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ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group

1998 Midwinter Meeting (New Orleans, LA)
January 9, 1998
Appendix: Issues of Importance (major events/developments/concerns) to Local Institutions - Round Robin

These reports were distributed over the Big Heads electronic discussion list in the weeks prior to the New Orleans meeting. For the proceedings of the Big Heads meeting at New Orleans, click on

This compilation was prepared by Judith Hopkins, University at Buffalo


Columbia University
Cornell University
Duke University
Indiana University
Library of Congress
National Agricultural Library
National Library of Medicine
New York University
Northwestern University
Ohio State University
Princeton University
Stanford University
University of California at Berkeley
University of California at Los Angeles
University of Chicago
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of Pennsylvania
University of Texas at Austin
University of Wisconsin at Madison
Yale University


From: Lee Leighton

As I mentioned in my "bugging" note earlier, we are planning to begin testing a cooperative effort with Yankee Book Peddler and the Academic Book Center to download inventory records for firm ordered and approval books from their on-line systems into our INNOPAC order system. We hope to begin with a small test from both vendors in January.

We will soon begin subscribing to the full Library of Congress Name Authority File and loading it into our locally developed OPAC which has linked authority capability. We have had the full LC Subject Authority File available in the catalog for several years.

In a continuing effort to reduce the portion of our operations budget devoted to staff, the library has assigned a 3% cut to the Technical Services operations budget in the current fiscal year and the two following years. In recognition of the substantial cuts already taken by Technical Services, the 3% cut is less than the 4.75% cut assigned to our academic units. The Library Systems Office and our Teaching Library were exempted from the three years of operations cuts.

There are no other major developments currently planned in Technical Services. We have a very successful shelf-ready books program in place with the science books that we receive from the Academic Book Center, and we hope to expand shelf-ready materials with YBP, our other major domestic vendor, after implementation of the transfer of order information mentioned above.

The Vice-Chancellor has appointed a Blue Ribbon Committee comprised entirely of faculty members to study the library and the problem of inflation rates of serials in the collections budget in particular.

After the launch of our new web based catalog, Pathfinder, last year we have no immediate plans to switch library systems.

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From: Judith Nadler


The amount of digital information that we provide is expanding rapidly, and will continue to do so as as we license access to additional networked versions of current print journals. Staff throughout the library continue to refine and greatly expand LibInfo, the library's system of Web pages. LibInfo offers more than two thousand locally created pages and has links to more than 10,000 unique resources, more than half of which are remote. It is the primary point of entry to our growing local digital library, to remote electronic library resources, and to on-line abstracting and indexing services.

Please visit us at our URL:

With high quality equipment purchased with grant funds, we are developing capabilities for creating archival quality scanned images from printed sources. An NEH-funded three-year grant of 490,000 for preservation of Ancient Near East materials includes a component for digitizing and providing network access to 100 volumes containing both text and illustrations. A two-year NEH-funded CIC cooperative preservation project includes microfilming materials from our collections on South Asia and religious denominational history.

Working closely with staff from collection development and systems, technical services provides consultation/leadership on issues of acquisitions, cataloging, and access to information in digital form.


Reduction of staff to accommodate the level library budgets in the last two years was accomplished mainly in the Technical Services Division. We continue to streamline cataloging, and production levels continue at a high rate. We have cataloged a total of 108,568 titles in 1996/97, and we project to meet or exceed this total in 1997/98.

In a major move to outsourcing, we have implemented an approval plan with Yankee Book Peddler (YBP) covering all English language monographs (US and UK). This has greatly improved the efficiency of selecting, acquiring and ordering, and has greatly enhanced our cataloging capacity. YBP cataloging records for all titles acquired are accepted for the most part without modification. The plan effected radical changes in the work of a large number of staff across most of the library, and it was implemented very quickly. We clearly have been successful in reducing the time between selecting material and getting it to its permanent shelving location, and we have produced significant cost reductions in processing operations. The Acquisitions Department played a major and important leadership role in the planning and implementation of the approval program.


The Provost has awarded 2.1 million dollars for a large scale retrospective conversion project. The conversion targets approximately 1.3 million records and will be accomplished within a period of three years. OCLC has been chosen as the conversion vendor. Conversion encompasses bibliographic data, holdings data, and authorities data. As a by-product of conversion, all Chicago holdings will be available in the OCLC Online Union Catalog. Not included in this conversion are the materials in East Asia languages (126,000 titles). Seeking funds to convert these records will be given high priority.


Good progress continues to be made on the implementation of the Horizon System. Following the implementation of the OPAC, we have brought up Circulation and Reserves and the Cataloging module, and most recently, the Serials module. The Horizon Acquisition module is expected to be available in spring 1998. The co-development and implementation of the Horizon modules has required an enormous amount of time and energy, most of which has come from Technical Services. Good news is that the benefits have started to show.


To extend the progress made in Technical Services to the East Asia library, the East Asia technical services operations has been reorganized from three language units (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) into one technical services division encompassing all three languages. This new division is divided along two functional lines: Orders and Accessioning and Cataloging and Binding. Goals for the immediate future include full integration of East Asia order, processing, and cataloging activities into Horizon, use of the Horizon Serials module, and gearing up for major retrospective conversion.


An architectural and engineering review of the Regenstein Library was completed in the fall. Plans are now underway for detailed design and implementation of additional shelving in Regenstein and for renovation of the first floor. The location of technical services within the new configuration has not yet been decided.

Judith Nadler
Assistant Director for Technical Services
University of Chicago Library
773 702-8743
FAX 773 702-6623

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From: Robert Wolven

Technical Services Developments at Columbia since July 1997:

  1. New quarters

    As part of the Butler Library renovation, the long-planned move of technical services staff to renovated space on the first floor was completed. Six departments formerly scattered on three floors have joined the Preservation staff already on the first floor in renovated space with better climate control, better adjacencies for improved workflow, largely new furniture (but not - sigh - new workstations).

    As always, tech services organization continues to evolve, and as part of this move the serials adding unit was transferred from cataloging to acquisitions -- a move we've long wanted to make, but couldn't complete because of space limitations in the old quarters.

  2. Offsite storage

    Next week we will finish filling the nooks and crannies in our second offsite storage facility, giving us ca. 800,000 volumes offsite. Planning is moving forward rapidly on a new, larger facility on the Harvard Depository model, with load-in scheduled to begin in July 2000. Technical Services is heavily involved in the plans for processing, and will soon begin the actual work of preparing materials and records.

  3. ILS and OPAC

    We continue on the NOTIS LMS, plan to bring up release 6.4.1 in a couple of weeks. Have recently brought up the Web version of the OPAC, using WebPac (also scheduled for a new release shortly).

  4. Digital Library

    (A fuller report on metadata developments will be distributed at the Big Heads meeting.)

