Thursday, June 18, 2009

Physical Materials

This was an extremely brief chapter. It took less than 5 minutes to read from beginning to end. It covered serials, both hard copy and electronic.

While the coverage was quite cursory, I have to admit that I don't even mention serials when I teach Cataloging & Classification. Many catalogers would like to forget they exist since even the simplest bib record for a serial is fraught with details and irregularities not found in most monographs. I had the good fortune (and I'm not being sarcastic) to work with a lot of serials as part of a retrospective conversion project several years ago. I worked with 2 very experienced serials catalogers and I learned a lot from them. After a few weeks, not only did I not dread serials, but I actually began looking at them as a puzzle to be solved.

Databases and electronic books were also included in this chapter, again very, very briefly - not much more coverage than that they exist. I would have really liked more detail since I have no direct experience with acquiring or cataloging such entities. Both are becoming a larger and larger component of libraries' collections and I'm feeling increasingly left behind. Attending workshops isn't the same as dealing with them on a day-to-day basis.

There are just a few more sections left in this course. Stay tuned for the final chapters.

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