Cataloging Annual Reports

Cataloging Committee Annual Reports

  • 2016 - 2017

    Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee
    2016-2017 Annual Report


    The issue of greatest importance to the committee in the past year was the end of AALL support for representatives to outside organizations. There are three AALL representatives who perform great service to the law cataloging community: Robert Bratton to the ALA Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA); Lia Contursi to the ALA Subject Analysis Committee (SAC); and Jean Pajerek to the MARC Advisory Committee (MAC). They continued to ably represent us as the Technical Services Special Interest Section joined with others to fill the gap for funding in this year. The prospects for the coming year look bleak.

    The Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee carried out most of its activities through the efforts of working groups, as in the past.


    The Descriptive Cataloging Advisory Working Group has been working on several ideas for revision of RDA and best practices. Our representative to CC:DA put forward a proposal for single laws that govern more than one jurisdiction. It was accepted with some revisions and included in the RDA Toolkit in April, just before it started a year-long moratorium on changes to the text. The group has also done some work on the relationship designators for “enacting jurisdiction” and “jurisdiction governed.” This will have to wait until after the moratorium. Through the efforts of a group working on best practices for recording statements of responsibility, the Library of Congress revised its policy statement on this point. However, members felt this was not adequate and plan to continue their work and press for more revisions. Another group has been working on best practices for distinguishing authorized access points for works. For the future, DCAG plans to address revising the RDA instructions for compilations of court rules governing a single jurisdiction and for constitutions, charters, etc., of non-governmental bodies.


    The Classification and Subject Cataloging Advisory Working Group helps to coordinate the SACO Law Funnel, which helps law libraries to propose new subject headings and genre/form terms to the Library of Congress. In the past year they proposed five new subject headings as well as revisions to several genre/form terms. The group also coordinates the Genre/Form Retrospective Project. The project involves working on strategies for identifying bibliographic records for each genre/form term. Since none of the strategies are foolproof, the process is slow and cumbersome and is further hampered by the small number of members with the kind of access needed to test the strategies and clean up search results. The viability of this project will be discussed at the group’s meeting in Austin.


    One of the major projects for the Vendor-Supplied Records Advisory Working Group (VRAG) was working with Wolters Kluwer on its MARC records. In conference calls in February and March major topics of discussion included:

    • Functionality of the Wolters Kluwer MARC Record Manager
    • Handling duplicate records when the same title exists in more than one WK collection
    • Level of linking: single link for entire work vs. multiple links for chapters/components
    • Use of contents notes and added titles for components
    • Time frame for sunset of Intelliconnect (2018) and migration to the Cheetah platform

    The group also updated the VRAG spreadsheet listing MARC record sets available. New sets added include:

    • Bloomberg Securities Practice & Tax Management Portfolios
    • Gale collections: Archives of Human Sexuality & Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940; Slavery and Anti-Slavery: a transnational archive
    • HeinOnline collections: Law in Eastern Europe; Slavery in America and the World
    • LexisNexis digital study aids
    • West Academic study aids

  • 2015 - 2016

    Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee
    2015-2016 Annual Report

    The Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee carried out most of its activities through the efforts of working groups, as in the past.

    The Classification and Subject Cataloging Advisory Working Group (CSCAG), chaired by Yael Mandelstam and Suzanne Graham, prepared comments on the Library of Congress’ thought experiment on the use of demonyms. CSCAG responded that from the perspective of law cataloging it is not particularly worthwhile to use demonyms and that it would be especially complicated to establish demonyms for local places. However, if LC decides to move forward with this project, law catalogers would advocate disambiguating all local demonyms. The form that would be most efficient would be [Place] resident. CSCAG also commented on the draft LC Genre/Form Terms Manual. Additionally, the group has resolved various genre/form issues for law materials and has been making progress on testing strategies for the retrospective application of law genre/form terms.

    The Descriptive Cataloging Advisory Working Group (DCAG), chaired by George Prager, prepared a revision to LC-PCC Policy Statement for RDA to treat the European Union as a governmental body for the purposes of establishing subordinate bodies. This is similar to the treatment of the United Nations. The proposal was submitted to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging’s Standing Committee on Standards. DCAG also proposed a revision to LC-PCC Policy Statement for RDA concerning the re-basing of an integrating resource. This proposal was incorporated in the RDA Toolkit in April 2016.

