ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group

2003 Annual Conference (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
June 20, 2003

Appendix to Minutes of Meeting:

Round Robin of Issues of Importance (major events/developments/concerns) to Local Institutions These reports were distributed over the Big Heads electronic discussion list in the weeks prior to the Toronto annual conference in June 2003.

For the minutes of the Big Heads meeting at Toronto, click on

This compilation was prepared by Judith Hopkins, University at Buffalo



Columbia University
Cornell University
Duke University
Harvard University
Indiana University
Library of Congress
National Agricultural Library
National Library of Medicine
New York Public Library
New York University
Ohio State University
Pennsylvania 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 Virginia
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin at Madison
Yale University


ALA Annual Conference, June, 2003
From: Lee Leighton(

Berkeley round robin report

The most important factor in the UC Berkeley Library continues to be the state's effort to cope with its 38 billion-dollar shortfall.

In the current fiscal year, 2002-2003, the Library gave approximately 1 million dollars in one-time funds back to the campus and froze all vacant positions. In fiscal year 2003-2004, we expect to be asked to give back 5-10% of our permanent operating budget, which represents 25-50 positions. We are planning to achieve those savings through staff attrition, and we hope to avoid layoffs.

The University of California system has also recently announced a new program called START (Staff and Academic Reduction in Time) that is intended to help campus units cope with reduced budgets. The program allows librarians and staff to voluntarily reduce their time 10 to 50% for up to two years with their supervisors' permission.

In light of these reductions, the Berkeley Library has been engaged in an effort to identify priorities across the organization that will help us to assign librarians and staff to fill vacancies in high priority functions. Technical Services mangers have been consulting widely across the Library to identify processing priorities that we have broadly grouped into monographs, serials and electronic resources. This process has been proceeding for several months, and it is fitting in well with the developing library-wide priorities.

In addition, our collections budget will be cut by approximately $700,000 next fiscal year due to serials inflation. This shortfall will result in eliminating some print serials duplicated by electronic resources and serial cancellations.

Lee Leighton
UC Berkeley
June 2003

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From: Judith Nadler

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Round Robin Update, June 2003
From: Robert A. Wolven

ALA Annual Meeting 2003
ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Group
Columbia University Report

  • Voyager Implementation.
       We are currently in the midst of implementing Voyager (coming up on release 2001.2)  Cataloging went live (and uploads to OCLC and RLIN were suspended) as of May 15th.  Acquisitions came up June 9th, and OPAC and circulation are expected to begin July 7th. 

  • Retrospective Conversion.
      In March, Columbia received a grant from the Mellon Foundation for recon of the remaining items in the general collections.  The grant will cover serial analytics, pamphlet collections, masters essays, and several collections in South Asian and Mid-East languages  approximately 300,000 titles in all.

  • Union Theological Seminary.
      The UTS library will become part of the Columbia University Libraries system in July 2004.  Records from the UTS catalog will be migrated into the Libraries' Voyager catalog, and technical services operations will be assumed by the Libraries' central technical services units. Collections and public services will remain in their current location at UTS.

  • Physical changes.
       The Engineering library is undergoing a major renovation, with about 2/3 of the 155,000-volume collection moving to offsite storage.  Renovation of Butler Library continues, with the opening of 8 discipline-based Research Reading Rooms of 5,000-10,000 volumes each on the upper floors.  The first phase of renovation of the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library was completed with the opening of the Wallach Study Center, housing the library^Ňs archival collections and the Art Properties collection.  

  • Preservation Microfilming.
       In July, the NEH-funded Slavic Culture and History project will begin work on a new grant to film 7,000 brittle, damaged serial volumes in Slavic and East European languages, comprising approximately 320 titles in the subject areas of history and literature published between 1850-1960 primarily in Russia and Eastern Europe  

  • Digital Library Activities.
      Over the summer we will be implementing Luna's Insight software to manage our digital image collections.  Columbia is one of the partners testing Dspace, and we have begun discussing its use in creating an institutional repository.  We  are also piloting use of OCLC's batch ingest software for its Digital Archive.  The CliMB (Computational Linguistics for Metadata Building) project has completed its first year, and other content-based projects are either entering new phases or nearing completion. 

