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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 505-277-5176. Also,
visit our CCQ home page at: http://ccq.libraries.psu.edu/ccq.html
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Abstracts or reports of on-going or unpublished research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
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
Description of grants
Description of projects
Announcements of changes in personnel
Announcements of honors, offices, etc.
PATRON GUIDES TO THE LC CLASSIFICATION SCHEDULES
AT CENTRAL WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
The Central Washington University (CWU) Library has recently begun
implementation of a project to provide patrons with guides to the Library of
Congress Classification Schedules (LCCS) while the patrons are browsing the
shelved collection. These guides will be posted at the ends of appropriate ranges
of shelving section.
The goal behind this project is to facilitate retrieval of items by
subject when patrons are physically in the stack area.
Open access to the general collection provides a benefit of subject
access browsing for the patron. Up
until recently, patrons have needed to return to an OPAC or WebPAC terminal to
gain some help with subject guidance to the collection, or to use their
experience and the information that could be gleaned from the physical items.
While the physical items do in fact help indicate what subjects are
covered by items that are shelved close by, those items do not give guidance to
the shelving arrangement itself in a more comprehensive or comprehensible
manner. Browsing the DE section
does not help indicate what might be covered by DG.
While a quick look in the DG section can help to reasonably ascertain
what will be there, it would take considerable time to discern the shelving
arrangement itself. Also, it gives
no indication where to turn for, say, Spanish history and not Italian history.
A brief search in various web search engines will retrieve a number of
online versions of guides that many libraries have produced for their patrons.
This demonstrates the concern that libraries across the country have in
this area and supports CWU's concern as well.
a. Brief statement of goal:
It is intended to produce
subject oriented guides that are helpful, fairly quick to implement, and
inexpensive. This latter aspect is
vital, as there is little in the way of budget and also as these guides will be
revised on a continuous basis, based on patron and staff feedback.
b. Design and review: A committee of four persons worked on the project, two
from Cataloging and one each from Interlibrary Loans and Reference.
A number of different examples were created and posted in the staff
lounge for review and comment. After getting some suggestions, the guides were revised and
later approved by the library administration.
c. Editing and production:
Each member of the committee
reviews and edits a classification area per month and saves it online.
At the point, the primary editor reviews, formats, and prints out the
guides on tabloid size paper. The
header and footer are standardized. The
level of detail within each classification are varies.
After printing the guides, the editor tapes them together and laminates
them, which allows for some durability.
Project guidelines -- summary:
Briefly, there are three distinct task areas for this project:
General guides (overall LCCS and floor directions)
Specific guides (individual classes or subclasses)
End-of-range indicators (general topic guide per range).
a. General guides: These include very brief guides to the overall LCCS.
Necessarily brief, their main purpose was to indicate very broadly the
topic covered in each classification and also on which floors those items were
b. Specific guides: The
intent is to produce guides to each classification schedule.
As each is produced, it will be placed in the stacks, at a rate of 3 or 4
per month. In addition, guides to
specific subclasses will be produced, on an as-needed basis.
For example, the PN, PR, and PS subclassification will be treated only
summarily in the general class guides, as specific guides will be developed for
them. Depending on patron and staff
comments, additional subclasses will be considered for specific treatment.
c. End-of-range indicators:
To assist the browsers, each
end-of-range sign will indicate not only the items that are shelved in that
particular range, but will also provide some guidance as to broad topic that
those items cover. These signs have
been designed by the primary editor in such a way as to fit onto the existing
holders; thus there is no hardware or installation cost and only a minimal
The music collection is shelved in a discrete section of the library.
Thus it was decided to use it as a demonstration, or lab, area.
Examples of the three types of signs were placed in the stacks, which now
contrasts significantly from the adjacent general stacks areas that are
representative of the rest of the library.
After a month of having access to these signs, patrons of the music
collection have provided some very positive comments.
As was probably inevitable, a project has been started to make these
guides widely available on the web and new images of signs will be added as they
are produced. Address:
Washington University Library
following reports were submitted from the American
Library Association Midwinter meeting, Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 1999.
What is the Euro and how will if affect my library?
Presented at the ACRL
Western European Specialists Section General Membership Meeting, February 1.
All of us familiar to some degree with the changes taking place regarding the
European Union and its implementation of the new currency, the euro.
This session dealt with this change and its effect upon acquisitions of
materials here in the United States, which of course also affects the materials
we catalog in Western European languages. Although
not really a cataloging and classification-oriented meeting, the audience proved
that it was of ample interest and thus should be reported to all librarians.
