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News & Notes

Current Issue: January - February 2012   |    Previous Issues    |   Submit a Tidbit


Benchmarks: People & Jobs

  • Good news from UBC:

  • The University of British Columbia Library is pleased to announce that Tom Brittnacher was the successful candidate for the recent tenure-track GIS Librarian competition at UBC Vancouver. Tom had previously worked here as our first GIS librarian on a limited term basis since 2009, and in that position he established our library's GIS program from scratch, including setting up our GIS lab; reaching out to faculty, graduate students and undergrads from many academic departments;  preparing for spatial services within our emerging research commons and establishing a campus-wide GIS users group. He is also active in professional societies, including being the editor of the WAML Information Bulletin.

    Tom continues to work closely with Mary Luebbe, Data Librarian; Paul Lesack, Data & GIS Associate and Tim Ross, Map Librarian.

    Congratulations, Tom!

    Tim Ross

  • Job Announcments:
  • Geospatial Librarian at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Library

    Curator of the American Geographical Society Library at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

    Numeric and Geospatial Data Librarian at Northwestern University (having previously worked at this institution, if you have any questions please contact me)

New Maps of the WAML Region

Publications about Mapping

  • A new list of articles from Phil Hoehn.

  • An announcement from Paige Andrew:

    I would like to bring to your attention a brand new publication that is available from Routledge. This is a compilation of issues 7(1) ad 7(3) of the Journal of Map & Geography Libraries from last year, which was a combined theme issue on mapping/Geography/GIS in the healthcare field. "Perspectives in Medical Geography: Theory and Applications for Librarians", edited by Amy J. Blatt, is a 254-page volume covering a host of research related to today's healthcare field and its uses of location-based tools and outcomes to solve problems. To see more information, including making a purchase, please go here.

    The Journal of Map & Geography Libraries is excited to offer FREE access to an article from its recent archives 7(2): Surveying Campus GIS and GPS Users to Determine Role and Level of Library Services, by Gregory H. March.

  • I was contacted by the author of this book, which should be of great interest to WAML members: New NCGE Publication Examines Historic Geography Resources: The National Council for Geographic Education has published a new book which examines resources used to teach geography in earlier eras of American history. In Geography in Americas Schools, Libraries, and Homes, Author Donald C. Dahmann has compiled a comprehensive bibliography of nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century geography books, atlases, globes, and manuals. The volume includes an introductory essay. The price is $75. Order your copy from the NCGE Online Store.

Other Map Organization Journals

  • GSIS: Newsletter (posted 6 months after publication)
  • CUAC : Cartographic Users Advisory Council
  • ANZMaps: The Australian and New Zealand Map Society Newsletter
  News | Conferences | Cataloging | Canadiana | New Maps & Web Sites



  • WAML lost a great friend and colleague on February 20th when Jim O'Donnell plassed away at the age of 59. Jim was a long standing WAML member, served the organization in many capacities, and was a jovial fixture at most WAML meetings. WAML extends our condolences to Jim's family, friends and colleagues at Caltech. In January, Jim was honored with the "WAML Award of Excellence". From WAML President's Cynthia Moriconi's email at that time:

    On January 9, 2012, Greg Armento presented Jim O'Donnell with the "WAML Award of Excellence" plaque on behalf of the WAML Executive Board and the Membership. He thanked everyone for the award and expressed his appreciation for all the supportive messages he's received.

    Please join me in thinking warm wishes for Jim, with gratitude for his years of service to WAML. His work as Subscription Manager for the last many years, previous WAML offices, and conference host par excellence have been enormous contributions to the ongoing success of WAML. Jim also filled an informal role as entertainer-in-chief at WAML Executive Board meetings, and I'm grateful for all the times he made us laugh and remember not to take ourselves quite so seriously.

    Jim's obituaries from Caltech Library and the Los Angeles Times.

  • Ilene Raynes (Colorado) will be taking over the reins as Atlas and Book Review Editor from John Russell starting with Information Bulletin Vol. 43, No. 3 (July 2012). If you would like review a book, you may contact her at Ilene.Raynes@colorado.edu.

Other News

Future WAML Meetings:

Conferences, Classes & Exhibitions
  • Exhibitions in the West via Cartography - Calendar of Exhibitions and Cartography - Calendar of Meetings and Events
  • Indefinite - Carson, California
    A permanent exhibition of antique maps has opened on the second floor of the California State University Dominguez Hills University Library, 1000 E. Victoria Street. Entitled Where Are You From? the exhibition documents the vast information that be gleaned from maps. Looking for New Granada? Since it is now the country of Columbia you probably can't readily find it on MapQuest, although it is represented on a map now on display in the library. Need to find where Russian Tartary or "Hindoostan" was? You can find them in the exhibition. With 15 maps dating from 1747 to 1946, the exhibition covers the entire world. These maps show how the world was viewed throughout the last 250 years and surprise the viewer with accuracy as well as inaccuracy and whimsy. They invite praise for their art and design, confusion when a familiar place is named something else and serve as a gateway for critical thinking. The maps are part of the Library's Archives and Special Collections Map Collection. Additional maps are on display in the on the fifth floor. The Library collaborated with the Promoting Excellence in Graduate Studies Program to put the exhibition together. The maps can viewed during regular library hours.

