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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What should I read next?

During the non-teaching time, I try to get through as many Young Adult novels as I can. Having just read Fault in our Stars, I endeavoured to read another of John Green's books to see what his writing was like. I quickly finished reading John Green's Paper Towns and loved it, but what should I read next?

If I use the site What should I read next? It gives me an interesting list of books that I might not have considered.

But as a librarian, what is more interesting is the categories that this book is catalogued under and it raises some interesting issues with the state of outsourcing of processing services in our libraries.

Libraries Australia catalogue entry for his book list the following subject headings:
  1. Missing persons -- Fiction.
  2. Revenge -- Fiction.
  3. United States -- Fiction.
  4. Detective and mystery stories
  5. Young adult fiction
Where as "what should I read next?" lists the following subject headings for the same book:

If this book were to be bought "shelf ready" would the descriptors on it be accurate enough?
  1. Missing Persons
  2. Florida *more than libraries australia*
  3. Coming of Age *more than libraries australia*
  4. Detective and Mystery Stories
  5. Revenge
  6. United States
  7. Young Adult Fiction *more than libraries australia*
  8. High School Students *more than libraries australia*
From what I have observed on my professional placement, shelf ready materials do not replace the full process of book processing by a Librarian.

As most libraries service their clientele and in a number of instances their clientele is unique, it pays to ensure that the descriptors in the MARC records are accurate. If I was updating the MARC record in my school library database, I would also add Geography and Puzzles to the descriptors.

Do you agree?

Further reading

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