Cataloging and Classification

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Chan, Lois Mai. Cataloging and Classification: An Introduction. Scarecrow Press, 2007. This book explains the steps of AACR2R2, MARC, Dewey, and LC. Chan's discussions don't just identify the rules in cataloging, they give the reader an understanding how cataloging rules are being used today.

Intner, Sheila S., and Jean Weihs. 2007. Standard Cataloging for School and Public Libraries(4th ed.). Chicago: Libraries Unlimited. This link is for a review of the book, a guide to standard cataloging for many formats with examples and exercises. Metadata is included as well as a chapter on managing cataloging departments.

Kaplan, Allison G. and Ann Morrow Riedling. Catalog It!: A Guide to Cataloging School Library Materials (2nd Edition). Linworth Publishing, 2006. This is a book that presents both the theory and practice of cataloging. Though many school librarians purchase their materials preprocessed, some understanding of the rules and standards of cataloging is still necessary. Throughout this book, the authors use concrete examples of items commonly found in school libraries.

Kaplan, Alison G.. Crash Course in Cataloging for Non-Catalogers: A Casual Conversation on Organizing Information. Libraries Unlimited, 2009. "Written with minimal theory and much practical and hands-on experience, this work ... is of great value not only to the nonprofessional cataloger but also to the cataloging student or any librarian wishing to know more about what goes on in the process of cataloging. ... " (ARBAonline)

Karpuk, Deborah J. Kidzcat: A How-to-do-it Manual for Cataloging Children's Materials and Instructional Resources(How-to-Do-It Manuals). Neil-Schuman, 2007. This user-friendly introduction to cataloging basics for children's materials will help you and your staff keep your collections organized, accessible, and manageable. In 13 information-packed chapters, Karpuk covers everything you need to know about descriptive cataloging, authority control, automation systems and retrieval, MARC, subject headings, classification, and more.

Maxwell, Robert L. FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed. American Library Association, 2008. Developed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Cataloging Section, FRBR is now being integrated into cataloging theory and implemented into systems and practice. This resource provides information such as how FRBR worksand how it affects librariaes.

Oliver, Chris. Introducing RDA: A Guide to the Basics. American Library Association, 2010.This ALA edition helps catalogers by explaining RDA and its expected benefits for users and cataloguers. RDA is placed in context by examining its connection with its predecessor, AACR2, as well as looking at RDA's relationship to internationally accepted principles, standards and models. This book also explains how RDA positions cataloguers to take advantage of newly emerging database structures, how RDA data enables improved resource discovery, and how cataloguers can get metadata out of library silos and make it more accessible.

Scott, Mona L. Dewey Decimal Classification: 22nd Edition A Study Manual and Number Building Guide. Libraries Unlimited, 2005. The study manual can easily be used as a reference for the application of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and is also suitable as a course text in Dewey. Scott provides an in-depth review of how the DDC is updated and gives detailed lists of changes in each DDC table and class.

Taylor, Arlene (ed.). Understanding FRBR: What It Is and How It Will Affect Our Retrieval Tools. Libraries Unlimited, 2007. This book is written for librarians, bibliographic systems designers, library and information science faculty and students, and anyone else who is interested in learning about the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and how following the FRBR model can improve access to information through helpful organization of the metadata records that are surrogates for information resources. Serials, art, music, moving images, maps, and archival materials are just a few of the formats covered.

Weber, Mary Beth and Fay Austin. Describing Electronic, Digital, and Other Media Using AACR and RDA: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians . Neil-Schuman, 2010. Streaming video, Internet sites, dual-disc DVDs, blogs and listservs are just some of the emerging, and often complicated, new resources covered in this book, written by Mary Beth Weber and Fay Austin. The authors dedicate separate chapters to each non-print and e-resource format, and include corresponding examples to help demonstrate practical implementation of these critical new skills. A companion CD-ROM is included and contains fully-worked out examples, models and illustrations, and acts as an important visual guide to help reinforce key concepts.

Welsh, Anne and Batley, Sue. Practical Cataloging: AACR2, RDA and MARC21. Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2012. This book offers a step-by-step guide for mapping the RDA standards onto the existing rules for description. The book also covers FRBR (Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records) and FRAD (Functional Requirements of Authority Data), on which the new rules are built, and explores how RDA elements can be incorporated into MARC21.

