A Cataloging Visit to The Institute Library
The New York Society Library’s Cataloging Department recently took a field trip to another membership library, the Institute Library in New Haven, Connecticut. As fellow membership libraries, we share a connection in our origins and history. The Institute Library is Connecticut’s oldest circulating library, formed in 1826. It was originally called the Young Men’s Institute Library.
As an institution without a designated cataloging staff, the Institute Library depends on their volunteers to enter their library holdings into their online catalog. Occasionally, they will hold a cataloging event to call on volunteers to spend a day on their online catalog, entering the bibliographic information of books that they currently have on their shelves. The Society Library’s Cataloging Department joined them at one such event to help improve their catalog, a duty we take seriously. Not only did we help make a dent in their ongoing project, we were also able to see how their library works, which is with the help of many dedicated volunteers.
Their catalog is available via LibraryThing. Just remember that their collection is in the process of being cataloged, so not everything on the shelf is reflected in the catalog. The classification system used at the Institute Library is unique to them, invented by William A. Borden, who was once a librarian at the Institute Library.
Pay the Institute Library a visit next time you’re in New Haven, Connecticut, for one of their many programs or to check out their building and unique collection. And if you’re interested, keep an eye on their events, and maybe you can help update their catalog too!
Here at the New York Society Library, the Cataloging Department is responsible for keeping our catalog up to date and useful. Stay tuned for a future blog post on what exactly the Cataloging Department does.