VALE Last Copy Pilot Project Lunchtable Discussion Summary

Three VALE member libraries, Montclair State U., William Paterson U. and Rutgers U. Libraries , volunteered in May, 2007 to identify items at risk in their circulating collections (excluding Special Collections items) that fit the criteria in VALE Last Copy Guidelines and define procedures for editing and loading the MARC records of these books into a shared virtual collection (VLCC) hosted by the New Jersey State Library JerseyCat Union Catalog.

We had 20 attendees at the VALE Conference lunchtable discussion, where Mary Mallery, Chair of the VALE Cooperative Collection Management Committee, from Montclair State U. had assistance in describing the VALE Last Copy Pilot Project and answering questions from Farideh Tehrani of Rutgers U. Libraries, Pamela Theus of William Paterson U., and Scherelene Schatz of the New Jersey State Library’s Library Development Bureau.

The VLCC pilot project participants reviewed the VALE Last Copy Guidelines, which are online at:
and the VALE Last Copy Pilot Project Report from Montclair State University Library and the VALE Last Copy Collection Procedures for Montclair State U. See linked files for the full report and procedures with VLCC screenshots.

At the close of the lunchtable discussion, the VLCC pilot project participants announced that they felt the project is ready to open up to other libraries in VALE to participate, and three libraries immediately indicated an interest in joining the VALE Last Copy Program. At its next meeting (Feb. 5th), the VALE CCM Committee will draft an invitation to the VALE membership to be distributed via the VALE listserv. The CCM Committee will set up training for VALE libraries in identifying items in circulating collections and adding them to the VALE Last Copy Collection (VLCC) on the JerseyCat Union Catalog according to the procedures defined by the pilot project participants.

Attendees also suggested that VALE might start a digitization project for the items in the VLCC and that the NJ Digital Highway project might be the host for this VALE digitization project.

The next meeting of the VALE Cooperative Collection Management Committee is Tuesday, February 5th, from 10AM to noon at Rutgers U. Alexander Library. All VALE librarians interested in cooperative collection management projects are invited to attend.

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VALE ’08 Conference Evaluations

For those of you who attended VALE ’08, please remember to complete the conference evaluation form at:

The form will remail available until February 1st–one week from today.

Thanks to all for making the conference better than ever!
Joan Getaz & Karen Topham, Conference Co-Chairs

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Registration Now Open for March 12, 2008 VALE’s Next Generation Academic Library System Symposium

Learn more about the symposium and REGISTER TODAY to attend. Registration deadline is February 25, 2008.

More information and the registration form is at


The symposium is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, with additional support from VALEnj and The College of New Jersey.

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Creating Chaos in Your Instruction: Experiments in Active Learning

Attached to this blog post is the PowerPoint presentation and the list of resources for this session. Thanks to Caroline Geck, Ma Lei Hsieh, and Jacqui DaCosta.

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Keynote Notes and Links

The VALE Conference keynote address this year challenged and provoked controversy, and hopefully this is only the beginning of the conversation for the VALE membership. Christopher J. Mackie, the Associate Program Officer in the new Research in Information Technology (RIT) Program of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, presented his personal and thoughtful future visions entitled “The Library in the Academic Enterprise: Toward a Sustainable Software Ecosystem.”

First, Mackie gave an overview of the Mellon Foundation and how the RIT program fits in. The RIT Web site is at: where there is more detail about the projects that Mackie described, such as the SEASR project on media analytics; Zotero for Internet Archive collaboration, FLUID user interface design at the U. of Toronto, and the Kuali financial research archive. One new RIT project that libraries might find interesting is a NextGen library system at Duke University, and another is Bamboo, a digital humanities project at U. Chicago and U.C. Berkeley. Many projects are funded through the Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration ( MATC ). The list of MATC winners for 2007 is online at:

Mackie had a simple, elegant presentation structure, beginning with “Random Thoughts,” my favorite of which was: “Cyberinfrastructure is coming” and “How will VALE survive the CI revolution?” I was familiar with CI from the recent discussion in the digital humanities community, but I decided to look in Wikipedia, which cites the 2003 National Science Foundation report definition:

