Cataloging & Classification Quarterly

Volume 32, no. 3, 2001





By Sandy Roe, News Editor


Welcome to the news column.  Its purpose is to disseminate information on any aspect of cataloging and classification that may be of interest to the cataloging community.  This column is not just intended for news items, but serves to document discussions of interest as well as news concerning you, your research efforts, and your organization.  Please send any pertinent materials, notes, minutes, or reports to: Sandy Roe; Memorial Library; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Mankato, MN 56001-8419 (email:; phone: 507-389-2155).  News columns will typically be available at the CCQ website ( linked from their corresponding volume and issue numbers prior to their appearance in print.


We would appreciate receiving items having to do with:


Research and Opinion







XML4Lib Electronic Discussion


An electronic discussion on XML and its use in libraries began on Feb. 12, 2001.  The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is being used by libraries for a variety of purposes. The purpose of this electronic discussion is to assist library staff in learning about XML and how to apply it to library problems and opportunities.  To subscribe send the message "subscribe XML4Lib YOUR NAME" to  More information, including the discussion archive, can be found at  This list is hosted by the UC Berkeley Library; Roy Tennant is the list owner.


Meeting Minutes of the ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group ("Big Heads"), held during the Midwinter American Library Association Meeting, Washington, DC, January 12, 2001.


Welcome and introductions (Lee Leighton, Chair)


Big Heads/ALCTS Research Initiative (Nadler)

Judith Nadler reported on the progress of an initiative that started at the Chicago ALA annual conference (summer 2000) with a discussion of BIBCO records and records from external sources in general. At the suggestion of Karen Muller (ALCTS Executive Director) Big Heads proposed that the ALCTS Board authorize a task force to work with Big Heads on a research project that will help Directors of Technical Services improve operations and access and learn more about how our patrons make use of what technical services librarians do. The Board commended Big Heads for its initiative and authorized the establishment of a task force to define the research questions, obtain funding for the research, and facilitate the research. The Task Force consists of Judith Nadler representing Big Heads, Karen Schmidt from the ALCTS Board, and representatives from the ALCTS Research and Statistics Committee.


The Task Force has drafted 3 questions:

1.  What is the percentage of overlap among large library collections (the Big Heads Group, for instance) for monographs and serials?  Is there any evidence that the percentage of overlap for monographs and serials is growing or shrinking?

2.  What are the record acceptance policies of the large libraries for printed monographs and serials and how do these policies affect cataloging output?  What are the record acceptance policies of the large libraries for electronic resources, and how do these policies affect cataloging output? In these two questions the Task Force is wondering about the use of records from outside sources (BIBCO records, vendor records, etc.) and the required standards for these records to make them acceptable to libraries without additional local work.

3.  Are the standard subject analysis policies and practices of the large libraries (LC classification, Dewey Decimal Classification, LC subject headings) adequate for contemporary library patrons who must search library catalogs as well as the web in conducting their research? What level of uniformity is necessary?


In question 3 the Task Force is trying to get at user needs and expectations in an increasingly mixed environment of controlled and uncontrolled resources.


Question 2 seems to generate the most interest. Karen Schmidt had reminded Judith Nadler that the CIC (Committee on Inter-institutional Cooperation) used the last North American Title Count (NATC) data to look at overlap.


Question 3 is the most complex.


Judith Nadler pointed out that the questions have the potential to generate valuable information but responses will be only as good as the questions asked.


Discussion followed.


Bob Wolven (Columbia) asked for clarification on question 3. Is its emphasis what we are doing enough or that we should we do more?  Judith Nadler said it is asking whether we are doing the right things.


Beacher Wiggins (LC) added: If what we are doing isn't sufficient, why isn't it? What is missing? And what are respondents basing their responses on: anecdotal evidence, what reference staffs have said?


Carton Rogers (Univ. of Pennsylvania) asked at whom the survey questions would be aimed: staff or non-staff library users.  Judith Nadler said she hoped to get input both from users and from those who see the records internally and can comment knowledgeably.


