Content Standards Subcommittee: MLA Report 2020

Music Library Association

Cataloging and Metadata Committee (CMC)

Content Standards Subcommittee (CSS)

Business Meeting

Saturday, February 29, 2020, 11:00-12:25 pm

Salon H

Hilton Norfolk The Main

Norfolk, VA


Members present: Mary Huismann, Ben Barba, Kristi Bergland, Linda Blair, Janice Bunker, Ann Churukian, Patty Falk, Ivan Kaptroth-Joslin, Kevin Kishimoto, Anna LoPrete, Chuck Peters, Hannah Spence


Members not present: Monica Figueroa, Chris Holden, Anna LoPrete, Rick McRae, Michelle Urberg


1. Welcome & introductions (5 min.)

  • The Chair welcomed members and audience observers and reminded everyone of the “Conduct during meetings” statement from the CMC Handbook.
  • Two additions were made to the agenda:
    • Addition of agenda item 3c
    • Document with examples for agenda item 7c.

2. Chair’s Report (Huismann) (10 min.)

a) Membership

    • New members since last year:

Ivan Kaproth-Joslin

Keith Knop

Chuck Peters

Hannah Spence

    • Several members rotating off CSS this year:

Ann Churukian

Patty Falk

Kevin Kishimoto

Anna Alfeld LoPrete

Rick McRae

Shelley Rogers (resigned in November)


Mary Huismann is also finishing her term as chair after this meeting. The next chair of CSS will be Keith Knop.

b) ALA Liaison reports

The Chair attended ALA, representing MLA at the ALCTS CC:DA meeting as well as covering other various meetings related to RDA. Reports can be found at the links below, and as published in the Music Cataloging Bulletin.

Annual 2019 (Washington, DC)


Midwinter 2020 (Philadelphia)


3. Joint Project Updates (Huismann) (10 min.)

a) CC:DA 3R Task Force

The Chair serves on the CC:DA 3R Task Force, a group charged with providing coordinated feedback and assistance to the ALA Representatives to the North American RDA Committee (NARDAC) on issues related to the 3R project including, but not limited to, feedback on the beta RDA Toolkit site. At ALA Annual, the group’s activity was broadened to include tasks beyond commenting on the Toolkit.

In the past year, the group

    • Completed a comprehensive review of the beta Toolkit
    • Commented on the RDA unconstrained elements and a proposal to develop a set of user-friendly labels that could be used for public display, particularly for relationship designators)
      • This exercise involved examining about 1,000 elements to determine if the “unconstrained” labels (e.g., “is musical setting of”) are adequate, accurate, or if a more user-friendly label could be proposed.
      • While the task force did not provide a formal response, the information was used in preparation of the NARDAC report.
    • Helped CC:DA prepare a proposal for a change to RDA
      • The proposal was a joint proposal from the Art Libraries Society of North America and CC:DA to add an RDA element for curators who play a role at the work level (e.g., a curator who organizes an exhibition that publishes an exhibition catalog)
      • NARDAC ultimately decided against advancing the proposal to the RSC, but was a valuable test for future proposal work.
    • Commented on another change proposal that is part of an RSC effort to revise language regarding corporate bodies vs the names of places, and religious bodies named after a place (e.g., name of a church building)

b) MLA/OLAC Single-Use Media Task Force

This task force was charged to develop RDA best practices for single-use media. This group is the successor to the former “Playaways, etc.” joint MLA/OLAC task force. The document will revise both the former Playaways and Slot Music guidelines.

    • Single-use media in this context includes any type of media with pre-loaded audio or visual content
      • Examples: Playaways, Wonderbooks, USB sticks, GoChip, SlotMusic
    • The plan is to try to write generalized instructions instead of separate instructions for each media with examples to draw out differences
    • The group is chaired by Bruce Evans; MLA reps include Kristi Bergland and Mary Huismann; OLAC reps include Barbara Tysinger and Rosemary Groenwald.
    • Progress reports are expected at ALA Annual and at the OLAC conference in October.

c) Report of the MARC Cataloging Inefficiencies Task Group (Bunker)

The Chair asked Janice Bunker, the CSS representative on the group, to report briefly since not all were present at the Encoding Standards Subcommittee meeting where the report was initially discussed. (Report:

4. RDA/MARC Task Group Report (Knop) (5 min.)

Keith reported on the work of the RDA/MARC Task Group, a joint group with the Encoding Standards Subcommittee. This group was convened to assess what changes to MARC might be necessary to accommodate the beta RDA text. The group’s report may be found at the link below:


5. LC Liaison Report (Iseminger for Holden) (10 min.)

  • LC Music Division is the “one stop shop” for music cataloging questions, including inquiries forwarded from PTCP, the general public, and NACO-Music Project members that are the only PCC members at their institution.
  • With the latest upgrade to Voyager, LC now has use of all MARC fields in the bibliographic record. All authority fields will become usable soon as well.
  • Damian is assisting with LC-PCC Policy Statement writing.

6. RDA Best Practices (Huismann) (5 min.)

a) Supplements document revision

    • Version 1.8 is now posted to the CMC website
    • The original document was split into 3 separate documents, looking ahead to future usability in the beta Toolkit
    • Revisions include some structural changes to aid accessibility, expansion of the full MARC record set and examples.

b) Submission form reminder

Just a reminder that if you have ideas for revisions or changes to the best practices or supplements to use the form found in the Frequently Asked Questions & Help page on the CMC website:

7. New Business (Huismann) (30 min.)

a) Creating a set of best practices for acquiring and cataloging digital scores (C. Peters)

    • The idea for this proposal came from his survey about cataloging scores and parts in PDF vs downloads from websites; it seemed logical to expand this work into a set of best practices
    • Distinct areas of concern:
      • Finding them, since they don’t generally come through normal acquisition channels
      • How to catalog these materials
      • How to maintain these materials
    • The group discussed a possible scope for these best practices (e.g., inclusion of Amazon CDs, CD Baby CDs, one-off custom printings, etc.) and if any similar work is taking place elsewhere
    • The consensus was that this proposal was worth pursuing, and Chuck would be willing to lead the task group

b) Post-RDA Toolkit 3R project update

    • Just to wrap up: the 3R project is essentially complete; some tasks deferred.
    • Decisions made provide the framework for the new RDA text:
      • RDA elements remain in place unless they conflict with LRM
      • Generalize instructions
      • Data dictionary vs hierarchical organization
      • Flexibility to accommodate various cataloging needs

c) The beta Toolkit: Application Profiles, Policy Statements, and Best Practices redux (overview and discussion)

Documents for context:

LC-PCC Policy Statements and Workflow Documents in the beta RDA Toolkit: PoCo Decisions (

Customizing RDA for Local Applications (

Handout: Examples (

    • This agenda item could be considered a continuation of last year’s “blue sky” discussion of the best practices vis-à-vis the beta RDA Toolkit
    • The chair provided a walk-through of what is known about policy statement migration/creation in the beta Toolkit
      • Note that in the beta Toolkit “policy statements” include the MLA RDA Best Practices
      • A script fun by ALA Publishing will create the initial set of policy statement files
      • DITA maps will be created for each policy statement set, providing the ability for scoped views of the RDA text sometime in the future
      • The migration process is recommended to begin with existing policy statements
        • Policy statements will need to be reviewed for compliance with guidelines set by ALA Publishing (e.g., no policy statement linking at the page title of entities/elements, etc.)
        • Lengthier policy statements may be better presented as documents in the beta Toolkit
      • MLA will need to determine the initial set of policy statements to be published, ideally before the December 15, 2020 cutover date
      • The current Supplement documents could be added to the beta Toolkit as Documents
    • Damian Iseminger provided insight into how LC is re-imagining the current policy statements
      • They are taking a conservative approach, working with the existing set first
      • LC is hoping to provide a policy statement for every option in the beta Toolkit
      • The target date for completion, though optimistic, is the end of the federal fiscal year
      • Next, LC will work on “policy guidelines” (e.g., removing existing lengthy text from policy statements and re-fashioning into “how-to” documents)
      • Application profile work is high level; it is likely that few elements will be mandatory

8. Miscellaneous (10 min.)

  • An audience member suggested documenting the process of RDA best practice development
  • The Chair thanked Tracey Snyder, former CSS chair and CMC chair for her help and support through the past four years, CSS members for their efforts, and incoming chair Keith Knop.

9. Adjournment