Integrated Access Council

September 20, 2004


SML Room 409


Present:  Dale Askey, Katie Bauer, Matthew Beacom, Meg Bellinger, Dan Chudnov, Ann Green, Katherine Haskins, Julie Linden, Kenny Marone, Fred Martz, Kim Parker, Bobbie Pilette, Tom Saul, Joan Swanekamp, Rich Szary


Absent:  Jack Meyers, Frank Turner, Kalee Sprague, David Stern


1. Overview of Agenda and Progress


            Developers Forum – Meg started by stating that the purpose of this group was to provide a venue for the sharing of ideas and accomplishments for integrated access.  This would bring people together who are involved in digital production work.  The group meets once per month.  They met twice this summer and will meet this week on Friday at 10:00am in the LH.  Karen Reardon is the current chair.  The group does have a website and mailing list.


            Rescue Repository – Fred Martz mentioned that the group consisting of Audrey Novak, Roy Lechich, David Gewirtz and members of the AM&T Library Group have looked at the hardware, software and ingest for the Rescue Repository.  They came to the conclusion that the best way to deal with ingest was to have the various units manage their own ingest process.  He said that they are about two weeks away from deciding on the hardware.  The backup requirement is one of the hardest decisions.  He stated that that it will take at least one month to acquire and install the hardware.  Fred also mentioned that Brian Kupiec in Beinecke participated as a partner in this implementation.


            IAC Website – Meg gave a thank you to Fred and Pedro for the new IAC website.  She asked members to let her know if there are any suggestions to make it even more useful.


Ann Green’s Role – Meg said that after negotiations between Phil Long and Alice Prochaska, Ann will be working with Meg on Integrated Access.  This will include pinpointing strategic goals and developing and supporting the communication plans of digital library issues and initiatives on campus on behalf of the IAC.  Ann is currently Director of Social Science Research Services and the Stat Lab, units within Academic Media & Technology at ITS.  She will continue to give 20% of her time to these positions including the EGCDL Mellon Grant.


2. Review of Goals – Ann Green


Ann started by talking about her background.  She has been in digital archiving for twenty years in the social sciences and has worked on developing metadata standards at an international level.  She has worked with students and faculty in supporting quantitative research and teaching. 


Ann said one of her goals in the new position is to connect IAC with ITS and help coordinate common projects and goals.  One project that she is working on is to look from a faculty driven perspective at a digital repository framework.  She has begun a research project to investigate and evaluate what 4-5 other universities are doing.  In regards to communications she will be helping to set up a series of seminars and would like suggestions regarding topics and speakers who could forward conversations among faculty, staff, and university administrators in regard to digital futures and the digital scholarship.  She is also interested in compiling news of digital activity around Yale.  She mentioned that the digital projects inventory report from the Provost’s Office would be released soon.  Ann asked to let her know what your needs, interests, and ideas are as we approach these goals.


Meg said that Ann will be the assistant chair of IAC.  One area of focus for a campus seminar is about “open access”.  Kenny said that Medical is planning a seminar for faculty members who use open access publishing solutions.  This would be a 2-1/2 hour session at most; Kenny said that on the Medical side they plan to hold the seminar around lunch if they want people to come.  Susan Hockfield seems very interested in this.  Meg said that these seminars need to be planned now so as to give enough advance notice.  Ann will be meeting with Kenny to discuss this further.


3. Committee Charge Reviews


            Matthew, Joan & Bobbie spent time on drafting charges.


1. Joan sees the Metadata group as a committee that establishes and formalizes metadata standards for digital objects at Yale.  This group will say what data elements will be used for federated searching.  Good metadata is the only effective way to provide long-term access to collections.  She said that they recognize the need for training, not just on how to use metadata but also why it is so important.  They should also work outside the library and provide a consulting role for faculty.  In regards to the membership Joan said they have some suggestions but are still looking for others.


Kim said she is afraid that we will make the standards so high that simple and personal collections won’t take part in metadata production.  Can there be a “mess” space for quick and easy start up at a limited level?  Joan replied that the group is looking at a simple model for this very thing, a minimal core set of elements.


Kenny asked if a Metadata Librarian has been hired.  Joan replied that she is working on this.  Kenny thought that a Librarian could help faculty with this.  Joan said they are setting themselves up to be the Metadata experts on campus. 


Meg said she likes the DCAPS model at Cornell.  The group holds workshops on metadata and intellectual property management.  Perhaps we could have them come to Yale to talk.  Meg responded to Kim that we need to have a healthy balance between too much and too little metadata.  Ed Kairiss (ITS/AM&T Director of the Instructional Technology Group) has been invited to be on the Metadata committee to provide some ITS/faculty perspective.


