New Minitex Director

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Posted on behalf of Wendy Lougee, University Librarian, University of Minnesota.


I am pleased to share the exciting news about the successful search for a new director of Minitex. Valerie Horton, Executive Director of the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC), will assume the role in early December.

Ms. Horton brings an extraordinary portfolio to the Minitex leadership position. As the founding director of CLiC, she has developed robust programs of resource sharing, as well as open source library systems and continuing education. Earlier appointments as a library director (Mesa State College), systems and budget officer (New Mexico State University), ALA International Library Fellow, and systems librarian (Brown University) round out her rich record. Her commitment to collaboration is evidenced in her lead roles in the open access journal Collaborative Librarianship and in conferences around the challenging topic of delivery and in her extensive contributions to our profession.

The search process has been expansive. The search committee, with representatives across the various sectors of the Minitex community, did a stellar job, bringing us an exceptional pool of finalists. The engagement of our communities was significant, with well over 150 individuals online watching the public presentations. Feedback from participants was equally strong, with abundant commentary from individuals across the region. I want to thank the search committee, particularly the chair Linda DeBeau-Melting, for managing this inclusive process. And thank you to all who contributed to this important search.

Valerie hopes to visit Minnesota in the months before her official start, and looks forward to working with the fabulous Minitex staff and deeply committed library communities across Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Wendy Pradt Lougee
University Librarian, University of Minnesota

May We Have Your Attention, Please

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We'd like to announce a change in the name of the Minitex Bibliographic & Technical Services unit, which went into effect July 1, 2012. To reflect the current and future emphases of this long-term Minitex program, the unit's name is now Minitex Digitization, Cataloging & Metadata Education (DCME). This name more accurately signals the full range of training content and expertise we provide to libraries in the Minitex region.

Changes like this often lead to reflection on one's origins, so here's a quick summary. Back in 1975/76, Minitex established what was then known as the OCLC Services program with the goal of enabling Minitex participants to develop a common database of monographs for the region in order to enable and support resource sharing. For many years the primary responsibility of our unit was to equip and assist libraries in their use of OCLC cataloging and resource sharing systems. From the initial group of 18 OCLC cataloging users, we grew to have over 400 libraries using OCLC for cataloging.

Although OCLC continues to be a core feature of many of our member libraries' activities, our role as liaison between OCLC and individual libraries has changed as technology and options for library services have increased. We continue to be a certified OCLC Training Partner, so you'll see us teaching free courses on Connexion, CatExpress and CONTENTdm as part of this partnership.

In addition to training on OCLC services, we also conduct education around general cataloging issues - with a recent emphasis on RDA. We've received many comments from attendees in other parts of the country that our RDA sessions are the best they've encountered to date. That is confirmed by the high registration levels - last fiscal year we offered 21 RDA sessions and had 559 attendees, 3/4 of whom were from outside the region.

While we have included metadata and digitization in our repertoire for some time, we will be increasing our offerings in this area, especially on the topic of digital preservation. We are excited that Sara Ring was accepted for an upcoming Library of Congress Digital Preservation and Outreach Education (DPOE) train-the-trainer session. She's already excited about putting this training to work, so expect to see digital preservation sessions this Fall and Winter.

Responding to a need expressed by many libraries in the region, in the late '90s we established a Contract Cataloging Service which continues to provide supplemental cataloging services for libraries needing help cataloging items in unfamiliar formats or languages, special projects or whittling down backlogs. If you'd like more information about Contract Cataloging, contact Mark Ehlert (800-462-5348)

As we introduce the new unit name, we would like to reaffirm our commitment to enhancing the effectiveness of libraries in the Minitex region in areas related to digitization, cataloging and metadata, and to thank you for working with us and supporting us over these many years. We look forward to continuing that relationship for many more!

Carla Urban, on behalf of Minitex DCME:

Carla Urban Sara Ring
Mark Ehlert Kay Beaudrie
Susanne Nevin Kelly Wavrin

Directors and billing contacts of Minitex/OCLC participating libraries received an e-mail yesterday outlining upcoming important changes to the OCLC billing process.

Effective July 1, 2012, billing for OCLC products and services will move from Minitex to OCLC.

In July 2009 the nature of the partnership between Minitex and OCLC changed as support for OCLC products and services moved from Minitex to OCLC Support Services. That partnership continues to evolve as OCLC moves to consolidate and centralize administrative services and this billing transition is another step toward that end.

Minitex and OCLC will provide much more information about this transition in the coming months. You can also find more information about the transition on OCLC's Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

We are working closely with OCLC to ensure a smooth transition for each library. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact

  • Carla Urban, of Minitex, at 1-800-462-5348 or

  • or

  • Becky Hurley, of OCLC Support Services, at 1-800-848-5878, ext. 4316 or

  • Thank you for your support as we make this change in billing, for your ongoing collaboration as a Minitex participant, and for your important contributions to the OCLC Cooperative.

New Minitex Oral History: Jerry Baldwin

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A new addition to the Minitex Oral History Project has been posted on the Minitex website.

