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Cataloging News


As I pull this column together I’m getting ready to head to Chicago and the 2013 ALA Annual Conference. One thing that has stood out for me while setting and then regularly updating my conference schedule is a decline in programs related to RDA, though perhaps not by a whole lot. The other change I see is that those programs being offered are more focused, most usually on how RDA is being used with specific cataloging communities. And the same is true for the Map and Geospatial Information Round Table, or MAGIRT. So, while the content of my column this time around once again is RDA-based, it’s a little more “scattered” rather than reports from the national or international bodies. And, I’m sure the upcoming conference will lead to more news that I can report on for the next Cataloging Column.


“Maps the RDA Way: Come Catalog a Map with Us!” is this year’s MAGIRT Program at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. For details about what Paige Andrew and Susan Moore will present in a 90-minute session, see: http://ala13.ala.org/node/10094

In addition, a follow up MAGIRT webinar to handle both questions that we did not have time to address during the presentation or posed at the event has been set up for July 22nd at 1 p.m. Central Time. For more information go to: https://events-na8.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/1087453682/en/events/event/shared/default_template/speaker_info.html?sco-id=1148420439&_charset_=utf-8

OCLC News about Updates to its Bibliographic Input Standards

A recent email was sent out by OCLC, dated June 19, 2013, updating everyone on additions and changes to its Bibliographic Formats and Standards online manual for catalogers. In it, several notable changes to the Standards based on RDA and new MARC21 fields, subfields, and/or content for them such as changed codes were announced. Things to be aware of going forward include:

“We are now in the process of incorporating the changes to BFAS that were part of the OCLC-MARC Update 2012, which was documented in Technical Bulletin 261 (http://www.oclc.org/support/services/worldcat/documentation/tb/261.en.html). We are also taking this opportunity to announce the implementation of the OCLC-MARC Update 2013, which is documented in the new Technical Bulletin 262 (http://www.oclc.org/support/services/worldcat/documentation/tb/262.en.html). Highlights are listed below. The changes resulting from this OCLC-MARC Update 2013 are also being incorporated into BFAS. The updates to BFAS resulting from these two sets of changes have now begun and will continue through the coming weeks.

When we finish the task of incorporating the changes from the 2012 and 2013 OCLC-MARC Updates into BFAS, we will begin the larger job of reviewing BFAS in its entirety. Policies will be updated, links to “Searching WorldCat Indexes” (http://www.oclc.org/support/services/worldcat/documentation/searching/searchworldcatindexes.en.html) will be added, occasional references to RDA and the Library of Congress-Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PSs) will be incorporated, and some examples will be updated and others added to reflect RDA practices. This is a huge undertaking and will be happening gradually over time.”
In addition, please note the following:

*a new OCLC Policy Statement on RDA was announced and put into effect on March 31, 2013 letting catalogers know what was available in Connexion at that time and many specifics such as the correct order of subfields in the 040 field. See http://www.oclc.org/rda/new-policy.en.html In addition, OCLC started a website specific to its work with RDA a couple of years ago and it is kept up-to-date with RDA based changes, so you should bookmark it for handy reference: http://www.oclc.org/en-US/rda/about.html

UK Map Catalogers/Cataloguers Meet to Discuss RDA and its Impact Locally

Shortly after a May 2nd meeting held at the British Library, April Carlucci, Maps Cataloguing Manager, sent out a set of meeting notes to myself, Mary Larsgaard, Alan Danskin, Min Zhang, and Nancy Kandoian, for which we are all grateful. It is great to be able to learn about how other libraries are dealing with the launch of RDA and the notes do include a “round robin” status of whether RDA has been launched in map cataloging at the map libraries included, or not, and what each individual libraries need in the way of training, etc.

Besides the British Library, there were representatives from Oxford University, the national libraries of Wales and Scotland, and Cambridge University. A couple of notable items of discussion leading to action items include:

