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Halvor (Raknes) | 4770 comments I just submitted a question about how to retrieve information with a Library of Congress Card number. The thread was summarily closed by Rivka as "not a Librarians Group issue".

I am bewildered by this action. I have a book that I wish to add to GR. The colophon provides very little of the usual information, but instead refers to the book's Library of Congress Card, for which it provides this number.

Would it be more to the liking of GR librarians that I simply requested for a librarian to create the entry providing the LIC Card number in the "Adding New Books" section?


message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 45422 comments Mod
Requests for information regarding how to log into or make corrections on other sites are generally outside the scope of this group.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7144 comments The question appeared to have to do with retrieving a LOC book, not to adding a book here.

Feel free to request a book be added in the Adding New Books folder, providing all details you have, including a link to the LOC entry.


Halvor (Raknes) | 4770 comments Indeed! Rivka is misreading my question.

But Rivka's rejection here, and also here still confounds me even should the erroneous interpretation for the question posed in the present thread have been correct:

GR librarians undoubtedly have particular knowledge about matters librarian, and both LIC and WorldCat are important resources for retrieving correct data for books. WorldCat in particular is obviously regarded as highly authoritative when the issue is conflicting data sources.

Why then the brusque dismissal of requests to elicit experiential knowledge from GR librarians on interacting with such locations?

When Rivka states that "[r]equests for information regarding how to log into or make corrections on other sites are generally outside the scope of this group", then, may I ask, when is it within this group's scope if not in relation to WorldCat and LIC?

Even as I have shown, my requests are directly linked to efforts to provide reliable data for GR entries. Would such information not be useful even to some GR librarians who do not already possess it as well?


message 5: by lethe (new)

lethe | 14831 comments Halvor wrote: "Why then the brusque dismissal of requests to elicit experiential knowledge from GR librarians on interacting with such locations?"

I highly doubt that GR librarians in general have experience interacting with LC and Worldcat, most of them not being actual librarians. I happen to be an actual librarian, and I have never needed to contact them either. The LC is the American National Library and therefore not all that important to librarians outside America.


message 6: by Emy (new)

Emy (emypt) | 5038 comments Ditto what Lethe says. Those of us who are both Goodreads Librarians and RL librarians are not necessarily in any contact with any of the big libraries or library organisations.

Generally, unless your question links with Goodreads data or policy, it's not something we can help with. The scope of this group is to ensure the data here is accurate, in pursuit of which we will utilise data from other sources, in particular those which are known for reliable book-in-hand editing.

Does that help at all?


message 7: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl The fact remains that although many or most librarians don't know the intricacies of Worldcat or LOC, some do, and those could be of help. Rivka is too quick to shut down threads, often leaving the OP more bewildered than when they posted. A better alternative is to explain that such-and-such is not within the scope of the group, and why, allowing the OP to come back with related questions.


message 8: by Halvor (Raknes) (last edited Aug 07, 2016 11:32AM) (new)

Halvor (Raknes) | 4770 comments I certainly appreciate Lobstergirl's encouraging comments. Because my only objective in my inquiries was to solve issues with books here on GR. When the only clue towards finding a book's ISBN is an LOC catalog card number, wouldn't the only reasonable approach be to attempt to figure out how to access the data on that catalog card? Apparently not in Rivka's opinion. Similarly, when a GR book entry clearly has the wrong ISBN, but it's correct according to WorldCat, isn't it then also in the interest of GR integrity to assist someone who wants to sort out the error?

It's not like I was asking help to log in to any random website, which was the feeling I got of how Rivka interpreted my questions.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7144 comments But instructions on how to access another site is not the purpose of this group. You are free to link to that site. Where did you get the information?


message 10: by Halvor (Raknes) (new)

Halvor (Raknes) | 4770 comments I'm unsure what you are asking about, Elizabeth. Could you be more specific?


