LC Cataloging Newsline

Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 4, No. 14, ISSN 1066-8829, December 1996

Cataloging Directorate Highlights for Fiscal Year 1996
Cataloging Management Team Planning Retreat
Midwinter Cataloging Workshops at the Library of Congress

Cataloging Directorate Highlights for Fiscal Year 1996

The Cataloging Directorate maintained a high level of cataloging production and reduced the arrearage significantly during fiscal year 1996, which ended September 30, while also providing cataloging leadership and innovation for the entire library community. Perhaps most strikingly, the directorate used the fiscal year to invest in future successes by pursuing automation improvements, laying the groundwork for efficient original and copy cataloging endeavors in fiscal year 1997, and devoting resources to the project to obtain an integrated library system. This article chiefly summarizes activities that have not been covered in earlier issues of LCCN.

Arrearage Reduction

The directorate reduced its non-rare books arrearage by 62,438 items. At year's end that arrearage stood at 125,268 items, or 34,929 ahead of the directorate's arrearage reduction goal for the year. The directorate began processing a pamphlet collection arrearage using minimal-level cataloging techniques and had cleared more than 10,500 of the 20,000+ 19th-century American pamphlet titles by the end of September.

The directorate also contributed substantially to reducing the arrearage held in other LC directorates. The Altshuler Jazz Collection Project SWAT Team completed the processing of 264,327 78-rpm sound recordings, one of the most important collections of its kind in the world. Sixty-five Cataloging Directorate staff volunteered to work on the project half-time for four months. Special Materials Cataloging Division (SMCD) also completed processing the NBC Radio Project and worked on the A-Z Cassettes Project and Oilschlager Collection Project for the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, while the Rare Book Cataloging Team in SMCD continued to process the arrearage for the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Prints and Photographs Division, and Law Library.

Cooperative Programs

The cooperative cataloging programs administered by the directorate reached several milestones during the year. The Cooperative Cataloging Team continued to serve as secretariat to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), which now includes more than 200 institutions. The three components of the PCC--NACO for name and series authorities, SACO for subject heading authorities, and BIBCO for bibliographic records--all established records in fiscal year 1996. For the first time, new authority records contributed by NACO libraries passed the 100,000 mark: 98,102 new name authorities and 8,074 new series authorities. In addition, NACO libraries updated 26,369 name and series authority records. SACO libraries proposed a record 2,026 subject authority records and 780 new LC Classification numbers. BIBCO was inaugurated in spring 1996, and, by the end of the fiscal year, its 20 participating libraries had created 14,173 bibliographic records, cataloged to a nationally agreed standard and supported by authority work. The Cooperative Cataloging Team planned PCC meetings, administered the PCC electronic mailing list, published a brochure about the program, and continued to provide quality control and review to participating libraries.

The NUCMC (National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections) Team, which serves the archival and manuscript communities, increased its receipts of cataloging data by 65% over the previous fiscal year, to 2,650 reports, and added 44 new repositories to the program. The team assisted the Manuscript Division in editing the online manuscript file in preparation for distribution of records to the RLIN AMC file. The team received recognition in a special article in the bulletin CRM, which called NUCMC "an unprecedented opportunity for cultural resource managers," and in several other publications.

Fiscal year 1996 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Cataloging in Publication Program, which now includes virtually all U.S. trade publishers and provides the nation's libraries with cataloging for more than 50,000 titles a year--51,068 in fiscal year 1996. This fiscal year also saw production of the one- thousandth electronic CIP record. Forty-seven publishers now participate in the electronic CIP pilot project; the electronic CIP production system was almost completed during the fiscal year, for testing and implementation in fiscal year 1997.

