American Library Association
Midwinter Meeting (2015 January 30-February 2 : Chicago, Ill.)
Report on cataloging, etc. meetings

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

The first discussion topic was shared remote storage facilities and further collaborations. Princeton is adding a middle layer to discovery so that RECAP items read as Princeton. Indiana sees a challenge in defining the “active collection.” Toronto is involved in an Ontario initiative with the intention of shared ownership but wondering about the return of items. Penn State has moved toward a “floating collection” beyond the central campus in State College; that is, if campus X borrows a book from campus Y, it stays at campus X when returned by the patron, until requested by the next patron. Ohio libraries make their acquisition decisions in a common space so that other campuses can know if something has been selected. Stanford and the UCs are de-duping and sharing storage and circulation but not ownership. UC had no duplication in the Southern depository but are now de-duping in collective Northern and Southern depositories. The ORBIS guideline (Yale) is that there should be no more than 3 copies of anything (except Turabian, for example).

So naturally the next topic was institutional limits to collaboration. Columbia and Cornell, in 2CUL, have found soft limits within the libraries and harder limits in the wider institution. For example, a Cornell employee cannot be supervised by a Columbia employee. Expenditures from funds for one institution cannot be approved by the other. It is sometimes hard to get the attention of university counsel or other central administrators. The RECAP facility staff are Princeton employees but non-administrative and very collaborative. The University of Minnesota has found collaboration with CIC easier than within state. Project management and a manager are very important.

Next topic: Linked Data and BIBFRAME. Phil Schreur talked about the situation at Stanford where they are working on conversion between MARC and BIBFRAME, and other metadata standards. NLM is experimenting with BIBFRAME behind the scenes and cataloging is still being done in MARC. LC is starting a pilot so that they can amass a critical mass of BF metadata for analysis. Thirty catalogers will produce BF records over the next 3-6 months and also MARC records for distribution. The University of Washington is doing lots of experimentation and feel a need to get to how BF interacts with RDA and for tools. Yale is working on research identifiers. Harvard is doing training at the Business School library. NYU is doing outreach with the digital scholarship group, talking about Linked Data’s importance and value, and identity management (I guess that’s what used to be called authority control).

OCLC is working on a Low-Barrier Metadata Creation tool. It sounded to me rather like CORC which was an OCLC project in the late 1990s, back when we had to say that “metadata” was “data about data” but we wanted students and volunteers to be able to create bib records. The LBMC tool is being tested and the EL=3 records are being mapped to MARC. Some issues: interface in at least the 13 languages that are available in Connexion; hosted or distributed; use of identifiers; dup detection and relation to existing copy; interface on top of other systems; uses beyond bib records for acquisition, etc.; coordination rather than every institution creating a basic record; potential for open source.

Next topic: preservation. Methods for print are not the same as for digital resources. NLM and PubMed Central discovered 30 thousand journals that are not being preserved by the journal and they’re working on ways to get those preserved. Cornell is talking to EBSCO about preservation, particularly using the institutional repository for journals published by the institution. It was noted that you need to preserve the e-content even if access not completely figured out. There is also lots of free material that is not being preserved, the things that used to go into pamphlet files. In its web archiving efforts, Stanford is keeping dark copies in repository when possible. No good to preserve without metadata and file-name metadata is not enough.

Discussions at Annual may include Linked Data and normal processing, including vendors and using $0 in OCLC. Also, metadata vendors, i.e., inventory, language, geographic focus.

MARC Advisory Committee (Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon)

The agenda is at and papers are linked. These notes are in order by proposal or discussion paper number.

Proposal No. 2015-01: Defining Values in Field 037 to Indicate a Sequence of Sources of Acquisition in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
This proposal from the British Library grew out of a discussion paper at the last meeting. The first indicator was defined so that sources of acquisition in 037 can be sequenced, e.g., current/latest, intervening, earliest. Because this field has been used for many years, blank in the first indicator means not applicable or no information provided or earliest source of acquisition.

Proposal No. 2015-02: Adding Dates for Corporate Bodies in Field 046 in the MARC 21 Authority Format
This proposal grew out of earlier discussion papers, particularly 2014-DP05 which built from an RDA addition of date of establishment/termination for a corporate body in addition to dates of its period of activity. Comments from NLM suggested “earliest known date” and "latest known date.” NLM also expressed concern for legacy data and wondered if the data could be analyzed and corporate names be manipulated while leaving conference names as they are. The DNB had been using 548 for similar information but supported the changes in 046 as more granular. The proposal presented revised definitions of subfields $s (Start period) and $t (End period) and added subfields $q (Establishment date) and $r (Termination date). The period of activity subfields can be used for persons as well as corporate bodies. The paper was approved as written.

