Library Juice 5:10 Supplement - March 14, 2002
More on Sandy Berman and the HCL authority file
See last week's issue of Library Juice, at
- Letter from Sanford Berman to Charles Brown, Director of HCL
- Email between HCL PR person and others. Includes HCL Press Release
- The March 5th HCL memo
1. Letter from Sanford Berman....
March 7, 2002
Charles Brown, Director
Hennepin County Library
12601 Ridgedale Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55325
Since you alone made the decision to destroy Hennepin County Library's
current bibliographic, database and authority file, both to be replaced
by "standardized" records and terms derived from OCLC, AACR2, and
Library of Congress subject headings, you alone should be able to
answer a few simple questions:
1. Inasmuch as the conversion to strictly standard data and formats
announced in your March 5th memo to HCL staff represents a colossal
policy change with unarguably widespread impacts on HCL staff and
users alike, and given the constant rhetoric about HCL being
"customer-driven" and committed to team-based decision-making, why
was this monumental issue not discussed with frontline staff and
members of the public before making a decision?
2. Because of HCL's undisputed, significant influence upon cataloging
practice locally, nationally, and worldwide, and the fact that its
catalog and authority file have become professional models and
benchmarks, do you intend to immediately create electronic "snapshot"
versions of the catalog database and name/subject/series authority
file for preservation and archiving (perhaps by an institution like
the University of Illinois Archives at Urbana-Champaign)?
3. Did you watch Bill Moyers' excellent documentary, Trading Democracy,
recently aired on Public Television? It doubtless triggered much
interest among viewers regarding NAFTA, the North American Free Trade
Agreement. Such viewers now would be able to identify relevant HCL
resources, including government documents, by doing a subject search
for NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT. Should they search under, "NAFTA,"
they'd be referred to the "NORTH AMERICAN' form. In the upcoming, new HCL
catalog, those searches will likely yield nothing.
Why? Because the "standard" form devised by the Library of Congress,
following AACR2, is CANADA. TREATIES. ETC. 1992 Oct.7. And the
last time I looked, LC hadn't troubled,to even specify "NAFTA" or
"NORTH AMERICAN..." see-references to their utterly odd and unfamiliar
Similarly, do you want to compel HCL users to search under such
bizarre and arcane terms as ABNORMALITIES, HUMAN; INTERVERTEBRAL DISK
DISPLACEMENT?; CESTODA; METHYLPHENIDATE HYDROCHLORIDE; SILDENAFIL; and
TRASTUZUMA--instead of the far more expectable and likely-to-besought
BIRTH DEFECTS; SLIPPED DISC; TAPEWORMS; RITALIN; VIAGRA; and
HERCEPTIN? Do those "standard" LC terms really suggest a modern,
4. Do you realize that the concomitant intent to begin accepting
all Dewey call numbers found on OCLC records, even if they don't
harmonize with the numbers that have been consistently employed at HCL
for the same topics, will shortly produce split sequences on all
library shelves, rendering browsing at once perilous and frustrating
? (Such massive confusion and mish-mashing could be avoided
by reclassing old Dewey-numbered material to new or later notations,
but such reclassification, admittedly very labor intensive and
otherwise costly, is not apparently contemplated.)
5. Did you inadvertently omit a word in the statement that "bibliographic
records will...have a more consistent look, using common punctuation
and abbreviations"? Shouldn't it more accurately have been "using
common, frequently incomprehensible punctuation and abbreviations?
How else to describe this "collation" for Nicholson Baker's Double Fold
xii, 370 p.; 4 p. of plates : col. ill.; 24 cm.
Wouldn't you agree that's a user-alienating, bibliographic monstrosity?
And wouldn't this prove much more understandable, and helpful?:
Illustrated with seven unpaged color plates, "Some pages
from the New York World?."
6. Are you aware that, despite HCL's advocacy and some unquestioned
improve-ments, the "cataloging practices" you cite--especially applying
subject headings to literary works, innovating topical descriptors in a
timely fashion, "changing outdated terminology," and eliminating bias in
subject thesauri--are not becoming the norm throughout the library field"?
