Monthly Archives: January 2012

Tip Jar

Some advice for others doing a similar project:

  • If possible make sure you have your labels and labeling materials before you start cataloging. This is a good way to avoid taking away valuable cataloging time to work through your backlog of cataloged books.
  • Acquire a book cart to house items in transition.  Although there is plenty of room to stack books around the library, a book cart or two would go a long way towards keeping things a little more organized.
  • Measure your shelves before you start cataloging and make decisions on the oversize collection.
  • If you are using LibraryWorld, it is a lot faster when searching for books with commonly used titles (like Antiques or Shakers) to type in title info plus author or ISBN.

Week Two in Review

The second week of the project was a great week for making major progress.  Our labels and label tape came in on Monday afternoon and Mary Jane came over on Tuesday afternoon to help us get set up.  After working out a few printer kinks (margins, headers and footers, etc.), we were quickly caught up with all of the label printing after a few days.  We had two new volunteers start this week: Katie from the UNCG Library and Information Studies program, and Justin from the NC Central University Library Program.  After only one afternoon they had almost our entire backlog of cataloged books labeled and shelved!

We did have a few minor issues with the label printing.  We realized that if a call number has too many spaces in between each part, when the label prints, a line will be skipped and left blank.  Also, sometimes volume numbers don’t get printed.  Mary Jane found a work around for the volume numbers, but it is kind of involved, so we may seek further instruction from the customer service staff at LibraryWorld for an easier solution.

As per advice given by Mary Jane, we have decided to catalog 30 books at a time, and then print a sheet of labels.  Meaghan, Amanda, and I will probably set aside most of the labeling/shelving for Katie and Justin to do, and focus primarily on cataloging.

As of today we have cataloged a little over 700 books, this being the bulk of the regular size collection from one of the two main collection rooms.  We are quickly working our way through the regular collection and will probably be starting on oversize and foreign language in the not too distant future.  This week Karla and some of the library’s board members made the decision to shelve the foreign language books in a separate foreign language section, rather than have them interspersed throughout the general collection.  So up to this point we will have a regular size general section, an oversize section, and a foreign language section divided by language.  This makes sense due to the fact that a large percentage of the collection is comprised of foreign language books.

Overall, I would say that week two went very well, and I hope that the remaining weeks run as smoothly.

A Cool Book on Illumination

The Art of Illumination

Interview with Karla Webb, Library Curator

Mary Jane came up with the great idea to interview Karla, the Furniture Library Curator, to get her take on the beginning of the process.  We came up with a few questions dealing with the history of the Furniture Library itself, as well as her initial ideas about the whole cataloging process.  Following is a brief synopsis of the interview. Enjoy!

What is exactly does the position of Curator entail?

Karla Webb, Curator of the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library

The Curator handles all daily library and bookstore operations, helps customers and researchers locate information, takes care of all accounting and finance, manages furniture market booths, and is in charge of the organization’s scholarship program.

A little background on the library:

The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library is part of a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of furniture education.  It was founded in 1970 by Sandy Bienenstock, owner of Furniture World Magazine, with books from his personal collection.  Intended to serve as a research library for the furniture industry, the library contains books dealing with a wide range of furniture-related topics, such as: interior design, architecture, textiles, construction, finishing/refinishing, and of course, furniture.

What is the customer base of the library?

Most of those utilizing the library’s collection are from the furniture industry.  However, the library also serves: interior designers, furniture designers, students, scholars, and members of the general public looking for information about particular pieces of furniture that they own or are looking to purchase.

Why catalog the collection?

It is important to Karla and to the operations of the Furniture Library that customers are served as effectively and efficiently as possible.  With an online catalog, books will be easily and quickly located, and Karla will gain a more complete knowledge of the collection.  Once she knows what they have in their collection, it will be easier for her to know what they need to acquire in order to complete/improve the collection.

Weeding process:

Before beginning the cataloging project, Karla weeded the collection of any duplicate copies in order to create more space, as well as to get the collection in a sort of working order for the beginning of the cataloging project.  She has plans to sell some of the copies of the rare and out-of-print editions to raise money for the library.

Why contact Mary Jane and UNC Greensboro for assistance with the project?

The Furniture Library was already involved with the UNCG’s interior design department through the scholarship program and  Mary Jane is in charge of cataloging for the Interior Architecture Library, located on the UNCG campus.  Plus, UNCG also has a Masters of Library and Information Studies program, so Karla thought it would be a perfect fit!

What did you learn from the initial visit by Mary Jane and Dr. Nora Bird (professor in the MLIS department)?

Karla says that through the first consultation with Dr. Bird and Mary Jane she came to realize the scope of the project.  It was a larger undertaking than she at first imagined and she realized the need for professional guidance in the cataloging process.


Today Mary Jane and I began the process of labeling the 400 or so books we have cataloged so far.  The process was fairly painless, with only minor setbacks and a few do-overs.

