CATALOGING TOOLS IN THE INTERNET
I. Aim of the Presentation
The purpose of this presentation is to select and evaluation tools available in the
Internet that will help catalogers perform their work in a more production and efficient
II. Effect of the Internet on Cataloging
a.Accessibility of free tools in the Internet. The Internet is a powerful tool
bringing a range of cataloging tools and resources at the librarian’s fingertips. By
clicking the mouse, the librarian can consult the various tools needed to provide
adequate bibliographic description, such as, online public access catalogs (OPACS),
bibliographic utilities and databases or the Internet to search names of authors and
places. This is a far cry from original cataloging a few years back. Cataloging activities
involved so much legwork checking and verifying entries in existing card catalogs, or
leafing through heavy volumes of the National Union Catalog (NUC), checking
dictionaries, gazetteers and a host of reference materials. Hundie succinctly
summarized the impact of the accessibility of tools in the Internet when she said “
Original cataloging has always been a very expensive task in terms of time and energy
of professional catalogers” that resulted in the perennial problem of backlogs,
outsourcing and subscription to expensive databases. She further adds… “Nowadays,
with the advent of the Internet libraries, they may not need to do original classification
and cataloging or they may not need to buy commercial bibliographic databases which
are often costly. There exists a large number of … tools accessible through the
Internet, typically including online public access catalogs (OPACS), bibliographic utilities
and online bibliographic databases that can be searched free of charge.” Cataloging
tools available in the Internet is limitless. Knowledge and use of these tools can save
precious time and money for libraries.
b. Faster retrieval and exchange of information. Another effect of the internet
is information explosion, where one can readily retrieve information anywhere. Faster
retrieval and exchange of information spooned the growth of newsgroups and discussion
lists. This provided opportunities for collegial consultations among catalogers. The
Autocat, Interact and other discussions groups became a fora for lively discussion of
new ideas and initiatives. Problems concerning the application of standards are posted.
Exchange of ideas and sharing of experiences were instruments for resolving the issues.
The discussion lists also served as good reference sites for new cataloging tools
available in the market.
c. Telecataloging. The availability of cataloging tools and online public access
catalogs of big private and university libraries as well as national libraries worldwide
which linked resources and tools accessible in one website presents opportunities for
the enterprising librarians. As Mcdonald pointed out : “One of the most innovative and
revolutionary library services to evolve in the Internet era is reference linking, the ability
to transmit bibliographic data through hypertext links and to connect users with the full
richness of electronic collections with ease”. Telecataloging or remote site cataloging
has emerged. Librarians can now perform cataloging outside the walls of the library.
Tools that can be conveniently accessed help reduce a lot of the legwork and manual
work that catalogers saving time and money. Bibliographic data can be easily
downloaded or copied resulting in more productivity and efficiency. Bibliographic
information about materials being cataloged can also be accessed through book reviews
and publishers catalogs. This environment provides us the opportunity to work in the
comfort of our homes.
III. Cataloging Tools in the Internet
Surfing tools in the Internet is fast and easy depending on the equipment the
library has. Catalogers can hop from one link to the other to find materials they need,
but one can easily be waylaid. Thus, the general information sites are comprehensive in
scope in that one can find the tools and other resources such as bibliographic
databases, online public access catalogs (OPACS), manuals and policies. The other
websites deal with cataloging of special materials, such as maps, serials, e-journals, and
a. General Cataloging Sites
The general cataloging sites provide a one-stop shop for cataloging tools and online
public access catalogs. and miscellaneous information on discussion and newsgroups.
These include the classification and Cataloging tools, as well as links to bibliographic
databases and utilities like the OCLC, online public access catalogs of national public
libraries worldwide. Manuals of procedures and policies of certain libraries are available
for libraries wanting to design or revise their workflows. Unlike a printed bibliography, the
advantage of linking the site is that one can actually access the sites so that it is not
necessary to evaluate the websites in detail. Miscellaneous information on discussion
lists and news groups and how to subscribe to list are available..
Internet Library for Librarians: A Portal Designed for Librarians to Locate Internet
Resources Related to their profession
(http://www.itcompany.com/inforetriever/cat.htm) by the InfoWorks Technology
Company and maintained by Internet Library for Librarian Editorial Team under the
current executive editor, Yongmei Gu is a comprehensive cataloging and catalog
management resources on the Internet. It provides links to 3,000 resources, 348 sites of
which are on cataloging. The links include the LC Services and selective
comprehensive resources for cataloging, authority maintenance, descriptive cataloging,
subject cataloging and classification, MARC formats, policies and procedures, Web-
interfaced and newspaper catalogs. A brief description is added for each website.
