December 12, 2008

Getting to the right elephant (or, pinpointing the proper pachyderm)

On Tuesday, the day this year's feature-length movie Horton Hears a Who! was released on DVD, a check of the NHU-PAC by title would have turned up a DVD with the same title released earlier this year--a "deluxe edition" of the 1970 half-hour animated TV special. Based on the title and format match, a couple of libraries added holdings to that record Tuesday although it was the new movie they were trying to catalog. The record for the newer release wasn't added to the NHU-PAC until Wednesday morning and those holdings have now been shifted to the correct record.

This was a case where no ISBN was available so the title (possibly limited by format and year) was a logical way to search the database. However, a UPC and a publisher number were on the packaging and could have been used to target the correct record--or establish that there was no matching record. These numbers can be entered in the "Numbers appearing on materials" search on the Browse Indexes subtabs.

Getting the right match isn't just an issue with AV materials. Any interlibrary loan librarian can tell you about the number of times a large print book was requested through the NHU-PAC but a regular print edition was received. Sometimes that's a matter of inattention at the lending library but sometimes it's the fault of a cataloger who searched by title and added a holding without checking the details.
The Horton hoo-ha may have been the result of catalogers getting used to finding MARC records for major new releases in the NHU-PAC by the day of release. In this case it took another day for the record to show up in the database.
Remember that records for materials for which no matches are found in the NHU-PAC can be requested through the Add Brief Records form in Holdings Maintenance. Contact the NHAIS Help Desk (271-2141) if you have questions about this.

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