Richard’s IFLA WLIC 2018 report

Here is my summary of sessions I attended at the 2018 IFLA World Library and Information Congress, distilled from 7 pages of notes:
I attended both sessions of the Subject Analysis and Access Section. Development of standards: Impact of IFLA bibliographic standards. There was much talk of the impact of last year’s approval of the Library Resource Model (LRM) on a variety of other standards. Already there has been discussion of modifying the model from an entity-relationship one to an object-oriented one, to be called LRMoo. This is all about the theory underlying our cataloging rules, with the vocabulary being arcane and not a little bit obscure. Nevertheless, in the very near future, this will have an impact on RDA’s terminology and possibly actual cataloging rules. One of the terms bandied about was “diachronic works,” that is works that are issued over time – an addition to the terminology used for continuous resources. Such works can be indeterminate or determinate in duration as well as being successive or integrating, resulting in 4 classes of such works:
a. Serials – which are indeterminate and successive
b. Websites and databases – which are indeterminate and integrating
c. Websites of limited duration (such as a website set up for a particular Olympic games) – which are determinate and integrating
d. Dictionaries issues in several volumes over time – which are determinate and successive
If this doesn’t make sense to you, you are not the only one. I’m looking forward to seeing some training materials. The other term I heard for the first time was “WEMlock.” That refers to the idea that a manifestation determines the expression and the work.
The Global Vision project was another theme of the conference. A total of 200 reports from IFLA led sessions around the globe were received over the past few months in addition to another 18 locally-sponsored reporting sessions. All told the full report runs 740 pages. The OLA session on the Global Vision Project was one of the 18 local sessions mentioned.
With my project to create subject headings for Oregon Indian tribes in mind, I chose to attend the program sponsored by the Library Services to Indigenous Populations Section. All of the speakers were very good, but I especially liked hearing about Librarians without Borders. In Colombia, following the truce between FARC and the federal government, this organization did a project to bring mobile libraries to areas where FARC rebels had been active to help them transition back into civilian life and promote reconciliation. The presenter also spoke about the impact of the long civil war on indigenous peoples, many of whom were displaced by the war and whose children are in danger of losing their cultural background. About 41,000 people of 65 indigenous groups were displaced, leaving them vulnerable to slave trafficking, isolation from their own people, and impoverishment. One way that the organization supported them was by developing an “Ideasbox,” a popup library-in-a-box that can be used to promote access to indigenous culture, provide education, and support information exchanges between displaced persons and the local population. Library assistants were recruited from the indigenous communities themselves.
I also liked Decolonizing Academic Library Research with Indigenous Methodologies: A Collaborative Approach presented by Camille Callison, University of Manitoba, and Danielle Cooper, Ithaka S+R. Callison spoke about her own people, the Tahltan in BC, and the need to implement the UN statement on indigenous knowledge. Libraries need to preserve traditional knowledge, which can present a worldview much different from that of the dominant culture. Danielle Cooper spoke about how in the dominant culture, researchers typically gather data for interpretation, but the result is often something that benefits the researcher. In working with indigenous populations, this is often viewed negatively, that the researcher has taken something from the indigenous people without giving anything back. She provided a short list of resources on indigenous research methodologies. Ithaka S+R will be publishing a capstone report about this topic.
The Evolution of BIBFRAME: from MARC Surrogate to Web Conformant Data Model Philip Schreur, Stanford University, provided a history of MARC and the need to transition to
linked data and Bibframe. He pointed out how equipment (computers, phones, etc.) from the time that MARC was created are not around today and that we take for granted that machines will interact with another. Nevertheless, MARC is still around today even though it doesn’t readily interact with a variety of systems. Bibframe was launched in May 2011 and allows for translating MARC into linked data, the language of the semantic web. In September, 2017, the – first Bibframe workshop was held in Europe; a 2nd one is scheduled for Florence this month. The Program for Cooperative Cataloging recently created a sandbox for creation of cataloging workflows using Bibframe, an important development as many libraries internationally can take on the work of implementing it (as opposed to having LC be the guiding organization).

Other speakers at the Bibframe session discussed development of an in-house conversion project to move data from MARC to Bibframe.

The best named paper in the Bibframe session was “Still waiting for that funeral” presented by Sébastien Peyrard and Mélanie Roche, Bibliothèque nationale de France. They maintained that MARC is not dead yet and that MARC is adequate for their needs.

The metadata sections (Cataloging, Bibliography, and Subject Analysis/Access) did a joint session that covered a variety of topics. Their main collaborative achievement recently is the creation of an IFLA metadata newsletter. The Bibliography section is coming out with a revised Guidelines for National Bibliography in the Digital Age, due out in 2019. It has also worked on the NBR, national bibliographic register, which compiles information about national bibliographies for many countries (i.e., a directory of national bibliographic agencies, such as LC and the British Library).
The Guidelines for Authority Records and References (GARR) was being revised but is currently on hold while recent changes in ISBD are being considered elsewhere in IFLA.
Other work: ISBD review group received permission to start revision of ISBD after many years of waiting for the LRM model. “Names of Persons” was published in 1996 and is in desperate need of revision. Multicat project is a multilingual dictionary for cataloging and also needs revision, especially after LRM approval.
I attended my first meeting of the Form/Genre Work Group to which I was appointed this past year. We reviewed potential tasks for the group listed in a Google docs spreadsheet and decided to tackle creating a list of form/genre vocabularies with annotations to facilitate selection of a vocabulary when users are working on a project. A companion bibliography of articles about form/genre terms was also suggested

I attended two sessions of the lightning talks, a new feature of the IFLA conference. In addition to my providing an update to my project about Oregon Indian tribe subject headings, I heard about many different projects. Favorites were: “PD with a Passport” about how a burnt out librarian decided to volunteer for a number of different NGOs, including Librarians without Borders, to help develop libraries in Central and South America; providing mobile library services to IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons) in Nigeria, promoting reading for pleasure as a way to both educate children and provide relief time from the worries of living as a refugee (and also including social workers, health workers, and translators to help with those challenges); and a project to digitize books in Iraqi libraries (particularly Mosul University) after ISIS had been driven out.
Next year: Athens! (and 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand)

Chicago trips in May/June

University Librarian/OSU Press Director travels (May-June 2018)

May and June were unusually busy travel months for me.  In May, I attended two meetings that I don’t typically attend—Center for Research Libraries Forum and Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) 40th Annual Conference.  Both were held in the Windy City so I stayed with my fiancée Cara at her place in Chicago.  I also went to AUP in San Francisco and ALA Annual in New Orleans.

CRL Global Resources Collections Forum, May 17-18

OSU Libraries is a long-time member of CRL and they have an in-person meeting every other year.  This is the first time I have attended a CRL meeting.  The forum was held in Chicago at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center. All of the sessions were recorded and are available at

The common themes at this year’s CRL forum:

Archival holdings are vulnerable, if not  threatened, across the globe.  Derek Petersen’s talk on African government records demonstrated this but he also questioned whether digitizing such records and opening them up  in places like Uganda was a good idea.  His point was that what works in the Western world may not work in other regions.  It was startling to see photos of new facilities that had been built to house records but without adequate shelving, staffing, etc. to process them.  I also liked the presentation from UTexas (Benson Collection) curators of a huge Mellon project to implement a post-custodial approach to curating documents related to documents related to Central American politics (Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador).

The use and potential reuse of data needs our attention.  CUNY law librarian Sarah Lamdan raised the alarm regarding how commercial vendors like Lexis Nexis have ramped up their involvement (and profit gain) from the world of gathering data for surveillance purposes.  They and others are contracting with US government entities like Homeland Security.  There was a similar message from Irena Knezevic’s presentation on what big Agra companies like Monsanto are doing to commercialize research results—big data—that comes from farmers who may or may not know what their data rights are.  Finally, I enjoyed Cliff Lynch’s presentation which built on his First Monday publication “Stewardship in the ‘Age of Algorithms.'”

Society for Scholarly Publishing  40th Conference highlights

SSP was kicked off with a series of Sponsored Sessions.  These enable vendors to talk about their products and services and are clearly labeled in the program.  I’m not sure why we don’t do this in “Libraryland.” They could be revenue generators plus a timesaver for all of us who want to learn about a vendor’s new product.  Since they are clearly delineated as “sales talks”in the program, attendees can avoid them if they want to do so.

I was curious about all the publishing platforms that are available for scholarly publishers so I went to a Typefi Systems session on automation. The session covered several case studies demonstrating how investment in their platform improved productivity. Typefi Cloud allows production of HTML and PDF outputs and authors, editors, designers and others can keep using the same software (i.e. Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign), they are comfortable with to create scholarly works.  This is helpful so authors don’t have to learn InDesign.

Diversity, inclusion, equity issues are an emerging topic in the publishing world.  A panel covering this topic featured Jody Gray from ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services; Association for University Presses’ Executive Director Peter Berkery, and Jean Shipman from Elsevier.  The panelists reported on efforts at their organization.  I was keen to learn what Elsevier is up to but they are struggling as much as any of us in this arena.  Everyone has the same challenges we have in terms of recruitment.

There were two awesome keynotes. First, Safiya Noble spoke about her new book Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. Her book is on my nightstand of books to read sooner rather than later.  Noble also gave the closing keynote at AUP in San Francisco.  I thought the AUP keynote might be a repeat but she did an excellent job of covering similar ground without being repetitive.  The other keynote was by Steve Mirsky, an editor and columnist for Scientific American.  His talk focused on how psychologist Robert Cialdini’s six principles of influence (reciprocity, commitment, social proof, authority, liking, scarcity) can be applied to changes we want to see in the scholarly communication environment.  Mirsky has a lot of concern (as do many) about the preponderance of denial related to scientific evidence supporting evolution, climate change, etc.

I also went to several sessions where metadata and its role in machine learning or AI were the focus.  A speaker from Science talked about the metadata they are collecting on authors (gender, ethnicity, degrees).  That was a bit scary in regards to privacy concerns. He wasn’t altogether clear what they were doing with this data (supposedly kept internal) or how they were collecting it. (DON”T) Rage Against the Machine  a session on Artificial Intelligence (AI) was another session on how use of AI can improve discoverability (ie., introduction of new music) online learning, prediction of things like revenue and other trends.  There was also a good panel with 3 women and one male (the U of Utah AUL Rick Anderson, BTW) that was a really good conversation with considerable Q&A to engage with the audience.

