LC Cataloging Newsline

Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 8, no. 5, ISSN 1066-8829, June 2000


BIBCO Operations Committee Meeting
CONSER Operations Committee Meeting
African American Subject Funnel Project

BIBCO Operations Committee Meeting

The BIBCO Operations Committee meeting in conjunction with the CONSER Operations Committee, May 11-12 at the Library of Congress, discussed how electronic resources force catalogers to rethink their approach to the traditional categories of monographs and serials. "Integrating resources" (e.g., loose-leaf publications, Web sites) include characteristics of both categories and call upon the skills of catalogers in both BIBCO and CONSER programs. Updating integrating resource records may require adjustments of PCC membership categories and utility authorizations so that both BIBCO and CONSER members can maintain the records.

BIBCO members reached a consensus that only records with AACR2 access points should be labeled as BIBCO records. The Standing Committee on Standards will recommend forming a task group to explore the possibility of developing a code in the 042 field to indicate that access points for names on a bibliographic record have been evaluated and are established according to current rules even if the bibliographic description and choice of access points are not AACR2.

The BIBCO Working Group on Series Numbering (WGSN) reported on its letters to MARBI and to vendors expressing the need to handle series in such a way that issues could be displayed in numerical order. The WGSN's examination of rules that variously call for using Volume, vol., or v. in series numbering raised the larger issue of the benefit of using standard abbreviations for many similar terms in other languages as well. A rule revision proposal recommending that Appendix B.51 be changed has been sent to the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR and is expected to be discussed by the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access at the ALA Annual Conference.

The Standing Committee on Automation expressed the concern that all program records, not just LC's, should be updated when a heading is changed by a PCC library. The development of bibliographic file maintenance mechanisms may lead to higher quality PCC records. Both the Standing Committee on Automation and the Standing Committee on Standards expressed a desire to work closely with other agencies in the shared interests of PCC, CORC, and other metadata resources.

The Standing Committee on Training announced the formation of four new task groups: Task Group on NACO Continuing Education, Task Group on Educational Needs of the Cataloging Community, Task Group on Web-based Training and Distance Education, and Task Group on PCC Training and Participant Documentation.

The LC ILS Program Office reported that OCLC is doing a six- month clean-up on the 250,000 name authority records that contain the obsolete first indicator value 2 for multiple-element surnames. LC catalogers are correcting bibliographic records as they encounter them. October 1, 2000, is the target date for the joint LC, OCLC, and RLG project to adopt the pinyin system of romanization for Chinese.

By the end of calendar year 2000, full MARC name and subject authorities (approximately five million records) will be in LC's Web OPAC, including both proposed and approved subject authority records.

The full summary of the BIBCO Operations Committee meeting, along with links to related topics, can be found on the BIBCO home page at URL

CONSER Operations Committee Meeting

The CONSER Operations Committee met in conjunction with the BIBCO Operations Committee, May 11-12, at the Library of Congress. The committee reviewed and discussed proposed AACR2 revisions and possible related changes to MARC 21 in a joint session with BIBCO on the first day of meeting and in CONSER-only sessions that followed. The latter focused on outstanding problems for the international harmonization of AACR2, ISBD, and ISSN cataloging standards. Remaining disagreements concern proposals and standards for major changes requiring creation of new records versus minor changes requiring continued use of existing records with appropriate modifications. One mechanism under discussion that may resolve many of these harmonization problems is the proposed international standard title (IST). The IST would be the internationally accepted standard form of entry for serials, linked to ISSN, and the "benchmark" for determining when new serial records need to be created as a result of title changes. Although there is international interest in the IST, its development is proceeding slowly and cautiously.

On the second day, a joint CONSER/BIBCO session addressed problems of recording paper and electronic versions (or multiple electronic versions) of resources on the same or separate bibliographic records. Robert Bremer (OCLC) and others described drawbacks, learned from experience, of current approaches to recording multiple versions on a single record. Brainstorming by participants identified two key problem areas: the same treatment may not be appropriate for different categories of electronic versions of resources and solutions that suit individual local systems and operations often do not work satisfactorily in a shared, networked environment. A joint CONSER/BIBCO task force was proposed to study and articulate more definitively the major issues and available solutions related to recording multiple versions.

