Planet Cataloging

September 26, 2017


Three things I learned about successful internships


As part of the 2017 summer internship program at OCLC, one of the first things I learned was that many long-term employees really appreciate its culture. They told me they like working somewhere with a service focus, and where work-life balance is really encouraged. But for new student interns, it’s a whole new environment, and one that we have only a short time to experience. And while we came from many backgrounds and schools, our program’s focus on group learning is one of three things I’d recommend to anyone looking to make an internship program successful.

1. Two kinds of teams: functional and relationship

operation feedEach of our 25 interns worked in a different part of the company, and so we brought a diverse blend of talents. We also worked with OCLC staff with very different backgrounds, some new to the company and some who’d been here decades. That made our individual experiences very different. Which made group learning for us even more important. As Sungtaek Jun, an intern in the Legal department, said, “It was great that, as interns, we were in a group together, because OCLC built up a team spirit in us that united us together.”

If your library is hosting interns, consider doing something like that: give your interns a chance to go through the process together, or in a group that’s dedicated to professional development, not just a functional area. In our case, we got together several times during the summer for both fun and learning activities. And group lunches in the OCLC cafeteria were a time for us to share stories and get to know one another better.

2. Make as many introductions as possible

While at OCLC, we were given a tour of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and saw how OCLC directly impacts their daily work. The guide continuously emphasized that online cataloging is essential to the future of libraries. Graphic Design Intern Katria Judkins expressed that, “Seeing all of the information the library has access to was amazing.”  Personally, I was amazed to learn how much library technology has evolved in the past decades. The history of how libraries moved from print-only materials and card catalogs to online systems, digital access, and interactive media was fascinating.

ice creamWe also had “Lunch and Learns” with OCLC leadership. The meetings were led by Skip Prichard (President and CEO), Tammi Spayde (VP of HR, Marketing and Facilities), and Andrew Pace (Executive Director, Technical Research). These were very open, conversational experiences. Global Website Management Intern Nora Nguyen said that it was her favorite part of her experience and that she was thankful that we were being taught about libraries by leaders within the industry.

That’s my second recommendation: expose interns to as many situations as possible. You never know what might spark their interest.

3. Share your passion

Our managers at OCLC gave us meaningful work and shared why they’re passionate about working with libraries, no matter what department we were in. If you’ve got interns in your library, I’d suggest exposing them not just to the work, but to people in different areas and who are in different stages of their careers.

For example, in working with WebJunction, I found out about the collaboration between Wikipedia and libraries. I’ve heard from some teachers in the past that Wikipedia isn’t a reliable source—I think it’s great that OCLC is working with librarians to improve the credibility of Wikipedia entries. That’s personally very interesting to me, and something I wouldn’t have learned if I’d done work only in the marketing department.

Focus on team building and group learning to make an internship program successful.
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A personal work milestone

To the OCLC staff who encouraged us throughout this summer—thank you!!! This was my first internship experience, and my first time in a professional work environment. It has given me more confidence for when I’ll enter the workplace next year (hopefully!).

To librarians hosting interns, I’ll close with one more thought: you may be the first real mentor your interns ever have. If it’s a great experience, they’ll feel the same sense of lasting gratitude toward you, your library, and the profession that many of us in the “Summer Class of 2017” feel toward OCLC and the whole library community. You made us feel welcome and appreciated. That will stick with me for the rest of my career.

The post Three things I learned about successful internships appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Janelle Wilcox at September 26, 2017 03:47 PM

September 25, 2017

TSLL TechScans

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Ajaye Bloomstone

1. Introduce yourself (name & position):
My name is Ajaye Bloomstone and I am the Acquisitions Librarian at the LSU Law Library in Baton Rouge, LA.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
It does in that I am responsible for all of the acquisitions responsibilities at the Law Library.  Since we are a DOCLINE library within the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, I am also responsible for generating DOCLINE requests for the Law Library’s community and filling requests when possible for other medical libraries participating in DOCLINE.  It’s not uncommon that law reviews and other legal resources will have information of a medico-legal nature needed by those in the medical professions. I work closely with our Law Center faculty, staff, and administration with regard to obtaining publications in all formats, such as review copies for professors and materials for Law Center programs: Apprenticeship Week, the Trial Advocacy Program, our Summer in France, and other programs developed to supplement the curriculum.

