Volume 51, no. 1/3, 2013



Cataloging News, Robert Bothmann, News Editor

Cataloging Collaborations and Partnerships

Rebecca L. Mugridge
University Library, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York, USA
Guest Editor

Introduction, The Value of Collaboration and Partnerships in Cataloging
Rebecca L. Mugridge

Original Articles

It Takes a Village: Developing Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms
Janis L. Young & Yael Mandelstam

ABSTRACT: The Library of Congress (LC) is in the process of developing a separate thesaurus of genre/form terms, which describe what a work or expression is, rather than what it is about. From the beginning, LC policy specialists realized that to accomplish this undertaking, it would be both necessary and desirable to collaborate with the library community. This article examines and evaluates the various methods of collaboration used by LC in the creation of the genre/form thesaurus.

KEYWORDS: authority control, controlled vocabularies, genre/form terms, indexing vocabularies, LCGFT, Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials, audiovisual materials, law materials

The Electronic Cataloging in Publication Cataloging Partnership Program: A Model for Cooperative Cataloging for the Twenty-First Century
Karl E. Debus-López, Diane Barber, Caroline Saccucci & Camilla Williams

ABSTRACT: The Library of Congress' Cataloging in Publication (CIP) Program has been in existence for forty years. During this time, the CIP Program has moved from a model where the Library of Congress created all pre-publication metadata for publishers to a partnership where other libraries share in the creation of metadata. This article documents the evolution of the Electronic Cataloging in Publication (ECIP) Cataloging Partnership Program. The ECIP Cataloging Partnership Program can be used as a model to leverage limited resources across libraries to the benefit of library users nationwide.

KEYWORDS: Cataloging in Publication, cooperative cataloging, Library of Congress, ONIX, partnerships, prepublication metadata, publishers

The International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI): The Evolving Future of Name Authority Control
Andrew MacEwan, Anila Angjeli & Janifer Gatenby

ABSTRACT: This article describes the project to build the initial International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) database by deploying the techniques used to develop the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF). It focuses particularly on the work of the OCLC team in transforming the VIAF "resource file" model of matched data into a robust, operational, and authoritative file of uniquely assigned ISNIs as a base for an ongoing ISNI assignment system, and on the quality assurance validation of the database provided by the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The need for future interaction between ongoing ISNI assignment and name authority control in libraries is also explored

KEYWORDS: authority files, name identifiers, quality assurance, disambiguation

Public and Academic Library Cataloging Collaboration in Ohio's NACO Funnel Project
Melanie McGurr, Catherine Mason & Michael Monaco

ABSTRACT: Catalogers at The Ohio State University (OSU) Libraries, Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML), and Cleveland Public Library (CPL) are collaborating through the Ohio Name Authority Cooperative (NACO) funnel to create personal name authority records that directly benefit library patrons. Although OSU provides training and review, all three libraries receive value from the collaboration. There have been obstacles, however, such as cataloging training and workflow differences between public and academic libraries. This article will discuss the challenges and benefits of this interlibrary cataloger collaboration from the point of view of all three libraries, plans for the future, and best practices for other libraries that are interested in public/academic library collaborations of this kind.

KEYWORDS: authority work, NACO, funnel projects, academic libraries, public libraries, collaboration

"Insourcing" of Cataloging in a Consortial Environment: The UC Santa Barbara-UC San Diego Music Copy Cataloging Project
James Soe Nyun, Karen A. Peters & Anna DeVore

ABSTRACT: A collaborative cataloging project for music sound recordings between two University of California campuses matches available staffing at UC San Diego with the need for better access to a high priority collection of audio CDs at UC Santa Barbara, with promising results. This article discusses the decision to collaborate, the project planning process, cataloging standards and workflow issues, network level cataloging within an international database (OCLC), communication between personnel on the two campuses, managing cataloging review, an assessment of the project's achievements to date, and implications and future directions for similar cooperative projects.

KEYWORDS: descriptive cataloging, cataloging administration/management, cooperative cataloging, sound recordings, case studies, college and university libraries

Collaborative Batch Creation for Open Access E-Books: A Case Study
Philip Young , Rebecca Culbertson & Kelley McGrath

ABSTRACT: When the National Academies Press announced that more than 4,000 electronic books would be made freely available for download, many academic libraries expressed interest in obtaining MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging) records for them. Using cataloging e-mail distribution lists, volunteers were recruited for a project to identify and upgrade bibliographic records for aggregation into a batch that could be easily loaded into catalogs. Project organization, documentation, quality control measures, and problems are described, as well as processes for adding new titles. The project's implications for future efforts are assessed, as are the numerous challenges for network-level cataloging.

KEYWORDS: cooperative cataloging, e-books, batch cataloging, open access monographs

Partners in Collaborative Cataloging: The U.S. Government Printing Office and the University of Montana
Teressa M. Keenan, Jennie M. Burroughs & Suzanne Ebanues

ABSTRACT: Collaboration is a necessity in the current library environment where time, money, and resources are limited. This is particularly noticeable for institutions housing federal government documents. In addition to keeping up with the influx of current publications, federal depository libraries must address historical documents for which bibliographic records are not readily available. This report discusses how the United States Government Printing Office and the University of Montana Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library are working together to increase access to pre-1976 United States Forest Service publications and gray literature within the same subject area.

KEYWORDS: collaborative cataloging, reports, GPO Partnership Program, The University of Montana, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, legacy documents, bibliographic access, government publications

Cataloging on Receipt for Monographs: Merging Cataloging and Acquisitions Functions at UCLA
Peter Fletcher & Roxanne M. Peck

ABSTRACT: Abstract: Institutions have sought to improve technical services workflows by merging some acquisitions and cataloging functions in different ways and with varying results. Those institutions' experiences with the merging process contrast with the process implemented at UCLA. At UCLA a process of cataloging on receipt was planned and implemented in the Print Acquisitions Department, in cooperation with the Cataloging & Metadata Center. The process resulted insignificantly faster delivery of print books from receipt to shelf for materials not batch packed for remote storage.

KEYWORDS: acquisitions, cataloging on receipt, rapid cataloging, integrating workflows

Merging Catalogs: Creating a Shared Bibliographic Environment for the State University Libraries of Florida
Susan Jane Heron, Betsy Simpson, Amy K. Weiss & Jean Phillips

ABSTRACT: The eleven state universities of Florida have long shared an integrated library system architecture, but maintained separate databases. In 2009 the deans and directors of the eleven state university libraries tasked the three largest libraries to investigate the feasibility of combining all catalogs into a single bibliographic entity. With the help of a central utomation group, the three successfully negotiated the fine line between sharing data and retaining the unique work created by each of the three libraries. The groundwork laid in this initiative should prove valuable to other libraries seeking to centralize functions and pool resources.

KEYWORDS: library management system, database integration, merged catalogs, technical services, centralization, cost efficiencies, consortial catalogs

Collaborative Cataloging within a Centralized Network: The Case of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus
Rosemarie Runcie

ABSTRACT: Efforts at networking and cooperation have flourished for some time at the University of the West Indies (UWI), a regional institution in the English-speaking Caribbean. Due to their common mission and shared goals, libraries within the system have collaborated on projects to enhance the services provided to their clients. In its attempt at collaboration, the Mona Campus established the UWI Mona Information Network, the primary goal of which is the creation of a campus-wide online catalog with member libraries having access to a larger pool of resources. Most of the departmental libraries within the system have struggled with their inability to adequately acquire and provide access to their collections. To this end some of these libraries have collaborated with the UWI Library to have their holdings added to the online public access catalog (OPAC). This article presents an overview of the collaborative efforts of the UWI Mona Libraries.

KEYWORDS: cooperative cataloging, networks, resource access, union catalog

Cataloging in a Remote Location: A Case Study of International Collaboration in the Galapagos Islands
Sally Taylor, Kristin Jacobi, Elizabeth Knight & Dale Foster

ABSTRACT: The Corley Smith Library is a small, special library located at the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos Islands. Currently, the library is managed by international volunteer librarians in collaboration with Station staff and local volunteers. Recently the library migrated its online public access catalog to Koha. We describe the process of selecting an open-source integrated library system and implementing Koha. Cataloging in this remote location presents challenges related to technology, staff expertise, language, local practices, and obtaining supplies. We define the strategies to address these issues, including long-term goals of copy cataloging with Z39.50 and remote cataloging by volunteer librarians.

