Volume 55, no. 7/8 2017



Assessment of Cataloging and Metadata Services

Rebecca L. Mugridge

Guest Editor

Introduction, Rebecca L. Mugridge

Book Reviews

Library of Congress Subject Headings: Online Training
developed by Janis Young and Daniel Joudrey. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Program for Cooperative Cataloging, Cataloger's Learning Workshop, 2017. https://www-loc-gov.laneproxy.stanford.edu/catworkshop/lcsh/
--Reviewed by Michael Colby (Principal Cataloger)

Understanding Metadata: What is Metadata, and What is it For?
by Jenn Riley. Baltimore: National Information Standards Organization, 2017. iii, 45 p. ISBN: 978-1-937522-72-8. http://www.niso.org.laneproxy.stanford.edu/apps/group_public/download.php/17446/Understanding%20Metadata.pdf
--Reviewed by Liz Woolcott


Cataloging News, Violet B. Fox, Editor

Original Articles

Research Studies

Defining, Assessing, and Rethinking Quality Cataloging

Karen Snow

ABSTRACT: Definitions of "quality cataloging" may differ from cataloger to cataloger and from institution to institution. If an objective definition of quality is elusive, how can an institution assess the quality of cataloging work? This article discusses definitions of quality cataloging in the literature and different ways it has been evaluated and measured. Academic library catalogers' perceptions of quality cataloging will also be explored, as well as how these perceptions are formed. The article concludes by suggesting ways cataloging departments can approach the creation and evaluation of quality cataloging in an ethical manner.

KEYWORDS: Quality cataloging, cataloging ethics, communities of practice, library catalog, assessment

A Librarian-Centered Study of Perceptions of Subject Terms and Controlled Vocabulary

William N. Schultz Jr. & Lindsay Braddy

ABSTRACT: Controlled vocabulary and subject headings in OPAC records have proven to be useful in improving search results. The authors used a survey to gather information about librarian opinions and professional use of controlled vocabulary. Data from a range of backgrounds and expertise were examined, including academic and public libraries, and technical services as well as public services professionals. Responses overall demonstrated positive opinions of the value of controlled vocabulary, including in reference interactions as well as during bibliographic instruction sessions. Results are also examined based upon factors such as age and type of librarian.

KEYWORDS: Subject headings, bibliographic instruction, reference, controlled vocabularies, surveys

Initiating Cultural Shifts in Perceptions of Cataloging Units through Interaction Assessment

Andrea Payant, Becky Skeen & Liz Woolcott

ABSTRACT: Points of contact formulate the culture of any organization and shape the perceptions of decision makers and colleagues alike. This research project investigated the interactions between Cataloging and Metadata Services staff and other library employees by analyzing interactions. This article summarizes the results of data gathered from interaction assessments and compares them with surveys about the current perceptions of the cataloging unit at the Utah State University Libraries. It discusses the ways these results have influenced existing unit workflows to enhance awareness of cataloging and metadata contributions to the library and posits possible ways to continue such initiatives moving forward.

KEYWORDS: Interaction, assessment, culture, perception, cataloging

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) for Cataloging: An Application and Evaluation

Jennifer Meekhof & Amy B. Bailey

ABSTRACT: Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a proactive assessment tool originally created for quality assurance in manufacturing industries. FMEA involves the assignment of rankings for frequency, severity, and detection of errors within a process. Catalogers at ProQuest undertook an innovative project to use FMEA to evaluate MARC record production. This article provides an overview of FMEA for process evaluation and summarizes an application for cataloging. It considers the tool's value for error-proofing in MARC record creation and how FMEA might be applied more effectively in a variable environment.

KEYWORDS: FMEA, quality assurance, error-proofing, MARC, cataloging

An Investigation of Title Ambiguity in the Health Sciences Literature

Dick R. Miller, Joanne Banko, Thea S. Allen, Ariel Vanderpool & Ryan Max Steinberg

ABSTRACT: Controlled vocabulary and subject headings in OPAC records have proven to be useful in improving search results. The authors used a survey to gather information about librarian opinions and professional use of controlled vocabulary. Data from a range of backgrounds and expertise were examined, including academic and public libraries, and technical services as well as public services professionals. Responses overall demonstrated positive opinions of the value of controlled vocabulary, including in reference interactions as well as during bibliographic instruction sessions. Results are also examined based upon factors such as age and type of librarian.This research investigates what most catalogers already know—titles alone do not identify works sufficiently. Repetitive titles like "Annual Report" are just the tip of the iceberg. To explore the extent of ambiguity occurring in large sets of health science bibliographic data, the entire National Library of Medicine and Lane Medical Library catalogs and a sample from the PubMed database were analyzed. After measuring the uniqueness of titles, results were recalculated to determine the effect of appending date and/or edition. This initial evidence supports further exploration of whether such structured titles might serve as singular bibliographic identities.

KEYWORDS: Ambiguity, bibliometrics, databases, identities, library catalogs, OPACs, titles, uniqueness

Case Studies in Metadata Quality
and Workflow Assessment

Transforming the CIP Data Block: Assessing User Needs to Re-envision a Venerable Library Icon

Karl Debus-López, Marilyn McCroskey, Regina Romano Reynolds, Caroline Saccucci, Camilla Williams & Michele Zwierski

ABSTRACT: Between 2013 and 2015, the Library of Congress and experts from school, public, and academic library communities revised the 42-year-old Cataloging in Publication (CIP) data block (back-of-title-page cataloging data). This article describes the assessments, including development and analysis of two surveys, used in this data-driven process. The revised data block replaces the catalog card layout with a labeled layout that identifies components within the block, merges print and electronic information, and provides additional descriptive and subject access points. A 2017 follow-up assessment confirmed the project's success in meeting the needs of its principal users, those in school and public libraries.

