I want to congratulate you on putting together this report. I think
you have incorporated most of the concerns and comments that I have
seen (or made). Thanks for all the hard work.

I think I saw one place you need to add "to". It is at my page 6.
The paragraph starts: One member of the task group... The sentence
reads: The NACO and BIBCO training programs include introductions
SACO. I think you meant to have 'to' before SACO.

Excellent work and hope you feel better.

Mary Charles

--On Friday, October 24, 2003 8:11 AM -0400 Jimmie Lundgren
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Dear SACO Task Group,
>         I have rewritten the report and integrated your input as
> well as I could, and I believe the version of the report below to
> be final in the substantive sense (I may fix a stray typo or
> something still). If you differ on any significant point, please
> be very quick to speak up about it else as I said this is the
> "final" version of the report. I very much appreciate all of the
> input you gave me. I feel the report has been a truly
> collaborative effort and is much better as a result of your help.
>         Ana Cristan needs to have the report by Monday at the
> latest, and it is my intention to send it to her later today. I
> managed to give myself the flu by getting a flu shot, so I will
> probably go home early. Maybe I can get some sleep. Last night
> some coyotes kept yipping all night and waking up my Irish
> Wolfhound Sir Giles who insisted on going out into the yard each
> time and telling them that he was bigger and they should go away.
>         It has been wonderful getting to know each of you or
> getting to know you better through our work together. Thanks
> again for all your help and support. Best regards,
> Jimmie
> SACO Program Development:
> Final Report of a PCC Task Group
> The SACO Program has been providing a way for other librarians to
> join with librarians at the Library of Congress to propose new
> and changed Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and new
> and changed class numbers for Library of Congress Classification
> schedules (LCC) needed for works they catalog for more than 10
> years now. Through SACO many useful changes and additions have
> been proposed and adopted over this time, and the often-heard
> criticism that LCSH is unresponsive to change can be answered.
> The number of these proposals has grown to over 3000 in fiscal
> year 2002, (see graph at
> <> )
> Librarians participating in SACO have been proud to contribute in
> this way and grateful to be able to use the new and changed
> headings needed in their cataloging.
> The PCC Task Group on SACO Program Development was formed and
> received its charge in February 2003. The group's charge has been
> to address the following points:
> 1) To identify institutional/participant needs to facilitate
> subject proposal contributions for inclusion in LCSH.
> 2) To recommend parameters for membership in SACO
> 3) To propose a list of responsibilities that accompany SACO
> membership, both from the PCC and the participant perspective.
> In addition, the Task Group was asked to provide recommendations
> that:         1)      Outline a SACO training scenario, including
> what responsibilities the PCC has in providing/sharing the
> existing subject cataloging documentation or some which might be
> newly developed.         2)      Suggest a mechanism for
> facilitating the contribution and distribution of subject
> proposals among subject trainers and training institutions for
> internal review, for final review by LC editorial review staff,
> and for distribution of approved headings to the community at
> large.         3)      Identify whose responsibility it should be
> to implement each of the elements described.
> The mandate for this work grew out of discussions about SACO at
> the November 2002 PCC Policy Committee. It also followed a
> commissioned study completed at the Library of Congress by
> Charles Fenly in July 2002, which examined the SACO program
> workflow in some detail and outlined possible improvements.
> The SACO Program has so far avoided the formalities of
> institutional membership characteristic of CONSER, BIBCO and
> NACO. It has thus been correctly perceived as the most open and
> egalitarian wing of the PCC. However, as the program has grown,
> inconsistencies in quantity and quality of subject authorities
> proposed and in support provided by participant libraries,
> including the Library of Congress, have been observed.
> The task group members have been aware of the strengths and
> weaknesses of the SACO program to this point in time both through
> study of the reports and our own experiences with participating
> in SACO, and are united in our desire to provide recommendations
> which will support the emergence of a new and even better SACO
> program. In this spirit we submit the following.
> Summary of Recommendations
> Briefly, the group recommends the following actions be taken.
