Monday, December 8, 2008

presentations online

The presentations from Emily Stambaugh and Constance Malpas are now posted on the LAUC website. Thanks, Constance & Emily!

Some attendees, in the Lange Room overlooking San Francisco. Photo by Min-Lin Fang.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Live Blogging Observations

Blogging the fall Assembly was my first time live blogging, even though I've maintained a blog for almost four years. I found it to be challenging but worthwhile. If you want to know more, you're very welcome to read my non-live blog post.

the blog

I think I have all of my notes posted now, after a series of technical mishaps -- I was unable to get online during the afternoon session, and yesterday all of Blogger went down! (which is why, if you tried to access the blog, you were getting errors). A fitting end to a discussion about the consequences of putting all our data online.

Please comment with what you thought of the assembly, this blog, or the topics raised by the participants. And thanks to Marcus Banks, Mitchell Brown & Dana Peterman!

If you have photos, notes or reflections that you would like to see posted in the blog, please send them to me and I'll be happy to do so. This is meant to be a collective effort.

thanks for reading,
-- phoebe (2008-2010 LAUC webmaster) psayers (at)

Reflection on preservation

Editor's note: I found the assembly's four presentations and the afternoon's discussion to be a completely fascinating session about issues related to preservation and collections, and from a perspective that I rarely encounter or deal with as a science reference librarian who is more focused on immediate reference transactions, instruction, and providing highly-used digital and print materials. I'm pretty new at working on collections, but as these different talks were given I found myself thinking about the small weeding project I've been doing lately, pulling material from the computer science stacks at Davis to send to NRLF. Some questions I've faced on a detailed, immediate scale as I get my hands dusty -- is a book about a little-used database program from 1986 worth saving in storage; if I send a rare tech report to storage will that make it more likely to be digitized and thus more accessible, rather than less; can I toss this programming book if we also have it online -- were faced on a university, consortial and global scale by the presenters. What are the implications for our collections -- print, digital and everything in between -- when we practice shared collection development, are busy putting as much as we can online, but when no one philosophically or practically can "go it alone"? What is our goal for preserving the world's knowledge, and are we doing enough to get there?

This summer I was lucky enough to visit the Library of Alexandria, as part of another project I work on as a volunteer. The new library, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, or "BibAlex" as it is informally known there, is of course historically famous as a repository of the world's knowledge, a place where everything that was written in the known world was at one point or another copied or plundered to find a home in the library. That was long ago, and there is nothing left now of the historical library, except many stories and a vague idea of where on the Egyptian coastline it may have been. The new library is designed on different lines; it is more of a conference and educational center than anything, complete with a children's library, planetarium and coffeshop. The new librarians of Alexandria work mostly on outreach, and though they do work with their print collections (which to me were surprisingly small and impoverished, built mainly on donations, though housed in an absolutely beautiful reading room) they are most excited about digitizing materials, especially out of copyright Arabic books and manuscripts. Written Arabic, as you might imagine, is a tricky language to digitize and OCR scan -- so much so that the programmers of BibAlex had to write their own OCR software, apparently the first for digitizing Arabic. We got a special tour of their digitizing room, and it reminded me entirely of the scanning operation in the NRLF that the Internet Archive operated -- rows of cameras and scanners, and young men and women silently turning pages.

Is this the future of plundering and copying the world's knowledge -- only this time not just for one building, but for the world at large? The librarians of BibAlex -- there are nearly a thousand staff there, though they don't have many resources for materials -- were absolutely eager to collaborate with libraries in the United States and elsewhere to get their new digital resources cataloged, distributed, put online in local systems around the world. They are proud of their work, enthusiastic about collaborating and expanding their operations, and they recognize the uniqueness of the collections that they do have. As I was listening to the LAUC presentations this afternoon, I was thinking about the BibAlex folks and their work, and thinking: we should be that eager too, to build a new Library of Alexandria for all of us.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

afternoon discussion and Q&A

Moving to open discussion:

Schottlaender: how would we articulate the value proposition?

RS:The question of value is one that we face on a couple of different levels.
Print vs electronic:
* There's a bunch of questions now about whether we need to keep the print for preservation.
* For digital collections -- the idea that we're going to spend a lot of money keeping print for fixing errors in scans doesn't seem right; over many years
We might have changing digital file standards -- rescanning images to a new standard etc. But if we have reason to scientifically trust the digital systems that exist, then there's a question about whether preservation alone is a reason to retain print -- this seems speculative to me.

audience comment: what about google's efforts -- they claim they will be driving traffic to libraries. We don't yet know how digitization, leading to better finding aids and indexing, will actually increase usage of print.

ES: one of the major strides that is being made in the preservation world is focussing on the loss of content. There's a much higher risk for print journals that are print-only and have no electronic version.
Simulating outages: need to simulate an entire digital publisher outage.
Also: what about journals when the digital version & the print versions are different?

audience comment: I would suggest modeling a range of catastrophes -- will probably be more subtle than a total outage, such as losing access to a particular format. [Ed. note: I totally agree with this comment. PDF and the like are both relatively new standards and not entirely open ones; the danger of putting all our eggs in a proprietary-data basket seems pretty high].

JN: the speed of risk and recovery for print materials is very slow on both ends. The speed of onset of problems for digital materials is much faster, though recovery is also much faster.
And if we keep thinking about the issues -- most printed work today *started* life in a digital format. Do we preserve the surrogate or the original?

CM: Print & electronic deserve to be treated differently. Aggregate value over time will probably decline.
Most titles in JSTOR are held by hundreds of libraries; but for print-only journals, institutional holdings are very thin (and that means an entry in OCLC, not every issue!) Print-only journal holdings tend to be *very* spotty.

BS: so, people like Constance and Roger would do us all a big favor if you could do some research into what "print-only holdings need to be preserved" actually means.

ES: And when does it make sense to work on a network level? When does it make sense for libraries to participate in consortia? And when do we set up a "non-compete" agreement -- we don't have enough resources to do things twice over.

BS: this is all great, but individual circumstances at institutions can change rapidly. We might run out of money next year.

Audience comment: one thing that argues for UC as a system being useful as a node is our ability to act as a system.

BS: to continue to think of ourselves as a node on the network.

Some discussion amongst the CDL people in the room that I didn't catch.

Audience comment: the infrastructure to actually do cross-campus collective development is tough, ie. who bears the cost of selection tools, etc.
ES: Yes!

RS: A bit of history: the midwest print repository in the 1940s and 1950s, became the Center for Research Libraries. Has a completely different mission on the national level than it did at the regional level. So the notion that you can just agree on something and then it is stable is probably false.
(To the audience): what about duplication across the RLFs? Is the mission of the RLFs changing?

JN: what pulls resources somewhere? what creates a pull? The RLFs pull resources towards them.

BS: The other beauty of the network is it enables one to distribute responsibility over many players.

Audience comment: about the 1970 journals (that we might hypothetically toss the print of because they are all online): there are some things that are not really digitized commonly -- ads, covers, etc.

