Change of Cataloguing Treat : Monos to Serials Bev Smith 31 May 1991 19:13 UTC

This message is in direct response to the answer we received from Kevin
Randall at Northwestern University.

These publications are government documents which the technical services
support staff (non M.L.S.) at the Government Documents Library have
arbitrarily decided to catalogue as serials rather than as monographs.
These items do not usually fit into the definition of a true serial.
The decision to catalogue such items as serials is based not on cataloguing
rules but rather is a practical way of dealing with multiple publications
from a government body.  The problem is that the decision to change the
treatment is not made until after several titles are received and
catalogued as monographs.  In an average shipment of titles received from
th Government Documents Library, e.g. 50 a month, at least 20 are requests
to change the cataloguing treatment of the title. Because of staff shortages,
20 titles constitute a large number, not to mention the wasted time and
money involved in the cataloguing done in the first place.

At your library, who makes the decision about the cataloguing treatment
for these items that fall into the "grey area" between monographs and
serials.  At what point is this decision made?  Do you have any local
policies to this effect?

Thanks also to Lucy Barron of Washington University.  We would like to
develop a local policy here which would help us to deal with serials
workflow. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Thanks again,

Bev Smith
Serials Cataloguer
York University,
Toronto, Ontario.