Monthly Archives: May 2013

There’s a subject heading for that!?: three-dimensional printing

One pizza, coming right up! Made for you, by you, while you’re in space. 3D printers and printing have gained considerable attention, and rightly so, over the past year. Everything from DYI household appliance fixes to guns and how to regulate and control them, to the latest news in the past month: NASA funding 3D food printing, and pizza is up first. Really, if you were an astronaut, wouldn’t you miss pizza, too?

Users will flood the reference desk wanting information on how to make pizza from 3D printers…if they aren’t already! Good news, the subject heading “three-dimensional printing” is authorized and in use. It is a narrower term for “rapid prototyping”:

LC Authorities screenshot


At first this surprised me, being the consumer-minded American that I am. Of course people and companies create prototypes before building the actual, final item that’s for sale. It’s just something that I hadn’t thought too much about before. However, it made perfect sense that 3D printing is a narrower term since the printer rapid makes something that isn’t the actual item.

Parsing out rapid prototyping from 3D printing isn’t too hard, especially with the help of the robust scope notes in their LC authorities records:

LC authorities screen shot

The authority record for 3D printing is just as long:

LC authorities screen shot


Basically, 3D printing focuses on the act of additive creation of an object from a printer, whereas rapid prototyping encompasses the concept and reasons for it, with business and design concerns in mind.

As the DIY, maker movement continues to grow, so will 3D printing. The machines themselves aren’t too expensive, considering, and will only become cheap in years to come. While every home, let alone person, probably won’t have one of their own, there will certainly be publicly available ones or people you can pay to produce you an item from their printer. Libraries are already starting to offer these capabilities, on a small scale–see the end of the post for more information, including my academic librarian friend who has a printer at her university!

LC has more resources on rapid prototyping as of today:

LC catalog screen shot


However, 3D printing books will likely outnumber them soon:

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 3.51.23 PM


The books themselves under 3D printing struck me since there was such a variety. Yes, among the five books there was a variety, not vast mind you. I expected to see all five about MakerBot  since that’s the brand that comes to mind for me. Still, the works cover slightly different aspects of 3D printing:

LC catalog screen shot


I love DIY (just check out my Pinterest boards) and making things from scratch, especially food, but I haven’t dabbled in 3D printing yet. I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to convince my techie librarian husband that we need a printer to play around with. Truly, it’s all about learning the tech so that we can help the users when all the libraries have one. Right?

After writing this post, I want pizza! Good thing Marco’s Pizza is just down the road…



Want to know even more about 3D printing? This is such a hot, and growing, topic that is being talked about all of the time.

My librarian friend Emily Thompson at SUNY Oswego helps students print research needs, such as a 3D snake skull.

While I haven’t watched this TED talk yet, Lisa Harouni discusses 3D printing.

Mashable will keep you up-to-the-minute with recent news stories in their 3D printing section.

One episode of The New Disruptors podcast discusses the maker movement and 3D printing. I love this podcast, and just recently discovered it!

Search the web and you will come up with tons of information. Check out YouTube for awesome videos, too!


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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Uncategorized


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LC Error Report Form: Find an Error, Fix it up! All Day Long You’ll Have Great Luck!

A typical day for me consists solely of cataloging ebooks and occasionally a streaming video, or five in a row. Having been a cataloger for almost three years, two of those professionally, I’ve built up my editor’s eye. Wrong MARC fields and coding, misspellings, subject headings that don’t quite fit the item’s topic pop out at me when I look at a MARC record. Part of me prefers completely original cataloging but with too many good records to derive from, one simply cannot ignore the vast cooperative cataloging out there. However, that means taking good with the bad. And there are some very bad records, but many are just slightly bad. This is where errors can sneak into catalogs if the cataloger isn’t paying attention. Hence the “cataloger’s eye” that is crucial to hone and use when deriving any records.

Besides just fixing up my new record, making it accurate and complete, though those are loaded words that get defined by whoever is using them, I report errors to LC via their Error Report Form that serves for catalog and authorities error reporting.


It’s so simple to use! Type in the LCCN (LC control number), title, select if the error is in the catalog or authorities and if it is just this record or more, write the issue, and give your name and email. While the “thank you” page after your submit has a stock message of how it takes at least five days, I’ve found that most times they will correct errors within the day, if not a couple of hours. This depends what type of error you report as well as what they have going on. There are certain things, that I’ve found out, that they won’t correct.

First, though, lets cover what LC will correct. My favorite submissions are misspellings. Easy to find, especially if you mistype something, and very easy to fix. I love receiving these emails:


Awesome! “Coporation” became “corporation” once more. I used to do these corrections as a undergrad student in tech services at Lawrence University. For me, misspellings in the authorized versions are highest priority when I find one and I always report them. Usually the misspelled name or subject heading wasn’t controlled in OCLC and was the only one in the bunch so they jump out that way. Slightly less obvious are misspellings in titles or subtitles which are crucial to if someone will find it or not. Though sometimes they aren’t truly errors and I don’t know off hand. This record has piano misspelt but is that due to a different spelling in another language?:


Probably not so it might be worth reporting. Another type that rarely occurs but drives me nuts is the wrong MARC coding for the 245 in which the title gets clipped because it has been told to skip an article of the wrong length. The one I found last year had no article at all but had been cutting off the first four characters of the first word. LC fixes these immediately as well. So please report any and all errors of these two types to the via their easy form and you’ll hear back soon from Lucas or another on his team.

Not all errors are fixed by LC since they don’t see them as errors due to policy. Bear with me, even though that sounds odd. When the LC classification changes, they don’t redo all of the items to update their classification and call numbers to the new one. Originally I thought this sounded awful. First off, all new works still gets classed by them in the defunct area and show up in OCLC and get perpetuated even though catalogers aren’t supposed to use it anymore. That means we must check and place the items correctly in our local catalogs. But what’s the alternative for them? Re-cataloging and move thousands or hundreds of thousands of book? No. That’s too much. So then the LC classification just needs to be checked and adjusted on the local levels, which is annoying but not that much work and sometimes it’s don’t anyway to cutter it correctly locally. Bottom line, don’t worry about LC classification in their catalog and don’t report it. I’ve received that reply from them as well.

Next time you see an error, please report it to LC and make the LC online catalog a better place for us all!

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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


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