In responding below, I have abstracted your well-written and
comprehensive message without, I hope, any loss of meaning.
On Fri, 25 Jul 2008, Arakawa, Steven wrote:
> We have ... concluded that the ... indicator coding used in 246 could be
> simplified to 246 3_ for all ... forms ...
BIBCO core policy on 260 field could be interpreted to refer only to the
content of the variable field and not to the tagging. It states: "Use
judgment in assessing each item or collection and assign a complement of
title variants that covers variations deemed important and coded as
appropriate. The importance of title variant access information is
intended to reflect individual cataloger's judgment and/or local
institutional policy" [see
Rather than entirely eliminating the utility of the 2nd indicator, it
would be more practical to simplify the definition of 2nd indicator
"[blank]" to "no type specified" without the present additional caveats,
or to "assume" that those caveats ["Use with $i when ..." and "Use also
for ..."] are permissive rather than compulsory [the word "only" is not
Any discussion of such issues requires consideration of whether you are
creating catalog records that hundreds of libraries and their catalogers
(perhaps more than users of the books being cataloged in some cases?) may
wish to utilize in collaboration (eg. from OCLC) or records that will be
in your own local catalog only (certainly not true of LC records). For
the latter, of course, "anything goes."
The issue recapitulates a problem apparent in the recent AUTOCAT thread
"I heard a rumor re. 440 field ...", e.g., that it takes more time and
expense to discuss and devolve the cataloging practice and teach and
enforce the change of practice than it does to simply continue to
implement the existing practice, *and* the devolvements result in loss of
record utility (albeit mostly to catalogers?).
The same applies to locally devolving from full-level cataloging to
"core" cataloging simply for local monetary benefit. No adequate
econometric studies have been done on local practice changes to
demonstrate such a benefit, and any such studies involving all libraries
affected would show negative economic impacts.
Also on "core" cataloging, there was a recent AUTOCAT discussion about
the complexity and expense of libraries having to make multiple data
upgrades to incomplete and/or inadequate records as opposed to the
universal value of original records being full level and correct (OK, that
grousing was mainly about vendor records, but the same applies).
> Both in committee & when I held training workshops for the department, a
> number of working catalogers expressed the opinion that the simplified
> coding would make our cataloging more efficient.
I just entered 310 260-field 2nd indicators, a year's supply, in the
same time it took just to read your original message [grin].
John G. Marr
Univ. of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
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