Professional Development

In the 'ILS' Category...

Charleston Conference 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014 3:09 pm

Contents: 1. short tidbits (e.g. Alma from Ex Libris, “screen reading” effects, take care in using downloads as a measure, shared print storage) and 2. the rising cost of e-book short-term loans with a DDA program

1. the short bits

Alma – was the commercial ILS that I heard mentioned repeatedly, often in the context of migrations. At a poster session, I spoke with a librarian from the University of Tennessee Libraries about their migrating order records to Alma (from Aleph) and the next day I spoke with a librarian from another state about migration to Alma. I came away with the impression that both were satisfied so far. I heard other librarians mention Alma as the ILS of interest or having recently selected it.

Steve Shadle – “How Libraries Use Publisher Metadata” Steve worked with Springer on metadata and realized other publishers could use the same kind of understanding. Publishers at the presentation were engaged and asking questions. (I say, “hooray!”)

Carol Tenopir – “To Boldly Go Beyond Downloads” reported from research with focus groups and interviews that downloads are on the decline and “be careful about using it as a measure.” The survey just went out, so keep an eye out for later reports from that part of the research.

David Durant (ECU) and Tony Horava (University of Ottawa) - “Future of Reading and Academic Library” The presenters referenced Jakob Neilson’s F shaped pattern (of eye tracking) and explained linear and tabular reading and how they affect learning. Their research includes the differences between “screen reading” and reading from print. Look for their article in the January 2015 issue of Portal.

Emory and Georgia Tech’s shared print repository, Emtech, was helped along by support from the presidents at both universities and the prior establishment of a 501-3c to support other initiatives. (I asked because I had wondered how a private/public partnership for something long-term like this could work.) They determined that they had only 17% overlap in collections and each library is putting 1 million volumes into the shared facility — serials from Tech and monographs from Emory. They are storing microforms there; with the Atlanta climate, a cooler will have to be used when pulling those from facility, so that they gradually warm up from the 50 degrees without moisture forming on them. It will be one unified collection and they are contemplating whether they will need a separate OCLC holding symbol. This will be Harvard style — with static, not mobile, shelving.

Jeff already reported on plenaries and one session that he and I both attended,plus DDA with Kanopy streaming video, and included some lovely photos.

 

2. increasing cost of short-term loans (STLs):

Summary: All parties, publishers, librarians and aggregators are adopting a “let’s work together” attitude and showing understanding that workable pricing models are yet to be figured out with e-books because monographs are different from journals; everyone is inclined towards keeping DDA rather than eliminating it. The consortia named below who facilitated a lively lunch all pulled DDA records from their catalogs but I learned in a sidebar conversation that a large consortium removed only the EBL DDA records for the same titles in ebrary Academic Complete (generally considered to be primarily a backlist) and made no other changes. We’re implementing this change, literally as I’m writing this, since we just got the subscription product through NC LIVE. (See also Carol’s report.)

Details on STLS: Following up on this summer’s announcement that a number of publishers were raising the prices of STLs, I asked Derrik to do some analysis of our own experience prior to the conference. The bottom line on his analysis is that the rise in cost is affecting our bottom line noticeably. I managed to get to a lively lunch session with a mix of publishers, librarians, and aggregators in the audience. Facilitators included a representative from: Connecticut-Trinity-Wesleyan (CTW Consortium); Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Consortium; Tri-College Consortium (Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, Haverford); The Five Colleges Consortium (Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst) The lively lunch facilitators asked specific questions and my take-aways were:

  • reaffirmation that sales of books (whatever format) are dropping and the volume of STLs isn’t rising to meet the cost of publishing them (not from conference, but see this explanation of the cost of publishing an e-book)
  • inconclusive discussion on setting an optimal dollar amount or percentage of list price (I went to the mic and commented that setting a percentage was a questionable strategy with some publishers now raising the list price for electronic to be more than print; note that the e-book was not always, but often, close to hardcover price until recently)
  • in general an embargo was undesirable from all perspectives
  • differentiated pricing on frontlist versus backlist could be considered (I wonder if this wouldn’t add undesirable complexity and there might be a better solution)

Also on the STL crisis topic, Carol and I both were at a session titled, Sustainability not Profitability: the Future of Scholarly Monographs and STL.” Carol’s coverage, also linked above, differs slightly from mine (and is brief).

