ALCTS Newsletter Online

Letters from ALCTS

From the Editor

Mary Beth Weber, Editor

A February Tradition

The February issue of ANO is traditionally dominated by coverage of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, and this issue includes meeting reports from ALCTS committees, interest and discussion groups, plus ALCTS liaisons, and ALCTS programs and forums that took place during the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. The reports cover a number of topics, and include ALCTS budget and finance and membership, e-books, institutional repositories, institutional records, the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, RDA, and plans by the ALCTS divisions for publications and continuing education opportunities. I hope you enjoy the reading the reports as much as I did.

Other highlights in this issue include:

  • David Miller’s “My ALCTS Experience” will bring a smile to your face as he has captured the type of experience many people describe after attending their first ALA conference.
  • ALCTS members running for division offices and ALA Council.
  • Profiles of the two candidates for ALA President, plus their answers to a short set of questions.
  • Read ALCTS Council Diane Dates Casey’s Councilor report and Board Key Actions for the latest news on ALA and ALCTS happenings.
  • See “Spotlight” for a closer look at PARS.
  • The “News” section includes a number of announcements of interest to ALCTS members.

I welcome your feedback and suggestions regarding ANO.

Contact Mary Beth Weber, ANO Editor


From the President

Pamela Bluh, ALCTS President

Doldrums Deflected

Typically, at this time of year, the doldrums settle in, but not for ALCTS. This is a time of high energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. In my December 2007 column I described the “7 measures of success” and how we were using them to evaluate our programs and services. Prior to Midwinter, a survey based on the 7 measures was sent to several hundred ALCTS members. The survey generated an absolutely amazing response rate of over 40 percent and respondents did not simply tick off the check boxes but added many detailed comments as well.

At the ALA Midwinter Meeting, the Board reviewed the survey results and discovered a number of common themes that surfaced throughout the comments. These themes were then prioritized and three—Communication (including the Web); Collecting and Using Data; and Organizational Adaptability—clearly rose to the top. I asked each Director-at-Large, working with two Board members, to review one of the topics. These small groups are now evaluating our strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas. They will make recommendations by the end of February on what needs to be done to make improvements in these specific areas. It is my hope that, over time, we will be able to implement those recommendations that have the potential to allow ALCTS to thrive and prosper.

Using the 7 measures as a self-evaluation tool is a long-term activity. In the immediate future, as part of the emphasis on continuing education, we are collaborating with NISO to develop a webinar on library standards. If all goes according to plan, this will be offered in April. Be on the look-out soon for details.

After the submission of “On the Record,” the final report of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, the Board appointed a small task group to analyze the recommendations and report on those that have the potential to be coordinated by ALCTS. The members of the group include David Miller (Curry College, Milton, MA), chair; Diane Dates Casey (Governors State University, University Park, IL); John Chapman (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN); Kate Harcourt (Columbia University, New York, NY); Meg Mering (University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE); and Sally Smith (King County Library System, Issaquah, WA). They represent a spectrum of the ALCTS membership and have the expertise, depth of knowledge, and appreciation of the complex issues discussed in the report. The Board will receive their findings at the end of March 2008.

While we consider what sort of organization the ALCTS of the future will be, we have not lost sight of the things that shape the ALCTS of the present. The reports of programs, committees, discussion and interest groups, and forums that were held at Midwinter, and that are contained in this issue of ANO, reveal an excitement and energy that will lift your spirits and keep the doldrums at bay.

As always, I would be delighted to receive your comments and suggestions.

Contact Pamela Bluh, ALCTS President, 2007-2008


From the Office

Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director

The Rise of the Interest Group

One of the frequent themes I hear in my travels around ALCTS is our need to be more flexible and to adapt to the constantly changing library landscape. Another is we are not getting any younger, and our need to create an association that will appeal to the younger/newer (not always the same group) people who are coming along in the profession.

Well, there is, I believe, a sometimes overlooked aspect of ALCTS that may well be part of the answer: the Interest Group. You may have noted that I did not write “Discussion Group,” and there is a reason. On the forthcoming ballot, there is a proposal to move from Discussion Groups to Interest Groups, and the reasoning behind this proposal relates directly to this article.

Discussion Groups have served ALCTS well in the past and continue to do so. However, the very nature (via ALA policy) of the DG is limiting. DGs can only hold discussions and can do nothing else. This is not a bad thing, but it does limit the number of people who can be involved and the outcomes they can generate.

On the other hand, Interest Groups (IGs) have the ability to do more. The basic function of an Interest Group is still discussion, particularly of timely topics. I cannot emphasize that enough. The fundamental purpose of the IG is discussion. However, the ancillary functions available to IGs vastly increase their appeal. IGs can create their own organizational structure, do formal programming, and produce publications. DGs cannot.

Interest Groups are not new to ALA. Several divisions have them, and ALCTS now has joint IGs with LITA. So why this new emphasis on IGs rather than DGs? In my mind, IGs provide a wealth of opportunity for exactly those members we are trying to reach. IGs can be created and go out of business as needed. But you say, so can DGs. True enough. However, remember the important difference: programs, structure and publications. These three attributes can go a long way to create timely opportunities for our members. Publications can be short web pieces. There might be a publications coordinator as part of the structure. Programs must still go through the process, but the topics can be an outgrowth of a discussion. Create a program coordinator.

So where are these opportunities? Anywhere and everywhere. ALCTS has a new IG, the FRBR IG. When looking around, there is room for a young tech services IG, a student IG, acquisitions IG, technology IG, innovation IG, tech service management IG, and that is just what I thought up in the last few minutes. That does not even get down deep into your job experiences and the need to create networking opportunities. It only takes ten people to create an IG. So I challenge you, the member, experienced, newbie, older, younger, acquisitioner, cataloger, preservationist, serialist, and collection manager, to consider the possibilities.

The library world awaits your new ALCTS Interest Group.

Contact Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director


Looking Ahead

Calendar of Upcoming Events

March 2008


Protecting your Images: Using Technology to Manage Rights in Digital Images

Bristol, England


2008 WebWise Conferences on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World

Miami Beach, FL


Visual Resources Association Conference

San Diego, CA


NISO Digital Preservation Forum

Washington, DC


Project Management for Archivists

Chicago, IL


Electronic Resources and Libraries

Atlanta, GA


Public Library Association Twelfth National Conference

Minneapolis, MN


Association for Recorded Sound Collections

Palo Alto, CA


Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting

Alexandria, VA

April 2008


IFLA International Newspaper Conference



International Conference on Open Repositories

Southampton, England


Computers in Libraries

Arlington, VA


UK Serials Group Annual Conference

Torquay, England


Digital Futures: From Digitization to Delivery

London, England


Museums and the Web 2008

Montreal, Quebec


IADIS International Conference

Algarve, Portugal


Introduction to Image Metadata

Bristol, England


Understanding Photographs: Introduction to Archival Principles and Practices

Baltimore, MD


North Carolina Serials Conference

Chapel Hill, NC


Information Architecture Summit

Miami, FL


NARA Annual E- Records Forum

Austin, TX


Encoded Archival Description

University Park, PA

April (cont'd)


International Association of Technological University Libraries Conference 2008

“Digital Discovery: Strategies and Solutions”

Auckland, New Zealand


Rights and Responsibilities: Copyright and Digital Images

Bristol, England


Building a Departmental Image Collection

Bristol, England


Living the Future 7: Transforming Libraries through Collaboration

Tucson, AZ

May 2008


Art Libraries Society of North America

Denver, CO


Medical Library Association Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL


Canadian Library Association Annual Conference

Vancouver, British Columbia


International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology Annual Conference

Palo Alto, CA

June 2008


Libraries in the Digital Age 2008

Dubrovnik and Mljet, Croatia


ETD 2008: Spreading the Light

Aberdeen, Scotland


North American Serials Interest Group Annual Conference

Phoenix, AZ


Digital Directions: Fundamentals of Creating and Managing Digital Collections: The New School for Scanning

Jacksonville, FL


Special Libraries Association Annual Conference

Seattle, WA


Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

Pittsburgh, PA


American Library Association Annual Conference

Anaheim, CA

July 2008


LIBER Map Curators Group Conference

Amsterdam, The Netherlands


International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres

Naples, Italy

September 2008


International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications

Berlin, Germany


2008 Election Announcements

ALA Presidential Candidates for 2008–2009

Camila Alire

Camila Alire, dean emerita at the University of New Mexico and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado is seeking the 2008–2009 ALA presidency. Alire is currently an adjunct faculty member Simmons College’s Ph.D. program in managerial leadership and adjunct professor for San Jose State University Library & Information Science’s executive MLIS managerial leadership program. She previously served as dean of libraries at the University of Colorado at Denver, and has worked as a community college library director, special library director, school librarian (K–12), and assistant to the dean/instructor at the University of Denver’s LIS program.

Alire is the current chair of the ALA Committee on Legislation. Previous offices include serving as chair of ALA’s Nominating Committee, Committee on Education and American Libraries Advisory Committee. In addition, Alire has served on ALA Council and ALA Executive Board. She is past president of the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) (2005) and chaired the 2005 ACRL National Conference. She served as national president (1993–94) of the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA).

In addition to her work for ALA, Alire served on the Association for Research Libraries board, chaired the Colorado Council on Library Development board; chaired numerous committees for the Colorado Association of Libraries, and has been a member of several regional library system governing boards.

Alire has co-authored books on library services to Latino communities, disaster recovery, and leadership and has also written on diversity.

Ms. Alire’s honors include being named to the ALA/ALTA National Advocacy Honor Roll for her library advocacy work; receiving the Mountain Plains Library Association’s Legislative Award; and being named Scholar-in-Residence for the Chicago Public Library System. She also received the first ALA Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award, and was National REFORMA’s Librarian of the Year. Lastly, she has been honored by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the country.

J. Linda Williams

J. Linda Williams, coordinator of library media services for Anne Arundel County public schools in Annapolis, Maryland, is seeking the 2008–2009 ALA presidency. Williams is currently serving a three-year term as an ALA Councilor-at-Large, and is a member of the Council Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC). She was elected to two terms as ALA Councilor-at-Large from 1984–1988 and 1988–1992. Williams has served as both a member and chair of several ALA committees, including the ALA Membership Committee from 2003 to 2005 (chair), and the Council Policy Monitoring Committee from 1989 to 1990.

Williams has been an active member of various ALA divisions and round tables. She served on the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Board of Directors from 1998 to 2000, and as AASL president in 2005. She chaired the Library Administration and Management Association’s (LAMA) Program Planning Committee from 1995 to 1996 and served on the LAMA Board of Directors 1990–1992. Williams was president of the Junior Members Round Table in 1989.

Williams has been an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, College of Library and Information Services since 2000. She has extensive school library experience dating back to 1977. Prior to that, she spent 10 years teaching English and history.

Williams is a recipient of the University of Maryland, College of Library and Information Services, Alumnus of the Year, 1988; and 3M/JMRT Professional Development Grant, 1981.

Williams also has been active with state and regional library associations in Maryland, recently being elected to the Citizens for Maryland Libraries Board, and a member of the Maryland Advisory Council on Libraries since 1998.

The following questions were posed to the 2008 candidates for the ALA presidency. Their responses follow.

Why did you decide to run for ALA president? If you are elected, what will be your primary focus? What do you hope to accomplish during your term?


Colleagues ask me this question but more in a tone of disbelief that I am actually doing this. I am going to be completely honest in my response which may sound very corny. There are three main reasons why I decided to run, and these reasons were timed just right when the nomination came forward. As a friend told me, “the stars were aligned” for accepting the nomination!

The first reason was as a result of several young librarians of color who approached me at the 2007 Midwinter Meeting and the 2007 Annual Conference after several sessions I was involved in. Each one of them told me in separate conversations that they wanted to thank me for making a difference in their professional lives and serving as a positive role model for them. They were either Spectrum scholars who attended some Spectrum session where I presented, or they attended a general program where I spoke. When I heard these comments, I was very moved. But, it did not hit me until I was asked to run. When that happened, I thought “imagine what kind of effect I would have as a role model for young library personnel (no matter if they are minorities or not) as ALA president.” For me, it was giving back to a profession and a professional association for which I have such enthusiasm.

The second reason was knowing that I had something solid to offer to ALA, and it was something that would transcend our efforts during my ACRL presidency. That reason is my dedication to advocacy—articulating the value of libraries and librarians/library support staff—no matter the type of library, no matter the type of activity of ALA members, nor no matter the generation of ALA members. Grassroots advocacy, where many more ALA members are willing and self-confident to advocate for themselves and their libraries, will be my primary focus. This grassroots advocacy also includes getting our users/patrons involved in conveying to our decision-makers why libraries and library personnel are valuable, which for me translates to stronger support for better funding of libraries and better salaries for librarians and library support staff.

The third reason was that I no longer have the pressure and demands of being a library dean and can devote the time and effort to serving as your ALA president. The stars were indeed aligned for this nomination.


I decided to run for ALA president because I believe I have the skills, experience and commitment to be an effective advocate to communicate our essential role in today’s society, and a leader who can help the association respond to the challenges and opportunities facing libraries. I feel I can make a significant contribution in advancing the mission and goals of the association as outlined in our strategic plan, ALAhead to 2010. Now more than ever, it is critical that we take every opportunity to advocate for libraries and all library workers.

My complete platform is located on my web site,, which also contains information about my career and qualifications to lead this association. However, my major areas of focus will be:

  • Advocacy for all libraries to communicate our essential role;
  • Protection and defense of intellectual freedom and the right of privacy;
  • Promotion of all forms of literacy which are the keystones of lifelong learning;
  • Strengthening diversity issues within the Association;
  • Support for the ALA-APA to enhance their work for pay equity and improved salaries for library workers;
  • Engage new librarians and library workers in the Association;
  • Providing meaningful opportunities for more participation and involvement by members.

I plan to accomplish the goals set forth in my platform as well as moving forward with ALAhead 2010. Throughout my term I would work to move forward in these areas through advancing the application of technology throughout the association.

How do your ALA goals and philosophy relate to ALCTS, and what role might ALCTS have in helping you achieve your goals?


Thank you for this question because I did not want folks to think that advocacy is the only goal I hope to achieve as your ALA president. Other areas I am as concerned about are diversity, intellectual freedom, equity of access, and literacy. All of these foci are important, but I want to concentrate my response on diversity and inclusiveness.

Respecting all types of differences, types of activity, cultures, and ideas is important for the people we serve and work with. I continue to promote the inclusion of age, gender, sexual orientation, and differently-abled members and to continue efforts to change the color of ALA and our profession. Ironically, I think ALCTS members have a sense of what it feels like to feel excluded sometimes within ALA. I envision ALCTS playing an important role in promoting and recruiting for a diverse profession considering your mission to foster the recruitment of individuals with diverse qualities to library work.


ALCTS’ dedication to acquisition, identification, cataloging, classification, and preservation of all kinds of library materials relates directly to the ability of users to access information. This access depends on the effectiveness of the technical services operations and the development of principals and standards set forth for the cataloging and classification of materials. Advocacy efforts on behalf of all libraries and librarians will communicate this essential role in dealing with the wealth of information we classify and preserve. Being proactive in our advocacy will assist in securing the budgets needed for collection development, acquisitions, cataloging, and other technical services functions. I would involve ALCTS in all of my initiatives because I believe in a collaborative approach to establishing and achieving our goals, both at the division level and the association level. Each division brings a unique strength to the overall plan and could take the lead on specific goals. ALAhead to 2010 can be successfully advanced through division contributions.

What do you see as the greatest challenges facing those engaged in the areas of work represented by ALCTS (acquisitions, cataloging, serials, preservation, and collection development) in the near term future? How can ALA assist these members in meeting those challenges?


There are several ideas I would like to address relative to the first question. If I may, I would like to shorten the areas ALCTS represents to the term technical services. I honestly believe that all aspects of library technical services have been the most impacted by advances in technology. I recognize that folks working in public services are also affected, but not to the extent as those of you working in technical services who literally have had to reinvent yourselves and the work that you do. All this is reflected in challenges such as the work of LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (to include the work on and status of RDA); the impact of the open access movement as a result of the push for more alternatives to scholarly communication; the concern for preservation of print and more specifically, digital content; the effect of increasing availability of e-government information, the challenges of attracting MLS students to technical services work, etc. These are just some examples of the challenges with which you are faced almost on a daily basis.

How can ALA assist ALCTS members in meeting those challenges? One way is to become sincerely aware of ALCTS’ challenges and then making other ALA members aware of those challenges—not just ALCTS members. A good case in point is the LC Working Group—recommendations from this group will affect at least all ALA members whose libraries’ use LC bibliographic rules. This awareness could include ALA’s support of continuing education/conference programming dealing with the challenges.

Another way for ALA to assist ALCTS members is to ensure that ALCTS is represented in venues that allow them to continually be visible, and their concerns we expressed. In the area of recruitment, ALA needs to keep the mission and work of ALCTS in the forefront of what our profession has to offer.


The greatest challenge that I see ALCTS members facing in the near future is the implementation of the recommendations made in the Report on the Future of Bibliographic Control. These recommendations identify five major areas that need to be considered. The report states that “the future of bibliographic control will be collaborative, decentralized, international in scope and web-based.” Transitioning to this future to remain relevant as information providers will take time and resources and will not be a simple task. Establishing standards for bibliographic control in a rapidly changing technological environment becomes increasingly difficult as systems and formats change. Data that is not web accessible is lost to everyone but a few specialized users, and that in order to survive, libraries must partner with others outside of the library profession. Cooperation is critical to today's libraries as funding continues to decrease, material costs increase and we compete for the attention of users. ALA can help with this challenge by recognizing the need for change, supporting these changes, and working with all groups to facilitate change and then promoting the changes to members.

Another challenge would be preservation. Within our individual libraries and our museums there is a wealth of material that relates to our history and our heritage. The wide variety of types of materials creates a special challenge, as is preserving the millions of volumes that reflect our culture for future generations. ALA can assist its members in meeting these challenges by seeking grant opportunities for preservation projects, and by providing information and training in preservation and even certification in this specialty area through ALA-APA.

How can ALA make certain that members, whose primary affiliation is to a “type of activity” division, feel connected to the concerns of the organization as a whole? How might their involvement be increased? How might ALA's awareness of their concerns be increased?


Everything we do in our libraries is to serve our users well. Public service does not just mean service to our library users. Folks working in technical services have a direct affect on your internal users (other personnel in their libraries) and an indirect affect on the library’s external users. My response to all three questions is aggressive outreach, and by this I mean two-way outreach.

This outreach needs to be proactive. ALCTS cannot assume that ALA member-leaders (e.g. division, council, executive board) are aware of all the issues (see the Bob Holley example in Question 5). Making others aware needs to be constant. And, ALA cannot ignore the challenges ALCTS members face. We are an association with diverse interests and “types of activity.” That does not mean that any division’s interests are more important than others, but the reality is that member-leaders usually come from one area of interest. Those leaders must be willing to reach out to other divisions to make ALA a connected association. This can be done through inclusiveness in all aspects of ALA’s operations—committee work, special advisory groups, advocacy, etc.


With an organization the size of ALA it is very easy to become involved and isolate oneself within a division and from the organization as a whole. With the amount of activities taking place it is very difficult to keep up on everything. We need to join together, working better together, supporting each other and advocating for each other—and collaborating with all stakeholders, within and outside the association—not just with those in our own specialty area of librarianship. I would foster a variety of opportunities for engaging the divisions, roundtables and other ALA units to work together for everyone’s benefit. It is essential that division leadership and ALA work together to make sure their respective goals are aligned. Our common goals and shared values keep us together as an organization and as President I would foster this communication and collaboration among all ALA units.

In recent years it has been difficult for ALCTS members to “see themselves” or to see that the Association embraces issues that are critical to ALCTS. What steps will you take to increase ALA's inclusiveness within its own ranks?


First, let me respond by speaking to my record concerning ALCTS members. When serving as the chair of the ACRL National Conference-Minneapolis, I heard from Bob Holley who informed me that many technical services folks in academic libraries did not see past conferences’ programming as relevant to them. I responded to Bob by telling him I would deal with that.

I appointed a person with a strong background in technical services (both in work experience and scholarly/research work) as co-chair of the Contributed Papers Committee. I appointed an associate dean whose responsibilities included all of technical services as the chair of the Programs Committee. These chairs also served on the national conference Steering Committee. Then, I repeatedly reminded the Steering Committee that we needed to make sure that we had programs in all of our categories that were inclusive and appealed to technical services librarians. I asked them to beat the bushes to get technical services folks to submit program proposals. They were constantly reminded that there needed to be a good cross-section of both technical services and public services programming realizing that all programs were juried. We accomplished a good representation of programs that appealed to ALCTS members. That conference broke the registration record of all previous conferences. I shared Bob’s message with the next national conference chair encouraging her to continue this trend and to reach out to technical services folks.

Additionally, when I became ACRL president, I charged my chair of the Appointments Committee, whose administrative background included responsibility for technical services at an ARL library, with looking at diversity of membership to include members with technical services background.

As your next ALA president, I would continue to reach out to ALCTS through committee appointments, through raising the consciousness of ALA members to issues affecting ALCTS members, and by asking ALCTS members to think out-of-the-box in ways that they can contribute to ALA. I would also seek ALCTS’ advice and input on issues.


This question relates to the previous question and its’ answer. I intend to maintain an ongoing open dialogue with all the divisions regarding their concerns and their needs. The opportunity to begin this dialogue started at Midwinter when I met with the divisions. If a dialogue developed, it was very informative and I will continue gathering information from all members through various formats.

One area of my platform is to foster opportunities for engaging the divisions, roundtables and other ALA units to work together for the benefit of everyone. While forging meaningful coalitions within the Association, we can bring about an understanding of our separate areas of librarianship and promote our individuality while working together, through representation on committees, special projects or program topics. This would raise the Association's consciousness to the significant role that ALCTS plays in bibliographic control. As we begin planning for developing the next strategic plan, this collaboration can result in improved communication across all units. During the Division Presidents’ meeting at Midwinter and Annual would be an opportune time to interact and relate to one another to foster this communication and assure ALA is addressing the concerns of its own.


Statements from 2008 Candidates for ALCTS President: Mary Case and Lisa German

Mary Case, University of Illinois-Chicago

The birth of the web, the rapid growth of online resources, the rise of Google, and mass digitization, have profoundly affected our profession in the last decade. Librarians have been forced to consider such questions as: What is a library’s collection? How important is the catalog? Will item-by-item selection continue? What is the new acquisitions/serials department when everything is electronic? What is the role of the library in preserving digital information? How do we help change the system of scholarly communication? As members of ALCTS, we need to stay true to our principles while adjusting our standards to new realities. We need to enhance existing partnerships to rationalize our responsibility for print holdings and distribute the effort for the digital. And we need to ensure that we have the skills, values, and flexibility to work in an environment where change is the only constant.

Lisa German, Pennsylvania State University

This is a very exciting time to be a librarian. Members of all sections of ALCTS are seeing their jobs change. Preservationists are trying to figure out how to digitally preserve our cultural heritage in this era of wikis and blogs. Catalogers are learning new data schema and writing crosswalks from one to another. Acquisitions, Electronic Resources, and Serials Librarians have become copyright and licensing experts. Librarians developing collections are creating collection policies for institutional repositories. Collaboration is more important now than it has ever been. We need to collaborate both within our profession, and outside of it. We have much to learn from our colleagues in IT and other areas. We need to break down silos and recognize that we need all different kinds of expertise at the table in order to be effective.    

2008 Division and Section Officer Nominees

Following is the slate of candidates for ALCTS division and section offices for the 2007 elections.

ALCTS Division


Rebecca Mugridge, Pennsylvania State University

Mary Beth Thomson, University of Kentucky

Acquisitions Section


Katharine Farrell, Princeton University

William Kane, Alibris Library Services


Marsha Clark, City University of New York

Stephen J. Smith, University of Illinois-Springfield

Cataloging and Classification Section


Sylvia Hall-Ellis, University of Denver

Mary Woodley, California State University-Northridge

Member-At-Large (Two to be Elected)

Ann Caldwell, Brown University

Robert Ellett, Joint Forces Staff College, Virginia

Marlene Harris, Chicago Public Library

Kristin Lindlan, University of Washington

Collection Management and Development Section


Stephen Bosch, University of Arizona

Kathy E. Tezla, Carleton College, Minnesota


Mandy L. Havert, University of Notre Dame

Reeta Sinha, YBP


Harriet Lightman, Northwestern University

Virginia Kay Williams, Mississippi State University

Continuing Resources Section


Clinton Chamberlain, University of Texas-Austin

Connie Foster, Western Kentucky University


Ann Fath, Getty Research Institute, California

Lori Kappmeyer, Iowa State University

Council of Regional Groups


Susan Mueller, University of Idaho

Lihong Zhu, Washington State University

Preservation and Reformatting Section


Winston Atkins, Duke University

Karen E. K. Brown, State University of New York at Albany


Elise Calvi, State University of New York Upstate Medical University

Emily Holmes, Columbia University

Gina Minks, AMIGOS


ALCTS Members on Ballot for ALA Council

The following ALCTS members have been nominated or are petition candidates for ALA Councilor in the spring 2008 election. ALCTS members are encouraged to vote for these candidates to increase ALCTS’ voice in ALA affairs.

Deborah S. DeGeorge, Rare and Non-book Cataloger, University of Michigan Libraries

Barbara A. Genco, Director, Collection Development, Brooklyn Public Library

Judy H. Jeng, Head of Collection Services, New Jersey City University Library

Wei Jeng-Chu, Technology Division Head, Worcester Public Library, Massachusetts

Mary Laskowski, Head of Information Processing and Management, University of Illinois, Undergraduate Library

Marilyn J. McCroskey, Head of Cataloging, Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri

Robert H. McDonald, Chronopolis Project Manager, San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California-San Diego

June A. Pinnell-Stephens, Collection Services Manager (retired), Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, Alaska

Julie Su, Head of Serials, San Diego State University Library


Midwinter 2008 Reports

Discussion and Interest Groups Report on Conference Activities in Philadelphia

The following reports summarize the activities that took place during meetings of ALCTS discussion and interest groups held during the 2008 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Included are groups whose reports were received by the editor as of February 1, 2008. For information on discussion groups not reporting in this issue, click the links below.

division | acquisitions | cataloging & classification | collections | continuing resources | preservation

   Division Groups • learn about all Division-level groups

Automated Acquisitions/In Process Discussion Group

The group assembled a panel of five representing both librarians and the vendors in order to present different slants on the discussion topic, “Vendor MARC Records for E-Content.” Each of the panelists presented brief slide presentations, and then the floor was opened up for discussion. There was a good discussion about how multiple libraries are doing the same things to records and that there is a need for collaboration. The group discussed the need to bring up this maintenance to the network level (OCLC). Instead of libraries downloading records from OCLC, their holdings could be set on the record at the network level and their local system would point to the network record instead of a MARC record in their database. There was also discussion about a vendor-neutral record in which a library's holdings from any aggregator, publisher, or vendor could be attached. OCLC would hold a master record with all URLs attached. When a library downloaded or attached to the master record, they would only receive the URLs for their holdings. This could alleviate the need for multiple records for different holdings and/or extensive local maintenance for e-content records. Since this is a new concept, the group would like to pursue it further during its 2008 Annual Conference discussion.

Catalog Form and Function Interest Group

The theme for this Catalog Form and Function Interest Group meeting was new catalog features and new uses for existing catalog data. The first part of the meeting was a presentation by John Mark Ockerbloom, Digital Library Architect and Planner at the University of Pennsylvania, speaking about “subject maps,” a new approach to subject browsing which he has developed utilizing LC Subject Headings. Information about subject maps, as well as PowerPoint slides from this presentation are available online. Ockerbloom outlined some of the limitations of keyword search, traditional catalog subject browsing, and faceted browsing as we have seen it so far. He has developed a tool that utilizes the precision and rich complex of relationships encoded in Library of Congress (LC) Subject authority records. It is tweaked for local search conditions and augmented algorithmically with additional terms and relationships, to allow a hierarchical subject browse that suggests additional directions and relationships. The tool is used in the Online Books Page and will be tested this spring with the Penn catalog.

Following the well-received presentation, there was a brief discussion of some group goals including a forum at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference on implementing new catalog interfaces, with presenters from Endeca (Charley Pennell, North Carolina State University) and Primo (Mary Charles Lasater, Vanderbilt University) systems. Cheryl Gowing, University of Miami volunteered to speak on their implementation of Encore. The group also indicated interest in using wiki space to share information, with particular interest in record set quality issues. This can be done using the interest group’s wiki space and there has also been an offer to collaborate with the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), which is planning something similar.

The rest of the meeting was an open discussion at two tables about trends and experiences with new catalog features, which showed the breadth of new catalog features and systems being adopted or developed. Topics discussed included use of locally developed vocabularies and concerns about maintenance; combining LCSH and social tagging; and integration of multiple systems (e.g. LC implementing an Electronic Resource Management (ERM) system to work with Voyager). Several institutions are planning to use WorldCat Local (University of California, Cornell); there is concern about branding, look and feel but also about maintenance and the apparent lack of ability to display local data to users. “FRBRization” features in some new catalog interfaces, the difference between FRBRization and Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), the need for more uniform titles, and examples of more FRBR-like systems in development, Visionary Technology in Library Solutions (VTLS), possibly Innovative Interfaces Inc. (III), Pennsylvania's small digital song collections were also discussed. Topics related to searching and browsing addressed faceting in general, genre facets, LC classification browsing, and problems associated with using data elements that have not been uniformly coded over the years, such as the uneven use of relator codes/terms for authors, compilers, arrangers, composers, performers, etc., as well as interest in bridging keyword searching with authorities/cross reference browsing and clustering subject results from broader to more specific terms.


Creative Ideas in Technical Services Discussion Group

There were five breakout discussion topics at the Creative Ideas in Technical Services Discussion Group at the 2008 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia: the future role of cataloging in providing access and bringing “hidden” or uncataloged collections to light, convincing administrators of the need for new positions in technical services, electronic resource management, use of vendor cataloging records and shelf-ready processes, and insourcing to Technical Services. The topics were announced prior to the meeting through various listservs and solicited volunteers to facilitate and record the discussions. Each of the discussion topics generated an in-depth discussion, and summaries of each were given to the entire group at the conclusion of the session.

Heads of Technical Services of Medium-Sized Academic and Research Libraries Discussion Group

The meeting centered on the topic of succession planning, or how to develop library leaders to replace those who will retire in the next five to ten years. Four tables with approximately thirty-five total attendees considered a set of supplied discussion topics and questions. The topics were grouped under six general headings: the history of leadership in libraries, characteristics of library leaders, development of library leaders, roles of non-leaders, change management, and the future of leadership in libraries. The four tables were invited to discuss any or all of these topics/questions. Moderators from each table reported back to the entire group at the end. One recommendation that was repeatedly stressed is the need for a broader mentoring process to identify and develop new library leaders. Following the reports, chair Roberta Winjum invited attendees to suggest topics for future discussions and to get involved as part of the leadership of the Medium Heads group. Summaries of the various talks will be shared through listservs.

Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group

The theme of this year’s Midwinter managed discussion was metadata and its use in institutional repositories. Four presenters from three institutions gave presentations about their implementations of metadata schema, particularly Dublin Core, and answered questions from an enthusiastic audience of about seventy people.

Maureen Walsh, Metadata Librarian and Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University Libraries, discussed their DSpace Knowledgebank (an institutional repository) and the issues surrounding taking metadata out of its collection context. The lack of authority control is a problem, as is the limited ability of self-archivers to supply useful key words to describe their submissions.

Amy Jackson, Project Coordinator, IMLS Digital Collections and Content and Myung-Ja Han, Metadata Librarian, University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign, discussed their analysis of Dublin Core implementations over time. According to one study, the use of core fields has declined over the years from 2002 to 2006. The two fields most often missing are creator and rights, and the use of format and description declined the most dramatically. Two questions remain: is the decline a casualty of the scale of digital objects; and do we no longer have time to catalog more fully?

The third presenter was Kristin Martin, Electronic Resources Cataloger, University of North Carolina (UNC), who spoke about metadata for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). UNC uses ContentDM, with submission managed by Berkeley Electronic Press. There was a lively discussion about the various metadata elements used. The slides from all the presentations are available on the NRMIG blog.

A short business meeting was held after the presentations, consisting mainly of reports from the officers and liaisons. Program Co-chairs John Chapman and Rebekah Irwin discussed the program NRMIG is sponsoring at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, and called for potential speakers. The tentative title is “Metadata Mashup: Application Profiles and RDA.” The interest group’s blog has been revitalized and updated by Publications co-chair Jen Wolfe, who has recruited many people to add postings about other Midwinter Meeting sessions of interest to the group. There is a need for an official Blog Coordinator, as it requires a significant amount of time to learn how to manage it, and to maintain it.

CC:DA/RDA Liaison Greta de Groat summarized the latest news about the LC Working Group, Resource Description and Access (RDA), and the Joint Steering Committee (JSC), and solicited comments on the latest RDA updates (deadline for responding to her is Feb. 5). Holley Long reported on Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) meetings of interest.

Under New Business, Louise Ratliff (Chair) proposed adding a new Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect position; this would allow people to gain experience as an officer before taking over as Chair. It would also add another person to assist with business, since the interest group seems to be growing in numbers. Discussion of this idea will take place over the listserv during the next few months; if the group decides to add the position, nominations will be sought for election in June 2008.


Newspaper Discussion Group

Nadina Gardner, Program Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), discussed NEH's role with the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), the application process, and the extension of the coverage date for the next round of applications (fall 2008). NEH will make announce new NDNP award winners by July 2008.

Deb Thomas (LC), shared updates on the NDNP process to date (technical and bibliographic specifications, content updates, etc.), when more content will be added to Chronicling America, and most importantly about the new preservation microfilming target and scanning analysis tool (and software). LC wants to ensure production of preservation-quality imaging. Thomas also provided informative handouts.

Tim Williams, President, Pennsylvania Newspaper Association (PNA), shared information about PNA, provided historical summaries of Pennsylvania newspapers and their publishing history, and shared his perspective on the future of the newspaper industry. Archiving digital newspaper content is not the concern of most publishers, and preserving paper issues on film is quickly going by the wayside. Williams observed that most publishers today do not really understand the long term ramifications of what it means to not preserve their content. He suggested that publishers and librarians need to talk through the issues/concerns. Williams recognizes the importance of creating a partnership between newspaper publishers and the library community.

Colin Hughes, Managing Director of Guardian Professional and Associate Editor of the Guardian provided a wildly entertaining talk about the [Manchester] Guardian. He discussed its long and colorful history, its role in the news industry and the partnership with ProQuest to make the title available online.

Henry Snyder, California Newspaper Project, reported on a software development project that is underway and near completion at University of California, Riverside. They are developing dynamic presentation software for historical newspapers. Snyder invited attendees to send him digital content to load to test the software themselves.

Out-of-Print Discussion Group

The topic of the discussion group was “How to Run a Successful Library Book Sale” featuring a presentation by Lia Hemphill, Collection Development Librarian, Alvin Sherman Library, Nova Southeastern University. Ms. Hemphill emphasized the importance of connecting with the University and the wider community through the book sale. She noted that it put the library in a positive light with students, faculty, and members of the surrounding community. Discussion group members agreed that a book sale was great a public relations event for a library and a real energizer for staff who get involved. It was agreed that a book sale also raised more money for the library than alternatives, such as shipping gifts and discards to resellers. Members discussed pricing tools such as Advanced Book Exchange or that can be used to implement proper pricing on sale items. Members all agreed that it was most important to ensure a fair price for students and other attendees at the sale, while pricing rare and hard to find books a little higher because dealers would most likely buy them.

Members discussed publishing a pamphlet for use by other libraries on best practices for running a book sale. The ALCTS publication service is a possible venue.

Ms. Hemphill structured her sale so that the proceeds fund scholarships for staff to pursue MLS degrees. This is truly in the spirit of the ALCTS strategic plan to work towards retaining staff.


Publisher/Vendor-Library Relations (PVLR) Interest Group

PVLR Business Meeting

The meeting began with introductions, and attendees included the “What’s the Core?” open forum organizer, past-chair Bob Nardini of Coutts, and past-chair Ruth Fischer of R2 Consulting. Amy McColl reported that the core lists compiled by contributors had been added to the PVLR web site just prior to the 2008 ALA Midwinter Conference, and this information could be conveyed forum attendees. The group discussed the final plans for an open forum at this conference, and confirmed the topic for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference. A tentative plan was made at the last meeting for the next forum topic “Branding for Libraries, Publishers, and Vendors,” which had been suggested by Ruth Fischer. This was approved by vote. Ruth Fischer, Ann-Marie Breaux of YBP, and Amy McColl will organize the forum and will begin to identify potential speakers.

Possible topics for Denver and beyond, including the previously-discussed topic of “Patron-Driven Acquisitions and Selection” were discussed. This was thought to be of considerable interest to librarians, publishers, and vendors. Other ideas discussed included “Succession Planning for Libraries, Publishers, and Vendors,” “Open Access,” and “What’s After ERM?” The group will finalize the topic at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference business meeting, and plan to brainstorm further for the 2009 Midwinter Meeting 2009 and beyond.

The interest group welcomed Kathleen Stacey of the ALCTS Planning Committee, who encouraged PVLR to use ALCTS’ new Planning Database in order to more effectively plan forums.

The final agenda item was to elect a new Chair for PVLR, whose term will begin June 30, 2008. The group unanimously agreed to name Ann-Marie Breaux, Vice President for Academic Services Development at YBP Library Services as the next PVLR Chair.

Report on the PVLR Open Forum

Approximately forty people attended the Open Forum, entitled “What’s the Core?: A Look at Core Book Lists.” Carolyn Morris, Director of New Business Development, Coutts, and one of forum organizers, was the moderator and described the process by which PVLR polled librarians, vendors, and others in the field for their lists of core titles. (The original memo sent out listing the criteria is on the PVLR web site, and provides links to all of the lists submitted.) Participants who submitted lists included Blackwell’s, Choice, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), Coutts Information Services, OCLC, the Queens Borough Public Library, Resources for College Libraries, Stanford University, and YBP Library Services. Morris noted some interesting findings:

  • for the core list of fifty titles across all disciplines, no title made every list
  • there were 276 unique titles
  • twenty titles made more than one list
  • only four titles made three of the six lists submitted.
  • For the Psychology list of twenty-five core titles, thirty-nine titles made more than one list, eight titles made three lists, two were on four lists, and one was on five lists.
  • No title was on all eight lists.

Glenda Lammers of OCLC was the first speaker. Lammers gave a PowerPoint presentation in which she explained that she used WorldCat Collection Analysis to generate the OCLC lists, using twenty-five ARL libraries. Titles were considered to be more “core” depending on the number of libraries that owned it.

The next speakers were Kim Armstrong and Mark Sandler of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). Armstrong reported that the thirteen CIC libraries holdings were checked against WorldCat Collection Analysis to find titles in common. For the core list of fifty titles, 157 titles were held by more than seven CIC libraries. In Psychology, fifty-seven titles were held by twelve or more libraries. Sandler discussed how the idea of “core” is determined. Ann-Marie Breaux worked with YBP staff to develop the core lists, which were hard to narrow down. She used YBP’s Select categories of “essential” and “recommended” to narrow the list, then used sales figures, YBP Core lists, reviews, and awards produce the final lists.

The next speaker, Marcus Elmore of Choice, discussed using Resources for College Libraries (RCL) to select the titles for the psychology list. The titles in RCL are selected by professors and bibliographers in the field, and the undergraduate curriculum is used as the primary focus for selection. Psychology was easy to handle since RCL lists twenty-five titles for 2006.

The final presentation was done by Will Wheeler of Stanford University. Wheeler was unable to attend the Midwinter Meeting, and he prepared a video, which was shown to attendees and is available on YouTube. He raised many interesting points about the difficulty of choosing titles for the psychology list.

The presentations were followed by a question-and-answer period which included some lively discussion.

Role of the Professional in Academic Research Technical Services Departments Discussion Group

Ruth Fischer of R2 Consulting welcomed everyone, distributed handouts of the proposed meeting agenda and copies of the invited speaker’s notes. Fischer asked Martha Bace, University of Alabama, to provide a very brief history of the DG. As was recorded in last year’s report, Bace noted that the discussion group has seen various fluctuations in attendance over the years. She also noted the meeting’s very “competitive” timeslot, which is at the same times as the Creative Ideas in Technical Services Discussion Group and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, both having similar focus, being two primary examples. She was gratified to see the turnout for this meeting, particularly since attendance is typically lower during the Midwinter Meeting. Michael Rice of the University of Michigan’s Kresge Business Administration Library was introduced as the current co-vice chair. Fischer noted that Angela Laack of Southern Methodist University, the other co-vice chair, was unable to attend the conference due to maternity leave.

Presentation by Invited Speaker

Mary McKeown, Head of Cataloging/Principal Cataloger, Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame, gave a twenty minute presentation entitled “Appropriate Roles for MLS and Non-MLS Catalogers.” More specifically, she described the cataloging environment at Notre Dame in the 1990s and the department’s reorganization plan which included the development of subject and/or language based teams by pairing original catalogers with one or two staff members. When McKeown arrived in 1991 as the Humanities and Medieval Studies Cataloger, work within the Cataloging Department was distributed solely based on the presence or absence of a full cataloging record without, among others, any analysis of the appropriateness of the available record(s) for Notre Dame’s collections or taking advantage of the diverse skill set of various department employees when processing it. As an example, German texts were not systematically given to a native German speaker on staff. Original and complex copy cataloging was only done by MLS catalogers who worked in isolation, both physically and organizationally, from the rest of the department. Problems and frustrations arose when materials would be sent back to the department to fix errors that could have easily been prevented if a more careful analysis of the material had been done in the first place. To complicate matters, from March 1997 to July 2001, the department suffered from the lack of leadership and direction with the absence of a department head and other high level management changes that occurred during this period.

In view of these conditions, and in an effort to save time that professionals spent on cataloging tasks, the proposal was accepted to pair original catalogers with a staff member to create subject/language based teams. Other perceived benefits of this plan were to develop a greater understanding among the department’s staff to better handle important “premiere” collections (and to get the job done right the first time), provide the cataloging staff with development opportunities, and give catalog librarians supervisory experience. McKeown then described some of the cataloging tasks that were to be performed by the non-MLS staff members under this new arrangement. These included: call number and subject heading additions to incomplete copy, original cataloging that could be derived from existing full copy of a closely related title (i.e. different edition or a translation of original work), authority work in the local system, establishing new literary author call numbers, and depending of the varying technical skills of the teams, original cataloging for such things as Notre Dame theses or for “formulaic” projects. Additional benefits were gained by having paraprofessionals perform non-cataloging tasks such as web site maintenance, collection development support, ILS upgrade testing, and service on library committees.

The changes were not implemented without challenges or problems. McKeown described the four primary issues Notre Dame’s Cataloging Department faced:

  1. large investment of initial training time which included many interruptions for MLS catalogers to answer questions and mentor the staff,
  2. some staff members took considerable time in developing confidence in their abilities to approach their work in a different way (doing new tasks, exercising judgment),
  3. it took three to four years to upgrade positions and salaries, one position at a time, and (d) the new system led to two levels of staff within the department which in turn created some tension, since those at the lower level felt that those above them were doing the same basic kinds of work for higher pay.

For all the initial investment of time in training and disruptions within the department, McKeown felt in hindsight that everyone would agree that it was worth the effort. She expounded on other benefits the department has gained from the move to team based cataloging. Primary among these is greater staff development, for which Notre Dame has made a high priority. Auditing classes in subject areas pertinent to their work, attending off-site workshops, and enhancing their technical skills beyond those needed to use OCLC and the ILS are just a few examples of staff member initiatives. The department is also better able to handle a large influx of materials that do not lend themselves to simple copy cataloging and, at the same time, is delivering a better cataloging product to meet user needs. Within the past two years, the remaining copy cataloging positions have been upgraded and have been given similar complex copy and some original cataloging for English language materials.

Open Discussion

A number of attendees participated in a lively discussion session. Much of the discussion focused on leadership, professionals and paraprofessionals working together, and the benefits of professional education. The discussion also touched on the differences of working in a union versus a non-union workplace. The final point of discussion was a follow-up on the topic of leadership by professionals.

Possible topics for discussion at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference include: succession planning and how libraries are working now for the wave of retirements in the near future, how to promote lower level employees to move up in skill level to replace retiring catalogers, and how to enrich a job position or add non-monetary incentives to induce staff to stay and to continue a high level of work while maintaining positive morale.


Scholarly Communications Discussion Group

Karen M. Albert, Director of the Talbot Research Library, Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, presented her views on the Open Access (OA) Movement. The discussion started with definitions of OA, ranging from free with no restrictions, hybrid author pays models, to self archiving institutional repositories. Albert then discussed where OA is at the moment and the challenges and opportunities that this movement presents for libraries. As libraries struggle with their place in the OA movement, a challenge for them is to develop allies in moving universities toward embracing OA, educating faculty authors about their copyright rights, meeting new OA mandates such as the National Institutes for Health (NIH) federally funded research archiving mandate, and rethinking our collection strategies and marketing across campus such that libraries are perceived as the first place users and researchers go for information.

Technical Services Directors in Large Research Libraries Discussion Group

John Attig, ALA representative to the Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR) provided an update on Resource Description and Access (RDA). The group is beginning to collaborate with the Dublin Core community. They are creating an online product and hope that the prototype will be ready this summer. ALCTS has appointed a task force on implementation of and training for RDA.

Bob Wolven (Columbia) and Chris Cole (National Agriculture Library) reported on the Future of Bibliographic Control Working Group. Wolven and Cole noted that there was no need for a minority report. Beacher Wiggins (LC Library of Congress) noted that LC will have a plan of action before the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in June. The discussion group members will continue to discuss this topic at the Annual Conference.

Beth Picknally-Camden discussed the Non-English Access Steering Committee. There was a discussion of responses to five questions that attendees had posed to one another. The questions and summary responses pertained to:

  • Institutional repository activities, scholarly communication activities, and providing access to hidden collections, led by Mechael Charbonneau;
  • Who in our libraries is involved with metadata creation, led by Peggy Johnson;
  • Use of Electronic Resources Management Systems discussion, led by Dianne McCutcheon.

Everyone will have a chance to update their responses and the survey and responses will be posted on the Discussion Group’s web site.

Future discussion topics include LC’s response to the Future of Bibliographic Control Work Group report.

Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Discussion Group

This was the inaugural meeting of the newly renamed discussion group, which also has a new mission and focus. The group was previously known as the Pre-Order/Pre-Cataloging Discussion Group. It was given a new scope to better accommodate the broader discussions that took place in the old group.

The meeting was well attended. Every available seat was filled. As an experiment and since this was the group’s inaugural meeting, no panel was planned. A “town hall” meeting was held to discuss what the group’s mission, how it interfaced with the workflow issues attendees encounter, and to gather input on future programs for the group.

The session was interactive, both between the audience and the chairs. A wide range of topics were discussed. When attendees were asked at the end of the session whether the newly reconstituted group was on the right track, their response was overwhelmingly positive.


Acquisitions Section Groups • learn about all acquistions groups

Acquisitions Managers and Vendors

The interest group program was titled “Locations and Dislocations in Technical Services: Coping with a Move Off-site.” As library space becomes pressured by information commons, collaborative study areas, coffee shops and full stacks, technical services operations are increasingly being considered for relocation to spaces outside the library or even entirely off-campus. Whether those moves are permanent or temporary (e.g., for renovations), the effects of disruption, distance, and impact on technical services workloads can be significant.

Moderator Rick Lugg of R2 Consulting set the stage by reviewing typical reasons for considering off-site moves, including user-related space priorities, synergies with off-site storage operations, the need for more collection space, and renovations. Above all, as the role of the library changes from a “warehouse of books to an active partner in student learning,” the need to free library space becomes more important. As a traditional “back room” operation, technical services becomes a candidate for relocation.

Movement to off-site operations can disrupt library organizations in a number of ways. To maintain the print collection efficiently, it is sometimes important for technical services staff to be located near the material and off-site operations complicate these processes. Processes shared with collection development, such as management of approval plans and coordination of serials reviews can be complicated by the separation and distance. Routine and informal communication requires much more disciplined effort. On the other hand, physical location of staff does not matter nearly as much for electronic resources.

Key issues that must be considered include:

  • Where does technical services fit best organizationally, operationally and physically in a changing information and user-services environment?
  • What roles might vendors and agents play in supporting an off-site operation?
  • What is the impact on staff and morale?
  • What has been learned by libraries that have worked with off-site operations?
  • How do off-site technical services operations affect specific processes, such as review of approval books by selectors?
  • Does such a move separate technical services still further from users?
  • How does an off-site operation affect the perception and status of technical services operations and people among administrators and colleagues in Public Services?

Mary Page, Head of Acquisitions, Rutgers University Libraries, spoke from the vantage point of a technical services operation that has worked off-site for sixteen years. She recently surveyed the forty-five staff members in the building, and found that more than two-thirds of them now prefer working in the off-site facility. The primary advantages seen by staff are parking, all operations on a single floor, social environment, and a degree of separation from collections. Negatives include remoteness from students, missing the college atmosphere, cubicle life, and the difficulty of hiring student workers.

Rutgers had to change its approval plan workflow to accommodate the move. Selectors travel to the remote building to review books, and workspace had to be provided for them. Shelving by rough LC class created additional work for Acquisitions. Reminding selectors to visit was uncomfortable for everyone. Out of forty selectors, eventually only about eight regularly reviewed their books. This inspired more online review, and a practice of placing holds on materials they want to see upon arrival in the main library.

Page’s advice to others:

  • Plan for impromptu meeting space.
  • Plan for some private work areas.
  • Encourage staff attendance at library events.
  • Create opportunities for others to visit.
  • Make sure technical services staff is known to others in the library.

Germaine Wadeborn, Manager, Print Acquisitions, University of California Los Angeles and Kittie Henderson, Academic Sales Manager, EBSCO presented the “Transition Trifecta” to describe UCLA’s recent move of technical services to a “campus-adjacent” facility, and some specific ways in which their subscription agent helped with that process.

UCLA’s move, which took place ten months ago, also included some reorganization and merging of departments. Seven teams were established to plan and execute the move, between April 2006 and March 2007. Some acquisitions-related functions stayed on campus, which necessitated some transfer of duties after the move had happened (e.g. updating of item records went to Access Services). Acquisitions did not want to move backlogged items, and embarked on a big push, backed by overtime, prior to the move. They succeeded in eliminating all backlogs. During the move, Monographs operations were down for only one day; Serials for five days.

UCLA sought EBSCO’s help with address changes for their extensive subscriptions list. UCLA had more than thirty accounts with EBSCO, all with slightly different parameters. Both organizations saw this as an opportunity to standardize accounts more fully. This was particularly important as Acquisitions also took over the entire Library mail operation as part of the move. UCLA took the opportunity to lay out the new space based on workflow needs. Approval workflows also changed, and selectors now travel to the technical services facility weekly to review books and confer about cataloging issues or ordering questions.

The Trifecta Results:

  • Relocation was a “win”
  • Merger of departments and functions was a “place”
  • The address change project was a “show:” good progress, still work to be done.

Other conclusions from the presenters:

  • Communication is key, both during and after the move. Keep everyone informed and involved.
  • A remote technical services operation needs to be much more active about inserting itself into the working life of other departments, finding opportunities to add value.
  • Being off-site has as many advantages as disadvantages. With good communication and management, it can be a very positive option.

Presentations from this session are available online.


Cataloging and Classification Section Groups • learn about all cataloging groups

Cartographic Materials Discussion Group

Several topics were covered during the meeting. The first topic was raining of copy catalogers in to catalog maps. Several in attendance spoke to the importance of having good documentation and used a list of important MARC fields from Paige Andrew's map cataloging workshop to help train copy catalogers. There was a general discussion on how to deal with the pressure to push materials through quickly while maintaining quality. This led to a general appeal to create new records when they are warranted. As faceting becomes more common in our catalogs, it was anticipated by the group that more information will be needed in records to get the displays to work.

The second topic was the use of form/genre headings in map cataloging. The form heading “Early works to 1800” was found by one library cataloging a sizable collection of rare maps to be less precise than they desired. Several in attendance suggested using the MARC 655 field “Maps $z place $y year” to bring in the precision desired.

The last topic of discussion was the treatment of digital maps. The Library of Congress uses a MARC 653 field “Maps, Digital” as a way to bring them all together in the catalog. The question was raised as to whether digitized images are reproductions or facsimiles. Most in attendance catalog them as reproductions. The audience was split on the one or two record question.

Catalog Management Discussion Group

The Catalog Management Discussion Group’s program was very well attended; about one hundred librarians participated in the meeting, which featured two presentations.

Anthony R. D. Franks, Team Leader, Cooperative Cataloging Team Library of Congress (LC), gave a presentation on the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control’s draft report. He noted that the recent preliminary reports of the LC Working Group have generated great discussion. It follows other LC initiatives, such as the 2001 Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control in the New Millennium, to engage the library community in discerning LC present status and to plan for LC’s future. He mentioned that the Working Group would issue its final report and recommendations to LC in January 2008. In his presentation, Franks highlighted the recommendations and directed the discussion.

In the second presentation, Melissa DeFino, Special Collection Catalog Librarian and Elizabeth Leister, Head, Continuing Resources Section (both are from Rutgers University Libraries) discussed the approach Rutgers has taken with OCLC’s institutional records (IRs). IRs were loaded from RLIN into OCLC in the summer of 2007. The speakers addressed Rutgers' experiences with these records, including potential benefits for access, problems encountered with linking between IRs and master records, and workflow implications if the IRs are to be retained.

Cataloging and Classification Research Discussion Group

The theme for this meeting was research in metadata mapping, and the topic was addressed by two speakers.

The first speaker was Jung-ran Park, currently an assistant professor at the College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University. Prior to joining Drexel University, she worked as a cataloger at Indiana State University. Her research and teaching areas include cataloging and classification, metadata and resource description, content representation, and computer-mediated communication. Park is currently the principal investigator of a three-year (2006–2009) grant entitled “Metadata Creation and Metadata Quality Control across Digital Collections: Evaluation of Current Practices” from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Park’s study assesses the current status of metadata creation and mapping between cataloger-defined field names and Dublin Core (DC) metadata elements across three digital image collections. She also identified factors engendering the most frequently occurring inaccurate, inconsistent and incomplete DC metadata applications. For this, a randomly collected sample of 659 metadata item records from three digital image collections was analyzed. Implications and issues drawn from the evaluation of the current status of metadata creation and mapping are also discussed in relation to the issue of semantic interoperability of concept representation across digital image collections. The findings of the study suggest that conceptual ambiguities and semantic overlaps inherent among some of the DC metadata elements hinder semantic interoperability. The DC metadata scheme needs to evolve further in order to disambiguate semantic relations of certain DC metadata elements that present semantic overlaps and conceptual ambiguities between element names and their corresponding definitions. The findings of the study also suggest that the development of mediation mechanisms such as concept networks that facilitate the metadata creation and mapping process are critically needed for enhancing metadata quality.

The second speaker was Gregory Wool, Associate Professor and Monographs Cataloger, Iowa State University Library. His publishing record includes articles on the effects of automation on bibliographic records, as well as on the browsability of Library of Congress subject headings in online catalogs.

Wool’s study involved an analysis of the quantity and functions of bibliographically significant names associated with monographs in European languages, drawing on a random sample from Iowa's union catalog and noting implications for cataloging-code development. Personal names associated with the creation of bibliographic works play an important role as indexing terms in the library catalog. Cataloging rules provide guidelines for determining a name’s bibliographic significance. Rules that exclude significant names (such as the “rule of three” which allows the indexing of multiple authors of a work only if there are no more than three) are perennially controversial, and in an automated environment are seen as unnecessarily limiting. At the same time, labeled displays of bibliographic records in computerized catalogs can misrepresent a person’s role in a work by giving all indexed personal names the blanket label “author.” This project was intended to generate baseline data that will identify significant categories of personal association with works and lead to more accurate, complete, and user-friendly data in library catalog records.


Cataloging Norms Discussion Group

There was an extremely good turnout for this discussion group meeting. Rather than the predicted sixty attendees, 145 attendees were counted. This was attributed to some extent to the manner in which three discussion topics were selected that focused on one aspect: how catalogers and cataloging departments face the new metadata and digital challenges of today. It was decided that the best format to facilitate discussion was to follow the presentations.

Tatiana Barr spoke briefly about the Discussion Group's new charge that had been ushered through the CCS Executive Committee by last year’s chairs, Susan Matveyeva and Jennifer Lang. The new charge replaces one that no longer reflected the realities of today’s world of cataloging and moves more “toward the exploration of definition, typology, and dynamics of cataloging norms” as they are changing in a hybrid environment, and tracking current developments. Barr cited a suggestion that Gary Strawn had made during the Executive Committee meeting that the group change its name since there are no more “norms” as we know them. Susan Matveyeva noted that the group is best known by that name and it was agreed that the term “norms” is still viable, that they are merely changing. Barr encouraged the audience to consider the meaning of norms in the current cataloging context and to read the new charge.

The speakers were Rebecca L. Lubas, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries; Charlene Chou, Catalog Librarian, Columbia University Libraries; and Patricia Dragon, Cataloger, Cataloging Department, Joyner Library, East Carolina University.

Lubas discussed “Creating a Metadata Services Unit at MIT Libraries.” In response to the changing needs of collections and users, the MIT’s Cataloging Department created a Metadata Services Unit. They partnered with the OpenCourseWare (OCW) project, an effort to provide course materials for all of MIT's courses online, free to anyone with Internet access. The MIT situation is unusual, she explained, because the academic faculty immediately recognized and acknowledged the libraries’ expertise at working with the organization and description of metadata. Thus, with the full support of the administration, the Cataloging Department participated in the testing and design of the content management system for OCW, and hired a Metadata Librarian and Metadata Production Assistant to oversee the project. The new unit faced challenges that had not been posed by traditional cataloging work, such as paying customers (it was based on a cost-recovery model), evolving best practices, and the dependence on non-librarians for bibliographic information. She described several “customers” outside MIT. The presentation ended with Ms. Lubas discussing the next phase: turning around to expand the kinds of projects on which the catalogers in the department will work.

Charlene Chou’s presentation was titled “Expanding the Cataloger's Role in the Era of Global Digital Libraries,” and described some of the cataloging expertise utilized by Columbia’s Cataloging Department in working on initiatives that involve non-traditional metadata and standards. She created a list of “core cataloging skills” that are the particular strengths of the cataloging profession and cannot be replaced by technology, and then illustrated how these skills could be used with some examples of Columbia University projects. Chou explained in detail how she was asked to work with the Avery Art Index and apply her Chinese language and cataloging skills on the Avery Art Index Project in a pilot project to expand its language coverage to Chinese/Japanese/Korean (CJK) materials and other non-Roman languages to attract more users globally. She also described how Columbia’s catalogers worked with faculty and students who had created a web site on Chinese gods and goddesses on paper and consulted with the catalogers ensure the names were authoritative and matched the images as well as related Unicode issues. A final large project, among many others, was cataloging department’s launch of GENIUS, a database of Columbia faculty publications and the beginning of an Institutional Repository. The catalogers searched all existing databases for citations and compiled a list of over 5,000 Columbia research faculty and officers and their publications reflected in approximately 137,000 records.

Chou drew a picture for the audience of a next-generation catalog, global digital libraries landscape and the possibilities of the Semantic Web in a future Web 3.0 environment and outlined the kinds of task in which catalogers may participate: locating and assessing information encoded in Resource Description Framework (RDF) syntax, mark-up projects within specific knowledge domains to promote the growth of open-access domain specific metadata, etc. She highlighted certain foci central to the cataloging mission of the future: finding ways to use our expertise with more flexible tools and technology; help develop a more flexible bibliographic infrastructure not based on formats; concentrate on professional learning and retooling; be entirely future oriented.

Patricia Dragon, speaking on “Authority Control Challenges Presented by Regional Cultural Heritage Digitization Projects” at Eastern Carolina University (ECU), described yet another growing aspect of the global digital library: making valued local and regional history materials available to users throughout the world and the challenges faced by those who create them to provide authority control. For many institutions, a key component of their digital library programs is the digitization of regional significant cultural heritage materials for a wider community as well as the academic community. Cataloging of more widespread materials is being automated, and in-house cataloging is increasingly focusing on the unique at institutions. Looking for quality descriptive metadata, it seemed natural at ENCU to give the work of creating descriptive metadata and subject metadata to catalogers; the digitization staff was responsible for physical description, copyright, citation and location metadata.

Authority control adds value to a discovery tool and is traditionally performed by catalogers. At ECU’s Joyner Library, it is viewed as part of their information service to the region in particular to perform authority work on regionally significant names for their digitization program and discovery tools. The addition of digital projects to the traditional library cataloging environment creates a number of challenges for authority control and catalogers to create and ensure a seamless discovery environment, and specifically, a quality federated search function across discovery tools. Dragon outlined the difficulties especially of documenting local names, cataloging at the image level, and creating relational databases to register all access points for digital images following the new Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD) guidelines.

The discussion which followed was guided by questions from the CNDG chairs, focused on several overarching issues common to all three presentations:

  • How do you recruit catalogers and encourage them to participate, considering that catalogers have many other traditional responsibilities and some may be reluctant, afraid, or disinclined to participate?
  • What advice would the three presenters give to the audience many of whom at this point in time are embarking on creating digital libraries or would like to use their catalogers’ skills to take part in projects outside the libraries and not be marginalized, or use their catalogers’ skills in a variety of new metadata initiatives?

Points Made and Noted

One overarching issue was staff and staff time. A question from the audience described a situation where a supervisor had convinced and trained several staff to work on a difficult project, learn a new metadata standard, etc. and just as they were ready to settle down the administration asked instead that their time be turned to working on electronic theses. In answer to this, Ms. Lubas advised that if a library embarks on a digital project, the administration must be entirely behind the staff and understand that if staff time is taken up for project work, other work will not be done. If this does not happen, morale suffers.

At Columbia, Chou was approached individually and asked to help because of her language expertise and said “yes” to the new challenge. Dragon reiterated that at ENCU, three catalogers were asked to help and the new work became a part of their work to the equivalent of .5 FTE (growing projects will mean more needed staff time, a future challenge).

Lubas summarized some of the new demands placed on catalogers who work on digital projects: It is a new world in which work is organized in a way that is unfamiliar to most catalogers: deadlines are more important, there are multiple standards many of which are not fully established, technical metadata is as important as descriptive, rights metadata is a new standard that is also necessary to understand. She also pointed out that at MIT the separately funded Metadata Services Unit, which used the expertise of the cataloging department, helped catalogers transition to this new work and she is now preparing to launch other metadata work within the department itself. It was a gradual way of helping catalogers learn other metadata work.

Chou advised catalogers to be open-minded, to be ready to train in and learn and use new standards and tools, and be future-oriented.


Copy Cataloging Discussion Group

The Copy Cataloging Discussion Group met on Monday, January 14, and seventy-five people attended the meeting. The three presentations focused on practices and problems of copy cataloging. A collegial question and answer period on these topics followed each presentation.

  • Library of Congress update. Judith Mansfield, Chief, Arts and Sciences Cataloging Division, Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access
  • The Academic Library Perspective: Copy Cataloging in Light of the LC Working Group Recommendations.” Presentation by Roberta Winjum, Associate University Librarian for Technical Services at Vanderbilt University Library
  • A Tale of Two Cataloging Departments. Presentation by Cynthia D. Clark, Director of Technical Services, The Research Libraries, New York Public Library, New York

Judith Mansfield presented statistics about increased LC copy cataloging productivity, workflow, and staff at LC. She also spoke about copy cataloging activities at LC overseas offices and the Serials Record Division. Mansfield also provided a brief report on the planned reorganization and organizational changes in the ABA directorate. Comments on copy cataloging at LC or other related topics can be emailed to Judy Mansfield.

Roberta Winjum’s presentation focused on the path to library collaboration that is recommended by the LC Working Group. She discussed copy cataloging, and the need to learn how to accept something that is “less than” the ideal. Ms. Winjum also spoke about the need to define the core values of the profession, to let go of control, and to accept records from other sources with less emphasis on perfection.

Cynthia Clark spoke on workflow, statistics, and staff of the New York Public Library’s (NYPL) cataloging departments. She also provided an overview of copy cataloging in the public branches versus the academic/research libraries. Ms. Clark gave a brief report on the planned merger and challenges of the two technical services operations at NYPL.

Heads of Cataloging Departments Discussion Group

The structure of the meeting followed its usual format of panel discussion with various libraries represented. The topic was: “Interaction--How Cataloging Departments Cooperate with Other Departments of the Library” Four presenters reported on different types of interdepartmental interaction, including cooperation and partnership, as well as social networking tools used to facilitate communication between the departments in their respective libraries and to provide better service to the library users.

Cathy Weng, Head of Cataloging, The College of New Jersey Library, discussed a multiphase project to enhance the library’s online public access catalog (OPAC) through cooperation of the Cataloging and Public Services Departments. Since catalogers were not consulted in the OPAC’s original setup, there were many outstanding issues with display labels, field linking, and field display. These problems were discussed, and suggestions for improvement were submitted and successfully implemented. The group also studied the OPAC search functionality by examining Voyager’s relevance ranking system and adjusting MARC field weights to enhance ranking. Pros and cons of using automatic AND or automatic OR for multiple word searches were also discussed.

The benefits of the project included catalogers learning the OPAC view of records; public services librarians’ exposure to MARC fields; increased respect, and appreciation of each other’s expertise; and increased sense of community and interdependence. Challenges included getting people to participate, getting people to be more familiar with the OPAC, and getting people to change their OPAC search behaviors.

Linda Smith Griffin, Head of Cataloging, Louisiana State University Libraries focused on the cataloging department’s collaboration with circulation, collection development, and special collections. She reported that the circulation department creates brief bibliographic records at the time of checkout for books that lack records in the system and assists with the deselection of materials and with inventory projects. The collection development area assists with the deselection of library materials and offers feedback on materials that should be transferred to special collections. The cataloging department also works closely with the collection development coordinator to assess library collections. The special collections department creates original catalog records for manuscripts; identifies, creates, and contributes authority work for manuscript headings; runs reports against special collections holdings to identify unauthorized headings, and works with the cataloging department on digital projects.

In Griffin’s assessment, this collaboration is a win-win situation for all. It facilitates better communication, provides improved services, removes barriers between departments, and offers professional writing opportunities. Everyone’s contributions are appreciated.

Lai-Ying Hsing, Head of Technical Services and Head of Metadata/Cataloging, University of California Libraries, Santa Cruz discussed how the cataloging department is exploring Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and Learning 2.0 to provide services to students and to other departments. Due to changes brought on by electronic resources and new technologies, the acquisitions, serials, preservation, and electronic resources departments are adding pertinent data to catalog records. These new duties for non-catalogers can create an identity crisis and role confusion among workers, and result in an increased amount of training for large numbers of staff. Catalogers, no longer the sole custodians of the library’s bibliographic database, will be called however, to supply the expertise of catalog infrastructure for the new catalog designs. All these changes led catalogers to assume added responsibilities in non-cataloging areas, to learn new skills and vocabularies, to share knowledge about underlying relationships of the catalog infrastructure with non-catalogers. Good communication channels are paramount to offset confusion of blurred roles and to manage the changing interaction. Open mindsets are needed to embrace the change, and using the social networking tools are strongly recommended.

Beacher Wiggins, Director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access (ABA), Library of Congress spoke about merging of LC acquisitions and cataloging units into one and how this results in increased cooperation among these departments and their counterparts in LC offices overseas in Cairo, Rio de Janeiro, Jakarta, Islamabad, New Delhi and Nairobi. Utilization of language expertise from areas served by these outposts provides a better opportunity for collaboration in producing locally the shelf-ready materials for LC. The reorganization itself quite naturally increases the cooperation across the Library because it is strategically designed to eliminate redundancies, to tap into a knowledge pool and to facilitate sharing language expertise already present among the LC staff but not previously utilized.

Other examples of internal cooperation between ABA and other LC units include:

  • providing input guidance for ILS to the Automation Planning and Liaison Office.
  • conducting an outreach effort to provide oversight, consultation and training to the Special Collections Services staff to enable them to partially process the special materials in situ, effectively eliminating necessity to transfer them from one location to another. As a result, the cataloging and processing time is being reduced and potential transfer-induced damage to valuable materials minimized.
  • streamlining of the services to allow departments to reduce huge backlogs and to allow the library to begin an entire inventory on its 135 million items.

Due to lack of time, only one question from the floor was posed to the panelists: Is there a standing policy forum for public services and bibliographic access departments to plan and share collaborative efforts?

  • TCNJ Library uses the Library Web Committee for planning and discussion of cooperative projects.
  • LSU had a committee in the past but now is in a process of creating a web site for interdepartmental discussions.
  • University of California, Santa Cruz has two committees across the virtual library system being used as forums for interaction.

The meeting concluded with a brief announcement by Jung-ran Park, Assistant Professor from Drexel about her ongoing research project on Metadata Creation and Quality Control across digital collections, current job announcements, and a call for candidates for Vice Chair/Chair Elect position for 2008–2010.


Collection Management and Development Section Groups • learn about all collections groups

Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries Discussion Group

Three groups held productive discussions on topics that were selected prior to the meeting. Each group discussed its topics for forty-five minutes, after which findings were reported to the group as a whole. The topic was then open for general discussions. The groups and a synopsis of their discussions follow.

Group 1: Balancing Collection Development with Other Job Responsibilities
Facilitator: Sally Willson Weimar

Time management and coordination are key in balancing the other responsibilities of an academic librarian with that of collection development. It is difficult to do selection during the semester because of service and professional obligations; a lot falls to the end of semesters, or is handled between semesters when there is more time. This time is also optimal for deselection activities. A key practice has been to let approval plans cover the basic selection, which frees time to look for the special and niche material to fill in gaps. Receiving shelf ready materials may also save time, depending upon the size of the library and the amount of material received; a cost benefit analysis can aid in making such a decision. Another suggestion was to work with consortia to negotiate database purchases and licenses. However, this may save money rather than time due to the need to get agreement from all members. Some discard dated material that has not been catalogued or distribute it to the relevant academic departments. However, for research institutions it is preferable to get more materials even if they go into a backlog since this type of material typically requires original cataloging. A related problem is the fact that faculty and graduate students often do not know how to use the catalog and request materials already held. Collections should be promoted using new book lists, through personal assistance at new faculty orientations, by liaisons maintaining a presence in academic departments, and by requesting faculty feedback regarding collecting needs. This is particularly important on those campuses where the primary selectors are the faculty. Other suggestions were to have cut off dates for ordering certain types of materials, to stage out serial renewals over a set time period, and to track collection decisions for future reference.

Group 2: Future of the Collection Development Policy
Facilitator: Julia Gelfand

Collection development policies are more relevant than ever in this time of flux for libraries and librarians. It still serves to justify how and what is selected and deselected for collections. This involves not only the scope of what is purchased, but also the format. It documents resources that have been committed, budget structures, assessment tools, collaborative/consortia purchases, what material is sent to off-site storage, and bundled aggregator purchases.

Group 3: Library 2.0 and Collection Development
Facilitator: Brian Quinn

Library 2.0 involves interactive communication, user empowerment, user customization, the user producing information as a “prosumer,” and collective intelligence. “Patron driven acquisitions” is facilitated by allowing patrons to easily recommend items they would like to see in the collection, including gaming collections. RSS feeds of new books alerts drive purchase recommendations, which can make collections unique. Going to where users are located allows libraries to market collections and communicate with hard to reach audiences. Many libraries are hindered by vendor software in library management systems that are not open and do enable enhancement of OPAC information such as book covers, summaries, content notes, or tagging of user comments for social and research purposes. It is hoped that the next generation of catalog software allows for easier faceted searching. Library 2.0 also involves the creation of institutional repositories, which allow libraries to make local collections accessible to the world by digitizing our unique material and in-house scholarly, open output.

