The stereotype of catalogers is that we sit quietly behind the scenes, not interacting with users. A walk by our cubicles supports this view. However, we know that the records we work on are a kind of direct communication with users, who can use the library without speaking to a person, but have a hard time avoiding the catalog. Even someone who picks up a book from the New and Noteworthy shelves in Perkins Library and uses a self-check-out machine has used classification and the circulation module of the catalog. Other users access electronic resources through the catalog without even setting foot in the building.
Catalogers embrace other forms of electronic communication as well. We know the proverb about all work and no play, and what looks like work may actually be an exchange of a joke with the coworker in the next cubicle via email or Facebook. Our policies and procedures are documented online, and we participate in electronic forums with catalogers in other libraries. So why has a suggestion by our department head that we blog gone largely unheeded? I wrote one post, and it was fun. I got some compliments on it. However, it was not nearly as rewarding as the creation of a cataloging record. A record for an obscure pamphlet may never be directly used, but it will stand for decades, maybe centuries, as the signpost to that pamphlet. A blog post is a bit of flotsam thrown into a sea of unstructured data.
Post contributed by Amy Turner, Original Cataloger in the Cataloging and Metadata Services Dept.
The catalog says the location for the item you want is “Library Service Center.” Where’s that? and what is it? The Library Service Center, or LSC, is a high-density shelving facility in East Durham that holds the library’s books and other materials for which there is no room in the campus libraries. With 30 ft. high shelves, it can hold 4 million volumes. No searching for call numbers on the shelf here – it’s all tied to barcodes. Check it out for yourself:
If you want something from LSC, click on the next to the title. Then click the Request link in the “Get This Title” box. Deliveries are made to and from campus libraries twice a day during the week and once on weekends.
The Library has published a new interface to the catalog that performs faster and is easier to navigate thanks to a faceted browsing feature similar to those found on retail sites such as Amazon and Home Depot.
Things to keep in mind:
When you search the form in the “Search Our Resources” box results will display in the new catalog interface with the exception of GoogleScholar and E-Journals. The latter will continue to load in the (old interface) Resource Finder due to system limitations.
All links to library.duke.edu/catalog will be redirected to the new catalog interface but catalog.library.duke.edu will continue to display the classic search screen.
There will be links to the Classic Catalog from new catalog interface and from the Libraries’ homepage.
There will be a link from new catalog interface to a comments/suggestions form by the end of the week.
A feedback form will be linked to from the new interface by the end of the week. Try it out now (find.library.duke.edu) and let us know what you think.
News, Events, and Exhibits from Duke University Libraries