LC Cataloging Newsline

Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 5, No. 11, ISSN 1066-8829, October 1997

Personnel Changes
LC Will Convert to Pinyin for Romanization of Chinese
Cambridge University Library Begins NACO Contributions
Edmonton Public Library Joins SACO
Jean Hirons Appointed CONSER Program Coordinator
CONSER Documentation Updates
CONSER Web Pages--Expanded and Reorganized
Class K and Electronic LCC
Changes in Acquisitions and Support Services Directorate

Personnel Changes

Barbara B. Tillett, chief, Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO), is on a three-year assignment as project director for the implementation of an integrated library system (ILS) for the Library of Congress. The assignment was effective August 24, 1997. During this period Thompson A. Yee, assistant chief, will serve as acting chief of CPSO. During her assignment, Dr. Tillett will continue to serve as the Library's representative to the ALCTS/CCS Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access and to the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR and to attend the weekly meetings of the Library's Cataloging Management Team.

LC Will Convert to Pinyin for Romanization of Chinese

The Library of Congress is preparing to adopt the pinyin system for the romanization of Chinese. Draft guidelines for pinyin romanization are being prepared for comment from the library community. The Library is now planning the scope, procedures, and timetable for implementation of the new standard and the conversion of its existing files to pinyin. The new romanization standard will be issued in the near future, well in advance of its implementation date to provide the library community with sufficient time to plan for adoption of the new standard. Although a firm date has not been set, it is not anticipated that conversion will occur before the year 2000.

The pinyin system of romanization of Chinese is now generally recognized as standard throughout the world. Most federal agencies, international agencies, the news media, and many foreign libraries have used pinyin to romanize Chinese for many years. Because most users of American libraries today are familiar with the pinyin romanization of Chinese names and places, providing access to the Chinese language with that system will make it easier for them to locate material. The use of pinyin romanization by libraries should also facilitate the exchange of data with foreign libraries.

With adoption of the new romanization scheme, the Library also intends to convert a substantial portion of its files to reflect the new standard. Use of the collections will be facilitated because users will need to use only one romanization scheme to find material in Chinese. Also, the name authority file would then correspond with access points on bibliographic records.

The Library of Congress first proposed conversion from the Wade-Giles system to pinyin in 1980 to coincide with its introduction of computerized cataloging of Chinese material. The East Asian library community did not support the change at that time. Since then, however, most librarians have come to realize that conversion to pinyin will be necessary if American libraries are to provide adequate service to their users. This year, in a survey conducted by the Council on East Asian Libraries, East Asian librarians indicated strong support for conversion to pinyin.

Until recently, conversion has not been economically feasible. However, the Library believes that recent technological improvements and capabilities should make it possible to adopt the romanization standard and carry out a corresponding conversion project.

Significantly, the National Library of Australia (NLA) has recently converted over 500,000 Chinese records to pinyin, utilizing conversion software that identified and converted Wade-Giles data in MARC records. The Library is considering using such an approach in order to convert its files to pinyin.

It is also expected that improved software features in the Library's anticipated integrated library system (ILS) will facilitate the conversion process.

The Library has already discussed its plans to convert to pinyin romanization widely--with the American Library Association, OCLC, RLG, and the Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL), as well as with NLA. An LC Pinyin Task Group has been formed and is planning for conversion of files and implementation of the new standard. The Library will continue to consult with the library community and bibliographic utilities throughout the process in order to coordinate and harmonize effectively conversion procedures and activities.

Cambridge University Library Begins NACO Contributions

The Cooperative Cataloging Team of the Library of Congress is pleased to announce that Cambridge University Library began contributing NACO headings through RLIN on Friday, October 3, 1997. Cambridge University Library has been contributing subject proposals through the SACO program since January 1995; we welcome them into the NACO program.

Edmonton Public Library Joins SACO

The Cooperative Cataloging Team of the Library of Congress is pleased to announce the participation of another international partner in SACO. The Edmonton Public Library, Edmonton, Alberta, recently began submitting subject proposals for inclusion in Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).

In August 1997, the Edmonton Public Library contacted the Cooperative Cataloging Team for information on submitting proposals for fictitious characters. These discussions resulted in contributions of proposals for fictitious characters as well as headings in other disciplines. The first headings approved on weekly list 39 of September 24 include Anderson, Einstein (Fictitious character); Rough green snake; Bass guitar music (Jazz); Grey Cup, and Canadian football--Award. Also approved were three changes in the reference structure of existing subject authority records.

Jean Hirons Appointed CONSER Program Coordinator

Jean Hirons was appointed CONSER Coordinator in August 1997 after having served as acting coordinator since 1993. As program coordinator, Hirons is chair of the CONSER Operations Committee and also represents CONSER on the PCC Policy Committee.

Hirons has been active in CONSER since the early 1980s. She became acting coordinator in 1993 succeeding Linda Bartley. During an active period, she guided the program through format integration, the emergence of electronic serials, and the PCC/CONSER consolidation. She has overseen the publication of CONSER documentation as well as developments in cataloging electronic serials. She also worked with the CONSER AACR Review Task Force over the last few years. With Crystal Graham (University of California, San Diego) she prepared a paper for the International Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR.

Hirons graduated from Marietta College (Ohio) with a BA in fine arts in 1970 and the University of Rhode Island with an MLS in 1973. She was cataloger for Southeastern Massachusetts University (now University of Massachusetts--Dartmouth) and later cataloged serials at the Government Printing Office for over six years. Hirons joined LC in 1983 and served in a dual role by supervising the CONSER Minimal-Level Cataloging Section and assisting Bartley with CONSER documentation and program meetings.

CONSER Documentation Updates

Updates to the CONSER Editing Guide (CEG) and the CONSER Cataloging Manual (CCM) have recently been completed and will soon be issued by LC's Cataloging Distribution. For details on ordering and availability, please contact Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, Customer Services Section/Dept. W, Washington, DC, 20541-5017; email:; World Wide Web URL:

CEG update 7 (Fall 1997) includes new practices for online serials and information relating to the consolidation of the CONSER Program with the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC). The new cataloging practices for online serials were recently developed by the CONSER Operations Committee. The identification of the extent of issues available online (field 362) and the issue on which the description is based (field 500) can both be enhanced by recording the date that the serial was viewed for cataloging. This practice is further explained in the CCM Module 31 revision (described below). CONSER's revision of its membership categories is also included. In addition, its strategic plan is replaced with information about the upcoming availability of a new PCC strategic plan that will include CONSER goals and objectives.

Update 7 (Fall 1997) to the CCM also includes a number of changes in CONSER policies and practices. Module 2, "What is a Serial," reflects a revised LCRI 12.0A that more clearly delineates serial and monographic cataloging treatment for conference publications and reduces recataloging requirements. The update to Module 33, "Newspapers," reflects the recent revision of LCRI 25.5B, covering serial uniform titles. A new practice for cataloging serial language editions is also included in the CCM update.

Module 31, "Remote Access Computer File Serials," reflects the prevalence of the World Wide Web for accessing online serials and includes new practices for online serials. Several sections were rewritten and new record examples were added to reflect the current Internet environment. The updated module is also available through the CONSER home page (URL:

CONSER Home Pages--Expanded and Reorganized

The CONSER home pages have been reorganized to accommodate twice the number of hypertext files than were previously available. The pages are organized in a hierarchical network of information about the CONSER Program and serials cataloging. The CONSER home page can be found at URL:

Several informational categories have been added or expanded. New information on CONSER membership includes a description of the levels of membership. Application forms for joining the CONSER Program are also available. A new section on committees and task forces includes information about the CONSER and PCC committees that govern the program. Additional information on the CONSER and PCC consolidation is also accessible through the PCC and CONSER home pages. The new page, "Online Resources for Serials Catalogers," facilitates access to library catalogs, library-related organizations, online serials collections, and LC Internet resources.

Class K and Electronic LCC

In an article entitled "Library of Congress Classification: Does Organization of Knowledge Need a Shelf?" in volume 7 of Advances in Classification Research, LC's law classification specialist Jolande Goldberg examines new aspects of the use of the Library of Congress Classification scheme (LCC) prompted by the development and adoption of Class K (Law). From its inception, LCC has served as a library shelving device and shelf browsing mechanism, that is, as a utilitarian tool for classing, servicing, and reclassing the existing collection. Class K, however, has not been designed for retrospective conversion of LC's holdings like the other classes; it has been designed as a means for the organization of knowledge, based on both the frame provided by the science of law and the content of materials but independent of their shelf arrangement. Thus, Goldberg argues, Class K as it exists in LCC's new electronic environment demonstrates that the scheme can be exploited as a knowledge-based logical system as well as a unique retrieval tool to navigate within and among its various classes.

The article is based on the paper given at the seventh ASIS SIG/CR Workshop on Classification Research, held in Baltimore, Maryland, at the American Society for Information Science (ASIS) annual meeting in October 1996.

Changes in Acquisitions and Support Services Directorate

Beacher Wiggins, director for cataloging, is also acting director for acquisitions and support services, effective September 29, while recruitment continues for a permanent director.

The Acquisitions and Support Services Directorate implemented a reorganization of four divisions on October 14 (as announced in LCCN, v. 5, no. 9, July 1997). The Acquisitions Bibliographic Support Project (ABSP) and the Exchange and Gift, Order, and Overseas Operations Divisions were dissolved, and three new divisions were formed: the African/Asian Acquisitions and Overseas Operations Division, Anglo/American Acquisitions Division, and European/Latin American Acquisitions Division. The chiefs of the three new divisions are Judy McDermott, Michael Albin, and Donald Panzera, respectively.

The new divisions are organized along geographic lines, whereas the former divisions were divided by function and method of acquisition. Each new division will perform searching, order, and selection functions for materials from one part of the world, as well as initial bibliographic control of most of its new receipts. The Anglo/American Acquisitions Division includes a Government Documents Section in addition to the Australia/Canada/Ireland/New Zealand/U.K. (ACINU) Acquisitions and U.S. Acquisitions Sections. The Library's six overseas offices are now part of the African/Asian Acquisitions and Overseas Operations Division, as are the three sections for African/Middle Eastern, Chinese, and Japanese/Korean/South & Southeast Asian acquisitions. Since the African/Middle Eastern Acquisitions Section lacks staff to provide initial bibliographic control of Hebrew-alphabet materials, this function remains the responsibility of the Hebraica Team in the Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division (RCCD); the Middle East/North Africa Team in RCCD also continues to handle initial bibliographic control of some materials.

The structure and functions of the directorate's four other divisions have not changed. These divisions are the Automation Planning and Liaison Office, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Serial Record Division, and Technical Processing and Automation Instruction Office. Also unchanged are the acquisitions functions of the Cataloging in Publication Division in the Cataloging Directorate and the Copyright Acquisitions Division in the Copyright Office.

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