Sally Sinn (NAL) said the questions seem a mix of true research and those relating to work procedures. At NAL the cost center is moving from dealing with print materials to dealing with electronic products.  She felt a need for information on overlap of collections. She expressed support for questions 1-2.


Carol Pitts Diedrichs (Ohio State) referred to some 1990s studies by Anna Perrault on overlap:

Perrault, Anna H. "The Shrinking National Collection: A Study of the Effects of the Diversion of Funds from Monographs to serials on the Monograph Collections of Research Libraries." Library Acquisitions: Practice & Theory 18 (Spring 1994): 3-22.

Perrault, Anna H. "The Printed Book: Still in Need of CCD." Collection Management 24, no. 1/2 (1994-95): 119-136. Also available at


Joan Swanekamp (Yale) expressed interest in overlap in backlogs since they are a large component in many large libraries' cataloging activity. She thought that the answers to question 3 will govern what we decide about number 2.


Cynthia Shelton (UCLA) said she was interested in questions 1-2.


Someone asked if the purpose of the research survey was to collect facts or a wish list? Judith Nadler said they were interested in collecting facts.


Duane Arenales (NLM) said the first question was interesting and thought it would be good to get someone from Big Heads of Collection Development involved. Some aspects of the questions are interesting for the world as we know it, a world that is shifting under our feet, and we need to focus on the future. The questions seem focused on the current world; it might therefore be useful to address data we can obtain from vendors now.


Judith Nadler said that learning about the record acceptance policies of libraries should give us information on what libraries need.


Larry Alford (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) said that the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) would probably support this research.  There is already work going on related to question 2.


Martin Kurth (Cornell) said that goals of varying existing studies are different from the goals of this proposed study.


Catherine Tierney (Stanford) said we could devise questions related to numbers 1 and 2 but that the focus of our need is number 3. We need to have an understanding of that because it impacts the business of running a library.


Bob Wolven said that as we accept masses of outside records for our collections we need to know why they are acceptable or if they are not, why not.


Judith Nadler suggested that a research survey be done that addressed questions 1 and 2 while Big Heads made plans to study number 3.


Duane Arenales agreed with Catherine Tierney that number 3 is where the future is. An interesting question would be how many students are using anything but keyword searches.


Lee Leighton (University of California at Berkeley) commented that questions 1-2 are aimed at catalogers; number 3 is aimed at users.


Larry Alford said that many of the topics discussed at the LC Bicentennial Conference in November 2000 are implicit in number 3.  Catherine Tierney said the conference was LC-focused, that ALCTS needs a broad survey, which will help LC as well as others.


Judith Nadler said that information gathered would be valuable not only for administrators but also for catalogers who need to see how their work is used.


New membership rules (Diedrichs and the subcommittee)


Carol Pitts Diedrichs reported on behalf of the Membership Task Force that the University of Virginia and Pennsylvania State University will be asked to join Big Heads as of the annual conference in San Francisco in 2001 and that Northwestern University will leave after the 2002 annual conference. Big Heads agreed to continue using the 1998/1999 ARL criteria index ranking in the Spring 2001 membership re-assessment instead of recalculating based on the 1999/2000 criteria index ranking.


Multiple versions, one record or several (Leighton and group)


Prior to the Midwinter Meeting the Big Heads had exchanged information via their electronic discussion list about their bibliographic treatment of multiple versions (electronic, CD-ROM, microforms, print) of books and journals. Barbara Stelmasik (University of Minnesota) had summarized the responses in a spreadsheet with accompanying comments made by the various respondents.


Lee Leighton summarized the responses by saying that no library was completely consistent. Of the 22 reporting libraries many (17) use the single record approach for electronic versions of serials while 14 use multiple records for electronic versions of books. All the libraries that reported on their treatment of CD-ROM versions use multiple records for both serials and books. For microform versions the treatment was predominantly in favor of using the same version for both serials and books. From the comments on staff attitudes toward records it seems that technical services leaned toward multiple records while public services fairly strongly endorsed single records in almost all institutions.


