On Nov 30, 2009, at 5:24 AM, Billie Aul wrote:
> I was in library school during the transition from AACR1 to AACR2.
> My professor taught us two things: how to use a cataloging manual
> and how to form headings in AACR1. Because I'd learned to use the
> manual, rather than learned specific information from the manual, I
> was able to transition easily to AACR2 and it's various revisions. I
> have continued teaching interns and new catalogers how to use the
> manual rather than it's contents.
In my course I emphasize "using the tools" for this reason, trying to
get them used to looking it up. They may "know" to abbreviate edition
from previous academic experience, but the most important goal is that
they know to use the Appendices to verify it. I can't cover AACR2 in
any significant depth in one course because description's only 1/2 of
the semester anyway. And when I move into non-book, using specialized
documentation well is the only way you can teach about the norms of
each type of cataloging.
This semester I've started transforming the course to a "post-AACR2"
model that emphasizes the Statement of International Principles
throughout the descriptive portion, because whatever changes students
encounter in the future, the principles will endure. I have been very
energized and inspired by bringing in the Statement because I know
that it underlies the rules of RDA and is a good foundation for
analyzing what a catalog is supposed to do. It's going to be very
time-consuming and challenging to make the switch because RDA will not
have the static physical format and mnemonic structures of AACR2 and
we don't have any more time to deal with the technological/creating
> Unfortunately, I've been rather stymied in getting folks ready for
> RDA. We have a cataloging discussion group every other week and we
> spent several months of meetings trying to read the RDA manual and
> make sense of it. We were constantly coming across contradictions,
> which we thought might be resolvable if we had the automated
> version, which did not exist. (Does it even exist yet?). So we gave
> up, until it is generally available.
> How to form headings in AACR1 and AACR2 seems to me to be a
> necessary skill regardless of cataloging manual, as records using
> those headings continue to persist in our tools, and all
> professionals need to recognize and deal with them at some time or
Billie, we also take a look at some "red book" headings from NUC
pre-56 to consider the underlying issues of heading construction and
the basic choices that must be made in making textual strings. In my
first cataloging job I had to make both standard LCSH headings AND
local subject headings that were constructed exactly the opposite of
LCSH--it's a complex world out there even if you know the "correct"
rules so you often have to go back to first principles.
University of Illinois
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
[log in to unmask]
"I teach cataloging."