Systems and the NBK

We are one of the JISC community data groups, and our work ties in with Nick Barratt’s recent blog post regarding the metadata mapping project and review of metadata practice in the UK. Our group’s focus is to explore the technical aspects of data import and export relating to 2 key areas and how this may help libraries contribute to the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK).

The first area we are keen to learn more about is the types of catalogue records libraries are currently working with and the potential variance in quality provided by different suppliers vs. the staff time and resource to possibly improve these for our user community. We are interested in understanding the possible implications of this variance for the NBK, particularly when libraries use it to support collections management activities such as weeding or identifying collection strengths. Our initial discussions as a group raised questions which have now been incorporated into the NBK questionnaire, and we are sure that this data will be useful in shaping best practice and the development of the knowledgebase.

The second area we are focusing on is how Library Management System suppliers could provide documentation or other forms of guidance on the functionality of their systems when their customers are exporting large data sets to the NBK, thereby removing a potential barrier for non-contributing libraries. We are hoping to identify any challenges libraries may be facing and feed this back to the NBK group and LMS suppliers, which in turn may support the provision of guidelines / best practice / publishing profiles /NBK tool kits for libraries wishing to be involved.

It’s all about identifying potential problems or challenges and engaging the community and suppliers in addressing these, so that the NBK can fulfil its rich potential.
As part of this, we’re also interested in how the community can help itself, and what types of support mechanisms can enable a vibrant user community.

The NBK questionnaire will go some way to providing the data to support our work, but it would also be great to hear from the wider community about what steps we can take to make this work.  Because our group is interested in library staff’s experiences with key processes, we would like to undertake some short informal interviews to gather more detailed qualitative data to capture this, so if you would be interested in being in interviewed, please do get in touch!

Gareth Owen, Programme Manager, WHELF

Helen Faulds, Collections Manager, University of St Andrews

Suzy Cheeke, Collections Librarian, University of Bristol

Elly Cope, Manager, Access & Acquisitions, Leeds University

Ed Kirkland, Data Services Manager, University of Warwick

Aniska Kumra, Assistant Librarian – Resources Management

David Miller-Crook, Library Systems Manager, University of Southampton

Andrew Paton, Metadata Management Team Leader, University of Manchester

Wendy Taylor, Metadata Officer, University of Salford

Sarah Thompson, Head of Collections, University of York





NBK metadata mapping project

We are one of the four NBK data community groups highlighted in Lee Blyth’s April post.  Our group is charged with reviewing current metadata practice in the UK, developing  a framework of data standards, and mapping different levels of metadata against specific functionality – from basic ‘discoverability’ to collaborative ‘share and compare’ activities at local, regional and national level.  It’s already been a really worthwhile and valuable exercise in itself, bringing together managers from different institutions to share ideas – and enthusiasm! A big thank you to all involved.


There are several parts to our project. We’ll be looking at the algorithms associated with NBK that are used to match items, as well as conducting a brief desktop review of existing literature around metadata standards. This should help us understand how different levels of metadata have been used to support practical activity across the sector, and what practical problems this has thrown up from previous work (building on the White Rose collection overlap report).


We’ll also focus on what people are using their metadata for, in particular collection management and evaluation; discovery; and metadata enhancements. Using these previous activities as a benchmark, we hope to compile a sense of how particular metadata thresholds can be used as a guide for future cataloguing work, as well as practical collection management activity. We’ve submitted a series of questions as part of the wider survey Lee refers to, and we’d really like you to answer these candidly so we can obtain a ‘state of the nation’ snapshot about how decisions on metadata thresholds for cataloguing are made, how frequently we share records via online platforms, or whether reports on contributed records are reviewed and acted upon. The wider survey touches a number of key metadata issues affecting us all, and it is important that we all complete it as comprehensively as possible, involving other colleagues as required – the survey provides some guidance with this.  All this information will be invaluable when assessing how NBK will evolve, and how we can realise and release the value of the metadata we all create, use and share. 


