ALCTS committees and interest groups submit reports to the ALCTS Office after each conference. Following are the reports submitted by the ALCTS Division-level interest groups.
Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group
The ALCTS Creative Ideas in Technical Services Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25 with 46 people in attendance. The program consisted of table discussions on six unique topics, and each discussion facilitator identified three takeaways from their table’s discussion.
The “Archivists, Metadata Librarians, and New Understandings for Archival Description and Discovery” was facilitated by Ivey Glendon (University of Virginia). The conversation focused on the University of Virginia Library and its organizational restructuring, which resulted in greater integration among special collections and non-special collections technical services staff. The conversation presented the following conclusions:
- Define common vocabulary.
- Provide training to be on the same page.
- Innovate different ways to offer your services in such a way as to let people say “yes.”
The “Cataloging and Metadata Outreach” discussion was facilitated by Sarah Hovde (Folger Shakespeare Library). The conversation explored how new challenges for cataloging and metadata professionals also offer interesting opportunities for collaboration and relationship building across a library community. From the discussion, the participants concluded that libraries could:
- Tie outreach to existing programs (such as data management or statistics).
- Encourage people to report errors, earning buy-in for database maintenance.
- Overcome barriers of isolation and physical space by assisting other departments, using social media, and physically going to where other librarians are located.
The “Changing Nature of Paraprofessional Labor in Technical Services” discussion was facilitated by Dejah Rubel (Ferris State University). The conversation focused on how technical services is changing very rapidly, and tasks that were once the sole purview of professionals, such as complex copy cataloging or batch metadata editing, are now being assigned to para-professionals. The discussion centered on paraprofessionals doing more without equal compensation, lines blurring at many places between who does what, and skill levels and motivation varying dramatically.
The “Application of Project Management in Technical Services” discussion was led by Nastia Guimaraes (University of Notre Dame). The conversation focused on how very few librarians have official project management (PM) training or time to learn techniques used in the PM discipline, strategies for collaborating across departments, and workflows to successfully complete projects in a timely manner. Takeaways from the discussion included:
- Communication is critical.
- Determine in advance how to measure the completion and success of the project.
- Create a separate project management list of responsibilities or project charter so collaborators know what’s expected (for example, communication methods and retrospective meetings).
The “Consortial Technical Services” discussion was facilitated by Christine Dulaney (American University). The conversation focused on collaboration amongst consortial libraries, which can take many forms. Takeaways included recognition that:
- Consortia add a level of complexity that needs acknowledgement.
- Cataloging staff must be comfortable with letting go of control of data because decentralized consortial models affect data sharing.
- More questions than answers remain.
The “Data-Oriented Technical Services in Academic Libraries” discussion was facilitated by Haiqing Lin (University of California Berkeley) and Karen Yu (University of Chicago). The conversation focused on the response to the growing field of data-driven scholarship and how academic libraries have begun to develop data collection and provide data-related services to researchers. Takeaways from the discussion included:
- Data-oriented technical services will be the future.
- Identity management is very important and necessary and happening now.
- Librarians should work closely with researchers to provide the best research data services.
Submitted by Whitney Buccicone
Electronic Resources Interest Group
The ALCTS Electronic Resources Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24 with 23 people in attendance. Four panelists discussed the current practice of electronic resources management in large academic libraries, including scope and definition, organizational structures, distribution of work, and ongoing efforts to make improvements.
- Eric Hartnett (Director of Electronic Resources at Texas A&M University)
- Richard Guajardo (Head of Resource Discovery Systems at the University of Houston)
- Morag Stewart (Acquisitions Librarian and Philosophy Librarian, University of Washington)
- Christine Stachowicz (Director of Technical Services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
George Stachokas (chair) moderated the session while Anne Liebst (vice chair and chair elect) recorded the dialogue. A summary of the discussion will be published in Technical Services Quarterly. Ellen Safely was elected to serve as the next vice chair and chair elect of the interest group.
Submitted by George Stachokas
Electronic Resources Management Interest Group
The LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25 with approximately 50 people in attendance. Co-chairs Buddy Pennington (University of Missouri-Kansas City) and Michael Rodriguez (University of Connecticut) hosted an engaging and innovative panel session on “Placing the User at the Center of Electronic Resources.”
