Tag Archives: cataloging

TEDSIG 2015: Escaping eBook Purgatory

Every day, it seems, the number of eBooks exponentially grows and we as librarians are dealing with the multitude of records that are needed for providing access to our users. However, most records need at least some editing and enhancement before even loading into the system. What is the best way to deal with all of these records? What do they need for the best access? What are the benefits and concerns with demand driven acquisitions for eBooks? To address these topics and more TEDSIG created a workshop for dealing with the technical services side of eBooks.

On May 29th, 2015, OHIONET hosted the ALAO Technical, Electronic, Digital Services Interest Group (TEDSIG) workshop “Escaping eBook Purgatory” which looked at eBooks from the technical services point-of-view.

The morning began with 20-minute presentations. I started off the day by explaining how I catalog and provide OhioLINK record batches for our different vendors’ eBooks that are available to our members for local use. Next, Daphne Miller (Xavier University) shared her process and tips for vendor provided records, including what edits to consider making to them. Jeff Trimble (Youngstown State University) walked through the process of handling overlay records from multiple vendors. Wrapping up the morning session, Marty Jenkins (Wright State University) and Rich Wisneski (Cleveland State University) showed how to set up MarcEdit and pointed out several handy features including macros.

During lunch, each of the presenters held a Birds of a Feather discussion table. At my table, we circled back to some points brought up in the presentations and I answered further questions about the OhioLINK eBook process and how the discovery layers fit in.

The afternoon session began with a brief lightening round. Marty Jenkins (WSU) demonstrated how to manipulate a record batch in MarcEdit to find and remove unwanted records prior to loading into the system. Brittany Hayes (University of Akron) described what it is like being new to eBook loading and shared not only her advice for creating workflows and documentation but also passed around the room her color-coded tracking spreadsheet for loads. Jeff Trimble (YSU) talked about managing eBooks and technical services with a focus on demand driven acquisitions (DDA) of eBooks. Finally, Daphne Miller (Xavier) and I discussed considerations for planning and implementing DDA programs or projects.

To conclude the workshop, Frank Bove (University of Akron) joined all of the lightening round presenters on a questions-and-anwsers panel, which became an open discussion among everyone in the room with the panelists weighing in.

While it was a packed day that covered a lot of ground, everyone including the panelists learned something new from one another. At the end of the workshop, it was clear that if we are ever going to escape the eBook purgatory, it will certain be by working together to share our knowledge with each other.

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


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There’s a subject heading for that!?: three-dimensional printing

One pizza, coming right up! Made for you, by you, while you’re in space. 3D printers and printing have gained considerable attention, and rightly so, over the past year. Everything from DYI household appliance fixes to guns and how to regulate and control them, to the latest news in the past month: NASA funding 3D food printing, and pizza is up first. Really, if you were an astronaut, wouldn’t you miss pizza, too?

Users will flood the reference desk wanting information on how to make pizza from 3D printers…if they aren’t already! Good news, the subject heading “three-dimensional printing” is authorized and in use. It is a narrower term for “rapid prototyping”:

LC Authorities screenshot


At first this surprised me, being the consumer-minded American that I am. Of course people and companies create prototypes before building the actual, final item that’s for sale. It’s just something that I hadn’t thought too much about before. However, it made perfect sense that 3D printing is a narrower term since the printer rapid makes something that isn’t the actual item.

Parsing out rapid prototyping from 3D printing isn’t too hard, especially with the help of the robust scope notes in their LC authorities records:

LC authorities screen shot

The authority record for 3D printing is just as long:

LC authorities screen shot


Basically, 3D printing focuses on the act of additive creation of an object from a printer, whereas rapid prototyping encompasses the concept and reasons for it, with business and design concerns in mind.

As the DIY, maker movement continues to grow, so will 3D printing. The machines themselves aren’t too expensive, considering, and will only become cheap in years to come. While every home, let alone person, probably won’t have one of their own, there will certainly be publicly available ones or people you can pay to produce you an item from their printer. Libraries are already starting to offer these capabilities, on a small scale–see the end of the post for more information, including my academic librarian friend who has a printer at her university!