Collection Development Issues for the Practioner Interest Group

The Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Interest Group meeting began with a discussion about the changing roles and responsibilities of collection development librarians. One librarian noted that collection development responsibilities seem to be shifting to the vendor's side. Collection development librarians' roles seem to be shifting away from selection and more towards relying on approval plans and conducting outreach.

Attendees felt that traditional collection development responsibilities are morphing. There is a need to evaluate electronic packages, and licensing is confusing. There is a growing trend toward using shelf-ready approval plan titles, and there is less time to review the approval plan. There is no electronic option for deselecting approval titles. Approval plan titles must be continually monitored because vendors slip in inappropriate titles. The only titles coming in as shelf ready should be mainstream titles. Reviewing electronic packages is time-consuming as is reviewing gift books. One librarian asks donors to send a list of gift titles first to predetermine whether they are appropriate.

There is increasing emphasis on selecting e-books. One librarian said that she purchases the PDFs of e-books and puts them in the library's repository. The quality of e-books varies widely. For example, one librarian felt that Oxford is good and Netlibrary is not a good source for e-books. One librarian said that at his institution they are not acquiring comprehensive e-book packages, only title by title. The quality of e-book readers is improving. Many students do not want the whole book and are primarily interested in relevant excerpts. E-books are important for libraries with distance learning programs. One librarian expressed frustration with not being able to keep e-books current after purchasing them.

Only a few collection development librarians are working on developing collections for institutional repositories. This group tends to spend more time with faculty. One librarian said that her library is using eProfessional to store faculty research and dossiers. Another librarian has been involved in selecting undergraduate honors papers for deposit in her library's repository, but that there are problems with students revealing sensitive information about other students in some of the papers.

Attendees discussed how Library 2.0 technologies affect their role as collection development librarians. One librarian uses a wiki for collection development that contains information about licensing of electronic titles. Another uses RSS feeds of new titles to promote collections to users. One librarian and her colleagues have created Facebook accounts that include tags and JSTOR applications. There is a split between older and younger librarians, and the younger librarians generally more tech savvy. Another librarian mentioned that he is using Facebook to communicate with student employees in the library.

One attendee commented that increasing automation by vendors is making collections more vanilla, and that institutional repositories would be an antidote to this trend. There has been a gradual shift from collection development to collection assessment. Librarians are focusing more on evaluating packages. Another attendee said that librarians need to push back on vendors and demand more customized and less homogenized products.

There was some discussion about whether the trend toward digitization in libraries is changing the role of collection development librarians. One librarian thought that automation was a positive development that is freeing librarians to perform higher functions and to work on selecting more difficult content, while vendors are supplying more generic content. Some librarians said that consortia are playing a more significant role in selection decisions and that they are reducing opportunities to select on a title by title basis.


Continuing Resources Section Groups • learn about all continuing resources groups

Journal Costs in Academic Libraries Discussion Group

Four speakers addressed the topic of evolving pricing models for e-books. The presentations were followed by a brief Q&A session:

Leo de Vos, Head of Pricing, Elsevier, provided a history on how Elsevier has handled electronic content, starting with e-journals and moving on to discuss e-books. Customers do not want digital rights management (DRM) restrictions on printing and downloading, or another “big deal.” Customers prefer purchase models. Elsevier’s e-book model allows libraries to pick and choose titles. Pricing is based on FTE and discounting is available for collections, but is not based on previous print holdings.

Michael McCullough, Sales Manager, Duke University Press, spoke about a university press’s foray into selling electronic books via the e-Duke Scholarly Books Collection. Eighteen libraries are participating in a 2008 pilot program. McCullough explained the model and why it was created (protection of course adoption sales), and shared some of the issues that the press has encountered, including working with books jobbers on adjusting approval plans, shipment of a print add-on option, removing titles where there are not electronic rights, etc.

Dennis Dillon, Associate Director, University of Texas Libraries, pointed out that print books have a 16 percent chance of circulating each year, but that e-books have a 219 percent chance of circulating in a given calendar year. Dillon discussed the various e-book models available, and presented his preferred model as shared risk, which gives a financial incentive to those who publish used materials. Dillon stressed that we need to pay attention to readers, and that readers may be better able to select materials than librarians and publishers.

Scott Wicks, Interim Assistant University Librarian, Cornell University, provided the group with examples of current e-book models, including title level, bundled, and chapter level purchases for both front and back list titles. Wicks also discussed acquisitions issues such as staffing concerns, platform considerations, predictable purchasing terms, speed of order processing, MARC records and table-of-contents linking to full-text, as well as provided a sample workflow based on print that could work for electronic materials.

Research Libraries Discussion Group

The theme of the group’s discussion was “Implementing FRBR Concepts for Serials.” There were two presenters at the meeting. Wendy Robertson, University of Iowa, discussed the use of FRBR concepts in the University of Iowa’s Primo display of serials, and Tim McCormick, OCLC, spoke about OCLC’s xISSN. Both presenters were engaging and their presentations led to a lively discussion among attendees.

As part of strategic planning, the discussion group will be requesting a name change and to become an interest group.


Preservation and Reformatting Section Groups • learn about all preservation groups

Digital Preservation

The Digital Preservation Discussion Group opened with reports from digital preservation meetings and conferences. Mary Molinaro, University of Kentucky, reported on the National Science Foundation “DataNet” cyberinfrastructure grant program. She also provided a summation of the Digital Curation Conference sponsored by the Council for Networked Information (CNI) and Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC).

Liz Bishoff, University of Colorado, reported on "Tools and Trends: The International Conference on Digital Preservation" held in November 2007 at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, Netherlands.

There is a lack of central authority in the United States regarding digital curation and preservation. By the end of the meeting, a strong call to action was summoned by Liz Bishoff and echoed by the attendees. The chairs indicated that they would report that call for action. In addition, Bishoff, Molinaro and Tom Clareson from PALINET will investigate funding options to create a research team to investigate the development of a national center for digital curation in the United States.

Ann Russell announced the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) digital programs surveys, The Digital Preservation Readiness Assessment is a survey process that NEDCC and its consultants have developed to help cultural institutions plan for digital preservation. She also announced the upcoming premiere of the "new" School for Scanning. "Digital Directions: Fundamentals of Creating and Managing Digital Collections" will be held in Jacksonville, Florida on June 10–12, 2008.

Tom Clareson, PALINET, announced the upcoming two-day workshop “Stewardship of Digital Assets ” to be held at the Georgia Archives in Morrow, Georgia.

Oya Rieger, Interim Assistant University Librarian for Digital Library and Information Technologies at Cornell University Library, provided background information about the recently published Preservation in the Age of Large Scale Digitalization. She collected data about four major “large scale digitization initiatives” (LSDIs) in spring 2007. Thirty libraries are currently engaged with Google, Microsoft, the Open Content Alliance and/or the Million Books Project, and others are actively planning to be involved. Many of the LSDIs focus on their access mission. Even as “access only” projects, they are very expensive, costing up to $500,000 per year. The libraries’ roles in preserving the LSDI content can draw resources from other preservation projects in an era of flattened budgets.

A great deal of discussion ensued about “quality,” i.e., the quality of the images and metadata and the processes to measure the quality. Two recommendations emerged from the discussion: (1) a suggestion to “brand” LSDI digital content to connote the level of quality vis-à-vis the current accepted quality standards/best practices for “good digital content,” and (2) an urgent “call to action” to work towards a cohesive, national digital curation center that resembles the purpose and breadth of the European digital preservation commitment.

The last segment of the meeting featured Laurie Taylor, from the University of Florida’s Digital Programs, providing a “File Format 101” overview. She discussed the characteristics of file formats, then provided an overview of the various file format registries and the other toolkits for identifying file formats and their attributes.

Topics for the discussion group’s meeting at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference include digital preservation conference updates, documenting the "aboutness" of digital content (to follow up in part on the "branding" concept and the Intellectual Access Interest Group’s discussion of the 583 field), and the use of Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification (TRAC) or Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA) to audit trusted digital repositories.

Library Binding Discussion Group

Library Binding Institute (LBI) Update

Debra Nolan, Library Binding Institute, gave an over view of the happenings within LBI including the following points

  • 2007–2008 has proved to be a year of progress for LBI
  • The fall Conference was largely attended
  • LBI had a historic board vote
  • LBI is exploring new directions
  • The updated Guide to Library Binding is due out soon
  • LBI George Cunha and Suzan Swartzburg Award
  • Library Binding toll kit for libraries

Benefits to attending LBI for Institutional Members

Jeanne Drewes, Library of Congress, gave a brief talk including the following points

  • Great access to information
  • Networking opportunity
  • Affords librarians to talk with library binders
  • Werner Rebsaman gives a wealth of information
  • Print on Demand (POD)
  • Hard Cover Binders
  • Open communication/questions/can get answers

Cover Material Discussion: Follow up from Annual and reports from individuals currently using Book Cloth

Jeanne Drewes provided an update on testing at the Library of Congress:

  • Book Cloth testing is not yet complete, and will soon be completed. Drewes will share the results with LBS and will find out what she can share with the preservation community.
  • Drewes is hoping to propose a change in her RFP to call for performance standards instead of a specific grade of cloth

Laura Cameron discussed a report by Beth Doyle at Duke University

  • Duke did field testing on ninety-eight books covered in Book Cloth.
  • Overall, the results were good on small to mid-sized books, though F-Grade Buckram is probably better for larger books.

Holly Robertson gave a brief report on field testing at University of Virginia.

  • The University of Virginia covered three books: one in Book Cloth, one in a digicover, and one in buckram.
  • Robertson was unable to bring the books to show the results, but after twelve to fifteen circulations, the cloth seemed to be holding up well.
  • Robertson and others would like more information about the book cloth from their binders.

There was a lot of follow-up discussion on Book Cloth, including the following:

  • Some would like to see the cloth renamed, since Book Cloth seems confusing and redundant.
  • Institutions may be interested in doing their own field testing.
  • Institutions would like more information about the cloth, including test results and pricing.
  • Most agree that this could be a good alternative to F-Grade for small to mid-sized books.

Update from the Publication Committee

Ann Marie Willer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), gave an update from the Publications Committee and confirmed that the updated Guide to Library Binding Standards will indeed be published before the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, and will likely be available for purchase by April 2008. She also encouraged anyone with information and or questions regarding publication to contact the committee.


Topics for future meetings, possibility of a combined meeting with the Physical Quality and Treatment of Library Materials Discussion Group at Annual Conference 2008 for discussion on “Staying Alive: Books through print on demand technology.”

Cameron encouraged everyone in the group to call or e-mail her or vice-chair Molly McIlhon with feedback on the following:

The idea presented at Preservation Administration Discussion Group (PADG) to reduce the number of discussion groups in ALCTS/PARS: If/When the discussion groups are realigned, what topic ideas would members like to see discussed?


Preservation Administration Discussion Group

The Preservation Administration Discussion Group (PADG) is intended to function as the section opening session for PARS, providing a venue for discussion of issues that are important to most members, and an opportunity for attendees to network and catch up with colleagues. This PADG featured a discussion of reconfiguring the PARS section, a discussion concerning preservation departments in the digital age from the academic point of view, a poster session, and announcements. One action from this discussion group was to proceed with restructuring PARS from roughly ten discussion/interest groups to three or four discussion/interest groups. This will be taken forward by the PARS Planning Committee and the PARS Executive Committee.

Preservation in Small to Midsized Libraries

This group’s attendees are typically from a variety of institutions, both small and large, but their problems are basically the same: they need a forum to discuss basic library preservation.

Many of the participants are at institutions that have either a small preservation program, no program, or they have responsibility for preservation and lack training. There are also many non-PARS members who attend this discussion group who have an interest in preservation.

The discussion revealed that in many cases these institutions face the same preservation issues as the more developed programs, but there is a lack of resources or no established culture of preservation.

The Heritage Health Index has made it clear that the majority of institutions fall into this category and it seems that PARS should be a guiding force in providing a discussion group, at the minimum, and should consider a special program for these types of institutions.

While a developed program may be dealing with mass deacidification or digitization, those running smaller programs are often working to convince administrators that the air conditioning should not be shut turned on weekends or recommend the most beneficial preservation activity that can be done with a limited budget. Eliminating this discussion group will widen the divide between the institutions with programs and those that are struggling to develop programs.

The ALA Annual Conference may be the only conference participants from these smaller programs can attend. It provides an opportunity for them to talk to experts, learn about resources, or simply reaffirm that there are others in the same situation.

The suggestions from the discussion group included:

  • bringing in a panel of experts to answer questions
  • bring together representatives from regional organizations (Solinet, Amigos, Palinet) to discuss the services they offer
  • provide a preconference workshop on library preservation including topics such as basic book repair, disaster planning, digital collaboration
  • create a special poster session on basic repair techniques

This discussion group is a forum that tries to meet the needs of these institutions. There is a need for practical advice and appropriate inexpensive techniques that can be used or implemented after the participants leave the conference.

There was also discussion that the name of the discussion group does not reflect who actually attends. The participants are from small and large institutions, but it is their preservation programs that are small, midsized, or just beginning and it might be more appropriate to have a name that reflects this fact.

The Preservation in Small to Midsized Libraries Discussion Group should be given the mission to provide for the small preservation program. If this discussion group continues, it should have a focused mission to provide support for small programs, and institutions that want to start programs. If these participants only have the three proposed discussion groups recommended by PARS at this past Midwinter Meeting, their needs will not be met. PARS should have at least one avenue of outreach and education to support the wider community in preservation initiatives. If this discussion group is discontinued, where will that endeavor be placed?


Recording Media Discussion Group

The discussion centered on digital preservation for audio, strategies for migration of audio for preservation, questions about standards for technical metadata and the lack thereof, and how to better communicate the concerns about/needs of audio collections to administrators, funders, and legislators.

The Discussion Group resolved to create an agenda of audio preservation concerns at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim as a first step toward developing a formal document on audio preservation concerns to be presented to the Board for action. The group felt it was time to move from loose discussion to more formalized work.


Committees Report on Activities in Philadelphia

The reports below are summaries of the activities that took place during meetings of ALCTS committees held during the 2007 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Included are groups whose reports were received by the editor as of February 1, 2008.

division | acquisitions | cataloging & classification | collections | continuing resources | crg | preservation

Division Committees

Budget and Finance

The ALCTS Budget and Finance Committee met twice during the 2008 Midwinter Meeting. With new members on the committee, some time was devoted to the basics of ALCTS’ budget planning process. Agenda items of note included a review of the FY07 year-end and first quarter FY08 budgets, a discussion of LRTS subscription rates in light of an electronic edition, and an update on the ALCTS strategic planning database.

The committee reviewed the FY07 Year-End budget report. As noted in previous reports, FY07 was an odd budget year due to the ALCTS 50th Anniversary celebration, with the high cost of the Washington, D.C. venue being a major factor. The group discussed the good, bad, and the unpredictable. They were satisfied that the Anniversary celebration was an overall positive for ALCTS, and that the main budget was in a healthy state. The reserve fund will cover the deficit and future budgets provide a means to replenish the ALCTS reserve. The FY08 first quarter budget review showed that it was one of the most positive first quarters in some time. Much of this was due to more cost-efficient continuing education activities, greater emphasis on Web courses, and fewer in-person workshops. The group plans to invite the chair of the Education committee to discuss their activities and the impact on the budget. The preliminary FY09 budget was discussed briefly with more in-depth discussions slated for the 2008 Annual Conference. Joan Giesecke, the ALCTS BARC liaison, joined the committee to provide a helpful explanation of overall ALA budget and organization of accounts.

Peggy Johnson, LRTS editor, met with the committee to discuss the online edition and subscription rates. Feedback from the membership indicated that most want an online edition yet do not want the print to go away. The committee will discuss various subscription options such as bundled and rates for each format, for example, at the 2008 Annual Conference.

Nancy Gibbs, chair of the ALCTS Planning Committee, provided an update on the planning database which is now operational. B&F member will review entries in the database quarterly to assess how planned activities and initiatives may impact the budget.

The committee will review the current Financial Plan between the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference, and will prepare a revised draft to discuss and adopt at the 2008 Annual Conference. Members will also review the current B&F web page content and propose corrections/changes and content to add to the web page.


Continuing Education

The online course “Fundamentals of Acquisitions” has been revised and will be offered five times during 2008. “Fundamentals of Collection Development” and “Fundamentals of Electronic Resources” will soon be loaded into the course software and will be offered later in the spring.

The Education Committee brainstormed ideas for additional courses and strategies to move forward. Several ALCTS sections have ideas for webinars they would like to offer, and it would ideal to find ways to connect with speakers at ALA conferences and try to capture their content in webinar format. The ALCTS Office will provide more information on how they can support these efforts. A task force of ALCTS Education members is developing an overall strategy for CE development to plan better for coming years.

Shepherding Document

A document to aid the shepherding of CE courses has undergone a number of revisions. The current version, drafted by Barbara Anderson and Cynthia Watters, is ready for section committees to apply when developing a course. The committee needs to do additional work to find ways to compile and track the data on all the courses in development.

Course Proposal Template

The Committee is refining a template for developing course proposals. It was suggested they examine the format used by ALCTS for program proposals, and revise it for our needs. It was left unresolved whether one proposal form or separate forms will be needed for different types of courses.

Scouting Form

A scouting form has been developed to be used by committee members to evaluate conference programs which may be potential CE offerings. It was suggested that the same form can be used to evaluate potential speakers for the CRG speaker’s bureau. After a few revisions, the form will be implemented beginning with the 2008 ALA Annual Conference.


Committee items that have been entered in the Planning Database were reviewed. Regular, ongoing activities, such as soliciting sponsorship, do not need to be included in the database.

The recently revised Sponsorship Opportunities Guidelines which will be used to identify giving levels and associated benefits for sponsors were reviewed.

The list of ALCTS programming events and confirmed committee liaison assignments were reviewed.

Potential sponsors in regards to particular programs were discussed.

Committee members were given assignments to approach potential sponsors. Ideas for approaching potential sponsors were discussed. It may be necessary to include some basics about ALCTS and the activities in which its members are involved, program information, sponsorship levels and an offer to provide more information about other programs and giving levels.

The procedure for when a sponsor has made a commitment was clarified. At this point, the committee chair will be copied on correspondence. The chair will send a thank-you letter and an invoice. The liaison will inform the program planners about the sponsorship.

The chair shared information about the upcoming ALCTS web site plan.

There were no action items for the ALCTS Board.

International Relations

Six IFLA representatives attended (Lois Chan, Jeanne Drewes, David Miller, Ed O’Neill, Pat Oyler, and Nadia Zilper) and four visitors (Diana Brooking, University of Washington; David Hirsch, University of California-Los Angeles; William Kopycki, University of Pennsylvania; and Sharolynn Pyeatt, Brigham Young University.

The IFLA representatives reported on their sections’ programs and activities during the Durban, South Africa IFLA meeting. There was a discussion about the various issues raised, with contributions from some of the visitors who have been involved in regional (e.g. Middle East) meetings regarding cataloging code.

Paul Hover, IRC liaison to the International Relations Round Table, reported briefly on the sister libraries program of the IRRT working in conjunction with the United States State Department’s American Corners program.

Ways to expand on the poster session presented at ALA Summer 2007 through further publication were discussed. Possible venues suggested were the ALCTS Newsletter Online, IRRT’s International Leads, and the IRRT blog that is being established. Americans working abroad or universities with exchange programs might be featured.

Leadership Development

The fifth annual ALCTS Volunteer Forum, sponsored by the Leadership Development Committee, was held Saturday, January 12. Approximately thirty attendees joined the division leaders for an informative session with ample time for networking. After welcoming remarks from Pamela Bluh, ALCTS President, and Dina Giambi, ALCTS President-Elect, the appointing officers for each section (Acquisitions, Cataloging, Collections, Continuing Resources, and Preservation) and the Council of Regional Groups, and Mary Beth Weber, ALCTS Newsletter Online Editor, gave tips on how to get involved:

  • Take time to learn about ALCTS via the web site.
  • Submit a detailed volunteer form by March 1.
  • Be willing to serve as a committee intern.
  • Attend committee meetings and contact the chair to express interest.
  • Participate in a discussion or interest group.

Following the presentations, attendees met in small groups with the section leaders to discuss ongoing activities and committee opportunities.

Plans are underway for the Leadership Development Committee’s 2008 Annual Conference program, “Succession Planning: The Future of Your Library Depends on It” to be held Saturday, June 28 from 10:30 am–12 pm. Co-sponsored by ACRL, PLA, and LAMA, the program promises to be a timely and educational overview of the issues and strategies to consider when preparing the next generation of leaders within libraries. Noted expert Vicki Whitmell, Principal Consultant with Whitmell & Associates, and practitioners Nanette Donohue, Technical Services Manager at the Champaign Public Library (Ill.), and LeRoy LaFleur, Head of the Arlington Campus Library at George Mason University, will give both managers and front-line librarians helpful insights and techniques.

The Leadership Development Committee will offer the New Leaders Orientation again during the 2008 Annual Conference on Sunday, June 29, at 8:00am. The Orientation provides incoming volunteers (new section officers, committee chairs, committee members, and discussion and interest group leaders) the opportunity to hear firsthand from the Division Committee leaders about internal ALCTS operations.

Library Resources and Technical Services Editorial Board

The editor briefly reviewed her report (distributed prior to the meeting) and distributed the book review editor’s report to those who had not received it via e-mail.

The Board discussed several possible improvements to the Editorial Board web site and to the LRTS web site, which the editor will share with the ALCTS Office. One key focus will be additional information to encourage and support first-time authors and potential authors considering submission to LRTS.

The Board discussed revisions to the journal’s scope statement. The editor will draft a revised statement for the LRTS Editorial Board to review. Attention will be given to revising the scope statement to be less rigorously tied to the current structure of ALCTS sections, and to emphasize LRTS’ interest in publishing papers on emerging areas within technical services and libraries more broadly.

Board members reported on the activities toward soliciting manuscripts.

ALCTS Executive Director Charles Wilt reported on progress toward acquiring an online manuscript management system, and positing the digitized backfiles of LRTS.


The Membership Committee is planning to move forward with several ongoing and some new initiatives. During the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, the committee discussed plans to expanding the program of visiting library and information science schools to recruit ALCTS members. The committee also began planning for two exciting ALCTS activities that will take place at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference: ALCTS participation in the ALA Pavilion, and ALCTS 101. ALCTS 101 will take place on Friday evening, and will serve as an orientation for new members, and will provide an opportunity for new and continuing members to meet and mingle. The Pavilion will provide a broader forum for ALCTS to reach out to existing and potential members from a convenient central location in the convention center. In addition, Membership Committee members will continue to serve as mentors to the recipients of the SAGE Support Staff Travel Grant award for first time attendees. Finally, the Membership Committee is working with a group of public librarians to help ALCTS better meet the needs of its public library members. A survey to help focus this effort is forthcoming.

Organization and Bylaws

After brief introductions, the committee reviewed and approved of minutes from the June 2007 meeting. Chair Dale Swenson reported on actions from Saturday’s Board Meeting. ALCTS Executive Director Charles Wilt gave an update on the new ALA web site and how to get the committee’s activities and information posted. Following Wilt’s visit, ALCTS President Pamela Bluh and Vice-President Dina Giambi joined the committee to discuss Association issues, including the “7 Measures” survey, and to observe committee interaction.

The remainder of the meeting was concentrated on a discussion of a proposal to merge discussion groups with interests groups, and use the latter designation to refer to all such units. This would entail extending options for activity not previously available to discussion groups, such as program planning and publications. It would also mean that discussion groups would be subject to the “sunset” policy for interest groups (i.e., they would need to repetition every three years in order to continue). The committee reviewed the text for a Board motion that Arlene Klair had drafted, and it was agreed it was ready for Chair Dale Swenson to take the motion to the Board for approval at its Monday meeting. A related proposal to review all interest groups petitions at the division level was tabled since input from the section’s executive committee was largely opposed to such a move.

Carolyn Coates volunteered to draft a multipurpose form that could be submitted online for interest groups to use when petitioning to establish a new group, renew an existing group, or change the name or mission of an existing group. All members were asked to explore the new web site and make recommendations regarding how content relating to organization and bylaws—particularly policy relating to new changes regarding interests groups—might best be presented.

Finally, Nancy Singleton reported that CRG is reviewing ALCTS bylaws related to the Council and will be bring actions to the committee regarding any amendments that are needed.

Paper Series Editor

The Board reported progress made on the four previously approved proposals for volumes in the ALCTS Papers Series. One manuscript was just received and will be reviewed shortly. Delays in a few other proposals led to discussion about the timeliness of our publications in the Series. The Board will continue to carefully monitor progress on the proposals at each meeting and be prepared to halt projects that languish. The Board reviewed sources of information about ALCTS programming and potential publications; Board members are responsible for monitoring these sources and soliciting new proposals. The Editor will follow up with program planners who have received proposal forms midway to the Annual Conference in Anaheim.


The Program Committee met with nineteen preconference and program planners at the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting. The committee discussed and approved a total of six preconferences and twelve programs for presentation at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. The committee also discussed plans for Presidential symposia for the 2008 Midwinter Meeting in Denver with ALCTS President Pamela Bluh and President-elect Dina Giambi.

The committee discussed a selection of preliminary or “germ-stage” ideas for a variety of programs and preconferences for the 2009 Midwinter Meeting and beyond.

The committee also had a number of productive discussions on our online community web space as a communication tool to conduct business between meetings and the ALCTS web site redesign process.

The committee evaluated the work of its subcommittee, the Preconference Planning Committee, which was formed at the 2008 Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Despite some bumps in the road during this first round of planning, the committee believes that the subcommittee, whose charge is to oversee the entire chain of preconference planning, provides valuable oversight and administration to the preconference planning process.


Mary Beth Weber volunteered to chair the meeting since Norm Medeiros had a family emergency. Committee members and guests introduced themselves. A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes as distributed (after correcting location from Seattle, Washington to Washington, DC). The motion passed unanimously.

ALCTS Paper Series

ALCTS Paper Series Editor Anne Sleeman reported that there are three new volumes in the series: :

  • #14 Salsa de Topicos = Subject in SALSA: Spanish and Latin American Subject Access.
  • #15 Perspectives on Serials in the Hybrid Environment.
  • #16 Commemorating the Past, Celebrating the Present, Creating the Future: Papers in Observance of the 50th Anniversary of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services.

Sleeman noted that the ALCTS Paper Series continues to solicit proposals.

LRTS Report

The next report was from LRTS Editor-in-Chief Peggy Johnson who reported on Library Resources & Technical Services ( LRTS) activities. She noted several minor corrections to her 12/07 report (Spelling of Shawnee D. Misko to Shawnee D. Miska and last listing LRTS v. 52, no.1 projected is v.52, no. 2 projected).

Johnson is seeking a volunteer to prepare a review of the cataloging and classification literature for 2007–2008.

Johnson reported on an ARL luncheon for LIS editors that she attended that was organized by Karla Hahn. The discussion focused on commonalities (i.e., code of ethics and document of best practices). They also discussed how they might collaborate, and will continue their discussion via email. The group will meet during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim and their goal is to develop a shared code of ethics.

Library Materials Price Index Update

Janet Belanger Morrow updated the committee on Library Materials Price Index ( LMPI) activities. She anticipates an article in March 2008. There is a new person for the serials series and a possibility of index of databases. Latin American periodicals will be dropped from LMPI. They have been talking with SALALM and may approach REFORMA.

ALCTS Newsletter Online ( ANO) Update

ANO Editor Mary Beth Weber reported that six issues of ALCTS Newsletter Online ( ANO) were published in 2007. New features include: calendar of upcoming events, author guidelines and editorial policy with the masthead, and section spotlights.

John Chapman, University of Minnesota Libraries, is the new ANO assistant editor position.

Section Liaisons’ Updates

The following Section Liaison Representatives updated the Committee on the status of their section’s publications proposals and manuscripts. Each section representative reviewed their respective spreadsheet listing publication proposals/projects and their status.

Douglas Litts (CMDS)

Proposals for “Sudden Selector” series will not be considered until after Annual 2008 in order to complete pending work.

Litts reported that he is working with the CMDS Collection Assessment Committee to produce a course and guide.

Litts also reported on CMDS’ efforts to keep authors on track and to short circuit potential problems through early intervention. The Committee agreed that this would be a good model for all to follow when working with authors.

Aiping Chen-Gaffey (CCS)

CCS Publications is considering an essay about vendor-supplied cataloging.

Ann Marie Willer (PARS)

Willer reported that the binding guide will be published this spring. She also reported that there is a proposal for an online program based on the successful “Saving Sound” series of programs.

The preservation education directory will be updated.

Connie Foster (CRS)

Foster reported that SS Publications is working to develop a formal workshop on ALCTS publication opportunities. The committee discussed targeting a session of this type for the New Members Round Table. C. Taylor noted that ALCTS 101 will be repeated at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, and could have publishing as a theme, or there could be a table for those who want to find out more about this topic.

Marsha Clark (AS)

M.B. Weber read Marsha Clark’s report as Clark had to leave the meeting early. AS is focusing on four publications that have a good chance of being completed this year:

Guide to Approval Plans (formerly Guide to Virtual Approval Plans)

Guidelines for Handling Library Orders for In-Print Monographic Publications

Guide to Media Acquisitions

Guide to Acquiring and Managing E-Book Collections.

Gift policies are a new topic that AS Publications will explore.

Publications Update

C. Taylor of the ALCTS Office reported that the Guide to RFP, ALCTS Acquisitions Guides Series #13 will soon be ready for publication. She is getting a handle on costs and returns from ALCTS titles sold by ALA Publishing.

C. Taylor reported that Norm Medeiros hosted a lunch for the division publication chairs and her on January 11 in which they discussed mutual concerns.

Taylor noted the ALCTS web site is undergoing major changes.

ALCTS Strategic Planning Database

Guest Kathleen Stacey from the Planning Committee reported that the Planning Database is available on the Strategic Plan page of the ALCTS web site. It is not yet glitch-free. The Division’s activities can be tied into the Strategic Plan. She emphasized that the Planning Committee does not want routine work to be included in the database.

Publication Review Process

This discussion was tabled until the 2008 Annual Conference.

New Business

The issue of ALCTS and other division publication not appearing in the ALA catalog was discussed. C. Taylor noted that this is a marketing issue. ALCTS does not get marketing support from ALA. N. Medeiros has suggested that the divisions produce a combined catalog.

Publishing Handbook

M. Damon and A. Willer reported on the status of the publishing handbook. They have examined it to see if it jibes with the “Delegation of Authority” document. They noted that the handbook will require some minor edits.

Audio Books

C. Taylor reported that N. Medeiros and she have discussed the possibility of downloading chapters and making podcasts available. They also discussed whether these things will be available for free or with a fee.


C. Taylor noted that ALCTS 101 is scheduled for ALA Anaheim Conference on Friday night (June 27, 2008). Committee members asked if publishing could be stressed as a way for new members to become involved with ALCTS. C. Taylor agreed that this was a viable option.


P. Johnson asked for hints on bringing things to closure between editors and authors. C. Taylor gave a concise update on the wiki.



Acquisitions Committees

Executive Committee

There were reports from all AS committee chairs and AS liaisons at the Sunday, January 13 meeting.

Two programs have been scheduled for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference (Anaheim). “Institutional Repositories: New Roles for Acquisitions” which follows up on the Acquisitions Forum Discussion on that topic at this conference “(Technology) and E-book Workflows: Selection and Access (Organization and Management).”

The AS Publications Committee has approved five manuscripts: the Guide to Writing RFPs for Acquisitions is in the final stages of copy editing, and is scheduled to be published in 2008. Judy Sterling, AS Liaison to the ALCTS Planning Committee, led a discussion on how AS would populate the Planning database. The AS Policy and Planning Committee will take the lead in populating the database, and will be assisted by Vice-Chair Robert Alan and Judy Sterling. Committee chairs will eventually assume responsibility for recording and updating their committee activities.

The AS Executive Committee continues to discuss possible organizational changes involving the section. ALCTS President-Elect Dina Giambi visited the meeting and discussed “7 Measures” with the committee.

The committee went into executive session to discuss the nomination for the Leadership in Acquisitions award and the nominating committee report. Both were approved.

The Tuesday, January 25 meeting focused on the Executive Committee’s work. There were visits from ALCTS Liaison Charles Wilt and ALA NISO representative Cindy Hepfer. Wilt provided guidelines regarding when an item should be entered in the planning database. His suggestion was to include them as early as an idea is formed and viable.

Cindy Hepfer discussed her activities as ALA representative to NISO. AS Chair Clendenning noted that AS does not have a standards committee when Cindy indicated that she was communicating with ALCTS leaders and all ALA committees with standards in their name. Acquisitions librarians have a great interest in the work of NISO, and AS will keep abreast of new issues.

Michael Norman was invited to report on the ALCTS Working Group on automating metadata generation (ONIX, etc) as this work is of great interest to acquisitions. He was unable to attend the meeting due to illness, and will submit a written report.

Those who attended the Saturday AS All Committee meeting reported that AS committees are active and well-attended. AS Members-at-Large are liaisons to specific committees. Vice-Chair Robert Alan focuses on the committees on programs and volunteers. Jim Dooley, AS Liaison to the Programming Committee, works directly with committees to develop and implement programs.

Chair Lynda Fuller Clendenning led a discussion on developing leadership succession and continuity in AS committees. All executive committee members will encourage others to volunteer for AS committees. Judy Sterling noted that she was very pleased at the increased activity and attendance at meetings within the section, which has increased over the past eight years that she has been involved. Secretary Jeanne Harrell will be the contact for the AS web site pages. Members-at Large and Harrell will review the AS pages. A short discussion about expanding Wikipedia stub pages on Acquisitions in Academic Libraries led to idea of linking ALCTS pages to the article.

The Acquisitions Section had no items to bring before the ALCTS Board.

Acquisitions Organization and Management Committee

The Committee Chair reported that the proposal for the annual program “Ebook Workflows: Selection to Access” was approved. Confirmed speakers at the Midwinter Meeting are Mary Gilbert, Assistant University Librarian for Content Management, Towson University; Carolyn Morris, Director, New Business Development, Coutts Information Services; and Aline Soules, Reference/Instruction Librarian, California State University, East Bay, all who kindly joined the committee for the first part of its discussion. The Program Committee suggested including a representative from YPB, and the committee agreed this would add depth to the presentation. No other program changes were made. The committee also discussed co-sponsorship and began assignments requests.

The Committee brainstormed on possible topics for future programs or preconferences. Some good starts were developed and there will be a follow-up discussion on email.

Lastly, Marlene Slough joined the committee to discuss the Committee's upcoming five year self- review, which is due on March 15.


Testers were solicited for Fundamentals of Acquisitions (P. Loghry, A. DeVore, J. Costanza, Carlo Medina, J. Gammon, Mandy Havert) and Fundamentals of E-Resources (P. Loghry, L. Tang, L. Snowhill, A. DeVore, J. Costanza, M. Boyd).

A program proposal for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim (“Re-defining Acquisitions”) was not accepted since the topic was not defined clearly enough. The proposal will be revised and resubmitted to the committee for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. It was felt that this might be a good candidate for a preconference. The proposal will be finalized via email before Anaheim. This could possibly be presented as a webinar.

Policy and Planning

Chair Patrick Steele explained the function of the committee and the current projects underway for the benefit of new members. The committee reviewed and approved the minutes from the June 2007 meeting in Washington, D.C. AS Chair-Elect Robert Alan sat in for some of the meeting.

Judith Sterling, AS representative to the ALCTS Planning Committee, discussed the new ALCTS planning database. Committee members had reviewed the planning database online in the days prior to this meeting and had questions, including the possible role of this committee in the ongoing maintenance of the database. Sterling explained that, although the planning database was complete and now active, it may still require some minor changes. Robert Alan is the AS Policy and Planning liaison in regard to future involvement, roles, etc.

