Library Philosophy and Practice 2011
A Model for Adoption and Application of ISBD in Book Publishing in Nigeria
Schuman (1995) posits that the publishers are beginning to realize that although they create books, librarians have tremendous power to influence readers. This statement may not totally apply to the situation in Nigeria. This is because the intellectual and commercial processes through which books are written, published and distributed, sold and used have become systematically and rigorously distorted by the unwholesome activities of some of the publishers, government officials and their agencies. The librarians have slim chances to influence readers through a professionally planned collection development policy in Nigeria.
The paths of the publishers and librarians hardly across in Nigeria. The opportunity for interaction between the librarians and publishers are slim at professional and business levels. This is due to greed, ignorance or sheer inertia on the part of the publishers and governments in Nigeria – federal, state and local. Book business is big business in Nigeria. Book purchase by government officials and their agencies is big business smacking of corruption and fraudulent practices. It involves heavy bulks ranging into billion of Naira (country currency) and cutting across the three levels of government in Nigeria.
This implies that books are purchased at the Federal, State and Local Government levels. The librarians at all the levels and institutions of service are not often involved in book acquisition policies, planning and strategies. Book are purchased directly from the publishers (home and abroad) by government agents and politically appointed contractors. The contractors could be cement or building materials dealers but who have some persons in government and had turned book vendors over night because of the opportunity the corrupt setting has provided. Therefore, in Nigeria book are created by the same system that ensures that books are purchased (at home and abroad) whether relevant or not, and forced up onto the shelves of the librarians who characteristically ensures that the books are passed to the users in their professional ways. The professional relationship between the librarians and the publishers in Nigeria could best be described as loose or tenuous. The Librarian, however, has the professional mandate to give library and information services. In this wise, the librarian must create and make ISBD available for use by the society. Certainly, the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) is a creation of librarianship profession which duty it is to ensure that ISBD is developed, adopted or adapted by the library community for universal bibliographic control. According to IFLA (2010):
The International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) is intended to serve as a principal standard to promote universal bibliographic control, that is, to make universally and promptly available, in a form that is internationally acceptable, basic bibliographic data for all published resources in all countries. The main goal of the ISBD is, and has been since the beginning to provide consistency when sharing bibliographic information.
The ISBD is the standard that determines the data elements to be recorded or transcribed in a specific sequence as the basis of the description of the resources being catalogued. In addition, it employs prescribed punctuation as a means of recognizing and displaying data elements and making them understandable independently of the language of the description.
The Nigeria National Library is saddled with the difficult task of getting the publishers to adopt the ISBD and apply it in their publishing practices. The National Library does this by organising national workshops, seminars and conferences. Also, the state branches of the National Library organise similar and complementary interactional meetings periodically in Nigeria.
The International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) phenomenon raises the issue of professional practices in the book publishing industry and librarianship. These practices are meant to bring about easy and unrestricted access to published works all over the world. The practices are further enhanced by the presence of the ever pervading force of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the consequent globalisation and trade liberalisation.
In short, ISBD epitomizes part of the professional relationship that exists between librarianship and the book publishing profession. Although the relationship has existed for centuries, recent developments in the body, direction and growth of information, knowledge and patterns of use have influenced the means and methods through which information and knowledge are processed and made available to users. Certainly, the vision and mission of IFLA in the development of ISBD is to establish a mechanism through which information and knowledge are made universally available in a stable and with sustainable methodology. This calls for a system that is universally applicable and acceptable to the librarians and publishers and to the benefit of the information and knowledge users of the book medium. Still talking about the interrelationship between these two great professions - librarianship and publishing, there is the need to highlight the fact that they have collectively contributed to the building of past and present civilizations. It is appropriate to state that the modern developments are founded and anchored on the professional collaboration between librarianship and publishing. The collaboration goes beyond the economic but into the cultural milieu. Schuman (1995) relates to this interrelationship between the librarians and the publishers as follows:
Their relationships transcend mere market place of vendor/buyer transactions. While publishers and librarians have both traditionally viewed their respective missions as "gatekeepers" of information and culture, publishers are actually the true "gatekeepers"; they decide what to publish, when to publish, whom to publish for and what to charge. Many publishing decisions have public, social, cultural, economic, educational, political impact. Librarians are actually the "gateways". Librarians support a significant portion of publishers output, they buy, organize, preserve, store, and disseminate it. Ideas are kept available, affordable, and accessible through libraries. How librarians perform these functions also has a crucial effect on the social, cultural, economic, educational, and political fabric of society. That fabric is woven when writers, researchers, and creators create new information and ideas. Synergy between a healthy publishing industry and healthy libraries is essential for a democratic society. Both librarians and publishers are vital to the public's right to know.
