Re: Interfiling Woes

Jim Scholtz (
Mon, 25 Feb 2002 10:54:57 -0800 (PST)

Hi, My name is Jim Scholtz - I've been an AV Librarian in colleges,
multi-type library systems and public libraries for about 18 years now and
am currently a public library director (don't hold that against me). I've
been in charge of cataloging media for a long time and still do all the
media at our library. I've found that, through the years, neither LC or
OCLC has done a very good job of cataloging videos and both vendors have
lots of errors. You have to remember that cataloging consists of 3
distinct parts - describing the item physically, attempting to assign a
call number, and attempting to describe it with a subject heading
thesaurus. These functions are all done by different people at different
times and these people must physically view at least part of the video in
order to make a determination. (OCLC - by member libraries). How many of
them actually view the videos - Maybe not many. Also DDC and LC
classification is an art not a science. Many feature films are classed as
"literature" instead of fiction - just the same as Mark Twain's "Tom
Sawyer" might be placed in American literature - 800's in one library and
in FIC in another. My head cataloger always wants to put fictional
biographies in the 92 (we use this for Biography rather than placing the
item with the DDC subject - another abnormality!) Actually, I've found the
best source of AV cataloging to be AV Access (available through Bibliofile
- originally done by the catalogers at Professional Media Services (now
purchased by B&T Video). Sometimes there are cataloging mistakes and
sometimes the mistakes are done on purpose due to the way the catalogers
decided to catalog/describe the item. Not wrong necessarily - just
different. You may notice that for any given video (or item) on OCLC,
you'll probably find more than one title/OC listing. This is especially
true for video/book series titles - treated singly or as a set. Hope this
helps. Jim Scholtz. At 01:48 PM 2/22/02 -0800, you 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
>Do You Yahoo!?
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