The ongoing review of AS committees was discussed. The Acquisition Organization & Management Committee will be contacted regarding the self-evaluation form. Marlene Slough will follow-up. The Gifts Interest Group was not available for contact at this meeting regarding its self-evaluation. Linda Morrissett will contact that group and will provide follow-up. Both groups will be reviewed during the regular committee meeting at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in June.


The committee focused on four publications in progress that are most likely be completed in the coming year: The Guide to Online Approval Plans (formerly Guide to Virtual Approval Plans), Guidelines for Handling Library Orders for in Print Monographic Publications, The Guide to Media Acquisitions, and The Guide to Acquiring and Managing E-book Collections. Each publication has a committee member assigned to stay in contact with the author(s) (referred to as a “shepherd”). Committee members were in contact with authors prior to the 2008 Midwinter Meeting.

Draft chapters of The Guide to Online Approval Plans were reviewed, and concerns, suggestions, etc. will be conveyed to the authors.

Six additional ideas have been on the committee's list for at least a year, and there will be an attempt between now and the 2008 Annual Conference to determine if the authors are still interested in proceeding. In addition, a suggestion for guideline on gifts was considered, and the committee will look for an author.

In other business, committee members were reminded that the archive of emails sent through AS-Pubs is online at the ALA mailing lists service. In addition the committee’s online community is another place to post documents.


Plans for the program, “Institutional Repositories: New Roles for Acquisitions,” which will take place at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, were discussed. Speakers for the panel are still not in place. The committee agreed on a format of overview followed by talks focusing on specific aspects of institutional repositories, and time will be allowed for questions from the audience. Potential speakers were discussed: Catherine Nelson will inquire at California Digital Library (CDL), Katharine Farrell will check with Karl Debus-Lopez and/or Trisha Davis for additional candidates, Yalan Qi will check with the University of Maryland, Patricia Adams will inquire at New York State and Maureen Grant will solicit ideas from University of Wisconsin-Madison. The deadline for speakers is January 22, 2008. The chair will meet with the Program Committee on Tuesday morning to report on progress.

Farrell reported that ANO is not the best forum for a regular hot topic column, which had been under consideration; however, an occasional article might be appropriate. The committee suggested several ideas for articles: Electronic Resource Management (ERM), ONIX, and Vendor record use by Acquisitions. Nelson will research ONIX for a potential article. Interest was expressed in having ONIX as the topic for the committee’s 2009 program. Other 2009 program ideas were: “In Defense of Vendor Records,” and an exploration of how the relationships between journals and their databases are managed. These will be discussed further when the committee meets at the 2008 Annual Conference.    


Cataloging and Classification Committees

Executive Committee

The CCS Executive Committee met three times during the 2008 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. The first meeting included a discussion about lobbying Congress on behalf of cataloging at the Library of Congress. Lloyd Chittenden attended the meeting to suggest that ALA needs to ask Congress to support LC as a national library to enable them to continue to catalog as they have done for over 100 years, an activity that is efficient and supports the nation’s libraries. This response is “instead of” the Working Group report recommendations, which assume that the LC budget will not increase at a rate that allows them to continue this support. During the June 2007 meeting in Washington, D.C., the committee decided to draft “talking points” to send to ALA’s Washington Office, and which they in turn could use to lobby Congress for additional funding to support bibliographic services at LC.

During its first meeting, the committee also provided input on the issue of interest groups and discussion groups for its Organization and Bylaws representative. The chair of CCS Policy and Planning reported on the new planning database from the. Ways to populate it with all the CCS activities were discussed.

During the second meeting, there was a report from the new chair of the RDA Implementation Task Force. The CCS Web information and how to update it were discussed. The CCS Wiki and how it might be used was discussed. Sally Smith attended the meeting discuss how CCS might involve more public library catalogers.

During the third meeting, the committee approved a motion honoring Lynn El-Hoshy for her fifteen years as the Library of Congress liaison to the Subject Analysis Committee. Another motion was prepared for the Board about the LC Working Group follow-up. John Attig, JSC representative, reported and requested that CCS Exec clarify with ALCTS how he should report. In lieu of reports from Discussion group chairs, who have usually left before Tuesday, the many lively and usually well attended meetings that CCS Exec members had been able to attend were discussed. Finally, CCS Exec discussed the “7 Measures” information that was distributed by the ALCTS Board. The number of CCS Exec meetings at Annual will be reduced in response to the item regarding organizational adaptability. CCS Exec members felt reports from various groups, which formerly consumed a lot of meeting time, could easily be replaced by e-mail messages.

CCE Exec also sponsored the Forum on the Report of the LC Working Group. It was well attended and comments following the session have been positive. One comment, addressed to the ALCTS response was “Thanks for considering those of us in small libraries.”

Cataloging: Asian and African Materials Committee (CC:AAM)

Guidelines for the Nonfiling Control Character Technique in the MARC 21 Formats

The Guidelines for the Nonfiling Control Character Technique in the MARC 21 Formats were discussed. Following the 2007 ALA Annual Conference ( Washington, D.C.), Lenore Bell of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) sent a letter to Philip Melzer, LC Liaison to CC:AAM asking the committee to consider taking necessary steps to see that MARBI 98-16R (December 1999) is implemented in library systems and used in cataloging practice.

At the June 1998 MARBI, Proposal No. 98-16 was discussed and the technique for using beginning and ending control characters (Hex “X88” and Hex “X89” from ISO 6630) to block off the non-filing characters was approved. This technique is used to envelope text as non-filing characters in fields that otherwise do not allow for non-filing indicators in the second indicator.

In the examples that follow, the brackets { } represent x88 and x89. For example:

700 1# $a{al-}Sadat, Anwar

710 2# $a{ha-}Universit.ah ha-’Ivrit bi-Yerushalayim

710 1# $a Israel. $b {ha-}Mishmar ha-ezrah.i

The CC:AAM Chair has had several correspondences with Nancy Sack (University of Hawaii at Manoa Library, and a member of AJL) to discuss how to get the proposal implemented. It was suggested that CC:AAM formally solicit letters of support from cataloging communities where this topic is of interest (AJL, MELA, others), after which CC:AAM can present a unified letter of recommendation to the following entities:

  • OCLC
  • CSPO
  • PCC

CC:AAM agreed that this was a task worth pursuing and agreed to move forward. The CC:AAM chair will take the lead in obtaining formal support from both MELA and AJL and will communicate these efforts to the aforementioned ALA groups.

CC:AAM requests further direction from CCS-Exec as to suggestions or ideas on how to best shuttle this forward.

2009 Program

In spite of a false start in the time leading up to 2007 Annual, CC:AAM was able to brainstorm and come up with a potential program a program idea for 2009 Annual that is both timely, relevant and appropriate. While still three separate ideas, there is a common theme running that is best described as “Populating the Non-Roman Cataloging Universe: (Re)sourcing for the Future.” The program would feature three or four guest speakers who would discuss the following types of topics:

Adding non-Roman scripts to the Name Authority File (NAF) (the actual mechanics, techniques, technologies: What are the obstacles? What are the realistic expectations that NR-Cataloging Communities (and their patrons) face?

New non-Roman scripts for bibliographic (and authority) data: OCLC has introduced several new non-JACKPHY scripts to WorldCat in recent years: what are the procedures for a script community to request “their script”? What are the technical issues required for WorldCat to handle these new scripts? How are cataloging communities being encouraged to create records using these new scripts?

Sources for non-Roman script data: Vendors, international contributors, national libraries, etc. are now participating in WorldCat. If our own local catalogers are not creating these records, who will?

The largest co-sponsors for such a program would be OCLC, LC, and perhaps others. Likewise, such a program would fall in line with Recommendation 7 of the Task Force for Non-English Access [“CC:AAM, SEES and AAMES work together to plan a join program, preconference, and continuing education on multilingual access, including Unicode implementation”].

Korean Romanization and word division guidelines

CC:AAM was presented with a letter and accompanying documentation from Phil Melzer, Library of Congress.

Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA)

The Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) met three times at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. CC:DA spent the full meeting time on January 11 and 2 hours of the January 14 meeting discussing the draft of Sections 2-4, 9 RDA: Resource Description and Access.

On January 12, the main agenda item was the report of the ALA Representative to the Joint Steering Committee (JSC), who presented his report about the October 2007 JSC meeting. CC:DA also heard reports from Barbara Tillett, the Library of Congress Representative to CC:DA; Cindy Hepfer, ALA Representative to NISO; and Mark Scharff, Chair of the Task Force on Specialist Cataloguing Manuals. Based on the Report of the Task Force on Specialist Cataloguing Manuals, CC:DA decided to forward to the JSC the list of “Standards, Manuals, and Other Resources for Use with RDA” that was compiled and organized by the Task Force on Specialist Cataloguing Manuals. The recommendations and issues in its report will be included in the document sent to the JSC by the ALA representative to the JSC. CC:DA also discussed proposed revisions to CC:DA's Procedures after which CC:DA voted to revise its Procedures and forward the document to the CCS Executive Board for approval.

On January 14, CC:DA heard reports from Donald Chatham, ALA Publishing Services; Everett Allgood, MARBI representative; and Laura Smart, Chair of the Task Force on CC:DA’s Internal and External Communication. CC:DA also discussed the Report of the CC:DA Webmaster. In addition, Peter Fletcher of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging's Standing Committee on Standards (SCS) reported on the review and updating of “Guidelines for Multiple Character Sets” (Recommendation 4 in the ALCTS Task Force on Non-English Access). He reported that the members of SCS will be identifying and collecting all the PCC standards/documentation dealing with Non-Roman characters and reviewing of all of them including “Guidelines for Multiple Character Sets.” The collection/identification of the documents will take place over the next month or so. SCS will communicate with CC:DA about any help or support it needs from CC:DA.

For further details and links to the documents discussed, see the meeting agenda.

Continuing Education Training Materials, CCS/PCC

Current Workshop Revisions

Michael Colby, chair of the revision group, reported that the revision is done for Basic Subject Cataloging Using LCSH and files are being processed.

Jennifer Lang, chair of the revision group, informed the chair that the files for Rules & Tools for Cataloging Internet Resources should be turned in to CDS by February 15.

Michael Colby and Helen Schmierer form the revision group for Basic Creation of Name and Title Authorities. Files are due June 2008.

Review of Cat21 and CCT Workshop Status/Need for Revisions

The committee discussed the status of each workshop and any gaps in content needed for trainer resource pages. In general, the potential need for revision one year after a workshop is launched and every two years thereafter will be explored. The committee held an extensive discussion of the factors affecting the need for revision and how to better track information needed to inform this decision. Following are the strategies the committee hopes to implement:

  • Obtain feedback from trainers more consistently. Currently, trainers are encouraged to use the Cat-CE discussion list to share feedback and report needed revisions, yet this rarely happens. The goal is to create a wiki for trainers that could be linked from the trainers’ resource page for each workshop. The wiki would include the workshop outline and areas for trainers to quickly add comments or suggested changes.
  • Track workshop offerings more consistently and obtain evaluations from attendees. A sponsor registration form has been added to the “Guidelines for Workshops Sponsors” page and the CDS order form for training materials. When workshops are listed, Cooperative Cataloging staff can follow up with sponsors if evaluations are not returned, and also remind trainers to provide feedback on the trainers’ wiki following workshops.
  • Identify external forces affecting the content of the workshops, e.g. the implementation of RDA will have a significant impact on the content of several workshops.

Cycle of Activity for Jointly Developed CCS/PCC Workshops

The committee discussed this topic to determine whether there are gaps or areas in which CETM could facilitate activities:

Development of content

Trainer development and support

Sponsoring workshops

Feedback on content (from attendees and trainers)

Revision of content

Concerns were raised about the consistency of information about workshops in various sources, and whether workshop descriptions represent the courses well. Committee members will review information about workshops on Catalogers Learning Workshop (CLW) and Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) web pages, including the workshop description, target audience, and guidelines for workshop sponsors. Committee members will also review evaluation forms and make suggestions for improvement.

It was suggested that trainer development and support could be improved. Basic training skills are expected as part of trainer recruitment, but there is no system in place to help trainers develop when evaluations indicate that their presentation skills are not strong. One approach is to require all trainers to present at the Instructor Development Session; another possibility would be to hold a separate trainer development session that would focus on presentation skills.

Ideas for New Workshops

The group also discussed whether the course offerings in the Cat21 and Cooperative Cataloging Training suite of workshops are adequate and whether there is a need to develop content for new topics. It was suggested that there will be a great demand for continuing education on FRBR and Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD) in preparation for RDA implementation, and that the structure of Cat21 and CCT workshops could work well for delivering such training, as one piece of preparing for RDA implementation. A number of people have already developed content on FRBR that could be adapted to the model used for Cat21 and CCT relatively quickly.

Since it is not within the charge of CETM to appoint groups to develop new courses, this idea was forwarded to CCS Executive for consideration.

Committee Communication

CETM members are interested in having a committee wiki on the ALA server to facilitate the group’s work between meetings.

Education, Training, and Recruitment for Cataloging (CETRC)

The chairs of the 2 CETRC subcommittees—CETRC-Mentoring (Martha Ann Bace) and CETRC-CE (Rhonda Marker)—presented their reports. The Annual 2007 preconference “What They Don’t Teach in Library School” was so successful that the Task Force on Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging has been formed, and had a very successful meeting on January 11, 2008. RDA is the focus for potential program topics for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, and indeed for the 2008 Annual Conference. Shawne Miksa, chair of the RDA Implementation Task Force, attended the CETRC meeting, and a positive and lively discussion ensued regarding the training catalogers in the use of RDA, and the importance of having a program at the 2008 Annual Conference (which would be organized by the Task Force) to provide catalogers with an “on ramp” to RDA was emphasized. CETRC is most interested in assisting Miksa and her task force with this work.

The two “Fundamentals of Cataloging” courses (I & II) need reviewers (about fifteen). Names and contact information were sent to Sylvia Hall-Ellis at the end of January. There is a suite of five courses (CE-1, -2, -3, -4, -5) that the CETRC Subcommittee on Cataloging for the 21st Century Online Course Development (Sylvia Hall-Ellis and Robert Ellett) is developing.

CETRC is scheduled for reviewed by the CCS Policy and Planning Committee, and the self-review form is due by March 1. Michael Boock and Jeannette Ho are CETRC’s contact persons from the CCS PPC.

CETRC Continuing Education Subcommittee

The main discussion items were:

  • A survey of online cataloging and metadata courses at library schools
  • Updates: CCS courses in development
  • Review process for existing content
  • Fundamentals of Cataloging course review
  • CCS Committee Charge Review
Survey of Online Cataloging and Metadata Courses at Library Schools

The committee will continue to survey library schools to see if they offer web-based/virtual/online courses in cataloging and classification or metadata. This effort will be evaluated at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference to determine if it is a useful exercise. A bigger sample of library schools is needed. Rhonda Marker will sign up committee members to fill out the spreadsheet on Google Documents and Spreadsheets.

Updates: CCS Courses in Development

The subcommittee will discuss the progress of courses in development as a regular agenda item. The following courses were identified:

Basic SACO Training: John Mitchell (LC) is developing this course, working directly with ALCTS Executive Director Charles Wilt. This course is not under the purview of CETRC-CE (or ALCTS?).

LCSH: Priscilla Matthews is developing this course. The expected date of completion: possibly 2009.

Methodology and Use of Cataloging Statistics: Marilyn Quinn had been developing this course but currently there are not plans by her—or anyone else of which we know—to develop it.

Rules and Tools for Cataloging Internet Resources: Jennifer Lang is revising this course. The expected date of completion: Spring 2008.

Review Process for Existing Content

One of the subcommittee’s charges is “developing a review process for existing content.” In addition to assisting with the actual review of CE, the subcommittee will begin to document a recommended process to be followed. Joy Wang and Ryun Lee will search the literature for information on course review processes. Rhonda Marker volunteered to draft a document and Andrea Morrison offered assistance with editing. Factors such things as environmental scan, participants’ evaluations, assessing currency and demand, and identifying key audiences will be considered.

Fundamentals of Cataloging

Course needs a pre-release review. This review will take place during an intensive three-week period in February. The course is an online one, and is hosted by San Jose State University on their Blackboard site. Reviewers will be given access to the online site for the review. None of the subcommittee members were to review the entire course, and several proposed to review one or more modules of the course. Rhonda Marker will forward those names to Mary Larsgaard, CETRC chair.

Courses presented as ALCTS/LC Workshops also need review:

  • Basic Subject Cataloging Using LCSH (Revised 2006)
  • Fundamentals of Library of Congress Classification (2007)
  • Fundamentals of Series Authorities (2007)
  • Rules and Tools for Cataloging Internet Resources (2004, currently under revision)
  • Metadata and Digital Library Development (2007)
  • Metadata Standards and Applications (2007)
  • Principles of Controlled Vocabulary and Thesaurus Design (2007)

Another ALCTS workshop being offered in 2008 is Basic Collection Development and Management (presented by Peggy Johnson). The group was not sure of the provenance of this workshop. Rhonda Marker will solicit volunteers via email following the Midwinter Meeting to review these courses.

CCS Committee Charge Review

CETRC-CE is taking part in a review of its charge, along with CETRC and the CETRC Mentoring Subcommittee, which is conducted periodically. Jeannette Ho is CETRC-CE’s liaison to the CCS Policy and Planning Committee. The subcommittee will complete the questionnaire and submit it by the March 1 deadline. Some issues that came up during discussion were:

  • Size of the committee
  • Attendance of committee members at the Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting
  • Appointment process and the difficulties posed by being in a “second round” of appointments after division level and section committees are appointed
  • Generating interest in the subcommittee and using listservs (though it was noted that ALCTS already invites librarians to volunteer for committees via listservs such as AUTOCAT)
  • Lack of clarity about the charge and expectations of the subcommittee
  • Need for objectives and timelines from parent groups
  • Duplicate phrases in CETRC-CE and CETRC charges

CETRC Mentoring Subcommittee

The first item of business was a discussion of expanding the committee’s purview to include mentoring those in any area of technical services, not strictly cataloging. After discussion, the group decided not to extend mentoring opportunities to those outside of cataloging, particularly since the group is a subcommittee of the Committee for Education, Training and Recruitment of Catalogers (CETRC).

The group also discussed the problems related to maintaining the database the ability to add or delete anything in Online Communities is restricted to ALCTS personnel. Several suggestions were made, including the use of a wiki or a blog to manage the database. Martha Bace and Michael Scott will investigate these options, and determine the feasibility of using one of them.

The final item of business was a discussion of the need for at least two, possibly three, new committee members. Rebecca Uhl and Lai-Ying Hsiung will rotate off the committee this year, and have been members for almost six years. Becky Uhl will continue to help with the database, however. It is also likely that Robert Ellett will not continue with the committee. Three committee members, Martha Bace, Michael Scott and Jack Hall, will serve on the committee for a second term. Reagan Wiechert will submit an ALCTS volunteer.

Margaret Mann Citation

The committee reviewed the new nominations from this year as well as the strong candidates from last year. There were two outstanding nominees, and the committee was able to reach a consensus. Martha Yee has been selected as this year's recipient of the Margaret Mann Citation. The decision was reached before the 2008 Midwinter Meeting, and Margaret Brown gave the report at the CCS Executive Board meeting. The Committee considered splitting the award between the two strong candidates, but ultimately decided against this.

Martha Yee was chosen in recognition of her strong and continuing work in support of significant ALA/ALCTS initiatives. The committee was impressed with Yee's research as shared through her numerous publications, all of which are very timely and relevant to the current cataloging environment. By addressing FRBR, OPAC displays, shared cataloging, and other important issues, Yee is making a significant contribution to the discussions that are leading the development of our field.

The committee did not meet at Midwinter as its work was completed prior to the meeting.

Policy and Planning

Charge Reviews

Committee liaisons reported on the status of the three CCS committee charge reviews that are in progress: CCCM, CETRC, and SAC. Liaisons attended (or planned to attend) these committees’ meetings to answer any questions concerning the charge review. CCCM needs clarification regarding its official name. It is not clear if the name is the Committee on Cataloging of Children’s Materials or Cataloging of Children’s Materials Committee. They prefer the former (i.e., CCCM). CETRC and its subcommittees anticipate that they will have questions concerning their various charges, and their relationships to each other and to other continuing education groups within ALCTS.


The committee assigned liaisons from PPC to all CCS committees, interest and discussion groups not under review this year, and discussed the liaisons’ duties.

ALCTS Planning Database

The committee discussed the new ALCTS Planning Database, and its intended content and purpose. The database is intended as a measure of the organization’s vitality, but is not the only measure. Routine activities should not be included in the database. The committee liaisons will be in touch with their assigned committees in the month following the Midwinter Meeting to help the committee chairs to add initiatives to the Planning Database. The database should be current as ALCTS and CCS leaders may wish to review the division’s various initiatives at any time.

Role of Interns

The committee discussed the role of interns in CCS and agreed that a written policy statement should be available. This policy statement should address the role of committee chairs vis-à-vis interns, as well as the role of interns themselves. The committee will prepare a draft policy statement for review by the CCS Executive Committee.

Research and Publications (RPC)


Committee members who had attended ALCTS CCS programs and meetings gave brief reports. These include: the Cataloging Norms Discussion Group (Alex Thurman), FRBR Implementation and Cataloging Form and Function Discussion Group (Rocki Strader), the Electronic Resources Interest Group (Michelle Turvey), the Cataloging and Classification Research Discussion Group, and the RDA Update Forum (Mark Braden).

Essays/Topics Update

The committee approved Aiping Chen-Gaffey’s essay on vendor-supplied bibliographic records. New essays are in progress: Alex Thurman is updating Subject Access; Daisy Cheng and Mark Braden will work on the topic of Role of Cataloging Professionals.

ALCTS’ List of Publications for Review

The ALCTS Publication Committee has formed an ad-hoc committee to work on the cleanup and update of the List. No action has been taken thus far. RPC members made suggestions for the future list and review process.

RPC Programming

The committee discussed a program proposal for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. Topics suggested include evidence-based research, and usability studies. RPC will work on identifying speakers and establishing a program format in the spring.

RPC Membership

Most of the current RPC members will conclude their terms by June 2008. A suggestion was made that those who are working on new essays should apply for renewal, if possible, to maintain continuity.

Subject Analysis

The Subject Analysis Committee (SAC) met twice at ALA Midwinter 2008: on Sunday morning and Monday afternoon. The SAC chair, the subcommittee chairs, and liaisons gave reports. Some of the highlights were:

MARBI Report

Proposal 2008-01: Representation of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) System in MARC 21 formats. This is a long, multipart proposal for encoding DDC numbers in MARC21 bibliographic, classification, and authority formats. Full details of the Proposal are online. This was originated as Discussion Paper 2007-DP06 at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference.

Discussion Paper 2008-DP01: Identifying headings that are appropriate as added entries, but are not used as main entries. The paper discusses various methods to indicate in authority records that a given authorized heading may be used as an added entry but not as a main entry. The focus of the proposal is on place names established as LC/SAF headings with authority 008/14 coded “b,” but which are needed as added entries to designate exhibit venues. Full text of the MARBI Proposals and Discussion Papers including status updates is online.

Dewey Decimal Classification Report: The Dewey editorial team, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, LC, and OCLC have submitted a collection of proposals related to the representation of DDC in MARC 21 formats for consideration by the ALA Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information (MARBI) Committee at its meeting on Saturday, January 12, 2008, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The collection of proposals is available under the title “Proposal No. 2008-01: Representation of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) System in the MARC 21 formats” and is available online.

LC CPSO Liaison Report

The Library of Congress is working on many fronts to bring more non-Latin script data into cataloging products.

Authority Records

In conjunction with the major authority record exchange partners (British Library, Library and Archives Canada, National Library of Medicine, and OCLC), LC is working to add non-Latin script support to authority records that form the LC/NACO Authority File. The partners have agreed to a basic outline that will allow for the addition of non-Latin script characters in references and notes on name authority records, no earlier than April 2008. Rather than using 880 fields that parallel “regular” MARC fields as has been the practice for bibliographic records, non-Latin script references in authorities will be added following MARC 21's “Model B” for multi-script records. Model B provides for unlinked non-Latin script field with the same MARC tags used for romanized data, such as authority record 4XX fields.

Bibliographic Records

In addition to efforts for authority records, LC is exploring a number of avenues that may result in additional non-Latin script data added to bibliographic records. One exploration is with regard to minimal or incidental occurrences of non-Latin scripts in otherwise Latin script records (e.g., a single word or phrase in non-Latin script). Current policy has been to fully Romanize this incidental data, but that approach is being re-examined. LC is also looking to expand the languages and scripts provided—non-Latin script data is currently provided for book and serial bibliographic records in Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Hebrew, and Yiddish. LC is exploring expanding to the rest of the MARC-8 Repertoire (i.e., Cyrillic and Greek; note that LC already distributes serial records with Cyrillic and Greek script added by CONSER participants in OCLC). LC is also exploring the feasibility of providing non-Latin scripts beyond book and serial records—several non-book cataloging divisions at LC are interested in pursuing this avenue, and non-book records with non-Latin script characters will begin to be distributed early in 2008. Finally, LC is studying the issues related to expanding the provision of non-Latin scripts to languages and scripts beyond the MARC-8 repertoire. This involves the exploration of complex technical issues related to fonts, input method editors, cataloging client software, etc., the availability of staff resources with language/script expertise, and the impact on distribution products.

American Association of Law Libraries, Technical Services Special Interest Group, Cataloging and Classification Committee Report

FAST Cleanup Project: The Inherently Legal Subject Headings (ILSH) Task Force was fortunate to receive a file of 1405 FAST topical headings that had “Law and legislation” subdivisions but no corresponding LC authority record from Ed O'Neill (OCLC). The file helped the task force determine the extent to which this subdivision is being applied incorrectly in WorldCat. In return, AALL catalogers offered to help clean up the FAST file from incorrect “Law and legislation” subdivisions. A group of twenty-seven volunteers analyzed and marked the FAST headings, and in October 2007, the file was sent to O'Neill. From the 1,405 headings examined, 946 were marked for deletion because of unauthorized application of “Law and legislation”; seventy-eight were for classes of persons or ethnic group that require “Legal status, laws, etc.” subdivision rather than “Law and legislation”; and 381 were marked as correct.

IFLA Report to the Subject Analysis Committee, Activities of the Classification and Indexing Section

Jonathan Further (UCLA), and Sarah Hayman and Nick Lothian (both from Education Network Australia) presented papers on user tagging. While the papers were similar in content, they approached this current“2.0” topic from different perspectives. Furner’s paper “User Tagging of Library Resources: Toward a Framework for System Evaluation,” posed the question, “What, specifically, are the factors that determine whether or not user-tagging services will be successful? If success is to be defined in terms of the effectiveness with which systems perform the particular functions expected of them (rather than simply in terms of popularity), an understanding is needed both of the multifunctional nature of tagging tools, and of the complex nature of users’ mental models of that multifunctionality.” Hayman and Lothian’s paper, “Taxonomy Directed Folksonomies: Integrating User Tagging and Controlled Vocabularies for Australian Education Networks,” describes a proof of concept project to integrate user tagging and established taxonomy in the education sector, for the mutual improvement of each type of tool. All of the program papers are available online.

Report from the Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records group

Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records group (FRSAR) members have had several meetings through emails, conference calls, and face-to-face meetings since May 2006. Major outcomes include the definitions of user tasks, a proposal of a new model, and a plan for the final report.

The group held three meetings on August 20 and 24, 2007 at IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Durban, and extensively discussed the proposed model and Group 3 entities. Major outcomes may be summarized as:

  1. FRSAR confirms what FRBR has already defined: WORK has-subject THEMA. “Thema” is the term used temporarily to refer to anything that is the subject of a work. Thema includes any FRBR entities.
  2. FRSAR proposes the new relationship: THEMA has the appellation NOMEN. “Nomen” is a term used temporarily to refer to any alphanumeric, sound, visual, etc. symbol or combination of symbols by which a thema is known, referred to or addressed.
  3. The THEMA-NOMEN relationship is consistent with what FRAD has proposed in its draft report, to separate what a thing is (the concept) from what it is known, referred to or addressed (its name, label).
  4. FRSAR group plans to have a draft final report available in the spring of 2008.

Qiang Jin, Chair, SAC Subcommittee on FAST, reported that the SAC Subcommittee on FAST met on Friday, January 11. Ed O’Neill provided an update on FAST developments that have taken place since Annual 2007. In December 2007, the FAST team sent the subcommittee a random sample of bibliographical records with all FAST facets. The subcommittee members discussed issues concerning the sample through the subcommittee’s e-mail list as well as at the subcommittee meeting at ALA Midwinter 2008. The subcommittee members also decided to extend the life of the subcommittee until the 2010.ALA Midwinter Meeting.

The SAC Subcommittee on the Future of Subject Headings met on Friday and continued working on the preliminary report on the Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis to answer the question: Do Library of Congress Subject Headings provide a vehicle to adequately reflect subject discovery? The subcommittee’s final report will be available at the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting, and there will be a program at the 2009ALA Annual Conference. The ALCTS Program Planning Committee has approved the program. Qiang Jin, SAC chair, appointed Linda Gabel as the subcommittee chair.

SAC established a new subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation at the 2007ALA Annual Conference. SAC members approved the subcommittee charge at the SAC meeting on Monday afternoon.

Report of the SAC Subcommittee on Library of Congress Classification Training

Development of the two-day workshop, Fundamentals of Library of Congress Classification, was completed in August 2007. Revisions were made based on feedback from the preconference held at the 2007ALA Annual Conference. Since it was difficult to cover all the material in the two-day timeframe, some material was eliminated from the final version.

Trainers were recruited over the summer. In October, twenty-six trainers attended an Instructor Development Session led by Lori Robare and Paul Frank at the Library of Congress. In addition, several members of the combined PCC SCT/CCS SAC Task Force will serve as trainers.

The final meeting of the combined PCC SCT/CCS SAC Task Force is Monday, January 14, from 8 to 10 am. The meeting will focus on the logistics of the Cooperative Cataloging Training (CCT) program and preparing committee members to serve as trainers for the course. SAC disbanded the task force with thanks to the chair and subcommittee members.    


Collection Management and Development Committees

Administration of Collection Development

The committee discussed the ongoing project to develop a toolkit for new selectors/collection development librarians. The toolkit will list sources from journals, books, web sites, etc. Each committee member is developing a different section of the toolkit to include sections such as “Selection,” “Budgeting and Allocation,” “Administration of Collection Development,” “De-Selection,” “Cooperation in Collection Development,” and “Preservation and Digitization.” The toolkit will be developed using the wiki software made available via ALA’s ReadWriteConnect site. The wiki may be developed as a component of a broader CMDS presence on the ReadWriteConnect site.

The committee is co-sponsoring a program at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference with the CMDS the Collection Development and Electronic Resources Committee. The program is titled “Making the Switch from Print to Online: Why, When, and How?”

The committee also discussed submitting a program proposal for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. Members agreed to continue the discussion via email between the 2008 Midwinter Meeting and Annual conference.

Committee members were reminded to report all progress toward achievement of goals in the ALCTS Strategic Plan. Goal number, description, and update must be included. For example, goals should be cited as “Goal 2. Publish revised ed. of Cataloging Correctly for Kids - update completion date to June 2004.”

The Administration of Collection Development Committee made progress towards achievement of Goal Area 3 as described in the ALCTS Strategic Plan. Through the planned online toolkit and the co-sponsorship of a program at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, the committee “provides and facilitates continuing education and fosters life-long learning.”

Collection Assessment

Updates on the Fundamentals of Collection Assessment Online Course

Bonnie Tijerina met briefly with course developers Reeta Sinha and Cory Tucker before the committee meeting. They indicate they will be ready with a major draft of their course modules by early April 2008. If all goes well with content and posting the course, it should be ready for launch in fall 2008.

ALCTS Webcasts

The committee brainstormed topics for Webinars as well as Forums. They include:

  • Gathering usage statistics: in house or outsourced? Presenters would be from the committee’s ALCTS forum on this topic
  • User-centered Collection Development: how to conduct surveys, focus groups, etc. that provide more of a user perspective when assessing and developing collections.
  • Collaborative collection assessment. Such as issues surrounding library or record and unique titles
  • Use Statistics: what we do with them/benchmarking. Possibly presented by someone who presented at the NISO Usage Data event.
  • Focus on the portion of LibQual related to user assessment of collections: what does it mean, how should it be used? Or more broadly, “What do we do with all this collection assessment data from different places?”
  • Assessing your Institutional Repository collection
  • Assessment for specific types of libraries (community college, consortia, research library, etc.) or specific subject areas (Humanities, Science, Interdisciplinary, etc.)

The committee had many questions about one-time webinars/webcasts. Questions to ask ALCTS include:

  • Is there an honorarium for webinar speakers?
  • What is the process for proposing a webinar to ALCTS?
  • What software is being used to host webinars? How will that allow for or prohibit interaction between audience and presenters and/or audience member with each other?
  • What is an estimated timeline for when a webinar could be ready to go? The committee has one topic with interested presenters which could soon be ready.

Bonnie Tijerina will follow up with the ALCTS Office regarding procedures for establishing a webinar and when ALCTS predicts they will be ready to proceed with webinars.

Discussion on “Guide to the Evaluation of the Library Collections” Publications

Bonnie Tijerina met with member of Publications Committee to discuss whether the “Guide to the Evaluation of the Library Collections” should be updated. Bonnie and the committee will work to find an author or authors, and then will work with the Publications Committee to move forward on updating the guide.

Cory Tucker, one of the course developers of Fundamentals of Collection Assessment sees overlap in content between the course and this guide. He volunteered to work in conjunction with the author(s) of this guide.

Collection Development and Electronic Media

The group's primary objective for this meeting was to finalize plans for the 2008 Annual Conference Program “Making the Switch from Print to Online: Why, When, and How.”

The other objective was to integrate new members into the committee’s work. Most of the new members took an active role in the discussion and volunteered for.

The group discussed a program for 2009 program.

The committee discussed progress made toward achievement of the ALCTS Strategic Plan. The fourth Goal of the Strategic Plan is Professional Development, and CDER is on track to meet objective Number 4: Coordinate with other divisions to plan programs on timely subjects. While the majority of the planning for the committee’s upcoming program was done by the CDER, the ACRL Educational and Behavioral Sciences Section E-Resources in Communication Studies committee has been invited to co-sponsor the program. The CDER Administration of Collection Development Committee will also co-sponsor the program. CDER will also co-sponsor a program with the ALCTS Acquisitions Committee.

The 5th Objective of the fourth Goal, Create and publicize opportunities for research, publication, service, and for informal interchange, is also something CDER hopes to meet through encouraging and facilitating the publication of our program panelists’ presentations.


The CMDS Education Committee discussed progress on the web course, Fundamentals of Collection Management and Development. The committee reviewed developer Peggy Johnson’s draft in fall 2007. Johnson has delivered the revised content to Julie Reese at the ALCTS Office to be put into Moodle. The committee expects to test the course in Moodle during late February and early March. The course should be offered online by the 2008 ALA Annual Conference. This course will be taught online with teachers to encourage discussion and provide feedback.

The committee brainstormed webinar topics for continuing education on an as-needed basis. Arro Smith will begin developing a webinar on weeding collections this spring. The committee also identified possible developers for webinars on licensing issues and on collecting and managing datasets; Julie Reese and Ginger Williams will contact them. The committee is particularly interested in developing webinars that will appeal to librarians and staff in all types of libraries. The committee will continue discussing webinar ideas via email this spring; CMDS members with ideas for webinars may email them to Ginger Williams, committee chair.

Policy and Planning

Betty Landesman and Linda Phillips reviewed the Committee’s charge with the group and emphasized facilitating communication and other initiatives within the section, including strategizing how to promote more active collaboration rather than passive co-sponsorship of programs.

Linda Philips suggested reviewing a specific group of visionary articles she had identified that point out where the pivotal points of change reside in the current (or recent past) practice of Collection Development. Out of the ensuing discussion came the proposal for a preconference with this focus, plus a broader scope to cover non-academic libraries and deepened scope to address these issues more in depth. The committee will propose a preconference for the 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago with the working title: “Collection Development 2.0(?).” Ann Fath will consult the CMDS Executive Committee for advice on how to proceed, and will follow up with the committee regarding deadlines, timelines, etc.

