Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate
Library of Congress

Volume 11, no. 8    ISSN 1066-8829    June 2003

LC Conference 2000 Action Plan Forum, Part II
Program for Cooperative Cataloging Election Results
Obsolete and Optional Numbers in LCC
Dewey Decimal Classification, Edition 22
ALCTS/ALISE Task Force Releases Proposal for Preparing 21st Century Catalogers
Electronic Resources

LC Conference 2000 Action Plan Forum, Part II

(This is the second of two articles about the third LC Conference 2000 Action Plan Forum on Sunday, January 26, during the 2003 Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association (ALA). The first article appeared in LCCN, v. 11, no. 2, March 2003.) The minutes of the forum may be found at [June 2003]

The Conference 2000 Action Plan Forum featured detailed reports on work items 1.3 (selection criteria for electronic resources), 1.4 (archiving and accessing electronic government publications), 2.3 (metadata enrichment), 5.1 (library/information school curricula for technical services), and 5.3 (continuing education needs for technical services). Amy Tracy Wells, leader for work item 1.3, reported on the work of the Selection Criteria Task Force (SCTF), which has members with expertise in different kinds of data or objects: cultural heritage (images, physical objects), sound, instructional objects, text, bibliographic, geospatial, and government data. The task force was planning environmental scans of selection criteria for traditional resources and of those selection criteria that currently exist for electronic resources, considering both free (or freely accessible) and commercial-sector resources. Other members of the SCTF are Carolyn Larson (Library of Congress), Pat Ann Loghry (University of Notre Dame; CMDS liaison); Gene Major (NASA), Lyle Minter (LC), Karen Schneider (Librarian's Index to the Internet), and Mary Woodley (California State University, Northridge), with Susan Morris as the LC Cataloging Management Team liaison. Successive drafts of the SCTF report would be available on the World Wide Web at [June 2003].

Wells mentioned some "subtle issues" that the task force had uncovered in its work so far. They had found that the traditional criteria of currency and accessibility were not always applicable in selecting digital resources, or were applicable in ways that differed from traditional criteria. They had also acknowledged that bias, in selection and in content, could not be eliminated totally. Selection criteria for electronic content must be applied within the context of an institution's overarching collection policies. The relationship between selection and deselection was different in the digital realm, and selection of a digital object might not be a one-time decision. The task force saw a need for operational definitions as such concepts as "authority," "scope," and "treatment" apply to electronic content, because such concepts did not map one-to-one between analog and digital materials. The environmental scan of selection criteria in traditional libraries seemed to indicate that the literature didn't address types of material holistically.

Meg Bellinger, vice president for digital and preservation resources, OCLC, led work item 1.4, Design mechanisms to harvest, archive, and provide access to selected electronic government publications through partnerships. She reported that the principal investigators for this item were her OCLC colleagues Taylor Surface, Dawn Larson, and Pam Kirchner; the LC liaison is Judith A. Mansfield. The OCLC Digital and Preservation Resources Division partnered with the U.S. Government Printing Office, the state libraries of Connecticut, Arizona, and Michigan, the University of Edinburgh, and a consortium of libraries in Ohio, the Joint Electronic Records Repository Initiative, to develop the Web Document Digital Archive (WDDA), a sustainable service to provide long-term access to documents on the World Wide Web. The WDDA achieved its first release of a single-object Web harvester in September 2002; a batch ingestion capability was expected by early spring 2003. As of the end of January 2003, the WDDA contained about one thousand digital documents and metadata from the Preservation Metadata element set. The WDDA implemented METS best practices and the National Information Standards Organization technical schema for XML. An automated process validates the digital object, ingests it into the repository, and creates a report.

Over the next three to five years, Bellinger said, the WDDA would develop the tools, procedures, and processes needed for ingesting whole Web sites and for standardized digital archiving of electronic journals.

Judith Ahronheim, leader for work item 2.3, Explore ways to enrich metadata records, reported for the Metadata Enrichment Task Force (METF), which she chairs. (Like work items 5.1 and 5.3, described below, work item 2.3 is being carried out under the auspices of the ALCTS Task Force for the LC Action Plan.) Principal investigator Prof. Marcia Bates (University of California, Los Angeles) had submitted a draft of her report, "Improving User Access to Library Catalog and Portal Information." She considered three tasks: improving user access, linkages among "bibliographic families," and staging access to resources in the catalog interface. Bates' report recommended the creation of cluster vocabulary that can serve as a front-end thesaurus, external to the catalog; beginning work on linking bibliographic families by gaining agreement on what constitutes a bibliographic family; and aiming for a 1:30 ratio in staging access to resources in the user interface.

Ahronheim said that the METF hoped to develop a list of speakers, including Bates, and would work to arrange appearances for them at ALA conferences and other venues. The METF was working now on functional requirements for front-end searching aids, which could be used to compare various searching aids. The METF intended to share the functional requirements with AVIAC, the Automation Vendors Information Advisory Committee. Over the longer term, the METF wanted to encourage other bodies to create a vocabulary clustering tool that could be used transparently in the course of a search; METF was identifying possible developers and funding sources.

Beth Picknally Camden (University of Virginia), chair of the ALCTS/ALISE LIS Task Force, reported on the work her task force was doing to execute work item 5.1, Improve and enhance curricula in library and information science schools. ALCTS had charged this task force jointly with ALISE, the Association for Library and Information Science Education. Other members were Diane Baden (NELINET), Judith Cannan (LC Technical Processing and Automation Instruction Office), Allyson Carlyle (University of Washington), C. Olivia Frost (University of Michigan), Andrea Stamm (Northwestern University), and Helena VanDeroef (Lucent Technologies); the LC Cataloging Management Team liaison was Linda Stubbs. See the later article in this issue for further information.

