Friday, November 17, 2017

NASIG updates strategic plan

NASIG, formerly the North American Serials Interest Group, recently announced availability of the NASIG Strategic Plan 2017-2011. This new strategic plan reflects NASIG's evolution from an organization primarily focused on serials management to one with a broader scope including electronic resources management and scholarly communications.

The details:

NASIG's vision, adopted November 10,2014, is to be:
an independent organization working to advance and transform the management of information resoures. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate and improve the distribution, acquisition, and long-term accessibility of information resources in all formats and business models.
The organization's mission includes three key components.
  1. Support of a community of professionals ... engaging in understanding of one another's perspectives and improving functionality throughout the information resources lifecycle ...
  2. Provision of a variety of conference and continuing education programming ...
  3. Promotion of the development and implementation of best practices and standards for the distribution, acquisition and long-term accessibility of information resources in all formats and business models throughout their lifecycle.
The strategic plan identifies five strategic directions for the organization.
  1. NASIG will revitalize its marketing approach to reflect is new mission and vision.
  2. NASIG will expand student outreach and mentoring.
  3. NASIG will find the optimum balance between paid staff and volunteer work.
  4. NASIG will be involved in creating new content to add to the body of scholarly work.
  5. NASIG will work to enhance benefits to all members with a particular emphasis on members from the commercial sector.
NASIG's 33rd annual meeting, with the theme Transforming the Information Community will be held in Atlanta, GA  Friday June 8 - Monday June 11, 2018.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NISO “Understanding Metadata” Primer

In a press release on January 18, 2017, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced the release of Understanding Metadata, an update to NISO’s 2004 publication on the topic. The current release is the second document in NISO’s Primer Series on data management issues. The primer series began with the publication of Research Data Management in 2015 and will continue with a forthcoming publication on Linked Data for Cultural Institutions and additional guides in the future.

The 2017 primer is an expanded overview of structured metadata used in cultural heritage institutions, covering the latest developments in metadata practices, tools, standards, and languages. It provides a useful outline of the most common use cases for standard metadata types in information systems, covering a range of cultural resources management activities including description, discovery, display, interoperability, digital-object management, preservation, and object navigation. Subsequent sections provide a comprehensive overview of a.) How metadata is stored and shared through relational databases, XML documents, and Linked Data and RDF b.) The standardization of metadata through controlled vocabularies and content standards, and c.) Notable metadata languages used broadly and within cultural heritage institutions. As an introductory document, the 2017 Primer addresses the basic issues around, what is metadata, why we create metadata, and how we create, use, and share metadata.  

As a newbie to understanding metadata, I found it useful to read both NISO’s 2004 Understanding Metadata document and the 2017 Primer publication. However, the latter includes a few concepts that were not covered in the original document such as Linked Data, the Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME), and CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC CRM). In other instances, the 2017 primer provides more substantive descriptions of concepts nominally covered in the 2004 publication, such as RDF (Resource Description Framework). 

The 2017 NISO Primer release, Understanding Metadata, is available as a free download at http://www.niso.org/publications/press/understanding_metadata.  



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

eBooks in the Law Library - Part 2

Law and Technology Resources for Legal Professionals, LLRX, continues its look at the current state of eBooks in law libraries. The second of their three-part series offers a great summary of the various pricing models that may be encountered during the acquisitions process. There are many ownership and subscription options for eBook acquisition and this article does an excellent job of explaining how the various plans work. It offers concise explanations for even the most confusing plans, such as non-linear lending and access to own. 

Still not sure what model would work best for your particular budget? The article also offers numerous helpful tips for keeping eBook costs down while growing a collection. 

The article concludes with a list of questions that should be addressed before selecting any eBook package. For example; making sure the technical requirements match the resources of your library and its users, examining the content and scope of the eBook package to make sure you're meeting your user's needs, and inquiring about user interface and other functions such as printing and copy/pasting from the eBook titles. 

This is an excellent primer for any librarian looking to add eBooks to their collection. The next article in the series will include a case study of how the author's library has built its eBook collection.  

Monday, October 23, 2017

Getting to Know TS Law Librarians: Jennifer Noga



1. Introduce yourself (name & position):
Jennifer Noga, Technical Services Librarian at Wake Forest University School of Law

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Yes and no. I’m responsible for some functions that are traditionally technical services-oriented; maintenance of the physical collection, serials, and some cataloging. However, some of my work is outside that realm; things like systems-oriented activities and data and statistics management. 

3. What are you reading right now?
I usually have several books going at once. Currently, I’m reading: a biography of Georgia O’Keefe by Roxana Robinson, The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, and Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. At work, I’m slowly but surely working through Javascript & JQuery by Jon Duckett.

4a. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be?  Why?
While working on my MLIS, I was in a class that visited numerous special libraries. One of those was in Asheville at the Biltmore House, a famous mansion in the mountains of North Carolina. Their foundation maintained an on-site archive of the history of the house and the Biltmore family. The space where the archive was located was an enclosed sleeping porch on an upper floor that looked out over the beautiful grounds and the Blue Ridge Mountains. I always thought how wonderful it must be to be an archivist working in such a setting; digging through the old papers and history of that amazing place.

4b. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
I’d start trying to decipher the API documentation for our ILS. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

OCLC supports changing FAST terminology but says LCSH must take the lead

In Andrew Pace's OCLC Next post dated 14 September 2017, he addresses the discussion around changing the term "Illegal Aliens" in OCLC's Faceted Access to Subject Terminology (FAST). Pace is the Executive Director, Technical Research at OCLC. 

He states that OCLC supports the change in terminology but is committed to work with the Library of Congress (LC) and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and will not be making any changes to terminology without LCSH changes. As puts he it, "FAST has no history of sweeping editorial changes in headings based on pervasive cultural change without first seeing those changes in the LCSH headings from which FAST is derived." After explaining the basics of FAST, he reiterates, "FAST has always been downstream of LCSH changes and the governance of headings that occurs through the PCC Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO)...We have no plans to establish a FAST governance model similar to SACO, nor an independent editorial group similar to that at the Library of Congress. FAST will follow LC’s lead."

As of October 2017, there has been no change in the heading but it is not likely this debate is over. As Pace points out, "Librarians are the most proactive professionals I have ever witnessed when it comes to identifying an opportunity for positive change and aggressively seeking a solution."

See the full article at: http://www.oclc.org/blog/main/lcsh-fast-and-the-governance-of-subject-terms/.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

eBooks in the Law Library

A recent article in Inside Higher Ed asked if medical schools still need books. The question of the role of eBooks in all types of libraries has been batted around in some form or another since the advent of eBooks. While the Inside Higher Ed article settles on familiar answers and case studies of paperless and hybrid libraries, it seems clear that all libraries are arcing slowly toward having eBooks as a substantial part of their collections.

Law and Technology Resources for Legal Professionals, LLRX, is addressing the state of eBooks in law libraries in a three-part series. The first part, published this week, gives a helpful overview of some the challenges and opportunities that come with adding eBooks to law library collections. Of particular interest to technical services librarians is the section on acquiring eBooks. Various platforms and modes of purchase are discussed. The article also briefly touches on issues related to integrating eBooks into the library's existing technological infrastructure.

The second article in the series promises to delve deeper into eBook acquisitions issues. The third part will present some case studies of how various law libraries have added eBooks to their collections.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Disaster Resources for Cultural Heritage

The fall brings us hurricane season and extended drought conditions have led to what feels like a never-ending wildfire season. But this year has brought us more than the natural disasters that we "expect." Earthquakes and flooding have also brought recent devastation to North America. In many places the recovery efforts are still focused on survival essentials. In the weeks since these disasters have hit there have been numerous resources shared for when efforts can turn towards our cultural heritage. Current President of the Society of American Archivists, Tanya Zanish-Belcher, has compiled a list of resources to assist in funding recovery project dealing with libraries and archives. Check out her blog post for more details.