Professional Development

During July 2008...

North Carolina ILL Users’ Group Meeting

Thursday, July 31, 2008 8:13 am

The 2008 NC ILL Users Group meeting was held at UNC-Chapel Hill on July 29.  It has always been a gathering that I look forward to participating.   Not only do we get to hear about the latest developments with OCLC’s products, we get to exchange information and learn what each library is doing.

The meeting started out with Julie Nye updating us on OCLC Resource Sharing (ILL), such as Reasons for No and Conditional, Deflection Enhancements and Auto-IFM trigger for items not updated in time.   She reported a 34% increase of participating countries in WorldCat Resouce Sharing.   And we are getting more and more ILLs filled by non-US libraries, a 92% increase from last year according to her statistics.  She also discussed the website that OCLC has created and how it can be used to enhance usability for both staff and patrons.

Madeleine Bombeld at UNC-Wilmington did a survey on AV materials lending policies.   Her library does loan out to good borrowers the audio books, CDs and VHSs, but not DVDs, which are used heavily, 40% of all circulating materials.   At this point, we don’t loan out DVDs, since they are heavily used by our patrons and many for classes.   Occasionally, we will send out documentaries to trusted borrowers.

The afternoon session was mainly a report of the WorldCat Group Catalog that the UNC system will implement sometime this year.    A group catalog will be created from records already cataloged in WorldCat by the UNC member libraries.   From the group catalog, patrons can see which library has the item he wants and requests it.  Staff can use it for collection development purpose.  There were quite a bit of discussions about the system and it will be interesting to see how it will work out and what the benefits are for both the patrons and the library staff.

Other than all the information I received, I also enjoyed talking to other ILLers.   It was nice meeting new faces in the ILL land and exchange information about ILL issues.

ACRL Immersion Day 2

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 7:11 pm

Yes. We had an earthquake. We felt it — a bit scary but when the locals didn’t run for the hills we figured we were ok. We are meeting in a brand new building so it has all the requisite earthquake resistance built in, but still a bit unnerving.

Day two was a good one. Just a few impressions. We started by discussing in small groups some research studies we found and brought with us that focused on pedagogy, library instruction, classroom experience, any thing in that area. What I came out of it with is a realization that we often need to go outside the library literature to find really good research on teaching and learning, but that if we do – it can be very informative. We all expressed a desire to have more time for keeping up with the literature that is out there on good teaching and are crafting some ways to help us do that.

We spent another part of the day discussing our students. Who they are, what they need, what they would ask us if they could. Very enlightening exercises but the most interesting one was one we did about assumptions. We all had to list three assumptions we make about the students when we enter the classroom – we then listed them all (75) and found some real insights. We discussed how our assumptions affect how and what we teach in good and bad ways. We also talked about how reluctant we often are to give up our assumptions even when faced with ample evidence that they are no longer valid. Food for thought.

We finished up the day developing the perfect job description for the perfect librarian as seen from the student’s perspective. Not as easy a task as it sounds — hard to keep putting yourself in the shoes of the student. But as I have been thinking a lot about job descriptions lately – it was a good exercise.

Now to dinner and then some lighter viewing fare tonight — Parker Posey in “Party Girl!”

Roz at ACRL Immersion

Monday, July 28, 2008 7:28 pm

This week I am in San Diego in one of the ACRL Immersion programs. For those unfamiliar with them, these programs are week-long immersion programs focused on various aspects of information literacy. There are four tracks. Assessment (not running this time, but focuses on how to assess student learning and program success), Program (focusing on how to get an IL program going at your institution), Teacher (focused on instruction strategy for new teachers) and Intentional Teacher (the one I’m in) which focuses on people who have been teaching for a while in an effort to make them more aware of their teaching.There are 25 of us in the Inentional Teacher group from all over the country (and Canada) and from all sorts of libraries, backgrounds and stages in their careers.

As the ‘Immersion’ moniker suggests, it’s an intense program with long days, many activities, much discussion and even more reflection. I’m not going give a play-by-play of each day but will instead highlight as best I can those things that stuck out to me. Once I’m done I hope to also have some bigger picture thoughts to share.

