OLAC Cataloger’s Judgment Questions and Answers

Jay Weitz, Column Editor

Source Material

Question: I am contributing English-language cataloging for a DVD that’s already represented by the Spanish language of cataloging record #798129718. There is no date on the item other than the copyright date of the film, so I had no clue what the publication date was. This information IS given in brackets on the Spanish record. I know I can use this date in brackets because it is from a source outside the resource. There are two other Spanish records that match the EAN, #352874994 and #991836646, but #798129718 has the same stock number as the item in hand given in a note: "RTC DVDA-4523." That is why I’m favoring the date information of “[2004?]” over the other two attempts (“[200-?]” and “1998”). I would like to provide the source of the information in a note. All this background to ask: How would one cite the OCLC record #798129718? Or does one provide the information less directly with a statement like, “Date of publication obtained from Spanish language record”?

Answer: Your general statement of “Date of publication obtained from Spanish language record” seems like a reasonable route to take, if you feel obligated to explain the choice. But as I read the relevant sections of RDA 2.8.6, 2.17.7, and the related PSs, I’m not sure that you need to include such a note. Not that it hurts. If you can figure out where the institution might have come up with the “[2004?]” date, that would be even more useful to explain, but don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out.

Not Classified Information

Question: I have noticed the 090 field is now always replaced with 050_4 in the records we add to OCLC. (Well almost always. OCLC #915137360 was input back in July 2015 and still has field 090 in the master record.) Is this a new/preferred practice, even for non-PCC libraries? I’m asking because if this is the case, we will have to update our cataloging policies for call numbers.

Answer: The issue of 050/090, 082/092, and 060/096 goes all the way back to the beginnings of what is now MARC 21 in the 1960s, when the format was literally still USMARC and was largely still the province of the Library of Congress. Until 1982, the 050, 060, and 082 Second Indicators for “Source of Call/Classification Number” were undefined, so there was no way to indicate that a number had been assigned by an agency other than LC or NLM. OCLC’s 09X locally-assigned call number fields were defined out of necessity so that OCLC participants could enter call numbers. This was also still the era of printed catalog cards and the 09X fields were the mechanism by which to generate properly formatted call numbers on cards and labels. In recent years, OCLC has been making a deliberate effort to bring 76 | Page OCLC-MARC more closely into alignment with MARC 21 proper. In this post-catalog card world, such an effort makes increasingly more sense and should theoretically make any transition to a post-MARC environment that much smoother. Our ongoing revisions to Bibliographic Formats and Standards (BFAS) have included stating preferences for using the standard call number fields (050, 060, 082) over the locally-assigned fields (090, 092, 096). For at least the past decade, OCLC has been transforming most 090s into 050s, 092s into 082s, and 096s into 060s whenever a record is added to WorldCat or is replaced. There are cases where these transformations don’t happen automatically and I suspect that #915137360 may be one of those. You’ll notice that the 090 in that record contains a subfield $f, which is not defined in field 050. My guess is that our conversion algorithm chooses simply not to deal with 09X fields containing subfields $e and/or $f, out of an overabundance of caution. Fields 090, 092, and 096 are still valid and usable in WorldCat. In most cases, the system will automatically change these fields to their proper MARC 21 equivalents, so you really needn’t feel obligated to change your local practices or workflows in this regard.

Three-Dimensional Mess

Question: I catalog my library’s three-dimensional materials. Lately I’ve run across a few records where the 336 is “tactile three-dimensional form” when simply “three-dimensional form” would be correct. One example is the game Above & Below (#958058779). Another is the electronics kit Makey Makey (#957495533). Are these likely a misunderstanding by the inputting libraries? (Most 3D is meant to be manipulated, but that’s not the definition of “tactile” here.) Or could it have been added by one of the OCLC algorithms?

