Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Program report: Tips and Tricks for Successful Vendor Negotiations

Tips and Tricks for Successful Vendor Negotiations (Acquisitions Roundtable and TS-SIS Program)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 — 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Hilton-Prince of Wales

I came in late to this (having written down the room number incorrectly), so I am missing the first part of Anne Robbins' (University of Illinois College of Law Library) presentation, but here are some of the excellent tips she provided:

  • Provide all your vendors with a consistent form of address. Not only will this help ensure accurate delivery of your mail, any pieces that don't have this address are probably unsolicited or junk mail.
  • Keep records of all interactions with vendors. Ask for an e-mail followup of any telephone conversations. If the vendor doesn't provide one, send yourself an e-mail about it and file it in a folder in your e-mail; then you'll have a complete record of all phone and all e-mail conversations. (A followup comment in the Q&A period mentioned you may want to copy the contents of these e-mails to a jointly accessible vendor file--either part of your ILS, or a separate database--so other staff can have access to this information.)
  • Be polite in your interactions (but you can be politely persistent!).
  • Ask for what you want. Even if you're not sure such a thing is possible, it doesn't hurt to ask. Vendors may have some discretion to do what you need and may be able to bend the rules a bit for you.
  • Some negotiating tips: Negotiating with a library vendor is not like buying a car. Most price points won't have a lot of wiggle room (but again, it doesn't hurt to ask). Identify ahead of time what the "dealbreakers" are for your library (e.g., IP-based authentication vs. password authentication). Talk to colleagues--their experiences with the product and vendor, their "dealbreakers," their experiences with the negotiation process.
  • More and more vendors are bringing up online account management tools. These allow you to perform many "do it yourself" functions that can save calls and e-mails to the vendor. You can monitor subscriptions and billing pro-actively and catch problems before they happen (like stopping the shipment of an item you don't want). Some vendors also have replacement pages available for downloading online, saving time and effort in claiming them.
  • While the CRIV web site has valuable information, a lot of the information is unfortunately out of date, and (also unfortunately) there is no searchable index for CRIV Sheets. The Fair Practices guide is a good general overview, but many vendors aren't aware of it. It can be a good source of useful language when crafting form letters for serious problems.

The second speaker was Emerita Cuesta (University of Miami School of Law Library). Her talk focused on dealing with foreign (primarily Latin American) vendors.

Challenges dealing with foreign vendors:
  • Publication patterns (and schedules) are erratic. ("We're in the middle of a civil war and can't get to a printer.") Many publishers have a "laissez-faire" attitude taken to the extreme ("we'll publish it...some day...").
  • Mail delivery is erratic.
  • Publishers may not be able (or willing) to invoice in dollars.
  • Your university's business department may have difficulty dealing with foreign addresses (e.g., checks mailed to Lima, Ohio instead of Lima, Peru).
  • Some publishers are multilingual but you can't assume everyone can speak/read English well.
  • Many governments are starting to put more and more materials on their Web sites (which is good) -- but this often means that getting these materials into print format is taking a back seat to the Web presence.
  • The situation varies by country; Columbia and Guatemala are real problems. Things are better in Argentina, which has many reliable vendors.

Some solutions to the above:
  • Because of all the problems with checks and the mail, she strongly advised trying to do credit card or wire transfer payments whenever possible.
  • Try to find publishers/distributors that have a U.S.-based address/office as well as their home office.
  • The business model in Latin America is very much based on personal relationships. Try to make (and keep) good contacts with publishers and distributors.
  • Many generalist vendors can also handle law materials for you.

Emerita is in the process of building a database of Latin American vendors and contacts; please contact her with any information you'd like to share. (FCIL is also talking about building a foreign vendor database.)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Slides from B-3

The Power Point slides from AALL program B-3, "Bringing the Library to the User: the Theory" are available here, thanks to our webmaster extraordinaire, Martin Wisneski :

--Jean Pajerek

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Highlights of a Hot Topic

The Technical Services Special Interest Section wisely chose the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control to be the focus of its Hot Topic session. Fortunately for TS-SIS, the Chair of the Working Group, Jose-Marie Griffiths, Dean and Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was a VIP for SEAALL and could be in attendance at the TS Hot Topic. Richard Amelung ably presented the report for which I will blog highlights.

Many crucial questions were part of this session. For example, the question of how to design a catalog for a spectrum of users from the highly proficient to the clueless (my choice of words)is one that desperately needs answering. Another question that resonates in my mind is does the web really organize itself? And should authority work change its focus so that catalogs indicate who authors, editors, and creators aren't, in other words employ differentiation?

Other new ways of viewing our work include pursuing streamlined standards. Consulting other related information communities about standards is an option. However, the right communities need to partner with librarians for bibliographic control; we need to work with those who have the same goals as we do. Streamlined standards ideally means less time spent tweaking records. There appears to be a low level of trust of shared records.

Resources for Description and Access (RDA) has been in development for years. RDA needs to be marketable. Institutions need to adopt it or it will not be economically successful. The recommendation is to start using it and adapt it as we go along rather than spend increasing amounts to massage RDA to perfection.

A dramatic moment in the program came when the question was posed: is the Working Group a political cover, is it steered by LC? Richard Amelung answered that it was not steered by any group. In fact, he noted a lack of push for the radical. The impetus for the group came from the library community which wanted to move in a different direction. Dean Griffiths commented that the charge was that of the group itself and that LC will not be present at the deliberations at the end of August when the Working Group meets to synthesize their findings. Two outside people will help write the report. Moreover, library organizations named the members of the Working Group; LC did not.

TS is to be congratulated for selecting a stellar Hot Topic. The room was packed and the content of this meeting was rich indeed!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cataloging and Classification Subcommittee Meeting

Since there was a reporter for this meeting, my blog will be brief. Although I prefer dispersing kudos liberally, I have to complain that it was very difficult to hear these proceedings. Granted I do not hear well, but since we are a greying profession, I suspect that I am not alone. The content of this meeting was highly important, and people have a right to hear information necessary for their work. Excuse me, I am now stepping down from my soap box.

Not surprisingly, the meeting was extremely well-organized. First, there were announcements. These were followed by Representatives' Reports: The ALA ALCTS CCS Subject Analysis Committee (SAC) report was presented by Yael Mandelstam who also reported on the Task Force on Inherently Legal Subject Headings, a very valuable project. The MARBI report was given by George Prager. And the Cataloging and Classification Section: Description and Access (CC:DA) report was given by Kathy Winzer. The Representatives' Reports were followed by the Task Group Reports. First Terri Saye presented the Task Group Standards for Vendor-supplied Bibliographic Records. Then Ellen McGrath presented the Classification and Subject Cataloging Policy Advisory Working Group, including a discussion of the KF1 draft table. A majority of those in the meeting were in favor of the KF1 draft by Marie Whited. Comments about the draft will be recorded.

Jolande Goldberg gave the LC Update. She said the LC structure would stay as it is, but there will be changes. An action plan will be necessary and a report will go out. There will be an incresed use of Classification Web and more authority records. There will also be authority records for form subdivisions. Jolande referred people to the CPSO website. She noted that LC lost close to 30% of its classification staff and pointed out that they cannot catalog and digitize both; there is no money.

TSLL will no doubt have a fuller report on this important meeting.

Meeting report: OBS-SIS Heads of Systems Roundtable

Meeting report: OBS-SIS Heads of Systems Roundtable
Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 7:30 a.m.

The meeting started off with Mindy Pozenel of OCLC doing a demo of the University of Washington's implementation of Worldcat Local (information page about the project, and link to searching the catalog, at http://www.lib.washington.edu/about/worldcatlocal/what.html). I unfortunately came in late (thinking the meeting started at 7:45) so I missed a lot of the demo, but what I saw was pretty impressive. Pricing is now available on a sliding scale (depending on institution size) and consists of two parts: a one-time implementation fee, and an ongoing subscription fee. Web-based demos are available.

