Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cataloging & Classification

After Acquisitions, the next section in the Technical Services course that I'm taking online was Cataloging & Classification - my specialty.

This section was a very brief overview of the kinds of things involved: Descriptive Cataloging, Copy Cataloging, Subject Headings and Access Points, Item Records, Authority Control, and a reminder that the cataloging environment is ever-changing.

There was a fun exercise where I got to drag some general Dewey Decimal numbers to the corresponding hypothetical titles. There is a Dewey Concentration game in the Cataloging section of the CMRLS website. Not only is it a good refresher, but you can exercise your brain and help ward off dementia.

I expect that the reason this section did not have a lot of depth is because most cataloging in most libraries is Copy Cataloging - where a person searches a database for an existing bibliographic record and downloads it into a local system. Or in the case of a consortial member, searches the consortium database and adds local holdings. There was no coverage on the details of a bib record, no real discussion of AACR2 and its rules. And while the author was clear there have been lots of changes in the cataloging world and more to come, there was no actual mention of RDA or any other specifics.

I would have liked to see a little more in this section. Maybe some exercises that had students look at different library catalogs and/or looking at bib records in more detail. However, this is a survey course so maybe this level of coverage is appropriate.

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