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The Library of Congress > Program for Cooperative Cataloging > CONSER > CONSERline > No. 21, Summer 2002

No. 21, Summer 2002


From the Editor

Welcome to the Summer 2002 issue of CONSERline.

It has been almost five years since the Toronto conference and the charge to revise the Anglo-American Cataloguing Code to accommodate seriality. Many CONSER catalogers have worked hard on this effort and it is exciting to think that we will soon see the rules in print . I am deeply honored to have received the Margaret Mann citation and I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that so many in CONSER brought to this effort and to the development of SCCTP. The past five years have been very busy and very exciting. Now we can look forward to new developments and challenges: FRBR and multiple versions (will we ever solve this?), new approaches for electronic serials, and better maintenance of CONSER records through the creation of PURLs.

-- Jean Hirons, CONSER Coordinator, Library of Congress

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Jean Hirons awarded Margaret Mann citation

Jean HironsJean L. Hirons, coordinator of the Cooperative Online Serials (CONSER) Program and editor of CONSERline, received the prestigious 2002 Margaret Mann citation during the annual conference of the American Library Association (ALA) in Atlanta.

Dan Kinney, a member of the awards committee presented the award June 17 on behalf of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) at the ALCTS President's Program. A reception was held that evening at Emory University. Friends from the CONSER, the Library of Congress, and throughout the library community were there to share this celebration with Jean. Jean attributes much of her success and that of CONSER, to the fact that the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) is housed at Library of Congress. The prestige as well as support received from LC's management provides a foundation for PCC's leadership role in facilitating cooperative efforts. In her remarks at the reception she drew a parallel between her philosophy and CONSER's. "CONSER's strength has been its ability to work collectively, to take risks in addressing the needs of the day, to be innovative and pragmatic, and to reach out to the entire library community. Sharing efforts and working collaboratively are what I believe in most deeply and I've tried to foster that spirit in all that we've done."

group of people listening to a speakerThe Serial Record Division, Jean's home at LC, is proud of Jean's accomplishments and the honor she continues to bring to the Library. Jean reinforces the spirit of cooperation in her daily interaction with colleagues in CONSER and in the entire serials community and I have no doubt that she will continue to further the cooperative endeavors of CONSER in new and exciting ways. Many of us who know Jean have often heard her vow, after completing a significant achievement, that she can't possibly take on any other projects. But as Bob Wolven, chair-elect of PCC noted in his remarks at the reception, Jean always says she won't have time to do things, then she goes ahead and does them and more anyway!

people having drinksThe Margaret Mann Citation Committee presented the award to Jean for her "extraordinary contributions to serials cataloging." According to the citation, Jean has influenced both the theory and practice of serials cataloging in a changing environment. The award recognizes Jean's work in revising the "Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules" (AACR) to accommodate serials and in developing the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program, a new concept in library training.

In 1997, Jean and Crystal Graham of the University of California, San Diego, wrote "Issues Related to Seriality" which addressed characteristics of emerging forms of Web-based resources. The paper was well received, and Jean was then commissioned by the Joint Steering Committee on the Revision of AACR (JSC) to develop rule revision proposals. Jean enlisted the help of colleagues in CONSER and throughout the United States, including also experts from Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada in order to explore and propose broad changes to the cataloging rules. Together, Jean and her colleagues expanded the existing AACR2 Chapter 12 for serials to cover a new concept of "continuing resources" by introducing new rules for the cataloging of Web sites, databases, and looseleafs. Chapter revisions were completed in 2000, and the JSC further revised and adopted the chapter in 2002. The new rules will be issued in August and implemented by libraries later this year (see article below).

woman in a white jacket and glassesFrom 1997 to 1999, Jean worked with colleagues nationwide to develop a new concept in training, which built on the collaborative model of CONSER. The program was inaugurated in 1998 in honor of the 25th anniversary of CONSER, and the first course was produced in 1999.

two men holding drinksUnder the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program model, expert catalogers develop course materials and serve as trainers. OCLC network affiliates, library associations, and individual institutions sponsor workshops. LC's Cataloging Distribution Service pays for course development and sells and distributes course materials. To date, three courses have been released, and two more are in the works for release in 2002-2003. Course materials have been translated into Spanish, French, and Chinese, and courses have been given to hundreds of trainees throughout the United States and Canada. Courses are scheduled for Taiwan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and China.

