The Catalog Department is responsible for all aspects of cataloging service for books and materials added to the collection of Ethel K. Smith Library. Its mission is to organize and provide bibliographic access to the collection in order to promote their fullest possible use. Responsibilities include: descriptive, subject and copy cataloging; maintenance of bibliographic records, including the addition, correction, and deletion of records; and the preparation of library materials for use.
General Policies & Procedures
The purpose of this policy is to guide the catalog staff and to inform the public about the principles upon which decisions are made.
- To select classification numbers which best identify the subject content of the material at hand, using the Library of Congress Classification system as prepared by the Library of Congress Cataloging Policy and Support Office.
- To select subject headings, according to the Library of Congress guidelines, making every effort to determine accurate, unbiased terms as established by the latest edition of The Library of Congress Subject Headings.
- To treat print and non-print materials equally, cataloging all items according to Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, second edition, 1998 revision, using the USMARC format and supplying MARC coding and tagging, as documented in MARC 21: Bibliographic format.
- To consult regularly with the Public Services Staff and acquisitions staff on cataloging policies, procedures, and proposed changes.
- To maintain holdings information in the OCLC database in order to facilitate interlibrary loans.
- To give priority status to items identified as needed for immediate use; items shall not be loaned before cataloging is complete without the permission of the Cataloger.
- To review gift books donated to the Library for consideration for the collection. (Please consult the Donated Materials section of this document.)
- To select and prepare books for binding purposes. The Library cannot send personal copies not belonging to the collection to the bindery; however, information about binding resources will be provided on request.
- To perform all of the above tasks as efficiently and quickly as possible to ensure that materials are available in a timely manner.
Final responsibility for the Catalog Department lies with the Library Director. Unusual and/or potential problems will be referred to the Director for resolution.
Updated: April 2015