Professional Development

During May 2008...

Basic Serials Cataloging Workshop

Thursday, May 29, 2008 3:29 pm

On April 14 and 15, Linda Ziglar and I attended a workshop at PCL that addressed the basic elements of cataloging serial materials. Developed in 1999, it is sponsored by the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP) as part of the Cooperative Online Serials Program (CONSER) and offered around the country several times each year. The presenter for this workshop was Marsha Seamans of the University of Kentucky Libraries, and the 15 attendees came from institutions across North Carolina, including Duke, Elon, the New Hanover County Library (Wilmington), NC School of the Arts, UNCG, UNCC, as well as PCL and ZSR. The following is a summary of what we covered in the workshop- my apologies for it being so heavy on cataloging terminology, but that was what it was all about, eh?

Day One began with the basic definition of what serials are (in brief, numbered works issued in successive parts with no set endpoint). Then, the session moved into a discussion of original cataloging (creating records from scratch). We learned about the CONSER standards for current serial records and took an in-depth look at MARC records. We had a series of practice exercises with examples of several types of records including print and electronic.

For Day Two, we started with subject headings and the strategies involved for assigning them, since they are important for classification purposes as well as cutters for call numbers. We then discussed electronic serials and how they differ for integrated resources (such as databases) in terms of cataloging style, and the importance of the 856 field as well as notes-specific fields. The value of copy cataloging was next, which included the need for appropriate, authoritative records (the CONSER standard once again). The value of starting dates, authorities and place of publication are also important for distinguishing similar records. We also covered title changes, including the criteria of a major title change versus a minor one, when MARC records should be closed following a major change, and proper linking between preceding and succeeding records. A short session about the criteria for editing records closed the day.

Finally, we had three overall remarks about the workshop. The experience level for the group ranged from the seasoned to the novice. Discussion was common during both days of the workshop and often enhanced the notes we received. In fact, several mistakes were found in the PowerPoint slides that were recommended for revision before they are used again in future workshops!

NCLA RTSS Spring Workshop

Thursday, May 29, 2008 1:49 pm

Since Leslie has already done such a good job of summarizing the keynote address of the RTSS Spring Workshop, I will discuss the next most useful session I attended, “Next Generation Cataloging Standards: RDA + FRBR,” presented by Erin Stalberg, Head of Metadata and Cataloging at North Carolina State University.

RDA, or Resource Description and Access, is the new code being developed as a successor to AACR2. Work began in 2004 on AACR3 with the intension of making the rules more flexible and comprehensive, yet the group working on it soon found that the changes needed were too sweeping to be accommodated in an AACR3, and thus RDA was born. RDA is a content standard, not an encoding standard, and it is intended to be independent of MARC, but compatible with the MARC format.

RDA is to be a new standard for resource description and access designed for the digital world. It is designed to cover all types of resources. Although it is being developed for use in libraries, it is intended to be applicable anywhere. And the code is designed to be compliant with FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, a conceptual model for bibliographic description, not a set of rules).

The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) is the group responsible for developing the new code, and it includes international representation, although it is heavily represented by the English speaking world (US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc.). The completed version of RDA is expected August 2008, but it is being vetted by a large number of cataloging groups, committees and interest groups in ALA and other organizations.

Stalberg outlined some of the areas of description that will change under RDA (punctuation, where titles are derived from, use of abbreviations, etc.), but I won’t bore the non-catalogers with that info, particularly as the code has not yet been adopted.

The JSC is committed to guaranteeing that RDA-produced records will be compatible with AACR2-produced records, which will thankfully save us from having to retrospectively re-catalog our entire collection. However, this also results in the criticism that if AACR2 records are compatible with RDA records, does RDA really go far enough in re-vamping the catalog code. That is, isn’t RDA then effectively AACR3? Other criticisms include that RDA is too complicated, too confusing and too redundant, and that the code still has too much emphasis on human creation and manipulation of records, not enough on computer-to-computer interchange.

The real takeaway for me from this session was that, as a practical matter, RDA is a long way from affecting actual cataloging practice in libraries. Not only must RDA be approved by the JSC and a huge number of cataloging interest groups in the US and abroad, the MARC format will have to be updated to accommodate RDA, bibliographic utilities (such as OCLC) will have to accommodate a revised MARC format, ILS systems will have to be revised to work with new RDA-compliant records, and catalogers will have to be trained in working with the new rules and attendant format changes. Optimistically, we’re looking at several years (if not longer) before records cataloged according to RDA are in use.