The session on funders as publishers had representation from a library (as publisher of OA stuff), a faculty research from UC San Diego, an editor from AAAS, and rep from F1000. The response from the UL at the University College of London offered expected info in terms of their initiatives to run an IR and operate a relatively new OA university press. He also covered the political context in the UK—funders requiring OA.  Library as publisher begs the question: What does it mean to be a publisher—pre-print server?  What about distributing data or is publishing just mean being an entity that publishes publications?

All panelists addressed these questions:

What do researchers want from OA

  • Publish in high quality journal read by peers; the researcher Maryanne Martone from UC San Diego repeated the term “prestige economy” to describe why researchers publish;
  • Solid review process and short pub times
  • Make it easy to comply with OA requirements

Perceived benefits of OA

  • Access for scientists and for public

Perceived challenges of OA

  • Non-productive conversations
  • Quality comes at a cost

What are cost complications?

The AAAS editor focused on what he termed “transition pains” as funding migrates from subscriptions to APCs. He described a fragmented world in terms of sales because Europe will likely be APCs but rest of the world (including US) will be subscriptions.  He said the transition would likely hurt smaller publishers more.

Martone asked what were the costs of unrecovered research? More to the point what were the costs of not going with OA.  She mentioned the article on “long tail” data that has become dark so now the data is unavailable. She said there may be increasing ROI for funders through initiatives like bioRxiv, the biology preprint server.  Also described that there is more than just articles that researchers need access but important scholarly outcomes include data as well as code.  All research outputs need to be reusable. As a neuroscientist, Martone spoke to need to access big data because her field depends on integration.  Mentions library license agreements that don’t allow machine-based access or text-mining.

The UCLondon UL Paul Ayris  spoke about his campus’ coming adoption of new bilbiometrics.  They are not going to allow the journal impact factor to be considered for P&T as the journal impact factor does not provide insight into the value of the actual article—it’s not at an article level.

FOLLOWUP: Martone, Lamden, Noble (yes, again) might be speakers we would consider bringing to OSU to talk about scholarly communication topics of interest to OSU faculty

ALA New Orleans, 2018 – Richard’s report

ALA Annual, New Orleans, 2018 Conference Report
Below are some of the significant things I learned at the many sessions I attended:
1. OCLC Expert Cataloging Community Sharing Session
As OCLC continues to develop its WorldShare manager systems and related services, OCLC reps assured catalogers that support for Connexion would not be going away without plenty of notice. I asked about the recent spate of DLC records without controlled headings. While no one had any certain answer, some in the group speculated that: a) records were being used by OSU before LC had created authority records for personal names (although the records included uncontrolled subject headings); b) records created by other libraries that had controlled headings were copy-cataloged by LC and for some unknown reason the headings became uncontrolled; c) something was going awry at LC. In any event, OCLC did not claim responsibility and suggested I get in touch with someone at LC.

2. Emerging Leaders Poster Session
The Emerging Leaders program enables ALA units to task groups of early career librarians with research and development projects that further the aims of the association. IRRT again sponsored a group of emerging leaders to survey international librarians who are members of ALA and/or IRRT as to how the round table can better serve their needs and engage them in the work of the association/round table. I also spoke with some who did a project for the American Indian Library Association to create a database of tribal museums and libraries accessible on the web. I noted that they missed the ones in Oregon, but as this is an ongoing project, they assured me I could submit information for inclusion in the database.
3. International Librarians Orientation – an orientation for some of the 500 librarians from overseas so that they can get the most out of their conference experience.
4. Opening General Session with Michelle Obama
Ms. Obama was interviewed by Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress. This was an event not to be missed. Ms. Obama was her warm, compassionate self in describing her early life, life in the White House, and her support for girls and women to be all that they can be. If she had any inkling of running for office, I’d vote for her in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I think she has other plans for her future.
5. IRRT All Committees Meeting
Committee chairs shared about programs planned for Annual and beyond as well as other IRRT business. The session is a good networking opportunity for all.
6. IFLA Update
Gerald Leitner, IFLA General Secretary, and Gloria Salmeron-Diaz, IFLA President, reported on IFLA initiatives, especially the Global Vision Project and the Library Map of the World. The former is an effort to collect input from librarians worldwide to create an “idea store” to further the ten foci for the future of libraries around the world. The latter is a project to collect data on libraries around the world to further library development and integrate stories from libraries with the UN’s Sustainable Development goals.
7. IRRT Chair’s Program: Libraries Saving Lives: Supporting Refugees and Immigrants
3 speakers from very different venues spoke on their libraries’ efforts to support immigrants and refugees:
a. Louisville (KY) Public Library. The city has seen an incredible uptick in diversity with 138 languages listed as the primary language spoken in home, with the top 5 non-English languages being: Spanish, Arabic, Somali, Nepali, Swahili. Programs include: free English conversation classes given by the school district; partnering with universities and high schools to have immigrants integrated into syllabi of appropriate classes; veterans speaking with refugees from the countries they were stationed in; engaging retired immigration lawyers to respond to questions from immigrants; having immigrant musicians play together at the library and offer lessons (oud, ukulele) at the same time as English lessons. Citizenship ceremonies are conducted at the library. Numerous other examples were given: multiethnic iftars; film series about causes that brought refugees here; language salons (Arabic, Somali, etc.); even bringing books to a local slaughterhouse where immigrants worked so they could take advantage of library services on their lunch break.
b. Koln, Germany, public library. The 4th biggest city in Germany where 37% of population is minority immigrants, but are well integrated in the city. Plus about 10,000 refugees. Public libraries funded by municipality but unlike the US, they charge a $45 fee to borrow books. They offer intercultural mediakits for schools and other locations. In 2015, they created a language space, open to all, as a place to practice German, using volunteers come from the community. Library serves as mediator between committee members and refugees, offering training for the volunteers. The library also encourages immigrants to tell their stories, which are recorded and posted on the libraries website. Their stories are also told through art, such as painting. The library has also used reading dogs, an idea borrowed from their sister library in Indianapolis; multilingual reading events; encouraging story times with fathers – especially important for people from countries where reading aloud to children isn’t well established.
c. The director of Libraries of Malmo, Sweden discussed their efforts where 1/3 of the population was born abroad. They have an obligation to prioritize people with a first language other than Swedish. Over 150,000 refugees coming to Malmo – a large strain on resources. They have created a children’s library in Arabic on Facebook. “Maktabat al atfal” (sp?). Also a service called “A Million Stories” at The library cooperates with outside groups that work with immigrants to conduct language workshops where new immigrants can practice Swedish skills and also to learn English.
8. Catalog Form and Function Interest Group
Several interesting projects were described here. One involved using MARCEdit to crosswalk tab delimited text (Excel) describing finding aids to Marc. Records, which were still very brief, were then loaded into the local ILS, but not shared with WorldCat.
Dallas Public Library created something called Library.Link to take their 100+terabytes of MARC records and make it discoverable on the web. They used Bibframe to move the data to Dublin Core as well as Using “Data dashboard” (?) they were able to generated links reconcile data, then publish it on the open web. This was definitely a bit beyond me, but seemed like a very cool project nevertheless. New Directions in Non-Latin Script Access
9. International Papers Session: Libraries Supporting Social Inclusion for Refugees and Immigrants
Since this was the IRRT chair’s theme for this year, this program also featured a variety of innovative ways of reaching out to immigrants and refugees.
Libraries empowering immigrant communities in Hawaii: Using a Hawaiian approach, the ”talk-story” which is similar to storytelling. About ¼ of the Hawaiian population are immigrants: Japanese, Filipino (the largest group), Portuguese, Americans, Puerto Rico, etc. In pidgin Hawaiian, talk-story means that the more you chitchat, the more you understand. It legitimizes storytelling. There are many social issues that need addressing. Many immigrants live on Oahu where the cost of living is very high and the need for affordable housing is very great. Many are homeless. The indigenous population is struggling for sovereignty. Immigrants struggle for equitable wages. At the University of Hawaii it is hard to keep faculty because of how expensive it is. Hamilton Library is the largest in Hawaii. It does outreach to high schools to try to reduce the library anxiety. They conduct many cultural sensitivity activities in an attempt to reduce ethnic slurs and bullying – problems which make attendance undesirable to kids. The library sponsors events that include eating and dancing in the library and a chance to share about their history. Their goal is to flip their stories to hope instead of despair.
Nordic World Library Project: This project delivers digital library services to immigrant communities in the Nordic countries, a cooperative project between the national libraries of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. A digital platform for disseminating film and music was developed by the Royal Library in Denmark with the goal to improve digital library services to minorities in Nordic countries. The project purchases rights, services, cataloging, etc. for these resources. Many immigrants from these countries are illiterate, so the project also needs to teach languages to enable them to read, educate, and enable users to find employment and integrate into Nordic society. Materials are purchased in 5 languages: Somali, Arabic, Farsi, Serbo-Croatian, and Tigrinya.
Two Norwegian presenters discussed their public library’s programs in the northernmost part of the country. They sought to make their public library a place for learning and social inclusion of immigrants. Of the total population of Norway, 880,000 are foreign born or have foreign-born people. Their county in the very northern part of Norway has a population of 75,000 and borders on Russia and Finland, with their small town of 7000. The county has settled the most immigrants per capita. They offer literature in the immigrants’ own languages, including literature from their home countries and Norwegian literature in translation. Over 70 different languages are represented. They host “anguage cafes” – places where immigrants and refugees can talk about a particular topic in Norwegian, to encourage speaking in the language. They also create meeting points between immigrants and local citizens based on hobbies and interests.
10. Technical Services Discussion Group (ACRL-Rare Books and Manuscripts Section)
This was my first time attending this discussion group. The floor was open for discussing topics from participants rather than having any formal presentations as many discussion groups have. The most relevant part was the discussion of links in records for archival finding aids, something that the OCA has been dealing with this past year. I shared some about the effort to remove portfolios from our finding aid records.
11. IRRT Executive Board Meeting
The was our semiannual meeting face-to-face. The board was very happy with the Emerging Leaders project mentioned above, which will likely result in some changes in the way the IRRT conducts its business and communicates with the membership.
12. Authority Control Interest Group
Janis Young (LC) provided the following info:
a. “multiple” subdivisions in LCSH will be going away over a yearlong project to begin June 30 and expected to last a year. These are subject headings of the type [Topic] in Christianity [Judaism, Islam, etc.] where the cataloger could substitute the name of the religion in the heading freely. These types of headings cause problems for linked data. LC will work with OCLC to provide strings of these multiples so that proper subject heading authority records can be created for each one. Once that is done, multiple subdivision authority records will be cancelled. For now, LC is asking that catalogers don’t propose any new ones of this ilk, but you can continue using multiples as needed. They also ask that catalogers don’t try to help by making individual proposals. Propose new subdivisions as needed where a multiple does not exist. Instructions are now included in the Subject Cataloging Manual under H1090.
b. There are duplicate authority records for some entities, such as the Catholic Church, in both NAF and LCSH. These are not a true duplicates. These are created when LC needs to provide info. Please do not report these as duplicates.
c. For a variety of reasons, only LC staff will add LC-verified author numbers in LC Classification from now on rather than allowing PCC and other catalogers to propose author numbers in the P schedules.

13. Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Participants Meeting
a. Guidelines for bibliographic file maintenance were provided.
b. Gender and authority records report based on the recent survey has been completed, including best practice recommendations. An approved DCM will be placed in Cataloger’s Desktop and the policy posted on the PCC website.
c. Library and Archives Canada has joined NACO, but because of bilingualism, training, etc., we are asked to report anything unusual in the NAF.
d. Relationship designations for authority records have had guidelines approved. A general announcement about the guidelines will go out soon and should be a big help for linked data.
e. Literary author class numbers (053 field in authority records) have been included in PCC authority record proposals in the past. However, LC is no longer allowing these as they cause problems for LC authority record reviewers given a number of suppressed classification records that PCC members cannot see but LC catalogers can.
f. Janis Young reviewed the processes that LC performs when reviewing subject heading proposals and advised libraries submitting new subject heading proposals to be patient when awaiting approval.
g. Isabel Quintana reported on a pilot project to include ISNI identifiers in authority records. A report and other information is available on the website.
14. Heads of Cataloging Departments Interest Group
a. Casey Mullin, WSU, reported on his experience coordinating with multiple other units and staff at WSU with respect to cataloging of resources in their IR. His collaborative model of digital collection management was very interesting and reminiscent of our own Metadata Interest Group discussions.
b. Dave Van Kleeck, U. of Florida, reported on their efforts to improve legacy metadata quality issues in order to improve discoverability. They partnered with Access Innovations, Inc., to clean up metadata since different standards had been applied over time. This included enhancing subject terms for ETDs and digitizing issues of a Florida journal.

15. OCLC Research update
a. The main presentation here was from Andrew Pace who discussed their linked data project to enhance cataloging productivity using Wikidata, MediaWiki, and OpenRefine. A website at OCLC provides details of the project.

ARL/ACRL Symposium for Strategic Leadership in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

OSU Libraries & Press supported Marisol Moreno Ortiz, Philip Sites, Sarah Schuck, and Jane Nichols’ attendance at this 2 day Symposium, May 10-11, 2018.

The Symposium shared presenters’ slides and other conference materials. Viewing the program along with the slides will help inform which documents to look at. I know I’ll return to these to comb through to remember and for further inspiration.

Jane shared her notes. Reader beware! They are rough notes so some ideas may be only partially present.

A major take away is that learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion is a life long process. We will each have our own approaches, just like with any other acquired skill, knowledge, or wisdom. Does it go without saying to approach this with compassion? Compassion for self and each other. Along the way, maybe, like me, you will find attending, being present for, and participating in a symposia where all the attendees are participating in and focused on their learning to be rejuvenating and inspiring.

I think my favorite presentation was Jessie Loyer’s “Where do you work?: Rooting Responsibility in Land”. Many of these concepts about relationality and reciprocity are in her chapter “Indigenous Information Literacy: nêhiyaw Kinship Enabling Self-Care in Research” by Jessie Loyer, in The Politics of Theory and the Practice of Critical Librarianship, edited by Karen Nicholson and Maura Seale. If you want to talk with others about these concepts, it will be discussed during the Instruction Get Together Wednesday May 30, 2018, 11-noon, Autzen Classroom.

With thanks OSU Libraries & Press for your support to attend the Symposium!

ALA MW Denver 2018 – Conference Highlights!

I use to live in Colorado, worked at CU Boulder for 3 years running the Map Library;  then for 5 years I worked as a consultant mainly in the western part of Colorado.  So it’s a going home feeling to be back there,  and I saw many people I use to work with or support in Colorado which was so lovely!!   Though the cold and snow reminded me of why I left 🙂  We did rent a cool AirBnB close to the Convention Center and cool downtown Denver views.  And we had one blue sky day to walk the canal and see the outside art in Denver.

Mainly my trip to Denver in February was for two committees. First, the Sustainability Round TableThe Business Meeting included several new people, and several from other groups wanted to collaborate such as the AALL and IRRT’s sustainability group We learned about :

  • FREE student memberships to SustainRT!
  • the upcoming resolution from our governance team to keep ALAs investments socially (and fossil free) responsible,
  • a white paper due in June, including a survey and online forums (coming soon) from an ALA Sustainability Task Force including key sustainrt members looking at the triple bottom line and other guiding principles of sustainability

Saturday evening in the snow and cold only a few of us made it to the SustainRT Social Event at Mercury Cafe, –  What a cool place! solar energy on the roof, grilled tofu with amazing sauces,  and a locally-sourced cocktails!

Sunday I facilitated a discussion: Crisis and Community (notes are in ALA Connect) where we discussed how Libraries and librarians can (and do) play a pivotal role in helping vulnerable communities build the physical, social, economic, and emotional resources and skills necessary to endure and thrive in the face of catastrophic climate, social, and economic disruptions.  We defined sustainability in connection to Crisis & Community; we brainstormed examples of what libraries are doing  in this area (such as the New England spring training for librarians); What support could ALA provide for libraries that have or are experiencing climate change crisis (such as more training like this NE one; and ways to collect and share these stories more widely); and What would it be perfect…idealistically? (such as  creating Climate Avengers, like Librarians Without Borders for ALA and taking it on a road show like the schol com for ACRL does)

Monday we had a lively panel for our News You Can Use: Sustainability Strategies for Libraries and Communities (Symposium on the Future of Libraries)  This session assembled practitioners doing sustainability work in a range of settings, including the implementation of a regional certification program, an institutional transition to renewable energy sources, a university system-wide sustainable OER initiative, and a classroom approach to teaching information literacy from a civic engagement perspective.  Check out the NYLA Roadmap to sustainability for librarians!

I also attended my ACRL committee New Roles and Changing Landscapes business meeting and lunch with the committee. This is a ACRL strategic plan goal committee to oversee and implement this by working with the ACRL Board and other ACRL units in creating a comprehensive effort including coalition building, professional development, publications, research, advocacy, diversity, and consultation services and in developing the ACRL New Roles and Changing Landscapes Initiative; and monitor and assess the effectiveness of this initiative. I’m fairly new on this group and still finding my place but I am excited about the one collaborative effort to help create this new  Symposium for Strategic Leadership in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion happening in May.

I also visited CU Denver’s Auraria library and saw some cool spaces, services and furniture. check out my slides of the photos of took of the space here

Re-think It: Libraries for a new age conference

In lovely Austin TX in early January, this Re-think It conference was small, focus and full of a variety of types  of sessions: from keynotes, to lighting rounds, to panels, to 20 min talks, to visits of various spaces.  Mainly academics and hosted on UT Austin campus, there were architects, planners, public librarians and even school librarians there. We presented on the Studio project, more so on the process of rapidly creating this space in our library.


Skim the tweets #rethinkit18   to hear about the conference conversation  or view photos from all the library visits and Austin highlights. This conference only happened once before and may not happen again, but it was a great topic, theme and very well organized. Great for people looking at space design and informal space use.

DLC Conference

OCTOBER 16-18, 2017

Valery King

• Enjoyed keynote presentations from:
o Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress
o Ms. Jane Sanchez, Law Librarian of Congress
o Mr. James LaRue, Director of the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom
• Participated in collaborative, informative, and interactive meetings and events.
• Attended educational sessions presented by GPO, other Federal agencies, and depository library staff.
• Networked with GPO staff and fellow depository librarians from across the Nation during morning coffee, lunch breaks by library type, and after hours.

The conference theme this year was “Safeguarding Government Information Access for All.”

The conference was free, as it always is, and GPO provided lots of breakfast pastries and coffee every day.

All handouts are online, and the meetings held in the two ballrooms were live-streamed and recorded. Slides & handouts:

The really BIG issue before Council this year is the proposed amending of Title 44, the section of the US Code that establishes the FDLP. Council and GPO talked an entire day about changes to Title 44, but I didn’t go to any of those meetings—they were all recorded and I do plan to review some of them. The document with FDLP community proposals is found on the conference site, link above. Here’s the direct link to the PDF of the memo:

There was remarkable consensus from the library community on issues of concern. My highlights from the Memo on this important action (I’ve bolded the ones I think will be most useful for us):
• Important to change the language to redefine “government publication” to include all formats, to insure that it continues to be available, BY LAW, to the public
• Change language to make sure all branches of government are REQUIRED to deposit “authenticated electronic publication” with the GPO
Amend sect.1904 to let the Supt. Of Documents develop a mechanism to allow libraries to select ONLY those publications they want and need (currently we have to take some stuff we would rather not get, in order to get the stuff we really want)
• Amend withdrawal rules, to make it easier for selectives to withdraw docs especially if they don’t have a Regional library to ok it
Allow regional depositories to share collections and services ACROSS STATE LINES. (This would let us to partner with some Washington and Idaho libraries and maybe get them to take some maps we’re currently required to keep but would rather get rid of)
Allow authenticated electronic copies to be considered as the official depository copy for Regionals (again, the maps issue—all those topos are available online, but we are required to retain them)
• Allow GPO to make grants to libraries (just like any other agency); this could help libraries partnering with GPO on projects to get some costs taken care of

We had great keynote speakers each day.

