Hello again! I am feeling a little behind on my blog posts. I forget. I am forgetful. But anyway…
Last week was course registration at IU when I pick out classes that don’t sound too boring that I can also potentially market to future employers. So there’s never really a rhyme or reason to what I pick, but my classes for next spring really have nothing in common. History of the Book, seminar on Intellectual Freedom, and Cataloging.
Let me tell you something, and I really need to listen closely. Never. Never. Never ever. Did I imagine myself registering to take cataloging. But, alas, Ivy Tech has had its influence on me. Because the library is small with an equally-sized staff, there is no cataloging librarian or technical services person. Everyone knows how to do some percentage of the cataloging process because everyone has to. Even me!
To put a new book in the catalog, my supervisor and I logged into OCLC which apparently charges you per minute you’re logged in. We got the book’s OCLC number and then logged out really quick. Then, because Ivy Tech is a statewide system, we checked to see if other campus has a record of the same book, that way we can link the records. Linking the records means that when a student searches for “Green Eggs and Ham”, there will be one result in IvyCat (their catalog) with a list of which campuses have that item in the holdings information. Another advantage to linking the record is that it minimizes work for us: the MARC record only needs a couple tweak, there’s already a call number (which we double check), and so that just leaves us with slapping on a barcode.
I made it all sound really simple. It’s not. It’s a series of very particular steps that cannot be done out of order and I honestly don’t really understand it. Which is why I’m taking cataloging.
Now, there are a couple parts of the cataloging universe that make sense and I can do unsupervised. Different materials have different rules and locations and those details have to be put in the catalog. I have learned how to change an item’s location, its loan period, and and the item type. It’s really basic, but I like going into the backend.