Proposal No. 2015-03: Description Conversion Information in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
This proposal grew out of experiments with conversion of files of machine-readable records, principally that happening between various flavors of MARC (XML, MODS, MADS) and BIBFRAME. Concerns were expressed about lack of detail in the proposal as written, e.g., no way to say cataloger had looked at machine conversion and made corrections; version of conversion software both before and after conversion; relationship to Encoding Level and other machine conversions such as pinyin and bib flip from AACR to AACR2 in 1980; free-text description of process in $a (should it be standardized?). The field definition and scope was revised to “Use to provide information about the origin of a MARC record which has been converted by machine from another metadata structure.” Subfield $b was added for version of the conversion software. Subfield $d for date was changed to $g to leave room for potential changes to allow coding of source metadata format and version and target metadata format and version. Subfield $k was renamed “Identifier of source metadata” and definition revised to reflect discussion. The paper was approved as revised during discussion.

Proposal No. 2015-04: Broaden Usage of Field 088 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
Report numbers and series numbers are sometimes repeated or ambiguous. Field 088 had prohibited any series number from appearing in 088. This proposal which grew out of a discussion paper from the Alaska Resources Library and Information Services (ARLIS) clearly showed that the prohibition was unnecessary and that the numbers should be allowed in whichever, or both, field as warranted by the resource. The proposal passed with editorial corrections.

Proposal No. 2015-05: Definition of New Code for Leased Resources in Field 008/07 in the MARC21 Holdings Format
This paper added a code for resources which are not purchased for perpetual use but licensed or leased for some term. The proposal passed and value “q” will be used for leased resources.

Proposal No. 2015-06: Defining New Subfield in Field 382 for Coding Number of Ensembles in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats
Subfield $s in 382 is used for the “Total number of performers.” When one of the “performers” is an ensemble, the number of persons in the ensemble is often indeterminate and potentially variable. Subfield $e was proposed to record the “Number of ensembles.” The proposal was approved as written with the clarification that you don’t have both $e and $s related to any performer.

Discussion Paper No. 2015-DP01: Recording RDA Format of Notated Music in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format
The paper presented two options for recording the RDA format of notated music: in the 3XX block (348 suggested) or 5XX block. Recording this format is only being suggested for bibliographic records now but is also important in authority data; the 5XX block is defined for notes in bib and see-also references in authorities. The Music Library Association would like to harmonize definitions in bib and authorities. Field 348 was preferred by MLA and the MARC international partners. DNB is looking at using a code in 655 for format of notated music. The 3XX block may also be more natural since it is descriptive metadata rather than access. The paper will come back as a proposal with specific name and use rather than adding to 655.

Business meeting
The Library of Congress is starting a BIBFRAME pilot project with 25 or 30 catalogers working in various formats. They will make BIBFRAME records as well as MARC records for distribution.

ALCTS CaMMS Subject Analysis Committee (Sunday morning and Monday afternoon)

The SAC agenda and reports are posted on ALA Connect at Much of the SAC time is spent reviewing the reports. Some highlights are below.

Janis Young of the Policy and Standards Division presented the report from the Library of Congress. The Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Graphics) is now available in PDF from and is part of Cataloger's Desktop. It is an update of the "Betz manual" which first appeared as a supplement to AACR2. Revised and new memos in the Subject headings manual are now issued as they are finished rather than in print editions. Malaysian places are now treated in the standard way in RDA rather than as a federation as is the case with the U.S. and Canada and a few other countries; LC and UCSD are revising the headings, state by state, and have completed Kedah, Pahang, and Sabah. The LCSH subdivision "--Industries" which was intended for use under pre-literate societies has been cancelled; this was one of the outstanding subdivisions under ethnic groups which was not fully covered by patterns.

The subcommittee on the new demographic group terms thesaurus (LCDGT) presented its first report. Ed O'Neill of OCLC had supplied a list of all terms used in headings of the "speakers of ... language" variety and Adam Schiff had rearranged it by quantity. Rare languages may be more important than common languages. The subcommittee will work on the language-based demonyms and those for U.S. states, Canadian provinces, and Mexican states in order to create a critical mass of terms for the thesaurus. The question of birth or residence was brought up as was the need for qualifiers for demonyms for cities and other places. The construction "... language speakers" was preferred over "speakers of ... language" so that the leading word was the varying one. Field 370 was proposed as a link of demonym to place.

Dewey will also be shifting from editions and putting a date marker in the 082 of classification records.

The Monday meeting started with a presentation by Gordon Dunsire, JSC Chair, on "What is an RDA subject?" The IFLA Functional Requirements group is working on the consolidation of FRBR, FRAD, and FRSAD, following the simpler formula of FRSAD with only Thema and Nomen and relationship. The Group 3 entities (Concept, Object, Event, and Place, aka subjects) will probably disappear. JSC has decided not to add Thema to RDA but it is the philosophical underpinning. Thema is the same as a Thing; "subject" is a relationship. In FRSAD, only Works can have a subject (but we all know that subject is more inclusive than that, maybe not theoretically but practically). Appendix M will be added to RDA for relationships: Work is always the source entity; the other FRBR entities are targets. The metadata record is often confused with the thing it describes. Dunsire's bottom lines: subject is not an entity; subject is a relationship between a Work and something else, i.e., Work "hasSubject" something, and reciprocal, something "isSubjectOf" Work. In the question and answer period, Dunsire was asked about the rejection of "setting" and "depiction of" as relationships; he replied that they had been set aside but not abandoned, awaiting the consolidation of the FR documents. For the moment, JSC will be pragmatic about designators but there may be a need for a thesaurus. The concept of "super work" is not in FRBR but who knows whether it will come out of consolidation. Relationships travel in families, e.g., translator, translation.

