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OCLC Batchloads July 17, 2007

Posted by bibservatmac in collection analysis, holdings, OCLC.

Over the next year or two, we hope to do some intensive collection management work. In support of that, we have subscribed to OCLC’s WorldCat Collection Analysis (WCA) tool.

WCA will allow us to compare our holdings at McMaster to other libraries. This could be a one to one comparison, putting our engineering holdings against those at the University of Waterloo, for example, or seeing how we stack up against an academic library that is slightly larger than we are. The more common use, though, is against a group of libraries. We might look at our collection against the other OCUL members, or against a group of ARL or CARL libraries. The goal is to help us identify areas where our collection is strong and where it needs further development.

WCA is a fairly flexible tool, allowing us to do analyses at a broad level over a range of LC class numbers or drill down to individual titles in a given subject area. This title-level data may prove useful in purchasing books for subjects our liaison librarians identify as needing growth. Many WCA libraries are also using this title-level analysis to target digitization and preservation projects. WCA can help us pick out unique holdings that we need to preserve, perhaps by shifting them from stacks to Research Collections as some other libraries are doing, and to identify titles in the public-domain that could be digitized for greater access.

The full benefits of WCA really depend on having all of the library’s holdings in OCLC. Since we get a free batchload to start the process off, we’ve begun with that. Karen has started extracting files of MARC records from Horizon representing all of UL’s print and purchased e-resource holdings. These files are sent to OCLC for matching against WorldCat. If a matching record is found, our holdings are updated; new records are added to OCLC for our original cataloguing; and holdings deleted from OCLC for titles we have withdrawn.

We only get one freebie, so going forward it’s important for us to make sure we’re maintaining our holdings. This would include adding our holdings for titles that we purchase or receive as donations, adding holdings to existing records for items in Research Collections, and using our “so” status code for any new records we create. We also have to delete our OCLC holdings if we withdraw the last copy of a title. If we don’t keep the holdings up to date, our analyses won’t be accurate.

We’ll be sharing more information about this once our analysis gets underway!


McMaster Thesis Cataloguing July 17, 2007

Posted by bibservatmac in call numbers, cataloguing, electronic, theses.
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In order to keep up with the volume of McMaster theses arriving on the floor for cataloguing, we’ve made some significant changes here as well.

For Masters theses, we will now be creating enhanced brief records, including basic information like:

  • author
  • title
  • department
  • degree and date of convocation
  • pagination
  • supervisor
  • subject keywords

We are including in the 050 a broad LC classification based on the granting department (usually the “General Works” class for that subject) in order to make these discoverable through the Endeca subject browse. The item record will have a call number consisting of that departmental classification, the year of convocation, and a sequential number to be used as a shelving location. For example, the first Psychology thesis catalogued in the 2007 convocation would be: THESIS BF 07 001. These theses will be shelved together as a collection, starting immediately.

For Doctoral theses, we will no longer be retaining a print copy for circulation. The School of Graduate Studies sends PhD theses to ProQuest for digitization. We are currently inputting very brief bibliographic records for new Doctoral theses, containing the author, title, and year. This allows users to request the print copy until the thesis is digitized (it takes several months). Once that is complete, McMaster users will have access to the full text of these dissertations through our DigitalCommons site. A microfiche copy of each thesis is available for interlibrary loan, and a paper copy will continue to be housed in closed storage for preservation purposes.

MARC records for each thesis are supplied by ProQuest. The cataloguers will enrich these records, adding information on the supervisor, granting department, and subject headings, among others. In light of the change in access from print to digital, we have also decided to cease cataloguing Doctoral theses as print materials. Instead, we will treat them as electronic resources. Margaret is preparing a draft of the new procedures and will circulate it for comment when completed.

Pre-Processed Books July 17, 2007

Posted by bibservatmac in collection codes, Monographs, physical processing, vendors.
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So, where to begin?

After working with our vendors over the course of several months, our first shipment of pre-processed books should arrive in the next week or so. We’ve established profiles with our two major vendors to apply barcodes, spine labels, property labels, and tattle-tape to the books we order from them. We’re all waiting to see how they stack up to the ones we’ve been doing in-house and what the hit rate will be.

