AVIAC (Automation Vendor Interface Advisory Committee), the loosely organized trade group for the library automation industry, held its semi-annual luncheon on January 9, 1989. The group reaffirmed its support for the MARC format and expressed its displeasure with MicroLIF (Microcomputer Library Interchange Format). MicroLIF is a format adopted by several vendors of software packages for PCs to facilitate handling of bibliographic records. In the words of one discussion: "If it isn't MARC, it isn't standard." Strong exception also was taken to the claim that MicroLIF "stands on the shoulders of MARC," because it changes, rather than augments the standard. Mentioning MARC may confuse some by implying that MARC output is possible from a MicroLIF data base. One vendor with considerable experience with PCs disputed the claim that PCs cannot accommodate MARC records. It was decided that there should be increased dialogue between the vendors committed to MARC and those supporting MicroLIF to promote a migration to MARC support.
The contributing editors believe that there is no reason why IBM-PCs and clones cannot accommodate MARC records, but that the Apple MAC environment does pose a problem. Therefore, libraries which have IBM-PCs and clones can and should insist on MARC.
The group also enacted an I & R (Information and Referral) Subcommittee to pursue the development of a standard for the inclusion of additional data fields in MARC records for such information.