Frit7134 art of_cataloging-intro


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Art of cataloging in the school library

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  • Welcome to the Art of Cataloging. Over the next few weeks you will learn some of the basics of cataloging library materials.
  • The purpose of the cataloging section of this course is to give you the minimal amount of information you will need to deal with cataloging processes in your school media center. There is a lot of theoretical and technical details involved in cataloging; enough that it could take up an entire course. However, the typical school librarian does not have much need for that level of knowledge. The majority of the time you will purchase cataloging records when you place your materials orders. There will be rare times when you do need to do some cataloging. When you do, the knowledge you gain over the next few weeks will help guide your actions.
  • So far in this course you have considered many issues related to collection development including materials selection, evaluation of collections, weeding, the needs of the users, and self-censorship. However collecting materials will not do your users any good if they are not put into some kind of order so they can be used. In library land we call this type of organization cataloging . The organization of information is paramount to access. And access to information is a major goal for school libraries.
  • Therefore the goal of cataloging is to organize information so that it is accessible for anyone who needs it . The first step in that organization is to examine each information package in order to provide a unique description which then enables that item to be accessed when it is needed.
  • For our purposes we can talk about two kinds of cataloging--original and copy cataloging. However as I already stated the best way to get cataloging records is to purchase them from a reliable source.
  • Very rarely would the school librarian need to catalog an item from scratch. Exceptions would be if some locally produced materials were added to the collection. Examples could include local histories, local cookbooks, or school yearbooks that would probably not exist in any other collection. However, even in this situation you would probably use a similar catalog record in your school catalog or a union catalog as a guide.
  • If you add materials to your collection for which you have not purchased catalog records, you can create those records by adapting pre-existing catalog records from other library catalogs. This is the time when you will put your cataloging knowledge to use so that you can accurately edit existing records to match the particular you are adding to your collection. Once before union catalogs it was less important to have catalog records that were as accurate or standardized as they could be. However, now that many libraries share catalog records it is good practice to adhere more strictly to cataloging best practices.
  • A catalog record is also called a surrogate record or a bibliographic record. Not too many years ago the information was typed on a 3x5 catalog card and kept in a card catalog. Today most libraries in the United States, have this information in an online database. The catalog record supplies the physical and intellectual description of the item and its location within the collection.
  • There are the elements which are found in most catalog records.
  • This is the record for our textbook from the Georgia Pines Union Catalog, which contains catalog records for many public libraries in Georgia. Georgia Pines is available online at Note that this record has all the information that we expect to find. Perhaps most important to the patron is the copy information which tells the call number for the book and in this case which library owns it. See also that you can click on the MARC Record tab to access the MARC record for this book. Georgia Pines is a good source for copy cataloging because it is free and because it may have in its catalog materials that are unique to Georgia.
  • I titled this presentation The Art of Cataloging rather than the Science of Cataloging because there are many decisions that the person doing the cataloging must make that go beyond the cataloging rules. As a school librarian it will be up to you to base decisions about cataloging on your existing collection and also on the needs of the students and staff in your school. Let me give you one illustration from my experience as an elementary school librarian. Whenever I purchased folk and fairy tales, which were typically in the format of a picture book, I had to decide whether I would catalog (technically classify) those books as “Everybody” books, or as non-fiction books which would go into the 398.2 section. I knew that the kindergarten students were typically limited to selecting books from the Everybody section of the library. If I put the books in the non-fiction section the kindergarteners would not be able to check them out. However, I also knew that the 3 rd grade studied folktales every year and that if I wanted a large variety of books to be available to them, that the non-fiction section was probably the best place for them. I based this on my experience with the rough treatment which Everybody books with high circulation received. It was a dilemma--I wanted the kindergarteners to be able to read “The Three Bears” and similar titles, but I also wanted to have books intact and accessible for the teachers who would teach the 3 rd grade fairy tale unit and counted on being able to check out those titles. Now, I know this is not an earth-shattering decision, or one to lose sleep over. It is simply an example of how the school librarian must take many factors into consideration when cataloging an item. Sometimes, it is an art.
