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Cataloging policy at the University of Alabama Libraries allows the acceptance of LC classification call numbers from OCLC cataloging copy into the local database without shelflisting. In this study, we measured error rates for locally unshelflisted samples and a control group of locally assigned and shelflisted call numbers to determine whether this policy produces disarrangement of the local online shelflist. The results show no significant differences between samples, indicating that cataloger’s task of local shelflisting is not a cost-effective use of their time. An analysis of the error data suggests that the types of disorder created by shelflisting errors would not impede the retrieval of items while subject browsing, but further study is needed to confirm this.


Originally published in Library Resources & Technical Services 41:1 (January 1997) p.29-38.