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Access Points: Classification Discussion

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BookWhere/Marcreport/Polaris [22 Feb 2014|12:59pm]

Background: I spent a little over five and a half years at a branch library, primarily in a circulation/basic technical services capacity. We used Polaris as our library software. My desired field was cataloging, but as a branch library, we went anything that needed cataloging to our parent library, where the technical services department performed the necessary work and sent it back to us. If we received a donation and it was already in our database (or, as we called it, "in the system"), I would process it/add it to the collection/link it. We used these terms interchangeably to mean the same thing, but I learned at my second job that these terms are not universal in libraries! *grins* Anyway, after I got my library degree and spent awhile looking, I ended up at my second job. I cataloged all of the materials, and we used the web based OCLC to import records and Innovative Millennium for editing records. I was there for a little over a year, and returned to my home library consortium system when I was offered a cataloging position at a separate library, but part of the same consortium.

The library I joined uses BookWhere to select records, MarcReport to edit the records, and Polaris to import the records. I am not certified within my library system as an official copy cataloger, which means that when I edit and import the records, I need to add a 999 field with my library code. The person who works with me IS certified as a copy cataloger, but has rarely used the software because the official cataloger (who I replaced) performed these tasks.

I've only been at the job for three days, but I'm having some difficulties with 1) understanding the advice on MarcReport and 2) importing the records on Polaris. I'm at home so I don't have my notes in front of me, or access to my work email address at this point, but essentially, when I try to load the record, it SHOULD go from pending to complete. Instead, it just remains locked.

Are there any kind catalogers who use this software whose brains I can pick? I can send virtual cookies as a reward!
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Ereaders [01 Sep 2011|12:26pm]

My library is purchasing six Nooks that we will fill and circulate to patrons. We're a tiny library, and I'm the only cataloger on staff so I'm appealing to you people. Any ideas how to approach writing a record for these things? Each nook will have an assigned genre or subject- children's, youth, mystery, best sellers, ect.
4 comments|post comment

need a volunteer for a survey! [09 Feb 2011|08:54pm]

I'm writing a paper on the future of library services for a class on public libraries. I'd like to focus the paper on the future of cataloging in public libraries.

I need a volunteer to fill out a survey for this class. It should take you about 15-20 minutes--I just need your email address so I can send it as an attachment.

A few things I need from any participant:
1. I need to know the name and location of the library you work at. If you can send me the website, that would be great. This information is required because I'm supposed to include demographics on the area.

2. You need to have your Masters degree in library science.

3. You need to be working in a public library right now.

Thank you!
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Multiple thesauri in catalog [04 Feb 2011|01:30am]

I do authority control in a VERY large library system which has both research and circulating collections.

Any suggestions for handling multiple thesauri in one catalog?
We get MARCIVE records for GPO documents that may have headings for many different thesauri (MESH,  NASAT, DICT, LCSH, for example)
We have also started using GSAFD Genre headings in conjunction with LCSH as appropriate.  Anyone involved in creating crosswalks?

Suggestions for handling multiple language headings in one catalog BIDEX, RUM, SWD would also be welcome
(I am of the opinion that as an English language cataloging agency we should remove them so as not to create confusion, and strip them from records, however I do keep nonroman headings.)

8 comments|post comment

RDA (resource description and access) [07 Nov 2010|11:26am]

Is anyone using RDA or part of the OCLC RDA test?

Is anyone having problems with RDA authority records?

A colleague has started a petition against the way the RDA test is being carried out in OCLC, proposing using parallel records,or  a lower encoding level for bib records, and definitely  not messing with the authority file

3 comments|post comment

Job interviews [13 Aug 2010|01:26pm]

Has anyone had a written component to a cataloging librarian interview? I have one coming up and don't really know what to expect. I imagine it will be a cataloging exercise, but I was wondering if anybody has any experience with this sort of thing in interviews.
5 comments|post comment

Cross-genre weirdness: New Audrey Niffenegger book [09 Jul 2010|12:06pm]

Classification question, public library oriented. Possibly only people who were able to pick up a copy at ALA will have an opinion on it, as the listed release date isn't until September 10.

WHERE are y'all PUTTING this thing? I am at a loss. I've handed it off to my supervisor to read and offer comment on, but I think he'll be just as divided as I am.

One thing I'm sure of is that I want it to circ. I want it to be seen. It's amazing. It's gorgeous. It made me cry.

