Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Program Training: 2018 Midwinter Meeting

The Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Program Training took place at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Friday, February 9. Representatives from several PCC committees as well as the Library of Congress (LC) provided updates. The session was chaired by Judith Cannan, head of the Cooperative and Instructional Programs Division at LC. Cannan began the session by explaining that LC’s delegation to Midwinter was much smaller than originally planned due to the threat of U.S. government shutdown.

The first presentation was from Beth Picknally Camden, chair of the PCC Standing Committee on Training (SCT). One of Camden’s early responsibilities was to appoint new members to the committee, with two goals: to achieve a staggered committee membership, and to diversify the makeup of the committee based on size and type of institution, as well as people with long and short terms of service. Camden called for people from a variety of institutions—academic and public, large and small—to volunteer to serve on subcommittees. There are currently three focuses of the SCT:

  1. A training group formed as a result of a one-year pilot with the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) International Agency and dedicated to developing PCC training on ISNI
  2. A training group dedicated to developing PCC training on the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Library Relationship Model (LRM)
  3. Strategic focuses of the PCC, including updating documentation and training surrounding LRM and the RDA update

Cannan also described the status of the PCC Directory. It is now operational but has not yet been loaded into production. The Directory will be rolled out in stages, and over the course of the next twelve months, it will be made “more intuitive and more appealing.” The goal is that by the 2018 ALA Annual Conference a number of PCC members will have full access to a functional PCC Directory.

Cannan then read out a message from Paul Frank, coordinator of the Name Authority Cooperative (NACO) and Subject Authority Cooperative (SACO) at LC. One key message is that the number of Bibliographic File Maintenance (BFM) requests has skyrocketed, and LC can no longer keep up. The account was described as “very, very full.” As a result, Frank pleaded for patience as his section works through the backlog. Other key messages included:

  • Do not expect a confirmation or a response when sending BFMs to this account.
  • Do not resend messages—it just adds to the backlog.
  • When reporting a BFM, NACO members should remember their responsibilities, including referring to Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCNs)—not to OCLC Authority Record Numbers—and including the relevant 1xx field.

Additionally, Frank asked that in the case of duplicate authorities, NACO members should do some legwork before submitting to LC:

  • Decide which record will be deleted.
  • Transfer all information to record-to-be-kept before submitting request to LC.
  • Make decisions, and be clear about whether there is a new record for formerly undifferentiated authorities that need to be deleted.

Following discussion, OCLC committed to have a look at authority records that have notes flagging them for deletion but which haven’t yet been deleted.

Frank also passed on the message that he is eager to have new NACO reviewers. The PCC Secretariat hosts two NACO trainings each year, in January and September, which generally yield approximately 50 new participants. Reviewers are needed to deal with this annual influx of participants. NACO reviewing can be very rewarding and is a great opportunity to learn more about name authority records. If interested, please contact and put “NACO reviewer interest” in the subject line.

The final section of Frank’s message-in-absentia dealt with gender in authority records. The PCC ad hoc task group on gender in name authority records submitted recommendations in late 2016. The report was approved in principle in November 2017, and a comment period followed in February 2018.

The final update was from Lori Robert of the University of Oregon, who is participating in the group working on the PCC strategic plan. Contact Lori or others on the policy committee to express interest or to find further information.

The meeting concluded with a short audience discussion and updates from member institutions.

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