Cataloging & Classification Quarterly
Volume 38, no. 1, 2004
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, Milner Library, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-8900 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 309-438-5039). News columns will typically be available prior to publication in print from the CCQ website at http://www.catalogingandclassificationquarterly.com.
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Abstracts or reports of on-going or unpublished research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
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
Description of grants
Description of projects
Announcements of changes in personnel
Announcements of honors, offices, etc.
The Card Catalog Still Lives!
Several years ago when Krispy Kreme Doughnuts closed its doors and left my favorite nearby shopping area, I thought that life as I knew it was over. Sure, there was another one across town but I had always gone to that one and that is what I wanted to continue doing. Alas, the doors never reopened there but I was still able to get those delicious circles of love via grocery stores and convenience stores nearby and even hot ones at the “other” location. So while my method of getting them had changed, the end result was still the same; I got the product desired and from different access points.
As a new head of a departmental library, I inherited two floors consisting of 18,000 sq. feet that needed to be mildly re-organized. As I examined each of the two floors I was faced with the decision of what needed to be discarded. And there I saw them-- two card catalogs, one for maps and one for the rest of the collection. Thankfully, space issues were not a major concern but better organization was of the highest importance as I began my journey. As a new kid on the block and not wanting to make hasty decisions, I decided to query other librarians to actually see how many other card catalogs were still around.
I sent a seven question e-mail survey to AUTOCAT in December 2002 to assess how many institutions still owned and/or used a physical card catalog. AUTOCAT “serves as an electronic forum for the discussion of all questions relating to cataloging and authority control in libraries”
(http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/units/cts/autocat/autocats.html). This list was selected because it includes members from academic, public and special libraries. Although I received 149 useable responses, this number is quite dismal when one considers that this list reaches over 3,000 people. Perhaps December is a bad time for surveys or maybe many of the subscribers are lurkers like me and not really catalogers. At any rate, this sample gives me some idea of who has what around the country and in Australia (good day mate-- thanks for the response from St. Lucia!). The majority of the responses (62%) came from those affiliated with academic libraries. Of the remaining respondents, public librarians totaled 19%, and 16% came from “other” libraries which included museums and government libraries. Only 2% of the responses came from corporate and school libraries.
All in all, only 36% of those who responded still have a card catalog in their library. This figure didn’t surprise me too much because as librarians we generally like to keep “stuff” and don’t like to waste much. As stated earlier, I too still have my card catalog, however, it is not being used. Of the 36% still holding onto their card catalog I was surprised that 72% still use theirs. While most of the use is by staff completing retrospective conversion projects it was noted that some of this use is by “older” researchers who resist converting to the online version. As for the location of card catalogs, both of my card catalogs reside in the public view although one is nestled in a corner alongside a wall. Fifty-one percent housed theirs in the basement or storage area, 32% (like me) have theirs in public view, 15% house their card catalogs in the cataloging department or someone’s personal office and 2% responded that they use it to hold it up their plants!
those who no longer have their card catalog, 50% were discarded (don’t tell
Nicholson Baker), while 33% were sold in library sales, sold to employees, given
to campus surplus or given to another library/museum. One creative library built
a “wooden façade” over their card catalog and now uses the front “to house
brochures and flyers”. The back holds their CD collection and the top is now
used for displays. Nearly 14% were auctioned off and 3% were presented as gifts
to special employees. Those worrying about never seeing the card catalog again
need not worry. The National Museum of American History archives one that was
donated by the Union Theological Seminary of Virginia.