After Mindy left the remaining group (around 10 people) started in on discussions. I think we raised more questions than answers, but the discussion was lively and free-ranging and was one of the best conversations I sat in on at AALL. Some of the topics that came up were:

  • Systems maintenance, upgrading and staffing needs to be part of the library's (and law school's) strategic planning. Buy-in from directors, department heads, "power users" (both within the library and on the faculty) and even law school deans is important. Directors, who tend to come from the public services side of the house, may now be more tuned into system upgrades and enhancements than they were in the past because so many of the latest enhancements are in the realm of public services products.
  • Unfortunately many directors and public services staff have no idea what "systems" people do. While all of the people in the room had systems responsibilities, quite a few did not have the word "systems" anywhere in their job titles. "Systems" almost seems an afterthought, instead of the incredibly important aspect of the library that it is nowadays. The ILS is no longer just a "cataloging system with an OPAC stuck on it;" if the ILS goes down, the library goes down. A session on technical services was part of the "new directors" session at AALL on Saturday, and efforts to encourage directors and public services staff to attend OBS and TS programs should be continued to foster further understanding. Systems people (most of whom have technical services backgrounds) also need to reach out to their colleages and put on a "public services hat" when planning system upgrades and improvements.
  • ILS vendors seem to be shifting development from their flagship systems to "sexier" products such as ERM systems and federated search. They are also developing products that could be considered developments/enhancements to their main systems but charging for them as if they are separate products. In the process, is it possible vendors are pricing themselves out of the market, especially the law library market? There was unanimous agreement that our current OPACs don't cut it for users and that new approaches are needed -- but how are we going to afford all these great new tools for our users (and our staff)? On a related note, it seems vendors still don't understand a library's budget cycle -- having a sale on servers in December doesn't help if the library's equipment budget has already been allocated for the year! It would help greatly if vendors could inform libraries about upcoming special promotions so they can be budgeted for in advance.
  • Staffing was a frequently mentioned issue. All these new products require staff time to implement, deploy and support them -- populating an ERM system was one example mentioned. Even if you can get staff with a strong IT background, they still must learn the ins and outs of a proprietary system and that can have a steep learning curve. (One attendee mentioned that he treats his ILS's annual maintenance fee as an invisible staff position, because that's about the amount he's spending.) Open source software shows promise, but despite the software being "free" massive amounts of staff time is needed to deploy, support and develop it. Inviting some open source companies to a showcase at a future AALL would be of interest.

Program report: Blogging and Beyond: New Communication Streams for Technical Services Librarians

Blogging and Beyond: New Communication Streams for Technical Services Librarians (TS-SIS Program)
Sunday, July 15, 2007 — 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Presenter Bonnie Shucha of the University of Wisconsin Law Library (her own blog, WisBlawg is at http://www.law.wisc.edu/blogs/wisblawg) did a great job providing an overview of what blogs are and how they can be useful in our work as technical services librarians. Reading library and technical services blogs regularly helps us stay on top of our jobs; reading the blogs our patrons read helps us to stay abreast of their interests and potential needs. Like any Web site, the quality of a blog will vary from fantastic to truly dreadful. (BTW a "blawg" is just a law-related blog).

Bonnie's detailed handout for the session can be viewed at http://www.scribd.com/doc/138335/Blogging-and-Beyond-New-Communication-Streams-for-Tech-Services-Librarians. In it she covers how blogs are organized, where to find lists of technical services, law library, and other types of blogs, how RSS allows you to "subscribe" to blogs to receive their postings in a newsreader instead of having to visit them individually and some of the newsreader programs available, In addition she showed how Bloglines can be set up so you can read your listserv postings in the Bloglines newsreader instead of your e-mail -- or conversely, use the Feedblitz "subscribe to any blog by mail" feature to send blog postings to your e-mail account so you don't have to look at them in a separate newsreader. She also showed some applications technical services librarians have employed for RSS feeds (such as allowing patrons to subscribe to "new books" feeds in specific subject areas) and how some publishers have set up their new titles announcements as RSS feeds that can be subscribed to like any other blog. The Library of Congress is also making some of their weekly updated lists available as RSS feeds.

This was an especially useful program for anyone starting out to explore using blogs and subscribing to feeds, but even those who have been using this technology for a while may want to check out Bonnie's handouts -- I've been using RSS feeds and newsreaders for several years, but learned about some resources and features I hadn't known about before. Thanks Bonnie!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Session H-3: Legal Publishing in the 21st Century

Session H-3: Legal Publishing in the 21st Century

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This year’s Hot Topic program featured several top executives in the legal information industry in a relatively informal conversation about trends and challenges in legal publishing today.

The session was moderated by Jim Heller (William & Mary) and Sally Wiant (Washington & Lee). The panelists were MaryKatherine Callaway (LSU Press), Stacey Caywood (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business), Scott Livingston (LexisNexis), Andy Martens (Thomson West), Dick Spinelli (William S. Hein & Co.), and Paul Wojcik (BNA).

The program was presented in a question-and-answer format, with the moderators asking a series of questions of all the panelists. Audience members had an opportunity to submit their own questions, and a few of these were included near the end of the allotted time. Following are some program highlights.

1) Who is your primary market, how does this impact your decisions on product development and pricing, and how do you determine prices for print and digital products?

BNA: Their primary market includes attorneys and tax professionals. They produce content-based products that are priced based on the cost to produce and the availability of competing products.

Hein: Academic law libraries are their primary market, although they serve other types of libraries as well. They price products according to what the market will bear.

WKL&B: They serve legal professional, law firms, and the federal government. Their pricing is similar to the BNA response.

LN: They are a content creator and a content aggregator; they attempt to focus on research solutions rather than individual products. They use focus groups and customer feedback to inform product development. Their pricing is similar to the BNA response.

LSU: They market their products to retail outlets and directly to scholars. They price digital and print products the same, because the costs to produce are the same.

TW: Legal professionals are their primary market. They are mainly a content company, but they are expanding into litigation support areas.

2) What about Google Books? Are they a competitor or an ally?

Nearly everyone said that Google Books is not a competitor now, but we will have to watch how it evolves. It is a potential competitor but also a potential way to promote books. I could shift user expectations about information delivery.

3) What is the future of university presses and other small presses?

LSU: The university press is tied to the mission of the university and is more of a niche publisher.

Hein: The future is bright if Hein can stay independent, find their niche, do it well, listen to their customers.

BNA: They will succeed by sticking to what they do – create content, not technology – but they need to be business partners with the bigger companies in order to get the content out there.

4) What are the major challenges facing the industry, both general and specific?

WKL&B: A general challenge is making content available electronically, with added value and with their own editorial voice. More specific challenges are aging systems and keeping up with technology.

Hein: Fighting for dollars in the marketplace.

BNA: Franchises are always at risk in the digital world throughout the industry. Specific challenges are the cost of technology and web competition.

LN: Ditto on the web competition. The digital world has lowered information barriers so more free information is out there competing with commercial databases.

LSU: They are not-for-profit, so they can’t lose money endlessly. Their initial print runs are less than 1000 copies on most titles, as compared to 2000 in the 1980s.

TW: The biggest challenge for all companies is to focus on what unique value they add to their services. A more specific challenge is when they buy other companies, trying to integrate them into the larger organization without destroying what made them good in the first place.

5) What is the relationship between companies and their parent conglomerates?

TW: The corporate environment is not international, but rather multi-domestic. The parent company sets revenue targets and the like, but domestic companies run the way that suits their markets and product lines.

LN: Similar answer to TS. They try to make decisions at the lowest possible level.

WKL&B: They are a Dutch company with an American CEO and 4 separate business units. Broad strategic vision is set at the top, but markets are handled by individual units as locally as possible.

6) What are your profit margins?

BNA: 12-13%

Hein: privately-owned, cannot reveal

LSU: not-for-profit

WKL&B: 17%

LN: did not know; profit for first half of 2007 will be announced in 2 weeks

TW: did not know; profit for first half of 2007 will be announced in 2 weeks

For more detailed information, see my fuller report in the September issues of TSLL.

Margie Maes
Dear all--

For all those of you who missed it the first time round ... the webcast of the third hearing of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control has just been uploaded to the WG's site.


Richard C. Amelung, Ph. D.
Professor of Legal Research
Associate Director
Saint Louis University Law Library
Tele.: 314-977-2743 Fax: 314-977-3966

OBS/TS Research Roundtable Meeting

The meeting of the OBS/TS Research Roundtable took place on July 17, 2007. There were ten of us in attendance and a good discussion took place. Susan Lupton agreed to take notes for the group. That is one of the perks of this Roundtable meeting—one of the attendees walks out with a publication in the Technical Services Law Librarian (TSLL) in the works due to his/her volunteering to take notes.

Brian Striman opened by encouraging us to consider publishing in TSLL. There are a few empty slots at present for regular TSLL columnists. Contact Brian (TSLL editor-in-chief) for details. It was noted that it is not necessary to be an expert in order to be a column editor. The column can be used to pose questions, disseminate news tidbits, report on programs attended, etc. You can even line up guest columnists to produce the content!

Caitlin Robinson, outgoing chair of the OBS/TS Joint Research Grant Committee, gave a plug for applying for a research grant. While the information on the web at


needs some updating, it can get you started. Along those same lines, don’t forget about the AALL Research Committee. Consult their website at:


Caitlin also mentioned the idea of possibly setting up a blog or some such mechanism to connect people interested in doing research/ writing and seeking guidance, co-authors, editing assistance, etc. Hopefully we will hear more about that in the future.

A few of the attendees are relatively new to the tenure track, so there was some information exchanged on that topic:

*Peer-reviewed publishing venues
*How to try to find out what the local university requirements for tenure are
*Making the most of an idea by turning it into multiple outcomes (presentation, AALL Call for Papers submission, peer-reviewed journal article, local bar association article, etc.)
*Websites, blogs, etc. as “published” works

There was also an interesting discussion about whether we should write what we know or use our research and writing to help us learn about a new topic. All were in agreement that either approach is fine (as long as your tenure committee thinks so). Just be sure your project is on a topic that you are passionate about. This tip was mentioned at the presentation “Rise to the Challenge of Publishing” which a couple of the Roundtable attendees had enjoyed the day before.

Thank you to all who attended!

Please volunteer for FAST cleanup project

Dear colleagues,

Those who attended the Cataloging & Classification Committee meeting in New Orleans already know about the FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) cleanup project. For those who were not there - here is an explanation:

As I reported last year, the Inherently Legal Subject Headings (ILSH) task force formed an interesting partnership with the FAST team. FAST--developed by OCLC in cooperation with the Library of Congress--is a simplified subject vocabulary derived from LCSH. For more information on the FAST project, go here. You may also read more about the ILSH/FAST partnership in my AALL report posted on the TS-SIS site.

In September 2006, Ed O'Neill, the FAST team leader, sent the ILSH task force a file with FAST topical headings that included Law and legislation (L&L) but did not have corresponding LC authority records. The data was very helpful for our ILSH project. In the spirit of cooperation, we offered to help the FAST team clean up all the incorrect L&L headings in their authority file.

We already have several hundred headings marked, but still have about 800 to go. Some of the strings are correct and some are not (e.g. AIDS (Disease)-- Law and legislation is correct, since it falls under the pattern heading for diseases; while Civil rights--Law and legislation is incorrect - not only because "Civil rights" is inherently legal, but also because it has not been established by LC with L&L and does not fall under any of the pattern headings).

So, what exactly needs to be done? Each volunteer will receive a small Excel file of FAST headings with L&L. Each file will have a column for marking the heading (D=delete, P=pattern, ?=not sure, etc.). The headings that volunteers are not sure about (and I have quite a few of those myself) will be discussed at the end by the whole group, so it will probably be a good learning experience for all of us.

PLEASE VOLUNTEER NOW! The bigger the group, the faster we'll be done!!


Yael Mandelstam
Head of Cataloging
Fordham University School of Law
Leo T. Kissam Memorial Library
140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023-7485

Phone: 212.636.7971
Fax: 212.930.8818
E-mail: ymandelstam at law.fordham.edu

Bringing the Library to the Users

FYI ... this relates to the Program Bringing the Library to the User:
the Practice at 2007 AALL.


The University of Rochester River Campus Libraries are designing and
developing a set of open-source applications that will provide libraries
with an alternative way to reveal their collections to library users.
This set of applications, called the eXtensible Catalog (XC), will
provide easy access to all library resources (both digital and physical
collections) and will enable library content to be revealed through
other services, such as content management systems and learning
management systems.

XC will be a collaborative effort between partners that will serve a
variety of roles in its development. Phase 1 of the XC project
(2006-2007), funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, involved the
creation of a project plan for developing XC during Phase 2.

To inform the development of a plan for XC, we conducted a survey of
prospective library users of XC to gauge interest in the XC system and
readiness to implement it. A summary of the findings from this survey
is now available on the XC blog:

We look forward to hearing your comments on our findings, and on the XC
project in general.

Look for additional Outcomes from Phase 1 of the XC Project to be posted
to the blog over the next couple of months!

Jennifer Bowen, Nancy Fried Foster, and David Lindahl, XC Co-Principal
Investigators, for the XC Team

TS CSCP Meeting

The TS-SIS Classification and Subject Cataloging Policy (CSCP) Advisory Working Group met on July 16, 2007 at 5:15 PM. Despite the late hour during a busy, condensed AALL conference, there were 32 attendees. That high level of interest was a pleasant surprise to me as acting chair. People went off to borrow more chairs from nearby meeting rooms.

Many thanks to Denise Glynn, who graciously agreed to take minutes, which will appear in the September/conference issue of TSLL. I will give just a quick summary of the meeting here.


*If you would like to become a member of CSCP, contact Jean Pajerek.

*If you have an idea for a program proposal for AALL in Portland next year on a topic having to do with classification or subject cataloging, the CSCP would be willing to assist in polishing your proposal. Contact Ellen McGrath. Deadline is soon!!!!

*Yael Mandelstam is looking for volunteers to assist in cleaning up FAST headings. Contact Yael for details. Check out this website on FAST: http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/fast/

KF1 form table proposal: The changes to the KF1 form table proposed by Marie Whited were briefly discussed at the TS Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee meeting earlier in the day. The general sense of that group was that the changes are wonderful and will help to simplify use of the table, as well as training new law catalogers to use it. All were in awe of the amount of research Marie had done in putting the proposal together. (We missed seeing you in New Orleans, Marie!)

Genre terms: The majority of the one hour meeting time was devoted to the discussion of this project. The CSCP has been working on an update to Bill Benemann’s Genre Terms for Law Materials. It had been requested by AALL’s ALA SAC representative, Yael Mandelstam, as a contribution to LC’s project to establish genre terms in LCSH.

Jolande Goldberg (LC) filled the group in on this project. LC’s plan is to establish authority records for each genre/form heading in field 155, which will correspond to the 655 in bibliographic records. As part of the pilot project, LC will begin adding music genre terms to the authority file in early September 2007. CSCP will aim for late November 2007 to have the law genre terms ready to add to the authority file. Yael Mandelstam will create a wiki, in order to streamline the process of creating the list of law genre terms and to open it up to wide participation by all interested law catalogers. Yael will include explanatory information about the standards for creating law genre terms, as well as the mechanics of contributing to the wiki. (Thank you Yael!) The genre term authority records will replace subfield v form subdivisions.

General subject update from LC from Jolande:

*LCSH and pre-coordination will remain, but simplification quest continues
*Experimenting with social tagging
*Possibility exists of linking genre authority records to the classification form tables; would require harmonization of form tables
*Experimenting with allowing computer to generate cutters; result has been some triple cutters which are now allowed
*Change of LCSH to Insanity (Law) necessitates cleanup of related LCSHs
*Looking into changes to Ecclesiastical law

For more details, see Report of AALL Representative to ALA/ALCTS Subject Analysis Committee (SAC):


CSCP website (including KF1 form table documents):


CSCP annual report:


Stay tuned—you will be hearing more from CSCP!

What to Count, What to Report: The Revised ABA Annual Questionnaire

Handout materials at:


Choose F7 and click “select a program.”

This program on July 16, 2007 was well-attended in a very large room. Paula Tejada was coordinator and moderator. The first speaker was Carol Avery Nicholson, a member of the ABA Law Libraries Committee. She provided the background on the process of revising the ABA annual questionnaire and included the actual language of pertinent standards on her slides. Carol mentioned that the print volume count will be dropped from the ABA statistics after two years. That is causing some controversy, but the real confusion centers around the counting of e-resources. The slide listing the changes in the counting of e-resources beginning with CD-ROMs back in 1991 helped to pin down when our confusion started, though it has escalated recently. The goal of the ABA is to hone in on whether our library has control over its e-resources. Thus only owned e-resources (perpetual access) can be counted, while licensed e-resources may not, including those e-resources shared with our main libraries.

Joseph Hinger was up next and he was careful to define his purpose at the outset. He was there to help us answer the questions on our ABA annual survey, not to debate the pros and cons of the revisions to those questions. Joe explained that the changes are brand new and the interpretations are still evolving, but the revisions take effect immediately. The existence of MARC bibliographic records in our local catalogs is no longer relevant since access to these e-resources can be provided through federated search tools. What does matter is whether we “own” or simply “access” an e-resource. The litmus test that Joe suggested is to ask this question: If the company pulled the plug tomorrow, could we still access the e-resource? If the answer is yes, count it. If the answer is no, do not count it. The question was later raised that even if we are in possession of the data, can we truly access it if our ability to use the company’s search engine has gone away? Joe conceded this is a gray area, for which he has no answer. On the plus side, some vendors who did not previously do so are beginning to provide perpetual access (ownership) in response to these ABA revisions. Joe also had some suggestions about using our local systems to help us gather these ABA statistics, by applying mutually exclusive coding to our records. A temporary solution he put forward was to use the 856 subfield z to record the values of “owned” or “accessed.”

