Volume 45, no. 1, 2007



 

Editorial, Sandra K. Roe, Editor

Letters to the Editor

Book Review, Michael Carpenter, Book Review Editor

Knowledge Organization, Information Systems and Other Essays: Professor A. Neelameghan Festschrift, edited by K.S. Raghavan and K.N. Prasad.
Reviewed by Daniel N. Joudrey

Cataloging News, Daniel Lovins, Cataloging News Editor

 

Lost in Translation: The Treatment of Chinese Classics in the Library of Congress Classification
ShuYong Jiang

ABSTRACT: This paper describes the nature of the Chinese Classics and the inappropriateness of classifying the collection as literature within the Library of Congress Classification scheme. The practical and philosophical reasons for the inadequacy of Library of Congress Classification in comprehending and classifying the Chinese Classics are examined. A call is made to change the current treatment that classifies the Chinese Classics in "Class PL" (Literature) to "Class B" (Philosophy) along with modifications to relevant schedules and the addition of more sophisticated hierarchies and cross references for accuracy and consistency.

KEYWORDS: Confucian Canons, Chinese Classics, Classification, Classification schemes, Library of Congress Classification

 

Spanish Language Terms in the MARC 653 Field in Puvill Vendor Records for Monographs
Gladys Markoff-Sotomayor and Claudia Hill

ABSTRACT: A noticeable improvement in the quality of Spanish language vendor records for monographs provided by Puvill Libros has been observed in the past few years. The improvement in Puvill’s records seemed, in part, due to the selection of Spanish language terms for the MARC 653 field to more accurately reflect the subject of the monograph. To document this change, a sample of Puvill records, upgraded to standard cataloging, was extracted from Columbia University’s OPAC and the subject terms in these MARC records were examined. In addition, representatives from Puvill Libros were contacted with questions relating to their procedures for creating vendor records and future efforts in producing standard cataloging records.

KEYWORDS: Cirbic, MARC 653 index terms, Puvill Libros, Spanish-language vendor records, Subject headings, Authority files (Information retrieval)

 

Providing Access to Uncataloged Special Collections with In-Process Records
M. Winslow Lundy

ABSTRACT: Adapting the method used by many libraries in the acquisitions workflow to export OCLC WorldCat bibliographic records into the local online catalog, the Special Collections Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries developed a process employing a graduate student to provide access to two previously hidden special collections until the materials can be fully cataloged. The completion of the project undertaken by the student assistant resulted in the simultaneous benefits of increased efficiency among the catalogers and greater provision of access to enable users to identify important resources for their research and study. By initiating similar procedures to represent not-yet-cataloged materials with online in-process records, other libraries can move their hidden collections into the view of their users.

KEYWORDS: Special collections backlogs, Special collections cataloging, Student cataloging assistants, In-process bibliographic records, Backlog management

 

Converting Ulrich’s™ Subject Headings to FAST Headings: A Feasibility Study
Vanessa Mitchell and Ingrid Hsieh-Yee

ABSTRACT: This paper presents a study that assessed the feasibility of applying the approach of the Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST), an initiative of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), to records in the Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory.? The goal is to determine whether a simplified application of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), as illustrated by FAST, would benefit the Ulrich’s system. This feasibility study found that although a few problems were encountered in the process, overall the FAST database was useful for converting Ulrich’s subject headings into FAST headings.

KEYWORDS: FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology), LCSH (Library of Congress Subject Headings), Ulrich’s, Controlled vocabulary, Keyword searching, Subject headings

 

Rapid Cataloging: Three Models for Addressing Timeliness as an Issue of Quality in Library Catalogs
David Bade

ABSTRACT: This paper analyses the presuppositions, goals, and implementations of policies for rapid cataloging in three large academic libraries in the United States. In the first model, The University of Chicago's W-Collection, there was no attempt to catalog materials; the order record alone is used and the items are shelved in a publicly accessible area by accession number. The second model, Princeton's ATA Procedure, made cataloging the initial activity upon receipt, the purpose of which was "to give the future librarians enough information to know if the item is already in the collection or not" and also to serve (with subject headings and classification) the library's users. Finally, Cornell's COR Procedure in which all information in the records is assumed to be temporary and therefore unimportant; the necessary information is expected to be acquired later from commercial sources.

