ISSN 1524-363X 
 LEAF-VN Newsletter
the newsletter of  the Library and Education Assistance Foundation for Vietnam
           Bän Tin LEAF-VN
Bän tin cûa H¶i H‡ Tr® ThÜ ViŚn và Giáo Døc ViŚt Nam

Volume 4, Issue 1 
TÆp 4, sÓ 1 
        Winter 2002/2003
Xuân 2002/2003


Leaf-VN Officers

President's Message
Lien-Huong Fiedler, LEAF-VN President

Secretary's Report
Le-Huong Pham, LEAF-VN Secretary

Members in the News

LEAF-VN Instructional Series in Librarianship
The Cataloging in Publication Program: An Overview of its 30 Year History
by John Celli, Chief, Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Division
Methods of Searching as a Framework for Bibliographic Instruction
by Thomas Mann, Ph.D., Library of Congress.
A Virtual International Authority File (VIAF)
by Barbara Tillett, Ph.D., Library of Congress.

Editorial Information

Ms. Lien-Huong Fiedler,
(Huyen Ton-Nu Lien-Huong)
703-288-1919 (FAX)
Mr. Hoang Ngoc Huu,
Vice President 
650-932-0854 (FAX) (office) or (home) 
Ms. Le-Huong Pham,
209-575-6669 (FAX) or 
Mr. Thanh Pham,
Ms. Ngoc My Guidarelli,
Project Director 
804-828-0151(FAX) (office)
Mr. Vinh-The Lam,
Project Director 
306-966-5919 (FAX) (office) or (home) 
Dr. Hoang-Lan Thi Nguyen,
Fundraising Director 
(FAX) (office)
Ms. Nga Nguyen,
Fundraising Director 
520-626-2922 (FAX) (office)
Ms. Sharon E. Hunt,
Newsletter Editor 
520-760-4941 (FAX) 

Back to Table of Contents

President's Message
Lien-Huong Fiedler
December 5th, 2002

LEAF-VN HARVESTS OUR FIRST SUCCESS: Bo Quy Tac Bien Muc Anh-My Rut Gon, An Ban 1988, will be soon handed to our colleagues in Vietnam.

             “… We spoke of creating a bridge to connect Vietnamese expatriates … to work with library leaders in Vietnam … cooperated and interacted with Vietnamese librarians in a true spirit of team work.  This statement from my report in Spring 2001 is affirmed by Ms. Tran Kim Thu, Head of Cataloging Department of the National Library of Vietnam (NLV), Hanoi, in her recent email, “Thua chi Lien Huong:  Trong cung mot ngay toi  va chi da  gap nhau tren  cung mot  mang, du  rang ve   mat dia-li, thi  qua xa la voi-voi. Rat cam on chi da la cau noi giua toi va cac anh chi (ca nguoi Viet va nguoi My) trong cung mot nghe chung.” (Dear Lien-Huong:  Within the same day, you and I are truly on the same side although geographically how far away we are.  Thanks so much for serving as a bridge to connect colleagues (Vietnamese as well as American) of the same profession).

            This teamwork among the members of LEAF-VN and Vietnamese librarians has excelled and fruited during fiscal 2002: the Bo Quy Tac Bien Muc Anh-My Rut Gon, An Ban 1988, (The Concise AACR2, 1988 Revision) will soon be handed to our colleagues in Viet Nam.  As the Representative for our Board of Directors, I am expressing my deep gratitude for those who have made this Project a reality.

              The Project started in late 1999 with the volunteer work late into the nights of the two translators, Mr. Lam Vinh-The and Ms. Pham Thi Le-Huong.  In November 2001, the review process began with the translators and the National Library of Vietnam Review Committee.  The fundraising effort lasted for two years!  Although, LEAF-VN acknowledged the support of donors in the Bo Quy Tac Bien Muc Anh-My Rut Gon, An Ban 1988, on behalf of our Board of Directors, I sincerely thank these generous supporters again!  The following people whose names should be mentioned here for the success of this translation project are: the two translators, Ms. Pham Le-Huong and Mr. Lam Vinh-The; the author of the Concise AACR2, 1988 Revision [Concise Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 1988 Revision] , who also wrote the Introduction for the translated manual, Mr. Michael Gorman; Ms. Tran Kim Thu, Head of the NLV Review Committee, Mr. Vu Van Son with his numerous editing for the manuscript, the NLV Director Pham The Khang with his enthusiastic support; and Mr. Ngo Duc Diem, President of VAP Consulting, LLC of San Jose, California, whose large contribution completed the fundraising! 

               On November 13th, when I deposited Mr. Ngo Duc Diem's contribution I realized that LEAFers could truly celebrate!  I sent him a celebrating card beside LEAF-VN’s IRS-Thank-You Letter.  He deserves a bottle of champagne from us!   We reached the finish line after a fundraising marathon.  

              The following story of the fundraising race for the Bo Quy Tac Bien Muc Anh-My Rut Gon, An Ban 1988 should be recorded for our memory.  In October, Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang-Lan, LEAF-VN Fundraising Director, spent two nights at my home in Virginia while attending National Science Foundation’s conference, to work with me on proposal writing.  Ms. Nguyen Thi Nga called on her Tucson, Arizona friends to gather several contributions.  Ms. Pham Thi Le-Huong, LEAF-VN Secretary, turned herself into a professional fundraiser and a book-keeper.  LEAFers do appreciate the very many contributions from her friends of the old Van-Hanh University, Saigon.  Ms. Joan Casey of the Vietnam Veterans Restoration Project ( contributed and joined our Advisory Board in early July.   Mr. Hoang Ngoc Huu and his wife Ms. Hoang Mong-Diep chipped in;  Ms. Ngoc My Guidarelli and Ms. Huyen Ton Nu Lien-Huong (Lien-Huong Fiedler) contributed again.  Dr(s). Walter and Marion Ross, Professors at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville contributed when they attended the LEAF-VN’s 1998 First Business Meeting and then again in 2000 for this translation project!   We do not, of course, forget that Mr. Tu Son contacted Mr. Ngo Duc Diem of the VAP Consulting and Mr. John Nguyen.  Mr. Son and his friends from Thich Ca Thien Vien (Sakyamuni Buddhist Meditation Association, Riverside, California), contributed a large sum also.

                  LEAF-VN’s eventful fiscal years 2001-2002 unfolded with its first gathering with Vietnamese librarians at the Annual Conference of IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions)
LEAF-VN at IFLA  in Boston, Aug. 2001
IFLA at Boston, Aug. 2001
in August 2001 in
Boston.  Three important meetings took place during this conference week:  (1) NLV Director - Pham The Khang met with Ms. Pham Le-Huong,  Ms. Ngoc My Guidarelli, and Ms. Lien-Huong Fiedler reviewing the “final draft” of the manuscript Bo Quy Tac Bien Muc Anh-My Rut Gon, An Ban 1988; (2) Ms. Carol Erickson, International Library Program Manager of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, met with Director Pham The Khang, Mr. Kieu Van Hot from the National Library of Vietnam (NLV), and Ms. Lien-Huong Fiedler discussing a possible Request For Proposal (RFP) after the NLV answered the ten (10) research questions posed  by the Gates Foundation in April 2001; and (3) Mr. Nguyen Minh Hiep, President of FESAL (Federation of Southern Vietnam Academic Libraries, Ho Chi Minh City), Ms. Diep Kim Chi, Director of Can Tho University’s Central Library, met with Dr. Barbara Tillett, Director of the Library of Congress’ Cataloging Policy and Support Office evaluating a possible Automation Project of Integrated Library System for FESAL. 

