MSC Cataloging Standards Compliance Intervention Policy

MSC Cataloging Standards Compliance Intervention Policy

Adopted by the Membership: 10/4/2018


This document is intended to be used when restoring member library compliance with record standards and attachment rules. Where section 15 of the MSC Member's Contract stipulates that members must abide by the Standard Cataloging Procedures (SCP), this document details the policy and procedures for intervening with member libraries found in non-compliance with those procedures.

Cataloging standards non-compliance can be categorized as: The importing of bibliographic records by member libraries that EITHER constitute duplicates under the attachment rules of section 3.1 of the SCP (1), OR do not meet the standards for permanent full records as defined in section 2.1 of the SCP (2).

Because each category of non-compliance must be ascertained using different methods, they will be handled separately within this document. Libraries can be found non-compliant of record standards and attachment rules. Each instance of non-compliance will be handled independently as outlined in this document.

Criteria for Intervention

Attachment Rules Non-compliance

MSC Admin's bibliographic record audits suggest that the majority (75%) of new (after 2016) bibliographic records for public and school libraries are loaded into the system by five member libraries with dedicated cataloging staff or admin vetted vendor records and procedures. Record audits also suggest that new records loaded into the system by bibload or SmartPort by the remaining school and public libraries constitute a median 12% of the member's overall new items. In view of this median percentage, other than the five main importing libraries, member libraries creating new records that exceed 12% of their overall new items per year may/will be audited for attachment rule noncompliance.

Due to the specialized nature of Academic, Special and Agency libraries, these libraries cannot be evaluated using the same criteria as publics and schools. The nature of these collections is to have very little overlap with public and school library collections. Academics and Special libraries are encouraged to initiate an attachment rules audit with MSC Admin by opening a help-desk ticket.

Before 2016, there was no mechanism in place to isolate duplicate records created when libraries migrated into the MSC. Catalog cleanup of duplicate records was last performed system-wide in 2012. MSC Admin is now able to retro-actively flag these duplicate records. As these are not new instances of attachment rule non-compliance, libraries with retro-active duplicates will not be considered non-compliant. These libraries are encouraged to work with MSC Admin to resolve these retro-actively flagged duplicates in a timely manner.

Bibliographic Standards Non-compliance

MSC Admin's bibliographic record audits suggest that as many as 7% (or about 70,000) bibliographic records lack the required control numbers to meet the MSC's record standards. It is unclear how many of these records are temporary or local records. It is unclear what percentage of the remaining 93% of bibliographic records that have proper control numbers may lack other standard MARC fields. Older records will be flagged by MSC Admin and member libraries are encouraged to work with MSC Admin to resolve these flagged sub-standard records, but they will not necessitate non-compliance.

Only those member libraries currently importing records into the ILS that do not meet standards can fairly be found in non-compliance of record standards. The absence of MARC tags 338 and 035 will be used as markers for standards compliance. MSC Admin will create lists of records lacking these tags created by the member library within the previous year. If the member does not reduce the records on this list by 50% in a year then the member library will be found in non-compliance of bibliographic record standards.


MSC Admin will identify non-compliance through system reports and notify the contract signatory and librarian in writing. The MSC Trainer will provide the member library with access to all available cataloging webinars related to the type of non-compliance. The MSC Trainer and member library will set a date by which the webinars should be completed and schedule an online training to cover any remaining questions the designated staff has about procedures.

After the individual online training, the member library will have one year to restore compliance as defined above.

Special considerations will be taken in event of staff turnover during the intervention process. MSC Admin will also reach out to new directors to adjust the timeline.

Failure to Restore Compliance

Member libraries failing to respond to the above interventions in the allotted timeframe will receive a letter from the member library's Executive Board representative and the MSC Director, announcing the suspension of cataloging privileges effective two weeks from the letter's date. Letters will not be sent to school or academic libraries over the summer or breaks.

On the date specified in the letter, MSC Admin will disable access to the following features in WorkFlows: SmartPort, the Add Brief Title wizard, the Add Title wizard, and the Duplicate Title wizard.

Compliance can be restored at any time. Member libraries may petition the Executive Board to have their cataloging privileges reinstated once they have restored compliance. MSC Admin will restore access to the above WorkFlows features once compliance has been confirmed through system reports.
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