  • Barbara Kawecki from YBP gave the landscape of library activity to start the session: from 1998 to now there has been a dramatic decline in print purchasing. A loss of 50,000 units to a publisher is significant. YBP has seen a dramatic increase in records sent for DDA but only tiny amount is purchased and a large percentage of spending is on STL.
  • Rebecca Seger of Oxford University Press then gave an overview of the cost of monograph publishing and stated that the real problem is shrinking monograph budget (which I heard multiple times at the conference). She explained that with journals publishers can estimate revenue because of subscriptions, but publishers have used the print approval plans of libraries historically to estimate revenue for monographs. Each title might sell 400-700 “units” for the lifetime. Publishers can’t sell that amount now and can’t estimate revenue based on approval plans anymore because of all the changes libraries are making relative to DDA/STL. It costs about $10,000 to publish a monograph and printing is only about a third of that cost (or more for a smaller publisher).
  • Lisa Nachtigall from Wiley also described the impact of DDA/STL:

2009 to now: 92% print to 77% print
3rd party sales of e big increase: now 7%
32% less revenue from top 100 titles from 2009 to now; 28% less if take out the top 5 performers
70% of all etransactions from DDA/STL
Only 32% of DDA records went to transaction and 82% of that are STLs
86% less revenue on the e

Lisa is in the editorial part of Wiley and says that because of all of this Wiley is exiting Physics altogether, getting out of higher level research areas and will focus on textbooks. She noted that faculty will not able to disseminate their research in the same ways.

  • Michael Levine-Clark (a frequent speaker on e-books and Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication and Collections Services at the University of Denver) counseled the audience for librarians and publishers to work together on this problem, which was also the attitude at the lively lunch I described above. He said he was willing to pay more for the titles that get used. Various pricing models are needed together right now. He is concerned about the level of risk — future access to the titles not purchased — but he noted that the budget doesn’t allow him to buy all of those titles now anyway. He had a lot of analytical graphs in his presentation, which may be found near the end of the entire presentation. He wondered about having a fee for DDA service to publishers and YBP as part of the solution (but several audience members noted that all libraries already pay a small fee to YBP for the service of managing the bibliographic records). He concluded that we need to pony up to keep all books available for long term. During Q&A with the audience, it came up that if part of the change to using STL includes charges for browses, then it may not work. There was agreement from the audience that we have to work with publishers to keep DDA. The concept of an annual fee, “pay to play,” was raised again.

This was a particularly good conference in terms of content and consistently nice weather.

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.

Library 2.0 at UNCG (Lauren’s report)

Monday, June 18, 2007 9:52 am

For those who have been following the evolution of Library 2.0, a lot of this will be familiar… so I am just going to include links to most of what was covered:

  • Tim Bucknall highlighted the OCLC findings
  • Patrons want self-sufficiency, satisfaction, and seamlessness
  • Danny Nanez highlighted Michael Habib’s Academic Library 2.0
  • academic library 2.0
  • Discussed Blackboard, pathfinders, chat reference
  • MyWelch: a blackboard interface for library services
  • Students as creators of content
  • Ann Arbor Library is innovative
  • Ann Arbor Catalog
  • University of Minnesota Website wiki is EXACTLY what we’re trying to do
  • Gaming in Libraries (Amy Harris & Scott Rice)
  • The idea is to make the library fun
  • Overview of millennials (PDF)
  • Discussed their game night, citing Giz & WFU; they include cards & board games
  • Photos on Flickr
  • Info Island on Second Life
  • Another option, Active World, can link to web content, create floor plan of the library & link to real library resources
  • UNCG Info Lit game, teaches info lit uses AJAX, is ADA compliant, and is free under CC License
  • Tim Bucknall discussed the future of the ILS/OPAC, cited Roy Tennant presentation from SOLINET
  • Federated search beyond just our catalog (journals, websites, etc)
  • “Will ILS return to original function as inventory–rather than a search–tool?”
  • Google Books (which I love, as you may know)
  • Adding MARC records isn’t scalable when we have full text from all these major research libraries (via Google Books)
  • People don’t want MARC records, they want to search full text
  • Will probably turn to local data & inventory, where catalog is just a piece of search
  • Says, “Why don’t we have a Digital Guilford where people can search local documents.” Sound familiar?
  • Terry Brandsma discussed AquaBrowser as an enhancement to the catalog
  • Examples of AquaBrowser: Queens Library & Arkansas State Library-Beebe
  • AquaBrowser doesn’t require MARC records, could include journal articles, websites, etc
  • Discussed Endeca as a more efficient catalog; developed for retail/business
  • Examples of Endeca: NCSU & McMaster University
  • Discussed WorldCat as way to search beyond just local holdings & searches across books and articles
  • University of Washington is using WorldCat as their catalog
  • Discussed SirsiDynix Enterprise Portal Solutions (EPS) as a way of forced clustering before searching
  • Examples of EPS: Arcadia, Boston Public Library, & Cerritos College
  • Discussed faceted and visual browsing including SirsiDynix & KartOO Visu
  • Tim Bucknall and Lynda Kellam discussed Breaking Down Barriers
  • Tim pointed out that libraries have traditionally tried to set itself apart from the internet & say “that’s bad, we’re good.” Now we’re realizing that users will be in that other space, & we need to put our content there.
  • We can do this using: OpenURL, COinS (we have it, thanks to Kevin!), Bookmarklets, & Blackboard
  • Pushing specific content to subject area classes in Blackboard
  • Lynda demoed this content push to Blackboard; there is a “My Library Resources” option in the course
  • Don’t have to reauthenticate once they’re in Blackboard
  • Can also be pushed to open course websites (not necessarily Blackboard)
  • Banner extract of classes is added to a library database, liaisons then can interact with databases & add appropriate resources to their courses
  • Tim followed up on the Blackboard push project, they wanted to get down to just one click, so it required a different technology
  • Want to use this technology in other ways: news, new resources, reminders, contact links, course guides, mobile, etc. Much more targeted!!
  • Richard Cox worked on the technology behind this
  • Tim answered questions: WebFeat was discussed… a little clunky/slower, limited searching, but is a big step forward from current EZ Search

Leslie at MLA 2007

Friday, March 9, 2007 5:37 pm

I’m back from Pittsburgh, where the Music Library Association held its annual conference this year. The program was so breathlessly jam-packed that I’m just going to have to, unbloglike, post one long report at the end. Sorry!

Dominating the sessions this year were the many creative ways music librarians are exploiting new technologies to enhance their mission:

IPODS

My colleagues at NC School of the Arts described their use of ipods for music reserves. They do this in two ways: issuing library-owned ipods with the course listening assignments pre-loaded (other schools, like Baylor, also do this); or, upon request, downloading the content to students’ own ipods. They cover their legal liability on the latter service by requiring the student to sign an agreement not to steal the content; violation results in a fine based on the going Itunes rate per track (often totalling hundreds of dollars) and being blocked from class registration for the upcoming semester. They report that this deterrent has proven quite effective. The biggest problem, rather, has been failure to return library-owned ipods.

PODCASTS

A number of music libraries are using enhanced podcasts for outreach. Enhanced podcasts combine audio and video to, e.g., feature a performer, a faculty research project, etc.

WIKIS

Quite a few libraries have mounted their staff and student manuals on wikis, citing the ease of updating and editing, and the added benefits of facilitating feedback and collaborative work. Many are also employing wikis in the same way Lauren has in Gov Docs, for optimizing communications in the running of public service desks.

INTEGRATED LIBRARY SYSTEMS: ALTERNATIVES

As in the larger library community, music librarians’ frustration with existing integrated library systems (ILS) is widespread. There were presentations on ways libraries are using third-party software to enhance the useability of their ILS: NC State’s use of Endeca with their Sirsi system was mentioned, as well as Lib X, a Firefox browser extension designed for libraries, which features a toolbar containing links to the library’s catalog (a number of other libraries have developed similar toolbars of their own, offered to students for download). Other libraries have gone further, developing alternative open-source ILSs. These include the Univ. of Rochester’s Extensible Catalog; Georgia’s public library systems’s Evergreen; Plymouth State’s WP Opac, which uses blogging software. All these systems have faceted browsing, and various blendings of Google-like features with traditional catalog functions.

MUSIC STREAMING SERVICES

An attempt at providing another kind of seamless access was demonstrated in an update session by Naxos Music Library, an online streaming service. Naxos has plans to partner with Proquest’s International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP), Sheet Music Now (a public-domain digital score provider), and Webfeat, the federated search engine recently demo’d here, to create a product that will enable a user studying a given musical work to listen to a performance, download and print the score, and locate secondary literature, all in a single online search session.

