CMC Town Hall Summary: MLA Conference 2022

Summary by Jade Kastel, Western Illinois University

PDF Slides from CMC Town Hall

Speakers: Introduction, Hermine Vermeij (UCLA); Encoding Standards Subcommittee, Karen Peters (Library of Congress); Vocabularies Subcommittee, Rebecca Belford (Oberlin College and Conservatory); Content Standards Subcommittee & Electronic Scores Working Group, Keith Knop (University of Georgia); Linked Data Working Group, Kevin Kishimoto (Stanford University); Representative Expressions, Kathy Glennan (University of Maryland), Keith Knop, and Karen Peters; RDA Toolkit, Damian Iseminger (Library of Congress) and Kathy Glennan.


Hermine Vermeij, Introduction: Hermine Vermeij began the Cataloging and Metadata Committee (CMC) Town Hall by highlighting CMC’s jointly sponsored session at MLA this year: The Journey to Enlightenment Continues: Further conversations between public and technical services professionals. CMC’s upcoming eLearning Events include: Introduction to Music Cataloging (May 2-27); Music Cataloging with LC Vocabularies (May 30-June 24); Music Cataloging with Library of Congress Classification (July 11-August 5); and Using the new RDA Toolkit to Catalog Music (August 9-11).


CMC Committee transitions include: Chair of Vocabularies Subcommittee: Rebecca Belford to Janelle West; Secretary/Webmaster: Joshua Henry to Kristi Bergland; SACO Music Funnel Coordinator: Beth Iseminger to Leo Martin; Incoming CMC Chair: Rebecca Belford.


The “Latest News” and the “Training and Information Videos” sections and how to access the CMC Groups, Archive, CMC Reports, and the CMC Handbook were highlighted on the on the CMC Website, and the following CMC subcommittees posted openings: Content Standards, Encoding Standards, and Vocabularies.


Karen Peters, MARC and Metadata Updates: Recent MARC updates include MARC Update 32, June 2021, Field 046, Special Coded Dates (Bibliographic and Authority Formats) and Field 348, Notated Music Characteristics (Bibliographic Format). MARC Update 33, November 2021, included Field 007/byte 13, Sound recording: Original capture and storage technique (Bibliographic format), labels changed to reflect terms for both capture and storage in all cases, label definitions rewritten to be clearer, and proposal and subsequent editorial changes to definitions made with significant input from MLA (Field 344 $j). Field 344, Sound Characteristics (Bibliographic format) added new $j (Original capture and storage technique), analogous to 007/13; uses same labels/definitions, and linked Data friendly and facilitates conversion between MARC and BIBFRAME.


The selected MARC Changes approved in January 2022 (to appear in MARC Update 34, mid-2022) are: Field 340, Physical Medium (Bibliographic Format) (Proposal No. 2022-01), which redefines $f (was: Production rate/ratio) to limit usage to microforms and was formerly used, among other things, to record playing speed of sound recordings. It clarifies that playing speed of sound recordings belongs in 344 $c

(Playing speed) or 347 $f (Encoded bitrate) and clarifies proper place for encoding other information formerly encoded in 340 $f as well. Field 373, Associated Group (Authority Format) (Discussion Paper No. 2022-DP04 , converted to a fast-track proposal), adds new $i (Relationship information) and $4 (Relationship) subfields.


The influence of BIBFRAME on MARC is that the process appears to be slowing down, as evidenced at 2022 Midwinter MARC Advisory Committee meetings: there were three proposals and no discussion papers authored by the (NDMSO-led) MARC/RDA Working Group, and no proposals or discussion papers authored by NDMSO itself.


LC did have a reaction to Discussion Paper (DP) No. 2022-DP05, authored by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Standing Committee on Standards, exploring accommodating subject relationships to Works and Expressions in the Authority format. LC rejected the notion of implementing any changes to MARC that might result from the DP’s conversion to a proposal, because such changes are “bibliographic description.” This was due to (1) perceived overlap between bibliographic and authority formats, (2) the results of an internal study, and (3) experience with BIBFRAME. LC is experimenting with the idea of migrating title (including name/title) authority records from the Authority format to the Bibliographic format.


Other Encoding Standards Subcommittee (ESS) activity reported was the Metadata for Music Resources Task Group’s maintenance of Metadata for Music Resources and the MARC Cataloging Inefficiency Task Group’s final report presented at the ESS Business Meeting, which included four recommendations for changes to MLA Cataloging Best Practices.


Rebecca Belford, Vocabularies Updates: The Vocabularies Subcommittee worked on the Types of Composition for Use in Authorized Access Points for Music, including plurals for non-preferred terms (type xrefs). Additional updates on deriving faceted data, MLA Thematic Indexes (MLATI), Best Practices for LCMPT, Music-Related LCGFT, LC Vocabularies Maintenance, and Music theater/Musical theater clarifications can be found in the CMC Town Hall slides (pp. 19-21). Also included are LCMPT terms that are new and changed (pp. 22-23).


Vocabularies updates beyond music include: the LCDGT manual, SACO editorial meetings, and the Core SSFV updated Retrospective Implementation of Faceted Vocabularies: Best Practices for Librarians and Programmers. Regarding the “Illegal aliens” BFM updates by OCLC In WorldCat: the LCSH and LCCSH flips are completed, and FAST is nearly done. An upcoming LC change: Implementation of History Notes in Field 688 in Authority Records for LCSH, LCGFT, LCDGT, LCMPT, and CYAC.


