Special Libraries Cataloging has been serving an international client list for over 35 years. They will accept photocopies of title pages from books and copies of an item’s container or other available material for non-book items. The clients include theological schools, law libraries, public libraries and private companies.

J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, despite his very vocal opposition to RDA, has compiled extensive cataloging cheat sheets from everything between acronyms to video cataloging with RDA/AACR2 changes squarely in the middle.

This specific cheat sheet can be accessed at: Major RDA Changes From AACR2 By MARC Field,[mel]

Description and Access Roadmap

This space is curated by students enrolled in 590CBL at the Graduate School of Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the Summer-II 2012 session as Assignment 2 - Preparing a roadmap.

The goal of this exercise is to contribute to this ongoing project to gather useful resources for school (and youth services) librarians.

General outline:
(1) Cataloging Tools
(2) Tutorials
(3) Webliographies
(4) General Advice

1. Cataloging Tools


Cataloger's Reference Shelf

Wait till you see MARC 21 come to life; you'd swear somebody -- or something -- was listening to your thinking and then leading you the to the page on this site where the answer is!

This website is a gift to catalogers everywhere, except over at LC maybe, since they write all their own manuals anyway. What's here is a graphic-to-text system of getting the user to what they need to put a MARC record together -- correctly! The Cataloger's Reference Shelf, which has been around since 1995, is the product of the Library Corporation, a very big and a very good player in the information industry. With TLC behind them, it stands to reason that this resource would be good, and not only is it good, it's so much more than that!

Right there in plain sight and easy to find are those pesky code, position, and cross-functional translations for countries, geographic areas, and languages. And are you ready for this? There is a an easy to get to "by field subfield list," complete with codes. punctuation, and positions. Imagine!

There is so much more to tell you about the Cataloger's Reference Shelf that I have to stop myself, and wrap it up by telling you to click on the link, get yourself over there asap! What a difference it will make in your pee-pickin' little cataloging life! -- [kbb]

Guide to Cataloging Playaway Devices

This resource is a pdf document that explains the process of how to catalog a Playaway device. Playaway devices are becoming very popular in schools and public libraries and so the users who would benefit the most from this material would be school librarians and librarians in public libraries. This online document has navigation points so the user can jump to the desired information. One topic discussed in this resource that is beneficial is how to find the bibliographic information by viewing the actual Playaway. This document provides images of Playaway devices and pinpoints where to find the preferred information. Also supplied are four examples of MARC records of Playaways. With the four examples the authors present step by step instructions with visuals. This resource also offers advice on where to obtain bibliographic information if the user cannot locate the information on the Playaway itself. This resource was prepared by the Online Audiovisual Catalogers (OLAC) and the Music Library Association (MLA). [EP]

The Cataloging Calculator
The Cataloging Calculator is a free online cataloging tool that finds variable and fixed MARC fields, language codes, geographic area codes, publication country codes, and AACR2 abbreviations, LC main entry and geographic Cutter numbers. Any librarian who catalogs should have this site bookmarked for immediate future use. This handy tool while allow you to quickly and efficiently answer questions that may come up while cataloging. Not sure what the country code is for United Kingdom? Can’t remember the proper tag for a MARC field? You can answer these queries and many others using the Cataloging Calculator. The simple layout allows you to search either using keywords, or codes/field tags/numbers depending on what information you are trying to find. [KD]

Shortcut Cataloging
This site was listed on our resource page for the July 17 class; it was created by Dianne McKenzie for a conference in 2002 and is addressed to school librarians. McKenzie absolutely understands the many hats a school librarian wears and her subtitle “How to avoid original cataloging” suggests that she understands we just don’t have the time to create original records. She does a nice job of weighing the pros and cons of purchasing from vendors, and she is sensitive to the limited budgets we work with. A personal favorite was her Downloading records subpage, in which she gives step-by-step instructions for downloading and importing records from OCLC to Follett’s Circ Plus. (I thought for sure that I was the last remaining user of Circ Plus!) –[AMV]

Titlewave is the online book and AV purchasing space for the Follett Library Resources company. An account is free (you only need to be somehow affiliated with a library). This source is primarily intended for school or public librarians who want to purchase books through Follett, and it is a wonderful collection development tool. Through this resource a librarian can analyze the school's collection by seeing how many books they have in a given Dewey section and the average age of their collection. This tool can also be useful for librarians seeking to do copy cataloging because they include the publication information of all the books they sell as well a variety of subject headings for each book. They often include both LC and Sears subject headings (though you need to be able to distinguish between the two because they do not label where they get the subject headings. [MKL]

Beginning Cataloging: First Steps to Becoming a Fantastic Copy Cataloger
This libguide is the gateway to a basic introduction to becoming a cataloger. Focusing specifically on copy-cataloging, this resource is great for anyone who is beginning in their journey of cataloging, especially the school librarian. In addition to a webinar introducing cataloging principals, the libguide also includes links to cataloging aids and resources, cataloging books, and handouts from the webinar. While some of the resources might only be accessible to the Northeast Kansas Library System, the webinar is accessible to all and a great introduction. [MKL]

Haynes, E. and Fountain, J. (2005) Unpacking the mysteries of cataloging: A workbook of examples. Libraries Unlimited.
In the book, Unpacking the mysteries of cataloging: A workbook of examples. Readers are provided with helpful exercises for creating cataloging records. The book is written for both Cataloging students and instructors to use as a supplemental workbook to the textbook and to assist those new to cataloging with practice creating records. Exercises include reminders to consider when working with different types of records. This is a very helpful resource as the exercises are practical and use actual books such as The Lord of the Rings and Mother Goose. The workbook is designed to give real world practice with solutions to the exercises included in the Appendix. The records created would not be considered MARC records but still become valuable practice with understanding the cataloging system and tags. [AA]

Authority Control

VIAF: The Virtual International Authority File
VIAF is a free online “super” authority file sponsored by OCLC. This file is a result of collaboration among national libraries and other organizations, bringing authority records from all over the world into one searchable database. This is a great resource for librarians who need to verify headings in MARC records. Searching can be limited to the national library/organization or type of heading you would like to search. The results screen gives you a wealth of information about the heading. VIAF will retrieve the names of titles, co-authors, and publishers associated with the name heading all on one screen. This makes it easy for the librarian to determine the validity of a name heading without having to check multiple resources. [GV]

WorldCat Identities

WorldCat Identities is an online resource that provides proper authority headings and a variety of useful information relating to the subject. According to Thomas Hickey, Chief Scientist of OCLC Research, "WorldCat Identities is one of the first times we have tried to do FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) grouping at the expression level." The user begins by typing in a query and then receives a list of possible choices. Once the correct authority heading is chosen WorldCat Identities provides the user with additional information such as: an overview of works, genres, roles, Dewey classification, publication timeline, most popular works, and people associated with the subject. Direct links are provided to the Library of Congress Authority File and the Virtual International Authority File. The audience that could benefit from WorldCat Identities would include school librarians, public librarians, and catalogers in general. This resource provides users with quick easy to assimilate information that is located in one spot. A brief history of WorldCat Identities can be found at: [EP]