In the process of information creation, dissemination and utilization, the librarians, publishers and scholars are natural and mutual partners. While the scholars need access to published materials in their variety, the traditional role of the library has been to expand their access by purchasing published materials and organizing them for appropriate retrieval. The development of the ISBD forms the link that helps to explain and demonstrate the obvious commonalities of mission and professional interest that mediate mutually supportive collaboration between librarians and publishers.
Although, the librarians and publishers in the developed counties have enjoyed esteemed, effective and flexible collaboration, the situation in the developing nations of Africa is at a very low ebb. Both professions are frequently unaware of the methodologies, economic concerns and policies of the other.
Some Insights into Book Publishing and ISBD
The Characteristics of Publishing
Publishing "is to make public, to send forth among the people - the words and pictures that creative minds have produced, the editors have worked over, that printers have reproduced.
As applied to books’, it is a formidable succession of activities no. one of which can, by itself, be called publishing. It is only when a manuscript has been transformed into a book and then distributed to its intended market place, that the process of publishing is complete. Therefore, to perform an editorial service alone, whether at a risk or for a fee, is not to publish; to purchase printing and building services alone is not publish; to promote sales is not, in itself, to publish; to distribute another's printed product is not, in itself, to publish. Book publishing is all of these things together - an integrated process, whether carried out by a single firm or by several. It is the whole intellectual and business procedure of selecting and arranging to make a book and promoting its ultimate use (Grannis,1967). Perhaps, we can easily glean from the definition that publishing is a multiplicity of operations of activities. Alternatively phrased, publishing is a composite of diverse but mutually related activities no one of which activities will, by itself, amount to publishing but without any of which publishing can really take place. Added to this, is the view that publishing has three crucial components. They are Book editing, Book design, and Book production. Elaborated, "Book editing is the conception, planning and preparation of the content of a book in co-operation with the author; Book design is the conception, planning and specifying of the physical and visual attributes of a book and Book Production is the execution of the design i.e. purchasing materials and services, scheduling and routing the work, co-ordinating the manufacture of the book with distribution requirements and maintaining records. Book editing, design and production function to transmit the author's message to the reader in the best possible way. This means creating a product that can be profitably sold as well as satisfying the requirement of authors and readers (Okwilagwe, 2001).
It is the editorial responsibility to determine the content and the order in which the content should be expressed typographically. It is also the responsibility of the editorial unit to enter all the bibliographic information as necessary and needed into the book. An editor who had little or no training in editing is not likely to posses the relevant knowledge and skills even for his professional practice. That is the plight of most Nigeria editors who certainty became editors by accident. They could be remotely aware of the presence of ISBD and ignorant about its functions and significance to the book industry.
The Characteristics of International Standard Book Description (ISBD)
The International Standard Book Description (ISBD) is most often and appropriately discussed within the realm of cataloguing, which itself is a vital component of the librarian's professional practice.
The ISBD is a set of rules produced by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). It is used to describe a wide range of library materials within the context of a catalogue. The cataloguing rules have been defined to allow for consistent cataloguing over various library materials across several persons in several places and across time. The ISBD set of rules organize the bibliographic descriptions of an item in the following areas:
Although the ISBD order is highly sequential, it gives room for flexibility of some items of the set rules to be dropped while maintaining the sequence. This allows for saving space in view of the library card which is usually a three by five inch card. The same space saving rules are useful in the context of the limited amount of screen space available on current computer displays. A full and small versions ISBD of the same book are indicated as follows: (IFLA, 2005)
Full Version: Comics & Sequential Art/by Will Eisner 1917 - . - [Expanded edition]. - 164 pages: illustrated; 29cm. high; soft cover. - includes index. -ISBN 096142812 (paperback); ISBN 0961472804 (hardcover)
Small Version: Comics & Sequential Art/by Will Eisner 1917 -.- 2nd., -Tarmac, Florida: Poorhouse Press, 1990.
Samples of National Library of Nigeria CIP Services in the Realm of ISBD
National Library of Nigeria Cataloguing in Publication Data Research in Information Sciences: an African Perspective.
· Information Science - Africa. I. Aina, L.O.
