American Library Association
Midwinter Meeting (2011 January 7-11 : San Diego, Calif.)
Report on cataloging, etc. meetings, with an art slant

ALCTS/LITA/RUSA Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI) (Saturday am and Sunday pm)

The MARBI agenda with link to the papers is available at We had one paper on coding original language in 041 and four discussion papers on changes to support RDA. (The decision on implementing RDA is expected by ALA Annual in June but some of the testing libraries anticipate continued use of RDA even if LC, NLM and NAL do not implement.) This report is written in paper order rather than discussion order.

Proposal No. 2011-01: Coding for Original Language in Field 041 This proposal was accepted with subfield $h narrowed to cover translation of primary content, a note that you will not be required to give original language if not a translation, and adding subfield $m for original language of librettos.

Discussion Paper No. 2011-DP01: Changes to the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format to Accommodate RDA Production, Publication, Distribution and Manufacture Statements RDA is much more specific about these roles than earlier cataloging rules. The paper presented three options: adding an indicator to indicate function; adding separate subfields for each function; defining new fields 264-268. There was no support expressed for the second option. OLAC and RBMS support option 1 or 3, noting that the distinctions were less precise in handpress era. (I've been thinking about artist-produced books on Blurb or Lulu and who's the producer, publisher, distributor, or manufacturer? From whom does it emanate (to use an AACR2 term)? Rachel Stuhlman of the Eastman House library has started seeing photography books from these sites and also wants a way to find them in the catalog. CAC is compiling a list of categories of examples for RDA and this is one of them. Lynda Bunting and others have also seen a number of artist’s books produced this way.)

Discussion Paper No. 2011-DP02: Additional Elements to Support RDA in the MARC 21 Format This was a bit of a potpourri. For language of expression, two options (041 and 377) were suggested and greater support was expressed for the 377 option whereby the 377 would record the language of the entity in the 1XX of the authority record whether it be a person, corporate body, or Expression (FRBR Group 2 and 1 entities). For associated institution/affiliation, it was noted that the institution of affiliation for persons and corporate bodies would be in heading form and for conferences in transcribed form (per current practice). For fuller form of name, it was noted that RDA does not call for fuller form of variant names, just the heading. Also, one might have fuller forms of either the forename(s) or surname(s) or both. For type of jurisdiction, the need for subfield $0 (zero) was noted, for link to authority data. There was also a broader discussion of the need for subfielding of qualifiers in a wide range of fields. CC:DA has, since Midwinter, formed a task force to look at similar matters, e.g., distinguishing between the extent and the type of unit (that is, distinguishing "243" from "pages"). This makes sense in a modern world but sure didn’t seem necessary on catalog cards.

Discussion Paper No. 2011-DP03: Identifying Work, Expression, and Manifestation records in the MARC Formats This paper led to a wide-ranging conversation on the need to explicitly code for FRBR Group 1 entities (Work, Expression, Manifestation, Item) in a bibliographic record. NLM didn't like the proposal and didn't think that it would help to organize catalog records, and can't be made mandatory. The coding would have to be applied tightly to be helpful. It was my feeling that this would come back as another discussion paper if enough had changed by Annual time for another round. John Attig thought it, for sure, would come back as a proposal. Stay tuned.

Discussion Paper No. 2011-DP04: Treatment of Controlled Lists of Terms for Carrier Attributes in RDA and the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format There was support expressed for the 34X fields which would allow you to code sound characteristics, projection characteristics of motion picture film, video characteristics, and digital file characteristics. The need was identified for adding subfield $3 for materials specified and the definition of existing field 340 (physical medium/carrier characteristics) needs to be broadened. Field 340 has been used more for special collections and VR situations than "normal" library collections.

LC report Understanding MARC Holdings Records is being developed, parallel to the "understanding" documents on bib and authority formats. (This was released after Midwinter and is now available at LC's SKOS site -- -- is continuing to be developed and expanded. MARC language codes, GACs, and country codes have been added. Also available on the MARC site are three reports comparing MARC 21 to PREMIS, MIX, and TextMD.

Subject Analysis Committee (Sunday am and Monday pm)

The SAC agenda and supporting documentation are available at

With RDA having reached the stage of testing and implementation decisions, work will begin on some of the sections that are now empty, including the subject chapters. The JSC rep (John Attig), CC:DA chair (Lori Robare), and SAC chair (Daniel Joudrey) determined that a SAC liaison to CC:DA should be appointed, a SAC standing subcommittee should be established to work with the CC:DA liaison, and CC:DA will approve the reports but SAC will act as discusser and decision-maker. A discussion paper and joint CC:DA/SAC discussion is projected for Annual in New Orleans (probably on Monday morning, 10:30-12 in part of CC:DA's time). Attig, Robare, and Joudrey took these ideas to CCS Exec which approved them.

Dewey is working on a modular interface that will expedite language versions.

Sears is working on a bilingual thesaurus. Record numbers are related but don't always match or don't necessarily match one-to-one. The joys of language and thesaurus development, to say nothing of searching.

Janis Young talked about developments at LC, especially in the Policy and Standards Division. Bob Hiatt has retired (he has presented a few times at ARLIS/NA conferences and was probably the most "visible" of respondents to queries to PSD). Helena Zinkham is now the permanent chief of the Prints & Photographs Division. The Frick Art Reference Library has joined the ECIP Cataloging Partners Program and the BIBCO Program of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging.

LC had asked folks to comment on whether we should start spelling out "Department" in headings. There was significant concern and LC will not start now but will look at the question again if RDA is implemented.

There is a new 2010 printed edition of the N schedule; LC now prints new editions when the stock runs out versus the old way of doing major revisions every few years. Those using ClassWeb, naturally, have a running revised version.

