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Happy National Library Week! This week, guest bloggers from the library staff will discuss what they value in our field.Today: Sue Levy, authority control coordinator for the Catalog Maintenance Team in the library’s Technical Services division.
More than half the members of the library staff are not librarians, but paraprofessionals, like me. Some of us were drawn to the climate of a library, and some of us landed here by chance, but we’ve all come to support the library’s mission.
Overall, our goal is to provide MSU users with all the collections and services they need. For myself, I work in Catalog Maintenance, where we ensure the accuracy of the millions of records in the library catalog. My specialty is managing our use of access points. These are only useful if they’re consistent. For example, proper names transliterated into English often have variant spellings. All the books about that person, or by that person, need to be gathered under one heading so users can find them. Our catalog has hundreds of thousands of headings to keep track of.
Providing this access to the library collection is just as important as having the collection. If you can’t find a book you need because it’s not listed accurately in the catalog, we might as well not have it at all.
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