Checking Purchased Cataloging
The process of double checking subject headings is not difficult. Often when purchased or copied cataloging is being added to the collection the record must have a local call number added to it, and occasionally extra notes or other information is also added. While these modifications are being done, the subject heading book should be double checked for each of the headings listed in the existing record. If any of these headings need to be changed or any new headings need to be added, it can easily be done at this time. Only after all of the information on the purchased cataloging record has been double checked should the record actually be added to the card or computer catalog. It is much easier to adjust a record before you have entered it into the bulk of the catalog and lose track of what might need to be modified.
Subject access is crucial to the successful use of library catalogs. Whether a catalog is computerized or not, it is important to provide subject access to the library patrons searching for information. Many library users are interested in browsing a particular topic of interest, and many have specific informational needs that require a subject search of the collection. Library staff members also need good subject access to the collection. Answering many of the requests for information and assistance that come from patrons often means beginning with the library catalog. Whether a library has a card catalog with subject heading cards, or a computer catalog with subject and keyword search capabilities, subject searching is important to the use of the library. Providing thoughtful, carefully done subject analysis of materials added to the library collection is an important step in good library service. Taking the time to learn the proper way to use the Library of Congress Subject Headings makes analysis of library materials easier and improves the overall quality of the library catalog.
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