The labels and labeling tape came in on Monday, and Mary Jane came over as soon as she could to help get us started on the process.  First we ran a report without printing to make sure there were no errors in our labels.  We found around 8 call numbers that needed to be reformatted, and corrected those before our first printing attempt.  Karla printed out labels from the LibraryWorld website for our first 200 books, after setting the correct printing margins in Internet Explorer (recommended browser).  The only problem we encountered with our first printed batch was that some sheets were printing with a header (page number) and a footer (date) throwing off the alignment, causing the labels to print a little off of the stickers. This was an easy fix after Mary Jane figured out the proper printing specifications, and we quickly achieved perfect results.

Next Mary Jane and I moved on to the labeling process.  Almost all of the books already have stickers on the spines with numbers from a previous cataloging system. We decided to place the new labels over these old labels, instead of going for uniformity of placement.  Otherwise the old labels would stick out, or be completely uncovered, and we thought covered would look better.

The labels don’t print in order of call number, so it took a while to locate each book on the shelf and then stick on the label and then re-shelve it.  This process will become easier once we finish our backlog, as we will be doing only 30 books at a time (each sheet of labels contains 30 labels), and they won’t be shelved prior to labeling.  Plus the books that are shelved will have labels already making them much easier to scan on the shelves than they are now, with only cataloging slips.

For thin books that don’t allow the entire call number to fit on the spine vertically, Karla decided we should stick those on vertically with the first two lines of the call number on the spine and the rest of the call number sticking over the back of the book, to aid in quick shelf scanning.

Review of the First Week, from afar

After doing a lot of behind the scenes ground work with Karla Webb and setting up the policies and permissions in LibraryWorld, Maggie and I joined Amanda in High Point on Jan. 16th to start cataloging the Furniture Library books so they will be discoverable on The Furniture Library web page.  There is not a link yet but stay tuned as we get to critical mass we’ll give the information to the web master for the Furniture Library and connect the web page to the online catalog hosted by LibraryWorld.  This is always an exciting moment for any new library, to see their materirals searchable and then to locate them by call number.

After my first day in High Point at the Furniture Library I have not had a chance to go back, but Maggie and I frequently e-mail back and forth.  It is being a resource person from afar.  Maggie e-mails me a question or problem, I offer suggestions and then Maggie checks with Karla as to her preferences.  When Maggie is working in the Cataloging Dept. as a student assistant we often discuss particular problems or I teach her another layer of working with LibraryWorld.

We are anxiously awaiting for the spine labels that Karla ordered to arrive so the books already cataloged can be neatly shelved on the bookcases.  As Maggie mentioned, about 300 titles have been cataloged.  There are 30 spine labels to a sheet so there will be 10 sheets of spine labels and overlays to apply.  Once we catch up with the labeling it will be easier to catalog and attach labels as a batch of 30 books are done.

Maggie is doing a great job in her job as project manager.  I look forward to my next visit to the Furniture Library to see all that has been done.

Question and Answer #2


What to do with damaged books?

Should we put them aside for the curator to check? Will they be repaired or rebound in the future? Should we put a note in the record designating the need for repair?


After consulting with Karla (the curator), who expressed an interest in being capable of easily locating those books in need of repair, we decided to add a General Note (500) field with the text: Needs repair.  Karla can later create a list of these books when she has the funding to put towards repairs.


What about books signed by the author?

Should we designate this in the catalog? Is it important to the library?


After once again consulting with Karla, we decided to note author signatures in a General Note (500) field with the text: Signed by [author name].  If the author wrote a note in the book with their signature we will be including those as well, making allowances for illegibility.  We will not be including as a note any other writings, such as donor notes.

First Week Overview

It is now the end of the first week and everything has been going smoothly so far.  The statistics for the week show us as having completed 300 books, with around 20 or so put aside for more in-depth cataloging.  Both interns have been trained in the use of LibraryWorld and shelving protocol, and are both very efficient catalogers.

We haven’t entirely solved the oversize problem, but we have decided to make numbers our immediate focus and worry about the oversize a little later, when we have more books entered into the catalog.  We also hope to get a book cart soon, which will be a boon towards relocating the oversize parts of the collection.

Question and Answer #1

This recurring blog segment is a continuing list of some of the more challenging obstacles we are encountering during the cataloging project and their respective solutions.


One of the Oversize shelves.

What to do with oversize books?

This has been by far the most stressful element in the process up to this point (in my opinion anyways).  I didn’t realize the collection contained so many oversize books, but being a furniture library, with most books dealing with the subjects of art and design, I guess it seems obvious after the fact.  There are already five entire bookcases devoted to oversized books plus one section of another bookshelf.  The chief difficulty lies in the fact that the remainder of the shelves on the main cases are spaced so that there is a maximum of 28 cm for each of the top two shelve,s with 32 cm for the bottom. We have quite a few books larger than 28 cm.  One possible option we have discussed is adjusting the shelves (they are the adjustable metal kind) to measure 29 cm for each top shelf taking away two centimeters from the bottom.  The problem with this is that the way the shelves adjust doesn’t allow for such specification of measurement.



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