Note: This article first appeared in the Library Services News, Vol 11, No. 1 (October-December 2002) by Charlynn Spencer Pyne.¹
"Launched ten years ago under my predecessor, Sarah Thomas [ director
for cataloging], during the Cataloging Directorate's reorganization...
the Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT) is the brainchild of
John Byrum," said Director for Cataloging and Acting Associate
Librarian for Library Services Beacher Wiggins, the kickoff speaker at
BEAT's tenth anniversary celebration held November 12  in the
Wiggins continued: "BEAT offered the Cataloging Directorate two challenges for moving forward. One was finding ways to enrich and enhance the cataloging data that we produce, and in turn better serve the community for which we prepare our cataloging data. The other was a chance to move into the digital realm at a time when we really were just stepping into the world of the Internet ..."
"The work that BEAT did help set the stage for expanding cataloging in all
of the [cataloging] divisions, so that today each division has someone
who is processing Web sites and digital resources. It is no longer
just limited to the Microform and Computer Files Team in the Special
Materials Cataloging Division (SMCD), and that's a huge step forward
for the Library and for Cataloging." The November 12 celebration—
attended by more than two hundred people—was a half day event that
included a summary of major accomplishments over the decade,
presentations about some of the current "family" of BEAT projects,
congratulatory remarks from Library Services directors, refreshments,
and door prizes. (For a full schedule of events and program
|Byrum, chief of the Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division (RCCD) and chair of BEAT, explained: "In late 1992, BEAT was formed as a Cataloging Directorate program to develop tools to aid catalogers, reference specialists, and researchers in creating and locating information—both bibliographic information and other information." He commented that BEAT came about through rather unusual circumstances— a grant from the Edward Lowe Foundation to support research and development in the area of bibliographic access and control. "This was almost unprecedented in the history of LC to receive signigicant gift money to support cataloging R&D," Byrum said. He noted that BEAT was encouraged to work "outside the box," to develop innovative workflows and policies, and to produce proof of concept" pilot projects—in an environment of very limited resources.|
Byrum introduced the team, which began as a small group in Cataloging and now includes eighteen 'BEAT-niks' from throughout Library Services— August, RCCD; Patricia T. Barber, Anglo-American Acquisitions Division; Byrum; John P. Celli, Cataloging in Publication Division; Barbara Conaty, Technical Processing and Automation Instruction Office; Goldberg, Cataloging Policy and Support Office; Rebecca S. Guenther, Network Development and MARC Standards Office; Hayes, SMCD; Bruce A. Knarr, RCCD; Horchler, Social Sciences Cataloging Division; Victoria T. Behrens, SMCD; Williamson, Cataloging Directorate; Kathryn Mendenhall, Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS); Larson, Sciences, Technology, and Business Division; Everette E. Larson, Hispanic Division; Tracy Meehleib, Digital Reference Team; Regina Romano Reynolds, Serial Record Division; and Wendy Reidel, Automation, Planning and Liaison Office Byrum noted several future BEAT projects and invited all interested persons to join in. He then introduced the seven speakers who provided exciting presentations on the current family of BEAT projects.
Family Ties: Linking Records, Contents, and Resources
|Williamson described several projects underway that use information
from various source—publisher-supplied data, reviews, other
digitization projects, etc.—to enhance catalog records with
information not normally provided. "The information is easily
manipulated through automated means and linked to the bibliographic
record —so that it is provided in a very low cost manner," he said.
Williamson discussed three projects: ONIX TOC, ONIX Descriptions, and Digital Table of Contents (DTOC). He explained that ONIX (ONline Information eXchange), a standard for transmitting book industry product information, is now being used by some publishers to communicate that information electronically.
In the ONIX TOC project, LC receives this data and extracts the table of contents (TOC) ot make it available on the Web via a hyper-link in the catalog record. Williamson noted that to date the project has created 35,000 ONIX TOC records.
ONIX Descriptions, a spin-off of the ONIX TOC project, links the publisher's description of a book to the catalog record, in much the same way that the TOC is linked. More than 32,000 such records have been created to date, Williamson said.
The DTOC initiative creates machine readable TOC data from TOC surrogates in the form of photocopies of contents pages, explained Williamson. Just as with ONIX projects, hyperlinks are made from these data to the catalog record, and the reverse. DTOC began with an emphasis on economics, political science, technology, computer science, and bibliography, but now covers books in all fields. So far, nearly 11,000 TOCs have been created and linked, he noted.
Lastly, Williamson described a brand new initiative, Web Access to Works in the Public Domain, that will link LC bibliographic records to full-text electronic copies of the exact same materials residing in collections of other institutions. He noted that this effort is the result of cooperative agreements with the University of Michigan (for materials digitized in its Making of America project) and Indiana University (works comprising its Wright American Fiction project, 1851-1875).
The records created as a result of these "linking" projects have been visited by more than one million Web users, and BEAT expects that figure to continue to rise.
Not Your Mother's Bibliography, Not Your Father's Catalog: How Scanning and OCR are Linking the Two
|Carolyn Larson asked: "Have you ever looked at the catalog record for a book and thought, ‘If only I could skim the table of contents, check the index, and see what sources this author used I'd have a better idea if I really want to get this book from the stacks?'" If the book is part of BECites+ (Bibliographies plus: Enhanced Citations with Indexes, Tables of contents, Electronic resources and Sources cited), this additional information is now available. The BECites initiative enhances staff-produced bibliographies as well as related catalog records by adding links to the tables of contents, indexes, and sources cited in the bibliographies. "Wherever the user comes across a record, she or he can move seamlessly from the Online Public Access Catalog ( OPAC ) to the bibliography, or from the bibliography to the OPAC record, " said Larson.|
New Books—Son of CIP
"The New Books project provides the library community and the public with a rich source of information about soon-to-be-published and just- published books." said John Celli. Building on the ECIP and Electronic Preassigned Control Number (EPCN) programs, participating publishers provide information about forthcoming books. This system, still under development, will automatically create New Books records from this information and makes them immediately available on the LC homepage. Celli explained that when accessed via the LC Web homepage, a New Books record provides access to a Library of Congress catalog record (if one has been created), as well as a links to participating U.S. libraries so that readers can request or reserve copies of books of interest upon publication.
Look Ma, No Gaps! Web Access to Publications in Series
|"Think tanks and research institutes affiliated with universities, central banks, government agencies, and similar institutions publish monographic series. Such agencies rely on series to report the latest research results, discuss critical current issues, and stimulate debate" explained Gabe Horchler. These series should be made available to patrons in a timely manner; however, acquiring and processing the printed versions on a timely basis has been problematic for LC. As a result, LC holdings of theses important materials are frequently out of date and full of gaps. "For example, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank issues a series titled International finance discussion papers. LC's policy is to provide a separate catalog record for each title. Of the 729 titles published to date, only one, number 292, can be found in the LC database," said Horchler.|
However, the Internet promises dramatic improvements in bibliographic access to working and research papers in series, since many are now available in full text digital versions. This BEAT project provides links to digital versions, often in partnership with the issuing agencies, he explained. Through this project, the Business and Economics Team (SSCD) has added links providing access to more than 15, 000 individual electronic titles.
Horchler noted: "It is unlikely LC will ever exercise full control over this very prolific area of publishing. But the Internet has provided exciting opportunities to do a much better job."
Cousins by the Dozens, Why Librarians Love Portals to the World
|"Librarians have long sought to bring order to Internet chaos by collecting and aggregating Web sites," said Everette Larson in his presentation on the Library's Portals to the World www.loc.gov/rr/international/portals.html, accessible from the Library's homepage via the Global Gateway icon and link. He continued: "Librarians at LC have gone a step further by selecting specific sites, annotating their selections, arranging them geographically under a series of topics of interest, and then recommending specific sites for full cataloging... While we seek to provide ‘one-stop shopping for international information needs,' our effort has been characterized as an ‘authoritative listing' providing a research tool for the student or advanced researcher without being subjected to enormous quantities of chaff," said Larson. Noting that many of the Web sites linked to are not in English, the Portals provide an easy way to see that the foreign language opportunities of the Web are increasing as the world shrinks.|
From BEOnline to MINERVA: A New Generation of Archiving and Accessing Web Sites
Hayes and Jones traced the development of selecting, cataloging,
archiving, and accessing Web sites from BEOnline to MINERVA in their
Hayes spoke first and recounted BEOnline's experimental past from its logo of a little bee, "which was raw, elementary, and a grassroots effort." Its focus in 1996 was on Web sites related to business and economics. Today, BEOnline Plus lcweb.loc.gov/rr/business/beonline draws upon catalogers in every division who are cataloging and providing links to selected Web sites in all subject areas.
An ever—increasing about of the world's cultural and intellectual output is now created in digital formats and does not exist in any physical form ("born digital") explained Jones ."MINERVA ( Mapping the Internet Electronic Resources Virtual Archive) lcweb.loc.gov/minerva is saving today's Web for tomorrow's generation," she said. For example, during a four-month period, MINERVA captured thirty thousand Web sites with 331 million Web pages relating to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and aftermath. Web-site archivists tussle with a number of problems, ranging from technical standards to Web design standards, she explained. "We're trying to figure out what's important to researchers in the future ... We don't know what will be of interest, but we're trying to collect it before it goes away, " she said.
The closing ceremony for BEAT's anniversary celebration included
congratulatory remarks from Director for Operations Cliff Cohen,
Director for Area Studies Collections Carolyn Brown, Director for
Public Service Collections Diane Kresh, and Acting Director for
Cataloging Judith Mansfield.
--Charlynn Spencer Pyne
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