RS: that's true and we need to make sure that the digital scanning process is enough. some discussion follows about the historical record and a 1470 journal versus a 1970 journal.

The presenters discuss preservation issues. Photo by Min-Lin Fang.

BS: At the end of the day, we mainly need to make sure we *know* how people digitized things

Audience comment: what about lifecycle cost?
JN: the British library has done the best work on this -- i.e. you buy a manuscript, the cost is frontloaded; but when you buy a digital format you have to keep dealing with it.
But that is probably not quite right because the last period has been especially chaotic. Some digital formats are more stable than others (i.e., we've got ASCII text down). Over time preservation has meant preserving something in a media -- stone tablets, etc. We don't worry about the languages the content is in.
But in digital preservation it's reversed: the storage media is very cheap, but we worry a lot about how to interpret the data. The digital problem is "forgetting how to speak the language."

Audience comment: I'm wondering how you think the UC and CDL is an *impediment* to collection development. What does anyone from the CDL think of collaborating with the CSUs and comm colleges?
Ivy Anderson (CDL): Hathi trust is high level collab & we discovered 60% overlap
ES: there are facets to that question -- e.g. for government or regional information, collaboration makes a lot of sense. Also other libraries may want access to our collections.
As for backup print copies; we can't do that for the entire academic world, but we can do that for the UCs.

BS: The Hathi trust -- I was glad the UCs joined because I think we have much more expertise in digital preservation than they do.

JN: digital preservation is an area of expertise that we have that google, barnes & noble etc do not. And we have specific areas of expertise -- i.e. I sent wax cylinders for preservation from UCLA to UCSB. If we look around the UCs I think we'll find a lot of such areas of expertise where we can pool and share our resources.

What Cost Print Preservation?

Roger Schonfeld of Ithaka is asking tough but fair questions about the cost-benefit analysis of an intense commitment to print preservation. In very many cases, wouldn't a digital surrogate of a journal article be just as usable as the physical artifact?

[I agree with this in general, with the caveat that print journals often have advertisements and front matter that aren't as readily scanned as the articles.]

Recent ARL-Ithaka Report on Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication

Ithaka, one of the groups represented at today's Assembly, recently partnered with ARL on an important new report about current models of digital scholarship in universities.

Read the report here [PDF]. Some highlights:
  • Purely digital publications are often directed at niche audiences.
  • Web 2.0 technologies have blurred lines between resource types (for example, a blog is or could be a type of journal)
  • Traditional norms maintain power even as scholars innovate.

Schottlaender summarizes

After these introductory comments, Schottlaender then moved on to more specific summaries of and comments about the morning speaker's presentations.

About Schonfeld's presentation: Not a criticism of Roger, but I find his data most appalling! In his presentation, Roger described a flip where academic libraries did a flip and became more interested in digital preservation and less interested in print. Possible reasons why (Schottlaender) thinks this might be so:
* big libraries think they've already done it for print?
* are more invested in digital technologies?
Also declining interest among faculty about print or print preservation.

Schottlaender thinks we should do a "Negative trigger event exercise" -- i.e. what if terrorism takes out the internet and we have no electronic journals? Could we recover?

(Continuing to summarize): Constance spoke about the commonness of uniqueness. "Libraries uniquely manage commonly held materials, while not commonly managing unique materials."
This bothers (Schottlaender) -- especially because the average 13 copies of a serial -- we have tended to be complacent in the idea that lots of places have lots of copies.

But Jake talked about the disconnect between the preservation mission of libraries and the resources devoted to preservation, in large part because print is so durable and can withstand a fair amount of abuse.

Schottlaender noted that libraries tend to talk about preservation in a string of words along with "mom and apple pie" but there's a false sense of security there that we run the risk of falling afoul of.

He then opened it up for discussion.

Afternoon Session Begins

Right now UCSD University Librarian Brian Schottlaender is summarizing the morning's sessions.

One tidbit: UC's recently announced partnership with the Hathi Trust is a high level preservation strategy, for the Google age.

afternoon session: Schottlaender introduces and summarizes

Same group of panelists, moderated by Brian E.C. Schottlaender (Convenor, University Librarians Group). We also have a number of people from the CDL with us who have been exploring systemwide issues.
Introductory comments by Brian, then discussion.

Brian Schottlaender and Constance Malpas, in the afternoon session; photo by Dana Peterman

Brian started with two ideas:
* the "collective collection"
* "networked infrastructure"

We are charged with managing two different kinds of collections, digital and print. It's not at all clear to me that if either one of them were taken away from us we'd be happy.

The collective collection is multi-type -- electronic & non, books & journals, primary & secondary, etc. In addition, the institutions that manage the collections are multi-type.

The collective collection is not several collections, or a collection of collections (like the UC libraries). What distinguishes the "collective collection" is the application of a greater will to manage it for the greater good, and a network infrastructure.

Network infrastructure is necessary b/c the collection is also *distributed*, both on small & large scale. This network infrastructure can be visualized as a series of nodes, like other networked services. In this context, the RLFs, for instance, are each nodes, as are individual libraries or perhaps even the UC as a whole.

Think about what makes a trusted system. The definition of trust that Schottlaender likes best: "it does what you expect it to, and it does not do what you don't expect it to do." When you turn the light switch, the lights actually come on, not that the curtains fall or the building explodes or the lights don't actually come on. When we build "trusted archives" will they do what we want them to? In the case of some sort of catastrophic failure, can we recover with our current archives?

(Ed. note: it seems that by this definition libraries in general act as trusted systems: people trust us to be open, answer their questions, stock their research materials, etc... and when that doesn't happen everyone gets all flustered because libraries, in general, are pretty reliable. We have set that expectation for our users).

LAUC-I first time attendees

Two librarians from Irvine were first time attendees to the Fall Assembly. Erin Conor, Research Librarian for Performing Arts, and Virginia Allison, Research Librarian for Visual Arts, received travel grants for the San Francisco meeting.

During lunch we talked about how people chose to become librarians - always an interesting topic. Librarians like to talk when fed.

LAUC morning program Q&A

Q: (for Constance): Circulation doesn't tell the whole story of how our collections are used, right? (reference, photocopying, etc).
A: (CM): yes, of course; but in our data we did make an effort to supress the non-circulating part of the collection.
A: (Jake Nalder): one of the things we're looking at in UCLA is use, and we can always find some indication of use -- whether it's scribbling in the margins or a digital marker. The number of pristine books are next to none.
At NYPL we did a condition survey, condition related to use -- and we couldn't get anything. If you put books in front of people, they all get use.
A: (CM): It's interesting how use varies across collections. The ARLs have the lowest circulation percentage.

