Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Gypsy Moody


1. Introduce yourself (name & position). Please provide a picture to be posted to the TechScans blog.
Gypsy Moody - Cataloging Librarian at Belmont University College of Law

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
It describes only a small portion of what I actually do.  At this point, my time is spent doing a lot more metadata management and systems work than strict cataloging.  I started in this position over seven years ago, when the law school was founded.  My duties have grown, developed and evolved as the library has established itself and needs have arisen that I was able to fill.  I have learned Qualtrics to run our student satisfaction surveys, tackled a systems migration and configuration to become the Alma Administrator for the Law Library, and manage all aspects of the Law School collections in the Belmont’s Digital Repository.    

3. What are you reading right now?
In my quest to better understand Scholarly Communications, I located the NASIG Core Competencies for Scholarly Communication Librarians and have been trying to find the bottom of the Open Access articles rabbit hole...

4. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
I believe being a solo librarian would be a fascinating, challenging and rewarding job.  I have been given the opportunity to work in so many facets of librarianship and I think there would be something very poetic about wrapping it all up with a nice bow as a solo librarian at a small art college or museum. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


The Library of Congress’ Policy and Standards Division (PSD) announces the cancellation of “multiple” subdivisions

Beginning December 2018, the Library of Congress’ PSD announced the cancellation of “multiple” subdivisions from Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).
Established LCSH multiple subdivisions are identified by the presence of [square brackets] and followed by “etc.”  The concept allowed catalogers flexibility in creating and maintaining LCSH heading strings as catalogers can “fill in the blank” and substitute any word, phrase, or other information that fits the instruction without seeking PSD approval. Unfortunately, the use of multiple subdivisions, which are not fully authorized, presents obstacles in implementing linked-data projects.  Using multiples to generate free-floating lists under individual headings creates headings without identifiers and heading strings that cannot be machine-validated.
The announcement, which contains the project plan and instructions for catalogers, is found at http://www.loc.gov/aba/cataloging/subject/Multiples-project-announcement.pdf


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Aaron Retteen


1. Introduce yourself (name & position). 
Aaron Retteen, Digital Services & Repository Librarian.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Yes and no, because I do focus a lot of energy on maintaining and improving our institutional repository, but I have taken on a scholarly communications librarian role as well by consulting with faculty on all aspects of the research lifecycle. Copyright consultations regarding published scholarship, as well as educating faculty about scholarship impact data and altmetrics, are big aspects of my position that aren’t readily apparent in the title. Like many other librarians today, I also take on other roles as needed (and for me, these roles typically involve technology to some extent).

3. What are you reading right now?
Actually, a lot of different titles all of the time, but these titles are currently on my desk and resources I’m paging through a lot:
  • Wu, Michelle M., editor. Academic Law Library Director Perspectives: Case Studies Andinsights. William S. Hein & Co., 2015.
  • Kroski, Ellyssa, editor. Law Librarianship in the Digital Age. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2014.
  • Allan, Barbara. The No-Nonsense Guide to Project Management. Facet Publishing, 2017.
4. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
I’ve always thought it would be cool to work in the Library of Congress in some capacity, because of my interest in politics and the United States government in general.

5. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
Oh man, there’s so many big projects I want to work on! I would probably work on my project to build a scholarship reporting solution through an easy-to-use web application. Or maybe start planning a library website refresh. Or collect empirical data for my scholarship project. I should look into getting an RA or two!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

MarcEdit a.k.a. "A Cataloger's Best Friend"

Yael Mandelstam, Head of Cataloging & Metadata Services at Fordham University School of Law conducted an excellent day-long workshop on the functionality of MarcEdit during the 2018 AALL conference. If you were not able to attend that session, don’t despair.  “Free” instructional resources are available. 
MarcEdit, which includes a built-in help tool, was recently updated to version 7. New features incorporated into the latest rendition include linked data enhancements, BibFrame2 support, expanded command-line options, and integrated help. In addition, there is a Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) plugin. Basic MARC functionality has changed very little in the new version.    
As a follow-up to workshops offered at the NASIG 32nd Annual Conference, Terry Reese, Head, Digital Initiatives, Ohio State University and Wendy Robertson, Institutional Repository Librarian, University of Iowa, published an article that provides a brief history and overview of the many features of MarcEdit. The article, “A Beginners Guide to MarcEdit and Beyond the Editor: Advanced Tools and Techniques for Working with Metadata," is freely available on the University of Iowa’s Institutional Repository.   In addition, a YouTube series titled NASIGMarcEdit 7 Webinar Parts has been created to compliment the NASIG workshop. The videos provide brief explanations and demonstrations of the new features and tools found in MarcEdit 7. Topics covered are XML/JSON Profile, Using MarcEdit’s Clustering Tools, and Using MarcEdit’s Linked Data functionality.
Terry Reese includes many helpful topics and issues on his MarcEdit Development webpage.  Here, in addition to Current News, one finds MarcEdit 7.0 downloads and logs of changes made for Windows (32 and 64-bit), MacOS, and Linux; Getting Help; MarcEdit FAQs; and Technical Details. Additional software downloads include MSI Cleaner, XSLT files, and Plug-in downloads to create check digits, help with OCLC functionality, and an Internet Archive to Hathi Trust plugin.
If you wish to become familiar with the new features of MarcEdit 7, Reese’s video tutorials are available on his YouTube channel.  A series of webinars facilitating the use of the basic MARC features is available as well.
One video I recommend is posted by Reaching Across Illinois Library System (rails).  This clip was presented by Emily Dust Nimsakont while she was at Schmid Law Library, University of Nebraska, Lincoln College of Law.  Although the video does not cover additions and changes made in the most recent update, the information presented is valid and useful.
The final YouTube that I’ll mention is “Introducing MarcEdit 7 --A Cataloger’s Best Friend." This is an entertaining piece written and performed by Jeff Edmunds as a tribute to MarcEdit 7.  I hope this ode brings a smile to your face as you investigate MarcEdit and the many features available in this remarkable software.

