Content Standards (including CC:DA): ALA Annual Report 2017


Chicago, IL, June 23-26, 2017

Reports from:
OLAC Cataloging Policy Committee (CAPC)
OLAC Membership Meeting
RDA Forum & RDA Linked Data Forum
RDA “Pop-Up” Meeting with Cataloging Specialists
ALCTS Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA)
ALCTS/LITA Authority Control Interest Group (ACIG)

Reported by: Mary Huismann (St. Olaf College), Chair, Content Standards Subcommittee

OLAC Cataloging Policy Committee (CAPC)

The OLAC CAPC meeting was held on Friday, June 23, 2017. The major part of the meeting was devoted to
liaison and task force reports; only selected highlights are reported here—see the full CAPC meeting minutes normally published in the September OLAC Newsletter:
The Cataloging Committee: Description and Access (CC:DA) liaison report reminded attendees that the RDA Toolkit is frozen during the RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign (3R). RDA content will have the IFLA-Library Reference Model (LRM) as the underlying model. The CC:DA Monday meeting has been cancelled; the RDA Steering Committee (RSC) will use that time to host a “pop-up” meeting with representatives of specialist cataloging communities (including music and AV) to gather concerns about issues that need to be addressed within RDA.
The MAC liaison report outlined the various papers and proposals to be discussed (agenda available at Among the proposals are two with ties to OLAC.
Proposal 2017-10 that would broaden the definition of the MARC 257 field to include names of entities that are not formally recognized as countries. Proposal 2017-11 (joint proposal with the Canadian Committee on Metadata Exchange) proposes options for recording the RDA element “Accessibility Content” (RDA 7.14).
The LC report contained information on staffing changes at LC, publication of the monograph The Card Catalog: Books, Cards and Literary Treasures, migration of pre-MARC bibliographic records from standalone databases, a new instruction sheet (Subject Headings Manual H 204) on evaluating subject proposals, and an update regarding the “Illegal aliens” heading. Both the art genre/form project (in collaboration with the Art Libraries Society of North America) and the LC Demographic Group Terms (LCDGT) pilot continue. A draft of the Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus for Music Manual has been published on LC’s website (
There has been no further discussion within the Policy and Standards Division (PSD) about the OLAC proposal on genre/form terms for video games.
Highlights from the OCLC report include new products, hiring for a Consulting Database Specialist position, and publication of the 2017 OCLC-MARC Update. This update will implement MARC21 changes announced in MARC21 Updates no. 23 and 24.
The Music OCLC Users Group (MOUG) report noted that their annual meeting was held February 21-22 in Orlando. Meeting presentations are available at the MOUG website ( The MOUG Distinguished Service Award was presented to Robert Cunningham of the Boston Public Library. The 2018 meeting will be held in Portland, Oregon in late January.
The Subcommittee on Maintenance for CAPC Resources (SMaCR) chair, Richard N. Leigh, is working with the CAPC chair and web editor to revise and reorganize content in the Cataloging Resources portion of the website.
The RDA Standing subgroup was formed to assist with ensuring that the RDA best practices are up-to-date with revisions from the RSC. The DVD/Blu-ray guide is currently under review, with the streaming media  and video games to follow.
A member of the joint MLA/OLAC Playaway RDA best practices task force posed several questions to the audience regarding recording of publishers and extent (e.g., record as “sound media player” or “Playaway”). Feedback was also solicited about 34X $b terms added in original records prepared by the Playaway firm. The Task Force was encouraged to reach out to the Playaway firm to discuss these issues. A draft of the guide is expected by ALA Midwinter 2018.
The Objects task force (formerly “Realia”) continues their work.
The ALCTS Subject Access Genre/Form Implementation Subcommittee (SAC GFIS) reported that with LC unable to move forward with video game genre/form headings at this time, OLAC will pursue publication of a vocabulary in the Open Metadata Registry. The group has narrowed down an initial list of 300 terms to 75 terms. Authority records will be created; it is anticipated that the project will be finished by ALA Midwinter 2018.

The final portion of the meeting was devoted to discussion of unification of the various sets of best practices into a single document, the formation of joint task group with the Music Library Association to clarify some issues surrounding the use of RDA and non-RDA terms in the MARC 33X and 34X fields, and RDA AV issues to presented at the specialist cataloging meeting on Monday.

