Cataloging & Classification Quarterly

Volume 26, Number 3 1998


Elizabeth N. Steinhagen, News Editor

It is the purpose of this column to collect and disseminate information on all aspects of cataloging and classification. I would like to include news concerning you, your research efforts, and your organization; in fact, it would be desirable to expand coverage to include information about cataloging activities all over the world. Thus, this column is not just intended for news items, but serves to document discussions of interest to the cataloging community at this challenging and changing time in our professional lives. Please send any pertinent materials, notes, minutes, reports to: Elizabeth N. Steinhagen, Zimmerman Library, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-1466, e-mail: Phone: 505-277-5176. Also, visit our CCQ home page at:

We would appreciate receiving items having to do with:
Research and Opinion
Abstracts or reports of on-going or unpublished research
Bibliographies of materials available on specific subjects
Questions that you would like to have answered by this column's readers
Analysis or description of new technologies
Call for papers
Comments or opinions on the art of cataloging
Notes, minutes or summaries of meetings, etc., of interest to catalogers
Publication announcements Description of grants Description of projects
Announcements of changes in personnel Announcements of honors, offices, etc.



Massive undertaking will improve operations and enhance public access to the Library's extensive collections was announced May 15, 1998.

As part of the most massive library automation effort in its history, the Library of Congress has awarded a contract to Endeavor Information Systems of Des Plaines, Ill., to provide comprehensive integrated library systems (ILS) software and support to the Library.

"This is a momentous occasion in the history of the Library," said James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress. "It marks our transition to a new era of automation that promises improved library services to Congress and to the nation by bringing disparate operations together for the first time. The Library will start its third century with a unified system that will enable us to accommodate the inevitable changes that American technological innovation will bring. We are grateful to our Congressional supporters for their steadfast commitment to this ambitious project."

In making the award announcement, Deputy Library of Congress Donald L. Scott said, "Implementation of an integrated library system is one of the Library's highest automation priorities. This new system will facilitate the Library's re-examination of our business processes to improve the security and accessibility of the collections and provide inventory control."

The Voyager system from Endeavor Information Systems will replace many of the Library's older, independent automated systems--some of which date back to the late 1960s and early 1970s--with a single, modern client/server system that will support all standard library operations, including acquisitions, cataloging, inventory and serials control, circulation, and the on-line public catalog. Using the ILS, the Library expects to improve control over its collections, increase the efficiency of its operations and provide better service for its many customers. In addition, the system is "year-2000" compliant.

When the ILS is fully operational, users will be able to perform comprehensive searches of the extensive collections of the world's largest library. A search for a keyword or subject area will result in a list of resources that may include books, maps, manuscripts, periodicals or sound recordings--as well as the precise location, whether on the shelf, in use, undergoing microfilming or in storage. These searches may be conducted on site at the Library or via the ILS on-line catalog, which will be fully accessible through the Library of Congress Web site ( Currently, electronic searches of different collections in the Library require the use of several separate catalogs.

In addition to installing software on nearly 3,000 staff and public workstations, and loading approximately 12 million bibliographic records and 4 million authority records into the new ILS system, the project will involve converting information now in two mammoth card files--the 12-million-card manual shelf list and the 900,000 title serials check-in file--from paper to electronic format.

According to Barbara Tillett, director of the ILS program, "Over the next 18 months, about 300 staff members on 66 project teams will move the Library from our present system to the new ILS. We will train our staff and test the system during this period, and look forward to having all operations up and running by our target of October 1999. The ILS will simplify and enhance the work of the Library staff, allowing them to use a single system to perform many tasks in processing items in our collections. Furthermore, it presents a great opportunity for our staff to prepare themselves for the enormous changes anticipated in the next century."

The award of the ILS contract is the culmination of many years of effort to modernize the Library's core systems and automate its remaining manual processes. In the last five years, vendors of automated library systems have demonstrated the capacity to support successfully a collection of the Library's size. For that reason, the Library began to seek cost-effective solutions already available in the commercial marketplace, rather than invest in developing its own system.

"It has long been my dream that we would be able to acquire an integrated library system that would help us perform our core functions in a holistic manner," said Winston Tabb, Associate Librarian for Library Services. "The ILS will make it possible at last to implement some of the great ideas that staff have generated over the past few years."

Congressional appropriation of $5.6 million for the project in fiscal 1998 will cover the Endeavor Information systems software, training, maintenance and support, in addition to some new system hardware and other items to support inventory tracking and the initial conversion of the card files.




Haworth Press has given support to introduce a "best of CCQ" cash award. There will be an award of $500 per volume for the best paper in the volume. A panel will be appointed to determine the recipient. If there is more than one author, the amount will be divided between all authors. This award will begin with volume 26. Papers are still being accepted for consideration for publication in volume 26 and beyond. As Editor, I am delighted with this opportunity to secure peer recognition for outstanding contributions to the literature in the fields of cataloging and classification, broadly defined.

Ruth C. Carter

CCQ Editor


I am pleased to announce the following new members of the CCQ Editorial Board:

Sherry L. Vellucci, St. John's University

Mauro Guerrini, University of Udine, Italy

Maria Witt, Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie, France

Monika M"unnich, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Dr. Lois Chan has moved to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Internet Cataloging. I appreciate all her help with CCQ and look forward to continuing to work with her on behalf of JIC.

Ruth C. Carter

CCQ Editor


VTLS begins first phase of retrospective conversion project for Biblioteca de Catalunya:

The first phase of a two-part retrospective conversion project awarded to VTLS Inc. by biblioteca de Catalunya has begun and is on schedule. The Biblioteca de Catalunya (BC) is the National Library of Catalonia.