KEYWORDS: Cataloging, cataloging research, surveys, user studies, public libraries, college and university libraries, school libraries

New Approaches to Subject Indexing at the British Library

Janet Ashton & Caroline Kent

ABSTRACT: Between 2013 and 2015, the Library of Congress and experts from school, public, and academic library communities revised the 42-year-old Cataloging in Publication (CIP) data block (back-of-title-page cataloging data). This article describes the assessments, including development and analysis of two surveys, used in this data-driven process. The revised data block replaces the catalog card layout with a labeled layout that identifies components within the block, merges print and electronic information, and provides additional descriptive and subject access points. A 2017 follow-up assessment confirmed the project's success in meeting the needs of its principal users, those in school and public libraries.

KEYWORDS: FAST, subject indexing, resource discovery

Managing Bibliographic Data Quality for Electronic Resources

David Van Kleeck, Hikaru Nakano, Gerald Langford, Trey Shelton, Jimmie Lundgren & Allison Jai O'Dell

ABSTRACT: This article presents a case study of quality management issues for electronic resource metadata to assess the support of user tasks (find, select, and obtain library resources) and potential for increased efficiencies in acquisitions and cataloging workflows. The authors evaluated the quality of existing bibliographic records (mostly vendor supplied) for e-resource collections as compared with records for the same collections in OCLC's WorldShare Collection Manager (WCM). Findings are that WCM records better support user tasks by containing more summaries and tables of contents; other checkpoints are largely comparable between the two source record groups. The transition to WCM records is discussed.

KEYWORDS: Electronic resources, quality control, quality assurance, data hygiene, cataloging, metadata, OCLC WorldShare Collection Manager

Planning, Implementing, and Assessing a CD Reclassification Project

Robert B. Freeborn

ABSTRACT: In 2015, plans were put in place to relocate the entire compact disc collection of the Music and Media Center in the Arts and Humanities Library at Penn State's University Park campus, and to reclassify them from an accession number system to a more user-browsable one based on the Library of Congress Classification scheme. This article looks at the path that has being taken to reach this goal, and provides an initial assessment of the project at the halfway point.

KEYWORDS: Cataloging, classification, college and university libraries, music, sound recordings

Assessing the ISSN Register: Defining, Evaluating, and Improving the Quality of a Shared International Bibliographic Database

Clément Oury

ABSTRACT: ISSN identifiers reliably identify serials and other ongoing resources worldwide. The ISSN Register, maintained by the ISSN International Centre, is an authoritative database providing access to 1.9 million ISSN records, and fed by a network of 89 National Centres. This article presents the "Data Quality Plan" currently implemented by the ISSN International Centre: its objectives, its assumptions and the methodology it follows. It focuses on several projects, ran in collaboration with stakeholders of the serials supply chain or members of the ISSN Network, intended to improve quality in three domains: bibliographic data, coverage of the ISSN Register, processes and workflows.

KEYWORDS: ISSN Register, data quality, bibliographic records, cataloging, identifiers, linked data

Many Languages, Many Workflows: Mapping and Analyzing Technical Services Processes for East Asian and International Studies Materials

Leigh Billings, Nerea A. Llamas, Beth E. Snyder & Yunah Sung

ABSTRACT: This case study addresses a workflow analysis project undertaken in the International Studies and Asia Library technical services areas of the University of Michigan Library. The analysis was an opportunity to document existing technical services practices in three primary workflow areas: acquisitions/receiving, cataloging, and cataloging maintenance. International Studies began the project independently, and subsequently consultants were hired to work with both International Studies and Asia Library to find efficiencies and barriers, identify solutions, and propose future changes in non-Roman-language cataloging workflows. This article provides an account outlining the project background, implementation, outcomes, challenges, and lessons learned.

KEYWORDS: Technical services, workflow analysis, non-Roman languages, cataloging process, Lean management, case studies, foreign language materials

Cataloging from the Center: Improving e-Book Cataloging on a Consortial Level

Emily Alinder Flynn & Erin Kilkenny

ABSTRACT: In 2014, the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK) overhauled its consortial cataloging workflows by switching to what has been termed a model of "cataloging from the center." For more than 20 years, the Ohio academic library consortium relied on volunteers from its member institutions to catalog consortially purchased materials. Consolidating the consortial cataloging into the OhioLINK office allowed for revising the various workflows. Since 2014, the cataloging workflows for these shared electronic resources have improved efficiencies, allowing records to be provided to members in a more timely manner.

KEYWORDS: Cataloging, college and university libraries, cooperative cataloging, electronic books, case studies

Achieving and Maintaining Metadata Quality: Toward a Sustainable Workflow for the IDEALS Institutional Repository

Ayla Stein, Kelly J. Applegate & Seth Robbins

ABSTRACT: This article documents the steps taken to assess metadata errors within the IDEALS repository. It describes the workflows established to create accurate and consistent metadata, focusing especially on the batch ingest and retroactive metadata remediation processes. It also seeks to address theoretical issues surrounding the concept of metadata quality.

