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Compiled by the Library of Congress Serial Record Division, November 1997


General Report


This annual report of the CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials) Program covers fifteen months (July 1996-September 1997) as CONSER switches over to the federal fiscal year to coincide with that used by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC). This is the final report of an independent CONSER Program with the completion of the consolidation of the PCC and CONSER programs, as of October 1, 1997 (see below under "Achievements"). The report contains two sections that follow the introduction: "General Report" of the collective activities of the Program, and "Member Reports" that highlight activities of individual CONSER participants relating to serials cataloging. The "General Report" is further divided into "Achievements"--significant accomplishments for the year--and "Activities"--ongoing efforts. Appendices are also included to provide lists of members of program committees and task forces.

Brian Schottlaender (UCLA) assumed the chair of the Policy and Executive Committees in 1996, after having served as chair-elect. (Schottlaender is also interim chair of the PCC.) The Policy Committee held its final meeting in November 1996 at LC; the Executive Committee met in November, February and July. The CONSER Operations Committee met in May at the University of Michigan, in conjunction with the 1997 North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) conference. CONSER At-Large meetings were held at the ALA conventions and continued to operate as a popular forum for the discussion of issues. Jean Hirons was appointed CONSER Coordinator in August 1997 after having served as acting coordinator since 1993. Bill Anderson continued in his role as CONSER Specialist.

CONSER's growth for 1996/1997 mostly stems from the new CONSER Enhance membership category that was established late in 1995. Members of the CONSER Maintenance Project became CONSER Enhance members in 1996 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill became a new CONSER Enhance member in 1997. CONSER Enhance now totals five members as the second largest membership category in the program, with additional applications pending in 1997. Columbia University joined CONSER as a full member in spring 1997 and quickly reached independent status by the summer. The CONSER national membership level was abolished in 1997 as membership levels were adjusted to conform with other PCC programs, and national members became full members. At the end of FY 1997, membership stood at 21 full members, four associate members, three affiliate members, and five CONSER enhance members. The total of 33 members is a record number for a program that has been growing steadily since 1987.

The CONSER database of serial records totaled 822,733 in October 1997. The rate of growth in maintenance transactions continued strong for the fiscal year (through June 1997), which was partially supported by new CONSER Enhance members. At the same time, the drop in the rate of growth of new records continued. New record authentications now represent 41% of the total transactions on the CONSER database.[1]

Crystal Graham (UCSD) and Hirons were invited to present the paper, "Issues Related to Seriality", at the 1997 JSC International Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR (see also "Task Force on AACR Review" below). Articles on the PCC/CONSER consolidation (Hirons and Schottlaender) and CONSER Internet developments (Anderson) were accepted for publication in a special issue of Serials Librarian, titled "Serials Cataloging at the Turn of the Century" (available in 1998). Wayne Jones (MIT) served as editor of a Serials Librarian special issue on online serials that includes contributions from several CONSER catalogers: Les Hawkins (Library of Congress), Steve Shadle (University of Washington), and Amanda Xu (MIT). Hawkins also wrote the article,"Network Accessed Scholarly Serials," for Serials Librarian that was published in 1996 (v. 29, no. 3/4).

CONSER further developed its presence at the annual NASIG conference through conference presentations. Additionally, many of the Operations Committee members attended the conference which followed the CONSER committee meeting at Michigan. Hirons, Tad Downing (GPO), Jim Holmes (University of Texas), and Tom Burnett and Linda TerHaar (both of the University of Michigan) gave a panel presentation on online versions of serials; Shadle and Hawkins gave a workshop on cataloging electronic serials. At the ALA annual convention in June 1997, Regina Reynolds (Library of Congress) and Graham were panelists at the ALCTS Serials Section presentation, "At Issue: Dimensions of Seriality in an Electronic World."

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Consolidation of CONSER and the PCC

In November 1996, the CONSER Policy Committee and the PCC Executive Council met to discuss the merging of the two cooperative cataloging programs. The groups confirmed reasons why consolidation makes sense at this juncture, including:

  • Creating a more unified voice to speak for the cataloging community;
  • Wedding the strengths of the two programs;
  • Eliminating duplication between the two programs;
  • Speeding decision-making;
  • Broadening constituencies;
  • Allowing for issues of shared concern to be addressed more effectively.

It was agreed that the basic structure of the consolidated program should include a single, representative Policy Committee; a Steering Committee; separate BIBCO and CONSER Operations Committees; and Standing Committees on Automation, Standards, and Training. The consolidated program would benefit from a strategic plan that combines elements of the two programs' plans. Advisory relationships between the program and various interested constituencies will need to be optimized as well. The consolidation took effect on October 1, with a planning meeting of the new PCC Policy Committee scheduled for November.

Members of CONSER and the PCC worked throughout 1997 to finalize or further develop steps that are needed for the consolidation of the two programs. A new PCC governance document was approved at the 1997 ALA conference and mounted on the LC Web site ( ). Additionally, the PCC and CONSER strategic plans were amalgamated by a working group within the program. The development of the combined plan will form the basis for the November policy meeting.

The PCC Policy Committee was established in summer 1997, including many members of the former PCC Executive Council with new representatives added, as needed, to reflect the CONSER, BIBCO, and NACO programs. A PCC Steering Committee was also formed to serve the Policy Committee by pursuing issues throughout the year, directing the planning process, and managing resources in support of cooperative cataloging. The CONSER Operations Committee will remain as is and a new representative BIBCO Operations Committee will be formed to meet in spring 1998 in a coordinated annual meeting of the two operational committees. Three standing committees on training, standards, and automation will continue to function on an ongoing basis, forming task groups or subcommittees to address specific issues as needed. LC will continue to serve as the program Secretariat, and staff have been working to make statistical reporting more consistent and to improve communications for all the PCC programs.

