Fischer assays of oil-shale drill cores and rotary cuttings from the Piceance Creek Basin, Colorado / by John R. Dyni ; U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy. (OCLC #40686692)

The Computer Files workform (Type: m) is not always appropriate for CD-ROMs, but in this case it is! The contents are primarily numerical data, with a few text files of very nice metadata explaining the contents of the various rows and columns.

The record includes a 256 for Computer File Characteristics:

    256 __ ǂa Electronic numeric data.

Coal conversion systems : technical data book / prepared for U.S. Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary for Energy Technology, Division of Coal Conversion. (OCLC #4131471)

We received as part of a gift an updating loose-leaf resource in three binders, and then discovered that we already had two copies on the shelf. But how to determine which is more up-to-date? Check the included metadata!

Each version included a full table of contents, with symbols indicating which sections were already included, and which were in preparation or planning phases. Rather than comparing that actual contents, I was able to compare these annotated tables of contents to determine that the copy we received as a gift had been more fully updated than the ones already in the collection.

Also, the gift copy was three full binders compared to the one-binder copies on the shelf, which was my other clue.


Of course Fiona has her own name authority record!

Following RDA, the name authority record for Real Non-human Entities should have a designation for type, species, or breed, in this case “Hippopotamus”:

    368  ǂc Hippopotamus ǂ2 lcsh

Following RDA, the authorized access point may include such a designation to distinguish from access points for people with similar names:

    600 00 ǂa Fiona ǂc (Hippopotamus), ǂd 2017-

In this Twitter thread, Kristina Spurgin describes a pattern of errors in MARC records that I’ve been running into lately as well: a lowercase L in place of a one in dates, like “l905”. I’d also been assuming it was an artifact of OCR.

Her coworker explained that typewriters used to not have a one digit, and even after they did, people had strong muscle memory to type l (ell) instead of 1.

Now, if I can only figure out why this title started with “0il”…


Biological production of ethanol from coal : final report / prepared by University of Arkansas, Department of Chemical Engineering. (OCLC #1056492628)

I just learned about (and used in an original record for the first time) the 536 MARC field: Funding Information Note.

The ǂa (not mandatory) can be used to record information about the funding agencies or sponsors, with any particular contract numbers or grant numbers identified in other subfields, such as:

    536 __ ǂa Financial support for this work was provided by
        the United States Department of Energy, Pittsburg Energy
        Technology Center, on Contract no. ǂb AC22-89PC89876

Intelligent energy choices for Kentucky’s future : Kentucky’s 7 point strategy for energy independence / Governor Steven L. Beshear. (OCLC #1056251421)

This document was likely not authored by the Governer himself as an independent author, but rather created by his office, likely be a committee (unspecified on the document). To convey this, I used the corporate body heading:

    110 1_ ǂa Kentucky. ǂb Governor (2007-2015 : Beshear), ǂe author.

The subject authority record includes a note indicating that the heading is not valid for use as a subject; works about the person are entered under the personal name authority heading:

    Beshear, Steve, 1944-

Place, writing, and voice in oral history / edited by Shelley Trower. (OCLC #692287858)

The scope note for the LCSH subject heading Aural history clarifies:

Here are entered works on the technique of recording sounds of events for historical examination as well as collections of such recordings. Works on the technique of recording the recollections of persons concerning their knowledge of historical events as well as collections of such recordings are entered under Oral history.

This record has both subject headings:

    650 _0 ǂa Oral history.
    650 _0 ǂa Aural history.

A “How-to” primer for biomass resource development / prepared by Electric Power Research Institute. (OCLC #29743402)

Sorting a list of titles without specified non-filing characters (or other sortkey) is so annoying; everything starting with articles get grouped together, and everything starting with punctuation floats to the top!

We avoid this behavior in our catalogs by encoding titles with non-filing characters; that is, the number of characters to skip before determining where to place the title in sorted order.

The title of this work starts with an article (“A”), a space, and then a double quotation mark. As we want to file this book with all of the other titles starting with How-To, we want to skip all three of these characters. This is encoded with a ‘3’ in the second indicator of the 245:

   245 03 $a A "How-to" Primer for...


The 20-MW TVA atmospheric fluidized-bed boiler / prepared by Tennessee Valley Authority ; principal investigators, A. Manaker, J. Bass. (OCLC #22758855)

The Library of Congress Classification and Shelflisting Manual Part G 63 describes the process of assigning Cutter numbers in an LC call number.

This work has title as its main entry, so will be cuttered based on the title; since the title starts with the article ‘The’, we’ll base the cutter off of the next word, ’20-MW’, which starts with a numeral.

The manual’s section on Cuttering for numerals says “When Cuttering for Roman or Arabic numerals, use the Cutters .A12 – .A19.” Since this title starts with the numeral ‘2’, I was considering .A12, but the next instruction says:

Because of the infinite range of numbers, choose a Cutter
toward the center of the available span when Cuttering for the first numeral in a class. This will allow room for both smaller and larger numbers. Follow this practice even with relatively low numbers since decimal fractions are filed in numeric order before the number 1.

There were no other titles (or authors) starting with numerals in this part of our shelflist, so I followed the advice and cuttered with .A15:

   TH7140 .A15 1989

Encyclopedia of materials : science and technology / editors in chief, by K.H. Jurgen Buschow [and others]. (OCLC #47238922)

The OCLC record for this encyclopedia suggests that the accompanying CD-ROM includes the encyclopedia content, but I was suspicious of the “web access disc” wording and access code – it seemed more likely that the disc included links to an online resource version of the encyclopedia that would accept the access code.

If that’s the case, can we really circulate the disc? Are we allowed to just share our access code (and online access) outside of the library?

I checked the contents of the disc, and they are are as minimal as I expected – a single PDF (advertisement), plus some HTML pages with supporting images, and a “Register for web access” that points to a page on the publisher’s web site… a page which is long dead, since the disc is from 2001.

I’ll confirm with the selector for this branch, but assume we won’t be keeping the disc for our collection.