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Penn State University Libraries


Cataloging and Metadata Services
126 Paterno Library
University Park, PA 16802-1808

Staff Directory

Phone: (814) 865-1755
Fax: (814) 863-7293

Services and Policies

Cataloging Policies

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries' general cataloging policy is to catalog everything acquired by the selectors for addition to the Libraries' collecitions. Special conditions apply to parts of single items and certain types of reproductions. Follow this link to learn more about the general cataloging policy, bibliographic policy and policies about special types of materials (e.g., serials, non-book materials, microforms, etc.)

CCL Libraries

The libraries of the Penn State Commonwealth Campuses are under the general administration of the University Libraries, and, except for the Penn State Harrisburg library, all processing of materials is carried out centrally in Information Access Services in Pattee Library. A special processing manual (last revision September 2001) for the Commonwealth Campus Libraries guides the processing of campus materials. Consult it for questions regarding the processing of CCL materials.

On-Order Requests

If a record in the CAT can be found for an item but it includes the message that the item is On Order, a patron may place a request for that item. When On Order material arrives it is given special handling and the patron is notified when it is ready to use.

Language Contacts and Subject Specialists

The material collected by the University Libraries covers most subject areas in a wide variety of languages and formats. The processing of these materials is done by staff with the requisite expertise in these areas. Staff in Cataloging Services are available for questions regarding materials in a Special subject area, language, and format.

Project Requests

To propose a project to Cataloging, a Selector should contact the team(s) that will be involved with the project, copying the Department Head and the Assistant to the Head of the Department on the initial email. They will see that the project is discussed, a contact person assigned, procedures/guidelines written if necessary, and that the progress of the project is monitored. The initial email should include an approximate amount and brief description of the project materials and what is needed. Any additional information that can be provided would be helpful. Optionally, fill out the online Cataloging Project Request Form (staff only), which will automatically send your request to the appropriate team, the Department Head and Assistant to the Head of Cataloging.

It is up to Selectors and those involved in collection development to recommend a project's priority. Teams will automatically assign a newly proposed project a low priority unless the Collection Development Group Leaders decide it should be higher, taking into account the current project workload. Teams will then work with the Selector to implement the project.

Using Oops to Report Errors

Cataloging Services is responsible for the general maintenance and authority control of the bibliographic records found in The CAT. Cataloging staff correct errors in The CAT, which may include typographical errors, misspellings, and incorrect subjects or authors. The CAT now possesses an automated authority control system, but some corrections are still made manually as they are discovered by staff or patrons. For this reason it is very valuable when users of The CAT notify staff when errors are discovered. Error correction messages are occasionally sent by users for records that may appear to have incorrect information, but in reality do not. Old or rare books, for example, often have older spelling forms, and this is reflected in the cataloging record. Also, the actual name of the author used as an access point for the record is the form of the name authorized by the Library of Congress name authority file. This may differ from the form of the name on the title page (which is also given in the record), and it is not an error.

Rush Policy and Cataloging Timeframes