Friday, June 22, 2012

First Snag, One LibGuide Done!, and Why Cataloging Helps Patrons

Tuesday:  Working on my transgender LibGuide started off smoothly, but I ran into a problem when I went back later and tried to follow the links to the online reference collection. None of the links worked! Trying not to panic, I went into the Gale Virtual Reference Library and looked for any hint of a permanent link to the reference sources. No such luck. Jess was out of her office in a meeting and I didn’t know who else was in the reference office, so I decided to try to solve the problem on my own. Then, inspiration struck: I searched Muscat for the titles of the online encyclopedias. Success! Each of them had a permanent link in the catalog, just like the physical books I’d linked to on a different part of the LibGuide page. Now I’m curious as to why Muscat can have a permanent link to the GVRL and I can’t, but I’ll try not to be bitter about it. Problem solved, and I can go back to playing with my LibGuide page!

Friday: I finished updating the records for all of the transgender-related books we have in our collection! There are about 65 titles on my list; I meant to incorporate all of the titles into the LibGuide page, but decided that it would be too clunky. Instead, I have the call number ranges, keywords, and subject headings that I used to find the books on the list. This way, my list will never be out of date; I just have the top ten books on the LibGuide, and the rest can be found by using one or more of my Muscat search tools.

I tried to make the process of finding these books even easier when I was updating their catalog records. First, I added a subject heading to all of the books included on my list: Transgender. Some of the books had variations on that word (Transgender youth, Transgenderism, etc.) or used a different word (Transsexualism, Transvestism, etc). With the addition of that one standardized tag, any material in the library that is on my list of transgender resources can be found by searching “Transgender” in the subject line. Additionally, I wrote a summary of the book and transcribed the table of contents into the catalog record. This gives more places for the system to find information when a patron does a keyword search, as well as giving more information when a patron is deciding whether or not the item would be useful. See, we’re all about helping the patrons here at Musselman Library!

My Transgender LibGuide is pretty much done. I need to put a few more pages together before anything can be published, though, so it isn’t yet available to the public. Hopefully, that will change soon.

Next up: Bisexuality LibGuide and cataloging!

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