Author Archives: Pat Riva

About Pat Riva

Information Coordinator for the Bibliography Section

National Bibliographic Register

The Section’s ongoing project, the National Bibliographic Register (NBR), has moved to a new address with IFLA’s website renewal. You can find it directly at:

The Register consists of profiles of national bibliographies, submitted by those responsible for them. Each profile includes information on the scope of the bibliography, the organization of the national bibliographic agency, the format the bibliography and its metadata is available in, and the standards used. The NBR began in 2009. Updated and additional profiles are integrated as they are received.

In addition to making the profiles available in their own words, since 2015 the Section has designed a system for comparison of the responses question by question. The analysis of the 48 entries received up to August 2021 is complete. The full comparative data tables and graphics were posted at the end of August. These graphics provide an overview of the options different bibliographies have taken, and permit a quick visualization. The comparative tables indicate which bibliographies appear in which category.

The NBR analysis has been the subject of recent conference presentations.

  • Insights from IFLA’s Register of National Bibliographies – Pat Riva (7:03) at National Libraries Now on 16 September 2021. Paper available.
  • A perspective on national bibliographies from the IFLA Bibliography section – Mathilde Koskas, prepared with Pat Riva (minutes 15:01-25:04) at the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) Bibliographical Data Working Group’s workshop “National Bibliographies and Catalogs: Curation and Research” on 30 September 2021. Slides available.

The recordings of these two presentations (in English) can be viewed through the Bibliography YouTube channel on the playlist: On the National Bibliographic Register.

The whole DARIAH national bibliographies workshop (2 hours) is well worth viewing. The Finnish, German, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, and Swedish national libraries presented on their bibliographic data tools and services, with an emphasis on their national bibliographies.

The IFLA Metadata Newsletter is another source of information on the analysis of the NBR. Consult the series of four articles by Pat Riva, for a tour of all the sections.

The NBR analysis has been a fascinating project to coordinate during my term on the Bibliography Section Standing Committee. Each profile gives insight into a national bibliography and the agency behind it. The comparative analysis is sometimes surprising, showing which solutions are common and which are unique. It has given me a lot to think about, and I hope it will for you as well.

Now that my term on the Bibliography Section has come to an end, a new team consisting of Maud Henry (Belgium), Rebecca Higgins (Australia), and Marika Holmblad (Sweden), is taking over coordinating the NBR. Many thanks for taking this on! I’m sure you will find it rewarding.

The NBR will continue being relevant as long as it is kept up to date. We all benefit from the increased information sharing. Send new profiles or updates to existing profiles, to the Section’s Information Coordinator.

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.

Bibliography Section on YouTube

This year the Bibliography Section launched a new communication method, our own IFLA Bibliography YouTube channel.

You can find it directly at:

The impetus was to make the video of our Metadata Webinar New Horizons: emerging metadata standards and practices in the 21st century (27 May 2021) available. Now that the channel is created, the IFLA metadata sections have a venue to publish video from any future online events. Material uploaded directly to our channel is retained as long as the Section requires.

The IFLA Bibliography YouTube channel also allows us to highlight relevant videos available through other organizations’ channels by adding them to our playlists.

2021 has been a strong year for recorded conference presentations and sessions of particular relevance to bibliography in general and our section in particular. Some of these conferences have been recently described on this blog. Now the playlists allow quick access to these specific sessions.

  • On Universal Bibliographic Control (English) 8 February 2021 (3:27): by Mathilde Koskas, opening remarks at the Bibliographic Control in the Digital Ecosystem (BC2021) Conference (post: 30 April 2021)
  • On National Bibliographies (Panel: English and Russian) 28 April 2021 (2hrs): during the 3rd International Bibliographic Congress (post: 5 May 2021)
  • On the IFLA Bibliography Section (Russian, with English slides) 28 April 2021 (18:00): by Mathilde Koskas, presented during the 3rd International Bibliographic Congress (post: 3 May 2021)
  • Our most recent playlist: National Bibliographies and National Bibliographic Metadata in the Age of Mass Information (English) 29 June 2021 (18:00) features Mathilde Koskas’ most recent presentation, given in English during the 10th Eurasian Academic Libraries Conference (EALC–2021), June 29-30, 2021. (Note that the video file covers the whole first day of the conference. Mathilde’s presentation starts at minute 2:46:15 and ends at 3:02:00, followed by Q&A until 3:11:46, it is in the middle of the recording of the full day.)

The 10th Eurasian Academic Libraries Conference was organized by Nazarbayev University Library and the Association of University Libraries in the Republic of Kazakhstan with the theme Contemporary Trends in Information Organization in the Academic Library Environment. The EALC conference program can be found at: It features several metadata presentations by IFLA colleagues, including Aliya Saidembayeva (Bibliography), Pricilla Pun (Cataloguing), and a keynote by Chris Oliver, Why RDA? Organizing Bibliographic Information in the 21st Century. Worth a look!

