Professional Development

In the 'ASERL' Category...

NCLA GRS Annual Meeting & Workshop

Monday, June 23, 2014 11:42 am

Recently, I attended the NCLA Government Resources Section Annual Meeting & Workshop. This event was held on the campus of Elon University and was sponsored by the Carol Grotnes Belk Library. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with colleagues, and discuss current issues and upcoming changes within the Federal Depository Library Program and the NC statewide depository program.

Here are some of the highlights:

Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Update
David Durant, GRS Chair & Federal Documents Librarian @ ECU
Beth Rowe, Federal Regional Depository Library Representative & Documents Librarian @ UNC-CH
During the 2014 FDLP Conference proceedings this past April, GPO unveiled a new strategic direction for the FDLP . Developed from external reports and feedback from library users and contributing institutions, the National Plan for the Future of the FDLPproposes some changes to the current program, while maintaining it’s original mission and core values. The plan has not yet been enacted, as GPO wanted to give member libraries and invested users an opportunity to provide input and feedback about what the program will become. The proposed changes include:

- a partnership with the Digital Public Library, which would serve as a host for collecting and housing materials.

- Rebranding efforts: (seems to be a trend, as GPO has adopted a new motto/slogan–Official. Digital. Secure.) FDLP (Federal Depository Library Program) will become FIALP (Federal Information Access Library Program). FIALP member libraries will become “Regional Federal Access Libraries” (currently Regional Depository Libraries) & “Federal Access Libraries” (currently Selective Depository Libraries). The possibility of changing GPO: Government Printing Office to GPO: Government Publishing Office was also mentioned (although there has already been a lot of back and forth discussion about this change with the increase of born-digital GovDocs).

- a collaborative network called the Government Information Access and Preservation Network, and a partnership program (the Federal Information Access Assurance Partners) to manage legacy print collections, promote investment in the preservation & digitization efforts, and to provide continued access to partnering government collections.

Because it is still in the planning phase, the plan is purposefully vague, presented without many details as to how the program will operate. During our discussion, concerns were expressed about how the proposed plan would impact current collaborative efforts by regional GovDocs consortia (such as ASERL). Additionally, some of my colleagues expressed their concerns over the varying tracks of focus that exist within Government Documents programs– one focused on access, and one focused on preservation, and how some depository programs may have to choose to prioritize one over the other. If you would like more information about the plan and current discussion about the proposed changes, please see GPO’s National Plan for the Future of the FDLP& ASERL Deans’ Letter to GPO re: “National Plan for the Future of FDLP”.

NC State Documents Update
Jennifer Davison, State Library of NC
Denise Jones, State Library of NC
The NC Government Publications Clearinghouseis currently focused on NC state digital publications and collections, and recent digitization efforts. The Clearinghouse manages more than 16,000 born-digital items, and 4,000 digitized items.

Jennifer shared some recent digitization projects that are available through the NC State Government Publications Collection, and some very useful Research Guides that pull together associated documents for themed NC research (such as ‘Agricultural Stats in NC‘ & ‘Native American History in NC‘). I am glad to know these exist!

Jennifer & Denise also discussed the challenges associated with managing digital state documents, such as collecting “Fugitive Documents“. These are online publications that meet all of the requirements for distribution through the government depository program, but were never submitted to the clearinghouse & therefore are not directly accessible to contributing libraries or agencies through the depository program. Apparently, it is estimated that about 50% of Federal documents are fugitive, and apparently, the percentage is even higher in NC state documents (!!).

Online Mapping Made Easy: Create a Map in 10 Minutes
Phil McDaniel, GIS Librarian @ UNC-Chapel Hill
Having a background in Geography, and an interest in datamapping and geocoding, I was admittedly jazzed for this presentation. Phil shared two mapping applications that are *free* and relatively easy for GIS beginners to create maps from their data– ArcGIS & Google Fusion Tables. Phil demonstrated uploading tabular data (that includes geographic values) with both programs, and how to modify the design and focus of your data map. Here is an example of a map that I created through the ArcGIS system, with data available from the Winston-Salem Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Winston-Salem Annual Average Daily Traffic (1981 vs 2013)

You may not believe me, but I’ve had three unique map requests from faculty members in the past year–not the typical reference request. Knowing what these programs are & the opportunities for data visualization that they provide is a good trick to have up my sleeve.
*sidebar: if you also geek-out over maps & all things GIS-related, drop me a line and let’s schedule a map-a-thon!

