Traveling Through Transitions Slovenia

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Presentation for COBISS 2009 conference,

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  • Two clicks animation. In a conflict for space involving the print collections, increasingly in the U.S., space for the print collections loses out. This is a photo I took last month shortly after the official grand re-opening of the main library at the Ohio State University. The decision to move nearly half of this library’s collections to offsite storage was controversial, but it was made to give priority to more--and more inspiring--high-tech space for the campus community .The library is truly lovely and daily traffic in the library has risen since the renovation to 12,000 visitors a day.The quote is from an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the renovation.
  • Two clicks animation. And so, the trend in conflicts over physical space is to privilege space in library buildings for the user.
  • Build slide (animation)There is another strong trend around library space. Increasingly libraries place high priority on building out and optimizing the space they occupy virtually on the web. In the early part of this decade I was part of an investigation at Cornell University Library funded by the Mellon Foundation to examine new service models for the libraryto support 21st century teaching, learning, research, and study. This is a quote from our final report to the Mellon Foundation.ClickWe concluded that the library must optimize its proportionate use of physical space to meet the needs and behaviors of 21st c scholars and students—seen here on the left side of the balance. And, even more importantly, we must optimize how Cornell University Library uses the Web to expose its collections and services. “where our scholars’ and students’ eyes are.” I’ll talk more about what that means.
  • Here is some information about this fall’s activity to represent the holdings of the COBISS.SI libraries in WorldCat.We are still working on a few issues related to the display but most of the work is done.The community around WorldCat is benefiting from this load as well, because it added over 3 million new records to the database, greatly enriching WorldCat’s representation of material related to Slovenia.
  • If you think about “being where their eyes are” as a strategy applied to the collections described in COBISS.SI, you can see that the decision to expose the metadata in other aggregations besides COBISS.SI and COBISS.Net increases the visibility of the collections in more places on the Web, WorldCat and its partners among them.
  • Let us now move to our second topic, user-centered design.So far I’ve spoken today about a Copernican or heliocentric view of the information universe, which places the user in the position of the sun, with planets like the catalog obiting around. User-centered designs target a particular kind of user, study their behaviors and preferences, design services then test them iteratively with the intended type of users. The concepts of user-centered design are taking hold in libraries or at least some library systems.
  • This slide is a high level summary of an excellent report developed early this year by a team at the University of Minnespta Libraries. It is called Discoverability. At the outset the team committed itself to producing an evidence-based, data-driven, user-centric analysis that would identify strategies for exposing collections in virtual space, not only at the individual library level but also at the network or consortial level.Two clicks. In its report the team identified these trends. Again we see the result that users find materials of interest on the larger network, esp search engines. The team is placing a lot of emphasis on tools that capture this traffic, for example from Google Scholar, and lead it back to the U of M collections. I’ll also note here the second and last trends, to which I’ll return.
  • I’d now like to briefly mention a few examples that attempt to integrate user-centric design principles within librarianship. One is an online catalog study and the other is a sampling of research studies of digital library collection use. I could not resist adding a graphic from the Slovenian Digital Library to this slide.
  • Translated into ---- Being translated into Czech by ---Over the past year, colleagues at OCLC and I conducted a study to determine what end users and librarians want from the data in modern online catalogs. I won’t spend much time on this report because it is easy to get from the URL shown and there is an executive summary available as well as a synopsis. I’ve captured the highlights on this slide.
  • Just a few weeks ago, another outcome of the Library of Congress examination of the future of bibliographic control appeared. It is a report on the sources and economics of the distribution of MARC cataloging records in North America.I mention it here to share a few highlights (click through), particularly the findings that while there is sufficient cataloging capacity in North America to do all that is required, backlogs continue to grow , due largely to cataloger resistance to accept the work of another library without extensive review, and to the relative inefficiency of North American cooperative cataloging systems. The finding about backlogs is worrisome indeed, given all I have said and will say today about the demand for more and more metadata for many types of collections.
