I am forwarding the following message to PCCLIST and CONSRLST with the
blessings of the author. There are some points that I think it would be
helpful to keep in mind, as we prepare ourselves for discussion later this
week at OpCo.
Kevin M. Randall
Head of Serials Cataloging
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-2300
email: [log in to unmask]
phone: (847) 491-2939
fax: (847) 491-4345
>Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 14:31:15 -0500
>Sender: OCLC-Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>
>From: "Sanchez, Elaine R" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Re: [OCLC-CAT] LC series announcement : followup
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Hello everyone. This is just a little follow-up with my question
>regarding stopping LC's series and the idea of LCSH dismantlement. I'm
>basically ignorant of law things, but I do know when something is put
>across this fast, without prior notice, that the folks putting this out
>knew it would raise a heck of a lot of ire, and it was basically wrong
>-- mainly because it is a reversal of the prior (sort of) role of LC to
>be a model national cataloging library/agency, setting standards for
>I did a little looking on their web page. LC has a whole slew of goals
>and objectives, and a mission statement. The library reports to the
>Joint Committee on the Library, "which has been composed of the chairman
>(or designee) and four members each from the Senate Committee on Rules
>and Administration and the Committee on House Administration. The
>chairmanship and vice chairmanship alternate between the House and
>Senate every Congress." Source: http://www.loc.gov/about/history/
>The mission statement of the Library of Congress is:
>"The Library's mission is to make its resources available and useful to
>the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a
>universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future
>These actions seem to be a reversal to the statement of preserving a
>universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations,
>as many of its resources, contained in series, will no longer be
>available as easily. If LCSH is dismantled, as suggested in the Calhoun
>report, this mission will have been given away. In regard to libraries
>in the U.S., many will no longer be able to provide series access: Many
>libraries, and some ILS, will not have the time, funds or capability to
>add 490s into title indexes, especially given the implementation date of
>May 1, 2006. If LCSH is no longer used, I can't even imagine the
>Strategic goals and objectives of the Library of Congress are found on
>There are about 17 goals. Some involve other libraries that LC supports,
>some are personnel objectives, and one notably is a business-oriented
>goal; about 3 goals deal with the digital initiatives of the Library of
>Congress. Several deal with collections and reference services. All
>stress that LC is a national library, which strives for cooperation.
>Here is the most pertinent goal, in my opinion, which LC, by its actions
>with this change in series, and without prior warning or request for
>input, has ignored:
>Lead, promote, and support the growth and influence of the national and
>international library and information communities.
>A. Planned Outcome: Effective standards, policies, guidance, and
>infrastructure that advance the value and capabilities of libraries and
>archives world wide.
>B. Objectives of Library Services, National Library Program:
>1. Provide leadership in defining and disseminating standards,
>protocols, and best practices.
>2. Provide or secure methods for sharing knowledge resources,
>preservation responsibilities, and associated costs among members of the
>library and information community.
>3. Provide processes and methods for promoting collaboration among, and
>contributions by, members of the library and information community.
>4. Advance librarianship and the value added by libraries worldwide.
>C. Performance Measures:
>1. Number and range of outreach activities (e.g., conferences, meetings,
>white papers, presentations, follow-up actions completed.)
>2. Number of professional education activities (e.g., continuing
>education opportunities, work-related courses) conducted by National
>3. Number of information standards and protocols which the National
>Library has a leadership role in developing and maintaining.
>4. Number of libraries with which the National Library shares cataloging
>or conducts joint acquisitions or preservation projects.
>5. Feedback from national and international library and information
>6. Feedback from National Library customers, as a measure of public
>awareness of the value of the Library to the nation.
>Providing outreach is great. Digitizing collections is great. Providing
>adequate bibliographic control and description and authority control is
>great, too. So is gathering "Feedback from national and international
>library and information communities." LC needs to rethink its decision,
>gather input from all of us, and realize its role in providing
>leadership is not only in digitization, but also, and more directly, in
>the day to day critical areas of cataloging and authority control, which
>directly affects libraries in the U.S. and the world.