Planet Cataloging

November 21, 2017


The three types of library professionals who absolutely must read the new ACRL/OCLC Academic Library Impact report


It’s really not for everyone

Clickbait headline aside, there really isn’t a compelling reason for some library workers to read the full text of the recently published Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research report from ACRL and OCLC.

For most librarians and educators, the eight-page introduction is all you need. It’s got a quick overview of six priority areas that we suggest as a guide for developing academic services that focus on student success. For each, there’s a short bullet list of actions and questions we’d like to explore further. That’s it. A nice, easy primer for most librarians.

But if you are a library administrator, do marketing for your library, or are directly involved in educational outcomes … sorry. You need to make time for all 73 pages.

Let’s connect goals to roles

The report’s introduction includes a key question, familiar to librarians:

How well can academic library administrators and staff demonstrate that the academic library is useful to students?

While the question seems straightforward, librarians know that the answer is anything but. We identified six areas that clarify how to address this question. These areas match well with the roles of library administrators, those doing marketing for their libraries, and those directly involved in educational outcomes.

1. Library administrators: match and collaborate

The areas that we identify as relevant to library administrators are:

  • Match library assessment to the institution’s mission
  • Collaborate with educational stakeholders

If you are a library administrator and your library’s metrics don’t mesh with and complement those of your institution … you need to get on that today. Colleges and universities are becoming much more competitive and data focused. Your college president, provost or CEO—whatever the title may be—is looking for ways to quantify contributions to student success. Because that’s what their paying customers—parents and students—are demanding.

To quantify and communicate the library’s contributions to student success, you need to be collaborating with other stakeholders. You need to know: what they are measuring; how your library can contribute to their work to make an impact at the institution; and how they can help you.

Are you someone who must read the new ACRL/OCLC “Academic Library Impact” report?
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2. Library marketers: quantify and communicate

The areas we identify as relevant to library marketers are:

  • Communicate the library’s contribution
  • Quantify the library’s impact on student success

Hopefully it’s obvious that “communicating” is part of your remit in marketing. But what may not be as obvious is that to do it well—especially internally—you need to start with the numbers and the terminology used by those within the academic community.

In our discussions with provosts and library administrators and our literature review, we learned that librarians use the word “service” more than others in higher education. They use more specific terms, like “teaching and learning,” “customer service,” and “space.” Go back and talk to your boss at the library and find out how you’ll be matching your activities and language with institutional missions.

3. Teaching librarians and library staff: improve your school’s pedagogy with data

The areas that we identify as relevant to those directly involved in educational outcomes are:

  • Include library data in institutional data collection
  • Enhance teaching and learning

What gets measured gets rewarded. If you’re working hard to help students succeed—but that activity isn’t recorded somewhere—guess what? It may not make the round of cuts.

Whether you’re measuring hard-and-fast statistics like graduation rates and grades or more subjective efforts like critical thinking and engagement … data are essential for making your library’s case to administrators, teaching faculty, and funders.

Our research indicates that provosts are more likely to associate libraries with student learning outcomes related to services, collections, and spaces as opposed to instruction and teaching support like research skills and how to identify credible information. And that’s a shame. If you—like many librarians and library staff—are doing the hard work of teaching, you need to make sure it’s recorded and rewarded.

I was kidding: everyone should read this

Well, as one of the authors … I’d certainly like everyone working in libraries to at least read the introduction. Heck, I’d like everyone working in education to read that much. But, in truth, it usually takes a smaller, more focused group of people to really get the ball rolling on any new set of activities like these.

Toward that end, if you’re one of the three types of library workers we’ve just discussed, guess what: it’s your job to get your staff, coworkers, and faculty on board. And by the time you’ve read the report, you’ll have a bunch of good ideas on how to make that happen.

The post The three types of library professionals who absolutely must read the new ACRL/OCLC Academic Library Impact report appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. at November 21, 2017 07:30 PM

Terry's Worklog

MarcEdit 7: Release Candidate

A new milestone was reached this past weekend, in that the MarcEdit 7 release candidate was posted. Over this next week, I’ll be working on tests, prepping final installation packages, writing documentation, and getting a package together for Linux installation. As I noted, the Mac version of MarcEdit will come later, as there are a number of UI changes that will need to be accommodated due to some differences with the new MacOS install. My guess at this point, I should complete most of the Mac work by Christmas.

