Rumors from the ATG NewsChannel 8/4/14

katinaBy Katina Strauch

I knew there was a reason I haven’t retired. It’s all the great people that I know that keep on working themselves. Just the other day I got a “hello” from Robin Cutler. She was Robin Sumner Asbury when she worked for USC Press and later CreateSpace. Well. Robin is now working for Ingram and is responsible for launching Ingram’s self-publishing service called IngramSpark. She is planning on being at the Charleston Conference this year after a few years’ hiatus. Turns out her son (who graduated from the College of Charleston) just moved back here to take a job with Litton Productions. There’s also a grandchild in the mix! Robin lives in New Mexico now but says she will be traveling to Charleston frequently for obvious reasons! I remember when Robin and I first met. It was on a plane ride to or from some ALA location (Dallas?). We were sitting across the aisle from each other and were talking about our two sons and life in general. And now our sons are grown up! Time!

Speaking of moving to Charleston, Technical Services in the Addlestone Library just moved back to our real offices on Friday! You will remember that we have been temporarily located in Reference and ILL and the Center for Student Learning for fourth months over the summer. Reference and ILL and  CSL were very accommodating and we made many new friends but we are happy to be back in our less-crowded quarters. The Addlestone Library is still undergoing renovation specifically on the third floor where Special Collections as well as many of the collections from the South Carolina Historical Society in the Fireproof building on 100 Meeting Street will be relocated. It will all be ready in November including a “flex room” on the third floor where the Charleston Conference will have some meetings!

Had an enlightening conversation with François-Xavier Pelegrin (Head of the Bibliographic Data Section) about ROAD

Turns out that tough guy Francois-Xavier drafted his proposal for the Charleston Conference while he was in the hospital with a shoulder fracture! Jeez! Fortunately, Francois-Xavier says he should be totally fine in November and he will be able to travel to Charleston to tell us about ROAD, the Directory of Open Access scholarly Resources, a service offered by the ISSN International Centre with the support of the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO. Launched as a beta version on 16th December 2013, ROAD will be developed during 2014 (extension of the coverage, additional features…). ROAD provides free access to a subset of the ISSN Register (1.7 million bibliographic records, available on subscription. This subset comprises bibliographic records which describe scholarly resources in Open Access which have been assigned an ISSN by the ISSN Network : journals, conference proceedings and academic repositories. ROAD records are also downloadable as a MARC XML dump and will be available as RDF triples in 2014. The bibliographic records are enriched, when appropriate, by metadata about the coverage of the resources by indexing, abstracting, citation databases, registries and journal indicators.

Recurring questions and confusions about the role of the ISSN, recurring questions about the quality of OA scholarly publications led to this. DOAJ is a partner of ROAD. The main differences: ROAD lists all scholarly continuing resources identified by an ISSN and not only journals (journals + conferences proceedings;  monographic series and academic repositories). They don’t have quality-based selection. Learn more in Charleston first-hand!

I am speechless! The strong, steady, capable and extremely energetic Lynn Fortney, Vice President of Medical E-journals and E-Packages at EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) retired on July 5, 2014. That date is her 25th anniversary at EBSCO. Lynn says, “I have had an amazing career, but my successes have been because of the impressive colleagues I have been privileged to work with, librarians and other information industry leaders alike. EBSCO provided me an incredible opportunity to apply my understanding of the unique issues faced by health sciences librarians to what has become the largest suite of products and services in the information industry. Medical libraries today bear little resemblance to those from the early days of my career and neither does EBSCO. 1973 – 2014; my career has been an awesome, Walt Disney World’s Expedition Everest roller-coaster ride.” Lynn started her tenure at EBSCO at the dawn of MEDLINE on CD-ROM and the early days of email as we know it. In her 25 years at EBSCO, she experienced the impact of the rise of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and electronic journals. A major focus of her career was working on  tools for collection development/assessment and journal price studies, specifically the Index Medicus Price Study (IMPS). In 1999, the Medical Library Association Collection Development

Section awarded Lynn the first Daniel T Richards Prize For Writing Related to Collecting in the Health Sciences, for the “Index Medicus Price Study, 1998-1999”, which she co-authored with Victor Basile. She met her future husband, T. Scott Plutchak (at the time, Director of the St Louis University Health Sciences Library), in 1992, when she invited him to speak at a seminar for academic medical library directors she was organizing in Birmingham. Their wedding was the “featured entertainment” of the Midcontinental Chapter’s Welcome Reception in Kansas City in 1995. Plutchak (currently Director, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences/University of Alabama at Birmingham), Fortney and several of their musically talented friends in the medical library field formed a band, “The Bearded Pigs,” that played for many years at the MLA Annual Meeting (with incidental proceeds to the MLA’s Grants and Scholarship Fund). Lynn has always refused to be referred to as “a vendor who used to be a librarian”. For 25 years, she happened to work for a vendor. But she has always been a librarian first. Ramune Kubilius reminded me that Lynn was one of our early speakers at the Charleston Conference health sciences Lively Lunches which are in their 14th year. Sorry that we never got The Bearded Pigs to play in Charleston but Scott (and hopefully Lynn) will be in Charleston this year!

Hearing about the Daniel T. Richards prize, boy, brought back locked memories in my mind! I remember Dan well. He spoke in Charleston and was quite an engrossing presence. Dan (1945-1995) was instrumental in establishing health sciences collection development as a rigorous discipline with a distinct methodology. To honor his memory and his contributions, an award sponsored by the Collection Development Section (CDS) of the Medical Library Association (MLA) was created in 1998.

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