Please excuse the duplication of this notice but since it has a short
deadline we wanted to make sure everyone saw it. Thanks.
Request for Comments Regarding Pinyin Word-Division Proposal
In order to provide better service to library users, the
Library of Congress has announced its intention to adopt the
pinyin system of romanization of Chinese -- anticipated for the
year 2000. Planning is well underway. In this regard, draft
guidelines for the romanization of Chinese using the pinyin
system, intended to be included in the ALA-LC Romanization Tables
in place of the Wade-Giles system, have been circulated to the
library community for comment. The guidelines are intended to
serve the bibliographic and information needs of the Library, as
well as the interests of the wider library community.
In romanizing Chinese up to the present time, individual
syllables have been separated from each other, with few
exceptions. However, the Pinyin Task Force of the Council on
East Asian Libraries (CEAL) has recommended that, in implementing
the new guidelines, libraries should adopt Chinese romanization
rules and connect or aggregate individual Chinese syllables.
They also have recommended that, in converting existing files to
pinyin, Chinese syllables be aggregated or connected to conform
with Chinese romanization rules.
The Library is currently considering whether it will adopt
this recommendation. In order to fully evaluate the effects of
the change to aggregation or connection of individual syllables,
we need to identify how this new practice would affect Library
operations, as well as effects on the wider library community.
If you feel that the connection or aggregation of individual
syllables will adversely affect the Library's operations in the
future, please communicate with us, providing specific examples
of adverse impact that the Library would experience. For
example, please address such issues as:
- convenience for library users
- facility and accuracy of computer searching
- consistency of application
- consistency between pre-conversion and post-conversion
- consistency between bibliographic and authority records
- exchange of bibliographic data
Also please reply if you wish to register support of the
CEAL proposal stated above or bring to our attention any other
aspect of the word-division issue.
Please respond to this message by May 31 to:
Philip Melzer, Team Leader
Korean-Chinese Cataloging Team
Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division
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fax: (202) 707-2824