CMC Business Meeting Report 2023




Tuesday, March 9, 2023, 12:00 p.m.-1:50 p.m., CST, Virtual


Introduction and announcements (Vermeij)

  • Hermine Vermeij called the meeting to order and put the agenda in the chat.
  • Introductions were made around the table by all the members present. 
  • Hermine put the MLA Code of Conduct in the chat as well and uploaded the agenda again for those who joined a little late. She reminded everyone that committee members can speak without recognition, but others need to be recognized by the chair, preferably by typing “???” into the chat or raise their hands.
  • Hermine said that she will not share her screen so that she can see everyone’s faces, and she encouraged others to have their camera on during the meeting, acknowledging that it may cause bandwidth issues for some.
    • Adjustments to agenda, conduct
      • There were no adjustments to the agenda
    • Thanks to outgoing members
      • Karen Peters, Encoding Standards Subcommittee (ESS) Chair
      • Hermine Vermeij, Chair
      • Jay Weitz, OCLC Liaison
    • Welcome to incoming members
      • Ethan D’Ver, Encoding Standards Subcommittee (ESS) Chair
      • Rebecca Belford, Chair
      • (Jay’s replacement as OCLC Liaison is still unknown)
    • Administrative business
  • Upcoming eLearning events: Fundamentals of Music Cataloging eLearning Bundle (Redux), a collaboration between ALA and MLA
    • Introduction to Music Cataloging (4-week e-course taught by Keith Knop), March 20-April 14
    • Music Cataloging with LC Vocabularies (4-week eCourse taught by Leo Martin), (April 17-May 12)
    • Music Cataloging with Library of Congress Classification (4-week eCourse taught by Kirk-Evan Billet), (May 15-June 9)
    • Using the New RDA Toolkit to Catalog Music (3-part webinar taught by Keith Knop), June 14-16
  • Announce CMC openings and deadline for applications (Thursday, March 9)
    • Hermine reminded everyone that there are openings on all three CMC subcommittees and the deadline for applications is today. 
    • Hermine mentioned that the process for committee appointments is changing and will be different next year. 
    • Tracey Snyder is on the group charged with reworking this process and added that the goal will be a simple form for anyone who wants to join any committee, anywhere in MLA to fill out. The details of the process of reviewing those applications is still being determined.
  • Brief reports and highlights

Hermine reminded everyone that the reports are linked to the agenda for people to read in their own time, and read the reports at their leisure.