>         a.      That the SACO Program be expanded to include
> formally affiliated SACO Membership as well as the less
> structured SACO Participation already in place. Letters of two
> kinds regarding the new option of SACO Membership should be sent
> to all current participants in the PCC. One letter should be sent
> to those who have contributed at least 5 subject or
> classification proposals in a past year thanking them for their
> past contributions and welcoming them for being among the first
> libraries to be full SACO Members. It should also describe the
> benefits and responsibilities of staying in the program and
> request written confirmation of their appointed liaison to the
> program and their intention to continue. A different letter
> should be sent to the rest of the PCC libraries announcing the
> opportunity to become SACO Members, describing the benefits and
> responsibilities of membership, and inviting those interested to
> apply. Either applying or confirming acceptance of membership
> status would be a means for libraries to make an official
> commitment to support and become fuller partners in the SACO
> Program as Members. Membership responsibilities and benefits
> should include acceptance of policies as outlined in the Subject
> Cataloging Manual, LCSH, LCC, and the SACO Contributors Manual;
> contributing at least 5 subjects, classifications or changes to
> subjects or classifications each year; special training
> opportunities and access to documentation to be developed, and
> access to use of the utilities as a mechanism of contribution and
> distribution for subjects. The announcement should also point out
> that libraries not choosing to become SACO Members at this time
> would continue to be appreciated as SACO Participants and be able
> to contribute proposals as they have in the past.
>         b.      That a utility-based submission and distribution
> option be developed through both RLIN and OCLC by the leadership
> of the PCC in order to facilitate subject proposals for LCSH. The
> currently used web-form should also be improved to allow for
> entering data, saving and later submission, and the options of
> fax and email submission should also remain viable.  It is hoped
> that a web-form for classification proposals will become available
> also.
>         c.      That appropriate resources be allocated towards
> the training of SACO Members and towards expediting their
> proposals.   One promising avenue for enhancing SACO members'
> skills would be to develop a web-based training program under the
> coordination of the PCC Training Committee.         d.      That
> the SACO discussion list be employed to a greater extent than it
> has been for sharing and peer-consultation among SACO members.
>         e.      That a provision be developed for the on-going
> update of the SACO Participants' Manual. This should be referred
> to the PCC Training Committee.
> The cooperation of various parts of the PCC will be needed for
> this plan to succeed, and the task group solicits energetic and
> positive responses to our recommendations for SACO Program
> development.
> SACO Membership
> The idea of a membership level of participation for libraries
> proposing classifications and subject headings constitutes a new
> and exciting opportunity for libraries to cooperate in growth and
> management of LC subject and classification tools. Libraries
> choosing to become members will move from a more casual approach
> to one that is more committed and coherent.
> Since SACO has not to this point been an institution-based
> membership program, it is intended that defining it as such will
> help to make it a better program and certainly make it more
> consistent with other elements of the PCC. Therefore, the task
> group has worked to determine the best ways to define SACO
> Membership and its corresponding privileges and responsibilities
> as part of the SACO Program. The task group recommends strongly
> that those current SACO Participants who do not become SACO
> Members be allowed and encouraged to continue to propose new
> headings as that enriches LCSH and benefits all of us. The new
> SACO Program as proposed will thus include two levels of
> involvement: SACO Member and SACO Participant. SACO Participants
> will see little change from their current workflow. SACO Members
> will be distinguished by newly defined privileges and
> responsibilities.
> In SACO, any librarian may now submit subject or classification
> proposals and have them considered by LC for inclusion in LCSH or
> LCC. No formal agreement or commitment on the part of the
> contributing library has been required for SACO Participants. The
> Library of Congress owns and maintains editorial control of LCSH
> and will continue to do so. All changes and additions going into
> both print and electronic versions of LCSH are approved by the
> Subject Headings Editorial team (SHED) at the Library of Congress
> before final acceptance to assure effectiveness, accuracy and
> coherence of the body of subjects as a whole. This differs from
> the NACO program in which member libraries after their training
> and review period are able to contribute individual name and
> series authority records without specific review at LC.
