Professional Development

During October 2009...

Guild of Bookworkers Standards of Excellence Seminar

Saturday, October 31, 2009 11:39 am

I woke at 4:30 am, arrived at Greensboro PTI in time to see WXII send off the Flight of Honor, checked my bags, went through security and boarded the plane for Philadelphia. The plane left the terminal and the pilot abruptly announced we would be sitting there on the runway in Greensboro for an hour because of delays in Philadelphia. Great luck! But in the end, by some miracle, when I arrived in Philadelphia, I had just enough time to hit the restroom and walk briskly to check-in. I made it just in time for my flight to San Francisco!

The Guild of Bookworkers
is an old organization going back to 1906. Every bookbinding “rock star” is a Guild member. The group is made up of conservators, binders, printers and book artists. Each year, the Guild has a conference with demonstrations by its’ members entitled: Standards of Excellence Seminar. To begin the conference, all the conference attendees were bused to the San Francisco Public Library for a reception and showing of the Guild’s exhibit of books entitled: “Marking Time”.

Marking time exhibit

Todd Pattison binding

Binding by Don Etherington

The first demonstration was by Tatiana Ginsberg. She gave a presentation called “The Tradition of Traditionally Dyed Japanese Papers. Tatiana studied at the University of Iowa Center for the Book and received a Fulbright Research grant to study traditional dyeing in Japan. She demonstrated the steps of brush dyeing using natural dyes which she cooked right in front of us.
Tatiana Ginzberg
The next demonstration was Carolee Campbell, owner of Ninja Press. Carolee has designed, printed and bound all the work from Ninja Press since 1984. She primarily designs books featuring contemporary poetry featuring unique bindings that she prints on her Vandercook letterpress. Carolee discussed her process of designing each book using examples she brought with her.
Ninja Press

Webinar: RDA and OCLC

Friday, October 30, 2009 4:09 pm

On Oct. 30, Leslie attended a webinar hosted by OCLC, detailing OCLC’s preparations for the soon-to-be-released new cataloging rules, RDA (Resource Description and Access), which will succeed AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules), the standard that has been in place for the last 30 or so years.

A poll of webinar attendees, posing the question “How is your institution responding to RDA?”, produced the following responses: 200+ are presently reading material and attending sessions on RDA; 85 are waiting to see how others proceed; 3 are currently changing their cataloging practices; and a small number do not plan to implement RDA.

An attendee asked: Will libraries be forced (by OCLC) to adopt RDA? The answer: No, we can continue to enter data in AACR2 for the forseeable future. The presenters noted that, while RDA has proven controversial in the United States, it has been received more positively in the UK and Australia — prompting OCLC to proceed early with RDA development, to meet the demand of its international clientele.

The planned release date of the RDA online manual is November of 2009 ( In the six months following the manual’s release, a project to test the new rules will be conducted by the three U.S. national libraries (LC, the National Library of Medicine, and the National Agriculture Library). A group of test participants, representing libraries and archives of all types, as well as cataloging agencies (firms that provide cataloging for other institutions), will work with a core set of materials, representing all the major categories, plus other materials usual to the participating institutions, cataloging them in both AACR2 and RDA. Qualitative and quantitative feedback will be solicited, and the test results will be made public. OCLC presenters noted that, since the testers will be working in OCLC’s live production mode, we will see RDA records contributed to OCLC products such as WorldCat.

Catalogers will no doubt already be aware of the planned changes to the MARC21 record format, in preparation for RDA ( OCLC plans to make the new fields, codes, etc. available in Connexion (OCLC’s input interface for catalogers) before the testing period. Connexion users will be alerted in a future Technical Bulletin.

A webinar attendee asked if OCLC would be providing a new data-input template for RDA. While OCLC is currently working on an interface that incorporates RDA’s controlled vocabulary, the presenters noted that participants in the testing project would be working primarily with MARC21 records, and that “most of us will be working with MARC for some time to come.” They recommend that we follow the test reports, and wait for the results, before jumping in and implementing RDA.

