UCB Libraries


Libraries Policies: Cataloging Policies
      Catalog and Database Quality and Oversight Policy

  1. Definition
    For the purposes of this document, matters relating to catalog and database quality include cataloging policy and practice, database content, database maintenance, and access and display of cataloging and related data.

  2. Catalog and Database Quality and Consistency
    The quality and consistency of a catalog are prime factors in the usability and usefulness of that catalog. The quality of a catalog depends on adherence to standards and agreements by all those who have a part in the creation or maintenance of the data base, combined with a mechanism for advising on and overseeing development and adherence to database practice and policies.

  3. Central Oversight
    At the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries, the authority to determine institutional database practice and policy, and to engage in activities aimed at assuring that practice and policy are followed rests in Technical Services.

  4. Training of non-Technical Services Catalogers
    Appropriate personnel within Technical Services train all who catalog within the Division. In addition, all catalogers attached to units outside Technical Services may receive training and/or orientation by Technical Services personnel prior to taking up fully their independent duties.

  5. Review of non-Technical Services Cataloging
    All cataloging, regardless of the organizational location of the cataloger performing it, may be reviewed by appropriate personnel within Technical Services. Information obtained through such review may assist in determining training needs, in evaluating or developing policies or practices, etc. Formal review for evaluation purposes may also be conducted, in appropriate consultation with the cataloger's supervisor.

  6. Authorization to Catalog
    Authorization to create and modify bibliographic and related data is password-controlled and is limited to individuals specifically approved by the Cataloging Module System Owner (see SYSTEM OWNERSHIP), or by those to whom such authority is delegated. All such work is subject to review, and decisions are subject to reconsideration.

  7. Policy Determination
    Institutional cataloging policy and practice is determined in various ways, depending on the existence of national, international, and system requirements, and on the impact of particular decisions.

    A. Principal Cataloger Decisions: The Principal Cataloger interprets cataloging rules, standards, and interpretations, setting policy on their implementation. Principal Cataloger Decisions usually do not to involve workflow considerations, nor matters involving the organization of the collections.

    The Principal Cataloger consults widely. Many decisions are made collegially among catalogers. Decisions are subject to approval by the Head of the Cataloging Department. Decisions of special interest to a "specialist" cataloging area (e.g. Music, Special Collections) are made in concert with the cataloger(s) with relevant expertise. Decisions involving serials cataloging are made in concert with the Head of Serials Cataloging.

    B. Technical Services Decisions:
    Decisions that involve cataloging or workflow within the division, that do not affect organization of the collections, nor represent radical departures from past practice are made within Technical Services after appropriate consultation and discussion, including discussion among Technical Services Department Heads. Decisions with Libraries-wide impact (such as those that may affect priority, etc.) may be referred to Cabinet, or the Cataloging Policy Committee, or may be made after appropriate discussion with those affected.

    C. Cataloging Policy Committee Decisions: The Cataloging Policy Committee is a Libraries-wide committee (See Cataloging Policy Committee).

    It is concerned with cataloging-related issues that have an impact beyond Technical Services, including issues t hat have substantial impact on the database, those that may affect organization of the collections, those with significant workflow or priority implications, and those involving radical departures from past practice. Issues considered may involve more than cataloging per se. The Cataloging Policy Committee is advisory to the Cabinet through the Associate Director for Technical Services.

    The Cataloging Policy Committee consults widely. Many decisions, especially those that involve processing priorities, arrangement and use of the collections, etc., require information gathered from a larger group than the Committee itself. In such cases, advice is sought from the Collection Development Librarian, the Cabinet, and others as appropriate.

Related Policies: Centralization of Cataloging; Cataloging Policy Committee;System Ownership


Additional Descriptors: Cataloging Policy Committee; Principal Cataloger; Cataloging -- Review, Training, and Authorization; Database Oversight


Reviewed by Council 2/1995