KEYWORDS: Corley Smith Library, Charles Darwin Foundation, Koha Integrated Library System, Volunteering, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Developing Best Practices for Technical Services Cross-Institutional Collaboration
Margaret Beecher Maurer, Julia A. Gammon & Bonita M. Pollock

ABSTRACT: The OhioLINK CollaboraTeS Project was initiated to support cross-institutional collaborations by building a skills inventory and by defining collaborative best practices. This article discusses what was learned and defines best practices for collaboration. The authors recommend the creation of regional technical services skills inventories, and the application of management and financial best practices to collaborations. Librarians should be confident they possess these skills because many of them have been learned in other environments. Collaboration represents a bright future for libraries struggling to meet tight budgets. Providing the tools and best practices for collaboration makes it easier for libraries to participate.

KEYWORDS: technical services workflow, technical services management, interlibrary collaboration, collaborative librarianship, costing of technical services, cross-institutional cooperation

Building Cataloging Capacity for Libraries in South Sudan: A North-South-South Collaboration
Eliz Nassali State & Anne Bjørkum Åsmul

ABSTRACT: In the developing world, a common trend is to have north-south collaborations constituting most of the continuous professional development (CPD) activities for librarians. The emerging drift highlighted in this article is a north-south-south initiative aimed at rebuilding the University of Juba Library through capacity-building of the library staff. This article will illuminate the process of equipping library staff with cataloging skills in the absence of previous library training. This endeavor is a result of the collaborative efforts of Makerere University Library (MakLib) in Uganda and the University of Bergen Library (UoBL) in Norway under the Juba Library Automation Project (JULAP). JULAP's main objective is to rebuild the University of Juba Library with the components of library automation and training of library staff. This article will concentrate on the practical training of the library staff in cataloging and the hands-on training on the Koha integrated library system to lay the groundwork for computerized library services for the University of Juba. This article will also highlight the challenges and lessons learned so far while articulating strategies for the future.

KEYWORDS: cataloging skills, library automation, University of Juba Library, cataloging, continuous professional development, North-South-South collaboration

Collaboration at the Troy University Libraries
Erin E. Boyd, Olga Casey, Ruth Elder & Jana Slay

ABSTRACT: With relatively new staff in all the Troy University campus libraries technical services departments, it was critical to collaborate on policies and procedures for consistency. Developing an online manual housed on a wiki that could be used and contributed to by staff on all three campuses was essential to this goal. Multi-campus meetings and online discussions are additional methods we use to promote collaboration. This article will include a literature review of collaboration and wikis along with methods the Troy University Libraries Technical Services departments are using to establish communication across the campuses.

KEYWORDS: wiki, collaboration, technical services, online manual, cataloging, Web 2.0, multi-campus library system

Catalogers Unite! Creating Documentation through Collaboration
Patricia K. Falk , Elizabeth Hertenstein & Stefanie Dennis Hunker

ABSTRACT: Recent changes have forced Bowling Green State University (BGSU) to reevaluate our documentation, workflows, and communication. There have been staff retirements, changes in staff responsibilities, and a new faculty cataloger. Additionally, BGSU is implementing a discovery layer, purchasing shelf-ready books, and adding more electronic resources. It has become apparent that documentation needs to be updated and, in many cases, created from scratch. Collaboration is critical as catalogers are currently few in number and are seeing the need to work with other departments in ways unheard of previously. The creation of a new cataloging manual is vital to the success of cataloging at BGSU.

KEYWORDS: cataloging, manuals, collaboration, special collections, technical services

Collaborating Over the Centuries: Creating the What Middletown Read Database
Katharine Leigh

ABSTRACT: In 2003, library records from over a century ago were discovered in the attic of the Muncie Public Library. This finding led to a multi-year collaboration between the Muncie Public Library, the Center for Middletown Studies, and the University Libraries at Ball State University to create the What Middletown Read database, http://bsu.edu/libraries/wmr/index.php. This article describes the collaboration between various groups, focusing especially on the role of the Cataloging and Metadata Services unit at University Libraries in the project, and ends with lessons learned and recommendations for cataloging units.

KEYWORDS: descriptive cataloging, catalogers, metadata, archival materials, public libraries, college and university libraries

Integrating Image-Based Research Datasets into an Existing Digital Repository Infrastructure
Hannah Tarver & Mark Phillips

ABSTRACT: In 2011, the University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries partnered with researchers in the university's academic departments to describe and provide access to items not traditionally included in the UNT Libraries' systems. Including more than 1,400 items apiece, the two projects are considered active datasets by their respective users. Each collection provided new challenges in harmonizing partner, metadata, and end-user requirements. This article discusses the projects, workflow for defining requirements, and final implementation in the UNT Digital Library. These collections serve as a model for integrating other research projects easily and inexpensively into a repository infrastructure.

KEYWORDS: institutional repositories, digital libraries, grant projects, digital images, data management

Collaborating with Information Technology: Implementing Web Search at the University of New Mexico
S. Y. Zoe Chao & Rebecca Lubas

ABSTRACT: The University of New Mexico (UNM) has used the Google Search Appliance (GSA) to provide search for the University's Web content. When the GSA license expired, the campus Information Technologies (IT) department and the University Libraries (UL) took the opportunity to collaborate on a re-launch of the service as a joint project. By collaborating closely with IT, the UL personnel gained insight and first-hand information on how to optimize the Libraries' Web presence. Outcomes were positive, both in the resulting product and in building bridges between the work cultures.

KEYWORDS: collaboration, information technology, Google, metadata, case study

Collaborative Initiatives in Error Handling and Bibliographic Maintenance: Use of Electronic Distribution Lists and Related Resources
Ian Fairclough

ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, people working collaboratively have created several electronic distribution lists, each dedicated to notification about a specific issue in error handling for bibliographic and authority records, and other aspects of catalog maintenance. Librarians and others concerned for the accuracy of classification numbers, established headings, and series data can communicate among each other via these lists and related projects. This article documents their history and role in cataloging operations. Subscription information is provided in the Appendix.

KEYWORDS: authority control, name authority records, personal names, bibliographic series, classification, Dewey, Library of Congress, bibliographic maintenance, electronic mail, Listserv, blog, quality control, cataloging

The ILS as Outreach: Cataloging Campus Partner Collections
Anne C. Elguindi & Alayne Mundt Sandler

ABSTRACT: Although libraries tend to see the integrated library system (ILS) as a very "library" system, it is actually a powerful inventory and patron management system that can be used much more broadly. At American University, the library has many campus partner collections that it has added to the library catalog. Some collections contain books and media, like traditional library holdings, and some are made up of audiovisual and computer equipment. This article describes the process of cataloging these collections, the challenges of conceiving the ILS as a campus-wide system, and the benefits that these partnerships have brought to the library.

KEYWORDS: integrated library system, student affairs offices, nonlibrary collections, cataloging equipment

The Value of Collaboration and Partnerships in Cataloging

Rebecca L. Mugridge

University Library, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York, USA

Public and academic libraries are facing ever greater challenges to their budgets, directly impacting the work that they do. The American Library Association reported in the 2012 State of America's Libraries that "[a]cademic librarians and their colleagues in higher education in the United States also continued to navigate a 'new normal,' characterized by stagnating budgets, unsustainable costs, increased student enrollments, and reduced staff."1 Similarly, the 2010-2011 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study revealed that "[a] majority (59.8 percent) of public libraries reported flat or decreased operating budgets in FY2011, up from 56.4 percent in FY2010 and 40 percent in FY 2009."2 The study also found that "[a]lmost two-thirds (65 percent) of libraries anticipate flat or decreased operating budgets in FY2012."3 In this environment, collaboration among libraries and other organizations can be a strategy to address our changing needs. Collaboration allows libraries to achieve more by sharing staff resources and sharing the burdens of cataloging projects and new initiatives.

