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The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > Annual Reports > 1997/1998 Annual Report

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Compiled by the Library of Congress
Serial Record Division, October 1998



During 1997/1998 CONSER celebrated its 25th anniversary and its first year as a constituent member of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC). [The annual report of the PCC is available on the PCC home page.] As a result of the merger with PCC, there was no separate CONSER Policy Committee meeting; however, several CONSER policy representatives served on the PCC Policy Committee, which met in November. The CONSER Operations Committee met at the Library of Congress in May in conjunction with the first BIBCO Operations Committee meeting. CONSER At Large meetings were held at both mid-winter and annual ALA meetings. Jean Hirons continued as CONSER Coordinator, assisted by CONSER Specialist, Bill Anderson.

CONSER membership remained at 33 members, including all categories. The CONSER database grew to 856,618 records with the addition of almost 34,000 new records. During the year a concentrated effort was made to incorporate the statistics from the US Newspaper Program into the CONSER statistics, since USNP records are a part of the CONSER database. As a result, the year-end statistics reflect partial coverage of USNP records.

Institutions that were approached about membership most often cited workflow considerations or lack of adequate staff for not being able to apply. The necessity for CONSER members to work directly on OCLC continued to be a challenge to membership, particularly for institutions that are not OCLC members and those wishing to catalog directly on their local system. Several libraries expressed interest in joining the Program but were not currently NACO participants.

CONSER lost a number of people during the year who have been influential in the Program. Kimberly Dobbs, Chief of the Serial Record Division, retired from the Library of Congress in early 1998. Since coming to the Division in 1981, Dobbs played a major role in the development and support of CONSER. He served on both the Policy and Executive Committees and was actively involved with CONSER activities within the Division. During the summer, Liz Bishoff announced that she was resigning from OCLC. As OCLC's liaison to CONSER and the PCC, Bishoff played a major role in the developments of both programs during recent years. Odette Shepherd, CONSER policy representative from Indiana and long-time supporter of the program also retired in July. And Brian Schottlaender, who neither resigned nor retired, did, however, complete his term as Chair of the PCC Policy Committee and his active involvement with the program. Schottlaender served as chair of the CONSER Policy Committee before CONSER merged with PCC and was very influential in the merger of the programs. We will miss all of these people.


CONSER 25th Anniversary

CONSER celebrated its 25th anniversary in June with a reception at the Library of Congress and focus on CONSER at the PCC Participants meeting that followed. Current and former CONSER catalogers, coordinators, and administrators joined together to celebrate CONSER's achievements and their own contributions to the program. Winston Tabb (LC) highlighted CONSER's achievements and thanked the many individuals who have contributed over the years. The reception also marked the official announcement of the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (see below). Tributes to CONSER from ALA and NASIG were given by Alex Bloss (ALA) and Beverly Geer (Trinity), respectively. At the PCC Participants meeting, Hirons presented a slide show that outlined CONSER's achievements and dispelled the myths about CONSER. CONSER members Mechael Gago (Indiana) and Jennifer O'Connell (EBSCO) joined Cecilia Leatham (University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla.) in providing remarks on the benefits of CONSER from three perspectives--CONSER participant, serials vendor, and a non-participant. Articles on the anniversary were published in the Library of Congress Information Bulletin and the National Library of Canada's National Library News.

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AACR Revision

Jean Hirons and Crystal Graham (U.C. San Diego) presented their paper "Issues Related to Seriality" at the International Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR which was held Oct. 23-25, 1997 in Toronto. Although Hirons and Graham were invited as individuals, much of the paper's success was due to the many recommendations and ideas generated by the CONSER AACR Review Task Force. Subsequent to the conference, Hirons was asked to coordinate efforts to produce rule revision proposals in support of the recommendations in the paper.

Hironsorganized four groups to work on the revision process. Group 1 (Definitions), chaired by Hirons, was charged with the redefinition of 'serial' and other definitions, as well as considering options for title change entry conventions. Group 2A (Description), chaired by Kristin Lindlan (U. Washington) was charged with considering changes to the description of serials. They began by considering which aspects of the cataloging constituted "transcription" and which "identification." Group 2B (Description of electronic serials), chaired initially by Pamela Simpson (Pennsylvania State University) and later by Les Hawkins (LC), decided to conduct a survey of electronic journals in order to make recommendations on sources of the title and other aspects of the description. Group 3 (Access), chaired by Sara Shatford Layne, was charged with considering what constitutes a title change, the use of uniform and key titles, and how records created according to different entry conventions might be linked in the catalog.

In April, Hirons and Regina Reynolds (LC) developed a proposal to implement what they called "Modified Model C." This arose from the complications of redefining 'serial.' The model and a discussion paper were posted on the CONSER Web site and were discussed at meetings during the ensuing months. Hirons met with the Joint Steering Committee following ALA in early July and was encouraged to pursue this direction. At the meeting, the time frame for revisions was changed to two years in order to provide adequate time for international review.

During the annual CONSER Operations Committee meeting in May, Sara Shatford Layne (UCLA) offered a new convention for handling title changes on electronic serials called "incorporating entry." The convention mixes successive and latest entry practices and would allow for multiple records in the national database and a single record in an institution's local database. It will be tested by several groups to determine whether it is a viable option.

The CONSER AACR Review Task Force, chaired by Layne, continued its oversight of the process, meeting at both ALA meetings and helping to set time frames and agendas.

