Cataloging Policy
Sample Manual

Cataloging Policy


Westlake High School

Westlake City School District


I.                   Introduction: This cataloging policy manual is intended for use in the Westlake High School Library Media Center in the Westlake City School District of  Westlake, Ohio

a.     Mission Statement: To support the districts mission of empowering all students to achieve their educational goals, to direct their lives and to contribute to society by ensuring that students and staff are effective users of information and ideas made available to them. By providing students and staff in the district with access to materials and technology to further their knowledge and by networking ideas and creating a foundation for information literacy skills, we can achieve this mission. The Westlake Library Media Center will also promote an overall awareness to information technologies available, and instruct students and staff on how to use these resources to the best of their ability so that they may gain the knowledge needed to become information literate in the 21st century and beyond.

b.    Rationale: The purpose behind the creation of this policy manual is the hope to achieve overall ease of accessibility to materials by making materials cataloged in a way that is consistent and accurate. By creating this guide a framework is set by which material that is circulated in the library is cataloged in such a way that the maximum efficiency is achieved in access for staff and students. By implementing this guide, Library staffs, current and future, have a starting point to continue a seamless transition of leadership and organization without jeopardizing the maximum benefit of materials being accessed with ease for students and staff.





c.      Description/Overview: The Westlake High School Library Media Center is located within the High School building and has approximately  17,970 books,  60 periodicals, 6 newspapers, 790 Audio Visual items and 90 computers with internet access. The non fiction works are arranged by Dewey Decimal Number (DDC); fiction is arranged separately by author. The library is currently automated through SIRSI system. The library serves grades nine through twelve in the district with approximately 1500 students and staff. 


d.     Sharing plan: This cataloging policy manual is designed for the use with the framework of the Westlake High School Media Center but is intended to be a guideline for other district school libraries to achieve the most universal and consistent policy possibly so that materials can be shared district wide. This cataloging policy manual will be shared with Board of Education  members in regards to the focus on what we do with our materials, and how budgets are spent. Administration will be consulted and informed of this manual to create an understanding of the use and purpose of the Media Center as a facility and to create an overall understanding of its’ needs, as well as the integration and access of Academic content standards linked to library materials. This policy will also be shared with clerical staff , present, future and substitute, and the technology department to make them aware of the requirements and procedures to follow in regards to cataloging to achieve as much consistency and accuracy as possible. School staff and students as well as any district parents may also inquire about certain policies regarding acquisition and discard of materials or in which this policy can then too be shared.

II.               Circulation

a.     All materials in the Westlake High School Media Center circulate except for reference material.

b.     Reference material may be checked out for up to two days to specified classrooms.

c.      Professional collection material only released to staff.





III.           Selection of Acquisitions

a.     The Westlake High School Media Center acquires the following materials:

                                                             i.      Books

                                                           ii.      Periodicals

                                                        iii.      Professional resources

                                                        iv.      Equipment

                                                           v.      Audio/Visual materials

                                                        vi.      Realia

                                                      vii.      Original artwork by students

                                                   viii.      Other materials to be acquired from donations, or purchased at faculty discretion from distributors

b.     All of the materials in the library are required to be catalogued with the exception of Original student artwork

c.      Kimberly Cerrito or other Library Media Specialist is designated to the selection of material from distributors, including donations; they may also delegate this responsibility to clerical library staff.

d.     All items will be processed by the Library media Specialist or Clerical Staff designated to that task.

e.      New selections that are acquired either through distributor purchase or donations are to be shelved in the back room until processed. Once processing is complete they may be released into circulation by being placed on the “Just In” shelf.

IV.           Processing of Material

a.     Follet distributors has barcodes 1-50,000 to be used for purchase through them specifically.

b.     Books that arrive with processing should be:

                                                             i.      Verified with the packing slip.

                                                           ii.      Cataloged  in the order received

                                                        iii.      Broken in (See Brodart’s Instructions)

                                                        iv.      MARC records should be uploaded

c.      Books that arrive without processing should be processed by Kimberly Cerrito or the Library Media Specialist.

                                                             i.      Attach a barcode to the top right hand corner of the outside back cover, facing against the spine.

                                                           ii.      Cover the barcode with a protective clear label

                                                        iii.      Attach a call number tag on the bottom of the spine

                                                        iv.      Attach a genre label directly above the call number tag

Note: In the Westlake High School Media Center unique sections are identified by a genre label. 


Label Name







Reference/Professional Development Collection



                                                           v.      Cover the call number tag and genre label with a protective clear label. This label should be large enough to cover the stickers and not fall off, but it should not be too large. When labels must be changed, it is easier if the protective clear label is an appropriate size.


V.               Cataloging of Materials

a.     Standards of Cataloging


                                                             i.      Level 2 cataloging will be used.

                                                           ii.      All cataloging is completed following the standards set forth in AACR2.

                                                        iii.      Subject headings follow the Library of Congress and at least three (3) are added when completing original cataloging.

