Mark's message rang true for me. I hope we can remain calm and
at least a little optimistic about our options.
We can tell already that in our library we will be actively
developing some tactics for responding to the change in how LC handles
series. Catalogers have already begun talking with reference and
collection management librarians about what is going to happen. Some of
them have expressed regret and concern. It has been true from the time
of the "SAF", our series authority card file, in my library that we made
our own decisions about tracing or not, classing as a whole or
separately in consultation with reference and CM, and certainly LC
managers should make the choices they find best for them. If they have
suddenly decided to trace nothing and classify everything separately as
policy, it will be up to the rest of us to find ways to best serve our
own patrons within that new reality.
Some may choose to adopt the same policy as LC. If so, it will
be important to help patrons and other librarians learn to make
effective use of series title keyword search options.
In some libraries it may work out best to mainly follow LC's new
example, but identify selected series that would continue to be
classified together, etc.
In other libraries the choice will be to continue using traced
series titles and classification according to the decisions we have
already made. In this case the workload will be increased by the
authorities and bibliographic work that will be needed to support it. We
may lessen this burden by using macro's and other slick tricks.
I did not see mentioned in LC's announcement whether or not the
issn numbers that appear on the books will be transcribed into the 490
subfield x. I hope they will. It may prove helpful for developing
post-cataloging manipulations of the records if we choose to do that.
Speaking only for myself and not my institution, thanks and best
Science and Social Science Cataloging Unit Head
George A. Smathers Libraries
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117007
Gainesville, FL 32611-7007
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