Amen, Angelina. Let's face it: the documentation is all over the place
and the only unified access is through Catalogers' Desktop which many
catalogers find difficult to use, if they have it at all (Is it a
requirement for PCC membership to have a subscription?).
To tell us that the NACO manual is not authoritative is, first of all,
outrageous and second of all, doesn't solve the problem. We do not have
time to waste using non-authoritative documentation. If it's not
authoritative, something needs to be done beyond sending out an email
declaring it as such. It needs to be made authoritative or taken down
altogether or something needs to be added to it to refer catalogers to
later modifications in other places. We need to stop acting like it is
OK to make catalogers go to several sources to piece together
instructions. We don't have time for this. It doesn't yield consistent
results and it's not sustainable.
I realize that the largest burden of documentation falls on LC staff and
I do sympathize with the weight of that burden. But I think the PCC
approach to documentation is somewhat mired in LC's traditional
practices for keeping its own catalogers up-to-date, with PCC members
left to figure it out through a combination of PCC documentation (e.g.,
NACO manual) that duplicates some but not all of LC's own documentation
(e.g., Z1), and now we find out that some of it is not to be considered
authoritative. What other PCC documentation is not authoritative?
Maybe we need to abandon the approach of editions of manuals and turn
our tools into electronic integrating resources that can be more easily
kept up-to-date. So, when somebody points out that the NACO manual has
some outdated information we could say "let's fix it" instead of "don't
In its early days, the PCC made a big point of trying to be mindful of
economy as a consideration in its policies and practices. I think it's
time that we recommit to this and adopt an approach that Ranganathan
might have worded as: save the time of the cataloger.
Joseph, Angelina wrote:
>Many times I feel that I am groping in dark for information. I am not
>successful all the time in using the Catalogers' desktop.
>Today I cannot log into it at all. Anita is not there today to help me.
>I would like to know if I should print out the copies of BFM, Z1, etc.,
>but since they area being updated constantly
>paper records may not be a good ides.
>What is BFM? I don't even know what it is.
>I am trying to see the $u in the 670 field for referring to an Internet
>resource. The examples in p.59 is not that helpful.
>Milwaukee, WI 53201