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Program for Cooperative Cataloging

The Library of Congress > Program for Cooperative Cataloging > CONSER >Summary of the CONSER Operations Committee Meeting May 11-12, 2000

The CONSER and BIBCO Operations Committees met jointly and separately for two days, covering a number of substantial topics. Jean Hirons, CONSER Coordinator, chaired the CONSER meeting. Carroll Davis (LC) served as recorder. Marjorie Bloss (CRL), chair of the PCC Policy Committee welcomed the group. There were 33 attendees representing 27 CONSER institutions, in addition to LC staff and the PCC standing committee chairs.

Joint session A: AACR Revision

Dave Reser (LC/CPSO) began the discussions with a review of the Chapter 9 (Computer files) revision. He provided a background of the revision which began five years ago with the proposal to substitute "electronic resources" for "computer file." The revision of ISBD(ER) prompted a need for harmonization and a CC:DA task force was set up to propose rule revisions taking into account the ISBD(ER) revision. The CC:DA revision proposals are currently under review by JSC constituents and LC submitted an extensive response to the proposals. Reser's discussion focused on the LC response, which was favorably received by the JSC at its March meeting.

LC's suggested changes include removing the special emphasis given to interactive multimedia, making the entire resource the chief source (and for CD-ROMs including the carrier and its labels) and omitting the edition statement for resources that are frequently updated. LC has also proposed that area 3 (file characteristics/type and extent of resources) be omitted and that the extent of resource be given in area 5 (physical description) when considered appropriate. The LC response recommends that all internet resources be treated as "published" for matters of expediency and asks whether it is time to remove the ban on using area 5 for remote resources.

Participants agreed with the LC position that putting file characteristics in area 5 is reasonable, particularly for electronic monographs. The problem of maintaining a list of standardized specific material designations (SMDs) is a concern of the JSC and LC favors removing the list to an appendix.

Jean Hirons summarized some of the primary changes in the Chapter 12 (Serials) revision. The proposals are currently under review by JSC constituents and will be discussed at the September meeting of the JSC. There is no certainty as to when the rules will be published as the harmonization efforts must also be taken into account.

The key change, according to Hirons, is in new concepts and definitions of "continuing" and "integrating" resources and the impact on cataloging, the MARC formats, and cooperative cataloging programs. In regard to the MARC format, Hirons discussed MARBI discussion paper 119 <URL:http://www.loc.gov/marc/marbi/dp/dp119.html>. The paper proposes that a new code 'i' be defined for the leader/07 (bibliographic level) for integrating resources. In addition, the paper proposes that code 'l' be added to the serial type in the serial 008 for loose-leafs, that a code 'k' be added to the frequency for 'continuously updated' and that a new code 2 be added to the successive/latest entry indicator for integrating entry. A straw poll showed approval of the new code 'i' by a majority of those present. This is a more acceptable alternative to coding loose-leafs as serials and it provides more flexibility and options for record maintenance and authentication.

Hirons then raised the question of who will catalog integrating resources. Ed Glazier (RLG) commented that many cataloging departments organize materials according to convenience and that "serials" have always had a broader scope of inclusion. Carol Hixson (Oregon) noted that the cataloging of integrating resources might break down the barriers between monograph and serials catalogers. Adam Schiff (Washington) doubted that serials catalogers could take on all integrating resources, and Naomi Young (Florida) commented that while loose-leafs are cataloged as monographs on OCLC, they are changed to serials in-house.

As to how integrating resources should be covered by cooperative programs, the feeling was that there were not enough CONSER participants to take on integrating resources. Hirons agreed but wondered whether CONSER might not want to take on some, such as databases. When asked whether it was time for CONSER to catalog updating databases, there was generally favorable but mixed response. All agreed that the cataloging of Web sites should be open to all!