                Fortunately for me, I met Dr. Christopher Chia, Chief Executive of the National Library Board of Singapore, during the Library of Congress’ Bicentennial Symposium, “National Libraries of the World: Interpreting the Past, Shaping the Future-October 23-26, 2000.”  This led to my attendance at the Singapore World Library Summit-Global Knowledge Renaissance 24-26 April 2002, Suntec, Singapore.  On behalf of LEAF-VN, the Singapore National Library Board invited and sponsored FESAL President – Mr. Nguyen Minh Hiep and Mr. Ha Le Hung, Director of the Da Nang University’s Information Resource Center.  Like the Bangkok 1999 IFLA Annual Conference, I, then again met many education and library leaders from Vietnam as well as
LEAF-VN at IFLA  in Boston, Aug. 2001
IFLA at Boston, Aug. 2001
Southeast Asian librarians from Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, and, of course, Singapore.   This was a good chance to promote LEAF-VN among Asian library professionals.  From
Singapore, I flew to Ho Chi Minh City with Dr. Marianna Choldin and Dr. Susan Schnuer, Directors of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois Library, Urbana-Champaign. FESAL President - Mr. Nguyen Minh Hiep welcomed the Mortenson Center’s Directors with a big gathering of FESAL members coming from Da Lat, Da Nang, and Can Tho for a briefing on the international programs by the Mortenson Center.  Ms. Nguyen Thi Bac, Director of the General Sciences Library of Ho Chi Minh City, invited Susan, Marianna, and me to tour her Library and to have a very special dinner in downtown Saigon!  Since this was the first time visiting Vietnam of the Mortenson Center’s Directors, Mr. Nguyen Minh Hiep and Ms. Duong Thuy Huong, Deputy Director of the Graduate Library of the Natural Sciences College of the National University, Ho Chi Minh City, gave them a long drive to visit Cu Chi underground tunnels.  Climbing down into these three level underground tunnels, we were awe-struck with admiration for the 1960s-Cu Chi soldiers and citizens during the Viet Nam War.  This was an unforgettable memory for Susan, Marianna, and me!

                I then, flew to Ha Noi to meet with Mr. Vuong Toan and Dr. Lai Van Toan at the National Center
LEAF-VN Rep at DDC and AACR2 meeting in HaNoi, Sept. 2002
Lien Huong & Mr. Khang
for Social Sciences and Humanities of the National University, Ha Noi, informing them of scholarship opportunities from the Library of Congress.  Unlike my previous visits, I added some tasks from the Library of Congress during my April-May 2002 Viet Nam trip.  These gentlemen and I were surprised when we saw each other: we had met briefly at the 1999 Bangkok IFLA Conference!   As it was planned by Director Khang, the May 6th, 2002 Meeting with the NLV-CAACR2 Review Committee went smoothly.  We made final collective decisions for this Translation Project: to publish the Bo Quy Tac Bien Muc Anh-My Rut Gon, An Ban 1988 no later than December 2002 and to support the LEAF-VN’s 2003-2004 library training for this manual and other library services.  Early in the morning of May 8th, Mr. Khang sent Ms. Nguyen Huyen Dan to my hotel with the final draft of the May 6th Meeting Minutes for me to sign before I left for Hue late that morning.  Director Pham The Khang’s work ethic is
LEAF-VN Rep at DDC and AACR2 meeting in HaNoi, Sept. 2002
Ha Noi, May 6 2002
indeed admirable!  I always feel trustful and reliable dealing with him, beginning the first time in the summer of 1999 when he was the Director of the Library Department of the Ministry of Information and Culture, and then the Director of the National Library of Vietnam in June 2000. 

                Hue was sunny and hot as usual even in early May! The breeze from the Perfum River (Song Huong) did not help cool off the dry heat of this region!   There were no summer flamboyant blossoms (Hoa Phuong) of students along the street towards Hue University.  My cyclo-ride made a few stops, since Hue University had been temporarily moved to the Hue Administration Office Building (Toa Dai Bieu)!  Therefore, I ended up visiting Dr. Nguyen Vien Tho, Rector of Hue University at 10 a.m. in his temporary office, instead of coming to my meeting place in the new Learning Resource Center (LRC).   However, about an hour later, the new IT Manager - Mr. Nguyen Dinh Hai fetched me from the Rector’s Office.  I got lost in my own home town!  I also missed a chance to meet with Dr. Huynh Dinh Chien, the Director of the Hue University’s Learning Resource Center since he was in Australia for a library conference.   Ms. Tran Cam Lai and Ms. Huynh Thi Can are now the new Information Resources Managers.  Together with their IT Manager Mr. Nguyen Dinh Hai and Management Director - Ms. Le Mai Thai Phuong, they briefed me about their LRC and also voiced their needs in hope LEAFers in the United States and Canada can support them.  I was finally treated to lunch of favorite hometown food “Bun Bo Hue !”

               On May 12th, in a taxi cab climbing Deo Hai Van (Hai Van Pass), I hoped to get to Da Nang city before dark!  There was no airplane from Hue to Da Nang.   I could not stand the idea of sitting on a slow train in order to arrive in the middle of the night in a strange town.  But I was so relieved stepping in the hotel reserved for me by Ms. Do Thi Nhu Hoa, a staff member of the University of Da Nang’s IRC.  The hotel looks over the Han River, and the comfortable room erased immediately those long worried hours in the taxi cab alone!  The next morning, Ms. Nhu Hoa came to the hotel and we rode on her motor bike to the Da Nang University’s Information Resource Center (IRC).  There, she introduced me to many staff members and gave me a tour of the new IRC building.  The IRC is a seven-story building all air-conditioned and equipped with many PCs in its numerous Reading Rooms.  I have never seen so many library users in Vietnam like I witnessed at this Center.  This is probably the most modern library building in Vietnam.   Director Ha Le Hung, who had been busy with his regular Monday staff meeting, gave me a PowerPoint Presentation about the Center.  That evening, Mr. Hung, his wife - Ms. Bach Tuyet, and their 11 year old son, took me to a seafood restaurant.  We then rode in the cool night along the Han River towards the South China Sea.  I would like to thank Mr. Ha Le Hung and his family for their hospitality and for this memorable evening!

                 LEAF-VN ended its fiscal year 2002 with Ms. Pham Le-Huong, representing LEAFers at the “NLV/RMIT University,
LEAF-VN Rep at DDC and AACR2 meeting in HaNoi, Sept. 2002
DDC & AACR2 meeting
Vietnam’s Workshop on the Translation of DDC and AACR2 into Vietnamese” on September 23rd-24th in Hanoi, under sponsorship of the Atlantic Philanthropies, Inc.  Please view the LEAF-VN Secretary’s Report for details.  It was the success of the Bo Quy Tac Bien Muc Anh-My Rut Gon, An Ban 1988 Translation Project which led to LEAF-VN’s role in discussing the issue of implementation of international systems and standards for librarianship in Vietnam.  The NLV Director - Mr. Pham The Khang sincerely hopes that the translation of the Concise AACR2, 1988 Revision is the start for many more joint translation projects between LEAF-VN and Vietnamese librarians.

LEAF-VN Rep at DDC and AACR2 meeting in HaNoi, Sept. 2002
DDC & AACR2 meeting

                   To start our new fiscal year, LEAF-VN would like to welcome again our three newest members this year: Ms. Joan Casey, Ms. Lara-Lan Huong Fiedler, and Mr. Phan Hoai Nghia.  If every year, we are able to recruit just one young member, LEAF-VN will survive for many more decades!  Representing the Board of Directors, I would like to send our warmest appreciation to the contributors of the spring 2002 issue of the LEAF-VN Newsletter:  Dr. Barbara Tillett, Mr. John Celli, and Dr. Thomas Mann, all from the Library of Congress.  Mr. John Celli is the Chief of the CIP Department of the Library of Congress.  Dr. Mann is a well-known reference librarian at the Library of Congress.  Dr. Tillett has been answering library queries from the NLV staff after she came back from the two-day workshop on the translation of DDC and AACR2 into Vietnamese in Hanoi.  My special appreciation goes to Ms. Sharon Hunt, our Editor, for her responsibility to remind everyone every year to contribute and as a writer for the LEAF-VN Newsletter!  We also want to send our best regards to our Treasurer, Mr. Pham Thanh, who during the last few months of fiscal 2002 signed many dozens of LEAF-VN’s IRS-Thank-You Letters to our donors.  Throughout the year, Mr. Pham Thanh is my financial adviser on the bookkeeping for LEAF-VN!   There will be many new things to celebrate in the new year:  LEAF-VN will soon receive the first statement by a professional auditing firm.  We recently received a renewal from IRS of our non-profit status.  We are well on our way to being a successful partner of Vietnamese librarians.

Respectfully Submitted,
Lięn-Huong Fiedler, President

Back to Table of Contents

Le-Huong Pham

The Process of Translation of The Concise AACR2, 1988 Revision into the Vietnamese Language

For the whole year of 2001, I devoted my time to revising the translated work The Concise AACR2, 1988 revision / by Michael Gorman. ALA, 1989 (CAACR2), with permission from the American Library Association, The Canadian Library Association, and the Library Association [of Great Britain] due to the involvement of the National Library of Vietnam (NLV) staff in this work for adopting the current Vietnamese terminology since November 2000.

