Author Archives: Joy Pile

Curricular Technology Team Meeting Minutes: 11/10

In attendance: team members minus Sue Driscoll. (Joy Pile, minutes)

Mack and Alex are working at the helpdesk. Alex tangentially wondered if and how the CTT should be more involved in the helpdesk. It was noted that the team has a number of issues on its plate – not the least of which was the original charge to find a replacement for Segue. If the team is to be involved in other projects – then we need direction and new goal setting from the ADs. It was agreed however, the CTT could have a hand in training staff at the helpdesk once a replacement application is chosen. It was suggested that the team could also have a hand in application development – particularly for MiddMedia and could help determine which features and applications are most appropriate for curricular use.

For the rest of the meeting CTT discussed its new website. There was some disagreement about the current navigation – but it was agreed to seek feedback from a few potential users before changing the navigation from the current mock up.

Discussed the philosophy behind  Quick Starts, and came up with the following rubric:

  • That we need to post some information that relates to the different labs on campus
  • That there needs to be information about some of the free for download applications such as Audacity that are included among the tools
  • Discussed what essentials might be included in a Quick Start Guide as it related to Audacity.

New developments in on-demand purchasing

Below is an article from LJ – published today. Please comment – but should we also schedule a “brown bag” discussion – and ask Joe for some hard figures about how much various ILL items cost?


Time and Tools Are Ripe for On-Demand Acquisitions, Say Charleston Speakers

Models removes guesswork and can save money over ILL, especially when the process is simplified for the end user

Josh Hadro — Library Journal, 11/12/2009

Go back to the
Academic Newswire
for more stories <>

Collection development librarians: predicting use is ineffective
Supply chain improvements and e-access make on-demand viable
Software tool collapses distinction between ILL and purchase requests

While the notion of “just-in-time” acquisitions has generated buzz at professional meetings for some years, readily available pilot program data and maturing software tools are paving the way for more institutions to move away from the traditional “just-in-case” model.

Demand-driven collection policies and procedures were the focus of five sessions over three days last week at the recent Charleston Conference <> (on “issues in book and serials acquisions”) and favorably mentioned in many others. With growing support from ebook, journal, and print monograph publishers, it’s become much easier for collection development librarians to let user requests drive purchases rather than rely on librarians’ predictive abilities.

“We are not good predictors of use,” acknowledged University of Vermont <> acquisitions and preservation librarian Albert Joy, who, along with collection development librarian Peter Spitzform, described their library’s Order on Demand Project. The university has purchased more than 600 books since 2007 prompted directly by user requests.

With records for readily available materials from a number of publishers—including Wiley, Oxford, and MacMillian—loaded into the catalog, graduate students and researchers can readily identify new works relevant to their research interest. Moreover, they can treat them as they would any other material not held locally by the university.

In the mind of the end user, there is essentially no difference between “off-site” and “not-yet-purchased,” said Joy, especially now that e-access has come into its own, and it’s less likely that materials will go out of print. The materials purchased via the pilot program circulate, on average, more than twice as often as other monographs, the presenters said.

GIST of Geneseo
In part echoing the observations made by Joy and Spitzform that users are indifferent to the source of materials, a team of librarians and programmers at the State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo <> is working to collapse workflow distinction between content acquired by inter-library loan (ILL) and ordered from outside sources like Amazon.

Tim Bowersox, Cyril Oberlander, Kate Pitcher, and Mark Sullivan of SUNY Geneseo’s Milne Library described the Getting It System Toolkit <> (GIST), a software package is designed to merge “acquisitions and ILL request workflow using one interface, enabling user-initiated requests, coordinated collection development and acquisitions.”

<>The first version of GIST, released in August, combines ILL and purchase request options on a single interface for the user, and integrates on the back end with OCLC’s ILLiad resource sharing management software. The request screen, linked from the catalog or discovery interface, includes sections highlighting holdings, preview or full-text options from sources like Google and the Internet Archive if available, Amazon reviews, and pricing details from a variety of booksellers.

Behind the scenes, the software directs the user’s request to a librarian and helps that librarian weigh whether to purchase the item or submit it as an ILL request; it displaysWorldCat holdings availability as well as the price of alternatives to ILL in case a purchase can save money and time over borrowing from another institution.

Version one of the GIST software is available for download at the project’s site <>. Version two will be a standalone application, and is expected to be released in August 2010.

Contact the author: <>

Discovery or NextGen Catalogs

Submitted by Joy Pile

Here’s the list from yesterday’s presentation, so that you can play around with these on your own.

Encore (from III) at Georgetown University – scoll down to the Encore search box

AquaBrowser (from Serial Solutions) Univeristy of Oklahoma – go to BOSS, Colby-Bates-Bowdoin test site.

Primo (from ExLibris) – Vanderbilt University

Endeca – North Carolina State University

WorldCat Local –University of Washington

Enterprise (SirsiDynix) – Cherry Hill Public Library

Vufind (open source) Carli consortium Illinois

Koha (open source, this is an ILS not just a OPAC overlay) Arcadia University

Scriblio (open source developed by) Plymouth State University

Blacklight (open source developed by) University of Virginia

If you want to read more about this topic here’s a bibliography that I created for a session at this year’s Music Library Association conference, and a checklist of questions created by Vassar Music Librarian, Sarah Canino.