> Membership Benefits
> The task group discussed the various benefits they have enjoyed
> as SACO Participants and tried to identify some that can be
> developed further for SACO Members. The primary satisfactions
> inherent in developing the proposals and being able to use them
> after approval will continue to reward both SACO Members and SACO
> Participants. The intellectual stimulation and challenge derived
> from learning enough about a concept to propose it as a subject
> can be richly rewarding in itself, and being able to provide
> better subject analysis for our patrons is part of what we strive
> for everyday.
> Utility-based submission of subject authority records to SHED at
> LC (which retains final editorial review) should become a
> privilege limited to those libraries willing to accept the
> responsibilities of being SACO Members. Not all SACO Members will
> have access to the utilities so some will need to continue to
> rely on use of the web-based form, emailing, or faxing proposals.
> Formalized SACO Membership will enable the PCC to provide the
> utilities (OCLC and RLIN) with lists of their members who should
> be given subject authority submission capability. The ability to
> create and save the record prior to full completion while
> additional documentation may be acquired and in-house reviewing
> takes place can greatly facilitate the clerical aspects of
> proposing subject headings. This will allow individual catalogers
> in a library to develop proposals for new subject headings or
> changes to existing headings as they encounter a need for them in
> their cataloging and save their records, which could then be
> reviewed and possibly improved upon somewhat by the
> more-experienced SACO coordinator before submission without
> forcing the coordinator to re-key the entire proposal. Submission
> via the utilities will also provide a good method to include
> diacritics correctly when they are needed. When necessary,
> similar reviewing and editing by other LC staff or funnel project
> coordinators prior to CPSO consideration would also be
> facilitated. In addition, the ability to use macros or record
> generation software like those used to assemble basic authority
> records for names and series based on the bibliographic record
> cataloged could be developed and contribute both to efficiency
> and to reduction in typographical errors on proposals. Since the
> delays and inconvenience previously associated with proposing
> subject headings seem to have been barriers to proposing more and
> better subject headings, these options could result in
> significant improvements to both the quantity and quality of
> headings submitted through the SACO program. It is hoped that
> these improvements in the processes used for preparing and
> presenting the proposals will result in quicker approval and
> availability of the new and changed subject headings proposed by
> SACO Members.  It is especially hoped that utilities-based
> submission as a benefit of SACO Membership will serve as a
> pragmatic means to encourage more libraries to join.
> Another meaningful incentive for libraries that will be members
> of the SACO program through formal agreement could be greater
> timeliness of proposal consideration and adoption. Streamlining
> the procedures for approving proposals from SACO Members based on
> the expectation of reliably good quality proposal preparation and
> delivery of records in MARC format already validated by the
> utilities will be key to applying staff resources to
> consideration of an increasing volume of proposals. The
> possibility of accepting some types of proposals without further
> review has promise, but will need to be carefully explored and
> developed subsequent to establishment of the membership option.
> Similarly, participation of some SACO Members as coordinators of
> funnel projects has appealing aspects that the task group
> recommends for future consideration.
> The group did not as a whole see provision of documentation as a
> significant incentive to SACO participation. However, a discount
> on subscriptions to Catalogers' Desktop or a print copy of the
> SACO Participant's Manual would be a welcome benefit. In general
> the documentation needed for SACO proposing is either that
> already needed for cataloging such as LCSH or the Subject
> Cataloging Manual. By exception, international libraries often
> lack access to SCM and to some of the tools preferred for
> supporting subject proposals. The excellent SACO Participants
> Manual developed by Adam Schiff is freely available online from
> the SACO Homepage at
> <> and now in both English
> and Spanish. It will need to be kept up-to-date, and the task
> group is referring this matter to the PCC Standing Committee on
> Training for coordinating this.
> The last benefit specific to SACO Members is the added prestige
> associated with being called SACO Members. It is hoped that this
> help to persuade some libraries to join the program.
