September 9, 2007
How many cataloguers are there in Essex Public Libraries?
I asked the question below -and got no answer. Does anybody know? It's important that we get to the bottom of this expenditure on replicated re-cataloguing of books that have already been catalogued
I am not alone in calling for efficiencies in all these matters--- here is Alastair Johnston of SCILIP (MacSyrup) gritting his teeth in a public speech on the same subject:
" I would equally argue however that there is no need for this (book-in-hand cataloguing) to be done hundreds of times across Scotland. Tim Coates [and I can't believe I'm saying this] is right - but not completely – there is duplication and there are inefficiencies within our services – as there are throughout local government and across the public sectors. "
Does the fact that 'there are inefficiencies throughout local government and across the public sector' excuse those in senior position who do nothing about them-- or, perhaps, does it make it worse as they all obviously know about them ?
Posted by Perkins at September 9, 2007 1:44 PM
Patience is a virtue. I thought you might be interested in some other figures apart from the fact that we have two (2) cataloguers serving Essex and Southend and Thurrock which share/ buy into our services.
Last year we bought in just under 11,000 non-fiction catalogue records. We also had to create 3,500 from scratch. And that is just non-fiction. We made changes to nearly 5,000 of the ones we bought in. You are going to ask why and I will tell you.
First because it is misleading to say that the utilities you mention catalogue from the book in hand - they will tell you they work from advance information. Since we try to order in advance of publication that is to be expected. But it means that when the book arrives, the detail we have imported can be wrong (author, title, ISBNs included) which is why we check them and update them when necessary.
Second because we do and local classifications and categories for some stock. I (and I believe my authority) am all in favour of a nationally agreed categorisation system and I believe that there is some work going on as part of the MLA BLBS sceme. Till then we want our stock to be as consistently presented on the shelves and in the catalogue as we can manage according to the decisions made in this authority.
I have not mentioned fiction and audio visual material. Again we buy in as much as we can for these but that still does not cover everything. The work is largely done by the staff of the Acquisitions Unit rather than the cataloguers mentioned above.
Posted by: Andrew Coburn at September 10, 2007 11:30 AM