    November 8, 2011 – November 4, 2012 - Los Angeles
    Tracing the growth of Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest city, is the topic of the new exhibit, As the City Grew: Historical Maps of Los Angeles, on display at the Central Library, First Floor Galleries, 630 W. Fifth St., downtown. The 34 historical maps in the exhibition are from the Los Angeles Public Library’s 100-year-old map collection, which contains more than 100,000 items and represents local, national and international cartography. It is one of the largest collections owned by a public library in the U.S. and is noted for materials relating to Los Angeles and the West including historical topographical maps, road maps, street guides, and fire insurance atlases.

    January 6, 2012 - May 4, 2012 - Santa Fe
    Between the Lines: Culture and Cartography on the Road to Statehood, an exhibition of thirty maps commemorating the centennial of New Mexico statehood, is located in the State Capitol building, right outside the governor’s office in the Governor's Gallery. The maps date from 1564 to 2011 with more than half of them detailing the history and culture of the state in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The maps are drawn from the holdings of the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library of the Palace of Governors of the The New Mexico History Museum and private collections across New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Tomas Jaehn, Director of the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library, and Dr. Dennis Reinhartz, Emeritus Professor of History at The University of Texas at Arlington, among others.

    March 23, 2012 - September 15, 2012 - Astoria, Oregon
    The Columbia River Maritime Museum, 1792 Marine Drive, introduces a new exhibition from the Henry Wendt Collection, Envisioning the World, The First Printed Maps, 1472 - 1700. This exhibit features over 30 maps, spanning over 300 years of exploration, the oldest printed 540 years ago. Through the language of cartography, the exhibition explores the major trends in intellectual history from the early Renaissance through the scientific era of the Enlightenment. The maps illustrate the way in which Western civilization came to grips with the shape, size and nature of the Earth as a whole. These earliest printed maps of the world were attempts to comprehend the nature of the solar system, the relationship of the planets, and especially, the essential qualities of the Earth.

    May 12, 2012 - Menlo Park, California The Spring California Map Society Summer Meeting will be held at the U.S. Geological Survey, Western Region Headquarters, 345 Middlefield Rd. The program can be found online. The meeting is being organized by Leonard Rothman, our new Northern California Vice President. If you want to help Len with this event, please contact him at len@californiamapsociety.org.

    September 27-29, 2012 – Pasadena The Society for the History of Discoveries will hold its 53rd Annual Meeting at the Huntington Library. Additional information from Ron Fritze. [See previous News and Notes for more details.]

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Cataloging News

    As you can imagine, the majority of cataloging news these days has to do with our new standard, Resource Discovery and Access, or RDA. I am also certain that the catalogers in this group are already aware that the Library of Congress and other two national libraries set a “start date” for RDA implementation as March 31, 2013, or a little less than a year from now. This includes both the bibliographic/descriptive side of things and the authority record side of things. The following information can also be found at: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/RDA-PCC.html.

    RDA Implementation Decision by U.S. National Libraries

    I mentioned in the July 2011 Cataloging Column that the U.S. national libraries would not launch RDA unless the following tasks were either completed or far enough along that they were comfortable knowing they would be completed by the time 2013 rolled around. Those tasks included:

     Rewrite the RDA instructions in clear, unambiguous, plain English.
     Define process for updating RDA in the online environment.
     Improve functionality of the RDA Toolkit.
     Develop full RDA record examples in MARC and other encoding schemas.
     Announce completion of the Registered RDA Element Sets and Vocabularies. Ensure the registry is
        well described and in synchronization with RDA rules.
     Demonstrate credible progress towards a replacement for MARC.
     Ensure and facilitate community involvement.
     Lead and coordinate RDA training.
     Solicit demonstrations of prototype input and discovery systems that use the RDA element set
        (including relationships).

    In a report delivered in February by LC’s Program for Cooperative Cataloging each of these tasks was “graded” with some being completed and the rest “in progress” but far enough along to know that they will be completed on time. Which leads to what has become known as “Day One” initiatives from the Library of Congress.

    RDA “Day One” for both Authority Records and Bibliographic Records

    As noted above in my introduction, LC has announced that they will change from using AACR2 to using RDA for all cataloging on March 31, 2013. This announcement was also part of a document authored by Beecher Wiggins titled “Library of Congress Announces Its Long-Range RDA Training Plan (Updated March 2, 2012)” that includes a link to LC’s actual training plan. This is a document well worth visiting if your institution, like mine, is slowly working through a background training process that will soon pick up speed in both detail and actual training implementation. LC has nicely laid out a step-by-step training process underpinned by teaching FRBR principles first and then progressing through RDA details. You may want to borrow from their lead in this area, as we are doing at Penn State. Another factor in play for some of is NACO, because in addition to descriptive parts of records being done using RDA the access points within those records will need to be based on authority records based on RDA also (more on this in a moment). So, if your institution participates in at least the NACO and BIBCO parts of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging you will need to go through LC-sponsored training to be re-certified for creating RDA-based authority records and that will not be offered until Sept. 2012 at the earliest.