Finally, and although largely outside the scope of the current community data group projects, our group also felt it was important to understand historic cataloguing practice across the sector. The way that decisions have been taken in the past, and knowledge of the present situation, might influence a more collaborative, open and transparent approach to future projects involving the wider library community.


Nick Barratt, Director, Senate House Library

Paul Cunnea, Acquisition & Description Manager, National Library of Scotland

Jane Daniels, Bibliographical Librarian, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Clare Hudson, Assistant Librarian Cataloguing and Metadata, London School of Economics and Political Science

Vanessa Lacey, Head of English Cataloguing, Cambridge University

Thomas Meehan, Head of Cataloguing and Metadata, University College London

David Morgan, Metadata, Discovery & Analytics Coordinator, Royal Holloway University of London

Amy Staniforth, Metadata team leader (Information Services), Aberystwyth University


National Bibliographic Knowledgebase Community Data Groups

Jisc have convened four community data groups to look at issues and possible interventions that might be made to enhance the quality and efficiency of library bibliographic and holdings data ( These groups are running from now until the end of July 2018, and will be reporting their finding and progress to the community through blog posts here.

Our First Challenge… NBK Support and Guidance: Past, Present and Future!
Our group was challenged with identifying the support and guidance materials needed by contributors to the NBK.

Through initial discussion around the data being contributed, we formed a shared theme of data past, data present and data future:

  • Data past – Poorly catalogued records from the past that may be difficult to improve or deduplicate against the same items from other institutions.
  • Data present – Records that we are working with now, many of which may be imported via automated procedures, from different suppliers and with varying levels of quality.
  • Data future – Ways in which the NBK might allow us to improve previously catalogued records in batch, or how contributed records with missing or incomplete fields could be identified and workflows provided to improve the data.

Further to the above, during discussion with people in specialist roles at both existing and potential contributor institutions, it became clear that there are many different support levels required, spanning some very specific skill sets:

  • The technical data import and export functions from LMS systems.
  • Expertise in cataloguing and metadata management.
  • Collection development and management activities.
  • Management and leadership roles wanting to understand the benefits offered by the NBK and how they align with the strategic goals of the Library.

We aim to enable these different teams to work together, combining individual skills and workflows to realise these benefits.

We took the past, present, future theme and also applied this to the contributing institutions:

  • Libraries that have previously contributed data to Copac, so have staff in the required roles who understand the benefits of contribution to NBK and likely have staff with the correct skills and knowledge to work with the NBK.
  • Libraries that have not previously contributed to Copac, but have now contributed to or are in the process of contributing to the NBK.
  • Libraries that as yet have not contributed to either Copac or the NBK.

Our support and guidance project will ensure that existing support materials and contributing workflows are identified and mapped to appropriate use cases, that current support needs of the community are analysed and a representative user group established, and we will provide a proposal for a long term online support space and ‘innovation zone’ to help support the NBK user community.

How can you help?

  • We are working with three other groups, who are addressing different data challenges in relation to the NBK to co-create a survey for the NBK community. This survey will be available from early May and will be shared with contacts at your institutions. Please take the time to complete the survey and pass to appropriate colleagues for their completion too. The more engagement we receive, the better informed our work will be.
  • Do you have skills and experience of working with NBK or Copac? We are looking for some potential ‘experts’ who may be willing to provide support to other institutions at some point in the future. Have you got experience of contributing NBK records from a specific LMS or even multiple systems? Would you be willing to help create some guidance materials? Get in touch –
  • Keep an eye on our blog posts and leave us your comments. We would like as much feedback as possible and would love to hear your thoughts on what type of support and guidance is required now and in the future. Please share these posts with your colleagues and encourage them to read and comment too.

