This is a response to Rich Murray’s original email from Thursday, April 25th, about LC records with the 500 note “Minimal Level Cataloging Plus $5 DLC.”


When enhancing a DLC record with the 500 note ““Minimal Level Cataloging Plus $5 DLC”, please feel free to delete this field and make any other appropriate edits. It will not cause any problem for LC if a field with this value is removed from a record in OCLC. As many of you have probably seen, LC uses the 500 field with “$5 DLC” for other notes that are consistent with MARC documentation and OCLC guidelines like “LC has copy no. 5, signed by the author. $5 DLC” or “LC copy has bookplate of C.W. Dyson Perrins. $5 DLC.” For bibliographic records such as these, please follow OCLC guidelines along with your own institution’s policies about copy-specific notes.


Until this morning, I was unaware of these notes appearing in records for recently cataloged materials. I have made some inquiries and now can provide some additional information about these records. There is no special meaning to be found in the 500 $5 DLC note. These are minimal-level cataloging records done by a contractor.  Records with this note began being distributed by LC in 2015 and are being currently. They should be encoding level 7 with an 050 beginning with “MLC.” They will probably contain one LSCH heading. These records should only be for single-part monographs.


I am sorry for the confusion and additional work this note has caused. We distribute our bibliographic records in the hope that other libraries will be able to use them and save time. I will investigate if it is possible for us to discontinue using the 500 field for this particular phrase. However, that may not be feasible right now.




Kate James

Policy and Standards Division

Library of Congress



From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Noble, Richard
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2019 12:55 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Minimal Level Cataloging Plus $5 DLC


There is a caveat in the OCLC guidelines, which I believe should also be applicable in editing master records:


Consider the usefulness of the information in accessing and identifying the item versus the likelihood that the record will be used in copy-cataloging or found by others who will not need your copy- or institution-specific notes and added entries.


In almost all cases these notes are not appropriate, and worse than unnecessary at the local level,* and may well not present themselves in public displays as having nothing to do with the local copy. (Public displays will not generally include $5, which would be uninterpretable by most users in any case.) They likewise, in most cases, add nothing useful at manifestation level. I say "in most cases" because some copy-specific or some-copies-specific evidence may add to understanding of the manifestation as such, as to its making, or as to variants among and variant treatment of copies that group them in some fashion,  but not distinguish them as different manifestations. Such notes should generally include brief but clear justification to that effect. The $5 then serves as a signature, to indicate the source of the information and give an institution-level contact for further information.


*They make extra work, especially if I encounter them in my own catalog, because I have to establish positively that some note or additional access point has nothing whatever to do with Brown's copy in particular or in general (which sometimes requires going to the shelf/requesting the copy from off site). I have little hesitation in deleting such data in cases where their general usefulness has not been considered: that is, when they are literally inconsiderate.



BROWN UNIVERSITY  ::  PROVIDENCE, R.I. 02912  ::  401-863-1187




On Fri, Apr 26, 2019 at 9:35 AM Robert Steele <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

OCLC guidelines state that copy-specific notes (with subfield 5) are only appropriate in master records for rare and special materials. I would assume the LC copy-specific notes are present in error, perhaps because of a glitch during a batch-load. My understanding is that they should be deleted.



Robert Steele

Cataloging Librarian

Jacob Burns Law Library

George Washington University


On Fri, Apr 26, 2019 at 9:11 AM Breeding, Zora <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

It will be interesting to hear from someone at LC.  But I would rather do the opposite of what Wojciech suggests.  Let LC keep this sort of note in THEIR local catalog -- we should not need to perpetuate it Worldcat.  Especially since, once Rich enhances a record, I am sure it is no longer minimal level cataloging!



From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Wojciech Siemaszkiewicz
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2019 7:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Minimal Level Cataloging Plus $5 DLC


As far as I know, when you enhance the master record you keep all relevant notes and fields that are already there. Yes, many are local notes for LC, etc. but they stay in the master record you enhance. You can delete them when you produce a records for your local library. 



On Thu, Apr 25, 2019 at 8:04 PM Richard Murray <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi all,


I’ve recently run into a flurry of DLC records in WorldCat with 500 notes reading “Minimal Level Cataloging Plus $5 DLC.” They’ve probably been around for ages, but somehow I’ve just started seeing them en masse.


Are we supposed to take this note out if we enhance the record to full? I’ve seen records in which ibraries have taken the note out and others in which they’ve left it in. I tried searching LC’s website for explanations of what to do, or indeed of what “Minimal Level Cataloging Plus” even means, but couldn’t find anything.






Rich Murray

Principal Cataloger

Catalog Librarian for Spanish and Portuguese Languages | Rare Books | Sequential Art

Duke University Libraries

Durham, North Carolina, USA

[log in to unmask]






Wojciech Siemaszkiewicz



The New York Public Library &

Brooklyn Public Library
31-11 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101




Please note, any opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of The New York Public Library.