                                                        iv.      SIRSI will be used for the cataloging of all materials, until and unless another online cataloging system is used instead of SIRSI


b.     Copy cataloging (downloading records from other systems) will be used for as many materials as possible.  Records will be taken from shared catalogs on SIRSI (SmartPort) when possible.


c.      When SuperMARC records are unavailable, records will be taken from the Library of Congress in SIRSI (SmartPort). 





d.     If records are unavailable in SIRSI, records may be purchased from OCLC’s Cat Express.  Before downloading records seek approval from the Library Media Specials , Kimberly Cerrito.  A record of all downloaded records should be maintained on the OCLC spreadsheet (# of records purchased; date)


e.      All copied /imported records will be checked for accuracy.  This includes checking the information in the record with the CIP data (if available) from the material itself, and using INFOhio’s Guidelines for matching records.


f.       The Library Media Specialist should attempt to retrieve the best possible record, including records with the ISBD.  This includes:


                                                             i.      Title (245)

                                                           ii.      Statement of Responsibility (1xx’s or 7xx’s)

                                                        iii.      Edition (250)

                                                        iv.      Material

                                                           v.      Publication (260)

                                                        vi.      Physical Description (3xx’s)

                                                      vii.      Teacher guides

                                                   viii.      Series (4xx’s)

                                                        ix.      Notes


As well as records with the following MARC tags:


                                                           x.      520: Summary

                                                        xi.      521: Target Audience Note

                                                      xii.      526: Study Program Information Note

                                                   xiii.      538: System Requirements

                                                   xiv.      586: Awards Note

                                                      xv.      650 and 651: Subject

                                                   xvi.      658: Academic Content Standards


g.     Changes in Cataloging Standards:  Changes to library cataloging and classification standards will be completed as needed.



VI.           Subject Headings

a.     Sears List of Subject Headings will be used for subject headings.

b.      If original cataloging is required, no limit shall be placed on the number of subject heading assigned.

c.      Vendor assigned headings will be used.



VII.        Classification

a.     The Dewey Decimal Classification will be used for all juvenile nonfiction, including reference materials. The Westlake High School Media Center as a general rule of thumb uses three places behind the decimal.  Remember to break the decimal part of a Dewey number in standard places, usually indicated by an apostrophe (') or backslash (/). If needed go to a fourth place or in an extreme case to a fifth. However, using just two places is preferable to four or five. Biographies and poetry will follow another procedure even though they are nonfiction.  The call numbers are as follows:

                                                             i.      Biographies will begin  “BIO” and follow with space and the first three letters of the subject’s (whom the book is about) last name..

                                                           ii.      Reference books will begin “REF” or “PROF” and will follow according to DDC rules.

Reference books include dictionaries, atlas, almanacs, etc.

Professional books include those books that an educator would use for a resource.

                                                        iii.      All other nonfiction will begin “NON-FIC” and will follow with the appropriate DDC number and other appropriate DDC information.

 *A sticker that indicates type and the DDC number or first letter of   

   author’s last name sticker are placed on the binding of the book.

*All paperbacks in these genres will be cataloged exactly like hardback books.



b.     For fiction materials, the call number will begin “FIC” and will follow with two spaces and  the first three letters of the author’s last name.  Reviews (journals or Amazon) and the summary on the inside or back cover are helpful in deciding.

    *A sticker that indicates type (FIC) and the first three letters of   

author’s last name sticker are placed on the binding of the book.



c.      Periodicals will be classified as follows:

                                                             i.      The most recent addition will be kept in clear safety binder and cataloged according to periodical title with DDC number if appropriate to subject area. Back issues will be kept for a period of two months of circulation

d.     Audio/Visual  materials

                                                             i.      Classified by DDC number

                                                           ii.      Spine label will be composed of two lines, the top line ( in all Capitals) designating material (VID, CDROM, COM, DVD) the second line will be for the Dewey number to 5 digits.

e.      Equipment

                                                             i.      Classified by an assigned call number based on the item type and acquisition number.  (VRC/DVD/TV/LCD)

                                                           ii.      All items will have assigned barcodes 100,000-150,000 and be labeled with building initials WHS



VIII.    Weeding of items

a.     Kimberly Cerrito or current Library Media Specialist make decisions of which materials should be deselected from the library. 

b.     The following steps should be taken when deselecting items:


                                                             i.      Remove item(s) from the shelves.

                                                           ii.      Remove the item(s) from the online catalog. 

                                                        iii.      Set the item(s) aside per collection by staff and students.






IX.           Evaluation/review

a.     This policy manual will be reviewed and evaluated at the end of every 5th school year or whenever is necessary, or when there is a personal change.  Changes to the policy manual will be addressed at meetings with Kimberly Cerrito or the current Library Media Specialist with clerical staff and administration  representative


X.               Donations

a.     Donated items will be cataloged by creating a new record manually by Kimberly Cerrito or the Library Media Specialist.


b.     Donated items become the property of Westlake High School Media Center. 

XI.           Inventory

a.     a. An inventory of the items in the Westlake High School Media Center will be completed as deemed necessary by Kimberly Cerrito or the current  Library Media Specialist