Bibliographic Services Annual Report 1999-2000


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Collections : Support for Research and Teaching
  3. Services: Support for Faculty, Students and Staff
  4. Environment : Study, Research and Work
  5. Information Technology
  6. Staff
  7. Conferences, Workshops and Meetings
  8. Miscellaneous
  9. APPENDIX A: Bibliographic Services Organization Chart
  10. APPENDIX B Bibliographic Services Statistics 1982/1983 to 1999/2000
  11. APPENDIX C: Bibliographic Services Statistics 1999/2000 – Titles Catalogued – Titles Catalogued by Format and Category of Cataloguing – Titles Catalogued by Format
  12. APPENDIX D: Bibliographic Services Statistics 1999/2000 – Searching May 1999 to April 2000 – Exporting by FTP to AG-CANADA and OCLC May 1999 to April 2000 – Rush/Priority Requests – Minimal Level Records Added to Yorkline
  13. APPENDIX E: Bibliographic Maintenance – Authority Maintenance – Maintaining URLs – Special Projects
  14. APPENDIX F: Storage Catalogued Holdings – Storage Retrievals – Storage Holdings
  15. APPENDIX G: Bibliographic Service : Items Catalolged 1989/90 – 1999/2000
  16. APPENDIX H: Bibliographic Service : Total Items Catalogued 1989/90 – 1999/2000 Total Items Catalogued


Although the Bibliographic Services annual statistics indicate that 51, 268 titles were catalogued in 1999/2000, an increase of 10, 213 titles over 1998/1999, this does not accurately reflect the actual items catalogued. The large increase is explained by the fact that 16, 781 bibliographic records from the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (CIHM) were loaded into Yorkline in October 1999. When the CIHM titles are removed, the numbers drop to 34, 486, a decrease of 6568 over the 1998/99 figures of 41, 054. The drop in statistics occurs largely in copy cataloguing of monographs, and is a predictable result of the phasing in of changes to the technical services workflow from the merging of the copy cataloguing process with the acquisitions process. Once staff in the newly created Monograph Acquisitions Department are cross-trained, it is anticipated that the numbers will return to more normal levels.

Totals for cataloguing of serials and nonbook materials were up as were the totals for electronic formats as we continue to work on cataloguing titles from ejournal packages such as Project Muse as well as electronic government documents. Totals for original cataloguing and added copies also increased.


In May 1999 we completed sending our retro holdings to June 1997 to OCLC. A total of 42, 919 records were sent in five batches via ftp. Out of that total, only 45 records were rejected. The rejected records were retrieved via ftp, examined, corrected and then sent back. Our success in getting the retro records to OCLC is due largely to the efforts of Doug Fenwick who created a program through which our records were run that made the changes to our records that OCLC required.

Also in May of 1999 we began adding the electronic link to the UMI digital version of York University theses. Our thesis template was revised to include the notes and MARC tags that pertain to the electronic version. Staff who work with the template were trained in the new procedures by Carol Ohlers. On an ongoing basis we continue to work with David Ballatti and Mel Simoneau of the Theses Division at the National Library of Canada (NLC) to address the problems we have been having with the electronic link to our theses. A major problem has been the errors which occur in author/title information on the abstract page UMI creates for each thesis. The abstract page is the page to which the electronic link is made. Information on this page is hand keyed in at UMI and errors here make the theses difficult to retrieve by author since UMI often adds a middle name that is not on the thesis or by title when there are typographical errors in this field. The thesis number which is on the microfiche, however, is an accurate method of retrieval. We are also working with NLC to address the issue of why UMI is truncating some theses abstracts, sometimes only by a sentence or two.

In the future we hope to continue working on topics relating to theses through participating in committees at both the library and the university level to discuss issues and develop policies relating to the submission of theses in electronic format.

In October 1999 we prepared to load a large file of new records from the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (CIHM) into Yorkline. Since it had been some time since we loaded a file of CIHM records into our database, a test file of 100 records was extracted from the file with the help of Doug Fenwick and Walter Griffatong and run through Doug's load program for CIHM records. The test was unsuccessful because of coding errors in the CIHM file. The coding errors prevented the program from creating a unique call number for some of the records and as a result, they would not load. Doug modified his program to fix the errors and then we were successful in getting the records to load. Once the test file was loaded, another coding problem was identified. This problem caused one MARC tag to be read as an altogether different tag which could not be edited. Walter Griffatong succesfully corrected the problem tags in the file by writing a PERL program. The remaining records in this file were then broken down into manageable components to facilitate loading. Errors in each file were first corrected using Walter Griffatong's PERL program and then the records were loaded into Yorkline using Doug Fenwick's modified load program. Thanks to the help of LCS, 16, 781 new CIHM records were loaded into Yorkline enhancing access to items in this collection.

