Professional Development

Carolyn at 2011 ALA Midwinter in San Diego

Monday, January 17, 2011 10:04 pm

I was very excited about going to Midwinter this year due to its location in warm, sunny San Diego and that I was staying in the same fabulous hotel, the Omni, that Mark and I stayed in while we were there last summer for his microbiology conference.

On Satuday, I attended “Electronic Resources as a Public Service” in which several librarians discussed how e-resources are handled at their individual institutions. At the University of Central Florida’s library, their e-resources team include members from acquisitions, cataloging, public services, and systems. Problems are submitted via an online form and are reported to the team through an RSS feed. They use a wiki to list solutions to commonly reported problems. Montana State University utilizes a librarian-initiated discussion forum to report problems with their e-resources.

After lunch, I attended my committee meeting of the Recruitment and Mentoring Committee of the Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS) of ALCTS. Using the committee’s previous separate mentor and mentee applications in Word, I created a combination mentor/mentee application using Google Docs. I shared this work with my group, and we will begin sending this out soon to CCS members, library listservs, and the cataloging listserv AUTOCAT and begin pairing interested mentors and mentees.

For my last session of the day, I attended the “Will RDA Mean the Death of MARC” panel discussion organized by our very own Steve Kelley. Steve has already summarized this session in his post, so I will move along.

Sunday morning, Molly and I attended the Alexander Street Press Breakfast and heard NPR’s Renee Montagne speak about her international reporting adventures in South Africa and Afghanistan.

Afterwards, I went to the Cataloging Research Interest Group’s program and heard several librarians speak on the research they are currently conducting. Richard Sapon-White of the University of Oregon is researching the impact of subject headings on ETD download at his institution. His study began last October and will continue for six months. Working with 250 titles, some with LCSH and some with only author supplied keywords, he wants to see which titles are downloaded the most and how are people finding their way to the library’s institutional repository (IR). He believes hits are coming through the catalog, Google, and the web as opposed to the actual IR interface. D-Space is collecting download statistics. University of Florida, Gainsville librarian Jimmie Lundgren spoke on the 2010 Year of Cataloging Research, as proclaimed by ALCTS. For 2011, Ms. Lundgren stated that we are still in need of building a cumulative research agenda and evidence base. Karen Snow, Ph.D. candidate and teaching fellow at the University of North Texas, is currently writing her dissertation on the perception of cataloging quality amongst academic libraries’ catalogers. Perceptions vary greatly as well as the definition of quality cataloging. One of the questions she asked librarians in her research was what characteristics of a bibliographic record, including fields and subfields are deemed important. She received 296 responses, and librarians listed the following MARC fields as most important: 245a, 100, 650, 110, 651, 600, 700, 610, 260c, 111/710. After hearing these speakers, I am inspired to probe the cataloging research literature to see if I can find some aspect of my cataloging work that I can research and expound upon.

Madeleine J. Hinkes, Anthropology Professor at San Diego Mesa College, spoke about forensic and biological anthropology at the discussion group of the Anthropology Librarians. At this meeting, I met and spoke with the chair-elect of ANSS and he wants me to become involved with the Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee which posts a monthly report that addresses cataloging issues, subject headings, etc. on the group’s listserv.

On Monday, I attended my final midwinter session in which several libraries discussed their RDA testing and training of staff in their various institutions.

In addition to all the sessions, discussion groups and a committee meeting, I was able to attend some fun events and dinners as well with my traveling companions, Susan, Roz and Molly. The highlight was our trip over to Coronado and sitting on the terrace of the magnificent Hotel del Coronado with my terrific coworkers watching the sunset over the Pacific.

4 Responses to “Carolyn at 2011 ALA Midwinter in San Diego”

  1. Sounds like it was a great trip!

  2. I never really thought about researching the efficacy of cataloged records. What a powerful idea! Let me know if I can help somehow.

  3. Congrats on creating the mentoring form and reporting on a great ALA!

  4. I found that list of most important MARC tags to be really interesting. I’d love to know if facets are heavily used or not in the newer catalog interfaces, like VuFind, particularly for media like DVDs and CDs.


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