Monday, September 24, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Celia Gavett

1. Introduce yourself (name & position). 
Hi everyone, I'm Celia Gavett. I'm actually at a point of transition between two positions within Columbia Law School's Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, so the invitation to interview for this blog post came at an interesting time! Since January 2016, I have served as the Head of Continuing Resources & Collection Maintenance. Starting October 1st, I will be working as a Law Cataloger (my first post-MS ILS position).

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Yes, I think the job title for my current position is accurate. As Head of CR & CM, I manage two small teams responsible for print serials processing and maintenance of the stacks, respectively. These two units also handling filing (microforms and print supplementation) and claiming, so although a joint CR & CM unit is perhaps a less common combination, there are several ways that communication and workflows overlap. We are expecting a very large series of book moves within the next year, so I've definitely been thinking more about ways to streamline and improve upon the shift planning processes we've used in the past.

In my upcoming position as Law Cataloger, I'm looking forward to taking on original and complex copy-cataloging of items in various formats and languages. I really enjoy learning new things, and I'm excited to contribute to another area of Technical Services.

3. What are you reading right now?
For work, next on my list is to check out Steven Carl Fortriede's Moving Your Library. Now that I don't have assigned readings from LIS coursework, I'm gradually getting back to more leisure reading too. As a fairly eager home cook, I've enjoyed flipping through J. Kenji López-Alt's The Food Lab over the past couple of months. I know there are a lot of musicians in the law librarianship ranks too, so I'll also mention that I'm trying to get back into playing piano for leisure more regularly -- a couple weeks ago I dusted off my old copy of Mozart sonatas and have found it fun to (badly and stiffly) sight-read a movement or two at a time.

4. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
Free time is especially unexpected for me these days, since our entire Technical Services Department is working through a complete retrospective inventory project. If I suddenly had a truly free day at work with no sensible catch-up tasks to do, I might take some extra time to play around with some of our ILS's reporting functions, because there's always another interesting tip or quirk to discover. I might also try to study up on a bit of basic bibliographic/legal vocabulary in a language I don't read.

Monday, September 17, 2018

RDA Toolkit update

An American Library Association sponsored webcast, "What's next for RDA and the 3R Project" was presented Friday, September 14, 2018. The presentation provided updates on development of the new version of the RDA Toolkit available at

The presenters emphasized that changes to the beta toolkit scheduled for implementation September 26, 2018 were at least partially driven by user feedback. These enhancements include improvements to the HTML editor, improvements to search, updates to tools, and improvements to MARC mapping. The RDA Steering Committee plans to have the beta toolkit function in compliance with W3C accessibility guidelines by the end of the year.

In response to a "use case" for a way to cite to particular guidelines in RDA, citation numbers will be introduced. These will be six to eight digit numbers randomly associated with instructions. They will be "invisible" but searchable within the toolkit.

The presenters again emphasized consistence in structure across instructions; every element will be laid out in the same order. This "boilerplate" is a feature of the content management system used to edit the beta toolkit. Reusable components will enable more efficient updates and translations.

Since RDA is an implementation and extension of the IFLA LRM, the RSC is now able to resolve gaps and inconsistencies within the toolkit. The editors continue to add and adjust content on a regular basis including 96 elements to be added as part of a new Appellation element and modeling of aggregates and serials within the framework of the IFLA LRM.

Navigation and utility should be enhanced by the addition of a "relationship matrix" and a graphical browser intended to show elements in context.

Workshop slides and an archived recording of the session are available. The RDA Toolkit also has a YouTube Channel with links to other presentations.

Friday, September 14, 2018

BIBFRAME Update Forum at the ALA Annual Conference 2018

A BIBFRAME update forum was held at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference with presentations from institutions reporting on projects underway.
Jodi Williamschen, Library of Congress, gave an update on BIBFRAME Pilot 2.0.  She reported that recent infrastructure improvements at LC have been made with the addition of servers and software updates.  The BIBFRAME database, updated daily, contains over 17 million MARC records that have been converted to BIBFRAME Works.
A BIBFRAME 2.0 Implementation Register is available on the LC website.  Located here is information about a project undertaken at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library (UIUC) that focused on creating an interface and converting 7,829 Dublin Core items to BIBFRAME 2.0.  A link is provided to the UIUC Bibframe search interface
A presentation by Tiziana Possemato, Casalini Libri - @Cult, From MARC to BIBFRAME in the SHARE-VDE project, highlighted a collaborative linked data endeavor developed by Casalini Libri (European bibliographic and authority data provider) and @Cult (ILS and Discovery tool provider).  Initial input for the project was received from sixteen North American Research Libraries.
Jeremy Nelson, Metadata & Systems Librarian at Colorado College and co-founder of presented a model for using BIBFRAME in a multi-institutional projects.  The project known as Plains to Peaks collective attempts to unite isolated digital collections located across Colorado and Wyoming into one platform.
Nathan Putnam, Director, Metadata Quality, OCLC discussed the OCLC Research process in converting approximately 11 million MARC records to BIBFRAME 2.0.  Through the process the team learned the importance of Work IDs and URI.  OCLC remains committed to working with LC to support development of BIBFRAME
For links to individual presentations and further information see the BIBFRAME webpage at the Library of Congress website

