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As you know, ALA will launch the new ALA Connect on Wednesday, April 25, bringing with it new features and updates to members’ online collaborative space for networking, learning, growing, and engaging on a variety of topics of interest. 

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ALCTS New Members Interest Group

Discussion [alcts-e-Forum} “What’s on Your Mind? How Can ALCTS Serve New Members? an ALCTS E-forum"

by Keisha Manning on Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 07:24 am

The ALCTS New Members Interest Group

[alcts-e-Forum} “What’s on Your Mind? How Can ALCTS Serve New Members? an ALCTS E-forum" 


Thanks to all who participated in the e-Forum. The following is a detailed summary of that discussion. I hope this will be helpful to units, committees, and new members, in sparking the discussion of how we can serve our new members.



The ALCTS New Members Interest Group

[alcts-e-Forum} “What’s on Your Mind? How Can ALCTS Serve New Members? an ALCTS E-forum" 


Thanks to all who participated in the e-Forum. The following is a detailed summary of that discussion. I hope this will be helpful to units, committees, and new members, in sparking the discussion of how we can serve our new members.



Members expressed the need for a more active role by CRG. Reasons cited for more regional activities included:

ü  Lack of funds for travel

ü  Lack of Institutional support for travel

ü  Access to programs, networking, and continuing education activities within their local region.

ü  One member bought attention to the fact that LITA sponsors regional activities.

One member expressed that the accessibility of local and regional programs, is invaluable and cost effective. He cited the Midwest Archives Conference as an example:

  1. Covers 13 states
  2. Membership is $30
  3. Conference and workshops every year
  4. More localized events, so that they are in range of members
  5. They make it “All about members”

Collaboration between CRG and the State Association of technical Services was also recommended.


Continuing Education/Professional Development

Members expressed a need for more virtual programs. Today’s students and new librarians, are accustomed to a different way of learning and communication, examples include:

ü  Taking Online Classes

ü  Bootcamps

ü  RSS’ing daily doses of information

ü  E-Conferences

Some members expressed an interest in Pre-Conference workshops and continuing education. They posed some questions:

ü  What are the best ways to take advantage of continuing education without attending conferences?

ü  How to fully take advantage of mentoring opportunities?

ü  How do we develop online courses in cataloging and acquisitions, example using KOHA as a sandbox to practice and experiment with cataloging?

ü  Developing a curriculum that helps new members/librarians understand the qualifications for their roles in various positions.


Dissemination of Information

Members cited several areas that need improvement as it relates to disseminating information about ALCTS activities:

ü  New ways of reporting association news and events

ü  Committees should be providing up to date information regarding changes, members, and projects.

ü  Up to date information regarding programming and trends

ü  A centralized location, where all relevant association information can be found.

ü  A Central place for ALCTS blogrolls. Metadada regarding where members can find information about ALCTS members who Blog/Publish

ü  Disseminating information on conference events, and programs that cannot be attended in person:

  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Skype
  • Online workshops



ü  Members expressed confusion at the way meetings are organized/scheduled at conferences.

ü  The idea of having smaller ALCTS conferences, in between midwinter and annual has also been recommended.



ü  Members expressed a need of understanding how they can get involved.

ü  The importance of attending committee meetings at conferences, to show your interest for volunteering. The “All Committee Meetings” which are open to all was cited as a great start.

ü  Members also ranked designing a committee structure that is easy to understand, as a priority.

ü  An ALCTS leader reiterated how important volunteers are to the success of a volunteer organization such as ALCTS.


Cynthia Whitacre, ALCTS President, explained the process of securing a committee appointment:

ü  Officers are appointed by Vice President and Section Chairs.

ü  Most appointments began after annual and run through the following annual or two years.

She also included Tips for getting Appointed:

ü  Be willing to serve wherever you are needed.

ü  Trying to appoint “virtual leaders”

ü  Attend ALCTS reception in Boston for networking (sat 1/16, 6-8p @Omni Rooftop Ballroom)



ü  Members suggested more assistance in preparing them for publishing opportunities and presenting at conferences and events.

ü  Members believe that the value of their membership lies in networking opportunities, and programming.

ü  Members expressed a need for a new member orientation for units. For example. The 2008 “Student to Staff” program proved valuable for many members.

ü  Members expressed a need for mentoring opportunities that can range from a more casual mentoring experience such as a Q.A. session, to a more specialized mentor experience in helping them in their professional roles.

