LC Cataloging Newsline

Online Newsletter of the Cataloging Directorate, Library of Congress

Volume 8, no. 3, ISSN 1066-8829, March 2000

Library of Congress to Host Conference on Cataloging Policy
CONSER-at-Large Meeting
ISBD(S) Working Group
ISSN Meeting
Subject Access to Individual Works of Fiction
Macau (China : Special Administrative Region
Coordinated Pinyin Conversion Time Line
Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records
Entrepreneur's Guide

Library of Congress to Host Conference on Cataloging Policy

Leaders in the library cataloging and Internet information communities will meet Nov. 15-17, 2000, to discuss policy and procedures of producing standardized records to enable bibliographic control and access to resources in a variety of electronic formats at the Library of Congress Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium: Confronting the Challenges of Networked Resources and the Web, sponsored and organized by the Library's Cataloging Directorate.

"The Library of Congress has played a key role in providing international leadership in developing cataloging policy standards for the library community," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "It is altogether fitting for the Library to host this important conference that looks to the future during our bicentennial year, in which we celebrate our past."

During the last five years, libraries have seen an explosion of digital resources available on the World Wide Web. These materials comprise a bibliographical mix of known types or genres (serials and other text-based items) and newer forms such as multimedia, Web sites, databases, discussion forums, and on-line services. These resources have presented a number of cataloging problems related to their bibliographic control, raising questions about the overall applicability of established cataloging practices to these resources.

As a consequence, various groups have undertaken separate and in some cases, overlapping initiatives to address these problems. These divergent and diverse initiatives underscore the need to bring together leaders in the library and other metadata communities to discuss their work. This special conference will provide that opportunity with a program dedicated to the theme of promoting the effective organization of networked resources.

Topics will be presented in six main sessions: 1) examining the library catalog and its challenges as a portal to the Web; 2) assessing current library standards for bibliographic control and Web access; 3) addressing actions and plans for the future direction of these standards and of other mechanisms designed to advance description and access to networked resources; 4) examining the results of particular metadata experiments and initiatives, including the descriptive resource needs of reference providers; 5) exploring potential partnerships among the library, metadata, and vendor communities that will foster the development of new or expanded Web-based projects; and 6) identifying outcomes with the completion of action plans and an overall strategy to meet conference goals.

The two and one-half day event will include presentations, panel discussions, breakout sessions, and technology demonstrations by vendors and project managers. Participation is by invitation only. However, because attendance is limited, the presenters will be asked to submit their papers well in advance of the meeting dates; these will be posted to the conference home page to be developed and made available for comment on an electronic discussion list to be established by the Library of Congress. Following the conference, all papers will be compiled for publication. In addition, the Cataloging Directorate is considering cyber-casting the conference. Questions regarding the conference may be sent to Beacher J. Wiggins, director for cataloging, at [email protected] or to John D. Byrum, conference organizer, at [email protected]

For further information regarding the conference objectives and program, visit URL

CONSER-at-Large Meeting

AACR2 and ISBD(S) revision

Jean Hirons, CONSER coordinator, reported on the current state of AACR2 revision. She and others in CONSER have been working on the revision, which is due to the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR (JSC) by the end of February. The work includes a complete revision of chapter 12 as well as associated rules in chapters 1 and 21 and the glossary. The revised chapter 12 will cover all "continuing resources" including integrating resources, such as loose-leaf publications and Web sites. The JSC will meet in March and will distribute the revision package for comments sometime thereafter.

Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP)

Eleven SCCTP workshops were held in 1999 and twenty-two are currently scheduled between January and June 2000. In November 1999, an additional train-the-trainer session was held in Vancouver, sponsored by the University of British Columbia, with a focus on Canadian trainers. Feedback from sponsors, trainees, and trainers has been positive.

Publication Pattern Initiative

The long-term goals are to standardize the application of the MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data in order to allow libraries to share publication pattern and holdings data and to migrate data from one system to another. A major task will be a two-year experiment that will allow libraries to share pattern data and enable task force members to assess the challenges involved.


Brown University is the newest CONSER member and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will provide the training. Lucy Barron, currently at Harvard University, will be joining the staff at the Library of Congress as a new section head, Serial Record Division, Library of Congress.

Further discussion of these topics can be found in the most recent issue of CONSERline, no. 15 (winter 2000) at URL

ISBD(S) Working Group

A meeting of the ISBD(S) Working Group was held on Jan. 19-20 in San Antonio, Tex., just prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Attending from the Library of Congress were Jean Hirons and Regina Reynolds (Serial Record Division), Judith Kuhagen (Cataloging Policy and Support Office), and John Byrum (Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division). The meeting produced several important decisions. The group agreed to broaden the scope of the standard to include all continuing resources, to redefine "serial" along the lines of the JSC proposal (but with minor improvements), and to rename the standard the International Standard Bibliographic Description for Serials and Other Continuing Resources (ISBD(CR)).