Answer: The distinction between tactile three-dimensional form, "A content type consisting of content expressed through a form or forms intended to be perceived through touch as a three-dimensional form or forms" and three-dimensional form, "A content type consisting of content expressed through a form or forms intended to be perceived visually in three-dimensions," is fairly subtle if you’re not looking for it. In the case of #957495533, the original record included the 33X fields as they currently appear (though OCLC did add the subfield $b codes that corresponded to the Content Types specified), so this wasn’t the product of one of our algorithms. The original record also had the GMD “[kit]” in 245 subfield $h. The original record for #958058779 did not include the 33X fields but did include the GMD. The 33X fields with the subfields $b were added on 2016 September 21. This was also not the result of anything that OCLC did. Although this was a case of cataloger confusion, it is a common error that can be exacerbated by a sometimes porous line between 3D resources specifically intended to be tactile and 3D resources that may be coincidentally tactile even if not so intended. The Canadian Committee on Metadata Exchange (CCM) and OLAC have been working together (first on MARC Discussion Paper No. 2017-DP03, http://www.loc.gov/marc/mac/2017/2017-dp03.html, and then on MARC Proposal No. 2017-11, http://www.loc.gov/marc/mac/2017/2017-11.html) to improve the ways that we record Accessibility Content (RDA 7.14) and if I’m remembering correctly, clarifying the distinction between those two Content Types may (or should?) be an incidental part of that work. If you have other OCLC numbers for records with the same error, I could look at them in our Journal History tool to see if we could have misapplied the 336 somehow. If the other records are from the same institution, though, you may want to just make the corrections

Irrational Numbers

Question: I was taken aback first thing this morning when one of my staff alerted me to this text in BFAS which had eluded my awareness until now:

028. SCO and REC. Absence or presence of field alone does not justify a new record. Compare differences in field 245, field 260, field 264, field 300, field 500, etc., to justify a new record. Specific differences in numbering, except for minor variations in completeness, justify a new record.

VIS. Absence, presence or difference in field alone does not justify a new record. Compare field 245, field 260, field 264, field 300, 5xx for differences to justify a new record.

Is this still true (I know BFAS chapter 4 is due for a revision)? If so, why does a difference in 028 not matter for visual resources but it does for music formats? I'm feeling embarrassed since I very assuredly told my staff earlier that (at least significant differences) do matter for all formats. Frustratingly, the OLAC best practices are silent on this question. Thanks in advance for setting me on the right path and helping me understand the rationale.

Answer: The newly-revised “When to Input a New Record” is now available. This is the current state of the text on field 028:

028 Publisher Number

ALL except REC and SCO. Absence or presence of field 028 does not justify a new record. A difference in field 028 alone does not justify a new record. Compare fields 245, 260, 264, 3xx, and 5xx for differences to justify a new record.

REC and SCO. Absence or presence of field 028 does not justify a new record. Specific differences in numbering, except for minor variations in completeness, justify a new record. Compare differences in fields 245, 260, 264, 3xx, and 5xx to justify a new record.

It is not that differences in publisher numbers for resources other than scores and sound recordings don’t matter, it’s that those differences alone cannot necessarily be counted upon to signal the need for a separate record. Conversely, a match of videorecording numbers alone doesn’t necessarily signify a 78 | Page match of the resources themselves. Scores, of course, have a long history of plate and publisher numbers of great bibliographic significance. Over the much shorter history of recorded sound, the significance of numbering has also been recognized to be vitally important. The same cannot really be said of other sorts of resources, including videorecordings. In the early history of video cassettes, in particular, there was at least one video publisher, Warner Brothers, that gave the same videorecording number to both the VHS and Beta versions of the same film. In other words, the videorecording number represented the film itself rather than what we’d now call the manifestation as a VHS cassette or a Beta cassette. They stopped doing that at some point, but they definitely did it. Much more common with videorecordings has been simple inconsistency in how these “Video Recording Publisher Numbers” are applied. Often enough they represent differences in price, packaging, cover design, and the like, things that we generally consider to be bibliographically insignificant. (This is not to say that the same thing, especially regarding differences in price, hasn’t happened with sound recordings as well.) In many cases, differences in video publisher numbers may alert a cataloger to look for other differences (such as region, broadcast system, the presence of added materials or languages, and so on), but a difference in the numbers by themselves don’t necessarily tell us much of anything.

Combination Unlock

Question: Our library will use only the DVD in a two-disc DVD/Blu-ray combo pack. Is it best to create a record for both versions in WorldCat even in this case?

Answer: It is legitimate to catalog such a combo pack as it is published with the two discs. It’s also legitimate to catalog each one separately. If you are adding only one of the discs to your collection, you can chose to catalog only that one by itself. The OLAC Best Practices for Cataloging DVD-Video and Bluray Discs Using RDA and MARC21 (http://olacinc.org/sites/capc_files/DVD_RDA_Guide.pdf) gives guidance on cataloging DVDs and Blu-ray discs separately and in combination (including an example).

