SCIS cataloguer Heath Walsh reveals his 10 most essential sources for creating quality catalogue records.
As I work through my daily cataloguing lists at SCIS I have a set of go-to online resources that I use to help me with my cataloguing work. The list of these resources below describes how they aid my cataloguing, and is designed to help any school library staff who wish to tap up their own records.
Cataloguing is a collaborative process, not only between work colleagues but between cataloguing agencies. This is especially true at SCIS where we attempt to catalogue titles that we do not have on hand and so must rely on online data from other agencies. For this reason, the Trove discovery service – or the subscription service Libraries Australia, which helps underpin Trove – is essential for SCIS cataloguers.
Hosted by the National Library of Australia in partnership with content providers, Trove is an Australian online library database aggregator and service which includes full text documents, digital images, bibliographic and holdings data of items which are not available digitally, and a search engine as a discovery tool.
Worldcat provides a similar service globally, but bibliographic records from the Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD) are also uploaded into the WorldCat global union catalogue, which means that records found in Worldcat can often be found in Libraries Australia. Libraries Australia provides MARC records not only for titles found in ANBD but also Worldcat, which makes it an essential subscription service for cataloguers.
WebDewey provides search functions that make locating the relevant Dewey classification number and cataloguing efficient and accurate. The database, which is updated regularly, includes the most current version of the Dewey Decimal Classification.
I can’t imagine constructing Dewey numbers from print volumes like librarians used to do last century. Rifling through four volumes of the Dewey Decimal Classification tool to find the relevant number for a particular topic seems awfully onerous compared to the lovely search indexes found in WebDewey.
A subscription is required, but this is an essential resource not only for constructing Dewey numbers, but as further input for subject classification given that it has its own taxonomy of subjects.
When it comes to creating new SCIS personal name authorities, input from the Library of Congress is useful when there is confusion over definitive renderings of personal names. At SCIS when we devise new SCIS authority subject headings we are mindful of Library of Congress treatment as input for our working papers, thanks to this search engine.
At SCIS we often work through ebook lists and Booktopia is very handy due to its coupling of print and ebook formats for a given title in separate tabs. The same goes for audiobooks. It is also a great source for finding target audience data, such as age-appropriate classifications.
A subscription is required to access data in this Bowker resource, which is invaluable for finding data on publishers and their physical locations. Great for gleaning target audience data and reading levels, this resource also sometimes provides a Dewey number.
When cataloguing video shorts on specific concepts – typically in mathematics and science – this thesaurus is terrific. At SCIS we provide these headings in bibliographic records. As a cataloguer I have needed assistance from this thesaurus to select suitable SCIS headings.
ScOT provides a controlled vocabulary of terms used in Australian and New Zealand schools. It encompasses all subject areas as well as terms describing educational and administrative processes. The thesaurus links non-preferred terms to curriculum terms.
This is the online authority for data on periodicals. Subscription is required, which we do not have at SCIS, but I have wished for it whenever a SCIS subscriber requests a SCIS record for a magazine or serial title.
ISBNdb gathers data from libraries, publishers, merchants and other sources around the globe to compile a vast collection of book data searchable by ISBN, title, author or publisher.
ISBNdb calls itself ‘The world’s largest book database’. I have tended to use it when I have been unable to get results from my usual sources such as Libraries Australia or Books In Print.
Situated on Bowker’s ISBN.org website, this is great for when I need a quick conversion from the old 10-digit ISBN format to the current 13-digit. This can occur at SCIS when we have old records that require enhancement, often in response to subscriber requests.
At SCIS, when we do not apply our own standards related to content, we turn to RDA. Institutions require a subscription to access the Toolkit, which now enables subscribers to create what is called an application profile. This presents the way in which a subscriber applies RDA in its own institution.
I hope you find these resources useful as you navigate your way through the seas of bibliographic description. Bon voyage!