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USMARC Changes

CONSER members helped draft proposals and discussion papers and participated in discussions MARBI meetings for serial-related changes to the USMARC format. All were approved by MARBI but some have yet to be implemented.

Change in fixed field usage for electronic publications (Leader/06). The practice of treating all electronic resources as "computer files" in the USMARC format was changed during the spring, in large part due to CONSER. Rather than coding all electronic resources with type code 'm' and using the computer file 008 fixed field, electronic resources are now coded for their content. Those that are primarily textual, which includes most electronic serials, are now coded 'a'and use the serials 008 fixed field. This was an important victory for serials because a number of systems could not make proper use of field 006 (where serial information was stored under the prior practice). Jean Hirons worked with the LC's Network Development and MARC Standards Office on a succession of MARBI proposals and CONSER catalogers lent their support at MARBI meetings at which the proposals were discussed. Following implementation, a document explaining the new practice was added to the CONSER Web site and the fixed field section of the CONSER Editing Guide was revised.

856 field further definition. The growth of online versions and the popularity of the CONSER single-record option led, in part, to the approval of new indicator values that identify the relation of the electronic location to the work being described (i.e., the same thing, a version, a related work). MARBI quickly approved the proposal and OCLC implemented it in the spring.

URLs in name authority records. John Riemer (U. Georgia) proposed that the 856 field be defined for use in name authority records (NARs). His reasoning was that NARs that were available to the public could serve as important gateways to corporate home pages that would alleviate the need to catalog such sites. The proposal was passed by MARBI during its June 1998 meeting.

210 field. CONSER sponsored a proposal to expand the use of field 210 (abbreviated key title) to non-key titles. The National Library of Medicine and National Agricultural Library were contributors to the proposal which was approved by MARBI but has yet to be implemented by OCLC and others.


Operations Committees met together for first time

This year's CONSER Operations Committee meeting was held in conjunction with the inaugural meeting of the BIBCO Operations Committee. Both joint and separate sessions were held and committee members met together for dinner the first evening. While the joint sessions reduced the available time for CONSER/serials-specific discussion, the opportunity to meet with BIBCO colleagues was appreciated. The first session included a presentation by Hirons and Reynolds on their proposal for implementing a modified Model C upon which AACR2 rule revision proposals would be based. The presentation led to a lively discussion with broad participation. At the conclusion of the meetings, participants offered several vision statements for the PCC and reviewed action items from the tactical plan. The Committees agreed to hold future meetings concurrently to allow for both joint and separate sessions.

Topics of discussion at the CONSER meeting included AACR revision, training initiatives, documentation, and the disposition of abstracting and indexing information in CONSER records. The summary of the meeting is available on the CONSER Web site.

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CONSER A&I/ISSN Issues Task Force

The primary activity of the year involved working with OCLC to develop a location for 510 fields removed from CONSER records. The task force worked on a form and procedures and the instructions were added to the CONSER Editing Guide. The fields will be removed when the records exceed the maximum length allowed by OCLC and additional information needs to be added to the record. By storing the 510 fields, they can be re-added to records when the allowable record length is extended.

Working Group on Access to Serials in "Aggregator" Full-text Databases

An issue of concern raised at the CONSER Operations meeting was how libraries could provide access for full text journals contained in large aggregator databases, such as EBSCOHOST, LexisNexis, and ABI Inform. Ruth Haas (Harvard), Jeanne Baker (U. Maryland) and John Riemer (U. Georgia) agreed to pursue the issue. They conducted a survey of CONSER libraries, met with representatives from EBSCO, and presented their findings at the CONSER At Large meeting in June. Based on the discussion, the three agreed to pursue various avenues, including surveying participants to determine the databases most in use and projects to catalog titles similar to the Major Microforms project of earlier decades.


Module 21, Modifying CONSER Records

Bill Anderson (LC) completed the work on a new module for the CONSER Cataloging Manual with the help of LC and other CONSER catalogers. The module provides a gathering tool for the procedures and policies for modifying CONSER records. Because record modification constitutes the majority of CONSER work and is somewhat unique to CONSER serials catalogers, this module will be very useful as a training tool for new members.

Legal and Rare Serials Modules

Rhonda Lawrence (UCLA) produced an initial draft of a legal serials module that was distributed to CONSER catalogers in the spring. The module is scheduled for completion in late 1998.

Jane Gillis (Yale) and Juliet McLaren (UC Riverside) continued work on a rare serials module, meeting with Jean Hirons during ALA to discuss issues and progress.


CONSER Curriculum

John Riemer (U. Georgia) completed work on a curriculum for training new CONSER participants. Judy Knop (ATLA) and Faye Leibowitz (Pittsburgh) also contributed to the effort. The curriculum provides a suggested order for instructing new members on CONSER procedures, discusses local considerations, provides helpful hints for efficiencies from other participants, and includes references to CONSER documentation. The curriculum will be further refined with use.

Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program Initiated

Jean Hirons initiated the development of a new training program during the year with the help of colleagues from CONSER, NASIG, ALCTS, OCLC networks, and library schools. A survey was widely distributed in early March which garnered responses from over 90 institutions within a very short time. The most pressing needs were identified as basic cataloging of serials in print and electronic formats. Respondents also wanted training that was held locally and as affordable as possible.

