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66th IFLA Council and General

Jerusalem, Israel, 13-18 August


Code Number: 047-96-EIV
Division Number:
Professional Group: Division of Bibliographic Control
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 96
Simultaneous Interpretation: No

Section on Bibliography - Review of activities 1999-2000

John D. Byrum, Jr.
Secretary of the Section on Bibliography,
Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. USA


Scope of the Section on Bibliography

The Section on Bibliography is primarily concerned with the content, arrangement, production, dissemination and preservation of bibliographic information, especially (but not exclusively) where these pertain to national bibliographic services. It is also concerned with the promotion of the importance of the discipline of bibliography to library professionals in all types of library (not just national libraries), to publishers, distributors and retailers and also to end-users. Whilst taking full account of technological possibilities, the Section is aware that such developments are not yet available in some areas of the world, and it will ensure that its solutions are not necessarily dependent on particular technologies. The Section is closely associated, where appropriate, not only with the other Sections within the Division of Bibliographic Control and with the UBCIM Programme, but also with the Sections on Information Technology and of National Libraries. (Medium Term Programme, 1998-2001)

Membership of the Section and of the Standing Committee

111 associations, institutions, and personal affiliates are currently members of the Section.

The members of the new Standing Committee for the period 1999-2001 are:15 full members, 4 corresponding members and 1 honorary advisor. Five full members for the period 1995-1999 completed their term during the Bangkok conference in August 1999.

Full members of the Standing Committee are from 14 different countries : Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, United States of America.

Officers and Information Coordinator

    Chair and Treasurer :
    Werner Stephan
    Universitätsbibliothek Stuttgart
    Post fach 104941
    DE-70043 Stuttgart, Germany
    Tel. : +49(0)711 121 2222
    Fax : +49(0)711 121 3502
    E-mail : werner.stephan@ub.uni-stuttgart.de
    John Byrum
    RCCD/LM 535
    Library of Congress
    Washington DC 20540-4380, USA
    Tel: +202 707 6511
    Fax: +202 707 2824
    E-mail: jbyr@loc.gov
    Information Coordinator
    Kirsten Waneck
    Dansk BiblioteksCenter A/S
    Tempovej 7-11
    DK 2750 Ballerup, Denmark
    Tel. : +45 44 86 77 77
    Fax : +45 44 86 78 91
    E-mail : kw@dbc.dk

Action Plan 2000-2001

At its two meeting held during the 1999 IFLA Conference in Bangkok, the Section's Standing Committee greatly expanded its action plan for 2000-2001, largely to focus on ways and means of implementing the Recommendations from the International Conference on National Bibliographic Services (ICNBS); for the text of these Recommendations see: http://archive.ifla.org/VI/3/icnbs/fina.htm, In an effort to obtain a high profile and widespread support for advancing actions to implement these Recommendations, the group referred several to other IFLA committees for comment, action, or possible joint activities. For example, the Standing Committee will invite the Division of Regional Activities to co-sponsor a Workshop at the IFLA 2001 Conference to promote national bibliographies in developing countries and multinational bibliographies in areas where it is not feasible to publish national bibliographies. Several recommendations will be referred to the IFLA Sections on Legal Deposit, on Government Information and Official Publications and on Information Technology to raise consciousness and for appropriate action.

The Section on Bibliography identified initiatives by which it too could further the outcomes of the ICNBS. It has appointed a small Working Group (Barbara Bell, College of Wooster,Wooster, Ohio,USA., and Anne Langbelle, Nasjonalbiblioteket, avdeling Oslo, Norway) with a charge (1) to identify services which are especially effective by virtue of their ability to meet the criteria and provide the features identified in ICNBS recommendations (see nos. 5-11) and (2) to identify those which could improve effectiveness through greater conformance to these Recommendations, with the intention of suggesting ways by which they might improve or arranging mentoring relationships with other services which might volunteer to assist them. In another activity, since the Conference had endorsed the "basic level national bibliographic record" as stipulated in the Functional Requirement for Bibliographic Records (copies available at: http://archive.ifla.org/VII/s13/frbr/frbr.htm) ,the Section will offer to work with the Sections on Cataloguing and on National Libraries to produce a briefing paper to explain the components of the basic level record for use of national bibliographic services.