Gordon Russell was the final speaker and his presentation title was “Building digital access points—the new standards—why ownership is irrelevant?” He focused on the terms “consistent” and “reliable” access in the ABA standards, but then pointed out that this does not allow us to count many of the large packages, such as HeinOnline, that our libraries use to provide consistent and reliable access. Gordon noted that some companies are now providing data ownership, but that necessitates spending extra money in order to be able to count those e-resources on our ABA statistics. He pointed out an example on the ABA questionnaire that says we may count a government document e-resource that has been downloaded onto our library’s local server. But he questioned why that access is any more reliable or consistent than getting to that e-resource through a PURL (permanent URL). Gordon took a few informal polls using clickers that had been handed out, which seemed to quantify the level of unhappiness with the revisions.

During the Q&A at the end of the program, one attendee commented that we have been struggling with these same issues for forty years and these revisions still do not measure how we serve our patrons (which received a big round of applause). Carol responded that the next step is to focus on output measures, in order to get at how we serve our patrons. Rita Reusch (Chair, ABA Law Libraries Committee) also responded by saying that some had suggested that the focus be on money spent by the library, but that did not seem appropriate to the Committee. At present, the Committee is working toward getting a FAQ up on the web very soon. The goal of that will be to ensure that we are all at least counting what we are counting in the same way (comparing apples to apples). It was clear that there is a high level of frustration experienced by those of us completing the ABA survey each year. But this program showed that those of our colleagues actively involved in trying to reduce our frustration are faced with a very difficult task. I commend them on their willingness to put in the time and effort to improve the ABA survey and to come before us and deal with criticism and heated emotions.

Belated Blogging

Please accept my apologies for blogging so long after the sessions actually happened! I did not have a laptop with me or the time to make use of the Internet Room in the Exhibit Hall during its open hours. Then I picked up a nasty cold which laid me up when I returned home.

Enough with the excuses and on to the content ...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why I am Glad I Sat at the TS Table

On Monday, July 16, from 1-2 pm, I minded the TS Table in the Activities area of the Exhibit Hall. It was immensely rewarding, because I had the opportunity to converse with Jose-Marie Griffiths, Chair of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, Dean and Professor, SILS, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--and VIP for SEAALL (Southeast Chapter of AALL). Dean Griffiths is a most enjoyable conversationalist. It was really interesting to learn that she had been a vice president in the private sector before she came to academia. Her private sector experience gave her a very good foundation for administration. At about this point in our conversation, Penny Bailey, the Managing Director of Bailey Solutions LTD in the UK dropped by the table and explained how she had developed a library system since she couldn't find what she needed on the market (http://www.baileysolutions.co.uk/) . Dean Griffiths, as it turns out, is very supportive of librarians as entrepreneurs.

Quite a few people dropped by the table during my stint there. One of them was a former UR Law librarian whom I hadn't seen for a couple of years. I wish I had written everyone's name down. Dean Griffiths greated all of them most cordially when I introduced them.

Table sitting can be enormously gratifying. It certainly was for me and I am so glad volunteered!!!

The Future is in the Past

(Disclaimer: IGWS that this is my personal perspective)

Rhonda K. Lawrence, Program Coordinator and Moderator of H5, "The Future of Cataloging," creatively introduced Michael Gorman by giving us many possibilities of who Michael Gorman was. Really clever! Gorman was as enjoyable and articulate a speaker as I remembered him to be.

He described the current atmosphere, "why online catalogs suck." Although organized structure may be old hat, he challenged his audience to look for a book, without knowing the exact title, in both Google and the LC catalog. Try it if you haven't already done so!!!

He also described his experience at the California State University in Fresno, where first generation college students were able to retrieve about 700 books per day through the use of a very good catalog. The books were in storage, and browsing the shelves would not have helped retrieve all these books.

The catalog is the result of at least one hundred years of development and many different codes. Those who attack the value of the catalog may "know the cost of everything and the value of nothing." Mr. Gorman advocated determining what is worth preserving, preserving it, and cataloging it. Much of the web is trivial and local; the cost of cataloging it is prohibitive. (Although I would personally advocate making material on the web accessible through URLs.) Maybe my favorite quote was "Cataloging is the best public service of all."

Cataloging traditions were eloquently defended by Mr. Gorman, but I did not see him as impractical. He impressed me as having very high standards and being able to explain them beautifully. As he ended his talk, he said it was "Big Yellow Taxi time, you don't know what you've got till it's gone!"

And as he ended the question and answer period, he pointed out that Google refused MARC records. Gorman believes libraries are part of the public good; Google wishes to maximize ad revenue.

TS-SIS program: Resource Description and Access Roundtable

Midyear Update for Catalogers
Presenter: Kathy Winzer

When I volunteered to report on the RDA Roundtable, I did not realize that I really needed to have heard the initial report on the RDA in order to understand this session and give a good report. Being new to cataloging and having just attended Michael Gorman's session, I had some reactions to the information.

The purpose of this session was to report on changes made in Chapters 6-7 of the draft which refer to Legal Resources and to get feedback from members. The changes being reported were those made during the past year since the last report. Kathy Winzer did a good job reporting the changes, and it appears she is doing a great job in what must be a difficult situation.

I will not be listing out the changes (they are available in Kathy Winzer's handout). The feedback process is as follows:
  • Kathy enters the comments in the wiki
  • CC:DA has a week to go through them
  • Results are posted on the website
  • Kathy will create a table organized by rule # with comments

Questions and comments by attendees included the following:

  • Difficult to evaluate Chapters 6 and 7 until chapter 13 is available
  • How can one have standardization if use of access points are "optional" (JSC says relies on training of cataloger to know to do this)
  • Legal rules do not belong in this code -- should have general code with manual for legal and other specialized cataloging (A cottage industry of specialized manuals will spring up)
  • Response is frequently "training of catalogers" but many schools aren't offering cataloging anymore
  • Dumbing down what people are capable of doing
  • Doesn't easily go across languages

Michael Gorman attended this session and made it clear that his disagreement with the RDA approach was no reflection on Kathy Winzer since she was in a difficult position similar to his position in the past while working on AACR2. His comments were consistent with his view that although not perfect, AACR2 is the result of many years of refinement and provides access to materials which otherwise would not be located. He thinks that many of those who are objecting to the present system really do not understand the system and that catalogers should be very vigilant is making sure that others do understand what is a stake.

Before attending the RDS Roundtable and Michael Gorman's session, as a new cataloger I was open to constructive change and looking forward to assisting in improvements in some way. However, I am now concerned because I have have not heard anyone articulate the purpose of these changes and what I heard in the meeting alarmed me as the draft seems to be a less adequate version of AACR2.

However, it is an ongoing process and I intend to keep an open mind. If you have feedback, it is very important to email Kathy Winzer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Session A4: Bringing the Library to the User: the Practice

Saturday, July 15, 2007

Presenters: Casey Bisson, Plymouth State Univ.
David Lindahl, Univ. of Rochester Libraries
Emily Lynema, NCSU Libraries

This session was coupled with "Bringing the Library to the User: the Theory" (which I didn't attend due to conflicts) but worked very well as a standalone introduction to some of the more innovative approaches libraries are trying to bring catalog data and other information resources to "where our users are" -- which is basically on the Internet, and comfortable with Google and e-commerce search interfaces. Each of the three presenters gave the audience a tantalizingly brief overview of their projects -- it would have been great to have more time with each project and lots more time for questions.

The main takeaways I heard were:
  • We need to let users search the way they already know how to search, not the way we want them to search -- and how users know how to search is with a simple ("Google") search box, relevance-ranked results, and faceted browsing within results (e.g., if you type "worms" in ebay, you can then choose to look further under "bait" or "video games"). Faceted browsing makes use of the data we already have in our records (subjects, genres, formats, regions, languages, etc.) only now presented in ways that are easier for users to work with.
  • We need to employ open standards, including standard markup of our data so it can be re-used in a variety of applications (some of them not yet invented)
  • We need to allow users to interact with our data -- to add their comments and to re-use it in ways that meet their needs
  • We need to include more resources than just items with a MARC record

Casey Bisson (presentation is at http://maisonbisson.com/blog/post/11879/#presentation-bringing-the-library-to-the-user) is the developer behind Scriblio (formerly WPopac -- http://about.scriblio.net/about/) and provided my favorite remark of the conference: "We get one chance to prove we're not stupid." If our interfaces are too hard to use, and don't pull up relevant resources the user will leave, pronto.

