«Part II Submissions by: Judy Anderson Heather S. Miller Bryan Baldus Allen Mullen Deanna Briggs John J. Riemer Diana Brooking Karina Ricker Lloyd ...»
Sincerely yours, W. Gerald Heverly, New York University Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org) Rebecka Lindau, Princeton University Immediate Past Chair (email@example.com) David Sullivan, UC Berkeley Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control From: Corinne Jacox, Catalog/Reference Librarian, Creighton University School of Law Library, Omaha, Nebraska Date: June 29, 2007 Re: Comments on Economics and Organization of Bibliographic Data I would like to comment on question 5 from the background paper on the Economics and Organization of Bibliographic Data, “What should the role of the Library of Congress be in this developing environment?” To quote from the welcome message of Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, “The Library's mission is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations” (http://www.loc.gov/about/). In addition to its physical and digital resources, the Library’s expertise and work product should also be considered a resource.
Of particular value is the Library’s subject expertise and its creation and maintenance of the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Many libraries throughout the country rely on LC subject headings and would be greatly affected if they were abandoned or lessened in quality.
The use of a controlled vocabulary is still a valuable research tool in information databases, which include library catalogs. Thomas Mann, Library of Congress reference librarian, makes very credible arguments for the use of a controlled vocabulary, in addition to keyword searching, in his paper, “The Peloponnesian War and the Future of Reference, Cataloging, and Scholarship in Research Libraries” (http://guild2910.org/future.htm). The addition of subject headings through a controlled vocabulary give added value to catalog records that a mere harvesting of data cannot provide. Even commercial databases, such as periodical indexes, provide subject headings through a controlled vocabulary. In the legal environment, West Publishing Company created and maintains a controlled vocabulary through the use of its topic and key number system that makes it possible to systematically retrieve case law by a particular topic. This system has been in use for over a century and is still considered to be an indispensable tool by legal researchers. Without these controlled vocabularies, valuable resources needed by the researcher could be missed and wading through the vast amounts of information would be time consuming.
In conclusion, the Library of Congress needs to continue to be the leader of library cataloging standards in the United States. Its subject headings are invaluable to libraries throughout the country. The lack of this resource would have a negative economic impact on many, many libraries if they had to try to create these resources individually.
From: Miriam Kahn email@example.com Date: Jul 24, 2007 1:26 PM Subject: Bibliographic Control through Library of Congress - support of the effort To: firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. José-Marie Griffiths Dean and Professor School of Information and Library Science University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill CB#3360, 100 Manning Hall Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360 Dr. Griffiths: I am a librarian and preservation consultant and have worked in the library profession for more than 25 years. Throughout this career I have conducted research for hire using the vast resources of materials cataloged and housed in libraries and archives. Library catalogs and subject headings are the most important resources I consult while conducting this research. Without them, I could not provide the excellent service my clients expect. It has come to my attention, through my colleauge Margaret Mauer, Head of Monographic Cataloging at Kent State University, that the Library of Congress plans to withdraw from their role as cataloger for the nation's collections. I know that they have already ceased to provide authority records for serials, providing a strain on catalogers and much confusion as to where materials are located.
I cannot image how disorganized and compromised libraries would become should LC decide to withdraw from its role coordinating cataloging records for our nation's institutions.
I am lending my voice to your effort to pursuade LC to continue in its role.
-Miriam Kahn, MA, MLS Adjunct Professor Kent State University School of Library & Information Science MBK Consulting 60 N Harding Road Columbus, OH 43209-1524 614-239-8977 fax 614-239-0599 cell 614-579-9855 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org www.mbkcons.com From: Lasater, Mary C email@example.com Date: Jul 19, 2007 3:13 PM Subject: LC Working Group Testimony To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: "Lasater, Mary Charles" email@example.com
Dr. José-Marie Griffiths:
I presented at the Authority Control Interest Group (ACIG) meeting during the recent ALA meeting. It has been suggested to me that the Working Group would find the information that I presented useful. This should be considered my personal testimony, not that of Vanderbilt University Library.
I have spent a lot of time this past year working on a next generation catalog, Primo.
We are attempting to combine two types of metadata sources, our MARC catalog and a database--The TV News Archives. The topic of the recent ACIG meeting was Authority control Meets Faceted Browse and I attempted to address the authority control challenges that I face with this project.
I will attach the modified Powerpoint presentation. It should be available soon, if it is not already, at the LITA/ACIG website.
The last slide 'sums up' my comments:
Authority Control Issues
1. Uniform title practices?inconsistency, even for collection management and organization is a problem
2. NACO practices for 'usage' need to be reconsidered
3. Authority control, Maintenance and consistency are important I hope this information is useful. If it needs to be in another format, I will try to make the changes.
Sincerely, Mary Charles Lasater
--------------------------------------Mary Charles Lasater Vanderbilt University Email: mary.c.lasater@Vanderbilt.Edu LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control
Written testimony by:
Andrea Leigh Metadata Librarian UCLA Film & Television Archive 1015 No. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038 323-462-4921 firstname.lastname@example.org When I was an undergrad studying theatre at UCLA back in the early 1980s, by no surprise, conducting research required making use primarily of the university research library and its resources. I knew first to go straight to the reference stacks to identify articles in periodical indexes before consulting the card catalog for the particular journal where the article was located. I then went to retrieve the journal in the stacks. If I was unfamiliar with a particular topic, I might first consult with a reference librarian for a scan of the literature before consulting reference sources and books that were described in the card catalog. If there were serials and monographs the library did not have, I could get what I needed (for the most part) from filling out a request for interlibrary loan.
