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From the GMR: Changes in NLM Cuttering Practices

Please see the following message from the NLM:

December 21, 2009

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) wishes to announce that it will cease providing cutter numbers in LocatorPlus for most of the classification numbers assigned to print monographs that the Library catalogs. Cutter assignment will cease on June 21, 2010, with the exception of material being shelved in the NLM Reference collection or titles cataloged for the NLM History of Medicine Division.

As the library looks to increase efficiencies in its cataloging practices, the time spent cuttering stood out as an inefficient activity. For the past 15 years, NLM has been shelving print monographs by accession number, rather than by call numbers, but has continued to provide fully shelflisted call numbers for the convenience of other libraries using NLM records. NLM is still committed to providing a classification number that reflects the subject of a book, in recognition that this information can be used widely by others. Cutter numbers, on the other hand, are unique to a particular collection. Libraries that use cutters to arrange their material on the shelf will not have identical collections to NLM, so cutters provided by NLM often need adjustments to arrange material properly on any particular library's shelves.

Because NLM recognizes this may have an impact on the workflow in some libraries, we hope that the six month notice of this change will provide ample time for these libraries to make needed adjustments.

Diane Boehr
Head of Cataloging
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike, Room 1N11
Bethesda, MD 20894
301-435-7059
boehrd@mail.nlm.nih.gov

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