February 22, 2000 Library of Congress Hosts Conference on Cataloging Policy in the Digital Age, Nov. 15-17

Press Contact: John Sayers (202) 707-9216
Public Contact: John D. Byrum (202) 707-5196

Leaders in the library cataloging and Internet information communities will meet at the Library of Congress on Nov. 15-17 to discuss policy and procedures of producing standardized records to enable bibliographic control and access to resources in a variety of formats. "The Library of Congress Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium: Confronting the Challenges of Networked Resources and the Web" will take place in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the Library's James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E.

"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: examining the library catalog and its challenges as a portal to the Web; assessing current library and metadata standards for bibliographic control and Web access; addressing actions and plans for the future direction of these standards and of other mechanisms designed to advance description and access to networked resources; examining the results of particular metadata experiments and initiatives, including the descriptive resource needs of reference providers; exploring potential partnerships among the library, metadata, and vendor communities that will foster the development of new or expanded Web-based projects; and 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 cybercasting 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].

The Library of Congress, founded April 24, 1800, is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. It preserves a collection of nearly 119 million items, more than two thirds of which are in media other than books. These include the largest map and film and television collections in the world. In addition to its primary mission of serving the research needs of the U.S. Congress, the Library serves all Americans through its popular Web site (www.loc.gov) and in its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill.


PR 00-013
ISSN 0731-3527