Electronic resources figured prominently in other CONSER sessions. Committee members agreed on guidelines for assigning code "s" for "electronic" in the "Form of item" and "Form of original item" bytes of bibliographic fields 008 and 006 for serials. Discussions in break out sessions touched on emerging possibilities: schemes for cooperation among CONSER members in cataloging contents of electronic serial aggregators; problems and strategies for recording URLs and PURLs; implications of CORC cataloging for CONSER; and applications of the JAKE (jointly administered knowledge environment) database for control of data about abstracting, indexing, and aggregator coverage.

In business meetings, members discussed directions for expanding CONSER membership, with strong interest in new members that catalog serials in less-covered languages, more member institutions outside the United States, and added CONSER enhance members. New CONSER institutions were welcomed, including full member Northwestern University and associate members Cleveland Public Library and Brown University. In informational sessions, it was reported that use of bibliographic field 891 for sharing serial publication pattern and holdings data was becoming available in OCLC on June 1, 2000. Related documentation and aids are available through the CONSER home page at URL: Seed data from publication patterns in approximately 150,000 records from Harvard University are being processed at OCLC and would be loaded eventually. The Library of Congress plans to contribute publication pattern data to this initiative from at least some of its processing.

Marjorie Bloss (Center for Research Libraries) described the continuing progress of the International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON), a program addressing foreign newspapers with purposes and standards similar to those of the United States Newspaper Project. CRL is administering ICON, with the participation of several other charter member institutions and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. ICON's first undertaking will be the creation of a foreign newspapers union list. Other activities will include cooperative collection development and preservation. Jean Hirons, CONSER coordinator, reported great demand for the Serials Cooperative Cataloging Training Program's basic serials cataloging course. SCCTP's second course, on serial holdings, will be available in February 2001. Development of advanced serials cataloging course materials for SCCTP is under discussion.

The complete report of the meeting is available on the CONSER home page at URL:

African American Subject Funnel Project

The Library of Congress, in cooperation with the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and the African American Studies Librarians Section (AFAS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), has established an African American subject funnel project. As the first subject heading proposal in the funnel project, the Black Cultural Center Library, Purdue University, submitted to SACO, the subject authority component of the PCC, a proposal that the subject heading "Afro-Americans" be changed to "African Americans." The Library is planning to implement this change.

The funnel project is the culmination of an initiative that began over two years ago when LC extended an invitation to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to join the PCC in its efforts to enhance access to African American resources. Cornelia Goode, program specialist on the Cooperative Cataloging Team (Coop), Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division, initiated discussions in July 1998 with Elizabeth Plantz, coordinator of the Africana Subject Funnel Project, Northwestern University, concerning the possibility of expanding that project to include subject heading proposals from HBCUs for African American topics. In October 1998, the Cataloging Committee of the Africana Librarians Council advised that it preferred that the Northwestern funnel remain focused on Africana headings. The committee offered to serve as mentor to any institutions interested in creating a new funnel project for African American subject headings. At its next meeting in the spring of 1999, the council provided Coop Team cooperative cataloger Gracie Gilliam with an introduction to Dorothy Washington, a cataloging librarian at Purdue University's Black Cultural Center Library. Washington and Gilliam, with other Coop Team members, worked to plan the new funnel project.

Washington presented a proposal for the project to AFAS at the 1999 Annual Conference of the American Library Association (ALA). After a membership survey showed overwhelming support, AFAS endorsed the subject funnel project during the ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 2000. It also established a discussion group on cataloging issues, with Washington as president. Although the discussion group will consider all aspects of cataloging including name authority work and bibliographic record creation, its immediate focus will be on encouraging HBCUs to contribute subject proposals to the African American subject funnel project. Approximately twenty registrants for the PCC "Basic SACO" workshop to be offered in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference are librarians at HBCUs, an indication of the widespread interest in this subject funnel project.

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: Victoria Behrens, John Byrum, Roselyne Chang, Jurij Dobczansky, Les Hawkins, Albert Kohlmeier, John Mitchell, Mary Louise Mitchell, Susan Morris, Geraldine Ostrove, David Smith, and David Williamson. Address editorial inquiries to the editor at the above address or (email), (202) 707-5831 (voice), or (202) 707-6629 (fax). Listowner: David Williamson. Address subscription inquiries to the listowner at

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