CaMMS Committee and Interest Group Reports, Midwinter 2016

ALCTS committees and interest groups submit reports to the ALCTS Office after each conference. Following are the reports submitted by the Cataloging and Metadata Management Section committees and interest groups.

Committee on Cataloging: Asian and African Materials

The Committee on Cataloging: Asian and African Materials met during the 2016 Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 10. As per the committee agenda, discussions were facilitated regarding three main developments:

  • The incorporation of Wikidata into the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) and of International Standard Name Identifiers (ISNIs) into authority records
  • The upcoming conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in Columbus, Ohio
  • The governance model of Resource Description and Access (RDA) with respect to internationalization. Reports from six constituent organizations were given.

Submitted by Charles Riley

Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access

The Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA) met during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting on Saturday, January 9, 2016, at 1:00 pm and on Monday, January 11 at 8:30 a.m.

Kathy Glennan, the RDA Steering Committee (RSC) representative, highlighted the outcomes of the November 2015 meeting of the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC, renamed the RSC at the end of its meeting). Of the nine ALA proposals, four were accepted, two were deferred, and three were rejected. The unsuccessful proposals will serve as background information for groups continuing to work on resolving the issues raised. ALA also submitted a substantial discussion paper regarding the development of machine-actionable data elements for information relating to carrier and content. Glennan summarized the results of the proposals and discussion papers presented by other constituencies. Of particular concern to CC:DA was the JSC’s rejection of a discussion paper presented by JSC Fictitious Entities Working Group (2015- ), a group that includes several CC:DA members. An intense discussion on the definition of person in relation to fictitious characters ensued.

The Task Force on Relationship Designators in RDA Appendix K and the Task Force to Investigate the Instructions for Recording Relationships in RDA were discharged because their work has been assigned to existing RSC working groups. The Task Force on Machine-Actionable Data Elements in RDA Chapter 3 will be discharged after the RSC forms an international working group to deal with the issues raised by the discussion paper submitted by the task force.

The committee discussed forthcoming work:

  • At the request of the RSC, CC:DA will work with the Canadian Committee on Cataloguing (CCC) to resolve issues that were raised by the ALA proposal to revise RDA 3.1.4, Resources Consisting of More than One Carrier Type and RDA, Recording Extent (6JSC/ALA/40). The committee decided to form a task force charged with working in collaboration with CCC and to present a joint discussion paper in time for ALA Annual.
  • CC:DA agreed that it will be important to present an official statement on the soon-to-be-released FRBR Library Reference Model (LRM). A task force will be formed as soon as the LRM is released. A volunteer sign up form was passed to start generating interest; it was signed by ten committee members and audience attendees.
  • Several CC:DA procedural documents need to be updated to reflect the change from JSC to RSC. The committee approved to allow its webmaster and chair to change JSC to RSC in the procedural documentation posted on its website and to archive the earlier documentation that mentions the JSC.
  • CC:DA discussed a revision proposal from the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) to add RDA instructions for the names of international courts (RDA The proposal will return to CC:DA later this year after AALL looked into an issue raised by the Library of Congress (LC) representative.

Glennan gave a presentation on how the changes in RDA governance affect ALA ( By 2019, there will be only one North American representative to the RSC instead of the current three (ALA, CCC, LC). In order to achieve this goal, a new hierarchical layer must be created between ALA and the RSC. This is envisioned as a “lightweight” layer, which will build on existing committee structures and expertise. For the purpose of the presentation, this was called the “North American RDA Committee” (NARDAC). NARDAC will include the current RSC North American representatives, but could grow to include representatives from other organizations. It will select its own representative to the RSC. Until the new RDA governance structure is in place, ALA will continue to have a representative on the RSC, and RDA-related work should continue as usual. The impact on CC:DA should therefore be minimal. However, the forthcoming changes give CC:DA a chance to rethink what it does, how it works and what role it will play in the new structure. A lively exchange followed, in particular regarding membership on NARDAC and the place of non-ALA members in the new structure. Liaisons were urged to discuss the proposed changes with their organizations and contact Glennan for additional information and questions.