Center for Intellectual Property in the Digital Age: Conference, Day One

Thursday, May 29, 2008 7:39 am

Pre Conference Seminar: 1:00pm to 4:00pm

“The Public Domain and Fair Use” Lolly Gasaway

Lolly Gasaway discussed the purpose of copyright laws, namely to promote learning to the public, and encourage authors to create new works. The US Constitution gives Congress “the power to promote the progress of science and useful arts, (aka anything worth learning), by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” The constitution was adopted in 1787 and just three years later, in 1790, the first copyright law was adopted. THAT’s how important it is.
Copyright can be affixed to any work that is creative and original, not facts or ideas. Before the copyright act of 1976, copyright needed to be applied and paid for. Copyright became automatic in 1976. The length of copyright continues to expand from 14 years, with one 14 year renewal in 1790, (and 85% of copyrighted works were not even renewed for copyright), to the present standard with the1998 amendment which allows for life of the author plus 70 years. She presented us a nifty schedule of when things pass into Public Domain at . The rights of the copyright holder include the right to limit reproduction and distribution, adaptation, performance, display. Once it passes into the Public Domain, it becomes available for any of these uses, without needing to seek permission from copyright holder.
Works become public domain: 1.) when the copyright has expired, 2) if published before copyright law was enacted. 3) for materials where the author never claimed copyright (pre 1976), 4) never entitled to copyright protection because they are not “original or creative”, 5) things created by the federal government, (but surprisingly, many states DO copyright and control distribution of their works.) 6) earlier statutes put all works by foreign nationals into the Public Domain, (ie, Charles Dickens works were never covered by copyright here in the US since they were published in Britain.) When a new preface is written on a work that has passed into the Public Domain, (ie a new edition of Jane Eyre is published) then only the preface is covered by the copyright. The work is still in the Public Domain.
To determine if a work is in the Public Domain, start with the chart of copyright dates. If it pre dates those cut offs, it is in the Public Domain. Then use Copyright Office online records, and then contact the publisher/author. Services, ie Thomson, also exist, and, while expensive, can get the answer much faster than the copyright office. Restoration of copyright once something has progressed into the Public Domain is also possible, but it isn’t automatic. Restoration requires an action on the part of the copyright holder. If a work was adapted from a work that was in the Public Domain and then was pulled back into a Copyrighted status, (ie a movie was made of a CS Lewis book while it was in the Public Domain, but now the book has copyright protection again) the adapter must pay reasonable royalties to the copyright holder for future sales, but not past sales.
Orphan works (works which no one can discern who owns the copyright even after a significant search), legislation is in congress now, and may pass. It will allow for users of orphan works to use the work as they intend, but will have to pay reasonable royalties should any copyright holder come forth in the future. Photographers and textile designers object to this legislation, but it seems to be enjoying enough support in Congress to pass before Summer, 08.
Fair use is described as the safety valve of copyright. Determining if a work is useable for your purposes under the terms of “fair use” an evaluation must be done to see if the use predominately meets the criteria of the four “fair use factors”: Purpose and character of the use, (ie is it for education or profit); Nature of the copyrighted work, (book, article, digital media); amount and substantiality used, (ie a chapter of a book, a line of a poem); and the Market effect, (ie will the author suffer a loss of profit.) Determining “fair use” has problems because it is so often claimed, and so few court decisions have been made to evaluate. Guidelines have been established to assist with determining fair use, but they are not case law and it’s still all hard to establish. Libraries who are utilizing “fair use” to make an argument to use copyrighted materials should strive to find an exception in ss 108 of the copyright law instead.
The future? Congress listens to money and the copyright industries of publishers and authors have it…not the libraries. So expect that Copyright terms to continue to lengthen.

Notes from the Keynote: 7:00pm
James Boyle, Duke University School of Law
Copyright 2.0? Re-emagining Copyright in a World of User-Generated Content

James Boyle was a very interesting speaker and he had the audience engaged and involved and laughing at the painful truths of exactly how un-helpful current copyright law is and how inadequate it is to control use and distribution in a digital age. These are pieces of his keynote. He was too quick and my fingers are too slow to do him justice.