    DCAG completed or revised three cataloging best practice documents: Distinguishing authorized access points for law materials, Dealing with existing non-RDA authorized access points for treaties, and Recording extensive statements of responsibility (SORs). These were posted on the website.

    The AALL representative to ALA’s Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA), Robert Bratton, supported by DCAG, prepared a revision proposal for RDA concerning individual laws that govern multiple jurisdictions, such as laws that govern multiple colonies of one country. The proposal was expected to be discussed at the CC:DA meeting in late June 2016.

    Bratton also prepared a revision to RDA to add a provision for international courts. The proposal was discussed at CC:DA in January 2016 and submitted as a test case for fast-track revisions. DCAG also prepared a revision proposal for LC-PCC PS for on date of promulgation of a law. The proposal was accepted by the Standing Committee on Standards and appeared in the February 2016 release of the RDA Toolkit.

    The Vendor-Supplied Records Advisory Working Group (VRAG) was chaired by Angela Jones and Caroline Walters. VRAG has looked at and made comments regarding several groups of sample records from Wolters Kluwer. Several VRAG members were in communication with Wolters Kluwer about the MARC records that they have developed for Intelliconnect and now Cheetah. This involved multiple conference calls over the course of the past year. Angela Jones and Caroline Walters wrote a short history and description of VRAG for the CRIV Sheet in the February 2016 issue.

    Through the efforts of Suzanne Graham, the New Catalogers Roundtable was revived, and Alexis Zirpoli took over as chair. The group has held a couple of conference calls this spring.

    The Heads of Cataloging in Large Libraries roundtable, chaired by Chris Tarr, met in Philadelphia and had its usual productive conversation. The annual statistical report was prepared and distributed to members by Ryan Tamares.

    The AALL representative to the MARC Advisory Committee (MAC), Jean Pajerek, attended two meetings of MAC at the ALA Midwinter meeting in Boston. Action was taken on 16 discussion papers and two proposals during the meetings. There is a trend toward altering or expanding the MARC formats to accommodate the encoding of new elements of information for digital resources, such as digital sound recordings and computer games. Another prominent theme is the proposed encoding of relationship and entity identifiers in numerous MARC fields, in anticipation of the evolving linked data environment in which bibliographic metadata will need to operate in the future. The AALL representative’s complete report on the Midwinter deliberations of the MARC Advisory Committee is available in the March 2016 issue of Technical Services Law Librarian, p. 13-16 (1.3 MB PDF).

    The report of the AALL representative to the ALA Subject Analysis Committee, Lia Contursi, is available online.

    See also: 2016reporttocatalogingandclassificationcommittee-goldberg (32KB PDF)

  • 2014 - 2015

    Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee
    2014-2015 Annual Report

    During the past year, the Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee (CCSC), through the work of the advisory working groups, has acted on improving the application of RDA in cataloging and on establishing some best practices, while awaiting for the much anticipated publication Cataloging Legal Literature in RDA authored by Melody Lembke and Melissa Beck. In Fall 2014, the AALL Liaison to CC:DA, Robert Bratton, proposed the discontinuation of the old uniform title Laws, etc. in RDA. After the ALA Midwinter 2014 meeting, CC:DA approved the proposal which is now at the last revision stage and awaits approval by JSC. Our Representative anticipates that the proposal will not find any resistance. The Descriptive Cataloging Advisory Working Group (DCAG), chaired by George Prager, worked on some very important issues such as the languages of treaties and the RDA guidelines for distinguishing authorized access points (AAPs). The latter issue has been analyzed in a discussion paper that has recently been sent to the entire law cataloging community for comments. This very important document authored by Melissa Beck (UCLA), Jean Pajerek (Cornell), and Ted Pitts (Fordham) will probably be further commented on and finalized at the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. It will resolve a crucial issue regarding the choice of qualifiers to distinguish preferred titles of legal material.