KEYWORDS: Library catalogs, Cataloging policy, Timeliness, Cataloging on receipt

 


Editorial

This issue begins with a look into the Chinese Classics as the core texts of the Chinese world view, their placement within the Library of Congress Classification, and a call to reconsider their current treatment within that classification system. An evaluation of Spanish language vendor records for monographs follows. The authors examine subject access specifically, and the source of the subject terminology used. In the third article, two authors assess the feasibility of applying OCLC’s Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST) to records in the Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory.

Cataloging, classification, and subject analysis are all topics that we as a profession are passionate about. They enable to us to fulfill what many of us embrace as a core value: to expose our collections both to those who know exactly what they want and to those who will only recognize it when they see it, to make resource discovery possible, painless, —even a joy. The final two articles address models for dealing with backfiles. The first of these examines a model used for special collections at a single institution. The second examines and compares three policies from three institutions and their impact on the larger bibliographic universe. This last paper came to be shared while in draft and with the author’s permission with the membership of the mailing list for ALA ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section, with the ultimate result and again with the author’s permission that the final version of this paper was sent to each of the three institutions along with an invitation for them to respond to it publicly if they chose. Two responses were received appear immediately following the paper in letters to the editor. That section concludes with the author’s response to those letters. Letters to the editor have appeared infrequently in CCQ, the most recent in 2002, but continue to be welcome as would full length manuscripts that explore any of these policies or related topics in more depth.

This issue concludes with a review of the festschrift to honor Prof. Neelameghan, Knowledge Organization, Information Systems, and Other Essays, and the news column which focuses on recent discussions related to the "unbundling" of the catalog.

Sandra K. Roe

 

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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

Unbundling the Catalog and OPAC 2.0
At the 2007 ALCTS Definitely Digital symposium, University of Virginia C.I.O. James Hilton spoke about how information technology effectively "unbundles" (or decouples) creative content from its original or conventional packaging. Popular music, for example, used to come packaged in albums and distributed through record stores; today, songs are typically downloaded one at a time through iTunes for $.99. In itself, the change is neither good nor bad. But it is certainly disruptive.

The music publishing industry is still reeling from the collapse of its traditional business model, but not everyone (and certainly not Apple) is losing money. In a similar way, the journal and newspaper industries have seen articles unbundled from the print issues in which they were previously embedded. Authors and publishers can instead submit pre-prints or articles directly to aggregator databases such as arXiv.org, Academic Search, WilsonWeb, or NexisLexis, and readers can access them directly through these databases or online at the author's or publisher's website. As a result, many libraries have cancelled their print journal subscriptions, and a growing number of journals appear only in electronic format.

In a 2/7/07 interview with Ha'aretz ( http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/822775.html), New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger acknowledged that even America's paper of record could become exclusively digital within five years. The central mission of the paper would not change — the commitment to journalistic integrity would still be there -- but the packaging and presentation would be different, and presumably better suited to 21st century technology and reading habits.

Sometimes I think I too am coming unbundled. Writing the column, for example, feels like trying to herd cats. How so? Everything I write about is a moving target ... the moment I find something newsworthy to include, it goes off and morphs into something else.

In any event, I like the metaphor of packages coming unbundled. It helps explain the sense of disorientation that so many librarians are feeling today. When Gutenberg introduced the printing press in the 1450s, a whole complex of monasteries, scribes, and illuminators came unbundled. Similarly, when Tim Burners-Lee brought us the World Wide Web, he threw a monkey wrench into the great machinery of publishing ... and librarianship.

Perhaps the university as a whole is coming unbundled. Consider the words of Duderstadt, Wulf, and Zemsky, reporting on a National Academies forum. Due to the centrifugal forces of technology and globalization, they note, "the monastic character of the ivory tower is lost forever ... [and] perhaps we should not bind teaching too tightly to buildings and grounds" (http://www.issues.org/22.1/duderstadt.html).