There are additional benefits to collaboration. Libraries with small staffs can learn from each other and achieve more by combining resources. Such efforts bring more ideas to the table, enhance creativity, and increase librarians' ability to solve problems. As Leonard Cohen stated in a recent New York Times Magazine interview: "You have to find an engine for change. And that's what collaborative work does. Whatever we do together will make us different."4 While Cohen was speaking of musical collaborations, the sentiments hold true in our environment. Through collaboration, our work processes are different than they would be if we worked alone, our thought processes are different because ideas that we might not have thought of are shared, and our solutions are different than they might have been otherwise.

Some collaborative efforts are not in response to budgetary challenges; rather, they are initiated because the projects are so large that they require expertise, input, and participation from a variety of organizations or individuals. Some of the articles in Collaborations in Cooperative Cataloging and Authority Initiatives, the first section of this issue, illustrate the need for contributions by national and international participants.

The topic of this special issue of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, "Cataloging Collaborations and Partnerships," is an extension of the special issue that I guest-edited in 2010, "Cooperative Cataloging: Shared Effort for the Benefit of All." After that issue was completed, I began to think about how cataloging units collaborate beyond the cooperative cataloging programs that we are all familiar with, such as the Cooperative Online Serials Program (CONSER), the Monographic Bibliographic Record Program (BIBCO), the Name Authority Cooperative Program (NACO), and the Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO), to name some of the more well-known programs. Attendance at professional conferences reveals that there are many collaborative efforts underway across the country and internationally. However, an initial search in the Library Literature & Information Science Index of the keywords "cataloging" and "collaboration" brought up only twelve articles, only some of which addressed the types of collaborations that I was interested in exploring. For this special issue, I hoped to explore collaborations with vendors or utilities, collaborations with other libraries or consortia, collaborations between public and academic library cataloging units, collaborative development of new systems, collaborative development of standards, and international collaborative efforts, to name a few. I was also interested in the assessment of collaborative efforts, the advantages and disadvantages of collaboration, and the costs and benefits of collaboration.

I am very pleased with the quality and caliber of articles in this issue, which is the result of eighteen months' effort that began with a call for proposals in the summer of 2011 and ended with the twenty articles in this special issue. These papers cover the broad spectrum of topics in the previous paragraph, and also include a number of additional topics. They are organized into five broad sections: Collaborations in Cooperative Cataloging and Authority Initiatives, Collaborative Cataloging Initiatives, Collaborations in Merging and Migrating Online Catalogs, Collaborative Development of Training and Documentation, and Collaborative Approaches to Special Projects.

In the first section, Collaborations in Cooperative Cataloging and Authority Initiatives, four articles address national or international efforts to create or improve authority files or bibliographic databases. The first is Janis L. Young and Yael Mandelstam's "It Takes a Village: Developing Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms," which describes the Library of Congress' efforts to involve the library community in the creation and development of the genre/form thesaurus. Following is "The Electronic Cataloging in Publication Cataloging Partnership Program: A Model for Cooperative Cataloging for the Twenty-First Century" by Karl E. Debus-López, Diane Barber, Caroline Saccucci, and Camilla Williams, which documents the development of the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) program and its evolution to include and process electronic applications. In the third article in this section, "The International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI): The Evolving Future of Name Authority Control," authors Andrew MacEwan, Anila Angjeli, and Janifer Gatenby detail the effort to create the ISNI database and identify future development needs. The final article in this section describes a collaborative effort between public and academic libraries. In "Public and Academic Library Cataloging Collaboration in Ohio's NACO Funnel Project," Melanie McGurr, Catherine Mason, and Michael Monaco describe the steps they took to rejuvenate the Ohio NACO funnel project, providing insight into the different needs and workflows of public and academic libraries.

The second section, Collaborative Cataloging Initiatives, includes four articles that explore creative solutions to sharing cataloging expertise within a single institution or among multiple institutions. The first article in this section, James Soe Nyun, Karen A. Peters, and Anna DeVore's "'Insourcing' of Cataloging in a Consortial Environment: The UC Santa Barbara-UC San Diego Music Copy Cataloging Project" describes how the staff with music cataloging expertise at one University of California (UC) campus were matched with a need for expertise at another UC campus, resulting in a workflow that allowed for more efficient cataloging of sound recordings. In "Collaborative Batch Creation for Open Access E-Books: A Case Study," Philip Young, Rebecca Culbertson, and Kelley McGrath write about an issue that is challenging many libraries: how to acquire good quality cataloging records for a collection of e-books. The third article in this section outlines a project between an academic library and the U.S. Government Printing Office. "Partners in Collaborative Cataloging: The U.S. Government Printing Office and the University of Montana," by Teressa M. Keenan, Jennie M. Burroughs, and Suzanne Ebanues, describes how they worked together to catalog pre-1976 United States Forest Service publications, thereby increasing access and providing the file of records as a resource for other libraries to acquire and load into their online catalogs. In the final article in this section, "Cataloging on Receipt for Monographs: Merging Cataloging and Acquisitions Functions at UCLA," authors Peter Fletcher and Roxanne M. Peck discuss a collaboration between two library departments that resulted in increased cataloging efficiency.

In the third section, Collaborations in Merging and Migrating Online Catalogs, three articles provide insight into the complications and challenges inherent in managing online catalogs, especially when there are multiple institutions involved, as is the case in two of the articles. Susan Jane Heron, Betsy Simpson, Amy K. Weiss, and Jean Phillips describe the process of merging the online catalogs of eleven state universities in Florida into one catalog in "Merging Catalogs: Creating a Shared Bibliographic Environment for the State University Libraries of Florida." Rosemarie Runcie describes a similar project, but with a uniquely international perspective, in "Collaborative Cataloging within a Centralized Network: The Case of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus." The final article in this section, "Cataloging in a Remote Location: A Case Study of International Collaboration in the Galapagos Islands," by Sally Taylor, Kristin Jacobi, Elizabeth Knight, and Dale Foster, describes the efforts of the Corley Smith Library at the Charles Darwin Research Station to migrate from the OpenBiblio integrated library system (ILS) to Koha, an open-source ILS. While many readers will be interested in the increasingly-popular Koha ILS, I suspect that many others will find the collaborative management of the Corley Smith Library to be equally fascinating, as it is managed by a rotation of international volunteer librarians who work in collaboration with local staff and volunteers.

The fourth section, Collaborative Development of Training and Documentation, includes four articles that describe efforts to provide training and documentation to librarians and staff in a variety of environments. Margaret Beecher Maurer, Julia A. Gammon, and Bonita M. Pollock describe the efforts to encourage inter-institutional collaboration through the development of an online "toolbox" in "Developing Best Practices for Technical Services Cross-Institutional Collaboration." I am very pleased to have the opportunity to share the second article in this section, "Building Cataloging Capacity for Libraries in South Sudan: A North-South-South Collaboration," by Eliz Nassali State and Anne Bjøkum Åsmul. Through their description of the collaboration among academic libraries in Norway, Uganda, and South Sudan, they reveal the true power of collaboration; it is all the more exciting as this collaboration took place in the world's newest country, South Sudan. In the third article in this section, "Collaboration at the Troy University Libraries," Erin E. Boyd, Olga Casey, Ruth Elder, and Jana Slay describe their efforts to develop a wiki to share cataloging and other policies and procedures, effectively addressing the challenges inherent in training new staff, ensuring consistent practices, and merging libraries. Finally, Patricia K. Falk, Elizabeth Hertenstein, and Stefanie Dennis Hunker share their experiences collaborating to create and update documentation in a distributed cataloging environment at Bowling Green State University in "Catalogers Unite! Creating Documentation through Collaboration."

The final section, Collaborative Approaches to Special Projects, includes five articles that cover topics from digital projects to campus outreach efforts. The first article in this section, "Collaborating Over the Centuries: Creating the What Middletown Read Database," by Katharine Leigh, describes a collaboration between the Muncie Public Library and Ball State University to turn century-old library records into a valuable historical database. In "Integrating Image-Based Research Datasets into an Existing Digital Repository Infrastructure," authors Hannah Tarver and Mark Phillips explore the challenges of collaborating with researchers to provide access to datasets in the University of North Texas Digital Library. A collaboration between an academic library and a campus information technology unit is the focus of the third article in this section, "Collaborating with Information Technology: Implementing Web Search at the University of New Mexico," by S. Y. Zoe Chao and Rebecca Lubas. In "Collaborative Initiatives in Error Handling and Bibliographic Maintenance: Use of Electronic Distribution Lists and Related Resources," Ian Fairclough demonstrates how individual initiative can lead to collaborative efforts that benefit many. Finally, Anne C. Elguindi and Alayne Mundt Sandler write about how a campus-wide collaboration resulted in the use of the ILS to provide access to resources and equipment housed in departments across the American University campus in "The ILS as Outreach: Cataloging Campus Partner Collections."

