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The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > Publication Patterns Initiative > Summary of Meeting at ALA Midwinter, New Orleans

January 19, 2002 - CONSER Task Force on Publication Patterns and Holdings

OCLC Red Suite, Hilton Hotel

Sally Sinn (NAL) chaired the meeting that included task force members and pattern participants.


  1. Statistics and goals.  Jean Hirons reported that some institutions had exceded their goals and that most were actively continuing to contribute.  In discussions that followed members reported that there was less activity because the records they were finding already had a pattern.  In addition, when the frequency changed, the new pattern was found in the record.  This is indeed a sign of success!
  1. MARBI proposals.  Linda Miller reported that the two proposals contributed to MARBI had passed.  One, 2002-04, establishes a new code ‘p’ for parts; the other 2002-05, makes it possible to indicate combined issues and skipped issues.  Others will be proposed for the annual meeting in June.
  1. OCLC system re-design.  Rich Greene reported that while OCLC is working on its redesign, not much has been done with holdings.  The main decision is that holdings will be based on MARC 21, at least at level 4, and possibly below that to the item level.  Cathy Kellum is working on the holdings aspects of the redesign.  The publication pattern macro, developed by Robert Bremer, will be available in CATME very soon.
  1. SCCTP Holdings Course.  Jean reported that a small group is working on a two-stage revision of the course.  The first stage involves simple corrections and is complete.  The course materials have been revised and submitted to CDS and those who have purchased the package already can obtain free access to the revised files.  The second stage is a more extensive update that substitutes some simpler examples and adds system-specific screen shots for the benefit of both the trainers and trainees.  The revised course will be ready by June at the latest.

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Beth Jedlicka and Wen-ying Lu reported on their experiences at the University of Georgia and Michigan State, respectively.  At Georgia, where over 1000 patterns have been contributed or maintained, one person is dedicated to the task, which has led to their significant contribution.  Different workflows exist for serials and periodicals with catalogers adding some of the patterns and the holdings staffer adding the bulk of them. One suggestion was that CONSER stop using the “frequency varies” note when there are more than three frequencies involved (we’ll take under consideration in May).  Since Georgia is on Voyager, they are able to contribute patterns but cannot take advantage of them.

At Michigan State, use of a III loader allows them to bring in the pattern from OCLC and set up the check-in record.  Most of the contributions are from an LA3 who is a copy cataloger and familiar with check-in. Most of the contributions are for new titles and title changes.  Experience has shown that catalogers are doing more of the pattern work than was originally expected and a question to the group was how much of this should be done by catalogers. 

In deciding what next steps to take with workflow, Diane Hillmann suggested that the task group develop simple generic workflows that are as system-neutral as possible.  By developing templates for various scenarios, libraries can determine which workflow might work best for them.

Action:  Jean and Sally will work with the Workflow Task Group to define the charge.

The Pilot 

The two-year pilot will be complete in June and discussion focused on next steps. Jean reviewed draft surveys that will be sent to current participants and CONSER members who are not participating.  It was decided that the survey would be sent to the those at the working level with instructions for who would fill out each part.  A two week turn around was advised.  The surveys will be sent out some time in February. 

Action: Jean will revise and send out the surveys.

As to membership issues, there will be no minimal contributions required as there is no training or review involved, at least at this point.  Quality review may become more of an issue in the future.  Recruitment should focus on CONSER members who are bringing up new systems.  User group meetings were still seen as one of the best venues for recruitment.

An article on the success of the pilot was suggested.  It should review the goals of the pilot and how they were met.  Future goals are to involve more CONSER members and vendors and primarily to make it possible for more systems to be able to download the patterns from the OCLC records.  Helen Gbala noted the problem that systems can’t receive a batchload of patterns from OCLC.

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MFIG and ALA Annual

Sally discussed the suggestion that the task force co-sponsor a “managed discussion” at the meeting of the MARC Formats Interest Group (Sat. afternoon 2-4) to look at how the MARC 21 holdings format has “come of age” and it’s potential uses.  At the meeting held just prior to the task force meeting, a discussion on the “universal holdings record” led to the question of what is universal data.  This might well be the subject of the annual meeting.  Holdings for e-journals is another potential topic. This will be a panel discussion with audience participation.

Action: We need members of the task force to participate in the discussion.  Those interested should contact Sally and Jean.

Notes from the Pattern Workshop (Sunday, Jan. 20, 2002  10:00-12:00)

Over 20 people attended an informal workshop held at the Convention Center.  Those present included pilot participants, SCCTP holdings trainers, and others who are about to implement new systems and are interested in learning more about the format.  After reviewing each person’s current situation it was clear that many had little experience and were there primarily to learn.  General discussion included an explanation from Helen Gbala of ExLibris’ holdings application.  Jeanne Baker reported that the University of Maryland had received 20,000 patterns from three ExLibris libraries as part of their implementation.

Jean Hirons demonstrated the creation of several basic patterns and explained how the paired fields work together.  This was followed by discussion of problem patterns from Beth Jedlicka, Wen-ying Lu, and Linda Miller.  The problems and solutions were recorded by Frieda Rosenberg and will be posted on the CONSER Website.

Hirons asked about the usefulness of these sessions and received an excellent suggestion for future workshops.  The first half hour would be an update on the work of the task force, MARBI proposals, etc.  This would be followed by an hour of hands-on pattern problems brought by participants.  The last half hour would be a break out by system to give participants an opportunity to discuss the holdings application in their systems.  All agreed that this would be a very useful session and would be needed for some time.

Action:  Anyone interesting in helping to develop the next informal session should contact Jean.

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