Rethinking Library Cooperatives: Prepared for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging
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Rethinking Library Cooperatives: Prepared for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging



In the context of current initiatives around linked data and cloud-based service frameworks, the presentation invites exploration of future directions that library cooperatives might take to ...

In the context of current initiatives around linked data and cloud-based service frameworks, the presentation invites exploration of future directions that library cooperatives might take to significantly improve the visibility and recognition of library collections on the web.



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  • “The demands of a radically changing environment require equally radical changes in the organization.” This kind of change requires a break with past practices and mindsets and substantive reconstuction of many elements of the organization. Not the same as incremental change.
  • The German CIB project foresees the following:The creation of a German data space in several cloud systems: this German data space will be fed by WorldCat (and/or Alma) and other services with metadata. Both cloud systems will have such a German data space that will be synchronised in real-time. The German authorities system will be applied.If I have understood correctly, the metadata from the German data space will be transferred to the German data pool outside the cloud systems that will form the basis of national services such as the ILL system, the union catalogue et cetera.

Rethinking Library Cooperatives: Prepared for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging Rethinking Library Cooperatives: Prepared for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging Presentation Transcript

  • 1 Rethinking Library Cooperatives and Catalogs on and for the Web Karen Calhoun PCC Participants Meeting ALA Midwinter Meeting 26 January 2014, 4:30-6:00 pm Pennsylvania Convention Center 113C This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 2 I don’t know the answers – all I can do is ask questions
  • 3 Outline 1. What‘s the problem to be solved? 2. In what ways is the problem being addressed? 3. What are some possible future directions for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC)? 4. Discussion
  • 4 Background • Chambers, Sally, ed. 2013. Catalogue 2.0: The Future of the Library Catalogue. Facet Publishing (co-published by ALA). • Partial contents: ▫ Bermès, Emmanuelle. Enabling your catalogue for the semantic web. ▫ Breeding, Marshall. Next generation discovery. ▫ Calhoun, Karen. Supporting digital scholarship: bibliographic control, library cooperatives and open access repositories. ▫ More…
  • 5 A new kind of library • Build a vision of a new kind of library • Be more involved with research and learning materials and systems • Be more engaged with campus communities • Make library collections, services, and librarians more visible in academic communities of practice • Build on and for the web • Culture of assessment Image: By The Opte Project [CC-BY-2.5 ] via Wikimedia Commons Internet_map_1024.jpg The library in the community (in virtual space)
  • 6 What‘s the problem to be solved? New library discovery services have helped, but the overall pattern is holding… Education Advisory Board. 2011. “Redefining the Academic Library: Managing the Migration to Digital Information Services”, p. 11.
  • 7 What‘s the problem? (more) • ―Catalogues are part of the ‗deep web‘ and cannot be indexed by search engines; they are deemed to be used only by people who already know they exist. When transferring data from one catalogue to another, duplication is necessary; it is not possible to link the content seamlessly… Catalogues are data silos … they are not part of the web.‖—Emmanuelle Bermès, Catalogue 2.0, p. 118
  • 8 What‘s the problem? (and more) ―The problem is that access to library collections is imperfect because we don’t expose our collections very well on the web.‖ —Ted Fons and Richard Wallis. 2013. ―The Power of Shared Library Data‖ presented at the ALA Annual Meeting, June 29.
  • 9 Getting more specific … • What parts of library collections aren‘t exposed very well on the web? ▫ There are alternatives for getting to the online journal literature (search engines, Google Scholar, specific e-research resources) ▫ The contents of open access repositories are gaining in visibility and impact on the web ▫ What‘s left? (I will come back to this)
  • 10 Discontinuous change and the need for transformational thinking • Definition and response ▫ Non-incremental change that threatens existing structures because it drastically alters the way things are currently done or have been done for years ( ▫ Displaced service models and traditional values don’t/can’t adjust quickly enough • Examples ▫ Netflix disrupted video stores ▫ Google disrupts traditional information services and systems ▫ The internet and web have disrupted newspapers (Amazon has bought the Washington Post for $250M!) Libraries have entered an era of discontinuous change—a time when the cumulated assets of the past do not guarantee future success.
  • 11 The US cataloging community has accomplished system-wide change before! “In 1987 and 1988, the Linked Systems Project made it possible to ditch the laborious and costly paper-based contribution method [for NACO] in favor of online contribution and updating of the [national authority] file.” The Linked Systems Project and NACO, 1987-88 - 1998 What made it work: The will to cooperate The means to cooperate Calhoun, Karen. 1998. “A Bird’s Eye View of Authority Control in Cataloging.” In Proceedings of the Taxonomic Authority Files Workshop, June 22-23, 1998. Washington DC: California Academy of Sciences.
