LC Decision on Series Authorities -- Pt. 2 (Sarah Thomas) ERCELAA@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu 08 Nov 1994 19:45 UTC

Pt. 2 of LC Decision on Series Authorities:


      It is important not to diminish access.  At a time when we
are asked to increase access through such means as provision of
tables of contents, abstracts, and added subject terms, we
must not eliminate information that many types of users consider

      We therefore recommend the following:

1. Continue to provide series authority records and controlled
access for all series, numbered and unnumbered.

2. Increase series training and cooperative efforts to share the
workload of creating series authority records for all series.

      a. Provide a solid basic foundation with periodic review to
assure consistently high levels of quality and provide ongoing
continuing education and mandatory refresher courses to maintain
skills of catalogers in the Library of Congress and other libraries
participating in shared programs.
                The Library of Congress has already planned several
series training workshops for NACO libraries during this fiscal
year.  Should demand warrant, we will arrange for added workshops
at ALA, regional meetings, etc. with the help of the PCC libraries.

  b. Increase cooperative contributions to series

NACO libraries have already demonstrated increased participation in
contributing series authority records (144% increase in FY94 over
FY93).  Their continued support of this important program gives
strength to the worldwide effort for cooperation.

3. Provide more efficient policies and procedures for cataloging in
series work, as well as other areas.  For series:
      a. Review cataloging levels and clarify the appropriate
access needed for categories of materials, ranging from brief,
unanalyzed "serial" records to full, analyzed, classed separately
                This review process has already been proposed for
action during this fiscal year at the Library of Congress.

      b. Move to an increased number of classed together series,
relying on NCCP libraries to provide alternate classification
numbers as deemed necessary.
                The cost benefits are that this reduces ongoing
individual classification work, which is expensive cataloger's
time.  The Library of Congress tried to do this in the past and
received negative comments from libraries wanting class separate
numbers, but we would now rely on the cooperating libraries, such
as NCCP and NACO and the future PCC libraries to provide any
alternative classification.
      c. Continue to seek ways to simplify series authority record
creation and maintenance.

4. Vigorously pursue automated assistance to enable us to continue
to provide national level cataloging at a rate that allows us to
stay current with new receipts and to eliminate all arrearages by
the end of the year 2000.
           This is the area that holds the most hope for
significantly reducing cataloging time and increasing productivity.
It applies not only to LC but also other libraries worldwide, and
the Cooperative Cataloging Council's Task Group on Automation is
identifying particular automated capabilities that would improve
cataloging efficiency.


      Once again the library community has reaffirmed the mandate
for the Library of Congress to continue to provide full, national
level bibliographic records with traditional elements of
description and access and all access points under authority
control.  We must find ways to preserve that level of description
and access, but also find ways to cut costs. Libraries expect the
Library of Congress to create complete, accurate, timely, and
authoritative records that are the standard of quality.  Beyond the
quality issue, there is an expectation that the Library of Congress
and the cooperative libraries will continue to provide this level
of bibliographic control and not diminish access.  We will continue
to provide series authority control.

      However it is also apparent, especially to administrators of
libraries, that cataloging is (and always has been) an expensive
operation as now performed, and there is a constant effort to seek
ways to reduce the cost by improving productivity.  Introducing
enhanced capabilities of automation, changing workflows, adjusting
policies to address the appropriate bibliographic control for
various types of materials, increasing levels of cooperation to
create bibliographic and authority records are some ways to improve
productivity that have been and will continue to be vigorously
pursued.  In that vein we will continue to examine the structure
and content of the bibliographic record and search for the means of
offering quality access in a cost effective manner.

      We at the Library of Congress take seriously our role in
universal bibliographic control and will continue to provide the
high standard bibliographic and authority records expected of a
national library and will provide leadership for other cooperating
libraries joining in this effort.  Our nation's catalogers are a
great resource, and we must work together to provide effective
control over the ever increasing body of bibliographic materials.!
*  Sarah E. Thomas -              LLL                  *
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