In 2000/2001 we hope to load the CIHM file of MARC catalogue records that accompany the 3200 digital titles which are located at the Early Canadiana Online (ECO) website ( These titles provide a direct link to the images from the web catalogue. The file has been sent via ftp to a Bibliographic Services account on theta. We already have the catalogue records for the microfiche, these records are for the digital images only.

Plans for 2000/2001 also include working with LCS to further investigate the process involved in reporting our holdings to the National Library of Canada. This will enhance access to our collections for resource sharing purposes.

In the coming year we will also continue to catalogue electronic resources, and modify our existing procedures as necessary. Our goal is not to "catalogue the web" but to make accessible in a timely manner resources identified by subject specialist librarians.


One of the new initiatives for York University Libraries which began in 1999/2000 was the successful development of a Microsoft Access database of the electronic journal titles to which we have access. Bibliographic Services was very pleased to be directly involved in the development of this database, a project involving teamwork from LCS and both public and technical services. This database has several purposes: tracking information pertaining to electronic journals that is not easily recorded in Yorkline such as fund information; avoiding duplication of effort as in the past, several areas were tracking similar information for different purposes such as new ejournal titles acquired and the date they were catalogued; facilitating the production of various types of reports pertaining to electronic journals and producing an up to date list of our electronic journal titles in HTML format. The latter is particularly important because it includes titles in the ejournals database from aggregators such as Expanded Academic Index where there are thousands of titles involved. These titles are not catalogued in Yorkline. Plans for 2000/2001 include our continued participation in this project looking at developments such as subject access to the titles in the database as well as including holdings information. The group also hopes to produce an article and /or develop a conference presentation about this project as we feel that what we have learned and what we have developed might be useful for other libraries.

The introduction in late September 1999 of the online versions of the request forms for In-Process and Storage items also had an impact on Bibliographic Services. When the forms were first launched the amount of time required to process the forms increased dramatically. The extra time was required because of errors on the forms as submitted by library users. Problems included forms which lacked patron and /or item information, forms which contained requests for material already catalogued as well as multiple copies of the same request from the same person. Linda Smith worked with Rob van der Bliek to make changes to the forms to prevent them from being submitted if they lacked the necessary item or patron information. Linda also provided suggestions for changes to the wording used on the forms to clarify their usage. Once Rob implemented these changes there was a significant drop in errors and incomplete forms being received.


Several retirements in the spring of 1999 gave us the opportunity to examine the existing workflow of the department and to consider options for "doing things differently". Our goal was to eventually merge the copy cataloguing process with the acquisitions process. The new structure would ultimately be comprised of three distinct departments: Bibliographic Services, Monograph Acquisitions, and Serials and Electronic Acquisitions.

A search of various library technical services web sites to see what was being done in other places was fruitful. Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois had recently implemented a very similar workflow to the one we were considering. A site visit to Northwestern University was made in May 1999 by Karen Cassel, Nancy Hall and myself. Various levels of staff at Northwestern met with us and they were very generous with their time and expertise. They took us step by step through their planning and implementation process sharing what worked and what did not work. Upon returning from Northwestern we began to map out our goals and objectives and to develop a time line as to how and when the new workflow would be phased in as well as planning for the cross training which would be required to support this new workflow. The plan was presented to staff in early summer.

In August 1999 the first concrete steps toward the implementation of the new workflow began when Amy Chan, Teresa Dornan, Heather Pitka, Sandy Leung and Linda Gamble were relocated to the newly created Monograph Acquisitions Department. This move led to a backlog in copy cataloguing because Amy, Teresa, Heather and Sandy needed to be introduced to some Acquisitions functions. In order to decrease the backlog, we have hired three of our retired copy cataloguers to work two days a week each for ten weeks over the summer.

