to bring University Press scholarship online through Oxford’s platform. Allen noted that Oxford University Press became a vendor with UPSO, and with that a number of shifts had to be made as they built this new business. These included the development of new workflows, addition of new resources, and diversion of some existing resources. Oxford was now working with publishers that may have thought of them as competitors, but were ready to enter into this program for a number of reasons—ultimately with e-content the University Presses were stronger together to the library market than they would be on their own. However, each university press maintains its own identity in the site, and the collaboration works, Allen said, because University Presses share the same mission and follow the same peer review process.
Role of the Professional Librarian in Technical Services Interest Group
Co-Chair Allison Yanos, Baylor University, welcomed the fifty-one attendees to the session and introduced her co-chair, Charles McElroy, Florida State University, and the co-vice chairs, Betsy Appleton, George Mason University, and Stephanie Rodriguez, University of Houston.
The session consisted of two presentations. The first was given by Karen Rogers-Collins, Electronic Resources and Serials Librarian, and Rhonda Fowler, Government Documents and Public Services Librarian, both at Eastern Michigan University. Their topic was “Do Traditional “Technical Services” Librarians still exist in Academic Libraries?” The second was given by Roy A. Ziegler, Associate Dean of Collections, and Ruth S. Ziegler, Authorities/Catalog Management Librarian, both at Florida State University. Their topic was “What Technical Services? How to Manage and Adapt to BIG Change!”
Rogers-Collins and Fowler explored new job titles/postings seen on discussion lists and library association sites to discern whether relatively new “flashy” job titles and descriptions are associated with new expectations, or if the duties and responsibilities associated with these positions are the same as they have always been. They found that expectations have broadened in these job descriptions, and professional technical services librarian descriptions are beginning to include more public service-oriented duties, such as instruction and reference. Another trend was that technical services position descriptions were more likely to include supervisory responsibilities than public services position descriptions. One of them most surprising finds from their exploration was the abundance of “Emerging Technologies Librarian” positions: there was very little overlap of duties within the job descriptions with these titles; although the title is becoming more common, there is little agreement regarding what an Emerging Technologies Librarian’s duties should be.
Ziegler and Ziegler explored the dissolution of the Technical Services Division at Florida State University in the second presentation. In 2012, based on changing organizational priorities, Florida State University Libraries dissolved Technical Services and reset priorities for these departments and units in their new divisions. Their presentation covered the organizational realities, steps in planning, the need to incorporate greater efficiencies, and cessation of activities that did not have a direct improvement on the user’s experience. In the end, Ziegler and Ziegler reported that the changes have been beneficial to the entire organization.
Organizational realities included that Technical Services duties have been fulfilled at an off-site facility for nearly twenty years—a facility that is now located in the middle of lucrative real estate developments. Staffing levels from 2004–2013 dropped from 52 to 24 in Technical Services, as the staff in the University Libraries dropped from 164 to 129 in the same time period. Format migration from print to electronic and an increase both productivity tools/efficiencies in technical services led to a decrease in the amount of staffing needed to complete technical services duties. Concurrently, the University Libraries experienced an increase in public service needs.
Good planning for this major change required no surprises for any staff members; transparency and communication were imperative for this to be a successful transition. Adequate training of staff for new duties was also necessary for success.
Following the two presentations, all four presenters fielded questions from the audience. Additionally, volunteers for new vice-chairs for the 2013-2014 year were successfully solicited: Harriet Wintermute, Cataloger/Metadata Librarian at Florida A&M University, and Helen Goldman, Monographic Services Coordinator for Auburn University Libraries will serve as co-vice-chairs. Discussion for ALA Midwinter programming will occur online between the chairs and vice-chairs.
Scholarly Communications Interest Group
The ALCTS Scholarly Communications Interest Group featured two presentations. A lively Q&A session with the approximately seventy attendees followed each presentation.
Rebecca Bryant, Director of Community, ORCID, presented “Opportunities for improving research information using ORCID”. ORCID is an international, interdisciplinary, not-for-profit, community-driven organization that provides an open registry of persistent unique identifiers for researchers and scholars. ORCID also automates linkages to research works by embedding identifiers in research workflows. In the presentation, Rebecca discussed the opportunities and benefits of university integration with ORCID, shared current integration user cases at universities and funding agencies, and provided information about how institutions can become ORCID members.
Charles Watkinson, Executive Group, Library Publishing Coalition (LPC), Director, Purdue University Press, and Head of Scholarly Publishing Services, Purdue Libraries presented “The Library Publishing Coalition Project: A two-year project led by over 50 academic libraries dedicated to advancing the emerging field of library publishing.” The Library Publishing Coalition Project is a two year program that began in January 2013 to build a collaborative framework to support the development of library publishing services in academic libraries. In 2012 a project sponsored by IMLS, “Library Publishing Services: Strategies for Success,” reported that 55 percent of academic libraries of all sizes were either developing or implementing library services (including 79 percent of ARL libraries). It identified major needs for the development of best practices, collaboration to create community-based resources, and formalization of skills and training. The LPC project represents the response of a group of over fifty North American libraries to these recommendations. Programs currently under development include the publication of a directory of library publishing programs, the first of its kind; the organization of an annual meeting, to be first held in 2014; the creation of an online repository for sharing useful publishing tools, workflows, and documents; and the deployment of a targeted research agenda. The presentation gave an overview of library publishing activities as currently understood, described how the LPC project fits into this landscape, and provided an update on progress so far.
The presentation slides are available on ALA Connect: http://connect.ala.org/node/209105
The presentations were followed by a business meeting during which future programming ideas were solicited.
Technical Services Managers in Academic Libraries Interest Group
Forty people participated in six roundtable discussions led by members of the Technical Services Managers in Academic Libraries Interest Group steering committee. The general theme of the meeting, “Fast and Sleek: Developing Solutions for Technical Services Challenges,” was organized around the following topics: broadening work responsibilities in an interdepartmental context, professional development activities for technical services staff, using benchmarks to fine-tune technical services departments, higher performance in acquisitions and serials, the sleek new organization, and the mandate for continuous adaptation in technical services.
Table 1 (Facilitator Melinda Reagor Flannery) discussed broadening work responsibilities in an interdepartmental context and related the situation in their own libraries. Common threads mentioned by participants: reorganization and downsizing of departments, the addition of new responsibilities around electronic resources and digitization efforts, the outsourcing of cataloging, and the continuing challenge of balancing knowledge of historical workflows and responsibilities with newer ideas and skill sets.
Table 2 (Facilitator Stephanie Gehring Rodriguez) discussed the importance of continuing professional development activities for technical services staff. While a barrier can be the lack of institutional funding, free opportunities are often available, in the form of webinars, professional reading, in-house training, etc. The question of balancing professional development with the daily work load was also discussed, along with whose responsibility it is to find the opportunities and whether there should be incentives to staff to be involved in professional development.
Table 3 (Facilitator Teressa Keenan) discussed using benchmarks to bring about improvement, how to track the work and success of staff who work behind the scenes and not directly with patrons. An open discussion covered such points as: decisions from administration are now data-driven; statistics are kept for more than cataloging; raw statistics to gauge productivity may be difficult to interpret, e.g. original versus copy cataloging or electronic resources vs. print. The group also focused on the questions of benchmarking from time spent on tasks, quotas, the impact on statistics of outsourcing simple work, and effectively communicating statistical data to administration.
Table 4 (Facilitator Amy Lana) discussed acquisitions and serials, in particular, the shift in journal publishing from print to e and the attendant issues of duplication of format and effort, the possible political ramifications of weeding, the need to analyze print serials for usage and cancel where practical, the need to take more advantage of vendor services if they are of high enough quality, and the benefits of adopting an ERM as well as the change in staff duties this transformation has caused.
