Call for programs

Program proposals are now being accepted for the Ohio Library Council’s all-new Community Engagement Conference, set for May 15, 2019 at the OCLC Conference Center in northwest Columbus.

The conference planning committee is seeking presentations that will enhance the skills of library staff and that are tied to the Core Competencies of public library service. The educational programming for the conference will include breakout sessions that will focus on a variety of community engagement topics including how to assess community needs, build partnerships, manage expectations, and empower staff. The event will also include a panel discussion featuring Ohio library staff who have done notable work as well as poster sessions on successful collaborations in Ohio.

The deadline for proposals is February 1, 2019. For more information visit the conference website at:

Program proposals are also being accepted for the 2019 Convention and Expo, Sept. 25-27, at the Duke Energy Convention Center and Hyatt in downtown Cincinnati. The theme for 2019 is Sharing Our Stories. There are two forms for submitting program proposals: one for Ohio library presenters and one for library presenters outside of Ohio.

The forms and links to contact information for any of OLC’s divisions and committees can be found at:

The deadline for proposals for the Convention and Expo is also February 1, 2019.


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Call for proposals: SOA Annual Meeting

Invention and Innovation
Society of Ohio Archivists Annual Meeting
Friday, May 17, 2019

To be held at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn Hotel in Akron, Ohio.

Deadline to submit proposals: Monday, January 21, 2019, 5:00 p.m.

The Society of Ohio Archivists’ 2019 annual meeting travels to Akron, Ohio, the “City of Invention,” this May. In the spirit of Akron, the Program Committee seeks proposal topics on the theme of “Invention and Innovation” in archives, collections, or related work. Creativity is encouraged!

Session, poster, and discussion proposal topics can address a broad array of topics, including, but not limited to:

  • Longstanding institutional projects or collections in accordance with the ‘Invention and Innovation’ theme
  • Current and forward-moving tools for archival discovery, maintenance, and/or marketing
  • Outreach and instruction that employs new methods, or addresses innovative or inventive topics
  • Inventive and innovative student, intern, and volunteer experiences and projects
  • Unique collection development ventures
  • Best practices and new methods for handling preservation, description, and access to analog, born-digital, or hybrid collections
  • Diversity, access, inclusion, and community archives

The Program Committee encourages proposals of panel sessions, student and professional posters, as well as alternative formats such as a debate, fish bowl, lightning, mini-workshop, pecha kucha, world café, and other session formats that encourage interaction between presenters and attendees. Please see the proposal form for more detailed information about alternative sessions.

Proposals must include:

  • Session/Poster title and type
  • Abstract of 250 words describing the session/poster and how it will be of interest to SOA attendees
  • Description of 150 words for the printed program
  • Contact information for the primary presenter and any other participants
  • A/V or technology requirements
  • Any additional special needs

Proposals will be evaluated on clarity, originality, diversity of content and speaker representation, and completeness of proposal and presenters. The Program Committee also encourages proposals from students*, new professionals*, first-time presenters and attendees, individuals from related professions, as well as those from outside the state of Ohio.

Please complete the proposal form by January 21, 2019, at

More meeting details will appear as they develop at & follow the conversation online at #soaam19.Questions? Contact:Stephanie Bricking ( or Stacey Lavender (, Society of Ohio Archivists Educational Programming Committee

*Note that applications for travel scholarships for students and new professionals are due by February 25, 2019.

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Looking ahead : Call for Programs 2019

Happy holidays everyone! As the year comes to an end, we begin to focus on 2019. Wow! Is it really 2019 already? What fun things can we get into in the coming year in Technical Services? That is where you all come in…

WE NEED YOU! Have you ever gone to a conference and thought, I sure wish they would cover this? Here is your chance to be heard!

What topic do you want us to cover? Give us some ideas for some fresh new topics you would like to see us incorporate into a convention or retreat. Don’t hold back! Give it to us straight. Do you want to learn more about collection management and acquisition, the cataloging and description of resources, the processing and conservation of items in the collection or workflow issues within our departments?

We are looking forward to hearing your feedback. Without all of you, none of this would be possible. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Kristi White, CPLS
Public Library of Mt Vernon and Knox County

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New content in “Documentation”

There’s been this line that says, “Watch this space,” in our Documentation page for a while, so I threw in some of my favorite cataloging links. It’s right up there under the header, with the HOME and ABOUT links.

Many of us rely on free resources for access to standards and guidelines. Thankfully, there is no shortage of good will in the library community; institutions around the world share a surprising amount of content freely.

We will certainly change the formatting and content on the documentation page in the coming months, so please let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see included. It would be great to see some sources for non-cataloging technical services work, too: acquisitions, processing, vendor relationships…

What are your favorite free resources?

Happy November!

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You know what I think? Lemme tell you what I think.

It’s a changing materials landscape out there, and it just ain’t gonna change back to what it was.


And if anything, the change is just going to accelerate – especially for the audio-visual parts of our collections.

Circulation of physical materials is down overall, and circulation of e-materials is up (especially those wonderful, and wonderfully expensive, e-audiobooks).  The PLDS report lays out that change pretty succinctly – as do the circulation reports for my own library, and almost undoubtedly for yours, too.

An almost certain accelerant to this change is the decision by retailers to cut physical copies of CDs from their floors. Earlier this year, BestBuy, one of the leading music retailers, declared they’d cut CDs out completely, with Target allegedly going along with them for the ride. This has since been walked back a bit, but the trend is clear, and my money is on it happening sooner rather than later. Bricks and mortar retailers are pressed enough as it is; they can’t allow anything that doesn’t pull a profit onto their floors.

This will undoubtedly lead to a trickle up effect on CD producers; having a major retailer (or two?) stop selling their product is going to have a definite dampening effect on their production of said product. Basically, this will just hasten producers’ migration to streaming their product instead.

And, oh, you know what else? The thought makes me shudder, but DVDs will be the next physical format to go. Not as soon as CDs, but it will be soon. There are already TV series produced by streaming services where no DVDs are being produced at all for libraries to buy (e.g., Transparent, GLOW).

So where does this leave libraries? Without physical objects to circ, what do we do?  Who ARE we?

Honestly, I think we’ve been pretty proactive in getting non-physical format alternatives for our patrons. OverDrive, Hoopla, Kanopy, Freegal. These are some pretty awesome resources.


There are still issues.

First and foremost: Do our patrons know we even have these kinds of resources? That they can use for FREE? Sadly for us – and them! – probably not. The infamous 2012 Pew study showed that few of our patrons know that we even lend ebooks, and a 2016 study, also by Pew, showed much the same.

What’s more, in the non-scientific but totally relatable realm: if your experience is anything like mine, you’ve actually schooled people – your friends! your family! intelligent, educated people! – on what the library has for them to access electronically, to their utter amazement and eternal gratitude.  (Quick, someone tell Panos Mourdoukoutas.)

Secondly, in a more collections-focused vein: some of the content still, well, not to put too fine of a point on it, sucks. Or at least it certainly does when it comes to video content. Right now there is no real product for libraries to purchase for their patrons that has the kinds of movies and TV offerings that Netflix, Hulu, and amazon do. Even in the audio realm, there are e-audio titles that we literally cannot get in physical OR streaming form that our patrons really, REALLY want us to have – and which they really, really can’t understand why we can’t do that. (Side note: explaining the intricacies of licensing agreements and audio rights to patrons is never, ever, a fun time.)

Another collections-focused issue is that many of these products come with per-use licenses. Budgeting for per-use products is almost impossible. Make one mistake on where to throttle content and either you annoy your patrons (the ones that actually know about the content and want to use it!) or, even worse, break the budget. It can be a terrifying line to walk.

So, what can we libraries do? To keep our relevance, to keep our patrons, to keep our FUNDING, in this time of patrons who embody an attitude of “if I can’t get it in under three clicks, without ever putting on pants or leaving my house, I’ll just get something else”? (BTW? Full disclosure: I am TOTALLY that guy. I understand lazy consumers because I am one.)

