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LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress

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Bicentennial Conference  on 
	Bibliographic Control for the New Millenium: Confronting the Challenges of Networked 
	Resources and the Web
sponsored by the Library of Congress Cataloging Directorate

Sally McCallum
Sally McCallum
Chief, Network Development and MARC Standards Office
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20540-4160

Extending MARC for Bibliographic Control in the Web Environment:
Challenges and Alternatives

About the presenter:

Sally McCallum is presently Chief of the Network Development and MARC Standards Office at the Library of Congress, the Office responsible for the maintenance of the MARC21 formats and a number of other interoperability-related standards such as an XML version of MARC, the Z39.50 Information Retrieval protocol, the Encoded Archival Description DTD, and the HTML standards used internally by LC for its web site. She has been an active participant in many organizations and working groups over her more than 20 years at LC, including the MARBI Committee of the American Library Association; boards and committees of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO); committees of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that develop standards for libraries and information services; and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) She has also been very active in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), chairing the Professional Board and the Standing Committee on Information Technology and serving on format related committees responsible for the UNIMARC format. She has published a number of articles on standards and networking. McCallum has a BA from Rice University and an MLS from the University of Chicago.

Full text of paper is available


How will MARC accommodate changes to AACR2 and developments in alternative bibliographic control tools (DC, XML, RDF)? With the recent publication of MARC 21, MARC enters the new millennium as a proven and robust standard with a rich history of application in library OPACS and WebPACS worldwide. MARC was developed 30 years ago, long enough for the usefulness of a common format for data exchange to be appreciated and capitalized upon. Its broadly participatory maintenance process, well supported maintenance, and stability have enabled libraries to drastically cut cataloging costs AND to vastly enhance retrieval tools through automation of the catalog. But interoperability made possible by the format is ultimately dependent on the "interoperability" or compatibility of the data it carries. The cataloging conventions can make or break these savings and advances, and can be more critical than the actual carrier format.

This paper deconstructs the "MARC format" and similar newer tools like DC, XML, and RDF, separating structural issues from content-driven issues. Against that it examines the pressures from new types of digital resources, the responses to these pressures in format and content terms, and the transformations that may take place. The conflicting desires coming from users and librarians, the plethora of solutions to problems that constantly appear (some of which just might work), and the traditional access expectations are considered.

Paul Weiss
Paul Weiss, commentator
Manager, Conversion and Database Services
Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
5850 Shellmound Way
Emeryville, CA 94608

About the commentator:

Paul J. Weiss is currently Manager, Conversion and Database Services Unit, at Innovative Interface, Inc. Previously he was Head of the Bibliographic Control Section at the University of New Mexico, Systems Librarian at the National Library of Medicine, and Monographs and Computer Files Cataloger at Cornell University. He has been active in standards work for the past 15 years, including service on the American Library Association's Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee, Subject Analysis Committee, and Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access. He currently serves as the ALA Representative to NISO. He received his B.A. in linguistics from Cornell University and his M.L.I.S. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Full text of commentary is available

Library of Congress
January 29, 2001
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