Friday, May 2, 2008

Background on Draft Report of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control

Draft Report of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control

"In reading the report, you will note that its findings and recommendations are structured around five central themes:

1. Increase the efficiency of bibliographic production for all libraries through increased cooperation and increased sharing of bibliographic records, and by maximizing the use of data produced throughout the entire "supply chain" for information resources.

2. Transfer effort into higher-value activity. In particular, expand the possibilities for knowledge creation by "exposing" rare and unique materials held by libraries that are currently hidden from view and, thus, underused.

3. Position our technology for the future by recognizing that the World Wide Web is both our technology platform and the appropriate platform for the delivery of our standards. Recognize that people are not the only users of the data we produce in the name of bibliographic control, but so too are machine applications that interact with those data over the network in a variety of ways.

4. Position our community for the future by facilitating the incorporation of evaluative and other user-supplied information into our resource descriptions. Work to realize the potential of the FRBR framework for revealing and capitalizing on the various relationships that exist among information resources.

5. Strengthen the library profession through education and the development of metrics that will inform decision-making now and in the future. "

"The period for public comment on the report is open until December 15, 2007. Comments can be submitted via the Web site at Electronic submission of comments is encouraged. "

From LJ Academic Newswire

LC: Draft Report on Bibliographic Control To Be Released Nov. 13, 2007

For a year, the library world has been watching to see what the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, convened by the Library of Congress (LC), will say about the future of bibliographic description given the increasing reliance on web-based searching and electronic information resources. The wait is nearly over. LC officials said today that a draft report will be presented to LC managers and staff at 1:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 13, along with a live webcast. A comment period will follow and last until Dec. 15.

Even before the announcement, however, American Library Association (ALA) President-elect Jim Rettig, in testimony Oct. 24 before Congress, expressed concern that LC not move too precipitously. Rettig, university librarian of the Boatwright Memorial Library, University of Richmond, VA, told the Committee on House Administration, that ALA "strongly recommends that the Library of Congress return to its former practice of broad and meaningful consultation prior to making significant changes to cataloging policy." Rettig said he hoped LC fully "understands the impact" that its decisions have on other libraries, noting that LC bibliographic records "are accepted without editing by thousands of libraries of all types and sizes throughout the world to facilitate an individual's access to library resources."

He added, "Inevitably, on the Internet, with its huge and ever-increasing amount of digital information, general search engines must be relied upon. And, in years to come, there may be far more sophisticated search engines. But we are certainly not there now. The consumers of the Library's cataloging products must continue to rely on the traditional cataloging services in order to meet the needs of their users…. Further, unilateral and sudden changes to cataloging practice initiated by the Library of Congress and others severely and negatively affect citizens' ability to find answers in libraries and elsewhere."

Information on the Working Group and its findings is available at

British Library response to the Library of Congress Working Group on. the Future of Bibliographic Control

About the speaker: Brian E. Schottlaender is the Audrey Geisel University Librarian at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining UC San Diego in 1999, his career in libraries included positions at the California Digital Library, UCLA, the University of Arizona, Indiana University, and int he European book trade. In 2008, Schottlaender was appointed Secretary of the Board of Directors of The Center for Research Libraries (CRL), a consortium of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries that acquires and preserves traditional and digital resources for research and teaching. In addition, he has been elected to the members Council of OCLC, a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization that serves more than 60,000 libraries in 112 countries internationally, and serves on the Steering Committee for the Coalition of Networked Information (CNI). He was president of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in 2006.

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