Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Unauthorized subject headings

I've managed to reduce our unauthorized 650 fields (subject headings that don't have matching authority records in our system - this doesn't necessarily mean they aren't valid subject headings) to below 16,000. Or maybe that's the number of bibliographic records that contain unauthorized subject headings, I'm not sure. The number does not include Killeen-only records (which will one day be disappearing) or Cross Timbers stuff (which use subject headings in ways I don't quite understand and am not sure I should be messing with).

It's a small victory, and it's a long way from 0, but I'm still happy about it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Manga Guides, the complete package

What you see on the left is a whole lot of awesome, all 6 of the Manga Guides currently available from No Starch Press. If you can't read the titles, they are The Manga Guide to
- Molecular Biology
- Calculus
- Physics
- Electricity
- Databases
- Statistics

I've read the one on molecular biology. I thought it was ok, but not great. Still, I love the idea of learning a bit more about a subject via a format that I enjoy, manga. From what I understand, all six guides wrap their educational content in a simple story. In the molecular biology one, a professor has two students in his introductory molecular biology class who are failing, so he tells them they have to do special make-up work. On his private island. Yes, he has a private island, complete with virtual reality teaching tools and holographic image projection capability, which he uses to give his students minor heart attacks and hands on experience with the concepts he teaches. By the end of the book, the girls have learned a lot about molecular biology, and they also learn a secret the professor has been keeping from them. I knew that the story was going to be pretty simple and likely silly, so I didn't have a lot of expectations in that area. My biggest problem with the book had to do with its information, which didn't always seem very balanced and which I'm pretty sure left out a few important bits (if I remember my high school biology classes correctly). Also, chunks of the book were just text, with heads in the margins to show who was speaking - pretty boring.

But just because I didn't think the molecular biology book was all that great doesn't mean I don't want to try out the other books. The ones on statistics and databases are next on my list - I'll have to see about requesting them via ILL sometime.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Cookery, again

I think I managed to change all our "cookery" authority records to their new "cooking" form. That means that, tonight, all subject headings linked to those records should change to "cooking" instead of "cookery."

This does not necessarily mean that all instances of "cookery" in our subject headings will be gone. Our Children's subject headings will probably continue to use "cookery" - since I only do authority work on Library of Congress subject headings and not Children's, MeSH, or anything else, the only subject headings that ever get updated are Library of Congress subject headings. Also, we have some Library of Congress subject headings in our catalog that don't have their corresponding subject authority records loaded yet - these won't change to "cooking" until I change them by hand and/or load their authority records and force the headings to flip.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Subjects headings and DVDs continued

The "Gay parents" vs. "Same-sex parents" argument on AUTOCAT is still ongoing.

In "cataloged DVDs" news, today I cataloged an interesting consumer education one called Shopping behind the seams : judging quality in clothes. It shows how to judge the quality of clothes before you buy them, so that you don't end up spending more for clothes than what they're worth. I didn't see enough to know if it's all just commonsense advice or if it includes tips you might not normally think of, but it at least has the potential to be really good, so I might check it out sometime.