Cataloging rules can be simplified, but they are complex because reality 
is complex.  Core level records contain everything need for quality 
cataloging but the question is whether we are talking low or high quality 
The lack of notes in core records mean that I cannot always tell whether 
the record refers to what I have in hand.  People lose access through 
inadequate subject headings and, more importantly, through failure to 
provide access to names and works.  If this must be done, do it and label 
it.  Don't say it is wonderful cataloging or anything but an expedient due 
to lack of resources.

Yes, you can add things records; but if the material has been taken away 
from a professional flow and given to someone told to do as little editing 
as possible, gaps will probably not be filled.

As for series, the failure to record or use authority control on series 
simply takes work from one back and puts on the backs of many.  In the 
worst case scenario, libraries don't even bother with series.  Serious 
academic researchers and young adults alike rely on controlled series 
access points to locate materials, however.  Post-cataloging authority 
control is possible on the local level, but that only works with records 
that have already been created. Creating records and then saying that 
something that does not have its access points controlled is a record that 
can be used by others with minimal human involvement is inaccurate at 

Many past attempts to "simplify" cataloging, such as the descriptive 
practices Seymour Lubetzky introduced to Library of Congress cataloging, 
end up creating problems years later when people are trying to use 
bibliographic data.  I think that simplifying instructions and principles 
is possible and desirable, but I am highly dubious of solutions that allow 
for the omission of information that scholars need.

Finally, LC has taken a step with its series policy that many of us 
disagree with, and I vigorously object to essentially rewarding them for 
bad behavior.  They should be able to do what they will, but they should 
not be able to say that their records meet Bibco standards when they do 

Laurence S. Creider
Special Collections Librarian
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM
[log in to unmask]

On Fri, 29 Aug 2008, Amy H Turner wrote:

> I believe in simplification of cataloging rules.  I have been flamed by
> people who think that "simplification" means "dumbing down" and that every
> last RI is necessary for good bibliographic control.   But simple is not
> the same is easy, and accurate bibliographic description and good, concise
> subject analysis will never be easy.   Sometimes the rules take on a life
> of their own, and distract attention from true aim of our work.  Mental
> energy spent deliberating finer points of the rules could be redirected to
> analyzing the intellectual content of what we are cataloging.
> I believe that the core record contains everything needed for quality
> cataloging, and as a "floor" it also allows the addition of more elements.
>  Every full record in OCLC could be coded as core, though not every core
> record could be coded as full.   So, much time is saved by coding
> everything core, rather than making the distinction.   Even more time is
> saved in training by teaching only the core standard.
> IMHO, the main difference between core and full are fewer notes and more
> room for judgement in core, and these are both good things.   I would like
> for PCC to embrace core as its only standard, but I don't think that is
> likely.
> I was restraining myself from ranting about this, but that was a direct
> question :-)
> Amy
> Amy H. Turner
> Monographic Cataloger & Authority Control Coordinator
> Duke University Libraries
> Durham, NC   27708-0190
> [log in to unmask]
> "A. Ralph Papakhian" <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent by: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>
> 08/29/2008 10:57 AM
> Please respond to
> Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>
> On Fri, 29 Aug 2008, Amy H Turner wrote:
> ...
>> it.   For BIBCO, some (including me) have embraced core on philosophical
>> principles and use it even when the record is indistinguishable from a
>> full record (often) and others have the same preference for full.
> hi,
> i curious to know what philosophical principles are involved in using core
> level even when the record is indistinguishable from a full record.
> i don't understand why this would be a matter of philosophy nor why a
> full record would intentionally be coded as core.
> --ralph papakhian (cook music library, indiana university)