From the Secretary

Newsletter Issue: 
Volume 37, Number 1. March 2017

Jeannette Ho

OLAC Executive Board Meeting

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

ALA Midwinter Conference

Atlanta, Georgia

Friday, January 20, 2017



Present: Annie Glerum, Autumn Faulkner, Bruce Evans, Jeremy

Myntti, Marcia Barrett, Stacie Traill, Jeannette Ho, Matt Burrell, Jay Weitz

Meeting started at 4:30 pm

Officer Reports:

  • President’s report (Annie Glerum):


Hayley Moreno approached Annie at the end of the Membership Meeting and expressed her interest in the Outreach/Advocacy Coordinator position. She is co-chair of the ALCTS Technical Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group and will rotate off of it at the end of Annual. If appointed to the Outreach/Advocacy Coordinator position, she can take over at that time.


  1. has a list of potential people who could be approached to serve in this position and offered to share it with other Board members. She mentioned that Nathan Putnam had expressed interest in running for Vice President/President-elect for OLAC.


  • Vice President/President Elect’s report (Jeremy Myntti):


Jeremy said that Bobby Bothmann had expressed interest in the Outreach/Advocacy Coordinator position. Bothmann also said he would also be open to other OLAC positions if someone else gets assigned to it.


  • Treasurer’s report (Autumn Faulkner):


Autumn offered to re-do her calculations for the budget projections in light of feedback received during the membership dues increase discussion at the Membership Meeting. Stacie suggested doing a quick membership survey first to get more feedback about what members are willing to pay. In the meantime, a conference registration fee has not yet been set, but once it has, a lower rate for OLAC members could help convince people of the value of paying to be a member of OLAC. Stacie will coordinate with Kay within the next few weeks about the conference fee. It was agreed that it might be helpful to provide some contextual information and numbers when administering the survey, so that people can refer to it when deciding how much they are willing to pay to join OLAC.


Matt suggested an option for members to choose a higher dues amount and receive a gift. There is also the contributing membership option which isn’t highly publicized, so we may want to look at how that information appears on the OLAC website so that it is made more prominent. As for the gift, Matt suggested a special cup with the OLAC emblem on it.


  1. raised the issue of transitioning this year’s newly elected Treasurer, who will need to assist with conference finances right off the bat. There can be a steep learning curve for new treasurers. It was suggested that she and another former Treasurer can play an advisory role to guide the new Treasurer that will get elected this year.


Autumn said that she is in the process or organizing her Treasurers’ documents. She will check on the situation with the OLAC Archives before the new Treasurer comes on board.


  • Secretary’s report (Jeannette Ho):


Jeannette sent an updated roster of Board members and OLAC appointees, representatives and liaisons prior to the conference with names and contact information. She asked Board members to review it and let her know if changes are needed. A former OLAC Secretary (Scott Dutkiewicz) sent her some updates to the OLAC Handbook, incorporating Bylaws changes that had passed in 2014 but had not yet been incorporated into the Handbook. Annie had already made most of the changes in a draft of the Handbook that she maintains on Google Docs. Jeannette has reviewed it and made some comments. In addition, the past Secretary passed on a change in wording that was requested by the Web Steering Committee last year. This change is also included in one of Jeannette’s comments on Google Docs. She asked people to review it and suggested that the Web Steering Committee may need to consider whether the proposed change is still desired.


  • Outreach/Advocacy report (Jeremy Myntti):


  1. to Midwinter, Annie sent an email to the Board, proposing the idea of publicizing presentations by OLAC members at ALA Conferences. Jeremy suggested announcing such presentations in the “Members on the Move” column in the newsletter. Board members discussed ways of discovering such information. Possibilities include searching for such information on Facebook, and posting a message on OLAC-L and social media sites to solicit such information prior to the next issue of the newsletter. There was agreement that it would be beneficial to compile and publish such information prior to ALA conferences so that people could know about them in advance. Announcements to solicit information could be published in the June issue of the newsletter before ALA Annual and in the December issue before Midwinter.


  • Newsletter Editor’s report (Maria Barrett):


Prior to Midwinter, Marcia sent an email to Board members reminding them of deadlines for the next issue of the newsletter. Jeremy will write a “Meet the Candidates” column for the upcoming OLAC election. Kay will write an article on the upcoming OLAC Conference. She will also be featured in the “In the Spotlight” column. Yoko Kudo will take over the “News & Announcements” section. The next issue of newsletter will also include minutes and reports from the ALA Midwinter Meeting and presentations given by OLAC members during Midwinter in the “Members on the Move” column.


Other Executive Board Activities

  • Website Steering Committee (Matt Burrell):

The OLAC website has been accessed by 26 different countries, including, but not limited to, India, Canada, the UK, and China. The majority of users access the website in order to view its online training materials, including the DVD/Blu-ray and streaming media best practice guides. The archived issues of the OLAC Newsletter are also commonly viewed. The web page featuring the OLAC training materials is being revised. Currently, filenames are displayed for each resource on this page, rather than the actual titles of the documents, making this page difficult to browse and navigate. Matt is working with Bruce Evans, the CAPC chair, to categorize and rename these files so that they can be displayed in a more user-friendly manner.

The number of times users directly accessed the OLAC website fell 18% this year. This may be expected, as more people access the content of this website indirectly through social media.