Keith Knop, Content Standards Updates: All MLA RDA Best Practices content from the original RDA Toolkit was incorporated and content will be visible to the public after March 23.


The MLA Application Profile includes a list of elements, recording status, recording method to use, etc.; a best practices “cheat sheet;” and a spreadsheet, with tabs for score-only element, recording-only elements, and universal elements. A draft will be available for comment with the March Toolkit update.


The MLA RDA Metadata Guidance has introductory matter that doesn’t fit in the new Toolkit, guidance for representative expressions and aggregates, instructions for constructing access points, an overview of elements arranged by MARC/ISBD area, and MARC examples arranged by element. Next steps include a draft for public comments with the Toolkit update.


Keith Knop, Electronic Scores Working Group: The Cataloging Subgroup is currently working on a Discussion paper covering issues that affect cataloging decisions and workflow. Items to come include requesting feedback and examples of practice; and Best Practices documentation.


Kevin Kishimoto, MLA Linked Data Working Group (LDWG): LDWG’s goal for 2021-2022 was to use the Sinopia linked data editor to test aspects of BIBFRAME and the Performed Music Ontology (PMO) for music resources. PMO is (necessarily) under revision, and there is significant Sinopia development in 2021 (LD4P3 grant) including BIBFRAME-to-MARC conversion. LDWG members built a broader knowledge and skills base in linked data theory/practice and linked data tools, and LDWG used Sinopia resource templates to create native linked data and analyzed results with visualization tools and simple SPARQL queries.


To revise the 2016-2017 PMO, a group met regularly covering PMO, Sinopia, data creation, and visualization, with the rationale that both BIBFRAME and our understanding of linked data had developed significantly since the original PMO was created. PMO classes and properties related to medium of performance needed to be simplified for practical use and better align music linked data practice with LRM (2017).  Reference LDWG approach outline in the slides (pp. 32-43).


2022-2023 LDWG Plans, hopes, dreams include BIBFRAME and PMO (in Sinopia), exploring other linked data tools, ontologies, ecosystems, etc., using PCC URIs in MARC, and creating and updating items in Wikidata. Outreach, training, and education are planned to increase MLA CMC involvement with linked data for music, align ourselves with non-MLA linked data projects and groups, and add new members to LDWG. Interested in joining LDWG? Contact: A full list of objectives for the LDWG plans can be found in the slides (pp. 44-48).


Kathy Glennan, Keith Knop, and Karen Peters, Representative Expressions:

An Evolution in the WEMI Model: Originating in IFLA LRM: Creating the IFLA Library Reference Model (LRM) was a chance to consolidate the Functional Requirements models and make them coherent with each other, to reconsider some of the modeling choices, and to find new ways of solving problems. The main areas in the IFLA LMR are included here, with the granular detail located in the slides (pp. 50-61).


One oddity in FRBR is that there are two medium of performance attributes: medium of performance (musical work), a work-level attribute; and medium of performance (musical notation or recorded sound), an expression-level attribute. Enter the representative expression concept, which allows certain expression-level characteristics that best represent the intention of the creator to be associated with the work. A representative expression attribute can come from any expression–it does not have to be the original expression or an extant expression. There is generally no need to identify a specific expression as a representative expression, nor to distinguish one representative expression from another. Access points for works may be used as access points for representative expressions. Details and more help can be expected in LC and MLA metadata guidance documentation.


MARC Proposal No. 2022-04: Recording Representative Expressions in the

MARC 21 Authority and Bibliographic Formats was approved by MARC Advisory Committee in January 2022. It will be official after publication in MARC Update 34 (mid-2022). A new field (387) with one linkable subfield per element will cover most representative expression attributes, but this was not sufficient for Medium of Performance or Key; for these elements, new indicators will be defined in the 382 and 384 fields.


Damian Iseminger and Kathy Glennan, RDA Toolkit Update: The RDA Toolkit had quarterly releases (updates), published in April and July 2021. A behind-the-scenes server migration caused the cancellation of the other 2021 releases. Release notes are available with each update located under the Resources tab: Resources > Revision History > Notes.


Server migration challenges caused profile login problems, access via IP authentication, and the admin site not being available. For access assistance contact:


Orientation/Training Resources from ALA Digital Reference include regular news updates and free monthly webinars on a variety of topics. The RDA Toolkit YouTube Channel includes past webinar offerings and a prerecorded RDA Toolkit demo. Chris Oliver’s new book Introducing RDA: A Guide to the Basics after 3R, Second Edition is available from the ALA Store.


News and announcements from the RSC and the RDA Board can be found at The website includes recent documents by year, proposals and discussion papers by sponsoring groups, and other public documents from the RSC.


Damian Iseminger, Collection Level Description in RDA: A collection, as viewed by RDA, is a plan to gather two or more items that together form a collection manifestation. The basis of the plan could be the holdings of a research library or materials that originate from an agent. Collection level description is metadata that is created to describe a collection or a collection and its constituent items.


Changes to accommodate the collections model, new relationship elements, and definitions of metadata work, metadata statement, and metadata description sets can be found on CMC Town Hall slides (pp. 75-77).


There are new concepts and elements for describing collections and for metadata works describing collections, as well as new relationships for relating collections to their descriptions. Relationships relating metadata works to agents responsible for them have been revised.