AALL MARBI Representative Report
Prepared by: George Prager
New York University Law Library
pragerg [at] juris.law.nyu.edu
I attended my first MARBI Meeting this past January 21-22, 2006 at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio. I also most recently attended the ALA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, where MARBI meetings were held June 24-25, 2006. MARC proposals and discussion papers for 2006 reflect the increasingly international nature of the interchange between MARC 21 and other metadata communities. I begin with summaries of all approved 2006 MARBI proposals, followed by MARBI proposals approved in part. Discussion papers related to specific 2006 proposals are discussed with the relevant proposal/s, after which I summarize the newer 2006 discussion papers which haven't yet resulted in proposals. The last section is devoted to MARC news.
Texts of all the papers are available online via links on the MARC Development section of the MARC Web site: http://www.loc.gov/marc/development.html
MARBI Minutes of the Jan. 2006 ALA Midwinter Meeting are available directly at: http://www.loc.gov/marc/marbi/minutes/mw-06.html
MARBI Minutes of the June 2006 ALA Annual Meeting are not yet available.
MARBI Proposals (Approved)
MARC Proposal No. 2006-01: Changes to accommodate IAML form/genre codes in field 047 in the MARC21 Bibliographic Format
IAML [International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres] code list for form/genres contains more than 550 codes, compared to about 70 in MARC. For example, MARC has just the one code "rc" (Rock music), which has to represent not only rock music, but also reggae and many other types of world music. The IAML code list offers 16 codes covering the same genres of music as covered by the one MARC code. Most IAML codes are 3 letters, but MARC codes are 2 letters. As the MARC bibliographic field 008/18-19 offers only 2 character positions, this proposal recommends the use of MARC field 047 rather than the 008 field, and some other related changes which would be necessary in coding of the 008/18-19 when only IAML codes are used. This proposal was approved, with some revisions.
MARC Proposal No. 2006-02: Adding subfields for relator terms to X11 fields in the Bibliographic and Authority formats.
An earlier proposal presented by the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and Visual Resources Association, Proposal No. 2005-06: Addition of Subfields for Relator Terms/Codes for Subject Access to Images, approved subfield $e in fields 630 and 651 and subfield $4 infields 630, 650, and 651 in order to use relator codes and terms to improve the retrieval of visual materials. Use of these codes and terms would also differentiate "of-ness" from "about-ness" (in the terms of the 2005 proposal), in the same way that form/genre headings and subfields differentiate what something "is" (MARC field 655 and 6xx subfield $v) from what something is about (MARC fields 600, 610, 611, 650, 651, etc.). No. 2005-06 also recommended that a relator term subfield be defined in field 611, which was the genesis of the 2006 proposal. The 2006 proposal offers 2 options: Option 1: adding Subfield "j" (relator term), and Option 2: redefining either subfield $b or subfield $e in X11 fields. Option 2 violates a longstanding MARBI tenet, namely, that an obsolete field or subfield should not be reused, so Option 1 was approved.
An example in the Proposal: 611 20 $a Derby (Horse race), $j depicted.
MARC Proposal No. 2006-03: Standardized terminology for access restrictions in field 506 of the MARC21 Bibliographic Format
Field 506 is used to state that materials are unrestricted, or that they are restricted, or some variation thereof. To aid machine processing, it would be useful to have the basic distinction between restricted/unrestricted explicitly indicated by some kind of coding in the field. This paper proposes defining a first indicator marking as follows:
- # No information provided
- 0 No restrictions
- 1 Restrictions apply
It also adds a subfield "f", which could be used whenever the note gives data about access restrictions from a standardized list, and a subfield "2", giving the code for the name of the list. The originators of this proposal, the DLF [Digital Library Federation]/OCLC Digital Registry Working Group, gave an example of some possible values for a controlled vocabulary:
- Never online accessible
- Online accessible with authorization
- Open access
- Soon to be accessible
- Not specified
Because restrictions on access usually apply to local holdings or copies, field 506 is also proposed for the holdings format. No. 2006-03 was approved with slight editorial revisions.
