Cataloging Summer Project 2017: Assessment of the Oversized and Folio Book Collections

Have you ever seen or taken out a book with one of these labels in the photo on the left from the Weinberg Memorial Library? Or maybe you have seen a record in the catalog that says Oversize Stacks or Folio Stacks. This year the cataloging staff spent the summer assessing the current contents and condition of the Oversized and Folio collections located on the fifth floor of the Weinberg Memorial Library in the Heritage Room. This project involves a two-part process and is part of an effort to upgrade and improve the accuracy and accessibility of our records for items held in our existing collections.

The first part of the project required the physical accounting and inspection of the books currently held in the collection. Each book was checked against the record in the catalog. Books that did not match their record were brought down to cataloging for revisions. Each book was also measured to ensure that it met the criteria for being in the Oversize/Folio collection and condition examined for damage. Damaged books were removed for review and/or repair.

So what is the criteria for an Oversized book?

The sizing of what is considered an oversized book differs from library to library because it is dependent on the shelving heights available within the library.

An Oversized book at the Weinberg Memorial Library is a book that is typically taller than 11” (28 cm) within call number ranges A-M & P-Z. Books in the N-NX section, which have taller shelf heights, need to be taller than 13” (33 cm). Books taller than these measurements would be unable to fit properly onto the shelves in the regular circulating stack areas of the Library.

What makes a Folio book different from an Oversized book?

The Folio stacks house the widest and tallest books in the circulating collection.  For a book to receive a Folio tag that book must be wider than 12” (30 cm) and/or taller than 16” (38 cm). Books wider that 12”, typically books printed in a landscape format, would protrude too far off the end of the standard shelves in the circulating stack area. Books taller or wider than 17” (39 cm) are laid flat instead of housed on their ends.

How many books did we review?

Over a four month period the two-member staff accounted for 2294 books and 1987 records in the Oversized Stacks and 192 books and 187 records in the Folio Stacks with the exception of 14 items which are marked missing in the catalog and 10 items which were checked out at the time of review.

Next steps?

The second part of the process will be upgrading the records for the books we accounted for that match their current records in the catalog. This includes ensuring that all records have subject headings, name headings, descriptions and/or indexed table of contents information if available. These record enhancements will allow for improved searching and retrieval from our catalog.

As of this post, 597 records have already been updated in the Oversize collection and 149 records in the Folio collection. The work on this collection will continue as time allows with a hopeful completion before Summer 2018.

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