NC Open Government Coalition & Issues in Open Government
Jonathan Jones, Director of the NC Open Government Coalition
The North Carolina Open Government Coalitionis a nonpartisan organization that advocates for transparency in government, and the public’s access to government activity, records, and meetings. Jonathan shared with us the Coalition’s Mission and guiding principles, both of which are focused on ensuring and enhancing the public’s access to government activity, records, and meetings.

Jonathan also shared with us some common access issues that the NCOGC face, and exemptions to public record access laws (such as information related to criminal investigations, trial preparation materials, emergency response plans, autopsy photos, & email listservs).

There are some very useful resources available from the Sunshine Center’s website, aaand they have an app (NC Sunshine Center) that delightfully summarizes Public Record Laws, Open Meeting Laws, AND has a button to the NCOGC hotline (should you ever need clarification on your rights as a seeker of government information or a holder of government information).

All in all, a great meeting and workshop! I am looking forward to becoming more involved with the NCLA Government Resources Section in the future.

Spring 2014 ASERL Meeting

Sunday, April 27, 2014 10:52 pm

The Spring meeting of ASERL (Association of Southeastern Research Libraries) was in Tampa, FL on April 23-24. After the long, hard winter, we were all glad to get to the warm weather in Tampa, even if it was on the river, not the ocean. This was my last meeting as President, so I presided over the Board meeting on Wednesday morning, and then we had a business meeting and programs Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

 

We heard presentations on federal open access and data sharing requirements, a study from the Greater Western Library Alliance on student learning outcomes, and a roundtable discussion on Resource Centered Management that was conducted al fresco. Two presentations I thought extremely useful I will detail here. The first was on the “Collective Collection,” a term from OCLC to describe the aggregate collection of materials held across collections of a group of institutions. It takes a look “above the institution” at networks of collaboration and coordination. It can apply to a consortium, state, region, mega-region, nation or globe. It uses WorldCat as a tool, which is a good reminder of the value OCLC can bring on behalf of individual libraries. General principles that have evolved from the data include:

  • Scarcity is relative
  • Scale adds scope and depth
  • Coverage requires cooperation

As stewardship models for print change to a more specialized, distributed approach, there is increased dependence on conscious coordination as a strategy. ASERL is a good example of that with our ScholarsTrust print repository of journals and the Centers of Excellence model for government documents.

The other program that drew my special interest was from Marshall Breeding, technology consultant, on webscale or next-generation integrated library systems. Marshall clearly laid out the difference between legacy systems, such as our own Voyager, and new systems like Ex Libris Alma, Innovative Interface’s Sierra, and OCLC Worldshare. He made the point that we need flexible platforms that can manage multiple types of library materials with multiple metadata formats in an appropriate workflow. As he succinctly put it, “libraries have changed, but our systems haven’t.” He predicts that we are at the beginning of the next ten year cycle of transition, leaving legacy products behind and going to new platforms that substantially change the way libraries manage resources, finally flipping the effort from the disproportionate time we spend on print resources to the digital resources that will be our future. Kuali OLE is the system that many people (including us) have been waiting for and they have two libraries (University of Chicago and Lehigh) going into beta this summer. We will all need to pay attention to these developments over the next few years.

ASERL Fall Meeting, Charlotte NC

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 11:42 am

Thanks to all of you for your good wishes as I chaired my first meeting as ASERL President on Nov. 19-20. It went really well. I arrived last Monday night as the city of Charlotte was getting ready for its first Monday Night Football in many years. The hotel was two blocks from the stadium and it was really crazy! The Panthers even managed to beat my boy Brady and the Patriots, so there was lots of excitement for the librarians gathering there.

Tuesday morning was an early Board meeting so we could get out in time to tour the UNC-Charlotte library. In nine years of living in North Carolina, I have never managed to get down there. They have lots of creative ideas for new spaces, same as we do, so it will bear watching. The meeting proper began with a discussion of Strategic Planning and Budget considerations, all of which were livened up by Hu Womack’s expert use of clickers. Thank you, Hu! The first program segment was a live webcast of the “Analysis of Oral Arguments in GSU e-Reserves Appeal,” which Molly’s sources say did not go so well for the good guys. We will see.

The panel I organized for the afternoon was “Financial Outlook for Higher Education and Impact for Research Libraries.” Invited speakers were Matthew Pellish from the Education Advisory Board (of which WFU is a member) and Jim Dunn, Wake’s Chief Investment Officer. They spoke about the industry’s negative outlook on financial stability for the higher education sector, both its causes and what might be done about it, followed by a very lively and thoughtful Q&A session. The member reception in the evening was a the Levine Museum of the New South, which was a real treat.

