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Donal O’Sullivan Retires

It is with mixed feelings we announce Donal O’Sullivan’s upcoming retirement in December 2021. His last working day will be Tuesday, November 30, 2021.

Donal joined the Shared Cataloging Program (SCP) in July 2006 performing copy cataloging of electronic monographs and serials for California documents, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, IEEE conference proceedings and IEEE standards. Prior to SCP, Donal worked at the UC San Diego Library as a Serials Specialist, 1999-2003, then as the Documents Ordering and Receiving Specialist, 2003-2006. In July 2003, Donal completed authorship of the Millennium Serials Training Manual.  While created mostly for in-house use this manual was also shared with almost 200 libraries around the world.

At the beginning of his 15-year tenure with SCP, Donal quickly began working creatively to improve work efficiency by developing and revising OCLC macros and exploring batch processes for e-resources. In 2009 he successfully applied batch cataloging strategies to CDL’s first active and large licensed ebook package, Springer eBooks. Since then, Donal has taken on over 150 ebook packages for batch processing, and has managed the majority of licensed and open access ebook collections, including several collections with a large number of titles, such as Naxos Music Library, Biodiversity Heritage Library, O’Reilly, ProQuest U.K. parliamentary papers, and House of Commons papers 1801-1900, to name a few. Cataloging statistics reveal that 595,407 of 1,311,833 SCP records before the SILS migration were mostly batch cataloged by Donal alone. Donal has always promoted efficiency in cataloging tasks. For example, he developed many OCLC macros for SCP and UCSD catalogers and helped them update the macros after we migrated to Alma. He shared commonly used MarcEdit task lists for batch cataloging with SCP catalogers. Over the years, he shared many of his batch processing strategies and macros with SCP and UC catalogers. His contributions have a positive impact on the overall efficiency of SCP and his UCSD colleagues.

Donal also played an instrumental role in SCP electronic collection management. In July 2011, he started the Quantifying e-Monos Working Group, a series of working meetings to document the cataloging policy and workflow for processing each electronic collection under CDL’s purview.  A daunting task, Donal took the initiative to author the majority of the cataloging workflows, documenting the unique challenges of each collection, keeping up with changes to the collections, and constantly looking for new ways to improve processes. In the spirit of “shared cataloging”, Donal organized and maintained these documents to make them available to other catalogers. It was a critical step since each collection presents its own unique challenges and some require constant adjustment to changes over time. It is also helpful in case a backup cataloger needs to step in and/or take over a collection. He organized and managed these collection procedures created by catalogers and posted the documents on a library shared folder (P drive) and confluence website (LiSN). Donal drafted several cataloging policies regarding ebook cataloging. He updated the package status page each month before migration to help catalogers keep track of cataloging for each collection. He also has been managing and maintaining the CDL e-resource tracking page.

For the UC SILS Project, Donal also served on the UC wide Cataloging and Metadata Expertise Group representing the Shared Cataloging Program as part of the UC Systemwide ILS Project Phase 3 to draft RFP requirements and identify areas requiring policy and procedure harmonization across the UC system from metadata and cataloging perspectives. In addition, Donal started early in the SILS project to help SCP catalogers review and cleanup data in preparation for migration. He was involved in the SILS Phase 4 planning and preparation for migration, learning the Alma system and testing workflows. After migration, he caught up on cataloging of JSTOR ebook DDA titles.

The list of Donal’s accomplishments, contributions, and his impact on UC systemwide discovery and access to CDL managed electronic resources cannot be overstated. He will be sorely missed. We wish him all the best in his retirement!