    Web presentation of digital library resources is managed through an SQL database with feeds of metadata from a variety of sources. The feed of MARC records from the libraries' catalog has been routinized for online books, and will be extended to e-journals, databases, and other reference tools and indexes. A second feed has been implemented for direct input via an HTML Web template. Meanwhile, additional conversions are being designed for multi-institutional metadata from the Advanced Papyrological Information System and Digital Scriptorium projects.

  5. Scanned shelflist

The scanning of the Libraries' union shelflist by RetroLink was completed, and the resulting 850,000 card images have now been mounted on the Web, allowing decentralized access and maintenance. Primarily, though, the scanned images will be used as the basis for completing recon.


Bob Wolven
Director of Bibliographic Control
Columbia University Libraries
Phone: 212-854-5585
fax: 212-222-0331

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From: Christian M. Boissonnas

The pumpkin on top of the Library Tower is still there. For up to the minute information, see No kidding, folks, this is the event of the fall here. But the pumpkin will eventually fall, while the changes which we have started implementing under Sarah Thomas' direction will endure.


Sarah Thomas has implemented a new management structure. We now have a Deputy University Librarian (Ross Atkinson), and associate university librarians as follows:

-- Associate University Librarian for the Science Libraries (currently open as a result of Jan Olsen's departure for the Vice Presidency for External Relations at Wells College. Janet McCue, Head of Technical Services at Mann Library is now Acting Director of that library.)

-- Associate University Librarian for the Social Sciences and Humanities Libraries (David Corson, Director of Olin/Kroch/Uris libraries).

-- Associate University Librarian for Library Information Technologies (Jerry Caswell, now at Iowa State, due to start at Cornell next Spring).

This structure bridges the long-standing split at Cornell between statutory and endowed libraries.


We are in the process of inviting vendors to demonstrate their systems. We hope to select a system for implementation in July 1999. It is not yet completely clear that we will be able to do that as there are several other major projects on the University's technology plate competing for the same system resources.

In the meantime we will be installing version of NOTIS in the next few months.


On January 5th we will unveil for our users our new web-based interface to electronic resources. See Behind this are electronic resources which are cataloged. For the procedures involved, see The interface between the web displays and the on-line catalog is actually provided by an SQL database that is maintained separately. The database includes all 1,100 e-titles which have been cataloged at Cornell so far.

The Gateway is the product of two cross-functional groups, the Gateway Public Services Design Committee and the Gateway Technical Services Implementation Committee working under the direction of a steering committee composed of top library administrators.

If we have handouts ready by the time ALA comes around I will bring some.


This fall Sarah decided that my department should eliminate its cataloging backlog (about 100,000 titles) in 3 years, using existing resources. For this to happen we had to make some pretty drastic changes to the way we process. We have decided to give up collocation in the stacks. This makes it possible for us to accept contributed copy with call numbers assigned elsewhere, to switch from Cutter-Sanborn to LC cuttering, and to outsource the cataloging of our English-language approval titles. All these actions have been implemented, and will free up enough resources to assign to our backlog. As a result we are, once again, re-organizing. This is our third major reorganization in the years.

For further details about these decisions, background papers, and planning documents, see the first three documents at this URL:


We are now truly a BIBCO library. 72% of our original cataloging meets PCC standards. This is very close to the theoretical maximum for us. 67% of that is at the core level. I do not know what the numbers are for Cornell as a whole, but the percentages will not be significantly different from those, since our commitment to BIBCO is institutional rather than departmental.


If you are going to want to look at any Cornell web site in the next few days, please bear in mind that they will be mostly unavailable between the 24th (tonight) and Jan. 2nd. We are moving all of our computers from one building to another. It is possible that service will be restored prior to the 2nd, but do not count on it.

Best wishes for the holidays. I look forward to seeing you in two weeks.

Christian ************************************************

Christian M. Boissonnas
Central Technical Services
Cornell University Library
107A Olin Library
Ithaca, NY 14853-5301
Tel.: (607) 255-1569
Fax: (607) 255-6110

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From: "Lubans, John"

  1. The month of December finds our RE-CON effort in drawer number 3236 of the author title catalog - the LAST drawer! After a decade, we've completed the FIRST sweep. Our celebration will be short, because we've still a ways to go: a major clean up, dismantling of the card catalog and outsourcing of several categories of records passed over. The majority of our recon effort has been accomplished without supplemental funding but from existing resources in Technical Services.

  2. The question of RECLASSIFICATION was explored once again. A careful assessment of costs (between 3-5 million dollars) to switch from Dewey to L.C. has led to a somewhat sober discussion of this heady topic. Our draft strategic plan recommends against reclass and this recommendation was recently supported by the faculty members on the Library Council.

  3. Another task force is exploring the MOVE of TS from the first floor of the main building to an off site location. The move would free up space for public use. We've planned what we would need in a new location and have also begun initial discussion of the "costs" of moving. Costs like Shipping & Receiving and communication between TS and Public Services and Collection Development.

  4. An on-line SURVEY this Fall of 235 first year students on their use of the WEB for academic purposes finds a large majority wanting us to notify them of new, high quality web sites and to provide hot links from our catalogs to selected, good WEB sites.

Contact for more information:

John Lubans
Deputy University Librarian
Duke University
Durham, NC 27708
919 660 5800

Subject: Re: WEB cataloging

A SUPPLEMENT to Duke University's Technical Services Update for New Orleans. It comes from our lead person on the topic of making "live" or "hot" links from our DRA library catalog. The note below describes our share of a growing commitment among libraries to cataloging web resources. John Lubans, Duke University (*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*(*

Subject: Re: WEB cataloging
From: Elaine Druesedow
Date: 1/5/98 10:27 AM


This is inexact, but I'd estimate we have provided web links (856 fields) in the online catalog to about 210 electronic journals (which are also listed on our e- journals page), about 85 databases we have on subscription, and links to about 2000 fulltext journals found in web collections such as the ASAP's Expanded Academic Index, General Business File, and Computer Database files. Probably there are another 100-200 or so links to various monographs, documents, etc. Most of these links are added to the print equivalent record, when that format exists. We haven't done very many original records of Internet resources without print equivalents. So that makes a total of about 2500 links from Serials and Monographs. Special Collections did about 550 records in the Duke Papyrus Archive project, as well as many links to finding aids, but I don't have those numbers. But I'd say that estimating 3500 or so links from the online catalog to the Internet wouldn't be too far off. Only about 700 or so of those are true Internet cataloging records, the rest are links added to print equivalents.

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From: Sharon Elizabeth Clark

Technical Services and DRA-ILS Migration

Migration to the DRA-ILS remains a top priority. In conjunction with those preparations as well as tightening budgets, we are making strides forward in reviewing the delivery of technical services to improve the quality of service, the quality of the workplace and empower individuals with a sense of ownership.