The session included four presentations on strategies to improve how users’ access to and use of electronic resources:
- “Making a Better Electronic Resource with…Internet Culture?” by Kelly Blanchat (E-Resources Support Librarian at Yale University)
- “User Experience vs. ‘Us vs. Them’: Reconsidering Approaches to Vendor Relationships” by Lindsay Cronk (Head of Collection Strategies at the University of Rochester)
- “Get to Know Your Patrons through Usability Studies” by Erin DeWitt Miller (Head of the Media Library at the University of North Texas)
- “Last But Not Least: User Experience of Linking and Content Delivery” by Athena Hoeppner (Electronic Resources Librarian at the University of Central Florida)
Presentations were followed by questions from the audience. Presentation slides for this meeting of the Electronic Resources Management Interest Group are available on ALA Connect.
Submitted by Buddy Pennington
FRBR Interest Group
The ALCTS Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25 with approximately 50 people in attendance. Co-chair Kalan Davis introduced the program.
Ted Gemberling (Historical Collections Cataloger at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Library) gave a talk entitled “Bottom Up or Top down?” He discussed the need to accommodate ambiguity in published resources and provided examples of materials such as aggregates, serials, and resources that have separate titles for different editions.
Amanda Sprochi (University of Missouri-Columbia) spoke on “The IFLA Library Reference Model and RDA.” Her talk detailed the effects that IFLA’s Library Reference Model, which replaces FRBR, will have on Resource Description and Access (RDA). Aspects of the Library Reference Model that are not fully present in the current instantiation of RDA include:
- Nomens and their appellations
- Manifestation statements to identify resources that may be ambiguous, especially when multiple editions are involved
- Describing aggregates—serials, whole-part entities, collections, and resources with added materials like supplements, works in multiple languages, songs with music, and comics (both text and images)—at the most granular level possible
- The four-fold path for capturing information about an entity in the bibliographic universe: unstructured description, structured description, identifiers, and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs)
Finally, Sprochi discussed the RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign (3R) Project, which will rewrite RDA from top to bottom. The new RDA Toolkit will include chapters on description type, sources of information, the four-fold path, aggregates, provenance and meta-elements, and fictitious entities. There will also be a chapter for each RDA entity. With this version, RDA will be a fully implemented instance of the IFLA Library Reference Model, and its use will help machines to use RDA data in various fields that can’t be used now.
Presentation slides for this meeting of the FRBR Interest Group are available on ALA Connect.
Submitted by Michele Seikel
Linked Library Data Interest Group
The ALCTS/LITA Linked Library Data Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24 with approximately 250 people in attendance. The program consisted of three presentations describing the use of the BIBFRAME model in current library projects.
First, Brian Rennick (Associate University Librarian for Information Technology at Brigham Young University Libraries) presented “Linked Data Versus Basic Search Engine Optimization: A Case Study.” Rennick compared Brigham Young University (BYU) Libraries’ experience implementing two different strategies for increased visibility of library resources on the web. They implemented both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, such as making site maps and mobile friendly pages available, and also piloted the Library Link Network service from Zepheira, which transformed catalog records from MARC to BIBFRAME Linked Data. While both methods increased traffic, SEO may have had a greater impact. However, discoverability is not the only benefit of linked data. Making connections to other linked data sources can enrich catalog records. BYU plans to further explore both strategies for discoverability and enrichment.
Next, Philip E. Schreur (Assistant University Librarian for Technical and Access Services at Stanford University) presented “The Shot Heard Round the World: Linked Data for Production’s Tracer Bullet 1, Practical Copy-Cataloging in RDF.” One of Stanford’s initiatives under the Mellon-funded Linked Data for Production project is to convert four technical services workflows—four “Tracer Bullet” projects—to processes “rooted in linked data.” Schreur described work on Tracer Bullet 1, the copy-cataloging workflow. It became clear that the move to linked data is focused on discovery and there will always be a need to keep a parallel system for tasks related to resource management, such as purchasing. Stanford developed a workflow that includes both an “operational record,” as well as an enriched BIBFRAME record for discovery.
Finally, Tiziana Possemato (Chief Information Officer of Casalini Libris and Director of @Cult) presented “SHARE Virtual Discovery Environment in Linked Data.” Casalini Libris and @Cult worked with library partners to analyze, enrich, reconcile, and convert their bibliographic data to BIBFRAME 1.0. This data was published in the first release of the SHARE Virtual Discovery Environment in Linked Data (SHARE-VDE). The next phase of the project will include the conversion of records to BIBFRAME 2.0 and an exploration of the “record-less” approach to discovery in SHARE-VDE. Possemato described the technology and processes behind the environment and shared examples of how entities are viewed. Casalini Libris and @Cult will continue to work with library partners to learn about library needs and develop SHARE-VDE.
