News from OCLC

Newsletter Issue: 
Volume 37 no.2 June 2017

News from OCLC

Compiled by Jay Weitz

Cataloging and Metadata

LAC to Move Catalogue to WorldCat, Use OCLC WMS as its Platform Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has entered into an agreement with OCLC to use OCLC WorldShare Management Services as its library services platform and move its National Union Catalogue to WorldCat. These moves are designed to make Canada's documentary heritage more widely accessible and available to library users in Canada and around the world. OCLC was awarded the contract following a Government of Canada public procurement process. OCLC was determined to be the only organization that was able to meet all of LAC’s requirements. Under this agreement, current union catalogue data will be loaded and maintained in WorldCat, the most comprehensive union catalogue that currently represents the collections of hundreds of Canadian libraries and thousands of libraries around the world. A subset of WorldCat will be created to produce a Canadian view of the catalogue, and a link to this subset will be available on the LAC website. There are currently more than 122 million holdings from Canadian libraries represented in WorldCat, and as many as 10 million unique items are held by Canadian libraries. More Canadian libraries will be able to join OCLC to take full advantage of services offered. Many Canadian libraries already subscribe to OCLC interlibrary loan and copy cataloging services. LAC's transition to OCLC will not affect these libraries. As a provision of the agreement, LAC will support small public libraries and small libraries at post-secondary institutions. As part of the unique features OCLC will offer to LAC, OCLC will continue maintaining the LAC French-language name authority file using WMS. Once these authority records are migrated to the WMS platform and WorldCat, LAC will use WorldShare metadata management applications to create and update French name authorities. LAC French-language authority data will be integrated into OCLC’s cataloging services and continue to be freely accessible through the Virtual International Authority File. More about this agreement, services offered and the transition schedule is on the LAC website.

Management Services and Systems

USMAI Library Consortium Selects OCLC SCS to Help Manage Print Collections The University System of Maryland & Affiliated Institutions (USMAI) Library Consortium, which comprises 17 college and university libraries in Maryland, has selected OCLC Sustainable Collection Services to analyze and inform decision-making about managing print collections among its member libraries. With historical roots in the state's public university system, the USMAI Library Consortium now includes libraries of both public and private institutions in Maryland. The consortium provides unified, cost effective, and creative approaches to acquiring, managing, and sharing information and knowledge resources. SCS GreenGlass, a web-based analysis application, will support USMAI in assessing the print collections of all USMAI member libraries and informing decisions around storage, retention, and sharing.


Digital Collections Services

CONTENTdm February, March, and April 2017 Releases The February 2017 release for CONTENTdm continued the launch of a completely redesigned end-user interface for CONTENTdm. The February release contained many requested enhancements and new features including:

  • Advanced search
  • A PDF viewer
  • Print and download
  • Sharing
  • A compound object viewer
  • IP and user restrictions
  • Full integration with Google Analytics

The March 2017 release for CONTENTdm further improved the newly redesigned end-user interface for CONTENTdm. The March release contained several additional improvements to the new responsive website:

  • Support for advanced customizations that make use of uploaded CSS files
  • Support for advanced customizations that make use of uploaded JavaScript files
  • Greatly improved speed when switching between items or pages in the compound object viewer
  • Improved loading speed of large PDF files
  • Improved disaster recovery and backups

The April 2017 release for CONTENTdm further improved the newly redesigned end-user interface for CONTENTdm. The CONTENTdm responsive website adapts to any screen size and has significant usability, performance, and accessibility improvements. The April release contained several additional improvements to the new responsive website:

  • Support for custom pages
  • Navigation links added to the page footer
  • Multilingual editing in the Website Configuration Tool
  • Search engine optimizations
  • Several minor bug fixes

For more details about these releases, see the CONTENTdm Release Notes. These releases are available to users hosted in an OCLC data center. Note: The responsive website exists alongside current 6.x CONTENTdm websites. Public URLs will default to version 6.x websites until you request to make the switch. When you are ready for your end users to start using the new responsive website, you will need to contact OCLC Support to schedule the upgrade.

