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The Online Catalog. Another Source of Frustration, or An Opportunity for Collaboration?. ALCTS Role of the Professional … ALA Midwinter Meeting San Diego, January 11, 2004. Patricia M. Dragon East Carolina University [email protected] Cataloging or Display?. Author Adler, David J.

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the online catalog

The Online Catalog

Another Source of Frustration, or AnOpportunity for Collaboration?

ALCTS Role of the Professional …

ALA Midwinter Meeting

San Diego, January 11, 2004

Patricia M. Dragon

East Carolina University

[email protected]

cataloging or display
Cataloging or Display?

Author Adler, David J.

Title Cam Jansen and the mystery of the Babe Ruth baseball / David A. Adler ; illustrated by Susanna Natti.

Imprint New York : Puffin Books, 1991.

Description 57 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.

Notes Cam uses her photographic memory to identify the person who stole a valuable autographed baseball.

Notes Cam uses her photographic memory to identify the person who stole a valuable autographed baseball.

Subjects Detective and mystery stories. Baseball – Juvenile fiction.

what is cataloging
What is “Cataloging”?

“I have observed that it is a commonly held misconception inside and outside the profession that catalogers create records; instead, I think we would be much better off if we all conceived of the task of the cataloger as being that of creating a catalog.”

Martha Yee, to AUTOCAT, 1999

the card catalog
The Card Catalog
  • Prescribed format
  • Certain limited number of cards
  • Prescribed places in drawers
  • Predictable functioning
the online catalog1
The Online Catalog
  • Prescribed format (but plenty of space)
  • Many indexes
  • Browse access and keyword access
  • Navigation
  • Customizable
customizing questions
Customizing Questions
  • Kinds of searches?
  • What are you searching?
  • Display of results?
  • Methods of navigation?
  • Display of individual records?
the whole picture
The Whole Picture

MARC record

User needs

example electronic resources
Example: Electronic Resources
  • 256 Computer File Characteristics
  • 516 Type of Computer File or Data
  • 530 Additional Physical Form Available
  • 538 System Details
  • 856 Electronic Location and Access
cataloger concerns
Cataloger Concerns
  • Public display not reflecting developing cataloging practice
  • Public is not getting the information
  • Wasted cataloger time
public services concerns
Public Services Concerns
  • Length of record
  • Complexity of description
  • Repetitive information
  • Outdated information
  • Misleading language
  • Don’t see a need for extensive description

256 Electronic text and image data.

516 Text and image (PDF).

530 Also available on microfiche.

advantages of collaboration
Advantages of Collaboration
  • Realize we have the same goal
  • Users get benefit of two areas of expertise
  • Each group does its job better
need to change what we do
Need to Change “What we do”

“To the informed librarian, cataloging is seen to be at the heart of librarianship; the central core of everything librarians do. A reference librarian without an understanding of bibliographic control cannot function.”

Michael Gorman. “The Corruption of Cataloging.” Library Journal 120, no. 15 (Sept. 15, 1995): 32-34.

an opportunity for collaboration
An Opportunity for Collaboration

“The rift between catalogers and reference librarians (technical and public services) has been one of the more damaging aspects of modern librarianship. The time has come for mutual respect and mutual recognition of interdependence.”


thank you

Thank You

Patricia M. Dragon

East Carolina University

[email protected]