The group also discussed a title change rule that would require many fewer new records. The following changes tentatively agreed to would not result in a new record: the addition or deletion of the issuing body's name anywhere in the title, the addition or deletion of words denoting type of publication anywhere in the title, and the addition to, deletion from, or change in order of words in a list, e.g., places, names. The title change rule will have to be harmonized with ISSN and AACR2 and is not final at this time.

Perhaps of most significance was the discussion of an International Standard Title (IST) that would be assigned by catalogers and ISSN agencies, replacing the key title and, in many cases, the AACR2 uniform title. The IST would serve as a benchmark for determining major/minor changes for serials and as a means for distinguishing and identifying the serial, a role currently played by both key and uniform titles. The IST would also make it possible to describe from the latest issue, since the IST would be based on the earliest available issue and would serve as a stable title. A revision of the IST proposal will be prepared by Regina Reynolds with Reinhard Rinn (Deutsche Bibliothek), Francoise Pelle and Alain Roucolle of the ISSN International Centre, and Jean Hirons assisting. The proposal will be tested this spring.

A meeting of experts will be held in late May that will bring together representatives from the ISBD, AACR, and ISSN communities in order to reach agreement on the areas of harmonization that are essential for record sharing.

ISSN Meeting

The twenty-third Annual Meeting of Directors of ISSN Centres and a meeting of the ISSN Network's Governing Board were held in back-to-back sessions from Sept. 26 - Oct. 5, 1999, in Paris, France. Regina Reynolds, head of the National Serials Data Program (the U.S. ISSN center) and Maureen Landry, acting chief of Serial Record Division and the U.S. member of the Governing Board, attended the respective meetings which included two joint sessions relating to the strategic plan for the ISSN Network.

Future directions for serials, for the ISSN, and for the ISSN Network were explored by a panel of experts who spoke at the joint strategic planning sessions. Clifford Lynch (head, Coalition for Networked Information), gave the keynote address in which he reviewed the ISSN's success and outlined possible scenarios for its future. Leslie Daigle (Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)), Brian Green (Book Industry Communication/EDItEUR), Stuart Ede (British Library), and Rollo Turner (Association of Subscription Agents) contributed their perspectives on the potential uses of the ISSN in the digital environment. Numerous opportunities for the use of the ISSN to solve the identification problems of continuously-updated material on the Web emerged. For example, it could be used in subscribing to online services, in computer-to-computer linking, in identifying retrospectively-digitized serials, and in e-commerce. Equally numerous were the challenges that the ISSN Network would face in taking on the projected roles: for example, defining the scope the ISSN should encompass identifying the constituency it might serve and dealing with the limited resources of national centers and current network funding.

Daigle also gave a presentation about the URN-ISSN project at one of the joint sessions. This project is one of the first open implementations of the URN (Uniform Resource Name), a persistent naming scheme defined by the IETF. Daigle demonstrated how, by means of a "plug-in," which is currently being tested by ISSN centers, Web users will be able to type an ISSN into their browser window and be connected to basic metadata about a serial from the ISSN database and to the resource itself, if it is an online serial.

The directors' meeting devoted several sessions to considering the recommendations of the working group revising the ISDS Manual. This group is adding rules to the manual to accommodate digital serials as well as working on revising current rules to reduce the number of insignificant title changes which result in the need for new ISSN assignments. Additionally, the working group is coordinating its efforts with those of groups revising AACR2 and ISBD(S). One result of such harmonization would be that ISSN records could better serve as the basis for serials cataloging records worldwide.

The Fall 2000 meeting will be hosted Sept. 26-29 by the Library of Congress and NSDP.

Subject Access to Individual Works of Fiction

Because of the interest of public libraries in providing additional subject access to individual works of fiction, the Library of Congress is drafting guidelines for the application of genre headings and other subject headings to individual works of fiction. One of the Library's Anglo-American cataloging teams is applying a draft of the guidelines as a pilot project to allow for refinement and evaluation of these draft guidelines.

Macau (China : Special Administrative Region

A statement on the policies relative to the change in status of Macau is available on the Cataloging Policy and Support Office's home page at URL

Coordinated Pinyin Conversion Time Line

An updated pinyin conversion time line has been posted on the Library's pinyin home page (URL This time line was coordinated by the Library of Congress, OCLC, and RLG. View the time line at URL

The time line will be updated at least monthly during the year 2000. Below is a summary of the significant milestones on the coordinated conversion time line.

The Library, OCLC, and RLG have agreed that the pinyin marker on bibliographic records will appear in the (local) 987 field, while the marker on name authority records will appear in the 008/07 field. The pinyin markers may be viewed at URL

The Library sent draft specifications for conversion of name and series authorities to OCLC in February. OCLC plans to report on the first test of its conversion program for authorities in April, with conversion specifications being finalized in May and machine conversion of name and series authorities to begin in July.

