This week at the library I started to review our movie records in cataloging to change them over to the new genre schema. I was simply delighted to find that the records I anticipated making a few changes to needed major re-tooling. This will slow the project significantly. In fact, I’ve only been able to finish about twenty-five records so far since I have many other duties as well. Many of our early movie records include no summary, just one or two subject access points, and are simply not up to my standard of cataloging. My colleague Jessica, the current children’s librarian, and I began a discussion of how we will approach this project. Jessica is not a cataloger, but has taken the “basic” course at library school.
So yesterday I sat down and created a cheat sheet with all the MARC fields I could think of that are used in cataloging movies. I then created a sample record including all these fields. Not very realistic, since I don’t think I’ve ever created records that use all the tags at the same time, but informative. I also printed some FirstSearch records and annotated them to point where the information in a FirstSearch record actually goes in the cataloging record. We plan to discuss the cataloging more on Wednesday when our work schedules overlap.
I was very excited to start getting to know our new volunteer and sub for the library this week. She worked with me Tuesday evening and I showed her how to perform many of the tasks our other circulation clerks work on. Some of the many tasks I demonstrated to Emily included packing MelCat books for outgoing delivery, balancing the cash drawer at the end of the evening and closing procedures. I also explained the reasoning behind why we do things the way we do them as much as possible. I felt this was not explained to me very well when I started working in libraries.
Perhaps to avoid overwhelming me, I received training that went like this “we do it this way, period.” I really enjoyed explaining how certain things work in the library world. I think it’s important support staff understand the underlying philosophy and challenges faced by the profession. In this way, they become more engaged, more excited, more aware (I hope). When I started working in libraries I had only a basic understanding of the underlying philosophy and challenges faced by the profession. I think my standards could have been so much higher with the right information. We also went over the process of re-processing browser packs in great detail. There are many steps involved with the process, but the basic procedure is two steps:
1. Re-processing the browser packs from the list provided by the cataloger, and annotating those browser packs not found.
2. Determining the status of the browser packs not found and returning the list back to the cataloger for further action.
There are many sub-steps involved and I anticipate the project getting off the ground slowly, just as it is for the cataloging back-end. I have to become conditioned to scan records and identify missing fields quicker. I hope this will happen naturally as we go along. I also finished cataloging all the new video games for the library and they were processed by our clerks. They will be going out this week and I’m super excited about it!
In related news, I have started reading the book Library 2.0 and Beyond. It is slightly outdated, but I think there will still be some good information to learn. I am also really excited about a FREE virtual conference, Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference, which is November 2-3. I learned about the conference from following Michael Stephens on Twitter. If you don’t know who Michael Stephens is, go find out! He’s awesome. He writes a blog title “Tame the Web,” is an LIS professor and whose research focuses on emerging technologies in the library profession.
This week in Library School I finished my portion of the blog for our Introduction to the Profession class. The blog focuses on the impact of E-Reader technology on the library profession. I’m gearing up for my library visit, which is a big project involving a visit to two libraries and a detailed comparison paper. I will be visiting the Portage District Library and the Kalamazoo Public Library. I hope to schedule visits soon! Some of my readings this week focused on copyright issues. While it’s not a subject area I love, it’s certainly an important topic in Librarianship.
I was surprised to find out how poorly the law actually defines free use. In fact, you aren’t even necessarily safe if you are carefully citing sources in a scholarly paper. There are a number of factors the courts use to determine whether a work falls within the safe haven of fair use, but even if you document everything properly and follow copyright “fair use checklists” you might still end up on the wrong side of the copyright divide.