Thursday, February 28, 2008

What! Working in libraries can be stressful?

Even though we work in libraries because we believe in them and want to work there, there are some stressful situations. There is the occasional irate patron and office politics do not happen only in profit making organizations.

There is physical stress, too. For those of us who work at a computer most of the day, carpel tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress injury are, unfortunately, too frequent. Just plain sore and stiff muscles are common regardless of the type of job.

Here are two aids – one for each kind of stress.

Managing Stress and Conflict in Libraries by Sheila Pantry has just been added to our professional collection. Request it via the C/W MARS catalog.

StretchWare is a program that you can download to your computer. It reminds you to stretch and gives you some simple exercises, most of which you can do at your desk. You can try it free for 30 days. I’ve been using it a mere 24 hours and so far I am favorably impressed.

Oops! The little Zen bell just rang. Gotta go relieve some stress!

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Books

We’ve added several new books to the RCO (aka Professional ) Collection at CMRLS. Here are the titles that pertain to Technical Services.

Fundamentals of Technical Services Management / Sheila S. Intner, with Peggy Johnson. Chicago : ALA, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-8389-0953-9. Call no.: RCO025.02 Intner.

FRBR a Guide for the Perplexed / Robert L. Maxwell. Chicago : ALA, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-8389-0950-8. Call no. RCO 025.3 Maxwell.

Understanding FRBR : What it is and How it will Affect our Retrieval Tools / edited by Arlene G. Taylor. Westport, CT : Libraries Unlimited, 2007. ISBN: 978-1-59158-509-1. Call no.: RCO 025.3 Understanding.

Sheila Intner, Robert Maxwell and Arlene Taylor are all very respected names in the cataloging arena.

All of these titles are in the C/W MARS catalog. To borrow any of them, follow the same procedure that you would for any other item: Locate the title in the CMARS section of the catalog and click on the “Request” button.

We have lots of other titles in our RCO collection. We’ve purchased them for you to borrow. If you discover a useful title that we don’t own, please let us know. We’ll likely order it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Share your history. Be a part of Digital Treasures

Have you explored Digital Treasures? If not, you’re in for a treat.

Click here and then click on “Browse” along the top of the page.
You can do it right now. I’ll wait….

Did you see the image of that great Grout steam automobile for $800? It’s part of the collection at the Wheeler Memorial Library in Orange. Did you see the images of Calvin Coolidge in the Forbes Library’s collection? Or the one of the Great Fire on School Street in Worcester in 1838? The Bancroft Memorial Library in Hopedale has scanned historic, one-of a kind newspapers as well as photographs. In all, 26 libraries are participants in this fantastic resource and you can be, too.

I have received a grant from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation to help libraries in central Massachusetts add their treasured photographs, postcards, pamphlets and other materials to Digital Treasures. Don’t have the time to choose items? Don’t know how to create metadata in Dublin Core? Not to worry. The grant includes a professional librarian that will work with you on those tasks.

Not a member of C/W MARS? Not a problem. The grant includes scanning fees for both members and non-members of C/W MARS.

Don’t delay! Contact me right away to get more information. Contact me right away to begin the process of adding your images to Digital Treasures. Contact me right away at or 508-757-4110 x307.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What’s in store for DDC

The Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) is a ten-member international advisory board for the Dewey Decimal Classification system. The EPC held its most recent meeting (called Meeting 128) on November 13 and 14, 2007 at the Library of Congress.

EPC is the group that revises DDC and at this meeting they approved a complete overhaul of the treatment of groups of people, a project that has been under discussion since fall 2005. EPC also approved changes in 004-006 (Computer science); 010-090 (Information and general works); 100 (Philosophy, parapsychology and occultism, psychology); 320 (Political science); 380 (Commerce, communications, transportation); 390 (Customs and etiquette, except folklore); 520-550 (Astronomy, physics, chemistry, earth sciences); 610 (Medicine and health); 630 (Agriculture and related technologies); 780 (Music); 790 (Recreational and performing arts); 800 (Literature and rhetoric).

Also planned are changes in topics such as philosophical counseling; alternative therapies; volleyball; abortion; cytology and histology; and wine.

How did I find all of this out? I subscribe to the online newsletter LC CATALOGING NEWSLINE. It’s published irregularly by the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate, Library Services, Library of Congress, and contains news of cataloging activities throughout the Library of Congress.

LC CATALOGING NEWSLINE is available in electronic form only and is free of charge. To subscribe, send a mail message to listserv with the text: subscribe lccn [firstname lastname]. Back issues of LCCN are available through the LCCN home page at

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cataloging Again

Because of a shifting of responsibilities at CMRLS, I’m now copy cataloging again. Since CMRLS doesn’t have a very large collection, there’s not a lot to catalog, but we do have a very good professional collection used by lots of librarians.

Much of what we purchase is already in the C/W MARS catalog. If it isn’t in C/W MARS, it’s likely in OCLC just waiting for me to export to C/W MARS. The work isn’t difficult, but it’s nice to look at MARC records. I’m also learning the intricacies of MillCat (from Innovative Interfaces, Inc.) and the myriad ways one can produce spine labels. Maybe someday there will be an Integrated Library System (ILS) that allows easy printing of spine labels. I haven’t seen one yet. There are many ways, none of them easy.

We did recently purchase a book with an accompanying CD for which I found no copy in OCLC. I’ll search it again next week, but if there is still no bibliographic record, I’ll have to create one. I haven’t created an original record in over two years, and I hope I’m not too rusty. In the days when I cataloged every day, all day, I could whip out bib records pretty quickly complete with subject headings and classification numbers in both LC and Dewey. Now, I expect I’ll be a little slower, but I’m glad for the practice. I’ve been feeling as if I’m growing further and further away from knowing how to catalog all of the new media being developed. I’ll let you know how it goes.