If you still have catalog cards and are not sure what to do with them you may want to review 101 Uses for a Dead Catalogue Card : Being a Catalogue of Useful Uses for Useless Catalogue Cards, Created for the Occasion of the Great Discard of the Library's Card Catalogue on October 1, 1985. This whimsical book was compiled by the University of Maryland at Baltimore Health Sciences Library Staff. Ideas include:
2. “Staple or paste or tape them together to make a vest or a skirt”
37. “Use for recipe cards”
43. “Gift tags for presents”
68. “Supply one with each book taken out of the library, to be used as bookmarks”
93. “Use as a back scratcher”
Jaye Bausser (1988, 189) suggested that it “may be traumatic for staff and users to give up the security of the catalog.” As I reviewed the literature I found much information about the advantages versus the disadvantages of the catalog but nothing about the emotional attachment of catalogers to the card catalog. In the current survey when asked “how did you feel when the card catalog was removed from your library” less than 15% responded with “sad, terrible”, “depressed”, “frightened” or “like losing an old friend”. Overwhelmingly 55% of the respondents felt “happy”, “glad”, “relieved”, “fine”, or “thrilled”. However, nearly 13% felt “liberated and cautious” or “had mixed emotions.” Noelle Van Pulis from The Ohio State University Libraries commented that “Contrary to some opinions, catalogers are not 'hung up' on the 3x5 card. We are hung up on good catalog records and systems that make the best use of carefully created data. The card catalog was a wonderful innovation, and for about 100 years represented what for most users was a familiar tool, similar from one institution to the next”. Nine percent of the respondents declined to comment and 7% expressed feeling “nothing”. Only 1% commented that they felt “a send off would have been appropriate.”
In some libraries special and often ceremonial activities were held to send off the card catalog. Respondents commented that many of these activities were done to ease the transition of losing the card catalog and also to publicize the new online system. Activities ranged from:
Parties for staff
Photo taken of librarians dumping cards in recycling bin
Having the catalog draped in black crepe and an invitation to the University
President to say farewell
Drawers dumped off the library balcony
Wake with card catalog draped in black bunting, library workers in black veils,
eulogy given and hymns sung
Funeral attended by library staff
Paper headstone posted for public directing them to the surviving offspring (the
Ritual card burning for staff only
Cards removed were bundled and sold as souvenirs in the Friends of the Library
So, you may wonder what I am going to do with my card catalogs? Well, I just received a call (no kidding) from our government documents department enquiring about some items that I own that were never cataloged but now need to be converted (they no longer have their shelf list card catalog)! I was told that my card catalog might be useful in determining the call number of these “lost” items. So at the close of this article that particular card catalog gets to live a little longer!
Jaye Bausser, “Closing the card catalog” in Advances in library automation and networking, v. 2, (Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, 1988), 189.
Angela M. Gooden, Head, Geology/Physics Library
University of Cincinnati
Meeting Minutes of the ALCTS Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group (“Big Heads”), held during the Midwinter American Library Association Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, January 24, 2003
Welcome and Introductions, Announcements (Sally Sinn, Chair)
Chair Sally Sinn (National Agriculture Library) announced that there would be an open discussion on E-resource management from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. that evening in the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel. The meeting is sponsored by Big Heads.
Judith Hopkins (SUNY Buffalo) gave the URL for the January 2003 Round Robin web site: http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~ulcjh/bh12003rr.html
Update of the University of California’s Collection Management Initiative (CMI) (Cecily Johns, California Digital Library)
In late 2000 the Mellon Foundation awarded the University of California a two year grant (which was extended by six months) to store print journals in a remote location and to collect data on use of the stored journals and their digital counterparts. (For Brian Schottlaender’s report on this Initiative given during the 2002 Big Heads meeting in Atlanta see: http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~ulcjh/bhmin062002.html#ITEM3.)
Usage data was collected for the 12 months ending October 1, 2002. Approximately 300 journals were selected for the study. For each journal title two print copies were available on at least two UC campuses. One print copy (called the experimental copy) was relocated to storage and the other print copy (called the control copy) remained in the library. Usage data was collected for the experimental copy in storage, the control copy in the library, and the digital counterpart. Control and experimental journal titles were selected by the campuses prior to the study. Some campuses relocated all the CMI journals to remote storage. Some campuses opted to leave their CMI journals in the library. Some campuses chose to have both experimental and control journals.
Usage data was collected for both print copies (the one at the control campus and the one at the experimental campus) plus their digital counterparts. Usage statistics for CMI journals is organized on the spreadsheets into 4 major subject categories.
8% of the titles were in the Arts and Humanities. Average use of the digital version of each title was 10 times greater than use of the control print copy. That is, even when a print copy was available in the library, the use of the digital version was still greater than the use of the print by a factor of ten.