Friday, November 2, 2018

What's up with identity management?

A recent post The coverage of Identity Management work by Karen Smith-Yoshimura in OCLC's Hanging Together blog highlights developments in the probable shift in cataloging practice from "authority control" to "identity management". To put it most simply, our efforts to differentiate creators and correctly correlate their output would shift from constructing a unique text string for each entity to associating the entity with a unique identifier in the form of a URI. Movement towards identity management specifically aligns with the PCC's Strategic Direction 4 "Accelerate the movement toward ubiquitous identifier creation and identity management at the network level"  (https://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc/about/PCC-Strategic-Directions-2018-2021.pdf, page 5).

The Program for Cooperative Cataloging's ISNI Pilot  represents one venue to explore the possibilities of identity management in the context of cataloging. Association of creators with URIs will ease the transition of bibliographic data into a BIBFRAME/linked data environment. The presentations given at the PCC Participant's meeting at ALA Annual in New Orleans provide an overview of the project and examples of project participant's experiences.

Identity management also has the potential to facilitate authority control in the context of journal literature and institutional repositories. How should catalogers provide authority control for journal article authors? Name identifiers in the linked data world (Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 54:8, p. 537-552 (2016) examined the possibilities for using several sources of author identifiers available through international authority databases.  ORCID recently invited feedback on a draft recommendation for ORCID in repositories and is evaluating the use of identifiers for organizations. A recent paper published by JISC explores the potential of Persistent Identifiers to track scholarly work through the research life-cycle, linking the work of researchers with institutions, funding and publication. The focus of the paper is on OA workflows, but the use of PIDs should be applicable across both OA and paid publications.







Monday, October 22, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Sue Burkhart




Sue Burkhart is the Acquisitions Librarian for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Library and she has been here for 24 years.  She grew up in Middle Georgia and went to Tift College in Forsyth, GA (now closed) and worked in a library for the first time as a student assistant. From there she travelled around the country and worked in libraries wherever she went.  Sue got her MLN from Emory University with two young children in the house.

Sue worked at a law firm in New York City, Mercer University Law School Library, and the University of Southern California Law Library before starting with the Circuit Library.  She began her career here as the catalog librarian keeping our online catalog up to date.  She moved on to acquisitions of legal materials for the libraries, the judges and other court staff.  She is also in charge of our Library Digital Collection of court historical material.

In her spare time, Sue enjoys spending time with her nine grandchildren and travelling to visit them as often as she can.  She also has an old English bulldog who takes her for a walk rather than the other way around.  If there is any time left she enjoys quilting and reading.

1. Does your job title describe what you do? Why?
I believe my job title does describe what I do. Since we have a small library staff I get to wear many hats.  I am the Acquisitions Librarian purchasing reference materials for judges, probation officers, federal public defenders, and other federal court staff in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. I am also the Catalog Librarian performing copy cataloging using OCLC and original cataloging when the demand is there. I am also the Serials Librarian in charge of bindery for the few law reviews that we still bind. I am also in charge of our Digital Collection which consists of staff scanning historical court documents, creating metadata for these items, and entering them into our digital repository.

2. What are you reading right now?
I am usually reading two or three books at the same time.  I like all genres but at the present time I am reading historical fiction and non-fiction. For my book club I am reading America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. This is an interesting look at the life of Thomas Jefferson through the perspective of his daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, from the time she was a young girl, acting as hostess at the White House during the presidency of her father, and through his death. I am also reading Not Everyone Gets a Trophy by Bruce Tulgan so that I can learn how to better manage members of the millennial generation.

3. If you could work in any library what would it be? Why?
If I could work in any library it would be the one that I am working in right now. I have been here for 24 years and I still love my job. People ask me when I plan to retire and right now I can not give them an answer.  I like the variety of things that I do everyday.

4. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on? 
I do like the variety of tasks that I do everyday, but some days it feels like I don’t get a lot accomplished because I do have so many things that need to be done.  If I suddenly had a free day at work I would work all day on our library digital collection. That always seems to be at the bottom of my list of things to do but I like having our court history available to people who are looking for a specific item and we don’t have to go looking in file cabinets for them.  






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.