Sunday, April 17, 2005

Cataloger's Judgment

Weitz, Jay. Cataloger's Judgment: Music Cataloging Questions and Answers from the Music OCLC Users Group Newsletter. Arranged and edited by Matthew Sheehy, with a foreword by H. Stephen Wright. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.

Jay Weitz’s regular column in the Music OCLC Users Group Newsletter has been a useful clarifying tool, ever since he began writing it in 1989. Collected in this book are fifteen years of Weitz’s columns, organized into various categories. These include: when to input a new record, sound recordings, main and added entries, titles, description, notes, subject access, numbers, fixed fields, and OCLC services. The title of the book comes from the idea that cataloging is more of an art than a science. In the course of describing an item and providing its access points, there are many interpretive decisions that must be made.

Weitz’s book provides questions and answers of the most interesting variety. Because the questions come from actual music cataloging situations, Weitz usually responds with practical suggestions and logic that is often indisputable. One of the benefits of this book is that it deals with situations arising from application of AACR2, MARC21, OCLC Bibliographic Standards and Formats, and the MARC Authority Format. He also answers question about features associated with cataloging software such as Passport and CatME. He also explains why some items might be cataloged in the manner which they were; thus providing a historical view of the changes in cataloging practice.


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