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Caesar Zimin
Caesar Zimin

[Traveling] Multimedia Meets Radio: Conference Report

As is typical at any IFLA conference, the program sessions and exhibits presented a global picture of emerging information programs, the diverse levels of support for libraries, and a broad range of current trends and promising new technologies. Radio frequency identification (RFID), copyright, metadata, and digital scanners were all hot topics with at least four RFID vendors in the exhibit hall and a session on RFID implementation. Several myths about RFID were exposed including: tags for five cents; wait for the price to drop to implement; standards will bring interoperability; anyone can be an RFID vendor; and more memory on a tag is better. It was noted that libraries are early adopters of the technology, and costs are related to quantity and amount of memory per tag. There were two informative sessions on copyright and Klaus G. Saur noted in his keynote address the "strain on the relationship between libraries and publishers" caused by copyright legislation. At the second Council meeting the Copyright and other Legal Matters Committee (CLM) presented its report on global activities related to copyright and the free flow of information.

[Traveling] Multimedia Meets Radio: Conference Report


A major topic at the conference, for both the meetings of the Cataloguing Section and the division and section programs, was the first of the IFLA Meetings of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code held at Die Deutsche Bibliothek in Frankfurt prior to the Berlin conference. These invitational meetings of rule makers are exploring similarities and differences in current national and regional cataloguing rules, in an attempt clarify where variations for languages and cultural differences may be needed and where rules might be the same. Each meeting explores the same set of five topics (personal names, corporate names, seriality, treatment of multi-volume/multi-part works, and uniform titles/GMDs/forms of expression) in the context of various cataloguing rules, and will also review the 1961 Paris Principles to explore updating them. A Web site for the meeting (including listserv-based sharing of discussion papers and online discussion preceding each regional meeting) can be found at _conf_index.htm . Preliminary reports of the first meeting were presented at the Cataloguing Section's program in Berlin; a full meeting report plus a draft revision of the Principles document will be made available in September to the online discussion list and on the meeting's Web site. Other conferences are planned to precede the Buenos Aires conference in 2004 (for Latin America and South America) and the Seoul conference in 2006 (for Asia). Two additional conferences, one in the Middle East in 2005 and another preceding the Durban IFLA conference in 2007 are also being investigated.

The Working Group on the Use of Metadata Schemes of the Cataloguing Section continued its work, with participation from a number of other sections. Its charge was the development of guidelines for "best practice." At the meeting during this conference, the Chair circulated a final report of the working group, summarizing the activities of the Working Group since its formation in 1998 and providing guidance for best practice, based on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and comparisons of individual elements in nine metadata schemas, with the purpose of identifying common elements across different standards.

In planning for future conferences, the Standing Committee voted to join the Audiovisual and Multimedia section in a program focused on preservation of audiovisual and non-print materials at the Buenos Aires conference in 2004. Progress was reported on two other committee projects as well. IFLA provided 1,000 euros to support the compilation and publication of a register of preservation standards and guidelines worldwide, with annotations and location of available translations and where they can be obtained. The committee also approved a proposal to join the National Libraries Section to request funds to support a survey of disaster plans and planning efforts in national libraries, to be conducted through the IFLA Core Activity on Preservation and Conservation (IFLA PAC).

As an ALA representative to the IFLA Statistics & Evaluation Section, I attended Section Standing Committee meetings, pre-conference, and Open Program as well as meetings of the Coordinating Board for the Division to which the Section reports (Division VI, Management and Technology). I completed my second term as chair of Statistics & Evaluation Section, chair of Division VI and member of the Professional Committee (PC) and Governing Board (GB) and my second (final) term as a member of the Section. As Section chair, I presided over the August 2nd and 8th Standing Committee meetings at which Committee members reported on Section business and projects.

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