Gordon Dunsire, the chair of the RSC, gave an informative presentation on RDA data capture and storage ( Dunsire’s presentation gave CC:DA a better idea of how RDA might develop in the near future. The interest in Dunsire’s presentation was evident from the questions and comments from both the committee and the audience that quickly followed.

The committee also heard and discussed reports from other committee officers and organizations, including its webmaster, LC, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, ALA Publishing Services, and the MARC Advisory Committee (for written reports, see

Submitted by Dominique Bourassa

Continuing Education Committee

The Continuing Education Committee met virtually on January 14, 2016 to discuss ideas for continuing education offerings. The Committee heard feedback at Midwinter that attendees are interested in learning more about linked data and how it can be used in practical applications. There is also interest in practical applications of BIBFRAME, with less of a focus on theory. The Committee is working with the Cataloging of Children’s Materials Committee to develop further training.

Submitted by Nannette Naught

Executive Committee

The Cataloging and Metadata Management Section Executive Committee met during the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 10.

Kathy Glennan, ALA Representative to the RDA Steering Committee (RSC), presented the changes in the organizational and oversight structures for RSC and some concepts for new governance models for North America.

The committee came up with two different ideas for the CaMMS Forum at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference, and discussed the resolution to change the LCSH term Illegal aliens.

Submitted by Bobby Bothmann

Policy and Planning Committee

The Policy and Planning Committee (PPC) met during the 2016 Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 10. There were four Interest Groups (IGs) up for renewal in 2016, and the committee discussed the renewal forms in order to compile recommendations to be passed on to the CaMMS Executive Committee. During the discussion, two common threads emerged: the importance of recording attendance figures at IG programs, and the possible spread and overlap of some IG programs.

The committee agreed that the all-committee meeting structure worked well. For members of this committee serving as review liaisons to other CaMMS committees, the change has an added benefit. Liaisons will now be able to meet with the committees they are reviewing without having to go to multiple meetings at different times. It was agreed that future PPC Midwinter meetings could begin slightly later than the scheduled time, allowing liaisons to meet with the committees they are reviewing beforehand.

Submitted by Kevin Balster

Research and Publications Committee

The Research & Publications (R&P) Committee met during the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 10. The first topic of discussion was about the outdated Charge on the R&P committee webpage. Before the Midwinter meeting, it was discovered that the Charge had been revised in 2012, but the committee webpage was not updated to reflect the revised Charge. After a quick discussion, the committee decided to not revise the 2012 Committee Charge at this time. The committee will review the Charge in more detail when the committee is up for review in 2017. Chair Karen Snow stated that she will ensure that the committee page contains the 2012 Charge. The remainder of the meeting consisted of discussing short term and long term projects that will help jump start the group’s productivity and engagement with ALCTS members (and anyone else) interested in cataloging research and publication.

Short term projects (to be completed by or shortly after ALA Annual 2016) include:

  • Updating the ALCTS cataloging and classification resources pages to include a scope for inclusion, as well as more current resources ( Two committee members were assigned to this task.
  • Reviving committee member contributions to the bibliographic essays page historically maintained by the committee ( The remaining committee members were tasked with choosing and contributing a bibliographic essay on a current topic within cataloging and classification literature.

Long term projects were also discussed and include:

  • Soliciting bibliographic essays from outside of the committee, perhaps using grant money as an incentive
  • Sponsoring a research preconference at either the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference
  • Creating and distributing a survey to ALCTS members asking about their research and publication needs
  • Promoting existing research mentorship programs to ALCTS members, such as Library Research Round Table’s (LRRT) mentorship program (

Submitted by Karen Snow

Recruitment and Mentoring Committee

The Recruitment and Mentoring Committee met during the 2016 Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 10. The committee discussed best practices documentation for using the ALA Connect function MentorConnect with cataloging and metadata topics. The chair will check with ALA to determine if this functionality will remain in the new Connect platform. Stacie Traill reported on the upcoming ALCTS e-Forum on career progression in cataloging and metadata, which the committee proposed. Stacie and Lisa Robinson will facilitate the forum in February 2016. The committee made plans for develop profiles of a variety of careers in cataloging and metadata and present them as online profiles to highlight opportunities in our field. The committee discussed coordination with the ALCTS-level mentoring initiative. This work is being led by the Leadership Development Committee, informed by a recent report by the ALCTS New Members Interest Group.

Submitted by Morag Boyd

Subject Analysis Committee

The Subject Analysis Committee (SAC) met twice during the 2016 ALA Midwinter Conference: on Sunday, January 10, and Monday, January 11.

At Sunday's meeting, after adopting the agenda and the 2015 Annual minutes, SAC heard reports from a number of liaisons and subcommittee and working group chairs. Liaisons representing the Sears List of Subject Headings, the Cataloging-in-Publication (CIP) Program, three liaisons representing different bodies involved with the Dewey Decimal Classification and the Policy and Standards Division of the Library of Congress all reported. Robert Maxwell, liaison to the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA), discussed new working groups related to Resource Description and Access (RDA). He also discussed issues concerning relationship designators, both as part of the CC:DA report, and in his role as Chair of the SAC RDA Subcommittee. Finally, there was a presentation from Kathy Glennan, ALA Representative to the RDA Steering Committee, on the structure of the new RDA governance changes, and on the proposed FRBR Library Reference Model. Both presentations are available on ALA Connect.

On Monday the SAC meeting began with a forum called "By Who and For Whom? LC Demographic Group Terms" given by Janis L. Young (Policy & Standards Division, LC). There were 34 guests in attendance who signed in on a passed-around attendance sheet. Janis talked about the development of the new vocabulary, applications and issues related to it, particularly with regard to the construction of headings for demonyms (names for people who live in a given locality). The slides for the presentation are on ALA Connect: .

After the program and a brief break, SAC heard reports from liaisons representing the Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST) project, the SAC Working Group on LCDGT, the SAC Research and Presentations Working Group, the MARC Advisory Committee, the American Association of Law Libraries, the Music Library Association, the Art Libraries Society of North America, the SACO-at-large meeting and IFLA. Adam Schiff reported on the meetings earlier at this Midwinter Meeting of the Genre/Form Implementation Subcommittee, where they are beginning to discuss issues related to retrospective application of genre/form headings. There was also a follow-up discussion from an issue raised at Annual about the LCSH "Illegal aliens." A resolution was proposed to be sent to Council after the meeting asking them to support SAC in the endeavor to change the heading. SAC voted to send the resolution and form a task group to continue to discuss this issue. Finally, there was a report from the chair of SAC and a brief discussion on a proposal that was sent to the group related to a new classification scheme for human rights documents. The group asked for more information about the classification and expressed concern that this did not properly belong with SAC.

Submitted by Liz Bodian

Authority Control Interest Group

The Authority Control Interest Group (ACIG) met during the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 10, with about 60 people in attendance. The Conference put a general emphasis on the issues of authority control; it was the focus of attention by various interest groups and committees. Our plan was to continue an ongoing discussion of the future of authority control, which we started in 2015 at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. This year, the general theoretical discussion on the topic was covered in the ALCTS CaMMS Forum “Authority Work of the Future: Taking Controlled Vocabulary and Authority Control Beyond the Library Catalog.” Our interest group concentrated on specific aspects of authority control in new thesauri creation and development, authority-to-identity transition, RDA enrichment initiatives in connection to authority control, and some others. Topics of discussion included:

  • Update from the Library of Congress, provided by Janis Young, Senior Cataloging Policy Specialist, Policy and Standards Division, Library of Congress
  • Inclusion of visual content in library thesauri: “The Visual Vocabulary: On the Integration of Visual Content with Library Thesauri,” presented by Allison Jai O’Dell, Metadata Librarian, University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries
  • “Problems and Solutions in Name Authority Work for Military-Related Materials,” presented by Mark H. Danley, Ph.D., Librarian, Information Resources, United States Military Academy Library
  • Demonstration of the Authority toolkit, a tool for creating and modifying LC/NACO authority records via the OCLC Connexion client (please, find in, created and presented by Gary Strawn, Authorities Librarian, Distinctive Collections, Northwestern University Libraries.