Results of RLG's first test runs on the Library sample Chinese-language bibliographic records will be shared with the Library and OCLC in March. The Library, OCLC, and RLG will finalize conversion specifications for bibliographic records in June. The finalized specifications will be made available on the pinyin Web site. RLG plans to begin converting clusters containing LC's Chinese-language bibliographic records in the RLG union catalog in August. After finishing conversion of the Library's Chinese records in September, RLG will begin to convert other clusters. OCLC will begin to convert Chinese bibliographic records in WorldCat in October. Both OCLC and RLG plan to complete the conversion of bibliographic records by April 2001.

Conversion of subject headings will begin in July. After that time, catalogers will be directed to use pinyin romanization when they create new subject headings. Related classification changes will be initiated as headings are converted. The Cataloging Policy and Support Office plans to end the current chronological period for Chinese literary authors at the end of this year, and then begin a new period with Cutter numbers based on pinyin romanization. Drafts of these schedules may be found at URL and URL

Converted authorities will be included in the daily NACO distribution to OCLC and RLIN, as well as in other authority products, as they are converted, beginning in August. The Library will begin to load its converted bibliographic records in September, and distribute them in October 2000.

Day 1 for pinyin conversion will occur on Oct. 1, 2000. After that day, systematic romanization of Chinese will be carried out by the Library of Congress according to new pinyin guidelines in all Library operations. New bibliographic and authority records created by other libraries will also follow pinyin romanization guidelines. The transition to full use of pinyin for all romanization of Chinese will begin on that day. The Library will then work with the utilities to schedule and complete necessary cleanup tasks associated with the conversion of authority and bibliographic records.

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records

John D. Byrum, chief, Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division, co-presented with Olivia Madison, dean of library services, Iowa State University, a paper on "Reflections on the Goals, Concepts, and Recommendations of the IFLA Study on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR)" at a two- day seminar organized by the Sezione Toscana and Gruppo Catalogazione of the Associazione italiana biblioteche (AIB) in Florence on January 27-28, 2000. More than two hundred librarians from throughout Italy attended as did several experts from elsewhere in Europe, indicating the substantial interest in FRBR which was approved by the IFLA Section on Cataloguing and published by K.G. Saur in 1998. FRBR is also freely available from IFLANET for downloading as an Acrobat PDF file (559K) at URL As a measure of world-wide attention to the functional requirements study, there are currently more than one hundred references to FRBR in documents available on the Internet.

At the Seminar, a variety of presentations examined FRBR from different perspectives, although all speakers shared a common high regard for FRBR's methodology and resulting conclusions. Mauro Guerrini (Universita di Roma La Sapienza), Massimo Rolle (president, Sezione Toscana), Luigi Crocetti (president, AIB), and Paul Gabriele Weston (Biblioteca apostolica vaticana) presided over the two sessions and also delivered papers. Other speakers included Gian Bruno Ravenni (Regione Toscana), Teresa Grimaldi (Biblioteca nazionale di Bari), Pino Buizza (Biblioteca Queriniana di Brescia), Marielisa Rossi (Universita di Messina), Giovanni Bergamin (Biblioteca nazionale centrale di Firenze), Isa de Pinedo (ICCU), and Alberto Petrucciani (Universita di Pisa).

There were question and answer periods to promote discussion of these papers, and Prof. Guerrini is compiling the proceedings into a bilingual (Italian and English) volume that he hopes to have published by summer 2000.

Entrepreneur's Guide

The Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT) of the Library of Congress announces the availability of the third electronic edition of the Entrepreneur's Reference Guide to Small Business Information, compiled by Robert M. Jackson. Prepared under the auspices of BEAT in conjunction with the Library's Business Reference Section in the Science, Technology & Business Division, the guide lists approximately one hundred seventy resources judged to be relevant and useful by the business reference staff for the entrepreneur and for information providers working with small-business people.

Over twenty of the resources included are linked to online counterparts or related web sites as well as links to the Harmonized Tariff Schedules (USITC) and the North American Industry Classification Codes (U.S. Bureau of the Census). Table of contents information for a number of titles is also included when available. New to this edition are hypertext links for related subject headings that allow the user to search the Z39.50 interface to the Library of Congress Online Catalog for additional works on the subject. The editing/formatting of the online document was done by Carolyn Larson of the Business Reference Section. The guide is available on the Library of Congress Web site at URL

LC Cataloging Newsline (ISSN 1066-8829) is published irregularly by the Cataloging Directorate, Library Services, Library of Congress, and contains news of cataloging activities throughout the Library of Congress. Editorial Office: Cataloging Policy and Support Office, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540-4305. Editor, Robert M. Hiatt; Editorial Advisory Group: Victoria Behrens, John Byrum, Roselyne Chang, Jurij Dobczansky, Les Hawkins, Albert Kohlmeier, John Mitchell, Mary Louise Mitchell, Susan Morris, Geraldine Ostrove, David Smith, and David Williamson. Address editorial inquiries to the editor at the above address or [email protected] (email), (202) 707-5831 (voice), or (202) 707-6629 (fax). Listowner: David Williamson. Address subscription inquiries to the listowner at [email protected]

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