After several months of exchanging ideas with the NLV staff and other experts in the field from Vietnam, in August 2001 I went to Boston to attend the IFLA Conference and I had a chance to meet Mr. Pham The Khang, Director of the National Library of Vietnam, and other Vietnamese colleagues who were all Simmons graduates. They returned to Boston to have more training on library field and to attend the IFLA conference.

Ms. Lien Huong Fiedler, LEAF-VN president, Ms. Ngoc-My Guidarelli, and I had a meeting with Mr. Pham The Khang on August 23rd, 2001, to discuss the final revision of the CAACR2. I presented to Mr. Khang copies of the 2nd Vietnamese revised version of the CAACR2. Here is an excerpt from the Report of the Meeting in Boston with Mr. Pham The Khang:

I called Mr. Khang's attention to the translators' (Vinh-The Lam and Le-Huong Pham) revised work (2nd proof) that was based on the following principles:

Ms. Lien-Huong Fiedler, President of LEAF-VN, summarized the meeting for LEAF-VN’s part: the translators had done their best to compromise with the librarians in VN on certain terms, and now it was their turn to act upon their compromise. She suggested that after Mr. Khang returned to Vietnam and his staff read the revision, a letter to LEAF-VN by the NLV be issued in which they would indicate that there was an agreement among the librarians in VN and the translators to a certain extent on the usage of Vietnamese terminologies so that she could work on her new proposal for funding to publish this work as soon as possible.

Mr. Khang agreed to bring the 2nd proof copy back to Vietnam for the NLV Cataloging Department librarians to take a look at it again, and they would give us an answer later.

On the last day, I met Dr. Patricia Oyler, Professor of Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science, at the dinner that was offered by LEAF-VN members. Dr. Oyler advised me that this CAACR2 publication is very crucial for the development of library and information for Vietnam, therefore she also suggested that it be published as soon as possible even if there were some differences on the terminologies being used by the librarians in the Southern and Northern parts of Vietnam and the translators. It could be solved if the librarians in Vietnam would do their part in writing their own manual to apply the CAACR2 rules if they wish to use whatever the terminologies that fit their practice.

In July 2002, the final draft was revised by the NLV staff and Mr. Vu van Son, former director of the National Centre Scientific and Technological Information and Documentation Library (NACESTID), and was sent to the translator, Le-Huong Pham, who incorporated some suggested Vietnamese terminologies into the final draft copy. It was ready to send to the ABC Discount Printing Office for their input and later two thousands copies were to be published.

Workshops on the Translation of DDC and AACR2 into Vietnamese

Also in July, 2002, on the suggestion of Mr. Pham The Khang, Dr. Robert Stueart, International Consultant on Strategic Planning for Information Services, in cooperation with The RMIT University in Vietnam (The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology - Vietnam University) which was in charge of the planning for the Workshops on the Translation of DDC 21, AACR2 full text, and Symposium on the Establishment of a National Association of Library and Information Professionals in Vietnam, invited one LEAF-VN member to attend the Workshops in Hanoi from September 23-25, 2002. All expenses were paid by the fund from the Atlantic Philanthropies, Inc.

After having reached a consensus among the LEAF-VN directors, Ms. Lien-Huong Fiedler sent an e-mail to Dr. Robert Stueart who was in charge of the Conference planning to confirm that Mr. Vinh-The Lam, one of the two translators, would be the LEAF-VN representative. But later, due to the personal reasons, Mr. Lam could not make the trip therefore Ms. Fielder assigned Le-Huong Pham, the 2nd translator, to be the LEAF-VN representative to attend the Workshops in Hanoi, Vietnam.

With the support of the Dean of Library, Modesto Junior College Library, I left for Vietnam on Saturday 21st Sept., and arrived in Hanoi on 22nd Sept., 2002. There were participants from Vietnam, Australia, and the United States.

International Participants in the Workshop
Ms. Julianne Beall (Decimal Classification Division, Library of Congress) Assistant Director, Dewey Decimal Classification Edition 21 and Abridged Edition 13
Ms. Ann Huthwaite, Chair, Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR
Ms. Myly Nguyen, Consultant, Information Resources, Learning Resource Centre Projects, RMIT International University, Vietnam
Dr. Patricia Oyler, Professor, Simmons College, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Boston, USA
Ms. Le-Huong Pham, LEAF-VN representative, Modesto, CA, USA
Ms. Rebecca Rittgers, Program Officer, Australia and Vietnam Atlantic Philanthropies, Inc.
Mr. Michael Robinson, Director, Library and Learning Resource Centres, RMIT International University Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Project Director, Workshop on DDC/AACR2 translation
Dr. Robert Stueart, International Consultant on Strategic Planning for Information Services
Dr. Barbara Tillett, Chief Cataloging Policy and Support Office, US Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., USA

In-Country Participants in the Workshop
Mr. Pham The Khang, Director of National Library of VN, President, DDC Translation Advisory Committee
Dr. Ta Ba Hung, Deputy President, DDC Translation Advisory Committee
Mr. Vu van Son, Secretary General, Vietnam Association for Scientific & Technological Information and Documentation (VASTID), VN Editor DDC
Mr. Nguyen Huy Chuong, Director of National University Information Center, Hanoi, Member, DDC Translation Advisory Committee
Mr. Nguyen Minh Hiep, Director of Graduate Library, University of Natural Science, Ho Chi Minh City, Member DDC Translation Advisory Committee
Ms. Nguyen Thi Bac, Director of General Science Library Ho Chi Minh City, Member, DDC Translation Advisory Committee
Ms. Diep Kim Chi, Director of Can Tho University Central Library, Member, DDC Translation Advisory Committee
Mr. Kieu Van Hot, Deputy Director, NLV, Member, DDC Translation Advisory Committee
Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thuan, Director, Library Department, Member, DDC Translation Advisory Committee
Ms. Nguyen Thi Huyen Dan, Head of International Relations, NLV
Ms. Tran Thi Quy, Dean, Library and Information Department, VNU Hanoi University of Social Sciences and Humanities
Ms. Tran Thi Minh Nguyet, Vice Dean, Faculty of Library Studies, VNU Ho Chi Minh University of Social Sciences
Ms. Ngo Ngoc Chi, Dean, Faculty of Library Studies, VNU Ho Chi Minh University of Social Sciences
Ms. Vu Thuy Nga, Vice-Dean, Faculty of Library Studies, VNU Ho Chi Minh University of Social Sciences
Ms. Tran Kim Thu, Head, Cataloging Dept., NLV
Ms. Nguyen Kim Loan, Specialist, Cataloging Division, NLV
Ms. Dang Thi Mai, Head, Automation Division, NLV
Dr. Le Van Viet, Head, Research Division, NLV
Mr. Nguyen Huu Viem, NLV

Quoted from “The Workshop Objectives” which was posted on the RMIT website at this URL:

“The workshops on the translation of DDC and AACR2 have arisen as a direct outcome of recommendations made in an initial workshop on the development of national standards in librarianship in Vietnam, held in Hanoi in September 2001.

Bringing together key stakeholders from Vietnamese libraries and topical expertise from internationally recognized authorities, the aim of the workshop is to discuss the translation process and implementation issues relating to the introduction of the authorized Vietnamese version of DDC and AACR2.

The specific objectives of the workshop are:

1. To build on the initiatives of the NLV to develop an implementation plan and timeline for the translation, publication, and adoption of an authorized Vietnamese version of DDC 13 and an authorized (by ALA, CLA and CILIP as copyright holders) full text version of AACR2.

2. In consultation with representatives from OCLC/Forrest Press, LC, US Library of Congress, and other organizations to formulate the process for the authorization and publication of the Vietnamese DDC 13 and AACR2.

3. To identify the key active participants in this process and to define and assign responsibilities for the project deliverables and practical deadlines.

4. To establish the resources required for implementing the translation and publication process and ensuring the completion of the translations on schedule, and to identify the translation and production costs associated with the authorized Vietnamese version of Dewey Decimal Classification 13 and AACR2.”

On Monday 9-23-2002, the Workshop on DDC Translation began.