Working primarily on email, Hirons and the steering committee established goals for the program, a name, and a number of details. It was quickly established that the program would provide the course materials and train the trainers, but would not provide the actual training. This will be left to training providers, associations, library schools, and so forth. Members of the steering group met several times during May and June to discuss course content, train-the-trainer sessions and many of the details.

The program was officially announced during the CONSER 25th anniversary reception by Brian Schottlaender. Hirons and Sally Sinn, chair-elect of PCC, worked throughout the summer and fall on issues relating to the funding, initial contract, and other issues. Hirons worked with LC's Cataloging Distribution Service, which agreed to contract with Cameron Campbell of the University of Chicago, an experienced cataloger, trainer, and developer of training materials to provide the materials for the pilot course. Course material will be based on the CONSER Cataloging Manual and CONSER Editing Guide and will be updated when necessary. CDS will distribute the training materials. The NASIG Board offered its support for the program by providing funds that will be used for the train-the-trainer program.

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CONSER Contributions to Continuing Education

CONSER catalogers actively contributed to a number of serials workshops during the year. Jean Hirons, Rhonda Lawrence (UCLA) and Eric Childress (OCLC) presented a discussion at ALA midwinter that addressed how loose-leaf publications might be handled if the definition of 'serial' was changed to include them. At the NASIG annual meeting in Boulder, Jean Hirons provided a workshop entitled "The Latest on Latest (Entry) and Other Hot News on Seriality" which covered recent developments in the revision of AACR2. At the ALA annual meeting in Washington, DC, Cindy Hepfer (SUNY-Buffalo) organized an ALCTS preconference on cataloging electronic serials at which Steve Shadle (U. Washington), Jean Hirons, Regina Reynolds (LC), Bill Anderson (LC), Les Hawkins (LC), and Tom Champaigne (U. Michigan) participated. Other contributions are noted in the individual reports that follow.


Center for Research Libraries

This past year was one of considerable change and challenge for the Cataloging Department at the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). The Department made many contributions in support of its continued commitment to the CONSER Program. In addition to trying to maintain current cataloging activities, CRL also joined and received training in the BIBCO Program in Apr. 1998. One of our senior catalogers attended the Series Training Institute in Apr. 1998. Despite the fact that over the past few years the Cataloging Department has lost 4 catalogers and 1 paraprofessional cataloger, retrospective conversion and arrearage cataloging continue on a limited basis. Present staff concentrate mostly on keeping the cataloging of new materials current. The Department also suffered a great loss, with the death of Sergei P. Ignashev, Acting-Head of Cataloging, on May 27, 1998.

Work continued on cataloging the foreign newspaper collection held at CRL. The Center received a grant from National Endowment for the Humanities to catalog foreign newspapers at CRL. Work started on this project in June 1997. Project activity has recently been reduced because of staff vacancies. Because of this, we are hoping to ask for and receive a no-cost extension of the grant.

The Cataloging Department staff has also compiled searchable databases of: Foreign Newspapers Held at CRL, U.S. Ethnic Press Held at CRL, and Current Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Serials Held at CRL. These databases have been mounted on CRL's website (url: external link and are maintained by Adriana Pilecky-Dekajlo. The databases can be searched in a variety of ways and detailed holdings for each title can be seen. These databases provide finer and more detailed custom reports on each title, whether fully cataloged or preliminarily listed. They also allow better manipulation of data concerning the number of titles held from each country, the languages those titles are published in, and titles for which the Center holds preservation master negatives.

During the past year the Cataloging Department added 831 original and/or newly authenticated bibliographic records to the CONSER database and performed maintenance on 855 additional authenticated records. In the course of normal cataloging activities, the Department also added or updated a total of 742 name and series authority records in the national authority file through our participation in NACO.

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Columbia University

Columbia University did not change the scope, organization, or scale of its CONSER-related cataloging significantly during 1997/1998, but is pleased to have fulfilled CONSER production requirements during its first full year of membership. For CU Libraries and technical services staff in general, this has been a year of considerable change and activity.

Most technical services staff finished moving to new office spaces in fall 1997. Upgrading of workstations with Windows-based machines proceeded throughout the year, and all serials cataloging staff will have them in fall 1998. The Windows stations support catalogers' use of the local NOTIS system, OCLC, RLIN, the Internet, Web browsers and Web-based procedural manuals, office software, and networked Catalogers' Desktop and Classification Plus. Online scanned image files, accessed via the World Wide Web, replaced Columbia's unconverted card shelflists during the past year.

Major renovations of Columbia's Butler Library continued in 1997/1998, and the first reading rooms and lounges of the new Milstein undergraduate library opened in fall 1998. A number of former library collections were combined to form the new undergraduate library collection--special project and serials cataloging staff processed the withdrawals and transfers of scores of thousands of volumes associated with this transition. Meanwhile, a Butler Library Serials Service Task Force revised technical processing procedures in order to make annuals and other non-periodical serials available to faculty and researchers quicker.

Planning proceeded during the year for a permanent storage facility to relieve on-campus shelving space problems. Approximately 120,000 volumes were moved to interim off-campus storage in summer 1998--the first wave of 400,000 volumes planned to be moved offsite in the near term--with special project and regular cataloging staff doing related bibliographic processing. The temporarily relocated volumes are being processed ready for transfer to the permanent offsite storage facility when it opens.

