Discussion and Interest Groups Report on Conference Activities in Chicago

The reports below are summaries of the activities that took place during meetings of ALCTS discussion and interest groups held during Annual conference 2005 in Chicago. Included are groups whose reports were received by the editor as of August 1, 2005. For information on discussion groups not shown here, see the ALCTS Organization page on the ALCTS Web site.

Division | Acquisitions Section | Cataloging and Classification Section | Collection Management and Development Section | Preservation and Reformatting Section | Serials Section

Division Discussion Groups/Interest Groups

LITA/ALCTS Authority Control in the Online Environment IG
Six speakers discussed various aspects of XML and authority control.

Sally H. McCallum (Library of Congress) discussed characteristics of XML that make it useful for encoding metadata schemas, including extensive hierarchical capability; compatibility with XML-based tools, protocols, and other data structures such as METS; flexible internal and external linking; and tagging freedom, though this freedom needs to be constrained by rules and conventions for the sake of interoperability. MADS is an XML schema for authorities, derivable from MARC authorities and depending on the XML bib format MODS for some of its substructural definitions. Development of the MADS schema is ongoing.

Diane Boehr, (National Library of Medicine) discussed NLM’s use of XML to provide integrated authority control across a number of NLM databases. Local modifications to NLM’s MARC authority records have enabled staff to include labeled headings and references belonging to non-AACR2 databases. Converting the data to an XML name authority schema enables the creation of XML authority files compatible with each database and capable of linking to heading forms in the other databases.

Louisa Kwok (HKUST Library) described HKUST’s development of a name access control file in XML, following the model of the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF). Records representing three levels—the person, the names used by the person, and the forms of each of those names—correspond roughly to the FRBR work-expression-manifestation hierarchy. The file can link different name forms together without imposing the use of a particular preferred form across all files.

Kevin S. Clarke (Princeton University) discussed the XML schema XOBIS developed at Lane Library, Stanford University. The XOBIS project analyzes cultural knowledge metadata into ten principle elements with defined attributes and relationships, and uses XML’s internal linking capabilities to maintain records for all the entities in a single coherent structure.

Thomas B. Hickey (OCLC) described OCLC’s research into using XML, OAI metadata harvesting protocols, and ERRoLs (Extensible Repository Resource Locators) to provide flexible, distributed access to authority data. ERRoLs make it possible to link between Dspace repositories and name authority files. XML can assist with assigning ranking values to authorized names for improved search results. The VIAF project enables efficient linkages between national authority files using XML tools and conventions.

Joanna Yi-hang Pong (City University of Hong Kong) discussed the HKCAN project, which has constructed a centralized database of XML authorities to link between headings in different catalogs, languages, and scripts for seven Hong Kong academic libraries. HKCAN enables users to begin a search in one file and transform the search terms to match the authorized form in other files.
Automated Acquisitions/In Process DG
The topic was “Acquisitions: poor relation in the RFP process?” Acquisitions is frequently under-represented among the decision makers considering a new integrated system. It can be viewed as a back-room process and less important in the public face that the system presents. Participants noted that it is important for acquisitions staff to build coalitions with the decision makers, emphasizing the importance of acquisitions functions in managing budgets, collections, and maintaining audit control. Be sure that decision makers understand that library staff are also users of a system, and that it is those users who provide the content for the public. The RFP process is expensive for both the library and the systems vendor. It is therefore critical that both parties understand a common terminology.

The systems vendors in the audience noted that the content if an RFP is far too often based on a library’s existing system, and structured in such a way as to prevent the vendor from really showcasing what their system can do. Presenting the RFP as problem statements, or as one member of the discussion group suggested, a series of inputs and outputs, makes it possible for the vendor to describe the efficiencies a system offers, rather than trying to respond to a preconceived workflow. Acquisitions professionals can help prepare the RFP by analyzing what data elements are needed to accomplish particular tasks, and by considering the data migration questions and issues of interfaces with financial systems. One attendee offered that it was essential also to develop a way to score the responses to an RFP. Consider questions such as the definition of mandatory, the relative points assigned to various components of a system, and to the price of the system.

