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.