I. Bibliographic Records

A.  Authority to create original bibliographic records and to alter or create authority records in the VLC Database

1.  Any staff member entering records for the first time in the VLC database should prepare ten records for a subcommittee of the Database Committee to review. It is suggested that records for all formats should be submitted for review (books, videos, talking books, serials, and any other format that the person may need to catalog).

The subcommittee should consist of three people with cataloging expertise, appointed by the Database Committee Chair.  The subcommittee will work in conjunction with the VLC staff. The VLC will give the staff member access to the authority files so that records can be submitted.

2.  When a request is submitted to VLC Database Committee for approval, the VLC Database Committee appoints a subcommittee of catalogers to review the candidate’s bibliographic records.

3.  Subcommittee contacts candidate to review the timetable and expectations

4.  Candidate has 30 days from the subcommittee contact to submit 10 original records, in a variety of formats, to the subcommittee.

5.  Subcommittee has 2 weeks (excluding holidays, vacations, and emergencies) to review the records and arrange a meeting to discuss their findings.

6.  If there are any errors, the candidate has 2 weeks to correct any errors or deficiencies in the records.

7.  Subcommittee has 2 weeks to review the corrected records.

8.  If the subcommittee approves the cataloging, or the corrected cataloging, of the first 10 records, the Database Committee will be notified that the subcommittee recommends approval of the candidate.

9.  Should the subcommittee not approve the candidate’s cataloging, the candidate will be asked to catalog an additional 10 records, in a variety of formats.  The candidate will have 2 weeks to submit the additional 10 records.

10.  At this point, the subcommittee may recommend approval of the candidate, or the candidate may be denied approval.  If denied approval, the candidate may re-apply in 6 months.


B.  When to Add or Create a New Record

To avoid creating duplicate records you must check the Horizon system first, USING EVERY SEARCH POSSIBLE (i.e. author, title, ISBN, LCCN) before adding or creating a new record.

As a general rule make decisions based on practices stated in OCLC's Bibliographic Input Standards.  When this source lacks sufficient information, consult the following guidelines.

1.  Edition Statements

a.  When all other essential bibliographic components of the record match the book in hand, Book Club edition statements and 1st edition statements should be ignored (based on OCLC’s Bibliographic Formats and Standards, Section 4.2, 250 $a.  This means that a new record for a Book Club edition should be entered only when there is a difference in other bibliographic data (usually pagination or size.)

b.  Publisher edition statements (Bantam Books, Jove Books, etc.) are of less importance and do not warrant separate records if all other bibliographic data is an identical match.

c.  Statements about subsequent editions (i.e., 2nd, rev., etc.) and special editions (i.e., 1st American, Deluxe, Vintage, etc.) are important and should be present in the bibliographic record.  The absence of such a statement warrants the addition of a new record in the database.

d.  Paperbacks -- When all other essential bibliographic components of record match the item in hand, a new record for a paperback edition does NOT need to be added. This means that a new record for a paperback should be entered ONLY when there is a difference in other bibliographic data (usually publisher, date, or collation).

2.  Date Discrepancies

Be alert to a date on the front of a title page, which may be a printing date.  You can usually tell what it is by comparing it with information given on the back of the title page. If in doubt, assume the date on the front of the title page to be the publication date.

a.  Publication/Printing Dates -- Publication dates are the key dates for proper record matches.  Printing dates should be ignored unless content changes have been noted, such as, “Reprinted with revisions, 1986.”

b.  Copyright/Copyright Renewal Dates -- Follow LC Rule Interpretation 1.4F5 [rev], which says: "Ignore copyright renewal dates for works first copyrighted before 1978."  In other words, use the original copyright date.

But, if the record in the Horizon database contains both dates (or only the later date), go ahead and match to that record.  Do not enter a new record just to get one, which follows the new practice.  Do not remove the copyright renewal date.