With the advent of Naxos and other online music-streaming products, the imminent demise of the CD has inevitably been prophesied. A lively dabate arose on this topic in a session titled “Hot Topics in Music Librarinaship.” Many attendees reported that, subscriptions to streaming products notwithstanding, they’re still buying CDs, citing the lack of coverage of certain repertoire online (I’ve encountered this problem with our own music faculty: for teaching Medieval and Renaissance-era repertoire they find the online products largely useless, because these are typically licensed to distribute only older recordings, which in the case of early European classical music reflect obsolete/discredited research on performance practices); ease of use (faculty are fond of grabbing a physical CD five minutes before class); connectivity problems; varying levels of psychological readiness of faculty to adopt new technology; and questions of ownership/archiving (there’s no JSTOR for sound recordings).

VIRTUAL BI

In the same “Hot Topics” session, several attendees reported on how they’re exploiting the virtual environment for music bibliographic instruction. Facebook and Myspace were deemed particularly valuable as a space for student group work and peer mentoring. Others have found uses for Youtube: one colleague found that when she integrated Youtube clips into an ethnic music studies course, students more readily absorbed information on the more traditional research sources.

OTHER DIGITAL TRENDS IN MUSIC

On a more esoteric note, Mark Katz of UNC-Chapel Hill gave an intriguing presentation on “The Second Digital Revolution in Music.” The first revolution, of course, was the coming of the Internet. Now we have new artforms such as “turntablism,” a practice developed by DJs of manually manipulating vinyl discs on turntables to produce special effects; and “mashups,” the overlaying of the vocals of one popular song on the accompaniment of another. This, Mark notes, raises questions of authenticity: whereas traditionally a live performance was considered “authentic,” and the recording of it a reproduction, now activities such as turntablism and mashups render the recording itself the “authentic” entity. Does this make turntablists and mashup artists composers?

A second revolutionary trend identified by Mark is the virtual music community. This is found, of course, in places like Myspace (where many performers have pages), Youtube (which brings together people with shared musical tastes), and concerts in Second Life. Are virtual communities “real” communities? Do people hear music differently as an avatar in Second Life? Music scholars, in Mark’s opinion, have lagged behind those in other disciplines in exploring questions such as these; the field of “music and technology” has yet to mature.

CATALOGING: RDA AND MUSIC

I attended a session on RDA (“Resource Description and Access,” the new cataloging rules currently under development) and its implications for music (and other formats such as video). One thorny problem: access points for performers. When do you make the primary access point for the work and when for the performer? RDA has adopted the basic principles of FRBR, which say the primary access point should be the work. But this proves to be at odds with customary practice in various creative communities: the film community considers a film a new work in its own right (not a derivative of the novel, etc.); and what to do about musical performers who are also the composer, arranger,etc. of the work they’re performing?

AMERICAN MUSIC

This year’s conference was a joint one held with the Society for American Music (SAM). In a SAM session, one of our own Music faculty, Louis Goldstein, who specializes in contemporary American repertoire, gave a lecture-recital of a piano work by little-known Denver-born composer Stephen “Lucky” Mosko (1947-2005). Mosko’s reputation is so obscure that most of us in attendance had never even heard of him, but the piece Louis played for us was exquisitely beautiful, so I’m going to look up more of his music to add to our collection.

A tradition of the SAM folks is to hold a shape-note hymn sing at their conferences, and this was a most moving experience also. MLA members fielded a brass band and jazz band, which provided the entertainment at the closing reception. Some years we have a chorus, too. This is one of the coolest things about being a music librarian: getting together with colleagues who are both scholars and performers!

EXHIBITS

I spent a productive afternoon in the exhibits hall. In particular, I got a chance to talk to some vendors who offer approval plans for scores and recordings, which I’ve been eyeing as a possible solution to some faculty requests regarding gaps in our collections. Also got updates from vendors of music online resources that are still (sigh!) on our desiderata list.

As I said, a jam-packed and most informative program this year. My biggest disappointment was that some sesssions had so many speakers lined up that each one had only five or ten minutes to describe their “how we done it good” projects.


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