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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

Add Brief Title


General Information

Brief Title records may be created by library staff outside of Cataloging for various reasons including:

  • to circulate an uncataloged item
  • to circulate an item for which a record cannot be found
  • to circulate personal/instructors' copies that are not part of the permanent Libraries collection
  • to circulate items from a Leased collection
  • to circulate PALCI items
  • to circulate equipment and/or other miscellaneous items (e.g., laptops, headphones, etc.)

The Add Brief Title Wizard can be found in the Circ toolbar's Items group. It can be added to any customized toolbar.


Adding a Brief Title Record


Adjusting Default Properties

Add Brief Title wizard icon displayed in the Items Group

Before creating a Brief Title record, it may be necessary to adjust the default properties for the wizard dependent on the use. For example, those creating Brief Title records for Leased collection items may want the records visible to patrons in The CAT and so would accept the default indicating whether or not the records will be shadowed (i.e., suppressed). On the other hand, those creating records to circulate equipment may not want them visible to patrons and so would change the default to shadow the records.

To change the default properties for the Add Brief Title Wizard, right click on the wizard icon and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. This will display the Add Brief Title: Set Properties window.

If you wish your Brief Title records to be shadowed, check the box next to Shadow title, which can be found under the Use entries line. This setting will need to be changed back if you wish to create an unshadowed brief record later.

You may also want to change the Library setting to reflect the proper library to which the item belongs and the Home location to reflect the correct shelving location.

Click on OK when finished changing the default settings to suit your purpose.


Creating a Record for a Title

*Note: When entering information, please DO NOT USE all caps. In addition, the Date Cataloged value in the Control tab should remain NEVER.

Title Info
  1. Title Info
    • Click on the Add Brief Title Wizard

    • 245 Title
      In the Title info portion of the record in the top half of the Add Brief Title window, enter the title for your item in the 245 field as it appears on the title page of the item or other chief source of information. This is the only required field (you will need to delete or overwrite **REQUIRED FIELD** in the 245), but it is recommended that you fill in enough fields to make it easy to find and match up the record later to the item in hand.

      • Capitalize the first word of the title and any proper nouns for English titles. Basically, follow capitalization rules for the language of the item in hand.

      • Omit initial articles.

        Some of the most common initial articles are as follows:

        Common Initial Articles

        Language Initial Article
        English: a, an, the
        Spanish: un, una, uno, el, lo, la, los, las
        French: un, une, la, l', le, les
        Italian: un, una, uno, il, lo, la
        German: ein, eine, der, die, das

        A more comprehensive list of initial articles can be found at the Library of Congress Web site.


    • 100 Personal Author
      Input the author's name, if present, in the 100 Personal Author field in the form:

      [Last name], [First name] [Middle initial]. Example: Smith, Roberta K.

      If more than one author is listed on the item, input only the first one listed.


    • 250 Edition Statement
      If an edition statement is present on the item, it may be input into the 250 field (e.g., 1st ed., 2nd ed., 3rd ed., 4th ed., Anniversary ed., etc.)

    • 260 Publication Information
      It is not necessary to input publication information in the 260 field, but this would include a place of publication, the publisher name, and/or the date of publication. Elements can be separated by colons.

    • 300 Physical Description
      The 300 field for physical description is also unnecessary, but would include information such as paging (the last numbered page and ill. if the item is illustrated. For a video, this field could be used to indicate the number of video cassettes, format (e.g., VHS) and running time. Elements can be separated by colons.

    • 500 General Note
      The 500 field is used for general notes and is repeatable, meaning multiple 500 fields can be present in a record. You may want to use this field to indicate the Leased collection to which the item belongs, to indicate where a patron should inquire for the item, or any other information not having a specific field where it can be entered that you think would be helpful to patrons or to staff members.

      When a Brief Title record is created to circulate an item lacking a bib/copy record or an item record whose record cannot be found at checkout, a 500 note Send to Cataloging may be input, but it is not necessary since, in this situation, the Home location will remain Cataloging.

Call Number and Copy Info

2.  Call Number and Copy Info

  • New Call Number
    The New call number field will contain a system generated call number by default (e.g., XX(2698777.1)). This call number can be accepted or updated depending on the purpose for creating the record. Brief records being created to circulate items lacking a record in The CAT or whose records cannot be found will be sent to Cataloging when they are returned to the Libraries. At that point, the records will be updated or the proper records found, so it is not necessary to change the system generated call numbers to match the call numbers found on the items in this category.

    For items in the other categories (e.g., Leased collections, personal/instructor copy), you may want to use an established free format call number such as the name of a particular Leased collection an item is from (e.g., BESTSELLERS), something to indicate it is a personal copy (e.g., PERSONAL COPY) or something to indicate a location where the item is located that is not covered by the Home Location choices (e.g., PERSONAL FOLDER). You can also accept the system generated call number. Try to be consistent for items within a particular category.