Judith Nadler suggested discussing both the local and national implications of our decisions, pointing out that Michael Kaplan in his LC Bicentennial Conference paper had suggested having single records locally and multiple records globally.


Someone said we need a way to take individual (multiple) records from vendors and make them display as single records to the public.


Judith Nadler pointed out that the wide variability even within individual libraries is based on such things as historical influences and lack of money. We can't insist on uniformity either within libraries or among libraries; we should focus more on access than on changing cataloging policies.


Arno Kastner (New York University) asked if everyone was contributing these records to the utilities? Lee Leighton said he was unsure what Berkeley did.


Duane Arenales said that current CONSER policy, which allows users to choose their own approach, serves our needs today.


Sally Sinn asked: Needs for what? It is not a question of our rules for bibliographic control that is at issue; rather it is our system's abilities to display information and to communicate our different solutions. She expressed the belief that the future lies in the direction of using separate records for multiple versions.


Bob Wolven commented that the LC Bicentennial Conference had said that the future lies in post-concatenation of multiple records for display.


Judith Nadler said we shouldn't even try to agree on a uniform policy.


Joyce Ogburn (University of Washington) said that user expectations are that as soon as material arrives in the library, records for them will be in the catalog.


Joan Swanekamp said that Yale loads Ebsco records in batch mode and replaces them as a batch. [See summary of Accessing Full Text e-Journals in Aggregation Databases through the OPAC by Matthew Beacom later in this column.-Editor's note]


Duane Arenales stressed the importance of making it clear to users that we have both print and electronic versions.


Lee Leighton commented that we seem to be victims of technology; we scramble to keep up with new technologies.


Arno Kastner noted that the overhead of managing this piecemeal approach is high.


Duane Arenales said that this is not a problem that technical services staff can solve by ourselves; we must work with public services groups.


Bob Wolven commented that as complexity increases (more materials and more approaches to them) there seems to be less uniformity among public services staff in favor of the single record approach.


Judith Nadler wondered if questions on the user approach to single versus multiple records could be folded into the research agenda.


Duane Arenales suggested that the Library of Congress call a new Airlie House Conference with both technical services and public services staff, as well as systems staff and vendors, participating.


Beacher Wiggins noted that the LC bicentennial conference had covered many of these issues and that we should first examine the recommendations of the conference to see which might be relevant to this question.


Lee Leighton said that it seems we are looking towards technology that doesn't exist yet to get us out of this state of confusion.


Joan Swanekamp said she had heard that the CCS Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CCDA) is going to appoint another taskforce to study multiple versions.


Someone said we need to start discussions with vendors.


Judith Nadler asked Beacher Wiggins if he had a sense of what were the most essential recommendations from the LC Bicentennial Conference. He replied that there were a number of recommendations, which LC needs to compartmentalize over the next 2 months. One criterion will be to determine which recommended changes could provide quick results. Another criterion will be the resources that would be needed for implementation. Other questions that will be asked are what do we want to do, and which things can't we do and thus should be moved elsewhere?


Sally Sinn said we need to re-look at the Airlie House recommendations and determine if the 3 level record model they proposed is currently feasible. If it is not, then we need to devise a different model.


Judith Nadler said Michael Kaplan's approach is more a matter of local systems taking action and thus is more doable than the Airlie House approach which looked to outside development that would require change of all databases.


Carol Pitts Diedrichs asked if we could identify a group of Big Heads that have a relationship with the major Integrated Library System vendors and who could start a conversation saying this is what we discussed: we have this problem, can technology provide a solution?


Bob Wolven said that as individuals we are likely to have such conversations with vendors. If they are likely to hear the same thing from all of us it will promote such development.


Someone encouraged those investigating new systems to share these concerns with their prospective vendors.


Judith Nadler summarized the discussion by saying that the national implication of the multiple versions question is asking whether sharing of records is an issue. Which option is more conducive to sharing? Until we know the answer to those questions we are not ready for solutions.


