Greg and I have gone the last two Saturdays to Seward Park to catalog the collection. It is a really fun and wonderful experience. There was initially some disagreement on who should be doing the majority of the cataloging us or trained volunteers. On one hand the majority of the cataloging is data entry and on the other this is kind of what we signed up to do. Not data entry specifically but getting things up and running. We now have about half the collection cataloged which (relatively) few books issue books and I am finding it exceedingly helpful that we are doing so much of the cataloging. For one thing there are all sorts of variables that should be addressed, i.e. no ISBN, and only in doing the cataloging are we catching those variables.
The perfect example of this is multiple copies of a book. This came up pretty early in the cataloging and I spent maybe 15-20 minute trying to figure out how to create one record with multiple holdings. As it turns out it is crazy easy, but all the online documentation isn’t consistent with the current version of OPALS, so it took a ton of searching and then there was a stupid green button that said, “Add Holdings!” Despite the fact that I felt like a dummy it was a good experience to have. Now it will be very easy to address that for any training documentation. Voila!
Now that we are through quite a bit of the collection and we have lightly trained one volunteer, I am feeling much more confident about leaving it in the hands of Audubon Volunteers and I’m excited to create the training documentation.