Friday, November 14, 2008

OLAC-MOUG Conference Highlights

The OLAC-MOUG Joint Conference took place in Cleveland, Ohio, September 26-28, 2008. The OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers (OLAC) association meets biennially in various cities. Because of the overlap between the two groups’ areas of focus, the Music OCLC Users Group (MOUG) meets jointly with OLAC every six to eight years or so. This year’s event was well worth the trip, both personally and professionally. I had the privilege of staying with old friends who provided meals, chauffeur service, and good company as well as a bed.

And I enjoyed making new professional contacts, renewing old ones, and attending informative presentations in the beautiful, historic Renaissance Cleveland hotel.

from hotel’s website

Lynne Howarth’s opening keynote speech, Rocking the Metaverse, set the tone for the following discussions of exciting cataloging trends. The fields of audiovisual, music, and online resource cataloging, built on the hoary traditions of the card catalog, are rushing headlong into the digital future. I’ll spare you non-catalogers the details of fixed fields, delimiters, and so on – if you’re interested, you can find handouts for all the workshops and presentations at I attended workshops titled Integrating Resources Cataloging, Metadata for Audiovisual Materials and its Role in Digital Projects, Electronic Resources Cataloging, and Advanced Sound Recordings. All of these workshops were excellent, informative and thorough. Although I learned plenty, I was also reassured to find that our practices for these types of resources are mostly up-to-date. Poster session topics included digital project metadata workflows, the use of Macro Express, cataloging for video game collections, RFID implementation, Web 2.0 tools for catalogers, and more. A particularly hot topic was FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) and its incorporation in the elusive RDA (Resource Description and Access), which is the controversial successor to AACR2 cataloging rules and which may (or may not) be coming soon to a library near you. A large group session on the final day offered two speakers with contrasting views on RDA. Glenn Patton, a 25-year veteran of OCLC and liaison to ALA’s ALCTS Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access, shared an insider’s official perspective. He confidently described the history and current status of RDA’s creation along with the timetable for its testing and implementation. Patton was followed by Heidi Hoerman of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. Hoerman, who claims to have “no horse in this race,” explained why she believes RDA is actually destined for a slow death.

Friday night, the conference held a reception at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

I missed the actual reception because I was happy to wander the museum, absorbing the beauty of the works in its collection.

I also missed the tour of the Ingalls Library and Archives, which support and document the museum's current and future collections, research, exhibitions, publications, lectures, programs and activities. Ingalls Library participates with Case Western Reserve University in a joint art history program and maintains collections that include over 100,000 volumes and 500,000 art slides.

I’ll end with an image of my friend Ruth’s gorgeous garden. A few more photos from the trip are available for your viewing pleasure on my Facebook page.

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