American Library Association
Midwinter Meeting (2007 January 19-23 : Seattle, Wash.)
Report on cataloging, etc. meetings
ALCTS/LITA/RUSA Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee
(MARBI) (Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon)
Agenda -- http://www.loc.gov/marc/marbi/mw2007_age.html -- includes link to
proposals and discussion papers. This report is in paper order rather than in order
Proposal No. 2007-01: Definition of subfields $b and $j in field 041 in the MARC 21
Bibliographic Format Subfield $j was added for language of subtitles or captions.
Subfield $b will be redefined for summaries or abstracts. While these are similar bits of
information, a resource may have both a summary and subtitles, in different languages.
Proposal No. 2007-02: Incorporating invalid former headings in 4XX fields of the
MARC 21 Authority Format A methodology for coding former headings was approved
but not the one in the proposal. The approved method basically follows a list message
from Gary Strawn: 4XX $w/1 (the second position) will get a new code that will be
defined “Do not display in any reference structure” and $w/2 will be coded “e” for earlier
established heading (national authority file) or “o” for earlier established heading (other
authority file). Subfield $i would be used as in the paper for explanatory information.
Proposal No. 2007-03: Addition of subfield $5 in fields 533 and 538 Approved for
giving context to reproduction or system details information, and also approved for
parallel fields 843 and 538 in the MARC 21 Holdings format
Discussion Paper No. 2007-DP01: Changes for the German and Austrian conversion
to MARC 21 To my mind, this was perhaps the most interesting part of the MARBI
discussions. Most interesting, but also speculative. Some of the stickiest wickets are
related to the differences in cataloging rules between the Anglo-American and the
German-Austrian communities. The notes below are divided by the sections in the
discussion paper. Most of the matters will come forward as proposals or revised
2.1: Add subfield for authority control number to entry fields General support.
OCLC already has a local subfield to link names to NAF. LCSH is tougher because
control is done at the subfield level. Subfield $0 is for MARC Organization Code but one
might want to link to thesaurus instead of, or in addition to, MARC Org Code for
authority file; therefore, probably need $2’s sprinkled about in addition to $0.
2.2: Add subfield for bibliographic set record control numbers to series entry fields
General support again but recognition that you need to know if $0 is to an authority
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record or another bib record. Perhaps $w could be used for bib links, or other bib linking
fields in 76X or 78X block.
2.3: Add subfield for authority record control numbers in authority field 260 Looks
2.4: Normalization of numbers and names The algorithm for normalization is not
standardized and practice is mixed. Nonetheless, if the Germans and Austrians want to
use it and uninterested parties can turn it off (no index, no display), no problem.
2.5: Codes for record levels of multivolume monographs and series My notes are a
little weak here but I think there was general support for this one too.
2.6: Add indication of paper acidity Adding a byte to 007s is difficult. Need another
value for mixed acidity. Might need indication in holdings as well as bib. Probably some
further work needed.
2.7: Add new codes for nature of contents of books
2.8: Add new codes for nature of contents of serials
Since the codes would be for genres of resources that MARC 21 has not coded for, there
was concern about establishing the five values in these two sections. Not others that
might be of more concern to existing users of MARC 21? It was suggested that the
Germans/Austrians might use 655 and they will investigate.
2.9: Add subfield for canceled or invalid National Bibliography Number in field 015
Why not? General surprise that it wasn’t already there.
2.10: Add subfield for specification of assigning institution for subject headings So
far, MARC 21 has not been asked to specify assigning institution in addition to
specifying thesaurus. Need a principles statement. Concern about responsibility at
element level (rather than record level). Some German/Austrian libraries might use
different number of elements, or combined headings. This might be relevant to using
AAT and wanting to say both that the terms are taken from AAT and that a particular
institution had built a modified descriptor (only really matters if you have a record with
evidence of multiple institutions building it).
2.11: Add indicator for type of uncontrolled keywords in field 653 General support,
and should probably add indicators for genre/form and chronological terms
2.12: Add field for replacement record information Though no particular problems
here, we have not asked our systems to get us from a deleted record to the replacement
record. The discussion paper pointed to authority field 682 (see next item) which I don’t
think is much used in MARC 21.