Z669.7. R288 2002 020.7 AACR2
· National Library of Nigeria Cataloguing in Publication Data
AINA, L.O., 1950-
Library and Information Science Text for Africa Z665.2. A258A295 2—4 020.96
ISBN 978-328-361-8 AACR2
· National Library of Nigeria Cataloguing in Publication Data
Basics of Librarianship - Theory & Practice: a guide for beginners. Lagos:
Omega Publishers Ltd. ix, 144p; 15.5cm x 21cm. 2004
Includes glossary, appendix, index and abbreviations
1. Library education - Nigeria
2. Libraries and students
3. Library Science - Nigeria I. Title 2668.56
ACC No. (LC/AACR2)
The goal of a good bibliographic description is to give wholesome information for easy access to the book that has been catalogued.
Relevance of ISBD to Book Publishing in Nigeria
The essence of the application of ISBD is to achieve an excellent and systematic bibliographic description of a published document by way of cataloguing. The family of ISBD provides the mechanism by which various intellectual property are catalogued and made functional for teaching, learning and research within and outside the formal confines of the library. IFLA (2009) noted that the ISBD is useful and applicable for description of bibliographic resources in any type of catalogue... The stipulations for cataloguing the various resources have been made more consistent with each other and brought up to date. The designation of mandatory ISBD elements has been brought into conformity with the requirements for a basic level national bibliographic record as determined by the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR). According to Enang (2008):
ISBD is very important to publishers because it helps users to identity basic information easily. To library users, especially researchers. preliminary information is very important. The use of ISBD in published books helps identify that basic information. When the ISBD standard is not used, there may be a long search for information that should have taken only a few minutes. It is worthwhile, therefore, to discuss the use of ISBD in Nigeria published books.
The professional assiduity of the International Federation of Library Association (IFLA) has resulted in the availability and use of ISBD for various library materials. Some, courtesy of the Standing Committees of the IFLA Section on Cataloguing and the IFLA Section on Serials Publications, are as follows:
With special reference to books, the core function of ISBD is to act as mechanism through which good cataloguing can be done on questions of which information from a bibliographic item is included in the entry, how the information is presented on a cataloguing record, and how the entries should be sorted in the catalogue.
Due to the dynamic and flexible nature of the ISBD, it is possible to have several catalogue derivations or types in the library such as:
IFLA (2010) posits that the development of this standard was originally motivated by the automation of bibliographic control and then the impetus of economic necessity of sharing cataloguing, the ISBD continues to be useful for and applicable to bibliographic descriptions of all kinds of resources in any type of catalogue, whether online or in a form less technologically advanced. Those agencies using national and multinational cataloguing codes could apply this internationally agreed-upon standard conveniently in their catalogues. Thus, the structuring of the ISBD was guided by definite objectives and principles to:
The ISBD is also used especially by librarians to systematically build or create a good catalogue in a library. In turn, the library catalogue provides answers to the following questions for the library users and the librarians:
Whose Purpose Does the ISBD Serve?
The ISBD as a mechanism for organizing intellectual property or knowledge, serves the information needs of everyone involved in scholarship, no matter how peripheral the involvement may be. Through the use of ISBD in creating catalogues, it helps to create easy access to library materials for various uses by different people. Otherwise people will not have easy access to books everywhere. We know that few but the affluent can afford to buy great quantities of books; even fewer have space to store them. Through local libraries and interlibrary loan the public has access not only to current materials, but to the thought, wisdom and amusements of the ages in published form. It affords the publishers the opportunity to brand and make their products universally available.
Everyone who is directly or indirectly involved in the world of knowledge creation and utilization benefits directly by the use of ISBD in libraries. Besides, anyone who has directly or indirectly used and enjoyed the services or by-products of librarianship has benefited by the presence of ISBD. However, more specifically in the context of the present discussion, the publishers benefit tremendously by the presence and use of ISBD by the librarians in their most important work activity of cataloguing library materials (See Fig. I).
The ISBD provides the publisher the opportunities of adding value to his professional practice, improvement of standards and quality of production, adding marketing value to his products (books), creating publicity avenues for the most potent and viable market place of various libraries. Application of the ISBD gives the publisher the cheapest but most effective medium for publicity and through various media of making their publications universally available. This is because according to IFLA (2010) the ISBD makes records from different sources interchangeable, so that records produced in one country can be easily accepted in library catalogues or other bibliographic lists in any other country; assists in the interpretation of records across language barriers, so that records produced for users of one language can be interpreted by users of other languages; assists in the conversation of bibliographic records to electronic form; and enhance interoperability with other content standards.