Submitted by Tatyana Chubaryan

Cartographic Resources Cataloging Interest Group

The Cartographic Resources Cataloging Interest Group met during the 2016 Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 10 with 26 attendees to hold an an open discussion session addressing topics of interest to the cartographic and geospatial resources cataloging community. The Interest group meeting included three presentations plus a discussion on the MARC bibliographic tag 052. The meeting progressed in the following order of presentations and discussions:

The Interest Group opened with Elizabeth Cox, chair of MAGIRT, who shared information regarding MAGIRT and its leadership roles. Beth encouraged the group to become or remain active within the organization by serving either as an officer or a committee chair. She also encouraged any non-MAGIRT members present to join us.

Our first presentation was delivered by Marc McGee, Geospatial Metadata Librarian at the Harvard Library. He provided background information and updates on the Linked Data for Libraries Cartographic Materials project grant proposal. This sub-project of the Linked Data for Libraries: Linked Data for Production (LD4P) project will explore best practices for creating linked data descriptions for library cartographic resources including printed maps, atlases, digital geospatial datasets, and other cartographic information resources.

The project proposal will be divided into two parts: Linked Data for Production (LD4P), which is the development of the ability to produce metadata and the enhancement of the BIBFRAME ontology to encompass multiple resource formats; and Linked Data for Libraries Labs (LD4L-Labs), which will create and assemble tools, ontologies, services, and approaches that use linked data to improve the discovery, use, and understanding of scholarly information resources. The Linked Data project partners consist of six institutions: Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, the Library of Congress, Princeton, and Stanford. The Labs for Research services and the ontology for cataloging the linked data descriptions will need to be tested for at least two years. Marc presented a time-line and asked for volunteers to participate in the project. He said parts of the project could start as early as March 2016. Discussion followed as many audience attendees had questions regarding the Linked Data for Libraries Project proposal.

The second presentation was given by Ryan Mattke, Map Librarian and Head of the John R. Borchert Map Library at the University of Minnesota. He discussed the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s (CIC) Geospatial Data Discovery Project and the related metadata creation process project by providing background information and mentioning expected goals. Ryan stated that scholars across academia increasingly demand access to geospatial data to facilitate their research. The 2012 CIC Center for Learning Initiatives (CLI) conference “Finding Our Way: Collaborative Strategies for Developing Geospatial Services” focused on ways to meet this demand. A group of geospatial librarians from three CIC universities subsequently worked on a proposal to figure out how best to provide users across the CIC access to geospatial data. Once the proposal was shared amongst the Deans and Directors of the fourteen CIC libraries, the University of Minnesota plus eight other CIC institutions expressed interest in participating in a two-year pilot project. Ryan stated that by collaborating we can more effectively combine our efforts and expertise for the benefit of the consortium. The participating institutions include: the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Iowa, the University of Maryland, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The project goal is a collaborative effort to provide discoverability of, facilitate access to, and connect scholars across the CIC to geospatial data resources. The project will support the creation and aggregation of discovery-focused metadata describing geospatial data resources from participating institutions and will make those resources discoverable via an open source geoportal. The project is providing the technology project staffing and infrastructure at the University of Minnesota to host needed services. A question and answer session followed the CIC Geospatial Data Discovery Project presentation.

The Interest Group then provided a forum for discussion on whether or not to keep the MARC tag 052 in bibliographic records. Is it necessary? This was a very interesting discussion. A summary of discussion points raised include:

  • Some stated the 052 field is more specific to the geographic location and is more comprehensible than the MARC tag 043.
  • Some thought that the 052 field was used redundantly, because it is similar to the classification number (050 field).
  • One attendee queried the group on how many libraries use this field and how we could use it more efficiently with the geographic materials that we catalog.
  • The 052 field has more specificity, if all libraries used it. Location data is very important to the geographic community; since this field contains coded content it is potentially machine-manipulative and can be used across all barriers, especially language.

