Content Standards Annual Report: 2015

BCC Authorities Subcommittee/BCC Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee/CMC Content Standards Subcommittee
Combined Annual Report, July 2014-June 2015
Submitted by Tracey Snyder and Raymond Schmidt


Authorities Subcommittee members (July 2014-February 2015):

Raymond Schmidt, (2013), Chair; Sharon Benamou (2011); Grace Fitzgerald (2014); Jean Harden (2012); Morris Levy (2013); Stephen Mantz (2012); Jacob Schaub (2011); Michi Hoban (LC representative)

Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee members (July 2014-February 2015):

Tracey Snyder, (2012), Chair; Sonia Archer-Capuzzo (2012); Elizabeth Hille Cribbs (2013); Christopher Diamond (2013); Patty Falk (2011); Elizabeth (McCraw) Hobart (2012); Damian Iseminger (2013); Gary Markham (2011); Charles Peters (2012); Tomoko Shibuya (2014); Amy Strickland (2012); Laura Yust (LC Representative)

Content Standards Subcommittee members (March 2015-June 2015):

Tracey Snyder, (2012), Chair; Sonia Archer-Capuzzo (2012); Elizabeth Hille Cribbs (2013); Christopher Diamond (2013); Jean Harden (2012); Elizabeth Hobart (2012); Mary Huismann (2015); Damian Iseminger (2013); Morris Levy (2013); Peter Lisius (2015); Stephen Mantz (2012); Jennifer Olson (2015); Charles Peters (2012); Sophie Rondeau (2015); Raymond Schmidt (2013); Tomoko Shibuya (2014); Amy Strickland (2012); Jay Weitz (OCLC Representative); Michi Hoban (LC Representative); Valerie Weinberg (LC Representative)


As part of the reorganization of BCC to CMC, the BCC Authorities and Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittees merged to form the CMC Content Standards Subcommittee. Authorities chair Raymond Schmidt stepped down as chair and continued as a regular member of the new subcommittee, while Descriptive chair Tracey Snyder became chair of the new subcommittee.

As part of the restructuring, subcommittee chair Snyder constituted six small task groups as follows:

RDA Best Practices Maintenance TG
Harden, Huismann, Iseminger, Levy, Schmidt, Shibuya, Snyder, and Casey Mullin (chair of the former RDA BP Task Force) and Nancy Lorimer (member of the former group)

RDA Revision Proposals Review
Archer-Capuzzo, Hille-Cribbs, Hobart, Huismann, Levy, Rondeau, Snyder

RDA Policy Statements Drafting
Iseminger, Lisius, Schmidt, Weinberg

RDA Relationship Designators Revision
Archer-Capuzzo, Diamond, Mantz, Olson, Peters, Shibuya

MARC 008/20 Revision (joint task group with Encoding)

RDA Playaways Guide Revision (project with OLAC)

Members of the Authorities Subcommittee and the Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee continued to serve on the RDA Music Implementation Task Force (Schmidt and Iseminger, until the group completed its charge and was disbanded at MLA 2015). Content Standards members Snyder, Schmidt, Harden, and Iseminger (JMWG chair) continue to serve on the new iteration of the task force, the JSC Music Working Group.

At the ALA Midwinter meeting in Chicago, Authorities chair Ray Schmidt gave a presentation at the ACIG meeting on the topic “Advocating for Authority Control.”

An important focus of the Authorities Subcommittee/Content Standards Subcommittee has been on maintenance of two online resources for music catalogers, “Thematic Indexes used in Library of Congress/NACO Authority Files” and “Types of Composition for Use in Authorized Access Points for Music.” From June 2014-February 2015, twenty additions were made to the Thematic Indexes list. While relatively few terms were added to the Types list in the past year, many issues needed to be addressed concerning the use of tempo markings as titles—such as whether to treat these as types or distinctive titles, particularly when the tempo markings consist of more than one word. (These two resources are now maintained by the Vocabularies Subcommittee.)

The new group, the Content Standards Subcommittee, continued to work on a variety of ongoing activities related to RDA, including maintenance of RDA Best Practices for music, review of RDA revision proposals, drafting of RDA policy statements (Library of Congress-Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Statements (LC-PCC PSs)), and revision of RDA relationship designators.

