Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Electronic Does Not Equal Paper

For years, and for no reason that I know of, my library chose to catalog electronic books on the same record as the print version, if we had both, but cataloged electronic and paper versions of journals on different records.


There were always exceptions, so I've always occasionally had to separate a pair of conjoined journals, or squash a pair of books together. For consistency, you know.

As I say, I'm not sure what the original reasoning was behind this policy. I'm sure there was some. Possibly it had to do with counting...for questions asking how many individual titles we have, keeping ebooks and paper books together makes sense. You count the bibliographic records, and you're good.

Why this doesn't make sense for journals, I don't know. We always have to de-duplicate those for the 'unique title' questions.

It matters little, though, because policy is policy. And now, policy is changing: it has been at last decided that system-wide, we're going with separate records all the way!

So now at some point, when I have the time, I'm going to have to track down every book title that we hold both electronically and in paper, and split them up.

I guess it was either that or find all the journals, and put them together. I actually not sure which would involve more work. I'll imagine it's the one I'm not doing, to comfort myself.

I tell you all this because I know you care very deeply.

Also, mostly, because it's what I'm thinking about right now.


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