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Information on managing items in the catalog, adding and deleting items, basic MARC cataloging and other information

1. General information

1.1. SPARK Cataloging Listserv

Welcome to SPARK!  All catalogers are encouraged to join the official SPARK Cataloging Listserv at https://mail.hslc.org/mailman/listinfo/spark-cat

Also check out the Catalog Forums in the Forum section.

1.2. The SPARK Cataloging Committee

The SPARK Cataloging Committee works to maintain the quality of our bibliographic database, ensuring that it provides an accurate, easy-to-use interface for our patrons and staff.  Our members come from the cataloging staff of SPARK libraries and systems.  We work together to develop our shared cataloging procedures and standards, and we provide cataloging training and assistance to all of SPARK.  We believe that by serving the SPARK community as a whole, we help to provide the best possible catalog for our own individual libraries. 

Membership in the Cataloging Committee is open to cataloging staff from any SPARK library.  If you are interested in joining, or if you have any questions about the committee, please contact jonathan@wyopublib.org

Options for sharing and communication about records and problems include direct contact via phone or email with fellow SPARK Libraries, or use community options:


1.3. Official Cataloging Policies and Procedures

SPARK Cataloging Rules

Revised 7/30/2018

  1. SPARK follows OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards (https://www.oclc.org/bibformats/en.html) and the Resource Description and Access (RDA) Cataloging Standard. (https://www.oclc.org/en/rda/about.html)

  1. As per chapter 3 of RDA, General Materials Designations (GMDs) may not be used in the 245 MARC field.

    • Information about content, carrier or media should be noted in the appropriate 3XX field.
    • Exceptions will be made for older records that are left over from AACR2, but any new records are expected to adhere to RDA rules.

  1. As per OCLC rules, Series title or information may not appear in the 245 MARC field, unless the series title appears in the title page: https://www.oclc.org/bibformats/en/2xx/245.html.  Series should be recorded in the appropriate 490/8CC fields. 

  1. Local information may not be entered into the 590 and other Local Notes tags.  Bibliographic Records are shared in SPARK; local information must stay with the item record, not on the Bibliographic Record.)

  1. Monograph Parts may not be used to manage multi-disc Blu-ray, DVD or CD sets.  SPARK libraries that currently do not use Monograph Parts, but wish to start doing so, must seek approval from the Cataloging Committee.

  1. Copies and volumes must not be created for eResources. Instead, local scoping is controlled by having the library’s org unit code in 856 delimiter 9.

  1. Empty bibliographic records may be deleted, but only if the creation date is 3 months ago or older.

  1. Item barcodes should never be reused.

  1. The master, consortium-wide precat bib record (TCN -1), should never, NEVER be edited.

October 2019: Additional revisions after fixed field/authority cleanup projects
  1. 6XX_7 $2(FAST) subject headings should be removed from bibliographic records before importing

  1. $0(True) authorized headings should not be changed or removed.

1.4. SPARK Cataloging and ILL Community Contacts

SPARK Cataloging and ILL Community Contacts:


2. Welcome packet for new SPARK catalogers

2.1. Guides to print out

PDF guides to print out, compiled from elsewhere in the Cataloging knowledge book.

2.2. Online cataloging resources


Web Tools

ABLE Cataloging Training Courses

3. Adding and Deleting Bibliographic and Item Records

3.1. Is it already in the SPARK catalog? Look there first!

When a new item is received at your library and is ready to be cataloged, search to see if it is owned by another library in the entire SPARK catalog.

If a bibliographic record for the item already exists, do NOT create a new MARC record, instead simply add your item to the existing bibliographic record:

1.  Go to Cataloging > Search the Catalog in the web client.


2.  Click the Numeric Search tab, and select ISBN as the search field.


3.  From the Search Library filter, select SPARK Libraries. This will ensure that you are searching all libraries in the system.


4. Scan or type in the ISBN, then click Search.  (If the item has no ISBN, go back to Advanced Search and search by UPC.)

  • If possible matches are found, proceed to Step 5
  • If no matches are found, try a Title Search under Advanced Search.  If still no matches are found, proceed to instructions for importing records.  (Note: It can be especially important for DVDs to search by title, as often multiple editions have different UPCs.)

5. Examine the search results to find an existing record in the catalog that most closely resembles the item in hand.  Click the MARC View tab to examine the record and find 3-5 match points.

  • 020 ISBN.
  • 100 Author / Main entry statement
  • 245 Title and sub-title.
  • 250 Edition statement (Verify FORMAT.; Abridged or unabridged for audiobooks, full screen or widescreen for videorecordings, large print ed. for large print books).
  • 264 Place of publication, publisher, and publication date.
  • 300 Pagination, dimensions etc.
  • Note: If you find a record with Errors in it, if you feel confident in your MARC Bibliographic record knowledge, feel free to edit the record--if not, report it to the Cataloging Committee or share it with the Cataloging listserv or maybe create a bucket of records you want someone else to review.

6. After you have verified that the record matches your item, go to Step #7.  If it does not match and and you cannot find another qualified record in SPARK, go to the instructions for importing records from other sources.

7. Click the Add Holdings button, and follow local instructions for adding volumes and copies.



3.2. Adding item records to the SPARK Catalog

This four-step guide was created by Katie Greenleaf Martin of Blair County. 

Step 1:  Locate an existing bibliographic record in SPARK

  • Search by ISBN: Search Catalog : Numeric Search : Scan ISBN (Search Library: SPARK Library System)

Step 2:  Add Copies

  • From the record, click ‘Add Holdings’ (make sure your pop-up blocker is turned off since this opens in a new tab!)

Step 3:  Volume & Copy Creator

  • First, fill in your Call # and barcode:


  • Then, use the Copy Editor to select your SHELVING LOCATION, CIRCULATION MODIFIER, AGE BASED HOLD PROTECTION, PRICE AND ACQUISITION TYPE. You can also add your Item Tags at this time. Some libraries may be using other Statistics and Circulation options, but unless you specifically need these don’t worry about them.  The default status will be ‘in process’; you will need to check the book in to make it available.

Step 4: Create & check in

  • To create your item, click Save & Exit at the bottom of the page. This will close the tab and take you back to the record page – you will need to refresh the page for it to display your new copy.

  • Check the item in to make it available to your patrons! This will also capture any holds that may exist on the item.

A few notes:

  1. When you change items in the Copy Creator, make sure you click apply before moving on to the next item or it will reset!
  2. For DVDs, select Deposit=No (if you select Deposit=yes the system thinks that the patron is supposed to get their money back when they return it)and Deposit Amount=the amount of the fee:

  3. If you need to add Item Tags (memorial or other local information), go back into the Copy Creator (using Edit Item or Edit Item Attributes depending on where you are coming from) and click on Copy Tags.  You can then add your information and then hit “Save & Exit” to save.  (Copy Tags are searchable in the OPAC, Copy Notes are not. Copy Alerts are for staff only.)