David Lindahl (presentation is in the AALL Conference Handouts, http://programmaterials.aallnet.org/) explained how he is drawing on specialists in anthropology, computer science, graphic design and other fields to solve problems users have with using technology. The focus needs to be on the task the users are trying to accomplish, not the tools. Very often librarians have it backwards -- we're too focused on tools themselves, not the task the tools are supposed to be supporting. His "C4" prototype runs on top of a Voyager ILS but the plan is to also have standard APIs to integrate with home-grown systems. (See http://www.library.rochester.edu/C4 to play with the prototype.)

Emily Lynema (handouts also at http://programmaterials.aallnet.org/) was the last of the presenters, and as we were pressed for time unfortunately had to skip over many of the slides in her presentation. NCSU built their interface using Endeca, which is not a library-focused company -- it provides search technology for e-commerce sites such as Barnes and Noble, Wal-Mart, Circuit City, etc. Their implementation sits on top of their SirsiDynix Unicorn system. See http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/catalog/ for their implementation.

The Q and A session afterwards brought a lively discussion on several points:
  • These projects were done without much (if any) assistance from the ILS vendors. Emily remarked they did the project without consulting with SirsiDynix beforehand, and David said that while C4 has the verbal support of Ex Libris, development is proceeding without significant help/input from them.
  • While open source projects are intriguing, it may be best for the time being to "let the ILS be the ILS" but improve the front end user experience through projects such as these three instead of trying to develop an entire open source integrated system. There is also a whole culture of successfully running open source software communities and libraries are amateurs at this; we have a steep learning curve ahead to fully integrate open source into our libraries.
  • Because circulation statistics are declining while use of online resources increases, we may eventually need to use "most e-mailed" (or "most linked to," or some form of citation analysis) instead of "most checked out" to indicate the popularity of items.

These three projects (along with OCLC's WorldCat Local, which I saw a demo of in another session) make it clear that libraries are no longer waiting for ILS vendors to make significant improvements in the user interface. We know what our users need and use, and are forging ahead to bring it to them as quickly as possible.

TS-SIS Business Meeting -- Minutes from St Louis

... as approved at this year's Business Meeting:

Technical Services SIS
2005/2006 Business Meeting
July 9, 2006

The meeting was called to order at 5:32 P.M by TS-SIS chair Karen Douglas.

A quorum was verified.

Awards Committee: Pam Deemer presented the Renee D. Chapman Memorial Award to Georgia Briscoe. Pam introduced Barbara Bintliff and Karen Selden, who highlighted Georgia’s many professional accomplishments, including her numerous publications, her work at the SIS level, and her contributions to a variety of professional associations.

Pam then reported that the committee awarded CONELL grants to Annie Chen and Jill Ryder and an education grant to Yan Yu for the electronic serials cataloging workshop.

Chair’s Report: Karen Douglas gave a brief report and said that it had been a pleasure working for TS-SIS during the past year.

Secretary/Treasurer Report: Chris Long reported the election results for 2006/2007 offices. Alan Keely was elected Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Sima Mirkin was elected Secretary/Treasurer, and Marie Whited was elected Member-At-Large. 21% of the ballots were returned. In addition, 3 bylaws proposals were voted on and passed by the membership in May. The projected balance as of July 1, 2006 was $11, 742.22.

Member-At-Large Reports

Joint Reception: Brian Striman reported that there was a large turnout for the reception, estimating that at least 300 people showed up, which is about 100 more than expected.

Activities Table: Janice Anderson reminded members to stop by the table and view the Centennial Committee’s PowerPoint presentation that profiles many long-time members of TS-SIS.

Presentation of Certificates

Two certificates of appreciation were presented. One went to Betty Roeske for her long-time service as TS-SIS’s electronic discussion list moderator, and the other went to Martin Wisneski for his work as the TS-SIS webmaster.

Standing Committee Reports

Acquisitions: Lorna Tang stated that the committee tackled several issues this year. One is the preparation of an acquisitions workshop that will be proposed for the 2007 annual meeting. Other projects have included the revival of a database of foreign vendors of legal materials and the updating of a collection development policies page on the TS-SIS website. Lorna reminded members about the various acquisitions programs, meetings, and roundtables taking place during the annual meeting.

Cataloging and Classification Committee: Karen Nuckolls reported that the cataloging links of the TS-SIS website had been updated. Progress continues to be made on the Resource Description and Access (RDA) document. A number of other hot topics have surfaced recently, and Karen encouraged members to attend the Cataloging & Classification Committee Meeting and the Cataloging and Classification Issues Roundtable later in the week.

Preservation: Pat Turpening stated that a preconference preservation workshop had been planned but was cancelled due to a lack of registrations. Four new subcommittees have been created to deal with various preservation issues.

Serials: Carol Avery Nicholson reported that the committee had updated many of the serials links on the TS-SIS website. A small group has been working on ABA statistics, and she alerted the group that a new method of counting electronic titles is being proposed.

Annual Membership Survey Report: Rhonda Lawrence indicated that the survey for volunteers will now be done by the Membership Committee. Rhonda also stated that persons wanting to belong to a standing committee should no longer assume they are automatically a committee member; they will need to submit their names to the committee chair.

Centennial Committee: Mahnaz Moshfegh replaced Janice Shull as chair of this committee. Mahnaz reported that the committee created a poster chronicling important TS-SIS events since 1979. The committee also created a profile of members who have served for 20 or more years; this profile will also be posted on the TS-SIS website.

Duplicate Exchange: Bonnie Geldmacher reported that 48 libraries participated in the program this year. The authority list was updated, a secondary list was created and the indexing was improved.

Education Committee: Rhonda Lawrence announced that the Education Committee meeting will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 11. There are already a number of suggested program proposals, many of which need coordinators.

Joint Research Grant Committee: Chris Long reported for Caitlin Robinson that no applications were received during the past year. Chris took the opportunity to invite members to attend the OBS/TS-SIS Research Roundtable on Tuesday morning, July 11. .

Nominating Committee: Virginia Bryant introduced the winners of this year’s election: Alan Keely (Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect), Sima Mirkin (Secretary/Treasurer), and Marie Whited (Member-At-Large). She thanked all those who ran for office this year, and encouraged others to considering running for office if asked in the future.

Ad Hoc Committee on Membership: this committee was established to attract more members, especially those technical services law librarians who are not currently TS-SIS members.

Online Discussion List: Betty Roeske, outgoing manager of the online discussion list, thanked members for their support over the years.

Website: Martin Wisneski reported that the committee had made significant improvements to the TS-SIS website during the past year, most notably a new design of the initial page.

At this point in the meeting, a vote to convert the Membership Committee from an ad hoc to a permanent administrative committee was conducted by Cindy May. The motion passed.

Bylaws Committee: Cindy May reported that all of the proposed bylaws changes that had been passed by the TS-SIS membership during the past year had been reviewed and accepted by the AALL Bylaws Committee.

TSLL: Brian Striman thanked Cindy May and Julie Stauffer for their work on TSLL. Brian also indicated that he always welcomes comments.

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect Report: Rhonda Lawrence thanked Cindy May for her work in spearheading a major change in the way AALL coordinates programs and meetings. Cindy also worked very hard on the handbook and bylaws this year, and Rhonda presented her with a plaque as a token of appreciation. Rhonda also praised Karen Douglas’ effective leadership and communication style, and presented her with a plaque and a gift from the TS-SIS board.

Meeting adjourned at 6:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Long

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Looking to the future?

My first blog isn't directly related to tech services, but nevertheless very important issue for libraries in the future. Having just graduated from library school and gaining awareness of the vast amount of information born online, I have been interested in how all this information will be preserved.

Several sessions I attended yesterday addressed this issue in different ways and demonstrated that librarians understand the importance of dealing with this and are taking steps to do so. The first -- Electronic Preservation: Does Losing the Past Challenge the Future? with Jerry Dupont, Victoria Reich, and Mark Evans -- raised the following key points:
  • assets are being concentrated in more vulnerable situations rather that being spread around (as in multiple print copies in many libraries).
  • risks to electronic information range from incompetence to malice
  • the need for the information may exceed the life of the technology
  • how do we insure the integrity of the "bits" over time?

Librarians are involved in the following initiatives which address these important issues in these organizations:

  • LOCKSS -- Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe
  • OAIS -- Open Archival Information System
  • LLMC -- Law Library Microform Consortium

It is important for libraries to become aware of these issues and to support efforts to work out solutions.

The second program -- AELIC's Survey on Authentication of Government Information: A Year Later and Still Challenging with Mary Alice Baish, Herbert Dixon, and Sarah Holterhoff -- reported on AALL's survey of states regarding authentication of information online. This is an important issue since a majority of states are providing information electronically instead of in print but there are currently few if any states which have developed guidelines to authenticate this information.

