CSCAG Minutes


  • 2017 Minutes (Austin)

    MONDAY, JULY 17, 2017

    Submitted by Yael Mandelstam.

    • Genre/form Hearings & Legislative hearings. There are currently two terms for hearings: Legislative hearings and Hearings, with the latter to be applied to non-legal hearings. After some discussion, the group decided to recommend to PSD to merge the two terms into the broader term Hearings.
    • Retrospective application of genre/form terms. The discussion focused on two approaches:
      • Submitting criteria to OCLC for specific genre/form terms to be applied globally to OCLC records
      • Working on genre/form implementation locally and submitting to OCLC a crosswalk containing OCLC numbers and 655 terms to be merged into OCLC records

      The first method can only be used for strategies that are foolproof, since it would be unrealistic to to go over the high number of OCLC records and remove the ones to which a given term does not apply. The second approach is slower and more cumbersome, but has to be applied to many terms for which a foolproof algorithm cannot be constructed. The group decided that the best way to move forward would be to use both approaches, as appropriate for each individual term.

      The future of this project will depend on the outcome of the reorganization of the Cataloging & Classification Committee. The options discussed at the earlier Cat & Class meeting were: keeping the working groups for descriptive and subject cataloging (DCAG and CSCAG) as is; merging them; or abolishing them altogether and handling specific projects via ad hoc groups within Cat & Class.

    • Uses of LC Demographic Group Terms (LCDGT) in authority records and potential best practices for Law.Lia Contursi talked about the anticipated creation of a new SAC subcommittee that would focus on developing best practices and training materials for the implementation of LCGFT and LCDGT. She mentioned the use of fields 375 field for gender and 374 for occupation in authority records. Lia stressed the need for law catalogers to stay engaged in the articulation of best practices for the use of LCGDT in bib and authority records and have a say on the application of terms specific to law. She will keep law catalogers abreast of future developments on the matter.
    • Project to incorporate comparative aspects into the K classification schemes. Jolande Goldberg informed the group about the creation of a new ad hoc committee named Foreign Law Enhancement of Metadata (FLEM). The new committee will review foreign terms or their translation in captions of the K classification schedules; identify law subject headings that are outdated, obfuscated, or irrelevant to the range of civil and common law or other legal systems; harmonize classification captions and subject headings introduced in the K classification; and expand/modify the KF Table for Louisiana (KFL) to reflect the Civil law in that state.

  • 2016 Minutes (Chicago)

    MONDAY, JULY 18, 2016

    Submitted by Yael Mandelstam.

    • Subject heading Illegal aliens. Lia Contursi provided the group with background on the Library of Congress’s decision to replace LCSH Illegal aliens with Unauthorized immigration paired with Noncitizens. During the comments period the SAC Working Group on the LCSH heading “Illegal aliens” submitted a proposal to use Undocumented immigrants instead of the two headings proposed by LC. Although the deadline for comments is over, Lia suggested that CSCAG provide the SAC Working Group with feedback from the law community. The discussion will continue via email.
    • Law-related demographic terms for Library of Congress Demographic Group Terms. Lia provided the group with a brief background on the new vocabulary and suggested the use of University and college faculty membersin the occupational field of name authority records (instead of using the LCSH term Law teachers). She also suggested that CSCAG propose the NT Law professors and other law-related demographic terms to the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division (PSD). The discussion will continue via email.
    • New wording for UFs Tribal by-laws and Tribal ordinances under genre/form term Statutes and codes.Although the use of the term “tribal” is still under discussion at LC, George Prager commented that UF terms don’t need to be “correct”, so the proposal to add these two UFs will be re-submitted to LC.
    • Genre/form Legal opinions. Melody Lembke and Christopher Thomas provided a brief background for proposing this term. The proposed term will be used for opinions not covered under current terms (e.g., attorneys’ opinions), and as a broad term for collections of opinions from both attorneys and judges. The scope note will include a reciprocal note for using the narrower Attorneys general’s opinions and Court decisions and opinions, when appropriate.
    • Retrospective application of genre/form terms. The group discussed some of the challenges of the project. Since no strategy is foolproof, search results need to be cleaned up before the terms can be globally added to the relevant bibliographic records, and not all catalogers have access to tools enabling this process. In response to a call for volunteers who have access to such tools, a few guests at the meeting expressed interest in contributing to this project.
    • Creating Cataloging Legal Literature (CLL4): process, structure, and special challenges. Melody Lembke described the work involved in the creation of the 4th edition of the “bible” for law catalogers, which she wrote with Melissa Beck. Melody explained the different structure of the two online parts: Part 1 is an HTML version of a word document that is arranged topically and covers various cataloging issues specific to law libraries, while Part 2 is structured as a database that is accessible via an A-Z list of cataloging and law-related terms. The latter is a new tool that provides useful information on description, subject, genre/form, classification, and examples relevant to the type of material the cataloger has in hand.
    • New business. In light of BIBFRAME developments, Lia suggested that CSCAG explore the possibility of initiating a project on a law related ontology for Linked Data. Within this context, there was also talk about the need to re-evaluate the “division of labor” between this group and DCAG–the descriptive cataloging group–since various issues now overlap and do not fit neatly into the traditional definitions of descriptive and subject cataloging.