KEYWORDS: Metadata, metadata quality, metadata remediation, metadata quality assurance, institutional repositories, workflows, DSpace, OpenRefine




Assessment of Cataloging and Metadata Services:

Rebecca L. Mugridge
University at Albany, State University of New York

Assessment is a topic of great interest to the cataloging and metadata community. In the last decade it has gotten significantly more attention, partly as a response to movements in the academic library community and its focus on the value of libraries and what we do. I have long felt that cataloging and metadata departments regularly conduct a variety of forms of assessment, but that we are not good at sharing those assessment activities or communicating the results of our efforts. We carry out assessments of productivity, workflows, cataloging and metadata quality, vendor services, training needs, documentation, and more. Methods of conducting assessment can include focus groups, surveys, benchmarking, observational analyses, interviews, and methodologies that we borrow from other disciplines such as business. Interest in assessment continues to grow as evidenced by the number of conference programs, webinars, and other continuing education offerings that attract many attendees. There is clearly a need for practical ideas on how to conduct assessment and communicate the results of that assessment to administrators and other stakeholders.

With this special issue, I hoped to satisfy that need by gathering a variety of articles that address many aspects of assessment of cataloging and metadata services. In addition to articles and studies that discuss the assessment of cataloging and metadata quality, workflows, and productivity, I was looking for articles that address the impact of cataloging and metadata on the larger organization and society, assessment of vendor services, international assessment efforts, and various methods of assessment. I am pleased to be able to present all of those and more in this special issue. The papers are organized into two broad sections: (1) Research Studies; and (2) Case Studies in Metadata Quality and Workflow Assessment

The five research studies in this special issue address a variety of topics that shed light on many aspects of managing cataloging and metadata services and providing quality metadata to support research and learning. "Defining, Assessing, and Rethinking Quality Cataloging" by Karen Snow is a thoughtful discussion about how we define and think about quality in our cataloging activities. William Schultz and Lindsay Braddy share the results of their study of librarians' perceptions of the value of subject terminology and controlled vocabularies in "A Librarian-Centered Study of Perceptions of Subject Terms and Conrolled Vocabulary." Andrea Payant, Becky Skeen, and Liz Woolcott conducted a study about how cataloging staff interact with others throughout the library and present their results in "Initiating Cultural Shifts in Perceptions of Cataloging Units through Interaction Assessment." A method for assessing quality that comes from the business world, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, is used to evaluate cataloging quality at ProQuest, in a study by Jennifer Meekhof and Amy Bailey, "Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) for Cataloging: An Application and Evaluation." Finally, Dick Miller, Joanne Banko, Thea Allen, Ariel Vanderpool, and Ryan Steinberg look at the quality of title metadata in "An Investigation of Title Ambiguity in the Health Sciences Literature."

Case studies included in this collection encompass both the assessment of various metadata elements as well as the assessment of cataloging and metadata workflows. In the first of several articles that address metadata quality, Karl Debus-López, Marilyn McCroskey, Regina Reynolds, Caroline Saccucci, Camilla Williams, and Michele Zwierski share the results of a two-year-long project to assess and re-design the Cataloging-in-Publication information and data block in "Transforming the CIP Data Block: Assessing User Needs to Re-envision a Venerable Library Icon." This is a significant development in a service that the Library of Congress has been offering for nearly 50 years and I am proud to document the process of assessment and outreach in this special issue. Janet Ashton and Caroline Kent tackle "New Approaches to Subject Indexing at the British Library" in an assessment of the use of faceted subject terminology (FAST) in their cataloging. David Van Kleeck, Hikaru Nakano, Gerald Langford, Trey Shelton, Jimmie Lundgren, and Allison Jai O'Dell present the results of their study that compared the quality of vendor records with that of records available through the WorldShare Management Services platform in "Managing Bibliographic Data Quality for Electronic Resources." Robert Freeborn discusses a project to reclassify a collection of sound recordings from a home grown classification to Library of Congress Classification and how they assessed the usage of the collection after the reclassification in "Planning, Implementing, and Assessing a CD Reclassification Project."

With "Assessing the ISSN Register: Defining, Evaluating and Improving the Quality of a Shared International Bibliographic Database," Clément Oury addresses not only metadata quality, but also the assessment of metadata workflows, specifically with regard to the sharing of metadata through the ISSN Register. The next several articles focus on the assessment of efficient and effective metadata workflows. Leigh Billings, Nerea Llamas, Beth Snyder, and Yunah Sung discuss the assessment of cataloging workflows in a large, complex academic institution in "Many Languages, Many Workflows: Mapping and Analyzing Technical Services Processes for East Asian and International Studies Materials." Emily Flynn and Erin Kilkenny take a look at how to achieve efficiencies in e-book cataloging within a consortium in "Cataloging from the Center: Improving e-Book Cataloging on a Consortial Level." The assessment of metadata workflows within an institutional repository is addressed by Ayla Stein, Kelly Applegate, and Seth Robbins in "Achieving and Maintaining Metadata Quality: Toward a Sustainable Workflow for the IDEALS Institutional Repository."

It is my hope that these studies will help catalogers, metadata specialists, managers, and administrators think through how they might approach assessment of cataloging and metadata services at their own institutions. Every library is unique, with different challenges and concerns, and there are many ways to address those challenges through a methodical approach to assessment. Whether you choose to assess productivity, quality, workflows, impact, or some other aspect of cataloging and metadata services, there are many tools that can be applied to your efforts. You might try surveys, focus groups, interviews, observational analyses, workflow analyses, methodologies borrowed from the business world, or in-depth reviews of specific metadata fields. I hope that the articles in this special issue provide inspiration and guidance to help you in your assessment efforts.


Cataloging News

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: Violet Fox via email at violetbfox@gmail.com, phone: 312-996-3040. 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, and so on

Research and opinion

Library of Congress releases new memo on process of subject heading proposals

The Library of Congress continues to deal with the aftermath of the "Illegal aliens" Library of Congress Subject Heading change petition (summarized in the Cataloging News column in v.54(7), available at: http://www.tandfonline.com.laneproxy.stanford.edu/doi/full/10.1080/01639374.2016.1218707).

