EDITORIAL By Ruth Carter
Catalogers Must Change! Surviving Between the Rock and the Hard Place.
By Elizabeth N. Steinhagen, University of New Mexico, and Sharon A. Moynahan,
University of New Mexico.
ABSTRACT. For at least one hundred years, catalogers have been committed to creating perfect bibliographic records of their local resources for their local users. With the advent of automation, shared cataloging and electronic remote resources, their task has been made much more complex as their product has become universally available and visible; and, contrary to earlier naive expectations, much more expensive. As a profession, they survived automation and adapted, but now outsourcing has become a new threat to their very existence, or at least to their numbers working at local libraries. Based on a great number of calls for change in the library literature, this article appeals to catalogers to wake up and make a concerted effort to do things differently--as their product is still essential for good library service--and to become more involved in helping shape their future, while at the same time ensuring that there is a future for them.
Hidden Wisdom and Unseen Treasure: Revisiting Cataloging in Medieval Libraries.
Beth M. Russell, Texas A&M University
ABSTRACT. Scholars working in the fields of medieval history and cultural history have recognized that understanding the cataloging and accessioning of books is central to understanding the transmission of ideas. This view should come as no surprise to catalogers themselves, who daily struggle with the problem of providing intellectual, and sometimes physical, access to texts and information. Unfortunately, general histories of libraries and even the library literature seem content to sketch out a chronological development of cataloging in line with the nineteenth and twentieth century view of library development, from a simple list to complex intellectual systems. In truth, however, those individuals responsible for cataloging books in medieval libraries faced many of the same challenges as catalogers today: how to organize information, how to serve local needs, and how to provide access to individual works within larger bibliographic formats. This article will summarize recent scholarship in the history of the book that relates to library cataloging, as well as providing parallels to the cooperative library environment of today.
Nailing Jello to a Tree: Improving Access to 20th Century Music. By
Michael Colby, University of California, Davis
ABSTRACT. Although literary warrant and use of current terminology are principles which have guided the creation of Library of Congress Subject Headings for quite some time, for many years adequate headings were not established to provide access to several concepts in 20th century music. Some of the problem areas include electronic music, music theater, text-sound compositions and musical notation. The efforts of two working groups of the Music Library Association have resulted in improved access in many of these areas. Still, problems remain, some due to LC's policies and practices regarding musical styles. It may take other approaches, such as the use of a music thesaurus, to fully overcome the remaining issues.
A New Approach to Thesis Subject Analysis: A Collaborative Success. By
Maggie Ressel, University of Nevada, and Vicki Toy Smith, University of Nevada
ABSTRACT. The challenge of assigning subject headings to academic theses and dissertations in a timely and cost-effective manner is discussed. The paper describes a collaborative effort between cataloger and subject bibliographer at the University of Nevada, Reno. The project has proven effective in getting theses processed in a shorter amount of time, with less total time spent cataloging and analyzing the items. The authors believe that utilizing the knowledge of the subject specialist has also provided improved subject access, particularly in highly specialized theses and dissertations. The authors describe the steps taken and the resources utilized.
The Changing Cataloging Culture: What Do We Mean When We Talk about Cataloger
Values. By Joan Swanekamp
ABSTRACT. The Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Standing Committee on Training was charged with the development of a training model to support the Program, promote the values of timely access and cost-effectiveness in cataloging, and to expand the pool of catalogers who cataloged to mutually accepted standards. This article describes the training philosophy developed by the Standing Committee on Training and adopted by the Program. The training model assumes that it is important to maintain an adequate supply of original cataloging; to accept the concept of a national cataloging standard; to increase acceptance of cataloging copy; to avoid duplicative cataloging; and to increase the timeliness of contribution to national cataloging databases.
Demystifying Core Records in Today's Changing Catalogs. By Joan
E. Schuitema, Loyola University Chicago
ABSTRACT. The core record standard for books was developed in 1993 under the auspices of the Cooperative Cataloging Council (CCC). Even though core record standards for other formats continue to be developed by CCC's successor, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and core records have begun to make their presence known in the bibliographic utilities, there remains a certain amount of wariness surrounding the utility of this new cataloging tool. This paper attempts to introduce the core record concept and to explore issues associated with the implementation of core level cataloging.
Creating a Culture of Cataloging. By Jennifer B. Bowen, Eastman School
of Music, Rochester, NY
ABSTRACT. The Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) has aroused controversy by promoting the value of cataloger judgement in its BIBCO program. Because this issue at times eclipses broader discussions about the PCC, it is useful to revisit some long-term values and issues in cooperative cataloging to gain a better understanding of the Program. The PCC is attempting to find realistic approaches to the issues of cost effectiveness and local flexibility while continuing to address the professional values that have historically motivated cooperative cataloging. Participating in the PCC can allow catalogers to reconcile their professional goals with the financial realities of their local institutions.
Creating Core Records for Federal Documents: Does It Make A Difference?
By Holley R. Lange, Colorado State University
ABSTRACT. Over the past year and a half Colorado State University Libraries has used the Program for Cooperative Cataloging's (PCC) core record standard when cataloging non-depository and pre-1976 federal documents. Although the Libraries is not a PCC member, and so not involved in its Bibliographic Record Cooperative Program (BIBCO) it began experimenting with this standard as a means to facilitate a more efficient way of cataloging federal documents. This paper provides background to the Libraries decision to use the core standard; describes the core cataloging standard, noting especially PCC's emphasis on the importance of the cataloger's judgement in applying the standard; and comments on the Libraries use and assessment of core cataloging.
Elizabeth N. Steinhagen, News Editor