Cataloging & Classification Quarterly
Volume 38, no. 2, 2004
It Takes a World
by Ruth Carter
This issue of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly has both very practical articles and those that are primarily theoretical in nature. The Electronic Resources for Catalogers column discusses cataloging blogs, practical, online discussion centers for catalogers and also a source for collecting and disseminating information on cataloging resources. It ties directly into the first article that treats the impact on cataloging of ready access to the Web. The following article examines consistency and inconsistency of Chinese records found in the OCLC CJK database.
Three substantive theoretical articles are contributions from authors from Japan, Italy, and Iran. Nothing could be more illustrative of the international nature of catalogs and cataloging and classification in the twenty-first century world. One of the articles reports on a study that investigated the feasibility of creating bibliographic records in accordance with a model that gives primacy to expression-level entity through efforts to convert existing MARC records. The history, scope, and function of the General Material Designation (GMD) are reviewed in another article. Both of these articles reference the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR.) The final of the three theoretical articles proposes a new scheme for library classification. The scheme is based on two main elements: hierarchism and binary theory.
The final article recounts the history and accomplishments of the LITA/ALCTS CCS Authority Control in the Online Environment as seen through the perspectives of its past chairs. This unit within the American Library Association is one of many professional groups that facilitate discussion and exchange of information related to issues, concerns, and developments within the bibliographic control community. Such professional organizations are active throughout the world. They range from local and regional to national and international.
As with most general issues, the Cataloging News Column concludes the content of the issue. Much of the news column is devoted to reporting from the ALCTS Directors of Technical Services of Large Research Libraries Annual Conference held in June 2003 and includes discussion of many issues encountered daily in practice in these large libraries. Finally, the News Column reports on the awarding of the Margaret Mann Citation to be given in June 2004 to Barbara B. Tillett, a member of the editorial board of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. In honoring Dr. Tillett, the committee noted that she has made extraordinary contribution to both the theory and practice of cataloging including developing and explaining FRBR, the Virtual International Authority File, and leading IFLA’s efforts to develop and international cataloging code. Congratulations Barbara!
It is sometimes difficult to separate the local from the international, the practice from the theory. In most cases an interactive relationship exists. But what is clear is that solutions developed through international cooperation or proposed in one place and debated in a larger community are de rigueur in today’s interconnected world. Whether it is a question of developing new rules for bibliographic description, shared authority control, or a new classification scheme, it can’t be done in isolation. As editor of CCQ I am pleased to include both practical, applied articles and the theoretical pieces as represented by those in this issue. My thanks to the authors who have contributed to this current publication and to previous issues. It takes a world! We are in this together!