Q: Uniqueness factor -- are we buying & preserving the wrong things? I.E. if smaller universities have materials that are unique, they are not being looked at for preservation as much. Are there efforts to do this?
A:(CM): we've found within the community that there is a kind of preservation mandate & infrastructure. The independent research universities have enormously rich research collections and they don't have infrastructure to do preservation, but they also don't feel a mandate to get rid of their print collections.
A:(JN): our conception of preservation as an institutional mission is very much out of scale with our resources to do that work or implement that policy. We are used to managing collections of durable objects that suffer damage very gracefully. "Books are just embarrassingly durable." But one of the concerns that comes up during shared print is "hot potato preservation" -- you wake up one morning & realize you're the institution with the last copy of something. And we are working on preserving some of the wrong things and not focussing on rare things, etc. But preservation continues unbeholden to faculty work, etc.

Q: I was astonished by some of the overlap between collections. Is this a historical phenomenon? I suspect that overlap is greater now than it used to be because of vendors. This is of particular concern given our low budgets for purchasing. I would say we should be very careful and think about consortial purchasing.
A:(CM): I would concur that approval plans have helped produce redundancy. They are convenient but also undercutting our ability to seek out uniqueness. That has certainly been the case in Ohiolink, where even trying to do cooperative collection development. But we have also learned is that seeking out unique items is a lot of work and in an age of streamlining workflows difficult to do.
A:(JN): we spend a lot of effort on redundant materials but not enough on unique materials -- ie. on cataloging records for the same item from two UCs, but not on unique foreign language newspapers.

Q:(for Roger): in the faculty surveys, were results age-related? Do younger faculty support getting rid of print more?
A: we all expect that, but broadly speaking no. By contrast, the biggest differences we see are by discipline -- humanities vs science etc.

Q: (for Emily): At UCSD I've had the experience of talking about shared print with collegues, and we are talking about entirely different things -- so there is a large need to pin down definitions and goals.
A:(ES): We mean very different things when we use the same terms, but also when we're doing the work (is a lack of covers ok?) Ultimately those standards will lead to a definition of what we trust. In other words, once we've built that archive, will the remaining campuses weed their copies because they trust the archive enough? E.G., physical condition and completeness are very different metrics, but are often conflated.

Comment: and campuses may be feeling different pressures -- i.e. one campus may be running out of room.
ES: and doing shared print work costs money and implies incremental space savings, but space crises tend to come very quickly.

Jake Nalder & Preservation

Jake Naldal is the new preservation Officer at UCLA. Introduction: a new voice at the shared collections table, and a new person in the UC system. Exciting that we are having this conversation.

Rough transcription of Naldal's presentation:

"when people with a preservation background look at the world, they see something rather different and more horrifying than the world you see."

Preservation is really a small part of what we do. Libraries excel at preservation as a happenstance of our activities -- when you collect materials under one room and hire people to look after them, they tend to survive. But libraries do next to nothing on active preservation (environmental management, etc).

Most of the preservation successes have already been from networked individual institutions, because preservation professionals have been used to work together. It behooves us to push preservation to the networked level.

Certainly when I look at the UCLA collection and 5-8% of the colelction has problems to the extent that I don't want them to be used -- that already keeps me employed for a century. So individually we can only really preserve the most special of the special collections. For the bulk of the scholarly record -- we must work as a consortium.

Another useful note is the reality of digitization. Most of our collections are on track to have a digital surrogate of an item. There's a big difference between a digital version of a common book and a rare manuscript; one thing we are working out in the preservation community is how we articulate these values.

In presevation, up until this digital era, our only option was to make a physical surrogate; now we can make a digital object.

In preservation, we often look to the museum community; they look back to us as people engaged in intellectual preservation rather than object preservation. We have a larger connection to the wider world.

Jake Nalder laughs.. at the thought that we are spending enough on preservation activities? With Emily Stambaugh. Photo by Dana Peterman.

Emily Stambaugh

Emily Stambaugh talked about the goals for the shared print program at UC, which have been influenced by outside research (such as the projects the other presenters have been talking about).
* long-range goals for shared print -- more comprehensive collection space savings and cost avoidances
* reallocation of library space
* preserve the scholarly record

Potential cooperative collection development areas:
* prospective monographs
* prospective print serials
* retrospective print serials

Ongoing projects: Canadian literature, IEEE Journals (this is a UCB-UCD-NRLF project).

Coming soon for the UC shared print project: Area Studies Monographs. Send your suggestions for relevant area studies to Emily. Also: a task force on "shared print in place".

Emily has many questions, such as:
* when does it make sense to act cooperatively, to build a retrospective collection or a serials project?
* We have a very high level of confidence in the JSTOR project. What will it take for us to build a low-level validated archive?
* What would be the standards for this validated program? What's a reasonable level of effort for doing this work?

To find out more about the UC Shared Print project, go to

more statistics that make you go "hmmm"

Constance Malpas had more statistics about California libraries, as well:

* CA represents 9% of US Academic Library holidings
*... and 8% of aggregate ARL unique titles
* 37K books borrowed from outside sources in 2006 in the UCs

About uniqueness among all institutions: (based on worldcat data)
* More than 50% of the titles that have been borrowed through ILL recently are held by less than 50 libraries

Based on 6 years of monographic borrowing at an ARL institution:
* 55% of the titles were requested only once: 45% of the titles were requested more than once; rarely held and rarely borrowed titles still represent a significant demand in the aggregate

Based on one consortia: In Ohiolink -- a consortium that has been very aggressive about preventing redundancy, there are still roughly 4.5 duplicate copies for each title
* but in the aggregate collection -- only about 50% of the titles in Ohiolink have ever circulated, at all
* Limited use of the collection as a whole, but use is very concentrated -- the 80:20 rule
* But it's worse than that: 6.5% of titles in circulation represent 80% of the total circulation

[Note: I didn't catch how she got the 4.5 copies number -- is that on average? Because it seems like obscure monographs might be held by one school while popular textbooks might be held by dozens ... but we didn't get into that level of detail].

Print in Libraries--Fast Facts

According to Constance Malpas, the next speaker:

  • 1 billion volumes in North American research libraries, 9% of US share in California
  • 70 million volumes in storage
  • 25 million volumes acquired each year
  • UC collection growth an average of 1.94% each year
  • Print redundancy across collections: Studies show varied results.

  • average holdings for serial titles in worldcat is 13
  • average holidngs for books in worldcat = 9, or a preservation horizon of 50 years at 0.999 .... and up to 40% of book titles have a single insitution holding
  • de-duplication opportunities may be less than imagined

Varied Views of Importance of Print Preservation

Fascinating tidbit: 2006 Ithaka survey reveals two contradictory findings:
  • Small university libraries prize print preservation more than large research institutions, but are less likely to have a programmatic commitment to it.
  • Large research libraries are less tied to print by now--conceptually at least--but are more likely to have archival collections.

Morning Program--Role of Print in Digital Environment

Roger Schonfeld of Ithaka is speaking about the continuing relevance of print.

Some reasons for keeping print in a mostly-digital environment include:
  • Fixing scanning errors
  • Evolution of standards, development of new features
  • Securing printed artifact
  • "Unknown unknowns" about what future holds
Open question: Does this, collectively, justify cost of maintaining print? How do we we know that this is worth the effort?

