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Archive for the ‘Library catalogs’ Category

Reference and the New Library

Posted by Librarian/Information Professional on September 23, 2011

You know some say reference is dead. They should come sit at the reference desk with me. Not that every second is busy, but people still need to discover resources. That is my job when I sit at the desk!

I show them ways to find what they are hunting. Sometimes I show them the library databases and the library catalog. I show them how to search to find “on topic” information. I show them subject searching in the library catalog. For example, if someone needs a book about William Shakespeare, they need to use the name as a subject, otherwise they will get all the books that contain his writings. If we use his name as a subject, then they get what other people had to say about his writing.

How is this related to digital resources? Some of the methods that I use to teach people lead them to digital resources. Databases contain digital resources. Library catalogs do, too.

I think we over-estimate people’s abilities to locate what they need. Most of the time, they do a quick look at Google and then think that is all there is. Google works for its purpose, but not to find specific information for a topic.

Oh yes, Wikipedia! It is a great starting point for many topics. Besides the encyclopedic materials, there are citations that can get people started toward the “right stuff.”

Reference is not dead, but those who want to kill it don’t appreciate what reference is all about! They do not understand or want to understand the “information needs” of the people who come into the library.

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Digital projects

Posted by Librarian/Information Professional on June 8, 2011

Since I started this blog, I have been adding digital records to our library catalog (OPAC for all you librarians out there). When I was a library assistant, or technical worker, I added batches of e-documents that I got from Dataminer. I would filter records that were created in a previous month and then process them into our OPAC.

In our department, we tried several methods to upload them. Student workers checked to see if they were already cataloged and adding 856 fields with URLs. We tried dumping in the entire batch filtered for our library. We tried variations on the same idea. We still weren’t satisfied.

When I got to be in charge of the department, I experimented some more and now have a different variation. I filter the records at Dataminer by our depository number and then download the batch. Since some of the links include records to the GPO catalog, but not to the digital item, I don’t want to include those records. I use MarcEdit to make batch changes to the entire bunch and then upload them into our OPAC. It is not quite that simple, but it is not that difficult either. It takes some tweeking of the records and of the holdings codes, and I am done.

I used a similar process to batch load e-journals and ERIC records. I may write about them another day. Hope this jogs someone into thinking about a better way than I am now using and that they let me know. Until then, it is the best that I have come up with.

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Posted by Librarian/Information Professional on January 26, 2009

Yes, there are some controversies out there after all. I have just scratched the surface and stumbled upon more than I bargained for. Some I care very little about, such as which tag goes where, unless it it my favorite tag, 🙂 which changes from time to time. It all depends upon what I am trying to do. Today I like the 780/785 tags. This group discusses tags that I have never seen before, so they must be very special tags indeed. As I learn about cataloging, maybe I will have some new favorites. At least I will hear about some secret tags!

Today the big discussion on Autocat was the Guardian post about OCLC claiming ownership of all the cataloging records. Interesting topic, but I think we are going to look at the OPAC and how it isn’t meeting the needs of the users of the library. There is a lot of discussion about where users start their searches. Funny it all ties back into the OCLC controversy in its own way. We will have to fine tune it. We, being myself and my partner on this project. Teamwork rules in library school!

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2009 New classes

Posted by Librarian/Information Professional on January 25, 2009

Another semester and more classes. This time it is cataloging and information communication and technology. Cataloging is about controversies? I am to think about and write about controversies in my class. Now what could be a controversy in such a topic? Hmmm…

Wait and see. There must be something, or she would not have assigned it!

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