Visibility of Books: The International Standard Book Description (ISBD) conveniently takes a book into a library's catalogue. This provides information about the book to the users of the library. Through interlibrary loans and other interlibrary activities, publishers' books are further brought to the attention of library users. The use of the Internet to expose a library catalogue further provides the opportunity for wider publicity of publishers' books.
Publishing Standards: The ISBD provides a common bibliographic frame of reference for the libraries, publishers, scholars, booksellers, catalogue houses, policy-makers and the teachers of publishing and librarianship professions. The ISBD also provides a frame of reference to others who are equally involved in reproducing books into other media such as electronic and multimedia channels. The ISBD provides the authors and editors of books a frame of professional reference as to what bibliographic elements should be included in books. The dominant and only operative convention is that:
The International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) specifies the requirements for the description and identification of the most common types of published resources that are likely to appear in library collections. The ISBD also assigns an order to the elements of the description and specifies a system of punctuation for the description (IFLA, 2010).
Quality of Published Books: The adoption and successful application of the ISBD add to the total elements that determine the quality of a book. This means that it is not only the physical and the typographic elements that determine the quality of a book. Although the ISBD is a bibliographic element, it is also an editorial element that must be present in a book to be recognized locally and internationally as a book of acceptable formal quality. The ISBD obviously adds to the value of the book because it helps in meeting the professional expectations of the librarians, publishers, authors, scholars, catalogue houses and a host of others. This means that a book with the ISBD could be rated higher as having formal qualities than that without the ISBD, at least in bibliographic parlance.
Marketing Opportunities: The use of ISBD by publishers provides them the opportunity to participate effectively in the universally or global book marketing business. It affords the publishers the opportunity to participate in cooperative and special book sales. According to Bodian (I960) when properly cultivated, the cooperative sales arrangement represents a sales area of enormous potential for the marketer of books. The activities of the members of this group are facilitated by ISBD used in books. While some members of the group are involved in direct sales, some give publicity services through book reviews. When a new book is published, the publisher sends bibliographic information to any member of the group. Thus, the ISBD provides the first and the most enduring point of contact for the business of book marketing. The main group comprising the cooperative and special sales include:
The International Standard Book Description (ISBD) provides the knit for capturing the bibliographic essentials of a book. The subsequent visibility, accessibility and utilization resulting from direct or indirect publicity to the principals: librarianship; book publishing; and trade (traditional or electronic) will depend on a good bibliographic treatment of the publication. (See Figure 1).
Point of Convergence of Librarianship and Book Publishing: The ISBD Platform
While Figure 1 graphically illustrates the point of conveyance between librarianship and book publishing. This section of the paper explains how the convergence came about. We will use the Cataloguing Distribution Service of Library of Congress as our example. It could be noted that the cataloguing activities of the Library of Congress and IFLA's ISBD have been excellently harmonized. The Library of Congress (LC) makes its printed catalogue cards available to libraries world over. Based on the basis of publisher-supplied information, a catalogue card number is reassigned and sent to the publisher on a typed 3"x5" slip giving the author, title, imprint, and publication date.
The catalogue card number appears in the upper right-hand corner of the slip. The publisher adds this number to the manuscript of the front matter indicating that it should be printed on the verso of the title page using the following legend: Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number: 80-12946 (for example). The first two digits do not indicate the year of publication, but the year in which the card number was assigned.
The procedure for this is simple. The LC operates a Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) Programme. Under the programme, publishers submit non returnable galleys of forthcoming books and a completed CIP data sheet for each, supplying the information that appears on a main entry catalogue card. Within ten working days after receipt, CIP data are returned to the publisher for printing on the verso of the title page. The information on each title required by the CIP Division of the Library of Congress includes:
The publisher is not charged for the reassigned number, nor is he charged for pre-publication changes in title or author and cancellations. Under the programme, publishers are obligated to advise the CIP Division of the Library of Congress of all subsequent changes and cancellations to prevent duplication of numbers. A number is not necessary when changes are made, and no confirmation is made to the publishers unless specifically requested.
What is the Situation in Nigeria?
It is worthy of note that most of the library communities world over have recognized, accepted and are applying the ISBD of the I FLA origin but with some modifications as the case may be in their respective domains. Like the Library of Congress, the National Library of Nigeria operates a Cataloguing in Publication Programme as well. It is, however, doubtful if a majority of Nigerian Publishers are aware nor even use the services of the National Library in this regard. An examination of books published in Nigeria, revealed very few books published in Nigeria have the CIP. The findings from a research on the use of ISBD and the quality of books published in Nigeria are quite revealing. Nang (2008) noted that:
The non-use of CIP by Nigerian publishers may be due to ignorance or lack of awareness of the existence of CIP services or the importance of it. The other side of the coin is the seeming lack of sufficient proaction on the part of the National Library of Nigeria, at least, in advocating the use of the free CIP services.
