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The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > CONSERline > No. 27, Fall 2005

No. 27, Fall 2005


From the Editor

Welcome to the Fall 2005 issue of CONSERline.

This issue includes a summary of some collaborative activities of CONSER, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), and other libraries throughout the past year. A joint project of the Library of Congress and the PCC is aimed at exploring the access level record for serials. The Serials Cooperative Cataloging Training Program (SCCTP) has begun working with the Catalogers Learning Workshop (CLW) in an effort to develop new workshops and maintain existing courses. The Publication Patterns Task Force on Long Term Storage has been working with publishers, vendors of serials management systems, and others to develop a test of the new ONIX for Serials format, Serials Release Notification (SRN). The Publication History Record Task Force has given CONSER its final recommendations on how the Publication History record can be made a reality. There are more details on CONSER activities from the past year in the 2005 CONSER Annual Report.

I hope all of you affected by the severe weather earlier this fall are safe and I send my best wishes.

-- Les Hawkins, CONSER Coordinator, Library of Congress

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Access Level Record for Serials

This summer, the Library of Congress Serial Record Division began work with other Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) members to develop and test an access level record for serials. This collaborative pilot project is co-chaired by Regina Reynolds (LC) and Diane Boehr of the National Library of Medicine.

The access level record pilot for serials will take advantage of the model used for non-serial e-resources developed by Dave Reser (LC), Tom Delsey, LC cataloging staff, and LC reference staff. The effort is designed to enhance the utility of catalog records, both to end users and those in the library that use catalog records for processing serials, by assuring that essential elements for user tasks are present in the record. Cataloging cost savings may result by supplying only those record elements that are essential for performing user tasks.

The Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) play a crucial role in defining the elements of the access level record. The user tasks: find, identify, select, and obtain, as defined by FRBR, are employed to determine end user and library processing tasks. Corresponding AACR2 and MARC 21 elements that support these tasks are evaluated to determine an agreed upon set of elements and cataloging guidelines.

Exploration of the access level record for serials may lead to the development of a single standard of record elements for serials. After Reser gave an overview of the development of the access level record at the joint BIBCO/CONSER Operations in May 2005, CONSER members discussed existing levels of cataloging for serials. The idea of simply using one standard for CONSER serials cataloging was raised. Under this scenario, one set of required elements would be used and additional elements could be added as deemed appropriate.

The serials pilot will include creation of test records based on the essential set of AACR2 and MARC 21 elements and the cataloging guidelines. The records will be evaluated in terms of cataloging costs and how well the records meet end user and library processing needs. If successful, a recommendation will be made to PCC to establish the access level record as the new standard for serials.

The project is expected to result in a chart of essential data elements and an outline of cataloging guidelines by January 2006. A progress report, including an evaluation of the pilot, is expected by the end of April 2006.

The charge for the pilot including a detailed discussion of background, methodology, and deliverables is available from: (PDF, 76 KB)

Background information on LC’s implementation of the access level record for integrating resources is available from:

-- Les Hawkins (LC)

Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP)

From Oct. 2004 to Sept. 2005, trainers in the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP) taught 64 workshops. Over twenty different organizations sponsored and organized these workshops. Sponsors included utility network training programs, library associations, library interest groups, consortia as well as university libraries. SCCTP workshops continue to enjoy strong demand and serve as a practical source of serials cataloging training in the serials community.

During the year, SCCTP joined other cooperative training initiatives under the umbrella of the Cataloger's Learning Workshop (CLW). CLW is a clearinghouse portal for cataloging and other metadata training resources for information workers. The CLW editorial board provides editorial oversight of material produced by the participating programs: SCCTP, Cooperative Cataloging Training, and Cataloging for the 21st Century. CLW is developing guidelines to provide more consistency in training materials created and distributed by component programs and hopes to enhance communication among course developers, revisers, CDS as distributor, and instructors.

The SCCTP public Web site and the Trainer Resources Web site are also being modified to provide more useful information about the scheduled workshops, manuals updates, and to hold a sampling of recent workshop reports.

SCCTP held two meetings with trainers and workshop sponsors at ALA conferences in January and June 2005. Both meetings were well attended and resulted in many good suggestions for ways to provide more support to trainers and to improve or expand training materials. Many of these suggestions have been incorporated into the recent revised SCCTP manuals and in the guidelines for authors and editors being created by the CLW editorial team. All attendees at these meetings expressed interest in having SCCTP meetings on a regular basis. In response to this interest, future formal and informal meetings are being be planned for ALA and NASIG.

Distance Learning

SCCTP has been looking to become involved with Web-based courses for several years now. Catalogers and course developers have expressed interest in developing them from existing SCCTP workshop material. A study on SCCTP and distance learning done by Jean Hirons in 2003 identified some possibilities and made several recommendations on how to proceed. The topic was again brought up for discussion at the SCCTP meeting at 2005 ALA midwinter where several good suggestions were made. Laura Kimberly (Amigos), and Steve Miller (University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee Libraries) have expressed interest in developing pilot distance learning workshops.

The PCC Standing Committee on Training Task Group on Online Training has been re-constituted and work is underway to explore strategies for the development of PCC online training initiatives. The group's charge outlines a two-phased schedule with work on Phase I completed by summer 2005 and the final report (for Phase II) completed by June 2006. In the mean time, some NACO instructors have already been using online training to support post-classroom training discussions. To increase our understanding of online learning technology and to keep all interested persons up to date of various online learning efforts within PCC, a joint PCC trainers (SCCTP, NACO, BIBCO) meeting is being planned for ALA 2006 Midwinter.

