Archive for the ‘cataloguing’ Category


Practical Cataloguing (American Edition)

December 14, 2012


Sometimes people imagine that when someone writes a book they are given box-loads by their publisher and end up with an office looking like a remainder bookshop. Not so. The profit margin on any sort of book other than block-buster fiction is not great enough for publishers to give away their stock like that. So I’m extremely grateful to Facet for asking ALA Publishing to send me a copy of the American Edition of the book … as spotted by Celine Carty at the ALA conference earlier in the year. I asked Celine to pick me up a copy, but by the time she went back to the stand they had sold out. Which was good news, of course.

In any case, coming in after a day spent marking and moderating student assignments and finding the parcel from ALA was a wonderful extra Christmas present. I love my publishers!


Practical Cataloguing = Book of the Month

October 3, 2012


Many thanks to Katrina Clifford for forwarding her review of Practical Cataloguing which was published in Managing Information 19(5), 2012. She awarded it 5/5 and concluded

This comprehensive book will appeal to a wide variety of people, such as library school students, those needing a refresher of their cataloguing skills or even experienced cataloguers who feel they don’t know where to start with RDA and I can see it being used by more than one person in a large institution. Highly recommended.

She highlighted the examples and practice notes, saying

The chapter of examples of records with copies of the title/publication details is useful to keep bookmarked

as the examples are used at points in the text. A key feature of the book is the inclusion of ‘Practice notes’, which highlight where local practice may differ or offers advice relevant to the topic under discussion.

Managing Information picked out her sentence on the comparison of RDA and AACR2 in the examples, and placed it in large-print quotation marks:

Katrina works at Kingston and is one of the leading lights of the UK Cataloguing Community. As Honorary Secretary of the Cataloguing & Indexing Group, she was instrumental in the programming and organisation of the well-attended CIG Conference this year.

It’s really wonderful to be able to add her commendations to those of other well-respected reviewers, and, in the  middle of the first week of teaching, this news really brightened my day today. Thanks, Katrina. And thanks Managing Information for making Practical Cataloguing Book of the Month. #honoured


Katrina Clifford. ‘Book Review [of] Practical Cataloguing: AACR, RDA and MARC 21‘. Managing Information 19(5), 2012: 60.


City of London RDA Implementation

July 20, 2012

Really pleased to welcome one of the UK’s best public library Bibliographic Services to twitter – City of London, now @citybibs. Even more pleased that they are “Beginning to think seriously about RDA implementation” and very honoured that our book was mentioned in their first tweet:


I rarely take part in Twitter’s #FF (Follow Friday) – but this is definitely one twitterfeed I’ll be recommending to UK cataloguing in general, and to public library catalogu[e]rs outside the UK. @heather_jardine and her team are well worth the watching. If blogs are more your cup of tea than tweets, the citybibs’ blog, Work and Expression is also worth a regular read.


Practical Cataloguing: for the Students

July 16, 2012

Hopefully it goes without saying that writing a textbook is all about the students. In the photo above, you can see three of the current MA LIS students, snapped by another student at the party to launch Practical Cataloguing and Collection Management in the Digital AgeIn my acknowledgements, I also credited students 2009-2011 – without working out how to describe some of the book’s more challenging concepts in a real-life teaching situation the core chapters would have been a lot poorer.

However, I’m in the fortunate position of teaching at the last UK university whose MA LIS still includes 20 hours of practical work with cataloguing standards alongside 10 hours of theory in a core module, and then the chance for enthusiastic students of an optional advanced course. When writing, I was really aware of our students’ needs, and, from my past career as a cataloguer, of the needs of librarians learning to catalogue in their workplace. The one category of beginning cataloguers of which I have little experience is those emerging from the majority of UK LIS courses, in which cataloguing is taught in theory without much practice. I knew what they wanted – Steve Carlton’s article in Catalogue & Index 162 was particularly helpful in outlining the issues:

Overall, the course [undergraduate at Manchester Metropolitan University] did not give us many opportunities to put the theory we had learnt into practice. While we were taught about why libraries need to catalogue and index materials, we were not shown how to catalogue and index beyond the basic introduction we were given in the first year. I would be incapable of cataloguing something from scratch, and would probably find it difficult constructing a Dewey Decimal number. These are the kinds of skills that libraries look for when recruiting new staff, and I do worry that I will struggle to get a job unless I do further training.

