Newsletter of the 

           CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials) Program 

                         ISSN 1072-611X                 

No. 2           Library of Congress and OCLC, Inc.      June 1994



CONSER Policy Committee Meeting

USNP Annual Meeting



             By Bill Anderson (Library of Congress)

The CONSER Policy Committee held its 1994 meeting May 5th and 6th

at the Library of Congress.  Twenty-three representatives met,

including CONSER Councilors from Australia, England, and France. 

This year's meeting focused on defining a CONSER core level

record and setting a subject standard for the Program.  The

following issues were also featured:  membership, the CONSER

maintenance project, coordination with the Program for

Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), and a new CONSER task force on

electronic serials.

CONSER Core Record

Brian Schottlaender (UCLA) summarized CONSER members' responses

to the core record proposal prepared by the CONSER Core Elements

Task Force.  Members generally supported continuing two levels of

records in the CONSER database--minimal and core.  Minimal level

cataloging is still considered useful by most CONSER members, and

the committee agreed that minimal level records are too valuable

to be excluded from the CONSER database.

CONSER's core level of requirements are seen as the *floor* for

the CONSER record, with the understanding that each institution

will define its own *core record* (i.e., the CONSER core record

plus optional, local, or institution-specific fields).  LC

suggested that one set of core descriptive elements be defined

for minimal and core level records.  Core records would be

distinguished from minimal records by the presence of subject

headings and authoritative name and series headings.  The Policy

Committee endorsed the single level of description with the

understanding that the set of core descriptive elements contained

in the proposal would likely need revision.

The Core Elements Task Force will present a new proposal,

supported by one set of descriptive elements, which will be

discussed at the CONSER At-large meeting at ALA.  A CONSER

response to MARBI proposal 94-12 in support of core encoding

level value *3* will also be submitted.  (The next issue of

_CONSERline_ will examine CONSER's core elements in greater


CONSER Subject Standard

Linda West (Harvard) led the discussion on a proposed CONSER

subject standard that will be documented in the upcoming edition

of the _CONSER Editing Guide_.  The standard will be coordinated

with the development of the CONSER core record.  The _Subject

Cataloging Manual_, the online subject authority file, and _Free-

Floating Subdivisions_ were identified as the standard tools for

constructing CONSER subject headings.  Only those using _LCSH_

will be responsible for verifying LC subject headings on newly

authenticated CONSER records.

The CONSER requirement for authenticating subject headings will

include verification with a standard authority file to assure

current validity and construction.  Classification will be

optional for both core and minimal level records, and no subject

headings will be required for minimal level records.

Maureen Landry (LC) presented an update of an ongoing LC review

of CONSER subject analysis.  The purpose of the review is to

provide subject cataloging instruction to CONSER catalogers, and

to make it feasible for LC to accept CONSER subject analysis in a

copy cataloging workflow.  A study of the review showed a 71%

record accuracy rate and an 88% field accuracy rate--almost 3 of

4 records and 9 of 10 subject fields were reviewed without

comment.  Once a full study of the LC review is completed,

subject review will be integrated into the ongoing accuracy

review of CONSER records.

Membership Issues

Bill Gosling (Michigan) led a discussion on membership that

included a broad review of CONSER's future and specific requests

to edit the definitions of membership levels.  Participants

discussed whether the newly defined core record might make it

possible for more libraries to consider CONSER membership, and

whether participation in the PCC might spark interest in CONSER. 

Governance, program finances, and training may need restructuring

prior to a significant expansion of the program.  The training

issue raised the possibility of establishing regional centers or

"funnel" projects, similar to those used by the NACO Program.

A new governance structure, broader maintenance support, a model

for regional training, and the CONSER core record would have to

be in place for a significant expansion of the program to be

considered.  As a first step, definitions of membership levels

will be revised in the _CONSER Editing Guide_ to make them less


CONSER Record Maintenance Project

Ruth Carter (Pittsburgh) presented an overview of the maintenance

project spearheaded by the Task Force on the Maintenance of

CONSER Records by Non-CONSER Institutions.  During the first six

months of the project, UC San Diego and the University of

Kentucky have modified CONSER records for serials that have

ceased publication or changed titles.  Vanderbilt University

joined the project in April and the University of California at

Irvine started in May.  Two other libraries have expressed

interest:  Southwest Texas State University and the SUNY Health

Sciences Library in Buffalo, N.Y.  A final report on the project

will be presented at the January 1995 CONSER At-large meeting at


CONSER and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging

A discussion on CONSER's relationship with the PCC focused on a

desire to coordinate developments of the two programs, including

cataloging standards, record distribution, the use of foreign

catalog records.  The possibility of cooperative training

programs was also considered.  A motion was passed by the

committee to invite a representative of the PCC to attend CONSER

Policy Committee and At-large meetings as a CONSER Councilor.

Electronic Serials Task Force

The Committee also agreed to establish a new task force to assess

the rapidly changing world of electronic serials and the

Internet, and perform an *environmental scan* to identify the

issues relating to serials and CONSER.  Their work will be

coordinated with standards groups and others active in this area.


                      USNP ANNUAL MEETING

             By Bob Harriman (Library of Congress)

The Library of Congress hosted the Seventh Annual Meeting of

participants in the United States Newspaper Program, April 28-29. 

Eighty-five participants, representing twenty-four state

projects, attended the meeting.

The USNP Annual Meeting serves as an opportunity to feature the

achievements of individual state newspaper projects; provide

information and workshops for catalogers and preservation staff;

discuss new standards and developments relating to the work of

the program; provide information for state project planners and

managers; and serve as a forum to present new ideas and

initiatives relating to the use of newspapers in libraries,

archives, and research institutions.  Perhaps most importantly,

the meeting provides a chance each year for all the participants

in the program, including representatives of the vendor

community, to meet and share their experiences.

This year's program included field reports from Alaska, New York,

and Texas; a preview of OCLC PRISM union listing; an overview of

newspaper preservation microfilming; and reports on two projects

involving conversion of newspaper microfilm to electronic text. 

Plans are already underway for the 1995 meeting, which will

celebrate the participation of all fifty states in the USNP with

a major symposium on the use of newspapers for historical



_CONSERline_ (ISSN 1072-611X) continues the newsletter, _CONSER_,

and is published at least semiannually (January and June) by the

Library of Congress, Serial Record Division and OCLC, Inc. 

_CONSERline_ is a cooperative effort with contributions from

program members consisting of news of the CONSER Program and

information of interest to the serials cataloging community.

For comments or suggestions, contact the editors:  Jean Hirons,

Library of Congress, Serial Record Division, Washington, DC

20540-4160, (e-mail), 202-707-5947 (voice),

202-707-6333 (fax); Liz Bishoff, OCLC, Inc., 4545 Frantz Rd.,

Dublin, OH 43017-3395, (e-mail), 800-848-

5878 (voice), 614-764-0740 (fax).

_CONSERline_ is available in electronic form only and is free of

charge.  To subscribe, send a mail message to with the text:  subscribe CONSRLIN

[firstname lastname].  Back issues of _CONSERline_ will be

available through the listserver and on LC MARVEL.  To find out

what is available, send a mail message to

with the text: index CONSRLIN.  To get a specific file, send a

mail message to with the text: get consrlin


All materials in the newsletter are in the public domain and may

be reproduced, reprinted, and/or redistributed as desired. 

Citation to the source is requested.



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