September 20th, 2007


My job, and an information resource

As I was posting some of this in a comment on a friend's journal, it struck me that this could be a semi-decent explanation by example of part of my job as a cataloger, worth posting in its own right.

A good resource to turn to when one is looking for information about (or the possible local availability of) books, magazines, albums, videos, etc. is WorldCat, which includes the contents of the library catalogs of the Library of Congress, the National Library of Canada, the British National Library, and most U.S. and Canadian public and college/university libraries, as well as many other libraries from all over the world.

Though the above-linked free public interface to the database isn't nearly as powerful and doesn't display nearly as much data as the for-pay interfaces libraries have access to, it's still a good resource. (This is the for-pay public interface, and though the version at that particular link is scoped to always be limited to Illinois libraries, I'm pretty sure you can still get in from outside of the state.)

A large part of my job involves working closely with that database. In fact, here are some records I've created in it.

It's fun to be able to point to these and say "I did that!" (And I'm happy they came up with an easy way to do direct links like that.)

(And if you're ever bored, or are looking for about as close to you can get to a truly random selection of books, pamphlets, audio, video, etc., you can see a selection of what's being added to the database, as it's added.)

Feudalism: Serf & Turf