There are numerous issues involved that will require further thought and discussion. Differences in authentication practices, the fact that CONSER has a distributed database and BIBCO does not, the focus on maintenance in CONSER that is not currently part of BIBCO, and an overall review of OCLC enhance authorizations are all issues for discussion. Another concern is that changing a record from a monograph to an integrating resource, should code 'i' be adopted, will require responsible deletion of the monograph record for purposes of CDS distribution and this is not a small matter. Some of the creative suggestions for BIBCO and CONSER cooperation in this area included cooperative maintenance, a BIBCO Enhance membership category (similar to CONSER Enhance), a serials enhance authorization available to non-CONSER members, a general national-level maintenance authorization allowing update of any type of bibliographic record, and overlapping CONSER and BIBCO authorizations giving both the ability to update integrating resource records.

Action: Add this issue to the PCC Policy Committee agenda for November meeting. Further discussion will also take place at the MARBI meeting at ALA.

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Session B: Chapter 12 review and harmonization issues

Chapter 12 review

Hirons reviewed the rule revision proposals for description of continuing resources with CONSER catalogers. In discussing the chief source, she noted that the recommendation for CD-ROMs was to use the label on the physical carrier as the source of the title. This met with general approval, but some concern was expressed about different rules for continuing and finite resources.

One of the more controversial changes is the provision that certain numbering changes will no longer require a new record. While this may create some internal difficulties when "[new ser.]" is added, this is a harmonization issue and it will assure that ISSN and AACR2 records will cover the same span of the record.

Several of the issues that may need further consideration are whether a change in physical format constitutes a major change and whether and how uniform titles can be assigned to integrating resources. The proposals now recommend that a change in format be considered major and that uniform titles not be assigned to integrating resources. The proposals also recommend that for integrating resources a change in edition be considered cause for a new record. Glazier questioned whether records should be retained for old editions no longer available but other suggested that citations and archived copies warranted the retention of the record.

On a final note, Glazier said that he had compared the proposals with the existing chapter and he was very pleased with the extent of the changes.

Action: CONSER institutions may send comments on the revision proposals to CC:DA via Joan Scuitema, the PCC representative to CC:DA.

Harmonization

Regina Reynolds (LC) discussed the issues that require harmonization so that AACR2, ISBD(S) and ISSN will be in agreement. These involve title changes, basis of the description, title transcription, and the development of an international standard title (IST).

Improving the rules for title changes remains a major goal. The ability to treat as minor changes additions or deletions of words such as "magazine" and "report" from a title would save many needless new records. However, this is a problem for languages such as French where the word appears at the beginning of the title. The ISBD(S) group has suggested that the addition or deletion of such a word anywhere in the title be considered minor. Words added or dropped from a list are also under consideration.

The basis of the description remains an issue, even though the rule revision proposals reflect description from the earliest issue for serials. Many participants favored changing basis of description for serials to the latest issue and were willing to accept increasing the number of minor title changes in exchange for having current title information in the title area of the description, which has advantages for many applications. JSC has so far rejected description based on latest issue for serials, so the AACR2 "package" now features both many minor title changes and no current title in area 1.

Reynolds identified issues of title transcription that have not been covered by current AACR2 revision proposals but that need to be addressed for harmonization purposes, including:

  • title transcription for common title/section title cases or supplements
  • choosing title proper when both spelled out form and initialism or acronym form of title are presented
  • determining title proper and parallel titles when titles in more than one language are presented, and
  • omission from titles of data other than designations.

A major proposal to resolve many harmonization problems is the International Serial Title (IST). As conceived, the IST would be a standard form of entry for serials, linked to ISSN, and accepted internationally. Therefore, it would increase interoperability in record exchange, facilitate searching and linking, and make current title in area 1 a practical possibility. It would also serve as the benchmark for when a new record needs to be created: changes requiring a new IST would be major; those not requiring a new IST would be minor.

There is considerable international interest in the IST, discussions are active, and many requirements for the IST have been recognized. However, many questions remain to be answered, much work needs to be done, and more time is required before the IST becomes a reality, Reynolds explained.

Some of the questions involve data flow from various databases, how the IST would be used in records in relation to uniform titles and current main entry rules, how the IST would be constructed, and who would create it. Attendees suggested an international authority database could help fulfill these needs. The cataloger or agency creating an ISSN would take responsibility for registering the IST in the international authority file, with access through variant forms, different romanizations, etc. There was some discussion of the ISSN database serving as the international IST authority, but this would require wide-spread access to the ISSN database.

Reynolds expressed her opinion that successful implementation of the IST will require AACR2 to abolish name heading main entry for serials. Some attendees had questions whether that can be accepted in AACR2 for serials without also being adopted for non-serials. Hirons will be attending a meeting in Ottawa in mid-June to further discuss the issues regarding the IST.

Session C: Updates

OCLC update. Robert Bremer discussed the recent implementation of MARC changes, including the availability of encoding level '4' for core records, the new code 's' for electronic in the form of item and form of original item, and the 891 field for publication patterns. Coming changes are the ability to add Arabic vernacular data (but not to CONSER records), migration of records with 856 fields between CORC and Worldcat, and conversion of Wade-Giles headings in the National Authority File to Pinyin. There will be a moratorium on new headings during the time of the conversion in August and September. OCLC plans a 2001 implementation of the new LCCN format which will use the four-digit year.

Publication pattern initiative. Frieda Rosenberg reported that the CONSER project is due to start June 1 and documentation for the project has been made available on the WWW via the CONSER homepage, as has a "frequently asked questions" aid on the subject and there are plans to make examples available in the same way soon. In other activities, a subgroup led by Linda Miller (LC) is surveying system vendors regarding how their systems use the holdings format.

Hirons reported that the Library of Congress hopes to contribute publication pattern data for some of its serials. Ruth Haas (Harvard) reported that a seed file of approximately 150,00 serial publication pattern records from Harvard is being worked on by OCLC. It is uncertain when those will be loaded into OCLC, but it will probably be after use of 891 fields starts on June 1, 2000.

Jake database. Ed Jones (Rowecom) explained the Jake (jointly administered knowledge environment) database and its potential use to CONSER for linking records to A&I and full text information. It was developed at the Yale Medical School primarily for use at the local level. CONSER is interested in being able to replace 510 data in records with an 856 linking to the Jake database. Faxon is working on this as their membership contribution. A meeting was held between David Fritsch of Faxon and Dan Chudnov, who developed jake, but no decisions were reached.

CONSER documentation. Hirons is currently working on CEG update 12 and asked participants to notify her of changes. A suggestion was made that we stop using spacing conventions designed for card production and all agreed. Rather than review the entire document and make all needed changes, Hirons agreed to put a general statement up front [information has been added to the Section D]. Spacing conventions in linking fields are still necessary according to John Levy.

Module 31 of the CONSER Cataloging Manual will need updating this summer. Hirons noted that she plans to set up a group of experts to routinely review Module 31 and to identify e-serial issues that need to be resolved.

Foreign newspapers. Marjorie Bloss reported on the continued development of ICON, the International Coalition on Newspapers, a cooperative program similar in purpose to the United States Newspaper Program, but dealing with foreign newspapers. ICON activities will include cooperative collection development, preservation, and union listing. The Center for Research Libraries will administer ICON, with funding from NEH.

ICON's first major project will be development of a union list of foreign newspapers - Standards should be very similar to those in USNP, following CCM guidelines for newspaper cataloging and NISO standards for holdings data. Participating institutions in ICON's initial phase include CRL, Library of Congress, National Library of Canada, OCLC, British Library, Harvard, University of Washington, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Eventually, other institutions will be encouraged to join. While not all ICON participants are currently CONSER members, it is desirable that their records be included in the CONSER database when possible. ICON will study whether different institutions' partial holdings for a newspaper can be merged into more complete holdings in a single place.

Action: Hirons and Bloss will explore CONSER membership considerations.

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Session E. New coding for electronic resources

Attendees discussed the application of new code "s" for "electronic" in the "Form of item" and "Form of original item" bytes of bibliographic fields 008 and 006. One advantage of the new code is that it allows a mechanism for determining that the record is electronic. This allows the continuation of the optional addition of field 007 in the single record option.

As to application of the code, coding the form of item is clear; the primary issue is how to code the form of original item. In anticipation of the disappearance of the print, differences in content that are hard to determine, and general unknown status of the original, participants agreed to the following:

  • Code "Form of original item" as "s" if you know the resource being cataloged is an original electronic resource.
  • Code "Form of original item" as "blank" (or other appropriate value) if the item is a reproduction of print
  • Code "Form of original item" by default as "s" when the item is a version, the form of the original is unknown, or when in doubt.

Participants also agreed that addition of code 's' to existing records should be a required when modifying the record for other reasons.

Joint Session E: Authorities, LC ILS, and Bibliographic File Maintenance.

Multiple surname indicator

Ann Della Porta (LC-ILS) reminded the audience that as of January, 2000, the first indicator for multiple surnames is now 1, with value 2 having become obsolete. About 250,000 NARs include the obsolete indicator. OCLC has begun to perform the cleanup on these records, and has done about 40,000 so far at a rate of 9,000 per week. The project will take about six months. The change applies to 100, 400, and 500 fields on NARS.

Catalogers are making changes on bibliographic records as they encounter the obsolete indicator values in 100, 400, 600, 700 and 800 fields. More information is available on the CPSO home page at: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/multsur.html

Subject subdivisions

Subfield v has been in use for form subdivisions on bibliographic records since February 1999 at LC. Existing bibliographic records are being changed from $x to $v whenever catalogers are doing routine maintenance on subject headings. LC had changed 2,100 subject authority records, and is over halfway through the project.

More than 1,100 subdivision authority records (18X) have been created and distributed to control the more than 3,100 free-floating topical, form, and chronological subdivisions.

LC staff have added 781 linking fields for geographic subdivision to all new and revised geographic subject authority records distributed since February 1999. Neither LC nor NACO libraries will add this field to geographic name authority records until software, training, and implementation issues are resolved.

LC had plans to use 008/09 value f to indicate a string which could serve as established heading and subdivision. After 130 subject authority records had been changed, a software problem was discovered, and the 130 records' 008/09 value was changed back from f to a. Implementation of value f is on hold.

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Pinyin conversion of Chinese Bibliographic and Authority Records

October 1, 2000 is the Pinyin Day 1 Target Date. LC, OCLC, and RLG have a draft of conversion specifications to guide RLG's work with bib records and OCLC's work with name authorities. The conversion dictionaries include conventional place names. To ensure that no data converted from Wade Giles to Pinyin are processed again to a second Pinyin form, LC proposes a moratorium on Chinese language cataloging activities while RLG and OCLC pull and convert records. Place names in Taiwan will not be converted until the US Board on Geographic Names has determined that individual place names have been changed in accord with plans of the government in Taiwan. Details about elements of the records to be changed in the Pinyin conversion and the time line can be found at: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pinyin/

CDS is considering offering a file of the converted NARS. Interested parties can send input to CDS at this address: CDSINFO@LOC.GOV

NACO Contribution/Distribution

LC's ILS continues the Library of Congress' support of NACO by receiving authority records from all NACO libraries and LC catalogers each day, and by distributing them to OCLC, RLG, and the British Library, who hold mirror copies of the LC NAF. Further information about the Library of Congress ILS is at: http://www.loc.gov/ils/

Authorities in the LC Online Catalog

Currently, full headings and reference structure are available in the LC OPAC. By the end of 2000, full MARC name and subject authorities (approx. 5 million records) will be in LC's Web OPAC.

Bibliographic File Maintenance

Guidelines for reporting BFM remain the same as before the introduction of the LC ILS. Searching the LC Online Catalog is not a requirement for NACO or BIBCO libraries. NACO participants should continue to use the bibliographic utilities as their universe for cataloging and reporting BFM to LC.