I am pleased that these important and, in some cases, historic, collaborations are now documented for all of us. I believe that they are both instructive and inspiring, and will help current and future librarians explore creative means to solving problems and sharing those solutions.


1. American Library Association, "The 2012 State of America's Libraries: A Report from the American Library Association,"http://www.ala.org/news/mediapresscenter/americaslibraries/soal2012 (accessed October 25, 2012).

2. American Library Association, "Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study, 2010-2011," http://www.ala.org/research/initiatives/plftas/2010_2011#final%20report (accessed October 25, 2012).

3. Ibid.

4. Zachary Woolfe, "Whatever We Do Together Will Make Us Different," , October 7, 2012, 41.

Cataloging News

Robert Bothmann, 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: Robert Bothmann, Memorial Library, Minnesota State University, Mankato, ML 3097, PO Box 8419, Mankato, MN 56002-8419 (email: robert.bothmann@mnsu.edu, phone: 507-389-2010. 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

  • 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
  • Publication announcements
  • Description of grants
  • Description of projects


  • Announcements of changes in personnel
  • Announcements of honors, offices, etc.

Research and Opinion

The Music Discovery Requirements

Nara Newcomer, Leader, Music Discovery Requirements Document Group announced the availability of the Music Discover Requirements document (http://committees.musiclibraryassoc.org/ETSC/MDR), which

addresses the unique needs posed by music materials which must be considered for successful discovery. This document discusses the issues and when possible gives concrete recommendations for discovery interfaces. Three appendixes compile technical details of the specific indexing recommendations in spreadsheets. The document was created under the auspices of Music Library Association's Emerging Technologies and Services Committee and officially approved by the Music Library Association's Board of Directors.
The Music Discovery Requirements document group welcomes your comments, questions, and other feedback on the document. The group is particularly interested in hearing how the document is being used, and in working with vendors and developers to create discovery interfaces optimized for the unique needs of music materials. --E-mail message to the CODE4LIB discussion list, August 20, 2012.

ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee

Betsy Simpson, ALCTS Past President (2012/2013) recently announced the formation of the ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee (http://connect.ala.org/node/186145).

The ALCTS/LITA [Association for Library Collections & Technical Services/Library Information Technology Association] Metadata Standards Committee will play a leadership role in the creation and development of metadata standards for bibliographic information. The Committee will review and evaluate proposed standards; recommend approval of standards in conformity with ALA [American Library Association] policy; establish a mechanism for the continuing review of standards (including the monitoring of further development); provide commentary on the content of various implementations of standards to concerned agencies; and maintain liaison with concerned units within ALA and relevant outside agencies.
The Metadata Standards Committee will begin its work at the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association, January 2013. While composition of the committee is still under discussion, membership will likely include equal numbers of voting members appointed by ALCTS and LITA and a voting liaison member appointed by RUSA. The committee will actively seek input from many groups and communities of practice in its work.
Having formed this new committee to spearhead participation in developing a wide range of applicable metadata standards, the three ALA divisions have also voted to disband the ALCTS/LITA/RUSA Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information (MARBI) Committee, as of June 30, 2013. After June 2013, the MARC Advisory Committee (MAC) (http://www.loc.gov/marc/marbi/advisory2.html) is expected to continue to advise the Library of Congress on MARC development. While there will no longer be MARBI involvement with MAC, other ALA representatives and liaisons as noted on the MAC roster will continue to advise LC about MARC. If a major issue related to MARC requires the attention of a voting ALA body, the issue may be brought to the new ALCTS/LITA committee.
For the past several decades, MARBI has played a critical role in improving library metadata, particularly the MARC formats. ALCTS, LITA, and RUSA thank all those who have contributed to MARBI's many accomplishments. We look forward to working with the metadata community broadly in developing and monitoring current and emerging metadata standards.


Forthcoming Publications

Ashraf, Tariq and Puja Anand Gulati. Design, Development, and Management of Resources for Digital Library Services. Hershey, Pa.: Information Science Reference, Nov. 2012. $165.00

Koh, Gertrude S. L. Metadata for Digital Collections. Third Millennium Cataloging. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited, Jan. 2013. $45.00

Maxwell, Robert L. Maxwell's Handbook for RDA: Explaining and Illustrating RDA, Resource Description and Access Using MARC 21. Chicago: American Library Association, Jan. 2013 $85.00

"I think, therefore I classify": Report of a one-day seminar held in London on 16th July 2012 by the UK Chapter of ISKO

Submitted by Vanda Broughton, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Studies at University College London, London, England

'I think, therefore I classify' was a successful one-day event organized jointly by the United Kingdom Chapter of the International Society for Knowledge Organization and the British Computer Society Information Retrieval Specialist Group, and hosted by the British Computer Society at its London headquarters. An audience of almost 100 represented a broad spectrum of UK institutions, and several European ones, including academic departments, government agencies, museums, academic and special libraries, commercial organizations, and information consultants. They listened to ten presentations by speakers from the diverse fields of library and information science, information management, records management, computer science, semantic web technologies, cognitive science, and scientific taxonomy and its underlying philosophy. The day finished with breakout sessions, reportage, and a panel discussion.

The title might be held to be a reference to the presentation by Stevan Harnad who considered categorization as a fundamental human psychological activity, but while this was an important element in the day's proceedings, the remit was much broader: to examine the continuing role of classification in knowledge organization and retrieval, and the ways in which it is applied in various disciplines and information sectors. A secondary theme was education and training in classification, and the development of classificatory skills.

The presentations

The programme began with an overview by Vanda Broughton (Department of Information Studies, University College London) of classification principles as they apply in library and information science, the origins of LIS classification theory, and its development during the twentieth century. The advantages of a structured approach to knowledge organization and a sound methodological basis both for the modelling of subject domains, and the creation of knowledge organization tools, were detailed in terms of the relationships between concepts, the inter-relations of concepts, terms, and notations, and the syntax of systems designed to represent complexity of subject context. Examples of how such systems might underpin more intuitive forms of search interfaces were shown.

Donald Lickley (Sue Hill Recruitment) took us through the current requirements of employers, reporting that in a time of bleak employment prospects, opportunities in the information sector appeared sustainable. Most jobs require a strong body of professional knowledge and experience, and entry level posts were more difficult to come by. The range of professional abilities demanded was quite wide, ranging from technical expertise to business and project management experience; good advocacy and negotiation skills were necessary in almost all posts. Cataloguers were generally in high demand, principally in the academic sector, and in project roles; specific areas of expertise included familiarity with ISAD, DCRM, metadata (in particular Dublin Core) and ability to work on repositories with a view to the Research Excellence Framework (REF). For posts that demand knowledge of programming, scripting, and database design, candidates with the right profiles were very hard to find. In many instances a combination of intellectual and technical skills were needed; a specific case study demonstrated a formidable wish list for an individual with an information science or computer science qualification, an aptitude for analysis, skill in scripting languages, knowledge of XML and CSS, familiarity with web analytics, and experience in the construction of controlled vocabularies and ontologies. Such lists of essential attributes were not unusual, and often reflected the expertise that an existing post holder might have developed over a period of time, and which proved difficult to replicate when he or she moved on.

Chris Urquhart (Aberystwyth University) presented an analysis of classification teaching in UK universities, which suggested that few curricula could match such skill sets, although the most striking thing about course content is how difficult it is to establish what is covered by the various LIS departments. Some, although not all, institutions teach cataloguing with the emphasis on the accepted standards (AACR, and incoming RDA), and most teach subject access and vocabulary control, but from a variety of viewpoints. Classification was similarly addressed, with some places teaching standard schemes, and others with a focus on information retrieval or domain analysis. Where programmes are situated in computer science rather than LIS departments, more prominence is given to RDF, ontologies, object oriented design, and the semantic web, as might be expected. With respect to the meeting programme, it proved particularly difficult to determine where topics such SKOS, cognitive psychology, or the philosophic and conceptual foundations of knowledge organization, might be taught, if at all.