Cornell University

This past year has seen many changes in Cornell's CONSER cataloging. The first and most notable change was ceasing to send our printouts to LC for CONSER input. As of November 1997 we began inputting our CONSER records directly into OCLC. CONSER serials are not cataloged on our local system; our OCLC CONSER records are downloaded into our local file. Ideally we would be uploading local records to OCLC, but this capability does not yet exist. Nonetheless, we are pleased to be participating in CONSER in a more direct manner.

Our language specialists for Vietnamese, Arabic, and Slavic languages have been cataloging serials all along, but those records have not received CONSER treatment. The serials team in Central Technical Services, formed early in 1997, has been working toward the inclusion of these records into the CONSER program. We are pleased to announce that these catalogers are being trained by members of the serials team and have begun CONSER cataloging for their serials. Other serial records we have not contributed to CONSER are electronic serial resources. We follow CONSER guidelines when cataloging them, however we do not contribute them. The team is anxious to begin doing this, and hopefully will be working toward that end this coming year.

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Harvard University

Harvard University's contribution to the CONSER database increased this year to a total of 3,849 original input or first-time authenticated records. Our maintenance to authenticated as well as non-CONSER records already in the OCLC database increased to 1,387. We created 763 new name authority records as a part of our CONSER participation and did maintenance work on another 378 existing records.

This past year was one of review and reassessment as we refined and streamlined new workflow procedures that had been put in place in previous years. As a result of these changes, our CONSER participation has become more efficient and effective and our record contribution to the program has increased steadily. Decentralization of cataloging has significantly reduced redundant efforts between the individual units and the central HUL CONSER Office. This is particularly evident in the case of the Harvard Law School and Widener Libraries which catalog and authenticate their own titles independent of the Office. All cataloging units at Harvard are able to take advantage of technological changes that allow original records, created in our local database, to be moved effortlessly and without delays into the OCLC database. Local changes to copy cataloging and record import procedures mean that bibliographic access to titles is provided to our users in a more timely manner, and the special requirements for CONSER-level cataloging are seamlessly integrated with the regular workflow of each unit.

Serial work across the University has focused on backlog reduction and on integrating recon data with our currently received material. The Law School Library has begun the cataloging of Chinese legal newspapers on microfilm and serial catalogers in Widener are providing bibliographic information for a large set of Rumanian language material microfilmed by the Rumanian Academy Reprographic Service.

Indiana University

The 1997/1998 fiscal year was a productive one for the Serials Cataloging (SerCat) Unit of the Serials Department, Indiana University Libraries. In addition to supporting cataloging activities for current serial materials, the SerCat Unit also participated in numerous special projects and initiatives. In December, the Unit suffered the loss of one CONSER/NACO cataloging position. The eight month vacancy created a large backlog of new Slavic/East European serials and seriously affected cataloging activities in one of our strongest collection areas. The SerCat Unit is now running at a level of staffing which includes two librarians, one professional appointee, and six FTE support staff. A Slavic monographic cataloger was recently reassigned to SerCat on a temporary, halftime basis to assist with the cataloging of the Slavic serial arrearage.

During the past year, the Unit completed numerous withdrawal/transfer projects, cataloged an ever-increasing number of electronic journals, and continued to catalog currently received government publications. With the acquisition of Cataloger's Desktop, added efficiencies were brought to the unit's catalogers. Of particular note during the past year was the unit's successful implementation of CONSER CJK cataloging.

In January, we welcomed our new Director of Technical Services, Michael Kaplan. Under his direction, the Indiana University Libraries began planning for the reorganization of the Main Library's technical services units. A task force was formed which presented a proposal for the merger of the three separate technical services units into a one new combined department. The target date for the completion of the new technical services organization is January 1999.

In July 1998, Odette Shepherd, Head, Serials Department retired after thirty-five years service to the Libraries. From her work on the NEH Indiana Newspaper Grant Project to her contributions to the CIC Coordinated Preservation Microfilming Committee to her creative efforts with regard to acquiring and providing access to online electronic journals, Odette helped move Indiana University Libraries into the twenty-first century. She was instrumental in obtaining CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials Program) participant status for the Serials Cataloging Unit and served as the official Indiana University representative to the CONSER Policy Committee. Odette was a visionary leader in implementing new trends in the field of serials and fostered a unanimous feeling of pride and achievement within the Serials Department.

Mechael Gago has been appointed Acting Head of the Serials Department pending completion of the technical services reorganization.

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Library of Congress
Serials Cataloging Sections

Integrated Library System Planning. As perhaps the Division most impacted by the changes being introduced by the Integrated Library System, staff devoted an inordinate amount of time to planning for the new ILS--Voyager by Endeavor. Because of the integrated nature of current and future operations, cataloging staff were involved across the spectrum of planning activities in the Division. Twenty-six staff members, more than 20% of the Division, devoted substantial amounts of time on a continuing basis in participating in the many ILS planning groups and teams. In addition, virtually every staff member in the Division has participated in formal training, and extended informal assistance to these planning activities. The coming year promises even more time dedicated to planning, training, and initiation of the ILS system itself to the operational stage.

Arrearage activities. Staff in the Division continued to vigorously address arrearages as the opportunities appeared. Efforts addressed Hispanic holdings, publications of the Works Progress Administration, the Dime Novel Collection, early American almanacs, Comic Books, and uncataloged materials in Arabic, Turkish, Persian and Kurdish, and a large number of items from the American Folklife Center.

Remote storage. A project resulting from Collection Management's preparation of selected materials to be placed in remote storage was begun in February. Staff from two cataloging sections did a trial run to locate bibliographic records for titles which Collections Management staff could not locate in the database. After developing a procedure for handling these items, a full-blown overtime project was carried out in August and September to identify any items which were not represented by existing records and to ensure that all materials stored off-site would be under bibliographic control and retrievable.

Contracted work. The Division entered into three substantial contracts dealing with cataloging: a contract with LSSI to enhance 11,000 serial PREMARC records by amalgamating with existing CONSER records; a second contract with LSSI to create cataloging records for materials to be stored remotely; a third contract with OCLC to produce MLC records for 2500 Japanese language arrearage titles.

Serial Record Division manual completion and release. The review and revision of the Serial Record Division procedures manual was completed and the manual was distributed to all cataloging staff.

Personnel matters. Kim Dobbs retired as Chief of the Division in December 1997. Maureen O. Landry, formerly Head, Cataloging Section I was appointed Assistant Chief in November 1997 and appointed Acting Chief in December 1997. Gary Bush, formerly Acting Head was appointed Head, Cataloging Section III in February 1998. Karl R. Green, formerly Senior Science Specialist, Science and Technology Division, was appointed Head, Cataloging Section I in August 1998.

Library of Congress
National Serials Data Program

During FY 1998 NSDP continued to provide excellent service to ISSN requesters, though with increased processing times for publisher requests and bigger backlogs of prepublication records awaiting updating. These delays and backlogs were due to heavy workloads and continued reduced staff. A highlight of the past year was NSDP's first ISSN user seminar. Other highlights were a flood of ISSN requests for digital versions of print serials by major publishers, and USPS screening of reentries for the presence of valid ISSN, thus reducing by over 50% the number of reentry titles USPS sends to NSDP.

Regina Reynolds attended the 22nd meeting of Directors of ISSN Centers in Brussels, Belgium in September 1998. The topic of online serials was again a prominent one. Regina prepared a background paper and led discussions on issues arising form AACR and ISBD(S) revisions work, among them whether to enlarge the scope of the ISSN to include online publications which do not follow the publication patterns of traditional serials, and how to handle title changes for these non-traditional publications. Among the decisions were the following: the 856 field will be added to ISSN records as an optional field; the ISSN Network will experiment with assigning ISSN to some databases but not to Web sites at present; and ISSN centers will consider proposed additions to the list of minor title changes.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

On May 4, 1998, following extensive discussion with public services and other interested staff, MIT implemented core-level cataloging for all serials. The core record adopted by MIT contains somewhat less detail than is required for a CONSER full-level record, but more detail than has been defined as a base requirement for the CONSER core record.

The Serials Cataloging Section finished two long-term projects in 1998. Pre-cataloging backlogs that had been housed for several years in each of the libraries were eliminated. Retrospective conversion of archival serials was completed. An additional project, retrospective conversion of on-campus serials, reached its final phase: complex recon of unclassified periodicals (e.g., titles with pre-AACR2 to AACR2 entry changes, titles requiring original cataloging). Completion of this in-house effort is scheduled for FY 1999.

With old projects winding down there was an opportunity to initiate new projects. Cataloging of some previously uncataloged collections was begun. Initial efforts were directed toward technical report series in engineering and technology, and toward working papers and periodicals in the field of industrial relations. Also begun was retrospective conversion of serials in MIT's older Dewey-classed collection, housed in an off-campus resource center.

E-serials proliferated. They emerged as a significant component of our work-supply, and they were quickly incorporated into the technical processing mainstream. Three hundred new e-serials--almost all were paid titles--were cataloged in FY 1998.

MIT's CONSER cataloging statistics reached new highs in 1998: 1111 total transactions, of which 378 were first time or subsequent authentications and 733 were CONSER-level maintenance actions.

The MIT Libraries as a whole committed significant resources in calendar year 1998 toward "Redefinition of Public Services," a major initiative directed by the Libraries' new Associate Director for Public Services, Virginia Steel. MIT's divisional and branch libraries have undertaken a significant effort to redefine their roles and responsibilities, reconsider their organizational structure, and make strategic decisions about where to focus their resources. How this redefinition might affect Collection Services should become clear in FY 1999.

Carol Fleishauer continues to serve on the PCC Steering Committee, Eric Celeste continues on the PCC Automation Committee, and David Van Hoy continues as a member of CONSER Operations Committee. Wayne Jones and David Van Hoy are both involved in the AACR rule revision effort that has evolved from the CONSER Task Force on AACR Review, Wayne as a participant in Group 2B and Group 3 and as a consultant to Group 1, David as a participant in Group 2A. David also served on the Steering Group for the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program.

There was one professional staffing change in Serials Cataloging: Amanda Xu left MIT in June. That cataloging position has been eliminated. Brenda Hill, formerly Corporate Librarian at Cambridge Scientific Management Group, joined the staff as a copy cataloger, replacing Marylin Eastwood, who left for a supervisory position elsewhere in the libraries.

National Agricultural Library

During the past year, the Library's Technical Services Division continued to evaluate its serials processing work flow. The goal of the review was to focus our resources on our core collection areas, and increase productivity. The new work flow reduces our processing time which improves the availability of materials to our customers. We will focus our CONSER level cataloging on USDA publications and current English language serials. We will authenticate fewer foreign language serials for CONSER, and contribute fewer foreign language authority records to NACO.

