Cataloging and classification

book background

Cataloging and classification

Cataloging includes adding subjects to the bibliographic record.​
Subjects indicate what / whom the item is about, as opposed to those who wrote or published the item.
Items can thus also be accessed in the catalog by subject terms. “Classification” is the technical term in English for the procedure of subject analysis and coding; and “sorting” is the translation of the Hebrew term for classification: “meeyun”.
There is a separate Central Library screening team that classifies the books and other items. Used is a subject coding scheme known as UDC (Universal Decimal Classification) based on Dewey (The Dewey Decimal Classification), but detailed, complex and flexible.​
The scheme distributes the various academic subjects in a hierarchial decimal system form 0 -999 subdivided up to thousandths. E​ach subject is assigned a number (with or without decimal places) and linked to its equivalent verbal term by which information and items can be retrieved from the catalog. The UDC scheme is considered more accurate and appropriate for Science and Technology, the Technion’s main academic subjects than​ other methods of indexing of the US Library of Congress, which is used by most academic libraries in the Israel​.

Cataloging is done according to predetermined rules that are used in libraries in Israel and worldwide​.

In summer 2014 new and updated cataloging rules have been introduced (RDA – Resource Description & Access) based on a new concept that will change the way information is presented to the public.

Information about library materials (books, CDs, maps, etc.) will be handled hierarchically with the original work at the top and below its products (eg editions of the original work) down to the level of the item / copy. The relationships between the products of the relevant cataloged​ material will be reflected to include: people involved (individuals, families and organizations / corporations) and subjects (concepts, objects, events and places) , and thereby will create a database and not just an inventory.

The department is responsible for creating information describing the collections as it appears in the libraries’ catalog. The catalog serves as a database of records that include bibliographic data, subjects, item holdings and the locations of the items in the Technion’s libraries.

We work according to international cataloging and classification instructions and standards as in other academic libraries in Israel and worldwide. The cataloging is done according to RDA instructions (formerly AACR2) using the MARC standard while subject classification is done using the UDC scheme.

We catalog items that have been purchased by the Technion’s libraries, theses, donations, and old uncataloged items such as research reports. In addition we are responsible for adding to the catalog publishers’ packages of electronic books and periodicals, which were either permanently acquired or received for a trial period. The cataloging process includes the creation of authority file records for persons and corporate bodies associated with the cataloged items.

Codes entered into the bibliographic records enable the retrieval of items according to format (print, electronic…), material type (books, films, maps…), textbooks, holdings, new arrivals, and more. Those codes are also used for statistical purposes when needed.

According to the libraries’ policy of collection evaluation we delete the records of discarded items from the catalog, so that the content of the catalog always displays the actual holdings of the libraries.

The subject classification reflects the content of the cataloged items. Content subjects are represented as textual phrases associated with UDC numbers, and are managed in a subject authority file. The UDC numbers also serve as shelf marks. All library items are classified except for those on a trial basis.

Whenever required, subjects are updated (new ones added, textual phrases or UDC numbers changed) or deleted according to the developments in the libraries’ collections and within the subject authority file itself.

We also process items acquired for and held by the Central Library including stamping, labelling and book binding as necessary.