Today we first focused on the two books we read before arriving. Parker Palmer’s The Courage to Teach and Steven Brookfield’s Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. Both books had their moments for me (usually surrounding concrete examples rather than lofty theory) although both tended to obscure points with too much jargon for my taste. What was interesting in our discussion is how what one person found depressing in one book, another found exhilarating; what I may have dismissed as unimportant, another person really connected with. So I came to see both books in a new light.

Later in the day we discussed our results of the Teaching Perspectives Inventory. This measure was developed to show teachers where they stand within the five teaching perspectives identified: Transmission, Apprenticeship, Developmental, Nurturing and Social Reform. I won’t bore you with the specifics, but I’d love to get a group of our ZSR instructors together to take the test and discuss the results when I return. Taking the inventory is free and it can offer real insights into how we approach teaching and where the disconnects are between what we believe about teaching and what we actually do in the classroom. It was a fascinating discussion and one I’ll be mulling over for some time to come.

One of the goals of the week is to begin to develop our own teaching philosophy statement so I will close here and begin my work on that. Tonight we have a movie and tomorrow it’s another all day set of discussions and activities beginning at 7:30am and ending at 9:30pm. What I find really nice is to have the time to really reflect about the part of my job that brings me the most joy and satisfaction, but the part that I find I don’t spend enough time really thinking about. It’s also very invigorating to be around colleagues that do what you do on a daily basis. I’ve already shared stories and gotten inspiration from the folks I’ve met.

The fact that it is 70 degrees, sunny with a nice breeze doesn’t hurt, either. San Diego has it made in terms of weather!!

More ALA from Wanda

Monday, July 28, 2008 10:57 am

“Counting Opinions” (CO) is an instantaneous, continuous customer feedback system designed specifically for libraries. It provides libraries with innovative, comprehensive, cost-effective ways to measure and manage their customer satisfaction and performance data, including open-ended customer feedback, trends, benchmarks, outcomes and peer comparisons. ZSR Library has just become a beta partner for the product. Susan, Lauren P. and Kevin are soon to be in product install mode. To learn more about the product, I attended the CO Users group meeting held during ALA this past June. I must admit they had me when the discussion began comparing feedback forms and how they are distributed or left lying on the counter and how we hope someone will take one complete and return it. Mounted on our website, the CO survey lets the patron know continuously how interested you are in hearing their opinions. Patrons are prompted at random times to take a survey or offer input on a particular topic. You can create categories such as staff, services, facility and collections. The categories are created by each individual library. Feedback reports are available and searchable by categories. You have the ability to create notes, clarify comments, or track what you did in response to a comment or suggestion. You can tag comments by categories and rank them as positive, neutral etc. The feedback can be ranked as either high or low priority. However you can’t deliver a response to an individual because the survey is anonymous. I think CO will be good for us!

With all the focus lately on ergonomic assessment, the LAMA sponsored session entitled “Ergonomics in Libraries: Human –Centered Design for library Facilities” was of particular interest to me. Ergonomists seek to apply the knowledge about human capabilities and limitations to the design of facilities, workstations, equipment, tools and job. The design of our work space and the furniture we use affects our health, our safety and our productivity. How can we best manage all of these factors? Is it possible for workers and planners to speak the same language? Then, how can we afford to implement and redesign our workspaces? These are questions that all of participants in the audience seemed to be seeking answers for. The primary goal of human-centered design is to develop a workspace that “fits” the worker. Conducting a task analysis to understand current process and risks is essential to the evaluation. Here at ZSR, I think we would benefit from a refreshers course on ergonomic do’s and don’ts. I also believe it a good idea to incorporate some ergonomic training within our student orientation. Here’s a summary of some of the known activities that increase pain and the likelihood of injury:

• Handling heavy books 32%
• High repetitions 25%
• Using computers 18%
• Shelving books 18%
• Handling books co tenuously for more than 2 hours 15%