Workstations have been upgraded to 486 pentiums; one large screen pentium is being tested for "choice"' by catalogers; furniture has been upgraded and space planning is ongoing.

All operations have been flowcharted and backlogs reviewed. The Auxilliary Cataloging Service, pilot tested to assist all units with cataloging backlogs is now officially in place with two new librarians hired; some specialized outsourcing projects have been completed including African language materials. My initial study which is on the web was followed by Arlene Taylor's consultancy and a followup Technical Services retreat. The visiting professor for research and planning, hired to assist with the reengineering process expects to have his proposal ready for review in the next few weeks.

Staff received a real morale builder when they hit the 38millionth OCLC record. UIUC has now received 4 OCLC gold records.

Training for the ILS migration began last summer with an ARL institute for the ILCSO network of 45 libraries . The first locally developed institute was pilot tested on UI staff last month, and supports developing a model which focusses on adult learning styles and dealing with continual technological change.


Once again, the UIUC campus has lost a Provost to the University of Texas at Austin. Congratulations are in order. He is outstanding and he will be greatly missed here.


Sharon Clark, Coordinator
Technical Services Division
216 Main Library - MC 522
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 333-2579
Fax: (217) 333-2214

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From: Jean Poland (by way of Michael Kaplan

Both Director positions at Indiana will be filled in January. The new Director of Collection Development is Martha Brogan from Yale University. Michael Kaplan, from Harvard, is the new Director of Technical Services. Everyone in the Libraries is looking forward to working with them. Michael will represent Indiana at the January Bigheads meeting.

This year, both the public card catalog and the shelflist were compressed. OCLC cards were removed from the public card catalog, clearing for other uses about forty percent of the floor space taken by the catalog.

The shelflist was sorted, compressed and measured as part of the continuing effort to identify our retrospective conversion needs. Based on figures from this process, we have approximately 600,000 Roman script items and 120,000 non-Roman. These figures exclude approximately 12,000 form shelflist cards.

Horizon implementation is taking a great deal of time and energy. Horizon has been implemented at the Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. We hope to expand that to include the Indianapolis professional schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Law in the spring. IU Bloomington and the regional campuses are expected to move from NOTIS to Horizon this summer.

The space issue is beginning to be addressed. The campus has provided funding for a master plan that covers the renovation of the Main Library, the Lilly Library and an offsite storage facility. Shepley, Bullfinch, Richardson and Abbott is the architectural firm that will begin the study in February.

I want to thank all of you for your collegiality this year. I have enjoyed the meetings and the exchanges of information.

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From: Beacher J E Wiggins


In July, the Library issued an RFP for an integrated library system; Sept. 8, 1997, was the closing date for responses. The Library is on track for awarding a contract in spring 1998. We are being guided by a formal source selection plan that prescribes the following activities: evaluation of the responses to the RFP; operational capability demonstrations by the offerors; reference checks with current customers; and site visits.

Implementation planning is underway to ensure the best fit within the Library. Key issues being addressed include: availability of appropriate hardware and software; incoporation of necessary functionality; establishing local policies within the ILS; connectivity between the ILS and other systems; migration of automated data to the ILS; conversion of automated data into the ILS; and training, training, training.

The new system is expected to be online Oct. 1, 1999.

Barbara Tillett, chief, Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO), has been named ILS Program Director for 3 years, as of August 1997. Tom Yee, assistant chief of CPSO, will serve as acting CPSO chief during Dr. Tillett's absence.


Nancy Davenport was appointed Director for Acquisitions and Support Services, effective December 21, 1997.

The Acquisitions and Support Services Directorate was reorganized in October 1997. The Acquisitions Bibliographic Support Project, the Exchange and Gift, the Order and the Overseas Operations Divisions were reorganized into the African /Asian Acquisitions and Overseas Operations Division, the Anglo/American Acquisitions Division, and the European/Latin American Acquisitions Division. The new divisions are organized along geographic lines, where staff in each division will perform searching, order, and selection functions for materials from one part of the world, as well as initial bibliographic control of most of its new receipts.

Resource Files

The Library loaded 235,000+ bibliographic records from external sources to the Library's internal resource files during FY1997. The records are preprocessed to eliminate certain anomalies and make the records conform more closely to AACR2 and LC cataloging practices. LC acquisitions units continue to make best use of these records for initial bibliographic control.

Authority contract

As a result of a joint research project between the Library and OCLC, LC has begun loading machine-generated music name authority records into the Name Authority File. These records will include a 1XX field, a 670 field, and a 667 field with the legend "Machine-derived authority record."

Draft Interim Guidelines for Cataloging Electronic Resources

Draft Interim Guidelines for Cataloging Electronic Resources have been completed and posted to the CPSO Web page. The purpose of the guidelines is to establish a set of guidelines to be used for cataloging electronic resources in the Library of Congress based on a common conceptual context and common terminology. The attempt to be more than just a "how to" manual. They also endeavor to engage the electronic world on a broader scale by providing the beginning of a conceptual framework for treating electronic resources. The Guidelines include:

  1. Policies on when to use multiple records and when to use a single record;
  2. Conventions developed especially for the single-record technique;
  3. Directions for indicating the existence of other physical formats;
  4. Directions relating to electronic location;
  5. Directions relating to collocating records and linking them;
  6. Directions relating to identifying records related to specific projects.

Core bibliographic record implementation

Beginning in FY1998, the Cataloging Directorate is implementing the core-level bibliographic record as the new base-level catalog record. Less than a full record, core bibliographic records include a classification number and one or two subject access points where appropriate; all name, series, and subject access points are supported by authority work.

Electronic AACR2

The Cataloging Distribution Service is negotiating with ALA Editions for the inclusion of AACR2 in Cataloger's Desktop (CDS's online cataloging tool) under a third party software license agreement developed by the publishers of AACR2.

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From: Beth F Warner

For further information (just in case this isn't *enough* detail!) contact: Beth Warner,


The University Administration is almost complete with the appointment of our new Provost (Nancy Cantor), Chief Financial Officer (Robert Kasden), and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs (Gilbert Ommen). Bill Gosling has recently completed one year as Interim Director for the Library.

We have restructured somewhat internally with the formation of the Technical, Access, and Systems Services Division (Beth Warner, Interim Assistant Director). TASS currently includes Monographic Cataloging, Acquisitions and Serials Cataloging (including Exchange & Gifts), Cooperative Access Services (ILL, MITS, and Buhr remote shelving facility), Preservation, and Systems.


We are continuing to refine our monographic cataloging operations. This has allowed us to redeploy two positions from copy cataloging, extend cataloging coverage to a number of previously uncataloged collections (including U.S. government documents and engineering technical reports), and undertake several analytic cataloging projects in both paper and electronic formats.

