Challenges & new projects
MG: Any tools for original cataloging? There are no records in OCLC, and they are all in English. The challenge is where to start. There are some similar objects in the collection, there’s a person who does copy cataloging.
EM: LOC has the cataloger’s desktop, it’s $500 for a user.
YL: Start grouping them with similar objects in the library.
TS: They do original cataloging by starting to look at other records. Use the subject headings and categories as templates.
AS: Find a library student to tackle the problem of finding the books that haven’t been cataloged.
YL: Vendors might be able to catalog things for you.
MG: SUNY Binghamton does some cataloging for SUNYs.
EM: Following some employee turnover, there are many books that have not been cataloged. They are also dealing with a migration.
LM: Local history is always tough, and music CD’s with no information.
Mid-Hudson can take some of them and help out when there are mystery items. They have used the credits from mystery DVD’s to catalog them.
CW: When the artists have websites, those usually have much of the information that is missing from the CD’s.
What is the main entry for DVD’s? NA: usually we use the title rather than author for DVD’s.
JG: They had to shift from room to room, and moved almost all the print periodicals, towards the goal of getting rid of most of them within 5 years. They decided not to catalog electronic serials that are in databases, but they will catalog the ones that are part of a subscription. The question for the group – can anyone see pitfalls to this system?
NA: Their serials have a record for holdings and then the issues go on a second record. A lot of individual items go missing despite everyone’s best efforts.
MG: It’s hard to be okay with it, but it helps to let go of perfection in serials, since they get messy no matter what your best efforts are.
AS: Our faculty will not let us get rid of print.
TS: ILL adds another layer of complexity, because when holdings records are inaccurate, you get requests for things you don’t have.
LM: When is it a good time to delete things? So many items disappear.
AS: They have missing for a year as a label
MG: Has a workflow – missing for one month, and when it has been looked for 3 times, they get marked as missing for good and the record gets suppressed. She has a student go look for the items that are marked as missing, and most get found.
NA: You could run a report for things that don’t even have a date and see if they are still on the shelf.
Anything you do that you wish wasn’t your responsibility or things that you wish you were doing?
MG: Back to serials – but it needs to be done. She does a lot in access services and invoicing. She deals with problems in records, and would like to do more with electronic resources and original cataloging.
YL: The system is a tool, you can use it by creating search strings. You become creative because you never have enough time to do all your work. Using the tools to pull out information your missing will help you make your work flow more efficient. It’s a never ending job, and he works with metadata to keep the job current.
CW: Catalog with the patron in mind and thinking about how people will search for it. Findability is the most important of all.
Users are looking for linked data more than controlled vocabulary. Discovery opens up alternatives to old subject headings, but you need good data in to get good data out. People are now used to the Google model over the old card catalog model.
How do you organize your day?
Nothing is life threatening – so do you start with what you like? Or things that you can get done immediately?
AS: The team at Vassar meets to say what they want to accomplish, which helps with accountability.
LM: Travel guides are cataloged as serials, and that makes them hard to find because they don’t come up separately.
NA: If we had more category types available to us, we could parse them out.
SENYLRC member catalogers convened on Monday, November 7 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.
Arianna Schlegel, Vassar College
Courtney Wimmers, Mid-Hudson Library System
Elizabeth Miller, Culinary Institute of America
Judy Gitlin, Dominican College
Linda McAteer, Woodstock Public Library District
Marla Gruner, SUNY - Ulster Community College (convener)
Nina Acosta, Mid-Hudson Library System
Tara Stohr, Mid-Hudson Library System
Thomas O'Connell, Mid-Hudson Library System
Yu-Hung Lin, St. Thomas Aquinas College
The next meeting is TBA: either a Monday or Friday in February 2017. We are looking into if CIA or SUNY Ulster can host.