June 13, 2008

Q+A: 082 Tag: Text discrepancy

Posted in Assignments tagged , at 7:21 am by maf

Today I have a question from the class, a pragmatic answer, and a philosophical reminder.

The question, slightly paraphrased:

In the KR text for the classification exercises (082 tag) the text and the exercise instructions have the institution indicator (_, 0 or 4) first and then the version, (0 or 1). But when you check the answers it is reversed and later in the text it is reversed. Which one is correct?

Don’t you love it when you find a booboo in the text? To be honest, I did not track down where in the book it is correct versus not correct. I simply went to The Authority (my title), which is the Library of Congress (actually, I searched all Delicious bookmarks for MARC and spotted this near the top of the list). There I found this long tag list. I did a Control-F search for 082, and found this helpful clarification:

 082 - DEWEY DECIMAL CLASSIFICATION NUMBER (R)
   Indicators
      First - Type of edition
         # - No edition information recorded (BK CF MU VM SE) [OBSOLETE]
         0 - Full edition
         1 - Abridged edition
         2 - Abridged NST version (BK MU VM SE) [OBSOLETE]
      Second - Source of classification number
         # - No information provided
         0 - Assigned by LC
         4 - Assigned by agency other than LC

So, clearly, the first indicator is for edition and the second identifies the cataloging agency.

And now for philosophy. Do I think it’s important for you to carry this 082 information around in your head? Absolutely not. There will always be authorities for you to check – unless you’re on a desert island somewhere! Do I think it’s important for you to understand this? Perhaps. But it is not the most critical of the MARC tags to understand. Do I think it’s important for you to know how to check any aspect of MARC? Absolutely critical. And the LOC is the best tool for this.