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Spring Meeting Musings

Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

[Guest writer: Sheryl Williams]

Another Spring Meeting has sped by. Angela and Laura have posted terrific reports of the meeting; thanks to both of them. It was a bit chaotic at times, but we're an adaptable bunch. There are a few outgrowths of the meeting that I'd like to comment on.

First, we're always looking for topics to consider for presentations, or for the theme of the meeting. Several excellent suggestions were included on the evaluation forms. As time goes on, I inevitably read of a meeting or presentation that sounds like something we could do, but I never have a place to send the suggestion. Now we have a place. Under the "Conferences" section to the right, you'll see a heading for "Suggest a program topic." Anyone with access to the TSRT blog is able to make an entry, and we encourage you to do so. If you are not yet a TSRT blogger, email Casey ( and she'll get you set up. UPDATE 2015 - please email one of the TSRT officers to submit suggestions. And share your expertise; if there is a topic related to something you do, we'd love to hear you present on it!

Secondly, we're also always looking for locations for the Spring Meeting. Of our members, 25% live outside the Omaha-Lincoln area. The question is, how "fair" is it to make these members continually drive to Omaha or Lincoln for a meeting? That consideration is why NLA's annual meeting moves around the state. Aurora is a fairly-central location; if you know of others, please let us know.

Now it's time to move on to the fall conference. We're excited about our pre-conference on "What is a book worth? Determining the value of a book." Dr. Sidney Berger, the presenter, is well-known in his field, and will offer a lot of information in this all-day event. Additionally, we have several presentations being made at conference; we'll look forward to seeing you at them in Lincoln.

Tags:  conference  conference & meeting reports  spring meeting  tsrt 

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Another TSRT Spring Meeting Report

Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Thursday, May 1, 2008
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

[Guest writer: Angela Kroeger]

The Spring Meeting out in Aurora, Nebraska, was pretty good this year. The overall topic was "Spelunking or Serendipity: Discovery in the Catalog."

Jeffrey Beal, in his keynote address, "Metadata: Promise and Practice," talked about the need for rich metadata to make online catalogs and other search interfaces work well. He addressed the ideas of "search fatigue" and "Google rage" and posited that we are nearing the point where users will demand better, more accurate search results, the key to which is good metadata. The growing popularity of faceted searching suggests the rising importance of building and maintaining solid metadata for an increasingly diverse body of resources. He compared the strengths and weaknesses of deterministic searching (exact match), stochastic searching (full-text), metatext searching (catalog records and other metadata), and metadata-enhanced stochastic searching (full-text searching using metadata for limits and facets). He suspects that Google's advanced search limits on language, file type, usage rights, etc. are likely metadata driven, but of course, Google's staff-mode, like their ranking algorithm, is a well-guarded trade secret. He finished off with an exploration of Gresham's Law.

Gresham's Law originated in the realm of coin collecting. If two coins have the same face value, but are minted with different metal content, people will hoard the coins with a higher metal value and spend the ones of lower value. Thus, as the "good money" disappears from circulation, the "bad money" becomes the only money. (Think of pennies. Pre-1982 copper pennies are beginning to grow scarce as people squirrel them away in jars, while post-1982 copper-clad zinc pennies are deemed essentially valueless by collectors and remain in circulation.) Applied to other disciplines, the idea is that when something of lower quality becomes popular due to its low cost, the counterpart of higher quality increases in price until it is driven from the market or becomes accessible only to the elite. In this way, it appears that there is a present trend wherein cheap and abundant keyword searching is replacing expensive and accurate metadata searching.

But perhaps next-generation catalogs which rely on facets will reverse the trend, as facets require metadata or "metadata surrogates." (I'm not sure what "metadata surrogates" would be. Wouldn't any new descriptive encoding scheme be, by definition, metadata? Of course, eventually the word metadata will go out of vogue, and then we'll call it something else, even though it will be the same fundamental concept, much in the way that metadata itself is just the trendy name for cataloging.)

After the keynote came the first of the breakout sessions. Jan Boyer and I presented "Classifying Music CDs: Unearthing the Collection," showcasing our recently-completed music CD project. We had about nine people in attendance, and it seemed to be well received. No one threw vegetables at me, anyway. Some of the attendees had done similar projects with CDs or DVDs, and so I learned some new and cool things while talking to them after the session.

The majority of folks went to "Image Indexing: A Philosophical Approach" by Peter Konin. I have heard that this was a fascinating session. The subject material is certainly cool. I would imagine that cataloging images so they could be indexed and searched effectively with keywords would be very challenging, not to mention fun.

