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Cataloguing Records

Page history last edited by Angela Gurney 9 years, 4 months ago

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In order for an item to circulate it must have a corresponding record in the library system. In our system we use Full catalogue records (also referred to as MARC—Machine Readable Cataloguing), and Brief records.


Full Catalogue Records

  • Format follows the standards and specifications prescribed by AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed.) and MARC21.

  • Are either produced “in house” by the Library Technicians or are purchased from outside sources such as London West Resource Centre or jobbers/publishers who supply MARC.

  • Include standardized forms of description and access points that make it possible to search and extract necessary information for OPAC searching, bibliographies, etc.

  • Are the specified format for our library system, so the records support all the functions and operations of the system.

  • Full cataloguing records should be used for any resource you want to be able to search by more that its author and title.



This is an example of a full catalogue record.





This is and example of a brief record.




Brief catalogue records

Often referred to as Ephemeral records, brief records are truncated form of title record. They include the main author, title, and series information only.

  • These are used by our district to record certain types of library materials for which full cataloguing is deemed unnecessary…

such as:

      • Paperback fiction

      • Items with a limited shelf life (e.g. thin paperback readers, etc.)

      • Magazines

      • Maps

      • Charts

      • Pictures

      • Unbound and/or unpublished professional material such as those distributed at workshops and conferences.

      • Vertical file material (except if catalogue subject access is desired)


When do you NOT want to use brief records?

    • When you want to be able to look an item up by its subject. (Most non-fiction items, with the exception of primary readers and ephemeral material, should probably be fully catalogued—unless you don’t think its worthwhile being able to search it by subject.)

    • When you want to be able add special notes to make the item accessible by other information such as reading level, Reading Power categories, and curriculum supported.

    • When you want to be able to include more detail about the item such as description or abstract.

    • When you need to be able to have variant titles to make the item easier to find.


  • Brief records are created in the library by the Library Clerks.



How do resources get catalogued?


Buying records with the books

Some suppliers offer MARC records with your order, usually for a small charge per record.

  • ULS, Follett, Knowbuddy, Smart Apple, Gumdrop, Cooper Beach all supply MARC records. (CanLit does too, but they need to be checked against the books before loading)

  • Always order MARC records if ordering from any of these suppliers—EXCEPT if the cost per record exceeds $2.00

  • Library Services will reimburse you for your MARC records. Just send a copy of the paid invoice to our office along with the GL# you wish credited.


Order: MARC21 or Full USMARC with 852h holding.

ULS, Follett, and Gumdrop state “as per district profile” in the cataloguing specification.


  • Have the supplier email the MARC records to agurney@sd68.bc.ca. If they only send the records on disk, forward the disk to Library Services, attention: Angela Gurney. These are loaded at our office and your Library Clerk will be notified when they are loaded.

  • When the records are in the system, your Library Clerk will edit each record with your barcode number, item type, location code and price, print the spine label.  Once the physical preparation of the book is done (eg. stamping, reinforcing, tattle taping etc.), the item is ready to shelve and circulate.


Attaching to existing records in the system

If you are unable to get MARC records from the source that supplied your material, your Library Clerk will search the library system for an existing catalogue record to match your newly purchased items.

Often libraries will buy the exact same books, so the catalogue record is bought or created when the first library buys the title, but subsequent libraries purchasing the same book, can simply attach their copies to the original catalogue record. Note that the book in hand has to match the description in the cataloguing record exactly to be considered a match and to be attached.


Library Clerks can attach to both Brief and Full cataloguing records in the system depending on what the requirements are at their particular library.


If MARC records cannot be purchased with the items and existing records cannot be found in the library system…

Brief records

If appropriate, your Library Clerk can create a brief record for the item. Once the item itself is prepared (barcode, spine label, school stamp, date due/circ pocket, etc.), it’s ready to shelve and circulate.


Full records

Full records have to be purchased from an outside source, (we use London West Resource Centre), or created “in house” by one of the district’s Library Technicians.


Records from London West Resources Centre

Provided it’s a single item with an ISBN or a multipart item with an ISBN for the set, we can try to get a MARC record from London West Resource Centre.

      • Your library clerk will create a temporary record in the system for each item needing a full catalogue record. These items show up in the catalogue as being INPROCESS. The temporary record allows the item to circulate while we wait for the cataloguing record. It also provides the information required to order the MARC record.

      • All the temporary records are compiled and the record ordered from London West by the Sr. Technician. Orders are submitted usually every two to three weeks. The turnaround time for orders is approximately one month.

      • Once the order is filled, the records are loaded and a report is produced to list which item now are fully catalogued and which items need to be sent to Library Services to be catalogued by the Library Technician. The fill rate is approx. 60%.

      • Items that are catalogued are discharged from “INPROCESS”. Spine labels are either sent by Library Services or printed by the Library Clerk depending on his or her preference. Once the items are prepared with school stamp, circ pockets, etc. the items are reading to circulate.

      • Items sent for in house cataloguing are done in order by date. Turnaround times for in house cataloguing can range anywhere from one to five months depending on volume.

      • When these items are catalogued and returned to the school they are discharged from “INPROCESS”, made shelf-ready and are ready to circulate.


Items sent directly to Library Services for cataloguing

Items that don’t have ISBNs and multipart items that don’t have a single ISBN for the whole set, need to be sent directly to Library Services for cataloguing.

      • Items are catalogued in order by date shipped.

      • Turnaround times are anywhere from one to five months depending on volume.

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