It is the purpose of this column to collect and disseminate information
on all aspects of cataloging and classification.
I would like to include news concerning you, your research efforts, and
your organization; in fact, it would be desirable to expand coverage to include
information about cataloging activities all over the world.
Thus, this column is not just intended for news items, but serves to
document discussions of interest to the cataloging community at this challenging
and changing time in our professional lives.
Please send any pertinent materials, notes, minutes, reports to:
Elizabeth N. Steinhagen, Zimmerman Library, University of New Mexico,
Albuquerque NM 87131-1466, e-mail: email@example.com.
Phone: 505-277-5176. Also,
visit our CCQ home page at: http://ccq.libraries.psu.edu/ccq.html
We would appreciate receiving items having to do with
Abstracts or reports of on-going or unpublished research
Bibliographies of materials available on specific subjects
Questions that you would like to have answered by this column's readers
Analysis or description of new technologies
Call for papers
Comments or opinions on the art of cataloging
Notes, minutes or summaries of meetings, etc., of interest to
Description of grants
Description of projects
Announcements of changes in personnel
Announcements of honors, offices, etc.
The following report was submitted from the American
Library Association Midwinter meeting, Philadelphia, PA, Jan. 28-Feb. 3,
Heads of Technical Services in Large Libraries, January 29.
For the text of the Round Robin on issues of concern to
these institutions, which was distributed via the Big Heads electronic
discussion list in the weeks prior to the Philadelphia meeting see http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~ulcjh/bh199rr.html
Opening remarks, introductions
OCLCs CORC (Cooperative Online Resource Cataloging)
Special Projects Updates; discussion
a. Berkeley Technical Services Training Program (Lee Leighton)
b. Cornell, et al. Analysis of Technical Services Costs (Christian
Discussions for cooperative action
a. LC ILS implementation impacts on us; what are we tracking? Examples:
Z39.50 access to LC databases; impact
on cataloging (etc.) output, pinyin conversion;
PCC initiatives; authorities. What else?
b. Wade-Giles to pinyin conversion
c. Cataloging and/or analyzing aggregator databases
d. Other items for cooperative action?
Audience input on Technical Service issues and on agenda for Annual meeting
Meeting Chairperson, Lee Leighton (Berkeley)
1. Opening remarks, introductions
Wolven announced Carol Mandel is leaving Columbia to become Director of the
library at NYU; on her departure he will become Deputy University Librarian.
Lee Leighton announced he is resigning as Co-Chair. He nominated Judith
Nadler to succeed him. She was elected unanimously.
2. OCLCs CORC (Cooperative Online Resource Cataloging)
is a research project exploring the cooperative creation and sharing of metadata
by libraries. Terry Noreault from
OCLC Office of Research will describe the project goals and will focus on
discussion issues for us as a group representing the largest US libraries. We
also will ask that he address any projected relationships between CORC and the
CLIR Digital Library programs. Group discussion.
Dr. Noreault said they hope to involve 100 libraries in the project; so
far 12 have signed up and 30 more have expressed interest. Phase 1 will focus on
such questions as: What are the rules and standards involved in providing good
descriptions. The second phase will study what uses can be made of the database.
are libraries currently doing to provide access to electronic resources? Either:
Proving web page access
Loading records in OPAC
Developing pathfinders to help patrons find most valuable resources.
There are several problems with pathfinders: Duplication of effort as
different libraries catalog the same resources, lack of currency as links change
and web pages change in content, and the sheer rapid growth in the number of
electronic resources. He estimated that there are from one to two million
collections that need to be described. That would be beyond the capability of
any single library but with many libraries working cooperatively it could e
done. He suggested a sort of web approval plan as a solution.
We need tools that will help libraries provide pathfinders that will
integrate web and OPAC access to resources. The solution that OCLC envisages is
to build a cooperative database of high quality records using two standards,
MARC (AACR2) and Dublin Core and to map between those standards. The richness
that MARC provides is needed to provide full descriptions.