However, Marc McGee suggested that the 052 field should be used in our authority records instead of bibliographic records. The authority record would be more complete and data linked geographically. Another attendee noted that since this is a coded field, users would not know the codes themselves and thus the information is not helpful to them, though it is useful to fellow catalogers. A positive however, is that the field can be made searchable in local systems and can thus collocate all cartographic resources based on a given code(s) for geographic places together. On the other hand, a primary problem is that our records in OCLC may or may not have this field included; therefore inconsistent use by catalogers presents challenges to enhancing those records lacking the field and its information. We also discussed whether the field could be replicated and also compatible with other systems in the future. Will it provide convenient usability with different user interfaces? The advantages of using the 052 field are: catalogers do not have to memorize the Library of Congress G-Schedule because the base classification number can be pulled from the call number; the codes are in a non-language numerical format; the field and its codes are searchable; and it can bring together related cartographic resources via searching by a given code in this field.

Finally, Tammy Wong and I hosted a demonstration of LC’s BIBFRAME Pilot Project. We demonstrated the use of the BIFRAME Editor for cartographic resources. We encouraged members of the audience to give feedback on the various features on the form that we shared. We especially concentrated on the design of the form, the search mechanisms, and the tools for the BIBFRAME Editor. We discussed the Library of congress testers’ focus, which have been on data evaluation and identifying problems or errors when creating data from scratch using the BIBFRAME editor. During the demonstration we primarily focused our attention on how BIBFRAME works with Resource Description and Access (RDA) instead of how BIBFRAME works with MARC. As a result of participating in the training sessions on the use of the BIBFRAME Editor, I stated we shouldn’t be too concerned if BIBFRAME doesn’t handle all of the MARC fields and subfields, rather, “we need to shift our focus from MARC.” Many audience members were excited to test the BIBFRAME editor for digital library and linked data work on cartographic resources.

Submitted by Iris Taylor

Catalog Management Interest Group

The Catalog Management Interest Group met during the 2016 Midwinter Meeting to hear three presentations. There were approximately 110 in attendance.

“You're doing what?!? : Metadata, Migrating and Merging into Ex Libris” was presented by Erin Elzi and Kevin Clair (University of Denver). Ms. Elzi and Mr. Clair talked about how their library handled simultaneous migration of its integrated library system (from Sierra to Alma), merging of two library catalogs (one Innovative and one SirsiDynix), and incorporation of non-MARC metadata of archival materials into the discovery experience. They discussed the coordination between archives and cataloging staff in developing new workflow to import ArchiveSpace records into the catalog, factors considered in determining when and how to proceed with merging of University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology catalogs, as well as both internal and external communication and steps taken to manage the migration from Innovative Sierra into Ex Libris Alma. In addition, they presented a plan to adopt a more holistic and sustainable approach in collecting and sharing metadata between units on their shared Alma/Blacklight/ArchiveSpace platform.

“GMD or No GMD: One Library's Approach to RDA Conversion” was presented by Jim Kalwara (Mississippi State University Libraries). Mr. Kalwara discussed the decision of Mississippi State University (MSU), and the state-wide consortium as a whole, to keep the general material designation (GMD) in their cataloging records when moving to RDA from AACR2. He justified their decision by explaining the concerns about display without GMD and benefits of having GMD to their users and staff. In order to improve the usability of GMD, they decided to refine GMDs by making them more granular and devised mapping tables between 3XX fields and localized GMDs based on item type to help with the batch conversion of existing bibliographic records. He also talked about workflow to add localized GMDs and 3XX fields in Connexion Browser and their local SirsiDynix catalog for new cataloging, and subsequent maintenance of catalog records.

“Preparing library print materials for the move to an off-site storage facility: Notre Dame's experience” was presented by Nastia Guimaraes (University of Notre Dame). Ms. Guimaraes described her library’s experience preparing approximately 400,000 volumes for the move to an off-site facility within a six-month timeframe. Besides barcoding thousands of titles, she talked about catalog maintenance activities done to ensure accurate status of items throughout the moving process. Also, the physical condition of individual items was assessed, recorded, and acted upon before the move. Furthermore, the decision to create a custom built inventory management system (IMS) for the off-site storage facility was discussed.

