Friday, November 16, 2007

more quesitons re: oclc


question: who's it going to tax?
SD: it's going to tax OCLC, not CDL, for performance

q: why do there have to be ten interfaces for each campus plus a central one? It seems like deciding on a single interface would be good.

PM: If you come in from UCI the system will know via IP, and the UCI results will come to the top. BUT the basic interface will look the same. Branding will be within a framework, maybe color etc.

q: The ILL usage for UW was interesting -- I wonder if b/c there are sometimes dup records -- were people making ILL requests that UW actually had?
BJ: there's a small amount of that, but not a lot.

BHG: seems like including articles would prompt a lot of ILLs too.

q) will there be an alerts feature in local worldcat? LIke SDI?
PM: don't know. BJ doesn't recall hearing about it.

q) have you been noticing a decline in the usage of databases because of this?
bj) we'll been seeing decline for years -- I don't think it's affected that.

q) will this force us to choose the OCLC / firstsearch platform in order to integrate those databases into the product?
BJ: we don't have any firstsearch dbs so i don't think so

q) what about the functionality for the researchers i.e. the faculty? where do the researchers go when they actually need an advanced catalog? they don't need to go to google.

pm: we're not trying to compete w/ googe, much more interesting in local stuff. Where do the users go? interesting question. The other thing is this is only a replacement for melvly so we are keepin gthe local opacs etc.

bj: a great researcher anectdote -- we got a note from someone who had found an arabic lang video in worldcat local. He said "I've been looking for this for years -- I found the record once and could never find it again. Now, you can get it for me."

BHG: note that we don't know where they are starting NOW. Usability studies are needed.
PM: Felicia Poe has done some research on this -- she found that a lot of people actually started at Amazon.

q) have reuqests for in-process materials gone down since those things aren't recognized in OCLC?

bJ) don't know.

q) why did OCLC strip out a bunch fo fields/content from the records?
BJ) from a belief that a lot of the record was meaningless to for end users. Might not be true for different populations ... e.g. searching for Harry Potter is different from searching for academic music scores.

q) assessment of FRBRization -- did that come up as one of the assessment criteria?
bj) sort of -- the usability didn't really cover it.

q) why the test b/f request / elinks is not ready? why not wait?
pm) we are impatient. We wanted to get used to things not being perfect, we didn't want to wait, and we wanted to see what a major upgrade in the middle of a pilot worked. WE didn't want to delay beyond april.

q) when the pilot goes live -- does old melvyl disappear? if not, then how do we know if people are going to actually use the pilot?
sd/pm) no, but we don't know exactly what will happen. Local rollouts may disappear.

Pm) I'm planning on running melvyl for at least another two years.

q) which campuses are running the pilot?
a) it'll be all the campuses. trying to get all the ils's wroked out, at least. -- B, SD, UCLA

q) is there a name for the pilot.
sd) right now -- "next generation melvyl" we want to keep that branding/idea

suggestion: MELVYL II
("son of Melvyl" -- ed?)

q) if melvyl goes for two years, ok -- but what if this doesn't fly? What happens if it doesn't work?
a) we assume that UC would come together and decide what we want to do next.

Also: part of the motivation is that Aleph won't do what we want
PM: takes a lot of work to upgrade Aleph/Melvyl....

q) some of the BSTF reports talked about how data might not be well represented in OCLC? Are we going to continute to work to improve access to that kind of data in the pilot? Ie is the BSTF work going to be continuing despite the fact that we have a pilot up now as well?

SD) I don't know -- there is a group that's looking to see if Map/GIS data will work well in local worldcat.. .
PM) the exec team was very clear that we can't do everything that was brought up in the bSTF, so they said that they will focus on the front end discovery tool (i.e. the open catalog).

followup: it'd be nice to know what recommendations of the BSTF got adopted and what went off to die...

q) on some of the quesitons, are there programs about what is going on at some of the campuses? Are there campuses that are having a horse & pony show about this?

pm) we come and present when we're invited by your ULs.

q) is there a deadline (to submit commetns via the survey).
SD: no special deadline... word was origianlly supposed to be distributed by the ULs so it might have gone out on different campuses at different times.

bj) the original idea OCLC wanted was that there would be one place to go for online access. But for print material, there was one place to go right up front. So we moved the request button down there whehre people are looking... so two interface design issues and then a more serious thing, FRBR.

q) is there any good guesstimate of how much of our stuff wont' be in the pilot? significant?
sd: they are matching on OCLC #s -- so if it doesn't match it won't go in. That's up to 50%... so there's some question of whether we want that included at all.
LIsa from missing records team) -- i.e. in process records etc.

q) is online holdings information going to be in the pilot verison? i.e. which campuses have links to online info -- whcich isn't always right...
sd) yes, but it'll have the world cat frame on top mostly for navigation purposes

q) I found it intriguing that article records are included... does it seem possible that we would expand database access via melvyl in teh future?
bj) OCLC has expressed interest in expanding their access -- obviously that would all have to be negotiated with the vendors etc.

q) are people using the web 2.0 tools (reviews etc?)
BJ) very little use. There's not critical mass yet, i.e. of the reviews.