  • Budget.
      We are still awaiting word on the final budget for 2003/04.  We anticipate an 8% increase in the materials budget, and were asked to submit plans for a 2% reduction in the operating budget. 

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Round Robin Update, June 2003
From: Karen Calhoun(

Cornell University Library
ALA Annual Conference, June, 2003

Hello colleagues,

Something a little different from Cornell this time.  The university librarian requested a one-page summary of the year's accomplishments in technical services, public services, collection development, etc.  She will choose highlights from this summary and others for inclusion in her annual report to the provost.  I've appended the summary that the Technical Services Executive Group (TSEG) submitted. 

Looking forward to seeing you in Toronto.  Early next week, I hope to email to the list a summary of the findings of the TS benchmarking survey. 


Technical Services Accomplishments, 2002/03
Cornell University Library
Prepared for Sarah Thomas by TSEG, 5/28/03

Karen Calhoun
Associate University Librarian for Technical Services
107-D Olin Library
Cornell University
Ithaca NY 14853

Voice: 607-255-9915
Fax:     607-255-6110

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Round Robin Update, June 2003
From: Barbara A. Stelmasik

  • Aleph Implementation:
      Our current focus is on Aleph implementation for the coordinate campuses (Crookston, Morris, Duluth) with switch to production scheduled for mid-July 2003.  Twin Cities staff are heavily involved in the implementation and training work. In the Twin Cities, we are about to go through our first fiscal year close on Aleph, and we continue to work toward implementation of reports, batch claiming, record export, etc.

  • Budget:
    The University has decided to address a 15% cut in state resources for 03/04 by designating half of the solution in increased revenues (tuition and fees) and half through budget reductions.  There is a one year wage freeze and an increased share of health care insurance to be paid by employees (subject to negotiation for certain categories of staff.) Further reductions will be needed for 04/05.  The Libraries laid off one person, took advantage of early retirements, eliminated vacant positions, and will reduce the materials budget to make the target reduction.

  • Cost Containment:
    The University Libraries met a one time recision goal (due in March) and planned for the 03/04 reductions using a cost containment discussion process.  The discussions highlighted opportunities to maximize the use of technology and to more carefully assess the local impacts of the move to electronic formats.  Technical services related proposals include a reduction in the number of geographically dispersed processing units, reassessment of sources of copy, and more movement toward shelf-ready, EDI and other vendor related services.

  • Organizational Structure:
    Most of the changes in organizational structure (coming out of the planning process started last fall) have now been announced. The most recent is the Academic Program Organization which brings together staff from reference and collections development.  New program directors have been named and an AUL is planned.  Wendy Lougee, University Librarian, is serving in the AUL role for the interim.

  • Portals:
    University Libraries technical services staff are working with University of Minnesota web staff to establish a taxonomy for the University of Minnesota portal. The project began as an initiative between our medical library and the academic health center. Late last fall, discussions expanded to include the University's Web Integration Group (WIG). The hope is that University Libraries' staff will assign standardized taxonomic terms to existing and new channels as they are created. The library group recently met with University programmers to set up a prototype portal search and navigation tool. After this is accomplished, library staff and programmers will work on a form for library staff to assign the terms.

  • Technical Services Planning:
    Once fiscal year close and switch to production for the coordinate campuses are behind us technical services will use the summer for planning. Factors feeding into the planning will include the new organizational structure, the new presence of coordinate campus records in our shared catalog and our relationship to new and continuing initiatives (e.g. the outcome of an rfp for OpenURL, decisions about digital initiatives, additional progress on EAD and work on campus portals, a library-wide focus on undergraduate initiatives). The number of vacant positions in technical services has increased to 7, with a minimum of two of those positions designated as permanent budget cuts creating both an opportunity and a challenge.