  • Subcommittees
    • Content Standards (Knop)
      • Keith Knop highlighted from the report that they added new best practices for two RDA elements and many minor updates. 
      • The main highlight this year is the release of guidance documents for use with official RDA that has a lot of content that is not in conflict with original RDA. In the next year, CSS may pull some of those out into an interim update document so that it’s clear to people that they’re free to apply that to whichever version of RDA they wish.
    • Encoding Standards (Peters)
      • Karen Peters mentioned the co-authored discussion paper, the successful proposal to add subfield 3 (material specified) to 041 (language code) in the bibliographic format, in tandem with already being able to do that in notes in 546 or 500. 
      • She called attention to the NDMSO Discussion Papers seeking to add unparsed statements to fields 264 and 490 in the Bibliographic Format, discussed further in the ESS meeting.
      • The Metadata from Music Resources Task Group has continued to review and add resources and descriptions to the music for metadata resources list. Suggestions for additions can be sent to the ESS chair. 
    • Vocabularies (West)
      • Janelle mentioned that backlogs were worked on, and highlighted work done on addressing the problematic terms related to Minstrelsy as well as the survey about the application and use of LCSH, MPT, and the completed revisions to the LCMPT best practices document (v. 1.5).
  • Working group
    • MLA Linked Data Working Group (Kishimoto)
      • Kevin Kishimoto noted that the LDWG membership has nearly doubled from the previous year. He added that they have been trying to connect with linked data adjacent groups in the broader community and will try to align more closely with the ESS. 
      • Kevin also stated that the second updated version of the Performed Music Ontology, first created in 2016-2017, is nearing completion. Once published, the ontology and documentation will need to be hosted and maintained; Stanford has been paying for AWS hosting of PMO and cannot continue this financial outlay indefinitely. One option is to put it on GitHub, which can be free, but not a nice looking webpage. Another option that Nancy Lorimer and Damian Iseminger are approaching Sally McCallum to discuss is having the PMO hosted on The original idea is that LC would host the ontology on their servers and MLA would take responsibility for maintenance and oversight. Damian explained that LC already has the infrastructure set up and that MLA, as a professional organization, is really not set up to do ongoing technical maintenance on this scale and that with the MLA committee structure, this becomes another burden for someone to maintain. If the ontology is hosted at, the URIs for PMO would likely align with other URIs hosted at the site (i.e. begin with ““) and may be less distinguishable from other LC vocabularies; clear indication to the outside user that PMO is separate ontology supported by MLA may be lost.  However, a memorandum of understanding seems possible in which the PMO is LC hosted with LC and MLA jointly maintaining it. Kevin added that RBMS currently follows a similar model for their vocabularies (see: While vocabularies and ontologies are different, a model is there in which LC has allowed a trusted organization to provide the maintenance. Ethan D’Ver asked if, under that model, would that be under the purview of ESS or would it be more pan-CMC? Damian Iseminger said that he felt it falls under content standards because we’re talking about semantic relationships, but that a pan-CMC group might make more sense. Hermine asked about next steps and Kevin responded that it’s not at the stage yet where CMC needs to take action, but wanted the group to be aware of the situation.
  • Additional reports
    • NACO-Music Project (Scharff) 
      • Mark Scharff invited the group to review the report for specific numbers, but mentioned that the number of new records continued to rise while the number of changed records had gone down. 
      • Mark posited that changes coming from BIBFRAME will affect our work, as well as potential changes to the 240 having bearing on the question of how to name partial compilations of works. 
      • Mark also asked that people inform him of retirements and job changes and noted that he hopes that younger members will pick up the cause as his cohort begins to retire. He particularly thanked Jacob Schaub for his leadership and attentiveness.
    • SACO Music Funnel (Martin) 
      • Leo Martin mentioned the SACO report was discussed in the meetings of the Vocabularies Subcommittee and the Funnels meeting. He highlighted the clean-up projects done regarding “minstrelsy” terms and thanked Ann Adams and the VS for their work on that. He also recapped the work done on clarifying use of Avant garde music and Experimental Music.
      • Leo reiterated the main takeaway from the presentation he gave at the Town Hall on submitting proposals, Less is more. Be clear and concise and when in doubt, consider adding a scope note for clarification rather than exhaustive detail.
      • Hermine asked about pop music genres not in LCGFT, do we have guidance available for emerging genres? Leo referenced his own current research on this topic, sharing the resources Networked Music Cultures (book), Every Noise at Once (data visualization), and the Bandcamp discovery feature, and the complexities of describing music microgenres. He has an article coming out in the Journal of Popular Music Studies. As to Hermine’s question, if you are not familiar with the artist or genre and you can’t pin it down or write a scope note for it, you might be better off just going with the broader term. LCDGT and LCSH may help, but there is a lot of work to be done here.
      • Hermine read a question from Andrea in the chat, regarding minstrel music headings, would it be possible to plan a webinar on handling these materials once the new headings and hierarchy is settled? Leo said he isn’t necessarily an expert, but would be happy to collaborate on something like that. 
    • BIBCO Music Funnel (Mullin) 
      • Casey Mullin began with a call for new members, reminding folks that if you do NACO for music, you could do BIBCO for music.
      • Casey raised a question about the display of reports on the CMC webpage past 2020 and thanked past and present webmasters for keeping the directory up to date. 
      • The BIBCO Music community continues to wait for official RDA and relies on the guidance from the CSS and other developed tools. As there is a lot of overlap between funnel members and present/former CSS members, Casey is less anxious about how we will move to the new toolkit.  
    • CMC Secretary/Webmaster (Bergland)
      • Kristi Bergland will look into the report display issues Casey mentioned. She has been attending the RDA statement writers meetings with Keith and thanked him for all his help with training. She is looking forward to working with the Oxygen editor once she gets the software.
      • Kristi highlighted accessibility improvements made to the CMC Thematic Indexes entries. 
    • Music Cataloging Bulletin (Billet)
      • Kirk-Evan Billet thanked NACO Music Project Contributors for sending changes to authorized access points and Task Group coordinators on VS for keeping him in the loop.
      • Kirk-Evan outlined the progress made in discussion on making the MCB open access. There is no set timeline but all indications are positive that this will move forward.
    • Library of Congress (Vita/Iseminger)
