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Sherry E. F. Kish, U.S. State Department Eugene Dickerson, U.S. State Department Jennifer Froetschel, OBXtek, Inc. 20 February 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "Sherry E. F. Kish, U.S. State Department Eugene Dickerson, U.S. State Department Jennifer Froetschel, OBXtek, Inc. 20 February 2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sherry E. F. Kish, U.S. State Department Eugene Dickerson, U.S. State Department Jennifer Froetschel, OBXtek, Inc. 20 February 2015

2  Ralph J. Bunche Library—U.S. State Department  Mission: “To support the research needs of personnel of the Department of State”  Oldest Federal Library (even older than the Library of Congress!)  Founded by the First Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson  Have approximately 350,000+ items; paper and electronic  We are also a Federal Depository Library  On May, 1997, the Department named the library in honor of Dr. Ralph J. Bunche– Political scientist, academic, and diplomat—received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his late 1940’s mediation in Palestine

3 Bureau of Diplomatic Security  The law enforcement and security bureau for the Department of State  Mission: “To provide a safe and secure environment for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy.”  Founded: April 1916  Protects people, diplomatic facilities, and information  Investigates passport and visa fraud  Aids other law enforcement bodies with international investigations  For more information, please visit DS on the web at

4 Diplomatic Security/Public Affairs (DSPA)  Produces publications for both public and internal use for DS  Collects digital (and non-digital) images to support publications

5  It really did begin with a simple conversation.....Civil Service Orientation!  The state of affairs at DSPA—image retrieval meant combing through folders manually, and was time consuming to find images. Also, many images were not usable because they were blurry, feet shots, improper exposure, etc.  A case of: Too many chefs in the digital image kitchen, file structure wasn’t consistently organized, unusable images were not weeded out of the collection

6  Approximately 90,000+ (and constantly growing) images, dating back to the early 1920’s (black/white and color)  DSPA staff had been researching Digital Asset Managers for years, unable to find a program or solution that met all of their needs

7  It turned out that this was a Library Science issue, not an IT one!  My co-conspirator from Civil Service Orientation and the back-end system  After meeting with DSPA staff and actually seeing their photos and files, I opened my big mouth and said, “Yes, this can be done!”  Now is time to get the pilot off the ground…however…first things first!

8  The Technical Challenges—and there were quite a few  Primarily: gaining access to the actual photos—easier said than done  They are stored on a different network from the one that the library uses  Gaining all the permissions necessary was a Herculean feat

9  In the meantime....  In order to keep track of who said what, where, how, etc., started an archive in my “in” box, which I still keep to this day  Examined the “check-in” form in preparation to cross-walk it to MARC

10  Created a MARC record based on what DSPA has given us according to RDA  It was actually quite simple and RDA made it even easier with their list of “relationship designators”. Also added local topical headings  Created a bib record template in Voyager for the photos as these would NOT be on OCLC  Started cataloging several test batches together using the “public” photographs from from present and working backwards

11  And that is where the other major challenge comes in: some of the check- in forms were not as complete as others  Third major challenge: Changing the corporate culture in respect to cataloging/identifying/organizing photographs, especially in the age of the digital camera  Convincing staff and stakeholders of the success of the “proof of concept”—the darn thing actually worked! We gave multiple briefings….

12  Final Dilemma: Who to Hire/Train To Take Over?  It was determined that the project needed to be full-time  DSPA had no idea of who/how to hire, so…..?  Turned to my former students for possible recruitment  In the meantime, wrote the SOP and Position Description  Library was asked to field suitable candidates and interview them; DSPA selected the librarian

13  Final Dilemma: Who to Hire/Train To Take Over?  Training lasted approximately two weeks, then, I turned my former student loose!  My role from then on: Technical Advisor


15 SAMPLE OF CHECK IN FORM DS/PA Photo Check-In Form 1.Folder Name Events/2015/Avengers - 02-20-15 2.Date of photograph 02-20-15 3.Event Avengers providing dignitary protection for Leadership Summit of World Leadership 4.Location (City, State, Country) Washington, D.C. 5.People (names and/or titles) Left to right; Black Widow; Captain America, Iron Man, Thor; Hawkeye; in back (big green guy) Incredible Hulk 6.Summary Caption On February 20, 2015, the Avengers Assembled in Washington, D.C. to assist with the Leadership Summit of World Leadership. 7.Copyright/Ownership information Private collection; licensed under Creative Commons 8.Photographer Kim, Do-Hyun

16  ADDING LC SUBJECT HEADINGS  610 20 |a Avengers |v Photographs  600 10 |a Iron Man |v Photographs  600 10 |a Incredible Hulk |v Photographs  600 10 |a Hawkeye |v Photographs  600 10 |a America, Captain |v Photographs  600 10 |a Black Widow |v Photographs  600 10 |a Thor |v Photographs  651 0|a Washington (D.C.)

17  SAMPLE OF LOCAL SUBJECT DESCRIPTORS  650 _0 |a Special agents |v Photographs. |2 local.  650 _0 |a Protective Details |v Photographs. |2 local.  Many other headings created since DS has a unique set of needs



20  CONCLUDING REMARKS  Using the catalog and the metadata expertise as a marketable tool has been considered a novel idea by some…  Embedding a librarian in a non-traditional environment is a win-win situation

21  CONCLUDING REMARKS  The benefits:  Inventory and accountability of DSPA and Department of State history  Embeds a librarian into a place where organization and research is useful  Showcases what 21 st century librarians can do  The Service Level agreement in place between the Bunche Library and DSPA


23  THANK YOU!!!!  Sherry E. F. Kish, Sr. Cataloging Librarian, U.S. State Department  Eugene Dickerson, Team Lead for Cataloging, U.S. State Department  Jennifer Froetschel, Librarian (Digital Asset Assistant), OBXtek, Inc.

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