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The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > CONSER > CONSERline > No. 3, November 1994

No. 3, November 1994


New York Public Library Joins CONSER

CONSER is pleased to announce that the Research Libraries of the New York Public Library (NYPL) have joined the Program as a full level member. As a full member, NYPL will contribute authenticated records and be represented on CONSER committees.

NYPL is one of the five largest libraries in the world and has a collection of over 400,000 serial titles. The Research Libraries collect serials on a broad range subjects, from the humanities, arts, and sciences to genealogy, local history, and the performing arts. These materials are in many languages, including non-Roman vernacular scripts. The Serial Cataloging Section, which will be the first group to work with CONSER, processes all Roman alphabet publications and catalogs printed materials, microforms, electronic formats, and mixed media. Other divisions cataloging serials include the Oriental, Jewish, Slavic and Baltic, and special format divisions (e.g., Map). In addition, the Serials Retrospective Conversion Project has a two year objective of converting 100,000 records to machine-readable form.

NYPL was a pioneer in the automation of cataloging. They began with a local system in 1972 and since 1981 have been contributing their cataloging to national databases on RLIN and OCLC. They were a founding member of the Research Libraries Group.

Karen Hsu, Chief of the Cataloging Division, describes NYPL as being in a *high spirit of cooperation, not only in theory but also in practice.* They joined NACO in fall of 1993 and are now an independent member, contributing records via RLIN. NYPL will continue to contribute headings in this way until OCLC's PRISM authority module is available.

While NYPL uses Library of Congress subject headings, classification is based on several in-house systems. These are the Billings classification and a fixed-order location scheme by size of an item. Billings is a subject classification designed by NYPL's first director, Dr. John Shaw Billings, in 1895. Both types of numbers are input in field 099 and are not retained in the master record on OCLC nor distributed to others.

The Serial Cataloging Section has a staff of ten professional librarians and five technical assistants. According to Ms. Hsu, *cataloging ... serials requires a certain mind-set. It is like an acquired taste; once you have come to love it you stick with it. Perhaps that is why nine of the fifteen staff members have been with the Section for over 15 years.* Edith Gewertz, Head of the Section, will serve as the representative to the CONSER Operations Committee. Ms. Hsu will serve as the representative to the Policy Committee.

Linda Bartley Resigns

By Jean Hirons (Library of Congress)

Linda Bartley, Coordinator of the CONSER Program, resigned from the Library of Congress on November 3rd, 1994. In November 1993 she left the Library for a year's leave of absence in order to spend more time with her two young children. After a very successful and full year at home she concluded that she could not return to work at this time. While the decision was difficult, those of us who know Linda know that she cannot do anything half- heartedly and applaud her decision to devote her time to her family and community. But we will miss her.

Linda's contribution to the library community, and particularly to serials cataloging and control, is immeasurable. She began her involvement with serials in 1973 by organizing the Boston Theological Institute's participation in the newly-formed CONSER Project. In 1976 she came to the Library of Congress as the director of the National Serials Data Program. During the next six years she was instrumental in NSDP's cooperation with the United States Postal Service, as well as planning and implementing the CONSER Abstracting and Indexing Coverage Project.

In 1982 Linda became the second CONSER Operations Coordinator, following Dorothy Glasby. Under her stewardship the project grew into a nationally-acclaimed program. Among her many accomplishments were the decentralization of authentication, a CONSER retreat that laid the foundation for the current management structure, expanding membership to A&I services and subscription agencies, and editing the CONSER Editing Guide. Linda also played an important role in the creation of the United States Newspaper Program. In addition to her CONSER-related duties, in recent years she became instrumental in the development of a serials control system for the Library.

Linda has always been a strong advocate for standards. She was active in developing and promoting standards for serials, and served on several Z39 subcommittees, as well as the NISO Executive Board. Another major concern was how potential solutions to some of the major problems of the day might address serials. Of particular interest were the problems related to multiple versions and format integration, to which she dedicated many hours in order to assure that serials would be adequately accommodated.

Underlying all of Linda's endeavors has been a strong commitment to the importance of libraries and the Library of Congress' role in that community. Of particular interest has been the relationships that we create—between records, between different libraries, and between libraries and others in the information community. One of her favorite projects was the development, with Julia Blixrud and Maureen Landry, of a proposal called *Lioncat* that envisions a relational approach to cataloging that would capture the essential information about an item and its relationships to other items, as opposed to focusing on its description.

In 1992 she was awarded the Bowker/Ulrich's Serials Librarianship Award for her many contributions to serials librarianship. In her endorsement of Linda for that award, Linda West, now chair- elect of the CONSER Policy Committee, noted that *while there have been others ... who have contributed to [CONSER's] resurgence, anyone observing can see that Linda's organizing skills and devotion have been pivotal in driving the program forward. Linda Bartley has made a considerable contribution to serials librarianship, one that makes her stand out among her colleagues.*

I would like to add a personal note of appreciation. I have worked closely with Linda since 1983 and could not have asked for a better mentor, colleague, and friend. I join many others in the Library of Congress, in CONSER, and in the library community in thanking her for her contributions and in wishing her well.

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Linda Bartley: An Appreciation

By Ron Watson (UCLA)

[Editor's note: The following remarks were given at a party in honor of Linda Bartley, held in conjunction with the CONSER Operations Committee meeting, on November 3, 1994.]

I want to remind us of three and a half events of our Bartley/ CONSER history, suggest a musical analogy, and give thanks.

On October 10th, 1978 at the first meeting of the CONSER Operational Staff Group in Columbus, Ohio, the first thing Linda Bartley said (she being head of NSDP at the time) related to a discussion on the proposal for NSDP authenticated records to be unlocked so that CONSER participants could enhance the records online, rather than having to handle the upgrading through modification requests. As I recall, she said we should have a gentle persons' agreement to not touch the 022 and 222. It was our first lesson in true cooperation.

In those early CONSER days in Ohio, OCLC ran the Operations meeting, but by 1982, though the meeting was still in Ohio, the agenda was by Linda Bartley and the meeting run by Linda and John Levy.

In September of 1983 (still in Dublin) Linda proposed that CONSER participants be allowed to self authenticate records. She proposed changes to the 042 codes which included redefining code *lcd* to indicate descriptive CONSER authentication used by independent NACO/CONSER participants.

With her proposal in 1978 to unlock NSDP records and this 1983 proposal for self authentication, Linda led the move to make those of us in CONSER coequal partners with LC catalogers in the Serial Record Division. She gave us the opportunity to be responsible.

For her last act as CONSER Operations Coordinator a year ago, Linda was able to expand our horizons even farther. She enlisted the expertise of the subject specialists in the Cataloging Policy and Support Office and lead us in the very successful CONSER Subject Seminar. This was another act of faith and high risk on Linda's part, for which I'm personally very grateful.

So much for a little Bartley/CONSER history. Now, the musical analogy.

In a review in _Time_ magazine in January 1994 on the finest orchestra under Christoph von Dohnanyi (Cleveland Symphony), Michael Walsh closes his review with this:

*What finally explains Cleveland's eminence is the happy intangibles that previously elevated Stokowski and Philadelphia, Karajan and Berlin, and Solti and Chicago to musical supremacy: leadership, talent, discipline and desire, perhaps especially the last.*

I would contend that what raised Bartley and CONSER to cooperative online cataloging supremacy were the same happy intangibles: leadership, talent, discipline and desire, but most especially the first.

For your leadership and all those other happy intangibles, Linda Bartley, your orchestra thanks you.


Idalia Acosta retired on September 30, 1994 from the Cataloging Branch of the National Agricultural Library (NAL). She represented NAL on both the CONSER Policy and Executive Committees. Ms. Acosta came to the Washington D.C. area in 1961 when she and her husband and three children left their home in Cuba. Initially she taught calculus and chemistry at Immaculata College while working on her masters degree in library science at Catholic University. During these years she and her family housed many Cuban refugees, one of whom was Xavier Suarez, the future mayor of Miami.

Ms Acosta's involvement with serials began in 1976 when she became a serials librarian at NAL. With the encouragement of CONSER Operations Coordinator Linda Bartley, she applied for and received the job of Head of the Serials Branch in 1984. In 1987 she became Head of the Cataloging Branch. During her tenure, NAL joined CONSER and became an active participant in cooperative cataloging. Since her retirement she has moved to Jonesboro, Georgia.


*The Impact of CONSER on Serials Cataloging* was the topic of discussion at the Copy Cataloging Discussion Group's session during the annual meeting of the American Library Association in Miami, June 1994. Representatives of small and medium size libraries spoke on how they made use of the CONSER database and what CONSER as a whole had meant to them. While there were some complaints about the presence of latest entry and pre-AACR2 records, the overwhelming expression was one of appreciation and approval. Describing CONSER as *one constant we can all count on,* Cecilia Leathem of the University of Miami, noted that she has experienced an 85% hit rate for CONSER records and the assurance of quality cataloging copy has allowed her to become a serials manager while technicians do much of the copy cataloging. Linda Kimsey, Marietta College, spoke on the value of CONSER for training, and the usefulness of documentation such as the _CONSER Cataloging Manual_.

CONSER Documentation Update

A new edition of the _CONSER Editing Guide (CEG)_ will be available from the Cataloging Distribution Service, Library of Congress, in late December or early January. The new 1994 edition completely replaces the earlier text and its updates. The 1994 edition will be issued in two volumes, with Part I and the fixed fields in one volume and all variable fields and appendices in the second. New sturdier binders are included in the subscription price. The new edition includes all changes to the variable fields resulting from the first phase of format integration. Only those fields that are considered relevant to serials have been added. All examples have been reviewed and updated to reflect the changes in the _AACR2_ amendments and those caused by format integration.

Update 2 to the _CONSER Cataloging Manual_ will also be available late December or early January. The new update includes changes to the base text, Part 1, resulting from format integration, the _AACR2_ amendments, and recent policy decisions. In addition to changes to the base text, the update contains a new module, *Module 32, Microform Serials.* *Module 30, Direct Access Computer File Serials,* has also been completely revised in anticipation of format integration.

Information on prices, subscriptions, and availability will be available soon from the Cataloging Distribution Service, Library of Congress.

Next Issue of _CONSERline_

_CONSERline_ no. 4, to be issued prior to ALA midwinter 1995, will describe the newly defined CONSER core record, and cover other issues discussed at the November CONSER Operations Committee meeting.

_CONSERline_ (ISSN 1072-611X) continues the newsletter, _CONSER_, and is published at least semiannually (January and June) by the Library of Congress, Serial Record Division and OCLC, Inc. _CONSERline_ is a cooperative effort with contributions from program members consisting of news of the CONSER Program and information of interest to the serials cataloging community. For comments or suggestions, contact the editors: Jean Hirons, Library of Congress, Serial Record Division, Washington, DC 20540-4160, [email protected] (e-mail), 202-707-5947 (voice), 202-707-6333 (fax); Liz Bishoff, OCLC, Inc., 4545 Frantz Rd., Dublin, OH 43017-3395, [email protected] (e-mail), 800-848- 5878 (voice), 614-764-0740 (fax).

_CONSERline_ is available in electronic form only and is free of charge. To subscribe, send a mail message to [email protected] with the text: subscribe CONSRLIN [firstname lastname]. Back issues of _CONSERline_ will be available through the listserver and on LC MARVEL. To find out what is available, send a mail message to [email protected] with the text: index CONSRLIN. To get a specific file, send a mail message to [email protected] with the text: get consrlin [filename].

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