Out of the parcel and into the catalogue : records for newly unpacked books

The University Library has traditionally suppressed titles from the public catalogue until books have been fully catalogued.  This practice was altered some time ago for new Legal Deposit material.  From this week, records will also appear for newly received English and European-language bought material.  This post explains what readers will see and how they can access these books.

Records for such material will appear in iDiscover and Newton with the legend “Uncatalogued item: Enquire in Reading Room; Received [DD/MM/YYYY]”.  “Uncatalogued” here means that what is on display is essentially an order-level record which has not yet been upgraded or approved by one of our trained cataloguers.  Here are sample screenshots for a new Italian arrival (click on each image to expand):

The ‘Enquire in Reading Room’ advice is system-controlled wording.  While our colleagues in the Reading Room will certainly help request such books, we very much recommend to readers that they instead use the standard online book recommendation form: http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/collections/book-recommend  (Please ignore the current “This form is for new titles … [which] do not appear in our catalogues” wording).  Here is how the main part of the form might look when requesting the Italian title shown in the screenshots above (click to expand):

The reader then fills in their details and selects one of the standard three options: to see the book as soon as possible; to have it catalogued and then held for them; or to have the classmark sent to them after cataloguing.

The unsuppressing of records for newly received material is a positive step, showing readers much more quickly what we hold in the building.  We also intend to start, later in September, the gradual release to the catalogue of similar records for books already in our (diminishing!) cataloguing backlogs.

Mel Bach


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