Cataloging Workflow

Item Catalogers should be able to do the following:

  • Search the Balsam Catalog for Existing Records
  • Match an Item to an Existing Record
  • Adding Holdings to an Existing Record
  • Edit Items Attached to an Existing Record
  • Delete Item(s) from an Existing Record



Copy Catalogers should be able to do the following:

Copy cataloging is the process of finding pre-existing records and importing them into the Balsam catalog using Z39.50. The primary source of records in the US is OCLC.



There are four primary sources for MARC records within NC Cardinal:

  1. an existing NC Cardinal bibliographic/title record (local/native catalog)
  2. OCLC
  3. Z39.50 service sources
  4. Vendor files


For MARC (title) records that are not already available in NC Cardinal, you should begin with OCLC if you have access. Otherwise use one of the vetted z39.50 service sources within Evergreen. A publisher or library vendor may also provide MARC records. All bibliographic records may vary in terms of quality, so each must be evaluated before using/importing.


General Steps:

  1. Search the catalog to determine if an appropriate bibliographic record already exists for the type of item to be cataloged. Searching in multiple ways using ISBN and then also title and/or author is necessary to increase the likelihood of finding a match among existing records in the catalog. (Item and Bib Catalogers)
  2. If a title record exists, do not add or import a new or additional record. (Item and Bib Catalogers)
  3. If the existing record does not meet the standards as outlined in these NC Cardinal Best Practice standards and the MARC Templates specific to the type of material, overlay or edit the existing record to bring it up to the minimum standards required. (Bib Catalogers)
  4. If there are multiple matching records already in NC Cardinal, evaluate and merge records as appropriate. (Bib Catalogers)
  5. If a record does not yet exist, search for and import an appropriate record from OCLC or a Z39.50 service to import a title record. (Bib Catalogers)
  6. Update/edit the imported title/bibliographic record to meet the standards as outlined in these Best Practices and the NC Cardinal MARC Templates. (Bib Catalogers)
  7. Add volume(s) to the bibliographic/title record, as needed. (Item and Bib Catalogers)
  8. Attach items to the volume/call number record(s). (Item and Bib Catalogers)
  9. Delete items from the catalog when appropriate. (Item and Bib Catalogers)
  10. Weed title/bibliographic records when appropriate. (Bib Catalogers)