Another discussant noted the irony of the emphasis on the public interface of the ILS precisely at the point when the OPAC is becoming increasingly secondary in the resource discovery process. Development efforts for ILS’s should be focusing on the “back end” in order to enable it to support the delivery of content. The future of the ILS is not in the OPAC.
Catalog Form and Function IG
Mary Roach spoke about setting up a storage facility and the record implication in a Voyager catalog, Walt Walker showed how to easily request off-site storage items in an Innovative Interfaces catalog, and Jan Robertson told us about the display of storage items in a Dynix Horizon catalog. Laura Akerman presented how the Richcat Project will enrich catalog records with added information, and Sarah Cohen presented “Scoping at a Small College? One School Sorts It Out” concerning whether catalog scoping is appropriate for a small college’s library catalog. Each presentation was followed by questions from the audience.
Creative Ideas in Technical Services DG
Participants chose from five topics for facilitated discussions at round tables. Brief reports on each table’s discussion were given at the end.
  1. Ceasing Check-in of Serials.
  2. Putting Materials in Remote Storage.
  3. Gathering Collection and Usage Statistics.
  4. Collections Budget: Allocating and Reallocating Money to Subjects and Other Fund Accounts.
  5. Evaluating Technical Services Librarians: Regular Evaluations and Evaluations for Promotion and Tenure.


Electronic Resources IG
Many of us in the profession, particularly in cataloging, have begun to ask ourselves some questions about the state of the online catalog and cataloging activity in the age of the Internet. Is there still a place for traditional cataloging? We invited our 3 panelists to explore these issues. David Reser (LC) discussed access-level records; Chip Nilges (OCLC) discussed Open WorldCat Program; and Adam M. Smith (Google) discussed various initiatives including Google Print and Google Scholar. They were followed by questions and answers from the 175 participants in attendance.
LITA/ALCTS MARC Formats Interest Group
MFIG hosted a forum to share information about and discuss upcoming implementations and new applications for the MARC Format for Holdings (MFHD) by OCLC and others. The forum was entitled “Building a Holdings Architecture for Tomorrow” and had three main discussion leaders: Linda Gabel, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.; Nathan D.M. Robertson, Johns Hopkins University; and Eugene Dickerson, National Library of Medicine. Gabel described OCLC’s current plan for migrating the Union List service from the Union List Subsystem using Passport, and converting the Local Data Records to conform to the MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data. She noted that OCLC’s implementation is not restricted to serials, and she also presented some of the ways in which OCLC is planning to build use of the data into its services.

Robertson gave a brief overview of the work of NISO/EDItEUR—Joint Working Party ONIX for Serials. He described the work of the Coverage subcommittee in developing an XML structure for the integration of coverage information from suppliers (publishers, aggregators, subscription agents, etc), to ILS systems which use the MFHD.

Dickerson gave a brief announcement of the National Library of Medicine’s plan to partially implement the MARC Holdings format for its DOCLINE/SERHOLD interlibrary loan system.
Networked Resources and Metadata IG
Managed discussion on Cataloging Cultural Objects, a follow up to the ALCTS program on Saturday, cosponsored by NMRIG. Ann Whiteside, Director of the Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library at the University of Virginia and one of the editors of Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO), led a lively discussion of this new content standard.

NRMIG is making progress on planning a program for ALA Annual 2006: “Rights Metadata in Institutional Repositories,” with three speaker blocks and a panel discussion. Topics will include: “Opening doors to learning: standards for rights management;” “Copyright stakeholders in IRs: A balancing act;” and “Managing access at University X: a case study.” NMRIG would like to establish a Wiki or Blog. LITA was recently given approval to have a blog, and we will pursue this question further with ALCTS.

Newspaper DG
Attendees received a number of newspaper project updates ranging from cataloging to digitization. Eric Childress and Diane Vizine-Goetz described the OCLC Terminology Services Project and their use of the Newspaper Genre List. Their goal is to make controlled vocabularies more accessible to people and computer applications, thus providing one-stop access to terminology resources through any Web-based metadata editor.