SACO-At-Large: There was a SACO workshop, presented by Janis Young, on the Friday of ALA, at the University of Chicago with 24 participants. Janis recommended that folks use the 952 field in the proposal form to indicate any issues about the proposal.

The Genre/Form Implementation Subcommittee has finished the general and literature lists and they appear on Tentative Lists for January and March 2015. The art project is now getting underway. Hybrids have continued to be an issue; can all terms be broken down? For example, "country rock music" is not "country music" or "rock music" but a genre of its own. There is also ambiguity about some music and performing arts terms, music and audiovisual terms, and music and literature specificity; some of these can be straightened out now that the basic terminology has been completed.

Greta de Groat of Stanford is chairing a joint SAC/OLAC task force to look at how LCSH handles games, i.e., should individual games be in NAF and game franchises remain in SAF? Janis and PSD had asked for assistance from the cataloging communities that deal most with these resources.

The IFLA Classification and Indexing Section has formed a Genre/Form Working Group.

There was discussion of the need for an LCSH "new and changed headings of interest." The Cataloging service bulletin, which has ceased publication, used to carry such a list. Some organizations, including ARLIS/NA, have some means to let their members know about relevant interesting headings, e.g., email messages, wikis, committee reports. LC does not have the resources to prepare such a list and no other general mechanism was apparent.

SAC Genre/Form Implementation Subcommittee (Saturday afternoon and Monday morning)

The General and Literature working groups have submitted their terms and they are on Tentative Lists for January and March 2015. The Literature group submitted 390 terms but 100 terms have been rejected for LCGFT and they will continue to work on the concepts to see if they can clarify the need, e.g., hybrids, subject-based and style terms. These will also be issues for the art group. The ATLA group has submitted their terms, some of which overlap with music, literature, and general terms; perhaps with the other terms live, it will be easier to move forward with the theological terms. Some are also related to class of person or ethnicity; LCDGT may allow for such terms as "Christian poetry" to move forward. LCMPT is now being applied at LC. Janis hopes that LCGFT may be implemented during 2015. No proposals for adds and changes are yet being accepted. MusLA will be holding a preconference on applying LCMPT and LCGFT at its conference in Denver in March. No LCSH headings or subdivisions have been cancelled yet; LC needs a critical mass of applying the genre/form terms before they feel they can stop the redundant subdivisions. Yael Mandelstam volunteered to do an inventory of genre/form capabilities in library systems.

The subcommittee is working on a genre/form manual along the lines of SHM. A good portion of the GFIS meetings was spent looking at revisions of SHM memos to handle genre/form headings. A working group is being established to look at the definition of genre and form; members of the group include people from the various disciplinary working groups, i.e., music, law, cartography, religion, audiovisual, and art.

Most of my notes from the GFIS meetings are preparatory for the work of the art group and I am going to do a separate report with more details.

ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee (Sunday afternoon)

The main topic for discussion was the DRAFT Checklist for Evaluating Metadata Standards which can be found at The blog is intended to bring awareness of metadata standards and resources and to be community-curated. Comments on the checklist: LC thinks it is high-level but on the right track; the Music Library Association thinks it more a declaration than a checklist, that the committee needs to be sure that it is maintained, and that it could use some definitions; Reinhold Heuvelmann of the DNB comments that it would be good if it helped to choose a metadata standard, helped you with criteria for choosing, and that some bullets are related and that relationship would be clearer if the bullets were adjacent, e.g., 2 and 8, 1 and 6; it would be good if it could serve as metadata “bill of rights” to use in discussions with administrators and providers; Reinhold also suggested that “selection, creation, maintenance, and governance” could be added to the introductory sentence; Thurstan Young of the BL suggested looking at the international cataloging principles as a model; “open” and “free to read” are also important concepts; probably need a business model. Someone mentioned that DCRM is free but supplementary to RDA, by design. The comment period on the checklist goes through March so that the committee can prepare for a forum at Annual in June.

Miscellaneous notes

* CC:DA: one paper before the committee in the past six months dealt with “Subject relationship element in RDA Chapter 23.” While subjects are important in art cataloging, this paper is high-level and doesn’t really address our perennial issues with buildings, ancient cities, and archeological sites. cf and

* New document from PCC Standing Committee on Training:
Training manual for applying relationship designators in bibliographic records

Compiled by Sherman Clarke

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