Tag Archives: CLA 2009

Social Catalogues – Slides in a more compatible format

In my last blog post, I uploaded the Powerpoint slides in the .pptx format, which opens easily only if you have the latest Office 2007 package.  So, I’m posting them here in the 1997-2003 format for all to access. 

Social Cataloguing Site: Features and Implications for Cataloguing Practice and the Public Library Catalogue

Social Catalogues: The New Face of the Public Library Catalogue

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Filed under Discovery tool platforms, In the Cataloguing Department, Social catalogue, The Cataloguer, The Library Catalogue

CLA: Slides to the Social Catalogue Session

For those of you who are interested, here are the slides from the Social Cataloguing presentation that Dr. Louise Spiteri and I gave at CLA. 

Social Cataloguing Sites: Features and Implications for Cataloguing Practice and the Public Library Catalogue, presented by Dr. Louise Spiteri

Social Catalogues: The New Face of the Public Library Catalogue, presented by Laurel Tarulli

We welcome questions, comments, feedback and ideas!

*If you have trouble opening or accessing these slides, please contact me.

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CLA – Final Thoughts

A couple of days have now passed since I gave my presentation.  With over 100 attendees, resulting in a standing room only audience, I was very excited to see the interest among other professionals in social catalogues.  I think it went really well and I enjoyed myself immensely.  The audience was attentive, no one was looking at their program or dozing off, and lots of people were looking on with interest, smiles and nods (while writing notes too!)

The drawback for me and Dr. Louise Spiteri, my co-presenter, was that we only had 1 hour to present.  As a result, we ran out of time to finish the presentation – a lesson on our part and unfortunate for our attendees, because we weren’t able to share all of our ideas about how to choose a social catalogue for their library or provide them with tools and ideas on how to introduce social features (mainly free features) into library catalogues.

The feedback and interest was overwhelmingly positive, so I will be posting my presentation as well as Dr. Spiteri’s on this blog shortly (I didn’t get home until 1:00 am this morning, but the slides are coming).  This will allow all of you, as well as those who attended, to view our slides and contact me and Louise with questions, ideas, or to share what you are doing in your library.

I have the opportunity to present this session again next Thursday, June 11th, at the APLA conference in Halifax.  Prior to giving this presentation, there are a few changes I will be making.

First, I think that I need to emphasize what we are doing right and what we excel at.  Talking with Louise, she stressed the importance of emphasizing what we do well while offering suggestions on improvements to our catalogue.  As always, we want to support these suggestions with evidence as to why we should even be considering putting the effort into these enhancements.  Louise’s research assists in this regard, as does OCLC’s new report: Online Catalogues: What Users and Librarians Want. Also, I will be trimming down my slides and presentation, focussing on ideas and examples so that I can finish in the scheduled time.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience at CLA this year.  It was great to meet other professionals across Canada and listen to what is happening in libraries throughout the country.  I feel re-charged, full of energy and excitement to jump back into work and focus on projects in my library. 

Now that I have one major presentation under my belt, I hope to do more!

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CLA 2009 – Highlights

The conference is going well and I have some tidbits to add while I have the chance:

Open Source Software for Libraries: Free Your Mind and Your Data Will Follow

Nicole Engard’s presentation, Open Source Software for Libraries: Free Your Mind and Your Data Will Follow is now available on her blog, What I Learned Today.

Webfeat and Search 360 to become one

While speaking with the Serials Solutions vendors, they indicated that WebFeat and 360 Search will be integrated in about 6 months.  So, for all of you looking at federated search tools, stay tuned.  Rumour has it that they are taking the best of both products and merging them into one.


I’ve added some links to my post from yesterday, including a link to OCLC’s summary of their presentation, the New World of Metadata.  All slides from the presentations at CLA will be made available after the conference on the website.  I’ll try to provide a link when the presentations are up.

