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MARC records, print constants, standards, and OPACs (Enrique Gildemeister) Marcia Tuttle 10 Apr 2000 20:54 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 14:29:56 EDT
From: Enrique Gildemeister <RGildem550@AOL.COM>
Subject: MARC records, print constants, standards, and OPACs

What Biserka Mrzljak mentions about having to modify the MARC record for a
particular vendor's OPAC is all too often the case.  Vendors, up until
recently, designed systems according to needs as perceived by administrators,
whose cataloging experience was often long past, and who necessarily focused
on the big picture.  I once pointed out to a vendor representative that the
whole point of standards was to make the process easier, and I was told that
things like MARC print constants and automated authority control were
prohibitively expensive and that no one wanted them anyway, since they
weren't really necessary.

And what can you say, when even LC was using 580 notes for Continues and
Continued by, because their system couldn't handle print constants?

I'll add also that at one large research library where I worked as a serials
cataloger, one big note went into the OPAC display, with print contant
RELATED TITLES: and neatly formatted went 210 222 240 246 247 730 78x.

I think we're in a lot better shape now that computers are more versatile and
flexible for less money.  Administrators, who deal ultimately with the bottom
line, are willing to be educated on such issues much more than before.

Rick Gildemeister