> Responsibilities of Membership
> SACO Member libraries should have their responsibilities defined
> in their agreement with the PCC. They are responsible for
> preparation and submission of the proposal according to the
> established form and procedures (careful paperwork). We could
> amplify this to say that this includes thorough understanding and
> use of the Subject Cataloging Manual, the SACO Participants'
> Manual and relevant reference sources.  We need to realize and
> let our staff and administrators know that this can be a time
> consuming task.  The time aspect should be covered in training
> sessions as well. Better understanding of subject proposal
> requirements can help prevent the deflating experience of having
> a proposal returned with notes about further research that is
> needed from the SACO coordinator or from PCC staff. Putting a bit
> more emphasis on this aspect of the work and the corresponding
> benefit to other catalogers, public services, etc. would be
> helpful and would encourage participation. While SACO Members are
> responsible for trying to do as many SACO proposals as possible
> and as needed to perform quality cataloging, they must also
> realize their own limitations, especially for subject or language
> expertise that might be needed in a particular proposal. SACO
> Members are also responsible for realizing when a proposal or an
> update may necessitate changes to other headings already in the
> file and making proposals for these updates as well.  It is
> rewarding for staff when they see they've improved a few related
> headings.
> It would be helpful to put forth a required training program for
> SACO Members, but the task group was not able at this point in
> time to do so in a fair and practical way. Clearly SACO Members
> will vary in their backgrounds and levels of experience with
> subject and classification proposals, and each will need to be
> responsible for identifying  their particular training
> requirements. Possibly after further development and
> implementation of training programs for SACO a standard minimum
> requirement can be defined and expected of new SACO Members.
> It is a reasonable idea and consistent with expectations for NACO
> members to establish a quota of annual submissions for subject
> proposals as a membership requirement. This has generated little
> enthusiasm in the group, which included several members whose
> libraries have contributed subject headings at a very low rate.
> However, we are aware of the burden that can be placed on Coop
> staff-members by, "time-consuming inquiries from SACO
> participants concerning the status of their proposals," as
> mentioned in the Fenly report. A combination of faster turnaround
> time and improved expertise in proposal preparation by SACO
> Members should contribute significantly towards addressing this
> issue. The need to be more cost-effective as the program
> continues to grow provides a convincing argument for having the
> greatest number of the proposals submitted by skilled SACO
> Members rather than new or occasional SACO Participants.
> Similarity to NACO Membership is limited since there is a
> difference between a library's need for new subject headings and
> its need for new name authority records. It is a very routine
> matter in cataloging to encounter names that require
> establishment of name authorities to provide cross-referencing,
> etc. It is less frequent that a particular library in its
> day-to-day cataloging work finds a need for a new subject. In
> fact, catalogers are skilled at making the best of existing
> subject headings and seldom even recognize when an item would be
> better described through establishment of a new and more specific
> heading. This works against improvement to the rate of proposing
> subject headings and the quantity of SACO headings at an
> appropriate level of specificity. Therefore, the group would set
> the minimum requirement for number of subject headings that a
> library would commit to proposing in a given year at the very low
> number five. This would ensure that the member library remains
> familiar with the mechanisms of subject proposing while keeping
> the bar low enough to include smaller libraries and support
> larger libraries while they work to increase their participation.
> We all benefit if some smaller, more specialized libraries are
> encouraged to contribute headings in their areas of specialty,
> and making the process easier could help them increase their
> contributions.
> Initiating SACO Membership
> The task group recommends that the PCC endorse our
> recommendations to establish SACO Membership. An announcement
> could then be prepared to introduce this new opportunity for
> joining the PCC. The announcement should especially be
> distributed to the libraries which have previously participated
> in SACO and include basic information on a procedure to be
> followed by those libraries choosing to become SACO Members.
> Challenges and Context for SACO Program Development
> As it was pointed out in Charles Fenly's report last year, 3,165
> headings were submitted through SACO in FY02. This is a very
> substantial number, and represents a large investment of time and
> energy on the part of SACO Participants as well as librarians at
> LC. It is also a significant contribution to the ongoing
> development of LCSH and LCCS, together the most important subject
> analysis tools ever created. It is thus highly important that
> this program receive the support it needs to continue to grow and
> that we overcome any problems standing in the way.
> The most important needs of individuals and institutions for
> improving quality and quantity of subject heading contributions
> relate to becoming better trained and to having a better process
> for the submission and processing of the subject authority
> records. When asked why they haven't submitted more subject
> proposals librarians have responded that it takes too long.
