American Library Association
Midwinter Meeting (2001 January 12-17 : Washington, D.C.)
Report on cataloging and other meetings

Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access

LC report (Barbara Tillett): Voyager implementation had an effect on arrearage reduction; LC is looking at ONIX, a new publishing industry metadata standard; the 1998 amendments to AACR2R have been implemented (6 RIs have been cancelled since the rule now follows the former RI and several RIs revised); AMIM 2nd ed. available; LCCN has moved to 4 digits for date without problems (old LCCNs are the same); CORC in full production in July 2000; LC has been using an inhouse MARC validator since May 2000 (checks for errors and inconsistencies); Voyager 2000 will be implemented in May 2001 (authority record display is dependent on this implementation); pinyin implemented in October 2000 (OCLC did authority record conversion, RLIN is doing bib records); American Memory project includes 5 million items; LC received a $100 million gift, 3/4 of which will be spent on digital initiatives.

The papers from the metadata preconference held last summer in Chicago should be available from ALA Editions by March.

JSC report (Brian Schottlaender; alphanumeric identifications refer to 4JSC documents): work continues on harmonization of AACR and ISBD in regard to electronic resources (Area 3 and 5 still not resolved); JSC will meet in Washington in April; the next revision package will include 21.1B2 revision on conference names (ALA/28), titles of nobility (BL, see references (BL/5), married women (BL/6), publisher statement (LA/1), and articles appendix (LC/29).

Other active issues before JSC: rule of three (ACOC/1 followup); cartographic materials (ALA/31 - still some issues on Area 3); non-roman access points; major/minor changes (ALA/34 - working on major changes, JSC suggested reorganization of paper); clean chapter 12 being reviewed by task force; abbreviations (LC/47) approved but being reformatted (LC may promulgate as RI before official inclusion as amendment to AACR). Withdrawn issues include: LC/29 for entry under corporate body; BL/2 for members of royal houses (though some changes to BL/1 for nobility); BL/4 for additions for names. A task force has been suggested to look at format variations (aka mulver), including testing proposals. Tillett is drafting a principles document.

Two new documents have been submitted by LC (written by Judy Kuhagen). LC/50 discusses the role of series authority records and the usefulness of recognizing their mix of bibliographic and authority roles in AACR. LC/51 addresses multipart items and will probably be part of chapter 12. Both were referred to the major/minor changes taskforce.

Other reports: David Williamson reported on website for LC’s bicentennial conference on cataloging for the new millennium (papers and discussion summaries available); Mike Chopey reported that the DC Metadata Set TF had recommended voting “yes, with comments” on the Dublin Core as a NISO standard; Dan Kinney reported on review of AMREMM (rare books) and they are still looking at examples and APPM; Sherry Kelley distributed a summary of the VRA Core TF charges and stated that the final report should be available soon; the TF on ISO harmonization (Chopey, chair) is looking at metric symbols and other ISO standards which may be out of harmony with AACR; the report of the TF on specific characteristics of electronic resources is still being revised (principally Area 7) but an interim report will go to JSC for April meeting).

The next amendments package will probably be available after the JSC meeting in April 2001. ALA Editions hopes to solve the non-standard binder problem if the amendment cycle shortens.

(N.B. I did not attend all of CC:DA so some items on the agenda are not covered by this report.)

CC:DA Task Force on the VRA Core Categories

The task force’s final report is near completion. It will be a compilation of sections discussing the structure and relating the VRA Core to the IFLA functional requirements, AACR2 and MARC, and to Dublin Core and other metadata schemes. The report is being edited by Sherry Kelley, chair of the task force.

Heads of Cataloging Discussion Group (CCS - ALCTS)

The discussion topic was “When former copycatalogers become paraprofessionals: issues of transition.” Elaine Franco (UC Davis) introduced the topic with a report from UC Davis on original cataloging by what they call “special copy catalogers” (a paraprofessional rank) and the shift of responsibilities for faculty catalogers toward workflow management, training and revision, and policy setting. Ten years ago, Davis did its cataloging on RLIN and had a list of “good” libraries from whom copy was assumed to be acceptable with minimal revision. Now, the situation is more complex as sources of copy have diversified. Training forums are held on such topics as corporate entry, OCLC guidelines on when to make a new record, and printing vs. edition, with trainees encouraged to bring examples. Areas still done by original catalogers include special collections, analytics for collections (microform and other), new formats, and archives.

At Indiana, non-MLS catalogers do authenticated CONSER records, NACO work, Enhance on OCLC but not BIBCO. Technical services went through a major reorganization about two years ago which made the shift in responsibilities easier. Indiana had used students to do easy copy cataloging but found it troublesome and stopped using students.

Other practices used at various institutions:

* Copy catalogers do search for copy at time of acquisitions/receipt and sort books to appropriate workflow.
* University of Nebraska is moving from classed system to broadband definition of jobs which should ease mix of task and rank.
* Copy catalogers have access to professional development funds in order to attend regional institutes and workshops.
* University of Maryland has had a successful experience with assistantships at the UMd library school.

