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NHAIS Annual Meeting

Earlier today, I attended the 2007 NHAIS Annual Meeting in Manchester, NH.  The meeting had two primary purposes:  to give those in attendance an update on the progress of the State Library and the NH Automated Information Systems group over the past year; and to hear from a representative of Web Junction and discuss the merits of the NH Web Junction project.

In the first part of the meeting, we heard from State Librarian Michael York about the success of the consortia approach to the Downloadable Audiobook service.  I left my detailed notes at work tonight, so I can’t give you all the stats, but suffice it to say that the consortium as presently constituted spends a lot of money on a weekly basis buying content for all participating libraries.  (I think the figure was $1000 a week, but don’t quote me on that yet!)

Michael also took time to praise a number of the State Library and NHAIS staff on their accomplishments throughout the past year.  Amongst others, David Harris was lauded for his work as a terrific trainer, and Diana Degan and Bobbi Slossar (who was unable to attend the event because she is vacationing in Paris) for their work with databases and the downloadable audiobook service, respectively.

Following Michael was a presentation by Charlie LeBlanc on the state of affairs with the NHU-PAC.  Charlie threw out lots of stats that I can’t possibly remember without my notes, but suffice it to say that the number of bib records and item records is impressive.  Charlie also updated us on the status of the original cataloging service provided by NHAIS, and the ongoing effort to work with libraries to reload their records after deleting records for items that no longer are in their collections.

One particularly interesting question was asked about the NHAIS original cataloging service.  The issue had to do with why some local history items which have already been originally cataloged by NH libraries are not accepted into the NHAIS database.  If I understood Charlie’s response correctly, the answer had something to do with the fact that NHAIS wouldn’t accept records that didn’t have OCLC numbers, or numbers for a particular field that OCLC requires.  (Again, remember, I don’t have my notes with tonight, so I’m doing the best I can.)  Apparently, in order for these items to gain entry into the NHAIS database, the holding library must be willing to send the physical items to NHAIS so they can do the original cataloging themselves.  (Please leave us a comment, if I got this wrong!)

The second half of the meeting featured a presentation by Rachel Van Noord from WebJunction.  (To learn more about her, visit her WebJunction social networking page.)  Since it’s getting late tonight, and I don’t want to do Rachel a disservice, I am going to wait until tomorrow afternoon to write up my reflections on that part of the day.  Of course, if someone else would like to blog about it, please feel free!

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