SML Basic Copy Cataloging Workflow Checklist

For: SML Support Staff
By: Steven Arakawa
Date: (11/18-2002 creation date/ March 18, 2005 4:06 PM revision date)

Note to supervisor: intended as the vanilla introductory training checklist for copy catalogers at SML. Covers processing of both non-CIP full level LC copy (but not CIP) and standard level member copy. CAUTION: The workflow described may not apply to non-roman cataloging in some details.

CONTENTS: A. Pre-Cataloging Examination -- B. Descriptive Verification -- C. Fields to Delete -- D. Authority Verification -- E. Call Number and Location -- F. Materials Processing -- G. Export Queue -- H. Item Record -- I. Book Truck -- J. Statistics -- Detailed Policies and Procedures


Conditions: Cataloging copy source for the record is LCDB, RLIN or OCLC; location SML stacks; record is not CIP (E/L blank or 4).

 ____ A1.     Is there any evidence that the book is damaged? If the book is damaged and there is no OK to add note from the selector; route to your supervisor. If there is an OK from the selector, consult with your supervisor about an appropriate local note.

 ____ A2.  What location are you cataloging for? Is book for SML stacks? (and if so, for Judaica,  L+B?) Some locations may require special processing, e.g. all books for the Near East collection are cataloged by the Near East team, Arts Library has a different oversize. If you are not authorized to catalog for the location, route the book to your supervisor. Once you are familiar with basic SML processing, you may be assigned and learn how to process cataloging copy for school and departmental libraries and SML special collections.

_____ A3. Roman alphabet or not?

  • If the title page is non-roman, the book is generally processed by the appropriate SML area team: East Asia (Chinese/Japanese/Korean), Hebraica, Near East (Arabic/Persian), Slavic/East European.
  • Roman alphabet Eastern European/former Soviet bloc languages must be processed by that team, e.g. Finnish, Hungarian, Romanian
  • Keep in mind that East Asian, Hebrew, and Near East languages will have the title page at what would be the END of a roman alphabet book.
  • If there is both a roman and a non-roman title page, area team policy may differ as to whether the book will be processed by them.

 ____  A4.   Is the Leader within guidelines?  Bibliographic level: m <monograph>  Encoding level  blank or 4. Note that there are separate guidelines for CIP (encoding level 8). Once you are familiar with basic SML processing, you should learn the more advanced descriptive rules needed to process and update CIP.

_____ A5. If the exportQ window is red, do not perform any updates to the bibliographic record; just update the MFHD for your location.


 _____  B1  Is the cataloging copy for the SAME EDITION? Verify the following:

___   020   Verify that the same ISBN number on the book is recorded in the 020 field. A 020 for the paperback edition may also be on the record

___   245    Every word in the 245 must be on the title page unless the word is in [brackets]. The converse is not true; not every word on the  title page will appear in the 245 field. Edition information should appear in the 250 field; series information should appear in the  440 or 490 fields; other non-title related information may appear in the notes [5xx]. Not all punctuation in the 245 field will necessarily appear on the title page. Note that the 240 field [uniform title] is not part of the verification procedure.

____  250    Check for information about the edition on the title page and on the verso of the title page.

  • For non-Anglo-American publications, the edition statement is sometimes on the colophon, which is usually on the last page.
  • Check for edition information even if there is no 250 field on your record.
  • If the edition information on the book differs from the edition information on the printout, the cataloging copy is not the same edition.
  • A later printing is generally considered the same edition, but only if there is no evidence of revision, e.g. "Second printing with corrections."

    ____  260    Make sure your record has the same place of publication and publisher. The date of publication must be the same.

  • A later printing is acceptable if there is no evidence of revision. 
  • A revised printing--e.g. "Second printing, with corrections"--is cataloged as a separate edition; variant edition cataloging is only performed by authorized staff.
  • If the decision is to process the book as a later printing, leave the original publication date "as is" in 260 if there is a later printing date on the book.

    _____300 Check pagination, illustrations, and size.

  • ‡a : the last page of each paging sequence should be recorded in subfield ‡a.
  • ‡b: illustrations will be recorded in the second (‡b) subfield.Verify that there are illustrations if there is a ‡b subfield, but do not re-count the illustrations if numbered.
  • ‡c: glance at the third (‡c) subfield to see whether the book is oversize. SML 28-39 cm. height.
  • Width is not recorded in the bibliographic record for the most part; keep in mind that SML width oversize is 20-29 cm. SML folio oversize is  40 cm. or more height; 30 cm. or more width). 
  • Only re-measure if you suspect the size is incorrect. Accept variations of about a centimeter or more either way; remember that size is always rounded up to the next centimeter.

    ____  4xx    Verify that the series statement on the printout appears somewhere on the book. In some cases, the form of access used for the series may differ from the form of the series as it appears in the 4xx field; the access form will appear in the 8xx field and is not part of the descriptive verification. (But access form is important for authority checking.)