Decimal Classification

The Decimal Classification Division's seven years of work on the development of Dewey Decimal Classification, Edition 21 (DDC21) bore fruit when OCLC Forest Press published DDC21 in print form in July and in electronic form as Dewey for Windows(TM) in August. Division editorial staff presented Edition 21 to the OCLC TechPro staff in May; at the Dewey 21 Preconference before the ALA Annual Conference in New York; to three workshops in Russia and Ukraine in June; and to a workshop held during the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) conference in Beijing, China, in August. They also developed training plans and instructional materials for practitioners who will be using the new edition. Implementation of Edition 21 at LC was scheduled for the start of fiscal year 1997. The Dewey editorial staff also continued work on the forthcoming Abridged Edition 13.


The directorate responded to the Library's strengthened emphasis on maintaining the security of the collections with a heightened awareness of the importance of security of in-process items.

Integrated Library System Project

Directorate staff were very active in the drive to obtain an integrated library system (ILS), which will replace the Library's cataloging system and online public access catalog and meet automation requirements for call number assignment, inventory control, and binding management. Barbara Tillett, chief, Cataloging Policy and Support Office, chaired the ILS Project Team that drafted the user requirements for an ILS. Over the summer the project team circulated two drafts of a proposed Request for Proposal (RFP) for an ILS for comment by selected Library staff. In addition, the directorate submitted a report analyzing the cataloging statistics that will be needed in the ILS environment. In order to obtain feedback from the vendor community, the Library will issue a Request for Comment (RFC) in the Commerce Business Daily before issuing the RFP in final form early in 1997.

Ongoing Progress in Automation

As fiscal year 1996 drew to a close, all cataloging staff had the BWS (a specially configured PC) installed at their workstations. Older BWSs running on a 386 platform were starting to be replaced with newer, more powerful Pentium machines. Directorate staff developed and installed ClipSearch, BWS software that automatically searches online authority files, enables catalogers to copy-and-paste data from one record to another even across different files, and permits automatic generation of name authority records that are then edited by catalogers. The directorate installed Catalogers Desktop on numerous BWSs. Directorate staff tested the MUMS Little Helper program, a searching interface for the BWS that sorts online retrieval sets alphabetically, late in fiscal 1996.

Directorate staff installed Web Explorer, an Internet browser best suited to the OS/2 environment of the BWS, on BWSs throughout the six Library Services directorates. Staff maintained the Cataloging Directorate World Wide Web Home Page, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging Home Page and its sub-pages, and the NUCMC Home Page.

Staff who catalog in RLIN also saw changes in their automation environment as the directorate successfully completed its "RLIN network transition" away from dedicated RLIN telephone connections. Staff implemented the use of RLIN for Windows(TM) software for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean scripts and began testing the software for Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Yiddish cataloging.

Personnel and Professional Development

The directorate's overall staffing level declined again in fiscal year 1996, to 605 full-time equivalents. The directorate lost two catalogers through death, one through resignation, and eight through retirement. Only one new cataloger, for Chinese materials, was added, recruited from within the directorate, thereby representing no net increase. The loss of several experienced technicians through retirement or long-term illness further reduced the directorate's staff resources. Staff showed great interest in attending conferences at which they could exchange ideas with librarians from other institutions. In addition to attendance at ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference, several staff members traveled to international conferences such as Crimea-96 and the International Federation of Library Associations meeting in Beijing at their own expense. Closer to home, directorate staff attended the Computers in Libraries Conference and the Virginia Library Association Paraprofessional Forum. Directorate technicians were also active in the Council on Library/Media Technicians (COLT), and four division secretaries and administrative officers attended the national conference of the Black Professional Secretaries Association. Several Rare Book Cataloging Team staff members attended the CAPNet workshop "Learning to Look," and two served as facilitators at this workshop devoted to handling medium-rare materials.