OLAC Membership Meeting

OLAC’s Membership Meeting was held on Friday, June 23, 2017. Details of the upcoming biennial conference were announced at the OLAC Membership Meeting. The OLAC Conference will be held October 27-29, 2017 in Richmond, VA at the Omni Hotel. The theme for the conference is “Navigating the Future: AV Cataloging in the Era of Linked Data.” Workshop topics and presenters are being finalized. A call for poster presentation is forthcoming. More details may be had at the conference website ( .

Nancy Lorimer (Stanford University) presented “Love from Afar: Describing Music Audio & Video Recordings in BIBFRAME, the Performed Music Ontology & Beyond.” The Performed Music Ontology (PMO) extends the BIBFRAME ontology to enable semantic description of performed music resources in
all formats. Nancy demonstrated enrichment of metadata for a small collection of resources related to the Kaija Saariaho’s opera “L’amour de loin” (“Love from afar”) to show relationships between them and other information about the opera. Also covered in the presentation were issues encountered as new classes and properties were added to the core BIBFRAME vocabulary and a demonstration of the SHARE-VDE interface by Casalini Libri. Slides from the presentation are available at the OLAC website (

At the conclusion of the meeting the gavel was passed to Jeremy Myntti, who will serve as OLAC President this year.

RDA Forum & RDA Linked Data Forum

The RDA Forum, held on Saturday, June 24, 2017, included a presentation by James Hennelly (Director, RDA Toolkit) and Judy Kuhagen (3R Project Consultant). Slides from the presentation are available at the RSC website (

James Hennelly provided an update on the status of the project. The project has been taken on because of the impending IFLA-Library Reference Model (LRM) implementation, plus the current Toolkit model is unsustainable. The overarching goals of the 3R Project are to improve RDA and the RDA Toolkit
in order to better meet user needs, add greater flexibility and utility to the Toolkit and to provide efficient work processes and tools.

Restructuring of the data in the RDA repository includes conversion of the data to the DITA format, “chunking” the data at the element level and providing new/different metadata for searching. The conversion to the DITA format will allow resequencing of the data to provide unique “views” of the RDA content. A new MARC mapping solution is to be generated through the RDA Registry rather than a flat table. There will be a
new revision history solution, but it is not likely to be a “track changes” style view. The new Trados software will provide a faster turnaround time for translations.

The vision for the redesign of the Toolkit and user experience remains much the same as announced in previous project updates. There will be an emphasis on responsive design, adherence to the W3WC’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, entity view navigation and display and Toolkit navigation. User content creation tools are to be updated. System-created instruction views based on special areas or formats (e.g., music) will be possible. The display of glossary definitions, examples, policy statements (including the Music Best Practices), bookmarks, etc. will also be redesigned. The large instruction change archive presently in the Toolkit will not be maintained.

Account profiles will likely be required in the future. Personal profiles will be strongly suggested as they will play a large part in the user experience of the Toolkit redesign. Improvements to the administrative will allow easier management of profiles. A redesigned landing page will contain more information of interest to users, such as the last few searches performed, bookmarks, etc. Upon the system timeout, the page will reset to
the last page viewed—awelcome change from current Toolkit behavior!

Transitioning to the new Toolkit includes an ambitious plan to rollout the product in April 2018. The current
Toolkit will be available until April 2019. Since the underlying architecture is completely different, the existing site will not contain any new content once the new Toolkit is released. Free online Toolkit training presentations will be will be provided. Watch for a blog announcement regarding availability of wireframes or mock-ups (tentatively fall 2017).

Judy Kuhagen, former secretary of the RDA Steering Committee and current 3R Editor, reported on the outcomes of the May RSC meeting in Chicago and the progress made on editorial changes to RDA.

Three major RDA and RDA Reference content changes are planned: making revisions and additions to support LRM, extending the “4-Fold Path” for data capture and format, and expanding the RDA Element Set and improving the display of content in the entity view. Some changes to support LRM have already appeared in the August 2016 and April 2017 Toolkit releases: synchronizing the Open Metadata Registry (OMR) and the Toolkit to supply content, introduction of LRM “agent” terminology (to replace “person,family, and corporate body”), clarifying the entity being discussed with the specific WEMI entity (with some exceptions like “integrating resource,” “digital resource,” etc.). Instructions now refer to elements with an indefinite article rather than a definite article to provide more choices to cataloging communities. Articles within the English names of elements have been dropped. The latter two changes will assist with translations of the RDA text.

Judy provided a brief explanation of the OMR and how changes to RDA content are made. The RSC Chair, RSC Secretary, 3R Project Consultants, and translators all make changes to RDA. Using the OMR for this task provides value because content needs to be edited only once instead of in multiple places. Plus, by using
the OMR RDA content becomes available beyond the Toolkit paywall.