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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Round Robin Update, June 2003
From: Duane Arenales

  • ILS:
    In February NLM implemented the Bibliographic Linking feature in our Voyager OPAC, LOCATORplus. This feature permits the linking of chapter records to the bibliographic record of the book from which they are drawn, and facilitates the request of materials. The linked books include selected works in health care technology, space medicine, bioethics and the history of medicine.

    Access to Voyager via Z39.50 was opened to the general user community on March 27.

    NLM began testing Voyager's release 2001.2 this month. Plans call for moving it to production later this summer.

  • ENCompass:
    Work on the installation of the Index Catalogue of the Surgeon General on ENCompass has been delayed due to the large size of the Catalogue and the magnitude of data formatting needed for display and retrieval. We hope to be live in the fall using version 3.0.

    Version 1.5 of DOCLINE, NLM's automated ILL request and routing system, was released on March 3. With this release, a new region code, Region 21, was established so that libraries in Mexico may now participate fully in DOCLINE reporting holdings data, creating routing tables, and requesting and lending documents.

    DOCLINE version 1.6 is scheduled for release on July 1. Among other features, this release will include the ability to automatically output serial holdings data from NLM's SERHOLD file for importing into OCLC. Libraries that participate in SERHOLD have long had the ability to transfer holdings data from OCLC to SERHOLD. The service, which obviates the need for double keying of data, will now work in both directions - OCLC to SERHOLD or SERHOLD to OCLC.

  • Telework:
    TSD is actively seeking to expand teleworking opportunities for staff. Currently four individuals - two catalogers, one selector and one systems librarian - out of a total staff of 85 are teleworking one or more days a week. TSD supervisors are discussing guidelines for approving requests for teleworking to supplement the standard government regulations. Issues on the table include what kind of work is appropriate, impact on production and the staff as a whole, equipment and communication considerations.

  • Consolidated Shipments:
    Consolidated shipments for domestic serials titles are now being received under the SwetsBlackwell contract. The consolidated shipments began with 2003 issues, as received by the vendor. Shipments arrive twice weekly, consistently on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The consolidation service provides greater control over the receiving process and vendor assistance with claiming issues not received. There has been no discernable impact on the receipt processing workflow or delivery of indexed titles to the Index Section.

  • New NLM Web sites:
    In May NLM announced the creation of a Web site aimed at the health needs of Asian Americans, one of the fastest growing minority populations in the U.S. The site, "Asian American Health," is at http://asianamericanhealth.nlm.nih.goV. The Genetics Home Reference is a new Web site for consumer information about genetic conditions and the genes responsible for those conditions. It is at

  • NLM Classification:
    We expect to make a PDF version of the NLM Classification available this fall. The Classification went online in 2002 and an HTML version was made available for downloading via ftp at the same time. Both are free.

Duane Arenales
Chief, Technical Services Division
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
Voice: 301 496-6133
Fax: 301 402-1211

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From: Cynthia Clark

ALA Annual Conference 2003, Toronto
ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Academic Research Libraries Group
New York Public Library

  • Circulation Implementation
    The NYPL Research Libraries began implementation of its first online circulation system this month. The rollout is being phased in across the 4 Libraries. The Schomburg Center for Black History and Culture and the Science Industry, and Business Library are up and running smoothly. The Humanities and Social Sciences Library (42nd St. and 5th Ave.) and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts will implement the end of June and July, respectively.

    Currently there are 2.5 million item records in our catalog. As part of a long term barcoding/item record creation project, we’ve contracted with a vendor to provide 1 million smart barcodes. These will be distributed among the 4 Libraries and applied this summer. We will purchase additional smart barcodes as funding allows.

  • ReCAP – Remote Storage Facility
    We expect to complete our initial transfer of materials to the remote storage facility in the fall. With nearly 1.4 million items transferred, we’re well on our way to reaching our goal of transferring 1.8 million items. Planning is underway to move the project into an operation that will send about 150,000 items to storage annually. We expect the annual commitment to include a sizeable percentage of newly cataloged items that will go straight to remote storage.