Keep an eye out for more information on the final release. At this point, it should happen on Nov. 26th.


by reeset at November 21, 2017 02:14 PM

November 17, 2017

Problem Cataloger

The safe care and handling of gases. (OCLC #6526758) Slides!...

The safe care and handling of gases. (OCLC #6526758)

Slides! I’ve never gotten to catalog slides before. It was a nice opportunity to review the rules for this format. The set does have an accompanying audiocassette:

300 ǂa 37 slides : ǂb color ; ǂc 2 x 2 in. + 
    ǂe 1 audiocassette.

So there are two sets of Content/Media/Carrier fields:

336 __ ǂa still image ǂb sti ǂ2 rdacontent
337 __ ǂa projected ǂb g ǂ2 rdamedia
338 __ ǂa slide ǂb gs ǂ2 rdacarrier
336 __ ǂa spoken word ǂb spw ǂ2 rdacontent ǂ3 accompanying material
337 __ ǂa audio ǂb s ǂ2 rdamedia ǂ3 accompanying material
338 __ ǂa audiocassette ǂb ss ǂ2 rdacarrier ǂ3 accompanying material 

However, the soundtrack is considered an integral part of the slide set, so its sound characteristics are included in the slides’ 007 (not as a separate 007):

007 __ ǂa g ǂb s ǂd c ǂf b ǂg f ǂh j

November 17, 2017 07:49 PM

TSLL TechScans (Technical Services Law Librarians)

NASIG updates strategic plan

NASIG, formerly the North American Serials Interest Group, recently announced availability of the NASIG Strategic Plan 2017-2011. This new strategic plan reflects NASIG's evolution from an organization primarily focused on serials management to one with a broader scope including electronic resources management and scholarly communications.

The details:

NASIG's vision, adopted November 10,2014, is to be:
an independent organization working to advance and transform the management of information resoures. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate and improve the distribution, acquisition, and long-term accessibility of information resources in all formats and business models.
The organization's mission includes three key components.
  1. Support of a community of professionals ... engaging in understanding of one another's perspectives and improving functionality throughout the information resources lifecycle ...
  2. Provision of a variety of conference and continuing education programming ...
  3. Promotion of the development and implementation of best practices and standards for the distribution, acquisition and long-term accessibility of information resources in all formats and business models throughout their lifecycle.
The strategic plan identifies five strategic directions for the organization.
  1. NASIG will revitalize its marketing approach to reflect is new mission and vision.
  2. NASIG will expand student outreach and mentoring.
  3. NASIG will find the optimum balance between paid staff and volunteer work.
  4. NASIG will be involved in creating new content to add to the body of scholarly work.
  5. NASIG will work to enhance benefits to all members with a particular emphasis on members from the commercial sector.
NASIG's 33rd annual meeting, with the theme Transforming the Information Community will be held in Atlanta, GA  Friday June 8 - Monday June 11, 2018.

by (Jackie Magagnosc) at November 17, 2017 04:36 PM

November 16, 2017


Getting smarter, together


It was great to see everyone in Baltimore at the inaugural meeting of the Americas Regional Council. It was a phenomenal experience—from the inspiring keynote speakers to many in-depth, informative breakout sessions.

Nearly 200 attendees from 120 institutions, 36 US states, and four countries joined this membership meeting where the theme was, “The Smarter Library.” We shared ideas, questions, and insights about what it takes to become smarter and innovate continuously around the needs of the communities we serve.

Our keynote speakers, Dr. Carla D. Hayden, Librarian of Congress; Skip Prichard, President and CEO of OCLC; and Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, inspired us all with their keen insights on how libraries can continue their track record of innovation in pursuit of new and better ways to support their communities and better serve their users.

