Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group (“Big Heads”) (Friday a.m.)

Cecily John reported on the Collection Management Initiative of the California Digital Library. They are comparing usage of e-journals and print journals, in and out of storage facilities. The next phase will involve interviewing users about the advantages and barriers of using e-journals, the perceived percentage of materials available electronically and similar topics; the report is expected in the summer of 2003. Some of the issues they are analyzing: how to count possible use of more than one article in a print issue removed from the shelf vs count of hits in an e-journal; discipline-specific behaviors; print in storage is inherently less convenient than an e-journal; cost per usage; counting titles in each collection when available to a consortium; cataloging records in local opacs; artifactual value; special preservation considerations when last copy is brittle.

The next topic was management of e-resources and format decisions. Judy Nadler described the situation at the University of Chicago where they have access to approximately 20,000 e-journals, all of which are cataloged with links in the opac. Science users are especially supportive of e-journals because of early availability of content, extra content, extra functionality, alert services, and document delivery. Some of the problems are licensing and availability for interlibrary loan. OhioLink has electronic as the default for subscriptions. UCB has negotiated with Elsevier for a print copy as part of its subscriptions, with the print copy as backup and archive. Other issues: rolling term of access; selection within packages; reliable archiving; possible gaps in content; refreshing and maintenance of the entire content.

CONSER policy is to create a single record for all electronic versions which is difficult and not done by all large research libraries. Cornell recently announced that they would be moving to a record for each e-version. Aggregator record sets are more easily loaded and maintained if each version is kept on its own record. Columbia found that 16% of connections to e-journals were from the opac and the remainder were from e-journal webpages. UCB has found user opinions are all over the place on single or multiple records. Serials Solutions and other vendors are being used by some universities to help manage e-journals.

Jean Hirons described the serials training program (SCCTP) that is serving as a model for other cataloging training. There is a joint PCC/ALCTS group on training for name and series headings and another group looking at subject cataloging training (see also SAC report). A preconference workshop was held at Midwinter on training for integrating resources. The training materials are being prepared so that they could be used by regional networks and other organizations for local workshops. It is also hoped that followup materials, probably web-based, can be used for continuing education. NACO participation is now widespread and someone reported that they have been having trouble finding headings that have not already been established.

Though most institutions are living with fewer staff members, Yale (Joan Swanekamp) reported that they have been adding catalogers and they have been training departmental librarians to do technical service tasks. They are creating a new position for a training and documentation librarian, related significantly to Voyager implementation. Chicago has a training team. NYPL catalogers of special materials do not report to central technical services but the central department is trying to create materials that all can use. Since not all experienced catalogers are good teachers or want to stand up in front of a workshop, cooperative mentoring might be a method for passing on the expertise.

Bob Wolven, chair of PCC, spoke about the current assessment. A task group will be established to look at goals for the Program since the number of participating libraries is not expected to grow significantly. They will look at areas where bibliographic and authority records are not being created in a timely manner. They will ask the utilities to gather some statistics by language, use, topic, etc. to see what areas are not being covered. Numerical goals have been re-established, with 100 records per year being expected of smaller NACO libraries (except those in funnels) and 200 per year for larger institutions. The task group will look at numerical standards for BIBCO libraries.

Next on the agenda was a discussion of the quality and quantity of cataloging records. Records in the utilities are more diverse with vendor records, more or less well upgraded, and many libraries completing their records in local systems and not always loading to either or both major utilities (OCLC and RLIN). OCLC records generally are only upgraded in OCLC though efforts are underway to make for a smarter batch loading of records, particularly from BIBCO participants. Northwestern records have not been loaded since 1995. Cornell and Stanford are both using OCLC’s Cat ME for original cataloging. Cornell builds the records in Voyager but printouts are put in a basket; a student checks again for originality and then uses Cat ME to transfer the record if appropriate. Language expertise is disappearing as the older catalogers retire. Columbia is sending materials in Mongolian to Mongolia and then creating MARC records from the description provided. The University of California at Irvine is sending materials in Korean to UCLA where there is a Korean cataloger who can handle the extra load of titles; they admitted that the relationship worked better because the institutions are relatively close to each other. Chicago does some matching of experienced catalogers and language experts. Libraries in the Research Triangle are using a South Asian cataloger at one institution without insisting on balance of costs though they are having trouble transferring the methodology to other areas of need.

Beacher Wiggins briefly described the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, based at LC. cf Congress funded the program with $100 million for at-risk items relating to the national heritage. In the near term, NDIIPP will harvest digital resources and hold them. Their first target projects are the recent elections, September 11th, and the 2002 Olympics. LC has established a facility in Culpeper, Virginia which will work on preservation of motion picture and sound materials, particularly legacy formats. They are collaborating with other national governments and many other organizations in these efforts.

... return to ALA reports ...