3.3. Not in SPARK? Importing Bib Records using z39.50

1.  Go to Cataloging > Import Record from Z39.50.

2.  Under Service and Credentials, select Local Catalog and at least one other service. NOTE: See the SPARK web site for a list of favorite databases selected by other SPARK catalogers. Make sure to choose Native Evergreen Catalog to include SPARK in the search.

3.  Under Query, search by ISBN first. If no matches are found, search by Author and Title. (If you are searching for a DVD, search by Author / Title.

4.  Click Search. The search results will appear on the bottom of the screen.

5.  Examine the results from the bottom of the screen.  Things to look for:

  • Fixed Fields:
    • If the item is a Children's Book, make sure that Audn in the Fixed fields is set to j.
    • If the item is a Large Print, make sure that Form in the fixed fields is set to d, and that 250 specifies the Large Print edition.
  • Marc Tags:
    • 020:  Verify ISBN.
    • 100:  Author main entry
    • 245:  Title and sub-title.
    • 250:  Edition statement (e.g.; Abridged or unabridged for audiobooks, full screen or widescreen for videorecordings, large print ed. for large print books).
    • 264/260:  Place of publication, publisher, and publication date.
    • 300:  Pagination, dimensions etc.
    • 500:  Notes, indices, etc. 
    • 600:  Subject Headinggs
    • 700:  Additional authors/editors/illustrators are present and verify the name authority using LC Authorities
    • 856:  Delete the 856 unless it points to good information that can be accessed by all SPARK libraries.

6.  When you are ready to import a record:

  • Click Edit then Import,
  • Make any changes to the record, staying within accepted Cataloging practices
  • Finally, click Import.  A popup box will verify that the record has been imported; click Go to record.

7.  The new MARC record will be displayed in the catalog.  Click the Add Holdings button, and follow local instructions to add copies/items.


3.4. Not in SPARK? Importing Bib Records without using z39.50

  1. Log into your favorite cataloging source and search for the title. When you find a match-
  1. Things to look for...

Fixed Fields:

If the item is a Children's Book, make sure that Audn in the Fixed fields is set to j.

If the item is a Large Print, make sure that Form in the fixed fields is set to d and that 250 specified the Large Print edition.

Marc Tags:

  • 020 Verify ISBN.
  • 245 Verify title and sub-title.
  • 250 Verify the edition statement (e.g.; Abridged or unabridged for audiobooks, full
  • screen or widescreen for videorecordings, large print ed. for large print books).
  • 260 Verify the place of publication, publisher, and publication date.
  • 300 Check pagination, dimensions etc.
  • 500 Verify if there is an index present
  • 504 Verify if there are any bibliographical references and /or index. *
  • 505 If a content note is present, verify that it is correct
  • 700 Verify if additional authors/editors/illustrators are present and verify the name authority using LC Authorities
  • 710 Verify corporate names, etc. and verify the name authorities.
  • 856 Delete the 856 unless it points to good information that can be accessed by all SPARK libraries
  1. Export the record.
  1. Import into Evergreen using March Batch Import / Export.
  1. You will now see the record in the catalog. Go to Actions for this Record / Holdings Maintenance and follow local instructions for adding volumes and copies.



3.5. Batch Upload: "MARC Batch Import/Export"

0.  Before importing (or creating) any new bibliographic record, always check the SPARK Catalog first to see if a record already exists for what you are cataloging.  Once you have confirmed that no such record exists, proceed.

1.  Find the record you want to import in AccessPA.  From the “Details” screen, click “Download Record”, and save the “.mrc” record to your computer.

2.  In the Evergreen Web Client, go to the “Cataloging” menu, and select “MARC Batch Import/Export”.

3.  Under “MARC File Upload”, make the following changes:

    1. At the dropdown next to “Record Type”, select “Bibliographic Records
    2. At the dropdown next to “Select a Record Source”, select “System Local
    3. In the field next to “Select or Create a Queue”, enter a name for a new queue to load your record into (or select a name you have previously used)
    4. At the dropdown next to “Record Match Set”, select “ISBN
    5. Check the box next to “Import Non-Matching Records
    6. At the dropdown next to “Merge Profile”, select “OCLC Connexion
    7. Click the “Choose File” button, then go to the location on your computer where you saved the “.mrc” file.   Select the “.mrc” file, and click “Open
    8. Finally, click the “Upload” button

4.  Progress bars will appear for “Upload Progress”, “Enqueue Progress”, and “Import Progress”.  Once all progress bars are at 100%, click “Go to Queue

5.  Click the “Inspect Queue” button, and select the queue that you specified in the previous step (by double-clicking on the name).  Select the check box next to your record, then click “Import Selected Records

6.  Once the record has been imported, click the “Inspect Queue” button again, and select your queue again.  The TCN for the new record will be listed under the “Imported As” column.

7.  The newly-imported MARC record can now be found by searching the entire SPARK catalog in the Evergreen Web Client.

3.6. Batch Upload: Using MarcEdit to split large record batches

When using MARC Batch Import/Export to upload very large record batches, the maximum recommended upload size is 500 records per batch.  Anything larger may cause the system to time out while processing the batch during the upload.

If the batch of records you need to upload is larger than 500 records, you can split the batch into smaller sizes by using a program called “MarcEdit”.  To download MarcEdit, go to: https://marcedit.reeset.net/downloads

Note:  MarcEdit is available for both Windows and Mac computers.  Screenshots in the guide below are taken from Windows, but the basic layout and organization is the same for both versions.


1.  Open MarcEdit.  From the menu at the top, select “Tools”, then “MARC Processing Tools”, then “MARCSplit”.
          A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

2.  At the “MARCSplit Utility” window, make the following changes:

A.   Click the folder icon next to “Source File”.  Browse to where your batch of records is stored, and open it.

B.   Click the folder icon next to “Destination Folder”, and choose a location to save the smaller batches.  To help with keeping things organized, you may wish to create a new folder with a unique name for every batch that is split.

C.   Click in the space under “Records Per File”, and type the number “500”.

D.   Finally, click the “Process” button. 

3.   A message will display, confirming that the smaller batches have been successfully created. 

You may now upload the smaller record batches using “MARC Batch Import/Export”.

3.7. Can't find it anywhere? Original Cataloging Help

New bibliographic records should only be created if a matching bibliographic record for your material cannot be found in the SPARK catalog, or from another source via Z39.50.

If you need help with original cataloging, we encourage you to reach out for assistance from your local library, system, or district center.  You can also ask for help on the SPARK Cataloging Listserv – we are eager to help!

To create original MARC bibliographic records:

  1. Click the “Cataloging” button at the top of the screen, and select “Create New MARC Record”.

  2. Click the drop-down box, and select the appropriate format template.  Then click “Load”.


  3. Before anything else, enter fixed-field details in the 008 field (and 007 field, if relevant to the format)!  This is a very important step – if the information in fixed fields is missing or incorrect, the format for your record may display incorrectly in the Evergreen OPAC.
    1. If the checkbox next to “Flat Text Editor” is checked, un-check it.