In June I was appointed for a two year commitment to the ALA Advocacy Committee. We held our first inaugural meeting during ALA even though our committee didn’t become official until the close of the 2008 conference. During our first meeting we spent much of the day deciding on a definition for advocacy. Here’s what surfaced: “turning passive support into educated action” or in other words, empowering people to take action on behalf of their libraries. Our committee’s charge is to support the efforts of advocates for all types of libraries; to develop resources, networks and training materials. I just may come looking for ideas so feel free to share any thoughts you may have on advocacy initiatives for today’s libraries. — Wanda

Leather Book Repair Workshop

Monday, July 28, 2008 10:04 am
Conservators toolkitA canvas roll of tools used for book repair

What is the most preferred kind of leather for bookbinding? How do you quickly and easily attach loose boards to a leather volume? What adhesive is most useful for leather book repair applications? Is there an easy way to pare leather without doing it all by hand? These and many other questions were answered for a group of 7 preservationists from across North Carolina last week.On Thursday and Friday, July 24-25, a Leather Repair Workshop was held in the ZSR Preservation Lab. The workshop presenter was Jim Hinz, a Book Conservator at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia. The workshop was sponsored by the North Carolina Preservation Consortium, and was attended by preservationists from NC State, UNC-CH Medical Sciences Library, ECU, UNC-G and Duke. Because of bad weather, the workshop started late because Jim’s flight was canceled. By the time he arrived, however, everyone was more than ready to begin.

Jim began by discussing how leather has been processed and tanned over time, and how light, humidity and temperature fluctuations break leather down. Jim described how, over time, the processing of leather was better or poorer based on market demands and other factors. Today, leather is largely processed by a vegetable tanning process that makes it safe and stable. We then began a demonstration on “tacketing” – a process where a loose board (or cover) is re-attached to the book by sewing through a few locations along the shoulder of the book. This repair is a quick and easy way to the many loose covers of leather-bound books back where they belong. We also toned some Japanese paper with acrylic pigments and let them dry. These strips of paper were toned to match the color of the book’s cover and would be used to repair the broken joint on the outside of the book.

The second day of the workshop began with a discussion of how to hide the repair of the tackets with Japanese paper. We also tore pieces of the toned Japanese paper we had made the day before and covered the broken joint along the outside of the book. The paper blended perfectly because it was toned to the color of the book’s leather and it was a very light weight paper (Tengugo). We then discussed sharpening a paring knife using a sharpening stick (made from laminated board and sandpaper), oil or water stones, emery paper, or a leather strop. Jim demonstrated some sharpening techniques for the class. Following this, we examined various types and colors of leather-mostly calf and goat skins. Jim pointed out the grain and texture differences to the class. The next step was to prepare a book to be re-backed with leather. Starting with a suitable book, Jim lifted a layer of the boards on each side to allow the leather re-back to be inserted. He then applied heavy cord across the spine to simulate raised bands. We were then treated to a leather dyeing demonstration using leather dyes and fixative. Following this, Jim cut a piece of leather for the spine of the book and began paring it. He used a paring knife to pare the edges of the spine piece. The larger areas were pared using a paring machine which pared the leather to a thickness that would be very flexible as the book covers were opened and closed. Everyone got a chance to practice paring using the machine, paring knife and a sanding stick. The leather was then dampened and applied to the spine of the book where Jim expertly turned in the head and tail of the new spine and inserted the edges into the splits in the board. Jim then used a bone folder to reinforce the raised bands along the spine, and tied linen thread over each raised band to dry. The result was beautiful.

The answers to the questions in the first paragraph? goat; tacketing; PVA; and Scharf-Fix Paring Machine.

This workshop was packed with great information that frankly is just too hard to find. for some reason, these repair techniques are kept hidden in the conservator’s world and only trickles out when a knowledgeable and open-minded person like Jim Hinz comes along. I learned so much-not just information, but stiff I can use in my job from now on. That, my friends is invaluable! Another benefit from this workshop was spending 2 days with colleagues across the state who share similar jobs and concerns. I’m hopeful we’ll all be able to collaborate together again soon.

