Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 3, no. 6, ISSN 1066-8829, May 1995

Cataloging Directorate Focuses on Quality
Cataloging Enrichment over the Internet
Electronic CIP Milestone
CONSER Policy Committee Chair
CONSER Operations Committee
Nonfiction Juvenile Items
Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings


The Quality Task Group, chaired by Barbara Tillett, chief, Cataloging Policy and Support Office, is striving to strengthen the common understanding of cataloging quality among all staff in the directorate and other LC cataloging areas. The project consists of three parts: a series of meetings for cataloging staff to focus on quality issues; an examination of quality measures used by other cataloging operations; and a search of the relevant library literature.

The meetings for directorate staff and others focus on quality as it impacts five areas of cataloging: descriptive cataloging (April 21), subject cataloging (May 3), shelflisting (May 12), training of cataloging staff (June 7), and copy cataloging and levels of less-than-full cataloging, such as core and minimal-level (June 28). The meetings feature overviews of the topic by CPSO specialists and are then opened up for comments and brainstorming.

During the first two focus group meetings on descriptive and subject cataloging quality, Barbara Tillett stressed that the development of a consensus on cataloging quality depended on two major issues: 1) What is important for quality today; particularly, what are the elements of quality cataloging that really matter today to our users? and 2) How do we assure the desired level of quality, given budgetary and staffing constraints and user needs for timely availability of the records we create? She emphasized that to be of value, any quality goal must be attainable: "We will only set ourselves up for failure if we pursue an unreachable quality ideal." A realistic definition will recognize the reduced staffing levels throughout the Library's cataloging units as well as the requirement to make cataloging records available in a timely manner. The discussion of descriptive cataloging quality brought out the difficulty of defining or profiling the end user of cataloging records, while the meeting about subject cataloging quality highlighted the importance of subject expertise as well as knowledge of the cataloging rules.

The Quality Task Group plans to submit its final report to the Cataloging Management Team this August. The report will propose a commonly held definition of quality for Cataloging Directorate bibliographic and authority records and recommend action to assure that quality is maintained.


The Library of Congress is undertaking a project to enhance the MARC catalog record by including table of contents (TOC) information for selected titles. This initiative is in addition to the already implemented program to include TOC for catalog records produced for CIP titles electronically transmitted to LC.

Initially this experiment was limited to records for items in the business and economics fields, as part of the Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT) efforts to provide more bibliographic information to users of the Library's online catalog. Two methods are being used: 1) simple TOCs, converted to electronic form using a scanner and optical character recognition (OCR) software, are inserted into the MARC field 505, and 2) lengthy TOCs, similarly converted into electronic form but instead stored in separate files and linked to the MARC record through the inclusion of a uniform resource locator (URL) stored in the MARC field 856.

The Library implemented the MARC field 856 (Electronic Location and Access) for use in late January 1995. To date, approximately 50 MARC records employ the 856 field for linking to TOC information. In the near future, the Library will begin using the 856 field to link from MARC records to related finding aids as well as actual digitized collection items.

As part of the current project, the lengthy TOC information is not only captured in electronic form, but also coded using simple hypertext-markup language (HTML). HTML is the standard coding used in the Internet navigation and discovery tool called the World Wide Web (WWW). By using HTML, most of the actual structure and appearance of the original TOC can be maintained. While such things as boldface, underline, and italics are lost, a very good approximation of the original TOC is retained. When using a typical WWW browser (e.g., Lynx, Mosaic, Netscape) to view the TOCs in HTML format, a user will also have the capability of searching the text for a particular word or phrase.

The Library is also testing the capabilities of a Z39.50 search form available via WWW. A user can search part of the Library's MUMS database (BOOKS and Name Authority records) using this new form by filling in blanks and then submitting their search. The search results are returned to the user via a Z30.50 WWW gateway. This gateway has been modified by the Library to display the URL information from the 856 field as a hypertext link. By selecting this link from the displayed search results (by clicking with the mouse or highlighting the link and pressing ) a user can display the document cited in the URL -- in this case, the lengthy TOC information.

The Library's search form can be found through the Z39.50 home page. There are two forms available. the first allows for simple author and/or titles searches, while the second is for more complex searches based on many different fields of the MARC record.

To perform a sample title search using the Library's Z39.50 search form, type in the "title" words "globalization" and "hassan." This will return a single record -- 93-10607, Globalization of consumer markets : structures and strategies / Salah S. Hassan, Erdener Kaynak, editors. At the bottom of the displayed record will be a hypertext link. Selecting this highlighted text will link the user to TOC information for that record.

While the bibliographic record is searchable through the Z39.50 gateway and the TOC information is searchable in itself, the two are not searchable in a combined manner. Future enhancements call for creating a database that will index both the bibliographic information and the TOC data together so that searching terms in either part will retrieve the bibliographic information and hypertext link.


The Electronic CIP (E-CIP) experiment passed another milestone on May 10 when New York University Press submitted the 200th manuscript for the book America goes to war : a social history of the Continental Army, by Charles Patrick Neimeyer (95-4406). The E-CIP experiment began in November 1993 when the University of New Mexico Press submitted the first manuscript. Since that time, the number of participating publishers has grown to 13. The 100th manuscript was received after 14 months of the experiment. This 200th manuscript was received only four months later. This increase in receipts has enabled two additional catalogers to learn how to catalog from these electronic manuscripts. As the program expands, more catalogers will be brought into the experiment.