In an amendment to the House Appropriations Bill (H.R. 244) passed in May 2017, the following instructions were provided to the Library of Congress:

Subject Headings: In lieu of report language related to the Library of Congress' subject headings, the Library of Congress is directed to make publicly available its process for changing or adding subject headings. It is expected that the Library use a process to change or add subject headings that is clearly defined, transparent, and allows input from stakeholders including those in the congressional community. The process should consider appropriate sources of common terminology used to refer to a concept, including current statutory language and other legal reference sources; and other sources, such as reference materials; websites; and, titles in the Library of Congress' collection.

In response, the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division released a new addition to the Subject Heading Manual in June 2017. H 204, "Evaluating Subject Proposals," outlines the subject proposal workflow within the division, and describes "in general terms the issues that policy specialists consider as they review the proposals that catalogers submit for consideration." The full instruction sheet is available at http://www.loc.gov.laneproxy.stanford.edu/aba/publications/FreeSHM/H0204.pdf. In addition, a new page on the Library's website ("Process for Adding and Revising Library of Congress Subject Headings") is also available at https://www-loc-gov.laneproxy.stanford.edu/aba/cataloging/subject/lcsh-process.html. This new page also provides a brief guide to the process, describing who is eligible to submit proposals ("libraries and other institutions that participate in the Subject Authority Cooperative (SACO) Program") and stating that "[s]uggestions for improvement may also be submitted by the general public by emailing the Policy and Standards Division."

These are welcome steps in making the LCSH approval process more transparent and responsive. Further steps that LC might consider in the future include: improving the interface of the editorial meeting decisions page (so that a librarian could easily find out that their heading suggestion had already been proposed), officially opening LCSH proposal submissions up to non-SACO libraries, and encouraging collaboration among non-SACO librarians to work together to strengthen the case for their proposed headings.

Regarding the "Illegal aliens" LCSH, Janis Young reported at the American Library Association Annual Conference in June 2017, that "LC is still conferring with interested parties on the disposition of the subject heading."

Call for chapter proposals: Ethical questions in name authority control

Working title: Ethical Questions in Name Authority Control
Editor: Jane Sandberg
Publisher: Library Juice Press

Catalogers hold very specific types of power when they describe people, families, and corporate bodies. When creating a personal name authority record, for example, catalogers determine the authorized name by which an individual will be known, then identify a few characteristics of the individual that distinguish them from others, while balancing their judgment with respect for the individual's self-concept. This is a powerful position, and that power must be exercised ethically.

As name authority control moves toward an identity management model, catalogers are taking on new roles, authority data is used in innovative ways, and libraries increasingly interact with non-library datasets and name disambiguation algorithms. During this transition, it is imperative that the library community reflect on the ethical questions that arise from its historical and emerging practices.

The present volume raises many of these questions in the hope of building toward a framework for the ethical practice of name authority control. This framework would include—at minimum—the following concepts:

  • Respect for the people described in authority systems, including deceased people
  • Fulfillment of name authority control objectives for names from a variety of cultural naming traditions and personal histories
  • Local community needs
  • Acknowledgment of historical and contemporary injustices
  • Consideration of potential future uses of authority data
  • Ethical employment practices

This collection will explore and develop this framework through theoretical and practice-based essays, stories, content analyses, and other methods. As it explores ethical questions in a variety of settings, this book will deepen readers' understanding of names, identities, and library catalogs. The chapters from this volume are intended to spark conversations among librarians, archivists, library technologists, library administrators, and library and information science students.

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Ethical dimensions of an identity management approach to authority control (e.g. how should catalogers approach linking to flawed name authority data?)
  • Responses to the PCC Ad Hoc Task Group on Gender in Name Authority Records recommendations
  • Representations of people with Arabic, CJK, and Indigenous names in Google Scholar, ISNI, ORCID, Scopus, and online repositories
  • Applying contemporary gender and demographic terms to non-contemporary people
  • Describing people using demographic terms taken from thesauri other than LCSH or LC Demographic Group Terms (e.g., First Nations House of Learning thesaurus, Homosaurus)
  • Barriers (technological, structural, etc.) to ethical name authority control
  • Assumptions and flaws in name disambiguation and clustering algorithms
  • Author privacy concerns
  • Online name authority files in the context of right-to-be-forgotten laws
  • Decolonizing name authority files
  • Ethical dimensions of corporate and family name authority control
  • Creating authority data in conjunction with the people and groups they describe
  • Emotional labor in name authority work
  • Connections between hiring and employment practices and name authority work
  • Ethical name authority questions in consortial environments
  • Effective advocacy for ethical name authority control and identity management practices

Abstract submission deadline: October 20, 2017. For more information, see the call for chapter proposals at http://libraryjuicepress.com/blog/?p=5573.


Library of Congress offers bulk download of bibliographic records

Press release from the Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress announced in May that it is making 25 million records in its online catalog available for free bulk download at http://loc.gov/cds/products/marcDist.php. This is the largest release of digital records in the Library's history. The records also can be accessed at data.gov, the open-government website hosted by the General Services Administration (GSA). Until now, these bibliographic records have only been available individually or through a paid subscription.

"The Library of Congress is our nation's monument to knowledge and we need to make sure the doors are open wide for everyone, not just physically but digitally too," said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. "Unlocking the rich data in the Library's online catalog is a great step forward. I'm excited to see how people will put this information to use."

The new, free service will operate in parallel with the Library's fee-based MARC Distribution Service, which is used extensively by large commercial customers and libraries. All records use the MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging Records) format, which is the international standard maintained by the Library of Congress with participation and support of libraries and librarians worldwide for the representation and communication of bibliographic and related information in machine-readable form.

