Re: Interfiling Woes

John Holland (
Sat, 23 Feb 2002 09:59:36 -0800 (PST)

Responding on several points:
We used to file all theatrically released feature length documentaries
in with the "fiction" features, or "Entertainment" titles as well label
them here. When we started to put genre labels on them, documentaries
proved a problem (comedy? suspense?) so they were all pulled and put in
the appropriate "non-fiction" or "Educational" sections. They seem to
circulate more that way than when they were in the Entertainment
section, and it seems to make more sense to the public here to have all
videos on a given topic in the same section, regardless of whether it
was shown in a theater or on TV.
The final decision as to whether a film is Entertainment or Educational
rests with the professional staff in the media dept, and since we are in
the process of assigning LC call numbers to our educational videos, in
some cases we have had to ask the Cataloging dept to create numbers for
films which might otherwise be considered Entertainment, including the
aforementioned "Thirty-two Short Films about Glenn Gould", which is
mostly fictionalized fantasy but does include numerous interviews with
real people who knew the real pianist, so we have put it in the music
section. Other examples are the Jan Svankmajer and Brothers Quay
features, which we treat as "art/experimental" even though they have all
been released theatrically, and all of the various opera movies like
Bergman's Magic Flute are filed in Music with the live TV broadcast
videos. If nothing else, it allows our patrons to check them out for
free rather than pay the rental fee we charge for Entertainment titles.
(Please, no rehashing of the pros and cons of THAT policy!).
I should also mention in response to another point raised that we prefer
series to be catalogued as a series, and in most cases the cataloguers
will find us a series record on OCLC. If we don't request it, we may end
up with whatever record(s) they find first.

jon aubrey wrote:

> Hello vidlibbers. Please bear with me as I am but a
> lowly graduate library school student, though perhaps
> a future A/V librarian. I have some questions about
> inter/misfiling of videos in the public library in
> which I work. The A/V librarian here has consistently
> referred me to how OCLC has cataloged certain items
> when I've asked her why some fiction ends up shelved
> with the non-fiction, and vice versa. For
> instance...Does anyone out there have any idea why
> certain titles (Ross McElway's Time Indefinite and
> Sherman's March, Errol Morris' Mr. Death and Fast,
> Cheap, Out Of Control)), all definitely documentaries,
> should end up being cataloged and shelved with the
> movies as feature fiction films? Though these films
> were perhaps originally released and distributed as if
> they were features, they are really just popular
> documentaries marketed as if they were features. On
> the other side of the equation, how did Thirty Two
> Short Films About Glenn Gould, a fictionalized feature
> film, ever end up being cataloged as V 780.92/Gould?
> Glenn Gould didn't direct or write the script for this
> film. Anyone have any ideas as to how these apparent
> cataloging errors might have occurred?
> On another note, it seems to me that while many
> instructional videos should obviously be cataloged in
> the appropriate non-fiction section, some documentary
> titles might circulate far more if they were shelved
> (not necessarily interfiled) with the fiction movies.
> This might work particularly well with documantaries
> that have been released theatrically (The Life And
> Times Of Hank Greenberg), are/were up for Oscars
> (Genghis Blues), or are more well known (The Sorrow
> And The Pity, Woodstock). Has anyone out there
> experimented with rotating a small number of more
> popular documentary titles in a separate area within
> or near their fiction movie section?
> Thanks for indulging a puzzled student's curiosity,
> and thanks for the tips earlier this week on where to
> find Harry In Your Pocket.
> Jon A.
> Queens, NY
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John Holland
Chicago Public Library
Media Express
(312) 747-4100