LC series decision: PCC action
The PCC Policy Committee (PoCo) was notified by LC about LC’s series
decision on April 20, one day before the announcement was sent to the
PCCLIST. The BIBCO and Operations Committees met the following Thursday
and Friday, and I was glad to see that the program coordinators redid the
agendas to accommodate some discussion of the series decision. In joint
session, the groups spent about 45 minutes on the issue, first with a
brief overview by Maureen Landry (LC, acting PCC Secretariat), followed by
open discussion. I believe that we conveyed the major concerns to Maureen,
and that she understood them. In order for our concerns to be on record,
and to ensure that our concerns reached higher levels in LC, I suggested
that we make a motion recommending that PoCo convey our concerns to LC on
the matter. The motion was made, expanded, discussed, and passed
unanimously, despite strong objections from Mark Watson (PCC Chair). The
text of the motion appears in the Operations Committee meeting summary at
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/bibco/opco06.html#jseries. We also agreed
that there would be no immediate change in PCC policy
I think we have a number of things to do.
1. PoCo needs to decide whether to follow our recommendation to
communicate with LC or not, and to let the rest of PCC know what it
decided to do.
2. PoCo should flesh out how PCC will carry out the second part of the
motion, on evaluation PCC series practices.
3. We need to decide what changes if any should be made to PCC series
Should we continue to allow PCC members to
create and maintain series authority records?
use series headings in bibliographic records?
(I would say yes to both of those.)
Should we incorporate any change in practice for series bibliographic
Should we define a new minimal-level series authority record?
What should we do about LC and other treatment decision in series
4. We need to fine a new home for series documentation and training,
5. We need to determine more specifically what the relationship really is
between PCC and LC, and document and communicate it more explicitly.
6. PCC needs to decide whether it really wants a Standing Committee on
Standards, and if so what the committee’s role should be. I and many of my
committee members have felt very frustrated in dealing with PoCo the last
few years. We have been jerked around on what we should or should not be
doing. We have been excluded from several PCC standards issues during my
tenure, series policies being only one. Note that in no communication from
Mark has there been a mention of SCS.
7. We need once and for all decide what is the definition of a PCC record,
what specified types of PCC records we should have, and how records are
identified as being PCC. I believe that many problems we’ve had the last
few years might not have happened if we had been clear on these issues all
8. I agree with Mark that “an open, candid panel discussion on these
issues with the opportunity for audience interaction” would be a very good
topic for the PCC Participants’ Meeting in New Orleans.” I hope we get a
large attendance and active forward-thinking interaction.
9. We need to assess the implications of LC’s decision on PCC membership.
The 1994 CCC Series Authority Record Task Group Final Report noted: “For
any national program, the closer national product is to what we would do
locally in the first place, the more attractive participation will be.”
Will the decreasing leadership from LC and discontinuation of series
authority work reduce perceived benefits to PCC participation? Will we
lose members? If so, how should PCC respond?
10. PCC’s current mission states that the Program will “provide leadership
in the national and international information community.” We have been
grossly negligent in this area. We need to lead, or remove leadership from
Rachel Wadham (Brigham Young) wrote: “I feel that the PCC is at a critical
cross roads, we need to position ourselves as an organization for the
future. I think it now up to the PCC to take the role LC has held .... LC
has the right to make decisions for their own collections, but the PCC
needs to make decisions that are best for the whole cataloging community.
This is a very critical crossroads and I feel that a poor decision at this
point for the PCC could mean that the PCC will no longer be a viable force
in the cataloging world and we will have to cease any cooperative effort
at all. It is now up to us to decide if the PCC will die or if it will be
a vital force into the future. I hope that more discussions will take
place and that the PCC will make an informed decision.” I wholeheartedly
agree. I predict that what PCC does in the next year will likely make or
break the organization.
Paul J. Weiss
Chair, PCC Standing Committee on Standards