The project includes provision of authority control and use of some
automatic cataloging (automatic cataloging doesn't work very well now but the
output of such a program can be a good starting point for humans.)
What are the CORC objectives? To build pathfinders that will provide
database access and to find ways to create records using metadata.
All participants will get a copy of the full database. The starting point
of the database will be the 170,000 records from Intercat and Netfirst. The
project is scheduled to end January 2000.
He then asked for questions.
Wolven (Columbia) : What parameters do you see for building the CORC database
that will be useful for collection development functions? The answer was:
Subject description and information on the nature of holdings
Duane Arenales (NLM) said she was of two minds about the value of this
project; she wondered if it duplicates existing work of the Program for
Cooperative Cataloging (PCC). The answer came partly in the form of a question:
Can we get metadata providers to provide more information? We need to find out
how durable these collections and records are. We need to reduce cost of
Brian Schottlaender (UCLA) expressed himself as less sanguine about
getting content providers to provide descriptions. He noted that Dr. Noreault
was describing access points primarily. Providers
are less interested in content standards than in coding standards. Lots of
people at UCLA are creating pathfinders but without opac records for those
pathfinders many potential users are not getting access to them. He referred to
the California Digital Library.
John Lubans (Duke) asked if libraries will be able to take the CORC
records and put them in the local catalogs; the answer was Yes.
Beth Warner (University of Michigan) asked if libraries would be able to
export MARC records from local catalogs to CORC? Again the answer was Yes; if
fact it is already being done.
Sally Sinn (NAL) asked to what extent would CORC be involved in record
sharing among utilities. Is OCLC
looking at ways to make the sharing and notification of new and updated records
among participants better? The answer consisted of two points:
A mechanism to notify people that records have changed.
A test of whether links are broken. How do we notify
people of things, other than records, that are changed?
Mike Kaplan (Indiana University) said he was interested in ejournals and
aggregators. He asked whether any ejournal creators have been asked to be
involved? The answer was, No, not in this phase but they hoped to do that in the
Swanekamp (Yale University) asked whether OCLC planned to turn this into self-sustaining
product after the CORC Project ends? In response Dr. Noreault said OCLC will
test to see whether CORC turns out to be useful and, if so, whether they can
find a model that will be self-sustaining so that OCLC can turn it into a
Carol Diedrichs (Ohio State University) asked for comments on changing
records. What is needed is a model by which we can all see the most updated
version of records. Dr. Noreault said that they have to figure out how to move
to a position where we have a shared catalog but also local versions.
Judith Nadler (University of Chicago) said that CORC should be thought of
as more of a learning project than a means of record creation.
In preparation for CORC participation at Chicago the following goals had
been set up:
1.To learn and gain experience in creating records using multiple
metadata schemas and assess the desirability of and mechanisms for importing
records from CORC into local OPAC.
2.To influence the development of standards.
3.To determine what standards are best, determine how standards
inter‑operate with each other, and develop and document best practices for
applying any particular standard.
4.To develop cost models for non-MARC document description.
5.To explore mechanisms for persistence of object identifiers (preferably
multiple mechanisms) and assess issues of maintenance in a cooperative
6.To assess interoperability between MARC, the Dublin Core, and other
schemas and the usefulness of different schemas for different users. Technical
Services will work closely with Reference on this aspect.
7.To test organizational alliances in a metadata environment -- alliance
of catalogers with bibliographers, alliance of catalogers with access services,
alliance of catalogers with systems, etc.
A question that has come up so far during the Chicago project relates to
the shareability of records. We are
committed to sharing our records nationally, and records created in conjunction
with NEH-funded projects have this as a requirement. Can we export CORC records
to OCLC WorldCat? Can we export them to RLIN?
Karen Hsu (New York Public Library) : Do you have mechanisms to map
records from WorldCat to CORC; can you do also do the opposite?
The answer was that it probably would be possible.
