I think I've talked previously about what OCLC does in these cases but let
me recap using as an example the list of 10 new codes that we recently
approved (ady, arg, crh, dar, hat, inh, kbd, nog, udm, xal).
The Library of Congress, as maintenance agency for MARC 21, announced these
new codes on March 11, 2003 with an indication that subscribers to their
record distribution services should expect to see these new codes no earlier
than June 10, 2003.
These kinds of announcements for language codes set the OCLC implementation
process in motion. We were already planning for an installation in the May
timeframe for the most recent set of changes to MARC 21 so the list of new
language codes was added to the specifications for that project.
OCLC member libraries were notified of these new codes (and other MARC 21
changes) via a Technical Bulletin that was made available electronically on
April 25. The actual software changes were installed on May 18.
Since that installation, members of my staff who are responsible for
database maintenance have been identifying and changing records coded with
the codes previously used for these languages. We do that based on
information in the bibliographic records that indicate the language. Thus
far, we've changed about 2500 records associated with these codes.
Whether or not individual libraries make these same changes in records that
they have already moved into their local system databases probably depends
on how much material they have in these various languages and whether or not
they have staff available to do this kind of maintenance (something that
seems increasingly unlikely in these economic times).
From: John Clews [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, May 30, 2003 6:47 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ISOJAC] New item in ISO 639 - Southern Altai
In message <[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask] writes:
> The ISO 639 Registration Authorities' Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) has
> approved the following:
> Alpha-3 identifier: alt
> (No alpha-2 identifier has been assigned.)
> English name: Southern Altai ...
Just out of interest, how do libraries in general get to know that
ideally they should now go through all their records which have a
"tut" code (for Altaic, Other), find the ones in Southern Altaic, and
change them to "alt" in order to conform?
It's a genuine question, as "tut" no longer contains "alt."
Is there some alerting process? What do OCLC libraries, and
RLG libraries do? And what does OCLC and RLG do themselves?
And national libraries? And large university libraries?
And what's the timescale involved? And the resources?
And what are the implications of not changing any records?
All of those libraries must have this potential problem to deal with.
I'd be grateful for some ideas on this: I don't have any particular
Keytempo Limited (Information Management),
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Committee Member of ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC22/WG20: Internationalization;
Committee Member of ISO/TC37/SC2/WG1: Language Codes