Subject heading proposals will be sent via a Minaret form in ClassWeb starting soon. This will streamline the workflow and will more closely resemble the LC workflow.

LC is working on adding field 072 for SHM instruction sheets to subject authority records. This is still a pilot project but it is hoped that it will expedite validation of subject strings. For example, if the main topic is a personal name and the subject subdivision is valid under personal names, it could be validated. Like all validation and controlled headings, it probably works in the majority of cases (and is worth it for that). Joseph Miller commented that the Wilson indexing system forces validation of all subjects and subject/subdivision combinations. Someone mentioned that validation records for regions would be good.

LC is implementing a new code for genre/form terms (lcgft) and will reissue all of the approximately 700 genre/form authority records in the spring of 2011. Work continues on religious genre/form headings, in conjunction with the American Theological Library Association. They are including liturgical objects which will have some impact on art cataloging. Janis's example was rosaries but my mind meandered to liturgical manuscripts and religious decoration. For more discussion of art genre/form headings, see my report on the SAC Genre/Form Subcommittee.

I talked to Janis about our discovering that "Photography, Artistic" had been marked for geographic subdivision after many years of not being divided. She said it could have been so marked without anyone really discussing it with policy experts. We agreed that it should be discussed and she will take it to Libby Dechman, now the art subject specialist in PSD.

The SAC Faceting Task Force has gotten started on a bibliography and is using a wiki. The FAST Subcommittee is morphing into a faceting interest group so it will be interesting to see how these groups evolve. The Genre/Form Subcommittee is also looking at audience, setting, ethnicity, and country of production, all of which are facets but not genre/form.

Danny Joudrey, SAC chair, reported that a liaison to OLAC CAPC had been established and appointed. There will be a preconference on genre/form at ALA Annual in New Orleans (all day Friday, entitled "What is it anyway?"). The H1095 review continues: consensus was reached on merging some subdivisions such as "Quotations" and "Quotations, maxims, etc."; using "Acronyms and abbreviations" rather than variations on one or the other; try to figure out one way to say "Terminology" and "Glossaries, vocabularies, etc." and "Glossaries" and "Conversation and phrase books" if possible; try to figure out one way to say "Education" and "Knowledge and learning." They didn’t reach consensus on: "Ability testing" and "Testing of" and special types of testing; how to indicate books of general knowledge versus "Popular works"; and biography. Should the latter be allowed under any personal name?

The SAC meetings ended with a presentation on Linked Data by John Mark Ockerbloom of Penn. He is the master of the Penn Online Books page: His principles for linked data are: URIs for names of things; HTTP URIs that can be looked up; useful information in the URI (machine-processable); and links to other URIs. He also talked about OPEN linked data and co-occurrence analysis (so, for example, you can get from Frederick Douglass to Sojourner Truth based on words around the names). His presentation should be posted eventually and his page is at (The SAC Research & Presentations Subcommittee is working on having a presentation for each conference, and got off to a great start with this one.)

SAC Genre/Form Subcommittee (Saturday pm)

Janis Young reported on progress on the genre/form projects: approximately 65 cartographic genre/form terms were approved in mid-May and were implemented in September 2010; approximately 80 terms for law were developed in conjunction with AALL and will be implemented in early 2011; AALL and LC are now working on terms for religious law; MLA and LC are collaborating on the deconstruction of music heading into their constituent genres/forms, carriers, and mediums of performance (there are approximately 800 terms under discussion); and ATLA and LC are working on religious terms including those for religious objects.

The 185/155 Working Group developed a spreadsheet of terms and subdivisions. The columns in the spreadsheet are: control number; 185 term; 680 scope note; discipline; create 155; 155 comments & recommendations; keep/cancel/modify 185; 185 comments & recommendations. We started working our way through the spreadsheet but didn't get very far. Some of the issues: how to deal with collections of fiction versus individual works (sometimes need separate terms, sometimes not); trying to keep form and format separate; related facets such as geographic origin, location, ethnicity, nationality, language, audience, class of person of creator, chronology, aspects of literary form, part/sequence, collection types, translation type, text preparation, accessibility, gender of creator, and occupational/topical setting.

In the spreadsheet, a number of terms or subdivisions were deferred to a future art project. These include: --Art; --Art and the war [revolution, etc.]; --Designs and plans; --Drawings; --Illustrations; --Photographs (perhaps adding more specific terms such as --Digital photographs, --Daguerreotypes); --Pictorial works; --Portraits; Self-portraits. Some others are applied more generally but need to be watched by art specialists: --Catalogs; --Catalogues raisonnés; [special types of catalogs such as Collection catalogs are not now on the list since they are not currently used]; --Exhibitions. No timeline was suggested for the deferred projects.

SAC Subcommittee on FAST (Friday pm)

The FAST database is now pretty much complete and evolves as LCSH evolves. A book on the project by Lois Mai Chan and Ed O'Neill, entitled FAST: Faceted Application of Subject Terminology: principles and applications, was published last year by Libraries Unlimited. A related project, MapFAST, is now up as a prototype and it allows for visual browsing of WorldCat materials with geographic subject headings. The Subcommittee is morphing into an interest group and will expand its purview to faceting in access points.

SACO-At-Large (Sunday am)

The Slavic and Music funnels have developed FAQs. The subject proposal form is being replaced by the Minaret proposal system now used at LC. A ClassWeb subscription is necessary in order to use the Minaret proposal form. This may be implemented in February.

SACO participation will require an application form and training will be required. Online training will be accepted, especially Basic subject cataloging using LCSH, available at

ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Interest Group ("Big Heads") (Friday am)

The two major topics of discussion were "It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel (fine?)" and "In Hathi we trust: coordination and management of legacy collections." Background discussion papers are available at Round robins from the member libraries are also available.

Report compiled by Sherman Clarke

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