1. Retrospective Conversion. Week 11.
2. Retrospective Conversion - Term. The process of turning a library’s existing catalog into machine-readable form is called retrospective conversion ..
3. Term. The process of converting information from a traditional card catalog to an electronic format Retrospective conversion (Recon) is the capturing of the cataloging record in machine-readable format.
4. Term. The process of converting bibliographic information from card or book records to computerized records for materials already held in collections before computer cataloging began. Also known as Retrocon, Recon, Retro, etc..
5. Love & Hate Responses..?. Love – because of the prospect of the promised land – an integrated system that will facilitate all aspect of library services to enhance information delivery. Hate – because of the horror opening up a Padora’s box of old cataloging inconsistencies and habits, in addition to the seemingly endless tasks of record conversion and clean up. (Daphne, 1980).
6. “It should only have to be done once” (Potter, 1980).
7. Methods. Recon can be accomplished in several way, and the best method (s) for your library depends on collection type and size, budget, quality demands, time constraints, and staff need..
8. Planning. A good understanding of the relationship of each aspect of a retrospective conversion project will be helpful in achieving the goals you have in mind. Decisions you make about one part of the project will have an impact on the others. The planning you do now will be critical towards the effective implementation of a local system that will serve your patrons and staff well into the future..
9. Pre-conversion Issues. Decide on the necessity for retrospective conversion. Libraries that rely on manual card catalogs for access to their older materials force patrons to look in two places. As patrons become familiar with the automated system, and as the size of database grows, the older materials become sealed off. Libraries that rely on briefly formatted machine-readable records for access to their materials often find that the records cannot be searched as easily or thoroughly as might be desired..
10. Pre-conversion Issues. Select a record format To ensure that your first conversion is also your last, it is important that the information from your shelf list be put into standard format. In addition to providing insurance for the future, MARC records are superior to non-MARC records because they increase your ability to access your collection. The use of standard MARC records also encourages the creation of cooperative ventures with other libraries..
11. Pre-conversion Issues. Set your objectives Is this the time to clean up your library’s cataloging? Is this the time for reclassification project?.
12. Pre-conversion Issues. Establish a conversion basis Will it be your shelf list, official file, public catalog, or non-MARC database file? Your choice should be based on which source has the most accurate and complete information..
13. Pre-conversion Issues. Identify high – use collection Establish your conversion priorities so you can respond to partial funding allocation..
14. Pre-conversion Issues. Inventory your collection Determine what you own to ensure that each record is worth converting. Each record takes up storage space and costs money every time it is processed during updating functions. Titles no longer in the library or to be discarded should not be converted.
15. Pre-conversion Issues. establish a coding system for active, missing, or discarded copies when doing your inventory..
16. Pre-conversion Issues. Examine your source data Is there enough information available to establish a match in the database? Is the local data you want added to your MARC records available, including call number and copy information..
17. RECON. Tasks to consider : Your library should consider performing tasks related to recon at the same time the conversion project is undertaken. Among the tasks to consider: authority control, bar-coding, and database preparation..
18. Tasks to consider in recon. Decide when to establish authority control Authority control improves access to records by providing consistency and reducing ambiguity between data elements. Spelling errors, inconsistent capitalization, punctuation, and spacing in original records can be eliminated through matching during the authority control process..
19. Tasks to consider in recon. Decide when to perform barcoding, if a local system has already been chosen Barcoding assigns a unique machine-readable code to library items for identification purposes. Each code is linked to its appropriate item record in the library’s bibliographic database. Barcode numbers can be added to records as they are converted..
20. Tasks to consider in recon. Two types of barcodes Smart barcodes number are assigned by computer on the basis a copy and volume holdings appearing in a machine-readable record. This barcode is assigned after record has been converted. Dumb barcodes are less expensive in tape processing and label production costs, but possibly more expensive when staff time is considered. This barcodes are manually linked to database item records..
21. Tasks to consider in recon. Prepare your database The product of your recon, your database, is going to be an important asset for your library long after your current local system is replaced. Having a high-quality database is crucial to the successful implementation of your local system. Database preparation services include such activities as duplicate resolution (eliminating duplicate records), merging local information, filing indicator fixed. ..
22. Tasks to consider in recon. Selecting retrospective conversion vendor Libraries should determine if conversion in MARC format is available and if all media formats are supported. The choice hinges primarily on the library’s budget, collection, quality demands, time constrains, and staff..
23. The end.