  • There are several parts to cataloging; the first two are done before the last which is actually getting the item read for use by the library patrons. Descriptive cataloging involves describing the physical attributes of the item or information package. These include (but are not limited to): Title, Author, Publication Information, Size, Pagination, Illustrations, Copyright date, and Format (CD, DVD, etc) This is the part of cataloging that requires a lot of knowledge about the standard rules of cataloging. Rules which you may find to be silly and picky if you were doing original cataloging. Although you need to have knowledge of the most basic of them for the most part you only need to be aware that these rules exist and are there for good reasons! The other big element of cataloging is typically called subject analysis and classification. It is the process of providing intellectual access to the item by determining what the information the item provides--in other words, its subject or content. Once that analysis is done the cataloger determines which subject headings to assign the item and then what classification number it needs. In school libraries we have a choice of two guides for obtaining subject headings—either Sears Subject Headings or Library of Congress Subject Headings. As far as classification school libraries typically elect to use the Dewey Decimal System of Classification or the Abridged Dewey.
  • These guides provide the basis for cataloging. Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules - AACR2R Abridged Dewey Decimal System of Classification – a set of rules for the standard description of and access to all materials which a library holds Sears List of Subject Headings and the Library of Congress Subject Headings. A note about these items: Most of these items either in book form or online are more costly than the typical school library could afford. Of them only the LC Subject Headings are free. Most librarians manage to do any cataloging without them by using secondary sources.
  • The AACR2 rules are in the process of being replaced by RDA or Resource Description and Access which were developed in response to the needs of emerging forms of text and information packages such as digital images, web sites.
  • The ISBD works hand in hand with AACR2R to determine a standardized format and punctuation for catalog records. The necessity of standardization in this case is so libraries around the world can share catalog records.
  • Here is an example of some of the punctuation that ISBD guidelines dictate. Note that even white space before and after punctuation is important. Before the advent of computers, when catalogers actually handwrote and then typed 3x5 catalog cards, it was much more necessary to have a good grasp of the punctuation rules than it is now. Most programs will automatically insert the punctuation for you. However knowing the meaning of some of the punctuation is important.
  • MARC or Machine Readable Cataloging was developed by the Library of Congress as a way to get information from the item into a computer database. It is important that you know that it is a format, not a cataloging standard. It is erroneous to say MARC cataloging (although we have probably all been guilty of doing so  ). There are many resources online for learning about MARC. Understanding MARC Bibliographic at is an excellent guide. Follett also provides some excellent helpers ( I am partial to the Tag of the Month. As far as I know all the ILS or library automations systems rely on MARC’s format for cataloging. We will be using MARC Magician Pro on a trial basis to practice cataloging in this class.
  • MARC records initially appear very intimidating. However, when you look closer you will find much information that looks familiar. Let’s look at the MARC record for our text book.
  • Here is the surrogate record for our textbook. Some of the information is easy to understand while other information is not. The information that is easy to understand is referred to as “eye-readable”. See the lines from 100 to 856? Most of that information is eye-readable. You can identify the author, the title, the publication information, the pages, etc. Some of the other lines such as 001 through 082 are more obscure and as not as understood without some knowledge of cataloging using MARC. You will have the opportunity to learn more about MARC in the weeks to come.
  • To wrap up this introduction to cataloging, I want to say that although cataloging has its place in the job of a school librarian it is definitely not the most important thing you will do. It is important only as a means of providing students and staff access to information. There are many ways to provide that cataloging. The majority of the time you will purchase the records. They are really economical compared to the cost of spending your precious time doing even copy cataloging. When you can’t buy cataloging, you are best served by doing copy cataloging using a mixture of resources including Cataloging in Publication, your own catalog, or online sources. If you are fortunate enough to have a media clerk, school library intern, or library volunteers, you can train them to do much of this cataloging. Finally, you should know that you can copy catalog records without fear since catalog records are not copyright protected.
  • Now please indulge me as I stand up on my soapbox…
  • In the olden days (when I started working in libraries) catalog records were typed on 3x5 cards and filed alphabetically in drawers in a card catalog. When libraries switched over to computers, many of the catalog records still looked like traditional catalog cards. Some people (librarians included) even referred to the computer catalog as the card catalog or the computer card catalog. However, times have changed.