Day 1: Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress,
Dr. Hayden reaffirmed the mission of the LC and GPO: keeping Congress (and the rest of us, too) informed. Like GPO, LC provides RELIABLE, TRUSTED, AUTHENTIC documents and information. She reviewed how we all (LC, GPO, NARA, and depository libraries) work together. She discussed some plans LC has for online collections; something many researcher will LOVE is that they will be putting the ENTIRE non-partisan Congressional Research Service reports online! CRS is like the “special forces arm of the Library of Congress.”
Libraries are the front line, making sure the information gets to the people. The public still trusts us; what we do matters. LC still has 30 million items remaining to be digitized, but they are committed to doing this. (She has a sign in her office: “You’re a librarian—you’re in it for the glory!”)

Day 2: James LaRue, Director of the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom
I mostly just listened to this one and took only a few notes. He was a very entertaining speaker. His slides (on the website) are worth reviewing. One thing he talked about was Timothy Snyder’s excellent book, ON TYRANNY, and pointed out some things on Snyder’s list that librarians excel at doing: Defend institutions; remember professional ethics; believe in truth; and INVESTIGATE.

Day 3: Jane Sanchez, Law Librarian of Congress
I took a lot of notes from this, since she was going over all the things that the Law Library of Congress has and what it does for us out here on the front lines. Lots of exciting things are being digitized and provided FOR FREE; their goal is to publish as much law material online as they can, and make it searchable. This includes FEDERAL REGISTER, STATUTES AT LARGE, UNITED STATES TREATIES, and they have a special collection on World War I online now. They’re committed to putting all the Congressional Hearings online from 1901-2006, and there was a cheer when this was announced (me, too; our Hearings are a bit of a mess). Their website also has a lot of great Research Guides available.
On the digitization horizon…
• U.S. Code 1925-1993
• U.S. Reports 1754-2003 (these are Supreme Court documents)
• Code of Federal Regulations 1938-1995
• Congressional Hearings 1901-2006
• NTSB Advance Decisions 1977-1981
• Serials Set
• U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs

I attended more than these, but these were what I considered most useful or interesting.

Tending the Commons at the American Folklife Center
Todd Harvey and John Fenn
Natalia and SCARC might be interested in downloading these slides.
AFC lives at
They have an awful lot of cultural history stuff here, in multiple formats! Harvey and Fenn were enthusiastic presenters, and covered a lot of their collections. They also talked at length about their Veterans History Project ( -interviewing thousands of vets, crowdsourcing the project to get as many interviews as possible. SCARC, has your oral history project fed anything into this? Or have anything suitable that we could contribute?

Hidden Treasures: Art and Other Cultural Collections of U.S. Federal Government Agencies
Presenters were from the Dept. of the Interior Library. I’m including because this is something most people never think of when thinking about government agencies. I actually did not make it to this presentation (a conflict), but their slides/handout is amazing! Jane, Natalia, and other Humanities people, check it out! It is very surprising how many agencies have art collections!

When Women Didn’t Count: Gaps in Federal Statistics
Robert Lopresti, Western Washington Universities
This presentation was based on Rob’s new book (we have it, btw, HA214.L67 2017) and is probably essential for anyone doing historical research into women, especially in the labor force. Just shocking the different ways women were counted in various Censuses, when they were counted at all. There was no continuity between one to the other. One shocking fact was that, in the 14th Census, when the officials found women were recorded as holding “unusual” jobs, they often “corrected” the sex of the subject! I wonder how much information about women pioneers in the labor force was lost in this way?

Some brief information from other sessions I went to that might be of interest:
The National Transportation Library has established ROSA-P, a repository and open science access portal. Apparently, it pulls in a lot of historic information previously only available by ftp!
NASA talked about their Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Program, which has 100 years of research and technical publications available free online (there’s a lot of restricted stuff we can’t get to, of course, but it’s really a great resource). Great slides, if you’re interested. Some of this stuff is complicated, and the slides really help. is the home page; NASA research documents are available at, the NASA Technical Report Server.

There were many other sessions, some that I attended and some I did not but am downloading some of the slides to review later on.


FDLP eXchange is now live; this is a new tool for doing Needs & Offers between the depository libraries. Our regional librarian Arlene Weible says she’s not sure we’re going to use it for Oregon Regional lists, since we have a system that works pretty well already and eXchange may not be adaptable enough.

CRS (Congressional Research Service) reports soon to be free from LC! There was much rejoicing.

In all, a very useful and interesting conference! I got so much out of attending in person that I would have missed if I’d only done the online sessions from here.

Libraries and Archives in the Anthropocene Colloquium

Fabulous colloquium in NYU – May 13-14, 2017 – small, everyone attending the same sessions all day, lots of discussions in break and diverse content and perspectives to share.  This first time event was created and planned by:

WATCH THE RECORDINGS + read a great summary on the SustainRT blog
+ read my detailed notes below:


9:00-10:00 Keynote, Roy Scranton, Learning to Die in the Anthropocene
We failed to stop climate change. Period. Hope is a 4 letter word.
To imagine something different in the present and future, to save something of the past for the future is a Utopian presence. Is it really all that bad you think? We are growing our renewable energy for one example… but it would be prudent to act on the evidence – we know that those in power won’t care. things have just gone downhill over the recent decades.  Those in power do not care about the future. Capitalism. Greed. We need a survivalist ethos now.
You want answers?  How might we imagine ourselves in the late Anthropocene dead state?  Look at authors who discuss post-apocalyptic futures. Sci Fi.  Suggested reads :

  • The Collapse of western civilization novel by Oreske and  Conway
  • William Gibson’s  novel Peripheral
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller Jr
  • JG Ballard’s the Drowned World

So what does this mean for the future of our work?
Keep in mind the reality: History will be rewritten again and again by the winners
What do we need to do?  Best option Go Local. Build sustainable communities.

10:00-12:00 – 20-minute papers – Archival Theory and the Crisis

  1. Rick Prelinger: Collecting Strategies for the Anthropocene
    Be careful about our priorities when outside forces are controlling what we can prioritize.
    How are we responding to the effects of the anthropocene in collecting?
    Collections need to be protected but so does the process and the archives themselves. EX: internet archives building a mirror site outside the US
    Communities should own and collect their assets yes but how can/are they being preserved/maintained/accessible? … specially if that community does not survive?
    Twitter share:   “at stake… are not the worlds these collections claim to represent, but… the worlds they invite us to imagine and even realize “#archivesFail (@bspalmieri )
    He suggest we use permaculture principles apply to archival work:

  1. Jen Hoyer and Nora Almeida: Living Archives*
    They are librarians who volunteers at the Interference Archive in Brooklyn! Open stacks, volunteer run, community funded. The local place in the community is important. Collection policy defines the community.
    A living archives – a place for social interaction, a nexus between communities, a bridge between past and future.
    Anthropocene is framed in a narrative – ideological, post political, disconnected from socio political reality, a place that is not quite this place now.
    Problems with this narrative – mainly from wealthy countries, that frame capitalism and tech as neutral, etc. this undermines our agency
    Environmental change as social change – a continuum of events that we are both in and affected by
    Reimagine Anthropocene as discipline, cultural and social
    It might look like – activism, art, scholarship, civic engagement documentation… need to open to other voices so all voices can be heard
    Archives and silence – change cultural expectations and make alternative narratives heard
    Archives can foster dialogue btw time and space.
    Propaganda parties!
    Check out their “anthropo-zine”
  2. Jill Kubit: DearTomorrow
  • Climate change communication has not been effective … need more narrative storytelling, visual imagery and trusted messages
  • She created a digital platform for people to personalize climate change and share message with others to influence the public education on the topic “Dear Tomorrow”  #deartomorrow
  • Stand in the future and talk to someone in the present they care about and will that make it more personal
  • Research shows legacy is a strong driver to people’s actions now for the future. (BUT HOW DO YOU GET THE PEOPLE WHO NEED TO HEAR THIS AND THINK ABOUT LEGACY TO PAY ATTENTION OR CARE???)
  • Scale – distributed model works best
  • Other narratives are weaved into this story (ex blacklivesmatter & climate change in one letter)  Also – they are asking people to make a public commitment in their lives and share it.  They put together a video of the letters (its on FB)
  • Biking to work for political reasons, getting a CSA or going to a farmers market is such white privilege
  • 3 main groups they work with: Mothers out front, Moms  ???,  Climate parents — but she feels its not limited to moms, the narrative can expand to others groups too
  1. Aruna Magier: Water, Land, and Forests: Documenting India’s Environmental Activism
  • overview of the litany of environmental degradation in India. Irresponsible farming, mining, rivers full of plastic.
  • A young girl has filed a law suit against the govt of India about the environmental conditions and she blames them for not taking care of their people. Farmers protesting the management of repeated droughts. Protests against mining.
  • Historical social movements in India are critical to where they are today
  • Magier speaking on documenting these movements
  1. Ben Goldman: Things the Grandchildren Should Know: Archives and the Origin of an Ecocentric Future
  • Grew up in a very different sheltered conservative upbringing – took a while for him to become educated on the reality of climate change.
  • How can his role in archives make a difference he ponders. How do you talk to your kids and grandkids about this? And your irresponsibility?
  • His goal – how can archives make a difference in capturing the environmental issues as stewards
  • Archivist appraisal is critical (there is still no consensus on how to do this) Look to our planetary evidence. Records of environmental activists. Need to become more engaged across disciplines to capture data & stories   – need to listen to key communities!
  • Keep in mind to preserve something in an archives we also add to the problem – aka fossil fuels used to keep these materials : (

Q/A summary:  Tension between fighting the capitalistic society but we need a space/place and to pay for it and make sure we don’t take money from those we disagree with but …its complex.

Less is more.