A citation and a $2,000 scholarship, donated by OCLC, Online Computer Library Center, Inc., comprise the Mann award. Jean has given the scholarship to her alma mater, the University of Rhode Island, which named her alumna of the year in 2002. Jean was also the recipient of the Bowker/Ulrichs Serials Librarianship Award in 1996 in recognition of her contributions to documentation and training.

-- Maureen Landry, Chief, Serial Record Division, Library of Congress

Chapter 12 is almost here!

ALA Publishing has announced that the 2002 amendments to AACR2 will be published in August 2002. This publication will consist of a new loose-leaf version of the code that will contain the completely revised Chapter 12, "Continuing Resources," and associated rules. It will also contain a major revision of Chapter 3 for Cartographic Materials. The Library of Congress has announced an implementation date of December 1, 2002 and catalogers in the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) are expected to also implement at that time.

The revised rules include the new concept of "continuing resources," a collective term for serials and "integrating resources." The latter category is itself a collective term that includes resources that are updated over time, such as Web sites, databases, and loose-leafs. Integrating resources are neither monographs nor serials but have characteristics of both. Because integrating resources exhibit a high degree of "seriality," (e.g., the ability to change), new rules for the cataloging of integrating resources are interspersed with revised rules for the cataloging of serials. Many of the changes to the code for serials reflect long-standing CONSER practice formerly contained in LC rule interpretations. Also significant are the revised rules for what constitutes a major title change. Not only will there be fewer cases where new rules are needed, but these rules have been harmonized internationally to enable better use of ISSN and international record sharing.

The Library of Congress, with help from PCC catalogers, has been revising the LC Rule Interpretations and revisions are due late in the summer.

The CONSER Cataloging Manual will be published in a new edition later this fall, hopefully in time for implementation. The new edition will contain a new chapter on continuing resources and revisions that reflect the rule and LCRI changes, as well as practices that have changed since the first edition was published in 1993. It is expected that future modules on integrating resources will be added as they are prepared.

The CONSER Editing Guide (CEG) will also require some major revision, as it will incorporate integrating resources and will include field usage for these resources. This will be the first revision of the CEG since spring of 2001, so many changes will be needed. However, some of the bigger changes--the repeatability of field 260 (publishing statement) and the new leader code for integrating resources--will not be implemented until mid-2003 at the earliest and will not be included in the 2002 CEG update.

Training for the new rules has been given at the annual CONSER/BIBCO meeting and at the annual meetings of the American Library Association and North American Serials Interest Group. Presentations will be made available via the CONSER and ALCTS web sites for those who could not attend. There are also plans at LC to produce a telecast of a training session for catalogers in LC's Serial Record Division that will be used by LC's overseas offices and others. The telecast will be made available free via LC's Web site. SCCTP training materials are also undergoing revision (see article below).

Needless to say, this is a very busy year! Once the rules are published and implemented, I know there will be many questions and issues to resolve. CONSER is trying to meet the expected needs through its documentation and training programs. SCCTP trainers may also be available for local presentations on the revised rules.