3. Special Projects Updates; discussion
a. Berkeley -Technical Services Training Program (Lee Leighton). All branches perform some technical services functions though
not necessarily cataloging. Since
not all branch staff are equally trained Berkeley introduced a program to bring
all to the same level. They plan to do an overview of monographic cataloging,
serials cataloging, ordering, preparation of materials for storage,
replacements; and public services interpretation of records. The program
involves offering multiple sessions of the same topic.
Bob Wolven asked whether the training documents are available on the Web.
Leighton said that they will be; Berkeley is still at the stage of creating
documentation but making them available on the Web is also one of the program
Jeffrey Horrell of Harvard University, a very decentralized environment,
asked how Berkeley planned to avoid duplication of work. Leighton said they had
reached no conclusions on that point. They lacked the space in Central Technical
Services to move branch staff there. A
great deal of independent thinking goes on in the branches.
Someone asked where Berkeley performs monographic ordering? The answer
was CTS. To the question of where serials are received, the answer was mixed.
For the more easily controlled titles, receipt is decentralized; the rest are
received in CTS.
Arno Kastner (New York University) commented that serials checkin is a
problem in a decentralized system; there is a need to upgrade some staff person
to serve as the point person to answer serials‑related questions. Leighton noted that claiming at Berkeley is done in CTS.
Judith Nadler asked whether Berkeley was working on deciding what work
needs to be done? Leighton responded that they had done that first. It had been
essential to determine what steps were really necessary since Berkeley had lost
30% of its technical services staff.
Barbara Stelmasik (University of Minnesota) asked who measures
performance? Leighton answered that performance standards had been mounted on
the Web. Branch supervisors measure the performance of their staff but often in
consultation with CTS.
b. Cornell, et al. Analysis of Technical Services Costs (Christian
Boissonnas). Five libraries are
working on this test project: Cornell, the University of California at Santa
Barbara, Iowa State University, Vanderbilt, and the University of Missouri St.
Louis. At last summers ALA Boissonnas had reported that the group had just about
completed work on definitions of cost centers. They have now gathered data for
three randomly chosen sample weeks. Since summer the participants have talked
about how to incorporate overhead data and are making progress. Software to
record and analyze data is still being developed. It is slightly behind
schedule. The module dealing with employee data is mostly completed, and the one
used for recording weekly data is in its second version. The module which
generates the reports is currently being coded, and the group has not yet
decided how many and what kinds of reports will be needed. Boissonnas did not
know when the software will be ready for distribution or how it will be priced.
He also said that, by summer, he will have analyzed Cornell's data for at least
four sample weeks and begun to develop new baseline data for times and costs.
Duane Arenales: One factor that may influence how long it takes different
libraries to perform different functions is what Integrated Library System (ILS)
they use. In her experience commercial library systems do not make it easy to
collect time and cost data. Perhaps if we had some generally agreed upon desired
data it might be useful in discussions with vendors. To Boissonnass response
that he is more interested in analyzing time data Arenales said you need ways to
capture the data before you can analyze it.
Brian Schottlaender added that it was important to come up with common
definitions and the fact that the group had been able to do that was a major
Judith Nadler said that the software will be a good management tool to
help with such problems as determining which materials are the best candidates
Lee Leighton asked when the information about the project will be
available to other libraries. Boissonnas said that, once the five libraries had
gone through it themselves, had input data, and had generated reports, he could
see no reason why there could not be greater participation in the project, but
this would really be up to the group to decide.
4. Short Break
5. Discussions for cooperative action
a. LC ILS implementation impacts on us; what are we tracking?
Examples: Z39.50 access to LC databases; impact on cataloging (etc.)
output, pinyin conversion; PCC initiatives; authorities.
