Re: Cataloging videos

Frank Landrum (
Thu, 14 Oct 1999 15:10:34 -0700 (PDT)

Hi Andrea,
We have been using OCLC for about 15 years to catalog both our professional
library for teachers and for our film and video library. Things I don't
like about OCLC is they do make mistakes from time to time...and some
titles seem very slow to get entered. On the other hand, we have had great
success in using the entries and then massaging them to fit our system. We
use Sears instead of L.C. subjects, so that needs to be changed quite
often. We stopped using Dewey #'s a year or so ago, and it has shortened
the length of time needed to catalog significantly. Any system you use, I
think will have some flaws.
The thing that is so important is to be consistent and keep and use a good
authority file. We look at all videos at least through the title and
series, because way too often production houses don't understand the need
for consistency and will put one title in their catalog, another title on
the video case, and yet a third title on the tape. We use the tape title.
The others may disappear, but as long as the tape is used, the right title
will be there. The other reason we check the tape is that we do get tapes
that are blank or won't track sometimes.
Good luck.

At 01:23 PM 10/14/99 -0700, 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