      • Damian Iseminger referred the group to the report posted online, highlighting the activities of music related areas across LC, including the Music Division, the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, and activities in the American Folklife Center. Damian applauded the extraordinary contributions of everyone across music related divisions at LC in tackling a huge amount of work and being fantastic to work with. 
    • OCLC (Weitz)
      • Jay Weitz recapped the validation installation at the end of January that included everything for MARC update no. 35, released in December (2022) mostly concerning the 856 field. 
      • Jay reminded the group to take advantage of the AskQC Office Hours, the next one being “Languages, Non-Latin Scripts, and Mysterious MARC 880 fields“.
      • In WorldCat Discovery they have been working on an initiative for harm reduction. Institutions who participate in WCD can now use a universal template that remaps subject headings to hide sensitive language, heading to a more inclusive search experience.
      • Jay announced that Katherine Becker is the new Dewey editor-in-residence who will focus on LGBTQIA topics in the Dewey classification. 
  • 240 whitepaper discussion (Vermeij, all)
    • Hermine introduced this discussion topic and directed the group to the CMC brainstorming document for 240 whitepaper (internally accessible via CMC Wiki). Getting feedback on this and drafting a discussion paper to send to PCC, as a first step in a longer process. Hermine began by saying the 240 doesn’t work very well for what it’s supposed to do, and wants to move away from a situation where a 1xx/240 combination is standing in for a work access point. Chuck Peters mentioned that he would be in favor of this change. According to PCC practice, bib records that are contributed to OCLC do not contain a 240 if it would duplicate the 245 $a. However, with their version of SIRSI they need to add the 240 back into the bib record when exporting from OCLC into their local system because if they did not, it would not index together with 700s with a $t; also it doesn’t validate locally so that needs to be done manually, both a big hassle. Hermine thinks 240s don’t necessarily get programmatically updated the way that 7xx fields do. Jay Weitz confirmed that there is no way to control these automatically, but it can be done manually. This is among the worst legacies of trying to recreate catalog cards. Hermine added Kathy Glennan’s comments from the chat describing Jerry McBride’s efforts in 1993 to make the 240 obsolete in MARC, instead using 1xxs with all the subfields, which was not successful, possibly because of the difficulty of implementing it retrospectively. Damian reminded the group that in 1993 people were still using catalog cards and that would have made filing cards harder. Damian suggested we automatically discount any argument that talks about display and we should focus on how the data is entered, let the folks who build the display build it from the data provided, and stop treating MARC as a display format. Someone asked in the chat if non-music communities are also in favor of this. Hermine has anecdotally gotten support from people she has talked to in PCC, but recognizes that it may be difficult for things like translations and literature, but not impossible. She thinks there is some support based on the way thinking has shifted on works, but there will be challenges to the practical side of implementation. Damian responded to a point made by Margaret in the chat by saying he didn’t think LC-prescribed shelflisting instructions should inform this discussion. Hermine referenced the use of 240 in cuttering practice in the “Cans of worms” section of the document. Ethan D’ver pointed out that at his institution they use labels with main entries on them rather than call numbers for the LP collection. Where an LP has multiple works, for example, by the same composer, he has to create a 240 so the item can be located. Chris Holden added that with the current status quo, the 1xx field is doing double duty both displaying a creator and displaying the first half of an access point for the work or expression that is manifested. All sorts of problems stem from the fact that one MARC field is doing two different things. Damian called out the card filing origins of the term “main entry” and Hermine pointed out that while Damian’s point stands for single title resources, anthologies are a clear use case for keeping a “main entry” concept, as users will be looking for a “Beyonce album” rather than searching for it by some other identifier. Tracey Snyder added that something has to be the first thing a user sees. Damian countered that this is why we need good data architecture and that catalogers cannot be expected to solve display issues. Hermine agreed and asked what then would be the data considered in what we call a main entry, what would be pulled in for this. Tracey pointed out that many catalogers are also involved in display decisions in public services. Damian reiterated his point that linking works to expressions or manifestations is a fundamentally different activity than how that ends up displayed to a user. Tracey agreed with this in principle, but added that the display questions just compound the amount of work and the opportunities for miscommunication in this process. Keith addressed something that Ann raised in the chat: what is the reason to use the 700 instead of the 100 with additional title subfields. He added a point in the chat that the title subfields were actually all defined for 1xx fields but can’t find any evidence that they have ever been used. So that could lead to pushback, whereas the 7xxs are well supported. The other thing that may trip us up is the issue Chris raised about things doing double duty.  Do we want the 100 to represent the creator or work or expression? For good clean data we need to choose only one. Hermine noted that we are running short on time and there is a lot of activity in the chat. Ann Churukian felt that whatever solution we suggest, we need to show that we’ve considered these options and can articulate why we didn’t like them. Hermine said someone in the chat asked for a brief outline of why 240s will bring disaster to BIBFRAME. She explained that there are two different fields that represent one entity, and you can’t really put the identifier for the work in a 240 because it’s only part of the access point. Kevin added that you need to choose one or the other. As Chris said earlier, in MARC the field is doing double duty, but there isn’t a good way to join the two together.  Moving forward in BIBFRAME, that means you would lose either the composer or the work tied to the URI with this conversion. Thom Pease mentioned the shifts in perspective toward the preferred label field in the BIBFRAME editor pilots and reminded everyone that everything is a relationship in a way and no relationship is any more special than any other one. Hermine wrapped up the discussion and encouraged people to comment in the document or reach out to her or Rebecca Belford directly. Reviewing the chat, Kathy Glennan asked about implications for the work identified by a combination of the 100 and 245 $a, it might be worth bringing this into the discussion of broader implications of this change. Damian asked if we should bring up to the MARC Advisory board or CC:DA the question of whether MARC records still need to reflect the needs of AACR2, which was to build a catalog card. Cate Gerhart stated that MAC would never agree that MARC format is linked to cataloging rules. 
  • BIBFRAME and ESS (Peters, all)

