ALCTS - Association of Library Collections & Technical Services


May 16, 2001; rev. May 30, 2001

Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access

To:      Adam Schiff, Chair
         ALCTS/CCS Committee on Cataloging:
         Description and Access

From:    Mary Lynette Larsgaard

Subject: Adding timetable to guidelines on how to submit
         rule proposals to CC:DA


At the CC:DA meetings during ALA Midwinter 2001, there was a brief discussion on the problem of CC:DA members receiving large amounts of email relating to rule change proposals, often very shortly before a meeting, that required quick turn-around. It was noted that before attachments became a common part of everyone’s email workload, all of the change proposals had to be sent hardcopy in first-class U.S. mail, which imposed a time schedule of sorts; now, these items mainly arrive in email.

In response to this problem, I agreed to write a brief document on adding a timetable to the guidelines, “How to Submit a Rule Change Proposal to CC:DA.” The timeline I am suggesting is based on my experiences in submitting the cartographic-materials proposals over the last few years.

I would also suggest that the same schedule be applied to reports by CC:DA Task Forces that contain rule change proposals.

  1. The timetable should be a section in the “How to Submit …” document. The headings currently in that document are:

    • Who Can Submit a Rule Revision Proposal?
    • What Types of Proposals Are Acceptable?
    • How Will Proposals be Evaluated?
    • Preliminary Steps to Take in Submitting a Proposal
    • Formal Elements of a Rule Revision Proposal
    • Forwarding the Proposal
    • Appendix: Examples

    I would suggest a section titled “What is the Timetable for Submitting a Rule Revision Proposal?” following “Forwarding the Proposal” (or possibly preceding).

  2. There are two sets of meeting times that govern the progress of a rule change proposal — that of CC:DA and that of the Joint Steering Committee. While CC:DA meets twice a year at (more or less) regularly scheduled times that are determined years in advance (mid-January to early February and late June or early July), JSC generally meets once or twice a year, depending on the accumulated workload, either in spring or fall or both.


Based on these facts, I would suggest the following section be added to the “How to Submit …” document:

    What is the Timetable for Submitting a Rule Revision Proposal?

    While CC:DA will accept a rule revision proposal at any time, rule revision is a complicated and lengthy procedure, and the more complicated and longer the proposal, the more time will be required to consider it. For a proposal to be guaranteed to receive consideration at the next CC:DA meeting, the following minimal time should be allowed:

    • Rule change proposals should be made available to the chair of CC:DA six weeks prior to the next CC:DA meeting, which is scheduled during the ALA Annual or Midwinter Meetings. The proposals will be made available to the CC:DA membership and posted on the CC:DA Web site one month prior to the next CC:DA meeting.

    • If the rule revision proposal is accepted by CC:DA, it is forwarded to the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR (JSC). JSC requires that rule revision proposals be transmitted to JSC at least 30 days prior to the next scheduled JSC meeting in order to be considered. This is to allow sufficient time for the other JSC members to consult their respective advisory bodies, for those advisory bodies to review the proposal and formulate their responses, and for the JSC member to transmit those responses to the other JSC members in a time frame that allows them to read the responses and be prepared to discuss both the original proposal and the responses at the next JSC meeting. [The schedule of JSC meetings is available on the JSC Web site, usually as the final item on the latest report of Outcomes of the … JSC Meeting. The JSC procedures for receiving and considering revision proposals is documented in JSC’s “Statement of Policy & Procedures.”]

    • Unless the rule revision proposal is either accepted or rejected by all the JSC constituents, there will likely be further revision by CC:DA and subsequent review by JSC. This process may take a year or more, depending on the complexity of the proposal and the number of revisions requested.

Addendum by John Attig

Since the “How to Submit …” document is the subject of this proposal, I would like to remind CC:DA that the instructions for the formal elements of revision proposals have been in need of revision for some time. I raised the question over a year ago, but was advised to wait until the JSC Statement of Policy and Procedures has been issued. This was done recently and will shortly be posted on the JSC Web site (the link above does not work yet). I would therefore like to propose additional revisions to bring our guidelines into line with the JSC document. I will not have this proposal ready to discuss at Annual, but plan to distribute it sometime this fall.

Final note: Savour the irony that the present proposal is in violation of the timetable it proposes.