Are you frustrated by eBook records replacing your hard copy records in Libraries Australia?

Are you frustrated by eBook records replacing your hard copy records in Libraries Australia? Want to know how this happens and how we can prevent it? Please read on …

Recently we became aware that e-book records are sometimes replacing the hardcopy records in the Libraries Australia database. After a thorough investigation of this issue, we believe errors of this kind are directly attributable to some e-book vendor’s records retaining the hard copy Library of Congress control number (010 tag - NR) in the e-book record.

Libraries Australia uses the Library of Congress number as a primary match point in record matching. When copy cataloguing, it is imperative that no control numbers from the original version are retained in the new version of a record.

Our cataloguing service offers members a variety of options for contributing catalogue records to the ANBD. A number of our member libraries choose to outsource their cataloguing work to third parties (i.e. library suppliers or vendors). However, it is important to remember that obtaining files from a vendor includes an obligation to check that those files adhere to our network standards and do not contain data that may cause bad matches to occur once those files are loaded via the Libraries Australia Record Import Service match/merge process.

Contributors of cataloguing records to Libraries Australia are responsible for the quality and completeness of their contributed data.

Libraries Australia staff do not routinely perform checks of all contributed records and it would be impractical to do so.

In our resource sharing environment we enjoy sharing the benefits but not the sorrows of our data between members. The purpose of Libraries Australia is to support the collection management workflows of its member libraries. It supports collaboration between those members, including cooperative cataloguing; enabling member libraries to reduce the costs of their cataloguing by using records created by other libraries in Australia and worldwide.

Libraries Australia staff take their custodial role of our members’ data seriously and strive to maintain the quality and currency of bibliographic records and holdings in the ANBD to support national resource sharing and discovery. If you do notice an e-book record where there should be a hardcopy one, please let us know through our online enquiry form so that we can take action to set the hardcopy record back in place.

How can our member libraries assist Libraries Australia to maintain the quality and integrity of the ANBD?

Member libraries can do a number of things to help us to improve the quality of the ANBD:

  • Check carefully for copy before creating new records – refer to guidelines for identifying and reporting duplicate records
  • Create good quality records in local catalogues and for sending to Libraries Australia – refer to the guideline on cataloguing standards
  • Retain ANBD numbers in the local catalogue in records obtained from Libraries Australia and include them when records are re-supplied to Libraries Australia. The AN number is exported through the Record Export Service, Products and z39.50.
  • Include Local System Numbers (LSNs) in records sent to Libraries Australia
  • Ensure that the integrity and uniqueness of the ANBD and Local System Numbers is maintained in local catalogues, and in files sent to Libraries Australia.


  • Please quality check your records when you receive them from a vendor/third party to ensure they consistently meet network standards and are free of erroneous data.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns about this, or any other Libraries Australia issue.



Laurel Paton | Manager, National Bibliographic Database| Libraries Australia | Resource Sharing Division | National Library of Australia | Canberra ACT 2600 Ph +61 (2) 6262 1326 |


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