Report of the
AALL Representative to the American Library Association
Association for Library Collection and Technical Services
Cataloging and Classification Section
Subject Analysis Committee (SAC)
Midwinter Meeting, San Diego, January 2011
Annual Meeting, New Orleans, June 2011
Fordham Law School Library
ymandelstam [at] law.fordham.edu
This report marks the end of my second and final term as the AALL representative to SAC. I find it difficult to believe that six years have passed so fast! I very much enjoyed these stimulating and productive years and plan to remain active on the SAC Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation. I wish my successor Ellen McGrath the best of luck and am looking forward to her reports.
Following is a summary of SAC activities in 2011 and highlights from the Library of Congress ALA reports.
Two SAC subcommittees were disbanded at ALA Annual: the SAC Subcommittee on FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) and the SAC Faceting Task Force. Issues regarding faceting will continue to be discussed at the new Faceted Subject Access Interest Group of the ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section (recently renamed Cataloging and Metadata Management Section).
Preconference on Genre/Form
SAC sponsored an ALA Annual preconference called What is it, anyway? Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials. The workshop introduced participants to the principles and application of Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT). Janis Young, the LC Genre/Form Coordinator at LC Policy and Standards Division (PSD), covered the theoretical and practical aspects of LCGFT; Beth Iseminger from Harvard University spoke about the music genre/form project at the Music Library Association (MLA); and I spoke about the development of the law genre/form terms at AALL.
SAC Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation
Shortly before ALA Annual, the SAC Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation approved the recommendations of the 185/155 Working Group. The group was formed in 2010 and charged with reviewing all current LCSH form subdivisions in 185 authority records and identifying terms of general applications that could be recommended for inclusion in the LCGFT. The group's recommendations were submitted to SAC and if approved, will be submitted to PSD.
The subcommittee has also been working on possible treatments of various "facets" or "aspects" associated with genre/form terms (since subdivisions are not allowed in LCGFT). Facets include class of creator and intended audience (e.g., gender, occupation, age group, ethnicity, nationality) as well as place, language, religious denomination, etc. Each member of the subcommittee prepared a report on one or more of these aspects, and the reports and potential recommendations were discussed at ALA Annual. The subcommittee will continue its discussions electronically and hopes to submit its recommendations to SAC by ALA Midwinter.
SAC Subcommittee on RDA
This new subcommittee was formed at ALA Midwinter to address subject-related issues in RDA. The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) is moving forward with the subject-related chapters of RDA and it was important to set in place a mechanism for ALA to respond to JSC proposals and papers, since subject analysis issues are not under the purview of the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA), and SAC is not formally charged to respond to the JSC. To resolve this issue ALCTS created the new position of a SAC liaison to CC:DA (who also acts as chair of the SAC Subcommittee on RDA). SAC will be the decision-making body for formulating the ALA responses, and the decisions will be communicated to CC:DA.
SAC and CC:DA members and liaison had a joint meeting at ALA Annual. John Attig, the ALA representative to JSC, gave a presentation about subject entities and relationships in RDA, and Gordon Dunsire spoke about the treatment of subject in each of the Functional Requirements models: Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD) and Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD). Following the presentations was a brief discussion of the LC discussion paper on the "placeholder" chapters in RDA for Group 3 entities (Concept, Object, Event, and Place) and "subject".
Highlights from reports submitted by Janis Young, the liaison from the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division.
The full LC at ALA report is available at http://www.loc.gov/ala
SUBJECT CATALOGING AND CLASSIFICATION
- Publications. New Editions of LC Classification Schedules: E-F (History, America), M (Music and Books on Music), N (Fine Arts), PN (Literature, General), T (Technology), K Tables, and P-PZ Table. In July a new print edition of D-DR (History, General) and History of Europe will be published, as well as a new edition of JZ and KZ: Historical Notes and Introduction to Application. The 33rd edition of LCSH will also be available in July.
- Classification Web. A number of enhancements to Classification Web were being tested at the end of 2010. They included the addition of personal names from the LC/NACO authority file; expansion of the correlations feature to provide correlations between the National Library of Medicine classification and LCC; a new design; improved navigation tools; and an updated help file.
- Staffing Change. Paul Weiss, the cataloging policy specialist who was responsible for subject headings and classification in the social sciences, law, and philosophy, retired in February after 37 years of service to the Library of Congress. There are now three subject specialists in PSD: Libby Dechman, Gerry Ostrove, and Janis Young. Gerry is responsible for music, and Libby and Janis handle all of the other subjects with the assistance of Tom Yee, the assistant division chief.
- New Subject Heading Proposal System. PSD will implement a new system for creating online subject proposals no earlier than July 18, 2011. This new system is similar to the classification proposal system and will uses the same login and password currently used for classification proposals. It should streamline the process for proposing new and revised subject and genre/form headings.
- Tentative Lists. Effective with classification and subject headings weekly list 1121 (dated June 15, 2011), the Policy and Standards Division changed the frequency of the tentative and the approved weekly lists to a monthly schedule. This is an experimental change and may be revised as circumstances dictate. The upcoming implementation of a new system for creating subject heading proposals, similar to the current system for making classification proposals, makes this an opportune time to realign workflows to increase efficiency in all division operations. The review process for proposals has not changed.
- KZ7000-7500. PSD has implemented a new schedule, KZ7000-KZ7500, International criminal law, following up on the development of this distinct sub-discipline of International Law. The new classes in this schedule closely follow the principles and doctrines of international criminal law. The focus of the new schedule is on the International Criminal Court (ICC) established by the Rome Treaty (1998/2002) as well as the procedures governing the international investigation and prosecution of conduct viewed by the international community as international crimes. The widening catalog of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide, forms the center of the substantive development. Hand in hand with the new development, new subject headings were created and older subject headings were revised.