The data covers a wide range of Library items including books, serials, computer files, manuscripts, maps, music and visual materials. The free data sets cover more than 45 years, ranging from 1968—during the early years of MARC—to 2014. Each record provides standardized information about an item, including the title, author, publication date, subject headings, genre, related names, summary and other notes.

In addition to their traditional value to libraries, the rich data included in these records can be used for a wide range of cultural, historical and literary research. "The Library of Congress catalog is literally the gold standard for bibliographic data and we believe this treasure trove of information can be used for much more than its original purpose," added Beacher Wiggins, the Library's director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access. "From more efficient information-sharing and easier analysis to visualizations and other possibilities we cannot begin to predict, we hope this data will be put to work by social scientists, data analysts, developers, statisticians and everyone else doing innovative work with large data sets to enhance learning and the formation of new knowledge."

The Library also hosted a Hack-to-Learn workshop May 17–18, in partnership with George Washington University and George Mason University, aimed at bringing together librarians, digital researchers and coders to explore how the data (and other interesting data sets) can be used.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina launches the online versions of MARC 21 format for authority data and community information in Arabic

In June 2017 the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt launched the online version of MARC 21 Format for Authority Data in Arabic. The online version is accessible from the Arabic Library Standards website (http://www.bibalex.org/ALS). It is a free edition that provides Arab catalogers with a selection of the core MARC 21 Format for Authority Data fields, and adopts a tailored field description structure. The online version covers until Update 19, featuring the complete Format Summary of the Authority format, and core fields accommodating emerging cataloging rules, known as Resource Description and Access (RDA), manifested in fields 046, 370– 378, 385–386, 388, and more. It also includes Arabic examples boosting Arabic cataloging rules and practices, featuring various Arabic Authority Files. The online version of MARC 21 Format for Authority Data in Arabic introduces the release of the full print edition that will be in one volume. Intended to be available for acquisition by patrons and institutions, the print edition is a complete Arabization of the original MARC 21 Format for Authority Data as published by the Library of Congress.

In July 2017 the Bibliotheca Alexandrina launched the online version of MARC 21 Format for Community Information in Arabic. MARC 21 Format for Community Information provides information about different time-span events, programs, organizations, individuals, etc. It can also be found at the Arabic Library Standards website (http://www.bibalex.org/ALS). The Arabic online version covers until Update 19, featuring the complete Format Summary of the format, and core fields. MARC 21 Format for Community Information in Arabic is highly functional as a directory, allowing catalogers to provide patrons with more details about the sought pieces of information concerning a certain event, person or corporate body. Moreover, this format acts as a good means of documentation for ethnological tracing. It is worth mentioning that MARC 21, with its five formats, is a standard by which bibliographic, authority, holdings and classification data, and community information are documented in a machine-readable form, and one of the most important systems in data creation and sharing between libraries. It is also the most widely supported encoding standard by integrated library systems, meeting the needs of both libraries and patrons, equally. Hence, came the importance of this project of translating and Arabizing the five formats of MARC 21, aiming at coping with the international library and cataloging standards and tools. This project benefits the Arab catalogers, providing them with an international standard in their mother tongue. MARC 21 formats resulted from merging the formats of the United States and Canadian MARC (USMARC and CAN/MARC) in 1997. They are maintained and continuously updated by the Library of Congress to cope with latest developments in bibliographic control and emerging cataloging rules. For further details about the Arabic edition of MARC 21 Formats, please visit: https://www.bibalex.org/als/en/page/marc21-overview.

Report on RDA toolkit restructure and redesign project

The RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign (3R) project has been proceeding with an extended string of discussions with developers as well as with the RDA Steering Committee (RSC). These discussions have led to decisions in some cases and further questions in others. The restructure of the RDA data is nearing completion, a new translation system has been implemented, and the redesign of the user interface is in its initial phases.

RDA is being revised to conform to the IFLA-Library Reference Model. The RDA Steering Committee (RSC) is also using this period of change to reorganize the structure of RDA, shifting to a new outline that includes two primary sections—General Guidance and Entities. The RSC is already writing and shaping these new chapters; some of these will be entirely new while others will be comprised largely of existing instructions. The sections within each chapter will be focused on individual elements and sub-elements associated with an entity. At the RDA Forum at the ALA Annual Conference last month, the RSC proposed that these element and sub-element sections would follow this structure:

  • Definition and scope statement
  • User tasks
  • Sources
  • 4-fold path
  • Provenance
  • Recording
  • Links to related elements (both more general and more specific)
  • Links to topics in general chapters

The RSC is responding to the User Group's call for more and better examples. While examples with embedded MARC encoding (or any other encoding) will not be added, our expectation is that the redesigned toolkit will offer a variety example types. In addition to the basic examples currently seen in the Toolkit, we hope to add examples with greater context, relationship diagram examples, and examples in each of the 4-fold path options. Users will be able to set preferences for the type of examples they want to see.

There has been a lot of discussion about how to handle revision history, and interest in supplying a track changes-type document of revisions. After continued discussions with developers it has become clear that the track changes-document will not be possible for the 3R project. It is simply too labor-intensive at this time, but we will continue to search out a way to make such a display possible in the future. In the meantime a new approach is needed. The idea is that the Toolkit will provide Release Notes with each release and covering each language version. Notes are likely to include a list of instructions that have changed, a brief description of why the revision was made, and pdfs of all the old versions of the RDA instructions.

