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Special Interest Group Archive: Cataloging 4/28/2016

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

Notes from the Meeting

Talking about collaboration - what kinds of collaboration is everyone doing right now. 

MG – started the pop-up library with a curated selection of books. It was really successful during the spring carnival this past week, and was a library-wide collaboration.

DD – Within starting 8 months ago, he has been working on the backlog – 20,000 titles in six months got done, and now they’re on to the originals.

DG – after a re-structure, she had students helping with processing, but they weren’t always available to work all the hours needed. The night supervisor was able to take over some of the work since her job was changing, and could do it from the desk. That led to a book repair collaboration with access services.

NA – Like RCLS, they also don’t have the books on site, they have to request the books to get them cataloged. It’s not always easy to get things done with all the individual libraries in the systems, especially those with part-time volunteers. She did a series of trainings by visiting libraries, but it is still hard to find a time to work with all the rotating volunteers.

DD – as a new person, he is inventing new work flows because his predecessor was on the job for 25 years. He is building good will in the meantime. 

Other discussion...

MG – Current challenge at the library: How to link all the collections in the local history collection? They are a managed site, so they would have to go outside to change the call numbers. What is the best practice? DG – they could do a 690 local subject heading, that can be anything you want. Establish your own heading, and as long as you keep it consistent, it will be useful.

MG – Discovery products are now linked to LibGuides through an API, and they are now coming up along with databases when you search.

JG – They are still working on getting their EBSCO up and running and optimizing the service.

MG – EBSCO can run the API for you. They collaborate with all the SUNYs, so if other organizations have done good database metadata, they can take advantage, even if they’re not in discovery.

(Everyone is collaborating on different levels with IT and systems)

NA – More automation would help with collaboration, the good and bad result of working without IT support is that she finds out a lot of things on her own. Innovative user’s group has been helpful.

DD – It helps when you are collaborating with other people who are librarians.

DG – Has a standing monthly meeting with IT to ensure good communication. Good relationships lead to trust, and it doesn’t hurt to remind them to keep telling the campus about the work they’re doing.

DG – sometimes you have to re-think your workflow after staff cuts or reorganization.

DD – started with a major change on his first day – an statement that catalogers should stop deleting any unused fields.

DG – How do you overcome pushback to new ideas?

MG – Trying to get people to break out of doing work that is too detail-oriented.

(no one had a technical procedures manual when they came in, that could be a good place to include the “why,” to help with the pushback.)


DG – got database removal into circulation’s workflow. They scan the book into a list.

MG – wants to re-think the way they do weeding and creates lists at the end of the year. The books need to be offered to various places and they sit and wait for people to take the offers.

JG – everyone is new within the last two years, so they have been able to re-arrange everything. They haven’t made a manual yet, because she is the only tech services person. They have had IT turnover, after establishing communication flows in the past. Mixed results from collaborating with faculty.

DG – The first year experience program helped with faculty communication, because they had to establish information literacy with the class.

JG – ebooks are different item types according to their vendor, and it is confusing to students. Can it just be undone and make them just general? Sometimes they sort by vendor, but that's not useful to users searching for materials. Idea: Go to a vendor field and put the item tags in that field. The students wouldn’t see it, the links would still work. Credo does let you do that kind of thing en masse.

Do you connect your day-to-day with the strategic plan of the college or library?

It’s all about retention, self-evaluations are tied into the strategic plan.

DG – problems like how do we assess things like cataloging? If you're doing your job well, then that probably means no one is aware of what you're doing. 

DD – The perpetual problem for them is: how can we make the material easier to locate?

JG – what about when you’re the only person on staff who knows about cataloging? Sometimes it can be a little job security, and you can get an opportunity to explain things, like why only one author can be in a 100 field, and the others are in the 700 – because there are rules of cataloging.

NA – Gets asked a lot about why the author in the 100 field is different than the name on the book (because of authority fields and statements of responsibility)

DD – How to deal with foreign language materials. They might need to find a translator, perhaps find a person from a friends group who speaks the language. 

April 29, 2016 Notes

SENYLRC member catalogers convened on Friday, April 29 to talk about their shared interests and challenges. These are some of the ideas exchanged and best practices we learned about through our discussions together. If you have any questions or recommendations for edits here, please contact Carolyn Bennett Glauda.


In Attendance

  • Denise Garofalo Mount Saint Mary College
  • Judy Gitlin Dominican College
  • Nina Acosta Mid-Hudson Library System Staff Only
  • Dan Donohue RCLS​
  • Marla Gruner SUNY - Ulster Community College
  • Carolyn Bennett Glauda Southeastern NY Library Resources Council


It's no PICNIC to be that person!


Ideas for Internships

What kind of work can they do in the library?

Can they help with cataloging back-log?

Next Meeting!


We will meet on Tuesday, July 26, from 1pm - 4pm

Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065