Archive for July 2008

Experimental Spanish version of LCSH

July 25, 2008

An alert just brought me news that there is a new version of LC Subject Headings in Spanish can be searched here and is described as:

This an experimental Spanish-English/English-Spanish list of subject headings. Please use it with caution! The data is not completely current a much of it has not been checked thoroughly. For more information see the Sources and About pages.

I think this source would have been helpful to students in the hispanic theology program at my former institution that couldn’t always think of the correct term to search in English.


Fiscal Year 2008 Recap of OCLC Quality Control and CIP Upgrading Activities

July 24, 2008

Over the next few days, I want  to go back and post on some things that occurred just as I was contemplating or launching this blog.  On July 9, Glenn Patton, Director, WorldCat Quality Management, reported to OCLC-CAT [permission to quote]

For the fiscal year just concluded (July 2007 through June 2008), OCLC staff have:
– corrected 2,137,903 bibliographic records
– performed 207,742 merges resulting in the deletion of 317,022 bibliographic records
– added 165 new authority records
– updated 395,817 authority records
– referred 765 authority records (name and subject) to the Library of Congress for resolution
Many of the changes resulted from the processing of 182,348 change requests, an increase of 21% over the same period of fiscal year 2007.
During the same time period, OCLC CIP Upgrade Unit staff have:
– upgraded 20,501 CIP records
– added 1,006 new authority records
– updated 857 authority records
These figures for authority records include 450 new series authority records and updates to 247 existing series authority records.  This activity with series authorities continues to grow as a result of OCLC’s adapting to the Library of Congress’s stopping series authority work.

I’m interested in the increase in change requests and wondering if it has to do with the increased use of Worldcat as a front end.  I know that as my institution taught more students to access our holdings through Worldcat for various reasons, I sent in more change requests for corrections I couldn’t make myself, particularly if they affected access.

LCSH 2008, weeks 26-28

July 22, 2008

On lower east side librarian Jenna has pulled information from Library of Congress Subject Headings Weekly Lists and added her own commentary.  For example

150 Balloon sculpture [May Subd Geog] [sp 85011322]
* 450 UF Balloon modelling
* 450 UF Balloon twisting
* 450 UF Sculpture, Balloon
* 550 BT Sculpture CANCEL
If I were a balloon artist, I might be up in arms about my art no longer being considered a form of sculpture.

Makes for some useful and entertaining reading.

AALL: The Future of Subject Access in the 21st Century

July 21, 2008

Beverly Burmeister reports on a meeting that took place at AALL.  The speakers were Barbara Tillett and Lois Mai Chan.  From the middle of the report:

For the future, Dr. Tillett predicted that the global use of LCSH will expand and that the process will be improved to reduce costs and at the same time maintain the system.

In her presentation, Dr. Chan offered her suggestions for changes to LCSH which would be theoretically sound but at the same time be more useful to OPAC and web users. 

Interesting predictions on how LCSH can be maintained yet brought in line with current trends.


Literature on authority control

July 21, 2008

The issue of Library Resources & Technical Services (vol. 52, no. 3, July 2008) that I recently received contains a review of the literature of cataloging and classification from 2005-06.  While I haven’t worked my way through everything listed, I wanted to point out a piece that is especially relevant to readers of this blog.  Robert E. Wolverton, “Becoming an Authority on Authority Control: An Annotated Bibliography of Resources,” Library Resources & Technical Services 50, no. 1 (2006):31-41.

Identity and attributes

July 19, 2008

I’ve been pondering what information is presented with a name and what information must be sought elsewhere since my announcement of this blog was signed with only my name and no other identifying information.  On AUTOCAT, where it is customary but not required to use a signature file, the announcement caused a flurry of posts about my identity and my credentials.  As far as I know, I am the only Lois Reibach in the world, but my niece is also lreibach and she has taken that identity in a number of online services.  What I have finally come to understand is that I did not include any Attributes of a Person as defined by FRAD section 4.1.  Probably the most important attributes in this case are:

  • Affiliation
  • Field of activity
  • Profession/occupation

These attributes are all additions to those identified in FRBR.  So perhaps my marketing was lacking, but I have now been afforded the opportunity to look closer at the language of FRBR and FRAD, because at first I was looking at the task of identifying, which is where I learned that attributes were needed.


Controlling series headings

July 17, 2008

MARC Proposal No. 2008-07 which will make field 440 obsolete in MARC 21 was apparently passed at ALA, based on discussion I have seen.  The discussion included in the proposal centered on impact on local systems and OCLC.

Some comments on 2008-DP02 expressed concern about repetition of data in the 490 and 8XX fields. The benefits of a simplified decision process without an adverse impact on local systems or OCLC may outweigh the minimal consequences of repetition of fields. Simplified decision-making would also assist in training new staff and enhance series work-flows in libraries.

There were also concerns that some local systems would not be able to convert field 440 into field 490. On the other hand, it was pointed out that based on MARC principles, obsolete data fields are allowed to remain in records.

The discussion paper made the assumption that OCLC will investigate changing existing records in WorldCat to move data from the 440 field to the 490 and 8XX fields if the proposal is approved. This will support the ability to control all series headings in WorldCat bibliographic records. Parameters for selecting which records to change automatically, handling differences in the use of non-filing indicators in 440 and 830 fields, and any conflicts with existing PCC guidelines still need to be discussed with OCLC.

I see some difficulties in implementing this proposal for both local systems and OCLC, but overall I am in favor for two reasons.  Separating transcription from controlled access is probably more important to catalogers and scholars than to other users of our data, but I have long been bothered by the loss of transcription when a series heading was controlled in my most recent local system.  Generally the change only included presence or absence of initial articles or the word “series”  but I still would have preferred retaining the series heading as transcribed.  The other reason I am in favor of the proposal is that I hope it will eventually lead to uniform displays of series entries.  The local system I used handled 440 very differently from 8xx, leading to the loss of collocation for series entries.