Jerry Baldwin's first library job was as a student at the St. Paul Campus Library (now Magrath Library). From there he went to library school at the University of Minnesota, and then on to the Minnesota Department of Highways (now the Minnesota Department of Transportation) Library as Director from 1972-2007.

In his interview, he talks about the Minitex Union List of Serials (MULS) staff visiting the MnDOT library to record their serial holdings, the development of the Transportation Libraries Catalog (TransCat) as one of the first OCLC Group catalogs, creation of the National Transportation Library (1998) and the Transportation Knowledge Networks, and reauthorization of the National Transportation Library.

The Library of Congress recently announced that they have devised a long-range training plan for their (now, effectively, certain) move to RDA.

First, a little background. The U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee issued last June a report in which they recommended that RDA adoption by the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, and the National Library of Medicine take place "no sooner than January 2013"—and then only if nine conditions are either met or significant movement is made on achieving them.[1] According to Beacher Wiggins (Director, Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate), a recently published update reveals good progress is being made on matters such as "re-wording" parts of RDA into less elaborate prose and establishing a framework for a successor to the MARC standard.[2] And so with fulfillment of the prerequisites looking favorable, LC personnel have devised a year-long, three-part training plan to bring their cataloging staff up to speed on RDA.

Doubtless the most significant aspect of LC's plan is their target date for RDA implementation: March 31, 2013. This date, as they put it, is "when all catalog records newly created at LC will be produced according to RDA instructions."[3] (Though a "target" date and not a firm deadline, it does give something for the rest of us to hang our hats on.) Their planning document goes into further detail on scheduling, recommended instruction topics, and logistical issues pertinent to LC staff and supervisors; at the same time, it could also serve as a blueprint for local library training.

A reminder that LC has a fairly new webpage that offers one-stop shopping for all of their RDA announcements and materials.

[1] From pages 2–4 of Report and Recommendations of the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee

[2] See the quarterly update on RDA implementation released in January 2012

[3] From page 1 of Long-Range RDA Training Plan for 2012 and Beyond

Taking Library Data from Here to There

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There is a NISO webinar next week (Feb. 22, 2012) that we would like to highlight. For those who have been hearing about the Semantic Web and library linked data, this will be of high interest. Much of our library data as it exists now resides in databases, not on the web where most begin their search for information (for example, 83% of college students begin research using a search engine such as Google. Perceptions of Libraries 2010: Context and Community: A Report to the OCLC Membership)

Karen Coyle will take a look at our library data as it exists now and suggest changes that are needed to bring more visibility to libraries. See below for more details.

NISO/DCMI webinar: Taking Library Data From Here to There
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. (Central Time)
Minitex Conference Room
15 Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

To register for this on-site webinar, go to

About the Webinar
Libraries have been creating metadata for resources for well over a century. The good news is that library metadata is rules-based and that the library cataloging community has built up a wealth of knowledge about publications, their qualities, and the users who seek them. The bad news is that library practices were fixed long before computers would be used to store and retrieve the data. Library cataloging practice continues to have elements of the era of printed catalogs and alphabetized cards, and needs to modernize to take advantage of new information technologies. This metadata, however, exists today in tens of thousands of databases and there is a large sigh heard around the world whenever a librarian considers the need to make this massive change.

As with all large problems, this one becomes more tractable when broken into smaller pieces. Karen Coyle will present her "five stars of library data," an analysis of the changes needed and some steps that libraries can begin to take immediately. She will also discuss the "open world" view of the linked data movement and how this view can increase the visibility of libraries in the global information space. This webinar will give an introduction to the types of changes that are needed as well as the value that can be realized in library services. Attendees will learn of some preparatory steps have already been taken, which should confirm that libraries have indeed begun the journey "From Here to There."

Karen Coyle is a librarian specializing in metadata development, with a particular interest in the future of bibliographic control. She recently served on the W3C Incubator Group on Library Linked Data, and has written three Library Technology Reports on the Semantic Web and library data.

Thomas Baker, Chief Information Officer of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, was recently co-chair of the W3C Semantic Web Deployment Working Group and currently co-chairs a W3C Incubator Group on Library Linked Data.

Cataloging Kindle E-Books

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The most recent issue (Jan. 2012) of Library Resources and Technical Services (better known as LRTS) has an article that may be of interest:

"Notes on Operations: Kindles and Kindle E-Books in an Academic Library - Cataloging and Workflow Challenges," by Richard E. Sapon-White.

It is available through ELM, in the Academic Search Premier database (among others).

Have you been cataloging e-readers and their books? Any tips to share?

The Minitex Bibliographic and Technical Services (BATS) unit introduces a new e-mail discussion list dedicated to dialogue and announcements on Resource Description and Access (RDA), the new set of cataloging guidelines likely to succeed AACR2 in early 2013. This list, dubbed mtx-rda, is open to all library staff and other interested parties in the Minitex region (including Wisconsin). Those outside the region may also participate.

To subscribe, point your browser to the following website and fill out the form in the middle of the page:

On the same page you will find a link to the archives as well as a form near the bottom that will give you access to password, subscription, and message delivery options.

