Volume 42, no. 1, 2006



Editorial, Sandra K. Roe, Editor-In-Chief

ERC (Electronic Resource for Catalogers), Lyn Condron, ERC Editor
Online Continuing Education

Cataloging News, Daniel Lovins, Cataloging News Editor

Book Reviews, Michael Carpenter, Book Reviews Editor
Information Retrieval Design: Principles and Options for Information Description, Organization, Display, and Access in Information Retrieval Databases, Digital Libraries, Catalogs, and Indexes, by James D. Anderson and José Peréz-Carballo / Reviewed by Pauline A. Cochrane

 

The Development of Uniform Titles for Choreographic Works
David Procházka

ABSTRACT: In 1994, the Library of Congress issued a rule interpretation to AACR2 detailing how uniform titles for choreographic works should be established. The value of the rule interpretation is discussed, and it is contrasted with prior practices. The origins of the concept behind the rule are traced back to the New York Public Library in the mid twentieth century, and its evolution into the current guidelines is delineated.

KEYWORDS: Choreographic works, Uniform titles, Dance Division of the New York Public Library, Library of Congress Rule Interpretations, standards development

 

The Penn/Cambridge Genizah Fragment Project: Issues in Description, Access, and Reunification
Heidi G. Lerner and Seth Jerchower

ABSTRACT: The University of Pennsylvania Library and the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library in England have embarked on a project to digitize their joint holdings of manuscript fragments from the Cairo Genizah. One goal of this collaboration is to develop and implement an online catalog and image database for the University of Pennsylvania's collection of Genizah fragments, which will provide the foundation for a global electronic repository and catalog of the entire Cairo Genizah. The project staffs have developed preliminary guidelines for standardized descriptive metadata. The authors discuss the issues and difficulties specific to cataloging these fragments, how an online catalog can facilitate this ambitious task, and why MARC tagging was adopted for this purpose.

KEYWORDS: MARC, Manuscript cataloging, Descriptive metadata, Unicode, Digital repositories, Cairo Genizah

 

Eighteenth-Century Military Treatises and Challenges for Collocation in Library Catalogs
Mark H. Danley

ABSTRACT: Two eighteenth-century British military treatises, Humphrey Bland's Treatise of Military Discipline, and the British Army's 1728 Regulations remind catalogers that the bibliographic relationships among items that warrant their collocation in library catalogs are not always clear. The historical circumstance of the two treatises' publication requires catalogers to recall definitions of a 'work', and establish which relationships between bibliographic entities warrant collocation in library catalogs. Both treatises seem to embody the same work, though according to conventional cataloging practice they do not share the same author. The items nevertheless retain a bibliographic relationship warranting collocation. Finally, the concepts of the 'superwork' and 'super record' might also assist catalogers in developing collocating mechanisms to bring together records of related bibliographic entities.

KEYWORDS: Work, Superwork, Super record, British Army, Collocation, Military treatises

 

Descriptive Impressions of Managerial & Supervisory Cataloger Positions as Reflected in American Libraries, AutoCAT, and the Colorado State Library Jobline, 2000-2004: A Content Analysis of Education, Competencies, and Experience.
Sylvia D. Hall-Ellis

ABSTRACT: Employers articulate expectations for technical services managerial positions including academic preparation and professional experience (cataloging, classification, authority control, acquisitions), supervisory and training abilities, bibliographic control tasks, technical understandings and familiarities with a theoretical basis for organization technical skills (bibliographic utilities, tools) and non-library specific competencies. Therefore, technical services managerial position announcements provide insight into shifting requirements regarding graduate education, expertise, and preferred preparations for these positions. This empirical research study explores 89 technical services managerial position announcements published during a four-year period in order to determine the common aspects of employers' expectations. A rigorous content analysis methodology enabled the researcher to identify employers' expectations and requirements among types of libraries.

