Friday, October 22, 2010

OCLC Basic Serials Cataloging Workshop

I had the pleasure of attending the OCLC Basic Serials Cataloging Workshop this past Tuesday and Wednesday (10/19-10/20). The workshop was based upon a standard workshop created by the Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP). The SCCTP, according to their website, is a "cooperative program that provides standardized training materials and trained trainers in the field of serials cataloging, through workshops sponsored by library associations, networks, and institutions." While many of the resources used throughout the workshop are available freely online, the expertise of the trainer, Gene Dickerson, along with the wealth of knowledge and experience brought by my co-participants made the workshop well worth the time and money.

The workshop was structured such that the first day focused on the original cataloging of serials, and the second day discussed the kinds of decisions copy catalogers are faced with when confronting serials. As opposed to their more static cousins monographs, serials are wonderfully (and sometimes frustratingly!) dynamic. Gene did an excellent job of explicating not only the history of how catalogers responded to the sometimes-unwieldy nature of serials, but also the major shift in how cataloging as a profession views the changing nature of these kinds of resources.

I learned an enormous amount about the Conser Standard Record for serials. Throughout the realm of cataloging, the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) has been working to simplify and make more uniform the approach to creating bibliographic descriptions for a variety of types of resources. The approach attempts to make required the kinds of description and access that are viewed as most helpful to our users, while making optional those elements of description deemed not as important for access. I was greatly impressed by the more streamlined approach, and look forward to applying this knowledge to our library's collections.

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