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A Catalogue of Errors September 28, 2006

Posted by heyheypaula in Library Stuff.
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This wonderful article was made available to this semester’s cagaloging class.  It discusses what happens when things get cataloged incorrectly…and what might cause some of this.  It’s a good article for anyone who has an interest about cataloging.

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1. Amy - September 28, 2006

This is great, heyheypaula, thanks for sharing it! Language skills are SO in demand in the cataloging world. Even if you have no cataloging experience but have the language skills the job requires, chances are you’ll get the job (as long as you can demonstrate that you’re at least somewhat detail oriented!).

Ah, to live in the UK where catalogers are cataloguers and shelvers are shelfers… 🙂

2. DrumPhil - October 2, 2006

I think mis-cataloging and mis-shelving are huge problems. If we can’t show patrons where physical stuff is–stuff that we say we have–will they bother to ask us to help them find things in cyberspace?

3. heyheypaula - October 2, 2006

Does anyone know what leads to mis-cataloging in the typical public library? Is it too many cooks spoiling the stew, or understaffing, or poor training? Seems like one of the best lessons to be taken from Cataloging class is that consistency is paramount, so it is essential to document special situations and topics when decisions are made. I think this gets even more crazy when you are working with a consortium, where each library might be a little different because they all had different roots. But, like a consortium in this area, the libraries are physically pretty close, which means patrons might browse through many of them, finding a different expereince at each location. I think the consortium here does a pretty good job overall, which is probably due to seasoned staff who really care about going the extra step. (Or at least in my library, the Richmond Heights Memorial)

4. lcwk86 - October 2, 2006

I don’t know about mis-cataloging, but I can comment on my observations of the shelver situation. A lot of them seem to be undervalued and/or undertrained. Obviously, with tight budgets, libraries have no choice by to hope for a decent workforce in spite of low pay. Often these positions are filled with teens or college students. The work ethic may or may not already be there, and turnover can’t help but be high. In regards to training, accountability is part of training. If you blame it on the patrons “hiding stuff” because they don’t want to check it out, but not examining your shelvers, this leads to chaos. It takes a lot of work to train shelvers and I have observed several very successful methods. Staring down a teenager when they are goofing off is not one of them.


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