Cataloging Policy





Cataloging is the process where by a library organizes its information resources in a manner to make them accessible to users.  The final measure of the catalogue’s effectiveness is the ease with which users find the materials they need.  While accuracy and consistency are important in all cases, the specific type of library and its mission determine the format and standards appropriate for that library.


With the mission of supporting the academic program of a growing University, the Library is committed to meeting the highest international standards in all its operations.  A visiting academic should find the Library familiar, and the University’s graduates should be able to make effective use of other academic libraries without difficulty.  In particular, the Library’s catalog should meet the highest international standards for academic libraries.




The Library will work as quickly as possible to develop a standard online catalogue as one component of an integrated library system (ILS).  Any system chosen must meet international standards for an ILS system, including use of full MARC records for bibliographic control. 


While awaiting the installation of an ILS, the Library will capture all cataloguing data on standard MARC format worksheets.  These worksheets will be used to produce catalogue cards in the short term – author, title, subject, and shelf list – then filed for later use in inputting data into the ILS.  Each worksheet will also capture copy information, including unique accession number for each copy.


Descriptive standards


The Library will apply the most recent available version of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, currently AACR2R, 2nd ed, 2005 revision.  Professional cataloguers will endeavour to keep up with the latest developments in cataloguing practice and theory, such as the development of FRBR.


The Library will make use of copy cataloguing data where available.  Professional librarians will train Library Assistants for copy cataloguing.  Librarians will also review all copy catalogue records for accuracy and adherence to standards.


All local variations and decisions regarding options will be recorded in the Cataloguing Policy Manual.




Classification will done according to the most recent available schedules of the Library of Congress Classification scheme.  Classification numbers from copy cataloguing will be checked for general consistency with used numbers.  Older numbers will be updated by the addition of date of publication for first editions.


All local variations and decisions regarding options will be noted in the Cataloging Policy Manual


The full call number will consist of:

  • Prefix (Ref = Reference; Per = Periodical; Juv = Juvenile
  • The Library of Congress classification number, including Cutter number and date
  • Copy number (except for copy 1), in the format c. 2, etc.


Data format standards


All catalogue data will be recorded in the most recent available MARC format, currently MARC 21.  Until such time as online workforms are developed, data will be recorded on paper worksheets that can be used both for the production of catalogue cards and for eventual data entry into an ILS.


All local variations and decisions regarding options will be noted in the Cataloguing Policy Manual.



Review of policy


The librarians should review this Circulation policy at least every five years.  Recommendations for changes should be sent to the entire library staff and to the Vice Chancellor before submission to the Senate Library and Publications Committee for approval.  Implementation of policies should be documented through the Library’s procedure manual.



Approved by the Senate Library and Publications Committee, 25 May 2010

Approved by the University Senate, 2 June 2010