37% of the titles were in the Physical Sciences and Engineering. In this group use of the digital version on the control campus was 24 times greater than use of the control print copy.
of the titles were in the Social Sciences. In this group use of the digital
version on the control campus was 10 times greater than use of the control print
of the titles were in the Life and Health Sciences. In this group use of the
digital version on the control campus was 9.4 times greater than use of the
control print copy.
Looked at from the number of volumes represented in the study:
of the volumes were in the Arts and Humanities.
of the volumes were in the Physical Sciences and Engineering.
of the volumes were in the Social Sciences.
of the volumes were in the Life and Health Sciences.
The Collection Management Initiative is now gathering user preference data. A user preference survey will be distributed to faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, staff and health sciences personnel (20,000 individuals on 9 campuses) will receive the survey in early February 2003. They have just concluded a pre-test of the survey.
survey will ask questions such as: What is the typical pattern of digital use in
your field? What do you see as the advantage of print versus digital? If both
print and electronic journals are equally available, given various uses, which
do you prefer? What are the barriers to using each format? To what extent have
you found the following to be a barrier? They hope to have survey responses back
by late March-early April and plan to write their final reports in May and June.
Karen Calhoun (Cornell) asked whether different patterns have been seen in the
Jeffrey Horrell (Harvard) asked: Is there a policy among the universities that
at least one library will keep a print copy of each title? Ms. Johns said the
University of California is currently planning for a shared print journal
collection that would retain print journals in storage of all titles available
in digital form. J. Horrell said that Harvard is thinking of identifying one
print copy for depository and one for campus retention. Cecily Johns said the
California Digital Library would like to add the provision of a print copy as
part of their license agreements with vendors.
Larry Alford (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) asked two questions.
First, who owns and counts for ARL and other reporting purposes the last copy
for the UC system? Second, he pointed out that the handout showed that the total
use of serials, print and electronic combined, on the control campuses is only
66% of the total use on the experimental campuses. Do they know the reason for
this significant difference? According to his thinking the difference could be
attributed to many factors including type of campus, number of faculty and
students, publicity, or, most importantly, undercounting of print use. Ms. Johns
said they didn’t know the answer to the second question. One possible reason
could be how the vendors provide use data. As for undercounting of print use,
the counting method they used was to count the number of volumes re-shelved.
Duane Arenales (National Library of Medicine): Do you have any additional data
on why people ask for print from storage? Ms. Johns said nothing more than what
Brian Schottlaender reported at the Atlanta Big Heads meeting in June 2002.
Surveys were given to patrons who requested that a print journal be returned
from storage. The response rate for these user surveys was about 40%-50%. D.
Arenales asked whether California had baseline usage figures. The answer was
they are currently gathering the previous year’s digital use data for CMI
journals, but would not have usage data for print journals.
Judi Nadler (University of Chicago) asked if Ms. Johns could share a think-piece
she has written. The answer was that it is not yet ready for distribution.
J. Nadler said she applauds the fact that the next stage of the study will focus on Why instead of What.
Wolven (Columbia University) commented on the statistics of use on control vs.
experimental campuses. The difference is great enough that either the difference
is between those campuses which chose to retain print or there is undercounting
on the use of print versions. Ms. Johns answered that we are aware when people
take a print volume off the shelf, they may be consulting more than one article.
As a result, there may be undercounting of the control print.
Duane Arenales commented that the same campus will be control for 1 title and
experimental for another; it might be useful to see if the same effect occurs
within a single campus.
Sally Sinn: What model will be used to determine cost data? How do you attribute
costs across licensing and usage? Ms. Johns said they had gathered data from
campuses about costs including the selection of print titles to be stored,
processing, bibliographic control, transportation to storage, and storage of
print volumes. The most difficult task was to gather cost data for the
preparation phase prior to transporting print runs to storage. The licensing
cost data is coming from the California Digital Library. Sally Sinn followed up
by saying: So you are more interested in aggregated costs than cost per usage.
The answer was Yes.
Karen Calhoun said that JSTOR is conducting a study with 4-5 (Cornell, Hamilton, NYU, and other) libraries to determine the cost?