Monday, August 27, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Ryan Tamares

1. Introduce yourself (name & position). 

Hello, I’m Ryan Tamares, Head of Collection Services, Robert Crown Law Library, Stanford Law School. I began my work at the library as Lead Cataloging Specialist in 2004, and was promoted to the role of Catalog Librarian in 2013. I have held the title of Head of Collection Services since 2016. My experiences in technical services roles have been so helpful, providing much background from where the collection has been as well as informing on how the library might proceed in the future.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?

This is not inaccurate, but doesn’t tell very much about what I do. Officially I oversee the cataloging, processing, and preservation of my library’s collection. I collaborate with my colleagues in other departments as well as the main campus library to make sure library users are able to find and access resources, regardless if they are physical or otherwise.

3. What are you reading right now?

I began reading Pamela Druckerman’s There are no grownups (Penguin Press, 2018) on my flight to AALL Annual in Baltimore, and am nearly done with the book. On professional readings, I am taking a look at two new titles: Elevating customer service in higher education : a practical guide / Heath Boice-Pardee, Emily Richardson, Eileen Soisson (Academic Impressions, 2018), and Reengineering the library : issues in electronic resources management / edited by George Stachokas (ALA Editions, 2018).

4. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?

Given the choice, I would love to work in a music library, as that is in part my training—my undergraduate degree is in music education, and I earned a Master of Music in bassoon performance. Having a background in performing and teaching music has truly informed me about working with others as well as training people. These are skills that have helped me greatly as a librarian.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Revised RDA Toolkit workshop

Recently I was able to attend a workshop at the American Library Association Annual Meeting, sponsored by the RDA Steering Committee, providing an introduction to the beta revised RDA Toolkit. The RDA Steering Committee (RSC)  initiated the RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign (3R) project in 2017, redesigning the toolkit to align with the IFLA Library Reference Model.

The beta Toolkit is available at and users are encouraged to explore and provide feedback. Presentations from the workshop are available on the RSC's presentation site,

What do I think the takeaways are? An understanding of the IFLA LRM is essential to navigating the revised toolkit as all instructions are organized in accordance with this model. The toolkit is very much a work in progress, so it is difficult to tell how it will be to work with, examples are incomplete and some navigational aids have yet to be developed. While the language used is very consistent, it is also somewhat opaque. The new version will be reliant on "application profiles" to provide guidance to catalogers for use of the recording options presented for each data element. It is anticipated that communities of practice, e.g. music catalogers, law catalogers, will develop best practices for catalogers working in these areas.

The RSC has not determined a date for transition to the revised toolkit; they must first agree that the 3R project is complete. The RDA Board must unanimously approve the determination. A transition date will then be announced; the original site will remain available for one year beyond that date so users can move to the new toolkit.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Stanford Libraries Awarded Grant to Implement LD Environment

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Stanford Libraries a $4 million grant to lead an effort to integrate library data into the greater Web via linked data. Stanford will be partnering with Cornell, Harvard, and the University of Iowa to implement a prototype environment and tools over the next two years. A deliberate partnership with the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and the Library of Congress has been included in the project, allowing for an expansion of the number of libraries that will be able to implement linked data.

More details can be found in the press release on Library Technology Guides at

Monday, June 25, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Jason LeMay

1. Introduce yourself:
I am Jason LeMay, Assistant Law Librarian for Cataloging and Metadata at Emory University’s Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library in Atlanta, Georgia.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Most of the time, yes. My primary role is cataloger, and during normal times I spend a substantial amount of my time at work cataloging more complex materials that need original cataloging. I also spend a fair amount of time cataloging rare materials, with a large backlog of early modern European dissertations to guarantee that I’ll be busy for quite a long time.

Most recently, I’ve been spending the bulk of my time performing my now-retired supervisor’s duties – paying invoices, dealing with vendors, and general administrative technical services tasks. Now that this position has been filled, I anticipate being able to return to my growing backlog of cataloging.

3. What are you reading right now?
I actually just finished my latest book yesterday, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I’m finally getting around to my list of “books everyone should read,” and Anne Frank’s diary was up near the top. I’ll probably keep with the theme and start on Wiesel’s Night next.

4. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
I would probably tackle some rare books that have been getting neglected. I have a few bound-withs that are waiting that would probably top my list. I generally dislike cataloging bound-withs, so they tend to get left until I truly have time to work on them.