As technologies of reproduction and production have advanced, so has the number of infringements of copyright. In the 1940s, copyright infringement was virtually impossible, or at least difficult, because even copy machines weren’t invented yet or widely available. Since the 1970s and 1980s and into today, producers of unique content have had many more opportunities to have their copyright rights infringed upon. Jessica Litman noted that copyright law is always written by those that are most affected: publishers, movie makers, song writers.
What’s wrong with copyright law? People believe that the limitations of copyright are unjust. And copyright holders frequently don’t pursue violators because an individual violator is too insignificant. Content is unprotected. Quite profound social and cultural goods are involved, and they have no real protection.
When copyright law was first written, copyright holders had exclusive use over their works for a very short period. Fourteen to 28 years. Now ALL works are protected for a much longer time, on average 95 years. All works are automatically protected even if they are not commercially viable. Two percent of copyrighted works are actually commercially successful. Ninety eight percent are held hostage, even the 50% of works that are orphaned during that time.
Copyright law undermines its own goals. It always says no, and harms its own legitimacy. Like an adolescent kid testing his parents, the public reacts to his by saying, “if you are always saying “no” then it must be worth it to me to not listen to you.” Morality is a better enforcer than the police. We don’t have the tools to be everywhere and control every infringement.
Two conflicting paths are before us. One allows for increases in new technology to be met with increases in monitoring and enforcement. This supports those that feel that their copyright rights are just as protectable today as they were in the 1940s. The other thought is to adjust copyright to allow non-commercially viable materials to pass immediately into the Public Domain. If the copyright holder isn’t making money on it, then why can’t the rest of us copy, distribute and use the material now. Secondarily, for the 2% that are commercially viable, let others use the material and alter or change it to their own liking (ex: the YouTube video “George Bush Don’t care about black people” that was released with 4 days work and $5 in materials, and criticized the governments failed policy to respond to Katrina in a powerful and timely way. The video, which violated copyright because it used samples of music still under copyright, began the movement to get greater assistance for victims, and was viewed over 1million times on the internet.), if money is made in such an alteration, allow for royalties to freely flow back to the original copyright holder.
James Boyle’s views were refreshing and had a hopeful tone. He sounded so logical and took into consideration all of today’s digital copyright issues. I long for the day when such views as this will dominate Congress’ discussions on copyright.

NCLA RTSS: UNC System Pilot Institutional Repository

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 11:16 am

Following Dr. Griffith’s keynote address, summarized by Leslie, I attended the concurrent session on the UNC System Pilot Institutional Repository (IR), which UNC-Greensboro hosts for Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, UNC-G, UNC-Pembroke, and UNC-Wilmington. Presenters were Eleanor Cook (ASU), Stephen Dew (UNC-G), Adina Riggins (UNC-W), and Rob Wolf (UNC-Pembroke). Their discussion included a history of the IR’s development, content and collection policies, copyright concerns, and marketing strategies. After the initial formation in 2006 of a pilot group to create a consortium IR, progress has continued at an expeditious pace. By the spring of 2007, according to Rob Wolf, the group was making content decisions and establishing a timetable. They decided to exclude pre-prints, unfinished works, and data sets, but otherwise to include virtually anything and to rely on policing themselves rather than attempting to anticipate all possible content quandaries. The group considered various platforms, including Digital Commons, EPrints, Fedora, and Content DM, but decided to develop a UNC-G homegrown creation because other products were not set up for a shared IR and were so costly. The homegrown version is fully customizable. Later in 2007 the group met to review content, file types, basic policy guidelines, and metadata standards. They decided on the inclusion of ETDs, Dublin Core metadata, and standard file types for greater accessibility. ETDs are recommended as a “good way to seed your IR,” but they reside in a separate module in order not to “clutter” the search results. Currently, ASU is testing the administrative module, adding elements from an extant faculty publications database, and launching publicity plans to inform faculty of copyright issues. ECU currently has its own IR, “ScholarShip,” but is committed to the joint IR on some level. UNC-G is creating the public module and adding records to the administrative module. UNC-Pembroke plans to market the IR to faculty in the fall, and is testing the administrative module. UNC-W has formed an IR committee for marketing strategies this fall, and is determining the status of ETDs for the IR.

