MARC Advisory Committee

Network Development and MARC Standards Office

The MARC Advisory Committee advises the Library of Congress concerning changes to the MARC 21 formats. The Library of Congress maintains the MARC 21 formats for Bibliographic, Authority, Holdings, Classification, and Community Information data for the MARC 21 user communty based on broad, open discussion of issues.

The MARC Advisory Committee includes the American Library Association's (ALA) Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information (MARBI) committee, US national libraries, the Library and Archives Canada, British Library the National Library of Australia, and the German National Library, the large bibliographic networks such as OCLC, library associations such as the Music Library Association and Special Libraries Association, and library system vendors.

The common characteristic of these groups is that they are large scale users of MARC, thus have serious concerns for the development and stability of the format. The Library of Congress also maintains an electronic discussion forum for the formats (MARC@LOC.GOV) that has over 800 subscribers, opening discussion to all interested librarians.

Proposals for changes to the format may originate from any user. Library of Congress staff write, review, and/or edit proposals and distribute them electronically and in paper form. The documents are available for comment on the electronic forum for approximately two months before each of the meetings that are held twice a year by the MARC Advisory Committee for discussion of proposals. An actual formal vote is taken by the ALA MARBI part of the Committee. However, the Library of Congress, British Library and the Library and Archives Canada have the final authority on changes.

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Library of Congress
Library of Congress Help Desk (March 30, 2009)