Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 1, no. 8 ISSN 1066-8829 December 1993



Electronic CIP: A Research Project
CONSERline--The New CONSER Newsletter
CONSER Subject Seminar
Directors of ISSN Centers
Online Subject Proposal Experiment
Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee


In the campaign to reduce the government work force, the Library of Congress has offered eligible employees a monetary incentive up to $25,000 to take optional or voluntary early retirement. So far well over 200 employees have taken advantage of this offer. Their departure is our loss.

The loss in cataloging has been significant.

     2 acting division chiefs

     2 assistant division chiefs

     1 cataloging policy specialist concentrating on legal materials

     3 team leaders

     1 art whole book cataloger

     1 Anglo-American descriptive cataloger
     2 Germanic language descriptive catalogers
     1 Greek language descriptive cataloger
     1 Hebraica whole book cataloger
     1 Japanese language descriptive cataloger
     1 microform cataloger
     1 rare book descriptive cataloger
     2 Romance language descriptive catalogers
     1 Scandinavian descriptive cataloger with Icelandic, Danish,
       Swedish, and Norwegian language skills
     3 serials descriptive catalogers
     1 ISSN cataloger

     1 cooperative subject cataloger
     1 religion subject cataloger

     1 decimal classification specialist covering international
       law, public administration, military science, and materials in
       Chinese in all Dewey disciplines.  All areas except Chinese have
       been absorbed by other staff; for the foreseeable future, no
       classifying of Chinese language materials will be done

     1 senior monograph copy cataloger
     1 sound recordings copy cataloger

     1 assistant editor of subject headings

     10 technicians (shelflisters, searchers, MARC verifiers, filers)

     Because of retirements several managers have been shifted into
       acting capacities.  They are

     Charles R. Fenly, acting chief, Social Sciences Cataloging Division
     Regene C. Ross, acting chief, Enhanced Cataloging Division 
     Susan H. Vita, acting chief, Special Materials Cataloging Division 


The Cataloging in Publication Division has initiated a research project to test the possibility of establishing an online link between the CIP Division and publishers participating in the CIP program. Such a link, if successful, would improve the effectiveness of the CIP program by enabling publishers to transmit applications for CIP electronically. Currently publishers submit their applications and accompanying galleys by mail--a time consuming process as many applications are in transit for approximately one week. Electronic transmission of CIP applications would not only speed the receipt of the applications but would improve the quality of the CIP record as it would enable publishers to provide more readily the full text of the forthcoming title and thereby provide catalogers ample material for subject analysis.

The Electronic CIP Project is supported by the Electronic CIP Group, a committee of staff from several areas--the CIP Division, the Social Sciences Cataloging Division, the Arts and Sciences Cataloging Division, the Automation, Planning, and Liaison Office, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, and Information Technology Services. The group to date has been fluid as competing priorities have required some of the key members to redeploy their time in other areas. Nonetheless, since its initial meeting in April it has identified a number of the principal problem areas that will require resolution if a production model is to be developed: Is a standard format such as Standard Generalized Markup Language mandatory for receipt of electronic manuscripts? Should galleys be transmitted as image data so the format, design, and typography of the electronic version of the title page mirrors the printed version, or ASCII data which more closely parallels a typed manuscript? Are there applications used by the publishing industry that are sufficiently prevalent to serve, at least for the time being, as a de facto standard so the CIP Division can develop transmission procedures that would be viable for many publishers?

These and other issues have been the subject of the group's attention. While the group is fully cognizant of these concerns, it has adopted an experimental, hands-on approach rather than attempting to hammer out final positions on any of these issues-- knowing that any one of these issues could absorb the group's time for a year or more. In order to set up some experiments, the group established contact with several publishers who expressed interest in the Electronic CIP Project. These include Harper Collins, Houghton Mifflin, Hyperion Press, John Wiley, Simon & Schuster, Thomson Learning Corporation, University of New Mexico Press, and Workman Publishing. The group also surveyed these publishers to obtain a preliminary appraisal of their automation capabilities relative to Electronic CIP.

The Group's first successful experiment was conducted with the University of New Mexico Press. An electronic version of the CIP Data Sheet was developed and made available to the University of New Mexico Press, and in August it submitted the first application for Electronic CIP. Using Internet, Kay S. Garcia's NEW PERSPECTIVES FROM MEXICAN WOMEN WRITERS was transmitted to the Library of Congress where it was cataloged online. The resulting CIP record was then transmitted to the publisher also via Internet. An electronic version of CIP's Change Request form was also developed and in September the University of New Mexico Press submitted the first request for a change--a title change. NEW PERSPECTIVES FROM MEXICAN WOMEN WRITERS was changed to BROKEN BARS: NEW PERSPECTIVES FROM MEXICAN WOMEN WRITERS.

These experiments confirm the fundamental assumption that transmitting data electronically promises to yield considerable savings in the amount of time applications and CIP data spend in the mail. They also open the prospect of gaining additional efficiencies in the cataloging process as data from the CIP application and the front matter can be blocked and copied into the MARC record.


In August and September, over a dozen catalogers and technicians visited five research libraries as part of the directorate's goal to increase communication between its staff and those of other institutions. The primary objective of the group was to learn more about copy cataloging programs. In general, LC staff found that the bulk of copy cataloging is done by paraprofessionals and that most of the institutions can no longer afford internal authority files. Indeed they, like LC, are under severe budget restrictions and applaud LC's decision to implement a copy cataloging program and urged the Library to use the time saved to catalog new titles, particularly those in foreign languages. The intangible benefits resulting from the personal contacts were particularly effective in that they removed the faceless "institution to institution" feeling and provided opportunities for collegial and professional staff communication. Without exception LC staff were graciously received and the unanimous opinion was that such trips should be continued on a regular basis and as often as resources will allow.