In other areas, the Section on Bibliography's action plan for 2000-2001 calls for developing a strategy for enlisting publisher cooperation in providing metadata for electronic resources they produce for use of national services, for investigating "subject gateways" as an emerging technique for producing bibliographies of Internet resources; and for preparing guidelines to offer selection criteria to assist national bibliographic agencies in deciding which electronic resources to include in their bibliographies. The Section plans to initiate follow up work regarding two studies it had commissioned earlier - Ross Bourne's "National Bibliographic Agencies and the Book Trade" and Robert Holley's "Results of a 'Survey on Bibliographic Control and National Bibliography'". Section members Talbott Huey (Michigan State University Libraries, East Lansing, Michigan,USA) and Unni Knutsen (National Library of Norway, Oslo) are pursuing these independent projects.

Conference Programmes and Workshops

Bangkok, 1999:

On August 24, the Section sponsored a well- attended program on the theme: "Bibliographic Developments: Trends and Perspectives". Kirsten Waneck (Dansk Biblioteks Center) presented a paper by Mona Madsen (Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen) on the "ICNBS 1998 New Recommendations for the National Bibliography" (http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/015-123e.htm).
Peter Haddad (National Library of Australia) spoke on the topic "National bibliography in Australia: moving into the next millennium" (http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/016-123e.htm).
Finally, Chirudee Pungtrakul (Mahidol University, Thailand) presented "World-wide Thai Bibliographical Control" (http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/148-123e.htm).
These three papers prompted several questions from the audience. (Also distributed at this session was a "Fact-sheet about legal deposit in Denmark", prepared by staff at the Royal Library, explaining in brief the features of a recent (Jan. 1, 1998) revision of the 1927 act, extending coverage of mandatory deposit to "any work" published in Denmark "regardless of medium", except for computer programs which are deposited only when they "constitute a part of a work of another nature...published together with this work.")

With the Section on National Libraries, Bibliography sponsored a Workshop on August 26 on the topic: "Electronic publications in national bibliographies". Winston Tabb (Library of Congress) and Werner Stephan ( Universitaetsbibiothek Stuttgart) co-chaired the event. In their introductory remarks, both stressed the increasing interest in both hand-held and remote access electronic resources among national bibliographic agencies -- despite the numerous and relatively unfamiliar problems such publications often present. Mr. Tabb stated his view that the real question before bibliographic services is not whether to deal with these publications as part of the national cataloging output, but how to provide access and control, given their challenges. Mr. Stephan offered that one approach would be through closer collaboration between producers of electronic materials and these bibliographic agencies.

John Byrum (Library of Congress) presented the first paper ".Inclusion of Information Covering Electronic Resources in National Bibliographies: Results of a Survey Conducted May-June 1998" (http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/124-153e.htm). He reported that a large number of institutions, totaling 61 and representing national bibliographic agencies (NBAs) in 59 countries, had replied to his questionnaire and that NBAs representing 34 countries indicated current coverage of at least one type of electronic resources; many of these include entries for two or more categories, In most cases, national bibliographies including electronic resources began to do so in the mid-late 1980's, in some cases expanding coverage to include remote access and interactive multimedia in the mid-1990s. Of those already providing coverage for electronic materials, 28 reported that they will soon expand such coverage; and of those which currently do not provide coverage for any electronic materials, 22 are planning to begin doing so within the next year or two.

The next paper by Sonja Zillhardt (Bibliothèque national de France) covered "Electronic Publications and BIBLINK.". She indicated that Project BIBLINK , launched in April 1996, with funding from the European Commission, aims to establish a relationship between national bibliographic agencies and publishers of electronic material, in order to establish authoritative bibliographic information that will benefit both sectors (For details, see the Project's Web site: http://hosted.ukoln.ac.uk/biblink/.) Among the issues this pilot seeks to address are: How to provide bibliographic control over electronic publications, given the continuous growth in the amount of material being published chiefly or solely in this format; and What to do about the lack of an agreed standard for these materials. Ms. Zillhardt indicated that after the pilot is concluded, some of the participating national libraries plan to continue to utilize some of the approaches and products developed by the BIBLINK project.