This e-mail list functions like many others you may be familiar with:

  • Subject lines for all messages that show up on the list will automatically include the prefix [mtx-rda].
  • Responses to posts are directed to the list by default.
  • Text may be formatted for display, e.g., bold typeface, underlining.
  • Attachments can be applied to messages. But be careful when passing along large files; some local e-mail systems may balk at receiving a multi-megabyte attachment.

The intent behind the mtx-rda list is to provide a regional forum for subscribers to discuss both practical and theoretical matters concerning RDA: rule interpretations, workflow changes, record indexing and display. In the spirit of Minitex's collaborative history, we look forward to an active and engaged community assisting one another in learning and applying this new cataloging code.

Please give us your feedback by Sept. 25th so we can gauge your level of interest in a regional RDA listserv. See below for details.

Minitex RDA E-mail Discussion List Proposal and Survey

As you may know by now, the Library of Congress and other U.S. national libraries have set January 2013 as the date on which they will adopt RDA--barring any last minute complications. And, as goes LC, so goes the rest of the nation's libraries. The Minitex BATS unit is exploring the idea of establishing an e-mail discussion list on RDA for library staff and institutions in the Minitex region (primarily Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota). To gather feedback on this proposal, we have set up a five-question survey at the following site:

Several folks have already responded, and to them I offer my thanks. If you know of any others on your staff or at other institutions who may be interested in putting in their two cents, please pass on to them the link to the survey. Also, please have them read over a short article on the proposed discussion list found in the August 2011 issue of the Minitex/OCLC Mailing.

This survey ends on Sunday, September 25. Results of the feedback will be summarized in the October issue of the Mailing.

OCLC WorldCat Turns 40

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Today marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of WorldCat, the world's most comprehensive database of resources held in libraries around the globe.

On August 26, 1971, the OCLC Online Union Catalog and Shared Cataloging system (now known as WorldCat) began operation. That first day, from a single terminal, catalogers at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, cataloged 133 books online. Today, WorldCat comprises more than 240 million records representing more than 1.7 billion items in OCLC member libraries worldwide.

"We congratulate the thousands of librarians and catalogers around the world who have helped to build WorldCat over the past 40 years keystroke by keystroke, record by record," said Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO. "We who work at OCLC are proud to have been a part of this remarkable story, and I want to thank our member institutions and employees for the years of dedicated effort that helped build this unique resource. Fred Kilgour's vision - improving access to information through library cooperation -- is every bit as vital today as it was in 1971. This anniversary is an important milestone in a shared journey that, I believe, will continue for many decades to come."

WorldCat is a database of bibliographic information built continuously by OCLC libraries around the world. Each record in the WorldCat database contains a bibliographic description of a single item or work and a list of institutions that hold the item. The institutions share these records, using them to create local catalogs, arrange interlibrary loans and conduct reference work. Libraries contribute records for items not found in WorldCat using OCLC shared cataloging systems.

"In retrospect, I have to say that in those early days, I don't think we really understood the enormity of the system that we were embarking upon, much less did we consider what the future possibilities might be," said Lynne Lysiak, who had just started her career at Ohio University Libraries when WorldCat first went online, and is now retired. "As OCLC forges ahead now with WorldCat Local and cloud-computing developments, they are embarking on a new era and suite of services for libraries and their users. It's an exciting time."

"OCLC cataloging and resource sharing services and our library management systems continue to help libraries improve their productivity, save money and improve access to their collections," said Mr. Jordan. "Against a backdrop of continuous technological change, WorldCat and the OCLC cooperative have continued to grow."

Since 1971, 240 million records have been added to WorldCat, spanning more than 5,000 years of recorded knowledge, from about 3400 B.C. to the present. This unique collection of information encompasses records in a variety of formats--books, e-books, DVDs, digital resources, serials, sound recordings, musical scores, maps, visual materials, mixed materials and computer files. Like the knowledge it describes, WorldCat grows steadily. Every second, library members add seven records to WorldCat.

Once records have been added to WorldCat, they are discoverable on the Web through popular search and partner sites, and through

Records entered into WorldCat since 1971 have been continuously migrated, reformatted and updated to conform to newly issued cataloging standards. They have been touched and enhanced hundreds of times by librarians around the world and by OCLC staff and automated systems.

The first OCLC cathode ray tube terminal was the Irascope Model LTE, which was manufactured by Spiras Systems. OCLC deployed 68 LTES, one of which is now on permanent display in the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., and another in a new OCLC Museum dedicated today in Dublin, Ohio. The LTE was connected to OCLC via a dedicated, leased telephone line from AT&T; message traffic moved at the rate of 2400 baud (2,400 symbols per second).

People can now use their mobile phones to access WorldCat via WorldCat Local, where 4G wireless downloads are 2,500 times faster than the original OCLC network. Wired networks are now 416,000 times faster.

Find more about WorldCat on the OCLC website, and watch WorldCat grow as libraries around the world contribute to the database.

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