Monday, May 10, 2010

Integrating Resources cataloging course

During the month of April I took an SCCTP (Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program) online course on "Integrating Resources." What's that? In the past the world of cataloging was divided into monographs and serials, with little in between. Now that we are acquiring more and more electronic resources, which may be frequently updated and which do not remain discrete, but rather have the updates integrated into the whole, a new category was needed: hence, "Integrating Resources." The course covered everything from updating electronic resources, such as databases and Web sites, to the more familiar old-fashioned loose-leaf publications.

This course required several hours a week, with homework assignments. Part of the difficulty of cataloging Integrating Resources is that, by definition, they are continually changing. Another difficulty is that the rules that apply to them are changing as well. In fact, the course did not incorporate the most up-to-date decisions, which was a disappointment; our own in house documentation is more in line with the current cataloging guidelines than some of the course materials. For one class assignment the instructor gave as many as six "correct" answers. Clearly, this kind of cataloging is evolving rapidly, and it takes great effort just to try to keep up with all the changes. I am sharing what I have learned with our staff who are dealing with these materials, and I hope to learn more with hands-on cataloging in the future.

Darlene Townsend
Copy Cataloging Supervisor

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