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Cataloging Rules

Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (AACR2), Second Edition, 2002 Revision. Published jointly by the Canadian Library Association (CLA), the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), and the American Library Association (ALA). ISBN 0-8389-3529-X (with AACR Binder and Tabs); 0-8389-3530-3 (without AACR Binder and Tabs) Since 1967, Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules has served the profession with highly developed content standards for cataloging the resources that come into your library. As noted in its General Introduction, the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) are designed for use in the construction of catalogues and other lists in general libraries of all sizes. The rules cover the description of, and the provision of access points for, all library materials commonly collected at the present time. In the digital world of 2002, with the process of cataloging more complex than ever, this up-to-the-minute, forward-looking revision will equip you to catalog any type of resource, print or electronic. Now in a completely redesigned loose-leaf format with separately number chapters (for easy integration of future updates) and new text design (that clearly distinguishes the rules from the examples).

The Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) of the Library of Congress and the American Library Association (ALA) have signed an agreement to incorporate the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2), 2nd edition into Cataloger’s Desktop, CDS’s integrated, online cataloging documentation system. Cataloger’s Desktop provides access to AACR2 and the most heavily used cataloging publications, with extensive hypertext linking between AACR2, the Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRIs), as well as AACR2 Rule Interpretations of Library and Archives Canada, and the MARC 21 formats. Desktop’s quarterly update schedule keeps the links between AACR2 and dozens of critical cataloging tools up-to-date. Additional information about Cataloger’s Desktop is available on the CDS website at or by contacting Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, Customer Services Section, Washington, DC 20541-4912 USA; telephone: (800) 255-3666 toll free in U.S. or (202) 707-6100 elsewhere; fax: (202) 707-1334; email:

Resource Description and Access (RDA) RDA is the new cataloging standard that will replace Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd edition in 2011. RDA goes beyond earlier cataloging codes in that it provides guidelines on cataloging digital resources and a stronger emphasis on helping users find, identify, select, and obtain the information they want. RDA also supports clustering of bibliographic records to show relationships between works and their creators. This important new feature makes users more aware of a work’s different editions, translations, or physical formats – an exciting development. For more information on RDA see the JSC website

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Classification Systems

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system is a general knowledge organization tool that is continuously revised to keep pace with knowledge. The system was conceived by Melvil Dewey in 1873 and first published in 1876. The DDC is published by OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. OCLC owns all copyright rights in the Dewey Decimal Classification, and licenses the system for a variety of uses. The OCLC site listed here is a brief introduction to the Dewey system and contains a listings of the summaries/categories.

Please see Dewey K-12 Resources for access to educational information on the Dewey system for K-12/public library and teacher use.

Lists of the letters and titles of the main classes of the Library of Congress Classification are available from the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) site. The files are available for downloading in WordPerfect format (noted as WP version) and in Word format (noted as Word version). Online access to the complete text of the schedules is available in Classification Web, a subscription product that may also be purchased from the Library of Congress' Cataloging Distribution Service.

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Library of Congress Cataloging Resources

Library of Congress Authorities Using Library of Congress Authorities, you can browse and view authority headings for Subject, Name, Title and Name/Title heading; and download authority records in MARC format for use in a local library system. This service is offered free of charge.

Library of Congress MARC Standards Network Development and MARC Standards Office. The MARC formats are standards for the representation and communication of bibliographic and related information in machine-readable form. This resource includes tutorials for both MARC Bibliographic and MARC Authority. Also included are RDA updates in MARC and MARC in Spanish access.

OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards Bibliographic Formats and Standards is a guide to machine-readable cataloging records in WorldCat. It provides tagging conventions, input standards and guidelines for entering information into WorldCat.

Online Articles and Resources

Adamich, Tom. “CE cataloging and the school library as language set repository: using a MARC record for assessment”. Knowledge Quest 35, 4 (March/April 2007), pp. 72-78. Knowing how to support assessment recommendations with documentation is important. This discussion centers around the use of a MARC record to defend instructional decisions and identify key concepts being evaluated by several populations (administrators, state/national officials, students, teachers - both individually and collectively). (AASL members - Metapress login information)

Adamich, Tom. “CE-MARC: the educator’s library receipt”. Knowledge Quest 35, 1 (September/October 2006), pp. 64-68. Also in: “Radical Cataloging: essays at the front” / edited by K.R. Roberto. ©2008 McFarland (ISBN: 9780786435432), pp. 241-245) This is a basic primer on curriculum-enhanced MARC cataloging -- an overview of the MARC field tags and content that support curriculum and enhance the educational experience. (AASL members - Metapress login information)

Adamich, Tom. “Curriculum-based cataloging and the new metadata: cataloging beyond the world of MARC”. Knowledge Quest 35, 5 (May/June 2007), pp. 66-71. Metadata standards in addition to MARC (including GEM, Dublin Core, etc.) are discussed in this overview. Use strategies for school librarians to consider are presented as well.

Adamich, Tom. “FRBR: cataloging’s future is closer than you think”. Knowledge Quest, 36, 1 (September/October 2007), pp. 64-69. The Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) model is discussed. Its relationship to the implementation of RDA (Resource Description and Access) is also profiled.

Adamich, Tom. “Resource Description and Access (RDA): the new way to say, ‘AACR2’”. Knowledge Quest 36, 3 (January/February 2008), pp. 72-76. RDA and its current/future role in school libraries is featured; issues regarding implementation are also mentioned. (AASL members - Metapress login information)

Cataloging with Carolyn An Index of Cataloging Resources from Knowledge Quest and KQWeb.

The Cataloguer's Toolbox, hosted by the Queen Elizabeth II Library at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, acts as a clearinghouse of links for the serious cataloger.

This is the MARC Standards page from the Library of Congress. Since, as the homepage announces, “the MARC formats are standards for the representation and communication of bibliographic and related information in machine-readable form,” all librarians should be familiar with this site.

Williams, Sandra Q. "Cataloging 101 Column 5: cataloging made (almost) easy". Knowledge Quest, 34, 5 (May/June 2008). This installment of Williams' helpful hints includes an excellent discussion on locations of downloadable MARC records (using Z39.50 protocol) including the Library of Congress, SUNLINK, and Access Pennsylvania (among others). Her resource list also includes links to cataloging tools.

Williams, Sandra Q. "Cataloging 101 Column 4: what's it all about?". Knowledge Quest, 34, 3 (January/February 2008). This column in the series focuses on subject cataloging and classification, including discussions on the use of "Sears subject headings" and Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). The works cited section has a great listing of resources, including Follett's Tag of the Month tool.

Williams, Sandra Q. "Cataloging rules". Knowledge Quest, 34, no. 2 (November/December 2005). This is an excellent article for those trying to understand the similarities/differences between descriptive cataloging and subject cataloging. The resources listing includes cataloging rules and other resources (including an "Introduction to Cataloging and Technical Services"course created by the Idaho State Library.

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Print Articles

Tom Adamich's series "Making and Managing Metadata in K-12 libraries" (2008-2010) in the journal Technicalities is available through World Cat and subscription databases such as Wilson Web, and includes the following articles:

  • “Catalog authorities education and its relation to social tagging and social networks". Technicalities 28, 4 (July/August 2008), pp. 3-5.
  • “Mapping subject headings to education standards". Technicalities 28, 5 (September/October 2008), pp. 3-6.
  • “Foreign language cataloging, non-native English speakers, and equitable access”. Technicalities 29, 2 (March/April 2009), pp. 7-11.
  • “Graphic novels and metadata: the connections and the challenges”. Technicalities 29, 3 (May/June 2009), pp. 10-14.
  • “K-12 library union catalogs: the benefits are more than just ‘data-based’". Technicalities 29, 4 (July/August 2009), pp. 13-17.
  • “RDA and school libraries: where are we going and why can’t we keep AACR2?”. Technicalities 29, 6 (November/December 2009), pp. 12-15.
  • “FRBR and school libraries – why all the fuss, and what does it mean for RDA and materials access? ?”. Technicalities, 30, 1 (January/February 2010), pp. 10-13.

Turvey, Michelle R. "Being MARC Savvy....". Knowledge Quest 28, no. 4 (March/April 2000): 24-26. In a day and age when MARC records are readily available, why should a school librarian be interested in or familiar with MARC? The article includes a brief history of MARC as well as an overview of the structure of the MARC bibliographic record and its components. The reasons behind the benefits of being MARC savvy are also discussed.

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Subject Headings Analysis/Thesauri

By using Library of Congress Authorities you can browse and view LC authority headings for Subject, Name, Title and Name/Title combinations; and download authority records in MARC format for use in a local library system. This service is offered free of charge. Also, Use LC Subject Headings Weekly Lists for access to recent changes to LCSH and LCC headings as reported by the Library of Congress.

The Sears List of Subject Headings, 20th Edition is available from EBSCO Publishers. Please see Sears List of Subject Headings for a AASL review of the 19th edition of this essential resource.

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