Successful Cataloguing Tips

  By Sue Polchow   - Friday 12 May 2023

Steve McAvoy Reading Cloud Customer Success TeamA Q & A with Steve McAvoy, Reading Cloud Customer Success Manager who shares his extensive experience in carrying out on-site cataloguing days and offers advice on how to achieve the best results when carrying out this important task. 

Over the years, Steve has been wearing slightly different Reading Cloud hats but always with a similar and dedicated focus. He started as a support desk adviser, then became a trainer and cataloguer working with schools all over the UK.

Now part of our friendly Customer Success team, Steve immensely enjoys helping school library staff achieve more with their library systems, both virtually and in person.

What happens on a cataloguing day?

During the visit, we help schools build their libraries from scratch or develop existing libraries by adding all their books onto their library system. At the core of any library are its resources, and at the core of any good library system is the resource data.

How important is accurate cataloguing?

It is vitally important to ensure library data is inputted correctly and consistently maintained. Accurate data helps students to locate books and resources.

What needs to be in place prior to adding lots of books to your library system?

Before adding large quantities of books to the catalogue, we recommend sorting the books first. Fiction is often arranged alphabetically by author’s surname and non-fiction by Dewey number, although sometimes we also find fiction organised by genre and non-fiction by topic. Audit and remove any resources that have become outdated or worn. When we visit a school we request lots of space to work in, that book barcode stickers are added in advance, and additional scanners provided where possible, so that more than one person can catalogue at a time.

Are there additional tools available for cataloguing using Reading Cloud?

The Copy function allows you to catalogue a book in its entirety first, then add more copies of the same title using the first catalogued resource as a Master Copy. Using the F9 keyboard key will copy individual fields that were catalogued from the previous book record. Add Keyword enables you to add additional search terms to a book record which can be done for large groups of resources all at once. You will find these tools quickly becomes reliable allies to add books speedily!

Your Top Tips to remember when you add a book?

Always keep in mind that there are important fields within the book record card that should be filled out as they help maintain consistency. During cataloguing, when a book ISBN is scanned by the barcode reader, many of these fields will populate automatically, but it is worth checking that these fields below have done so:

  • Title - (and series if the book is part of one).
  • Author – surname first with a comma then a space and first initial e.g. Dahl, R. 
  • Class – for fiction books, add the term Fiction. For non -fiction, many schools use Dewey Decimal classification. 
  • Location – useful if other school areas have catalogued resources and when running a stock take.
  • Price – shows the replacement cost of a title and when running reports showing value of library resources. 
  • Keywords – adding the most appropriate keywords improves the catalogue searching experience.