Seattle Public Library Uses Google Analytics to Shape CONTENTdm Collections

With OCLC’s CONTENTdm, libraries can increase the visibility of their digital collections and allow them to be more discoverable. CONTENTdm enables the storage, editing, and display of digital collections, making them accessible on any type of device for searchers worldwide. The Seattle Public Library has used CONTENTdm to showcase its digital collections since 2008, and has been using Google Analytics to track data about its collections since 2014. CONTENTdm’s integration with Google Analytics enables users to construct detailed reports to do an in-depth analysis of collection usage. The library staff started with Google Analytics because they wanted to make data-informed decisions about their collections, and they wanted to learn how their patrons were using the collections in a number of different ways. They now send the main report of Google Analytics data for their CONTENTdm collections to the library’s administration so they can see what is most impactful. Jade D’Addario, Digital Projects Librarian, Special Collections for The Seattle Public Library monitors Google Analytics year-round. She looks at the statistics for newly released collections and when collections are highlighted through different avenues of publicity. Jade tracks the number of users who view digital items and if they are new or returning users. She also follows page views and how long patrons spend looking at the collections. Google Analytics allows Jade to track what kind of devices are used to view the collections and how people are referred to the digital collections. Patrons may be directed to the library’s CONTENTdm collections from the library’s website, social media posts, a Google search, or through links on other libraries or archives websites. By using Google Analytics to track CONTENTdm collection data, The Seattle Public Library maximizes collection usage by viewing a full picture of how patrons interact with their collections. The library can see trends about how people are finding and using their collections and what types of collections are most popular with users. Each year, the library staff analyzes the collections and uses Google Analytics collection data to help determine changes they want to make to collection discoverability and outreach with users. They explore how well searching is working for patrons and if they can make any improvements to make collection navigation easier. Google Analytics also helps the library determine which social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, have been the most successful for collection promotion.

Member Relations, Advocacy, Governance, and Training

Monika Sengul-Jones Joins OCLC as Wikipedian-in-Residence

OCLC has appointed Monika Sengul-Jones as Wikipedian-in-Residence for Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together, a project led by OCLC's WebJunction program. Sengul-Jones will work with WebJunction to design and deliver an online training program that will introduce U.S. public librarians to the innerworkings of Wikipedia this fall. The training will enable librarians to edit Wikipedia, guide patrons in its use, and lead local Wikipedia-based community engagement programs with confidence. In her role, Sengul-Jones will also foster connections between public librarians and Wikipedia's volunteer editor community. Sengul-Jones is a communication and media studies scholar, educator, organizer, web developer, and Wikipedian. Her passion for media literacy and community engagement guides her work with Wikipedia. Sengul-Jones has a master's degree in gender studies from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, and in communication from UC San Diego, where she is currently completing her doctorate. She has five years of experience as a Wikipedia editor and outreach organizer (user: Shameran81). And, she has volunteered with the Cascadia Wikimedia User Group since 2014. In 2015-16, her work on systemic bias and Wikipedia's gendered content gaps was funded by the Wikimedia Foundation's INSPIRE grant campaign on gender diversity. The Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project is a winner of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 2016 News Challenge, for which OCLC received $250,000 in funding. In October 2016, the Wikimedia Foundation awarded OCLC a $70,000 project grant toward the Wikipedian-in-Residence position.

OCLC and Wikipedia Library Link Citations to Millions of Library Materials

OCLC and the Wikimedia Foundation’s Wikipedia Library are working together to make it easy for editors to link citations in Wikipedia to millions of library materials represented in WorldCat. References and reliable sources help Wikipedia editors verify facts included in articles. They also provide additional resources that might be of interest to readers who want to delve deeper into research topics. However, adding references has not always been easy, and often required cutting and pasting or re-typing information. The ability to generate citations has improved significantly and now Wikimedia’s cite tool, a companion to its visual editing interface, allows editors to generate a full citation from a single identifier. The integration of OCLC’s WorldCat Search API into the cite tool helps editors automatically generate and add citations that link back to resources represented in WorldCat. OCLC has worked with the Wikimedia movement on several projects in recent years. In 2012, OCLC worked with a Wikipedian in Residence to explore ways that library metadata could contribute to Wikipedia. The result was a Wikipedia bot that adds VIAF authority control data to easily and consistently identify people in articles. Later, in collaboration with the Wikipedia Library, OCLC Research helped to establish the Wikipedia Visiting Scholar position at five universities. In 2016, OCLC was a winner of the Knight News Challenge for a project to promote collaboration between public libraries and Wikipedia. And in March 2017, OCLC hired a Wikipedian-in-Residence, a position funded by a project grant from the Wikimedia Foundation, to facilitate the Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project. Read more about OCLC’s collaboration with the Wikipedia Library on the Wikimedia blog.

