[Koha] MARC Records

Rosalie Blake rosalie at levin.library.org.nz
Thu Dec 14 09:39:09 NZDT 2000

Hi Steve

> Rosalie, you mentioned "trimming" the MARC records in the past.  Just
> out of curiousity, what part of the records do you trim, and why?

I remember things like "A Large Print Book" appearing as a field, 
which is superfluous, because our item type tells us it's a large 
print book. And subject headings such as "Swine - Juvenile 
Literature" for The Three Little Pigs. And incredibly detailed 
descriptions of the type and number of illustrations, and the names 
(authority controlled!) of additional authors, translators, editors et 

My lack of tolerance for extraneous information was probably 
shaped by the years with a 386 server with 200Mb of hard disk - 
and no upgrade in view. It did make us focus on the essentials.

We use maybe 30 fields maximum to describe any item in our 
library to the level of detail required by my community. MARC 
records have 999 - so there is lots of room for trimming. 
Cataloguers have a passion for accuracy. This Public librarian has 
a passion for getting the books in front of the people as fast as 
possible. Given that more than 90% of my users choose by 
browsing rather than by searching the catalogue, I don't think time 
and money spent on overdetailed cataloguing records is justified.

"Quick and dirty" is not an insult in my library.


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