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