  • Now that we are in the 21 st century, few students will remember or know what a card catalog is. Library automation systems have grown beyond the need to have the information in the OPAC appear in the form of a card. Thank goodness! I suggest that we refer to the computer catalog as an OPAC , library catalog, library database or online catalog and refrain from including the word “card” in the name.
  • Okay, down off my soapbox. Thank you.
  • Frit7134 art of_cataloging-intro

    1. 1. The Art of Cataloging FRIT 7134 Georgia Southern SAJones
    2. 2. Our focus <ul><li>Survival cataloging--the least you need to know! </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding of the basic principles as they relate to organization of information in a library and providing access to that information </li></ul><ul><li>Downloading records from other sources and making modifications for our libraries </li></ul>
    3. 3. Important Principle: Good cataloging increases the worth of a collection. <ul><li>It may be there - but you can’t find it without good cataloging. </li></ul><ul><li>You cannot remember everything in your collection. Good cataloging substitutes for memory. </li></ul>
    4. 4. What is Cataloging? <ul><ul><li>The process of creating entries for a catalog. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science, ODLIS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cataloging involves examining materials and determining what pieces of information are important to uniquely identify the item. The goal is to create a bibliographic record (catalog record) for the item that can be searched so that the item can be located” (Karpuk, 2008, p. 1). </li></ul></ul>April 3, 2011 What is cataloging?
    5. 5. Two kinds of cataloging -- <ul><li>Original cataloging </li></ul><ul><li>Copy cataloging </li></ul>April 3, 2011 What is cataloging? A better alternative: purchase cataloging from a reliable source
    6. 6. What is original cataloging? <ul><ul><li>Preparation of a bibliographic record from scratch, without the aid of a pre-existing catalog record for the same edition, more time-consuming for the cataloger than copy cataloging. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e.: Do-it-yourself cataloging! </li></ul></ul>April 3, 2011 What is cataloging?
    7. 7. What is copy cataloging? <ul><ul><li>Adaptation of a pre-existing bibliographic record (usually found in OCLC , RLIN , NUC , or some other bibliographic database ) to fit the characteristics of the item in hand, with modifications to correct obvious errors and minor adjustments to reflect locally accepted cataloging practice, as distinct from original cataloging (creating a completely new record from scratch). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. Copy from others cataloging! </li></ul></ul>April 3, 2011 What is cataloging?
    8. 8. Bibliographic record <ul><li>The place where information about each item is written down either on a physical card or, more commonly, in the online database. </li></ul><ul><li>Also known as a </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Surrogate record </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catalog record </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Typical Catalog records include: <ul><li>Call no. </li></ul><ul><li>Author </li></ul><ul><li>Title </li></ul><ul><li>Place of publication </li></ul><ul><li>Publisher </li></ul><ul><li>Date of publication </li></ul><ul><li>Physical description (no. of pages/items) </li></ul><ul><li>Format </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Optional, but very useful: summary </li></ul>
    10. 10. Catalog record
    11. 11. To begin cataloging, one must look at three things: <ul><li>The item (information package) </li></ul><ul><li>The collection into which the item will be placed </li></ul><ul><li>The needs of those using the collection </li></ul>
    12. 12. Elements of cataloging <ul><ul><li>Descriptive cataloging (Bibliographic description): lists all the elements which are required to describe and identify all types of material which are likely to appear in library collections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subject analysis (intellectual access): a) Examination of a bibliographic item to determine the most specific subject heading(s) or descriptor(s) that fully describe its content, to serve in the bibliographic record as access points in a subject search of a library catalog, AND b) assignment of classification notation (which is essentially what classification is) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>activities involved in physically preparing the item for the shelf (processing) </li></ul></ul>April 3, 2011 What is cataloging?