KEYWORDS: Catalogers, Technical services, Position descriptions, Leadership, Content analysis

 

Conformity for Conformity's Sake? - The Choice of a Classification System and a Subject Heading System in Academic Health Sciences Libraries
Kristina R. Womack

ABSTRACT: This article investigates classification and subject heading systems used in academic health sciences libraries and the reasons these systems were chosen. The study also ascertains the respective systems used at the general libraries at the same academic institutions, in order to find out if there is a desire for conformity. Specific attention is paid to the question whether a shared OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) may play a role in this desire. The results show that 75% of the survey participants from academic health sciences libraries use primarily the NLM (National Library of Medicine) classification system and 95% use MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). General libraries at the same institutions overwhelmingly use the systems developed by the Library of Congress. The most compelling reason for the use of NLM systems is that they are considered the most appropriate for medical collections.

KEYWORDS: Subject headings - Medicine, Classification - Medicine, Cataloging of medical literature, Medical libraries, Online library catalogs

 

How Librarians Used E-resources: An Analysis of Citations in CCQ
Lisa Zhao

ABSTRACT: How are library professionals who do research about bibliographic organization using electronic resources (e-resources) in their journal articles? Are they keeping pace with the use of e-resources outside the library world? What are the e-resources most used in their research? This article aims to address these and other questions by analyzing bibliographical references/notes in articles in Cataloging and Classification Quarterly (CCQ) for every other year from 1994 to 2004.

KEYWORDS: E-resources, electronic resources, library professionals, librarians, research, web sites

 


Editorial by Sandra K. Roe

Collocation

This current issue of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly includes articles on a wide range of topics and about materials that originate across many centuries - all with a common thread. The Electronic Resources for Catalogers feature opens this issue by pulling together sources for online continuing education.

The first of the articles describes how one library's local practice evolved into a national standard that made it possible to construct a uniform heading for choreographic works in such a way that a work could be identified with a single access point. The second article describes a project to catalog, and thereby attempt to "reunite", document fragments from the 9th through 15th centuries. The third addresses the issue of whether two items may be considered as embodiments of the same work even when, by the method catalogers use to determine authorship, they do not share the same author.

The remaining three articles each pull together the results of surveys or studies. Shifting employer expectations for managerial and supervisory cataloger positions motivated a study that examines these expectations by type of library. The selection of classification and controlled vocabulary schemes is the focus of an article that reports on a survey of ARL member health sciences libraries. The final article traces the practice of citing electronic resources in articles published in CCQ between 1994 and 2004.

One book review covers Information Retrieval Design: Principles and Options for Information Description, Organization, Display, and Access in Information Retrieval Databases, Digital Libraries, Catalogs, and Indexes by James D. Anderson and José Peréz-Carballo. The News column concludes the issue with a synopsis of important events and discussions related to our field that have taken place this year.

Finally, as I begin my new role as editor of CCQ, I would like express my deepest appreciation to Ruth Carter. In addition patiently and thoughtfully answering my multitude of questions, she has graciously agreed to continue on the Editorial Board as Editor Emerita.

In her last editorial, Ruth said in part, "No editor works alone. A journal is really a collaborative effort involving editorial board members, column and feature editors, authors, readers, production staff, and many others at The Haworth Press…quot; Thankfully, many board members have agreed to remain; a few, including the News and Network access and applications editors, are new. Welcome! The enthusiasm of all those involved in this work - several even call it 'fun' - keeps me optimistic about CCQ and its role as an international forum in the field of bibliographic organization, as that field is broadly interpreted. I hope to continue CCQ's long tradition of providing content that is balanced between the historical and the contemporary, and theoretical or scholarly research and practical application.

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Cataloging News

Daniel Lovins, 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. If you have any pertinent materials, notes, minutes, or reports, please contact Daniel Lovins (email: daniel.lovins(at)yale.edu; phone: 203-432-1707). News columns will typically be available prior to publication in print from the CCQ website at http://catalogingandclassificationquarterly.com/'.

