Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (2010-03-01)

Addressing the Challenge: Cataloguing Electronic Books in Academic Libraries

  • Shuzhen Zhao,
  • Wei Zhao

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 1
pp. 93 – 103


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Objective ‐ This paper explores the various issues and challenges arising from e‐book cataloguing experienced at the University of Windsor’s Leddy Library and the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). This discussion uses an evidence based approach to identify and resolve issues relevant to academic libraries as well as to consortia. With the ever rising popularity of e‐books within academic libraries, cataloguing librarians are actively seeking more effective methods of managing this new electronic medium, including the development of new cataloguing policies and procedures. This paper will explore the various issues and challenges surrounding e‐book cataloguing and processing within academic libraries, and will identify new policies and procedures that may be used to effectively assist in e‐book management.Methods ‐ This paper presents a case study of e‐book cataloguing practices undertaken by a Canadian academic library and the consortium with which it is affiliated. Towards this end, the University of Windsor’s Leddy Library will be the prime focus of this study, with its establishment of a new e‐book MARC records database. The research is based on the results of the e‐book MARC project undertaken by the Leddy Library and the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL).Through analysis of various suppliers’ MARC records and the actual implementation of the e‐book MARC project, the authors developed and evaluated a new approach to e‐book cataloguing for use in academic libraries.Results ‐ This practice‐based approach towards the development of a new method of e‐book cataloguing required continual modification and examination of e‐book MARC records within the target library. The Leddy Library’s e‐book MARC project provided an excellent opportunity to test the library’s existing cataloguing standards and procedures for print format, while at the same time, identifying related e‐books issues. The new policies and procedures for e‐book cataloguing that followed were developed as a direct result of the authors’ cataloguing experiences and the information gained by examination of other academic libraries’ e‐book cataloguing processes. This paper also provides an evaluation regarding the quality of suppliers’ MARC records. Results of this study should serve to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of cataloguing in academic libraries.Conclusions ‐ This paper identifies key issues regarding the cataloguing of e‐books in academic libraries. Throughout, the authors have provided an evidence based approach. The hope is that the results will provide a useful framework for other academic libraries to build upon when developing their respective e‐book cataloguing databases. E‐books are effective resources, and academic libraries need to adapt to this new electronic medium in order to assist patrons in their discovery and usage.