Recently in Minitex/OCLC Users Group Meeting Category

2008 MINITEX/OCLC User Group Meeting

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Last week MINITEX held three sessions of the MINITEX/OCLC User Group Meeting—on the University of Minnesota campus in St. Paul 10/21, at North Dakota State University in Fargo 10/22, and at Siouxland Libraries’ Oakview branch in Sioux Falls 10/23. Carla and I attended all three sessions. Mike Morey from OCLC also joined us.

Each session was devoted to the presentation ‘Creating the Capacity for Change: Transforming Library Workflows and Organization’ by R2 Consulting LLC a firm that specializes in workflow analysis. In addition Bill DeJohn and (in ND & SD) a Members’ Council representative updated us on changes at OCLC, and Virginia or I described OCLC services that can help improve workflow.

R2 gave us a thorough overview of the challenges facing technical services and recommended many possible solutions. Many changes—especially in technology—have impacted workflow. R2 emphasized thoroughly studying a library’s current workflow and its costs, identifying possible best practices, enabling the library to make changes, and demonstrating the benefits of change. Each session was full of observations and suggestions about what procedures to abandon and what changes to adopt.

Each session was well attended. Carla and I got to visit with librarians from all over the region. Our travels went smoothly despite some rain each day and even snow (!) on the way from Fargo to Sioux Falls. We were too busy to do any site seeing, but we did have dinner Wednesday evening at the Carnaval Brazilian Grill in Sioux Falls. The restaurant is colorful and spacious. The food was wonderful, the music was lively, and many of the staff were dressed like gauchos. Carla who lived in Brazil for several years and speaks fluent Portuguese gave me a quick course in Brazilian cuisine. If you happen to be in Sioux Falls, I highly recommend dining at Carnaval.

Here's a few pictures from our trip:

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The NDSU Library

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Participants at the NDSU session.


Matt Barnes of R2 at NDSU

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The Siouxland Libraries Oakview Branch

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Inside Oakview

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SD librarians talking with Rick Lugg of R2

Coming in October to a library near you . . .

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The R2 2008 North American Rage against the Workflow Tour


And Special Guest Star C.J.D.U.

For more information and advanced tickets, click here

Registration Open for MINITEX/OCLC User Group Meeting

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Registration is now open for the MINITEX/OCLC User Group meetings scheduled to be held in each of our 3 states this October. For the primary content, we have asked R2 Consulting, LLC, a firm specializing in workflow analysis and redesign for academic libraries, to present a workshop on Technical Services Workflow Analysis. We will also have time for MINITEX and OCLC updates and demos.

Register for the MINITEX/OCLC User Group Meeting

MINITEX/OCLC User Group meetings will be held in each of our 3 states this October. For the primary content, we have asked R2 Consulting, LLC, a firm specializing in workflow analysis and redesign for academic libraries, to present a workshop on Technical Services Workflow Analysis. We will also have time for MINITEX and OCLC updates and demos.

Creating the Capacity for Change: Transforming Library Workflows and Organization


  • Tuesday, Oct. 21, 8:30-4:00, Hennepin County Library-Brookdale, Brooklyn Center, MN
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22, 8:30-4:00, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
  • Thursday, Oct. 23, 8:30-4:00, Siouxland Libraries, Sioux Falls, SD


Libraries face unprecedented demands to adapt to the digital environment. New and emerging tasks related to institutional repositories, non-MARC metadata, networked resources and new generations of users place additional pressure on staffs and workflows built to handle print materials. Yet print-related workloads are not diminishing as fast as digital workloads are growing. Meanwhile, the growth of external competitors such as Google increases the need for libraries to focus on user expectations and highlight their own unique attributes.

How can libraries turn these pressures into opportunities? How can librarians adapt workflows, priorities, and organizational structures to provide those services most important to users? How can library leaders create the capacity to pursue critical new initiatives—without increasing staff? Join R2 to hear advice, both strategic and practical, drawn from their experience in workflow analysis and organizational redesign for academic libraries of all sizes and types.

