Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Quick Question: What’s With All Those Acronyms?

"file under reference"

By Keelan Weber & Rachel Evans

Welcome to the first in a series of new posts we are calling Quick Question. In these posts we will address questions we have wondered or are currently pondering as new librarians, and do our best to answer them while we figure them out ourselves. Navigating librarianship in a niche field can be tough. For this initial post we wanted to discover what is up with not just all of the acronyms, but other lingo and terminology specific to technical law librarian roles as well:

Professional Organization Related:
  • AALL = American Association of Law Libraries
  • SIS = Special Interest Sections (82 % belong to one or more sections!)
    • ALL = Academic Law Libraries
    • CS = Computing Services
    • DET = Digitization & Educational Technology
    • FCIL = Foreign, Comparative & International Law
    • GD = Government Documents
    • LHRB = Legal History & Rare Books
    • LISP = Legal Information Services to the Public
    • OBS = Online Bibliographic Services
    • GLL = Government Law Libraries
    • PLLIP Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals
    • PEGA = Professional Engagement, Growth & Advancement
    • RIPS = Research Instruction & Patron Services
    • SR = Social Responsibilities
    • TS = Technical Services
  • Working Groups and Roundtables
    • VRAG = Vendor-Supplied Records Advisory Working Group
    • MPSAG = Metadata Policy Standards Advisory Group
  • Other Common AALL Acronyms
    • CC:DA = Committee on Cataloging: Description & Access (committee of ALA/ALCTS with representatives from TS-SIS)
    • SAC = Subject Analysis Committee (also a committee of ALA/ALCTS, where classification is considered with representatives from TS-SIS)
    • MAC = MARC Advisory Committee (has a liaison with representatives from TS-SIS)
    • CONELL = Conference of Newer Law Librarians
  • Regional Chapters of AALL (there are 30 across the country!)
  • MALLCO = Mid-American Law Library Consortium
  • ALA = American Library Association
  • ACRL = Association of College and Research Libraries
  • IFLA = International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
Resource Providers & Vendor Related:
  • OCLC = Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (a global cooperative that supports thousands of libraries in making information more accessible and useful)
  • WorldCat = World Catalog (a union catalog that itemizes the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries and territories that participate in the OCLC) 
  • LMA = Library Maintenance Agreement (standard contract, with Thomson Reuters for example)
  • FDLP = Federal Depository Library Program
  • GPO = Government Publishing Office
  • YBP = Yankee Book Peddler
  • DDA = Demand Driven Acquisition
  • GOBI = Global Online Bibliographic Information (web-based acquisitions tool for finding, ordering and managing e-books and print books from EBSCO)
  • EDS = Ebsco Discovery Service
  • WLN = Westlaw Next
  • WEST = Westlaw
  • LEX = LexisNexis
  • HEIN = HeinOnline
  • KLI ARB = Kluwer Arbitration
  • LIPA = Legal Information Preservation Alliance
Other/General Technical Services & Systems Related:
  • LCC = Library of Congress Classification (system of library classification developed by the Library of Congress and used by most research and academic libraries in the U.S.)
  • MARC = Machine-Readable Cataloging (formats are standards for the representation and communication of bibliographic and related information in machine-readable form)
  • MRC = Machine-Readable Code (commonly used file type with machine-readable code)
  • MRK = alternate file extension of Machine-Readable Code (a slightly more human-readable form, you will see this if you "break", a MarcEdit format)
  • MarcEdit = metadata editing software suite (used primarily to create and manipulate MARC records)
  • RDA = Resource Description & Access (new standards, plus a helpful toolkit)
  • XML = eXtensible Markup Language (designed to store and transport data, and to be self-descriptive)
  • BIBFRAME = Bibliographic Framework (a data model for bibliographic description, designed to replace MARC standards and use linked data principles)
  • AUTH = authority records (the most common means of enforcing authority control)
  • BIB = bibliographic records
  • SUB = subject authority records
  • NAM = name authority records
  • IR = Institutional Repository
  • DR = Digital Repository
  • bePress = Berkley Electronic Press (Digital Commons is the name of their popular DR)
  • ILS = Integrated Library System
  • OPAC = Online Public Access Catalog (quickly becoming an outmoded term)
  • III = Innovative Interfaces, Inc. ILS provider (Encore is the name of their OPAC)
  • LSP = Library Service Provider
  • Alma = Cloud-based ExLibris LSP 
  • Primo = Discovery interface from ExLibris (sometimes linked to Alma)
Glossary of Terms:
  • AALL Caucuses = Smaller in size and less formal in structure than SIS, caucuses connect members with more focused interests
    • Law Repositories Caucus = a platform-neutral group that supports repository coordinators by providing a community for sharing info and resources
  • Alphabet Soup Reception = Joint reception of the CS/OBS/RIPS/TS Special Interest Sections)
  • "Annual Meeting" of AALL's annual conference:
    • Annual Meeting program = a program with a specific topic, often sponsored by an SIS that is open and available to all attendees
    • Annual Meeting meetings = SIS special meetings that are either invite-only, open to the entire SIS, or to all attendees interested. The Annual Meeting schedule will indicate what SIS is having the meeting, what time, and if it is a smaller group (executive board, for example) and/or the focus of the meeting.
We are still learning, and know we missed plenty! Let us know what else should be included in the comments below...