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The Future of Cataloging


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Title: The Future of Cataloging

The Future of Cataloging
  • Lecture 14
  • Libr 248
  • Daniel Stuhlman

Work, Edition, or Copy?
  • What is the difference between a work, edition,
    and copy?
  • How are they represented in a catalog?
  • To best help the bibliographer, scholar, or
    ordinary reader should they be represented in a

For example
  • The work William Shakespeares Romeo and
    Juliet. The King library has over 334 matches
    including 191 matches for Shakespeares play to
    Romeo and Juliet
  • A particular edition of Shakespeares Romeo and
  • Romeo and Juliet a tragedy in five acts / by
    William Shakespeare as arranged for the stage
    by Henry Irving.
  • 1882. London Chiswick Press.
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Romeo and
    Juliet / edited by Brian Gibbons. London New
    York Methuen, 1980.
  • A specific copy of a particular edition of
    Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet.
  • King Reserves 1st floor

Associated works
  • Diamond, David, 1915-
  • Music for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
    Revised version. London New York, Boosey
    Hawkes 1955
  • Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
  • Romeo and Juliet / edited and rendered into
    modern English by Alan Durband. Woodbury, N.Y.
    Barron's, 1985, c1984.
  • Halio, Jay L.
  • Romeo and Juliet a guide to the play / Jay
    L. Halio. Westport, Conn. Greenwood Press,
  • Romeo Juliet video recording / Twentieth
    Century Fox presents a Bazmark production
    produced by Gabriella Martinelli and Baz Luhrmann
    directed by Baz Luhrmann.
  • Beverly Hills, CA Twentieth Century Fox Home
    Entertainment, c2002.

Text versus image
  • Text versus image, sound, video, interactive
  • Moving toward a world where content is digital
  • What can bibliographic control practices uniquely
  • Where, when, and how does this contribution
    matter most?
  • Therefore, we need to understand the changing
    context, and economics, capabilities and
    limitations of the alternatives.

James LeBlanc
  • James LeBlanc Cataloging in the 1990s managing
    the crisis (mentality) LRTS Oct. 1993 v.37,
    no.4 pp.423.

…one of the functions of the library, whether it
be an old-fashioned card catalog-type facility or
the high-tech virtual library that is on the
horizon, is still to provide users with the kind
of bibliographic information outlined by Cutter
in 1904 at the very least.
Cutters ideas
  • Remember Cutters ideas on cataloging that we
    considered in the beginning of the term? Cutter
    said that there are three goals for the catalog
    find a known book by author or title, show what
    the library has, and assist in the selection of a
    book on a given topic.
  • Therefore one can say that the purpose of the
    library catalog is grounded in ACCESS. This
    access is a two part process
  • 1st find the citation for the item you want
  • 2nd get your hands on the item.
  • This represents two kinds of access
    bibliographic and physical. The current role of
    the catalog is most often limited to
    bibliographic access to the librarys holdings
    except in the case of full text journal articles
    and books that have been up-loaded onto the
    librarys system.

Bibliographic Access
  • The users bibliographic access can be limited or
    non-existent if the items are not cataloged
    according to the aims outlined by Cutter.
  • The users physical access to an item can be
    limited if the item is not processed in a timely
    manner. If the backlog begins to grow faster than
    the items can be cataloged and processed then
    both bibliographic access and physical access is

Perennial Battle
  • This leads to the battle of quality versus
    quantity in cataloging.
  • How much quality should be sacrificed to increase
  • Should we sacrifice some bibliographic access for
    greater physical access?
  • Do we need to make these choices?

Bibliographic Cooperation
  • One side says that uniformity and consistency
    attained through the use of a rule-based
    cataloging code will lead not only to an
    enhancement of the catalogs quality but also to
    a rise in productivity.
  • This uniformity and predictability is essential
    to facilitate bibliographic cooperation among
    libraries. Quality control is essential to the
    sharing of resources and thus contributes to
    reducing the overall cost of cataloging and
    bibliographic control.

Some access is better than none
  • Some say that the title-page transcription of
    author, title, and shelf-mark may be all that are
    absolutely necessary.
  • Subject headings and classified shelf-marks are
    luxuries of service provided to the patron who,
    in most cases, could consult subject
    bibliographies and indexes for this kind of
    information. Even collocation of an authors
    work under one authoritative form of name can be
    dispensed with because variations of a name
    should present no problem for the assiduous,
    knowledgeable person.

Minimum level cataloging
  • Core record
  • Fields 1XX, 245, 260 brief, 300 brief, no
    4XX, 500 maybe, no 6XX, no 7XX
  • MLC accelerates the cataloging process. It
    delivers more materials to the shelves in a
    shorter period and reduces the ever-increasing
    costs of cataloging. This may help some
    libraries that are running out of space for their
  • However, the works cataloged this way may be
    extremely difficult to find because of their lack
    of subject and added entry tracings on the
    catalog record. The known items will be easy to
    find, but those items that are not known will
    languish in bibliographic darkness.

Need to Balance
  • Increasing physical access without jeopardizing
    our commitment to the attainment of Cutters
    objectives requires
  • 1. Wider, use of member-contributed catalog
  • 2. Train staff for better original cataloging
  • 3. Strive to catalog a title once, fully and
    well, and then share that record with any
    institution acquiring the same item. As we
    accomplish then point number one will be easier
    to implement.
  • 4. Implementation ? Careful and timely reading
    of original records, peer discussion groups to
    discuss details of tricky aspects of cataloging,
    keep administration aware that original
    cataloging is not easy and is a skill that needs
    to be continuously developed and honed.
  • 5. Transform the backlog into an uncataloged
    in-process collection.
  • 6. Put the acquisition department on the
    cataloging teams. Put acquisitions and order
    records in the public catalog.

Need to Balance 2
  • 7. Collaborate with publishers and vendors to
    share the work and tasks of cataloging and
  • 8. Use of the ever-expanding, ever more
    sophisticated, technology, hardware and software
    to reduce the tedium and increase the accuracy of
    the cataloging process.
  • 9. Use artificial intelligence schemes to
    automate description and access to digital

Cataloging as an art
  • Cataloging as librarians of my age learned and
    practiced may be a dying art but bibliographic
    access is likely to remain one of the
    cornerstones of the librarys mission. For those
    of us who are in the business of providing this
    access, learning and adaptation to change will
    never end. Those who seek to provide increased
    bibliographic access will have a vocation as long
    as people are reading, writing and disseminating
    data and information.

Challenge to Catalogers
  • Barbara Tillet The challenge to catalogers is
    to communicate the organizational principles that
    catalogers have refined to the designers of new
    electronic resources. This effort will help to
    ensure the future compatibility of information
    systems and ease of movement along information
    paths. In ALCTS newsletter vol.6, no.4, 1995
  • The explosion of information of the Internet has
    increased rather than decreased the need for
    experts in the description and organization of
    digital objects. The corporate and commercial
    world also has realized the benefits of
    describing and organizing internal and unique
    information into the digital environment. The
    many metadata standards indicate not only a lack
    of understanding concerning the expertise of
    information professionals but also a duplication
    of effort where others have already devised
    solutions and systems.
  • The proliferation of interest in the development
    of digitization and digital projects has
    increased the need for those who know how to
    describe and organize information.

  • As the library profession evolves in response to
    changes brought about by the developments in
    information technology, we librarians must not
    forget our roots, and more importantly the
    established principles of information
    classification which have developed into
    standards that govern the work of this profession
    until today, and for the foreseeable future.
  • Magda El-Sherbini, Metadata and the future of
    cataloging. In Library Review Volume 50 Number
    1 2001 pp. 16-27