After the first breakout session, we had the TSRT business meeting, followed by lunch. Then we had the second breakout session. Jim Shaw presented "Broken URLs and Access to Content via the Catalog." I am sure he did an awesome job, but I attended "Connecting Print Titles with Their Electronic Alter Egos in the Catalog: Analysis and Full Disclosure" by Judith Wolfe, Dana Boden, and Joan Konecky of UNL. I figured, I need to learn all I can about electronic resources and about serials. They presented a project they did to find and correct various searching problems and disjoints between their catalog records. Sometimes the record for a print title would make it appear that it had ceased, and there would be no link or direction of any kind toward the electronic record that superseded it. They had a fairly diverse range of problems they encountered, from simple missing URLs to garbled, misleading records.

The majority of attendees, picked the third option for the afternoon session, Sue Ann Gardner's "LibraryThing and You: One Face of the Future of Catalogs and Cataloging." By all accounts, this was an excellent session. I would have loved to attend that one, as well as Jim's presentation, however the nature of breakout sessions is that sometimes you have to choose and bypass something else of interest. How sad. Everything on the program looked interesting.

Overall, it was a good and worthwhile meeting, even with the high winds whipping the cars all over the interstate on the way to and from Aurora.

Tags:  conference & meeting reports  spring meeting  tsrt 

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TSRT 2008 Spring Meeting

Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Saturday, April 26, 2008
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

[Guest writer: Laura]

What a good conference!! I have a lot of new ideas to take back to work (like barcoding DVD's inside to force people to check for a disc at CKI and CKO). Like it's ok to have teachable moments at the catalog rather than dumbing it down (or googling it up, whichever). Like there are a lot of us out there struggling with the aboutness and itness of things and how to explain that to non-librarians let alone make it useful to them. Like Gresham's Law and precision and recall, each of which will come in very handy when trying to explain to the PTB why libraries matter and what what catalogers do matters...

Just getting home after a side-trip to see my mom & brother. If you've never been to Aurora's Leadership Center, and the opportunity arises - go see the place. Stay the night - preferably when the weather is nice enough to explore the grounds. Nice facility, comfy bed, great wireless in the main facility. Only drawback - no Dr Pepper products. If you're a Pepsi drinker, you've got it made in the shade...

And yes, Deirdre, I really WILL blog about the dangerous ideas session from PLA soon :)

Tags:  conference & meeting reports  spring meeting  tsrt 

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Proposed By-Laws Changes 2008

Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Thursday, April 10, 2008
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015
TSRT members will vote on proposed by-laws changes at the Spring Meeting on April 25th. The proposed revisions can be found under By-Laws in the right column. Major changes include: 1) Removal of the Treasurer position and 2) Changing the terms of office to conform with the NLA year. There are other minor changes. TSRT members who will not be attending the Spring Meeting and have questions or concerns should contact a TSRT officer. Contact information for officers can be found in the column to the right. Click on comments and let us know what you think.

Tags:  bylaws  news  tsrt  updates 

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Register Now for Spring Meeting

Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The deadline is quickly approaching for registration of our Spring Meeting. Sign up now! (Link removed.)

Tags:  registration  spring meeting  tsrt 

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TSRT activities

Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Thursday, February 21, 2008
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

[Guest writer: Sheryl Williams]

Okay, so I'm not very good at posting news. It's not that I don't think about all of you frequently.

We've got quite a bit going on right now with TSRT. We're planning our spring meeting for Friday, April 25, in Aurora, although it looks as though we won't have a lot of papers; only three submissions so far. This means that they will probably be one after the other, rather than having to chose. Frankly, I would rather be able to go hear all of them. Watch for the registration form, coming out in early March. I know it's a busy time, but this is the best date we were able to work out. There is still time to submit a paper, so just let me know.

One of the matters we will look at during the business meeting in Aurora will be By-laws changes. Jan Boyer has been working hard on these. One change will be the removal of the Treasurer's position, as we will let the NLA treasurer handle the record keeping and check writing. I found it interesting that other sections/round tables didn't move on this until TSRT announced its decision. We're such leaders!

Your board is excited about fall conference as well. We have several papers being done, PLUS, for the first time ever, TSRT is sponsoring a pre-conference. We will have Dr. Sidney Berger ("Please, call me Sid.") presenting his workshop on how to value books. This is the same one that he presents at the University of Illinoise-Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and it's going to be an exciting day. Unfortunately, we're going to have to limit attendance to 40. So far we have received funding from McGoogan Library, which will cover his speaking fee, and we are waiting to hear about other grant submissions.

