Monday, October 23, 2017

Getting to Know TS Law Librarians: Jennifer Noga

1. Introduce yourself (name & position):
Jennifer Noga, Technical Services Librarian at Wake Forest University School of Law

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Yes and no. I’m responsible for some functions that are traditionally technical services-oriented; maintenance of the physical collection, serials, and some cataloging. However, some of my work is outside that realm; things like systems-oriented activities and data and statistics management. 

3. What are you reading right now?
I usually have several books going at once. Currently, I’m reading: a biography of Georgia O’Keefe by Roxana Robinson, The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, and Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. At work, I’m slowly but surely working through Javascript & JQuery by Jon Duckett.

4a. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be?  Why?
While working on my MLIS, I was in a class that visited numerous special libraries. One of those was in Asheville at the Biltmore House, a famous mansion in the mountains of North Carolina. Their foundation maintained an on-site archive of the history of the house and the Biltmore family. The space where the archive was located was an enclosed sleeping porch on an upper floor that looked out over the beautiful grounds and the Blue Ridge Mountains. I always thought how wonderful it must be to be an archivist working in such a setting; digging through the old papers and history of that amazing place.

4b. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
I’d start trying to decipher the API documentation for our ILS. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

OCLC supports changing FAST terminology but says LCSH must take the lead

In Andrew Pace's OCLC Next post dated 14 September 2017, he addresses the discussion around changing the term "Illegal Aliens" in OCLC's Faceted Access to Subject Terminology (FAST). Pace is the Executive Director, Technical Research at OCLC. 

He states that OCLC supports the change in terminology but is committed to work with the Library of Congress (LC) and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and will not be making any changes to terminology without LCSH changes. As puts he it, "FAST has no history of sweeping editorial changes in headings based on pervasive cultural change without first seeing those changes in the LCSH headings from which FAST is derived." After explaining the basics of FAST, he reiterates, "FAST has always been downstream of LCSH changes and the governance of headings that occurs through the PCC Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO)...We have no plans to establish a FAST governance model similar to SACO, nor an independent editorial group similar to that at the Library of Congress. FAST will follow LC’s lead."

As of October 2017, there has been no change in the heading but it is not likely this debate is over. As Pace points out, "Librarians are the most proactive professionals I have ever witnessed when it comes to identifying an opportunity for positive change and aggressively seeking a solution."

See the full article at:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

eBooks in the Law Library

A recent article in Inside Higher Ed asked if medical schools still need books. The question of the role of eBooks in all types of libraries has been batted around in some form or another since the advent of eBooks. While the Inside Higher Ed article settles on familiar answers and case studies of paperless and hybrid libraries, it seems clear that all libraries are arcing slowly toward having eBooks as a substantial part of their collections.

Law and Technology Resources for Legal Professionals, LLRX, is addressing the state of eBooks in law libraries in a three-part series. The first part, published this week, gives a helpful overview of some the challenges and opportunities that come with adding eBooks to law library collections. Of particular interest to technical services librarians is the section on acquiring eBooks. Various platforms and modes of purchase are discussed. The article also briefly touches on issues related to integrating eBooks into the library's existing technological infrastructure.

The second article in the series promises to delve deeper into eBook acquisitions issues. The third part will present some case studies of how various law libraries have added eBooks to their collections.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Disaster Resources for Cultural Heritage

The fall brings us hurricane season and extended drought conditions have led to what feels like a never-ending wildfire season. But this year has brought us more than the natural disasters that we "expect." Earthquakes and flooding have also brought recent devastation to North America. In many places the recovery efforts are still focused on survival essentials. In the weeks since these disasters have hit there have been numerous resources shared for when efforts can turn towards our cultural heritage. Current President of the Society of American Archivists, Tanya Zanish-Belcher, has compiled a list of resources to assist in funding recovery project dealing with libraries and archives. Check out her blog post for more details.