Sources for Cataloging Information 1

It is important to know what information is needed in a cataloging record, and where the various types of information go in the arrangement of a cataloging record, but as librarians, our intent is to catalog items as infrequently as possible. 

Cataloging is a very time intensive job, and since most librarians have several jobs to do in the course of a day, being able to cut down the time needed for one job can make a difference in the level of service for the library as a whole. For this reason, most libraries choose to purchase or obtain their cataloging from other sources. Whether a library is entering their cataloging into a computer database or filing cards into a card catalog, cataloging can be purchased or found from other sources for most of the items added to a library’s collection.

Many libraries purchase materials through a jobber, a company that collects materials from a variety of publishers and makes them available in one location at a discounted price. These jobbers will often provide the cataloging along with the item, if requested, when purchases are made. This cataloging may be in the form of cards ready to file or in the form of a computer disc ready to download into the catalog. Specific information such as the call number may be accepted as listed in the provided cataloging, or may be changed by editing the cataloging information after the purchase arrives at the library. 

The cost for purchasing the cataloging from the jobber is usually just $1-2 per item, adding a reasonable amount to the purchase price when one considers the time of library staff to do the same job.

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