Four speakers dealt with various aspects of the euro:
Bill Burros, of the European
Commission Delegation in Washington DC provided historical background; Jeffrey
Wrase, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia discussed possible
effects of the euro on the U.S. dollar and upon the U.S. economy as a whole; Gilles
de La Rochefoucauld, President of Aux Amateurs de Livres, explained the
impact of the euro on the French book trade and upon acquisitions of French
books by North American libraries; and Geert
Visscher, Director of Finance and Operations at Swets & Zeitlinger, a
journal subscription agency, spoke on implications of the euro on European
serials publishing and acquisitions of European serials by foreign libraries.
Implementation of the new monetary union, officially the euro, began
January 1, 1999. Its symbol is described as follows: "The graphic symbol
for the euro looks like an E with two clearly marked, horizontal parallel lines
across it. It was inspired by the
Greek letter epsilon, in reference to the cradle of European civilization and to
the first letter of the word 'Europe'. The
parallel lines represent the stability of the euro..."
(The European Union: a Guide for
Americans, Washington, D.C., Delegation of the European Commission in the
United States. 1998. p. 11).
The three stage process to launch the euro was begun in 1990, when
European Union (EU) members began to prepare for the 1992 single market.
The year 1994 saw the establishment of the European Monetary Institute in
Frankfurt, and since January of 1999, eleven EU members are using the euro for
all monetary transactions. The
eleven states are: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. Several states of the EU have opted not to participate at this
point. They are the UK, Denmark,
and Sweden. Greece was unable to
join at this time because its economic condition did not meet the criteria
required for joining. It was felt
that economic conditions and developments in those EU member countries which
have not yet joined the European Monetary Union will nevertheless have an impact
on the euro trading area since they do have input into the European banking
To date, cash transactions cannot be made, but bank accounts are
beginning to be quoted in euros, credit card transactions take place in euros,
checks can be used, and anyone can open a euro bank account.
All public issues are quoted and transacted in euros.
By July 2002, all national currencies will be withdrawn and will be
replaced with banknotes of 5, 10, 20, 100, 100, 500 euros, and coins of 1, 2, 5,
10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euro coins.
Until then, merchants are urged to use dual pricing displays to help
users make the transition. Switching
ATMs, vending machines, public telephones that accept telephone cards issued in
euros, etc., will be areas of priority during the interim period.
Visscher explained the effect of the euro on macro and micro economics.
On the macro level, it will mean more currency stability and lower
inflation. The European Central
Bank in Frankfurt will work to insure price stability and expects to keep
inflation below 2%. Internal trade
between the member states of the EU will experience less currency fluctuations,
which will also have a stabilizing effect on trade between the EU and countries
outside of EU. The euro trading
area's share of the market is now approximately 25%, compared with the United
States' 24%. The euro area will
continue to grow, especially after other EU countries join.
On the micro level, he mentioned that cost of production will not be much
affected. He estimates that transaction costs will probably fall, since
costs associated with currency exchange will be eliminated.
After considering such factors as costs to publishing houses, labor
matters, distribution costs, economic growth overall and lower financing costs,
Visscher came to the conclusion that the overall impact of the euro on American
libraries will be negligent and that little downward effect on the prices of
serials can be expected.
What will be the impact on the book trade in general?
De La Rochefoucauld explained the three states of euro implementation in
France. As of now, invoices are
still issued in local currencies, and for American customers, in dollars.
During 1999 and 2000, prices in catalogs and on book covers will continue
to be quoted in French francs; during the second half of 1999 euro prices will
appear as well but in smaller print. As
of Jan. 1, 2001, all book prices will be quoted in euros, with francs in smaller
print; after Jan. 2002, prices will be exclusively in euros, without the franc.
Other member countries will proceed in much the same way during the
implementation phase. Use of the euro will make price comparisons across all EU
member states very easy. This can
have an effect on purchasing of European materials in American libraries.
It will simplify looking for the best price, because the pricing unit
will be the same in all countries. If
a book costs EUR 200 in France, EUR 350 in the Netherlands, and EUR 400 in
Italy, picking the best price will be easy, without having to convert three
national currencies to US dollars for comparison.
De La Rochefoucauld foresaw reduced business in the book trade during the
transition period. French national
have generally a negative feeling toward the new currency.
Customers will still convert mentally from euro to local currency and new
book prices will probably be somewhat higher to compensate for costs of
conversion. Computers will have to
be refitted to display euros, and include them in their conversion programs.
Once the public has accepted and become used to the change, trade may
There were surprisingly few questions from the audience.
