Dear Friends--- I wanted to share a few thoughts I had about the current
discussion which I believe originated concerning the verification of
author cutter numbers on LC records vs. using a locally created cutter.
I may be in a minority here, but my personal view is that such
"author cutters" *should* be checked against LC's application. Here are
1) I have always considered author cutters to be a different
animal from the usual cutter number assigned based on principal access
point. The former frequently enjoy, after all, the privilege of being
printed in the schedules (once established). When one classes a title in
the H's and one is asked to cutter by "industry or trade" or by "region or
country", I believe it is current practice to verify the "cutter"
previously used. Authors should be no different.
Certainly, I *DO* think that it would indeed be an onerous task to
check every garden variety cutter against the LC file. However, not all
cutters are created equal. Also, I think that most of us may qualify our
RLIN and certainly OCLC searches to retrieve LC or National level records
2) When one alludes to the desire for greater productivity for
cataloging centers, I think that there may be a misapplication of which
cataloging centers we're talking about. My take on this phrase is that
the pcc libraries were agreeing to assure this level of quality cataloging
so that *ALL* cataloging centers having access to the pcc records would
enjoy a higher level of productivity. When institutions come to me for
information about paricipation in pcc and from Saint Louis Univ. Law
Library's 14 years of participation in national cooperative activities, I
never tell them that *THEIR* productivity will go up!!
3) Finally, I always try to consider who will be using the bib.
records we're creating. My assumption has always been that if we're doing
national level records, other libraries using this data we create are
assured that they would be able to accept key elements (such as author
cutters), without further verification. If they cannot, where are the
greater library world savings? Granted, we needed to spend time checking
the number once (something I thought we all agreed to do when we signed on
to pcc). If we didn't check when we created the record, we're obliging
the 200 or more other libraries who will use that record to check the same
number. Furthermore, if there is inconsistency in verification among pcc
libraries, then it will be as if *NONE* of them verify. The library
community will be constrained to check every single time .... hardly an
advantage over the state of affairs before pcc!!!
Richard C. Amelung (314) 977-2743
Head of Technical Services Fax: (314) 977-3966
Saint Louis University Law Library
3700 Lindell Blvd. E-mail: [log in to unmask]
St. Louis, Missouri 63108
On Thu, 24 Sep 1998, Pat Williams wrote:
> 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.
> Pat Williams
> Asst. Head, Cataloging Dept.
> University of Chicago Library