    During the course of the academic year, the AALL Executive Board decided to eliminate many positions of representatives, among which were the TS-SIS Cataloging liaisons to the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA), the MARC Advisory Committee (MAC), and the Subject Analysis Committee (SAC). This was felt as a major setback and as a missed opportunity to continue to play an active role in the establishment of law cataloging standards within the national (and international) library community. Thanks to the strong support and hard work of our TS-SIS Chair Suzanne Graham, the Executive Board reversed its decision and re-instituted the three representative positions.

    A decision has also been made to eliminate the Round Tables’ format at the 2015 AALL Annual. For the first time this year in Philadelphia there will not be a separate Cataloging and Classification Round Table. Therefore the chair will combine the Standing Committee Meeting and the Round Table, reducing the time of the reports’ reading. The reports of the representatives and the chairs of the working groups will be sent to the community in advance, but will not be read at the Meeting. Instead the important points will be highlighted to generate a discussion among the attending members.

    The chair of the CCSC would like to thank the chairs of the three advisory working groups: Classification and Subject Cataloging Advisory Working Group (CSCAG), chaired by Yael Mandelstam; Descriptive Cataloging Advisory Working Group (DCAG), chaired by George Prager; and Vendor Supplied Records Advisory Working Group (VRAG), co-chaired by Angela Jones and Caroline Walters.

    The current chair of CCSC will end her term at the Annual Conference in Philadelphia and will pass the baton to John Hostage who has kindly agreed to be the next head of CCSC. Before the end of the term, Lia and John will focus on inviting members of the cataloging community to join the CCSC and volunteer on special projects for the coming academic year.

    Respectfully submitted by Lia Contursi / 7-2-2015 (revised 8-1-2015)

  • 2013 - 2014

    Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee
    2013-2014 Annual Report

    Submitted by Lia Contursi, Committee Chair


    The Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee (CCSC) is one of the TS-SIS standing committees with the task of addressing awareness and concerns on all issues of descriptive cataloging, subject cataloging and classification. The committee web page is updated annually at:

    During the past year the chair of the CCSC has revisited the nature and the structure of the three groups that constitute the primary functioning parts of the committee, and together with the leaders of those groups, a decision was made to change the names in order to clarify and harmonize their principal tasks. All the chairs felt that the essential function of the groups was not that of establishing policies. Rather, their main focus was that of identifying inadequacies or contradictions in descriptive and subject cataloging, and working within the committees to propose corrections or new directions appropriately. The three advisory working groups are: Classification and Subject Cataloging Advisory Working Group (CSCAG), chaired by Yael Mandelstam; Descriptive Cataloging Advisory Working Group (DCAG), chaired by Melissa Beck; and Vendor Supplied Records Advisory Working Group (VRAG), chaired by Angela Jones.

    The CCSC chair has assisted in planning some of the discussions prepared for the Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The chair has also functioned as coordinator for the special program on K Classification, which will be presented by Dr. Jolande Goldberg (Senior Cataloging Policy Specialist/Law Classification at the Library of Congress), Tina Gheen (Emerging Technology Librarian, Library of Congress), and Jennifer Gonzales (Emerging Technology Librarian, Library of Congress).

    Future Directions of CCSC

    The CCSC will meet twice at the 2014 Annual Meeting in San Antonio. At the Standing Committee meeting, all three Advisory Groups’ Chairs will present their annual report. Much has been accomplished this past year, including the Joint Steering Committee’s approval of the change of instructions on Treaties in the RDA. For the immediate future, the CCSC and the DCAG feel the urgency to continue to work on some proposals for revisions of the RDA in the context of Treaties and the Collective titles of treaties. Work will also continue on strategies to apply law genre terms retrospectively. The VRAG Group will continue to review vendor records and to encourage the production of MARC records of high quality. The second meeting in San Antonio will be the Cataloging and Classification Round Table. Members of the CCSC have prepared some crucial discussions touching on topics such as RDA and law cataloging, developments and implementation of law genre terms, new directions for an interactive K Classification Schedule, and latest developments on vendor records. During the coming year, the Committee intends to direct some attention to the Bibframe model, still under development and testing lead by the Library of Congress.

    The chair of the CCSC would like to thank the chairs of all three working groups Yael Mandelstam, Melissa Beck and Angela Jones.