Of the literally thousands of new-heading creations, modified LC forms,
locally-crafted public notes, and changed or added cross references, only
a small fraction have ultimately been adopted by the Library of Congress.
I warmly recommend devoting a few moments to comparing the voluminous
innovations and user-salutary changes reported in the now-defunct HCL
Cataloging Bulletin over two and a half decades with LCSH. You'll find
they've got a long way to go, baby. (Incidentally, something like 50% of
the biased descriptors critiqued in my 1973 Prejudices and Antipathies
have yet to be corrected by the Library of Congress. And such needed
"concepts" as MANAGEMENT FADS, CULTURE WARS, PSEUDOSCIENCE, NEOLIBERALISM,
CONSPIRACY THEORIES, NATIVE AMERICAN HOLOCAUST, and MIDDLE PASSAGE
(ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE) are still to be sanctified as bona fide subject
headings by LC.)
7. Do you comprehend that placing "unique subject heading concepts?" in
"keyword searchable fields" is a transparently phony solution or
compromise for retaining value-added HCL cataloging data?
These "concepts" -- like CORPORATE CAMPAIGNS and NEOLIBERALISM--should be
subject-searchable. Ripping them from the overall syndetic structure
first kills them (they'll never be assigned, even as keywords, again) and
secondly denies catalog-searchers the immense benefits of explanatory
notes and both "see" and "see also" references, the latter connecting
searchers to other, potentially relevant sources.
Okay, here's a just-minted Sandynista axiom: THERE'S NO SUBTITUTE
FOR RIGOROUS, CRITICAL SUBJECT CATALOGING AND INDEXING. Keywords are often
imprecise search-modes that produce much "garbage" and invariably miss
material that doesn't happen to sport the magic keyword. Good subject
cataloging captures all pertinent material without "garbage."
8. Do you recognize that government documents, mentioned in your memo,
have (at least selectively) been cataloged at HCL? The cataloging
only stopped when the Southdale reference librarian who handled
Gov Docs part time was no longer allowed to catalog them.
I pointedly, more than three years ago, requested that some or
all of the nearly $100,000-per-year Novelist royalties be employed
to secure sufficient staff to recommend govdoc cataloging and also
to correct and enhance older bib-records for, e.g., musicals,
operas, and fiction. My request was summarily dismissed by Sharon
Charles and Elizabeth Feinberg, Sharon declaring that "the intention
is to shrink Cataloging, not expand it."
Gov docs and Websites should be subject to the same careful,
user-oriented attention that books, magazines, CDs, and videos have
received. The ostensible plan to make a wholesale dump, for
instance, of MARCHIVE government document records into the HCL
bibliographic database, presumably without constructive
cataloger-review, is plainly irresponsible.
9. Won't you agree that it's a bit disingenuous to speak of HCL cataloging
staff continuing to "enhance imported records," for instance,
"including ... subject and genre headings," when in fact the only
permissibly-assigned headings must now be totally consonant with
LCSH? To get particular, catalogers will NO LONGER be permitted to
assign such genre headings as COZY MYSTERY STORIES, FEMINIST MYSTERY
STORIES, HARDBOILED FICTION, SOLVE-IT-YOURSELF MYSTERY STORIES, MEDIEVAL
MYSTERY STORIES, ROAD NOVELS, and COOKBOOK NOVELS because they're not
LC-sanctioned and within the next few months will be obliterated from the
Authority File. True, already, pre-2002 cataloged titles will still be
"accessible"' by means of the re-tagged "keywords," but most users will be
accustomed to making subject searches for these materials--and, in any
event, after September 2002(if not sooner) no new titles will be assigned
such headings since they won't be available on the Authority File. Access
to scores of literary-genres (and much, much more) will effectively vanish.
Are you looking forward to that certainty?
I believe you have been poorly advised. And HCL staff and users will
suffer for it.