Roger Schonfeld rolls up his sleeves in preparation for taking on collection preservation. Photo by Dana Peterman.

[from phoebe:] He then talked about faculty attitudes re: print. Faculty attitude about print survey conducted in 2006:
* 40% of Faculty agreed strongly that maintaining a print collection will always be crucial;
* 20% would be happy to see print collections discarded in favor of good electronic collections
* 62% agree they'd be happy to see current print collections dropped in favor of electronic

We've seen all of these numbers increase since 2003->2006. This shift is likely to make the political case for print preservation progressively more challenging on campuses. Ithaka plans to conduct this survey again next year.

Similar survey of collection development directors in the U.S.:
"In the future it will no longer be necessary for our library to maintain hard-copy versions of journals" -- 40%+ of large research universities agreed; smaller ones agreed much less so.

Research universities continued to say that print preservation was less of a focus for them -- despite the fact that they are the only ones who do it regularly! Research universities are more excited about electronic preservation than print preservation.

Study: 6 copies of a page verified non circulating copy enough to preserve for 100 years at high confidence. (But verifying pages is a multimillion dollar effort without clear benefits).

Faculty think it's more important that *some* libraries keep a hard copy, versus their *own* library keeping a print copy. (And the same is true of research libraries).

Presidential report

After committee reports, Sam Dunlap gave his presidential report, much of which focused on issues that were touched on in the committee reports, particularly the bylaws.

Bylaws: still in progress; UCOP concerns over the new diversity committee charge.

LAUC as clearinghouse: ULs are interested in having LAUC act as a clearinghouse of information, and help put together some documents that will help promote "UC Libraries as destination place." There is a new clearinghouse page on the LAUC website.

q&a notes mislaid on phoebe's computer; to come

News: The Spring Assembly will be Wednesday May 13, 2009 at UCR-Palm Desert campus.

Committee reports

Next up is committee reports. Note: all of the reports from last year have been posted on the website

* Sam Dunlap reported for Research & Professional Development:
* special charge for streamlined research funds
* RPD developed a minigrant program and submitted it to Gary Lawrence; the report outlines the convoluted process of how this proposal is making its way through the bureaucracy of UCOP.

* Sam also reported for the Nominations committee, on behalf of Bob Heyer-Gray: the committee is now formed.

* Shannon Supple reported for Resource Sharing -- their report is online, and please contact Shannon with any questions.

* Chimene Tucker reported from the Diversity committee
* Diversity was charged with figuring out recruitment and retention issues. This charge was problematic, because it was part of the bylaws that were never approved, so the ULs wondered if we really had the right to ask questions about it.
* In the end, the diversity committee was not able to get any information or complete their survey.

Questions: (all about the diversity committee's report)

Q: wasn't recruitment and retention a concern for the ULs?
A: At some point it may have been... but in between then & the committee working on the charge, it turned into a non-issue for the ULs.

Q: what's the new plan for the committee?
A: depends on the charge from the new LAUC President.

Sam notes that the survey (and past charge) is very much wrapped up in the bylaws issue, which he will discuss in his presidential report.

Q: we have done surveys before, right?
A: (from Sam): we have done many surveys before, and they always show the same issues: cost of housing & higher salaries elsewhere affect recruitment & retention.
A: (from Shannon): those surveys were of the members; this survey was meant to be of administration information

Comment: part of it was that many of these factors are already known; but we don't know the next step.

Q: isn't doing exit interviews part of our contract, but this hasn't been consistently done
A:(from Sam): that's a good question, we can discuss it.

The attendees in the Lange Room. Photo by Min-Lin Fang.

Janet Lockwood

Janet Lockwood from UCOP joined the meeting via Skype, with the video being projected onto a large screen at the front of the room. The sound and video were good.

Lockwood focussed on four main issues:
  • UCOP restructuring
  • Budget
  • enrollment growth
  • employee contributions to the retirement plan

Restructuring plan: they hope will be in place by mid-January.
2 new units created to deal with planning & policy at UCOP within academic affairs:
* communications
* issues management (concentrating on long-term planning, incld. strategic planning)

Budget: "very, very bleak."
UCOP has been told to brace itself for continuing dramatic cuts. 145M shortfall for this year; proposed 65+M more in cuts from the Gov.

At their last meeting, Regents approved a budget for 09-10 to "sustain excellence" -- at UCOP they are calling this the "wishful thinking" budget to show the legislature & the Regents to shohw them what we really need.

Enrollment growth: an issue for Pres. Yudof.
Currently UCs are overenrolled by 10K (? not sure if I got this # right - ed.) students, with another 1000 in pipeline. Regents not in favor of tuition increases, but we're beyond what tuition increases could cover anyway. Capping or freezing enrollment is on the table, but there are no definite plans and we do want to serve the state of California.

Retirement plan: UC employees need to contribute to the retirement plan again, for the first time in 11 years.

According to actuarial tables, employees need to contribute 11% of salaries, due both to the failing economy & the fact that for the first time in a long time the retirement fund is under 100% funded. The employee portion of that 11% will likely be 2-3%, leaving the rest for UC to cover (and yet another hole in the budget).

(More things: developments in plans and academic senate policy issues -- folding the academic dean back under academic personnel instead of management -- that I didn't quite catch).


Q: I know that a lot of us contribute to our 401K. Will the retirement plan contirbution be on top of that?
JL: Yes, it will be on top of that and will amount to a reduction in your salary. What the retirement program officer emphasized here is that there haven't been any contributions for 18 years; an enjoyable period that is now at an end, due both to the economy/budget & the fact that the retirement program is now at 80%.

Q: If I understand correctly, this retirement contribution is a hidden pay cut.
JL: well, it's not intended to be a pay cut, but that is the end result.
UCOP is very concerned about that, and part of the budget that was presented to the Regents recognizes that salary increases need to be put in place.

Q: Will those retirement plan contributions be taxable?
JL: I don't know, but I'll find out from the retirement office.

Q: With CSU announcing that they were going to freeze enrollment,and with President Yudof seriously considering it, how likely do you think that the UCs will freeze enrollment statewide?
JL: There are two views -- one is that we can't freeze or cut enrollment as we must continue to serve California; the other is that we don't have the money. Don't know the outcome but the regents & the president are concentrating on the issue.

Thanks to Janet Lockwood for the presentation. Lockwood apologized for introducing herself to us with such bad news!

Kicking off Fall Assembly

Well, I got here just a few minutes late due to troubles with traffic and parking -- a thick blanket of fog on the Bay Bridge didn't help the bumper to bumper traffic.

After the introductions and University Librarian address (which I missed), the agenda is:
  • Janet Lockwood from UCOP
  • Committee Reports
  • Sam Dunlap's LAUC president report
  • the morning panel: views on shared print, with:
    • Roger Schonfeld (Manager of Research, Ithaka)
    • Constance Malpas (Program Officer, OCLC Research)
    • Emily Stambaugh (Manager, Shared Print, CDL)
    • Jake Nadal (Preservation Officer, UCLA)

Then: Lunch!