Highly disruptive though it is, the unbundling of content also provides new opportunities. In the case of Berners-Lee, the Web offered solutions to what had previously seemed to be intractable problems. I am thinking in particular of the vicious circle whereby libraries drop journal subscriptions due to high prices, publishers then raise rates to account for a smaller subscription base, additional libraries unsubscribe due to even higher prices, publishers compensate yet again by again raising rates, and so on ad absurdum. The economics of publishing on the Web, and reducing print and transaction costs, suggested a way out of this vicious circle.

Library services have indeed been breaking apart. Unlike Humpty Dumpty, however, they can be put together again in new and interesting ways. Lorcan Dempsey has referred to this phenomenon as the "recombinant library", i.e., "an ‘unbundling' of library services so that they can be more readily recombined with other environments to meet service goals" (http://www.oclc.org/research/staff/dempsey/recombinant_library/).

In the realm of cataloging, the process manifests itself in several ways. The catalog has been a set of surrogates owned by specific libraries and bundled together as tablets (pinakes), leaves of paper, index cards, or most recently, relational databases. In the age of the Web, however, the catalog is being transformed into something quite different. The new hybrid creature is sometimes called "OPAC 2.0" (referring to the fact that it replaces the first generation online catalog or "OPAC 1.0"). If you will excuse a change of metaphors: the membrane which had previously separated surrogate records from their targets, separated one library's resources from another's, or separated the activities of librarians from those of their readers, has been ruptured forever.

In the OPAC 2.0, separate collections mix together inside an integrated union database. What used to be "dark matter" (or silos) on the Web are now fully illuminated thanks to MARC-to-XML code conversion. Resources owned by the library are mixed together with those leased or freely available, thanks to metadata harvesting and federated searching. Surrogate metadata (which used to be kept separate in the form of abstracts and indexes) are now directly linked or even replaced with the full text documents they describe. And the activity of readers has penetrated into the activity of catalogers, thanks to annotated tagging, social book marking, peer recommendations, and other interactive OPAC features.

When the catalog membrane breaks, however, stuff does not just spill in, it also spills out. So, while catalog users are discovering interesting new things in their OPAC query results lists, people far away from any library are also bumping into curious things that used to be hidden behind the walls of the catalog. A person reading an article the "Salmon" article in Wikipedia, for example, will discover a citation in the "External Links" section pointing back to the University of Washington Library's special collection on salmon. Similarly, a person reading biographical articles in the German edition of Wikipedia will discover name authority data linking back to Die Deutsche Bibliothek. A person procrastinating on Flickr might bump into the Picture Australia Flickr group (http://www.flickr.com/groups/83633840@N00/) which is collecting Australian photographs and site visitors and feeding them back to the Australian National Library. A person searching for a book in Google might well find themselves transported into an OCLC WorldCat record, which Google now indexes thanks to the XML-based worldcat.org platform.

Another way WorldCat breaks the OPAC membrane is by allowing members to insert a WorldCat search box widget into any web page. Worldcat.org also makes the catalog interactive by allowing readers to deep link, bookmark, annotate, and recommend items through its integrated Wiki-D. This is similar to the PennTags project at the University of Pennsylvania, where patrons can bookmark and annotate not just catalog records but any web page or networked resource, and then retrieve them using self-created tags.

Recombining library resources and services in ways that benefit our users is of course a good thing, though there are some awkward realizations along the way. Lorcan Dempsey suggested during the Definitely Digital symposium that we lavish care and attention on our library web "front door" only to find out that our users typically enter, as it were, though the back door, i.e., through specific web pages indexed by Google. The fact is, in the current networked environment we can no longer control the way our users interact with us. Instead, we must study how they communicate, collaborate, and read on their own, and then find ways to provide our services under those conditions.

