E-Forum discussions from ALCTS

Contact: Charles Wilt
Executive Director, ALCTS

For Immediate Release
November 11, 2008

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is presenting a continuing electronic discussion forum (E-Forum).

These three-day moderated electronic discussion forums provide an opportunity for librarians to discuss matters of interest through the ALCTS e-forum discussion list. Registration is necessary to participate.

To register go to: http://lists.ala.org/sympa, click on ALCTS (spelled out) under the ALA Division heading, then choose alcts-eforum@ala.org. A login and password are required to register. Instructions for obtaining a login and password may be found on the list homepage. Participation is open to anyone.

Next week’s discussion:

Nov. 18-20, 2008
“Collecting Free Web Resources: Selection, Archiving, Metadata Access” moderated by
Kate Harcourt, Melanie Wacker and Alex Thurman, Columbia University. Discussion will begin at 10 a.m. Nov. 18 and conclude at 6 p.m. Nov. 20.

Many libraries are beginning to go from including records for selected free Web resources in their catalogs to more literally 'collecting' these resources through Web archiving. This forum is an environmental scan to determine how libraries are selecting Web resources for archiving, what harvesting tools they are using and particularly how they are achieving bibliographic control of their archived Web content. Specifically, how are libraries developing procedures for the generation, enrichment and expression of metadata for description, access, preservation and management of this type of collection.

Contribute your ideas and practices on:

  • Your library’s workflow for collecting Web content.
  • Who selects Web content and does selection criteria differ from criteria used to collect similar resources in print.
  • What harvesting tools do you use? What are the strengths and weaknesses of those tools?
  • Does your library create metadata for archived Web resources, or do you rely on keyword searching and/or metadata provided by your web harvesting tool or vendor, such as Internet Archive?
  • Using descriptive metadata for discovery? Which schema do you use? What prompted you to make that choice? Is some metadata captured automatically and, if yes, what type? (E.g. technical or descriptive)
  • Are you integrating cataloging records for archived resources into your traditional library catalog and/or OCLC? How do you determine the level of cataloging for archived web resources? Do you track versions of archived websites in metadata records? Who decides how often a website is harvested for archiving?
  • Do you use controlled access points for names? Do you provide subject access? Do you use a controlled vocabulary such as LCSH and/or classification?

Future E-Forum topics:

Dec. 3-5, 2008
“Institutional repositories”, a pre-Midwinter Symposium discussion moderated by Pamela Bluh, University of Maryland.
Many libraries have joined the movement to create an institutional repository, providing a mechanism to acquire, maintain and preserve scholarly and other material of lasting value to the institution. The discussion will focus on the challenges, pitfalls and promises of establishing and supporting institutional repositories, as well as the legal and access issues.

Jan. 14-16, 2009
“Library budgets and impact on support for staff development and professional travel” moderated by Pamela Bluh, University of Maryland.
Cuts in library budgets often mean cuts in travel and profressional development funds for library staff. What can you do to continue to support your staff in times of budget cuts? What alternatives are there to help your staff get the professional development it needs? Share your ideas and thoughts. Find out how others are coping.

Febr. 10-12, 2009
“Disaster Preparedness” moderated by Walter Cybulski, National Library of Medicine, and Nancy Kraft, University of Iowa.
With the recent disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the flooding in Iowa and other events, disaster preparedness has become an increasingly talked about planning necessity. No library can be without a well crafted preparedness plan to deal with and recover from a natural disaster.

February, 2009
“Breaking down the silos: planning for discovery in Library 2.0”, a post-Midwinter Symposium discussion moderated by Dina Giambi, University of Delaware.
Libraries today face many choices when trying to optimize resource discovery for their patrons. Much of our information resides in separate silos, yet patrons want an integrated, intuitive and interactive discovery experience. How can libraries evaluate the options: next generation catalog interfaces, federated search engines, link resolvers? How do they choose which will be the best fit?

Additional topics and dates for future discussion will be announced soon. Suggestions for other topics are welcome. Contact Dina Giambi, dinag@udel.edu, if you would like to moderate a discussion.

ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.