Linking serials and monographs and proposal-David Van Hoy and Beth Guay

Van Hoy spoke to the problem of maintenance across formats. This discussion related to the general discussion which was address in the morning session but Van Hoy focused on specific issues of when and how monograph and serial catalogers could collaborate on providing links from one format to another when needed. The examples he cited were for a serial that became a database and for a conference publication that was cataloged initially as a serial then as a monograph. Schiff suggested that we limit linking to categories of continuing resources but not between continuing and finite resources as there is a one-to-one relationship in the first instance but not in the second. This suggestion met general support. As to how the links could be made, one participant suggested it might be a good idea to have CONSER/BIBCO buddies to handle appropriate materials. The participants from the universities of Maryland and Washington spoke about the collaboration which takes place at their institutions. Hirons remarked that many institutions have resource problems training monographic catalogers to add linking notes to serial records, or are reluctant to give serials catalogers authority to add or change linking fields on monographic records. Guay reiterated Van Hoy's concerns and discussed her suggestion that databases be cataloged on OCLC as minimal level "K" records in order to keep them open for anyone to revise.

Action: Van Hoy and Schiff will prepare a proposal for the development of a mechanism to enable BIBCO and CONSER catalogers to add or modify 760-787 notes across formats.

Action: Van Hoy and Schiff will present a draft of this proposal for discussion at the BIBCO and CONSER-At-Large meetings at ALA Annual.

Action: Hirons will prepare issue of maintenance for discussion at POCO-with PCC/OCLC/RLG.

Joint Session F: Multiple Versions Revisited

Robert Bremer (OCLC) identified a number of problems in dealing with digital resources that have print counterparts or that have multiple electronic versions. Unlike the situation when the single record option was first agreed upon, when the only e-version was being produced by the publisher of the print, there is now a great proliferation of e-versions by multiple producers and aggregators. Thus, even though a CONSER group re-examined the option last year, there are further issues now to be addressed and this seems to be an appropriate time to re-open these questions, since a CC:DA task force has recommended relaxing the cardinal principle in AACR2 0.24 that the starting point for description must be the physical format of the resource. Some of the problems include:

  • Confusion over what to use as the publisher in a record for an electronic reproduction or version
  • Confusion over the use of the single record policy; libraries and OCLC have been placing all e-versions on a single record separate from the print

LC has written a new rule interpretation that allows for a microform-type of approach for electronic reproductions using field 533. The question for an institution then is whether to use a separate record with field 533 or whether to use the single record option. Or even, whether to use a separate record with the electronic producer as publisher.

Hirons made it clear that placing all electronic versions on a single electronic record is not what the CONSER single record policy authorizes and Bremer agreed that OCLC should stop recommending this practice.

Reynolds and Hirons facilitated a brainstorming session on issues related to versions. There was general agreement that we cannot regard electronic resources as if they are all similar and that a single approach will work well for all. How to distinguish the differences and define the best approach then is the real issue. Some of the points brought out in the discussion were:

  • reproduction vs. version may be the chief distinction
  • coverage of content is also critical; however, the user is more focused on the article than the serial and as long as the article is present, it may not matter
  • the single record option for multiple e-versions is less acceptable when there are different access restrictions for each

In the discussion on attributes that can define appropriate cataloging techniques, three areas emerged: content, format, and distribution method. The other major issue is that what works for the local catalog is not always appropriate for the shared database. The group agreed that this is probably the key issue and while ideal methods could be identified for one or the other, it is hard to find one that works for both. Attendees also recognized that this is a large and very important issue and agreed with Hirons and Reynolds that a task force needs to examine the issues.

Action: Set up a task force on electronic versions to report to the Standing Committee on Standards with interim report due by mid-winter and final report due prior to OpCo meetings in 2001.

Session G. Breakout topics on electronic serials

Developing CONSER Cooperatives. David Van Hoy (MIT) led a discussion on finding ways within CONSER to develop cooperative effort for handling electronic serial packages. These are groups of serials that may include around 100 titles (more or less) but are not in the same category as aggregator databases that contain over 1000 titles. Problems discussed included how to deal with a newly acquired package that has an inconveniently large number of titles, how to monitor and maintain URLs, and how to approach possible overlap with other packages. Simple strategies for cooperation were identified, including: requesting partners via CONSRLST to share the work of cataloging everything in a single package, or finding partners in advance that are likely to acquire the same packages and splitting responsibilities for cataloging the contents of packages once acquired.