The Committee will compile a list of Collection Development groups throughout ALA, basically relying on the Handbook of Organization as a starting point to facilitate preconference planning and to promote collaboration on collection development ALA-wide. Cynthia Holt volunteered to compile the list.

The Committee proposed using a wiki as a communication hub for collection, which could also serve as a strategic hub for groups with collection development interests throughout ALA. Roberta Astroff volunteered to coordinate this effort. Ann Fath will present this idea to the CMDS Executive Committee.

CMDS Publications

Cecile Jagodzinski has retired, and has submitted her resignation to the committee and to the ALCTS Office. She was thanked for her outstanding contributions to the committee.

The committee was updated on the Sudden Selector guides. The LGBTIQ Guide author is on track for a completion date of late March 2008. She has submitted drafts of three chapters to the committee liaison (Westgate) as well as to Douglas Litts and Harriet Lightman for preliminary review and comment. The Biology Guide author submitted a sample chapter, which the entire committee is reviewing. Committee liaison (Lev) will summarize comments and forward to the author. Harris, who is the author of the English Guide, reported that progress is being made. Harris also reported on the Communication Studies Guide, for which he is liaison; Litts and he will be following up with the author about a revised target completion deadline. Litts reported that he regularly communicates with the author of the Chemistry Guide. The Guide is on schedule for new target completion date of March 2008. The History Guide was completed on schedule, but was returned to the author for revisions; Litts will follow up with the author after the 2008 Midwinter Meeting. The Music Guide has been completed. Due to the manuscript’s length, the committee recommended that this guide be accepted without revision and be published as a CMDS Guide rather than as a Sudden Selector Guide. This recommendation was accepted. Finally, at the committee’s suggestion, Litts, as series editor, will write a preface for the Sudden Selector Guide series. The preface will explain the purpose of the series, and indicate what is and is not included in the guides.

The committee discussed the CMDS Guides. Bibliographers Manual, guide #8 is under consideration for possible update. A subgroup will follow up to discuss a possible proposal submission. Another subgroup examined Evaluation, guide #2 and determined that this guide, and a companion guide, CMDS Guide #11 ( Guide to Library User Needs Assessment for Integrated Resource Management & Collection Development, published in conjunction with the Acquisitions Section in 2001) had much overlap, but there may still be room for a revision if done in conjunction/consultation with the CMDS Collection Assessment Committee. Harris arranged a meeting between Lightman, Casserly and himself with Bonnie Tijerina, chair of the CMDS Collection Assessment Committee, to discuss this further. Tijerina’s group is also working on projects that may overlap with revisions to guides #11 and #2.

Progress on two new projects, the Media Guide and the Working Paper Series, will be reported on in June, at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference.    


Continuing Resources Committees

Executive Committee

The ALCTS Continuing Resources Section held two executive meetings: Sunday, January 13, 2008 and Tuesday, January 15, 2008 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.

The section formerly known as the Serials Section is now the Continuing Resources Section (CRS). This change of name and mission has brought forth a renewed sense of purpose and energy since the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Publicity about the name and mission change was featured in the ALCTS Newsletter Online, volume 18, number 4. Other publicity about the section also appeared in ANO, volume 18 number 5, in the “Spotlight on sections” feature, and is entitled “CRS Happenings.” Committees have been engaged in productive activities over the past six months.

The CRS Chair distributed a work plan in August 2007 to chairs to jump start committee work. Chairs were asked to submit a brief list of key initiatives for their committees for the coming year. A “Helpful Guidelines” list of what is expected from CRS chairs and representatives to ALCTS was sent to all chairs in September 2007. This list was developed by CRS Past-Chair with the assistance of the Executive Committee.


Will co-sponsor a preconference with the Education Committee for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim entitled “Electronic Journals 101.” June Schmidt is serving as “editor” of the Serials Glossary wiki. The Committee will discuss the future of this new manifestation of the Glossary at future meetings. Anna Creech will serve as 2008 program chair and moderator for the program titled “Removing the Fence: Merging Print and Electronic Serials Workflows.”

Award Committees

The CSA/Ulrich's Serials Librarianship Award, the First Step Award Committee, and the Nominating Committee have all selected winners (to be announced).

Continuing Resources Cataloging

Held Update Forum, at the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting on January 14, 2008. The chair reported that this event was successful, and 150 people attended.

Policy and Planning

P&P distributed information to CRS committees, groups and juries about the ALCTS Strategic Plan. On October 1, 2007, P&P distributed a Planning Document informing each chair that at the 2008 ALA Midwinter All Committee Meeting on Saturday, January 12 that P&P members will visit with assigned committees to help lead the discussion and reach consensus regarding type of grouping, name and mission.

P&P assisted each committee, group and jury in considering appropriate tasks for inclusion in the Strategic Planning Database. They assisted each committee and group to identify the appropriate type of group (i.e. committee, interest group, or discussion group) to realign group name and mission with the new CRS name and mission.

Research and Publications

Received two documents from CRS Education Committee: 1) Syllabus for Serials Collection Management (Print and Electronic) Final Draft 6-21-07, and 2) Syllabus for Serials Preservation and Archiving. R&P approved these documents and forwarded them to the CRS Executive Committee for review and approval.

Serials Standards

The first Serials Standards Update Forum took place at the 2008 Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 13, 2008. There are plans to hold a second Update Forum during the 2008 Annual Conference in Anaheim. There are plans to update the Serials Standards Online.

Committee on Holdings Information (formerly the Union List of Serials)

Changed the name and charge. They plan to do a resource list for the web site. They will discuss on what activities to work based on their new charge.


The Education Committee completed two syllabi: (1) the Syllabus for Serials Collection Management (Print and Electronic) Final Draft 6-21-07, and (2) the Syllabus for Serials Preservation and Archiving. These documents were approved by CRS Research and Publications Committee and Executive Committee. Both syllabi have been forwarded to the ALCTS Publications Committee for publication. The Core Competencies document was revised and updated. The Preconference Program “Electronic Serials 101” is moving along on schedule and will be held at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Susan Davis and Virginia Taffurelli are co-chairing the preconference program, with assistance from a subcommittee.

The committee plans to review the CRS Education Committee web site. Suggestions for updating the committee web site include adding meeting minutes, links to documents created by the committee, and so forth. The committee is exploring turning the Syllabus for Serials Preservation and Archiving into a program for the 2009ALA Annual Conference.

Journal Costs in Libraries Discussion Group

Hosted a meeting during Midwinter entitled: “It’s Like Déjá Vu, All Over Again: Evolving Pricing Models for E-Books,” on Sunday, January 13, 2008.

Research Libraries Discussion Group of the Continuing Resources Section

Members discussed changing from discussion to interest group, as well as a name change, during the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

NASIG and CRS Liaison

Virginia Taffurelli serves as NASIG/CRS Liaison.

Continuing Resources Cataloging

The Saturday morning meeting of the CRCC consisted of two major items:

  • Planning for the ALA Annual Conference CRCC Update Forum. The Committee identified possible topics for further discussion.
  • Discussion of CRS Strategic Planning for Committees, Groups and Juries document.

The committee determined that it would most appropriate to be designated as a Committee and proposed minor changes to committee’s functions.

The Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee Update Forum took place on January 14, 2008, and approximately 150 people attended. The speakers were Martha Yee, Film & Television Archive and Ed Jones, National University.

There was great interest from the audience, and presenters received a lot of questions during and after their presentations.

The presentation was followed with reports from Committee liaisons. Regina Reynolds reported on LC/ISSN and CONSER (in absence of Les Hawkins), and Kevin Randall reported on CC:DA and RDA.


The ALCTS Strategic Planning Database was discussed. Gracemary Smulewitz stressed the need for each committee to populate the database so that ALCTS can assess progress in achieving the goals of the ALCTS Strategic Plan 2006-2001. Maria Collins has agreed to work with Nancy Gibbs to record our activities in the database.

The Education Committee is co-sponsoring “Electronic Serials 101” with the Acquisitions Committee. Most of the speakers have been lined up, and two librarian practitioners for the afternoon session will be identified. The committee also discussed whether to include a panel discussion or a breakout session. Suggestions were forwarded to the Planning Committee.

A program proposal for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference was discussed. The committee will develop a program or webinar on print serial preservation based on the above syllabus. The Preservation Committee will be contacted to see if they are interested in co-sponsoring such a program, and if someone on that committee will assist with the planning.

Volunteers were recruited to test the Fundamentals of Acquisitions course in the new Moodle environment before it goes live in February. Volunteers were also recruited to test the newly developed web course “Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Acquisitions.” The committee has been unsuccessful in recruiting someone to develop “Fundamentals of Serials.” The Core Competencies document prepared last winter will not be incorporated into the ALCTS Education Committee’s Policy Statement, and the committee plans to include it on their web page.

The committee reviewed its mission and web page. Mission was discussed in relation to the Section’s mission. It was determined that the committee does not need to change its mission statement, but would like to include more content on the web page to make it more robust, with the purpose of attracting volunteers to serve on this committee. Virginia Taffurelli will send Christine Taylor minutes from the committee’s meetings, and a list of programs and preconferences sponsored by this committee over the past five years. The committee would also to link various syllabi and the Core Competencies document linked to its page.

Several members are currently in their second year of appointment to this committee and need to submit Volunteer forms if they want to be reappointed to this committee for another two-year term. Taffurelli will rotate off this committee after two years as an intern, two years as a member, and two years as Chair.

Policy and Planning

The committee met briefly to review its goals. Carolynne Myall from the ALCTS Planning Committee visited to discuss the ALCTS Planning Database. It was agreed that committee chairs from the originating action item should be responsible for entering information into the database. Then individual committee members joined meetings for their assigned committees to moderate discussions about name, mission and status. After these discussions, the members of the Policy and Planning Committee reconvened to share information about the process and about the status of each committee’s discussions. The assignments are as follows:

  • Acquisitions Committee: Carolynne Myall
  • Continuing Resource Cataloging Committee: Shana McDanold
  • Research and Publications Committee: Erika Ripley
  • Serials Standards Committee: Marilyn Geller
  • Committee on Holdings Information: Mary Page
  • Education Committee: Gracemary Smulewitz

Two committees, Continuing Resource Cataloging and the Committee on Holdings Information have recently completed name and mission reviews and do not feel another review is needed at this time. Research and Publications submitted a new mission statement and reaffirmed its status and name. Three committees, Acquisitions, Serials Standards and Education are working through the review process based on good discussions at the meetings.

Committee members will follow up with their assigned committees as needed to supply information about next steps.

The committee will also discuss how best to work with the section’s two discussion groups. (At the Tuesday morning Section Meeting, there was discussion about the likelihood of migrating all discussion groups to interest group status. This will impact the committee’s work with the two discussion groups.)

Finally the committee briefly discussed what goals and direction should be considered next. No decisions were made; this discussion will continue.

Research and Publications

The Committee reviewed its name, status and mission statement, and revised the mission statement to better reflect its current role.

The Committee discussed the wiki proposal (as a brainstorming space or forum for hot topics) and agreed to ask the Section Executive Committee and ALCTS Publication Committee if anything is being planned at a higher level, before moving forward. (Strategic Plan Goal 4 & 5)

The Committee agreed that another forum or workshop on publishing opportunities within ALCTS would be useful, and agreed to ask the ALCTS Publications Committee consider this idea. (Strategic Plan Goal 4 & 5)

The Committee agreed to request that the authors of Guidelines for Managing Microforms in the Digital Age to have a final draft ready for review by June 2008.

Serials Standards

There was a discussion of the committee’s purpose and name as outlined in the ALCTS Strategic Plan. Marilyn Geller, CRS Policy and Planning Committee, guided discussion regarding the committee’s position within ALCTS, potential name and mission changes and the process needed to accomplish this work. It was decided that a new mission statement and committee name would be drafted.

The 2008Serials Standards Midwinter Update Forum took place on Sunday, January 13, 2008. The speakers all have been partners in Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) development. The speakers were:

  • Tina Feick, Swets
  • Selden Durgom Lamoureux, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Judy Luther, Informed Strategies and Co-Chair of the NISO SERU Working Group

Approximately fifty people attended. The speakers were all excellent, and there was an informative discussion on the SERU initiative, followed by a question and answer session.

The 2008Serials Standards Annual Update Forum is being planned, and will likely focus on identifiers.

The committee discussed the Serials Standards Online Bibliography and agreed to supplement the formal Online Bibliography with a more dynamic wiki to raise awareness of the bibliography and provide current citations between major revisions of the bibliography.    


CRG Committees

Executive Committee

There were reports from Council of Regional Groups (CRG) Chair, Hryciw-Wing, Vice-Chair, Lee-Smeltzer, the CRG Committee chairs ( Franco, Johnson, and Zhu), and CRG representatives to four ALCTS committees (Reed, Singleton, Hackleman, and Mueller) were presented, following a visit from Pamela Bluh and Dina Giambi, President and President-Elect of ALCTS. Among the points stressed by Hryciw-Wing were: (1) efforts to update the CRG discussion list so that it would be more useful for communication with all CRG folk and provide a mechanism for archiving online discussions; (2) enhanced publicity for CRG through submission of news items about the wiki and CRG forum in upcoming issues of ANO, as well as through publication of a more lengthy piece on CRG in the June issue of ANO, which will be created by Yontz, with the help of Franco, Johnson, and Zhu ; (3) the need for CRG committees to review information related to their groups on the CRG web site and to submit suggestions for change to Hryciw-Wing or Anderson, as soon as possible; and (4) a request from the ALCTS Board for CRG to consider at our meetings the comments received through the “7 Measures of Success” survey and to identify among those comments a few areas in particular need of attention by ALCTS. Lee-Smeltzer spoke about her presentation at the ALCTS Volunteer Forum, for which she had created a flyer about CRG, as well as her submission of the flyer for inclusion in the February issue of ANO, and shared her thoughts about the possibility of partnering with the ALCTS CC:DA on encouraging RDA training via our affiliates.

Johnson, Chair of CRG Continuing Education Committee and shepherd of the CRG wiki project, reported on progress made on the wiki and indicated that more administrative permissions would be provided to the wiki managers to enable better maintenance. Zhu, Chair of the Speakers’ Bureau Committee, reported that three more names have been added to the Speakers’ Bureau Directory, and that a survey will be distributed to our affiliate groups respecting their use of the Directory. She also noted her Committee’s continued interest in maintaining the Directory in database format for ease of sorting and searching. Franco discussed how her work to help a group in Missouri affiliate with ALCTS has led to her efforts to revise the section in the ALCTS Bylaws related to CRG. She reassured us that the bid for affiliation by this group would not be hampered by our need to change the CRG section in the Bylaws but asked that those who have suggestions for changes to the Bylaws send them to her within the next month.

The four representatives to the ALCTS Organization & Bylaws, Program, Budget & Finance, and Planning Committees reported on recent activities of their groups. In addition, Harris spoke about the CRG forum on career paths for librarians in public libraries interested in technical services that will be presented at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.

Hackleman reviewed the work that had been completed concerning CRG actions in the ALCTS Strategic Planning Database, noted some technical difficulties with the Database, and asked that the CRG Committees proceed in making additions and changes to actions related to their groups in the Database.

Hryciw-Wing provided a description of the “7 Measure of Success” survey and the topics arising from a review of the comments from this survey which had been highlighted during the ALCTS Board meeting on Saturday, January 12, 2008. Since there was little time to gather feedback from CRG folk at this meeting, CRG Committee Chairs were asked to consider the survey comments at their committee meetings that afternoon.

Affiliate Relations

Actions to be taken by end of February 2008:

  • Prepare master list of up-to-date affiliate contact information (Chair, with input from members)
  • Update the CRG email list with affiliate contact information (Chair, with input from members)
  • Actions to be taken before ALA Annual Conference 2008:
  • Guide prospective Missouri affiliate through affiliation process (Chair)
  • Investigate current status of affiliates listed as “inactive” (all)
  • Add affiliate directory information and/or links to the CRG wiki (all)


Possible changes to Article XI (Regional Groups)of the ALCTS Bylaws, the CRG forum, CRG action items listed in the ALCTS Strategic Planning Database, and the CRG wiki were discussed at this meeting, just as they had been at the CRG Planning Session and at the CRG Executive Committee meeting, and generated similar questions, comments, and action items. CRG committee members were encouraged to work with the wiki and to send suggestions for navigational and other structural changes to the wiki managers. They were also asked to add or edit CRG action items in the Strategic Planning Database related to their group’s activities over the next several weeks. In addition, all CRG folk were urged to submit suggestions for changes to the Bylaws to Franco by mid-February, and to send suggestions for forum discussion topics to Harris as soon as possible.

Fresh from offering similar information at the CRG Executive Committee meeting, Lee-Smeltzer was happy to share her report about the Volunteer Forum, where she had made a presentation and distributed a flyer about CRG, and offered her thoughts about partnering with ALCTS CC:DA in disseminating information about RDA to affiliates. Likewise, CRG Committee Chairs, Franco, Johnson, and Zhu, covered points in their reports that they had emphasized earlier in the day at the CRG Executive Committee meeting. In her report, Hryciw-Wing noted that the CRG discussion lists were being updated and provided an overview of the discussion of the comments received through the “7 Measures of Success” survey at the ALCTS Board meeting on Saturday, January 12, 2008. She indicated that she would ask CRG committees for feedback on these comments when she visited with them later that afternoon.

CRG representatives to the ALCTS Education, Membership, and Program Committees and to the LRTS Editorial Board highlighted particularly noteworthy undertakings of their groups. Marker reported that the ALCTS Membership Committee is hoping to engage in outreach to library schools. Hale reported that the LRTS Board is sharing best practices with other similar editorial boards. Mueller listed an impressive number of programs approved and being considered for approval by the Programs Committee. Watters stated that the Education Committee may work on a technical services management course. The announcement that caused the most animated discussion was made by Hryciw-Wing, who had learned that starting with the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting, ALA will require conference registration before attendees can register for housing. Several members felt that this decision would cause difficulties for themselves and their colleagues who needed to rely on centralized conference arrangements at their institutions and thought that more discussion with ALA members should have taken place before this decision had been made.

Speaker’s Bureau

Following the 2007 ALA Annual Conference, the committee tried to solicit more candidates for the Speakers’ Bureau Directory (SB Directory). From July 2007 to January 2008, three new names were added to the Directory due to this effort. By January 13, 2008, there were seventy-seven names in the SB Directory.

A revamped Information Form, structured to facilitate geographic sorting of Directory entries and offering a listing of controlled vocabulary to allow topical sorting, will be completed after ALCTS migrates to the new ALA content management system. Before the 2006 ALA Annual Conference, a list of topics was finalized and sent it to Christine Taylor. In September 2006, at Christine’s suggestion, the procedure that had been used to submit updates to the Directory was changed. Since September 2006, there has been only one updated version of the Directory submitted on the last Friday of each month to Christine for uploading on the CRG web site. This results in a four week delay (at the most) between a new speakers' submission and his or her listing.

Taylor prepared a version of the CRG Speakers’ Bureau Information Form and the Response Page for the committee to review. It was approved with only a minor editing suggestion. At the 2008 Midwinter SB committee meeting, it was agreed that a database is still be the ultimate solution to SB Directory. Lihong Zhu will contact Christine Taylor to see if the database idea can go forward some time in the future. Meanwhile, the committee will explore changing the format of the SB Directory from Word to an Excel Spreadsheet so that it can be sorted by last name, first name and area of expertise. Zhu will experiment with it.

At the 2007 ALA Annual Conference, committee members discussed engaging in another effort to contact the CRG regional affiliate groups to assess usage of the SB Directory. The survey will be sent directly to the chairs of the affiliates rather than to affiliates’ listservs. It is hoped that direct contact with chairs will generate more responses. After the 2007 ALA Annual Conference, Patricia Dragon developed a survey using Survey Monkey. The SB Directory Committee will ill wait for the chair of the Affiliates Relations Committee to send an updated list of affiliate contacts before the survey is distributed. This survey will also serve the dual purpose of marketing the SB Directory to the affiliates.

A request for a formal SB listserv will be forwarded to Julie Reese, ALCTS Office.

The Committee discussed how the SB Directory will be presented in the CRG wiki. Based on feedback from CRG Executive Committee and CRG Wiki Task Force, links will be limited to the information form and the SB Directory on the CRG wiki.    


Preservation and Reformatting Committees


The Preservation Instruction, Education and Outreach Discussion Group meeting went well. According to Discussion Group Chair Adrienne Bell, there were about twenty people in attendance. Michèle V. Cloonan, Simmons College, discussed the history of preservation education and Simmons’ plan to work with North Bennett St. School to establish a joint program in preservation. Then group also discussed how to gather new sources of information for the Preservation Education Directory.

Beth Schoebernd, the ALCTS Education Committee liaison, reported that the ALCTS Education Committee is working on the strategic plan, specifically for item III, Continuing Education/Lifelong Learning. They are looking for a systematic curriculum yet want to be flexible in order to consider hot or upcoming topics. They also want to collaborate with other groups. They are also looking for topics for one hour webinars. One of the on-line fundamentals classes is up and three are in testing.

The PARS Education document “Preservation Definitions for a Wiki” is in its final draft and is ready to be submitted to the PARS Executive Committee. A final copy will be distributed to the Education Committee as well as emailed to PARS Exec.

According to course coordinator Jacob Nadal, the ALCTS Fundamentals in Preservation Course needs a proofreader and lacks exams for three sections. By April, ALA will be ready to load content for testers and committee review.

The Preservation Education Directory was discussed extensively. As proposed at previous Education Committee meetings, the format of the publication will be significantly changed. This entails scaling back the depth of information to provide a web based document, and providing better linked access to the document from other resources such as COOL, AIC, RAP, etc. The committee discussed soliciting more information from ALISE and SAA. However, committee members who had made first contacts with those groups had not received responses.

It was decided that the directory will be titled the Guide to Preservation Education, and will be divided into two sections and include an introduction. The sections will be preservation education (ALA accredited graduate programs) and continuing education, both hierarchically arranged. The committee discussed making this directory on the web, and considered ideas such as a database or wiki. Julie Reese, ALCTS Office, note that ALA is currently experiencing problems with mounting databases on the web. This is not an option at this time.

New Business

Institutional Repositories: An e-mail from Becky Ryder, University of Kentucky regarding institutional repositories was discussed. Since this group has no real experience with institutional repositories, committee members decide that they are ready at this time to handle this topic.

Preservation Education programs at conferences: Topics were discussed and a program on “Preservation without a Preservation Librarian” was proposed as a preconference program idea. This idea will be presented to PPP.

Action Items

  • Sarah Erekson will look into a disaster planning webinar
  • PPP Preconference on Preservation
  • The Preservation Education Directory will go ahead as discussed
  • Two vacancies will be filled
  • Donia Conn will serve as co-chair
  • The PARS Education Committee's entries to the ALCTS Planning Database were modified and corrected.


Elizabeth Schobernd has dual committee assignments and is also the liaison to the ALCTS Education Committee. Her attendance at the ALCTS Education Committee discussion was requested at the 2008 ALA Midwinter Conference, while the issue of overlap is addressed.

Karen Mokrzycki will be rotating off the committee after the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Carla Montori volunteered to have her name forwarded for consideration as the next chair.

Rebecca Stuhr volunteered to have her name forwarded for consideration to serve on a forthcoming to-be-appointed PARS Task Force that will review the PARS web site. Stuhr also expressed an interest in extending her term on the PARS Management Committee.

The ALCTS web site lists the Preservation Issues in Small-to-Mid-Sized Libraries Discussion Group as inactive, and also lists the Management Committee as Preservation Management. Both of these items have been reported to ALCTS and to the PARS Executive Committee.

Discussion Group Reports

Oral reports were received from all three discussion groups, and attendance was high for all three sessions. In light of the proposal to restructure PARS, two discussion groups presented strong arguments for continuing representation: Preservation Issues in Small to Mid-Sized Libraries and Digital Preservation Discussion Group (DPDG.) The Management Committee members agreed to convey the continuing need for the issues handled by these two groups to the PARS Executive Committee, and the need for them to be represented in the PARS organization. The rationale for Small to Mid-Sized Libraries will be presented in that Discussion Group’s Midwinter Report. The Management Committee suggested that the PADG co-chairs work with the Small-to-Mid Libraries DG co-chairs in developing the PADG’s agenda. DPDG also presented an extensive array of issues and topics that need to be addressed on a continuing basis. There was consensus that further discussion is needed.

Program Update

Karen Mokrzycki reported that the program “P(l)anning for Gold: Preservation Models in California and the West” is successfully on track. She distributed a copy of the final short description of the program and the speaker list. Werner Haun volunteered to assist with the evaluation forms. Carla Montori will serve as a backup for program finalization. The importance of providing adequate time for questions from the audience was stressed at the ALCTS Program Committee update session.

Publication Update

A report was not available regarding the publication status for the document What Happens When Your Library Becomes a Crime Scene. There is a list of four individuals who have expressed an interest in continuing to work on this publication/checklist. PARS PPP issued a reminder that the publication form needs to be completed and reviewed by them before substantial work is done on this document.

Policy, Planning, and Research

The committee discussed the “report-out” session comments and reviewed the findings of the mini survey conducted at the January 12 Preservation Administration Discussion Group meeting as it related to the proposal presented by this committee to change the PARS discussion group structure. Committee members were asked to compile their notes to be shared with the committee members as a next step. Lars Meyer agreed to look into establishing an ALA community wiki for the committee. Jake Nadal offered to investigate attendance and activity information of the Small to Midsized Libraries Discussion Group to help the committee determine the level of interest and relevance of this group.

After all data and information has been collected and reviewed, the committee will propose three to four “discussion group” restructuring options to the PARS Executive Committee for their review. The committee will also offer recommendations on a preferred meeting format, an officer structure, and suggested meeting schedule dates and times based on the mini survey findings and comments offered by the PARS membership. In addition, the committee will confer with the PARS Organization and Bylaws liaison regarding the process to change the “discussion group” structure.

Program Planning and Publications

2008 Programs

Program planners met with the committee. Both programs are on track.

  • P(l)anning for Gold: the California Preservation Program as a model of statewide collaboration (Karen Mokrzycki)
  • Staying Alive: Books through print on demand technology (Debbie Nolan)

Co-sponsored programs in name only:

  • Moving Image Collections: Surveying Tools and Preservation Basics (co-sponsor with the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section)
  • Security and Preservation of Rare Materials: Planning an Environmental Building Model (co-sponsor with LAMA and RBMS)

2009 Program Planning (tentative)

  • Preservation Film Festival (PARS Education Committee)
  • Saving Sound IV (PARS Recording Media Committee)
  • Preconference: Preservation without a Preservation Librarian (PARS Management Committee: Small- to Mid-Sized Libraries)


  • Guide to the Standard for Library Binding. Christine Taylor, ALCTS Office, reported that proofs are going to the authors in mid-February, and it will be published by the 2008ALA Annual Conference.
  • Bound Right: A Librarian’s Guide to Managing Commercial Binding Activities. The committee has requested a revised manuscript from the editor by February 29, 2008. If it is not received, the project will be canceled.
  • Saving Sound. The committee has approved the publication proposal.
  • When Your Library is a Crime Scene. The Committee has requested a publication proposal from the PARS Management Committee.

Other Business

The Committee is working on maximizing its use of the Online Community in order to provide continuity in program and publication projects as committee chairs and membership change.

The Committee is revitalizing the “shepherd”/liaison program, which assigns a committee member to an author or program planner in order to provide support as a project is completed.

Recording and Photographic Media: Methods, Materials, Standards

Discussion of publishing the “Saving Sound” program materials for ALA

The proposal for publication was submitted to the Program Planning and Publication Committee and the ALCTS Office. Kennedy distributed the application for committee to review in case they had not reviewed it when Kennedy distributed it via email prior to submission. The PPP Chair reported that the proposal is moving along, but may take longer than usual to push through. George Blood will recheck permissions for use of material on the CD from the “Saving Sound” programs.

Saving Sound IV Program

Kennedy wanted to touch base with Tom Clareson before proceeding (Clareson was not present at the meeting), since he had spearheaded the previous three “Saving Sound” programs. This program as proposed would discuss migration, quality control, and born digital materials. This program would not take place until the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Possible speakers were discussed, including Sam Brylewski (LC), John Dunn (Indiana), David Kavanaugh (Sun Systems), and Taylor Surface (OCLC).

Proposed PARS Restructuring

It was felt that four interest/discussion groups would be better than three, as that number seems too limiting. Some felt that a restructuring would cause small to mid-sized libraries to be shut out without a venue to discuss topics.

Reformatting: Analog and Digital

Given the recent agreement to restructure PARS discussion groups and the diminished attendance at the PARS Reformatting Discussion Group, it was agreed that the discussion group will be put on hold (at least until the restructuring is completed). At that time, it can be determined where the activities and topics of that discussion group will fit within the new PARS discussion group structure. (Strategic Plan 4.1, 5.1, 6.1)

Myron Chace reported on recent Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) activities. There have been no significant developments in AIIM standards. However, AIIM has been proposing standards directly to ISO, rather than ANSI, which was the practice in the past. In addition, AIIM plans to remove their standards from ANSI and make them exclusively AIIM standards. It is not clear what, if any, effect this will have on future preservation activities. (Strategic Plan 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.2)

Information was relayed to the committee regarding ALA's recent Principles of Digital Content. The Principles have been reviewed and reported to PARS Executive Committee Strategic Plan. 2.2, 4.5)

PARS goals 2007–2008 were reviewed. The committee agreed with both goals as outlined by PARS Executive Committee. (Strategic Plan 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 6.1, 6.2, 6.5)

Kurt Blythe agreed to serve on task force to review the ALCTS web site and report back to the PARS Executive Committee informed. The committee is charged with reviewing the web site and reporting to Emily Holmes by the end of January 2008. Holmes will relay the findings and recommendations back to the Executive Committee. (Strategic Plan 6.1, 6.6)

The RBMS Task Force on Digitization of Special Collections was discussed. They may benefit from assistance of PARS in their literature review, information regarding digitization standards and best practices, and practical advice about planning and implementing digitization projects. Emily Holmes agreed to contact task force members to discuss this and offer assistance as a liaison. (Strategic Plan 1.2, 1.4, 2.1, 2.3, 4.4, 4.5, 5.4)

Consider future programs that would be appropriate for Reformatting Committee to plan.


   ALCTS Liaisons and Representatives Report on Midwinter 2008 Activities

Editor’s note: We are featuring reports on groups outside of ALCTS with whom we have formal liaisons in this separate article.

Accessibility Assembly

The Accessibility Assembly is drafting guidelines for a document/checklist to assist libraries in determining whether technology and software they may consider for purchase is accessibility compliant. The document should be in as much non-technical language as possible and include a glossary of terms and a checklist for vendors. They are also considering developing a related wiki and blog.

The Assembly is also putting together a Web Accessibility Watchdog Committee related to the ALA web site.


Education Assembly

An Education Forum will be held on Friday afternoon at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. It will consist of presentations of research by LIS master’s degree students. In the future, the education forum will only take place at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

A Library Support Staff certification program is being developed with the help of an IMLS grant. Competencies are being developed in ten categories, identified as either core or elective. The task force is still working through ways to assess prior learning and provide credit accordingly. The task force plans to test the program with one or more ALA divisions (as well as other constituencies) in fall 2009.

The ALA Committee on Education is sponsoring a program at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference “Professional Development Opportunities Available from a Distance.” Staff liaison Lorelle Swader reminded the group that career development workshops are also available in the ALA Placement Center.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to round robin reports by the various members.


American Association of Law Libraries

Programs sponsored by AALL Technical Services Special Interest Section and held at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries:

  1. Collection Analysis Made Easy: OCLC’s WorldCat Collection Analysis Service
  2. Bringing the Library to the User: The Practice
  3. The Next Katrina: Are You Ready?
  4. Blogging and Beyond for Tech Services Librarians
  5. What to Count, What to Report: the Revised ABA Annual Questionnaire
  6. The Future of Subject Access
  7. The Future of Cataloging
  8. Resource Description and Access
  9. Tips and Tricks for Successful Vendor Negotiation
  10. Casting a Wider Net: the Challenges and Rewards of Making Your Online Catalog a Useful Tool Beyond the Law Library

Other programs presented during AALL 2007 of interest to technical services librarians:

  1. Blogs, Working Papers, Electronic Publishing: Will Changes in Legal Scholarship Affect the Future Development of Library Collections?
  2. Situational Leadership: What Would “Andy of Mayberry” Do?
  3. Training: Are We Missing the Obvious?
  4. Understanding Copyright Challenges in Licensing: What to Look for in Your Subscription Agreement
  5. New Challenges Demand New Skills: Negotiation 101 for Librarians
  6. When Nature Strikes: Weather Disasters and the Law
  7. OCLC’s WorldCat: Our Collections at the World’s Fingertips
  8. The E-book Report: Using Electronic Books in Your Law Library

Workshops sponsored by AALL TS-SIS during AALL 2007 or of interest to technical services librarians:

  1. The Future is Digital: Metadata Standards and Applications
  2. Delivering the Goods: Effective and Efficient Acquisitions Processes

Programs and workshops sponsored by AALL Technical Services Special Interest Section or of interest to technical services librarians and scheduled for the 2008 annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries (nonmembers may call AALL if interested in attending.)


  1. The Role of Print Depositories in an Electronic Age
  2. The Chesapeake Project: One Model for Digital Preservation
  3. Exploring Relevancy Ranking Systems in Search Engines on the Web and In Our OPACs: What They Are, How They Work
  4. The Future of Subject Access in the 21st Century
  5. Demystifying Batch-Load Analysis: What You Need to Know About Vendor-Supplied Bibliographic Records
  6. Thinking Outside the Box: How Developing Electronic Serial Standards Can Add Fiber to Your Library’s Diet
  7. Energize Personnel in the Library: Managing Difficult and Change-Resistant Staff Members
  8. Explore the Effective Use of Cataloger’s Desktop
  9. Explore the Effective Use of Classification Web
  10. Encore, Enterprise, Primo and WorldCat Local: Explore the Evolving Discovery Tools for Your Catalog
  11. Mandatory Digital TV and the Evolution of Library Collections
  12. Strategic Plans That Work: Creating a Strategic Plan for a Law Library
  13. The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Rethinking Bibliographic Services in the 21st Century
  14. Critical Technology Tools: Free and Inexpensive Software to Help Your Daily Life
  15. Fostering and Recruiting the Next Generation of Law Librarians
  16. Acquiring Content in a Global Marketplace: Exploring Vendor Relations Across Borders
  17. Energize Your Catalog: Get Electronic Titles Out of Their Silos and Into Your OPAC
  18. Battling Employee Burnout: Explore Tools and Techniques to Assess and Address Employee Burnout
  19. Exploring Online Instructional Tools: A Showcase


  1. Immerse Yourself: Swim, Don’t Sink, An Introduction to Law Cataloging
  2. Yikes! What’s In This Box?: Managing Archive Collections
  3. Amazing Technical Services: the Director’s Cut


Committee on Professional Ethics

The ALA Code of Ethics will turn seventy in 2009. In anticipation of that anniversary, the Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) has spent the past three years reassessing the Code (last revised in 1995) and soliciting input throughout the Association. Discussions have focused mainly on revision of Article IV concerning respect for intellectual property rights. Many have argued that the current language:

“We recognize and respect intellectual property rights” (1995)

sends an unbalanced message, emphasizing the rights of intellectual property holders over the rights of information users. An open hearing was held at ALA on January 13 to discuss options for new wording. Proposals came from the Intellectual Freedom Committee, Jim Neal (Columbia University), Carrie Russell (ALA Copyright Specialist), and Dave Tyckoson (California State University at Fresno). COPE discussed the various proposals at its business meeting and ultimately rejected suggestions to include the terms of “fair use” and “public domain” in favor of broad language upholding ethical principles. COPE sent its proposed revision of Article IV to the ALA Council:

“We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.” (2008)

The Council approved the revision at its Forum on January 14. The change in the Code is summarized below.

ALA Code of Ethics, Article IV

“We recognize and respect intellectual property rights” (1995)
“We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.” (2008)

The Committee is currently working to draft a Question & Answer document that will address questions about code enforcement, such as:

  • What is ALA’s procedure to enforce the Code of Ethics?
  • Has ALA had an enforcement procedure in the past?
  • What can be done about violations of the Code of Ethics?
  • Why have a Code of Ethics if there is no enforcement?

Once finalized, the document will be available on the COPE web page.

Other items discussed included an ethics training program to be held March 13-14 in Chicago, the COPE program at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference (“Politics of Differences: Cultural Sensitivities and Global Ethics for Libraries and Librarians”), and pre-planning for the 2009 anniversary celebration of the Code of Ethics.


Freedom to Read Foundation

One challenge to the USA Patriot Act is still going forward. John Doe and ACLU v. Mukasey, et al. (formerly John Doe and ACLU v. Gonzales, et al.), first filed in 2004, challenges the use of National Security Letters (NSLs)—administrative subpoenas that FBI field agents can issue on their own authority without judicial review. NSLs compel the recipient to turn over records of electronic transactions, including Internet use records, and impose a comprehensive and permanent gag order on the recipient. From the time the litigation was initiated, the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) has supported the “John Doe” plaintiff, an unnamed Internet Service Provider (ISP), filing several amicus curiae briefs that underscore the threat to First Amendment values inherent in the NSL provision of the law. At its meeting the FTRF Board gave unanimous approval, subject to review of the final brief, to FTRF participation in an amicus brief in support of “John Doe” and the ACLU.

The Foundation recently joined with the New Jersey Library Association, the ACLU of New Jersey, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in filing an amicus curiae brief to the New Jersey Supreme Court in New Jersey v. Reid. The state is appealing a ruling by the New Jersey Court of Appeals requiring police officers to obtain a valid subpoena in order to get an ISP account holder’s personally identifiable information. FTRF’s brief asks the New Jersey Supreme Court to uphold the Court of Appeals’ decision. The case was argued on October 12, 2007, and they are awaiting a decision.

In the past six months, FTRF won two important victories in their efforts to protect the freedom to read materials published on the Internet. The first came on September 24, 2007, when Judge Walter Rice issued a written opinion in ABFFE v. Strickland (formerly Bookfriends, Inc. v. Taft and ABBFE v. Petro), in which FTRF is a plaintiff. In his opinion, Judge Rice ruled the Ohio “harmful to minors” statute unconstitutional as applied to the Internet, and enjoined its enforcement. The decision has been appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and briefs are due to be filed early this year.

FTRF also secured an interim victory in The King’s English v. Shurtleff, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Utah’s expanded “harmful to minors” statute. In the spring of 2007, the State of Utah filed a motion to discuss the lawsuit asserting that FTRF and its co-plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the law. On November 29, 2007, the court denied the state’s motion and permitted the lawsuit to proceed, ruling that FTRF could continue to represent the First Amendment interests of Internet users across the country.

FTRF is also an amicus curiae in U.S. v. Williams, a lawsuit that challenges the federal government’s PROTECT act, a law that criminalizes advertising, promoting, presenting, distributing or soliciting material in a manner that “reflects the belief, or is intended to cause another to believe “that the material is illegal child pornography. On August 14, 2007, FTRF joined with the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), AAP, CBLDF, and PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association, in filing an amicus curiae brief that addresses the constitutionality of laws criminalizing the marketing of First Amendment protected materials in general. The brief focuses on materials published or sold by members of the amici groups. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on October 30, 2007.

Finally, FTRF continues to participate in several important lawsuits implicating fundamental First Amendment rights. American Civil Liberties Union of Florida v. Miami-Dade School Board is a lawsuit challenging the Miami-Dade School Board’s decision to remove the books A Visit to Cuba and Vamos a Cuba. The lawsuit is still pending before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. FTRF has filed an amicus curiae brief urging the appellate court to uphold a fine decision by the district court which, in a resounding defense of basic First Amendment principles, ordered the return of the books to school library shelves.

FTRF continues to watch the case of Sarah Bradburn, et al. v. North Central Regional Library District in Washington State which challenges a library’s restrictive use of Internet filters and its policy of refusing to honor adults’ requests to temporarily disable the filter for research and reading. FTRF is not currently a participant in this lawsuit.

In 2001, President Bush signed Executive Order No. 13233, which subverts the Presidential Records Act of 1978 by imposing restrictions that threaten the timely release of presidential and vice-presidential records in accordance with standards established by enactment of the Presidential Records Act. Professional historians, archivists and public interest groups joined to file a lawsuit, American Historical Association v. National Archives and Records Administration, to challenge the legality of the executive order. FTRF has participated in the lawsuit as amicus curiae. An opinion was issued in October that enjoins the U.S. Archivist from relying on the order to delay the release of presidential records. The judge ruled that U.S. Archivist’s reliance on the executive order to delay release of former presidents’ records violates the Administrative Procedures Act. The Executive Order has not been overturned.

Other FTRF News

The Freedom to Read Foundation has a new organizational membership. James G. Neal, from Columbia University, reported that there are now 100 organizational members including forty-five academic libraries that are supporting FTRF at the $500 and $1,000 level. Libraries are urged to consider becoming organizational members and support the work of the Foundation.

In 2009, the Freedom to Read Foundation will mark the 40th Anniversary of its founding. A celebration is planned for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.


Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA

Collaboration with the Dublin Core community

At the 2007 ALA Annual Conference, the big news was the London data model meeting, and the collaboration between the Joint Steering Committee and the Dublin Core community to define the RDA element set and vocabularies. This work continues. A working group has been established, chaired by Diane Hillmann and Gordon Dunsire. They have identified sufficient funding to start the project. Members of the group met in Philadelphia with members of the JSC and the Committee of Principals to begin formulating a project plan. In a related activity, the IFLA FRBR Working Group agreed to create a formal definition of the FRBR model, and Gordon Dunsire has begun working on that.

Product Development

Cognilore, a Canadian company, has been selected as the vendor for product development. They are working with a project leader at ALA (Patrick Hogan) and a consultant (Nannette Naught). Work on the authoring system is nearly complete, and the current texts of RDA are being entered into the system; the Editor and the JSC will soon start using the system. Work on RDA Online has begun; early results (screen mockups) were reviewed at the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting; a new prototype will be developed before the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, and (we hope) will be widely demonstrated on that occasion. A live version of RDA Online will be launched at the IFLA annual conference in Québec City in August 2008.

Content Development

At its meeting in October 2007, the JSC agreed upon a new organization for RDA. This represents a fine-tuning of RDA to the FRBR/FRAD models, a better alignment with RDA objectives; and freeing RDA from the constraints of present implementation scenarios. Instead of a division between bibliographic data elements and authority data elements, the new organization provides for (a) recording the attributes of each of the Group 1, 2 and 3 FRBR entities; and (b) establishing relationships between these entities. This organization looks forward to a relational, object-oriented data structure, with relationships made through resource identifiers. Much less emphasis is placed on controlling the form of textual access points for the names of entities.

The chapters on attributes and relationships of Group 2 entities are out for review. Comments will be considered at the April 2008 JSC meeting.

Work is progressing on all sections of RDA, although not with the speed that we would desire. The group still has to work through the specific comments made in the constituency responses to the three chapters that were out for review in 2007 (chapter 3 for carrier, chapter 6 for access points for persons, families and corporate bodies, chapter 7 for relationships).

The last major piece of content—the general introduction—has been drafted and will be reviewed at the April JSC meeting. By the beginning of July a “complete” draft of RDA for final public review will be issued.


Implementation discussions have begun under the leadership of the national libraries of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These libraries have issued a joint statement making a commitment to joint implementation of RDA. As part of this effort, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) has begun looking at the current LC rule interpretations and the need for implementation guidelines for RDA. There is an ALCTS Task Force working on training/implementation strategies for RDA; they are planning a program for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.

Finally, the JSC presented a Discussion Paper (2008-DP04) to MARBI outlining an initial implementation within MARC 21, which was discussed at Midwinter. The basic issues were (a) how much of RDA should be implemented within MARC 21, and (b) what sort of encoding standard should be developed for a full implementation of RDA—and other metadata schemas.


National Information Standards Organization


Betty Landesman, the former ALA voting representative to NISO, completed her second term at the end of ALA Annual in Washington, DC (June 2007). In early July, she transferred current working files and provided guidance regarding NISO representative duties to Cindy Hepfer.


Starting in October, Hepfer began to distribute NISO Newsline (an online newsletter) and notices about specific events and activities to the ALCTS leaders’ discussion list.

In December, ALCTS Executive Director Charles Wilt set up a closed NISO discussion list for the NISO Liaison to communicate with chairs of a variety of ALA committees which have been identified as being potentially interested in NISO and/or ISO standards. At the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting, it was suggested that ALA members on NISO committees who are not already on the list and who are interested might also be added. Clearly not all committees identified will be interested in all standards, and occasionally committees not on the list will need to be contacted if the content of the standard in question warrants additional eyes. Because ISO documents under review are copyrighted, they may be shared only with ALA members who express an interest in reviewing an ISO standard—these publications cannot be made generally available. Diane Hillman, who is responsible for the Standards Watch portion of the LITA blog is included as a member of the ALA NISO discussion list and plans to add information about reviews of specific NISO and ISO standards to LITA's blog. Interested ALA members may contact either Hillman or ALCTS NISO Liaison Cindy Hepfer for a copy of the ISO standard under review (other interested individuals will have to work through a NISO-member organization to which they belong, or if they are located abroad, may try working through their national standards organization). NISO’s standards at ballot are freely available (as are the approved standards) on the NISO web site.

Current members of the discussion list are:

  • Becky S. Albitz (Chair, ALCTS Copyright Committee)
  • Jackie L. Case (Chair, LAMA/SASS Circulation/Access Services Committee)
  • Jennifer A. Cella (Chair, International Interlibrary Loan)
  • Trisha Davis (Member, NISO Education Committee and ALA member)
  • Katharine Treptow Farrell (Chair, ALCTS AS Technology Committee)
  • Cheri Folkner (Chair, ALCTS Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access, CC:DA)
  • Victoria Heiduschke (Chair, ALCTS PARS Books and Paper: Methods, Materials, and Standards)
  • Dottie R. Hiebing (Chair, Office for Information Technology Policy Advisory Committee)
  • Diane Hillmann (LITA Blog, Standards Watch)
  • Emily Holmes (Chair, ALCTS PARS Reformatting: Analog and Digital Committee)
  • Gary N. Johnson (Chair, RUSA Vendor Relations Committee)
  • Tara D. Kennedy (Chair, ALCTS PARS Recording and Photographic Media: Methods, Materials, and Standards)
  • Beatrice Nichols (Chair, LITA Technology and Access Committee)
  • Nancy Patterson (Chair, RUSA Interlibrary Loan)
  • William H. Ptacek (Chair, PLA Technology in Public Libraries)
  • Jacqueline Samples (Chair, ALCTS CRS Committee to Study Serials Standards)
  • Step Schmitt (Chair, Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee, MARBI)
  • Merle J. Slyhoff (Chair, RUSA Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee)
  • Charley Thurston (Chair, RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee)
  • Joan Stein (Chair, RUSA Research and Statistics Committee)
  • Bonnie Tijerina (Chair, ALCTS CMDS Collection Assessment Committee)
  • Michelle R. Turvey (Chair, LAMA/SASS Technical Services Systems Committee)
  • Maurice York (Chair, LITA Top Technology Trends Committee)

Other committee chairs who are interested in receiving communications may ask to be added to this list. Anyone else with an interest is urged to watch the LITA blog for new information.

During the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting, Hepfer provided a report to ALCTS CC:DA and the ALCTS Acquisitions Section Executive Committee.

Standards Activity July–December 2007

NISO Standards

New NISO Reaffirmation Ballots Posted for Three Standards

The ballots ran from July 9 through August 23, 2007.

Received by Betty Landesman on July 9, forwarded to Hepfer July 11.

ANSI/NISO Z39.77 - 2001 Guidelines for Information about Preservation Products

Abstract: Specifies the information that should be included in advertisements, catalogs, and promotional material for products used for the storage, binding, or repair of library materials, including books, pamphlets, sound recordings, videotapes, films, compact disks, manuscripts, maps, and photographs.

ANSI/NISO Z39.79 - 2001 Environmental Conditions for Exhibiting Library and Archival Materials

Abstract: Establishes criteria to minimize the effects of environmental factors on the deterioration of library and archival materials on exhibit. Specific parameters are recommended for exposure to light, relative humidity, temperature, gaseous and particulate contaminants, display techniques, and case and support materials composition.

ANSI/NISO Z39.82 - 2001 Title Pages for Conference Publications

Abstract: Explains how to structure title page information for conference publications so metadata and bibliographic citations can readily access the publications. The standard applies to all disciplines, to all conferences (e.g., meetings, symposia, institutes, colloquia, workshops), and to all formats (e.g., printed documents, videos, web sites). It applies to published conference proceedings in various manifestations (e.g., papers, abstracts, summaries) and in all languages, subjects, and formats.

An announcement was disturbed about these standards on July 28 to the following committees, with a request for feedback by August 18.

  • ALCTS Acquisitions Section Technology Committee
  • ALCTS CC:DA Chair
  • ALCTS CRS Committee to Study Serials Standards
  • ALCTS PARS Book and Paper: Methods, Materials and Standards
  • ALCTS PARS Recording and Photographic Media: Methods, Materials, and Standards
  • ALCTS PARS Reformatting: Analog and Digital Committee
  • PLA Technology in Public Libraries Committee
  • LITA Blog/Standards Watch
  • ACRL/RBMS Executive Committee

Feedback received

  • Comments from CC:DA regarding “Title Pages for Conference Publications”

Action taken

  • ALA voted “Yes” on Preservation Products and also on Environmental Conditions for Exhibiting Library and Archival Materials.
  • “Yes” also on Title Pages for Conference Publications, but separate comments were submitted for the third standard.

Status indicated on NISO web site

  • As of 1/19/08, all three are listed as Under Review.
ANSI/NISO Z39.93 - 2007 The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol

Ballots ran from July 18 through Sept. 1, 2007

Note: This standard defines an automated request and response model for the harvesting of electronic resource usage data utilizing a Web services framework that can replace the user-mediated collection of usage data reports. Designed to work with Project COUNTER reports, the protocol is also extensible to other types of usage reports. The SUSHI protocol underwent trial usage from September 2006 through May 2007. During the trial period, dozens of implementations of both the client or server sides of the protocol were successfully conducted. Minor revisions to the schemas were made to address issues identified during the trial. The schemas that accompany this standard are available on the SUSHI schema web page.

The NISO liaison distributed this information on July 27 to the following committee chairs, with a request for feedback by August 22, 2007.

  • ALCTS AS Technology Committee
  • ALCTS CMDS Collection Assessment Committee
  • ALCTS CRS Committee to Study Serials Standards
  • PLA Technology in Public Libraries Committee
  • LITA Blog/Standards

Feedback received

  • None

Action taken

  • ALA voted “Yes”

ANSI Approval Date: 10/29/07

Status: Approved and Published Standard

Access the .pdf of the standard on NISO's web site.

Proposals to Form Two New Working Groups

Ballots run from 12/19/07 to 1/18/08

Note: Message was received from NISO about this on December 19, but necessary documentation was not available at the web site when the NISO Liaison needed it. Hepfer contacted NISO about not finding the documentation and did not receive a response. The documents describing these in more depth had been added to the NISO web site by January 5, and a message was posted to the newly established list. Feedback was requested by February 17 at the latest.

Information provided by NISO 12/19:

  • Ballot #1: D2D-01 UKSG Knowledge Base Working Group
    This is a proposal to form a joint NISO/UKSG working group, comprising representatives from each of the parties active in the supply and use of knowledge bases, to develop guidelines for best practices to effect smoother interaction between members of the knowledge base supply chain.
  • Ballot #2: BUS-01 Institutional Identifiers
    This is a proposal to develop a standard for Institutional Identification in the publishing and library environment.

These proposals were reviewed by their respective Topic Committees (Discovery to Delivery for #1 and Business Information for #2) and approved for consideration by the NISO Voting Members. As per the recently updated NISO Procedures, Section 4.2.4, “Members have thirty (30) days to vote to express interest in the work item. Members who express interest in the work item are automatically added to the Voting Pool (see Section 5.1) for any action that results from this work item. Voting Pool participation does not imply or prohibit participation in the Working Group.” In order for the work item to move forward and for a working group to be formed, 10 percent of NISO Voting Members must express interest in this item within the 30-day period. Members may also nominate a representative to the Working Group. If the work item moves forward, members who did not join the initial Voting Pool can opt into the Voting Pool at any time until ballot. A 15 percent or higher member pool must be established at the time of ballot.

Feedback received

  • One individual indicated an interest in institutional identifiers.

Action taken

  • Sufficient approval received from NISO membership before ALA vote submitted. Wrote NISO 1/19/08 to opt ALA into the voting group for both items.

Access .pdfs of the ballot documents online.

ISO Standards

New ISO proposal to revise two thesaurus standards (ISO 2788 and ISO 5964): ISO/NWI 25964, Information and documentation—Guidelines for the establishment and development of thesauri (revision of ISO 2788, 5964)

Betty Landesman received a belated request for feedback from NISO on June 26, 2007 which included apologies for a shorter than usual turn-around time: comments were to be offered to NISO by July 16, 2007. Since the NISO Liaison received the forwarded request July 11, 2007, she was unable to distribute the message in time to solicit feedback.

Action taken

  • None

U.S. vote

  • " Yes"
ISO/CD 2146, Information and documentation—Registry Services for Libraries and Related Organisations

Landesman received notice about this from NISO June 19 and forwarded to Hepfer July 11.

Note: “This international standard is intended to assist in the development of registry services for use by libraries and related organizations wherever they are needed in the delivery of information and documentation services. This standard provides a framework for registry services in the form of an object-oriented data model, with the intention of making the concepts and relationships understandable to both managers and developers alike.” Services identified as needing to support one or more of the relevant user functions include: resource discovery services, metasearch portal services, metadata harvesting services, resolver services, interlibrary loan or resource sharing services, and reference services.

This information was distributed on July 28 to the following chairs, with a request for feedback by August 13, 2007:

  • ALCTS AS Technology Committee
  • ALCTS CRS Committee to Study Serials Standards
  • ALCTS Catalog Form and Function Interest Group
  • ALCTS Electronic Resources Interest Group
  • ALCTS Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group
  • ALCTS Publisher-Vendor-Library Relations Interest Group
  • PLA Technology in Public Libraries Committee
  • LITA Technology and Access Committee
  • LITA Top Technology Trends Committee
  • ALA OITP Advisory Committee
  • RUSA Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee
  • President, RUSA

Feedback received

  • None

Action taken

  • “Yes” recommendation

U.S. vote:

  • " Yes," with comments
ISO/CD 28500, Information and documentation—The WARC File Format

Note: “The WARC (Web ARChive)” file format offers a convention for concatenating multiple resource records (data objects), each consisting of a set of simple text headers and an arbitrary data block into one long file. The WARC format is an extension of the ARC File Format (ARC) that has traditionally been used to store “web crawls” as sequences of content blocks harvested from the World Wide Web.”

Landesman received notice from NISO June 18 and forwarded to the NISO Liaison on July 11

Information was distributed July 28 to the following chairs, with a request for feedback by August 15:

  • ALCTS AS Technology Committee
  • CMDS Collection Assessment Committee
  • ALCTS CRS Committee to Study Serials Standards
  • ALCTS PARS Reformatting: Analog and Digital Committee
  • PLA Technology in Public Libraries Committee
  • LITA Technology and Access Committee
  • LITA Top Technology Trends Committee
  • ALA OITP Advisory Committee

Feedback received

  • None

Action taken

  • “Yes” recommendation

U.S. vote

  • " Yes," with comments
ISO NWI, Internationalized (non-ascii script) code for the representation of names of countries and other significant geopolitical entities

Note: This was a work item proposal to provide, as a new part of ISO 3166, an additional code for the names of the entities represented within ISO 3166-1 in the scripts and writing systems that represent the languages of the world. The intent is to provide guidelines for maintenance and registration procedures.

Hepfer received from NISO on August 6. Information was distributed to chairs of the following committees on August 10, with a request for feedback by August 21.

  • CCS Chair
  • CCS Committee on Cataloging: Asian & African Materials
  • PLA Technology in Public Libraries Committee
  • LITA blog
  • RUSA Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee
  • CRS Committee to Study Serials Standards

Feedback received

  • Received three responses (CC:AAM, CCS Exec, CC:DA) but all had no comments to offer.

Action taken

  • "Yes” recommendation

U.S. vote

  • "Yes"
ISO/FDIS 3166-2, Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions—Part 2: Country subdivision codes

Note: Part 2 of the Country Code standard establishes a code that represents the names of the principal administrative divisions, or similar areas, of the countries, etc. included in Part 1. The codes in the three parts of ISO 3166 are heavily used in documentation and databases throughout the world and in business interchange technologies such as EDI. This is the final draft version of the standard prior to its publication unless substantive changes are found.

Hepfer received from NISO on September 5 and distributed to the following chairs on September 14, with a request for feedback by October 12.

  • ALCTS AS Technology Committee
  • ALCTS CRS Committee to Study Serials Standards
  • PLA Technology in Public Libraries Committee
  • LITA Technology and Access Committee
  • LITA Top Technology Trends Committee
  • LITA Blog
  • RUSA Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee

Feedback received

  • AS-TS and CRS CSSS indicated that they had received no comments from their committee members.

Action taken

  • “Yes” recommendation

U.S. vote

  • Yes, with comments
The ISO TC46/SC8 committee has issued a ballot on a new work item proposal for Qualitative conditions and basic statistics for library buildings (space, function and design)

Note: The proposal indicates that the scope of this proposed document will be: Planning new library buildings or reconstructions, library management and financing institutions need reliable data and formula that can help them to calculate the space requirements.

Hepfer received from NISO on August 14. Information was distributed to the following chairs on Aug.ust 16, with a request for feedback by October 19, 2007.

  • LAMA Buildings & Equipment Section Executive Committee
  • LAMA/BES Functional Space Requirements Committee
  • LAMA/BES Architecture for Public Libraries Committee
  • LAMA/BES Buildings for College & University Libraries Committee
  • LAMA/BES Safety and Security of Library Buildings Committee

Feedback received

  • None

Action taken

  • “Yes” recommendation

U.S. vote

  • No
ISO ILL Protocol Systematic Review Ballot

Note: Regarding this protocol ballot, NISO said: “Earlier this year, we circulated to NISO members the systematic review ballot for the ISO ILL Protocol standards—ISO 10160 (Service definition), 10161-1 (Protocol specification), and 10161-2 (Protocol implementation conformance statement). The ballot was then temporarily withdrawn for administrative reasons but has since been re-issued with a new December deadline. The vote options for a systematic review ballot are: Confirm, Revise, or Withdraw. NISO does not normally suggest how members should vote on ISO standards, but for this review ballot we are making an exception and suggesting that members consider a vote recommendation of Confirm. Our reasons for this are listed below. Also, some of you sent in votes when we previously announced the ballot—a list of those organizations and their votes is at the end of this e-mail below my contact information. At this time, you may send in a revised vote if you so desire. If you do not send in a new vote, we will assume your previous vote recommendation stands. Anyone who has not yet voted is encouraged to do so. Vote recommendations and comments are due to NISO by December 3, 2007 and should be emailed to

Three protocols were involved:

  • ISO 10160: 1997, Information and documentation - Open Systems Interconnection - Interlibrary Loan Application Service Definition
  • ISO 10161-1:1997, Information and documentation - Open Systems Interconnection - Interlibrary Loan Application Protocol Specification - Part 1: Protocol specification
  • ISO 10161-2:1997, Information and documentation - Open Systems Interconnection - Interlibrary Loan Application Protocol Specification - Part 2: Protocol implementation conformance statement (PICS) proforma

Hepfer received from NISO on October 25 and distributed to the following chairs on October 31, with a request for feedback by November 26, 2007.

  • RUSA STARS Codes, Guidelines and Technical Standards
  • RUSA STARS Interlibrary Loan
  • RUSA STARS International Interlibrary Loan
  • RUSA STARS Research & Statistics
  • RUSA STARS Vendor Relations Committee
  • RUSA STARS Chair
  • LAMA SASS Chair

Feedback received

  • None

Action taken

  • “Yes” recommendation

U.S. vote

  • Confirm
ISO/FDIS 2709, Information and documentation—Format for information exchange

“Note: Regarding this standard the NISO information stated: “This International Standard specifies the requirements for a generalized exchange format which will hold records describing all forms of material capable of bibliographic description as well as other types of records. This is the fourth edition of the standard and revises the 1996 version. The changes in this revision clarify the use of Unicode with UTF-8 encoding. Prior to this revision, it was equivalent to the NISO standard, Z39.2, Information Interchange Format. NISO has been waiting for this international revision to be completed before reviewing/revising its own standard. This information exchange format standard is considered one of the “critical” standards for library systems.”

The NISO staff member distributing the message also added: “Comments and vote recommendations from NISO members are due by December 12, 2007. I apologize for the short turn-around, however I did not receive the announcement when the ballot was originally issued. However, the standard is short in length, in good shape, and we received only minor editorial comments on the previous draft so you should be able to review it fairly quickly. This is the final ballot before the standard goes to publication.”

Hepfer received from NISO on November 27 and distributed to the following chairs on December 1, 2007:

  • OITP Advisory Committee
  • ALCTS CRS Committee to Study Serials Standards
  • ALCTS AS Technology Committee
  • LITA Top Technology Trends
  • LAMA/SASS Circulation/Access Services Committee
  • LAMA/SASS Technical Services Systems Committee
  • PLA Technology in Public Libraries Committee
  • RUSA Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee

Feedback received

  • CC:DA indicated “no comments”

Action taken

  • “Yes” recommendation

U.S. vote

  • Approve, with comments
ISO/DIS 20775, Information and documentation -- Schema for holdings information

Summary: The schema is designed to cover the holdings of all types of resources, physical and electronic. The schema is primarily designed to be included in responses to queries. This schema is intended as a more comprehensive and better defined alternative to the OPAC schema defined within ISO 23950 and the associated Z39.50 holdings schema that has not been widely implemented. This schema has been derived from the Z39.50 Holdings schema, but updated to reduce the complexity. The schema is designed to be used as a fragment in other schemas or XML bibliographic resource descriptions such as MODS. It is being included as the structure for the “possible suppliers” element of the ISO OpenURL Request Transfer Message.

Hepfer received from NISO on September 17 and distributed to the following chairs the same day:

  • ALCTS AS Technology Committee
  • ALCTS CRS Acquisitions Committee
  • ALCTS CMDS Collection Development and Electronic Resources Committee
  • ALCTS CRS Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee
  • ALCTS CRS Committee to Study Serials Standards
  • ALCTS CRS Committee on Holdings Information
  • LITA International Relations Committee
  • LITA Technology & Access Committee
  • LITA Top Technology Trends Committee
  • LITA Blog
  • LAMA/SASS Technical Services Systems Committee
  • PLA Technology in Public Libraries
  • RUSA Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee
  • MAGERT (on CC:DA’s recommendation)

Feedback received

  • CC:DA and LAMA/SASS responded but offered no comments or advice.

Action taken

  • “Yes” recommendation

U.S. vote

  • To be announced—ballot still in progress
ISO/PDTR 26102 Information and documentation - Requirements for long term preservation of electronic records

Summary: Digital records have a number of fundamental differences from traditional records; hence need special treatment to preserve their integrity as records over time. Of immediate concern to all organisations is the ability to retain and preserve those digital records so that their authenticity, reliability, integrity and usability over time are not compromised. This Technical Report provides additional guidance to ISO 15489 specific to managing digital records for as long as they are required. It identifies and addresses the management issues within the limits of technological environments. This Technical Report relies on the concepts set out in ISO 15489 and needs to be applied in conjunction with that standard. This Technical Report is related to document based records, and not to records held in the form of databases.

Hepfer received from NISO on December 13 and distributed to chairs included on on December 15.

Feedback received

  • Chair of ALCTS PARS Books and Paper: Methods, Materials, and Standards Committee informed me that she had forwarded to the co-chairs of the Digital Preservation Discussion Group of PARS.

Action taken

  • Vote due by 2/15/08. I have asked for input by 2/13; some editorial comments already received (2/8/08)

U.S. vote

  • Ballot closes 2/29; vote to be announced.
ISO/DIS 8459, Information and documentation - Bibliographic data element directory

Summary: This International Standard specifies and describes data elements required in the interchange of data between bibliographic systems. It describes, in the form of a directory, data elements used to support the processes of acquisition, resource description and cataloguing, searching, requesting loan or copy directly to an end user or inter-library. The focus of the standard is to provide common definitions for data elements that are exchanged in protocol messages between systems and is also intended as a foundation for new standards. By inheriting element names and definitions, new standards can be achieved in an efficient way that directly relates them with existing standards in the field. This is a revision and consolidation of the previous version issued in 5 parts between 1988 and 2002.

Hepfer received from NISO on November 13 and distributed to the following chairs on December 1:

  • OITP Advisory Committee
  • ALCTS AS Technology Committee
  • ALCTS CMDS Collection Assessment Committee
  • ALCTS CRS Committee to Study Serials Standards
  • LITA Top Technology Trends Committee
  • LAMA SASS Circulation/Access Services Committee
  • LAMA SASS Technical Services Systems Committee
  • RUSA Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee
  • RUSA Interlibrary Loan Committee
  • RUSA Vendor Relations Committee
  • RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee

Feedback received

  • In response to her posting information about this on the LITA blog, Diane Hillmann received a request to forward a copy of the standard to an ALA member and handled the request. Hepfer sent copies to eight other ALA members who have requested copies. A request from an individual in the UK who was not an ALA member was denied. It was suggested that he contact his national standards organization.

Action taken

  • Vote due by 3/19/08. Hepfer has asked for input by March 13.

U.S. vote

  • Ballot closes 4/2; vote to be announced.

More information on NISO

Library Alliance Membership

ALA members are encouraged to “talk up” Library Alliance membership in their home institutions. Costs: ARL member libraries: $995 per year. All other libraries: $495 per year. The membership year is January 1 to December 31. Alliance member dues help support free access to NISO standards via the NISO web site. In addition, each Alliance member receives three copies of Information Standards Quarterly, e-mail alerts regarding draft and newly approved standards, and discounts on NISO forums, workshops, and other meetings.

Key NISO staff:

  • Todd Carpenter, Managing Director
  • Karen Wetzel, Standards Program Officer
  • Cynthia Hodgson, Technical Editor
  • Victoria Kinnear, Office Manager

ALA member Jim Neal remains Chair of the Board of Directors. There are eighty voting member organizations in NISO.

NISO committees include:

  • NISO Architecture Committee
  • NISO Business Information Topic Committee
  • NISO Content and Collection Management Committee
  • NISO Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
  • NISO Education Committee
  • Several committees developing specific NISO standards

NISO educational sessions held between July–December 2007:

  • NISO E-Resource Management Forum: The What, Why, and How for Managing E-Resources (September 24–25, Denver, Colorado)
  • Understanding the Data around Us: Gathering and Analyzing Usage Data (November 1–2, Dallas, TX)
  • Getting the Most Out of Your Institutional Repository: Gathering Content and Building Use (December 3, Beltsville, Maryland)

NISO educational events planned for 2008 include:

  • Digital Preservation Forum (March 14, Washington, DC)
  • Discovery Tools Forum (March 27–28, location TBA)
  • Resource Sharing Forum (October 6–7, location TBA)

Get current information online.


RDA Implementation Task Force

The RDA Implementation Task Force met on Saturday, January 12, to discuss the charges as given to the task force by CCS. These charges served as the general agenda for the meeting. Approximately twenty to twenty-five people attended the meeting, in addition to the members of the task force.

The meeting opened with a brief discussion on the final report of the Library of Congress Working Group for the Future of Bibliographic Control that was released three days prior. It was decided that until told otherwise by the CCS, the task force will move forward with preparations for implementing RDA as charged.

The RDA Implementation Task Force wants to ensure the organizations responsible for providing access to our cultural heritage (since RDA seeks to cultivate or reach stakeholders outside libraries) stay informed on how training for RDA will be made available. The task force also wants to ensure that feedback is received from the target audience concerning the training methods that best suit their needs.

The main issues discussed at the meeting were training and training materials, target audiences, and the program for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference.

The task force identified the available types of mechanisms for training/continuing education, both print and web-based (e.g., Blackboard, Sakai). In addition, an infrastructure for training already exists and the task force needs to tap into it. For example, task force members plan to contact and work with state library associations, as well as other agencies, that are responsible for training/continuing education programs, and to hopefully find funding for a “traveling education road show” that can go when and where as needed.

The task force agreed that the current emphasis should be on preparing for RDA, and not on making actual plans, or strategies, for implementation. To do so would be premature since a final version of RDA is not slated to be available until 2009. Instead, the task force will focus on building awareness within target audiences. This could include a series on “Preparing for RDA,” modules on FRBR, differences between RDA and AACR2, new vocabulary, etc. However, the task force is very much aware that catalogers and vendors want to know the details and practicalities as soon as possible. In addition to training people on the background of FRBR, the task force needs to provide the mapping, or correlation, of the old to the new.

The focus the proposed program for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference is to educate users of RDA with the conceptual foundations found within FRBR and Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD). In addition, audience should consider and discuss questions such as

  • How should we think about cataloging?
  • What impact will RDA have on the various communities and standards?
  • How do we create a roadmap for implementing RDA when the time comes?

By doing this, the task force hopes to help alleviate some of the anxiety surrounding the new standards. Speakers will include: Barbara Tillett (Library of Congress) to discuss FRBR, Glenn Patton (OCLC) to address FRAD, Shawne D. Miksa (Chair, RDA Implementation Task Force) to speak on behalf of the task force regarding the issues surrounding training and preliminary plans for preparing for RDA.

The meeting ended with a demonstration of the RDA online prototype. Task force members were shown how to create customized access, portable profiles, XML, how to create annotations and bookmarks, update methods, searching capabilities, functionality of word in the workflows tool, and workflow tool that allow for the compilation of a standard routine for commonly used resources, or rarely used, depending on preference and need.

The task force will continue to work and communicate online and will meet again at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim in June.


Web Advisory Committee

Review of Challenged Content Guidelines

Context: Several meetings ago a memo was distributed to committees asking whether procedures exist if a portion of their web site is challenged. If no, the WAC recommended they look at RUSA site; a short survey also attached. Comments from LITA and other committees recommended that all committees adopt policy work done by RUSA and a general policy be drafted at the ALA level which applies across the organization and is implemented by ALA staff. Once the policy becomes available, WAC would like to share this with other ALA groups.

Report from ALA Executive Director
Keith Fiels

ALA members are work better when they can attach a face to a project. The position of Web Usability Officer is a key appointment for ALA. The goal of the position is good interpersonal skills and technical skills/knowledge.

After the new web site is launched, it is likely that complaints will continue. The goal is to solicit user involvement so that comments/suggestions can be captured and the web site can continue to develop. The perfect site now may not be perfect in six months.

Jim Rettig is a great president because his interests align well with those of the organization. His committee has developed a specific and understandable outline. Concern moving forward is to have the necessary staff and resources to do state of the art/cutting edge things. There is also a need to communicate effectively with the 58,000 members who are not involved with these projects and to change member perceptions about how to incorporate technology, etc. Social networking is a great opportunity to involve members not at conference, etc.


2009 is a lean year. Fiels has been able to use 2010 money for redesigning the awards pages and a portion of the web site redesign work.

Capturing Conference Content

WAC has support to do whatever is needed for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. There has been a great deal of pressure from various corners to make this content available. It is too expensive to video everything and make it available on the web. There is a voluntary, open method for getting this done. Anaheim can be used as a test case; a more formal approach will be taken in for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Access to content is worse than when cassettes of ALA programs were sold, which is sobering. The economic model for this is unclear. He questioned if it is necessary for one to be a member benefit? Should this be limited to those who attend the ALA conferences and meetings on-site? Issuing a working business model before the information is provided is not in ALA's best interest.

Comment from Committee

Making content free may pay off by increasing membership. Presenters could submit presentations in advance or provide links to web sites. Attendees can print own handouts or use their laptops to follow along.

Collage Conversion

The Governance Office site is in progress. The HTML conversion has been delegated to the department’s administrative assistant, and metadata is nonexistent in some cases. There is a retrieval issue, which is being handled.

ACRL has approached Fiels about implementing an open source content management system. This raises the point that it is not too early to plan for the next content management system.

Comment from the committee: It may be that Collage makes up the static part of site and open source software is used for social networking portion of the site (online communities).

Report from Executive Board Liaison
Terri Kirk

Kirk indicated that she would like to be as involved as WAC would like. She is advocating as hard as she can on behalf of the web site redesign.


Electronic participation will be a topic of conversation at membership meetings in Anaheim.

Web Advisory committee members should attend.

A resolution has not yet been formulated and WAC will develop one for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.

Kirk recommends putting it on the council list before the meeting in order for members to fully consider it.

A current resolution that is being discussed would make all ALA lists open (read only) except those that need to discuss confidential information (staff, nominations, etc.). The concern is how to balance openness with ability to work between face to face meetings.

ALA Information Technology and Telecommunication Services Report
Rob Carlson, Jenny Levine, Sherri Vanyek

Website Usability/Redesign

A total of 116 people have completed the survey at end of the current graphic design review. The major effort at this conference was to promote the redesign, and visibility is much better than at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference.

The design concept was arrived at over the past few months via staff input, focus groups, and presentation at this conference. The reaction is generally favorable reaction to the new look/feel.

Next steps

The survey will stay up until about January 25, then the next phase of information architecture survey will begin. The previous phase focused on the Information and Advocacy portion of the site, which caused a great deal of confusion. The second phase consider all the terms on the site, where they fit together, how they are placed on the site, and how to make the terminology clear to people without knowledge of ala history/structure.

The ultimate goal is to have a user centered design on the ALA web site.

Action: Carlson will draft an e-mail and send to listserv so committee can make one last push to have people review the wireframes.

Committee Question: How is the usability of the design concepts being tested?

Because the wireframes are images, they cannot be tested using access technology. This particular iteration is just about the look of the site, and is not intended to be interactive.

ALA is committed to the end product being accessible.

Committee Comments

Accessibility should be the concern now, not when the final product is available. Take advantage of Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) and its membership to test, so that ALA can be confident that the new site is accessible. Consider working with other groups as well. Making the site accessible for screen readers should be a primary consideration.

There is also an Emerging Leaders group looking at site accessibility. Carlson has begun getting comments and questions from departments in ALA about web usability. The wiki is a way to share the process with others.

Collage Implementation

Serena Collage is the new content management system. The goal for the transition is that no content manager will need to manually convert pages or port them into the new content management system. This has been easy on content managers but demanding of ALA staff. Doing the actual conversion has also posed challenges including the quality of the current design, competing schedules and staff turnover.

The implementation is approximately 85 percent complete. ALA hopes to have everyone out of Active Matter by the end of January.

There are many interdependencies at this point, and it is likely they will have to migrate in one big push and clean up afterwards.

Collage is different than Active Matter, and it is taking time for people to learn the system.

Question from the committee: Does the ability to change the safeties on the system so that changing punctuation can be less of a process exit?

Serena has been informed of the changes that staff and divisions would like to see in Collage. Collage is a small part of what Serena does. Collage’s results will be seen in many different ways: content managers have access to style sheets and can redesign their web sites, which poses benefits and challenges. The focus on usability/user-centered design is reassuring. A style guide will also be an outcome of the web site redesign process. Staff will need to be trained in its use.

In new system, ALA is implementing subdomains for divisions (i.e. Should Dreamhost become a problem, the domain names can be pointed elsewhere.

Committee Question: W ill long URLs shrink?

Collage limits file name length (thirty characters) and total length of path (120 characters). This is better than the current system and has meant cleanup during the move to Collage as links have broken.

Moodle (Online course support software)

Thirty courses are now on Moodle (freeware electronic course development platform). Moodle has replaced WebCT after its acquisition by Blackboard. Moodle is a very good environment and using it is an adjustment since it differs from WebCT, but provides orientation. is the service provider that gives away terabytes of space/throughput to nonprofit organizations and supports ALA's installation of Moodle. Dreamhost is also being used for ALA's wikis, blogs, Drupal installation, and more.

Committee Question: Dreamhost sounds great, but is their model sustainable?

The model is to charge for-profit organizations so that the work of nonprofits can be subsidized.

They have been in business for ten years. If necessary, ALA will pay per gigabyte for guaranteed faster access or pay to get better space on the server or own server.

Committee Question: Is ALA putting archiving provisions of wikis or blogs in place for a historic record?

Content is not actively archived. This is the responsibility of content managers.

Committee Comment

There are ALA policies on archiving/content retention. It would not be a bad thing to take a digital snapshot from time to time.

Liaisons will look into this.

Sympa Upgrade

The upgrade should be complete by the end of February. The project entails moving Sympa onto its own server to provide more room and greater power. Historical note: Sympa now running on server that used to be the only server for the organization


There are twenty-seven wikis on Dreamhost. The goal is to have all seventy-four represented. There are nineteen blogs on Dreamhost; thirty-nine others that will be moved there. Dreamhost offers a number of advantages, for example, AL Focus, the American Libraries' video site doesn't affect our bandwidth since it is offsite and low cost.

Installment Payments for ALA dues

As of December 15, members can choose to pay in two installments when joining/renewing membership if their dues total is over $125 with a $3 service charge. To make this possible, the iMIS system was upgraded, and the registration/renewal web form was modified to write info back to iMIS.

Committee Question: are many people taking advantage of this option, or is it too early to determine?

Liaisons will examine statistics, since most people renew in December/January.


There was trouble with wireless and projector during Collage classes at Midwinter, but the advanced class went well. Attendees brought laptops as requested; this model works well.

Committee Question: Was there a good response to training?

Sessions were full. Committee member who attended reported that it went well. Another committee member heard good things about training. There was a request to continue these sessions through the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. Online training sessions will continue as well.

Comment from committee: Sessions/tutorials are nice, but it is sometimes easier to learn more in 15 minutes of face-to-face training as compared to online.

The trainer is also working on short video clips that will be posted on a wiki.

Committee Question: Are the video clips captioned? Audio & video are good; a full transcript is needed as well.

ALA 2.0 and Social Networking, Jenny Levine

Supporting slides available at: MyALA will be made up of:

Online Communities

The first step is to get the collaborative work going. Drupal is the system’s back end. The first phase will be operational with the most important components by the 2008 ALA Annual Conference. Work will continue through fall 2008, and then work will begin on ALA Connect.

ALA Connect

ALA Connect is a networking piece that will connect members based on what is added to profiles. It will be offered on an opt- in basis. Each member decides how much to share. It personalizes the site for each member. Examples: LinkedIn, Facebook, ning (teacherlibrarian), doppler (for travel). It will eventually include a mentoring component, testimonials (not member ratings), a timeline of professional achievements (e.g. dandelife), classifieds (e.g. craigslist). The goal is to develop a network + communities that facilitate members' developing birds of a feather/ community of practice on the fly.

Drupal modules that will allow this:

  • Buddy list, Classified ads, Community tags, Democracy forum (discuss and vote on resolutions), Drupal for Facebook, Events with volunteer time slots, Favorite nodes,
  • MySite, Online status indicator, Relevant content, Rsj promise: advocacy, User modules: points to make it a game, and zeitgeist.

A full Beta version for Midwinter 2009 is planned. This is a resource issue, though, because there's no php programmer on staff. Connecting this work with iMIS (member database) is critical. Fortunately, iMIS and Drupal are already working together. It will integrate with things already used by ALA, such as mediawiki, Moodle, openads, and Sympa urchin. The goal is to provide a single sign on.

Committee Question: Will this be for members only?

The basic components will be visible to everyone; only members will be able to access the content that is most valuable. The committee agreed and noted that this may even increase membership.

Committee Question: How will this be announced?

Publicity will proceed through ALA's publishing channels (American Libraries, AL Direct, AL Focus, etc.), but support will be needed to reach the divisions and all 65,000 members.

Committee Question: How graphic is the design?

There is a concern about accessibility. It is intended to be accessible for everyone. It is hoped that the same organization that is assisting with the web redesign will be used.

Committee comment

We love the way people will be able to connect. Why reinvent the wheel if ALA already has this information? The travel piece is also interesting. This could be a valuable tool for job searching and employers. This information could change the shape of the job search and make volunteer work visible in a way it is not currently recognized.

Committee Question: Will this integrate with Facebook?

Facebook applications can be developed within Drupal, and Facebook has many third party modules as well.

Second Life
Donavan Vicha

ALA has an island in Second Life (it was acquired in November 2007). Vicha has turned an avatar over to ALA. A design for half an island was not tenable, so when the full island was purchased, others were evicted, and this brought terrain down to ground level. San Jose State University SLIS students worked on island for ALA. The goal was that there would be no library or analog clichés (i.e. wanted plug and play area that is open and inviting with interactive activities) and finished by Midwinter.

Vicha will make splash during national library week and will show off island to rest of the Second Life world. In the meantime, he has mobilized staff and interested members to populate kiosks to make the island a place people want to visit. Having people at a place will bring additional people there. This is a multi-use, multi-purpose endeavor: social networking; salon/common meeting space.

If a division has support/ability to do stuff, they will be accommodated because this is a sandbox. If they need more space, they can buy own island. Physical location is not a big deal in Second Life.

Committee Question: If units/divisions are interested in using this space, who do they contact?

Vicha indicated that this information will be available via a wiki. They can also join a Google group, which will be used to disseminate information. An ACRL taskforce will likely be the first division to pilot this.

Committee Question: Where can one get information about what is happening in second life? (e.g. library continuing education opportunities)

The wiki is the most robust place to aggregate that information.

Staff Changes

The Web Developer position was discussed. Donavan Vicha is moving to ITTS. Amos Lieberman is leaving. The position will be adapted to fit Vicha's skills.

The Usability Officer position closed in early December. There were six viable candidates. They are currently conducting telephone interviews and will narrow the choice to two candidates. The final interviews will take place in February. The responsibilities of this position are to continue to improve site design and architecture.

Conference Program Proceedings on Web site
Billie Peterson-Lugo

This is a new initiative for the summer conference that evolved out of the ACRL National Conference. In that instance, only the attendees could access PowerPoint presentations and handouts. Each division has autonomy in this area (like publications), and ALA cannot dictate to them. They will need to verify whether a member can have access to conference materials even if he/she does not attend the conference.

Committee Question: How long is the embargo?

It differs between divisions.

Committee Question: How many podcasts/webcasts of conference sessions are being created?

It is likely few or none are being created. YALSA would like to deliver workshops electronically to members. Even if content is delivered for free, it is not a deterrent to membership/conference participation, and might actually be an incentive. There was a podcasted session at annual. It is available on the LITA blog to anyone.

At the 2007 ALA Annual Conference, there was discussion about ITTS compiling a list of podcast equipment that divisions could use to do podcasts, etc. LITA has acquired audio recorders and equipment to connect to sound. It can be processed and set up within fifteen minutes.

Committee Question: How/should we institutionalize this?

RUSA has a link under “Professional Development tools to a step-by-step guide to creating a podcast.” Podcasting is one piece. The second piece is figuring out whether everyone can have access to a recording, PowerPoint presentation, or print materials. YALSA is gathering print materials and posting to wiki. There is a need for an inventory of what is happening, and each division’s policies. The Publishing Committee is discussing division publications. The Midwinter wiki is a place for people to add content/links.


Peterson-Lugo will send message to listserv, asking each representative to find out what is happening in his/her area, and she will proceed from there.

Procedures for listserv outages

YALSA has requested that WAC discuss this issue. Listserv outages impact all divisions, particularly YALSA because of high membership on its listserv. The concern is that when outages occur after hours, YALSA is not alerted and has no way to know what is happening. This impacts 5,000 people and YALSA cannot do anything. YALSA has requested listserv outage procedures from ALA.

Comments from ALA staff

ALA staff is paged when server goes down; Carlson can go in and restart if necessary. Outages are part of the reason for moving listservs to their own server. If an outage occurs for any length of time, that is usually known beforehand; if it happens on a weekend, ALA may not know about it.

Comments from committee

If ALA staff is paged this does not help notify divisions. Notification by blog (or text message?) would be helpful, even if we cannot do anything about it so that moderators have a bit of warning.


ALA staff will look ways to notify divisions of outages.

Accessibility Assembly Report and Concerns (Website)
Billie Peterson-Lugo

Simon Healey is the accessibility representative to WAC. The concerns are the same. ADA requirements have been around since 2001, but there are still a lot of physical, reasonable accommodations to overcome at conferences.

One issue about which a letter will be drafted is that print is not adequate. The electronic version of print is not accessible, and jaws reads this as a single image/empty page. There is an ongoing concern about the web site and that electronic information is designed for accessibility

Resolution to Council

That ALA provide two accessible workstations for librarians with disabilities at conference (note: best case = all ALA computers at conferences have accessible software)

ASCLA is doing databases work, providing information about asking questions about accessibility of library vendors

Other Business

It has been stated numerous times that the Event Planner is a bonus with conference registration software. George Porter submitted the following motion: Request executive board issue an RFP for a new event planning system and move with all deliberate speed.


Volunteer Reporters Cover ALCTS Forums and Events in Philadelphia

ALCTS members who attended the ALA Midwinter Meeting 2008 in Philadelphia provided these summary reports. We thank the volunteers who covered a program or event sponsored by ALCTS or one of its units. Their efforts enable the rest of us to benefit from their presentations. We regret that volunteers were not available to report on all the forums.

ALCTS Forum: WorldCat Local and Network Level Cataloging

Mary Beth Weber, Rutgers University

Libraries are increasingly challenged to present their collections and services to their users where those users live and work. Presenting those collections and services on the Open Web has the potential to change the face of library technical services. Diana Brooking of the University of Washington and Karen Calhoun, Matt Goldner, and Glenn Patton of OCLC discussed questions and issues raised by these changes from the perspectives of cataloging, catalog management, and discovery.

The program opened with a presentation by Matt Goldner, OCLC End User Services, and Karen Calhoun, OCLC Metadata Services entitled “Web-Scale Cataloging and Metadata Management.” Goldner discussed the changing role of the library and information market trends. He described three market trends that have revolutionized information creation, access and user expectations, which are:

  • a changing distribution model which includes Yahoo! Answers, Google Scholar, Wikipedia, and the Open Content Alliance.
  • the changing nature of “content,” and Goldner’s PowerPoint slide showed several logos for content providers.
  • changing user expectations, and Goldner noted we need to change “where we fit in.”

Calhoun opened with a comparison of libraries in the past and the present (she used a “now and then” comparison). She noted that users formerly built their workflow around a physical library. They now begin searches on the web. She discussed the challenge of delivering resources to users at the point need, and raised the question: where are they located on the network? Yahoo? MySpace? Facebook?

Calhoun also discussed the need to determine user workflows. We need to determine the users’ workflow and where we insert ourselves into this process. Calhoun described social networking sites as having a “viral” effect that we are unable to emulate. We are serving a generation of digital natives and have to provide information them in a way that is very different from traditional workflow and service models. Calhoun discussed a new kind of library that encourages outreach and engagement. Calhoun offered a vision of community-based metadata at the web-scale. She noted that metadata is typically managed in silos. Once it is in a local system, it tends to be enriched and maintained there. This adds redundancy of information as well as cost, and decreases the ability to serve our user communities. She described network level catalog options provided via OCLC that would include a community-based OCLC Enhance Program, network-level catalog maintenance tools, and network-level authority control processing. Calhoun encouraged attendees to think globally about their information tools and to act locally. She closed her presentation by asking attendees to consider how we can help users to find out about our collections and engage with each other in more meaningful ways.

Diana Brooking of the University of Washington (UW) Library discussed “Cataloging at the Network Level: the View from a Member Library.” Brooking’s library participated in a beta project for WorldCat Local. She noted that 60–70 percent of UW records were not reviewed at the time of download. They were batchloaded and they used machine identification to indicate which records required manual review. UW has OCLC Enhance status for books, moving image materials, and electronic resources. She noted that some changes that would normally be applied locally were not appropriate for shared catalog records. UW found it more efficient to work in their local system. Brooking’s institution has additional sources of records in addition to OCLC and they cannot share these due to licensing restrictions. She also noted that it is not clear how institutional records for their materials will work in WorldCat local. Brooking raised the question: is the master record the starting point for cataloging, or the end product?

Based on her institution’s experience with WorldCat Local, Brooking had the following suggestions:

  • Increase participation in Enhance
  • Provide a conflict resolution process
  • Provide network level maintenance tools and authority control processes
  • Provide a more granular bibliographic notification process.

The final presentation at the forum was made by Glenn Patton, who discussed the topic “Rethinking WorldCat Maintenance.” Patton described the polarization between technical services practioners (experts) and leaders (pragmatists). He described the steps OCLC needs to take to improve maintenance at the local level. He discussed completion of controlling software to control as many headings as possible in WorldCat. He also noted that there will be a complete re-implementation of OCLC’s duplicate detection software.

The forum concluded with a question and answer session.

Find these presentations online.


ALCTS Symposium: Risk and Entrepreneurship in Libraries: Seizing Opportunities for Change

Virginia Taffurelli, Science, Industry and Business Library, New York Public Library and
Cindy Hepfer, State University of New York at Buffalo

Editor’s note: We are fortunate to have two reports on the ALCTS Symposium.

Reported by Virginia Taffurelli

Speakers: Marshall Keys (MDA Consulting); Regina R. Reynolds (Head, National Serials Data Program); Lynn Scott (Scottie) Cochrane (Director of Libraries, Denison University); Michael W. Carroll (Professor, Villanova University School of Law); Joyce Ogburn (University Librarian and Director of the J. Willard Marriott, University of Utah); and Rivkah Sass (Executive Director, Omaha Public Library).

One of the overarching themes throughout the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia was dealing with change. This all-day symposium, attended by over sixty registrants, was no exception. Libraries and librarians need to assess risks and develop entrepreneurial opportunities in order to stay relevant in the twenty-first century. Each of the speakers addressed risks and entrepreneurial activities from various perspectives.

The morning session included three speakers who discussed theoretical and practical perspectives, often building on comments from the previous speaker. Keys described an entrepreneur as a person who creates value through innovation. Entrepreneurship is vision driven; without change, there is no entrepreneurship. Risk is the fear of failure or potential loss, either financial or psychological. Keys outlined what should be done (and avoided) to achieve vision. Entrepreneurship within an institution is more difficult to achieve because there are established structures and infrastructures. Looking outside the box from within is difficult. Keys recommended hiring outsiders to evaluate “what we do” and “how we do it.”

Like Keys, Reynolds emphasized vision. Reynolds compared phrases from the LC Working Group Report on the Future Bibliographic Control (such as collaborative, international, continually updating) with Tim O’Reilly’s definition of Web 2.0. Libraries have a treasure chest of metadata that needs to be shared with other stakeholders. Cleverly using metaphors and analogies, Reynolds discussed various ways we can facilitate change, such as repurposing metadata, enriching records with table of contents from publishers and vendors, social tagging, FRBR displays and removing redundancies. We need to embrace the elements of Web 2.0: leverage data, capitalize on it, learn to cooperate; learn what to keep and what to give up; harness the power of collective intelligence and engage our users. All involve big elements of risk, but the world has changed. We cannot hold on. We need to take risks.

The next speaker, Scottie Cochrane, discussed how two academic libraries successfully merged their technical service departments. Denison University and Kenyon College are physically located twenty-seven miles apart. As Keys recommended, a consultant was hired to help plan and facilitate the change. The merger was accomplished with the help of a $100,000 grant over a two-year period. All staff, professional and support, from public and technical services, were invited to suggest where they might fit in best in the new environment. Staff was re-engineered and some were relocated to the other facility based on tasks performed. Human Resources assisted with redefining job descriptions, adjusting salary rates and setting compensation for commuting. Position descriptions were changed gradually over a four-year period as vacancies occurred. Search committees for new hires involved staff from both libraries.

The afternoon session included four speakers and a panel discussion. Mike Carroll addressed the legal aspects of analog collections versus digital collection in terms of copyright laws, fair use, first sale document, packaged software that is proprietary and copyrighted, open source resources, and Creative Commons. There has been an explosion of “copyrighted events” in the computerized world. The legal restrictions on copyright and license agreements are not always clear. Copyright laws made for the analog world make no sense in the digital environment. Copyright violations in an analog environment are easier to prove and can bring damages ranging from $750 to $30,000. In the digital environment, if the violation is not large scale, breach of contract is difficult to prove with certainty. Vendors will not bring a suit because they cannot prove the extent of damages. Copying for profit is not fair use.

Joyce Ogburn discussed the challenges we will be facing in the coming years and offered practical solutions for minimizing risk, such as joining a consortium to negotiate license agreements. There is no “perfect” license, but SERU uses best practices without the need for a team of lawyers. Ogburn recommended that we learn from our mistakes; take care of the 98 percent of our users and don’t worry about the 2 percent; use Wikipedia to highlight some of our special collections; and do not dismiss folksonomies. Ogburn’s closing statement was an assignment: assess risk tolerance and determine how to manage it.

The last speaker, Rivkah Sass, echoed Ogburn and encouraged risk taking. When comparing our catalogs to Google and Amazon, we fall far behind. We spend lots of money trying to improve our databases, but we are not succeeding. We need to personalize our catalogs and get over the fear of invasion of privacy. Sass recommended that we discuss partnerships with the local zoo, public radio, etc.

During the panel discussion, not only did the audience ask the speakers to elaborate on some points, but the speakers asked each other for clarification.

Overall, this session was energizing and thought provoking. The speakers were articulate and engaging and the audience was attentive. As they filed out of the room, many were contemplating how to best apply the lessons learned.


Reported by Cindy Hepfer

ALCTS President Pamela Bluh asked her President’s Program Committee to pull together not just her President’s Program for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, but also a symposium for the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting. The symposium, entitled “Risk and Entrepreneurship in Libraries: Seizing Opportunities for Change,” was comprised of a sextet of highly energetic and enlightening presentations which were very well received by the librarians, publishers and vendors in attendance.

Marshall Keys (MDA Consulting, formerly executive director of NELINET and adjunct faculty member at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science) set the tone by discussing the creation of change from a practical point of view. He explained that innovation is vision driven and that without change, there is no opportunity for entrepreneurship. In the for-profit sector, change can result in the creation of new revenues or in lowering of costs while in not-for-profit institutions, change can be intangible but result in higher quality, enhanced customer satisfaction, an improved work environment, or a greater sense of accomplishment. He explained that all change involves risk and the possibility of failure. When an idea fails, people should accept failure and move on, recognizing that sometimes a vision is right but the implementation was wrong. Risks need to be assessed and managed: while in for-profit businesses, risk and be quantified and included in the bottom line, in not-for-profits, failed risks can contribute to financial or psychic loss (fear of looking like a fool).

Keys noted that in an existing organization, entrepreneurship is much harder because there are established structures, and it is hard to look outside the box when living inside of it. This is why outsiders are often brought in to help create change. He explained that too much information analysis can lead to paralysis.

Ten rules for leaders:

  • Change people’s visions: “this is where we are—this is where we must be”
  • Repeat the entrepreneurs’ mantra: “it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission”
  • Define issues clearly (this is unbelievably hard)
  • Have a clear idea what you want to do
  • Write a business plan
  • Quantify
  • Share information with everyone and insist that everyone else does too—leaders should not just listen to good news but hear bad news as well
  • Read everything and understand it all
  • Understand that you are responsible—if you do not understand something, find someone to explain it to you
  • Do not announce projects before they are successful—this lowers the risk of failure (do not get emotional, distribute credit, do not blame others, focus on what is learned)

Reasons why risky projects go wrong include:

  • Systems often do not work, but are set up to be safe. For example: hiring is set up to be safe, not necessarily to get the best person for the job.
  • There are conflicts between libraries and their vendors. The selection process is run through bids; vendors promise more than they can deliver and promised developments often do not materialize.

Keys commented that people often overvalue what they currently have and undervalue alternatives. He calls this “the endowment effect.” On the other hand, managers often overvalue new changes because they thought of them and undervalue what is already being done. He concluded by saying that one of the biggest risks is not changing.

Regina Reynolds (Head of the National Serials Data Program (the U.S. ISSN Center) at the Library of Congress) presented “Cataloging: Change It, Use It, or Lose It.” She asked how we can transform the best of the past to meet present and future needs, indicating that the question is not whether we have to change but how we can change. We must identify the unique contributions that librarians make that differentiate us from Amazon and Google—we have a “treasure chest of metadata,” and we “need to get it out there.” Librarians must explore efficiencies, increase cooperation—including entirely new partners, and focus on the high value of metadata. She suggested allowing others, such as publishers, to supply basic metadata as a starting point but then to enrich records ourselves and to let others do so too, through reviews, tables of contents, etc.

Reynolds contended that OPACs have done more to devalue and endanger cataloging than “Googlezon” has. For example, linking fields need to be mined and redundancies be removed (most local editing customizes and is not shared). WorldCat Local combines cooperative cataloging with local aspects, but will catalogers be willing to give up local control and the ability to tweak?

MARC is perceived as an impediment in regard to broad cooperation—it is not used by other communities, it is not flexible, and it is not web-savvy. Controlled vocabularies have grown and matured but can be used in a different environment. Reynolds talked about the phenomenon of the long tail: many of us have highly similar core collections and catalog records are readily available for these materials. However, we have “long tails” of unique and rare material that catalogers need to be concentrating their time/efforts on, instead of tweaking the more common records.

We need to recognize that “the user is not broken,” and that we should not be trying to transform the user but to transform the user’s experience. Libraries need to “meet the users where they are,” by exposing our riches, including exposing metadata for OAI harvesting—we need to get our catalogs indexed by search engines. Web 2.0 is about play: it makes people laugh and then think. When people think, they are open to creativity and good things may result.

Scottie Cochrane (Director of Libraries, Denison University) talked about a venture that she does not consider risky, but that other librarians tell her they do: Denison University and nearby Kenyon College elected to merge their technical services departments. Cochrane maintained up front that by taking this step, the libraries at Denison and Kenyon provided an example of risk-taking and cooperation that carried over to their colleges and gained the libraries respect. She indicated that much of the leadership for the merger came from support staff.

Cochrane outlined the environment of the two institutions (shared catalog, shared storage facility and delivery services) and a change process which included a task force and intensive staff involvement, a number of retreats, a $100,000 Mellon Foundation grant, and outside consultants. The new work environment is location independent and expandable. Staff were not downsized but instead reassigned, and they were invited to suggest their new positions and most got their first choice. A newly hired Kenyon staff member—a librarian who had formerly worked in a corporate environment and was considered to have new viewpoints—was hired to manage the two tech service areas. As technical services staff members at the two institutions retire, replacements are being hired based on demeanor, personality and skills—fresh eyes are seen as a plus. New activities that have been accommodated include the cataloging of e-resources and training coordination. The cooperative program worked together for four years before it was formalized and announced—building up a level of trust was key. Hurdles included consortial suspicion, staff resistance, travel, settling for good instead of perfect, training, the need to question everything and how to reward risk taking, buy-in from campus administrators, and the development of a thorough, well-reasoned proposal that dealt with process rather than with details. This presentation was blogged by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Michael Carroll (Professor, Villanova University School of Law and a member of the Board of Directors of Creative Commons, Inc.) engaged the post-lunch audience in a discussion about the role of the library in the digital era. He posed the question: “what are libraries collecting: objects of information or the information itself?” and added that “packaging makes a difference.” Copyright is relevant if a library collects digital information, and it is when the information itself is used that copyright comes into play—this is considered to be a “copyright event.” When a user reads a copyrighted printed book, reading that book is not a copyright event. However, in order for a user to read an online resource, a computer makes a copy and the copy counts in copyright law because the user has to have rights to open a file and to read it. The principle concern is relevance and there are dimensions of relevance: topical (is the information related to a topic in which the person is interested) and use (what will the person do with the information).

In terms of risk, Carroll noted that most librarians are extremely conscientious. The bounds of law are not clear—a zone of uncertainty creates opportunities and risks. With the caveat that he was not dispensing legal advice, Carroll noted that the price to be paid for individual infractions is quite small. Actual damages need to be proved with reasonable certainty and these are difficult to quantify. Statutory damages for libraries exceeding fair use can run between $750 and $30,000, leaving “a little room for libraries to be entrepreneurial.”

Carroll said that copyright is automatic and it lasts a long time. Obtaining permission to use “orphaned works” is problematic. In addition, the balance between owners and users has shifted due to technical language. The “first sale” doctrine allows that once a purchaser lends a work, the copyright owner no longer has control. Hence libraries can buy and lend books. If someone buys a used record, the artist is not paid. When digital items are obtained using a license, there is a right to make copies but not to distribute—the first sale doctrine no longer applies. Fair use is a recipe for frustration. Librarians cannot review each user request on a case-by-case basis and therefore have made rules to deal with legal uncertainties (for example 10 perecent of a work or 1 chapter, which is not part of copyright law). The purpose of the use, how much is being taken, whether the use is transformative/not and effect on the market place all are involved. E-reserves are a troubling issue. Fair use is inherently unstable—the effect of the market is most important yet highly changeable. In different cases, the courts have ruled different ways regarding the market for individual articles. Librarians have an effect on the scope of fair use by exercising it; licensing shrinks the market. The risk-adverse, safe way to deal with issues like e-reserves and course packs is to license everything, but this approach gives up fair use and creates a market for licensing small chunks of information.

Digital projects, such as Google, were discussed. Carroll said that every copy that is made in these projects counts, but that does not mean that every copy infringes on copyright. Intermediate copies are made in order to serve up snippets and there is no market for snippets. Digital copies are not being made for public use but publishers still worry about this. There was a case involving Sega where its software was used to create a new game; Sega sued, but the courts ruled that using the software to create the new game was permissible. In terms of our libraries’ own digital projects, every intermediate copy is a copyright event, but the end product is fair use. Carroll suggested that librarians “preserve now … deal with other issues later.”

Licenses for e-resources are bad news because fair use is given up when the contract is made. Llibrarians can get into trouble by breeching contracts rather than exercising fair use. While damages may be limited, once a contract has been breeched by systematic violations, it may be difficult to renew a contract. Creative Commons is attempting to create a license to preserve fair use and give users additional rights, to “make it clear, make it easy.” The idea is to help automate the money exchange stage but to let information flow.

Joyce Ogburn (University Librarian and the director of the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah) was the fifth speaker; her presentation was “Moderately Risky Business: Challenging Librarians to Assume More Risk and in Era of Opportunity.” Ogburn, who is overseeing a $71 million renovation to the Marriott Library, faces numerous challenges and opportunities. ( ANO readers may wish to take a look at an online article about the renovation.) She believes that librarians should be more risk tolerant and take more risks. She explained that entrepreneurship opportunities need to benefit both individuals and the organization, and that they are not easily recognized. For example, her previous institution, the University of Washington, has had both successes and failures in regard to entrepreneurship: they failed to support the development of Serials Solutions, which a staff member developed on his own. But they did test an image product and discussed relevant business models with a faculty member.

Ogburn indicated that risk taking is more controllable than entrepreneurship. She urged the audience to think in terms of personal finance—she believes that conservative investment strategies rarely keep up with inflation, slowly losing out to inflation. Stock investors take risks, but the risk evens out over time. If a library chooses not to take risks, it may lose the chance to invest in rewarding projects or services. Librarians feel that safety nets such as grants or a consortial pool of money (group investments spread the risk around) are needed. One reason that large libraries may be risk adverse is that they may rely on obtaining consensus that is not possible. The order and completeness that librarians love are both a strength and a downfall. Many librarians want to fiddle with cataloging records when we should be tackling bigger concerns instead. They also tend to let exceptions rule their thinking.

Librarians need to develop tools and instruments to assess risk. We have taken significant and successful risks—we have been at the forefront of Internet use, copyright issues and fair use, privacy, intellectual freedom and mass digitization, all of which have helped shape the current environment. Ogburn believes that our systems need to be highly interoperable and that our role as academic librarians is to manage knowledge, not to transmit information. Context is key, and we often have information in uninteresting silos. Instead, we need to:

  • imagine and craft new products to manage our collections and services
  • increase our presence in the social network
  • catalog materials in our special collections so people can find and use them
  • add information about our special collections to the Wikipedia

OCLC is taking a tremendous risk with Open WorldCat but believes that its presence on the Internet is more important than making money.

Academic libraries should focus on the future of scholarship. We have commonalities with IT, PBS, and other organizations working in the Internet environment and we should work with them. Ogburn gave attendees an assignment: go home, asses your risk tolerance, vow to determine how to manage risk, measure the temperature of your users, develop new tools, strap on advocacy gear, and fight for the future that you want to see.

The first five speakers were joined by the closing keynote speaker, Rivkah Sass, for what proved to be a lively and interesting panel discussion, ably and athletically moderated (by accident, the symposium ended up with only one microphone) by ALCTS President’s Program Committee member Norm Medeiros (Associate Librarian of the College and Coordinator for Bibliographic and Digital Services, Haverford College Library). Questions revolved around: institutional repositories, the costs/benefits of SERU, convincing staff of the benefits of change (including “management by chocolate”), the fact that people who feel that they are agents of change are more likely to accept it, budgeting for experimentation, traveling to work vs. bringing work to people, and finding partners for new services/products.

Former LJ Librarian of the year, Rivkah Sass (Executive Director, Omaha Public Library), provided an inspiring conclusion to the day. She commenced her presentation with the Chinese proverb: “Take chances. When rowing forward, the boat might rock.” She then indulged in a “whine” wherein she indicated that she hates her online catalog and cannot find anything in it. She used the movie “Once,” as a search example, doing a title search in her own catalog and several other library catalogs. In each case, the title was retrieved but not until several screens into the results. However, when she Googled “Once,” the movie was the first hit. She contended that library interfaces are so “crappy” that we are not getting our money’s worth from them.

Sass said that as a user what she wants from a catalog (aside from easy and proper retrieval of the known item) is real personalization, like one gets in Amazon. She believes that content needs to be pushed out in order to leverage trust in the library. Other things that are needed: branding, design, creativity and relationships. She told the story of the Cranium game’s creator, Richard Tait, who partnered with Starbucks to market the independently created board game which is now the third best selling game in the country. She outlined the businesses that she believes libraries are in: curiosity, togetherness, information, community, social networking and user-centeredness.

Some things that the Omaha Public Library has done or in which they have gotten involved: displaying public art in the library (working with a local contemporary art museum), Friday night teen programs, NPR’s story corps, flu shots, story times at other locations, such as a museum or the zoo. She noted that users are now very different: they are young and technologically oriented. We need to be prepared to help them and to think in new ways. And public and academic libraries need to be prepared to work together—they need to “hang together or they will hang separately.”


Presentations and speaker information are available online.

Pamela Bluh and members of the ALCTS President’s Program Committee are grateful to Harrassowitz for sponsoring this symposium.


AS Forum: New Roles for Acquisitions: Selecting and Harvesting for Institutional Repositories

Katharine Farrell, Princeton University

Robert Alan, Pennsylvania State University, moderated the session and introduced speakers: Trisha Davis, The Ohio State University and Karl Debus-Lopez, National Agricultural Library. Mr. Alan posed several questions for the speakers to consider:

  • Is harvesting for institutional repositories appropriate work for acquisitions staff?
  • What is the skill set required and what training is needed?
  • Are there acquisitions functions that can be de-emphasized?
  • How will evolving publisher packaging, for example the atomization of content, change current acquisitions methods?

