From your 1997-98 OCLC Users' Council Delegates:
Benard Strong Marcia Talley
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ph: 202-287-9463 ph: 410-293-6905
NOTES OF THE OCLC USERS COUNCIL
TECHNICAL SERVICES INTEREST GROUP
MAY 19-20, 1998
Larry Alford, Leader
Marcia Talley, Recorder
The Technical Services Interest Group of the OCLC Users' Council met on
Tuesday and Wednesday, May 19-20, 1998
Susan Walker gave an update and lead the discussion on WorldCat
Collection Sets which is OCLC's new name for the major microform sets.
Upcoming enhancements include automated FTP of all sets, an appropriate
856 field in the record and open sets which are updated on a regular
basis for electronic materials sets. Discussion centered around
frequency of updates (monthly? quarterly?) with monthly being
preferred, how to handle changes to the records, withdrawal of items by
providers and pricing. Of 388 questionnaires sent out in a recent
survey, 278 were returned saying that 40% of the respondents were likely
to purchase. OCLC is looking for volunteers to partner with OCLC in the
cataloging of these sets in exchange for cataloging credits and other
benefits. OCLC plans to investigate adding the following sets: JSTOR,
IAC Infotrac, ABI/INFORM, Wilson, Project Muse, and Academic Press
IDEAL. TSIG suggested adding UMI and ProquestDirect.
Eric Childress and Linda Gabel updated the group on the OCLC Small
Library Initiative. This user-friendly suite of products, designed for
small libraries such as public libraries serving populations of under
25,000 and school libraries, K-12, will provide www internet access to
cataloging, union catalog, ILL, reference and various selection tools
using an interface to FirstSearch. OCLC intends to market this product
to small libraries via consortia. Results of the pilot with INFOhio
have been enthusiastic. Libraries report finding 100% of the materials
they search, including multi-media products. TSIG members strongly
endorsed this product, pointing out that it would be ideal for all kinds
of small libraries, especially special libraries such as those in law
firms, hospitals, churches, etc. Things that need to be decided include
a name for the product, pricing and whether or not to include an option
to print local catalog cards.
Marda Johnson presented an update on original cataloging credits.
Members are holding steady with the level of credits but OCLC is looking
for ways to increase original cataloging including Z39.50 uploading
(under development) and importing from local systems via CatME. OCLC
will communicate progress made with local systems to users. This
section concluded with a short discussion on the ethics of full OCLC
members who search and export OCLC records to local systems without
attaching their holdings. OCLC believes cases of this are isolated, but
has developed ways to detect and charge for these as FTUs.
Ellen Caplan provided a brief description of the new LDR updating
service and updated TSIG members on the results of the pilot. Problems
encountered in the pilot include local interpretations of USMARC, old
practices (such as cataloging multiple versions), input errors and
special local programming. Questions to be answered include whether or
not to send certain records (like multimedia) and whether increasing the
number of LDRs will affect searching, storage and offline products.
Plans call for the LDR service to be made available 2d quarter 1998 for
interested libraries. Requirements include union list membership, batch
load capabilities, an ECX account via FTP as well as special
requirements for holdings records. Loading is free, but there will be
charges for storage, FTP and any customized programming. Proposed
enhancements include improvements in multi-institution processing,
post-processing reports, adding OCLC symbols prior to the LDR load, 866
coding and punctuation changes for chronology.
The four main points from the TSIG discussion follow:
1. TSIG reviewed the actions OCLC has taken in follow-up to the
recommendations of the Original Cataloging Task Force. The group agreed
that OCLC's response has been satisfactory and that the report and
follow-up can be considered closed.
2. As a part of its final discussion on the report of the Original
Cataloging Task Force, TSIG expressed concern about libraries that do
not load all of their holdings information into the OLUC and are,
therefore, not in compliance with their Full Member agreements.
Libraries that use the system to borrow from other libraries and use
original cataloging created by other libraries but do not batch-load
their holding symbol when they obtain cataloging records (mostly LC)
from other sources are not "playing fair." TSIG views this a "good
citizen" issue that OCLC and the Regional Networks should take very
3. TSIG heard a report on the new WorldCat Collection Sets service.
The group thought the new service is an excellent idea but encouraged
OCLC to develop the service in a way that allows flexibility in updating
changes to individual records and adding new records to sets already
4. TSIG heard a report from staff on OCLC's Small Library Initiative.
The group thought this new service will be of enormous benefit to
libraries that do not currently use OCLC services. TSIG encouraged OCLC
to customize the service for individual libraries as much as possible
and to be as flexible as possible in allowing libraries to choose which
parts of the service they need and want to use. The group also
encouraged OCLC to find a word other than "small" to describe the
Suggested agenda suggestions for next year include:
1. More detailed reporting from OCLC staff on Year 2000 compliance
progress in core services. Tell us both the good and the bad.
2. A session on Internet vs. TCP/IP access discussing the pros and cons
and how libraries are being educated about telecom access so they can
make an informed choice. This could be a joint session with
Communications and Access.
3. As OCLC moves to fuller compliance with standards, there is a gap in
how third-party local system vendors implement those standards. A
discussion about the role of OCLC and the library community in getting
the vendors to comply with standards might be helpful to OCLC, its
member libraries, and the third-party vendors.
(It seems to me that this is an important topic that could turn into a
task force report or position paper from OCLC member libraries via OCLC
to the library and vendor community.)
4. Further discussion of OCLC plans to include Table of Contents
information in WorldCat.