3. What are you reading right now?
Professionally I’m going through The Complete Guide to Acquisitions Management and Guide to Ethics in Acquisitions, and personally I’m reading through several industrial and organizational psychology texts given to me when our former HR manager retired (yes, really!)

4a. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be?  Why?
While full time at the LSU Law Library, I also established and managed a one-person medical library in a specialty discipline for 14 years on a part-time basis, giving me an entre into the world of medical librarianship. I’d thought about becoming a veterinarian in high school and took the appropriate science courses, but during college, academic librarianship  and the MLS intervened. Long ago, I applied for a library position at the San Diego Zoo, my dream job at the time, and at some point I’d like to get my hand back into medical librarianship.

4b. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
In conjunction with the Law Center’s realignment with our main campus, we recently adopted a new financial system. All of our coding information for financials has changed, so I’d like to spend more time to work on understanding  the system, isolating the specific new codes for use with the Library and Law Center’s purchases I generate, and become more familiar with the new ledger system to easily and quickly access the information that our Library needs.  

by (Lauren Seney) at September 25, 2017 03:11 PM

Terry's Worklog

MarcEdit 7 Downloads Page is live

I’ve made the MarcEdit 7 Alpha/Beta downloads page live.  Please remember, this is not finished software.  Things will break – but if you are interested in testing and providing feedback as I work towards the Production Release in Nov. 2017, please see:


by reeset at September 25, 2017 05:22 AM

September 22, 2017

025.431: The Dewey blog

Enhanced history information in WebDewey

In our recap of this year’s Dewey Breakfast, I mentioned we had implemented changes to the display of history information in WebDewey. These changes are live, and it’s worth taking a closer look at them here.

What sort of changes? Primarily, it’s about what displays in the Notes and History boxes in WebDewey. In years past, notes about topics that had been relocated or discontinued were added to the body of the description (the part of the record that appears in the Notes box). When we prepared a new print edition, we would remove the relocation and discontinuation notes that had appeared in the previous print edition. Before these recent changes, the Notes boxes in WebDewey still had many such notes.

With these changes, we’ve converted relocation and discontinuation notes into class-elsewhere notes and see references, as appropriate—and in some cases, we’ve simply removed relocation and discontinuation notes when guidance is no longer necessary. Since the History box continues to provide a running record of movement to and from a topic, nothing is lost. The result is a cleaner, more focused description in the Notes box with a more comprehensive look at how a number has changed over time in the History box.

Let’s look at some examples of the sort of changes you’ll see:


Here’s one of the old views. In the Notes box, the information about philosophy of individual countries is given since those relocations were made between DDC 22 and DDC 23. That information displays in the History box as well. Here’s what you’ll see in WebDewey now:


We’ve replaced the list of notes based on the relocations with a single scatter class-elsewhere note for philosophy of a specific former Soviet country. The history information is still there.

Next, let’s look at a before-and-after comparison:


In Edition 22, outerwear was classed in the span 391.1-391.3, depending on whether it was for men, for women, or for children. When we relocated outerwear for men, women, and children to 391.46 Outerwear, we added the note circled above in red. But now, all outerwear is in one place, regardless of whether it’s for men, women, or children. While you can still see that this change occurred by checking the History box, a user today looking at 391.46 wouldn’t think to put outerwear for children, for example, at a different number, so there was no need to replace the old note with something else.

Let’s look at one more example:


On the left, you can see an example of the sort of notes we used to make: a bracketed note in the caption itself indicated where a topic used to be. Down in the History box, the note simply read “formerly located in”; the topic was assumed to be the same as the caption. On the right, you can see the changes. First, the bracketed “formerly” designation is no longer needed. And down in the History box, we’ve made explicit what exactly was formerly located in 394.15. Suppose we changed the caption at 394.1254 in the future, such as if we relocated main meal of the day elsewhere. We want to make clear which topic was relocated with the introduction of DDC 23. You’ll still find instances in WebDewey of history information that lacks an explicit topic, but we will be working to fill it in in those cases.

