CMC Town Hall Summary: MLA Conference 2020

Cataloging and Metadata Committee Town Hall MLA Annual Meeting 2019, Norfolk, Virginia, February 28th, 2020.

Summary written by Jennifer Olson, University of Hartford.

Session presenters: Tracey Snyder (Cornell University), Karen Peters (Library of Congress), Rebecca Belford (Oberlin College), Mary Huismann (St. Olaf College), Linda Blair (Eastman), Damian Iseminger (Library of Congress), Kathy Glennan (University of Maryland), Kevin Kishimoto (Stanford) (presenting on behalf of Nancy Lorimer (Stanford)), Hermine Vermeij (UCLA).

Outgoing chair Tracey Snyder began the Cataloging and Metadata Committee (CMC) Town Hall session by highlighting CMC’s jointly sponsored sessions at MLA this year, including The People, the Music, and the Context: New Frameworks for Discovering Relationships in Cultural Heritage Collections and Toward Mutual Enlightmenment: An Information-Sharing Forum for Cataloger and Reference/Instruction Librarians, as well as the Town Hall session. Snyder also announced the following incoming committee chairs and funnel coordinators: Keith Knop, Chair of the Content Standards Subcommittee (CSS); Beth Iseminger, SACO Funnel Coordinator; Hermine Vermeij Chair of CMC; Casey Mullin, BIBCO funnel coordinator, and a new editor for the Music Cataloging Bulletin (MCB) will be appointed soon. Snyder also highlighted resources available on the new CMC Website, including a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, updated best practices documents and a web form for personalized cataloging assistance.

Karen Peters reported on Encoding Standards Subcommittee (ESS) activities.  This year MARC had few music-specific changes, but there were a number of updates that apply to most disciplines. In MARC Update 28, May 2019, $0 (Authority record control number or standard number), and $1 (Real World Object URI) were added in Field 024, Other Standard Identifier (Authority format), for capturing machine actionable/parseable URIs. In fields 100, 110, 111, 130, 240, 700, 710, 711, 730, 758, 800, 810, 811, 830, Name/Name-Title/Title headings (Bibliographic format) $2 (Source of heading or term) was added to record a code for source vocabulary (e.g., naf). In Field 506, Restrictions on Access (Bibliographic, Holdings Data formats) 5 new subfields were added between the 2 formats. In Field 540, Terms Governing Use and Reproduction (Bibliographic format) 3 new subfields were added. In the July 2019 addendum to MARC Update 28 Field 007, Physical Description (Bibliographic format) added code b for belt to character position 01 (Specific material designation) for sound recordings. Field 845, Terms Governing Use and Reproduction (Holdings Data format) added 4 new subfields to mirror Field 540 in the Bibliographic format. Field 856, Electronic Location and Access (All formats) added $7, Access status: open/restricted/unspecified/other.

In MARC Update 29, November 2019, Field 041, Language Code (Bibliographic format) $g was renamed Language code of accompanying material other than librettos and transcripts; $i, Language code of intertitles (silent films) was added, as was $t, Language code of accompanying transcripts for audiovisual materials. Peters clarified that 041 $t should be used for non-musical audiovisual materials only, and should not be applied to librettos.

Also added were Field 688, Subject Added Entry—Type of Entity Unspecified (Bibliographic format); and $g, Miscellaneous information, was added to Field 751, Added Entry—Geographic Name (Bibliographic format) to bring it in line with other X51 Fields. To accommodate online publications made accessible via a third-party platform Field 008, Fixed-Length Data Elements (Holdings Data format) added new byte 6 (External access) to Character Position 06 (Receipt, Acquisition, or Access Status). There were no changes to Authority format in MARC Update 29.

Current MARC proposals are focused on work facilitating conversion between MARC and BIBFRAME, and accommodating new concepts introduced by the Beta RDA Toolkit.  Other ESS activity included updating the Metadata for Music Resources webpage, and work by the MARC Cataloging Inefficiencies Task Group, which has been put on hold until development in RDA and BIBFRAME have stabilized.