What is Authority Control tutorial

The creator for this resource is a vendor, Library Technologies, Inc. who specialize in the authority control. Their website provides a basic understanding of authority control and it’s use in the library. They outline the authority control needs from a cataloging standpoint and describe a process for managing the system. This resource is intended for librarians in various sectors as the concept of authority control is important to cataloging. This source is useful in providing an introduction to Authority Control regardless of whether you or your library choose to use their services. While the primary purpose of the website is to market their services, the content is still relevant and useful. [AA]

LITA Authority Control Interest Group wiki

This resource is the official wiki of Authority Control Interest Group. The ACIG is co-sponsored by the Library and Information Technology Association and Association for Library Collections and Technical Services of the American Library Association. The purpose of the wiki is to provide information about ACIG, authority control in library databases and to provide resources for their intended audience of librarians and patrons. Perhaps the most useful feature is that the format is straight forward and organized with links to specific resources whether you are looking for past meeting notes from ACIG or further information on Authority Control or vendors. Additions and changes may be submitted as the wiki is intended to grow in the future with the help of the library community. [AA]

Subject Access:


025.431: The Dewey blog

Everything you always wanted to know about the Dewey Decimal Classification® system but were afraid to ask ...

Nobody ever said DDC was the end-all, be-all of the cataloging world. The reality is that like everything else, DDC has its good points and its bad, but sign-up for the e-newsletter from Dewey Blog and I promise you will see Dewey in an entirely new (positive) light. The reporting of all things Dewey is honest and forthright; they tell it like it is, i.e., some writers see upcoming changes as positive developments in the scheme of things; other upcoming changes have writers holding their collective breaths, and still other announcements are being tossed out the window by the site's writers as soon as they are announced. No one can criticize writers at this site of not being honest! Whatever the issues, know that you will find someone to agree or disagree with you about on every topic on the horizon. As sensational and stimulating as the blogs are, the best part of the site is the quick access it provides to all thing Dewey, particularly to those things that, to date, you could only dream about ... but now, here they are! And what lifesavers they are!

Bottom line, Dewey Blog is the place to go to get clued me into the fact that not every one is crazy about Dewey, that many of those people are making it work for them and their student either by finding creative solutions or by holding on to the seat of their pants, and that with Dewey and the Dewey Blog, getting your students to the points where they can connect the dots between the catalog, the resources, and why things are where they are IS ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE. Ah, what a sweet moment that can be, right?

Check out Dewey Blog and get ready to bookmark it because like me, I'm sure you be checking in on a regular basis. -- [kbb]


There's great news for those of us who are not "real catalogers," i.e. we don't work for official cataloging organizations such as OCLC, LC, BISAC. etc. The news? Our very own DREAM CATALOGING TOOL has arrived ... well, almost!

IMHO, save for a few tweaks, CLASSIFY is the ultimate non-cataloger's catloging resource. With its access to more than 91 million classification numbers, this wonder tool provides a user interface and a machine service for assigning classification numbers and subject headings. The database is searchable by many of the standard numbers associated with books, magazines, journals, and music and video recordings as well as title, author, and FAST headings. The standard numbers include ISBN (International Standard Book Number), ISSN (International Standard Serial Number), and UPC(Universal Product Code). It covers DDC, LC, MARC, and FAST subject headings, making it ideal for all user groups, including school libraries. It is very straight-forward and easy to use, but should you need help, it also provides excellent links to support information. Recommended by Joyce Valenza in School Library Journal "Six Tools to Simplify Cataloging" May 31, 2011, CLASSIFY provides a staggering amount of precisely the information you need to complete those cataloging tasks. The only caveat is that CLASSIFY is still in its experimental beta stage; for example, the last update to the WorldCat database made it current only through December 2011, and at present, it does not feature ASIN numbers. While it is temptingly close to perfect, 'fraid it's not quite there (yet?). -- [kbb]

Library of Congress Classification Outline

This website lists the letters and titles of each class of the LOC classification system. Each item on the list is a link that opens a PDF document (there's an alternate link for a Word version if you prefer) with a complete listing of the two-letter subclasses contained within each class (for instance, "A -- General Works" contains "Subclass AE" for "Encyclopedias," "Subclass AI" for "Indexes," and "Subclass AP" for "Periodicals," among many others). Each document further breaks each subclass into numerical ranges for more specific subtopic areas (for instance, it identifies AP200-230 as the range for "Juvenile Periodicals," and AP250-265 as the range for "Periodicals for Women"). The complete classification system is available only via paid subscription or print volumes, so this resource is primarily useful for librarians who are considering buying the full product and want to judge how well the classification scheme will fit their collection. It's also a good resource for students (LIS or otherwise) studying classification schema, since it offers a detailed picture of how topics are comprehensively listed and organized in the LOC. -- [CG]

Map LC (LCC) to Dewey (DDC) Classification

This resource is a table that compares the Library of Congress class headings to the Dewey Decimal System Classifications. There are easy navigation points which are located at the top of the page that take the user to the Library of Congress class headings. When comparing the two classification methods it is enlightening to see them side by side. This also allows the user to more easily convert one classification method to another. The audience level that would benefit from this table would be public librarians and school librarians. On the Dewey side of the table the classification number on average only extends one digit past the decimal point, however for some it extends seven places past the decimal. The only downside to this site is that it is not fully developed. However, it is mostly complete and provides the user with excellent points of comparison of the Library of Congress class headings and Dewey Decimal System Classifications. [EP]

Map LC (LCC) to Dewey (DDC) Classification
Have an LC number you want to covert to Dewey? Use the “Map LC to Dewey Classification” table., an online reference service provider for libraries, has created a table that maps Library of Congress Class headings to Dewey Decimal Classifications. This resource would be helpful for both school and public librarians who are involved in cataloging and interesting in converting a call number from Dewey to LC or vice versa. This resource is useful because it is easy to search and navigate and provides a clear map from one classification system to another. It is not as of yet complete as LCC classes D, J and K are still being completed, but the rest of the table is thorough and clear. Alphabetic links to LCC classes are listed at the top and provide an additional method of accessing the information in the table. [KD]

This resource is a blog created by the Markham Public Library in Markham, Ontario Canada. The focus of this blog is to move their collection from the Dewey classification system to the Consumer- Centered Classification system (C3). This system creates shorter call numbers for faster sorting, and shelving and redesigns the collection to look and operate more like a bookstore. This resource would be beneficial to librarians looking for alternatives to the Dewey system. It is intended to document and inform others about the C3 system, and how it functions in a library. The images help to make a visual connection with how the implementation of such a system would look. Even if you are not looking to change your system, it gives good ideas on signage and accessibility for patrons. [AA]

