Friday, June 24, 2005

Proposal for the Addition of Dates to Existing Personal Name Headings

The Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO) has been considering a suggestion to reinstate MARC 21 note field 678 (Biographical or Historical Data) in name authority records in order to provide the death date of persons who are known to be deceased, but whose dates are kept "open" as a result of the Library of Congress (LC) policy of not adding death dates to established headings except in certain situations. Throughout the past 20 plus years that this policy has been in force, numerous catalog users have expressed frustration with the policy.

After extensive discussion, CPSO has concluded that its decision should not be made solely to comply with the request of one community but across the board, as all users have expressed similar frustration with LC's policy. For example, within the art community, artists such as:

  • 100 1# $a Warhol, Andy, $d 1928-
  • 100 1# $a Dali, Salvador, $d 1904-
from the music community:
  • 100 1# $a Bernstein, Leonard, $d 1918-
  • 100 1# $a Stern, Isaac, $d 1920-
from others, scholars or literary figures such as:
  • 100 1# $a Borges, Jorge Louis, $d 1899-
  • 100 1# $a Paz, Octavio, $d 1914-
as well as famous political or cultural figures:
  • 100 1# $a Nixon, Richard M. $q (Richard Milhous),$d 1913-
  • 100 0# $a Diana, $c Princess of Wales, $d 1961-
  • 100 0# $a John Paul $b II, $c Pope, $d 1920-
CPSO has often received irate messages imploring LC to acknowledge the need to add death dates, or deploring LC's lack of sensitivity in failing to respond to such requests. The difficulty of justifying the policies to catalogers is only the tip of the iceberg, the reference staff who must interpret the catalog on the front lines and catalog users themselves are completely unaware of the purpose of the existing policy and often leap to the conclusion that the catalog is "wrong" or "outdated." Many libraries have indicated that they add death dates to their local catalogs to pacify their users, and for NACO participants this adds an additional maintenance burden.

Recently, it has also been noted in messages to the CPSO email account, or reports to the Cooperative Cataloging Team (Coop), that many catalogers are adding not just death dates, but are also adding birth dates to established headings even though the Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRIs) prohibit these additions unless they are needed to resolve conflicts.

Over the years, LC has made exceptional changes on a case-by-case basis and some of these changes have required major projects of bibliographic file maintenance (BFM). These projects have often created frustration within the cataloging community, as it hasn't been clear why LC or a particular library is successful in having dates added to headings while the rest do not. Recently, CPSO has been able to make large-scale changes to headings in bibliographic records using newly available technology and many libraries now have integrated systems that also facilitate BFM. Thus, CPSO is considering allowing the addition of all dates to existing headings rather than making piecemeal decisions such as reinstating the use of the 678 or allowing only the addition of death dates. This would mean that CPSO and the Coop Team would no longer need to adjudicate instances where dates are added to existing headings in apparent violation of policies, etc.

Recognizing that any proposal to add dates to existing headings impacts not only the LC catalog, but all the PCC and non-PCC communities, as well as the need for the revision of existing documentation, CPSO is posting for comment the following proposal.

Allow the optional addition of dates (birth, death or both) to existing personal name headings at will. (LC and NACO catalogers are aware of LCRI 22.17 that requires all new headings to have dates added when these are readily available). Note that catalogers would not be required to add dates to existing personal name headings (other than to resolve conflicts) but may exercise judgment and add the date or dates if these are judged to be useful.

Please send comments, alternative suggestions, etc., to by July 22, 2005. This message may be forwarded to other discussion lists.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Cataloging Documentation Survey

Help the Cataloging Distribution Service shape the content, structure, and delivery of future Library of Congress cataloging documentation. As new distribution formats emerge, the time is right to examine the nature and organization of cataloging documentation. The survey asks for insights on how to improve LC's cataloging documentation. Survey ends July 31, 2005.

The OPAC and OAI

The winner of the OCLC software contest is Dazhi (David) Jiao of Bloomington Indiana for his OPAC.
CAT-OAI integrates OAI harvesting and metadat searching to OPAC search engines and expands users' discoveries in a OPAC search results to related web-accesible digital resources. Using this system, OPAC users will have the opportunity to reach the online digital materials that are highly related to their discoveries in the OPAC system.
Source code will be available soon. Seen on Lorcan Dempsey's weblog.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

OLAC Newsletter

The June 2005 issue of the OLAC Newsletter is now available. It is posted both as a sectioned file and in one full file.

Cataloging the Net. Part 3.

A comment in the posting of part 2 of this series mentions how poorly adding Web sites has been done. That is no reason not to do it right. See the poster from the OLAC conference Building a Virtual Library Collection through Freely-Accessible Web Sites : Select Web Sites Database at the University of Vermont, presented by Wichada SuKantarat and Kor Kiley on how to do it right.

Broken links are mentioned in the comment. They do need upkeep, but that need not be a large burden. Tools like PURL provide a way to distribute upkeep and a method of checking. MarcXGen is tool to use when doing the checking locally. Selecting Web material of lasting value will also lessen broken links. The links I have to the NASA History Office publications have had no problems, I can recall, for several years. The GPO is creating PURLs for the on-line materials they catalog. Those should have stable links and get fixed when any number of libraries notice a broken link.

Job Opening

The Georgetown University Law Library is about to begin a search for a
new Head of Cataloging.
Manages the Law Library’s Cataloging Department, which is responsible for providing intellectual access to material owned or accessed by the library.

Reports to the Associate Law Librarian for Collection Services and supervises a staff of 1 other professional, 5 paraprofessionals and 1 assistant. Department catalogs material in all formats, provides authority control and database maintenance, and prepares materials for the shelf.


It seems Educational Regional Center (ERC) 20, in Texas, is filtering out this weblog. Do they block everything at Blogspot? I can't imagine anything in the content that would cause blocking. Another example of over zealous filtering.

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records

A report on the Dublin Workshop dedicated to FRBR implementation issues that took place on May 2-4 is now available. Talks include:
  • Ed O'Neill: "Relational Models for Aggregates"
  • Maja Zumer: "Modeling Augmentations"
  • Judith A. Kuhagen: "Modeling Continuing Resources in FRBR (and more...)"
  • Carol van Nuys and Ketil Albertsen: "Modelling web resources"
  • Allyson Carlyle: "FRBR: challenges for implementation in AACR2, with some attention to non-book materials"
  • Barbara B. Tillett: "Relationships in FRBR"
  • Maja Zumer: "Some outcomes of the CRM/FRBR harmonization: the definition of manifestation and a review of attributes"
  • Glenn Patton: "FRAR: extending FRBR concepts to authority data"
  • Marcia Lei Zeng and Athena Salaba: "Toward an international sharing and use of subject authority data"
  • Diane Vizine-Goetz: "Subjects in fiction: the experience with WorldCat"
  • Maria Nasilowska: "Precoordination in subject indexing systems and FRBR model"
  • Trond Aalberg: "Formats and FRBR catalogues -- where's our focus?"
  • Ketil Albertsen: "What do we want to identify? -- FRBR and identifier semantics"
  • Patrick Le Boeuf: "Identifying textual 'works': ISTC: controversy and potential"
  • Thomas B. Hickey: "Exchanging FRBR information"
  • Barbara Tillett: "FRBR and Cataloguing Rules: Impact on IFLA's Statement of Principles and AACR/RDA"
  • Patrick Le Boeuf: "'Convergence is the Goal': Activity Report of the IFLA FRBR/CIDOC CRM Harmonization Group"
  • Godfrey Rust: "Thoughts from a different planet (only slightly different)"
Looks like quite a good meeting. I hope the proceedings get published or the talks become available as MP3s.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Cataloging the Net. Part 2.

I posted a while ago about an idea to turn the RSS feed of Web directories into MARC records. K.G. Schneider of LII left a comment both here and on the original site. She makes some valid points and one I'm less sure about. She invites folks with good or innovative ideas on reusing content to talk to the content originator. Communication is a good thing. She points out changes at the site could lead to a breakdown in the work done outside. For example, changing from RSS 0.92 to ATOM would require reworking the XSLT. All too true. Most importantly, she points out the work is copyrighted and this would be copyright infringement.

However, she says that adding Web sites to the catalog is not useful. I'd have to disagree there. Trying to catalog the net or adding records without a collection policy are bad ideas. But, adding a few carefully selected sites, in some libraries, can enrich the catalog. There are many different libraries out there, and they each have different users and needs. Much as I respect her, I read her weblog daily, I feel this is a blanket statement.

Christopher Harris had a good idea. I'll keep reading his weblog. I've been thinking along the opposite line than Christopher, using RSS to distribute MARC records. It should be possible to wrap a MARC record in RSS and use it as a distribution method. Then something like ipodder could automate handling of the records.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Simmons LIS 415

Welcome readers from Simmons LIS 415. I hope reading this is not too horrible an assignment. I'd be interested in hearing your comments, so if you like, send me a copy of your finished assignment.

MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions

The codes listed below have been recently approved for use in MARC 21 records. The new codes will be added to the online MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions. These codes should not be used in exchange records until after August 17, 2005. This 60-day waiting period is required to provide MARC 21 implementers with time to include the newly defined codes in any validation tables they may apply to the MARC fields where the codes are used.

MARC Term, Name, Title Sources & Other Sources

  • dcs - Descritores em Ciencias da Saude = Descriptores en Ciencias de la Salud = Health Sciences Descriptors (Sao Paulo: BIREME). For use in subfield $2 in Bibliographic and Community Information records in 6XX fields and field 040, subfield $f (Cataloging Source / Subject heading/thesaurus conventions) in Authority records. [use after August 17, 2005]
  • fire - FireTalk, IFSI thesaurus (Chicago, IL: Illinois Fire Service Institute). For use in subfield $2 in Bibliographic and Community Information records in 6XX fields and field 040, subfield $f (Cataloging Source / Subject heading/thesaurus conventions) in Authority records. [use after August 17, 2005]
  • thub - Thesaurus de la Universitat de Barcelona (Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona, Centre de Recursos per a l'Aprenentatge i la Investigacio, Proces Tecnic). For use in subfield $2 in Bibliographic and Community Information records in 6XX fields and field 040, subfield $f (Cataloging Source / Subject heading/thesaurus conventions) in Authority records [use after August 17, 2005]
  • lan - Union list of artist names (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute). For use in subfield $2 in Bibliographic and Community Information records in 6XX fields and field 040, subfield $f (Cataloging Source / Subject heading/thesaurus conventions) in Authority records. [use after August 17, 2005]

Cataloging the Net

Christopher Harris at Infomancy has had a good idea, converting RSS into MARC. He had in mind taking the RSS feed for the Librarian's Index to the Internet (LII) and using XSLT to change those records into MARC. It should also work for the Scout Report or any of those type of sites. One script would need to be written for each site probably, but it could benefit many libraries. On the basis of this one post I've added him to my RSS reader.