LRM implementation will require several changes to RDA. The LRM still needs IFLA approval, though that is expected come later this year. The documents are available on the IFLA website ( A new entity, “RDA Entity” will be added and used as the highest-level entity rather than the model’s highest level entity “Res.” Five additional LRM entities will be added to RDA: Nomen, Agent, Collective agent, Place, and Time-span. All existing RDA entities, with the exception of Person 1, are compatible with RDA. The “4-Fold Path,” the four ways to convey information to users, will be extended to all elements. Other additional elements for RDA include attributes of the new LRM entities, new elements, “missing” elements that are only implied in current RDA content (e.g., thematic index number), and elements for unmediated transcription for machine processing (e.g., manifestation statement). Relationships will become elements (and vice versa). Decisions on the possibilities of elements for access points, authorized access points, and variant access points, and whether to label elements as “core” have not
yet been made.

RDA will likely be organized into general chapters (e.g., Aggregates, 4-Fold Path, etc.) and entity chapters. Two views of RDA content are envisioned: an entity set view (like the current Toolkit’s “RDA: Element Set”) and an instruction view. The instruction view will not be in “workflow order” but will be more of a “data dictionary.” There will be a “chunk” for each element’s instructions, possibly structured with a definition/scope statements, user tasks, sources, 4-fold path, provenance, recording, links to related elements (both general and more specific), and links to topics in general chapters. Examples will show each of the 4-fold paths as appropriate, relationship, additional context, and the ability to set preferences for viewing examples. A specific style of display for examples has not yet been decided.

The Linked Data Forum, held on Monday, June 26, 2017, featured two presentations focused on RDA infrastructure and positioning it for a linked data environment.

Gordon Dunsire’s presentation “RDA Linked Data Vocabularies Data Management and Use Workflow” provided an overview of linked data workflow incorporated into RDA infrastructure. The RDA 1Person is not compatible because the LRM excludes non-humans. Instructions will provide how to provide access to non-
human names present in manifestations as the represented name of creator. Registry contains both linked data and semantic web representations of RDA entities, element sets, and value vocabularies. Data from this source populates the RDA Toolkit with terms, definitions, and vocabularies. This process is very efficient because data is maintained in a single place but is used in multiple places. Dunsire used the example “audio disc” to illustrate the data import process and the subsequent push to other systems and services. The only manual intervention in the process is the publication to GitHub. Dunsire also explained the version numbering system for the RDA Vocabularies in GitHub. The first number denotes a change that “breaks” semantics (such as the upcoming model change from FRBR to LRM); the middle number represents a “bendy” change, while the last number marks a minor change.

Diane Hillmann’s presentation “RDA and Linked Data” focused on linked data aspects emerging in RDA.  RDA is more than just a set of instructions—it is a complete package with the element set, vocabularies and ontology. This will become far more obvious when the 3R Project is complete. The RDA Registry is optimized to take our library data to the next level, with the flexibility to output to various systems and services. Reality and possibility need to be considered in data maintenance and research projects (most of which never end up in a finished product or service). Libraries need to shift away from local catalog data towards global scale data. In closing, Hillmann noted that RDA is providing the services needed to move forward and expressed the hope that libraries would support that endeavor.

RDA “Pop-Up” Meeting with Cataloging Specialists

The RDA Steering Committee, Working Group chairs and RDA Development Team (“RSC Plus”) met with representatives from various specialist cataloging communities on Monday, June 26 to gather information and feedback regarding RDA. Representatives from the cartographic, audio-visual, archival, rare materials and music were invited to the meeting. RSC Chair Gordon Dunsire opened the meeting with a brief presentation “Extending RDA (briefly)” that outlined issues surrounding the addition of entities and the extension of element sets and value vocabularies in RDA. Collaboration between communities would be good, and communities should think in terms of large, middle, and short range goals. For communities not covered by a current RSC Working Group, consider the North American group (“NARDAC”) to be the default working group. Presentation slides are available at the RSC website.