If you would like to present at this fall's conference, your program proposal needs to be in pretty soon.

We're also looking for candidates for office. This year we have two openings, Vice Chair/Chair Elect, and Secretary. If you'd like to volunteer, let me know. We are looking for individuals who are excited about the group, and willing to serve.

That's about all for TSRT right now. On a personal note, I have a new grandson, Dominic Jeremiah, born February 12. He's absolutely adorable (show me the baby who isn't), and much loved by his sister, Skyler.

Tags:  candidates  conference  news  officers  spring meeting  tsrt  updates 

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Call for Papers for 2008 Spring Meeting

Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Thursday, January 17, 2008
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Spelunking or Serendipity : Discovery in the Catalog

Friday, April 25, 2008
The Leadership Center
Aurora, NE

The theme reflects the uncertainty regarding the present and future direction of the library catalog in the midst of Google and mass digitization projects. Long regarded as the source for information from the world’s experts, the library catalog was once the near-exclusive source for users. The rise of Google and its objective of “organizing the world’s knowledge” have led to the conditioning of user expectations by the Web. Now is the time for libraries to enrich and share content for the millions of items in their collection.

Leading the day’s presentations will be keynote speaker Jeffrey Beall, Metadata Librarian at the Auraria Library, University of Colorado Health Sciences, Denver. His topic of “Metadata: Principles and Promise” will discuss the use of rich metadata to aggregate resources, and how structured retrieval displays will again be recognized for the value they add to information retrieval.

Jeffrey Beall is an author and a well-known authority on metadata, and the editor of The Journal of Library Metadata.

Topics for this meeting might include discussions of how your library has changed its approach in searching the catalog; innovative ways in which you are presenting materials in your catalog, or how your library is meeting the challenges of Web 2.0. The length of each breakout session will be 50 minutes; please allow 5-10 minutes for questions.

Please return the form by March 1, 2008 to:
Sheryl Williams
Chair, TSRT
McGoogan Library of Medicine

Tags:  news  pesentation proposals  spring meeting  tsrt  updates 

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Report on Workshop: Assigning Library of Congress Subject Headings

Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015
[Guest writer: unidentified]

I attended Charity Martin's workshop on Assigning Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) on January 9 at the Nebraska Library Commission. It was a very good, informative experience. I had the good fortune of attending at the same time as Mary Tilley from UNL, who is so incredibly knowledgeable that it was like having two teachers.

In addition to covering the basic differences between topical, geographic, title, personal name, corporate name, and conference name subject headings, along with all the various types of subfields, we got a lot of practical, hands-on experience. Throughout the morning, we did a series of mini-exercises, where we had to find the correct form for one of each of the types of subject headings, using subjects of our own choosing. In the afternoon, we were each given a book from a collection of diverse topics and asked to do a subject analysis of the book. Then we shared our completed subject headings with everyone else in turn, so we could see the ways each person approached their book. I thought it was interesting to learn about "technical reading," the art of examining a title page, contents, reviews, and other matter to determine the subject content of a book without having to actually read the whole book.

The only depressing thing is the rule with geographic subject headings that requires the latest name of a jurisdiction to be used in subdivisions. This leads to headings like World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Russia (Federation), which is legitimate and correct according to the rules, even though Russia (Federation) is a post-1991 political entity. World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Soviet Union would make more historical sense. But that's hardly Charity's fault. We can blame the Library of Congress for that sort of thing. However, we'll follow the standards--even when they seem weird--because of the need for metadata interoperability.

Charity's class was a great introduction to one of the more complex aspects of cataloging, and she provided us with the tools to continue learning on our own. And it counts toward the Nebraska Library Commission Cataloging Certificate Program. All in all, time well spent.

Tags:  cataloging  certificate program  conference & meeting reports  lcsh  training 

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2008 Spring Meeting

Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Friday, December 21, 2007
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The 2008 Spring Meeting will be held at the Leadership Center in Aurora, NE on April 25th. TSRT is still working on programming and registration but is pleased to announce that Jeffrey Beall, a Metadata Librarian, will be the keynote speaker.

Tags:  news  spring meeting  tsrt  updates 

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Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

One of our very own TSRT members and board member has received:


C & U's 2007 Distinguished Service Award

Jan Boyer is this year's recipient of the College & University Section's Distinguished Service award. She was recognized for her service to multiple units of the Nebraska Library Association and her recent work as Chair of the Nebraska State Advisory Council on Libraries.

Tags:  c&u section  kudos  news 

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