  • Finding Aids/Encoded Archival Description
    A task group has been charged to develop descriptive standards/best practice guidelines for archival materials in the Research Libraries. This includes having all special collections units engaged in creation of finding aids use EAD to mark-up description for online presentation. Once standards are developed, a panel will regularly review application of those standards in each unit. Additionally, the Research Libraries are investigating whether or not to migrate finding aids residing on our Dynaweb server to a different server product. Part of the consideration to migrate to a new server will include a decision to use EAD version 2.

  • Cataloging Classes
    The Research Libraries staff development program and Technical Services offered a successful series of 5 classes aimed at cataloging staff distributed across the organization. Classes offered ranged from Basic Description, Archives and Manuscript Cataloging, Visual Materials Cataloging, and Subject Analysis. The classes were taught by NYPL staff and external instructors. Our goal in offering the classes was to raise the knowledge base of catalogers to promote more consistent practice across the institution.

  • Preservation Microfilming
    New York Public Library is the recipient of an NEH brittle books microfilming grant to film collections on the American textiles and fibers industry located in the Science, Industry and Business Library. Approximately 7,246 titles will be filmed.

  • Digital Library Program
    The public interface for our digital imaging project, currently called the NYPL Digital Gallery, will debut this summer. We are recruiting for a Director for Digital Information Resources.

  • Budget
    The New York Public Library is experiencing serious budget reductions going into fiscal year 2003/3004. We've avoided layoffs by eliminating vacant staff positions and making other cuts. For next fiscal year, the Technical Services personnel budget has been reduced by nearly $500,000 with a salary savings target of another $500,000. The binding budget is being reduced by $165,000 requiring a change in our binding policy. The new binding policy restricts paperback binding and sets quotas for serials binding. A cut to the book budget is anticipated.

    An emergency fundraising campaign was kicked off last month with a goal of raising $18 million over the next 3 years for the Research Libraries and the Branch Libraries (traditional neighborhood circulating collections).

    The McKinsey & Company consulting firm has been contracted to review all Library operations and make recommendations about how we can improve service delivery, both internally and externally in the context of the current economic realities.

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Round Robin Update, June 2003
From: Arno Kastner

ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Group
New York University
June 2003
Arno Kastner

  1. Search for a new ILS.
    In January I reported that NYU was on a "fast-track" for selecting and implementing a new ILS. We have since moved to a slower track as we discovered the difficulty of finding an ILS that could offer the full functionality offered by a complete implementation of MARC21 holdings. With our current Geac ADVANCE system MARC21 holdings implementation, we can create publication patterns that will allow us to do predictive check-in and claiming even for normalized irregular serials. We are also able to have system-generated collapsed summary holdings statements for publications with complicated publication patterns. We have looked at several ILSs that have attractive features and functionality that we lack with Geac, so we are continuing our search--slowly.

  2. Budget.
    As a cost-saving measure, the university froze all vacant non-faculty positions in February. The freeze will continue until our new fiscal year begins September 1. Our materials budget has not been affected.

  3. Renovation of Bobst Library.
    Alspector Anderson Architects has been selected to head a phased project to renovate the library. The principal architects' work includes the Science, Industry and Business Library of the New York Public Library and the Shaw Conservation Center of the Morgan Library. Although the technical services area was not part of the original renovation plans, part of our space may be moved and reconfigured to provide a more logical arrangement of public seating on our floor.

  4. Staffing.
    We have hired Jim Viskochil to fill the newly defined position of Electronic Journals and Acquisitions Librarian. Jim will supervise ordering for all formats, assist with reviewing e-resources licenses, and co-ordinate access to e-journals.

  5. New-York Historical Society Mellon-funded project.
    On June 30, NYU completes a five-year (with a sixth-year extension) project to manage the cataloging of the N-YHS library's backlogged book, prints and manuscripts collections. N-YHS recently receiv ed Mellon funding to process its broadsides collection; NYU will manage the staffing of this project.