MARC Proposal No. 2006-04: Technique for conversion of Unicode to MARC-8
MARC Proposal No. 2006-09: Lossless technique for conversion of Unicode to MARC-8
These papers dealt with the techniques of conversion of Unicode into MARC-8 in systems which can't handle Unicode records. No. 2006-04 approved a "lossy" technique (once in MARC-8, records cannot be re-converted to Unicode). This seems like a short-sighted approach, but was approved to serve the ostensible needs of a group of small libraries which have OPACs, but which don't typically send their records to other utilities or systems. Proposal No. 2006-09 was discussed in the June 2006 meetings, and offers the option of a "lossless" technique using "Numeric Character References" for conversion of Unicode to MARC-8. This proposal was approved at the meeting, and now will be submitted for final "LC/LAC/BL" [Library of Congress, Library and Archives Canada, British Library] review.
MARC Proposal No. 2006-06: Definition of Field 034 for Geographic Coordinates in the MARC21 Authority Format
MARC Discussion paper No. 2006-DP01: Recording geographic coordinates in the MARC 21 Authority Format
Proposal No. 2006-06 and the related discussion paper originated in the cartographic cataloging community, but have broader importance.
Geospatial information systems (GIS) are becoming more important as tools for information retrieval in a variety of fields. Currently, MARC 21 bibliographic fields "034" and "255" are used in the cataloging of cartographic resources to clearly identify the location covered by using geographic coordinates. Searching by geographic coordinates can be a lot more precise than searching by other geographic information in the record, such as geographic subject headings (MARC "651" and 6xx subfield "z") and MARC field "043". Additionally, coded language-neutral information such as geographic coordinates is advantageous for international bibliographic (and authority) record exchange. Some online catalogs have recently been able to use this data to assist patrons in information retrieval, but many (most?) do not. One reason is that items being cataloged, such as maps and other cartographic resources, sometimes do not give the coordinates, so that the cataloger would need to add the information from another source. Geographic coordinates for a particular place would be even more useful on an authority record, which could be linked to appropriate bibliographic records. For this reason, Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP-01: Recording geographic coordinates in the MAR21 Authority Format proposes adding field 034 to the MARC Authority Format to include this information on authority records for place names, geographic features, battles, buildings, etc. Adding this information to authority records would need to be a large cooperative project, involving both libraries and the geospatial community. At the ALA 2006 Midwinter MARBI Meeting, it was agreed that a proposal defining field 034 should be offered at the June meeting.
Proposal No. 2006-06 was issued in late May 2006, advocating the addition of field 034 to the MARC authority format. Field 034 should contain only those data elements relevant to the entity described in the authority record, rather than all those used to describe the manifestation on the bibliographic record. Also, it should be repeatable, to allow for historical changes in coordinates, such as would apply for countries such as Sweden, Poland, etc. The proposal also recommends several additional subfields which aren't used in the MARC bibliographic 034 field: subfield $r, for distance from earth in light years; subfields $x and $y, to specify the time period which applies to the coordinates; and subfield $z, for name of extraterrestrial body. This proposal was approved by the MARBI Committee, and will now undergo LC/LAC/BL review.
MARC Proposal No. 2006-07: Definition of subfield $u (URI) in Field 852 (Location) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic and Holdings Formats
Information about archival repositories such as contact information is often given in MARC 21 field 852 (Bibliographic and Holdings Formats). Providing a link to the repository home page would offer a convenient way to offer patrons the most up to date information about the repository. (Links to the actual resource described in the record are be given in MARC field 856). This proposal was approved at the June 2006 MARBI meetings, and will now be reviewed by the national libraries.
MARC Proposal No. 2006-08: Addition of subfield $r in field 865 to accommodate date of issuance for indexes in the MARC 21 Holdings Format
MARC Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP05: Indicating coverage dates for indexes in the MARC 21 Holdings Format
ONIX for Serials offers two separate fields for the issuing and coverage dates of indexes, while MARC 21 does not. The DP discusses whether index coverage dates are needed as well as issuing dates in MARC 21 holdings field 865, in order not to lose information transferred from ONIX into MARC. As a result of the MARBI discussion at ALA Midwinter, MARC Proposal No. 2006-08 was issued, and subsequently approved at the 2006 ALA Annual Meeting.
