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Apr 20 / Matthew Fredericks

SLIS Alternative Spring Break – More Details at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio

By Margie Wade, MLIS student

During spring break, I participated in WSU’s School of Library and Information Science Alternative Spring Break program and was given the opportunity to work for the week at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio. While I was there I met for sessions with metadata quality control team members and learned about the finer points of bibliographic record management and how they improve hundreds of thousands of records a day. Using Connextion, OCLC experts walked me through the processing of requests like record corrections dealing with name authority issues and the merging of duplicate records. I was also shown how they utilize quality control macros to correct patterns in records and to create hybrid MARC/RDA records. Resources were shared with me that included a guide to documentation and training materials broken down by topic for future cataloging reference.

I also received direct instruction from the two OCLC librarians who manage the OCLC Library, Archive & Museum. During an in-depth tour of CONTENTdm I was shown controls for customizing the formatting of the web page, how to control collections that are internal only or public, and I was guided through the details of setting up collections with records including objects and compound objects. They walked me through the workflow for managing their digital collections giving me valuable insight about processing digital collections which included cataloging in WorldCat, digitizing & preparing content for ingest into CONTENTdm and the actual ingest for both batch and single records—with the final test being whether the items were discoverable in WorldShare.

Finally, I was given a demonstration of data sync (formerly known as batch load) which allows libraries who join to have their collection of catalog records transferred, examined for matching and then processed for viewing in WorldCat. Through a dashboard OCLC staff can view incoming projects and view reports of non-matching records that show what field numbers contain problems to resolve things like records that are too sparse, have no dates or other issues.

In addition to the knowledge I gained, I met and got to spend time with three other students in the SLIS program which was a great bonus!

From the warm email welcome to the afternoon of my departure, the program director Nancy Lensenmayer was a gracious hostess. She is truly gifted in creating positive and meaningful experiences. The managers and team members were very generous with their time fitting training sessions, lunch meetings and tours into their busy schedules. Overall the week was fantastic and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to go to OCLC!