A recording of the webinar will be posted on OCLC’s website (

Lauren P. at the South Carolina Library Association Conference

Thursday, October 29, 2009 11:54 pm

This evening I got in from the South Carolina Library Association conference. I spoke there for the College and University Section on “Adapting to a Changing World: Exceptional Services for a New Information Environment.” If you’re interested in the presentation, I posted it over on my blog.

I really enjoy seeing how different library associations work, as well as their conferences. SCLA is an annual conference that is in Columbia, SC every other year. In the years that it’s not in the capitol, it rotates from being on the eastern end of the state and the western end. The conference was a little smaller than NCLA, located in one hotel, but still had a lot of participants and vendors.

I was able to meet with two of the committee members (and Mary Horton!) for dinner the evening before the conference. It was fun to hear about USC (especially since two of my fellow RITS team members went there, and Mary now works there), and to learn a little about how SCLA works. As is often the case when several librarians get together, we found that we’re all facing similar issues.

Earlier in the day, Mary gave me a tour of her new library and part of the USC campus. The library looks fairly small and cozy from outside, but there are five acres of library below ground! There’s also a lovely reflecting pool outside the building.

Today, I spent the morning preparing for and giving the presentation. We were anticipating about 30 people, but one of the organizers said they stopped counting at 60 attendees. You know you have a topic that resonates with folks when they’re willing to sit on the floor! :)

Afterwards, Mary and I continued to catch up a bit, and then we went to a general session luncheon. Award winning Jonathan Green was the speaker, a South Carolinian artist. He was an entertaining speaker, but equally entertaining was the slideshow of his art that ran throughout his presentation. Beautiful work!

After that, I came on back to Winston-Salem to do a little cooking for tomorrow’s RITS retreat. I had a great time at SCLA; catching up with Mary, meeting nice people, having a receptive and big crowd for the presentation, and beautiful fall trees for the drive there and back all contributed to the lovely experience. :) Fun stuff!

On another note, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Library101 project. It was unveiled at Internet Librarian, and I did a little bit of writing for it. If you’re interested, I posted about it over on my blog.

Planning for A Service Disruption- Lyrasis

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 4:45 pm

Scott Adair, Ellen Daugman and I attended a webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 27th from Lyrasis. The title of the class was Planning for a Service Disruption and was taught by Dan Wilson, Associate Director of Access Services and Collection Development at UVA Medical Sciences Library. The key concept of this class was protecting core resources and continuity of core services. Dan likened our work in disaster preparedness to a lighthouse-and said we should think of ourselves as theoretical lighthouses who protect our resources just like a real lighthouse protects ships from running aground.
We completed three risk assessment exercises to try to determine what our key services were in varying emergencies, such as flooding, a power outage and a cyber-terrorism attack. We also spent some time discussing H1N1 and it’s affect on libraries. Few libraries in our group have been affected to any degree either in staffing or services by H1N1.
Dan had several ideas for operating remotely during an emergency including using Skype to deal with patrons. His library uses Skype for this purpose as a remote service desk. The other good idea he offered was establishing a partnership with a fellow library who would serve as your backup. UVA has this relationship with UNC-CH. The way it works is if UVA must shut down, they can use Illiad as a transparent interface for ILL services and UNC-CH can just pick up this service for UVA without patrons realizing it. I think this idea of a “Back up Library” is excellent and one ZSR might consider implementing. Locating a remote server is another idea Mr. Wilson discussed. With a remote server in place, web based services can be continued and this service is “always on”. UVA Medical Science Library has a pocket sized response plan for emergencies- whatever form they take. This plan can be carried easily by library staff and referred to during emergencies.
Our Disaster Committee is in the midst of developing such a plan for service continuity and this webinar was helpful in helping us to realize where we are and giving us ideas we can add to our existing strategy.

