A Tale of Two (Four?) Libraries – It was the worst and worst of times then the best and best of times

Not very often but sometimes, I really don't like libraries.

I was over at the University today for a group meeting and afterwards, went to the Business Library because the catalogue showed that they (as well as our main library Weldon, the Taylor library and a few others in the system had a copy of a book I wanted, Copyight Guide for Canadian Libraries.) 

I picked the business library because it is (arguably) the closest to our building and also because they showed two copies available.  I scribbled down the call number and off I went.  When I get there, I go to the basement (if you haven't been to the business library you should go – for all the money Ivey supposedly has, not a lot seems to get directed to the library.  Or to be fair, I think it's just a total lack of space.)  But neither book is on the shelf, either at its usual spot or in the oversized section although the I know the catalogue had said both were “in library”.  I take a quick glimpse on nearby shelves knowing books often get misplaced or misshelved but, though I find some other useful books, I don't see the one I want. 

Having been scared/scarred by 503 RQ's where we were told “You must NOT ask the reference librarian for assistance!”, I didn't ask for help when I left and instead hiked up to to Weldon.  (I probably should've double-checked the catalogue but another strange feature of the business library is they don't seem to have even one terminal down among the stacks and only 1 or 2 in the main reading area.) 

So anyhow, I go to Weldon and same thing – no copy at either the regular or oversized spot.  Here, I do go to the catalogue and realise what's happened.  The reason I didn't find it at the business library is that the book has been given a different call number there compared to all other UWO libraries!  (I'd only glanced at the holdings locations and the top call number when I did my original search, assuming the call number would be the same at all locations.) 

[Can anybody out there who works as a cataloguer (Jen?) or took Advanced Cataloguing tell me why this would happen, especially when I thought that Western had central processing for items?]

Looking more closely at the catalogue, I also see that Weldon has a copy but it's a “no loan” reference copy (fair enough.)  So now armed with the proper call number, I go back to the business library but even though it's in the same area (KE2994 instead of KE2799) and I had already scanned the nearby areas the first time, I still don't find either book!  Again, I refuse to ask, partly because I don't feel like going upstairs only to have to turn around and crawl back down the stairs again (really, it's a truly scary place!)  and instead, decide to try my luck at the Taylor library.  “This is a fun day for a UWO library tour” I try telling myself. 

I go there, not holding out much hope by now to be honest, but when I go right to the spot, there it is.  Sweet sweet digital copyright text…  Delicious taxonomy of bibliographic control.

On the other hand, I happened across this library catalogue whild doing some other research tonight and it made all my anger go away.  Try the visual search and the digital catalogues – very cool!  

Comments 8

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Me thinks it is because the Business library is a special libary; like, if you went to the medical library they would use that weird MESH thing… This is why you can't just slavishly use the LC data. Then again, I could be totally wrong.

    Posted 13 Nov 2006 at 3:28 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    I don't know specifically why the call numbers would be different, other than maybe it's because each library has a different focus (see, it's the law library with the diff #) and so catalogue to their needs and of course cutter as necessary based on the collection.
    BTW, the catalogue record you linked to does NOT show a copy in the business library. Things I learned in grad school: read the catalogue carefully and ASK for help!! :p I ask librarians all the time; even last week when I was at WPL and there were supposed to be 2 copies of a book and I couldn't find either – the librarian was able to find one for me!
    I like Taylor library the best – I worked there 1 semester, and I spent a lot of time there. And I'd argue it is the closest to NCB.