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2.13: Record control numbers in 682 deleted heading information Deleted headings
in AACR2/NACO practice are more often handled by references or including deleted
record control numbers. Maybe control number could be added to reference.
2.14: Add a new field for geographic name added entry General support for idea,
specific indication that new field option (751) was cleaner than using 752 for this
purpose. Since the conference, there has been a significant discussion of using this same
methodology for showing relationships of other entities that are normally thought of as
subjects (FRBR Group 3 entities) but do sometimes play a non-topical role. Buildings
and parks, for example. Adam Schiff suggested a new heading use code for subjects valid
as added entry, but not main entry. I was reminded of earlier discussions of 655/755 and
752/662 where neither 6XX nor 7XX was able to address all situations. This discussion
has also moved into the need for statements of responsibility. The list archive may be
viewed at http://listserv.loc.gov/listarch/marc.html. Examples of relevant messages in the
February 2007 archive have subject lines: Buildings as names; Iceland comments
(formerly “took place at relationship”); Statement of responsibility in RDA draft
(formerly “[MARC] Iceland comments”); Statements of responsibility; took place at
2.15: Add subfield for former call numbers Options for 852 or 084. Some preference
for 852. NLM uses 852 and gives location as “Former call number.”
2.16: Add field or subfield for normalized form of dates of publication and/or
sequential designation General consensus that we don’t want to use 362 because we
don’t want this information to display. New field could parse the start and end
information for serials, and this would be preferred over using 863 in bib record.
Discussion Paper No. 2007-DP02: Use of field 520 for content advice statements
Answers to the questions in the paper: yes, we should extend format to provide for
content alerts; OLAC strongly suggests new value rather than redefining value 2; yes,
source of content advice should be given; OLAC strongly supports giving content alerts
in separate 520 from other summary info; straw vote preference for using 520 rather than
defining a new field (521) for content alert.
Discussion Paper No. 2007-DP03: Recording the linking ISSN (ISSN-L) in the
MARC 21 Bibliographic, Authority, and Holdings Formats Strong support for new
subfields for linking ISSNs rather than using indicator, with subfields for cancelled and
invalid ISSN-Ls as well as for valid ones.
Discussion Paper No. 2007-DP04: Addition of field 004 for linking between
bibliographic records in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format No specific action will
come from this discussion paper, and OCLC will develop its own (short-term?) solution
to linking master and institution records. VTLS uses 004 for FRBR purposes but hasn’t
communicated the records. MicroLIF could imagine such a technique for reprints which
copy ISBNs. Even if communication is not usual, linking device would promote standard
practice among ILS vendors. The proposed use of 004 is a simple answer for a particular
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need and further discussion might come of more robust answer for a variety of related
links. OCLC probably won’t pursue another discussion paper at this time.
Business and reports
Bill Moen reported on a program entitled “Informing the future of MARC: an empirical
approach” which MARBI is co-sponsoring and which is based on work at the University
of North Texas. They have analyzed the use of MARC fielding in 56 million
bibliographic records, including looking at FRBR tasks and evolution of usage. The
program is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Saturday at ALA Annual in Washington. cf
There will also be a program on METS, MODS, MIX and other metadata matters on
which Brian Tingle (CDL), Rebecca Guenther (LC), and Tom Habing (UIUC,
interoperability and preservation) will be panelists. LC will be sponsoring a PREMIS
tutorial at LC in conjunction with ALA Annual.
Two papers on RDA were presented. The RDA/ONIX Framework for Resource
Categorization discusses the work to clarify categories of content, carrier, and format.
This will play into RDA development of the successor to GMD and SMD. The
RDA/MARC Report includes a spreadsheet mapping MARC data elements to RDA data
elements; a mapping the other way is to be prepared.
LC report: update 7 is completed and will be available in PDF and print (not up as PDF
until print comes back from GPO, though the HTML version will be up sooner);
language codes new edition in a couple of months, online; specifications document done
and will be online soon.
ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group
(“Big Heads”) (Friday morning) http://www.loc.gov/library/bigheads/
Beth Picknally Camden gave an overview of PennTags. They hope to be post-beta soon
and will do a publicity rollout at Penn. They are talking about becoming Open Source,
maybe as “eduTags.” http://tags.library.upenn.edu Some of the follow-on work they are
doing or considering: RSS feeds; continued integration of social tagging into catalog;
analysis of how library cataloging fares (SACO proposals for new headings or references;
granularity of tags vs subject headings comparable?; hot topics or curriculum-related);
relation of tagging to other educational goals.
Discussion on the effect of increased digital content on staffing in technical services:
need higher level of staff? in cat? or acq?; need for new or different staff more that digital
content is new than that it is different (hasn’t yet been routinized) but maybe pace of
change has accelerated; LC is testing cat/acq combination in digital content; Yale is
trying to move subject specialists into new skills as metadata builders; hard to balance
regular continuing flow with projects and experiments; nimbleness needed in staff and in
redescription of tasks; helpful to work with task forces, cross-unit, partnering, tribes,
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subcultures, across barriers; need to balance tasks with skill sets and personalities
(attitude, willingness, excitement); spread the word via salons, breaks, discussions.
Katharine Farrell and others reported about the Taiga2 forum which convenes associate
university librarians from across the spectrum of functions. cf http://www.taigaforum.org/
John Riemer led a discussion on “cataloging reconsidered”: what is “original” in
cataloging now (general consensus that authority work and classification continue to be
“original” work even if done by non-MLS); description starts early and is done by all
sorts of staff members; some libraries have considerable original cataloging done by non-
MLS, e.g., Princeton, Cornell); overseeing standards and policies usually done by
professionals; PCC participation has increased ability on part of support staff; relation to
shelf-ready processing. Would a central file make sense rather than everybody having
their own ILS with bib and authority records duplicated thousands of times? OCLC/RLIN
combination. How do the central elements interact with local data such as acquisitions
and circulation? Federated searching vs harvesting? When do you shelve the book?
(depends on description needs; adding subject words even if not LCSH; class on receipt
used at Stanford and Cornell with bib replacement as available). Stanford uses class
numbers for RSS feeds, lists of electronic resources, database pages, and collection
Subject Analysis Committee Subcommittee on FAST (Friday evening)
Ed O’Neill gave an update on the FAST project (Faceted Application of Subject
Terminology). There are now 1.4 million records in the FAST Authority File at
http://fast.oclc.org/. A new draft of the FAST manual was released in January 2007 (also
available from the cited FAST site). It is still a work in progress but does have value as
instruction in subject analysis beyond its basic use in applying FAST. For the moment,
events are still being coded 111 (conference name) rather than topic (150) as users might
guess. (Of course, subject as distinct from lots of other headings is ambiguous.)
Currently, uniform titles are being constructed as titles with author qualifiers when
appropriate. The project will be extended for at least a year or two, with work on events,
titles, and forms in the coming year. Geographic terms for bodies of water are currently
being divided indirectly from the larger body of water or nation, e.g., Pacific Ocean --
Puget Sound; United States -- Missouri River. FAST is being kept in mind by those on
the SWOT subcommittee. We subcommittee members had done some experimenting
with applying FAST headings to various titles, with Arlene Taylor as the coordinator of
the experiment. Since Arlene wasn’t able to be at the conference, we discussed the
experiment but rather lightly.
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RLG Technical Services Strategy Focus Group (Friday afternoon)
RLG has pulled 53 million PCMs (primary cluster members) and they’re being sent to
OCLC for matching. Approximately 2 million are being processed every day. A new
master record is created when a match is not found in OCLC. In the first 8 million
records, 1.3 million records were added and about 100,000 records have been enhanced,
e.g., subject headings from another thesaurus, contents notes, summaries. No scripts yet.
Phase II for RLG will be extraction of records for those that asked RLG to send records
to OCLC (starts in March) and this will start the creation of institution records.
Connexion 2.0 (release mid 2007) will allow the generation of authority records from
local bib records (as RLIN21 does). The institution records will be in a different database
with a different Z39.50 address. Connexion 1.7 included viewing of historical versions of
authority records. SCIPIO will be possible as a scoped view in FirstSearch and can have
different indexing and tailored displays. The working group on pricing is talking and
letters about pricing will probably go out in March.
Programs: UCLA, Oregon, Alberta, Washington have become partners since the
RLG/OCLC combination; WorldCat Identities is a smarter Wikipedia and is in beta
(static pages); RLG Partners meeting may expand beyond technical services at future
Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (Saturday afternoon, Monday
Much of the discussion centered on RDA. Jennifer Bowen will be ending her term as JSC
representative after ALA Annual (with much excitement as she is involved with the
development of the Extensible Catalog at the U of R, cf http://www.extensiblecatalog.info/).