MARC Proposal No. 2006-09
See above under MARC Proposal No. 2006-04
MARC Proposals (Approved in Part)
MARC Proposal No. 2006-05: Changes to Holdings data fields to accommodate ONIX for Serials in the MARC 21 Holdings Format
MARC Proposal No. 2006-05 proposed the following changes:
1. The addition of subfield $o (Type of material) in fields 853 and 863, equivalent to subfield $o in 854-855 and 864-865;
The Proposal gives an example of how subfield $o would be used. The Code of federal regulations (LCCN sn 91035510) has various named units which remain the same for many issues, such as the section entitled: 12, Banks and banking. Section 12 has its own enumeration as well: parts 1-199. Using subfield $o, here is how the holdings data would look:
853 $a Parts $i(year) $j(month) $k(day) $o12, Banks and banking
863 $a1-100 $i2004 $jJan. $k01
2. The addition of subfield $2 in 853-855 to mark an authoritative source for caption abbreviations used in subfields $a through $h.
3. The addition of subfield $r for language of caption information.
ONIX is more liberal than AACR2 in allowing caption abbreviations from a variety of sources, and in a variety of languages (i.e., not necessarily in the language which would be mandated by AACR2 for that particular record).
The MARC Advisory Committee approved the first two parts of this proposal. LC is considering whether to "repurpose" subfield $r for Language of caption in fields 853-855 or whether the code in field 008/22-24 (Language) suffices. Subfield $o should be useful for describing holdings for titles such as the Code of Federal Regulations. More broadly, it is exciting to see this level of co-operation between the publishing and library communities.
Additional Discussion Papers
MARC Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP02: Addition of coded value to 008 for content alerts.
This paper discusses mechanisms to provide coded content alerts for visually impaired users of an OPAC or Union Catalog (similar to movie ratings). It was decided that it is better to define a variable field, rather than an 008 field position, for this purpose, so a new MARBI paper will need to be written presenting this option.
MARC Discussion paper No. 2006-DP03: Incorporation of Former Headings into MARC 21 Authority Records
MARC Discussion paper No. 2006-DP08: Techniques for incorporation of Former Headings into MARC 21 Authority Records
In many cases, former headings are not allowed as cross references (MARC authority field 4xx's) in either the name or subject authority files, such as when a date or a qualifier is added to a former heading to resolve a conflict. Catalogers are supposed to delete this type of former heading from a NACO authority record. However, it is useful for the information about the former heading to appear somewhere in the authority record. The DP discusses two possible approaches: Use of a 4XX field with control subfield $w coded to suppress the cross reference from public display, or defining a new field "683", which would appear as a note field. An advantage of the 4XX option is that it would be assist in more accurate machine processing. But it would also be advantageous to have a special field dedicated to former headings.
A (made-up) example of the 683 approach follows:
100 1# Prager, George, $d 1986-
400 1# Prager, G. A. $q (George A.), $d 1986-
683 ## Former heading: $a Prager, George
[Date added to former heading to resolve conflict]
It is proposed that Field 683 for former headings be repeatable, and include subfields for the former heading ($a), Explanatory text ($i), Linkage ($6), and Field link and sequence number ($8).
No decision could be reached at the Jan. 2006 MARBI meeting, other than that a new discussion paper was needed. MARC Discussion paper No. 2006-DP08 was issued on May 31, 2006, and discussed at the MARBI Meetings held during the 2006 ALA Annual Meeting in New Orleans. It expands on the two options:
683 Field: An additional subfield $d, Date of change is suggested.
Use of Authority Format 4xx Fields: The first position in the "$w control field" is suggested: "$w/0": "Special relationship"; Current values include: "a" (earlier heading), "b" (later heading), "g" Broader term, etc. Adding "j" "Invalid heading form" is suggested, along with revising the instructions for use of subfield "i" (Reference instruction phrase) to indicate why the heading is invalid.