  • Not only much more, but new types of metadata, such as administrative, technical and rights metadata—are needed to support the array of iprinted, electronic, and digitallnformation sources commonly served up by a research library today. Our traditional manual practices centered on printed books and serials simply will not scale to this new environment. Library staff do not need to produce all the metadata required to support the information environment illustrated here, but there has to be a commitment to and understanding of how to make it all play well together on behalf of the end user community.
  • And here’s another illustration produced to illustrate a typical US research library’s need to normalize, crosswalk, and make interoperable a number of different metadata feeds from variety of sources. You can see the feeds of non-MARC metadata from publishers, agents, and publication supply chain partners on the left, traditional MARC sources on the right, and digital library or open access repository metadata in the middle. What a costly mess, especially when one considers that library after library is attempting to make this same metadata work well together.
  • I believe we can avoid going down this resource-intensive road with digital library collections if we work more cooperatively and planfully. There are many signs that organizations like LIBER are taking just the right kind of approach.When we talk about digital libraries or digital collections, I think we mean a lot of different things.This slide is my attempt to illustrate what I mean when I talk about digital collections and the categories they fall into.I see a trend, well illustrated in the work that is being done in Europe, to aggregate digital collections at not only a very large scale, as in Europeana, but also in smaller scale aggregations.As you can probably predict from what I have said so far today, the more visibility of these collections in multiple aggregations, the better.
  • As a matter of fact, here is an example of an aggregation i(Gallica) in an other aggregatiion, (OAIster) in another aggregation. (WorldCat)org).Just ten or so days ago, OCLC loaded the metadata from the OAIster repository describing more than 20 million objects in more than 1,000 digital collections into, where it is freely availalble for discovery by anyone with an Internet connection. OCLC also plans to release a freely accessible, discrete view of the OAIster database in 2010 that will be updated regularly. The pages at the URL on this slide provides more information.
  • Before concluding, I’d like to share just a few more thoughts and examples that may be of interest.I shouldn’t conclude a discussion of the changing context for cataloging and metadata without talkling some more about new sources of metadata. In libraries, in traditional abstracting and indexing services, and in the publication data supply chain, metadata has been for the most part professionally produced. We are beginning to see in addition a good deal of author and/or user contributed metadata which needs to be usefully folded into what we have in some way.On top of that there is metadata being produced through large scale data mining of aggregations like WorldCat, for example to produce FRBR work sets and other new services like WorldCat Identifies, which I’ll show you in a moment.OCLC is not the only organization doing this kind of work but this work does tend to require a very large aggregation of data.
  • WorldCat Identities is a product of data mining , an example of the kind of thing that can be done if you have enough data. Identities mines, reuses and remixed, bibliographic and authoirty data in a service intended for end users. You can think of it as, in a way, a Facebook or My Space for important dead people . Click.Here is the Identities page for architect JozePelcnik. Based on mining information in FRBR work sets of bibliographic data, and combined information from a number of authority files, we can tell a lot about him. Click. I have skipped most of the middle of this entry. This is a free public site accessible from and also independently.At the bottom of this entryis a tag cloud, drawn from facets mined from LC subject headings. One could imagine using such a cloud to seed further contributions from end users.
  • I thought you would also want to see VIAF biriefly. This is also a freely accessible public site that you can play with later if you like.I have shown here the contributing partners to this joint effort of several national libraries, hosted and implemented by OCLC.Click. Here is the page for our architect, showing the various heading forms used in different national libraries and a wheel illustrating the relationships between the heading forms.
  • Another new trend in global librarianship – involvement in systems that make scholars more visible on the network …A number of initiatives … VIVO …. $12M grant from National Institutes of Health to further develop the system at a national level …Related initiatives in Netherlands involving assignment of researcher IDs and active management of scholarly impact and visibility of a nation’s scholars and their output.Poss of interest to COBISS should there be interest in regional initiative
  • Here is one example that I’m familiar with that uses tools and standards to tie inependent aggregator systems together .CBS systems aggregate bibliographic data and holdings in union catalogs and resource sharing services. Liibraries Australia for example uses a CBS system. Australian libraries aggregate up to the union catalog on CBS and through SRU update, The Australian union catalog is within 5 seconds of synchronization with WorldCat. Click. Later this fiscal year we will add SRU data exchange back to Australia so that record contributions and enhancements made in WorldCat can be sent automatically.