Submitted by Lucas Mak

Cataloging and Classification Research Interest Group

The ALCTS CaMMS Cataloging and Classification Research Interest Group (CCRIG) met at the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 10. Thirty-one people attended two presentations during the meeting.

Nurhak Tuncer (City Colleges of Chicago) and Reed David (University of Alaska Anchorage) presented “Cataloging Self-Published Items.” The presenters discussed the nationwide survey they conducted and the results from that survey. The wide range of materials that are self-published, from books to video recordings, present catalogers with a variety of challenges The survey queried catalogers for details about their cataloging practices and policies for self-published materials.

Karen Snow (Dominican University) presented “The Treatment of False Memoirs in Cataloging Practice: Practical Concerns and Ethical Implications” which examined several false memoirs and discussed the challenges they present for catalogers such as class number, subject headings and notes. Further details about her research can be found in her article: Snow, K. (2015). An examination of the practical and ethical issues surrounding false memoirs in cataloging practice. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(8), pp. 927-947.

Following the presentations, an announcement was made that the group is seeking candidates for vice-chair position for 2016-2017.

A more detailed summary of these presentations and accompanying slides are available at the Interest Group’s ALA Connect site at:

Submitted by Wendy West

Cataloging Norms Interest Group

The Cataloging Norms Interest Group met during the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Saturday, January 9, with 107 people in attendance. There were three presentations on cataloging and metadata norms and workflows, followed by a brief question and answer session.

In his presentation “Enhancing Access to Pacific-Language Resources at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and in OCLC WorldCat,” Michael Chopey (University of Hawaii at Manoa Libraries) discussed the UHM Cataloging Department’s project to improve over 10,000 bibliographic records for materials in the languages of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia held by the UHM Libraries. The primary enhancement that is being made to these bibliographic records in both University of Hawaii at Manoa’s local Voyager catalog and in OCLC WorldCat is the addition (in an additional MARC 041 field) of the Ethnologue language code (ISO 639-3), which in many cases is much more specific than the collective codes from the MARC language code list (ISO 639-2). An additional part of the project involves making Library of Congress Subject Heading proposals for languages that are not yet in LCSH. Moreover, there will be proposals to assign MARC collective language codes to languages that are not represented in the MARC language code list. Also planned is the construction of a thesaurus database to comprehensively crosswalk Ethnologue language names (including variants), Library of Congress subject headings (including variants), Ethnologue language codes (ISO 639-3), and MARC language codes (ISO 639-2) using linked open data from the Library of Congress's linked data identity server ( and the Open Language Archives Community (

In her presentation “Bridging the Gap between Metadata Librarians and Art Conservators,” Peggy Griesinger (George Mason University Libraries) discussed the challenges and benefits of collaborating with art conservation professionals at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. As part of a National Digital Stewardship Residency in 2014-2015, she designed a metadata profile for the digital conservation of MoMA’s audiovisual-based artworks. As a metadata librarian, she was required to familiarize herself rapidly with the specialized domains of art conservation and audiovisual preservation in order to design an accurate metadata profile. She also had to find ways to translate metadata-related concepts, such as XML, controlled vocabularies, and metadata standards into a form that non-library and information science professionals, such as conservators and museum administrators, could understand.

Andrea Payant, Betty Rozum, and Liz Woolcott (Utah State University) gave a presentation entitled “Where's the Data?” They discussed a Utah State University pilot project to evaluate the benefits of tracking data sets and faculty publications using the Utah State’s online catalog and institutional repository. With federal mandates to make publications and data from federally funded research open, universities are looking for ways to track compliance. Interested in making this data publicly discoverable, the USU Library, Sponsored Programs Office, and Research Office are collaborating in a project that enables the creation of publicly accessible MARC and Dublin Core records for data deposited by USU faculty. To do this, they have created a MARC record template for data sets that includes fields for grant and funding institution information, digital file characteristics, the URL for the dataset, etc. The MARC records are also mapped to Dublin Core for inclusion in the digital repository. This project aims to make data sets, as well as publications, visible in research portals such as WorldCat, as well as through Google searches. The benefits of involving libraries in research data management include having a permanent record of research data, increased discoverability, partnerships with faculty, and greater visibility on campus.

