Wednesday, April 30, 2008

OCLC's automated processing of personal name headings in WorldCat

I received a message from Glenn Patton about the automated processing identify, modify, and control specific types of personal name headings in OCLC WorldCat bibliographic records. This processing, based on data used to build WorldCat Identities ( and developed by Thom Hickey, Chief Scientist in the OCLC Office of Programs and Research, is projected to control more than 26,000,000 headings over the next few weeks.

Dr. Hickey has posted a description of the project on his blog, Outgoing, at

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Algerian national librarian visited National Library of China

Dr. Amin Zaoui, General Director of National Library of Algeria (Bibliothèque Nationale d'Algérie), visited National Library of China today. Dr. ZHAN Furui, Director of National Library of China, and some colleagues met the Algerian guests.

Dr. Zaoui is a fiction writer and Mrs. Zaoui is a poetess. During the lunch time, Dr. Zhan chanted a poem of the Tang dynasty, and Mrs. Zaoui replied with an Arabic poem by herself.

ISSN meetings held in Paris

Meetings of the Governing Board and the General Assembly of the ISSN International Centre were held in Paris during April 23-25, 2008. The 52nd GB meeting was held in the IC office on April 23, the 17th GA meeting was held in UNESCO House during April 24-25, and the 53rd meeting of the GB meeting was held in UNESCO House on April 25.

The meetings discussed financial statements, budget proposals and recent activities of the ISSN centres. A new Governing Board was elected, with China reelected and Vietnam and Tunisia newly elected. Ms. Susann Solberg from the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (National Library of Germany) was elected as the new chair, and Tuula Haapamaki from Kansalliskirjasto (National Library of Finland) was elected as the new vice-chair.

The 2009 Directors meeting will be held in National Library of China, Beijing, China, in September, 2009.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My visit to Bibliothèque nationale de France

I visited Paris during April 22-25. This is my first to Paris, even to Western Europe.

I visited Bibliothèque nationale de France (National Library of France), and had a short meeting with some of my IFLA colleagues (Françoise Leresche and Nadine Boddaert) and discussed some issues concerning the Anonymous classics: Chinese literature. The project should be completed before the IFLA general conference in Québec.

BnF is made of steel, glass and wood. I am very impressed by the buildings, the collections and the services of the library. Several hours of visit is not enough to see them all.

Mr. Cheng Pei was on his holiday. One of his colleagues, Mrs. Jie Formoso, discussed with me about the cataloging of Chinese monographs and showed me around the library.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Chinese translations of the Statement and the Glossary completed

Today, I completed the Chinese translation of the cover page of the worldwide review of Statement of International Cataloguing Principles and its accompanying Glossary, and Mr. WANG Shaoping of Shanghai Jiao Tong University Libraries, sent me the translations of the latest version of the Statement and the Glossary. I sent all the three documents to Barbara Tillett immediately. They will be posted on IFLANET late this month for worldwide review until June 30.

As a participant and a member of the Planning Committee of IME ICC4 (Seoul, Korea, 2006), I am glad to see the final results will appear soon.

Statement of International Cataloguing Principles to be available for worldwide review soon

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Leaving for Paris

I am going to Paris next week for the GB and GA meetings of the ISSN International Centre. Before the meeting, I planned to visit BnF (Bibliothèque nationale de France, or the National Library of France), having a look at the building and discussing some issues for a project of the IFLA Cataloguing Section.

This will be my first time to Paris, even first time to Western Europe. Before then, I visited Denmark, Poland and Norway within the territory of Europe.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Statement of International Cataloguing Principles to be available for worldwide review soon

Yesterday, I received a message from Barbara Tillett and the attached documents from the series of IME ICC meetings. The final drafts of the Statement of International Cataloguing Principles and its attached Glossary are to be translated into working languages of the IME ICC meetings, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Spanish and Arabic, and will be posted on the IFLANET for worldwide review until June 30, 2008. I will do the translation of the cover page of the worldwide review, and I have asked Mr. WANG Shaoping, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Libraries, and his colleagues to do the translation of the Statement and the Glossary.

After the worldwide review, these documents will be submitted to the standing committees of the Cataloguing Section and the Bibliography Section of IFLA Division IV for approval, and will be then published by IFLA.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mauro GUERRINI re-elected as president of AIB

Mauro GUERRINI, Professor of Dipartimento di Studi sul Medioevo e Rinascimento, Università di Firenze, is re-elected as president of AIB (Associazione italiana biblioteche, or Italian Library Association).