Karl Debus-Lopez spoke first, describing the National Agricultural Library (NAL) AgSpace repository. He noted that the federal mandate to make available the results of publicly funded research had a significant impact on the decision to move ahead with a repository. AgSpace is intended to provide long term access and storage for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) content, including USDA publications and commercially published content produced by USDA researchers. They are now also adding free web content on relevant topics. Agricola, the NAL citation database, indexes the content of AgSpace.

NAL surveyed researchers in the Agricultural Research Service to determine interest. Managers were interested in a way to pull together the research output and publication of the research staff. However, researchers did not want to be bothered with submitting work to a repository. This tension resolved with acquisitions staff assuming the role of ingesting content. AgSpace runs on the DSpace platform, with additional content is on a Zylab platform. Both are indexed by Agricola.

Debus-Lopez discussed the reorganization of the acquisitions staff and workflow required to support AgSpace. He noted that the gift and exchange unit had been disbanded, their work being incorporated with the work of monograph and serial acquisitions units as appropriate. The change allowed the reassignment of four staff to manage selection and harvesting of content. The reduction in the number of print subscriptions indexed in Agricola, a result of eliminating duplication, provided additional capacity for indexing new content.

Collection services staff were assigned to assist with digitizing. Using Scopus to identify USDA authored articles, staff asked first if the article was available in electronic format and if it was indexed. Articles not available electronically were available in a print archive maintained by USDA. These print articles are retrieved and sent for scanning and indexing.

The new unit created to manage the harvesting of content harvests about 800 items each month. In addition to harvesting and managing current output, they are moving back in time through the archives, and are ready to begin work on 2005. There are plans to automate the harvesting of commercially published content.

Debus-Lopez closed by noting that NAL has mainstreamed institutional repository work within acquisitions and that management had strongly promoted the importance of that work and created the flexibility in the staff to pursue it.

Trisha Davis, The Ohio State University (OSU), defined what OSU meant by institutional repository. That is an open access OAI compliant digital collection that is interoperable with other OAI compliant archives. She noted that in an academic setting there are many types of content from preprints and course materials to published works and media or data sets. The OSU institutional repository runs on a DSpace platform. The original application was for storing student theses and dissertations. There was an assumption that faculty would also want to contribute, but submission of content added another layer that faculty were not interested in wrestling with. The result was a mediated archiving service that allowed the library to insure complete metadata and conformity of content.

Davis noted that faculty sometimes do not realize that they have signed away copyright to their own work, or they lose track of the original source of content they have included in their course materials. OSU has developed an institutional repository license agreement to assure that permissions are in place to grant rights and to store material in the IR. The goal is to make the process as simple as possible for faculty.

Davis described some of the organizational changes in acquisitions that supported the addition of institutional repository work. Like NAL, OSU moved staff from gifts to the electronic resources management team, and subsequently to a rights management unit. They also moved staff from accounting to serials acquisitions. Initially work on the institutional repository was done by a variety of staff in different acquisitions units without reassigning staff, and each staff person contributed small amounts of time. This approach took advantage of the skills acquisitions staff have in identifying citations and solving bibliographic mysteries or tracking down sources for copyright permission. This group of staff has the searching skills, publishing knowledge, skill in working with donors, and the familiarity with recording data in various data structures that are all essential to work with an institutional repository.

In making the shift for staff, Davis suggest that it is useful to start by identifying interested staff and breaking tasks down into manageable segments. Gradually this allows you to build an understanding of the whole process. OSU has been working on this for about eight months and staff have been excited about the new venture.

The question and answer session that followed showed that this is indeed a new concept for many of the audience. Asked about planned evolution, Ms. Davis responded that OSU has been focusing on assuring a logical structure. They are not yet tracking use. Both NAL and OSU confirmed the policy of accepting content that is not "born digital." In responding to questions about staff training, particularly for metadata, OSU noted that acquisitions staff are not creating the metadata. NAL acquisitions staff are involved in the creation of metadata. Thus far this has not resulted in upward reclassification of staff levels, but that may occur in the future. Davis noted that metadata for the institutional repository is not being added to the local catalog, but like AgSpace, the content of their IR is exposed to Google.

This discussion will be continued by the program “Institutional Repositories: New Roles for Acquisitions,” scheduled for the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, and presented by the ALCTS Acquisitions Section Technology Committee and co-sponsored by the LITA Digital Technologies Interest Group.


CCS Forum: The Report of the Library of Congress Working Group for the Future of Bibliographic Control

Virginia Taffurelli, Science, Industry and Business Library, New York Public Library

Speakers: Mary Lasater (Vanderbilt University); Diane Dates Casey (Governors State University); Robert Wolven (Columbia University); Mary Catherine Little (Queens Public Library).

The speakers included two representatives from the Library of Congress Working Group for the Future of Bibliographic Control (Diane Dates Casey and Robert Wolven) as well as a representative from the library community, Mary Catherine Little. The final report of the Working Group for the Future of Bibliographic Control was posted on Thursday, January 9. The final report contained only a few major changes from the draft, most notably a stronger recommendation to suspend work on Resource Description and Access ( RDA) and the removal of all mention of Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST).

Casey and Wolven discussed the Working Group’s five major recommendations:

  1. Increase efficiency by reducing redundancies, abandon the quest for “the perfect record,” make more use of bibliographic data available from publishers, and increase incentives for libraries to participate in the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC).
  2. Increase activities in providing access to rare and unique materials of value to scholars.
  3. Position technology for the future by utilizing the Web as an appropriate platform for the delivery of standards. Only the library community uses MARC; we need to develop more flexible standard vocabularies to facilitate access and retrieval. Even when standards are approved, it is difficult to get vendors to implement them. Wolven strongly stated that work on RDA should be suspended.
  4. Position our community for the future by designing catalogs for users in the Web environment. Extend the catalog beyond library-created data. Add connections to reviews and commentaries, support user input and use computationally derived data. We need to develop a test plan for FRBR and support the full range of entity relationship. We need a better framework to move forward. We also need to make LCSH easier to use. Controlled vocabulary is valuable. We need to build connections between multiple vocabularies, pursue decoupling of subject strings and investigate the potential of computational indexing.
  5. Education: there is a need for closer collaboration to develop curriculum standards with more specific basic requirements; educational materials should be more broadly available; and there should be more support for continuing education. Position our community for the future by building an evidence base. Develop key measures of costs and benefits. We all need to collaborate on the development of research agenda and make more use of research results.

Casey stated that, although LC plays a unique role in the library community, it has no mandate nor does it have the funding to act as a national library, therefore it relies on cooperation from the rest of the library community. Wolven discussed the need to redefine bibliographic control. Discovery happens in places not created by libraries. Data created by libraries is mixed with non-library data. There is no longer a safe haven; no one place to exercise control and make all things work.

Mary Catherine Little then responded to the report from a public library perspective. LC has an opportunity and a responsibility for developing standards. She is reluctant to step back from RDA because we are not ready. Little agreed with the need to expose rare and unique materials that are hidden from view, but questioned the level needed to be valuable. She agreed wholeheartedly that our future is on the Web. We need to be compliant and we need to respond faster to new shifts. And we need to train the future professionals. Little then focused on the first and fourth recommendations. In an effort to reduce redundancies, we should be flexible, share widgets, demand data, shape expectations, share the labor with vendors and publishers. To position libraries for the future, we should take value from other places, such as Amazon and national authorities. Little is glad to see recommendations for the community as a whole. Queens Public Library wants to contribute.

Lasater reported on ALCTS’ response to the report. The draft mandates a cooperative model for sharing responsibility for bibliographic data but not all libraries are LC participants. Only about four hundred libraries participate in PCC. Professional catalogers are needed to achieve these goals; there are fewer catalogers in libraries. ALCTS is divided in its reaction to the recommendation to suspend RDA and there was no comment about the revisions to the education section. ALCTS thanks the Working Group for its work and Lasater personally thanks the ALCTS members for preparing the response.

The presentations were followed by a lively question and answer period that lasted more than twenty minutes. In a response to a question about the negative impact of the statement to suspend RDA, Beacher Wiggins stated that LC has not yet made a decision about any of the recommendations. Three LC groups will look at the report and address each recommendation within the next few weeks. Wolven stated that the report was not based on LC getting more funding. More people from the library community need to focus on these problems.


CMDS Forum: Collaborative Collection Development

Ginger Williams, Mississippi State University

At the request of moderator Ellen Safley, Julia Gammon, Michael Levine-Clark, and Edward Shephard discussed collaborative collection development projects they are involved with in Ohio, Colorado, and New York.

Julia Gammon discussed how more than eighty OhioLink libraries are collaborating to reduce duplication and homogenization of monograph collections. OhioLink libraries share a catalog and offers patron-initiated borrowing with books delivered to the requestor’s library within forty-eight hours. By sharing ordering and approval plan information through YBP’s GobiLink, selectors can make informed decisions about duplication. YBP also developed a report showing titles not purchased by any of the participating OhioLink libraries; selectors use subject-oriented listservs to discuss reports and often agree to divide the list to ensure all titles are available in Ohio. The OhioLink group is also working with the OCLC Office of Research to collect and analyze circulation and collection data; one of their goals is to develop guidelines for the number of copies needed in Ohio by discipline. Gammon emphasized that cooperative collection development requires time and effort; she constantly reminds selectors to consider what others are buying so that duplication is informed and deliberate.

Michael Levine-Clark discussed a pilot project of the Shared Collection Development Committee of the Colorado Alliance for Research Libraries (CARL). Like OhioLink, CARL has a shared catalog. Eight libraries are participating in a pilot project to control duplication of approval titles in four subjects. The group used Spectra Dimension to analyze seven years of collection and usage data, and then set copy limits for each subject. The approval vendor runs each library’s approval profile, then runs a group profile with subject limits to determine how many copies will be sent. Finally, the vendor manually divides the copies among participating libraries based on their budget commitment and weekly shipment patterns. The total budget for the project is about $200,000 over two years; the four subjects are split between two vendors so services can be compared. The project is being assessed on percentage of English language titles published that were added to CARL collections, number of copies per title, percentage of titles with no usage, annual use per title, and other factors.

Edward Shephard discussed the SUNY Shared Collection Project. A study of five SUNY catalogs by Dave Nuzzo revealed that over 28 percent of 2004 imprints from four university presses were not held by any of the five libraries, indicating that the libraries were not achieving their goal of comprehensive research collections. The SUNY Collections and Access Council (SCAC) selected eight university presses, based on interlibrary loan data indicating unmet needs, and established blanket orders for 2006 and 2007. Four participating SUNY university libraries contributed funding; books are distributed among the libraries. Each library decided locally how to process and shelve books, but all are noted in SUNY’s catalog as “SUNY Shared Collection” and are available throughout the system. Shephard explained that the purchase phase of the project has ended; SCAC is currently evaluating the project.

In response to questions, the speakers stressed that all three goals were aimed at increasing the diversity of monograph collections, not at reducing expenditures. They all emphasized how assessment data is being collected and analyzed to guide decisions.


Metadata and Digital Library Development

Maggie Horn, State University of New York Library and Information Services

Metadata and Digital Library Development, a hands-on workshop, is the fourth course in the Cataloging for the 21st Century curriculum being developed by the Library of Congress in conjunction with ALCTS.

Jennifer Lang, Electronic Resources Cataloging Coordinator at Princeton University, and Barrie Howard, Program Manager at the Digital Library Federation, led thirty-six participants through a two-day analysis on the place of metadata within a digital library. Participants differed widely in experience: from those with heavy systems background but little cataloging and metadata knowledge to those with heavy cataloging background but little systems knowledge to library students eager to soak up anything. This mix within the class led to some interesting and lively discussions—sometimes about the topic at hand and sometimes about the structure of the course!

The goals of the course were to: understand digital library design and development processes; explore the relationship between data/metadata and system functionality; understand the motivations and strategies for metadata conversion; understand metadata workflow design; appreciate the role of metadata and metadata work in digital library development projects; and recognize the role and contributions of the metadata specialist on a digital library project team. Some of those goals were actually assumed by just analyzing the participants: we obviously all believed that metadata was important, or we would not have attended this workshop.

Lang and Howard alternated in presenting the six sessions which consisted of:

  • Digital Library System Objectives, Functionality, and Metadata
  • Understanding Functional Requirements
  • Metadata and Functionality
  • Metadata Conversion, Enhancement and Mapping
  • Metadata Workflows
  • Digital Library Development Project Exercise

The first four sessions were presented on the first day, setting the stage for day two which was devoted mainly to creating workflows and designing the metadata requirements for a digital library.

The exercises were open-ended with no “right” answers. Many of them presented scenarios which are, unfortunately, all too real in the library world: the technical services department head who is unwilling to alter any workflow or “perfect” MARC record; the software which has been thrust upon the metadata expert but which is incapable of performing the necessary task at this time; the metadata itself which has been created by an individual who is the only person who understands various fields; etc. These exercises were the impetus for many discussions about the need for the metadata expert being a part of the digital library development team— from the beginning of the project.

For this writer, the workshop was a worthwhile exercise, as I thought to myself multiple times, “What metadata is actually being used in our DSpace environment” and “Maybe I should be more involved in the construction of that metadata.”


PVLR Forum

Katharine Farrell, Princeton University

The stated purpose of the forum was to explore the tension between the idea of a core list and the practice of defining one. Academic and public libraries, book vendors, e-book aggregators, consortia and reviewing media were all invited to submit two core lists. One list should identify the fifty most important titles from 2006 for any academic library across all subject area. The other list was to identify the twenty-five most important titles in psychology, again using the 2006 publication year.

Carolyn Morris, Coutts Information Services, introduced the topic and discussed the varying methods used to determine “core.” While vendors used sales data, libraries often used circulation data. She noted that the coincidence of titles in common was less than 10 percent on the general list, but that the intersection on the psychology list was higher.

Glenda Lammers, OCLC, discussed the methodology used by OCLC which focused on the number of copies held in common in the database. Their list of core academic titles was derived from the holdings of twenty-five ARL libraries, the psychology list was based on the Conspectus, and the public library list was the result of a sample of ten medium and large public libraries.

Kim Armstrong, Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), noted that she had used a methodology similar to OCLC. CIC includes thirteen libraries. She pointed out that the core list of fifty titles showed no overlap with the list that OCLC had developed, although there were eleven titles that overlapped on the psychology list. She suggested that defining core would help to inform decisions about preservation and storage of copies. She also asked what impact e-books might have on core collections.

Mark Sandler, also of CIC, spoke to a different aspect of collecting core. He posited that there might be 1,000 psychology titles published in the United States and the United Kingdom in a given year. He asked what the cost to the individual library was to select each title for their particular collection, one-by-one, considering the selector’s time and processing time. This seems like a significant investment for what can best be described as idiosyncratic results. He raised the question of potential gains in centralized selection strategies.

Ann-Marie Breaux, YBP, pointed out that YBP handled a total of 60,000 titles in 2006. Her methodology to distill this further included identifying those titles YBP had considered highly recommended, which was about 1,000 titles, and then using reviews, sales data, and book awards to further winnow the results. She noted that identifying core titles is easier to do retrospectively than at the point of publication. Short publishing cycles produce scarcity over time and the distribution of published output in different disciplines is uneven.

Marcus Elmore, Resource for College Libraries, Choice, stated that there were twenty-five titles in psychology reviewed by Choice for 2006, which should have made the task easy. He reviewed the history of Resources for College Libraries, which began as the Shaw list, and then became Books for College Libraries, before its current incarnation. There is a complex formula at work in linking publishing output to curriculum at colleges. He notes the tension between proscriptive lists and descriptive lists, the latter being what RCL is aiming to provide. He pointed out that it was impossible to identify a common curriculum across institutions and therefore collections are idiosyncratic, as Mr. Sandler had previously stated. The methods used for determining a core list point to exactly that. He stated that the value of RCL was to provide selection expertise with libraries that lack this and in which the collection development stakes are higher because of scarce budget dollars.

Will Wheeler, Stanford University, joined the forum in a YouTube presentation. He asked the more philosophical question of how one defines core. Is it a title with the most influence, the most unique approach? Core for whom, he asked? He postulated that one could not answer a question about core for titles as recent as 2006. He then considered the impact of new media on decisions about collections, speculating that perhaps we should be focusing more on discovery than on building a core collection in any one library.

A lively question-and-answer session followed with the audience posing questions about the value of core versus cannon. Patron-driven selection is very much a hot topic now, and as one participant pointed out this is antithetical to the notion of qualitative selection. There was a question of core versus. What--titles not worth collecting? Or, perhaps core is what circulates and the research collection surrounds it. Public libraries have a very different perspective from academics. In their environment, circulation and reviews drive selection. They seek not to duplicate local academic library collections. There was some speculation about the effect that social networking would have on reviews and on buying. Mr. Elmore asked about the longevity of core, pointing to the classic William James’ title Principles of Psychology that is still in print 120 years after its initial publication.


RDA Update Forum

Keri Cascio, Missouri Library Network Consortium

The session opened with a report from Beacher Wiggins, the Library of Congress representative to the Committee of Principles of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC). He reiterated that LC is committed to the release and implementation of Resource Description and Access (RDA). He expects the JSC and LC to keep to the current schedule of a release of RDA in early 2009 and implementation by the end of 2009.

Marjorie Bloss, the RDA Project Manager, presented the plan for releasing RDA. They are in the last stages of finalizing a contract with Cognilore, a Canadian company. The new online prototype of RDA is more robust than previous prototypes and is more in line with the final product as it will be released. Users will be able to customize their views to see instructions relevant to their own work. Messages will be sent to the RDA-L listserv once the prototype is available for testing. The cost of a subscription to the Web product is still unknown.

The JSC is currently working on outreach activities, such as a presentation at the IFLA 2008 conference. They realize that catalogers will need some training, and one focus will be on rules that have changed between AACR2 and RDA. There is also an ALCTS/CCS RDA Implementation Task Force chaired by Shawne Miksa working on coordinating training providers and programs. They will focus on preparing workshops on FRBR/FRAD, RDA vocabulary, and comparisons between schemas. The Task Force is working on train-the-trainer sessions, distance learning opportunities, and RDA road shows.

John Attig, the ALA Representative to the JSC, outlined the new structure of RDA and possible implementation scenarios. He distributed a handout that outlined three high-level views of how to encode, store, and exchange RDA data with possible MARC mapping:

A “flat” record structure where all FRBR entities are contained in a single record. There would be a description of all Group 1 entities, and access points to related Group 1, Group 2, and Group 3 entities.

A composite bibliographic record where access points are linked to authority records. The authority records control the form of the access points for Group 1, Group 2, and Group 3 FRBR entities.

Separate descriptions (not quite bibliographic or authority records) are created for each FRBR entity. The description records would be linked by identifiers (possibly Uniform Resource Identifiers) to show relationships between the entities.

With the new organization of RDA, all of the FRBR entities are now addressed. Group 3 entities have been included as placeholders for future development. Many sections are still under review, and some comments on previous drafts have not yet been reviewed by the JSC. The comment period is still open for Chapters 2-4 and 9. You can make comments online.

The panel opened the floor for questions after their presentations. Concerns from the audience included the future of Library of Congress Rule Interpretations, the financial and human effort it will take to implement RDA locally, and the complexity of the text of RDA, especially for use in a Web environment. Presentations from the session are available online.


Serials Standards Update Forum

Sion Romaine, University of Washington

This program, sponsored by Swets, provided an opportunity for ALA members to discuss and ask questions about the Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU), and was moderated by panel members Tina Feick (Swets), Selden Durgom Lamoureux (UNC-Chapel Hill; NISO Working Group), and Judy Luther (Informed Strategies; NISO Working Group Co-Chair).

SERU grew out of a conversation that debated whether there could be an acceptable streamlined alternative to licensing. The SERU Working Group, consisting of librarians, publishers and subscription agents, first met in 2006, drafted a SERU document, set up a NISO pilot project, and expects to have formal approval by February 2008.

The adoption of SERU allows librarians and publishers to reference SERU and return to reliance on Copyright Law. SERU-registered publishers and libraries can be tracked by subscription agents who then facilitate the order/access process much as they did in the print environment, without having to stop the process while they wait for publisher and library to negotiate a license.

Audience members requested that information be made available that could be presented to their legal departments, showing how SERU would address indemnification and venue. The SERU Working Group is collecting quotes or testimonials to reflect acceptance within the industry. One way to alleviate concerns would be to do SERU only for titles under X number of dollars. The panel noted SERU is called an understanding because it is not a contract and does not change the law. It is a supplement to copyright law.

Discussion then focused on how SERU addresses the ILL of electronic resources. The speakers suggest that the same guidelines that apply to print should apply to the electronic form. (If publishers or librarians are not comfortable with these guidelines, a license will be required.) SERU can be compared to CONTU—a broadly accepted shared understanding of behavior.

One audience member commented that “…if an understanding expresses what we really want, then we want more than just content—we also want metadata in a format we can use. If we want to be proactive, we should say what we want.” The panel noted that SERU does not advocate any position but reflects what is currently in broad adoption. However, there may be opportunities for those registered with SERU to form a group to discuss metadata and identify widely accepted practices. There is a FAQ on the SERU web site that expands on the basic document and provides examples in areas where there are changes.

The update ended with a discussion on what would make it easier for libraries, publishers and subscription agents to participate and implement SERU. Participants agreed a SERU logo that publishers and subscription agents could display would be helpful. Publishers will probably be more likely to register for SERU once the draft has been approved. Finally, the group agreed that more promotion and awareness of SERU was needed. The Serials Standards Forum was a good place for discussion; NASIG and the ACRL Copyright Discussion Group would be other places where SERU should be presented.

Resources, Contacts


Council Activities at Midwinter Meeting 2008

Diane Dates Casey, ALCTS Councilor

During the Midwinter Meeting 2008 ALA Council progressed through its agenda expeditiously. At Council I, the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) reported that ALA is in good fiscal shape. However, the Presidential Task Force on Graduated Dues Structure announced that the thorough study necessary before implementation of a graduated dues structure would cost more than $500,000. Only a demographic survey of ALA members will move forward at this time. A resolution to make all ALA, division and roundtable discussion lists open as read-only to any ALA member was referred to the Task Force on Electronic Member Participation for consideration as part of their e-participation agenda.

Council II generated heavy debate over several issues. Some Council members questioned the current guidelines which do not permit formal endorsement of individual candidates by divisions, roundtables and other ALA units. The Executive Board was asked to review these guidelines in light of the concerns raised. Additionally, councilors raised questions about the practice of concluding Council sessions on Wednesday mornings and pleaded to have Council III moved to Tuesday. This matter was referred to BARC to investigate the fiscal impact of such a move. Changes proposed by the Committee on Accreditation and by the Committee on Professional Ethics were also hotly debated before being passed.

At Council III, Programmatic Priorities for FY09 were quickly passed along with six resolutions from the Committee on Legislation. Council recognized a tribute for Lynn El-Hoshy who recently retired from the Library of Congress and served as liaison to the Subject Analysis Committee for many years. Additionally, resolutions on accommodations for people with disabilities, ending the violence in Kenya, removing dues amounts from the By-Laws and returning Iraqi documents were all passed. Final attendance for the Midwinter Meeting was 13,601 which surpassed previous Midwinter Meetings.


Key Actions from ALCTS Board

ALA Midwinter Meeting 2008, Philadelphia


  • name change of the Serials Section to the Continuing Resources Section.
  • establishment of the Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Discussion Group (formerly the Pre-Order and Pre-Catalog Searching Discussion Group).
  • establishment of the FRBR Interest Group.
  • motion from the ALCTS Publications Committee to officially recognize Pamela Bluh for her work as Editor of the ALCTS Paper Series.
  • ALCTS response to the Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control to be forwarded to the Working Group.
  • establishment of a task force to review the Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control and to propose areas where ALCTS can take ownership.
  • establishment of the Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resources Management to be administered by the ALCTS Collection Development and Management Section.
  • amendments to the ALCTS Bylaws as proposed by the Organization and Bylaws Committee (changes to Articles IX, X, and XII relative to converting discussion groups to interest groups). Will be presented to ALCTS membership on the 2008 ballot for ratification by vote.
  • ALCTS 2008 Election slate of candidates as proposed by the Nominating Committee.
  • 2008 nominees proposed by the various ALCTS award juries.


  • PARS document “Definitions of Digital Preservation” and will forward the document to ALA Council for approval and adoption as the official ALA definition of the term “digital preservation.”
  • Fiscal Year 2008 first quarter budget report in two parts, narrative and financials.
  • administrative report of the ALCTS Executive Director, dated January 4, 2008.
  • and will endorse the proposed Code of Ethics revisions as proposed by the Committee on Professional Ethics.
  • term “Interest Group” to apply to groups at any level in ALCTS currently designated as discussion groups.
  • Cataloging and Classification Section resolution honoring Lynn El-Hoshy for her numerous and substantive contributions to the Subject Analysis Committee.


  • ALCTS Conflict of Interest Statement dated January 3, 1990.


Bloggers Report from Philadelphia

The ALCTS Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group (NRMIG) has posted additional reports on meeting and activities that took place during 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. The reports are posted on the NRMIG blog.



My ALCTS Experience

David Miller, Levin Library, Curry College

My initial plunge into ALCTS came about through “Web 1.0”-style networking. In fact, it was probably more like 0.5. In 1992, a reference colleague told me that there was actually an online discussion list all about cataloging. What an idea! This, of course, was AUTOCAT. I signed on then and remained more or less active through much of the 90s, getting to know others’ names and voices, but rarely if ever meeting anyone because, I told myself, I could not possibly manage to attend an ALA conference.

Then, in 1996, the ALA Annual Conference was held in New York. Living in Boston, with in-laws on Long Island, I decided I had to attend. I remember the first committee meeting I visited: the Genre/Form Subcommittee of the Subject Analysis Committee (SAC), chaired by Mary Charles Lasater. Near the end of the meeting, with a dry mouth and pounding heart, I spoke up to invite people to a poster session I was giving. I was wearing my name badge. Arlene Taylor turned around to look, and said something like, “It’s you!” We had met in actuality. This, I thought, was mighty advanced networking. And perhaps it really was back then.

Since then, it has been like one door after another opening on to new experiences and adventures: many pleasurable, some difficult, all rewarding, and mostly still more or less unexpected. A mere dozen years after 1996, it would be quite a challenge to name all of the colleagues (many of them friends as well) who have been supportive and encouraging. I have tried to return the favor to ALCTS to the best of my ability. And when people ask about how they can get involved, I always say: go find some group doing work in which you are interested, visit them, say “hello,” and stay alert for what you can contribute. Formal appointments can come later, but being there is first, whether “there” is in a conference room, a wiki, or Second Life. Woody Allen is right: “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”


Spotlight: Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS)

Andrew Hart. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


PARS contributes to library service and librarianship through encouragement, promotion of, and responsibility for those activities of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services of the American Library Association relating to the preservation and reformatting of library materials in all types of institutions, and provides leadership in the application of new technologies to assure continued access to library collections.


At the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, PARS will present “Staying Alive: Books through Print on Demand Technology” and “P(l)anning for Gold: Preservation Models in California and the West.” PARS is also co-sponsoring two programs with ACRL/ Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) and LAMA/Buildings and Equipment Section (BES):

  • Moving Image Collections: Surveying Tools and Preservation Basics (ACRL/RBMS)
  • Rare and Medium Rare (Collections): Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Specialized Environments (LAMA/BES)

More than 250 people attended the PARS program “Digital Asset Management: Implications for Preservation” at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference. The 2007 conference continued two program series, “Saving Sound 3: Audio Digitization and Preservation” and the “Two Thumbs Up! A Preservation Film Festival.”

Publications and Resources

Definitions of digital preservation have been approved by the ALCTS Board and will be incorporated into a forthcoming revision of the ALA Preservation Policy . The ALCTS/PARS web site also provides a variety of online publications, bibliographies, and guidelines for best practice. In print, the Preservation Manager’s Guide to Cost Analysis, by Elise Calvi, Yvonne Carignan, Liz Dube, and Whitney Pape is available from ALCTS Publishing via the ALA Online Store. Forthcoming print publications include Bound Right, edited by Thomas Teper, and a new edition of the Librarian’s Guide to the LBI Standard for Library Binding.




Diedrichs Wins Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award

The ALCTS Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement (RALA) Award Committee is pleased to announce that Carol Pitts Diedrichs, Dean of Libraries, University of Kentucky, is the 2008 RALA award winner.

Diedrichs has been a long-time contributor to the work of ALCTS, and served as President in 2004–2005. She has made outstanding professional contributions in the areas of acquisitions, collections management, serials, electronic resources, and preservation. Diedrichs’ colleagues who nominated her described

her genteel, yet persuasive style, her willingness to mentor, and the joy and energy she brings to all that she undertakes. The Committee believes that Diedrichs is exceptionally deserving of this award and that she will continue to accomplish great things in the future.

The award is sponsored by EBSCO Information Services and honors the recipient with $3,000 and a citation. Congratulations to Carol and many thanks to EBSCO for making this award possible.


Medeiros Appointed to ISQ Editorial Board

NISO has upgraded its quarterly journal, Information Standards Quarterly, to a full-size, education and news publication. The first issue will be available February 15. An editorial board of distinguished professionals, including ALCTS member and publications committee chair Norm Medeiros, Associate Librarian, Haverford College, has been appointed.

Miller Elected SACO Representative to PCC Committee

David Miller, Head of Technical Services, Curry College, Levin Library has been elected as the initial Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO) representative to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Policy Committee. In this capacity, Miller represents the SACO membership and subject heading concerns.


Council of Regional Groups Seeks Volunteers

CRG serves as a major communications channel between ALCTS and the forty-six state, local, and regional affiliates and among the affiliates to:

  • Promote the activities of the affiliates by assisting them with information and advice for their programs and common concerns.
  • Advise ALCTS about the interests and continuing education needs of the affiliates.

CRG accomplishes its work through its membership, comprised of the CRG officers and representatives of the affiliates who meet at the ALA conferences and communicate via the CRG listserv and through four committees:

  • Affiliate Relations Committee: identifies and maintains contact with the affiliates and keeps the web Directory of Affiliate Groups up-to-date.
  • Continuing Education Committee: facilitates the delivery of continuing education to librarians and library staff outside the ALA conference setting.
  • Speakers’ Bureau Committee: develops and maintains the web Directory of Speakers who are available as presenters to CRG affiliates at no cost except for expenses.
  • Nominating Committee: compiles a slate of candidates for CRG’s 2 elected officers, Secretary and Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect.

To get involved, complete the online volunteer form or contact Janet Lee-Smeltzer, CRG Chair-Elect, directly at, (205) 348-6022.


RDA Task Force to Develop Implementation Plan

The Resource Description and Access ( RDA) Implementation Task Force was created by the ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section (CCWS, in the spring of 2007. The task force began its work in this fall under the leadership Shawne Miksa of the University of North Texas Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences. Miksa leads a task force broadly representative of groups interested in what RDA will mean for the library community. The task force includes representatives from all types of libraries, library educators, OCLC and its affiliated networks, the Library of Congress (LC) and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC).

The task force is charged to develop a plan for the implementation of RDA in the United States. The major elements comprising this plan will include:

  • Training/continuing education activities.
  • Communication with OCLC and LC regarding their implementation plans in relation to content and encoding, and communication of these plans to the broader community.
  • Consultation with colleagues involved in the implementation of the current version of AACR2 to identify other planning/implementation needs.
  • Clarify with the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) the process of coordination with MARBI, with regard to potential changes to MARC associated with RDA.

The task force plans to meet at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and the Annual Conference, and is slated to complete its work by the 2009 ALA Annual Conference.

Editor’s Note: Readers may also be interested in the report on the task force’s meeting during the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.


Non-English Access Discussion List

The Steering Committee responsible for implementing the recommendations of the ALCTS Task Force on Non-English Access has established a public discussion list, Non English Access in Catalogs, to facilitate discussion on this topic. Questions, concerns and ideas may be posted to the list.


From ALA

ALA Continuing Membership

ALA offers members who have at least twenty-five consecutive years of membership the opportunity to receive ongoing membership benefits upon retirement as an ALA Continuing Member. ALA Continuing Membership includes free ALA basic dues for life. Division and round table dues are not included.

Continuing Members enjoy full rights and privileges in ALA, including the opportunity to sit on ALA committees and contribute to the ongoing work of the Association. Eleven issues of American Libraries are included as a gift subscription. There is also continuous access to ALA’s member discounts for products, services, programs, and events. Learn more in the Membership section of the ALA web site.


From the Profession

UKSG and NISO Announce KBART Working Group

The UK Serials Group (UKSG) and the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) have formed the Knowledge Base and Related Tools (KBART) Working Group, which is composed of representatives from publishers, libraries, link resolver and ERM vendors, and subscription agents. The group follows the UKSG-sponsored research report, Link Resolvers and the Serials Supply Chain. The report focuses on issues related to journal article data that impact OpenURL linking capability. KBART will follow up on recommendations stated in the report.


SACO Midwinter Minutes Available

Minutes from the SACO-At-Large 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting are now available online.


NISO Issues SERU Best Practices

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has issued SERU: a Shared Electronic Resource Understanding as part of its Recommended Practice series (NISO-RP-7-2008). The document provides best practices and is available for free. The document was publisher after a six-month trial by librarians and publishers.


NISO to Develop Standard Identification for Institutions

NISO members voted to approve the creation of a working group to explore the concept of institutional identification. The group will be charged with proposing a unique identifier for institutions that will describe relationships between entities within institutions. The group will also determine a core set of data needed for identification plus what data is necessary to support the business models of respective organizations. Privacy and security will be considered as well. More information is available online.


ARL Reports on Journals’ Transition from Print to Electronic Formats

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published a report by Richard K. Johnson and Judy Luther titled "The E-only Tipping Point for Journals: What's Ahead in the Print-to-Electronic Transition Zone." The report covers the shift from the practice of publishing journals in print and electronic to electronic-only publication of journals. The full report is available online in .pdf.


JoDI Calls for Papers

Journal of Digital Information (JoDI) is soliciting papers for a special issue on digital libraries and user-generated content. The special issue will explore how digital libraries may employ technologies enabled by user-generated content to provide services for their users. Possible topics include:

  • Use of Web 2.0 technologies in digital libraries
  • Mobile services in digital libraries
  • Supporting digital library infrastructure and architecture
  • Information retrieval and mining techniques
  • Virtual worlds and digital libraries
  • User communities
  • Usability and user needs
  • Novel interfaces supporting user-generated content
  • Social, institutional and policy issues

Papers should follow submission guidelines and are due by the submission deadline, which is April 7, 2008. Submit papers electronically on the JoDI web site.


IRs: Tout de Suite

Institutional Repositories, Tout de Suite provides readers with a quick introduction to key aspects of institutional. It is under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License, and it can be freely used for any noncommercial purpose in accordance with the license. This publication was produced by Charles W. Bailey, Jr., formerly of the University of Houston Libraries.


European Research Council Releases Open Access Guidelines

The Scientific Council of the European Research Council has released guidelines for open access, which are available online. The guidelines make open access mandatory and provide a short embargo period.


Digital Preservation Challenge Invites Participants

DigitalPreservationEurope (DPE) has announced the second international Digital Preservation Challenge. The Challenge is designed to promote awareness and improves practice in the management, longevity, and reuse of digital assets. DPE invites participants to overcome the barriers hindering access to five digital objects (scenarios are provided on the DPE web site). Each set of objects includes an abstracted scenario based on real-life situations. The deadline for submissions is May 30, 2008. Winners will be announced on September 17, 2008.


New Clients for WorldCat Local

Cornell University Library, the State Library of Ohio and the University of Delaware Library have signed agreements to use WorldCat Local. Find more information in the press release and on the WorldCat Local web site.


ACRL Conference Planners Seek Proposals

The Workshops Subcommittee of the ACRL Planning Committee would like to invite ALCTS members to submit proposals for the ACRL 2009 Conference whose theme is “Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend.” Workshops are four-hour sessions that provide three contact hours of active and in depth learning and one mandatory one hour break to visit the poster sessions and exhibits. More information on the ACRL 2009 Conference and its themes can be found online. The submission deadline is May 12, 2008.


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