-- Jean Hirons

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SCCTP Update

The hot news is that there will be a new course for Integrating Resources available in 2003. Steve Miller, University of Wisconsin, has prepared a number of instructional materials for the cataloging of Web sites and will be creating the newest SCCTP course. The course will be a one-day session with several optional components. For those wishing a course that covers all kinds of integrating resources, there will be a special session on loose-leafs. For those wishing a more focused approach on electronic integrating resources, there will be a session of special case studies and problems, similar to the session that has proven to be popular in the new Electronic Serials workshop. The tentative date of release is March 1, 2003. The development of the Integrating Resources Workshop will be a collaborative effort between BIBCO and CONSER. A train-the-trainer session is planned at ALA midwinter in Philadelphia and at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The new Electronic Serials Workshop is proving to be very popular with twenty workshops on the schedule from April through December, including sessions in Mexico, Taiwan, and China. The Advanced Serials Workshop, a two-day workshop that provides in-depth training in the cataloging of serials, will be released by the end of August. In addition to ten sessions on the various aspects of cataloging, there will be additional time for more complex problems, discussions on cataloging, and on the use of serial records in library catalogs. Kristin Lindlan (University of Washington) and Margaret Mering (University of Nebraska) are the developers of the Advanced Serials course.

The Serial Holdings Workshop has undergone its first major revision with new information added about integrated library systems, easier and revised exercises, and a more comprehensive session on trends in holdings. The new version is now available from the Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service.

And not to be left out, the first SCCTP course, Basic Serials Cataloging Workshop, is also undergoing a multi-part revision. The first stage has been completed and the former printed manual format has been converted to PowerPoint files that will be distributed in PDF, as are other SCCTP courses. The second stage will be to revise the contents to reflect the 2002 amendments. The newly revised course will be released in early October, 2002.

It is now just three years since the Basic Serials workshop was first released in 1999 and five courses have been developed or are under development. Scores of trainers have been trained from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Workshops are being planned and added to the SCCTP schedule every day. It is gratifying to see this program succeed and it is due to the hard work and dedication of many in the serials community. A big hats off to all who have supported this program!

-- Jean Hirons

CONSER Publication Pattern Initiative sets future directions

Two years after the launch of the Publication Pattern Initiative, the CONSER Task Force on Publication Patterns and Holdings has made significant progress in fulfilling its mission "to enable the cooperative creation, sharing, and distribution of pattern and holdings data via the CONSER database and among local systems, and to promote full use of the MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data (MFHD) by library systems."

  • The two-year effort to add pattern data to CONSER records has created a repository of nearly 45,000 patterns and participants have agreed to continue voluntarily adding patterns as a routine aspect of CONSER or CONSER enhance work. Most encouraging are the reports of participants who are finding and using existing patterns created during the pilot.
  • To address questions of how pattern contributions might be incorporated into the local workflow, diagrams and an informative "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) were developed by a task group under the direction of Wen-ying Lu, Michigan State University. After a period of comment, these guides will be added to the documentation already developed for the Publication Pattern Initiative Web site.
  • The success of the Publication Pattern Initiative depends upon working closely with library system vendors to develop import/export capabilities for pattern data using the MARC 21 Format for Holdings. Representatives from VTLS, Innovative Interfaces, SIRSI, ExLibris, and Endeavor attended the meeting of the Task Force on Publication Patterns and Holdings Task Force on June 15, 2002 at the ALA Annual meeting in Atlanta. Two library system vendors can load and use patterns form OCLC records. The successful collaboration of Michigan State University Libraries with their system vendor, Innovative Interfaces (III), to develop and implement a means to export the pattern and holdings data in the 891 field of OCLC CONSER records to automatically create a check-in record in the local system, suggests that more partnerships between libraries and system vendors are key to advancing the goal of effective utilization of the data.
  • The Publication Pattern Initiative, by promoting one of the first targeted applications of the MFHD for the creation and communication of pattern and holdings data, has focused attention on the need to standardize its use among systems and the refinements needed to enhance its utility. Proposals to add new coding to the format have been submitted and approved by the MARBI committee. Documentation developed for the initiative includes a Survey on Vendor Support for the MARC 21 Holdings Format, a definition of Basic Compliance with MARC Holdings, and Universal Holdings Data: Definition and Function, all of which may be found on the Web site.
  • Members of the Task Force continue to seek opportunities to raise awareness of the issues and educate the library community on the use of the MFHD for holdings data and the critical need to share pattern data between systems as a cost-effective approach to support predictive check-in. The Task Force continues to host an open informal discussion session at ALA for participants and anyone interested in learning more about the project.