A group of presentations examined the particular needs of certain sectors and activities. Steve Bailey (Senior Advisor, JISC Infonet) spoke of the way classification was used in records management, which differs in some respects from other kinds of information management, primarily because records cannot be managed on an individual basis. Records managers classify in order to group records, and context(which may be less relevant in other sectors) is a vital aspect. Traditionally, classification in RM is in some respects more like cataloguing, and organization of records tended to mirror the broader organizational structure. For modern purposes this structural basis to KO is replaced with a functional approach, although a difficulty occurs in identifying the different business processes involved. A lack of standardization across the sector is observed, with lack of conformity to recognized standards, and a multiplicity of tools in use, usually customized to local requirements. In such circumstances, the speaker proposed that it might be more helpful to utilize methods such as tagging and folksonomies.

Judi Vernau, an information architect working for the consultancy Metataxis (in a presentation delivered in her absence by her colleague Cerys Hearsey), considered the role of classification in search and browse, using some government agencies as case studies. She identified four types of 'search': known item search; exploratory search, or browse; exhaustive search plus browse; and re-finding. A variety of semantic tools addressed these needs, including metadata schemes, controlled vocabularies, taxonomies, thesauri, ontologies, and tagging tools. Constraints on improving findability included the balance between costs and benefits of semantic tool development, and the easy availability of Google as an alternative. The lack of a generally applicable subject vocabulary was also a factor. Some examples of agencies with different approaches included the Department of Health, with a thesaurus of 28,000 terms used for tagging content; this has a very flat structure, using mainly associative term relationships. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has a smaller (2,600 terms) thesaurus of a more conventional kind, whereas Direct.gov, the main UK public information website uses a browsing taxonomy, and is moving towards a tag taxonomy, in which situation the thesaurus has no role.

More technical and tool centred presentations were given by Ian Horrocks (Oxford University Department of Computer Science) and Fabrizio Sebastiani (Institute for the Science and Technologies of Information, Italian National Research Council).

Ian Horrocks examined the logical foundations of the semantic web, the kind of tools and applications in use, and their relationship with classification. The semantic web had evolved into "a platform for distributed applications and sharing (linking) data", in which RDF provides syntactic structure, and OWL provides machine readable schemas, or ontologies. From a semantic web perspective an ontology is a model of some aspect of the world, which includes vocabulary specific to the domain, specifies meaning (the semantics) of terms, and is represented using a suitable logic. The function of the ontology is to access information in a database, and improves access because of its semantic complexity. He stressed that ontology development is hard to do. Reasoning tools provide a check on structural consistency, confirming that sub-class relationships hold, and identifying unintentional equivalences, and are particularly helpful where vocabularies are too big for individual management. But most ontologies are under constrained in terms of the relationships expressible, and recent work had attempted to extend the number of these logical relations, such as negation, disjunction and cardinality. The example of the SNOMED vocabulary exhibits as high a level of pre-coordinated compounds as it does single concepts, and some concepts are poorly expressed, leading to the conclusion that many concepts are extremely hard to express in conventional logic. Ontology engineering is error prone, and tools are essential, as is the contribution of large user communities in building ontologies; this is largely, again, because of the scale of the ontology and its complexity.

Fabrizio Sebastiani provided another technical view of classification in his presentation on automatic classification. His emphasis was on automatic text classifiers (ATCs) developed through machine learning techniques, in combination with computational linguistics and natural language processing. Such tools assign documents to categories in a pre-determined classification structure. ATCs exhibit variable features: cardinality (how many classes, how many class labels per text); the structure of the classification scheme (flat or hierarchical, nominal or ordinal, universal or specific); and dimensions (topic/sentiment/genre/author). Machine learning, which had succeeded knowledge engineering in the 1990s, used a learning style based on training sets, which must contain positive and negative instances of texts in relation to categories; software works by detecting linguistic patterns which differ in the positive and negative examples. He drew a very interesting parallel with showing a child pictures of a tiger, together with pictures 'not of a tiger' to establish an understanding of 'tiger'; this supervised learning is comparable with the machine learning process using training sets. There is no need to involve any kind of classification rules, as long as the training set contains items manually classified to the existing scheme. Updating is easily achieved by adding manually classified texts for any new categories, and the system allows for feedback between user and the ATC in an iterative process. Experiment has shown a very high level of success, with mathematically assessed results of 0.87 - 0.93 accuracy. The value of such ATCs is seen in the automatic classification of very large datasets of documents, where both training and classification is impressively fast.

A final group of presentations, possibly the most interesting for a library and information science audience, concerned the role of classification in other disciplines: biological science, philosophy, and cognitive science.

The first of these, delivered by Sandy Knapp of the Department of Botany at the Natural History Museum, considered the very significant part played by classification in the life sciences, and its relationship with naming. She gave us an entertaining trip through the history of taxonomic classification, beginning with ancient and medieval classifications based on usefulness, and embracing the work of Linnaeus, based on shared attributes of organisms A look at taxonomists in the modern period showed a progression in the way that the classification process has more recently been regarded, beginning with Darwin, who introduced the idea of hierarchical classification through time, and the notion of ancestor/descendant relationships, although, surprisingly, he did not consider species as a fixed concept. Roughly contemporaneous with Darwin, Richard Owen defined relationships in terms of homology (where the same organ exists in different animals) and analogy (where parts or organs in different animals perform the same function); homologous structures imply a shared common ancestor, and unique homologies define groups of organisms, providing a basis for the organization of comparative anatomy. In the last century Willi Hennig was the originator of phylogenetic systematics, or cladistics, where shared characteristics again define groupings, but the charting of ancestry is less hierarchical, and the shared attributes may appear at different levels: less a tree of life than a bush-like structure. Today, DNA provides a universal basis for comparison of all species.

Her conclusions, which might have been surprising to those outside the discipline, are that biological classifications change all the time, not only in their structure, but in the underlying principles. There was also a powerful feeling that classification of organisms is less prescriptive and more interpretive than many non-scientists imagine.

Also in the region of biological taxonomy, John Dupré (Exeter University) addressed the philosophy of classification, again providing us with a fascinating journey through history, and the changing perceptions of philosophers of the principles underlying the organization of the natural world. He posed two fundamental questions: what makes things members of the same category; and are kinds, or categories, natural or invented? Three basic positions on those questions are: essentialism (realism about kinds); nominalism (where kinds are created by us through the application of language); and pluralism (non-essentialist realism). Out of the earliest theories, Plato's notion of forms, based on transcendental essentialism, is now abandoned. Aristotle's immanent essentialism, derived largely from observation of organisms, provided an empirical basis for the creation of categories. In the modern period, sceptical nominalism is represented by Locke, who distinguished between real and nominal essences, the former being imperceptible to humans, and not of any real use; he stressed the reliance on the observable properties of things, but concluded that most kinds are artificial constructions. Darwin stands for empirical nominalism, seeing differences everywhere, but no sharp distinctions. Post-Darwin, genomic phylogeny sees the end of essentialism, and most modern philosophers opt for a theory of pluralism.

Dupré's conclusions seem very close to those of LIS classificationists: kinds are very diverse, and what constitutes a category in one place may not be so in another; categorization is essentially context dependent; classifications are discovered and chosen; choices of classification scheme are relative to our purposes.

Finally, the 'keynote' presentation, delivered remotely by Stevan Harnad (Université du Québec Montréal) examined the human cognitive processes involved in categorization and classification. This was possibly the most interesting talk of the day, dealing with categorization at the most fundamental level, but also the most far removed from library and information science. Harnad started with three propositions: most of knowledge consists of categories; categories precede language, but language allows us to manage and manipulate categories; the world wide web is the natural repository for these categories. Categorization is the most basic of human cognitive processes (to think, or cognize, is to categorize) which he defined as 'doing the right thing with the right kind of thing'; categorization is also the process by which human infants gradually make sense of the world around them.

