Cataloging Standards

Authors: Elisabeth Aurelle, Michael Conkin, and Tonette Mendoza

Note: This is the third of four documents which constitute the Cataloging source document. Move between documents using the links located at the end of the present document.


D. Authority/Headings Work

  1. Authority records
    Authority records contribute to the overall cataloging goal of providing informed access by ensuring consistency of name (personal, corporate, conference and geographic), series and uniform title headings used in bibliographic records.

    This is accomplished by establishing an authoritative single form and explicitly referencing variant forms (series authority records also establish analysis, tracing and classification treatment). The behind-the-scenes control over headings and cross-references exerted by authority records is essential to provide adequate access to the Library's collections and records.

  2. Headings
    The GLADIS headings file includes:
  3. Scope of Function
  4. Performance context
    Staff performing this function need:
  5. Performance standards
    The basic Librarywide standards for this function might be expressed in this way:
  6. Exported authority records should load successfully
    Discounting load delays/failures and other factors beyond the control of catalogers, authority records failing to appear in GLADIS are the result of errors made at the time of export. The acceptable error rate for this indicator is 5%, the rate being meas urable by reviews as described below.
  7. Elements of the authority record added to GLADIS should have as few errors as possible affecting access and headings control; error rates should not exceed:

    The most effective performance indicator to measure correctness/error rates in these categories is a regular post-authority/headings work quality review concentrating on the mechanical as well as intellectual aspects of authorities work, and taking ful ly into account subjective considerations and judgements made at the time of performing the work.

    In practice, such reviews may best be undertaken as part of the rigorous self-review characteristically exercised by catalogers performing these activities. Other indicators might include:

    1. Requests for corrections to GLADIS records from staff Librarywide (including those forwarded from end users)
    2. Rate of production: measured by comparing output figures with the time spent in doing work; usually derived from statistical reports. In practice difficult to measure without detailed contextual breakdowns, since work can range from the extremely sim ple to the extremely complex.

    NOTE: Additional standards for particular categories of authorities/headings work and more specific standards for evaluation of quantity and timeliness of this function may be developed locally.

E. TCP (Temporary Cataloging Pool) Processing
MAIN Library material (temporary cataloging may also be performed in the self-cataloging units -- consult local standards) is selectively added to the collection via TCP procedures when:

Instead, items in this category are minimally cataloged and sometimes routed for remote-storage shelving; the intent is that TCP material will be fully cataloged as time and resources allow.

Before TCP input, items received through gift, exchange, PL 480, blanket-order and depository arrangements (i.e., material which has not been ordered) are not represented in GLADIS; ordered items are represented in GLADIS by on-order or in-process rec ords.

The aim of TCP input is to upgrade the GLADIS record to the Library's "level-d" standards (or create in GLADIS a level-d record) by keying the minimal author, title, publishing, physical description and series (Copy Cataloging Division currently does n ot always add series) information, taken directly from the item in hand, and assigning as the call number an alphanumeric designator taken from a sequence of preprinted labels. When this process is completed, material is routed to NRLF.

TCP processing activities are normally performed by student Library employees.

  1. Performance context
    Staff performing this function need:
  2. Performance standard
    The basic standards for this function might be expressed in this way:
  3. It should normally take 2-5 minutes to complete a TCP upgrade and 5-10 minutes to create a TCP record in GLADIS
  4. The TCP record added to GLADIS or created online should have a complete minimum-level record with error rates no higher than:

The single most effective indicator for measuring correctness/error rates in these categories is a regular post-TCP quality review check of the GLADIS record comparing total items cataloged with errors identified in each category. Such reviews are not being conducted in the central unit as of this writing.

Additional indicators might include:

  1. Returned materials and/or requests for corrections to GLADIS records from NRLF
  2. Assessments of database management staff work levels: See III.F., below
  3. Rate of production: measured by comparing output figures with the time spent in doing work; usually derived from statistical reports.


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