Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week Two - Cataloging and Special Collections

Week Two. Today’s cataloging procedure is much like the cataloging that I exprienced in the past. I will explain the difference. Ten years ago at BRTC, we subscribed to Bibliotheque’s cataloging CDs that held academic MARC records. I loaded the appropriate record from the CD, made local library changes such as holdings notations, then loaded the new record to the OPAC. During this short ten-year time period, copy cataloging has advanced to subscribing to Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) to copy MARC records. Original or revised records by subscribers or Library of Congress (LOC) MARC records may be accessed and copied. While the Tech’s do the original item searches, Cataloger Kathy, double checks the record for accuracy and notates any changes that need be made before actually submitting the item records to the Library’s card catalog, Voyager. Any question she may have about a record is addressed to Myron Flugstad, official Head of Cataloging and the Technology Department. Kathy gave me opportunity to copy catalog a book-truck of books from OCLC, which were then sent to the LTAs for processing. Next week, I am scheduled to work with the LTAs to process those items that includes spine labels, etc.

While under the instruction of Kathy, we were joined by the Special Collections Librarian Malissa, for a cataloging refresher. Special Collections has been donated approximately 2000 autographed books from a nearby bookstore; therefore Malissa will be cataloging and processing those items that are treated as “rare” – no labels or any other markings will be made on the special autograph copies so as not to decrease their value or significance to the special collection. Visiting with Malissa about Special Collections and Archives was informative as she named the different donors and their collections at the Dean B. Ellis Library. I should have made notes about the content of Special Collections, but thought that information would be available on the Library website. Special Collections does have pages notating its staff and Usage Policy and Privileges <>; however, I was unable to locate names of donors or collection descriptions. Possibly, the special collections are too valuable to advertise, but I would think publicizing such donations and valued works would be excellent publicity as well as another means for accessing item locations. I look forward to visiting Special Collections on the 7th floor soon. It will be interesting and informative.

While the Cataloging Department is housed in the basement and does process the biggest percentage of the Library items, it is important to note that other departments and department heads may also be involved in cataloging and processing. The Special Collections department, in this case, requires special processing and handling of the physical items. Additionally, Special Collections requested an additional Voyager “holdings” code for the new collection and other default software adjustments (System Department) for cataloging in Special Collections. Cataloging and processing is not necessarily a strict departmental “job” and may involve many other departments. This is one reason that I chose to intern in the Technology Department, because every librarian benefits from cataloging knowledge and experience.