CC:DA: ALA Annual Report 2016

Reported by Mary Huismann (University of Minnesota), Chair, Content Standards Subcommittee

The CC:DA blog contains the full agenda and links to various documents and reports.

After introductions, the adoption of the agenda, and approval of the minutes of the meeting held at ALA Midwinter, chair Dominique Bourassa delivered the report of CC:DA motions and other actions, January – June 2016. Motions to form task forces to investigate definitions or and instructions for accompanying material in RDA and for the review of the FRBR-Library Reference Model were approved. The report of the latter task force was approved and sent on to the chair of the FRBR Review Group. A motion to include the new Deseret Romanization table in the ALA-LC Romanization tables was also approved.

Library of Congress Report (Dave Reser)

Reser reported on personnel changes (including the nomination of Dr. Carla D. Hayden as the next Librarian of Congress, and the announcement of permission to fill approximately 30 vacancies in the ABA Directorate—including several music-related positions), budget news, usability and security enhancements to Cataloger’s Desktop, additions to the ALA-LC Romanization Tables, RDA update, changes to the LC-PCC Policy Statements, project updates (headings for Malaysian jurisdictions, features, etc. and headings for Taiwanese jurisdictions), introduction of the new user interface for the LC catalog (featuring responsive design), and ongoing work with the Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME).

Report of the ALA Representative to the RDA Steering Committee (Kathy Glennan)

Glennan reported on personnel changes to RDA Steering Committee (RSC). Through March 2016, the RSC worked on finalizing changes and additions to RDA instructions arising from proposals and discussion papers considered at the JSC’s 2015 meeting, plus approving fast track and related changes. The RSC also refreshed membership of various working groups and set tasks for 2016.

The RSC has reissued 22 JSC documents as RSC documents (making updates as necessary) as part of the transition from the Joint Steering Committee. Official documents may be found at the RSC website

The RSC has evaluated working drafts (on requirements for online tools and functionality to support the new RDA governance structure and a consolidated version of the RDA Glossary) and contributed to formal responses to FRBR-LRM.

RSC activities relating to ALA include ALA’s submission of six fast track proposals:

  • Clarify that for early printed resources, distribution and manufacture statements relating to booksellers and printers may be treated as publication statements.
  • Revise to better address multiple parallel other title information statements.
  • Separate the last entry in (statements regarding a designation of edition) into two parts: one for voice range, and one for format of notated music.
  • Add 8 new terms and revise 1 existing term in RDA Appendix I, for roles associated with music/AV resources. [Follow-up from the JSC’s Edinburgh meeting.]
  • Revise 2.15 to specify that 2.15.2 and 2.15.3 apply exclusively to notated music resources.
  • Update the RDA/MARC mapping in the “Tools tab” to link MARC Authorities field 377 to RDA 6.11 (Language of Expression) – and vice versa.

ALA’s proposal regarding adding instructions for international courts will be submitted as an experimentation with a “fast track plus” proposal for the August RDA Toolkit release. In February, Gordon Dunsire, James Hennelly, and Kathy Glennan served as panelists for an RDA-themed episode of American Libraries Live.

At this point, no further progress was reported on planning for the creation of the North American RDA Committee. Glennan has been reappointed to a second three-year term as the ALA RSC Representative, effective July 1, 2016.

Upcoming deadlines for the November 2016 RSC meeting are July 18 (last day for CC:DA to vote to approve proposals and discussion papers originating from ALA) and September 19 (last day for CC:DA to vote to approve ALA responses to working group and community proposals and discussion papers).

Greater Flexibility in Creating Variant Access Points: Proposal from the ALA Representative to the RSC (Kathy Glennan)

RDA contains two different types of instructions for creating variant access points for works/expressions versus persons/families/corporate bodies. Though these two styles of instructions provide flexibility in creating variant access points, in all cases they are based on a variant of the preferred title or the preferred name. The instructions need to be expanded to include using the preferred title + variations or the preferred name + variations to create a variant access point. The proposal includes several recommended changes to chapters 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11 to address this issue. Making this proposal difficult is that the long term vision is for an application profile rather than instructions to handle situations like these.

Report of the Task Force to investigate Definitions of and Instructions for Accompanying Material in RDA (Elyssa Gould) (Appendix 1 Chart – JPEG)

The discussion paper was prepared by a joint ALA/CCC working group and examines the current definitions of and instruction for accompanying material in RDA. Seven issues that require resolution were identified; the paper includes analysis and recommendations for each issue. After discussion of each issue, the group voted to move this discussion paper forward to the RSC.