Report from MLA (music library) Conference

Submitted by Joy Pile

The 78th Annual conference of the Music Library Association was held February 18-22, 2009 in Chicago. Below are brief highlights from the Sessions I attended.

Music in Chicago

Blues and Gospel music:

Horace Maxile: The southern migration of blacks to Chicago in the early 1900s helped produce a unique more sophisticated sound than New Orleans Jazz, with and intermingling of Blues and Gospel music. Some of the important figures in that amalgamation were Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie, Thomas Dorsey and Roberta Martin.

Paul Tyler: Folk music in Chicago – local music making rather than music consumption. The German beer gardens provided a venue in the late 1800s for Sunday afternoon music making and social activities. Tyler pointed out that the Sunday blue laws that prohibited the serving of alcohol and closed many businesses were instituted by the Anglo population and temperance movements against “immigrants”. German marshal music was used in a protest of the closing of these Sunday afternoon venues. In the radio era, Chicago station WLS promoted music through the “National Barndance” – a precursor and model for the Grand Old Oprey. The ethnic population originally from Eastern Europe made Chicago a major source for Polka music, with a distinct style. Chicago was also a center of Irish traditional music as well.

Charles Matlock: Described house music – the sound and synthesizer dance music that evolved in Chicago after the closing of disco clubs.

Consortial Collection Development

Tri-colleges – Haverford, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr have instituted a joint online catalog and consortial collection development policy using a joint approval plan from YBP and scores notification through Harrassowitz. They have mostly eliminated duplication, except for reference books. But these three institutions are within a ten mile radius of each other, and have a twice daily currier delivery – student requests are mostly filled the same day an item is ordered.

ILSO – an Illinois based statewide consortium which includes remote borrowing, and grants to smaller institutions to develop specific, mostly digital collections available to all the institutions in the consortium.

American Women (Women in music roundtable) – Described the lives and music of Blythe Owen and Victoria Spivey

Alexander Street breakfast – product update. Talk from Jim Musselman, founder of Appleseed Recordings.

Copyright: Is there a chance for change? This session was upbeat – as the legislative committee of MLA sees movement for change in the policy of pre-1972 recordings, to allow digitization and streaming of historic recordings produced between 1890-1964. Currently only 14% of this oeuvre has been reissued. The other major issue – orphan works also has legislation pending with will ease restrictions and standardize the process for “due diligence” in trying to locate a current owner of a copyright.

NextGen Catalogs and Weeding an LP Collection (Small Academic Libraries Roundtable) Sarah Canino of Vassar presented a list of points to ask vendors when considering the acquisition of a NextGen catalog (or discovery tool). Several librarians whose institutions had moved to this technology also discussed some of the problems with these search interfaces as they are currently configured. I described the LP de-acquisition process here at Midd, and included information about perimeters from a small survey I conducted on MLA-L, information from MLA-L archives, and a forthcoming Notes article by Elizabeth Cox. (Sarah and I are co-chairs of this roundtable)

Search, Hack, Mix, Create, Innovate, Communicate: Technology Solutions for Music Libraries – The session title was the draw. Misti Shaw demonstrated a software tool Camtasia, which she used to create library videos. Tom Pease of LC demonstrated an online collaborative program – Yahoo Orchestra Library. Tim Sestrick of Gettysburg College demonstrated He mentioned that Pandora is the most popular music site tagged in Jenny Colvin of Furman Univ. talked about widgets and demonstrated meebo. Jon Haupt , Southern Methodist University showed Twitter. Gerry Szymanski demonstrated Cha-cha a question answering service – that won’t replace our jobs, since the answers given are not always either complete or accurate.

Collections and Digitization. – Northwestern University is the repository of the correspondence and scores that John Cage collected in conjunction with editing his book Notations. Jennifer Ward described the process for preserving the scores – which run the gambit from conventional music notation to objects with directions on how to play the piece. Most of the scores are still under copyright – so they aren’t digitizing that collection yet, but they are in the process of digitizing the correspondence. Sam Brylawski and David Seubert described the Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings (, an online index to the master and published recordings of the Victor Talking Maching Company beginning in 1900.

Joint Projects Kathy Abromeit of Oberlin College, described the project of collaborating with Sing Out! Magazine to create an online index to folk song collections in anthologies (

Darwin Scott (formerly of Brandeis) and Pam Bristah of Wellesley, described some of the music related items that have been scanned for the Internet Archive (

What’s Next? The Compact Disc as a Viable Format in the Future of Music Libraries – This topic was discussed from various points of view – a young concert violinist, a former president of the American Orchestra League, a president of a small recording company (Cedille Records) the VP of Digital Product Strategy of Universal Music Group and a music librarian. They all agreed that at least for the near future, the tangible artifact – a CD – will continue to be produced, once broadband is expanded so that music can be streamed in full band with, iTunes and other such services will supplant the CD – a process which will probably take place over the next 10 years or so.

Users and Technology – Kristen Dougan of the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana described the music content contained in Google Books and the Open Content Alliance – there was some overlap of this session with the one on the OCA the afternoon before. Andrew Justice talked about our users and suggested reading “Born Digital: Understanding the first generation of digital natives” to better understand their use of libraries.

Miscellaneous Bits & Pieces: Traditional and Virtual – Philip Ponella of Indiana University described the software they use to stream music. Terry Simpkins send out an invitation to attend a Webinar on this software.

Hot Topics in Music Librarianship – A lively question and answer discussion on the issues facing us – including current budgetary concerns.