Catalogers Discussion Group Minutes
Guggenheim Soho, 11/2/98, p.m.

Welcome & Introductions
Librarian Ilene Magaras welcomed CDG to the Guggenheim, introduced Guggenheim staff, and presented the agenda covering outsourcing and documenting artworks.

Present Outsourcing at the Guggenheim
Although the Guggenheim has used Library Associates since 1996, due to increased fees the library is contracting a new vendor.

While it is the Guggenheim Library’s goal to implement an integrated online system, the present card catalog system continues to be used. In preparation for recon efforts, Ilene has planned ahead requesting the outsourcing company (Library Associates) provide both cards and an electronic file (MARC on disc).

The library and vendor relationship was described as a continual dialogue because of the needs unique to each library. Members inquired as to what the library supplied to the vendor in order to catalogue- title, verso, annotated by librarian? The Guggenheim has provided Library Associates with a copy of the title page and verso and classification preference such as N44’s. [artist monographs, etc.]

The question was raised if outsourcing had affected collection development. However the Guggenheim continues to order foreign titles and obscure materials.

Ilene hired Andrea Specchialo as part-time Library Assistant in 1998. The vendor service remains necessary in order to fulfill the mandate of the library.

Benefits & Issues
Evidently Cataloging & classification quarterly dedicated an entire issue to outsourcing.
Action Item: Danny will forward citation to the group.
[citation for article, not entire issue, from Danny:
Debra W. Hill, "To outsource or not: University of Alabama Libraries engage in pilot project with OCLC's TechPro," Cataloging & classification quarterly, v. 26, no. 1 (1998), p. 63-73]

Vendors provide shelf lists, classification (per instruction) and labels. Although outsourcing can provide batch processing, some returns may require clean up.

Ilene mentioned that costs listed on the sheet she distributed reflect copy and not original cataloguing. The group discussed the time devoted to original cataloguing. Several members mentioned the primary effort of original cataloguing is the authority work and internal reconciliation issues.

Libraries should request that vendors presort cards. And as owner of the record, contracted vendors should deliver and delete records.

While there is preparatory work for vendors it is often more cost effective to outsource.

Vendor Selection
The Guggenheim is looking into possibly using MARCIVE and OCLC combined. MARCIVE provides ease of use and copy cataloging while OCLC would be used for original cataloging.
Action Item: Sherman will send references to Ilene
Action Item: Danny Fermon will send along Autocat list information for product inquiries.

Sales Approach vs Tech Knowledge: Ilene discussed experiences with vendors and stated that all requests and responses should be in writing.
Some vendors do not provide foreign language cataloging and have not been considered further.
Action Item: The Frick will share their experiences in vendor selection with Ilene.

Other Vendors Discussed
Contract cataloguers are regularly paid $17 to $20 an hour and may be an option for some libraries.

Evidently RLA and MARClink have a relationship with RLIN worth exploring.

Electronic databases such as RLIN or OCLC will suffice as "shared access" for grant applications. METRO was discussed as a funding source. They are particularly open to consortium partnerships. An example is FIT joined with SUNY.

Art Documentation

Documentation Coordinator Lynn Underwood introduced the documentation staff (Jennifer Meier & Abby Durden) and presented issues the Guggenheim is exploring in regards to documenting time-based artworks, fabrications, installation and Web/Digital artworks.

Examples of collection works requiring contextual documentation were shared with the group. Presently the Guggenheim uses guidelines (worksheets), image documentation and archiving of digital art. It was suggested contacting The Franklin Furnace and performing arts organizations.

In the spring of 1999 the Guggenheim will host a symposium discussing the challenges of documenting new art forms.

Minutes by Lynn Underwood, Guggenheim Soho