Sarah at NCLA

Saturday, October 24, 2009 2:36 pm

On Wednesday, Oct. 7th, I attended the North Carolina Library Association Conference in Greenville. Keith Michaels Fiels, American Library Association Executive Director, was the keynote speaker at the Opening Session. I won’t rehash the details since Wanda has already summarized his presentation, but I agreed with his comment that “we need to assert our role in education because libraries are the other half of education system.” I also attended the Women’s Issues in Libraries Roundtable luncheon, which featured Linda Carlisle, N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources Secretary, as speaker. The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources includes the State Library, the State Archives, Historic Sites, History Museums, the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the North Carolina Museum of Art. She made a good point that “Libraries are important to the health and vitality of a community.” Also, Bryna Coonin from East Carolina University was a recipient of the Marilyn Miller Award for Professional Commitment of the Women’s Issues in Libraries Roundtable. I had served with Bryna Coonin on the Association of College & Research Libraries-Science & Technology Section (ACRL-STS) Research Committee, and it was great to see her win the award.

Triangle Alliance for Response Forum, NC Museum of Art, Raleigh

Friday, October 23, 2009 8:33 pm

Raleigh Fire Chief John McGrath
This forum was organized by Heritage Preservation to organize community groups to respond to disasters. First responders and cultural preservation groups from federal, state and local entities joined in the forum. This was the first such forum in North Carolina and focused on responders in the Triangle area. It was good to see fellow Preservation Librarians Andy Hart(UNC-CH) and Winston Atkins(Duke) before the event. During the morning break, I met with Alix Bentrud, Preservation Services Librarian for Lyrasis. She and I had corresponded about developing the ZSR Continuity of Operations Plan. We discussed our plan and what ZSR is trying to accomplish. Alix is mulling over the idea of a Lyrasis class on this topic, so I passed a copy of our template along to her. This was a good contact and discussion. Each presenter had only 15 minutes- so it was quick and dirty disaster preparedness all day.

Robert James, Executive Director of the NC Preservation Consortium led off welcoming everyone and thanking Heritage Preservation for their sponsorship. Larry Wheeler, Director of the NC Museum of Art also welcomed the crowd and talked about the new NC Museum of Art building (opening in April, 2010).
David Brook, Director, Division of Historical Resources, presented on “Why Protect Cultural Heritage?” He gave an overview of our cultural resources-their value and the threats to them.

Dr. Marty Matthews, Curator of Research, NC Historic Resources presented on “Triangle Cultural and Historical Treasures.” This was a quick summary of cultural resources in libraries, archives, museums, monuments, and State Historic sites in the Triangle.
Jane Long, VP of Emergency Programs, Heritage Preservation presented on ‘Risks and Response: How Emergency Systems Work.” The Alliance for Response initiative was formed to bring together cultural and emergency professionals before disasters occur. These meetings have been held in 9 cities since 2003. It consists of educational programs and training, and networks and policies are developed- (listservs, alert systems and contact systems).

Joshua Creighton, Dir. Wake Co. Emergency Mgt. and John McGrath, Chief Raleigh Fire Dept. presented on “How Emergency Systems Work.” Creighton spoke on threats- natural, technological and man-made; how you must evaluate your threats, and reduce risks to threats and overcome vulnerability. He said we must work with local responders. Chief McGrath spoke about the incident command system during a response to an emergency. He made the same point Creighton did: You have a place at the table during the emergency by interacting with the liaison officer. You should identify yourself to the scene commander, account for all personnel and mechanical operations. After the emergency, those with subject matter expertise must help establish salvage priorities. The Fire Dept. actually provides equipment-including breathing apparatus to allow trained staff into the structure for recovery.

