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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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ALA Anaheim: Manic Monday

The title for this post is meant in a good way–as all days at ALA Annual, it’s always busy and full of good stuff and great people to meet. Although many seem to be taking off day. For me, the conference really is a marathon as I’ve done all day Friday through Monday and fly out tomorrow mid-morning; though I don’t sleep on planes, there is no way that I will stay awake for that 4+ hours flight, which I need/have definitely earned!

My plan of three sessions today turned into two due to cancellation which gave me an extra long and well-enjoyed break since I’ll be meeting with friends for coffee and catching up later this afternoon and hopefully getting free tickets to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, an advanced showing tonight!

Session 1) Publisher/Vendor/Library Relations Interest Group had a panel of speakers made up of a representatives from Springer and Project MUSE, plus a couple of librarians (a cataloger and admin who used to be a cataloger) from the University of Minnesota (Go Gophers!). Being in another building likely kept the numbers down, plus being on Monday but it was still well-attended considering, with around 30 people there at 8 a.m. this morning. Since both are more publishers than vendors, it was interesting to hear about what they do to create their MARC records–usually machine generated initially then outsourced to OCLC/SLA for cataloging enhancements before going to the libraries with the e-books. The librarians obviously addressed the growing difficulty and frustration with editing and tweaking batch records that have various quality and consistency issues not only across multiple vendors but within a single vendor some times. Thankfully, the publishers said that they gather and want feedback for providing what libraries want. And the librarians, thankfully, called for action and accountability among libraries in order to share information and band together to approach vendors and publishers with their needs and demands for better MARC records as budgets, staffing, and work loads change rapidly. During the Q&A I did speak up and mention our (apparently special) department of full-time catalogers and that we do I-level records; I take it for granted because that’s where I work and my environment so it was shocking (but shouldn’t have been) to hear fro the panelists. Also, I piggybacked off of the comments about collaboration on everyone’s part to get better MARC from vendors and publishers and encouraged libraries to work together and approach them with their desires and needs. Another cataloger mentioned the BATCH List listserv that shares valuable information about record changes that are useful for all libraries.

Lesson learned: Vendors and publishers can and will provide better MARCs if it means more business for them by giving libraries what they need in an economically tight time for everyone. Just ask! We all are in it for the end users so why not collaborate and make metadata better, which is now more important than ever for discovery.

Session 2) CANCELLED Seeing is Believing: Understanding Data Visualization for Library Research didn’t end up happening but sounded very practical and would have been useful. But I won’t complain about having a longer break before my afternoon session, although now the tiredness is setting in the more I sit still and am left to my own devices rather than being stimulated by a session. Nap or upcoming session? Onto session 3 for the day, just because it will be cool and has great speakers! Sleep is for the plane tomorrow.

Lesson learned: Maybe 3 sessions plus other activities, the exhibit hall, and networking is too much. But I’m still plugging along and fitting everything in that I can to really squeeze the most out of ALA while I can!

Session 3) Riding the Publishing Roller Coaster: Practical Strategies from Research to Writing addressed the writing process through getting published. The panel had both authors and editors (who were also authors!) that gave great, practical tips and advice. It’s always refreshing to hear others talk about all the hard work and difficulty and challenges that go into writing and publishing. Too much to share but if you are interested in learning more, I could do a longer post delving into what was said. Most was common sense but needed reminding; I nodded a lot during the session, if that puts it into perspective. They all articulated their advice and tips eloquently.

Lesson learned: Reminded that writing is hard work so be humbled and respectful of your self and other’s works. Put yourself out there and be flexible when need to yet stick to your convictions but be able to explain why if you really don’t want a particular change made to your work.

After the last session, I meet up for coffee with UMich grad school friends and one of our professors to catch up! Soon after, we headed to get tickets for the advanced showing of The Perks of Being a Wallflower! Amazing movie with Emma Watson, by the way. How did I miss this book growing up? However, after the film, everyone got a free copy of the book and the author was there for q and a and book signing! It was a fun evening with good friends–a great way to wrap up ALA Annual!

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Go see the movie when it comes out and read the book until this! My new favorite movie!

