Bibliographic Level

Bibliographic Level

Today in cataloguing we got a test run of OCLC, which was interesting. I’ve been hoping to see how cataloguing works on the ground running for some time; I wanted to see interfaces. So that was great.

As a bit of a sidebar my professor also told us about a little something we sort of already knew, but this gave it a name. Bibliographic level. At what level are you cataloguing? The standard is monograph, of course. We’re not cataloguing, as he said, chapters, or concepts. Just the item as a whole.

For a second I got a little chill in class. Concepts. Can you imagine cataloguing concepts? I mean, what a pain in the ass, but can you imagine what a cool search tool that would create? I mean, we used to catalogue by article in serials, which I think is probably better done at this point by proquest or jstor, really. But still, we were doing it. Not by concept, though. That would be incredibly difficult, I would think.

And then I saw this on the Library Link of the day:

As Internet users become accustomed to enhanced content on other Web sites, they will expect libraries to provide similar enhancements in the OPAC. Librarians maintaining existing automation systems will need to keep up with their vendors’ newest products and to visit the Web sites of the vendors’ other customers to get ideas for enhancements that could be useful. Those looking for new automation systems will need to evaluate each product’s enhancement and integration capabilities.
Google and amazon.com can do it. Can libraries do it to? I can feel the revolution, my friends.

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