In the fall of 1999 we began to discuss and plan the physical renovations of the technical services area that would accompany the change in workflow and reclaim an additional 4500 square feet for public services. Working with Varda Kernerman from York Facilities Planning , John Thomson from Library Facilities, and Dale Irwin and Susan Callum from the University Librarian's Office, Bibliographic Services, Monograph Acquisitions and Serials and Electronic Acquisitions devised several versions of a new floor plan. A semi-final version of this new floor plan, (which included offices for librarians, the Bibliographic Services department head and the managers of Monograph Acquisitions and Serials and Electronic Acquisitions; new modular furniture for staff and compact shelving) was then presented to the staff. A vote to determine the colour scheme of the fabric walls of the new workstations and the offices was held.

In late March 2000 the actual work began. Staff were relocated to various areas of the library with most going to Instruction Room A, some to offices in the reference department and the remainder to offices and an alcove in the Serials area. I would like to thank the Serials and the Reference department for accomodating some of us during the renovations. The work was completed very quickly and the week of April 17 we moved back in. Both moves were very smooth thanks to the coordination of efforts of Bibliographic Services staff, John Thomson and his staff from Library Facilities and Helium Tsui and his staff from Library Computing Services. I would also like to acknowledge the help of Gord Bontoft from York Network Operations who made sure the the new network drops were working and Lorris Fortune from York Telecommunications who made sure that the telephones were all ringing.

An HTML document entitled "Technical Services — Who Does What" has been created for staff in York University Libraries to outline some of the workflow changes that have occurred as a result of the restructuring. The URL for this document is:

Plans for 2000/2001 also include developing a new internal partnership with the Law Library Technical Services department as a result of the change in governance of the Law Library effective, May 1, 2000 and maintaining our existing partnerships within the Libraries.


In 1999/2000 both technological change and our ability to deal with it continue to have an impact on day to day Bibliographic Services activities. A major achievement was the move to the Windows NT operating system for staff members who had not yet been switched to this environment. The change in operating system had little impact on the day to day workflow thanks to the efforts of Library Computing Services (LCS) staff who installed the new operating system and the training package for Windows NT which was expertly delivered by members of the IT Committee. One of the remarkable things about the successful move to NT was the fact that the operating system was installed and the training delivered while most Bibliographic Services staff members were working in Instruction Room A during the renovations of our area.

The proliferation of resources in electronic format has had an impact on cataloguing practice. In the past year we have been challenged by major changes to the cataloguing rules which apply to computer files. When creating a record for an original electronic/Internet resource the rules now stipulate that format selected for the bibliographic description of the item should reflect the content rather than the physical form. The computer files format which had been used to describe electronic books and journals is now limited to actual computer files. Electronic books are catalogued as books using the MARC format in SIRSI and electronic journals are catalogued using the SERIAL format instead of cataloguing them as computer files. This requires an "about face" in terms of how a cataloguer would naturally approach the cataloguing of electronic resources as it has been the custom to think of them as computer files. Also, it has been necessary to learn to apply two new fixed fields 006 (Fixed Field – Additional Material Characteristics) and the 007 fixed field, specifically for computer files which describes the computer file aspects of electronic resources not addressed in the fixed field data for books and serials. Training for staff in the application of these new rules was facilitated by the use of documents created in HTML format and posted on the departmental web page.

The Technical Services Web Resources page will continue to be developed in the coming year by revising existing documents, creating new documents as necessary, adding new sites that support cataloguing functions, and incorporating resources to support the needs of Monograph Acquisitions as well as the needs of Serials and Electronic Acquisitions. Plans are also underway to post an HTML version of our departmental monthly report on the web page.

As trends in the publishing of electronic resources evolve and new formats are developed we will continue to be challenged in working with existing rules to catalogue and provide better access to these resources. External factors will however continue to be a factor, for example, dealing with issues imposed by vendors such as changes in access from IP address to password.

In the past year Validator was chosen as a replacement source of authority records when the Library of Congress ceased production of CD-MARC Names and Subjects. . Doug Adams and Carol Ohlers tested the searching, saving and loading of authority records into Yorkline, prepared instructions on the use of Validator and trained the departmental staff.

