Sources for Cataloging Information 2
Another source of cataloging is the existing catalogs of other libraries. Many libraries now have their catalogs on the Internet, and it is possible to search through these catalogs and find out basic cataloging information and suggested call numbers for items where the cataloging can not be purchased from the jobber, or for some other reason records are not available.
Information found this way will take staff time, because it must still be copied by typing into the computer or onto cards.
The Library of Congress also makes its cataloging records available through the Internet, and its records can be viewed in either a card-style of format or in the computerized MARC record format. Cards can also be bought from the Library of Congress with space to type in the call number and headings.
Searching in these various computer sources takes some time and diligence to find the records, but for a small library that is not completely comfortable with itís cataloging skills, being able to see what Dewey number or subject headings that the Library of Congress assigned to an item can be a great help.
With all of these computer sources, it must be remembered that the items that are available are those that have been cataloged or purchased by other libraries. Specialized local items or unusual things will probably not be found in a national database.
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