The Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRIs) provide for a common practice, sometimes called "national" practice. ( FN 1)  This is the practice followed by the Library of Congress and all other libraries engaged in the bibliographic enterprise that has now taken on an international dimension.  Libraries may participate in various ways.  They may choose to participate informally or formally.  If the latter, it may be through general programs such as the former National Coordinated Cataloging Program (NCCP), through the various programs of the current Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), such as the Name Authority Cooperative Project (NACO) or the Bibliographic Cooperative Project (BIBCO, successor to NCCP) or through the currently separate Cooperative Online Serials Program (CONSER).

With the expansion of over recent years of several cooperative cataloging programs coordinated by the Library of Congress, it is necessary to identify cataloging practices that apply to the various discrete programs.  Moreover, it is incumbent upon the Library of Congress to make decisions to provide common practice in order to share bibliographic and authority records for the common good, which may at times be at odds with local needs.  One means of doing this is distinguishing in the LCRIs among practice that is applicable nationally, practice that is applicable only to LC, or practice that is applicable at some combined level, usually applicable to LC in combination with a formal program such as CONSER or NACO.  Thus the introductory phrase "LC practice:" signals a practice applicable solely to LC; it is discretionary for other libraries.  The phrase "LC/CONSER practice:" is applicable to LC and other members of CONSER but is discretionary for other libraries.  A new phrase "LC/NACO practice:" was introduced in the summer of 1996.  Practice introduced by this phrase is applicable to LC and to those libraries that are NACO participants contributing authority records to the national authority file.  In the case of series, the practice applies to LC and to those NACO libraries that contribute series explain that practice to users of the resulting records.  Furthermore, use of a particular level of practice makes it possible on the one hand to document a practice within a context that required a certain level of consistency, such as that of contribution of series authority records to the national authority file, while on the other hand does not constrain those libraries that choose not to contribute series authority records.

Based on a recommendation of the CPSO/PCC Task Group on LC-Issued Descriptive Cataloging Documentation and beginning in November 1995, the orientation of the LCRIs has shifted to that of bibliographic control in a machine-readable environment.  LCRIs issued from that date on will no longer contain terminology specific to 3" x 5" images of bibliographic data.  In addition, they will contain examples using the content designation conventions of MARC 21, slightly modified in form for clarity of presentation such that each subfield code is preceded and followed by a space.

form in MARC 21:  245  00$aGlobal studies.$pLatin America.

form in LCRI:         245 00 $a Global studies. $p Latin America

Also for clarity, the content designated examples appear in a monotype font in order to reflect spacing accurately.

Part of the charge of the CPSO/PCC task group is to make recommendations with respect to including in AACR2 material from existing LCRIs.  Such recommendations are indicated in newly issued LCRIs by means of bracketed footnote statements beginning "Recommended future placement."

See also:

Library of Congress Rule Interpretations:  Contents