I really hope that by including lots of examples of basic and complex cataloguing in action, Practical Cataloguing will be useful to students looking for the kind of knowledge Steve Carlton was seeking. Certainly, at UCL, I confront students with these and many, many more items to push their newly-acquired knowledge of the principles to the limits and beyond.

It’s great to read that City University is recommending our textbook to their students. It was also good to see the articles I commissioned for Catalogue & Index in 2007 by Heather Jardine and Alan Danskin being quoted again. I’m currently working on an article on teaching cataloguing, based on my papers at the RDA Executive Briefings 2010 and 2012, so I’ll wait before writing a blog post on that topic. For now, I’m just happy to have good feedback about the book from such a respected source.


Image: Drinking some wine at @AnneWelsh book launch party #whosaidcataloguingisboring by Marie Cannon


CFP: Alexandria Special Issue on RDA

July 16, 2012

Call for papers on RDA: Resource Description and Access

Alexandria: The Journal of National and International Library and Information Issues invites submissions for a themed issue on RDA: Resource Description and Access.

 With the Library of Congress adopting the new international cataloguing standard RDA in March 2013, we are seeking articles on national libraries’ policy or implementation decisions or on the implications for academic, public and special libraries of the adoption of RDA at a national level.

A process of double peer review will be applied. Abstracts are due Friday 14 December 2012 and the full manuscript for selected articles will be due Friday 26 April 2013. The themed issue will be published in Summer 2013.

Abstracts should be no more than 1000 words.

cfFull articles should be between 4000 and 7500 words long.

Short communications should be no more than 3000 words long.

Author guidelines are available at


Suggested topics include: Read the rest of this entry ?


RDA Training Needs

July 13, 2012

Back in February I mentioned that Celine Carty, Helen Williams and I have an article coming out in the Journal of Library Metdata

In a nice end to a busy week, as first author I just received proofs and a request to complete the copyright declaration form. For those of you who have asked, here’s the citation information and estimated publication times from the publisher:

“Mind the [trans-Atlantic] gap, please”: awareness and training needs of UK cataloguers
(ID: 699854 DOI:10.1080/19386389.2012.699854)

Journal: Journal of Library Metadata (Download Current Citation: RIS BibTex)
Estimated Publication date – 14 Aug 2012 (Online) , 04 Sep 2012 (Print)
Authors: Anne Welsh, Celine Carty & Helen Williams

As is the way of peer-reviewed articles, some of the issues we raised have moved on somewhat since the article went to press, but we hope that it captures a specific moment (April 2011) in the transition from AACR2 to RDA.


Catalogue & Index Book Review

July 4, 2012

Now that it’s out, I don’t mind admitting that one of the book reviews of which I’ve been most scared but hopeful is the one for Catalogue and Index, the newsletter of Cilip’s Cataloguing and Indexing Group.

In the event, reviewer Katie Flanagan has been extremely kind about Practical Cataloguing, being good enough to “highly recommend reading it, both for novice cataloguers and those trying to work out how RDA will affect their work.”

She writes, “The book is highly readable, and works well reading from cover to cover, although it is also very easy to dip into to find relevant information or examples. It does a good job of covering and explaining the state of flux as few libraries so far have adopted RDA, as well as helpful tips about what to do in the interim.” Outlining the contents she goes on, “One of the most useful features I found was the Practice notes interspersed throughout the text. These highlight cataloguing issues to be aware of, such as where local cataloguing may differ from the theory, the limitations of an LMS or how the implications of taking a decision to move to RDA may affect your records. Some are pitfalls of which the beginner cataloguer should be aware, but others have implications for the whole catalogue.”

As well as being a relief that the review hitting the inboxes of UK cataloguing is a positive one, it’s marvellous to know that Practical Cataloguing is seen as a useful addition to the working library of a well-respected librarian in the sector.

Katie Flanagan (2012). ‘Practical Cataloguing: AACR, RDA and MARC 21 [: Review]Catalogue and Index 167, p.33.


Sample for yourself: download the first chapter of Practical Cataloguing from Facet’s website.


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