Mr. Pham The Khang, Director of the National Library of Vietnam, gave an Introduction to the Workshop. After that, there was a welcoming address by Mr. Tran Chien Thang, Vice Minister of Culture and Information of Vietnam, and Dr. Robert Stueart gave a Welcome and Introduction of the Workshop Objectives and Process.

The program on the DDC Translation proceeded for the whole day:
DDC in Translation: Toward Vietnamese Abridged 13, by Julianne Beall, Decimal Classification Division, LC, Assistant Editor, DDC 21 and Abridged Ed. 13.
Development of Timeline for the Completion of the Translation, by Vu van Son, Designator Editor DDC Translation.
Training in the Use of Dewey Decimal Classification, by Dr. Patricia Oyler, Professor, Simmons College, Grad. School of Lib. & Information Science, Boston, MA.
Conclusion of DDC Workshop, by Dr. Robert Stueart, International Consultant on Strategic Planning for Information Services.

On Tuesday 9-24-2002, the Workshop on AACR2 Translation started.
Welcome and Introduction to the Workshop Objectives and Process, by Dr. Robert Stueart.
Translation and Publication Process for AACR, by Ann Huthwaite, Chair Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR.
AACR as a Standard for Description and Access / AACR as a Global Resource, by Dr. Barbara Tillett, Chief, Cataloging Policy and Support Office, US Library of Congress.
Discussion, by Dr. Patricia Oyler.
Training in the Use of AACR2, by Dr. Patricia Oyler.
Conclusion of AACR2 Workshop, by Dr. Robert Stueart.

At the AACR2 Workshop, I carried the final draft copy of the translation of the Concise AACR2, 1988 revision with me. I reaffirmed that our goals on this work were to expose the Vietnamese colleagues to the international standards on cataloging; that we did not intend to impose the implementation of this tool but considered it as a reference tool for our colleagues. I distributed the printed copy of the Guidelines for Translating the Concise AACR2, 1988 ( and 20 copies of the final draft to the participants. Later some Vietnamese colleagues indicated to me that they need the Vietnamese version of the CAACR2, 1988 very badly for their training classes at their local regions. They said that they appreciated our work very much.

On Sept. 26th, 2002, I had another meeting with Mr. Pham The Khang and Vu Van Son, the principal person who did the final revision of the CAACR2 at the National Library of Vietnam. Mr. Khang and Son stated that they all satisfied with this final copy and there was nothing to be added on their part. I confirmed with them that when I returned to the USA I would do the final touchups for the manuscript and send it on to the Printing House.

Finally I am happy to inform all of LEAF-VN members that the CAACR2 is being printed and it will be ready to send to Vietnam by the end of December, 2002.

Symposium on the Establishment of a National Association of Library and Information Professionals in Vietnam

A symposium to discuss the issues concerning the establishment of a national association of library and information professionals in Vietnam took place in Hanoi on Wednesday 25th September 2002.

The symposium was jointly hosted by the National Library of Vietnam, the National Centre for Scientific Technological Information and Documentation (NACESTID), and the Vietnam Association for Scientific Technological Information and Documentation (VASTID), and was managed by RMIT International University Vietnam.

Many professional librarians and information specialists from academic, public, scientific and technical, and special libraries and information centers in Vietnam attended the symposium.

Guest speakers were:
Dr. Robert D. Stueart, International Consultant on Strategic Planning for Information Services
Dr. Ta Ba Hung, Director, National Centre for Scientific Technological Information and Documentation (NACESTID)
Mr. Pham The Khang, Director, National Library of Vietnam
Mr. Vu Van Son, Secretary General, Vietnam Association for Scientific & Technological Information and Documentation. (VASTID)
Ms. Jennifer Nicholson, Executive Director, Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Australia
Mr. Mohd Sharif Mohd Saad, Librarians Association of Malaysia

Quoted from “The Symposium Objectives” which was posted on the RMIT website at this URL:
“The symposium aims to bring together leaders in the fields of librarianship and information services with Vietnamese government decision-makers and representatives from professional associations overseas, with the following specific objectives:
1. To promote discussion on the subject of a national association of information professionals.
2. To present an overview of issues which should be addressed through the development of a national association for information professionals in Vietnam, based upon the experience of information professionals in other Asian countries and internationally.
3. To explore the aims and objectives of a national association, and to discuss the role that it might play in the ongoing development of the library and information profession and information services in Vietnam.
4. To identify the active participants in the process of establishing a national professional association.
5. To investigate the support and resources required to establish a national association of information professionals.
6. To seek the approval and support from governmental and administrative levels in order to recognize the important role that libraries play in the continuing economic, technological and social development of Vietnam.”

The symposium was held at the Conference room of the National Centre for Scientific Technological Information and Documentation (NACESTID) in Hanoi on Sept. 25th, 2002. There were couple hundred participants who came from other regions of Vietnam besides several the foreigners as guest speakers and participants.

The program composed of:
Opening Ceremony, by Dr. Nguyen Nhu Kim, President of Vietnam Association for Scientific & Technological Information and Documentation (VASTID).
The Library Professional Community in an Information Society, by Dr. Robert Stueart.
Establishing a National Information Association – Structure and Organization, with a Federated Approach, by Ms. Jennifer Nicholson, Executive Director, Australian Library and Information Association.
Creating a Library Association: The Asian Experience, by Mr. Mohd Sharif Mohd Saad, Librarians Association of Malaysia.
The Vietnam Association for Scientific Technological Information and Documentation (VASTID) Experience, by Dr. Ta Ba Hung, Director of NACESTID, and Vu Van Son, Secretary of VASTID.
Discussions/Next Steps for an Association of Librarians and Information Professionals, Moderator – Mr. Pham The Khang, Director of NLV
Closing Ceremony, Facilitator, Dr. Robert Stueart.

I hope that with the encouragement of the Government of VN, the Vietnamese librarians will materialize their dream of a Vietnamese professional organization in order to improve their field and to meet the international standards in the high tech era of the 21st century.

Back to Table of Contents

Fundraising to publish the Vietnamese version of CAACR2, 1988 revision

The 9-11 event terribly affected LEAF-VN acquiring funding to publish the Vietnamese version of the CAACR2. The cost of layout and printing was about more than ten thousand dollars, and in 2000 and 2001 we only received less than half of the total cost. In 2002 with all efforts of all LEAF-VN members, their relatives and friends donated substantial amount of money so that we could publish this book in November, 2002. I would like to extend our gratitude to the donors who helped LEAF-VN to publish this book that will be a valuable tool for the colleagues in Vietnam to consult on their cataloging tasks.

I think that both of the Workshops on DDC/AACR2 and Symposium held in Hanoi on Sept., 23-25, 2002 were very fruitful. It was a dream come true according to the wishes of the LEAF-VN members and probably our Vietnamese colleagues in Vietnam, especially the two translators of the CAACR2 who were involved in the development of library science in Vietnam since 1970’s.

Back to Table of Contents

Members in the News

Nga Nguyen, member of the LEAF-VN Board of Directors, presented the poster "Angiang University Library (Vietnam): Then and Now" at the AZ State Library Association Annual Conference, December 5-6, 2002 in Phoenix, Arizona. You may access the poster at

Back to Table of Contents

LEAF-VN Instructional Series in Librarianship

The Cataloging in Publication Program: An Overview of its 30-Year History
by John Celli, Chief
Cataloging in Publication Division
Library of Congress

The Library of Congress’s Cataloging in Publication program (or CIP as it’s often called) officially began July 1, 1971. Its aim was simple: to help libraries by reducing the cost of cataloging and by expediting book processing so books would get into the hands of readers more quickly.

Most American libraries wanted to use Library of Congress cataloging to avoid the costly duplication of effort involved in doing their own original cataloging and to benefit from Library of Congress standards. Prior to 1971 they could and did do this by ordering catalog card sets from the Library of Congress, but there was a cost for this service and it frequently involved lengthy delays. Books sat for weeks in the technical services departments of many libraries waiting for the card sets to arrive. The aim of the CIP Program was to address the need for cataloging by supplying publishers with cataloging data that could be printed in their publications. After all, what could be quicker than having the catalog record in the book itself at the time it arrived from the book supplier?

