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Technical Services

Technical Services

What is Cataloging?

Cataloging is the process by which we create and maintain the database of books, journals, audiovisual materials, etc., that are owned by the University of West Florida. Materials include online resources for which UWF Libraries have purchased access. You can search this database using the SEARCH box on the Libraries’ home page.

Every title in our Libraries--whether physically located here or accessible on the Web through library purchase--is described in a separate record which contains the information that you see as a user plus extensive computer coding. This coding is called the MARC record--Machine Readable Cataloging. Coding each element in the record allows the user to fine tune a search down to the smallest element such as date, format, language, location (in a particular UWF library or on the Web). You can do more specialized searching by clicking on the “Catalog” tab at the top of the screen of the Libraries’ home page; then select “Advanced Search.”

The Libraries receive too many new materials for us to key in the data for every title. For this reason we utilize the services of a bibliographic utility to share cataloging records with other libraries. Our utility is OCLC which has a membership of more than 17,983 libraries in 123 countries and territories. The database contains more than 300 million records.*

When a matching record is found in OCLC, the record is checked for accuracy and then loaded into the catalog. When no record exists, the professional cataloging librarian creates one and enters it into our catalog and into OCLC for other libraries to use in the future.

*Statistics as of December, 2015

Adapted from source:


Strategic Direction for State University Libraries' (SUL) Catalogers


Respond to the needs of all State University Libraries’ constituents with collaborative and innovative practices.


Facilitate speedier and ever wider access to the resources available to our user communities and keep the official record of the holdings of the State University Libraries.


  • Provide accurate metadata to ensure user success.
  • Assure uniformity of names and subjects to benefit the end user’s discovery experience in next-generation library catalogs.
  • Perform subject analysis to facilitate effective searching.
  • Classify related material together to allow for subject browsing as well as to support collection analysis and development.
  • Offer convenient full-text access when available.
  • Expose hidden collections to make transparent the extent of our resources.
  • Create and maintain the inventory of the SUL’s collections.
  • Continually review workflows and apply state-of-the-art technology to maximize efficiency.
  • Adhere to internationally accepted metadata standards to make possible data-sharing and data-migration.
  • Participate in resource sharing cataloging cooperatives to increase productivity and cost-savings. 


Glossary of Technical Services Terms