We are exploring new means of cataloging information delivery:

  1. We are embedding images of title pages and selected illustrations in the cataloging done for the Wantz Collection of medical rare materials. We hope to eliminate some of the cost of descriptive cataloging yet provide more information to identify the materials.
  2. Catalogers are doing text mark-up for the Humanities Text Initiative as well as creating TEI Headers for these materials which then provide the basis for MARC cataloging.
  3. Catalogers are assisting in the subject analysis and MARC cataloging for the Michigan collection of the Advanced Papyrological Information System Project.
  4. Michigan participated in the cataloging effort sponsored by the CIC of the ARTFL collection of French electronic texts.
  5. Catalogers have provided support throughout the creation and implementation of the Gateway/Registry for access to local and selected Web resources.

On other fronts:

  1. Map retrospective conversion has been completed.
  2. Work has resumed on cataloging the ICPSR datafiles.
  3. Cataloging effort has been extended to music CDs.
  4. The Short Title Catalogue datafile will be loaded shortly.


We changed domestic subscription vendors from Faxon to Blackwell.

We continue to load vendor approval records into our local Innovative system on a weekly basis. In October, Monograph Acquisitions began importing bibliographic records from OCLC to Innovative for use as acquisitions records. We also began loading Innovative acquisitions records into our local NOTIS system to provide patron access to on-order materials. Catalogers later use OCLC bibliographic records to overlay the NOTIS acquisitions record.

We continue to handle acquisitions processes for UM-Flint (includes monograph and serial searching, ordering, renewals, and fund accounting). In November we created OPRs for UM-Flint serials and trained their staff to handle on-line check-in.


We have been working on the CIC VEL project for patron-initiated ILL, which includes more specifically:

  1. review and revision of the detailed specifications for the project with the Technical Specifications team and OCLC
  2. completion of the Webz form for patron-initiated ILL (both a blank form and one where a bibliographic record is captured from the catalog)
  3. successful transmission of patron-initiated ILL requests through WebZ and OCLC direct request

We have a contractor for the Buhr remote shelving facility addition. Work has begun and is projected to be complete December 1998.

We revised our ILL fee schedule and reduced rates for Michigan libraries.


A third pilot project, still in the planning stage, will investigate the option of digitally scanning brittle materials for preservation purposes.

We have undertaken a system-wide collection condition survey, scheduled to be completed by June 30. The analyzed data gathered will form the basis of discussions with collections managers to assess needs and priorities for both short- and long-range planning.

We have just "graduated" our fourth Mellon Intern, who is now employed as the preservation microfilming projects manager at Columbia University Library.


In addition to assisting with many of the projects or efforts noted above, Systems was also involved in:

  1. continued implementation and enhancement of OCLC's WebZ (CIC VEL version) as the web interface to our OPAC; WebMIRLYN provides broadcast search capability to the CIC library catalogs and patron-initiated ILL.
  2. upgrades and enhancements of our NOTIS system including LMS release 6.4.1, InfoShare, and several local database loaders.
  3. local implementation of OVID providing access to 5 health sciences databases (including MedLine) as well as 60 full-text journals.
  4. cooperative projects with CIC and MRLT, including expansion of WebZ ILL to the entire UM-Ann Arbor campus and implementation of faculty delivery.
  5. on-going maintenance of systems and equipment


We are continuing to monitor the LMS system marketplace and have not yet made a firm decision as to when we will move to a new system.

We completed contract negotiations with Elsevier and brought up local access to approximately 1200 full-text electronic journals as part of an 18 month information economics research project (PEAK).

Through CIC, we have completed negotiations and have access to ISI's Web of Science system.

Through CIC, we are continuing to work with OCLC in the development of a distributed ILL/Document Delivery server system. Specifications and system design have been completed and coding is beginning at OCLC.

As part of a campus-wide effort, we are participating in the conversion of all University administrative systems to the PeopleSoft system (includes financials, human resources, grants, space inventory, student records, and recruitment).

During ALA, the Social Work Library will move to new quarters in the recently completed Social Work and Education building.

Beth Forrest Warner
Interim Assistant Director for Technical, Access, and Systems Services
818 Hatcher Library
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1205
(313) 764-9356 /voice
(313) 763-5080 /fax

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From: "Barbara A. Stelmasik"

Responses to the RFP for MnLink (Minnesota Library Information Network) have been reviewed. The results of the first cut will be announced in early January. Vendor presentations will occur in January and February. MnLINK will have two technical components: System X and a Gateway. System X will replace the U of MN NOTIS system and the PALS system and will include other state government, public, school and private college libraries which wish to participate.

The University Libraries were audited in the summer and have received, and responded to the final audit report. The item of most interest in the report is a staff survey done as part of the audit. This is the first time the University auditors made use of the audit process to assess organizational effectiveness in the areas of communication and priority setting. Other results of the audit included recommendations to do more work in the areas of contracts and licensing, and in cataloging uncataloged collections. We were already working to define problems and address issues in both of these areas.

The University is implementing a broadbanding system for personnel classifications and has started with a quick implementation of broadbanding for all student employees. The libraries job types do not fit comfortably in the proposed bands.

The new University president is using "compacts" to set goals and measure accomplishments. The University Libraries has drafted its compact for 1998/99 and the University Librarian is holding meetings to discuss the draft with library staff.

We are at the onset of a shelf ready pilot project with YBP. We anticipate an early spring start up of the project for firm order items. We hope the pilot will be extended to approval books shortly thereafter. We also hope to purchase and load TOC records this spring.

We have a good start on a project to create minimal enhanced on-line records for archival collections. We did a pilot project to test a template record and now are working on those collections which have finding aids.


Barbara A. Stelmasik
Team Leader, Materials Acquisition and Control
University of Minnesota Libraries
160 Wilson Library
309-19th Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: 612-625-8074
Fax: 612-625-3428

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From: Sally Sinn

NAL report: January 1998

Planning for the next ILS:

NAL is seeking a new integrated library system to replace ISIS, the current VTLS-based system. Although the budget request for funds has not yet been approved, the process of identifying functional and system requirements has begun and is expected to continue for next 6-8 months.

Access to Electronic Resources:

NAL has opened an Electronic Media Center (EMC) so that library users can access information from NAL electronic resources. NAL has increased the number of databases available to its customers from two to 30. The EMC has seven customer-dedicated compute rs and network printers. NAL customers can now access all 30 databases, seven CD-ROM information products, general Internet-based services, electronic federal depository collections, 45 Web-based full-text electronic scientific journals and a selection of electronic newspapers. An interdivisional team of public and technical services staff continue to evaluate various electronic journal offerings from publishers to determine if there is a licensing arrangement that will satisfy the needs to transition to electronic access while we maintain a high volume document delivery service to USDA customers.


