Cataloging: If We Call It “Describing & Arranging” Does It Make More Sense To All of US?

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  • Cataloging:If We Call It Describing & Arranging Does It Make More Sense To All of US?

  • Montana State Library:Fall Workshops 2010Presented by

    Dr. Mary C. Bushing, Ed.D.Library Consultant & Educator2121 S. Tracy AvenueBozeman, MT 59715(406)

  • Goals for today:Let library history put things in contextUnderstand the big pictureUnderstand the influence of networksGet a sense of the changes influencing how & why we catalog Really get it that cataloging is about retrieval not the library police or rulesRemember that best practices changeEnjoy ourselves while learning!

  • Good news! Those in the know say:Emphasis of TS will change from acquisition of content to users discovery of content (good cataloging!)There is growing need for all content to have some online manifestation.TS staff will spend more time on creation, care & distribution of locally created content. Emphasis in this stage is finding the right stuffnot being a detail fanatic for its own sake.

  • Elements to consider: Personal abilities for those involved in cataloging work Networking people & technology Classification Dewey or LC or other Descriptive cataloging AACR2 & RDA Access points authority lists/subjects, addedentries, metadata, Dublin Core Original records / copy cataloging Changes on the horizon Costs of what we do & how we do it

  • Personnel for cataloging Common sense & decision-makerAttention to detail with well-organized mindBroad knowledge of scope of disciplinesAbility to see the forest as well as the treesTechnological skill & lack of fear of machinesAbility to play devils advocate, see options, understand how to consider likely futuresA real expert on how people look for thingsThe ability to play well with othersSense of humor

  • Networking. . . electronic & humanStandards / ConformityRules / GuidelinesAuthority & standardsRequires many decisionsNo library is an islandCost savings / efficienciesHeadachesBenefits & disadvantagesConstant compromise Cost-effectiveness issues

  • The role of technology Bibliographic record formats & metadata Standards MARC to MARC 21 Constant change, upgrades Local platform Ability to seamlessly interface Equipment: currency, maintenance, & expertise

  • Two parts of cataloging:ClassificationTo enable us to find things - accessTo put like things together - browsingTo provide another means for analysis statistics/evaluationIts about location!CatalogingTo accurately describe things inventory/assetsTo share records of things - resource sharing or ILL To identify & value resources - management

  • Classification: What is it?Classification = systematic arrangement in groups or categories according to established criteria Other words for it: Sorting Organizing Arranging Identifying Classing Filing

  • Why do we classify things?To easily RETRIEVE them & to create order

    Make a list of things you classify, sort, or file in your life to enable you to find them.

  • Dewey Decimal Classification(its a set of library codes!) Hierarchy loosely based on tensBroad subject or discipline firstNarrower subjects or subclassesNot random (at times one wonders!)Flexible things added & movedThrough time Across culturesLength of number use of primes Libraries add . . .Collection identifiers or format at headShelf marks or cutters following

  • Other ways of organizing?Collections fiction, reference, etc.Age / reading level / interestSizeFormatBroad subjectsProvenanceBindingColorWhat impact do these have on users?

  • Other classification schemes:UDC Universal Decimal ClassificationNLM National Library of MedicineAccession #: 2010:0612Accession & size: 2010:0612:71:4:3:14Book industry general subjects XXXOthers?

  • Shelf marks or Cutter tables . . .Charles S. Cutter & Margaret SanbornUsed with Dewey to arrange materials on shelfUsed as part of LC classificationCan also add dates for editions or publicationAlpha numeric codesMany options

  • Spine label Cutter examples:PS3545E6P61954QA151D472006


    BC185D45M471990641.5945LUONDO2000917.9404GILDART2005The point is: practice has changed over time. Its our job to make it possible for users to find what they want without having to know a lot of insider information or special codes! LPWilderB165

  • Descriptive catalogingPhilosophies have changed, world has changedFormat used to take precedence AACR, 1967, AACR2, 1978; 1988; 1998; 2002-2004, & RDA 2010 Defined levels of catalog recordsGreatly influenced by networks, technology & electronic resources of all types

  • AACR2 but should be AACG2 Organization of rulesChapter 1: areas or elements for description #1 Title & responsibility#2 Edition (if other than 1st) #3 Material type details #4 Imprint (publication, distribution, date, place, etc.) #5 Physical description #6 Series (if any) #7 Notes (if any) #8 Standard # & availability

  • Organization of rules . . .Chapters 2-12: Material types #2 Books (pamphlets, etc.) #3 Cartographic materials#4 Manuscripts#5 Music#6 Sound recordings#7 Motion pictures#8 Graphic materials#9 Electronic resources#10 Three-dimensional artifacts#11 Microforms#12 Serials

  • Organization of rules . . .Second part addresses retrieval rather than description Points for retrieval, or headings are dependent on description (added entries)Typical ones after main are usually author, but might have added title, added author, translator, illustrator, etc.