LC has more resources on rapid prototyping as of today:

LC catalog screen shot


However, 3D printing books will likely outnumber them soon:

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 3.51.23 PM


The books themselves under 3D printing struck me since there was such a variety. Yes, among the five books there was a variety, not vast mind you. I expected to see all five about MakerBot  since that’s the brand that comes to mind for me. Still, the works cover slightly different aspects of 3D printing:

LC catalog screen shot


I love DIY (just check out my Pinterest boards) and making things from scratch, especially food, but I haven’t dabbled in 3D printing yet. I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to convince my techie librarian husband that we need a printer to play around with. Truly, it’s all about learning the tech so that we can help the users when all the libraries have one. Right?

After writing this post, I want pizza! Good thing Marco’s Pizza is just down the road…



Want to know even more about 3D printing? This is such a hot, and growing, topic that is being talked about all of the time.

My librarian friend Emily Thompson at SUNY Oswego helps students print research needs, such as a 3D snake skull.

While I haven’t watched this TED talk yet, Lisa Harouni discusses 3D printing.

Mashable will keep you up-to-the-minute with recent news stories in their 3D printing section.

One episode of The New Disruptors podcast discusses the maker movement and 3D printing. I love this podcast, and just recently discovered it!

Search the web and you will come up with tons of information. Check out YouTube for awesome videos, too!


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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Uncategorized


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ALA MidWinter 2013: Solidarity Saturday

Sitting in Seattle right now, it is still hard to believe that ALA MidWinter is upon us–even having spent the day conferencing all around the city. Though enjoying seafood and 50 degrees, despite some drizzle, is enjoyable!

This is my first MidWinter but it is just as crazy and bustling as Annual, it seems. As co-vice chair for the Cataloging Norms Interest Group, I helped with our panel this morning and it had 60-some people attend. And that’s for MidWinter. It amazes me that thousands of librarians turn out for this mid-year event, though it shouldn’t because it seems to be gaining in size and clout each year.

Today, I attended four sessions, though two were closely related. That is a lot in one day for a conference. Cataloging Norms IG started off my day with two distinct presentations that dovetailed each other nicely. The first speaker, Harold Thiele, gave an in-depth look into the history and beginnings of cataloging, starting with Mesopotamia and Sumer up through RDA. He discussed how title main entry slow progressed and evolved to the form that we know in AACR2 and how with RDA the approach is more with its lack of main entry as we know it. Maura Valentino discussed the 21st century, focusing on metadata beyond that of description and how it affects workflows and process. Though very different, the two talks paired well together and truly gave a complete picture of how far cataloging and metadata have come.

The Catalog Management Interest Group focused on managing catalog workflows, content, metadata, and prepping for RDA field displays. This ended being a more practical session that I first anticipated. Sherab Chen spoke about his new role as an e-resource manager, focusing on personnel tips and his lessons learned so far. He balanced his talk well between a no-nonsence, realistic approach and having an optimistic, can-do attitude despite all of the work and problems that such a job entails. Next, Jessica Hayden covered demand driven acquisitions within an consortial environment. Not having worked in such a setting, I am fascinated by all of the collaboration and discussions that must go on in order for a consortium to function well, and yet there are myriads of benefits to such a arrangement. Also, the distinction of what is done at the consortial level versus local can create either more roadblocks or paved ways, depending on the situation. Sarah Beth Weeks, however, gave my favorite presentation due to her topic of using Google Refine to clean up data in the catalog. For a cataloger, the chance to provide more access and an easier search for the patron to find what they are looking for is the main goal that we all strive to achieve. At their college, rather than amend specific MARC fields to make them all uniform, they added the most common form of a term as a 9xx field for better access. Finally, Roman Panchyshyn closed off the session with his testing of RDA catalog display and how to best make it work for the patron. The 3xx, no surprise, were the oddest and trickiest to work with of the new fields. Since the 264 has a 2nd indicator to help define it, those were easier to display, as were the 502 field labels after a wording tweak. Next month, he will send of his recommendations, basically what he presented at the session, to Innovative in order to get their ILS to display RDA records and fields how they want them, and ensure that they are included in indexing for search results.

