LIBR 248-02
Beginning Cataloging and Classification
Spring 2009 Greensheet

Dr. Robert Ellett
Office Location: Norfolk, VA
Office Hours:
Office hours and telephone conferences arranged by e-mail

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
Deliverable Products
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Students must self-enroll for this course on Blackboard between January 19-22. You will be required to use a password access code which the instructor will provide using the MySJSU Messaging system.

Course Description

Theory and practice of bibliographic control techniques including the study of representation of cataloging using AACR2 (latest edition) and Library of Congress Rule Interpretations in machine-based representation using the MARC21 format and other metadata standards, and subject analysis and classification including Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), and Library of Congress Classification (LCC) with the principle focus on monographic literature.

Course Prerequisites: Libr 202

Course Objectives

The course is designed to offer you the opportunity to:

  1. identify and compare theories and systems dealing with the organization and description of materials in multiple formats for access and retrieval;
  2. appropriately use subject (classification and verbal access) cataloging tools to demonstrate competency in the bibliographic description of print and non-print including electronic materials;
  3. explain trends and research in the field of cataloging and explain their impacts on the organization and retrieval of information; and,
  4. develop a philosophy of bibliographic control and technical services.

Specifically at the end of the course, the student should:

  1. be conversant with the principles and standards for descriptive cataloging, access points, authority control, and subject cataloging and understand the broader theoretical context in which these principles function.
  2. be able to create original, machine-readable cataloging and authority records for a variety of materials in a professional context.

LIBR 248 supports the following SLIS Core Competency:

  • understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge.

Course Requirements

Virtual Classes
Optional synchronous virtual classes will be scheduled during the course using the Elluminate software. These classes will be recorded for later viewing. Instruction on software use will be provided. Class times will be discussed during the onsite meeting.

Deliverable Products
Students will be evaluated in the performance of the following tasks:

Product Percentage of Final Grade
Assignment 1 (Descriptive Cataloging: Books)15%
Assignment 2 (Authority Control/ Choice of Entry/ Form of Entry)15%
Assignment 3 (Library of Congress Subject Headings)10%
Assignment 4 (Dewey Decimal Classification)10%
Assignment 5 (Library of Congress Classification)10%
Course Project30%
Class Participation10%

In addition, several ungraded exercises will be distributed to practice and enhance skills. These exercises are included within class participation. Other class participation activities will occur in the discussion forum. The course project is designed as a culminating activity to allow students the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of descriptive and subject cataloging covered within the course.

Greensheet (Syllabus)
This syllabus may be altered to meet education objectives based on needs of the learning environment.

Attendance and Participation
To receive the most benefit from this course, you must read the text and online resource materials, complete the assignments, and participate in class activities. Regular participation has a positive effect on the course grade earned.

Late Assignments and Incompletes
Late assignments will not be accepted. If you have an illness (medical certificate supplied) or a family tragedy, please contact the instructor. Incomplete grades will not be granted except in extraordinary circumstances. Supporting documentation will be required in cases of medical or health emergencies.

Textbooks and Readings


Furrie, B. (2003). Understanding MARC Bibliographic: Machine-Readable Cataloging. Data Base Development Department of the Follett Software Company.

MARC 21 Concise Format for Bibliographic Data (2001). Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Network Development and MARC Standards Office.
Note: This text is for online reference only.

Additional Resources
Additional resources such as class notes and online cataloging tools accompanying topic specific lectures are located in Angel and will be posted during the course.

Note: Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (2nd ed., rev.) (AACR2R) is no longer required for purchase in print. SJSU SLIS now has a subscription to the electronic Catalogers’ Desktop which includes AACR2R.

Required Textbooks:

  • Chan, L. M. (2007). Cataloging and classification: An introduction (3rd ed.). Scarecrow Press. Available through Amazon: 0810860007. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

icon showing link leads to the PDF file viewer known as Acrobat Reader Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to access PDF files.

More accessibility resources.