NAL and its land-grant university partners continue to enhance the services and resources provided through AgNIC (Agricultural Network Information Center), a virtual information center created to provide a focal point to access agriculture-related resources on the Internet. AgNIC use continues to grow and plans are underway to expand participation to additional universities and organizations. One of the principal components of AgNIC is AgDB, which describes and links to more than 750 databases. NAL's Technical Services Division has a key role in developing the selection guidelines and metadata standards for the databases identified in the AgDB component of AgNIC.

Collection Development Web Site:

Access to NAL's collection development activities is now available online through the collection development home page ( The web site includes the complete text of NAL's Collection Development Policy with all revisions made since the publication of the 1988 edition. Also included are NAL's selection guidelines for newsletters developed in 1997, electronic resources selection activities, and the joint collecting statements on veterinary medicine, food and nutrition, and biotechnology developed with the Library of Congress and the National Library of Medicine.


The implementation of minimal level indexing for selected journals and the addition of indexing input from contractors contributed to an 18% increase in the number of indexing records added to AGRICOLA in FY1997 compared with the previous fiscal year.

Cataloging: In order to decrease the backlog of serial titles awaiting cataloging, NAL has implemented revised policies for cataloging treatment of foreign language serial titles. All foreign language serials and any English language serials that are not currently received will be given minimal level cataloging. Currently received English language serials, including USDA publications will continue to receive CONSER full-level treatment. NAL will implement the recently released core-level records for audiovisual materials.

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From: Duane Arenales. Contact:

For further information on NLM activities, please visit

ILS Progress

NLM has taken another direction in its reinvention effort, of which the search for an integrated library system is a part. The library is now working with Endeavor, Inc. to determine whether its Voyager ILS product is a viable option for satisfying NLM's requirements for technical processing, circulation, and an online public access catalog. A final decision is expected shortly.

Information on NLM Cataloging Section Policies, Products and Services

The NLM Cataloging Section HomePage became available as a link on the NLM Website in November 1997. This online tool offers users practical information about NLM cataloging policies and practices for monographs, serials, audiovisuals and electronic resources. One key feature of is documentation on NLM classification practices.

Electronic Resources

The Selection and Acquisition Section and the Cataloging Section are finalizing internal policies for the selection and cataloging of electronic resources. NLM will first complete the cataloging of its own electronic resources such as the MEDLARS databases. Cataloging of other remote access electronic resources elected based on established selection criteria will be ongoing on a limited scale throughout 1998 due to the competing pressures of NLM's search for and probable implementation of an ILS.

Expansion of Copy Cataloging

In June 1997, NLM began using OCLC member records in copy cataloging of monographs and serials. This practice represents an expansion of copy cataloging, particularly for monographs, where NLM previously relied solelyon copy available from the Library of Congress and the U.S. Government Printing Office. This expansion was made possible by the implementation of new NLM designed software which uses the OCLC Z39.50 client/server interface under an agreement with OCLC, Inc.

Non-Conser Serial Records Transmitted to OCLC via FTP

Beginning in August 1997, NLM began weekly contribution of new non-Conser serial cataloging records to OCLC using ftp. When NLM's record is new to OCLC it is loaded as usual as a new record in OCLC. When NLM's record is not new to OCLC, certain NLM data is amalgamated to the existing non-CONSER serial record in OCLC. (Note: Modifications to CONSER serials continue to be handled manually). We are pleased that the non-CONSER serials are loaded with some record matching/de-duping algorithms in place which eliminated the pre-searching process for these records.

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Update from New York University:

Serials Vendor Review. We have completed our review and are in the final stages of the selection process.

Electronic ordering. In December we began ordering monographs electronically from Yankee Book Peddler's Gobi database.

NYU-New-York Historical Society Affiliation. Have hired project director, two catalogers and three archivists for Mellon-funded project to process the New-York Historical Society's collections. Five support staff will be hired in January. All cataloging will be done on NYU's Geac ADVANCE system and uploaded into RLIN.

Continued de-centralization. Two more branch libraries will begin onsite serials check-in, bringing the number to seven. Copy cataloging is now being done in three off-site locations.

BobCatPlus. Newly-designed web catalog to debut this month. About 700 digital resources have passed a selection process and have been cataloged.

Strategic Planning. Ten cross-departmental teams have been appointed to implement our strategic plan: Digital Collections Electronic Resources, Instructional Services, Serials, Web Oversight, Media Services, Communications, Special Collections, Preservation, Staff Development, and New-York Historical Society.



evaluate BIBCO for NYU. I am a skeptic and need to be convinced that we havent just added another level of cataloging and another layer of thinking/evaluation to the cataloging and copy cataloging processes.

Arno Kastner
Director of Technical Services
Bobst Library
New York University
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

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From: Roxanne Sellberg

What is happening at Northwestern?

  1. Implementation of the Endeavor Voyager system is job one. Our plan is to unveil public catalog and begin using all modules of the system during the summer of 1998. Contact Roxanne Sellberg (AUL for Technical Services) at for more information.
  2. Library recently received go ahead for phase one of the renovation and space reallocation of the main library building. Highlights of phase one: compact shelving will be installed in the lower level of the building, several public services units will be merged, the Transportation Library will be moved, and the public "lobby area" of the building will be redecorated. Contact Marie Clark Library Space Coordinator) at for more information.
  3. "Shaping the Collections of the Future: An Assessment of the Collections of Northwestern University Libary with a Plan for the Future" was issued in October, 1997. Contact Diane Perushek (AUL for Collection Management) at for more information.
  4. Late breaking news: The University administration has announced plans to propose to the Board of Trustees that the Dental School be closed.
............................................................................. .............................................................................
Roxanne Sellberg
Assistant University Librarian for Technical Services
Northwestern University Library
1935 Sheridan Road
Evanston IL 60208
fax: (847)491-8306

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From: Carton Rogers

Some news from the University of Pennsylvania in advance of our meeting in New Orleans:

My bugs are neither profound nor unique but they itch like hell nonetheless:

  1. I am constantly bugged that there continues to be a sense in Libraryville that the return on the investment in technical services work is somehow marginal to the overall enterprise. Is this anti-TS bias philosophically based? Is it because our work can, in most cases, be quantified and, therefore, have costs assigned? We all probably have a sense of how much it costs to acquire and process a book. Do our colleagues have the same sense of how much it costs to handle a reference query? To make a collection decision? And why are we often perceived as not thinking outside of the cubicle when we talk about needing staff to move vast quantities of information in and out of our operations when a great deal of library "reengineering" has started in TS? I'm luckier than most because I have a director that is at least sympathetic to my operation and committed to keeping it reasonably healthy but I'm not sure that his enlightened approach is widely held either locally or outside of Penn. I do think, however, that the balance we'd all like to see restored to our organizations is coming. The way in which users are accessing libraries, using the collections and the very nature of the "collections" themselves may obviate much of the need for traditional library mediation. The folks who obtain and organize information - us- will have greater visability in the future. No future? We're the future! Which leads me to bug #2..