  6. Offsite storage.
    Although we STILL do not have the land for an offsite storage facility, we will be moving about 80,000 volumes to a temporary facility this fall to provide some breathing space on our over-stuffed shelves. Working from reports of titles that have not circulated since 1994, we are weeding duplicate copies and smart-barcoding the book front covers in preparation for offsite storage.

Arno Kastner
Director of Technical Services
Bobst Library
New York University
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
212-998-2477 (Voice)
212-995-4366 (Fax)

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Round Robin Update, June 2003
From: Carol Diedrichs(

Ohio State University Libraries
ALA Annual Conference, June, 2003

    Carol Diedrichs has been appointed Dean of Libraries at the University of Kentucky effective July 1, 2003. Her responsibilities at OSU have been divided among two assistant directors. Jim Bracken, Assistant Director for Main Library Research and Reference Services will assume responsibility for OSU's collection management activities. Sally Rogers, Assistant Director for Information Technology, will assume responsibility for technical services. She will become the new representative to the Big Heads group.

    The national and local architects for the full scale renovation of the Main Library have been selected. The work on the program of requirements will begin in earnest. The long-term location of technical services will be a topic of some discussion in the next few months as we determine whether technical services will return to the Main Library after renovation or remain in a separate location. It is expected that technical services will be relocated outside of the Main Library during the actual renovation process. This is a very exciting time for OSU as this project comes to fruition; it has been in the works for more than a decade already. Actual construction is expected to begin in mid-2005.

    Final testing is occurring on the interface between our III acquisitions system and the University's PeopleSoft system. Full scale implementation is expected this summer/fall.

    Our cancellation process for FY04 subscriptions was completed on schedule for the renewal cycle in fall 2003. Budget information for the coming fiscal year is incomplete but we planned for a 5% cancellation to offset inflation. Again, OhioLINK experienced cuts which come directly from the Legislature. We have assumed some costs previously borne by OhioLINK as those tend to be our most core resources.

    On a lighter note, the Libraries at Ohio State benefit directly from the University's revenues from trademark and licensing activity. With the football team's recent victory and national championship title, we anxiously await the licensing and trademark funds wich will arrive in fall 2004. All money from this source is earmarked for the materials budget.

    At long last, Ohio State has become a BIBCO library. This builds on our current participation in NACO and the CONSER patterns initiative. The staff in Cataloging and Special Collections Cataloging are on the cusp of being granted independence from review. We are very pleased to be contributing to this important cooperative cataloging program.

    Also on the cataloging front, OSU is one the field test libraries for OCLC's Connexion service. The test is going well and we look forward to refining the product through this testing.

    In addition, OSU is one of the lead participants in Innovative Interfaces' initiative to develop an electronic resources management system which will be part of our integrated library system. We have long advocated that such a system would be most effective if integrated with our existing serials control system and online catalog rather than as a stand-alone system.

    OhioLINK will soon be signing a statement serials subscription agent contract. As with our approval contract, participation will be optional but with this aggregation of existing business in the state, we can provide better service and improved pricing for our libraries. We also anticipate that a contract will give us new opportunities to more effectively deal with management of pricing for print and electronic subscriptions.

    Beginning later in 2003, OSU will begin experimenting with online approval review in lieu of book in-hand review. Collection managers will use YBP's GOBI2 system to review titles selected as books and slips on approval. The collection manager will review the selections online before shipment. They can make decisions about whether to acquire and where the material will be housed. Following those selection decisions, the material can be prepared for the shelves and shipped. On receipt they can go very quickly through a receipt process bypassing an in- hand review.

    The budget difficulties which impact the materials budget also impact the remainder of our budget. Library-wide, we continue to hold positions vacant. Technical Services has lost 1 graduate assistant position and 2.5 staff positions to date.

    The OSU Libraries and the Office of Information Technology are co-partners in the development of the University's Knowledge Bank, our version of an institutional repository. Technical services has been asked to look at the issues of metadata associated with the Knowledge Bank. In addition, OSU is one of Dspace's partners for the testing of its platform in other libraries (project funded by Mellon). We look forward to working on the metadata issues associated with that project as well.

Carol Pitts Diedrichs, Professor
Assistant Director for Technical Services and Collections
Editor, Library Collections, Acquisitions and Technical Services
The Ohio State University Libraries
1858 Neil Avenue Mall
Columbus, OH, 43210-1286
tel: 614-292-4738
fax: 614-292-7859

Effective July 1, 2003

Dean of Libraries
William T. Young Endowed Chair
University of Kentucky
I-85 William T. Young Library
Lexington, KY 40506-0456
859-257-0500 ext. 2087
fax 859-257-8379


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Round Robin, June 2003
The Pennsylvania State University Libraries
Rosann Bazirjian

Metadata/Digital Projects:

Cataloging Services is working with other units in the Libraries to develop appropriate metadata for multiple projects.  In addition to the Visual Image User Survey (reported previously), we are beginning to create metadata, or beginning to plan for the creation of metadata, for the following collections: Pennsylvania History on Microfilm (monographs), Historic Pennsylvania County Newspapers (for the Pennsylvania Center for the Book), Pennsylvania State University publications, the White Archive (a collection of materials on the honey industry), the Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography (monographs), and the Mira Lloyd Dock glass slides collection


ERLIC2 is a database of administrative metadata about electronic resources acquired by The Pennsylvania State University Libraries. The database will enhance the Libraries’ online gateway to information relating to electronic resource subscriptions that is not accommodated through current integrated library systems. Some of the information not included in the Unicorn system includes license restrictions, authentication mode, technical contacts, supplier and gateway usage statistics, document delivery privileges, and system performance information. In addition to enriching data regarding electronic resources, ERLIC2 will include links to imaged license, invoice and order documentation and will include a Billboard mechanism to post and track information relating to product announcements, database trials, and renewal alerts/decisions. ERLIC2 currently contains six relational tables:

  • Licensors:     entities from whom we license resources
  • Resources:     individual resource titles
  • Purchases:     acquisitions data about the resources
  • Vendors:       entities from whom we purchase
  • Billboard:     billboard entries
  • Comments:      billboard comments
The database will be web-accessible and password-restricted.

Data Warehouse::

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries’ data warehouse will be a collection of integrated, subject-oriented databases designed to support the reporting and decision functions of the Libraries. The quantity of data will be large enough to support data analysis, querying, reporting, and comparisons of historical data over time. We are building the warehouse utilizing support from Digital Libraries Technologies, Information Technologies, the Data Warehouse Advisory Group, and input from all Libraries’ faculty and staff. The Libraries’ Data Warehouse content is based on the recommendations of a Statistical Task Force and the Data Warehouse Task Force. Ultimately, the warehouse will support the standard analytical processing requirements. The initial data warehouse, which will be available Fall 2003, will meet the first requirement, simple queries and reports against current and historical data. “What if “ processing and comparison of data over dimensions of time are planned for future releases.

  1. The Data Warehouse Advisory Group is currently working on Phase 1 -Unicorn Data.
  2. A focus group has been established to act as liaisons to assigned areas to identify stakeholder needs relating to Unicorn data.
  3. Unicorn data test load completed
  4. Initial Cold Fusion web pages developed to test database connectivity.

Bibliographic Loads: :

Last report we indicated that we were working on determining specifications and load rules that will allow us to load purchased bibliographic records into our WebCAT. A Bibliographic Records Task Force has completed its work, and has submitted recommendations based on format. Their recommendations are being implemented. We will be happy to share the report with anyone who is interested. We also reported that we had a Linking Task Force in place to review the Open URL marketplace. They have also completed their work, and their recommendations are currently under review.