Former HCL Head Cataloger
4400 Morningside Road
Edina MN 55416
cc: R. P. Johnson, Deputy County Adminstrator
M. Opat, Chair, Hennepin County Board of Comissioners
March 8, 2002
"The Most Violent Element in Society is Ignorance" Emma Goldman
Charles Brown, Director
Hennepin County Library
12601 Ridgedale Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55305
Here are a few more queries unintentionally omitted from yesterday's letter
The lately-announced destruction of HCL's catalog and authority
10. Are you ethically and professionally comfortable with purveying
inaccurate and misleading information through the catalog, which staff and
users alike regard as a trustworthy reference source? Because that's
exactly what's going to happen as soon as "author authorities" (that may
also function as subject headings) "contain death dates only if such a
date is needed to distinguish one author from another." HCL catalogers
have systematically added death dates as quickly as possible in order that
no person whose name appears in the catalog as an author or subject
mistakenly appears to be still alive when in fact they are not. Not closing
dates is both sloppy, unhelpful cataloging and intellectually dishonest.
Yes, the Library of Congress-for unfathomable reasons-does keep dates open
even when they know better, but this sorry, bibliographically lazy practice
is hardly worth imitating.
For many years, LC-following libraries have included catalog entries not
Sadat, Anwar, 1918-
but also for
Sadat, Anwar, 1918 - -- Assassination.
(The latter form unmistakably suggests that the Egyptian leader actually
assassinated in 1981 somehow did not die.) Shortly, the "new" HCL
catalog, with LC/OCLC name authorities overlaid, will be littered with such
foolish and incorrect entries.
11. Have you been able to read these two recent cataloging-scene over-views
+"Jackdaws Strut in Peacock's Feathers: the Sham of 'Standard' Cataloging,"
Librarians At Liberty, v. 5, nos. 1-2 (June 1998), p. 1, 4-21, reprinted
in Alternative Library Literature, 1998/1999 (McFarland, 2000), p.
+"Good Luck, Folks! Finding Material on 'Those People' (and Their Concerns)
in Library Catalogs, " MultiCultural Review, V.9, no.2 (June 2000), p.
Together, they establish-with manifold examples, including HCL/LC
comparison records-that cataloging strictly based on "standard" rules and
tools without intelligent, critical departures and alternatives often
constitutes a barrier to accessing a library's resources rather than
enhancing and simplifying access.
The only conceivable, rational, and acceptable purpose of cataloging is to
serve the catalogers' information desk colleagues and the public. It is
not to mindlessly follow rules and protocols that may, indeed, be
At present, HCL uses a heading for BUTCH AND FEMME (LESBIANSIM) and another
for BEARS (GAY MEN). LC does not. After the database and authority
overlays, those subject forms will not be assigned to any new material and
their "keyword" afterbirths, still weakly attached to the originally -
cataloged titles, will totally lose all links to other, related topics:
e.g., "Gay men. See also BEARS (GAY MEN)" will evaporate. Does this
certainty strike you as an "improvement?"
Similarly, the scores of descriptors that have been thoughtfully and
sensitively fashioned to ensure equity in the treatment of religious
material, favoring no one faith over another, will be undone--and
Christian primacy reestablished. How does that square with HCL's
commitment to diversity and multiculturalism?
At present, HCL catalog-searchers can (expectedly) seek material on the
"Prostrate" and be transparently guided to the correctly-spelled primary
subject form, PROSTATE. Likewise for "Columbia" and "Colombia." In a
matter of months, anyone making these searches will encounter nothing.
Nada. Zip. Simply because such cross-references are not sanctioned by the
Library of Congress.
Attached are two consecutive, random pages from one of the last HCL
Cataloging Bulletins. Kindly note that the reported HCL changes and
additions-for instance, the cross-reference from "Mexican riddles" to
RIDDLES-MEXICO and the "see also" links from RUNAWAY GIRLS-FICTION and
TEENAGE GIRLS-FICTION to the more precise, narrower RUNAWAY TEENAGE
GIRLS-FICTION will be exterminated. Why? They are not "standard."
Useful and appropriate, sure. But, alas, not appearing on the LC/OCLC
database or authority file. So ...auf wiedersehen! Does that delight -
4400 Morningside Road
Edina, MN 55416
(the enclosure from the HCL Cataloging Bulletin will be added to
the Sanford Berman website).