For finding materials that were about theatre and theatre history, old articles and newspaper reviews of particular productions, and for checking out the text of actual plays, this standard research methodology was appropriate since it was likely that many of the materials that I would need would not be available at the bookstore—and even if they were, it was likely I could not afford to purchase them all. To further my research for a production I was about to direct, I may also consult picture files, art reproductions, photos, and other visual resources to get a better feel for a particular period. I may even venture into the library’s special collections department to look through papers of individuals who had once been associated with the original Broadway production where there might be additional photos, press releases, etc. that would aid in contextualization since the text of the play is not sufficient for an overall appreciation and understanding of authorial intent.
In my experience as both a researcher and an academic librarian at UCLA, our research library has not radically changed from this basic research model, even with the proliferation of aggregated databases, formats, online content, and different expectations for accessing content by our end users. The primary means for scholarly research continues to be modeled after the belief that a penchant for lifelong learning is grounded in books and reading, resistant to the fact that we are gaining momentum as a society that is molding a generation that is learning through visual cues, iconography, and orality.
Books and reading are a vital tenet of the spectrum (you can’t participate in the dialogue
No longer are libraries and archives the only places to go to seek out obscure, hard to find facts and materials. It is now possible to view full texts of books and journals through aggregated databases, the Internet Archive, Google Scholar, or through Google’s book project; view materials from collectors who have provided quick and dirty scans of their treasures on places like YouTube. Public figures and subject specialists have their own Websites and blogs where it’s possible to glean an authoritative voice on a particular topic of interest or even join in the conversation. As Deanna Marcum has stated when discussing the trouble undergraduates have navigating through the various library information silos, “There is an alternative to all this clicking, this navigating … I also have the option, sitting there in my cozy, computer-equipped dorm room, of ignoring your library entirely and going online to a commercial search service such as Google.”1 Although I do not disagree with Marcum’s statement, where I find fault in her overall assessment is in failing to acknowledge that Google has turned Search into a commodity.
I do realize that bibliographic control is expensive--and this should not be ignored--but the answer is not simply to look over a few statistical surveys that document what nearly all of us already know—that undergraduates turn to Google first for their research—and then respond by turning Search over to Google because that’s what our users want. By doing so ignores the very real contributions that the library profession has made over the last century in mediating resources as a public good to empower users towards a goal of lifelong learning.
I am painfully aware that the information silos that are ingrained and have proliferated will not easily be set free without a complete reassessment of services and training.
Having conducted a number of interviews with staff at the UCLA Film & Television Archive relating to core services and digital readiness, the number one concern for moving forward into a more access-oriented environment is the lack of resources available to develop a sustainable and complex networked systems environment. The majority of services we offer are held together by hundreds of separate ad hoc filemaker databases, an outdated Web presence, and a Voyager catalog that is not intuitive for either our researchers or staff. This environment has resulted in the creation of an immense backlog, duplicative effort, and inefficient workflows.
Since the cataloging and metadata challenges are not easily resolved, and few resources are allocated to information organization, we continue to lag behind meeting expectations of the emerging DIY generation of young people perfectly aligned with YouTube. Even some of our preserved titles are beginning to appear on the nascent upstart (without permission) prompting a desire by me to link to them from the corresponding bibliographic record in our Voyager cataloger—if only to provide better contextualization for our own users who may stumble across them. Even so, I void the temptation, since the 1 Deanna Marcum, “The Future of Cataloging,” LRTS 50:1 (January 2006): 6
This inviting environment that is the hallmark of Google/YouTube Search is not without its limitations. As a corporate entity, Google can fall prey to the pitfalls associated with answering to its shareholders—resources can be described incorporating language more amendable to content providers, pulled from circulation due to copyright infringement, or eventually charge for its services. Nowhere in Google’s mission “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful” is a commitment to open and free public access.
Google also fails in its ability to provide access to authoritative, difficult to locate materials on obscure topics because either they are not online, so unpopular that they are available on screen 999 of 1000, buried in aggregated databases, or only available to schools and libraries for educational and research purposes. If these resources can standalone and are available in a library, they will be described utilizing a pre-coordinated subject string that carries equal weight with other works examining the same topic.
This is not to argue that Google is not a useful resource for researchers and libraries.
Even in my undergraduate days, the library catalog was not the first place I went for my information needs. But a heavy reliance on Google should not be used as an excuse to hand over our tradition of bibliographic control to a corporate entity. The long-term ramifications of such a decision is doomed to backfire. As we have seen with the merging of vendors of proprietary ILS’s, quality, service, and maintenance is not guaranteed, nor is longevity. The impact of Google on Search does mean, however, that the way libraries have traditionally provided core services needs to be rigorously re-examined and retooled to better accommodate user expectations.