Andrea Vanek from the University of California at Berkeley briefed the group on OCLC’s efforts to convert US Newspaper Project LDRs to MARC21 MFHD later this summer. Andrea, Errol Somay (VNP), and Kevin Driedger (MNP) have been working with Pamela Kircher (OCLC) and Mark Sweeney (LC) on the conversion specifications.

The Center for Research Libraries has created an open source database that will show who has what in the case of foreign newspapers. Please submit any record sets that you might have in any format (OCLC, Excel, etc.) so that the information can be added to the database.

Sue Kellerman, the head of Preservation at Pennsylvania State University, reported that the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project has made progress since it resumed work in 2004. They are currently identifying newspaper titles that have not been microfilmed since 1990. The selection committee will use selection criteria to determine which titles will be filmed. Sue expects that approximately 50 titles will be filmed by the end of 2005. In addition, Sue described several newspaper digitization projects. The Pennsylvania Civil War Newspaper Project includes 15 titles published in different parts of the state from 1850 to 1870. Issues of the Pennsylvania State University campus newspaper, the Collegian, published from 1850 to 1940, have been digitized and are now viewable through an Olive database. Penn State uses a 54-inch roller scanner to scan their “single issue” newspapers, creating 600 dpi files. The issues can then be printed and perhaps eventually microfilmed from the scanned images.

The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a partnership between the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of all U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. During phase 1, NEH awarded $1.9 million to six states (California, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Utah, and Virginia) in order to digitize 100,000 pages each. Representatives from California, Utah, and Kentucky updated the group on their progress thus far.
Out-of-Print DG
Discussed “Out-of-Print in Transition” print vs. electronic vendors of O/P materials; Google Scholar and how this might affect the Out-of-Print market; and whatever happened to “books-on-demand.” The group requested that a representative from Google be asked to do a presentation at the next Annual Meeting in New Orleans regarding their products and its potential effects on how we handle out-of-print.
Pre-Order and Pre-Catalog Searching DG

Focused on ways that libraries can prepare for the ISBN-13 transition that will be fully implemented by January 2007. This included discussing how internal library procedures might need to be modified, as well as the impact of the new ISBN on financial functions and cataloging. Ann-Marie Breaux (YBP Library Services) presented the challenges the new ISBN presented to library vendors while Tony Harvell (University of California, San Diego) focused on how it will impact library ordering, cataloging, and other system considerations.

The attendees all fully acknowledged that one of the biggest challenges each institution faces is educating library staff about the ramifications of the ISBN expansion. All agreed that it is important to begin talking with book vendors, content providers, publishers and system vendors now, to understand what they are doing to address the ISBN change (a rather similar approach to preparing for Y2K a few years ago). Libraries that use BISAC will need to migrate to another EDI format, since BISAC ordering in ISBN-13 will not work.

Publisher/Vendor-Library Relations IG
Held a business meeting at which it was agreed the Open Forum in San Antonio (Winter 2006) will focus on Rights/License Expression Language. Also brainstormed topics for the Open Forum in New Orleans (Summer 2006). Several good ideas emerged, the most likely being The State of the University Press. It was suggested that we try to expand the size of the business meetings, and to schedule an additional meeting to coincide with the Charleston Convention in November.

PVLR held an Open Forum on the topic Publishers and Librarians Respond to the DLF/ERMI Report. We were pleased to count over 100 people in attendance at this forum, including all the primary contributors to the report itself. Our moderator was Friedemann Weigel from Harassowitz. Panelists included David Goldsmith, Head of Acquisitions and Director of Licensing, NCSU; Alan Schroeder, Business and Law Librarian, Cal State/Northridge; Rachel Lee, Library Marketing, University of California Press Journals; and John Shaw, Publishing Technologies, Journals Production, Sage Publications.