Sessions will include:

  • Why Workflow Redesign (An Environmental Scan) - We will review relevant trends in the information environment that are shaping new demands on libraries; topics include Predictions, Changing Users, and Trends in Collection Development, Acquisitions, and Cataloging/Discovery.
  • Workflow Redesign: Principles and Practices - This section outlines R2’s own approach to conducting workflow audits, and the business principles that guide their recommendations.
  • Creating Capacity in Collections, Acquisitions, Serials, E-Resources, Cataloging and Preservation - We will look at sample recommendations and outcomes in specific areas. The goal is to model the kind of thinking and interaction that will be needed by library managers to undertake a successful workflow analysis.
  • MINITEX and OCLC Updates, demos, etc.

REGISTRATION FEE: $200 for the first attendee from an institution, $50 for each additional attendee from that institution. Lunch is included. Registration will be announced soon.

Karen Calhoun moves to OCLC

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Many of you may recall a report we suggested you read and which was discussed by the Future of Technical Services panel during our MINITEX OCLC Users Group meeting. The report was "The Changing Nature of the Catalog and its Integration with Other Discovery Tools," prepared for the Library of Congress by Karen Calhoun, March 17, 2006.

It has just been announced that Karen Calhoun will join OCLC as VP for OCLC WorldCat and Metadata Services in May.

We live in interesting times.

Digital Projects in the MINITEX Region

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At our recent MINITEX/OCLC Users Group Meeting on Oct. 16, I organized an afternoon session that focused on Digital Projects going on in the MINITEX region, specifically those who are using OCLC’s CONTENTdm software to manage their digital collections.

Why am I writing about this session in a blog about technical services? Well, for a number of reasons. Of the ten or so institutions I’ve spoken with about their digital projects, most have library technical services staff involved in metadata creation, to enter data about digital objects, and for authority control. Some libraries have their archives staff and other subject experts describe the digital objects in their collections, and then pass the objects on to their cataloging staff to enrich the records with subject headings. As more institutions begin to think about starting digital projects, library technical services staff need to be prepared to offer and apply their expertise. How do we prepare? This is a theme that you'll see repeated in my posts, and I'm open to suggestions!

For those of you that were unable to make the CONTENTdm session, below is a quick recap of each of the presentations.

Carleton College has created two digital collections. One was created and is maintained by Hsianghui Liu-Spencer, cataloger and metadata librarian at Gould Library as a faculty’s image collection; the other is the Art History Department’s slide collection, created and maintained by Heidi Eyestone, Curator of the Visual Resources Collection. Between both collections, they use the Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials, as well as Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Carleton's presentation: Part I
Carleton's presentation: Part II

The University of North Dakota (UND) just went live with their collections on Oct. 11th. Curt Hanson, Project Manager of their digital collections, explained that UND's Chester Fritz Library has exclusive copyright to all materials in their two digital collections, so they are able to make them available to the general public. For metadata entry, UND uses the Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices of the Collaborative Digitization Program (CDP). This is also the same guideline that the Minnesota Digital Library uses for Minnesota Reflections. The cataloging department at UND enhances their digital collections by adding FAST Headings and LCSH, while also using terms from the Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials.

View UND's Digital Collections

Wayne Torborg, Director of Digital Collections, Hill Museum & Manuscript Library at Saint John's University, gave a really good introduction to what CONTENTdm is, and what it’s not (explained it is a flat database rather than a relational database, so it’s super fast for searching). He showed some of their manuscript objects in Vivarium, spoke about how they hide some of their objects to the general public due to copyright constraints, and how they link their other databases to CONTENTdm.

HMML's presentation: Part I
HMML's presentation: Part II
View HMML's Digital Collections

For more information about CONTENTdm, and to view a list of libraries in the region using the software, visit the MINITEX Web Site:

View more information about CONTENTdm

Contact the MINITEX BATS Unit

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