Unlocking the Mysteries of Cataloging
A Workbook of Examples, 2nd Edition
by Elizabeth Haynes, Joanna F. Fountain, and Michele Zwierski
March 2015, 204pp, 8 1/2 x 11
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-61069-569-5
$55, £43, 48€, A76
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-570-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

No matter what you need to catalog, the exercises in this workbook will make it easier.

Ideal for students and both beginning and practicing catalogers in public, school, and academic libraries, this updated workbook offers targeted, hands-on exercises that enhance understanding of description, classification, subject analysis, subject heading application, and MARC 21 subject analysis.

Like the first edition, this updated workbook has a straightforward goal: to help expand and improve the effectiveness of library catalogs. It is designed to supplement existing textbooks by providing exercises in AACR2r and RDA description, classification, subject analysis, and MARC protocols. Particular attention is given to problems that may arise when cataloging books as well as multimedia combinations, 3-D items, toys, natural objects, maps, printed and performed music, bilingual materials, and electronic files. Through the exercises, you will better understand the overall process of cataloging an item and making a record, the application of RDA in producing records, the steps for cataloging new media, and the differences in records using RDA or AACR2r.

To enhance the exercises, the workbook incorporates photographs of real materials and offers questions for consideration. There is also a companion website with enlargeable color graphics. The site provides complete answer records and additional indexes for instructors to use in selecting examples for specific elements in the record. For students, new or advanced, selected MARC answer records are included, as are special lists, forms, and indexes leading to the tools any cataloger will need.

Student Resources

The images from the exercises in the book are included in this section in a larger format for closer examination.

MARC Template
For use in drafting cataloging records for all types of elements.

Instructor’s Resources
MARC and RDA answer records are provided to instructors upon request. Please contact CustomerService@abc-clio.com for more information.


  • Provides more than 100 examples that together encompass virtually all types of materials libraries collect and catalog, with MARC "answer" records
  • Offers exercises that allow practice in AACR2r and RDA, description, subject classification, subject heading application, classification, subject analysis, and MARC 21
  • Covers both RDA and AACR2r answer records for selected exercises
  • Includes non-English materials
  • Links to a website that provides for multiple approaches and answer records and enables you to view all the graphics in color and enlarge them as needed
  • Links instruction to an additional website that provides answer records for all exercises
Elizabeth Haynes, MLS, PhD, is associate professor and director of the School of Library and Information Science, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg. Her published works include ABC-CLIO's Crime Writers: A Research Guide and the first edition of Unlocking the Mysteries of Cataloging: A Workbook of Examples, as well as User's Guide to Sears List of Subject Headings. She earned her doctorate in library and information science at the University of Texas at Austin, where she also received a master's degree in library science.

Joanna F. Fountain, MLS, PhD, teaches online at San Jose State University, CA, and Sam Houston State University, TX. Her published works include four editions of ABC-CLIO's Subject Headings for School and Public Libraries and the first edition of Unlocking the Mysteries of Cataloging: A Workbook of Examples. She was contributing author and coeditor of Cataloging Correctly for Kids: An Introduction to the Tools and author/compiler of Cartel: Annotated Bibliography of Bilingual-Bicultural Materials. Fountain's doctoral research correlated state-adopted reading textbooks for bilingual programs with formal readability measures of Spanish-language text. She earned her master's degree in library science at the University of Texas at Austin and her doctorate at Texas Woman's University, Denton.

Michele Zwierski, MLS, is the head of cataloging for the Nassau Library System, a 54-member public library consortium on Long Island, NY. In addition to cataloging responsibilities, Zwierski presents workshops to member library staff on a variety of technical services topics including public service improvement through cataloging knowledge. She is also adjunct instructor at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science. Zwierski contributed the chapter on the Library of Congress CIP program to the fifth edition of Cataloging Correctly for Kids. She holds a master's degree in library science from the University of North Texas, Denton.


"Impressively well constructed, organized, profusely illustrated and presented, Unlocking the Mysteries of Cataloging: A Workbook of Examples is very highly recommended for academic Library Science reference collections, curriculum supplements, and supplemental studies reading lists."—Midwest Book Review, April 17, 2015

"I highly recommend this book to cataloging instructors and students who never seem to have enough examples and practice exercises, and to selectors for libraries that support library science curricula. It also makes an excellent resource for copy catalogers who are trying to understand the changes they are seeing in catalog records."—Technical Services Quarterly, February 18, 2016
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