Volume 48, no. 2/3, 2010


Cooperative Cataloging: Shared Effort for the Benefit of All


Rebecca L. Mugridge, M.L.S., M.B.A
Head, Cataloging and Metadata Services, Pennsylvania State University Libraries

Guest Editor

Introduction, Rebecca L. Mugridge



Program for Cooperative Cataloging: The Indiana Experience
Mechael D. Charbonneau

ABSTRACT: This paper provides a historical overview of Indiana University Libraries' participation in all four components of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC). Additional topics include the rationale behind Indiana’s commitment to the Program and the benefits derived from PCC membership. The paper concludes that PCC participants are uniquely positioned to play an effective role in meeting the challenges facing today's academic libraries.

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, NACO, SACO, BIBCO, CONSER, PCC


Many Fingers in the Pie: Improving Master Records in the OCLC Database: The Enhance Program
Ann Copeland and Robert Freeborn

ABSTRACT: Based on their experience at The Pennsylvania State University Libraries, the authors discuss the OCLC Enhance program as a model of cooperative cataloging. Having received Enhance status for three formats - maps, monographs and video recordings catalogers at Penn State are able to add access points, correct errors, establish authorized headings, add call numbers and improve the content of shared master records in the OCLC database.  The authors assess various features of the Enhance program training, documentation, outcomes - and offer recommendations for the future.

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, OCLC, Enhance


The Road to CONSER: Taken by the Health Sciences Library System, University of Pittsburgh
Liping Song

ABSTRACT: The road to Cooperative Online Serials (CONSER) membership is one that is well travelled and well rewarded. The travelers on this road go through all stages of growth, as it is with the road of life. Fortunately on this road we always have guiding lights leading us in the right direction. This article describes the road that the Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) at the University of Pittsburgh has taken to join CONSER and achieve CONSER independence.

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, CONSER, PCC, Serials cataloging


Doing More With More: The UC CONSER Funnel Experience
Valerie Bross

ABSTRACT: In 2006, with the support of CONSER, the University of California (UC) implemented a CONSER Funnel. The Funnel provides an opportunity for serials catalogers across UC campuses to edit CONSER-authenticated OCLC master records. This article explores factors that led catalogers among the UC campuses to organize the Funnel, the organizational model developed for the UC CONSER Funnel, the cost/value of the Funnel to its members, and general considerations for implementing and sustaining a Funnel. The article concludes with a discussion of recent developments. Currently, changes in work environment due to Next Generation Melvyl (OCLC WorldCat Local), Web 2.0, and budget cuts are influencing evolution of the Funnel. Will these changes strengthen campus interest in cooperation or diminish the energy needed for this effort?

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, CONSER, PCC, Funnel, Serials cataloging


Record Authentication as a Barrier: Reflections on Returning to CONSER
Christopher H. Walker

ABSTRACT: Reflections on the frustration of not having PCC-conferred enhancement powers over the national database. The writer, trained at a CONSER institution, ponders the lessons of losing, and then regaining, the ability to enhance, correct, or authenticate bibliographic records in OCLC WorldCat, with special reference to the shortcomings of vendor-supplied records for e-journals and the need to reconcile local legacy data with the national master record. Attention is drawn to obstacles to sharing enhancement and maintenance responsibility for serial records in particular.

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, CONSER, PCC, Serials cataloging



The ISSN Network as an Example of International Cooperative Cataloging
Regina Romano Reynolds

ABSTRACT: The primary role of the ISSN Register, the ISSN Network’s international database of ISSN records, is to serve as in international authority file of ISSN, key titles, and linking ISSN. However, the database of nearly a million and a half records also contains descriptive cataloging information contributed over the course of 35+ years by an increasing number of ISSN centers, currently numbering 87. This article examines the ISSN Network as a cooperative cataloging venture, highlighting its atypical features and pointing out where those features have anticipated some current trends. For example, ISSN centers are located mainly in national libraries but also in non-library centers such as scientific and technical organizations; centers may work directly in the ISSN database or in local or cooperative databases; ISSN centers use a variety of cataloging rules to create their national or local records which are then exported to the international database in several possible formats. ISSN records are “language neutral,” relying on coding to communicate information not transcribed from the cataloging source, a trend we see today towards cataloging that uses coding so it can be readily converted into different languages. Although ISSN records contain many fewer elements than CONSER records, for example, they nonetheless have served the Network well over the years and have served as copy for further elaboration by LC, other CONSER institutions, and libraries around the world. ISSN records can be viewed as an example of “good enough” cataloging, a much-discussed goal. Background on the development of the ISSN Network, its cataloging manual, and its current practices are described. This article also provides a personal perspective on how the ISSN Register has succeeded as a cooperative database in spite of the challenges presented by the significant diversity of its member institutions and their practices.