OCLC Research

Guide for Collaboration between Archivists and IT Professionals
OCLC has released Demystifying IT: A Framework for Shared Understanding between Archivists and IT Professionals, a follow-on report in the popular Demystifying Born Digital series designed to help archivists achieve a better understanding of how information technology professionals work so that they can be effective collaborators. The report by Seth Shaw, Clayton State University; Richard C. Adler, University of Michigan Library; and Jackie Dooley, OCLC Research, describes types of IT providers and the services they typically offer, offers insights on the software development process, provides guidance toward building partnerships, and emphasizes the centrality of resource constraints. Many of the issues described are relevant to librarians and archivists who work with IT colleagues on issues other than born-digital management. Today's digital archivist needs tools and platforms to ingest, manage, and provide access to electronic records and digital content of all types. The complexity of digital systems makes the participation of IT professionals essential. Archivists have sophisticated domain knowledge, while IT staff have advanced technology skills. Working together effectively requires a desire to understand each other's expertise, priorities, and constraints. It requires developing a culture of collaboration. The new report is a companion to The Archival Advantage: Integrating Archival Expertise into Management of Born-digital Library Materials, which describes 10 core areas of archival expertise to help library directors, managers, IT professionals, and other colleagues become aware of the benefits of incorporating archival knowledge into many aspects of digital library development and implementation. Download a copy of the new report from the OCLC Research website.

New OCLC Research Report Explores the Realities of Research Data Management
A new OCLC Research report, A Tour of the Research Data Management (RDM) Service Space, provides an overview of the RDM service space and sets the stage for further exploration of RDM at four universities around the world. This report is the first in a four-part series, The Realities of Research Data Management, which focuses on decision-making at four institutions that have made different choices in confronting the realities of planning, developing, and deploying institutional RDM services in research universities. Rebecca Bryant, Senior Program Officer; Brian Lavoie, Research Scientist; and Constance Malpas, Strategic Intelligence Manager & Research Scientist, conducted case studies of the University of Edinburgh (UK), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (US), Monash University (Australia), and Wageningen University & Research (the Netherlands), examining how these institutions have acquired RDM capacity. In addition to the four in-depth case studies, the authors reviewed RDM services at more than a dozen research universities in North America, Europe, and Australia—in a variety of national settings. They found that RDM services align into three categories:

  • Education—aimed at educating researchers and other stakeholders on the importance, and in some cases, the necessity, of responsibly managing their data and making arrangements for its long-term curation.
  • Expertise—these services provide decision support and customized solutions for researchers working through specific research data management problems.
  • Curation—services to supply technical infrastructure and related services that support data management throughout the research cycle.

A Tour of the Research Data Management (RDM) Service Space delves into these three categories, provides a frame for the four-part series, and gives a preview of the next report in the series. Download a copy of the new report from the OCLC Research website.

Chela Scott Weber to Join OCLC Research as a Practitioner Researcher-in-Residence
OCLC Research is pleased to announce that Chela Scott Weber will join the division as Practitioner Researcher-in-Residence. In this position, Chela will investigate and shape the OCLC research agenda, focusing on the areas of challenge and opportunity for special collections, archives, and distinctive collections with research and academic libraries. She will work collaboratively with Program Officer Jackie Dooley and Senior Program Officer Merrilee Proffitt under the leadership of Rachel Frick, Executive Director, Research Library Partnership (RLP). RLP member institutions will be integral to informing her work, work which will include a research and learning agenda that will inform future research lines of inquiry and structured learning experiences for OCLC Research among other initiatives. Most recently, Chela was Head of Archival Collections Management for NYU Libraries, and previously served there as Associate Head and Acting Head of the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. She also taught Archival Description in their Archives and Public History MA program. Prior to coming to NYU, she was the Director of Library & Archives at the Brooklyn Historical Society, and has previously held positions at the Microsoft Archives, New York Transit Museum, and the Benson Ford Research Center at The Henry Ford. She holds an MLIS and certificate of archival administration from Wayne State University, as well as a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts. Chela is a member of the Society of American Archivists and currently serves on the Technical Subcommittee on Guidelines for Reappraisal and Deaccessioning.

Collective Wisdom: An Exploration of Library, Archives, and Museum Cultures
Collective Wisdom: An Exploration of Library, Archives, and Museum Cultures
was written by the participants in the Library, Archives, and Museum Conference Exchange project, in which 18 librarians, archivists and museum professionals explored cross-sector practices and culture, and potential for interdisciplinary collaboration and continuing education. This project was part of the grant-funded and OCLC-managed Coalition to Advance Learning. The cohort was charged to 1) Build stronger cross-sector relationships; 2) Increase understanding of sector cultures; and 3) Identify opportunities for collaborative continuing education or professional development. The white paper summarizes their in-depth efforts in each of these three areas. Among the highlights:

  • Participants identified concerns that cut across all three professions, which include preservation and conservation; diversity, equity, and inclusion; employment and workplace practices; sustainability (financial and environmental); and the need to become better advocates for ourselves as individuals, institutions, sectors, and collectively across these sectors in order to secure needed resources and articulate our public value.
  • Participants examined opportunities for cross-sector collaboration, including graduate programs in library and information science and museum studies and smaller shared interest groups organized regionally across sectors.
  • Recommendations, ideas, and actions for LAM cross-sector connection are provided in Appendix A, in a format inspired by Nexus LAB’s recent “Layers of Leadership” framework.