Action: Van Hoy will pursue with others in CONSER.

URLS and PURLS. Les Hawkins (NSDP) and Tad Downing (GPO) led a discussion on various issues related to URLs and PURLs. Downing reported that GPO is working with OCLC to define enhancements needed in PURL server software, so recommendations for needed improvements may be relayed through GPO. Maintenance was a major topic. Alternative strategies for sharing the work of URL maintenance were identified: 1) do URL maintenance cooperatively through a PURL server at GPO or 2) establish a CONSER PURL server and distribute maintenance responsibilities among members.

Other questions discussed included how many URLs or PURLs should be given in the record for a resource with multiple sites and what should be CONSER members' responsibility for URL and PURL maintenance.

Discussants also agreed that catalogers should provide more and better information in field 856 subfield $3 to help users understand what the resource at the other end of the URL is and evaluate their interest in it.

Action: [Subsequent to the meeting Hirons asked Valerie Bross to pursue the issue of PURLs and CONSER with a group of CONSER e-serial experts. A survey is being designed for completion of CONSER members.]

CORC and CONSER. John Riemer (Georgia) led a discussion on CORC and its significance for CONSER. Because CORC takes records in both MARC and non-MARC formats, it increases the channels through which records for electronic resources can be collected and expands the range of staff that can share the work to be done. It is Riemer's belief that CORC can help CONSER address the higher goal of seeing that all electronic serials get bibliographic coverage, especially with no added resources for CONSER to do the extra cataloging by its traditional means. Additionally, CORC records accommodate some information not included in MARC records. Some of the current drawbacks are the present inability to handle diacritics in CORC records and lack of migration of records between the CORC database and OCLC WorldCat, which will be remedied in July.

Jake at the University of Washington. Kristin Lindlan (Washington) led a discussion on a planned use of the Jake database at her home institution. The head of access services at University of Washington Libraries is customizing a local front-end that will provide a seamless interface between Jake, the UW online catalog, and the university's web-based Digital Registry for electronic resources. Therefore, information about A&I and aggregator coverage will be linked to data in the catalog and the Digital Registry; and users will be able to go from Jake data into catalog searches to identify which resources are available locally.

Possible advantages discussed included providing reliable A&I information without needing 510 fields and creating an alternative way of handling multiple electronic versions. Questions raised included how will data flow between the catalog, the Digital Registry, and Jake, and what requirements will that entail for each of those? Also, who will assure that aggregator information in Jake is accurate and will continue to maintain that accuracy?

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Session H. CONSER membership and training

Membership issues. Jean Hirons reported that Northwestern University is the newest full CONSER member, with Kevin Randall as its operations representative, and the newest associate members are Cleveland Public Library, represented by Andrea Olson, and Brown University, represented by Gretchen Yealy. Others interested in CONSER membership include University of Hong Kong, University of Pennsylvania, and Texas A&M University. Hirons will also be giving CONSER training at the National Library of Wales and hopes that others in the United Kingdom will be interested in joining when it is feasible.

Attendees discussed types of new members they would like to join CONSER, including more members with ability to catalog less-covered languages (Asian, African, Latin American), more CONSER Enhance members, and more international participation, particularly Canadian. The question was also raised about whether CONSER has changed its original philosophy of membership which focused on an institution's collection and what it could contribute to the database. Hirons responded that this was still viable but that we have been more open in the past few years and that with electronic resources there seems to be plenty of work to justify new members.

Action: Add a discussion on CONSER membership to the Policy Committee agenda.

SCCTP training. Hirons reported there is growing international demand for SCCTP training and CONSER documentation. A week-long SCCTP course has been scheduled in Taiwan and the Basic Serials Cataloging course and the parts of the CEG are being translated into Chinese. The CCM is being translated into Spanish, and an SCCTP session is being held in Mexico in May.