R.P. Johnson, Deputy County Administrator
M. Opat, Chair, Hennepin County Board of Commissoners
2. Email between HCL PR person and others, including HCL Press Release
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 12:31:38 -0600
From: "perron, nancy" <nperron[at]hclib.org>
To: "'prom[at]uiuc.edu'" <prom[at]uiuc.edu>
Charles Brown asked that I respond to your query. I've enclosed a copy of
the news release HCL faxed to various library media outlets on March 5, 2002
-- shortly after announcing to staff that HCL will incorporate generally
accepted cataloging standards into the Library catalog.
Please note that the release makes clear in the first paragraph that some
features of the existing catalog -- HCL subject headings, notes, etc. --
will be placed in keyword searchable fields accessible through the HCL
Also note that the release indicates in the last paragraph that HCL will
preserve the complete authority files from the current catalog with a view
to making them available to library archives and scholars. In fact, a copy
of the full authority file was offloaded and preserved before HCL made the
Although we have not yet determined the best method for distribution, we
want to reassure you and all interested parties that the authority files
have been saved and will be made available in some way. I am fielding and
compiling the requests for information. I will add your request for the
authority files to the others we've received. I anticipate that we will
have a better idea of the what channels will be used to make the authority
files available sometime after PLA.
Nancy LeReau Perron
Manager, Community Relations Division
Hennepin County Library
12601 Ridgedale Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55305
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 5, 2002
MINNETONKA, MN - Citing the need to improve library user access to
emerging web-based information resources as well as traditional library
resources, Hennepin County Library (HCL) announced today that the library
will replace HCL's current catalog database with records that conform to
internationally accepted cataloging standards. Some features of the
existing HCL catalog (subject headings representing unique concepts, notes,
etc.) will be placed in keyword searchable fields accessible through the
"This move is necessary because some of our past cataloging practices,
regarding the selective use of cataloging standards, now severely limit our
ability to use emerging technology - technology that can expand our library
users' access to HCL's rich resources and expand their access to an
ever-increasing range of global information resources," stated Hennepin
County Library Director Charles M. Brown, in making the announcement.
Brown went on to note that HCL is unable to import records for such valuable
resources as government documents, eBooks, and eJournals into the existing
HCL catalog because of the inconsistencies in subject headings and in the
use of identifying record tags. "As technology advances, the current HCL
catalog will become increasingly isolated from web-based resources elsewhere
and the new information formats HCL users want and expect" Brown commented.
Brown reaffirmed Hennepin County Library's continuing commitment to take a
leadership role in using the library catalog to provide exceptional access
to library resources. "Over the past thirty years, HCL has led the way in
cataloging all formats - print as well as AV; applying subject headings to
works of fiction, adopting new subject headings for emerging concepts;
changing outdated terminology; and providing summary notes and content notes
in the bibliographic record."
While HCL catalogers will no longer rewrite every bibliographic record added
to the catalog, HCL cataloging staff will continue to enhance imported
records in ways that add value for library users, including summaries,
content notes, and subject and genre headings. The enhanced records will be
readily available to library catalog users.
HCL estimates that the project will be completed in 6 to 8 months. In
additional to the information that will be available in keyword searchable
fields, HCL will preserve the complete authority files from the current
catalog with a view to making them available to library archives and
For more information contact: Nancy L. Perron, Hennepin County Library, at
Dear Ms. Perron,
The authorities without the bibliographic file--the records/books to which
the authorities refer and demonstrate how the authority recorde used--will
I strongly urge you to make both files available without strings to an
appropriate agency that can be counted on to provide access to the
material. I know that the University of Illinois ALA Archive is
interested in receiving the material, and that the UofI is committed to
promoting its barrier free accessibility. Of course there are numerous
other possible recipients that could facilitate access.
I would be pleased to answer any questions or offer my good offices in
your deliberations of the disposition of this matter. It is of great
concern to the library community.
Maurice J. Freedman, MLS, PhD
Director, Westchester (NY) Library System
410 Saw Mill River Road
Ardsley, NY 10502
Voice: 914-674-3600 x223; Fax: 914-674-4193
All communications regarding the U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*D Librarian
should be sent to:
"I'll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places..."