What else? (Leighton)
Beacher Wiggins (LC) : There will be some negative impact on output,
through October 1, 1999 when the ILS is scheduled for full implementation, and
beyond. LC is not sure what the learning curve will be after the October 1
implementation date. LC has told Congress that the numbers will not likely start
climbing until after October 1, 2000. LC will concentrate on current receipts
rather than arrearages except in some specialized areas such as CJK. The period
to eliminate the print arrearages has been extended to Sept. 30, 2004 while the
period for dealing with the Special Formats arrearages (approx. 18,000,000
items) has been extended to June 30, 2007.
Bob Wolven wondered what we could do to minimize the impact of LCs
productivity drop in our libraries. Brian Schottlaender said that the drop in
productivity for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) is important for
all other PCC libraries as many of them are also implementing new systems; he is
looking at a 20% drop in productivity at LC.
Sally Sinn (NAL and PCC Chair) said that PCC isn't forecasting any
decline in productivity, based on members' estimates of bibliographic record
contributions for FY 1999, but there has been a reluctance for new libraries to
join PCC while they are implementing a new ILS. Judith Nadler said we should not
under‑estimate the drop in productivity because of a new ILS.
Bob Wolven asked if the LC drop in productivity would impact
the distribution of MARC records to OCLC. Beacher Wiggins said that while the
number of records available to be distributed will drop he did not anticipate
any decrease in the speed with which new records will be ready to be
distributed. LC's Cataloging Distribution Service will be able to pick up newly
created records as of Cataloging Day 1 in June 1999. Duane Arenales commented
that NLM anticipates a 5‑month delay in distributing records. Carton
Rogers said that the University of Pennsylvania had gotten back to initial
productivity levels but has a one and a half year backlog in loading records to
Bob Wolven asked what is the relationship of ILS implementation to LC's
overseas offices? Beacher responded that they are impacted but that impact
should be transparent to users of records. The overseas offices are not getting
client‑server software loaded.
b. Wade-Giles to pinyin conversion.
LC's plans go only so far in helping our local catalogs; are there
cooperative initiatives that we as a group should arrange to minimize impacts to
our catalogs and authority files? Does
someone want to take a lead on this issue for ALA Annual? (Leighton)
Beacher Wiggins said that LC is looking at spring or summer 2000 for
pinyin conversion, after the implementation of the ILS.
Its impact on subject headings, authorities, and classification will
affect Big Heads libraries. Any record with a Chinese heading will be affected.
LC is considering asking the PCC members to cooperate in this work.
Nadler said she had not seen anything about OCLCs commitment to pinyin
conversion. The Big Heads group should find out what their plans are and to
lobby for action.
Kaplan asked if LC had a feel for the number of headings involved in the
conversion to pinyin. Wiggins said they don't have a grand total but there are
916 name authorities that include Peking alone and over 2,800 associated
Warner asked about cooperation with libraries in China to adopt their standards.
Wiggins responded that the pinyin romanization scheme is based on what Chinese
libraries use. Otherwise there is little cooperative effort with Chinese
Wolven said that there would seem to be real potential for automated assistance
in authority control conversion. Is anyone working with vendors who provide
automated authority control on the impact that conversion to pinyin will have on
their systems and what their plans are to deal with it?
Lee Leighton said that Berkeley planned to adopt pinyin on day 1 of LC's
implementation. They hope to have software that can search both Wade-Giles and
Smith-Yoshimura (RLG) said from the audience that RLG plans to produce a list of
all headings that will be affected by conversion from Wade‑Giles to
pinyin; RLG will make the list available as an FTP file free to anyone who wants
it. This weighted list of headings, with the number of times the headings have
been used on bibliographic records, will help to determine which authorities to
Kaplan suggested that Big Heads continue discussing this topic at the ALA summer
conference in New Orleans.
Cataloging and/or analyzing aggregator databases
practical scheme will require cooperation from our institutions. (Bob Wolven).
Wolven started by asking what exactly is meant by aggregator databases? There is
no uniformly perceived answer even within Columbia. What vision do we want to
accomplish by cataloging aggregator databases? Various models have been
proposed, e.g., some form of the multiple versions approach with all formats
listed as part of one record, different levels of fullness of records,
aggregating sub‑components of these databases, etc.
Boissonnas (Cornell) said that 'Why' we want to do something is an important
question to ask. It is not clear that anything is jelling yet at the directors
level but it is jelling at the catalogers level.
Calhoun (of Cornell) said from the audience that Ruth Haas of Harvard is chair
of the CONSER Task Group on Access to Serials in Aggregators which is working on
the cataloging of aggregator databases. The Task Group has done two surveys; the
first assessed the feasibility and ease of providing title level access to
titles in full‑text databases such as UMI's Proquest, EbscoHost, Lex‑Nexis,
etc. The second survey followed on the first to assess the need for access at
the title level, the most desired forms of access, and willingness to cooperate.
Sixty‑two libraries responded, 95% of which license full‑text
aggregator databases. Access
methods currently in use (respondents could choose all appropriate methods)
65 % of respondents are using a single record
60% are using web lists
42% are using separate records
to the desired form of access (respondents had to choose one):
31% favored single records
29% favored separate records
23% said 'none of the above', because they wanted to choose more than one
approach, with lists, single records, and separate records all playing a role
10% favored using lists on the web
those who responded either 'single records' or 'separate records' plus the half
of the 'none of the above' responses who wanted multiple approaches means that
71% of the responding libraries wanted records in their OPACs so as to provide a
single point of access to all library resources.
is a great deal of interest in collaborating to solve the problem of providing
access to electronic journals within full‑text databases.
Over half of the responding libraries said they would be willing to work
with CONSER libraries to create and maintain record sets, and over half were
willing to work with vendors to create metadata for these titles. Almost 75%
said they wanted to purchase sets of records.
a next step the Task Group will be meeting to discuss how it might work with
Judith Nadler asked whether there was a way to assess how respondents
came up with choices? Karen said that the technical services respondents had
been asked to check with their reference staff. Many respondents provided
rationales for their choices.
Sinn commented that libraries don't have systems for dealing with multiple
versions and so, pragmatically speaking, we are constrained by the tools we now
have; people may say they prefer separate records because they lack workable
systems for providing data relating to multiple formats on a single record.
Arenales commented that nobody has promoted multiple versions more and longer
than NLM but they are a bit nervous about dealing with electronic journals and
how much they diverge from the print version and how often they change. How can
one determine if both versions are the same work?
Warner asked has anyone thought beyond description to how to show holdings?
Karen Calhoun said from the audience that the surveys had not asked
questions about maintenance but had gotten lots of comments on that topic. One
suggestion: preparation of a list of desiderata to present to vendors; people
are concerned. There will be more discussion of this topic at the Big Heads
meeting in summer 1999.
Other items for cooperative action?
6. Audience input on Technical Service issues and on agenda for Annual
meeting. We encourage audience comments.
Martin Joachim (Indiana) asked about changes in the AACR2 rules dealing
with British titles of nobility. Brian Schottlaender said the proposals are a
result of USMARC and UKMARC harmonization. One proposal is that when headings
are entered under personal name surnames, that titles of nobility not be added.
CC:DA will be discussing the British proposals at its Saturday afternoon
Charles Lasater (Vanderbilt) asked if anyone was addressing the question of
aggregator databases of a more monographic nature. No one had. According to
Lasater, the vendor‑provided records are MARC‑like but there has
been no adherence to AACR2 for form of headings. The result is that the records
will require a horrendous maintenance job.
Someone from the audience asked about intelligent cataloging agents and
the application of programs against content to develop rules.
Bob Wolven said that someone will be applying content analysis to records
attached to full text databases to provide subject analysis of some sort.
7. The meeting was adjourned at 11:55 AM.
State University of New York at Buffalo
The following reports were contributed from the IX.
Transborder Library Forum (Foro Transfronterizo de Bibliotecas), held in
Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, on March 4-7, 1999.