Contrary to NYU practice where senior copy catalogers mostly work with harder holdings and workflow, many other institutions emphasize training for complex copy (including related edition and upgrade to AACR2 with authority searching).

Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI)

This report is in proposal and discussion paper order, followed by a report on business meeting and on task forces. The papers are linked to the agenda at LC usually adds a statement of MARBI action in the months between conferences. As a reminder, approved changes are not implemented immediately but according to a schedule determined by LC and the utilities.

Proposal 2001-01: taxonomic hierarchies in 754 (bib). This proposal was rewritten from 2000-08 to be parallel to 654 where hierarchy code is in $c rather than part of the data in $a through whatever for levels of hierarchy. $x and $z will be added for non-public and public notes. Accepted with changes and some details to be finalized between LC and FCLA (proposing organization). A subfield will be added for common taxonomic name. Michael Fox indicated that Minnesota Historical Society could use this field for taxonomic information about objects in its collection. This led to some discussion among representatives about the long ago discussion of 655 (genre) vs. 755 (physical characteristics) and the abandonment of 755 in favor of just 655 for both genre and physical characteristics.

Proposal 2001-02: non-MARC country codes in 043 and 044 (bib). Subfield c was defined in 043 and redefined in 044 for the ISO 3166 country code, e.g. US for the United States. These codes are used widely in CORC and other metadata projects.

Proposal 2001-03: identification of source in 015 and 017 (bib). These fields for national bibliography and copyright registration numbers were expanded, including $2, to allow for multiple numbers and varying agencies that assign such numbers. 015 was made repeatable.

Discussion paper 2001-DP01: narrators in 508 and 511 (bib). 508 is used for creators and producers and 511 is used for participants and performers. Narrators are sometimes both, and are sometimes present and othertimes voiceover. After discussion, it was determined that the format is ok but that the documentation could be clearer. LC will work on clarifying where to put narrators, normally 511. It is recognized that indexing which separates data from 508 and 511 will cause problems in retrieving from existing records with varying usage.

Discussion paper 2001-DP02: non-MARC language codes in 041 (bib and community info). In some metadata projects, ISO 639 language codes are sometimes used rather than MARC codes. Sometimes they are combined with country codes to differentiate, for example, American and British English. The concept of adding subfields for non-MARC codes was accepted. The proposal for Annual 2001 will probably come back with $2 for type of code and use the existing 041 subfields for uses of language (e.g. languages of text, summary, translation). Also, 041 would become repeatable with a new field being used if a different set of codes ($2 would not be repeatable). There was also some discussion of making $a repeatable rather than stacking codes when more than one language is serving a particular role (e.g. “$a eng $a ger” rather than “$a engger” for a bilingual English-German text).

Discussion paper 2001-DP03: types of dates for electronic resources. CORC and other metadata projects have been pushing the envelope on types of dates needed in MARC records, especially those being mapped from projects with other types like created, valid, available, issues, and updated (Dublin Core qualifiers). While the discussion paper particularly addressed electronic resources, some resources in traditional formats like looseleafs have similar needs to record revision and similar dates. OCLC anticipates that its URL validator might look for modification dates. After considerable discussion, it was determined that a proposal should be written to expand and broaden the use of 046 for a variety of dates. Some aspects of the data to be coded are the source of the data, the syntax of the date, and the nature of the date. We in the art and visual resources cataloging communities should be thinking about and studying the proposal to see if it would be expandable to include such dates as exhibition span that we might want to code. Coded data in 046 might be explained in a note (some 5XX field). Harmonization will be needed between bib and community info formats because ranges of dates are handled differently.

Business meeting: All formats are now available in MARC 21 versions and are available as a package. They will be in Cataloger’s Desktop in first quarter 2001 (early/mid February). The new version of LCCN with four date digits was implemented at beginning of 2001. The additional characters in the ANSEL set and spacing diacritics were added to the MARC character set. MARC 21 organization codes are available in a database using Site Search from the MARC documentation page. LC has developed a mapping between MARC and ONIX (a new publishing industry metadata element set). The proceedings from the BIBCONTROL conference at LC should be available by Annual (June). Issues from the preconference of particular importance to MARBI are multiple versions and semantic interoperability. LC is now looking at the recommendations and determining what can be done short or long term and which need to be done by LC or by others.

Other business: MARBI will co-sponsor a preconference workshop on serials in the Holdings format at Annual 2001 in San Francisco. Suggested topics for a joint meeting with CC:DA at Annual included: recommendations from BIBCONTROL conference; chapter 12 rewriting (LC anticipates some proposals for Annual on seriality). The East Asian Character Set Task Force has almost completed its work. The CJK set includes 26 punctuation, 36 component, 13368 ideograph, 172 kana, and 2228 hangul characters (total of 15730), just in case you were wondering why they didn’t finish overnight. They have established some private use values in order to do roundtrip conversion (36 components, 231 ideographs, and 32 hangul). The task force website will be linked to the MARBI website. The Unicode Task Force is also about done, with some final reviewing and then vote by MARBI.

The Multilingual Records Task Force is working on the specifics of examples. Broadly speaking, they are moving away from the single-record model (everything in one record) to separate linked records. They are looking at how to link records for the same thing in different languages, in different scripts, in different vocabularies, etc. An IFLA subcommittee working on this has also decided to abandon the idea of a single record and suggests using a record-level code for the language of the catalog.

Program for Cooperative Cataloging Participants

BIBCO: 42 institutions created 62,000 records (33% core); David Banush (Cornell) will do a survey to look at perceptions and use of core-level records; the outline of a participants manual has been developed, modelled on CONSER manual (though less ambitious)

CONSER: the load of 25 to 30,000 publication patterns from Harvard is almost complete; 19 institutions working on pub pattern initiative; new courses are being developed for advanced serials and e-serials training

NACO: big change in last six months was pinyin conversion

SACO: a participants manual is being compiled by Adam Schiff (close to completion and distribution as print and on Cataloger’s Desktop)

Standing Committee on Standards: working on recommendations from Cross Reference TF, harmonization of core standards; forming a TF on the function of the authority record

Standing Committee on Automation: working group looking at batch loading of bib records and at records for aggregator sets (e.g. ProQuest, Gale Group)

Visioning: both BIBCO and CONSER participants held visioning sessions during Midwinter (separate reports available on those exercises)

Subject Analysis Committee

Lynn El Hoshy gave a report from LC. Voyager 2000 will be implemented later this spring. The display of authority records is dependent on its implementation. It is hoped that a thesaural view of LCSH will be developed either as part of the display or soon thereafter. Classification Web is being tested ( and it allows some interaction of LCSH and LCC. Voyager 2000 includes display of CJK and Hebrew vernacular characters (but not Arabic, Persian and Yiddish). The revised art subject headings are about ready to go to CDS for distribution in the next update to the Subject cataloging manual: subject headings. The biggest change from the proposed revisions is the addition of free-floating century subdivisions back to the 10th century. The revisions will be available before the ARLIS/NA conference in late March though the SCM:SH update will be distributed later in the spring. [They were made available on the CPSO site in late January.]

Lois Mai Chan reported on IFLA and announced two events in conjunction with 2001 conference in Boston: program on “Education and knowledge organization”; satellite meeting in Dublin, Ohio on “Subject retrieval in a networked world.” The theme of compatibility and integration of subject access tools in being considered for Glasgow in 2002.

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

A group is looking at the quality of various records available in the utilities, especially vendor and BIBCO records. They are trying the answer these questions: how much overlap is there between research collections; what records are accepted as is or with cursory overview; what is the effect of the availability of records for aggregator sets; what is the role of classification in an increasingly electronic world. David Banush (of Cornell, formerly NYU) will conduct a survey about attitudes toward core records. There was also discussion of overlay of records. For example, the University of Chicago is using MARCADIA for finding enhanced records. The principal problem is retaining important local changes while receiving the advantage of records that have been enhanced in the utilities by another library. Classification is seen as one of the biggest barriers to routine acceptance of copy from the utilities. Some libraries are doing standard classification on bib records in order to make them BIBCO even though they don’t use the number themselves (e.g. Columbia items for Avery Library which uses a local classfication scheme). A batch loading task force, chaired by Ed Weissman of Cornell, will look at the various issues.

Big Heads adopted new membership rules. Virginia and Penn State have been added and Northwestern has been dropped.

A poll of single vs. multiple records for versions was undertaken: 17 use single records for serials in multiple formats, 14 use multiple records for monographs in multiple formats. Many of the responses were understandably related to the efficacy of various local systems in handling displays. MARBI has looked at ways to handle separate records and the conflated displays which are generally accepted as advantageous for the user. No conflation miracle has yet been implemented though it was generally agreed that multiple records are best in the utilities since the single-record approach reflects a library’s particular holdings in various formats. One library mentioned that it has six ways to get to a particular e-journal. It was mentioned that it might be time to look again at the three-level model which was rejected by the Airlie House conference on multiple versions. One of the BIBCONTROL groups looked at system architecture, including possible methods for post-cataloging conflation of the display for a particular work.

Tim Jewell of the University of Washington reported on his work on licenses for electronic resources. Several databases are being used by various libraries to track licenses. Some of the data collected for licensing purposes may be helpful in cataloging and in determination of the appropriate place(s) to provide access to a resource (opac vs. subject web page).

Other notes

Committee chairs can now be co-listowners of electronic lists hosted by ALA which can expedite update of subscribers, etc.

The LC bicentennial conference on bibliographic control in the new millennium (called “BIBCONTROL” in these notes) was widely reported upon. The proceedings should be available before ALA Annual in June. The papers, discussion group reports, recommendations, etc. with a webcast are available at the website

Report compiled by Sherman Clarke