C.   When a Record Must Be Edited

Editing of records already in the database should be done only by those VLC members’ staff authorized to do so.  (See VLC Bibliographic Database Standards, Sec. II and Sec. III)  Editing is done to add information and/or to correct existing information.  Some examples are as follows:

1.  Upgrade pre-publication records (See Sec. IV.D of the VLC Bibliographic Database Standards.)

2.  Correct typographical errors, especially those that affect indexing and record retrieval such as misspellings in author, title or subject fields.

3.  Correct wrong or missing punctuation, diacritics, spacing, etc.    

4.  Correct errors made in MARC tagging, subfield codes, fixed field codes, indicator values, etc.

5. Add information (e.g. subject headings, ISBN, added entries, linking entries for serials, call number fields etc.), not already present in the record. 

6.  Add alternative titles (246 MARC tags) for numerical titles containing hyphens.  (For example the title 1-2-3 magic needs a 246 for 1 2 3 magic and for 1,2,3 magic.)

7.  Update incorrect or outdated name forms or subject headings. (See Sec. V of the VLC Bibliographic Database Standards.)


D. Name/Subject Authority

Choice of entries should be made according to the latest edition of AACR with particular attention being paid to rules 22.2B1 - 22.2B4 that cover various situations concerning pseudonyms.  The form of the name should be consistent throughout the database. (Example:  Smith, John H. or Smith, J.H. or Smith, John Henry or Smith, John H., 1934-)            

Those libraries with access to a bibliographic utility will consult that utility's authority file to determine the correct form of the heading.  That heading will then be automatically added to the Horizon Authority file, if it is not already present, when the record is loaded. 

Libraries without a bibliographic utility will search the Horizon database using the AUTHOR or SUBJECT Authority search to determine if the heading has already been entered.  If the heading has not already been entered in Horizon, verify the heading in reference sources.  If the form is not verifiable, submit the desired heading to the VLC for entry.


E.  Serial vs. Book (Monograph) Records

Monograph – A nonserial item (i.e. an item either complete in one part or complete, or intended to be completed, in a finite number of separate parts.

Serial -- a publication in any medium issued in successive parts bearing numeric or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely.  Serials include periodicals; newspapers; annuals (reports, yearbooks, etc.); the journals, memoirs, proceedings, and transactions, etc. of societies.

1.  Look at the item.  If there is a date (1989, June, 1990); edition (Ed. 12, 14th ed.); or volume designation on the cover, spine, or title page, then it is probably a serial and should be cataloged as one.  If not, it is probably a monograph.

2.  Look at the verso of the cover title page and/or at the editorial responsibility area.  If there is an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN -- identified by its format: 4 digits\dash\4 digits (e.g., 0023-8976), then it is probably a serial and should be cataloged as one.

3.  Look again at the verso of the cover title page or the editorial responsibility area.  There may be an ISBN as well as an ISSN.  Unfortunately, the presence or absence of an ISSN or ISBN on the verso is not conclusive proof that the item is a monograph or a serial.

4.  You may search sources, such as Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory, for further verification.


F.  Reporting Forms

Use the following forms when reporting database errors and/or duplicates to the VLC





NAME OF PERSON REPORTING______________________________________PHONE #____________


The following record(s) are duplicates of Horizon BIB # ___________________ by the author, ________________________________ and with the title _______________________________________.


HorizonBIB #                                 ISBN                                                            OCLC#






Please fax (989.497.0918) or mail this form to the Valley Library Consortium, 3210 Davenport, Saginaw, MI 48602



                                                                  VLC ERROR REPORT FORM



NAME OF PERSON REPORTING__________________________________________________PHONE#____________________


Problem Horizon BIB #:______________________title:________________________________________



Location of Problem(s):

                            MARC tag #(s)                                     Subfield #(s)






Describe the nature of the problem(s) with the above record:








Please fax (989.497.0918) or mail this form to the Valley Library Consortium, 3210 Davenport, Saginaw, MI 48602