Role of the Professional in Academic Library Technical Services DG
Discussed issues related to professional staff as trainers in technical services. The conversation (generally quite lively) included sharing useful training techniques, how to pitch training sessions for different audiences (professional or para-professional staff), and ideas for resolving problems related to training.
Scholarly Communications IG
Ray English (Oberlin College) and Karen Williams (University of Minnesota) facilitated an informal discussion on recent developments in scholarly communications, particularly ACRL’s efforts and advocacy and education. Mr. English discussed the alliances that are helping to educate the public and political leaders on the ways that changing technologies and corporate structures affect scholarly communications. Ms. Williams introduced ACRL’s Scholarly Communications Toolkit, discussed its impetus and the different audiences that it meant to reach. Other participants related the impact that scholarly communications issues have had their own libraries, or described their own efforts at advocacy and education on their own campuses.
Technical Services Directors in Large Research Libraries DG
Discussed the results of a survey of members’ practices regarding subject browsing for e-journals. Over half of our sites provide such access, but with wide variation in functionality and categorization. Attendees discussed effects on staffing of large-scale moves to providing “e-only” access to journals. Several libraries have experienced a shift in work and staff roles, with print-based check-in and claiming replaced by routines for verifying accuracy of detailed information regarding e-journal packages.

Jennifer Bowen, ALA representative to the Joint Steering Committee, reported on plans for revision of the AACR2 cataloging code. Group consensus endorsed the new approach being taken in the newly titled work Resources Description and Access ( RDA). Discussed the role the code is likely to play in a changing metadata environment, and the likely impact of implementing changes.

The group continued discussion of trends in technical services, and identified topics for further discussion at future meetings.
Heads of Technical Services of Medium-Sized Academic and Research Libraries DG
Shared best practices on six distinct areas: metadata and cataloging librarians; future of catalogers; training for catalogers; deprofessionalization of acquisitions librarians; role of preservation in an increasingly digital age; and the appeal of tech services as a career for new graduates. Many of these topics also overflowed, especially the ones dealing with appeal of technical services, changing role of preservation, and training for catalogers. Summaries of the various talks will be shared through discussion lists and in Technical Services Quarterly.

Back to Top

Cataloging and Classification Section Discussion/Interest Groups

Catalog Management DG
Robert Bremer, Consulting Database Specialist, OCLC, described the activities of OCLC Quality Control since last annual meeting. The emphasis of work is on authority work and duplicate record resolution. He described preparations for the migration of Quality Control operations to the Connexion platform. The audience was interested to hear the impact the end of life of the Cataloging MicroEnhancer will have on OCLC QC operations. Enormous macros relied on for years for WorldCat cleanup need to be completely rewritten. Afterwards participants discussed the catalog management activities they consider essential in their catalogs in a very lively exchange. After the meeting Robert Bremer agreed to do a brief update on OCLC QC activities at future meetings.
Cataloging and Classification Research DG
Under the general topic Authority Control is like a Hospital Gown, You Think You’re Covered, heard reports on two projects concerned with authority control. Qiang Jin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) spoke on her recent work on corporate body name changes: helping the user search effectively and efficiently. Shannon Hoffman and Rachel Wadham (Brigham Young University) reported on “Authorities for Buildings and the work of the SAC Task Force on Named Building and other Structures.”
Cataloging Norms DG
Heard two presentations. Holly Eggleston (University of Montana) discussed “Shapeshifters in the OPAC: the impact of transitioning serials formats on OPAC maintenance.” Maintenance of serials records in the OPAC is increasing in complexity as changes in access methods and purchasing options affect both individual titles and database-level tracking. This presentation addressed some options for managing both historical and current serials data in the OPAC and provided an opportunity to share practices and methods across institutions.

Lihong Zhu (Washington State University) talked about vendor-supplied authority control: what can the vendor deliver? what still needs to be done locally? The presentation discussed the three main facets of authority control, what services of authority control the vendor can provide, what the vendor can deliver through those services, how to use vendor-supplied authority control to achieve the three main facets of authority control, and what still needs to be done locally by the library.

