Ask a music cataloger! A member of the Cataloging and Metadata Committee will respond to your question by email. We want your music cataloging to be the best it can be, and we are eager to help you apply the various rules, best practices, and norms that pertain to music materials. We also encourage you to subscribe to MOUG-L, the electronic discussion list of the Music OCLC Users Group (MOUG), where those who catalog music ask and answer detailed music cataloging questions in a collaborative, supportive environment. Topics include RDA, MARC, LCSH, LCGFT, LCMPT, and more. Anyone may subscribe to the list, read the discussions, and post relevant messages. Finally, for self-service, see MOUG’s list of cataloging resources, including Music Cataloging at Yale.
A lot! CMC subcommittees develop and maintain vocabularies for use in music cataloging (such as LCMPT for musical medium of performance terms and LCGFT for musical form and genre terms), assist in augmenting the MARC standard to accommodate music materials, develop and maintain music-specific “best practices” documents to supplement cataloging standards like RDA, sponsor three music-specific PCC funnels, and much more. CMC also convenes task forces and working groups as needed to work on certain focused projects in a concentrated time. See our Groups page and PCC Funnels page for more information.
Write to us and let us know you are interested! We accept applications for subcommittee membership (a four-year term) in the month or two leading up to the MLA meeting each year (which is usually in February), and we make decisions on assignments during a closed session at the end of the meeting. Watch MLA-L for the call for applications each winter. Applications consist of a brief statement of interest and summary of your relevant background and are typically due to the CMC Chair by the Friday evening of the MLA meeting. Earlier is better. See the CMC Handbook on our Groups page for more information.
So many ways! CMC shares information pertinent to the music cataloging and metadata community via MLA-L, the MLA Newsletter, the Music Cataloging Bulletin, the CMC blog (which you can subscribe to or simply bookmark), occasional webinars and screencasts, and CMC-sponsored forums and presentations at the annual MLA meeting.
Let us know! CMC sponsors a few program sessions at the MLA meeting each year, so contact the CMC Chair with your ideas, big or small. CMC develops and submits proposals for content during the month or two after the MLA meeting for the following year’s meeting. However, you may share your ideas at any time.
Send your ideas – Suggestions submitted through this form will be considered by the Content Standards Subcommittee (check the status of submissions here). RDA Best Practices revisions usually appear quarterly in sync with the RDA Toolkit update cycle. The RDA Supplements documents are published separately and are available at the CMC website.
Send your ideas – The Content Standards Subcommittee works with the RSC Music Working Group or with ALA ALCTS CC:DA to develop music-related discussion papers and revision proposals regarding RDA. These papers and proposals are then presented to the RDA Steering Committee for action.
Send your ideas – The Content Standards Subcommittee regularly assists the Library of Congress with the formulation and revision of music-related LC-PCC Policy Statements.
Send your suggestion. We welcome LC vocabularies (LCSH, LCMPT, LCGFT) questions, project ideas, questions about the process, and specific proposals.
You are encouraged to develop proposals for new and revised music LCSH headings, LCMPT terms, and music LCGFT terms through the SACO Music Funnel. A good starting point is contacting the SACO Music Funnel Coordinator with ideas and questions. For more information, see the SACO Music Funnel page.
Send your suggestion. The Vocabularies Subcommittee’s coordinator and Gary Strawn welcome questions about the Music Toolkit, which assists in automated application of faceted data in bibliographic records, and will use your reports of unexpected behavior in order to improve the Toolkit, refine the underlying Algorithm, or both. You may also want to check for updated versions of the Music Toolkit, Music Toolkit documentation, and other Music Toolkit documents. Additionally, see the MLA technical report, Retrospective Implementation of Faceted Vocabularies for Music, for background information.
Send your proposal. The Vocabularies Subcommittee’s coordinator for the Types list welcomes terms for consideration or questions about terms or titles.
Send your proposal. The Vocabularies Subcommittee’s coordinator for MLATI maintenance welcomes suggestions for new or revised entries in the MLATI list, and any questions on existing entries.
Send your suggestion. Revisions to the LC Vocabularies Best Practices (currently for LCMPT and LCGFT) are made periodically as needed and as community practices evolve with these emerging vocabularies.
The MLA membership has come up with excellent ideas for how the MARC21 format or its documentation could be improved. Contact the Chair of the Encoding Standards Subcommittee with your suggestion. The subcommittee will discuss the idea, either by email or at the subcommittee’s meeting at the annual MLA conference, and add it to our development calendar if there is interest and capacity.
It depends. Very simple corrections to MARC21 documentation can be handled by the Encoding Standards Subcommittee Chair in consultation with the Library of Congress’s Network Development and Standards Office (NDMSO). These changes would then be published in the next update to the MARC formats, something that happens at least twice a year. A new “fast-track” process is being implemented to accommodate smaller changes to the formats when they aren’t likely to be controversial, or when they would not impact users outside of a domain such as music. The total turnaround time from proposal to publication could be several months to less than a year, though the fast-track process is too new to know for sure.
More complex changes are often a two-step process that begins with a discussion paper drafted by the Encoding Standards Subcommittee, which is then submitted for formal review by the full MARC Advisory Committee, followed by discussion by the MARC Steering Committee. The successful discussion papers return as formal proposals that go through the same review process. Minimally, this process takes a year, though eighteen months would be a more realistic minimum time period. Full implementation of the published standards by OCLC and others would take even longer.
Expertise within the Encoding Standards Subcommittee is broad, but its membership may not be expert on the encoding standard you would like to improve. Share your suggestion with the Chair of the Encoding Standards Subcommittee, and the subcommittee will take it on if we feel that we can deal with it properly. BIBFRAME is definitely in development as a potential successor to MARC, though formal mechanisms to contribute to its evolution aren’t fully developed. Still, feel free to share your ideas or concerns.