NAME OF PERSON REPORTING__________________________________________________PHONE#____________________


Heading Currently in OPAC:         Type of Reference Needed:           Added Heading Needed:

(e.g. Babies                                            See:                                Infants)





Please fax (989.497.0918) or mail this form to the Valley Library Consortium, 3210 Davenport, Saginaw, MI 48602

II. Item Records

A.  Direct Input to Horizon

Horizon Item Record

1. Title: The system automatically transfers the title from the bib record.

2.  Item#: The system automatically supplies an item#.

3.  Copy#: If the item is attached to a copy record, the system automatically supplies the copy record#.

4.  Staff only: A check mark indicates that the item is only visible to the staff, not to the public.

5.  Item Type: Enter a valid itype code for your location. Although you only need to enter the code, the Items screen automatically displays the full itype description.

6.  Item Barcode: Enter a valid barcode for the item. 

7.  Location:  If necessary enter a valid location code. 

8.  Collection: Enter one of your library's valid collection codes.  Although you only need to enter the code, the Items screen automatically displays the full collection description.

9.  Call Number: Include call number and any cutter.  Type it exactly as you want it to appear in the catalog.  The collection description will provide location information and will appear next to the call number in the public catalog.

When adding items to generic records the following guidelines should be followed for this field.

Annual report:  Company name/Year

Artwork: Artist/Title

College catalog: Name of college

Equipment: serial number

Game: Name of item

Map: Title/Description

Newspaper: Title

Pamphlet: Title

Paperback: Author/Title

Phono Record: Artist/Title

Puppet: Name of item

Puzzle: Name of item

Travel: Name of Item

Vertical file: Name of item

10.  Copy Statement: The copy/vol statement displays after the call number on the same line.

If the title is already available in Horizon, follow the established pattern.  If the title is not available, then the pattern will normally be established using the following rules.

a.  Use the title page as the source of information.

b.  This volume specific information is most often used in open entry cataloging, such as serials, standing order, continuations, etc.

c.  Use the following abbreviations

NAME                    ABBREVIATION          EXAMPLE

1. edition                        ed.                       15th ed.

2. volume                        v.                         v.1

3. part                             pt.                        pt.1

4. number                       no.                        no.1

5. year                            (none)                   1991

6. copy number               c.                          c

Example:  COPY/VOL ($e)  15th ed. v.1 pt.1 no.1 1991 c.1

Small letters are used for all the above abbreviations.  In most cases, there is no space between the abbreviation and the numbers and there is one space between each piece of information.  When adding volume information only, add the necessary spacing to accommodate for filing.

The majority of items records will leave this subfield blank.  However, if you use copy numbers, the following will be more usual:

Example:  COPY/VOL ($e)       c.1

All numbers and years must be written out in full except for years following a slash, which generally have only two digits:

CORRECT                             INCORRECT

1982-1985                          1982-5

1973-1981                          1973-81

15-19                                  15-9

1967/68-1969/70              1967/68-69/70

102-193                             102-93

Additional abbreviations and words may be used in the copy/vol statement if present in Appendix B of the current version of Angle-American Cataloging Rules.

11.  Price: Enter as xxx.xx (where x = a number).  Do NOT include dollar sign.

12.  Fill in other fields as needed.

B.  Indirect Input to Horizon

1.  949 Tag Format Specifications

Properly formatted MARC records may be loaded into the VLC database using the Horizon import source after Horizon has been searched to verify that the title is not already available. 

Items information should be input to the 949 tag subfields using the following format so that items records will be automatically created.  This format may be used for serial as well as non-serial items.  When entering non-serial information you may ignore any fields that are serials specific.

The data for each field in the Horizon items record should be entered starting with a delimiter symbol used by your bibliographic utility and a subfield designator. The following examples use "$" as the delimiter symbol.

