Conference Reports, ALA Annual Conference

Newsletter Issue: 
Volume 37 no.3 September 2017

Jan Mayo, Column Editor 

MARC Advisory Committee (MAC) Report

submitted by Cate Gerhart

This report provides information of interest to the OLAC constituency from the June 2017 MARC Advisory Committee (MAC) meetings in Chicago, Illinois.  If you would like to see the complete list of topics discussed, you can find them here. The agenda at this meeting was much shorter than the last few with only five proposals and three discussion papers.

Proposal No. 2017-08: Use of Subfield $0 and $1 to Capture Uniform Resource identifiers (URIs in the MARC 21 Formats

This proposal passed as amended.  The $0 will be redefined and the $1 will be added to a long list of bibliographic and authority format fields.  In addition to the fields listed in the proposal, the 257 field will be added. This proposal is confusing so don’t be surprised if you have to read it and reread it.  The linked data implementers need to have two different kinds of links out to authority records.  The $0 is defined to only link to records about the thing, while the $1 will be used to link to records that represent the things itself. It helps to think of it in terms of semantics where you need to point to something representing the thing itself as well as a number records that are about the thing. For instance, there is a book by William Shakespeare and here’s a link to a record about him, namely our authority record, or one of the many authority records in other countries about him. I think this will make more sense when we are all actually doing linked data, linking to records that are for the thing as well as records that are about the thing.

Proposal No. 2017-09: Defining Field 758 (Resource Identifier) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

This paper passed as amended. This continues the effort to make MARC more linked data friendly by adding a field 758. This field would contain an identifier for a resource related to the resource described in the bibliographic record, for instance, an authority record, a Wikidata entity number, or WorldCat number. The previous discussion paper included adding this field for the Authority Format, but this proposal is just adding it to the Bibliographic Format. The amendment that was approved with this paper was the addition of the $1 from the previous proposal.

Proposal No. 2017-10: Rename and Broaden Definition of Field 257 in the MARC Bibliographic Format

This proposal passed as amended. This OLAC proposal broadens the definition of this field to include geographical areas other than just countries. This field will now be called “Area of Producing Entity” so we will be able to put places like Palestine in this field. The amendment was to remove the second sentence under the proposed definition for $a.

Proposal No. 2017-11: Defining New Fields to Record Accessibility Content in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

This proposal was tabled so more work could be done on it. It looks at the way accessibility content is treated in MARC and ways in which it can be better displayed and accessed. OLAC will continue helping the Canadian Committee on Metadata Exchange (CCM) to improve the paper and bring back a new version at Midwinter.

Proposal No. 2017-12: Defining Subfield $u, $r and $z in Field 777 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

This proposal passed as written. The field 777 is historically used for serials to link parts of a title that are cataloged separately to the parent serial title. This paper adds three fields, $u, $r and $z, to the 777 so that it can also be used to link parts of a monograph cataloged separately. An example of this might be a book that accompanies a set of CDs that is significant enough to warrant its own record. It could then be linked to the main record through use of the 777 field.

Discussion paper no. 2017-DP06: Coding 007 Field Positions for Digital Cartographic Materials in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

This discussion paper will be coming back as a proposal at Midwinter. The paper looks at adding coding to the map 007 so that electronic maps can be identified in the existing 007. There was discussion about using two 007s like what is currently done for streaming videos, but a case was made that we could do it in one 007. We might want to explore possibly doing something similar in the 007 for videos.

Discussion paper no. 2017-DP07: Repeatability of Subfield $s (Version) in MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats

This discussion paper was determined to be good enough as written to be voted on as a proposal so it was changed to a proposal and passed as written. This paper made the $s (Version) in access fields X00, X10, X11, X30, and 240 repeatable.  

Discussion paper no. 2017-DP08: Definition and Repeatability of Subfield $d in Field X11 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Authority Formats

This discussion paper, like the previous one, was deemed straight-forward enough to pass as a proposal so it was voted on and passed unanimously. This paper makes the $d (Date of meeting) repeatable in the X11. This is needed when the 711 also has a $t title that has a date in it.


Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) Report submitted by Mary Huismann

CC:DA met on Saturday, June 24, 2017. The CC:DA blog contains the full agenda and links to various documents and reports.

After introductions, the adoption of the agenda, and approval of the minutes of the meeting held at ALA

Midwinter, chair Tina Shrader delivered the report of CC:DA motions and other actions January-July 2017. A 3R Task Force was formed and charged with providing feedback to the ALA Representative to the RSC on proposed changes to RDA Toolkit and instructions. 

LC Representative Dave Reser provided highlights from his written report. LC received a budget increase chiefly designated for technology projects. Cataloger’s Desktop development has been focused on enhancing search and retrieval, and better integration with Classification Web. The BIBFRAME pilot project phase 2 is underway. The full report may be viewed here. 

ALA representative Kathy Glennan reviewed RSC activities during the past six months. Former RSC

Secretary Judy Kuhagen has been engaged as RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign Project (3R Project) Consultant. Her tasks will include reviewing and preparing RDA content to fit LRM principles and advising the RSC on RDA structure, consistency and maintenance. The “RSC Plus” group was established at the beginning of the 3R Project. In this group, chairs of the RSC Working Groups join the RSC in discussions and decision-making surrounding the 3R Project. Kathy also reported on governance developments and the May 2017 Community Outreach event held in Chicago. The full report may be viewed here.

