Contact: David Reser, Library of Congress Cooperative Cataloging (202) 707-7920

March 8, 1994

Library of Congress Announces Establishment of Program for Cooperative Cataloging

The Cooperative Cataloging Council (CCC), chaired by Sarah Thomas, the Library of Congress's Director for Cataloging, has established the international Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC).

Key decisions made during meetings in 1992 and 1993 include:

  • Endorsement of a core bibliographic record that can be accepted without modification or can be dynamically enhanced, depending on local priorities and resources.
  • Development of simple, user-friendly documentation.
  • Promotion of a training program that emphasizes cataloger judgment and a bibliographic process that supports user needs for timely and useful access.
  • Formation of a Foreign MARC Coalition to facilitate access to records produced outside North America.
  • Annual production of 200,000 - 600,000 authority records by 200 participants and 100,000 - 200,000 bibliographic records created by 20 to 50 program participants (exclusive of the Library of Congress) by the year 2000.

Under the direction of Ms. Thomas, the CCC developed several goals:

  • To increase the timely availability of bibliographic and authority records by cataloging more items, by producing cataloging that is widely available for sharing and use by others, and by cataloging in a more cost-effective manner.
  • To develop and maintain mutually acceptable standards for records.
  • To promote the values of timely access and cost effectiveness in cataloging and expand the pool of catalogers who catalog using mutually accepted standards.
  • To increase the sharing and use of foreign bibliographic and authority records.
  • To provide for continuing discussion, planning and operations among participants to further the program's mission.

The Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO) of the Library of Congress, in consultation with cooperating libraries, will move forward in the next few months to simplify and streamline cataloging documentation used nationwide, such as the Library of Congress Rule Interpretations, Descriptive Cataloging Manual and the Subject Cataloging Manual. These task groups will be chaired by senior policy specialists Kay Guiles, Lynn El-Hoshy, Diane Humes and Judy Kuhagen of the Library.

Strategic Action Plan for Cooperative Cataloging

Acting on the proposals of the task groups, the CCC has created a strategic action plan for strengthening cooperative cataloging in North America. Key among the recommendations endorsed by the CCC is the identification of a core bibliographic record for monographs that is distinguished by having all its access points under authority control and by containing at least one subject heading and classification number. Participants can contribute cataloging to a data base of program records that will be shared by the Library of Congress, OCLC and the Research Libraries Group at the outset, with other participants possibly being added. Libraries will be able to accept records without qualification or upgrade them as their resources permit and local cataloging practices dictate. To prepare catalogers to create program records, the Library of Congress and its partners will revise documentation such as the Library of Congress Rule Interpretations and will script new training that will emphasize "training-the-trainer" techniques and use of cataloger judgment.

A system of decentralized training will allow the program to reach the most participants. To maximize the number of records available for sharing, the CCC supported formation of an informal "Foreign MARC Coalition" to provide a mechanism for exchanging information and coordinating activities related to the acquisition, analysis, conversion and distribution of foreign MARC records.

Future Action

During the 1994 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Los Angeles the CCC revised and adopted a strategic plan for 1994-1999. Included in this plan is the establishment of several new task groups:

  • Subject Authority File Task Group, chaired by Bob Wolven, Columbia University, will be examining recommendations made to define the functional requirements and uses of the national subject authority file and its relationship to Library of Congress Subject Headings as a thesaurus.
  • AACR2R Code Revision Task Group, chaired by Barbara Tillett, Library of Congress, will investigate the best course of action for making recommended changes to AACR2R.
  • Core Bibliographic Record for JACKPHY Task Group, chaired by John Eilts, Research Libraries Group, will build on the success of the CCC Standards Task Group by expanding the core record concept to non-Roman scripts.
  • Core Bibliographic Record for Music Task Group, chaired by Joan Schuitema, Northwestern University, will extend the core record concept to the first of several nonbook formats.
  • Series Authority Record Task Group, chaired by Richard Amelung, St. Louis University School of Law Library, will examine the content and functional uses of series authority records in the national authority file.


To achieve the creation of an estimated 200,000 - 600,000 authority records annually and 100,000 - 200,000 bibliographic records (exclusive of LC contributions) by the year 2000, the Program plans as a first step to recruit additional NACO participants and to convert NACO members to PCC members, since NACO status will be a prerequisite for the creation of PCC bibliographic records. In addition, this year and next, a number of NACO contributors will be encouraged to initiate contributions of bibliographic records.

Strategic Plan

The five-year strategic plan for the Program for Cooperative Cataloging has been made available on LC MARVEL, the LC gopher system. To access, telnet to, and use the login "marvel." From the main menu, select:

7. Services to Libraries and Publishers.

1. Services to LIBRARIES.

5. Cooperative Cataloging Programs.

2. Cooperative Cataloging Council

Libraries wanting more information about participating in the PCC or needing assistance in accessing MARVEL should contact: David Reser, Cooperative Cataloging, Regional & Cooperative Cataloging Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540- 4383.

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PR 94-051
ISSN 0731-3527

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