Friday, June 19, 2009

Project Managers Sought for OSC

Due to an increase in work commitments for both Laena and David, new
project managers are sought for the Open Shelves Classification project. Below is a status report of the project. Interested leaders should contact Tim Spalding (

OSC status report June 2009:

One year into the project, here is what we have accomplished so far:
-Many wide-ranging discussions were held in the LibraryThing Build
the Open Shelves Classification group and the OSC blog.

-Optional facets were agreed upon initially as the way to handle audience, format, and language.

-An initial list of top level categories was compiled by the end of 2008 and put out for review.

-In January 2009, LibraryThing members tested these categories by applying them to works in LibraryThing using the ClassifyThis feature.

-In January, a brainstorming meeting was held at the ALA midwinter meeting and was attended by librarians and non-librarians.

-In February, the feedback from the testing was used to further refine the top level categories.

-Starting in February and running through May, small groups began to construct the secondary levels for certain categories.

-Throughout the spring, Laena and David did outreach for the project, writing pieces for the PLA blog and the IFLA
, and reached out to libraries in an unsuccessful search for public library data.

-In May, the current list of categories of the OSC was added to sandbox of the National Science Digital Library Metadata Registry.

Categories with second levels in development:
-Biography & Autobiography
-Performing Arts

After working on the project for a year, we have the following recommendations:
-The project needs a steering committee structure for leadership. The
project is too large in scope for one or two librarians to manage
without other leadership.

-More involvement and leadership from public librarians! They know
the intended audience of the OSC best.

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Anonymous Ivy said...

I would volunteer to be on a steering comittee, but not to manage the entire thing myself.

6/19/2009 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Tim! I had really high hopes for this project.

I may be too critical in my approach for many (and thus perhaps unsuitable for a steering committee), but vigorous debate is common in the sciences more so than the humanities where most librarians come from. In the sciences, all details of the methodology are aired in the open, and everyone understands that criticism is intended to reach a more truthful, useful end product based on evidence gathered from a representative sample in a non-biased way. I can't claim any special knowledge of public libraries and rely on others to supply that expertise.

If help is needed with the gruntwork of analysis (statistical data or qualitative content analysis) to support decision-making, I would be glad to assist. As a matter of fact, I could devote enough time and rigorous effort to make a thesis about it. I just need to know that what I do won't end up in a black hole.

LT promoter/LIS student/former solo librarian,

6/20/2009 1:54 PM  
Blogger Library Hag said...

I am a public librarian and would be very interested in serving on a steering committee. Who do we need to contact???

6/20/2009 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Shang Lee said...

i've done project management before, but not on libraries. not sure the extent u need experience in libraries... happy to discuss if volunteers are hard to come by.

6/20/2009 10:22 PM  

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