Additionally, this year, Content Standards Subcommittee members Snyder, Huismann, Hobart, Mantz, and Strickland provided input to the ALA/CC:DA (Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access) task force to review DCRM(M) (Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Music)). Two members of the Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee/Content Standards Subcommittee (Amy Strickland and Christopher Diamond) continued their service on the ALA CC:DA Task Force on Instructions for Recording Relationships, which produced a revision proposal addressing RDA Chapters 24-28 in 2015, to be discussed by the JSC in November 2015. Content Standards Subcommittee member Jennifer Olson began work on a task force to create RDA best practices for Playaways (with OLAC, Online Audiovisual Catalogers). One member of the Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee/Content Standards Subcommittee, Damian Iseminger, attended the annual meeting of the JSC in fall 2014 and spoke on behalf of the numerous proposals generated by the JSC Music Working Group (JMWG) and vetted by subcommittee members in summer 2014.

Snyder did the following:
– Worked with the ALA’s Managing Editor for the RDA Toolkit and the new CMC Webmaster (Elizabeth Hille Cribbs) to revise content of MLA’s Best Practices for RDA;
– Worked with the ALA representative to the Joint Steering Committee to address constituency responses to two RDA revision proposals written jointly by DCS and OLAC in 2014: (1) resolving the inconsistency between the RDA Chapter 2 element of statement of responsibility and the RDA Chapter 7 elements of performer and artistic/technical credits, and (2) improving the instructions for recording duration in RDA 7.22; the proposals were approved by the JSC in November 2014 and took effect in April 2015;
– Worked with the JSC Examples Editor to revise and add examples to RDA;
– Worked with the ALA representative to the JSC to formulate the ALA position on several fast-track RDA revision proposals;
– Gave a presentation at the 2015 BCC Town Hall on how to use relationship designators in bibliographic records, a question which has frequently been raised on various email lists.

Subcommittee members participated in a discussion about advocacy for music libraries/librarians. Several subcommittee members continue to field questions on RDA via personal email and email lists.

The Content Standards Subcommittee chair recruited a subcommittee member (Mary Huismann) to become the next chair of the in 2016.


In March 2015, the Authorities Subcommittee and the Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee merged to form the Content Standards Subcommittee. The groups met last year’s stated goals, including that of participating in the reorganization of the committee and subcommittees.

The Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee met its goal of reviewing RDA revision proposals (proposals submitted to the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) summer 2014) from other constituencies and providing commentary to inform the official ALA responses.

Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee member Damian Iseminger was one of the presenters of a webinar on cataloging classical music audio recordings in RDA in fall 2014, completing the previous year’s stated goal of providing a series of RDA webinars throughout 2014.

Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee chair Tracey Snyder continued to maintain the MLA RDA LibGuide until the new CMC website was up and running, with links to the relevant resources.

The MLA/BCC RDA Music Implementation Task Force concluded its work on the Best Practices for Music Cataloging Using RDA and MARC21 at MLA 2015, and the Content Standards Subcommittee met the goal stated by the Descriptive Cataloging Subcommittee of assuming the task of maintaining the Best Practices.

The Authorities Subcommittee met its goal of resolving questions concerning the treatment of tempo markings as titles in the Types of Composition document. Decisions were recorded as an additional section within the “Principles of the List” of the Types document. The subcommittee provided additional guidance on the use of tempo markings as titles in an LC-PCC Policy Statement ( and MLA Best Practices (

In terms of the Authorities Subcommittee’s goal of identifying ways to perform RDA-related changes to the LC/NACO authority file, three members of the new Content Standards Committee have been designated to investigate this issue.

The combined subcommittees achieved their goal of continuing to revise RDA through participation on the JSC Music Working Group, generating RDA revision proposals and gathering input and feedback from subcommittee members.

GOALS FOR 2015-2016

The Content Standards Subcommittee’s goals for 2015-2016 are as follows:
– Review RDA revision proposals (proposals submitted to the JSC summer 2015) from other constituencies and provide commentary to inform the official ALA responses;
– Provide input on RDA revision proposals generated by ALA and JMWG as they develop;
– Propose revisions to LC-PCC PSs as needed;
– Propose revisions to RDA’s relationship designators as needed;
– Continue to enhance the Best Practices for RDA;
– Engage in webinars and other training opportunities as needed.

These relate to the MLA Strategic Plan areas of Organizational Excellence (collaborative work with the JMWG, ALA, OLAC, and other organizations in preparing RDA revisions, and authorship of Best Practices for RDA) and Education (use of technology to provide professional development and training support via upcoming RDA webinars).