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PCCTG1  June 2003

PCCTG1 June 2003

Subject:

Re: Rough Draft of Preliminary Report

From:

Hugh Taylor <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 16 Jun 2003 08:20:22 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (108 lines)

Jimmie,

Thanks for getting the draft out in time for me to take it home at the
weekend! In truth, I was at work on Sat morning, so couldn't have escaped
it anyway...

I've only a couple of comments about *what* you say:

I would include some mention that relying on "physical" training sessions
isn't sustainable as SACO becomes more international (actually that's been
the case for some time now). And even for North American participants,
whilst there's no doubt the sessions are "helpful", not everyone goes to
ALA or is within reach of any other sessions that might be arranged. I
mention it merely to strengthen the argument in favour of web-based
training.

Another point *against* the Web form is that it can't offer the
contributing library a MARC record for inclusion in their own OPAC at the
same time - they're entirely separate operations.

In the first para dealing with membership, I would suggest adding more
"benefits" that come with this sort of approach. Split them into benefits
for the Programme and benefits for the members.

Summary of recommendations: surely the first bullet needs to be that we
think SACO should become a programme? After that I would reverse your first
and second points.

Now, whilst this is an interim report only, my main suggestion would be to
try to structure it in a way that assists not just the reader in
determining our thought processes but ourselves when/if we wish to expand
on some of the points in the final report. I'm not sure structuring the
output to match the three points of our original brief is necessarily the
most helpful in this regard, though I can understand the rationale.

My inclination in working on reports of this sort (which I try not to do
too often...) is to start with an outline - headings, subheadings, etc. -
and a few bullets as an aide-memoire. Then to start filling in that
structure with actual text. Where, in the case of an interim report,
there's nothing to say on a topic (because it's not been discussed or
decided) then a sentence explaning that this has been idenfitied as
something that needs to be looked at and which will be covered in the final
report seems acceptable.

Without wishing to rewrite the report (!), I'd suggest a shape something
like this:
        Introductory stuff
                Formation
                Brief
                Group membership
                Group working methods
        Background and general discussion
                Fenly Report
                Needs - LC and Participant
                Concept of "membership"
                Responsibilities of PCC and of members/participants
        [Meat of report starts here]
        SACO Programme
                Membership criteria
                What to do about non-members
                Members' responsibilities
                Benefits of membership
        Contribution mechanisms
                Utilities
                Web form
        LC workflow and feedback
        Training, continuing education, documentation
        Summary of recommendations

Within each (sub)heading, I'd stick to a single topic per paragraph. If
there's a recommendation to be made then perhaps make sure (even if it's
stated in "free text" in the midst of discussion of a topic) that it's
repeated "formally" after the paragraph in question. The "Summary of
recommendations" then becomes nothing more than a clerical exercise,
gathering in one place what's already been said and clearly expressed
elsewhere.

There may be more headings required than I've listed here.

In practice, given a shape and structure vaguely like what I've put
together above, I think you have much of the content ready and waiting -
it's more a question of reorganising what you've already written. It's not
really such drastic surgery as it might at first seem.

I've only limited experience of PCC reports, so I don't know whether folk
prefer a "slim" report - short and sharp and concerned with the outcomes -
or whether they like a good bit of background and to be able to "see"
something of the discussion of issues that would have gone on within the
group preparing the report. My personal preference is to see some
summarising of the internal discussion, just so I can be sure that obvious
points weren't missed. But that may not be the preferred way - clearly
affects the amount of detail one goes into.

Hope this is useful. I'm out of the office all day Weds, otherwise
generally around and able to respond fairly quickly this week.

Best wishes,

Hugh
--
Hugh Taylor
Head of Cataloguing, Cambridge University Library
West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR, England

email: [log in to unmask]   fax: +44 (0)1223 333160
phone: +44 (0)1223 333069 (with voicemail) or
phone: +44 (0)1223 333000 (ask for pager 036)

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