I need an introduction to practical cataloging, as opposed to the very theoretical stuff we covered in library school. I have recently started a job as a public library cataloger, I guess on the strength of my interest and local ties, as I have zero experience. So, what books/online tutorials would you recommend to a brand-new cataloger, who took her last cataloging class in 2003?
And who works for a public library with a single branch, and a collection of about 60,000 items? Unfortunately, the person I am replacing left long before I got here, so no training directly from her. I am getting some training in how things are currently done from the part-timers who helped her, but they only know the how and not why, so I'm not sure what I can/should change and what is done that way for very good reasons.
I saw this question
, but that was more specifically about authority records (which, yes, I also need help with).
My employer will pay for some training, but there is of course a budget crunch; plus, they are emphasizing training on their ILS. Mostly because we know where to find
that training. The state library association (Virginia) does not appear to have anything on cataloging in the near future. ALA's offerings also don't seem helpful - to advanced and/or specific to areas I don't need.
I mean, as long as patrons can find the book in the catalog, how important are the authority records? How do you note the series info (especially order, in a fiction series) - and should I bother? Do I need to put a bunch of subjects on fiction books (you know - location, professions of characters, main plot line)? Do I really need 7-digit Dewey numbers (remember, 60K items)? Should I be changing the Dewey call number from the CIP suggested one very often? How about changing titles? (because as someone working with the public, it drove me insane when something that technically had an official title starting with the creator's name was shelved under that name - like Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail
under T and not M, or Bram Stoker's Dracula
under B and not D. That's not where people look, dammit! Obviously more of an AV issue than books). I'm sure I have more questions, but I can't think of them right now.