Friday, January 26, 2007

CONSER Standard Record: Delayed Implementation

All, here is the summary I promised of the the CONSER standard record discussion at the CONSER at large meeting:

1) Implementation will not be phased-in, all elements will be implemented together.
2) There was general agreement that the implementation date of February 1st should be delayed to await JSC comment before implementing.
3) The JSC is expected to provide its comments at or before its April
2007 meeting or perhaps sooner.

Summary of the discussion:
There was consensus that phased implementation of the CONSER standard record would not work, especially if one of the outcomes is that some members implement the full standard earlier than the rest of CONSER without being able to contribute the records to the CONSER database. If there is a possibility of getting feedback from the JSC sooner, within the next month or so, institutions considering early implementation were willing to delay implementation until March or early April at the latest. There was general agreement to a temporary delay in implementation, though not all felt as comfortable with a delay until after the April JSC meeting if the JSC couldn't discuss CONSER recommendations sooner.

PCC chair Mechael Charbonneau described the November PoCo meeting where the CONSER standard working group was asked to work with LC JSC representative Barbara Tillett and other CPSO staff to develop LCRI's and address any compatibility issues with AACR2 and RDA. In the process of developing documentation and drafting LCRIs in December, three issues were identified as still needing comment from the JSC before they could be considered "early implementation" of RDA. The recommendations for translations and language editions, other title information, and treatment of parallel titles are the issues that await JSC comment.
Les Hawkins (LC CONSER coordinator) said that during the comment period on the standard, concerns were raised that PCC seemed to be working outside the established consultative process for AACR2 and RDA in developing the standard. This is the reason he feels that the JSC should be allowed to comment before CONSER implements the record. What the PCC intends to do with the feedback it receives from the JSC needs to be clear also. CONSER will take as good advice the comments it receives, make adjustments, and do some fine-tuning, but will proceed with its implementation after consulting with the JSC.

Jim Stickman (University of Washington) made a statement that probably represented the feelings of many others at the meeting. While he agreed that consultation with the JSC and working within the parameters of the current rule-making environment is an important objective for the PCC, the goal of not losing the momentum of the CONSER standard record is also important. Jim's institution invested a great deal of staff time and expense working on its development; implementation of the standard is looked at by his administration as an important additional tool for attacking cataloging backlogs. If there are major, unforeseen issues resulting from consultation with the JSC, perhaps the May operations meeting could be used as a fall back to resolve any technical details that need further work. However, implementation can't continue to be delayed, it is preferable to implement the standard as soon as possible after receiving JSC's comments.

Judy Kuhagen (LC, CPSO) said that agenda for the JSC February telephone conference call already contains two important items and that there is no guarantee that there will be time for discussing the remaining recommendations of the CONSER record. It will be necessary to work through the ALA's JSC representative, PCC's channel for working with the JSC, to ask that discussion of the remaining issues be added to the JSC agenda for February.

Diane Boehr (NLM) described the translation recommendation as one that the CONSER standard working group has already identified as something that requires additional work before implementation. A separate rule revision resulting from the CONSER standard recommendation on series treatment will be submitted to CC:DA as soon as possible. This recommendation was somehow omitted from the recommendations in appendix M of the access level final report in July.

OCLC reported that it has already made the necessary validation changes necessary for implementing the CONSER record with encoding level blank (4 is no longer valid for CONSER serial records) and fill characters have been validated for fixed fields conference publication (008/29), frequency (008/18), and regularity (008/19). Within the next few weeks, existing encoding level 4 records will be converted to encoding level blank.

The CPSO website will be the temporary home of the LCRIs related to the CONSER record until the next available publishing cycle of Catalogers Desktop. All of the LCRIs related to the standard have been drafted, but only those relating to the earlier proposed "first phase" of implementation are posted. Judy Kuhagen agreed to work with CPSO staff to post the remaining LCRIs to the CPSO site for comment.

Action: Mechael will consult with the PCC steering committee and PoCo to affirm the change from a phased implementation to a delayed implementation.

Action: Mechael will post an official announcement of the delay to the CONSER email list, and other PCC email lists.

Action: Wording for the change in implementation date will be drafted and sent to the CPSO webmaster to indicate that there has been a change in implementation.

Action: Les will summarize the outcome of the meeting and post it to the CONSER email list.

Action: The PCC will request that the ALA representative to JSC forward PCC's request that discussion of the CONSER standard recommendations be added to the February JSC meeting.


Mechael Charbonneau said...

PCC Colleagues,

Previously it was announced that a phased implementation of the CONSER standard record would take place, with most elements implemented in the first phase on February 1, 2007 and other remaining elements in the second phase in a May/June 2007 timeframe. Several CONSER members raised concerns that a phased-in approach would have negative consequences on training and local implementation. In developing training material, it has become apparent that there are several clarifications that need to be made in documentation and the draft LCRIs related to the CONSER standard record that have been posted for comment. Additionally, the PCC continues to work with representatives of the Joint Steering Committee
(JSC) to seek feedback on the compatibility of the new standard with RDA developments.

Taking all of these concerns into consideration, the PCC Steering Committee has decided against the phased approach and has approved a delayed implementation of all recommended data elements of the new CONSER standard record.

At the CONSER at large meeting held during ALA Midwinter, consensus was reached to wait for comments from the JSC before proceeding with implementation of the CONSER standard record. The expected date for JSC's discussion would be at their April meeting, or perhaps sooner, if the JSC is able to review the recommendations at an earlier meeting.
Although agreement was not unanimous, the importance of CONSER libraries implementing the new standard record in a unified fashion was also supported by meeting attendees. In the event that remaining issues surrounding the full implementation of the standard record are not resolved by May, the CONSER Operations Committee will plan to discuss and recommend next steps at their regularly scheduled spring meeting.

Many thanks to everyone involved in the recent discussions regarding the phased implementation of the CONSER standard record. I very much appreciate the PCC community's continued willingness to work collaboratively for the benefit of all concerned.

Mechael Charbonneau
PoCo Chair, 2007

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