8/3/2022 SMSP Meeting Minutes

Leslie Feldballe (University at Buffalo)
Leslie Feldballe (University at Buffalo)
Last updated 

8/3/2022 SMSP Meeting

Maureen C., Brian M., Maria P., Leslie F. in attendance (David S., Nancy P. excused)

Jennifer Parker at Cortland found an offensive word in a MARC record, provided a screenshot but no additional context (OCLC # or MMSid) – she asks how to address the offensive word.

A form for reporting offensive language in catalog records, we created it as part of our Statement of Language of Description for Cataloging.

  • A form exists, it is a draft and not ready to be used. We like the idea of a form but we need to think about how it would work. Who would it go to? Where will we host it?
  • We can encourage libraries to post the Statement of Language in Description on their websites, with the form embedded there. 
  • We need to think about a form for librarians and a form for patrons? Both? 
  • We spent a lot of time talking about the implementation of the  form but didn’t reach a decision. We like the idea of having the form take the reporter to Basecamp. 

When problematic language comes up who makes the changes?

  • We agree that in the past the NZ Coordinator (Maggie) did a lot unilaterally, now we want to be more collaborative. We (SMSP + SLS) would all get the request for change. Need to explore implementation of the form next meeting. 
  • In today’s meeting, we focused on dealing with changes requested by other librarians and not patrons, because we feel they need to be two slightly different workflows.
  •  SMSP will advise on if/how to make the change. Things SMSP would consider:
    •  Where is the language in the record? Is it part of the item, thus cannot be changed? Is it a cataloger’s descriptive language choice and it can? 
    • We assume people who will be reporting this language may not know the difference between what can be changed and what cannot, so we need to know the OCLC number and need info about the piece in question. 
    • Are there any controlled vocabularies in existence from which we could pull a preferred term? It would be best to stick with vocabularies (ex: homosaurus.org) that have been developed to adhere to best practices for cataloging and work with terms that have been vetted by the community at large.
    • If the word can be changed in the MARC record, we have three recommendations for how to make that change. 
      • 1) If the person who requested the change is at an institution with OCLC access, they make the change themselves in accordance with SMSP’s response.
      • 2) If the person who requested the change does not have OCLC but has an SLS Extended Services Contract, SLS will make the change for them. 
      • 3) If the person who requested the change is from an institution with no OCLC access (for example, CatExpress only) *and* no SLS Extended Services Contract, we will ask that they request a change from OCLC **caveat: we aren’t sure if this is possible and will explore if OCLC will make a change of this kind)

We know we need to come up with ways to make tackling DEI issues more efficient. 

For Change the Subject changes (ie: changes to LC Subject headings) – use future meeting times to test rules for efficiency, to see if a new subject change can be added simply once the framework is in place. 
  • We want to get to a point where the Norm Rule can be repeatable. 
  • We will keep a list of every term requested for change
  • There is potential for scholarship and tracking metrics with this
For ad hoc request like Jennifer Parkers’ – SMSP will use meeting time to look at the record/metadata/vocabularies and advise accordingly. 

Next steps: 
  • Address Jennifer’s immediate concern in basecamp
  • Push out the Statement of Language in Description in Cataloging to campuses and recommend that they put it somewhere on their website. 
  • Create the form/Think about where the form can live (basecamp is well known and widely used, see if this is a possible functionality we can use)
  • Look at Norm Rules for Change the Subject to try and make the process super easy

Topics we didn’t get to: 
  • Secondary Resource Types
  • Non-DEI metadata issues?