The Cataloguer’s Toolbox (http://staff.library.mun.ca/staff/toolbox/) is a website for
the Bibliographic Control Services of the Queen Elizabeth II Library at Memorial
University of Newfoundland. It gives links and access to cataloging tools by activity,
format and subject. Sites of national libraries around the world are provided. Websites
of bibliographic utilities, conferences meetings, cataloging of electronic serials and
archives are helpful sources for catalogers.
The Cataloger’s Reference Shelf (http://www.itsmarc.com/crs/crs0000.htm)
maintained by the Library Corporation provides comprehensive links to cataloging
resources that cataloger’s need, such as the MARC formats, Cataloging of special
materials such as Archival Moving Image Decscription Conventions, loose-leaf
publication cataloging, conser cataloging manuals, rare books and graphic matters.
Presentation is clear and simple.
b. Descriptive Cataloging
Foremost cataloging sites for copy cataloging and establishing authorities is the
Library of Congress Websites. Descriptive catalogers can access and download
bibliographic and authority records from the Library of Congress online catalog
(http://lcweb.loc.gov/catalog). Original cataloging of publication not found in the catalog
may also be requested. The OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standard Manual
(http://www.oclc.org/oclc/bib/toc.htm) provides guidelines for OCLC utilities users but the
manual intended for OCLC catalogers are also useful for those not familiar with MARC
format tags and the AACR2 rules. Training Guides for Descriptive Cataloging,
maintained by Elizabeth A. Read of Queen’s University Library
(http://188.8.131.52/techserv/cat/Sect02a/c02a2.html) is very good guide for beginning
catalogers. Anglo-American Cataloging Rules and the MARC format codes are
discussed with illustrative examples.
c. Subject Cataloging
Prepared for LC subject catalogers, the Library of Congress Cataloging Policy
and Support Office (http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/cpso.html) provides the latest
cataloging policy and developments in the Library of Congress and the international
community. List of cataloging tools and documentation aside from the latest subject
headings online are found in the LC Headings Weekly Lists. An alternative online tool is
the Subject Cataloger’s Electronic Resources Toolkit
(http://www.loc.gov/rr/business/beonline/toolkit.html ) prepared by Jan Herd which
aggregates various subject tools and documentation, MARC standards, Metadata
Documentation for subject catalogers, Glossaries and Dictionaries for Internet or
Electronic Resources including an online presentation on Subject Cataloging Skills
Used on the Web.
d. Serials Cataloging
Serials cataloging is now affected by the rise in electronic resources and e-
journals. Most of the websites combine traditional cataloging of serials enhanced by the
inclusion of electronic serials. “Tools for Serials Cataloguers : A Collection of Useful
Sources, (http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/ercelawn/serials.html) is created and
maintained by Ann Ercelawn. It provides links to various cataloging documentation,
coding guidelines from the Library of Congress, OCLC and Conser. There is also a
presentation and online tutorial on changes in the AACR2 for Chapters 9 and 12
regarding electronic resources. Intended as a guide for catalogers at the Serials Dept. at
the UC Davis General Library, “Serials Cataloging Tools” is a selective listing of
cataloging sources (http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu/ercelawn/serials.html). The listing
further includes articles and guidelines on serials and internet cataloging with brief
annotations. For practical cataloging, access Serials Cataloging: Fields Required in
Full and Core Records (http://macfadden.mit.edu.9500/colserv/sercat/core/core-
required.htm) . The site gives MARC full and core bibliographic records required for
bibliographic description of serials and Internet publications. Some libraries would have
different versions of a serial publication in their catalog. E-Serials Cataloging:
is a guideline that allows for the adding of a record when there is an existing record that
can be used for the e-version.
e.Nonbook Resources Cataloging
Organizing Audiovisuals and Electronic Resources for Access: A
Cataloging Guide (http://slis.cua.edu/ihy/catmeta.htm) by Ingrid Hsieh-Yee lists 109
sites that includes keeping current for new initiatives in cataloging, cataloging aids &
tools, cataloging standards and organizing internet resources. Tools for audiovisual
materials are accessed by format. Authority Tools for Audiovisual and Music
Catalogers: An Annotated List of Useful Resources, edited by Robert Bratton, from
the Subcommittee on Authority Tools, Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc.
