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Minutes 2023

Page history last edited by Jasmin Shinohara 4 months, 2 weeks ago



AJL RAS Cataloging Committee Virtual Annual Meeting Minutes

15 June 2023, 12-1:30pm EDT


Old Business


  1. Welcome, designate note-taker (Neil)
    • Nora Dolliver volunteered
  1. Summer 2022 minutes approval (Neil)
    • Minutes approved.
  2. Committee membership and chair (Neil) 
    • Gabe and Nahid rotating out; Neil stepping down as chair. New chair: Daniel Scheide
    • Current members: Nora Dolliver (NYPL), Haim Gottschalk (LC), David Roth (NLI), Lili Brown (Stanford); one vacancy to be filled


Continuing/New Business


  1. Possible modification of the current LC Classification Schedule caption in the BM674.6-BM674.76 range (Haggadot texts) to include the option of cuttering for commentator (or if necessary, publisher) (Asher)
    • Issue: Multiple items with one editor but different content, and the inverse (different cutter numbers for same work because they have different editors). Hope is to clarify, make items more findable
    • Discussion: Cuttering for commentator when you don’t have a clearly named editor, instead of going straight to date. Provision for multiple commentators. This has been happening already, so goal is for the caption to reflect best practices (currently just says editor)
    • Gathering input now (general agreement from the group that the proposal makes sense); will take proposal to PCTP


       2. HCM/RDA updates/revisions (Jasmin)

    • We have postponed overhauling until official RDA is implemented. There have been minor changes and errors that Jasmin would like to at least update
    • Q: what kinds of revisions? A: some unclear/confusing content, typos etc. Not thinking of substantive changes. Some policies have changed (e.g.) collective titles - need to reflect that 


       3. NLI updates (David)

    • Hopefully moving in the next few months, opening to the public shortly after, closing current building by end of calendar year. Some books have already been moved to new building. Reading rooms will close around rosh hashanah to facilitate moving books
    • Q: will system numbers be maintained? A: yes. old numbers will be linked
    • Q: for those who have links to mifal (Bibliography of the Hebrew Book, BHB), how will they be maintained when they change over to merhav (NLI’s OPAC)? A: Contact Ahava Cohen with questions


       4. Training new catalogers (Haim, Jasmin, Aaron)

    • Haim: Cataloguing forum - narrow topical forums, 8 so far. Idea of partnering with the cataloging committee to offer smaller workshops. Cataloging clinic grew out of forum. Free-form place for catalogers to discuss issues. Next meeting in July; contact Ari Kleinman (arikleinman@brandeis.edu) if interested
    • Aaron: We need to bring in the next generation of cataloguers and Judaica librarians. Certification program was developed as a joint venture between AJL and JTS. Michelle (Margolis), Naomi (Steinberger, JTS), Marjorie (Lehman, JTS) have been leaders, Aaron joined. 3 required courses: Intro to Judaica cataloging (already happened - 15 students from all over the world), Collection development (about to begin), Judaica reference (in the fall). Plus an internship and two electives
      • Lili and Ari both took the course and found it helpful
      • Intended as supplement to MLS, not replacement
      • Jasmin: Taught 3/7 modules in Intro to Hebrew cataloging course; went through the HCM-RDA (and saw where updates are needed); great opportunity to reach out to the new generation
      • More info here: https://jewishlibraries.org/lib-certification/; contact Michelle Margolis (mc3395@columbia.edu) for info about upcoming classes - sometime in next calendar year


       5. LCSH updates and disucssion

          i. Jewish-Arab relations/Arab-Israeli conflict new and revised headings (Jasmin, Aaron)

    • Jewish-Arab relations is intended for relations between individuals before 1948, frequently misapplied. New proposal, which Jasmin will present along with others from PTCP
    • Jasmin - proposals were presented and presentation was recorded - pls submit feedback by the end of June before proposal is submitted. Presentation will be in July

          ii. BC/AD to BCE/CE in NARs and SARs (Jasmin)

    • Jasmin spoke to the LAIPA (Latin American and Indigenous Peoples of the Americas) funnel coordinator (Sara Levinson). Project is on the list, LC is keeping in mind the change when they are writing policies and guidance. But on hold for now because of the focusing on RDA. Will require input from multiple funnels down the line

          iii. Proposed task force to identify Christian bias in LCSH and procedures to change them (Marlene, Haim)

    • Marlene: similar to BC/AD problem - Christian bias, christian subject headings. Made list of some and discussed at a previous meeting. What are the next steps: task force? Committee? Proposal?
    • Discussion
      • Q: Examples? A: Tree of life and Tree of knowledge are lumped together - approach was to separate into two SH, but bring in a 670 from a Jewish perspective. Tree of Life was the subject, Tree of knowledge was a 400
      • Q: Should there be a standing task force to deal with issues as they arise?
      • LC is open to addressing bias in SH, e.g. "Creating Subject Headings for Indigenous Topics:  a Culturally Respectful Guide," by Richard Sapon-White, Pamela Louderback, Sara Levinson (2023)
      • Marlene has a list, thinking of divvying them up, creating proposals. Contact Marlene if interested

          iv. Other projects

    • Ashkenazi rite (Jasmin)
      • Issue: Assumption of Ashkenazi as default Jewish rite for liturgical works in LC classification and SH - Sephardic is specified whereas Ashkenazi is not. Discussion of scope and what is/is not included in proposal
    • Tree of Life/Tree of Knowledge (Haim)
      • Discussed above (5.iii)
    • Update on Hungary class numbers (Haim)
      • LC classification based on LC collection - need to write a white paper to show why the Hungary expansion is needed. Which libraries have a collection of Judaism in Hungary to demonstrate the need for this? Must show there is a need outside LC. Will discuss more next week at AJL


In attendance (based on Zoom chat)


Sharon Benamou (UCLA)

Lili Brown (Stanford, member)

Nora Dolliver (NYPL, member, notetaker)

Neil Frau-Cortes (chair, Broward County, FL)

Haim Gottschalk (LC, member)

Ari Kleinman (Brandeis)

Anne K. Knafl (UChicago)

Asher Lewis (LC)

Rita Lifton (JTSA)

Michelle Margolis (Columbia)

Caroline Miller (UCLA)

David Roth (NLI, member)

Daniel Scheide (FAU)

David Schlitt (Western Washington Univ.)

Hadassa Schwartz (Harvard)

Jasmin Shinohara (UPenn)

Avrom Shuchatowitz (YU)

Aaron Taub (LC; RAS president, member, ex officio)

Elizabeth Vernon (Harvard)

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