DATE: May 1, 1998

NAME: Reading program information in the USMARC Bibliographic Format


SUMMARY: This proposal suggests the definition of field 526 to record information about interactive multimedia reading programs that are related to materials described in MARC records.

KEYWORDS: Field 526 (BD); Reading Program Information Note (BD)

RELATED: DP105 (December 1997)


5/1/98 - Forwarded to the USMARC Advisory Group for discussion at the June 1998 MARBI meetings.

6/27/98 - Results of USMARC Advisory Group discussion - Approved as amended.
The following changes were made:

7/29/98 - Results of LC/NLC review - Agreed with the MARBI decisions.

1/20/99 - Further examination at the Library of Congress with Microlif consultation resulted in adjusting the first indicator values to:

See full description of field 526

PROPOSAL NO. 98-17: Reading program information


Library system and product vendors are working to facilitate the use of school library materials in the classroom. Interactive multimedia educational products that could be used in the classroom are now appearing in the marketplace. Some of these products, mostly on CD-ROM, tie into traditional library materials such as printed books. Reading programs have been a particular focus of this technology. This proposal presents a solution for the need to record information about interactive reading programs in the bibliographic record for related library materials.


2.1 Discussion Paper No. 105

Although at least one producer of interactive reading programs has been experimenting with the use of a new 5XX note field to record information relating to a CD-ROM product, Discussion Paper 105 (Reading program information) suggested using existing USMARC bibliographic data elements to avoid defining new and potentially redundant ones in the format. Since a reading program is a related bibliographic item itself, field 787 (Nonspecific Relationship Entry), one of the linking entry fields, was suggested for most of the information about a related reading program. Level and interest information was relegated to field 521 (Target Audience). The MicroLIF community did not feel that this was an adequate solution to their need, and that schools could not use the information the way it was suggested.

Participants in the discussion of the previous paper had concerns about the fragmentation of reading program information into several fields. Many wanted the information all in one field so that systems could easily strip it out. Since the information would relate to a unified product (i.e., a particular reading program), encoding of aspects such as interest and reading level into data elements in separate fields might require field-to-field linking, if the interest and reading level information related to the reading program itself, not the bibliographic item described in the MARC record. A new linking entry field could not be used because there are not enough unassigned subfields in the linking entry block to allow for the definition of all the new elements suggested for reading program information. Consensus was reached to define a new field, in the 5XX block.

In addition, during the previous USMARC Advisory Group discussion, some participants requested that the field be defined broadly enough so that it could be used for other types of curriculum based programs, such as slide sets used in art history curricula.

2.2 Definition of Field 526

The Follett Software Company, an active member of the MicroLIF group, and original proponent of the 5XX field solution, recommended the use of field 526 for reading program information. Their prototype originally included subelements for program-related titles (program title, volume title, series/set and subseries/subset titles), various numbers (issue or disk numbers, order or stock numbers), interest and reading level, and point values (for programs that assign point values to specific titles read). The community has combined several subfields originally requested and has deleted the subfields for numbers.

The new field for reading program information could be defined as follows:

     $a - Program name (NR)
     $b - Interest level (NR)
     $c - Reading level (NR)
     $d - Title point value (NR)
     $x - Nonpublic note  (R)
     $z - Public note  (RP


Example 1. This example shows the title Bridge to Teribithia which is on the That's A Fact, Jack! disc.

       100 1  $aPaterson, Katherine.
       245 10 $aBridge to Terabithia$cKatherine Paterson ; illustrated by
                Donna Diamond.
       260    $aNew York$bCrowell,$c1977.
       300    $a128 p. :$bill. ;$c23 cm.
       521 0  $a6.0.$bFollett Library Resources.
       521 2  $a5-8.$bFollett Library Resources.
       526    $aThat's A Fact, Jack!$b5-10$c6.0.$d100
       650 1  $aFriendship$xFiction.
       650 1  $aDeath$xFiction.

Example 2. This example shows the title Number The Stars which is on two Reading Program discs.

       100 1  $aLowry, Lois.
       245 10 $aNumber the stars /$cLois Lowry.
       260    $aBoston :$bHoughton Mifflin,$c1989.
       300    $137 p. ;$22 cm.
       521 2  $a5-8.$Follett Library Resources.
       526    $aAccelerated Reader/Advantage Learning Systems$b5.0
       526    $aThat's A Fact, Jack!$b5.5$c4.5$d100
       650 1  $aWorld War, 1939-1945$zDenmark$xFiction.
       650 1  $aWorld War, 1939-1945$xJews$xRescue$xFiction.
       650 1  $aFriendship$xFiction.
       651 1  $aDenmark$xFiction.


The definition of this field for reading program information brings up several questions about how it will be used. Some consideration needs to be given to these in order to provide adequate guidelines to users.

4.1. Does the reading program need to represent a physical object, or can it be like a program put together with a theme (e.g. Oprah's book club)?

4.2. If the answer to the latter is yes, how can we provide guidelines to distinguish between a reading program recorded here and an unpublished series?

4.3. Should subfield $5 be defined for Institution to which field applies? This was not requested by MicroLIF, but it could be useful for specifying the institution that uses the reading program (for the more general use of the field).


In the USMARC Bibliographic format:

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