Tag Archives: library conferences

ALA 2010: ALCTS Program on Sunday, June 27th

Looking ahead to ALA, I know I’m always trying to keep track of all the interesting program announcements made through discussion lists and sent by email. So, in preparation for an exciting ALA annual conference in DC, I thought I’d post the programs that I believe are relevant (or interesting) to cataloguers and RAs on The Cataloguing Librarian. Each post will be tagged with “ALA 2010” so that if you do a search on the main page, all the events will be retrieved.

The first one I’m posting is an ALCTS program that came across RADCAT and AUTOCAT yesterday.

Cataloguing and Beyond : Publishing for the Year of Cataloging Research
Sunday, June 27
8:00 – 10:00 am
Place: WCC-147A

Come hear the experts share research ideas for meeting the challenges of a new decade in cataloging, cataloging standards, and online catalog design. Panel members will reflect on how 2010, the Year of Cataloging Research, can jump start a new era in research in bibliographic control for catalogs, cataloging, and beyond.

Sara Shatford Layne, Principal Cataloger, UCLA Library Cataloging and Metadata Center

Lynn Connaway, Senior Research Scientist, OCLC

Jane Greenberg, Professor and Director, SILS Metadata Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Amy Eklund, Catalog Librarian and Instructor, Georgia Perimeter College Libraries

For further information, contact Allyson Carlyle, University of Washington, at acarlyle@uw.edu

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ALA: Hot and Humid

Maybe it’s because I live in Nova Scotia, but it is hot and humid in Chicago.  I’m lovin’ it!

I just got back from the Satellite Registration at the Hyatt.  Unfortunately, they have already run out of bags and badge holders.  So, tomorrow I’ll have to pick those up at the convention centre.  Tonight, however, I’m looking forward to my dinner cruise with the NoveList crowd.  If the weather continues to stay warm and the rain holds off, it will be a beautiful evening out on the lake.

My first impression of this conference is extremely positive.  It doesn’t hurt that librarians are all so friendly that even when you’re in a crowd of strangers, you feel strangely at home.  I shared an airport shutte into downtown with a great batch of friendly and chatty librarians.  Looks like we’re all in for a good time!

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ALA: Chicago 2009

While many of my colleagues are already arriving in Chicago, I’ll be arriving tomorrow afternoon.  It’s my first ALA conference and, I’m told, the Chicago ones are always exciting and enjoyed by all.

While I’m there, I will be blogging about my experience as well as the sessions I attend.  This is what my schedule looks like:

Saturday, July 11th
8:00 – 10:00
EP NoveList Focus Group
10:30 – 12:00
Continuing the Conversation: A Further Exploration of the Brave New World of Metadata
1:30 – 5:30
Look Before You Leap: Taking RDA for a Test Drive

Sunday, July 12th
1:30 – 3:00
Ex Libris Primo: Redifining what it means to be “at the library” (*however, there’s also an RA session of interest at this time too)

5:30 – 7:00
ALCTS Awards Ceremony (this is where I will receive the Esther J. Piercy award!). What an honour.

Monday, July 13th
8:00 – 10:00
Resuscitating the Catalog: Next-Generation Strategies for Keeping the Catalogue Relevant.

5:00 – 6:30
Cokie Roberts – speaker series (*tenative)

For the rest of the time, I’ll be wandering through the exhibits, meeting with friends and hopefully, touring around Chicago. I hope to see some of you there!

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APLA 2009: Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Atlantic Provinces Library Association Conference is taking place in Halifax, Nova Scotia this year.  At the pre-conference tomorrow, I’m presenting at the RA in a Day session.  This is exciting and a great opportunity for cataloguers.  I’m speaking on social catalogues and what impact social software and social catalogues have and will continue to have on Readers’ Advisory services.

To my knowledge, this is the first time a cataloguing component has been incorporated into one of these RA in a Day sessions.  To be able to discuss why our library catalogues should play a role in Readers’ Services (as well as how) is a great opportunity.  It’s not often we get to “sell” ourselves to frontline staff in an attempt to bridge the gap between backroom library services and frontline staff. 