Eighty percent of users accessed the OLAC website while using a desktop computer.

Eighteen to 20% accessed it through smartphones. One percent accessed it while using tablets. The website is being reformatted to make it more “phone-friendly” as more

users view it on mobile devices.

  • Conference Planning update (Stacie Trail for Kay Johnson):

The next OLAC Conference will take place from October 27-19, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia at the Omni Hotel. A preconference will be held on October 26th. The hotel is located in downtown Richmond near the James River. It is near the Capitol building designed by Thomas Jefferson and featured in the movie Lincoln. It is near many shops and restaurants, and is part of a complex that includes a mini-mall and an upscale YMCA. The latter’s facilities will be made freely available to conference attendees who stay at the Omni Hotel. The cost per night of this hotel will be at a discounted rate of $145 for conference attendees.

The hotel offers robes in the rooms and free Internet access, and is close to an Amtrak station.

According to an update submitted by Kay Johnson, the contract with the hotel will be signed soon, and a program planning subcommittee will be formed within a week.

Suggestions for programming are welcome and can be shared with Stacie Traill or Annie Glerum.

The Conference Committee is collaborating with librarians at Orange County Public Library, Radford University, and Virginia Commonwealth University to organize the


Stacie Traill will collaborate with Kay on planning the programs for the conference. Members who might be interested in assisting with this task were encouraged to contact her as soon as possible. See the conference preview in this issue for more details.

  • OCLC Update (Jay Weitz)

See the full report online.

Some highlights from this report include the following:

Tipasa, a new cloud-based interlibrary loan management system, has been developed as a replacement for ILLIAD. It is part of the WorldShare technology platform. OCLC is acquiring Relais International, a leading interlibrary loan solutions provider based in Canada, to increase resource sharing options and capabilities for both Relais customers and OCLC member libraries and groups worldwide. The aim of OCLC is to “revolutionize resource sharing.”

OCLC is working with the Internet Archive to improve the sustainability of persistent URLs (PURLs). In a new project called “Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces,” 15 selected small U.S. public libraries from 12 states will receive training on various topics to help them “reimagine and reconfigure library space to support socially engaging and active learning programming that addresses a defined community need.” The libraries will implement a learning space using a starter set of materials as part of this program


  • Potential OLAC-MOUG Merger (Jeremy Myntti, facilitator)

Jeremy passed out a handout that summarized results from the survey that was conducted last fall on the benefits of OLAC and MOUG membership, and whether the two organizations should be merged.

The idea for potentially merging the two organizations came up during the last joint OLAC-MOUG conference in Kansas City, when Board members from each organization went out for dinner. A task force was formed to explore possibilities and a survey was conducted in late September 2016 to better understand the pros and cons of such a merger.

The survey had 150 responses. Over 70 percent of participants were either current or former OLAC members, while over 60 percent were either current or former MOUG members. Almost 20 percent of OLAC members who responded to the survey had never been to an OLAC conference, with about the same percentage having attended five or more OLAC conferences. Fifty-five percent reported never having attended an OLAC meeting at ALA, with some indicating that they didn’t know that OLAC held meetings at ALA conferences.

MOUG has both similarities and differences with OLAC. Like OLAC, its conferences feature hands-on training and presentations about members’ cataloging concerns. Its conferences take place right before MLA meetings. Although MOUG does not take a direct role in the creation of best practices, it tries to partner with the Music Library

Association (MLA) to work on cataloging issues. MOUG is also somewhat different in

that OCLC is a component of its mission and it works to communicate and advocate for its concerns to OCLC to improve the latter’s products and services.

While public services librarians also join MOUG, it was estimated that they probably make up a smaller proportion of its membership than cataloging librarians.

Someone asked whether statistics exist concerning the overlap between music and nonmusic AV cataloging (i.e., the percentage of institutions with only one person cataloging music and AV cataloging vs. ones where they are cataloged by different people).

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many people might do both, but Bruce said that he has some data from his own research, and can look into this.

One area that OLAC and MOUG members may overlap is the cataloging of DVDs and Blu-rays containing musical performances. Someone suggested that one advantage of a merger would be to have a single website where people can find both AV and music cataloging best practices instead of having to look in multiple places.

It was also mentioned that MOUG’s public services component may be an asset if the two organizations merged. For instance, the discoverability of AV materials through

pubic interfaces tends to be rarely discussed within OLAC, while MOUG tends to make the discoverability of music formats a greater focus of its work. One potential outcome of a merger may be more effective advocacy of the importance of what catalogers do from a public service perspective.

Another advantage of a merger could be a boost in membership. OLAC’s membership was once over 400 people, but has declined for various reasons, including retirements and attrition.

OLAC members who are not as familiar with music cataloging may benefit from the music cataloging expertise of MOUG members. One person mentioned that MOUG members could conduct a workshop on “music cataloging for the non-musician.”

Finally, a merger may potentially expand areas of focus for both organizations and result in richer programming at conferences. It was mentioned that it is a challenge to fill two

entire days at MOUG conferences with OCLC-based programming, and that recent conferences had been focusing more on different kinds of access tools. Merging with OLAC might help it expand the number and types of topics presented at conferences.

MOUG could also expand the focus of OLAC’s activities to include the improvement of access and discovery tools from the perspectives of both cataloging librarians and users.


Adjourned at 4:00pm.