As humans learn to categorize their ability to do so improves, and this can be measured as a function of brain activity; learning by trial and error improves performance in discriminating between category members and non-members, but instruction is even more effective, and huge adaptive advantage is gained by word-of-mouth instruction. The same (or comparable) processes can be observed in artificial life forms i.e. machine learning. An exercise with a dictionary or encyclopedia shows the interdependence of categories. Most entries in the dictionary are themselves equivalent to a category, and define that category (or entity) in terms of other categories (or entities); if all of these complex categories are removed, there is a residue of basic entries or categories, that, if mastered, allow understanding of the complete set of categories. In other words, possession of about 500 basic categories can provide access to the whole of the dictionary. It is observed that these categories are learned at a younger age, and are more concrete in nature.

Categories include events, actions, and abstract concepts, as well as concrete entities; most human activities involve categorization through the exercise of choice. Language is crucial to the acquisition of categories, and the role of words as symbols of categories is very powerful.

The afternoon continued with the audience dividing into groups to discuss the topics: formal versus informal classification; classification in local and general networked environments; classification needs in the curriculum and workplace. It concluded with feedback from the groups and a panel discussion.

Analysis and conclusions

The proceedings taken as a whole exhibited a number of common themes, with some specific topics occurring across the board. At the broadest level there was concern with the nature of classification (or categorization), and also the relationship between intellectual, or human, classification and indexing and that done by machine methods. In almost all presentations the role of language was stressed, whether this involved the link between classes and terms, or categories and words, the definition of classes, the purpose of naming, matters of vocabulary control, or the management and maintenance of technical terminologies. In particular, although classification and naming are inherently different, several speakers discussed the close association of categories, language and names.

A number of speakers gave more prominence to relationships in classifications than to structure; this was particularly so in the case of ontologies, where connections to other terms or classes were discussed without any necessary reference to an overall framework of order or hierarchy.

Out of the combined content of the presentations various ideas emerged as to what constitutes a classification scheme or system, or, alternatively speaking, a semantic tool. In addition to tools for classifying in the narrower sense, mention was made of tools for building, managing and maintaining knowledge organization systems, which may be broader in scope than classifications per se. Building vocabularies is not the same as building whole systems, and for large scale enterprises collaborative vocabulary creation and management is essential. In practical terms, classification designers need to consider such factors as the materials involved, the relative precision of the classification needed, scalability, and cost. The most significant factor was generally agreed to be context, which drives features such as granularity, specificity of description, and limits on the domain. A marked difference could be detected at the far ends of the spectrum, with, for example, records management operating within an entirely local, customised, and domain specific context, and at the opposite end, ontologies functioning in large, widespread communities, with enormous terminologies, unmanageable on a central basis.

For presenters addressing the role of classification in particular environments, distinctions could be seen between technical and theoretical approaches and the application of standards and the skills and knowledge associated with them. In both camps, however, there was a strong sense that intellectually built tools are absolutely necessary to classification for information retrieval. In classification for search and browse the use of semantic tools is assumed, as they are in ontology engineering, which is 'error prone' and dependent on good intellectual frameworks. Even in automatic text classifying assignment of texts is to a pre-determined classification scheme rather than one derived from the natural language processing. Indeed, across all the presentations, part from one or two passing references to social classification and folksonomy, there was no mention of uncontrolled language or of automatically constructed classifications or thesauri.

A general consensus was that there are no universal truths in classification, except perhaps for the periodic table of elements which was used an exemplar of a 'perfect classification' quite independently by several speakers. Even biological classifications are open to a considerable degree of interpretation; there is still a measure of dispute about the legitimate foundations for taxonomic classification, and even where there is agreement the classifications are more likely to be organized on the basis of probability than on allocation to precisely defined categories. Where classifications are not constructed artificially, they are 'discovered and chosen' (Dupré) from a variety of possibilities. It was reassuring to see the convergence of ideas here between LIS and the scientific classification community, and to have confirmed the importance of context and purpose in designing tools.

It was clear that the demand for classificatory and semantic skills in a range of workplaces has not diminished, and that the opportunities for professionals with these competences are good; such opportunities may not necessarily occur within traditional cataloguing departments, but are essential for the development of new systems and services particularly of a digital nature. The need for sound professional education in classification was very evident, but this might be acquired outside library and information science departments in universities.

It was also clear that, despite the diversity of communities represented, there was some substantial commonality in the understanding of the conceptual basis of classification and its fundamental principles. There was significant agreement on the value of such aspects of classification as order, structure, relationships, and the close association of concepts and language; all were seen as having continuing relevance to contemporary information organization and retrieval, and indeed the idea of classifications as important and necessary tools appeared to be strongly endorsed.


All of the presentations, together with audio recordings, are available from the ISKO UK website at: http://www.iskouk.org/events/classification_july2012.htm

Impressions of the ISKO UK seminar 'I think, therefore I classify', Monday 16 July 2012, London

Submitted by Deborah Lee, MPhil/PhD student, City University, London

The seminar started with an introduction by Stella Dextre Clarke in which she described her concerns talking about 'classification' in a world where such a term could have 'fuddy duddy' implications. However, the seminar which followed could not be further from such a negative label: a whistle-stop tour of knowledge organisation from multiple perspectives, which attempted to answer the eternal question of knowledge organisation life, 'what is classification?'.

Vanda Broughton's fascinating analysis and description of the main issues and principles of modern knowledge organisation thought was the first presentation. She gave strong counter-arguments to the Weinberg/'Everything is miscellaneous' school of thought that there were only links, not hierarchies. As well as a brief history of the development of modern classification theory and an outline of the properties of a modern knowledge organisation system (KOS), Broughton made a compelling case for the vitality of classification as a methodology and its importance in the twenty-first century.

The seminar then turned its attention to classification skills, education and employment. Donald Lickley spoke about his impressions of metadata and knowledge organisation skills from the perspective of a recruitment agency. He suggested that employers were focusing on potential employees who already had the technical expertise to do the job, and that flexibility - both in terms of skills and location - were the qualities most highly valued by recruiters. This was followed by Christine Urqhurt's survey of the classification contents of LIS courses in the United Kingdom, which follows on from Cristina Patuelli's 2010 USA-focused study. Urqhurt attempted to classify the various postgraduate modules on offer in LIS schools by analysing their course descriptions. She found a wide variety of approaches to teaching classification: some courses chose to focus on domain analysis, others stayed close to the traditional 'cat and class' paradigm while others remained firmly in the territory of general classification schemes. In addition, courses varied in their emphasis on information retrieval. Also, Urqhurt noted that the semantic web was rarely covered, which matched Patuelli's findings from 2010. In addition, Urqhurt looked at the contents of a small quantity of computer science modules, and was not surprised to find that the semantic web and ontologies were more frequently covered in these than in LIS courses.

Next, Sandra Knapp gave an engaging account of biological classification. She described how the traditional approach of classifying by function and use had evolved through Linnaeus, Darwin, biological taxonomies and cladistics. She emphasised that in biology you are classifying a moving target, and that classification in biology is always a hypothesis. Fabrizio Sebastiani then spoke about automatic text classification, in particular the evolution, development and efficiency of machine-based learning. Though Judy Vernau was not able to be at the seminar in person, Cerys Hearsey gracefully agreed to give an account of Vernau's presentation. She described the current state of play in user searching and finding of information, suggesting that we know two things for certain: users look for information in different ways, and organisations want to improve the 'findability' of their information but are often reluctant to develop a full thesaurus. One of the main difficulties facing information professionals making a business case to organisation directors about in-house thesauri is that it is not possible to quantify the benefit of structured information and a functioning thesaurus.

Steve Bailey then spoke about classification in records management. He stated that for record managers, classification was not just about retrieval but gives the context to the records; in fact, classification is so important that without it, records could only be managed on an individual basis. Bailey described how organising records by function had become the most significant classification method in records management, as this neatly bypasses the problems of companies' frequent restructuring and renaming of departments. He then explored the potential problems facing record managers in the twenty-first century, asking whether classification techniques in record management would survive the web 2.0 environment; though the logic of organisation by function is still sound, will the fact that organisations keep their documents in many different places in the 'cloud', slowly kill the function classification of records management?

