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BIBCO  September 1998

BIBCO September 1998

Subject:

Re: Point taken, point missed

From:

Adam Schiff <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 25 Sep 1998 15:58:57 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (70 lines)

> If the cataloger cannot find such a cutter, it seems to me
> that there are 3 options:
>
> 1)  make up a plausible cutter and use it in the record, and forget about
> coding the record PCC, even though it may comply with all other PCC
> requirements;
>
> 2)  make up a plausible cutter and send it in to SACO as a proposal, and
> wait for a reply to finalize the cataloging;
>
> 3)   make up a plausible cutter, use it in the record, and code the record
> PCC because the record is in compliance with all the other requirements for
> PCC.
>

It is my belief that to code a record as PCC, the classification part of
the call number must be explicitly found in the LC Classification
Schedules or in the LC Shelflist (e.g. in the case of biography numbers
and author numbers).  For records we are coding as PCC, when we need to
classify something that is in a class. that is Cuttered A-Z in some way,
and that Cutter is not in the published schedules, we either send an email
to LC asking them to provide a Cutter from their shelflist or we submit a
SACO proposal to get a specific number established for a topic.  The
shelflisting request usually takes no more than a day or two and by doing
this we help ensure that the next book that LC catalogs on the same topic
or person will be given the same base classification, since LC will
record in its shelflist the number they have provided to us.

I agree with others that there must be some way to expedite other SACO
classification proposals, since we have frequently had to hold on to items
1-3 months (or more in some rarer cases) while waiting for LC to approve a
SACO proposal, even simple ones where only a Cutter number needs to be
established.  The PCC and SACO programs can't thrive with such delays.  I
don't think it's the PCC requirement that would prohibit libraries from
joining but the current lack of a way to submit class. proposals
electronically and the lengthy delays involved with getting them processed
and approved.  In the cases where all we need is a new Cutter in
an established class, there must be a quicker way to get these onto the
Weekly Lists.

I appreciate the need to work cooperatively and to get records out in a
timely manner, but I think there still IS something to be said for
consistency in classification.  Like most libraries, we don't check
records accept via quick cataloging to see that a book is shelflisted so
that every item on the shelf is in perfect alphabetical order by main
entry. But I think we should be concerned that we use consistent class.
numbers when we can.  This does serve users well I believe.

If a library doesn't want to take the time to establish a Cutter via SACO
or consult the LC shelflist, then my opinion is that under current policy,
the option that must be followed above is number 1, not to code the record
as PCC.  Obviously there is some disagreement about this amongst my
colleagues.  I would strongly urge us to find a way to make the SACO
process faster so that we can get class. numbers established more quickly.
This would provide better consistency in our shared records without doing a
disserve to our clients by not producing timely records.  There must be a
better balance we can strike.


**************************************
* Adam L. Schiff                     *
* Principal Cataloger                *
* University of Washington Libraries *
* Box 352900                         *
* Seattle, WA 98195-2900             *
* (206) 543-8409                     *
* (206) 685-8782 fax                 *
* [log in to unmask]           *
**************************************

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