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 12:57:28 -0600
From: "perron, nancy" <nperron[at]hclib.org>
To: 'md' <mdougla[at]pclink.com>
Please be assured that the Authority Files and a "snapshot in time" tape
of the bibliographic database have been preserved with a view to making
them available to library archives, scholars, librarians, etc. The
feedback we have from library users and front line staff indicates that
placing the current catalog information in key word searchable fields in
HCL's catalog will serve their needs.
Apparently, I did not state as clearly as I hoped that we have not yet
determined when, where, and how we will make the archived online authority
files and bibliographic records available to the public. We have received
some requests for this information. We anticipate there may be others in
the next few weeks. We will review the requests with the County Attorney
and develop a plan. Sustainability and access will be two major factors
considered. If you have suggestions I would be happy to add them to the
If you have additional concerns, please send me another email. Again,
Nancy LeReau Perron
Manager, Community Relations Division
Hennepin County Library
12601 Ridgedale Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55305
3. The March 5th HCL memo......
Hennepin County Library
Tomorrow's Library...TodayDATE: March 5, 2002 TO: Hennepin County Library Staff FROM: Charles Brown, Library Director SUBJECT: Changes in the Hennepin County Library Catalog
Hennepin County Library (HCL) has long been a leader in using the library
catalog to provide exceptional access to library resources. Over the
past thirty years, HCL has led the way in cataloging all formats - print
as well as AV; applying subject headings to works of fiction; adopting new
subject headings for emerging concepts; changing outdated terminology; and
providing summary notes and content notes in the bibliographic record.
Thanks, in part, to the dedication of the HCL cataloging staff and their
willingness to act as advocates for this approach, these cataloging
practices are increasingly becoming the norm throughout the library field.
However, things change. Some of our past practices regarding the selective
use of accepted cataloging standards now severely limit our ability to use
emerging technology - technology that can expand our users' access to the
full range of HCL's rich resources and the ever-increasing range of global
information resources as well.
For example, we are unable to import the catalog records that are available
for government documents, eBooks, and eJournals into our existing catalog
because of the insistencies in our subject headings and in our use of
identifying record tags. Combining new records with our non-standard
data for similar types of information results in a clutter of conflicting
terms that can be confusing for the user. As technology advances, the
current HCL catalog will become increasingly isolated from web-based
resources elsewhere and the new information formats our users want and
expect from their library.
Fortunately, we have the opportunity to preserve some of the benefits of
the HCL catalog while adopting more standardized cataloging practices.
Over the next 6 to 9 months we will replace our current catalog database
with records that conform to internationally accepted cataloging
standards. We also will maintain some of the value-added features of
HCL's existing catalog.
We will adopt the standard use of MARC tags and the AACR2 record format.
We also will adopt Library of Congress subject headings. HCL cataloging
information that adds value (unique subject heading concepts, notes, etc.)
will be placed in keyword searchable fields accessible to library catalog
By making this change now, we will be able to adopt new service
improvements quickly. We will be able to offer faster and more
convenient access to such valuable parts of our collection as government
documents and web resources. And we will be able to provide our users
with more information about our holdings in reference and periodicals -
both onsite and via the Internet.
We also will be in a position to offer users the option to initiate an
integrated search of multiple databases from a single access point - the
HCL catalog. Users will have greater access to cataloging information
via personal digital assistants and similar, growing technologies. And
we will be better positioned to adapt to future technological advances.
More detailed information about the project is posted on the Staff Web
under "Catalog Project." Over the next weeks and months, there will be
opportunities for staff to discuss the technical aspects of these changes
in more detail. Staff also will have an opportunity to identify training
needs to be addressed.
While I acknowledge that this change may be difficult for some, the
potential benefits to our users, both current and future, are
immeasurable. Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation and support of
this important step in maintaining HCL's leadership role in making library
resources available and inviting to the broadest possible audience.
Preparing for the 21st Century Catalog: Data Standardization Project
GENERAL PROJECT INFORMATION
In today's modern library, collections contain many formats --- print,
audiovisual, and more recently, remote information accessed via the web.