Stephen Dew surveyed the marketing strategies employed in order to advance the IR cause. The Faculty Scholarly Communications Committee at UNC-G for 2007-2008 includes two librarians, eight faculty members representing each school or college, and one representative each from the Office of Research, University Counsel, and Technology Transfer, and Continual Learning. The group has sent out three ARL brochures covering “Author Rights,” “Open Access,” and “Create Change;” created an “Addendum to Publication Agreement” with a cover letter from the Provost; and held two faculty forums. The first one, “Taking Control of your Scholarship: New Trends in Copyright, Patents, and Publishing,” consisted of panelists from the Office of Technology Transfer, University Counsel, and IT; the second forum, “Open Access to Scholarship: Benefits for the Scholar, University and Society,” invited as guest speaker David Shulenburger, of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

Dew has been working with library liaisons to educate them on the issues of scholarly communication. They are encouraged to read selected articles and the ARL/SPARC handouts. He has developed a six-page list of talking points to provide background for discussions with faculty, as well as a one-page IR handout for faculty explaining “how, why, and what. ” Educational meetings for liaisons have focused on specific subjects: the background to scholarly communication issues, the open access movement, author rights and publication addenda, and institutional and disciplinary repositories. In addition, potential early adopters at the University have been identified: highly published scholars, department heads, NIH grant recipients, new faculty and newly tenured faculty, other leaders and opinion-makers, as well as people deemed likely to be enthusiastic about the initiative. Liaisons obtain resumés for each department and identify articles from prospective contributors. They then conduct SHERPA/ROMEO searches for journals and publications (the site lists the permissions usually given as part of publishers’ copyright transfer agreements), contact editors or publisher for those not in SHERPA, and for each article establish what the rights are for contributing to an IR.

Also underway is the development of presentations, including demonstrations of the IR and Google Scholar, that will highlight the advantages of contributing to the IR: how it can showcase scholarship and promote higher citations and a wider readership. Other marketing strategies include IR discussions held by the Provost and Deans with the faculty, campus news articles, library newsletter articles, general campus mailings to faculty, a web page highlighting new contributions and high use articles (indicating hits for the number of times an article has been downloaded), and a blog about new developments. These strategies are well thought out and thorough, and surely will inform the approaches of our own campus-wide Scholarly Communication Committee.

NCLA RTSS Spring Workshop

Monday, May 26, 2008 3:56 pm

RTSS 2008 – The Future of Bibliographic Control

At NCLA’s Resources & Technical Services Section’s Spring workshop, held this year on May 22 in Raleigh, the keynote speaker was Jose-Marie Griffiths, Dean of the Library School at Chapel Hill, and also a member of a working group charged by the Library of Congress to:

(1) Explore how bibliographic control (formerly known as cataloging, also including related activities) can support access to library materials in the web environment;

(2) Advise the Library of Congress on its future roles and priorities.

The group published its report, titled “The Future of Bibliographic Control”, in January of this year. It’s available on LC’s website:

Concerning the web environment, Giffiths began by noting that many users nowadays turn first to Google or some other web browser for their information needs; that despite the number of web-based library catalogs, there are still many separate library databases that are not accessible by a web search; that, due to the web’s worldwide reach, our users are increasingly diverse, using multiple venues (vendors, databases, social networking, etc); also, that bibliographic data now comes from increasingly diverse sources via the web; and that, as a result, bibliographic control must be thought of as “dynamic, not static”, and that the “bibliographic universe,” traditionally controlled by libraries, will in future involve “a vast field of players” (including vendors, publishers, users, even authors/creators themselves).

As for LC’s role, the report reminds us that LC’s official mandate is to support the work of Congress. It has never been given any official mandate — and most importantly, the funding — to be a national library, providing the kinds of services (cataloging, authority control, standards) for the nation’s other libraries that national libraries typically do. Of course, over the years LC has become a de facto national library, providing all the above services, upon which not only American libraries but libraries worldwide rely heavily. As this unfunded mandate is rapidly becoming unsustainable, pressures are building to “identify areas where LC is no longer the sole provider” and create partnerships to distribute the responsibility for creating and maintaining bibliographic data more widely (among other libraries, vendors, publishers, etc.); also, to review current LC services to other libraries with an eye to economic viability, or “return on investment.”