Then the afternoon session, which will be a continued discussion about the issues raised in the morning panel, moderated by Brian Schottlaender.

Librarians in the Lange room. Photo by Dana Peterman.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


There are two program panels planned for tomorrow, along with the usual committee reports and executive board reports. Find the program here:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fall 2008 Assembly

Greetings! The LAUC Fall 2008 Assembly will be:
December 3, 2008 (for the main program)
December 4, 2008 (for the executive board meeting)
UC-San Francisco.

The Assembly website is here:

And you can register by sending in your information as detailed here:

This assembly promises to have another great program. See the website for all the details.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Schottlaender's "On the Record" presentation

Additional reports and presentations from the Spring Assembly May 7, 2008.

Brian Schottlaender (UCSD) "On the Record"; The Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control

The Library of Congress, in response to the evolving information and technology environment, convened the Future of Bibliographic Control Working Group to examine the future of bibliographic description in the 21st century. As a member of the working group, Schottlaender will discuss the group’s final report and the implications and ramifications of the report or the UC libraries.

Referred to in presentation:
On the Record: Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control
presented: January 9, 2008

Thomas Mann. “'On the Record’ but Off the Track” - a response on behalf of the Library of
Congress Professional Guild

LC’s Cataloging Policy and Support Office has issued decisions regarding LCSH

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Shared Library Facilities Board (SLFB) Board Report and Presentation by Chuck Eckman

Additional reports and presentations from the Spring Assembly May 7, 2008.

Shared Library Facilities Board (SLFB) Board Report from Mary Ann Mahoney (Berkeley)

Chuck Eckman (UCB) New Funding Models for Scholarly Communications: BRII and SCOAP3

Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII), co-sponsored by UC Berkeley's Vice Chancellor for Research and the University Librarian, is an 18-month pilot project supporting faculty members, post-docs, and graduate students who want to make their journal articles open access. SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) is a consortium that will attempt to facilitate Open Access publishing in High Energy Physics. By re-directing subscription money, everyone involved in producing the literature of particle physics (universities, labs, and funding agencies) pays into a consortium (SCOAP3) which then pays publishers so that all articles in the field are Open Access.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Presentation slides from Stephen Abram talk "Heading for the 3.0 World"

Stephen Abram (SirsiDynix): Heading for the 3.0 World: Technologies and Behaviors to Watch (PPT 26.4Mb) (PDF 8.3 Mb)

Abstract: Can academic libraries be more open? Can we be more open to our scholars, our researchers, our learning communities, to new technologies? Can we be more open to change? How? Are there technologies that we should be trying and piloting to see if they improve the library's mandate? Which ones are worth investigating? What are the emerging learning technologies? Are there different and improved ways to enhance our organization's missions? Can we enhance our research and learning communities and attract more funding and use? What about books, OPACs, databases and interfaces? What changes are happening here? Stephen Abram is an inveterate library watcher and strategic technology futurist for libraries. In this session, he shares the top technologies that we should think about 'playing' with while finding a way to make our libraries more open to our learning, publishing and research communities. Can we drive quicker adaptation to change in our own library culture? He will end with five suggestions about how to have fun with change and technology adoption.

Slides will be linked from Stephen's Lighthouse blog (

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Next Chuck Ekman talked about the SCOAP3 project -- coming from the high-energy physics community (HEP).

Goal of this group is to convert the small core of high-impact journals in this field into OA --
* six journals; want to convert 5 HEP journals and 1 additional 'broadband' journal

* Publishers: Springer, Elsevier, AIP and APS
* Consortium model -- instititions will redirect their subscription funds toward consortium
* Driven by authors from CERN, who are doing very important work on colliders which lots of people want to publish

What they're trying to do is to rescue peer review. Libraries have little incentive not to cancel the journals, since most of the scientists get their access through

Phased transition outline:

1. Stakeholders estimate their current expenditure on the HEP journals targeted by SCOAP (no money changes hands). Note that the UC is a stakeholder in the US.
2. Stakeholders pledge to redirect their current spend to SCOAP3 through an Expression of Interest (no money changes hands)
3. Once a sizeable fraction of budget is pledged, SCOAP issues a tender to publishers (no money changes hands)
4. Publishers answer the tender. Formal agreement on:
* journal license packages are un-bundled; the OA titles are removed
5 ScOAP partners establish the consortium, decide on the governance, adjudicate contracts and commit funds (no money changes hands)
6. Contracts with publishers happen
7) payments happen

Both SCOAP and BRII embrace the author/producer pays model; both non-disruptive; both aim to be transformative

The Physics People and Open Access

So this is about getting the high impact journals in physics published in open access. The funding part of it (sponsored by CERN) as a model needs to be taken from the slides. This is a bit fast for me to capture.
I find myself thinking that the consortium approach taken is rather complex. Not sure that this will work based on how much money each of the players needs.
There are a number of references for this that Chuck displayed at the end of his slides.
Questions are ensuing.

about OA fees

Selective List of Open Access and Paid Access Fees

BRII's definition of open access

What is it (according to this program)?

Immediately free to all readers, and where the author has not ceded copyright to the publisher

youtube videos about SCOAP

Via Chuck Ekman.. many videos from the SCOAP conference

Now the Scholarly Communication Part - mostly BRII

The talk will have more to do with BRII (Berkeley Research Impact Initiative) than with SCOAP 3 initiatives. Scholarly communication is contextualized as a globalization issue that in fact parallels a number of the trends in the past and has seen precedents in other fields. There has been a greater commercialization of discourse, growth of author/producer-paid models, pluralist models of authorship.
Cites the faculty attitudes found in recent research at UC.
BRII subsidizes up to 3K for publication in "open access", which is operationally defined in a particular way. They are trying to respond to the OA journal impact and the hybrid open access journal. It seems apparent that there will be disciplinary inequities in the area of OA that libraries would like to address.
The goals of the BRII were to promote their research, etc. They looked for other programs (UNC and U Wisconsin had them), but they were "quiet" and didn't offer as much to publish. They had to find good partners between research and the library, and to deal with cost models. There were issues that kept arising, including peer review, etc. During rollout, had issues with researchers, conference proceedings as a major form of contribution, page charges subsidizing, grant funding.
At this time, they have 11 approved requests with disciplines that range. Next, BRII plans on promoting the program. approaching publishers, developing a knowledge base around the items, and look at a campus analysis of the cost and outcomes.

Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) & Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3)

Chuck Eckman of UC Berkeley will speak about BRII. BRII, co-sponsored by UC Berkeley's Vice Chancellor for Research and the University Librarian, is an 18-month pilot project supporting faculty members, post docs, and graduate students who want to make their journal articles open access. SCOAP3 is a consortium that will attempt to facilitate Open Access publishing in High Energy Physics. By re-directing subscription money, everyone (universities, labs and funding agencies) involved in producing the literature of particle physics pays into a consortium (SCOAP3) which then pays publishers so that all articles in the filed are open access.

All presentations are available on YouTube if you're interested.