Hennepin County Library's (HCL) goal is to provide users with a web-based
catalog that is a single point of entry to the library's resources and
allows data to be easily exchanged. In order to make the catalog truly
web-based, to have a tool with which the user can connect to multiple
databases and sources of information, HCL must replace its current catalog
database with records that are in internationally used standardized forms.
We will continue to adopt cataloging practices that significantly reduce
customized bibliographic records. A new authority file will be created
that replaces the existing one. It will use subject heading based
primarily on Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and name and
series headings that are structured suing Anglo-American Catalging Rules
(AACR2). Current HCL forms will be moved to keyword searchable fields
and make available to those users who are accustomed to HCL forms.
The Web is about interoperability of disparate computer systems and
standards are what make these systems interoperable. By fully adopting
international standards (AACR2, MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging), LCSH,
etc.) we can take advantage of the computing power at our disposal and
host a catalog that is web-based and meets the needs of our user
population. AACR2 determines how information is structured and
displayed. MARC is about how data is stored and transferred, and the
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is a shared body of authorized
terms used to describe the content of library materials.
HCL is working with OCLC to upgrade our bibliographic records to meet MARC,
AACR2 and LCSH standards. We have also contracted with a MARC database
consultant who is assessing our existing database, helping to prepare our
records for conversion and participating in the project's success. In
September 2002, HCL will have an online catalog, providing good, timely,
user-centered access to our traditional collections and will set the stage
to incorporate an array of exciting new resources.
Our catalog, services, and programs will be responsive to a global
population that increasingly relies on the web to communicate, study, shop
and be entertained. HCL's catalog will be a gateway to and member of
that web community.
HCL has reached a watershed. The choices made in the past to selectively
use national standards have put us in an untenable position. We are
stalled in our ability to make expanding library collections accessible to
users. Without this action, the Library's strategic directions and
service objectives are unattainable.
To move forward and succeed we need to be able to collaborat with others.
We need the ability to accept standard MARC, LCSH and AACR2 records from
others for services such as the delivery of added copy titles, building
Opening Day Collections and adding eBooks, web sites, and government
documents to the HCL Catalog. We need to be positioned to add content
and value such as cover graphics, reviews and links to author websites.
We need to allow users to search across multiple databases (e.g. HCL
Catalog and General Reference Center Gold) or across multiple library
catalogs (e.g. MnLINK) and we need to provide options for accessing the
catalog via new devices such as personal digital assistants.
This project is about standardizing our data. All integrated library
systems (Dynix now, Horizon in the near future) rely on national and
international standards. Our current catalog records were developed in
an isolation that worked for that time. Today we need records that
operate in an online, standards-based environment in use by the library
world. This project is necessary regardless of current or future
hardware of software platforms. It is about organizing our data elements
in an internationally recognized structure for the benefit of our users.
Arriving at the decision to make this change has been an ongoing discovery
process that began in the 1980's.
HCL's data structure problems are multidimensional and interconnected,
especially with HCL subject headings. For example, some of HCL's
existing subject headings are Library of Congress Subject headings (LCSH);
some headings differ from LCSH in spelling, synonymous terms, word order,
structure (especially subdivisions) and specificity; some headings reflect
concepts not covered by LCSH. Making the distinction among headings that
are LCSH, LCSH variations, and unique concepts is impossible because of
the way the database was developed. Since we cannot tell what we have,
there is no way to standardize our current records without a complete
replacement. Because we do not know what percentage of our headings are
variant or unique, we cannot predict the degree of change the user will
These data structure problems present a situation where staff edit incoming
records so that the form of the LCSH heading conforms to the HCL form, if
one is found. This situation also means that the data cannot be
reasonably maintained. We cannot take advantage of many features that
would enhance customer service. Currently, it is not possible to
batchload MARC records for government documents, eBooks, and eJournals.