  • 2012 - 2013

    Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee 2012-2013 Annual Report 2012/2013

    Submitted by George A. Prager, Committee Chair

    1. Overview

    The Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee (CCSC) is one of the four TS-SIS standing committees. It currently has 50 members, including the chair, George Prager. The committee’s primary web page is at:

    During the past year, the committee as a whole was not involved in any initiatives. For the last few years, most of its work has been performed through its three working groups: the Descriptive Cataloging Policy Advisory Working Group (DCAG, chaired by Melissa Beck), the Classification and Subject Cataloging Policy Advisory Group (CSCP, chaired by Suzanne Graham), and the Task Group on Vendor Supplied Bibliographic Records (VBR, chaired by Cindy Spadoni). The CCSC chair has assisted as needed in the initiatives of these working groups, especially in the planning of the upcoming AALL Conference workshop: RDA Cataloging Cooperative, and the submission of an RDA instruction revisal proposal for the entry of treaties (More on both of these initiatives are given below in the section on DCAG). The CCSC chair has also spent a few weeks at the Library of Congress, assisting Jolande Goldberg, Senior Cataloging Policy Specialist/ Law Classification Specialist in several endeavors, most notably refinement of the draft Class KIA-KIK Indigenous American schedule, and reclassification of affected titles in the LC Law Library collection.

    2. Future Directions of the CCSC

    The current chair’s term will end after the Seattle meeting, and a new chair will be needed. During his two terms as CCSC chair, he has tried with mixed success to get more of the newer TS-SIS and CCSC members involved in the work of the committee and its working groups. As catalogers become more familiar with RDA, it is to be hoped that a new chair will be able to devote less time to RDA training and implementation issues, and more time to recruiting new and dynamic members of the committee.

    CCSC will meet twice at the AALL conference in Seattle: a general meeting of the committee, as well as a roundtable. The three CCSC working groups will also meet during the conference.

    The CCSC chair would like to thank the chairs of the three CCSC working groups: Suzanne Graham, Melissa Beck, and Cindy Spadoni. Edited versions of their reports are given below.

    3. Annual Report of the Classification and Subject Cataloging Policy Advisory Working Group to Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee of Technical Services Special Interest Section, American Association of Law Libraries 2012/2013

    Submitted by Suzanne R. Graham, CSCP Chair (with revisions by George Prager)

    3a. Identification of Crime Headings in LCSH

    In support of a proposed Library of Congress Policy Standards Division (PSD) policy change, Suzanne Graham coordinated a group of twelve volunteers from the AALL Technical Services Special Interest Section in compiling and submitting a list of 368 LCSH crime headings and one free floating subdivision. The group combed through the hierarchies of crime terms identified as “inherently legal” and terms listed under “Crime” and “Criminal law” to create the list. This list was then submitted to Libby Dechman in PSD on May 22, 2013.

    The proposed policy change will allow the subheading “Law and legislation” for crimes. Policy implementation and the updating of identified headings from the list will occur during the four- to six-month period following the week of May 27, 2013. This change should be helpful for users of these records as well as catalogers. PSD memo:

    3b. SACO Law Funnel

    As of June 30, 2013, the Law Funnel submitted eight subject heading proposals. Seven have been approved and one is not yet scheduled. Also, in June, the funnel submitted one new form/genre heading, promoting “Legislative hearings” as a break-out NT under “Legislative materials.” While this change is likely to be approved by LC, it may take a few months to come into effect.

    In November 2012, AALL Spectrum published an article highlighting the SACO Law Funnel (co-authored by George Prager and Suzanne Graham). The summer issue of TSLL features an article on classification proposals (also with reference to the SACO Law Funnel), written by Lia Contursi and Karen Wahl.

    This funnel is coordinated by Suzanne Graham, Cindy May, Kathy Lin, and Caroline Young Einlauger.

