Next Generation Catalog Interest Group Meeting

Monday, June 30th, 2008
Anaheim Convention Center

Sharon M. Shafer, Vice Chair, welcomed everyone to the 3rd meeting of the Next Generation Catalog Interest Group.

The program panelists included Karen G. Schneider, Equinox Software, Sara Davidson, University of California, Merced, and Amy Kautzman, University of California, Davis,

“Running a Free and Open Source Software ILS does Not Equate to a Tightrope Act with No Net”

Karen G. Schneider began her talk with a definition of open source software from Wikipedia. Karen explained that open source software is free to use, free to download, and free to modify. Support is also available from the open source community or from a vendor. Karen further stated that “development” happens out in the “wild,” occurring on IRC, listservs, etc. It is important that development no longer take place in silos. With open source software problems can be quickly resolved. There is no need to wait for the next release. Software code develops rapidly. She also points to the FUD factor as a potential impediment to use of open source software. She recommends reading The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

Karen also discussed the PINES library consortium’s implementation of the Evergreen open source library catalog software. As a support service of Evergreen, Equinox provides migration and support training for implementation, as well as hosting and consulting services. Karen also recommends that libraries considering the use of Evergreen talk with other libraries that have implemented the software and also download the software for evaluation.

“Launching a Next-Generation Consortial Catalog”

Sara Davidson and Amy Kautzman (Members of UC/OCLC Pilot Implementation Team)

“What can you produce when you bring together 10 University of California campuses, the California Digital Library (CDL), an existing union catalog, Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), multiple task groups and the efforts of numerous individuals? In our case, the result is the Next-Generation Melvyl pilot which draws together content from UC’s existing union catalog and provides it on OCLC’s WorldCat Local Platform.”

The presentation included an overview and vision for the project, implementation procedures, the challenges encountered, and the features of the new Melvyl catalog. The project design included ten separate local views/scopes for the catalog and one union catalog view/scope. The goals of the project were to improve search and retrieval results, revise the architecture of the OPAC, adopt new cataloging practices, and a move to a support module based on continuous improvements. Also discussed was the organization of executive and implementation teams, task forces, joint work groups, and the partnership with OCLC. The various groups met challenges on several issues including: communications, working in new ways to handle technical hurdles, working through existing structures, creating new structures when necessary, data issues, managing expectations, and going live.

The most pressing issue being worked on now is how to bring up ten campuses all at once. The data issues include: reclamation projects, lack of OCLC numbers on some records, and the lack of OCLC records from some vendor sets. A recurring issue is the process of keeping the project from expanding beyond the stated goals. Additional features will continue to be developed in partnership with OCLC WorldCat Local.