The process took longer than expected when we hit a snag with the profiling. Originally, we based this on our acquisitions fund codes, using them to ensure the right spine label prefix was applied. Unfortunately, none of us realized at the time that Horizon doesn’t include the fund code when it sends our orders electronically to the vendors. So, back to the drawing board we went. The spine labels are now based on collection code, which does actually make it through the EDI process. This may in the end prove to be more accurate, since some topics split between libraries (psychology, for example). We can generally make such divisions by LC class, but this is a very neat and tidy way to send the books to the right library at the point of order.

A Long Absence July 17, 2007

Posted by bibservatmac in cataloguing, transformation.
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It’s been a few months since we posted anything new.

In part, it’s just because we’ve been so busy. We’ve all moved into new quarters on the opposite side of our tech services floor and the cataloguers have begun their half-time reference duties. Add to that vacations and conferences, and we’ve been spread pretty thin.

In part, it’s also been that not a lot has happened in terms of cataloguing in the last few months. (We’ve been busy enough with other developments…) But now it all seems to be happening at once, so I’ll see if I can get a few updates posted.

On another note, I expect we’ll be moving to a new URL in the near future. With the Library’s transformation underway, Bibliographic Services has been phased out and the cataloguing function merged with acquisitions. I’ve hesitated to set up another blog until we finalize our new department’s name, but once that’s done look for the Bib Services blog content to migrate to a new home of its own.

Getting Wiki’d April 15, 2007

Posted by bibservatmac in transformation.

The transformation of our technical services area is well underway, and we’re using some new tools to help the process along.

Serials and e-maintenance started off with a wiki for their area, and we’ve recently started another for cataloguing and acquisitions. We’re still working on names for the new departments that reflect their scope and are descriptive enough to mean something beyond the Collections Division. At the moment, we’re considering Resource Management Services for the first and Collection Services for the second. Look for names to be chosen in the coming weeks.

As a final note, I have to say, as an ETG‘er, I was really pleased to see the serials and e-maintenance staff take the lead on developing a wiki for the department. It’s exactly what we hoped would happen. Thanks to all of you for taking the opportunity to start using one of the new tools we’ve explored!

Still Changing the Rules March 23, 2007

Posted by bibservatmac in cataloguing, transformation.
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We’ve had our new cataloguing procedure in place for a couple of weeks now (I was a little slow in blogging it).

In that time, Ros, Marcia, and Kim have done a terrific job of testing and asking lots of good questions. The cataloguers have met to discuss the process and have done some review of the books being sent over to cataloguing. Based on what we’ve seen and talked about, the procedures have been revised.

The most significant change is the handling of series, which made up the bulk of items received in cataloguing. With the first draft of the procedure, we asked for all series to be sent to cataloguing. This proved to be too broad a net, which would quickly outstrip our remaining cataloguing time. We’ve revised the procedure so that only those series lacking an authority record in Horizon (meaning we’ve not seen them before and don’t know how they’re handled) and straight series are sent to cataloguing. If an authority record for the series has already been imported, the series is classed separately (‡a=s in field 646 of the authority record), and the bibliographic record meets the completeness requirements (based on ELvl), the record will be accepted without further review and the book sent on for labeling. Hopefully that was clearer in bullet form in the procedure than it looks here…

Changing All the Rules March 15, 2007

Posted by bibservatmac in cataloguing, transformation.
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The transformation of McMaster’s University Library is well underway, and Bib Services has seen some major changes.

We’re making progress on our shelf-ready arrangements and should have those up and running soon. In the mean time, with our numbers reduced and books still coming in, we needed to find a way to keep them moving along. As a result, we’ve significantly altered our approach to monograph cataloguing.

In the past, our decision on whether to accept copy cataloguing records was made based on where the record came from. Library of Congress records were accepted, others were passed on to Original Cataloguing for further review. We have abandoned that approach, and are now using the quality and completeness of the record as the basis for deciding which ones need further scrutiny.

Under our new procedures, we are accepting catalogue records that meet or exceed the BIBCO Core Record Standard for books. Since we import the bulk of our records from OCLC, we are looking at records with an Encoding Level (ELvl) of 4, I, or blank, indicating that they have Core or Full level cataloguing. This leaves a much smaller number of records that are automatically routed to cataloguing.

Making this change will allow our cataloguers to focus their attention on Research Collections and unique McMaster resources, scores, Canadian history and literature, e-resources, and other areas where their expertise and experience are needed.

