DUBLIN, Ohio, March 16, 1994--The Library of Congress (LC) and OCLC report significant progress in three cooperative projects to broaden access to bibliographic information. Using OCLC's PRISM service, LC has been able to reduce the books portion of its cataloging arrearage by almost one-half. OCLC is processing LC's PREMARC tapes and will be returning upgraded records for LC's older titles. And, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, formerly the National Coordinated Cataloging Program (NCCP), which began using the PRISM service in mid-1993, is making information available to all OCLC member libraries more quickly than before.
For the fourth year, the Library of Congress is using the OCLC PRISM service to copy-catalog titles from its arrearage and for its current cataloging. OCLC is helping in this effort by providing $75,000 worth of online cataloging credits to LC. In addition to cataloging monographic titles on PRISM, in November LC began to catalog its backlog of sound recordings by inputting records directly in the OCLC Online Union Catalog.
"We've made outstanding progress in reducing our books arrearage by 47.7 percent (from 898,030 to 466,720) since 1989 through a number of initiatives, including the use of copy cataloging," said Sarah Thomas, director for cataloging, Library of Congress. "Our goal is to eliminate the entire books arrearage by Dec. 31, 2000, while remaining current with the cataloging of incoming receipts."
"The Library of Congress, OCLC, and our member libraries share a critical interest in cataloging," said Kate Nevins, vice president, member services, OCLC. "We are pleased to both facilitate LC's own cataloging process and to improve the timeliness of availability of LC cataloging to the library community."
OCLC is also processing tapes of selected LC PREMARC records, items cataloged before 1968, the year when LC began to produce cataloging in the MARC (MAchine-Readable Cataloging) communication format. LC cataloging that was created before 1968 was converted to machine-readable form by the Carrollton Press in the 1970s, but those 5 million records were never merged into the files that constitute LC's current catalog. Because of subsequent updates to name and subject headings, the records are out of date and some of the information is incompatible with current cataloging standards.
OCLC member libraries have entered nearly 2 million pre-1968 LC records in OCLC's Online Union Catalog (OLUC). These records have been upgraded through numerous manual and automated corrections to the OCLC database, including AACR2 correction, the Duplicate Detection and Resolution program, three phases of the Name and Subject Headings Correction Project, and efforts by the Online Data Quality Control staff at OCLC. Library staff members at OCLC libraries have also edited, enhanced, and upgraded many OLUC records through cooperative database enrichment programs.
Over the next three years, OCLC expects to process selected LC PREMARC records, matching them against existing OCLC records, and replacing approximately 1.5 million PREMARC records with upgraded OCLC records.
"The PREMARC replacement process enables us, in effect, to transform retrospective records into ones that can fit in our current catalog--a process that is beneficial to LC staff and users, with additional advantages in terms of timeliness and per-record cost," said Kay Guiles, senior cataloging policy specialist, Library of Congress. "Were we to process the 1.5 million records at LC using the procedures originally planned, we estimate it would take 285 staff years."
"OCLC database services staff members at OCLC are excited about providing the quality records to the Library of Congress in their efforts to update this important file," said Marda Johnson, manager, database services department, OCLC.
Four of the seven libraries that participate in the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) are now cataloging records on the OCLC PRISM service rather than solely on the LC MUMS system. This change has speeded up the availability of records and reduced the costs for PCC members.
Rhoda Hyde, head of the cataloging department at the University of Maryland, College Park, said, "Being able now to catalog PCC records on OCLC speeds up our workflow and makes the records available immediately."
The Library of Congress and OCLC work together on other programs and activities that benefit the library community and its users. The CONSER program, the United States Newspaper Program, the NACO Linked Systems Project, and the Fiction Project are examples of cooperation among LC, OCLC, and volunteer libraries.
The Library of Congress serves the Congress, as well as the executive and judicial branches of government, scholars, researchers, artists, scientists, and libraries worldwide. Last year, the Library of Congress cataloged over 260,000 titles.
OCLC is a nonprofit computer library service and research organization whose computer network and services link more than 17,000 libraries in 52 countries and territories.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: Liz Bishoff (614) 761-5173 or Nita Dean (614) 761-5002