KEYWORDS: Cooperative Cataloging, ISSN Register, Serials Cataloging


National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC)
Anthony J. Gonzales

ABSTRACT: May 2009 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) program at the Library of Congress. NUCMC is a free of charge cooperative cataloging program, partnered by the Library and eligible repositories located throughout the United States and its territories, which provides and promotes bibliographic access to the nation’s documentary heritage. The following questions will be answered in this article. Who qualifies for the program? How does the program work? What types of material are, and are not, cataloged by NUCMC? What type of descriptive information needs to be provided to NUCMC? In what ways does an institution benefit from participation in the program? How does the researcher benefit? Why is the program important?

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, NUCMC, Manuscript cataloging, Archival cataloging, Union catalogs



The SACO Program in the Lives of Our Institutions
David Miller

ABSTRACT: This paper reports the results of a survey sent to libraries and other institutions that have been active participants in the SACO (Subject Authority Cooperative) Program, a component of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging. The intent was to discover the ways in which SACO participation is related to the intellectual and cultural lives of libraries’ home institutions or communities, and the nature and extent of interaction between those preparing SACO proposals and other stakeholders. Results indicate multiple ways in which SACO work reflects broader institutional life. Interaction is mainly limited to library or professional colleagues, and varies in nature.

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, SACO, PCC, Subject headings, LCSH


Program of Cooperative Cataloging: BIBCO Records: Analysis of Quality
Magda El-Sherbini

ABSTRACT: The Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) is an international program that brings together libraries that wish to participate in the creation and sharing of bibliographic records. These high quality records can be used by any library around the world without additional modification or change. Members of the cooperative adhere to a set of standards and practices that help eliminate extensive editing of records by participant libraries, thus allowing libraries to reduce the cost of cataloging. Even though the records submitted to the OCLC database by PCC member institutions adhere to the established standards, some libraries continue to verify the quality of the access points in these records. Many libraries outsource this process to outside vendors who automatically check these records against the Library of Congress (LC) Authority File. The purpose of this study is to examine the quality of the PCC records in light of the changes that were made by an authority control vendor. The author will analyze the changes made by the vendor to the PCC records and explain the reasons for those changes.

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, BIBCO, PCC, Monographs cataloging, Quality assessment



Cooperative Cataloging in a Post-OPAC World
Roxanne Sellberg

ABSTRACT: The identity of individual libraries has traditionally been based on locally defined, but highly duplicative, collections. The need to build equally duplicative catalogs provided incentive for cooperative cataloging.  In the future, the collections of libraries will be not so much duplicated as shared, and separate libraries may not have separate public catalogs.  Is there a place for cooperative cataloging in such a future? Yes, but future cooperative cataloging efforts will need to focus on important post-OPAC world challenges, including the development of "virtual" worldwide library collections and the provision of metadata support for new information resources and systems.

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, Future of cataloging


Cooperative Cataloging at the Intersection of Tradition and Transformation: Possible Futures for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging
David Banush

ABSTRACT: Shared cataloging has a long history, stretching back over a century to the creation of the Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service. More recent endeavors such as the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) have taken a much more distributed approach. By many measures, these efforts have been highly successful. But changes to the information discovery environment, especially in the past decade, have complicated bibliographic control practices. This paper discusses what changes might impact the Program most significantly and how it might evolve to remain a critical player in the bibliographic control of intellectual resources.