Ian Horrocks gave an overview of the semantic web, including a detailed account of ontologies. He also indicated that the technology of machine-readable ontology schemes (OWL) were now main-stream, giving an example of EDF energy. However, he suggested that developing and using ontologies is quite difficult and that we need logical tools to help us. In addition, the most successful ontologies are the ones designed and written by the community, or in other words, the domain experts.

Next, Stevan Harnad spoke via web-link about categorisation. He stated that most knowledge is categorisation, and that categorisation actually precedes language. He suggested that all categorisation has two fundamental functions: deciding whether something is a member or non-member and whether it is a sub or super set. While traditional categorisation was achieved by hard work in the form of categorisation by induction, the modern categorisation method is sharing and learning categories by 'word of mouth'. Taken even further, he supposed that 'category theft' was the twenty-first century's victimless crime. The final presentation was from John Dupré, who discussed the philosophy of classification from the perspective of a philosopher of biology. He outlined the long history of philosophical thought about classification, especially the question of whether kinds of things are discovered or invented; he also highlighted the longstanding debate between those who believe biological classification should be based on the properties of things and clustering, and those who believe that phylogeny holds the key to biological classification. He concluded that classifications are discovered and chosen, and while nature gives us many different possibilities of how to classify, we need to choose which one to use. Furthermore, the choice of classification scheme is always dependent on the area and thing you are classifying.

The seminar then devolved into breakout sessions, on a variety of classification-related topics. I selected to attend the session entitled 'Learning in the workplace/curriculum needs' led by Christine Urquhart. After a brief introduction from attendees describing their workplace and interest in education and training for classification, it became clear that we were an extremely disparate group. Marianne Lykke then gave a brief outline of how she teaches classification at Aalborg University. She covers four broad topics: classification theory, classification systems, language theory and methodology and practice. She described how the heart of the course was facet analysis, and that the focus of the course was to teach students how to judge both quality and consistency in classification systems. Interestingly, students are strongly encouraged that the first thing they should do when starting at any new work place is to perform a domain analysis of the organisational domain. Next, I gave a brief account of the classification training activities I lead at the Courtauld Institute of Art, arguing that much classification training also happens outside of LIS departments. I implored that by the end of LIS education and workplace training, our students and colleagues should be encouraged to be 'intelligent classifiers', and that the ability to perform thoughtful classification was more worthy than technical knowledge of any specific classification system. Much discussion ensued from the matters raised in both the introductions and the position statements, in particular the delicate balance between LIS departments offering conceptual overview and teaching students marketable skills. The three key points decided by the group were as follows: 'label the trousers', i.e. when selling the virtues of classification to company directors, use an analogy that they will understand and appreciate; teach general principles; encourage thinking when teaching and training people in classification.

The seminar concluded with a summary of the various breakout sessions and a final chance for questions and discussion, led by a panel of speakers and breakout session leaders. Bob Bater's working group, which looked at informal and formal classification, concluded that a combination of informal and formal classifications was best and that we were in 'the stone-age of tagging'. Ingo Frommholz led a group which discussed classification in networked electronic environments, which included discussions about automatic classification and the semantic web. Cerys Hearsey's group looked at internal classification schemes and identified a number of barriers against their use: every organisation considers themselves to be special, internal classification schemes were perceived as taking too much time to create and maintain, there were often too many people trying to run internal classification schemes and problems in interoperability. This group created an elevator pitch for one of the group members, with the aim of persuading this person's chief information officer that an internal classification scheme was critical for the organisation's success.

Overall, the seminar revealed the different methods and tools used by those engaged in knowledge organisation across a wide variety of disciplines, and it was inspiring to see and hear experts from so many disciplines collectively discussing knowledge organisation. While knowledge organisation did not reveal all its secrets in one seminar, this informative event was a valiant and successful step along the path to knowledge organisation enlightenment.

Informal Meetings of the Permanent UNIMARC Committee

2012 August 13, 14, and 16, IFLA Congress, Helsinki Finland
Submitted by Jay Weitz, Vice Chair of the PUC, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Dublin, Ohio, USA

On 2012 August 13, 14, and 16, IFLA's Permanent UNIMARC Committee (PUC) gathered during the IFLA Congress in Helsinki, Finland, for a series of informal meetings. In attendance through the whole of all three meetings were PUC Chair Mr. Alan Hopkinson (Middlesex University, UK), Ms. Rosa Galvão (Biblioteca Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal), Mr. Philippe Le Pape (ABES, France), and Mr. Jay Weitz (OCLC, USA, Vice Chair and Rapporteur), as was Corresponding Member Mr. Massimo Gentili-Tedeschi (Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Italy). Ms. Gabriella Contardi (ICCU, Italy) represented her ICCU colleague Ms. Patrizia Martini and Mr. François-Xavier Pélegrin (ISSN International Centre, France) represented his ISSN Center colleague Mr. Yannis Tavé. UNIMARC Core Activity Director Ms. Inês Cordeiro (National Library of Portugal), Honorary Member and Special Consultant Ms. Mirna Willer (University of Zadar, Croatia), Ms. Françoise Leresche (BnF), Corresponding Member Mr. Ben Gu (National Library of China), and Mr. Gordon Dunsire were present for significant parts of at least one meeting.

Mr. Gu will be invited to become a Standing Member of the PUC. Ms. Liubovė Buckienė (Lithuania) is expected to return to active membership status in 2013. New Corresponding Members will be solicited from Japan's Diet Library, North Africa (Tunisia or Morocco), Iran, and the British Library (possibly Mr. Alan Danskin). Ms. Cordeiro will update the PUC roster online and compile an accurate list of Corresponding Members.

During the more than six hours of meetings over three days, the PUC reviewed and updated its current Action List and updated the status of New Proposals from its 2012 March 12-13 formal meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.

UNIMARC Formats and Guidelines

  • Several proposals for UNIMARC/Bibliographic fields that had been postponed pending ISBD/FRBR/RDA compliance (U/B 106: Coded Data Field: Textual Resource: Form of Item; U/B 180: Coded Data Field: General Nature of Work; U/B 181: Coded Data Field: Content Characteristics of Expression; U/B 182: Coded Data Field: Manifestation: Media Type; U/B 183: Coded Data Field: Carrier Type; U/B 203: Content Form and Media Type) have been revived, will be recirculated with changes noted in the minutes, and will be incorporated into the list of changes to the Third Edition.
  • U/B 675: Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) and U/B 676: Dewey Decimal Classification have both had new subfields defined to accommodate ranges of numbers and explanatory terms.
  • A new Relator Code has been added to U/B Appendix C for :"Former Owner." Mr. Gentili-Tedeschi has provided a link to his concordance of MARC 21/RDA and UNIMARC Relator Codes and Mr. Hopkinson will draw up a proposal to add from MARC 21 any that are not accounted for in UNIMARC.
  • Several corrections and changes to the August 2012 U/A draft were discussed and approved. Several other proposals previously withdrawn or postponed pending ISBD/FRBR/RDA compliance have been or will be revised and reconsidered (U/A 123: Coded Data Field: Cartographic Resources: Scale and Co-ordinates; U/A 146: Coded Data Field: Medium of Performance; U/A 180: Form of a Textual Language Work). Still others (U/A 101: Language of Entity; U/A 128: Coded Data Field: Form of Musical Work and Key or Mode) will have examples added.
  • UNIMARC/Holdings will be reviewed in light of FRBR by Ms. Galvão.
  • The final version of UNIMARC Guidelines No. 9: Manuscripts will be checked over once more and then be made available on the Web.

UNIMARC and Linked Data

Ms. Willer and Mr. Dunsire experimented with MARC 21 Bibliographic representation in Resource Description Framework (RDF) and determined that it was feasible to automatically generate the roughly 14,000 properties, accounting for all possible indicator, field, and subfield combinations. These are now in the Namespace Registry. They posit that the same could be done for UNIMARC, although some initial manual groundwork would need to be done because UNIMARC does not exist as a database. Ms. Willer volunteered a doctoral student to working on Linked Data who could do this for a small honorarium. A small amount of funding would also be needed to load the results into the Namespace Registry. The proposal is to deal with UNIMARC/Bibliographic first, then UNIMARC/Authorities. (MARC 21 Authorities also needs to be done.) Eventually, it would be advantageous for IFLA to have its own general subscription to the Registry so that any of its constituents could use it. The two proposed a three-phase project. Phase One would be the creation and loading first of U/B, then of U/A properties to the Registry over two years; Phase Two would be the building of semantic layers to allow linking with other schemes; Phase Three would be interoperability. User guidelines for UNIMARC in RDF and the extension of IFLA namespaces would also have to be undertaken. With the PUC's approval, Ms. Willer, Ms. Cordeiro, and Mr. Dunsire will draft a full proposal to apply for funding by October 2012.