To achieve these aims (exploiting the web environment, and sharing responsibility), the working group offers 5 recommendations:

(1) Increase efficiency in producing and maintaining bibliographic data. Griffiths noted that duplicated effort persists not so much in creating bib records nowadays (thanks to OCLC and other shared databases), but in the subsequent editing and maintaining of these records: many libraries do these tasks individually offline. Proposed solutions: recruit more libraries into the CCP (Cooperative Cataloging Program, those other large research libraries that contribute LC-quality records to OCLC). Convince OCLC to authorize more libraries to upgrade master records (the ones we see when we search) in the OCLC database. Also, exploit data from further upstream: Publishers and vendors create bib data before libraries do. Find more ways to import vendor data directly into library systems, without library catalogers having to re-transcribe it all. (This may cause some of us who’ve seen certain vendor records in OCLC to blanch; however, the Working Group’s report adds: “Demonstrate to publishers the business advantages of supplying complete and accurate metadata”[!]). Similarly, recruit authors, publishers, abstracting-and-indexing services, and other communities that have an interest in more precisely identifying the people, places, and things in their files, to collaborate in authority control. Team up with other national libraries to internationalize authority records.

(2/3) Position our technology, and the library community, for the (web-based) future. We need to “integrate library standards into the web environment.” Proposed solutions: Ditch the 40-year-old MARC format (only libraries use it), and develop a “more flexible, extensible metadata carrier [format]”, featuring “standard” “non-language-specific” “data identifiers” (tags, etc.) which would allow libraries’ bib data to happily roam the World Wide Web, and in turn enable libraries to import data from other web-based sources. Relax standards like ISBD (the punctuation traditionally used in library bib records) to further sharing of data from diverse sources. “Consistency of description within any single environment, such as the library catalog, is becoming less significant than the ability to make connections between environments, from Amazon to WorldCat to Google to PubMed to Wikipedia, with library holdings serving as but one node in this web of connectivity.” Incorporate user-contributed data (like we see in Amazon, LibraryThing, etc.) that helps users evaluate library resources. Take all those lists buried in library-standards documentation – language codes, geographical codes, format designators (GMDs), etc. – and put those out on the web for the rest of the world to use. Break up those long strings of carefully-coordinated subdivisions in LC subject headings (“Work — Social aspects — United States — History — 19th century”) so they’ll work in faceted systems (like NC State’s Endeca) that allow users to mix-and-match subdivisions on their own. (This is already generating howls of protests from the cataloging community, with counter-arguments that the pre-coordinated strings provide a logical overview of the topic — including those aspects the user didn’t think of on their own.) The Working Group supports development of FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, a proposed digital-friendly standard), but like many in the library community, remains skeptical of RDA (Resource Description and Access, another proposed standard meant to bring the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules into the digital age) until a better business case can be made for it: “The financial implications … of RDA adoption … may prove considerable. Meanwhile, the promised benefits of RDA — such as better accommodation of electronic materials, easier navigation, and more straightforward application — have not been discernible in the drafts seen to date…. Indeed, many of the arguments received by the Working Group for continuing RDA development unabated took the form of ‘We’ve gone too far to stop’ or ‘That horse has already left the barn,’ while very few asserted either improvements that RDA may bring or our need for it.”

(4) Strengthen the profession. Griffiths noted that in many areas we lack the comprehensive data we need for decision-making and for cost-benefit analysis. We need to build an evidence base, and “work to develop a stonger and more rigorous culture of formal evaluation, critique, and validation.”

(5) Finally, with the efficiencies gained from the above steps, LC and other libraries will be able to devote more resources to cataloging and digitizing their rare and unique materials. The Working Group feels that enhancing access to more of these “hidden materials” should be a priority.

Griffiths shared with us LC’s immediate reactions to the Working Group’s report. The concepts of shared responsibility, and of accepting data from multiple sources, were “expected.” More controversial were the shifting of priorities to rare materials; the relinquishing of the MARC format; and the focus on return-for-investment in assessing standards, such as RDA.

LC’s final decisions regarding the Working Group’s recommendations are expected to be announced this summer.

SAMM 08 – The Transformed Library

Monday, May 19, 2008 3:51 pm

On May 8th I attended the SOLINET Annual meeting held this year for the first time at the quite beautiful and neatly tucked away Emory Conference Center. Michael Stephens the morning keynoter was a good opening act. He was certain to awaken the audience as it was a bit of a challenge to follow him on stage as he moved from here to there and then up and then down. He was all over the place. Hired recently as an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in Illinois, Stephens’ enthusiasm for Libraries is certain to rub off on at least a few of his students. While sharing with the audience his views for transforming libraries, Stephens made reference to a quote that our neighboring Davidson College used within a recent Librarian job posting. “Give us your newbie enthusiasm and your fresh ideas and we in return will mentor your growth.” Stephens also sited as an example of creative undertakings within libraries the Charlotte Public Library’s 2.0 training project.

