American Library Association
Annual Conference (133rd : 2014 June 27-30 : Las Vegas, Nev.)
Report on cataloging, etc. meetings

ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries ("Big Heads") (Friday a.m.)

Cornell and Columbia reported on 2CUL technical services integration. Phase one has been site visits and discussions, with ten working groups on such topics as electronic resources, print ordering, original cataloging, and non-MARC cataloging. They are finding significant differences in culture as well as larger institutional processes. Moving to integration may be more difficult than imagined. Sharing an individual such as a bibliographer seems to work but how about a group? Columbia is a union shop and Cornell is not.

The next topic was acquisition of non-traditional resources. No answers but categories include small presses doing e-books, graphic books, PDFs (rights to post on server), government documents, musical scores (only in PDF, being printed at NYU), faculty-produced content. Issues include format, preservation, institutional repositories, at-risk sources, web archiving, mixed media.

In a discussion of (meta)data wrangling, someone joked that Linked Open Data will take care of it. Someone else asked if database of record even makes sense anymore. There are technical issues but there are also legal and budgetary issues.

Cath Tierney and Philip Schreur of Stanford talked about BIBFRAME status and opportunities for big research institutions. Stanford has a grant to build a BIBFRAME database in collaboration with Cornell and Harvard (LD4L = Linked Data for Libraries). They are hoping to learn more than merely building a new database. Stanford has a group meeting weekly. They built a MARC to MARC XML to BIBFRAME converter with the catalogers taking Library Juice Academy classes on XML and XSLT which helped in their understanding of BIBFRAME. NLM is using the LC program on GitHub and converting sets of records, using a Blacklight interface to view the converted metadata. Princeton is looking at experimenting with non-roman and special collections materials. LC is starting a pilot project, somewhat parallel to RDA testing and implementation in which some catalogers started and gradually more shifted. They don't want to do duplicate work. They will focus of special formats and materials in three languages. They are aiming at distributing the records via the regular MARC distribution channels.

PCC Trainers (Friday p.m.)

PCC posted series training materials for both bridge and scratch training in spring 2014. The email address "" is the general address for questions. Relationship designators are used with all creators with "editor of compilation" being deleted.

BIBCO and CONSER will move to RDA on January 2015. That is, all records marked "pcc" in 042 will be RDA by next January.

PCC needs to get involved in BIBFRAME implementation. Paul Frank has joined the advisory group. They are conducting a survey and 600 replies have already been received. OCLC is working on putting out their metadata via so that it is exposed to Google. Three BIBFRAME tools are being developed, e.g., editor, transformation, comparison. The editor is in Alpha development.

MARC Advisory Committee (Saturday a.m. and Sunday p.m.)

The MARC agenda with links to papers is available at:
This report is in proposal sequence rather than agenda sequence.

Proposal 2014-04 would add subfield $g to the Bib format (650 and 651) and Authority format (X50 and X51) for qualifier information. This proposal was from the German National Library. They use it for qualifiers, e.g., Radikal $g Chemie, Radikal $g Linguistik, Radikal $g Mathematik, Moldau $g Fluss, Moldau $g Landschaft. The proposal passed unanimously.

Proposal 2014-05, also from the German National Library, would add codes in subfield $4 to designate relationships between subject headings from different thesauri, e.g., EQ (equivalence), =EQ (exact equivalence mapping), ~EQ (inexact equivalance mapping), BM (broader mapping), NM (narrower mapping), RM (related mapping). This proposal also passed unanimously.

Proposal 2014-06 would add field 388 to the Bib and Authority formats to cover time period of creation terms, e.g., Elizabethan period, Early medieval period. The original proposal from the SAC Genre/Form Implementation Subcommittee was for authority records only and the expansion to Bib leads to some overlap with 648. The proposal passed unanimously with some minor edits. Overlaps between 388 and 648 will be investigated.

Discussion paper 2014-DP05 relates to adding dates for establishment and termination of a corporate body as distinct from period of activity. These are separate RDA attributes. Two options were proposed, i.e., new subfields or expanding $f and $g which are used for birth and death dates of a person. Preference was expressed for new subfields and this will come back as a proposal.

Discussion paper 2014-DP06 relates to defining Indicator 1 in field 037 to sequence sources of acquisition. There are concerns about lack of control of stock numbers, local versus universal information on acquisition, multiple intervening sources, need for $3 and $5, ISSNs used as stock numbers, maintenance of information, and other matters. This will come back as a proposal with field and subfield definitions as clear as possible.

Discussion paper 2014-DP07 relates to broadening the usage of field 088 for report numbers. As currently written, it prohibits the use of this field to record a number associated with a series statement. There is ambiguity in some numbers as series numbers are used as stock number as well as being part of series numbering. The change was supported and it will come back as a proposal.