"New Futures for Bibliographic Data Formats: Reflections and Directions," IFLA 2012

The UNIMARC Core Activity's open session at the 2012 IFLA Congress in Helsinki, "New Futures for Bibliographic Data Formats: Reflections and Directions," was held on Monday, 2012 August 13. Full texts of the papers presented may be found on the IFLA Web site at http://conference.ifla.org/ifla78/session-92>.

  • Ms. Rosa Galvão spoke on behalf of herself and Ms. Inês Cordeiro (National Library of Portugal) on "UNIMARC: Understanding the Past to Envision Future," tracing the history of UNIMARC use especially among national bibliographic agencies and the numbers and types of proposals considered by the Permanent UNIMARC Committee over the years. Most changes in the formats were driven by new materials catalogers had to describe, keeping UNIMARC in synch with other standards, and specific user needs. This means that UNIMARC has been extended, but not that its structure has necessarily been improved or significantly revised.
  • Ms. Saeideh Akbaridaryan (National Library and Archives of Islamic Republic of Iran) delivered the paper "The Functionality of Bibliographic Records of IRANMARC based on Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) for Monographs" on behalf of Sedigheh Shakeri (National Library and Archives of Islamic Republic of Iran) and Sayyed Mahdi Taheri (Islamic Sciences and Culture Academy, Tehran, Iran). The IRANMARC Committee was founded at the National Library and Archives in 1998 and created its local version of UNIMARC in 2002. Of the nearly half a million bibliographic records, 384 were examined for their ability to meet the four user functions of Find, Identify, Select, and Obtain. Find fared best and Select worst. Manifestations were best supported and Items worst. IRANMARC was found to account for 87.5% of identified FRBR entities.
  • Mr. Getaneh Alemu (speaking for his colleagues), Brett Stevens, Penny Ross, and Jane Chandler (University of Portsmouth, UK) reported on "Linked Data for Libraries: Benefits of a Conceptual Shift from Library-Specific Record Structures to RDF-Based Data Models." Current standards are record-centric rather than data-centric, are inconsistent, lack granularity, and are not Web-scalable. XML did not appreciably increase functionality, but Linked Data promises to alleviate many of these problems. Retaining the best of the past while adopting the best of the future will allow us to focus on machine-actionable data rather than display and on statements rather than records.
  • Ms. Sally McCallum and Mr. Beacher Wiggins (LC) updated attendees on the "Library of Congress Bibliographic Framework Initiative," tracing the history of MARC, its positive aspects, and its drawbacks. The goals of the initiative include the broad accommodation of content norms and data models, more modular treatment of data, accommodation of linking through semantic technologies such as URIs, compatibility with MARC, and the embrace of cultural heritage institutions aside from libraries. Having contracted Zepheira earlier this year, the initiative is on its way to mapping the evolution of existing bibliographic data into linked data and to developing prototype tools and services to enable experimentation.

Upcoming UNIMARC Meeting and Other Activities

Planning for the fourth UNIMARC User Group meeting as well as the next PUC meeting in 2013 is still underway. A possible site for those meetings remains Maribor, Slovenia, home of COBISS (Co-operative Online Bibliographic System and Services) and IZUM, the Institute of Information Science. A possible theme of the User Group meeting could be "UNIMARC in the Worlds of RDA and RDF."

ISMN (International Standard Music Number) Report October 2012

Submitted by Hartmut Walravens, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany

The ISMN is the ISO identifier for notated music and functions much like the ISBN with which there is a close cooperation. Many national ISMN agencies are located in national libraries, or the respective national bibliographic centers. In some major music producing countries the music publishers association fulfills the task of a registration agency.

Annual General Meetings

Last year's AGM was organized by the National Library of South Africa. It was aligned with that of the International ISBN Agency and yielded the expected synergetic effects since we could meet representatives of several African institutions and also could give a presentation on the ISMN at a seminar for African ISBN agencies. Furthermore, the National Library in Pretoria had organized a splendid event with the possibility to meet with people from the publishing and music scene of the country.

This year both the ISBN and ISMN AGMs took place in Chisinau, Moldova, by kind invitation of the National Book Chamber. Everything was splendidly organized, and the Director, Ms. Valentina Chitoroagă, and the ISBN/ISMN representative, Renata Cozonac, did their best to make the meeting pleasant and fruitful. It was good to have participation from Iran, and also from the Netherlands -- in the latter country heavy budget cuts passed by the parliament have led to the cancelling of the Netherlands Music Institute: the future of the ISMN agency is therefore unclear but it is hoped that the publisher Donemus will take over this responsibility. The Dutch representative, Davo van Peursen, presented the Dutch ISMN data administration system for agencies. The German ISMN agency also offers an administration system but is restricted to publishers information while the Dutch version allows also the collection and processing of music titles.

One important change in the Statutes was agreed by the AGM: Board members may be reelected more than twice. The reason is that in three years time the current Board would have to step down according to the previous ruling, and then the continuity of the ISMN work would be difficult to guarantee. Under the new rule, e.g. one board member may then be reelected and assist the new board members. The Board was reelected in Chisinau for another term of three years.

The 2013 AGM will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Library of Congress while the ISBN meeting chose New York as its venue earlier in the same week. Fortunately the connections between Manhattan and D.C. are very good, and there should not be practical obstacles for those who intend to participate in both meetings. The IA will provide detailed information to assist participants with planning and travel arrangements. As many representatives of ISMN and ISBN are from the library community, a visit to the Library of Congress may be considered a highlight.

Planning is already under way for 2014 when the AGM is scheduled for Istanbul, Turkey.


Currently we have 56 member agencies. One of the newest members is the United States and we are glad to have the Library of Congress on board as the official US ISMN center who will issue numbers free of charge to U.S. music publishers. They are currently in the process of preparing their operations: Website functionality is being tested and authentication security issues resolved. First use will be by designated Beta testers new to ISMN and a small number of publishers already using ISMN, issued to them in the past. We trust that the Library of Congress's expertise will create a solid foundation for the development of ISMN in the US. And we are happy that they will organize our Annual General Meeting 2013 in Washington, a great opportunity to share new ideas among the ISMN community.

Other countries recently joined the system thanks to last year's AGM in Pretoria. Besides South Africa, now Kenya is a member and other African countries are likely to follow. A contract with the National Library of Argentina was signed and the agency is currently being established.

Interest in ISMN membership is shown particularly by China and Ethiopia. A working meeting with Chinese colleagues took place at the Frankfurt Book Fair.


The next ISMN Newsletter -- also available on the Website -- will provide information on the 2012 AGM.

A new ISMN brochure was published and distributed earlier this year. Other than our ISMN Users' Manual or the ISMN Newsletter, this brochure aims at the benefits of the ISMN for music publishers, music trade and libraries in general.


The key application is, of course, a trade directory which in contrast to Books in print might be global -- there are no language barriers. The IDNV directory of the German and British ISMN agencies, with currently about 600,000 records, has already found many users.

Another application under discussion is retrospective numbering which might, especially for small music countries, provide the option of identifying and making available the complete music production of the respective country. This then would allow comprehensive linking of data, like in the Australian TROVE project which extends the scope of the traditional OPAC and includes manuscripts, sound recordings, performances, events, etc.

International ISMN Agency Schlossstr. 50, D-12165 Berlin, Germany Email: ismn@ismn-international.org Website: http://ismn-international.org


Barbara Tillett Retirement Announcement

Dr. Barbara Tillett, Chief of the Policy & Standards Division at the United States Library of Congress and chair of the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) announced her retirement in mid October 2012, effective November 30, 2012.


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