American Library Association
Annual Conference (2005 June : Chicago, Ill.)
Summary of cataloging, etc. meetings

Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group (“Big Heads”) (Friday morning)

Katherine Farrell of Princeton is the incoming vice-chair. Update on shared cataloging project (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Berkeley): Spanish, French and Portuguese records identified by 9XX field in local systems which will be communicated; OCLC records are overlayed; mostly books but talking about maps (largest backlogs), videos, slides; Berkeley is doing Spanish, Harvard German, Stanford French and Portuguese. The Rich Cat (enriched cataloging group) is in discussion phase. Survey of subject lists of e-journals: 60% of libraries have browsable list with 40 to 150 categories, about half one level; architecture and mathematics are only two categories on all lists; about 50-50 split between browse and search-box hits; mapping is usually related to institutional departments; granularity and scope varied by school; vendor interface and classification mapping were used to map journals to categories; if categories cannot be agreed upon, perhaps some tool such as HILC can help with the assignment, perhaps a tool that could be used in ERMs or serials management systems. E-serials move staff from checkin and claims to higher-level management; some are using former checkin staff for scanning and other new duties. Trends and observations: acquisitions staff at U Illinois is now getting 150-250 reference questions a month; departments continue to shift from acquisitions, serials, cataloging; UC system has made agreements with some publishers for one print subscription in system and e-access to all campuses; CIC is archiving some titles and individual selectors are satisfied with one consortial copy being retained for serials available electronically (especially STM and business); NLM continues to retain print because of their national commitment as central resource; UC link checker stumbles on publisher redirects of URLs; Princeton edits the cataloging record to indicate a print subscription has been cancelled; automation becoming more modular as ILS, ERM, link resolver, federated search software, etc. may come from different vendors with varying upgrade cycles (decisions based on maturity, interoperability, and operating system of module).

Jennifer Bowen presented an overview of development of AACR. The new edition is currently slated to be called Resource description and access (RDA) rather than a third edition of AACR. A prospectus for RDA should be available this summer with a revised part one available in the fall (for discussion at Midwinter 2006) and revised part two next spring (for discussion at Annual 2006). A project manager will be hired. Expectations: sources of information for description will be simplified; access and relationships emphasized over description; primary access will be used rather than main entry; display considerations will be minimized with ISBD perhaps moved to an appendix; a print version will be released but emphasis on web-based functionality.

SACO Mentor training (Friday afternoon)

Eleven of us were given training as SACO Mentors. We will not be involved in subject cataloging training but rather will serve as resource people with regional or subject responsibilities. We will serve as advocates for the program as well as helping someone shape their proposal. The list of mentors is available at

SAC Subcommittee on FAST (Friday evening)

The FAST Subcommittee was updated on the FAST Project by Ed O’Neill of OCLC Research: the authority file has 1.35 million records constructed from existing bib records. Arlene Taylor reported on a class project at the Pitt library school, based on a sample database provided by OCLC. Shannon Hoffman of Brigham Young distributed spreadsheets of metadata guidelines for several projects at BYU, using CONTENTdm, Dublin Core, and FAST. Following these reports, we had a wide-ranging discussion of records provided by OCLC. Forty percent of FAST headings were the same as the LCSH assigned on the sample records. Some of the issues: topical subdivisions are currently precoordinated with topics; chronological subdivisions created from LCSH subdivisions do not always reflect the actual subject content; geographic hierarchies are not always consistent (being strongly based on GACs and LC/NAF qualifiers rather than thesauri, leading to uneven hierarchies); some subdivisions are orphaned when separated from the main subject, particularly subdivisions with names (personal, corporate, geographic); “History” is difficult when isolated; geographic terms are sometimes more like DC Coverage than geographic subject headings. Next steps: indexing sample; doing the class assignment for Arlene’s class.

OLAC CAPC (Friday evening)

Though I did not attend the meeting to hear about the proposal on moving non-human entities (animated characters, puppets, fictional characters, animals real and fictitious, etc.) to NAF, I did hear that CAPC will not proceed with an active pursuit of this matter. Rather, they will edit the proposal and send it to LC CPSO for information.

Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI) (Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon)

These notes are arranged in paper order rather than discussion order. Papers are linked to agenda at

Proposal 2005-04/R: Hierarchical geographic names in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format - issues: sequence is critical since repeated subfields in 662 may represent hierarchy; extraterrestrial areas in $g cannot be distinguished by subfielding; LC Geography and Map Division uses $a for any area larger than a country ($f for features smaller than country and for extraterrestrial features); indexing probably would be done as string; to be input in hierarchical order, regardless of subfielding; implementation according to thesaurus stipulations. Field 662 (and parallel development of 752) approved with changes, i.e. $g to be clarified; examples to be adjusted; non-jurisdictional and lower than country will be added to scope for $f; terrestrial will be removed from definition of $f; $g may be repeated though G&M doesn’t; paragraph about punctuation will be removed; $e will be reserved for depictions and subfields will be increased one ($e-$g become $f-$h).

Proposal 2005-06: Addition of subfields for relator terms/codes for subject access to images - $e and $4 added to 6XX fields where lacking so that subject headings may indicate that the resource is OF the subject, not ABOUT the subject. This doesn’t solve all of the issues by any stretch but does enable first steps toward distinguishing OF and ABOUT.