After a great lunch break–ALA plans out 1.5 hours over the lunch hour, thank goodness, for no sessions–a back-to-back linked data two part session began. The first hour was informative. Some of it I had heard in Anaheim at Annual but it was a good refresher and parts of it were new information, or said a different way. Eric Miller, president of Zepheria, discussed linked data, tying git in a little bit to Bibframe. Mainly he covered the underlying structure of linked data and why it is an important task to take on as a library community. If all of our libraries were linked data, search engines would include our books and items in the top results pages, allowing users more access especially if they begin their research in the web. Next, Richard Wallis from OCLC talked about all the different projects that they are a part of concerning linked data–mainly VIAF, FAST, Dewey Classification, and now WorldCat linked data. They hope to create a large, more prominent presence on the internet with library data, and are setting an example for member libraries. It is true that if all of the libraries work together, we could make a huge splash in online metadata and set president for all who are part of the web; we have the specialized knowledge and wonderful data, so we just need to make it accessible openly on the web through links that bring users back to the library websites and catalogs.

During the second part of the linked data session, two librarians showed the small-scale projects that they completed using linked data. Both approached the idea differently and created two unrelated yet amazing projects. Violeta Ilik linked her universities math department in Viewshare, allowing for new connections and analysis to be done on the faculty itself, including gender ratios and research areas. One of the coolest part of her data ended being the PhD. location of all the faculty, which displayed on a map. Jeremy Myntti used Viewshare for an entirely different purpose with a whole other type of data. His institution has an online collection of animal sounds recorded in several states. To get even more out of the data, he loaded certain information into Viewshare and was able to display not only a map of locations for the sound recordings but to show pie charts that broke down the kingdoms and genus. The link to the recordings for each animal was included so that a person could click and follow the link to the website with the player on it. Both Violeta and Jeremy said the from start to finish, their projects took no more than 1 hour to create the linked data. Though these were fairly small scale, the implications and ease of linked data are amazing to consider.

What a day! I love attending sessions that sound interesting and I always yearn to learn more while at a conference. That’s why I am here! However, there gets to be an overload point if you pack too much in, especially if you aren’t used to it. Thankfully MidWinter is slightly shorter in the sense that there aren’t as many sessions, so I can conference a bit harder today and tomorrow knowing that Monday will be fairly sparse and Tuesday I fly out before the crack of dawn.

So far it’s been a great conference. Let’s hope tomorrow can live up to today’s standards! We will see that that huge RDA afternoon session brings…

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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Uncategorized


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There’s a subject heading for that!?: hurricanes

Of course there is a subject heading for “hurricanes”–just stick with me. For the past few days, especially yesterday and today, Hurricane Sandy is the topic of the media and many people’s conversations. It has surpassed the 2012 presidential election, for the time being, and that’s under a week off. In Michigan, we are seeing some of the effects as it is cold and very windy, though nothing compared to New York, New Jersey, and other states. Some Michiganders had snow this morning but only sleet was on my windshield and the rain here has been off and on. Hurricane Sandy, a.k.a. superstorm or frankenstorm, lost some of her gusto when she hits the Canadian cold front so now she is a post-tropical cyclone or, more colloquially, a nor’easter. However, before her name change, I looked up “hurricanes” on LC Online Catalog, since even though LC is closed, their website is still up!

Did you know that named hurricanes have their own subject headings? I don’t catalog works on hurricanes, so this was news to me. It makes perfect sense.

And the list goes on! This is only part was through the Ds, so check out the LC Authorities File Online to see the rest. Besides getting a scope of how many hurricanes are written about individually, the notes in the “hurricanes” authority record are priceless and fascinating–take a look below.


And a closer screenshot of the notes that describe hurricanes. Enough to be helpful in knowing what storms are termed hurricanes.




Sandy will likely get a narrower term under hurricanes as well, since she’s been, unfortunately, a massive and in some cases record-setting storm. Not to mention the fact that she way-laid the final week of political campaigns for Romney and Obama. However, her authority file will likely have a scope note that explains her changes in nomenclature, as well as references to her other names. Frankenstorm was the best, by far, considering her timing. This past Saturday at a Halloween party, one guest showed up in jeans and a tee wearing a name tag that read “Frank N. Storm”.

Another fairly recent hurricane that stands out is Hurricane Katrina. Searching subject headings in the LC Online Catalog, there are many topical sub. heads, and some that I never would have guessed. Here are a few of the ones that caught my eye: Hurricane Katrina, 2005–Computer network resources, Hurricane Katrina, 2005–Juvenile sound recordings, Hurricane Katrina, 2005–Prayers and devotions, Hurricane Katrina, 2005–Press coverage, Hurricane Katrina, 2005–Songs and music.

