Iowa OCLC Users Group

Annual Report for 2008-2009


 The IOUG Annual Report for 2008-2009 consists of a summary of the May 2009 IOUG annual meeting and our financial statement produced by Steve Cox.

The Iowa OCLC Users Group (IOUG) Annual Conference took place at the Scheman Building in Ames, Iowa on Friday, May 15, 2009. There were 65 registrants, and ten were from ISU. The conference them was “Something for Everyone”. Ames Public Library Director Art Weeks generously provided $1000 to help underwrite the costs of the conference, which enable the group to keep our registration fee low at $15. Marianne Malinowski was instrumental in making most of the local arrangements for the conference, and she, as usual, deserves a quite large round of applause from the IOUG Executive Board for her continued excellent service to the IOUG.

The keynote speaker was Jenny Johnson, Executive Director of Branding and Creative Services for OCLC. She talked about the results of research that OCLC and a marketing company conducted in 2007 to identify factors that were likely to increase financial support for public libraries.

Following up on this research, the Gates Foundation gave a $5 million dollar grant to OCLC to develop a public information campaign to help heighten awareness of the needs of local libraries and increase support for the services they provide. The campaign will be tested for six months in just two parts of the country. One of them is central Iowa (Polk, Warren, Dallas, and Story Counties). The other is Savannah, Georgia. These areas were regarded as fairly typical of the country as a whole, and people from these areas were interested in working with OCLC on this project.

Some of the findings of the research could apply to any kind of library. These were the 8 things the researchers learned:

1) People don’t know all that libraries offer.

2) Most people said they would probably vote yes on a library ballot.

3) Library support is only marginally related to visitation.

4) Perceptions of “the librarian” are highly related to support. The public believes that anyone who works in a library is a librarian. They will most support someone they see as a “passionate librarian.”

5) The library has a unique role in providing purposeful information.

6) The person’s belief that the library is transformational (life-changing) is related to how likely they will support funding.

7) Elected officials are more connected to libraries than the public, but think that libraries have enough funding.

8) Increasing support for the library does not take away funding from other institutions.

The full report was published as “From Awareness to Funding—a Study of Library Support in America,” and is available for free download from  http://www.oclc.org/us/en/reports/funding/default.htm


The State Library will have an integral role in testing the library information campaign in central Iowa. State Librarian Mary Wegner reported that the State Library will still have an 8- 10% cut, and will use some federal money to help pay for some things. They expect no permanent personnel changes. Access Plus will have a name to reflect what it really is, the ILL Reimbursement Program. Collaborative efforts are going on to bring in higher speed internet.


Regan Harper provided the BCR Update, which was actually an update on how changes at OCLC will affect BCR and OCLC libraries in the BCR region. OCLC’s Vision can be summarized as “Web-scale solutions.” They are finding ways to bring their internal WorldCat infrastructure to the outside world. Elements of their approach are WorldCat Local, Navigator for ILL, and E-content (licensed database in FirstSearch, which allows a single search across all platforms). All e-content will be moved to WorldCat.org on July 1, and the original FirstSearch will go away in 2011. BCR is placing more emphasis on services, not just products. They are increasing their consulting and customized training. They have some blogs: “Scanning the Horizon” for digital preservation, “BCR Trailhead,” a BCR training team forum, and a blog for public libraries. July 1, 2009 is a big day for reorganizing the responsibilities of OCLC and its networks, including BCR. OCLC will centralize administration and provide stabilized national pricing. Libraries will no longer be geographically bound to receiving services only from the network in their region. The networks will be called Business Partners with OCLC, instead of Regional Service Providers. BCR will still handle billing and ordering support, and continue training, but all technical support will be provided by OCLC. OCLC’s role will be to send billing to BCR, standardize pricing, provide technical support (6 a.m. to 8 p.m. central time), and maintain a centralized training calendar in WebJunction. For training, there will still be different pricing for members and nonmembers of networks.


Tim Skeers, (State Library of Iowa and Vice-Chair of the Cataloging Section) and Susan Moore (University of Northern Iowa) led the Cataloging Section discussion.

The first topic of discussion was whether member libraries had materials that they were putting in their local catalogs and not in OCLC and was this considered a violation of the OCLC contractual agreement. Several members indicated they had some materials that fit this category.

These included catalogs from playground manufacturers, seed catalogs, and culture kits. Lori commented on our Iowa town and church cookbook collection and our reasons for not putting these records into OCLC (authority work). Another discussion topic was the group’s objection to vendor input records, especially encoding level 3. Some libraries are enhancing these as part of the OCLC Expert Community Experiment, which enables cataloging members with full-level cataloging authorizations to improve and upgrade WorldCat master records. The experiment lasts six months beginning in February 2009. ISU faculty catalogers are participating in the experiment.


Jonathan Helmke (University of Dubuque and Chair of the Digital Initiatives Section) and Barb Corsen (State Library of Iowa) led the discussion. Barb gave the group an overview of the Iowa Heritage Digital Collection ( http://iowaheritage.lib.uiowa.edu/ ). The IHDC began in 2002 and includes materials from the Regents universities, the State Library and other groups within the state. Materials within the collection are all related to the culture of Iowa. Current standards and best practices used by the IHDC are also available on the site. Regan Harper (BCR) followed with a presentation on ContentDM quick start which is included free with the First Search Base Package. The quick start version of ContentDM is hosted by OCLC, can include 3,000 objects, has 10 GB of storage and can host three project clients. Any library with access to the First Search Base Package can use the ContentDM Quick Start version.

"The Financial Statement table is in the PDF"