Metadata and electronic licenses (Tim Jewell, Head of Collection Management Services, University of Washington)


Jewell began by saying that his position involves reviewing and signing off on all of the University of Washington's Library's electronic licenses. As a result of this experience he has come to believe that their current system of managing licenses leaves a lot to be desired. He has 3 concerns:

1. To prevent violation of license terms by users and staff.

2. To encourage ILL staff to make use of electronic resources whenever they can legitimately do so.

3. Licenses usually say that the library will make a good faith effort to inform users of licensing restrictions; usually, however, nothing is done.


He is writing a paper for the Digital Library Federation that is tentatively titled "Selection and Presentation of Commercially Available Electronic Resources"; Abby Smith from CLIR is writing a related paper for the DLF dealing with local digitization, and Lou Pitschmann from Wisconsin is doing one on selection of free web resources.


He has had discussions with Adam Chandler of Cornell who is taking a more metadata approach. They have established a web site that will shortly be used to discuss data elements, definitions, etc. that are involved in licensing. The URL is:


After this introduction he said the remainder of his presentation would be about functions and data elements; that he would talk about the future.


Slide 1. Paper form used by the University of Washington Library to analyze each license. The form asks such questions as: Who are the users authorized to use this resource? What limits on access are required? What may be downloaded? What uses are prohibited? Can an electronic version be used for ILL? Can the library make a paper copy and use it for ILL? What rights does the vendor have to make changes in the terms of the license? What liability issues are there? Is there a warrant in the license? Is indemnification of the publisher required if licensing restrictions are violated? What are the termination and cancellation provisions?


Slide 2. Web form devised by the University of Notre Dame Library to gather appropriate information for the acquisition of electronic resources. Description of the product, Costs and fund codes, Order information, Access information, Processing information, and Routing information are among the data elements included.


Slide 3. This slide shows the more sophisticated VERA (Virtual Electronic Resources Access) system introduced by MIT a year ago. Clicking on an icon can bring up the full text of a license.


Sally Sinn asked if the form is used to replace catalog records? The answer was No, but that in the future data from catalog records, license forms, and the web would be combined to form a new entity.


Larry Alford said that the licenses signed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill don't require that they inform users of licensing restrictions. Vendors are willing to accept that contract provision if the library insists. He agreed to share the wording they used (devised by North Carolina State University).


ERLIC reports from Penn State are available on the web. Among the data elements displayed are access mode, follow-up needed, full-text title lists generated, index /abstract lists generated. Lists of titles in databases and lists of electronic journals are derived from ERLIC and made available to users.


Yale uses a list of databases and electronic journals. For each database there is a clickable line which leads to a page which shows the permitted uses of that database.


"Functions and data elements for managing electronic resources" (handout and slide of a spreadsheet) shows what institutions are using various data elements. The University of Virginia needs to be added to it. The spreadsheet is an appendix to a DLF report.


Duane Arenales asked Mr. Jewell where this work was going? Are you trying to standardize so that ILS vendors can come up with a solution? Tim Jewell said the answer was Yes, that Adam Chandler is trying to develop a standardized schema that vendors and individual institutions can use.


Cynthia Shelton asked whether those working in this area had discussed questions such as Who is authorized to work in these databases? What elements are mandatory?


Bob Wolven asked which elements are there for presentation? For access?


Someone said it looks like the beginning of a new module in Integrated Library Systems.


Judith Nadler said that Chicago is trying to develop a similar project: a centralized product to be used decentrally.


PCC update and record acceptance policies (Larry Alford)


Larry Alford said he hoped for a discussion of the BIBCO component of the PCC. The NACO, SACO, and CONSER parts of PCC are very successful projects.  BIBCO is also successful with more than 60,000 records produced each year. It has not, however, met its original goals.  He asked what are the barriers that are causing libraries to do original cataloging but not to make the resulting records BIBCO records.  At Chapel Hill one barrier is the requirement for a call number based on a standard classification scheme to be included in BIBCO records; many of their original cataloging records are for items in special collections which are given only local call numbers.


