Copy Cataloging is the process of building upon original cataloging. It involves matching an established bibligraphic record, examples are the OCLC WorldCat Catalog or Library of Congress Catalog which hold millions of catalog MARC records, with an exact duplicate item described to be added into a collection.
Copy cataloging means finding a matching existing cataloging record (bibliographic record) for an item in hand, editing the record as necessary and attaching the local holding information to the bibliographic record
The use of copy cataloging facilitates resource and bibliographic sharing. Without copy cataloging libraries, organizations, and individuals would be doing original record creation, at much greater expense and heavier use of available staff time. Sometimes records are improved and or corrected in the process of copy cataloging, such as upgrading minimal-level vendor copy.
As a general rule, copy cataloging alone is not generally considered "professional" level work (e.g. requiring an MLS degree to perform), although some copy cataloging, such as upgrading and improving minimal level records, does reach a level of complexity that rivals original cataloging and is appropriate for a credentialed librarian to perform alongside original cataloging and/or other tech services duties. This is sometimes called Advanced Copy Cataloging. Advanced Copy Cataloging is often called for in the case of foreign-language monographs where the vendor copy at hand is very minimal, and is not AACR2 compliant. The record must be made AACR2 compliant, and the cataloger must have sufficient reading knowledge of the foreign language material in order to analyze the content and supply appropriate subject headings and a suitable classification number to the work. The level of education required to do this is often beyond the reach of many paraprofessional copy-catalogers, so such advanced copy cataloging is often turned over to original catalogers with the MLS or equivalent Masters-level library degree.
Copy Cataloging Work Flow
1. Search Evergreen Indiana for matching records and attach holdings.
2. If not found in EI, search another source via Z39.50 (i.e., OCLC, WorldCat, Library of Congress), import record, and attach holdings.
3. If a record is not found via Z39.50, notify a Evergreen Indiana Certified Cataloger (Cat-1) in your library that the record is unavailable