    ____ 5xx If there are notes about accompanying material (e.g. Errata slips for insertion, plates in pockets) verify to make sure the accompanying material is present.

  • There are special procedures for books with accompanying loose plates, microfiche, and audio-visual materials like CD-ROMs, CD sound recordings, and audiocassettes; see instructions below under E. CALL NUMBER AND LOCATION.
  • If the accompanying material is not recorded on the bib record, consult with a catalog librarian.

    _____ B2. Reproduction vs Original. If you are processing a photocopy for a location, do not consider the photocopy to be the equivalent of the original. If the bib record is for the original, consult with a catalog librarian. Conversely, if you have a copy of the original, and the cataloging is for a reproduction (microfilm, photocopy, electronic resource), do not consider your book as matching the bibliographic record.

Detailed policies and procedures for member copy at:

Member copy checklist


____ Have superfluous fields been deleted from the record? There are 2 documents you need to consult:

035 Field: Delete, Retain, or Add

Variable Field Deletion Policy


_____ D1. Is the bib record LC or member? If the bib record is LC, you are concerned only with the series authority.

_____ D2. Is there an authority record for the series in Orbis? If there is a series authority record in Orbis, retrieve it to determine if the series is classed together. Check also to see if other titles in the series have been cataloged to determine whether the series is classed together. (Searching Web Voyage is usually the easiest way to determine series classification practice.) Notify your supervisor or the designated catalog librarian if the series is classed together for your location but the treatment has not been recorded on the series authority record.

_____D3. If there is no series authority record in Orbis, use the 050 call number if the bib record is LC and search no further. If the bib record is not LC, search LCDB. If a series authority record is found in LCDB, follow the classification decision but do not copy the series authority from LCDB to Orbis. If no series authority record is found, route to the designated catalog librarian to establish the series.

_____ D4. Are there non-series headings requiring authority records? If the bib record is not LC and a personal name with a prefix or a compound surname does not have a corresponding authority record, route to the designated catalog librarian to establish the heading.

Detailed policies and procedures at:

Authority control workflow for C&T staff


_____  E1.   Usable call number in 050 or 090 field?  If 090 call number is usable,  change it to 050 _4. In the MFHD window, use the Voyager CTRL-N key sequence to copy the 050 number into the 852 field. This will generally be the number to use, along with the location as entered in the in-process $b subfield, but you will need to keep in mind the following considerations.

_____  E2.  Is the book analyzed by LC or SML? If so, make sure the call number used is the Yale number rather than the number used in 050/090, and that the call number has a volume number at the end.

_____  E3.  Is your book a later edition? If so, check Orbis (tip: search in Web Voyage) to see if earlier editions have been cataloged. Use the same call number as the earlier edition if the earlier edition used LC classification (but do not follow Divinity, Medical or Music). The call number date must match your edition.

_____ E4. Is your book a translation? (Check 240 field) If so, check Orbis to see if  the original has been cataloged. If the translation in the call number is expressed as x12-x18, you need to adjust the call number to match the base number of the original. If the translation is not expressed as x12-x18, check with librarian. See also the LC instructions for assigning translation numbers, which we should be following:

_____  E5.  Does your call number use (LC)?  For SML stacks, these numbers do not use (LC): D, PA-PZ, Q.   Note that P call numbers take (LC) but PA-PZ do not take (LC).

_____  E6. Is your book oversize?  28-39 height; 20-29 width; add + to the end of the call number and ‡m Oversize

_____ E7. Is your book FOLIO? 40 or more height; 30 or more width. Folio: lst letter of class; accession number; (LC) if applicable.

            NOTE THAT SML PRACTICE FOR FOLIO/OVERSIZE  MAY DIFFER FROM PRACTICE AT OTHER YUL LIBRARIES. For more information see the SML Oversize document in this manual. 

______ E8. Is your book about an artist? (Books with 050 in N class and a 600 as first subject should be reviewed.) Use local classification instead of LC classification if authorized; otherwise route to your supervisor.

______ E9. If you are cataloging a literary work or a book about a literary work, there are special workflow instructions related to the call number. Refer especially to Shelflisting of Literary Works by a Single Cutter Author:

If you haven't been trained in the literature call number workflow policies & procedures introduced Feb. 2005, route to your supervisor.         

_____  E10. Should your book go to Judaica?  All SML books classed BM are always assigned smljud. Books in other classes must be flagged in order to be cataloged for Judaica. Books for Judaica Reference should come with a flag or some indication on the searching slip. Location code in Orbis may need to be changed to smljud or smljudr. CAUTION: changing the location code requires an update of the location in the item record. See ITEM RECORD below.

