Tag Archives: Library of Congress

RDA Train-the-trainer webcasts

I know these have been available for a bit, and many of you know about them, but with CLA (our Canadian Library Association Conference) and ALA Annual coming up, I thought there might be renewed interest in watching RDA train-the-trainer webcasts before attending the RDA workshops and presentations. Or, if you can’t attend these conferences or workshops, an opportunity to take advantage of these helpful webcasts and learn about RDA on your own.

All free of charge, these webcasts can be watched by all professionals
who are facing the implementation of RDA and would like some help!

*Thank you to Bryan Campbell for posting this on AUTOCAT!


Filed under Access Issues, Authority Work, future of cataloguing

Library of Congress to Offer Junior Fellows Summer Internships

From the Library of Congress Press release


“Rare comic books, wax-cylinder recordings, novelty postcards,

hand-colored films and a tale told on a hooked rug were among the

treasures uncovered by the 2008 class of Junior Fellows Summer Interns,

who located them among the copyright deposits and gifts that have come

into the nation’s library.”


“This summer the Library of Congress, home of the U.S. Copyright Office,

is once again offering special 10-week, paid internships to college

students. For a stipend of $3,000, the 2009 class of Junior Fellows

Summer Interns will work full-time between June 1 and Aug. 7 with staff

specialists to inventory, describe, and explore copyright and gift

collection holdings throughout the Library. The focus of the program is

on increasing access to collections by making them better known and

accessible to researchers including scholars, students, teachers,

creators, and the general public. In past years, summer interns have

worked with both American and international materials related to a

diversity of subjects, and in multiple formats including books,

manuscripts, music, film, pictures, and maps.”


“The application deadline is midnight, Wednesday, March 11. Applications

will be accepted only online and should be sent to the 2009 Summer

Intern Program Coordinating Committee at interns09@loc.gov

<mailto:interns09@loc.gov> . Questions about the program may be sent to

questions09@loc.gov <mailto:questions09@loc.gov> , and for information

on how to apply, visit http://www.loc.gov/hr/jrfellows/

<http://www.loc.gov/hr/jrfellows/> .”


“The interns will be exposed to a broad spectrum of library work:

preservation, reference, access standards, information management and

the U.S. copyright system. The program is made possible through the

generosity of the late Mrs. Jefferson Patterson.”


“In addition to the stipend (paid in bi-weekly segments), interns will

be eligible to take part in programs offered at the Library. Interns are

temporary employees of the Library, and as such are not eligible for

federal employee benefits and privileges.”


“The Library of Congress is an equal-opportunity employer. Women,

minorities and persons with disabilities who meet eligibility requirements are strongly encouraged to apply.”

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Library of Congress Announces Study of Bibliographic Record Publication

For those of you who haven’t seen this announcement yet (I know it’s been posted on quite a few blogs and listservs) :

The Library of Congress today announced the next phase of its

investigation into the creation and distribution of bibliographic data in U.S. and Canadian libraries. The Library has commissioned a study to research and describe the current marketplace for cataloging records in the MARC format, with primary focus on the economics of current practices, including existing incentives and barriers to both contribution and availability. The study will be carried out by R2 Consulting LLC of Contoocook, N.H.


The Library has recognized that its role as a producer of bibliographic data is changing and that other libraries have options as they consider sources for cataloging records. The conclusions outlined in a report issued last year, “On the Record: Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control,” indicate that cataloging activity must be shared more broadly and equitably among all libraries. Before the Library considers any changes to its cataloging commitments or priorities, however, it is vital to understand the extent to which other libraries rely on its contributions. The study will examine  cataloging production and practice across all library types, including cooperative activity through OCLC, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), the National Library of Medicine, the National Agricultural Library, library consortia, and other shared cataloging initiatives.


Under the general direction of Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress, R2 will develop a description of the current economic model and will determine the extent of library participation in and reliance on existing structures and organizations. The study will show the degree to which sources other than the Library of Congress are supplying quality records in economically sufficient quantities, or whether most libraries use records created by the Library. This project is oriented toward fact-finding and reporting rather than solutions, and it is intended to produce a snapshot of the existing market. The project is scheduled for completion by June 30, 2009, with a written report and visual representation of the existing marketplace. Progress reports, along with various other data collection and communication tools, will be made available via the R2 Web site at www.r2consulting.org and the Bibliographic Control Working Group site at www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/.


“I am very optimistic that the project will shed new light on the current cataloging supply and distribution environment,” Marcum said, “in such a way that future opportunities and challenges can be promptly identified and evaluated. I am hopeful that librarians and all other participants in the distribution chain will be as forthcoming as possible during the investigative process. Our intention is to understand as fully as possible both the economic and workflow implications for the U.S. and Canadian marketplace prior to implementing any changes at the Library.”


The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Founded in 1800, the Library seeks to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, which bring to bear the world’s knowledge in almost all of the world’s languages and America’s private sector intellectual and cultural creativity in almost all formats. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s Web sites www.loc.gov and myLOC.gov.