We would appreciate receiving items having to do with:

Research and Opinion

Events

People

 

Research and Opinion

Grant Campbell: Catalogers and the Semantic Web

Among his various other interests and activities, Grant Campbell, assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario, has been researching the potential role of catalogers in the emerging Semantic Web. Campbell presented some of his findings at the NETSL Spring Conference, April 8, 2005 in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Campbell began his talk with a brief overview of what, exactly, the Semantic Web is. This is no mean feat, given its still-embryonic stage of development, and its continuing primary residence inside the mind of creator Tim Berners-Lee. Many of the principal components have been identified and implemented, however, including standards such as XML, RDF, Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) and Unicode. The goal is to be able to create and exchange information across the Web that is not only machine-readable, but, on a deep level, machine understandable. That is to say, the data would be marked-up and organized in such a way that intelligent agents would be able to integrate, process and take action with little or no human intervention.

An aspect of the Semantic Web that has direct relevance to catalogers is its ability to harness the efforts of self-organized enthusiast groups. Such communities tend to create their own structured vocabularies (or sometimes unstructured 'folksonomies') that are then discovered and used by lay persons as well. Examples include the Internet Movie Database (or "IMDb", for information on film titles, actors, directors, etc.), the Victorian Web (for resources on Victorian literature) and Freshmeat (for archived descriptions and downloads of open source applications).

Given the trend toward smaller library budgets and staff size, and continued expansion of analog and digital library collections, there may be no way to compete with groups that make their collective expertise freely available on the Web. Catalogers may need to give up some of their traditional control over catalog inputs, Campbell suggests, and instead take advantage of these emerging pools of expert knowledge. Instead of trying to be an expert in all things, then-which has always been impossible anyway-the cataloger would increasingly become a selector of trustworthy, quality-controlled, and persistent sources of bibliographic data.

As came up in the question and answer period, though, the delegation of traditional cataloging functions-whether to commercial vendors such as OCLC or volunteer enthusiasts on the Web-carries with it a certain level of risk. Who's to say, for example, that the IMDb won't go off-line in a sudden fit of self-destructive pique, or that it would decide to start charging exorbitant fees for every search of its database? Were something like this to happen, much of the functionality of one's catalog would be undermined virtually overnight. It is sobering to remember that the Web is still very new; it was invented only in 1989. It stands to reason that certain free services we've come to depend on won't always be there. Or they might be co-opted by commercial interests and have their original missions compromised. The risk can be compared to that of licensing electronic serials, where responsibility for preservation and archiving of back issues, never mind their eventual release into the public domain, remains ambiguous at best.

Whatever risks such collaborative efforts may pose, however, it seems likely that linking to external data sources will become more commonplace in the years ahead. By working with new technologies and resources, catalogers will improve the quality of their host institutions' catalogs; they will also nurture the Semantic Web by informing it with their biographic control and metadata expertise. Catalogers can provide Web developers with much needed guidance on resource description, subject analysis, organization of data elements, and the many critical distinctions needed for effective management and retrieval of information. Rather than panic in the face of technological change, then, Campbell challenges us to consider what catalogers can bring to the Semantic Web table. Holding up his copy of Seymour Lubetzky's collected writings, he reminded the audience that, in the age of ubiquitous information, the world needs the wisdom and guidance of our best cataloging minds now more than ever.