    “Day One” implementation for authority records at the Library of Congress was announced in the document “PCC Day One for RDA Authority Records” released in December 2011 and updated in March 2012. “The PCC Day One for RDA Authority Records is defined as the point after which all new authority records entering the LC/NACO Authority File must be coded RDA, and all access points on bibliographic records coded “pcc” must be RDA.” (from Definition, page one of document: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/RDA-PCC.html) Thankfully, after some testing was conducted it was found that about 95% of existing AACR2-based authority records in the LC Authority Files already meet the RDA standard (out of a database of around 8 million records). Originally a January 31, 3013 date had been set as “Day One” for authority records, but once the RDA implementation date was established, “PCC Day One for RDA Authority Records is harmonized with the LC RDA Implementation Date, which is also March 31, 2013.” Thank goodness! Makes things much less confusing between the two.

    There is a FAQ page for all of this too, that can be found at: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/RDA-PCC.html under the header “PCC Day One for RDA Authority Records”.

    So, there you have it fellow cartographic catalogers! If your institution plans on “making the switch” then set March 31, 2013 on your calendar. That said, if you wish to continue cataloging using AACR2 you can. And here’s wishing for smooth sailing for all of us moving into the RDA world!

    Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative

    On May 23, 2011, LC announced an initiative to be lead by the Library to analyze the current state of bibliographic content standards. Since then there has been good progress made towards looking at future possibilities beyond our current MARC21 standard and structure. By heading to the Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative website, www.loc.gov/marc/transition and clicking on the News link on the left side you’ll be able to catch up on their work. There’s two items under 2012, a survey invitation that probably will be closing or will have closed by the time you receive this newsletter, http://www.loc.gov/marc/transition/news/survey-invitation.html and also a report titled “Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative - Update Forum ALA Midwinter Meeting, Dallas, Texas, January 22, 2012” that is a set of detailed minutes from the forum, http://www.loc.gov/marc/transition/news/minutes-alamw-2012.html. There is much detail in this set of minutes and I encourage you to read it in order to stay abreast of this particularly important activity. Of course, since we are talking about the future, you can be sure that things will continue to change in this arena too! 

    Other Odds & Ends

    Conference: The Committee on Institutional Cooperation, or CIC, http://www.cic.net/Home.aspx and otherwise known as the “Big Ten” if you wish to think of the sports-world analogy, will be holding its CIC Center for Library Initiatives Annual Conference on May 15-16, 2012. This year’s theme fits squarely into the WAML group’s expertise, as well as folks from sister organizations such as ALA MAGIRT, ACMLA, etc. The theme is “Finding Our Way: Collaborative Strategies for Developing Geospatial Services” and I look forward to attending along with two of my Penn State colleagues, Marcy Bidney (Head, Donald W. Hamer Map Collection) and Kevin Clair (Metadata Librarian, Cataloging & Metadata Services and my next-door neighbor). Nearly all of the individuals responsible for map collections across the Big Ten’s eleven institutions will be present and it will be exciting to see what kinds of goals we lay out for ourselves in the collaborative arena that will push geospatial initiatives forward. The conference will be held at the University of Minnesota.

    OCLC: Again on the RDA front, OCLC released Connexion Client 2.40 at the end of March that includes new RDA-based bibliographic record templates. This is extremely useful particularly in that one doesn’t have to add in new RDA-based fields when creating an RDA-based record such as the 336, 337, and 338 fields. And, of course, it also is what we will be transitioning into on a permanent basis anyway so its great to have this tool well in advance of making the switch.

    OCLC also recently shared a "position paper" regarding proposed cataloging practice changes based on the RDA cataloging standard that you should be aware of, and read, if your cataloging work involves using OCLC's Connexion. "Incorporating RDA Practices into WorldCat: A Discussion Paper" was released on Feb. 29, 2012 and can be found at: http://www.oclc.org/us/en/rda/discussion.htm. Essentially, OCLC recognizes that records created under different cataloging standards over the years are going to exist collectively in their WorldCat database, and with the advent of RDA yet another "type" of record is already being added. Pointing out that RDA removes "librarian-ese" or "cataloger-ese" terminology such as abbreviations and the use of the "rule of three" under AACR2 (and prior standards) and replaces such things with spelled-out words and as many access points as needed assists the patrons using our records, and thus OCLC suggests a flexible approach towards making changes to exising non-RDA records. There is much detail in this document that I will not attempt to repeat here, but us catalogers need to be aware of proposed changes such this because if some, or all, of them become reality we will need to know how to handle, and interpret, changed records when we see them as well as know where our new boundaries are in terms of providing changes. 

    That’s all for this time around, as always I invite you to send me information on cartographic cataloging that you become aware of and would like to have included in this column.

    Paige Andrew, Column Editor
    Pennsylvania State University

Canadian News

    No report this time from Tim Ross.

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Last modified: April 13, 2012
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