Re: Cataloging videos

Stephen Marek (
Thu, 14 Oct 1999 14:37:45 -0700 (PDT)

At 03:23 PM 10/14/99 , you wrote:
>Hello all,
>The library I am working in is beginning to contemplate cataloging our video
>collection. I have been asked to find out which OCLC members contribute a
>lot of high quality video records, and if it is necessary to view each
>individual tape.
>It seems to me that the existence of OCLC and other shared cataloging
>resources would eliminate much of this type of work, but I am not a
>What kind of experiences have other people had? Is there any way to
>reassure my cataloging department about the integrity of the records they
>are downloading? Any help, suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
>Andrea Slonosky
>Media Librarian
>Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus


I guess I'd first ask the catalogers to define what they mean by "high quality video records." Then I'd ask them why they think OCLC records for videotapes would necessarily be any better or any worse than OCLC copy for monographs. Finally, I think you have to also consider the nature of the video titles that you're acquiring. If you're the five hundredth library in the country to acquire a copy of
"The Matrix," what's the real downside to going with OCLC copy? On the other hand, if you're acquiring esoteric non - English language research materials in video, then perhaps one would want to provide definitive original cataloging. For the most part, though, I see this as just another non-issue kind of thing that so many catalogers love to agonize over :-)