Cynthia Shelton (UCLA) said that California is working on group using on costs
as a follow-up to the Initiative study. They have decided that it will be a
collective collection and everyone will be able to count it. Among the questions
they will be looking at are: How do you define the one print copy? Do individual
campuses want a central catalog? What resources are needed to provide catalog
copy for the OPACs? She will be presenting this aspect of the California
Collection Management Initiative as an item for discussion at the meeting of the
Collection Development Directors of Large Research Libraries Discussion Group.
Joyce Ogburn (University of Washington) asked has there been any discussion of
use of the print copy as an artifact rather than for its content? Ms. Johns
answered, Not for this study but there is a Faculty/University Librarians
planning group that is considering this issue.
Wolven commented that there is another Mellon grant which is related to JSTOR
print archives. A meeting was held at Princeton to discuss what it means to have
a print archive.
Duane Arenales said she was curious where last copies are retained. What happens
when that last copy becomes brittle? Cynthia Shelton said that is one of the
questions the California collection group is looking at.
Managing electronic resources in technical services (Judi Nadler)
Judi provided comments to serve as a springboard for a discussion of some of the issues libraries face in maintaining both print and electronic journals.
The finding of the University of California study and of the Outsell Survey show that the comfort level with electronic forms is high but use of print still remains substantial. This presents libraries with tough choices at a time of increasing budget constraints. Communication and “education” about these issues is very important and Library administration at the University of Chicago is engaged in ongoing communication to faculty and the Library Board and ongoing dialogue with bibliographers on what the Library does and plans to do.
the process of reviewing our journal subscriptions for possible cancellations,
availability of electronic versions is one of the factors considered, though not
the major factor. Among the primary considerations for canceling a journal are
relevance to research at the University, impact factors as measured by citation
studies, local use (in so far as this can be determined), and price.
She shared issues/facts from the experience of the University of Chicago.
In 1998 they licensed on-line access to 5,700 electronic full-text journals
In 2002 they licensed on-line access to 20,000 electronic full-text journals
Almost half of the journals they subscribe to in print form are also available electronically and that number is growing.
In Fiscal Year 2002 expenditures for electronic journals represented more than 15% of Chicago’s acquisitions budget ($2,000,000.00). Because of budget constraints for 2003 and 2004 bibliographers have been reviewing journal subscriptions for possible cancellations. Some publishers are offering savings for purchase of electronic versions only. There are costs connected with print versions: marking, shelving, etc. However, there are also costs for maintaining electronic versions. She had no firm data to offer regarding the difference in costs.
Library’s science librarians have developed criteria for considering
electronic-only access for a journal. These are just broad guidelines, and
should be seen as such. They may be more applicable to the sciences than to
Criteria for selecting a journal for electronic-only access:
Complete coverage of print content that is either simultaneously available or available in advance of the print edition
Functionality and stability of the technology maintaining the electronic
version, including viewing, navigating, and printing choices
Search options for tables of contents and abstracts and the availability of
alerting services and usage statistics
Explicit archival policies and options for access to content under specific
Acceptance of electronic-only access by most of the affected user community
Additional content and features available in the electronic edition
Document delivery options and linking capabilities, such as SFX links
License provisions permitting use of electronic edition for interlibrary lending and course management systems
Sally Sinn asked if anyone has had success in achieving the arrangement of treating the electronic version as the primary (like OHIOLINK). Joyce Ogburn said Yes. Jeffrey Horrell said that until there is enough proven stability in archiving electronic materials, Harvard will try to hold on to print. Larry Alford said the barrier is not so much price but the 2-3 publishers who insist on tying license costs to print costs in the year for which lease is made; we need to break that model which is equivalent to a vendor insisting you buy back issues when you start a print subscription.
Beth Picknally Camden (University of Virginia) said that Virginia had had to
cancel all print duplicates in favor of electronic versions. Catherine Tierney
(Stanford) said that Stanford had done something similar.
Catherine Tierney asked Judi Nadler if the science librarians had included
considerations of long-term availability in their criteria. J. Nadler said yes,
that the current availability of the electronic version was as much commitment
from the mainstream publishers as they could expect at this time.
