Wednesday 1 February 2012

Library Day in the Life - day three

Welcome to day three of my Library Day in the Life!

Since today is another English Cataloguing day I started off with some reshelving. Thankfully there wasn't too much today and only one reader query so I was back to my desk fairly soon. The next task was to finish off the work that was left unfinished as a result of the computer problems yesterday. This involved updating the records of the books that I had fetched and passing the entered books to the catalogue before taking them to the Labelling Department.

Another job of the fast-track cycle is to upgrade the basic BNB records that we download at the time of the books receipt. These basic records are on our system with the expectation that they will be overwritten by the full level record as soon as it becomes available. This happens in almost all cases but there are always a few that get missed for one reason or another and require some cataloguer intervention. Usually this is because the book is a reprint or a new edition and the system is not one hundred per cent sure that it matches. These records only require minimal editing so the job didn't take too long. There were a lot of sports books in this batch though - not really my favourite area!

My next task of the day was to work through some series queries. Cataloguers on the fast track team get periodic reports of records that have entries which claim to be series titles and need manual checking. This is a really straightforward process since almost all of the time the problem is that there's a slight difference between the series form as it appears on the book and its authorised form. For any non-cataloguers out there here is an example: an edition of Pride and Prejudice by Penguin may have the series "Modern classics" on the title page. The authorised version is actually "Penguin modern classics" and so this would need to be reflected in the record. Again, this is just a quick job which can be done with one click of the mouse but requires human eyes to make sure that everything goes where it belongs!

For anyone still with me (and not yet in a coma from my description of cataloguing!) I'll describe my final couple of jobs for the day. I did some copy cataloguing of a batch of bought material (see my day two post for a description) and finished off the day by cataloguing some audio-visual material. This was mostly CD-ROMs which come with the books and require a little extra attention.

And that was pretty much it! One small extra that I did at lunchtime was to read a couple more libday8 posts by fellow cataloguers. There is an list on the excellent HV Cats blog for anyone who wants to read a far more interesting account than this has been!

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