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February 2005 Council on the Libraries minutes

Council on the Libraries
3 February 2005

Members Present: David Becker, Kathy Cottingham, John Crane, Harold Frost, Bob Graves, Jacques Hebert '07, Bill Hickey, Vernita Irwin, Deborah King, Jeff Ruoff, Jerry Rutter

Ex Officio Members: Malcolm Brown, Teoby Gomez

Invited Guests: John Cocklin, Pat Fisken, John James, Cyndy Pawlek, Cecelia Tittemore

1. Approval of minutes (Cottingham)

Minutes from the October, November, and December meetings were approved unanimously by the Council.

2. Quick updates from Fall 2004 business (Cottingham)

In November we discussed a number of potential mechanisms for insuring smooth transitions between chairs of the CoL. At this meeting, we voted to create an Associate Chair position. Starting in 2005-06, an Associate Chair will be named at the beginning of an academic year, participate in planning agendas for the year's meetings, and then succeed the current Chair at the start of the next year.

Since Kathy Cottingham will be on leave during spring term, a temporary Chair is needed; volunteers were encouraged to talk to Lisa LaFlam or John Crane.

3. Library Focus: Cataloging and Metadata Services (Tittemore)

Cecilia Tittemore, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, described how the traditional role for library cataloging departments is expanding rapidly into new activities. These activities share the same goal as traditional library cataloging: to accurately describe and provide access to materials in the library collection. "Metadata" is highly structured (usually standards-based) data about data.

Cataloging and Metadata activities grow and change in response to changes in the library, such as the redefinition of the collection to include web-accessible materials and the increased emphasis on unique and unusual library materials which can be presented to scholars via the web. Dartmouth College Library chose to incorporate the task of providing intellectual control and access for these materials into the work of the Cataloging department, because the same basic skills are used for each process.

Tittemore presented a list of typical projects in which Cataloging and Metadata Services staff are involved, in addition to the ongoing building and maintenance of the Dartmouth Library Catalog. Highlights include:

  • The creation and maintenance of metadata for e-journals (titles and dates) to support Article Linker.
  • The creation and maintenance of standardized metadata for the e-journals published by the Library, to support Article Linker and similar full-text linking products.
  • Digital Finding Aids to describe library collections.
  • Uploads of large files of catalog records to describe title-level holdings in large digital packages.
  • Classification numbers added to catalog records for digital resources to build the subject folders in eResources.
  • Participation in national projects to build databases of authorized name and subject headings to create a common vocabulary for discovery tools.
  • Planning in support of institutional repositories, digital reformatting of library collections, cross-database searching projects, and management of procurement data about commercial digital resources.

4. Update on development projects related to the Digital Library

(a) DRAM (Database of Recorded American Music) ­ Pat Fisken

DRAM is a collaboration among Dartmouth, NYU, Indiana University, and New World Records, currently in the beta testing phase at the collaborating institutions. Beta testing of the user interface will focus on Dartmouth music faculty and students during Spring 2005; some Dartmouth personnel are already actively using the site. Among DRAM's features are the ability to create a personal playlist to share with others via email or Blackboard, which could be particularly useful for creating assignments.


(b) Scholars Portal ­ John James

This collaboration with 6 other members of the Association for Research Libraries (ARL) and the British software firm Fretwell Downing seeks to develop a one-stop searching tool that will connect researchers at all career stages with vetted information available on the Web, including peer-reviewed journals, abstracting, and indexing services. Ideally, this federated searching tool will enable simultaneous searching across many of the databases currently searched individually, for example Web of Science, PubMed, and Lexis-Nexis ­ and produce a single, integrated list of results with no duplicates. The portal is still very much in the development phase, but is planned for Fall 2005 introduction.

(c) Government Information Portal ­ John Cocklin

This is a Dartmouth-developed portal to facilitate searching across multiple sources for web-based government information, currently in a trial phase. Dartmouth is an official federal depository, but since much of the information produced by the government these days is no longer in print, this portal provides a means of accessing what's available without having to go through site by site. At present, results from each search engine are returned separately, but there is a mechanism to search many sites simultaneously for a particular topic.

5. Meeting adjourned at 1:35 pm.