Example [from the new Discussion paper]:
151## $a Venezuela $x Politics and government $y 1974-1999
451## $w j $i Former heading (open date in period subdivision) $a Venezeula $x Politics and government $y 1974-
The new DP offers 2 additional options: Using new values in $w/1. /2, or /3. Or, defining another new authority format field: "885", which would be similar to the use of the "886" Foreign MARC Information Field in the Bibliographic Format. Field 885 would be similar to use of field 683, but would allow for the original tag, indicators, and subfield coding of the former heading to be recorded. Here's an example from the DP:
100 1# $a Philips, Gina, $d 1958-
885 ## $d20060101 $i Former heading (cancelled) $a100$b1#aPhilips, Gina E.
If field 885 is used for machine flipping of headings, there might be some difficulty with the repetition of subfield "a", "d", and several other subfields, for two different purposes. The MARBI Committee's decision at the 2006 Annual Meeting was to write another proposal recommending the use of Authority 4xx fields. Preference was for using subfield $w, byte 2, adding value "d" for the invalid earlier form of heading. Each library would need to decide for itself whether or not to allow these fields to "flip" via automated authority control or global update, or to use the information in the 4xx field to generate a list for manual review. Unfortunately, not every invalid earlier heading would appear in the specially coded 4xx field, as this field would not be allowed in certain cases, such as when the invalid earlier heading is the same as a valid heading (1xx field). In these cases, it is likely that a 667 field would be used on the authority record, rather than a 4xx field; presumably, this will be discussed in the forthcoming proposal. In my opinion, the inability to include all invalid earlier headings in the same field is a serious shortcoming of the currently proposed 4xx approach. Also, I would like to see indicators for "flip" and "do not flip" the heading, which could be part of whatever approach is finalized. Then we would need to put concerted pressures on OPAC and authority vendors to properly implement the new MARC codes.
(For more background on this subject, see the 2003 PCC report: The Final Report of the Task Group on the Function of the Authority File, available at: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/scs/tgauthrpt_fin.pdf)
For more on cases where the 4xx approach would conflict with NACO normalization rules, see: Authority File Comparison Rules:
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/naco/normrule.html (rev. Feb. 9, 2001; viewed July 6, 2006)
MARC Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP04: Data elements needed to ascertain copyright facts.
The MARC 21 Bibliographic Format has no fields for requiring a copyright statement, and the copyright date is generally not recorded, unless the resource lacks a publication date. This paper suggests setting aside a single field for copyright information, to enable the user to make an informed judgment about what use is allowed of the resource, particularly for archival and unpublished material, which is increasingly available in a digital format. Duration of copyright begins from the date of the creator's death, which is information which can often not be determined from the resource itself. According to this DP, digital libraries can and should provide to their users whatever they know about the copyright status of the material they are offering. It discusses two options: Modifying MARC 21 field 540 for this purpose, or creating an entirely new field. Appendix "A" enumerates data elements recommended for this new MARC field.
At the June 2006 MARBI meetings, some proposed a separate database, or alternately a separate MARC format for copyright information. There are various problematic areas, such as how to accommodate divergences in national copyright law, issues of multiple copyright holders, and other concerns. Therefore, it was decided to that a new discussion paper would be issued on the subject.
MARC Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP05
(See above under: MARC Proposals (Approved in Part), under MARC Proposal No. 2006-05)
MARC Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP06: Defining separate subfields for language codes of Summaries/Abstracts and Subtitles/Captions in field 041 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic format
At present, subfield $b of field 041 (Language code) includes the language codes of summaries, abstracts, subtitles and captions. Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc., commonly known as OLAC, would prefer if captions and subtitles were coded in a different subfield than summaries and abstracts, as they serve different purposes. OLAC would also like subfield $b in the 041 field to be made obsolete, and two new subfields, one for "Language code of summary or abstract", and one for "Language code of subtitle or caption." In order to get retrospective records harmonized with newer records, all instances of subfield $b in moving image records would be assumed to be for subtitles/captions, and moved to that new subfield; all instances of summaries/abstracts would be assumed to be for other types of material, and be moved to the other subfield $b. At the 2006 Annual Meeting, it was agreed that this approach would be fairly accurate; kit records and other mixed material records might be the most ambiguous. Rich Greene of OCLC stated that only about 9% of OCLC records were for visual materials, and of these, only 4046 use 041 subfield $b. Any possible miscoding would be limited to a small number of records. Some discussion centered on the cost/benefit analysis of making the change. However, in the future, it is likely that the use of summaries or abstracts with visual materials will increase, so it was agreed at the meeting that a change would be proposed in the definition of field 041 subfield $b.
