Re: a question of searching...

Rhonda Rosen (
Wed, 12 Jun 2002 12:19:50 -0700 (PDT)

Thanks to everyone who responded to my cataloging
query. I understand that there would be a problem
with other articles, etc. so what i proposed to our
cataloging dept. is that we just slip in alternate
titles for those 100 or so foreign title videos,
without corrupting the catalog at large, corrupting
AACR rules, without forcing patrons to limit up the
wazoo, etc.
I agree that patrons need better education about how
to search, but changing our education system in the
k-12 is not within my control. However, i feel that i
want patrons to be able to access my collection as
easily as possible, and from your responses, i think
the alternate titles is doable.
Thanks again --
--- Karen Gorss Benko <>
> Hello everyone. I'll introduce myself first since I
> have not posted to this
> list before. I am a catalog librarian at Williams
> College in Williamstown,
> Massachusetts. I joined this list because I am
> responsible for cataloging all
> of our videos and I wanted some contact with others
> who are involved with
> these little monsters! (I say that with affection.)
> I want to warn people about setting a system to
> ignore initial articles. "A"
> is a non-article word in every language I have ever
> studied (Russian, French,
> and Czech). "An" is, I believe, a preposition in
> German. "The" (with an
> accent) is a noun in French. Ignoring these words in
> a system (we have III)
> which does not pay attention to the language of the
> item or ask what language
> is used in the search (that sounds amazing!) leads
> to difficulty searching
> (for example) for Proust's _A la recherche du temps
> perdu_, any number of
> German works that begin with "an die" and a French
> work that I know we have
> but I can't find in our catalog because the only
> word I can remember from the
> title is the first word, which is "the"!
> Also I want to add (since I haven't seen this from
> anyone else) that the
> situation, as first described, is unrelated to III.
> The catalogers are
> following correct cataloging practice. I heartily
> agree with Tim Markus that
> the answer lies in user education. I realize that
> not everyone was as
> fortunate as I was to learn in elementary school to
> ignore initial articles,
> but this is a basic rule of indexing, and computer
> programs (at least, the
> ILS's I have worked with) are not smart enough to
> make it unnecessary for
> people to know that rule.
> Just to make things more complicated, in thinking
> about this I have come
> across a few Spanish article+noun phrases that have
> essentially become English
> words. I don't know if they are exceptions to the
> article-drop rule but maybe
> they should be: El Salvador, El Dorado, El Nino. I
> notice that the subject
> heading for the former retains the article.
> Karen
> "Markus, Tim" wrote:
> > [snip] Innovative also
> > alows systems to be set to ignore searches using
> initial articles by
> > patrons. This can include the typical English A,
> An and The as well as
> > foreign language articles. We have ours set only
> for the English articles
> > but we have had folks lobby for including the
> foreign articles as well. In
> > my opinion this only causes more problems and
> makes certain searches
> > impossible.
> >
> > There probably is no perfect solution for this. I
> feel that educating the
> > public is the lesser of a range of evils here.
> >
> > Tim Markus
> > Head of Cataloging
> > The Evergreen State Collgege
> > Olympia, WA 98505
> >
> > > From: Rhonda Rosen <>
> >
> > > we use the Innovative online catalog. recently,
> when
> > > searching our catalog for "El Norte" i found
> that the
> > > system will not access the title by "El" Norte
> --only
> > > when you search by "Norte". Same for "La
> Boheme", "La
> > > Strada", "El Cid", etc.
> --
> Karen Gorss Benko
> Catalog Librarian and Russian liaison
> Williams College
> Williamstown, Massachusetts

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