Summary of the meeting
Sally Sinn (National Agricultural Library) brought news from the CONSER Task Force on Publication Patterns and Holdings meeting on Saturday, January 13. OCLC hopes to load publication pattern and holdings data from 25,000-30,000 Harvard University records soon. This will establish a useful body of records for testing the use of shared pattern and holdings data exchanged via a utility. LITA will sponsor a preconference, " The Future of Serials Control: Implementation of the MARC 21 Holdings Format," in San Francisco on June 15, before the ALA 2001 Annual Conference. Topics covered will include introduction to the format, check-in prediction, serial holdings standards, the CONSER publication patterns initiative, and vendor support.
The task force examined issues related to participation in the pilot project. Contributions have been somewhat light so far, and ways to increase them were discussed. Some participants described start-up problems, and the need to share solution strategies was recognized. The Harvard load will soon greatly increase the body of data made available by the initiative; but the task force also set a goal for the project of producing one thousand contributions, apart from the Harvard load, before the ALA 2001 Annual Conference.
Participants also made plans to publicize the publication pattern initiative more fully. Literature about the project will be provided for the LITA preconference packet. A "press release" on the initiative may be created and sent to a large number of interested bodies for re-transmittal through their established communication channels. Articles in publications such as American Libraries will be pursued.
Jean Hirons (CONSER Coordinator, Library of Congress) reported on a very successful train-the-trainer session for the new SCCTP Serial Holdings Workshop, held January 11-12 at the Library of Congress. Twenty-nine new trainers (some of them veteran instructors for the SCCTP Basic Serials Cataloging Workshop) learned training tips, received a presentation of the course, and put their new skills to use in a practicum, where they devised creative approaches to using the workshop materials in problem scenarios. The Serial Holdings Workshop is the second course introduced in the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program. Its main materials include an instructor manual, a trainee manual, and a set of PowerPoint presentation slides, similar to the Basic Serials Cataloging Workshop. Unlike that earlier course, however, the holdings course materials will be distributed exclusively via the Internet, not in paper form. Library of Congress' Cataloging Distribution Service will sell rights to download PDF files for the materials from the CDS Web site; purchasers can then print as many copies as they want from the files. This distribution method will make updating and correcting the course materials easier and more timely and will facilitate acquisition of the materials in most cases, it is hoped. Firm release information and price for the Serials Holdings Workshop material set are not yet available, but should be soon.
Two new SCCTP courses are in the works: Margaret Mering (University of Nebraska) and Kristin Lindlan (University of Washington) are developing an Advanced Serials Cataloging Workshop; and an Electronic Serials Cataloging Workshop is being prepared by Les Hawkins (Library of Congress) and Steve Shadle (University of Washington). Tentative plans now are for train-the-trainer sessions for both to be held in New Orleans before the ALA 2002 Midwinter Meeting.
Jean Hirons summarized the ongoing process of review and responses following the Joint Steering Committee's decisions on proposed revisions to AACR2, chapter 12, at its September 2000 meeting. She also described significant successes toward harmonizing the cataloging principles of the AACR2, ISBD, and ISSN communities, especially in the definition of major versus minor title changes for serials, achieved at a meeting of experts held at the Library of Congress in November 2000. If things go as planned, JSC will finalize changes to AACR2, chapter 12, at its next meeting, in April 2001. Following that, the CONSER Cataloging Manual will be revised completely. A variety of activities to "update" everyone's command of the new AACR2 will be needed and are being conceived.
Because the inclusion of rules for integrating resources is the biggest change coming in AACR2, a new Program for Cooperative Cataloging Task Group on Implementation of Integrating Resources has been created. Its membership was not fully certain as of the ALA 2001 Midwinter Meeting, but the task group will work quickly and should produce some form of report before the BIBCO and CONSER operations committees' meeting in May 2001. The group will look at programmatic issues of how integrating resources should be cataloged and how they should be handled as PCC records. The scope of the CONSER database is a particular concern. Documentation and training needs will also be a special priority for the group.
John Riemer (University of California, Los Angeles) reported that the PCC Task Force on Multiple Manifestations of Electronic Resources has continued analyzing the merits of separate-record versus single-record cataloging approaches. The task force has enumerated a set of differences between electronic versions and defined criteria for making decisions on treatment. When Riemer commented that some task force members still favor single-record approaches, Regina Reynolds (NSDP, Library of Congress) responded that the Big Heads meeting on Friday, January 12, discussed the subject and showed more preference for separate records, at least underlyingly, at the staff operations level, though some way of consolidating multiple separate-version records in a single public display was also regarded as desirable.
The PCC Standing Committee on Automation has formed a new Task Force on OCLC Batch Loading. Participants from CONSER are invited to join and contribute.
Those present at the meeting participated in a brainstorming and "visioning" exercise, partly to help define a "wish list" for a new OCLC database, and partly to identify the successes, shortcomings, challenges, and opportunities of the CONSER Program. Background and a summary of results for this exercise are given in a separate Web document.