Bibliography Section at WLIC 2021

WLIC 2021, held 17-19 August 2021, was IFLA’s first entirely online conference. The Bibliography Section participated in organizing two sessions and members of the Standing Committee were speakers at two more.

Towards entity management : new roles and new service models for libraries (Cataloguing with Bibliography)

Andrew MacEwan (British Library) and Iris Berbain (Bibliothèque nationale de France) spoke about “Using ISNI to manage entity identification in the publishing supply chain”, detailing current work in matching ISNI with pre-publication data right at source with major publishers, and with integrating ISNI further into their libraries’ workflows. This leveraging of ISNI has potential to bring authority work earlier in the workflow for creating national bibliographic descriptions for new materials.

Karina Esman (National Library of Russia) presented on a project to create rich cataloguing descriptions for culturally significant rare materials – the book monuments – in the collection of the National Library. Fascinating examples and tricky to catalogue!

Subject to Change : how to deal with changes in subject information? (Subject Analysis and Access with Bibliography)

Hollie White (Curtin University, Perth, Australia) set the stage with “Subject to flexibility: Theory and history of knowledge organisation systems” where she situated library knowledge organisation systems in the history of western knowledge organisation. She contrasted the grand unified systems with more flexible pluralistic approaches, and situated sociological and critical theories.

Violet Fox (Accessible Book Consortium, USA) used her perspective in the development of classification systems to advocate for adopting open structures in “Transparency & Change in Knowledge Organization”. Maintaining a history of when classes or terms were valid should be part of every KOS. Violet also points to the importance of understanding where the funding for developing our access systems comes from.

F. Tim Knight (Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada) in “Using Linked Data to Mitigate Colonial Subject Bias” showed the potential for a linked data implementation of equivalent terms as “term circles” with no single preferred term. SKOS attributes allow for tagging terms by language, and this could be extended to an attribute for “worldview”.

This topic led to a lively discussion!

SC member Maud Henry (Royal Library of Belgium, KBR) presented “Covid as a catalyst: towards dematerialized cataloguing at KBR” at the session National Libraries: Innovating and Transforming for Today and Tomorrow. Remote work during the pandemic provided the impetus to consider new workflows to maintain cataloguing of print materials received through legal deposit and allow the timely publication of the Bibliography of Belgium. Strategies implemented in the short term, once some onsite work was possible, include scanning initial pages for cataloguers to complete bibliographic descriptions from home, and maximizing the reuse of metadata entered through the legal deposit workflow. Their positive experience is an inducement to invest further in transforming data for reuse throughout the workflow. Maud also wrote about this project in the Metadata Newsletter (v.7, no.1, June 2021, pages 12-14).

During the session The role of IFLA Standards in the context of a changing information society organized by the Committee on Standards, Rebecca Lubas and Mathilde Koskas presented on the Section’s major project: the 2021 edition of the Common Practices for National Bibliographies in a Digital Age, which is already available as a pre-publication draft.

Section business meetings were held remotely before and after the Congress and did not require conference registration for attendance.

WLIC 2022 is planned for Dublin, Ireland. Hoping to see you all in person then.

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