Sunday, April 17, 2005

Cataloging [Music]: an annotation

Another cataloging annotation:

Papakhian, Arsen Ralph. “Cataloging.” Notes: A Quarter Journal of the Music Library Association 56:3 (March 2000): 581-90.

Ralph Papakhian is the Head of Technical Services at the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at Indiana University. He has been employed at Indiana for over thirty years. His article, “Cataloging”, was one of a series done at the turn of the twenty-first century, and looks at the development of music cataloging formats and standards during the past century, and ahead to the challenges that face the profession. He begins with an overview of the MARC music format (1978), the role of OCLC and the Library of Congress, and how individual integrated library systems have changed.

He discusses the complexities of music cataloging; for example, one of the issues is the presence of multiple works in one physical volume. Music catalogers face a challenge in give access at the work level: whether to use uniform titles, or to give separate analytic entries within the OCLC database. Papakhian is very observant when he says that libraries are requiring a greater level of detail, access, and accuracy in their catalogers; but at the same time cutting staff and replacing professional librarians with para-professionals and student workers. Other elements of the digital evolution have changed the way library catalogs are perceived by users and managers. New innovations such as metadata, FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records), and the cataloging of Internet music resources could derail already-overtaxed cataloging staffs who struggle with backlogs on a daily basis. Lastly, he addresses the lack of training for music cataloging in American library and information science graduate programs.