Monthly Archives: August 2019

Am I being picky?

As I copy-cataloged DVDs the other day, I continually encountered one of my cataloging pet peeves in OCLC records. Granted, this particular annoyance originates in records initially cataloged by a vendor (with the initials M. T.), but I still see it in enough records after they’ve been adjusted by other libraries that I can’t believe I’m the only one bothered by it.

I refer to a movie that only has an English soundtrack and is either closed-captioned or has SDH subtitles. My “peevish” records have this 041 (Language Code):

041 1_ eng $j eng $h eng

This code says the subtitles (subfield j) are translated (delimiter 1) from English (subfield h).

But these subtitles are only transcriptions. Nothing is being translated.

The logical way to code the field is:

041 0_ eng $j eng (Delimiter 0 = no translation)

I’ve also seen instances where the $h has been stripped off but the 1_ remains. But I loudly chant “Not a translation!” every time I fix one, and I’m sure my co-workers would rather I work out my frustration writing about it here, instead. 🙂


And, while I’m on the subject of languages…

The 546 field is intended to convey information about the language of a resource. But

546__ Translated from the Japanese.

is incorrect, because nothing about the current language of the resource is being conveyed by the phrase. If you want to use a 546 field it should read:

546__In English, translated from the Japanese.

Otherwise, translation belongs in a 500 note.


Another bothersome phrase I’ve seen on manga records recently is “Reads from back to front.”


The Japanese read from front to back just like we do. It just so happens that their front is on the right side of a book and their back is on the left. Manga reads from right to left and that’s what the note should say on your manga records.


My last peeve has to do with genres being used as subjects. Subjects (650s) are what a resource is about. Genres (655) are what a resource is. If you’re cataloging an adventure story it’s not

650 _0 Adventure stories

Because that would imply this was a book about Adventure fiction.


655 _0 Adventure stories.

Or, 655_7 Adventure stories. $2 lcsh (since this is a Library of Congress Subject Heading being used as a genre term)

Or, better yet,

655 _7 Action and adventure fiction. $2 lcgft

Because the Library of Congress has been working since 2007 to establish Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms and they can be controlled on your OCLC record. A list of them (2,240 terms established through March 2019) is available at:

And we should be using them.


I could go on, but I think I’ll open the floor to someone else.

What are some of your cataloging pet peeves?

Barbara Satow, Cleveland Public Library


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OH-IUG: Ohio Innovative Users Group

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Join us for informative presentations and networking opportunities.OH-IUG 2019 will be held on September, 20th at the State Library of Ohio. Don’t miss this chance to learn more about Innovative products and services and visit with your fellow Polaris and Sierra/Millennium users! Open to all Innovative customers in Ohio and the surrounding area.

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