By VEJUNE SVOTELIS
Last September, staff of the Library and from the three Baltic countries attended a cataloging seminar in Vilnius, Lithuania. The Soros Foundation provided the funding for this weeklong seminar organized to promote improved cataloging on an international level in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Among approximately 125 participants were four from the Library of Congress: John Byrum, chief of the Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division; Sally McCallum, chief of the Network Development and MARC Standards Office; Ruta Penkiunas, cooperative programs specialist; and Vejune Svotelis, senior cataloger in the Central and Eastern European Languages Team.
Opening the session on Sept. 8, Vladas Bulavas, director of the Lithuanian Martynas Mazvydas National Library, which hosted the seminar, welcomed the participants and described the Lithuanian integrated automated information system (LIBIS), which it is hoped will eventually lead to a Union Catalog of Lithuania available to all local libraries.
Sirje Nilbe, spokesman for the National Library of Estonia, introduced the automated system now being used in Estonia to make the transition from a card catalog to an online catalog. The Estonian integrated library system (INNOPAC) is based on the USMARC format and will permit the sharing of information. Estonian catalogers will use the Anglo American Cataloging Rules after full implementation in that country.
Guna Delina, deputy director of the National Library of Latvia, noted that Latvian libraries are deeply involved in the computerization process as well as the compilation of the national cataloging rules using AACR as a foundation.
Regina Varniene, deputy director of the Lithuanian National Library, said cataloging rules should reflect a country's national character while following the guidelines of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). She believes that the National Library of Lithuania should write its own cataloging rules to reflect its culture and language.
Nijole Kolesinskiene, director of cataloging at the Martynas Mazvydas Library, gave the history of automation in libraries of Lithuania, noting that the National Library has developed an automated system called UNIKAT which is implemented in all the public libraries in Lithuania.
Danute Kastanauskaite, professor at Vilnius University, laid out the curricula for the education of librarians in Lithuania.
On Sept. 9 the Library of Congress speaker opening the day's presentations, Mr. Byrum, spoke about the development of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and how it brings together NACO (Name Authority Cooperative Program), SACO (Subject Authority Cooperative Program), CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials Program) and BIBCO (Bibliographic Cooperative Program). Ruta Penkiunas summarized subject cataloging at LC. Vejune Svotelis described the evolution of the Library of Congress Rule Interpretations.
Mr. Byrum noted the wide applicability of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules as a single standard that greatly encourages cost-effective sharing of cataloging internationally. AACR2 is based on the International Standard Bibliographic Descriptions recommended by IFLA and is reflective of the Paris Principles of 1961.
Ms. McCallum highlighted the information system standards that are essential to sharing information and resources. Communication formats and computer protocols such as Z39.50, the Information Retrieval Protocol, support record exchange and computer communication between different computers and different applications. She also described the Universal Character Set, commonly called by the trademarked name Unicode, and the progress being made toward its adoption.
On Sept. 10-11 the seminar participants divided into two groups. The subject cataloging group was led by LC's Ruta Penkiunas, who delivered several lectures on subject cataloging. The descriptive cataloging group was led by Vejune Svotelis. That group examined many name authority and bibliographic records to point out the meaning and interpretation of the rules and guidelines.
The seminar closed Sept. 12 with a reunion of all the participants in a round table discussion summarizing the week's achievements. The seminar ended on a festive note with an exchange of gift books and a champagne reception.
Ms. Urschel is a Washington free-lance writer. Helen Dalrymple contributed to this report.