The Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) of the Library of Congress has introduced a Web-accessible version of its widely used cataloging tool, Cataloger's Desktop. The new fee-for-service subscription product for catalogers can be now accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides the most widely used cataloging documentation resources in an integrated, online system. Also, the new product includes the current version of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition ( AACR2).
"Cataloger's Desktop on the Web represents the Library of Congress' successful initiative to offer catalogers everywhere a highly useful and reliable Web cataloging tool," said Kathryn Mendenhall, chief of CDS. "It incorporates all of the indispensable cataloging publications catalogers use daily, but were previously available only in a large number of individual print editions or as a quarterly CD-ROM disc from CDS."
More than 1,600 catalogers worldwide tested the product over the two-month beta test. Their critiques helped the CDS development team fine-tune the product prior to its release. "I love the 'open new window' feature; I can compare the AACR2 with the LCRI [Library of Congress Rule Interpretations] and MARC format," said beta user Patricia Thurston of Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library.
"Because of the inclusion of AACR2 in Cataloger's Desktop, the Web product has been adopted by all Library of Congress catalogers and should become a standard tool for catalogers throughout the world," said Bruce Johnson, Cataloger's Desktop development team leader.
The rules in AACR2 form the basis for descriptive cataloging practice in the English-speaking library community, with implications for cataloging standardization worldwide. The inclusion of AACR2 in Cataloger's Desktop ensures that cataloging will employ standardized description, which in turn makes the cataloging interchangeable from one catalog to the next.
The Cataloging Distribution Service of the Library of Congress has provided technical library publications and services to the international cataloging community on a cost-recovery basis for more than 100 years. Additional information about CDS and Cataloger's Desktop, including subscription options and pricing, is available online at www.loc.gov/cds/desktop/.
AACR2 is copyrighted by the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association, and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.