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Jessica Schmitz WISE 2 Library Study I visited the Charles and JoAnn Lester Library in Nekoosa, WI. I spoke with librarian Darla Allen who is in charge of cataloging at this small public library. When I asked her about how they catalog she said that they catalog strictly with Dewey and they do not utilize Cutter numbers. When I asked her why she said because she hated them in her cataloging class, but really that she did not find them useful in their library. She understands why big, academic libraries would use them, but for their small library they were not anything that needed to be used. They use the full Dewey Decimal Classification and not the Abridged. She said that most of what she does to get her cataloging information is to go through the South Central Library System and uses LINKcat and Koha to download MARC records. So, while they do copy cataloging, if something does not fit into the setup of their library and work for their users she goes in and fixes the MARC record. For example, Darla said that she has books on Wisconsin that were cataloged under travel when she downloaded the MARC record. She knew that her users would not look under travel to find these books and so she changed the record so that they were now cataloged under Wisconsin instead of travel. It was very clear to me that the number one thought in cataloging and organizing information was user access. The patrons need to be able to come into the library and be able to find what they are looking for and this is how the cataloging of books is steered in this library. When Darla first came to work in this library she told me that the biographies were located throughout the nonfiction section and that didn’t work well for her patrons, or for her idea of how the library should be organized. She changed this so that they are now all cataloged in the 920 or 921 sections. 920 are for group biographies and 921 are where biographies about a single person are located. These are cataloged with 921 and the first 3 letters of the subjects last name, i.e. 921 JOR


Jessica Schmitz WISE 2 for a biography of Michael Jordan. The biography books also have a green sticker on them that says biography, making them even easier for patrons to find. In this same line of thinking Darla told me that because she had lots of requests for certain genres of fiction books she has cataloged them together. She has a section for Christian Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Western. These are all located together in groups on shelves, labeled on the shelf so patrons know where to go, and also have a sticker on them identifying the genre. There is also a special section for Oprah’s Book Club books because people wanted to know what these books were and it made sense to simply have a shelf for them for patrons looking for titles from this book club. The children’s section has a few special sections. There is a board book section that is cataloged by Brd Bk followed by the 3 letters of the author’s last name. The other special section is the Easy Reader section that labels the books with stickers to indicate reading level from Pre-1 to 3. Each level has a different color sticker so the kids can easily find a book in their level. It is either labeled with Fic or the Dewey number if it is nonfiction, followed by the last 3 letters of the author’s name, followed by ER for easy reader. Children’s nonfiction is cataloged by Dewey and is not broken up into any other sections other than Dewey classifications. Fictional series books in the library are cataloged together simply because there are multiple authors for some series and patrons want to be able to find these books easily. These are cataloged as follows: Fic Series, 3 letters of author’s last name, # in series. Most of these series books are located in a special section in the library seaparte form the other children’s fiction books. In class we discussed the Dewey classification for literature vs. fiction. In this library there was a section for classic literature, but the Dewey number did not catalog it. Instead it was cataloged in its own section labeled CLASS and the last 3


Jessica Schmitz WISE 2 letters of the author’s last name. Here is where one would find works by Shakespeare, Dickens, and Poe, to name just a few. One thing that has come up in discussions during class is how to catalog CD’s and DVD’s. In most libraries I have been in, one finds these in their own special sections and it was no different in this library. The CD’s are labeled A/CD followed by the first 3 letters of the artist’s last name or the band’s name. A DVD was organized right by the CD’s and was labeled DVD and the first three letters of the title. The library also offered Blu-Ray discs to check out and Wii games. The BluRay was similar to the DVD label, except had Blu-Ray. The Will games were labeled Wii followed by the first three letters of title. In the end, the organization of the library’s items is done so that the user can easily find what he/she is looking for. That is what this library has chosen to do. Although this library has adhered to the Dewey Decimal Classification system, it has also taken liberties to catalog information where it feels it will be most accessible.


Library Study