CONSERline is the new electronic newsletter that continues CONSER, a newsletter of the CONSER Program previously issued only in paper format. CONSERline is transmitted semiannually (January and June) with additional issues as needed to relay information of timely interest. The Library of Congress and OCLC, Inc., are taking advantage of current technology to provide a more timely and succinct newsline for information relating to the CONSER Program and serials cataloging developments.

CONSERline is a cooperative effort of the CONSER Program-- reporting and publishing contributions from all CONSER members. CONSERline is free of charge. Future announcements on how to subscribe to the e-newsletter will be posted on a variety of Listservers. Back issues will be available through LC Marvel, a Campus-Wide Information System of the Library of Congress, and through the listserver.


A subject seminar for the CONSER Operations Committee was held at the Library of Congress, November 4-5. Subject specialists in LC's Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO) and Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division (RCCD) answered numerous questions and led the discussion of the issues.

Much of the seminar was devoted to answering questions on subject cataloging, classification, and shelflisting that were previously submitted by members of the Operations Committee. As a result of the discussions, CONSER will be pursuing ways in which to assure quality subject analysis within CONSER records, including:

     Defining and documenting quality subject cataloging
     Maintaining up-to-date subject headings in CONSER records
     Providing LC review of CONSER subject analysis 
     Providing avenues of communication between CONSER catalogers and LC subject experts
     Coordinating fixed field coding of periodicals and newspapers with the corresponding form subdivisions 
     Facilitating the submission of subject heading proposals


Directors from 22 ISSN centers around the world gathered Oct. 26-29 at the National Library of Canada for the 19th Meeting of Directors of ISSN Centers. Janice Wrench, Director of the U.K. ISSN centre, chaired the meeting in the absence of Suzanne Santiago, Director of the International ISSN Centre, who was ill. Directors from recently-created Slovenian, Croatian, and Saudi Arabian national centers were welcomed to their first meeting as fully operational centers.

Assignment of ISSN to serials in non-print media, especially electronic media, was a focal point of the meeting. Regina Reynolds, head of the National Serials Data Program at the Library of Congress, presented NSDP's experience in this area, particularly in the cataloging of CD-ROMs and electronic journals and newsletters. Many directors gained a first look at an electronic journal from a slide presentation given by Michael Strangelove, professor at the University of Ottawa and co-compiler of the Association of Research Libraries' DIRECTORY OF ELECTRONIC JOURNALS, NEWSLETTERS, AND ACADEMIC DISCUSSION LISTS.

Other topics included the ISSN Network's recent name change from International Serials Data System (ISDS) and the ongoing name changes in national centers to include the letters ISSN in their names. Use of ISSN COMPACT (a CD-ROM version of the ISSN database), potential for ISSN usage in the universal resource codes being developed as identification codes for use on the Internet, bar coding of serials, and the financial and organizational challenges facing ISSN centers worldwide were also discussed.


The Library of Congress will begin a pilot project at the end of the calendar year to have catalogers key subject heading proposals directly into the online subject authority file. The experiment is the outcome of a survey that examined the editorial process for the submission of subject proposals at LC. The survey solicited comments and suggestions from subject catalogers on ways to streamline the process of establishing subject headings. Catalogers responded favorably to the idea of devising a method for creating subject proposals online, eliminating the use of typed manuscript sheets for this purpose.

As a result of this proposal, a committee to plan the pilot project for the online cataloger input of subject authority records was formed. Participants in the experiment have been chosen from the four monograph cataloging divisions of the Cataloging Directorate. They include teams from Arts and Sciences Cataloging Division (Physical Sciences I and Biological and Agricultural Sciences Teams), History and Literature Cataloging Division (Germanic History and Literature Team), Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division (Hebraica Team), and Social Sciences Cataloging Division (Political Science, Sociology, and Anthropology Team). Subject heading proposals created by participants in the experiment will be available for searching only by those who have access to MUMS files. The committee will evaluate the pilot project and if successful, the capability of creating subject heading proposals online will be extended to other internal users.


The Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) held its Fall session (meeting 103 in its long history) at the Library November 3-5. A new member, Giles Martin, representing the Australian Committee on Cataloguing, joined the committee; and Lois Chan, who worked on DDC Editions 19, 20, and 21 during her eighteen-year tenure, bid farewell to EPC work. During the three-day agenda to consider editorial exhibits prepared for Edition 21, several major and many lesser schedules and tables were accepted. Especially important were unanimous approval of the completely revised 350-354 Public administration schedule; and the "in principle" acceptance, following vigorous debate in which the British representative demurred, of 370 Education, which has been extensively revised.


Recently published: LC CLASSIFICATION: ADDITIONS AND CHANGES, List 251, July-September 1993.

LC CATALOGING NEWSLINE (ISSN 1066-8829) is published at least quarterly by the Cataloging Directorate, Collections Services, Library of Congress, and contains news of cataloging activities throughout the Library of Congress. Editorial Office: Cataloging Policy and Support Office, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540-4305. Editor, Robert M. Hiatt; Assistant Editor, Rebecca S. Guenther. Address inquiries to the editor at the above address or [email protected] (eMail), (202) 707-5831 (voice), or (202)707-6629 (fax).

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