One concerned the figure of 24% of the market for the US, which we were
told included the NAFTA countries. Another
librarian asked if the euro implementation could fail, to which was a decided
"no". It might not go as
smoothly as imagined, although the change has been planned for many years, and
so far there have been no serious problems.
Considering that only one month had passed since its implementation by
the time of the conference few problems would have surfaced in such a short
time. One member of the audience
asked about the Y2K problem in connection with the euro change-over but the
speakers were confident that all major implications had been addresses.
In all, the presentations were very informative, there were good
handouts, and it was a very worthwhile session.
Many websites were mentioned that contain information on all aspects of
the EU and the euro. One of the
most inclusive: www.eurunion.org/infores/euroweb.htm, and of the most
informative which is the official EU website on the euro: europa.eu.int/euro.
of San Diego Library
The ALCTS LITA/ALCTS Retrospective Conversion Interest Group met January
Since many of the larger academic libraries have not yet been able to
complete retrospective conversion, the group's discussion centered on strategies
to use in order to get the necessary funding to accomplish this task.
One of these strategies mentioned was to make the problem quite visible
through emphasis on the discrepancy between headings in the OPAC for newer
materials and those in the catalog for not yet converted titles.
If some funding is obtained, the use of student internships can be
recommended, since that is cheaper than using outside vendors and quality
control can be exercised in-house. If
funding allows, cataloging of new materials can be outsourced so that local
staff can concentrate on quality control. This
should be preceded by judicious weeding. Questions
arose on whether or not to reclass from Dewey at the same time as the conversion
proceeds and most discussion participants thought that it is difficult to
combine various projects, as they can bog down when problems arise.
To the question on whether it is cheaper to convert in-house, there was
agreement that the true in-house costs, i.e., conversion plus cleanup, must be
compared with the vendor's conversion costs plus that of local cleanup, and
often the in-house costs can be seen to be less.
Another area to be ignored during the main course of such a project is
serials conversion; also, authorities should be ignored at that time.
Authority cleanup can be later outsourced to a vendor to run against a
list and headings be reconciled against the local authority file.
Based on the saying "Perfect is the enemy of good," most
participants agreed on the need to be realistic, or such a project would never
be finished. Compacting of shelf
list and or card catalog can later be done by volunteers.
To the question on whether conversion is worth it, the resounding answer
was that we have no option, but to convert.
Especially from the public services perspective, having all titles owned
accessible in a central OPAC is much preferred to having to direct users to
several tools. Also, since the
volume of new titles acquired in most libraries has diminished, this is the time
to accomplish this task. Some
participants expressed the view that customers are very thankful when records
are more accessible through conversion, especially for more obscure materials. Many of the remaining issues not quite resolved have to do
with in-analytics, and analytics that are still only in the card catalog, and
the fact that administrators rarely take the real costs into account, especially
those of local cleanup, when requesting funding from outside donors.
of New Mexico General Library
At the ALCTS Role of the Professional in Academic Technical Services Interest
Group meeting, also on January 31, the topic covered was whether library
schools are adequately fulfilling the needs of libraries in the education of
technical services professionals.
Issues discussed included were whether library schools were keeping pace
with the needs of the workplace in technical services areas; what employers are
looking for in technical services librarians at the entry and the higher levels;
how can both educators and employers work together to help develop curricula
that would lead to excellence in technical services librarians in the future;
and, that we must keep administrators aware of the continued need for strong
technical services backgrounds in the librarians of the future.
Three speakers from Southwest Missouri State University spoke of the
"Essential Partnership: Library Education, Core Competencies, and Technical
Borneman, Karen Letarte, and Michelle
Turvey surveyed library schools to determine whether they prepare people for
professional jobs in cataloging. Their
initial questions were whether cataloging is being de-emphasized in library
schools, and if new graduates were being adequately prepared to accept
professional responsibilities upon graduation. They started from the ALCTS Educational Policy Statement
appendix on knowledge and skills that sates that a basic cataloging education is
needed for all new librarians, as it opens more career paths, not just in
technical services. They found that
the 1-year program is still the norm in library schools with a required 36
credit hours and that a higher percentage of schools now offer cataloging
courses than was the case in a 1994/96 survey -- but fewer require a cataloging
course for graduation. Their basic
observation was that there has been a significant drop in the percentage of
programs that required either cataloging or organization of information courses:
79.63% now as opposed to 90% in 1996. They
further speculate that this may be due to additions to the curricula overall,
with less room for requirements, as things are rapidly changing.
Further questions for the future have to do with the new trends in
organizational changes within libraries and whether the former have affected the
need for core cataloging competencies.
Rebecca Lubas, of Ball State University, spoke of the tools that the
profession needs, as variety in technical services is the norm today.