In June, AGRICOLA, NAL's bibliographic database became available via the NAL's website at: The web-based AGRICOLA is updated daily to include our most current records.

Retrospective conversion of the Library's pre-1970 USDA serials continues on a limited basis this year. This year, most of the USDA serials that we converted this year did not have machine readable bibliographic records in OCLC. We will not authenticate these USDA serial records for CONSER.

During 1997/98, the Cataloging Branch began the conversion of our manual series authority file to an online series authority file in our integrated library system. Resolution of problems has included maintenance on serial bibliographic records and series authority records.

Mike Esman, Head of the Cataloging Branch, served on the CONSER Task Force on A&I/ISSN Issues. Sally Sinn, Associate Director for Technical Services, served as chair-elect for PCC.

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National Library of Canada

NLC participation in the CONSER Program has been routine for this reporting year. The workflow for authentications has been stable and there is no backlog.

Two changes to CONSER procedures affecting NLC records were implemented over the past year. Now, all cases of authenticated duplicate records are reported to LC. Also, the restriction on converting NLC AA1 records to AA2 has been removed. It is hoped these changes will be beneficial for CONSER participants.

Liz McKeen, Director, Bibliographic Access, represented NLC at the first PCC Policy Committee meeting last Nov.

This year's CONSER Operations meeting was very informative. The discussions on electronic serials, as usual, were useful to our Standards staff and serial cataloguers in trying to cope with this format. The presentation on defining seriality and the subsequent discussion was also very interesting to many NLC staff.

NLC continues to be pleased with the switch from a dedicated line to Internet access for OCLC connection. The cost savings are significant.

National Library of Medicine

In the past year, NLM continued to contribute to the CONSER database only those records for serials it had cataloged which are in the following categories: serials indexed in MEDLINE; other substantive biomedical serials in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish; biomedical serials issued by units of the Public Health Service; and serials for which there are NSDP prepublication records. Serial cataloging records that are new to OCLC are added via FTP, but existing records are modified or enhanced by the services of a contractor. After the expiration in June 1998 of an existing contract, in August a new vendor was selected whose work is now being carefully monitored. Therefore, for a period of more than two months, new records were contributed, but no existing WorldCat records were modified or authenticated.

For the past year, NLM has been preparing for an Integrated Library System. The ILS, Voyager from Endeavor Information Systems, is expected to be operational in mid-November. As part of the preparation, we have been reconciling differences between NLM's in-house cataloging records and those in its serials acquisition system for older material cataloged years ago. This has resulted in some reduction of cataloging new material.

New York Public Library

At the New York Public Library, the impact of losing several serial catalogers during our re-engineering process is making itself felt. The Serial Cataloging Section's contribution of CONSER original records fell to 449 records; we authenticated/upgraded 118 existing records, and performed CONSER maintenance on 428 records and non-CONSER maintenance on 142 records. Our contribution to NACO consisted of 201 name and 343 series records.

The Section is constantly reviewing its workflow, which as yet has led to no arrearages. We are proud to have managed to absorb all the materials which have come for cataloging, and to do so without using the core record. We are also pleased to have a Schomburg serials cataloger join our CONSER cataloging efforts. The Schomburg Center's Africana collection is an asset to NYPL and CONSER cataloging will aid other libraries in this field.

Karen Hsu, Chief of Cataloging, is part of CONSER's Task Force on AACR Review.

New York State Library

Staff at the New York State Library have continued our regular CONSER activities and in addition have worked on the following special projects. Cataloging is being done for a microfilm project on natural history publications (filming is in conjunction with Cornell University). While the microfilm records are not being done at CONSER level, the hard copy records associated with them are being upgraded.

New York State related materials are the highest priority in the collection and in order to improve access to them, we have been working on these projects in addition to expedited processing of new ones: Many older documents have been donated to the State Library from other state agency collections. These materials are being cataloged and added to the CONSER database. In some instances, they had never been cataloged before and for others, we were able to add earlier holdings to existing records. We have also been able to consolidate some records.

In addition, we have been working on creating an OCLC WorldCat Collection Set of New York State document fiche dating from 1990 (although these are not being authenticated). We have continued the project to scan NYS documents and make them available on the internet by adding 530s and 856s to the OCLC records. We anticipate WebCat access to the public on October 1, 1998.

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U.S. Government Printing Office

The Cataloging Branch of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Library Programs Service (LPS) identifies, catalogs, and authenticates serial publications issued by the U.S. Federal Government for the CONSER database.

In May 1998, Jennifer K. Davis became our 4th full time serial cataloger. Our catalogers continue their efforts to reflect the current bibliographic status of Federal Government serials in a timely manner.

GPO cataloging of Internet resources became an increasingly significant part of our work during this period of transition to a more electronic Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). We have either added as original or updated 1,477 titles to the CONSER database since June 1996 and of these 1,012 have been added with either URL or PURL data.

Electronic titles now account for 70% of our serial work. To aid with this workload we have extensively used Module 31 of the CONSER Cataloging Manual as the basis for relevant portions of the GPO Cataloging Guidelines.

GPO cataloging staff has applied newly developed guidelines in their efforts to achieve bibliographic control of Internet serials published by federal government agencies.

An increasing number of serial titles are appearing electronically, including both those that are also issued in a tangible form and those that are not (or are no longer) produced in a tangible form. Catalogers have spent considerable effort with all these electronic serials to determine/discover the URL that accesses "the whole run of the serial" for inclusion in tag 856.

