Rumors have it, or so I hear from sources in New York, that German libraries
are about to adopt USMARC.

  !!!  This is very far from the truth  !!!

It probably came up in connection with information about the REUSE project,
conducted at Goettingen based Pica utility for the Northern provinces, and
partially funded by OCLC. LC has been represented in it, and I happened to
be involved as well. REUSE was meant to investigate possible improvements
of formats and cataloging rules on either side to enhance reusability
of each other's data. The Final Report of this project is about to be
published jointly by OCLC and the Goettingen Pica center.

At present, there's no local or regional system in Germany (except 1) that
would be able to function under USMARC, although we can and do convert
USMARC into local formats, to an extent.

What's more, there are very few catalogers here who have a working knowledge
of AACR and MARC, most have none at all. Which would mean massive
re-education. Can you imagine what it would mean to introduce an entirely
different code and format in your environment? And no full German translation
exists of either AACR or MARC.

Please, if you hear said rumor, do what you can to dispel it. It serves
nobody to raise false expectations. And read the Final Report in case
you are interested. We'll send out a note on this list as soon as it
becomes available.

Regards, B.E.