The program was initially funded with matching grants of $200,000 each from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Council on Library Resources, and was launched with a small group of 27 publishers. By the end of its first full year 200 publishers were on board and 6,500 titles had been processed. When the program continued to expand rapidly in its second year, the United States Congress deemed the CIP program a success and agreed to appropriate funds in fiscal year 1974 to appoint staff and establish the CIP program as a permanent Library of Congress operation.

Response from the library community was positive. On July 12, 1974 the American Library Association Council unanimously approved a resolution affirming its gratitude to publishers for their generosity and responsible professionalism for participating at considerable trouble and expense to themselves in a program which resulted in savings in library processing and enhanced services to library users. CIP was clearly meeting an important need.

The emergence and successful development of the CIP program in the United States reverberated in other parts of the world. Judy McDermott, CIP Division chief from 1986 to 1988 notes that, “The Library of Congress CIP program was the catalyst for CIP programs in a number of countries, including Canada, Australia, the then Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Brazil.” Many aspects of the Library of Congress CIP program were emulated by other countries including, for example, the text of the publishers manuals which the Library of Congress prepared and distributed to publishers to explain the program and its procedures.

The structure of the program was well-conceived at the outset and the basics have remained constant. The publisher submits an application form and the galley of the forthcoming book (as far in advance of publication as possible) to the CIP office. CIP staff review it for eligibility and completeness and create an initial record. Then it is forwarded to the cataloging team with the appropriate subject expertise where it receives full descriptive cataloging, name authority work, subject analysis, and LC classification. After that it goes to shelflisting to complete the LC classification number and then to the decimal classification division for decimal classification. The process ends where it began in the CIP Division. The publisher’s version of the data is prepared here and sent to the publisher to be printed on the copyright page of the book.

Over the past thirty years hundreds of improvements have been made to the system. Redundant paper files were eliminated to save steps and time; implementation of online cataloging minimized keying–-instead of keying the record three times (once by catalogers, once by other staff to input the record into the database, and once by CIP Division staff to create the publisher’s version) the record was keyed only once. Pressure sensitive address labels were included on the application form which the publisher completes and thereby speeds up the process of mailing the data to the publisher. Special red labels were provided to the publisher to use when submitting the CIP application to help staff quickly identify CIP applications from the huge quantity of mail received daily by the Library of Congress. The application form was modified to enable publishers to identify the primary subject of the work which helps to route the application more readily to the cataloging team with the! appropriate subject expertise. And more recently Electronic CIP has been developed to enable publishers to complete their applications online and transmit the complete text of the galley electronically to the CIP Division. When a CIP application is submitted via ECIP the completed CIP data is emailed to the publisher so not only are postage costs and paper handling eliminated but overall turnaround time is improved.

Improvements such as these were essential to the survival of the program for while staffing levels increased over the past thirty years the increase in staffing levels was never proportional to the program's growth. Furthermore, while CIPs have always been treated as a priority, the CIP workstream, nonetheless, must compete with regular book cataloging and other initiatives such as the Library’s commitment to eliminate all arrearages.

The program has grown dramatically over the years. In 1972 production was 6,500; in 1980 28,600, in 1990 45,670; and in the year 2000, 56,800 titles were given CIP data. The program's greatest danger in fact has been its own success. On a couple of occasions the demand to include CIP in more and more titles has in fact disrupted the program. In 1990, for example, processing time slowed so badly that publishers were compelled to incur the cost and disruption of changing their print dates or print the book without the CIP data. In response to this, the program was frozen at the then current level of publisher participation. No new publishers were allowed into the program for approximately one year. This same dilemma was encountered on occasion with juvenile though the response was different. In these instances CIP management suspended inclusion of summaries for nonfiction summaries. The resources saved here enabled staff to provide CIP cataloging for more juvenile titles an! d process them in a more timely manner.

Timely throughput is essential to the success and survival of the program. Publishers work within rigid time constraints. If they miss a print date, that costs money.

This means that the CIP process is often a very demanding one for all involved--the publishers, the CIP Publisher Liaisons (who interface with the catalogers on one side and the publishers on the other) aand, of course, the catalogers who are constantly urged to move this title and that title faster because the publisher is desperate to have the CIP data today.

But for all these strengths. The Electronic CIP program is a good example of automation. As noted earlier, it enables publishers to request CIP data using the Internet which speeds up the overall process, saves paper and postage, and enables CIP staff to manage the program more closely. Beyond that Electronic CIP sets the stage for the future. It positions the CIP program to obtain a richer array of bibliographic information (images of book jackets, author information, book jacket blurbs, sample text, etc.) which can be made available to libraries and readers via the Internet. The potential for reinventing the CIP program today is exciting.

CIP’s partnership with publishers on one hand and libraries on the other is another of the program's fundamental strengths. Virtually every mainstream US publisher participates in CIP along with a host of small to very small publishers and a good number of the most important multinational presses. This, as noted earlier, is not without cost to these publishers. Life would clearly be less troublesome for them if they skipped the CIP process. But publishing is a business and there is a business motive for their participation. If their books have CIP data in them, that’s an added value and if the CIP data is distributed and made available to book dealers, libraries, and readers all over the world well before the book is published that marketing perk is extremely valuable too.

In short, the CIP program is a win-win proposition for both libraries and publishers which has in its thirty-year history created well over one million catalog records--a considerable achievement and an enormous savings in resources for libraries worldwide.

Back to Table of Contents

Methods of Searching as a Framework for Bibliographic Instruction
By Thomas Mann, Library of Congress


Bibliographic instruction is conventionally taught according to either a Subject/Discipline model (discussing specific resources for history, for theology, for psychology, etc.) or a Type-of-Literature model (discussing almanacs, chronologies, directories, encyclopedias, etc.). The problem with the former is that, while covering one area very well, it leaves students at a loss when they need to find information in any other subject area, each of which can impinge or even overlap substantially with the one Subject/Discipline on which the student is focusing. The problem with the Type-of-Literature framework is that, while quite good in allowing an overview of reference literature, it leaves students with little to go on in finding primary and secondary sources. For example, it doesn’t teach them how to find proper Library of Congress subject headings or explain the difference between controlled vocabulary and keyword searching (which they need to know)

An alternative, and I think better, framework is one presenting an overview of research options according to Methods of Searching. This is the model that underlies my books, The Oxford Guide to Library Research (Oxford University Press, 1998) and Library Research Models (Oxford, 1993). Unlike the Subject model, a Methods model provides students with the means to search in any subject area; unlike the Type model, it provides ways of finding monographs and journals (especially)-not just reference works.

The Methods model distinguishes nine different techniques for subject searching:
Controlled vocabulary searches (especially via Library of Congress Subject Headings)
Keyword searches
Citation searches
Searches through published bibliographies
Boolean combination searches (especially via computers-but also through printed sources)
Using people sources (by phone, interview, or Internet)
Systematic browsing or scanning of classified book collections
Related-record searches
Type-of-Literature searches

Each of these nine different methods of searching is potentially applicable within any subject area; each has both strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages; and each is capable of turning up information that cannot be found through the other eight. There are always trade-offs in switching from one method of searching to another, but information that lies in a blind spot to one method is usually readily findable by one or more of the other techniques. In the total information system, these methods balance and compensate for each other.

For practical purposes--especially if the time for a BI presentation is limited--I usually drop discussion of the last method, Type-of-Literature seearches, and just talk about the first eight. Since there are about a score of types that have to be kept in mind (directories, atlases, handbooks, etc.--see below), I find that the inclusion of this last technique just overloads students. Also, my experience indicates that this way doesn’t “take” as readily as the other eight; even when it’s explained, students still come up to the reference desk asking only for the particular encyclopedia titles, or directories, and so on, that have been used to illustrate the more general principles involved. My impression is that a lot of practice is required before anyone gets comfortable with thinking of the types more generally, across the board in any subject area. (We mustn’t forget that becoming a good researcher involves acquiring a measure of skill in practice as well as a body ! of knowledge in theory.) So, if I have limited time, I usually leave out Type-of-Literature searching; but it is something that reference librarians need to know about, and it does need to be covered in presentations to graduate students in library science.

