July 1, 2002-June 30, 2003

I.          Executive Summary

The most noteworthy accomplishment of the year was moving the majority of the division back to campus from temporary quarters at Sand Point after completion of the renovation of the Suzzallo library.

The biennial close was accomplished successfully, with a large number of titles ordered, received, invoiced and cataloged in the last six months of the year.

Significant work was done in revising acquisitions procedures, loading catalog records, and completing projects in the Database Management Section.  A number of accomplishments support the expansion of the Any Time Any Place library.

Division staff contributed to a broad range of organizations outside the Libraries and had a higher-than-average number of publications and presentations.

Objectives for the next year include several with system-wide impact, such as upgrading OCLC software, clarifying standards for order records, and improving reporting of statistics to ARL on monographic purchases.

II.        Major Activities or Accomplishments

After renovation, the division moved from temporary quarters at Sand Point back to the Suzzallo Library.  Workflows and procedures were adjusted for the new location.

The division successfully closed the biennium by ordering, receiving and paying for a large number of monographic titles.  The upswing in orders near the end of the year was higher than it had been in over a decade—the peak of ordering was four times higher than normal.  Significant effort was required to shift priorities and procedures to accommodate this deluge of materials and to assure timely payment of invoices.

Staff in Monographs made significant contributions to Digital Initiatives.  Several staff members served on the Metadata Implementation Group (MIG), which reviews data dictionaries, oversees the cataloging of completed collections and provides general support with regard to metadata.  Staff members also cataloged images and provided authority work for the names used in collections, and two additional staff members were assigned to this cataloging for a portion of their time.

In conjunction with other units in the Libraries, the division implemented online notification and holds for on-order and in-process titles.  The entire procedure for user purchase requests was converted from a manual to an online form.  This change provides better service and supports the Any Time Any Place library.

Catalog records for approximately 84,000 microform and electronic-set titles were loaded, which provides better user access in a very cost-effective manner.  Six collections of Web documents were also cataloged by staff in Monographs, which improves access to online materials in support of the Any Time Any Place library.

The Database Management Section completed the reclassification of Dewey collections in Friday Harbor and Children’s Literature, and did retrospective conversion on unconverted commercial sound recordings in the Music Listening Center.

Work continued on the library’s approval plans.  The Blackwell US and UK plans were monitored and adjusted periodically.  Online selection of German titles and European scores was begun with Harrassowitz, as well as batch loading of firm order records, and selectors were trained in the use of the online tool.  An approval plan for Spanish books was established with Iberbook, which included record loading and electronic invoices.

Monographic Acquisitions finalized procedures allowing selectors to purchase netLibrary e-books on a title-by-title basis through Blackwell’s Collection Manager.  The increased ability to purchase e-books supports distance learning and the Any Time Any Place library.

Monographic Acquisitions introduced the Innovative Millennium Acquisitions module and became the first unit in the Libraries to use it for production activity.  Training was conducted for our staff and also included staff from Serials.

The retrospective cataloging of Government Publications continued in the Database Management Section with the pre-76 U.S. documents.  This project contributed a significant number of the new titles cataloged by the division, as well as the minimal level titles (when no copy was available on OCLC).

Training was conducted for the NACO program, which increased the number of catalogers able to contribute national-level authority records.

Support for rare book cataloging was increased by having a staff member attend the cataloging session at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.  A portion of her time is now regularly spent on these materials.

Ever increasing reliance was made on iSchool students in directed fieldwork, as volunteers, and in student and temporary hourly positions to remain current with the cataloging of non-book materials and some non-roman books.

The division released a new version of its staff web page, which provides better organization and makes needed documentation easier to find.

As part of a system-wide effort, the computers in the division were upgraded and converted to the XP operating system.  Access to the Library of Congress classification schedules and subject headings migrated from a CD-ROM product to the Web, and division staff planned and delivered training for catalogers throughout the library.  Six monographic catalogers participated in the national beta test of OCLC’s client version of the new Connexion interface, as well as two serials catalogers.

III.       Significant Changes

The greater part of the division moved from temporary quarters at Sand Point back to the Suzzallo library after renovation was completed.

IV.       Personnel

A.  Appointments

B.  Promotions, Transfers, Resignations, and Retirements

C.  Honors and Awards

UW Libraries Service Awards

Lili Angel – 20 years

Mary Kalnin – 30 years

Laura Lins – 15 years

D.  Appointments and Elections to Offices Outside the Libraries

Diana Brooking, Member-at-Large, Executive Board, Slavic and East European Section, ACRL

Cathy Gerhart, President, Online Audiovisual Catalogers (OLCAC)

Cathy Gerhart, Editorial Board, Geoscapes: journal of map and geography libraries

Kathleen Forsythe, Publicity Committee, Dublin Core 2003 Conference

Janet Heineck, Secretary-Treasurer, Middle East Librarians Association

Karen Highum, GODORT Cataloging Committee, ALA

Marsha Maguire, Board of Advisors, Smithsonian GlobalSound Project

Marsha Maguire, Project Coordinator for UW Librairies, Northwest Digital Archives Project

Adam Schiff, Standing Committee on Training, Program for Cooperative Cataloging

Adam Schiff, Task Group on SACO Program Development, Program for Cooperative Cataloging

Adam Schiff, PCC/ALCTS Joint Task Group on Subject Analysis Materials

Adam Schiff, CC:DA Task Force on the Reconceptualization of Chapter 9, ALA

E.   Publications, Presentations, Performances, and Exhibitions


Diana Brooking, “Slavic and East European Web catalogs as a resource for catalogers,” Slavic and East European Information Resources, v. 3, no. 4 (2002).

Jacqueline Coats and Joseph Kiegel, “Automating the nexus of book selection, acquisitions and rapid copy cataloging,” Library Collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services 27 (2003), p. 33-44.

Kathleen Forsythe, “Stuart Sutton, Associate Professor, University of Washington iSchool: From discourse communities to the semantic web,” Journal of Internet Cataloging v. 5, no. 3 (2002), p. 3-26.

Kathleen Forsythe and Steve Shadle, “University of Washington Libraries Digital Registry,” Journal of Internet Cataloging v. 5, no. 4 (2002), p. 51-65.

Mary Kalnin, “I am Cataloger—hear me roar,” Oregon Library Association Quarterly, v.9, no. 1 (2003).


Diana Brooking and Allen Maberry, “Using metadata with CONTENTdm,” for Crossing Organizational Boundaries IMLS grant participants.

Jacqueline Coats, "Vendor assisted E-selection and online ordering," for a panel presentation at the 22nd Annual Charleston Acquisitions Conference.

Kathleen Forsythe, Allen Maberry, Marsha Maguire, on UW Libraries metadata projects for LIS 580 in the iSchool.

Marsha Maguire, “Making oral history interviews accessible,” for a pre-conference workshop at the 15th Annual Washington Heritage Conference.

F.   Degrees Received by Staff

G.  Other Significant Accomplishments

Two proposals for AACR2 rule revisions authored by Adam Schiff were approved by CC:DA.  One (addition of a new example in 3.5B3) was approved by the Joint Steering Committee and will appear in AACR2 in the Aug. 2004 amendments.  The other (proposal to simplify rule 12.1E1) will be decided on at the JSC's Sept. 2003 meeting.

V.        Major Acquisitions, Gifts or Grants Received (Include Indirect Costs)

The Division received three grants from the Libraries’ 21st Century Fund:

Hungarian and Estonian Cataloging Support, $1,100

Indonesian Cataloging, $1,912

International DVD Cataloging, $329.95

VI.       Major Goals, Objectives, and Issues for 2003-2004


Plan and implement a move from OCLC Passport to OCLC Connexion software for the staff of the division.  Provide leadership system-wide for this conversion.

Lead a system-wide effort to clarify standards for order records in support of improved management, reporting and archiving.  Resolve issues regarding the recording and retention of patron information in order records for holds and notifies.

Continue to work on projects identified through the latest priority list established in the Cataloging Policy Committee, e.g. reclassification of selected Dewey collections.

Develop plans for further training needed by staff, e.g. SACO training for catalogers or media and music training for Acquisitions.