As planning has progressed in the last couple of months, it has become clear that the role of institutional and personal profiles will play a large part in the User Experience for the redesigned site. As more document sets are added to the Toolkit and more user-created documents are shared globally with subscribers, there needs to be a way for staff managers to filter content and create a specific collection of resources and local notes for their staffs. Also, users need to be able to further refine Toolkit content and add personal notes, "favorite" passages, and easily track their own activity on the site. To provide the best possible Toolkit experience, profiles will be essential, and it is likely user profiles will be required or at least strongly recommended and that staff managers will use the admin site to create subscription profiles.

NETSL Annual Spring Conference, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts, May 5, 2017

Report submitted by Lisa Romano, Cataloging and Metadata Librarian, Joseph P. Healey Library, University of Massachusetts

The NETSL (New England Technical Services Librarians) Annual Spring Conference was held May 5, 2017 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. The keynote was delivered by Bonnie Tijerina of Data & Society and called Expanding Our Boundaries in Service of Our Values. Her speech focused on the values and skills of librarianship, and applying them in communities. Bonnie emphasized that librarians have unique skills to help with emerging issues in the world and that the values of librarianship are needed more than ever. Among the issues that librarians can assist with best practices on are: setting up new rules and regulations, privacy, data ethics (including data collection, data storage, data sharing and reuse of data, and re-identification and consent), and proper use of information (copyright and licensing). Additionally, librarians can use crowd-funding to help fund projects that they care about. Bonnie concluded her presentation by asking the audience to think about the emerging problems in the community where they can use their skills. But she pointed out that values need to be our guide — "consider our values as we recreate our future."

In the breakout session Beyond the Bento – A New Discovery Experience for Smith College, Rob O'Connell and Barbara Polowy discussed the new discovery interface at their library, which is organized like a bento box. Search results are grouped into categories and displayed in compartments. With their previous discovery interface, patrons found the results display confusing and overwhelming due to the large number of search results and the order of the display. Instead, the new interface was designed to be customizable by users, and was based on a review of search logs, EBSCO User Research on Millennials, and usability testing. Now when a search is performed, the bento boxes shift according to the amount of content in them and the amount of information on the screen is reduced to the most essential information. Geared to first and second year students, the results provide a selection of content that is easier to absorb. Barbara summed up the interface as a "progressive disclosure of metadata."

Cindy Schofield of Southern Connecticut State University described the process and challenges of merging and migrating their consortium's library system with several community colleges systems in the breakout session, A Quinate and a Baker's Dozen — The Tale of a Connecticut Consortium Migration. After evaluating multiple systems, the combined group chose ALMA/PRIMO based on recommendations by various functional groups. The group used WebEx meetings, LibGuides, blogs, and BaseCamp during the implementation process to communicate. Cindy stressed the importance of defining the project, preparing the data, following instructions, using common sense, reviewing test loads, and using the test environment. As a result, they learned that their specifications should have been better communicated to ExLibris, changes can be made after migration but some changes require certification, data cleanup never ends and is ongoing, not everyone has the same data standards, and PRIMO configuration should have started earlier. In conclusion, Cindy stated that it was important to communicate to everyone and get everyone involved in this type of project.

Patricia S. Banach was the 2017 NETSL award winner in recognition of "45 years of innovative service and leadership in acquisitions, cataloging, and library management in New England." In accepting her award, Patricia remarked that during her career she made sure that technical service was a public service and that the core of technical service was service. The conference concluded with seven lightning talks of seven minutes each.

  • Alice Pearman of Plymouth State University spoke on the cataloging and digitizing of 20 oral histories found in a dusty corner of the library in her talk, In Unearthing Oral Histories. She recommended making sure to take a step back and assess a project before accepting and beginning it, and following checkpoints during the project.
  • In Automating Knowledge Base Maintenance with KBART Integration, Andree Rathemacher of the University of Rhode Island discussed an automated way to update e-journals and e-books holdings in knowledge bases that allows users "to set and forget it." This process is currently available from certain vendors, but NISO is working on a recommended practice for all vendors.
  • Michael Rodriguez, Piloting Evidence-Based Acquisitions at UConn Library, provided information on the practice of paying up front for library resources directly from a publisher and then selecting which resources to keep based on use. He detailed problems including the need to verify that the resources are used and the lack of technical expertise from some vendors.
  • Kumiko Reichert described some challenges she faced as a new cataloging manager at Bridgewater State University and some of the problems she encountered in Head of Metadata/Cataloging for Dummies. In her talk, she spoke on some solutions to these issues and moving the department forward.
  • In The [n.d.]s of March, or, Recataloging Julius Caesar, Noah Sheola talked about the process to recatalog four editions of Julius Caesar that were undated and undistinguable in the catalog at Harvard University. He described the various expert theories that he used to determine the dates of these plays and then to recatalog them.
  • Rhonda Kaufman, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice in the Collections Directorate, discussed how MIT libraries formed a task force to look at how they could improve diversity and inclusion in technical services work. They found that this examination brought a cultural change and allowed everyone to talk opening about these issues.
  • Julian Gautier of The Dataverse Project described the process used to find an expanded vocabulary for their data repository software in his talk, In Search of the Perfect Vocabulary for Describing Research Data. Once the group selected a new vocabulary, the work was not over as they also needed to make user interface and back end changes to support the new vocabulary.


ALCTS EXCHANGE, online, May 9–18, 2017

As part of its celebration of its 60th anniversary, ALCTS (Association for Library Collections & Technical Services) held a four-day virtual program called ALCTS Exchange. It was ground-breaking in a number of ways, including its format: a wide range of presenters gave their talks in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, including full 35-minute sessions, 10-minute lightning rounds, and a virtual poster session. Participants were encouraged to engage in discussion with presenters and each other in real time via a chat interface. Each presentation related to the program's overarching theme, "Embracing the Past, Building the Future." A sample of just some of the presentations follows.