This leaves eight other methods:

In talking about controlled vocabulary searching, it is best to concentrate on Library of Congress Subject Headings, especially if time is limited. We need to tell students that they have four different ways to find the proper LCSH term(s) for their topics, two of them using “the red books,” and two from using the library’s catalog directly:

a) In the red books, follow cross-references, paying particular attention to NT (Narrow Term) designations. Finding headings that are the “tightest fit” for a topic is essential because of the catalogers’ principle of specific entry--don’t search under general headings when you actually have a more specific topic in mind.
b) Also in the red books, look for narrower terms that are alphabetically adjacent to general terms (e.g. “Business intelligence,” which is narrower than “Business” in general; is alphabetically nearby without being formally designated an NT cross-reference). These “nearby” narrower terms are just as important as the NTs themselves--but they are much harder to spot on a computer screen display. You have to use the red books in print format for best resullts.
c) In the catalog itself, snag any relevant record you can by a keyword, author, or title search, then look at the subject tracings to see which category terms correspond to the titles you’ve found. Don’t confuse individual titles with subject categories.
d) Also in the catalog, take the time to look through all subdivisions of any relevant subject heading you find. The pre-coordination of subdivisions will enable you to recognize search options within a topic that you could never have specified in advance in attempting a post-coordinate Boolean combination. Most subdivisions that appear in the catalog are “free floaters” that are not recorded in the red books.

The same Library of Congress Subject Heading terms that work in the library’s book catalog may also show up in a number of commercially-produced databases and print indexes covering journal and newspaper articles, government documents, and other formats of material. A subject categorization system such as LCSH seeks to solve for readers the problem of variant keywords and synonyms, and also that of foreign-language resources. The English-language category terms round up books in foreign languages just as readily as do those in English; this is especially important to point out to students working in large research libraries.

Keyword searching is often necessary when there is no controlled vocabulary term that corresponds to what you want. The trade-off here is that, with keywords, you do have to think up all possible synonyms and variant phrases; and if your specification is even slightly off, you may miss most of what is available without realizing you’ve missed anything. This points up the virtue of controlled-vocabulary searching: if there is a good subject heading for your topic, then you do not have to think up all of the variant keywords yourself; they’ve already been grouped together in one place for you. (You do have to find the proper, narrow subject heading, however, which may be different from the words you think up on your own. But you have four ways to get there.) We need to remind students to avoid the mistake of thinking that just typing in any words at all in any computer database is the best way to search.

Citation searching is yet another way to do subject searching. With this technique, you must start off with a good source that you’ve already found; it can be a book, a journal article, a conference paper, a dissertation, or anything else. Your “starting point” source can also be two years old or two hundred years old--the date doesn’t matter. A citation search on that source will tell you if someone wrote a subsequent journal article that cites that source in a footnote. A journal article that cites an earlier source is usually talking about the same subject. The virtue of this method of searching is that there is no vocabulary involved--you don’t have to worry about narrower terms, cross-references, or keyword synonyms and variant phrases. All you need is the author and title of a known relevant work-citation searching will tell you who has cited that particular work in a subsequent footnote.

Searching through published bibliographies is an extraordinarily valuable technique that tends to be overlooked by naďve researchers who think “everything is in the computer.” A good published bibliography, compiled by an expert in the field, is usually a much better starting point; it will provide an evaluated overview of your range of options, especially if the bibliography is annotated. Students usually overlook these sources twice: they fail to find them while browsing in the stacks because libraries usually classify subject bibliographies not with monographs on the topic, but separately and apart from the Z classes (or in class 016 in Dewey). Most students (and professors!) are entirely unaware of this separation--and we librarians need to tell them about it. Students also miss the published bibliographies in the library catalog, becauuse they will not find the subdivision “--Bibliography” if they do not first find the right LCSH term of which it is a subdivision-! -and most students aren’t taught how to use LCSH. (Within the Z classes themselves there is a structured ordering of the subject bibliographies that is very useful; by continent [Z1200-4999], alphabetically by subject for those topics without strong geographical associations [Z5000-7999], and by personal names [Z8000s]. This information is very helpful for reference librarians, but it may be a bit too much detail to include in a regular BI presentation.)

Boolean combinations are usually accomplished by computer manipulations. (There is a surprising range of options using print sources too, however.) In an overview BI session it is perhaps best to simply talk about types of computer resources available, and save “hands on” keyboard training for a different session entirely. The types of computer sources available will vary depending on the library’s budget and resources; but they will probably be components of this basic list:
e) Mainframe databases (including at least the library’s own Online Public Access Catalog)
f) Online subscription services (such as OCLC’s FirstSearch and RLG’s Eureka system)
g) CD-ROM databases (which will be site-licensed to particular terminals)
h) Internet databases and Web sites (the ones that are freely available to all who have access to the system to begin with)
i) Licensed Web Sites (that are available only by paid subscription “within the walls”--not accessible by tapping into the library’s home page from outside)

Any discussion of computerized resources will have to be tailored to your specific library. It is important to emphasize, however, that most of the best electronic sources are not freely available on the Internet--they cannot be tapped into from anywhere, at anytime, by anyone. Researchers will have to be inside the library’s walls, duuring regular hours of operation, in order to use the site-licensed terminals that provide access to these restricted databases.

Using people sources is another way to find information, but it tends to be overlooked by academics who have unconsciously developed a too-strong print or computer bias. The library can help researchers to identify knowledgeable people (with addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses) through a variety of printed directories and Web sites. I always emphasize to students, “If any teacher ever tells you "You should be able to find whatever information you need on your own--you shouldn’t have to ask for help," ignore any such "advice.” Don’t be shy about asking questions. This applies especiallly to talking to reference librarians. If you work entirely on your own without ever asking for help, there is a good chance you will miss more than you find without ever realizing you’ve missed anything.”

Browsing or scanning classified book-stacks are other techniques that, like using published bibliographies, tend to be overlooked by students who assume “everything is in the computer.” The full texts of most books, however--especially the most recent and more valuable copyrighted works--are not digitized. An enormous amount of information is conntained within the texts of books, at the page and paragraph level, which cannot be found by searching catalog surrogates rather than full texts themselves. Browsing is for getting a sense of what’s available, without having a very definite questions in mind to begin with. Scanning, in contrast, is searching limited (subject-classified) areas of the stacks in quest of very specific information that cannot be identified by regular reference sources or by searches of superficial catalog surrogates; all that can be specified in advance, in such cases, is a range of likely sources, which then have to be scanned at the page and para! graph level. Note also that most subjects of any amplitude will fall into more than one class--often in many widely scattered areas. A single topic can have many different aspects (organizational, philosophical, psychoological, historical, numismatic, philatelic, biographical, geographical, social, sociological, economic, political, legal, educational, musical, artistic, literary, fictional, dramatic, poetic, scientific, statistical, technological, military, bibliographical, and so on) and each of these aspects can fall into a different classification area. Note especially that the bibliographical aspects--i.e., published bibliographies-will be separated into the Z classes. The best way to find which areas of the stacks to go into for browsing or scanning is to first find the right LCSH heading(s) in the catalog--these will then list all catalog records on the subject together, no matter which classification numbers they’ve been assigned.

Related-record searching is something new. It is a very interesting way to do subject searches that was invented only a few years ago, so very few people have heard of it. It can be done only with the CD-ROM versions of the various Citation indexes published by the Institute of Scientific Information in Philadelphia. To do a related-record search you must first search the CD-ROM by some other means (by keyword or author, usually). Once you have a relevant citation to begin with, you press the “r” button and the software will retrieve any citations in the same year that have footnotes in common with the one you start with. (Technically, the retrieved citations will be in the same disc; but usually the discs cover one year apiece.) Related records are not articles that cite each other; they are usually articles written independently that just happen to have footnotes in common. Articles that have footnotes in common are usually talking about the same subject. The in! teresting thing is that, while they may have several notes in common, they may have entirely different keywords in their titles. Related-record searching is thus another way to get around the problem of variant keywords and synonyms.

If you have a good starting point citation--say a source published in 1990-there are three things you can do with it. Chasing footnotes is a matter of common sense; buut the point to remember is that footnotes always lead you backward in time to previous sources. Citation searching is the mirror image of footnote chasing; it will lead you forward in time, to subsequent sources. Related-record searching is much like searching sideways in time--it will bring to your attention articles written in the same year (technically, in the same disc) that are “playing in the same intellectual ballpark” as your 1990 article--the ballpark being defined by shared footnotes, however, rather than by shared keywords.

