MARC Records

For this MARC record activity I chose the book If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World’s People by David J. Smith.  I picked it off my daughters’ bookshelf, but it is also a book I would buy for my school library collection.  All of the information I included was found in the publication data in my copy of the book.  The parts which are in bold, are those that I neglected to include in my record but found in the MARC record for the book on the UBC library website.

Please excuse the formatting, it was the best I could do.  WordPress would not except my formatting when copied from my original document.  Typing it directly did not work either.

010    ##        |o        NLC20019017499

020     ##       |a         978-1-55074-779-9

100     1#       |a         Smith, David J.

|q        (David Julian),

|d        1944 –

245     10       |a         If the world were a village:

|b        A book about the world’s people/

|c         written by David J. Smith; illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong

250     ##       |a         2007 ed.

260     ##       |a         Toronto ;

                    |a         Tonawanda, NY :

|b        Kids Can Press,

|c         c2007.

300     ##       |a         32p. :

|b        col. ill. ;

|c         32 cm.

504     ##       |a         Includes bibliographic references.

520     ##       |a         Compares the world’s population to a village of 100 people to

teach children about who we are, where we live, what languages we speak and more.

650     #0       |a         Population

650     #0       |v         Juvenile literature

650     #0       |a         Human Geography

650     #0       |v         Juvenile literature

700     1#       |a         Armstrong, Shelagh,

|d        1961 –

The first challenge I faced was in finding the actual MARC record for this book.  I couldn’t find it on the Library of Congress website and the UBC library had the 2002 and 2011 editions, but my book says it is the 2007 updated version.  I decided to compare my record to the 2002 one though I have made some comments comparing it to the 2011 record.  The following are some differences I found between my record and the others:

  • Line 010: I couldn’t find a LCCN number in my copy of the book so the number I included here is from the 2002 record (this line wasn’t present in the 2011 record).
  • Line 020: the ISBNs were different for each record, which makes sense as the records are for different editions.  The ISBN for my record is the one I found in my copy of the book.
  • Line 245: I wasn’t sure when completing my record if the illustrator should go on this line or not.
  • Line 250: the 20ll record indicated that it was the 2nd edition and my copy did not indicate what edition it was (the text said copyright 2002) so I kept mine as the 2007 edition.
  • Line 260: for the place of publication, though both Toronto and Tonawanda were in the publication data of my book, I only chose to include Toronto.  I should have known to include both as Line 260 can be repeated.
  • Line 490: I couldn’t find anything in my book to indicate it was part of a series and this line was not in the 2002 record, but was in the 2011 one (490 1# |a CitizenKid).  Maybe it became part of CitizenKid in 2011?
  • Line 520: this line was not in the 2002 record.  The annotation in the 2011 record was slightly different, but I kept mine as I feel it adequately describes the book.
  • Line 650: the publication data in my book listed the category juvenile literature but I didn’t know where to put this information in the MARC record.  I didn’t see indicator v when reading MARC Parts 7-10.


After our reading about MARC records (Parts 1-6) I was still a little apprehensive about doing a record myself, as I didn’t really understand about the sub-field codes.  However, MARC Parts (7-10) did a much better job of describing what all the codes mean and once I started with my book I found the procedure pretty straightforward.  Of course, the actual MARC record for If the World Were a Village, has more lines than what we were asked to concentrate on or were explained in the reading; lines in which I still don’t quite understand what information is being coded.

Because I was comparing my copy of If the World Were a Village, to two records, I was able to compare differences between them.  Of course some of the differences lie in the fact that the records are for different editions, but this doesn’t explain why some lines are missing between one record and the other.  For example, as I already stated, Line 520 was missing from the 2002 record I looked at.  An annotation about the book seems to me to be a basic requirement for a MARC record.  I suppose it depends on the publication data available to the cataloguer.  As well, in reviewing my record, I probably could have left out Line 250, as my book didn’t specifically state an edition.  The date of publication is already in Line 260; so saying that the book is the 2007 edition is redundant and doesn’t give any further information.

Before starting this assignment, I was very apprehensive about having to produce a MARC record for a book.  However, a teacher-librarian I talked to claims that all teacher-librarians secretly enjoy cataloguing, and I have to admit the task was not as onerous as I expected.  Though I am glad we are not required to memorize these cataloguing codes and procedures I appreciate that as teacher-librarians we need to understand the language even though we may not be actually doing much of the cataloguing ourselves.  I do enjoy being able to find the best place a book should be in a collection, and understanding MARC records can add to the information I need to find that perfect spot.



Filed under LIBE465

3 responses to “MARC Records

  1. Jesse Hundal


    Great job on creating the MARC record. I also was apprehensive creating my MARC just based on the sheer amount of data and finding the information for creating the MARC record. This assignment was valuable for the cataloguing process and hopefully with experience we can understand it more. Good job!

  2. Petra Knight

    Good job on your MARC record.
    It was a learning process for me to create my record and as you say it is very important for TLs to understand the process and language. I am grateful as you are that we do not have to memorize all the codes and procedures.
    I agree with you that MARC Parts (7-10) gave a much better explanation of the sub codes to help.
    I am glad to read that you had difficulty locating your book in the Library of Congress as I could not find my book there at all.
    Thank you for sharing your process.

  3. Leane

    It must have been difficult comparing to 2 records at the same time for your book. This was a very interesting task and I liked your comment about the secret lives of librarians!

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