We must actively seek failure...

  • Commercialization of scholarly discourse.
  • growth of author/producer-paid models
  • ensuing continuity in the "pluralist phase" of scholarly communications
UC faculty attitudes and behaviors:
  • 75% aware of journal pricing rising
  • 63% existing peer review process discourages new forms of high quality peer-reviewed publishing
  • 22% say they have published in an open access venue.
BRII Basics:

Questions for Brian

Note: I didn't get good notes on all of the recommendations (controversial and not) that he mentioned; but it would be worthwhile looking at the slides after they get posted.

questions for Brian...

q) As much as Google was involved, did they focus on things that were not text?

a) They actually focussed a lot on text, particularly the implications of millions of digitized texts (google books)

It was really OCLC that was pushing the non-textual issue

q) Regardless of LC's approach, are there any implications for local or UC actions?

a) taking fuller and earlier advantage of acquisitions vendors biblibliographic info (e.g. onix data). How do we produce native XML?

Integrating acquisitions and cataloging depts more is natural; and parsing the overall responsbility for particular kinds of materials is something we've flirted with but never really done well. SCP might help us with that.

q) could you comment on the recommendation to strengthen the LIS profession via library schools?

a) the head of the committee was an LIS professor... we went back and forth about recommendations on teaching cataloging; the ALA office of accreditation included a requirement that "information organization" broadly construed be a requirement for accreditation. Also: wouldn't it be nice if we worked with the LIS researchers to work on research projects that were actually helpful in the working library world?

as an aside...

There is a rock concert next door to us in the Bren Center. They are busy tuning up their instruments now; so we are listening to the report about bibliographic control with background alt-rock accompaniment.

Edit: it's this

The LC bibiographic control report -- getting input

I thought the description of how the bibliographic control group got feedback on their report was really interesting:

The group used the methodology used by the section 108 working group [on copyright and preservation], to hold three public hearings in 2007 -- Google, ALA headquarters, and Library of Congress. Selected those locations because of diverse geography, and the symbolism associated with each.

It was assumed that participants at each of those locations would come from widely differing points of view; sometimes that was true and sometimes it wasn't; but we wanted to demonstrate that we were open to having a wide conversation. (The UC was well-represented at the hearings).

Draft report was issued in November 2007, and webcast (in a *very* popular webcast!)

Future of Bibliographic Control

Presented by Brian Schottlaender of UCSD. The Library of Congress convened the Future of Bibliographic Control Working Group to examine the future of bibliographic descriptions in the 21st century. Schottlaender is discussing the group's final report and the implications and ramifications of the report for the UC Libraries.

Poor guy, he gets to follow Stephen, lunch and will speak about cataloging!

His speech could be titled Cataloging 3.0 - it's all about being more collaborative, fast,

Charge was to present findings at how bibliographic controls could affect access and management. Public hearings March - July 2007. Held at Google, Library of Congress and ALA headquarters. Invited 20 presentations speaking as individuals or on behalf of institutions. Draft report issued in November of 2007. Issued for public comment. Reviewed with LC management and presented to LC staff. Presentation was web cast. Report was revised quite substantially. Final report was presented January 2008.

Audience is LOC, others in the bibliographic sphere, policy and decision makers.

3 Guiding Principles:
  • Redefine bibliographic control, embraced it all, not just codex based
  • Redefine a bibliographic universe, libraries are but one group of players. We need to interact with commercial and other sectors. LOC needs to rely on us as much or more than we rely on them.
  • Redefine the LOC in such a way that the Library can determine when it needs to be the sole provider and when it can delegate bibliographic control.
Economic axiom: amount of money, time, trouble or lives already sunk into a particular endeavor is not a valid argument for continuing the endeavor or expenditure associated with that endeavor.

RDA is the successor to AACR2. It's being developed in isolation and in groups.

One recommendation - be less agnostic about cataloging rules. Strong recommendations about getting some user behavior to learn how to best to bibliographic authority work.

Cataloger group at Netflix wants to share their work with us and we certainly want to take advantage of all this work being done but they need tools to do this.

It's afternoon time and I'm reading the other entries

Back from lunch. Yes! I saw a lot of people from UCSD at lunch (some I know, some not) and met someone new from Berkeley, Josh Schneider. We had an interesting discussion about an archive reference question that he had that helped to solve a murder. Sometimes, we are very cool people.

Brian Speaks
Users of data, structure and standards, economics and organization of control were the topics. They held meetings to discuss at strategic locations (google, ALA, LC) .

Guiding principles from the report included redefining work so that control is decentralized and moves away from both LC and the commercial sector (correct me if I'm wrong). The watch words and phrases from the report were efficiency, standardization, future design, less talking more doing, and return on investment.

A major issue that Brian brought up is that LC is a classically unfunded mandate. This is a major point that I think will ultimately be the deal maker or breaker for any future changes.

Schottlaneder talks about Mann and critiques his thinking.

Brian notes that much of the changes that might come from his report await the work and further discussion of LC. He laments the absence of an economist for the report that was submitted. Important lament.

Stephen Abram, pt 2

Stephen Abram went through lots and lots of developments very fast, but overall he is focussing on lots of things related to change in how people access information (e.g. via devices and social networking sites) and how information is delivered to people (e.g. via localized Google results and so on).


What does this all mean for librarians? Abram says we have to change how we approach dealing with students and information in a new world. Become more open to a networked and a global, borderless reality.

"How do we support ideas and creativity in our spaces; how do we build an innovation culture? How do we become more open to comment?"


What he's not talking about very much are library goals: what is our aim in all of this? Goals and end aims should not be confused with technology platforms; how hardware works shouldn't affect the core aspirations of a good research and preservation oriented collection. Technology may make it easier to do certain things and make it possible to conceive of other things; but I don't believe that changes our core mission.

One thing I do particular appreciate is his exhortation to build our own services and try new things -- "you might not build the right thing yourself, but you'll recognize it when you see it because you've been trying to build it yourself."

Note: Abram does return to this idea at the very end of the presentation, however:
How do we understand how we inform, how we produced an informed student? There are not enough studies on the value of libraries, especially academic libraries.
How do we focus on results and impact? Circulation and reading habits are not, in fact down...

More observations he makes:

"Let's stay away from blocking statements -- e.g. "Management will never approve this" -- that's just not helpful. Instead, let's figure out what style of proposal management *will* accept and write up our proposal in that style.

"We keep trying to teach librarians OPAC searching skills, instead of teaching them research success!

"I've heard of some libraries banning USB drives... because God knows we wouldn't want people to take information *out* of libraries. "Honestly, people, what kind of library would ban USB drives?! That's not normal."


One thing I don't like in most talks about Web 2.0 is the oversimplification of talking about how people interact online. For instance, Abram tells a story about how he encouraged one library to edit their Wikipedia entry. "You don't need a committee to do this!" he exclaims. Of course not, but Wikipedia (I can say somewhat authoratively) is not that simple either; don't assume you know how to easily interact in every online community just because you can get to it.