To assess the effectiveness of these efforts to date, a survey of participating and non-participating CONSER libraries was conducted in early 2002. Participants who contribute patterns on an active basis reported that creating patterns for the database was not that difficult or time-consuming. Non-participants who responded expressed concerns about the time required to create the patterns and the inability to use the data in local systems. The survey also sought input on options for the long-term storage of the publication pattern data. Most respondents favored a solution that makes the data available in a linked sub-record or related record rather than embedded in the bibliographic record. The responses from cataloging and technical services administrators indicated that information focused on the project goals that address the labor-intensive activities of recreating pattern data in system migrations is needed to increase awareness and enlist their support. Toward this end, Jean Hirons and Sally Sinn spoke to technical services directors on the goals and accomplishments of the Publication Pattern Initiative at the June 2002 meeting of the Directors of Technical Services of Large Research Libraries (Big Heads).

The survey responses suggest that future directions for the Task Force should center on:

  • Resolving the issues of long-term storage of pattern data.
  • Addressing how publication patterns relate to electronic journals.
  • Developing partnerships with ILS vendors to develop loader programs and to implement the export and import of complete MFHD records
  • Continuing efforts to train the library community at the technical level and to increase awareness at the policy level.

The successes of the Publication Pattern Initiative during its relatively short existence build confidence in its ability to make significant contributions in maximizing the potential of ILS systems to perform more cost-effectively and in exploiting the MFHD as a communications format. The Task Force will continue to develop its agenda through the persistence and enthusiasm of its members, the guidance of Jean Hirons, and the leadership of the new chair, Carlen Ruschoff, University of Maryland.

-- Sally Sinn, National Agricultural Library

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Highlights - CONSER Operations Committee meeting, May 1-3, 2002

The CONSER Operations Committee held its annual meeting May 1-3, 2002. The CONSER and BIBCO Operations Committees met jointly on May 2. The meeting was held for three days to include presentations on the 2002 amendments to AACR2 and related drafts of Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRIs) as well as a very full agenda focused on the cataloging of electronic resources.

The AACR2 presentations described the complete revision of chapter 12, new title change rules in chapter 21, and other related rule changes. During the BIBCO/CONSER joint meeting on May 2, Steven J. Miller (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) presented a training session on integrating resources that he developed in collaboration with members of the PCC SCT Task Group on Integrating Resources Training.

Judy Kuhagen (LC CPSO) facilitated a discussion on "PCC Practice" decisions needed for completion of the LCRIs for integrating resources.

Aside from the AACR changes, issues related to electronic serials dominated the agenda, including possible new directions and initiatives.

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR)

The Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, was first introduced in the mid-1990s and is now finally making an impact as OCLC and various ILS's look to its models for displays of complex records. For serialists, FRBR offers hope for solutions to the long-standing multiple versions problems. FRBR provides a four-part structure of bibliographic relationships--from the very theoretical concepts of the work and expression, to the more concrete realities of the published manifestation and item owned by a library. Attendees discussed brief examples of these relationships might apply to serials. As a result of the discussions, CONSER has set up a task force to explore the FRBR model and its relationship to serials and continuing resources in general. They will take up the immediate issue of providing serial examples for a paper prepared by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office. In the longer term, the group will monitor and participate in discussions related to all types of continuing resources and FRBR. Everett Allgood (New York University) will chair the CONSER Task Force on FRBR and Continuing Resources.

