Monday, May 15, 2006

Stubbed Toe

Have you ever noticed how much you hurt "all over" or how impaired you are when you've hurt something as little as a toe, or finger or other "seemingly insignificant" body part? You don't realize how much you use something until you have to do with out it! Well I feel like I have a professional stubbed toe, actually maybe two.

One of my staff ladies (cataloger) is gone for two weeks. She has to help her mother get things moved out of a house to get it ready to sell. Her "vacation" started last Friday. Yesturday evening (Sunday) I got a phone call at home from my other staff lady (acquisitions clerk). She's had an (expected) death in her family. She and her husband left early this morning to go 'back home' for the funeral. Alas, our school year is also over so the students are gone - including my student workers. I have hired a new circulation supervisor to replace the one that left last December. But she doesn't start till Thursday. So today I have been holding down the fort by myself. It's not too bad, really. It's probably good for me to get my hands into some of the routine tasks of every day. But it sure slows up getting things done. (Fortunately we are a small academic school; so we're not real busy now, either.) I had three newspapers to put out today because of it being the weekend for the last 2 days. It took me until about 3 this afternoon to get to them and then it took quite a while to get them all done, with interruptions and all. (No, I didn't read them all!) :-)

"Devised Second Cuttering Table"
This evening I have been reading information on what another academic library did to devise call numbers for bible commentaries that are not volume-numbered sets, (at least, not from beginning to end). I like their method, but would like to tweak it a little. The idea is to use the initial number for whole bible commentaries for the first part, (in this case BS413); do the standard cutter number for the series (H47), then create a second cutter number based on the name of the series for the letter, ("H") and the LC number for the book of the bible, (e.g. Matthew's 2d cutter number would be H2575).

This would be perfect if it would end there. But cataloging is never that simple, huh? You have books of the bible that are I and II such-and-such, AND you have situations like additional editions of the commentaries by the same author or additional editions by a NEW author!!! humph! Well I like the idea of adding a one or a two (or a three in the case of III John) to the original number for the "I and II such-and-such" books. Then to preserve the spot the one's and two's are in, add a zero to all the other book's call numbers that don't have "I" and "II".

If I do that, then when there's an update I can add a 1 for original author and a 2 for new (2d) author, etc. Thus the book for just II Samuel would be BS413 H47 H13252. If it is a new edition by the original author it would be BS 413 H47 H132521; and a new edition by a new author: ....H132522.

Now here comes the commentaries on Matthew, in the particular series I am working on. There are THREE commentaries (volumes) to the ONE book of Matthew. Now what do I do? BS413 H47 H25750 CH. 1-7 (for chapters)? or BS413 H47 H25750 vol. 1? I could add the "1" (for vol. 1, etc.) to the end of 25750. Or should it be 257500? (two zeros.) But if, after the first four digits, each digit placement indicated something in particular that would mean adding more zeros to all the other books. Make sense?

So, the fifth digit would represent whether it's a I Such-and-Such, or a II, or not at all. The Sixth digit would indicate what kind of update. The seventh digit would indicate what volume this book is to the book the first four digits represent (e.g.2575=Matthew). But to hold everyone's "place" I would have to add zeros to others who don't have need for a 1 or as to hold the places open for future needs. I would end up creating rather long numbers for every book, something Dewey is famous for, but not normally in LC!

Well, I haven't implemented my "wild plan" (-besides my cataloger is gone, remember? and she'll get the privleges of making all the changes!) :-) But I think it will work. We'll see. "Stay tuned."

Tell me what you think. Point out anything I may not be thinking about that would throw a monkey wrentch in the works. This needs to be logical and also well thought out.

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