What You See Is What You Get (So What Do You Get?) An Administrator Looks at Minimal-Level Cataloging

Karen L. Horny


In 1986, Northwestern University Library began acquiring videorecordings which would support the university's teaching programs. With the expectation of suddenly receiving six hundred new videos, saving cataloging time became a paramount concern. In light of the desire to continue reducing the existing cataloging backlog, a video cataloging task force conducted an in-depth study to determine what data on the bibliographic record was necessary, and was not. After consultations with staff both in the Catalog Department and the Media Facility, a modified full level cataloging record was agreed to. This paper describes the decision-making process that led to the formulation of a local cataloging policy that continues to meet the needs of the Northwestern community.