Original Cataloguing Workflow: A Summary

Document sections

Introduction Workflow steps


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Workflow steps

Select book Fixed-field elements Save record Import into Voyager
Check routing slip Access points related to description Review printout Mark piece
Study book briefly Subject analysis Re-search OCLC (again) Deal with stickups, etc.
Re-search OCLC Subject headings Call up record Holdings record(s)
Authority checking Call number Make needed changes Item record(s)
Call up workform Review workform online Validate record (again) Proof Voyager records
Descriptive fields Validate record Proof quickly 948 field
0xx fields Print record Update record in OCLC Place on truck or shelf

  1. Select the book.  This step is in effect done for you whenever you are handed a Rush, Notify, Reference, or In-Process request book.  These categories should all be treated as Rush, top priority, and should be catalogued as soon as possible, ideally immediately, at the most within 48 hours.


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  2. Check the routing slip:

  3. Study the book briefly to determine salient information for:

    (Sometimes, cataloguers wait to check pagination until after they search OCLC and find a possible match.)

    Position the book where it will be easy for you to check it as you work at your workstation.  If there is a book jacket on the book, remove it -- to facilitate checking information on the cover and spine.  Retain the jacket during cataloguing.

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  4. Re-search OCLC WorldCat  (See the local document OCLC Connexion Client: Searching and Retrieving Commands.)   Make sure to check all possible interpretations of author and title.

    If you find:

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    Optionally here, otherwise later:

  5. Perform authority checking on all access points that you expect to provide.  (See "Authority Work Procedures:  Verifying and Establishing Headings:  Summary of Interim Procedures for Original Cataloguing Authority Work.")  Copy at least one heading, particularly any particularly long or complex heading.  Remember to:

    Please note:  Some cataloguers prefer to plunge straight into the bib workform, providing descriptive information, then copying and pasting headings from authority to bib record.  Checking headings later may especially be the quicker option when working from a “new” workform, or when you are fairly confident of the correct heading form.

    In performing name, series, and other uniform title authority work, consult:

    When applicable:

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  6. Call up a Books format workform in Connexion, using one of the methods for creating a new bib record.

  7. Fill in all relevant descriptive fields (245, 246, 250, 260, 300, 490, and 5xx).  Consult AACR2 and LCRI in Cataloger’s Desktop when necessary.

    Option:  Skip the next 2 steps, go straight to step 10, on providing access points related to the description, then return to the step on filling in 0xx fields.

  8. Fill in all straightforward 0xx fields, e.g., 020, 041 if applicable, 042 if you plan to do a pcc record.  Option:  First provide access points related to the description.

  9. Fill in or edit the fixed field elements.  Often, these elements are based on information in the description, so it is usually easier to fill in the description of the body of the record before the fixed field.

  10. Provide all needed access points related to description:  1xx, 240, 7xx, 8xx.

    Consider saving the record at this point, especially if the description has been complex or recent OCLC or your own PC performance somewhat shaky.

    If you skipped steps 8 and 9, go back to them to fill in 0xx fields and fill in fixed-field information.

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  11. Perform subject analysis to determine the content of the book.

    Please note:  While this step is logically distinct from the process of identifying descriptive information, you may end up performing both steps at the same time, especially when subject content appears straightforward.  It usually helps to give the subject content a second, separate and more concentrated look, though, to make sure that no important aspect of the subject has been missed or misinterpreted.  Too many OCLC records base subject headings on the title alone, missing important aspects of the subject or even totally misinterpreting the nature of the subject!

  12. Select and add appropriate LC subject headings to reflect the content of the book.  You may check (in whatever order works best in the situation):

    Remember to keep in mind both appropriateness of content and current validity of form.

    Make use of the various copy-and-paste features in OCLC Connexion as much as possible.

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  13. Select and add an appropriate call number.  Provide a classification number and cutter following current LC guidelines, schedules, and practice.

    Always verify the appropriateness of the call number in our Voyager shelflist.

