LIS590CD2 Fall 2005 Mark Lindner
Collection Assessment and Evaluation Plan 26 Sep 2005


This document consists of a Collection Assessment and Evaluation plan that considers the UIUC LIS Library collection, along with online materials available through the UIUC Library Gateway, for support of cataloging and classification education and the continuing education of catalogers and metadata librarians.  By this I am including support for formal GSLIS courses, student self-education, and the continuing education of practitioners.

Preliminary Assessment:

Cataloging and classification, while seeming to be a very narrow subject area, is actually quite broad and widely dispersed.  Highly correlated materials are found in much of the range of Dewey numbers from 001 to 025.  Topics as diverse as the production, dissemination and organization of knowledge (001), history of the book and print culture (002), computers, and in particular, text encoding and databases (005), information theory (006), bibliography (010), bibliographies and catalogs (011-019), library and information sciences (general) (020), cooperative services (021), library training (023.8), operations of libraries, archives and information centers (025), technical services (025.02), and most importantly, bibliographic analysis and control (025.3), subject analysis and control (025.4), and information search and retrieval (025.524) are all of concern to the field of cataloging and classification.

         Based on the structure of the UIUC Libraries, materials of interest to this user group would also be found in libraries other than LIS.  For instance, materials on classification theory would be found in the Philosophy stacks, while vast amounts of materials dealing with computers, hardware and software, would be found in the Engineering stacks.  Other materials might well be found in Communications, Modern Languages and Linguistics, and the various cultural and geographical area libraries.  This assessment and evaluation plan, though, will focus only on what resources are provided by the LIS Library, and those electronic resources that are available via the Library Gateway. 

            The most concentrated source of materials for cataloging and classification in the LIS Library are those available on the Cataloging Table.  Collected in one location and filling more than one side of a long table are hundreds of volumes comprising over seventy-two titles.  These titles cover several major classification schemas, subject heading lists, thesauri, and encoding formats, among other topics.  For a listing of these titles see Appendix A.

            As part of my assessment, I did several searches in specific classification ranges, with various limits in place.  I searched four specific classification numbers of prime importance to get a general idea of number of titles held.  These classification numbers were 025 (Operations of libraries, archives, information centers), 025.3 (Bibliographic analysis and control), 025.4 (Subject analysis and control), and 025.524 (Information search and retrieval).   I searched for overall numbers of titles limited to the LIS Library, titles in English, books in English, magazines and journals in English, and videos in English.  These searches demonstrated that the vast majority of titles held are in English, along with giving me an idea of the distribution of materials by format within the most important classification ranges.  For a table of these results see Appendix B.

         Physical assessments of the materials available show them to be in generally good shape.  Titles held show both a range of up-to-date and historical materials, while scope and depth are quite broad, ranging from the most detailed to introductory.  In the two primary classifications (025.3 and 025.4), there are 658 and 286 total titles held, respectively.  Of these, 99% (652) and 96.5% (276) are in English, 96.6% (636) and 94% (269) are books in English, while 2.4% (16) and 2.44% (7) are journals.  These numbers are somewhat misleading though, as many of the journal titles are also listed in the book category.  My assumption is this is due to special issues issued as monograph titles.

         The UIUC Library Gateway provides access to many electronic resources.  While not many book titles are held electronically, 2.88% (19) and 1% (3), respectively in the two classifications under discussion (and many of these are, in fact, serials), those that are available in this format are of high quality, e.g., Metadata in Practice, Concise AACR2, Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRI), and various MARC 21 formats.  There are a much higher percentage of serials available electronically.  Six of the 16 (37.5%) titles in 025.3, and 2 of the 7 (28.5%) titles in 025.4 are available electronically.  WorldCat is also available through the UIUC Library Gateway, along with access to other catalogs.   

         Many useful resources are available from the UIUC Library’s Technical Services Division webpage, although some of these resources require a login and password.  Diverse and useful resources are also available on the open web.  The Library of Congress has many resources available, from the LC Catalog, to LC Authority files, to the many resources available at the LC Cataloging Directorate and the LC Cataloging Policy & Support Office (CPSO).  AcqWeb, and particularly AcqWeb’s LIS Resources: Cataloging Sites, are also useful. 

Further Assessment:

Further assessment would be desired before implementing this plan.  Before proceeding much further I would want to talk with several categories of potential users of this collection.  Input and feedback from Sue Searing, the LIS Librarian; Linda Bial, Cheryl Tarsala, and the other cataloging and classification professors; and Michael Norman, and any others he might recommend, would be highly important to the success of the undertaking.  Also, input from LIS students of all levels who are committed to self-education and research into cataloging and classification should be sought.  This input could be done either by personal interviews, by user surveys, or by a combination of both.

         Topics to be discussed would include the current collection development and weeding plan, needs of the formal educators, students, and practitioners.  What sort of initial and continuing education do the catalogers do?  What sort of research needs do CAS and PhD students have in these areas?