  • 2015 Minutes (Philadelphia)

    TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2015

    Submitted by Yael Mandelstam.

    1. Application of law and and general genre/form terms locally and on OCLC: the majority of people reported that they are applying the law terms regularly, both on OCLC and locally, and a few are starting to apply the general terms as well. Some libraries train copy catalogers to add g/f terms, and others just instruct them to leave as is the terms found in the records. None of the attendees have developed documentation for training copy catalogers in the use of g/f terms. The retrospective application of terms was discussed at the end of the meeting (see below).
    2. Adding a term to LCGFT for general (non-topical) compilations of law: after a heated discussion the majority voted to add a term that will replace the soon-to-be-obsolete uniform title Laws, etc. Although the original proposal was to use the term “Compiled statutes”, some were concerned that the term was not understood by non-catalogers and that it would cause potential confusion with the broader, existing term Statutes and codes. The group decided to research this issue further and try and come up with a term that would be better understood by reference librarians and other users of the catalog.
    3. Classification “hints” project to enhance the new edition of Cataloging Legal Literature (CLL4): Melody Lembke reported that the content for the new edition will be available via a database, as well as in print format. For each term (220+), at least some of the following information will be included: definition of the term, an alert if there are cautions (similar to CLL3 “the cataloger needs to know”), description, access (RDA), subject/genre, classification, examples, links, history, and related reading.Melody asked the group’s help with classification advice for specific terms. She and Melissa Beck (her co-author) will make the list of terms available to the group so members can start jotting down ideas for classification “hints”.
    4. Aaron Kuperman reported on planned changes to the following schedules and headings: Same-sex marriage in LCC; Bankruptcy in LCC and LCSH; Economic policy in LCSH; and Computers and law in LCC.
    5. Retrospective application of genre/form terms: the group will try and collect crosswalks between OCLC numbers and genre/forms terms from libraries that have been applying the terms retrospectively. These crosswalks can then be used to enhance records in other local catalogs and in OCLC.

  • 2014 Minutes (San Antonio)

    MONDAY, JULY 14, 2014

    Submitted by Yael Mandelstam.

    CSCAG members and guests met on Monday, July 14 at 7:30 AM, and after brief introductions, proceeded with the meeting’s agenda:

    1. Report from the chair:
      • Field 751: Since genre/form terms cannot subdivide geographically, the WG considered the option of using field 751 (Added Entry-Geographic Name) to record the jurisdiction associated with the work. The WG decided not to recommend this option, and instead will explore options for continuing to record the jurisdiction in the 6xx subject fields.
      • Best Practices for the Application of Law Genre/Form Terms: The WG completed its work on this document. The law best practices will be incorporated into the Library of Congress Genre/Form Headings Manual, which is being prepared by the LC Standards and Policy Division (PSD) and the SAC Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation.
      • Retrospective application of law genre/form terms: The WG continues to develop and test strategies for identifying bibliographic records for the retrospective application of law genre/form terms. The purpose of this project is to add relevant law genre/form terms to bibliographic records on OCLC and local databases.
      • Update on LC Genre/Form Terms for library and Archival Materials (LCGFT): The SAC Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation has two subgroups working on lists of literature terms and general terms. These two lists should be incorporated into LCGFT by the end of the year. The music medium of performance terms established by the Music Library Association have already been released, and the music genre/form terms should be incorporated into LCGFT at the beginning of 2015. When released, general terms that may be relevant to law libraries (e.g., Dictionaries, Directories, Indexes) will be added to the list of law genre/form terms posted on the CSCAG site.
    2. Going forward with retrospective application of law genre/form terms: The group will continue to work on strategies for identifying bibliographic records to which specific genre/form terms should be added. The purpose of this project is to create crosswalks between the control numbers in the 001 field and the corresponding genre/form terms, which could then be merged into WorldCat records and records in local databases. CSCAG members with access to tools for testing the strategies will continue with this project. Other members will focus on the project described in #5 below.
    3. FAST headings: Ellen McGrath asked if libraries are keeping the FAST headings when loading OCLC records into their systems, and if so, how their systems are displaying/indexing these headings. Some libraries are stripping off these heading, but more reported that they are leaving the heading in the records in case they will become useful in the future, especially if used as linked data. No current display or indexing of FAST headings were reported.
    4. Adding relationship indicators in 600/610 headings: Aaron Kuperman recommended to start adding relationship indicators to name subject headings. After some discussion the group decided not to pursue this issue further.
    5. Action plan for tackling problematic/outdated subject headings: Aaron Kuperman raised the issue of subject headings that are so out of sync with the “real world” that it undermines their utility in helping users find what they are looking for. Aaron agreed to chair a working group that will examine such headings and their corresponding classification numbers, and recommend potential resolutions to PSD.
    6. New business: Melody Lembke reported that she and Melissa Beck are starting to work on a new RDA edition of Cataloging Legal Literature. Melody explained that the new prototype focuses on what the work IS (e.g., statute, treaty, treatise). The CLL will be arranged alphabetically, and once you’ll identify the type of material you need to catalog, you’ll find all the relevant information for cataloging that material in one place, including RDA descriptive rules, relevant subject headings, and genre/form terms. Some basic notes on classification will also be included. The group thanked Melody and Melissa for undertaking this important and challenging project, and offered to help at any stage of the process.

  • 2013 Minutes (Seattle)

    TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2013

    1. Meeting called to order at 7:00 AM
    2. Review of mission and update on SAC activities from Suzanne Graham (AALL liaison to ALA ALCTS CaMMS Subject Analysis Committee) Chair, Suzanne Graham, reviewed the role of the group to advise her in representing the voice of law librarians to the ALA Subject Analysis Committee.
      1. She reviewed the successful proposals submitted by SAC to MARBI this past year
        1. 385—now valid for bibliographic and authority records for audience demographics (in MARC21)
        2. 386—now valid for bibliographic and authority records for creator demographics (in MACR21)
        3. 388—now valid for authority records for chronological data of work and expressions (but not yet in MARC21)
      2. An additional discussion paper on subject treatment in RDA is still evolving and Suzanne will email this group a summary of latest draft which she just received.
    3. Questions about SAC activities and CSCP mission Although, she couldn’t speak to the details competently, Suzanne clarified that the RDA paper does not provide specific narrative to use in RDA but rather addresses the theoretical model underpinning the concept and treatment of subjects.
    4. New business
      1. Local implementation strategies of new genre/form terms
        1. Group consensus that each legal work should have only one genre/form term. For items that might have several types like a “Digest” should have the comprehensive term “Digest” applied, not also “Cases.” Commentaries should have only “Law commentaries,” not also “Statutes and codes.” We are not in favor of a 20% rule for genre assignment. In our opinion, unless evenly split into 2-3 genres by design, works will be of one genre/form.
        2. Use of these terms
          • A larger group discussion of this topic at the Roundtable the night before revealed that all but two libraries represented are using these in current cataloging (copy and original). About a third of libraries represented apply the complete list of available terms as appropriate. Most libraries work from an abbreviated list.
          • Librarians are interested in applying these retrospectively but most are not doing so.
          • Group will attempt to work through the list collaboratively, following a “term of the month” prod from Suzanne Graham (to Cat&Class community). The message should include a sample strategy with the caveat that none of the strategies are fool-proof. Each library should review the records before applying the terms. OCLC numbers of updated records should be sent to Alan Keely, who will compile and de-duplicate.
          • The complete list of strategies will also be made available to the group with the understanding that they are flawed.
      2. Evaluate use of 751 field for jurisdiction information
        1. Suzanne Graham read an email exchange between Yael Mandelstam and Aaron Kuperman that occurred just prior to the conference on this topic to catch everyone up on the current discussion.
        2. Group consensus that Yael’s arguments hold but we still have many questions. Much discussion ensued, of which major points are listed below:
          • Timing might not be right to be implementing new fields. Are we close enough to a post-MARC world to wait for a more friendly-format
          • If the 751 will help us prepare our data for linked data environment by clearly parsing this data into a more easily mappable field then we should implement
          • We would like to see examples with smaller jurisdictions, city or county-level, to see the syntax of the field
          • The largest division in the group concerned the core status of the 650 and how that affects the assignment of the 751. Would it always be required or only in the absence of 650 $z or 110/710 $e enacting jurisdiction?
            • If we always must assign a subject heading to every work, no matter how imprecise or broad, then this information should be in the $z for almost everything. We would already have a parsable subfield for mapping (Aaron’s point #2)
            • However, if we are free to omit subject headings for compilations of statutes and for constitutions, then we do need to place to record jurisdiction
          • No resolution on these large issues was possible at the meeting. The group will continue to discuss via my communities and direct email (with cross-posting by Suzanne to myCommunities)
      3. Discuss interest in assisting with creation of demographic vocabulary, Library of Congress Demographic Group Term and Code List (lcdft)
        1. Janis Young of Library of Congress Policy Standards Division submitted a discussion paper to SAC in June assessing the need and justification for the creation of a new controlled vocabulary for the new 385/386 fields.
          • Group agreed strongly that a controlled vocabulary is vital and that LCSH is not a complete solution.
          • Comments on the formation of dual ethnic, national groups supported the recommendations from SAC that these should be pre-coordinated and should be assigned only when clearly identified on the piece or from an obvious reference source.
          • The Working Group will wait for a call for volunteers to assist, should one be made, but felt that there were no law-specific contributions we could make. We could help, as Yael is with the general genre/form terms, for the larger profession. It is a worthwhile endeavor.
          • Suzanne will send our comments to Janis Young
      4. Discuss funnel activities
        1. Completely successful with our terms submitted through the funnel since its implementation last June.
        2. More administrators are encouraged. The flow is light and most proposals are 100% ready to submit. The terms have mostly involved adding “—Law and legislation” to pre-existing non-legal topics.
        3. Suzanne and Martin Wisneski will update the online funnel form to accept genre/form and classification proposals after Annual Meeting.
      5. Open floor
        1. Update from Library of Congress (Gabe Horchler)
          • Law Library down six catalogers this year, and these positions will not be filled.
          • Library of Congress is looking for new CIP partners. George Prager currently helps with all NYU Press publications in the areas of law and criminology. Catalogers with language or subject matter expertise beyond law should contact Gabe Horchler.
          • Some sections within LC have backlogs in the 10,000s, and they also could use help addressing. Again volunteers are asked to contact Gabe Horchler.
          • For both projects above, volunteers need not be in D.C. to assist. Relevant pages can be scanned and transmitted (or local collection could be used).
          • On genre/form headings, LC Law Section is assigning only to English-language materials and only from a set list of about a dozen terms (Session laws, Law digests, etc.). LC does not apply “Statutes and codes.” Assignment has gone smoothly with little discussion or confusion voiced by catalogers.
    5. Adjourned 8:15AM

    Submitted by: Suzanne Graham, 18 July 2013

  • 2012 Minutes (Boston)