Carol Pitts Diedrichs (OSU) said that Ohio State through OhioLINK is working on
a process of having contracts allow for cancellation of individual titles as
usage data becomes more available.
Duane Arenales asked if the University of Chicago’s decision to choose
electronic versions over print has caused many problems? J. Nadler said that it
hadn’t, but added that they have done only a little so far. This is a highly
political charged thing with faculty.
Cynthia Shelton said that the University of California is grappling with a plan
to ensure that print will remain available. Berkeley is making it an exception
to keep Elsevier titles in print copies. Lee Leighton (UC Berkeley) said the
decision was budget driven.
Duane Arenales: How long do we think this will continue to be a problem? How long will the Elseviers of this world continue to print as fewer and fewer libraries purchase print copies? Larry Alford commented that in 3-4 years Elsevier will stop printing but we cannot trust them to maintain archives. Carol Pitts Diedrichs concurred.
Sally Sinn asked: How many of us have any system to monitor the disappearance of content in electronic versions? After an initial lack of response Catherine Tierney mentioned that a number of those present were involved with LOCKSS (Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe), a Mellon-funded prototype for e-journal archiving (http://LOCKSS.stanford.edu/).
Joyce Ogburn said that wherever possible the University of Washington puts records in catalogs as fast as they can; they also have a journals web page and share Elsevier titles with Washington State University.
Karen Calhoun said that Cornell provides access to 20,000 e-journals through the
OPAC plus access to 40,000 other e-resources. They get record sets when they
can; otherwise they generate records from metadata provided by vendors. They are
planning to generate title lists from catalog records. The world of access to
these journals is changing; we now have a patchwork of methods.
Catherine Tierney said that Stanford puts a link to the e-resource on the
catalog record for the print version but they don’t know how long they can
afford to do it this way. At the same time, patrons are at a loss dealing with
serial title changes, multiple copies over multiple campus libraries; adding yet
another record for electronic versions further confuses the situation. Bob
Wolven said that Columbia loads Serial holding records in catalogs, one record
for the electronic version and one for the non-electronic. They drive a web page
from the catalog records. 15% of linkages were coming from the catalog and 85%
from the web page. Last year they brought up the serial reference linking
Rosann Bazirjian (Penn State) noted that one problem is doing batch loads; it is
difficult to find matching points. Penn State has appointed a Task Force with
reference participation to make some local decisions regarding the duplication
of records when loading bibliographic records for electronic and/or microform
versions from various vendors.
Arno Kastner (New York University) said we are all using a patchwork approach.
Most of us are trying to use the catalog as the primary resource but we are also
looking to download records from vendors. Overhead and type of staff used differ
in each library.
Leighton said that the University of California system had decided to allow
separate records for electronic monographs. There has been a wide variety of
reactions from patrons.
Judi Nadler said that the University of Chicago is in the same mixed boat. She
has talked to both public and technical services. Chicago has decided it could
not afford to use a single record approach if it wants to use vendor-provided
records. She asked how many were using SFX and getting use statistics. 4-5 hands
Duane Arenales said that NLM doesn’t purchase aggregations; that makes use of a single record easier.
Cataloging: Potential for collaborating planning
Jean Hirons (LC) spoke on education for catalogers. (See the White paper on the PCC role in Continuing Education for Catalogers, http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/whitepapertrng.html). Where is the training coming from as the current generation of catalogers retires? Most of our libraries have staff members who serve as trainers or who have attended a continuing education course. Twenty-nine people are currently attending the SCCTP (Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program) course on Integrating Resources (the last SCCTP course to be developed for a while) which is being used at both LC and many small libraries as well.
SCCTP is a successful model. The question is: how can we expand it beyond serials? This model calls on those with expertise, catalogers, to develop courses and then training experienced librarians to give the courses. Materials have been translated into Spanish and Chinese; the courses are being used in Mexico and Costa Rica, China and Taiwan.
Judi Nadler: The University of Chicago has a librarian who has been through the train the trainer program. Her excellent work is due in part to the excellent documentation provided. J. Nadler would welcome this approach being extended beyond serials. Karen Calhoun agreed. The demographics and economics of education for cataloging show that those in the profession will more and more have to provide for the future of our specialty. The scope of education for cataloging needs to be expanded to include things catalogers are getting involved in such as management of e-resources, etc. Achieving the two action items related to cataloging education in the Library of Congress Action Plan (see http://lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/bibcontrol/actionplan.pdf) is very important.