When the first phase of the project is complete users will be able to electronically access 1.3 million catalog cards representing four heavily used collections at the BC. The catalog cards are the finding aids for collections including authors and anonymous works from 1914-1990, the legal depository of authors dating from 1982-1990, the Spanish subjects catalog from 1932-1981, and the Catalan subjects catalog from 1982-1990. Most of the cards are handwritten in pencil, making it very difficult to maintain the preserve the present catalog. The entire project is being funded through a grant from Telefonica, the national telephone company of Spain.

BC had two objectives for this project. It needed to be completed in 15 months and, because the card catalogs are heavily used, BC wanted continuous access to the cards during the conversion process. In order to meet these objectives, VTLS divided the project into two phases, an imaging/indexing phase and the actual conversion phase.

With the help of students, the scanning of cards began in

late 1997, and after the completion of this first phase patrons will be able to access the collections either through BC's original card catalog or electronically through the library's home page. The second phase will cover the data entry from templates designed by the BC library, which allows VTLS to simultaneously scan the card catalogs and perform the retrospective conversion of the scanned cards to CATMARC. After completion of the project, BC will index and load approximately

half a million CATMARC records in the VTLS97 system currently in use at the BC library.

Charles Lynch

VTLS Country Manager


Caribbean Studies: the SALALM XLIII Conference

The name of this association can be somewhat misleading, since the organization has long ago realized that acquiring the often elusive materials from Latin American and the Caribbean is only part of the job. This year's theme, "Caribbean Studies: Bibliographic Access and Resources for the Past, Present and Future," drew an active cadre of catalogers from college and research libraries who discussed the challenges and solutions in the cataloging of monographs, serials, media, and electronic resources. The 1998 meeting, hosted by the University of Puerto Rico and held May 23-27 in San Juan (PR), included two sessions specifically addressing cataloging problems and projects. The meeting also provided the venue for numerous spontaneous gatherings of technical services personnel involved in providing bibliographic access to these specialized materials.

SALALM catalogers, through the Subcommittee on Cataloging and Bibliographic Technology had, in the mid-90s, spearheaded a cooperative initiative for the timely cataloging of Latin American resources. Approximately fifteen catalogers, representing institutions with strong Latin American collections, chose to participate. Each participant chose a Latin American country, or a region, usually matching the institution's collecting strengths, and committed to doing fast, original cataloging, on a priority basis, for materials from the chosen country or region. Eventually, this initiative was evaluated and received mixed reviews for a variety of reasons. Collecting priorities had changed over time and often backlogs could not be organized in ways that were suitable for this type of cooperative project. Likewise, cataloging statistics were not always kept to reflect this commitment, as vendor records loaded into bibliographic utilities presented their own set of difficulties and could not be upgraded by all participating institutions. In addition, of course, not all libraries use the same bibliographic utility for their cataloging. Nonetheless, SALALM catalogers decided in Puerto Rico to persevere and will in fact develop a home page to keep track of the participants' contributions to this cooperative effort.

Ana Cristan, responsible for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) based at the Library of Congress, described the problems associated with the participation in PCC of non-English-speaking countries. Talking about "The Program for Cooperative Cataloging: Past, Present and Perspectives for Partnership in Latin American Cataloging," she gave examples of efforts underway in Mexico and Brazil. She described the various components of PCC: CONSER, the serials record component created in 1973; NACO, the name authority component created in 1977, and two more recent programs, SACO, the subject authority component created in 1992, and BIBCO, the bibliographic record component, created in 1995. PCC is a formal coalition of libraries that have agreed to work together to increase the availability of unique records and to provide leadership in the information community.

Cristan highlighted the benefits of participation:

- more bibliographic and authority records,

- more dependable cataloging,

- more efficient cataloging,

- more timely cataloging,

- more cost-effective cataloging,

- better problem-solving through networking,

- access to expert training, and,

- having a voice in national and international cataloging policies.

Although potential participation by Latin American libraries in these programs has much promise, present realities point to major difficulties. The fact that many countries do not use MARC, or even AACR2, is major hurdle. Participation in NACO and BIBCO is also a challenge since name headings have to be expressed in English--for example, the correct heading for Brazil is "Brazil," and not "Brasil," the Portuguese equivalent. Despite these obstacles, the University of Sao Paulo is planning to join the BIBCO program, as a first Latin American participant.

Cecilia Sercan, Principal Cataloger at Cornell University, described her institution's experience of joining BIBCO. Since the BIBCO program advocates the creation of core level records, she talked about the various stages that different constituencies within the library had to go through. Catalogers, selectors, and the reference staff all had to be convinced that less than full level records were acceptable. Also, a committee had to examine and make recommendations on what type of material could be cataloged at core level and what type needed a more complete treatment. In addition, they had to deal with "core creep," which results when core record creation guidelines are followed, but with the possible addition of certain fields.

At the informal level, catalogers met with staff from the Library of Congress to discuss the various workflows developed by problems arising from the use and upgrading of vendor records. Others shared information about technology and services which support original and copy cataloging. Because the catalogers all deal with Latin American publications, which can be as problematical to process as they are to acquire, some solutions which were discussed were found to be generally useful. Catalogers were also able to discuss the consequences and needs of cooperative collecting agreements with bibliographers and acquisitions librarians. SALALM members are already looking forward to next year's meeting, May 30-June 3 in Nashville, Tennessee. Hosted by Vanderbilt University, the theme will be "Movements, Identity & Popular Culture."

Claire-Lise Benaud

Sharon A. Moynahan

University of New Mexico General Library

| CCQ Homepage | Tables of Contents | Return to Vol. 26, Nr. 3 | Informaworld |

Comments to: Jeffrey Beall at
Haworth Press, Inc.