In sum, Abram says that the big shift is where technology is and how it is connected; barriers to internet access are falling away (or at least changing). Moore's Law continues to apply.

He wraps up with five things to do:

* do the 23 things or 5 steps
* get a social networking presence
* learn your phone
* play together beyond the walls
* connect with your users in segments

Google and Librarians

"Google answers more questions in half an hour than all the librarians in the world do in 10 years. So if you want to do 10 years worth of work in half an hour, try competing with Google; or you can recognize your strengths and your library's strengths that Google does badly, which is answering "how" and "why" questions. -- Stephen Abram.

Heading for a 3.0 World: Technologies and Behaviors to Watch

Stephen Abram of SirsiDynix will be talking about whether academic libraries can be more open. PPT slides of his talk will be available at his blog Stephen's Lighthouse. ( Stephen is an inveterate library watcher and strategic technology futurist for libraries.

What's Changing?
  • Speed. US and Canada are 5-7 years behind the rest of the world as it is
  • Semantic Web (Twine) <- play with it
  • The Cloud (Google, Zoho and Microsoft documents)
  • No choice search engines
  • GIS oriented search and ads. (your search results and ads will depend on where you physically are)
  • Infinite full-text books (ebooks)
  • Streaming media and spoken word search - you'll be able to search for podcasts, youtubes
  • Personalization 3.0 - ability to cut and paste into your own page, ie FaceBook and MySpace.
  • Microblogging - ie twitter.
  • Device proliferation (Kindle, iPhones, etc)
  • What's old? Attacks on research, rights, intellectual freedom, access, copyright balance, privacy, DRM, patents, trademarks, etc.
What does Sustainability Mean?
  • 40% of those who use libraries use it online. Do you have leadership that takes this seriously and is willing to restructure the organization to service this?
  • The ones who do come in to the Library is NOT the group of people you should be thinking about when contemplating how to reach and efficiently serve those who use Library resources all online.
  • Our number 1 ammo against Google, etc, is the people who work in the Libraries. How many of us have online profiles, photos, etc? We should NOT be anonymous. As professionals, we can not be anonymous.
What Commitment Does It Take?
  • With Eyes WIDE Open: Plan, plan, plan.
  • We need longterm planning so get ready.
  • We care about research success, that's how are services are oriented - but what do our users care about?
Note: America is only graduating 60,000 engineers a year. Wow...

Make sure things work. People don't care why things don't work, they just want it to work. They don't want to see weird things like question marks or boxes in place of non-roman characters or images.

Do your members know your WHOLE Library's offerings?

Gary Lawrence

Gary Lawrence's remarks -- rough transcription

I would like to think of these as my valedictory remarks;
I had to admit when i heard we were meeting at the Bren Center I was hoping we would all be issued anteater pennants we could wave. I see LAUC is still a serious organization though...

There are changes at the Office of the President -- some will affect LAUC and the Libraries. Not trying to keep any of it secret.

Going into the new fiscal year, you will be seeing a smaller and eventually more nimble UCOP. Next fiscal year, UCOP's budget will be 20 % smaller and staff will be 23% smaller. Planning has been going on for new units that will support across UCOP departments to reduce redundancy. For instance, 1 focused on R&D; 1 focussed on business services; 1 focussed on budget; 1 focussed on legistlative analysis and tracking; 1 focussed on basic communication services such as PR & web services; and IT desktop support services.

at this point these changes have been driven largely by the expressed interest of the regents, which persists

There are some additional restructuring initiatives that will go on in 08-09:
* HR still under restructuring;
* RFP has been issued for the full range of benefits service
* academic affairs has undergone a review
* continuing education will likely move to a host campus
* continuing scrutiny of the systemwide role of IT
* review of external affairs and how we staff those
* capital projects
and an ongoing review of how we staff systemwide functions that are seen as being extreemly important to UC but not directly related to UCOP
* UC Press
* procurement
these things are of high value but not intimately connected with the presiden'ts role

There are other drivers besides the budget; for instance, Mark Yudof arrives June 16; and has specifically requested continuation of restructuing and downsizing efforts.

May revise comes out May 14; implications of this for UCOP not yet known; likely to be unpleasant for all of us.

What all of this change means for the UC Libraries may turn out to be not much for the following reasons:
* the CDL has turned out to be reasonably well protected; filled a variety of staff vacancies over the last year
* in many discussions the CDL is actually help up as a model of a valuable systemwide service and for the way it drives the libraries throughout the system to collaborate and plan on a systemwide basis

As Bob mentioned, the position of the CDL president still under negotiation. The role of the CDL as a convener for the UC library system will continue; There is a systemwide library planning function for the CDL that is widely acknowledged and that will continue

With regard to LAUC, it seems that LAUC will continue to work with UCOP -- academic personnel issues are significant; there are also matters of system wide library planning that is of interest to LAUC. UCOP allocates LAUC's budget; and finally there are occasionally collective bargaining issues where LAUC gets involved with UCOP.

Message I want to leave with you is that until our restructuring is completed (sometime in the fall) it's not going to be perfectly clear who has responsibility for what; but that's not to say that normal buisness can't be conducted. Things like the R&D committee proposal is in some ways exemplary for LAUC working with UCOP; involves budgetary interests, academic personnel, and in some ways academic programs

So while it's complicated and not totally clear it is happening, not totally in disarray at the moment :) the process will have a few bumps though.

Also, wanted to mention that the SLASIAC has decided to sponsor a series of town hall meetings in the fall with faculty, focussed on the role of faculty as authors; will likely include discussion of the NIH and Harvard agreements etc.

With that -- the problems of reorganization and LAUC will soon no longer be my problem :) it was a pleasure to serve you and see old friends at the assemblies, and make new ones.

Introduction to UCI

UCI has over a billion dollars worth of construction going on. New 80-140 faculty hired each year. New 17 undergraduate degrees. New schools, public health and law. Collections have high priority. Size and quality of staff have increased. Priority is placed on professional development. Librarians get $1400 plus lots more are given out as requests come in. There are new initiatives for the Libraries in the instruction arena. Librarians are very active professionally here in the Library, on campus and internationally.

Welcome Everybody!

People are starting to drift in. Breakfast is set up. Someone should let Dana know that there is REAL coffee, not just decaf. Laptop users are finding places to sit based on where the outlets are. Mitchell is awesome, he brought extra cords and is helping people get set up.