    2. Enter 008 details in the fields at the top of the screen. If you right-click in a text-entry area, you can select from a list of all possible values.

    3. If your format uses a 007 field, fill that out next.  For help, click the blue icon next to the 007 field to bring up a “Physical Characteristics Wizard”.

  4. Once fixed fields are accounted for, complete the rest of the MARC record.  You may find it easier to do this by re-checking the box next to “Flat Text Editor”.  When you have completed all of the relevant fields, click the “Save” button.

  5. The new bibliographic record is now officially in the SPARK Catalog.  Click the “Add Holdings” button to create a call number and item record for your material (see instructions elsewhere in the Cataloging Support Book).

3.8. Deleting item records

To delete individual item records: 

1.  Go to “Item Status” and enter the barcode(s) of the item(s) to be deleted.

2.  Make sure that the check box next to every row is selected.  Then go to the “Actions” dropdown, and select “Delete Items”.

3.  A message will appear, warning that items are about to be deleted.  Click “OK/Continue”.

4.  The item(s) are now deleted from the catalog (as confirmed by “Item Not Found” notification).


To delete groups of item records:

5.  Create a new item bucket specifically to hold item records that are to be deleted:

a.  From the “Cataloging” menu, select “Item Buckets”.

b.  From the “Buckets” dropdown, select “New Bucket”.

c.  Enter a name for the new bucket (such as “Items to delete”), then click “Create Bucket”.

6.  Once all items to delete have been added, open the item bucket.  Make sure that the checkbox next to every row is selected.  Then go to the “Actions” dropdown, and select “Delete Selected Items from Catalog”.

7.  A message will appear, warning that items in the bucket are about to be deleted.  Click “OK/Continue”.

8.  If any of the items being deleted are the last items attached to a bibliographic record, a warning message will appear.  Click “OK/Continue”.

9.  The items are now deleted from the catalog, but the item record listings will still display in the bucket.  To remove them, open the “Items to delete” bucket.  Make sure that the check box next to every row is selected.  Then go to the “Actions” dropdown, and select “Remove Selected Items from Bucket”.

3.9. Deleting bibliographic records

Before deleting a bibliographic record, check to see whether other libraries have item records attached.  If other libraries do have item records attached, do not delete the bibliographic record.

1.  If you delete all of the item records attached to a bibliographic record, the bibliographic record will be automatically deleted.  To do this:

  1. Go to “Item Status” and scan the item barcode.  Then, at the “Actions” dropdown menu, select “Delete Items”.

b.  A warning message will appear; click “OK/Continue”.

c.  The item record has been deleted…

d.  ...as has the bibliographic record.

3.  If a bibliographic record is empty (no item records attached), it may be deleted, as long as the bibliographic record is older than three months:

a.  First, double-check that the record is truly empty:  click the “Holdings View” tab, set “Show holdings at or below” to “SPARK”, and verify that nothing is listed.


b.  Then, go to the “MARC Edit” tab, and click the “Delete” button.

c.  A warning message will appear; click “OK/Continue”


d.  The bibliographic record is now deleted from the catalog.

4. Editing, Transferring, and Overlaying

4.1. MARC Tag Field Guide

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For a more printer-friendly version of this guide, see attached PDF.

MARC Tag Field Guide
Created by: SPARK Cataloging Committee  |  Last Updated: 3/30/2020

General notes:

  • The purpose of this guide is to understand the components and evaluate the quality of a MARC record.
  • For further instructions on proper MARC coding, punctuation, and spacing, consult LOC’s MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data:  https://www.loc.gov/marc/bibliographic/





Fixed fields.  Use Evergreen’s 007 “physical characteristics wizard” to select each value. See https://sparkpa.helpspot.com/admin.php?pg=kb.page&page=439


Fixed fields.  Un-check “Flat Text Editor” to edit values.



LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number)



ISBN.  Mandatory if available.  Add q subfield as needed for format (ie, hardcover, paperback, trade)

  • Hardcover or Trade Paper may be on the same MARC record. 
  • Mass Market Paperbacks should be given their own MARC record.
  • Remove ISBNs for non-matching formats such as e-books, audiobooks, or large print.



UPC.  Mandatory if available.



OCLC number Do not edit or delete!  MARC records with OCLC numbers are assumed to be of high quality and should be preferred.



Bibliographic Call Number.  Displays in “Record Summary” section of OPAC display.  Do not remove or substitute with your local call number.



Used (in other consortiums) for local call numbers.

  • Per SPARK policy, local call numbers should be indicated on the item-record level.
  • Do not list local call numbers in 09_ fields (or any other MARC fields).



Main entry, personal name.  Author when applicable.  Editors do not belong in 100-tag.



Main entry, corporate name.



Title information.

  • # for nonfiling indicators: “A” = 2, “An” = 3, “The” = 4
  • Series information should not be included in 245. Use 490/830 fields to indicate series.
  • Per RDA regulations, $h[GMD] should not be included in 245.



Varying form of title.  Optional.



Edition statement.



Publisher info (pre-RDA).



Publisher info.  Add if missing, even if 260 field is already present.

  • $a = place of publication ; $b = publisher name ; $c = date of publication



Physical description.



RDA fields.  Use the values in SPARK’s MARC templates.



Series statement.  Must add 830 to go with 490, otherwise series isn’t searchable in catalog.



General notes.  May be deleted if clearly of no value, such as “Title from container”.






Production credits.  Normally usually for audiovisual materials.



Participant or performer.  Normally usually for audiovisual materials.



Summary.  Unformatted information that describes the scope and general contents of the material.



Target audience.

  • #:   \ = Audience  ; 0 = Reading grade level  ; 1 = Interest age level ;  2 = Interest grade level



Study Program (ie, accelerated reader)



System details note.



Language note.


Subject headings.

  • At least one subject heading field should be included.
  • Use authorized LOC subject headings (see https://authorities.loc.gov/).
  • Remove OCLC Fast Add headings.



Subject heading:  Person.



Subject heading:  Topic.  Delete any fields with $2bisacsh



Subject heading:  Geographic.



Subject heading:  Genre/form.  For a list of authorized genre/form terms, consult: https://www.loc.gov/aba/publications/FreeLCGFT/freelcgft.html



Added entry, personal name.  For secondary authors, narrators, actors, etc.-



Added entry, corporate name.



Uniform title series.

  • # for nonfiling indicators: “A” = 2, “An” = 3, “The” = 4
  • Subfield a = series title ; Subfield n = number of part ;
    Subfield p = name of part ; Subfield v = volume of part 



Local holdings info.  Leave as is if found.


Local data.  Do not edit or remove.


The following tags should be deleted if found:











Any tag beginning with “04”.


Any tag beginning with “05”.


Any tag beginning with “92” or higher

4.2. 007 Physical Characteristics Wizard

Evergreen has a built-in guide to the 007 fixed field: a "physical characteristics wizard" that lists all options for each value.

