Traditionally, MARC proposals from the Music Library Association community were submitted through the MARC Formats Subcommittee, a subgroup of the Bibliographic Control Committee of MLA. These proposals were vetted by the subcommittee members and a formal discussion paper was proposed to the Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information Committee (MARBI) Committee (a group sponsored by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS)) and the MARC Advisory Committee (MAC). This discussion paper included explaining the problem with the rules as they were and a proposed solution. Once the agenda for the ALA Annual or ALA Midwinter meeting for MARBI was set, the National Development and MARC Standards Office (NDMSO) released the discussion papers and proposals on MAC-L and MARC-L. Suggestions for improvements and comments were frequently offered from national libraries and other individuals to the group who submitted the paper. Further discussion and voting happened during the MARBI meeting at ALA. Once MARBI convened at ALA Midwinter or ALA Annual, the discussion papers were formally presented to get input from the MAC members. Usually at the next meeting a proposal is submitted, although occasionally a proposal is moved forward immediately if the solution seems clear due to following a set precedent. Once approved through a formal vote, these updates were incorporated with a set date of implementation. One item to note is that while MAC was involved in offering suggestions for the proposals, only MARBI representatives had voting privileges, not MAC representatives.(1)
Recent changes have occurred that have modified this structure. Most notably, MARBI was dissolved in 2013, with the ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee officially replacing it(2). MAC, however, became the official voting body for proposed changes to the MARC formats.(3) The MARC Formats Subcommittee of MLA has also now been combined with the Metadata Subcommittee into the Encoding Standards Subcommittee under the restructured and renamed Cataloging and Metadata Subcommittee. It is anticipated that a sub-group of the Encoding Standards Subcommittee will work together to write proposals for change of MARC formats to continue the work that the MARC Formats Subcommittee completed in support of the music cataloging community.