CONSER Task Force on the Cataloging of Conference Publications

The CONSER conferences task force completed its work in 1997 and issued a report that has been included on the LC Web site ( The primary achievement of the task force is the revision of LCRI 12.0A, section 4b, "Conference Publications," which governs their cataloging as serials or monographs. The task force report includes a recommendation that the PCC Standing Committee on Standards appoint a new task group to continue studying the issues relating to cataloging conferences, including conference titles and headings, and call number collocation.

The goal of the LCRI revision was to make the cataloging process more efficient, and to improve access to conference publications by treating more as monographs. The revision attempts to more clearly delineate serial and monographic cataloging treatment for conference publications from the first issue published. Under the revised LCRI, a conference publication can be treated serially from the first issue as long as the event exhibits evidence of an ongoing nature; however, if the publication bears a title on the chief source that is unique to that issue or is part of a numbered monographic series, each issue will be cataloged as a monograph. The LCRI also reduces recataloging requirements by discouraging changes in cataloging treatment but does allow catalogers to recatalog a conference publication if necessary. An ongoing conference publication, including all its title changes, may now be represented by one bibliographic record set comprised of both serial and monographic records.

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CONSER Documentation

The 1996 and 1997 calendar years each included two updates to the CONSER Editing Guide (CEG) and one to the CONSER Cataloging Manual (CCM). CCM Update 5-6 (Fall 1996) includes the new Module 33, "Newspapers," that updates the U.S. Newspaper Program Newspaper Cataloging and Union Listing Manual and documents CONSER and USNP cataloging practices and policies. Module 33 was updated in 1997 to reflect the revision of LCRI 25.5B which addresses serial uniform titles. CCM Module 31, "Remote Access Computer File Serials," was expanded in 1996 to include the recently developed guidelines for cataloging online versions of serials. In 1997, Module 31 was again revised to include new practices for online serials that were developed by the CONSER Operations Committee, and fully updated to reflect the emergence of the World Wide Web as the primary platform for online serials.

CEG Update 5 (Fall 1996) also includes the guidelines for cataloging online versions of serial publications and a full revision of field 856, electronic location and access. CEG Update 7 (Fall 1997) includes a number of changes relating to the consolidation of CONSER and the PCC. Membership changes are documented as well as changes in the management structure of the program.

CONSER on the World Wide Web

CONSER further developed its Internet presence in September 1997 as the CONSER home page was restructured and 12 Web pages were added to the site (URL= New information on task forces, committees, program consolidation, and membership (including application forms) is now accessible online.

Batch-loading and "Cut-and-Paste" Record Input

In spring 1997, the CONSER Program announced the successful batch-loading of new CONSER records into the OCLC catalog, after years of effort. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) initially sent 12 records to OCLC via FTP. Catalogers first searched the OCLC catalog and created records in NLM's local system. CONSER records were then downloaded, converted to USMARC format, sent to OCLC, and loaded into the online union catalog--all in less than one week. Additional CONSER members can now implement this record contribution process although the OCLC standard credit for new records are awarded for those added through the batch-load process. One difficulty in the development of the batch-load process is the redistribution of CONSER records to LC. The PCC Standing Committee on Automation plans to pursue the issues and viability of batch-loading existing CONSER records for maintenance activities.

Michael Kaplan (Harvard), chair of the PCC Standing Committee on Automation, reported at the summer 1997 CONSER At-large meeting that "real time cut-and-paste" is an option to batch-loading. This process makes use of automation efficiencies while working in a local system, and facilitates the direct input of records into OCLC so that contributors can receive the full CONSER credit for new records. Kaplan indicated that maintenance is not possible with this process either, although he feels that it will be available in the future. Harvard will also be experimenting with a batch mode "lock and replace" mechanism that is accommodated by the new OCLC microenhancer.

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Task Force on AACR Review

The Task Force on AACR Review was established in June 1995 and charged to identify serial-related issues that might be addressed at an international conference. In 1997, Hirons and Graham were invited by the JSC to present their paper on serial-related issues at the International Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR. The task force met in conjunction with ALA, identified principles and descriptive cataloging improvements, and developed alternative "serial" definitions for use in the paper. The resulting Hirons/Graham paper addresses the attributes of "ongoing" publications, the need to fully integrate "seriality" into the rules for all formats, and the "serial" definition as it relates to online publications. Hirons and Graham worked with the task force in its summer 1997 meeting to develop the recommendations that were presented to the JSC, including short-term recommendations that don't involve MARC or other system changes. The task force remains active after the conference to assess further action.

Task Force on A&I/ISSN Issues

The CONSER Task Force on A&I/ISSN Issues was formed following discussions at the 1997 Operations Committee meeting. Two related issues central to the task force's effort were discussed by the committee: the use of field 510 in CONSER records to store abstracting and indexing data, and the use of the ISSN by A&I services to facilitate automatic retrieval of holdings information. The task force is charged to develop plans for resolving the problems related to these A&I issues, and address whether 510 data is still useful. The following questions will also be considered:

  • Are there alternatives to the use of the 510 field for storing A&I data in CONSER records?
  • If the information in the 510 field is useful, how should it be maintained?
  • If the information is not useful, or cannot be maintained, should it be removed from CONSER records?
  • How can CONSER assist in keeping A&I services apprised of current ISSN?
  • Are there alternatives for programming the "hook-to-holdings" feature in automated systems to facilitate use of ISSN for earlier/later titles to "make the link" to holdings data?

