2017 Midwinter Conference Reports

Newsletter Issue: 
Volume 37 no.1 March 2017

Jan Mayo, Column Editor


MARC Advisory Committee (MAC) Report

submitted by Bruce J. Evans


Since MAC Liaison Cate Gerhart was unable to attend ALA Midwinter 2017, I represented OLAC on her behalf during the MAC meetings. Summaries of actions taken on each paper follow. The complete meeting agenda can be found here.


Proposal No. 2017-01: Redefining Subfield $4 to Encompass URIs for Relationships in the MARC 21

Authority and Bibliographic Formats.

After considerable discussion about matters that would need to be sorted out should the proposal move forward, the group confirmed the need for encoding URIs to represent relationships, and the motion to accept as written passed.


Proposal No. 2017-02: Defining New Subfields $i, $3, and $4 in Field 370 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic

and Authority Formats

Meeting attendees expressed overall support for this proposal, while recommending the need to refine some of the wording, which can be accomplished outside of the meeting. A motion to accept the\ proposal with the proviso to refine some of the wording passed.


During the second day of MAC, a request came forward to add indicators in the bibliographic format to record work, expression, and no information provided; and for the authority format, add indicators to record work, expression, and N/A. The group decided that these desired changes should come through as a separate proposal.


Proposal No. 2017-03: Defining New Subfields $i and $4 in Field 386 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic and

Authority Formats

After calls to further define $4 and other suggested rewordings, a motion to accept the paper with the proviso to refine some of the wording outside of the meeting passed.


Proposal No. 2017-04: Using a Classification Record Control Number as a Link in the MARC 21

Bibliographic and Authority Formats

The discussion for this paper focused on what subfields the $0 applies to; that is, just the $a, or the $a and $b. The consensus seemed to favor $a. Also, the CCM dropped opposition to excluding the 084 and 064 fields from having this change apply to these fields. A motion to accept the paper as written passed.


Proposal No. 2017-05: Defining a New Subfield in Field 340 to Record Color Content in the MARC 21

Bibliographic Format

This paper received strong support. A suggestion came through to revise the first sentence of the $g’s definition to read the following: “Color characteristics of the content of the resource.” After this change received unanimous support, a motion to accept the proposal with this revision passed.


Proposal No. 2017-06: Adding Subfields $b, $2, and $0 to Field 567 in the MARC 21 Bibliographic


After extensive discussion about use-case scenarios for all of the subfields, a motion to accept the paper as written passed.


Proposal No. 2017-07: Adding Value “No information provided” to the First Indicator of Field 070 in

the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format


After discussion about whether there should be an indicator to indicate when someone other than the National Agriculture Library (NAL) assigned the number, or if the National Library of Finland should be using NAL numbers at all, the motion to accept the paper as written passed with three no votes and two abstentions.


Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP01: Use of Subfields $0 and $1 to Capture Uniform Resource Identifiers

(URIs) in the MARC 21 Formats

Presenter from PCC Task Group on URIs in MARC pointed out that they are not suggesting that the $0 and

$1 need to be paired in all circumstances, individual institutions may employ options to use them

differently. They are also open to opinions about a better subfield than $1 to represent Real World Object, or Thing, data. They also acknowledged the practical problem of communicating differences between the two codes. And lastly, the presenter noted that legacy data will need to be dealt with.

Discussion generally centered on whether separating RWO from authorities could be accomplished

outside of MARC. The prevailing sentiment was no—specific coding is needed which MARC affords. This discussion paper will come back as a proposal.


Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP02: Defining Field 758 (Related Work Identifier) in the MARC 21

Authority and Bibliographic Formats

Presenter from the PCC noted the need to represent RDF triplicate structure in MARC, and that they wanted to accommodate relationships that aren’t necessarily based in FRBR. This discussion paper will come back as a proposal.


Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP03: Defining New Fields to Record Accessibility Content in the MARC 21

Bibliographic Format

The discussion began with the OLAC representative noting that this paper is analogous to a newly formed video accessibility task force in OLAC, and expressed the desire to partner with the CCM on any future development of this paper after Midwinter. (The CCM representative had agreed to this immediately before the meeting began.) There seemed to be support for this.