The ninth method of searching, by type of literature is, again, something that I usually omit when talking to a group of regular students or researchers; but it needs to be covered for library science students. I leave it off because there are about a score of literature types that researchers would need to become familiar with; and this list, on top of the above eight methods of searching, is too much to absorb:
Computer databases and Web sites
Guides to the literature
Handbooks and manuals
Review articles
Union lists

Each of these is particularly good for answering certain kinds of reference inquiries. I find Type-of-Literature searching to be most useful within the context of a distinction between “research” and "reference” questions. Research questions, for purposes of this discussion, are the ones that are open-ended and do not have a particular “right” answer, as in “What criticisms can I find of Walter Scott’s Heart of Midlothian?” or “What do you have on Chinese ceramics” or “What can I find on the concept of space of Heidegger? Reference questions, in contrast, are those asking for more specific information, as “What was the population of Chicago in 1920?” or “How tall is the Washington Monument”” or “Who won the Oscar for best actor in 1932?” For research questions I find that the first eight methods of searching work best; for reference questions I find that the ninth, Type-of-Literature searching, is usually preferable. (The line between the two types of question is obviously not hard and fast; but there is at least a useful “rule of thumb” distin! ction to be observed.)

As mentioned above, problems with using Type-of-Literature as the overall model for BI instruction (i.e., not as just one of nine methods of searching) is that students who receive instruction according to this framework usually do not learn how to use Library of Congress Subject Headings, or receive any instruction on the crucial differences between controlled-vocabulary searching vs. keyword searching. That whole nexus of concerns does not arise in the first place within a Type-of-Literature framework. Another problem with the Type model being used as the overall framework for instruction is that it ignores important distinctions among different levels of literature:

Primary literature consists of original reports, observations, or accounts of discovery within subject area, or original creative expressions. Secondary literature is that which analyzes, evaluates, or comments on primary literature. Tertiary literature is the level of reference sources: those that either index or catalog the core literature contained in books, journals, reports, dissertations, etc., or those that summarize, abstract, or digest it. Type-of-Literature searching is good for identifying tertiary literature; but as an overall framework it is not nearly as good as a Methods-of-Searching model for identifying primary and secondary literature. And students do need to know how to find that!

The use of this overall framework of eight (or nine, depending on the audience) options will give students a better sense of “closure” in their research than the alternative models can provide--it will give them a clearer sense of important options that remain for them to pursue, no matter what their subject area. SSuch a sense of closure is very hard to achieve in either a Subject/Discipline or Type-of-Literature framework. A Methods-of-Searching model also facilitates cross-disciplinary inquiries; it asks not just “What sources cover this subject?” but “What subject headings exist for this topic?”--which can be plugged into several indexes and databases in different disciplinary fields. Cross-disciplinary coverage is also greatly facilitated by use of citation indexes, published bibliographies, people sources, and related-record CD-ROMs.

Given that no BI sessions can cover everything, I think a Methods model is the best to start with. It can always be supplemented by a narrower and deeper focus on the specific resources of any particular field. For providing a general overview of all of the major research options available to students in all fields, however, I think a Methods model offers the most advantages.

Back to Table of Contents

A Virtual International Authority File (VIAF)
by Barbara Tillett, Ph.D., Library of Congress
Based on a presentation to the Council on East Asian Libraries, Association for Asian Studies, Committee on Technical Processing, 2002 Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.


It has often been observed that the current Web is chaotic for finding information. It needs help and we can provide it! 

Introducing an element of authority control to the Web environment would help meet these objectives:

Other objectives for authority control are

The virtues of authority control have been debated and restated for decades.  When we apply authority control in the Web environment, we are reminded how it brings precision to searches, how the syndetic structure of references enables navigation and provides explanations for variations and inconsistencies, how the controlled forms of names and titles and subjects help collocate works in displays, how we can actually link to the authorized forms of names, titles, and subject that are used in various tools, like directories, biographies, abstracting and indexing services, and so on.  We can use the linking capability to include library catalogues in the mix of various tools that are available on the Web.

Controlling forms used for access and displays provides consistency for users.

We are all aware of very poor OPACs that lack cross references or links to authority files and without these features, quite frankly, they are not Catalogues!

Over the past few years there have been several projects that help us get closer to providing authority control on a global scale.  There are several projects sponsored by the European Union, such as the AUTHOR Project that converted a sampling of authority records from the 7 participating countries to the same communication format, UNIMARC.  The LEAF project is looking at linking authority files for archival purposes using Z39.50 protocols and possibly OAI protocols.  The <indecs> and INTERPARTY projects were looking for cooperative work among libraries, museums, archives, and rights management communities in sharing authority information.

Within the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the IFLA MLAR (Minimal Level Authority Records) Working Group identified essential data elements needed in authority records (today we’d call these metadata).  This work continues by the IFLA Working Group on FRANAR (Functional Requirements for Authority Numbers and Records.  They are reviewing and updating the MLAR findings and recently enlisted the help of Tom Delsey in extending the FRBR model (IFLA’s Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) to authority records.

Within the digital metadata community, there is a Dublin Core “Agents” working group that continues to explore recommendations for dealing with authority information in the digital environment.

There is also a newly created DELOS/NSF working group on “Actors-Roles” that is exploring controlled access to names of persons, corporate bodies, and automata!

At OCLC discussions continue about CORC authority records - This is an OCLC project that looks towards global expansion to build an authority file.  CORC now provides simultaneous creation of both MARC 21 and Dublin Core bibliographic records records.

Another development over the past few years has been the acceptance of Unicode - it’s now used in the Microsoft tools, under the Windows operating system, which has given it a wider application and visibility.  Unicode itself facilitates more global compatibility through the ability to create and display essentially all scripts for all languages. 

There is also the expansion of NACO and SACO to users of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules and Library of Congress Subject Headings worldwide that is promoting authority control on a global scale.

The advances with Unicode, testing of projects on the Web, and new  technological capabilities are all coming together now.  We are really at the brink of making a virtual international authority file a reality!

Universal Bibliographic Control – A New View

We’re also making an historic change to how we view Universal Bibliographic Control (UBC).  The IFLA UBC principles for authority control are parallel to those for bibliographic control, namely that

-         each country is responsible for the authorized headings for its own personal and corporate authors (they didn’t mention uniform titles, series, or subjects), and

-         the authority records created by each national bibliographic agency would be available to all other countries needing authority records for those same authors.  Even more, that the same headings would be used worldwide. 

In the 1960’s and 1970’s when this was really catching on, technology had not yet advanced to make such sharing practical on an international level.  Plus the lack of funding for an international center to manage such a program prevented that visionary concept from becoming reality.  As for the same form being acceptable worldwide, the IFLA developers at that time were primarily from North America and Europe and apparently did not acknowledge the necessity for multiple scripts.

For the past couple of years a new view of Universal Bibliographic Control is emerging from several working groups within IFLA.  This new perspective reinforces the importance of authority control, yet puts the user first…It’s a practical approach that recognizes a user in China may not want to see the heading for Confucius in a Latinized form but in their own script.  Similarly users in Japan or Korea would want to see the heading in their own script and language.

Yet to still get the benefits of shared authority work and creation of bibliographic records that can be re-used worldwide, we can link authorized forms of names, titles, and even subjects through the authority files of national bibliographic agencies and other regional agencies to create a virtual international authority file. 

These are several models for how this might work and we need to do more pilot projects of prototypes of thee models to test which would be best to pursue.

In order to be of most use to the library users in each country, the scripts should be the scripts they can read!  The following figure

 shows that the names we give to an entity can be expressed in many languages and in many scripts.  For example, we could write it in English or German with a roman script, in Russian in Cyrillic scripts, or in Japanese (in several scripts!) and in many other languages and scripts. 

Transliteration may serve as a way for some users to be able to decipher records, but much better is the accuracy of using original scripts. 

We should now provide at least cross references for variant forms of headings in variant scripts when that is appropriate.  In the United States the group within the American Library Association responsible for changes to the MARC 21 format, known as MARBI, is starting to explore this possibility.  More work needs to be done. We should eventually be able to display the script and form of a heading that the user expects and wants.

 I believe that many catalogers within IFLA realize the value of preserving parallel authority records for the same entity.  This allows us to reflect the national and cultural needs of our individual users, and at the same time to allow us to set up the syndetic structure of cross references and authorized forms of headings to be used in our catalogues intended for a specific audience.  It also allows us to include variants in alternate scripts, at least as cross references for now.