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Core Cataloging for Serials

The LC decision to adopt the core standard as the "base level record" for cataloging led to a July 1997 proposal from Serial Record Division which was discussed by the CONSER Operations Committee on the CONSERlist discussion list. The objective of the proposal is to simplify the coding decision by not distinguishing between the full and core level, given the dynamic nature of the serial record. Many in CONSER felt that they would most likely follow along if LC adopted the new practice to code all new serial records as "core" (with the exception of those that are minimal). Others indicated that implementation of the core level for serials cataloging did not present any particular benefits to their institution. Several voiced the idea that core cataloging involves a "new attitude" or "new culture" for cataloging. LC plans to implement its use of the core level in the 1998 fiscal year and CONSER will continue the discussion at the 1998 operational meeting.

Electronic serials

Electronic journals, particularly those that are online versions of printed publications, were the focus of discussion during the year. During the winter 1997 At-Large meeting and the Operations Committee meetings, participants agreed that, aside from minor revision, the CONSER guidelines for a single-record approach should be retained. Their status went from being somewhat "experimental" to becoming at least "interim" as many libraries adopted the practice. In addition to the presentation at NASIG, noted above, Hirons joined GPO catalogers in a discussion on the guidelines at a GPO-sponsored conference for Federal documents librarians in the spring. GPO and other documents librarians are making wide use of the single-record approach in order to keep up with the expansion of government information online. Hirons also worked on an LC group that is developing guidelines for LC's cataloging of electronic resources and a single-record approach was incorporated into those guidelines.

Concern was expressed by a number of CONSER catalogers at the inability to treat as serials ongoing databases, which in printed form are serials, but which are not covered by the current definition of serial in AACR2. At the Operations Committee meeting, Hirons asked CONSER catalogers to experiment with serials cataloging of such publications and a number of sample records were contributed at the end of the summer. The records will be helpful in examining how such records would differ between monograph and serials practice.

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Center for Research Libraries

As a result of a decline in the number of catalogers and a hiatus in grant projects, the Center for Research Libraries' CONSER activities also declined in fiscal 1997 when compared with previous years. We are optimistic that our statistics will be on the rise in 1998 as a result of NEH funding for the completion of our project to catalog the Center's Foreign Newspapers. (The first year of this project was funded through a U.S. Department of Education Title IIC grant.) Not only is cataloging information on our foreign newspapers available in OCLC and our OPAC (CRLCatalog), it is also available on the CRL Web site.

CRL authenticated 571 original records during the fiscal year, in addition to the authentication of 184 existing records in OCLC. Subsequent authentication of already authenticated records totaled 178 while CONSER-related maintenance activities came to 326 records. Total CONSER activity for the year came to 1,259 records.

Columbia University Libraries

As the newest CONSER full member, Columbia University feels a bit like a butterfly newly emerged from its chrysalis -- pleased with the experience so far, but not sure yet how its wings will look when finally dried.

Columbia submitted its CONSER application in early 1997 and was accepted in mid-April. After logistical arrangements were made, Columbia's record contribution and review period began in May. This went well, with the able help and advice of Jeffrey Myers-Hayer of LC's Serials Cataloging Section I; and Columbia was declared independent for CONSER work in August.

In its first four months, May-August 1997, Columbia contributed 64 original records, authenticated or upgraded authentications of 23 existing records, and did maintenance of 30 CONSER records. NACO name and series authority contributions associated with these were numerous; but local statistical mechanisms do not provide figures specifically for CONSER-related work. There was variety in the materials involved, but with noteworthy concentrations in area studies/international affairs, business/economics, and art/architecture. Columbia expects these to continue as significant areas of contribution.

CONSER start-up comes as one more factor in an environment of pervasive, long-term change for Columbia technical services. Consequently, details of the organization of serials cataloging and CONSER work at Columbia will continue to be worked out over months and years to come. All technical service units housed in Columbia's Butler Library are in the process of moving to new office spaces by the end of 1997. Associated with this, remaining unconverted shelf lists are being scanned and converted into online files, for use until Columbia's catalogs are fully online (probably after projects are completed early in the next century). Upgrading of staff workstations to Windows-based machines is proceeding gradually.

Cataloging of serials is done at Columbia in the Original and Special Materials Cataloging Department; there is no longer a serials cataloging unit as such. The OSMC Department was sorry to lose its head, Joan Swanekamp, to a position at Yale University in February 1997; Kathryn Harcourt, the permanent assistant department head, has also served as acting head since then. Serials cataloging has been done primarily by one professional cataloger, assisted by two paraprofessional copy catalogers. Support staff responsible for maintaining holdings data in serial records are being transferred, with responsibility for their functions, to the serials acquisitions department in September 1997; but their professional supervisor will remain in the OSMC Department and likely take on more cataloging responsibilities. Columbia's law and health sciences libraries have separate cataloging units, as does the Starr East Asian Library for vernacular Asian-language materials. Those units are not participating in Columbia's CONSER activity in this initial phase, but it is hoped that they may become contributors at some point.

Before this, Columbia had already, over the years, become an active member of NACO, BIBCO, and SACO. With this new CONSER membership, it is pleased to complete its commitment to and involvement in national cooperative cataloging programs.

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Cornell University

Cornell has been an RLIN library since 1981, and since 1988 has been cataloging on our local NOTIS system and uploading to RLIN. For our CONSER contribution, we have been sending printouts of our serial records to the Serial Record Division for authentication and input into OCLC. During 1996-1997 we submitted printouts for 379 original records and 30 updates.

Beginning with 1997-1998, CONSER serials cataloging in Cornell's Central Technical Services is being done by a Serials Team consisting mostly of catalogers of books and other formats as well as serials. These catalogers were trained in CONSER-level serials cataloging during the latter part of 1996-1997. All members of the team now have access to OCLC on their computers and were recently trained in OCLC input and CONSER procedures. This team is creating and authenticating its original serial records directly on OCLC, bringing to an end the cumbersome method of submitting printouts of our NOTIS records to the Library of Congress. During the ten years of CONSER contribution by printout, we submitted 4975 original records and 3519 updates, just short of the 5000 mark for original cataloging.

