ALA Annual 2018 report


American Library Association

Annual Conference (137th : 2018 : New Orleans, La.)

Report on cataloging, etc. meetings


Subject Analysis Committee (Sunday morning and Monday afternoon)


From the representative and liaison reports: Sears has added art genre headings. * LC will expand its use of relationship designators to all headings. * LC will no longer be making multiples in LCSH and will make explicit records for this sort of heading. Example: Aesthetics -- Religious aspects -- Baptists, [Catholic Church, etc.], would no longer be made. Some systematic splitting of the multiples and creation of distinct subject heading records, based on usage, will be undertaken in cooperation with OCLC. * LC is discontinuing the NACO literary authority number program; NACO participants will be allowed to add author call numbers with some exceptions (coded 050 #4 with $5), e.g., authors with range of numbers, authors with name/title mix within cuttering, pseudonyms. * The RFI for a new system is out from LC; it addresses how the system can handle various formats such as MARC, BIBFRAME, Linked Data, etc. * The subcommittee on video game terms will issue its list of terms independent of LCGFT. * Library and Archives Canada is making revisions to how it deals with indigenous peoples; LC is talking to LAC about this, in particular relating to "Illegal aliens" debate. Changes are not imminent in LCSH. * Classification partners on Dewey development include Northwestern, Queens Public, and Douglas County Libraries (Colo.). * FAST is considering adding alternate terms in light of culture context and/or political correctness.


Marcia Zeng presented on “Supporting digital humanities and LAM data access through semantic enrichment” – her slides are supposed to be posted eventually and there are other presentations on her website at


Several more art form/genre terms were submitted to LC as followup to the art genre project. They are being analyzed. If and when they are approved, LC will plan to open art and visual works for new proposals. The original round of proposals have been added to LCGFT.


MARC Advisory Committee (Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon)


Agenda and reports available at


Two fast-track changes were announced: $4 added to 730; 382 $r definition revised.


Proposal 2018-02 for subfield coding in Field 041 for accessibility in the bib format came from Canadian Committee on Metadata Exchange (CCM) and was based on earlier discussion papers. It was approved with a few changes for intertitles (mainly seen in silent films), transcripts, and captions.


Proposal 2018-03, also from CCM, addressed new fields for accessibility content in the bib format. It was accepted with $0 and $1 being dropped from 341 since they would apply to subfields but not to the string; adding $8 to 341 and 532; and revising definition of value 2 in first indicator to be "Accessibility deficiencies" rather than "Accessibility hazards."


Proposal 2018-04, from the German National Library, addressed versions of resources in the bib format, e.g., preprint, postprint, publisher's version. Option 1 was an expansion of field 250; option 2 was defining new field 251. Option 2 was approved with $3, $6 and $8 added.


Proposal 2018-05 (German National Library) looked at how to code multiscript records which the Germans want to do at the field level. Option 1 was approved to use $6 with codes from ISO 15924.


Discussion paper 2018-DP07 (PCC Task Group on URIs in MARC) addressed designating sources for names in the bib format. Summary from MAC page: "There was general support from MAC for the use case demonstrated in the paper, though there was consensus that title complexities should be explored separately from names. Most felt that $2 should be optional. The discussion paper will return as a proposal, focusing on names, with perhaps the addition of field 130 and 730 for titles in those fields. MAC expressed the desirability for the complexities of the authority and RWO URIs to be better explored in the narrower context of names."


Discussion paper 2018-08 (PCC TG on URIs) addressed using 024 to capture URIs in the authority format. Option 2 to facilitate use of machine-actionable standards was preferred and will come back as a proposal. There was discussion of "local" in $2 and the ambiguity it causes in shared data.


Discussion paper 2018-DP09, from OCLC, addresses options to improve subfield structure in field 245. The impact on legacy data is huge. At the same time, it is recognized that a more granular coding of title and statement of responsibilty would be valuable. Option 1 would use existing subfields but would make them repeatable. Option 2 would keep exisitng subfields and add more. It was suggested that we could go to a single field/subfield with all metadata in a single string with a new field defined for a granular version. It was noted this still would not clarify the relationships. The discussion was interesting but the DP will not come back in its present form as a proposal.


Discussion paper 2018-DP10, from OCLC and the German National Library, proposes adding a subfield to 856 for access. The main discussion issue was mixed open and restricted resources and the proposers will look at a partial value. The Germans would use such a code for mixed; others would not. This will come back as a proposal.


Discussion paper 2018-DP11, also from the German National Library and OCLC, addressed open access and license informtion in bib and holdings. The method needs to be global and reusable. Field 506 can be used for access and 540 for how a resource can be used. Between this and DP-10, it was clear that 856 could use a systematic overhaul. This will also come forward as a proposal, at which time disagreement will have to be resolved.


Notes compiled by Sherman Clarke

ARLIS/NA liaison to Subject Analysis Committee (and pro tem MAC liaison)

VRA representative on MARC Advisory Committee