Here are a few possible uses for an 040$b MODS element.

**  If information is transmitted to a recipient who requires a particular
language of cataloguing, one would want to be able to indicate easily that
the language requirement has been met.

**  If MODS info is to be used subsequent to transmission in some other way
(e.g., to add data to a catalogue or other compilation through a
MODS-to-MARC mapping), 040$b would provide a single flag that some info
carried in the MODS record may need to be edited (translated).

**  In some jurisdictions, it may be a legal requirement to specify the
language of cataloguing.

040$b is often regarded as a mandatory data element for multi-lingual
catalogues and other like compilations (e.g., the catalogues of Canada,
Switzerland, Finland ... indeed, probably any jurisdiction having more than
one official language).  It allows for efficient and effective processing
and manipulation of records when language of cataloguing must be taken into

If one of the objects of MODS is "for representing a simplified MARC record
in XML", then it seems appropriate to allow (even if designated optional)
this particular MARC element required in multi-lingual jurisdictions.  The
field element <xml:lang> may be sufficient for providing this information on
an as-needed basis; but including an (optional?) 040$b in MODS may support
more efficient and effective use of MODS records where and when this
particular distinction must be made often or where there is a legal
requirement to do so.

Donna Dinberg
Systems Librarian/Analyst
Government Online Task Force
National Library of Canada
Ottawa, ON   K1A 0N4
Voice:  613-995-9227
E-mail:  [log in to unmask]

<Opinions above are mine, not necessarily those of my employer.>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rebecca S. Guenther [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2002 2:53 PM
> Subject: Re: language attributes for MODS element. was (RE:
> [MODS] MODS revisions)
> No, in trying to keep MODS lightweight, we did not include
> language of cataloging as an element in MODS. We could add it
> to RecordInfo if deemed important.
> Rebecca