The music cataloging community was represented by Tracey Snyder (chair, Cataloging and Metadata Committee) and subcommittee chairs Mary Huismann, Casey Mullin, and Jim Soe-Nyun. After a brief overview of the work of the RSC Music Working Group (RMWG) and the Music Library Association Cataloging and Metadata Committee, concerns from the music community were shared. These concerns came at several levels: high-level modeling concerns (how we implement what LRM has given us), data elements not present in RDA, and vocabularies. Specific points in the high-level modeling concerns include relationships between agent/resource or resource/resource (e.g., creator as applied to popular/world music), aggregates, and how the LRM attribute Work_Category (LRM-E2-A1) be implemented in RDA with regards to genre/form terms encoded in MARC 655. In the second category, a need for better granularity is noted, particularly for Medium of Performance (RDA 6.16), Numeration (RDA 6.15), Key (RDA 6.17), Publisher’s Name (RDA 2.8.4), Title (RDA 2.3), Language (RDA 7.12), Identifier for Manifestation (RDA 2.15), Copyright Date (RDA 2.11), and carrier terms. There is a need for vocabulary for Playing Speed (RDA 3.16.4) and Encoding Format (RDA 3.19.3) and for potential new elements/sub-elements pitch center, mode, title, language, new carrier terms. The full document may be viewed here.

Many of the issues noted in the audio-visual community’s list are of interest to the music community as well. Elements determined to be missing from RDA include interactive/non-interactive elements for video games, physical type of optical disc, a place for “anamorphic widescreen” as it applies to manifestations, controlled vocabulary for types of recorded discs, elements for specific types of language, and vocabulary for accessibility data. They would also like a way to distinguish between 3D and 3D tactile form content (i.e., is the latter only meant to include Braille and other materials designed for the blind?), clarification of unmediated for things like Playaways, a possible restructure of video format (currently separated into analog/digital), clarification on relationships (e.g., publisher/distributors for commercial video, screenwriter as creator, artificial split between film and television producer, movement of some current expression roles to work roles, etc.) Concerns were also voiced about recording the new LRM manifestation statement and treatment of aggregates.

Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA)

CC:DA met on Saturday, June 24, 2017. 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 Tina Shrader delivered the report of CC:DA motions and other actions January-July 2017. A 3R Task Force was formed and charged with providing feedback to the ALA Representative to the RSC on proposed changes to RDA Toolkit and instructions.

LC Representative Dave Reser provided highlights from his written report. LC received a budget increase chiefly designated for technology projects. Cataloger’s Desktop development has been focused on enhancing search and retrieval, and better integration with Classification Web. The BIBFRAME pilot project phase 2 is underway. The full report may be viewed at

ALA representative Kathy Glennan reviewed RSC activities during the past six months. Former RSC Secretary Judy Kuhagen has been engaged as 3R Project Consultant. Her tasks will include reviewing and preparing RDA content to fit LRM principles and structure and to advise the RSC on RDA structure, consistency and maintenance. The “RSC Plus” group was established at the beginning of the 3R Project. In this group, chairs of the RSC Working Groups join the RSC in discussions and decision-making surrounding the 3R Project. Kathy also reported on governance developments and the May 2017 Community Outreach event held in Chicago. The full report may be viewed at

James Hennelly (ALA Publishing) and Judy Kuhagen (3R Project Consultant) reported on the progress of the RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign Project (3R Project). The project goals, redesign priorities, and anticipated changes to RDA were described. The current RDA website will remain available for a year following the new Toolkit release, but no content will be updated or added. Presentation slides may be viewed at

RSC Chair Gordon Dunsire gave a presentation “Appellations, Authorities and Access Plus.” Dunsire began the presentation with an overview of the process of aligning RDA with LRM. The new “RDA Entity” will be used as the highest-level entity rather than “Res” in order to limit the realm to only RDA entities. All existing RDA elements fit into the LRM model, except for person (non-human entities).

The LRM blurs the distinction between attributes and relationship—this allows for the expansion of the RDA4-fold path for identifying related entities by unstructured or structured description, identifier, or linked data URI. Relationships with string data (like unstructured or structured description or identifier) are like attributes but an attribute with “thing” data (like an International Resource Identifier (IRI)) is like a relationship.

The new “Nomen” entity supports the distinction between structured descriptions (in the form
of access points) and identifiers. For the user task “identify,” there’s no need for a “preferred” nomen if
a local identifier or global IRI is available. However, a human-readable nomen is necessary for the user
tasks “find” and “explore.” The Implication for authority control is that the emphasis will shift from a single “authorized” form to maintaining a collection of many forms (like the VIAF approach).

The Manifestation statement is defined as a “statement appearing the manifestation and deemed significant for users to understand how the resource represents itself.” The statement allows a clear distinction between
data transcribed from a manifestation in an unstructured form and data recorded or transcribed according to conventions codified by a particular community or implementation. Manifestation statements are meant for machine transcription, solely for the principle of representation with no human interpretation or intervention.

