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You found it under *what*??

And now, some brickbats for these people who make life (i.e. access) harder for EVERYONE, especially those of us in the access business.

1. Printed materials (church hymnals/songbooks, I'm looking at YOU) whose indexes include initial articles when sorting. Without an alternate entry. Thus we have "A mighty fortress is our God" listed under "A", but not under "Mighty". And if the first word of the title is "Oh", it appears - yep - AFTER "O".

2. Programs, including library automation and cataloging software, which include initial articles when sorting. Thus we have A manual for writers listed under A, not M; The Odyssey under T, not O; and An education in Georgia under A, not E. And no option for changing this behavior.*

3. Programs which include non-alphanumeric characters when sorting. Thus --y no se lo tragó la tierra is at the top of the sort, since "-" comes before alphabetical characters in the ASCII scheme. I don't know about you, but I've never browsed for a title under "-". (Allowing for artistic license, here.)*

4. Websites that use ISBNs as a search option that MUST have hyphens in appropriate places or their search engine will refuse to find your item. God bless those sites that provide for either the hyphenated or non- options.

*Fortunately for the patrons, the software sorts these as one expects, without the article, according to whatever you've put in the "non-sorting characters" indicator. Why can't it do the same for the librarian/access-providing person?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2014 12:58 am (UTC)
I would add Isaac Asimov's collections of assorted essays. Instead of being cataloged as "collections of assorted essays" they get stuck in whatever Dewey category the title seems to indicate. Thus, The Tragedy of the Moon gets classified as Astronomy, for example, when it's not an Astronomy book at all, but a collection of essays on random subjects.

And don't get me started on how Ellery Queen ends up as an author's name, sometimes, and the title of a book, sometimes. Anyone who wanted to find all these books would go nuts wandering around the stacks.
Jul. 31st, 2014 05:25 am (UTC)
Oh, Great Maker, that's the sort of thing that should have been stomped out some time ago. Brickbats for all.
Jul. 31st, 2014 02:17 pm (UTC)
yeah, it's just ridiculous that these problems persist! Especially since there are virtually no costs to putting them in the right way. It would take only a little bit of programming, for example, to get sites to ignore the hyphens in ISBN numbers.
Aug. 3rd, 2014 01:07 am (UTC)
I despise the initial articles issue - and I am seeing this come up more and more often because - in the words of one programmer I spoke to - ignoring them is just arbitrary and outdated. No, you fricking idiot, its because how many goddamn things begin with them. They are USELESS.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

Authority Record

the fuck
The Society for Librarians* Who Say "Motherfucker"
For all of those times when the gatekeepers of the world's knowledge are called upon, in their professional capacity, to use the word "motherfucker." Or at least to seriously consider it.

*Open to librarians; library associates, specialists, technicians, and paraprofessionals of all kinds; library school students; library aides and volunteers; and all of those who love libraries, or even just love a particular librarian. Welcome.

Date Due

January 2018
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