Beth Picknally Camden said there was a joint ALCTS/ALISE task force on action item 5.1 (“Address educational needs through improved curricula in library and information science schools and through continuing education for cataloging practitioners by: promoting consensus on determination of ‘Core Competencies;’ devising training in two areas of ‘Mind set and values’ and ‘Managing operations;’ develop Toolkits; and identifying other mechanism to meet these needs.”) It has just submitted its final report, which proposes three levels of competencies for cataloging and metadata. The idea is to change the ways in which they are being taught in library schools. Ingrid Hsieh-Yee chaired the task force. Its interim report is available at http://www.loc.gov/catdir/bibcontrol/5-1status.pdf. A group chaired by Carol Hixson is working on action item 5.3 (“Promote the use and understanding of standards for describing Web resources through education, targeted outreach, etc.”) on continuing education. The website for this task force is: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/bibcontrol/5-3workplan.pdf.
Arno Kastner asked what kind of follow up and assessment has there been with attendees of SCCTP courses; Jean Hirons said none. It had been decided that it would be too much of a drain on trainers to have them responsible for follow-up. They are looking at possible web-based follow-up where trainees can go back and do exercises to reinforce what they have learned. The SCCTP model is that whoever has the expertise should develop the course.
Wolven said the question that comes up at the Program for Cooperative Cataloging
(PCC) is how much can we afford to do? If we just do what we can do locally, we
will all lose. Catherine Tierney agreed; if Big Heads can’t work together to do
this we don’t deserve our jobs. We need to work together on education for
cataloging just as we have in NACO.
Joan Swanekamp (Yale) said the amount of time Yale has to spend on training has
been growing exponentially. One problem is new catalogers who don’t have much
training and experience. She has appointed one cataloger as a Training and
Documentation librarian; Yale is putting many documents on the web site. The gap
between what the library schools provide and what we need is very great.
Judi Nadler commented that there is a side benefit from having a SCCTP person on staff; the one at the University of Chicago has formed a training team on her campus.
Duane Arenales: We are not going to produce experienced catalogers in library schools nor should we try to (and many students may not have taken advantage of what their school offered). She wondered if provision of distance education courses would be helpful.
Cynthia Clark (NYPL) said she is trying to set up a training team at NYPL. She
is trying to grow people locally who can maintain a program.
Jean Hirons stated that the SCCTP model can be used by everyone. The advantage is that the materials only have to be prepared once.
Sally Sinn said she agreed with both objectives: filling in the needs of recent graduates and providing continuing education for experienced catalogers. Anything that would share the burden would be quite beneficial.
Carol Pitts Diedrichs (OSU) said ALCTS has been using a similar model for its
online Fundamentals of Acquisitions course. ALCTS has placed a renewed emphasis
on training and continued education.
Jean Hirons: you can’t train a serials cataloger in a 2 day workshop but it is
beginning. She said she would like to start a mentoring program.
Wolven described the current PCC assessment survey effort which is arising out
of the latest stage of PCC’s strategic planning. For PCC’s first ten years
emphasis was placed on getting more: more members, more records. The program now
needs to know where to go next. PCC is appointing a task group on assessment to
define the measures to be studied. Jim Stickman of the University of Washington
will chair the group. The utilities can provide data. Big Heads can provide
additional data and provide advice and assessment. He doesn’t think the focus
should be on PCC records but should look instead at finding areas where there is
nothing covering the ground.
Lee Leighton expressed concern about the quality of records that catalogers are using these days. With the vast numbers of records that vendors are adding to databases, it is harder and harder for libraries to distinguish between original and copy cataloging. Many vendor records are upgraded locally.
Sally Sinn asked Lee to expand on what he considered cooperative cataloging
efforts. He cited the creation of Anglo-American authority files as one example.
Arno Kastner said there are two different issues: quality of copy and availability of copy. Many unique records are waiting to be loaded.
