Selection Policy for Including Websites in our Library Catalog
Online electronic resources that will be represented in MIDCAT may be selected by librarians in public services, technical services, or special collections, in accordance with the same principles and policies applicable to the selection of resources in physical media. These include:
- Resources should be relevant to the information needs of the Library’s patrons
- Resources should complement or enhance information already available in the Library’s collection (including its electronic resources)
- Resources should be of scholarly value, credible and accurate; the author(s) of the resource should be an authority on the subject
- Resources should be user-friendly
- Preferably, the resources should have received favorable reviews
Granularity: In general, catalog records for electronic resources will be provided at the same level of granularity as is usual in the catalog for physical resources. Just as we do not in most cases provide catalog records for individual articles in journals or for individual chapters or sections of books, the Department in most cases will not create records, or load vendor records, at the “article” or “chapter” level for databases, electronic journals, or electronic books.
In general, online electronic resources which the Library has acquired through its regular acquisitions process (i.e., for which the Library has paid) will be cataloged. These include:
- Electronic journals
- Electronic books
- Electronic indexes
“Free” online electronic resources, e.g., websites, must conform to further criteria, as follows:
- The resource must be judged to be permanent (not likely to disappear in the near future)
- The resource must be freely accessible to the Middlebury community via its URL
- The site’s server should be stable, without frequent downtimes
- The site’s address should be stable. Selectors should consider that every time a URL changes for a site that has been cataloged, the catalog record must be corrected and updated. This can entail a fair amount of maintenance, taking catalogers away from other, possibly more useful, activities.
- Normally the site should not be just a list of links to other Web sites
- In general, we would not catalog: newsgroups, mailing lists, bulletin boards, etc.
Resources produced by and housed at Library or Middlebury are more likely to meet these criteria because we have more control over them. These resources may include:
- Local Web sites
- Local digital collections or single items