Re: [Videolib] Cataloging Foreign Language Feature Films

Susan Albrecht (
Thu, 27 May 2004 10:49:09 -0500

I'm not a cataloger, either, but we catalog with the *original* title as
the primary title, the English as secondary. This means that Ladri di
Biciclette (The Bicycle Thief) has a call number of PN1997.L23 1988. I
think this is pretty standard fare, is it not, catalogers? And as long as
BOTH titles are in the 245 & 246 fields, the patron should be able to bring
up the video by *either* title, so it really shouldn't be that much of a
problem for patrons.

Our biggest difficulty is with less-than conscientious student workers, who
tend to shelve by title alphabetical order, rather than by call number, so
if a foreign language title is "missing," I typically head straight to the
place where the ENGLISH title would be shelved if the feature films were in
true alphabetical order. [In other words, I'd find The Bicycle Thief
shelved between The Barretts of Wimpole St. and Big Blue, instead of in the

Maybe I'm being arrogant about this, but I don't think it hurts people to
recognize that some of our films come from other lands instead of making
the English title the "standard." I would think that one could actually
affix a label on the spine of the case or on the tape itself with the
English title, if that's a concern....

Susan at Wabash College

At 09:15 AM 5/27/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>Before I ask my question, let me preface it by saying I am NOT a
>cataloger! But I am having a cataloging battle.
>I'd like my foreign language videos (dvd's and vc's)to be cataloged with
>the primary title being English and the additional title in the language
>the film was made (making it more user friendly). For instance, the film
>"Shower" would have that as the primary title, and the Chinese title, "Xi
>zao" would be the additional title.
>My contention is that the average patron would search for "Shower" not "Xi
>zao"!!! I know the general rule about title page, but with a video there
>is no way a patron can view the "title page" without putting it in a
>machine! And often there is NOTHING on the container that says the
>foreign language title. Titles on video packages are often in English.
>Is this reasonable? How do other libraries do it? My library's catalog is
>so user unfriendly that this detail makes an enormous difference.
>Thanks in advance.
>Holly Sammons, Librarian
>Onondaga County Public Library

Susan Albrecht
Acquisitions Coordinator
Wabash College Lilly Library
Crawfordsville, IN

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."--Neil Peart

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