To launch the wizard, open a MARC record with a 007 field, and uncheck the box next to "Flat Text Editor".  Then click the blue icon () next to the 007 field.

Use "Previous" and "Next" to move between the different 007 values (the currently selected value is the letter in red).  Use the dropdown box to select the appropriate option.  When everything is set, click "Save".

4.3. 008 guides: Books, Sound recordings, and Video recordings

008 quick reference guide:

008 quick reference guide:
Sound Recordings

008 quick reference guide:
Video Recordings

4.4. OPAC Icons in Evergreen

The attached guide explains which fixed fields in a MARC record control the "format" icon when the record is viewed in OPAC.

(updated 2/24/2020 to include Preloaded Audio icon)

4.5. Circulation modifiers

What is a Circulation Modifier?  A circulation modifier is an assigned value that allows your library to set circulation and hold rules. 

You can report on circulation or collections owned by these categories too.

See the table below for a listing of Circulation Modifiers that are currently available in SPARK.

History of Circulation Modifiers in SPARK:

  • User Group is consulted before additional circ mods are created.  If a new one is added it usually means a lot of policies need to be adjusted.
  • The most recent change to Circulation Modifiers was when High Demand DVD-r was added in November of 2018.   There is a current proposal that High Demand Audiobook should be added.
  • Very few in the community use "New Book".  The high demand modifiers gave a greater range of options, so this one is not set up for new locations.
  • Your location may want to run a report to see if there are any items that are "outliers" and use circulation modifiers that do not have an associated policy at your location.  Be clear with your location which circulation modifiers are to be used and how they are used in Circulation and Hold Policies.

What is a Circulation Modifier?  A circulation modifier is an assigned value that allows your library to set rules on media types.

(Note: Should the SIP2 Media Type field be updated/corrected?  It has been incorrect for many. 

Would other circulation modifiers be needed or make annual reports easier? (Example, should there be JUV/YA/Adult Circ Modifiers?)

CodeNameDescriptionSIP2 Media Type
AudiobookaudiobookCD, Cassette, Playaway
Bookbookbook, ebook, large print, paperback, etc.
BookClub KitBook Club KitBook Club Kit
DVDdvdDVD (including BluRay and HD-DVD)
DVD NonfictionDVD NonfictionDVD Nonfiction
EquipmentEquipmentdigital camera, projector, remote control, etc.
High Demand BooksHigh Demand BooksBooks that don't capture holds outside of owning library
High Demand DVD and BluraysHigh Demand DVD and BluraysVideos that don't capture holds outside of owning library.
High Demand DVD-RHigh Demand DVD-RDVD-Rs that don't capture holds outside of owning library
ILLILLMaterials received to fill ILL requests for library's patrons
New BookNew bookOne week circulation
RefNoncirculatingnon-circulating materials
SoftwareSoftwarevideogames, computer programs
e-deviceElectronic Devicedevice used to read or playback downloadable media
Gov DocGovernment Documentlocal, state and federal documents
KitKitkit, storybox, binge box, portfolio, collection
MediaMediaslides, microforms, music sound recordings (LPs, CDs, cassettes)
MusicMusicscores, sheet music
RealiaRealiaart, toys, puppets, games, puzzles
SerialSerialmagazine, newspaper, newsletter
UnknownUnknowncatchall for copies that do not comfortably fit elsewhere or that failed to associate during a batch process.
VideoVideoVHS tapes

4.6. Copy templates: Creating

Creating Copy Templates makes cataloging easier and faster. Here are instructions for creating templates-


1. Copy templates can be created by going to Administration>Local Administration>Volume/Copy Template Editor.
Note: Copy templates can also be created directly in the Copy Editor when working with an actual item. Within the volume/copy editor there is a tab called Copy Templates where you can take the same actions as described below.
2. The copy templates that you create will appear in the drop down menu. If you have not previously created a copy template, you will see an empty drop down menu.
3. To create a new template:
a. Assign a template name in the drop down menu.
b. Enter your preferred values in the fields of the Copy Editor. To edit a field, simply click on it, choose a value from the drop down menu, or enter your data.
The field will turn green to indicate that you made a change.
4. To save your template, click Save at the top of the screen.

4.7. Copy templates: Webby missing values workarounds

 Thanks to Sylvia Orner for summarizing this from EVGILS19

I know that Evergreen bug 1772062 (Copy Template Missing Values When Applied) has been in issue for many SPARK Libraries so I wanted to share a few suggestions that other Evergreen catalogers made at the Evergreen Conference's Cataloging Interest Group Session.These are not fixes, but a few people did say that they noticed fewer failed template applies when:


  • 1.     They remade all their XUL templates in Webby.  So, if you originally created your templates in the XUL client and are noticing that they are not consistently applying in Webby.  Try recreating the template in Webby's Volume/Copy Template Editor.
  • 2.       They did not include default values as part of their saved template elements.  So, for instance, when you go to add a copy, the default status is "In Process".  You don't need to include "In Process" as a saved element in your copy template.   For libraries that catalog for multiple locations, one cataloger I spoke with noted that this seemed especially true for her when she was saving the circulating library as part of the copy template.  Webby should now default your circulation library to your owning library (set at the volume level) so unless you need the two to be different, there should be no need to save the circulating library as part of your template. 

I'm curious: How does this https://bugs.launchpad.net/evergreen/+bug/1788680 effect SPARK?

4.8. Transferring call numbers and items

A.  Transferring a call number from one bibliographic record to another:

  1. Open two tabs in your browser.  In the first tab, open the bibliographic record that has the item you want to transfer.  In the second tab, open the bibliographic record to which you want to transfer your item (the “target” record).
  2. Go to the tab with the “target” bibliographic record.  Click the “Mark for:” dropdown box, and select “Holdings Transfer”.
  3. Go back to the first browser tab, and click the “Holdings View” tab.  Select the row with the item you want to transfer.  Then click the “Actions” dropdown box; under “Transfer”, select “Call Numbers to Previously Marked Destination”.

  4. The call number should now be transferred from one bibliographic record to the other.  To confirm the transfer, refresh both browser tabs.


B.  Transferring items between call numbers in the same bibliographic record:

  1. Open the bibliographic record with the item that needs to be transferred, and click the “Holdings View” tab.

    1. If the “target” call number is already listed, proceed to Step 2.
    2. If the “target” call number does not already exist, you will need to create it.  Click the “Actions” dropdown box, and under “Add”, select “Add Call Numbers”.

    3. In the empty space under “Call Number Label”, enter the name of the new call number you want to create.  Then click the “Save & Exit” button.

    4. Refresh the window, and the newly created call number will be listed.
  2. Select the row with the “target” call number.  Click the “Actions” dropdown box, and under “Mark”, select “Library/Call Number as Transfer Destination”.

  3. Select the row with the item you want to transfer.  Click the “Actions” dropdown box, and under “Transfer”, select “Items to Previously Marked Destination”.