Delimiter        Subfield Name                Example             

    $b       Barcode                        $b33243000000753

*   $c      Collection Code             $cBPREF

*   $d      Call Number                  $d641.5 Smith

     $e      Copy/Vol/Year               $ec.1

*   $n       Location                        $nBPI

     $p      Price (do not include dollar sign but do include decimal)$p12.95

*   $t        Item Loan Type             $tBLBK

     $u       General Notes                                                                                         

* = required fields

If other fields are necessary, contact the VLC.

Sample 949 Tag:

949 10 $b33243000000753$cBPREF$d641.5 Smith$ec.1$nBPI$p12.95$tBLBK

2.  Rules for Creation of 949 tags

The following rules apply to the creation and use of 949 tags and subfields to be used by Horizon for the creation of items records:

a.  Any spaces entered in the MARC record (e.g. Call Number) will also appear in the items record.

bIf a barcode is not included in the $b, the Horizon system will generate a barcode based on a pattern of ‘mq’ followed by the item# (i.e. mq3517903).

c.  If more than one items record is to be attached to a BIB record, the data for each item should be entered in a separate 949 tag.  Multiple 949 tags may be included up to a limit of 100 before a new BIB record is required.  There is no limit to the number of Horizon items records attached to one Horizon BIB when added directly through Horizon.

d.  When inputting price, do not use a dollar sign"$", but do include the decimal point (i.e. 5.00 for $5.00)

III. Serials Records

A.  Copy Record Information

The information provided on the copy record governs the public catalog display, the claiming function, and the check-in function of the system.  Each serial title received in multiple physical formats must have a separate copy record for each physical format.

When a title is withdrawn from a member library's collection, the accompanying copy record (s) and item(s) should be deleted.

When a title change occurs the old title copy record (s) should be set to “not currently received”.  A note should be placed in the public note field of all copy records referring the user to the current title.   When the issues of the old title are discarded, the copy record(s) should be deleted.

B.  Publication Pattern Information

The publication pattern determines the prediction of issues used in the check-in function of the module. The Horizon system allows each member library to create individual publication patterns. Member libraries needing a new chronology pattern should contact the VLC staff. 
C.  Summary of Holdings Information

Horizon Serials maintains a summary of holdings for serials titles that are currently received. Summary of holdings appears in the Bibliographic Detail window for the title. Serials automatically maintains summary of holdings for only those issues with a copy record flagged for summary of holdings and checked in through SCKI.
D.  Item Record Information
Whether or not your library intends to circulate serials, it is necessary to create at least one item record. This will activate the ownership icon in the public catalog

IV. Circulation

A. Material Circulation

1. Circulation policies are based on the item owning location.

2. See the Interlibrary Loan Procedures (Section VI) when circulating materials from other locations.

B. Borrower Records

Each institution is responsible for maintaining its own borrower records on the VLC database. Borrowers will be required to register separately at each VLC library. Therefore, it is possible to have multiple records for the same borrower in the database. The borrower record created by each library is only searchable/accessible by that library with the exception of a barcode search.

Horizon requires that data be entered in the following fields:  borrower name, and borrower type.  The system supplies the following required fields: borrower number, location, notice by, registration date, last updated, last CKO date, last authentication date, number of CKO’s, and approval status.  A member library may request that additional fields be required for its location.  Contact the VLC for customization.

The borrower's name and address fields must be entered in all CAPITAL letters to comply with the U.S. Postal Service guidelines.  All other borrower fields may be entered in upper and/or lower case. Do not include periods after abbreviations or initials when entering data in the NAME and ADDRESS fields.

