For what it's worth, I would like to express my endorsement of Willy
Cromwell-Kessler's earlier interpretation of the BIBCO policy of applying
LC classification. As a veteran of NCCP, as well as previous cataloging
projects with LC, I am aware of the potential drawbacks of requiring PCC
libraries to vet any new cutter numbers, whether for authors, artists,
musicians, or other subjects, against LC's shelflist before using them in a
nationally-coded record. This could become a time-consuming requirement,
and one that is calculated to deter libraries from expanding their PCC
contributions. I believe that such a requirement would be
counterproductive to the spirit and goals of PCC, which aim to foster
creation of high quality records in a timely manner, but without imposing
extra obligations on participating libraries. I agree with Willy that the
use of the indicator 4 in the 050 should be sufficient indication to
libraries that the call number was not assigned by LC, and is subject to
change if LC uses and reissues the record.
Also, as a cataloging supervisor responsible for high productivity of a
thinly-staffed unit, I would feel compelled to discourage catalogers in my
library from contributing PCC coded records, if there was an additional
obligation to obtain LC approval for any subject cutters new to the
classification schedules. I would also hazard a guess that LC staff would
be equally reluctant to see such a requirement enforced, given the
workloads they already have. I believe that the potential usefulness to
all libraries of records coded as PCC and produced in a timely fashion is
more important than expending time to ensure that the cuttering complies
strictly with the LC shelflist.
Further streamlining of the process of proposing new classifications and
cutters would certainly ease future compliance with a requirement to
strictly follow LC subject cutters, but at present I think the goals of PCC
are better served by following Willy's initial interpretation of the BIBCO
call number policy.
Asst. Head, Cataloging Dept.
University of Chicago Library