Martin Kurth described a PCC plan to conduct phone interviews with 20 catalogers and 20 catalog managers about their views of Core records in order to try to discover why there is low use/creation of Core records, their views about quality, why more libraries are choosing not to use Core, etc. They are soliciting participants from among BIBCO members.


Carton Rogers suggested including include reference staff in the survey. At Penn the reference staff doesn't think Core records provide enough information. Martin Kurth replied that that would be a different study.


Larry Alford noted that the Core level was intended to be a base standard that could be enriched at a cataloger's judgment. There has come to be a misunderstanding that Core level means that only the minimum should be provided.


Duane Arenales expressed concern that self-selection of respondents in the survey could skew the results.


Martin Kurth said that the committee had considered that objection but had decided that the results would be acceptable.


To a question about how the 20 would be chosen from among the volunteers, Martin Kurth said that all volunteers had to fill out a questionnaire: the respondents would be chosen to provide a variety based on such criteria as type of library (public or academic), their size, their length of experience with Core level records, etc.


Judith Nadler suggested asking what libraries do with Core records created by other libraries.  Her staff considers Core level records to be "kernel" records that need to be upgraded. By the time you do a good Core record you aren't far from creating a full record. Lee Leighton agreed. He noted that the acceptance of Core level records as given depends also on the level of staff authorized to accept Core records; copy catalogers are more likely to accept them as OK while original catalogers are more likely to notice the lack of subject headings.


Sally Sinn said that Core level records are perfectly acceptable as created but are susceptible to being enhanced.  There is, however, a perception that Core level records are not quite adequate.


Arno Kastner wondered how much time is saved by creating or using Core level records? He suggested that they might be adequate for backlogged collections which you want to treat consistently, but that having to choose, on a title-by-title basis, which level to use for current receipts is time-consuming. The general response was that it is not time-consuming if the Core level record is your default.


Larry Alford noted that only about 25 percent of BIBCO records are Core level; what about the other 75 percent? What use is made of them? Is there wide acceptance of them? Why are libraries that create full records not considering them as BIBCO?


Joan Swanekamp commented that implementing BIBCO at large libraries is difficult. There are old local practices that institutions are not willing to give up, e.g., a practice of not assigning call numbers to rare books. There is also a problem with batch loading in OCLC which needs to provide a way to have locally created full records which are batch-loaded overlay brief records already in WorldCat.


Duane Arenales wondered if the requirement for Core level records to include a call number based on a standard classification scheme should be re-examined.


Judith Nadler said she would not deny the importance of accepting otherwise good records that lack call numbers but that at her institution the inclusion of a standard call number is important because records with call numbers can go into a fast stream.


Cynthia Clark (NYPL) noted that none of the NYPL records have standard call numbers.


The question was raised about the expense of taking an item out of the regular work stream to give it to a high level cataloger to classify. The consensus was that any side streaming is expensive.


Bob Wolven said that Columbia adds LC class numbers to Avery Architecture Library materials even though Avery itself doesn't use them; they spend more money adding class numbers to existing records lacking them than they do by providing this service to other libraries.


Joan Swanekamp spoke positively of the fact that PCC records have the authority work done for all access points. A library can pass PCC records along without further thinking about whether or not local action is needed for authority work.


Larry Alford concluded the discussion by noting that the idea behind BIBCO was that we should all be able to trust the work done by and the professional judgment of catalogers in other libraries.


There were no suggestions for the next agenda.  The meeting was adjourned at 12:28 p.m.


--Judith Hopkins

State University of New York at Buffalo



Accessing Full Text e-Journals in Aggregation Databases through the OPAC, CCS-Research Discussion Group Meeting, Midwinter American Library Association Meeting, Washington, DC, January 13, 2001.