GPO also has an active program using OCLC PURL Software in a server environment to redirect users to the most recent address. Data appearing in subfield u of the 856 field are an increasingly important component of continued access to electronic serials. Electronic serials are creating a more complex decision making environment for our serial catalogers than is true of serials in tangible formats. We have found that our staff must perform Internet searching and careful review of resources as an essential aspect of producing quality bibliographic records. Considerable judgment is required to identify, evaluate, and properly represent many electronic serials.

Some important patterns are emerging. This has indeed been an interesting year for GPO serials cataloging of electronic publications.

University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA continued its active involvement in CONSER during 1997/98, with Brian Schottlaender working with the PCC and CONSER Policy Committees to effect the PCC/CONSER consolidation, and to develop strategic, tactical, and financial plans for the consolidated program. Brian finishes out his term as PCC Chair on September 30, with CONSER's own Sally Sinn waiting in the wings to carry the work of the PCC forward.

During this past year, Rhonda Lawrence continued to work on "Module 34, Legal Serials" for the CONSER Cataloging Manual. She completed a draft version of the module which was distributed for comment at the spring CONSER meeting.

Sara Shatford Layne continues as chair of the Task Force on AACR Review. In response to the problems of applying either Successive or Latest entry cataloging to electronic publications, Sara proposed the concept of Incorporating entry at the CONSER meeting in May. This concept has generated considerable discussion in various serials venues.

The Charles E. Young Research Library (aka "YR," formerly URL (University Research Library)) Cataloging Department was pleased to welcome on July 20 Valerie Bross as its new Head of Serials Cataloging, replacing Melissa Beck. Valerie, who joins us from California State University, Stanislaus, attended the CONSER Operations Committee meeting in May and will now represent UCLA on that Committee. In an effort to expand its cataloging reach, the Serials Cataloging Division in YRL Cataloging has been working with various YRL non-Roman language monograph cataloging specialists (e.g., Persian) to expand their serials cataloging expertise. The serials cataloging being created as a consequence of these efforts is, in turn, being reviewed by LC's language specialists.

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University of Florida

Our total CONSER contribution for 1997/98 was 348 records broken down as follows: 128 originals; 27 minimal level originals; 92 authentication of existing records; 22 minimal level authentication of existing records; 5 subsequent authentication; and 74 maintenance. This has been a difficult year for our CONSER cataloging. We were without a serials cataloger; lost our newspaper cataloger when he took another job with the New York Newspaper Project; two of our senior staff moved on to professional jobs after many years with us; and one of our senior staff worked on a special grant funded project for most of last year. When we look back it really is quite amazing that we were able to contribute 348 records to CONSER. This next year promises to be much better for us. We hired a new newspaper cataloger Susan Constantineau. She came to us from Dartmouth with a great deal of cataloging experience. She has already started contributing to our CONSER cataloging. We replaced our two senior staff positions and over the next year of training these new people will begin contributing also. Finally, the best news of all is that we are currently in the process of filling our serials cataloger position.

University of Georgia

Barbara Winters has succeeded Barry Baker as Associate University Librarian for Collection Services and Georgia's PCC Policy representative in 1998.

In late June, a contract was signed with Endeavor Information Systems, in which Voyager will be used to expand Galileo into a statewide online catalog complete with universal borrowing. Among the 34 state institutions of higher education in Georgia, University of Georgia is expecting to convert records in its in-house system to Voyager by July 1999.

The MARBI Discussion Paper 107 and Proposal 98-13 defining the 856 field to the authorities format received final approval at the June American Library Association meeting in Washington. When implemented, this will add another bibliographic control technique to the cataloger's repertoire, providing a time-saving option in the cataloging of corporate web sites.

Internet addresses were added to an additional 500 local serial records, for which Georgia owns the print or microform version. Whenever the URLs are accessible to off-campus users, the 856 fields are also being added to the national records.

Operations Committee representative John Riemer is a member the AACR Review Task Force, the Working Group on Access to Serials in "Aggregator" Full-text Databases, the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program Steering Committee, and the PCC Standing Committee on Training,. He also served on a task force to formulate a curriculum in support of the training of new CONSER members and participated in writing a PCC values statement. In February, he taught beginning serials cataloging to four monograph original catalogers at Tulane University.

Serials cataloger Beth Jedlicka received a NASIG Horizon Award at last June's North American Serials Interest Group meeting in Boulder.

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University of Maryland at College Park

The University of Maryland was well represented in several CONSER activities during FY 98. Marietta Plank is one of CONSER's rotating representatives to the PCC Policy Committee. Jeanne Baker and Beth Guay are participating in the AACR review process, as members of Group 1 and Group 2B, respectively.

Jeanne Baker, along with Ruth Haas (Harvard) and John Riemer (U. of Georgia), devised a questionnaire to CONSER members about access to journal titles in aggregator databases. The results of this survey were reported at the CONSER-at-Large session at the ALA Annual meeting in June 1998.

For the first time since UM became a member of CONSER, all UM professional serial cataloging staff of the Serial Cataloging Unit attended the CONSER Operations Committee meeting at the Library of Congress in May 1998.

UM easily met the CONSER statistical goals again this year, authenticating 182 original and 99 existing OCLC records, performing maintenance on 287 CONSER records, enhancing 138 non-CONSER OCLC records, and re-authenticating 40 CONSER records. These numbers are very similar to last year's numbers.