Business meeting: LCMPT (Medium of Performance Terms) has been added to, as has the American Folklife Society Ethnographic Thesaurus. Update 18 to MARC 21 came out in April 2014. The German proposal in 2014-DP01 (never published works) has been withdrawn and they will use 366 (trade availability information) for this data.

ALCTS/LITA Linked Library Data Interest Group (Saturday a.m.)

The program was entitled "Think globally, act globally." Gordon Dunsire described IFLA developments. He described the top-down and bottom-up methods for linking data. Top-down involves examining local schema, identifying common elements, developing common element set, refining common element set to connect down, e.g., DC qualifiers (characterized as "chaos"). This favors global over local and encourages good-enough. Bottom-up involves publishing local schema, mapping local elements from different element sets to lowest common denominator, resulting in overlap and redundancy among multiple element sets. A couple caveats: you can only create maps if you can define the elements; a word like "adult" for audience has no single definition and audience is an important concept.

Reinhold Heuvelman (Deutsches Nationalbibliothek) used the analogy of the cathedral and the bazaar to describe DNB work on BIBFRAME and Linked Data. The cathedral is the formal efforts which include Prototype@DNB which converts their Pica data to BIBFRAME on the fly. The bazaar is the chaotic and creative cacophony of the community. Both are needed. A variety of papers are being prepared on the work, e.g., primer, use cases and requirements, authorities, relationships, and profiles.

Faceted Subject Access Interest Group (Saturday p.m.)

Chiat Naun Chew and Steven Folsom reported on Cornell's use of FAST in their catalog. Cornell is using FAST on its minimal-level original cataloging which is 25% of their original output, mostly in languages other than English. This replaces the use of keywords and adds controlled English-language terms to the records. They are using three subject facets, i.e., subject/genre (aka topic/genre), geographic, and era, as well as a fiction/non-fiction indicator. Some issues: when/whether to extend FAST; unestablished headings (they are using $2 fast/nic to indicate FAST from Cornell, $2 fast/naf for names in NAF but not yet in FAST, $2 fast/lcsh for subject headings in LCSH but not yet in FAST, sometimes because it wouldn't be explicitly established in LCSH, e.g., patterns, freefloaters); problematic mappings such as Relations, History (they're using International relations, Interfaith relations, International economic relations); missing references and scope notes; event headings. They hope to have a date slider eventually so a search on 1925 would get 1925, 1920s, 20th century. The presentation is available at:

The Cornell catalog is developed in Blacklight so they have control over the indexing and user experience. They add material from local digital collections and 3rd-parties. FAST is helping to provide control over the discovery from the mix of materials they provide through the library catalog.

Subject Analysis Committee (Sunday a.m. and Monday p.m.)

The SAC agenda and some of the papers are available at

LC Report (Janis Young)
Updates to the Subject Headings Manual (SHM) and the Classification and Shelflisting Manual (CSM) will be ongoing rather than in regular packages. Notification of updates will be announced in the Summary of Decisions messages issued after monthly editorial meetings. LC will continue to use work marks for English language juvenile literature, e.g., PZ7.T47 Cat, PZ7.1.B69 2015. PZ7.1 was initiated for 2015+ works. Freefloating subdivisions for persons will not be extended to fictitious characters. LC, in conjunction with the National Archives and Records Administration, is looking at its archiving policy and working documents.

Reports from other liaisons
The print version of Dewey will be discontinued. Revisions will be marked by date rather than edition number. Three-dimensional printing has been added as a technique class qualifier. The Music Library Association has completed work on the Medium of Performance Thesaurus (LCMPT) and it is now available in ClassWeb and at Their best practices document for LCMPT is provisional until work on the genre/form terminology is completed. They are now working on syndetics and hope to complete their work iin 2015. LCMPT has not yet been distributed to OCLC. The RDA Subcommittee worked on a proposal to complete the subjects chapter in RDA. The proposal has now gone to CC:DA and thence to JSC. They will be working on a discussion paper about adding 5XX references to work records. OCLC populates all bib records with FAST headings if it detects LCSH terms and no FAST (removing seemingly redundant FAST headings from OCLC records will lead to repopulation due to this OCLC automatic process). OCLC will probably move to using the linking subfield $0 (zero) for controlling headings. Janis Young is working with OLAC on LCSH terms for games, including video games. OLAC would like named games to be in NAF, parallel to computer software, rather than SAF. Some franchised games such as Monopoly variations might remain in LCSH. Alex Thurman will be the new chair of SAC.

