Hi Steven:

   In responding below, I have abstracted your well-written and 
comprehensive message without, I hope, any loss of meaning.

On Fri, 25 Jul 2008, Arakawa, Steven wrote:

> We have ... concluded that the ... indicator coding used in 246 could be 
> simplified to 246 3_ for all ... forms ...

  BIBCO core policy on 260 field could be interpreted to refer only to the 
content of the variable field and not to the tagging.  It states:  "Use 
judgment in assessing each item or collection and assign a complement of 
title variants that covers variations deemed important and coded as 
appropriate. The importance of title variant access information is 
intended to reflect individual cataloger's judgment and/or local 
institutional policy" [see ]

  Rather than entirely eliminating the utility of the 2nd indicator, it 
would be more practical to simplify the definition of 2nd indicator 
"[blank]" to "no type specified" without the present additional caveats, 
or to "assume" that those caveats ["Use with $i when ..." and "Use also 
for ..."] are permissive rather than compulsory [the word "only" is not 

  Any discussion of such issues requires consideration of whether you are 
creating catalog records that hundreds of libraries and their catalogers 
(perhaps more than users of the books being cataloged in some cases?) may 
wish to utilize in collaboration (eg. from OCLC) or records that will be 
in your own local catalog only (certainly not true of LC records).  For 
the latter, of course, "anything goes."

  The issue recapitulates a problem apparent in the recent AUTOCAT thread 
"I heard a rumor re. 440 field ...", e.g., that it takes more time and 
expense to discuss and devolve the cataloging practice and teach and 
enforce the change of practice than it does to simply continue to 
implement the existing practice, *and* the devolvements result in loss of 
record utility (albeit mostly to catalogers?).

   The same applies to locally devolving from full-level cataloging to 
"core" cataloging simply for local monetary benefit.  No adequate 
econometric studies have been done on local practice changes to 
demonstrate such a benefit, and any such studies involving all libraries 
affected would show negative economic impacts.

  Also on "core" cataloging, there was a recent AUTOCAT discussion about 
the complexity and expense of libraries having to make multiple data 
upgrades to incomplete and/or inadequate records as opposed to the 
universal value of original records being full level and correct (OK, that 
grousing was mainly about vendor records, but the same applies).

> Both in committee & when I held training workshops for the department, a 
> number of working catalogers expressed the opinion that the simplified 
> coding would make our cataloging more efficient.

   I just entered 310 260-field 2nd indicators, a year's supply, in the 
same time it took just to read your original message [grin].


                                             John G. Marr
                                             RMBA, UNMGL
                                             Univ. of New Mexico
                                             Albuquerque, NM 87131
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         **"I really like to know the reasons for what I do!"**
                                             Martha Watson

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