The next SCCTP course to be released will be on holdings. It is now being developed by Frieda Rosenberg and Tom Saudargas. Testing will begin in November 2000 and the course is scheduled to be available in February 2001. For this course, pre-printed materials will not be produced and stocked by CDS. Instead, CDS will sell rights to download electronic versions from the WWW. This model, it is hoped, will make correcting and updating SCCTP materials easier. Hirons also noted the need for an Advanced Serials Cataloging course (or several focused courses) and her desire to have CONSER or LC catalogers participate in its development. [Subsequent to the meeting Steve Shadle and Kristin Lindlan volunteered; they will work with Meg Mering.]

CONSER At Large July 2000 agenda

Suggested topics for the CONSER At Large meeting at the ALA 2000 Annual Conference include the following:

  • Progress of the proposed CONSER/BIBCO task force on multiple versions issues
  • Updates on various initiatives: publication patterns, aggregators, etc.
  • More discussion of how aggregator contents will be cataloged
  • How CONSER members can recruit and train new CONSER Enhance members
  • Alternatives for getting more cataloging of less-covered languages into CONSER
  • Reconsideration of CONSER's philosophy of membership

CONSERline. CONSERline will soon become a Web-only publication and will no longer be distributed by email. CONSERline subscribers' list may be used only for posting notifications that a new issue has been released. Details remain yet to be determined. The next issue will be produced after ALA.

Future CONSER Operations Committee meetings

Hirons expressed concern that, while holding joint sessions with the BIBCO Operations Committee is valuable and necessary, this reduces the time for CONSER-specific discussions and interaction. Consequently, she will explore the possibility of adding an additional half-day at the beginning of each year's CONSER Operations Committee meeting, to make up for the lost time and to add a greater variety of meeting activities, such as more break-out sessions.

Session I / Joint CONSER OpCo/BIBCO OpCo: Wrap-up and summary of discussions

The BIBCO and CONSER coordinators exchanged highlights and resulting action items of their meetings with the group and then proceeded to discuss the upcoming PCC Participants meeting.

Ideas for PCC Participants Meeting-- alternative to standard meeting style

The group seemed to agree with the concept of having more interaction at PCC Participants Meetings on ALA Sunday nights. "Poster sessions" may not be as accurate a name as "breakout sessions" to discuss topics. Some topics suggested: 1) Statistics-are all libraries gathering and reporting by the same criteria? Where is the accountability for statistics? 2) Multiple versions and 3) Ask Standing Committee chairs for specific topics and issues.

Suggestions from the combined group included the possibility of breaking up into small groups with further suggestions that if this idea were adopted the format should be kept as simple as possible. However, another member brought up the question of accessibility issues-can participants move to the group, see the group, hear discussion? Would more than one room be required for this venue? Some felt that it might be best to delay the new format for Midwinter ALA in Washington as this may be a better place to present small discussion groups, and delaying from July 2000 to January 2001 gives additional more time to plan. Other members felt that "Poster sessions" imply visual materials which require someone to make a visual poster and to have a fresh audience, not the already converted, perhaps a booth at ALA would be a better place to present this session. All present felt that it was a good idea to change the meeting from reporting mode to discussion mode. Meetings are boring if they only repeat information that's been presented previously in various modes. Suggestions for future meeting included recruiting an interesting speaker to give a 10-15 minute talk, followed by audience discussion. One audience member felt that PoCo should address the needs of PCC members and that holding a meeting if there's nothing new to share with the group may not be the best use of resources. Another member felt that report items could be posted to the web site thereby negating the need for a meeting .

Action: Suggest to the Steering Committee that the "poster session" be postponed until ALA Midwinter and that the idea of "poster session" be abandoned in favor of a "breakout session" with discussion topics.

Action: Marjorie Bloss will discuss her ideas for the ALA Annual meeting with the Secretariat in June and will help develop the agenda.

Next Joint CONSER/BIBCO meeting

Action: CONSER coordinator will discuss the possibility of extending the meeting time with the Steering Committee, perhaps having a 2 and ½ day meeting to include a training session. BIBCO will continue with the present meeting schedule.

Action: Add the Standing Committees Chair reports to the joint group sessions agenda.

Action: The 2001 meeting is set for May 3th-4th.

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