#OCLCARC17: What does it take to become smarter and innovate continuously around the needs of our communities?
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Members themselves provided most of the breakout content—a rich program of more than 60 leading speakers and panelists from within and outside the library community. These breakout sessions, where we came together in small groups to brainstorm and reflect, were a valuable part of the two-day meeting. Through our use of a “smarter conference” app, Scavify, we heard what attendees will be taking home to make their libraries smarter. Here is a sampling:

  • Reach out to communities we serve. They are the experts and it’s through relationships and conversations that we become smarter at meeting their needs. Communities must be consulted and incorporated into every step of the innovation process so they have a sense of ownership.
  • Identify bits of data through surveys, and then dig deeper.
  • Learning is social. Space should be open and inviting and flexible to meet the needs of different audiences.
  • Build programs that look outside of the library to inspire conversations and thinking by highlighting faculty research and student learning—not just collections.

Those are just a few of the practical ideas shared. For more inspiration, the presentation materials from the event are available here, and we encourage you to review and share them with colleagues who were unable to attend this year’s conference. Conference attendees shared a lot of thoughts (and some great pictures!) on OCLC’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, too. We encourage you to continue to share the memories via your own social media accounts using #OCLCARC17.

Take a look at the ARC17 highlight video below, which will give you a quick glimpse into the camaraderie and excitement of the meeting.

Thank you to all who planned and attended this powerful event. The rooms were filled with great energy, interesting conversations, and new connections. We all came away with new ideas and a new spirit to innovate, which will keep our libraries relevant and fresh.

We look forward to seeing you next year in Chicago, Illinois, where we will continue to advance smarter libraries together.

The post Getting smarter, together appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Christopher Cronin at November 16, 2017 06:18 PM

November 15, 2017

Problem Cataloger

Chem sources-international–1998 edition. (OCLC...

Chem sources-international–1998 edition. (OCLC #39262429)

This is the thickest book I’ve ever received for cataloging:

300 __ ǂa iv, 2259 pages : ǂb illustrations ; ǂc 29 cm

It made me wonder if RDA had exceptions in the rules for recording Dimensions of a volume related to a book’s thickness (as there are for the cover’s width). There don’t appear to be; it’s probably covered by pagination.

November 15, 2017 07:11 PM

TSLL TechScans (Technical Services Law Librarians)

NISO “Understanding Metadata” Primer

In a press release on January 18, 2017, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced the release of Understanding Metadata, an update to NISO’s 2004 publication on the topic. The current release is the second document in NISO’s Primer Series on data management issues. The primer series began with the publication of Research Data Management in 2015 and will continue with a forthcoming publication on Linked Data for Cultural Institutions and additional guides in the future.

The 2017 primer is an expanded overview of structured metadata used in cultural heritage institutions, covering the latest developments in metadata practices, tools, standards, and languages. It provides a useful outline of the most common use cases for standard metadata types in information systems, covering a range of cultural resources management activities including description, discovery, display, interoperability, digital-object management, preservation, and object navigation. Subsequent sections provide a comprehensive overview of a.) How metadata is stored and shared through relational databases, XML documents, and Linked Data and RDF b.) The standardization of metadata through controlled vocabularies and content standards, and c.) Notable metadata languages used broadly and within cultural heritage institutions. As an introductory document, the 2017 Primer addresses the basic issues around, what is metadata, why we create metadata, and how we create, use, and share metadata.  

As a newbie to understanding metadata, I found it useful to read both NISO’s 2004 Understanding Metadata document and the 2017 Primer publication. However, the latter includes a few concepts that were not covered in the original document such as Linked Data, the Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME), and CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC CRM). In other instances, the 2017 primer provides more substantive descriptions of concepts nominally covered in the 2004 publication, such as RDF (Resource Description Framework). 

The 2017 NISO Primer release, Understanding Metadata, is available as a free download at  

by (Caitlyn Lam) at November 15, 2017 02:12 PM

November 14, 2017

TSLL TechScans (Technical Services Law Librarians)

eBooks in the Law Library - Part 2

Law and Technology Resources for Legal Professionals, LLRX, continues its look at the current state of eBooks in law libraries. The second of their three-part series offers a great summary of the various pricing models that may be encountered during the acquisitions process. There are many ownership and subscription options for eBook acquisition and this article does an excellent job of explaining how the various plans work. It offers concise explanations for even the most confusing plans, such as non-linear lending and access to own. 