The “Innovations in Next Generation Library Management Systems” session featured updates on three interesting developments in open-source library applications. John Little spoke on Duke University Libraries proposal for the Mellon Foundation to convene the academic library community in designing an open-source Integrated Library System. Andrew Nagy of Villanova discussed his work in developing VuFind. VuFind adds Web 2.0 functionality on top of the traditional interface and allows users to e-mail search results and save results to their favorites. Tim Daniels shared insights on Georgia Library’s PINES (Public Information Network for Electronic Services). This is the public library automation and lending network for more than 275 libraries in Georgia.

“The Other Side of the Library Coin: Georgia Tech’s Experience in Broadcasting Scholarly Information” was the title of my afternoon session. Tyler Walters discussed the transformation of scholarly communication and their development of the SMARTech institutional repository. Libraries are responding to this transformation as they in the process of adding new services are experiencing a transformation as well. “Cultivating active partnerships with faculty is how libraries will continue to transform into high value hubs of information services.” For a copy of Walters’ slide presentation and others from the SAMM meeting follow this link:

National Library Workers Day

Saturday, May 17, 2008 8:03 am

What is National Library Workers Day? I confess that until this year, I was a little sketchy on this ‘holiday’. NLWD, according to ALA is “a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.” NLWD was held April 15 this year in the middle of National Library Week. ZSR’s staff were honored by a breakfast in the Staff Lounge provided by Lynn and Wanda which gave everyone a good start to the day and a little fellowship at the same time. Each ZSR team was honored publicly by a banner and a star for each team with a team photo. Wanda and Lynn suggested that I submit photos of our NLWD event to ALA, which I did. On May 13, ZSR’s contribution to NLWD was recognized in Library Worklife, an ALA newsletter published for the advancement of library employees. Photos of our ‘Team Stars’ and banner were published along with a brief description of our NLWD event. It is great to be recognized in a national forum. We do so many good things at ZSR, most of which are all in a day’s work. ZSR is a great place to work filled with really good people. I look forward to next year’s NLWD celebration.

Craig Fansler

SAMM 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008 1:55 pm

I attend the SOLINET Annual Membership Meeting each May mostly because I am a Board member and I am supposed to, but whenever I go I am pleasantly surprised at how strong the programming is and how glad I am I came. So while I’m at the airport waiting for my flight, I’ll share what I learned.

The opening keynote was by Michael Stephens, Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in Illinois, and just a little over-enthusiastic for me. His theme was The Transformed Library and he had some great slides from libraries around the country to demonstrate how involved (or remote) libraries can be with their respective communities. Interestingly, he quoted from the OCLC Perceptions study that BOOKS are the universal library brand. It is interesting to me because Rosann Bazirjian and I did a replication study at Wake and UNCG last spring and one of our findings was that books is NOT the library brand at Wake Forest. Can you guess what is is? I’ll keep you in suspense until Rosann and I finish writing up our paper and present it at a staff meeting sometime. All in all, Michael’s talk was a lot like Karen Schneider’s which was the closing talk. Lots of 2.0 from all angles, flickr all over the place, tagging everywhere you can stand it, and good advice to let go the role of gatekeeper and encourage the role of the heart.

The next session I went to was about Next Generation Library Management Systems, with speakers from Duke, Georgia PINES and Villanova. Susan, Erik and I are cooking up plans to implement Villanova’s VuFind as an OPAC replacement for WebVoyage. The open source movement for library management systems is very exciting and these three speakers embodied my own feelings that we cannot stomach the thought of paying more big money to corporate vendors for user-hostile systems built on antique architecture. I don’t know how far we will get, but we have to try. More on that later.

I did my librarianly duty and attended the session on the Future of Bibliographic Control with Olivia Madison, co-chair of the Library of Congress Working Group. I have not stayed as abreast of this report as say, Erik has, so I was glad to get a briefing. The working group did yeomen’s work and recommended 102 action steps that the rest of the bibliographic world should be grateful for. It has been a controversial report but I believe it turns the big boat of bibliographic control more in the right direction.