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, Future of cataloging, PCC


The Future of Cooperative Cataloging: Curve, Fork, or Impasse?
Joan Schuitema

ABSTRACT: Cooperative cataloging activities have existed for more than 100 years.  During that time, cooperative cataloging practices and structures have evolved in accordance with changing values, technologies, and institutional needs.  However, the road has not always been smooth and the future of cooperative cataloging has often been questioned. This paper provides a selective overview of the history of cooperative cataloging, paying particular attention to the issues that herald shifts in direction.  It explores today's cataloging landscape in order to identify those tensions and technological changes that once again are driving the need for change.  Has cooperative cataloging reached an impasse? Will it continue to evolve, curving to adapt to the changing environment? Perhaps we’ve reached a fork in the road.  By drawing upon concepts associated with organizational and individual change models, this paper also addresses possible reasons the cataloging community may be experiencing difficulty discerning the future of cooperative cataloging ventures.

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, Future of cataloging, PCC


OCLC WorldCat as a Cooperative Catalog
Amy H. Turner

ABSTRACT: Traditionally, "cooperative cataloging" has emphasized the importance of very high standards, with the goal of cataloging "once and for all," and the creation of records that can be used without alteration. By this definition, only a small percentage of the records ever created are cooperative. By another definition, OCLC's WorldCat is the largest cooperative catalog ever, allowing ongoing editing of records created by tens of thousands of libraries. This paper challenges catalogers to rethink practices in terms of a world catalog. Standards need to be more flexible, to encompass records from many sources. Catalog maintenance should become more cooperative and make better use of automation.

KEYWORDS: Cooperative cataloging, OCLC, Future of cataloging


Rebecca L. Mugridge
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA

For more than a century libraries have been working together in an attempt to control the cost of cataloging while at the same time trying to maintain standards that are acceptable and meet most, if not all, libraries' needs. Articles in this issue address many of our cooperative cataloging efforts, providing a snapshot of the current state of cooperative cataloging, and offering some insights and predictions for the future. While the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) and OCLC Enhance are obvious examples of cooperative cataloging, other cooperative efforts are also addressed.

This issue is divided into four sections, the first of which includes five case studies that examine the experiences of libraries that have participated in one or more cooperative cataloging programs. Mechael D. Charbonneau discusses the development of Indiana University Libraries' participation in all four of the PCC's component programs (NACO [Name Authority Cooperative], SACO [Subject Authority Cooperative], CONSER [Cooperative Online Serials], and BIBCO [Monographic Bibliographic Record]). Ann Copeland and Robert Freeborn share their experiences at the Pennsylvania State University Libraries as they become OCLC Enhance participants for cartographic, visual, and monographic materials. Three articles address CONSER: Liping Song discusses the University of Pittsburgh's Health Sciences Library System's successful effort to become a member of CONSER; Valerie Bross addresses the development of the University of California CONSER Funnel program; and Christopher H. Walker discusses his experiences as he moved from a CONSER institution to a non-CONSER institution.

Articles in the second section address less well-known cooperative efforts. Regina Romano Reynolds provides an in-depth look at the ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) Network and makes the case that the ISSN Network is an example of cooperative cataloging at the international level. Anthony Gonzales provides an overview of the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC), a program at the Library of Congress to provide cataloging for manuscript collections at small libraries.

The third section of this issue includes two research studies that assess the impact and quality of two of the PCC component programs. David Miller presents the results of a study that he conducted to discover how SACO participation reflects the nature and culture of the institution itself. Magda El-Sherbini reports the results of a study that she conducted at her institution to assess the quality of PCC-coded records that staff at her institution used for copy cataloging purposes.

Articles in the final section of this issue address the future of cooperative cataloging by providing thought-provoking analyses of the challenges that we are facing today. Roxanne Sellberg discusses the impact that changes in collection development and the catalog environment may have on cooperative cataloging efforts. David Banush addresses the future of the PCC from the perspective of one who has been closely involved with the leadership of the program and its committees; he proposes ways that the program may need to change in order to remain relevant. Joan Schuitema raises a number of provoking questions regarding the future of cooperative cataloging, with insight into the difficult issues that will need to be addressed to ensure continued success. Finally, Amy H. Turner discusses OCLC's WorldCat as a model for cooperative cataloging that shows great promise as it evolves to meet present and future challenges.

One of the themes that stands out in this collection is the need for ongoing evaluation and the ability to adapt to the rapidly changing environment. I hope that you will find these articles as thought-provoking as I have and that these perspectives will further the discussion regarding the future of cooperative cataloging.

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