NCTPG 2016 Annual Meeting

Beyond Books: Capturing the Unique in Community Collections

79th NCTPG Annual Meeting

9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Friday, May 6, 2016

 San Francisco Public Library Koret Auditorium

Perhaps they are hidden in a storeroom or stacked on your desk awaiting attention. Sometimes they are held by communities which lack the resources to preserve and disseminate their materials. Audio, video, physical objects, and ephemeral print materials often do not fit into normal technical processing workflows. This year’s NCTPG Annual Meeting covers collections of non-traditional materials, including their acquisition, metadata, digitization, and preservation. How do we open up hidden and community collections and make them more accessible? What are the possibilities for collaboration with experts outside our institutions, other institutions, and the members of the communities we serve? How can we honor local perspectives and capture their unique voice in the collections we create and preserve?

This year’s speakers:


Register online
to start or renew your membership and attend the Annual Meeting. $35 in advance, $40 at the door.

Archiving for All / Michelle Krasowski

At the Internet Archive we have been working towards the goal of Building Libraries Together, encouraging our users to archive and upload content from their locations. We hope to create a collection that can be used for research and discovery, representative of a diverse global community that has an interest in preserving and sharing the aspects of their cultural landscape with other users of different backgrounds, interests, and geographic locations.

Access to higher cost equipment or professional preservation services may be a deciding factor in what information gets archived and passed along to current and future generations. Thankfully, there are solutions that can provide communities with limited resources the opportunity to migrate their materials to digital formats so that their collections can be shared online.  This gives many marginalized communities the chance to reclaim authority over their own historical and contemporary narratives.

By highlighting the contributors that have worked with the Internet Archive to build robust and valuable collections, and by promoting solutions that share the information made available by preservationists, archivists, and institutions working in the field, we will identify ways that our community can help create and disseminate tools and information to help people preserve content in a way that is financially and technologically possible for them.

Michelle Krasowski is a lifelong learner who is passionate about empowering people through information.  She received her BA in Visual Arts/Humanities from New College of Florida and her Masters of Library and Information Studies from Florida State University, where she focused on public reference services and the information seeking behaviors of different user groups.  She values the importance of all information delivery methods, from observation and interpersonal communication to recorded media and online resources.  She has recently become a hospice worker for dying media formats, and is doing her best to capture valuable content before they succumb to degradation and obsolescence.

Sharing Knowledge Through Community-Assisted Cataloging and Generous Distribution of Media Assets / Al Bersch

Libraries, archives and museums generally share a commitment to provide access to collections information, yet we often struggle for time and resources to fully catalog, digitize, and publish our data. What if we “opened up” our cataloging processes, as well as our metadata? By working in partnership with community experts and other institutions, we have a better shot at reaching a broader public, and an opportunity to improve the metadata and digital assets associated with our collections. Collaborative approaches to collections care and access – such as crowdsourcing metadata, volunteer-led digitization, and participation in aggregated sites like the Digital Public Library of America – can open up opportunities, but may require us to rethink our standard modes of operation, and to shift perspective – from that of an isolated and distinct facility, to one experiencing membership in a global community of institutions, community experts, and end users.

This talk will consider various strategies for “opening” collections processing, as well as access, using case examples from the Harold O’Neal film collection at the GLBT Historical Society, and Andrew J. Russell’s glass plate negatives documenting the construction of the transcontinental railroad, at the Oakland Museum of California. From acquisition, to cataloging, to sharing digital assets on the DPLA, we’ll focus on the procedural changes these institutions underwent to make it possible to improve access to previously “hidden” collections.

Al Bersch manages collections information at the Oakland Museum of California, serves on the board of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Historical Society, and is a Community Rep for the Digital Public Library of America.

Sharing Our Special Collections With the World — Lessons Learned / Geoffrey Skinner and Jon Haupt, Sonoma County Library

Sonoma County Library is unusual among public libraries in managing extensive special collections of photographs, rare books, wine-related materials, and local historic items. These materials are housed in several locations and represent only some of the library’s many hidden collections. We began digitizing and making photographs available online from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s with minimal metadata; today we leverage outsourcing and partnerships to bring over 40,000 digitized items with extensive metadata to the Web. Statistics showing worldwide viewing and great local interest are encouraging, yet many challenges remain: prioritizing collections, choosing platforms, developing standards-based workflows, preserving the digital and physical objects, developing and maintaining partnerships (and many more!).

In addition to describing the ways we are addressing these challenges, we will also illustrate a particular case—an ongoing project of the Sonoma County Wine Library. Beginning as a clippings file decades ago, the current manifestation of the International Wine Research Database (IWRDB) resides at, using Koha ILS as the software of choice. A recent grant awarded to the Wine Library offered the chance to upgrade the raw data and the search interface, and the project remains an exciting opportunity for potentially bringing together staff and researchers from wine libraries in the US and abroad. The project’s numerous challenges—with regard to metadata, partnerships and infrastructure—will be described, along with the ongoing efforts to meet those challenges.

Geoffrey Skinner has served as Metadata and Cataloging Librarian at Sonoma County Library since 2007. Geoffrey manages  the Cataloging Section, serves as the original cataloger for Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties, and is responsible for digitization and a variety of ongoing digital projects. Geoffrey previously served as a copy cataloger for Stanford University Libraries and as Head of Technical Services at Sonoma State University.

Jon Haupt is the Branch Manager at the Healdsburg Regional Library and Sonoma County Wine Library since June 2015. Jon also served as Wine Librarian since 2012. Previously, Jon served in Acting Director and Music/Arts Librarian roles at the Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library at SMU in Dallas and at Iowa State University in Ames.

Inconvenient Objects and Surprising Workflows / Rick Prelinger

While materials such as moving images, artifacts and print ephemera can be of high interest to researchers and traditional library patrons, they are often the most difficult kinds of objects to process and preserve. Although many institutions have traditionally addressed this issue through studied neglect, this is not an option with unique and fragile materials in obsolete formats. This talk offers hopeful examples of new and sometimes unconventional workflows to handle film, video and ephemeral print materials (including the story of the San Francisco Participatory Archives Group, which processed 4,800 home movies in two years), and suggests that the time has come for experimenting with a host of innovative practices in technical processing.

Rick Prelinger is an archivist, writer, filmmaker and educator. His collection of 60,000 ephemeral films was acquired by Library of Congress in 2002. Beginning in 2000, he partnered with Internet Archive to make a subset of the Prelinger Collection (now 6,500 films) available online for free viewing, downloading and reuse. Prelinger Archives currently holds some 14,000 home movies and actively promotes collecting, research and access in this emergent area. His archival feature Panorama Ephemera (2004) played in venues around the world, and his new feature project No More Road Trips? received a Creative Capital grant in 2012. His Lost Landscapes participatory urban history projects have played to many thousands of viewers in San Francisco, Detroit, Oakland, Los Angeles and elsewhere. He is a board member of Internet Archive and frequently writes and speaks on the future of archives and issues relating to archival access and regeneration. With Megan Shaw Prelinger, he co-founded Prelinger Library in 2004. He is currently Associate Professor of Film & Digital Media at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Register online

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Robert Rohrbacher at 650-725-7992 or email us here.

This is not a San Francisco Public Library Sponsored Program. Please use public contact information provided above.

Note: Refreshments are not allowed in the Auditorium.

The San Francisco Public Library

100 Larkin St., (at Grove).

Koret Auditorium, located on the Library’s lower level

Enter 30 Grove St., proceed down stairs

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