CLA – The Second Day

Today was a busy day at CLA.  My first session began at 8:30.  Karen Jensen, the Science Cataloguing Librarian at McGill University presented on SACO (the subject authority component of the Program for Cooperative Cataloguing).  She took us through McGill’s experiences proposing new LC subject headings and classification numbers. 

After that session I decided to drive myself a little bit crazy, so I attended a session called C3: Replacing Dewey for Better Customer Service. That was an exercise in frustration.  While I applaud Markham Public Library for the effort and energies they have applied toward creating a new classification system, I am still confused as to why they did it.  They provided no solid evidence that Dewey wasn’t working in their libraries.  In fact, from their own “survey” they indicated that the success rate among users finding items by Dewey was 87%.  87%???  I think that, given that only 13% were finding Dewey difficult to use, an education campaign should have been attempted first, rather than the amount of resources that have gone into re-creating the wheel, or what they call creating “merchandizing” categories. 

So, they decided to ditch Dewey in an effort to create a new classification system that is more customer-centred for the remaining 13% of their users.  They did this without conducting research or basing this decision on any in-depth studies.  The introduction of this new classification system went hand-in-hand with the opening of a new branch.  Feedback from users in the new branch commenting on the new classification system indicated that the books were easier to find because the library was “more spacious” “new” and “clean”.  I also noticed the increased use in signage when implementing the new classification system.

So, is the new classification system working, or is it the product of a new library and better signage?  I don’t know, they haven’t conducted any research into this.  They also did not provide statistics as to whether circulation has increased by using this system.

If that isn’t enough to give you pause, while creating the merchandizing categories for children’s materials, they asked the children.  Not only did they seek the children’s input on what the names of the categories should be, when they adopted them, those categories that carry over into the adult collection actually are called something else.  For instance, the “health and wellness” category for adults is called “mind and body” for children.  I believe they also created a category for children along the lines of “things that go” representing anything that has to do with transportation (trains, cars, etc).  There is a different heading for adults.

While I am not opposed to change, I like my changes (especially when it’s significant and costs a lot of time and money) to be grounded in solid research and study.  It has yet to be proven that, with increased signage and an overhall of the layout of the library, the same results could have been achieved without the need for a new classification system.  Of great concern was that concrete evidence was not presented at any point in the presentation, nor was an example of a classification table for their new categories.  However, even without this evidence, the front-line librarians attending this session looked absolutely thrilled by this idea of ditching Dewey. 

I ended the day on a light-hearted note by attended The Great Debate.  This year, the topic was Be it resolved that collaboration between academic and public libraries is a waste of resources.  It was fun and a great way to relax and have a good laugh with colleagues and friends.

Tonight, I’m  just relaxing and spending the rest of my night reviewing my presentation for tomorrow.  I’m getting excited, which is far better than nervous.  Thank you to all who have sent me well-wishes.  If all goes well, I hope you’ll be hearing a lot more about future presentations on social catalogues and the potential benefits these catalogues hold for all library services.

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CLA – Opening Day

I’m here in Montreal and finally, the sun came out.  It’s been a bit rainy, but warm, so I was still able to go out on Friday morning before the pre-conference for a run along the Promenade du Vieux-Port.  What a great way to see any city!  When the sun came out today, however, the city took on a whole new glow.  Beautiful!

Friday afternoon, I attended OCLC’s pre-conference session The New World of Metadata.  Ted Fons, Joel Summerlin and Eugene Roman were guest speakers at this session.  After the session, we had extra time to have some wine and snacks while chatting with other professionals on the subject of metadata, trends and ideas we have for our own libraries.

This morning, I was off to the opening ceremonies (after an excellent cup of coffee!).  Joseph Janes was our keynote speaker and while I cringed at some of his jokes about Americans (being American and living among Canadians), his talk was lively, informative and overall, quite enjoyable.  Some of the topics he touched on were key issues facing libraries, but he presented in a way that felt, well, hopeful.