         Further assessment could also be assisted through assorted collection and circulation statistics, which could best be obtained via SQL Reports of the Voyager database.  This data would be critical to evaluation of this collection, so I will defer discussion to that section of the document.

Comprehensive Evaluation Plan:

Examination of automated shelflist data, direct examination of the collection, and evaluation by “outside” experts seem to be the best way to evaluate this collection.  List checking and citation analysis do not seem like they would be much use in the evaluation of this collection.  I am only aware of one very short and narrow list that could be used (see Appendix C, although discussions with the concerned parties mentioned might point to more extensive lists.  Researchers in cataloging and classification are not in abundance at UIUC, and thus, there would not be much data to be collected.  If there were enough resources, then a check of all GSLIS theses, CAS projects, and dissertations from, say, the last 10 years that were related to the cataloging and classification could be done.  Also, if possible, a listing of ILL requests for material that fits within this collection would be useful.  I am unsure, and doubtful, of the feasibility of such an undertaking though.

         For a more effective evaluation, I would use both collection-centered and client-centered approaches to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data.  SQL reports against the Voyager database would provide much of the quantitative data.  Data such as number of titles (automated shelflist count, count of acquisitions and expenditures, yearly growth, to include breakdowns by format and language), age and timeliness of materials (median age of materials, range and distribution of publication dates), and use (circulation statistics for both circulating and reserve materials) are just some of the quantitative measures that could be answered via querying the Voyager database (ASLAPR).  Use statistics for electronic materials would also be collected to the extent possible.

         Qualitative data would be collected via personal discussion with the personnel mentioned above, user surveys of LIS students and researchers, and practicing catalogers.  The LIS Librarian, cataloging and classification professors, and a small team of practicing catalogers would undertake an expert evaluation of the collection.  

Basic Procedures:


Staffing could come from a variety of sources.  Primary staffing would consist of:

Supplemental staffing could come from the following:

Secondary staffing:


A project of this undertaking might best be done in the summer, although vacations would complicate things.  Seeing as all involved parties would still have their regular duties during the time this evaluation was happening, I foresee it taking a couple of months.  Preliminary work and further assessment would probably take a few weeks.  Survey responses would take a while to collect.  I think that beginning the preliminary processes in the beginning of a spring semester, sending out surveys as soon as possible, might give enough time for responses to be collected, and planning to be conducted.  Reports could be run near the end of spring semester.  With all data in hand, the evaluation could begin at the start of the summer and should be complete by the end of the summer (three months).


A proper assessment and evaluation of the portion of the UIUC LIS Library collection that supports the education of catalogers and metadata librarians and the daily practice of the same would ensure that our library is continuing to support the ongoing educational mission of one of the major research libraries in the world.


Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records (ASLAPR). “Collection Assessment.” Collection Development Training for Arizona Public Libraries. 25 September 2005 <>.

Appendix A – Physical Titles on Cataloging Table



LC Classification outline
LC Classification schedules
LC Classification additions and changes
The abridged Bliss classification
Conversion tables (3 vols) - Dewey and LC
Abridged DDC
historical copies of DDC
Universal Decimal Classif.
Bliss Bibliographic Class., 2nd ed.

Subject Headings

Sears list of subject headings
Subject authorities (Bowker 3 vols)
Free-floating subdivisions (LC) 8th ed.
Olderr's Fiction SH
Unreal! Hennepin County Library SH for Fictional Characters and Places 2nd ed
LC Period subdivisions under names of places
SHs for children
Revised LCSH: cross-references from former to current SH
People, places & things: A list of popular LCSH with Dewey numbers
Subject cataloging manual: Subject Headings (2 vols LC)
Names of persons: National usages for entry in catalogues, 4th ed (IFLA)
ALA Cataloging rules for author and title entries (1949)
LC Subject Cataloging manuals : shelflisting; classification
Guidelines on subject access to individual works of fiction, drama, etc. 2nd ed


Moys classification and thesaurus for legal materials
Guide to indexing and cataloging with the Art & Architecture Thesaurus
Type evidence (ACRL thesaurus - rare books)
Paper Terms (ACRL thesaurus - rare books)
Printing & publishing evidence (ACRL thesaurus - rare books)
Genre terms (ACRL thesaurus - rare books)


Guidelines for bibliographic description of interactive media
Newspaper cataloging and union listing manual (LC)
Cartographic materials 2nd ed (AACR2 interpretations)
Descriptive cataloging of rare books (LC)
Map cataloging manual
Descriptive cataloging of ancient, medieval, renaissance, and early modern manuscripts (ACRL)
AMIM2 Archival moving image materials 22nd ed
Cataloging microcomputer files
Describing music materials
Cataloging motion pictures and video recordings
Int'l guidelines for the cataloguing of newspapers (IFLA)
Music cataloging - Smiraglia
Cataloging rules for description of looseleaf publications (LC)
Hebraica cataloging (LC)

Encoding Format

Understanding MARC Authority records
Understanding MARC Bibliographic
USMARC Holdings Format (LC)
USMARC Format for classification data including guidelines for content designation
MARC Concise
MARC Classification
MARC Community Information
MARC Bibliographic 2
MARC Holdings
MARC Code Lists: Countries; Languages; Relators, Sources, Description Conventions; Geographic Areas; Organizations
MARC Specifications for Record Structure, Character Sets, and Exchange Media
UNIMARC manual

Supplemental Materials

Cutter sanborn tables
Cutter expansive classif.
Gidelines for authority records and references 2nd ed (IFLA)
Authors names
CONSER Editing guide (2 vols)
Authorities User Guide (OCLC)
LC author numbers
OCLC Technical bulletins
Bibliographic formats and standards 2nd ed (OCLC)
LCRIs 2nd ed
NACO Participant's Manual 2nd ed.
ALA-LC Romanization tables
CONSER cataloging manual
Int'l Standard Music Number (ISMN) User's Manual

Appendix B – Classification Searches

Class # Titles in LIS Titles (Engl) Books (Engl) Jnls (Engl) Videos (Engl)





102 / 41 elect



658 / 19 elect



16 / 6 elect



286 / 3 elect



7 / 2 elect








All searches were conducted as guided keyword searches limited to the LIS Library.  The searches were all Classification searches, with the class number as a phrase.  From there further limits were imposed on the searches.  ‘Elect’ is the number of titles available electronically out of the entire total listed.  All searches were conducted 23 Sep 2005.

Appendix C – List of Cataloging Textbooks from AUTOCAT

Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 06:16:55 -0500

From: jill milhorat <email address removed>

Subject: [ACAT] Results Re: Survey: Textbooks on cataloging


Out of the eighteen responses I received from various lists, these are all the resources mentioned. Many people discussed much more than one resource and they all seemed to overlap. I am happy to report that only positive feedback was given, so all listed are considered to be "recommended".

LCs electronic resources were the most mentioned with the addresses (which I believe we are all familiar with), so below are the others which I did not bother to sort beyond 'basic' or 'advanced' other than including direct quotes from respondents. This list is not in any particular order (e.g., best/worst) other than the order in which it was received:

 Wynar's Introduction to Cataloging and Classification, rev. 9th ed., by Arlene Taylor (2004) (and the previous edition by Wynar)  not necessarily recommended for use in the classroom as instructors applaud it while students did not necessarily agree.

 Lois Mai Chans texts (all were reviewed nicely)

Publications from the Society of American Archivists, for cataloging non-print material (advanced)

 Akers' Simple Library Cataloging, 7th ed, by Arthur Curley and Jana Varlejs, Scarecrow Press, 1984

 Cataloger's Toolbox website:

 Library Basics Series :

a. Learn Library of Congress Classification / Helena Dittmann and Jane


b. Learn Dewey Decimal Classification / Mary Mortimer (2000),

c. Learn Library of Congress Subject Access / Jacki Ganendran (2000) 

d. Learn Descriptive Cataloging / Mary Mortimer (2000)

 8. Essential cataloguing / by J.H. Bowman, British publication distributed by Neal-Schuman, c2003.  The text is written in a very readable style - light and sometimes funny.

 9. Ingrid Hsieh-Yee's book, Organizing Audiovisual and Electronic

10.    Maxwell's Guide to Authority Work by Robert L. Maxwell (advanced/authority work)

12.  The Concise AACR2 by Michael Gorman (4th ed, ALA, 2004)

13.   Cataloging Nonprint and Internet Resources : A How-To-Do-It-Manual for Librarians / Mary Beth Weber, Neal-Schuman (advanced)

14. Nancy Olson's books on cataloging AV resources are also very helpful” (Cataloging of Audiovisual Materials)

15. Library of Congress' Subject cataloging manuals (SCM) are a great resource along with the Free-Floating Subdivision books

16. Cataloging with AACR2 and MARC21: For Books, Electronic Resources,

17. Introduction to Cataloging and the Classification of Books / by Margaret Mann. - Very out of date, but I know of no better introduction to the basic principles of item examination.  I still refer to it when I want to know *why* a certain practice originated.

18. The Joy of Cataloging by Sanford Berman I really enjoyed that one.

And the very last, but certainly not least is:

19. The teacher's enthusiasm and knowledge is what I remember most. This comment was certainly the most common resource strung throughout all of the answers. For some, that was far better than the text used. I suspect that a wonderful instructor is the main catalyst for all of us catalogers ending up becoming catalogers in the first place; I think this goes for all professions, actually. Including me.

email address removed
Jill Milhorat
The Ford Foundation

This paper licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license by Mark R. Lindner