On Wednesday morning, the main program was a rather unusual topic planned by Executive Director John Burger, “The Impacts of New Retail Technologies and Services on Library Users.” Laura Van Tine, Global Business Advisor at IBM, and Brian Matthews, Associate Dean at Virginia Tech spoke about the similarities that the library and retail industries face. The dilemma of digital vs bricks & mortar presence, privacy vs personalization, co-creation, analytics, showrooming, and responsive design are all issues faced by both groups.

We got lots of good feedback for the meeting and programs, so onward to the Spring meeting in Tampa, April 23-24!

ASERL Summertime Summit 2013: “Liaison Roles in Open Access & Data Management: Equal Parts Inspiration & Perspiration”

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 1:06 pm

On Monday, August 5, Carol, Lauren C., Molly, and Sarah loaded up the ZSR Library van for a quick trip down to Atlanta for the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) Summertime Summit. The Tuesday six-hour Summit at Georgia Tech involved an opening keynote, a morning breakout session, an afternoon breakout session, and a closing keynote, with plenty of networking opportunities afforded during breaks and lunch. Between the four of us, we managed to attend the seven different breakout sessions (one was a repeat). Below are our individual takeaways.

Molly

In addition to the two keynotes, I attended the “Practical Data Management Tools – Step-By-Step Guide, DMPTool, DataBib” morning breakout session. I jumped between two afternoon breakout sessions, “Library Staffing/Responsibility Models for Data Management and Open Access” and “The Wheat from the Chaff: Locating High Quality Open Access Resources.” I also caught up with several Scholarly Communications librarians from around the Southeast, and had lively conversations about ETD embargoes over lunch.

Although I didn’t hear anything earth-shattering at the Summit (which really is a reassurance that I’m up-to-speed on the pertinent issues), several key points stood out in aggregate from across the day:

  • IRs were thought of as individual systems when launched by institutions, not as points in a shared infrastructure, which has hampered their usefulness somewhat;
  • don’t try to generate demand for data management services if it isn’t already there from faculty;
  • be knowledgeable and prepared, but don’t launch a service without adequate need and planning;
  • researchers won’t change behavior because of technological changes but because of social/cultural changes (we’re seeing this with Federal agency mandates);
  • humanists do have data, they just don’t call it data;
  • data support must be bigger than the library;
  • engagement is often uneven;
  • if you’ve been doing something the same way, rethink it.

Carol

The opening keynote focus was “Data Management is important” and the closing keynote focus was “Libraries must change.”The breakout session I attended by myself was “Marketing Data Management Tools and Services to Faculty.” The first thing I learned in the session is that I’m behind in my knowledge of Data Management mandates or even just what it is. (Contrast to Molly’s experience!) However, I was very comfortable with the descriptions of marketing activities that took place at Georgia State and Emory: LibGuides, newsletter articles, library blog, use of the University News Center (think: Inside WFU), surveys to determine needs, focus groups, town-hall-style meetings. In fact, I recommend scanning the GSU LibGuide if you need a one-minute introduction to Data Management and mandates.

One overall impression was a tension between having a designated person to handle Open Access and Data Management issues vs. having every liaison do some of it. We see this over and over with other kinds of library services, so no surprise there. (I keep thinking of it as the “Center of Excellence” vs. the “Across the Curriculum” model.) In my breakout session, one of the libraries (GSU, I think) was currently using a team to handle actual requests for help with Data Management Plans. They’re concerned that this approach will not scale, but they also think that the first, say, anthropologist will come to the library, but the second anthropologist will just ask the first anthropologist so the need for the team may fade over time.

Sarah

I attended the opening and closing keynotes, the morning breakout session on “Marketing Open Access Services & Tools to Faculty”, and the afternoon breakout session on “Follow-Up Activities from ARL’s E- Science Institutes”. It was great to meet science librarians from other universities such as Johns Hopkins, Emory, etc.

