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Evergreen Virginia Cataloging Policies

Evergreen Virginia Cataloging Policies

Evergreen Virginia is committed to coordinating a database of high-quality bibliographic records for collective use by member libraries. These bibliographic records are the shared property of the consortium regardless of the number of holdings attached. It does not matter which library “created” the record, who transferred it into the database, or who has edited it since. Maintaining the quality and integrity of each bibliographic record is an interest and a responsibility we all share.

Consortial cataloging can be a hard reality for those who are used to customizing bib records to best meet the searching needs of our patrons. Details that were previously added to fields such as title or edition can be inserted as a 5xx note.

The Evergreen Virginia Catalog Committee sets standards for these records.  The Evergreen Virginia Cataloging Committee oversees quality assurance and standards for training.

Copy Cataloging Procedures

1. Explanation of Functions
In general, consider more information to be better than less information.  Always feel free to add relevant information, such as content notes, to descriptive records. Always edit incorrect information in controlled headings (MARC fields 1xx, 240, 6xx, 7xx and 8xx).

Copy Catalogers may:

  • Attach holdings to existing bibliographic records
  • Edit volume and copy level data
  • Import new records via Z39.50 or batch

Evergreen Virginia Catalogers may (if trained in that area):

  • Do everything allowed to Copy Catalogers
  • Overlay existing records
  • Create original bibliographic records
  • Add new fields to bibliographic records
  • Merge bibliographic records
  • Update bibliographic records
  • Delete existing bibliographic records
  • Delete fields in existing bibliographic records prior to or after import

2. Definitions
Virginia Cataloger (Cat1): is a cataloger who has attended Evergreen Virginia catalog training. An Evergreen Virginia Cataloger may enter original catalog records and is responsible for the quality of bibliographic and holdings records entered by staff under their supervision and for the training of copy catalogers on their staff.

Evergreen Virginia Copy Cataloger (Cat 2): is a cataloger who has been trained by a Evergreen Virginia Cataloger and/or has attended the Evergreen Virginia cataloging training.

All Evergreen Virginia Catalogers should be able to:

  • Understand/interpret MARC records
  • Have knowledge of and follow established matching criteria for all relevant formats (such as books, sound recordings and video materials) in order to determine whether a record is a match for an item in hand
  • Search the Evergreen Virginia catalog efficiently and accurately
  • Use the Z39.50 in Evergreen to search and bring in appropriate records

3. Notice
Any notice required to be given to the Evergreen Virginia Cataloging Committee should be given via the Evergreen Virginia Catalog listserv.

4. Review Structure
Bibliographic records will be subject to review as holdings records are attached.  Notice of bibliographic records found to be substandard may be sent to the cataloger with a request that the record be revised.

General Permanent Record Policies (Including Overlays)

Permanent records:

  • Must follow the bibliographic matching criteria listed in the Evergreen Virginia Procedures Guide
  • Must not duplicate the specified core level elements of an existing bib record (below)
  • Must use MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data
  • Must contain core level fields as defined by Library of Congress’s Bibco Core Record Standards:
  • Including, where applicable, ISBN or ISSN, title, edition, publisher, and date
  • Also: type of record (leader byte 6): language material, musical sound recording, projected medium, etc.
  • Must comply with AACR2, RDA and LCRI rules (the rules in force at the time of record creation.)
  • Must contain only bibliographic-level data (not “holding specific” information, i.e., 590 notes)
  • Must be compared with item in hand
  • Must use LCSH for subject headings
  • Additional optional controlled subject headings may be added to the record (e.g., Bilindex, MeSH, Sears)

Maintenance standards

Member libraries are expected to:

  • Keep their holdings current;
  • Ensure that brief, pre-pub records are eventually overlaid with full records, and not left to linger in the catalog in addition to a full record import;
  • Designate a staff member to monitor the Evergreen Virginia Catalog listserv; and
  • Resolve problems as reported to them by the Evergreen Virginia Cataloging Committee.

Reporting and resolving problems

Problems or complaints regarding record quality or errors should be sent to the Evergreen Virginia Cataloging Committee. The Evergreen Virginia Cataloging Committee is final authority in resolving quality concerns.

Evergreen Virginia reserves the right to restrict cataloging privileges of any member library if its work repeatedly fails to meet with the established standards.  If a member library is found to be consistently not meeting established standards, the following will occur:

  • Given a first written warning followed by mandatory training.
  • If the behavior continues the member library will be given a second written warning followed by mandatory training.
  • Lastly, the member library will be given a final written notice with restriction of the cataloger’s permissions. Permissions will be reduced so that the cataloger can only attach records and not create new ones or import them.  The member library will be responsible for making other arrangements to have original materials imported and cataloged.

Training for all catalogers new to Evergreen Virginia is mandatory, and it is the member library’s responsibility to notify the Evergreen Virginia Project Manager of any changes in staffing as soon as possible.

Cataloging Quality Control and Policy Committee

This committee is tasked with defining cataloging standards so that the shared catalog will be a high quality database.


Janet Cox – MountainCat
Kendra Mathis – Heritage Public Library
Trish Taylor-LVA Consultant

Portions of this document originated from the Georgia Pines, Indiana Evergreen, Michigan Evergreen Cataloging Specifications and PALNI Cataloging Standards.

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