MARC Discussion Paper No. 2006-DP07: Recording set information for multipart cartographic materials.
Various options using the MARC 21 bibliographic and holdings formats are discussed, but there are problems with all the approaches, due in part to the large size of some of these map sets. "Some map sets include thousands of sheets, each with unique sheet level data elements".
Option 1 [DP Section 3.1]: Creating a separate bibliographic record for each sheet. This would be too labor intensive, and would most likely result in much repeated data.
Option 2 [DP Section 3.1]: Creating a record for each set plus brief records for each sheet, with links to the collected set bibliographic record through 773 fields.
Option 3 [DP Section 3.2]: Including a contents note in a record for the set as a whole. It would be hard to usefully record coordinates here. Some sheet identifiers are numeric or alphanumeric, which would not result in an ideal display. Also, these notes would sometimes have to include hundreds or more of sheets, which would make them hard to read.
Option 4 [DP Section 3.3]: Including Field 774 (Constituent unit entry) in the set record. Although more data elements could be included in the subfields than in a contents note, sets with hundreds of maps would run into current system restrictions on size and on readability concerns.
Options 5-7 [DP Section 3.4] employ the MARC holdings format. There are several shared disadvantages to using the holdings format, plus disadvantages specific to each of the above approaches. General disadvantages: This is really bibliographic information, which belongs in bibliographic records. Also, the data on holdings records can't currently be searched by many OPACs. Option 5 uses separate holdings records, especially fields 844, 853, and 863. Proposal 2006-06 proposes adding 034 to the MARC authority field. Option 6 suggests repeatable 85X/86X fields. This approach has an added disadvantage in that there aren't many subfields left for additional data elements. Option 7 would be to add a new holdings field for these kinds of materials.
At the discussion of No. 2006-DP07 during the 2006 ALA Annual Meeting, it was pointed out that while this DP concerns itself with the description of multipart cartographic material, the issues involved are highly relevant to any other types of multipart resources. In a shared environment, many institutions can add information to the collected set record, but multi-level cataloging is not readily available in most library systems. Regardless of what's done with the bibliographic options, holdings information is still needed for each institution. While it can handle hierarchical information better than the bibliographic format, it presently works better for serial holdings than for non-serial maps and other non-serials. The MARBI Committee decided that a second discussion paper was needed, to discuss ways to provide more detailed holdings for non-serial cartographic and other formats.
MARC Discussion paper No. 2006-DP08 (See joint discussion under No. 2006-DP-03 above)
Implementation of Bibliographic Level "i" by OCLC and LC
AACR2 2002 revision formally altered the bibliographic division of the world from monograph/serials. Monographs remained one of the categories, but serials were subsumed as part of the new category: Continuing resources, which also included a new subcategory "integrating resources". Integrating resources included updating loose-leafs (long familiar to law catalogers), updating web sites, and updating databases. To accommodate this new taxonomy, the Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI), defined a new "bibliographic level" (MARC leader/07) value in the MARC format: "i" (Proposal No. 2001-05). RLIN implemented the code several years ago, but the Library of Congress (LC) and OCLC were waiting until OCLC finished their conversion to their new platform. OCLC's implementation was announced on June 16, 2006. Bibliographic level "i" should now be used whenever appropriate, and use of the interim guidelines (using "bks" format, adding an 006 field to express seriality, etc.), should be discontinued immediately. Guidelines on how to apply the new codes are given in OCLC Technical Bulletin 252, May 2006.