    13. 13. Some Tools for Cataloging <ul><li>Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules - AACR2R (for bibliographic description) </li></ul><ul><li>Sears List of Subject Headings or Library of Congress Subject Headings (for subject analysis) </li></ul><ul><li>Abridged Dewey Decimal System of Classification – a set of rules for the standard description of and access to all materials which a library holds (for classification) </li></ul>
    14. 14. AACR2--Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2 nd ed. <ul><li>A detailed set of standardized cataloging rules </li></ul><ul><li>for creating the bibliographic description of the physical item </li></ul><ul><li>for governing the choice of correct access points for a main entry </li></ul>
    15. 15. Wait, there’s more! <ul><li>International Standard Bibliographic Description </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ . . . assigns an order to the elements of description, and specifies a system of punctuation for the description.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ISBD(G): General International Standard Bibliographic Description 1992 </li></ul></ul></ul>April 3, 2011 What is cataloging?
    16. 16. ISBD in an online catalog / shows statement of responsibility, i.e. author, follows General Material Designation Spaces before and after punctuation to separate sections
    17. 17. MARC--Machine Readable Cataloging <ul><li>Standardized way of entering bibliographic information </li></ul><ul><li>Standard across all automation systems </li></ul><ul><li>Record that can be read by computer </li></ul><ul><li>Can be shared between libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Pretty much universally compatible in English-speaking world </li></ul><ul><li>Not a cataloging system! </li></ul>
    18. 18. Usefulness of knowing MARC <ul><li>MARC can categorize any kind of material – not just books </li></ul><ul><li>Wasman: “If you are cataloging within an automated system, you need to know MARC.” </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing how to interpret and alter MARC records is where the knowledge will really help </li></ul>
    19. 19. MARC catalog record
    20. 20. “ Cheat” without fear <ul><li>Buy as much processing as you can (95%) </li></ul><ul><li>Copy patterns from your own catalog (2%) </li></ul><ul><li>Cataloging in Publication -- CIP (2%) </li></ul><ul><li>Use online resources to find Dewey numbers & records, like vendor catalogs, other library catalogs – no copyright on this information </li></ul><ul><li>Use products like Mitinet </li></ul>
    21. 21. One more thing…
    22. 22. What is a card catalog? <ul><ul><li>A list of the holdings of a library, printed, typed, or handwritten on catalog cards, each representing a single bibliographic item in the collection. Catalog cards are normally filed in a single alphabetical sequence (dictionary catalog), or in separate sections by author, title, and subject (divided catalog), in the long narrow drawers of a specially designed filing cabinet, usually constructed of wood. Most large- and medium-sized libraries in the United States have converted their card catalogs to machine-readable format. Compare with online catalog. </li></ul></ul>April 3, 2011 What is cataloging?
    23. 23. Online catalog? <ul><ul><li>A library catalog consisting of a collection of bibliographic records in machine-readable format, maintained on a dedicated computer that provides uninterrupted interactive access via terminals or workstations in direct, continuous communication with the central computer. Although the software used in online catalogs is proprietary and not standardized, most online catalogs are searchable by author, title, subject heading, and keywords, and most public and academic libraries in the United States provide free public access, usually through a Web-based graphical user interface. Synonymous with OPAC. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OPAC= online public access catalog </li></ul></ul>April 3, 2011 What is cataloging?
    24. 24. Why make this distinction? <ul><li>There are those who call an online catalog the “online card catalog” or something similar. </li></ul><ul><li>There are no cards on the computer, so that calling the online computer the “card” catalog is a misnomer </li></ul><ul><li>“ Card” refers only to the medium the catalog appears on </li></ul>April 3, 2011 What is cataloging?
    25. 25. REFERENCES <ul><li>Kaplan, A. & Riedling. (2006). Catalog it!: A guide to cataloging school library materials . Linworth. </li></ul><ul><li>Karpuk, D.J. (2008). Kidzcat: A how-to-do-it manual for cataloging children's materials and instructional resources . Neal Schuman. </li></ul><ul><li>Koren, J. (2007). What is cataloging: The big picture. </li></ul><ul><li>Reitz, J. M. (2004-2007). Online dictionary for library and information science. Retrieved May 29, 2009 from http:// </li></ul><ul><li>Wasman, A. (1998). New steps to service . American Library Association. </li></ul>