Submitted by Susan Matveyeva

Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group

The Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group met during the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Friday, January 8 to share updates regarding the work of the Cataloging Competencies Task Force. 45 people participated in the meeting.

Interest Group co-chair Jennifer Liss introduced the Cataloging Competencies Task Force charge and membership. Interest Group co-chair Karen Snow highlighted the historical context for the Task Force's work, including competency efforts that have come before.

Bruce Evans, Chair, Cataloging Competencies Task Force, introduced the work of the Task Force to date. His overview included the Task Force's research methodology, a summary of findings, preliminary models for representing cataloging and metadata creation competencies, and potential next steps. Presentation slide and handouts are available on the Interest Group's ALA Connect website.

Following the presentation, the Interest Group leadership asked attendees to discuss a list of questions regarding the Task Force's findings. The Interest Group was particularly interested in hearing suggestions for next steps.

A detailed summary of the discussion is available on ALA Connect:

Submitted by Jennifer Liss

Faceted Subject Access Interest Group

The Faceted Subject Access Interest Group met during the 2016 Midwinter Meeting on Saturday, January 9, with 73 in attendance. The meeting consisted of two presentations, an update from OCLC on the FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) project, and a Q&A session.

Joelen Pastva discussed the use of FAST headings for digital collections at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in her presentation, “Simplified Cataloging for Non-Catalogers through FAST.” The Digital Services and Special Collections/Archives Departments use non-MARC metadata to describe their digital collections in CONTENTdm and their finding aids for manuscripts and archives in Archivists’ Toolkit. They generally use undergraduate and graduate student employees to create the metadata fordigital collections. The use of students means that there is a high turnover rate and there is minimal time to devote to training. The supervising librarians, who are not catalogers, were frustrated with the complexity of LCSH (Library of Congress Subject Headings). Metadata was inconsistent. They conducted a subject usage analysis of the CONTENTdm and Archivists’ Toolkit metadata to assess the problem. They discovered for CONTENTdm that 38% of unique subject headings were only used once and that only 11% of terms were subdivided. Of the top 100 most used terms, only 1 was subdivided. In Archivists’ Toolkit 92% of unique headings were topical. 54% of headings were subdivided, with the most common subdivision being geographical. There were also a number of duplicative errors such as singular and plural forms of words, capital and lower case letters, subdivision punctuation, and order of subdivisions. These errors and inconsistencies affect usability and interoperability.

UIC chose FAST as a solution to some of these issues. It is simpler to use, avoids subdividing, retains much of the vocabulary currently in use, and is easier to train staff to use. It better reflects user search behavior. UIC implemented FAST by converting existing LCSH headings, and splitting subdivided headings. They decided not to use time period facets and to use genre headings sparingly. They created training documentation, and had in-person training sessions for staff.

Currently, UIC uses FAST for all new metadata projects. They found that FAST is generally faster to apply, although more obscure terms take a while to search for. Staff can be trained more quickly and more time can be spent on teaching subject analysis. As a result, staff are more comfortable doing subject analysis and are more empowered to make judgments and to evaluate material. Some problems remain. There is a lack of linking in HTML for Archivists’ Toolkit and CONTENTdm has “wonky” links and facets. The switch to FAST is an acknowledgement of the non-MARC cataloging environment at UIC and is an attempt to better align practices and resources with the user-centered mission of the library.

Allison Jai O’Dell, Metadata Librarian at the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida, presented “I need help and FAST!: Immediate Guided Search with the assignFAST Gadget.” Recognizing that many users often struggle to identify search terms as they begin to explore an unfamiliar topic, she created a guided search functionality for use with the library search box based on FAST headings. OCLC’s assignFAST gadget ( auto-suggests terms as a user begins typing. The guided search is based on code from the assignFAST gadget. Allison provided step-by-step instructions on how to adapt existing code to apply the assignFAST gadget in discovery layers or other interfaces. An additional bonus to this tool is that it increases searchers’ use of controlled terms, which helps with analytics. A demo of the function is available at Allison’s web site at

Eric Childress provided an update on FAST activities at OCLC Research since the 2015 ALA Annual Conference. OCLC had no major developments to report at this time, but the team has worked on several tweaks and improvements. They have been making FAST geographic headings searchable in VIAF and are aligning genre/form headings with the Library of Congress genre/form terms. WorldShare Record Manager employs the assignFAST API in a feature to apply FAST headings. Approximately 76 million bibliographic records in WorldCat have had FAST headings added.

