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The Newsletter of the Health Sciences OCLC Users Group
March 2001

Message from the Users Council Meeting

Date: March 2, 2001

From: Mary J. Holt, President-elect

Summary report - OCLC Users Council meeting (Feb. 11-13, 2001)

I recently had the opportunity to attend the OCLC Users Council meeting (Feb. 11-13, 2001) as the Health Sciences OCLC Users Group (HSOCLCUG)representative. The HSOCLCUG proposal concerning the load of MeSH authority headings in the CORC database was not formally presented at the meeting, so there is still time for additional discussion and consideration of this proposal. HSOCLCUG has been able to provide documents concerning the proposal and the initial survey results have been distributed. Even though the HSOCLCUG Proposal was not addressed directly at the meeting, there was a suggestion to enhance the CORC database with metadata from other subject disciplines (such as MeSH) included in the final summation of possible metadata projects. The MeSH/CORC Committee will be in discussion with the leaders of the Collections and Technical Services Interest Group and OCLC prior to the next OCLC Members Council meeting (May 20th, 2001). I hope we will have an update prior to the MLA annual meeting in Orlando.

Another issue of prime importance to medical librarians is the OCLC/NLM Pilot Project. Cathy Kellum of OCLC made a presentation on this project to the Resource Sharing Interest Group. This pilot project will explore possible methods of loading SERHOLD data from the NLM database to OCLC. It is hoped that this project will be successful and that options for users of both OCLC ILL and the National Library of Medicine's DOCLINE services will be improved and enhanced. Additionally it is expected that success of this project will also improve the future possibility of updating holdings data via batch processing options for all OCLC union list participants. OCLC is expecting to work with NLM to solve some technical issues, and once these issues are resolved, there will be a test load for one library and then for a small group of libraries.

The Collections and Technical Services Interest Group agenda for the February meeting did include other topics of interest. There was a joint meeting between Collections and Technical Services that discussed problems and possible solutions to holdings for electronic resources in WorldCat. Another topic discussed was the OCLC Collection Sets and OCLC's continuing negotiations with third party vendors. The major focus of the discussion for the Collections and Technical Services Interest Group, however, concerned metadata and future directions in cataloging. There were demonstrations of the Cooperative Online Resource Catalog (CORC) service. The integrated metadata system in development is based on the CORC service, and will be a web browser interface. There was discussion on the channels and methods for OCLC to inform users of the upcoming changes that will be occurring in OCLC cataloging and metadata services and standards as OCLC migrates to the "Expanded WorldCat". This migration, which is to end with an integrated metadata creation and management desktop, is planned to occur over the next three years. The migration plan includes the development of an Enhanced CatME product, as support for Passport is discontinued.

Other very important OCLC initiatives introduced involved archiving and included planning to provide a "Digital Vault" for safe storage of electronic information, along with services to help libraries digitize collections. There is also a perceived need to provide facilitation of grants and cooperative projects. 24/7 reference service was also discussed as part of the "Extending the Library Cooperative" along with much discussion of library portals. Traditional ILL services will be transforming to an integrated fulfillment service which is now in the concept stage. Quality control of metadata was often mentioned as the size and content of the database expands and last but not least, the growth of OCLC into a global membership organization, with international partnerships is a present reality and OCLC is expected to continue to expand membership internationally.

You may wish to review the OCLC Global Strategy concerning the evolution of WorldCat from the bibliographic database and union catalog we know and love to the proposed globally networked information resource of all types and formats of information.

OCLC Users Council Meeting Minutes will be posted. The agenda of the meeting is available: (February 2001: The Library as Portal Today)

There are also a number of the PowerPoint presentations available from the meeting:

I really feel lucky to have had the opportunity to be part of the work of this group. This is definitely a challenging time for librarianship, really a time of monumental changes! I hope we will be able to rise to the challenges before us. I believe the strength of our profession is in the cooperative nature of our endeavors for the good of our users. Please contact me if you have questions about the initiatives of the Health Sciences OCLC Users Group or if I need to clarify some of my statements in this message.



Start of Message is the newsletter of the Health Sciences OCLC Users Group, an independent group composed of health sciences libraries and individuals who either use or are interested in the use of the services of OCLC, Inc. in health sciences libraries.

Created March 5, 2001