Table 5 (Facilitator Roberta Winjum) discussed the sleek new organization and its implications for technical services. Topics included loss of staff and institutional memory, reorganization, blended positions, staff inflexibility and resistance to change, the continuing shift from print to online, next gen systems and the implications of all these changes for technical services staff. Participants also discussed the need to approach hiring with more emphasis on collaboration and flexibility and less on specific skills (we will need to train anyway).
Table 6 (Facilitator Anne Liebst) discussed the mandate for continuous adaptation in technical services, centering on the re-allocation of space, equipment, and furnishings in technical services departments. Since the very nature of technical services work is changing participants agreed that a place was needed to accommodate team work while preserving a good work space for future staff while accommodating space for staff needing quiet work areas.
Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group
The panel discussion focused on the implementation and measurable effects of cataloging efficiency workflows. Five speakers each gave a 10–15 minute presentation, then opened the floor for questions. The speakers were:
Sarah Simpson, Technical Services Manager at Tulsa City-County Library, gave a general overview of the cataloging challenges faced by a public library, and the means by which she and her institution increased the speed of getting new materials to the shelves.
Alayne Mundt, Resource Description Librarian at American University Library, talked about the benefits and challenges of implementing a checklist for shelf-ready materials.
Cheryl Martin, Acting Head of Metadata Access at Western University (London, Ontario), emphasized that, after choosing to accept vendor cataloging for most new print materials, professional catalogers were freed up to work on describing electronic resources, and other pressing issues.
Jessica Grzegorski, Senior Cataloging Projects Librarian at The Newberry Library, gave an overview of the management of a grant-funded cataloging project, in which French-proficient paraprofessionals were trained to catalog a backlog of hand-press era French pamphlets.
Martha McTear, Special Collections Cataloging and Metadata Librarian at the Addlestone Library, Charleston College, also presented on a cataloging project, especially regarding the importance of project planning to increase cataloging efficiency.
ALCTS Transforming Collections Microgrant Program
The ALCTS Microgrant Program was approved by the Budget & Finance Committee for a second year. Lisa German chaired the ALCTS Transforming Collections Microgrant Program subgroup. Subgroup members included Christopher Cronin, Kady Ferris, Connie Foster, and Derrick Hiatt. The Microgrant Program subgroup reviewed and revised as appropriate proposal guidelines and the application process based upon the previous year’s group experience.
The ALCTS Transforming Collections Microgrant Program was announced with a posting to the task force’s webpage and by an e-mail blast to the ALCTS membership. The Microgrant proposal submission deadline line was set for May 15, 2013 with funding to begin July 2013. Four proposals were received and reviewed.
After careful consideration the ALCTS Transforming Collections Task Force awarded a $1,500 microgrant to Hilary Robbeloth and Katie Henningsen from the University of Puget Sound for their Abby Williams Hill Digital Project.
“The ALCTS Transforming Collections Microgrant will allow the University of Puget Sound to increase access to the Abby Williams Hill collection, 1861–1943, by digitizing and providing detailed metadata for a selection of documents, paintings, diaries and ephemera. Using the interactive web-based mapping tool Viewshare, and items from the Hill collection we will provide users with a visual and innovative way to study Hill’s life and activities. Through the use of interactive, historical mapping, we will employ digital humanities methods and tools to provide access to the Hill collection while demonstrating new and innovative ways of approaching scholarly research by marrying technology and archival and special collections material. This will greatly increase access to the Archives & Special Collections and inspire faculty and students to undertake similar projects with Puget Sound’s unique collections. We will use the completed project to facilitate a dialogue on campus regarding the use of archival collections (both physically and digitally) to enhance undergraduate teaching and learning.
Viewshare is a free platform developed and supported by the Library of Congress. It is designed to allow users to interact with cultural heritage digital collections through maps, timelines, facets, and tag clouds.
ACLTS Transforming Collections e-Forum Subgroup
Sarah Simpson chaired the ALCTS Transforming Collections e-forum subgroup. Subgroup members included Bleue Benton, James Dooley, Meg Manahan, and Reeta Sinha. Sarah provided an update on a proposed e-forum on transforming collections budgeting issues for public libraries.