Monday, March 09, 2009

Monday musing

Was I wrong to send this out to all the staff at MPOW?

1st AN ANSWER________________________________
I got a question this weekend which seems to be asked on a regular basis in different forms so I thought I'd share some info on AV searches/finds in our catalog. There is no good way to retrieve sensible results in an AV search. Period. You can get full lists and good results by ITEM TYPES. That is it. You cannot reliably narrow by language, by fiction or non-fiction, you cannot get only comedies nor can you trust that a subject search on cookery will lead you to all our instructional videos on cooking. The best you can do is become more familiar with what our “good” marc for movies can look like (search burn after reading) and look at the marc tags which are specific to the type of items you are searching. Rating, Genre etc. Also, become more familiar with the copy cataloguing spreadsheet created for you in the \support_services\collection shared directory. It will give you a guide in what is consistent about copy data at MPOW. I can certainly give you some tricks but I am sorry to say, none to help the weekend gang who had an issue with non-fiction CD books.

THEN, A SOAPBOX STATEMENT ;)_______________________________________________
If you care to hear it, an editorial comment:
I do believe the source of our recurring problems with av searches comes in part from a generalized lack of respect for AV materials in libraries. It manifests itself in many not so subtle and a few very subtle ways. Everywhere (some) librarians complain about the lack of value, the high amount of work and all the other pains AV items bring, such as higher theft rates, fickle format sustainability etc...

One of the most obvious means libraries have discriminated against AV is thru cataloging (or lack thereof.) Possibly because we thought this was just a fad, we never extended the breath of our talent to standardizing and polishing the cataloging of AV materials.

To this day, in marc records, we mislabel actors as authors, we use the same term for any video format whether it's recorded on tape, dvd or only exists in the digital world. We hardly make use of any subject headings, (not consistently anyway) and that's only the tip of the iceberg... think of tv series and all the volume, episode names and other challenges we face there.

From this trend, locally, we also neglected to thoroughly think our call number prefix/suffix strategy AND WE NEVER CREATED DISTINCT cat1 or 2 (general type and audience) item type and location for the fiction/non-fiction materials which are AV. That goes for ALL our AV items, not just dvds, but also books on tape/CDs, language lesson with audio components, children's music etc... Look at any copy record for any AV item and you'll find a good example of inefficient use of multiple fields data entry. Too much repeating of the same entry in different fields…

LAST A POSSIBLE SOLUTION _____________________________________________
Our best (easiest) option would (will) be to create at least new LOCATIONS for these different items "types".
After all, currently, everything with various av TYPES all shows a location of AV. Audio books, music, movies, language and instructional videos etc...

You must remember that this is not unique to us, all libraries struggle with this.

how serendipitous...

Please let me know what questions you have.

sylvie (what-did-she-eat-this-morning?)


"Change. Bring it."
-Laura Solomon, Library Geek Woes blog

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...; You saved my day again.