March 2009 Archives

On March 17 Sara Ring and Mark Wilhelmi visited the Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud, MN. The Library is the headquarters for a group of 32 libraries across five counties in central Minnesota; all the cataloging, ILL, acquisitions, and collection development for the network is done there. It also serves as the public library for St. Cloud.

Sara and Mark met with Mic Golden and Chris Getz (both from Technical Services) to discuss upcoming changes in Minitex’s relationship with OCLC. They also talked about OCLC services—particularly, Bibliographic Notification and WorldCat Cataloging Partners. They had a lively, friendly discussion, and then Mic and Chris took them on a tour of their brand new building which is quite spacious and full of light. The large, colorful children’s area was particularly impressive. There’s also a café, some lovely artwork in the entrance-way, and even a time-capsule.

Here's the front of the library in the shape of an open book.

GRR Main Entrance

In the entrance . . .

GRR Lobby

First Floor Information

GRR Information

Children's Room

GRR Children's Room.JPG

Children's Play Area

GRR Children's Play Area

Children's Stained Glass Window

Children's Window

Site Visit to St. Johns University

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Every Spring and Fall (when the weather is good - usually) we choose an area of the 3 state Minitex region to visit and meet face to face with the staff from the various library types that we support. This Spring we chose the St. Cloud area but were limited to one day. We were able to visit St. Johns University and Great River Regional Library on March 17th. Below is a short summary of our visit to St. Johns University - soon you'll see a summary from our Great River Regional Library trip.

During the first part of our meeting, Mark Wilhelmi and I met with Tess Kasling (our OCLC contact) and most of the staff from the library. We gave a brief update on some changes coming down the road with OCLC, Minitex, and libraries in the region (there will be more news about this soon). Alcuin Library staff gave us a lot of feedback about WorldCat Local, which they just launched back in Dec. 2008.

After that we split into two groups - catalogers and staff involved with digital collections using CONTENTdm (an OCLC product that we support). I spoke with staff from the Hill Manuscript and Museum Library (which is physically connected to Alcuin Library) about their upcoming projects. HMML is probably best known for their St. John's Bible project and their extensive physical and digital collections of Medieval manuscripts. We learned a great deal about the library and HMML and hope to have another chance to visit soon!

Upon entering Alcuin Library at St. Johns University, the first thing to catch my eye was this beautiful Hibiscus tree.

Hibiscus Tree

On the main floor is the circulation desk.

Circulation desk at Alcuin Library

A view of the main floor at the library.

Main floor of Alcuin Library

Staff only stairs we took to get downstairs to the meeting room.

Staff stairs at Alcuin Library

Goodbye Alcuin Library!

Alcuin Library

The Library of Congress has decided to continue its investigation into the creation and distribution of bibliographic data in US and Canadian libraries - with the primary focus on the economics of current practices. LC has retained R2 Consulting, LLC to research and describe the current "marketplace" for MARC cataloging records, with a
report and "map" due at the end of June 2009. The LC press release is available on R2's Web site.

To keep people informed about the progress of R2's work, and to get input from time to time, R2 has constructed a social networking site at:

At this point, they are ready to promote the site and encourage membership from all segments of the cataloging community. The scope of the project is broad, including Public, Academic, School, and Special Libraries, cataloging cooperatives, bibliographic service providers, and materials vendors who supply MARC records.

So you are hereby invited to join your colleagues at:

And please don't hesitate to forward this invitation to others you think may be interested. If you have questions or ideas to share, please contact:

Ruth Fischer
Partner, R2 Consulting, LLC

ALA-Midwinter 2009 Highlights

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If you were unable to attend ALA Midwinter in January, you’re not completely out of luck. Many of the presentations are now online.

From Linking to Thinking (the OCLC Symposium)
We’re always changing the Web, but is the Web changing us? OCLC’s Roy Tennant moderates a discussion between David Weinberger (author of Everything is Miscellaneous and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto) and Nova Spivack (Semantic Web pioneer and publisher of the Twine search/sharing tool) that explores questions like these: Does using the Web change how we think and learn? How will we organize information when everyone is connected all the time? Will the Web add intelligence to everyday objects and our personal activities?
To view go to

All of Your Library’s Content in One Search Box
Early adopters of the OCLC WorldCat Local share their experiences, and OCLC staff discuss enhancements that will further consolidate access to library resources.
Speakers for this event:
o Steve Shadle. University of Washington
o Amy Kautzman, University of California, Davis
o Gregg Silvis, University of Delaware
o Angi Falks, Macalester College
o Mindy Pozenel, OCLC
To view go to

Redesigning Technical Services Workflows with OCLC
Karen Calhoun presents a case for technical services units to embrace change. Her presentation is followed by three librarians from two libraries that have used OCLC products and services to their advantage in order to increase efficiencies and redirect the energies of their technical services staffs. A recording of this session can be found at

Other OCLC presentations and OCLC sponsored sessions, can be found at

FRBR and RDA: a glimpse into the future of cataloging and public displays

In this ALCTS CCS (Cataloging and Classification Section) Forum Barbara Tillett (LC) gives her views on where we are going with RDA and her ideas about the sharing of metadata or information and the need to develop better information systems for the future. Diane Vizine-Goetz (OCLC) reports on what users and librarians want in a catalog and talks about how to exploit information that is already in records. Jon Espley (VTLS) speaks about VTLS’s implementation of FRBR as well as some larger FRBR questions and implications, and Robert McDonald (Indiana U.) explains the OLE Project (Open Library Environment)—an alternative to the current model of an integrated library system.

All these presentations are posted in the ALCTS section of the ALA Midwinter conference wiki. There is also a link to the audio in .mp3 format. Go to this site:

Scroll down to “Friday” and look for the CCS Forum.

While you are there, you might want to investigate the presentations for other ALCTS sessions.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2009 is the previous archive.

April 2009 is the next archive.

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