James Hennelly (ALA Publishing) and Judy Kuhagen (3R Project Consultant) reported on the progress of the 3R Project. The project goals, redesign priorities, and anticipated changes to RDA were described. The current RDA website will remain available for a year following the new Toolkit release, but no content will be updated or added.  Presentation slides may be viewed here.

RSC Chair Gordon Dunsire gave a presentation “Appellations, Authorities and Access Plus.” Dunsire began the presentation with an overview of the process of aligning RDA with LRM. The new “RDA Entity” will be used as the highest-level entity rather than “Res” in order to limit the realm to only RDA entities. All existing RDA elements fit into the LRM model, except for person (non-human entities). 

The LRM blurs the distinction between attributes and relationship—this allows for the expansion of the RDA 4-fold path for identifying related entities by unstructured or structured description, identifier, or linked data URI.  Relationships with string data (like unstructured or structured description or identifier) are like attributes but an attribute with “thing” data (like an International Resource Identifier (IRI)) is like a relationship. 

The new “Nomen” entity supports the distinction between structured descriptions (in the form of access points) and identifiers. For the user task “identify,” there’s no need for a “preferred” nomen if a local identifier or global IRI is available. However, a human-readable nomen is necessary for the user tasks “find” and “explore.” The implication for authority control is that the emphasis will shift from a single “authorized” form to maintaining a collection of many forms (like the VIAF approach). 

The Manifestation statement is defined as a “statement appearing in the manifestation and deemed significant for users to understand how the resource represents itself.” The statement allows a clear distinction between data transcribed from a manifestation in an unstructured form and data recorded or transcribed according to conventions codified by a particular community or implementation. Manifestation statements are meant for machine transcription, solely for the principle of representation with no human interpretation or intervention.

The last slide in the presentation was designed to provoke discussion. It displayed the cover of the book

“The Cheese Experiment” with the name “Geronimo Stilton” prominently featured. The question surrounds the agent—the cartoon mouse obviously did not write the book, so how do we relate the cartoon mouse to the book? One shortcut is “represented name of creator (work).” 

Slides from Gordon’s presentation are available here. At the close of the meeting, announcements contained information on personnel changes to the group and the next meeting, slated for ALA Midwinter 2018 in Denver.

The RDA Steering Committee, Working Group chairs and RDA Development Team (“RSC Plus”) met with representatives from various specialist cataloging communities on Monday, June 26 (during the usual CC:DA second meeting) to gather information and feedback regarding RDA. Representatives from the cartographic, audio-visual, archival, rare materials and music were invited to the meeting. RSC Chair Gordon Dunsire opened the meeting with a brief presentation “Extending RDA (briefly)” that outlined issues surrounding the addition of entities and the extension of element sets and value vocabularies in RDA. Collaboration between communities would be good, and communities should think in terms of large, middle, and short range goals. For communities not covered by a current RSC Working Group, consider the North American group (“NARDAC”) to be the default working group. Presentation slides are available at the RSC website.

The AV community was represented by OLAC CAPC members Jessica Schomberg and Yoko Kudo. A list of concerns regarding missing elements, content/media/carrier, relationships, LRM manifestation statement, and aggregates were presented to the RSC. Elements determined to be missing from RDA include interactive/non-interactive elements for video games, physical type of optical disc, a place for “anamorphic widescreen” as it applies to manifestations, controlled vocabulary for types of recorded discs, elements for specific types of language, and vocabulary for accessibility data. They would also like a way to distinguish between 3D and 3D tactile form content (i.e., is the latter only meant to include Braille and other materials designed for the blind?), clarification of unmediated for things like

Playaways, a possible restructure of video format (currently separated into analog/digital), clarification on relationships (e.g., publisher/distributors for commercial video, screenwriter as creator, artificial split between film and television producer, movement of some current expression roles to work roles, etc.) Concerns were also voiced about recording the new LRM manifestation statement and treatment of aggregates. The full document may be viewed here.

Many of the issues noted in the music community’s list are of interest to the OLAC community as well. The music cataloging community was represented by Tracey Snyder (chair, Cataloging and Metadata Committee) and subcommittee chairs Mary Huismann, Casey Mullin, and Jim Soe-Nyun. After a brief overview of the work of the RSC Music Working Group (RMWG) and the Music Library Association Cataloging and Metadata Committee, concerns from the music community were shared. These concerns came at several levels: high-level modeling concerns (how we implement what LRM has given us), data elements not present in RDA, and vocabularies. Specific points in the high-level modeling concerns include relationships between agent/resource or resource/resource (e.g., creator as applied to popular/world music), aggregates, and how the LRM attribute Work Category (LRM-E2-A1) will be implemented in RDA with regards to genre/form terms encoded in MARC 655. In the second category, a need for better granularity is noted, particularly for Medium of Performance (RDA 6.16), Numeration (RDA 6.15), Key (RDA 6.17), Publisher’s Name (RDA 2.8.4), Title (RDA 2.3), Language (RDA 7.12), Identifier for Manifestation (RDA 2.15), Copyright Date (RDA 2.11), and carrier terms. There is a need for vocabulary for Playing Speed (RDA 3.16.4) and Encoding Format (RDA 3.19.3) and for potential new elements/sub-elements pitch center, mode, title, language, carrier terms (additional terms). The full document may be viewed here.