She talked about a wish list for an ideal cataloging course.
Courses now include, among others, the history of cataloging, and some
practice in monographic formats, with barely a mention of other, more difficult
formats. Students need more
challenges, such as practice with serials and electronic resources, to inspire
them to become catalogers, with the recognition that mastery will only happen on
the job. A way to get students
interested might also include another cataloging approach based on how people
look for information. The situation
is worse, when technical services courses are not required, but even when they
are, these courses often ignore management of technical services.
Often, new professionals are thrust into management too soon, without
having had any exposure. In addition, internships should be encouraged in technical
services, although it may not always be practical. In sum, her wish list for an ideal course would include:
history and background in cataloging;
monographic cataloging and basic tools;
serials cataloging, including e-resources;
cataloging other formats, such as maps, videos, computer files, graphics,
overview of classification schemes and subject headings;
management of cataloging departments
Last, it was Katherine Wilson, of UC Santa Barbara, who spoke of the future of
technical services. Among the
questions she posed
what goes in on technical services and what changes have been going on there.
According to Wilson, technical services provide the infrastructure of
libraries, by acquiring, cataloging and indexing, and management records in the
database, and the way that librarians got trained in the past was to go through
the apprenticeship on the job. So,
what has changed? To begin with,
the cost of journals has frozen budgets and most libraries now only buy core
materials. Original cataloging is
no longer needed, as we now have shared cataloging, of better quality. Library systems have also forced some changes, including
those in workflow and indexing; technical services products have become more
public with the new integrated systems.
In her view, library schools must prepare technical services librarians
to be more in the forefront, as their "product" is now up front.
They must be prepared for project management, and to understand how the
systems work, as they must manage everything from files to databases, to
electronic resources. According to
Wilson, we may be removing new librarians from the apprenticeship positions, and
fewer are coming up through the ranks, as the few professionals are becoming
managers much faster than in previous generations.
We may have done such a good job in training the non-MLS catalogers, that
they have usurped our former jobs. Thus,
we need better marketing of technical services functions in order to attract
good people; we may also need to change our terminology.
Wilson finished her presentation saying that we are at a critical
juncture in cataloging, as there seems to be a greater awareness of the results
of our activities. We must be more critical of these as professionals and must
do new things and adopt new leadership roles.
She sees this as an opportunity for technical services librarians to
assume new roles, as even outsourcers need good cataloging and good catalogers.
of New Mexico General Library
OCLC and WLN agree to merge
OCLC and WLN have merged, affective Jan. 1, 1999.
WLN, a nonprofit corporation, serves 550 libraries in the Pacific
Northwest region of the United States and Canada from its office in Lacey,
Washington. OCLC, a nonprofit
corporation based in Dublin, Ohio, serves over 33,000 libraries in 67 countries
"We are very excited about the possibilities for WLN customers and
staff as we join with OCLC in this merger.
WLN libraries will share in the strengths of OCLC, and the new OCLC/WLN
Pacific Northwest Service Center will benefit by having several of its products
and services marketed nationally and internationally through OCLC's strong sales
force," said Paul McCarthy, executive director, OCLC/WLN Pacific Northwest
Service Center. "The benefits
of these same products and services will now be more directly available to
OCLC's many libraries.
"Since the announcement of the Letter of Intent on Oct. 21, I have
been immensely impressed by the energy, the focus and the commitment of staffs
from both companies to put this merger together.
The fact that we were able to do it in less than 10 weeks is a tremendous
tribute to the good will and professional commitment of all involved.
We look on this merger as truly a 'win-win' situation," said Mr.
"We believe this merger will benefit member libraries of both
organizations," said Jay Jordan, OCLC president and CEO.
"WLN libraries will join OCLC's digital, global community for
cataloging, resource sharing and reference services, and OCLC member libraries
will benefit from the inclusion of libraries in the Pacific Northwest in the
OCLC network. OCLC brings strong
financial, technical, marketing and networking resources to WLN's expertise in
authority control and collection analysis.
Working together, WLN and OCLC will eliminate duplicate services,
introduce new and better products, and lower costs for member libraries."
"We are very pleased to be able to leverage WLN's strengths in the
Pacific Northwest and build on its uniqueness," said Donald J. Muccino,
OCLC executive vice president and chief operating officer, who is leading the
negotiation and transition teams. "While
both organizations have very similar missions, each brings different strengths
to this new relationship."
More information is available at the WLN/OCLC Merger page on OCLC's Web
From: OCLC Newsletter no. 237, Jan./Feb. 1999, p. 4