  • Here is an illustration of what OCLC is currently working on for those aggregators who want to synchronize and exchange data with OCLC WorldCat but can’t directly use SRU update. It’s another example of the kind of approach that can loosely tie independent contributors or aggregators together using a variety of protocols .


  • 1. COBISS Conference
    12 November 2009
    Karen Calhoun
    Vice President, WorldCat & Metadata Services, OCLC
    Traveling Through Transitions: From Surviving to Thriving
  • 2. Available on SlideShare
  • 3. Outline
    Trends in librarianship and libraries
    User-centered design and “quality” in the user workflow from discovery to delivery
    A new context for catalogs and cataloging: Metadata 2.0
    Managing the distributed nature of metadata creation and exchange
    Everywhere the library
  • 4. 1. Top Trends in Librarianship and Libraries
  • 5. Shrinking Technical Services Departments in Academic Libraries
    “Perhaps the strongest theme [of the compilation] is the notion that technical services is and will be faced with constant rapid change… Other oft-articulated themes across chapters include shrinking technical services departments faced with rising demand for new services, especially e-resource access…”
    —Karen Calhoun, LRTS review of Brad Eden’s compilation of essays, Innovative Redesign and Reorganization of Library Technical Services, 2004.
    Actual data from a large university
    library: 22% reduction in staff size
    over 5 years …
    And this was BEFORE the 2008
    economic downturn
  • 6. Competition for Staffing Resources to Assign to New Initiatives in Libraries
    • Engage with institutional or community-based repositories
    • 7. Scholarly publishing expertise/communications
    • 8. Support for digital asset management in the communities served
    • 9. New services for [fill in the blank]
    • 10. Develop new alliances, partnerships
    • 11. Reveal “hidden collections”
    • 12. Integrate library into learning management systems, teaching and research, portals, scholar’s workstation, personal productivity tools
    • 13. 24/7 access
    • 14. Major space renovation
    • 15. Offsite storage
    • 16. Next generation systems
  • Pressure on Space: Collections, Users, Staff – Which Gets Priority?
    Hint: It’s not the staff
  • 17. Pressure on Space: Collections, Users, Staff – Which Gets Priority?
    Hint: it’s not
    the books
    $108 million
    Renovation of Ohio
    State University
    “The books had
    come to clutter the
    library” Ohio/4700
  • 18. Pressure on Space: Collections, Users, Staff – Which Gets Priority?
    Hint: it’s the users
    Sheffield University, UK
    Information Commons
    By: Paolo Màrgari
  • 19. Today’s libraries exist in physical and virtual space.
    A library is thus both a manifest place and an experience
    of real, but intangible, “cyberspace” for those who
    interact with it. One may describe a library system in terms
    of the relationships between users, collections, library staff,
    and space, with “space” defined both as buildings and
    as virtual, networked information space.
    --Cornell University Library. 2003. MAS2010: Models for Academic
    Support: Report to the Mellon Foundation
    Another Type of Space Gets Priority: The Virtual Library (Embedded, on the Web)
  • 20. An Early Earthquake: Where Do You Begin an Online Search for Information on a Topic?
    (2005) College Students’ Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources:
    a Report to the OCLC Membership:
  • 21. LC Action Item 6.4: “Support research and development on the changing nature of the catalog to include consideration of a framework for its integration with other discovery tools.”
    Calhoun, Karen. The Changing Nature of the Catalog and Its Integration with Other Discovery Tools.  Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 17 March 2006.