APLA Thursday, June 11th through Saturday, June 13th

I would like to promote one session in particular that will be taking place on Thursday, June 11th. Barbara Tillett has been kind enough to come up to Halifax to speak to Atlantic library professionals about FRBR.  However, it isn’t just a tech services and cataloguing session.  Barbara has opened up her presentation and is gearing it toward branch staff too.  Basically, what does FRBR mean for reference librarians?  What about staff on the reference desk or the children’s librarian?  And, of course, what does it mean for cataloguers?

I think this is a great opportunity for all librarians and library technicians to really understand that the changes that are occuring in traditional cataloguing will impact the entire profession, not just cataloguers.

We are very fortunate to have a professional from Library of Congress, especially one of Barbara Tillett’s experience and knowledge, attend APLA and share her knowledge and expertise with us.  So – I urge all of you to attend!

For those of you looking for me at APLA

In addition to presenting at the pre-conference, I am convening Barbara Tillett’s session, as well as giving another presentation on Thursday morning (a repeat of my CLA presentation).  The last session I will be convening is When Tuples Sparql: Weaving the Semantic Web, which also takes place on Thursday.

I will be at the conference all day on Friday too, as well as attending the Banquet Friday night and the brunch Saturday morning.  I look forward to seeing some of you there!


Filed under Our Profession, Social catalogue, The Library Catalogue

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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Filed under Access Issues, Dewey, future of cataloguing, Our Profession

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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Filed under Discovery tool platforms, future of cataloguing, Social catalogue, The Library Catalogue

IFLA 2008 – The third day

It’s now the end of day 3 for IFLA 2008. One of my favourite things about conferences is the ability to meet people and network. I’ve met some terrific professional gurus, as well as promising young library students who will soon be entering the profession. The students I’m meeting are eager to join the profession and make their mark – I love it!

This actually leads me to a session I attended this evening: “Mind the gap: bridging the inter-generational divide” which was presented by the New Professionals Discussion Group. Sounds promising, right? WRONG. This session was all about recruiting young professionals to join library associations. We were a captive audience – and all that was presented was how important it is that we join associations so that we can be mentored and groomed and introduced to the right people. I’ve been to a number of sessions over the past several days, and this is the only one where I felt I was being patronized. Because we are young professionals (by which, they assumed all of us were library students) they were laid back to the point of trying to be “cool” to connect with us. They did not present in a professional manner or provide professional insight into libraries, what’s expected of newcomers to the profession and what we can expect. They did not address how they are attempting to bridge the gap with existing professions and new professionals. And sadly, the biggest failure was that while there were a number of students AND young practicing professionals, there were very few (VERY FEW) older professionals. How can we bridge a gap when there is no dialogue between both parties? It is not up to the newbies alone to adjust, mature, and be molded into what the older generations want. The older generation needs to mold and adjust as well. That, sadly, was a great disappointment and many of the students I spoke with felt misled by the topic and the content (and, dare I say, propaganda) that was presented. Never was the inter-generational divide more apparent than it was in this session.

On a lighter and more positive note – I was able to attend a fabulous session yesterday on Bibliographic Control and what is being done in many libraries with regard to digital information. Beacher Wiggins presented LC’s thoughts on RDA and the future of bibliographic control from LC’s point of view. During his talk, Wiggins explained how LC was going to go about testing RDA. Not only will they be seeking the input of other institutions (including libraries, commercial vendors and archival institutions), they will be looking at such things as interoperability with existing software and methods (AACR2, MARC and existing ILS systems), financial aspects, training requirements and software/technology compatibility.

When the conference is over and I’m back in Halifax, I’ll have the time to write more fully on some of these sessions. However, I have to say that I can see a very promising future for cataloguers – if we can pursuade our management teams that we have knowledge management and information skills beyond creating MARC records.

The next two days will be full of sessions which focus heavily on cataloguing. Wednesday, I’ll be attending a Classification and Indexing session, a Knowledge Management session, a session on UNIMARC and Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning. Cataloguing and Bibliography sessions are on Thursday. I can’t wait to share what I learn!

As a final note, I would like to say that this experience is really an education. What I am really enjoying is the multicultural aspect. To see the excitement from a librarian in Croatia because they finally implemented an online catalogue in 2007 is amazing. That some of these librarians are facing much greater challenges than we are here in North America is really eye opening. It’s incredible.


Filed under future of cataloguing, Our Profession