Stirring the Pot

This has been an interesting year for catalog managers, to say the least. To start things off, Deanna Marcum delivered a provocative address in January to the Ebsco Leadership Seminar, the reverberations of which are still being felt in library administrative offices across the country. In her speech, entitled "The Future of Cataloging," (www.loc.gov/library/reports/CatalogingSpeech.pdf) Marcum conveyed to the audience her astonishment when, upon becoming associate librarian of the Library of Congress, she discovered the cataloging budget there to be around $44 million per year. This seemed like a lot of money given the perceived user-unfriendliness of library catalogs as compared with the simplicity and perceived effectiveness of the Google search engine. Marcum believes that information seeking behavior has changed dramatically, and that libraries should find ways to adjust themselves accordingly. In support of this proposition, Marcum cites the following studies: (1) one from the Pew Internet and American Life Project documenting that more than 60% of Americans now have Internet access, and that most Internet users, as the report puts it, "Expect to find key information online, most find the information they seek, and many now turn to the Internet first"; (2) a 2004 ASIST conference paper ("I still prefer Google") claiming that college and graduate students prefer searching on the Web even when they know the catalog might be a more authoritative and precise tool; and the OCLC "White Paper on the Information Habits of College Students," concluding that the first-choice Web resources for most [student] assignments are search engines .. web portals and course-specific websites." (She could have quoted Andrew Pace too, who famously opined in his LITA Top Technology Trends briefing that "the OPAC still sucks"). She goes on to note developments in the commercial sector that will only accelerate this change. These include Amazon.com's "Look Inside the Book" and Google's Google Print, which stand to provide full text indexing to much of the world's literary and scholarly heritage. So, taking all of the above into consideration, Marcum wonders, why not-at least for digital objects-allow Google to serve as our library catalog? To those who object that a basic tenet of librarianship is thereby being threatened, Marcum has a pointed response: "When library schools began at the end of the nineteenth century, cataloging had a central part in the curriculum. But then, so did handwriting."

Given these changing circumstances, Marcum reports, Library of Congress staff is experimenting with 'access level' bibliographic records. Sometimes denigrated by opponents as 'dumbed-down', Marcum describes them rather as an effort to emphasize subject analysis over description. This is because digital resources (i.e., the ones that seem to matter most now) tend to defy fixed description anyway. While some worry that the Library Congress commitment to professional cataloging may be slipping, Marcum sees rather a 'retooling' of the staff, and an increased emphasis on "authority control, subject analysis, resource identification and evaluation, and collaboration with information technology units on applications and digitization projects." Metadata harvesters and key word ranking algorithms can presumably take care of the rest. This view is similar to the assumptions found in the "Report of the Task Group on the PCC Mission Statement" (revised and published on the PCC Web site, May 23, 2005). The report assumes that over the next 5-7 years "records for specialized materials will continue to be created in-house but the records will be short and search engines will rely more on post- rather than pre-coordination of data Catalog librarians will focus more of their attention on subject analysis and authority control as opposed to description" (www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/tgrptPCCMission.html).

As wonderful a tool as it surely is, how promising is Google, really, as a replacement for the library catalog? Thomas Mann asks himself this rhetorical question in a paper delivered to the Library of Congress Professional Guild, entitled "Will Google's Keyword Searching Eliminate the Need for LC Cataloging and Classification?" (www.guild2910.org/searching.htm). He points out that Google's search engine is designed for "quick information seeking rather than scholarship," and contends that, contrary to the incorrect or incorrectly interpreted findings of some recent surveys, university students continue to use the library catalog extensively. It's true that students typically start their research on the Internet, he concedes, but it's equally true that most eventually find their way to professional library services once their research progresses beyond a certain point. Putting aside for the moment whether Google Print can even survive its current troubles with the Association of American Publishers, or whether Google Scholar can resolve copyright and linking conundrums to anyone's satisfaction: one wonders-and here I digress a bit from Mann-whether a fully automated post-coordinate indexing system such as Google's can do things like properly distinguish among homographs (e.g., 'letters' as alphabet characters vs. 'letters' as correspondence) or generic terms; or collocate synonyms and singular concepts expressed in diverse languages. Without some kind of syndetic structure and authority control, the researcher is likely to be deluged by false positives on the one hand, and deprived of false negatives on the other. For example, one might miss all the books on German libraries that happen to be written in German language, because the word "Bibliothek" was not included in the search argument. Moreover, as Tina Gross and Arlene Taylor (May 2005) point out in College and Research Libraries, without cataloger-assigned subject headings to provide a common denominator for terminology, the accuracy of keyword retrieval drops precipitously. Mann concludes that "the maintenance of these control systems, that are so necessary to substantive scholarship in all subject areas and all languages in research libraries throughout the world, needs to be a much higher priority in LC's budget than the continuing digitization of old copyright-free special collections in narrow subject niches that have limited general utility." I imagine it will take our profession some time to recover its equilibrium on these delicate matters. In the mean time, expect more spoons in the pot, and an increasingly frothy brew.