Who are the members of the NBK Support and Guidance group?
Lee Blyth, Discovery & Access Librarian, Northumbria University
Annette Moore, Content Delivery Manager, University of Sussex
Emma Shaw, Collection Development Librarian, University of Roehampton
Kay Munro, College Librarian, University of Glasgow
Ruth Elder, Collections Management Specialist, University of York


CMCAB February Meeting

Here is our summary of discussions at the latest meeting of the Jisc Collection Management Community Advisory Board, held on February 8th 2018.

  • The Board reviewed Terms of Reference for 2018, adding an oversight of NBK activity, specifically in relation to collection management, to our role and purpose.

Service Updates:

  • It was agreed that The University of Sydney’s use of CCM Tools to investigate collection overlap within their Asia/Pacific collections was of great interest. The possibility of further analysis, potential partnerships or collaborations should be investigated.
  • CCM Tools has launched some enhancements enabling retention and management of search history for users. Further enhancements are on hold while we work on experimenting with NBK access so that we can start testing with NBK data.  The Jisc team will be consulting with the community on forthcoming collection management developments in year 2 of the NBK.
  • The Copac team are continuing to enhance Copac by loading new data. New NBK contributors will also be loaded onto Copac where this can be done smoothly and quickly, but this will not be possible for all NBK contributors.  At some point over this year the team will stop new Copac loads to enable full focus on NBK developments.
  • The team have developed a new administrative tool to manage the vastly increased flow of data to the NBK. Data inflow is increasingly complex, incorporating a range of routes, formats and sources.  A system model for the flow of data is under development which will need to reflect this complexity.
  • Copac has reached the milestone of 100 contributors recently and it is planned to celebrate this and link to a review of the first year of the NBK project. The acceleration of data flow and processing as part of this work has helped us reach some significant milestones.   The NBK builds on the success of Copac.
  • Organisation of a Collection Management @ Edinburgh event is underway with a date in June to be announced shortly.
  • The Jisc team are engaging with a variety of conferences and events over the next few months and are keen to develop further outreach activity, welcoming further suggestions or invitations.

National Bibliographic Knowledgebase

  • NBK Progress: the 60th dataset has been sent to OCLC and launch of a Beta interface for contributing libraries to check their data is imminent (this took place after the meeting). 108 institutions have agreed to contribute to the NBK and are at different stages in the data workflow.   Although the project has not quite achieved the ambitious Year 1 data loading target it was agreed by the Jisc Library Services Advisory Group (LSAG) and the CMCAB that sufficient progress was being made.  Members were reassured that there were no systemic problems and that existing targets for Year 2 were maintained.  Jisc are positive about moving into Year 2 of the project.
  • Key points looking forward to Year 2 are data ownership and data quality. Board members felt it is valuable that the NBK is shining a light on the concept of data ownership and discussing the issue with data suppliers.
  • In response to issues around data quality highlighted by the NBK (and building on the work of the White Rose Consortium) Jisc will fund some Community Data Groups to investigate and propose solutions or ways forward. This initiative will kick off in February, with groups concluding their initial work by the end of July.  The Board stressed that the outputs of the groups need to be scalable, so that the whole community will benefit.  It was agreed that the CMCAB will provide oversight for the initiative and that the groups will report via this CCM Tools blog.
  • As we move into Year 2 and look to extend engagement with the NBK to institutions not previously involved, it will be important to ensure the benefits to different institutions and to non-library decision makers are clearly conveyed.

More information about the NBK can be found on the project blog.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 21st June 2018.

CMCAB October Meeting

The Jisc Collection Management Community Advisory Board met on 17th October 2017.  My apologies for the delay in posting a summary:

Jane Daniels (Cardiff Metropolitan University) had produced a report for the Board about community interest in metadata memory.  The Board’s discussion raised issues on the current capability of library systems and how metadata memory and bibliographic history conflate.  There was endorsement of the value of investigating the issue further.

