ALA Annual, Chicago, Illinois
Sunday, July 12, 2009
11:00 A.M. - 12:00 Noon
Palmer House, Chicago Room
Welcome and SACO website redesign
Paul Frank, Cooperative Programs Section, Library of Congress, welcomed attendees and explained the timing conflict between the SACO-at-Large meeting and the Subject Analysis Committee (SAC) meeting. Because of this conflict, SAC attendees would possibly be arriving late to the SACO-at-Large meeting.
Frank gave a virtual tour of the newly-redesigned SACO website, explaining the reasoning behind the changes to the site: the site is intended for use primarily by current SACO participants, so information that participants need most is ranked higher in priority. Web redesigners on the Cooperative Programs Section ranked the SACO webform for submitting new proposals the most important feature of the website, so a link to that webform is in the most prominent position of the site. Frank also called attention to a new SACO website document: SACO Proposal Workflow. This document outlines the route a SACO proposal takes at LC. The Cooperative Programs Section and the Policy and Standards Division (PSD) are committed to a six-week turnaround time for processing SACO proposals, meaning that no more than six weeks should pass between the time a proposal is submitted and the time a final decision is made on it in PSD. PCC Secretariat Judith Cannan commented that since October 2008, 95% of SACO proposals have met this six-week turnaround time.
Frank also highlighted the new Cooperative Programs at the Library of Congress webpage, which is an introduction to all the programs now under the umbrella of the Cooperative and Instructional Programs Division (COIN): the constituent programs of the PCC (SACO, NACO, BIBCO, CONSER), the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC), and the Cataloger's Learning Workshop (CLW).
FY 2009 Mid-year (March 2009) statistics show an increase of 4% for new SACO proposals over the same period for FY 2008. The 50,000th SACO proposal is expected to be contributed before the end of FY 2009. This 50,000th proposal will be acknowledged and there will be a celebration in its honor at the SACO-at-Large meeting at the Mid-winter meeting in January 2010.
Dr. Athena Salaba, guest speaker, Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD)
Guest speaker Dr. Athena Salaba, Assistant Professor at the School of Library & Information Science at Kent State University, presented an overview of the work of the International Federation of Library Association's (IFLA) Working Group on Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records (FRSAR). This working group issued a draft report titled Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD) on June 10, 2009, and will deliver it at IFLA's General Conference and Council in Milan in August 2009. Dr. Salaba prepared a slide presentation (PDF, 4.66MB) for the SACO-At-Large meeting to highlight the contents of the report and invited comment by July 31, 2009.
Questions for Dr. Salaba:
- Q: How does FRSAD fit in with RDA?
- A: RDA is mostly description, but has a place holder for a future chapter on subjects as entities. The FRSAD model is more abstract to cover many systems, trying to be flexible, but is also tied to current systems (such as LCSH).
- Q: Will the working group deal with "is-ness"?
- A: "Is-ness" is not "subject" -- it belongs to description. The working group is dealing instead with "about-ness."
Genre/Form Projects at the Library of Congress
Frank reported that Janis Young, PSD genre/form projects coordinator, had prepared the following Genre/Form Projects Update for presentation at ALA.
Proposed LC project to add Narrower Terms (NT) to LCSH records
There was a general discussion of a proposed Library of Congress project to add Narrower Term (NT) references in LCSH records. This project would be achieved in the Voyager ILS system using the Cataloger's Toolkit developed by Gary Strawn at Northwestern University. LC would process all LCSH authority records to add 5XX $w h Narrower Term references as appropriate. Catalogers proposing new or updated headings in LCSH would not need to change any workflows; the addition if the Narrower Terms would be achieved solely through machine manipulation. Frank stressed that this project is in the discussion stage only. At this point, input is being sought from users such as PCC partners, data exchange partners, system vendors, and Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) customers. The project has not been tested, and the impact on CDS products, such as the six-volume print copy of LCSH, needs to be explored. Frank will continue discussion of this proposed project on the SACO listserv.
Mandatory SACO program training
Should SACO training be mandatory? Currently there is no required training for participation in the SACO program, although LCSH training is promoted as "highly desirable." Cooperative Programs Section members often spend an inordinate amount of time editing and re-working SACO proposals submitted by members who are not familiar with the provisions of the Subject Headings Manual (SHM) or with SACO procedures in general. In view of the newly-mandated six-week turnaround time in the processing of incoming proposals, the amount of time expended on editing sub-standard contributions is no longer feasible. Requiring mandatory training for all new SACO members should eliminate the contribution of these sub-standard proposals, at least from any new members. Basic Subject Cataloging Using LCSH, a freely-available (on the CLW website) Cooperative Cataloging Training (CCT) course, would be an ideal workshop to present to new SACO members. Additional SACO-specific workshops also have been used in previous ALA preconference training venues and may be updated to be used for formal SACO training. If training is made mandatory, the balance needs to be assessed between the time the Cooperative Programs Section staff members and SACO mentors would devote to prepare and present training to new SACO members, and the benefit of improved SACO contribution quality and the need for less editing at the point of submission. In order to deal with current SACO members whose contribution quality is poor, and in light of the newly-mandated six-week turnaround time in the processing of incoming SACO proposals, provisions in the PCC Governance document regarding low-producers and sub-standard contributions will need to be employed to provide retraining opportunities to current SACO members who are contributing proposals that require considerable editing at the point of contribution.
Frank asked attendees to think about how SACO training is given locally; for example, how do current SACO members train new staff to make SACO contributions? Information on this topic would be extremely helpful in preparing training plans, should mandatory SACO training become a program requirement.
A comment from the audience warned planners to think about international implications. Often international participants need to be self-supporting, and few regional trainers are available. Frank replied that this is another strong reason for web-based training in SACO procedures.
Frank also will raise this mandatory SACO training issue for further discussion on the SACO listserv.
The meeting adjourned at 12:10 PM.
Frank encouraged participants to monitor the SACO Website and listserv that will announce the topic scheduled for discussion at the ALA Midwinter Conference in Boston in 2010.