The new display promotes a robust classification, with functional information in the Notes box and extended history in the History box to serve a variety of users.

by Alex at September 22, 2017 06:06 PM

September 21, 2017

TSLL TechScans

White paper released: A brave new (faceted) world

The ALCTS CaMMS Subject Analysis Committee has released a white paper by the Working Group on Full Implementation of Library of Congress Faceted Vocabularies, ALCTS/CaMMS Subject Analysis Committee, Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation, A brave new (faceted) world: towards full implementation of Library of Congress faceted vocabularies. The white paper summarizes the work over the past ten years to develop and promote these vocabularies, and provides detailed recommendations for their adoption in routine cataloging practice.

The vocabularies consist of: 
  • Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT), a faceted thesaurus designed to describe what a work is, as opposed to what a work is about.
  • Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus (LCMPT) to describe the "medium of performance" (instrumentation, scoring, etc) for musical works/expressions.
  • Library of Congress Demographic Group Terms (LCDGT) developed to capture the "category of persons who created or contributed to a work or expression and the intended audience for a resource".
The white paper provides detailed back ground on and recommendations for implementation of these vocabularies. Of particular interest to technical services law librarians is coverage of CSCAG's work around genre/form terms and discussion of application of LCGFT to bibliographic records for law resources. Catalogers on the Library of Congress's Law Team have been applying selected terms from the list since January 2011.

For each vocabulary, the document provides general and specific recommendations for implementation. For example, it is recommended that addition of LCGFT terms become a core requirement for PCC BIBCO records wherever appropriate; specific recommendations for updates to documentation and manuals is outlined.

Application of LCMPT, LCGFT, and LDCGT descriptive elements to authority records is explored. Addition of data from these vocabularies to authority records would enable the possibility of this data being entered once instead of repeated entry in records describing different manifestations.

In conclusion, the paper argues for full-scale implementation of these new vocabularies, with a recommended suite of actions:
  • Comprehensive faceted vocabulary training for catalogers working in shared environments
  • Routine creation of work-level authority records for works "embodied in or likely to be embodied in multiple manifestations"
  • Retrospective implementation of faceted vocabulary terms using algorithms
  • Display and granular indexing of all faceted data in bibliographic records (MARC 046, 370, 382, 385, 386, 388 and 655)
  • Display and granular indexing of authority data in specific fields.

by (Jackie Magagnosc) at September 21, 2017 07:27 PM

September 20, 2017


The greatest coincidence in library employment history?


Although I spent the first 20 years of my library career in New York, I had, of course, heard of Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus Metropolitan Library being such an innovative system and winning so many awards. OCLC having its headquarters in Dublin, Ohio (a suburb of Columbus). And, of course, the fantastic libraries at The Ohio State University. If there was ever a list of “great cities to be a librarian in,” Columbus would certainly be at the top.

So, in 2016, I excitedly started my current role as Associate Director for Information Technology at OSU. Now, while I’m not a superstitious person, it really felt like the signs all pointed to the fact that I had made a wonderful career choice—IFLA WLIC 2016 was even held in Columbus that year. What are the odds of that timing?

Is this the greatest coincidence in library employment history? #OCLCnext
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But then I received the biggest sign of all, from OCLC’s founder and first President, Fred Kilgour. And I wasn’t quite prepared for how “close to home” that sign would be…

The post The greatest coincidence in library employment history? appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Jennifer Vinopal at September 20, 2017 04:11 PM

September 14, 2017


LCSH, FAST, and the governance of subject terms


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. That is just one reason out of many why I am proud to be a part of this community. Bibliographic authority, and the opportunities for the language to evolve and better reflect contemporary thinking, is continuously under such scrutiny. To point to a current example, there is an active discussion by a group within the library community about the opportunity to change the category term “Illegal Aliens” in OCLC’s Faceted Access to Subject Terminology (FAST).

OCLC fully supports changing the “Illegal Aliens” terminology in FAST, and wherever else it may appear. The phrase “Illegal Aliens” is pejorative at worst, and confusing and misleading at best. However, we are committed to the work and processes of our colleagues at the Library of Congress (LC) and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), as well as to the technical processing that facets Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) into the simpler FAST headings. 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.

FAST is a simplified indexing schema that facilitates assignment and management of subject headings, and is derived from the LCSH. It was developed as a collaboration between OCLC Research and the Library of Congress in 1998, designed to support library workers with a lighter knowledge of extensive cataloging rules. OCLC provides the technical infrastructure to create, manage, and discover FAST headings; LC provides support for the LCSH vocabulary.