***Like the physical infrastructure of roads, bridges, power grids, telephone lines, and water systems that support modern society, “cyberinfrastructure” refers to the distributed computer, information and communication technologies combined with the personnel and integrating components that provide a long-term platform to empower the modern scientific research endeavor***

For more discussion of Cyberinfrastructure, see the “Cyberinfrastructure Issue” of the Digital Commons online journal, Dec., 2007, at:


                Mackie went on to describe his vision of the two poles of cyberinfrastructure futures: the dystopian and the utopian. The Dystopian future is characterized by CI for the rich only. Local innovations are obscured so that systemic diversity diminishes, as iseems to be the case with many of the integrated library system vendors, such as Ex Libris/Endeavor and SirsiDynix currently.

                The Utopian Future emphasizes collaboration among competitors, or what Mackie called “coopetition.” In this future, consortia will grow. There will be shared IT/Library services, hosted cyberinfrastructure, and virtual academic departments. There will be a greater institutional agility and diversity among institutions. Examples of this future are the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) , the VALE consortia, the Kuali Community Source project and next generation systems.

                Mackie opened the floor to questions, and there were many about how does CI affect the learning side of academia. Marianne Gaunt of Rutgers U. mentioned the work of Christine Borgman, Professor and Presidential Chair in the Department of Information Studies, Graduate School of Education and Information Science at UCLA, and writer of books and articles on “the promise and perils of the new Digital Infrastructure.” Borgman cautions that we are building the cyberinfrastructure before we know who is going to use it. For links to Borgman’s presentations and her new book “Scholarship in a Digital Age, Information Infrastructure, and the Internet” (MIT Press, 2007), see Bogman’s online C.V. at: .

                Mackie answered that in the RIT projects, such as the Software Environment for the Advancement of Scholarly Research (SEASR) project, where NCSA is building an analytical platform for the analysis of rich media content, and the Bamboo project, they have user-centered design. Mackie has generously posted the text and the Powerpoint slides of his presentation on the VALE Conference blog. I hope that these notes and links help to inform the conversation as we show the world how VALE members plan to respond to the CI challenge.

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Save the Date — VALE’s Next Generation Academic Library System Symposium

WHAT: VALE’s Next Generation Academic Library System Symposium

WHEN: Wed Mar 12, 2008, 8:30am – 4:00pm

WHERE: The College of New Jersey, Ewing NJ

AUDIENCE: Directors, Deans and University Librarians

Systems Librarians

Public Services Librarians

Technical Services Librarians

SPEAKERS: Bob Molyneux — V.P. of Business Development at Equinox

Dan Scott — Systems Librarian, Laurentian University

Joshua Ferraro — President of LibLime and Project Release Manager

Elizabeth McKinney de Garcia — PINES Program Director

Joe Lucia — University Librarian, Villanova University and President of the PALINET Board


The purpose of the VALE’s Next Generation Library System Symposium will increase awareness of why creating and implementing a single shared open library system would benefit and improve users’ services for academic institutions throughout the state of New Jersey.

The symposium will feature speakers on the challenges and changes within the current integrated library system, why open source systems are gaining popularity and the type of administrative and organizational infrastructure is needed for VALE to implement a single shared open library system. The key points of the symposium are:

  • Why open library systems have real advantages over commercial ILS systems.
  • Why choosing the right open library system will have big impact on users’ improvements such as:
    • A single universal borrower’s card,
    • An academic statewide common catalog,
    • Transparency for sharing books,
    • Ease of collaborative collection development and last copy repository.
  • Why choosing the right open library system will have real cost advantages.
  • Why choosing the right open library system should be accomplished collectively.
  • What type of administrative / organization and technical infrastructure is needed to implement a single shared open library system.
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Keynote Presentation and Slides

The Keynote Address for the VALE 2008 Users’ Conference was given by Christopher J. Mackie of the Mellon Foundation. The topic was The Library in the Academic Enterprise: Toward a Sustainable Software Ecosystem. The following files contain the keynote presentation and slides:

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