Rebecca Belford, chair of the Vocabularies Subcommittee (VS) reported on the VS update of the best practices documents for LCMPT and LCGFT. VS made proposals to add the term Studio recordings to LCGFT and cancel the terms Filmed Musicals and Televised Musicals. VS also revisited whether the term Operettas should be proposed (decision: disambiguation was too complex and a term was not proposed at this time). Scope note changes to the terms for band and wind ensemble in LCMPT were approved to help users apply the terms more accurately. Future projects for VS include potential changes involving gendered voice terms in LCMPT, clarifying Visuals vs. Mixed Media in LCMPT, and revisiting terms for Rap and Hip Hop. Belford also shared a list of newly approved terms in LCMPT and LCGFT, some originating with VS and others from outside groups.

Belford also briefly touched upon meetings at ALA Midwinter, including the SAC Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies, which discussed best practices for the retrospective application of Library of Congress Demographic Group Terms (LCDGT), retrospective genre/form term application, and chronological and geographic terms and facets.

Mary Huismann, outgoing chair of the Content Standards Subcommittee (CSS) reported on updating the RDA best practices documents in preparation for the change to what is now Beta RDA.  Version 1.8 of the MLA Best Practices Supplement is live now on the CMC Website. Regarding the changes to RDA, the text has been stabilized and translators and policy statement creators are doing their work. A goal of spring of 2020 has been set to add policy statement samples and translations to the toolkit.

CSS members also participated in the Joint MLA/OLAC Single-Use Media Task Group, chaired by Bruce Evans, which is the successor to the Playaways Task Group. Progress will be reported at ALA Annual and the October 2020 OLAC conference.

Outgoing BIBCO Funnel Coordinator Linda Blair discussed the work of the BIBCO funnel for music, and highlighted accomplishments from its first five years.  If you are already an independent contributor to NACO, the training to become a BIBCO contributor is minimal. Please contact Casey Mullin, incoming BIBCO Funnel Coordinator, if you are interested in becoming a member. Applications are accepted year-round.

Kathy Glennan, Chair, RDA Steering Committee (RSC), discussed the official “switchover” date for the beta RDA Toolkit, which is planned for Dec. 15, 2020. Catalogers are not expected to start using the new RDA on this date, and the countdown clock for bringing down the original toolkit will begin only after the RDA Board and RSC agree upon a date (likely to be determined sometime in 2021). Individual catalogers and institutions will determine for themselves when they start working in the new standard. Glennan’s slides from ALA Midwinter, which are an overview of the RSC Action Plan for 2020-2022 are available at the RSC website.

Damian Iseminger, former Chair of the RDA Steering Committee Music Working Group and current member of the North American RDA Committee (NARDAC) gave a brief presentation called Aggregates, Beta RDA and You, describing types of aggregates and some example scenarios that compared the way the current toolkit rules and Beta RDA differ with regard to describing aggregates.

Kevin Kishimoto spoke (on behalf of Nancy Lorimer, a key player in the Linked Data for Production (LD4P) Grants), giving an overview of the history of the LD4P project. The next phase, Closing the Loop, is currently in grant proposals. The current phase, Pathway to Production, focuses on the creation of a continuously fed pool of linked data expressed in BIBFRAME from a core group of academic libraries and development of a cloud-based sandbox editing environment in support of an expanded cohort of libraries to create and reuse linked data.  To achieve this, the project has been working with Sinopia, which is a linked data creation environment. The main challenge was that Sinopia development has taken longer than expected;  also, Library of Congress profiles could not be used “out of the box”, but required adaptation to work with Sinopia. As a result, planned testing of the Performed Music Ontology (PMO) was not able to be completed in 2019 as hoped. Kishimoto showed what the current Sinopia environment looks like for a cataloger, and the resource templates from PMO that will aid catalogers working in Sinopia. Next steps for the project include completing the PMO sound recording profile, adding in more complex modeling for thematic catalog numbers and opus numbers, and a thorough testing through use by the Linked Data Working Group of MLA (LDWG).

The LDWG report was delivered by Hermine Vermeij, outgoing chair of LDWG and incoming chair of CMC.  As mentioned above, Sinopia development fell behind and LDWG was unable to test the PMO in Sinopia.  This will instead be the goal for the coming year, and it seems likely that Sinopia development will be far enough along to start testing in spring 2020.  Kevin Kishimoto will be taking over as the chair of LDWG.

And, because it wouldn’t be CMC Town Hall without a little fun, Kevin Kishimoto performed a brief musical tribute to outgoing CMC Chair Tracey Snyder, to the tune of Mandy, by Barry Manilow.