Moving to the discussion of the paper itself, CCM withdrew the 007 part of the paper. Discussion then focused variously on questions regarding the structure of the 341, needing a $3 to indicate to which part of the resource a given 341 applies, and also an indicator to demonstrate scenarios when you don’t know to what aspect of the resource the 341 applies. In response to question about Provider Neutral implications, an attendee pointed out that Provider Neutral deals with manifestation level data; while accessibility is expression-level data. This discussion paper will come back as a proposal.

Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP04: Defining Subfields $u, $r and $z in Field 777 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

Attendees were largely supportive. This discussion paper will come back as a proposal.

Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP05: Providing Institution Level Information by Defining Subfield $5 in the 6XX Fields of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

Most attendees did not support this paper. Discussion ensued about exploring other subfields to represent this data, which led to the final recommendation for the German National Library to do just that if they choose to bring it back as a proposal.


Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) Report

submitted by Kelley McGrath


The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is expected to publish the

final version of its Library Reference Model (LRM) in the near future. LRM reconciles the separately developed FRBR, FRAD and FRSAD models into a single coherent model that is compatible with other standards such as FRBRoo (object-oriented FRBR). LRM is a much more abstract model than FRBR and takes some time to grasp. One aspect of LRM that I look forward to is the addition of the idea of a representative expression, which is similar to the “primary expression” described in parts 1-2 of OLAC’s Moving Image Work-Level Records Task Force report. The representative expression provides a place for recording attributes like the original language of a work. In the final draft of LRM, characteristics of the representative expression will be recorded as attributes of the work entity. On the other hand, some decisions that LRM makes, such as the limitation of the person entity to real human beings, are unpopular with many catalogers. The RDA Steering Committee (RSC) chair believes that current functionality related to fictitious authors can be maintained by using a different technique than what we currently use, which will hopefully make that change more palatable.

RDA will be modified to conform to the LRM model. This requires major structural changes so the RSC has decided to freeze development of RDA from April 2017 until April 2018 in order to focus on making these updates. However, despite the significant reorganization that is needed to align RDA with LRM, it is anticipated that the impact on day-to-day cataloging practice will be much less.

During the period when the text of RDA is frozen, improvements will also be made to the Toolkit interface, including improved accessibility and more responsive design, which will make RDA easier to use on small screens. This undertaking has been named the RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign (3R) Project. Additional information is available at here and here.

Implementation of the new RDA governance structure continues. Rather than membership based on the major Anglo-American national libraries and library associations, each region of the world, such as Nort America, will have a single representative. When this transition takes place, ALA will no longer have direct representation on the RSC. Instead, CC:DA will funnel its input through the North American representative. James Hennelly of ALA Publishing described the internationalization of RDA in a recent American Libraries article.

At its November 2016 meeting, the RSC discussed a variety of proposals and discussion papers. A full list of outcomes is available here, and the report of Kathy Glennan, ALA’s representative to the RSC, is here.


OLAC successfully got a proposal approved. The definition of regional encoding will be expanded to include video games and a controlled vocabulary has been added to 3.19.6. A particular benefit of the controlled vocabulary is the collocation of all the various ways to say that there is no regional encoding under the term “all regions.” The final proposal is at the last link here. It was accepted as proposed and should be included in the April update to the Toolkit.


The Europeans proposed that the relationship designator for screenwriter be moved from the section for creators in appendix I to the section for other entities associated with the work. Although the RSC recognizes the problem, the issue was referred to the Aggregates Working Group and the Relationship Designators Working Group so that it can be resolved in the context of related issues.


The German-speaking community proposed that RDA, the instruction for identifying a preferred source of information for moving images, be modified to make it easier to catalog from the container. Most of this proposal was postponed to be considered as part of the 3R Project, but the definition of container will be revised for the February Toolkit update.

A number of other proposals, including some music-related ones, were accepted