We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Never let a children's librarian make a catalogue

I get on just fine with our current generation of children's librarians. I suspect I'd be doing time for the murder of some of their predecessors. I'm reminded that we had to do a full MARC remap on our library system because some fool decided that the subject headings had to be included in the class number field so that children could do a subject search by referring to the class numbers on the subject index on the wall, entering the class number on the OPAC and getting a list of books on that subject. And as the whole of pre-Norman history had the same class number, you can guess just how useful the PAC was to children looking for the Vikings or ancient Rome. Especially in libraries which didn't display the subject index.

I leave you to imagine what the authority indexes looked like on the system.

Working with this crazy set up was bad enough. Even worse was the amount of work we had to do to unpick the mess when we upgraded the system some years later. We still bump into the odd problem a decade later; when we bought a new web PAC recently we found that an invalid juvenile subtag crashed all the subject searches. Groan...

No comments: