800-222-9711

MARC Records

  • Improving Foreign Language Service – Part II

    A word cloud of

    During our latest New Features Webinar, we had a question about getting the complete list of all languages recognized by PIMMS. Here are some things to know about that list:

    • The list that PIMMS adopted is based on the ISO 639-2 Bibliographic list, a standard list maintained by the Library of Congress. There are 487 languages on this list.
    • This list is designed to represent all the languages that you might expect to find a book written in, but it is not necessarily a list of all spoken languages.
    • The code values in the ISO-639-2 list are used in MARC records to indicate the language(s) of a title.
    • The code values that PIMMS accepts are numeric codes, instead of the alpha values that represent the standard they are attempting to match.

    There are also some things to consider regarding language codes in KLAS:

    • The list of Patron Language codes (PatLang) are mapped to the numeric PIMMS codes.
    • The list of Language Codes for title records (LangCode) are mapped to coincide with incoming MARC data.
    • The local codes for Patron Languages and Language Codes for title records need to match for Nightly and Book Search exclusion checks.
    • The list of values in a drop down are sorted by Code Value instead of description.
    • The more values you have in a list of codes, the more difficult it gets for your staff to use.
    • Changes to a Code list are not applied retroactively; clean up needs to be made on all affected records.

    In short: there are a ton of language possibilities out there. However, when you balance out the needs of your patrons, your collection, and your staff, the only languages you really want to have in KLAS are the ones you need right now.

    You can certainly add more languages than you have now without causing headaches—and we’re happy to help you do it! Languages that your patrons speak, that appear in the collection, and/or that you want to track interest in should definitely be added to your code lists.

    Just know that too many languages can make things complicated, and too many changes later on can be a pain.

    If you want the long version, read on for more details.

    Difficulties of a Long List

    Having “too many” options in a drop-down field introduces some really interesting ways to mess up data entry. For example, while the full list of PIMMS languages was briefly available, one patron was given “Middle English” as their default Language! The more options there are, the easier it is to accidentally select the wrong one, either by misreading or mis-clicking.

    In addition to the unwieldiness of such long list and the ease of selecting an unintended entry, these lists sort by code not full description. This means you should take care with how you setup the codes, or the list will not be in a straightforward, alphabetical order.  Once you get more than 30 or so entries in a combo-box, having a logical sort order becomes very important! For example, browse through the list of states on the Contact tab. The state codes are well-known—but they don’t sort the same as the names of the states. If you weren’t already familiar with them, could you easily use this field? What if the states weren’t in order at all?

    Getting back to the list of languages that you are managing in your database – another thing to keep in mind is the way a language might be referred to by a patron vs its official name or designation. Many libraries have had Cambodian in their Patron language list for years as C or CAM but the Marc value is khm for Khmer. Serbo-Croatian was previously used for what are now distinguished as four different languages whose official codes are based on the spelling of the language in that language – hence HRV for Croatian. The MARC code is PER for Persian but the language is frequently referred to as Farsi.  

    Will those codes help your staff browse to the right part of the list? It’s important to understand how patrons might ask for materials in these languages, and choose local codes and descriptions such that your staff can match what a patron is saying to the proper selection.

    Fortunately, the Code Files allow you to use a local code for the Patron and Catalog modules while still mapping to PIMMS and to the codes used on MARC records. Think about the local codes you may want to use, and how can use them to enforce a reasonable sort order.

    Remember: selecting logical, well-sorted codes, and then selecting the right one from the list every time will be easier the shorter you keep the list.

    Changes to Code Files are not retroactive

    Code Files can be tricky to deal with, especially in cases where you are dealing with large numbers of records, mapping between modules, and mapping with both PIMMS and MARC records. If you’re up to it, you can add to your PatLang codes, but we recommend you leave the LangCode file to us—and don’t go hog wild changing the codes.

    Here’s why:

    Code Files aren’t like Headings. Headings are linked on each record; when you update a Heading, the changes appear on each record. Codes get stored on each record instead, and the Code File simply defines what that code means. If you change a Description, that’s fine! But if you change a Code, all the records with the old code still have the old code. Records with the old code won’t be able to find it in the Code File to define it, triggering error messages and generally breaking things.

    Plus, for this Code File, mapping must be maintained between the Patron and Catalog modules. Doing so means Nightly can match the patrons’ preferred Language to the Language on title records.

    So, if you want to change one of your language codes:

    1. Add the new Code to the PatLang Code File, setting the CMLS Lang Code to match the code you want to update.
    2. Find all of the patrons with the original Code on their record, updating each of them to use the new Code instead.
    3. Only delete the original Code from the PatLang Code File once it’s no longer associated with any
    4. Repeat the process in the LangCode file, with the catalog records, making sure to maintain the CodeXref (MARC record mapping).

    Or... better yet, have us do it.

    Any time you need a language added to the list, or if you want to adjust the local codes in use for sorting the list, please send the details to Customer Support at , and we’ll take it from there.

    Policy Changes are also not retroactive – About Bilingual Titles

    While you’re thinking about all this, here’s one last thing to keep in mind:

    In the past NLS issued MARC records for bilanguage titles with a combined code, such as E/S or S/E for books with both Spanish and English parts. That policy changed! According to NLS, these books are now given a language code reflecting the “primary” language of the title, even if one or more additional languages are included. For example, “Drivetime German” which is marked as E/G in a number of databases, is primarily in English (with some German) according to NLS. Meanwhile, “eTicket Ingles” is a Spanish title (which also has English).

    New MARC records arrive cataloged this way. It’s up to you whether you want to update their records to reflect the bilingual nature of the titles, or want to update your back catalog to use the approach of cataloging the primary language.

    For more information about this, or advice on how to apply changes in the direction of your choice please let us know!

  • MARC Record Corrections - 2021

    The following MARC records have had diacritic marks or other issues corrected. Please upload these files in place of the NLS version.

    For more information on uploading MARC Records, see Are Your Records Up-To-Date? on the forums.

    Note: You must be logged in to view and download these files.

    Latest Updates

    The October files were uploaded on 10/7/2021.

    Please log in to download content. Thank you!

KLAS Users - Keystone Systems, Inc. logo

Keystone Systems, Inc.
8016 Glenwood Ave., Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27612
800-222-9711