The Library Hub Community Advisory Board met online on 11th November 2020. Elizabeth James, Head of National Art Library Collections at the V&A was welcomed as the latest new member to join the Board.
Highlights of discussions are summarised as follows:
- As institutional priorities continue to be focussed on dealing with the COVID pandemic, there has been a slow-down in the number of new institutions contributing data to the NBK. Nevertheless 5 new contributors have been loaded since the last meeting in July and Board members continue to use their networks to encourage engagement.
- The new Jisc hosted Library Hub Cataloguing service was launched in Beta in November, to enable users to test and provide feedback before the launch of the live service at the end of January 2021. The new service will provide access to an un-deduplicated dataset, ranked according to quality scores developed in consultation with the community. A summary of any identified data issues will be included for each record.
- The Compare interface continues to be developed in response to user feedback, such as the Library Groups feature due for imminent release. A Compare webinar attracting a high level of registrations, was scheduled for the week following the Board meeting. This will incorporate a questionnaire to obtain structured feedback on priorities from users.
- Use of the NBK-R Retention Flag is increasing slowly amongst contributing institutions. The team will continue to monitor and encourage this and look at developing a search option for retention flags when the data reaches a sufficient level to be meaningful.
- A new Library Hub Contribute interface will be released to contributors in April 2021 with a view to developing new features which will enable contributors to track the data pipeline and check and amend information held about their data more efficiently.
- A test database is being developed on Kibana (a front end to Elastic Search) which will form the basis of a pilot Analyse service to be released around July 2021. This will provide a window into an institution’s own data (there will be no shared view) to enable analysis of data issues and quality. The interface will be a simplified version of Kibana rather than a bespoke Jisc interface. The ambition in the longer term is to move on to provide improved records back to libraries once they have identified issues and create a positive feedback loop which could have a beneficial impact on data quality. Board members confirmed that the ability to look at data in real time and to get immediate feedback on updates will be very valuable. Analyse will be pitched as a fee based service and careful consideration will be given to the price point and to the options for piloting the service.
- The nature of the ongoing partnership between Jisc and OCLC was discussed following the end of the OCLC Library Hub Cataloguing contract on 31st January 2021. The Jisc team are working with OCLC as a priority to clarify continuing options for data synchronisation with WorldCat after that date. Following on from that will be further discussions about potential requirements for copy cataloguing provision from OCLC. Board members stressed the importance of careful consideration of the impact on libraries of the different scenarios being considered.
- Plan M: The Remodelling the Library Data Marketplace project is nearly at an end. A public webinar will outline the consultants’ findings and recommendations and provide a detailed slide deck as the public facing documentation resulting from the work. Following this, a complex and lengthy programme of consultation, negotiation and influencing is required in order to move forward with the recommendations which will have implications for the resource required from the NBK team.
- An update on stakeholder engagement was provided. The series of Library Hub webinars held since the last meeting have had great levels of engagement, reaching far more participants than face to face events could.The team intend to learn from this and develop a hybrid approach to events in the future with several more webinars planned for early 2021.
- Board members were asked to contribute their thoughts more broadly on strategic issues facing their institutions and to reflect on how Library Hub services could feature in solutions. Contributions centred around the themes of a continued focus on provision of essential front of house services and delivery of stock to students during the pandemic. In some cases, this had boosted the use of print materials and emphasised the critical nature of the library and its content to senior leaders. Issues with the difficulties of establishing workflows for sourcing and processing e-books were discussed. The strategic focus on content as a priority led to calls for a new financial model for e-books and the observation that metadata quality is a big problem. The theme of metadata which is ‘fit for purpose’ resonated with several Board members within the different contexts of their organisations.
- Next meetings will be held on Thursday 18th March and Monday 19th July 2021.