Harvard University

Currently received serials from two new units were brought into Harvard's CONSER participation this past year: the Straus Center for Conservation Library and the Grossman Library for University Extension. Our CONSER statistics included 2,146 original and first-time authentication records contributed to the program. In addition, 3,532 previously authenticated CONSER records were maintained. We contributed 690 original NACO records and completed 462 changes to existing NACO records.

For several years, Harvard has been involved in a process of evaluating its serial policies and workflow as they relate to the University's CONSER participation. This process culminated in a recommendation by the CONSER Task Force at Harvard to implement a three-tiered system for CONSER participation. As a result, this past November, the Serial Cataloging Team in Widener Library and the Law School Library became independent CONSER participants. Harvard Law School contributes CONSER cataloging under the OCLC symbol "HVL." Widener uses the OCLC symbol "HLS." Other Harvard libraries continue to rely on the CONSER Office for cataloging or record authentication and maintenance. These units contribute under the "HUL" symbol.

Another recommendation of the Task Force, to use new technologies to streamline workflow, was partially fulfilled when it became possible, in the late spring, to create new serial cataloging records in our local system which can then be moved directly into OCLC as original input. This process has built-in cataloger assistance for adding our control number in the 010 field, authenticating information, and the library specific NUC symbol in the 850 field. We extend a special vote of thanks to Bill Hayes, Information Systems Librarian, Cataloging Services Department, Widener Library and Michael Kaplan, Database Management Team Leader and Coordinator of OCLC/NELINET Operations for HCL, who worked so hard to make this process a possibility for us.

A testament to the effectiveness of these new measures is provided by Ann Sitkin, Cataloging Services Librarian, Harvard Law School Library, who reports, that due in large part to this streamlining, creation of full CONSER records has increased by 75%, with an overall serial cataloging production increase of 86% over the previous year. All of this was accomplished at a time when Law's cataloging department was located at a remote, off-campus location during renovation of their campus building.

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Indiana University Libraries

The past year was one of considerable change and challenge for the Serials Cataloging Unit, Serials Department, Indiana University Libraries. The Unit made many contributions in support of its continued commitment to the mission and goals of the CONSER Program. In addition to successfully maintaining current cataloging activities for all serial materials received for the Bloomington and six smaller campuses, the unit also participated in numerous special projects and initiatives throughout the year.

In the area of remote access electronic journals, the Unit completed the cataloging of all journal titles assigned to Indiana University in the CICNet Electronic Journal Cataloging Project. The Unit also continued to catalog an ever increasing number of remote access electronic journals selected for the Libraries' statewide collections, as well as maintaining and updating the Bloomington Libraries' Electronic Journal Collection Web page. Of particular note during the past year was the addition of two large electronic journal collections: Project Muse and JSTOR.

Last spring, the Serials Department embarked on a special project to convert manual check-in files housed in the Government Publications Dept. to automated order/pay/receipt (OPR) records in Indiana University's local NOTIS LMS catalog, IUCAT. Although the Serials Cataloging Unit began cataloging retrospective and current domestic and international government publications serials in 1994, the serials control conversion project has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of "new" titles forwarded to the SerCat Unit for cataloging.

Aside from regular cataloging activities, the Unit also participated in several transfer and withdrawal projects during the year. The Main Library currently houses the largest portion of the Bloomington campus' research collection. Because of serious space issues, bibliographers are attempting to identify one million volumes for removal from the Main Library stacks. Several special weeding projects have been conducted and large serial runs are being withdrawn or targeted for transfer to other Bloomington campus libraries or to the remote Interim Storage Facility.

With the replacement of 286 PCS to new 486 Pentiums in fall 1996, the Serials Cataloging Unit began an ongoing analysis of its cataloging procedures -- evaluating work flows, setting goals, and assessing priorities. As part of this process, all staff within the Unit received extensive training in Windows '95, Microsoft Word, and Internet access. The improved technology has enabled the Unit to move closer to a "true" cataloger workstation environment which allows simultaneous OCLC/IUCAT connections, cut/paste editing functionality, WWW access, and desktop export capabilities. The end result has been a drastic improvement in work flows and productivity.

Mechael Gago finished her tenure as Chair of the CONSER Task Force on the Cataloging of Conference Publications. In the Task Force's final report, one of its cited accomplishments was the completion of a revision to LCRI 12.0A which significantly altered the guidelines on serial versus monographic treatment of conference publications. In January 1997, Mechael accepted a three year appointment as member and CONSER liaison to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Standing Committee on Standards.

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Library of Congress

Serials Cataloging Sections

LC's output of "whole serials cataloging" (WSC) increased from 25% to 44% of Serial Record Division's (SRD) workload. This was accomplished through increased training, the addition of a subject cataloger to act as a reviewer/mentor, the introduction of copy and core level cataloging, and the expansion of categories of serials receiving WSC treatment. Sixty-percent of its cataloging production is now completed within SRD, including minimal-level cataloging. Processing of computer files resumed after a nine-month hiatus.

An SRD core cataloging project was conducted from June 1996-May 1997 and a core cataloging approach for serials was developed in consultation with LC reference staff. LC's decision to adopt the core standard as the base level record for cataloging led to the formation of a new committee to discuss the full implementation of core-level cataloging in the division. The committee proposed a simplification of the coding decision by not distinguishing between the full and core level. Implementation is planned in fiscal year 1998. (See report above under "General Report, Activities.")

Technology continues to facilitate the division's cataloging process. After a year of working with the "bibliographic work-stations" (BWS), most staff have adjusted and many have learned to optimize its use. Training on OCLC's Passport for Windows assisted staff in using many of its features, including: creating macros, Windows "cut-and-paste," cataloging more efficiently and accurately through use of parallel sessions, and automatic creation of authority records from the bibliographic records. The installation of Cataloger's Desktop on division BWS has also been completed.

The following arrearage projects either showed great progress or were completed in FY 1997: African and Middle East Division materials, early American almanacs and other Rare Book materials, the comic book project, the pulp fiction microfilm project, and microfilm from the Soviet and Russian Emigre Periodicals. New arrearage projects of Indonesian microfiche, Vietnamese titles, and Hispanic material were also initiated. The NRMM project has resumed with OCLC project staff inputting records for microform masters, reviewed by LC. Joint efforts between SRD and the American Folklife Center resulted in procedures to eliminate the Folklife arrearage which is expected to be completed by November 30.

In preparation for the eventual merger of bibliographic and serial location records (SERLOC) in a new ILS, a project was initiated in late FY 1997. LCCNs, call numbers and ISSNs in parallel SERLOC and bibliographic records are reviewed to resolve any discrepancies. The first steps toward scanning the SRD check-in files were undertaken by the end of the fiscal year.

LC's input of Cornell's serial records ended in September. This culminates a 10-year cooperative effort to facilitate Cornell's participation in the CONSER Program.

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National Serials Data Program

NSDP spent FY 1997 struggling to keep up with the demands of chief ISSN requestors--publishers, U.S. Postal Service, and LC cataloging workflow--with only four catalogers. The addition of a cataloger under the Career Enhancement program has provided much needed cataloging help. There has been increased publisher demand for ISSN for electronic serials, fueled in part by the decision to reaffirm the policy of separate ISSN for electronic serials taken at the ISSN directors meeting in May. NSDP continues to refine and expand its expertise in this area, by means of its cataloging output of over 800 ISSN to online serials to date and presentations and articles by Les Hawkins and Regina Reynolds. Early in 1997 NSDP was announced as being the sixth highest contributor of records to OCLC's Interact catalog. NSDP's opening up of prepublication records for CONSER update has relieved some of the workload from CONSER libraries. In January, one staff member transferred into the section as an editorial assistant.

Between September 1996 and September 1997, NSDP assigned 5317 new ISSN. This figure includes 1736 prepublication ISSN. NSDP also updated 1207 prepublication records (464 fewer than last year) to fully registered titles. NSDP assigned a total of 341 ISSN to online serials, including approximately 200 of Academic Press's online editions. Approximately 200 publisher requests were received via the application form on NSDP's WWW page.

In July the ISSN database became available via the World Wide Web, an improvement met with great enthusiasm by NSDP and LC catalogers, and the Serials Selection Officer. The ISSN International Centre is also nearing completion of a conversion program to enable NSDP to send regular MARC tapes to use in adding NSDP records to the international database.

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United States Newspaper Program

During FY 1997, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced awards to continuing projects in nine states and the District of Columbia. Four states completed NEH-funded project activity during the fiscal year. Thirty-one states and two territories have now completed all work within the USNP guidelines. With the re-authorization of the Endowment for the Humanities, we expect that work in the remaining states will continue into the middle of the next decade.

USNP project staff once again met for a series of workshops and presentations during the three-day annual meeting in May. This year, they were joined by ten members of the IFLA Newspapers Round Table, who scheduled their annual business meeting to allow them to benefit from discussions with their US colleagues.

As this work continues, USNP support at the Library of Congress has already changed character from project planning and development to database maintenance and support. John Connell, newspaper cataloger, was nominated by Serial and Government Publications Division this year for receipt of a special achievement award for the inventory he completed last year of the Library's collection of Eighteenth Century Newspapers. That inventory has been converted in draft form to appear on the Library of Congress web site.

During the fiscal year, records of U.S. newspaper holdings were added to LC's SERLOC file. Both the U.S. and foreign newspaper Collections Policy Statements have been revised during the past year, which has resulted in major changes to finding aids. Bibliographic and holdings data for newspapers will be reviewed and supplemented as final revisions of the lists for both U.S. and foreign newspapers are completed. Significant revision of LC's holdings records on OCLC will be required, as well.

The Serial and Government Publications Division notified state agencies during the past summer that they would provide bound newspapers published in the state in exchange for microfilm. Two states have taken delivery of all bound volumes offered, and several more are in discussion with the division, expecting that the arrearage will be cleared significantly during the next year. World War II underground periodicals under custody of the Rare Book Division, was identified for processing during the fiscal year.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries

The MIT Libraries' CONSER contributions have increased again during 1996/1997, building on increases also recorded in the previous two years. In 1996/1997, our statistics reflect a 19 percent increase over those of 1995/1996.

During the year the Libraries established internal policies and procedures for the cataloging of e-serials and established the groundwork for the integration of the cataloging of these serials into the regular work supply. Our basic policy is to follow whenever possible the interim CONSER guidelines of cataloging the online version of a printed serial by using the record for the printed version.

Carol Fleishauer now serves as a member of the recently-established PCC Policy Committee, and Eric Celeste on the PCC Automation Committee. The CONSER Task Force on the Cataloging of Conference Publications, of which David Van Hoy was a member, delivered its final report in May 1997.

There were also some staff changes in the Serials Cataloging Section during the year. Wayne Jones, formerly Leader of the Serials Team at the National Library of Canada, became head of the Section in December 1996. Eric Celeste, formerly Head of the Serials Copy Cataloging and Record Maintenance Unit, was appointed Assistant Director for Technology Planning and Administration in July 1997. And in June 1997 Nora Blake, formerly of Lesley College, joined the staff as a copy cataloger.

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National Agricultural Library

The Cataloging Branch of the National Agricultural Library of the U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to catalog and authenticate agricultural-related serials for the CONSER database.

The Technical Service Division has begun a workflow study of its cataloging process. The Division faces reduced staffing and new technological demands. The Serials Section has lost two catalogers and two part-time employees over the past few years. Efforts are being made to find ways to streamline the cataloging process and maximize the use of technological advances. The use of the core record approach will be tested as part of the study.