> Others have not been trained adequately to understand LCSH and the
> proposal process so that they can identify when it is appropriate
> to submit a proposal and how to go about doing so.
> Training for SACO
> The need for stronger expertise in developing and subject
> authority and classification proposals can only be addressed
> through an active training program. Training for SACO
> participation needs to be a "multi-pronged" approach and the best
> scenario would have the following components:
> - Workshops at national conferences, as currently provided by PCC
> These attract a sizeable audience (about 40 people per session
> for ALA sessions) and provide a good foundation for preparing
> proposals.  Workshops on advanced topics provide continuing
> education, and group discussions are very useful.  The basic
> workshop and several advanced sessions have already been
> developed, and need only to be kept up to date.  It would be
> possible to train experienced SACO participants to present the
> workshops to lessen the burden on LC staff.
> - Web-based training
>  Not everyone can attend conference workshops.  Web-based
> training could incorporate some of the materials developed for
> the in-person workshops, from the SACO Participants Manual, and
> other materials already on the PCC SACO webpage such as the FAQ
> and the list of web resources, etc., but would have to be
> developed by people familiar with this instructional technology.
> This approach has several advantages.  It is likely to reach a
> public library audience in a way that has not been possible to
> date.  It is more accessible to an international audience.  It
> has the potential to be very interactive, if the instructional
> design is sound.  It would take a substantial investment of time
> and expertise to develop and would require a separate committee
> or task group, including among its members someone with
> specialized expertise in web tutorials.
> - Institutional training and workshops provided by PCC and taught
> by experienced SACO trainers or LC staff
> PCC institutional training given at the library has proven very
> helpful for the institutions that can host a trainer and should
> be continued as an option.  This idea could be expanded by
> including as trainers people who are seasoned SACO participants.
> Workshops can be offered taught by experienced SACO trainers as
> an extension of the SACO workshops currently done at ALA
> conferences.  It would be possible to train a group of
> experienced SACO Participants to present a basic workshop that
> could be offered at state or regional library association
> meetings and other venues.
> One member of the task group is currently co-chairing a group
> that is developing a 2-day workshop on basic subject cataloging
> using LCSH, which includes a brief session on SACO.  It's just 30
> minutes, an introduction really, rather than real training.  This
> workshop will have a train-the-trainer component as other PCC
> programs do, and expanding SACO into more train-the-trainer
> approaches can be very beneficial.  Trainers from outside LC
> can't give exactly the same kind of feedback about the editorial
> process, but still have a lot of potential for helping educate
> people about developing good proposals.  The NACO and BIBCO
> training programs include introductions SACO that are very
> helpful, and proposal-specific input from experts at LC is also
> extremely valuable for building greater expertise in preparing
> subject heading proposals.
> Members of the task group have benefited from many of the
> existing SACO training opportunities and strongly appreciate the
> help they have provided. It is important to provide additional
> training opportunities that will be more accessible to
> international participants and to others who do not often attend
> conferences where they have been presented. It is viewed as
> especially important that the web-based training program as
> described above be developed and made available to SACO Members.
> Through these various training options a cadre of very highly
> skilled SACO Members will emerge over time and the SACO Program
> will continue to make significant contributions to the ongoing
> development of LCSH and LCC.