1:15-2:50 – 20-minute papers – Crisis and Survival

  1. John Burgess: Adaptability and Resilience: A Core LIS Value
    A report from the field – a case for resilience and adaptability as lis core values (LIS grad school in Alabama) – aka how he slips in sustainability to his students on the down low.
  2. Personal stake  – Never mention the word ethics or people think you are judging them. But really its whatever you find a way to growth toward what is most meaningful to you. some days you are down and loose hope but you recover and keep at it to give passion to others.
  3. Moral imperatives of Anthropocene /4 moral obligations– awareness and memory (L Floridi) – moral imperative to fight entropy and what is your mission on earth?; rational agency and continuance (I. Kant) – cant bend humans to your will ;fairness (j. Rawls, D. Parfit, G. Wolf) – social responsibility is Rawls; authentic otherness (A. Naess) – diversity of ways of thinking, cognitive justice
  4. Are the core values of LIS sufficient to address those imperatives?  Core values such as Access, confidentiality/privacy, democracy, diversity, education, lifelong learning, IF, preservation, the Public good, professionalism, service, social responsibility… whats lacking?  If you disuses these as LIS core values and label them “from ALA” students will follow along.
  5. Are  (personal, community, country) resilience and adaptability LIS values?  Do these core values +resilience + adaptability sufficiently address those imperatives? Or is it just my personal stake (we think both) Maps the core values  3 to moral imperatives 2 and rational agency included adaptability and resilience.  Collective Action with all our policies and process in the library, cross dept. with many different ways to do this. Changing habits.
  6. Billy Templeton: School Libraries and the Anthropocene: A Curricular Hail Mary to the Future   Teaches in a public school.  Married to a librarian 🙂
  • Terrible story about a school, science teaches climate change but the english teacher does not and makes then debate their belief (these are adults, people of power over kids and poisons then kids open minded school culture)
  • Incompetence in our federal school system for teaching about climate change. Though we are supposed to “teach kids how to succeed in global economy” how can we when we are not allowed or have to be careful in taking about climate change ?!
  • Heartland institute is trying to get a copy of its book – why scientist do not believe in climate change –  into every science teaching and is succeeding in some states – scary
  • his idea – place based learning for students to do service learning, hands on, library innovation lab, etc. Teaching children problem solving skills is our moral imperative.
  1. Ellie Irons and Anne Percoco: Next Epoch Seed Library: An Archive of Weedy Species (*love*)
  •   – lend seeds, collect seeds – the gaps between what most seed banks do (Most seed banks are mainly agricultural). They collect weed seeds in the city!  Are there really a bad thing – but a weed can be a positive (imagine them coming up in cracks in the cement) and useful.  But these weeds are becoming endangered.  What they do:
  • They look for “junk spaces” to collect them
  • Have installation at various places of their finds.
  • Have a seed walks too
  • Did a seed viability test. Grew many of them!
  • Want to work with children more  – share, grow, educate
  • Creating better documentation
  • Did you know …. Ceramic is a great material in which to store seeds!!! (800 year old squash seeds were found in a ceramic container and grew)
  • Reminds me of
  • Chalking to promote weeds around town!!!!  (they wrote with chalk around “weeds” around town to tell people what these things were good for  … an act of Resistance)
  1. Fred Stoss: Preparedness Matters: Library Roles in Planning for Disaster

How do you become and stay prepared for upcoming disasters in your library?  The role of public libraries. Good science, good data. Lots of info on slides  – LOOK FOR HIS RECORDING OR SLIDES! I missed some of this session….

2:50-3:30 – Five minute lightning talks with 15 minutes for discussion

  1. Jennifer Bonnet: Engaging with the Human Dimensions of Climate Change – films, books with a professor to create a series/program and discussion. virtual displays of materials in the library; included twitter posts of their discussions.
  2. Monica Berger and John Carey: Open Scholarship and Climate Change: The Imperative for a New Information Ecosystem for the Anthropocene – our scholarly com system is broken – neoliberalism, a commodity. Global south has lots of scholarly lit but they will also be the ones most effective. Open Science!
  3. Robert Chen: Enabling Interdisciplinary Use of Scientific Data on Human Interactions in the Environment – manages a NASA data center on social and natural sciences at Columbia (need both these disciplines of social + natural sciences to study climate change); some barriers of two disciplines – focus on people vs pixels
  4. Hannah Hamalainen: Humanitarian Crisis Mapping in the Library – earthquake in Haiti. Live tweets and asking for help. They mapped the tweets of people’s needs. And it was overlaid on satelight maps then used by gov’t and military. Crisis mapping! map-a-thon for humanitarian crisis mapping – librarians can teach these skills, connect people, host event

Q/A  Listen to this   Storytelling is key but does depend on the audience – public might want stories but economist might need facts.  Also look at archival evidence too – make your own narrative.

3:40-5:00 – Plenary and end of day discussion: Howard Besser, Eira Tansey, Jill Kubit, and John Burgess *

  • What are we going to do for new fuels? no  what’s  really wrong? That we need so many fuels to begin with. Capitalism.
  • Mitigation or adaption side? Adaptation ?  Doesn’t get to the root cause and masks the real issue. To find a solution.  The root cause is really that we are a consumption based society, a disempowered society, not just “climate change” .  It’s a continuum not are we going to fix it or not
  • Reject the narrative –  “We fucked it all up and now we are fucked”  – this dissolves us of responsibility.
  • Several disagree with the keynote – we need to keep up with HOPE.  Read the Hope in the Dark book  “hope is an ax that you use to knock down doors with” – rebecca solint
  • Record whats happening or play a role in shaping whats happening. Teaching more than info lit,  teach political rhetoric.
  • Reclaiming the language of climate change, use other words or use the words….
  • IMLS grant transforming communities – training libraries to be facilitators of dialogues in their communities
  • Think about end of something and beginning something new era –  Should be called the Capitalisocene not Anthropocene
  • Look to the tribal infrastructure –  knowing your neighbors and communities.
  • Physically living off the land is hard but spiritually being a part of capitalistic society is really harh
  • “patriarchal theocracy”
  • Collapse of the world as we know it, has been happening to many already.
  • What is the tipping point to get people to realize this issue? Insurance underwriting might be it? really until the water is at their door, people will not wake up to it!


9:00-10:30 – 20-minute papers – Rethinking Libraries

  1. Amy Brunvand: Re-Localizing the Library: An Environmental Humanities Model
      • The end of nature 1989 by bill mckibben . The age of missing information bill mckibben – idea of placelessness; people are losing the sense of place,
      •  the university is sort of like this; but Amy says the library can help create a local sense of place
      • Environmental humanities grad program stated by terry tempest williams of U of U.  Field course to engage in the community and create a sense of place
      • Libraries are mainly about licensing electronic publications etc, that everyone else is buying. Yes it should be a portal to information but it should also represent the local, unique collections. Libraries should aim to be the local node in a global information system representing their local.
      • Environmental humanities model— “ecology of residency
      • Tell stories that can make change. Share books that made a difference
      • Movie “Wrenched” – people inspired by The Monkey Wrench Gang  with Tim Dechristopher
      • Geographic distribution of libraries  if perfect to create many nodes representing their local.
      • Poetry reflects the local landscape too:

        Poem from

        Poem from

      1. Jodi Shaw: Climate Change, Libraries, and Survival Literacy: A Practical Guide *
      • Get away from centralize infrastructure (the grid) and go uber local, libraries can help be a force to achieve this transition. Focus on cities. More than half global population lives in cities.
      • Grid – for water, energy waste, sewage, transport people and commodities, transmit communications.  It’s all getting old, but we all depend on it and are vulnerable because a of it.
      • Local infrastructures are more resilient  – have the local create them so they support them.
      • Our current high tech is using the old grid (one power line down it all goes out)
      • Even renewables depend on minerals harvested from the earth and live on the grid
      • How can we create and build the infrastructure locally?  Libraries! We can teach and offer resources:
      • Air – no good answer
      • Water – humans need 5 liters a day, need for growing food (animals), basic hygiene, sanitation (?)  – when cities flood then we are walking around in our own feces. Waterless sanitation!
      • Going off the pipe – rainwater harvesting, stormwater collection (italians are using coffee filters and other things to figure out how to get rid of heavy metals) – see her slides for other ideas. Maybe libraries can have examples of these for people to see – maerkspace-ish.
      • Food – rooftop gardens,  ( vertical farming (not a viable solution right now – still uses the grid and only for lettuce and herbs –  but ideas here that we can apply and learn from), hunting/gathering (picking local, what you can pick and how to eat it – libraries can offer resources and classes on this!)
      • Shelter – learn from slum dwellers who live very local – maybe we can learn from them?
      • Sanitation – we need to start composting our feces instead of putting it in the water.  Joe Jenkinds “humanure Handbook” been composting his feces for 30 years!
      • Energy –  going off grid but on the grid house.
      • Information – find it in the library
      • Teach Survival literacy 


      1. Jennifer Gunter King: A Changing Library for Rising Tides
      • Adapting to change – Designing off site collection spaces for materials for libraries that are in critical places
      • Start first with what is a library, question what we are and what we do
      • Hampshire college 1970 to prepared students for changing world; the library was also
      • “The library and information transfer center” a good read from 1969 that predicted trends of today
      • Library – knowledge commons – libraries teaching exposition skills, along with writing etc
      • Fastest rate of sea level rise in the world is from Cape Hatteress to Maine.
      • Are archives primary repositories?  Then how are we dealing with various local collections everywhere around the world. Can we share print regional repositories and get over the ego of ownership and come together, save energy in high density, shared space.
    1. Jacob Berg, Angela Galvan, and Eamon Tewell: Academic Libraries and the False Promises of Resiliency 
    • Libraries need to learn to say NO . We are professional martyrs.
    • It should be libraries save not save libraries
    • Angela Galvan: Resilience offers an individual response to a structural problem
    • We should pay more for salaries PEOPLE over things MATERIALS since those costs go up 5% each year our salaries do not.
    • Center for the future of libraries  – resilience theme. Does not like this.  Libraries have been resilient over the years  but  now it’s turned into librarians and archivists not the library as an institution
    • What we need is to Give people space to fail. (uh yea that is behind the maker movement)
    • Collection dev can offer counter narratives
    • Neoliberal  fight for resilient resources
    • “Think like a marxist” – who benefits from these narratives about resilience?
    • Supervisors: Encourage risk taking, give space to fail, staff time to be melancholy 
  2. Q/A I really connected to sense of place  (placelessness) theme in the talks today!
    Adaptation? Or not? Words. Nuances. Hidden meanings. Narratives. Discussion  ensued on the 2 ideas of resilience  – and its connection to what we came here today to solve. Conflation of resilience term.  The term is used here in terms of resiliency of communities (and their libraries)  facing environmental change not people.  Are libraries now pushed in competition for funding and existence –  which in turns is pushes the burden on the staff/the people after collections?————————————————————————————————————————————-10:30-12:00 – 20-minute papers – Maintaining Access, Digital Resilience
  3. 1.Heather Christenson: The Large-scale Digital Library and Response to the Anthropocene
    • Research library at large scale Hathi Trust, 128 libraries (north america) mission is preservation and access.
    • Digitizing resources even though they are from the past, the ideas/concepts can be used again, learned from. Such as solar power or electric cars – might give us ideas we can apply now.
    • Bethany Nowviskie   – digital humanities in the anthropocene 
    • Check out the “Other lab” in san fran