Copy Cataloging DG
Judith A. Mansfield (Chief, Arts and Sciences Cataloging Division, Library of Congress), updated the group on copy cataloging activities at LC. For the fiscal year 2005 (six months), 25,764 monographic titles were copy cataloged. 20% of the titles cataloged were completed from copy (up from 17 percent from last year). New approaches to copy cataloging are also being explored.

At the past two meetings, the DG has looked at the Cataloging In Publication (CIP) program. In Orlando, John Celli (Library of Congress) presented an overview of the CIP program and the Electronic CIP program that began the process for creating CIP. At Midwinter, there was a group discussion on how libraries deal with CIP copy in the cataloging activities. To round out our discussion of CIP, Gene Kinnaly (Program Specialist, New Books Project) presented “CIP Verification at the Library of Congress,” which explained the processes that LC takes when the book is published. As part of the CIP Program, publishers are required to submit a copy of each book they publish for which they have received CIP Data. CIP verification, in its simplest form, is the task of completing and verifying the cataloging process begun when the galley was submitted. In the 2004 fiscal year, the CIP division completed CIP verification for 9,300 titles. Currently, CIP verification is handled by technicians in the CIP Division and distributed to other cataloging divisions, who determine the workflow. Specific cataloging rules and policies followed include AACR2 (primarily chapters 1 and 2), Library of Congress Rule Interpretations, Descriptive Cataloging Manual (specifically Section 8), and the Shelflisting Manual (Memo G710).

Kinnaly explained that most of the time in CIP verification is spent on descriptive elements. Four primary types of activities, in order of complexity, include: deletion of unneeded fields (263 projected publication date and 963 publisher contact information); completion of fields that cannot be completed at the galley stage (namely, field 300 physical description); corrections to match the information on the bibliographic record to the published book (such as title, statement of responsibility, edition, series, etc.); and authority work, which may be triggered by changes in the bibliographic record.

In addition to succinctly describing the processes involved in CIP verification, Kinnaly presented findings in an experiment that examined OCLC member copy. Over 2,000 records originally created by LC during the CIP stage, distributed to OCLC and then upgraded by member libraries were examined. Those upgraded versions of the records bumped the original but incomplete LC records from the OCLC database. This experiment confirmed that the time spent in searching and downloading these upgraded records from OCLC was cost-effective. Another goal was substantiated: identification of any technical problems associated with these downloaded records. The quality of cataloging was not considered. Of the 2,072 records reviewed, 766 records (37%) were found to have serious problems, either ones that LC created (such as the ILS stripping the 655 genre heading from the records) or problems created by others (such as a member library deleting the 042 authentication code). All of the problems encountered have been addressed, and there are future plans for another experiment on a smaller scale.

Heads of Cataloging Departments DG
Heard a presentation by Daniel Stuhlman (private consultant and adjunct professor at Drexel, San Jose State and Clarion universities) titled “Educating the Next Cataloger,” designed to answer questions such as How do I educate a potential cataloger or user of a catalog? and What kinds of questions do we want library schools to teach students to solve? This presentation reviewed some of the topics covered in a cataloging class, described how the students are given exposure to the vocabulary and tools of a cataloger, and explained the thought process in learning how to balance the art and science of cataloging library materials. A lively discussion followed, raising concerns about LIS educators keeping up with new standards (such as FRBR and our newest friend, RDA). There was also a push for the “regular” cataloger to become a mentor (via the CETRC program) to help educate the next generation of librarians. It turns out that there are many local or informal programs such as this occurring.
Map Cataloging DG
Attendees asked map cataloging questions and various group members gave answers and advice. Many of the questions involved dealing with the cataloging of digitized maps.