RDA internationalization and application profiles: applying the global to the local Presentation of the RSC Chair (Gordon Dunsire)

Dunsire, chair of the RDA Steering Committee, gave a presentation focusing on internationalization in RDA. The new RDA governance structure will provide an increased international presence as the number of committee members from a single country or region decreases to a single representative. At the November RSC meeting, for example, there will be only one representative representing all of Europe.

Internationalization in RDA is also fed through feedback from the RDA translation teams and “hackathons.” Further internationalization will occur with the FRBR-LRM model and use of linked data. Some enhancements, such as “mouse overs” for definitions, may be folded into the toolkit redesign. Enhancements and linked to IFLA’s multilingual dictionary of cataloging will help facilitate extension to RDA to the archives and museums communities (who wouldn’t necessarily know library terminology).

Turning to localization, Dunsire noted that this is not new—we already have localization in RDA in the form of policy statements, alternatives, optional additions/omissions offer RDA communities choices to use locally. It was noted that even core elements offer a choice, as the instructions are “should include” not “must include.” An application profile is the correct way to be local.

An application profile specifies each element to be used in an application, how it is aggregated into logical units of information and if it is mandatory or optional, repeatable, associated with a vocabulary encoding scheme, and associated with a syntax/string encoding scheme or data type. Most people are familiar with Dublin Core applications, which came to use in 2007-2009. A local application profile selects a set of RDA elements for the application, identifies locally refined elements for the application, assigns local mandatory and repeatability status to each element, assigns local vocabularies, and local syntax encoding and datatypes.

Dunsire closed the presentation with an example from RDA, recording gender. The vocabulary removed from the “global” RDA became a “local” vocabulary. It was noted that gender distinctions have largely disappeared in Anglophone countries, but is not true in many other languages. Translations have to make a compromise and the result is often awkward.

Report from the PCC Liaison (Lori Robare)

Robare summarized work that stems from the PCC Strategic Directions 2015-2017 document, including formation of two groups (the PCC Linked Data Advisory Committee and the Task Group on Identity Management in NACO) and ongoing work by the Task Group on URIs in MARC. Highlights from the work of the Standing Committee on Standards include drafting the PCC response for the FRBR-LRM review, reviewing changes to the BSR and CSR to incorporate DCRM(C) practice and revisions to PSs, and approving several changes to PSs relating to series. The Standing Committee on Training Series Policy Task Group finished its review of series-related LC-PCC PS and sections of DCM Z1. The revision of the RDA series training manual is nearly complete. A joint SCS-SCT working group was formed to address policy questions in the development of the guidelines for relationship designators in authority records. SCT is collaborating with LD4PE to update available linked data training resources, and is working on evaluating training needs and revision of existing documentation. The Standing Committee on Automation is investigating the issue of omitting ISBD punctuation from MARC records.

Report from the MAC Representative (John Myers)

Myers reported that MAC had 11 proposals and 14 discussion papers to consider.

See the report of MLA’s liaison to MAC (Jim Soe Nyun) for details on the proposals and discussion papers of interest to music.

Report from ALA Publishing Services (Jamie Hennelly)

Hennelly reported on RDA Toolkit subscriptions, focus on international markets (especially Latin America), publication of RDA Essentials, anticipated release schedule for 2017, improvements to the administrator interface, work on the RDA registry and vocabularies, and goals for future Toolkit development.

AALL Proposal: Revision proposal for RDA instructions for laws governing more than one jurisdiction ( (Robert Bratton)

This RDA instruction is for creating authorized access points for laws governing more than one jurisdiction, but it only applies to compilations of laws. However, single laws that govern multiple jurisdictions exist, but are relatively rare. These laws also have problems with constructing AAPs that require their own solution. AALL recommends that a new instruction and examples be added to RDA This proposal will become an ALA proposal.

OLAC Proposal: Addition of new controlled vocabulary for 3.19.6 Regional Encoding (Mary Huismann on behalf of Kelley McGrath)

Many of the elements for technical details describing carriers in RDA chapter 3 have associated controlled vocabulary where a vocabulary could be developed. Regional encoding (RDA 3.19.6) does not currently have controlled vocabulary, but one could potentially be developed. Regional encoding has been identified for DVD and Blu-ray video and some video games. Several issues were discussed, including what term to use for “region free” discs, the lack of standardization for video game regional encoding, and the form of the term when a qualifier is necessary. The consensus of the group was to use the term “all regions” for discs that have no region encoding. This proposal will move forward as an ALA proposal, with some revision.

The meeting closed with announcement of incoming chair, members and liaisons and a resolution honoring Dorothy McGarry, Special Libraries Liaison, for her many years of service.


