Breakout Session I: Cataloging

Small library using offline Follett software for ILS. Get records from the Library of Congress. Librarian quit. Librarian run entirely by volunteers, who have attended Basic Skills

NebraskaAccess – all content free to all Nebraska residents. Need password, available from NLC.

Emily exploring more options for putting cataloging classes online. Electronic Resources session is already available online.

What are we going to do with RDA? The new cataloging rules that will (maybe) replace AACR2. ALA info makes it sound like a done deal.

Conceptual framework based on FRBR. Nuts and bolts changes are minor. A few new fields. Abbreviations will be spelled out. Rule of three done away with. Copy catalogers won’t have to worry too much about this.

Catalogers will be thinking about things in different ways, but the actual way we do our work will not be dramatically changed.

Doing away with the GMD seems like a bad move. It was nice to have that information right in the title display.

RDA issue–it would be better to change how our catalogs display our data than to change how we create the data.

Many ILS vendors don’t have the new RDA fields available–software vendors will need to upgrade their systems to allow RDA fields to even exist, much less be used.

Most libraries (like most vendors) are kind of sitting back to wait and see. UNL is taking a more active role. Margaret Mering is really into RDA–she is a good resource for people with questions.

Some libraries using antique software, like Winnebego–the vendor no longer exists, so no tech support. Probably a lot of libraries are in similar situations.

Follett seems to work well for small libraries. Decent tech support.

About 20 years ago, a big project to automate small libraries around the state. The group used Follett.

Chinese books hard to find in LoC database. These are books printed in China, but not written in Chinese. Pretty, colorful–mostly children’s books. Have ISBNs, but not good ones. No catalog records available for these.

Cataloging cycle: things come in, you catalog them, and then they get weeded.

Hard to get rid of weeded books. Can’t sell or donate them. Put them on a table in the community center (or other place with a lot of traffic) and mark them free, and people take them.

Better World Books will pay for shipping. Check ISBNs against their database, and they’ll tell you if they want it. They send the boxes, etc. The only expense to the library donating books is time.

Volunteer-run library doing well. Getting lots of grants, able to buy books every week now. Can’t get accredited, because they don’t have a paid employee. Can’t get state aid unless they’re accredited. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays all day. Unofficially open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, if the volunteers happen to be there.

One thing that has helped their library, to get books to catalog, was to put out tablets for patrons to tell what they wanted. Then the library always buys the books patrons request. Keeps the students coming back to the library.

Some readers watch the UPS delivery van, so they know when the books they ordered arrive. Often requesting the books before they can be cataloged.

Emily’s recordings available for electronic resources, basic book cataloging, Dewey Decimal System, etc. at the Nebraska Library Commission.

One library has abandoned Dewey. Using a bookstore-like classification. Some things end up in generalities, because there’s no place for them.

How to promote interesting nonfiction books that don’t circulate? Put them in fiction, and they get checked out.

In small public library, get rid of old, ugly books, because patron’s won’t go in the section otherwise.

Blair Public Library has no nonfiction older than 2006. Library looks great and use has gone up.

Patrons like WWI, WWII, Vietnam War, tractor books, etc. Don’t seem to want biographies.

Comics (e.g. Garfield) placement in Dewey seems to be problematic. Not where the patrons look for them.

Use Books in Print database to find good nonfiction books for kids. Can limit to titles that have reviews, to aid in selection process.

Gumdrop Books (vendor) has sets of nonfiction books for K-6. Good way to get bundles of visually attractive sets for kids.

(We’ve gotten rather sidetracked from cataloging.)

Sky River is an Innovative offshoot, a company to rival OCLC. Only offers catalog records. No ILL component at this point. Union catalog–users of SkyRiver can see other users. OCLC has become rather expensive.

What’s going to happen to OCLC when/if everything becomes open source.

At least one person has to create a record. LC catalogs books, but not music, movies, etc.

SkyRiver is taking free records from OCLC and selling them to users.

Library that creates a record owns it. Puts it out in the world for anyone to use for free.

OCLC pays member libraries for contributions. SkyRiver does NOT pay for contributions. SkyRiver charges based on OCLC charges. They don’t give services or credits, and they charge for things you can get for free. Their only purpose seems to be to undercut OCLC.

On the flip side, OCLC has become a huge monopoly, gobbling up other library companies, including for-profit companies. It costs a lot of money to be an OCLC member, and OCLC pays no taxes. OCLC’s head makes a huge salary.

LibLime is an open source company that supported Koha, which is an open source ILS.

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About akroeger

I'm a cataloger at the Criss Library, University of Nebraska at Omaha.
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One Response to Breakout Session I: Cataloging

  1. sgardner2 says:

    This is amazing, Angela! You got every single thing we said in your notes. Super, super job.

    I thought it was a good discussion this morning. It really showed how we all have cataloging issues no matter what kind of library we work in. I appreciated getting to know the issues that some of our small-library colleagues have to deal with, and impressed with what good work they do despite extremely limited resources and few colleagues in-house.

    I was talking with Emily in between sessions and suggested that she attend Margaret Mering’s session on RDA during the conference. Margaret has really studied RDA, and feels more comfortable all the time with the changes RDA will bring, and she can show you how a field looks in AACR2 form, and how it will look after RDA is implemented.

    One thing that Angela mentioned in the session, come to think of it, and was busy giving us this good bit of information and not typing it at the same time, is that RDA is not technically a done deal yet. The Library of Congress and a few other libraries are testing it, and they will announce whether they will adopt it, or not, a few months from now.

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