Cataloging and Classification: Review of the Literature 2005-06

By Magda El-Sherbini A. | Library Resources & Technical Services, July 2008 | Go to article overview

Cataloging and Classification: Review of the Literature 2005-06


Magda El-Sherbini A., Library Resources & Technical Services


This paper reviews library literature on cataloging and classification published in 2005-06. It covers pertinent literature in the following areas: the future of cataloging; Functional Requirement for Bibliographic Records (FRBR); metadata and its applications and relation to Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC); cataloging tools and standards; authority control; and recruitment, training, and the changing role of catalogers.

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The literature published in 2005 and 2006 devoted to cataloging and classification reveals a profession in transition. The future of the catalog and cataloging in the Web environment was the focus of severn important discussions, presentations, white papers, reports, conferences, and articles. Another topic attracting attention was the emerging new cataloging standard, Resource Description and Access (RDA). The great importance of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) was emphasized in a number of scholarly publications. Classification schemas, such as the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and the Library of Congress Classification (LCC), continued as a topic in library literature. Other areas of interest included metadata, Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) and the flexibility of Extensible Markup Language (XML), authority control, recruitment, training, and the changing role of catalogers.

Research Method

A preliminary review of literature on cataloging and classification published in 2005 and 2006 was conducted in two library online databases: Library Literature and Information Science Full Text, and Library, Information Science, and Technology Abstract with Full Text. Other resources, such as the Web-based resources Google Scholar, Google Print, and Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) WorldCat, print library journals, and book reviews in library journals related to cataloging and classification, were also consulted. These resources were searched by keywords or subject headings, or both. The search strategy was limited to journal articles and books in English, and to 2005 through 2006 dates of publication.

The search produced a great number of citations (238 items). To deal with the volume of material and the range of topics covered, the author created a spreadsheet of topics derived from the preliminary literature search and the author's knowledge of the current trends in cataloging and classification. The author organized the topics into the following groups: future of cataloging, classification, Library of Congress (LC) series decision, authority control, FRBR, Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules 2nd ed., 2001 revision (AACB2), RDA, subject headings, DDC, recruitment, training, education, cataloging standards, ISBN13, and metadata.

Resulting citations were then entered under each heading in the spreadsheet. Citations under each topic were reviewed to determine if the sources of the publication were scholarly and peer reviewed. In limited cases, the author included non-peer--reviewed sources because they provided valuable and relevant information. Some topics, such as the LC decision about series and ISBN13, were not included because of insufficient scholarly literature.

The author read and analyzed the articles and wrote brief reviews for each item. Some articles fell outside the scope of this review and were excluded. The focus of this paper is on substantive contributions to the literature. In a few cases, less significant resources are referenced to provide a context for important themes covered during 2005 and 2006. Some articles may have been omitted unintentionally, for which the author apologizes.

The Future of the Catalog and Cataloging

The future of libraries in general and of cataloging in particular has been the focus of much of the research in recent years. Speculation about the directions that cataloging is taking, as well as suggestions for ways to revitalize and enhance the catalog and retool the cataloging workforce, filled the pages of many articles and reports in 2005 and 2006. …

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