What does a Cataloging Department do?

Catalogers organize information via a catalog entry so that it can be accessed in a standard and efficient way by the library user. More specifically:

A catalogue entry has three parts: an access point (heading) that gets you to the record you want; a description that tells you whether this is the material you want; a location to tell you where the item is and whether it is available. The formulation of access points is based on two ideas: that there is a work (a human creation) of which the object described (book, video, electronic document, etc.) is a manifestation; and the names of the creators of that work should be the access points. The description is formulated according to simple rules that are standard for all media. The location tells you how the library stores its materials and makes them available. The catalogue is the sum of all the entries made in accordance with these ideas.

--Michael Gorman, Our singular strengths

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Cataloging Department Home Page Howard-Tilton Memorial Library Tulane University Access and Technical Services

Last reviewed on Dec. 17, 2001