  2. How to plan for and bring this future to reality - "inventing the jet engine" as Judi so aptly puts it - while trying to deal with the present. At Penn, the TS infrastructure is already so stressed with implementing a new lms, the need for additional staff training across the board and the trials and tribulations involved in trying to mitigate the impact of the rising delta between funds for materials and the staff to order and process those materials that it is hard to get managers to focus on the future. My sense is that most of you are in similar situations. So how do we manage the necessary fundamental transformation of our operations while keeping current processing afloat? Is it really better to burn out than to fade away?

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From: Carol Diedrichs


    William J. Studer has announced his retirement as of 6-30-99 as Director of the Libraries. In the same time period, two assistant director positions became available: Jennifer Younger's appointment as director at Notre Dame and the death of Jay Ladd, Assistant Director for Undergraduate and Departmental Libraries. The administrative team has been restructured as a result.

    Pat McCandless, formerly Assistant Director for Main Library Public Services, is now Assistant Director for Public Services. This expands her responsibilities to include the department libraries.

    Gay Dannelly, formerly Collection Development Officer, is now Assistant Director for Collections. Her duties have expanded to include the Department of Language and Area Studies and the Special Collections Libraries.

    I am the Interim Assistant Director for Technical Services. I have retained my responsibilities as Head, Acquisition Department and expanded to include the Cataloging Department, Special Collections Cataloging, and liaison responsibilities for 6 regional campuses.

    On January 5, 1998, William Kirwin, formerly President of the University of Maryland, was named President of OSU replacing Gordon Gee.

  2. PromptCat

    We have suspended our PromptCat implementation because of the lower than expected match rate with our Baker & Taylor approval plan. We still believe that PromptCat is a viable option for is but we will reassess our use of it once we change approval vendors in January 1999.

  3. OhioLINK statewide task forces for serials and approvals

    OhioLINK explored two options this fall: a statewide approval plan/contract and a statewide contract for serials. After exploration, the serials option was deemed undesirable and dropped. The approval plan, however, is moving forward. The vision for the system follows:

    "A contract would be signed by OhioLINK on behalf of all participating libraries with a single vendor for the provision of domestic approval plans. Libraries not involved in approval plans would be able to place firm orders via the same vendor at the same discount as approval materials. Approval profiles would be controlled by each local library. The profiles would be accessible to all OhioLINK institutions via a Web-based vendor tool. This tool would enable collection managers at each local library to look at their own profiles online as well as those of their colleagues in other OhioLINK libraries. Staff could search and view a list of books that match their profile and see what action had been taken for their library on each title, e.g. received as book, notification slip, etc. as well as the action taken for other OhioLINK libraries.

    In one possible scenario, forthcoming titles would also be pre-profiled by the vendor to determine probable action. This information on action expected could appear in the database as soon as a title was identified for inclusion on the approval system (prior to publication). Collection managers would be able to review titles and mark for shipment on approval. Staff would be able to place firm orders online and that data could be transferred electronically into the Innovative Interfaces system."

    OSU is taking a lead in this initiative and is seriously considering being the lead institution in a statewide RFP to be developed this spring.

  4. Electronic journals

    As a part of OhioLINK, we now have full text access to Academic Press journals with Elsevier due in Jan./Feb. OhioLINK has contracted with OCLC TechPro for cataloging for the electronic versions of these titles for all libraries. However, we have to do some updating of the records on load and the cataloging is not available as soon as the full text is. As a result, we have to build brief records to store the URL link and order records for payment. New workloads have also developed because the invoicing for these electronic versions via OhioLINK and print versions via a vendor has become more complex.

Carol Pitts Diedrichs
Interim Assistant Director for Technical Services and Head, Acquisition Department
Editor, Library Acquisitions: Practice & Theory
The Ohio State University Libraries
1858 Neil Avenue Mall
Columbus, OH, 43210-1286
tel: 614-292-6314
fax: 614-292-2015

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From: "Richard J. Schulz"


Princeton just signed a contract with OCLC to convert the Library's public card catalog. This is our union catalog containing all of the Library's non-online cataloged holdings other than the East Asian vernacular language holdings of the Gest East Asian Collections (vernacular East Asian holdings of other collections are included as are the western language holdings of the Gest Collections). An estimated 1.4-1.5 million titles, representing 60% of the Library's cataloged holdings, will be encompassed by this project. Production is scheduled to begin in mid-February and is expected to be completed approximately by the end of 1999. This project coincides with the Library's implementation of its new Horizon ILS, targeted to be brought online in the second quarter of 1998, and adds a certain amount of complexity to the data migration operation which must integrate the Library's current Geac circulation and NOTIS cataloging databases. About half of the records represented in the card catalog are also represented by Geac circulation records which have no NOTIS online catalog counterparts. The plan of how we are managing this is too extensive to describe here, but if anyone wants more information on this, they can drop me a line and I will provide details.

When this recon project is completed the Library will phase out the Electronic Card Catalog, the digitized and networked representation of the card catalog through scanned images. While this device worked fairly well for what it was intended to do, i.e., preserve seriously deteriorating card stock and provide remote access to the union catalog in Firestone Library as cheaply as possible, it was never intended to be a permanent or even a long-term solution to catalog integration. True online records will provide a significant advancement to the access possibilities afforded the user community and will make catalog maintenance a far easier proposition for technical services staff.


Another major development of note is the continuing expansion of our base of multi-function, multi-tasking workstations. We now have over 100 workstations deployed throughout the three divisions of the Technical Services Dept.: Order, Catalog and Circulation; all are connected to the campus network and the internet. Staff of Catalog Division (45 staff/43 FTE) all have individual workstations; 43 out of 49 staff (46 FTE) of Order Division have individual workstations; of the 27 staff of Circulation Division (25 FTE) only the six staff have individual workstations thus far.

Order and Circulation Divisions continue to be somewhat bound to our old Geac system for which PC communications are expensive to set up and maintain, and not as functional as dedicated connections. Thus, being about to implement our new ILS, specifically its Windows NT/95 release, we have deliberately delayed deploying additional individual PC workstations in these two divisions until the transition to the new system is made. However, we are currently considering going to an interim set up featuring dual equipment -- PC and dedicated Geac dumb terminal in the same workstation configuration -- for the remaining Order Division staff who continue to need Geac access. There are also 12 shared workstations deployed throughout Order and Circulation Divisions for staff and student assistants, the latest installation being in the sorting room for the shelvers, which finally completes the networking of the entire department.

