ALCTS Interest Group Reports: 2017 Midwinter Meeting

ALCTS committees and interest groups submit reports to the ALCTS Office after each conference. Following are the reports submitted by the ALCTS Division-level interest groups.

Electronic Resources Interest Group

The Electronic Resources Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Saturday, January 21, with 34 attendees who participated in a group discussion regarding advances in electronic resources management. Six discussion groups discussed a list of prepared questions for about one hour followed by thirty minutes of discussion among the entire Group.

Discussion included, but was not limited to the following questions:

  • As libraries continue to transition away from information services based on physical materials, how is electronic resources management changing?
  • How have libraries reorganized to manage electronic resources?
  • Are legacy print collections being replaced systematically with online journals and e-books?
  • What are some of the problems encountered in this transition?
  • How have information services been improved to serve users?

Attendees participated in small group discussions and then shared their answers with the Group. The same theme will also be explored in an upcoming ALCTS e-Forum to be held on March 28-29, 2017.

Submitted by George Stachokas

Linked Library Data Interest Group

The Linked Library Data Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Saturday, January 21, with 120 attendees. The program consisted of three presentations showing examples of linked library data in practice.

Xiying Mi and Bonita Pollock, Metadata Librarians at the University of South Florida (USF) Libraries, first presented “Linked metadata for 3D-models: From Dublin Core to Europeana Data Model.” They discussed how, when presented with a new digital 3D resource type and a desire to share their resources with Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), they developed a mapping to the Europeana Data Model (EDM). They created a crosswalk to reuse data from Sketchfab, a free and open worldwide community repository for 3D and Virtual Reality content, to describe faculty’s 3D models in their local USF digital collections repository. They also developed a mapping document and an XML template to map their existing metadata to EDM making it possible to share their collections more widely.

Maura Valentino, Metadata Librarian at Oregon State University Libraries and Press, presented “A Linked Data Metadata Scheme for Clothing Collections.” She described how she created a metadata schema for a historic clothing collection. By combining terms in the Oregon Digital metadata dictionary, terms from external vocabularies, and locally-created terms, Valentino was able to devise a metadata schema to describe the Oregon State University College of Business Cultural Textile and Apparel Collection according to digital library standards and user needs.

In the final presentation, “Collaborative Linked Data Project for BIBFRAME 2.0 for Library Information Spotlight,” Amanda Xu, Metadata Analyst Librarian at the University of Iowa Libraries, outlined a project aimed at exploring and putting into practice BIBFRAME 2.0. This project combined her initiative for Digital Library Penetration with BIBFRAME. A team of students and faculty from Indiana University and the University of Iowa collaborated on a project to explore BIBFRAME 2.0 and create a proof-of-concept application to see how libraries may use linked data to begin to meet users in their preferred digital spaces. The application, based on library catalog data transformed into BIBFRAME 2.0, allows users to explore “The Marriage of Figaro” resources in accordance with the BIBFRAME model.

All slides are available on ALA Connect:

Submitted by Anne Washington

MARC Formats Transition Interest Group

The MARC Formats Transition Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Saturday, January 21, with 100 attendees. The Group hosted a managed discussion to address the impact of new linked open data technology and standards on library catalog workflows within the integrated library system. The discussion encouraged participants to share their ideas, experiences, and questions around these topics in advance of an upcoming LITA program at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference entitled “What Happens to the Library in the Age of Linked Data?” It is anticipated that the discussion will help steer the content and topics of panel speakers for this upcoming program.

The discussion began with an introduction and comments from Co-Chair Debra Shapiro who discussed a recent linked open data project at the University of Wisconsin Library, to add “Knowledge Cards” to existing catalog records, by using linked data technology to pull in contextual data from various sources. Co-Chair Jeremy Bartczak then discussed a local BIBFRAME experimentation project at the University of Virginia Library. The floor was then opened for discussion. Topics of interest included:

  • Adding URI’s to MARC data (such as subject and name headings) using MARCNext. The potential for pulling already URI-enriched MARC data from vendors such as OCLC
  • The use of FAST vs. LCSH particularly because all FAST headings have linked data URI’s versus LCSH pattern headings which don’t always have them. Some endorsed the switch and were using tools such as the OCLC-hosted FAST converter or other programmatic solutions. Others were concerned that meaning was being lost in the switch from LCSH to FAST and that we could be committing ourselves to the abandonment of LCSH over the long term
  • The very different outcomes that are often highlighted for library linked open data: linking up siloed data across institutions with the goal of streamlining metadata workflows vs. potential search and discovery benefits of getting library data on the web
  • The copy cataloging workflow and how that changes in a linked data environment. What does this workflow look like? What kind of system architecture needs to be in place for this to be successful?