1.  Borrower Record Fields

a.  Barcode:  All borrower barcodes must begin with a “2” and be a 14 digit Codabar barcode.

b.  Name: This field may only contain alpha characters, hyphens, apostrophes, and commas.  Enter the borrower's name using this format: last name, first name and middle initial in all capital letters. Titles such as JR or SR should be added at the end of the name with a preceding comma. Do not include periods after abbreviations or initials. Last names such as O'Leary should be entered with the apostrophe. Hyphenated last names such as Petulski-Gartner should be entered with the hyphen. Refer to the examples listed below for borrower name formatting.


c.  Address: This set of fields will accept more than one address for each borrower record.  The address type must be entered in the appropriate value.  Enter the apartment, suite, room number, PO box, or rural route in line one of the address field. Enter the street information in line two. If the borrower provides only street information, enter it in line one. Do not include periods after abbreviations. Refer to the examples below for address formatting.
Example 1:                         Example 2:
Line 1/ APT 822                 Line 1/ 909 E MAIN ST
Line 2/ 909 E MAIN ST 

Example 3:
Line 1/ PO Box 5  
Line 2/ 909 E MAIN ST

d.  City, State: Enter the Horizon code for the city (e.g. SAG, BAY, MID). The complete name of the city and the state will automatically be entered in the field. Click on the CODES button if you need a list of the codes.  If the location you need is not listed, enter “temp” to complete the record.  You must also contact the VLC in order to add the codes for the location not listed.

e.  Postal Code: Enter the borrower's postal code. The system accepts either a five-digit code or a nine-digit code.

48798                48798-1001

f.  Borrower Loan Type: Enter one of your library's valid borrower loan type codes. Click on the CODES button to see the list of codes.

g.  Borrower Stat Class: Enter one (or more) borrower statistical class codes. Click on the CODES button to see the list of codes.

h.  Additional Borrower Fields: The remaining borrower record fields are optional and should be entered as dictated by your library's policies.

2.  For additional information, refer to the Horizon Circulation User’s Guide

V. Newspaper Index Database

1.  Introduction
The Newspaper Index database enables libraries to provide patrons with an index to their local newspaper.  The records include the title of the article, an abstract, page, section, column numbers, and dates.

Choice of subjects to index will remain up to the individual libraries.  Some examples are:

Major sports events
Major accidents and disasters
Major crimes
Vital statistics – obituaries, marriages, births, divorces
Local governments and elections
Local businesses and industries
State and national events that affect the local area

2.   Guidelines for Subject Headings – choosing the appropriate Library of Congress subject heading

a.  Use the most specific subject headings that are applicable

b.  Use as many subject headings as necessary to cover the contents of the particular article

c.  Be consistent

d.  Check the database to see if the subject headings chosen are already in use

e.  If it is necessary to add a new authority record use the appropriate MARC tag.  Consult the chapter on authority records in the Horizon Cataloging Manual for methods of entry

f.  Use a local phone book and/or phone call to verify the correct form of a named entity such as a business or government agency

g.  Use chronological and geographical subdivisions as currently established in the database

h.  Use “see” and “see also” references to increase accessibility

                                                  * CRM required
NEWSPAPER                                * Searchable field

MARC tag 900 Newspaper - Name/Publisher

1.  Name of the newspaper you are indexing

Example:  Saginaw News, Bay City Times, Midland Daily News


MARC tag 901 Newspaper - Edition

1.  Edition of the paper being indexed

2.  Always use the same edition

Example:  Second

                                                  *CRM required
DATE                                          * Searchable field

MARC tag 902 Newspaper - Date

1.  Enter the date of the newspaper

2.  Enter the complete year, the number of the month, then the day

Example:  1997 7 17

                                                 *CRM required
TITLE                                         * Searchable field

MARC tag 903 Newspaper - Title 

1.  Title of the article exactly as written in the newspaper

2.  Enter title in all caps

3.  Enter the proper filing indicator


                                                * CRM required
SUBJECT                                   * Searchable field

MARC tag 904 Newspaper - Subject Added Entry (Authority controlled)

1.  Subject(s) of the article

2.  Use Library of Congress Subject Headings and follow the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules. 

3.  Enter names as needed for subjects

Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Saginaw, Mich.)
Bay County Library System (Bay County, Mich.)    
Jablonski, T. J.
Bay City (Mich.) – Economic conditions
Saginaw Bay (Mich.)
Traffic accidents – Michigan – Saginaw County
Michigan.  Family Independence Agency

