Juli and I have been in Seoul this week attending the World Library and Information Congress (72nd IFLA General Conference and Council). Each year in conjunction with the IFLA Conference, OCLC hosts a meeting for Dewey translators and representatives of national libraries and bibliographies using the DDC. Twenty-seven librarians, representing DDC projects in fifteen countries, attended this year’s meeting on August 23. At last year's meeting, participants chose “Dewey numbers in authority files” as the theme for the 2006 meeting. I opened the meeting with a general discussion of the differences in mapping terminology to Dewey numbers versus loading a Dewey number in a subject authority file record. I presented our (very much) draft guidelines for loading Dewey numbers in LCSH (no immediate plans on the horizon, but we are thinking about what it means to do so). Our general principles can be summarized as follows: 1) the subject entity represented by the subject heading should approximate the whole of the meaning of the Dewey number or be explicitly in standing room at the number; and 2) the definition of the relationship between the heading and the Dewey number is contained in the Dewey record. Open questions include whether these guidelines are generalizable across subject heading systems, and if greater specificity is needed in the relationships currently expressed in Dewey records. We’re in the midst of preparing a paper on the topic of Dewey in authority files (including a discussion of the relevance of specifications for relationships such as those found in the current SKOS proposal). We'll post a link here as soon as the paper is ready.
Federica Paradisi (Biblioteca nazionale centrale di Firenze) discussed the experiments to load Dewey numbers in Nuovo Soggettario Italiano. Yvonne Jahns (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek) discussed CrissCross, a project to associate DDC with SWD. The Italian guidelines are a bit more restrictive than those proposed by our team and the German team--in the proposed Italian guidelines, only one number is currently permitted in a subject authority record. The German guidelines include three levels of “precision” to represent the relationship between the heading and the Dewey number. In the final presentation on Dewey numbers in authority files, Ed O’Neill (OCLC Office of Research) described his recent efforts in collaboration with colleague Diane Vizine-Goetz to prototype the inclusion of Dewey numbers in FAST geographic records.
Representatives from several translation projects presented updates, starting with an overview of the Vietnamese translation by Michael Robinson (Hong Kong Institute of Education and Project Manager, DDC Translation Project, RMIT International University Vietnam). Louis Cabral (ASTED) reported on plans to produce a French translation of DDC 22 in second quarter 2007. Magdalena Svanberg (Kungl. biblioteket) discussed the study underway in Sweden to consider adoption of the DDC and development of a mixed Swedish/English version of DDC 22. Federica Paradisi reported on the completion of the Italian translation of Abridged Edition 14 earlier this year, and the planned publication of the Italian translation of DDC 22 in early 2007. She highlighted the need for cooperation among translation teams and the Dewey editorial team to introduce new viewpoints in law and education, and to develop extensions for general topics related to the European Union. Yvonne Jahns mentioned that Projekt DDC Deutsch plans to relaunch Melvil (the German web version of Dewey) shortly. Patrice Landry (Schweizerische Landesbibliothek) commented that the MACS and CrissCross projects are working together to explore multilingual access to bibliographic records.
In the discussion period at the end of the meeting, Gordon Dunsire (University of Strathclyde and member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals [CILIP] DDC Committee) commented that perhaps we need a variety of approaches, including some relaxed ones, to meet the goal of distributed interoperability. His comment led nicely into the group's selection of the theme for 2007 meeting in Durban, South Africa: "How can we all work together?"