Back to Top

Collection Management and Development Section (CMDS) Discussion/Interest Groups

Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries DG
Representatives of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), Association for Research Libraries (ARL), Library of Congress, and CLIR gave updates and responded to questions and suggestions. Michael Stoller (NYU) led discussion on utility of the Library Materials Budget Survey. Members voted to discontinue the survey. Members decided to try submitted short “round-robin” reports prior to ALA meetings to keep each other informed of interesting initiatives and new directions. Mark Sandler (Michigan) led off discussion on utility of ARL statistics, in which both problems of inconsistencies and value of comparison data were noted. CCDO may want to move this agenda item forward to the next meeting. Ross Atkinson (Cornell) led discussion on how user-initiated borrowing, or direct borrowing was working and what the statistics were telling us about collection development. Members responded to Ed Shreeve’s (Iowa) question about how libraries that either stayed or broke with the Elsevier “big deal” for 2004 were managing in meeting their budgets and needs of users.
Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries DG
Discussion topics included:
  • ways to cope with budget shortfalls for serials and monographs;
  • consortial purchasing of e-books;
  • automatic purchase when books are requested via interlibrary loan;
  • purchase of dissertations when requested by patron: who pays and is the dissertation added to the collection; and
  • rethinking reference collections.


Collection Management in Public Libraries DG
Had a lively, informative discussion about Urban/Street Lit (including the difficulties in identifying popular authors and sources, vendor resources, issues of where to place titles and loss rates); Graphic novels (difficulties determining appropriate age levels, obtaining back issues and replacements); Collection analysis (general desire for easily prepared and useful collection analysis tools; many use a variety of statistical reports); Floating collections (several libraries are trying this, some with specific portions of their collections, some with whole collections); Centralized selection (can make for more balanced collection & dispel myths about what circulates in specific locations); and Downloadable audio books (experiences with Recorded Books/Netlibrary, OverDrive, and Audible).

Back to Top

Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) Discussion/Interest Groups

Cooperative Preservation Programs DG
Lori Foley (Northeast Document Conservation Center) described the state preservation plan for Massachusetts and the training currently done by Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, with frequent workshops in the state’s six regions. Lori and Jane Hedberg (Harvard) then described the disaster planning process undertaken by the state’s cultural heritage communities. Margit Smith (U San Diego) discussed the California Preservation Plan, and Chris Coleman (UCLA) distributed a handout about the California plan. Bob Schnarre (Naval War College) talked about the Navy’s disaster plan that he is now competing. Coleman, Schnarre, and Virgilia Rawnsley (Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts) continued the discussion, begun prior to the meeting, of a brief document about what to do when a library becomes a crime scene. The decision to create this document was made initially at the midwinter meeting in San Diego. Since that time several approaches have been made, but none was judged quite right. It is hoped that the discussion in Chicago will move the project forward.
Intellectual Access to Preservation Data IG

Held a follow-up discussion to a poster session on what data people want to get from the ARL statistics. The scheduled discussion on the PREMIS report was postponed, as was the discussion on the next steps of the Preservation Data and Automation Survey conducted by the former Intellectual Access Committee (before it became an Interest Group).

Future discussion topics might include the use of the 583 field in online catalogs and the integration of the online catalog with other treatment databases, as there is considerable interest in establishing best practices for the use of the 583. Other possible topics for discussion include updates on the Digital Registry, examples of case studies using the 583, and how to widen the net of the Interest Group so that more people can participate.

Library Binding DG

Jay Fairfield, incoming President of the Library Binding Institute, described the challenges he may face (decrease in serial binding, reformatting changes) and how the LBI wishes to expand its role. There is a discussion within LBI on the direction the organization should take and how this will affect its overall mission.

Debbie Nolan, CAE, Executive Director of the Library Binding Institute, spoke about the willingness to expand the LBI by having more institutional members. She introduced Laura Cameron (Stanford University Libraries) and asked for her thoughts on why Stanford felt it was important to join.

Werner Rebsamen (Rochester Institute of Technology) gave a presentation on “ALA and Library Binding.” His talked covered the history of ALA’s interest in the library binding field and changes that have occurred over the years because of cooperation. He also touched upon the current challenges and what the future may hold. Paul Parisi (Acme Bookbinding) discussed the status of the ANSI/NISO Standard and the desire of obtaining the copyright for the guide to the standard; ALA currently holds the copyright but the book is out-of-print. Copies of the last issue of the guide that was reprinted for the postponed Library Binding Workshop “Maximizing your Binding Budget,” were handed out. The question of library binders’ certification process was brought up and will be a panel discussion for the next Library Binding Discussion group meeting at Midwinter ’06.