Presentation slides are available through the Nazarbayev University’s institutional repository. Mathilde’s 29 June slides are posted (PPTX and PDF):

EALC Proceedings will be published at:

Having a YouTube channel has opened some new opportunities. We hope this new tool will prove useful. The Section is happy to gather and highlight relevant videos by creating playlists in this way. Your suggestions will be gratefully accepted.

XXV Anniversary Annual Conference of the Russian Library Association, May 2021

The XXV Anniversary Annual Conference of the Russian Library Association took place in Petrozavodsk (Karelia) in May 2021. The Forum gathered delegates from different regions of Russia and foreign countries.

The main theme of all the events of the congress is Library 2030: Building the Future Today. Three fundamental goals form the foundation of the library strategy: ensuring universal and equal access to the information resources of the library fund, preserving cultural heritage, and reflecting the modern needs of life in the work of the library network.

The program of the congress was extremely rich. The participants discussed current problems of library theory and practice in 30 sections and roundtables.

At a joint meeting of the sections Automation, Formats and Cataloging” and Electronic Resources and Information and Library Services, bibliographers and catalogers shared their views on the ways of developing bibliography in the digital environment; discussed the theory of metadata, related data and cataloging; considered the prospects for applying new cataloging formats. It attracted the greatest attention of specialists. During the meeting, the participants discussed the IFLA LRM conceptual model of bibliographic data and the international UNIMARC format. The topic of digitalization of bibliography became one of the key topics of the meeting. The participants of the joint meeting discussed the technologies of artificial intelligence and big data analysis; the representation of information resources in digital format in the network virtual space; the problem of information reliability. The discussion on the choice of approaches to the creation of a national infrastructure to support scientific communications demonstrated the keen interest of the meeting participants in the problem of integrating the resources of libraries, archives and museums.

The participants of the meeting of the Inter-regional Cataloging Committee discussed the problems and solutions of the implementation of the national standard of bibliographic description. The reports presented by the participants of the meeting were devoted to updating the methodology of bibliographic description in the light of the development of Russian cataloging rules and the introduction of new international documents; issues of practical application of the provisions of the national standard.

The session of the Section of Bibliography and Information and Bibliographic Services began with information about the results of the III International Bibliographic Congress, which was attended, in particular, by representatives of the national libraries of the world (Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Kazakhstan, China and France). Then the meeting participants discussed the priorities of scientific and bibliographic activities for 2021-2024; the draft national standard for bibliographic references of online electronic documents; the quality of bibliographic lists in scientific monographs; problems of providing information services in digital format. Special attention was paid to the national bibliography, the creation of a national bibliographic repertoire; regulatory provision of access to bibliographic electronic resources; corporate cataloging as a form of bibliographic interaction; scientific support for the current state bibliographic accounting (in connection with the transfer of the functions of the Russian Book Chamber to the Russian State Library).

At the final plenary session, the President of the Russian Library Association, Mikhail Afanasyev, announced Nizhny Novgorod as the library capital of Russia in 2022.

Report contributed by:

Marina Neshcheret, Russian State Library (Moscow)

member of the Standing Committee of the IFLA Bibliography Section

Session 8 during the 3rd International Bibliographic Congress, April 30, 2021

The last week of April 2021 was marked by a significant event. It was during these days that the III International Bibliographic Congress Bibliographic Information in Digital Culture was held. The organizers were the Russian Library Association, the State Public Scientific and Technical Library of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian National Library, the Russian State Library, and the Russian State Public Scientific and Technical Library. For the first time, the event was held in an online format.

The topics of the Congress were extremely diverse. The strategy for the development of bibliographic activities at the international level was discussed. The problems of formation, distribution and promotion of bibliographic information were considered. Special attention was paid to the development and implementation of new international and domestic standards of bibliographic description. In addition, the Congress participants discussed the linguistic aspects of the presentation of metadata on the web, and models of functional requirements for bibliographic and authoritative records.

On April 30, 9 reports were presented at the session of Section No. 8 devoted to strategies and methods of bibliographic activity in the digital age. Among the speakers were representatives of libraries and universities in Moscow, Kemerovo, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk and Chelyabinsk. The issues of international bibliographic activity, the formation of consortia, the creation of electronic bibliographic manuals and hybrid resources with elements of bibliography, professional competencies of bibliographers, and others were discussed.

Tatiana Likhovid (Moscow State Institute of Culture) in her report highlighted the diverse activities of IFLA to support research in the field of bibliography. Natalia Gendina (Kemerovo State Institute of Culture), together with her colleagues, presented the report Bibliographic products as part of electronic information resources of libraries: transformation of nature and functions in the era of digitalization. Postgraduate student Pavel Prikhozhev (Scientific Library of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation) spoke about the organizational forms of cooperation in library and bibliographic activities. The participants listened with great interest to the speech of Olga Lavrik (State Public Scientific and Technical Library of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences) on the creation of a system of information resources aimed at supporting scientific research. Natalia Sitnikova (Chelyabinsk Regional Universal Scientific Library) highlighted the features of information and bibliographic activities of regional libraries in the era of digital technologies.