-- Hien Nguyen (LC)

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Publication Patterns Meetings at ALA Annual

Vendors, publishers, and librarians gathered at two ALA meetings during 2005 to discuss the pilot of the ONIX for Serials, Serials Release Notification format (SRN). Linda Miller (LC), member of the SRN subgroup of the NISO/EDItEUR Joint Working Party (JWP) and chair of the CONSER Task Force on Long Term Storage of Publication Pattern and Holdings Data, convened the meetings. The pilot will be led by the SRN subgroup; the meetings at ALA were helpful in spreading the news about the pilot and to brainstorm about how the SRN model of sharing ONIX data can be expanded. The minutes of the task force meeting at ALA annual are available from

The Publication History Task Group, chaired by Diane Hillmann (Cornell), completed its final report and recommendations in spring of 2005. The task group moved well beyond its original charge of defining a publication history record. Frieda Rosenberg’s work on developing the concept of the super record as a way to show publication history was particularly influential. As a means of showing bibliographic families of serials, the super record relies on existing linking fields in bibliographic records. The super record could be an actual record that pulls together all related records or could be a virtual construct with a display that meaningfully ties together a publication’s relationships.

Vol. 31, no. 2 (June 2005) of Serials Review contained three articles related to Publication Pattern Initiative activities and concerns. Jian Wang and Bonnie Parks published: Serial Conversations: An Interview with Diane Hillmann and Frieda Rosenberg. Paul Moeller and Wen-ying Lu published the results of their survey: MARC 21 Format for Serials Holdings: A Survey on the Acceptance and Use of Standards. Ann S. Doyle provided a summary of the ALCTS 2005 ALA midwinter program "Codified Innovations: Data Standards and their useful applications" which featured several Initiative members and touched on many of the concerns of the project.

-- Les Hawkins (LC)

CONSER Documentation

The SCCTP Integrating Resources, Basic Serials, and Advanced Serials workshops were revised in FY 2005 to reflect changes in the 2004 Update to the 2002 AACR2 and included other changes and corrections. The Evaluation form has been changed in format and moved to the last appendix in each trainee manual to make it easier for trainees to find. The CONSER Cataloging Manual (CCM) update 2 was completed in Dec. 2004 and distributed in spring of 2005. Many helped in the continuous efforts to keep these working manuals up to date. Special thanks to all the catalogers and trainers who send suggestions, corrections, change requests all year long, as well as to those who helped review the final draft.

-- Hien Nguyen (LC)

From AACR3 to RDA

The draft of AACR3 Part 1 was made available to CC:DA in mid-December 2004. CONSER and other PCC members made significant contributions to the PCC review of the draft. Kristin Lindlan (University of Washington), a CONSER representative and member of CC:DA produced a summary of comments from a quickly formed group of CONSER members. The PCC liaison to CC:DA, Paul Weiss (University of California, San Diego), gathered comments from members of the PCC Standing Committee on Standards. Carolyn Sturtevant, BIBCO Coordinator, compiled comments from BIBCO members. Paul Weiss compiled and submitted these comments to CC:DA on behalf of the PCC.

During the CONSER/BIBCO Operations meeting in early May, Dr. Barbara Tillett (Cataloging Support and Policy Office Chief, LC), LC representative to the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (JSC), presented an update from the April 24-28, 2005 JSC meeting held in Chicago. The JSC reviewed responses to the draft of AACR3 Part 1 and decided that while a new edition of the rules is the best way to achieve its strategic goals, a new approach was needed. A new working title was chosen: “Resource Description and Access” (RDA). RDA will be aligned more directly with FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) and FRAR (Functional Requirements for Authority Records) models. Instructions for recording data will be presented independently of guidelines for data presentation, and the layout and formatting of instructions will be more “user-friendly.”

CONSER will be working with other members of the PCC in commenting on future drafts of RDA as part of CC:DA constituency review throughout 2006 and 2007.

-- Les Hawkins (LC)


Diane Boehr (NLM) was appointed Head, Cataloging in April 2005. She relinquished her role as NLM representative to the CONSER Operations Committee upon conclusion of the May 2005 CONSER Operations Committee meeting. Diane remains very active professionally in the PCC (she is the co-chair of the Access Level Record for Serials) as well as the American Library Association, the Online Audiovisual Catalogers. Eugene Dickerson was appointed to be the new NLM CONSER representative. Gene is a Unit Head in the Cataloging Section at NLM and a long time CONSER contributor. Gene is also a popular SCCTP trainer and active member of ALCTS Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee.

Melissa Beck returned to the Cataloging & Metadata Center at UCLA as a part-time CONSER cataloger. Long-time CONSER members will remember Melissa from her previous stint at UCLA in the 1980s and as author of the original version of CCM, Module 31. We welcome Melissa back and look forward to her contribution as member of the Access Level Record Serials Working Group.

Stephen Early and Renette Davis arranged the CONSER ALA dinner in Chicago in June. Diners enjoyed Chicago style pizza and a wide variety of American fare offered at the Exchequer Pub. Many thanks to Steve and Renette for selecting a great restaurant. Everyone had fun and enjoyed the food and fellowship.

-- Hien Nguyen (LC)

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