Professional Development

Author Archive

2014 ALA Annual in Las Vegas

Monday, July 7, 2014 4:31 pm

This year’s ALA Annual meeting marked my first visit to the very hot, colorful, and sensory-overloaded city of Las Vegas. After arriving Friday afternoon, I headed to the Las Vegas Hotel to attend an OLAC (Online Audiovisual Catalogers) meeting to hear about the upcoming publication of best practices for DVD-Blu ray cataloging. While I have yet to catalog many Blu-ray discs, I know this information will come in handy the next time I do so. Afterwards, I met up with Hu at the convention center to hear Jane McGonigal, game designer and opening keynote speaker, talk about the power and positive aspects of games/gaming. I am really excited about the prospect of working with Hu in hosting McGonigal’s game creation, “Find the Future”, at ZSR. Following the talk, Hu and I attended the ANSS social at Tamba Indian Cuisine.

On Saturday, I attended a session on international developments in library linked data that featured a panel of 3 speakers: Richard Wallis, Technology Evangelist at OCLC; Jodi Schneider of the Centre de Recherche, and Neil Wilson, Head of Collection Metadata at the British Library. Linked data is a popular conference topic and one that I need to study more in depth. Per, Mr. Wallis discussed the importance of using structured data on the web using markup as seen on schema.org. Schema.org tries to infer meaning from strings of data. In April 2014, WorldCat Entities was released. It is a database of 197+ million linked Work descriptions (i.e. a high-level description of a resource that contains information such as author, name, descriptions, subjects, etc., common to all editions of a work) and URIs (uniform resource identifier). Linked data:

  • takes one across the web and is navigated by a graph of knowledge
  • is standard on the web
  • identifies and links resources on the web
  • is a technology (i.e. entity based data architecture powered by linked data).

Wallis used the phrase “syndication of libraries.” Unlike the web, libraries don’t want to sell stuff, we want people to use our stuff. Libraries’ information is aggregated to a central site (e.g. National Library, consortia, WorldCat) and the details are then published to syndicate partners (e.g. Google). Syndication moves to linking users back directly to libraries. Individual libraries publish resource data. Utilizing linked data from authoritative hubs (e.g. Library of Congress, WorldCat Works, VIAF) in our records assists in the discovery of these resources as it makes them recognizable and identifiable on the web. Users will then be referred to available library resources.

What can libraries/librarians do in the area of linked data?

  1. Contribute to WorldCat.
  2. Apply schema.org across one’s library’s web site.
  3. Select systems that will link to entities on the web. We are “on the cusp of a wave”, says Wallis.
  4. Add URIs to cataloging records. The web will aggregate like information.

Jodi Schneider’s talk focused on linked data developments from Europe (i.e. Belgium, Norway, Ireland and France). The British Library’s Neil Wilson stated that better web integration of library resources increases a libraries’ visibility to new groups which can bring about wider utility and relevance libraries. During the Q&A, an individual posed a question about the stability of URIs, a topic that has come up in a recent ZSR discussion of which I was a part. The panel responded that URI stability depends upon who’s publishing them. An organization does saddle itself with the responsibility of making sure that URIs are persistent. It’s up to the reputation of organizations creating URIs to make sure they remain persistent. Libraries can add authority to URIs. One needs to realize that some outlying sources may go away, and for this very reason, preservation of linked data is becoming an emerging issue.

In addition to the session on linked data, I attended the following sessions:

  • becoming a community-engaged academic library which was co-sponsored by ANSS and EBSS
  • meeting of the ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee which I will be chairing 2014-2015
  • consulting and collaborating with faculty, staff, and students about metadata used in Digital Humanities projects
  • e-book backlogs
  • anthropology librarians discussion group
  • “Quiet Strengths of Introverts”

All in all, it was a great conference. I went to a couple of vendor parties, visited the Hoover Dam in 119 degree heat, and enjoyed a wonderful meal at Oscar’s with my coworkers, but I was very eager to get back home and in a quiet environment.

ALA Midwinter 2014 with Carolyn

Thursday, February 6, 2014 7:35 pm

Unlike last year’s flight out to ALA’s Midwinter meeting, my Friday morning flight to Philadelphia was uneventful, and that plus having Mary Beth as my traveling companion once again was a great thing! On Saturday, I attended ACRL’s Western European Studies Section’s (WESS) because they were sponsoring a romance languages and cataloging issues discussion group. It began with a 45 minute discussion about what RDA means to the non-catalogers of the group and why certain data no longer displays in online catalogs (e.g. |h [GMDs], and publication dates). The conversation next turned to display issues with utilizing Summon in catalogs, and from the statements made, it is apparent that Summon’s performance does not always meet librarians’ expectations (e.g. the language limit function does not always limit properly). One librarian from a university 1 1/2 hours away from WFU piped up and said, “I’m just so tired of being fed the propaganda of Summon.” I chuckled at that one. Following this session, I participated in my committee meeting, the ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee, where we generated a list of cataloging questions and topics for the upcoming months. Some of the questions and topics included: subject headings for social work; how is the relationship between a person or corporate body now labeled in RDA bibliographic records; what is FRSAD; and subject headings for food deserts and community gardening. In the afternoon, I attended the Catalog Management Interest Group where one individual from Kent State spoke about catalog and display issues with RDA implementation at his library. The removal of the GMD (general material designator) that is found in the subfield h of the 245 field (e.g. [videorecording], [microform]) was problematic for both the librarians and public. After writing a letter to Millenium, their ILS vendor, they eventually decided to display a visual icon by each title in a results list that is based on the type of record that is found in a cataloging record’s leader 06 position and the carrier type term found in RDA’s 338 field. I’ve heard comments from ZSR staff that they miss having the GMD display in a results list, especially when looking for a videorecording. At the Catalog Form and Function Interest Group, a librarian from Stephen F. Austin State University talked about her university’s experience utilizing VuFind and Summon together in their catalog. After performing a search in the library’s catalog, results are displayed split-screen style with books and more on one side and articles and more on the other.

Sunday morning at the Alexander Street Press breakfast, I heard psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo speak about his Stanford Prison Experiment which was conducted in 1971 and continues to be one of the most discussed and studied psychological studies today. At the Cataloging and Classification Research Interest Group, a librarian from the University of Central Florida Libraries discussed workflow tips and tricks to add table of contents (TOC) information based on RDA standards to cataloging records. These access points aid record discovery and adds patron value to cataloging records. If one chooses to use publishers’ TOC information on a web site to copy and paste into a record, make sure one compares that to the book in hand. He has found erroneous book chapters listed on the web site that were not listed in the actual book. At the Authority Control Interest Group, Janis Young from the Library of Congress (LC) reported on two big vocabulary developments: LC medium performance terms for music and the LC demographic group terms. The first set of terms is a cooperative effort of the LC and the Subject Access Subcommittee of the Music Library Association. The 802 proposed terms are available on a tentative list, and they will be approved on February 10, 2014. The second set will be used to describe the demographic characteristics of creators and contributors and audiences. New MARC fields 385 and 386 will accommodate audience characteristics and creator/contributor characteristics respectively. These terms will be full faceted and are scheduled for late 2014. My last session of the day was attending the Anthropology Librarians Discussion Group. Dr. Janet Monge of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Anthropology and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, was our guest speaker. Dr. Monge discussed the Open Research Scan Archive (ORSA) with which she has been involved. With the assistance of the local hospital’s CT lab, the museum has scanned over 5200 human and nonhuman specimens of its collection (e.g. objects, bones, mummies) for use by researchers in anthropology, biology, and medicine.

In addition to all the meetings I attended, I did manage time to squeeze in some fun by attending with colleagues two great receptions, one at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and the other at the National Constitution Center. Mary Beth and I also checked out Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, which came highly recommended by Susan Smith, on Sunday during lunchtime.

 

 

 

Carolyn at ALA Annual 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013 9:11 pm

My time at ALA was spent going to sessions on cataloging/technical services along with sessions and a committee meeting sponsored by the Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) of ACRL. Below are recaps of some of the sessions I found most meaningful this ALA.

RDA & Audiovisual Cataloging was the first session I attended at ALA in Chicago. This particular session was sponsored by the ALCTS Copy Cataloging Interest Group. Susan Morris, Special Assistant to the Director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access at Library of Congress (LC), reported about reductions in LC budgets and staff as well as RDA training for copy catalogers. Tricia Mackenzie, Metadata Librarian at George Mason University, explained and presented differences between cataloging AV materials using AACR2 vs. RDA. Ms. Mackenzie stated that the OLAC group (Online Audiovisual Catalogers) is currently working on best practices for DVD cataloging. Additionally, two librarians from Troy University spoke about their experiences cataloging AV materials in RDA for a multi-campus library and maintaining consistency in the process. Procedures were documented using a wiki. RDA training was provided not only to catalogers and acquisitions staff but to staff in public services because they are the ones who interact daily with patrons and will have to explain changes in the way resources are being displayed in the OPAC. Comparison documents of records cataloged in AACR2 and RDA were provided to help explain the differences.

Next-generation Technical Services: Improving Access and Discovery through Collaboration featured speakers from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and from the Orbis Cascade Alliance which is comprised of 37 universities, colleges, and community colleges in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Martha Hruska of UCSD briefly described UC’s ten campus system and its culture. She stated that funding cuts in the last five years averaged 20% and were not expected to be restored. Backlogs in cataloging and archival processing were growing (100,000+ items and 13.5 miles respectively), and for example in 2011, 1.8 trillion GB of data was created. The UC system needed to find a better, more efficient way to make their growing resources more discoverable as well as reduce work redundancy. In response to a question from the audience, the speaker indicated that centralization of services is not practiced in the UC culture, but collaboration is. Collaboration in collection development, technical services, and digital initiatives along with seeking financial and technical infrastructure for collaboration were established as goals by the UC system. Defining cataloging record standards served as the basis for collaborative cataloging work among campuses. Inventoried backlogs and examination of technical services staff members’ expertise helped in the development of a system-wide collections services staff. Building versus acquiring digital asset management systems software was investigated by members of the UC system. To accelerate processing of archival and manuscript collections, the Archivists’ Toolkit was deployed system-wide, minimal collection record specifications were defined, and “more product, less process” practices were implemented. Representatives from the Orbis Cascade Alliance discussed their experience with DDA ebooks collaboration. They identified challenges in the areas of workflow development, staffing, and levels of expertise. Foreign language materials catalogers provided assistance in cataloging select consortial libraries’ foreign language materials, but sustainability in this assistance was found to be problematic. Collaboration is slow and not always the answer. A safe environment is needed to expose one’s ignorance and allows others to query one’s processes.

Studying Ourselves: Libraries and the User Experience panel program was presented by ACRL’s ANSS in collaboration with the University Library Section. The room was packed with attendees. The first speaker was Dr. Andrew Abbott, sociology professor at the University of Chicago, who stated scholars do not use libraries the way librarians think they do or should do. “Aimless behavior” is the term he used, and librarians’ problem is to discover the logic in this behavior. What are the routines and strategies of researchers? Surveys have indicated that observation and interviews do not work, but self ethnography can be a discovery tool. He has taught classes in library methods in the social sciences. Moving away from exercises, the course is about project management, not in how to manage things. Library research is about finding something for which you ought to have been looking. Students are good at finding things, but they don’t know what to ignore. No student’s research project ends up being about the thing in which they came into the library to research initially. We (i.e. librarians) need to figure out how we do research in order to teach others. We should ethnographize ourselves and keep an accurate documented account of our habits. Expert library users don’t have an idea of how they do what they do. Having to think about and document our own processes would greatly assist in our teaching students how to conduct research and become expert researchers themselves. In 2011, Dr. Abbott published the article “Library research infrastructure for humanistic and social scientific scholarship in the twentieth century,” in Social Knowledge in the Making, Charles Camic et al., eds., University of Chicago Press.

Dr. Andrew Asher, Assessment Librarian at Indiana University, Bloomington, began his talk discussing how anthropological studies in libraries have expanded over the last several years. With most of the research being conducted in the 70′s, few books have been published on the studies of college students. Titles mentioned included:

  • Coming of Age in New Jersey: College and American Culture (1989) by Michael Moffatt
  • Educated in Romance: Women, Achievement, and College Culture (1990) by Dorothy Holland & Margaret Eisenhart
  • My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student (2005) by Rebekah Nathan
  • My Word! Plagiarism and College Culture (2009) by Susan Blum
  • Studying Students: the Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester (2007) edited by Nancy Foster and Susan Gibbons

And yes, ZSR has all in its collection!

Dr. Asher proceeded to discuss the Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries Project (i.e ERIAL Project) that was conducted to determine how students find and use information for their academic assignments and to determine the social context of these assignments. Dr. Asher holds a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology and was the Lead Research Anthropologist for the project. Methods utilized include interviewing, observation, visual, and mapping (e.g. time use, drawing library maps). Filmed interviews were conducted for a research process assignment and revealed things that would likely not be assessed in an information literacy test. To discover the context of why people come to the library and spaces where they did work, students were asked to keep mapping diaries. Using a six-minute time frame, cognitive maps were drawn by students using three different colors of ink (red, blue, and green) with changes in ink color every two minutes. From the drawings it was discovered that librarians were invisible; students did not know where the librarians’ offices were located. In addition, books often didn’t appear in the maps, Books appeared to be secondary to other functions which the library serves. The library was seen as a social space. Results of the study were published in 2011 by the American Library Association in College Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know, edited by Dr. Asher and Lynda Duke. ZSR has this title too! A toolkit for doing an ethnographic research project in one’s library is available on the ERIAL Project web site.

Diane Wahl, User Experience Librarian at the University of North Texas, headed up an ethnographic research study at her university. She attended a CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) workshop conducted by Nancy Foster from the University of Rochester. She stated there was no charge for the workshop; her only expense was for travel. Following the workshop, Ms. Wahl reached out to her universities anthropology and sociology departments’ faculty because they are always looking for projects in which their students can be involved. Review of LibQual responses from dissatisfied online students, graduate students, and new faculty provided a starting point for the research study. Recruitment for student researchers was handled through various channels (i.e. Blackboard, announcements to faculty). Some faculty gave extra credit for participating students. Methods utilized in the study included observations, focus groups and interviews. The sampling of individuals studied was one of convenience and purposeful; Ms. Wahl specifically wanted to hear from a specific segment of the university student population. Challenges encountered during the study included time zones, non-traditional student schedules, and technology. From the data collected, she found that students wanted access to library services through Blackboard. Additionally from the perspectives shared by students with disabilities, the library now has a disability training awareness program for library employees along with a brochure listing available services for library users with disabilities.

This particular session was the most interesting of the ones I attended at this ALA. I now have several books to add to my professional reading list. One more thing to add about the greatness of this session, a Good Humor ice cream freezer with various treats was provided to attendees, and my favorite Good Humor treat was available: the Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bar. Yum yum!

 

 

 

Carolyn at ALA Midwinter 2013 in Seattle

Monday, February 18, 2013 9:29 pm

Eight days prior to flying out to ALA Midwinter with my coworkers, I sat in a medical examination room being told by a doctor that I did indeed had the flu as well as now having pneumonia based on my chest x-ray. When asked about traveling to Seattle, her response was as long as you feel up to it there’s no reason why you can’t go. A week later feeling somewhat better, I was on the plane and my nightmarish trip to Seattle is one I won’t soon forget!

Boarding plane in GSO at 6 am Friday, Jan. 25…sitting on a grounded plane in GSO for close to an hour due to a wiring issue…running through the Atlanta airport to catch a connecting flight….missing my connecting flight to Seattle…coughing fits…being put on standby multiple times and waiting for my name to be called along with Mary Beth’s…more coughing…finally leaving ATL around 6 pm. I am very grateful to have had Mary Beth with me. She was a wonderful traveling companion and stayed with me even though she had an opportunity to get a seat on a 2:30 pm standby, and she also scored us some dinner vouchers as well. We finally got to our destination around 8:30 pm, and I was exhausted.

On Saturday, I attended the ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee of which I am co-chair. The committee developed a list of cataloging questions and topics to be answered in the upcoming months. Questions and topics include: treatment of sexual minorities, alternative genders, and queer studies in subject headings; implementation of RDA bibliographic records; what is FRAD and FRSAD; subject headings of the form “Psychology & …”; ethnomusicology. In the afternoon, I attended the Catalog Management Interest Group where panelists discussed gaining control of e-resources cataloging and using Google Refine for clean-up and reuse of one’s cataloging data when working on special cataloging projects. During the MARC Formats Transition Interest Group, OCLC’s Roy Tennant spoke on the problems with MARC’s 856 field (Electronic Location/Access). Does the URL in the 856 actually lead a user to the full text of an item? Public notes and materials specified are included subfields z and 3 respectively, but there are multiple of ways to indicate something is full text. Users need a clear understanding if something is full text and if it is accessible to all (i.e. access vs. gated access).

Sunday morning, I heard Dr. Temple Grandin speak at the Alexander Street Press breakfast. After seeing actress Claire Danes portray her in a movie, I was excited to hear her speak. She is an amazing individual. Following breakfast, I attended a discussion group on digital humanities (DH). Recently, I have been hearing this phrase used often, and I wanted to learn more about it. We broke into small groups to discuss what our individual institutions are doing. Some of the issues brought up in my group included:

  • support provided to faculty and how much support–how much should be invested in a professor’s research interest when there is the chance he/she may retire or move on
  • is there a faculty need or is it administrative posturing
  • what alliances are there on campus
  • more staff are needed to handle DH if there is a huge interest from faculty
  • retraining for librarians due to a lack of specific skills in this area; skills may not be applicable or transferable from one project to another–There was a current library school student in my group who said there were no DH classes in her school’s curriculum. However, she was taking classes in XML, linked data, relational database, metadata design.
  • space vs. service
  • what is DH’s definition–no real consensus on this
  • various models–who is doing the actual work

Monday morning I attended the Publisher/Vendor/Library Relations Interest Group Forum where a group of panelists discussed enhanced e-books. Enhanced e-books have additional content that comes bundled with the e-book (e.g. videos, slide shows, skills assessments). These add-ons can be delivered separately or integrated into core texts.

Despite all the coughing and feeling tired more quickly than usual, I did have a nice time in Seattle, but I was very glad to get back home to NC and grateful that the flight home was uneventful and trouble free.

Carolyn at ALA Annual 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012 7:29 pm

Early Saturday morning, I attended a 4 hour panel discussion on linked data (LD) and next generation catalogs. I wanted to gain a better understanding of what exactly linked data is since that term is batted about frequently in the literature. I will try to explain it to the best of my ability, but I still have much to learn. So here it goes.

Uniform resource identifiers (URI) is a string of characters used to identify names for “things”. Specifically, HTTP URIs should be used so that people are able to look up those names. Useful information should be provided with URIs, as well as, links to other URIs so that individuals can discover even more useful things.Per Corey Harper, NYU’s Metadata Services Librarian, we need to start thinking about metadata as a graph instead of string based as is most of our data currently. Typed “things” are named by URIs, and relationships between “things” are also built on URIs. LD allows users to move back and forth between information sources where the focus is on identification rather than description.

Mr. Harper provided several examples of LD sites available on the Web, some of which individuals and institutions may contribute data. Google owned Freebase is a community curated collection of RDF data of about 21 million “things”. Freebase provides a link to Google Refine that allows individuals to dump their metadata, clean it up, and then link it back to Freebase. Thinkbase displays the contents of Freebase utilizing mindmap to explore millions of interconnected topics.

Phil Schreur, who is the head of the Metadata Department for Stanford University libraries, talked about shattering the catalog, freeing the data, and linking the pieces. Today’s library catalogs are experiencing increased stressors such as:

  • Pressure to be inclusive–the more is better approach as seen with Google
  • Loss of cataloging–the acceptance and use of vendor bulk records; by genericizing our catalogs, we are weakening our ties to our user/collection community
  • Variations in metadata quality
  • Supplementary data–should the catalog just be an endless supply of links
  • Bibliographic records–catalogers spend lots of time tinkering with them
  • Need for a relational database for discovery–catalogs are domain silos that are unlinked to anything else
  • Missing or hidden metadata–universities are data creation powerhouses (e.g. reading lists, course descriptions, student research/data sets, faculty collaborations/lectures); these are often left out of catalog, and it would be costly to include them

Linked open data is the solution along with some reasons why:

  • It puts information on the Web and eliminates Google as our users’ first choice
  • Expands discoverability
  • Opens opportunities for creative innovation
  • Continuous improvement of data
  • Creates a store of machine-actionable data–semantic meaning in MARC record is unintelligible to machines
  • Breaks down silos
  • Provides direct access to data based in statements and not in records–less maintenance of catalog records
  • Frees ourselves from a parochial metadata model to a more universal one

Schreur proceeded to discuss 4 paradigm shifts involving data.

  1. Data is something that is shared and is built upon, not commodified. Move to open data, not restricted records.
  2. Move from bibliographic records to statements linked by RDF. One can reach into documents at chapter and document level.
  3. Capture data at point of creation. The model of creating individual bibliographic records cannot stand. New means of automated data will need to be developed.
  4. Manage triplestores; not adding more records to catalog. The amount of data is overwhelming. Applications will need to be developed to bring in data.

He closed by stating the notion of authoritative is going to get turned on its head. The Web is already doing that. Sometimes Joe Blow knows more than the national library. This may prove difficult for librarians and catalogers to accept since our work has revolved around authoritative sources and data.

OCLC’s Ted Fons spoke about WorldCat.org”s June 20, 2012 adoption of schema.org descriptive mark-up to its database. Schema.org is a collaboration between Bing, Google, Yahoo, and Russian search index Yandex and is an agreed ontology for harvesting structured data from the web. The reasons behind doing this includes:

  • Makes library data appear more relevant in search engine results
  • Gain position of authority in data modeling in a post-MARC era
  • Promote internal efficiency and new services

Jennifer Bowen, Chair of the eXtensible Catalog Organization, believes LD can help libraries assist and fulfill new roles in the information needs of our users. Scholars want their research to be findable by others, and they want to connect with others. Libraries are being bypassed not only by Google and the Web, but users are also going to tailored desktops, mobile, and Web apps. Libraries need to push their collections to mobile apps and LD allows us to do just that. Hands-on experience with LD to understand its potential and to develop LD best practices is needed. We need to create LD for our local resources (e.g. Institutional Repository) to showcase special collections. Vendors need to be encouraged to implement LD now! Opportunities for creative innovation in digital scholarship and participation can be fostered by utilizing LD.

A tool that will enable libraries to move from its legacy data to LD is needed. The eXtensible Catalog (XC) is open source software for libraries and provides a discovery system and set of tools available for download. It provides a platform for risk-free experimentation with metadata transformation/reuse. RDF/XML, RDFa, and SPARQL are 3 methods of bulk creating metadata. XC converts MARC data to FRBR entities and enables us to produce more meaningful LD. Reasons to use FRBR for LD include:

  • User research shows that users want to see the relationships between resources, etc. Users care about relationships.
  • Allows scholars to create LD statements as part of the scholarly process. Vocabularies are created and managed. Scholars’ works become more discoverable.
  • Augments metadata.

The old model of bibliographic data creation will continue for some time. We are at the beginning of the age of data, and the amount of work is crushing. Skills in cataloging is what is needed in this new age, but a recasting of what we do and use is required. We are no longer the Cataloging Department but the Metadata Department. The tools needed to create data and make libraries’ unique collections available on the Web will change, and catalogers should start caring more about the context and curation of metadata and learning LD vocabulary.

While this was my second visit to Anaheim, CA to attend ALA’s Annual Conference, it was my first time ever presenting at a national conference. On Sunday morning starting at 8 am, Erik Mitchell and I hosted and convened the panel discussion, Current Research on and Use of FRBR in Libraries. The title of our individual presentation was FRBRizing Mark Twain.

We began the session with a quick exploration of some of the metadata issues that libraries are encountering as we explore new models including FRBR and linked open data. Erik and I discussed our research which explored metadata quality issues that arose when we applied the FRBR model to a selected set of records in ZSR’s catalog. The questions to our research were two-fold:

  1. What metadata quality problems arise in application of FRBRization algorithms?
  2. How do computational and expert approaches compare with regards to FRBRization?

So in a nutshell, this is how we did it:

  1. Erik extracted 848 catalog records on books either by or about Mark Twain.
  2. He extracted data from the record set and normalized text keys from elements of the metadata.
  3. Data was written to a spreadsheet and loaded into Google Refine to assist with analysis.
  4. Carolyn grouped records into work-sets and created a matrix of unique identifiers.
  5. Because of metadata variation, Carolyn performed a secondary analysis using book-in-hand approach for 5 titles (approx. 100 books).
  6. Expert review found 410 records grouped in 147 work-sets with 2 or more expressions and 420 records grouped into 420 single expression work sets. Lost/missing or checked out books were not looked at and account for the numbers not adding up to the 848 records in the record set.
  7. Metadata issues encountered included the need to represent whole/part or manifestation to multiple work relationships, metadata inconsistency (i.e. differences in record length, composition, invalid unique identifiers), and determining work boundaries.
  8. Utilizing algorithms, Erik performed a computational assessment to identify and group work-sets.
  9. Computational and expert assessments were compared to each other.

Erik and I were really excited to see that computational techniques were largely as successful as expert techniques. We found, for example, that normalized author/title strings created highly accurate keys for identifying unique works. On the other hand, we also found that MARC metadata did not always contain the metadata needed to identify works entirely. Our detailed findings will be presented at the ASIS&T conference in October. Here are our slides:

Current Research on and Use of FRBR in Libraries

Our other invited speakers included:

  • OCLC’s Chief Scientist Thom Hickey who spoke about clustering at the FRBR entity 1 work level OCLC’s database, which is under 300 million records, and clustering within work-sets by expression using algorithm keys; FRBR algorithm creation and development; and the fall release of GLIMIR which attempts to cluster WorldCat’s records and holdings for the same work at the manifestation level.
  • Kent State’s School of Information and Library Science professors Drs. Athena Salaba and Yin Zhang discussed their IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) funded project, a FRBR prototype catalog. Library of Congress cataloging records were extracted from WorldCat to create a FRBRized catalog. Users were tested to see if they could complete a set of user tasks in the library’s current catalog and in the prototype.
  • Jennifer Bowen, Chair of XC organization and Assistant Dean for Information Management Services at the University of Rochester, demonstrated the XC catalog to the audience. The XC project didn’t set out to see if people liked FRBR, but what are our users trying to do with the catalog’s data. According to Ms. Bowen, libraries are/should be moving away from thinking we know what users need to what do users need to do in their research. How do users keep current in their field? In regards to library data, we need to ask our users, “What would they do with a magic wand?” and continue to ponder “What will the user needs of the future be?

Following our session, I attended a packed room of librarians eager to hear more about Library of Congress’ (LC) Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative (BFI) which is looking to translate the MARC21 format, a 40 year old standard, to a LD model. LC has contracted with Zepheira to help accelerate the launch of BFI. By August/September, an LD working draft will hopefully be ready to present to the broader library community.

Carolyn at 2012 ALA Midwinter in Dallas

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 10:38 am

I realize this posting is somewhat late, but I too traveled to Dallas for ALA’s Midwinter meeting.

My first evening there was spent dining and talking with fellow members of ACRL’s Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) at the Mexican restaurant Sol Irlandes. For me, the ANSS social has always been a fun time, and it’s a great way to meet new people and hear about what’s going on in other academic libraries.

The following day was filled with meetings. Early in the morning, Erik Mitchell and I met with the ALCTS programming committee to discuss the program that he and I are coordinating and will be convening at the 2012 Annual meeting in Anaheim. Our program is a panel discussion that will focus on the current research on and use of FRBR (i.e. Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) in libraries. Later, I attended a meeting of the ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee meeting of which I am a member. The committee developed a list of cataloging topics/questions to be answered in the upcoming months. Some of these topics include: searching for exhibition catalogs on a topic; how authorized forms of authors names are established; implementation of RDA; what is FRBR and FRAD; and subject headings that express social structure, status, or power and subject headings for traditional justice. The committee discussed the possibility of having a virtual meeting before Annual in June as opposed to an in-person meeting. My final meeting of the day was with the Recruiting and Mentoring Committee of ALCTS Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS). Our goal in the upcoming months is to match the individuals who responded to our online application seeking to be a cataloging mentor or mentee for a yearlong one-to-one mentoring experience. Committee members will act as liaisons to will introduce the matches online and following up with them to see how they are doing.

My remaining time at Midwinter was spent attending sessions sponsored by interest and discussion groups. One of the most interesting sessions I attended was a panel discussion sponsored by CaMMS Heads of Cataloging Departments Interest Group. The session’s theme was “Developing Service-Oriented Models for Cataloging and Metadata,” and one of the panel speakers was former WFU colleague Jennifer Roper. One speaker from U. of Texas at Austin described the restructuring of the cataloging and metadata services (CMS) department at her institution. Before the restructuring, individual units (e.g. monographs, serials, music) were responsible for only cataloging their materials, whereas now all units are participating in non-MARC metadata creation. By defining who CMS’ users are helped to prioritize projects, assignments, and responsibilities. Some of the challenges in managing CMS included:

1. Declining budgets and fewer staff — workflows need to be assessed, reassessed and redesigned.

2. Demands in user-centered catalogs (i.e. next-gen catalogs) — software changes are frequent; catalogers need to be involved in the decision-making process of ILS selection.

3. Dealing with increasing digital resources and understanding various non-MARC metadata — this calls for staff training design.

4. Outsourcing — know your staff and assess in-house capability, and always consider our users’ needs.

5. RDA — take a breath and begin planning for it.

Other points/suggestions made by panel members:

1. Develop a culture of assessment (i.e. data driven storytelling); demonstrate a return on investment (ROI) on the work that is done.

2. In regards to digital scholarship, data management collaborations among stakeholders is key to success in building institutional infrastructure for research data.

3. CMS departments need to demonstrate their value and expertise to the university. Public service librarians should not be the only ones involved in university projects. Although this may involve getting out of our comfort zones and taking risks, CMS personnel needs to be represented on task forces and advisory teams for university initiatives and projects.

4. Create a charter of values by department and revisit it periodically.

5. Be visible outside of departments and be vocal participants in conversations about library services.

6. Take a leadership role in the development of user interfaces.

7. Foster a culture of learning, inquiry, and risk-taking –set aside STATS!

8. As new roles are identified and new strategic goals are set, determine if some processes and services can be eliminated.

Carolyn at ALA in New Orleans

Monday, July 4, 2011 4:48 pm

As a member of ACRL’s Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS), I attended several ANSS sponsored events in New Orleans. The ANSS social was held at Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant where I met and dined with other anthropology and sociology librarians. I also went to the Anthropology Discussion Librarians Group where such topics as institutional repositories, open access projects, communications technology for anthropology (i.e. social networks, blogs, etc.), and ordering e-books were discussed. Many of the librarians in attendance stated that while e-books are popular with the students they serve, faculty requests for e-books are not forthcoming. Possible reasons given include some e-books don’t contain graphics and there is a lack of e-book publishing in the discipline. I have really benefited from being a member of ANSS in learning more about the discipline of anthropology, its resources and issues, and networking with other anthropology librarians.

This ALA, I also began my 2-year appointment as a member of the ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee. Each month a committee member answers a different question on cataloging issues (e.g. subject headings, name authorities, etc.) and policies, and a list of new LC subject headings in the social sciences is posted. For October, I will be writing on social tagging, their use, and whether they enhance searching in library catalogs. I am very excited to be on this committee as it is directly related to my primary work responsibility, cataloging, and that it will enhance my work and knowledge as the liaison to Wake’s anthropology department. My fellow committee members seemed excited that I am now a part of this committee as well.

RDA, Cataloging and Classification Research, Value of Grey Literature, and 21st Century Scholarly Communication were some of the other topical ALA sessions that I attended.

“Will RDA Kill MARC?” was the title of a panel discussion put together by ZSR’s Steve Kelley. Panel speakers Karen Coyle and Dianne Hill made some very philosophical and thought-provoking statements as to the benefits for catalogers and the library world to abandon MARC and embrace RDA.

Coyle stated, “RDA is a savior and an opportunity to save library data. We can’t redeem MARC, but we can rescue its content.” She pointed out that MARC contains mixed data, administrative (e.g. OCLC record number) and nonadministrative (e.g. bibliographic fields) and that the rules in MARC are not coordinated with cataloging rules. Some MARC data is in more that one place which demonstrates librarians’ ingenuity of getting around MARC’s inflexible structure by making nonreapeatable fields repeatable. The goal for library data should be data independent of its structure. We should be able to code once and display many times.

In regards to library data, Hill believes, “We need to stop trying to control it all!” We should let others do what they want to our data, but they will not be messing with the data’s integrity.

At the Cataloging and Classification Research Interest Group, UNC SILS professor Jane Greenberg discussed research blitzing as a way to share and motivate cataloging research. Her UNC SILS students meet together in a social setting and each gives a five minute presentation on their research. Afterwards, students are able to dialog with their peers about the research that is currently being conducted in the SILS program.

Because I give a lecture on grey literature in LIB210, I chose to attend the “Grey Literature in the Digital Age” session with speakers Richard Huffine, Director of the Libraries Program at the U.S. Geological Survey and Wayne Strickland of the National Technical Information Service, an agency of the Department of Commerce.

Grey Literature is information produced by government, academics, business, and industries, but it is not controlled by commercial publishing interests and publishing is not the primary activity of the organization.

Today findability is no longer the driving challenge, but reputation is the key. Is the info trustworthy, citable, peer reviewed? Is access persistent? The digital age has thrown the definition of “published” into chaos. Will what’s available today be here tomorrow? Examples of grey literature whose persistent access is questionable include: pre-prints, blogs, preliminary research results (open files), project web sites (schedules), IRs and data archives. Findability relies on cited references in journal articles, IRs, authors’ CVs, and good aggregators (of which there are few) seek it out.

Copyright of grey literature can be even more complex. Some creators want their materials used. Some sources are inherently in the public domain like materials from the U.S. federal government. If unknown, copyright should be assumed. Both authors and the organizations for whom they work can claim copyright of works. Creative Commons licenses are being used by some domains.

Grey Literature has its place, and it’s here to stay. It may not stand alone, but it can contribute substantially to understanding scientific challenges. Every source should be considered in the exploration of an issue. In some domains, the best source of information may be grey. Some grey literature goes through as stringent (or more) of a review as commercially published content. It’s value will always be a mixed bag, and there are risks involved in citing it. Libraries have to be involved in identifying and defining its value. Social tagging could be used to help people assess the validity of grey literature.

Mr. Huffine stated that HathiTrust is considering open membership. LC is a partner in the HathiTrust and is trying to get other federal agencies included. He said the USGS wants to get involved, but they also want to raise the quality of images, dpi, etc. as well. Many of their maps are multi-page foldouts and that line widths on maps are very important to geologists.

The final session I attended was a panel discussion on 21st century scholarly communication. One of the panelists discussed the role of subject liaison librarians in this area. She recommended “keeping your ear to the ground”–know your faculty, their interests and projects, tenure/promotion process at one’s university, open access policies of faculty’s professional associations and organizations. It is also important to know what one’s individual library is trying to accomplish in the area of scholarly communication. One continuing challenge pointed out by Marty Brennan of UCLA’s Copyright Office is convincing scholars that the virtue of OA publishing should outweigh their need to submit to the highest impact journal in their field. The last speaker was a grad student who talked about starting a transdisciplinary OA journal and the difficulties encountered in finding good reviewers and in receiving good scholarly paper submissions.

ALA in New Orleans was fabulous! Informative sessions, delicious food, and a great time exploring the city by bicycle and hanging out with colleagues.

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.

Carolyn at ALA Annual 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 11:58 pm

Although the weather was hot and sweltering in DC during ALA, I still had a great time attending informative sessions on cataloging and metadata, going to socials, catching up with friends, and hanging out with Susan and Erik. I was one of the five who rode up and back in the library’s new van.

After dropping off our luggage in our hotel room, Susan, Erik and I walked to the convention center to pick up our conference materials. I tagged along with Susan and Erik to the LITA Happy Hour, the first of two socials that Friday evening. Following social number one, we all three then headed to the Capital City Brewing Company where the Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) librarians were having their social.

On Saturday, I attended a session, “Converging Metadata Standards in Cultural Institutions: Apples and Oranges” where librarians from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Smithsonian discussed digital projects that their institutions have created. Daniele Plumer, Coordinator of the Texas Heritage Digitization Initiative (THDI), discussed the necessity of educating metadata specialists who work in various institutions (i.e. libraries, archives, museums, state and local government agencies) on content standards, encoding syntaxes, project management and digital library systems and applications. In preparation of the THDI, Amigos Library Services held a series of workshops in five locations across the state as well as online. Some observations from this project by Ms. Plumer included most libraries chose Dublin Core instead of MARC as a metadata scheme, LC subject headings is the most commonly used controlled vocabulary, and overall metadata decisions are driven largely by the design of existing digital asset management systems. Ching-Hsien Wang spoke about the creation of a one-stop discovery center for the 4.6 million records and 445,000 images of the Smithsonian’s museum, archives, library and research holdings and collections. Ms. Wang described this database as a conjoined collaboration, not an individual silo of information. The database has various vocabulary features, facet types from controlled vocabularies, and sharing capability with social media options.

Next, I attended the Copy Cataloging Interest Group’s program where two librarians from the University of Colorado at Boulder described how they developed and implemented a FRBR and FRAD training program for all of their libraries’ professional and copy catalogers. Participants read the entire FRBR document, and at monthly cataloging meetings, discussed the readings and participated in group exercises to reinforce concepts learned. A blog was created for questions and comments on the readings. My last meeting of the day was the ALCTS CCS Recruitment and Mentoring Committee of which I am a member. We are looking into using Google Forms to create a questionnaire for interested mentor and mentee participants in the area of cataloging. Mentors and mentees will be paired based on the the information we collect.

“Cataloging and Beyond: the Year of Cataloging Research” was my first session on Sunday. It was a panel discussion and the room was packed and many were sitting on the floor in the back of the room, including myself. Panelists, one of which was Jane Greenburg, Erik’s Ph.D. advisor, discussed how the data catalogers create provides various areas of research for catalogers to explore. Catalogers’ research can impact and assist in making decisions about cataloging data and catalog design. Are we able and how can we measure usefulness? Per Ms. Greenburg, there are three areas that need researching: automatic metadata generation, creator or author generated metadata, and metadata theory.

Following this session, I attended another panel discussion on the “Strategic Future of Print Collections in Research Libraries.” Print on demand, the impact of scanning on physical books, and preservation were discussed in this session. My final meeting for this ALA was attending the Anthropology Librarians Discussion Group. I always learn much from attending this session. Topics included print and online bibliographic tools for Africa for which I collected several useful handouts that were distributed. It was proposed to request the ANSS Committee develop a list of core academic library journals for anthropology.

Sunday was also a day for catching up with friends. Lauren C. and I had lunch with a graduate school classmate who is the business and economics reference librarian at Clemson. As mentioned in one of Susan’s posts, she, Erik and I had a lovely dinner with Waits and Christian.

It’s been awhile since I attended a conference with both Susan and Erik. Hanging out with them at conferences, I am assured of three things occurring: exploring the sites of the city, exercising (i.e. a lot of walking around) and having fun.

Carolyn at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston

Sunday, January 24, 2010 8:25 pm

This was my first time attending ALA’s Midwinter Conference. I had a great time rooming and socializing with Susan and Roz. During the conference, I ran into some old colleagues (Elizabeth Novicki, Jim Galbraith & Debbie Nolan), made new contacts with other librarians, and heard some interesting talks which are subsequently described.

Friday night, I attended the Anthropology and Sociology Section’s (ANSS) social at the Lansdowne Pub which is in Boston’s Fenway Park neighborhood. Met and spoke with several librarians who work/liaise with their respective university’s anthropology department. Two individuals with whom I spoke knew Lauren C. from her employment at Old Dominion and Emory, and another individual whom I sat beside at dinner knew Lauren P. from ALA committee work. Truly, the library world is a small one.

Saturday morning, Alasdair Ball (British Library), Ruth Fischer (R2 Consulting) and Brian Schottlaender (UC San Diego) spoke on redesigning Technical Services workflow in regards to libraries’ costs and the value delivered to libraries and patrons. As the Head of Acquisition and Description, Mr. Ball reported that his department processed around 1 million items per year. He characterized the UK’s National Bibliographic framework as being one with high duplication of effort, having a fragmented network of stakeholders, using multiple standards and formats, having an increase in demand for shelf-ready materials and records, and slow to change. Within his organization, there is a focus on adding value to research and providing collaborative workspace and tools for researchers. Acquisition and Description is viewed as necessary, but a back office set of functions with a high cost. Some operational challenges he sees are contributing to the library’s expanding agenda with no increase in resources (human and monetary), the need to optimize balance between costs, quality, and speed of service, outsourcing of the CIP programme, redefining and streamlining workflows and process models, and where can the British Library add value. Ruth Fischer spoke on the Study of the North American MARC Records Marketplace which she and her partner were commissioned by the Library of Congress (LC) to research and write. They conducted two online surveys, 1 with libraries (972 participants from all types of libraries) and 1 with vendors (70 participants), to investigate the current MARC records marketplace.

Results from the libraries’ survey found:

  • Everyone prefers LC records
  • 80% of libraries edit records in OPAC, but only half upload edits to their bibliographic utility
  • 78% of libraries are unaware of restrictions on MARC record use and distribution
  • Backlogs exist everywhere and are increasing (Largest backlogs are videos and DVDs; second largest are English language monographs)

Ms. Fischer’s report estimated that there are 34,000 each of original catalogers with the MLS and copy catalogers, and if each MLS cataloger created 1 new record each workday (200 in a year), 6.8 million original records could be created per year. It appears libraries have capacity in regards to number of catalogers. The question then is why are there backlogs?

Two hundred organizations create, sell or distribute MARC records to North American libraries, with the largest number of vendors providing MARC records for e-books.
Ms. Fischer’s interpretation of her findings include:

  • There is confusion in the market about real cost and/or value of MARC records-Each year LC catalogs many titles that are not retained in its collections (i.e. CIP program). By law, LC is disallowed to recover cataloging costs. In essence LC subsidizes the market, which in turn causes the undervaluing of MARC records.
  • Market provides insufficient incentives to contribute original cataloging-New commercial entrants are screen scraping LC’s and other libraries’ websites, and are not hiring MLS catalogers.
  • Most libraries and catalogers must believe that they create more value by modifying existing records (e.g. including pagination, changing or removing subject headings, adjusting call numbers, etc.) than producing original records.

Questions raised from Fischer’s study:

  • How long will libraries rely on MARC as the primary format for bibliographic data? We are trapped by the ILS.
  • What would be required to correct the economic structure of the MARC record marketplace?
  • What would happen if MARC record creators and creators of other descriptive metadata insisted on recovering their costs?
  • Why have we (i.e. catalogers) deincentivized ourselves if we have capacity to create?

Fischer closed by saying catalogers need to determine what the concept of “good enough” means and start believing and incorporating it into workflows.

Brian Schottlaender spoke on the University of California’s next-generation of Technical Services initiative which has grown out of the last five years of community thinking. He stated that his library is freeing up resources in order to focus cataloging and other metadata description on unique resources. He believes administration must make a commitment to its employees, who are moving into new positions with new responsibilities, by providing them with education and training to ensure their success.

As a member of the Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS) Recruitment and Mentoring Committee, I attended my first ALA committee meeting ever. This is a newly formed committee and our charge is to recruit cataloging mentors and pair them with interested new and seasoned catalogers, as well as persons interested in cataloging. We will contact library schools to see if they have any students interested in becoming mentees, and are planning to send out send out a survey questionnaire to listservs to garner interest from potential mentors and mentees.

Saturday evening, I attended a screening of Alexander Street Press’ new product Ethnographic Video Online. This product is a partnership with Documentary Educational Resources (DER) whose founder John Marshall was an anthropologist/documentary filmmaker. John Marshall is renowned for his films on the !Kung San (Bushmen) peoples of the Kalahari Desert in Namibia. His first film The Hunters (1957) became an instant classic of ethnographic film. DER’s films will comprise over 60% of the films in Ethnographic Video Online, which launches next month with 200 films. Its collection will eventually be comprised of 1000 titles (750 hours of films). This products will allow users to create clips, make playlists and annotations, search for specific words in a film, is fully transcribed and has scrolling synchronous transcripts. Alexander Street Press is meeting with individual ethnographers/filmmakers who have unpublished footage to try and get their films into this database. I feel this product would be very useful to Wake’s Anthropology department and even perhaps the new Documentary Film program. I hope we will be able to get a trial of this product, and if possible, purchase it if deemed valuable by faculty from Anthropology and the Documentary Film program. Afterwards, I met Susan, Roz and Elizabeth Novicki for a wonderful dinner at Legal Seafood.

Bright and early Sunday morning, I went to an OCLC Update Breakfast and spoke with someone about the problems I was encountering with entering information into MARC cataloging records for Wake ETDs, specifically complex mathematical equations and subscripts/superscripts that aren’t numerical. I was told that some character sets are not supported, but there may be some workarounds with the subscript/superscript problem. The OCLC rep. asked me to email him some examples of my problems, and he would get back in touch. I also found out that in July 2010 OCLC will be releasing its Digital Collections Gateway product to any OAI compatible repository, of which D-Space is one, and will simplify the ETD cataloging process even more and allows for more visibility of these unique items. Hooray! I ran into Jim Galbraith, who is now working for OCLC, at the breakfast and also met a librarian from Brigham Young University who knows Derrik. Such a small world!

The rest of Sunday’s sessions included attending another session where Ruth Fischer spoke more in depth about R2′s report on MARC records, an Out Of Print (OOP) Discussion Group where the topic was digitization on demand (James Lee of Brandeis University spoke about the process and his school’s involvement with the Boston Library Consortium, a pioneer in the area of digitization on demand), and the Anthropology Librarians Discussion group.

Before leaving for home on a snowy Monday, I attended two more sessions at the convention center. The first was the Publisher-Vendor-Library-Relations Forum. Beth Bernhardt (UNCG) started off by saying that the NC legislature has mandated that by 2014 UNCG’s enrollment will be at 24,000 students. UNCG’s library is utilizing patron-driven acquisitions in building their e-book collection. Changes in user expectations, librarians’ roles, and researchers’ needs are some of the factors behind this new model of collection development. In April ’09, the library began this new model with MyiLibrary and chose computer science as the subject area. 1144 e-books that matched the library’s profile were loaded into the OPAC. 70 e-books were ordered at a cost of $7010. They are expanding their profile to include physics, chemistry, nursing and business. Plans are to compare what professors and students purchase. The first access to a title, no cost is incurred; the second look triggers a purchase. With the Life Sciences Library e-collection, they pre-selected a set of 23 books, but loaded all 750 titles’ MARC cataloging records into catalog. These books are very pricy due to the subject areas (i.e. nursing, anatomy, anesthesiology, and nutrition). Some important things to take into consideration when allowing patron-driven acquisitions include budget, deposit accounts, price limits, real-time invoicing, and cut off access/visibility.

Lindsey Schell (U of TX-Austin) spoke about their experience with EBL. Currently their patrons have access to 70,000+ titles, but have purchased 4,000. They too dumped all of EBL’s MARC records for their titles into their catalog, but this year began removing records for those titles never viewed in the initial 12 months to reduce cost exposure. Her university also incorporates patron-driven print approval acquisitions. The library downloads MARC records for publishers and subjects on a refined approval plan to the OPAC and allows patrons and subject specialists to decide which titles are actually purchased. Books are expressed shipped and are shelf-ready.

Next steps for this model of acquisitions involves analyzing patron purchasing and usage by LC call number and publisher to target specific areas for e-book and print delivery.

Due to patron-driven acquisitions, adjustments in the Technical Services department have occurred and include:

  • Automate wherever possible
  • Eliminate creating work elsewhere
  • Free up staff to work on library’s priorities that can’t be automated or outsourced (i.e. e-resource management, digital content, unique collections)
  • Eliminating serials check-in-Some people are freaking out about this
  • Move monographic series standing orders to approval vendor
  • Discontinue label production for periodicals-People can read titles unless it’s not in Roman alphabet
  • Eliminate approval review shelves
  • Reduce the number of gifts received
  • Discontinue paper book plates for non-endowment donations
  • Cut binding quotas-Redirect funds toward digitization

Judy Luther talked about developing a common platform for university press e-book distribution. The Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant to four university presses (NYU, Rutgers, Temple and Penn), and these presses are working with consultants to help develop a business model suitable to a university press consortium. They are looking to establish a “university press” brand and achieve economies of scale through collaboration on technical, financial, and practical challenges. Twenty-nine librarians were interviewed and core markets were identified (ARL, other Ph.D./masters programs, Oberlin Group). These were exploratory conversations designed to frame library practices, expectations, concerns and trends. Key issues included pricing functionality, digital rights management (DRM), and ability to select print and e-book purchases. An online survey of 1000 librarians (30% response rate) was conducted to test conclusions gathered from interviews. Purchase models must be evaluated. Vendors’ platforms need assessment. How should a university press consortium operate? The challenge, according to Ms. Luther, is serving our users well. Libraries want content for their users, as well as presses then getting out of their way. Right now platforms are not conducive; one can only print 10 pages at a time. The consultants’ report is due next month, and the presses will determine if they want to move forward. If so, further planning will be required.

My last session was on bibliographic mash-ups and once again the concept of redundancy in our data and workflow was mentioned by opening speaker Renee Register of OCLC. For libraries, most of the production work is performed at the end of the publication cycle with the receipt of a published item. On the publishers end, bibliographic data evolves over time beginning months before publication and sometimes ending years later with people contributing data. Inefficiencies and redundancy are common in metadata exchange, and different standards make it even harder to share. OCLC is currently creating authority control and mapping between BISAC subject terms (seen in Amazon) and Dewey Decimal Classification. We need to have ways in our systems that will allow metadata to grow overtime. Metadata records are living things from the information supplied by publishers to end user applied headings.

OCLC’s Karen Coyle spoke about the Open Library whose goal is to create one web page for every book ever published. It is not a library’s catalog and includes all e-books in the Internet Archive (Open Content Alliance, Google, public domain). The head of the project is the founder of Flickr. This database does not have records; it uses semantic web concepts called types (e.g. author name, birth date). All are equally important. Each type has properties; one can add properties without disruption and nothing is required and everything is repeatable. The database is based on wiki principles. All edits are saved and viewable and anyone can edit and add types and new properties. Sources of data come from LC, Amazon, Onix (publisher data), numerous libraries, and individual users (people can add their own books such as vanity press published books). There are some data problems as this is an experiment of non-librarians taking library data and using it. Examples of problems are:

  • Names-no inversion, no birth or death dates
  • Inclusion of initial articles in titles (e.g. The Hobbit)-Alphabetical order is not important here
  • Needs normalization of series
  • Differences in publication product dimensions-LxWxH vs. height in cm. used by libraries

There are page views for books and authors (similar to WorldCat identities). LC subject headings are not used; segment of LCSH are broken apart (i.e. no “dash dash”). Each subject heading has its own page. This project is currently in beta but is coming out in February 2010.

Kurt Groetsch of Google closed the session by speaking on the challenges Google Books has encountered with metadata reuse and matching, and the challenges of working with multivolume works. I got a little sleepy during his segment so I don’t have many notes for this part of the program.

I then met up with Susan and Roz. We took the Gale sponsored shuttle (very nice service) to the airport, got an early flight to Newark, and then waited for several hours in the magical place that is the Newark airport before we caught our flight home to Greensboro. All in all, my experience at ALA’s Midwinter Conference was a good one.


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2007 ACRL Baltimore
2007 ALA Annual
2007 ALA Gaming Symposium
2007 ALA Midwinter
2007 ASERL New Age of Discovery
2007 Charleston Conference
2007 ECU Gaming Presentation
2007 ELUNA
2007 Evidence Based Librarianship
2007 Innovations in Instruction
2007 Kilgour Symposium
2007 LAUNC-CH Conference
2007 LITA National Forum
2007 NASIG Conference
2007 North Carolina Library Association
2007 North Carolina Serials Conference
2007 OCLC International ILLiad Conference
2007 Open Repositories
2007 SAA Chicago
2007 SAMM
2007 SOLINET NC User Group
2007 UNC TLT
2007_ASIST
2008
2008 Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
2008 ACRL Immersion
2008 ACRL/LAMA JVI
2008 ALA Annual
2008 ALA Midwinter
2008 ASIS&T
2008 First-Year Experience Conference
2008 Lilly Conference
2008 LITA
2008 NASIG Conference
2008 NCAECT
2008 NCLA RTSS
2008 North Carolina Serials Conference
2008 ONIX for Serials Webinar
2008 Open Access Day
2008 SPARC Digital Repositories
2008 Tri-IT Meeting
2009
2009 ACRL Seattle
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