NCSLA Web 2.0 Roundtable

Friday, July 25, 2008 3:45 pm

The NCSLA Web 2.0 Roundtable held July 24 at the National Humanities Center at Research Triangle Park offered an informative round of musical tables. Seven roundtables covered blogs & wikis, Facebook & LinkedIn, RSS & News Feeds, Podcasting, Library Thing, SLA’s Course on 23 Things, and & Flickr. Some 50-plus attendees got to choose four 30-minute sessions, and as sessions drew to a close we could be seen eying the next sought-after table and assessing the most expeditious route for getting there in time to obtain a seat.

A variety of libraries were represented there, not only biotech and business, but art, public, and academic as well. The Web 2.0 library applications presented during these brief sessions shared a common (and commonsensical) premise: reach patrons by making library information available in places where people already are spending time.

Karin Shank of the NC Biotechnology Center demonstrated how and Flickr can be exploited in libraryland. Sharing categories of URLs with staff, pooling bookmarks, bundling tags, linking in blogs, and using to view the history of a website with comments submitted by people are all approaches being explored at her library. Using Flickr, Karin showed an interesting art historical application: the digital image of a Renaissance painting, divided up into sections of apparent painterly issues where students would point and click, and then make comments for an art history professor to view and no doubt assess.

John Wilson from NC State laid out blogs and wikis at his table, focusing on “WolfBlogs,” which can be used for both academic and personal purposes. He said that there are not many light users; once converted, people tend to be committed. He showed a wiki set up for a NCSU chemistry course, as well as his reference wiki which permitted him to pull together numerous subject and instructional guides, whether in print or electronic incarnations, and which are now available through a large and growing, interlinked site .

Sheila Devaney of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School (where former ZSR business reference librarian David Ernsthausen still works), addressed Facebook and LinkedIn. She recounted earlier efforts to keep up with students’ preferred modes of communication; however, by the time a library was able to utilize, for example, a palm pilot as a means of connecting with students, they had long since moved on to something else. She saw students managing their lives from Facebook, using it extensively for communication. So she created Facebook profiles in hopes of making it the first window to library services, essentially a PR function. She noted that friends and fans proliferate virally, pointed out that Georgia Tech started a page this Monday, and by Tuesday it had more than 80 friends. Fan pages can be found for ACRL, OCLC, and NCSLA, as well as UNC- Wilmington and the southern Folklife collection at UNC-CH. The Metropolitan has 8000 fans, not a negligible amount! LinkedIn, because of its orientation to the corporate environment, is “pushed” at Kenan-Flagler. Not many libraries use it, but it is another place to get contact information out; headhunters also use it as a way of doing research on people before interviewing potential candidates. It’s one more example of putting things in a form or medium people are actually using. Incidentally, in an aside she noted that NPR’s Carl Kasell solicits wishlists for program guests via his friends and fans on Facebook. Something to consider!

The final brief roundtable I was able to attend was on RSS news feeds, presided over by Erin Iannoacchione who works for Intermune. As a librarian for a biotech firm, she spends hours each day tracking down news stories of interest to her clientele. RSS feeds have simplified her work enormously, since she no longer has to go out and do individual searches on various databases and web sites; the feeds bring the information to her. She specifically recommended to create feeds from web sites that don’t offer any. Like the other four sessions I attended, it was rich in tips and helpful examples.

The National Humanities Center, incidentally, is unique. The only such private, non-profit center of its kind for the humanities, it offers approximately 40 scholars in the humanities a year in which to carry out research. It is not a program for young scholars endeavoring to wrestle a dissertation into a publishable scholarly monograph: generally one has to have already published at least one book. The library director, Eliza Robertson, told me that they provide services ranging from locating online resources, submitting interlibrary loan requests (80% of which are filled by Duke, NC State, and UNC-CH libraries), and assisting in other ways as needed. The WFU English Department’s prolific scholar, Professor Eric Wilson, has been there and gratefully acknowledged the helpful role played by the NHC in enabling him to carry out his research and bring his scholarly projects to completion.

