Posted tagged ‘recataloging’

Impermanence

November 3, 2008

Time for one of the dirty little secrets of cataloging.  Call numbers are not permanent, never have been, never will be.  This is not something that’s widely known, even amongst many librarians it seems.  

Right now I’m working on a large recataloging project and I’m hamstrung by some finding aids that were created ages ago in which the call numbers play a vital part.  The problem being that it’s something that’s proven too useful to abandon, and which is hell to update, leaving us stuck more often than not with the way things are because it’s easier than fixing the problems.

And this is a mistake we’re still making, it drives me nuts every time we have another book rebound and get the call number printed on the spine.  Look, mistakes happen, classification schemes change (we’re up to Dewey volume 22 after all and it still doesn’t work very well for computers), and collections get moved.  It’s all part of the job, but it’s a part we keep forgeting to plan for.

End of an Era

May 16, 2008

Today is going to be a special day for me.  I get to go to work and break apart a particularly irksome special collection.  This is one that was organized in such a way and so long ago that no one currently working at the library can remember why it exists in its current state.  What’s particularly bad this time around is that by simply following how things ought to be in Dewey, the collection would be organized in a far better way (yeah that’s pretty rare).

So today after some lengthy discussions on how patron’s search for materials and if anyone still browses the non-fiction shelves I finally get to fix this travesty.  And how do I celebrate the occasion?  I nearly cut off a finger while slicing my morning bagel, making what I have to do just that little bit more difficult (along with trying to type this post without using so many “t’s”.