Thursday, July 15, 2010

Romanization Considered

The final report of the ALCTS Non-English Access Working Group on Romanization has been released.
The Working Group was established by the ALCTS Non-English Access Steering Committee in June 2009 to examine the current use of romanized data in bibliographic and authority records and to recommend whether romanization is still needed in bibliographic records. The Working Group would like to thank all who submitted comments on our draft report released in November. This input from the wider cataloging community was invaluable, and many of the comments received have been incorporated directly into the final report.
The Committee considered 2 options: A) transliteration and vernacular in records and B) vernacular only in records.
A majority of the Working Group believes that the factors discussed in this report are significant enough to make a general shift to Model B in bibliographic records premature at this point. Some members of the Working Group feel that having romanized access points in records provides enough added value that their use should be continued indefinitely. Others believe that in an environment of shrinking staffs and production pressures we should anticipate future developments in making our decision and recommend a move to Model B sooner rather than later. However, most believe that although a gradual move towards the use of Model B for current cataloging is probable, we should continue use of Model A for now as we prepare for a potential transition.
The committee had other recommendations as well.

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