  • 12 Big assumptions underlying the rest of this presentation • The parts of research library collections that aren‘t exposed well on the web are mainly (1) print-based, monographic collections and (2) ―hidden‖ collections • Effective and efficient means for students, scholars and citizens to discover and gain access to these parts of library collections have value • Therefore library catalogs (or their functional equivalents) SHOULD be carried forward, and … • Cooperative, collective activity is necessary to refocus and transform catalogs and cataloging systems • (Do we really know these things? What is the evidence?)
  • 13 ―More change is needed than replacing MARC with a linked data model.‖ • Start with some fundamental questions: ▫ What is the present and future value of the legacy, largely print-based collections in the PCC research libraries? ▫ What about hidden collections (unique content that is now under-described or not described at all)? ▫ What are our aspirations for these collections? And therefore, what should be our strategies for carrying forward their metadata or creating new metadata for them?
  • 14 Some possible aspirations for these collections? • Shared repository that makes library collections visible and available to larger audiences on the web? • Shared repository for making now hidden rare/unique library collections more visible on the web? • Source of information for collective collection management and future digitization efforts? • Better integration with cultural heritage collections held by other types of institutions? • Collective source of metadata to point to and efficiently reuse (rather than copy into duplicative catalogs), thus reducing library costs? • What else?
  • 15 Some ways that library (and LAM) communities are addressing the problem • Two main categories ▫ Data and data models ▫ Cloud-based service frameworks
  • 16 Data and data models • RDF-based data models (linked data) ▫ BIBFRAME ▫ Europeana Data Model (EDM) ▫ Other (e.g., CIDOC-Conceptual Reference Model)
  • 17 Data and data models, continued • ―In order to replace the current records-based model with one that allows library information to be reused in other settings and also allows libraries to make better use of data originating outside of the library domain, it is necessary to agree on a common model that reduces the complexity of that data integration. To build such a model, librarians … need to cooperate with potential data consumers from industry and other cultural heritage institutions.‖—Lars Svensson Svensson, Lars. 2013. “Are Current Bibliographic Models Suitable for Integration with the Web?” Information Standards Quarterly 25 (4): 6. doi:10.3789/isqv25no4.2013.02.
  • 18 Interoperability and incentives for adopting standards/data models • Lessons from over 20 years of digital library work… • ―If the cost of adopting a standard is high, it will be adopted only by those organizations that truly value the functionality provided. Conversely, when the cost is low, more organizations will be willing to adopt it, even if the functionality is limited.‖—Bill Arms Arms, William Y., Diane Hillmann, Carl Lagoze, Dean Krafft, Richard Marisa, John Saylor, Carol Terrizzi, and Herbert Van de Sompel. 2002. “A Spectrum of Interoperability.” D-Lib Magazine 8 (1) (January). doi:10.1045/january2002-arms.
  • 19 New cooperative service frameworks • Moving beyond redundant catalogs (highly duplicative data silos, not part of the web) • ―An option is to move from multiple standalone catalogs to larger shared, cooperative frameworks at the network level that would register many libraries‘ holdings and be able to feed this information to multiple locations on the web.‖—p. 159
  • 20 One example of early experimentation: A German cloud-based infrastructure for library data (CIB) Image: With thanks to Dr. Uwe Risch and Mr. Maurits van der Graaf. Dr. Risch is leading the CIB project. Mr. Van der Graaf is a consultant who is working on a current project with ABES (the French bibliographic agency for higher education) to investigate emerging cloud-based services that migrate shared cataloging data and union catalogs to the cloud.
  • 21 Status of CIB project • For more information, see the project proposal and application to the DFG (German Research Foundation), the national research funding organization: ▫ Hessian Library Information System HeBIS, Bavarian Library Network (BVB), and Cooperative Library Network Berlin-Brandenburg (KOBV). 2013. ―Cloudbasierte Infrastruktur Für Bibliotheksdaten.‖ Available from: ▫ • The project was approved for funding by the DFG and project work began in September 2013.
  • 22 One other example of early experimentation: LIBRIS XL • The Swedish national library – moving LIBRIS shared cataloguing system into a new system (LIBRIS XL) • Bibliographic data model based on RDF (selfdeveloped - different from BIBFRAME) • More information: Malmsten, Martin. 2013. ―Triple Bypass - Open MARC Surgery.‖ Elag 2013. (Links to video of conference presentation)
  • 23 Pulling the pieces together: What are some possible future directions for the PCC? • Work on a shared project to encode and release BIBCO libraries‘ catalogs as linked data? • Explore new directions for the NACO program? • Scan the landscape for new potential partners (archives, museums)? • Mount a cooperative project to expose now hidden collections at these libraries in the web of data? • Cooperative work on identifiers for works, manifestations, institutions, resources (people, places, concepts…)?
  • 24 Looking at the BIBFRAME Roadmap … • BIBFRAME Roadmap 2014 – 2015: test implementations, looking at other models, implementation including system vendors? • As the work progresses, would it make sense to convene a forum to bring stakeholders and potential advisors together to explore new ideas for collaboration, collective action, partnerships?
  • 25 Over to you! Karen Calhoun