CCE Theses and Dissertations

Cataloging of Children's Picture Books: Quality in the Age of Automation

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Junping Sun

Committee Member

Kathryn Sullivan


This study was an analysis of the quality of Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC) Records of children's picture books and easy readers in terms of accuracy and completeness of information. It was a case study which was based on the books in the Educational Media Collection (EMC) at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. The purpose was to determine to what extent there were elements of the MARC record as provided in The Guidelines for Standardized Cataloging of Children's Materials, referred to as The Guidelines, which were missing and/or incorrect in records retrieved from the OCLC utility. The catalogers at the Library of Congress are required to use these guidelines when cataloging children's materials.

There were 3,098 records used in this study; 2,363 records were submitted to the OCLC database by the catalogers at the Library of Congress and 735 were submitted by the catalogers at OCLC Participating Libraries. Six guidelines were relevant to picture books and easy readers: placing the "j" code in the Target Audience Field, entering the elements of the record following the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules 2nd ed. 1988 Revision (AACR2R88) Level 2 description, including summary notes, providing the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), providing added entries for joint authors and illustrators and identifying the illustrators, and providing subject headings without juvenile form subdivisions. There were 9,849 errors which appeared on 3,098 records. This was an average of2.5 errors per record cataloged at the Library of Congress and 5.5 errors per record cataloged at the OCLC Participating Libraries.

Once the errors were determined, analyzed, and noted, the author developed a policy/procedures manual for applying The Guidelines to the cataloging records for children's picture books and easy readers. The previously established policies of the EMC in regard to the handling of books in the Juvenile Collection were included. This manual, although designed using the EMC at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, could be of practical use to any cataloger of children's picture books and easy readers.

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