Library of Congress

Program for Cooperative Cataloging

The Library of Congress > Cataloging, Acquisitions > PCC > BIBCO > BIBCO Operations Committee Meeting

May 7-8, 1998

Jean Hirons, CONSER Coordinator (LC), and Ann Della Porta, BIBCO Coordinator (LC) welcomed the participants to the first joint session of the CONSER Operations Committee and the newly-formed BIBCO Operations Committee. Brian Schottlaender (UCLA), chair of PCC, and Sally Sinn (NAL), chair-elect, also attended the opening sessions and a portion of the BIBCO meeting.

Joint Session: CONSER and BIBCO

The Evolution of CONSER/The Birth of BIBCO

Ruth Haas (Harvard), Adam Schiff (Washington), and John Schalow (Maryland) opened the meeting with their thoughts on CONSER and BIBCO. Haas reflected on the early intentions for the Conversion of Serial Project, how it developed into the Cooperative Online Serials Program, and the importance of the Operations Committee in the success of the Program. Schiff noted the differences between CONSER and BIBCO due to the expected size of BIBCO and his hope for more diversity and burden-free documentation. Schalow expressed his hopes for BIBCO in terms of "communication, coordination, documentation, and incentives," which he acknowledged was not as catchy as "more, better, faster, cheaper!" Peer pressure and credits are the incentives most important to catalogers and administrators, respectively, and thus, to the success of the Program according to Schalow.

Proposal to adopt a modified Model C approach to seriality

Jean Hirons and Regina Reynolds (LC) presented a new approach to the redefinition of "serial" and a revised model of the bibliographic universe. Their thinking is a result of recent efforts to redefine "serial," as requested by the Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR (JSC) following its conference in October 1997. Hirons and Reynolds explained the new model, its potential impact on AACR2, MARC, systems, and cooperative cataloging programs, and outlined a number of issues for discussion. The proposal and the presentation may be viewed at the CONSER Web site.

There was much enthusiasm and overall approval for the new model. Comments included exchanging the term "monographic" for a better term, such as "finite," because the concept is outdated; the need for the introductory material about "ongoing entities" to be at the beginning of the code; the use of the authorities format as an example; the greying of the lines between monograph and serial; and the fact that the cataloging of electronic resources has gone beyond the rules. Hirons noted that Tom Delsey (NLC) has been charged with modeling the current code and may as a result recommend a different structure to the rules.

BIBCO Operations Committee Meeting

Present: Ann Della Porta (Chair), Sally Sinn, Brian Schottlaender, Willy Cromwell-Kessler, Cynthia Whitacre, Michael Kaplan, Joan Schuitema, Joan Swanekamp, Karen Calhoun, Jain Fletcher, William Garrison, Kate Harcourt, Adam Schiff, John Schalow, Margaret Shen, Pat Williams, and Members of the Coop Team (Rebecca Williams, Antony Franks, John Mitchell, Ana Cristan, Grace Gilliam, Carolyn Sturtevant, Sami Kotb, Joe Kaczorowski, Ruta Penkiunas)

Following the first joint BIBCO, CONSER Operation Committee meeting, Ann Della Porta, BIBCO Operations Committee chair, introduced Brian Schottlaender, Policy Committee chair, and Sally Sinn, chair-elect.

Brian began by reiterating that the BIBCO Operations Committee is different from CONSER Operations Committee in that it is smaller and representative, rather than comprehensive. Through its rotational representation, the group will be infused by new ideas, as it anticipates adding five new libraries a year. Furthermore, BIBCO program's aim is broad-based library participation, not confined to large university libraries. The responsibility now rests with the BIBCO Operations Committee to instill confidence in ourselves, in our work, and in our colleagues; to reflect cooperation, rather than coordination (by LC) to produce records that are dynamic (designed to be improved as libraries need additional data) and timely, keeping at the forefront of our philosophy that "timeliness is an element of quality." Sally foresees the BIBCO Operations Committee as setting the tone for "buy-in" into the Program by accepting the core record standard, in all formats, as the national standard; and by providing the options on the level of cataloging to the individual institution. The joint meeting of the two Operations Committees marks the integration of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging and CONSER that Brian Schottlaenderled during his term of office.

Setting Agendas

Discussion on the agenda topic "How do the members want the BIBCO Operations Committee (OpCo) to work?" resulted in the following suggestions and decisions for determining the mechanics of setting agenda topics for the meetings and for communicating between the OpCo members and other BIBCO representative before and after the meeting:
  1. Setting agendas for OpCo meetings.
    • Rotate the responsibility of drawing-up the agenda among the members of the BIBCO Operation Committee.
    • Send out call for agenda items six (6) months prior to the meeting.
    • Solicit agenda items from PCC standing committees and the Policy Committee (PoCo). Call on the BIBCO trainers to supply agenda topics based on questions that have arisen during training.
    • Divide agenda items into three (3) categories:
      1. Philosophical issues/questions
      2. Nuts and bolts issues
      3. "Cross-fertilization" issues so that meetings with the CONSER OpCo can be set to coincide.