Reported by Mary Huismann (University of Minnesota), Chair, Content Standards Subcommittee Janis Young introduced a new set of online training modules for Library of Congress Subject Headings. This training is being developed with Simmons College and will eventually be available on the Catalogers Learning Workshop website. The training is geared to beginners or those desiring a refresher course. Once the LCSH training is complete, a set of modules covering LC classification, LCGFT, and LCMPT are planned.

The PCC BIBFRAME Task Group was just appointed, and the charge for the group is posted on the PCC website. The group is to monitor and formulate responses to BIBFRAME 2.0 vocabulary draft specifications, monitor the work of similar initiatives and discussion forums, and to identify issues of interest to the PCC and formulate responses.

The final portion of the meeting was a discussion of inferences and assertions in the LOD environment undertaken by members of the PCC Secretariat with participation from the audience. The opening statement “catalogers make assertions, machines make inferences” served as the starting point of the lively discussion. Paul Frank provided several slides illustrating some questions of assertion and inference. For example, an assertion can be made that a person is employed at a particular company; would there be a reciprocal in the record for the employer (because a machine would make that inference)? Another question considered is what happens when an assertion happens outside the (authority) file? Perhaps the most compelling example was a name authority record with a birthdate that has multiple 670s offering differing birthdates. As of now, a cataloger makes a judgment call, or asserts that one of the dates is correct. What happens when that date is found to be incorrect? What is the purpose of an authority record today? We as a community don’t always have a clear sense of what our authority records should do or what users expect. Also, other organizations or professions can make assertions that don’t follow our rules, and we have no control over that. Wrapping up, we must realize that our future work will be different, and we will lose some control. There are no answers today, but the discussion will be continued at Midwinter 2017!

RDA Forum

Reported by Mary Huismann (University of Minnesota), Chair, Content Standards Subcommittee

Gordon Dunsire, chair of the RDA Steering Committee, gave a presentation titled “What does RDA Linked Data Look Like and How Does it Benefit Users?”

Dunsire began with several visualizations of examples from the RDA Toolkit. The flat-file example offered only text in a tabular display without links. One could add ISBD punctuation and come away with a catalog record! A visualization using RIMMF provided more finely grained data than the flat-file. Although the display is still tabular, links have been incorporated. Another visualization utilized RDF graph conventions (ovals, lines, arrows, boxes). This “entity and focus” approach is the future, with navigation via links.

Linking to the RDA registry allow for multilingual labels and controlled terminologies; when a filter is applied, only the desired language is displayed. This is a tremendous benefit for user, particularly in a bilingual setting.
RDA’s fine granularity supports interoperability with all coarser-grained schema. Getting from RDA to Dublin Core, for example, is relatively easy and no human intervention is required. There are drawbacks, however; as data is “broadened” up, there is some data loss.

A graph display allows the user to expand or contract the detail displayed. There is no “record,” just an endless array of related entities, to be re-aggregated as needed.

Authority Control Interest Group (ACIG)

Reported by Mary Huismann (University of Minnesota), Chair, Content Standards Subcommittee The program consisted of three presentations and an update from OCLC.

Gary Strawn (Northwestern University) demonstrated new features added to the Authority Toolkit since Midwinter ALA. These features include ingestion of VIAF data, changes to the model used to present information from other web-accessible resources such as Wikipedia, the ability to derive a new authority record from an existing authority record, moving a URL from 670 $a to $u, changes to the fixed field and options panel, and the conversion of decimal coordinates to degrees, minutes and seconds. All of the new features have come as a result of user feedback. Full documentation for the Authority Toolkit is available at this link. The Authority Toolkit is compatible with Windows 10.

The second presentation, “Identity Management in a Linked Data Cataloging Workflow,” was given by Philip E. Schreur (Stanford University). Schreur shared his preliminary thoughts on the grant supporting Linked Data for Production (LD4P) that began six weeks prior to ALA Annual. LD4P is a collaboration between six institutions (Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Library of Congress, Princeton, and Stanford) to begin the transition of technical services production workflows to ones based in Linked Open Data (LOD). Each institution in the collaboration will have their own projects, ranging from hip-hop (Cornell) to cartographic (Harvard) to archival film (Library of Congress). Stanford will be looking at four key production workflows and redefining them as tracer bullets, working through all aspects of the production cycle—from acquisitions to discovery. One of these production workflows will be devoted to performed music.

