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Special Interest Group Archive: Cataloging 11/3/17

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

November 2, 2017 Meeting

The catalogers met on a Friday morning at the Culinary Institute to hear a presentation from Nina Acosta of Mid-Hudson Library System. The topic of the day was automating tasks, and the content of her presentation is in the video below. 

Tools for Automating Cataloging Tasks

Discussion Notes

What to do about books or items that have a special provenance, but the item itself is not special? 

  • creating a special collections would be a huge project
  • some books could be listed as "library use only." 
  • what do the donors want with their collection? 
  • photograph the marginalia to make a digital record.

Getting a new ILS at SUNY - ALMA

  • working to keep individual workflows while normalizing data across the system
  • It might minimize the Connexion / OCLC work.
  • No one in the room is part of PCC - there's not the work hours to participate
  • Preserving call numbers is important because of all the individual holdings records.
  • Keeping local subject headings is also important.

eBook packages in the catalog with no indicator that they've been bought

  • you can make an array - an excel spreadsheet of all the purchases
  • there's a note in the holdings record to keep it from being deleted - single user

For a Dewey library, new editions didn't get years added to the call number, multiple books with the same call number and title (different sub-titles and editions) They can have up to 10 titles with the same call number. What's a systematic way to standardize the listings? 

  • whatever you chose to do, make sure there's a workflow document so that it can be referenced by someone else. 
  • make a note of what you're doing and why
  • add more letters to the call number - double check the call number to make sure it doesn't already exist in the collection. 

SOP - Statement of Procedure: documentation to make a step-by-step list of what you do. 

Do you catalog for browseability?

  • for some collections - acting editions, zines, books of a similar type, books used by or written by professors 
  • it can be too much staff time to go back and do it for books that are already there. 
  • For books in a series, call numbers make sense by series name, especially if there are different authors. 

Notes from Nina's presentation

Know when you want to automate something, when it's worthwhile

AutoIt - a scripting language. Used for: printing morning tasks, batch updating

SciTE Script Editor comes with AutoIt. 

Pseudo-code is a way to write out your code in a readable format before adding coding language. 

Once you have a good macro, you can save and share the files and open them when you need them. 

MarcEdit is another way to manipulate and batch edit MARC records. 

You can also use good old Mail Merges to automate tasks with repetitive data. 


In attendance

Courtney Wimmers Mid-Hudson Library System
Elizabeth Miller Culinary Institute of America
Judy Gitlin Dominican College
Linda McAteer Woodstock Library
Louise Boyle Macdonald DeWitt Library at SUNY Ulster
Madeline Veitch SUNY New Paltz
Matthew Cummings SUNY New Paltz
Megan Coder SUNY New Paltz
Nina Acosta Mid-Hudson Library System

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