R2 Consulting LLC was founded in 2000 by partners Rick Lugg and Ruth Fischer and specializes in selection-to-access workflow analysis and organizational redesign of academic libraries. The firm also participated in the “Economics and Organization of Bibliographic Data” session of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control. R2’s primary professional interest is to help library organizations improve performance and adapt to the changing information environment.

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IFLA 2008: Session on Bibliographic Control

I’ve finally had a chance to summarize some of the sessions that I attended while at IFLA. The Bibliographic Control session is summarized below.

Biblographic Control
New challenges in bibliographic control in North America

Liz McKeen, LAC

Amount of digital materials. Traditional formats are not decreasing in production, but we have more and more digital information to organize and make accessible.
Technology. We need to create better ways to disseminate information.
Resource discovery. There is a shift away from listing (ie. An inventory of the collection) to discovery.
Cost effectiveness. Traditional cataloguing is expensive. How can items be “touched” less while still maintaining accessibility and uniformity while balancing cost?
Collaboration in description. With the amount of materials, we need to find ways to allow others to help by sharing information. Vendors? Other libraries? Businesses?
Personalization of description. We need to seek user input and contribution while adapting records to our users’ needs.
Standards, interoperability and sharing infrastructure among other libraries and institutions.

What are libraries doing to deal with these challenges?
LAC has created a description policy created to deal with cataloguing digital items. This departs from traditional cataloguing practices. A copy of this policy is available online, however, it has not been fully implemented yet.

General ideas in policy
1. Set out levels of description:
Basic, Full or Supplementary (access via metadata)
2. Define criteria for cataloguing
What to catalogue, how to catalogue, how will it be disseminated

For digital cataloguing, always look at it from the users’ perspective. Digital information has three components: Acquisitions, Cataloguing and Dissemination. The emphasis for digital is on cataloguing and dissemination as the acquisitions aspect takes the form of webcrawlers and other institutions “docking” their information or alerting system of new material.


Beacher Wiggins, LC
LC is redefining bibliographic control as broader than just cataloguing. They have merged Acquisitions and Bibliographic control. As a result, the items are handled less frequently and the cataloguing aspect can be expanded to cope with the increase of digital information and the shift away from traditional cataloguing.

Merging will result in revision of job descriptions and one librarian monitoring the workflow from receipt through cataloguing and processing.

LC can no longer handle cataloguing everything. They are leaving the field open for other libraries to become “leaders” to fill in the gaps.

What is LC doing to handle the increase in information that needs to be cataloguing, organized?
1. Streamlining processes
2. Sharing responsibilities
3. Increasing collaboration among other libraries
4. Increasing bibliographic data sharing
5. Internationalizing authority files

What about RDA?
The LC working group strongly recommened suspending work on RDA. They’ve decided to collaborate with other US National Libraries to test RDA before it moves forward. What are they looking for?
1. Ease of use for cataloguers
2. Interoperability with existing OPACs
3. Interoperability between RDA & AACR2 in the catalogues
4. Access to broader range of materials
5. User retrieval
In short – Financial/Technical/Operability

Testing participants include, but are not limited to:
1. Cooperating cataloguing libraries
3. Commercial vendors
4. Archival Institutions

Patrice Landry, Swiss National Library
With the increase in digital information, how will this effect traditional cataloguing?
Traditional publications have NOT declined. As a result, cataloguers are having to balance new & old. As a result, streamlining certain functions in this new era assists in providing more time for cataloguers to focus on the library’s priorities and the items that need to be fully catalogued.

It’s not a matter of not needing cataloguers, it’s cataloguers doing more & sharing the workflow between digital and print. This results in a need for collaboration and vendors providing us with better metadata.


Q & As:
Q: What consideration is being given to the training of praciticing cataloguers in RDA?
A: LAC – thinking of creating an RDA training group, although they are hoping RDA won’t require significant training.

Q: Education for the future of cataloguing?
A: 1. Emphasis on how to manage projects and activities.
2. Understanding the organization of knowledge is more imporant that ever.

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LC merging Acquisitions and Cataloguing

In June, 2007, Library Journal published the article LC merging cataloging and acquisitions by 2008

When I was at IFLA, Beacher Wiggins mentioned this merger in one of his presentations.  In fact, it may have already taken place just prior to IFLA.

This poses some interesting questions.  Will it be the cataloguers or aquisitions staff who stay?  Will there be retraining for all staff?  Will the emphasis be on aquisitions or cataloguing? How, exactly, with this merger work and what will the new department look like?  How will the workflow be organized?

I’m interested to see how this pans out and the type of reorganization involved.

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Final Report – LC’s Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control

For those of you who haven’t already read it – here’s the Final Report of The Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control

I haven’t had a chance to read it myself – but I have been trying to keep up on the numerous blogs that are commenting on it.   I guess I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

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