Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Greetings from Arthur Merchant, Cataloger

(April 13, 2010) First, thanks to Recorder Newspapers for providing blog space for Clarence Dillon Public Library to provide information about our programs and offerings and also insight into key topics that impact the library nationally and statewide. There will be several folks at Dillon Library who will be posting on a variety of topics and detailing their specific areas of expertise and programs. My name is Arthur Merchant and I am the Technical Service Librarian. While this title covers a wide variety of areas, in my case, I am in charge of scheduling the library's meeting facilities and am one of two catalogers. I'll focus on the latter job in this post.

If you are a regular patron and user of our library, you have probably logged onto our Web site and searched our online catalog to see if we have the latest novel by Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks or to find out how many biographies we have of the major figures of the day. Whenever a title appears in the results and you are able to view information about the work such as title, author, publication year, and subjects (e.g., Young women - Fiction; Cookery; Mystery fiction, etc.), it is all made possible by the catalogers who create what are known as MARC records. Most of the time, these MARC records are acquired from the Library of Congress, libraries in other communities or other sources. Upon acquiring the needed MARC record, myself or Joan MacPherson edit these records to tailor the data to our library's collection. And in a few instances we put together all of this information from scratch.

Our goal is to ensure that when you the patron seek out our holdings, you have all the information you need regarding subject matter, currency of work, genre, and format of work (large print, audio books, DVD, etc.). We do the information gathering and coding minutiae so you can find what you're looking for with as much ease as possible.

I, along with library director Sandy Putnam, reference librarian Marie Crenshaw and children's librarian Helen Petersen look forward to detailing other interesting and diverse programs that we are all involved in.

Thank you.

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