Our colleagues at the University of Sydney are experimenting with CCM Tools’ new MARC upload feature, as part of their pilot to assess the validity of the identification of their East Asian collections as an area of collection strength.  It is hoped that a case study report will be produced in the New Year.  The Board noted the value of pursuing overseas engagement to develop sustainable use cases for CCM Tools.

Service Updates:

  • The new MARC upload feature mentioned above enables CCM Tools users to upload data in MARC Exchange format which is then de-duplicated against Copac holdings. This produces better results sets for Copac non-contributors in particular, consolidating their holdings against Copac data.  The CCM Tools team have redesigned the user support pages on the website which have now been made live.
  • There have been several reloads of data to Copac recently as well as ongoing work with NBK data. New contributors to the NBK will also be loaded onto Copac so that their data is visible as soon as possible.
  • The Copac team are looking into developing a cataloguing interface in the next year or so following expressions of interest from smaller contributors and OA publishers.
  • White Rose data analysis work highlighted some issues with de-duplication of very common titles in Copac. A new title index has been developed which is now based on the de-duplicated data.  This is now working very well and has reduced the size of the database by 1 million records.

CM@ Hull: The collection management event hosted by the University of Hull was a great success with very high levels of satisfaction reported by attendees.  Lessons for future events include: thinking carefully about the balance between break out and presentation sessions and assessing the value of charging which adds considerably to the administrative impact.  The Board thanked Dawn Holland and the team at Hull for putting together a most productive event.

CM@ Edinburgh: the Board discussed various ideas for the next event which will be held in Edinburgh in June 2018.  Planning is at a very early stage and we hope to report with more information at the next Board meeting in February.

WRC Collections overlap: colleagues from the White Rose Consortium provided an overview of their collection overlap project and the resulting report (available in the previous blog post) The report identified several valuable recommendations for the community.  These included:

  • Caution around export of data: institutions should understand fully the exact nature and content of their data exports.
  • Metadata quality is a major issue which could benefit from sector guidance with the aim of driving improvements.
  • Additional guidance is needed on how collection management tools work (particularly around matching algorithms).

The Board discussed how accurately catalogues reflect actual library holdings and agreed that there is a need to clarify the data that is excluded from exports by contributors to the new NBK.  There was interest in the concept of identifying key metadata fields used for matching/de-duplication so that these could be a focus for efforts to improve quality.  Areas of interest for further investigation are: quality of data and collection overlap. Formal thanks was given to the WRC for their study and report.  It is clear that the report and its recommendations are very influential in other forums such as the National Monographs Steering Group.

Data quality interventions: Jisc is keen to support initiatives to improve metadata following on from the WRC report.  The Board discussed various principles for any such initiatives including the need for transferable methodologies, addressing legacy data and appropriate means to enhance poor data.

It was a suggested that a ‘minimum standard’ flag could be applied to records in the NBK to raise awareness.  However, we would not want to mandate standards as this would result in too much substandard material being excluded.  The consensus was that the focus should be on higher level strategic work which will make a difference to the community.

National Bibliographic Knowledgebase Update: SCONUL, RLUK and the National Monograph Steering group have recently been briefed on progress.  A key message to broadcast to the community is that the NBK is ready to accept data from all HE and specialist libraries.

The Board were given an update on contributors so far committed, the timeline for the Beta resource discovery interface and a draft participant framework which addresses the issue of services which are open to all, those for Jisc members and those for which some form of charge may be necessary.  CCM Tools is incorporated into the scope of this work.  Initially the existing Tools interface will be tested with the NBK data.  There are no plans to develop a radically different interface but there will be improvements and developments to reflect improved functionality.

UKRR for monographs: an update was provided following a recent meeting of the National Monographs Steering Group.  The impact of the WRC report (discussed above) on plans for a UKRR for monographs was discussed.  It was suggested that errors in deduplication could be something the community lives with.  Emphasis could be on storage solutions for the greater amount of unique items apparently in collections rather than addressing data quality.  However it is important to consider any shifts in strategy carefully in the light of further work on data quality.  The CCM Board concurred with this caution.