In my library, we do not have a special section for graphic novels; anything graphic goes where it would go if it were text. So theoretically general adult fiction, but I'm not sure anyone would pick it up there. YA? Is it a YA book, really? I'm uncertain. It might see more circ in hardcover fantasy than anywhere else, but then again, it might just be lost there. I just DON'T KNOW. *flails*
4 comments|post comment

bibiolographic knowledge question [09 Feb 2009|08:26pm]

I'm looking at a job posting and it asks for "bibliographic knowledge of at least one non-English language." How would you, oh dear actually employed catalogers, define this? I can sound out all the letters Cyrillic text, and understand easy stuff (children's books and the like), but this job most likely wouldn't have the successful candidate cataloging anything "easy." I assume that's not enough, but ya never know.

Is there an official definition? Or could you just give an off-the-cuff one?

Thanks so much!

(For some reason I keep flashing on Top Gun where Goose and Maverick are making the bet: "...carnal knowledge, of a woman this time.." or something along those lines.)
11 comments|post comment

Salary requirements? Vendor jobs? [08 Feb 2009|12:54pm]

Hi Y'all--

I'm a library paraprofessional that is being laid off from a job I dearly love (after being one class in in my MLS program). Yay budget cuts, right?

I'm getting ready to send my resume out nationally to a variety of places--mostly library vendors and academic libraries, which is not where my experience lies.

Two questions:
1. A lot of listings ask you to send your "salary requirements"--I'm terrified of sending a number and being turned down for asking too high. I'm flexible, I swear, I just want to keep working in my field. But at the same time I'm afraid of giving too low a number and getting taken advantage of. Has anybody ever had to do this? How do you negotiate a fair salary?
2. I'm a library paraprofessional with 3 yrs cataloging experience, and both supervisors above me would write glowing letters of recommendation. But all the jobs i've found in cataloging or tech services definitely want an MLS. Am I screwed? I'm planning to apply anyway, but would this hurt my chances later?

Bonus question: anybody here ever worked for a library vendor or for an ILS company? If so, how was your experience?

Thank you all for any help you can provide me. I found out the bad news Thursday and panic is starting to sink in.

(x-posted libraries)
4 comments|post comment

same video, different course [04 Dec 2008|12:49pm]

[ mood | confused ]


I'm a cataloguer in a UK university library.
I'm tidying up some of our A/V records and haven't a great deal of experience with MARC. I'm trying to find a tag for 'this item is also catalogued as...'.
Background: a video made for one course was subsequently used in another and has a bib record for its existence in both courses; the two records are broadly the same apart from the 110 fields which contain the course codes as well as the university name. (However one has a 525 tag pointing to a transcript but the other doesn't, hence the usefulness of linking them.)
I thought 535 looked promising at first glance but realised it's not suitable as both items are in the same repository. Then I considered 776 but ruled it out as the physical format is not different. Anyone know what I should use?

10 comments|post comment

from my journal this week [13 Nov 2008|09:22am]

[ mood | quixotic ]

At work the other day I joined a conversation with two coworkers about cleaning up bad bibliographic records in the library's online catalog. They were talking about how some records were merged during a batch add a few years back and got all jumbled up. I then made up a story of how I found what might be the worst record in the lot, how it had like five 246 title added entry fields and a few didn't even agree with each other. It had 856 fields with dead hyperlinks in it, an abstract from another work entirely, so many subfields that were made up or misplaced, or taken from a outdated version of MARC. I tried to go on and on on how crappy and overwhelmingly astoundingly awful the record was. My coworker asked the title so we could look it up and fix it.

I said "The Aristocrats!"

5 comments|post comment

600, 650, 651 with imaginary stuff [15 Oct 2008|03:57pm]


I just had the following converstion on facebook, and wonder if anyone here might have something to add?  (The second part of the original statement refers to working along in my big ol' library....)

J wants to know if imaginary people go in the 600 field. And wishes someone else here cared about stuff like that.

Mat 5:28pm October 14 I want to say they do, but I don't have any cataloging guidelines beside me at the moment. [hangs head in shame]
Jat 7:14pm October 14
What about imaginary places? 651or 650? I'm so happy I know someone who understands my need to know the answer to this question! (A lot of the stuff I get from Follett has imaginary stuff in the 650s, but that just doesn't seem right to me...)
Mat 8:46pm October 14
Checked some of the records for things like Hercule Poirot -- 650 tag for "Poirot, Hercule (fictitious character)" -- and I found a 650 tag for "Narnia (imaginary place)" but that was for a book on the imaginary worlds of C.S. Lewis and not for "Chronicles of Narnia." You raised a good issue, Josie -- can there be a ... Read More651 (geographical location) for an imaginary place?
Jat 7:53am October 15
Yeah, I ran across it first with Harry Potter and Hogwarts...I guess it's a decision of whimsy, and not many catalogers are known for their whimsy. :-)
14 comments|post comment