2. Bobbie said that she, Ann G. and Audrey will be the three co-chairs of the Digital Preservation Committee.  They will help develop policies and procedures regarding the long range plans for a digital preservation program.  Bobbie said they are still looking for committee members.  She is getting together with Audrey and Ann next week to work on the charge.  Rich said that both committees can develop best practice guidelines for these two major areas. 


Discussion followed in regard to the various levels of stewardship for digital materials and how to identify at-risk materials.  Ann is hoping research projects with the faculty will build better coordination and communication.  Having an archivist on board at the beginning of research projects will help.  Kim asked if people have been asked about what digital resources they are worried about being at risk.  There should be a call for these.  Meg asked if there was anything in particular missing from the list of materials included in the Digital Preservation Committee’s charge.  Kim replied commercial acquisitions, e.g. the CD ROMs in RSC.  Meg said she would like an idea of how much media there is in the library.  Bobbie said she is looking at this and also to include photos, etc.  Dale said this is good to look at since the amount will go up drastically as soon as we allow media to circulate.  Selectors are just waiting to purchase more.  Meg said the commercial viability will be a factor in determining preservation needs of commercial digital products and is something we need to look at (as suggested by Dale).  Kenny said Medical gets CD ROMs attached to books and they just catalogue them and put them on the shelf.  Ann said Media Services has streaming media web casts, etc (such as lectures) that need to be preserved. 


Bobbie asked that any comments be sent to her.  The charge will be finalized by the next IAC meeting.


4. Discussion of IAC Priorities Document


            Prior to the meeting Meg had asked members to identify their top five Integrated Access initiatives.  Meg started by saying that she was interested in what the expectations are and could IAC meet these.  She organized the responses into a number of categories and tried to see where they were grouped and came up with a list of 8 broad categories for action:


  1. Improve user experience w/ existing resources with 16 votes.
  2. How to think about the campus environment with 11 votes
  3.  Life cycle management of digital assets 10 votes
  4. New services/tools for the digital library (10)
  5.  Orbis (9)
  6.  Metadata guidelines (7)
  7. Issues of Library Culture/Org Structure/Prioritization (7)

8.   Standards/Best Practices (4)


They are listed in order of the largest numbers of vote if you will for that category.        


Meg said the Orbis items would be given to operations and taken off the table.  She also sent the list to Ann Green who looked at what people ranked first and second in regard to priority.  Dale said that categories #3 and #4 were confusing.  He said what exactly is a repository?  Is it preservation or access?    Fred said that the management group also faced this issue and concluded that repositories may have dual purposes: preservation was one type and access was another type.  MSSA said that if the items need to be preserved they need to be sent to a preservation repository.  Life cycle is important to consider, especially if the context is course content.  There are actually multiple repositories at least in concept, based upon requirements and expectations regarding stewardship and life cycle.


Meg said the content management systems that she can identify are Luna Insight and Beinecke’s DL.  We are trying to develop a consensus about the terms for digital stuff.  The vocabulary is still ambiguous.  Fred said one of the most interesting questions resolved in planning the Rescue Repository is that the data should be managed with the expectation that it will be used in a future preservation archive (i.e. not converted again from the original CDs). 


Mathew’s reaction is that this IAC list is giving us a big picture.  It captures the big issues that we need to think about.  One thing leads us to think about others.  Meg said that these items did fall into pretty clear categories but that we may need to move some things around. 


Kim said there are several term electronic projects in place but no programs for sustainability.  How do we get these to be long lasting?  Meg said this could be a topic for the next meeting and asked Kim to draft this question.  Matthew said that the two committees this group has formed are moving forward on getting things done, not just talking about them.  Ann asked if we have a committee looking at evaluating user experience and assessment of projects.  Meg noted that SFX has come into being under the radar, but it is not a full program.  Julie stated that the Public Interfaces Committee is responsible for SFX (and other) interface considerations. 


Meg said she feels the committee structure in the library is good for determining policy but that we are not as good at operationalizing the outcome.  Fred said that Ask! Live is another good example of a successful project without long-term program support.  Kenny said part of the problem is no planning.  Meg replied that part of planning is making choices about what we can support.


In regard to the list of priorities, Dan said there is a lot of broad, general stuff here.   It’s hard to put a cost/benefit on these and hard to see how these things fit.  He would love to see a way to compare things.  Kim said perhaps we need to choose two or three areas to do this.  Meg replied that we don’t do market research here, but that this is what we need.  Katie said that assessment work is happening in regards to the Teaching and Learning portal. 


Meg said there need to be guides and guidelines of where to focus discussions and to determine practices; we need a roadmap of where we want to go in regard to long term planning and program development.  Suggestions have come out of what to do with these priorities, but there are more.  She said to email her with them for discussion at the next meeting.  Rich asked if it was possible to identify the committee that would deal with these.  Bobbie will work on this and send it to the group.