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