Did not meet.
Physical Quality and Treatment DG
Meg Meiman, Reference and Instruction Librarian at American University, presented her paper “Discarding the Past: A History of Book Jackets in the Academic Library.” The program fostered discussion and led to further consideration of current preservation/conservation practices in a time of varied formats and rapidly changing technology. Future topics may include selection criteria for conservation treatment in a changing library environment, incorporating the goals of others in the library and information communities, while continuing to meet the needs of the user.
Preservation Administration DG
PADG serves a special function. It provides the venue for PARS attendees to reconnect at the start of the conference, so most preservation professionals attend. With the right topics and meeting management, it can also set a positive tone for subsequent conference meetings. We have been experimenting with a format that features two discussion topics, a long break with a poster session, and a shorter time for general announcements.

The first topic for discussion was Automating Preservation: Voices from the Field. Tyra Grant (Preservation Librarian at Northwestern University) reported on Northwestern’s development and use of the Kirtas robotic page-turning book scanner. Cathy Aster (Project Manager of the Digital Services Group at Stanford University) reported about their use of the Digitizing Line automatic book scanner. Sayeed Choudhury (Associate Director for Library Digital Programs at Johns Hopkins University) reported about CAPM (Comprehensive Access to Printed Materials), which is a project to develop robotics, automated systems and software to enhance access in the JHU romote storage facility.

The second discussion topic was Mass Deacidification: New LC Research on the Extension of Paper Life. Chandru Shahani (Chief, Preservation Research and Testing Division, Library of Congress) reported about a newly developed accelerated aging test, and experiments to determine the extension-of-life benefit derived from mass deacidification of paper. At the end of the discussion, PARS Chair Yvonne Carignan read a tribute to Dr. Shahani, on his retirement from the Library of Congress, thanking him for his long-time service to the preservation profession.

There were nine poster topics:

  • Victoria Heidushke— Acetate negatives
  • Ann Marie Willer— Hiring a new preservation technician
  • Kris Kern— PORTAL disaster recovery group
  • Sayeed Choudhury— CAPM
  • Tyra Grant— Kirtas Scanner
  • Tyra Grant— Quality Control for Kirtas Images
  • Tom Clareson— OCLC Updates
  • Carla Montori— ARL statistic gathering
  • Jin Ma— Publicity for MT 1 and 2 programs
Preservation Instruction, Education, and Outreach DG
Mary Ellen Starmer (Preservation Administrator, University of Tennessee-Knoxville Libraries) led discussion on dispensing preservation information to the public. Starmer discussed the annual “Book Doctor Clinic” her department sponsors, highlighting its origin and evolution over the last several years.

The group exchanged information on various initiatives individual institutions have created to deal with preservation-related queries from the general public. The group also brainstormed future topics for this discussion group. Of greatest concern was the need for basic digitization education outreach. Participants suggested ALCTS-sponsored workshops, either in-person or Web-based, that would be marketed beyond PARS and ALCTS members. They also suggested the creation of an ALCTS publication on the institutional benefits of public outreach for preservation. Additionally, Karen Brown informed the group of the ALCTS “Fundamentals Series” aimed at paraprofessionals working in technical services.

Preservation Issues in Small to Mid-Sized Libraries DG
Following a very stimulating and well-received discussion in Boston, it became apparent that the conversation on “last copy” repositories needed to be continued and debated in the field, as many questions, suggestions and concerns surfaced during the last panel discussion, and it seemed important and valuable to continue the dialogue in Chicago. There is still much to learn, exchange and debate about in this changing arena. Even though the chances for the long-term preservation are greater when multiple copies are retained, it is important to realize that not everything can nor should be saved. Funding limitations, space issues, and opportunities for enhanced digital access all provide a rationale to preserve only a single, last copy. A panel discussed how various institutions reconcile these differences between duplicate copies and last copies, and the successes and challenges in implementing different policies for repositories. They covered the perspectives of paper repositories, digital repositories, consortium repositories, and cultural heritage repositories.

