Between numerous required committee meetings on metadata and advocacy, I learned about Summon & Primo integration and discussed ebook record problems in several venues (exhibits, a session, a dinner, and a committee meeting).

Discovery Tools from Ex Libris:

Summon and Primo are gradually being integrated, which I likened to EBL and Ebrary integration. I sent some detailed notes to Thomas, Kevin, and Roz, but here are a few bullets:

  • Unified ingestion point for both from their providers
  • Primo’s bX recommender will be in Summon
  • First Summon over Alma customer about to happen in May at Eastern Michigan. Can login to Alma patron account from Summon.
  • The more robust analytics that Primo already has, is coming to Summon (Oracle business analytics)
Laura Guy from Colorado School of Mines has been doing analysis of Primo use there and said that undergrads do like lots of results, while faculty and grad students don’t, so they are thinking to make different search options for the different groups. Researchers do like using facets to filter results.
ALA Conference Schedule Changes and Finance:

The question of ALA Midwinter and its necessity (or not) was a hallway and committee meeting topic, as a spin-off to the proposed schedule change that is some financial strategery well-described in Thomas’ blog post. Membership is down overall (ALA and each Division) and word was that conference attendance was down again in Atlanta, as was Annual in Orlando. ALA and Divisions are trying to figure out how to change to make the financials work. I sincerely hope we can eliminate face-to-face meeting attendance at two conferences per year as a requirement to participation at the executive  board/division chair level.

Ebook record problems:
I sent some detailed notes to Jeff, Steve, and Kathy from a session where someone from Denver (Alma) and someone from Chicago (Kuali OLE) reported on significant difficulties with batch file loads from the OCLC Knowledge Base (which we use). Mostly it was about the downsides of the current methodology of updating a large quantity of titles, but both speakers touched on the difficulties with their particular systems. I went to the mic and described our Unicode problems and got knowing nods. Someone from OCLC offered to facilitate contact with the right people at OCLC for help and I took his card. An internal meeting this morning at ZSR ensued regarding difficulties with last week’s file of over 11,000 ebook record deletes and ongoing difficulties with UTF8. See me if you want to know more. I was able to bring up metadata quality problems during the ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee meeting too.
ALCTS Advocacy & Policy Committee (AAP):

As the current Chair, I attended multiple meetings. I substituted for our usual rep to the ALA Committee on Legislation and when the report on appropriations omitted mention of the blocking of updates to the Library of Congress Subject Headings, I spoke up to get an update and learned that ALA advocates are working on talking points. If there is an omnibus to roll all of the appropriations into one bill, it would likely pass and the subject heading changes will be blocked. This is the highest priority work of the ALCTS  AAP based on committee charge, followed by concluding the ALCTS committee review process and our request to adjust our charge to explicitly include advocacy specifically for ALCTS, the organization. This was a tacit part of the charge when the committee was created five years ago. Additional work of the committee includes fitting ALCTS into the ALA Committee on Library Advocacy Coordinating Group Implementation Plan.