  • In the first breakout session, I realized that we are on target in promoting open access on campus thanks to outreach efforts by Molly and liaisons. Interestingly, other universities have added faculty and student research posters in their institutional repositories. Download reports can provide meaningful information for dissertations and theses in institutional repositories.
  • In the afternoon breakout session, librarians shared their experiences at the Duraspace/ARL/DLF E-Science Institute. Despite its title, the ARL E-Science Institute facilitates the development of a strategic agenda (priorities and ambitions, opportunities and partnerships, and challenges and weaknesses of your E-Research support program) by helping you “examine your local E-Research landscape, to consider the relationship between your institution as a whole and your library in terms of E-Research, to identify key players in E-Science and E-Research at your institution, and to conduct interviews of some of them to better understand their roles.”
  • The difference between E-Science and E-Research:
    • Examples of E-Science include data mining and statistical exploration of genome structures
    • “E-Research encompasses computation and E-Science, cyberinfrastructure, and data curation…E-Research could include studies of large linguistic corpuses in the humanities, or integrated social policy analyses in the social sciences.”
  • There is no “one size fits all” model for supporting data management among liaisons and data management librarians.
  • As Lauren mentions (below), some libraries use ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research)
  • The Long Term Ecological Research Network is another data sharing resource.

Lauren

Overall, I realized that many libraries are still struggling in playing the right role with open access and data management. My first three highlights are from Sayeed Choudhury’s (Johns Hopkins University) opening keynote address:

  • Retrospective figuring out provenance of electronic data is very difficult so try to document along the way how tools were built or where they came from as well as documenting the source of the data itself.
  • Ask the researchers “what are you trying to do” and then try to help them. “You care about [fill in the blank], and if we do [fill in the blank], it could enable you to do [fill in the blank].”
  • Metadata has to be done as a combo of human and automated to be able to scale up.

At the breakout session on “Funding Models for Open Access Cost” I took note during the discussion when Catherine Murray-Rust, Dean of Libraries at Georgia Tech, said:

  • Funding agencies requiring OA will change things. (Europe publishes more in STEM and is doing this.)

These last two key points are aggregated, heard in various expressions in keynote and breakout sessions both:

  • To promote open access, take advantage of any type of communication channel that a liaison normally uses in order to connect faculty with the Scholarly Communications Librarian: e.g. the liaison and SC Librarian may attend a faculty meeting together or the liaison may simply make an introduction via email. We as liaisons don’t have to have all the info and answers on OA or data management, we just need to be willing to listen and help find the expertise like we always have.
  • The best role for the library in data management is to steer faculty to existing resources (such as ICPSR) and to provide support in making data management plans, including serving as the repository for all the data management plans of the campus. From what I heard, it would be overwhelming for a library to try to take on being a university’s data manager and it is difficult just to collect plans from faculty.

 

Lauren C. at ALA Annual 2013, Chicago

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 8:51 pm

I spent a lot of time talking to vendors about e-books and library systems; saw a cool DVD dispenser by PIKinc.; went to a discussion group on offsite storage; and heard The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron: The RUSA President’s Program with Lee Rainie (Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project).

I agree with Wanda that the logistics for Chicago are not great, but that this was one of my best conferences; when I found that I could not get from one pertinent session to another quickly enough, half of my agenda went to the exhibits. (Freedom from committee obligations for the first time in years probably contributed to time spent with vendors too.)

ZSR and EBL e-books

I made some advance appointments to discuss ZSR business regarding e-books while at ALA and those went well. I attended a closed session on EBL’s different models for e-books with consortia and discovered that a new model is about to be tried out by Novanet and NY3Rs. Present from ASERL and participating in the discussion: John Burger, Executive Director of ASERL; Nancy Gibbs, Duke University; and me. Tom Sanville from Lyrasis was also present. Publishers, vendors and libraries are still trying to find a model that works well for all. In one consortium where not every member participates in the group e-book arrangement, but the consortium has a shared catalog, they were trying to come up with a way to allow the non-participating libraries to have short-term loan access at least and the method for payment is a stumbling block. ILL was mentioned as a way to deal with that, maybe with a credit card payment option since ILL already makes purchases with credit cards. I also attended a presentation by David Whitehair from OCLC and a representative from VIVA about OCLC Worldshare Metadata Collection Manager. This is what EBL is going to use for managing DDA files of adds/updates/deletes so I was glad to gain a better understanding. (I wondered if this tool would help Carolyn with the Archivist’s Toolkit cataloging since OCLC said that records don’t have to be in MARC — the institutional knowledge base (kb) can handle Dublin Core and MODS as well.) This is included with our cataloging subscription, so no extra cost for us to implement the kb.

WorldShare Metadata Collection Manager allows you to define and configure your e-book and other electronic collections in one place, and automatically receive initial and updated customized WorldCat MARC records for all e-titles from one source, providing your users access to the titles and content from within the local library catalog or other discovery interface.

Library Systems: Kuali, Ex Libris, OCLC

I had a real awakening on the rapid changes with the commercial ILS vendors. I’ve been following Kuali OLE developments and was disappointed to learn in a session that they are still working towards release 1.0. Jim Mouw announced that University of Chicago (a development partner) will cut completely over to OLE in July of 2014, so they are getting closer. Between now and then, Chicago will also switch from Aquabrowser to VuFind.

The University of Windsor is switching from Evergreen (an open source ILS that many public libraries adopted) to Alma, the next-generation system from Ex Libris. At the Ex Libris booth, I got a custom demo and peppered them with a lot of questions. Then I went to the OCLC booth and did the same thing. I heard a lot of similarities in the way those two systems are supposed to operate and here are two key pieces:

  • no more logging in to different modules — you log into the system once and what you’re allowed to interact with is based on the permissions that have been set
  • pushing and pulling big batches of data and updates to data is facilitated through lots of APIs

The real question is how well they will work in the variety of library environments. For instance, a salesman told me that MARCedit would be unnecessary and demonstrated how to edit the 856|z, but upon questioning, he thought it was record by record, not global editing for a batch. Case in point, right? OCLC has just over 100 libraries using their product right now with a couple hundred more signed (according to our sales rep) and Ex Libris is not far behind in gaining contracts for Alma. I think the next couple of years of library migrations will expose the weaknesses and result in upgrades to better fit real world practices. Meanwhile OLE and Intota from Proquest will need to be pushing hard to catch up and prove why they might be better in the long run.

Library Storage Discussion Group (LLAMA)

The main thing I learned that may be useful to us is that if you weed from an offsite storage facility, even if you have AIMS, “you have to re-tray” because trying to fill the hole later doesn’t work well. I saw colleagues from Georgia and learned that Emory and Georgia Tech are moving to a joint storage facility. (This type of private/public cooperation was only a dream when I left Emory and it is cool to learn that it really is going to happen, 5 years later.) I had the opportunity to explain about the role of the storage facility for the ASERL journal retention program, now branded Scholar’s Trust. (BTW, Carol Cramer helped with the naming process.)

The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron: The RUSA President’s Program with Lee Rainie

Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project,shared some interesting highlights from surveying about public libraries and while the link to the recording is above, you can login to ALA Connect for the slides which he said would also be posted to Pew.org eventually. These are my highlights from his talk:

  • Public library patrons are people who like the old services and don’t want changes and people who love the new, both — so libraries and other companies are dealing with the pain of not being able to do everything and are not able to meet all desires.
  • Parents are the best public library lovers — everything is wonderful.
  • Of those who seek the help of librarian, half are in households with an income of under $30,000 and are African American.
  • Young people appreciate a quiet place to sit and study or listen to music.
  • Only 13% use the library’s website.
  • Scarcity and abundance flipped: Time is the new scarcity, not the info. There is a gap between being predisposed to be affectionate and being affectionate — save the patrons’ time and they will love the library. Online learning and online reference are desirable.

Last Hurrah

I rarely have found time at conferences to do much touring and have always wished to see “the Bean” (a sculpture really called Cloud Gate) at Millennium Park. When I learned on Monday that it was only 2 blocks from the restaurant where I was having lunch, I decided to see it, even if it meant I was a little close for comfort in getting to the airport.

Carol at ASERL Journal Retention Meeting

Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:29 pm

On February 13, I arose ere the dawn to attend the ASERL Journal Retention Steering Committee meeting on the Georgia Tech campus. I don’t normally drink coffee, but I downed two cups once I arrived. (OK, really two cups of coffee-flavored sugared cream.) The opening session reviewed the project (http://www.aserl.org/programs/j-retain/ ) and introduced the WRLC (Washington [i.e., DC] Research Library Consortium) print retention project. Each library representative mentioned what they’re retaining for the group. For WFU, that’s mostly the Wiley-Blackwell journals. Most other libraries are following a subject-based approach or are archiving JSTOR. You can find our commitments by searching for ‘ASERL’ in VuFind.