A.O.B: Next meetings are: Thursday 8th February and Thursday 21st June 2018.

White Rose Libraries: understanding collection overlap

The White Rose Libraries consortium have produced a final report on their investigations into collection overlap between the three member libraries (York, Leeds and Sheffield).  It sets out the results of a Jisc funded investigation exploring matching and de-duplication of bibliographic records in the Jisc CCM tool and SCS/OCLC GreenGlass, compared with manually checked results.

It is hoped that the report will be of significant interest to the library community, usefully helping to refine collection management requirements both for existing tools and for the emerging National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK).  The authors are keen to ensure that the report is widely shared.

The full report including extensive Appendices is available below:

Understanding collections overlap final report July 2017 – including appendices

CMCAB June Meeting

The Jisc Collection Management Community Advisory Board met on 29th June.  Here is a summary of our discussions:

  1. As usual an update on CCM Tools & Copac activity was provided. Highlights included:
  • The CCM Tools pilot with the University of Sydney is progressing. We are working on providing a MARC exchange upload facility.  Once established this functionality will be rolled out for use by other users who don’t contribute data to Copac, enabling them to obtain de-duplicated results sets featuring their own data.
  • As well as the CM@Bodleian Libraries Book Storage Facility event, featured in the April blog post, we have run 6 ‘Introduction to CCM Tools’ events around the country which have been well received and reached out to many colleagues with little or no experience of using the Tools. A new series will be offered in the autumn.
  • Adjustments to the ‘My library groups’ feature (announced via the lis-collection-mgmt email list) were time consuming. However the Board agreed that the changes improved functionality.  Access for non-members of the UK Federation has been set up and tested.  It will be rolled out to Copac contributors in September.
  • A research report into low or non-use of the CCM Tools was presented and discussed. The concept and value of the Tools is recognised but there remains some confusion about accessibility for non-RLUK members which we will continue to address.  Board members commented that the key to expanding use is for the Tools to be embedded in workflows and that this will only happen if they are perceived as supporting a business need in institutions.
  • The Copac team are juggling maintaining data loads to Copac with increasing NBK activity. Various improvements to workflows are being implemented to help manage this, including a dashboard for new contributors to collate and update information about their data.  It will be rolled out to more contributors as part of the NBK work.
  1. CM@ Hull Event, 7th September

Planning for this event is under way with a range of speakers interested in contributing.  A sub-group will be convened to progress detailed plans.

NB Bookings are now open for this event at:

  1. White Rose Consortium (WRC) / GreenGlass update

Latest news on the WRC collaborative collection benchmarking project was provided:

  • Much work has been done comparing holdings results from GreenGlass and CCM tools. This involved close analysis of data through manual checking.
  • The analysis has identified variations in metadata between the three libraries which have inhibited consolidation of records for comparison. It is only through looking at large amounts of data that the true nature of issues becomes clear.
  • It is vital when embarking on any benchmarking project of this nature to fully understand the complexities of the data. Details such as changes in stock locations over years have an impact and the history of data creation and stock management have a big impact.
  • Further testing will be done and a report will be provided to Jisc. The testing has been challenging but work has continued to understand the level of reported overlap between the libraries.

The report was followed by a discussion about the nature of bibliographic metadata, whether metadata was improving over time and how the NBK may be able to support work to clean up and enhance metadata.  Levels of awareness of the issue are increasing in the community and the CMCAB will undoubtedly revisit it.  Colleagues from the WRC will provide a further update at the next meeting.