  • 22. The Catalog in Context
    Online catalogs represent one node in the end user’s information universe
  • 23. Geocentric/
    Aristotelian view:
    The local
    catalog is the
    Copernican view:
    The local catalog
    is a planet
  • 24. WorldCat Partners
    Google, Google Books,
    Google Scholar
    HCI Bibliography :
    Human-Computer Interaction Resources
  • 25. WorldCat: Global Integrator, Driving Searches to Libraries
    Pushing metadata out, pulling users in:
    It’s all about linking metadata
  • 26. Slovenian Libraries in WorldCat
    24 Sep - 19 Oct 2009
    First upload of records from COBIB.SI into WorldCat (3,063,840 bibliographic records and 4,309,076 holdings)
    New WorldCat records added: 3,063,840
  • 27. Synchronization: BeingWhereTheirEyes Are
    Synchro of data
    Partner Sites &
  • 28. 2. User-Centered Design
    Source: Experientia web site
  • 29. “Discoverability” Report: University of Minnesota Libraries, February 2009
    Core Values
  • 30. “Quality” in the User Workflow from Discovery to Delivery
    Library user studies suggest that users expect
    finding and getting information they want, when
    and where they want it, to be easy and convenient.
    “A colleague … sang the praises of the digital world to us.
    He can now, he told us, get direct access to information …
    His enthusiasm had screened out an enormous array of people, organizations, and institutions involved in this “direct” touch. The university, the library, publishers, editors, referees, authors, the computer and infrastructure designers, the cataloguers and library collection managers, right down to the students working their way through college by [working in the library] had no place in his story.”
    Brown, John Seely, and Paul Duguid. 2000. The social life
    of information. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
    These users’ tolerance for barriers to easy and
    convenient discovery and delivery is limited.
  • 31. An End to End View of a High Quality Discovery to Delivery Process
    The (invisible)
    cloud of complexity onthe global metadata network
    Easily Find It
    AND Easily
    Get It
  • 32. Emerging Principles of Information Organization: Use, Usage, and Usability Assessment
    “As the needs and expectations of library users change in the digital environment, libraries are trying to find the best ways to define their user communities, understand what they value, and evolve digital library collections and services to meet their demands.”—Denise Troll Covey
    Covey, Denise Troll. 2002. Usage and usability assessment: library practicesand concerns. CLIR.
  • 33. What Do We Know About Designing Library Systems with the User In Mind?
    • Some examples of
    Online catalog studies
    Research into use and users of digital library collections
    Grad Ravne
  • 34. Online Catalogs: What Users and Librarians Want
    End-Users expect online catalogs:
    to look like popular Web sites
    to have summaries, abstracts, tables of contents
    to link directly to needed information
    Librarians expect online catalogs:
    to serve end users’ information needs
    to help staff carry out work responsibilities
    to have accurate, structured data
    to exhibit classical principles of organization
    April 2009
  • 35. End-User Results: Recommended Enhancements
    Librarian/Staff Results: Highlighted Differences
    Recommended enhancements to WorldCatTotal end-user responses
  • 36. Research into use and users of digital library collections
    “The availability of primary sources has been crucial for the success of my teaching in history. Students have remarked what a difference it has made, and I have noticed a big difference between this course with the availability of online primary resources to those I have taught before that were based on printed resources.” –History instructor, University of California [2]
    “The function of searching across collections is a dream frequently discussed but seldom realized at a robust level. This paper … discusses how we might move from isolated digital collections to interoperable digital libraries.”
    —Howard Besser [4]
    “Digital libraries, far from being simple digital versions of library holdings, are now attracting a new type of public, bringing about new, unique and original ways for reading and understanding texts.”—BibUsages Study 2002 [3]
  • 37. 3. A New Context for Catalogs and Cataloging
    Based on Calhoun, Karen. Technology, productivity, and change
    in library technical services. Library Collections, Acquisitions,
    and Technical Services Volume 27, Issue 3, Autumn 2003, Pages 281-289
  • 38.
  • 39. R2 Report for Library of Congress
    Library of Congress
    Study of the North American MARC Records Marketplace
    October 2009
    R2 Consulting LLC
    Ruth Fischer
    Rick Lugg
    © 2009
    • Cataloging backlogs continue to grow
    • 40. There is adequate cataloging capacity in North America to meet the need for cataloging
    • 41. Cooperative cataloging has not realized its potential
    • 42. There is still widespread resistance to accepting the cataloging of another library
  • Metadata 2.0: The Changing Context for Metadata Management After the Web
    B.W. (Before the Web)
    For finding and managing library materials (mostly print)
    Catalog records (well-understood rules and encoding conventions)
    Shared cooperative cataloging systems
    Usually handcrafted, one at a time
    A.W. (After the Web)
    For finding and managing many types of materials, for many user communities
    Many types of records, many sources
    Loosely coupled metadata management, reuse and exchange services among multiple repositories
    Multiple batch creation and metadata extract, conversion, mapping, ingest and transfer services
  • 43. Full Text DBs
    Digital collections
    An Increasingly Complex, Demanding Environment to Support
    Link resolver
    Acquisitions data
    Circ/status data
    Print holdings data
    management system (ERM)
  • 44. A Widely Distributed E-Resource
    Metadata Management Process
    Adapted from Calhoun, Karen. 2000. “Redesign of Library Workflows: Experimental Models for Electronic Resource Description.” In:Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium: [Washington, D.C.]: Library of Congress.
  • 45. Metadata creation and management supply chain today
    With thanks to Renee Register, OCLC
  • 46. Library or library service organizations as publishers
  • 47. Digital libraries >> Digital library aggregators
    *Slovenian government web page, 10 Nov 2002—Internet Archive Wayback machine
  • 48. Metadata Aggregation for Digital Library Content: Gallicain OAIster in WorldCat
    More info:
  • 49. More Metadata Sources
  • 50. WorldCat Identities
  • 51. Virtual International Authority File (VIAF)
  • 52. Global Librarianship, Scholar Identities and “Research Reputation Management”
    $12 million NIH grant for VivoWeb … a national,
    Facebook-like, professional social network
    that enables scientists to find new biomedical
    research and partnerships.
  • 53. 4. Managing the distributed nature of
    metadata creation and exchange
    Integration, Exposure,
    And Linking
    Of Library
    (e.g., Google,
    WorldCat, national libraries, consortia)
    And Delivery
  • 54. Synchronizing “Group” and “Local” Catalogs: Aggregators with Aggregators
    Union Database
  • 55. Synchronization Gateway
    Metadata System
  • 56. Promoting reuse and interoperability
    MARC 21-
    MARC 21-
    ONIX Books
    ONIX Books
    DC XML
    DC XML
    ONIX Serials
  • 57. 5. Everywhere, the Library
    Library as Place
    Place as Library
    National and University Library, Slovenia
  • 58. Bringing writers, readers, and libraries together
    • Local catalog linked to a chain of services
    • 59. Infrastructure to permit global, national or regional, and local discovery and delivery of information among open, loosely-coupled systems
    • 60. Critical mass of digitized publications, special collections, and born digital materials online
    • 61. Many starting points on the Web leading to many types of information objects
    • 62. Switch users from where they find things to library-managed collections of all kinds
  • We Can Be Connected: With Our Communities and With Each Other
    is an
    No man is an Island, entire of itself;every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.Meditation XVII, John Donne
    St. Gallen Library
    Attribution: Ben and Clare
  • 63. Derring-do
  • 64. Digital Collections Slide - Citations
    [1] Data source for chart: University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center. Summary Statistics.
    [2] Quote from survey respondent as reported in Harley, Diane. 2007. Use and users of digital resources. Educause Quarterly 4, p. 12-20.
    [3a] Assadi, Houssem, et al. 2002. Use and users of online digital libraries in France. (BibUsages project)
    [3b] Lupovici, Catherine, and Lesquins, Noémie. 2007. Gallica 2.0: a second life for the Bibliothèque nationale de France digital library.
    [4] Besser, Howard. 2002. The next stage: moving from digital collections to interoperable digital libraries. First Monday 7:6.
  • 65. Thank You!Karen Calhoun