Abstracts, Vol. 46

October 2002, No. 4

The Challenge of Building Multilingual Collections in Canadian Public Libraries

Juris Dilevko and Keren Dali

A Web-based survey was conducted to determine the extent to which Canadian public libraries are collecting multilingual materials (foreign languages other than English and French), the methods that they use to select these materials, and whether public librarians are sufficiently prepared to provide their multilingual clientele with an adequate range of materials and services. There is room for improvement with regard to collection development of multilingual materials in Canadian public libraries, as well as in educating staff about keeping multilingual collections current, diverse, and of sufficient interest to potential users to keep such materials circulating. The main constraints preventing public libraries from developing better multilingual collections are addressed, and recommendations for improving the state of multilingual holdings are provided.

The Répertoire de Vedettes-matière de l’Université Laval Library, 1946–92: Francophone Subject Access in North America and Europe

Robert P. Holley

In 1946, the Université Laval in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, started using Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) in French by creating an authority list, Répertoire de Vedettes-matière (RVM), whose first published edition appeared in 1962. In the 1970s, the most important libraries in Canada with an interest in French-language cataloging—the Université de Montréal, the Bibliothèque Nationale du Canada, and the Bibliothèque Nationale du Quebec—forged partnerships with the Université Laval to support RVM. In 1974, the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France became the first library in Europe to adopt RVM. During the 1980s, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) created an authority list, RAMEAU, based upon RVM, which is used by numerous French libraries of all types. The major libraries in Luxembourg adopted RVM in 1985. Individual libraries in Belgium also use RVM, often in combination with LCSH. The spread of RVM in the francophone world reflects the increasing importance of the pragmatic North American tradition of shared cataloging and library cooperation. RVM and its European versions are based upon literary warrant and make changes to LCSH to reflect the specific cultural and linguistic needs of their user communities. While the users of RVM seek to harmonize the various versions, differences in terminology and probably syntax are inevitable.