Lead a system-wide effort to improve reporting of monographic purchases and expenditures for the ARL annual statistics.

Establish an approval plan for Latin America.  Continue to expand and improve electronic records and invoices for other approval plans.

Provide a training program in Millennium Acquisitions for staff in International Studies and the East Asia Library, as well as for library selectors.

Identify additional procedures in acquisitions and cataloging that need new or updated documentation and provide it.

Monitor developments with the Innovative Electronic Resources Module and assess the impact on divisional procedures.

Review the Millennium Cataloging module and assess how it could be used by cataloging staff.

Monitor policy developments in the Orbis Cascade Alliance that may affect local cataloging policies and procedures, e.g. with respect to electronic resources.


The division continues to face large fluctuations in workload over the course of the biennium, with a trend toward greater extremes than in the past.  Chart 1 shows the number of orders placed by Monographic Acquisitions each month of the 01/03 biennium (the line with boxes indicates firm orders, the smooth line is a trend line).  Note that, at the biennial close, orders went from an average of 1,500 per month to close to 4,000 for three months and then to almost 6,000.  The good news is that automation enables us to place this many orders with a small staff.  The bad news is that great fluctuations cause backlogs of receipts, which means impaired user service and significant time spent managing workflows and backlogs.

The mix of orders placed through Monographic Acquisitions continues to shift away from approvals toward firm orders.  Chart 2 shows firm orders and approvals for the last five biennia.  Two trends are evident.  First, the percentage of titles received on approval has steadily declined, with a corresponding increase in reliance on firm orders.  Due to automation, this is not a problem for Monographic Acquisitions, but it has consequences for selectors.  Second, the total number of monographs ordered by the division peaked in 97/99 and has been declining since then.

The cataloging and metadata needs of the Libraries outstrip the division’s capacity within the current framework of standards and cataloging tools.  While monographic catalogers have done a very good job of staying current with Western language purchases and have significantly reduced International Studies backlogs in recent years, there is much that is not getting done.  For example, large backlogs of uncataloged maps remain in the Maps Section.  Some International Studies material, such as Indonesian, cannot be adequately handled because of a lack of language expertise.  Despite excellent progress with retrospective cataloging of government publications, very large collections still remain.  And the Cataloging Policy Committee has a long list of other cataloging projects.

In addition to historical backlogs, new demands for metadata services continue to come forward.  For example, collections of electronic resources on the Web are regularly chosen by selectors for cataloging.  Another expanding area is Digital Initiatives, where there are images and other documents that require metadata.  The division has put an increasing share of its staffing into these areas, and has cataloged thousands of images and thousands of e-resources, but there are still very large numbers left to be done.

Given the reality of declining staffing levels, there is no solution in sight to the problem of metadata capacity.  There are no automated tools on the immediate horizon with a sufficiently large impact on productivity to make a significant difference.  And the issues of standards is a tricky one.  First, standards must be negotiated nationally, and increasingly internationally, so they are not easy to change.  Second, it would take a significant lowering of metadata standards to gain the capacity to handle backlogs of the size we have, and it is not at all clear that such low standards would serve users well.

VII.     Statistical Appendix

2001/02 – 2002/03 Comparison

Acquisitions Activity




% Change

Incoming Order Requests




Incoming Collection Manager Requests




Incoming Approval Books




Incoming Gifts, etc.




Total Incoming Titles












Titles Searched




Orders Placed




















Approval Receipts




Approval Returns




Approval Return Rate












Rush Orders




Rush Receipts








Vols. Sent to Cataloging








Invoices Processed









June 2002

June 2003


Order Requests












Cataloging Activity




% Change

New Titles Cataloged








Complex Copy




Quick Cataloging – Acquisitions




Quick Cataloging - Cataloging




Minimal Level
















Added Copies




Added Volumes




Rush Materials












Catalog  Maintenance




Central withdrawals/discards












NACO Headings




SACO Headings













June 2002

June 2003


International Studies





Chart 1

Firm orders, 2001-2003

Chart 2

Monographic Firm Orders and Approals 1993-2003