Events

Into the Blogosphere and Beyond

As we all know, blogs have become a pervasive communications channel among librarians and other information professionals. Back in 2004, in her Electronic Resources for Catalogers column (CCQ 38:2), Lyn Condron singled out Catalogablog (www.catalgablog.blogspot.com) as a "cataloger's dream" for its artful gathering of standards and documentation as well as its informative reportage on current events. While Catalogablog continues to attract attention and satisfy information needs, additional blogs of note have also entered the scene, including one dedicated to FRBR (www.frbr.org) and another to interests and activities of LITA (litablog.org). Though the latter tends more toward library IT than cataloging, it still touches on technology issues that are increasing importance to cataloging staff. Take for example, the August 7, 2005 posting by Eric Lease Morgan entitled "Technical Skills of Librarians" (litablog.org/?p=100). Morgan lists, in order of priority, the technologies a librarian should master to become more adept at library systems work. His list specifies XML, relational databases (especially SQL), indexing (with specific mention of the "swish-e" program), Web serving (especially HTTP and Apache), and programming/scripting (especially Perl and Java). Morgan comments at the end of his post, "I sincerely believe librarianship is overflowing with opportunities for people who want to exploit the use of computers to facilitate library-like activities." The LITA blog also tracks and posts messages about various cataloging events. For example, a summary of the 2005 ALA conference program "025.431: The Dewey Blog" can be found in a recent post (litablog.org/?p=61).

A recent cataloging-specific entry into the blogosphere is "025.431: The Dewey Blog", dedicated to discussion of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) in particular and knowledge organization in general. Edited and largely written by Jonathan Furner, assistant editor of the DDC, it includes submissions from other members of the Dewey editorial staff as well. Though the editors seem to have been given a free hand by the DDC's owner, OCLC, they still manage to keep a fairly tight focus on their target audience, namely, the "subject catalogers and classifiers responsible for assigning DDC numbers, designers and analysts of library cataloging systems and metadata standards, users of libraries and collections that are organized by DDC, anyone interested in the development and usage of the world's most widely-used classification scheme."

Wikis have also been infiltrating library land. For those who have only a fuzzy notion of what a wiki is, Wikipedia (itself a wiki) defines it as a "web application that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows anyone to edit the content. The term Wiki also refers to the collaborative software used to create such a website." It might also be worth mentioning that "wiki" is the Hawaiian word for "quick" or "informal". Like blogs, wikis allow members of a group to add content and edit one-another's posts. Unlike blogs (and Internet forums, as the Wikipedia definition points out), wikis allow virtually anyone with a Web browser to add and edit content, and even manipulate the shape of the whole resource. While there is not yet, to my knowledge, a wiki dedicated exclusively to cataloging topics, two recent library-specific wikis are worth mentioning here.

One, the Library Success Wiki (www.libsuccess.org), created by Meredith Farkas, is "a collaborative space for librarians to share success stories and inspire each other to do great things in our libraries." Farkas does not yet have much content on cataloging, since this is not one of her specialties, but according to her 'About' page, she hopes "people who are interested in the subjects I don't have much expertise in ... will volunteer to supervise those areas." If any of our readers decide to create a cataloging-specific wiki, it would serve them well first to read Farkas's list of cautionary points (also in the 'About' document), to increase the odds of success.