Highlights from the question and answer period:

  • OCLC will host a mailing list devoted to FAST and faceted subject access. A number of venues for promoting it were mentioned. The people who signed the sign-up sheet at this meeting will be notified when it is ready.
  • There was discussion of whether named events should get a MARC 6XX field that is different from the 611 of Conferences. The 647 field is being proposed, with subdivisions for place and time.
  • Recommended practice for handling a record in OCLC which has FAST headings, but no corresponding LCSH was brought up. If you add LCSH to the record, you should delete the FAST headings, because the OCLC programs that create FAST from the LCSH will pass over the record and not add the corresponding FAST headings for the new LCSH.

Submitted by Sarah Wallbank

Heads of Cataloging Interest Group

The Heads of Cataloging Interest Group (IG) met during the 2016 Midwinter Meeting on Monday, January 11, with 110 in attendance. The meeting featured a panel discussion on the modeling and management of non-bibliographic entities within library and archival metadata. Two panelists were invited to give perspectives from the library and archival communities, with an emphasis on the transition of authority work to entity identity management, real world objects (RWOs), potential impacts on workflows and staffing assignments, and the linking and exploration of authority data in the form of identifiers.

IG co-chair Daniel Lovins welcomed the audience and explained the format of the program. IG co-chair Jackie Shieh introduced the program theme and speakers. Lovins returned at the end to thank the speakers and field questions from the audience.

The first panelist to speak was Nancy Lorimer, Head of Metadata Services at Stanford University. She noted that cataloging and metadata departments are preparing to move their production work to a linked data environment such as BIBFRAME, and that this requires identity management not just for works, expressions, manifestations, and items, but also for persons, places, events, and other entities. She emphasized the importance of URIs in representations of entities and explained the differences between identity management and traditional authority work. She touched on workflows for copy and original cataloging, embedding HTTP URIs within the current integrated library system (ILS) environment, and the need to provide reconciliation services across local and global identifier schemas (e.g., as associated through owl:sameAs statements). Slides:

The second speaker was Katherine Wisser, professor of library and information science at Simmons College, and a nationally-recognized expert in Encoded Archival Context: Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families (EAC-CPF). Wisser provided background on the inception, development, and the formal acceptance of EAC-CPF within the Society of American Archivists (SAA) as an official standard for archival collections. She traced its roots back to the “Three Dutchmen” (Muller, Feith & Fruin, 1898), the General International Standard Archival Description (ISAD(G)), the International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families (ISAAR(CPF)), and the 8th principal in Describing Archives: a Content Standard (DACS), which stipulates that the creators of archival materials must be described alongside the materials themselves.

Much of the audience was unfamiliar with Encoded Archival Description (EAD), much less EAC-CPF, so this was an opportunity to see similarities in approaches taken by librarians and archivists to managing identities. By showing examples of EAC-CPF in action, she was able to extend and build on the points made earlier by Lorimer. Wisser also mentioned the Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Cooperative Program , which is led by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), The University of Virginia, and the California Digital Library. Slides:

The panel presentations achieved the objectives established for this meeting. While we did not leave as much time for Q&A as hoped (8 minutes in fact vs. 20-30 minutes scheduled), both speakers made an effort to anticipate and include concerns of audience members in their talks. These included issues around staff-development, goal-setting, and collaboration.

As at our previous meetings in Chicago and San Francisco, we encouraged the audience to submit comments and questions through Twitter (using hashtag #alctsmw16hoc). The Twitter feed was quite active (n = 58 distinct tweets), which allowed attendees to capture and share insights, quotations, and questions with those in the room and beyond. Both presentations generated questions from the audience, and several attendees stayed more than 30 minutes beyond the end of the meeting to continue their discussion with the panelists.

Submitted by Daniel Lovins