Posted tagged ‘cataloging’


August 13, 2009

I stumbled into an annoying little project yesterday concerning ghost/co-writers.  Now, one of the ramifications of our budget cuts is that I am now responsible for cataloging adult fiction (which I love doing by the way, but I still dearly want my co-worker back).  

I’m flying through our latest order yesterday when I come across a copy of “Sidney Sheldon’s Mistress of the Game” (that’s the title, it’s not actually written by Sheldon).  Problem time.  Our Tom Clancy books that are like this are cataloged under Clancy’s name, but the Eric Van Lustbader written Robert Ludlum novels are under Lustbader (with one copy erroneously under Van).  After much discussion it turned that everyone thought everyone else knew how we were supposed to handle these, and it was time for a new project.

So now we’re cataloging these as, for example, Fiction Ludlum/Lustbader.  But we’re only doing this for the books in which the author that patrons are more likely to look for (Ludlum) is not actually given credit for being an author.  Thus the Womens’ Murder Club books will still be cataloged as standard James Patterson books, and likewise the posthumous V.C. Andrews ones.  It’s a slightly annoying compromise, but I think it’ll work for us.

Now I just have to spend this morning tracking down 10 billions fake Tom Clancy novels.  ::grumble::

Orgainizing By Subject

May 1, 2009

As reported by the Swiss Army Librarian, the Chelmsford Public Library has started a rather ambitious reclassification project.  They’re aiming to gradually migrate over to a system that maintains some of the structure of Dewey while becoming more akin to BISAC.  

I wish them the best of luck, and they’re in great hands with Brian Herzog, but honestly the system seems a bit of a mess to me.  The designers clearly want to move to something a bit more user friendly, a very admirable goal certainly, but they’re still essentially sticking with Dewey’s organization.  For example why keep a subject begging to be broken out into it’s own grouping like computers within the general information section it resides in with DDC?

I’ll definitely be keeping up with Brian’s post to see how this project progresses.  Again, good luck.

April 30, 2009

I twittered this yesterday, but wanted to make sure to give the post a little more prominence as well.  Why is Cataloging Hard? is a perfect summary of both the joys and frustrations of cataloging.  I definitely aproach the job from a similar perspective, loving the challenge of puzzling over where to place a particularly obtuse item, but at the same time longing to throw my computer out the window everytime I have to remember what the 2nd indicators are for a 246 field.

An excellent read.

The Making of a Collection

April 29, 2009

We’re going to have a comics/graphic novels collection outside of the horrors of Dewey at last.  But what do we call it?  We need something to distinguish the collection that will fit on a spine label and which will clearly define the collection.  So, comic or some variation of graphic novel (graphic, GR, GN).

There’s no consensus on this out there.  We checked other libraries and found every option used somewhere, plus some we didn’t consider (i.e. manga).  And thus onto the debate.  In the end comics won, thanks to the arguement that all graphic novels are comics, but not all comics are graphic novels.  We wanted to include comic strips in the collection, and so that edged the debate in one direction, though not without a little bit of a fight.  Graphic novel sounds better and the term is arguably more descriptive of the format.

There’s not exactly a right answer here, which just goes to show how inaccurate libraries can be.


April 28, 2009

I’ve been joking about formalizing this for awhile so I might as well talk about it here.  We have a sort of unofficial subject hierarchy in my library that comes up any time a reasonable case can be made for placing an item under two different subjects.  Biographies beat professions, drug addicts beats biographies, sports beat drug addicts, pets beat everything.

But every now and again a real stumper comes along, and so I give you Crystal Clear, the memoir of hocker player/snowboarder/crystal meth addict/mountaineering accident survivor Eric Le Marque.  By our unwritten formula I think this’ll wind up in hockey (the bigger of the two sports, particularly since he played for the local team), but that’s also probably the least significant of the options.

Some people just need to lead less interesting lives, for the sake of us catalogers at least.