The other is the LISWiki (www.liswiki.com) maintained by John Hubbard. "LISWiki was established to give the library community a chance to explore the usefulness of Wikis," Hubbard writes, " Anything library-related is welcome here." LISWiki.com is still at an early stage of development, but one can already find a few items related to cataloging (e.g., a brief piece on the controversial practice of "mark and park").

Wikipedia, DDB, and the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF)

According to an August 3, 2005 press release (www.ddb.de/news/pressemitt_wikipedia.htm), Die Deutsche Bibliothek (DDB) is linking thousands of its personal name authority records (Personennamendatei or 'PND') to the biographical articles in the German-language edition of Wikipedia, the freely-available, cooperatively-written Web encyclopedia. While only a small portion of the 600,000 PND records have thus far been linked with their corresponding Wikipedia entries, it nevertheless represents a milestone in the way library authority data are repurposed for non-traditional uses. The arrangement is mutually beneficial: Wikipedia obtains a highly structured authoritative cross-referencing structure for access to its biographies; DDB obtains new visibility and a means of bringing new patrons to its catalog. When browsing the German-language Wikipedia, one now finds at the bottom of each biographical entry a hyperlink to DDB's index of works by and about the specified person. As recently noted by Lars Aronsson on the Web4Lib discussion list, Jakob Voss has provided details on this project in his Wikimania 2005 paper "Metadata with Personendaten and Beyond." Another paper from Wikimania 2005 takes the process one step further. Though not yet available on the proceedings Web site, the title is suggestive enough: "VIAF: Linking the Library of Congress and OCLC records with Personendaten". Looks like something worth keeping an eye on.

Unicode and the Global Catalog

For those of us who catalog non-Western research materials (which I concede is a relatively small group), March 1, 2005, was a watershed moment. This was the day the Research Library Group (RLG) finished converting its union catalog to the Unicode character encoding standard. Several large research libraries have also been taking the plunge, and Library of Congress is currently in the process of migrating to Voyager Unicode (www.loc.gov/ils/ilsfaq.html). OCLC's WorldCat has been moving in the direction of full multilingual capability as well. The OCLC database-now containing a mind-boggling one billion records-had already supported Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean scripts, but with the introduction of Connexion 1.40 in June 2005, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Greek scripts are now supported as well (cf. www.oclc.org/connexion/interface/client/enhancements/recent.htm). Full Unicode functionality is on the way.

Unicode was first introduced as a character-encoding standard in 1991. Since that time it has been embraced by major software producers such as Microsoft and Apple, and has been woven into the very fabric of their operating systems and browsers. In 1998, the U.S. MARC Advisory Committee approved the use of Unicode in bibliographic records, and several vendors of integrated library systems have since released Unicode-compliant versions of their software. A unified universal character set such as Unicode is particularly useful in maintaining global bibliographic networks since it provides the ideal means for storing, exchanging, and processing all of the world's scripts and languages. Moreover, Unicode is the default character encoding for XML documents, which means that Unicode-compliant library-produced metadata are better able to interoperate semantically with metadata from other sources. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, considers Unicode one of the two pillars of the emerging Semantic Web.

Addendum

As digital libraries and continue to grow in importance, the skills and insights of professional catalogers are becoming more important than ever. While Google, Amazon, Wikipedia, etc., are ingenious tools for manipulating and organizing information, they become far more useful to the extent they embrace subject analysis, authority control, vetted data sources, and rigorously applied metadata schemas. Metadata harvesters and Web search engines have an important role to play, but, as Mann points out, there are many areas where it really pays off to have a professional cataloger on your team. Campbell's work and the DDB-Wikipedia project suggest that catalogers should see themselves as co-developers of Web-based knowledge management systems, not just as beneficiaries or competitors. Blogs, wikis, and other communications software are harnessing the talent distributed among far-flung libraries, while research and training in XML are bringing catalogers up to speed on the newest information management tools. As Deanna Marcum makes clear, the challenges facing the cataloging profession are considerable. Judging from the latest library news, however, catalog librarians seem more than up to the task.

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