All newer workstations have been deployed with Windows NT as the operating system, and all older workstations are in the process of being upgraded and converted from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95. The inevitable result of all of this, which I know a number of you have also experienced, is the increasing amount of staff resources drawn into maintaining and updating this equipment. With a volume of work which grew steadily over the past fifteen years to where it is now double what we used to acquire, catalog and circulate in 1983, while staffing over the same period has declined by more than 20%, we have come to depend on never having equipment out of service for more than a few hours at most. The competition for the attention of the Systems Department, which is a unit of Library Administration not Technical Services, has grown ever more intense as the non-technical services units of the Library have become ever more dependent on automation, with more and more resources offered to the public which have first priority. Likewise, as the PCs we use have become more functional, the software we employ in technical services has also become more specialized.

Primarily for these two reasons we have found it necessary to take more of hand in the systems management of our own computer resources. While we do continue to work closely with and to depend on critical services from Systems, by my reckoning, we now also have 1 FTE devoted nearly exclusively to computer maintenance, plus a Workstation Committee with a staff of 10, drawn from each of our three divisions, all of whom spend a portion of nearly every day in training, basic maintenance and repair, and/or trouble-shooting activities. The office of the 1 FTE alluded to above, the department's Microcomputer Coordinator, doubles as a store room for spare equipment and equipment in various stages of configuring, testing and/or repair. In addition to the above, automation development is becoming an increasing departmental preoccupation. The "openness" of the new ILS, and its potential to tie into university-wide systems, such as the financial system, will, I foresee, cause this trend to accelerate.

Richard J. Schulz
Associate University Librarian for Technical Services
Princeton University Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
Phone: 609-258-5297
Fax: 609-258-0441

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From: Catherine Tierney


Similar to what was reported in summer: the renovation of the main library (Green Library West) and its connectivity projects to Green Library East and changes in the University's model for building facilities have all caused delay in the planning for Tech Services. However, the project formulation meeting will be next week, so I won't be surprised if we really get moving in spring. Once things start, we expect 20 months to occupancy.


In fall we worked with Sirsi staff to describe functional needs for online serials checkin from an academic/complex/large library viewpoint. There have been interations of feedback since. Sirsi's WorkFlows product for Serials checkin (in part based on our work) is targeted for beta testing in May/June.


Sirsi's more-Windows-based interface (next generation after its initial GUI) will be tested module by module at Stanford and elsewhere. Circ is any day now; Catg/Authorities in February-ish, Acquisitions in April-ish. We'll test in true production environments the general release of each packaged WorkFlow, with full realization that the tools for tuning to local peculiarity are available when we turn it over to all staff working on the function. We're optimistic that the product will suit our needs, but as Judi said, it's long hard work.


We continue to develop Socrates II, the web opac. Though not part of our Sirsi Unicorn implementation, Lane Medical Library and Jackson Business Library records were loaded into Unicorn over Thanksgiving to gradually make SocII a union catalog. Circ status is available on explicit command.. Still not in SocII - Archives & Manuscripts (for SUL and Hoover) and East Asia Library collections. Both are in the plans for this year.

URL links in web catalog are very popular; maintaining the URLs is still primitive but we're trying to keep up.

We have not opened access to non-Stanford users. Must either be logged on via Stanford Network or have a University ID & pin to login. Given all we're working on, this has been determined to be lower priority than some of the other local needs.

Socrates on the mainframe is still the union catalog and provides character-based searching which is deemed still necessary given the large number (though decreasing every month) of low-end computers still in faculty & student hands. No particular timetable for pulling the plug on Socrates.

Fast Track Acquisitions

Project to redirect many Mono Standing orders to YBP is almost complete for those that we handle as separates. Paying YPB to end- process and provide acceptable cataloging (for cycling at least) is worth it; books get to shelves very quickly.

We're still working on getting all the EDI pieces in place so that the full process is automated for the straightforward material. We've encountered each possible point of technical failure, and solve them one at a time. At the moment, it's the 3rd party conversion software for the Edifact messages; we chose what the University had already . and are wondering if that was such a good idea.


Full-scale NACO training program began last June to cover 10 original catalogers plus 5 derived original catalogers (highest level specialist). Half of the original catalogers are fully trained in personal, corporate, and uniform titles, the other half still need uniform title training.. Derived Original Catalogers get corporate body training in Feb. and Uniform title training in spring. Until all appropriate staff are trained in all forms of NACO names, BIBCO contribution is limited. Therefore, we're intensely focused on completing training in spring. Keeping up cataloging productivity remains a priority; the more of us who are in NACO, the less work for all of us.


We decided that having two heads to cover cataloging concerns (Cataloging Services was one, and Cataloging R & D was the other) had more disjoints than value given everything else we are dealing with.. I still think the model has merits for the future. New head of Cataloging is Philip Schreur, former head of T.S. in our Music Library. A gem..

New head of Serials (sans cataloging) is Christa Easton formerly of University of Houston. Another rare gem.


Asst. Univ. Librarian for Technical Services
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
650.725.4902 (fax)

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From: Sue Phillips

University Administration

Several vacancies in the upper administrative levels at UT Austin are in the process of being filled. Larry Faulkner, current Provost at the University of Illinois, will officially become President in mid April. The Provost search, currently suspended, will be re-started, with hopes of an appointment shortly after President-Designate Faulkner arrives. An impending vacancy at the Vice-Provost level, carrying a portfolio of campuswide information technology, has been announced, with the incumbent following the previous Provost to the University of Minnesota. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are carrying on as usual despite these vacancies.

We have successfully undergone the Southern Association re-accreditation process during the interegnum.

Materials Funding

1997/98 marks the first complete year of our $2.00 per semester credit hour student library fee, providing about $2.4 million dollars additional revenue. Unfortunately, a large part of this simply serves to replace soft money sources that were no longer available. In addition, Harold Billings was able to secure an additional $1 million in one-time funding for materials to support the entire University of Texas System, but located at UT Austin. We are using these funds to fill some of the many gaps that have occurred in recent years. Other UT System libraries are being consulted as part of this process and the materials purchased are intended to support programs at all academic campuses.

Digital Libraries

The five ARL libraries in Texas (UT Austin, Texas A&M, Rice University, University of Houston, and Texas Tech University) have joined forces with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to form the Texas Digital Library Alliance. We are working to develop a plan to tap the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund to provide digital library services for the state.

The statewide library consortia, TexShare, expanded from 52 libraries to approximately 160 library by legislatively expanding membership to community colleges and independent institutions. AMIGOS and UT Austin, as co-managers of the projects, have put much time and energy into making this a successful transition and providing services to the new TexShare libraries. UT Austin library staff continue to support the technology infrastructure for TexShare using the Ovid platform.

UT Austin management of the University of Texas System Knowledge Management Center officially began operation on September 1, with a mandate to provide digital library services as well as support for distance education services throughout the system. We continue to support UT System access to nine databases through the Ovid platform, with licenses for remote access to an additional seven serives. Multi-media tutorials on information literacy and copyright are in preparation.