Presentation on LCMPT (Hermine Vermeij, Janis Young, Nancy Lorimer, Casey Mullin)
Implementation of the terms is being discussed by LC: Policy and Standards Division, American Folklife Center, and Music Division. One example included "visuals" as a medium term for "A visual component of a musical performance." This might also play out in records for performance art along with "voice" and specific voices (medium voice, child's voice, changing voice). MPT might also be extended to records for theater and dance works.

Genre/Form (Adam Schiff and others)
The General and Literature groups are completing their work. LC NetDev added field 388 to the MARC21 bib format even though the proposal was for the authority format; in bib, it is redundant with 648. A manual for genre/form will need to be developed; it will probably start with relevant SHM memos and be parallel in look and feel. It is uncertain if the manual will cover genre/form, medium of performance, and demographic groups, that is, whether it can be a vocabularies manual rather than for specific families of terms. MLA has a best practices manual for RDA that reinstates some AACR2 LCRIs that do not have parallel LC/PCC Policy Statements. Yael Mandelstam reported that the Literature group included "illustrated works" as one of its top terms. Some literary genres may need BTs from the General list. The General group has used a spreadsheet for its work while the Literature group has used Word documents. MarcEdit has been used for revising records, e.g., look at all 040s, 1XXs. 670 source fields can use standard dictionaries such as OED or Merriam Webster when appropriate. Of the 520 Literature terms, 47 did not need a scope note. Some terms were withdrawn after LC PSD review. The Literature group is continuing work on tightening up 670s. They asked for help from art catalogers on the term Comics which needed a qualifier since that term is used as a reference on the LCSH record for Comedians. SHM says that one conflicting term can be without a qualifier if it is the predominant usage (and LC says Comics is predominantly Comedians). The LC Demographic Group Terms thesaurus is on track to be out by the end of 2014. Work needs to be done on relator terms for 751 in authority records, e.g., assumed place, jurisdictional place, place of origin of Work and Expression, place of capture, place of installation, place of discovery. LCMPT and LCGFT are not available at because those records are not in Voyager but they can be found at The work on music genre/form terms is progressing and they hope to get the proposed terms to LC by later in 2014. They are finding overlap with religion and literature terms. Some terms are ambiguously for LCMPT or LCGFT.

ARLIS/NA is considering an art genre/form project. Janis Young did a webinar on the GF projects and potential issues for the art project in mid June. John Maier and I talked to Janis during ALA Annual. Potential overlaps with existing projects are inevitable and should not be a problem except perhaps in determining broadest terms. The Religion group is still at work and Janis says that they have about 50 terms with no overlap with music, literature, and art though at one point they were looking at liturgical objects. Certainly, some liturgical works and objects will play out in art cataloging. One big issue will be determining if we will include movement and style terms which have been declared out of scope in other projects. Opinion during the webinar seemed to be that movement and style terms would not be considered in scope for an art genre/form project. For example, an illustrated book on landscape paintings would not get genre/form terms such as Landscapes and Paintings though it would get Artists' books, Catalogs, or Exhibition catalogs if appropriate.

SACO-At-Large (Sunday a.m.)

Janis Young (LC subject specialist) presented a workshop on how to search to be certain that your new proposal isn't covered by an existing heading. See also the report of the SACO liaison to SAC:

PCC Participants Meeting (Sunday p.m.)

Phil Scheuer (Stanford) was one of the speakers in a program entitled "Authorities in a non-MARC environment." (I missed the earlier speakers, i.e., Jennifer Liss and Carl Horne of Indiana and Christine Eslao of Harvard who spoke about OAQ, online author questionnaire, to gather author information for publisher info, cataloger records, and ISNI.) Stanford, as part of the LD4L project (see Big Heads report), is working on identifiers which are essential for linked data. Names not in NAF and LCSH strings without LCSH records (properly created but haven't needed LCSH records because of patterns or combinations) are issues. Identifiers alone do enable linking but do not necessarily provide authority, including variants and relationships between headings, e.g., earlier/later names, individuals/groups. We will probably need a local authority layer for managing our metadata with the identifier enabling linking as well as management. Scheuer said they'll be using MD5 Hash (no, I don't really know what it is but you can get relevant results from googling) to choose elements that would go into identifier creation. PCC can perhaps act as coordinator and as identifier registry. Backstage is adding VIAF and ORCID identifiers to Stanford records as part of their authority processing.

ALCTS President's Program (Monday a.m.)

Jennifer Kahnweiler talked about introversion and quiet influence. Somebody's got to be listening. She described introverts as those getting their energy internally so you can be an introvert but not necessarily shy. She has written several books about the topic. It may not be directly related to cataloging and technical services work but you can bet your bottom dollar (appropriate in Las Vegas) that there was a lot of recognition and sympathy in the audience.

Report compiled by Sherman Clarke

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