    ACTION: Prior to BIBCO OpCo meetings the proposed agenda topics will be posted for discussion on the PCClist listserv by the members of the BIBCO Operations Committee on a rotational basis.

  2. Suggestions for facilitating communication among OpCo members and BIBCO representatives include:
    • Create a closed BIBCO listserv for all BIBCO institution members. BIBCO OpCo members would assume monthly rotations facilitating the discussion(s) and answering inquiries on this list. Rotation will be alphabetical by institution's USMARC code.
    • Collect local BIBCO documentation and implementation plans from BIBCO institutions and have them posted or linked to the BIBCO homepage.
    • Rather than restrict meeting to one time a year follow the CONSER model to be more inclusive and have a BIBCO At Large meeting in conjunction with ALA which would allow BIBCO representatives not on the OpCo to actively participate in the discussions.

ACTION: Propose to the Policy Committee that the Secretariat create a closed BIBCO listserv for all BIBCO institution members.

ACTION: John Schalow will collect local BIBCO documentation.

ACTION: Propose to the Policy Committee that resources be allocated for BIBCO At Large meetings to be held at ALA annual and Midwinter.

BIBCO Expansion

In the afternoon the agenda topic "Expanding BIBCO" resulted in a brainstorming session with an exchange of experiences which included the following suggestions for facilitating local implementation and subsequent action items.
  1. Prior to implementing BIBCO participation be sure to have administrative support and that the staff knows that the decision to participate goes all the way to the "top".
  2. Hold discussions and brainstorming sessions on ways to implement with staff prior to training.
  3. Appoint an implementation manager, preferably a cataloger, as a special project manager.
  4. Give catalogers independence to do it themselves, rather than dictate how they should catalog.
  5. Clarify the misunderstanding that BIBCO participants only contribute CORE level records.
  6. Provide more information about the program prior to participation by using marketing or public relations techniques.
  7. Include BIBCO promotion in NACO training.

ACTION: Chair will appoint Task Group to develop a BIBCO Information Packet (a la NACO) that will serve as a pre-training information packet for BIBCO trainers and participants.

ACTION: Cynthia Whitacre and Willy Cromwell-Kessler will contribute utility documentation to the BIBCO Manual.

ACTION: Michael Kaplan and Joan Swanekamp will write a BIBCO Operations Committee opinion statement on record exchange with the utilities, including a stance on the issues of credits, which will be presented to the PCC Policy Committee.

Core Record

The discussion then moved on to how to encourage catalogers to employ the core record cataloging standard and how to expand the use of core records to other formats. Suggestions for introducing the core standard include:
  1. Provide orientation to catalogers on the new values.
  2. Provide orientation to public services librarians in order get "buy in" from them.
  3. Remind catalogers that the core standard provides a superior alternative to minimal level cataloging.
  4. Core is an option that allows institutions and/or catalogers to choose the level of cataloging needed.
  5. Set up a peer review system, but keep it simple and consider discontinuing once everyone is comfortable with creating core records.
ACTION: Cynthia Whitacre will investigate if it is possible to redesign the National Level Enhance process to facilitate BIBCO participants who have books-only National Level Enhance to begin to contribute in other formats.

Development of BIBCO FAQ

A brainstorming session on the need for and what process to use in the development of a BIBCO FAQ versus BIBCO statements of policy ensued. Many of the members felt that it was too early in the Program's history to have an FAQ as most questions asked have yet to be repeated. Others felt that a public relations document on how to join BIBCO would be a better document to have. The following suggestions were made:
  1. FAQ topics should be compiled from questions asked on PCClist and BIBCO listserv, and from training experiences.
  2. FAQ seed topics from brainstorming session:
    1. Treatment of British vs. US editions and titles.
    2. Required training, and documentation for BIBCO participation.
    3. Status of core record cataloging at LC.
    4. Waiting period for approval of subject and classification proposals.
    5. Form/genre: use of 655.
    6. One record approach for tangible vs. remote sources.
    7. Upgrading records: How/What?
    8. Upgrading foreign MARC records.
    9. Deciding on core vs. full.
    10. Does BIBCO equal core?
    11. Minimum contribution requirement.
    12. Classification questions, 050, 053?
ACTION: Topics will be fed into BIBCO listserv, two per month, to be answered in rotation. Jain Fletcher, UCLA, will start the alphabetical rotation based on USMARC code of institution.

ACTION: Once the BIBCO listserv is up and running and a body of questions has built up Willy Cromwell-Kessler will pull questions from BIBCO list to make the FAQ.

Development of BIBCO Participants' Manual

On Friday morning the group reconvened and began discussion of the agenda topic "BIBCO Participants' Manual which evolved into a discussion of the current documentation. Jain Fletcher feels that material can be pulled from the current documentation and developed into a participants' manual with relative ease.

ACTION: Standing Committee on Training will incorporate the FAQ topics into BIBCO documentation, these will include: policy on series, policy on classification, OCLC Enhance, BFM reporting, error reporting, vernacular data reporting, 040 contents (use of USMARC code vs. OCLC code).

