The article describes the process of library automation in the Bulgarian National Library and the conversion of the records in their databases into the COMARC format and lists the reasons why COBISS software was chosen by the National Library of Bulgaria and other Bulgarian libraries. It also mentions the need to expand the COMARC format due to countries with different cataloguing practices participating in the COBISS.Net project.
COBISS is a synonym for autonomous library information systems, used in Slovenia and in the countries of the South-Western Balkans for over 20 years. With the aim of faster exchange of bibliographic records in the region, these countries signed an agreement on the establishment of the COBISS.Net network in 2003.
Resource Description and Access (RDA), the successor to the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR), has had a significant impact on both bibliographic and authority data as they are represented in Machine-Readable Cataloging records in MARC 21. A brief history of the develoment of RDA is outlined. Since 2006, OCLC has kept up with some fifteen MARC 21 Bibliographic, Authority, and Holdings Updates through a total of nine OCLC-MARC Updates.
The holdings of Slovenian libraries also include photographs, which can be catalogued and included in the COBIB shared bibliographic database. Photographs as a medium are very specific compared to other types of library material, as one of their characteristics is that the data required for bibliographic description is missing. However, cataloguing in the COMARC format still enables adequate description.
The COBISS.MK system and shared cataloguing represent key issues in the field of librarianship for Macedonia. Research reveals that cataloguers are satisfied with the COBISS2/Cataloguing software module and that the quality of bibliographic records depends primarily on cataloguers’ familiarity with cataloguing rules and on their use of manuals.