Submitted by Jeremy Bartczak

Metadata Interest Group

The Metadata Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 22, with 110 in attendance. The meeting began with a series of six lightning talks related to metadata: “Automating XML Remediation with Python’s lxml package and schematron” by Jeremy Bartczak, Metadata Librarian, University of Virginia; “Overcoming the Challenges of Implementing Standardized Metadata Practices in a Digital Repository” by Sai Deng, Metadata Librarian, University of Central Florida; “Using MarcEdit to Retool Existing MARC records of Paper Maps for Use in an Online Geoportal” by Niocle Smeltekop, Special Materials Catalog Librarian & Tim Kiser, Special Materials Catalog Librarian, Michigan State University; “Git a Grip: Using GitHub to Manage Your Metadata Application Profile” by Anne Washington, Metadata Librarian, University of Houston; and “Metadata Migration to Leverage Linked Data in an Institutional Repository” by Brian Luna Lucero, Digital Repository Coordinator, Columbia University.

The lightning talks were followed by a question and answer session with all of the speakers. We concluded with a business meeting, with reports from the Music Library Association, the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA), and the Metadata Interest Group officers.

Submitted by Michael Bolam

New Members Interest Group

The New Members Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Saturday, January 21, with 20 attendees. The group’s goal was to motivate new members of ALCTS to understand the benefits of membership in ALCTS, its structure, and ways to be involved in ALCTS. The discussion was focused on students and new professional who are considering membership in ALCTS.

Seven round tables were organized around topics that are of interest to library and information science students and new professionals such as: getting involved with ALCTS, being a new professional, building your resume, current trends in technical services, presenting at conferences, professional networking, and publishing with ALCTS.

Each round table had an ALCTS veteran who lead the discussion, and provided information about what ALCTS can offer to new members and how to be involved and participate. These breakout groups provided an opportunity for new members to speak with each other and ALCTS leaders, who facilitated the table topic and answered all their questions.

The winners of the ALCTS 2017 Trivia Contest were announced during the meeting.

Submitted by Carolina Delgado

Public Library Technical Services Interest Group

The Public Library Technical Services Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Saturday, January 21, with 13 in attendance. The group discussed a combined presentation and meeting with the Cataloging of Children's Materials Committee which would be a round table discussion of children's cataloging issues, to take place at the 2017 Annual Conference. There was an open discussion of challenges and successes in technical services departments of public libraries. The topics covered integrated library systems, material processing, and the value of linked data.

Submitted by Carey Hunt

Role of Professional Librarian in Technical Services Interest Group

The Role of Professional Librarian in Technical Services (RPLTS) Interest Group invited four speakers to the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on January 21 under the broad topic of collaboration in technical services. The speakers included:

  • Mary Konkel, Head of Technical Services, College of DuPage Library, “Picking Perfect Partners: Collaborations Within and Outside Technical Services”
  • Emily Sanford, Serials Catalog Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries, “Technical Services Outreach--Facilitating Conversations and Collaboration in Your Library for the Benefit of All”
  • Krista Schmidt, Research and Instruction Librarian/STEM Liaison and Kristin Calvert, Head of Content Organization & Management, Hunter Library, Western Carolina University, in “Technical Services and Public Services: Collaborative Decision Making”

An informal discussion on programming for the 2017 ALA Annual Conference, and discussion continues on e-mail and in an upcoming conference call in preparation for our summer program.

Submitted by Mingyan Li

Scholarly Communications Interest Group

The Scholarly Communications Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Saturday, January 21, with 100 attendees. The meeting included a panel discussion on the topic “Providing Long-Term Resources and Support for Open Access.”

The panel featured a distinguished list of speakers that included Lisa Macklin (Director, Scholarly Communications Office, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University), and Claire Stewart (Associate University Librarian for Research & Learning, University of Minnesota). The panel was prepared in coordination with Kevin Smith (Dean of Libraries, University of Kansas) who was not able to attend.

