Z39.50 Cataloging

Z39.50 is an international standard client–server protocol for searching and retrieving information from a database. We use it to get MARC records from other libraries when we can’t find one in Sierra already. The library you get records from does not have to be a Sierra system. Marmot has added several Z39.50 targets to the Cataloging function in Sierra.

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Z39.50 Cataloging

Go to the Cataloging function

First, search using the ISN or Title under the Local catalog.

Using the Title search, no entries were found in the Local catalog.

You can use either the 10 or 13 digit ISBN for any search. Using the ISN search, no entries were found in the Local catalog.

Since there are no local records to use, you can move on to Z39.50.

Change the drop down from Local to Remote.

The Select Databases box will appear with choices that are available to do the Z39.50 search.

Check the boxes for each of the databases. You can search them all at once. Clicking the OK button will turn on the checked databases.

The drop down will display the four searching options of Author, Title, ISBN and Keyword. Some libraries may use the Keyword index for their ISBNs. While others will use the ISBN index. For this reason, it is best to search for your ISBN using the Keyword and ISBN search.

We will use Remote and Keyword to search this ISBN first. Click the Search button.

The Keyword search produced No records found for all the databases. This means that none of these databases has this ISBN in their Keyword index, or does not have the title in general. Note: if you search the title and ISBN with no records found, you may have to add an original record to Sierra.

The ISBN search produced two entries. However, one search returned a Status of Unsupported search. This is an example of a database that does not use the ISBN index. If the database had this title, it might have shown up during the ISBN Keyword search.

The Title search produced eight entries. However, these could be false results meaning items with similar titles. These could also be reprints or eBooks. This is why it is best to look at the results for the ISBN search for better match results.

Clicking on the Close button or the X will bring the descriptions onto the screen.

Here is an example of the Descriptions using the ISBN. It will show the title of the item as well as the Database(s) with the record.

Double click on the entry or entries to open them. If you have more than one description, you can use the Window and Tile Vertically to have them display next to each other. Any more than three records tiled vertically will make things hard to view. At this point, these records are not in Sierra, we are just looking at what is coming across from Z39.50.

The Record(s) will show the name of the database at the top.

You would first want to check the Bib Utility 001 to see if these were OCLC records. We prefer OCLC records if we can get them. The Z39.50 export adds the letter z to the beginning of every Bib Utility 001 number that does not already have a prefix.

Next, you would want to check the MISC 035 – System Control Number to see if it includes an OCLC number. In this example, the 001 and 035 match for both records. This is good.

Next, you want to check the MISC 005 – Date and Time of Latest Transaction. In this example, the record with the date 2010412071903.0 is the newest OCLC record, so we will select this record. However, not all of the choices will be this easy. Catalogers need to know enough to pick the best record. Here is a document that contains more information about the fields to compare to find the best record.

Note: anytime a record contains a field that has a brown highlight, this field appears in the target catalog, but will not be imported into our record.

Click the Close button for the one you are not going to use.

Click the Save button for the one you want to use.

If you are sure this is an OCLC record, you can remove the z at the beginning of the Bib Utility 001 number. Any 001 number that is not OCLC should have a prefix.

You may come across a record that does not have the letter z inserted into the 001. This is an OCLC record. The two records below are most likely duplicates.

Do not worry about the Bib Location of none. Once you add an item, the system will add your location automatically overnight.

The Duplicate record(s) found screen appears. It matched part of the title, but it is not really a duplicate. You can ignore this. You searched for a record to use before you started, so this can’t be a real duplicate. Click the Close button.

The record will have a b number or bib number in Sierra, and an item can now be attached.

Some catalogers may have the New Item Options pop up to add the item record at the time the bibliographic record is created. You can click the Cancel button to add an item later. You can also have an item record prompted from your Record Templates.

Otherwise, an item can be added from the Summary of the Bib record.

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