Building an operational plan for PCC Contributions: A Review Model conducted at the University of Maryland

At the January 2004 PCC Participants' Meeting held in San Diego, CA, Carlen Ruschoff from the University of Maryland presented a summary of work in progress to examine the University Librariesí participation in PCC Programs. This study was done by the Universityís Original Catalogers as part of a larger mandate to examine the Librariesí participation in all national and regional programs. The focus of the study is to answer the following questions: 1) What are the benefits of participation? 2) What are the drawbacks of participation? and 3) Is participation worth the investment, in terms of both financial and human resources?

The Original Catalogers held a series of meetings in the fall of 2003 to discuss strategies for addressing UMdís participation in the PCC. Statistical data reflecting the current pattern of contributions were reviewed and the benefits, obstacles, and value of participating in PCC were addressed. Out of that discussion, it was determined that there is a need to articulate an operational plan for making systematic contributions to PCC that could clarify the benefits of participating in a shared cataloging cooperative for library users. The guiding principle in developing the plan is that "catalogers make meaningful contributions to the PCC Programs." The criteria developed for the plan has five elements:

1) the contributions must have impact: value to the UMd Libraries and value to libraries using PCC records;

2) the contributions must be tied to UMd work priorities and catalogerís areas of expertise;

3) the contribution plan must build on local strengths;

4) the plan must keep workflow as simple as possible;

5) the plan must be achievable.

The proposed plan that the group designed is fairly simple. First, identify a few subject areas in which the Libraries collections are strong. Second, contribute bibliographic, name and series authority records for materials in these subject areas. And third, pull materials in these subject areas out of the routine search queue and catalog them earlier in the cataloging process.

At this point, three subject areas have been identified by selectors from the Collection Development Team. Procedures have been worked out for the pilot and now the Original Catalogers are ready to begin testing the operational contribution plan, beginning in the spring of 2004. The project will be evaluated in late summer. If it is successful, additional subject areas will be added.

Further information on the study, entitled _PCC Contribution Review Model_ is found at URL: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/pcc/umdassess.pdf [March 2004].