Several people commented on OCLC’s seeming inability to batch load original cataloging records and the work-arounds implemented in their libraries.
Judi Nadler said that Big Heads, as a group, needs to take up this problem with OCLC. Libraries shouldn’t have to change their workflows to ensure that records for original cataloging are loaded into WorldCat.
Wolven thought one possible response to OCLC could be that the value of loading
the records in question was greater than the chance of creating more duplicates
Larry Alford (UNC at Chapel Hill and a member of the OCLC Board of Trustees)
noted that a number of issues were involved:
Costs of quality control at OCLC. Do OCLC members want to pay for that by
Council discussion: Lots of libraries are objecting to PCC records over-riding
the records that they had input.
Karen Calhoun said another issue relates to cooperative cataloging by which
different libraries take responsibility for certain subject or language areas;
it is often those records which are not being loaded.
Sally Sinn said the problem of batch loading original cataloging records in OCLC
had several layers. At the basic level there are those of us who have unique
records that still await loading at OCLC. She also asked if this was the time to
put greater emphasis on sharing expertise. NAL, for example, is losing language
Catherine Tierney asked how many of the Big Head libraries batch loaded into both OCLC and RLIN. Of the 24 libraries represented at this meeting only 7 did not load into both utilities.
Joyce Ogburn said we need to figure out ways to share expertise. We also need to
get quantitative data about the records waiting to be loaded and about where
records created by language experts are coming from. Bob Wolven said that
Columbia had just completed a contract with the National Library of China (NLC)
to catalog Columbia’s works in Mongolian and other languages. Columbia then
takes the data the NLC sends and creates AACR2 records from them. Cynthia
Shelton said that when UC Irvine received some material in Korean, they arranged
to have the Korean cataloger at UCLA catalog them. There had been some
logistical issues but on the whole it had worked out well; of course this was a
small volume project.
Beacher Wiggins (LC) pointed out that this was not the first time that the Big Heads had talked about cooperative cataloging but it proves how difficult it is to do. It is easier to make small arrangements between institutions like UC Irvine and UCLA than it is to involve large groups.
terms of national library cooperation, he reported that progress has been made
with the British Library. LC has also started to work with the German community
to have a virtual authority file that would be useful to all of us. We need to
determine what kind of cooperation is going on at the international level and
what can each of us do to fill in the gaps.
Judi Nadler said she had tried to revive a custom of teaming up catalogers with
students and junior faculty who had language expertise. It had worked well but
she didn’t have enough catalogers to continue with it. She hopes, however, to
revise and revive the project.
Larry Alford said that UNCH, Duke, and North Carolina State University are
sharing costs and expertise by using a traveling cataloger who moves among them.
Sally Sinn suggested that this discussion be continued at lunch.
Preservation and digital archiving
Beacher Wiggins gave a quick update of the various areas in which LC is currently engaged.
NDIIPP (National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Policy). Congress has appropriated $100 million to develop a national strategy for collecting and preserving in digital form at-risk material of value to the national heritage. Part of the money is to be spent on developing a national preservation infrastructure, with LC working in collaboration with the other national libraries.
Among the problems to be considered are:
to deal with materials in legacy formats.
Experimenting with harvesting of data and how to meld that data into formats
accessible to and useful for our users.
Working with the national libraries to capture the national heritage.
MINERVA Web Preservation Project to collect and preserve materials that exist only on the web. Four major web sites are being collected:
September 11, 2001 remembrance
Winter Olympics 2002
Audio-visual materials: LC is building a storage facility at Culpeper, Virginia to conserve AV materials and is moving the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division staff there.
Program suggestion for Big Heads annual meeting in Toronto (D-Space)
Sally Sinn reported that the ALCTS Board of Directors wanted to know if the Big Heads would be interested in co-sponsoring a program on D-Space in Toronto. Carol Pitts Diedrichs asked if the focus would be on the role of technical services and catalogers in cataloging these collections. Judi Nadler said she would like a broader context than simply cataloging.
Sally Sinn summarized the discussion by saying that we would agree to focus the
Toronto meeting on this topic but would leave room in the schedule for our own
The meeting adjourned at 12:32 p.m.
State University of New York at Buffalo