Questions raised included:

  • How is a “last copy” identified? What if there are various versions including digital?
  • What is an act of publication?
  • Will the best manifestations be electronic? Publishers determine the version of record for print.
  • The difficulties of selection.
  • Multiple leaps of trust need to be developed—how will this be achieved?
  • Strategic redundancy in the risk assessment framework at CRL.
Questions regarding storage all started at the ARL level. When move down to other levels, mostly shared repositories who feel less need to keep their own copies in perpetuity, as opposed to ARL libraries? Most repositories are geographically based because of the ease of location and logistics. There is a theory that maybe we should move towards a national repository, but there are logistical and ownership issues that would need to be worked out for this model to work.
Recording Media DG
Held an open discussion concerning media preservation. An update on the Association for Recorded Sound conference held in Austin, Texas earlier in this year was delivered by an attendee, and then the group discussed the highlights of the conference. Participants also discussed the need for research, in hopes that institutions will apply to NEH for grant-funded research projects. The need for oral history was also discussed, both the need to preserve it and the need to continue to document it. Funds from NEH can be given to projects that have already begun being documented. The group brainstormed for research ideas, and then adjourned with ideas for the next meeting. Since this is only the second time that this DG has met, the group is still defining what will be more useful: a panel discussion, open forum discussion, etc.
Reformatting DG
Focused primarily on the transition to digital reformatting. Charlie Kolb (NEH) described the state of NEH grant programs to support reformatting, and had a dialogue with the audience on how to select review panels that could deal with new issues involved in digital reformatting projects, especially long term storage and preservation of digital objects. Participants were also concerned with the more complex intellectual property and copyright issues associated with digital projects.

Back to Top

Serials Section Discussion/Interest Groups

Journal Costs in Academic Libraries DG
The theme for the discussion was “Evolving Publisher Business Models.” The dynamics of being a not-for-profit, independent publisher are complex in today’s economic climate. Current trends are driving decisions that, in spite of the best efforts of all participants, could lead in unpredictable directions. Adam Chesler (American Chemical Society) explained why publishers are reviewing and modifying their pricing models, and looked at the impact these changes may have on subscription agents and libraries, using ACS’s own recent experiences as a practical example. October Ivins (Digital Content and Access Solutions) shared results of her market analyses, stimulating discussion and expanding our understanding of the issues that impact society and university press publishers.
Research Libraries DG
Step Schmitt (Yale University) gave a brief talk on ALCTS as an organization itself, and as a part of ALA as a whole. The main thrust of her presentation was a call for ALCTS members to “know ourselves.” As an organization, we should become and remain familiar with our own leadership and our representatives within ALA—do we know who is the current ALCTS president? As technical services personnel, we should examine our purpose within the library profession and be aware of how we serve our patrons—what do we do, and why is it important? As members of ALCTS and ALA, we should take ownership for our skills & knowledge and contemplate how to share these skills with the other parts of ALA—for example, since the catalogers among us work with metadata, could we not try to partner with LITA in their efforts in this area? By building out from a strong foundation of self-awareness, we can ensure solid connections and a visible profile within ALA.

Open discussion followed; we talked about the themes Step had addressed, as well as about involvements in Council and in other committees and organizations beyond ALCTS. The following is a sample of some suggestions to increase the visibility of ALCTS and in particular the Serials Section:

  • Join up with other groups (LITA, Information/Library Science Schools, NASIG, Literacy Committee, etc.) to sponsor ALA programs, organize workshops & preconferences, sponsor symposia, develop Web courses.
  • More outreach to library/information schools.
  • Find an ALCTS topic and interpret it for other parts of the library community, such as reference librarians: e.g., metadata, RDA (a metadata scheme), ERMs.
  • Coordinate ALA meetings and programs with meetings and programs on similar topics so there’s more opportunity for cross-pollination; perhaps form interest blocks.

Back to Top