“Special” Collections

OK, I appologize for using finger quotes in the title.  

So, on special collections and cataloging.  I hate them with a passion.  I get why we have them (some of the time), but what it means for me is that for a relatively small number of items we’ve decided that the rules of cataloging do not apply.

Want to shelve items by title instead of author, we can do that.  Want to place books in the order they were received, we can do that too.  But we can’t make it make any logical sense!  I’m in the unfortunate predicament of having inherited about 2 dozen of these, and we’re currently consider a new one.  And in every case it make more problems (from the cataloging perspective) than it solves.  We have to figure out what should be included, how patrons should find items when meaningful call numbers are removed, how to gather circulation statistics in order to prove that these materials should continue to be treated differently.  

They just don’t work!

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