    3c. Law Form/Genre Terms

    Work continues to encourage law librarians to implement new form/genre headings into their catalogs and submit lists of OCLC numbers of updated records to Yael Mandelstam. This will be a topic of the upcoming CCSC Roundtable in Seattle. After much discussion within CSCP as well as with PSD, a decision was made to revise the genre/form term: “Commentaries (Civil law systems)” to “Law commentaries”. Accordingly, George Prager submitted a SACO revision proposal in spring 2013. The revised genre/form term was added to the authority file in early July 2013. The revised term will be applicable to a broader range of commentaries, including commentaries on laws of civil and common law countries, as well as commentaries on international laws.

    3d. 2012-2013 CSCP Members

    • Abigail Bibee, University of Michigan
    • Amalia Contursi, Columbia University
    • Pam Deemer, Emory University
    • Suzanne Graham, University of Georgia
    • Joni Herbst, University of Oregon
    • Aaron Kuperman, Library of Congress
    • Tom Latuszek, Florida Coastal School of Law
    • Melody Lembke, UC Irvine
    • Kathy Lin, UC Davis
    • Yael Mandelstam, Fordham University
    • Ellen McGrath, SUNY Buffalo
    • Pat Sayre McCoy, University of Chicago
    • Sallie Smith, University of Pittsburgh
    • Robert Rendall, Columbia University
    • Sally H. Wambold, University of Richmond
    • Caroline Young, Rutgers University
    • Ex-officio
      • Jolande Goldberg, Library of Congress
      • George Prager, New York University
        (TS-SIS Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee Chair)

    4. Descriptive Cataloging Policy Advisory Working Group (DCAG) Annual Report, 2012/2013

    Submitted by Melissa Beck, DCAG Chair (with revisions by George Prager)

    Melissa Beck is current chair of DCAG. This group works closely with John Hostage, our AALL representative to ALA’s Committee on Cataloging: Description & Access (CC:DA), providing feedback on continuing changes, updates, and new developments in RDA. John continued to keep us updated on revisions under discussion by the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) and CC:DA, and solicited our comments and suggestions as appropriate.

    A major accomplishment this year was the submission of a proposal to revise the RDA instructions for the cataloging of treaties, thanks in large part to the inspired work of John Hostage. Assisting John in his efforts were selected members of DCAG as well as other catalogers from the Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, and the Library of Congress. John successfully presented the DCAG treaty proposal to CC:DA at the American Library Association meeting in June 2013. The proposal now goes forward to the JSC, who will decide in their November 2013 meeting whether or not to approve the proposal in whole or in part. If the proposal is approved, it will then be included in a midyear 2014 update to the RDA Toolkit. In the meantime, DCAG made an interim policy recommendation to the Library of Congress and the Program for Cooperative Cataloging that all new treaty access points be created according to AACR2, and existing AACR2 treaty headings not be revised to RDA, at least not until the fate of our RDA treaty instruction proposal has been decided by the JSC. LC is in favor of our interim recommendation, and we expect it to be approved soon by the PCC Policy Committee, and to become “official” PCC interim policy. The DCAG membership has dwindled this year, mostly due to the retirement of several key members. A goal for the coming year is to re-establish and maintain a core group of expert descriptive catalogers who are willing to actively assist in further possible revisions to RDA and also to develop best practices for the cataloging of legal materials. During the work on the treaty instruction revision proposal, we were able to recruit a few new members for DCAG.

    Melissa Beck, DCAG’s chair, has been serving as the coordinator for the upcoming RDA Cataloging Cooperative Workshop, which will be held Saturday, July 13, 2013 during the AALL Annual Meeting. Four additional DCAG members will be instructors at the workshop: Lia Contursi, John Hostage, Patricia Sayre-McCoy, and George Prager.

    5. Report of the 2012/2013 activities for the Task Group on Vendor Supplied Records

    Submitted by Cindy Spadoni, VBR chair (with revisions by George Prager)

    The VBR group has been mostly quiet this year. It’s been working with Serials Solutions to try and figure out ways to reduce duplication in their database due to the scarcity of information in their brief records, primarily for monographs. The group has also worked with Proquest to help the vendor improve its records for the Legislative Insight database. The Task Group’s greatest need is helping vendors navigate RDA and the provider neutral record.

    Cindy Spadoni has indicated that she will need to step down as VBR chair after the AALL 2013 conference. While there are several very knowledgeable and active members of VBR, the group needs to expand its membership. Much work remains to be done.