Amy, the new series are in the on-line file, but I would like to discuss with you a couple of things. No rush, whenever it is convenient for you. ;_0

Marta Conde
Cataloging Librarian for Monographic Resources
Library Department-Smith Warehouse
Box 90188
DukeMail / Address: Durham, NC 27708-0188
Phone: +1 (919) 660-5901
E-mail:  [log in to unmask]

Amy H Turner <[log in to unmask]>
Sent by: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>

08/26/2008 03:53 PM
Please respond to
Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>

[log in to unmask]
Re: [PCCLIST] PCC Series Policy

I was co-chair of the
PCC Ad Hoc Series Review Task Force and part of a minority on that group advocating optional series tracing.   One of our arguments was that automation can covert series statements into controlled authority headings.   This has been done by Gary Strawn's programming, and commercially by LTI.   Several posters on this thread have argued that LC (and other PCC participants)  should check the authority file even if they don't contribute authority records.   But is it a good use of staff time to do something that can be automated?  Many libraries have catalogers check the authority file only for original cataloging, relying on automated processes (with some staff follow-up)  for copy, which is other institutions' original.   At Duke, LC's decision has not affected copy cataloging workflow, and has not significantly increased the work needed to control series tracings post-cataloging.

John Wright wrote about international complaints of "LC-centric" practice.   LC did not demand central stage in US cataloging.   It was willingly given to them, with the tacit understanding that they would continue to maintain the complex standards that they set for themselves.   I agree that it would be great to simplify series practice, and that the task force did not accomplish much in this area.   It is easier said than done. Changes such as allowing the creation of post-cataloging authority records were the source of extensive and heated debate.   Our simplified guidelines were presented in our discussion paper as either a supplement to or a partial replacement for the full training.   People who commented were overwhelmingly in support of the first option, and of the full training.  It seems that "LC-centrism" does not need LC to continue, at least in the short run.

In the long run, we need to realize that LC can't be what they used to be, and we can't take their place.  Although PCC members make significant contributions to the authority file, our collective BIBCO numbers are small in comparison to LC's output, and especially in comparison to the enormous growth of OCLC.  Recent posters voiced a popular opinion that they are not as authoritative as LC cataloging.  

I believe that the best way for PCC to promote quality cataloging is not to insist upon "LC-centric" standards for the few BIBCO records that we create, but to work to improve WorldCat as a whole.   Authority records are our most established way of doing this.  We could also lobby OCLC for things like better automated authority control, and be active Enhance participants whether or not the records are BIBCO.   Enhance is expanding, and WorldCat Local offers the possibility of a true union catalog, with  cooperative catalog maintenance.  

And, perhaps there is a hope for simplified rules.  (Pause to duck incoming flames; consider whether to elaborate ...  No, this is long enough already.)

           How many catalogers does it take to change a light bulb?    I don't know, we need to find out how LC does it.

           How many catalogers does it take to change to less LC-centric outlook?      A lot, and we have to really WANT to change.


Amy H. Turner
Monographic Cataloger & Authority Control Coordinator
Duke University Libraries
Durham, NC   27708-0190
[log in to unmask]