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853 fields in MARC holdings format GMCMILLA@VTVM1.BITNET 18 Dec 1990 20:16 UTC

 In response to James Mouw's questions about 853 fields, here is
 an extract from a much longer report:

 At Virginia Tech we have been applying the MARC holdings format
 since 1986.  Initially we made a big push to get a lot done
 quickly; in five months with three FTE we coded 6841 serial
 holdings records.  During this time all serials catalogers coded
 the holdings of newly acquired serial titles, adding 1100
 records.  In addition to field 853, coding included all fixed
 fields, 852, 007/843 (when applicable), and 863.

 To accomplish this we limited coding to current frequency and
 publication patterns of currently received periodicals and
 serials.  The coding staff included a full time library assistant
 (grade eight and our most experienced serials cataloger); three
 half-time coders (grade five clerks; special hires); and one
 half-time data entry operator (grade four, experienced with our
 system).  We also had a student assistant who worked 20
 hours/week photocopying kardex records, pulling shelflist cards
 with holdings attached, making VTLS (online catalog) printouts of
 bibliographic and holdings records; and pulling volumes from the
 stacks (including branch libraries) when necessary.

 At the end of five months, special staffing ceased but coding
 continued to be done by all serials catalogers.  Cataloging at
 our library includes preparing full MARC bibliographic records,
 using OCLC when records exist or creating/contributing original
 records; doing all authority work as well as coding holdings.
 Two years from the start of coding, we had completed two passes
 through our manual kardex and prepared fully coded records for
 approximately 20,000 serial titles.

 As far as patterns that defy coding--the limitations seem to be
 largely with our system, not the format itself.  However,
 interaction among libraries applying the MARC holdings format
 would help us all feel like we had, indeed, found the best code
 for any patterns and frequencies.

 Yes, let's share data--in some way.  Let's talk tape dump!  It is
 also possible to access some library catalogs through BITNET/
 INTERNET though some OPACs do not readily display MARC records.

 Let's continue this dialogue!  Would it be appropriate for us to
 share coding patterns on the SERIALST?

 Gail McMillan
 Serials Cataloging  (703/231-9252)  (FAX: 703/231-3694)
 University Libraries
 P. O. Box 90001
 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
 Blacksburg, VA  24062-9001