Still not sure what model would work best for your particular budget? The article also offers numerous helpful tips for keeping eBook costs down while growing a collection. 

The article concludes with a list of questions that should be addressed before selecting any eBook package. For example; making sure the technical requirements match the resources of your library and its users, examining the content and scope of the eBook package to make sure you're meeting your user's needs, and inquiring about user interface and other functions such as printing and copy/pasting from the eBook titles. 

This is an excellent primer for any librarian looking to add eBooks to their collection. The next article in the series will include a case study of how the author's library has built its eBook collection.  

by (Travis Spence) at November 14, 2017 09:55 PM

November 10, 2017


Guess what topic is tops on our blog this year?


Resource sharing is the heart of librarianship. And the heart of OCLC. Whether it’s metadata, workflows, infrastructure, or library materials, sharing is embedded deep in a librarian’s psyche and powered by our technology platform.

It’s no surprise, then, that resource sharing is one of the topics on our blog that always gets the most traffic—this year and last year. This year, our posts on Tipasa, interlibrary loan trends, and shared print collections are among the most popular based on views and visits. Last year, it was interlibrary loan trends as well, along with a contest to name our new ILL management system.

Clearly, after 50 years of the cooperative, the community continues to reinvent resource sharing—making it even easier for more types of libraries and groups to support one another. I invite you to enjoy these posts once again. And to keep on caring about resource sharing.

Resource Sharing is the top #OCLCnext blog topic for 2017.
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Looking at interlibrary loan, 2016 edition

By Christa Starck, OCLC Senior Product Manager, Resource Sharing

top-topics-ILLEveryone likes reading about lists and trends. I guess it’s part of our natural curiosity to wonder who’s in the top ten and to analyze what direction our culture or profession appears to be headed.

In the case of interlibrary loan (ILL), it’s also a lot of fun! The ILL community enjoys the data as well. Here are the latest themes in the interlibrary loan world based on our data. Read more


Come on in, the water’s fine

By Carla G. Sands, Interlibrary Loan Specialist, Gabriele Library, Immaculata University

top-topics-tipasaIn the summer of 2016, I received a phone call from OCLC asking if I’d be interested in becoming one of the first early adopters for a service that would be replacing ILLiad. It would be an enhanced WorldShare ILL system that would include many of the unique features of ILLiad. Move away from ILLiad? And do so at the “bleeding edge” of a new service? And being not much of a techie, the idea of changing any computer-based system always seems like a challenge. At that very moment, the idea seemed overwhelming and, frankly, hugely unsettling. Read more


Sharing resource sharing

By Katie Birch, Executive Director, OCLC Resource Sharing

top-topics-sharingI’ve been working in interlibrary loan a long time and the collaboration I see within this group of librarians is amazing. Our resource sharing community has nearly 50 years of shared experience, and that is a critical resource for our future. Our membership is also a passionate and engaged worldwide community that, together, fills an ILL request every two seconds. We will take that experience and passion and use it to build cooperative services and resources that better meet the challenges of an increasingly connected, worldwide audience. Read more


A change in focus on library collections and spaces

By Rick Lugg, Executive Director, Sustainable Collection Services

top-topics-printAs a library community, we face a large task: to understand and manage print book collections in new ways. Librarians first need to guarantee that nothing disappears from the collective collection—that the scholarly and cultural record remains intact. We also need to assure that material in shared collections remains available to users quickly when needed. Only then can we responsibly consider sharing, storage, or withdrawal. Good data about collections can help establish priorities and focus. Read more

Registration open for 2018 OCLC Resource Sharing Conference

OCLC invites all ILL professionals to Jacksonville, Florida, USA, to share the latest in resource sharing, including innovative approaches to patron service and interlibrary loan workflows. At next year’s conference, you’ll find ways to improve operational efficiency, save time, and better connect end users to the information they need. Register today for this unique opportunity to interact with a very knowledgeable community of resource sharing professionals.

The post Guess what topic is tops on our blog this year? appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Katie Birch at November 10, 2017 02:23 PM