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7144 comments You asked a very generic question, it seems, in Post #1, apparently wanting to know how to link to LoC. Such a generic question is outside the purpose of this group. But maybe you have a specific book in mind. Why do you need to link to Loc? What book does it reference, and how do you know that linking to LoC will yield the information required?


message 12: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl You could request that a book be added to the database, and provide the LOC card catalog number. This would require a GR librarian to go to the LOC website and search for that number, which would bring up a book.

Bear in mind that the LOC number is unique to the book, but not to the edition of that book. There may be more than one edition of a book; there may be dozens or hundreds. The ISBN, or the ASIN (for kindle editions) is a unique identifier to an edition, whereas the LOC number is not (except to that book).

The LOC number could also apply to a book which has neither an ISBN nor an ASIN.

I would recommend typing the LOC number into the quick search box here:

https://catalog.loc.gov/index.html


message 13: by lethe (last edited Aug 07, 2016 02:42PM) (new)

lethe | 14831 comments If your question has to do with the dictionary without the ISBN, I wouldn't bother. If you have the book in hand and there is no mention of an ISBN in it, then it has no ISBN.

If, as Lobstergirl says, the LC number is for the book and not the edition, any ISBN listed in the LC record may belong to another edition, and is therefore useless information for your book.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 14: by Halvor (Raknes) (new)

Halvor (Raknes) | 4770 comments Well, Lethe linked to the thread where the concrete book in question is the topic (this answers Elizabeth's question).

And to Lobstergirl, I tried entering the number, 79-93030, into the search field on that page which yielded nothing.

Perhaps, as Lether says, this 1983 English Dictionary may not have an ISBN. (How odd is that…?)


message 15: by Halvor (Raknes) (last edited Aug 09, 2016 12:59PM) (new)

Halvor (Raknes) | 4770 comments Finally I made contact with LOC and the book does have an ISBN. I'll provide it in the linked thread in Lethe's last message.


message 16: by Lobstergirl (last edited Aug 09, 2016 05:07PM) (new)

Lobstergirl Of course, to add to the confusion, there are Library of Congress Control Numbers (79-93030 in your example) and Library of Congress Call Numbers, which are the ones you see on the spines of library books in libraries that use that classification system (as opposed to the Dewey decimal system).

An example of a LOC Call Number is BF1556.Z66, which is the book Zombies, Vampires, and Philosophy: New Life for the Undead, edited by Richard Greene and K. Silem Mohammed.

Neither of these numbers are pertinent to GR's cataloging system; however, since a lot of pre-ISBN books do have LOC control numbers, sometimes when I was adding a pre-ISBN book to the database I would put the LCCN in the book description just as one more identifying data point. It's not necessary, though.


message 17: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Aug 09, 2016 05:47PM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7144 comments Halvor wrote: "Perhaps, as Lether says, this 1983 English Dictionary may not have an ISBN. (How odd is that…?) "

You put an ISBN for a 1980 book in that thread. How is it you know that it belongs to the 1983 dictionary?


message 18: by Halvor (Raknes) (new)

Halvor (Raknes) | 4770 comments Elizabeth wrote: "You put an ISBN for a 1980 book in that thread. How is it you know that it belongs to the 1983 dictionary? "

Because that's the information associated with the LOC Control Number (or Catalog Card Number) given in my 1983 dictionary.


message 19: by lethe (new)

lethe | 14831 comments Halvor wrote: "Because that's the information associated with the LOC Control Number (or Catalog Card Number) given in my 1983 dictionary. "

Repeating what I said in msg #13: If, as Lobstergirl says, the LC number is for the book and not the edition, any ISBN listed in the LC record may belong to another edition, and is therefore useless information for your book.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7144 comments Also, reprints are not new editions. Titles may be reprinted, but not be different editions.


message 21: by Halvor (Raknes) (new)

Halvor (Raknes) | 4770 comments Lethe: I read you now. I didn't quite catch it the first time,


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