  • Library
    The default Library location is UP-PAT, unless you changed it in the Properties settings. Choose the appropriate Library from the dropdown menu if it is not the default location listed. The Library should reflect the Library location to which the item belongs. See the Home Location/Marking Description List for a comprehensive listing.

  • Item Type
    Choose the correct Item type from the dropdown menu. Item type will determine the circulation period. Item types are assigned to specific types of material and also are assigned based on a hierarchy when an item belongs to more than one category. See the Item Type Policies and the Item Type Order Preference to help determine the correct Item type to use.

  • Home Location
    Home location generally reflects the shelving location of an item; however, a correct shelving location may not be included in the dropdown menu for the items having brief records created for them. You may want to choose a location from the list that applies to your Library location and indicate elsewhere in the brief record the true location of the item in some other way. See the Home Location/Marking Description List for a comprehensive listing.

    When a Brief Title record is created to circulate an item lacking a bib/copy record or an item record whose record cannot be found at checkout, the Home location should be CATALOGING to help indicate that it should be sent to Cataloging upon its return.


  • Item ID
    The Item ID field will contain a system generated Item ID such as 2698777-1001. If the item you are creating a Brief Title record for is barcoded, replace the system generated Item ID with the barcode number. Use a scanner or manually key it in. If manually keying it in, include the zeros at the beginning of the barcode number but do not input the letter appearing at the beginning of it.

  • "Permanent" status
    When a brief record is created for a leased collection item that will eventually be returned, or for any item that is not meant to be a permanent part of the Libraries collection, uncheck the Permanent box.

When you have finished entering all the appropriate information, click on OK to save your record.

**Note: Please remember that Brief Title records created for a temporary purpose, such as for items in a Leased collection, should be deleted using the Remove Titles, Call Numbers, or Copies Wizard when they are no longer needed. Cataloging does not need to be notified of these types of record deletions.**

Cataloging does not require any statistics for Brief Title records.


Creating a Record for Equipment

When creating a Brief Title record for equipment (e.g., laptop, headphones, cable, etc.), basically follow the instructions in the preceding section for creating a record for a title, with the following exceptions and considerations:

  • Shadowing
    Brief Title records created for equipment should be shadowed so that they don't display to patrons in The CAT. See the instructions above for changing the Properties settings for this option.

  • 245 Title
    Since a piece of equipment will not have a formal "title", choose a descriptive term for the item and then use it consistently for that type of item. If you have more than one of any piece of equipment and choose to create a separate Brief Title record for each, you may want to follow the descriptive term you choose with a number or some type of sequencing.

    Instead of creating separate records when you have multiples of a piece of equipment, you may want to create one record for each type of equipment with multiple Vol/Copy records. This would require use of a different wizard. Contact the Cataloging trainers if you wish to explore this option.

  • 300 Physical Description
    You may want to input the particular brand or model number of a piece of equipment in this field. Again, be consistent.

  • 500 General Note
    Because Brief Title records in this category should be shadowed, any notes input will be for staff use. Don't input notes intended for patrons. They won't see them if you've properly shadowed the records.

  • Item Type
    The Item Type ANY was created for equipment and other miscellaneous items, but note that its associated circulation period is not restricted to a shortened period of time. Since many locations only want to circulate equipment for a specific number of hours only, you may need to override the circ period associated with ANY as necessary. Some locations use a Reserve location/charge to help restrict the circ period. Contact Reserves if you are interested in that option.

  • Item ID
    You may barcode pieces of equipment. Contact the Cataloging Staff Assistant if you need barcodes.

Updating a Brief Title Record (Cataloger Instructions)

  • If a cataloger finds a Brief Title record in The CAT when cataloging that was created for a Campus Library location's Leased collection item, for PALCI use, or any other Brief Title record cateogry, the cataloger should ignore the Brief Title record and enter a new record for the item in hand.

  • If a cataloger finds a Brief Title record or is referred an item with a Brief Title record created to circulate an uncataloged item or item for which a bib/copy recory could not be found at the time of circulation, the cataloger should replace the Brief Title record with copy found or update and refer for original cataloging if no copy is found.

  • If it is discovered that Circ staff created a Brief Title record to circulate an item they thought was uncataloged but that actually has a record in the system, merge the copy info from the brief record into the full record or delete the brief record and add the item to the proper existing record.

  • Change the Date Cataloged to TODAY if updating the Brief Title record.

  • If updating or overwriting a Brief Title record, check to make sure the record is not shadowed.