Wireless at the Annex: :

We have embarked upon a project to bar-code our annex collection. We are using a wireless laptop and access points have been installed in our Cato Park facility. This project is going extremely well. We anticipate that we will be able to complete the project in approximately three years. There are approximately 304,000 items in our annex location that need to be bar-coded.

Service Quality Workshop: :

As part of our ongoing efforts to foster high performance standards at service desks, we appointed a Service Desk Performance Standards and Training Task Force. They are asked to review the recommendations emanating from a March workshop on this issue and to develop a timeline and plan to implement ideas. They will also focus on implementing performance standards at training materials at Welcome Desks throughout the Libraries.


ILLIAD has been implemented for Interlibrary Loan. We are very excited about the opportunities that this brings, as well as the improved service that we can provide for our users. We will now focus our attention on implementing ILLIAD at our Harrisburg campus location.

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From: Katharine Farrell

Princeton University Libraries
ALA Annual Conference, June, 2003

Princeton Update June 2003

  • Circulation:
    At long last we have posted a Head of Circulation and Space Planning position. This position has been vacant for nearly a year, but the search is active and we are hopeful of successful completion before the beginning of the fall term. Borrow Direct is a growth industry.

  • Space:
    Space is an ongoing challenge. The main library (Firestone) is still crowded despite the amount of material we have transferred to the storage facility (ReCAP ). Plans for a consolidated science library are underway, but the building is not likely to come online until 2007. Meanwhile some of our science collections are being forced to make interim moves that are resulting in an increase in the amount of material being transferred to the storage facility. The renovated and expanded art library is scheduled to be open by the beginning of fall term. That collection has been in exile in two separate locations on campus.

  • Cataloging:
    Cataloging continues to do record breaking production, but it isn't adequate to keep up with acquisitions. As a result we are about to embark on our first Marcadia project, designed to harvest copy for some of the material in our hold (backlog). We expect that 75% of the 30,000 books that have been held for more than one year will have useable copy and can be processed quickly with student or temporary staff. We have recently implemented changes in the non-filing indicators, following LC practice, which are designed to make our future upgrade to Unicode more efficient. Our East Asia library's recon project is continuing on schedule.

  • Electronic resources:
    Princeton has joined a long line of peer institutions in developing it's own tracking system for managing electronic resource metadata. Unveiled to staff this spring, it has been well received, but requires additional efforts in maintaining data that also lives in other venues such as our integrated library system or in our SXF installation.

  • Metadata activities:
    The first Metadata Librarian joined the staff in March. He has been working on developing several demonstration projects for digitizing unique holdings. The intent is to enable us to set standards for the metadata we will use when the projects are approved for implementation. Most of the proposed projects involve materials held by our rare books and manuscript collections

  • Acquisitions:
    Finally a full complement of collection development staff along with effective efforts at replacement projects, follow-up on outstanding orders, and expanded approval plans have resulted in a bit of a budget crunch at the end of the year. We are not expecting a significant increase in our acquisitions budget for 2004, so we will have some hard choices to make.

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Round Robin Update, June 2003

UCLA Update for ALCTS Directors of Technical Services of Large Research Libraries

  • New University Librarian
    We are very much looking forward to Gary Strong, currently Director of the Queensborough Public Library, joining us on September 1. The UCLA Library executive committee has already had several working meetings with him on campus to review and discuss budget planning for FY 2003-04.

  • Speaking of the Budget__
    UCLA Library has had a hiring freeze in place since January. Intensive planning has been underway to absorb an anticipated 7 percent cut to the operations and collections budgets for FY 2003/04. We are planning for a downsized workforce and the kinds of consolidations and centralizations that will allow us to adapt to what is expected to be at least two years of budget reductions. I will be able to share more specifics on any restructuring in the next round robin. We have carried out serial cancellations for 2004 that amount to around 4 percent of our collections budget. We have undertaken other collection budget strategies to sustain the research collections at a time of downsizing.

  • New ILS
    After a thorough evaluation process, the UCLA Library is currently in contract negotiations with a vendor for a new ILS. We anticipate finishing negotiations by the end of the month and are putting together migration and implementation plans now. We anticipate implementation to happen in summer 2004.