FAST has always been downstream of LCSH changes and the governance of headings that occurs through the PCC Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO). OCLC is transitioning the internal management of FAST headings from OCLC Research to the Metadata Operations Team in Global Product Management, and will continue to support the service. 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.

We will continue to work closely with members of the OCLC Research Library Partnership’s (RLP) Metadata Managers group, who are interested in how FAST becomes a production service. They have provided invaluable feedback and are also working to understand RLP libraries’ usage of and expectations for a FAST service.

Looking forward

The library community discussion around the phrase “Illegal Aliens” isn’t new, and it exemplifies the tenacity and values of the library community. The opportunity to evolve this language was initially raised by Dartmouth College student Melissa Padilla, who in 2013 led an effort to petition the Library of Congress to change the term. The Library of Congress initially rejected the proposal to change the heading in 2014, but reviewed and reversed its decision in March 2016 following the urging and resolution of the American Library Association (ALA) Council earlier in the year. The US Congress attempted to restrict the Library of Congress from this proposed language change in June 2016. That restriction, however, did not appear in the final funding bill passed by the Senate. As of September 2017, the heading remains unchanged. But, the discussion and drive for change continue. *

OCLC agrees with the voices requesting that the LCSH term be changed. And, we also believe that subject-term governance should follow the guidance of the PCC, SACO, and the Library of Congress. OCLC looks forward to working closely with the Library of Congress and supporting their efforts as they make a final determination regarding the ‘Illegal Aliens’ subject term. We have been in contact on this opportunity, and they are appropriately reviewing this matter according their procedures. When the review is finalized, they will let the community and OCLC know their decision on the use of this term. At that time, OCLC will ensure that the FAST heading reflects the decision of the Library of Congress Subject Heading.

In the meantime, we hope—and expect—that the library community will continue to advocate for these types of changes that will better serve and reflect library users around the globe.



* The post was updated on 14 September 2017 at 4:40 pm US EST to more accurately reflect that the US Congress attempted to restrict the Library of Congress from this proposed language change in June 2016. That restriction, however, did not appear in the final funding bill passed by the Senate. Our editorial team regrets the initial error.

The post LCSH, FAST, and the governance of subject terms appeared first on OCLC Next.

by Andrew K. Pace at September 14, 2017 07:27 PM

TSLL TechScans

Digital Libraries Do Not Mean Cheaper Libraries

In August 2017, The Chronicle of Higher Education reiterated a point already understand by library technical service departments: digital resources are not always easier and cheaper than physical ones. In the law library field, we often face an issue discussed in the article. "Publishers work with vendors who bundle digital products and market them to libraries; libraries and library consortia often find themselves paying a lot for bundles that contain some material they want, along with much that they don’t. Managing budgets in that environment can feel like squirming in a vise." Our library would prefer to purchase eBooks (over print) from a leading legal publisher. However, this means purchasing everything available through the platform even when we know books analyzing specific aspects of foreign law will not likely be used. 

Beyond the acquisitions aspect, e-resources can also face other labor intensive upkeep such as monitoring licensing, access issues, and discovery restrictions. Haipeng Li, library director of University of California at Merced mentions other expenses of his modern digital library, the "ever-rising journal prices, the costs of making detailed catalog records of materials that users access remotely, and upkeep of computer hardware and software."

This article also highlights the growing trend of libraries as "learning commons." Librarians roles are changing to include teaching and research responsibilities as well as "instructional design, information literacy, and specialized areas like digital humanities and research-data management." As a librarian involved in many facets of the library, I do not condemn these efforts but recognize that it often means increased costs.

The article states, "some academic libraries have been removing physical books, generally quite tentatively — and often controversially — when books are 'deaccessioned' because of scant use, but most commonly when digital equivalents take their place." It cannot be denied this is practice employed by all law libraries to some degree. A letter to the editor the following week titled Librarians Should Accept Fact That Most Books Aren’t Available In Digital Format responds to the article pointing out that many books (especially older and foreign ones) have not made the leap into digital format and "old doesn't necessarily mean 'out-of-date'" in certain subject areas. Old often means out-of-date for the law but with some resources unavailable in digital format, this argument is understandable. 

You can find the entire article at:

by (Rachel Purcell) at September 14, 2017 04:10 PM