Below please find a copy of a message that I have asked Judith Hopkins to
post on Autocat. The BIBCO Operations Committee composed this message to
answer a posting that appeared on Autocat about the quality of BIBCO
bibliographic records. I hope that this message appears on Autocat today.
Head, Cataloging Dept.
University of Colorado at Boulder
Internet: [log in to unmask]
In April, a message appeared on Autocat inquiring about the quality of
Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) records. The PCC/BIBCO
Operations Committee would like to respond to that message.
The PCC is a participant based cooperative program dedicated to the
value of timely access and cost effectiveness in cataloging. The
hallmark of a PCC bibliographic record is that each access point used in
a record is represented by a national level authority record.
Access to bibliographic material by library users is chiefly through
subject and name access points, and it is an accepted fact that the
creation and verification of authorized headings for these access points
are the most costly aspects of cataloging. Since its inception in 1995,
BIBCO, the bibliographic record component of the PCC, has contributed over
115,000 bibliographic records to the pool of available cataloging.
PCC libraries creating national level bibliographic records are
libraries that are independent in NACO for the creation of national
level name authority records and have been through BIBCO training.
BIBCO training consists of a two or three day session that covers the
creation of national level bibliographic records. After a library is
trained in BIBCO, the trainer reviews its records for a period of time
to ensure that the standards set for BIBCO are followed. After this
review period, the library is declared independent in its contributions.
This process is very similar to achieving independence in the creation
of national level name and series authority records. A key component of
the BIBCO training is an emphasis on the need for catalogers to exercise
judgment in the creation of bibliographic records while accommodating
local needs. It is also worth noting that those PCC libraries that work
in OCLC are also National Level Enhance libraries, which means that their
cataloging has been reviewed by OCLC and determined to be of high quality
While the PCC/BIBCO participants produce quality records, so long as
human beings are involved in any aspect of cataloging, errors will occur
from time to time. Each participating institution has its own methods
for reviewing contributed records (after independence is achieved). The
PCC web site has the names of the BIBCO contacts (including e-mail
addresses) at the participating institutions. Please look
at the PCC web pages (specific address for BIBCO Liaisons:
http://www.lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/bibcoliaisons.html) and send a
message or query regarding records that have problems created by a
specific library to the library contact listed.
Please be aware that independent BIBCO libraries that have submitted
subject heading proposals are pre-authorized to use those headings in
their bibliographic records. If a subject heading is not approved as
proposed, the libraries then adjust that heading in the bibliographic
record. Thus, one may see LC subject headings in PCC bibliographic
records that do not yet have corresponding subject authority records.
Of course, the subject authority records will subsequently appear in the
national authority file after approval. There is also a difference in
when series authority records are required based on whether a core
record or a full bibliographic record is created. Please see the
documents on core records also on the PCC web pages (Core for Books:
http://lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/corebook.html). The notes for the core
book record describe when a series authority record is required and when
an authority record is not required.
When participating libraries find problems with each other's records, we
follow the above mentioned process for notifying each other. All
participating libraries are committed to creating and maintaining
quality records and to the ideal that the timely contribution of PCC
records is a benefit to the cataloging community. We invite you to read
more about the PCC by visiting our web site at