Examples Of Descriptive Cataloging

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This lesson describes cataloging and outlines the difference of descriptive and subject cataloging in a school library media center. Helpful tools to aid the cataloging process.

Imagine that your home was a library. Nearly every item you owned could be borrowed and returned. In order for the borrowers to know what materials was available and for you, the lender, to know who had borrowed what and for how long, there would have to be an extremely organized system in place. Enter the cataloging system.

__Cataloging is a series of procedures that generates and keeps information in an accessible database of library material including: books, journals, DVDs, CDs, etc. The purpose of cataloging is, just as the example implies,
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!!!Descriptive versus subject cataloging
The words descriptive and subject give a hint to their difference. __Descriptive cataloging__is following a standard rule set to describe the title, author, publication data, physical style of the work, etc. and saving this information as a bibliographic record. It describes what the work is, not what themes or subjects the work was written about. For example, I might ask a librarian for the book, not the movie, The Outsiders by SE Hinton. This would searchable based on the description.

__Subject cataloging__,however, is organizing for the bibliographic record by subject or topic covered in the material itself. I might ask the librarian for the coming-of-age novel where the gang rivalries come to a head and the characters learn that injustice happens no matter a person's socio-economic status. This time, I've asked for The Outsiders again, but using more subject cataloging.

There is a place for both descriptive and subject cataloging in a thriving
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However, this led to inconsistencies because a cataloger might not have read, watched or experienced every work in the library. Thus, especially in the area of subject cataloging, the material was organized differently and sometimes,
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