The Importance of MARC 21
Table of Contents:
Standardized bibliographic data
input, utilizing MARC formats, insures the integrity of the online
public catalog in storage and retrieval of information. When we talk
about MARC, we hope to convey its importance to those who create and
maintain MARC data in the online public catalog. Without good, accurate
MARC records, patrons cannot find the great resources in the library.
An OPAC, to some extent, hides the intricacies of MARC from the patron,
but without MARC, the patron would not find the resources. MARC format
cataloging has proven, for over thirty years, to be the most reliable
foundation in building databases for the OPAC. This tutorial is a first
step toward training library personnel in the particulars of MARC tags,
indicators, fields, and subfields, and why each part is significant in
the creation of the bibliographic record.
The MARC 21 training
tutorial provides a means to study and practice bibliographic standards
in descriptive and subject cataloging for machine-readable formats
incorporating MARC 21 coding. These standards are utilized by all
libraries, academic, public and school, and the automated library
systems that support online catalogs.
This tutorial is made possible with permission from the Library of Congress, and Follett Software Company who developed Understanding MARC Bibliographic: Machine-Readable Cataloging.
intended audience is library science students, as well as library
cataloging personnel. The tutorial provides support for cataloging
courses, taught either through distance learning opportunities or via
the Internet. In addition, the tutorial is suitable for practicing
librarians, who wish to update their knowledge of cataloging in the
electronic environment, or to use as a tool for training personnel.
This interactive, self-directed, hands-on skills exercises and training will:
- supplement classroom and textbook presentation of MARC 21 bibliographic cataloging concepts.
in training in a student practicum in technical services area of
librarianship to perform basic MARC cataloging, and to utilize and
repair bibliographic data in national and local online catalogs.
- support librarians and library staff in learning MARC 21 concepts, in conjunction with Understanding MARC Bibliographic: Machine-Readable Cataloging.
Head of Cataloging
University of Southern Mississippi
University of Southern Mississippi, Box 5053, Hattiesburg, MS 39406