The single most interesting, for me, was Hurricane Katrina, 2005–Comic books, strips, etc. This is cataloging lingo for graphic novels, lately anyway.


Graphic novels rooted in history can be amazing and present a different type of entry point into those events. Persepolis, and Maus are two of my favorite books, and I am not a reader of graphic novels. They both were assigned readings in college. So that makes me want to look up these two, particularly since I lived during the time of Hurricane Katrina. Perhaps they will make to it my bookshelf and onto my other blog as reviews.

For now, stay warm and safe, no matter where you live. And keep everyone affected by Sandy in your thoughts!



Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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There’s NOT a subject heading for that!?: audio crossovers

Fall arrived today even if it is officially a few days off. What better than a chilly, dark, rainy day to get my blogs back up and running! (Readers of my book blog also experienced a hiatus–too nice of an August!)

Usually this segment covers subject headings that I found in the course of my work cataloging e-books and streaming videos. However, as catalogers, we also contend with fitting items into the best places possible when they lack a defined spot. Same goes for sub. heads that we cobble various ones together to represent the topic as best as we can. This was one of those times.

“Audio crossovers” is not a valid sub. head. in LCSH.

For cataloging The design of active crossovers by Douglas Self, I felt that there had to be more LCSH to consider for the record:


In LC’s Online Catalog (side note: their updated site was having too many problems so they revert back to the previous one and I’ve not had the issues that the new one experienced; it’s an awesome new design if they can get the bugs out!), the item only lists “Electric filters, Active $x Design and construction” for the one sub. head. And merely 7 other records have this same heading, though there are many more variants and lots with just the base heading.

Here’s the LC Authority File record for it:


At first, this seems inadequate when it comes to the book’s topic. Using Wikipedia, we learn that an audio crossover is a type of electronic filter, so this is a slightly broader category. Yet, looking at the other 7 records in the LC Online Catalog with this exact sub. head., it is clear that those books focus on audio crossovers as well.

While it’s not perfect, it is the best LCSH offers right now. And considering all the variations for this sub. head., to propose a narrower term, or terms, then have someone parse out the items that should be in the boarder term and those into the narrower ones is a lot of work. Would it be worth it, probably, but I don’t know for sure.

The newness of the topic for this item was a challenge for me. That’s the other thing, for people, like me, who don’t know about a topic, the difficulty increases for cataloging it since I must figure out what the item is about then find sub. heads and a classification number.

Cataloging can be straight-forward or a balance between searching out and settling. The second makes for more interesting work but quite easily can lead to frustration or confusion.

Do you know about audio crossovers or electric filters?

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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


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There’s a subject heading for that!?: human engineering

Sometimes subject headings lead you astray, and for me, “human engineering” proved to be just that! At face value, I thought, sure must be related to cloning. Seemed odd that another sub. head. was needed to cover the topic, so I investigated–no surprise there.

Also, having asked another librarian friend his thoughts about the term, his initial impression suggested the it covered either 1) building robots or 2) developing humans. Both which get at a similar idea to my cloning relation, since all three hinge on the word “engineering” yet combine it with “human” in a specific scientific, almost sci-fi, sense for technologic advancement.

However, that is not the case at all. Which is why “human engineering” exists in addition to the sub. head. “cloning” or even “human cloning.” In fact, there are more records with the former sub. head. (932) than the later (60) and (20).

Enough suspense, here’s the reveal…this subject heading is about ergonomics for humans:

LC authorities screenshot

LC Authority File “human engineering” subject heading screenshot

The 550s, see also notes, suggest looking up “human comfort” and “human-robot interaction” as well for related items and topics. The 680 helps explain the sub. head. very well compared to some records: “here are entered works on engineering design with reference to man’s anatomical, physiological, and psychological capabilities and limitations.” Even without this scope note, the record would convey the meaning of this sub. head. anyway because of the other terms and fields it contains.

While it’s a great LC Authority FIle record, this just goes to show that a subject heading isn’t always what it appears to be at first glance. Regardless of whether a heading is new or well-used by use as a cataloger, my suggestion is to take the extra few seconds to check the authority file and make sure the meaning in your mind is the one that LC means as well. You may be spot on, or in this case like myself you may learn something new!

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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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