Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The blog hasn't died, really it hasn't

I know, I haven't updated this blog in ages. I figured I'd make my first update in such a long while an update about some of the projects I've been working on, either on my own or with Tracy:
  • Fixing up the diacritics problem in the Classical Music Library and Contemporary World Music MARC records. There are still no diacritics (I'm not sure if would be possible for our OPAC to display those diacritics, anyway), but at least the stuff that looked like gibberish and was unsearchable and unreadable by human beings has been dealt with. Tracy and I worked for an hour and a half on this problem ("Diacritics Hell"). Neither one of us had any idea it would take quite so long.
  • I'm still working on adding 505 fields (contents notes) to records. Right now, I'm concentrating on PS647-PS648 (in our General Stacks area). We've got records for anthologies in this area that don't say what titles or authors they include, meaning that the only way someone would know that, say, History Revisited has a story by Harry Turtledove is through some source that is not our catalog (the record for this book now has a contents note, by the way).
  • The records to which I'm adding 505s get other special treatments, which is why I only do a few per day, or there wouldn't be any time to do anything else. To list a few things I do: add our holdings to OCLC if they're not already there, fix up the title control numbers, and add genre/form headings (which are actually just LC subject headings used in 655 fields - for now, until there are more genre authority records and I'm actually able to load those authority records, this seems to be the best way to go).
  • I'm cleaning up 505 notes that already exist in our catalog. Some of them are enhanced when they shouldn't be, which creates false hits in our title searches. Some of them are unenhanced even though they should be enhanced, which means things that should come up in a title or author search don't. I can fix it globally, but the fix is imperfect, so I have to at least glance at the records before I reload them, slowing the process down a bit.
  • I'm fixing 245 fields (Title) that have subfields in an incorrect order. The incorrect order creates display weirdness that sometimes makes it incredibly difficult to figure out what the actual title is, or see that it's the audiobook version instead of the print version. So far, I've done our vinyl records and VHS tapes, which probably took care of the worst offenders.
  • I'm still loading authority records in order to authorize our headings and make it easier to keep them up-to-date. It's a slow process that I will never finish.
I think that's it, not including all the projects that have ended up on the back burner.


  1. You forgot fixing the bracket issues...and standardize the GMDs. Man the catalog gets better everyday...and I don't anyone on staff even notices!

  2. There are so many projects and things being done, it's hard to remember them all...

    It's not surprising if no one notices - people notice when things are broken or not working right, but they don't necessarily notice if things are working well.