[KS] Library of Congress Korean Controversy

Young-Key Kim-Renaud kimrenau at gwu.edu
Thu Jul 17 15:12:05 EDT 2008

Dear Colleagues,

I might add here a note of thanks to Hana Kim, who has played a pivotal role in preventing the Library of Congress from making a premature change of the subject title from “Tok Island (Korea) to “Liancourt Rocks” in cataloging. 

Here is a note I received early this morning from Dr. Barbara B. Tillett, Chief, Cataloging Policy and Support Office and Acting Chief, Cataloging Distribution Service, at the Library of Congress:

...I believe we now have all the information on this topic that we need and will look forward to further results from the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which is our federal authority on place names... 
If you could help me share this message with others in the Korean-American associations that have been sending a form letter, I would appreciate your assistance (most do not have a return address or fax nubmer, so no way to respond):

"The Library of Congress, Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO) has withdrawn a proposal submitted in December 2007 to change Tok Island (Korea) to Liancourt Rocks.  Discussion of this topic within CPSO is postponed until there is further international resolution of this issue and decision at the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, the U.S. federal government’s authority on place names."
Dr. Barbara B. Tillett, Ph.D.
Chief, Cataloging Policy and Support Office
Acting Chief, Cataloging Distribution Service
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-4305
tel.: +1 (202) 707-4714
fax: +1 (202) 707-6629
email: btil at loc.gov

Young-Key Kim-Renaud, Chair 
Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures 
Professor of Korean Language and Culture and International Affairs 
The George Washington University 
801 22nd Street, N.W. (Academic Center, Rome Hall 469) 
Washington, DC 20052 
E-mail: kimrenau at gwu.edu 
Tel: (O) 202-994-7107 
Fax: (O) 202-994-1512
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Hana Kim <hn.kim at utoronto.ca> 
Date: Thursday, July 17, 2008 1:58 pm 
Subject: [KS] Library of Congress Korean Controversy 
To: Korean Studies Discussion List <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws> 

Dear Koreanists: 
As you may have heard, the Tok Island issue has recently spread its controversy all the way to the United States Library of Congress and all of our North American university libraries. 
As the Chair of the Committee on Korean Materials under the auspices of the Council on East Asian Libraries of the Association for Asian Studies, I head an organization of Korean Studies librarians in North America. 
Recently, we were shocked to learn that the U.S. Library of Congress had arbitrarily planned to officially change the existing subject heading of “Tok Island (Korea)” to the new heading of “Liancourt Rocks.”  Furthermore, within this new subject heading the existing broader explanation of “Islands Korea (South)” would be changed to “Islands of the Sea of Japan.”  A closed Library of Congress meeting to ratify this decision was planned for July 16.  
Since this plan was not widely known, our organization took it upon ourselves to voice a strong protest to this sudden change, and also made the relevant South Korean governmental bodies aware of this situation.  Thanks to the efforts of many parties, I am pleased to report that the Library of Congress has now officially postponed any decision on this matter until there is further international resolution of this issue. 
As Koreanists, I felt that you should be made aware of this matter, and I hope that you will actively make your own views on this matter known to the relevant parties.  In addition, I feel that this matter also requires the further study and deliberation of experts such as yourselves.  I hope that we may see much scholarly activity to elucidate this delicate issue. 
Should you require any more detailed information, I would be happy to share it with you. 
Hana Kim 
Chair, Committee on Korean Materials 
***************************************************************     Hana Kim, Korea Studies Librarian    Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library     University of Toronto Libraries     130 St. George Street, 8th Floor, Room 8049     Toronto, Ontario     Canada M5S 1A5     Tel.  (416)  978 1570 (7th Fl.) / 978  3805 (8th Fl.)     Fax.  (416)  978  0863     Email: hn.kim at utoronto.ca     Web: http://www.library.utoronto.ca/east/
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