Just Before the Event

8:50AM - (dp)
Though one of the participants working at UCI Libraries, I'd never had the opportunity to visit the Bren Center until now. I was pleasantly surprised by the event's great orchestration. The setup was well on its way, though I had a momentary lapse of panic until the caffeinated coffee arrived. As usual, it was wonderful to see former UC colleagues and friends from Facebook. However, one always wishes for more outlets - just ask Angela. The main room in which the Spring Assembly takes place is called the Stewart Room (any connection to the Stewart Collection at UCSD, I wonder). The room basks in a florescent purple-blue hue - a kind of artificial dawn. I had no idea I was going to be sitting behind Bob, but it was nice to exchange pleasantries. Deb Sunday and I were talking about Steve Abrams and his early adoption of Web 2.0. She says that she had seen him give a talk about Web 2.0 in Connecticut about eight years ago in which Abrams discussed the types of changes the libraries would have to make to accommodate social technologies. So, of course, I am seriously bummed about having to leave to teach a class in RefWorks. Check it out, there's Gerry Munoff, our first speaker from UCI (here just a smidge early). Excellent. We are on top of it. People are still looking for plugs - plug challenged, says Deb. I could use some plugs. The room is filling, filling, filling, filling UP! As the water arrives, the excitment grows and the hum of human conversation begins to dominate the room. As Kay says, forget the diet for breakfast - have a sticky bun.

Friday, May 2, 2008

About the Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII)

Berkeley Research Impact Initiative:
Advancing the Impact of UC Berkeley Research

co-sponsored by UC Berkeley's Vice Chancellor for Research and the University Librarian

The Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII) supports faculty members, post-docs, and graduate students who want to make their journal articles free to all readers immediately upon publication.

An 18-month pilot program, BRII will subsidize, in various degrees, fees charged to authors who select open access or paid access publication. The pilot will also yield data that can be used to gauge faculty interest in — as well as the budgetary impacts of — these new modes of scholarly communication on the Berkeley campus.

About the speaker: Charles (Chuck) Eckman is the Associate university Librarian and Director of Collections at the University of California, Berkeley where he provides leadership for the library's collections and scholarly communications programs. Prior to coming to Cal in June 2006, he worked at Stanford University as Head of Social Sciences Resource group (1997-2006) and Principal Government Documents Librarian (1995-20060. While at Stanford he also served as project director for the GATT Digital Library, a collaborative endeavor with the World Trade Organization aimed at digitizing and providing access to the historic record of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade <http:/>. He also served as consultant to the California Digital Library (2002-2003) on a project sponsored by the Mellon Foundation assessing the challenges of preserving web-based government information. He holds an MLIS from UC Berkeley (1987) , PhD in Politics from Princeton (1986), and BA in Political Science from Indiana (1979). His intellectual and professional energies are focused on expanding both scholarly and public access to research, a passion he attributes to his experiences working as a government documents depository librarian.

Articles and Presentations by Stephen Abram

The May 7 morning presentation from Stephen Abram from SirsiDynix is entitled “Heading for the 3.0 World: Technologies and Behaviors to Watch.” A collection of articles by Abram are available from his blog.

Stephen’s Lighthouse

About the speaker: Stephen Abram, MLS, is the current 2008 President of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and the Past-President of the Canadian Library Association. He is Vice President of Innovation for SirsiDynix and Chief Strategist for the SirsiDynix Institute. His previous appointments included service as the Publisher of Electronic Information at Thomson following successful management of several special libraries. Mr. Abram has been listed by the Library Journal as one of the top fifty people influencing the future of libraries and has received numerous honors. A recognized international speaker, Mr. Abrams is also know for his commentaries and columns which often appear in Information Outlook, Multimedia, Internet@Schools, OneSource, Feliciter, Access and Library Journal. He is also the author of Out Front with Stephen Abram (ALA, 2007) and the popular Stephen's Lighthouse blog <>.

Background on Draft Report of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control

Draft Report of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control

"In reading the report, you will note that its findings and recommendations are structured around five central themes:

1. Increase the efficiency of bibliographic production for all libraries through increased cooperation and increased sharing of bibliographic records, and by maximizing the use of data produced throughout the entire "supply chain" for information resources.

2. Transfer effort into higher-value activity. In particular, expand the possibilities for knowledge creation by "exposing" rare and unique materials held by libraries that are currently hidden from view and, thus, underused.

3. Position our technology for the future by recognizing that the World Wide Web is both our technology platform and the appropriate platform for the delivery of our standards. Recognize that people are not the only users of the data we produce in the name of bibliographic control, but so too are machine applications that interact with those data over the network in a variety of ways.

4. Position our community for the future by facilitating the incorporation of evaluative and other user-supplied information into our resource descriptions. Work to realize the potential of the FRBR framework for revealing and capitalizing on the various relationships that exist among information resources.

5. Strengthen the library profession through education and the development of metrics that will inform decision-making now and in the future. "

"The period for public comment on the report is open until December 15, 2007. Comments can be submitted via the Web site at Electronic submission of comments is encouraged. "

From LJ Academic Newswire

LC: Draft Report on Bibliographic Control To Be Released Nov. 13, 2007

For a year, the library world has been watching to see what the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, convened by the Library of Congress (LC), will say about the future of bibliographic description given the increasing reliance on web-based searching and electronic information resources. The wait is nearly over. LC officials said today that a draft report will be presented to LC managers and staff at 1:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 13, along with a live webcast. A comment period will follow and last until Dec. 15.

Even before the announcement, however, American Library Association (ALA) President-elect Jim Rettig, in testimony Oct. 24 before Congress, expressed concern that LC not move too precipitously. Rettig, university librarian of the Boatwright Memorial Library, University of Richmond, VA, told the Committee on House Administration, that ALA "strongly recommends that the Library of Congress return to its former practice of broad and meaningful consultation prior to making significant changes to cataloging policy." Rettig said he hoped LC fully "understands the impact" that its decisions have on other libraries, noting that LC bibliographic records "are accepted without editing by thousands of libraries of all types and sizes throughout the world to facilitate an individual's access to library resources."

He added, "Inevitably, on the Internet, with its huge and ever-increasing amount of digital information, general search engines must be relied upon. And, in years to come, there may be far more sophisticated search engines. But we are certainly not there now. The consumers of the Library's cataloging products must continue to rely on the traditional cataloging services in order to meet the needs of their users…. Further, unilateral and sudden changes to cataloging practice initiated by the Library of Congress and others severely and negatively affect citizens' ability to find answers in libraries and elsewhere."

Information on the Working Group and its findings is available at

British Library response to the Library of Congress Working Group on. the Future of Bibliographic Control

About the speaker: Brian E. Schottlaender is the Audrey Geisel University Librarian at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining UC San Diego in 1999, his career in libraries included positions at the California Digital Library, UCLA, the University of Arizona, Indiana University, and int he European book trade. In 2008, Schottlaender was appointed Secretary of the Board of Directors of The Center for Research Libraries (CRL), a consortium of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries that acquires and preserves traditional and digital resources for research and teaching. In addition, he has been elected to the members Council of OCLC, a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization that serves more than 60,000 libraries in 112 countries internationally, and serves on the Steering Committee for the Coalition of Networked Information (CNI). He was president of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in 2006.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring Assembly 2008

Registration is now open for the 2008 LAUC Spring Assembly, which will be held May 7, 2008 at UC Irvine.

The registration form and preliminary agenda are available at

The registration deadline is Thursday, April 24, 2008.

Information about the LAUC travel grant is also available at

We look forward to seeing you in Irvine!