_____ E11. Should your book go to Mudd Numismatics? All SML books classed in CJ are automatically assigned the muddnum location. CAUTION: changing the location code requires an update of the location in the item record. See ITEM RECORD below.

_____   E12. Should your book go to Zeta?  All SML with inserts that could be stolen or easily damaged: loose plates, maps in pockets. Location code must be changed from sml to muddzeta. CAUTION: changing the location code requires an update of the location in the item record. See ITEM RECORD below.

_____   E13. Does your book have accompanying media (e.g. a CD-ROM, an audio CD, an audiocassette, etc.)? Both the book and the accompanying media item are cataloged for the designated location. The item record for the media item needs to be checked for Item type and Item Statistical Category. Refer to:

CAUTION: a different workflow is used for departmental libraries.

_____  E14.  Should your book go to L&B?  Book will be flagged; location code in Orbis may need to be changed. Remember that L&B is now 2 different sublocations; "regular" L&B and L&B Travel. CAUTION: changing the location code requires an update of the location in the item record. See ITEM RECORD below.

_____  E15.  Should your book go to the Microform Collection? All books with accompanying microfiche are cataloged for the Microform Collection. If necessary, change the Orbis location code to smlmic. CAUTION: changing the location code requires an update of the location in the item record. See ITEM RECORD below.

______E16. CAUTION: books flagged for LSF should have sml or an sml sublocation (e.g. smljud) as their Orbis 852 $b location.

_______ E17. Non-sml location without department flag. If a book is not flagged but a non-sml location has been entered in the 852 field of the in-process MFHD, this generally means the book came in on a blanket order for the department but the selector decided to change the location to sml. The location should be updated to sml. Occasionally a flag will fall out, so if in doubt, consult with your supervisor. CAUTION: changing the location code requires an update of the location in the item record. See ITEM RECORD below.

_____  E18. Does call number need to be shelflisted or does it use "trailing X"?  If record has a 050 00 field (record is usually from LCDB), use trailing X, unless the series is classed-together at your location. For all usable call numbers from RLIN or OCLC, shelflist on Web Voyage.

_____  E19.  Make sure any cutter adjustments have been made where necessary.

_____  E20.  In some cases, the call number is written in the book (see instructions below). If so, have you checked the call number on the verso t.p. against the call number in record holdings?


_____ F1. For monographs, if the barcode has not been affixed to the book, peel the item from the barcode card and attach it to the inside back cover. Note the exceptions F2 & F3.

_____ F2. If the cover is in fragile condition, write the call number on the verso t.p. of the book in pencil (LIGHTLY). For preservation containers, see F7.

_____ F3. If the call number is for a monographic series analytic (vol. number is part of the call number), and the vol. number in ENUM differs from the call number in 852, write the call number on the verso t.p. even if the barcode has been affixed to the inside back cover. Do not use continental 7's when marking.

_____ F4. If the call number is written in the book, you must write the sublocation stamp above the call number. SML without sublocation is not written above the call number. Sublocation stamps typically included in the SML processing stream:

Cross Campus



Mountaineering <line break>

<note that the Orbis location code is cclmtn>

L & B

L & B <line break>


Mudd<line break>
<Mudd Numismatics and Mudd Zeta are listed since they are included in the same processing stream as the SML sublocations>

_____ F5. After the book is cataloged, recycle all paper travelling with the book but RETAIN the following EXCEPTIONS with the book:

  • "Requestor" printout (printout with Requestor in red)
  • Barcode cards. Prior to the change in Acquisitions procedures, barcodes were not attached to the books until the item reached Preparations. Items from the backlog may have cards with a barcode attached. Preparations is responsible for peeling the barcode from the card and attaching it to the book cover.
  • Red flags
  • Yellow HVT flag. Lower priority than red; all other "priority" flags are not retained.
  • Location flags (e.g. Judaica, Cross Campus, Mountaineering)
  • LSF flags
  • Paper with fund coding: either pink fund list or (items from the backlog) printout of NOTIS order record. Fund codes are used to determine bookplates.

______ F6. Note in particular that rubber bands, paper clips, yellow/colored post-its, and carbon paper temporary slips provided by vendors, if left in or fastened to the book, will eventually damage it. Be zealous about removing such things.

______ F7. Books in poor condition may be travelling in a preservation container (a flat piece of cardboard in a plastic bag). Keep the book in the container. If your book is in poor condition and you think it needs a container to keep it from falling apart, you can get one from Acquisitions.


____ G1. Does the record need to be exported? Always export if yours is the only MFHD location. If there are multiple MFHDs, but yours is the first with a call number, export it. If there are multiple MFHDs but another location has already added a call number, assume that the record has already been exported and do not export again.

_____ G2. Export targets. Always enable the RLIN and MARS options. Enable the OCLC option unless there is a 928 field with an OCLC batch processing date. The presence of an RLIN or OCLC prefix in a 035 field is not considered evidence that the bib record has been exported.