Identifier management will be essential throughout all of the production workflows since each access point will require an identifier. Several questions will need to be answered along the way: How best should we discover, assign and reconcile identifiers in the copy-cataloging process? How best should we create new identifiers in the original cataloging process? What implications are there for membership in the Program for Cooperative Cataloging if we no longer create traditional authority records? These issues and more will need resolution during the two-year grant period.

Rosemary Groenwald (Mount Prospect Public Library) and Mary Mastraccio (MARCIVE) presented “Incorporating the Library of Congress Literature, General and Music LCGFT Terms into the Authorities’ Database of Your Local ILS.” Groenwald began with a brief description of LCGFT and then discussed her library’s project to add these terms to their SirsiDynix Horizon ILS. Since their system was not equipped to properly merge records, they used MARCEdit to process records. Most of the project has been accomplished by working from lists, except for the LCGFT music terms. This process was handled differently because the library has mostly popular music. LCGFT music terms were added as individual items were cataloged.

Mastraccio spoke about using genre authority records in a system. System requirements need to be considered along with user expectations. One should also consider discovery layer requirements, how various MARC fixed and variable fields are used, and possible problems if multiple thesauri are to be used. Conversion from current headings to genre/form headings ranges from the simple (e.g., MARC 650$a to 655 $a) to complex (e.g., to MARC 655 + 385/386). A plan for maintenance needs to be considered, as does the question of inserting a URI or control number.

Both presenters serve on the SAC Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation Working Group on LCGFT and have prepared a spreadsheet that maps many LCGFT terms to LCSH subdivisions or various fixed fields in the MARC record.

The final speaker in the program was Cynthia Whitacre (on behalf of Becky Dean, OCLC) who gave an update on OCLC’s implementation and future plans for controlling of headings to authority files beyond the LC Name Authority File and LC Subject Headings. The OCLC definition of “control” has a bidirectional, dynamic relationship—a type of linked data. New authority files are used as provided by the organization (OCLC does not change data). Files are analyzed by OCLC staff, and often the files reveal a rich history of practice. Since there are differences in standards and systems, it is important to understand that NACO normalization is not always appropriate. Non-LC authority files are only available through WorldShare record manager.

OLAC Cataloging Policy Committee (CAPC) Meeting

Reported by Mary Huismann (University of Minnesota), Chair, Content Standards Subcommittee

The meeting began with introductions, adoption of the agenda, and an announcement of personnel changes for the committee. A new task force to produce an RDA best practices guide for realia and miscellaneous formats has been charged. The chair of the task force is Julie Moore, and volunteers with experience in cataloging these types of materials are needed to work on the task force.

The next portion of the meeting was devoted to liaision and task force reports (only selected highlights are given here—see the full CAPC meeting minutes that will be published in the September OLAC Newsletter):

  • The CC:DA report reminded everyone of the addition of the new terms “stamped” and “burned” in the list of production methods at RDA A proposal will be presented at this CC:DA meeting to add controlled vocabulary terms for region codes (RDA 3.19.6).
  • The MAC report outlined proposals and discussion papers of interest to AV cataloging, namely the two OLAC proposal regarding 046 $k and 257 and the MLA proposals asking for definitions to change the format for music codes to allow to determine which pieces go with which that are in the 382 $3 and adding a new subfield to the field 028 for publisher numbers.
  • The LC report contained announcements regarding several vacancies at the Library of Congress, the end of the BIBFRAME pilot with an extension into July for images and other formats, the ongoing review of demographic manuals, and an extension for the LCGFT pilot phase 3. LC is developing free online training modules for LCSH.
  • OCLC is working on the 2016 MARC update that includes content from updates no. 21 and 22 from last April. OCLC is also participating in an IMLS grant for a new ISNI international name standard.
  • The CAPC Video Game Genre Task Force has submitted a white paper to the Library of Congress. If the project is approved, a new task force will be formed to carry out the work.
  • The joint SAC/OLAC Games Preferred Title Task Force has also submitted their report to the Library of Congress.
  • The joint MLA/OLAC Playaways RDA Best Practices Task Force’s work is ongoing. More task force members are needed to move the project toward completion!

The final portion of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of accessibility issues, led by Teressa Keenan. This topic came to the fore for Keenan when the University of Montana was required to comply with state regulations regarding electronic information and accessibility. RDA does have some provision for recording accessibility information, but the MARC format does not easily allow for this. A set of best practices or MARC changes may help. After discussion, the next steps are to form a task force, touching base with other groups that may be working along similar lines.

The meeting adjourned with the announcement that Bruce Evans (Baylor University) will be the new CAPC Chair, to be effective following the conclusion of ALA Annual. Outgoing chair Mary Huismann was thanked for her work during the past three years.