Skip to main content

WGC Minutes - February 8, 2006

Present: Zoe Stewart-Marshall (chair), Jim Alberts, David Banush, Adam Chandler, Nancy Holcomb (recorder), Marty Kurth, Jim LeBlanc, Margaret Nichols, Jean Pajerek, Lois Purcell, Sarah Ross, Cecilia Sercan, Rick Silterra, Pam Stansbury, Marijo Wilson.

In Zoe Stewart-Marshall's absence, Jim LeBlanc chaired most of this meeting.

Upcoming Metadata Workshops -- Marty Kurth
Marty Kurth chairs a national task force that is developing a continuing education series of five courses, "Cataloging for the 21st Century," to be offered following the SCCTP model later this year. Two of the courses are being developed by Cornellians: Diane Hillmann's "Metadata Standards and Applications" and David Ruddy's "Metadata and Digital Library Development." These courses are being given dry runs here and Cornell participants have the opportunity to provide feedback to the presenters before they are finalized for a national audience. The first half of Diane's course was given Dec. 5-6. The second half will be given in two sessions Feb. 23-24. It covers relationship models, interoperability issues, application profiles, and vocabularies. David's course will be given in sessions on Mar. 27-28 and May 15-16. It emphasizes metadata in the project context: Analysis, functional requirements, workflows, etc., and is pitched toward traditional catalogers. Sign up for these classes through Library Learning Opportunities at

Resource Description and Access (RDA) -- Sarah Ross, Jim Alberts
This redo of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR2) could have a huge impact on us in the near future. There may still be opportunity for feedback in some areas, but a lot of it is already beyond the discussion stage. Sarah Ross is working with a national group evaluating RDA with respect to Asian cataloging. Her document, ?RDA Highlights as of Feb. 2006,? is available upon request. Jim Alberts is working on RDA from the music community's point of view. With its focus on relaxing the cataloging rules, RDA has made many things "optional," emphasizing cataloger judgment. When RDA is in place, LC plans to stop doing Rule Interpretations, and is banking on the cataloging code standing on its own. Difficult areas mentioned in our discussion included the elimination of use of [sic] when transcribing, heavy dependence on notes, transcribing every place of publication mentioned, difficulty of database cleanup in the RDA environment. A great deal of training will be needed to get catalogers ready to work with RDA. Apparently PCC will be involved in training, but it's too early to know how this will be done. RDA is due to be published in 2008, with implementation beginning 2009. It will be in 3 parts: Description, Access Points, and Control of Access Points.

Cornell Implementation of LCRI 22.17 re adding death dates to headings
This Library of Congress Rule Interpretation allows the optional addition of death dates to existing headings having a birthdate. LC is now discussing how they will implement this RI. At Cornell, if a heading is changed in Library Technical Services, the file maintenance will be taken care of in an automated way. It won't be necessary to notify the database maintenance group. But David Banush requests that we not add death dates unless we get a request from a user to add one. We will get changed records from other institutions over time and our authorities processes will take care of the cleanup. So it is not a good use of time to add a death date to a record ourselves, unless the person is locally well known. David will submit a proposal to the Advisory Council on Technical Services (ACTS), TSEG's successor, to this effect. In general, don't add death dates to authority headings.

Reports from ALA Midwinter
David Banush:
Big Heads (Technical Services Directors of Large Research Libraries) discussed the future of the ILS, changes to Technical Services including increasing use of vendor records and automated record creation (getting publisher data or Amazon data and putting it into MARC), and future directions for  RLG (Research Libraries Group). RLG has ongoing problems with its system, causing delays in loading its member records. Cornell is looking into alternatives to its Marcadia product because of these delays. Big Heads reports can be found at it site:

Unrelated to ALA , David reported that later this year, we will begin loading PCC core records created by Casalini catalogers for our Casalini approval orders.

Margaret Nichols:
The Bibliographic Standards Committee of RBMS (ACRL's Rare Books and Manuscripts Section) plans to have its new rare materials cataloging rules published by this summer. In the meantime, the six thesauri it has developed for use in rare book and special collections cataloging are now online at .

The RBMS preconference before the 2007 ALA will include a panel discussion about administration of technical services for special collections.

Cecilia Sercan:
At WESS (ACRL's Western Europe Studies Section), vendor records were a hot topic, especially how LC is going to use them.

CONSER-At-Large: See the LC CONSER page concerning the Access Level Record for serials,

There are many field by field options to make serial records more user friendly. They want to make this THE record for CONSER, and not have various levels any more.

Jim LeBlanc:
At dinner with Yale's authorities librarian, Jim learned that there is a way to alert catalogers when there is a freeze on certain blocks of records and the cataloger attempts to update a record that should be let alone. Yale's systems office has developed a tool that will give a warning popup when a frozen record is updated.

Zoe Stewart-Marshall:
The preconference on User Centered Design was excellent. It is being given here as two workshops on Feb. 20 and 21 through Library Learning Opportunities.

LITA's meetings are written up on its blog, accessed here:

New Business -- Zoe Stewart-Marshall
We discussed various issues concerning the future purpose of WGC such as possibly broadening its focus to include all of Technical Services, having more infrastructure such as an executive committee similar to the Metadata Working Group model, using a blog for more current discussion of trends in tech services than the twice-a-year ALA reports, and making meetings more of a balance of discussions and programs.