    Posted 13 Nov 2006 at 3:51 pm
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Yes, yes the web! I talked about the ACORN/Aqua Browser spiderweb visual search in 1st semester cause my sister is in Arlington, VA and I checked her OPAC to compare to LPL once for 502:
    http://www.acornweb.org/kids.html
    If you want to see another stunning, clever visual OPAC for kids check out the kid-designed interface of the SimpleSearch for the Intl Children's Digital Library (ICDL) very cool project:
    http://www.childrenslibrary.org/icdl/SimpleSearchCategory
    You can read about these cool dudes from the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the U of Maryland in First Monday:
    http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue8_5/druin/index.html
    Remember First MOnday?!?! Shucks, without Sam T. where would I be? That rhymes.
    I hope I didn't ask too many questions during the Jason-Lindsay-Margie-Sian-Julie prezntn. Might be payback time this coming Monday, eh?
    Hope Oscar's rockin'. That footprint on the belly blew me away. Staged? Tell me the truth. Everyone in my household thought it was a collage & not “real”. I wanted it to be real & they all laughed at me.
    (Yes we gather around the laptop like it's a TV & the show is:
    HEADTALE. Lots of belly images. Where's IONA? ANd will she bellydance on Saturday coffeehouse– not enough room. But we can make room at 505 so hopefully she'll bring music & her bellydancing outfit and you can do a photo installation out West of BELLY ART.
    Linda B.
    PS I totally expect you to play on Sat!!! You owe it to yourself, and to Oscar & to the rest of us. I am doing some bluesy covers. For a change. One WoodyGuthrie/Billy Bragg & One Michelle Shocked. maybe one more. Cat Power? Sugarcane?

    Posted 14 Nov 2006 at 10:16 pm
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    I wonder if any Canadian libraries are using these visual OPAC's? They're pretty cool (not sure how practical they'd be but its technology so who cares!) I love that kids' one too – especially how you can search by cover colour – exactly like Lynne taught us!
    No worries about too many questions at our presentation. I always like my presentations – solo or group – to have lots of questions as I think that shows that people were interested and/or paying attention (or that we screwed up badly and are getting called on it! )
    I'm not sure about the bellyprint photo – my guess is digitally modified but who knows? I got it off the web when I was looking for a “footprint” graphic for my final genealogy assignment and that one was perfect – both for the assignment and the blog/blob.
    Man, if you guys gather around a blog for entertainment, you might want to consider that “no TV” policy!

    I'm debating about making my debut at the coffee house. Why not humiliate myself in this program just a little bit more? We'll see though – can I borrow your guitar if I decide to do it? Mine's worse than crap and a tuned guitar that cost more than $60 always sounds better I find.

    Posted 15 Nov 2006 at 12:05 am
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    Oh my, do I feel stupid. I read “Law” as “Business”. No wonder I couldn't find either copy of the book!
    Still not sure why the call numbers are different but you and Quinn have a good theory going about the specific needs of that library. That makes sense.

    Posted 15 Nov 2006 at 1:13 am
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    Oh, and since you were very gentle with how you corrected my dumb blunder, I'll also give you that Taylor is closer to NCB than the business library. I think the business library feels closer to me because I walk past it so much for classes in Sommerville House or when going to the UCC or Weldon whereas I have to specifically need to go to Taylor (usually from across campus for some reason rather than direct from NCB) when I discover a book I want is there. (Maybe because this realization hits when I'm at Weldon doing searches?)

    Posted 15 Nov 2006 at 1:17 am
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    haha! gentle? :p I try. I think it's another sign that you're tired from the year.
    I've never been in the business library, and now that I'm not there, can't say I ever will.
    Gosh, of the 11 libraries on campus I think I've been to only 5. (GRC, Weldon, Taylor, Huron, Music)..no wait, been to the Law lib. 6 of 11, not bad.

    Posted 15 Nov 2006 at 2:43 pm
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    I've talked about it before – how, now that I'm a librarian (very close anyhow), I feel guilty anytime I make a simple mistake like that. But you're right, tiredness is a very legitimate reason, especially at this point in my year.
    In roughly the order that I came to visit them, I've hit:
    GRC
    Weldon
    Taylor
    Business
    Law
    Education
    (Can I count the Pride Library as a separate library even though it's in Weldon? I hope so – I went to the grand opening and it was awesome!)
    On my endless list of little things that FIMS could do to make our experience better, arranging an optional tour of all the UWO's libraries (even just the ones on the main campus) would be great. I think it's awful that some people probably leave this program having visited exactly two libraries on campus – the GRC and (maybe) Weldon.

    Posted 16 Nov 2006 at 7:31 am

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