Searching Workshop

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A quick and dirty introduction to the behind the scenes of library searching for library staff.

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  • When you see a library record, it looks like this…
  • When a cataloger looks at a library record, it looks like this…
  • The terms in those subject fields all come from these books (well, actually, from a web version of these books).
  • Searching Workshop

    1. 1. A Crash Course in LibrarySearching
    2. 2. There are two main things to remember • Cataloging is very exacting • Computers are very dumb
    3. 3. MARC
    4. 4. a few MARC fields of note• 1XX Author• 130 Uniform Title• 245 Title• 490 Series Statement• 505 Formatted Contents Note• 650 Subject—Topical• 655 Genre
    5. 5. some LCSH are nuts• Abnormalities, Human instead of Birth defects• Cestoda rather than Tapeworms• Intervertebral disk displacement for Slipped disc• Canada. Treaties, etc. 1992. Oct. 7 instead of NAFTA or North American Free Trade Agreement
    6. 6. But once you know how they work…• Start with a keyword search till you find something likely, then steal the subject heading
    7. 7. Practice
    8. 8. Some Other Tricks• Sort by publication date to get the most recent book• Sort by GMD (aka format) to find what we have by an author in audio or large print• Restrict by item type to limit your search• Truncate with an asterisk * to find variations of a word
    9. 9. Further Reading• Understanding MARC (I recommend this only if you are really, really interested): http://www.loc.gov/marc/umb/• If you are interested in how strange LC subject headings are, you may enjoy reading about Sandy Berman: http://www.sanfordberman.org/cityp/ber1t.htm• Or one of his articles: http://www.sanfordberman.org/biblinks/progressive.pdf
    10. 10. Photo Credits• Women in library: http://secure.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryofnsw/5748745 311• MARC cake: http://secure.flickr.com/photos/sundaykofax/321063042• LCSH books: http://secure.flickr.com/photos/travelinlibrarian/45982061 41• Card catalog with man and woman: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryofnsw/588258 0951• Workroom with card catalog: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/nypl/3110117236

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