  • A good discussion on Relationship Designators for maps and how to apply them both in the Creator (1XX) and Contributor (7XX) fields.
  • A concern about the forthcoming Chapter 16 in the RDA Toolkit and whether application of geographic names as subject headings and subdivisions will be changed. They are monitoring the progress and wish for the map cataloging community at large to be consulted on content of Chapter 16 as it is written. In addition, “Correspondingly, the group also decided to make a formal request to Authority Control at the BL and LC to revise the instructions to use abbreviations for US and Australian states and Canadian provinces, to better agree with RDA principles not to use abbreviations, and for the better understanding of catalogue users outside those three countries.” In other words, instead of using “U.S.” or “Ont.” In headings these geographic places would be spelled out.
  • “A quick survey of the room revealed that the BL is the only institutions still using a space instead of a comma in the 255 scale RF, so it was decided that the BL would change its policy and use a comma.” – this is good news on the basis of consistency in applying the comma in a statement such as 1:24,000 in the 255$a.
  • “It was noted that the use of the word “Scale” at the beginning of the 255 is not required in RDA, so the group decided that as policy we would begin the 255 with the word “Scale” except when not appropriate (for example, “Not drawn to scale.”).” – this has been an issue of concern here in the U.S. for several months now as well and many of us are asking catalogers to continue to start the 255 with the word “Scale” as a best practice. It is gratifying to see that our UK counterparts believe this is the best way to go also.
  • “It was noted that the statement of projection is transcribed in RDA, which means that the projection should appear in the language in which it appears on the resource. While this was regarded as unhelpful, it was decided not to take any action.” – this is an excellent point if you were unaware.
  • “Due to the need to trust that the data from Bounding Box is correct, it was decided to recommend using a $2 in the 034 field to indicate the source of the data, and that a source code for Bounding Box would need to be requested from Library of Congress.” –A formal request was made to LC to create a new Source Code for the Klokan Bounding Box tool that many of us are using to generate accurate bounding box coordinates in a very easy method in our catalog records. [Note: I received a message on June 24, 2013 that the code “bounding” has been created by LC for this purpose.]

There were other items shared in the meeting notes, enough so that one felt like they were a part of this meeting, which is good!

A Couple of Items from the PCC at LC if You Are a PCC Member

1. A very useful Word document for instructions on how to use the new 264 “publications” field can be found at the “Post Implementation Guidelines and Standards” website of the PCC at:
 http://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc/rda/PCC%20RDA%20guidelines/Post-RDA-Implementation-Guidelines.html Scroll down to the header “PCC RDA Bibliographic Description” and it is the first item listed, with the title “264 Field PCC Guidelines”.

2. You say you’re a PCC member and confused about where to report a problem or question to? Les Hawkins sent a message out on the BIBCO list on May 28th that summarizes how to get your questions and concerns answered and heard that is very helpful:

“Hello all,
I am sending this message to multiple PCC email lists on behalf of Judith Cannan, the LC PCC Secretariat representative on the PCC Policy Committee.  –Les Hawkins

Modifications to PCC Secretariat Services to the Membership

PCC members are strongly encouraged to send questions about cataloging instructions, policies, procedures, and guidelines to the PCC listservs that the PCC Secretariat oversees: PCClist, BIBCO, CONSRlst, and SACOlist.  Answering these types of questions provides the membership with an opportunity for professional growth which they greatly appreciate.  Every question is of value as the membership analyzes, discusses, consults and references documents related to it, and finally reaches a resolution.  LC staff members also monitor these lists and are free to provide authoritative answers when appropriate. PCC members are discouraged from sending questions relating to cataloging instructions, policies, procedures, and guidelines directly to individual COIN staff members who comprise the PCC secretariat.  Instead, consider posting questions relating to cataloging instructions, policies, procedures, and guidelines to the relevant PCC listserv(s), so that everyone will benefit from the exchange. 

PCC members are encouraged to request assistance from their colleagues via community listservs such as music, art, CJK, etc. in the processing of items in a language or subject area in which they lack local expertise.  Some of you have already adopted this commendable practice and received welcome assistance from these communities.  
All questions relating to program participation, review, training, and logistical aspects of program membership should be sent by the membership to the email boxes for the individual programs: bibcomail@loc.gov, conser@loc.gov, naco@loc.gov, and saco@loc.gov .

When PCC members need to report duplicate NARs and related BFM send reports to: naco@loc.gov .   Before submitting the request for NAR deletes and BFM, members should move appropriate fields from the NAR that will be deleted to the NAR that will be retained.  In the subject line of the email put "NAR for deletion."   To assist LC staff to find the cited records easily, use NAR LCCNs and name strings, and where possible, LCCNs for bibliographic records that require maintenance. Citations of utility control numbers (e.g. ARNs in OCLC) add extra steps to the maintenance process.”

Something Fun to End With

I also belong to several other map librarian organizations, including the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA), and subscribe to their listserv, CARTA-L. Our Canadian colleagues often turn up some pretty neat online things and share out (and also are more deeply involved with struggles related to the Library of Canada and the Canadian government’s lack of support for libraries and archives in that country in general). As I was writing this column the following came into my email Inbox, enjoy!:

NewScientist article about tracking vegetation on earth:

"Overall, it looks like the planet is getting greener. Recent studies of similar satellite images have shown that plant life is moving north as carbon emissions stimulate photosynthesis."

It would be interesting to see similar images for asphalt and concrete

Marcel Fortin
University of Toronto”

I’ll close this Cataloging Column out for now, and the next one should include several items about map cataloging that come out of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, so stay tuned!

Paige Andrew
Maps Cataloging Librarian
Pennsylvania State University



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Last modified: June 24, 2013
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