Cataloging Management Team Planning Retreat

The LC Cataloging Management Team (CMT) held a one-day planning retreat on November 1 to develop goals for fiscal years 1997 and 1998. The CMT consists of the director for cataloging, the eight division chiefs and three assistant division chiefs of the Cataloging Directorate, the assistant to the director for cataloging, and the chiefs of the Serial Record Division, Automation Planning and Liaison Office, and Acquisitions Bibliographic Support Project. The CMT agreed on four major goals for the next two years:

  1. to provide quality bibliographic control and physical security of library materials while meeting goals for processing current receipts and arrearage reduction;
  2. to develop staff resources and provide effective personnel management;
  3. to increase the efficiency and cost effectiveness of cataloging operations; and
  4. to provide national and international leadership in cooperative cataloging and in the development and promotion of cataloging policy and practice.

These goals will be articulated in a forthcoming two-year tactical plan for fiscal years 1997 and 1998 that will list objectives and action items for each goal and designate a manager or staff member to be responsible for each action item. Like the Cataloging Directorate's first tactical plan that covered fiscal years 1995 and 1996, this plan will establish and publicize goals, assign responsibility, and monitor progress in achieving each goal over a two-year period. New features are the emphasis on physical security of in-process items, reflecting the Library's new initiative to safeguard the physical security of its collections, and the focus on effective personnel management. Innovations in cataloging automation are included as part of the third goal. Deputy Librarian of Congress Donald Scott and Associate Librarian Winston Tabb joined the planning retreat for part of the afternoon.

Midwinter Cataloging Workshops at the Library of Congress

Friday, February 14, 9:30am-12:30pm
Library of Congress, Madison Building
West Dining Room, LM624, Gold corridor

Instructor: Lynn El-Hoshy, Senior Cataloging Policy Specialist, LC

Open on a first-come-first-served basis to all catalogers interested in proposing new headings and changes to LCSH. We will send a simple email message to acknowledge your reservation for the workshop. RSVP by January 15, 1997 to:

Carolyn Sturtevant, Cooperative Cataloging Team
Internet address: [email protected]

The Library of Congress encourages all libraries to contribute proposals to LCSH, the Library of Congress Subject Headings. In 1995, participants in SACO, the Subject Authority Cooperative Program of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), contributed 20% of the subject headings added to LCSH.

The instructor will demonstrate how to construct a subject heading and fit it into the hierarchy of the subject authority file, based on appropriate memos from the Subject Cataloging Manual. Training materials will be provided free of charge at the workshop. At the end of this course, participants will be better able to formulate new subject headings and propose changes to existing LCSH headings.

Friday, Feb. 14, 1:30pm-5:30pm
West Dining Room
Library of Congress

This workshop will introduce the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) goal of increasing the timely availability of bibliographic and authority records by cataloging more items, and by producing cataloging that is widely available for sharing and use by others.

Exercises will promote the values of timely access and cost-effectiveness in cataloging and help redefine a quality catalog record in terms of function and access.

This course is designed for catalogers at NACO libraries that are considering participation in BIBCO, the bibliographic record component program of the PCC.

Catalogers at the former NCCP libraries are invited to attend to discover how BIBCO differs from the former National Coordinated Cataloging Program.

This course is being offered at NO CHARGE. Training materials will be provided at no cost to the attendees.

To hold a place in the class, RSVP by January 7. Please provide cataloger's name, title, institution, mailing address, Internet address, phone number, and fax number to:

Carolyn Sturtevant, Cooperative Cataloging Team
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4382
Internet address: [email protected]

If you would like more information, please contact Ann Della Porta, Cooperative Cataloging Team Leader, at (202) 707-7920; [email protected]

Visit the PCC World Wide Web site for in-depth information on the PCC and NACO:

LC CATALOGING NEWSLINE (ISSN 1066-8829) is published irregularly by the Cataloging Directorate, Library 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; Editorial Advisory Group: John Byrum, Roselyne Chang, Eugene Kinnaly, Angela Kinney, Albert Kohlmeier, John Mitchell, Susan Morris, Geraldine Ostrove, Regina Reynolds, David Smith, Richard Thaxter, and David Williamson. Address editorial 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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