What is it exactly that allows library and cataloging data to be pulled apart and recombined in interesting ways? One critical piece has been the embrace of XML as an encoding and exchange format. There are now innumerable library (or library-related) applications that are based on XML, such as the OAI MHP (Open Archives initiative Metadata Harvesting Protocol), EAD (Encoded Archival Description), Dublin Core, METS, MODS, MARC-XML, and TEI (Text Encoding Initiative).

The forthcoming cataloging code, namely Resource Description and Access (RDA), is also helping to support the recombinant library. Even though the proper future direction of RDA is hotly debated, virtually no one disputes the importance of distinguishing "content" and "carrier" as sharply as possible (see, for example, Gordon Dunsire, 2007, "RDA/ONIX framework for resource categorization", http://www.dlib.org/dlib/january07/dunsire/01dunsire.html). And the published code will itself manifest this distinction. RDA rules (if not the examples) will prescribe only the intellectual content of data elements; they will not dictate syntax, punctuation, capitalization, or other style considerations (which will instead be relegated to appendices). This means that various metadata communities will be able to use RDA as a content standard, even though they have different ideas about processing, managing, and displaying that content. The distinction between content and formatting, therefore, is essential for the repurposing and recombining of metadata by various communities of practice.

As important as it is to maintain authoritative, interoperable, and recombinant data, it is just as important to be able to "rebundle" those contents in a way that our readers can use. Thus, ILS vendors are not the only ones working on next generation catalogs. Innovations are increasingly coming from open source code developers, grant-funded library projects, and non-library search engine providers.

The celebrated OPAC at North Carolina State University, for example, relies on an "OPAC 1.0" SirsiDynix Unicorn ILS, but also includes a very "2.0" faceted navigation system based on Endeca's commercial Information Access Platform (http://endeca.com/). The Georgia Pines consortium, using in-house staff, has built its own fully open source ILS called "Evergreen" (see: http://www.open-ils.org/). The University of Rochester is developing a Mellon-funded eXtensible Catalog (XC) project (http://extensiblecatalog.info/), "an open-source online system that will unify access to traditional and digital library resources." I am not sure how it relates to Rochester's similar CUIPID (Catalog User Interface Platform for Iterative Development) project, but I believe some of the same developers are involved (notably, members of their Digital Initiatives Unit). And Oregon State University has released LibraryFind (http://libraryfind.org/), an open source, federated search application with integrated OpenURL, optimized response time, and customizable user interface.

People

Fredrick Kilgour, 1914-2006
Fred Kilgour was a master of the recombinant library. When he started OCLC in 1965, time-share mainframe computers had just been introduced, and it was not clear how his vision of networked electronic catalogs would be realized. It was the same year that Henriette Avram began developing the Machine Readable Cataloging standard (MARC) at the Library of Congress. Between the two of them, cataloging librarianship took a great leap forward. The founder of OCLC and mastermind behind the WorldCat database died July 31, 2006, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the age of 92. After earning degrees in chemistry and the history of science, and working for a time at the Harvard library, he found himself leading a military intelligence unit during World War II for which he was eventually awarded the Legion of Merit. From 1955 to 1967 he was Director of the Yale Medical Library, and from 1967 to 1980, director of the Ohio College Library Center (now Online Computer Library Center, or OCLC). In 1971 he introduced WorldCat, which ushered in the age of networked cooperative cataloging. He remained on the OCLC Board of Trustees until 1995, and from 1990 to 2004 taught at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. By the time of his death, the WorldCat had amassed over 70 million bibliographic records, representing the holdings of more than 10,000 libraries around the world.

Today we take OCLC and WorldCat for granted, forgetting that Kilgour’s ideas made many librarians uncomfortable when first introduced. As Susan Pilsk (et al.) noted in 2002, "Many librarians were afraid that what started as the Ohio College Library Center and a unified online catalog vision would put catalogers out of business." What actually happened, though, is that "technology automated the clerical routine, allowing humans to perform higher-level work by integrating mountains of information into more useful knowledge repositories." Today we face similar concerns and similar opportunities for growth. Fred Kilgour taught us to embrace the best that information science and technology had to offer, and to use them wisely in the best interest of our patrons.

 

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