Carol Hixson reported on work item 5.3, Address continuing education needs for library technical services practitioners. She chairs the Continuing Education Task Force (CETF), which has been charged by the ALCTS Task Force on the LC Action Plan to carry out this work item. The CETF intended to have a final proposal for the work item ready by the middle of May 2003. The task force intended to survey practitioners and managers of cataloging units on what they perceive as their needs for continuing education.

Wiggins noted that the reports at this Action Plan Forum showed that all the work groups were expending considerable time and energy on their work items, and said that the Library of Congress was very grateful for their efforts.

Program for Cooperative Cataloging Election Results

Judith Nadler (associate director, Information Resources Management Division, University of Chicago (UC) Library) and Cynthia Shelton (associate university librarian, Collections and Technical Services, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library) were elected as the BIBCO and the CONSER representatives, respectively, to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Policy Committee for the 2003-2006 term. Nadler directs the acquisitions, cataloging, preservation, integrated library systems, and the digital library operations at UC. Shelton directs the acquisitions, cataloging, special collections, oral history, and collection management, including digital acquisitions and electronic serials, operations at UCLA.

The Policy Committee guides the governance of the PCC; develops, reviews, and approves long term strategies, plans, goals, and objectives; initiates, reviews, and approves policy in regard to non-technical matters; devises criteria for membership; approves the appointments of standing committee chairs; and reviews resource implications of technical policy initiatives and other operational recommendations.

Obsolete and Optional Numbers in LCC

The Library of Congress Classification schedules have traditionally used parentheses around certain class numbers to indicate one of two conditions: (1) the number was formerly valid but is now obsolete and no longer used by LC, or (2) the number is an optional number that was never used by LC but is provided for those libraries that wish to follow an arrangement that differs from LC practice. In either case, a see reference or explanatory note generally appears at the location of the parenthesized number to indicate to the user the valid number currently used by LC.

The Library has introduced a change in the display conventions for these two types of numbers. Numbers of the first type continue to be displayed in parentheses, but numbers of the second type are now being displayed in angle brackets. See references or explanatory notes continue to appear under both types of numbers. This change in displays has already been implemented in Classification Web, the Library's online Web-based classification product. It will also appear in new printed editions of the classification schedules from 2003.

Dewey Decimal Classification, Edition 22

The Decimal Classification Division will begin assigning Dewey Decimal Classification numbers using edition 22 on July 1. From that day 082 fields will contain 22 instead of 21 in subfield 2. The division will continue assigning abridged edition 13 numbers for works that do not require full unabridged numbers until the implementation of abridged edition 14 in 2004.

ALCTS/ALISE Task Force Releases Proposal for Preparing 21st Century Catalogers

A joint Association for Library Collections & Technical Services/Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALCTS/ALISE) task force has responded to a call from the Library of Congress to recommend appropriate training and education for bibliographic control of Web resources. The task force report and recommendations are available at [June 2003].

An increasingly common notion is that libraries no longer need catalogers, and library and information schools no longer need to teach cataloging. Yet the need to organize information resources has become more pressing in the last ten years and the options for organizing digital resources have expanded. To address the challenge of cataloging 21st century library materials, the Library of Congress hosted a bicentennial conference on "Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium" ( [June 2003].

Of more than two dozen action items arising from the LC conference, two relate to education and training. Because of the strong commitment of ALCTS to the development of librarians engaged in bibliographic control, the Library of Congress asked that ALCTS take a lead role to accomplish these two action items.

As a first step, ALCTS appointed the joint ALCTS/ALISE task force, which also included partners from an OCLC regional network and the Library of Congress. The task force, which was chaired by Beth Picknally Camden (University of Virginia), engaged principal investigator Ingrid Hsieh-Yee (associate professor of the School of Library and Information Science of the Catholic University of America) to survey ALA-accredited programs and to recommend fresh approaches.

The joint task force proposes a five-part plan to help metadata and cataloging educators and trainers: to announce the task force's findings regarding the elements comprising expertise in bibliographic control; to assemble a "metadata basics" package for use by faculty and workshop leaders; to create a listserv for sharing news; to set up a Web clearinghouse for pedagogical resources; and to hold a conference for educators and trainers to share expertise and ideas for integrating metadata topics into courses and workshops.

The next step is to carry out the joint task force's plan. An implementation group has been appointed with members from ALCTS, ALISE, the Library of Congress, OCLC, and other organizations with a stake in supporting metadata and cataloging educators and trainers.

For more information, contact Diane Baden of NELINET ( or Olivia Frost of the University of Michigan (


John D. Byrum (chief, Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division) is author of "Challenges of Providing Bibliographic Access to Remote Electronic Resources in National Bibliographies: Problems and Solutions An Overview", published in International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control, v. 32, no. 1 (January/March 2003), pp. 4-7.

In this article, Byrum notes that through strategic planning and innovative approaches, providers of national bibliographies are seeking to realize bibliographic control of remote electronic material. For success, he argues, they will need to achieve a variety of goals, including: pursuing cooperative database building, re-purposing bibliographic information, and adapting selection criteria and levels of cataloguing to the special features of the digital world to achieve effective coverage of these resources; developing more automated tools for creating and maintaining bibliographic information and metadata; fostering increased research and development to improve cataloguing tools; expanding educational and training opportunities to prepare cataloguers and other library staff to better understand and service electronic resources; and, establishing a wide array of collaborative ventures with partners from throughout the information industry to gain needed resources to make it possible to meet the challenges of electronic resources.

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