We can be proud that AALL has taken a strong leadership position on this very important issue, and will be working to get others on board with the issue in the future.

Two of the four TS Educational Award recipients ...

Karen Wahl,

and Sean Chen

Heads of Cataloging in Large Libraries

Ann Sitkin chaired this meeting. We began with the round robin.

  • Chris Tarr of University of California reported that Bill Benemann, former head of technical services, has moved into a new position as archivist for the law school, a position in the library. Chris has become head of cataloging. The news at Berkeley is that they will soon be moving from OCLC to RLIN; that they are reconsidering their decision not to buy the MOML records, and that they are planning how to eventually reclassify the pieces of the collection (Oceania, Africa, Latin America, Canada and Europe except for Germany and France) that remain in the LA County schedule.
  • Jean Pajerek of Cornell said that Cornell is reclassifying their old JX collection; that they are planning to move from RLIN to OCLC, and that Jean asked on the TS list which libraries were planning to use the new OCLC institutional records. She posted the responses on the list. RLIN will be no more as of August 31.
  • Pat Sayre-McCoy of the University of Chicago said that they are renovating, and will lose 45% of their stack space. This means that they are discarding, weeding, and sending things to storage. Some of their discarded larger sets are going to the Law Library Microform Consortium.
  • Suzanne Graham is the new head of cataloging at the University of Georgia Law School Library, replacing Beth Geesey Holmes. She is working with the workflow, and also sending authority records to LTI.
  • George Praeger of New York University Law School Library reported that they are still buying as much foreign material as domestic. This has implications for staffing, since they work they have requires professional workforce rather than clerical, but clerical is what they have.
  • Hofstra reported that they are moving from DRA to III, and reclassifying their federal documents, thousands of titles, from SuDoc numbers to LC classification.
  • Grace of Columbia University Law School Library reports that Robert Rendell, their serials librarian, has accepted a job as a serials librarian at the Main Library, which leaves them with an open position. Their head of special collections has retired. Since there is some uncataloged manuscripts, the director wants to create a one year temporary rare book cataloging position to deal with these materials. They have moved from RLIN to OCLC as of July 1, with some CJK implications. They will do all copy in their local system, and all original cataloging in OCLC.
  • According to Susan Karpuk of Yale University Law Library, their budget has remained the same, they have infinite offsite storage, and they are busy acquiring other collections.
  • Yael Mandelstam of Fordham noted that they discovered boxes of historical Fordham Law School photographs, which they are digitizing. They are still in the conceptual stages, but they plan to design the database to store the digitized photos, and it's a lot of fun.
  • Ming Lu of the Los Angeles County Law Library reported that they are reorganizing, which is resulting in lots of weeding. they have three projects in the new future. They are moving to OCLC; they are moving from Voyager to III; and they are reclassifying their collection from LA County into LC. (!!!) The new director decided this, and it will be outsourced. Half of their 800,000 collection is not on-line.
  • Terry Saye of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School noted that they are putting Endeca on top of their III catalog so that they will be able to search the Duke and NC State catalogs from theirs. They're also in the midst of a building expansion, and may be digitizing the 4th circuit records and briefs. They'll be looking to Duke to help. but they're currently shut down or a renovation, so that may take some time.
  • According to Judy Vaughn Sterling, the University of Pennsylvania Law School Library will be switching from RLIN to OCLC. The Law School has taken half of one floor from the library for their own purposes. The Law Library is undertaking a huge weeding project, both due to lack of space, but also due to the new Collection Development librarian. They've been weeding, cutting subscriptions, and not buying much. A new contract for the support staff is causing some trouble, as people are now put into a higher classification, yet there is still need for clerical level work to be done. the director is uncomfortable with paying higher level salaries for lower level work. Richard Amelung recommended Better World Books as a cost effective and responsible way to dispose of books from weeding projects.
  • Kathy Winzer of Stanford reported that the Stanford Law Library is still renovating, one floor at a time. The new renovations give some technical services office space to faculty support. This arrangement is not ideal, since that space is between two library offices, meaning that book trucks will need to be rolled through the faculty support office daily. The Library also lost its Open Reserve Collection space. This was a heavily used collection that will now be shelved in amonst the general collection. They are weeding heavily, and Google is digitizing their materials. they have lost the Technical Services librarian, and along with that, the Technical Services department. This may work well eventually, but at the moment they are struggling with coordination issues. They've moved to OCLC, which was easy. They're still reclassifying.
  • Michael Maben of the University of Indiana at Bloomington Law Library reports that they have also lost space to the law school in a renovation --10 % of their space. They are sending many things off to storage. They are also digitizing.
  • Susan Goldner, of the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, reported that UALR has a larger acquisition budget, which is leading to space problems. They have installed compact shelving, and are also weeding. They are thinking about moving to having a vendor do authority control.
  • Richard Amelung, of St. Louis University Law Library, reported that the law school is currently in the midst of an enormous 41 month renovation project which will give the law school a new classroom building, but will not add any space to the library. He noted that St Louis U is the coordinator of the OCLC NACO law funnel, which may be of some interest to new OCLC libraries. Richard also noted that there are lots of new sets of records -- the Trials records, and the records for the Readex Serials Set, which are going to makethe MOML records look very small. There was some discussion (Yael Mandelstam is also interested in this) about having the authority work done before we all load the records so that it only needs to be done once.
  • Richard Paone, of Dickinson Law Library (the law school for Penn State) mentioned that they are moving from III to Sirsi. The move is messy, but okay. They are reclassing their JX collection, including many formely unclassed materials
  • Ellen McGrath of the State University of New York at Buffalo Law Library mentioned that they are sending materials out to storage and reroofing, which requires that they empty the 7th floor. They continue to reclass in house, as they have been doing since 1993. They've stopped binding as a cost-saving measure.
  • Rhonda Lawrence, of the University of California, Los Angeles mentioned that they end some 6,000 Arabic records out to OCLC Techpro, which has been okay, but not great. The records are fine, but there have been lots of local processing issues. they have a new head of technical services. Rhonda also mentioned that the 10 campus UC system is engaging in a project to replace the aging Melvyl union catalog with a new WorldCat local catalog.
  • Ann Sitkin of Harvard reported that they have taken a 10% hit in their budget, which is resulting in smaller expenditures. They are getting rid of looseleaf services, CCH products, multiple copies, stuff that's online. So far the faculty seems okay about it. The Dean took over half of the third floor, and will take more. All this has been demoralizing. They are moving to OCLC, where they wil have institution records. Google digitization will start next week.

Rhonda Lawrence, Chair of TS, recognised Ann Sitkin and Kathy Winzer for all the work they've done (Kathy as CC:DA rep, and Ann as chair of the Working Group on Description) and Jean Pajerek, Chair of the Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee, as well.

We discussed our Big Heads statistics. We decided that we should only count authority records that we create (either locally or for NACO) and discussed how to count e-resources. Judy will look over the format and send out questions for review.

Mary Jane Kelsey awarded Renee Chapman award

Rhonda Lawrence, chair of TS-SIS, presents Mary Jane Kelsey with the Rene Chapman award.

AALL Second Line Blog

Check this out! It's the AALL general New Orleans blog, full of all kinds of information. Well worth reading before you leave town --

Monday, July 16, 2007

Who are these people?

Jean Pajerek, Chair of Cataloging and Classication Committee, and Jolande Goldberg, Library of Congress, at the TS-SIS Business Meeting

Pictures from the TS Table

The table itself ...

Brian Striman at the table

Susan Goldner grabs a bite to eat at the table

It looked very lonely when I first got there (I was a bit late), but then some TSers came by, and even a new librarian. Susan and I advised her while Brian foraged for candy. Dawn Smith came by for her shift, and it was time to go.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Head of Technical Services Roundtable

A lively discusssion ensued between Technical Services librarians on a variety of topics at the roundtable. Some of the topics included the following. What to do with serials check in clerks that don't have as much to do now that we have electronic resources. What to do with bored library assistants. What should be our philosophy on hiring? How do we instill work ethics in our employees? A plug was put in for two workshops that we hope might get approved for a future meeting - How to manage different generations and personalities of people and what are technical service librarians going to be doing in the future.

W-2, Delivering the Goods: Effective & Efficient Acquisitions Processes

Saturday, July 14, 2007.
I have been an acquisitions librarian for a little over a year now. So I was a member of the Acquisitions Workshop on Saturday to confirm that I had learned a little something over the past year and to learn whatever I could about being a competent Acquisitions Librarian from here on out. I did indeed confirm that what I have been doing over the past year has been what others are doing, and I also learned quite a few things that I will take back and hopefully implement in my institution.
The Workshop started off with introductions by Lorna Tang from the Univ. of Chicago. Carol Nicholson, Univ. of N.C. was up first with an overview of what it means to be an Acquisitions Librarian, Collection Dev. Libn., Technical Services Libn. or some combination. She emphasized that the Acquisitions Librarian should be the one to delegate authority and duties for acquisitions work to others. This person should also be the one that faculty, firm partners, judges, etc. communicate with. The Acq. Libn. should be the one to work out problems.
Next on the agenda was Betty Roeske, Katten Muchen, with a perspective from a firm acq. libn.
The wonderful points I got from her were to create a generic e-mail account for internet updates, advertisements, etc. to come to rather than having it come to a real person that may leave or be out for a while. This account also lets you monitor e-mails or alerts that may be going to other people and determining if they are working. Betty also says what she does is create a serial record for all electronic products. This serial record is not for check in but for notes about license agreements, passwords, # of people allowed, when invoice is due. Any information that staff may need to monitor this electronic resource. I am definitely going home to implement this !!
Next up was Melody Lembke, Collection Mgmt Serv. Dir from LA. County Law Library. She was there to tell us all we needed to know about vendors and publishers ! Anyway, as much as she or anyone else knows about publishers on any given day !! One of her point of interests was that 80% of your material probably comes from the Big 3 publishers. You probably have just as much trouble with invoices, customer service, etc. with these 3 as you do with all your other hundreds of publishers in your vendor database. EDI invoicing is certainly a wave of the future and if all publishers can get with the program, then all of us should be willing to go that route to save time and be more efficient in our acq. process. Negotiation is really big issue today with publishers as it may never have been in the past.
After lunch, when people were trying to stay awake, Jim Mumm from Marquette Univ., regaled us with how to keep superb budgets and do wonderful reports and graphs for the higher ups that control the purse strings. The short and sweet explanation of what budgeting is: We don't know where we are beginning, we don't know where we are going to end, and you don't know what you will encounter along the way, but you must have a budget and strive for it to be balanced at all times. Quite an undertaking for anyone !! Jim also re-emphasized the 5 principles in the AALL Guide to Fair Business Practices for Legal Publishers.
Richard Vaughan from Indiana Univ. told us all we ever needed to know about collection development and weeding. Put everything in your collection development policy that you might need to refer to later, such as what do we do about retaining those West annual pubs. now?, is a gift policy in your C.D. policy? Weeding should be routine and it should be for getting rid of old editions. De-selection is the process of cancellation for thing you no longer need.
The workshop was wonderful and TS has not had one since 1995. The theme of the day was DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT. Keep paper, or computer, records of who asked for what, correspondence with the sales rep., the p.o., follow-up, e-mails about returns or claims, tracking info. for returns, etc. etc. etc. You never know when you might need some tiny little piece of the paper trail when someone asks you a question.
Hopefully, I learned a great deal, and will be able to put into practice many of the great things that these librarians had to impart to us. Thanks to each of them for putting on this great WS.
Look forward to a more complete description of this Workshop in the TS Newsletter in September.
Sue Burkhart, Technical Services Libn., U.S. Court of Appeals Library, 11th Circuit.

Other things to do in New Orleans ...

Go hear some jazz at Preservation Hall ...

Or go have a beignet at Cafe du Monde. It's open twenty-four hours a day!

Get some sleep! There are sessions tomorrow!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pictures from the Future is Digital Workshop

Diane Hillmann presenting:

Bill Benemann, coordinator:

Friday, July 13, 2007

TS Business Meeting!

Hello all,

Please find below the agenda for the TS-SIS 2007 annual business meeting to be held Sunday, July 15th, 5:30-6:45 pm in the Hilton-Grand Salon, rooms 9-12, New Orleans, Louisiana.

As you know this year we are voting on a bylaw change to the Preservation Standing Committee, and our chairs and committees and liaisons will be making brief reports on their activities. The Renee D. Chapman award--always a highlight--will be presented to this year’s worthy and accomplished recipient, Mary Jane Kelsey, Associate Law Librarian for Technical Services, Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Library.

Thank you all again for the wonderful opportunity to lead our Section this past year. You are great colleagues, and it has been an honor and a personal privilege to serve as your chair.



Rhonda K. Lawrence
TS-SIS Chair, 2006/07


American Association of Law Libraries

TS-SIS 2007 Business Meeting

Sunday, July 15th, 5:30-6:45 pm
Hilton-Grand Salon 9-12
New Orleans, Louisiana

1. Call to order and verification of quorum

2. Executive Officer Reports
Chair’s Report – Rhonda K. Lawrence
Secretary/Treasurer’s Report – Sima Mirkin

Results of 2007 election:
Linda Tesar 2007/08 Vice-chair/Chair Elect Carmen Brigandi, 2007/08--2008/09 member-at-large

3. Member – at – Large Reports
Joint Reception – Janice Anderson
Activities Table – Jeffrey Bowen for Marie Whited

4. Vote on acceptance of Preservation Committee Bylaw Change and Bylaws Committee Report – Karen Douglas

5. Standing Committee Reports
Acquisitions – Ajaye Bloomstone
Cataloging & Classification – Jean Pajerek
Preservation – Pat Turpening
Serials – Carol Avery Nicholson

6. Awards Committee Report – Ellen McGrath

Recognition of TS-SIS grant recipients –Ellen McGrath
Karen Wahl, Tina Miller, and Ed Hart
Sean Chen, first Marla Schwartz grant recipient

Presentation of the Renee D. Chapman Memorial Award – Blair Kauffman
Mary Jane Kelsey, 2007 recipient

7. Introduction of TS-SIS VIP – Rhonda K. Lawrence
Karen Wahl

8. Other SIS Activity Reports
Duplicate Exchange – Bonnie Geldmacher
Education Committee – Rhonda K. Lawrence
Joint Research Grant – Nancy Poehlman
Nominating Committee – Reggie Wallen
Membership – Jeff Bowen
Online Discussion List ts-sis@aallnet.org – Mira Greene
Website – Martin Wisneski

9. Reports from AALL Representatives
ALCTS CC:DA liaison – Kathy Winzer
MARBI liaison -- George Prager
ALCTS Subject Analysis Committee (SAC) liaison -- Yael Mandelstam

10. Certificates of Appreciation – Rhonda K. Lawrence

11. TSLL Report – Brian Striman

12. LC Report – Jolande Goldberg

13. 2006/07 Vice Chair/Chair-Elect Report – Alan Keely
Annual Membership Survey Report

New Business

1. Passing of the "gavel" and adjournment

All officer, committee, and representative reports will be available on the TS-SIS web site after the annual meeting.

TSLL reporters needed!


Me again.... Below are the remaining few programs that really ought to have reporters for TSLL. If you're not a wiki person, or just plain don't want to deal with launching anywhere... I have the programs below for your convenience.

Resource Description & Access, Tuesday noon-1:30

Tips and Tricks for Successful Vendor Negotiations, Tuesday noon-1:30

Vendor Showcase on Federated Searching *change* Now combined and continuous, no break as was in the earlier listings. Sunday 4:15-6:15

CONTACT ME if you can report on these programs. I'd love to have you on board the Good Ship TSLL.

Brian Striman
Editor-in-Chief, TSLL
Schmid Law Library
University of Nebraska College of Law
tsll@remove this unlnotes.unl.edu

MARBI report

Esteemed colleagues,
Here's my MARBI report for 2006-2007. See you'all in New Orleans.

George Praeger, MARBI rep.

TS Programs!

Posted on behalf of Rhonda Lawrence:

Two new TS-SIS program handouts have been added to the TS-SIS website.

1. Hot Topic Program: Does Cataloging Have a Future? An Update from the
Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control
Monday, July 16, 2007 10:30-11:30 a.m. EMCC Room 224

Download Richard Amelung's handout.

2. Indigenous Government and Law in the Americas. Library of Congress
Online Classification: A Gateway to Web Resources?
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 9:00-10:30 a.m. EMCC Room 224

Download Richard Amelung PowerPoint Handout.

And as a general reminder, all TS program handouts are on the website.

Ellen McGrath E-mail: emcgrath@removethisbuffalo.edu
Head of Cataloging Phone: (716) 645-2254
Charles B. Sears Law Library Fax: (716) 645-3860
University at Buffalo
State University of New York
Buffalo, New York 14260-1110

Indigenous Government and Law in the Americas

All the handouts for the following TS program are now on the TS website:

Indigenous Government and Law in the Americas. Library of Congress Online
Classification: A Gateway to Web Resources? (TS-SIS Program)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 9:00-10:30 a.m. EMCC Room 224

A growing need to provide access to legal records of indigenous
governments in the Americas has challenged libraries. How to broaden and
enhance access to these materials will be discussed by librarians expert
in cataloging, collection building and digital projects. LC's new online
Classification schedule for the Law of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas
(KIA-KIX) was explored for the various ways in which this tool can be used
in capturing and presenting digital copy of these hard to-come-by sources
and other web resources, institutional or tribal.

