|DESCRIPTION & ENTRY|
|Standards v. Local Practice||
Los Angeles County
In the last issue of TSLL Joe Thomas wrote of the library's dilemma to give patrons what they "want" versus what they "need." Another dilemma that catalogers frequently encounter is that of "national" standards versus "local" practice. When one knows that following standards is the "right" course, what could possibly persuade a divergence from the straight and narrow policy line (in this case, LC policy)?
For well over a year now at Los Angeles County Law Library we have been converting manual check-in records to an online integrated system. Technical Services is finally able to give Public Services and patrons something they've wanted for years: immediate information about current receipts and library holdings. Converting the holdings of our law reviews and looseleaf treatises has had little or no impact on bibliographic cataloging practice. However, our bibliographic records for our statutory compilations for some of the 50 states have undergone drastic revisions.
LC practice for court rules that accompany a statutory compilation is not to catalog them separately, but to mention them in a note on the bibliographic record for the compilation. The basic compilations are usually kept current by various supplements and replacement volumes as well. In the old Kardex there might have been 6 or more cards to record all the materials that were received and associated with the "one" bibliographic record in the OPAC: pocket parts, interim pamphlets, replacement volumes, annual court rules, session law advance service, annotation updates, annual general index, etc. At LACLL we also retain the superseded replacement volumes and have sometimes as many as 13 copies! What did the display in the OPAC look like when all of this was linked to one bibliographic record? Overwhelming if you could even find your way to the end of the display!
So we decided to recatalog these sets as they came up for conversion of the holdings. Court rules that accompany statutory compilations now have separate catalog records unless they are numbered in the volume sequence of the set. Frequently the court rules volumes have had distinctive titles, but we catalog them separately even when the court rules have dependent titles. Not only are we thus able to make the holdings display and the library's retention policy for this particular aspect of the set clearer in the OPAC, we have also been able to give "Court rules" subject access to these components of the statutory sets, thus enhancing collection development decision-making and patron access at the same time. Where we have diverged even farther is that we are keeping these court rules classed proximate to the statutory sets, not at the "court rules" number that could have been selected. Why did we do this? Even though the publishers like to charge us separately for the court rules the reference staff still consider them part of the set.
245 00 $a South Dakota rules annotated.
246 17 $a South Dakota rules
246 14 $a South Dakota codified laws. $p South Dakota rules annotated
260 __ $a Charlottesville, Va. : $b Michie Co., $c c1993
580 __ $a Companion to: South Dakota codified laws, 1997- .
650 _0 $a Court rules $z South Dakota.
710 1_ $a South Dakota. $t Laws, etc. (Compiled statutes : 1967- ).
787 1 $a South Dakota. $s Laws, etc. (Compiled statutes : 1967- ). $t South Dakota codified laws
Using a note is also LC's descriptive choice for session law advance services that accompany some of these statutory compilations. We have also opted to catalog the advance legislative services separately. Many have completely independent titles with only a brief mention of the statutory set to which they are an update. Other publishers clearly print the statutory set title on the chief source of the legislative update; even these are now cataloged separately. What do the patrons and staff gain by this treatment rather than a note and title access on the compilation catalog record? In this case the entry, uniform title, and subject heading clearly indicate that these advance legislative services are "session laws." We can also clearly indicate the local retention for these components. For instance, that they are retained until the Hein session law microfiche or an official bound session law set is received.
010 __ $a 73645782
022 __ $a 0092-0959
110 1_ $a Ohio.
240 10 $a Laws, etc. (Session laws : 1971- )
245 10 $a Baldwin's Ohio legislative service annotated.
650 _0 $a Session laws $z Ohio.
710 1_ $a Ohio. $t Laws, etc. (Compiled statutes : 1994- )
772 0 $a Ohio. $s Laws, etc. (Compiled statutes : 1994- ) $t Baldwins' Ohio revised code annotated
The burden for the cataloging staff is not only the recataloging and relabeling, but also documenting the local decisions made on how to catalog these materials. The cataloging decisions are to be made and documented in support of the goals that Joe mentioned: "...accurate and complete cataloging records...and a commitment to a coherent set of standards..." The decision to not follow LC practice was not made in a vacuum by the cataloging staff alone, but based on input from many staff in Technical Services and Public Services. The goal is to have bibliographic and holdings records that can transfer information clearly and completely into that "n"th generation library automation system that looms in the next millennium.