From the catalogs of babes

{March 11, 2009}   lest you think I am a one-trick pony

I talk so much about the DDC, you’d probably think this blog was about it. But I have lots of other fun* stuff that I tackle on a daily basis to share with all y’all. For instance:

Videofashion DVDs

Videofashion DVDs

Yep, that’s the current state of my desk, with about 150 DVDs on it (keyboard included for some semblance of scale). For some reason we decided that right now would be a good time to buy everything currently available on DVD from Videofashion that we didn’t already have. Now, they’ve got some great stuff and it’s been quite popular with our patrons, so I got no problems with that.

However, a lot of these DVDs are series, sets, serials, and all sorts of other interesting formats that lead to some…interesting…records available for download from places like OCLC. A lot of times, other libraries that maybe aren’t as “fashion-forward” as we are simply create a single record for the serial or set, and I can certainly see how that is sufficient for them. I would probably do the same thing in their situation.

But I find we get a much better response from patron searches if we create a separate record in the OPAC for each disc, episode, or issue. It’s a pain in the butt up front, but it really seems to help our students. For instance: we have had a long-standing subscription to Videofashion News. If all we had was an overall serial record, it might have the subject heading “Fashion–Periodicals” with no notes, contents, etc. And with a specialized subject library like ours, you can imagine how much stuff might get lost under such a general heading. But if we have a record for each issue, we can include subjects and/or notes for the specific content of that issue/disc, so when a patron searches the catalog for, say, Alexander McQueen, the issues of Videofashion News which include him will be returned with the search results.**

It does get a little repetitively mind-numbing after a while, making all those records. So imagine how stoked I was to find an almost entirely complete set (44 out of 52) of well-done, detailed records for Designer Marathon. I was so impressed by the consistency and quality of the records that I looked up the organization’s MARC Code  to see who they were.

Now either I did something wrong, or the code is an international code, or it’s been retired and then assigned to some new organization, or something, because I find it pretty far-fetched to believe that the Barlow Sanatorium Elks Tuberculosis Library has  thoroughly cataloged a bunch of fashion DVDs. It leads me to construct some elaborate fantasy in my head where suffering sanatorium patients only make it through the day because of the comfort and distraction found in videos about fashion designers. But heck, I shouldn’t discriminate: who says TB patients can’t be fashionable?


*Definition of “fun” being entirely subjective.

**Yes, yes, I know: FRBR, hierarchical records, work relationships, blah blah blah. Believe me, I’d do it if I could. Unfortunately, our current software doesn’t support it, so I’m stuck with this strategy, for now.


Gina says:

Must be a DVD kind of week — I had Gnomon workshop DVDs on my desk yesterday!

Try this search form for OCLC library symbols if mousing over the symbol in Connexion does not work:

The code in the 040 field of the marc record does not correspond to the marc organization code (ex. our OCLC code is ACD, but we’re CLArt in the marc code list)

Ivy says:

Well, isn’t that annoying? So much for consistency and standards, eh?

Thanks for the link, we are only CatExpress subscribers so we don’t have all the fancy links and tools in Connexion. That link says it’s the Cleveland Public Library, and a quick check of their OPAC seems to confirm.


Beth says:

If all we had was an overall serial record, it might have the subject heading “Fashion–Periodicals” with no notes, contents, etc…

I’ve seriously thought about doing this with all of our archived regional periodicals – especially, frex, the state historical society monthly mag and quarterly journal – for pretty much the same reasons. But… just… god.

Maybe after the move into the new building, when all of these damn archives are in an actual archive room, and not in my office.

Ivy says:

It’s a pretty daunting task, to create individual records for serials. I wouldn’t do it if I hadn’t seen such a huge increase in usage for the first ones we did that way. And I would always recommend checking around first to see if someone somewhere hasn’t done it already–we had a librarian at one of our campuses hire a student worker to index all of her holdings of American Fabrics–which is already indexed in Wilson’s Art Index Retrospective…

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