The initial set of procedures developed for use by our acquisitions staff, who import records at the time of ordering, is outlined below. We are already modifying portions of this to allow more materials to pass with less review. It’s going to be a work in progress for a while, but will allow us to get resources out to our users more quickly than before.

  • At the point of ordering, import a catalogue record from OCLC, matching the author, title, publisher, and date of the book to be ordered.
    • If there is more than one record for the item in OCLC, prefer the record with ELvl code I, 4, or blank.
  • If any of the following are true, create a workslip note, “Send to cataloguing on receipt.”
    • The catalogue record’s ELvl code is other than I, 4, or blank
    • The catalogue record contains a series statement in field 440 or 490.
    • The catalogue record lacks a complete (both ‡a and ‡b are present) call number in either field 050 or 090.
    • The item is Canadian history or literature (Brian Prince).
    • The item will be located in Research Collections or Russell Archives.
  • If there is no record in OCLC, create a brief record and add the workslip note from above.
  • If none of the above applies, and the record’s ELvl code is I, 4, or blank, cataloguing is considered complete.
    • Continue to delete 856s containing “access” URLs.
    • You may send to cataloguing records that you find questionable, but we will generally accept as correct records with the specified ELvl codes.

Electronic Gov. Pubs. cataloguing February 13, 2007

Posted by bibservatmac in cataloguing, electronic, original cataloguing, Projects.
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The original cataloguers are currently undertaking the cataloguing of approx. 160 e-government publication titles.  Most of these titles were pulled out of the ERD when it was converted to the nERD and need to have catalogue records in Morris to make them accessible.

 Cataloguers will use the Library and Archives Canada archived URL whenever possible. To find this URL, search the title in Amicus and capture the link contained in the record for the electronic format (or just download the electronic record to Morris from Amicus).   If the URL sends you to a document where access is restricted, then prefer the Depository Services (dsp) URL instead.  If neither of these is an option, use the URL for the parliamentary site contained in the brief bib.

Bertrand Russell Pamphlet Collection February 12, 2007

Posted by bibservatmac in cataloguing, Projects.
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If you have sharp eyes, you might have noticed that I moved the Russell Pamphlets into the Completed Projects section last week. I was a little early, as it wasn’t quite finished, but I’m pleased to say that it is now!

There were 180 titles in this collection, many of which have few or no other holdings in WorldCat. The Bertrand Russell pamphlets consist of short works by Bertrand Russell, and form part of a larger Russell Pamphlet collection held by the Division of Archives and Research Collections. Research Collections also maintains Bertrand Russell’s personal archives and library as well as an extensive collection of Russell’s publications. Thanks to Barb, Bev, Doris, and Laurel for their work on this project!

To see the full list, do a keyword search in MORRIS for “Bertrand Russell Pamphlet collection“.

Endeca and Call Numbers February 8, 2007

Posted by bibservatmac in call numbers, classification, CODOC, electronic, Endeca, pre-1800.
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To support our implementation of Endeca (public launch coming soon!), we have revised some of our call number procedures.

Endeca provides for a subject browse feature, based on the LC and NLM classification hierarchy, which guides users from general to specific topics. NCSU’s Endeca catalogue is a good example.

In order for our e-resources and other “non-LC stacks” materials—such as CDs, the CODOC collection, and pre-1800 books—to be included in these results, they need to be classified. To prevent an LC number assigned to these resources from appearing as a shelving location, we opted to put it in the bibliographic record rather than Horizon’s item record. This also allows us to put a “proper” shelving location, such as a CODOC number or pre-1800 book number, in the item record for display to the user.

Endeca will look for the following fields in a bib record. Only the ‡a will be used; the ‡b will be ignored:

  • 037 [HSL only. The prefix to the number (such as HSSR) will be ignored.]
  • 050
  • 055
  • 060

Because classification numbers in the bib record are used only in searching, there can be more than one number associated with a title. A Canadian history title, for example, might include both F1015 (Library of Congress) and FC74 (Library and Archives Canada). This gives our users multiple paths to the same resource.

The new policy is now available on the Bib Services website. We hope to investigate possibilities for a retrospective fix to update our existing e-resource and other bib records.

While we hope that adding or accepting these class numbers will be helpful to our users, this is one access point among many and we need to be mindful of the time we spend on it. In some cases, we may assign a general class (BC) or class number (E18) if finding a more specific class number is proving too time consuming.