Tag Archives: cataloging

Fragrance-coded card catalog

Copyright Card Catalog Files
I just found this article, and have NEVER heard of this idea – but I’m in love with it!!!

Card catalog cards had a smell to them, say…chocolate. If you, as a patron, were looking for your book you did not have to rely on an indecipherable map, or on your own memory of a specific section of the library. Instead you could just sniff along the aisle until you found the shelf that also smelled like chocolate. Then you browse along until you find your specific book! Amazing!!

Sadly, this catalog is no longer in use – and it clearly has not swept the nation and is not being used in every library.  Yes it would add some challenges to the job of catalogers everywhere to make this happen, but what an amazing idea for helping to make the collection accessible to patrons!!!

Please, please take a moment to click on this article and to admire the scanned newspaper articles about this cataloging system. You will absolutely not be sorry!

Do you have any other seemingly crazy ideas for helping people to connect with your materials? Share them!!! Heck – we will give out up to $300 in mini-grants to people who send us an application with some idea that just needs some funding to get off the ground!! (CMLE members only, please!)

Libraries are here to serve our communities, and to connect them with information through our materials and programs. Let’s keep thinking of interesting new ways to make that happen!


OCLC at 50 years: a “moonshot” for the world’s libraries

OCLC logo
OCLC is an organization hugely important to the library profession; and it’s great to see the thinking they are doing about their next fifty years!

(By , read the entire article here)

As we’ve prepared for our 50th anniversary celebrations, I’ve been thinking about the time of our founding in the late 1960s and what it meant for our cultural ideals of technology and progress. OCLC was born in 1967, between the time of John F. Kennedy’s 1961 speech in which he set the goal of landing a man on the moon, and the fulfillment of that dream in 1969.

I think there are exciting parallels between that dream, its completion and the incredible journey that OCLC libraries have undertaken together over the past five decades. Continue reading OCLC at 50 years: a “moonshot” for the world’s libraries

A librarian makes music recordings available!

Maroper Music
As library people, sharing information is our whole purpose. Figuring out strategies for putting together information to share is the key to success for us. So this librarian at Indiana University who has worked so hard to bring information, in the form of music, to patrons is pretty exciting to read about!

(By Mary Keck, Read the entire article here)

“Each day, Michelle Hahn walks downstairs to the basement of the William and Gayle Cook Music Library. The sound recordings cataloger and assistant librarian finds her way through blue and gray bins and stacks of boxes containing reel tapes, vinyl records, CDs and cassette tapes. She passes shelves of records labeled with the names of famous composers like Mozart, Handel, Schubert and Wagner. Then she reaches her office.

The large window in her basement office lets in the sun, which shines through blue and translucent empty plastic reels that used to hold tape filled with music.

It’s in this sunny space at her computer that Hahn makes it possible for almost anyone to access one of the largest academic music libraries in the world.

As a sound recordings cataloger, Hahn inputs information about the library’s collections into IU’s online library catalog, IUCAT. Without that information, the collections wouldn’t be searchable and accessible.

“I make sure people can find what they’re looking for and be sure what they’ve found is what they want,” she said.

Hahn’s behind-the-scenes role at the library gives patrons a roadmap to the 700,000 recordings in the library’s collections, made up mostly of classical music and jazz.

When a new vinyl record needs to be added to IU’s collections and a description doesn’t already exist in another collection, Hahn creates one. When she writes up her descriptions, she includes all of the relevant information that would be needed for someone to find the item, such as a title, names of composers, important dates and locations, the kind of music and the types of musical instruments used.

“Cataloging is intended to help a user search for relevant content, determine whether the content will meet their needs and locate the content,” she said.

Thanks to Hahn, you can easily locate and listen to the oldest Jacobs School of Music recordings from the 1940s and ’50s. The work of music cataloging allows you to hear the jazz of David Baker, founder of IU’s Jazz Studies Program, and listen in on the student performances of renowned violinist and IU professor Joshua Bell from anywhere.

“So much can get lost,” Hahn said. “Cataloging is behind the scenes, but it’s extremely valuable. It’s crucial in the digital information age.” Hahn has helped alumni find and listen to performances by deceased family members. Students have been able to pick their instrument out of a concert they’ve performed in because they’ve been able to locate it with the information Hahn provides. She’s also helped listeners access encore performances that weren’t previously listed in the database’s records.”

The US Library of Congress Just Put 25 Million Records Online, Free of Charge

LOC Main Reading Room Highsmith

By David Nield, from Science Alert

“Knowledge is power, the old saying goes, but it isn’t much use if it’s hidden away – so we’re excited to learn that the US Library of Congress is making 25 million of its records available for free, for anyone to access online.

The bibliographic data sets, like digital library cards, cover music, books, maps, manuscripts, and more, and their publication online marks the biggest release of digital records in the Library’s history.

“The Library of Congress is our nation’s monument to knowledge and we need to make sure the doors are open wide for everyone, not just physically but digitally too,” says Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

“Unlocking the rich data in the Library’s online catalogue is a great step forward. I’m excited to see how people will put this information to use.”

Researchers and analysts will get most use out of the new records, but there’s plenty of potential for them to be used in apps and databases as well. The Library hosted a Hack-to-Learn workshop looking at how the data could be used. Continue reading The US Library of Congress Just Put 25 Million Records Online, Free of Charge