ABSTRACT                                                   * Searchable field  

MARC tag 905 Newspaper - Abstract

1.  Option:  add a short summary of the article or use subtitle

2.  Use all Standard Newspaper Terms that apply

Examples: Chart, Editorial, Graph, Illustration, Letter to Editor, Map, Photograph, Table


AUTHOR                                                      * Searchable field

MARC tag 906 Newspaper - Author/Primary Name (Authority controlled)

1.  The author of the text, if desired

Example: Bellinger, Denise

PAGE                                                            *CRM required

MARC tag 907 subfield a Newspaper - Page

1.  The beginning page number of the article

2.  Include section letter with page number

Example: 3b, D14


MARC tag 915 Newspaper – Location entering the record

(Set in Work Form)

VI. Interlibrary Loan

In order to facilitate the successful lending and borrowing of items among VLC member libraries, all members should adhere to the following policies. These policies only pertain to interlibrary loans among Valley Library Consortium member libraries.  All members agree to follow the "ALA Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States" available on the ALA website (  The list of VLC ILL contacts is available on the VLC Members website (

A.  Fines

Fines are charged for overdue interlibrary loan materials at the discretion of the transaction library, and the transaction library keeps all fines collected from these materials. However, these fines are based on the policies of the owning library.

B.  Lost, Claimed Returned, and Missing

VLC will send a “Report of Lost ILL" twice a year to each member library listing the items they own that have been lost while on loan to another library. This report will include borrower and item barcodes, title, and transaction library information. The owning library bills the ILL Billing Contact of the transaction library based on this report. Do not check the item in, as this will remove the link between the item and the patron. Libraries should not change an item’s status to “Checked In” unless they actually have the item in hand and should not pay for a lost item until the owning library bills them.

C.  Damaged Items

If an ILL item comes back to the transaction library damaged (this includes an item with missing pieces as in the case of audiobooks), the transaction library calls the owning library to determine if full or partial payment will be due. The transaction library may chose to set the status of that item to “Lost” and then puts a note in the borrower’s record that the item was returned damaged.  This maintains the link between the item and the borrower.

If the owning library does not need to inspect the item:
If the owning library only requires partial payment, the transaction library checks the item in using damaged mode and sends the item back addressed to the ILL contact at the owning library with a note detailing the damage.  If the item is beyond repair/replacement and the owning library requires full payment, then the item should never be checked in so it will remain as lost on the borrower’s record. Eventually the item will appear as lost on the Lost ILL report and the transaction library will receive a bill.

If the owning library needs to inspect the item:
The item should be returned to the owning library, which will inspect the item and contact the transaction library to tell them the amount to be charged or that the item is damaged beyond repair.  In the case where the item is only damaged, the owning library should NOT check the item in until the transaction library has done a damaged check in. If the item is beyond repair/replacement and the owning library requires full payment, then the item should never be checked in so it will remain as lost on the borrower’s record. Eventually the item will appear as lost on the Lost ILL report and the transaction library will receive a bill.

D.  Yellow Bands

The yellow VLC flags should be used for all ILL items going to VLC member libraries. Books should be wrapped with the long version of the flag and the ends taped together inside the front cover or tucked under the edges of the book jacket. The smaller flag should be used for CDs, videos and cassettes. The smaller flag may be put between the jewel case and the paper cover (when possible) or taped to the cover of these items using removable tape. Flags should be easily seen, not cover the item’s barcode (if possible) and have the code for the library to which it is being sent clearly circled. When returning items, be sure to cross off any previously circled agency codes and clearly mark the code for the new destination.

E.  Dead Requests

An “Unfilled Requests” Report will be sent periodically to member libraries so they can inform their patrons of a request that it is no longer possible to fill.

F. Request Pull List
This list needs to be run at least once a day everyday that the library is open.