Is This a Video Which I CD Before Me?

Question: I’m cataloging a CD of performances by a Chinese pop singer. It comes with a “Video CD” with a few music videos on it. According to Wikipedia, this format is also known as Compact Disc digital video or VCD, and was the first format for distributing films on standard 4 3/4-inch optical discs. It was widely used throughout Asia (except Japan and South Korea) instead of VHS and Betamax, and though it’s been superseded by other media, it remains a popular low-cost option in Asian markets. (The record label is located in Beijing.) Wikipedia further states that Video CDs are playable in dedicated VCD players, most DVD and Blu-ray Disc players, PCs, and some video game consoles. And that the format was created in 1993 by the usual suspects (Sony, Philips, Panasonic, JVC). It’s called the White Book standard. When I put it in my PC’s drive, it says it is a CD-ROM. I actually found copy for this CD + VCD (#252794140), which called it “1 videodisc (CD, 4 3/4 in.)” in 300 subfield $e. There was no attempt to code for it in 006/007 nor 33X/34X. I’ve never heard of this critter before. Do I have a videodisc? Or a computer disc? Have you ever heard of this?

Answer: All of the records for Video CDs that I can remember seeing (and yes, I’ve seen many) were from Asian sources. Believe it or not, the MARC 21 definition of the DVD code in the Videorecording 007/04 (OCLC subfield $e) explicitly includes Video CDs: “Laser optical (reflective) videorecording system that uses a digital technique called PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) to represent video information on a grooveless, smooth, round plastic disc. The disc is read (played back) by a weak laser beam that registers data appearing on the disc as tiny pits or depressions of uniform length. DVDs are usually 4 3/4 inch in diameter (but a smaller 3 inch diameter disc may be produced commercially in some cases) and the disc or its packaging usually bear the term or trademark: DVD, DVD VIDEO, or VIDEO CD (in this case, the trademark is the standard one for COMPACT DISC, but with the added phrase DIGITAL VIDEO below it). This system has been in use commercially since late 1996.” As we can infer from MARC 21, VCDs can be treated much like DVDs in nearly all respects (including calling them videodiscs). If there’s anything on the resource itself cautioning about which equipment to use, that might make a good 538 field to quote or paraphrase; even in the absence of anything on the resource, some cautionary note might be helpful.

On the Beam

Question: Our cataloging Department has just ordered a series of titles in a brand new format. It's known as a "GoChip Beam." More info can be found about this new format at libraryideas.com/gochip. Do you have any ideas about how we might catalog this type of item? It seems that we have to have a whole new slew of 3XX fields to accommodate this brand new format. Anything you might suggest would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: In the sense that the GoChip Beam "contains a small Wi-Fi router, rechargeable battery, and solid state storage preloaded with five feature length movies or an entire season of a television series, all enclosed in a 3.5″ x 1″ stick" (according to the Library Journal article cited by Library Ideas), in bibliographical terms it seems like it could be treated at least in part similarly to a Playaway device. The Guide to Cataloging Playaway Devices Based on AACR2 Chapters 6 and 9 is under revision for RDA and is no longer available on the OLAC website, but here’s a link to the preliminary RDA update document: http://olacinc.org/sites/capc_files/PlayawaysAndRDA.pdf. This should give you at least a bit of an idea how to catalog the GoChip Beam. Admittedly, the Beam is a standalone video device, not a standalone audio device, but even the Playaway folks later came up with a video device, the Playaway View, and a tablet device, the Playaway Launchpad. The Type Code (Type, Leader/06) should be coded “g” for the video aspect; Type of Visual Material (TMat, 008/33) coded “v” for videorecording. There should additionally be a field 006 for the electronic aspect, 006/00 (Type) coded “m”, 006/06 (Form) coded “q” (Direct Electronic), 006/09 (File) coded “c” (Representational). Fields 007 for the video and the electronic resource aspects should be used. For the 300 and 33X fields, here’s what I’d suggest, with the number of “video files” dependent upon the number of films or TV episodes on each device:


300   1 video media player (5 video files)
Content Type: 336 $a two-dimensional moving image $b tdi $2 rdacontent
Media Type 337 $a video $b v $2 rdamedia
  337 $a computer $b c $2 rdamedia
Carrier Type 338 $a other $b cz $2 rdacarrier
  338 $a other $b vz $2 rdacarrier