  1. National Bibliographic Knowledgebase

An overview of key milestones and principles for the NBK was provided:

  • The Beta service will be available in January 2018 and in January 2019 the full service will go live.
  • Phase 2 of data loading is currently taking place including WHELF libraries, existing Copac contributors who have provided reloads and some new libraries.
  • The NBK is essentially a database which will be the cornerstone for a range of Jisc services. These will include a cataloguing service and collection management tools through a login for Jisc members and a freely available resource discovery service.  Other services may be developed further down the line either by Jisc or others making use of the data.
  • For collection management, we will experiment with pointing the CCM Tools at the developing NBK database later this year to assess how this affects functionality. It is likely that the ‘live’ CCM Tools service will continue to use Copac data until 2019.  Existing functionality will be maintained but we are hopeful improved functionality can be delivered both from improved data coverage and from enhanced data such as usage, circulation and condition/preservation data if libraries can provide it.

Discussion followed about the data sources which will be incorporated into the NBK and the fact that community consultation is a key part of the project and is incorporated into all phases.  It was requested that Board members encourage colleagues to get in touch both about contributing data but also to volunteer for focus groups and provide feedback in specific areas.

It was confirmed that the NBK is a Jisc project and database which is being built on our behalf by OCLC.

  1. UKRR

An update was provided on Phase 3 of the UKRR.  This will adopt the principle of a Principal Holding Library and non-members will be able to use the facility on a pay as you go basis.  After Phase 3 the UKRR will be a ‘self-service’ facility enabling scarcity checking to take place.  An update on plans for a UKRR for monographs will be provided at the next meeting following delivery of a feasibility report.

Dates for meetings in 2017/18 are: 17th October 2017, 8th February 2018 and 21st June 2018.

We welcome your comments and suggestions on the work of the CMCAB.

Collections Management @ Bodleian Libraries Book Storage Facility

On Thursday 30th March, Michael Williams and his team opened the doors of the Bodleian Libraries Book Storage Facility in Swindon, having given members of the Collection Management community a rare opportunity to visit.  Anne Worden, who visited from the University of Portsmouth, kindly agreed to us posting her report on our blog:

Visit to Bodleian Libraries Book Storage Facility, Swindon, 30/3/17

Oxford opened this facility in October 2010 as a replacement for multiple other stores, including a salt mine in Cheshire, which were becoming very expensive. It is in one corner of a 17 acre site which the university bought and they will be expanding the current warehouse over the next 4 years at the same time as building a store for the Oxford University museums.

The current capacity is 13 million items with 8.9m being stored, so about three quarters full. They “ingest” (accession) about 7,000 new items per week, making just under 400,000 each year. The conditions meet BS5454 and PD5454, with the temperature being 17.5°C (+ or – 1°C) and the humidity 52% (+ or – 5) – 15,000 sprinkler heads are in place in case of fire. Items are stored in acid free, archival quality, strong cardboard box trays.

Stock is stored on 11m high, German-engineered (no leaning forward!!), metal shelves which are 70m long with 31 narrow aisles between them. Three aisles contain a huge run of map cabinets spread over 5 floors. All other items are stored by size and most have a barcode stuck on the top left hand corner to aid quick retrieval – those that don’t have the barcode stuck onto them have the barcode on a slip of paper sticking out the top but this isn’t ideal as the barcodes get mixed up when people borrow several items like this at the same time. Six forklift trucks are used to enable 8 retrievals of stock a day between 7am and 10pm, Monday to Friday – seeing the pod of the forklift rise up 10m to get something then move forward at that height to the next retrieval was quite a sight!

They get approximately 19,500 requests each month, a figure which has increased year on year. They think the increase is due to the speed and reliability of the service – vans deliver to libraries around Oxford twice a day and if you order by 10.30am in the morning, you can have the book the same day. Unexpectedly, medium use stock has been stored there as well as low use stock, as librarians have discovered that putting copies into the store actually makes them more accessible to users in different libraries around Oxford because of the frequent delivery service.

In addition to the delivery service, they also provide a scanning service and scan about 50-60 items per week in term. The reader gets a link to a server and then has 2 weeks to access the article/chapter. The scan stays on their system for a term just in case of retrieval problems, then gets deleted. They have just dropped the price of scans from £4 to £2 in order to encourage more use of this service.

