Cataloging by Chilton

At the risk of raising the ire of more adept catalogers, the last few years it has confounded me that cataloging manuals are so complex, e.g., LC - MARC, AACR2, DDC, etc. Why so much jargon? After all, I'm not defending a dissertation, I'm just wanting to add an item to our catalog in a timely matter. Please just provide me examples of what punctuation is appropriate, what information should go in each field, etc.

In a very rough comparison, if any of you own a Prius, you know that it isn't the simplest procedure to change the headlamps (I'm sure Toyota dealerships would rather us bring our cars to them for any light bulb changes). Heck, even a local mechanic shop took 20 minutes to change one of the headlamps. Well, I found a manual on how to do it and did it in 10 minutes. :)

If I had the time I would compile a manual, preferably online, for the cataloging equivalent to Chilton's Auto Repair Manuals. If there is the "Haynes Owner's Workshop Manual for the Space Shuttle" there sure as heck could be such a title on using DDC. ;)

Titles:
Cataloging For Dummies (like me)
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cataloging (no, none of us are idiots)
Really Simple Cataloging (also me)

PS. I greatly appreciate "Cataloging with AACR2 and MARC21" by Deborah Fritz. :)

Comments

Another title

Bearkat might want to add these titles to the really simply cataloged collection:

"Why My Collection is Not Browsable"
"What Should I Do when the Librarian tells me that the book I am Looking for is 'somewhere over there.' "

Browsable

You can make some libraries browsable but many academic libraries have collections exceeding 500,000 volumes. There hits a number of volumes where you really do need a catalog.

So I take it from your comment that you think public libraries should be setup like a Barnes and Nobles?

You miss my point...or at least half of it

Simplifying (lowering) cataloging standards could lead to either one of the polar opposites my notional titles represent (not browsable vs. only browsable).

Regardless, biblographic control is extremely important in larger libraries (more important, in fact, the larger a library is). Dumbing down the rules for the convenience of the librarian won't necessarily help matters.

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