The two presenters discussed the various approaches academic libraries have taken to building campus support for open access (OA). The recent adoption by several campuses of open access policies demonstrates awareness and support for open access, but achieving sustainable support for campus OA initiatives can be challenging. The panel explored various issues surrounding the costs of building a sustainable scholarly communications program including redirecting staffing resources to newer areas such as public access support, research networking services, research data, institutional repositories, open educational resources, copyright education, and open publishing. The panel explored ways to fund open access publishing by campus authors, as well as implementing an open access collection development policy to more deliberately identify and add OA resources to library collections.

Submitted by Violeta Ilik

Technical Services Managers in Academic Libraries Interest Group

The Technical Services Managers in Academic Libraries Interest Group meeting at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Conference was held on Saturday, January 21. The meeting was attended by approximately 33 people. Meeting attendees had an opportunity to select one of the seven round table discussion topics that had been identified, prepared and facilitated by the interest group’s planning committee members. The format of the meeting allowed attendees to share ideas, network and learn from colleagues in an informal way. Topics for the round tables were:

Table 1: Evidence Based Acquisition Programs: Are They Really a Viable Alternative to DDA and Traditional Collection Development?

Table 2: Collaborating with Systems Departments

Table 3: The Role of Technical Services in Discovery Systems

Table 4: Formalizing the Way That We Select, Purchase, and Gain Access to Streaming Videos

Table 5: Creating a Technical Services Vision from the Larger Library Vision or Mission Statement

Table 6: Change Management and Reorganization in Technical Services

Table 7: Improving Technical Services Through "Self" Reflection: Attitudes, Abilities, and Actions

Table 1 had only one attendee and so was merged with Table 4. The group spent fifty minutes on discussions, and then each table reported out a summary of their conversations.

Chair Scott Phinney concluded the meeting by soliciting and receiving volunteers to serve on the interest group planning committee and nominations to serve as Vice-Chair following the conclusion of the 2017 ALA Annual Conference.

Submitted by Scott Phinney

Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group

The Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Monday, January 23, with 86 attendees. Three presentations representing academic, special, and public libraries, were delivered at the meeting.

“Remediation of Near-Match Data : Processing Bibliographic Records for Migration to a New ILS” by Margaret “Annie” Glerum, Florida State University Libraries

In the summer of 2017, Florida’s 40 public universities and colleges will be merging into a single integrated library system (ILS), a project overseen by the Florida Academic Libraries Services Cooperative (FALSC). As chair and member of the Cataloging/Authorities Working Group of the FALSC ILS Implementation Team, the presenter outlined automated processes for the analysis and remediation of data in MARC 500 fields to standardize “near-match” strings in order to minimize unnecessary duplication of equivalent information during the merge of university and college bibliographic records. The presenter discussed how to create sets of local data from participating institutions’ MARC records and load them into OpenRefine for processing. Processing steps for clustering the data and choosing the preferred version of the note were discussed in details during the presentation. The presenter also explained how to export the processed data back into MARC format for loading into the ILS.

“Metadata Madness: Overcoming Obstacles to Launch a Library Platform and Discovery Layer” by Marilyn White & Briget Wynne, NIST Research Library

The presenters shared their experience in implementing a discovery layer at a federal agency library involving massive cleanup of catalog and electronic resource management system (ERM) records of locally produced and subscription materials in both print and electronic formats. When the library tried to map catalog and ERM data to the Summon discovery service, they realized the dirty data, without any remediation, would turn the discovery experience into a nightmare. The presenters first outlined the problems they faced including changes of practices over time, and inaccurate and inconsistent data. Then they discussed various ways to extract data from the catalog as well as methods and tools to remediate the data. In particular, the presenters discussed different ways to clean up the data through MarcEdit.

“Doing Similar with Less” by Rob Nunez, Kenosha Public Library

The presenter talked about, as a newly hired department head, how he redesigned and streamlined workflow through adopting agile project management practices, automation by APIs, data-driven decision-making, and retraining of staff. With significant reduction in staff at the library, business could no longer be carried out as usual. The presenter first shadowed and interviewed individual staff to identify areas of weakness within the unit. After that, he has been utilizing various agile project management tools to prioritize and monitor progression of projects and tasks, as well as to improve communication between staff. Staff have started to be retrained in order to prepare them for new and changing workflows. An API has also been used to automate acquisition workflow. Reports are generated regularly to identify areas of concern and guide decision-making. Through these new practices, the presenter was able to turn a crisis into a series of positive changes.

Submitted by Lucas Mak