    1. Welcome, review of mission and message from Ellen McGrath (AALL representative to ALA ALCTS Cataloging and Classification, Subject Analysis Committee)
      • New chair Suzanne Graham welcomed everyone to the meeting and praised past chair, Cindy May, and all members for their increased focus on serving the greater membership through our current major projects: the Genre/Form Implementation Project, the SACO Law Funnel, and the Ask-An-Expert service. She quickly reviewed our official charge and its emphasis on providing on-going guidance and support to the TS-SIS Executive Board and our SAC representative on matters of classification and subject cataloging.
      • Ellen McGrath encouraged working group members to proactively send ideas and suggestions to her so that she can best represent us to SAC. Her annual report (covering ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual meetings, 2012) is available at:
    2. Open floor for questions about progress reports
      • no questions
    3. New business
      • Call for additional volunteers to test record-identification strategies as part of Genre/Form Implementation Project–Yael Mandelstam
        • After a quick overview of the Genre/Form Implementation project, Yael Mandelstam used the term “constitutions” to demonstrate how she tests the proposed search strategies in the sample OCLC database (using a combination of MarcEdit and Excel).
        • Members were encouraged to contact Yael directly to assist with this part of the project.
      • Discuss new subject heading proposal for “Legal systems”–Suzanne Graham
        • Suzanne Graham introduced a new subject heading proposal for “Legal systems” for general discussion and evaluation. Currently, we use “Law” to cover works about the law, works of laws, and encyclopedic treatments of the law.
        • The handout had an example of each meaning of the heading (Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, United States Code Annotated, and American Jurisprudence: a Modern Comprehensive Text Statement of American Law, State and Federal) and a link to Cataloging Legal Literature 3rd edition (1997) where this situation is covered (p.493-4).
        • While the Genre/Form project eventually will disambiguate those titles that are laws from title about laws, the genre terms cannot be subdivided geographically.
        • Melody Lembke advocated in favor of the new “legal systems” heading. The multiple meanings of the subject heading “Law” have been a shortcoming and source of confusion for all users.
        • Other members noted that considerable bibliographic file maintenance would be required, but that strategies could be developed to automate the process.
        • Further discussion was tabled due to lack of time. After the conference, Suzanne will post this topic (and supporting documentation) to the Cataloging & Classification community board and solicit broader comment
      • Discuss implications of RDA relationship identifiers for 600, 610, 611—Aaron Kuperman
        • Aaron Kuperman discussed how RDA allows for much greater flexibility in the continued creation and usage of $e relationship designators for persons, families and corporate bodies in our records (see RDA Appendix I for current list).
        • He mentioned the example of a 610 $e enacting jurisdiction.
        • Currently, this practice is non-core in RDA, and Aaron urged members to consider how we could make effective use of relaters. He recommended that the Working Group prepare some guidance on use of relationship designators either through the workflow section of RDA or through lobbying for a LC/PCC Policy Statement on their implementation for legal materials.
      • Other?
        • Suzanne Graham encouraged everyone to attend the Descriptive Cataloging Policy Advisory Working Group meeting the next morning at 7:15AM. The two groups should coordinate efforts to create best practice guidance for cataloging law materials in RDA.
        • No additional topics were raised.
    4. Adjourned at 8:15AM

    Attendance: 37

    2012-2013 Membership
    Amalia Contursi, Columbia University
    Pam Deemer, Emory University
    Suzanne Graham, University of Georgia (Chair)
    Joni Herbst, University of Oregon
    Aaron Kuperman, Library of Congress
    Tom Latuszek, Florida Coastal School of Law
    Kathy Lin, UC Davis
    Melody Lembke, UC Irvine
    Yael Mandelstam, Fordham University
    Ellen McGrath, SUNY Buffalo (SAC rep)
    Robert Rendall, Columbia University
    Pat Sayre McCoy, University of Chicago
    Sallie Smith, University of Pittsburgh
    Sally H. Wambold, University of Richmond
    Caroline Young, Rutgers University
    Jolande Goldberg, Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division
    George Prager, New York University