From the catalogs of babes

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.


et cetera