Professor Ia McIlwaine (pictured left), chair of the Universal Decimal Classification Consortium and former editor-in-chief of the UDC, kicked off Day 2 of EPC Meeting 126 with UDC Harmonization Project: Religion, a presentation in which she described our efforts to date in exploring the question, “Can we use UDC’s Class 2 (Religion. Theology) as the framework for an alternative view of religion in the DDC and as a model for the future revision of 200 Religion?” (See here and here for earlier discussions on 200 Religion in the blog.) EPC endorsed the concept of discontinuing the current optional arrangements listed at 290 Religion (Options A-E) in favor of a single chronological/regional alternative framework based on the top-level UDC arrangement, and recommended exploring the framework as a model for a future revision of 200 Religion. We’d like to prototype a virtual version of the alternative framework, and will be working with our colleagues in the OCLC Office of Research on this project.
Diane Vizine-Goetz (OCLC Office of Research) followed Ia McIlwaine with an overview of current Dewey research projects. Juli and I then presented a plan for Dewey training. We have a storehouse of Dewey courses, and would like to make these available to LIS students, librarians new to Dewey, and librarians needing a refresher in Dewey application. We realize that there’s also a need for training materials aimed at a broader circle of current and potential users, but we’d like to start with making the courses from our electronic archive of presentations more widely available (i.e., for free on the web) without a lot of modifications. Libbie Crawford is looking into various strategies to make this happen—stay tuned.
Giles gave an update on the status of our new editorial support system. We are working out the details of data conversion from the current ESS proprietary format to an enhanced version of the MARC 21 Format for Classification Data (and to an enhanced version of the MARC 21 Format for Authority Data for the Relative Index). The format conversion will facilitate improved data representation within the system, and easy distribution of data in XML and other formats. Pamela Brown, former ALA representative to EPC, has been working with us as consulting product manager for the new system.
We also discussed Dewey Numbers in Authority Files. EPC urged us to test the guidelines using Canadian Subject Headings (CSH)—we’ve already approached Library and Archives Canada on this matter. We currently map Dewey numbers to CSH based on the “likelihood of co-occurrence” model for mappings; we would need to reconsider those mappings in the context of the proposed guidelines before adding Dewey numbers to CSH authority records. EPC also agreed that we need to specify the relationships between topical Relative Index terms and Dewey numbers in Dewey records in which those relationships are not explicitly specified. We are studying the broader question of whether there should be additional specifications of relationships in Dewey records beyond the current equals/approximates the whole and standing room relationships.
During the evening of Day 2, we feted outgoing ALA representative Jessica MacPhail (Racine Public Library), whose committee service will end in December 2006. Jessica (pictured left) joined the committee in January 2001, and will be succeeded as ALA representative by Migell Acosta (County of Los Angeles Public Library), who attended Meeting 126 as a guest. Jessica’s citation from the committee reads in part: Whereas Jessica MacPhail ably served as the official ALA representative to EPC 2001-2006 and reported regularly to the Subject Analysis Committee of the Cataloging and Classification Section of ALCTS; . . . represented the needs of ALA members in the development of Edition 22 (2003) and Abridged Edition 14 (2004) of the Dewey Decimal Classification, and in the publication of ongoing updates in WebDewey and Abridged WebDewey; . . . participated in the EPC planning retreat, “The Future of the Dewey Decimal Classification,” March 15-18, 2004, at OCLC; . . . moved for acceptance the exhibit on 150 Psychology (EPC 116-11) at her very first meeting and also moved for acceptance portions of the exhibit on 150 Psychology (EPC 126-15) at her last face-to-face meeting; . . . enlivened many earnest exhibit discussions with her gentle humor (“just raising the question” for consideration by the committee prior to a vote); . . . brought commitment to committee membership to a new level by participating in a committee teleconference by cell phone from a campground; . . . shared openly her deep affection for notation 782.421660922 when applied to the Rolling Stones, and even skipped a concert in T2—77311 to attend an EPC meeting; . . . contributed the wonderful phrase “Dewey on Dewey” to the training discussion at Meeting 126 as a popular title for training modules, thereby leaving the committee with a flourish, just as she had joined it; Be it resolved that the members of the Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee, the DDC editors, and staff at the Library of Congress Decimal Classification Division and OCLC express to Jessica MacPhail their deep gratitude and appreciation for her service and commitment to the Committee and the Classification, their regret that she will no longer be one of their number, and their wishes for her continued success and happiness now that she has retired from the Committee.
In my report on highlights of Day 1 yesterday, I neglected to mention the lowlight of the week—the night before Meeting 126 started, Winton fell and broke his arm. He missed most of the meeting (he stopped by for two hours on the afternoon of Day 3), and is scheduled to have an operation on his arm tomorrow (it’s his right arm and he’s right handed).