Care of Scrapbooks – Solinet Workshop

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 2:13 pm
Care of Scrapbooks Workshopan example of an old scrapbook

On Wednesday, July 16, Vicki Johnson and I attended a Solinet workshop on the care of scrapbooks. The workshop was presented by Jessica Leming of Solinet Preservation Services. This workshop covered a seldom addressed topic-the deterioration of older scrapbook collections. These scrapbooks take a variety of shapes and forms- ledgers, re-purposed sales catalogs, and bound materials of all kinds. At one time, it was apparently popular to take any bound item and paste your mementos inside as if all the pages were blank.

Jessica covered the general areas of assessment (condition), prevention treatments, housing(what to put a scrapbook in to protect it) and policies.

One of the main issues with preservation of historic scrapbooks is the use of “ground wood pulp paper”-a paper made from unbuffered wood pulp that is very acidic. This kind of paper was used heavily form around 1850-1900 to meet growing demands. Now, this paper is becoming brittle and causing problems. Other issues seen in historic scrapbooks is fading of photographs, staining from glues, binding failure de-lamination, brittle/yellowed cellophane tape, and faded inks.

Solutions for scrapbook preservation include:

* Interleaving of acid-free cotton rag paper-the step insulates each page from the other and can prevent staining and bleed through.
* Enclosures- drop spine or archival boxes can house an entire scrapbook to prevent further deterioration and light damage.

* Treatment

1. stabilization can be attained by mending or storage
2. Reformatting- making a preservation facsimile or a preservation microfilm copy will protect the original item while allowing access to the content.
3. Digitization- another way to allow access to the information of an item while protecting the actual item from handling damage.
4. Disbinding/Preservation- the scrapbook can actually be restored if the money and preservation skills are present

This workshop helped me to be aware of a growing area of preservation needs and the appropriate methods of protecting historic scrapbooks.

Phoebe Kao, librarian from Tianjin, China, visits Preservation

Monday, July 14, 2008 9:20 am
Phoebe KaoPhoebe Kao holds one of the books she made July 11-12, 2008.

On July 11-12, Phoebe Kao, a librarian from Tianjin International School in Tianjin, China (about 2 hours by train from Beijing) visited Craig Fansler and ZSR Preservation for two days of book repair training. Phoebe found out about Craig and the possibility of book repair training via the NCPC web site. Over several months, we were able to arrive at a good time for her to come to Winston-Salem. During her two days in Preservation, Phoebe made two books (a western case bound book and an eastern stab binding), replaced spines, tipped in pages, repaired paper tears with heat-set tissue and also tackled a wide range of other odd repairs. Many times, a repair isn’t as simple as repairing one thing. Most of the time, it is more complex and require several small repairs to the a book back up and running. Phoebe and I spent a good amount of time discussing decision-making. Looking at the damage and thinking about how to repair this damage might require a little more time than the actual repair. Because a repair is only as good as the materials and technique used, this was time well spent. Another area we discussed was materials and supplies and what suppliers were best for different supplies. We also talked about what repair material to use-or not use-for different repairs: this is super important since many folks new to repairing books don;t have the experience to know. We spent a good deal of time on repairing paperbacks, since much of Phoebe’s collection is paper bound.Phoebe and I worked together to make a case bound book. We went through the steps of cutting large sheets of paper, folding them into 3 sheet signatures, sawing holes in the signatures for sewing, sewing the signatures with linen thread, attaching end sheets to the sewn text block, making a case from binders board that was covered with paper, and attaching the text block to the case to create a book. Making a book from “scratch” is always a special experience and I felt Phoebe was very happy with her book. This was a great experience from my viewpoint because I felt I was giving information and knowledge directly to a person who needed it badly. Service is a key value in the profession of librarianship and I felt this was a two day service venture that was profitable for both Phoebe and myself.

-Craig Fansler

Lauren C.’s ALA Annual

Friday, July 11, 2008 4:09 pm

One session I attended had possible practical application for us and is summarized immediately below. Following that are summaries of my committee work, which formed the main focus of the Anaheim conference for me.

“Institutional Repositories: New Roles for Acquisitions”

This was a panel discussion on Monday, June 30, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, with three speakers describing implementation of D-Space, but I did not hear any mention of traditional acquisitions staff playing a new role. It was more about which materials the represented institutions are adding to their repositories (mostly electronic theses and dissertations) and the organization and accessibility of the materials, so to me the focus was more cataloging-oriented. The speakers were: Peter Gorman, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Maureen P. Walsh, Ohio State University; and Terry Owen, University of Maryland.

