A Turning Point of the Unification of Chinese Cataloging Practices: a Report of a Work Meeting of the Indexing and Cataloging Committee of the Library Society of China

by Ben Gu


    The Indexing and Cataloging Committee of the Library Society of China held a working meeting at the National Library of China, November 17-18, 2006. Twelve out of fifteen members of the committee attended the meeting. As a representative of the National Library of China and a guest speaker, Dr. Ben GU attended the meeting.

    In this meeting, Dr. Ben GU (NLC) gave a report of the IME ICC4 and some new developments of IFLA cataloging-related activities, proposed a draft of principles (such as internationalization, user-centeredness and democracy) for future inter-institutional coordination and standard-making mechanisms, and called on a unification of Chinese library cataloging practices and a unity of Chinese library cataloging rule makers. Then, Ms. Qinfang XIE (CALIS) and Prof. Hanqing HOU (Nanjing Agricultural University) respectively analyzed the differences of descriptive and subject cataloging practices in major libraries in China. The committee members discussed the differences and reached consensus on most descriptive rules, while some rules concerning subject indexing are still to be discussed later.

    Prof. Guangxiang HU (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), who is a member of the committee and also a representative of the National Technical Committee for Information and Documentation Standardization, agreed to do coordination work for the National Standard for the Description Rules of Monographs, which is to be published very soon, incorporating the decisions of the meeting. Mr. Dongbo WANG (NLC), chair of the committee, hoped that the decisions would be adopted by the National Library of China and other major libraries in China, and will be considered in the future drafting of national standards and national cataloging rules.

    I think that the meeting was very fruitful. It is a starting point for Chinese library catalogers to begin to consider their coordination seriously. Because representatives of major libraries attended the meetings, and the discussions were in a harmonious and democratic way, most libraries will consider adopting the decisions of this meeting.

    According to the decisions in the meeting, there are fewer differences between Chinese cataloging rules and ISBDs, and the process of internationalization will be promoted further.

SCATNews : Newsletter of the Standing Committee of the IFLA Cataloguing Section, ISSN 1022-9841, Number 26 (January 2007), p. 7.

International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control, ISSN 1011-8829,  Vol. 36, No. 2 (April/June 2007), p. 26.

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