How can ESS get more involved with ensuring BIBFRAME will work for music materials? 

  • Karen Peters raised the question of whether the move from MARC to BIBFRAME, an encoding standard, requires involvement from the Encoding Standards Subcommittee. Hermine noted that while the Music Division and NAVCC are represented, there is no representation from NDMSO or Policy, which Damian agreed should be included. Ethan inquired about opportunities for learning about BIBFRAME and its connections for those outside LC. Damian suggested referring to the published BIBFRAME ontology and discussed different perspectives on approaching the situation. Hermine mentioned that the discussion arose partly due to LC’s introduction of BibHubs, their work records version, which lacked consultation with music catalogers experienced in that area. Kevin expressed difficulty in keeping up with BIBFRAME developments due to limited and opaque communication, relying mostly on Nancy Lorimer’s connections for information. Hermine asked if there are any music-related individuals involved in BIBFRAME development, to which Damian explained that the issue has been raised at LC but no significant changes have occurred. Casey mentioned that the problem has been partially addressed through the PMO and emphasized the need to consider fundamental issues like modeling aggregates in BIBFRAME, as current presentations focus on single instances and works. Kathy added in the chat that starting with serials and music would address many issues, as they encompass a substantial portion of cataloging concerns.
  • Oxygen access (Knop)
    • The CSS chair and/or CMC Secretary webmaster should have access to the Oxygen XML Editor for RDA Toolkit editing. MLA as an organization probably doesn’t qualify for academic/public service pricing; an individual subscription with reimbursement might work? $137 for license and 1-year SMP 

(This discussion was tabled in the interest of time.)

  • Role of CMC liaisons and conference reports (Vermeij, all)
    • Liaison duties no longer align with ALA. We have official liaisons to CC:DA, SAC, and MAC, but we had been trying to unofficially represent CMC on other groups (e.g. MARC Formats Transition Interest Group; Faceted Subject Access Interest Group), as well as summarizing their meetings in conference reports. 
    • In the age of public open virtual meetings and recordings, what should CMC’s role be? 
    • After Hermine introduced the topic, Mark Scharff commented that one important thing that having representatives attend meetings is the opportunity for them to read the room and be able to report back on the prevailing mood toward emerging topics to CMC. Hermine responded that this year’s approach in reporting had been to focus on highlighting things of interest to the music cataloging community. Reed Davis commented in the chat that if there is a table at which a music or MLA person should have a seat, then it should be an official sort of thing. Hermine pointed out that there are a lot of groups out there and we may not have enough people to cover them all. We need to prioritize. 
    • Rebecca asked for people’s honest feedback about how useful the reports actually are to people and what they find useful. Janelle asked for feedback about the extent of reporting needed.  Hermine responded to a question from Kathy in the chat about the scheduling of the CMC meetings against CORE meetings. The CMC meetings were scheduled months in advance and Hermine hadn’t heard about the CORE meetings until a couple weeks ago. 
  • MLA 2023 program—reactions to content, meeting times, etc.
    • Please complete the MLA meeting survey when prompted.
    • There was very limited time for this response. Damian said it was a good meeting for those there in person, but felt it was priced too high for online attendees. Tracey said even though there were streaming issues in the larger room, she felt that some things did go really well, such as smaller, more intimate meetings and meetings with remote presenters. Chris asked if the plan going forward was to continue having business meetings online the week following the in person meeting. Hermine said no decisions had been made yet, but it seemed unlikely that business meetings will be happening in person anytime soon. Chuck advocated for an offset of more than one week between the in person week and the business meetings. Kathy said she didn’t know if she could justify registering for MLA if she hadn’t been a speaker, given the change in her job responsibilities. It is frustrating that the meetings appear to be behind the Sched paywall unless Zoom access is requested. Hermine commented that many other groups are making their meetings public now.  Hermine closed the discussion.  
  • MLA 2024 program—bring ideas for topics, speakers, etc.
    • Town Hall special topics?

(Not addressed in this meeting due to time)

  • Pan-CMC ideas, overflow time, wrap-up

(Not addressed in this meeting due to time)

  • Adjournment and passing of the chairship.
    • Hermine passed the chairship to Rebecca Belford and adjourned the meeting.