Follow-up to MARC, OPACs, and Podcasts

  1. It's going to be a topic of discussion on Uncontrolled Vocabulary tonight! I'm teaching my last e-Pub class at Emerson tonight so I'm going to be in class or on the T for most of the broadcast. I'll have to download it and listen tomorrow to hear the group's sage advice.

  2. Laurie Sabol at the Tisch Library at Tuft University sent out a post to several listsevs today asking for others who have had discussions about the pros and cons of cataloging podcasts to share their decisions and discussions. I received the post from fellow librarians who saw it through the ACRL-NEC News mailing list.

  3. And I've started original cataloging on the first podcast in the GSLIS series. Not only is a podcast, but it has a PDF of a Powerpoint as well (can you say subfield e in a MARC 300 field with a bunch of notes?)


MARC, OPACs, and Podcasts

I've been reading up on the history of descriptive cataloging of electronic resources for a presentation I need to do and I thought it would be fun to look at how catalogers are dealing with podcasts in their OPACs. Our tech lab has been asking us to catalog some of the podcasts they've created. My plan was to catalog one of the podcasts and use it as a sample in the presentation. Here's how that idea rapidly unfurled today:

  • Read through the OLAC Cataloging Policy Committee's Streaming Media Best Practices Task Force at about noon, thinking this would be a great resource. And I didn't stop to think that podcasts aren't streaming media. D'oh.
    This paper is specifically for all the streaming media that we should probably catalog from the Library of Congress (RealPlayer?! really?). Okay, okay, okay, Jay Weitz must have something on podcasts somewhere else.

  • Did a search through OLAC's website and checked out their Useful website page but didn't find much of anything on podcasts.

  • I then did a few simple literature searches on Proquest, Haworth and LISTA. Plenty of articles on making podcasts, none on cataloging them.

  • Maybe I'm over-thinking it and I should just see what other people have done in their OPACS. Learn through example if I can't locate a best practices.

  • Got to Worldcat. STOP. How do you search for podcasts in OPACS? I wouldn't type in "book" or "magazine" or even "electronic resource." Have other catalogers used podcast in their 245s? I wouldn't since it's redundant. Ah what the heck- Worldcat, show me electronic resources that have a keyword of podcast! Hurrah. 80 podcasts, most of them from the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction. It's a start.

  • Okay, on to Google. Deep breath- I don't want to spend all day fiddling with delimiters so let's hope I have the right combination...

  • Success! A library in Orange County, Florida is cataloging their podcasts, but they don't seem to appear in Worldcat, let's put this as a bookmark in del.icio.us.

  • Now that I have some hope, let's try to find more. Library of Congress. Nope. Doesn't even look like they've cataloged their webcasts.

  • MIT? Main page has a link to libraries under "research" and a special section for videos, but videos are not in the catalog as far as I could tell. (This was the ace up my sleeve since I was sure MIT would have cataloged their videos).

  • My next attempt- Yale. The other university that I know has quite a few podcasts in ITunesU. Nope. Well, maybe somewhere buried but I couldn't find podcasts from August 2007 in either Orbis or the LibraryWeb.

  • U of Michigan, I'm looking at you. Let's see what Mirlyn has for me. I chose "Trail of Snails" from the list at ITunesU. Nothing.

  • Okay now I'm getting paranoid. Have I completely lost my ability to search an OPAC to find these items? Or are they really not there?

  • I could go through the rest of ITunesU but how much more time am I going to spend searching dead ends in different OPACs.

  • 10:30 at night, I've found about 10 other things I should look at but I still have very little idea on special considerations for cataloging a podcast.

  • One last search through Autocat's archives. About 30 matches, most of them from 2006 and 2007 asking if anyone has added podcasts to their OPAC. Glad I didn't ask that question again. I think I found three catalogers who provide links to catalogs with podcasts, one of which is the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at the University of Virginia. This is one of the few libraries I was able to read about in my literature search but the article did not have a link to the library's catalog. I also found a link to sunlibrary from Sun Microsystems, but that link is dead.

  • The best post I found on AUTOCAT was from Patricia Sayre McCoy who provided an OCLC number to one of her cataloged podcasts. I feel like I have a key to the locked door and I'll try it tomorrow.

So what have I learned from my initial search?

  1. Everyone's talking about 'em but I don't see a whole lot of cataloging going on.

  2. I'm going to really go out on a limb this week and attempt a catalog record using the different sources and samples I was able to find.

  3. I'm really scared to do a search to see if any weblogs are being cataloged out there. (They must right? They're older that podcasts.)

  4. Most of the podcasts I used as search samples are found on library websites, just not as part of their OPAC. How can we convince users that the OPAC can be so much more than an electronic card catalog if we're not adding the material to it? I thought the addition of creative commons PDFs to the Nebraska Library Commision's catalog are a brilliant example of how we can add accessible content to the OPAC.

  5. This whole trek brings up the specter of a digital repository and that's like handing a loaded gun to a small technical services.

At this point I'm back to thinking that the easiest way to catalog podcasts would be to treat them as digital audio files and sound recording.
BUT there is a continuing resource angle to their production.
BUT podcasts also fit the definition of an electronic resource.
BUT podcasts aren't direct electronic resources (unless you copy them to CDs which seems to be a cataloging nightmare).
So maybe they're remotely accessed electronic resources.
Yes, I'm now thinking that podcasts are remotely-accessed electronic resources and can be cataloged using good old chapter 9 from AACR2.

Next morning I have a few more things to check out and I was able to look at Patricia Sayre McCoy's record to see how she catalogs podcasts. I think I'm ready to get my hands dirty in some MARC.


Jelly Beans

If only these were real flavors.


From steviegirl who found it on Candy Addict.


Sure he snubbed Boston, but he's the Pontiff

so I wanted to post this on our library's internal blog, but then I thought better of it because of the sheer religiousity of the subject matter. And I wasn't sure what category this would go under. Our blog has defined categories and it didn't fit anything about reorgs or eresources or patron requests. It was basically between two topic choices and it's definitely not "for fun," so "cool site/source" it is, but only in the sense that it's a source. Slate published a short article on the Pope's visit with some sources that might come in handy for all those Pope trivia contests around town. (Wait, there really are Pope trivia tournaments happening).


On not keeping our opinions to ourself

From the April 16, 1989 edition of Publishers' Weekly [No. 1368]


ROBERT BARR, the novelist, on the 12th inst. recovered a verdict of $1000 damages in a libel suit against the New York Sun in the United States Circuit Court. The suit has been pending for some time. On May 17, 1896, the Sun published a paragraph in its London cable news saying that "Robert Barr, the novelist" had been sent to an asylum for inebriates. It turned out that the Robert Barr who was sent to the institution mentioned was a former Canadian politician, and not the novelist. A retraction was demanded, but it was not forthcoming until the following November, when the Sun in the course of a review of on of Mr. Barr's books, alluded jokingly to its mistake and explained how it occurred. In the meantime many papers throughout the country had published the Sun's story as fact and commented on it editorially.


RAND, MCNALLY & Co. have just issued "a Valuable Life," by Adeline Sergeant, who is possessed of the almost lost art- good storytelling. The love histories embodied in the romance runs through three generations. The scene is rural England and the interest centers in the transmitting of a great inheritance.

MRS. WRIGGINS vivacious story, "Penelope's Progress," will be published shortly, and as it relates wholly to Scotland, it is to be bound in Scotch plaid. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co., in order to procure precisely the plaid which seemed most fitting, have had it made specially for the book at the famous Anderson factory in Glasglow. The result promises to be eminently satisfactory; a volume somewhat rare in American bookmaking.


Follow-up to last week

You didn't think I could just leave you with a dead Mr. Donoghue lying at his wife's feet, did you? Well, Publishers Weekly made sure to follow-up and so will I.

Some choice cuts from Publishers Weekly, April 8, 1893 (No.1106):

Business Notes

CHICAGO, ILL.- It is feared that the death of Horace P. Donoghue, noted in the last issue of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, will seriously affect the financial standing of several publishing houses. He had been floating accommodation paper of half a dozen publishing concerns in Chicago, four of which may collapse- indeed that of H.J. Smith & Co. is already reported. Two of the concerns in questions will very likely pay their creditors in full and resume business as soon as arrangements can be made with the banks holding their paper.

Literary and Trade Notes

JOHN KNOX MCAFREE, representing A.L. Burt, will leave for the far West on April 17.

EUGENE FIELD is said to be preparing a book about books, one intended for the lover of books.

E.B. GAY, of the Warren School, Charlestown, Mass., was arrested on the 4th inst., charged with stealing valuable books from Brentano's. He is also suspected of of having stolen $95 worth of books from Charles Scribner's Sons. He was held on $1,000 bail for trial.

J.H. MASON, senior member of the J.H. Mason Publishing Co., of St. Louis, met with a horrible death in the Commerce Building in Louisville, Ky., on the 1st inst. Attempting to get out of the elevator on the ninth floor, the car started upward and caught Mr. Mason, catching his head between the rim of the floor of the car and the top of the gate. Before the elevator could be stopped Mr. Mason's body, horribly mutilated, was dashed to the pavement in the basement ten stories below.

LAST week Mark Lewin and Max Windlin, of 345 W. 43rd Street, New York, who keep a newsstand at the corner of 42nd Street and 6th Avenue, were arrested by Anthony Comstock on the charge of having sold books of an improper character to boys. On March 29 Comstock went to the stand and asked for a certain book. He was taken into a basement near by, where the book was sold to him for $1. Comstock obtained a warrant for the men's arrest, and in the Yorkville Police Court the prisoners were held in $500 each for trial.

And one last trade note-

W.H. LOWDERMILK & CO., Washington D.C., have just ready the third volume of the "Digest of Decisions of the Second Comptroller of the Treasury," Compiled by J.Q. Kern. These are the decisions which control all the payments made by the Treasury in the matters which pass the second, third, and fourth auditors, brought down to date in continuation of vol. 2 and covering ten years, 1884-1893,

Foreign Notes

WITH a view to enjoying a holiday at the Chicago Fair, Octave Uzanne, editor of the monthly magazine L'Art et L'Idee, announces that he will suspend its publication for one year. Happy M. Uzanne!

THE proprietor of the famous London bookshop, "Hatchard's," notes a marked advance in bookishness among English women. Asked to what he attributes this, he answered that he thought it to some extent a result of the American woman in English society- the fair American leading her English sister. 'I take it as generally accepted,' he added, "that the average American woman of education is the more bookish- cares more for books as books- than the average educated English woman, although she does not, it may be, read more."


THE CLIMAX AHEAD.- "I've written a novel for school-girls, and they'll never know the climax until they've read it through." "How have you arranged it?" "I've printed the conclusion in the first chapter."- Harper's Bazar.

NOT IN THE SAME SET.- The Parvenu: "Are you fond of belle-lettres?" The Chump: "Belle Letters? Don't know. Never met her." - Chicago News Record.