Subject Headings

BISAC for Juvenile Nonfiction

Full disclosure: this review is biased! I worked in the “for profit” book industry for 11 years and I often thought about how libraries could and should be more like bookstores. Now, as I have come to appreciate and understand the complexities of library systems, I see where bookstores could benefit from being more like libraries. I think that the BISAC (Book Industry Subject Headings) initiative of the BISG (Book Industry Study Group) is one good step in this direction. BISG is “a national, not-for-profit U.S. book trade association with the mission of creating a more informed, empowered and efficient book industry. [That is] committed to the development of effective industry-wide standards, best practices, research and events related to both physical and digital products that enhance relationships between all trading partners.” Within the BISG web interface, there are separate pages for the different sets of BISAC classifications, for this review I used the “BISAC Subject Headings List, Juvenile Nonfiction.” This page of the overall sight gives you fairly specific list of the list and links to get a licensing agreement to download the comprehensive list in to your libraries metadata/cataloging system. This site is intended not only for those in the book industry, but also for librarians considering or executing a conversion to a BISAC classification system in their library. The Subject Headings seem fairly comprehensive, I am curious to know why Christianity has so many more specific sub-divisions than all the other major religions of the world? This could be extremely problematic for larger institutions, research institutions, or even child/teen libraries that have large populations of non-Christians. I am sure there are other “holes” like this that need to be discovered and brought to the attention of those constructing the Subject Heading lists for BISAC. Fortunately, you can use the “Contact Form” (linked in blue near the top of most of the lists of headings) “to suggest revisions to the next version of the list.” The fact that most of this information is FREE and easily accessible (the website has a search box!) it is really a great source for any library looking to convert. -- [LP]


MARC Resources from Follett Software Company

The MARC Resources area of the Follett Software website is geared toward school librarians who have questions about or an interest in cataloging various items in their collection. There are four major sections. Two – Understanding MARC Bibliographic and Understanding MARC Authority – are from the Library of Congress and are online brochures explaining various elements of MARC records and giving numerous examples. The other two sections are collectively titled “MARC Resources” and consist of an advice column, Ask Ms. MARC, and the Tag of the Month. On the Ask Ms. MARC page, librarians can submit cataloging questions and it is promised that “our MARC cataloging experts will find the answer;” one is encouraged to enter her email for a direct response. For browsing, there is also a list of recently-asked questions and answers – cataloging Playaways and entering awards are two of the topics. Tag of the Month promises “a description and working examples of the most commonly used MARC Bibliographic and Authority tags as well as sample MARC records for many types of materials.” Both Bibliographic and Authority archives are available, in addition to information about books, audiovisual materials, and more. A search bar at the top allows a librarian to see if information is available about a specific topic. This is a useful site to get specific answers and see specific examples of common cataloging issues in school libraries. -- [MS]

Amazon to MARC Converter
This is a free online resource that will convert the information for an item that is in the database to a MARC record that you can import into your online catalog. This is a resource for librarians that cannot afford fee based MARC record services. It is a great tool because you can limit your searches to get results for a variety of formats, even electronic books for the Kindle e-reader. If you are already cataloging in RDA, you can get an RDA record for your item. One drawback that I see with this tool is that if the electronic resource you are trying to catalog is not on a Kindle, you are out of luck. [GV]
Amazon to MARC Converter
The Amazon to MARC Converter is a handy, free tool that creates MARC records for Amazon books and Kindle books. The interface is simple and easy to use. Entering an ISBN, EAN, or UPC code returns records from Users select the correct item and can choose to view, export, or save the record. From the view screen, users can export, save to batch, navigate to the Worldcat entry for the item, get classification information, start a new search, or view similar titles. Clicking on “Classify” pulls up subject headings, Dewey call number(s), and LC call number(s) which can be inserted into the record. Unfortunately, this information is not available for all items. Libraries cataloging using RDA can check the “RDA Format” box and easily convert the format. Links are available at the bottom of the page for Amazon to Marc Firefox extensions. This tool would be extremely useful for libraries unable to afford to pay for MARC record services. [EG]

IMDB to MARC Converter
This free online resource will convert the data that is in IMDB (Internet Movie Database) to a MARC record that can be imported into your online catalog. This resource is for librarians that do not have the budget for fee based MARC record services. This converter is convenient if you are cataloging a DVD collection. The link back to IMDB is a plus if you need more information about the movie. As of 7/12/2012, the link to IMDB is not working. A neat feature is that there is a movie poster link in the 856 field. Although, I do not see an option to specify the format of the movie (BluRay vs.DVD vs. 3D BluRay). A drawback is that there is not an option for showing a record in RDA format. This resource is similar to the Amazon to MARC Converter. [GV]

This is an online tool "developed by Florida State University and funded by NSDL (National Science Digital Library) to help bridge the gap between digital resources and school libraries". It is designed to allow librarians to easily add web resources to library catalogs. Web2Marc exports website information as a MARC21 or MODS Record, which is readable by popular cataloging software, such as Destiny and AleXandria. Visitors to the site enter the URL of the webpage for which they intend to create a MARC21 record. The audience is school and public librarians, especially those using prevalent OPAC software such as those mentioned above. The tool is quick and easy to use, but is highly dependent upon the site metadata, so caution should be used and each record should be carefully reviewed for completeness and accuracy. A rather nifty tool! Check it out. More about the software and creator: [KL]
Library of Congress
RDA Transition: Frequently Asked Questions
This document was created by the Library of Congress to address concerns of librarians and cataloguers apprehensive about the change to RDA, set for January of 2013. The document is from June of 2011 and we can surmise that many of the open-ended issues have since been resolved, but nonetheless, this is a nice resource to get a sense of what the transition to RDA will involve. Each response includes at least one site which the user can consult for more in-depth information; particularly helpful are the RDA toolkit overview and link provided ( and the RDA example records suggested in #18 Some of the technical jargon is a bit intimidating for a novice cataloguer, but the Q & A format and the many supporting links help to illustrate the technical points. –[AMV]
This comprehensive 74-slide presentation was prepared and presented by Emily Dust Nimsakont (Western New York Library Resources Council) using slideshare. The presentation was made on October 22, 2010. It includes an extensive explanation of RDA especially in relation to AACR2. Therefore, while it is a good history and overview for anyone seeking information about RDA, it seems most fitting for librarians who currently use AACR2 and are in transition to using RDA. The presentation includes several examples of the differences between the two and provides links to LOC searches and[mel]