The Transborder Library Forums began in 1991, when librarians from
Arizona and Sonora jointly organized the first one, held in Rio Rico, Arizona.
This became an annual meeting of librarians from mainly the US and Mexico
border states, with Canadians joining them later.
Attendance, recently, has grown to over 300 participants, including
vendors and exhibitors from American and Mexican companies.
There is still no formal structure or membership, nor a governing body
but the Foros have become a favorite venue to discuss a wide range of issues of
mutual concern to librarians in all types of libraries, across national borders
and linguistic obstacles.
The IXth FORO was based on the theme "Facing a new millennium of
information". Its logo
depicted a head of a prehispanic Maya and the Roman numeral nine, representing
the joining of the past and the future. This
suggested a vision toward the future, based on the past, just as today we are
using different electronic and digital media to store and access information,
but also relying on the traditional paper formats to assist our users.
Hosted jointly by CETYS Universidad of Mexicali, and San Diego State
University, the event attracted well over 200 registrants over 3 days of
workshops, keynotes, and breakout sessions.
These included a large variety of presentations and panel sessions. Attendees could chose among reading programs for children,
marketing of electronic information services and other innovative business
models applied to the library field, and finding US federal as well as
California state documents on line, followed by a presentation about INEGI, the
Mexican agency responsible for the gathering and disseminating of statistical
and geographic information. There
were also sessions on prison and rehabilitation center library services in both
Mexico and the USA,
on interlibrary cooperation between Mexico and USA, and
similar user services at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
An interesting panel of educators presented insights into
the trends in library education in all three countries, with emphasis on the
skills needed in the 21 century.
There were also presentations about the IMS, the Internet architecture
for learning, and the impact of technology on information services and products.
Another session dealt with international business on the WWW, and on
BANCOMEXT, the Mexican financial institution that promotes that nation's foreign
trade. A very popular session dealt
with management strategies in libraries, such as benchmarking, and other service
Among technical services topics, there were presentations on cataloging
issues in Mexican libraries, summarized in the following report, and about DRA
TAOS in Illinois, the collaborative project among 45 institutions; countries
beyond the immediate borders were represented by a report on the rebuilding of a
university library in Extremadura, Spain, and the evolution of academic
libraries in Nicaragua. These were
followed by copyright globalization issues in the electronic age, and free
speech on the Internet. User
services topics included a session on information literacy, as a new paradigm
for academic libraries, as well as demonstrations of new products by vendors and
Elizabeth N. Steinhagen
University of New Mexico Library
"Mexican libraries toward the year 2000," was the title of a
presentation by Maestro Daniel Anorve, of the Universidad Pedagogica Nacional
(Mexico). He talked about the
automation process of Mexican libraries, beginning with the LIBRUNAM system
developed in the '70s by librarians and computation experts of the Universidad
Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, the largest library of Mexico and Latin America.
This software was utilized by many Mexican libraries.
Another software that was developed at the Universidad de Colima, and
sponsored by the Secretaria de Educacion Publica, is called SIABUC (Sistema
Automatizado de Bibliotecas de la Universidad de Colima).
This system was has been distributed free of charge of public
universities and now is in its release 5. The
Universidad de Colima is now producing a CD-ROM containing records of its
collections and of other databases.
Another software developed in Mexico is called LOGICAT and it was worked
on by staff of LIBRUNAM; it is now in its release 7.
All the above softwares in Mexico incorporate the experiences of Mexican
librarians who are familiar with the problems facing their libraries.
Some larger libraries have purchased softwares in foreign languages,
especially in English, but obviously the language problem for staff and users
has not been overcome.
A national network of libraries of higher education was created in 1997.
The Red Nacional de Bibliotecas de Instituciones de Educacion Superior (RENABIES)
now has a membership of 27 public institutions, with several having their web
pages on different servers, and other without any web pages as of yet.