Please print your own copies and bring to the program.

Ellen McGrath E-mail: emcgrath@buffalo.edu
Head of Cataloging Phone: (716) 645-2254
Charles B. Sears Law Library Fax: (716) 645-3860
University at Buffalo
State University of New York
Buffalo, New York 14260-1110

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cat and Class agenda

To those of you planning to attend the Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee meeting on Monday morning, please print out a copy of the agenda and take it with you to the meeting. There will be very few paper copies of the agenda available on-site.

Thank you for your cooperation.
The agenda can be printed from here.

--Jean Pajerek
Chair, TS-SIS Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee

LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control Task Force

Dear TS-SIS members,

Are you interested in the future of bibliographic control? Have you been keeping up with the activities of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control? Do you do your best work under pressure? :-) Do tight deadlines focus your mind?

If your answers to the above questions are "yes," you might want to consider signing up for a VERY short-term task force. The charge of the task force will be to draft testimony on behalf of the TS-SIS Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee to be presented (by way of our AALL representative to the Working Group, Richard Amelung) to the Working Group. The deadline for getting the testimony to the Working Group is July 31 (this is an extension from the previous deadline of July 15), so the task group's deadline would have to be earlier, say, July 27, so that the testimony can be vetted by Richard, the TS-SIS Executive Board, and members of the Cataloging and Classification Committee before submission to the Working Group.

Richard offers the following guidance to those drafting the testimony:

I must say that we've been encouraging people/organizations
to offer specifics. Where is the value & the value added?
Who might be parties that have yet to be tapped that have
data or resources that the Library Community (and LC) use
that we're not using now?

If you are interested in serving on this task force, please email me at jmp8@removethiscornell.edu. I will also be recruiting members at AALL in New Orleans.

Further information about LC's Working Group can be found here:

You might also want to attend the TS-SIS Hot Topic program, "Does Cataloging Have a Future? An Update from the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control," which is scheduled for Monday morning, July 16 at 10:30 AM in Convention Center 224.

Thank you.

--Jean Pajerek
Chair, TS-SIS Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee

Wireless in New Orleans

For those interested in Wireless access,

Wireless Internet Service is provided in the following areas of the Morial Convention Center:

All lobby areas, 2nd & 3rd floor, meeting rooms and pre-function areas, including the Ballrooms.

Individual Attendee Pricing (all connections end at midnight)

Per Minute: $0.30
Per Hour: $3.95
Per Day: $16.95


Alan Keely
Associate Director for Collection Services
and Systems
Professional Center Library
Wake Forest University
P.O. Box 7206
Winston-Salem, N.C. 27109-7206

OBS/TS Research Roundtable

Have you ever published? Or considered publishing?

Most likely everyone falls into one or the other of these categories. If
you do, please plan to join us for the Research Roundtable meeting, which
is jointly sponsored by the OBS and TS SISs. It will take place Tuesday,
July 17, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM in the Convention Center (EMCC)-Room 228.

This meeting will include free-flowing discussions of:

-- Opportunities for publishing

-- Personal experiences with doing research and writing for

-- Project ideas attendees would like to share and gather feedback on

All are welcome! Feel free to bring your lunch with you. Hope to see you
there ...


Ellen McGrath E-mail: emcgrath@removethisbuffalo.edu
Head of Cataloging Phone: (716) 645-2254
Charles B. Sears Law Library Fax: (716) 645-3860
University at Buffalo
State University of New York
Buffalo, New York 14260-1110

Tech Services Programs

We are so close … New Orleans is just a few days away!

And TS-SIS is offering the most technical services events ever during AALL 2007 in New Orleans--you may never again see such a great selection of acquisitions, cataloging and technical services related programs and meetings! Thanks again to all the members of the 2006/2007Education Committee and to the coordinators for their tremendous work in putting this together.

Go to our web site at http://www.aallnet.org/sis/tssis/annualmeeting/2007/ to see all the technical services related events.

Important reminder: our very own in-house TS-SIS sponsored programs, listed below, are not included in the AALL final program. Instead, we have provided descriptions, handouts and evaluation forms on our own TS-SIS website, thanks to the huge effort exerted by our web master Martin Wisneski.

Please check out these two links and print the handouts and evaluations forms to take with you to AALL. Very few paper copies will be available at the meetings.

Handouts for TS SIS programs: http://www.aallnet.org/sis/tssis/annualmeeting/2007/handouts/

Evaluation forms for TS-SIS programs:


TS-SIS 2007 Program Descriptions (all programs held in the Convention Center except the Acquisitions Roundtable, held in the Hilton Riverside)

Next Katrina: Are you ready? (TS-SIS Program)

Sunday, July 15, 2007 — 4:15-5:15 p.m. EMCC-Room 223

Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc throughout New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in August 2005. Area librarians will discuss their experiences before, during, and after the catastrophe. Speakers will provide real-life recommendations for how to improve our own disaster preparedness. Vivid, dramatic photographs of damage will complement the presentations.

Blogging and Beyond: New Communication Streams for Technical Services Librarians (TS-SIS Program)

Sunday, July 15, 2007 — 4:15-5:15 p.m. EMCC-Room 224

To keep technical services law librarians apprised of the latest communication techniques, technologies such as blogs, RSS feeds and other communication streams beyond websites and e-mail will be explored. Librarians will learn how to apply these technologies to monitor publisher and vendor developments, follow journal publication schedules, network with colleagues, and manage listserv e-mail overload, etc.

Hot Topic Program (TS-SIS): Does Cataloging Have a Future? An Update from the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (TS-SIS Program)

Monday, July 16, 2007 — 10:30-11:30 a.m. EMCC-Room 224

Advances in search-engine technology, the popularity of the Internet and the influx of electronic information resources have greatly changed the way libraries deliver information. To address these changes, LC convened a Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (LCWGFBC), which is holding public meetings around the country and due to complete its review by November 2007. Richard Amelung, AALL's representative, will discuss the ongoing activities of the Group, including a hearing just held July 9th at the Library of Congress. There will be a question and answer period.

Indigenous Government and Law in the Americas. Library of Congress Online Classification: A Gateway to Web Resources? (TS-SIS Program)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 — 9:00-10:30 a.m. EMCC-Room 224

A growing need to provide access to legal records of indigenous governments in the Americas has challenged libraries. How to broaden and enhance access to these materials will be discussed by librarians expert in cataloging, collection building and digital projects. LC's new online Classification schedule for the Law of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas (KIA-KIX) was explored for the various ways in which this tool can be used in capturing and presenting digital copy of these hard to-come-by sources and other web resources, institutional or tribal.

Resource Description and Access (Cataloging Roundtable and TS-SIS Program)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 — 12:00-1:30 p.m. EMCC-Room 224

As the publication of the new cataloging code RDA approaches, law catalogers face challenges learning and applying it. Kathy Winzer, AALL's representative to CC:DA, will provide an update on the latest progress, followed by a panel discussion led by the Cataloging & Classification Committee's Descriptive Cataloging Policy Advisory Working Group. Michael Gorman will also be present for questions and a follow-up to his earlier presentation on the Future of Cataloging.

Tips and Tricks for Successful Vendor Negotiations (Acquisitions Roundtable and TS-SIS Program)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 — 12:00-1:30 p.m. Hilton Riverside-Prince of Wales

Getting the material that the law library needs involves knowing what to ask for and how to ask for it. To what extent does referencing the AALL Fair Practices Guidelines facilitate discussions with vendors? What can vendors do to help a library transition part of its collection to other formats? This half-hour program will explore ways to foster better communication with vendors.

Casting a Wider Net: the Challenges and Rewards of Making Your Online Catalog a Useful Tool Beyond The Law Library (TS-SIS Program)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 — 2:45-3:15 p.m. EMCC-Room 224

The Suffolk University Law School's Moakley Law Library expanded their OPAC beyond the law library setting by incorporating the holdings of the University's Career Development Office resources into its OPAC--the mechanics of how this was done will be demonstrated.

For a complete listing of TS-SIS and other AALL committee meetings, go to: http://www.aallnet.org/database/meeting_annual_events.asp

See you in New Orleans!



Rhonda K. Lawrence

TS-SIS Chair, 2006/07