#libday7 Day 1: Cataloging the Blues

I wear three different LIS hats. At work I’m the information officer for a boutique investment firm, currently seconded to a tech start-up in the field of 3D displays. On the weekends I’m a volunteer in a small community library. And during the school year I’m a student in a post-grad LIS program.

My library week starts with my volunteer cataloging work.  I work on administrative mornings (meaning we’re supposedly not open to the public), and our library isn’t the sort that people casually stroll into.

matnasKarnei Shomron community center

No, the whole building is not the library. We’re up two flights of stairs, in the back of the building.

Yet somehow this is how the library looks on a day it’s closed:

2011-07-24 10.31.25View from the admin/check-out desk to the computer area.
Kids’ library is to the left, periodical and the future home of the music library is between the desk and the computers.

(Three boys at the computers, two girls reading. Does this say anything about socialization and gender issues?)

In addition, though we are not open, we had a reading club come for a tour of the library, and our head librarian gameified their visit with a treasure hunt amongst the shelves.

View from the admin/check-out desk through the kids’ library to the YA, reference, English, and adult section.

But I wasn’t there to take pictures. What did I go to the library for again? Oh, yeah:

Too bad it’s not laced with gin….

What do you mean I’m not here for the tea? Oh, right. Music library cataloging. I was hoping you’d forget…

Step 1:  Gather discs from the cabinet, push uncatalogued returns out of my work space

Step 2:  Log into cataloging system. Hello, Agron! Hate you so much! You’re so wonderfully flexible (not)!

Step 3:  No matter what they teach you in cataloging class, the disc, wrapper, and booklet are not sufficient sources of information.

When the resources which come with the disc fail me, my first stop is MUSIClassical. Most of what’s missing is the first names of composers, and the website has most that I’ve needed. When all else fails, Google steps in.

Step 4:  Type, rinse, repeat.

Due to the way the printer is set up, as well as the way Agron handles printing (as far as I can tell, an early version of Word’s merge function), we have to print up labels 24 at a time, no more and no less.

Step 5:  Prepare the barcodes.

Have I mentioned how much I hate Agron? If I made a mistake in counting and have an extra CD cataloged, it’s a PITA to extract that item during the next cataloging session and add it to the new discs awaiting barcodes. I have to clear out the temporary database, manually input all the item numbers one by one, and then print the new temporary database onto stickers. At least at the end of it I get a little play therapy.


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