2. Sarah Lamdan: Improving Access to Environmental Information and Records (Lawyer and librarian)

    • We have no good laws in the US on what environmental info is and parameters on what we collect and save.
    • According to the EU –  What is environmental information?  See slide
    • Decentralized information. On so many location – national and local. Can be really frustrating to find the info needed. Multitude of sources. From researchers to govt to polluters  so …. She wrote a book on it/coming out soon:  Environmental information: research access and decision-making by sarah lamdan
    • Quick review of govt processes:  Legislature branch passes laws and create documentation. Judicial interprets what that documentation means and how it applies.  Executive is where most information is created (NASA, EPA, etc) and executive orders tell those agencies to do it …. Legislative branch = congress –  grants admin authority to the agency to figure out how to carry details out. These agencies can response quickly more so than legislature.
    • Why is it so impt?  3 key reasons: Much of our environmental data is in gov databases.  they use this info to make decisions, and we have a right to know what our government is up to!
    • Data Refuge! FOIA is broken – we need central hubs for this information and experts to help us understand it, advocate for open access of information and quick access.
    • Recommends re read (have in our library) and comment on laws and proposals —  the art of commenting beth mullins 

    1. Robert Montoya: Documenting Biodiversity: Information, Libraries, and Professional Ethics

    The catalog of life: nomenclature and hierarchy  Global database of species

  1. 1:00-2:40 – 20-minute papers – Architectures of Resilience
    1. Paulina Mikiewicz: The Library of 2114

    Not a librarian but studies libraries.


    • Library of water
    • Global seed vault in Norway
    • Baltimore aquarium seeking status to be a living library (?)
    • Liyuan library in china


    1. Charlie Macquarie: Libraries, Landscapes, Stewardship: The Library of Approximate Location
    • Its easier to imagine the end of the world then the end of capitalism!
    • The American West as living Space by Wallace Stegner
    • End of capitalism we could start to organize things much like we do as libraries.


    1. Eira Tansey, Ben Golditman, Tara Mazurczyk, and Nathan Piekielek: Climate Control: Vulnerabilities of American Archives to Rising Seas, Hotter Days and More Powerful Storms
    • Intense session on climate change and climate modeling and how scary it really is!
    • Next Steps – archives need to start collecting data about ourselves (archive local data), open data for public reuse
    • “what if it’s a big hoax and we created a better world for nothing”  cartoon


    1. Mark Wolfe: Efficiency: Friend or Foe of Sustainability? Exploring the Impact of Jevons Paradox on the Archival Profession
    • In economics, the Jevons paradox (or effect) occurs when technological progress increases the efficiency with which a resource is used, but the rate of consumption of that resource rises because of increasing demand. EX: More lanes on a highway = more traffic!
    • What would jevons drive a prius or a hummer? (actually the hummer has its own carbon tax built into it aka user has to put more $$ into their commute) Paradox of fuel efficiency. It actually increases use of fuel.
    • Dream of the paperless office – a falsehood.  Rise of the PC gave rise to MORE paper docs
    • Moore’s Law – really an observation – “the number of electronic components which could be crammed into an integrated circuit was doubling every year”
    • Invest in people not things
    • More greener repository means less carbon tax so you can build MORE spaces; growing means more use instead of less. And we end up with more “dirty” activities (like I saved a lot of money so I can take a long hot shower!)
    • Suggested read – Peter Senge Thinking of System


    2:40-3:30 – Five minute lightning talks with 15 minutes for discussion

    1. Carla Leitao: Foundation Landscapes of Massive Oblivion
    2. Wendy Highby: The Tesseract, The Tesla, and the Anti-Reflexivity Thesis: How Librarians Can Save the World
    3. William Denton: GHG.EARTH
    4. Andrea Atkins: Libraries and Sustainability in the Former Soviet Union
    5. Beth Filar Williams: Integrating Sustainability into the Daily Work Practices: Lessons Learned as a Manager
    6. Evi Klett: Supporting Regenerative Practices in Denver: Programming and Networking @DPL
    7. Sarah Burke Cahalan: Libraries and Laudato Si’
    8. Amanda Avery: Our Dark Materials: A Steampunk Future for Libraries?




ELUNA Conference 2017 (Ex Libris Users of North America)

Tuesday – the day before Day One

As usual this will be an informal, slightly fictionalized version of the events that ensued during my travels.  I mostly tell the truth.  But I also mostly make things up as I go. So.  This all started at 5:45 am.  Unless you count the dog waking up at 5am, and again at 5:30 am forcing me to repeatedly roll over and pile the pillows over my ears (because the dog wakes the cat up and the cat meows incessantly until you get up and feed him). So I  guess I can’t blame it on the dog after all.

Planes were on time, and taxi lines were long, but I read quite a bit of “The Art of Asking” by Amanda Palmer.  I recommend it and you can borrow it when I’m done (seriously) but if you paint yourself white and stand on a milk crate, I take no personal responsibility.  Here’s what I learned as the plane flew across the midwest:
“Those who can ask without shame are viewing themselves in collaboration with – rather than in competition with – the world.
Listening fast and caring immediately is a skill in itself.
I have no interest in DIY. I’m much more interested in getting everybody to help me.  I think a better definition might be UWYC. Use what you can.”

I also learned that it is okay to make people wait.  You are valuable. They are valuable also.  They deserve your time.  You deserve to take time.  If this is true of everyone, we need to stop hurrying and start investing.  Period.  Mic drop.

I got a cushy room.  Only for one night.  I need to pack up in the morning, move myself to a different hotel and carry my bags around. Aaargh.  Oh well.  I’m at a conference in a budget crunch.  I will complain as little as possible.

I spent the evening at a very good reception in a 3 story establishment with skeeball, foosball, pacman, and ping pong and I got to play them all.

I was also lucky enough to be joined by Dan, our discovery librarian *who I’ve added to the share in case he wants to comment or defend his honor.*

I ran into a scad of folks from the Alliance that I know who think OSU must just be an oasis of brilliancy, and who, of course, constantly threaten to steal our people (as they have with C-Dog and Zac).  Alas.  It’s hard having all the best colleagues – you guys rock.

TOMORROW.  6 am, I’ll rise, shower, and walk to the conference hotel with my prospects and my pick axe – and I’ll be digging for the dream. (“Every day that you get up and force your cards
Playing your story in fits and starts. Take your prospects and your pickaxe” Indigo Girls)

Miss you already.  Thank you for making this possible.

Wednesday Day
Or “In one hotel and out the other.”

Breakfast was delicious with bagels and scrambled eggs.  I ran into Julie Kowalski Ward from San Jose (who I met at the Access Services conference a couple years ago) – they’re going live in Alma next month and nervous! I’m going to try to have lunch or dinner with her this week and see what kind of questions she has.  Now for the conference.

I got a chair in the back because it looks like we’ll be sitting awhile!  Record attendance again this year – over 700 people.

Habib Tabatabai is giving the welcome – mostly just recognition of the user’s group leaders and committees.  Mentioned that the user’s group will be focusing on Authentication, Knowledge Base, Alma usability and the new UI (user interface), Primo new UI, and Alma/Primo combined backoffice.


Mary Case – University of Illinois, University Librarian
Better Together: Enriching our Community Through Collaboration

Global community of collaboration, not just local consortia.  This includes not just shared collections and buying for the group instead of the institution, but also collaborating on data storage and preservation, research access, storage of de-duped collection and the maintenance of the agreed upon remaining print collections.  Requires a long-term plan to make sure we never lose the last known print copies as we go through the process of de-duping our collections.  OSU does this with the WEST program I think.  Those are the journal titles that come through circ and still indicate “Non-Circulating” – we have the copy that was saved!! Don’t lose it!  Public mission for collecting preserving cultural memory – special collections and archives are a huge help in this.  Not a very interesting keynote.  I’m kind of surprised.


Eric Hines – President, ExLibris North America
Global Company Update

A bit of a history of ExLibris, but one interesting thing – good company attracts good customers, BUT also good customers attract MORE good customers.  Which makes me believe that the Alliance (and OSU) are more than doing their share to keep Ex Libris flush.  One more good thing.  Community has the ability to bring things from the edges of the group to the center – for help, AND for growth.  Some of those folks on the edges have really good ideas!
Matti Shem-Tov – President, Ex Libris

Interesting points:  Over 1000 ideas have been submitted on the ideas exchange!  Wow – that’s crowd activity.  No indication from the speaker on how many of those ideas have been made real.

Break time – I got to check into my new room and the view is amazing.

Next Generation Library Services – this will be multiple speakers and appears to be a great big long advertisement for ExLibris products.  Including cheesy videos with dramatic soundtracks.

Bar Veinstein

“Generation CX” Customer eXperience.  Designing for the users – both us *libraries as customers* and OUR patrons.  Focus this year on staff workflow streamlining, increased user community collaboration, services consistently available, and addressing staff needs quickly.

New Alma UI promises less clicks to get things done, more customizable screens and fields, and a more intuitive layout.  Added 10 more ideas exchange points for each user, have developed 36 ideas so far (there’s the answer from Matti’s presentation above).  36 out of 1000, well….  Adding Benchmark Analytics (I’ll be attending a session on this later in the conference).  Ability to compare workflows and use stats against others – also unique and overlap records, etc.  These should be extremely helpful for acquisitions and cataloging to my mind. Check out Oklahoma OVAL (virtual academic lab) – they are doing some super cool things!  

