RDA and the library patron

RDA is here whether we want it or not.

As yet my library system has chosen not to implement RDA.  However, seemingly we will not be able to hold out forever…

To all those libraries who are using RDA – I have some questions.  The most important of which is this:

“Does RDA cataloguing benefit the patron?  In what way?”

We must remember that the whole reason for cataloging in the first place is to enhance access for our end users.   We do this by being consistent and thinking of the patron’s needs and wants.

Our library has an excellent catalogue with an AquaBrowser overlay.  In my opinion it offers patrons an easy-to-use, comprehensive catalogue with optimized use of icons and graphics. How can RDA improve this?  Will it really….?

How does spelling out the word pages or sound benefit the end user?In this day of prevalent social media which uses abbreviations more than we ever have in the past, why are we stopping the use of abbreviations in our catalogues?

Are libraries jumping on the RDA bandwagon like lemmings? Why?  Has the worldwide library community invested so much time and money in the implementation of RDA that they now feel obliged to keep it for those reasons only?

RDA provides instructions and guidelines for formulating data for resource description and discovery.  I would argue that we describe our resources very well without RDA and that the patrons can discover/access it easily and efficiently.  Hence the name of our catalogue “Discover“.

How does it benefit the end user to change an author authority record from:

Sandford, John, 1944 Feb. 23-          to

Sandford, John, 1944 February 23-

Really…  what patron would care if this change were made?  Does this authority change enhance access?  Isn’t access the reason we catalogue in the first place?

If it ain’t broke…. don’t fix it.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog posting are my own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of my employer.



Cataloging Service Bulletins: do you miss them?

ImageI mourn the discontinuation of the Cataloging Service Bulletins.  I found them to be a vital resource for keeping up-to-date on new and changed subject headings and name authorities.  The Library of Congress site states that they are a discontinued publication. All back issues are available (in html) for free, but we need NEW issues.

Do you miss them as much as I do???

Technology included

ImageFor some years now we have been seeing CD-ROMs and DVDs included with some books.

Today broke new ground for me.  Our department catalogued a title with a USB Flash Drive included!  

Name authority problem noted

I have just finished cataloging the new Clive Cussler novel “Storm” which is co-authored by Graham Brown.
The dust jacket reads: Graham Brown is the author of Black Rain and Black Sun, and is a pilot and an attorney, he lives in Arizona."Storm" by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
The authority for Graham Brown, 1969-   no2010062412  states
670 — |aHis Black rain, 2010:|bt.p. (Graham Brown) cover p. 3 (b. in Chicago, Ill. ; is a pilot and attorney ; lives in Tucson, Ariz.)
Obviously the correct choice.
under the authority for Graham Brown  (with no date), n 81067181 which was amended in March of this year you can find the following:
670 — |aStorm, 2012:|bECIP t.p. (Graham Brown, co-author with Clive Cussler)

I have notified LC of the error and hope they will amend the affected authorities sooner rather than later…

Originality in titles

Before I began working for a library, I was under the misconception that titles had to be original.  Wow! What a wake-up call!  There are myriad duplicated titles by a myriad of authors.

"Betrayal" by Danielle SteelCase in point.  Today, while cataloging Danielle Steel’s latest offering “Betrayal” I realized that the single word ‘Betrayal’ is a favorite title for novels.  We have in our database 24 novels with that title by 24 separate authors! These authors include: Danielle Steel, William Deverell, Robin Wasserman, Fern Michaels, Karin Alvtegen, John Lescroart, Sabin Willett, Lee Nichols, Jerry B. Jenkins, Allie Scott, Christina Dodd, Beverly Lewis, Fiona McIntosh, Aaron Allston, Grace Cavendish, Douglas Bond, Helen Dunmore, Gillian Shields, Ann Jungman, Patricia Finney, Lois Tilton, Scott Wallens, Raymond E. Feist, and last but not least, Gwen Hunter.

That of course is not taking into account the countless novels beginning with the word Betrayal.   Does that not prove that we fiction readers are a jaded lot who want to read about this unpleasant subject?

Seems to me – if I was an author, I would want to try for a title that was just a tad more original…..Just saying….

010 LCCN input practices

Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of libraries no longer input 2 spaces before the LCCN in the 010 tag.

It was always my understanding that the input convention was to enter two spaces before the Library of Congress Control number.  Has this rule changed?  If so please let me know…


History of Information Organization

From Mindjet — an info-graphic on the “History of Information Organization.” It traces the progression from the original lunar calendar to the first library card catalog to Google:    http://blog.mindjet.com/2012/03/from-cartography-to-card-catalogs-the-history-of-information-organization-infographic

History of Information Organization