Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI)
January 10-12, 1998 New Orleans, LA

Saturday, January 10 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monteleone, Vieux Carre

[Note: complete versions of all proposals and discussion papers are available at: gopher://]

Proposal No. 98-1: Redefinition of Field 210 (Abbreviated Key Title) in the USMARC Bibliographic Format. This proposal occasioned more discussion than most people expected, but the result was that the phrase "or identification" will be added to the Field Definition and Scope, to make clearer the distinction between 210 and 524, which is specifically for citation titles (and is not normally searchable). Passed, with amendments.

Proposal No. 98-5: Additional definition of field 080 (UDC). A suggestion was made that this field should be added to both the Community Information Format and the Authority Format. LC agreed to add 080 to CIF right away, and to add it to Authorities via the previously untried process of cross-format harmonization (which requires notification via email announcement). Passed.

Discussion Paper No. 106: New Type of date code. Lots of discussion on this one, primarily because of related problems with dates in other proposals, and a widespread feeling that using the fixed field dates in this way was overloading that area in ways that would not work well over time. LC agreed to continue with a proposal for this which would explicitly exclude non-Gregorian dates (ex. 5 in the paper seems to include them), and use 046 for incorrect dates that cannot be simply handled in the fixed field. As part of this, they will also propose some changes to 046 that have also been discussed, including using 046 for all multi-type date expansions, with a likely new date code that will refer to the 046 for complex date detail. Business meeting and announcements. LC is planning a new update to the Bibliographic Format, which will be the final update before the new edition (combining USMARC with UKMARC and CANMARC). All the formats will be reissued over the next two years, Bib and Authorities first, then perhaps Holdings. Sally announced that the ALA list of preservation processing terms is available on the USMARC website (, and that the NUC codes will soon be available as a searchable database. She also announced the official delay in LC's use of the changed indicator values for multiple personal surnames ( There was some dismay expressed (including by me) about the unfortunate implications of LC's decision to "superimpose" the use of indicator value "2" on NACO libraries for new names. There was also an announcement of the new guidelines for the coding of computer file maps (, which LC will begin using in about a month. In addition:

Proposal No. 98-3 : Expanding the use of field 028 (Publisher Number). This passed with little discussion, though a small change in definition which clarified its use somewhat. In addition the label for indicator 3 was changed to "Other music number."

Proposal No. 98-2: Definition of fields 541, 561, and 562 in the USMARC Holdings Format. Discussion on this proposal went round and round on the issue of whether such information could or should be maintained in holdings and bib, or belonged only in holdings, obviating the need for complex linkages to clarify relationships. There was less enthusiasm for the $8/h solution as discussion wore on, though it was clear that there were people who wanted to be able to embed for simple records, and not embed when complexity level was higher. In the end, the simple proposal to enable the fields in Holdings passed, with the questions of $8 and related proposals to make the fields obsolete in the bibliographic format deferred to a separate proposal. This would give the archival community a chance to discuss the implications of making those fields obsolete in the bibliographic format.

Sunday, January 11 2:00-5:30 p.m. Monteleone, Vieux Carre

Proposal No. 98-4: Elimination of tag conflicts in the USMARC Bibliographic, Community Information, and Holdings formats. RLG commented that they would welcome a broadening of 046, taking into consideration other discussions on dates (corrections, etc.). The PLA/CIF representative present said that the public library users of CIF weren't particularly concerned about using 046 instead of 004, but didn't want to wait for a long term solution. There was some discussion about rationalizing 046 in bib and CIF (making subfields match better, primarily), but decided that it made no sense to do it "on the fly" and the CIF community didn't want to wait. Passed, as written.

Proposal No. 98-6: Definition of value s (Electronic) in 008 character positions. Though everyone admitted that this was a clear instance of redundant coding, even those using multiple versions were willing to deal with it, so long as it could be carried in 843$7 in Holdings. Map librarians preferred option 2, because then the coding for atlases and electronic materials don't conflict, since they have no place to code "type" in this list. OCLC preferred option 1, because it allowed coding for microform maps, which had already been identified as a problem. They also felt it to be an advantage that option 1 allowed for consistent display across formats, which would be easier for catalogers. Passed, with option 1.

Discussion Paper No. 105: Reading program information. After considerable discussion (during which time the MARBIs learned more about school reading programs than they *ever* wanted to know), some conclusions were reached. It was agreed to use one field, rather than a combination of fields, the 5XX block was preferred. LC will move forward with a proposal.

Discussion Paper No. 104: Definition of Field 007 (Physical Description Fixed Field) for tactile materials in the USMARC Bibliographic and Holdings formats. Some interesting discussion about a very specialized need led to another decision for a proposal. In this case there was general support for use of multiple 007 fields for combinations of materials, rather than trying to code for specific combinations.

Discussion Paper No. 107: Defining Field 856 in the USMARC Authorities Format. This paper generated some rather acrimonious discussion, with polar opposites of opinions and some very strange bedfellows. In general, opponents (of which I was one) were concerned about issues of maintenance of 856 fields in authority records, since we still don't do very well with them in bibs. There was also some concern that moves towards multi-lingual authorities and internationalization in general, just beginning to be discussed, might not mesh well with this proposal. In addition, several participants suggested that information of this kind belongs more in CIF records than in authority records, and questioned the ultimate usefulness of URLs in records that may in future be used primarily for manipulation of headings in an automated environment. LC will likely come forward with a proposal, but timing is uncertain, given the range of issues discussed.

Reports of Task Forces:

For the first time in living memory, the regular Monday meeting of MARBI was cancelled for lack of agenda.

Unofficial notes by D. Hillmann