Peter Gorman (Wisconsin-Madison) discussed the importance of copyright and mentioned using Circular 22 for investigating copyright status and said that the first half is “scary” and the second half is a “good resource.” He mentioned that Stanford has an online database of copyright renewal records and suggested looking at flowcharts from Bromberg & Sunstein LLP and from Cornell.

OSU calls its D-Space implementation “Knowledge Bank” and Maureen Walsh talked about metadata. Knowledge Bank materials are “findable in Google, Google Scholar and DOAR.” OSU has a Metadata Application Profile available on the Knowledge Bank home page and is using only Dublin Core. Maureen emphasized the importance of thinking how your metadata will appear when harvested outside of your institutional repository (IR) and showed an example of how a title didn’t appear in OAIster followed by an illustration of the manipulation of the record in Knowledge Bank to address the problem. She mentioned the problem of browsing by author when there is no authority control and that often the self-entry of keywords by the depositor is simply repetition of words in the title, which is not helpful enough for discovery. She also noted that students doing data entry of metadata make typographical errors that must be corrected. A final step in the workflow is a license agreement for archiving (and a Creative Commons license is an option). The license is attached to the item, but suppressed from public view.

Terry Owen (U. of Maryland) spent some time talking about the embargo period choices that students can make when submitting an electronic thesis or dissertation. This addresses concerns related to publishing an article in a journal or seeking a patent (typically a 1 year embargo is satisfactory for these) or writing a book, where a 6 year embargo is allowed. Six years is the same period of time for faculty to reach tenure. The University of Maryland (UM) uses a dark archive for the embargo but allows access to the record of the item. Using the Closed Collection option would not have worked as well for UM due to the way it would substantially increase the structure of their sub-communities. In a description field, UM adds a note indicating the restricted access and a hotlink to get the date that the document will be out of the embargo.

ALCTS Budget & Finance Committee

This is my first year as the ALCTS Continuing Resources Section Representative to the ALCTS Budget & Finance Committee. I’m learning about the revenue streams (primarily continuing education, publications, and membership dues) and problem areas. The increase in postage resulted in a need to raise subscription prices for Library Resources & Technical Services. Being a section representative to an association committee means double the meetings due to attending meetings for the work of the committee plus attending the executive committee meetings of the section in order to convey information. With ALA’s new proposed schedule changes (again!), sections are discussing the possibility of reducing meetings and shortening the conference.

Acquisitions Managers and Vendors Interest Group

I completed my tenure as co-chair of the ALCTS Acquisitions Section Acquisitions Managers and Vendors Interest Group (IG). This IG has one chair who is a librarian and one who is a vendor. My co-chair, Rick Lugg of R2 Consulting (and formerly of YBP), and I orchestrated 4 panel discussions over the last 2 years and reports are published in the ALCTS Newsletter Online (aka ANO). The report from Anaheim is not yet published but should be available in the August 2008 issue (go to ALA ALCTS homepage and on the right under Online Communication will be a link to the current issue). The topic for Anaheim was the complexity of relationships and levels of expertise now required for interactions between vendors and libraries relative to acquisitions. If interested, please also see the three previous brief panel discussion reports:

Catalog Debate at ALA

Thursday, July 10, 2008 9:05 am

At ALA, I attended several sessions on cataloging and the future of the catalog. The liveliest session was a debate titled “There’s No Catalog Like No Catalog: The Ultimate Debate on the Future of the Library Catalog.” Below are some of the questions Roy Tennant, Senior Program Officer for OCLC Programs and Research, posed to debaters, Stephen Abram, Karen Coyle, Joseph Janes, and Karen G. Schneider as well as the debaters’ responses. The debate has been made available as a podcast on LITA’s blog.

