LM_NET: Library Media Networking

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I represent the technical services department for a large Colorado school
district (132 schools, 80,000+ students).  We provide cataloging,
retrospective conversion, automation software technical support,
and library automation "how-to" consulting services to the media centers in
our district.  In the face of budget cuts, our district has forced us to
operated on a break-even, for-fee basis ... charging fees for every item
we process/catalog.  Once again, this year we are being asked to justify
our jobs.

QUESTION:  How do school districts, public, and academic libraries justify
cataloging staffs now that bibliographic records are available so cheaply
from book vendors?  Many of you must have been dissapointed in the
quality of this type of cheap data.  Even LC is not immune to mistakes.
Our job is to catch those errors, provide quality original cataloging and
catalog the great quantity of Audiovisual material for which cataloging
is difficult to find.  CIP data is often inaccurate, and many of our media
specialists don't have the time or the experience with MARC it takes to
produce a full record.

We even keep a file of "LC Bloopers" with such gems as a bumble bee book
with a mammals call number,  an LC cataloger's initials and notes listed
as a subject heading, a riddle book classed with folk dancing, and our
favorite, a book on Wisconsin Cranberries with a Dewey number for
Kola Nuts with Fleas! :-)  Then there are incorrect ISBNs, typos, spelling
errors, etc... which drive us crazy as catalogers. (Yes, we know we are a
strange breed anyway.)  ?8-)

Database clean-up is just not something our LMSp have time to do.  They
want to work with kids, not MARC records.  That's where my staff of
detail-oriented, MARC-loving catalogers and clerks come in.  We want to
provide support,  giving our Media Specialists the time and tools
they need to teach.  They are being forced to buy fewer books
to pay for processing or settle for a higher degree of database pollution.
Soon, they may not even have that choice.

How do we convince administrators of the importance of "clean" data?

Please respond to me directly at toyokura@CSN.org
and I'll do my best to post a HIT>.

Thank you in advance.

Vanessa Toyokura   toyokura@csn.org
LibraryData & Automation Services, Jefferson Co. Public Schools, Colorado
(It's not a typo :-) our LibraryData is one word)

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