Home > marc > Fixed fields and exploitation

Fixed fields and exploitation

MARC Bibliographic fixed fields are marvelous little things.  So much information in *real* machine usable format. Sure, some of the fields might be less than useful today (Festschrift anyone lately?) but many could be put to fantastic use.

Imagine an ILS that uses the codes found in the 008 positions 18-21 for books.  Or expanding on and using the 008 position 22 for books! Ohh, no longer having to use the location to denote audience! Awesome. Have an index? Pop a “1” in the 008 position 31 and your system will automatically inform the searcher that the book has an index. Sweet!

MARC Authority fixed fields are heavily used. In fact, you have to use them in order to know if the heading can be utilized the way you wish to utilize it.

Why then are the MARC Bibliographic fixed fields often neglected by catalogers and ILS vendors? Don’t understand them? Can’t access them? Tradition?  It’s a puzzlement.

If we are not going to change the format (as we need to), then we need to fully utilize what we have.


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