At the time that automation began in Mexico, there was talk of creating
union catalogs and national networks. However,
to date that has been impossible, on account of the incompatibility of the
different softwares. There are
librarians and computer experts who want to begin work on converting and merging
data, but so far this work has proven to be too expensive.
Catalog librarians lucky enough to have access to the Internet have been
able to copy information from the catalogs of others, especially in the areas of
classification and subject headings. Records
from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and the Colegio de Mexico are
the most popular, and from other countries, the opac of the Library of Congress
of the United States is consulted frequently.
For a number of reasons, copying MARC records is the easiest and cheapest
alternative, as often the cataloging staff of a library does not have a
professional library degree. Generally,
it is the library director who is the only professional and the rest of the
staff would find it difficult and time-consuming to create original records.
In addition, some records in online catalogs do not follow international
cataloging standards, such as AACR2, and they are input in various formats.
Thus, the many challenges faced by the Mexican librarians when they
consider automating their cataloging must be examined and the issues, especially
the need for jointly agreed-upon standards certainly must be addressed by the
library schools and the profession.
Daniel Anorve A.
Universidad Pedagogica Nacional (Mexico)
The following report comes from the "Spring
Meeting of the New England Technical Services Librarians (NETSL), held on
April 16, 1999, at The College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.
Featured speakers were Clifford
Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI),
and Eric Lease Morgan, Systems
Librarian, Digital Initiatives Department, North Carolina State University
Lynch talked about "Changes in Scholarly Communications:
Implications for Technical Services."
He discussed a number of ways in which the "content" world is
changing for libraries as scholarly communication continues to develop under the
pressure of digital innovations, and concluded with some specific observations
about the impacts of this development on technical services. Although technical services will be implicated in many of
these changes, the traditional functional divisions that have been maintained in
libraries will be less and less useful for managing information.
According to Lynch, the first area of change in content has to do with
the "classical content," i.e., journals, monographs and the like.
A substantial proportion of scholarly journal literature is now being
published electronically, and no longer simply as experiments.
The major factor which has held back the abandonment of paper
publications is the concern for archiving, rather than many scholars' earlier
concern about the limited reach of electronic publications.
However, digital publication of monographs still seems less viable, given
the almost universal preference for reading this literature in hard copy.
Other important factors impacting the electronic management of
traditional content are the proliferation or business models for distribution
and bundling that librarians must now manage, the unpredictability of network
performance, and the need to establish policies for usage, user authentication
and privacy. To date, the large
research libraries, as early adopters, have been at the forefront of these
issues, but smaller institutions will soon need to examine the challenges and
opportunities presented by networked access to traditional content.
Another area of change in content has to do with those materials which we
have traditionally collected, but due to the shift to electronic formats, seem
almost like new materials. Among
these are special collections, which are changing from the least to the most
accessible of materials due to digitization.
Rights clearance and organization are challenges here, although standard
monographic-style cataloging may not always be the best approach to the latter.
The art and cultural heritage communities are joining in this effort, as
more museums make the decision that they too have special collections.
Another important transition is that from physical cartographic materials
to geospatial data. Maps, in this
environment, are a user interface, generated on demand to display geospatial
Still another area of change in content is that involving fundamentally
new forms, as faculty begin to apply technology to produce forms of
communication that fall completely outside the structure of scholarly
publishing. Among these are web
sites in specific disciplines, which may combine monograph-like and multimedia
material, integrate critical editions with commentary, and which change
continually with no support for management and preservation.
Online "collaboratories" are "both event and
artifact," where real-time communication and experimentation is also
preserved for later review. Much of
the science of the next century will be done via collaboratories: how will we
describe them, and how will the material in them be best retrieved?
Similarly, seminars shared via digital video are both events and
artifacts, with analogous challenges for description and retrieval.
According to Lynch, the impact on technical services is considerable.