DECISION: BIBCO Training Manual will also include section on BIBCO values and "catalogers judgement"

ACTION: The Coop Team will send out the newly revised copies of the BIBCO training materials to all BIBCO libraries with a notice that the revised materials replace the old.

Series Treatment Decisions

Judy Kuhagen (LC/CPSO) then gave the OpCo members a briefing on the newly issued documentation for treatment decisions on series authority records (SARs) contributed by NACO participants. Decisions on analysis and classification practice are local decisions. Tracing practice is a local decision but the decision has a national impact when considering the presence/absence of that access point in BIBCO records. The questions to be answered were: who will determine the national-level tracing practice for the tracing of series in BIBCO records, and how will that decision be recorded in the SARs. Points discussed include:
  1. As a response to other libraries' requests, LC's default tracing practice since 1989 is to trace all series being added to the national authority file.
  2. There are two problems with LC's tracing practice being the national- level practice: a) many NACO SARs lack LC's tracing practice in a 645 field, and b) LC doesn't analyze some items that BIBCO libraries want to analyze.
  3. NACO tracing practice has not been considered to be the national-level practice; also, not all NACO SARs have 645 fields since treatment field are optional.
  4. NACO tracing practice has not been considered to be the national-level practice although it may reflect LC's default practice.
  5. If the BIBCO library's tracing practice were to serve as the national-level practice, all would have to know the current roster of BIBCO participants.
DECISION: BIBCO libraries would like to record the national-level tracing practice in the SAR 645 field by using a MARC identification code for PCC; the local library's code in the SAR 645 field would continue to be optional.

ACTION: Propose to the Policy Committee that a request be sent to the Network Development/MARC Standards Office at LC to assign a USMARC identification code to the PCC to be used to identify national-level series tracing decisions on all SARs added to the national authority file.

ACTION: Judy Kuhagen will post guidelines for tracing of series in BIBCO records on the PCClist for comment, prior to publication.

Joint Closing Session: CONSER and BIBCO

The final agenda items on the inaugural BIBCO OpCo meeting were discussed in joint session with the CONSER Operations Committee. Ann Della Porta and Jean Hirons presented overviews of each committee's work, decisions, and action items.

Tactical Plan

A joint review of PCC Tactical Plan then ensued, the points discussed include:

T.P. # 2.2.4 Review outcomes of AACR Toronto Conference for impact on the Program.

DECISION: Find ways for the BIBCO and CONSER Operation committees to address issues of joint interest as they arise.

2.2.6 Encourage progress to align interpretation of cataloging codes and rules.

Differences were noted in subject specificity and differences in BL and NLC cataloging. Since the BL is currently discussing BIBCO membership this topic may reemerge as an agenda item. However, for the time being there was no comment.

3.4.1 Assess usefulness of PCC records to catalogers (together with PoCo).

ACTION: The Standing Committee on Standards has two data gathering documents in development. They will issue guidelines on using these instruments when they become available.

ACTION: Karen Calhoun (Cornell) suggested that an ALCTS committee may be interested in doing such a study. Karen will provide the Secretariat with more information as to whom to contact.

3.4.2 Evaluate end-users satisfaction with catalog records together with PoCo.

DECISION: The Standing Committee on Standards is working on a data gathering model to help libraries assess end user satisfaction with the core record. A suggestion was made that the Committee needs to keep in mind that it is necessary to work with public services librarians to identify who the end users are and to include in this study how OPAC displays may factor into any conclusions.

5.5.1 Clarify relationship between the standing committees and operations committees.

DECISION: Generally, the operations committees will answer strictly BIBCO or CONSER issues. Issues having impact on both committees will be sent to Standards.

ACTION: Michael Kaplan will post the Standing Committee on Automation's list of priorities as an FYI to the OpCos.

Next meeting

The penultimate agenda item was to determine scheduling for future meetings of the committees in order to avoid conflict with other meetings taking place at the same time and if the meetings should be sequential or concurrent.

DECISION: Concurrent meetings to be held late April on Thursday and Friday. [The next meeting has been scheduled to be held April 22-23, 1999]

DECISION: Leave time at the end of each day for common item discussion. Agendas of both committees should have same time scheduling and allow time for joint topics of mutual interest.

Values Statement

At the request of the PCC Steering Committee Ann Della Porta led a brainstorming session to develop a values statement for the program which could be incorporated into the PCC Strategic Plan. The values expressed include: producing cataloging records that exemplify usability, quality, dependability, responsiveness, timeliness, and the dynamic nature of the core record. The traits valued in catalogers include: cooperation, innovation, trust/respect, humor, collegiality, ability, flexibility, cataloger's judgement, diversity, communication, reliability, creativity, and empowerment.

John Reimer (U. Georgia) offered, "'More, Better, Cheaper, Faster': to support this, provide leadership in bibliographic community in the form of training, continuing education, standards development, enabling automation."

Carroll Davis (Columbia Univ.) proffered the statement, "We value adherence to shared standards and the need to organize information for present and future needs."

ACTION: Jain Fletcher and John Riemer will draft values statement based on suggestions made and post on PCC list asking for comments.


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