Presentation slides for this meeting of the Linked Library Data Interest Group are available on ALA Connect.
Submitted by Anne Washington
MARC Formats Transition Interest Group
The ALCTS/LITA MARC Formats Transition Interest Group hosted a LITA-sponsored program titled “What happens to the library catalog in the age of linked data?” at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24 with approximately 250 people in attendance. The program emphasized how information seekers will discover library materials via linked data interfaces and what impact linked data might have on the use of MARC records in integrated library system (ILS) environments.
Four speakers were presented at the program:
- John Chapman (Senior Product Manager at OCLC)
- Stephen Meyer (Data Strategist at University of Washington-Madison)
- David Pimentel (Senior Cataloging and Metadata Librarian at Denver Public Library)
- Philip Schreur (Assistant University Librarian for Technical and Access Services at Stanford University)
Following this program, the interest group hosted a follow-up discussion and reaction panel with 175 people in attendance. Attendees of the earlier program were encouraged to write down questions on notecards and submit them to the panel, which was comprised of all of the speakers mentioned above, as well as Gloria Gonzales of Zepheira. Eric Miller, also of Zepheira, moderated the discussion. Questions and feedback emphasized:
- Practical applications of linked data standards to bibliographic data, rather than “linked data for the sake of linked data”
- Levels of trust and data provenance in linked open data assertions
- How linked data will impact catalogers and cataloging workflows
- Curation and selection of data sets to provide context
- Timing of ILS implementation of linked open data workflows and OCLC’s commitment
- How encoding uniform resource identifiers (URIs) in MARC data can help with the transition to linked open data
Following the reaction panel, the interest group conducted a brief business meeting. In order to stagger officers, current co-chairs, Jeremy Bartczak and Debra Shapiro, will continue their service for 2017–2018. Sherab Chen (E-Resources Metadata & Discovery Librarian at Ohio State University) and Rachel Paul (Cataloging Librarian at the University of Arkansas) will serve as vice chairs and chairs elect. Moving forward, interest group leadership will serve two-year terms, one year as vice chair and one year as co chair. New vice chairs will be recruited at the end of current vice chair terms and appointed at the Annual Conference.
Submitted by Jeremy Bartczak
Metadata Interest Group
The ALCTS Metadata Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25 with approximately 65 people in attendance.
Jenn Riley, Lauren Corbett, and Erik Mitchell of the ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee presented their work to develop the Principles for Evaluating Metadata Standards. The committee reviewed the principles and shared a case study in which they evaluated the proposed National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Standards Tag Suite. The session ended with a discussion of methods for using the principles for further evaluation. Presentation slides for this meeting of the Metadata Interest Group are available on ALA Connect.
The business portion of the meeting included reports from Committee on Cataloging: Description & Access (CC:DA) and the Music Library Association. We concluded the meeting by holding elections for 2017–2018.
Submitted by Michael Bolam
New Members Interest Group
The ALCTS New Members Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Thursday, June 22 following ALCTS 101. Four members were present, as well as three people who attended ALCTS 101 and were interested in the group’s activities. We reviewed the activities of the previous year and answered questions from the interested attendees, mostly concerning how they might be involved in the New Members Interest Group and activities for the 2017–2018 year.
Submitted by Joseph Olivarez
Newspaper Interest Group
The ALCTS Newspaper Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24 with approximately 30 people in attendance. The program consisted of six presentations:
- Bryan Benilous (East View) gave an overview of work to digitize the massive archive of foreign papers at the Hoover Institute, a project projected to take a decade to complete.
- Jim Draper summarized changes and improvements Readex is making to their newspaper software front end.
- Randi Ramsden covered numerous newspaper digitization projects in which Wisconsin Historical Society is involved.
- Sue Kellerman previewed Penn State University Libraries’ implementation of the Chronicling America software.
- Eric Schmalz (History Unfolded) discussed a project to use “citizen researchers” to document coverage of the Holocaust in U.S. newspapers.
- Brian Geiger presented on new “premium features” in the California Digital Newspaper Collection and how much revenue he expects those features to bring in annually.
Submitted by Brian Geiger
Public Libraries Technical Services Interest Group
The ALCTS Public Libraries Technical Services Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24 with approximately 35 people in attendance. The meeting, a free-flowing discussion, was co-sponsored by the ALCTS Cataloging & Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) Cataloging of Children’s Materials Committee. Among the topics discussed were:
- Staffing and workflow in technical services
- Cataloging non-English materials
- Library-vendor relationships
- Handling unusual items (back packs, equipment, etc.)
- Working with legacy data and data cleanup projects
- Genre-based collections
Yu-Lan Chou will serve as co-chair with Carey Hunt for 2017–2018.
Submitted by Carey Hunt
Role of the Professional Librarian in Technical Services Interest Group
The ALCTS Role of the Professional Librarian in Technical Services Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24 with 37 people in attendance. The session was geared towards the full range of ALA attendees, from library school students to late-career metadata professionals, including “traditional catalogers” and “metadata specialists” from a variety of institutions.
Two library managers offered insights from employers about the requirements for a metadata professional. The speakers were Gwen Gregory (Head of Resource Acquisition and Management at the University of Illinois at Chicago) and Jee Davis (Associate University Librarian for Collections at Villanova University). They addressed hot topics including:
- What qualities do hiring managers look for in candidates?
- Is the cover letter dead or of central importance?
- What information in resumés is useful?
- Sample interview questions
During the session Mingyan Li and Paul Burley (co-chairs) shared a handout with a list of skill sets, resumé pointers, and sample interview questions—a resource for attendees to use back at home.
Submitted by Mingyan Li
Scholarly Communication Interest Group
The ALCTS Scholarly Communication Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24 with approximately 100 people in attendance. Co-chairs Violeta Ilik and Michael Priehs put together a panel discussion entitled “Understanding Academic Research: Free and Low-Cost Tools & Workflows.”
This panel featured a distinguished group of speakers including:
- William Gunn (Director of Scholarly Communications at Mendeley)
- Karen Gutzman (Impact and Evaluation Librarian at the Galter Health Sciences Library at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
- Mike Taylor (Head of Metrics Development at Digital Science)
The panel was moderated by Kristi Holmes (Director of the Galter Health Sciences Library and Director of Evaluation at Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute).
Speakers discussed how much of the academic research remains available only to institutions that are able to pay for subscriptions to specific tools and resources. The panelists highlighted a number of their favorite free and low-cost tools and resources that help users inside and beyond institutions to discover, understand and use academic research. The panelists offered diverse perspectives, including best practices, real-life examples, and information on how to use the tools to support library patrons. Resources presented include: Altmetric, ORCID, Mendeley, Google Scholar, Figshare, Overleaf, iCite, RePORTER, and more. The panelists published an engaging poster with their top tips on FigShare and shared printed posters with meeting attendees.
Submitted by Violeta Ilik and Michael Priehs
Technical Services Managers in Academic Libraries Interest Group
The ALCTS Technical Services Managers in Academic Libraries Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24 with 39 people in attendance. Meeting attendees participated in one of the seven round-table discussion topics that had been identified, prepared and facilitated by the interest group’s planning committee members. Topics for the round tables included:
- Can smaller libraries embrace linked data and BIBFRAME? What is the role of technical services in their advancement?
- What organizational structure is optimal for technical services units of larger academic libraries?
- Technical services workflows and support for institutional repositories
- Technical services and special projects
- The “accidental” project manager in technical services
The format of the meeting allowed attendees to share ideas, network and learn from colleagues in an informal way. The group spent fifty minutes on discussions, then each table shared a summary of their conversations with the larger group.
Chair Scott Phinney concluded the meeting by soliciting and receiving volunteers to serve as leaders of the interest group. Peter Spyers-Duran (University of Central Florida) will serve as chair at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting, and Shannon Tennant (Elon University) will serve as vice chair. He also reported that the interest group is undergoing its periodic review by ALCTS and has already received substantial support from the membership. Phinney and Spyers-Duran will submit the interest group’s report to the ALCTS Organization and Bylaws Committee in the summer of 2017.
Submitted by Scott Phinney
Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group
The ALCTS Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Monday, June 26 with approximately 70 people in attendance.
Co-chairs Lucas Mak and Hayley Moreno put together a panel discussion entitled “Partnering up: libraries and vendors joining forces to improve technical services workflows” on how best to accomplish a successful partnership in which librarians and vendors join forces to improve technical services workflows. Panelists included:
- Wen-Ying Lu (Santa Clara University)
- Chew Chiat Naun (Harvard University)
- Charles Hillen (GOBI Library Solutions)
- John Chapman (OCLC)
During the conference the interest group also sponsored a program held on Sunday, June 25 entitled “Finding the Right API for You: A Technical Services Workflow Perspective,” reported by Ranti Junus in ALCTS News.
Submitted by Lucas Mak