Cynthia Shelton, Ph.D.
Assoc. University Librarian, Collections and Technical Services
UCLA Library
11334 Young Research Library
Box 951575
L.A. CA 90095-1575

phone: (310) 825-1201, 825-1202
fax: (310) 206-4109

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Round Robin Update, June 2003
From: Joan Swanekamp

ALA Annual Meeting 2003
ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Group
Report of Recent Activities at Yale University

  • Personnel:
      Meg Bellinger has been appointed to the new position of Associate University Librarian for Integrated Library Systems and Technical Services at Yale.  Meg was formerly Vice President for Digital and Preservation Issues at OCLC. She will take up her new duties on July 21.

  • Library Management System.
      We are completing our first year with Voyager and our first fiscal year closing with a new system.  Cataloging production is back to former levels, though we are still feeling the effects of the new Acquisitions module, where backlogs developed early on.  While we are eradicating them gradually with the help of term or casual staff explicitly for catch-up, we are pinning our real hopes on EDI and embedded order data routines, which we are just beginning with our mainstream vendors.  Authority control processes are in place and current cataloging is processed in weekly batches through the OCLC MARS service.  All new cataloging is being sent to OCLC and RLIN on a weekly schedule.  We are currently testing the functionality of  MetaLib and EnCompass in an effort to select a cross-collection searching tool. 

  • Library-wide planning.
      The Library has developed a set of Action Plans based on the recently developed set of strategic initiatives.  One of the several strategic initiatives is "Unlocking Collections."  The planning group for this effort has identified all the Yale collections that are either completely uncataloged or need significant bibliographical or other metadata attention.  The task is enormous.  (The other strategic initiatives include stacks management, staff development, and international program emphasis).  The Library has not yet received its final budget, so it is still unclear what level of new initiatives can be assumed in 2003/04.   Budgetary signals are for a fairly flat budget for the next 2-3 years; it is not clear when "recovery" will take place for the various university's various endowments, for example.

  • Process Improvement.
    Technical Services continues to focus on process improvement goals.  Our current effort is using quality improvement techniques to re-think the way we acquire library materials The Library has engaged two consultants who began work in May with a Team of staff to create a "business case for change."  Work will continue through the summer.  The next phase of this effort is "process redesign" to be tackled in July, followed by "implementation" later in the year.

  • Collaborative Metadata Creation.
       A recent digital library initiative is The Library American Digital Imaging Project: A grant to explore and assess innovative uses for images and text in teaching and learning of American studies, in the context of electronic library initiatives.  This project includes a collection building and metadata component.

  • Retrospective Conversion.
      Retrospective conversion of the cataloged collections is almost complete.  Approximately 2000 East Asia serial titles remain to be converted.  We have now completed the conversion of our Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic and Persian collections, all with vernacular scripts. 

  • Security.
      Security continues to be major concern and key card access has been installed in the Library's technical service units.  The University and the Library are taking a fresh look at security, given the recent bombing at the law school, immediately across the street from Sterling Memorial Library. That event wreaked damage to the law library's rare book collections, which are housed immediately under the classroom that was targeted by the bomber.

  • Preservation.
    The Preservation Department, under our new director Roberta Pilette, has had a busy half year, for many reasons, including the east Coast's rainiest and coolest winter and spring ever. We have had water in Technical Services (ceiling tiles falling down on staff desks, water running down walls and soaking floors, and several collections affected). The Preservation Department has spent considerable time battling the water at odd hours of day and night and filing reports with the university.  Additionally, last fall we discovered mold spores affecting over 100,000 volumes in the basement of the Mudd Library, a space that is not well ventilated or cooled. Preservation obtained estimates from outsourcing companies, interviewed three, and chose the best one. This work has just been cost-effectively completed, on target and on time. We are very pleased with the work of the company we hired.

Joan Swanekamp and Ann Okerson
Yale University

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