“Bring joy and excitement, pleasure and fun, and Beauty to people’s lives.”  Don Norman

Shlomi Kringel

Discovery and resource lists – This discussion promises to be mostly about Summon (ProQuest), Primo and Leganto (reading lists product for course reserves).  Much of it won’t apply since we aren’t using some of these tools, but I’ll try to grab anything of value.  OOH- here’s a bit on the unified management of Primo and Alma *and a session Friday morning on it I’ll try to go to* – at this point, just a mention that combining config of the 2 products into one platform will make eas of publishing and record movement/edits much more simple.  AMEN.  Leganto looks cool but I believe it costs extra.  It allows instructors to use the lists themselves, make additions, drag and drop items into the lists, and etc.  Involves the instructors far more directly in their process of reserves, also allows for email/text integration through Canvas to notify students when a reading list has been created for their courses.

Ido Peled

Mobile Campus Solutions (CampusM) – supporting student services.  Estimated 5 hours per day on mobile devices for the average American.  Immediacy and urgency are built in to mobile devices.  CampusM creates a portal experience for mobile where all the different apps/contacts/sites they need to use can be put into one place.  Seems like ExLibris version of MyOSU, but includes “MyAccount” displays from Primo/Alma, cross platform similar to google integrations where all the things are in all the places (also like iCloud).  But can’t really tell if it’s trying to also be a learning management system like blackboard/Canvas.  Very odd.  But interesting.  ID box and push notifications – you can use cards or boxes at the entrance to rooms and buildings (or on people’s name tags) that work with apps to broadcast something whenever you’re close to them! I’m in love with this idea and need to read more on it – I think this is called cell broadcasting….

Okay LUNCH!  Macaroni and cheese, and Chicago Style pizza (as envisioned by hotel catering) – if that’s really what Chicago Pizza is like, I think my taste needs further development to get to a point of appreciation.  The mac and cheese was yum.

Alma UX – new user interface – Dana Sharvit (ExL)

This room is at almost double capacity so I’m sitting on the floor but will try to keep as good of notes as possible.  So far just an explanation of the process for coming up with the designs and functionality through user input, focus groups, and beta testers.  Workshop to get people to do their regular workflow from beginning to end – this taught them a lot about how people are using their product.

Multiple customizable menus including favorites, search display contents you can choose metadata elements you’re interested in.  Drop down in repository search displays previous 10 searches.  Right click to perform actions – no longer need all the action buttons.  Advanced searching allows you to type in the field you want (for instance “Location”) and it will bring up the terms that contain that option.  Uses “Look up OR Select” so you don’t have to go through all the steps to find your locations.  Still filters on the left, buttons on the right.  Most functions will ahve a different look but similar functionality so no need to re-learn process, but definitely we will have to re-do all the screenshots that include menus and navigation….

Rollout – May 21 for the focus group sandboxes. July for our testing sandboxes at the Alliance.  Alma community August or September release in production.

I’m actually presenting on the new UI at Summit/Fulfillment Day in early August, so I’m going to have to make huge push during that July sandbox period!  Yikes!

Analytics and Your Neighbors – Comparative Approaches – Aasof Klein @Rima Reves: this guy reminds me so much of Donovon presenting for Yoel Korick (ExL)

Comparative analytics needs to find a good balance of group size, number of institutions, comparative institution size and volume.  Benchmark Analytics requires a breadth of comparison and big data, key performance indicators (KPI), while Comparative Collection Analytics operates at a depth of comparison – small group, specific data

KPI need to be snapshot-ed every month or every year to enable the identification of trends

Example of need – ordering to shelf-ready time is significantly longer than reported at other institutions.

Data is kept non-identifying – collaborative and peer-measurable (so you can narrow down comparison sets).  Student body size, collection size, circ numbers, gate count, etc to allow you to decide peer to peer.

In analytics, Benchmark Preview.  3 subfields – KPI measures, KPI date, Institution Profile

Dashboard example allows you to choose public, academic, consortial, etc.

I’m left wondering (and will have to ask unless he says) if we will get this data from everyone or only those who volunteer – and how many will volunteer, or have the time to get the data entered?  (Just got the answer – 70% of Alma institutions have opted in.  @Dan Moore: Have we?  When was this decided? I totally think we should)! Will they supply preset canned reports that we can edit by date, location etc.?  Hoping that’s the case for consistent comparison – everyone builds reports differently otherwise and the data might not mean what you think it does.

Some areas of interest still coming – number of items in Reserves location added each year; fines and fees – money owed, how many owe, money waived.  Transit time.  Borrowing vs. Lending for resource sharing.  

Collection analysis – IS identifying – this is for working with partners to create shared collections that do not duplicate, or only duplicate to a predetermined extent.  These institutions will have agreed in advance to share their identifying inventory data with each other.  This will work really well for the Alliance.  Compare holdings, depth of collection in various areas, prep for remote storage, agreed retention of final print.  This is wonderful and cool, and will probably, ultimately decimate our print collections.  While that is painful thinking in my world, the idea of fresher collections and more space is kind of a great thing. I wish you all were here to be in on this so I won’t lose the thread of all this before I get home and have time to talk with people about it!  

Data contribution is turned on in Analytics configuration, profile question 1.  I can double check this!
Ours is NOT turned on!  So we can’t use or be used!  We’ll add this to the next SILS meeting list.

Unlocking your Library with Alma’s Open Platform – Josh Weisman (ExL)

Alma open platform – integrations with other systems, REST APIs, and community to share what you’ve learned or need to learn (blog and forum).  Use the developer network to get these things started.

Tableau Web Data Connector – allows library data to be included from Analytics.  This is brand new and available on GitHub it’s open source.  I don’t know if we use Tableau, but there’s a very easy connector that just asks for a key.  Pulls in the column names and data types, calls the API behind the scenes and populates it into the report.

SWORD Digital Deposit Protocol – not familiar with this project for document deposit interface.  But there’s an API for that.

Webhooks – a new way to communicate with Alma (HTTP callbacks) – when an event happens in Alma, it calls a REST endpoint with a predefined response – thing it does.  So when X, do Y.  You can see the back end structure in the letter activity screen.


Has to support GET and POST.  Configure in integration profile, Webhooks, URL and a Secret to test.  Can be used to trigger job order.  Once on job ends, start the next.  Or once a holdslip email is sent, send an SMS text message as well….  I want to learn more about all of this.

Login via email is also set up at the same place social logins are set up – this is an interesting idea if we get stuck with no internal auth.  But no EZproxy integration.

I really wish I had time to learn and apply all of these tools.  It seems like there is so much we could be doing given time and understanding.  Maybe a class on integrations?  I need to know more.


Administrator Changes in Primo & Alma – Jean Vik (Univ of TX)

This is the last session of the day and my tablet battery is almost dead so you may or may not get full notes in here.

Oh geez.  This is going to be a whole presentation about what gets changed in Primo instead of in Alma.  I don’t know if this is going to be too useful to me since I can’t get into Primo Back Office.


I just made what I hope was a quiet and graceful exit.  Off to the hotel room and then dinner with the Alliance members who are here.  Dan is coming, and maybe Richard – it’s at Olive Garden so I think ravioli is in my immediate future!

I’ll recap dinner if I get back nice and early, otherwise – I’ll catch you all tomorrow!


Thursday Day Two

Scenes from last night include trying to walk to the dinner restaurant and being overcome by a deluge from the sky that forced me back to the hotel for shoes, socks and pants.  I was naive to believe that my status as a native Oregonian would protect me from, or at least prepare me for a Chicago-area rainstorm.  There was lightning. After that I ate some of Olive Garden’s crockery.  No really.  I’m currently attempting to digest ceramics.  Anyway – enough of that.  I got up and joined an impromptu meeting on Resource Sharing vs. Fulfillment Networks in Alma and learned a few interesting things about how they do it in Wisconsin.


Ex Libris Strategy Update

Oren Beit-Arie (ExL Chief Strategy Officer)

ExL wants to extend their reach beyond libraries and into research, teaching and learning, and academic leaders.  In the research cycle, funding and re-use/openness rules, and competition are the 2 main drivers.  Visibility is critical.  ExL wants to move into data management and research storage, compliance and IR community supports in a single system environment.  System of Research Records.  Researcher deposits, sync with external repositories, capture published content.  Enhance metadata and identifiers, ad data linking and OA workflows.  Sounds like they want to move into campus-wide solutions (like their campusM tool) and focus more on the building institutional repository and data management tools.  Hoping this shift in focus doesn’t take away from their Alma commitments.


Customer Life Cycle at ExL

Jane Burke (ExL VP Customer Success)

YIKES – going to go work on email.  This is more of the ExL sales pitch and etc.  Yay! 1 hour to catch up!  


Document Delivery and Delivering Digitized Items – Nate Turajski “Solutions Architect”

And now that I’ve seen the presenter’s title, I’ve decided that we should all get “Solutions Architect” name tags. What do you think?  Do you love it?

I know that circ isn’t involved in doc delivery but this looked really interesting and it’s definitely functionality we have yet to explore in Alma.  **January 2017 release notes have good instructions.  Workflow for owned physical copy by email attachment, or link if you add it to the repository.  Depositing the article allows for limits of how many times it can be viewed and how long before it’s flushed.

Use regular request feature, then patron digitization.  Add Partial Digitization designation to have pages/chapter options pop up.  Have to be copyright clearance approved – waiting for copyright clearance is a status.  When ready to digitize, change to the digitization department (instead of the circ desk) because it really is a work order.  Set up is in fulfillment configuration menu under digital fulfillment, and user needs to be set up as an operator.  This is a simple enough process that I want to try a couple of tests of it when I get back.  I know that the upstairs folks are busy busy and use the scan and deliver, but this looks like a reasonable option – not knowing their full workflow I’m not sure if this would be an improvement or not.  It sounds like sending a link will of course require us to have storage space outside of Alma (unless we want to subscribe to their Alma D repository program solution).  More later – this will be fun to explore!  AND Ray indicated that she thinks we HAVE an Alma D subscription but she’ll have to check with Al to confirm that.  


Lunch!  Taco bar and Churros.  Happy tummy.


Management Q&A

These are questions sent in by conference attendees for the ExL managers.  Most of the answers are very surface level and the questions tend to express uncertainty and worry that people really aren’t sure how migrations might go or what the future of projects in discovery might look like as ExL redirects its resources toward new products.

Live questions included addressing the Chrome upgrade that broke stuff last month and what to do with our reliance on web browsers and their upgrades.  I asked a question about the new projects vs. the commitment to improving existing products with only 36 ideas exchange implementations.  Not much of an answer.