BHG: I'm impressed by how fast it is!

q) what are your plans for special collections?
bj: we are still arguing with them about how much of the record to display. I'd like to see them just turn it all on..

q) is there a perception thqat OCLC will lose revenue if they display the full record?
bj: I don't think so they are mostly just coming out of the worldcat environment...

q) do you have transaction log analysis
bj: not yet...

done at 11am

Questions about OCLC Worldcat

-- answered by Bill Jordan, Patricia Martin and Sara Davidson

Should UCs be worried about the numbers of ILL requests skyrocketing?
There are 3 request silos. Local opac to summit requesting at one click. But for ILL you had to go to another system. They were losing them between local and summit and most to the hop to ILL.

Interlocation information: 94707 - is that a zip code? Will students have to know their own location zip codes?
It defaults to local zip code by plugging in the zip code associated with your IP address.

WorldCat will have articles from Eric and the 3 others. But will this preclude students from going to databases not covered by WorldCat?
It's something that's already happening and it's not really affecting it much.

Is there an option to keep including more databases in worldcat? Yes. OCLC is looking into it. They are competing with Google and Google Scholar.

Ease of use and functionality for our users - students and faculty. We can send anyone to Google but the research functionality is what we can add to searching. What will be doing that Google can not do?
We're interested in doing things that Google can not do. Where will researchers go is what we'll find out in user testing. We'll have to find out if researchers dislike OCLC and if they do, why. OCLC is only replacing Melvyl, not local OPACs available where researchers may wind up going.

At UW, a researcher stumbled upon a Ayurvedic video in WorldCat, can you get this for me? He was pretty happy. He found it once a long time ago and was never able to find it again until he tried WorldCat so perhaps WorldCat can be a big win. It's not going to work for every researcher but there will be researchers who will be able to use WorldCat.

One of the questions we need to find out is where they start right now in their research. Do they go to Melvyl? Do they go to their local OPACs? Quite a few people seem to go to Amazon according to one survey at Merced? Humanities and Soc Sci are more likely to start in catalog as opposed to the Science faculty. Most seem to also start more in Google Scholar as opposed to OPACs.

We also need to look at special collections and music collections in terms of the needs of our researchers.

How has the level of requests for on order and in process materials changed since they no longer are in local OPAC at UW.
Bill doesn't know but Jackie can tell you.

What are the implications of OCLC deciding not to publish certain information in records.
The broad universe of users found that info is not useful. Some of the bibliographic details are important to faculty and researchers. OCLC is trying to balance this still.

In the assessment of FRBRization it came up in passing in a usability test but the test was created badly. They thought they would search by title but searched by date instead and their item came right up. In Frbr, the local info doesn't go to the top which makes it confusing in searching for specific edition.

Why the implementation before the UC eLinks are ready? It goes to trying a new perpetual data and getting used to not having a perfect product. We've delayed the pilot several times and if we kept delaying, we'd never get there. There was an executive decision made. There is a backdoor way of requesting that looks totally different but there will be a way to request items.

Will Melvyl go away once WorldCat pilot goes live?
No. And we're assuming that all campuses place WorldCat will be placed on the front page and Melvyl hidden somewhere else so that people will be more likely to use WorldCat and we'll be able to get more feedback about it. Melvyl as it exists now will be run for another 2 years after WorldCat pilot goes live.

Which campuses will go live first?
UCSD and UCLA will go first but every single campus will have a local view and then there will be a UC-wide view.

What if WorldCat doesn't fly after 2 years. The consensus is we aren't getting everything we wanted in the BSTF report. Has there been discussion about a Plan B?
We can always go back to the Aleph platform. We'll keep Melvyl up and running and we'll proceed from there. We can go back to Melvyl or find another project. CDL keeps their eye on other new interesting projects that come up - Georgia Pines or Indeca and other projects - and we'll still have a Melvyl team and UC will come back together and decide what to do next.

There was never a promise that we'd get everything we wanted in the BSTF report. There is also not a product out there that would give us everything we wanted.

Aleph is also limited in terms of what we want it to do and that is why there is so much exploration going on right now.

Bill mentioned materials that are not going to be in WorldCat pilot. What percentage of stuff isn't going to be in the pilot?
15% of our records do not have an OCLC record number. That's quite a significant amount of record clean ups.

Frequently I have students where we go into databases with UCeLinks. If it says the article is not available online but we do have online access to this journal, often I will tell them to go to Melvyl to go look for it. Will that kind of linking information going to be available in the pilot?

You will see that screen that will tell you if it's available online. The functionalities will be the same. The screens might not look exactly the same but you will be able to link through t the article.

Has OCLC been able to provide data about just how much the tools are being used?
Some of the Web 2.0 stuff isn't being used. It'll be interesting to see what will happen when one person posts a review and then others feel more comfortable to do use it.

What are your plans for special collections and archival materials.
It's still very much in discussion. They're still tinkering with the tags available for records. It's be nice to see them turn it all on, and most users won't go down that far anyway, and some will. Right now we're telling them to use our local catalog because it's better.