RDA Café: Resource, Description & Access Catalogers’ Chat Place

At first blush facebook may seem an unlikely resource, yet in a short time, this group has grown to just over 700 members. They hail from all over the world, but are predominantly in the U.S. The page is co-administered by Jola Radzik (Chattahoochee Valley Libraries – Georgia) and Brian Striman (Head of Technical Services, Schmid Law Library – University of Nebraska College of Law) and has a very active membership. There are numerous links to webinars, advice on RDA records, information on workshops, etc. There is even a post from a professor who is working to modify the cataloging course she teaches. The self-described café states as follows: “RDA Café is a group for library and information science students and professional catalog librarians. It’s a place to discuss Resource Description and Access, share resources and get the latest news. This is an unofficial group, and is not owned by JSC for Development of RDA (Joint Steering Committee).”[mel]

Oliver, Chris. (2010). Introducing RDA: A Guide to the Basics. ALA Editions.
In this book, Chris Oliver, Cataloging and Authorities Coordinator at the McGill University Library and Chair of the Canadian Committee on Cataloging, offers an explanation of RDA, advice on how to make the transition from AACR2, a description of the expected benefits and addresses many common questions. Oliver helps put RDA in context by comparing it to AACR2 as well as the international standards it is designed to meet. Further, Oliver explains how RDA will help users access metadata more easily.
This book is well suited for experienced catalogers, library school faculty, library school students, technical service librarians and those interested in basic information on RDA.[mel]

2. Tutorials

Dewey Decimal System:

“Do We” Really Know Dewey?

A Thinkquest Website
This is a somewhat interactive web tour that allows younger students to learn how to read and use Dewey Decimal Numbers. It has many sections including an introduction to why Dewey Decimal numbers were created, the 10 major classes (a cute story about an Alien and Melvil Dewey!) to examples of how to read a Dewey Decimal Number, to finding books on the shelf. This is intended for an elementary audience, or even for a lower reading level audience. It is too cartoonish and basic for students over the age of 12 in this reviewer’s opinion. You can navigate to any part of the website by going back to the home page or using the icons at the bottom of each page to move to the next tutorial. This would be a great site to have projected on a screen, a class could navigate through it together or the teacher could model while individual students navigate through it on a personal PC in a computer lab setting. It is a good way to show students that with some basic knowledge, the Dewey Decimal System can help them to USE the internal organization of their library to their advantage. The interface is pretty basic, but that seems to help the users focus on the information rather than the “bells and whistles” and the quizzes are well thought-out. Highly recommend this for the elementary or junior high school librarian! --[LP]

“Do We” Really Know Dewey?

The purpose of this silver-medal-winning student-created ThinkQuest site from 1999 is “to teach kids about the Dewey Decimal System.” There is instructional and practice material available, both at an introductory (The Pre-Dew Review includes “How FIC and NF are shelved” and “What is a call number?”) and advanced (“The Ultimate Challenge,” about Geography, History, and Language classifications) level. The most memorable part of the website is the “Dewey and the Alien” story, a way to explain and remember the ten main classes of the DDC. In this story, Melvil Dewey encounters an alien in Central Park and the two start talking; they first ask each other, “Who are you?” and so, “We think about ourselves ; 100s – Psychology and Philosophy.” Next, they wonder where the other came from; “We wonder about each other’s creators: 200s – Religion and Mythology,” and so on through the entire system. The site is clunky by today’s standards –the games and puzzles must be printed to be used – but it is in straightforward, kid-friendly language and could be used by a school librarian teaching or reviewing the DDC.--[MS]

"Do We" Really Know Dewey?
The ThinkQuest site “Do We Really Know Dewey?” is a kid-friendly, student-created website for students in grades three through eight. The material begins at a basic level and progresses to be more challenging and appropriate for older students. The site design is simple with keywords bolded and in color. Material covered includes: Dewey biography; fiction/nonfiction review (fiction/nonfiction shelving, what is a call number, information on how to locate a book on the shelf, what fiction and nonfiction call numbers look like and what they mean); a fun story about Melvil Dewey and an alien which leads readers through the Dewey call numbers and what they mean; the difference between natural science and applied science, general-to-specific, and drop-back theory; country numbers, geography, and history; and a series of quizzes and puzzles. Unfortunately, these quizzes and puzzles must be printed and cannot be completed online. Another drawback of this site is its navigation. Once inside a subgroup of pages, it is not possible to go directly to another subgroup. You must return Home to get there. Overall, this is an excellent site that would be great to use as a review for students or to project onto an interactive whiteboard to use with the whole class. [EG]

Huey and Louie Meet Dewey

This lesson plan from Education World walks school librarians through a series of activities and exercises meant to introduce students in grades 3 through 8 to the concept of Dewey Decimal Classification. The activities culminate in a worksheet that asks students to assign DDC ranges to ten books and then order them as they would appear on a shelf; an answer key is provided to librarians. The age range is large, and while the lesson plan links to the IPL2 Dewey guide for teens, many of the terms used in that guide (such as metaphysics and natural theology) will need additional explanation to be comprehensible to students in the younger grades. Librarians using this plan should consider creating their own classification guide with natural language headings (especially if this can correspond to the signage used in the library) or abridging the guide to avoid the headings likely to cause confusion. In addition, the story the lesson plan asks librarians to read to students as part of the preliminary introduction to DDC is unlikely to engage students of any age and is mostly useful as a time-filler, so librarians may wish to skip it. Bottom line: This basic plan can be useful, but most librarians will want to alter the details to suit their students. -- [CG]
One of the major challenges of school librarianship is making sure students are familiar with the way the library is organized. The most common organization system is the Dewey Decimal System. This resource is a lesson plan and set of activities to help students learn the Dewey Decimal System. It includes a storytelling element which is another integral part of being a school librarian (or children's public librarian!). Teachers and public youth services librarians alike would benefit from this resource to use or adapt to fit their appropriate age or grade level. [MKL]

Cataloging Icky Things
This is a webinar that goes over cataloging materials other than books for all types of librarians. This is an ALCTS resource, and the presenter is Pam Newberg from the University of Northern Colorado. She starts by going over the basics using a book as an example. She continues on to describe cataloging for kits, DVDs, CDs, etc. It is a good resource to hear someone go through cataloging those items and explain the process step by step as you watch. The webinar is a little less than an hour. On the website were you access the webinar there is also a link to questions and answers from the initial showing of the webinar which is helpful. Using this type of resource is a good addition to the other resources that just provide textual assistance with cataloging tips. [JKC]

Cataloging More Icky Things
In case you did not get enough from the first webinar in this series, “Cataloging Icky Things,” Pamela J. Newberg of the University of Northern Colorado is back with more insightful tips on cataloging difficult items. Questions and suggestions from the first webinar form the basis for the content of this follow-up webcast. This webcast, which was first presented in June 2010, is helpful for new, inexperienced catalogers who are faced with the challenges of cataloging unusual items. It is also helpful for experienced librarians who are not familiar with new formats and could use a refresher. This webinar focuses on cataloging graphic novels, anime, eBooks, songbooks/scores, streaming audio and video, video games, and equipment. Through clear instruction and helpful tips and cheat sheets, Newberg’s webinar will help any librarian create a full MARC record for a variety of “icky” items and resources that might be initially intimidating. [KD]