    Check appropriate LC Classification Schedules:

    Verify cuttering in LC’s online catalog shelflist.

    You may also check (in whatever order works best in the situation):

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  14. Review the workform online for obvious corrections and additions.

  15. Validate the record, using one of the methods for validating records in Connexion.

    If the record fails validation and any errors are indicated, make necessary corrections, then validate again.

  16. Print out the record.

    This step is optional but is recommended particularly for new cataloguers and for complex records.

  17. Save the record, using one of the methods for saving records in Connexion.  Note the save number, as it is generally the quickest key for retrieving the record.  If you save to the online Connexion save file, also note the date; original workforms may fall out of the online file after 28 days.

    If you are creating a NACO authority record, this point may be a good one to call up the record again and apply the authority macro to the appropriate bib record field in OCLC.  Consult "NACO Authority Records:  Creating New NACO Records."

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  18. Review your printout, comparing it again against the piece.  (If you did not print the record, re-search OCLC, call the record up again, and review it carefully online.)

    Remember to:

    Some of these steps are especially important if you did a “new” based on an older OCLC record.

    Please note:

    Mark any needed corrections and additions on printout.

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  19. Re-search OCLC WorldCat to make sure that a record has not been entered into the bib database.

  20. Call your record up from the OCLC Connexion save file.

  21. Make any changes needed to the record.

  22. Validate the record.  If the record fails validation and any errors are indicated, make necessary corrections, then validate again.

  23. Quickly proof the record online one last time.  (Even if you think that you don’t need to proof again, it is surprising how often people catch errors at this last proofing stage.)

  24. Update the record in OCLC, to enter your record into the OCLC WorldCat bib database.

    Our holdings are also added to the record during this process.

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  25. Import the record into our Voyager database, using a straight import or an import/replace function as applicable.  Consult “Importing and Overlaying Records from OCLC intoVoyager.”

    Be sure to re-search Voyager to verify whether a record already exists in the Voyager bib file.

  26. Mark the piece.

    Note:  You may do this step earlier, but you should avoid doing it too early, before you have confirmed that the piece is:

    Consult: “The Physical Piece:  Writing Numbers, Stickups, Etc.

  27. Deal with stickups, etc.:

    Book jacket:  Retain, slipped inside the book, for all locations except regular HT Stacks.  Jackets from stacks books may be disposed of.

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  28. Create or edit the MARC holdings record(s).  Consult:

    Consult when applicable:

  29. Create the item record(s).  Consult:

    Consult when applicable:

    Exception:  For a book that was a returned in-process request:  Use the existing item record(s) rather than creating any new one(s).  If a returned In-Process-request book needs to be bound, it needs a new, piggyback barcode; add the second barcode number to the item record.

  30. As you create or edit each record, or after you have completed all of them, proof each holdings and item record in Voyager to ensure correct information and coding.  Remember to check that the following are correct:

    Once all records have been created, it can be helpful to check the record hierarchy ("Show associated records").

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  31. Provide a 948 field at the end of the bib record.  Be sure to:

    For further information on the 948 field and its individual subfields, see “Voyager Cataloguing Statistics:  Voyager 948 Field

    If necessary, count manual statistics.

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  32. Place the item(s) on the appropriate truck or shelf -- based on whether or not the items are to be bound and on the specific location.  Consult:

    Rush books should be put on the Rush/Reference shelf right away.

    Hardbound Reference books not requiring repair or rebinding should be put on the Rush/Reference shelf right away.  Remember to stamp them "Do Not Circulate".

    Any books designated for rush binding should go to the Preservation Dept. right away.  Remember to stamp Reference books "Do Not Circulate".

    Books not designated for locations that have special shelves:  It may helpful to save up a stack, then put them on the appropriate truck(s) as a group.

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Draft, 22 February 2000; rev. draft 12 March 2000, 4 November 2003, 15 January 2008, 31 March 2011

HTML document last reviewed:  6 April 2011