The original and outdated ranges in Class KZ for International criminal courts and procedure, KZ6304-KZ6332, have been closed, as well as the classes for reports, digests, and pleadings of the newly erected court, KZ219-KZ220.2. Furthermore, the original numbers in Class K (Law in general. Comparative law) for those subjects that are governed by international criminal law and under the jurisdiction of the ICC, i.e., genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, have been closed or revised. References have been provided to direct users of the schedules to the new numbers. A substantial number of titles (mainly monographs), have been reclassed and the works transferred to their new KZ classification numbers. This new classification does not preclude developments on International criminal law, courts and procedure, and prosecution of international crimes in the regional or national law classification schedules if it should become necessary. Updated print editions of K and KZ, as well as the publication, JZ and KZ: Historical Notes and Introduction to Application, will be available from CDS soon.
- Subject Heading Projects. PSD has undertaken several short-term projects to update subject headings and references, to bring them into alignment with current standards as defined by the Subject Headings Manual, or to modify outdated language. Some examples are as follows.
- The Netherlands Antilles, an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, was dissolved on October 10, 2010. The islands of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are now special municipalities of the Netherlands proper. Curaçao and Sint Maarten are constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The dissolution affects jurisdictional qualifiers, broader terms, and scope notes in LCSH.
- Late in 2010, PSD was asked to consider reevaluating subject cataloging practice as it relates to Tibet. After consulting with experts in Tibetan studies, the cataloging policy specialists in PSD agreed to revise the name authority headings for the jurisdiction of Tibet and also to establish a new subject heading. The headings and their assignment now conform to international descriptive cataloging rules as set forth in the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd Edition, and to policies governing the assignment of Library of Congress Subject Headings as described in the Subject Headings Manual.
Tibet (LCCN n2011015804): the governmental jurisdiction of Tibet before September 1, 1965. It may be applied as a descriptive access point to works emanating from or published by the government of independent Tibet. It may not be assigned as a subject heading or geographic subdivision.
Tibet Autonomous Region (China) (LCCN n 79100917): the current province-level governmental jurisdiction within the People's Republic of China that was formalized on September 1, 1965. It may be applied as a descriptive access point to works emanating from or published by the government of Tibet after that date. It may also be assigned as a subject heading for works about Tibet as an independent country and as a jurisdiction within China.
Tibet Region (LCCN sh2011001106): the geographic region of Tibet, sometimes referred to as "Greater Tibet." The geographic extent of this region is much larger than the governmental jurisdiction of Tibet. It corresponds to the traditional regions of Ü-Tsang, Ngari, Amdo, and Kham, which are chiefly within the borders of China and also extend into India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Burma.
Tibet, Plateau of (LCCN sh 86005180): the geographic feature. The qualifier "China" has been removed from the existing heading to reflect the extent of the plateau, which is not only in China but also extends into Nepal and India. Geographically, the Plateau of Tibet is similar to, but not coextensive with, the Tibet Region.
- HIVE at LC. The Library of Congress launched an experiment this past year to use HIVE (Helping Interdisciplinary Vocabulary Engineering at http://ils.unc.edu/mrc/hive/) to automatically generate subject headings for LC's web archives. The experiment is starting with the public policy web archives. The HIVE software is expected to "learn" relevant vocabulary based on these web pages to offer ever-better suggestions to assist catalogers
- Revision of MARC Coding. On May 24, 2011, more than 700 existing genre/form authority records were cancelled and reissued with new MARC coding. LCGFT authority records now have an 008/11 value of "z" (other) and an 040$f value of "lcgft." PSD also
took this opportunity to change the LCCN prefix in the records to "gf" from "sh." The revised MARC coding will enable automatic validation of LCGFT terms applied in bibliographic records, and the new LCCN prefix is an additional marker indicating that the terms are from the new thesaurus.
The revision to the MARC coding also required that the coding of LCGFT terms in bibliographic records be updated. As of May 24th the correct coding is:
655 #7 $a [term]. $2 lcgft.
PSD has begun to undertake the bibliographic file maintenance necessitated by this change and expects to complete it before the end of 2011.
- Cartography Project. Approximately 65 cartographic genre/form terms were approved in mid-May and the LCSH form subdivisions used for maps were revised on August 18, 2010. LC implemented the new genre/form headings and revised subdivisions on September 1, 2010. PSD is beginning to draft an instruction sheet on the application of genre/form terms for cartographic materials. SACO proposals are now being accepted.
- Law Project. In November 2010, PSD approved approximately 80 genre/form terms for law. This marked the culmination of a successful partnership between PSD and the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), whose members developed a thesaurus of law genre/form terms and presented it to PSD for inclusion in LCGFT. On June 15, 2011 the Library of Congress began to apply law genre/form terms to new cataloging, chiefly for English-language works. LCGFT terms for law that appear on copy cataloging will be retained and/or revised as necessary, in accordance with LC's standard copy cataloging procedures.
- Music Project. The Music Library Association (MLA) has partnered with PSD to develop genre/form terms in the area of music. The parties have agreed to a list of more than 1,000 genre/form terms and are now developing the syntactic structure. They are also developing a list of mediums of performance and discussing where the mediums should be coded within the MARC record, since they will not be included in LCGFT. In support of this project, MLA's Subject Access Subcommittee has presented a MARC discussion paper entitled "Additional means of identifying medium of performance in the MARC 21 bibliographic and authority formats." Numbered 2011-DP05, it is on MARBI's agenda for this conference.
- Religion Project. The American Theological Library Association (ATLA) and PSD have partnered to develop the genre/form terms in the area of religion, and ATLA is also coordinating the participation of smaller library organizations organized around religion, such as the Catholic Library Association. ATLA has created a wiki for interested parties to suggest terms and discuss issues related to them.