1. What are library catalogs good for and not good for? As expected, views and responses varied. Negative comments included library catalogs are rotten for patrons, they don’t enhance learning, they don’t create good user experiences, and there is no sense of community. The catalog is a dead end repository; it is the beginning of where data starts, but it shouldn’t be the end. One person used the analogy of the old Raid bug spray commercials that it’s a roach motel, lots of easy ways in, but no way out.
One person posed the question with the catalog as an inventory manager, should it be helpful to users as a tool? It is this for library staff, but maybe something else is needed for our users. We should be trying to figure new ways to get users what they really want, not what we have in our collection that may or may not meet their information needs.
Another comment made was that we were better off with the card catalog. If one failed, one could turn around and get help. If one’s in the middle of nowhere using a digital library, getting help is not necessarily an option; there maybe nowhere obvious to go.
Start with Wikipedia or Google even though libraries have these enshrinements of what they own.
The catalog is an 18th century metaphor. How can it be stretched to fit the 21st century meaning.
2. Could one big catalog do it for everyone (i.e. World Cat)? Some of the comments generated by this question included that’s nonsense to libraries shouldn’t be place oriented, but information oriented. Making a catalog bigger doesn’t necessarily make it more desirable. Libraries have to let people do things with data even though we may not like it. Free the data; stop locking it up in arcane proprietors. There was two opinions about World Cat expressed; one, it is not a catalog, but a registry file for data, and two, it is so a catalog.
Google is taking catalogers and they’re making information usable as opposed to catalogers taking information and making it useful for OPACs. A new set of ideas is needed to connect people in a thoughtful way with the resources they want, and the MARC record may be incapable of doing this. Librarians should ask themselves is what they are doing serve us today? Give up the idea of a system and sameness; look towards experimentation. We need to bust data out of silo and move seamlessly across a data network. The usability and value of local enhancements added to a catalog record, are they worth the time and cost?
Any transition must make sense to librarians and our users. Some of our users are proficient at using our systems. Because we are hemmed in by past traditions, change may annoy some of our users/supporters and thrill others.
Two questions were posed by one debater; how does a book get better every time it’s read and how does a library get better every time it’s used? This somehow should be traceable without compromising users’ privacy concerns. Catalogs should have something like Netflix cues in them; people add value with personal comments and reviews. Libraries need research on where does metadata help users be better discoverers. We are behind in approaches with collecting and using data.
3. Do open source solutions offer a compelling option, either now or in the near-future? Libraries should be helping to design systems they use. Librarians need to look at what open source software does and its quality; it must be good and needs to be auditable.
4. What changes do you see coming in the library software market and how will those changes affect options for libraries? Mergers with ILS vendors was one response.
One person mentioned the economy and budgets. These two factors will affect how people get books in our libraries. With gas at an all time high, purchasing a book on Google for $.99 may become an alternative option for some. With times being tight, this is also when people turn to libraries as an alternative for entertainment; it’s a good opportunity for libraries to shine. Are we going to have a marketing campaign? We should be clear that we’re not the choice for bad times only, but for good times as well.
Print on demand. With the many options of technology, what is the cost in relation to the benefit must be determined. Can libraries quantify the benefit of cataloging? Cost will ultimately show things need to work differently. If ILL costs $30, why not purchase the book on Amazon used books for $5 and ship to the patron?
Libraries need to be statistically literate and evidence-based as opposed to barking dogma said one debater.
5. If you could snap your fingers and do one thing to the current library software market, what would it be? Everything will be open source. Get on cycle of normal technology profession; don’t get behind six generations by not upgrading software.
Separate library management systems without hindering good user services.
Larger library software market; a sense of greater demand may merit major software companies wanting to develop software products for libraries.
Libraries can provide people the intelligence of other users.
Everybody gets their own personal Nancy Pearl.

Some final thoughts expressed included:
1. A tremendous amount of information can be learned by new graduates and the expertise and tradition of those working in trenches.
2. Give up dogma, reanalyze our practices. Some are based on older technologies. If you don’t want to kill dogma at least put it in a kennel long enough to reanalyze practices.
3. Engage with non-librarians who are creating bibliographic records; let them into our environment.
4. Trust our users and make use of them.
5. Marriage of traditional metadata and tagging.
6. Take advantage of leaner times to market what libraries do.

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September 2016
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