Liz Woolcott (Utah State University) and Jeremy Myntti (University of Utah) presented on "Now, What Do You Want Me to Do? New and Emerging Roles for Cataloging and Metadata Librarians." The presentation shared results from the 2016 Organization and Structure of Cataloging Units in Academic Libraries survey, which revealed that cataloging and metadata librarians are increasingly taking on hybrid roles in library units including Special Collections, Electronic Resources, and Acquisitions. Woolcott also shared the efforts of the Utah State University Libraries in workflow mapping to better understand the changes in how their library collections are acquired, ingested, and maintained.

Ferris State University library workers Dejah Rubel, Stacy Anderson, Carrie Buss, and Chelsea Mitchell shared their solution to the problem of a massive re-cataloging project in their presentation "Cataloging Without Borders: Building, Training, and Coaching a Diverse Technical Services Learning Community." The group talked about how they formed a team of paraprofessionals, a metadata librarian, and a non-technical services librarian to learn to catalog music together. They found their group brought unique value to the process and plan to use the communal learning process in future cataloging projects.

In an out-of-the-ordinary turn, Hannah Buckland (Leech Lake Tribal College) used the asynchronous capabilities of the ALCTS Exchange to her advantage to share her thoughts about "Decolonizing Catalogs in Tribal College Libraries." Buckland created a video that vividly demonstrated the remoteness of her northern Minnesota academic/community library. The video format also gave Buckland the chance to share the history of the Ojibwe people in the area and talk about the ways that the cataloging standards we use represent the power structures that maintain whiteness/English-speaking as the "neutral" option. Buckland concluded by arguing that only dismantling and recreating frameworks of knowledge can address the injustices inherent in our systems, but that "dismantling happens piece by piece and starts locally." The full video is well worth a watch; it is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUmS2dmngE0.

Ethan Fenichel (Florida Atlantic University) also used the virtual format of the Exchange to good advantage during his presentation, "PyMARC in 30 Minutes." During the synchronous, interactive session, Fenichel guided participants to install the computer program Python and write a first script with the Python library, PyMARC. The script was designed to extract data from MARC records. Fenichel then presented examples of more complex scripts utilizing other Python skills. The session was a great way to experiment with programming in order to get users excited about the data manipulation possibilities of scripting languages.

Congratulations and thank you to the organizers of ALCTS Exchange for bringing an assortment of interesting and insightful presentations to life. Find more information about ALCTS Exchange at https://alcts2017.learningtimesevents.org.

American Library Association Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, June 22–27, 2017

Cataloging Norms Interest Group: "The Changing Metadata Arena and its Practitioners"

The ALCTS Cataloging Norms Interest Group met on Saturday June 24 at McCormick Place. Six speakers presented programs of varying lengths on authority control, identity management, vocabularies and linked data, and the changing role and practices of cataloging and metadata librarians. During the featured program "Identity Management or Authority Control" Jennifer Liss (Indiana University) shared the work of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Task Group on Identity Management in NACO, including the group's analysis of the emerging use cases for Identity Management, actual projects that facilitate globally shared identifier management work in libraries, and some of the problems to be solved as identity management activities integrate into authority control workflows. Miloche Kottman (University of Kansas) presented on "Authority Control for Finding Aids: Changing Roles for Cataloging Staff," discussing their move to ArchivesSpace, an open-source archives information management system with some authority control capabilities. Ivey Glendon (University of Virginia) also talked about their library's migration to ArchivesSpace in "Better Together: Cataloging and Metadata Librarians, Archivists, and New Understandings for Description and Discovery." The Cataloging Norms Interest Group ended with three short lightning talks: Mary Aycock (Texas State University) on "The Nitty Gritty of Adding Subfield 0 to MARC Records," Rachel Jaffe (University of California, Santa Cruz) on "Imposing Authority: Using OpenRefine to Control Uncontrolled and Out-of-control Vocabulary Terms," and Brian Falato (University of South Florida) on "An Existential Crisis for Cataloging?"

PCC Participants Meeting: "the Future of Subject Access in A Linked Data Environment" panel discussion

The Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Participants Meeting was held Sunday June 25. After an introduction by PCC Chair Matthew Beacom (Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University), moderator Jennifer Baxmeyer (Princeton University Library) introduced the panelists. Nancy Fallgren (National Library of Medicine) discussed the Medical Subject Headings' (MeSH) control of valid pre-coordinated headings. She also gave an update on the work NLM has done to create MeSH RDF and to add subfield $0 with MeSH URIs to NLM bibliographic records. Jodi Williamschen (Library of Congress) talked about Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) in a linked data environment, including the limitations of the current data structure of LCSH. Chew Chiat Naun (Harvard Library) presented on the potential of FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) and Cornell's research with OCLC on the FAST application. His presentation focused on the relatively easy subject heading maintenance and legacy compatibility of FAST versus LCSH, although he emphasized that FAST needs governance and regular vocabulary maintenance to be a fully developed faceted subject vocabulary.

Metadata Interest Group: "Metadata Migration: Managing Methods and Mayhem"

Sponsored by the ALCTS Metadata Interest Group, the "Metadata Migration" program took place Sunday June 25 at McCormick Place. Maggie Dickson (Duke University Libraries), presented an overview of metadata remediation efforts used to prepare for a systems migration. Their remediation project began by formulating four guiding principles for their data: fitness for purpose, broad applicability, broad shareability, and forward-thinking. Using a variety of tools (such as OpenRefine and visualization tool Tableau Public), their efforts centered on field normalization. They expect their efforts will help with linked data efforts and with their next system migration. Gretchen Gueguen from the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) described techniques used to analyze and map metadata from a variety of sources, including an overview of a new open source tool being developed by DPLA called Ingest3 which aims to make the data ingest process more efficient. Gueguen explained that DPLA's unique challenges in being involved in endless migrations gives them the opportunity to explore new options for determining the best results in metadata mapping.