NAL Technical Services Division continues integrating the cataloging of electronic publications into the workflow. The one-record approach and two-record approach are being used for cataloging electronic serials. The one-record approach is used for publications that are identical. The two-record approach is used when the publications are not identical or the print serial record is too long for additional fields.

The retrospective conversion of monographic records is nearing completion. The Cataloging Branch has begun planning for the retrospective conversion of the Library's pre-1970 USDA serials. A project was begun late in FY 1997 to add records for pre-1970 USDA serials to the NAL OPAC.

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National Library of Canada

As stated in last year's annual report, due to systems difficulties resulting from NLC's change to a new system, we were unable to load any new NLC serials records into OCLC from June 1995 through Dec. 1996. We are happy to report that these problems have been resolved and from Jan. 1997 through June 1997 6,753 new serial titles were loaded into the OCLC database. Due to this hiatus, some duplicates were created and have been reported to us. NLC will delete these duplicates as soon as possible.

Authenticating existing records in OCLC continued as normal and from July 1997 through June 1997, NLC authenticated 142 existing records in the OCLC database.

NLC continues to be pleased with the switch from a dedicated line to Internet access. The cost savings are significant.

National Library of Medicine

During the past year the National Library of Medicine instituted some changes in its participation in CONSER. In January, NLM began restricting the categories of serials to which it will give CONSER-level cataloging. These restrictions, which may be revised at the end of a one-year trial period, were viewed as necessary to increase the number and timeliness of serial titles cataloged. The categories of serials for which NLM will contribute records to CONSER include: titles indexed for Index Medicus and other services found in MEDLINE (Index to Dental Literature, International Nursing Index, etc.); other substantive serials in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish; major U.S. federal biomedical serials issued by units of the Public Health Service, and; serials for which NSDP prepublication records exist.

Since the spring of 1997, NLM has been able to add new serials cataloged in its local system to the OCLC database via FTP (file transfer protocol). Once a week, the OCLC database is searched and, if there is no record for a title, NLM flags the newly cataloged record and creates an FTP file which is made available to OCLC. Both CONSER and non-CONSER records are added via this mechanism.

To increase NLM's pool of available serial catalogers (2.5 FTE since 1995), three experienced NLM monograph catalogers are being trained to catalog serials as well. Each of the three volunteers for the cross training offers language skills useful to reducing the inventory of Korean and Slavic language material awaiting cataloging.

New York Public Library--The Research Libraries

As stated in our annual report last year, a re-engineering process was launched at NYPL early in 1996 in order to address the problems of budgetary constraints. That process eventually resulted in the loss of one fourth of the staff in the Cataloging Division later that year. Fortunately no one was asked to leave. The reduction was made through retirement and transfer of catalogers to public service units. Nevertheless, it was a wrenching experience for everyone involved. The pain and the uncertainty were felt by both the people who were transferred out and those who have remained.

During July 1996-June 1997, the Serials Cataloging Section created 589 new original serial bibliographic records in the CONSER database and performed maintenance on and/or further authenticated 610 existing serial bibliographic records. In the course of normal cataloging activities, the Section also added or updated a total of 768 name and series authorities records in the national authority file through our participation in NACO.

Retrospective conversion continues on a limited basis as the much-reduced staff concentrates on keeping the cataloging of new materials current. The old manual records of our science and business serials have mostly been converted into machine readable form. However, a large number of old humanities serials records are still waiting to be worked on. To make the issue more urgent is the fact that these serials may be moved to a remote storage facility in the near future and will require online records for that move. We will cross that bridge when the time comes.

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New York State Library

The New York State Library contributed full-level CONSER records for New York State documents, new subscriptions, title changes, and newspapers. For the period July 1996-June 1997, the New York State Library contributed 295 original records, authenticated 135, upgraded 64, and did maintenance work on 3060 records. Forty records were requested for deletion and 318 NACO records were established.

As administrator of the New York State Document Depository Program, the State Library places highest priority on the acquisition and cataloging of New York State documents. This includes new materials as well as older ones. New materials are being received on a constant basis from New York State agencies, both in hard copy and on disk. The disks are loaded onto the Library's FTP server. The majority of the disks consist of pre-publication working copies, which may lack graphics and appendices found in the eventual hard copy format. In addition, the Library has undertaken a major initiative to scan and digitize all print New York State documents, beginning with the material from the January 1996 Checklist of Official Publications of the State of New York. The State Library maintains access to any publications loaded onto our server. In the next version of our Excelsior (Sirsi) online catalog, access will be available directly to those publications.

The State Library has also undertaken a major project to catalog many older materials which have been in uncataloged collections. With the demise of several NYS agency libraries, we have received additional or missing copies and titles which we are in the process of cataloging and checking in. In many instances, existing OCLC serial records were modified to reflect the existence of earlier issues. New records are being created where none existed.

The Library has undergone major changes in administrative personnel. Noted State Librarian Joseph Schubert retired in June 1996. After a nationwide recruitment effort, Janet Martin Welch was chosen to fill the position. Ms. Welch most recently served as Executive Director of the Rochester Regional Library Council in Rochester, New York. She has also served in many appointed and elected positions on the state and national levels, including President of the New York Library Association. Her appointment became effective July 1997. The position of Director of the New York State Library was also filled. Liz Lane, formerly Principal Librarian, Collection Acquisition and Processing, was selected as Director, effective June 1997. In addition to her many varied experiences in libraries, Ms. Lane served as Interim Director of the SUNY/OCLC Network from Sept. 1995-Sept. 1996. Mary Redmond, Coordinator for Public Information and Special Collections has agreed to serve as Principal Librarian for Collection Acquisition and Processing on an interim basis.