Many of the concerns of the Americans are not shared by other constituents, and the
process won’t stop in order to address all of the American concerns (see also
Coyle/Hillmann bullet under miscellaneous notes at the end of this report). Robert
Maxwell, Paul Weiss and John Attig are studying alternative outlines for RDA, trying to
incorporate Tillett’s taxonomies.
Barbara Tillett’s LC report is available from the CC:DA agenda on the committee
webpage cited above. Some highlights: authority records will be enhanced for vernacular
scripts through 4XXs for variants and 7XXs for authorized script versions; Chinese forms
of name will be added to LCC and Arabic will be added eventually; moving image
form/genre terminology is being expanded, and music will follow; beta testing is
underway for metasearching; LC will implement the timeout feature in the authority file
that is already in the catalog.
ALA Publishing gave a report on RDA. The database development manager will be
meeting with Tom Delsey (editor) soon, looking at what needs to be in the platform and
how the platform interacts with the structure. They will be working with the first draft
version and update to the final version.
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Implementation of the CONSER standard record has been postponed though NLM has
announced they will begin to implement some of it, not sending new records to the
CONSER database and coding them as “interim” in 042.
RDA Forum (Saturday afternoon)
Beacher Wiggins described the concerns of the Committee of Principals. Marjorie Bloss
discussed the progress of the project. Jennifer Bowen talked about rule details. Their
presentations are available at http://www.collectionscanada.ca/jsc/rda.html#presentations.
The COP concerns: that RDA be accepted, flexible, practical, readily adopted, users
oriented, and that the timeline be reasonaby quick. Documentation of implementation
will be pared down, not the massive RIs of 1980 when AACR2 was implemented. Bloss
recommended looking at the pilot online product at http://www.rdaonline.org. The Joint
Steering Committee is using “preferred title” rather than the “citation” or “citation title”
that was especially troublesome to law catalogers. Work continues on mode of issuance,
internationalization, persistent IDs, appendices, access points for families (LC proposal),
examples, and glossary. Groups are looking at all AACR2 examples to see if they have a
place in RDA.
Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group (Sunday morning)
Diane Hillmann (Cornell) spoke on the metadata management layer. Such a layer would
be separate from data silos, allow more expeditious management of metadata, and
expedite migration. Such a layer might include terminology services, library portal, OAI
harvesting, georeferencing, and normalization. It would work at the statement level rather
than the record level. Harvesting help gets around the pecularities of metadata schemas.
cf http://managemetadata.org Jody Perkins (Miami University) spoke on metadata project
planning and management. Suzanne Pilsk (Smithsonian Institution Libraries) spoke about
the Biodiversity Heritage project. cf http://bhl.si.edu/
SACO-At-Large (Sunday morning)
The final editing of the 2nd edition of the SACO participants’ manual is now underway.
It will be issued in PDF only (not “published” in print). A classification proposal form is
now available within ClassWeb, with documentation on the SACO home page at
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/saco/saco.html. John Mitchell is building a SACO course
in Blackboard and hopes to unveil it at ALA Annual. It will be offered every couple
months. Jimmie Lundgren (Florida) presented “Geographic coordinates in authority
records.” OCLC has a macro to build 034 from 255 in bibliographic records.
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* Oxford Art Online will expand on Grove Art Online which already has some related
* There is usually some topic that is on the tip of every tongue. This time, it was the
Coyle/Hillmann article on “Resource Description and Access (RDA): Cataloging Rules
for the 20th Century.” Karen and Diane, with Paul Weiss, are talking about writing an
alternative version of RDA (mainly the conceptual framework, not the individual rules).
Not that it’s likely to replace the current version. The article appears in the
January/February 2007 issue of D-Lib magazine. Also in that issue is “The Online
Library Catalog: Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained?” by Karen Markey. cf
* The Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control website may be found at
* The 2006 annual report of the LC Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate
may be found at http://www.loc.gov/catdir/aba06.pdf
* A new edition of the N class is projected for 2007.
... other ALA reports ...
... Sherman’s cataloging page ...
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