There are 22 staff working in shifts and the key contact is Michael Williams, Head of Storage and Logistics. Because they will have spare capacity for the foreseeable future, they are keen to encourage other universities to use the facility – Cambridge are currently storing their newer legal deposit collection there whilst they wait for their own store to be built. Stock for other institutions is stored on separate aisles so can’t get mixed up with the Oxford stock. Michael said that he is happy to provide price estimates based on exact requirements.

Jenny Yaacob and I came away extremely impressed by the scale and efficiency of the whole set-up. If we were to consider off-site storage for legacy items, I would certainly recommend investigating what they could offer us, as nothing we could do ourselves would match their skilled operation.

AW 31/3/17


CMCAB February Meeting

Please find below a summary of the Jisc Collection Management Community Advisory Board (CMCAB) meeting held on 3rd February 2017.  We have received some positive responses from the community about these updates, but welcome your comments and suggestions for improvements.

The Board welcomed another new member, Dawn Holland from the University of Hull.  The time and enthusiasm members give to the Board is much appreciated.

  1. CCM Tools & Copac Updates

University of Sydney Pilot Project: A project framework document has been developed and access will be provided to members of the team in Sydney very shortly.  They will use the CCM Tools over the next few months and deliver a report at the end of the summer.  This will enable us to investigate the potential for CCM Tools to provide international services in the future.

A number of community events have taken place or are in the pipeline: a valuable and popular way to promote CCM Tools to colleagues. Diana has offered to run local events for any institutions interested in hosting them which has received an excellent response to date.

Service Developments: the new ‘My Library Groups’ feature has been popular but caused some confusion because consolidated records display all holdings, not just those libraries in the group.  The Board agreed that the display should be adjusted to include selected libraries only with the option to display all holdings.  Work on developing new search format filters and search history management is underway.  A storage limit for search histories may need to be introduced to manage storage requirements.  The Board reiterated the requirement to be able to share searches with other members of the same institution but also potentially named collaborators.  The service development survey run over the last few months has confirmed our existing priorities.  Diana will write a separate blog post about this.

Shibboleth Access: this enables any member of an institution to access CCM Tools.  The Board did not consider this a problem as long as this is documented in the Help pages.

An update on new data loads is available on the Copac website.  The team are working with 3 pilot libraries from the M25 consortium to test a streamlined process for adding new data to Copac.  Some concern was expressed about the lack of data updates from some institutions.  The resulting lack of currency can have serious implications for collection management decisions in particular.  This is a perennial problem as the Copac team are dependent on institutions sending their data in a timely fashion.  If the team could directly ‘pull’ data from contributors, this would remove the need for action by institutions.  It is hoped that this sort of development could be part of the enhancements delivered by the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK).  In addition the NBK will be able to automatically synch data with OCLC’s WorldCat if individual libraries require it.  This will remove the need for two separate data loading workflows for the two services.

  1. Community Engagement

Diana will appeal for practitioners who may be interested in submitting a joint paper to the forthcoming NAG Conference about use of CCM Tools in acquisitions, which is a good fit this year.

Colleagues at Bodleian Libraries are happy to arrange an event touring their book storage facility in Swindon.  It is hoped this will happen towards the end of March.  The Board expressed great interest and appreciation for this.

It has been more difficult to find a suitable date for a larger collection management event along the lines of the previous Bristol and York events.  The Board are keen for this to go ahead, ideally in Scotland, so we will pursue this.

  1. GreenGlass Update

Board members from Sheffield, Leeds and York provided an update on their collection management work with GreenGlass.  The outputs provided need further analysis including an in depth survey of the levels of overlap between different collections.  These were significantly different to expected levels and it is hoped that a deeper examination of the data will shed light on this.

  1. York categorisation project

Ruth Elder provided an update on a recent pilot project at York to categorise a branch library collection of items according to a defined status:  heritage, self-renewing, legacy and finite (the ‘Leeds categorisations’).  Draft criteria were drawn up to allocate categories following extensive discussion, and 34,000 items were tagged.  The aim of the project was to establish a framework and methodology which can be used for future projects.  This was very successful and could potentially be rolled out to the main library at some point in the future.  The Board expressed significant interest in this work and discussed how such additional data might be incorporated into the CCM Tools if it becomes more widespread.

A report providing recommendations around the addition of preservation data to bibliographic metadata was produced by Michael Emly, previously a member of the CCM Board and provides more context for discussion in this area.

  1. National Bibliographic Knowledgebase

Neil reported that the contract between OCLC and Jisc, to develop the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase has been signed after some delays.  It was confirmed that the NBK will be an entirely separate database to WorldCat. Data will only flow to WorldCat according to criteria set by contributing libraries and Jisc have confirmed that there is no perpetual licence to that data.

The first 3 years of the project, costing just over £1 million, will be funded largely by HEFCE capital funding.  The service will be developed in 12 month blocks delivering alpha and beta phases followed by service delivery after year 3.  Years 4, 5 and 6 of the project will be a ‘business as usual’ phase with costs to be confirmed as roles and responsibilities are agreed.

Jisc will retain ownership of the NBK project as a community initiative and will be in control of governance.  The Board expressed support for this approach.  The team at Jisc (including the newly appointed NBK project manager, Bethan Ruddock) will focus on: service direction; project management; community engagement; first level support to community; quality assurance/enhancement (i.e. using Copac expertise in data deduplication and consolidation) plus development of value added services, which could include a cataloguing tool.  OCLC will be more focussed on data loading and operations, developing a strategy for pilot libraries to start loading.

  1. UKRR Update

The latest UKRR consultation forms part of work to establish a new business model which will be required when HEFCE funding ceases at the end of Phase 3.  A working group of practitioners will be looking into models including local checking of holdings via SUNCAT.

The UKRR feasibility study for monographs is underway and the consultants will produce a report around April/May.  They have been careful to liaise with Jisc to avoid covering the same ground as the National Monograph Strategy.

  1. Terms of Reference.

The Board reviews its terms of reference on an annual basis.  Some of the other Jisc governance groups in the area of Library management and data will be joined together to form a new Library Management and Bibliographic Services advisory group.  It was agreed that the work of the CMCAB is still vital in this new context and that the existing terms of reference were still valid.  Jisc are very supportive of the CMCAB and value its input as we move forward.

The next Board meeting will be on 29th June 2017.

Announcing the Jisc National Bibliographic Knowledgebase

The new Jisc National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK) is a development that builds on the long term success of Copac, providing a new platform for expanding the service to include all UK Higher Education libraries that wish to participate, as well as retaining and increasing the range of non-academic research libraries. This will offer a foundation with the potential for enhancing resource discovery and collection management services as well as developing new services to support libraries in managing their print and digital collections. Jisc has commissioned OCLC to build the NBK, in collaboration with the Copac team and others at Jisc, and we will be working with the HE library community to bring on board all HE libraries that wish to participate, as well as continuing to expand the range of specialist research libraries that contribute their catalogues.

Copac and Copac Collection Management tools (CCM tools) will continue to be maintained during the three year project to create the NBK and will be available to all service users as currently. As the NBK becomes established it is anticipated that Copac services, including CCM tools, will become integrated into the NBK, to offer functionality that utilises the expanded data set that the NBK will provide. As part of this development we will be looking to enhance existing services in resource discovery and collection management, as well as developing new services to support libraries in the management of their print and digital resources.

This is very early days for the project. The Copac team will be working with current Copac contributors over coming months as we begin to develop the new NBK. For HE libraries interested in contributing their catalogue to the NBK, we will initially be having discussions with HE library consortia to decide on the best way of widening the range of contributors. More details about data contribution will be available for individual libraries as the project develops.

For full details please see the press release: