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The Changing Nature of the Catalog and its Integration with Other Discovery Tools, prepared for the Library of Congress by Karen Calhoun, Cornell University Library

Topical Discussion group recommendations

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Topical discussion groups

NAS study and 2 articles from the LC staff Gazette

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Bicentennial Conference  on 
	Bibliographic Control for the New Millenium: Confronting the Challenges of Networked 
	Resources and the Web
sponsored by the Library of Congress Cataloging Directorate

Action Plan available.

Proceedings of the Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium (2001), 574 pages, ISBN 0-8444-1046-2 $45 North America/$50 outside North America

To order please contact:

Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, Customer Services Section, Washington, DC 20541-4912 U.S.A.; e-mail:

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November 15-17, 2000


Library of Congress, accommodating approximately 125 attendees (including invited speakers and panelists, and participants), with consideration given to cybercasting. General sessions to be held in the Mumford Room; topical discussion groups in conference rooms.


Librarians, who are versed in the use of AACR2 and metadata information schemes, including those providing reference and computer-based information services; metadata developers involved in applying metadata to Web resources; computer and other information specialists actively engaged in creating software tools to access Web content; library vendors developing next-generation WebPACS; Web authors and producers designing content for improved access.


To celebrate the Library of Congress's Bicentennial and its historic and outstanding role in providing national and international leadership to the library profession in the development of cataloging policy and to the library community in its production of standardized records to enable bibliographic control and access to resources in a variety of formats. It is the aim of this conference to bring together authorities in the cataloging and metadata communities to discuss outstanding issues involving improved discovery and access to Web resources within the framework of international standards. The focus of the conference is on an open discussion of the issues with primary attention on proposed solutions and action items which result. For this reason, presentations and panels are not intended merely to convey or update existing information but to frame the issues and fashion solutions to problems. The conference will produce recommendations that will help the Library of Congress, the framers of AACR, and the library profession develop and implement an effective response to the bibliographic challenges posed by the proliferation of Web resources.

The goals of the conference are:

  1. To develop an overall strategy to address the challenges of improved access to Web resources through library catalogs and applications of metadata. Specifically: a) Plan a national agenda that includes identifying library resource description needs and future directions of the library catalog in the Web environment; b) Promote changes to AACR2 that are coherent, flexible, and adaptable to accessing the proliferation and diversity of Web resources; c) Encourage wider use of authorised subject and classification systems, such as LCSH, LCC, and DDC, to enhance resource organization and discovery; d) Collaborate with metadata communities to develop and refine metadata element sets that support interoperability between different systems based on different metadata; e) Participate in developing and promoting national and international standards that will enable libraries and metadata communities to meet the new and changing needs of Web users; f) Foster the development of software (templates, intelligent agents) for use in generating library resource descriptions embedded in or linked to the resources described; g) Identify and address related training issues and needs; and, h) Support the development of mechanisms to facilitate efficient interfaces between the library catalog and other sources of metadata on the Web.
  2. To identify attainable actions for achieving the objectives of the overall strategy. Such actions would include those resulting from goals 1a)-g) noted above. These actions could have several outcomes, ranging from the initiation of new or expanded bibliographic projects to the development of partnerships among representatives of the library, metadata, and vendor communities in attendance. It is expected that Conference participants will frame a plan for moving recommendations and actions forward to their respective organizations and other groups sharing common concerns.


In the course of the last five years, libraries have witnessed an explosion in the quantity of digital resources that have become available on the World Wide Web. These materials comprise a bibliographical mix of known types or genres (serials and other text-based items) and newer forms such as multimedia, home pages, databases, discussion forums, and online services. Within this period, libraries began to recognize the importance of digital resources and the need to make them an integral part of their collections. However, these resources have presented a number of cataloging problems related to their bibliographic control. Such problems involve content, format, and technology issues which have resulted in raising questions about the overall ability of established cataloging practice as embodied in the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2), and in the application of traditional library subject and classification tools, such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and Dewey Decimal Classification (DCC), to deal with these materials. As a consequence, various groups within the national cataloging community have undertaken separate but related, and in some cases, overlapping initiatives to address these problems.

At the same time, new metadata information schemes have been developed promising greater precision in the discovery and access to Web resources. Prominent among these schemes are the Dublin Core (DC), the Encoded Archival Description (EAD), and the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). In tandem with the development of metadata schemes, there are a number of national and international projects underway that are exploring the creation and use of metadata, primarily for Web resources. Among these are OCLC's CORC (Cooperative Online Resource Catalog), the Nordic Metadata Project, and BIBLINK, to name just a few.

These different and diverse developments underscore the need to bring together leaders in the library and other metadata communities to discuss their work and to share their goals and contributions. This special Conference provides that opportunity with a program dedicated to the theme of promoting the effective organization of networked resources.


Speakers will present formal summaries of key points and recommendations in contributed papers, which will be made available on an open electronic discussion list in advance of the Conference. All participants will be expected to read these papers in advance and offer feedback through contributions to the discussion list; the speakers will consider this feedback in preparing their presentations. Panelists will also contribute papers that they will summarize at the Conference. Speakers, panelists, and those summarizing session highlights will help to identify key topics and issues for participants to address in their recommendations and action plans. Topical discussion groups will further the effort to seek solutions to problems and derive action items, and to facilitate discussion on issues. It is anticipated that this format will engender energetic discussion of the theoretical and practical issues. Assembled conferees will consider the recommendations of the topical discussion groups and help to develop and prioritize them into a strategic plan.


Sessions and panel discussions address selected topics bearing on the conference theme. As currently projected, these include:
Keynote Address

From Card Catalogues to WebPACS: Celebrating Cataloguing in the 20th Century.
Speaker: Michael Gorman

Dinner Speaker

The New Context for Bibliographic Control In the New Millennium
Speaker: Clifford Lynch
The Library Catalog and the Web

Discussion Paper:
Metadata for Web Resources: How Metadata Works on the Web
Author: Martin Dillon

Conference Presentations:
The Catalog as Portal to the Internet
Speaker: Sarah Thomas
Commentator: Brian Schottlaender
The Library Catalogue in a Networked Environment
Speaker: Tom Delsey
Commentator: Jennifer Trant
International Metadata Initiatives: Lessons in Bibliographic Control
Speaker: Priscilla Caplan
Commentator: Robin Wendler

Assessing Current Library Standards for Bibliographic Control and Web Access
Discussion paper:
Is Precoordination Unnecessary in LCSH? Are Web Sites More Important to Catalog than Books? : A Reference Librarian's Thoughts on the Future of Bibliographic Control
Author: Thomas Mann

Crossing a Digital Divide: AACR2 and Unaddressed Problems of Networked Resources
Speaker: Matthew Beacom
Commentator: Glenn Patton
Exploiting LCSH, LCC, and DDC to Retrieve Networked Resources
Speaker: Lois Mai Chan
Commentator: Diane Vizine-Goetz
Resource Discovery Using Z39.50: Promise and Reality
Speaker: William E. Moen
Authority Control on the Web
Speaker: Barbara Tillett
Future Directions
AACR2 and Its Place in the Digital World: Near-term Revisions and Long-term Direction
Speaker: Ann Huthwaite
Commentator: Lynne Howarth
Extending MARC for Bibliographic Control in the Web Environment: Challenges and Alternatives
Speaker: Sally McCallum
Commentator: Paul Weiss
Business Unusual: How "Event-Awareness" May Breathe Life Into the Catalog?
Speaker: Carl Lagoze
Descriptive Resource Needs from the Reference Perspective
Speakers: Linda Arret, Carolyn Larson

Discussion Papers:
Some Observations on Metadata and Digital Libraries
Author: Caroline Arms

An Initial Survey and Description of How Selected United States Government Libraries, Information Centers, and Information Services Provide Public Access to Information Via the Internet
Author: Thomas Downing

Conference Presentations:
A Comparison of Web Resource Access Experiments: Planning for the New Millennium
Speaker: Jane Greenberg
Redesign of Library Workflows: Experimental Models for Electronic Resource Description
Speaker: Karen Calhoun
Exploring Partnerships

Discussion Paper:
Metadata, Cataloging, Digitization and Retrieval: Who's Doing What to Whom: The Colorado Digitization Project Experience
Authors: Liz Bishoff, Bill Garrison

Conference Presentations:
Exploring Partnerships: What Can Producers and Vendors Provide?
Speaker: Michael Kaplan
Commentators: Amira Aaron, Jeff Calcagno, Lynn Connaway
Partnerships to Mine Unexploited Sources of Metadata
Speaker: Regina Reynolds

Development, Completion and Presentation of Action Plans

November 3, 2000

Library of Congress
January 31, 2001
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