Outsourcing Our Proxy Server [15 Oct 2008|11:52am]

We want to outsource our library's proxy server. In essence, we are working apart from our IT department which has shown no inclination to helping us manage the library's electronic resources (they insist it's not their job.) The company that's been doing the hosting for our existing proxy wall has been slowly but surely declining in customer service quality, so we're shopping for a new vendor. We've had very little interest from giants like Verizon and AT&T so we're looking for suggestions on other smaller firms that provide this sort of service. Anything anyone might be able to offer would be welcome.

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Cataloguing a new format [06 Oct 2008|02:34pm]

Hey all,

We've just ordered a batch of Playaways (http://store.playawaydigital.com/) for our libraries and want to ensure that they are differentiated enough on our catalogue.

Do any of you have these or other self-contained audiobooks in your collections?

If so, do you treat them as sound recordings only or have you used different GMDs?

Any help would be appreciated.

Cross-posted for your enjoyment
1 comment|post comment

Cataloger needed at the Field Museum [22 Sep 2008|09:49am]

I saw this awesome job on an SLA listserv. Unfortunately, moving to Chicago is not in the cards for me. But maybe it is for you?

Library | Cataloger
Department: Library
1 Full Time Term Position Position (35 hours/week; 1 year term from start date)

Job Description

The Field Museum Library supports the exhibition, research, and education programs of The Field Museum, which was founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The Library is home to a rich, world-class collection of more than 250,000 volumes in the following subject areas: anthropology, archaeology, biological systematics, botany, environmental and evolutionary biology, geology, museology, and zoology. Although borrowing privileges are reserved for Museum staff and associates, the Library's collections are available for public use. Since 2001, the Library has operated the Ex Libris ALEPH 500 integrated library system. At the heart of the ALEPH system is Harlow, the Library's online catalog, which currently contains about 120,164 records.

In addition to purchasing new materials and receiving donated and exchanged materials, the Library began a retrospective conversion of approximately 92,000 catalog records in 2006. Converted records represented monographs, serials, and rare books acquired prior to 1978 and held in the General Collection, the Rare Book Room, and eight subject-based divisional libraries. Clean up of the retrospective conversion records continues and is approximately one half completed.

The Cataloger will be divide his/her time between cataloging and maintaining incoming library materials and continuing the cataloging and clean-up of Retrospective Conversion materials from the Library's general collections.

Job Duties

Under the direction of the Technical Services Librarian, the Cataloger will perform the following duties:

Cataloging Duties
Perform copy and some original cataloging of monographs and serials in WorldCat and in the Library's Ex Libris Aleph 500 system (using national and local standards such as AACR2R/RDA, LCSH, MARC standards, and LC classification schedules). Performs copy and some original cataloging on monographs and serials in most Western European languages
Update and maintain authority records for all materials in the Aleph system, using LC authority records via OCLC Connexion
Update and maintain holdings records in MARC holdings format for all materials in the Aleph system
Retrospective Conversion Duties
Implement documented procedures to monitor the quality of converted bibliographic records to ensure compliance with local and national standards and with vendor and other contractual requirements
Search, verify, and edit cataloging copy in the Aleph system and in WorldCat, making appropriate changes as specified by the shelf list card in hand and according to local and national cataloging standards. Identify and resolve bibliographic record conflicts. Provide appropriate MARC content designation according to the requirements of the online system
Identify and resolve problems associated with location, call number, holdings, and other copy-specific information, in particular those associated with the loading of records from vendors, bibliographic utilities, and other providers of bibliographic information
Create catalog records as necessary in Harlow and in WorldCat, based upon the shelf list card in hand, according to local and national cataloging standards and providing appropriate MARC content designation
Add volume holdings and item records to catalog records for monographic and serial titles according to specified guidelines
Assist in testing, evaluating, and implementing systems and other developments affecting the catalog
Identify, pull, sort, and re-file shelf list and other catalog cards
General Duties
Participate in staff development activities
Keep informed of developments in the library field by reading professional journals, attending workshops and conferences, and subscribing to appropriate listserv
Perform other related duties as required


