I became a copy cataloger approximately 10 years ago here at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County. I absolutely love my job. I get to catalog most of our audiovisual collection as well as the children and YA books. I have learned a lot about cataloging since getting this position. Cataloging is definitely a job for the OCD! Maybe that is why I love it so much.
My OCD has been triggered lately. One of our branches recently purchased some Magic Tree house books. I remember these stories from when my child was young. He read them all. It was one of the few I could get him to read and enjoy! The book that was purchased was “Soccer on Sunday” from the Magic Tree house series book 52. As my luck would have it, the book came labeled as “Soccer on Sunday” Magic Tree House Merlin Missions book 24. REALLY???? I read a lot of the book to see what was new because that would make sense. Nope nothing new. Word for word the same as the old book.
My colleague is working on a book called “The Waters and the Wild” by Mercedes Lackey. The front cover says Bedlam’s Bard book 11. The title page says an Underhill adventure (with no series number). She checked the author’s website to find it hasn’t been updated since 2013. Amazon has the book under the Serrated Edge series #10. Can the series get any more confusing? Where are we supposed to put the book?
Why?? Why??? Why would an author decide to change up a series in the middle of it and give a new order to the books. Is it to cause OCD catalogers to go crazy? I seriously have to wonder.
I decided to do some research on the internet to find an answer. While researching, I found I am not the only cataloger going crazy! Hip hip hooray (I think?)!!! I read several blogs on the subject but no clear answer was given. The best answer I could find was found on the Good Reads website.
“Why is it even possible to put books in multiple series? Because
we often have to, usually for one of two reasons:
1 – Books are part of two series, where book 3 in one series is book 1 in the spin off, with disparate numbering.
2 – Similarly books are often part of specific subsets of larger universes. Take a look at Robin Hobbs series, Assassin’s Apprentice is part of a trilogy that tells one story, and also part of a larger overarching world that encompasses several other trilogies to form a complete saga.” –Quoted by Krazykiwi on the Good Reads website.
I understand after reading Krazykiwi’s answer that it makes sense to do this sometimes. I just wish there was a way to make it easier for the catalogers at libraries to be able to know exactly where to put the titles in the series without all the extra research to find the answer. It’s also frustrating when you try to find the answer but the series are numbered or labeled differently depending on which website you choose and which website has been updated.
In closing, while change is great in a lot of ways, and I am all about finding new and inventive ways to do things……I believe some things are better left alone.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Gobble Gobble!