Both BIBCO and CONSER libraries are expected to share in the maintenance of records for integrating resources. Somewhat later this year (possibly by fall 2006), both BIBCO and CONSER libraries will be able to authenticate records for integrating resources by adding a LCCN [Library of Congress Contol Number] and a new authentication code (MARC field 042), to be determined. BIBCO libraries will also be able to update and enhance these records on OCLC without authenticating them, but both a LCCN and the new authentication code will be necessary to order to cause the record to be selected for distribution through the Library of Congress' Cataloging Distribution Service. [Les Hawkins message posted to the BIBCO listserv, June 2, 2006 11:30:59 AM,. "Bib level i CONSER and BIBCO records"].
New Place of publication codes (008/15-17) and New geographic codes (043)
More precise Australian country codes and geographic codes (043) for specific states and territories have been added to the MARC bibliographic format. They may be used immediately. (The country of publication code "at" and the geographic country code: "u-at"remain valid for Australia as a whole).
Character Set Changes (Basic Latin & Extended Latin)
Spacing characters may now be entered as characters on OCLC. Two of the most commonly used, the spacing underscore and spacing tilde, were approved as additions to the MARC bibliographic format in 1994, but since then, we have been directed to use the character's hex values instead (%5F and %7E). Since Uniform resource identifiers (URIs) frequently employ or both of these characters, this has been a bit of a nuisance for most catalogers. OCLC Cataloging interfaces are now accepting these characters, but they should not be used until revisions of the Library of Congress Rule Interpretations [LCRIs] 1.0E and 1.4F5 are posted on LC's Cataloging Policy and Support Office's [CPSO's] Web site, which is expected to occur in mid to late summer 2006. For more information, see: Library of Congress Usage of New MARC21 Characters Plus Processing Implications on the web at: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/newchar2.pdf (last revised 2006-04-04; last viewed June 29, 2006) and: Library of Congress Implementation of New MARC 21 Data Elements at: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/m21data.html (click on May 2006; rev. May 16, 2005; viewed June 30, 2006).
Update No. 6 (Oct. 2005) to the MARC 21 Formats
Update no. 6 (Oct. 2005) to the MARC 21 formats was made available on May 25, 2006. These include changes made to the formats resulting from 2005 program proposals and meetings, most notable the addition of MARC Bibliographic Field 662:
Field 662 (Bibliographic Format: Subject Added Entry-Hierarchical Place Name)
662## $b California $d Los Angeles $e Little Tokyo $2 gnis
Full MARC Documentation Conversion into XML
At the Midwinter MARBI Business Meeting, Sally McCallum of the Library of Congress reported that MARC documentation is being converted into XML by their Network Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO). Eventually, NDMSO plans to mount the full MARC21 formats on its website (www.loc.gov/marc) in HTML, PDF, and XML. (Currently, only the MARC concise formats are available at their website).
MODS Version 3.2
On June 1, 2006, NDMSO released MODS version 3.2. MODS stands for "Metadata Object Description Schema". It is an XML schema suitable for a variety of library applications, and includes a subset of MARC fields and language-based tags rather than numeric ones. More information is available at the official MODS website: http://www.loc.gov/standards/mods
MARC 21 Authority Format Mapping to MADS Schema Version 1.0
"MADS" stands for "Metadata Authority Description Schema ". It is the authorities counterpart of "MODS". The preliminary draft of this report was released in December 2005. The MADS report is available at: http://www.loc.gov/standards/mads/mads-mapping.html
German Adoption of MARC 21 Formats
At both the 2006 Midwinter and Annual MARBI Meetings, Reinhold Heuvelmann of the German National Library presented a report on how German and Austrian libraries are working on adopting the MARC21 formats. Since the early 1970's, libraries in both countries have generally used the MAB (Maschinelles Austauschformat für Bibliotheken = Machine-readable exchange format for libraries). In 2004, they decided to adopt MARC 21. MAB is being mapped to MARC21. Discussion papers and proposals to MARBI will be prepared to aid the harmonization process. It is projected that the 2 formats will be harmonized by the beginning of 2007. For more information, see the Midwinter 2006 MARBI minutes (http://www.loc.gov/marc/marbi/minutes/mw-06.html) and: "Moving to MARC 21" (http://www.ddb.de/eng/standardisierung/formate/marc21.htm ; last viewed June 30, 2006; much of the information is in German).