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