American Library Association
Midwinter Meeting (2017 January 20-23 : Atlanta, Ga.)
Report on cataloging, etc. meetings

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

The agenda and reports are posted at

Janis Young summarized her written report from the Library of Congress. The Policy and Standards Division is to be merged with the Cooperative and Instructional Programs Division. There is considerable overlap and intersection of their programs, including focus on standards, development of policy, responding to queries from the cataloging community, training, and documentation. Thirty new catalogers have been hired in ABA. The pilot of BIBFRAME 2.0 will begin this year (see also notes from BIBFRAME Update). Searching of Catalogers Desktop and Classification Web is being harmonized. The policy decision on the subject heading "Illegal aliens" will be announced soon. LCDGT (demographic group terminology) is now accepting proposals for new terms. There is a new publication on the card catalog entitled appropriately The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures, with a foreword by the new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden. Janis is working with Danny Joudrey of Simmons on new modules on subject cataloging as part of the Catalogers Learning Workshop:

The IFLA Library Reference Model (IFLA-LRM or LRM) has not received final IFLA approval but the RDA Steering Committee is moving forward in revising RDA to conform to LRM. RSC has a working group on fictitious entities since the scope of "person" does not include personas, spirits, fictitious characters, animals, etc. This theoretical distinction is partly semantic and RDA may very well include provisions for creating headings for fictitious entities but they will be "nomen" rather than "person" or "corporate body." No revision proposals will be accepted while RSC is working on absorbing LRM. RDA will be frozen from April 2017 to April 2018 though some changes will happen as RSC works on reorganization of the rules and ALA works on redesign of the RDA Toolkit.

The SAC program for ALA Annual this summer in Chicago will be on subject access to authority records with talks by Bob Maxwell and Adam Schiff.

The music thesauri for genre/form (LCGFT) and medium of performance (LCMPT) are moving from development to evolution. The music catalogers will be working on musical texts terminology for LCGFT (that is, texts about music). They will probably do overarching terms and let more specific terms be proposed as needed. Casey Mullin, the MLA representative, chaired a task force to write a white paper on implementing LCGFT and related faceted vocabularies.

Lia Contursi reported for the Subcommittee on Genre-Form Implementation (GFIS). Two proposals for MARC changes were approved: expansions to field 370 and 386. A group is working on terms for video games. GFIS also discussed the white paper on implementation, particularly to determine the primary audience, i.e., those who can expedite action. The basic issue is building the critical mass of metadata so that system developers and administrators see a benefit in providing access. The system developers also need to see demand from customers.

The second session of the SAC meeting started with presentations by Lia Contursi and Casey Mullin on developing and implementing, respectively, law and music genre/form terminology. Policy decisions on law terms included: being specific but not narrow; use general terms like "Dictionaries" rather than proposing "Law dictionaries"; cover both civil and common law systems in headings like "Statutes and codes" (statutes used in U.S., codes used elsewhere); not U.S.-centric through use of terminology like "legislative" rather than "congressional." After the terms had been developed, AALL worked on best practices for implementation and retrospective conversion. The significant issue was how to cover the jurisdiction since LCGFT is not used with geographical subdivision. After considering several options, the law catalogers settled on pairing of the genre/form term with a subject heading including the jurisdiction which may be (partly) redundant. The decision reflected current limited capabilities of library systems. The best practices document is available on the AALL website at:

Music catalogers are deconstructing LCSH strings into the constituent facets with terminology drawn from LCGFT, LCMPT, and LCDGT. Not all terminology has a new place yet and old-style LCSH strings are still being used, redundant with faceted headings. MLA and MOUG are working with Gary Strawn on automation of some of the conversion of existing strings into faceted terminology. Each LCSH string will result in at least one LCMPT and/or one LCGFT heading. Caseyís PowerPoint slides are to be mounted on the SAC page at ALA Connect.

In the Q&A after the talks, it was suggested that publishers and/or vendors might be able to supply some of the facet metadata. Someone asked about using linking subfield $8 to combine genre/form terms with medium of performance terms, and/or $3 to indicate the material specified, but these are not being actively considered.

In Caroline Saccucci's report on CIP, she mentioned that the National Gallery of Art is now in CIP via the Government Printing Office, along with National Endowment for the Arts and five other government agencies.

SAC Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation (Saturday p.m.)

Following discussion of the MARC Advisory Committee proposals on 370 and 386, there was discussion of outstanding needs. Casey Mullin (MLA) mentioned that it would be helpful in genre/form and faceted vocabulary retrospective conversion to know if the field was machine-generated or machine-adjusted, perhaps with a $w control subfield. [This was done in the OCLC "bib flip" to AACR2 in late 1980.]

Janis gave a report on developments at LC. The MARC Distribution Service has added MDSConnect, cloud-based distribution of MARC records. LCDGT does not use BTs, rather terms are collocated by category (age, educational level, ethnic/cultural, gender, language, etc.). It is acceptable to use LCDGT terms in 374 of name authority records though most catalogers are still using LCSH. The LCGFT manual is pretty much complete but some revisions need to happen.

