Monday, September 1, 2003

On Your MARC, Get Set, Go! PeachStar Cataloging Goes Digital

PeachStar has always endeavored to use the suggestions and requests of the educators we serve to shape the development of our resources. You may recall that in the summer of 2002 we worked with select media specialists to catalog our entire library of satellite-delivered programming. Laura Gunn, of Valdosta City Schools, led the work conducted by the following media specialists from all parts of the state:

* Wanda Tucker
* Kay Rasbury
* Sonya Boyd
* Debbie Vassell-Mitchell
* Lynn Craig
* Dianne Atwater
* Anne Bohn
* Andy Spinks
* Rosemary Scalessa
* Marianne Chapman
* Diane Donaldson
* Susan Fancher
* Margie Hall

This initiative, which involved the cataloging of PeachStar resources by Dewey Decimal number and subject heading, was in direct response to feedback from our 2002 annual survey, in which media specialists overwhelmingly indicated a need for PeachStar resources to be catalogued using a universal classification system.

Once the work of cataloging had been completed, we still needed to find an effective way to share the information with media specialists across the state. After researching available resources, we settled on the Catalog Plus system by Follett Software Company. This system took the cataloging work done by the media specialists above and converted it into MARC records - Machine Readable Cataloging records. MARC records are widely used by librarians because they allow for the sharing of bibliographic resources. Each bibliographic record contains such information as item description, Sears subject headings, and classification or call number. Converting all of our records into MARC records has essentially created an electronic PeachStar card catalog for use by media specialists.

While this resource is available to anyone, schools currently using Follett's Z39.50 server will be able to tap into this system to retrieve records electronically.