The last slide in the presentation was designed to provoke discussion. The slide featured the cover of the book “The Cheese Experiment” with the name “Geronimo Stilton” prominently featured. The question surrounds the agent—the cartoon mouse obviously did not write the book, so how do we relate the cartoon mouse to the book? One shortcut is “represented name of creator (work).”

Slides from Gordon’s presentation are available at

At the close of the meeting, announcements contained information on personnel changes to the group and the next meeting, slated for ALA Midwinter 2018 in Denver.

Authority Control Interest Group (ACIG)

ACIG met on Sunday, June 25 and featured three presentations followed by an update from LC. Presentation slides are available via ALA Connect

The first presentation was titled “Opening Doors: Impact of Linked Data Project on Authority Control at the National Library of Spain,” given by María Jesús Morillo Calero (National Library of Spain). The Library was founded in 1711 by King Felipe V; by 1836 the collection contained some 32 million items.
The Library’s budget experienced a 44% decrease from 2009 to 2016. Despite these limitations, they have still been able to innovate. In November 2014, the Library released, the new version of a linked open data-based service previously launched in 2011. The Library has partnered with the Ontology Engineering Group from the Polytechnic University of Madrid for design and development. The goal of the service is to continue the Library’s publication of bibliographic and authority data in RDF under an open license and to provide users with a view of the collection built on semantic data. Resources are now more discoverable, especially through search engines. is not only a showcase for the Library’s collections but a foundation that others can build upon in the future.

The second presentation, “The British Library’s Implementation of Library of Congress Medium of Performance Terms,” was prepared by Caroline Shaw and presented by Thurstan Young (British Library). Young gave brief descriptions of the Music Cataloguing Team and Library of Congress Medium of Performance Terms (LCMPT). The Music Cataloguing Team initially rejected use of LCMPT in bibliographic records, as medium of performance is a work-level element in RDA. However, the team changed direction for several reasons, including the presence of LCMPT on incoming American records, to align with the element-
based data recording approach of RDA, and the belief that LC would soon deprecate Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) containing medium of performance in favor of the new vocabulary. Catalogers were trained with a tutorial based on the MLA Best Practices and practical exercises. Implementation of LCMPT began in June 2016.

The British Library’s ILS has been reconfigured to support the adoption of LCMPT. Authority records for LCMPT were loaded into the authority database in the staff interface. A “look up” feature was added to help support population of bibliographic records with LCMPT, and internal tables were altered to eliminate alphabetical sorting of subfields upon record save. Indexing was done on both bibliographic and authority databases. Medium of performance display and search (via “Words Anywhere”) was added to the public facing discovery system “Explore the British Library.”

Implementation of LCMPT illustrated some of the limitations of library systems and the MARC 382 field. Full authority control is not currently possible as only the first term in a string is subject to authority control.
Entering data in MARC 382 is a time-consuming task. Often an explanatory MARC 500 note must be added to interpret data in the MARC 382 field. Inconsistency between old and new forms of recording medium of performance require multiples searches of the database.

There has also been a positive impact on cataloging workflow and data. Single LCMPT terms are easier to apply than LCSH strings and can be quickly input with the aid of macros. More specific options are available in LCMPT for instrument size or pitch and voice range. As of February 2017, 3,772 catalog records contain a MARC 382 field.

The presentation ended with a comparison of LCMPT and Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST). FAST had been under consideration as a possible replacement for LCSH as it contains many terms in common with LCMPT. Significant differences with the modeling of medium of performance and other differences led to the conclusion that the two vocabularies serve different purposes and in some situations both may be applicable. In the end, the impact of the LCMPT implementation appears to be neutral, and hope that in future a program to crosswalk LCSH to LCMPT would be developed.

The third presentation, “Authority Control in the German Speaking Countries: The Integrated Authority File (GND),” was given by Daniela Trunk (German National Library). “Gemeinsame Normdatei” (GND) is the integrated authority file used mainly by libraries but also increasingly by cultural heritage organizations in German-speaking countries. After a long tradition of separate authority files with different data formats and rules, the transition to a single file began in 2009. GND is operated cooperatively by the whole community and maintained by the German National Library. There are some fourteen million records in the database; about 47% represent persons. The file uses an entity relationship model. Each record has a unique identifier and describes only one entity. There is an emphasis on a linking structure of attributes and relationships to other entities.

The meeting concluded with the annual LC update given by Janis Young that covered many of the same topics as reported at the OLAC CAPC meeting (see report above).