What a day! So much for taking it easy and not having so much on my list to do today. I ended conferencing for 12 hours, staying busy and engaged nearing the whole time. My plan was to be finished at 4 but things fall into place that you have to roll with sometimes!
This morning began with a change of pace. My mother-in-law @Lorna_Librarian works ILL at the College of Wooster so Steve (@sxflynn) and I went to meet Rapid ILL to find out information for her. They were at a hotel as their home base rather than being on the exhibit floor since they are so specialized, serving only academic librarians. The service and support that they is amazing. Their goal is to provide ILL within 24 hours, and their current average was 13 hours! Most of that is due to electronic resources that some are nearly instantly filled but even print versions usually have a quick turn around. Though they are a small organization that is inside of the Colorado State University library, this is their benefit because they work with their users everyday and are bettering the software and know it inside and out because it what they use. Originally, they created the program after a flood when they lost all of their bound widths and half of their monographs and since then it continues to grow and expand. Very cool!
Luckily, I made it back to the conference center in time for the LC New Bibliographic Framework Update. Roberta Schaffer introduced the session and speakers and said that the session was being recorded. It will be on up YouTube shortly and on the LC website after 6-8 weeks once they have closed captioned it. Beecher Wiggins gave an overview on what has happened since ALA Annual in Anaheim as far as committee work and moving forward. Reinhold Heuvelmann from the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek discussed their trial of Bibframe, touching on the difficulties, what they recommend for improvements, where they see this potentially going and its benefit, and how they are proceeding now to prepare for a linked data Bibframe future. Ted Fons, a Tech Evangelist at OCLC, then also gave his examples of what OCLC has done with linked data and Bibframe, and how a shift is taking place to a more agile, iterative system to get software out sooner and with continual revisions and releases. Part of the push to ensure that this is a long term standard is to use schema.org to utalize the web and linked data, gaining more clout in libraries and use of the resources that we already have by making them more findable in the internet. The purpose is the expose library data. At this point, I left for my lunch plans, knowing that the rest I can catch recorded. The three remaining speakers were Eric Miller, Sally McCallum, and Kevin Ford. However, with leaving early, I missed the official unveiling of http://www.bibframe.org but I caught it on Twitter. This is when Twitter and hashtags truly rock!
After lunch, I hit the exhibit floor and ran into friends and people who know my co-workers. That is part of the beauty of attending a conference, you never know who you will see and catch up with. Or who you will meet! And now, I am recognizing people from past conferences and they are becoming conference friends. Plus, it’s always fun to meet those librarians who work with Safari MARC records that I create. They love meeting me and putting a face to the who is behind the product and making it run. One guy came up and said hi at another session later, already making a point to build our connection–awesome!
Next was the all important RDA Update Forum that had huge attendance, over 200. This one wasn’t recorded and if I had planned ahead I would have brought my laptop to record audio since it was very detailed. That is one issue with sessions, you never know if it will be practical or theoretical, and even then if it’s actionable information or just informative; this was practical and actionable, and I wish I’d had my laptop. Sure I could have used the iPad but it would have been as good from the back of the room–this is my assumption since I’ve not tested iPad Mini recording against a laptop’s. Again, Beecher Wiggins gave the RDA update since last Annual. The final RDA update rewording/rewrite is wrapping up after a few chapters were reviewed and okayed. He also mentioned the http://www.bibframe.org launch. LC have 150 training resource available online for use, just give credit to them. All their staff training will wrap up around March. Next, Troy Linker from ALA Publishing talked specifically about RDA revisions and publishing a new version. RDA Toolkit’s latest improvements was a main portion, pointing out in particular RDA MARC mappings, auto sync table of contents, global and local workflows, videos and tutorials (part of the free section on the toolkit), their blog with first Tue of the month announcing change and second Tue implementing it, and a new print edition out around mid 2013, among other things. Also, there is an Essential RDA in the works, similar to Concise AACR2, that’s meant to be a practical guide and live outside of the toolkit. John Attig from the JSC gave his updates. He walked through the revision process that they did in November at their meeting. CC:DA and JSC websites discuss the changes for RDA and Fast Track keeps a history of all of those changes. Phillip Schruer, a PCC chair, covered PCC and RDA, talking about RDA BIBCO Standard Record, different task groups that have progressed to reviewing recommendations and comments on their reports to create a final version and guidelines. Three in particular focused on hybrid records, access points for expressions, and relationship designators and will be out in a few months. Undifferentiated names are a new focus now but they are still working on it. He also mentioned RDA PCC decision tables. Finally, Cynthia Whitacre from OCLC gave a brief summary of the new RDA policy and how records will be treated in OCLC. They plan to be very open and informative about when they make global changes, doing it piece by piece rather than whole records. In the Q&A, new to me, she mentioned OCLC working on a new bib notification that is very customizable and based on your holdings–no name at this time. I need to find the slides because of all the information convey, especially the very detailed field and subfields changes that are difficult to type everything out. There was a lot of great, useful information provided; a lot to take in!
Surprisingly, RDA ended early. I guess they expected a hour of questions but not many people asked. So with time to spare, I headed over to the Collection Management and Electronic Resources IG. Since it is newish and their leadership fell through, it ended up being an open discussion about ERMs. Very fascinating, not having dealt with them. Apparently there isn’t one perfect software to do everything so based on your institutions needs, and funding, there are multiple things necessary to management the data and other documents for electronic resources. Part of the initial challenge is gather the info but a major hurdle can be all of the data entry. There was a lot of interest in the group and they are look for a chair and vice chair so let me know if you are interested because I have their contact info!
Not having had enough fun for the day, I hit up on last session to satiate my curiosity–the Digital Humanities Discussion Group. This had huge turn out for what the organizers originally planned. This began only at Annual Anaheim last summer and now they are trying to make it an IG due to the interest and growing area and need for it. The session was, similar to my previous, an open discussion about several topics: data and alt-metrics, retraining, digital humanities space. Many people talked about their work and projects, or the challenges faced with beginning, as well as how to proceed as professional librarians. Do we need to change the perception of us as specialists, experts, and end points to being experimenters and explorers along side faculty members? Does buy-in need to come from tenured faculty, newly hired, newly tenured, grad students, or those already using tech, OA, and DH who might be more receptive and interested? Though provoking stuff! Can’t wait to see what these librarians put together for Annual in Chicago! They have a blog and a Twitter @DHandLib–they live tweeted so you can follow the gist of the meeting.
By now, at 5:30, my day was definitely going to end. Plans were to eat chowder, walk to the Space Needle and take in the Chihuly Garden and Glass. However, as things present themselves…
While eating said chowder, we noticed a Thompson Reuters Customer Reception going on next door. And librarians were still going in! So we headed over, Steve being a customer himself, and met some great people, had drinks, food, and collected our first tile. Apparently this is a big thing, and some have attended for 20 years so they have quite a collection! Who knew!?
By 9 p.m., we were back to our place. So much for my plan to not do as much. The thing is, once I get to conferences, I always want to do and see what I can. Being curious also keeps me seeking out topics of interest, or speakers that I want to hear. And ALA sure provides a great selection for no matter what type of library you work for or what your role is. If you are willing to do it, there is always something new or more to learn, and people to meet who are just excited (sometimes if not more)! Making connections is always fun. Especially when you run into again at later ALAs. That’s one of the benefits of returning.
Tomorrow I promise myself not to do as much. Maybe.
Seattle 2013 TR tile: