StaffGuide: Cataloging and Acquisitions


Monographs: Copy Cataloging of Books

1. Getting Started

Login to the Online Catalog. Search for the book. Compare the author (100), title (245), and physical description (300) fields. If they match proceed to catalog the book in the online catalog software.


If the record in the online catalog does not match the book in hand or the record is brief or does not have and I encoding level (enc lvl), found by expanding the 008, search for a better match in the OCLC database. If a better record is found, update the holdings and export then new record to the online catalog. Overlay with using the following command in the 949 field.




Remove the cover from the book and set it aside unless the book is for the Fine Arts Library. If the book is to be housed in the Fine Arts Library, place the cover inside the back of the book.

2. Fixed Fields

Definition: non-repeatable, coded fields of fixed length found at the top of the record. In addition, fields 005, 006, 007, and 008 also contain fixed field information. Fixed fields contain codes for data that is often duplicated in the descriptive part of the record.

Bcode3 change to x

Lang: make sure the code matches the piece in hand. Most of the time, it will be eng for English.

Location: make sure the location code matches the destination of this book. Most of the time, this will be main. Some other location codes are: lrc (Learning Resources Center), fal (Fine Arts Library), chem (Chemistry Library), and phys (Physics Library).

Bib lvl: If the code is m for monograph continue to catalog. If the code is s for serial, pass the title on to the serials cataloger.

Mat type: should be a for language material.

Locate the 008 field on your bib. To expand the 008 in MilCat right click on the field and choose expand field from the menu. 1. Enc lvl: Is the encoding level ___, 1, 4, 8, I, or J? If not, the record may need to be upgraded. If J, search OCLC for a record with Enc lvl ___, 1, 4, 8, or I. If the encoding level is 8, see instructions for CIP materials under IV.G., below.

Cat form: should equal a

3. Control Fields

Control Fields Definition: these are fields of fixed length used to manipulate records within a database. The only ones you need be concerned with for now are the 040, which provides information about the institution that created, entered, and/or updated the record in OCLC, and the 049, which holds the local holdings code. See OCLC Holdings Symbols:


The 049 was very important in the work we did on OCLC prior to purchasing our Innovative Interfaces, Inc. system. You will see it scrupulously maintained prior to 1993, and often ignored starting from about 1995. You may also find it useful to know that field 001 contains the OCLC control number, which can be used as a direct means of retrieval in both OCLC and Sierra. The 020 field contains the International Standard Book Number, which can also be used for retrieval in Sierra and OCLC. Check it against the number on the book to see that it is entered correctly.

4. Variable Fields

Definition: These repeatable fields contain information of varying lengths. Tagged 1xx-9xx, these fields include both the descriptive fields and headings. The descriptive fields–245, 250, 260, 300, 5xx–are so called because they contain information that either matches exactly what is stated on the book or else describe the content/nature of the book. A heading is a carefully constructed name, word, or phrase used in a catalog record as an access point.

050 Library of Congress-assigned call number. Accept as is, unless:

1. The call no. is Z5050-8999, in which case you circle the call number, initial, and place on the problem shelf.

2. A second |a is present. There should only be one |a.

3. 090/ 050 4 These are both member-assigned call numbers. Accept |a as is, unless the call number falls between Z5050-8999, in which case you circle the call no. and give to the monographs cataloger.

4. Check |b against adjacent titles in our shelflist and adjust the numerical portion so that the work files alphabetically by main entry. For example, if your call number reads: G25.I3|bN43 for a work by Henry Niles, but the library has already assigned the number G25.I3|bN42 for a work by Thomas Nilson, you will need to adjust the number to something like G25.I3|bN35 for the Niles work to make “Niles” file before “Nilson.” Note that you only have to make this adjustment when the |a portion of the call number is identical. It is also important not to assign the same work number (i.e., the |b portion of the call number) to two works by the same author. Varying editions of the same work will have the same work number, but the year of the edition (the last line of the call number) will be different. Adjustment of the work number portion (|b) of the call number is called cuttering. Ask your supervisor for directions on where to find a copy of the Cutter table that provides guidelines on converting letters of the alphabet to numbers for call numbers.