For the majority of the CONSER calendar year, staff assigned to CONSER consisted of 1.8 FTE Senior Librarian catalogers, and 3.0 FTE Library Technical Assistants. In June, the CONSER project welcomed back, on a half time basis, Ian Duckor, who received a promotion from Library Technical Assistant to Librarian. In an ongoing spirit of cooperation with other units in the Library, CONSER staff spent an average of thirteen hours per week working on the Electronic Reference Station and four hours per week assisting in Stack Services.

U.S. Government Printing Office

The Cataloging Branch of the Government Printing Office, Library Programs Service, identifies, catalogs, and authenticates serial publications issued by United States Government agencies for the CONSER database. Its three full-time serials catalogers continue their efforts to catalog serials and to maintain the current bibliographic status of federal government serials in a timely manner.

During the twelve-month period of July 1996-June 1997, GPO serials staff provided CONSER-level cataloging for 149 titles. One hundred-eighteen titles already present in OCLC were also authenticated for addition to the CONSER database. GPO added a total of 267 records to the CONSER database during the 1996-97 report year.

Maintenance of the 939 serial titles present in the Periodicals Supplement accounted for a large part of the 1487 database maintenance transactions GPO logged furing the report year. During the twelve-month period, 596 serial records of the 1487 maintenance transactions were recorded as electronic serials or as physical forms with electronic versions.

The serials cataloging staff created 57 series authority records for the NACO program. Eighty-one maintenance transactions were made during the report year.

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University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA staff continued their active involvement in various CONSER activities, with Brian Schottlaender following in Sue Phillips' steps as the Chair of the CONSER Policy and Executive committees. Much of his effort during the fiscal year was devoted to the integration of CONSER into the Program for Cooperative Cataloging.

Rhonda Lawrence, of the UCLA Law Library, continued work on "Cataloging Legal Serials," the upcoming module for the CONSER Cataloging Manual. Sara Shatford Layne, of the UCLA Science and Engineering Libraries, served as a member of the Task Force on Cataloging Conference Publications, and continues as Chair of the Task Force on AACR Review.

Melissa Beck, who had served as the Head of the Continuations Cataloging Section since 1989/90 and had been serving as the interim Head of Cataloging, University Research Library since March 1996, left UCLA in August 1996 for a new position. Ron Watson and Connie Narvas have been sharing the responsibilities of Head of the Continuations Cataloging Section (renamed Serials Cataloging Section in April 1997), while continuing to carry out their own cataloging duties, since March 1996. During 1996/97, one serials cataloging librarian was reassigned from serials to monographic cataloging. In spite of a 40% reduction in staffing in the Serials Cataloging Section, the remaining members of the staff managed to maintain their CONSER contributions at nearly the same level as in the previous year. A search for a new Head of Serials Cataloging began in Spring 1997.

Carol Hixson joined UCLA as the new Head of Cataloging, University Research Library in January 1997. She plunged into the swing of CONSER things by representing UCLA at the CONSER Operations Committee meeting in Ann Arbor in May 1997.

UCLA's total CONSER transactions came to 1448 records, including 838 record authentications. This represents an overall increase of 9.3% with the majority of the increased production in the area of authentications.

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University of Florida

This was a year of coping with staffing difficulties at the University of Florida. We lost our serials cataloger in Dec. 1996, so the bulk of our contributions was a result of our participation in the USNP project. Our USNP records were contributed as full-level CONSER records with all the requisite NACO authority work. Due to our extensive newspaper cataloging, Bob Dowd, our newspaper cataloger, actively participated in editing the CONSER Cataloging Manual module on newspaper cataloging. Unfortunately, late this summer we also lost Bob Dowd who returned to the New York Newspaper Project. Over the coming year we hope to replace Bob in the USNP position and to fill our serials cataloging position. By spring, we should begin to contribute records for both the newspapers and the regular materials we receive. We foresee our continuing contributions in the areas of Florida, agricultural, Latin American, and electronic materials.

Our total CONSER contribution for 1996/97 was 633 records, broken down as follows: 385 originals; 37 authentication of existing records; 168 subsequent authentication; and 43 maintenance.

Florida has opted to pursue the one record method when cataloging electronic versions of print serials. This has raised some interesting issues with our decision to acquire Elsevier titles in electronic form. The University of Florida, along with Florida State University and the University of South Florida, has entered into an agreement with Elsevier Publishing to gain electronic access to all the print publications subscribed to by the three institutions. The issue of cataloging these titles has been a matter of much discussion among the three institutions. The UF faculty, staff, and general users have shown a strong preference for the use of the one record model as presented by CONSER. We consider this especially pertinent in this instance because the electronic Elsevier titles are very new on the market. Cataloging the electronic versions would require in the neighborhood of 600 original records. The University of South Florida, however, has a clear preference for separate records because they have chosen to create a separate catalog for their electronic materials. It is interesting to note the effect that the internal handling of materials has on how libraries ultimately choose to catalog these materials.

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University of Georgia Libraries

Nineteen ninety-seven is the tenth anniversary year of the Libraries' involvement in CONSER/NACO. For a ninth consecutive year, the overall total of new and revised records contributed to CONSER (1,305) has exceeded the previous year (1.4%). In NACO, contributions of new and revised series reached a record total (542) for a third consecutive year.

In March, the Serials Cataloging Section began a special project to add Internet addresses to the cataloging records for print titles in the sciences whenever the online version is free of charge and known to contain at least some full text. Over 300 local bibliographic records have been modified, resulting in approximately 100 CONSER maintenance transactions.

Beth Jedlicka began as the new Serials Cataloger in October. The new section in the CONSER Cataloging Manual on electronic newspaper cataloging to which she contributed was published in February.

Long-term Policy Committee member Barry Baker left the Libraries in April to become director of the University of Central Florida Library and will indeed be missed. Ann Hope, Head of Cataloging, has assumed his Policy role.

