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Cataloging Unit Procedures and Policy: Home

Cataloging Unit Overview

The Cataloging Unit of the New York Law School Library is responsible for cataloging, authority control, and database maintenance of the Mendik Library’s online catalog, and for ensuring optimal access to the Library’s collections and electronic resources. 

NYLS follows current cataloging standards for bibliographic and authority records: AACR2, RDA, LCRI, OCLC’s Bibliographic Formats and Standards, MARC. 

Statement of Cataloging Policy

The mission of the NYLS Law Library's Cataloging Department is to maximize access to the Library's collections. Bibliographic control of materials in all formats is consistently maintained through the staff's adherence to international, national, and local standards. The department remains flexible to respond to the changing needs of all users and staff.

 In order to support our mission, the department strives to:


  • Catalog newly acquired materials quickly, efficiently, and accurately
  • Re-catalog retrospective materials to improve or provide access
  • Provide standardized access to names, subjects, and series titles
  • Keep current with national cataloging standards
  • Constantly review cataloging policies and procedures
  • Respond promptly to questions or requests for changes to our catalog records
  • Maintain accurate holdings in OCLC for national and international access to our Library’s materials.


Through these and other activities, the Cataloging Department organizes all materials to facilitate searching and retrieval of materials, and to provide accurate online records for research and study.

Local Policy

 When a book is pulled for correction, all necessary work should be done as soon as possible. Likewise, when corrections are made, the records must correspond with the changes to the book. Both procedures must be done at the earliest convenience.

Accompanying Materials

Accompanying materials at NYLS Library are handled as follows:

All pieces of a title are kept together, from receipt, through cataloging and labeling, for delivery to the receiving locations. We use two locations for accompanying materials: Reserve and MMR. If the printed item being cataloged is intended to be in Reserve, accompanying materials also go to Reserve, otherwise they go to the Multimedia Room (MMR).

Book Jackets

Book jackets are removed for possible display.  The jacket is placed on the appropriate shelf in the cataloging office.

Call number

NYLS uses the LC Classification system for Call numbers. We adjust cutter numbers to our collections need.

  • When assigning a call number to an item for which we have cataloged previous editions, assign the same call number to keep all editions in the same place on the shelf.
  • We do not use call numbers for remote electronic resources.
  • Dates are used for all monograph and integrated resource call numbers.
  • Symposia, meetings, etc. use the date of the meeting and not the date of publication in the call number.

Journals and law reviews do not receive classification numbers.  Instead, we enter “SHELVED BY TITLE” in local call number field 099. Code “p” for periodicals should be input in BCODE1.

·         Newsletters receive LC call numbers and code “p” for periodicals in BCODE1


The Mendik Law Library accepts donations of books, journals, archival materials, and other resources.  The Library reserves the right to add, discard, sell or exchange materials received as gifts. The Director of Technical Services responds to all gift inquiries and applies standard selection criteria when deciding whether or not to add materials received as gifts to the collection.

Government Documents

NYLS is a selective U.S. depository, collecting approximately 20% of the materials offered. Some depository titles are cataloged for the main collection.  Marcive records are added to our catalog for the Sudoc material and for online depository titles.


In conjunction with Brooklyn Law School and CUNY Law School, NYLS participates in the Joint International Law Project (JILP) for foreign, international, and comparative law.  There are two types of materials. Those deemed essential are considered core and all three institutions maintain copies.  All other works were split up by jurisdictions and subject area and purchased by one or more of the libraries.  These titles are designated JILP-B, JILP-C and JILP-N for the three institutions. Core materials are designated as JILP-Core.  The books are stamped as such on their title page.


Books taken from backlogs or the collection to be cataloged or reclassified should be added to statistics as Reclass.

      Review Books

Review books, such as Gilbert Law Summaries, Black Letter series, the Emanuel law outlines, Siegel's series, and Barbri bar reviews are cataloged but not classified. They are kept in a separate area behind the Circulation desk in the Reserve area.

Delete 050/090 field, and paste LC call number into a local 905 field.



BCode1  = o (outline)

Books should be stamped, stripped, and barcoded


  • Demarcations

Routing slips denoting final shelving locations should be placed in the books.  In addition, stickers are placed on the spines of some books:

                        Red dot -- Reserve

                        Black dot – Reference, Ready Reference, Administrative Reference, Technical Services Reference

  •  Notifying professors

If order records indicate that a professor should be notified when a title has been received, an online notification form is used and material is sent through the campus mail.

  • Routing to professors

Bring book to the Circulation Desk for discharge and place it in an interoffice envelope for routing to professor.

Rush Orders

Books intended for reserve or purchased at the request of a professor are treated as rush items.  They should be searched and cataloged immediately.


The Library does not follow the OCLC practice of cataloging supplements separately. A note stating “Kept up-to-date by supplements” is added to the record. (525 field)

When the library lacks the parent volume, supplements are discarded.     

Subject Guide

Cataloging Priorities

Priority 1: Any item which has been flagged by an ordering person shall be cataloged and processed expeditiously.

Priority 1: Any item which has been ordered by the Reference Services librarians is cataloged as soon as possible.

Priority 1: Any item which has been ordered and received is cataloged and processed within three working days of receipt.

New materials
Priority 1: Any item which has been ordered and received is cataloged and processed within a current fiscal year.

Priority 2: Any item which has been donated to any one of the Libraries' is reviewed, evaluated and selected for inclusion into the collection(s). Gifts not selected for inclusion are made available for sale. Proceeds are used to purchase new library materials.

Priority 2: Any item from an existing collection prior to library automation which is cataloged and processed as time and skills allow.