Sue Phillips, associate director for technical services for the General Libraries, University of Texas at Austin, has been elected chair of the CONSER Policy Committee. She will serve out the term of Linda West, who will be leaving Harvard University to become the director of member support and services for the Research Libraries Group.

Ms. Phillips has been active in CONSER since the early 1980's. She has also served on the Cooperative Cataloging Council and will represent CONSER on the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Executive Committee.


The CONSER Operations Committee met at the Library of Congress May 4-5. The first day was devoted to electronic serials. The morning session was held in the National Digital Library Visitors' Center where Bill Anderson and Les Hawkins (both from LC) gave an online "tour" of various access methods to electronic serials (e.g., gopher, ftp, email, and world wide web). Regina Reynolds (LC) followed with a presentation on cataloging problems associated with electronic serials and discussed new CONSER guidelines outlined in Module 31 of the CONSER Cataloging Manual (CCM). The new module will be included in Update 3 to the CCM, and will also be made available on an ftp site. During the afternoon, participants reported on the status of cataloging electronic serials in their institutions and practiced cataloging electronic serials.

The second day began with a discussion on newspapers, led by Adriana Pilecky-Dikajlo (Center for Research Libraries). Jean Hirons, acting CONSER coordinator, noted that a new CCM module is under preparation and is scheduled for publication during spring 1996. Robert Bremer (OCLC) shared with the group the proposed fixed field display and mnemonics that would be implemented with the final phase of format integration and several changes were suggested. Judy Kuhagen (LC) and Jean Hirons discussed proposed changes to Library of Congress Rule Interpretations for chapter 12 that will be distributed in early summer for comment. Other topics included collection level records and a possible new task force that would recommend future changes to serials cataloging. Kristin Lindlan (University of Washington) was elected to serve in the role of committee representative to the CONSER Policy Committee, which will be meeting in November.


The Children's Literature Team, History and Literature Cataloging Division is pleased to announce that as of April 1, nonfiction juvenile items that are within scope for the Annotated Card Program and are cataloged through the Cataloging in Publication Program will again carry a brief, noncritical summary. The team stopped providing summaries for nonfiction juvenile CIPs in July 1993 in an attempt to eliminate a large backlog of unprocessed juvenile CIPs and to reduce the throughput time of juvenile CIPs to under ten work days.

To achieve these two goals, the team examined its receipts, workflow, and available resources in addition to consulting the Cataloging of Children's Materials Committee and the CIP Advisory Group both of which are part of the American Library Association. A decision was then made to eliminate the summary on nonfiction juvenile CIPs for one year. At the end of that period, the throughput would be evaluated, and if it appeared possible, the team would restore this element of the AC record.

Juvenile belle lettres and folklore included in the CIP program were not affected. The team prepared summaries for 2,525 titles from July 1993 through the end of June 1994. The team also continued to provide Annotated Card Program subject analysis to nonfiction. Only the summary was temporarily eliminated from the nonfiction CIPs.

The team was very encouraged by the progress made during the hiatus but worried that the high volume of nonfiction CIPs received would again increase the processing time. After again consulting with the Cataloging of Children's Materials Committee, it was decided to phase in the nonfiction material in three groups based on broad subject categories.

The first group, reinstated on October 1, 1994, included such subjects as anthropology, manners and customs, education, and sociology. The second group was reinstated on January 1, 1995, and included sports, religion, linguistics, psychology, and music. The last group, which accounted for the largest percentage of nonfiction material, included the applied and natural sciences in addition to handicraft books. Biographies were included wherever they occurred in the groupings.

By using this phased approach and by better utilizing the resources available, the team has been able to eliminate the backlog and to achieve its goal of processing CIPs in under ten work days.


The 1995 update number 1 to the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings was recently sent to subscribers by the Cataloging Distribution Service. The update contains recent subject cataloging policy changes as well as improvements made to the manual as a result of a survey on the manual undertaken by the CPSO/CCC Task Group on Subject Cataloging Documentation and Procedures during November and December 1994.

A new instruction sheet, H 1715, "Legal Materials: Legislation," reflects a change in policy on the assignment of uniform titles of individual legislative enactments as subject headings. Previously the Library of Congress followed a restrictive policy on assigning such headings and assigned them only to legislative histories or textual criticisms of an enactment. Catalogers may now assign the uniform title for a specific enactment as a subject heading to any work for which they judge that this heading would be a useful access point. The instruction sheet also introduces a new free-floating subdivision --Legislative history for use under legal topics and under titles of individual enactments to identify that specific material.

Instruction sheet H 150, "Partial Title Added Entries," was rewritten to indicate that with the implementation of Phase 2 of format integration, Library of Congress catalogers no longer assign partial title added entries for subject cataloging purposes. If for some reason a cataloger feels it necessary to record the varying form of a word appearing in a title that is judged to be significant for subject access but not adequately covered by the assigned subject headings, the term will be recorded in the 653 field for uncontrolled subject terms. However, terms appearing in another searchable field will not be duplicated.

Instruction sheet H 203, "Citation of Sources," was revised to reflect the flexibility in citation forms that may now be used in 670 (Sources found) and 675 (Sources not found) in subject authority records. In addition, examples in this instruction sheet now show the content designation appearing in the online record.

Improvements to individual instruction sheets and index entries were made as a result of suggestions from respondents to the survey on the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings. For example, the list of subdivisions used under names of families was moved from the instruction sheet on genealogy to the section for lists of free-floating subdivisions at the end of the first volume of the manual. For the first time, a standard form for making additional suggestions to the Cataloging Policy and Support Office is included.

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