(http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/units/cts/olac/capc/authtools.html) “brings together in
one place descriptions for information sources that are useful when developing
authorized headings to support audiovisual and music catalog records.” The collection
includes print and electronic resources that serves as a reference guide for audiovisual
catalogers when establishing authority records. Tools for Cataloging Internet
Resources compiled by Rick J. Block and Karl Fattig of the New England Technical
Services Librarians (http://www.bowdoin.edu/~kfattig/netsl) includes cataloging manuals
and documentation for cataloging internet resources. It also includes presentation
overheads by Rick J. Block (with the presentation of Karl Fattig to follow) as well as work
and research studies done by other groups and individuals.
g. Map Cataloging
Map Cataloging Resources, http://www.waml.org/mapcat.html) developed by Katherine
Rankin gives a listing of print and electronic manuals and tools used for cataloging maps
including a discussion group. Linked to Map Librarian’s Toolbox
(http://www.waml.org/maptools.html) this site gives an alphabetical listing by subject of
various sources that links directly to the topic selected by Linda Zellmer.
The good thing about online bibliographies as compared to printed versions is
the ability to search directly and access the materials listed by clicking on the links to the
Internet sites. Cataloging Tools in the Internet
(http://lists.tblc.org/pipermail/tblcats/2000-February/000182.html) by Julie Moore
Crowley which started in 1999 meets the needs of original catalogers. It is an exhaustive
listing of 133 cataloging tools of major cataloging agencies, such as the Library of
Congress websites on different tools, outstanding cataloging sites from the academe,
OCLC internet sites, languages, English dictionaries, encyclopedias, geographic
names, and other reference materials that original catalogers would need.
If you want some annotations or tips from a practicing librarian, At Our
Fingertips: Online Cataloging Tools by Kathleen L. Wells, senior librarian at the
University of Southern Mississippi (http://www.sandstrum.com/catalogtools.html) is a
very good critical introduction to selected tools for catalogers arranged according to the
format. There is a listing for general information sites, manual of policies and
procedures, description, classification, subject cataloging, OCLC and Marc tools and
nonbook materials. Special features of each site and specific materials for specials
problems are pointed out.
IV. Implications of Development for Local Librarians
a. Participation on broader issues concerning library automation.
Tremendous growth in the Internet benefited the libraries, particularly those involved with
the processing of materials like catalogers. The developments have inevitable
implications on the relevance of the tools and the standards that we use. Since 1998,
the AACR2 underwent several revisions to accommodate emerging resources such as
the electronic and online materials. Condron and Tittemore listed twelve major projects
of reputable institutions involved in creating metadata standards for multimedia
materials. These are projects concerned with archival materials,audiovisual and other
resources whose metadata cannot be adequately covered by existing rules of the
AACR2 and the MARC format. The Dublin Core and the Encoded Archival Description
are now starting to attract the interest of institutions for use in their collections.
Innovations not only on standards but also in the hardware and software for library
automation are surfacing everyday and these are challenging us to participate to shape
changes that will make us work effectively and efficiently. The aggregators of the
cataloging tools are found in websites of institutions in the West. There is so far no
website yet in Asian libraries which have included their tools in the websites.
b. Encourage experimentation . The catalog is still evolving as more
complex technology and communication tools are developed. These will the kind scope
and depth of library collection, the equipment and tools and standards that we use. New
library tools are being developed and librarians are encouraged to critically utilize them.
Feedback mechanism on sending new ideas and changes to enhance could produce
products that meet library needs. Long time ago, the Ranganathan classification was
conceived, an Asian contribution to library science on the organization of materials.
Computer manufacturing and software developments are now moving back to Asian
countries because of the low cost of labor in developed countries. It means therefore
that we have the technical expertise, and to use that expertise to our advantage is a
c. Reskilling librarians. The most important factor for meeting the
technological challenge of the new electronic and Internet libraries are well-trained,
knowledgeable catalogers with sufficient technical skills with the computer equipment.
This means that librarians should be trained concerning the traditional organization of
library materials, but as information analyst working with electronic resources and
computers will further need to be equipped with computer skills.
d. Working cooperatively. Investments on computers, cataloging tools as well
as library resources, perhaps deterred Philippine libraries from the automation of most
of its operation. A lot of libraries are still cooping to buy the needed reference materials
for students and faculty. But, the Internet is now a powerful tool for information storage,
retrieval and dissemination. Access to information worldwide is easy and a lot of it free.
Connecting to the Internet is, however very expensive given the fact that it is a long
distance call. By working cooperatively to aggregate the cataloging tools accessible
locally in a website, libraries can save the cost of accessing remote sites abroad.
Indeed, cataloging tools available in the Internet is limitless. These, however, are
not self-organizing and catalogers are the best persons to organize these resources for
faster and more effective information retrieval.
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