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Information for SCLENDS Catalogers: Getting Started

This guide is a compilation of helpful resources for catalogers in the SCLENDS community.

Getting Started

On this page, you'll find quick-start guides to cataloging. These are our cataloging 101 resources:  the first place to go if you're just starting out, but also the first place to go any time you need to confirm something in day-to-day cataloging. The Getting Started resource page includes tips for how to use these resources.

None of the informational links presented here are official SCLENDS policy.  They are provided to assist SCLENDS catalogers in making informed cataloging decisions and for reference.


The Essential Resources

  • Bibliographic Formats and Standards (OCLC):  You may hear this shortened to "Bib Formats and Standards." This site is a #1 rules source. In particular, check out the "fields" entries (like 1xx fields). These explain, line by line, what goes where and includes examples.
  • MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data (LOC):  This is similar to the Bibliographic Formats and Standards, and you can use it the same way. It also has examples.
  • LC Linked Data Sets (Authorities):  These are what you search when you want to know the "official" way to say something (an author's name or a subject heading, for example). Using these authorities consistently keeps catalogs consistent and ensures that everyone, patrons and catalogers alike, can find what they're looking for.
  • MARC Code List for Relators (LOC):  Relator terms are the RDA way of specifying what a person is in relation to a work:  author, composer, performer, director, etc. The list of possibilities is long, but it's common to use the same ones most of the time; a lot are specialty terms.
  • Library Terminology Informally Explained (W3C):  If you're unsure exactly what a term means, this is a good place to look.  You'll find a lot of words that come up in cataloging on this site.


Don't Panic!

Remember that RDA rules and MARC format are intended to cover everything and the kitchen sink. In the SCLENDS consortium, we often don't need to search for obscure rules.

If your daily workflow includes books, DVDs, and audiobooks, then your focus will mainly be on the rules that pertain to those specific three formats. There are good records for all these in our system, and you can always look over similar SCLENDS records. 

Above all:  don't panic! There are lots of available resources online, and we also have the listserv for any questions that might come up. If you're wondering about something, the chances are very good that you're not the only one.

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