[library-media] Cataloging

Marney Zambrano MZambrano at tooelesd.org
Thu Dec 10 11:51:28 MST 2009

** Reply Requested When Convenient **

Here's my two cents' worth.  Because I am a classified employee who is nonetheless solely in charge of an elementary library, I freely admit that I fit in the "untrained" category when it comes to cataloging, especially compared to certified library teachers.  However, despite my having attended numerous training workshops over the past twelve years, thus improving my own grasp of basic procedures well above the level that most of my predecessors had, I am still "stuck" with many missing, inaccurate, incomplete and incorrectly created MARC records that they entered, in addition to my early efforts that were primarily based on their examples and misinformation.   Would you believe I was told that titles and authors were to be entered with ALL CAPS, and that local call numbers should contain the entire last name of each author??  In my ignorance, I continued using the call number E PB (easy paperback) and now can't do a global correction to EPB because the software doesn't recognize E *space* PB as a valid entry.  As a result, "PB" is the most popular author on my list of easy hardcover books!  Someday maybe I'll be able to go in and change each one manually...*SIGH*

Thanks to Follett collection analysis and Alliance Plus updates, the problem is not as overwhelming as it used to be, but I am certain that Larry is correct:  my current site catalog would surely help mess up a union system, if our district ever switched over.  Circumstances  being what they are, I lack the time, the expertise, and the wherewithal to bring every aspect of my library's catalog up to professional standards anytime soon.  That reality is both frustrating and the source of much guilt.  I'm also pretty sure that my situation is not unique.  Unfortunately, for people like me, cataloging remains the most difficult and time-consuming thing I do--and the most neglected!  One of the most daunting tasks I face is dealing with books from sources that do not include easily accessible MARC records, such as donated copies or most Scholastic paperbacks, of which we currently have several boxes waiting for me to get around to processing them.  How on earth does anybody ever get all those books entered into the system and shelf-ready in a timely manner?  Am I missing a shortcut?  Is there a magic fix known only to library science majors?  Where do I turn for help in finding solutions to predicaments like these?  If you guys out there in Library Land have any suggestions, I am ready to read and learn.  

Thanks for your time and consideration of these matters.  You are always so willing to offer suggestions and constructive criticism; I really enjoy the interaction and communication we librarians enjoy via ListServ.  

Marney Zambrano
Sterling R. Harris Elementary School
Tooele, UT
mzambrano at tooelesd.org 

>>> "Larry Jeppesen" <Larry.Jeppesen at ccsdut.org> 12/9/2009 1:41 PM >>>
I find that one of the most difficult things for everyone to understand in moving from a site based catalog to a union catalog is the fact that everything you do in a cataloging mode affects everyone else in the district.  That seems to be a difficult concept to catch hold of.
     Another issue that enters in to this equation is the level of training our people have.  I find that many of those entering the field today do not have the level of training some of us old timers had.  Anyone can look up the marc records, but knowing what to look for and what the tags mean is quite a different story.  I think it is important for those districts that cannot afford the district cataloger to do some special training to get everyone on the same page.  I am just very grateful that cataloging has progressed to the level it has.  It used to be the most difficult and time consuming thing I did.
     I also find that some companies do not have people on board who recognize the ramifications of accurate and complete marc records.  Most are dependable, but I always check the first few times I order from a company.
Larry Jeppesen
Cedar Ridge Middle School
My e-mail address has changed to larry.jeppesen at ccsdut.org.
Please update your contact information.

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