Combining standard and nonstandard records creates a clutter of
conflicting terms and a confused user. Because we cannot load standard
records, we cannot incorporate and maintain bibliographic records for
websites in our catalog or have accurate links within the bibliographic
Today, access is bout much more than subject headings. It's a matter of
interaction of data, data structure and software to enable searching,
retrieval and display. If the data is inaccurate or absent, access is
impeded. If the data is not structured (tagged) correctly, access is
impeded. If the software is flawed or lacks functionality, access is
impeded. If data is not keyword searchable, access is impeded. Access
is also about being able to search multiple databases at once, and if
multiple databases are searched using different authorized terms, access
is again impeded. Subject headings provide more precision in searching
and keywords provide greater recall. HCL's web-based catalog must
address all these elements of access in order to be successful.
HCL cataloging staff will continue to enhance imported records in ways that
add value for users, including summaries, content notes, and subject and
genre headings. Staff will continue to provide fuller cataloging of
mass-market paperbacks and books in series. Staff will also begin to
load government document records, and begin to catalog web sites and other
eResources. Staff will spend less time editing the LCSH/AACR2 forms to
make an imported record conform to HCL forms.
Most library systems have local headings to describe materials not covered
by LCSH. HCL will too. This may be material on a local or regional
topic or a concept not yet adopted by LCSH. When a library chooses to
establish a local heading, it is structured (tagged) in such a way that it
is identifiable as a local heading. If the Library of Congress later
establishes a term for that new concept, libraries retag, and if necessary
revise the heading to conform to the established term. In that way,
everyone "speaks the same language."
In September new bibliographic and authority records will be loaded into
Dynix and replace existing ones. Associated item information will be
attached to the replacement Records. The replacement bibliographic
>Contain more contents and summary notes. Contents notes may be formatted
in such a way that contents could be indexed and made searchable by title.
This is useful especially for songbooks and short story anthologies.
>Add missing information such as ISBN numbers, physical descriptions, and
fixed field coding used to refine indexes and provide search limits.
>Have a more consistent look, using common punctuation and abbreviations.
All the records will look more like our recently added bib records.
>Contain name and series headings that are structured using AACR2. Author
authorities will contain death dates only if such a date is needed to
distinguish one author from another.
>Contain subject headings that are based primarily on LCSH. Local
headings may be introduced after the replacement records are loaded into
Dynix if they are tagged and maintained properly and they do not create
conflicts with the LCSH structure.
>Move existing HCL forms that are not valid LCSH headings to a keyword
searchable field where they will be available to those users who are
accustomed to the HCL forms.
>Contain the original call number, Dynix bib number, copyright date, and
Charles Brown, Janet Leick, Sharon Charles and the UCS Steering Team will
ensure that there is regular and ongoing communication, information and
Information and training are critical to the success of this project. In
order to ensure that project information is available to staff, questions
are answered and training is planned and implemented, each member of the
UCS Steering Team has taken a lead role. Margaret Gillespie, Lois
Lander, Sandy Louis and Michael McConnell are responsible for project
information and updates. Mark Ranum is responsible for the training
component. Sharon Charles and Elizabeth Feinberg will lead the technical
plan and development of a catalog project communication website.
The purpose of the project website is to provide a neutral place for staff
to ask questions to build knowledge and understanding. It will provide a
two-way communication tool. It will also be a place for staff to find
information about the project. The web site is currently under
construction and will be available more fully in the next few weeks.
Staff are encouraged to participate and communicate feedback, questions
and training needs to their direct supervisor, resource group
manager/section head or via the project
Website. Staff participation will be needed in the development of a
Training Plan and the Bibliographic Services Plan, which will document
cataloging and catalog procedures.
Staff will be provided with the tools and knowledge the need to provide
excellent service and be proficient in their work. This may include
building a better understanding of indexing and access points in an online
environment, using alternative search methods, identifying and using other
helpful reference tools, and understanding basic MARC, AACR2 and LSCH.
In the coming weeks, training needs will be identified based on staff
input and a plan will be developed. Training plans for cataloging staff
have already begun. Several cataloging staff will be attending a variety
of cataloging classes over the course of the next 8 months. Courses
include Minnesota Opportunities for Technical Service Excellence (MOTSE)
sessions on "Access", "LCSH", "eBooks", "Websites", and "eJournals". In
addition, all Cataloging Staff are scheduled to attend a four day
cataloging course "Book Blitz, or How to Make MARC Records that Really
Work." to be conducted by Deborah Fritz, author of Cataloging with AacR2
HCL wants the user to have access to a world of information and resources
via the catalog.