  4. The item should now be attached to the new call number.  Refresh the screen to confirm the transfer.



C.  Transferring items between call numbers in different bibliographic records:

  1. Open two tabs in your browser.  In the first tab, open the bibliographic record that has the item you want to transfer.  In the second tab, open the bibliographic record that has the call number to which you want to transfer your item (the “target” call number).
  2. Go to the browser tab with the “target” call number.  Click the “Holdings View” tab, and select the row with the target call number.  Then click the “Actions” dropdown box, and under “Mark”, select “Library/Call Number as Transfer Destination”.

  3. Go back to the first browser tab.  Click the “Holdings View” tab, and select the row with the item you want to transfer.  Double-check the barcode to make sure you have the correct row.
  4. Click the “Actions” dropdown box.  Under “Transfer”, select “Items to Previously Marked Destination”.

  5. The item should now be attached to the new call number.  Refresh the screen to confirm the transfer.



4.9. Overlaying a bib record

If you, or another library, find a record that you are confident is better than the record in the catalog, you may overlay it with the better record.

How to Overlay

If the record you find is formatted poorly, missing subject fields or RDA info, or has data you don’t believe is correct, you can fix it if you are an expert cataloger and know all the rules, or simply find a better record.

1.  First, Mark For: Overlay Target. 

2.  Then, Cataloging-->Import a record from z39.50.   

3.  Do a search of your z39.50 Services.


Picking a Quality Record: What makes a better record?

When you are picking a quality record look for records that have:

  • Match of primary fields: Title, Author, Publisher, pagination.
  • Fixed fields?
  • Quantity of Information
  • Accurate spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and formatting
  • Target to look at RDA tags.  (Does the record have 33# fields?) 
  • Look for good subject headings.  What makes the subject headings good?  Evergreen uses only the first part of the authority.  A subject heading is good if they are authority records/verifiable by LOC. 

Pick the record that matches the item you have in hand that you think is the best.  If there are no records or only poor quality records, you can wait to see if a better record is added and try again next week, or ask a SPARK Community member for help.  

When you do your overlay, pick the best record.  When you have choices, view the differences and select the best.  You will get a chance to compare the records side by side.  Complete the steps to overlay the record.

Now your username will be listed as the last editing user on the record. 

If there are no records or only poor quality records, you can wait to see if a better record is added and try again next week, or ask a SPARK Community member for help.  

What do you do when you can’t find a record in SPARK or via one of the Services you have Credentials to get viz z39.50? 

  • Consider which sources you searched.   Did you search enough?
  • Make sure your login to the Services is working as it should (is your password correct?)
  • Wait, put it aside and wait to see if someone else adds it. (hopefuls)
  • Create your own MARC.  You can always ask for help.  Take a try at using the cataloging resources/cheat sheets and see what you can learn by trying a sample on the test server and asking a fellow cataloger if you are doing it right.  We learn better together.

Caution:  Please don’t overlay a record with a record that is less complete or more incorrect.  This is a shared database, so anyone with privileges to edit a bibliographic record can update and change.  With that power, comes responsibility to be the best and most inspired library worker/cataloger.

4.10. Buckets: Creating copy buckets

Creating Copy Buckets

Copy buckets can be created in the Copy Bucket interface as well as on the fly when adding copies to a bucket from a catalogue search or from within the Item Status interface. For information on creating buckets on the fly see Adding Copies to a Bucket (needs section ID).

  1. In the Copy Bucket interface on the click Buckets in either the Pending Copies or Bucket View tab.

    Copy Bucket Interface
  2. From the drop down menu select New Bucket.

    Copy Bucket Interface
  3. Enter a Name and a Description (optional) for your bucket and click Create Bucket.

    Copy Bucket Interface

    The bucket can also be set as Publicly Visible at this time.

The functionality for making buckets publicly visible does not appear to be in place at this time.

Editing Copy Buckets

  1. In the Copy Bucket interface click Buckets in either the Pending Copies or Bucket View tab.

    Copy Bucket Interface
  2. From the drop down menu select the bucket you would like to edit. The bucket will load in the interface.
  3. Click on Buckets.
  4. From the drop down menu select Edit Bucket.

    Copy Bucket Interface
  5. Update the desired information and click Apply Changes.

    Note--The functionality for making buckets publicly visible does not appear to be in place at this time.

    © 2008-2017 GPLS and others. The Evergreen Project is a member of the Software Freedom Conservancy.

    Creative Commons License

4.11. Uploading Barcodes in batches

Summary:  If you have report output that includes item barcodes and you want to do some batch edits, upload in small batches via Search-->Search for Items by Barcode.   Upload a .csv file (the file can contain only barcodes, nothing else)

Sign up to watch a video that shows how to create/edit a .csv file and upload it

Use this feature to upload small batches of items to the item status screen. 

You can batch edit from the action menu, edit just those checked or open all after they are uploaded.

It is not recommended to upload more than 500 at a time.  Smaller batches are always better.

You can also upload patron barcodes in batches to User Buckets

This is a handy feature when you have a lot to review or change in batches.

4.12. Buckets: Sharing buckets

Record Buckets and Item Buckets

After you have created a bucket, find the Bucket ID.   It is listed at the top of the screen, or at the end of the URL.

You can share this number with anyone who needs to access the bucket.  

A bucket number is a handy number to share with SPARK Support when you are submitting support requests.

How To Open a Shared Bucket:

  1. In the Copy Bucket interface click Buckets.  You can use the Bucket View tab.
  2. From the drop down menu select Shared Bucket.
  3. Enter the bucket ID number-->Load Bucket.
  4. The shared bucket will display for you to work with its contents.

Permissions are needed to ensure you can share buckets with people outside your organization.  This is a current project SPARK is working on.

4.13. Working with Pre-Cats.

What are "pre-cat" records?

  • A pre-cataloged item is, essentially, an item record without a bib record.
  • People use them for a variety of things:
    • Inter-Library Loans
    • Checkout of items where they don't want an item record in the catalog, ie: equipment that circulates in-house
    • If a patron wants to check out a book on the shelf that has a barcode, but no item record, and you don't want to hold the patron up, you can circulate it as a pre-cat checkout, and take care of cataloging when the item gets back
  • Because precats are item records without a bib record, they can't have holds placed on them, and they can't be seen by patrons in the catalog.

How are pre-cat records created?

  • Unlike most item records, pre-cat records actually start off in the circulation module. The pre-cat creation happens right at the time of checkout.
  • Suppose a patron comes to pick up an ILL book:
    • If you scan the barcode into Check Out, an message comes up saying "Barcode ____ was mis-scanned or is a non-cataloged item"
    • Enter the Title (at minimum) and the Author (optional but recommended).
    • You can use the ISBN field to enter the ISBN, or to enter an access number for ILL.
    • Select the appropriate Circulation Modifier so that the item will circulate for the appropriate duration
      Finally, click "Precat Checkout"
  • When the item is returned and the barcode is scanned into "Check In", an Alert message will display saying that "This item needs to be routed to Cataloging." At this point, the person checking the material in should send it along for proper cataloging, or (if an ILL) send it back where it came from, whatever the procedure is.

