March 13, 2008

One reason why I'm sticking to public services

DIFFERENCES between, CHANGES within:

Guidelines on When to Create a New Record

["The document helps guide the cataloger in determining whether the item in hand can be cataloged with existing copy or requires a new bibliographic record. General guidelines are followed by specific guidelines for manifestation-level records for single-part monographs, multipart monographs, integrating resources, and serials. The text describes what constitutes a major difference between manifestations, requiring the creation of an original record, as well as detailing major changes within a serial manifestation that would lead to the creation of a new record. In addition, guidance is also provided to identify minor changes that would not require a new bibliographic record, but might necessitate updating an existing record."

Eyes glazing over? Me too. I applaud the work of catalogers everywhere, but I think I'll officially add this to the list of professions I could never do (I actually wrote it down once... doctor, horticulturist, flight attendant, sex worker, and now... cataloger). I think catalogers do really important work, but if I had to use this 38-page PDF on a regular basis... I think I might go over to the dark side (where the future's so dark, I gotta wear night-vision goggles).

Incidentally, when I got curious to see how exactly one does decide whether to make a new bibliographic record for an item and I tried to download the advertised PDF, I got instead a word document entitled "STARTING A LIBRARY SUPPORT STAFF ORGANIZATION." Amazing. Even the ALA concedes that anyone who tries to read "Differences within, Changes between" is going to need some professional help.

1 comment:

  1. The title seems to be more aptly suited for a "coming of age" self-help book than a book about cataloging.