FRBR: Things You Should Know, But Were Afraid to Ask

This is a 2009 presentation by Barbara Tillett, chief of the Policy and Standards Division, Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate, at the Library of Congress. It is intended to introduce non-catalogers to the basic concepts of FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) and the benefits of using this conceptual model. Tillett is the author of the “What is FRBR?” document from the Library of Congress, and this presentation echoes the language in it. She first discusses the three groups of entities in FRBR. Tillett then emphasizes that applying FRBR to future cataloging systems will improve user experiences, enable better gathering of resources, and especially to link related resources rather than redoing records. The second half of the presentation consists of examples of using “FRBR lenses” to explore records for a variety of resources and to make them most relevant to users. Best viewed with the “What is FRBR?” document nearby (Tillett refers to off-screen slides that are likely similar to the graphics in the brochure), this 57-minute presentation is another modality for learning about FRBR to better understand how it works. --[MS]

MARC 21 Online Tutorial

This is a web-based, somewhat interactive tutorial of MARC 21 records. It is freely accessible to anyone with an internet connection. This tutorial is very detailed and offers “quizzes” (usually 3-5 questions long) after every few sections of information. It is intended for those who are going to be doing a lot of original cataloging, but also for those who are working with and maintaining OPACs. It is most definitely for library professionals or staff as the degree of detail is probably far beyond what a lay person or library patron would ever need to know. It is useful for someone like the writer of this review, who will be a librarian and will need to not only create original MARC records for cataloging, but might need a refresher course every now and then on the fields, tags, indicators, subfield codes and overall formatting of MARC records. The quizzes are very helpful because they are interspersed throughout the tutorial, but you can skip them and go to the information you need without completing each one. The navigation is a tad confusing-to move through the section you are in, you use the orange arrows at the top of the page, to go to a different section, you use the “next lesson >>” at the bottom of the page. You might not realize this and skip past entire sections when you think you are merely going to the next page of the tutorial. Overall, a good resource for professional librarians looking to understand and become more confident in the creation of original MARC21 records. -- [LP]

Typo of the Day for Librarians

Written by “a group of librarians all over the world with a common interest – keeping our online catalogs free of errors,” this entertaining blog alerts readers to common mistakes made by people entering cataloging data. Some errors are true typos – “wiht" for with or whit, for example – while others are familiar-to-this-former-high-school-English-teacher spelling problems – “grammer” for grammar and “raindeer” for reindeer are two. While not strictly a daily occurrence (the site seems to average around 20 posts a month), only one typo appears per day. The posts usually mention how many times each typo occurred in OhioLINK, a consortium of Ohio’s college and university libraries and the State Library of Ohio, and in more recent posts, in WorldCat. The posts begin with musings on a topic related to that day’s typo; the one on “Aghanis” for Afghan is primarily about mulberries, with the tidbit that Afghanistan was once known as the “Mulberry Empire.” The blog is clean and uncluttered, but there is a search feature, and one can sign up for email alerts when the blog is updated. There are links to listserv archives, a Google group, and a wiki that lists past entries. Librarians are invited to sign up to write for the blog, too. With the overwhelming amount of cataloging work out there, one little fix a day seems a reasonable approach. --[MS]

Typo of the Day (another review)
Spelling seems to be a hot-button issue nowadays (see, did I spell that right, are there supposed to be hyphens?) There are quite a few wikis and lists on the internet that go at this problem in library catalogs. For this review I am talking about one such “typo list” located in blog form at On this site, every day a different librarian finds a typo, then waxes poetic about either the correctly or incorrectly spelled word. Its not exactly clear what this is all about until the last sentence or two of each entry, when it tells you how many times this misspelling was found in OhioLINK and WorldCat. The purpose of the blog is for you to then go through the catalog you are using/responsible for as a librarian and fix the day’s identified misspelling. I am not sure that this is extremely useful for librarians at the pre-k thru elementary level as the words I browsed through seemed above that reading level, but it might be good for the junior high and high school librarians out there. The blog entries are awfully wordy and a non-librarian, or even a librarian who stumbled across this site, might not really understand its usefulness. There are links to other “typo a day” sites and lists on the left side of the page, these are more straightforward and may seem more useful. I was hoping that this site might be something to use to engage students in the cataloging/access aspects of their school libraries, but I don’t think it is good for non-professional librarians. --[LP]

Typo of the Day for Librarians
According to Typographical Errors in Library Databases, Typo of the Day for Librarians began “as a byproduct of a keyword inspection of the online catalog of Adelphi University in 1991. That study was inspired by a cataloger at Harvard named Jeffrey Beall, who found errors in the Library of Congress catalog, and reported on a list of test words in the journal American Libraries.” The purpose of this site is to provide librarians with common errors (one per day) found in catalog data. Each entry of this site, begins with the author's often entertaining musings on the topic and concludes with a discussion on whether it is a true typo or a misspelling. It is a clever idea to encourage librarians to check their own catalogs for accuracy and manage it on a regular basis. This site also links out to an archival Wiki which provides an alphabetical list of past postings. Further information on the project as well as a listing of the words grouped by category of probability is available here: There is also a listserv which notifies members of suspected errors in Dewey numbers in LOC records. You can subscribe to by sending an email to with the text SUBSCRIBE DEWEYERROR and your name. [EG]

Typos of the Day for Librarians (another contribution)
This resource is a blog that a host of librarians contributes to with typos they find in their library catalogs. While any "verbofile" would indubitably enjoy the obscure and quirky misspellings, the intended audience is anyone who is actively cataloging. This resource would be best used during a school librarian's dedicated cataloging time during the week or at the end of the year during inventory time when there is a little more time to breathe and check for errors in the catalog. Some of the words would apply more to a school situation than others (for instance, a school librarian might find Recordig* (for Recording*) more helpful than Geneaolog* (for Genealog*). For school librarians who often are working solo, this site could be a very helpful way to check common mistakes when you don't have someone else coming behind you to check your work. [MKL]

RDA Toolkit

This site offers a wealth of information about RDA that is beneficial to all librarians and catalogers that want up to date information about this topic. Featured on this website is a RDA blog that gives links to examples, training vendor interviews and news relating to RDA. Also, there is a news link that covers RDA developments and changes in cataloging. RDA Toolkit also provides a list of RDA resources which are in the form of print books and ebooks. In addition, this website also provides access to past RDA training webinars, which include slideshows. This site gives the history behind RDA and offers an explanation of what RDA is to the user. The only feature on this website that has a fee is the RDA Toolkit itself. This toolkit contains "integrated Library of Congress Policy Statements, mappings to MARC and AACR2, both Table of Contents and Element Set views of RDA, and tools to customize your organization's instruction program and procedures." RDA can be confusing at times for any user and this resource provides a great FAQ page and contains excellent examples and lessons to help familiarize the user with RDA. [EP]
RDA Ask-the-Experts Webinar
Provided by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCIS), a division of the ALA, this hour-long webinar was originally presented on February 17, 2011 and is now accessible 24/7. While you cannot earn coursework or professional development credit, it is available free of charge to anyone with a computer, Internet connection and a web browser. The experts are RDA testers and experts. Individually they are: Linda Gabel, OCLC, Erin Stalberg, North Carolina State University, Trina Grover, Ryerson University, Toronto and, Kathryn La Barre, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, GSLIS. This webinar is suitable for anyone that has questions about RDA and wants to delve into the most recent changes in the library catalog. The recording may be found at: 0217_11_ RDA_Ask_the_Experts_Webinar.wmv.[mel]

Special Libraries Cataloguing -- Streaming Videos
This resource is a website that gives the general format for coding in MARC for a variety of specialty resources libraries might want to include in their catalog. I am providing an annotation specifically for their Streaming Video page. The page goes field by field and shows how each MARC field should be populated for that type of resource. This resource is for any librarian who is trying to catalog special formats of materials for which copy cataloging records will not be available. One of the major discussions in the class Cataloging for School Libraries is how important it is to pull together all kinds of resources that students and teachers might want to use for research or teaching. This resource is a great tool to empower school librarians to include unusual or non-traditional resources in the catalog. [MKL]

3. Webliographies

Resources for School Librarians

Weeding as a part of collection development
This PDF, prepared by Pamela K. Kramer in 2002 for ISLMA (Illinois School Library Media Association) is a wonderful overview of the weeding process. She provides ample justification, citing ALA and ISLMA program guidelines, and includes a helpful table of weeding by Dewey classifications. The easily accessible format makes this a great resource for busy librarians, and suggestions for transitioning old encyclopedias into circulating editions, or doing a curriculum map of what is actually being taught in your school were concrete tips to be put into practice immediately. Kramer has unfortunate typos on pages 4 and 5, and her link to the SUNLINK weed of the Month Club is no longer active, but overall, this resource provides a great introduction to and review of weeding principles. It can be accessed directly through the above link, or via the Resources for School Librarians site, under the Collection Evaluation, Weeding and Development category. -- [AMV]

Library Cataloguing Aids

Lynne's W

She doesn't know it yet, but Lynne is my newest vbff. Wait till you see Lynn's Web, which is also known as Library Cataloguing Aids. It's called that for a good reason! Did you know, for example, that there are two new approved LC subject headings: comfort food and wine cartons. Or that there is such a wonderful tool as The Cataloging Calculator out there, just waiting for you to use! Awesome! Or that you can type any type of diacritical mark, accented letters, special characters, etc. on your keyboard by holding down CTRL and typing in a 4-digit code. Ah, all those foreign language titles aren't looking so nasty right about now! This tool is a wonder. From the nitty-gritty little pesky things that drive one nuts to discussions of major interest -- yes, RDA is well represented -- it's all here. Bookmark as soon as you open the link; scan it for a few minutes; and then send yourself an email to look at it again when you have time because I guarantee you'll want to have time to explore Lynne's Web in detail! -- [kbb]

Short Cut Cataloging
Dianne McKenzie, author of the Library Grits blog, compiled this hybrid webliography/toolkit/overview on shortcut cataloging based on a 2002 conference paper presentation. Specifically targeting school librarians with limited time and resources, it offers a concise summary of the pros and cons of five major cataloging strategies: purchasing MARC records along with resources from vendors, subscribing to a cataloging service, using free Z39.5 software downloads, manual copy cataloging, and original cataloging. The copy cataloging section includes suggested exemplar catalogs to copy from (though a few of these links are broken), and McKenzie provides resources and fixes to address some of the cons named in each section. It's unclear whether the site will continue to be updated, but for now, most of the resources and links are current, and the list of pros and cons will be useful for school librarians at a cataloging policy crossroads. -- [CG]

Short Cut Cataloging
Short Cut Cataloging is a condensed website version of a paper by Dianne McKenzie originally presented at IASL in 2002. It provides several tips and suggestions school librarians can use to cut down on the time and money they spend on cataloging. Accurate cataloging is just as important in a school library as it is in any other library. However, the school librarian has so many roles to fill there often is not adequate time to spend creating accurate and complete records. This site offers five ways librarians can catalog their materials: purchasing MARC records from vendors when materials are purchased, using catalog subscription services, utilizing free Z39.5 software downloads, manual copy cataloging, and original cataloging. The site then proceeds to discuss each method including its advantages and disadvantages and provides links to necessary resources associated with each method. An additional subpage provides step-by-step instructions for downloading records from the Library of Congress (LOC) and importing to Follett’s Circ Plus from the LOC. Overall, this site would be especially useful to novice school librarians. [EG]

4. General advice

ISLMANET-L is an electronic listserv designated for use by school library media specialists. It is co-owned by the Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) and the Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative (ECAP) at the University of Illinois. Interested individuals subscribe by sending a message to Membership is free and unrestricted; anyone with a valid email address who wishes to keep current on resources and practices for school libraries in Illinois is welcome to subscribe. Subscribers post queries asking for book suggestions in support of classroom curricula; seek uses and apps for iPads and/or Nooks; post job openings; ask Common Core questions and occasionally rant about unrealistic administrators and/or budgetary cuts. Messages are archived chronologically at, but they may also be accessed using a subject or author search. This is a wonderful resource for first year librarians as well as veterans; the opportunity to access a wide network of contemporaries who are also “in the trenches” and juggling a multitude of daily teaching/librarian responsibilities is invaluable. [AMV]

Cataloging Futures
Cataloging Futures is a blog written by a veteran cataloger and metadata librarian about new trends and tools in cataloging. As one might expect, it has a comprehensive system of categories and tagging, which makes the blog archive very topically accessible (the "tagging" and "FRBR" sections are very informative, but the "cataloging humor" section is not to be missed). Readers can browse older entries for topic overviews, news summaries, and links to a wide variety of resources, tools, and ongoing debates in the cataloging world. Anyone who follows the blog will also find links to time-sensitive professional and networking opportunities. The blog particularly excels at finding cross-disciplinary tools and discourses relevant to LIS to share. Given the in media res format, some basic knowledge of cataloging issues is necessary to understand and navigate the site. The blog targets librarians in general (the author has worked mostly in theological libraries), but youth services librarians with a particular interest in cataloging issues will find this a concise and engaging forum for keeping abreast of new developments and opportunities. -- [CG]

Futurelib Wiki

Futurelib is a wiki page devoted to the future of library systems and data formats. The audience that would benefit from this resource would be any librarian or cataloger interested in the future of cataloging. Some issues discussed on this page are FRBR models, scenarios for the replacement of MARC, bibliographic metadata, MARC elements, problems with MARC21, "extensible controlled vocabulary lists", and so much more. Also, examples of current cataloging problems are provided along with the authors' thoughts and solutions. An added benefit of this wiki page is that viewers can pose questions and answer them on every page of this resource. This atmosphere offers librarians and catalogers the chance to discuss and solve the various issues with cataloging. This wiki was developed in 2006 and is continually updated with new information. A feature that enhances usability of this large wiki page is a side navigation bar that allows the user to scroll through the various pages. [EP]

International Association of School Librarianship
This is a website that provides information about and related to the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL). Its stated mission is “is to provide an international forum for those people interested in promoting effective school library media programs as viable instruments in the educational process. IASL also provides guidance and advice for the development of school library programs and the school library profession.” Membership is open to educators from around the world. It includes school librarians, teachers, librarians, library advisers, consultants, educational administrators, as well as professors and instructors in universities and colleges.
This is a great resource for someone in our field who is interested in information, trends, and opportunities in school libraries internationally. The website includes information about the organization’s events including conferences and suggestions for “School Library Day” and “School Library Month”. On the website you can find information about IASL’s two publications, School Libraries Worldwide which is a refereed research and professional journal and their newsletter. The website also links to the GiggleIt Project which is about children’s humor from around the world. Their goal is to publish stories for children written by children from different cultures. Overall, I think it is one more way to strengthen our field by sharing information and thinking creatively with a global perspective. [JKC]

Cheatsheets / reference

Cataloging 101: Cataloging Made (Almost) Easy – American Association of School Librarians
This free online resource is a good introduction for the school librarian who needs an introduction on how to approach cataloging materials. This webpage discusses CIP data, MARC formatting, and subject headings. The author gives an annotated list with links of library catalogs that can be searched to find catalog records for items that you are cataloging. A glossary is also included. This feature is very useful, since there are so many terms involved in cataloging. This resource is dated (2008), so there is no mention of RDA. [GV]

Kaplan, A. and Riedling, (2006) A. Catalog it: A Guide to School Library Materials. 2nd ed. Linworth Books.
This book is a good starting point for the school librarian who is new to cataloging or needs a general reference to cataloging. The book is divided into sections about theory/tools and application. The book discusses a history of cataloging, resources for catalogers, and the MARC record. There are also sections on subject access, classification, and physical access. There is a good overview of MARC, which goes into detail about important tags. There is a section on the future of cataloging, with an emphasis on electronic resources and no mention of RDA. RDA is briefly mentioned in the introduction. [GV]

Special Libraries Cataloguing, Inc.

This group of cataloguers, approximately 25 in number, work either in-person in a cabin in scenic Metchosin, which is just outside of Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. and online from around the globe. For a very modest fee, they will do your cataloging for you, particularly the cataloging for those really tough items! Along with Michael Gorman who serves as an adjunct consultant, the group is led by five master catalogers. They have a client list of recognizable names that takes a while just to scan. This is all good news, but the absolutely best news is a feature on the site called CHEATS! And that's exactly what it is -- cheat sheets for all those nasty parts of cataloging you know you studied at some point in your life but forgot long ago ... and desperately need at this precise moment. How do I do this, what does that mean again, where am I supposed to find -- topics such as those, and other such as these -- Reclassification DDC to LCC, Acronyms; Cataloging Streaming Video, MARC Field and MARC Authority Records -- are explained in user-friendly language with plenty of well-illustrated examples. What a gift this is for those of us who have to catalog ... among so many other things for which we're responsible! The cataloging part of their service is for that unique item that has you totally perplexed. Fees start at $1.50 and go to about $12.00, depending on the format and the requirements. The rest is free for general use. -- [kbb]

Ask Ms. MARC
As Ms. MARC is a free resource provided by Follett. If you have a question about cataloging and just can’t seem to find the answer – Ask Ms. MARC is a great place to turn. You can submit your own question (providing your email address ensures you receive a direct response) or you can browse the most recently asked questions and answers. Ms. MARC’s answers are detailed and often provide specific examples, sample records, or links to outside information. Ms. MARC is Judy Yurczyk. She is the author of past publications of Follett’s MARC Bibliographic Format Guide and MARC Authority Format Guide. [EG]

Follett's tag of the Month

This is a nice resource to give librarians explanations of different tags as well as examples of some MARC records. They use currently popular items as models. They have them divided into separate categories that include audiovisual, books, cartographic, continuing resources, electronic resources, and main entry. These are then broken down into subcategories. The website also provides an archive for both bibliographic tags of the month and authority tags of the month. Those two sections are more just a description of those tags. For someone who likes or needs to see examples to help them create a record this is a good resource. It’s a quick and to the point guide with not a lot of extras so other resources will still be needed for most librarians. (It can be found on the smae site as Ask Ms. MARC.) [JKC]

J McRee Elrod's Cataloging Cheatsheets

This website contains a list of various “cheat sheets”. The list is extremely varied. For example it includes a section on acronyms which lists acronyms related to the library field and what they stand for. In regard to cataloguing there are sections such as blue-ray discs or graphic novels. The author provides a detailed explanation of the where to locate the needed information on the actual item and where to place it in the record. The list also includes some less common items to catalog such as pamphlets. It is written in a very conversational style which makes it much less daunting than some other resources. [JKC]

The Cataloguing Librarian

I found this blog while searching for resources on cataloging. Laurel Tarulli has been a full time librarian, book author, instruction, etc. She is located in Nova Scotia, Canada so that tinges some of the information on her site, mostly spelling differences ;). She provides some interesting insights based on her variety of experiences. Her blog also provides a list of resources that she has found useful. Many of these are already included here but some are new. The Cataloguing Librarian isn’t a sight that needs to be visited everyday but it is certainly a blog that can be interesting and informative for librarians who want to ask each other questions or read other people’s views on a variety of materials. [JKC]

Cataloging Online Books Electronic Editions
Not sure how to catalog an eBook? Check out a cataloging cheat sheet from Yale University Library on cataloging Online Books Electronic Editions. From figuring out what information you need to include in the 300 field (physical description) or the 256 field (Computer File Characteristics), this cheat sheet will guide you through the process of creating a complete MARC record for an eBook. Both public and school librarians and new and experienced librarians can use this site as a reference and aid to meet the challenges of cataloging materials in new formats. The table of contents links on the side of the page allow you to quickly access information about specific MARC fields. For even more info on online resources, check out this page. [KD]

Dewey - should I stay or should I go?

Dewey Free-One Library's Journey from DDC to BISAC Classification

Just prior to writing this resource review, I was doing a lesson for my graduate course about classifying and creating Dewey Decimal Numbers (DDC) for library holdings. DDC call numbers 100-199 are for, amongst other things, the “occult.” I had to look this up, and I am not sure the definition really helped, it means “the unseen.” No wonder so many people think library systems are meant to confuse rather than aid in their quest for knowledge, let alone a simple search to find something to help them with a hobby or interest that they pursue for pleasure! I worked in a bookstore for 11 years and often thought that it would be nice if libraries were more like bookstores-not because I am anti-DDC, but because American Society is awfully focused on being a “consumer.” Libraries need to somehow fit their organizing and access schema within this framework. The Frankfurt Public Library, in Frankfurt, Illinois, has undertaken just such a task. Their blog “Free Dewey” (maintained by their 2 head librarians) chronicles the steps they took to convert from an all DDC system to a BISAC system (Book Industry Standards and Communications based Subject headings.) This is a word based classification system. While it seems like this blog is not as used as it once was (the conversion was completed in September of 2009, you can use it to see the steps they went through to get to a full conversion. Its an excellent map for any small to mid-sized library wishing to complete such a conversion. The audience is not only librarians and staff who would actually do the converting, but an excellent and easy to use resource for patrons to understand why the conversion was done and how it will help improve their library and make it more user friendly. There are maps, illustrations, photographs, and a few powerpoints, all of which make the conversion more visual, lending itself, again to a good communication tool for both the library professional and the library patron. The Frankfurt Public library has done exactly the opposite of “occult” they have constructed an excellent blog so that the world can SEE the power of word-based classifications systems in libraries! -- [LP]

Freeing Dewey

Are you considering phasing out Dewey in your library in favor of BISAC? Want to know what the transition might entail? The Freeing Dewey blog chronicles the efforts of two librarians at the Frankfort Public Library District to switch from Dewey classification to a more user-friendly bookstore-based classification scheme. The small number of blog posts make it easily navigable, but the bulk of the logistical details are contained on the lengthy "Progress and Issues" page, which unfortunately must be read from bottom to top in order to offer a chronological narrative. Despite some broken links and insufficient context for the project, this Wordpress-hosted site offers a thorough discussion and display of the changes in signage, library layout, labels, and catalog records associated with the transition, as well as a brief bibliography of articles explaining the pros and cons of DDC and BISAC. Comments on each section are also worth reading, and include lively and well-informed debates over the merits (in terms of browsability, searchability, complexity, and more) of Dewey classification versus modeling libraries after bookstores. Tabs at the top of the blog link to additional resources, including the authors' conference presentation slides on the subject. Librarians are the primary audience here, but patrons who want more information about why their library is organized the way it is may also find this useful and accessible. The site does not specifically address youth information-seeking issues, but the accessibility and searchability issues around natural-language classification that the authors grapple with will be particularly applicable to librarians organizing and cataloging materials for youth. -- [CG]

Let’s Do Dewey the Right Way, or Please Don’t BISAC Me

Subtitled “A Highly Biased Report from a Cataloger & Educator,” this is a 14-slide PowerPoint presentation given by Michael Geeraedts in September, 2010. The presentation was part of a continuing education program (“Dewey and Beyond”) through Library Adminstrators Conference of Northern Illinois, Reference and Adult Services section (LACONI-RASS). The LACONI-RASS site states that it is “geared toward public librarians and others working with adults in reference and readers advisory,” and this slideshow is aimed at those making major decisions, in this case, whether to continue to use the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system to organize a collection, or to switch to Book Industry Standards and Communication (BISAC) as used in bookstores. Note: one needs prior knowledge of these two systems for the slideshow to make sense. Geeraedts presents succinct cases for and against both Dewey and BISAC. He then explains how Highland Park Public Library (Illinois) has reached a compromise and uses Dewey for non-fiction and a genre/author system (similar to BISAC) for fiction; audio/visual materials are organized using an in-house, genre-based system. Ultimately, Geeraedts advocates maintaining DDC for a variety of reasons, including cost, librarianship as a profession, patron ease of use, and lack of empirical data showing that BISAC is better. This is a quick, accessible overview of a complicated topic, and presents multiple points for librarians to discuss and consider. -- [MS]

Dewey and Beyond: A Panel Discussion
In this PowerPoint presentation, Melissa Rice, head of Adult Services at the Frankfurt Public Library, describes the process of going Dewey free. This presentation was part of a LACONI-RAAS (Library Adminstrators Conference of Northern Illinois, Reference and Adult Services section) continuing education program on September 17,2010. While it is primarily aimed at librarians who work with adults in reference and readers advisory, these slides are helpful for all library professionals, whether they work with adults or children or in a school or public library, who are looking for ways to make their collection more accessible to their patrons and especially those who are considering converting to a Dewey free classification system for their libraries. Rice describes the process and phases that the FPL went through, as well as the steps they are continuing to take to assess the efficacy of their conversion to a subject based classification system. The photographs of the new department layout as well as the signage and spine labels help to create a clear idea of how a library can implement a Dewey free system. A comparison of call numbers among traditional Dewey libraries, libraries that have created a “mashup” (a system that combines subject and Dewey), and those that are Dewey free provides insight into the various call number format options available. While some of the links in the presentation are no longer functioning, slide 34 and 35 provide a good list of different libraries that are implementing Dewey free or “mashup” systems. [KD]

ANSCR (Alpha-Numeric System for Classification of Recordings)
Sponsored by the University Library at California State University, this site provides a breakdown of The Alpha-Numeric System for Classification of Recordings (ANSCR) for music classification. The information provided includes a table of the 46 major categories for organizing sound recording, composition of call numbers, as well as examples of ANSCR call number coding. Librarians working special collection or needing to catalog various types of musical recordings would be the intended users of this information. This source is useful to individuals by providing a easy to follow format with examples for ANSCR classification. Making this a good resource to help even the most novice user of ANSCR. [AA]

Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac

This website was started in October 2010 by Anita Silvey, considered by many to be “the go-to source when you want to know anything about children’s books, authors or illustrators.” (Karen MacPherson, Seattle Times, March 31, 2012). The almanac features a different book each day, with helpful tags such as “middle school” “picture book” “historical fiction” to help guide her readers. In addition to a featured book, Silvey lists authors born on and interesting events which happened on each date. She includes such tidbits as, “It’s Hammock Day. Read The Terrible, Wonderful Tellin’ at Hog Hammock by Kim Siegleson, illustrated by Ereic Velasquez “ (from July 20, 2012). Anita’s audience includes parents and teachers as well as librarians. Her daily facts are wonderful to post on the library bulletin board, and the wide range of her selections is particularly helpful to librarians serving K-8 schools or whole communities with a range of interests and ability levels. Silvey includes excerpts from each text with photos if applicable, and the site features an extensive archive which can be searched by subject, author, age group, date featured or author. For an article about Silvey and the Almanac, see --[AMV]