News: From ALCTS

New ALCTS Planning Database To Be Unveiled at ALA Midwinter Meeting

Watch for the rollout of the new ALCTS Planning Database at the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. Planning Committee members and members-at-large liaisons will attend each Sections’ Executive Committee meetings to discuss the new planning database and to enlist support in using it.

Committee and Section reports will be included in the Planning Database to be used throughout the ALCTS organization, facilitating the work of the Executive Committee as well as Program, Budget and Finance, Education, Fundraising, Membership, and Publications Committees. Contact Nancy Gibbs, Chair, Planning Committee, for more information.

IFLA Reports from the 2006 World Library and Information Conference, Seoul, August 20–24, 2006, Part 2

Classification and Indexing Section

The spectacular quality of the 2006 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Seoul was in evidence beginning with the Opening Session on August 20. Surely there have been few IFLA conferences with official theme songs. “Guiding Our Dreams,” composed especially for this event, was as affirmative a paean to librarianship as anyone could wish, presented as part of a fully staged, Broadway-style theatrical presentation with the Seoul Royal Symphony Orchestra, chorus, traditional musicians and dance. "Lead me on to my journey / In times of need / In times of hunger / Feed my soul / Calm my mind / Your smile to show / You care for all mankind": the music was even printed in the program. What a welcome this extended to the approximately 3000 delegates to the Seventy-Second General Conference, representing 124 countries! As is generally the case, delegates from the United States made up the second-largest group, after those from the home country (366 people, as compared with 1,367 from South Korea itself).

The Classification and Indexing Section presented its Open Programme on Wednesday, August 23, on the theme of “Interoperability of subject access for multilingual and multi-script networked environment, particularly for Asia.” Approximately 110 people attended the programme. Papers were selected in response to a worldwide call for papers on this theme, in accordance with the practice now widely adopted by IFLA Sections. Although Leena Shah and Sudhir Kumar, both from India, were unfortunately not able to attend to present “Uniform Form Divisions (Common Isolates) for Digital Environment, a Proposal,” their paper is available on IFLANET, at the address given below. This left more time for presentation and discussion of two papers: “Transferring Intended Messages of Subject Headings Exemplified in the List of Korean Subject Headings” by Gertrude Soonja Lee Koh (Dominican University) and “Facet Analyses of Categories Used in Web Directories: A Comparative Study” by Kyung-Sun Kim and four co-authors (University of Wisconsin-Madison). Professor Koh’s paper focused on the “core concern in addressing interoperability,” namely the challenges involved in transferring meaning across “cultural and linguistic boundaries.” Professor Kim reported on the results of a study which “analyzed popular Web directories from different Asian countries/areas and examined cultural differences reflected in their [implicit] classification systems,” in relation to Zins’ model of eight facets commonly used for the organization of Web resources. The programme concluded with “Closing Remarks: Standards for Controlled Vocabularies” by Marcia Lei Zeng (Kent State University) and audience discussion. The papers are available at www.ifla.org/IV/ifla72/Programme2006.htm, under Session 136.

The Section Standing Committee had its two customary business meetings on the days preceding and following the conference proper (August 19 and 25), and received reports from the Section’s Working Groups. Patrice Landry (Swiss National Library), the Standing Committee Chair, reported for the Working Group on Multilingual Thesauri. The group’s work is complete, and comments from the worldwide review have been received. It is expected that the text of the group’s final report will be available on IFLANET by the end of this calendar year. The Working Group on a Virtual Clearinghouse for Subject Access Tools was discontinued on the suggestion of its Chair, David Miller (Curry College). After three years, the practical difficulties of both realizing the group’s charge and sustaining a Clearinghouse as a large-term project have proved to be insurmountable. The Standing Committee accepted the recommendation to disband the Working Group, with thanks. The Working Group on Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records (FRSAR) met during the Congress and continued its deliberations. The Chair, Marcia Zeng, reported on FRSAR’s progress as part of the Division of Bibliographic Control’s Open Programme on Monday, August 21. The reconstituted Working Group on Guidelines for Subject Access by National Bibliographic Agencies (Patrice Landry, Chair) is focusing on the subject indexing policies of national libraries, beginning with existing actual policies as models.

The Section’s program for the 2007 WLIC in Durban, South Africa will have the theme, “Partners for Subject Access to Bring Libraries and Users Together.” The scope of the programme includes minority language subject access, bringing user vocabularies into controlled vocabularies and getting users involved with folksonomies and user tagging, providing library instruction to help users with subject access, and cooperative initiatives in Africa. The call for papers ( www.ifla.org/IV/ifla73/calls-class-en.htm) has a December 15, 2006 deadline.

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