Well, we have to promote, promote, promote to our patrons and to our potential patrons. Work with your suppliers. They ALL have free marketing materials that they WANT to share with you. You do NOT need to reinvent the wheel. (OverDrive is like king of this; they have all kinds of ideas, including a new push to issue temporary library cards so that people can use their resources immediately.) Ask them what they have. Ask them what they can do to help you. Ask them what other libraries comparable to yours have done/are planning on doing.

Also, and this is certainly less fun than thinking up fun new places to market your resources, we have to work, work, work with our suppliers on getting better (yet still affordable!) content AND on devising more sustainable, less risky-to-the-budget, licensing models. This is going to be a process, and a long process at that. But to serve our patrons what they want to be served, where and when they want to be served it, it’s a process that we need to undertake.

So that’s what I think. Tell me. What do YOU think?


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Ohio’s Regional Innovative Users Group calls for proposals



The OH-IUG conference planning committee invites the submission of presentation proposals for the

OH-IUG Annual Conference, to be held on October 12, 2018 at the State Library in Columbus.

Guidelines for Presentations

1) Sessions will be approximately 50 minutes and should include a brief Q&A period at the end

2) Formats can include: presentation, panel presentation, guided discussion

3) Repeats of presentations from the annual IUG conference are acceptable

4) Presenters from other regional Innovative Users Group and surrounding states are welcome

5) The deadline for presentation proposal submissions is July 27, 2018

6) Topics of interest include:

  • APIs (Polaris/Sierra)
  • Basics of Polaris/Sierra/Millennium codes & tables, database structure
  • Batch loading/MarcEdit
  • Best practices for: circulation, cataloging, serials, acquisitions, collection development Millennium/Sierra/Polaris)
  • BIBFRAME or linked data
  • Circulation and circulation reports
  • Collection management and collection management reports
  • Decision making and assessment
  • Disaster prevention and recovery
  • Encore or Polaris Discovery
  • Hosted and cloud services
  • ILS migrations
  • Implementation of new products or processes
  • Inn-Reach
  • IT security
  • Loan rules/system cleanup
  • Polaris Statistics: Report Builder, Simply Reports, and SQL
  • Process workflows
  • Sierra/Millennium: Create Lists basics and advanced, tips and tricks, Enhanced/JSON
  • SQL Access and Queries (Polaris/Sierra)
  • Statistical reporting
  • System admin (Polaris/Sierra/Millennium)
  • Training tips and tools
  • WebPAC or Polaris PAC


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The Fine Art of Tweaking not Twerking Your Catalog

I don’t know about you, but I find it very frustrating when we run reports on books that are not circulating in our collection. Somehow, certain items never make the report but are always on the shelf. My “OCD” or “CDO” as I like to call it at times, sent me on a seek and find mission in our catalog. Oh what a fun challenge that was!

I wasn’t even sure where to begin. There are many reasons why our catalogs can become a real challenge. First of all, changing from the Galaxy system to the Polaris system caused issues because we were going from old school technology to new and improved online cataloging, which was a huge upgrade. Secondly, throughout the years there have been a few different catalogers working on records which can be like having too many cooks in the kitchen. In our defense, we are always striving to meet the needs of our patrons and staff. Sometimes that includes making new call numbers to satisfy new areas of interest or displays we are using.  Another issue occurs when people make changes to call numbers without going back and updating old ones. Without unification across the board, it causes confusion when running reports. I would like to share a couple of the things I am working on to update our catalog and make it more patron- as well as work-friendly.

The first thing I did was to check what call numbers were being used and do a lot of item bulk changes as well as adjusting bibliographic records to match each other. For example, we had holiday books two ways (E HOL FIC and E FIC HOL). These differences can make such a difference when running reports.

Sometimes that space bar can be a tricky little devil! If you bump it one time too many ….oh no! There’s an extra space added to the call number. I found this extra space will also throw off the reports.

Remember our job as catalogers not only entails entering the items, it also includes keeping the catalog current and easily accessible for our patrons! So I would like to challenge you to put on your headphones, twerk to some good jams, and tweak your catalog! See if you can find a way to improve your catalog!

-Kristi White, CPLS

Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County

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