Work on the LC Ameritech National Digital Library Project (South Texas Border Photograph Collection, 1910-1920) is ahead of schedule and expected to be publically available by summer 1998. The infrastructure built for this project is expected to support several other projects waiting in the wings.

Technical Services

As several others have reported, we are awaiting completion of the final paperwork before beginning PromptCat with Yankee. If successful, we plan to expand this to other vendors.

As a test site for dedicated TCP/IP connections to OCLC, I can report a *very* successful installation, with a minimum of problems. We have been operating through this connectivity method for both library operations and public access for several months and are very pleased with the performance.

We are awaiting delivery and installation of 100 Pentium workstations to be intalled throughout Technical Services, replacing outdated desktop equipment, including 3270 and VT100 terminals.

Sue Phillips
Associate Director for Technical and Networked Services
General Libraries, University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas 78713-8916
FAX: 512/495-4347

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  1. Work preparatory to implementation of our new DRA ILS (ORION2)--scheduled for Summer 98--continues at a furious clip. Pre-data migration projects have been spec'ed out and are underway. "Generic" workflows have been drafted for Acquistions (Monograph and Serial) and Cataloging (Rapid, Copy, and Original) and will shortly be reviewed by appropriate advisory committees.

  2. All monographic ordering and receiving staff in the Research Library Acquisitions Department have been trained in OCLC downloading routines on networked workstations eliminating considerable quantities of redundant searching and printing.

  3. Cataloging productivity in the Research Library Cataloging Department has increased dramatically over the previous calendar year, as a consequence of workflow efficiencies achieved by its new Head, Carol Hixson. The period of time publicly-accessible material under only minimal bibliographic control is allowed to "age" before being cataloged has been reduced to under two years and is being reduced further.

  4. All original catalogers have been receiving supplemental NACO training, with additional training still to come. BIBCO targets were met for FY97, and have been doubled for FY98. We expect two-thirds of FY98 BIBCO production to be at the core level.

  5. With funding from the NEH, MARC-AMC records for 2,400 of our most prominent and heavily used archival collections are being created and input into ORION, MELVYL, and OCLC. These will subsequently be linked to EAD-encoded archival finding aids, being marked up under the aegis of the UC Online Archive of California Project.

  6. The exchanges database (encompassing over 1,000 exchange partners) in the Research Library Serials Department is being migrated from dBase III Plus to MS Access, with promising gains in efficiency (label-generating routines, etc.).

  7. The Library was mandated to absorb a 3% "productivity enhancement" (read: budget cut) for FY98. Much of it has come out of technical services in order to protect our more visible user services.
Brian E.C. Schottlaender
Associate University Librarian
Collections & Technical Services
UCLA Library Administration
11334 University Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
vox: 310.825.1201
fax: 310.206.4109

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From: Richard Reeb


We are in year 6 of our in-house retrospective conversion project and continue to track significant and steady progress in moving through the LC portion of the shelflist. This year our per title costs are averaging $1.78. That includes OCLC searching and updating fees and staff time to convert routine titles, the problematic ones, and every other kind of situation falling under the general heading of "clean-up." Although the work reflected in this average is primarily conversion of humanities and social science titles in our general stacks, it also includes East Asian titles (copy only), music scores, and some materials in our Special Collections. The three latter categories of records are more time-consuming, therefore costlier, than our stack titles. In charting our progress we have just reached the 64.7% level, (We track this very carefully, but I rounded up to the nearest tenth of a percent!) and hope to reach the 75% goal by the end of the fiscal year.


Since stack space is one of the issues most frequently mentioned in our planning discussions, one of the projects we began this fall is the withdrawal of unneeded duplicate copies from our main stack area housing the humanities and social sciences collections. Technical services staff have been assigned the work of removing from the stacks any duplicate copies when three or more copies are found. Copies are deselected on the basis of several factors including hardbound vs. paperbound, condition of the spine, and readability of the call number label. Subject specialists/selectors are authorized to override these guidelines in cases, for instance, when they want to retain more than two copies, but for the most part, they have not exercised their veto power. For the first three months, October-December, we have already withdrawn 3,695 volumes from 11 LC subclasses. Many of these volumes were purchased as reserve copies for course readings, and were transferred to the main collection when the book was no longer required reading or the course no longer offered. Some of us who follow the numbers game closely are concerned about the impact this withdrawal project will have on our collections net growth reported annually to ARL.


More than a year ago UW-Madison was invited by OCLC to participate in a development project whose objective is to enable libraries which maintain their serials holdings in their local systems (in other words, most of us) to upload this information into OCLC's Union List service. We are one of three libraries (the other two are Mankato State and Virginia Tech) involved in the pilot. OCLC's goal was to have our holdings loaded by the end of 1997, and due to the concentrated efforts and determination of the product manager, Ellen Caplan, and the rest of the LDR Updating team, our holdings were successfully loaded Dec. 11-17. We are still in the evaluation period, but the review we have conducted during the past two weeks has elicited positive comments.

There were several requirements we had to meet to be able to participate, but the two most important were that our library participate in an OCLC Union List and be able to send holdings in USMARC. UW has been recording holdings in the MARC format since 1987 reporting volume/issue data at level 4 detail in compressed form. Because we had developed our own OPAC system, we were able to support these data, entered into the NOTIS system, and display the 853-55 and 863-68 fields locally. Our predominant use of the 853/863 pairs as opposed to the free text 866 field made if much easier for OCLC to transform our level 4 detailed holdings into their LDR format which closely approximates level 3 detail. Of the 157,618 holdings records we sent, 133,833 LDRs were loaded. The 23,785 records which were deferred will need to be reviewed by our staff during the first half of 1998 and the necessary corrections made so that when the file is reloaded in about a year, LDRs for these holdings will also be created. Given the scope of the project and complexity of the data, some issues remain to be resolved. OCLC plans to make this service available by the end of the 2nd quarter (June) of 1998.

Richard Reeb

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From: Joan Swanekamp

  1. Don Waters departure for the National Digital Library Federation has left a 'big hole' in the Yale Library organization. The Library Systems Office is reporting for the moment to the AUL for Public Services and Acquisitions, Cataloging and Preservation are functioning as a self-managing team with Joan Swanekamp serving on the Management Team.

  2. The Library is in the midst of a comprehensive Systems analysis and looking for ways to address the gap between our ambitious plans requiring systems support and our staffing abilities.

  3. We have reprofiled the domestic approval plan with Blackwell's, going to a single plan for Sterling with subprofiles. We hope to make use of Blackwell's web tool, Collection Manager, to help manage the plan, which begins in January.

  4. Our new Chief Acquisitions Librarian, Vickie Seymour is happily (her words) in place.

  5. We are faced with the issues issues and impact of new University Oracle-based accounting system.

Joan Swanekamp
Chief Catalog Librarian
Yale University

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