The PCC Standing Committee on Automation’s ISBD and MARC Task Group, chaired by Robert Bremer, submitted its extensive final report (78 pp.) in September 2011. The Task Group investigated the omission of ISBD punctuation from the cataloging process in favor of having cataloging interfaces generate punctuation needed for display. The group made recommendations to eliminate terminal periods, outlined recommended punctuation and coding changes field-by-field, and summarized other coding changes. Fields for which no punctuation or coding changes are needed are listed in the report, and whole record examples illustrating the before-and-after changes are provided. This report was posted long ago, and is on the new PCC web site at http://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc/sca/documents/isbdmarc.docx. The PCC Policy Committee (PoCo) thanks the Task Group for their substantive work, and wants to let the community know what happens next. Because PoCo has given priority to RDA implementation and this report is not related to RDA implementation, action on it was slower than ideal.
PoCo very much supported the conclusions of the Task Group that their recommended changes would make data more machine-actionable and would facilitate moving bibliographic data out of MARC. The question for PoCo was not whether this work should be done (it should), but when. Given the level of activity in the professional community with RDA implementation, PoCo concluded that realistically we could not proceed with this now. PoCo will turn the Task Group report over to MARBI and to the new ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee (its successor group) so those groups can incorporate the work outlined in this report when they communicate with the Bibliographic Framework initiative. We also will inquire about setting up a joint implementation group in the future. We look forward to seeing this work play out in that arena, and stand ready to help in that effort.
Head, Metadata Services Department
UC San Diego Libraries and
Chair, Program for Cooperative Cataloging 2011-12