6.1 Responsibilities of Catalogers


  • Carry the primary responsibility for the development and maintenance of those parts of the catalog that pertain to collections under their jurisdiction. This means that all functions necessary for the creation and maintenance of the catalog that are not assigned to copy cataloging or authority control personnel or other support staff are part of the cataloger’s responsibilities.
  • Understand and effectively use standard tools for creating catalog records. Catalogers assume responsibility for their own continuing education and keep current on updates, developments and changes in standards and tools required for their work.
  • Lead the way in researching new techniques and technologies for cataloging, share findings with colleagues, and make recommendations for implementation in department processes as appropriate.
  • Coordinate with subject librarians to ensure that bibliographic access, collection arrangement, and cataloging priorities meet reference and collection management needs.
  • Provide supervision to paraprofessionals and students under their direction.
  • • Perform original cataloging as required for collections assigned to them. Original cataloging includes 1) creation of a bibliographic record when no copy can be found in source files; 2) creation of a full bibliographic record when the only available copy is minimal, preliminary, or substandard; 3) reformatting available copy or recataloging to update standards or alter treatment.
  • Perform or direct copy cataloging in the following areas: 1) non-book materials, including serials; 2) rare or other special collections items; 3) items in non-roman scripts; 4) other foreign language material lacking copy at time of receipt; and 5) items with copy containing errors or problems beyond the scope of copy cataloging personnel.
  • Complete online processing of cataloged items, whether original or from copy in the above categories: transfer the record into the local system, enter appropriate holdings information, barcode and create item records, order cards as needed, issue command for export to RLIN, and deliver to the lettering room.
  • Determine appropriate treatments for series or multipart items, except in cases where the default treatment (fully analyzed, traced, and classified separately) has already been established in the national authority file, in which case the Copy Cataloging Team may process the items without consulting the cataloger. In all instances, however, catalogers retain authority to change treatment of previously cataloged items in order to improve access or meet local needs.
  • Determine appropriate classification for items when no useable call number is found with copy, or when specialized classification is required, e.g. as with subject bibliography or Mormon literature.
  • Establish unique headings for bibliographic entities, resolve conflicts between new and existing headings, create original authority records, and modify existing authority records as needed.
  • Assist with retrospective conversion and reclassification of collections in their assigned subject areas. This includes formulating classification numbers and resolving problems as needed.
  • Carry the final responsibility for resolution of problems and errors in their assigned areas.
  • Have authority in all instances to alter bibliographic copy, treatments, or classification of previously cataloged materials in their assigned collections in order to achieve optimum bibliographic control and access.

Last Updated: September 2002

Maintained by: Janet Bradford

Location / Hours

The Catalog Department is located on Level 6 of the Harold B. Lee Library. The Department is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.