A long way gone : memoirs of a boy soldier / Ishmael Beah. (OCLC #190850795)

This title was chosen as my university’s Common Reading Experience book for this year, and the library just received a branded copy reflecting that. There is a CRE logo on the top right of the cover, and the first page is a letter from our university president, but other than that, I expect that all of the content is the same.

Rather than considering this to be a new edition (as there is no proper edition statement other than “First paperback edition”, and the copyright date remains the same), I put our holdings on the main record and added a local note describing the extra content.


Organic nanostructures : science and applications = Nanostrutture organiche : scienza e tecnologia / edited by V.M. Agranovich and G.C. La Rocca, directors of the course, Varenna on Como Lake, Villa Monastero, 31 July – 10 August 2001. (OCLC #51168671) and others.

I just received a box of books containing notes like these – they are GREAT!

Having also worked in system administration/tech support for years, I appreciate a well-formed help request with all of the information that I need, which in this case is:

  • what the problem looks like (and how to trigger it)
  • what has been tried so far
  • how it should ideally be resolved
  • who sent the item
  • who should be contacted with questions

These are a major improvement over a box I received last week in campus mail, which had only a brief post-it note on the outside of the box!


Recaída : 2013-2014 / Alberto Quintana. (OCLC #884794517)

RDA says to transcribe an edition statement as it appears on the source of information, which in this case is: 1a edición

I often hear that “there are no abbreviations in RDA” but this is not quite true. This abbreviation is appropriate, because that is how it appears on the piece; it should not be spelled out as “Primera edición”, but it should not be abbreviated further to “1a ed.” either.

Cataloged in a MARC record using ISBD punctuation, this statement would appear as:

250 __ ǂa 1a edición.

Tax reform act of 1969, H.R. 13270 : part A–testimony to be received Tuesday, September 16, 1969; part B–additional statements (topics: capital gains, restricted stock, lump-sum distributions under pension and profit-sharing plans) / Committee on Finance, United States Senate. (OCLC #10908435) and others.

While analyzing this set of testimonies about the Tax Reform Act of 1969, I refined my search for each volume by adding the date that the testimony was to be received, as it is part of each title’s volume. One volume could not be retrieved this way because its date was entered as “September l6” (with a lowercase L instead of a one). I actually found this volume by doing a SuDoc number search in Connexion:

gn: Y4F49T1926Sept16

(all spaces and punctuation are removed in this index!)

In a similar error, several volumes of this set have incorrect SuDoc numbers in the monthly catalog:

Y 4.F 49:T 19/26/0ct.3

(zero instead of capital O!)


Slavery in medieval and early modern Iberia / William D. Phillips, Jr. (OCLC #842880495)

The record for this title includes a series statement “The middle ages series”, a phrase that I don’t see on the piece anywhere. This difference does not justify a new record in OCLC, so I put our holdings on the existing record. The publisher web site verifies that the book is in the series, so I am leaving the statement and added entry in our local record, but have bracketed the statement as described in the LC-PCC PS for RDA 2.2.4.


Laboratory evaluations of stabilized flue gas desulfurization sludge (scrubber sludge) and aggregate mixtures / by Mark Anderson, Gary W. Sharpe, David L. Allen, Herbert F. Southgate and Robert C. Deen. (OCLC #884361903)

When I first started cataloging ebooks, the standard was to catalog them as electronic reproductions of print, and with a separate record for each platform that provided the title. This made some sense, but was frustrating for copy cataloging when you’d see only a skimpy record for the copy you had access to, but a robust popular record for the copy from another vendor.

In 2009, the preferred standard changed to provider-neutral records; that is, all copies of a particular ebook should now be cataloged on a single record with 856 fields for each link that provides access to it. Fields in this record describe an electronic resource (rather than mainly describing print, with reproduction notes in a 533) and do not include details that only apply to specific platforms, such as added entries for the distributor or 506 notes describing restrictions on access. Such details can be added to local catalogs if they are helpful to patrons.

Since a single provider-neutral record can be used for manifestations with various carriers (PDF, HTML, plain text) but not all carriers (excludes print, microform), the level of cataloging is somewhere between expression and manifestation.


バイオポリティクス : 人体を管理するとはどういうことか / 米本昌平著. (OCLC #70234581)

If you are copy cataloging Japanese books (and don’t know much Japanese) you may be able to search for titles or authors quickly if you recognize characters in the simpler alphabets (hiragana or katakana) among the more complex characters (kanji).

Books often use characters in all three alphabets, but you can quickly learn to spot hiragana and katakana, as they are much simpler characters – you can also study and learn them, as they are (compared to kanji) very small alphabets. With practice, words can be typed/pasted into a search box, either by copying and pasting characters from a table, or using tools that allow you to type phonetically.

Katakana characters look more angular than hiragana, and are used for (among other things) foreign, borrowed, or technical/scientific words, so you may see them in names of foreign authors or in titles of science/technology books. As katakana characters are phonetic, you may even be able to guess a word’s meaning by sounding it out.

This particular title proper is romanized “Baioporitikusu”, meaning “Biopolitics”.


Chiral catalyst immobilization and recycling / edited by D.E. De Vos, I.F.J. Vankelecom, P.A. Jacobs. (OCLC #43970726)

This book was recently returned to the library, having been overdue since 2006! Following our missing/lost books policy, we purged the records from the catalog long ago; we had also not replaced the title in the meantime. A lost book is usually quite easy to add back to the collection; we are reasonably sure that there is a good record for it in OCLC, and the piece is still labeled and barcoded, so can be quickly copy cataloged and returned to the shelf.


未来の戦争 / 著者石ノ森章太郎, 小松左京, 星野之宣, 山上たつひこ, ひらまつつとむ, 諸星大二郎, 松本零士, 手塚治虫, 藤子・F・不二雄. (OCLC #834048126)

This compilation of manga about war includes comics by famous artists including Osamu Tezuka (of Astro Boy) and Keiji Nakazawa (of Barefoot Gen). I wanted to provide detailed access to the artists and subject areas in each volume, so analyzed the series (cataloged each on its own record). I also wanted them to sit together in order on the shelf, so classified them together as a collection under the series title, so volumes have call numbers like:

PN6790.J32 M38 2013 v.5

This appears in the series authority record as:

644 __ ‡a f ‡5 YOUNG
645 __ ‡a t ‡5 YOUNG
646 __ ‡a c ‡5 YOUNG

Engineering and scientific manpower in the United States, Western Europe and Soviet Russia. (OCLC #10996318)

My catalog’s record for the electronic resource abbreviates United States in the 245 $a:

    Engineering and Scientific Manpower in the U.S.,
        Western Europe and Soviet Russia.

That seemed strange; it’s an AACR2 record, and though many things are abbreviated in AACR2, I didn’t remember this ever happening for title proper. Maybe they didn’t get the title from the cover?

A closer look at the record revealed this phrase as part of a note:

    Record is based on bibliographic data in ProQuest U.S.
        Congressional Research Digital Collection

This was likely an input convention for that particular database, whose data was then crosswalked into (mostly) AACR2-style records.

I am undecided on whether this would be appropriate (if not ideal) under RDA. RDA says that for ebooks, the title proper should be taken from the image of the title page, though one could argue for the alternative: when creating records in batch, the title page image is not readily available, and the metadata is permanently (!) affixed to that digital edition.

Is strict adherence to the “preferred” source of information preferable to quick record creation/availability? How important is the title proper of the manifestation if there is enough other data (e.g. SuDoc number) to link that manifestation with other versions of the expression/work?