Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Slides available for Catalogers Today

The PowerPoint slides for the program "Catalogers Today: Skill Sets, Expectations and Challenges" are now available on the OBS website at:


Many thanks to the speakers, Dr. Sylvia D. Hall-Ellis and Stacey L. Bowers, for their engaging presentation. The Q&A portion was also interesting, so I encourage all to listen to the audio if possible.

Ellen McGrath

Friday, July 16, 2010

RDA Cafe

A post by Brian Striman on the TS and OBS lists:


For facebook members who are interested in RDA news and views. A facebook group has begun and already has nearly 200 members in just a few days.

The menu offers a unique selection where you'll find collegial chat and help in a wide variety of flavors. The main course, of course, is Resource Description and Access, with desserts being related RDA standards---- later will be offering side dishes about LC policy statements, plus any OCLC stuff on the flip side of the menu.

If you don't have a facebook account and haven't found a reason to have one, this is it. It takes a few minutes to create an account. After that, just do a facebook (fb) search under RDA Cafe.


This was a collaborative effort involving University of North Texas School of Library and Information Science grad student (2010) Jolanta Radzick and myself.

Come stop at the cafe.



Having signed on for the free access period for the RDA Toolkit, I made one of my goals for AALL in Denver to find out as much as possible about RDA so once back home I could begin to use it. THANKS to all of you who both provided information and provided the forums for sharing this information. I have a better understanding, but as Ellen expressed in her recent post, there are still many things to be figured out. Now back home, I am reflecting on what I saw and heard. My reflections at this point:

--I was encouraged about the degree of openness (along with anxiety, etc.) to RDA which I observed

--I hope that this rollout of RDA will be a transition period leading to more dynamic way of showcasing our resources

--I agree with Hillman and Coyle (The Semantic Web and RDA) that we need a networked environment bringing together information from different sources allowing people to interact with and use the information

--I hope that the younger generation of technical services librarians will have the vision to get us to that point

-- Right now I am thinking about more mundane things like will we need to do reindexing of our ILS in order to download and display the new fields? How will the RDA records display in the catalog? Will it be a steep learning curve? How about the load tables for our shelf ready books?

I think it will be a fun and challenging summer.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mapping Still Unclear

I get the vision of where we are going in terms of the semantic web, RDA, FRBR, etc. Believe me, I want to be there as much as anyone. But I still cannot for the life of me understand how we will get there. To paraphrase Janet Swan Hill, I need the intervening steps mapped out and I do not seem to be hearing those. Or else, I am missing them, which is entirely possible ...

Thanks to Georgie Briscoe for her interesting program on quality control in our catalogs! Hopefully we can pursue Barbara Bintliff's suggestion of a new column in TSLL to share our strategies for cleanup projects to catch the errors that Georgia described to us. Look for her article on her research project in an upcoming LLJ.

It was exciting the way the program Q&A portions often produced ideas like this that tech services law librarians could tackle to achieve a desired end. My concern is whether we have the time and energy to make them all a reality. After all, the themes I heard this year remained: budget and staff shortfalls, cross training, justification of what we do to administration (usually in terms of measurement of data), etc. And of course it is the year of RDA, so we are wondering how to grapple with that. How little sleep can tech services law librarians operate on? I guess we will find out!

The meeting was exhausting because there was so much content to absorb in such a short amount of time. I extend my sincere thanks to TS and OBS for their hard work in providing that content. And thanks especially to my committed and enthusiastic colleagues who make up those SISs. You are all amazing!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

TS-SIS Silent Auction

DSC02147, originally uploaded by SpruceSt.

The TS-SIS silent auction is now over. It raised over $200 for the Marla Schwartz Award. Thanks so much to Katrina Piechnik for contributing her amazing fiber and ceramic objects to the auction, and to thinking up the auction in the first place. (You can see the pin I won on the left!)

Charting New Roles for Technical Services

Attending an interesting program given by Carol Avery Nicholson and Karen Davis on making an institutional repository for faculty made me realize I should also have gone to the program, 10 things every law library needs to now about copyright. Luckily, there's a live webcast of it here.

John Hostage

John Hostage, originally uploaded by SpruceSt.

Here's a picture of John Hostage kicking off RDA Day with the CC:DA report yesterday at the Cat and Class Committee meeting, 7 am. He's looking a little blurry, but I don't think that's his fault.


Monday turned out to be an almost all-day RDA fest. And by the end, I was exhausted ... I came away with more information about changes associated with RDA and the testing process, but the level of uncertainty remains very high. My concern now is how my ILS will handle the RDA records that are possibly appearing in OCLC even as I type this. Thank you to our colleagues for informing us about RDA!

The snafus surrounding the Cat & Class events at the Hyatt makes me wonder: What does the Hyatt have against law catalogers? I hope George Prager got a good night sleep after his busy day on Monday :-)

High tea at the Brown Palace was a welcome oasis in the middle of a long, info-packed day.

Blue bear

Blue bear, originally uploaded by SpruceSt.

I don't know why I like this bear so much.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Slides for the Keynote address

Here are the slides for the keynote address, Turn left at the obelisk, by David Lankes, associate professor at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies.

#AALL2010 Denver Big Blue Bear - from the inside on Twitpic

#AALL2010 Denver Big Blue Bear - from the inside on Twitpic

Book swap at OBS-SIS table

Book swap at OBS-SIS table, originally uploaded by SpruceSt.

Books available yesterday at the OBS-SIS table.

Blair and Marie

Blair and Marie, originally uploaded by SpruceSt.

Blair Kauffman and Marian Gould Gallagher Award winner, Marie Whited.

HIVE December One-minute Showcase

How cool is this? A YouTube video of a condensed version of today's program, SKOS and HIVE: enhancing the creation, design and flow of information.

TS-SIS Business Meeting

A few highlights from the TS-SIS Business Meeting, Sunday, July 11.

The Board: Secretary/Treasurer Wendy Moore, Outgoing Chair Chris Long, Incoming Chair Pam Deemer.

Carol Avery Nicholson,

and Chair Chris Long presents this year's Marian Gould Gallagher Award winner Marie Whited with a certificate of appreciation from TS-SIS.

Incoming chair, Pam Deemer gives Chris Long a gift and brings the meeting to a close.

Watching the World Cup

A small but international group gathers to watch Spain defeat the Netherlands, 1-0. The Octopus was right.

Bid on Silent Auction at Activities Table

TS-SIS is sponsoring a silent action to promote and raise money for the Marla Schwartz Grants. These grants enable law librarians to attend conferences. Auction items include: ceramic book box (old leather binding look); ceramic colorful flower vase; green ceramic goblet; one dozen handmade greeting cards. Bidding ends at 2:05 p.m. on Monday, July 12, 2010.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Arrival in Denver

I am here, and probably you are, too!

It was sunny, and then it was overcast, and it does feel very high. I'm quite thirsty, and the beer I had at the Tilted Kilt while watching the Germany-Uruguay game has me very tired.

Hope to see you at the Alphabet Soup Reception, and then let the fun begin!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Off to Denver

It's my last day in the office and I'm pulling all my stuff together for the AALL conference. I fly out to Denver early tomorrow morning.

As you plan your conference schedule, don't forget all the great offerings from the OBS and TS-SISs. Details are on their websites:



Be sure to bring your sunscreen and prepare to drink lots of water to stave off any altitude sickness. I look forward to seeing you all soon in the Mile High City!