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PCCLIST  July 2003

PCCLIST July 2003

Subject:

Re: Classification on Receipt at Cornell

From:

David Banush <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 22 Jul 2003 11:06:55 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (101 lines)

Just to respond briefly to this:

I thank Daniel for his positive comments, but I don't agree with him about
the elimination of our backlog being a matter of mere semantics.  The level
3 records are obviously not full-level, and do not provide the same kind of
intellectual access as full-level records would.  But they are not far from
minimal-level, a variety of cataloging which is used by (among others) the
Library of Congress to provide some level of access to materials that would
otherwise languish in backlogs indefinitely.  We are under no illusions:
our choice does represent a trade-off.  The simple fact is that we acquire
far more materials than we can process with full records given the
resources at our disposal.  The trade-off we've made --giving some
intellectual access and complete physical access-- seems to be a better
choice to us than the most likely alternative, indefinite storage.

It's also helpful to put some of this in perspective.  At Cornell, over 50%
of new receipts have usable copy upon receipt.  These items go to the
shelves as quickly as possible.  The remainder either get a COR record or a
full or core original record.  We anticipate that 90% of the former will be
overlaid by better copy within two years.  Thus we are really talking about
less than 5% of all our new receipts having level 3 records in the catalog
indefinitely.  That seems a reasonable compromise, considering what we
receive for it: the elimination of a backlog, the management of which is
costly and adds no value to our materials, as well as better physical
access to library resources for users.

David


At 10:02 AM 7/21/2003 -0700, you wrote:
>Hi All,
>
>just a couple of comments, not so much about the methods but the
>conclusions.
>
>Overall, the COR idea sounds pretty good to me as a procedure for
>providing physical access to the materials.  We do a similar process
>(suggested by our head of copycataloging) for our thesis materials.   We
>create a brief local bib record for the item and send it to the
>shelves.  When we do full cataloging, the brief record is
>overlaid.  Meanwhile, limited surrogate access is in the catalog and
>physical access is available to the patron.
>
>Now, on to the conclusions that can be drawn from such a procedure.  While
>the purpose of David's message wasn't to bring about a debate (from what I
>can tell), I feel compelled to at least offer a short commentary.
>
>David wrote:
>"Items that fail to be overlaid will be represented in our catalog with
>their COR records
>indefinitely.  ...  our first six months under the new COR workflow have
>brought very encouraging results.  Our overall cataloging productivity
>increased by nearly 36% in the fiscal year ended June 30, and our backlogs
>have dropped by nearly 40%."
>
>There are a number of ways to increase productivity and eliminate
>backlogs.  It almost all depends on the way those terms are defined,.
>since adding staff and actually doing the cataloging is apparently NEVER a
>course of action open to us.  To have level 3 records permanently in the
>catalog and those items on the shelves is, to me, simply moving the
>backlog to the stacks.  It's a great change for our patrons, I think, but
>in my opinion the backlog still exists.  In my current library, we've got
>level K  records in the catalog as well.  I don't consider these items out
>of the backlog.  It's just that the backlog is now out in the public
>area.  We've also got thousands of brief shipping list records in the
>catalog for government documents.  Again, they do not eliminate a backlog
>for cataloging purposes.  Very little intellectual access is provided by
>these records.  However, the items are available for use for pretty much
>the entire time they are held in our collection.
>
>Again, I applaud the COR procedure.  I think it's good for patrons and
>makes a good use of automation for locating full cataloging when it
>becomes available.
>
>Daniel
>
>
>-------------
>Daniel CannCasciato
>Head of Cataloging
>CWU Library
>Ellensburg, WA  98926
>[log in to unmask]
>
>For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat,
>and wrong.
>                 -- H. L. Mencken



David Banush
Head, Bibliographic Control Services
Central Technical Services
Cornell University Library
110D Olin Library
Ithaca, NY 14853

Voice: (607) 254-8031
Fax: (607) 255-6110
[log in to unmask]

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