This afternoon, I attended Nicole Engard’s presentation, Open Source Software for Libraries: Free Your Mind and Your Data Will Follow.  It was great to meet Nicole, given that we’ve spoken “virtually” several times.  Her session was full, and I was thrilled to see so many professionals from different areas of librarianship attending a session on open source software.  Who would have thought?  I’ll be linking to her blog in an upcoming post because her slides from this presentation will be located there (under publications and presentations).  And finally, I attended a fabulous session this evening sponsored by the the technical services interest group.  While drinking wine and enjoying some delicious treats, we were able to sit around and discuss the future of technical services in relation to social catalogues, tagging and, in general, our role in the future.  What a great way to share ideas and find out what problems (or triumphs) other professionals are experiencing in their libraries.

I’ll try to go into more detail in a later post.  Now, it’s dinner time and my food is waiting (and so is my husband!)

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Preparing for CLA

Many of you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as frequently as usual.  I’m preparing for my first conference presentation – ever!  I’m nervous and very excited.  I’m also finding that juggling my everyday responsibilities at work, family (my husband’s family decided to visit) and other commitments has resulted in my neglecting the Cataloguing Librarian.  This certainly doesn’t mean I won’t be posting any more, or even as frequently.  In fact, I hope to post daily while I’m at the Canadian Library Association Conference in Montreal and again, two weeks later, about the Atlantic Public Library Association Conference where we have been fortunate enough to snag Barbara Tillett as a speaker.

While I am frantically preparing (and sometimes fluctuating between “Am I crazy?” and “I am so excited!”) I wouldn’t mind some suggestions as to what you like or don’t like about presentations at conferences or recommendations you have for me about presenting.

And, if any of you are attending CLA, please let me know.  I look forward to conferences and always enjoy meeting other professionals.

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Social Catalogue – CLA and APLA conference summary

I have only just realized that the pdf of the conference summary I posted the other day is not easy to access.  You have to right click on the image and open the link to view.  So, to make it easier, I’ve posted the summary below.

The Impact of Social Cataloguing Sites on the Public Library Catalogue: Patrons, Social Tagging and the New Face of the Catalogue


Dr. Louise Spiteri is Associate Professor at the School of Information Management, Dalhousie University.  Dr. Spiteri teaches in the areas of metadata, cataloguing, classification, indexing, thesaurus construction, and records management. Dr. Spiteri’s research interests involve the creation of subject analysis systems, such as classification systems and thesauri.  Dr. Spiteri’s recent research has focused on the contributions of social tagging systems, or folksonomies, to the design of library catalogues.


Laurel Tarulli is the Collections Access Librarian at Halifax Public Libraries.  Her professional interests focus on the future of cataloguing, including social tagging, discovery tools and enhanced interaction between the library catalogue and its patrons.   As the author of the blog The Cataloguing Librarian, Ms. Tarulli not only focusses on the future of cataloguing, but the enhancement of Readers Advisory services through the library catalogue and information ethics.



Sites like LibraryThing, Junklog, and Bibliophil provide important examples of how comprehensive bibliographic records and library catalogues can be created to not only describe items in the library, but to also provide an important avenue for people to share their reading interests and to create interactive and dynamic communities of interest.


Dr. Spiteri will present on her paper, which examines and evaluates the social features and comprehensiveness of the catalogue records of 16 popular social cataloguing web sites to determine the extent to which the social and cataloguing features of the social cataloguing sites examined could or should impact the design of library catalogue records.


Laurel Tarulli will examine what’s happening in public library catalogues today.  Exploring new discovery tool platforms, providing ideas for collaborative projects among the patrons and staff, and enhancing existing features in the catalogue to create a social feel will be examined in this session.


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The Impact of Social Cataloguing Sites on the Public Library Catalogue: Patrons, Social Tagging and the New Face of the Catalogue

Dr. Louise Spiteri and I will be presenting on the above topic at both the Canadian Library Association Conference in Montreal as well the Atlantic Provinces Library Association Conference in Halifax.

I’ve attached a short conference summary about this presentation.

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