UM is at no loss to find materials needing original cataloging except for Chinese materials. Surprisingly, there are many CONSER records for Chinese materials needing maintenance and few for which UM has needed to create an original record. Thus UM's Chinese language cataloger continues under CONSER review.

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Serials Cataloging staff authenticated 114 original records during 1997/1998 and authenticated 82 existing records in OCLC. Maintenance of CONSER records totaled 240 transactions, while maintenance of non-CONSER records totaled 48. Total CONSER activity for the year involved 436 records.

Regarding electronic serials cataloging, we cataloged 37 electronic serial titles for JSTOR. This formed a large part of our original CONSER work for the year. Our electronic serials cataloging statistics are down from previous years as we have wholeheartedly pursued the one-record approach locally, and have not submitted as many records nationally. We processed over 700 Elsevier titles available through the PEAK project via the one-record approach.

University of Pittsburgh

Faye Leibowitz worked on the CONSER curriculum and also served as a mentor to the Pennsylvania State Library, which is hoping to become a CONSER Enhance participant. Unfortunately, Faye's daughter became ill during the spring and Faye was on leave for the remainder of the year.

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University of Texas at Austin

As usual, most CONSER activity at Texas involved Latin American serials. In addition to the regular flow of new titles and title changes, a grant-funded project continued, adding to Latin American receipts. Funded by the Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade, almost $60,000 was received to purchase materials on commerce, trade and international economic cooperation from countries participating in NAFTA and Mercosur; approximately half the money was spent on serials. The third and final year of the project covered Sept. 1, 1997 through Aug. 31, 1998.

Another project begun in the Latin American Serials Unit was cataloging of a collection of early twentieth-century Mexican newspapers, in anticipation of receipt of NEH funding for microfilming those titles. If the grant is received, filming will begin in October 1999.

Texas continued its contribution to CONSER training by completing our term as mentor for the University of North Carolina, which was granted independence as a CONSER Enhance member in April 1997. In addition, Linda Griffin, the serials cataloger at Louisiana State University, spent a week in Austin in February 1997, doing an intensive practicum in the Serials Cataloging Unit, with followup email and telephone guidance after she returned to Baton Rouge.

The heads of both serials cataloging units are serving on CONSER AACR Review groups. Jim Holmes is a participant in Group 2B, which is focused on descriptive rules for electronic serials, and Sue Fuller is a participant in Group 3, looking at uniform titles, title changes, and links.

University of Washington

Staffing changes had an impact on the Serials Cataloging Section this year. A copy cataloger position was filled in September 1977 after a 6-month vacancy and a part-time cataloger retired in October 1977. A library school student intern was trained in serials cataloging in winter and spring quarters 1998. We also continued to receive assistance from a Library Specialist II, Cataloging Division, for cataloging corporate annual reports. Workflow was changed significantly in early fall 1997, as catalogers made the transition to doing their own inputting and revising of catalog records on OCLC to reduce handling within the section. We began working on determining categories of materials for use of minimal and core cataloging standards and other cost-saving efforts as part of the Serials Division's process analysis. In our CONSER work, authentication of new and existing copy and subsequent authentication decreased from 1,980 titles last year to 1,262 this year, a decrease of 36 %. On the other hand, maintenance of CONSER records increased, from 1,443 to 1,617, a 12 % increase.

Print serial titles remained the primary focus of our efforts, with an effort being made to catalog the older titles in the backlog. A one-and-a-half year project to catalog the corporate annual report collection in the Business Administration Library was completed in spring 1998; the projected 750 companies resulted in 1,077 catalog records.

Cataloging of the international document serials collection in Government Publications continued this year, but this effort was examined as a result of process analysis in the Serials Division and procedures were written for a more minimal approach to "cataloging" of all international documents serials by staff/students in the Database Management Section in the Cataloging Division. We also worked with staff from Government Publications to implement cataloging of US serial documents when the appropriate Marcive records were not loaded for specific titles or when maintenance was necessary. Retrospective conversion efforts continued, including completion of a couple ISSN lists from two abstracting and indexing services.

The UW Libraries began development of a digital registry for electronic resources. The registry (a subset of records in our online catalog) supports generation and maintenance of subject-oriented Web pages created by staff throughout the Libraries and accessed via the new Libraries Gateway. Serials staff, including serials catalogers, contributed significantly to the planning for the digital registry. By year end, all serials catalogers were trained in the cataloging of electronic journals, and a special effort to catalog electronic journals was underway. These records become part of the digital registry and will display in a new Web-based public catalog scheduled for implementation in the spring of 1999.

Three of us participated in AACR revision within CONSER. Kristin Lindlan continued to serve on the CONSER Task Force on AACR Review and began chairing Group2A: Description (chapter 12). Steve Shadle began working on Group2B: Description (chapter 9) and Linda Pitts as a consultant for Group 1: Definition. Kristin also began working with Mary Grenci, University of Oregon, on CONSER enhance. Steve continued to provide cataloging training: two days on serials cataloging for University of Alaska-Fairbanks staff; a presentation on electronic resources at the PNLA Annual Conference; a serials cataloging workshop for OCLC Pacific Northwest users; and he co-organized an ALCTS preconference, Jumpstart, giving the opening presentation and leading an electronic serials cataloging workshop.

Continue to the Appendices

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