Cheryle Cole-Bennett covered “How to Document this Retention Agreement within the MARC 583 field.” ZSR currently uses a prescribed basic 583a statement that “This title is in the ASERL Print Journal Archive.” In VuFind and Classic, this note appears only in the staff view (good, since only staff care). However, this data does not feed into the master OCLC record, where an audience of librarians across the country may care to read this data. Also, the minimal data in the 583 does not specify which years of the journal are committed for retention, how long ZSR has committed to retain it, or the conditions of retention (e.g. in a closed-stack facility). For instance, in the case of Psychological Reports, ZSR has newer volumes that aren’t part of the commitment yet. OCLC and ASERL have developed some complicated recommendations for expanding the data in the 583 field, as well as a recommendation to include holdings-level data in OCLC for these titles. (At this point, the presentation got technical, and I hope the catalogers can make sense of the PPT slides.) Questions from the audience included: Can you enhance the 583 by batch? How can you communicate that a title is part of two or more retention plans (e.g. ASERL & TRLN)? Can you have multiple 583 fields or repeated subfields within 583? Apparently, the enhanced 583 does not completely erase the problems when only part of the run is officially retained. ASERL has not yet officially decided what members of the group should do with their 583s, so no action is required yet.

Next, we discussed adding subject categories to the retained journals. Apparently the Deans want this (that so, Lynn?). The group agreed to use Ulrich’s to assign subjects, with subscribers pitching in to provide the headings for the non-Ulrich’s-subscribers (like WFU). I noted that they didn’t specifically assign a library to cover our titles, which might lead to a ‘diffusion of responsibility’ effect. Maybe the deans that care about this the most will step forward with the labor to cover this effort.

Next, Winston Harris from UF demonstrated the Journal Retention and Needs Listing (JRNL) tool that they developed for the group. It answers two questions:

  1. What’s in ASERL?
  2. If I’m weeding, can I fill in a gap for someone else who’s retaining this title?

During lunch, the branding subcommittee (that’s me and Steve Knowlton from U. Memphis) took feedback from the group on potential guidelines for a catchy name. (What?!? “ASERL Cooperative Journal Retention” isn’t snappy enough for you??) I took down some notes, but I don’t want to reveal too much too soon….

Amy Wood from CRL demonstrated the PAPR (Print Archives Preservation Registry) system, which tries to track nationally where journals are being retained. One use case: Say you’re weeding, but you want to make sure someone’s retaining the title. Maybe you’re not comfortable unless several institutions are retaining the title. WorldCat can give you a raw holdings count, but not who’s committed to permanent retention. PAPR fills that need.

Finally, we discussed targeted retention. First, they discussed agriculture titles (Zzzz). Next, they discussed retention of certain big sets. I hoped to turn the discussion to humongous physics runs, but the group was more intent on retaining paper indexes that WFU has long since weeded (like Chem Abstracts and NUC). Most surprising to me was the claim that the pre-1956 NUC is a high-use item. Ah, the world of an ARL….

The meeting ended early, so I took MARTA to the airport, where I played out a round of “Grande Tea vs. Dramamine.” I think the tea won, since I stayed awake all the way home.

Charleston Conference 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 5:53 pm

Seeing Lauren Pressley’s picture and book cover on the screen as an example of unglue.it gave me a moment of great pride during a plenary session at this Charleston Conference. We heard that there were 1500-1600 attendees, the most ever! E-book topics were definitely a theme and “big data” was mentioned in several sessions. A session on weeding, librarywide, was useful since the day will come when our storage facility is filled to capacity. And finally, a session on the Library Journal Patron Profiles gave Sue Polanka an opportunity to share some of her own observations relative to the results.

Regarding big data, I heard the success story of Duke University post-doc Heather Piwowar, who arranged with Elsevier to do text-mining of their whole corpus. (Heather had signed the boycott, but “believes that it is useful to work together.”) The big problems with big data are getting permission (Heather was “lucky” according to other speakers) and getting delivery — large loads of data are literally being shipped around the world. The fact that Heather is a post-doc means that in two years when she moves on, she won’t have the set she worked with at Duke and that is another problem.

Still on big data, I also went to a presentation by Hilary Davis (Associate Head, Collection Management, North Carolina State University Libraries) and Barrie Hayes (Bioinformatics and Translational Science Librarian, UNC Health Sciences Library). They said that storage and discovery, followed by access, are the biggest needs with big data. (Sound familiar?) They also said that being involved outweighs the risk for the libraries. They are working with research administrators, campus IT, and many library departments to tackle those needs. While UNC Chapel Hill uses Fedora with iRods,NSCU uses DSpace, like us. Easy i.d. and ORCA are used for identities (and I hope this means something useful to Thomas). Info sessions on campus have been successful (face-to-face and broadcast, and available for replay online). A data management committee at UNC is training subject librarians in how to talk about this topic with faculty. The last presentation slide has references and they have made good use of California’s DMPTool (data management plan tool) at both institutions. They first want the library to be a “collaborative campus connector” in 5 years and would like to work across the two institutions after that.