Looking into a transactional log of the WorldCat catalog and see how people are doing searches. Can you give us details about how people are doing their searches and their successes/failures?

A profession of dial-twisters

From BJ: "Librarians are inveterate dial-twisters... if there's not a dial to twist we ask them to put some dials on there to twist. OCLC has to resist all the requests for local customization if they are going to get anywhere, and instead focus on commonalities between organizations."

Also: "OCLC is very responsive to data... (rather than "staff feel that...")." Bring data to the table.

On the whole, OCLC has been good to work with for UW.

Bill Jordan

The next presentation is from Bill Jordan, from the University of Washington. He started out by giving a background of UW.. they have 9 IT people, for instance.

Why they got started? Lots of brainstorming about the future of the catalog etc., then Betsy Wilson went to the senior leadership of OCLC. The UW team then went to Dublin and spent three days locked in a room with OCLC hashing things out (yikes -- ed).

the notion of "perpetual beta" was brought up -- unsurprisingly some staff were not so comfortable with this.

BJ says he expected to get "flooded" with comments -- but they actually weren't. There were just 60 questions via questionpoint over the term of the pilot. Reactions were mixed. People who had already figured out the catalog were unhappy they had to figure out something else. The loudest and unhappiest comments came from the faculty and staff of the library school!*

UW did do usability in May -- 10 questions and OCLC sent staff up from Mountain View to help run the tests.

Some of the results: ILL requests have gone up *dramatically* -- loans up 40%.

Problems: some issues around the amount of the record that gets displayed. The record is stripped, even on the advanced view. A lot of the contents notes are gone, eg. (The catalogers are threatening to edit the records via the comment feature!) For some collections it doesn't work at all -- e.g. for special collections and music, no good.

BJ thinks the solution is just to show the whole record, like they do in firstsearch.

Problem between records not matching -- ie. the master record in OCLC & the record in summit. Now, they think they have this worked out & there is ~98% match rate.

Problem w/ confusing display -- i.e. the book review link is confusingly labeled vs the actual record. The internet resource icon appears when they get supplementary material online -- i.e. table of contents -- and users HATE that.

Problem with button placing -- usability testing is key.

The biggest outstanding issue is their FRBR display -- which "is terrible". They've taken the most widely held manifestation of the work as the main record -- then attached all the manifestations to that record. So you have to go to the most widely held record to find online versions, new versions, etc -- understandably users don't make this connection.
People don't actually want to know we have the 1968 version in storage.. they want the 2000 edition, which might be less widely held. Catalogers think that making a real work record might help.

* my alma mater -- psa.

Is this a pilot or a done deal?

Sara talked all about the pilot project. Patricia Martin then demo'd it.

From Patricia Martin -- there will be a new OCLC symbol for SRLF (ZAS). Apparently there are 140 symbols+ for all the campuses, so that needs to be cleaned up. They are also working on a brand-new symbol for the mass digitization content, so all the campuses can access it the same way.

The pilot will only work with SRLF, not NRLF.

Martin says... "this is a lot for something that is just a pilot" because they haven't committed yet. I agree... and I think that's something many of us are wondering about.

She says... is this a pilot or a done deal? Martin says she hopes she's leaving us with the impression that this is still an open question ... at the end of evaluating the pilot project hopefully we'll know the answer.

how will the project be evaluated?
* evaluation of partnership
* performance benchmarks
* UC and OCLC user assessment
* OCLC pricing model
* OCLC business plans

Ways to give feedback:
* single point of content -- libraries pilot site
* survey
* feedback link
* news from OCLC

UC Merced Library

From Dana Peterman

Why rework Melvyl?

Sara is talking about the justifications for working on a next generation Melvyl project... the BSTF report provided a lot of reasons. There's also a desire to have better search and navigation, better records, journal article integration (?). Also, social networking features*, additional language interfaces, and opportunities for streamlining cataloging practices.

* i.e. she mentioned incorporating catalog records into social networking services like facebook. I'm not so sure this is actually social networking, but rather a different way of thinking about information...

OT - Facebook and Down Pillows

So I feel a little strange right now. I got to UC Merced at 8 am. As I look around, I'm not the only one here with a laptop and like everyone else was doing, I set mine up right away. And yet I was the only one facebooking and myspacing! I'm not sure what that says about me. Phoebe and I are blogging. We've recruited Dana Peterman to take photos. I've taken a lot of photos as well but can't upload them until I get home a little later. On another note, I stayed at the Marriott last night. They had the most glorious down pillows. I sheepishly have to admit that I took them out of the cases to find out what brand they were. This morning, I found a USA Today slipped under my door. A big red sticker was placed on top of the paper. It reads: Liked the pillows? Shop Click zzzzzzzzz!

2nd day...

We're back for the second day, where the first thing on the agenda is a presentation called "UC WorldCat Local Project Pilot or Done Deal? Next Generation Melvyl" by Sara Davidson and Patricia Martin.

We'll also be editing and adding more material to some of our older posts, including the rest of the questions from last night... and hopefully pictures!