April Cummings, Environmental Historic Team lead-FEMA presented on the federal response to a disaster. FEMA provides individual and public assistance and hazard mitigation after a disaster is declared. Assistance, insurance, disaster, housing assistance, and small business loans are provided. The National Historic Preservation Act takes into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. FEMA funding for historic sites- reviews the scope of the work, and determines eligibility prior to work beginning. Have a disaster place in place to minimize damage and coordinate response.

Martha Battle Jackson, Curator, NC Historic Sites, presented on” Disaster Team Roles.” She reviewed the ideas of Preparedness(ready at all times, prepare in advance, stockpiling equipment, practicing); Response (fac. Mgt, communication, security, data collection-photographing the recovery process, logging the images, etc. ) and Salvage (review functions, sorting, recording, packing, develop a tracking system).

Bill Gentry, Program Director, Community Preparedness and Disaster Management School of Public Health, UNC-CH presented on “Health and Safety following a Disaster.” He urged us to follow safety personnel after a disaster-do not assume the building is safe, use common sense. Hazards can be electrical, structural, mold, hydration for workers, air pollution/residue, mental health concerns and stress.

Elaine Wathen, Asst. Director, Information and Planning, NC Emergency Management presented on preparedness training. The NCEM provides training: exercises, elaborate discussions, or full scale role playing in a scenario.

Sarah Koonts, Head of Collection Management, NC State Archives presented on bringing people together to protect our vital records and archival treasures. Preparation before a disaster is key and helps during an actual disaster. Council of State Archivists took the lead role in planning how to protect vital records after Katrina and developed new methods and procedures. IPER-developed after Katrina, is web based training and support.

Darryl Aspey, NC Protective Security Agent, Department of Homeland Security presented on strengthening the infrastructure of the state against threats. Homeland Security has developed the National Infrastructure Protection Plan to detect threats, mitigate outcomes and recover. Their plans include protection plans for water, dams, monuments, state and federal facilities, etc. Protective Community Advisors advise local communities.

Carolyn Freitag, Emergency Management Assistance CompaCoordinator (EMAC) presented on mutual aid agreements in NC. All 100 counties have signed agreements supporting aid and assistance among local governments. EMAC is a national agreement developed after Hurricane Andrew. It facilitates efficient sharing of resources between member states during times of disaster or emergency. This is done with response teams.

David Goist, a professional conservator presented on model networks for cooperation and response. He introduced AIC Collections Emergency Response Team (CERT). This group advises on disasters.

Frank Thomson, Curator, Asheville Museum of Art and Andy Hart, Preservation Librarian, UNC-CH, discussed their networks: MACREN(Mountain Area Cultural Resources Emergency Network) and the Triangle Research Libraries Network Disaster Team. These networks respond to emergencies in their areas to recover cultural materials.

It was a day that covered so much, it was hard to absorb it all. The concept of a response team is a great one and I hope the Triangle area is successful in establishing a team.

LSAT Outreach Grant -Day 2- Digitization- Pilot Training

Thursday, October 22, 2009 11:55 am

Giz teaches digitization

LSAT Outreach Grant -Day 2- Digitization- Pilot Training

The session today concentrated on digitization. Giz and Audra taught the basics of digitization, along with lots of discussion with the group. Each group has unique materials and needs, so the questions help them sort out their individual questions.

Giz taught Image and Slide Scanning, and Digitizing Video
• Reasons for digitization- fragility, providing access to rare materials
• Equipment description, problems associated with digitizing video/audio-file size, resolution
• Scanning photos on the large bed scanner- resolution of images and what resolution to use for each application: web (100 dpi), print (300 dpi), etc. File formats: jpg, tiff, gif, etc.
• Scanning and saving images onto the computer and saving to external devices
• Scanning slides- file size, resolution, etc.
• Digitizing video- demonstrating EZ Video Converter and the digitization process, saving the file as an mp3
• Using Audacity to edit and digitize audio

Audra taught using Youtube to upload video, Flickr to upload images, and Scrbd for documents.

The group all appreciated the sessions and seemed optimistic about their future projects.