Proposal 2005-07: Revision of Subfield $b in Field 041 in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data - approved with minor changes so that summary, abstract or subtitle languages can be coded even if they are the same as the main language.

Proposal 2005-08: Changes to accommodate IAML coded data in bibliographic fields 008/18-19, 047 and 048 - extensive IAML codes for musical form and genre will be absorbed into MARC code list with 2-character codes to be given in 008 and 3-character codes in 047 with value in 008 to look at 047; this was considered significant change so will be revised for discussion at Midwinter. No problems with 048 for number of musical instruments or voices code so approved.

“Using MARC 21 with FRBR” This unnumbered discussion paper proposed two models for encoding FRBRized records in MARC. Model A used authorities for works and expressions; Model B used authorities only for subjects and names, and put all Group 1 entities (WEMI) in bib records. It is hoped that there will be continuing experiments with FRBR in MARC environments, and that reports will be sent to MARBI.

There was also a discussion of Unicode issues. Normalization and transliteration may change as Unicode implementation becomes widespread in library systems.

LC report: format updates are published and revised concise is on the web; MODS 3.1 out recently with changes to coordinate with MADS 1.0 which is now out; LC will implement Voyager Unicode this fall (CDS can distribute records in Unicode already and test files are available); country codes for Australian states will be added (AusMARC had done that but have started using MARC 21)

Business meeting: MARBI will ask for second slot on Saturday morning, all of Sunday afternoon and first slot of Monday afternoon (ALA is shifting to more regulation of time slots); joint meeting with CC:DA on AACR/RDA was not held this time but may as rules develop; MARBI discussed membership motion on “Equal access to nonroman resources” which was forwarded from membership member to ALA Council where it was referred to membership, not to ALCTS; Martha Yee is the new chair.

Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) (Saturday afternoon and Monday morning)

Jennifer Bowen (ALA rep to JSC) reported on RDA developments. There is much more excitement now that it looks like the rules will represent a giant step forward rather than mere revision. It is likely that ISBD will be in an appendix and that rules about display and punctuation will not be included in the main body of the text. It is hoped that the rules can be simplified. Since the conference, ARLIS/NA has stated that 21.16 and 21.17 are not necessary if the general rules on entry allow for flexibility and decrease the reliance on the chief source for determining the primary access point (newspeak for main entry). FRBR and relationships are also more likely to play significant roles. Sources of information are to be thought of for their role in identifying the resource. There is an IFLA study that may consolidate the ISBDs into one, rather than ISBDs by genre of resource. RDA will be produced in a print version but the electronic version will introduce significant added functionality with linking within and beyond RDA.

Barbara Tillett reported on developments at LC. They are doing experiments in using data from such sources as ONIX to create MARC bib records. They are contracting with Casalini for shelfready books after training them in authority work; Casalini will be doing both bib and authority records. Cornell University is participating in the CIP program with Cornell University Press titles; Northwestern may be the next participant. The Music Cataloging Decisions have been absorbed into the LC Rule Interpretations. The LC Overseas Offices are using Voyager which expedites the inclusion of their records into LC processing streams. LC will implement the Unicode version of Voyager in late 2005.

Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group (Sunday morning)

NRMIG is working on program on rights metadata and institutional repositories: standards, directions, implementation, multiple standards, tools and techniques. They plan on doing a CCO Bootcamp at Midwinter. The bulk of the time was spent discussing CCO and how it works with other metadata standards. (There was a program on CCO on Saturday with Elisa Lanzi, Ann Whiteside, Maria Oldal, and Jonathan Furner as panelists.)

PCC Participants’ Meeting (Sunday evening)

In addition to announcements and reports, Matthew Beacom presented “Reading alphabet soup: what AACR3 [aka RDA] may mean for the PCC.” Not so much discussing RDA development, Matthew talked about the revised rules as an impetus for change, expansion, broadening of PCC domain and program (no more “us/them”), unification of programs, cultural change.

“MODS, MARC, and metadata interoperability” (Monday afternoon)

Bill Moen (UNT library school) discussed metadata interaction, integration, and intero perability: reuse, XML as canonical transfer protocol, communities of practice, interoperable core with mapping into and out of core rather than across specific metadata sets, system- and user-oriented interoperability.

Marty Kurth of Cornell talked about repurposing MARC in other applications and using MARC as master metadata. Their mappings are inevitably collection-specific, with transformation scripts also varying. They maintain the derived metadata by refreshing from the main database as needed; maintenance of the opac and digital projects done by same staff.

Rebecca Guenther of LC talked about their use of MODS for digital projects. They are moving away from putting everything in the opac, rather relying on collection records in the opac with links to more granular access via database, finding aid, etc. MODS allows more linkability, hierarchy, and exploring tools than native MARC, mostly because of close ties to XML.

Ann Caldwell of Brown reported on MODS use as the central metadata scheme. Individual projects have been developed in EAD and VRA Core, with a model like LC’s of collection record in the opac linking to more granular access. Some of their tools: NoteTabPro; URI library school interns; XSLT stylesheets for VRA Core; TEI in Women Writers Project. Projects: sheet music, carriers’ addresses; slavery and Brown University.

Terry Reese (Oregon State) talked MarcEdit, the successor to MARC Maker and Breaker. This tool allows building or reuse of MARC data. MarcEdit 5.0 will include a harvester.

The slides for the presentations are available.

Notes compiled by Sherman Clarke

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