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Re: [BKARTS] ISBN, CIP & bar code

At 04:00 PM 10/9/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>>By the time the work is actually published, the CIP is frequently
>>inaccurate and
>>therefore useless.
>I'm curious about this statement: What would cause CIP to become
>inaccurate? I shelve my books by LOC, generally using the CIP to
>determine the cataloging information. I'd hate to think that large
>parts of my collection are mis-shelved (actually large parts of my
>collection are in storage, but that's another story).

By "LOC", do you mean the LC call number?

I wouldn't worry about "mis-shelving" unless you're open to a
public that expects them to be in some particular order.

As I said, CIP is provided by the publisher to LC. Sometimes the
information is incorrect to start with and sometimes so many
changes are made including changing the title, that the descriptive
cataloguing becomes inaccurate (you notice it never includes
pagination or dimensions anyway).

Also the call numbers are assigned on the information provided
by the publisher, so it IS possible to end up with erroneous call
numbers. I have not experienced this myself, only heard about it
(there's a whole e-list just for cataloguers).
Many amusing stories about class numbers being assigned on the
basis of the title and ending up *completely* in the wrong class.

CIP is useful largely for libraries who buy mostly trade books and
are trying to crank them through as quickly as possible using
non-professional cataloguers. Quick and dirty (and cheap).

Our library very seldom gets any trade books. The one I had today
was a rarity. We don't use either LC or Dewey (don't ask!) classification
and we do much more specific subject analysis than Library of Congress,
so CIP is a joke. We do 80-90 % original cataloguing.

I had no idea CIP was so highly regarded by the public!

You'd be better off accessing a university or even public library on-line
and checking your numbers/bib. records against theirs. The website for
the University of California, for example is:


good luck!

Susan Fatemi
Earthquake Engineering Library
National Information Service for Earthquake Engineering
University of California, Berkeley
1301 South 46th Street, RFS #453
Richmond, CA 94804-4698

Ph: (510) 231-9552
Fax: (510) 231-9461

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