LSTA Outreach Grant: Preserving Forsyth’s Past-Pilot Training

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 5:31 pm

Teaching Preservation Concepts

After weeks of planning, the first session of the pilot program for the LSTA Outreach grant was held today.
Giz Womack, Audra Eagle (FCPL) and Craig Fansler are leading a 2-day program which covers preservation concepts, hands-on training and digitization. There were participants from the Forsyth County Public Library and YWCA (both men!).

The morning session covered the basic tenets of preservation:
o Why preservation is important (with focus on light/RH/pests/mold/acidity)
o Preservation terms/concepts
o Environment
o Inventorying
o Organization
o Preservation assessment
o Storage

The afternoon session convened in the Preservation Lab and covered hands-on training: tipping in loose pages, heat set tissue repairs to torn pages, paperback book repairs and storage (enclosures, envelopes, sleeves, boxes).

Kathleen Wheeless, Reference Supervisor from FCPL then spoke on grants and their new Nonprofit Resource Center. It was a full day, and the classes seemed to be helpful to all the attendees. Tomorrow, Giz and Audra teach digitization of photographs, video and audio. When the kinks are ironed out after the pilot phase, four classes will be offered to the public in Forsyth County. The first public session will be held on November 21.

H1N1 and the Library Response, ACRL Online Chat

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 3:09 pm

On Tuesday, October 20th, I sat in on an online chat from ACRL. The topic was H1N1 and how libraries are responding to this issue. The chat was led by Marcia Thomas, Director of Collections & Technical Services, Illinois Wesleyan University and Meg Miner, University Archivist & Special Collections Librarian, Illinois Wesleyan University. Lots of the attendees were from schools in Florida, but also Oberlin, SUNY-Albany, Univ. of N. Texas. This was an informal Q&A session-the leaders asked general questions a the 10 or so attendees answered in piecemeal fashion.

As to the issues we covered:

• They asked how many people had H1N1 in their workplace-I mentioned the occurrences here and our Continuity of Operations plan development.
• Lots of schools had issues- not enough vaccine at some. Many universities had H1N1 sites at their university. I mentioned Wake Forest’s site.
• Some universities had H1N1 plans-but one other university left their library out of the plan
• H1N1 Plans on the website?-most said yes
• Extra measures- hand sanitizer, cleaning, hand washing encouraged, signs, staff encouraged to stay home
• Reports of more hand washing, sanitizing, etc by students
• Some actually referred students to health services
• Most students seem to be aware of healthy practices
• The idea was put forward of the library as a refuge if everyone else went home
• Some thought that the library is one of the places on campus that people look to for help
• Most libraries are developing H1N1 plans

I got the distinct feeling the libraries on campuses across the country are often taking the lead on these health related issues. That said, I think ZSR is at the forefront of the current health crisis planing how to continue operations if we have a full or partial campus shut down.

Leslie at SEMLA 09

Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:33 am

I’m back from this year’s annual meeting of the Southeast Music Library Association, held Oct. 8-10 in New Orleans, hosted by Loyola and Tulane Universities. Highlights of the program included a visit to Tulane’s famed Hogan Jazz Archive, and a tour of Tulane’s main music library, which during Katrina was submerged under 8 1/2 feet of water. After a 3-year restoration project by the Belfor firm, and donations from other libraries, our Tulane colleagues have a large portion of their music collection back, albeit now housed in much more cramped quarters.

Presentations this year showcased excellent historical research on the music of New Orleans and the South. This year’s meeting was a joint one with TMLA, and we enjoyed getting to know our colleagues from Texas better. I was able to do other productive networking, including querying my music colleagues about faculty-status systems at their schools.

And, four years after Katrina, librarians are still remembered in New Orleans as the first group to hold their convention there after the storm. When a colleague’s taxi driver learned she was a librarian, he recalled the ALA meeting and repeated the refrain many ALA’ers will remember: “You’ll never know how much that meant to us…”

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