  • Access points . . .Based on description, decide access points to aid user in retrieval. RDA is about retrieval unlike AACR2 which was about rules.Typical access points:TitleSubjects Alternate title Series titleIllustrator / Translator What else might matter to a user?

  • Subject headings / authoritiesSears Minnie Earl Sears 1923One volume, 872 pages16,000+ (400+ new)Broader, less technical19th edition, 2007Gives Dewey numberPeriodic new editionsElectronic & printWell controlled Abridged follows 14th ed. Designed for manyLibrary of Congress5 volumes, 5,000+ pages185,000+ topical60,000+ name500,000+ cross refLots of special rulesAnnual print editions Now electronicSeldom gives LC #Lots of inconsistenciesDesigned for one library

  • Cataloging levels a fairly recent AACR2 ideaLevel 1Sufficient for small libraryNot full records but correctCore record conceptWithout this option, the backlog was killing many research endeavors & networks

    Enhanced Level 1 is often used

  • Level 2 . . .More rules applied & more detailsChosen by medium & large librariesAcceptable level for bibliographic utilities (OCLC and their regional offices

  • Level 3. . . Fullest with every bit of info includedSeldom done, not even LC does itCostly & often expensive waste of time & moneyNo mention of applying common sense!

  • Being correct is essential, but exhaustive is optional . . .Level 1 is adequateLevel 2 is more completeLevel 3 is overkill in most situationsRDA: core elements concept that leaves more room for good judgment

  • What & why is MARC?Machine Readable CatalogePurpose:Provides a way for a computer to interpret dataServes as international standard for catalogingAllows one to identify elements without knowing languageAllows libraries to have automated catalogsAllows bibliographic records to be manipulated, shared & transferred from system to systemBiggest problem: it is based on old technology & old answers to old questions & possibilities!

  • Good reasons for MARC:Networking would be impossible without itDefines structure for electronic format of bibliographic records across languages, cultures & software platformsEnables libraries to provide all of the needed information about an item or file but not all fields and tags need be usedAppears difficult but gets easy with useMARC 21 (21st Century) to provide some updates & changes while keeping all previous records intact & viable

  • But lots has changed!Copy cataloging the result of networksOut-sourcing result of labor costsImportance of consistency not local practiceKey word searching!Federated search capabilities: a Google worldUsers expectationsValues changed: emphasis on customer service rather than exact detailsAACR2 augmented by RDA (about access) & MARC 21 is now encoding standard/format

  • Furthermore . . . Original cataloging is seldom neededNow we do copy catalogingWe match item in hand with record on screenWe download the record, edit if justified, attach an item (barcode)Add our holdings to OCLC if appropriateMove to next thing to catalog!!When de-accessioning, we reverse this process by finding the record & removing our holdings

  • But cataloging as we know it is:Too expensive to sustain Separate from Web environment Still descriptive data but not content Too complex for even us! Running on 50 year old technological assumptions/thinking Are not state of the art now or compatible with the futureScary!!

  • Changes as we speak!RDA: Resource Description and AccessNew unified standard (see RDA Toolkit)Developed over long period by catalogers!Supposedly designed for digital world & all formats but really just rehash of AACR2Cross references to AACR2 rulesALA, CLA, LC, British Library & Australian NLIs really just a transition rather than a revolutionCertain attributes/elements are coreMany leaders (not catalogers) believe it is too little too late & too concerned with backward compatibility rather than forward progress

  • The needed revolution No longer appropriate to bury key info in data stringsNeed to be fully Web integratedNow systems can manage data differentlyProducers now have own ONYX formatRights informationSimplification of data elementsPractical approach to data & arrangementLess costly, easier to handle, produce, useFuture needs to be determined by best informed about big issues top down process

  • Lets consider the costs of catalogingList the factors that contribute to the costs of cataloging. How might those costs be reduced?What is the trade-off for implementing reduced costs for cataloging?Is it worth it? For whom?Consider your library specifically . . . Thoughts?

  • Things to learn more about:Meaningful statistics what can our systems do if we enter the right info? Users behavior & options how do users use the ILS or Web these days? Next leaps forward?Forces influencing what we do & how we do it

  • Before we go . . . List 2 things you learned todayList at least 2 things that surprised youIdentify one good way you can use your new knowledge.Smile: remember to use your sense of humor. This is not nuclear physicsjust description & organization of stuff!