Cataloging & Classification Quarterly
Volume 33, no. 1, 2001
There is always something significant happening in the world of bibliographic control. Usually there are simultaneous initiatives that advance the discipline on many fronts. They may range from innovative methods of presenting data in local online catalogs that help local users yet adhere to standards or that help clarify where standards and agreed upon rules are needed to wide-scale international efforts at reaching common understanding on the purpose of bibliographic records and their functional requirements.
small local efforts or large national or international ones, catalogers are not
alone in putting the theoretical into practice.
Teachers are essential in transmitting to the next generation of
catalogers the philosophical and also practical context of the profession.
Current practitioners also require education in new rules and an evolving
conceptual framework in light of online and globally accessed catalogs.
Teachers include educators in the library and information science
schools, on the job supervisors and even co-workers, mentors through
professional organizations, and many others along the way.
I am delighted that this issue of Cataloging & Classification
Quarterly includes an interview with Kathryn Luther Henderson, my cataloging
teacher and an inspiration throughout my career.
ERC column focuses on metadata standards for library catalogers and provides a
number of helpful links. Articles
treat a variety of subjects beginning with an updated look at the utility of the
cataloger's workstation concept utilizing the Cataloger's Desktop.
The global aspect of sharing bibliographic data is represented in an
article that examines issues connected with the conversion of Common
Communication Format (CCF) to MARC21.
world view and the assignment of subject headings to works about other cultures
and civilizations are featured in an article looking at works from classical
literature and ancient history as examples.
The author argues for evaluating the headings assigned to these works in
terms of the world view of ancient Greece and Rome in order to give more
expression to the thoughts and themes characterizing these ancient
opinion piece looks at the topic of indexing.
Machine indexing is considered too prolific in indexing terms and neither
librarians nor computer programmers have made much progress in improving it. Alternatively, human indexing has had the same problems for
over fifty years. The author
suggests that the art of indexing lacks a theoretical foundation.
reviews cover the proceedings of the Library of Congress sponsored Bicentennial
Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium; the proceedings of
an international seminar on Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR);
and a work that provides an introduction to the FRBR.
The Cataloging News column completes the issue.
all the new developments in bibliographic control and the need to prepare for
the future, teachers are essential for both the student in library and
information science schools and the practitioner. Teachers whether they are educators or practitioners
themselves not only may give guidance in interpreting the rules we catalog by
but they help us learn through providing conceptual foundations that enable us
to interpret new cases and situations on our own.
In this case the old Chinese proverb "Give a man a fish and you feed
him for a day. Teach a man to fish
and you feed him for a lifetime"  is apt.
and training for catalogers and classifiers is at least as important now as at
any past time. Therefore, I am
delighted that a theme issue on education is in preparation for Cataloging and
Classification Quarterly. Other
theme issues in progress include thesauri, metadata, historical aspects of
bibliographic control, works, authority control, and classification in the
online environment. Bibliographic
control is a very rich and evolving field indeed!
-- Ruth C. Carter
Chinese proverb quoted in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations,
edited by Suzy Platt. New York:
Dorset Press, 1992, p. 484.