Michigan State University

Spaces and Brackets

SPACES in bib and item call number fields

A catalog record that requires volume information in the call number field should not have a space between the caption and the number itself. A space makes the label printer put the number on a different line then the caption. This applies to bib and item records.

Please be sure the call number volume information in a catlog bib or item record reads:

[CALL NUMBER] v.3 or Bd.3 or t.3 (without a space between caption and number)

EXAMPLE:

HD1456|b.T655 2003 v.3

This will result in a properly formatted spine label:

HD
1456
.T655
2003
v.3

If a space is inserted between the caption and volume number, the spine label will be formatted like this:

HD
1456
.T655
2003
v.
3

The call numbers that are set to print from checkin records are not affected by this guideline. Different label printers are used and the call numbers print appropriately.

EXCEPTION: If a caption does NOT end with a period ( . ), insert a space between the caption and the item number:

HD
1456
.T655
2003
Heft 42

BRACKETS in call numbers

Caption or volume information is sometimes supplied by the cataloger when the information does not appear in the piece. Past practice has required that this cataloger-supplied information be bracketed.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, do not use brackets -- [ ] -- in call numbers or item record volume fields. Do not use brackets when a call number is written in a piece.

This decision applies to both monographs and serials.

There are instances when holdings information in checkin records require brackets, and information supplied by catalogers in some fields of bibliographic records will still need to be bracketed. Call numbers and volume fields of item records are locally defined fields, so MSU may choose not to use the brackets without violating cataloging rules.

If you have questions about any of this information, please contact your team manager.