In a web-based catalog, increased search functionality, improved
sortability, more effective contents notes searching, and broadcast
searching across multiple databases make an expanding collection more
accessible to users. In the world of electronic resources, the catalog
descriptions and the resources are linked. Find an eBook from netLibrary
in the catalog and two "click" later, read the eBook.
Making this change now requires great effort. The long-term benefits will
outweigh short-term losses. The underlying philosophy of cataloging
endures: make our current and future collections accessible to users as we
strike a balance between adding user-centered value to our bibliographic
data and the costs and time required for cataloging. HCL will use best
practices for cataloging excellence as we weave our collection into the
web and weave the web into our catalog.
A general timeline is provided, describing the various stages of the
March-April 2002: Project Planning
>Technical plan finalized.
>Training plans initiated
>Database assessment and record preparation
>Bibliographic Services Plan (which documents cataloging procedures) is
>Cataloging staff training
>New cataloging practices following AACR2, MARC, LCSH and any local
practices that have been defined are implemented
>Bibliographic database sent to OCLC for match process and authority
>Clean up areas identified and addressed
>Prep work with Dynix to load records.
>New bibliographic records are imported into Dynix
>New authority records are imported into Dynix
>Search indexes are rebuilt
>Testing for conversion to Horizon begins.
TECHNICAL PLAN OVERVIEW
Note: This plan was prepared using the best information available to date.
There are some aspects of the plan that may change as work with OCLC,
Epixtech, and a Technical consultant continue.
Part 1 - HCL Bibliographic Record Pre-Processing and Export
Our database is exported in meaningful and appropriate batches in order to
perform any record pre-processing. The purpose of the pre-processing
would be to:
>improve matching with WorldCat records
>make data to be retained more uniform
>make corrections to fixed field elements
>identify problem records
After pre-processing, the outgoing records are sent to OCLC for
bibliographic record processing (Part 2) and authority controlled tag
processing (Part 3).
Part 2 - Bibliographic Record Processing
One by one, OCLC compares the HCL records to the millions of bibliographic
records in WorldCat. If a match is found, the WorldCat record is saved
to a new file and will eventually be imported into HCL's Dynix system and
will be used to replace the original HCL bibliographic record.
Data from some MARC tags (if present) will be copied from the original HCL
record to the matching WorldCat record so that they can be retained in the
final replacement record.
See Appendix A for a list of tags, descriptions and notes pertaining to the
reention of data from our original HCL records.
If no match is found, the original HCL record is included in the
replacement batch and sent through Authority Controlled tag processing
(see Part 3, Authority Controlled Tag processing).
Part 3- Authority Controlled Tag Processing
Once the new set of replacement bibliographic records has been created,
they are processed for authority control.
One by one, each of the replacement bibliographic records are examined for
authority controlled data elements. When data in an authority
controlled tag is encountered, the data in the tag is processed according
to the table in Appendix B.
Each bibliographic record is checked for duplicate authority controlled
tags. If the same heading is used multiple times in the same
bibliographic record, only one is retained in the final replacement
The process will also search for authority records form the OCLC database
to match all of the authority controlled headings in the final replacement
records. If an authority record can be found, it is saved and will be
sent to HCL to be imported into Dynix in Part 4, Introducing the Records
into the HCL Dynix System. If a matching authority record cannot be
found, a skeletal authority record will be created and will also be sent
to HCL for import.
Part 4 - Introducing the Records into the HCL Dynix System
Step 1: The HCL authority files are completely removed from the Dynix
Step 2: The new authority records are imported into Dynix. This process
will take many hours to complete.
Step 3: The new bibliographic records are imported into Dynix. This
process will take many hours to complete. The replacement bibliographic
records automatically replace their original counterparts, leaving all
associated item records unaffected. Dynix will automatically connect the
bibliographic records with the authority records imported in step 2.
Step 4: All search indexes are rebuilt. This process will take many
hours to complete.
(Appendix A and Appendix B are not included here but appeared in the
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