During the discussion of demographic and/or religious genre/form terms, it was mentioned that ATLA has a Thesaurus of Religious Occupational Terms (TROT). Practices and Thesaurus/Thesaurus of Religious Occupational Terms Final.pdf

The video games working group is not yet official; that is, the project is not yet accepted by LC as part of LCGFT development. They continue to work on terms. Action and adventure fiction and films are together in LCGFT but the video games catalogers want to distinguish between action and adventure games.

The art genre/form terms were sent to Janis for her initial review before the ARLIS/NA conference in early February in New Orleans. We still need to determine how Reproductions will play out in LCGFT.

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

The agenda is available at with papers linked. The papers are discussed here in numerical order, first proposals and then discussion papers. Many, if not most, of the papers were developed to support linked data applications.

Proposal No. 2017-01: Redefining Subfield $4 to Encompass URIs for Relationships in the MARC 21 Authority and Bibliographic Formats. This paper came from the British Library in cooperation with the PCC Task Group on URIs in MARC. This will expand the use of $4 from simple relator codes to relationship codes and URIs, which will support linked data applications. The proposal passed as submitted.

Proposal No. 2017-02: Defining New Subfields $i, $3, and $4 in Field 370 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats. This SAC proposal will expand the options for describing how a place is related to the resource or entity. The proposal passed with the proviso that some wording may be revised.

Proposal No. 2017-03: Defining New Subfields $i and $4 in Field 386 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats. This SAC proposal will allow for more precision in describing the creator/contributor demographic characteristics. The proposal passed.

Proposal No. 2017-04: Using a Classification Record Control Number as a Link in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats. This German proposal passed with 083 omitted based on comments.

Proposal No. 2017-05: Defining a New Subfield in Field 340 to Record Color Content in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format. This ARLIS/NA proposal passed as amended. The subfield $g definition was changed from "Presence of color in the content of a resource. Achromatic values (white, gray, and black) are considered to be colors" to "Color characteristics of the content ..." based on MLA comment.

Proposal No. 2017-06: Adding Subfields $b, $2, and $0 to Field 567 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format. This proposal from the National Library of Finland for describing methodology passed as submitted.

Proposal No. 2017-07: Adding Value "No information provided" to the First Indicator of Field 070 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format. This Finnish proposal generated considerable discussion about the value of the indicators in call number fields. In 050 which is much used in North America, the first indicator notes whether the item is in LC and the second gives the source of the number. Field 070 was only used by the National Agricultural Library, only one indicator was defined and it was assumed that NAL supplied the number. The proposal mixes the two uses from 050, but was passed as submitted. Most of the MAC votes were unanimous but this one was not.

Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP01: Use of Subfields $0 and $1 to Capture Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) in the MARC 21 Formats. Most URIs used now in MARC records identify a record or authority entity describing a thing, not the thing itself (Real World Object). The Semantic Web needs to differentiate between these. While there is significant concern about using the last available subfield ($1) to capture this information, the need was supported. The group will continue working on this matter and it will come back to MAC as a proposal or perhaps a revised discussion paper.

Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP02: Defining Field 758 (Related Work Identifier) in the MARC 21 Authority and Bibliographic Formats. There was general support for the new field and it will come back as a proposal. Work on 2017-DP01 and 2017-01 may have some effect on this paper.

Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP03: Defining New Fields to Record Accessibility Content in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format. The Canadians withdrew the 007 portion of the paper. There was strong support for recording accessibility content. A question came up about accessibility hazards such as strobe light for which some would need a warning.

Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP04: Defining Subfields $u, $r and $z in Field 777 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format. There was general support for this Canadian discussion paper which will expand the use of this serial field for monographic accompanying material. This will come back as a paper.

Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP05: Providing Institution Level Information by Defining Subfield $5 in the 6XX Fields of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format. This German discussion paper generated significant online discussion before the conference. Subfield $5 has to date been used principally and significantly for marking copy-specific information. This would stretch the use to indicate metadata provenance rather than specificity to the resource. There are various ways to indicate the vocabulary being used in a 6XX. The discussion did not lead to any other clear way to answer the German need. No conclusion was reached and the paper may come back as another discussion paper.

LC report and business meeting
LC and the other MARC principals have developed a fasttrack process for some proposals for changes to the MARC 21 formats. Approved changes will be announced on the MARC list, there will be a 60-day moratorium before you should use them, they will be added in red to the online documentation and added to field history, no official update but they will be part of the next regular update to the format. Examples: 384 (musical key) made repeatable; 562 "archival" removed from description and generalized. The British Library is working on a paper to define a first indicator for Work or Expression; this evolved from their discussions on Discussion Paper 2017-DP02.

PCC Trainers Meeting (Friday p.m.)