When should pre-cat records be deleted?

  • Once pre-cat materials have been returned, we recommend that you delete the pre-cat item record.
    • Scan the barcode into "Item Status", right-click, and select "Delete Items".
    • A message will display, asking if you want to permanently delete the record; select "OK/Continue"
    • The "Item Not found" notification will confirm that the pre-cat item record is deleted.
  • If the pre-cat is something you want to be a part of your regular collection, delete the pre-cat record, and start again from scratch by cataloging it as you would any other item.

Very important: Never edit TCN-1!

  • All precat records are linked to TCN-1. TCN-1 is essentially a "blank" bibliographic record, linked at a consortium level to every pre-cat in SPARK.
  • Never, NEVER try to make changes to TCN-1!
    • Do not try to edit the MARC information
    • Do not try to place holds, or add any holdings directly onto TCN-1
    • Do not try to merge it with another record
  • If TCN-1 is changed, it will screw up every pre-cat throught the SPARK catalog.

To prevent accidental creation of pre-cat records:

  • If your library uses "13-digit plus a check-digit" for barcode symbology, make sure you have the "Strict Barcode" box checked at the "Check Out" screen. This can help prevent accidental mis-scans leading to unnecessary creation of pre-cat records.
    • With the "Strict Barcode" box checked, a "Bad Barcode" message will display when invalid barcodes are entered at "Check Out"
    • Compare the barcode in the error message with the barcode on the item
    • If they do not match, click "Cancel" and try scanning again.

In conclusion:

Remember these things about Pre-Cats:

  1. They are meant to be one time use. Do not try to re-use, edit, or merge them.
  2. Leave TCN-1 alone! Do not try to change MARC information, add holdings, or merge.
  3. Pre-Cats cannot be targeted for holds or viewed in the OPAC.
  4. Keep "Strict Barcode" selected to avoid accidentally creating pre-cats from mis-scans.

4.14. *** NEVER ever edit the MARC in Bib Record TCN-1!

The Bib Record with ID TCN-1 is reserved for all pre-cats. This MARC Record should never be edited.

If it is edited, every pre-cat in the system will take on those characteristics. It will change the over 20,000 pre-cat items in the System and make the record display in the catalog as though it is available.

The record should always look like this:


How Does Editing the TCN Actually Happen?  DON'T DO THIS. 

If a person accidentally scanned the barcode in Item Status and then clicked on the MARC link that appeared.  They added and edited Fields on this record. (I assume they had to save the changes too.)   This causes system chaos because the TCN-1 is a shared bibliographic record. 

Please report to Support if you edit the TCN by accident.

4.15. Steps for restoring the TCN-1/ID-1 record if it's edited

1. Create or Find a Pre-Cat.  
2. Call up barcode in Item Status.
3. Click on the MARC hyperlink.
4. Go to MARC Edit tab.
5. The record will appear as in the example below. At this point you can edit the heck out of the MARC record.
6. Fix it by removing all tags except the ones in the screen shot

Here are more recent Instructions:
  • To access the pre-cat bib record's MARC, you will need a pre-cat item's barcode (for example: 39427103168027).
  • Go to Search for Items by Barcode and enter the barcode for the pre-cat item.
  • Click on Actions and under "Show" click Record Holds.
  • When the record comes up, you can then click on MARC Edit or MARC View as needed.

Here is what the record should looks like:
<record    xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"    xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.l
oc.gov/MARC21/slim http://www.loc.gov/standards/marcxml/schema/MARC21slim.xsd"    xmlns="http://www.loc.gov/MARC21/
slim"><leader>         a              </leader><controlfield tag="001">-1</controlfield><controlfield tag="003">Tru
e</controlfield><datafield tag="901" ind1=" " ind2=" "><subfield code="a">-1</subfield><subfield code="b">AUTOGEN</
subfield><subfield code="c">-1</subfield><subfield code="t">biblio</subfield><subfield code="s">oclc</subfield></da


Questions for SPARK Community Input:
1.  What Staff Permission Profile allows an account to edit the TCN-1?  How can we reduce the risk of accidentally making an edit to this record?
2.  Who should be responsible to correct the problem when it is found? 
3. What is the expected timeline for correction of the error?
4. What documentation do we need to reduce our risk of this happening again and to increase our ability to respond if it does? 


5. Holds

5.1. Age Hold Protection

Age hold protection prevents selected items from filling holds requested for pickup at a library other than the owning library for a specified period of time.

In SPARK there are currently 3 Rules for age hold protection:

  • 3month, proximity equals "0"
  • 6month, proximity equals "0"
  • 6month_cooperative, proximity equals "2"

The following locations have some use of Age Hold Protection features:  Bedford, Blair, Cambria, CLEAR, LEHCAR, HUNT, MONROE (some stopped), PTLS, SOC, SSQ.

Let's talk about the best workflow for applying it (is it on your cataloging templates?) and for how it is removed.  In what situations do you use it and when do you not?   Does it work better with some other holds settings than others?

More Detail about Holds and Hold Order:

Proximity values define which organizational units are allowed to act as pickup libraries. The proximity values affect holds as follows:

  • "0" allows only holds where pickup library = owning library
  • "1" allows holds where pickup library = owning library, parent, and child organizational units
  • "2" allows holds where pickup library = owning library, parent, child, and/or sibling organizational units

Age hold protection rules use org unit proximity for calculating how far out into the consortium a "protected"/new item can transit.  The org unit proximity counts the "hops" between org units in the org unit tree hierarchy. 

Example: A proximity of 2 allows 2 "hops" between each of the libraries that are part of a sharing system. This allows an item to leave its home library, and hop once--either 1 hop up from itself to the local system and then make a second hop to any of the sibling org units--for a total of 2.  Items with the rules with "0" aren't making any hops at all--they're staying put within their home library.

Age protection will start with the copy's "active date", according to SPARK settings, and then protects new items for the period of time defined in the rule. After Age Hold Protection expires, the item will follow the library's existing transit/hold polices. (We need to learn how/when it is removed and if it is automatic--I think the protection stops, but the status seems to stick in the item record--or at least stays on the report.)

Age hold protection is applied to individual copy records during cataloging. It cannot be configured within hold policies.

To use Age Hold Protection, choose the desired rule in the Age-based Hold Protection box in the Holdings Editor screen.  Th

Software Development Notes:  There is a bug that effects items with over 100 holds that use Age Hold Protection.  EMPLS has stopped using this feature until this bug is corrected.

Data Cleanup Notes: Below, download a report showing counts of items at locations using Age Hold Protection.  Also see some samples of Age Hold Protected items.

Future Questions:  What is a best practice use of Age Hold Protection in a Resource Sharing Consortium?


5.2. Retargeting Holds (Adding New Items to Fill Holds)

Holds do not know about items until they are updated, which happens once every 24 hours.  
If you just added new copies of a popular item with a long list of holds, you need to ReTarget the Holds after you add it if you want the item to be available to fill holds that are already in the queue. 

Some libraries do this step in the technical services department in a process described below:

Snippet From Evergreen Documentation

115.7.7. Retargeting Holds

Holds need to be retargeted whenever a new item is added to a record, or after some types of item status changes, for instance when an item is changed from On Order to In Process. The system does not automatically recognize the newly added items as available to fill holds.

  1. View the holds for the item.

  2. Highlight all the holds for the record, which have a status of Waiting for Item. If there are a lot of holds, it may be helpful to sort the holds by Status.

  3. Click on the head of the status column.

  4. Under Actions, select Find Another Target. (see screenshot sample below)


  6. A window will open asking if you are sure you would like to reset the holds for these items.

  7. Click Yes. Nothing may appear to happen, or if you are retargeting a lot of holds at once, your screen may go blank or seem to freeze for a moment while the holds are retargeted.

  8. When you refresh the screen, the holds will be retargeted. The system will now recognize the new items as available for holds. 

Tip:  Make sure you have managed your columns so staff see the fields that are best displayed when working with Holds Queues.  Queue Position can be a popular field to display, but depending on how holds are set to be filled, this number is NOT a guarantee and does not help predict time of arrival if you are in a large system following transit rules.

6. Non-book formats

6.1. E-Resources: Using MarcEdit to add $9 to field 856

All eRecords that you import into SPARK must have a customized 856 field, with:

  • $u, containing: a hyperlink to your library’s e-record
  • $9, containing: the “short code” for your SPARK location
  • Optional:  $z, containing: a custom message to display rather than the text of the hyperlink

If the eRecords that you want to import do not have $9 in 856, you can add it in batch using a program called “MarcEdit”.  To download MarcEdit, go to: https://marcedit.reeset.net/downloads

Note:  MarcEdit is available for both Windows and Mac computers.  Screenshots in the guide below are taken from Windows, but the basic layout and organization is the same for both versions.

  1. Open MarcEdit, and click on the icon that says “MARC Tools”:

  2. Click the folder icon next to “Open”, browse to where the batch file is stored, and open it.  The batch should be in “.mrc” format.

  3. In order to edit the file, you need to convert it from “.mrc” to “.mrk” format.  Click the folder icon next to “Save As…” – browse to where you want to save the file on your computer, then click “Save”.

  4. Finally, to convert the file, click “Execute”:

  5. A message will show that the conversion was successful.  To edit the converted file, click “Edit Records”:

  6. The next screen will show the MARC coding for your e-records.  To make your batch changes, go to the “Tools” menu, and click “Edit Subfield Data”:

  7. The window that pops up will say “Edit Subfield Utility”.  Take the following steps:
    1. In the area under “Field”, enter 856
    2. In the area under “Subfield”, enter 9
    3. In the area under “Replace with”, enter the appropriate shortcode for your location
    4. Click the box next to “Add subfield if not present”
    5. Click the box next to “Match case”
    6. Finally, click the button that says “Replace Text”

  8. A warning box will appear, asking you to confirm that you want to continue.  Click “Yes”.

  9. Another message will appear, confirming that modifications were successful.  Click “OK”.  Then, click the “Close” button:

  10. Lastly, convert the “.mrk” file back into “.mrc” format.  Go to the file menu, and select “Compile File into MARC”.  Choose a file name which will make it clear that this is the “.mrc” file that has been edited.  Then click “Save”.

6.2. Ebooks: Adding ebooks to the catalog by editing the 856 in the Import Queue

Access to ebooks is restricted to libraries or library systems through the 856 tag.

The $9 subfield in the 856 tag needs to contain your local library or library system's SPARK Org Unit short code to make the item appear in your catalog.


  • download instructions provided by Equinox to add the needed information to the 856 tag using the Import Queue in Evergreen. 
  • download instructions created in 2018 by York County with their process.

Here's a library staff note to accompany the Adding eRecords to the Catalog, which is York's process documentation:  "There is no difference between the way we uploaded for Overdrive or Hoopla vs Axis.  I always upload my records first, BEFORE I import them, to compare matches and make sure my records look good and my subfield 9’s are present.  If Axis is directly sending them files like we get, it should be the same process.  If the vendor is not adding the $9’s, they will need to add them in MARC Edit.  There are different kinds of matches.  In the documentation it goes into eMatches as well as physical book/audio, etc. matches caused by bad ISBN’s.  If you have more than one match, pick the better one and/or the one with the most libraries on it.  With matches, selecting only Merge on Single Match and Merge on Best Match will automatically keep the record Evergreen thinks is the best and import your library’s 856 onto it.  The thing to remember with matches is they can be GOOD (i.e. the same item you are trying to import and yes, you may see more than one “good” record match) or BAD (there is an ISBN in the record that is causing a match to an item that isn’t in eFormat and you must remove the bad ISBN to import your record) or a mix of the two.  Every match must be looked at individually.”

6.3. E-Resources: Uploading using "MARC Batch Import/Export"

All electronic records that you import into SPARK must have a customized 856 field, with:

  • $u, containing: a hyperlink to your library’s e-record
  • $9, containing: the “short code” for your SPARK location
  • Optional:  $z, containing: a custom message to display rather than the text of the hyperlink
If the eRecords that you want to import do not have $9 in 856, you can add it in batch using a program called “MarcEdit”.  Instructions for how to do so are located elsewhere in this Knowledge Book.

Once you have customized your 856 fields, follow these instructions to upload your record batches:

  1. Go to Cataloging>MARC Batch Import/Export. The screen will load the Import Records tool.

  2. Fill in the following fields (if a field on the screen is not listed below, do not select anything for that field):

    1. Record Type:  Select “Bibliographic Records”

    2. Create a New Upload Queue:  Select an existing queue or create a new queue

    3. Record Match Set:  Select “ISBN”. This will check the catalog for existing records to avoid creating duplicate records.

    4. Select a Record Source:  Select “System Local”.

    5. Merge Profile:  Select “Add 856”. If there is a matching bib record in the catalog, this will tell Evergreen to add the new, incoming 856 to the existing record. This will add your library’s access link to the bib record.

    6. Import Non-Matching Records:  Check this box. This will import any new records into the catalog.

    7. Merge on Single Match:  Check this box. This will import any records with a single match into the catalog.
    8. Merge on Best Match:  Check this box. This will import any records with multiple matches into the catalog. 

  3. Go to File to Upload at the bottom of the screen. Click “Browse” and select the file of MARC records to upload.

  4. Click “Upload”. An upload status bar will appear to show the progress of uploading the records.

  5. The Upload Queue will appear and list the bibliographic records that were uploaded. Each record should have an Import Time and a number in the Imported As column. The number in the “Imported As” column is the TCN for the new bib record or the matching bib record that was merged.

  6. You can use this number to view the bib record by going to Cataloging>Retrieve Title by Database ID and entering the number.

6.4. Periodicals

Many libraries in SPARK do not use Evergreen's Serials module for adding magazines and serials, but if you are interested, please inquire.

