Tuesday, March 2, 2010

On February 24th I attended a webinar on "Cataloging Icky Things, or, If You Can Catalog a Book, You Can Catalog Anything!" presented by Pamela J. Newberg for ALCTS (Association for Library Collections and Technical Services). This was an overview of cataloging in various formats, including books with accompanying material, compact discs, kits, Playaways, DVDs and Blue-ray discs, and realia. A “Playaway,” for those who have not encountered them, is a dedicated audio media player, very popular in public libraries. “Realia” can cover any object for which cataloging is desired, including, but not limited to, models, specimens, games and toys. (Side note: included in the collection of the library I first worked for was a stuffed bird which purported to be the original raven of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem.)

From a cataloger’s point of view, the big question, after you determine “what is it?” is “what is the chief source of information?” For print materials, the chief source is the title page (which may be at the back of the book, as we think of it, depending on the language). For a kit, the chief source is the container, while for a DVD it is the title screen (yes, it should be viewed by the cataloger, according to the rules). The webinar covered fixed fields, format by format, and the preferred order of notes in the bibliographic record.

Ebooks were not included in this webinar, but I submitted a request to the organizers to have the next webinar focus on ebooks exclusively.

Darlene Townsend
Copy Cataloging Supervisor

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