Naoko Harai (National Diet Library (NDL)) spoke on "Electronic publications and national bibliographies in Japan." He indicated that the NDL was preparing to launch its program to acquire and control electronic materials beginning in 2002, although it is already dealing with some electronic serials (to which it assigns ISSNs). The NDL will acquire its electronic publications not through legal deposit but through purchase, at a rate of appropriate 1,000 titles annually, although NDL will also seek cooperative arrangements aimed at securing voluntary deposit. (Later NDL's hope is that Japan will amend its legal deposit law to cover electronic materials.) Some of the work to be done between now and 2002 includes updating of JAPAN MARC as well as the Nihon Cataloguing Rules to better cover electronic resources. He noted that, as yet, not many libraries in Japan offer access to such networked publications as serial services or aggregator databases.

Peter Haddad (National Library of Australia (NLA)) described a survey undertaken by NLA to cover print publications issued with accompanying materials in electronic format. One discovery from this study was that in about 30% of such works the electronic material could not be accessed within a few years of the publication date due to obsolescence of the carriers on which it is strored. Consequently, NLA has found it necessary to constantly transfer such accompanying material to more modern carriers (e.g. CD-ROMS, DVDs). In Australia, legal deposit does not cover any form of electronic publication; as a result, NLA acquires them selectively as funds permit. Even so, NLA finds itself overwhelmed by the task of processing and archiving them. NLA's strategic response to the challenge will be in the direction of de-centralization of responsibility for these materials, seeking partnerships with the Australia's state libraries. Mr. Haddad also discussed NLA's PANDORA (Preserving and Accessing Networked DOcumentary Resources of Australia) Project (http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pandora/).

"Net Publications and Bibliographic Control - Seen from Denmark with a view to Sweden" was the topic of a paper by Randi Digest Hansen ( Danish Library Centre, Copenhagen). This overview (http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/120-153e.htm) clearly establishes that some of the most impressive efforts to deal with remote access electronic resources have been undertaken in Denmark and Sweden. Hansen concludes this very interesting presentation by reiterating the importance of a more controlled approach to these resources that only librarians can offer by quoting from the Norwegian author of crime novels Kim Småge, taken from the book "The Container Woman" (1997): "The novel is about the principal character a female detective inspector.: 'She herself can spend hours on the net, the Internet, searching for some information, the librarian is able to provide her with in few minutes". "Probably because she is not able to ask the Great Net the real questions, she has not been trained in the accurate question-formulation on the net. And her patience is too short, regarding experimenting her way forward'."

Jerusalem, 2000:

The Section is planning an open programme meeting on August 15, 12:20-15:00, to include the following presentations:
  • National bibliography of a small country in an international context Bohdana Stoklasova (National Library of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Bibliographic projects and tools in Israel Rochelle Kedar (Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel)
  • Two national central libraries in Italy: bibliographic cooperation or competition? Maria Patrizia Calabresi (Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Rome, Italy)
In addition, on August 17, 13:00-17:00, the Section will sponsor, jointly with Education and Training, a Workshop on the theme Programme, theme:"Teaching bibliography today in primary and continuing professional education of librarians" Starting from some experiences set out by teachers, learners, and experts, the following themes will be discussed among other topics :
  • What is the role of bibliography in library and information schools curricula today ?
  • What is taught in today's classes on bibliography in terms of content and what methods are used for instruction in this field?
  • How do faculty teach students regarding the most effective methods for searching and retrieving bibliographic information when the tools are constantly changing in format, structure, mode and other details?
  • How has new technology, particularly Web-related, impacted on the ways by which bibliography courses are taught?
  • Does it sill make sense to distinguish between searching for bibliographic information and for the documents themselves?
  • Considering today's publication patterns, is the traditional topology for categorizing reference works (directory, catalogue, bibliography,etc} still valid?
  • How much attention in bibliography courses is devoted to teaching about new bibliographic tool in comparison to more traditional standard works?
  • In terms of lifelong education, how are library and information schools preparing new reference librarians and enabling experienced practitioners to keep abreast with innovations in techniques, practices, and tools in today's rapidly changing context?
These and similar questions will be addressed by panelists including: Retha Snyman (South Africa), Mona Madsen (Denmark), and Ia and John McIlwaine (UK).

May 9, 2000


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