> Processes and Tools
> The mechanisms for submitting subject proposals have been a
> source of frustration. Fax machines are one way proposals have
> been submitted that permits inclusion of associated
> documentation, but is subject to the limits imposed by these
> gadgets and phone lines. Submission by mail was unsatisfactory in
> the past because it was so slow, and should be avoided as much as
> possible in the light of new security practices that delay
> delivery. Email continues to be an option and is the primary
> choice for classification proposals, which are not supported as
> yet by the web form. The web form now in use for proposals is a
> great improvement over previous options, but needs further
> development. It does not permit saving and revision of proposals
> prior to submission which would better facilitate accurate keying,
> participation of the institutional coordinator, and subsequent
> addition of further sources or cross-references to the proposal,
> nor does it permit keying of diacritics. It also does not provide
> a MARC version of the record. It would be helpful to add these
> capabilities to the web form especially for the benefit of
> subject authority contributors who do not have access to OCLC or
> RLIN and those who are not SACO Members. The most significant way
> to offer a better method for submitting SACO proposals is to
> permit libraries who become SACO Members and who do use OCLC or
> RLIN to use their utilities in a way similar to that used for
> submitting NACO headings. That will allow use of save mechanisms,
> correct entering of diacritics, and for many even reduce the need
> for keying by allowing macro creation to automatically supply
> parts of the authority record based on bibliographic record data
> of the work cataloged. Having better methods for actually
> creating and submitting subject authority and classification
> proposals in these ways can substantially support continued
> growth in quality and quantity of SACO proposals.
> However, some of the complaints about SACO being too slow were
> not related to the proposal mechanism but to the length of time
> between when the proposal is submitted and when it has been
> approved and added to LCSH. This has not only discouraged
> participation by being slow, it has also been somewhat unreliable
> in the aspect of communication to the librarian who sent the
> proposal as to its progress (or lack thereof). How can this be
> improved? If librarians develop better expertise in preparing
> subject authority proposals, there will be less time required to
> review and supplement the proposals after they are transmitted.
> If more resources are allocated to support the processes of
> reviewing and adopting the proposals, these can be done more
> quickly as well. In addition, if clear methods are implemented in
> conjunction with utility-based submission for indicating status
> and scheduling of each record it will improve the perception of
> reliability of the program. The speed of approval of SACO
> proposals really has increased greatly in recent years, but it is
> important to continue to process the proposals quickly and to
> adopt procedures for effective and efficiently keeping SACO
> Members apprised of the progress of their proposals. As this
> report was in the process of being completed we noted that LC has
> announced that a new feedback mechanism has been developed and
> instituted to notify SACO contributors when their subject
> proposals have been downloaded into the authority file, and the
> task group welcomes and looks forward to learning more about this
> development.
> Librarians preparing subject authority or classification
> proposals require access to LCSH and LCC to ascertain the need
> for the new or changed heading or number, to the Subject
> Cataloging Manual volumes on Subject Headings (SCM:SH),
> Classification, and Shelflisting for guidance in formulating the
> heading, and to a variety of sources for documenting a particular
> concept and any related terms. A recent report from the PCC Task
> Group on International Participation noted difficulties specific
> to SACO participation from outside the United States. Lack of
> availability of works preferred as sources for documenting
> certain proposals can limit participation of international
> librarians. SCM:SH, which is so essential to development of
> subject proposals, can be hard to find outside the United States
> and the other two volumes of SCM even more so.
> The SACO discussion list also has potential as a vehicle for
> sharing experiences and getting valuable input from fellow
> librarians while preparing subject proposals. Recently it has
> become a more active forum for collaboration in identification of
> sources to document proposals as well as consultation of sources
> held by other libraries and input towards proper formulation of
> headings and required proposals for related terms. Subscribing to
> this list is allowable on request, and should not become limited
> to SACO Members due to its educational value for all contributors.
> It will be up to the SACO members to continue to make this kind
> of use of the SACO discussion list happen on an everyday basis
> through their participation in sharing interesting experiences
> and asking and answering questions related to their SACO work.
> The task group feels that addressing these concerns and
> opportunities will remove barriers and pave the way to future
> growth for the SACO Program.
> Respectfully submitted October 24, 2003 by the
> PCC Task Group on SACO Program Development:
> Jimmie Lundgren, University of Florida, Chair
> Janet Ashton, British Library
> Linda Gabel, OCLC Liaison
> Mary Charles Lasater, Vanderbilt University
> Lori Robare, Subject Analysis Committee Liaison
> Adam Schiff, University of Washington
> Susan Summer, Columbia University,
> Hugh Taylor, Cambridge University,
> Thomson Yee, Library of Congress Liaison
> Joe Zeeman, Research Libraries Group Liaison

Mary Charles Lasater
Vanderbilt University
Email: [log in to unmask]