Prof. Guerrini is one of my good friends. He is a Standing Committee member of the IFLA Cataloguing Section and also a member of the ISBD Review Group.

Meeting of Academic Committee of Library Society of China to be held in Hangzhou

The working meeting of the Academic Committee of the Library Society of China is to be held in Hangzhou this Sunday. I have to apologize that I am too busy to go to Hangzhou.

Metadata Resource Sharing among Publisher, Booksellers and Libraries

Today, Mr. YANG Wensheng, CEO of the Chinese Books in Print, visited National Library of China and discussed the possibility of cooperation between his company and cataloging librarians in NLC. Mr. Yang is responsible for some research projects related to standards in the publishing industry, such as ONIX application in China and a pre-publication bibliographic information standard. He is making efforts to realize metadata resource sharing among publishers, booksellers and library acquisitions and cataloging workflows.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

American Embassy hosted reception for National Library Week

The Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy in Beijing hosted a reception and buffet dinner in honor of National Library Week yesterday (April 8) in Jianguo Hotel.

Don Q. Washington, Minister-Counselor for Press and Cultural Affairs, attended and made a speech. There were about 40 guests from major libraries and library schools in Beijing. I met many old friends, such as YANG Peichao, Director of CASS Library; SUN Tan, Deputy Director of CAS Library; Prof. LI Guoxin and Prof. WANG Yuguang, School of Library and Information Science, Peking University; XUE Fangyu, Director of Tsinghua University Library; NI Xiaojian, Director of Capital Library.

Jan Fullerton giving lecture in NLC

Today, Jan Fullerton, Director-General of the National Library of Australia visited the National Library of China, and gave a lecture on the recent developments of the National Library of Australia. There are more than 100 people in the audience.

NLA is active and creative among national libraries in the world, and plays an important role in library-related standards and international cooperation activities.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Traditional Oriental Format in AACR2 2.5B11

In AACR2 there is the following rule:

2.5B11: "If numbered pages or leaves are printed on a double leaf (e.g., books in the traditional oriental format), give them as pages or leaves according to their numbering. If they are unnumbered, count each double leaf as two pages."

I discussed with a rare book librarian today and have the following suggestions:

1) In "traditional Chinese formats" or "traditional oriental formats" (all ancient books in East Asia are similar in format), thread-binding is the most popular format. There are also many other formats, but they account for just a small percentage. I suggest that "the traditional oriental format" be changed into "some traditional oriental formats" in RDA.

2) For thread-binding format, page numbers are usually printed in the middle of the folded leaves and appear at the margins of book pages. Therefore, we can just describe the leaf numbers, not the page numbers -- in fact, there are no page numbers. In late Qing dynasty (in pre-modern history), some thread-bound books have pages, but they are not representative.

In modern rare book cataloging practices, we usually do not describe page (or leaf) numbers in the physical description area. We just describe volumes, parts and boxes in the physical description area. The reasons are:

a) It is the traditional cataloging practice.
b) There are various paginations in a single title of traditional binding format.

In the drafting of RDA as the revision of AACR2, practices in various countries should be considered.

More Copies of Chinese Version of ISBD

Yesterday, I received 10 sample copies of the Chinese version of ISBD Consolidated Edition for myself and another 3 copies for IFLA Headquarters from the publisher. I sent several copies to Chinese colleagues for their use in drafting standards, three copies to IFLA HQ for the copyright agreement, and some copies to my IFLA colleagues. I also got 20 copies from my library for 11 sections under my department. Perhaps I will have to buy more copies to be sent to friends and colleagues.

Elena Escolano Rodríguez, chair of the ISBD Review Group, told me that she likes the cover design of the Chinese version of ISBD. John D. Byrum, Jr., former chair of the ISBD RG said that it is very interesting that the first translation would appear in Chinese! Some Chinese colleagues are considering to revise Chinese national standards according to ISBD Consolidated Edition.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Australian National Librarian to Visit NLC

Jan Fullerton, Director-General of the National Library of Australia, is going to visit the National Library of China on April 8, 2008. She will give a lecture on the management of NLA as the fourth lecture in the series "Forum of World Library Directors" of NLC.

When I worked in NLA in 1995, Jan was the Assistant Director-General of NLA. She visited NLC as an exchange librarian a couple of years ago, and talked with me several times. I met her also in Oslo in 2005 and in Durban in 2007.

New OPAC Address of NLC

After the upgrading from v. 14 to v. 16 of the Aleph500 system, the new OPAC address of the National Library of China is:

while the old one is no longer valid: