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Vendor supplied MARC records for online collections
Published on July 30, 2015 24 min
A selection of talks on Technology & Operations
Technology, augmentation, and predicting the future of work
- Prof. Steven Dhondt
- KU Leuven, Belgium
Hello. My name is Catelynne Sahadath. And I'm and the head of metadata development at the University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources, located in Calgary Canada. A large part of my role here at the University involves assessing and working with large sets of catalog record, specifically for the purpose of making large sets of data available to library users. This talk is titled Vendor Supplied MARC Records for Online Collections, and is intended for library professionals with little exposure to MARC cataloging. It will first focus on a background about how MARC records came to be and how they work, followed by how and why you could use MARC record sets to make your library subscription services and databases accessible. For neutrality's sake, I will be using Henry Stewart Talks available MARC record set as an example, but this really is applicable to any similar digital resources that your library may have access to.
Their are three sections to this talk. The first will take a bottom up approach to explaining what MARC records are, how they came to be, and some basic information about how MARC records are used. The second section will look at what vendor supplied MARC record sets are, and will explain when why, or why not, libraries use vendor supplied records. The third section will give some practical suggestions and examples of how to assess vendor record quality, as well as how to plan for loading MARC record sets into the library catalog.
So what are MARC records anyway?
MARC is an acronym that stands for machine readable catalogue records. Prior to MARC's existence, libraries used card catalogs to help users find, identify, select, and obtain items. Many of you may remember using card catalogs, but it is important to acknowledge that there are also a growing number of library professionals and library users who have never had the experience of using a card catalog as electronic library catalogs have been in use for decades. Cards contained access entry points for the author, title, and subjects of the resource, with multiple cards pointing to one resource. With the switch to online catalogs, the same information from the cards was simply input into library systems. As time goes on, the requirements for this information are continuously evolving. The biggest difference between cards and online catalog records is that cards only need to be interpreted once, by humans. Online systems, however, require two interpretations, once by the system, and once by the human. For this reason, our catalog records have two sets of rules, or standards.