Proposal to use a single record for all online manifestations of a serial

Two years ago, CONSER decided that libraries not choosing to use CONSER's single record option would create separate records for electronic versions distributed by different aggregators. This practice has become more and more difficult as distributors merge or buy each other out, picking up and dropping titles as they go. A proposal, prepared by Becky Culburtson (University of California, San Diego), Naomi Young (University of Florida), and Regina Reynolds (LC), would provide access for all aggregators on a single record representing the electronic version. The 856 fields of each aggregator could be added to the record for a digitized serial, thus providing the URLs of each aggregator and a minimal amount of other bibliographic data on a single record. Records with multiple 856 fields could have a positive impact on the creation and use of record sets, where the control and updating of aggregator information in the OPAC is critical. The approach is also in harmony with efforts to explore the FRBR for defining relationships between print and online versions of serials.

A further issue is how using a single record for the digitized version overlaps with the work of companies that offer serials management services. At least one of these companies is providing records customized to a library's holdings for online versions (based on the CONSER record for the print version). Representatives of three serials management companies, Serials Solutions, TDNet, and JournalWebCite participated in a discussion of this topic at CONSER At-Large meeting during ALA in June (see the CONSER At-Large summary for further information). Based on comments from discussions at the CONSER meeting, ALA, and NASIG, a new proposal will be developed over the summer and distributed to CONSER and the serials community for comment and, hopefully, approval by the PCC Policy Committee in November.


Valerie Bross (UCLA) gave an update on the status of the CONSER PURL Pilot Project. The project allows participants to maintain URLs cooperatively for freely available Web resources. A PURL (persistent uniform resource locator) server, hosted by OCLC, is used to enter and maintain URLs. Participants in the 10-week pilot project felt it had been successful, although a better measure of its usefulness will be achieved over a longer time span and with more participating institutions. Since many of the PURLs were created for Web sites rather than serials, the pilot members recommend opening the project to BIBCO members. For further information about the CONSER PURL Project, see the Project's home page.

A fuller summary of the meeting is available from the CONSER meeting report.

-- Les Hawkins, Library of Congress

CONSER people

Dr. Huw Walters is the new CONSER representative from the National Library of Wales, replacing Alwyn Owen, who initiated NLW's CONSER membership and organized their training. Huw spent three weeks at the Library of Congress in April, working with Maryvonne Mavroukakis, and attending the annual CONSER meeting. He will oversee the serials cataloging at NLW.

Long time CONSER member, Kevin MacShane retired from the National Library of Medicine at the end of May. Kevin worked at LC in the National Serials Data Program, for many years before becoming the head of serials cataloging at NLM. Kevin is well known in CONSER for his dual loves: resolving difficult serial problems and Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers! We will miss you Kevin.

Eniko Basa, a cataloger in NSDP and a former acting CONSER Specialist, has received a Kluge fellowship for the coming year. The fellowship, which is awarded to one or more Library staff members each year, will enable her to do research using the Library's collections. Eniko's research will be on Hungarian literature, exploring whether political and social aspects of the literature are changing as a result of political changes that occurred in 1989. A joint party was held at the Library on July 11 to honor her fellowship and Jean Hirons' receipt of the Margaret Mann citation (photos).

Also retiring is Bob Harriman, coordinator of the United States Newspaper Program. Bob worked in the Serial Record Division in the CONSER Editing and Input Section before becoming the USNP coordinator in 1983. His role at LC will be filled by Mark Sweeny in the Serial and Government Publications Division. Bob will be moving on to OCLC where he will work in preservation. His new title is Program Director, Digital & Preservation Co-op in the Digital and Preservation Resources division of OCLC.

Many of you also know that the Library of Congress's Associate Librarian for Library Services, Winston Tabb, will be retiring and becoming the Dean of University Libraries and Sheridan Director of the Milton Eisenhower Libraries at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Winston has been a significant supporter of CONSER and PCC during his tenure in Library Services and we will miss him. However, Beacher Wiggins, currently the Director for Cataloging, will be the Acting Associate Librarian, so we can count on continued strong support from above! Best wishes to both Winston and Beacher!

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