John Riemer is also serving on the CONSER Task Force on AACR Review, and is the CONSER representative on the PCC Standing Committee on Training.

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University of Maryland, College Park

FY 97 is the first full fiscal year that the University of Maryland, College Park, has been a member of CONSER. The University of Maryland was released from CONSER cataloging review for non-CJK language materials in Oct. 1996. The serials cataloging staff spent most of this year concentrating on meeting the statistical goals required of a CONSER member. We found that we easily met the requirements of 150 combined authenticated original and newly authenticated serial cataloging records, but meeting the 250 record maintenance requirement was a little harder. There seems to be fierce competition among CONSER members in performing maintenance on recent title changes. We often found that serial records in OCLC were already locked! We are still under review for Chinese cataloging and hope to start review of Japanese records in the spring of 1998. The serials cataloging staff also cataloged computer format serial records for CD-ROM products and remote resources, as well as a few map serials, for the first time.

Marietta Plank is one of three CONSER representatives to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Committee. Marietta Plank, John Schalow, and Jeanne Baker attended the CONSER Operations Committee Meeting held jointly with the 12th annual NASIG meeting at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

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University of Michigan

In March, the Serials Cataloging Unit increased its staffing level by hiring a full-time librarian, Michelle Flinchbaugh. The unit currently has three full-time librarians and two full-time TLAs (Technical Library Assistants). We continued to participate in the CIC e-journal project to catalog selected titles in CICNet. Staff also started cataloging titles in the JSTOR collection, for a total of 32 titles.

University of Pittsburgh

The Technical Services Department at the University of Pittsburgh underwent major changes during 1997 which have affected our participation in the CONSER program.

On April 1, 1997, the Serials Cataloging Section was disbanded. Responsibility for serials cataloging was distributed among the staff in the newly-structured Acquisitions Management Unit (which is responsible for the cataloging of all English-Language materials in all formats) and the Catalog Management Unit (which is responsible for the cataloging of all foreign-language materials in all formats). East Asian-language serials continue to be cataloged in the University's East Asian Library. A cataloger in the Archives Dept. also catalogs serials.

These changes have resulted in a marked decrease in the number of titles submitted by The University of Pittsburgh to the CONSER database. As our catalogers become more experienced at cataloging serials, we expect that the titles submitted will become more focused.

Marianne Kasica, formerly the Head of the Serials Cataloging Section, was reassigned to a position in the Reference Dept. Faye Leibowitz, formerly Serials/Microforms Cataloger, was reassigned to the position of General Languages Cataloger, and became the University's representative to the CONSER Operations Committee.

The University of Pittsburgh agreed to serve as a mentor to the State Library of Pennsylvania, which is pursuing CONSER Enhance membership.

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University of Texas at Austin

As always, most CONSER activity at Texas involved Latin American serials. In addition to the regular flow of new titles and title changes, a grant-funded project continued, adding to Latin American receipts. Funded by the Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade, somewhat over $30,000 was used to purchase serials on commerce, trade, and international economic cooperation from countries participating in NAFTA and Mercosur. The second year of that project covered June 1, 1996 through May 31, 1997.

Another project in 1996/97 was the updating of master OCLC records for paper serials to add information related to the electronic versions. Such information had previously been added only to local records. Serials catalogers participated via the CONSERlist discussion list in the program discussion on the single-record approach to cataloging serials issued in paper and electronic forms, and one cataloger served on a panel presentation at the May 1997 NASIG meeting. In the spring, Texas began serving as a mentor for the University of North Carolina, a new CONSER Enhance participant. The review is conducted almost entirely by email, which has proven to be an effective tool for this purpose.

University of Washington Libraries

The Serials Cataloging Section had a couple staffing changes during the year, with a temporary Serials Project Librarian working in the section from October through the end of the year and a copy cataloger resigning in March (a vacancy that will be filled in September 1997). We received assistance from the Cataloging Division for cataloging corporate annual reports. Staff in the East Asia Library began adding vernacular data for Japanese titles to CONSER records. In our CONSER work, we increased our authentication of new and existing copy and subsequent authentication from 975 titles last year to 1980 titles this year, an increase of 100%. Maintenance of CONSER records decreased slightly, from 1522 to 1443 titles.

The Section staff focused most of its efforts on the regular tasks related to cataloging and retrospective conversion. We eliminated a backlog of CD-ROM and floppy disk titles already in use in various units and began cataloging two previously uncataloged collections: (1) the corporate annual report collection in our Business Administration Library, and (2) international document serials housed in Government Publications. The US portion of the corporate annual report collection was completed in March and work continues on reports from foreign companies. In serials retrospective conversion, efforts focused on upgrading records for older materials and records lacking ISSN's, using lists generated by comparing ISSN's from three abstracting and indexing services (INSPEC, HealthStar, and Current Contents) against ISSN's in our online catalog.

The University Libraries made the policy decision to catalog electronic journals following selection review. In general, we will use a single bibliographic record for print and electronic versions of a title. In the year ahead, the release of a Web-based catalog, with links from catalog records to electronic resources, will be a high priority.

Linda Pitts, our temporary Serials Project Librarian, received the ALA ALCTS Serials Sections First Step Award and $1500 to attend her first ALA conference in San Francisco June 1997. Steve Shadle continued his educational efforts on the cataloging of electronic resources, giving a one day workshop for the Washington Library Association; a presentation at WLA/OLA Preconference, and; a workshop at the NASIG meeting. Kristin Lindlan served as the Operations Committee representative to the CONSER Policy Committee for the November 1996 meeting and continued to contribute to the work of the CONSER Task Force on AACR Review.

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1. Refer to Appendix C for the CONSER Statistical Summary.

Continue to the Appendices

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