082 Ignore if present.

Each record must contain an 050 or 090 field. If the record lacks both of these fields, look up the record in OCLC to see if a call number has been added to the record. If not, search for other records of the same title, from which you can “borrow” the call number.

Reminder: If the record in the online catalog has been overlaid, the call number from the new record if different must be copy and pasted.

Is the title classed PZ 7 and is obviously a children’s book? If so, check to see that the location is LRC. All PZ 7 titles go to LRC, regardless of whether they are so designated by Acquisitions. Young adult books have been reclassified from PZ to PS in the past. It is acceptable now use the PZ call number if the other books by the same author have not been assigned and PS number already. If the author does already have a PS class number assigned use that number instead.

Pencil the call number on the upper left-hand corner of the inside cover of the book. Use a sticker if the corner is too slick or dark.

245 Title and statement of responsibility. Should match exactly what appears on the title page, except that titles for people (MMA, Esq., etc.) are omitted. Correct any minor discrepancies or errors. Punctuation may vary slightly. The form of name in 1xx field may not match what appears on title page and in the 245. The 1xx field contains a standardized heading, while the 245 |c is a direct transcription from the title page. Check the second indicator to make sure that it corresponds with the number of non-filing characters (A, The, An …). This is necessary in order for the title index to work properly.

246 This field contains any varying forms of titles for the overall work.

250 Edition statement. Check if present to see that it matches the book in hand. Add if not present and everything else matches. Use these forms: 2nd ed. 3rd rev. ed. New ed. 2. Aflg. Nouv.ed. This data will usually be in the same language as is found in the title statement (245 field).

264 Imprint, or place of publication, publisher, and date of publication. These should match what is found in the book. The publisher and date are especially important, since they drive the limit functions in Sierra. If you find discrepancies in the publisher or date of publication, circle the field and place the book on problem shelf.

CIP materials (encoding level 8): change the date in the |c to match what appears on the title page or following page(s). Use the copyright date (cdate) only if no publication date is given. Change the date at the end of the call number in the 090 to match the 264 |c. If the call number field is tagged 05, the tag must be changed to 090 when you change the date.

300 Check to see that this data matches the book in hand. Correct minor discrepancies in pagination. For larger differences, circle the 300 field and place on problem shelf. [ ] around a number indicates that the number has been supplied by the cataloger. If the book is oversized, that must be indicated.

Add RDA elements?? Or will the load table do this?

5xx Correct any misspelled words. Make sure that a contents note is tagged 505 and that a summary note is tagged 520. A note indicating the presence of a bibliography and index is tagged 504. Accompanying materials should be mentioned in a note; if your record lacks such a note, indicate and place on the problem shelf.

6xx Make sure that at least one 6xx field is present. 6XX’s with the second indicator of 0, 1, and 7 all index in the subject index. 650 with the second indicator 0 is preferred.

830  Series, check to see if the heading matches. Refer to the separate Series procedure for questions or ask Deb Kulczak.

856 Check to see that the URL provided does work. If there is a URL to text listed in the book add it to the record with a 1st indicator 4 and a 2nd indicator 1. A subfield z is for a note.

945 add your initials here. Also, at this point, enter today’s date as the “Cat date.”

5. Item Records Definition: These secondary records never appear alone but are always attached to a bibliographic record. They contain circulation data and copy or volume specific data, including the barcode. They may also include the call number. There is generally one item record for each item that may circulate as a unit. If the book is a gift, the icode2 should equal g. Check the summary screen to locate the item record. If one is found, compare the fixed fields against the book and make changes as required. If none is found add an item record.

Checklist for item records:

Check copy number, usually 1

Itype = 0 for books

Status = b for in process

If you have volume(s), type v. or pt., as appropriate, followed by the number. (e.g.: v.1 or pt.2 or v.3 pt5)

At barcode prompt, enter or scan in the barcode

Queue a label

6. Check your work in the public display to make sure the record displays properly.