Detailed policies and procedures at

Policy on exporting bibliographic records from Orbis
Using the ExportQ Program


_____ H1. If you changed the location, did you update the location code on the item record?

_____ H2. Is the item type correct? Format and location changes may affect the validity of the item type. Note that if you are doing basic SML cataloging, you would not ordinarily be processing media items unless they are accompanying material. Refer to:

_____ H3. If the item record is for accompanying media, is the Item Statistical Category correct? (Refer to the link above)

_____  H4.  Have you charged the item record to Preparations? Double check the title in the Circulation module when charging to verify that the item record is linked to the correct book.


_____ Did the item come with an LSF flag? If so, leave it on the LSF truck. Otherwise, leave it on the regular Preparations trucks.


______ Keep track of items cataloged.

On the departmental form Yale University Library Cataloging Statistics, record the number of titles cataloged, subarranged by format and source copy.

Generally, for basic copy cataloging you will only use the Traditional Format form, counting under the Monographs column and in the LC Copy Cat and Other Copy Cat boxes. You may need to use the separate forms for Other Format and Electronic Format for accompanying material. Both the number of titles and number of pieces is counted on the Yale University Library Cataloging Statistics form.

If the book has accompanying material in a pocket (e.g. a booklet, microfiche), do not count the accompanying material as a separate piece.

If the accompanying material is travelling separately (with its own barcode, e.g. a stand-alone teacher's guide, or a media item in a separate container), count it as a separate piece under the appropriate format.

Books counted in the Added copies box are not counted in the Total Titles box.

Example 1. You have cataloged a single volume book with LC copy. On the Traditional Format form, count it under the Monographs column in the following boxes:

  • Titles: LC Copy Cat: 1
  • Total Titles: 1
  • Pieces, etc.: 1

Example 2. You have cataloged a multivolume monograph (e.g. a 2 v. set) with LC copy. On the Traditional Format form, count it under the Monographs column in the following boxes:

  • Titles: LC Copy Cat: 1
  • Total Titles:1
  • Pieces, etc.: 2

Example 3. You used member copy and cataloged a single volume book with an accompanying CD-ROM (which should be in a separate case). The items are counted on 2 separate Yale University Library. Cataloging Statistics forms.

On the Traditional Format form, count the book under the Monographs column in the following boxes:

  • Titles: Other Copy Cat: 1
  • Total titles: 1
  • Pieces, etc.: 1

On the Electronic Format form, count the CD-ROM under the CD-ROMs column in the following box:

  • <Do not count in LC Copy Cat or Other Copy Cat >
  • <Do not count in Total titles>
  • Pieces, etc.: 1

PS: an accompanying audio CD should be counted on the Other Format form under Sco/Rec. (Pieces, etc. but not LC Copy Cat or Other Copy Cat, or Total Titles)

Example 4. You used member copy and cataloged a single volume book with 6 accompanying microfiche in a pocket on the inside back cover. On the Traditional Format form, count under the Monographs column in the following boxes:

  • Titles: Other Copy Cat: 1
  • Total titles: 1
  • Pieces, etc.: 1

Do not count the accompanying microfiche. (Accompanying material in a pocket is not counted on statistics)

Example 5. Your book has already been cataloged for art and you have a copy for sml. On the Traditional Format form, count under the Monographs column:

  • <Do not count in LC Copy Cat or Other Copy Cat>
  • <Do not count in Total Titles>
  • Added Copies: 1
  • Pieces, etc.: 1

Give the total number of LC and Other Copy titles in the Total Titles at the end of the month. Titles counted as Added Copies are not counted under Total Titles.

Give the total number of LC, Other Copy, and Added Copies pieces in the Pieces, etc. box at the end of the month.

On the departmental form Yale University Library. Catalog Department. Volumes Cataloged, record the number of pieces/volumes/parts cataloged, by location. Use the same guidelines for counting pieces used on the Cataloging Statistics Form, i.e., count accompanying material in a separate case as a separate piece or pieces; do not count accompanying material in pockets. Record the total number of pieces cataloged at the end of the month. Use a separate sheet for each format type (e.g. books, CD-ROMs).


LC Classification Overview

Modification of LC Call Numbers

SML Oversize

Member Copy Checklist (draft)

SML Orbis2 Location Processing Table (all location codes normally used in SML cataloging; when to add (LC) by location; most common item types used by the location; team assignment for the location)

SML Catalog Dept. Special Processing Instructions (for SML and special instructions for departmental libraries)

Cataloging Procedures for Audiovisual, CD-ROM and Related Media (detailed)

Shelflisting overview (very detailed)

Belletristic Call Numbers (SML) 2005 Version (very detailed)


[Workflow TOC] | Cataloging at Yale | [TOC]

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Last updated: March 18, 2005 4:06 PM