Another Cataloguing Class Falls

First day of September and another set of library students seeking a cataloguer’s education. This Fall will have a different spin with just two lectures to share with May Chan this time. To connect students beyond the lecture hall will be recommending the following cats to add to their twitter feeds:

May Chan — @msuicat
Marshall Breeding — @mbreeding
Eric Hellman — @gluejar
Christine Schwartz — @caschwartz

Fixed Field Coding. Extended Remix

I am afraid I will not be at lecture time this Thursday. Here is a handy video substitute for me.  You can listen to them before or after but not during my esteemed colleague’s fixed field lecture.  Please visit the wiki for lab content to go with these you can even start working in the Connexion client.

#1 Fixed Field in OCLC for books
#2 Fixed Field in OCLC for Fic, Sound and Video
#3 Fixed Field in Horizon and the webopac view
COntact me if you have technical trouble. The first one takes an eerie while to get going but runs after that. Teach me to run wild and loose with my huge (dual)screen resolution

RDA references

Linda Woodcock certainly offered #libr511 an excellent base of education in RDA last week.  An inspiration talk about dumping the preserve our inventory and shift catalogued to user purposes of find, identify, select and obtain.

While Linda did not post her slides with our wiki she makes a good point that many great resources for self guided study are online. Here is a sampling of resources that interesect or where referred to:

Reminder to find UBC test records in the library catalogue you can search kw: rdacontent to find them in OCLC us the search dx:rda.



Starting late last week a thread on Cataloging4Coders took off on the Code4Lib listserv.  These top library data manipulators are readying for their next conference and want to add to the event more knowledge current, and historical, of how library data works.  I chuckled most certainly at the the original post which states more than a few coders are “yearing for knowledge of this Darkest of Library Arts”

What do you think they want illuminated??

To check out the whole thread search for the topic: Cataloging4Coders @C4L12 We need you brains in their archives. Highlights list might start out as:

  • How more functionality can be devolved from data
  • The history of AACR and MARC
  • Why library data is as varying in scope/intensity per record as it is, this is their question of ‘reliability of data
  • commonly used MARC
  • metadata project management esp. for digitization
  • cataloger to coder communications challenges
And it is certainly has some advice for the cataloguing community I have to second the message of:
“I wish is that there were some way to get more catalogers to see that despite Watson, there are serious limitations to what computers can practically do and that we would be better off if we worked with computer’s strengths instead of trying to make them do things that are hard for them to do so we can reproduce the form of the card catalog (as opposed to the function).”  From Kelly McGrath at Ball State
ps.. to join or otherwise learn more about Code4Lib go here:

Wherefore Technical Services

I feel often that you as students think we are teaching you how to work in a technical services department.  But of course we are not.

This course looks to give you the FUNdamentals of the catalogue.  How the artifacts of the catalogue record is made.  But this is problematic to get.  To know more about how technical services works you have to get your fundamentals sure but we want you to know… What happens in there?  What are the rules by which the library collections and mandate come through?

This is a list of how Tech Services represents themselves.  Needs improvement?

A vintage consortia piece

Cataloguing standards for the British Library

Penn State libraries

Policies like these are only a hint at the actual style guides within that set out local rules and protocols.  There are a set of triggers that say while you could just describe every item to the best of your ability, don’t do that.  It is important that libs of every stripe are conversant in this and finding out which collections get the total treatment and which are marginalized.

But I guess I should not assume to limit catalogue metadata is synonymous with limits on access?


RDA update. It’s time?

Judith to BIBFRAME

Oct 20 (2 days ago)

[Excuse duplicate postings]

LC Cataloging Staff Involved in US RDA Test to Resume RDA Cataloging in November 2011 To help LC in carrying out its responsibilities for (1) the ongoing development of RDA, and (2) the creation and/or revision of training materials supporting documentation for LC, PCC, and the U.S. library community, most of the LC cataloging staff who participated in the U.S. RDA Test will return to using RDA for cataloging starting in November 2011.

Documents identifying changes in LC policies from those followed during the U.S. RDA Test and refresher training materials prepared for LC’s RDA cataloging staff will be posted on LC’s web site for preparation for RDA (


This week has been distinguished by the exceptionally good Access 2011 conference. The program is something that I think every member of #libr511 could identify with, please look at it.  Please think about it.  We need to converse back to the school about what it represents, somewhat in context to the ‘cataloguing and classification’ curriculum certainly.

I could discuss a lot of the program, so could a few other attendees from the #libr511 cohort, check out the topic on twitter.  I will directly comment on the keynote.

As the vision for “The University” takes shape (I think we are treating “the Library” as part and parcel of “the University”) discussions of access, ownership and preservation roll. Does it shock when a speak takes exception to the word access?  I truly am dependent on every moment of bubble bursters and those who give us focus.  I think Jon Beasley-Murray did that this morning.

He unequivocally centred the library with other public activity that is difficult, anticapitalist and productive.  The to do list was short and I question if we are committed to it.  Libraries must,

  • Provoke criticism
  • Remain central to models of ownership (and content creation) digital AND PHYSICAL
  • Allow for space for reading

I believe the repository function is core the diversifcation of content creation; a protection from the overly agressive systems of commercial content mills (Pearson, Blackboard, Scholastic, HarperCollins, Apple, et al.)  The very mechanic of library selection is a sort of ballast on a future that could be dominated by robotic access only.

“Access is not enough.”

ILS ethnography

Especially as we drift towards the exit assignment on good catalogues, assign #7, you do need to cement the understanding on the history of library/information retrieval systems.  What drives the UI in terms of index technology, staff roles for workflow and total return on investment in catalogue data, usually by genre/collection.

This is a perfect graphic to add to the discussion of the ILS. Timelines are nice click on the pic to see the original post from @mbreeding .

Follow the link to the full graphic


Books are for Browsing

Certainly the topic this week was often turning towards kindle.  The news of the new Fire tool coming hard on the heels of library lending rules continues to discourage libraries from avoiding ereaders as if they are contentless equipment.

For a few interesting reads on ereading, ereaders and ‘browsing’ here is a prescient sample:

Amazon v. Apple:

The silk architechture:

And I question if I will I be adminstering any units like these at WVML.  Why not go to our web catalogue and search Kindle for the now almost 2 yr old implementation there? After almost two year  the waitlist and program support requests from users are still high for kindle. (Never mind… Holy Added Access points, Batman!)