Sherman Clarke opened the discussion promptly at 2 p.m. with reports from ALA. Daniel Starr, ARLIS/NA representative to CC:DA, reported that there were not a lot of CC:DA proposals affecting art catalogers at the moment, but he expected more activity in the coming year. Starr and Clarke also mentioned the upcoming Toronto conference on cataloging principles, which is currently inviting papers on: models of the bibliographic universe, bibliographic relationships, seriality, content versus carrier, main entry and corporate authorship, the impact of universe, bibliographic relationships, seriality, content versus carrier, main entry and corporate authorship, the impact of technology on the catalog, and "beyond MARC." Patricia Siska, outgoing MARBI representative, referred members to her MARBI report which will appear in the next issue of ARLIS/NA update, and introduced Liz O'Keefe as incoming MARBI representative.
News items which Clarke drew participants' attention to were the core categories developed by VRA, and the substantial changes in the 1996 edition of the Library of Congress' N classification schedule, particularly regarding the tables.
Mary Jane Cuneo of Harvard University's Fine Arts Library spoke about her experience, in an RLIN library, using the macro developed by OCLC to produce name authority records from bibliographic records (the "big macro"). The advantages in using the macro are that it is fast, and that it saves rekeying information, reducing the number of typos (so long as the information in the bibliographic record is accurate). The disadvantage is that because Harvard uses two bibliographic utilities, there are two workflow streams. The Fine Arts Library can use the macro for a little over half of their NACO headings. After Cuneo's introduction to the Harvard experience, the group was able to see a demonstration of the macro.
Among the topics discussed by the group were authority files for artists' names, including the Name Authority File (NAF) to which Art NACO contributes; the development of a web interface to search NAF via LC's home page at http://www.loc.gov/; possible RLIN development of a macro for authority record creation like the OCLC one demonstrated; and the pros and cons of cataloging dealers' catalogs as serials.
There was considerable discussion about subject cataloging, LCSH, AAT, and other thesauri; specialized headings versus more generic headings (e.g., Photography, Artistic); how to contribute candidate terms to LC for inclusion in LCSH; and whether or not the faceting approach to using AAT is useful. It was mentioned that libraries which use two or more thesauri in subject cataloging may have problems with cross-reference conflicts when they move to an online catalog.
Another topic discussed was closing the card-based shelflist to rely solely on the online catalog as shelflist. Among the considerations mentioned were: encouraging staff acceptance of the online shelflist; discarding the card shelflist versus closing (but keeping) it; whether or not the library's catalog has been completely reconned, and the accuracy of the recon records (especially in terms of holdings information); proper filing of call numbers, especially non-LC numbers; and the ability of the online system to alert the cataloger about call number duplication.
For small libraries looking to automate their catalogs, there were suggestions to attend ALA conferences to gather information about online system vendors, and see demonstrations; talk to local OCLC and RLG representatives about their services and experiences; find out about local library consortia; and attend conferences on computers in libraries. After a lively discussion period, Clarke adjourned the discussion group at 4 p.m. For more information on any of the discussion group's topics, contact Sherman Clarke via e-mail: email@example.com, phone: (212) 998-2462, fax: (212) 995-4366, or surface mail: Sherman Clarke, Original Cataloging Unit, Cataloging Department, Bobst Library, New York University, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012-1019.
New York University Libraries
(Cleveland Museum of Art Library - as of July 1997)