SIRSI itself is a major example of the impact that information technology has on Bibliographic Services. We are fortunate to have the ability to work directly with SIRSI database policies to make policy changes in the database as required. One large policy change we made was to add a new subfield, subfield v, used in coding subject subdivisions, and define it in all bibliographic formats. Subfield v was defined by the Library of Congress to describe what an item "is" as opposed to "what it is about". It is used to code subdivisions such as –Indexes or –Databases. As you can imagine, there are a lot of these headings in the Yorkline database. Prior to modifying the policies, if subfield v came in with copy, it did not display with the double dashes in front of the heading in Yorkline and when coded in original cataloguing, it came up as an error.

In 2000/2001 we hope to test and then implement SmartPort, a feature of SIRSI which allows for the dynamic loading of bibliographic records from bibliographic utilities and selected librar catalogues. Another SIRSI feature which we would like to utilise in 2000/2001 is the global change report. The use of this report would require the collaboration of LCS because of the impact that it has on indexing in Yorkline. We would also like to explore the possibility of working with LCS to develop a new headings report which would facilitate database maintenance. The existing report in SIRSI which is designed to identify headings new to the database has so far not proved to be useable for our needs. Another item on our "wish list" is an improvement, if not a resolution, to the problems with uniform titles in SIRSI.

STAFF May 1999

Claudette Lovelace resigned May 31

June – July – August 1999

Veronica Duncan and Sally MacDonald returned to the dept. working two days a week for 10 weeks from June 21 – August 31

Rita Carcasole joined the dept. as Bibliographic/Administrative Assistant on August 3

Amy Chan, Teresa Dornan, Linda Gamble, Heather Pitka, and Sandy Leung left Bibliographic Services and joined the newly created Monograph Acquisitions Dept. as of August 23

December 1999

Rita Carcasole began maternity leave on Dec. 1

January 2000

Yvonne Chiu joined the Dept. on January 10 as Bibliographic/Administrative Assistant

February 2000

Yvonne Chiu left the Dept. at the end of the first week in Feb. to take a position in the University Librarian's Office

Karen Hall returned to the Dept. at the end of the first week in Feb. working two hours a day for us apart from her duties in the Reference Department. I appreciate the cooperation of the Reference CG who kindly agreed to this arrangement to help us out for the remainder of Rita Carcasole's maternity leave.


Heather Fraser attended the Canadian Library Association annual conference

November 1999

Bibliographic Services staff attended one of the presentations about the new library mission statetement

January 2000

Yvonne Chiu attended a two day Professional Assistant Worshop and a Minute Taking Workshop

Heather Fraser attended an Introduction to Microsoft Access 97 course for three mornings

February 2000

Heather Fraser attended the OLA Superconference

Jean Anderson, Frances Kandaharian Savka Marijan and Mary Slinn attended an "Internet for Staff" training session arranged by the IT Training Committee

March 2000

Bibliographic Services staff who had recently received NT workstations Doug Adams, Jean Anderson, Elma Culver, Frances Kandaharian, Barbara Lowens, Savka Marijan, Mary Slinn and Linda Smith had their NT training and Netscape Mail training provided by the IT Training Committee.


An orientation to Bib Services was provided for new librarians, Wendy Hubley, Maura Matesic from the BG Library.

September 1999

Mary McConnell, Head of Cataloguing and Processing Services at the University of Regina visited Bibliographic Services to discuss electronic theses, authority control and workflow issues

JVS (Jewish Vocational Service) of Greater Toronto approached York Libraries and asked us to arrange a "job shadowing" or job observation experience for one of their clients. JVS is an organization which provides, among other things, employment preparation and job search assistance for women. From Sept. 13-24, Gurvinder Batra job shadowed in Bibliographic Services, Monograph Acquisitions, at the Scott Library Information Desk and in the Steacie Science Library. Gurvinder, originally from India, has a background in library work. She sought the opportunity to participate in a job shadowing program to gain exposure to a Canadian library environment.

An orientation to Bib Services was provided for new librarians Mark Robertson and Jody Warner from Scott Reference

February – March 2000

Gerald Estrada, a student in the Seneca College Library Techniques program spent two weeks at Scott Library from February 28 to March 10. He spent mornings in the Sound and Moving Image Library and afternoons in Bibliographic Services where, under the supervision of Eirene Landon., he gained experience in cataloguing monographs,films and videos. He also input 45 York theses into Yorkline using the theses template and made the link to the electronic versions.