ü  One veteran member explained how membership dues are allocated:

  • Hall renting
  • Printing costs
  • Organizing meetings

ü  More Representation for:

  • Public Librarians
  • Special Librarians/Corporate
  • Vendor Members
  • More outreach to library students

ü  Some members expressed the feeling that ALCTS seems “Siloed” (some used the term “Old Guard”) from other groups. One veteran member chimed in on how ALCTS is changing that perception:

  • Virtual committee membership
  • Appointments offered to new members
  • Appointments are open to all member types, including, public librarians, vendors, special librarians, and academic librarians.



ü  Members cited their satisfaction with the e-Forums to solicit discussions on relevant topics.

ü  Utilizing ALAConnect for announcements

ü  Also utilizing specialized lists for announcements, such as:



Additional Resources

Members offered additional resources for members:




Serving on an ALCTS Division or Section Committee

How do I get appointed to an ALCTS committee?

Cataloging Blogs

ALA Blogs

Conference web sites, many local library associations will post presentations online for free

Conference Scholarships

Free cataloging software such as MarcEdit which is very popular

Metadata DC is the most popular and fairly easy to learn, it is used by many historical societies who might be willing to accept volunteers and train you


A special Thank you to all participants:

Dina Giambi

Cynthia Whitacre

Connie Roberts

Dale Swenson

Emily J. Asch

Miranda Bennett

Kathleen Stewart

Maxine Sherman

Lauren Gage

Melissa Cardenas-Dow

Ann Miller

Sarah Simpson

Marilyn Lewis

Thom Shelton

Susan Knoer

Erica Findley

Mike Tribby

Laura Ackerman

Lynn Gates


ALA Website Advisory Committee

Discussion Six-month Review of ALA Connect

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 02:43 pm

For those of you who might not be subscribed to the ITTS Update blog, I've just posted the Six-month Review of ALA Connect report there. I'll be referring to it in the section of the WAC Report about Connect, so I wanted to make sure everyone has the chance to read it.

To cut to the chase, the general conclusion is that Connect has been successful overall! :-)

Please let me know if you have questions or comments about anything in the report.


Improving ALA Connect

Discussion Statistics

by Marcos Martinez on Sat, Aug 22, 2009 at 06:57 pm

It would be interesting to know how many ALA members there are versus the number of those members who are actually "active" on ALA Connect. Jenny, would you be able to post this or somehow show these numbers? Or is this already listed somewhere out there?

Reason? For analysis on my part and any others who want to know.


RUSA MARS Public Libraries Committee (Machine-Assisted Reference Section)

Discussion Mobile Libraries Anyone?

by Alexandria McEwen (non-member) on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 01:41 pm

Hey, check out this presentation on Mobile libraries, does anyone use text reference services or have a mobile webpage designed for cell phone users? I would love to hear about your experiences!!

: ) Lexi

ALCTS CaMMS Catalog Management Interest Group

Discussion CMIG Midwinter Program

by Philip Young on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm

The Catalog Management Interest Group will meet Saturday January 16 from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Hyatt Regency Boston, Quincy Room.  We have four great presentations lined up (see below). Hope you can join us.

-Philip Young, Chair 


Cooperative Cataloging expertise: New Concepts and New Models

Presenter:  Magda El-Sherbini (Ohio State University)

The Catalog Management Interest Group will meet Saturday January 16 from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Hyatt Regency Boston, Quincy Room.  We have four great presentations lined up (see below). Hope you can join us.

-Philip Young, Chair 


Cooperative Cataloging expertise: New Concepts and New Models

Presenter:  Magda El-Sherbini (Ohio State University)

The author of this study will examine the current practice of processing and sharing of bibliographic records among libraries and will introduce ideas for changing the current practice of producing bibliographic records.  The scenarios presented will focus on leveraging existing library expertise and reducing duplication of efforts, while at the same time enhancing cooperation among libraries and maintaining high cataloging standards that are a must in the new technology era.  The proposed options call for the examination of the internal operations of libraries and suggest the possibility of creating more comprehensive cooperative cataloging ventures.


“It wasn't old when we bought it”:  Techniques and Tips for Expanding Catalog Records with Elements of Descriptive Bibliography

Presenter:  Allison O’Dell (Goucher College)

The James Wilson Bright Collection, a 4,000 volume teaching including Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, and Early Modern English texts, was purchased by the Goucher College Library in 1926.  At the time of its acquisition, the 19th and early 20th century works in the collection were not regarded as particularly momentous; they were dispersed to and catalogued alongside the library’s main collection.  Nearly a century later, the Goucher College Special Collections and Archives department has undertaken a project to reintegrate the Bright Collection as a unified whole, while expanding description of and access to the items contained in the collection.

Information repositories and cultural heritage institutions tend to find that their collections become more historically significant and gain in antiquarian value as time progresses.  Consequently, we must re-evaluate, update, and enhance description of materials to reflect their current value and relevance to researchers.  The conversion of existing catalog records to incorporate elements of descriptive bibliography can seem daunting, but well-planned strategies and concise policy assist in the expediency of the undertaking.

This presentation will cover the techniques, tools, and workflows developed by the Goucher College Library “Mapping Special Collections for Research and Teaching” team in expanding existing catalog records with DCRM(b) content standards, collation statements, copy-specific notes, and relevant vocabularies.  The discussion will delve into discovering what is most interesting and topical about a collection, relating it to current trends in different academic studies, looking at the book as an artifact, creating instructional materials, and simple marketing of collections through information literacy.


Cataloging Staff Participation in Community Tagging

Presenter:  Suzanne Graham (University of Georgia Law Library)

 User-generated tags appear in our new discovery catalog interfaces, and cataloging staff should understand how tags can be used and should participate in their creation to enhance user access. 

 A quick overview of current research on folksonomies and community tagging will focus on trends in infometrics and library literatures, and a bibliography will highlight specific studies.

 A frank assessment of the implementation of community tagging in VuFind and Innovative Interfaces' Encore, as well as the incorporation of PennTags in Voyager, will demonstrate why and when staff should participate actively in tag creation.


Batch Loading MARC Records for Electronic Resources

 Presenters:  Connie McGuire and Vicki Dillon (University of Michigan)

  We describe our experience with batch loading MARC records at the University of Michigan Library as a starting point for discussing the issues associated with providing access to large collections of electronic resources. We recently implemented a standard validation process for the batch loading of MARC records for e-book collections purchased from a variety of sources with the goal of providing timely access to electronic resources via the catalog.

 Key elements of this process include:

  • Using Perl module error checking routines to identify potential problems and assign a severity label to the error.
  • Creating a locally developed processing routine that supplies defaults for missing data or changes data to comply with local requirements.
  • Adding local fields to the incoming records that describe the detected errors and the action that has been taken, such as loading the record but suppressing it from public view.
  •  Supporting the library’s single record policy by matching batch loaded records with existing catalog records and merging data from the incoming records with the existing records.

 Discussion topics could include:

  • Tools for retrieving and loading large record sets.
  • Choosing to load the free publisher records that are included in the license for the e-resource collection or purchasing record sets from a vendor, such as OCLC or Serials Solutions.
  • Maintaining the record sets after they have been loaded.
  • Determining the type and level of staff expertise required to manage and monitor batch record loads from a variety of sources.
  • Considerations associated with catalogs that represent the holdings of multiple institutions.
  • The extensibility of sharing or migrating generic load routines among various integrated library systems.
  • Monitoring the quality of the records in publisher and vendor sets.  
  • Exploring ways in which librarians can collaborate with publishers to produce quality record sets.
ALCTS Role of the Professional Librarian in Technical Services Interest Group

Discussion RPLTS IG meeting at Midwinter in Boston

by Robert Rendall on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 09:31 am

The next meeting of the Role of the Professional Librarian in Technical Services Interest Group has been scheduled:

Sunday 1/17, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Room 157A

Agenda TBA!

Robert Rendall, co-chair

2010 Emerging Leaders Project C (CALM podcast) [Community]

Online Doc EL Roles

by Karen Muller on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 03:38 pm

I'm adding this here, so as to get it out of my in box and in a place it might be used.

LLAMA Mentoring Committee (Library Leadership & Management Association)

Event Application deadline for 2010-2011 Mentoring Program

by Reese Evenson on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 01:40 pm

Application deadline for the 2010-2011 LLAMA Mentoring Program.

LLAMA Mentoring Committee (Library Leadership & Management Association)

Discussion 2010 LLAMA Mentoring Program application deadline extended

by Reese Evenson on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 01:27 pm

The application deadline for the 2010-2011 LLAMA Mentoring Program for both mentees and mentors has been extended to January 15, 2010.  Please visit the Mentoring Committee Wiki for information about the program and to access the application links.