Date displays in the brief citation lists

I counter-attacked a problem this week that had been bugging me a while.







The brief citation display we used to have for a number of our records was misleading people who saw dates (on the right, under the book graphic) such as “2006-” which was what displayed for serial book records.  (You don’t see that in the example for the reason explained below.)  People overlooked the hyphen and assumed the date of the title was 2006 instead of realizing that was when the entire series began.  Faculty kept asking us to update titles which were already up-to-date.

We used serial records for control reasons, which made it easier to track and update them.  But the date in the 260 subfield c was what displays in the catalog, and that was the series starting date followed by a hyphen to indicate the series was still continuing.

So, I experimented and proposed to the staff, after some discussion, that we begin putting the date of the latest edition at the end of that subfield.  Example: |c2006-2016  [latest edition owned]

Yes, that is cataloging heresy, but the result is shown above, since the ending date is displayed and the text is ignored.  The latest edition now appears.

We’ll have to update this field every time we add a new edition, but it’s a small price to pay to make it easier for people to understand the catalog.  If you go to the individual record, the  [latest edition owned] is visible so it explains to the lay user what the date really means.

Progress is often incremental.  This week, I incremented.