There was a two hour business meeting with a discussion of the proposed merger with PALINET that I won’t detail. The merger is very exciting and a lot of smart, dedicated people are working hard on it. It is a privilege to participate in the discussions and I have learned a lot about the business side of the information profession because of it. There is a bright future out there, with or without OCLC, and we can hardly think too big.

This morning, I went to a delightful presentation on the Civil Rights Digital Library at the University of Georgia. It is a phenomenal resource (you know what a sucker I am for all things related to civil rights) and they have done it right. There was some discussion at the recent ASERL meeting of making this a project to which all ASERL libraries could contribute. It seems many local news affiliates across the South are looking for a home for their historical film footage and there are civil rights treasures within them. Maybe we should talk to WXII?

As previously mentioned, Karen Schneider closed the conference with a lively talk on library blogging. We already do many, if not most, of the things she mentioned here at ZSR. Current typing to the contrary, I am not a blogger at heart but resolved to try to blog my upcoming bike trip so that the family can enjoy the trials and triumphs of Barry and Lynn’s Great Adventure. I saw how valuable that could be to the folks back home during our South Course trip last summer. The most interesting thing in Karen’s talk was her mention of twitter and one of the posts that appeared live on the screen was our own laurenpressley’s twitter comment, “tree down in neighborhood – photo.” Actually, Lauren could have given the exact same talk as Karen as she is known nationally as a blogging/twittering guru!

OK, my flight is getting close to boarding so I’ll stop now and look forward to seeing ZSR under construction. I loved Craig’s photo of the busts from the Current Periodicals Room being loaded onto book trucks!

Tri-IT Meeting

Thursday, May 8, 2008 8:47 am

Yesterday Giz, Kevin, and I went to UNCG to participate in the Spring Tri-IT Meeting. We went to present on “Situating Blogs and Wikis: The Value Added Proposition of the Library as Service Provider.” The meeting was a nice one. It was small enough that you could meet people, but big enough so that you didn’t have to learn everyone’s name. Everyone there seemed to work at the intersection of education and technology, whether their position was located in a library, teaching and learning center, or an academic department. As I’ve been trying to do, I took most of my notes in my own blog so that I wouldn’t go into too much detail for you here. :) If you want to see some details, I’ve posted on the introduction, getting connected with Google Apps, imagining an interdisciplinary game, and what the UNCG library is doing with Blackboard.

As is often the case, one session particularly stood out to me as useful for my thinking at this point in time, and that’s the library/Blackboard project. The librarians at UNCG are doing some really interesting work! It seemed to me that they’re seeing some of the same trends that we’re seeing, but approaching the problem solving from a different perspective. Where our energies tend to be around creating multiple open places that we have to tie together (like pulling video into the wiki or toolkit), they tend work from one portal (Blackboard), putting everything there to start with. The open/disparate vs. closed/centralized issue is one I have been thinking about a little bit, and it was really nice to see a good example of the strengths of a closed/centralized system. Great session!

Great meeting, too!

LOEX My Presentation and Final Thoughts

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 1:31 pm

My presentation was scheduled for that most hated time….last slot, last day. I was sure it would be me and the two people who couldn’t get flights out until Sunday, but in actuality I had between 60 and 70 people attend and they were an enthusiastic and appreciative group. My topic was two-fold. First I was discussing rethinking the pure annotated bibliography as a final project for library instruction (or any lower level course, for that matter). Second, I was discussing using wikis and Google Docs in our LIB100 classes. There was some familiarity with Google Docs in the crowd but MUCH enthusiasm for my demo and my ability to answer questions. There was also a lively discussion of the annotated bibliography and new ways to approach similar skills with more relevant assignments. So it was a success and I was so pleased to be able to give others some new ideas, as I had been offered so many in the presentations I had attended.

It was a really useful conference to me — it is nice to be in a place where everyone does the same thing. You don’t have to introduce the concept of Information Literacy, and when people say ‘one-shot’ everyone knows what you are talking about. And the sessions gave me a lot to chew on over the summer as I prepare for my ACRL Intentional Teacher Immersion and work on improving our LIB100 and LIB200 curriculum. But for now….that’s all on LOEX….I have bigger fish to fry in the next few days….

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