Forty-five librarians from fifteen countries attended the Dewey Translators Meeting at the World Library and Information Congress (74th IFLA General Conference and Council) in Québec City on August 12. The Dewey Translators Meeting, hosted annually at IFLA conferences by OCLC since 2003, brings together representatives of Dewey translation teams and national libraries plus other interested Dewey users from around the world. Since IFLA 2008 happened to be held just north of us in Québec City, nearly all Dewey editorial team members were able to participate in this year’s meeting.
We have just posted most of the presentations from the meeting. Michael Panzer presented a slightly updated version of his ALA 2008 Annual Conference presentation on Multilingual MelvilClass—this time, he included a live demonstration of a Greasemonkey script that integrates German and English captions on the same screen. Juli Beall discussed upcoming updates to groups of people and literary periods (we are currently soliciting comments on the changes to groups of people and the treatment of literary periods for authors writing under more than one name—comments on the latter were supposed to have closed by August 15, 2008, but we have extended the deadline until September 1, 2008). Giles Martin updated attendees on the approved extensions to the representation of the DDC in MARC 21 formats. Sally McCallum (Library of Congress) noted that the updates will be published in a month or so (we are still awaiting word on when the changes to the MARC 21 Bibliographic format will be implemented at OCLC). [A side note: Nancy Williamson (Professor Emerita, University of Toronto) was also at the meeting—Professor Williamson was the consultant retained by LC to prepare a report on converting its classification scheme into machine-readable form; her study facilitated the development of the original MARC Classification format.] Rebecca Green gave a quick overview of the DDC Training Program. Ingebjørg Rype (National Library of Norway), Magdalena Svanberg (National Library of Sweden), and I gave a condensed version of the talk Ingebjørg and I presented the week before at the ISKO Conference on the pilot study we just concluded with nineteen Norwegian librarians to explore the usability of a mixed Norwegian-English version of the DDC as a classifier’s tool. Patrice Landry (Swiss National Library) gave a brief update on the activities of the European DDC Users’ Group (EDUG) (EDUG working groups on archaeology, education, law, and technical issues met immediately following the meeting). Diane Vizine-Goetz (OCLC Office of Research) wrapped up the meeting with a live demonstration of the latest version of Classify, a prototype service designed to support the assignment of classification numbers.
We've already recruited our first speaker for next year’s Dewey Translators Meeting at IFLA 2009 in Milan (the exact date of our meeting during the conference is yet to be determined). Marie Baliková (Czech National Library) has agreed to discuss the top-level concordance she is developing between UDC and DDC to enable creation of an English-language topic map of the library’s collection (classed in UDC) using the DDC.