John Riemer (UCLA) presented a summary of the work done to date by the PCC Standing Committee on Automation (SCA) Task Group on Journals in Aggregator Databases.  This committee's challenge was to provide access to serial titles within aggregators - both title and holdings data.  Their first charge was to recommend record content, mount a demonstration project, evaluate and determine next steps. One outcome was EBSCO's creation of a record set for Academic Search Elite.  EBSCO derived bibliographic records that were based experimentally on the task group's instructions and the corresponding records for the print journal found in the CONSER database.  Bell + Howell has also made bibliographic records available for all their ProQuest titles.


In their evaluation of record creation strategies, the task force recommends (from best to worst) human-created analytics, machine-derived analytics, machine-generated analytics which rely on defaults, scripted creation of minimal records, and a single combined coverage index.  In conclusion, Riemer addressed maintenance issues that included the delivery options for the record set (whole set each time versus just the changes), added and dropped titles, changes in volume coverage or completeness of content, url maintenance, conventional titles changes, and finally, the possibility of cancellation or change of subscription. 


Matthew Beacom (Yale) then described how the PCC/EBSCO project was implemented at Yale Library.  In his introduction, he reminded his audience that libraries have always been aggregators; our collections our own aggregations and catalogs are our tools for searching them.  Our challenge remains to provide our patrons with clear paths to our collections.     


Yale initially loaded 2200 vendor-supplied records on April 30, 2000 to provide access to titles in the EBSCO aggregations, Academic Search Elite and Business Source Premier.  Catalogers collaborated with reference and systems staff, wrote specifications, and evaluated the results.  Beacom encouraged the audience to keep in mind the temporary nature of access to titles in aggregators and emphasized the need to have a sound exit strategy that can remove all traces of these records before loading anything.


Beacom addressed changes and additions that Yale made to these records, workflow issues, and problems encountered.  Benefits included added visibility to titles in aggregations through the OPAC, easy removal of the records should the subscription be cancelled, and frequent updates which make it possible to keep the OPAC current with the aggregator's changes in titles and coverage.  Title access through the OPAC for aggregators raises expectations for access to titles in other aggregations.  Reference librarians see the OPAC as central to what they do.  Yale experienced a 2-3 fold increase in full text retrievals after loading the PCC/EBSCO records.


Matthew Beacom's presentation is available at


More information about the PCC SCA Task Group on e-journals in aggregations can be found at, including the Final report of the 1st Task Group at and the Interim report of the 2nd Task Group at





Best of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, vol. 29


The Best of CCQ for volume 29 has been awarded to Dr. Elaine Svenonius for her article "LCSH: Semantics, Syntax, and Specificity."  Here is the statement from the Task Force that did the selection:


"The Task Force to select the best article of Volume 29, Cataloging & Classification Quarterly has chosen "LCSH: Semantics, Syntax and Specificity" by Dr. Elaine Svenonius. Dr. Svenonius provides a perceptive analysis of changes to LCSH in three core areas over the last hundred years. In doing so, she evaluates the key decisions including why they were made and what effects they have had on subject retrieval. Finally, she offers her predictions for the future. The Task Force selected this article by Dr. Svenonius for her identification of key concepts, for her insightful commentary, and for her brilliant synthesis of major developments in LCSH. Members of the Task Force were Robert P. Holley (chair), John R. James, and Barbara B. Tillett."


Note that Dorothy McGarry's interview with Dr. Svenonius appears in CCQ 29(4).


--Ruth Carter, Editor Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 




Authority Tools for Audiovisual Catalogers


The Subcommittee on Authority Tools, Cataloging Policy Committee, OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc. announces that a new list, Authority Tools for Audio-visual Catalogers, is available for use on the Web at  The content is quite varied, and will be expanded in the future. 


--David Procházka

Music/Special Materials Cataloger

Bierce Library, University of Akron



Joint Steering Committee for Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules


The address of the new JSC page is:  Content includes news and notes, a description of the rule revision process, a list of the committee members, current activities, and selected documents.

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