Calendars in Alma – Seriously??? – Tari Keller (UKY)

She’s got 10 libraries with different hours.  Hoping she’ll have some tricks and tips but so far this looks like basic configuration. Instructions in the wiki are just as good for this part.  She seems to use the calendar for informational pieces or things like that.  They don’t trigger anything though.  She mentioned that even though the libraries had similar hours, she had to duplicate the calendar.  But I got curious and this isn’t actually true.  If you add standard operating hours to the institution calendar, they will inherit to any libraries that DON’T have their own designating standard hours.  So you put the institution hours as the most common hours in this instance and only enter standards into individual libraries that are different.  I tried it with IPPC that has no hours/due times so nothing to mess up ((hoping I didn’t break anything – I think I deleted all of my attempts)).  I am doing a session on calendars at Summit/Fulfillment Day and think I’ll be sure to mention the different closing/different due time in multi library institutions, and using events to trigger exact due date by TOU and fulfillment rules.  This could be used to have regular collection books not due until beginning of next term but allow reserves to circulate as normal over the break, etc.  Rolling rules over at 1 year – potential effect on overdue #of days if you delete too soon, but annually works well. Very basic session but at least it got me thinking!  I’ve got ideas for August now.


Alma Product Update and Roadmap

Assaf and Dvir (missed their last names)

Main drivers include resource management, gaining insights, UX, collaboration, open platform operability, Acquisition streamlining (and other units).


Insights is about Analytics and the mission to benchmark and comparative analytics – Saw a full session on this earlier.

Unified Resource Management – this is more of the Alma D I was talking about, repository deposits, digitization workflow and etc.

Alma new UI for this summer (also saw this earlier)

Collaboration – convert/transform your records to move them out for consumption by 3rd party software.  Metadata integration with linked data and enhancing the metadata editor to work with linked records, support triple store service and using BIBFRAME.  I’m sure that Ian and the upstairs crew will understand all this and that.

Audience questions about continued dedication to making the community zone functional – working with other vendors to make it cleaner and easier to ingest records without creating dupes and errors.

Alma analytics – any move to real time data? No specific plans but interested

And that was it! Not a lot to go forward with, but there were a lot of small details in the printed document that weren’t presented here.


Alma Working Group Meeting

I’m not a member of this group but sitting in on their meeting just to see what they’re about.

  1. Enhancements – we’re waiting on pointing and 2nd round votes.  WG leadership is hoping for a more successful outcome – may work toward presentation of a low and set number of enhancement requests (5-10 possibilities) instead of the hundreds we start with.  A way to use our votes more strategically and to put ALL your points on the biggest issue each year so we can move some of these important things forward? Does EVERY request deserve to have it’s hearing?  Or should the group remove the requests that have low impact, low transferability, small # of impacted users?  Maybe raise the bar for submission of the enhancement requests including use case, screenshots and etc.  Incomplete enhancements or those that do not make sense should just be rejected.  Number of points is inadequate, missing functionality should not be an enhancement.  
  2. Authentication Focus Group – internal password options for removing them, but we need something other than just social media pass-throughs
  3. Primo/Alma mix project – session tomorrow
  4. UX Project for new UI – improved ergonomics, working on feedback methodology, May 24 in sandboxes for early adopters.  Look, feel, and ergonomics but not changes in HOW things work, just where they are and what they look like.
  5. Community Zone management

Working group is turning over after 4 years of service and looking for new members.


Dinner at Big Bowl (Thai food – not bad) and then planning Alma – The Musical with Mary from UO. We will be famous, we will mock, we will sing.  Rehearsals coming to a workroom near you.


Friday – Day Three


Slept through my alarm meant to wake me up in time to get a run.  Kind of on purpose.  I was really sleepy this morning.  Ray brought her extra chips and cookies and I’m taking them tomorrow for the plane!  Super Score!


Automation and Batch Processing for Remote Storage – Sarah Koller (UCDavis)

Their regional storage serves 10 campuses and they DO NOT duplicate titles.  Once an item is in storage it is shared between all campuses.  Their offsite storage does NOT use Alma, so once the item is moved.  Needed the item to not show in Primo because it can’t show true availability.   Need to move both monographs and serials.  This will be about monographs.  Used “change holdings information job” – required them to use a norm rule and Droolz (I know nothing of this but hope to learn).  Norm rule added a note to each holdings that it was relocated to storage – also provided an opportunity to check that other parts of the record were clean.

Create a set for monograph single, monograph multi-volume, and serials (depending on what you’re doing) – imported from Excel as an itemized set.  Employee the norm rule in the change holdings info job.  Once run, check the records for accuracy.  Then deletes items while maintaining the holdings and bib records.  Item list should be empty.

Note needs to go in the holding record because the item records will be gone.  Holdings stays so the record shows up in Primo but without availability.  Wondering if they could add a public note to each of these with a URL to the storage facility’s page?  OR make the title of the location a link to that page?  They used a button instead and it worked better – pre populates the ILL request form they use for pulls from storage.  Also I think buttons are supposed to be better than links for low vision/blind users and screen readers.

**Side note that Haithi Trust will send links to materials that you have had but no longer have (which is why they don’t delete ANY of their bibs and holdings).  Should this be true for us too?


Advanced Analytics – Allison Erhardt (UManitoba)

Change editor in “My account” preferences to start on the criteria page instead of results page.

Dashboard reports are based on loan date criteria – problems include the idea that returns will only be counted on items LOANED during that time AND returned during that time.  So if your range is March Loan Dates, something borrowed in February and returned in March would not count.

Lifecycle (physical items) – Active and None (deleted will bring back everything – even though they’ve been withdrawn)

Customize error reports in the xyz button results display, display custom message to make results message more friendly.  This is done per report.

***Bins act like a filter in reverse.  Groups your data together.  Loans per hour and per day of week.  Lists each one which is not what you want.  Put them in a bin and it will tell you how many instead.  Use Edit Formula and choose Bins tab.  Add a Bin to get Loan Time “Is between”

This is something I needed just 2 weeks ago. @Amila: This would have been so helpful when you were pulling laptop loans and returns.  Keep it in mind for the future.

Prompt order to put months in order instead of alphabetical.  Edit prompt (pencil button, options, choice List Values)

Adding a chart or pivot table from the view button (with the plus mark)

***Filter by results of another report – this for patron purge.  Report of expired patrons filter by report of expired patrons with fines.  add filter that the primary ID appeared in previous list (last option in the filter list- based on results of another analysis.  @April: let’s look at this as it will make your patron purge lists so much easier to use.  We should be able to cut out the entire excel portion of the process!!

Analytics special interest group list



Just Like Starting Over – Using Primo and Alma for Course Reserves

Molly Gunderson (PSU)

Reserves are free in Alma, (even eReserves), more mobile friendly, single sign-on

Their method:

  1. Create Course (Terms list can be edited – @Rima: Would this be helpful?), add dates and instructor.  Save.
  2. Create Reading List from the course’s dropdown Menu.  Use status complete because if you walk away it might not ever get finished.  Click on “Work On”
    1. Repository addition do search, find item, change location, add item policy if needed
    2. Personal copy – material type is limited to book or article.

Nothing new here yet.  This is very much the same as what we’re doing.

Widgets for CMS (for us Canvas).  I’m not sure if we have this and don’t know how we would get it done…. I think we have a chat widget so wondering if there might be a search box with it?

They are creating an item for eReserves that is a “Course File” and then link that out to the list of stored documents – she did not designate where that list lives, but the documents are stored on PSU servers rather than in Alma.  If we have Alma-D we could use their space and use links which she said is preferable so you can count clicks.


Data and Holds from Alma to Banner – Joe Ferguson (UTennessee)

Students who owe more than $X, a hold is sent to banner – not monetary data, but a hold. Sent to banner daily, updated in Alma hourly

Uses PHP script, MySQL Database, Alma Integration Profile.

Integration profile to export user blocks (it’s in the patron loader profile – already set up, just needs to be configured and turned on).  Sends file to the MySQL Database (this is the same idea as the parser program you use @Emma when you send fines and fees).  Database writes a file that Banner understands and dumps it on a server for Banner to pick up.  Hourly, runs a job to check if the student still owes $X – if not, writes to file to REMOVE the hold. Could use Webhooks (just learned about these the other day but runs and if/then or do/when process and could keep from having to run for updated removals hourly).

They are mostly doing this because they only send active fines over after they are a year old!! So they need a way to dig at people to get the fines paid – the hold does that without posting charges to Banner until they are super old.  They also take cash which is good because it potentially keeps students from getting pushed into collections unless they’ve been a year out, but still allows a built in “nudge.”  They don’t send faculty/staff charges at all!  Only have them pay in-house.

**@April: Check and see if the “Fine Fee Status” in Analytics could be used in setting the patron purge report more easily.  

When they send the fines to Banner, the Bursar’s office sends the library money and buys the debt.  If this is true for them, is this happening here?  I had always heard that we didn’t get money from the Bursar unless/until the student actually PAYS the fine.  If we are really being paid for the debt, before it is paid this makes me really nervous.  I wonder who at Kerr I should ask.


The only thing left is the key note at 2pm!  I’ll see you then.  LUNCH!


I spent the hour after lunch helping Julie Ward from CSU to look at her fulfillment configuration.  They go live next month and I wanted to help her understand how the rules and their order matter. I missed the keynote speaker except for now he’s answering questions that I have no context for.  I feel bad that I missed it but hoping that was helpful for Julie – she’s awesome.  There are so few people still here but I wanted to be able to see the afternoon sessions (it looks like there’s actually one more after this) and not get home after midnight.  


Closing Session – Habib Tabatabai, ELUNA chair

Financial summary report, introduction of new committee.

Next year’s conference will be May 2-4, 2018 in Spokane Washington at the Davenport Grand Hotel! This should dramatically reduce conference costs for Alliance institutions and foster a huge amount of residence sharing.  We’ve all got friends in Spokane!


Alright everyone.  That’s a wrap.  I fly out tomorrow and should be back to work on Monday!  Thanks to all of you who held down the fort while I was away.  I’m sorry to read that you have dealt with odors, power outages, absences, car trouble, plague and loneliness.  While I can’t resolve these problems, I will be happy to return and share in your misery!