The participants of the meeting unanimously recognized that digital technologies bring with them fantastic opportunities and promise exciting prospects. At the same time, it is important to remember that the pursuit of innovative technologies should not be thoughtless. When using digital technologies in bibliographic activities, it is necessary to realize the limits beyond which the use of digital systems becomes irrational. Digitalization should be based on a solid foundation of classic bibliography, on accumulated theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Report contributed by:

Marina Neshcheret, moderator of section No. 8

Russian State Library (Moscow)

member of the Standing Committee of the IFLA Bibliography Section

The session recording is available on YouTube (in Russian)

Panel on National Bibliographic Resources during the 3rd International Bibliographic Congress, April 28, 2021

When invited to participate in the panel on National Bibliographic Resources, moderated by Mathilde Koskas, chair of the Bibliography Section, I was concerned about being able to participate due to time zones. Organizers and participants(!) were very flexible in holding the panels involving North American panelists in the evening (in Novosibirsk) so that they could be in the early morning on the east coast of North America.

The other panelists were:

  • Miriam Björkhem, National Library of Sweden
  • Nataliya Konstantinovna Lelikova, Russian National Library
  • Boris Rodionovich Loginov, Central Scientific Medical Library, and the National Information and Library Center (LIBNET)

We responded to these 5 questions:

  1. What is the specificity of National Bibliographic Resources?
  2. Is there still a role for national bibliographic resources when international resources are available?
  3. What is the relevance of national bibliographic resources in the digital era?
  4. How important is it to work collaboratively for creating national or international bibliographic resources?
  5. What should we do to keep national bibliographic resources relevant, used, strong in the future?

Nataliya (a former member of the Bibliography SC) gave a shout out to the Section’s National Bibliographic Register, a good way to get a snapshot of national bibliographies around the world.

We highlighted the special role of national bibliographies even in a digital context with many international bibliographic databases, first in gathering the national output in one place, and fundamentally as a provider of authoritative metadata. Whether digital resources should be included on the same footing as print, and if so, which of them, was seen as linked to legal deposit legislation and practices. Lack of visibility can hinder the support for the maintenance of national bibliographies, leading to the need for continued advocacy.

View the recording on YouTube.

Simultaneous translation was essential for the success of the panels which included Russian and English speakers. The translators allowed panelists to have a real dialogue and meaningfully react to each others’ points.

Bibliographic Information in Digital Culture, 3rd International Bibliographic Congress, April 27-30, 2021

This III International Bibliographic Congress was organized by the State Public Scientific and Technical Library of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SPSTL SB RAS), Novosibirsk. It follows the first congress held in 2010 at the Russian National Library and the second in 2015 at the Russian State Library.

Originally to be held in-person in Novosibirsk in September 2020, organizers had to rethink the formula and chose a new date. Re-conceiving the congress format to online, sessions were held during a time-slot broadly convenient to European and Central Asian participants. This opened awareness of the Congress to a broader audience and made it accessible beyond Russia. Statistics presented at the closing session showed 1180 registrants from 32 countries on 5 continents, 950 registrants were from all over Russia. Originally planned for 3 days, the Congress was extended to a fourth day as a total of 112 presentations had to be accommodated.

With its focus on bibliography, the Congress has a clear interest to the Bibliography Section. IFLA colleagues participated in organizing panels, moderating a session and presenting at the plenary session and at concurrent sessions.

The Congress started on April 27 with a plenary session, which included a welcome from Christine Mackenzie, IFLA President, and eight presentations, three from IFLA colleagues.

  • Mauro Guerrini: New perspectives of the Universal Bibliographic Control in the digital era
  • Mathilde Koskas: Report from the Chair of IFLA’s Bibliography Section: National Bibliographies and national bibliographic metadata in the age of mass information
  • Caroline Saccucci: Library of Congress CIP Program: Collecting the U.S. National Imprint

There were two panels at the end of the first day:

  • Using DOI in bibliographic reference – present and prospects for the future (recording)
  • МARC: Replace or remain? Moderator: Caroline Saccucci; panelists: Sally McCallum, Regina Reynolds, Nathan Putnam, Boris Rodionovich Loginov, Olga Nikolaevna Zhlobinskaya. (recording)

On April 28, the session “Modern directions for national bibliography – Bibliographic activities in the national libraries around the world” had reports from the national libraries of China, Bulgaria, Belarus, France, United Kingdom, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and several from Russia. The session “Collaborative cataloging as a form of bibliographic interaction between libraries”, moderated by Renate Behrens, chair of the IFLA Committee on Standards, included reports on aspects of union catalogues, authority files and standards from Russia, Iran, Germany, Italy, China, Canada, and Poland. Section members Aliya Saidembayeva (National Library of Kazakhstan) and Marina Neshcheret (Russian State Library) were among those who presented reports.

All recordings from the Congress are available on YouTube, individual sessions are best accessed from the Connect link in the Congress program. Very unfortunately the simultaneous translation is not captured, so that the Russian presentations are not accessible to a non-Russian speaking audience.