Kathy Glennan reported on the IFLA-LRM, the successor to FRBR, FRAD, and FRSAR. The new entities are Agent, Collective Agent, Nomen, Place, and Time-span, along with Work, Expression, Manifestation, and Item (WEMI). The entities have equal weight rather than the primary focus on WEMI in FRBR. New concepts are aggregates, manifestation statements, and representative expression attributes. Kathy also discussed the RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign (3R) project. There will be a four-fold path: unstructured description, structured description, identifiers, and URIs. Customization will be enhanced. In the meantime, the Toolkit will be frozen from April 2017 to April 2018. RSC is insisting that the resulting post-freeze RDA is not RDA 2.0 [or AACR4] or anything of the sort; it's just a reorganized RDA. The freeze will allow for translations to be made current with the English-language text as well as the registration of vocabularies. RSC will be working on guidelines for missing entities such as fictitious entities. Joint pseudonyms are collective agent.

Judith Cannon reported on the BIBFRAME 2.0 pilot which will begin later this year. Pilot catalogers will be augmented by 30 more catalogers, from 6 units in ABA. Catalogers will be able to revise records which was not possible in the BF 1.0 pilot. Training materials will need to be modified.

The PCC Standing Committee on Training is working on policy statements for series, for supplements and special issues, and on relationship designators in authority records.

The PCC directory is being rebuilt so that PCC libraries will manage their profile rather than LC maintaining the information. Information on funnel members has been especially inconsistent.

RDA Forum (Saturday a.m.)

Kathy Glennan described the IFLA-LRM and changes to RDA based thereon. The user tasks are find, identify, select, obtain, and explore. The entitles are Res (a superclass of entity), Work, Expression, Manifestation, Item, Agent (two sub-entities: Collective Agent, Person), Nomen, Place, and Time-span. Entities have attributes and 37 are included in the LRM. Category and Note are described for Res and can be extended to other entities.

RDA will be an instantiation of LRM. Res will not be explicitly implemented. The new entities will need to be accommodated. Person will need to be redefined in RDA. RSC has a group working on aggregates.

The 3R (RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign) Project will result in a new layout with general guidance chapters and entity-based chapters. There will be a concordance of old to new rule numbers. The arrangement scheme may by alphanumeric to allow for rearrangement without concern about renumbering. The work on aggregates and accompanying materials will be folded into 3R.

The new RDA Toolkit is being developed by Dakota Systems, GVPi, and Metadata Management Associates. There is a user group of six members. It will be synched with Registry. Data conversion to DITA format will allow modularity and flexibility as well as customized views such as workflow view, element view, policy statement view, music cataloging view, DCRM view.

Language issues are tricky. For example, the Swedes use RDA in English but policy statements in Swedish that must be linked appropriately.

RSC Aggregates Working Group (report by Deborah Fritz at CC:DA, Monday a.m.)

The AWG prepared a discussion document for RSC:
Issues include selecting and arranging of aggregate expressions; description of aggregation limits how parts can be described; aggregates are Expressions but include Works; logical problems such as introduction in Expression including Works and you want a shortcut to Manifestation; whole/part not same as aggregation (contingent relationship); serial/issue is whole/part but issue can be single part or aggregate; want outcome/results to be compatible whether you consider whole/part or aggregate; "itís all about the relationships."

BIBFRAME Update (Sunday a.m.)

Sally McCallum showed the side-by-side display of MARC and BF developed by Index Data, allowing for searching display from ILS and output in BF. This will expedite the BF 2.0 pilot. Casalini, Ex Libris, and Sirsi/Dynix are experimenting with BF. Melanie Wacker and Rebecca Guenther are developing conversion specs for MODS to BF.

Beacher Wiggins described the BF 2.0 pilot which will kick off in May/June 2017. The BF 1.0 pilot catalogers continue to work one day a week in BF. BF 2.0 pilot will allow for record revision, the whole database will be accessible, subject strings will be possible. The editor has been updated. All formats, languages, and scripts will be included. BF 1.0 included 45 catalogers and another 40 will be added for BF 2.0.

Nancy Lorimer talked about LD4 Performed Music (Linked Date For Performed Music). BF extensions are needed for the domain community, i.e., MLA and ARSC. Needed extensions include titles and identifiers, thematic catalog numbers and statements, opus numbers and statements, declared medium of performance (as composed) and performed medium. This leads to issues about events [which are also being discussed by the ARTFRAME group].

Wayne Schneider of Index Data talked about their work on conversion of MARC to BF. They are building the BF 2.0 pilot database (19 million records = ca. 2 billion triples). He said the former number is not "big data" but the latter is. He quoted someone as saying that MARC data is dirty by design (punctuation across subfields; WEMI mashups).

Roy Tennant talked about OCLC Research work on Works. OCLC did WorldCat in BF in December 2012. WorldCat Works was built in 2014. They clustered by author/title, then genre and resource type, then extracted content-oriented fields (creator, description, subject, etc.). They used schema:CreativeWork for both VIAF Works and Expressions. They plan on working on BF and OCLC work identifiers. Again, "itís all about the relationships." That is, "translationOf" may be more important than whether you call it a Work or Expression.

Compiled by Sherman Clarke

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