Carol and I take a divide-and-conquer tactic at this conference for the most part, but with standing room only in the hallway for one desirable session, we both ended up at the session on the state of the e-book industry. John McDonald (Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Claremont University Consortium) and Jason Price (Interim Library Director, Claremont Colleges Library) presented a lot of data, which should eventually appear on the Charleston Conference website. They also mentioned how hard it is if you have subscription e-books to exclude them from DDA offerings. That is why in our liaison meeting yesterday I was quite interested to hear the satisfaction of having one e-book supplier and one platform mainly. I was thinking we needed to explore subscription databases of e-books again, but as I mentioned, we would have to find out if the technology obstacles we saw in the past are still a problem or not. I’m glad Carol and I both were at the session because we can discuss future directions with common understanding of the current marketplace and the growth of HathiTrust and Google Scholar.

I mentioned that I also went to a session on librarywide weeding. One speaker, Pamela Grudzien (Head, Technical Services, Central Michigan University), was in Michigan and the other, Cheri Duncan (Director of Acquisitions & Cataloging at James Madison University) was in Virginia. Both used Sustainable Collection Services, but the situation in Michigan was a consortium-level project. (You’ve heard me mention SCS and we saw a webinar. You may recall that the idea is to use computer-driven matching to identify weeding candidates — titles of a certain age that are also held by many other libraries or in a trusted repository like HathiTrust.) The consortium added a dimension to this process, because they could agree to keep 3 copies of a title among the 7 members, allowing the others to weed their copies. A little “horsetrading” took place in determining retention commitments. One of the seven members in the Michigan consortium (CMU) was in the unique position of participating without space problems yet because they had 30 miles of compact shelving installed in a major renovation 10 years ago. CMU committed to keeping 204,000 volumes and Wayne State, 86,633. Remember this is just the commitments for unique titles or one of the agreed upon 3 copies, not the numbers of the entire library collection. The Michigan speaker noted that there is as much labor with the retention commitments as with the actual weeding. They used the 583 in the MARC record to document the retention, like we are doing with the ASERL commitments we’re making. The Virginia speaker explained the entire process at JMU, which included working over a period of years, a few subjects at a time. Business was first, followed by Education and Psychology. An aggregate 87% of titles identified by SCS were weeded (with wide variation of percentage at the subject level, naturally). They felt that this method was less disruptive to patrons and avoided an overload in Technical Services.

I’m just going to mention one more session that might appeal to many of you — Sue Polanka (Head, Reference & Instruction, Wright State University Libraries) and Lisa Carlucci Thomas (Director, Design Think Do) spoke about the new Library Journal Patron Profiles. The data from Academic Patron Profiles 2012 showed some of the same types of things that we learned from LibQual, but it seemed to me that there were more granular questions that targeted things we would like to know. And it seemed that it covered more than LibQual. Lisa said that “LJ is listening” and to let them know through her if we want to make the survey instrument available to individual libraries. I noted her email address, so ask me if you want it. Some observations that Sue has made in her own library that caught my ear: the personal librarian arrangement does not work as well as the subject librarian arrangement; make sure your link resolver is built into Google Scholar; put an IM widget not only in databases, but also the 404 error page and other webpages; focus as much on second year students as first year students.

This conference is always good, but this year seemed particularly on-target for our own planning here.

 

 

Intro to Digital Preservation #1 — Steps to Identify and Select Content

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2:10 pm

Today, Vicki, Patty, Mary Beth, Steve, Susan, Rebecca, and Molly sat in on the ASERL webinar Intro to Digital Preservation #1–Steps to Identify and Select Content, facilitated by Jody DeRidder, Head of Digital Services, University of Alabama Libraries. John Burger of ASERL said that more than 150 people were registered to listen in on this session. This is the first of three sessions on digital preservation.

The content of this webinar comes from the Library of Congress Digital Preservation Outreach and Education Modules. This consist of 6 modules covering: identify, select, store, protect, manage and provide. The goal is to provide a collaborative network to enable us to work together and face the challenges ahead.

