CMC-Sponsored Sessions at MLA 2024

The Cataloging and Metadata Committee is sponsoring several sessions at the 2024 Meeting of the Music Library Association February 29-March 2: De-Mystifying Cataloging for Public Service Librarians and Staff; A Subject, a Genre, and a Medium Walk into a Search Bar…; Cataloging Conversations; and, of course, the Cataloging and Metadata Town Hall. We hope you are able to attend one or all! 

For everyone who uses, manages, or populates front-end discovery systems or public catalogs

A Subject, a Genre, and a Medium Walk into a Search Bar… Thursday February 29, 4:00pm-5:25pm EST

Cataloging rules have long prohibited the application of headings from the Library of Congress Subject Headings for individual works without a topical focus for disciplines other than music. Music cataloging has been the exception, providing form, genre, and medium of performance access to individual musical works using LCSH. With the newer Genre/Form (LCGFT) and Medium of Performance (LCMPT) vocabularies now firmly established as cataloging practice alongside growing options for additional faceted data, we ask, what now?

This session will examine the current landscape by presenting preliminary findings of a survey issued by the CMC Vocabularies Subcommittee around current usage of all three of these vocabularies. To what extent and by what means are these fields being added to underlying cataloging records? How are systems indexing and displaying them, and how does the intersection of data and systems support usage in reference, instruction, and public services?

Speakers will then cover how the newer vocabularies might thrive in library systems and platforms. They explore options for facilitating the addition of LCGFT/LCMPT to catalog records, whether during original cataloging or via an algorithmic process. On the discovery side, we acknowledge the continuum of options available to libraries, ranging from being limited to out-of-the box setups to having dedicated to support for open-sources system. Speakers will offer two case studies from the midpoint: 1) local customizations to boost faceted data including LCGFT and LCMPT in Primo-VE, a locally modifiable vendor discovery layer, and 2) an in-house transformation of a traditional OPAC into a faceted discovery system. With system user interest groups, including those within MLA, many of these modifications can be exchanged to take advantage of distributed work across libraries and institutions.

There is a cataloging best-practices question behind these discussions: At what point do music catalogers align with other cataloging practice and stop adding form/genre/medium LCSH to new records in favor of a combination of LCGFT/LCMPT as the foundation of faceted access? These critical decisions will rely on robust dialogue among public services librarians, systems developers, and catalogers; we hope this session will spark community conversation.

Speakers: Janelle West, Casey Mullin, Kelley McGrath, Jason Thomale

For conversation and collegiality

Cataloging Conversations. Thursday, Feb. 29 11:30am-12:25pm EST. This session will be hybrid/streamed but not recorded.

An interactive discussion session for those active with music metadata or cataloging of music material. Share challenges, commiserate, celebrate successes, contemplate changes, and collaborate with colleagues. This will be a loose discussion; moderators will be prepared with discussion prompts if needed. Non-catalogers are welcome… if catalogers can’t explain what they are talking about, they probably don’t yet understand it themselves! We will be doing our best to include virtual attendees through text chat/Q&A and acknowledge challenges of participatory sessions. Note that a complementary, all-virtual, open “CMC Q&A” will be held on Wednesday, March 6. 

Moderators: Rebecca Belford, Chelsea Hoover, Morris Levy, Carlos Peña

For a year’s worth of music-related cataloging and metadata developments in 85 minutes

Cataloging and Metadata Town Hall. Friday, March 1 4:00pm-5:25pm EST

This session features updates and special topics in music cataloging and metadata; it is a forum for sharing information on important topics that do not each require their own program sessions. Speakers will provide up to date information on changes to RDA (as well as LC-PCC Policy Statements and MLA Best Practices), LCGFT, LCMPT, LCDGT, MARC, LDWG (MLA’s Linked Data Working Group), and the music PCC funnels. Special focus this year will be on the NACO-Music Project (NMP) and RDA. Note that an all-virtual, open “CMC Q&A” will be held on Wednesday, March 6.

Speakers: Rebecca Belford, Ethan D’Ver, Janelle West, Keith Knop, Kevin Kishimoto, Leonard Martin, Casey Mullin, Mark Scharff

For our public/access services colleagues, students, noncatalogers, and the cataloging curious 

De-Mystifying Cataloging for Public Service Librarians and Staff Saturday March 2, 1:30pm-2:25pm EST. Co-sponsored by the Public Services Committee

Our libraries collect all kinds of resources filled with all kinds of knowledge for patrons to use in every possible way. Because most library collections are vast and some patrons may feel that they don’t know where to find what they need, people invented a library catalog to help. A cataloger’s goal is to guide a user to an appropriate resource, and to provide connections among resources, topics, or genres. To that end, catalogers follow basic principles and practices to accurately describe library resources, illuminate relationships between those resources and those who create and contribute to them, and assign categories that show what the resources are, what they are about, and where they are physically located. Regardless of the distance between catalogers’ and public service librarians’ desks, which may be miles away in the largest of libraries or feet away in the smallest, there is often an air of mystery surrounding cataloging. What is this magic that allows catalogers to make things findable? This session seeks to de-mystify cataloging for public service librarians and staff so that their work is better informed by the work catalogers do behind the scenes. Cataloging-curious attendees are encouraged to submit questions ahead of time, and speakers will allow ample time for Q&A during the session.

Speakers: Janice Gill Bunker, Ethan D’Ver

CMC is also pleased to be a co-sponsor of the plenary session Introducing the Music Companion to the Framework for Information, Thursday 2/29, 9:30am-10:55am EST

Our open business meetings and Q&A will be virtual, March 6-7.