Notes from E-cat Committee meeting of Apr. 10, 2001

Here are my notes from today's meeting.

1. Next meeting is May 8, 2001. Tuesday 10:30 to noon. Location to be determined, but could be Law School cafeteria instead of SML 4th floor.

2. Patricia Thurston, team leader of the Slavic and East European cataloging team has joined the e-cat. committee. Welcome Patricia. Patricia's general assignment is to laiason with area studies curators.

3. The main focus of the committee lately has been on institutionalizing or routinizing the processing of remote access electronic materials. The following items generally speak to this goal.

4. We began the meeting with a discussion of strategies for engaging acquisitions units and staff with the library efforts to control and organize remote access electronic materials. As we move forward in routinizing or instituionalizing the processing of remote access electronic materials, the acquisitions units and staff are seen as relatively disengaged now from the existing processes. Our goal is simply to engage the acquisition units and staff in this work. We expect particulars to come later as their involvement increases.

Specific topics and action items include:

A. TOPIC: training/training documentation
ACTION: Beacom to talk with Shetler in Acq. Dept. (SML) on e-serials, e-monographs, and CD-ROM copy cataloging. WHEN: by 18 April; report on progress at next e-cat. comm meeting

B. TOPIC: dept level co-operation and support
ACTION: Beacom to talk to Swanekamp to begin possible larger discussions at unit head level. WHEN: by 18 April; report on progress at next e-cat. comm meeting

C. TOPIC: division level co-operation and support
ACTION: Parker to talk to Okerson to begin possible larger discussions at division and unit head levels. WHEN: before next e-cat meeting; report on progress at next e-cat. comm meeting

D. TOPIC: workflow from selectors to acquistion units to cataloging to public
ACTION: members of e-cat comm to talk with various selectors, focusing on the link from selectors to acquisition units. WHEN: before next e-cat meeting; report on progress at next e-cat. comm meeting

5. Training and training documentation update.

Exact match copy cataloging guide for e-serials is drafted. Joan needs to OK it before we go much futher. Two other documents are in earlier stages of draft for copy cataloging e-serials with e-variant copy and print variant copy. Thought these processes are intellectually similar, they requirec many different steps, thus separate documents seem to be a useful approach.

Provided that Joan give approval of the documents for e-serial copy cataloing, we may be able to start training staff in the catalog dept by the end of April. Details on training need to be worked out.
ACTION: Beacom, Oddo, and Thurston (others?) will develop and provide the training to selected cat. dept. staff ; report on progress at next e-cat. comm meeting.

6. Discussion of policy on noting e-version with 530, 776, and 856 fields when we are cataloging the e-version of a journal separately.

Pros and cons of the policy and its effects on processing work and public access were discussed. The mixed or partial implementation of the policy was noted and evaluated.

DECISION: Keep the policy in place now; advocate intelligible display of format information in all indexes in new integrated library management system (ILMS); implement such intelligible displays; drop policy after implementation.

RATIONALE: The originial motive for this policy is to overcome limitations in NOTIS index display. (The novelty of remote access electronic materials also played a secondary role in our original policy.) Since the NOTIS limitations still exist, we will continue the policy. Indexes must display format information for the readers.

7. Navel gazing, or, What should e-cat comm. be doing?

Increased visibility, nicer meeting locales, and including metadata issues were the main topics we discussed in this part of the meeting.

One event-oriented suggestion was for a retreat-style meeting with other groups in the library to discuss what the library is doing, might do, or should do for e-materials generally. This would not be limited to cataloging, but would be a more general discussion. This retreat could be like those held for document delivery, process improvement, etc. Possible partners include, CODGER, ACQ. staff, public service staff, and systems staff.

ACTION: Parker will think about this some more and report back to the committee. Volunteers, now would be a good time to talk to Kim about how you could help her think about this and make it happen. WHEN: retreat could be in summer; report on progress at next e-cat. comm meeting.

From the general navel gazing comments, we reached a point of useful clarification on what tasks lie before us. In support of the main goal mentioned above in item 3: institutionalize e-materials processing, we have three or four categories of work to do.

A. training and training documents
We need to complete work on documents and begin training staff for e-serials, e-monographs, CD-ROMs, etc. (includes work on e-monographic series, e-reproductions, and e-dissertations.)

B. Workflow or workflows
We need to develop more usable and visible workflows for e-materials from selecting to acquiring to cataloging to using. Remote access electronic materials pose new challenges for the library. Electronic notification tools could be used more thoroughly; the process needs to be made highly visible; staff from selection, acquisition, catalog, and public service units need to be engaged in the processing.

C. Batch processing
As we acquire more and more e-materials in batches, we need to develop batch processes that can readily add records for e-resources to the catalog. Work with Systems Office staff is critical, but work with vendors, developers, and others in the wider library community is also needed. The EBSCO products and their records represent one success story for batch processing. Batch CLARR may be another. Developing tools to load batches from other vendors or libraries may depend on moving to a new ILMS. The lack of records for the Chadwyck-Healey materials on the Jeeves server continue to be a source of frustration and represent a failure to organize and control our materials at a level of detail that serves our readers most.

D. Visibility and communication
The work the e-cat committee does can sometimes be highly focused on creating and maintaining AACR2/MARC records in Orbis for e-resources, but that focus is just a part of the larger set of issues that the committee needs to address, influence, or be aware of. The proposed retreat (or the old idea of a series of forums on the relation of the catalog, the Web, and e-materials) is one way to promote the work of this committee and a way to encourage development of habits of communication among the staff.

These four areas are an outline within which the committee may work effectively to achieve its ends. That end in the short to mid term is to institutionalize the processing of e-materials for control and access.

Thanks all. Let me know if there is anything I need to add or change.

Matthew Beacom
11 April 2001

E-cat committee Web page URL: http://www.library.yale.edu/cataloging/netinfo/committee/