Pablo in P&M – Making things Discovery-able

Copy-of-CataloguingThis year the Library has provided access to 3,946 new e-books and 661 databases and made them available on Discovery and the library catalogue.  All this requires people to make sure the “metadata” is all present and correct.

I had to read an entire book just to understand that “metadata” means those searchable records you find on the Library catalogue, Discovery Service, and elsewhere.  This team also decide what shelf mark number labels each book should have and where it should live on the shelves.  Without shelf marks, all the books would get in a complete muddle and no-one would know where to start looking for books on a particular subject!

As it is, all the books on the same subject are put together on the shelves at the same shelf mark number.  This means the Metadata Team have to decide what each book is about, whether we have had similar books before, which shelf mark number they have been given and give the new book the same number.

Apparently this involves consulting four weighty tomes of tables (five if you need a textbook to get you started).  Who knew you needed so many manuals to classify books?  Now I see, books on penguins should have shelf mark number 598.47, but what about Library Penguins?

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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