This Intro #1 covered the “Identify” and “Select” aspects of the 6 parts. In order to identify materials for digital preservation, DeRidder suggests identifying the scope of materials eligible by creating an inventory. She suggested that “good preservation decisions are based on an understanding of content to be preserved.” Content categories include institutional records, special collections, scholarly content, research data, web content, and digitized collections. She stressed that the content of these materials is more important than format, but the format may make preservation more of a challenge. An inventory should be simple in format that is general with reiterations that become more focused on details.Inventory results should be: documented, usable, available, scalable, current (incorporated into current workflows). Sorting by content and file type will help prioritize equipment, planning, and future priorities. The process of selecting involves these steps:review the potential digital content, define and apply selection criteria, document and preserve, implement. Thinking about the mission of the institution, the collection development policy, the priorities, the uniqueness will allow the selection process to conform with the rest of the institutional standards. DeRidder stressed that this process is facilitated by open communication and knowledge withe incoming collections and donors. Starting the dialog early with potential digital contributors will allow you to block any incoming materials that do not warrant digital preservation. In the case of materials that are already in one’s holdings, selection for digital preservation begs the questions:does it have value? fit your scope? can you do it?

This webinar focused on the importance of putting a structure in place with the right people, clear policies and procedures, and organization. Open communication with the digital curator will answer the questions :does the content have value? Does it fit your scope? Whereas a conversation with an IT person will allow you to know ifit is feasible for you to preserve the content? Or is it possible to make content available?

DeRidder made a clear outline of how to go about identifying and selecting materials for digital preservation, but the prospect of actually implementing these steps is daunting. I am looking forward to the next to two webinars.

 

ASERL discovery webinar

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 2:19 pm

Today Lynn, Carolyn, Tim, Steve, Susan, Leslie, Jean-Paul, Kevin and Erik got together to attend the ASERL webinar on discovery services. We hear from Wally Grotophorst at George Mason University and Marshall Breeding at Vanderbilt.

Wally talked about the George Mason University experience with Aquabrowser. He discussed some approaches to cross data indexing including just in time solutions (e.g. Metalib, Deep Web), hybrid systems (Primo, Encore, EDS, OPAC) and just in case (e.g. Summon) solutions.

He provided an overview of different perspectives of “just in case” solutions and pointed out that these systems can lead users to approach the system from a perspective that assumes “If we dont have it, you probably dont need it.” another interesting (adapted) quote was: “The value of summon is inversely proportional to the sophistication of your researcher.”

Wally did a great job of looking at the user experience in products like Summon and comparing how libraries are finding ways to bring the benefits of JIC search systems while not losing the value of their catalog-based discovery layers (e.g. Villanova).

Marshall approached the issue by talking about different types of search methods – database specific, federated and discovery products (defined as any system designed to locally index a wide variety of data). He reviewed approaches and data models for centrally indexed discovery products (both local and web-scale) and touched on some of the changes in the ILS that the growth of e-books are likely to bring (e.g decrease in role of circulation, discovery). Marshall suggested that next-generation ILSs may include a tighter integration between back-office systems and discovery layers. This is something the industry is already seeing with OCLC’s Web-Scale management system.

The presentation will be posted online soon on the ASERL website.

ASERL Webinar on Next-Generation Discovery Systems

Friday, February 25, 2011 2:58 pm

Roz, Erik, Ellen M., Kaeley, Craig, Audra, Rebecca, Kevin, Derrick, Susan and Mary S.attended the ASERL Next Gen Discovery Tools session.

The session was an overview of various next-generation discovery systems (e.g Serials Solutions Summon, WorldCat Local and Ebsco Discovery Services among others). ECU reported on their methodology for evaluating and selecting a product (ultimately Summon). They observed that following the launch they added OAI harvested digital collections resources, used google analytics to measure use (OpenURL clicks was used as a measure), and worked with SerialsSolutions to resolve data mapping issues.

ECU also mentioned a recent nice issue of Library Technology Reports by Jason Vaughan at UNLV that reviews these systems.

NCSU followed with an overview of their Summon experience. Libraries in general seemed to recognize that a main purpose of these sorts of systems is to simplify the initial research process but the NCSU folks discussed some of the concerns of advanced users (IL instruction, depth of search features). NCSU showed the percentage of use of a one search system that grouped results (Articles, Books & Media, Website) into different columns. The results showed that over 40% of the time articles were selected while Books and media were a close second at 36%. The website was used around 2% of the time!

Overall a very informative session.


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