National Standards vs. Local Policies in Cataloging

June 3–4, 2009 hosted by Danielle Conklin and Lora Farrell

Although there are well-established and respected national guidelines in the field of cataloging, many decisions are still made on the local level. In some cases, the policies of individual institutions may conflict with national standards, including the rules set forth in the AACR2, DDC, LCSH, etc. As a result, certain questions arise among cataloging professionals:

  • Which takes precedence in most libraries: national standards or local (institution-level, branch-level) decisions?
  • Do these discrepancies exist because of "gray areas" in the rules, or are they due to the preferences of library staff/administration?
  • Are libraries' cataloging policies clearly articulated, or is much left to the judgment of individual catalogers?

Go to discussion archive.

Danielle Conklin and Lora Farrell are in the Cataloging Unit at Kansas City, Kansas Public Library.