ISBD Adoption and Application Model (ISBD—AAM)
The ISBD Adoption and Application Model (ISBD-AAM) proposes a platform for advocacy for the adoption and use of ISBD by the book industry in Nigeria. The model outlines and discusses the variables in the process of creating ISBD by the librarians and use by the publishers.
The model is expected to help to bring about quality books and high profit for the publishers in the market place and at the same time ensuring that the librarian accomplishes his roles efficiently.
It is anticipated that national or international committees responsible for preparing codes of cataloguing rules will use the ISBD as the basis for their rules on description of library materials to describe all aspects of each resource, including its contents, its carrier, its medium, and its mode of issuance (IFLA, 2010).
Explanation of the ISBD Adoption and Application Model (ISBD-AAM)
A. ISBDs developed and approved for use by IFLA provide the stipulation for compatible descriptive cataloguing worldwide. It is expected that the ISBDs form the platform for the development and construction of ISBDs by Library Communities world over. The ISBDs as provided by IFLA could be adopted, adapted or reconstructed to meet immediate community needs.
B. Members of Library Community worldwide. It consists librarians, cultural institutions, publishers, independent scholars and various online communities. It is expected that the committees responsible for preparing codes of cataloguing rules live up to their billings. They should take up the advocacy responsibility for adequate and proper use of ISBD in their various countries and worldwide. Their attitude towards the use of ISBD would determine the rate and extent of diffusion and acceptance of ISBD in the Library Community.
C. Cataloguing work activities of librarians. The members of the Library Community perform the conventional and professional roles of application ISBD and processing of information resources applying codes of cataloguing rules.
D. Publishers' Products that need branding by the
application of ISBD
E. Visibility through utilization of ISBD in Catalogue House Account for Library acquisitions and the use by the public in book buying. This is the point at which the public comes in contact with ISBD. The creation of awareness through user education and public relations are done at this point. Also the monitoring of rate of use or rejection is appropriate here.
The Advocacy: Research indicates that “in 1975, the National Library of Nigeria in collaboration with the Department of Library Studies, University of Ibadan and IFLA International Office for UBC in London, organised a workshop to introduce ISBD in its national bibliography that same year” (Aje, 1979 as cited by Enang, 2008) Workshops for this nature, even of less magnitude should further be encouraged by National Library of Nigeria.. Ebiwolate (2010) advocates user education programmes, regular orientations programmes, organisation of demonstrations, employment of qualified professional librarians and provision of appropriate guidelines to ensure that ISBD is properly and adequately used by the dramatis personae in book publishing and in the process of preparing books for use in the library by librarians, as indicated by ISBD Adoption and Application Model (ISBD-AAM).
In sum, the International Standard Book Description (ISBD) provides universal access to the publishers' products (Books) no matter where they are in the globe. By the same token it provides marketing opportunities to the publishers to extensively sell to the libraries. It is important that the ISBD adds value to the publishers' products and also enables the publishers to practice their profession with more dignity, self-confidence and assertiveness believing that they are no frails in the train of information production and utilization for national development in the 21st century. There is a convergence (Figure 1 indicates this) of professional interests of the librarians and the publishers for mutual benefit with a common zeal to creating easy access to information for the "right of individual to learn". The convergence is at the domain of ISBD by the librarians as creators and the publishers as users of ISBD. It is symbiotic, mutually satisfying and professionally edifying for both professionals and for the benefit of mankind.
Librarians are the engineers at the construction sites of the access road to the book. They make available not only the most current titles and best sellers but also books that are no longer available elsewhere. "They are steady and reliable customers to publishers".
Naturally, librarians, publishers and scholars are partners in the creation, dissemination and use of information in developed and developing nations of the world. The ISBD provides one of the magic wands for the realization of this partnership.
A model that could help in the discussion and instruction on the pragmatics of development, adoption and application of ISBDs, could provide a leeway for appropriate understanding and evaluation of the dynamics of the phenomenon and users interface as germane to information communication and use for national development in the 21st century.
This is in honour of the excellent and enduring cataloguers I know and appreciate; Professor M.I. Atinmo, Dr K.I.N Nwalo and my good friend Mr. J. Apotiade, as teachers of cataloguing and finally, J. Lasisi (Mrs.) for the enduring interest and spirit for Cataloguing Classification and Indexing.
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