HOSC – Progress Report – 2004-2005

Submitted 8/5/05 by David C. Tambo (HOSC Chair 2004-2006 and Head of Special Collections, UCSB)

Progress Statement

  • The group convened twice during the year, on Dec. 6, 2004 (in person, at UC Riverside) and May 10, 2005 (conference call). Issues discussed included privacy (of donor and patron records), OAC/Cal Cultures, cataloging of special collections items, activities of other groups such as the UC Libraries Shared Print Collections and the CDL Preservation Program, storage of special collections materials at RLFs, digitization and commercial use of special collections resources (such as the Bancroft Store), disposal/transfer of materials from one campus to another, and online exhibits. Minutes of the meetings are posted on the HOSC website.
  • The Joint RSC/HOSC Task Force on the UC Interlibrary Loan of Special Collections Materials submitted its report to CDC in July 2005, after much discussion and numerous drafts. Lending of special collections materials involves a number of complex, interrelated issues, which were closely examined by the Task Force, chaired by Daryl Morrison (UCD), and reviewed by HOSC members.
  • CDL Digital Initiatives — Campuses submitted suggestions for special collections holdings that might be digitized. In many cases similar materials are held by more than one campus and might be brought together digitally
  • Processing backlogs are one of the most intractable issues facing UC Special Collections (and elsewhere, for that matter), although the nature of the materials and scope of the backlog vary widely from campus to campus. Thus far, not a lot seems to have come out of the ARL Hidden Collections survey and related conferences, at least in terms working projects. This is not too surprising, since significant resources are required to reduce backlogs in any substantial way. HOSC members have talked about UC initiatives, including shared processing of similar kinds of materials, but nothing concrete has yet been developed.
  • HOSC members discussed the idea of an “apprenticeship” or “fellowship” for newly-graduated librarians who might want to follow a special collections path. This is designed to address the nationally perceived need to prepare the next generation of special collections librarians, an area not covered in depth in current library school programs. Discussion included sources of funding (IMLS for example), the need for greater diversity among special collections librarians, and areas of expertise that the different UC campuses might provide. UCSD is taking the lead on this.
  • The HOSC website and email reflector were updated. The website presently contains the group’s charge, statement of purpose, member information, goals and objectives, minutes, progress report, and links to related UC groups.
  • HOSC members continued throughout the year to share policy and procedural information on a variety of issues including security measures, lending and copying of materials, forms, fees, participation in OAC initiatives, and access to unprocessed and partially processed collections.

2005-2006 Goals and Objectives:

  1. Communicate and work collaboratively with other UC groups such as UCAC, PAG, and OAC committees, as well as national groups/organizations such as ARL and RBMS, on issues of common interest.
  2. Implement and monitor policies and procedures outlined in the UC Interlibrary Loan of Special Collections Materials Report.
  3. Work with CDL on digitizing projects that might involve special collections materials.
  4. Continue to work with OAC on collaborative projects such as Cal Cultures and submit guides/images to OAC.
  5. Explore ways to reduce processing backlogs, beginning with a survey akin to that taken by ARL, to determine similarities of materials and possible funding sources such as NEH.
  6. Develop a grant proposal to IMLS (for the next grant cycle, due 15 December 2005) to seek funding for a post-MLS fellowship program within the University of California, for the training of rare books/ special collections librarians.
  7. Maintain and expand content of HOSC web site.
  8. Continue to meet regularly (in person or otherwise) to discuss UC-wide Special Collections issues, as addressed in the HOSC Charge and Statement of Purpose, and explore ways to address them. Next proposed meeting at Oakland, Nov. 2005.