Re: a question of searching...

Linda Seguin (
Thu, 13 Jun 2002 06:12:53 -0700 (PDT)

Rhonda Rosen wrote:

> 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.

Adding a 246 variant title entry is what I would propose also, if you think
it's an important access point. Someone already added "El norte" to the
record in your library's catalog (though they should check the MARC coding)
so your patrons can find it both ways. I do question why videos should get
special treatment in this manner. If you add another access point to La
Boheme on video, you're going to have to do it to all the CDs and music
scores too, or you'll be misleading the patrons by giving them false hits
(if they find one item under La Boheme, they'll think that they found all
that the library owns by that title).
Please don't assume that catalogers are not "patron oriented" (a phrase that
someone else used) when they object to variations in practice. They may
have patron oriented reasons, like the one I've given above. Also bear in
mind that any deviation from the cataloging rules means that your catalogers
are guaranteed to have to edit records that they might not otherwise have
had to touch. Individually it's a small thing, but if you add up all this
editing it slows down production, which means materials take longer to
become available for patron use.

> 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.

One user education tool that should be in your library's control is the help
screens in their OPAC. I notice that the Title Search screen *encourages*
people to enter an initial article in their searches by giving the example
"The taming of the shrew." This is giving the patrons false expectations,
because they will assume that they can safely enter initial articles for
foreign titles too.

Linda Seguin, Electronic Resources/Media Cataloger
Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250
phone: (410)455-6753 fax: (410)455-1598