Authority Control Interest Group

The Authority Control Interest Group met Sunday June 25 at the Hilton Chicago. Updates on four international projects were presented. "Opening Doors: Impact of Linked data Project Datos.BNE.ES on Authority Control at the National Library of Spain" was presented by Maria Jesus Morillo Calero (Biblioteca Nacional de España). This service, still in a beta version, has had a twofold goal: continue with the publication of National Library of Spain bibliographic and authority data in RDF under an open license, and to provide the user with an innovative view of its assets, built upon and benefiting from this large amount of semantic data. Thurstan Young (British Library) shared information about "The British Library's Implementation of Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus terms (LCMPT)." Daniela Trunk of the German National Library presented on "Authority Control in German-Speaking Countries: The Integrated Authority File GND (Gemeinsame Normdatei)" Trunk shared examples of how the GND is used and discussed future projects to expand its implementation. Janis Young concluded the meeting with updates on Library of Congress projects, including a pilot project for name authority work in BIBFRAME, the ongoing work of new art genre terms into LCGFT (Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms) with the help of the ARLIS/NA (Art Libraries Society of North America) Cataloging Advisory Committee, the availability of the draft LCMPT (Library of Congress Medium of Performance Terms for Music), and the continuation of the pilot proposals for LCDGT (Library of Congress Demographic Group Terms) through December 2017.

CaMMS Forum: "Power That Is Moral: Creating a Cataloging Code of Ethics"

The 2017 CaMMS (Cataloging and Metadata Management Section) Forum was held Sunday June 25. Discussion centered on the perceived inadequacies of the ALA Code of Ethics and the 1994 Guidelines for ALCTS Members to Supplement the ALA Code of Ethics to sufficiently address the ethical issues faced by catalogers in their work, and the potential pros and cons of creating a Cataloging Code of Ethics.

Two presentations began the CaMMS Forum. Elizabeth Shoemaker (Emory University) described the concept of ethics and shared thoughts about the need for a code of ethics in professional organizations. She listed a number of ethical dilemmas catalogers face: fielding requests to reclassify materials, assigning subjects for marginalized groups, and more. Shoemaker claimed that "catalogers can censor a work, intentionally or unintentionally, more adeptly than anyone else in the library," with classification or typographical errors. She discussed the cataloger's need to balance our duties to our users, our adherence to an ethical code, and precepts from library administration. The second presentation by Hope Olson (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, retired) on ethics theory and its application. Olson explained descriptive versus prescriptive ethics, arguing that cataloging and classification are becoming less prescriptive and more flexible. She discussed the potential of Carol Gilligan's ethics of care (focusing on collaboration, relationships, and context) to provide a framework to a cataloging code of ethics, and the need to address issues of agency and authority. Olson also used Cornell's philosophy of the limit as a way to understand the responsibility that people on the inside (catalogers) have to those on the outside (users of the catalog). Olson concluded by encouraging a non-Aristotelian, feminist-theory-informed approach, arguing that it was particularly appropriate to a female-preponderate profession.

The CaMMS Forum was concluded with an open discussion facilitated by Karen Snow (Dominican University) and Bobby Bothmann (Minnesota State University, Mankato) gathering thoughts from the audience on the uses for a cataloging code of ethics, potential drawbacks, and ways of moving forward and gathering opinions from a wide variety of catalogers. Presentation slides are available at http://connect.ala.org/node/265990.

RDA Linked Data Forum

The RDA Linked Data Forum was held Monday June 26 in McCormick Place. The session focused on the RDA Registry, which contains linked data and Semantic Web representations of entities, element sets, and value vocabularies approved by the RSC. RSC Chair Gordon Dunsire presented on "RDA Linked Data Vocabularies Data Management and Use Workflow," describing how RDA entities are maintained in one place, the RDA Registry, but can be used by multiple systems. Diane Hillman (Metadata Management Associates) shared her presentation "RDA and Linked Data: Where's the Beef?," clarifying the role that the RDA Registry can play in library metadata. She concluded the forum by urging libraries to continue shifting their focus from local catalogs to global scale data. Presentation slides are available at http://www.rda-rsc.org/rscpresentations.

European DDC Users Group Meeting, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France, June 27–28, 2017

The European DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification) Users Group (EDUG) held its 11th annual meeting June 27–28, 2017 in Paris at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Presentations included "Sharing classification data: cooperation across boundaries and libraries" by Ingebjørg Rype (National Library of Norway) and Unni Knutsen (University of Oslo Library) and reports on mapping projects and updates to WebDewey. Presentation slides and meeting minutes can be found at http://edug.pansoft.de/tiki-index.php?page=2017+meeting.


Carla Hayden awarded Dewey Medal

Carla D. Hayden, the United States' Librarian of Congress, was honored in June 2017 during the American Library Association Conference with the Melvil Dewey Medal, which recognizes creative leadership in library management, training, cataloging and classification. Her two decades of exemplary leadership of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, set an example of the role that librarians play in the community, opening the system's libraries for refuge during a time of civic strife. She is also recognized for her inspiring leadership while President of the American Library Association in 2003–2004, and very significantly, her historic appointment in September 2016 as the first woman and first African-American to be named Librarian of Congress.



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