Master's Degree in Library Science required with one to two years work experience in cataloging
Experience in cataloging and maintaining serial records in an online catalog and or experience with an integrated library system preferred
Demonstrated understanding of the structure and function of integrated library systems, national cataloging standards, and MARC format
Experience with Windows systems in a networked environment
Good analytical ability and problem-solving skills
Working knowledge of Western European languages
Ability to work independently with accuracy and attention to detail; to follow verbal and written instructions and procedures; to organize and prioritize work assignments; to exercise sound judgment and initiative; to effectively complete tasks according to schedule; and to establish and maintain effective and productive working relationships
If contacted for an interview, applicants must provide a sample of original cataloging (2-3 bibliographic records in MARC format, preferably in print format)
The Field Museum accepts applications on-line. To apply for this position, please complete the on-line application.
No phone calls please.


The Field Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Jennifer Warwick Bazeley
Associate Librarian, Technical Services
Field Museum Library
2 comments|post comment

Need language assistance [07 Aug 2008|07:46am]

[ mood | drained ]

Is anyone out there fluent in Japanese? I've got an original record to create, I don't speak the language, and the only records I can find on the web are from Japanese bookseller sites. I could use Google to translate it but I disapprove of cargo cult cataloging.

X-posted to libraries

1 comment|post comment

A rather daunting task - catalogers, can you help? [25 Jul 2008|06:10pm]


I've recently begun volunteering at the library of a retirement community. I'll be starting an MLIS program in the fall. The retirement community's library committee is really excited to have someone "with some knowledge of libraries" helping out. Of course, at this point I really don't have much knowledge of libraries beyond being a patron and a page, which I did point out to them, but they are desperate. So anyway, I'd like to get as much done for them as I can before my time gets swallowed up by school. Since I'm new to this and really don't know the best route to take, I could really use some advice and/or insight from anyone with experience cataloging small libraries, creating efficient systems requiring minimal work to use and maintain, and any other experience working or volunteering in very small libraries.

I will cut here since this is going to get wordy.

Here is the situation: Read more...Collapse )

crossposted to libraries, catalogers and library grrls
3 comments|post comment

Cataloger interview [13 Jul 2008|07:16pm]

Okay, so this is one of those "I just joined this community because I need advice, but I'll love you forever if you help me!" posts. I graduated with an MLS and School Media certification in May, and I have an interview with my local public library tomorrow afternoon, for a copy cataloger position. I did kind of enjoy my cataloging class (crazy, I know), and I love this library, so I think this might be a perfect job for me. The problem is that I might have exaggerated a little bit on the "tell us why you deserve this position" part of the application. I definitely talked up my experience working with MARC records in my current job (where all I do with the records is change two-disc DVDs to two pieces) and in my student teaching (where I helped my supervising teacher figure out what to do with the Geronimo Stilton books, apparently written by a mouse and cataloged in various ways by our various catalogers). I've been going through my notes from my cataloging class, and skimming the AACR2, but I'm not sure what I should brush up on. I'm just kind of terrified that they'll figure out that I was totally BS-ing them, and they'll call me on it, and I won't get the job (or any job at this library, for that matter).

So in case that paragraph had too many run-on sentences for you, my basic question is "what should I expect them to ask me in my interview for a copy cataloging position?" Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer me!

crossposted to catalogers and library_grrls
3 comments|post comment

Classification number for a tshirt? [10 Jul 2008|04:03pm]

I and some friends who all used to work in the same Stacks department want to make tshirts with an appropriate LoC number on it, but now that I'm not there anymore I don't have access to anything but the LoC outline pdfs, which don't get specific enough. I was hoping someone might be willing to help me find a good one to use. Basically, I'm trying to find an LoC number that would cover humorous tshirts. I realize that there probably isn't one, but I thought I might be able to get close either in the GT fashion section or the PR931-938 Humor section. If someone can help me find the right one I'd be happy to send them a free shirt.
1 comment|post comment

The library is a mess! [04 Jun 2008|02:54am]

I am attempting to organize the text and non-text materials of a not-for-profit environmental organization.
The items include:
  • journals, shelved in alphabetical order by title
  • annual/environmental/research reports
  • submissions from the organization to government departments etc
  • textbooks and reference books - randomly shelved in no particular order
  • information sheets and pamphlets
  • newsletters from other organizations - shelved alphabetically (more-or-less) according to title
  • some DVDs and videos

There is no cataloguing system - I would like to create some sort of system so that users may find out what items are available, and where to find them on the shelves.

Are there any useful websites or links people could direct me to?

Is there any other useful advise people could offer?

Thank you.
2 comments|post comment

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