Look for a post tomorrow, likely while at the airport, about tips and advice about attending ALA and what to do now that we are all still a buzz from the great sessions and people here. My friend and classmate, now Learning Technologies Librarian, Emily Thompson hosts a podcast called LiTTech with another friend/classmate now School Librarian, Addie Matteson that address libraries, education, and technology. Not too long ago, I spoke as a guest about cataloging with Emily, which is also available for download on iTunes as well. They were here at ALA collecting sound bites for their next upcoming podcast, so keep an eye out for that; I’ve heard some bits already and it’ll be great and fun to listen to!

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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ALA Anaheim: Stuffed Sunday

Appropriate title but also reminiscent of a subject heading that I discussed months ago!

Today, again, was jam-packed with sessions but that’s the general point of conferences. Three is the magic number for me because that’s about all I can max out for intact of information.

Session 1) ebrary: Strategic E-book Acquisition for Academic Libraries provided a breakfast before their talk about PDAs (patron driven acquisitions) with actual libraries to tell their stories and experiences. Hearing from others attending, it’s the best conference food, and it was good. Even though ebrary is a part of ProQuest, hearing the concerns for librarians in the room as well as their wonderful stories. Plus, several higher ups from PQ also attended, including CEO Kurt Sanford. As of right now, apparently choosing the short-term loan option has a fee that doesn’t go then towards the purchase of the book later so some of the libraries just select the PDA option. Maybe this will change in the future. Feedback is always taken to heart at ProQuest, from experience, but not always acted on.

Lesson learned: Sessions with food are well-attended and it’s great when presentations by vendors that address topics rather than just a product pitch are much more interesting and useful.

Session 2) Responsive web design: get beyond the myth of the mobile web showed just how easy and necessary it is to make library websites that adjust to the size of the device accessing them. The cool thing about this is that it’s one website with extra code that has different tweaks based on the screen size of the device, using percentages instead of pixel widths. The example website is LOL Library by presenter Matthew Reidsma that as you view it on a computer browser, resizing it will show you all the variations, the rearranging of the same content for all the different devices. He’ll put everything up online, including the code at GitHub for the LOL Library website.

Lesson learned: Everyone needs to do a single website that is built with responsive web design. There are lots of resources on the web and Matthew posted his slides and presentation so when you have time, watch it and make use of it!

Session 3) Learning Styles: Fiction, Nonfiction, Mystery? taught me all about what  learning styles are and how to use them in instruction–there are 21 different types so it varies greatly. The three panelists were wonderful and it was more informative than practical which for me was perfect since I was new to the idea coming in. Oddly enough, there was a turn-and-talk discussion with the people next to us, and since I don’t teach or do instruction, I listened a lot to my neighbor and spoke of my husband Steve’s stories of his teaching that he’s shared with me; the librarian I spoke with was very skeptical about the presented information and told me about what his alternative views are on what’s important and affects instruction to make it more meaningful and useful for students. Lots of food for thought!

Lesson learned: Though people are presenting on a topic, sometimes it’s good to be a skeptic and think about different ways to approach the issue and other creative solutions. Plus, my discussion partner mentioned What best college teachers do as a great practical book–so look into it if this is important to your work!

Exhibit Hall for some is the essence of the conference but for me I avoid it. One, lots and lots of people make it overwhelming. Yet what it really comes down to is that I don’t need or want to collect books, plus I have no scope for talking to vendors or other companies that provide equipment and software to libraries. It’s weird working for ProQuest in that sense but it also means that I don’t have to wait in lines for book signings or pack/ship tons of books home. During some down time between sessions, I did wander though out the whole hall during a fairly quiet time, so I literally got handed books that got immediately singed by the authors and illustrators. Thank goodness my friend Addie is a school librarian and happily took the handful that I collected. I did get registered for a chance to win two Kindles, and finally found the booth giving out free Brave tickets.

Dinner with friends and then watching Brave for free in a theater full of librarians was the highlight of the day, though. Seriously, it’s a great family movie and a really fun daughter/mother adventure so ladies go with your moms!

Tomorrow morning begins at 8 a.m. yet again–what is with such early morning sessions? Start early, end early to give people an evening for other stuff, I guess! Full plate yet again. How about you?

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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