Acquisitions departments will need to select materials that come without
a publisher's imprimatur, determine who holds the rights to intangible
materials, and make decisions involving accessibility that are like those faced
by archives. Acquisitions libraries
will need to consider the whole "downstream" life of a resource, as
part of the purchase or lease negotiation.
In terms of organization, or cataloging, we will be challenged to provide
internal organization of resources, as well as the macro-organization of
collections. Most books have
sophisticated internal organization tools (tables of content, indexes, etc.) but
a work consisting of several hours of raw video is unlikely to have any internal
organization. For the new materials
to come, combinations of rigorous intellectual abstracting and indexing, along
with the automatic indexing advocated by computer scientists will be required.
"Trust management" will also be a part of organization and
retrieval, as users will need to be assured that descriptions of digital items
are accurate and that their sources are as stated.
As distance education becomes more popular, and digital resources are
incorporated into curricula, librarians will need to be proactively involved.
We will need to work with faculty to understand and analyze the
electronic resource base for courses at different levels of sophistication.
While introductory courses may not require much involvement, library
support for research-intensive offerings is an area still largely unexplored.
In conclusion, while the general missions of libraries will not change
radically in the foreseeable future, the strategies we will need to employ and
the challenges we will face will change. To
address these, we will need to come back to first principles, a practice that is
both more difficult and more energizing, than remaining preoccupied with changes
The following breakout speakers included Ann
McHugo (Dartmouth College) who spoke about "E-Business: Acquisitions in
the Electronic Age;" next, Steven
Riel (Harvard University), and David
Van Hoy (MIT), addressed "Serials Cataloging: Current Approaches."
Marilyn Wood (Harvard University),
presented "From Storage to Cyberspace: the Digital Contents Pilot Project
at Harvard University." Another
session, on "Millennial Roles for the Serials Paraprofessional: Different
or More of the Same?", was presented by Marguerite Horn (SUNY at Albany), Barbara Figurski (Worcester Public Library), and Karen
Cook (Bowdoin College).
The last speaker, Eric L. Morgan, spoke on "Some Possibilities for Technical
Services Librarianship." He
began with a definition of librarianship which draws on the "ladder of
understanding," derived from Mortimer Adler. In this view, the crucial function of librarianship is to
help people move up the ladder, from simply acquiring data and organizing it as
information, to acquiring knowledge and developing wisdom.
He coined the term "arscient" to describe librarianship, as a
discipline which combines the outlooks of the scientist as well as of the
artist. Specific practices which
librarians may adopt toward patrons' enhancing understanding include digitizing
and making available unique items in our collections, adding qualitative data to
catalog records, and forming consortia in order to speak with more authority in
Morgan than turned to a live demonstration of several services developed
in the Digital Initiatives Department at NCSU.
The "Index Morganagus," a descendent of the "Mr.
Serials" collection of electronic serials distributed via email, is a web-based
database of library-related serials. The
Harvest search engine collects and indexes new issues every two weeks, resulting
in a Library Literature-like search tool.
The "Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts is a collection of works in
American and English literature and Western philosophy.
This database allows searching of multiple texts simultaneously, the
creation of personalized "bookcases" of selected texts, and the
ability to customize PDF-formatted selections from reading off-line.
MyLibrary@NCState, the most complex of the services demonstrated, is a
"portal application" which allows the user to create an individual
interface to the online resources of the NCSU libraries.
These materials are indexed using a controlled vocabulary which mirrors
the disciplinary structure of the university, providing a base from which users
may add and delete resources according to their preferences.
Additionally, users may bookmark online resources not provided by NCSU,
creating a personal list available from any login location.
Among the many additional features of MyLibrary, an SDI-like service,
Current Awareness Manager, provides information on new resources which fit the
profiles that individuals develop for themselves.
Morgan concluded with a challenge, that as we assist users to move up the
ladder of understanding, we make efforts to move up the ladder ourselves,
"playing a more significant role in the creation of knowledge."
For more information about NETSL, see the web site at:
David P. Miller, Curry College