New Developments in Library Cataloguing

So the Archives and Society had a seminar on 4th Feb and I decided to pop along. After all it is not every day you get to have a free taster session from the Cataloguing and Classification lecturer, Anne Welsh (UCL).

Having not come from a typical library school background I was expecting to be thrown into a world of jargon about all the new things in cataloguing, I would eventually have to adopt. However, to my surprise Anne presented an in-depth review of the history of cataloguing to bring the unbeknownst archive majority in the room up to speed. Oblivious to many in the library field the next move for cataloguers is RDA. Finally a move away from the cataloguing entry of MARC21, to a tool that allows linkages between various formats of the same items (e.g. book to film) and various authority headings.

For many cataloguers, that idea of #marcisdead comes with unfavourable change to those stuck in their ways of the absolute metadata standards of IBSD needed for cataloguing within MARC21. However, the developing benefits might just outway the negatives.

The Art of Cataloguing & Classification: Lessons learnt

Before I began cataloguing?
I always thought that catalouging was complex data entry. To be perfectly honest with you, I still relatively see it as the same thing now. You enter important information about an item which create a catalogue record for the intended user to find the item when they search for it. The more access points you can create e.g. the subject of the item, the more refined your searches become. 

How do you catalogue?
Bowman's "Essential Cataloguing" book has really given me more insight into the world of cataloguing in the simplest way. Cataloguing involves a vast amount of strict rules all set out in book over 500 pages called the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2). These strict rules are inputted in a machine readable format called MARC which places all the data into a descriptive fields that the user can understand.

Last but not least, to ensure that any library that wants to use the same information, International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) is used to make sure the same punctuation is used in a standardised fashion. 

What have I learnt since starting to catalogue?
Punctuation is paramount!! You always hear people say that librarians must possess attention to detail. Well, its even more important for a cataloguer, as one missed or misplaced punctuation creates an inaccurate catalogue record.

To demonstrate this I have created a powerpoint of a few things I have learnt about cataloguing the books for my "botanical books display".