Some local systems already provide us with computer-assisted mechanisms for

automatic checking of headings against an existing authority file, and we could see this expanded to then launch a search against a virtual international authority file, if no match was found locally. 

We can also envision the capability of displaying the found matches from the virtual file for a cataloguer to edit or to merge information, if desired, into the local authority record, including capturing the information for future linking.

Some systems now provide community specific retrievals to concentrate on the subject needs of a community in selecting resources for online searches, and other systems like “my library” or “my opac” even go beyond that to individual specific retrievals.  Those could build in the authority preferences for user preferred scripts and displays for controlled vocabularies. 

We want to have the authorized form preferred by a library as the default offered to most users, but we can also envision offering user-selected preferences through client software, or cookies that let the user specify once what their preferred language, script, or cultural preference is - for example for spelling preferences when cultures have variations, like American English and spelling preferences in the United Kingdom - labor and labour...

Let’s quickly take a look at a scenario for how computer systems can help us in the future with authority control on an international level.  A cataloger types in information.  The local system checks the local authority file and finds no match, so it tells the cataloguer that the heading was not found and launches a Web search to the virtual international authority file. 

Up pops the match with a record created at the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg. 

Our cataloguer takes a look and perhaps doesn’t want all the information but likes a reference or two and wants a link, so

 the local system asks the cataloger if she wants the system to create a basic authority record from the one found and to make a link to it…and the cataloger clicks on “yes.”

The local system then automatically builds a local authority record, grabbing the linking information from the virtual authority file - that is the record from St. Petersburg, Russia.  The cataloger then adds the MARC field 100, authorized form, according to the locally used cataloging rules, in this case AACR2. The cataloger can add other fields if needed. 

The local system adds the linking 700 field - the MARC format has the 700, 710, and 711 fields in authority records, where we can put the linking authorized form and the record control number and the source information for future linking. This linking of authority files would primarily be among the national or regional authority files of national bibliographic agencies - depending on the model we choose.  I’ll come back to that in a minute.

So we’ve now added another link in the virtual international authority file to the authorized form following AACR2  - note the record control number for the Library of Congress: (LC) n79072979 - and the Russian record for the same entity following the Russian cataloguing rules in Cyrillic script - note the record control number from the National Library of Russia: #10326. 

Then our local system updates our local bibliographic record.

When a user comes along, the local system or the “cookies” on the user’s system, could specify they want to see the Cyrillic form and we could display it for them. 

You can also imagine displaying any script, or a Braille keyboard output, or we could provide voice recognition response, built on a user’s profile or their  “cookie.” 

Let me show you how this might look applied to an authority record for Confucius.

This is an example of what a Library of Congress authority record might look like with Unicode capability to include original scripts as cross references in a library’s catalog.  Actually with Unicode the roman script diacritics would appear with the letter rather than before the letter shown here, but this just gives you an idea of what it would be like. The Library of Congress, that follows AACR2 and prepares catalog records in the English languages, could provide cross references in other scripts and languages when that was appropriate. Here we see that the authorized form is Confucius - the well-known English form of the name found in standard English-language reference sources.  There is also transliteration of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other language forms for his name, and cross references are also given for those variations in the original scripts - here showing just Chinese, Japanese (katakana and hiragana), and Korean hongul.

There is no particular order to the arrangement of the references, except to place the non-roman scripts following the roman scripts, but that is purely arbitrary.  This model shows English, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and transliterations (including Wade-Giles and pinyin for the Chinese, since the Library of Congress just switched to use pinyin).  

This also shows the use of a linking 700 field to show that an authority record was located at the National Library of China and the form of authorized heading according to their rules.  Our system could bring that information in from Beijing after we searched the VIAF and found their record. Or we might get it from the Hong Kong Consortium HKCAN. 

Notice also the new MARC 21 capability to include the URL for a Web page in the last 670 note field.

VIAF Models

To get the benefits of shared authority work and creation of bibliographic records that can be used collaboratively worldwide, we can link authorized forms of names, titles, and even subjects through the authority files of national bibliographic agencies and other regional agencies to create a virtual international authority file.  There are several models for how this might work, and we need to do more pilot projects to test which would be best to pursue.

If we agree that sharing authority information on a global scale is worthwhile, how do we get there? 

Several major authority files exist, built according to their own cataloguing rules and rule interpretations.  We need a one-time project to link the existing records for the same entity - a retrospective matching project.  One suggestion has been to use matching algorithms, such as those developed by Ed O’Neill and others at OCLC, building on bibliographic clues for machine matching at a fairly high level of accuracy.  A “proof of concept” project to test this approach is planned this year between OCLC, the Library of Congress, and the Deutsche Bibliothek (German national Library) in Frankfurt, Germany.  We would still have manual matching and checking to do, but expect machine matching will be a great help. 

We could also have the computer add linking text strings and record control numbers or an entity identification number to facilitate later links and pathways to preferred forms for displays.

This shows a centralized model for a Virtual International Authority File.  We may find that this model is a good approach in terms of record maintenance.  It uses the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) protocol to “harvest”  metadata from existing authorized authority files.  The harvested data resides on one or more servers and is refreshed whenever changes are made in any of the national files.  This means the day to day record maintenance activities continue to be managed as they are now by the National Bibliographic Agency (or regional authority).  We also want to build in the linking, to assure a high degree of precision in the searching in this model; and there are ways to include the links for entities in this model. 

We can also envision a shared international authority file being an integral part of a future “Semantic Web.”  You may have heard about this in the recent Scientific American article by Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the Internet.  The idea is to make the Internet more intelligent for machine navigation rather than human navigation of the Web.  It involves creating an infrastructure of linked resources and the use of controlled vocabularies, they are calling “ontologies.”  These ontologies could be used to enable displays in the user’s own language and script.

Here’s where libraries have an opportunity to contribute to the infrastructure of the future Web - we already have controlled vocabularies in our various authority files.  Those would be linked with other controlled vocabularies of abstracting and indexing services, of biographical dictionaries, of telephone directories, and many other reference tools and resources to help users navigate and to improve the precision of searches, so users could find what they’re looking for.

All of these tools would also link to their respective databases for bibliographic and other resources.  For example, the Library of Congress authority files would link to the bibliographic and holdings databases of the Library of Congress and even to our digital repositories for the linked digital objects themselves. We would also build in the search engines and future tools that, as a collective resource, would connect us to the entire digital world.

This is not going to happen over night, but it is the direction we are headed. 

It’s fun to think about the possibilities and opportunities for testing this out and to think about how we can improve upon our dreams.

The Web has brought us a new way to convey information. The new twist is that our catalog - that is our PC where the online catalog is displayed, is also the device for viewing the actual digital objects and connecting to the entire digital world.   

This gives you ideas of how catalogers can build authority records on the Web and then, once the authority control structure is there worldwide, this can include other stakeholders (publishers, rights management agencies, archives, museums, and other libraries) - all  can use this information and reduce costs.

Authority control will help users of the Web to benefit from collocation and search precision that authority control enables.  And, very importantly, it also means we can do it in ways that are meaningful to users in their preferred language and script. The future is not so far away!


Berners-Lee, Tim, James Hendler, and Ora Lassila. "The Semantic Web" Scientific American,  May 1,2001 accessible online at:

Tillett,  Barbara B. "Authority Control on the Web."  In: Proceedings of the Bicentennial  Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium : Confronting the Challenges of Networked Resources and the Web, Washington, D.C., November 15-17, 2000.  Sponsored by the Library of Congress Cataloging Directorate.  Edited by Ann M. Sandberg-Fox.  Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 2001, p. 207-220.

Dr. Barbara B. Tillett, Ph.D.
Chief, Cataloging Policy and Support Office
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-4305

Back to Table of Contents

Editorial Information

The LEAF-VN Newsletter: the newsletter of the Library and Education Assistance Foundation for Vietnam/Bän Tin LEAF-VN: Bän tin cûa H¶i H‡ Tr® ThÜ ViŚn và Giáo Døc ViŚt Nam (ISSN 1524-363X ) is published twice a year. It is available online at the organization's homepage at

Please submit articles and news items to:
     Sharon E. Hunt

Editorial Board:
    Sharon E. Hunt (
    Vinh-The Lam (
    William Anderson (
    Le thi Han (

Back to Table of Contents

Back to LEAF-VN Homepage

Last modified: 31 December 2002
Questions? Comments? ©  Sharon E. Hunt  (