Instead they attach the magazine item copy to a bibliographic record, similar to the process of adding a book to an existing bibliographic record. 

Some locations use a Bibliographic Record for each year's issues, others keep all titles on the same record.

Magazines are currently a little messy in our shared bibliographic catalog.

Highlighted idea: Use a standard call number format for entering your magazines.  Add your items/copies to the same bibliographic record every time.  Ensure you have a standard protocol for barcode placement and call number format.


  1. Search for and Find the Magazine or Serials record for the Item in Hand.
  2. Go to the Holdings View tab.
  3. Select the library to which you would like to add a volume and copies and right click, or click Actions and select Add Volumes and Copies.   Note: If you are adding the first volume at your library, right click under the Owning Library column and select Add Volumes and Copies.
  4. A new tab will open that contains the volume/copy editor.   Enter your call number information (e.g. CR APR 2018) – please do not leave this call number field blank - and scan in the new barcode you are affixing to the item.
  5. Create your item record by applying a copy template or manually editing the fields. It is recommended that you create a Magazine copy template for this purpose.
  6. Click Save & Exit to create the new copy.
  7. Refresh the Holdings View screen to see your newly created copy.

If your library is interested in learning how to use the Serials Module of Evergreen for more accuracy, to use routing lists, to claim issues that do not arrive if you use a vendor, or just to try a different workflow, start by looking at the Evergreen Community documentation about the Serials Module.  If it interests you, contact SPARK support to work on an implementation plan. Cool features like routing slips are available. Existing members who use the module may be able to offer ideas.

6.5. Kits

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries often distribute kits, such as STEM kits, to Pennsylvania Libraries.

There may need to be a couple of variations of the catalog record:

  • Some locations barcode and scan each part of a kit
  • Others keep the kit together and only have one barcode for the kit with its contents list.  
  • Some may want to use the Booking Module because many of these kits need to be reserved for use by libraries.  

While it was discussed in the June 2019 meeting of the Cataloging Committee, no final decision was made on how to best handle kits. 

When you receive a kit, please check the SPARK catalog to see if there is already a record for the kit and catalog appropriately.

If there is no record, please send an email to Cataloging listserv, and the community can work together to ensure a correct record into the catalog.

6.6. Audio-Enabled Books

"Audio-Enabled Books" are pre-loaded digital audiobook players, permanently attached to the inside of a hardcover book. Two common versions are "Playaway Wonderbooks" and "VOX Books":


The proper OPAC format for audio-enabled books is "Preloaded Audio".  The display icon for this is:

To make a record display in this format, go to "MARC Edit" and unclick "Flat Text Editor". Set the fixed-field Type to "i", and Form to "q". Finally, click "Save". Refresh the screen, and the icon will change to "Preloaded Audio".

7. Spine labels

7.1. Printing spine labels ONLY (no pocket labels)

To remove pocket labels and print only spine labels-

Remove the Pocket Label by clicking on Label Template (visible to the right, above Call Number Preview).
First Save the default by typing a name in Template, e.g. Pocket and Spine,  and then clicking Save.
Scroll down in the big text box and remove the section that begins with <!-- Pocket Label contents -->.
In the Template box at the top, type a  different name, e.g. Spine Only,  and click Save.
Choose this new spine label template to use when it's time to print.

7.2. Setting up Dymo Spine Labels

Instructions from the York County Library System

7.3. TSC TTP-247 spine labels

These instructions were created by a staff member at Scranton Public Library after attendance at the Evergreen Conference in late April 2019. 

Note: This page includes only the text.  Download the full document to see screenshots and images to complement the instructions.

TSC TTP-247 Spine Labels from Webby

Step 1: Configure TSC TTP-247 Printer.

  1. Make sure your printer drivers are up to date.
  2. Under My Computer à Open Control Panel à Devices and Printers
  3. Right click on your TSC TTP-247 printer and select "Printing Preferences".
  4. Under the Page Setup Tab, edit your stock.
  1. Under the stock tab, put in the appropriate media and type.

Step 2: Build Your Print Template

  1. From item status, item bucket, or holdings view, select Actions à Print Labels.
  2. Configure your settings tab. Make sure you save your template.

Step 3: Configure your Print Dialog box

  1. From the label settings, click Print in the upper right hand corner to prompt the Print Dialog Box.
  2. Click on More Settings and select the name of the paper size you created in Step 1.
  3. Set margins to none and make sure options for background graphics and headers and footers are deselected.
  4. Adjust Scale if necessary.


You will get one blank label at the end of your print queue. I haven't been able to find a way to eliminate this yet.


  1. The Print Dialog box won't open when I click on Print.
    1. Make sure Hatch is disabled. Spine Label printing does not work well with Hatch. It is recommended that you either remove Hatch completely from the workstation or, if you need Hatch for other functions, create a second Chrome profile without Hatch to be used specifically for cataloging and spine label printing.
  1. I have a lot of blank labels in between printed labels.
    1. Double check your Label Template and printer configuration. Pay special attention to your gap height.
    2. Try adjusting your scale in the print dialog. We found scaling back to 95 eliminated blank labels in between printed labels.
  1. I don't like the font/style.
    1. You can change font, size, and weight.  
    2. We tested the following fonts and found that they worked well: Arial, Arial Black, Garamond, Courier, Comic Sans MS, Verdana.

7.4. Other documentation

The Evergreen Consortium in Georgia has some helpful documentation on Spine Label printing here:


The page includes instructions for printing lables with Continuous Rolls, using Sheet Printing and using Third Parties like Bartender.

CC Attribution 4.0 International

8. Other cataloging features

8.1. OCLC: Adding and deleting records for OCLC accounts

Instructions for Batch Adding and Deleting Records using the OCLC Connexion Client.

For use by OCLC members only.

8.2. Cover images

Currently SPARK has a contract with a vendor, Syndetics, which supplies cover art images to our Evergreen catalog through linked data.  Errors and omissions can occur.

Syndetic Solutions retrieves images based on the following identifiers found in bibliographic records:

  • ISBN
  • UPC
  • ISSN

Before opening a support ticket please check ALL of the ISBNs on the record at https://isbnsearch.org or your favorite source for checking ISBNs. 

If there are multiple ISBNs in a record, the wrong cover art could be coming from one of them. A single incorrect ISBN can pull in the wrong cover.  Before we can submit to our vendor, you must verify each of them. 

If the incorrect ISBN or UPC is removed the cover will typically correct itself within 48 hours.

Some books have several jackets and cover art depending on the edition.  Check to make sure that it's not a jacket from another version that's causing it to look different from the title in hand.

The UPC in the 024 field can also influence cover art. If that field is present in the record, please check to make sure that it is correct.

The "blank image" rule will trigger when no image is available. If there is no image available, none will appear in the catalog. SPARK does not use a default "no image available" placeholder, but we can consider this option if the community would want it.

After you have checked all of the ISBNs/ISSNs and UPCs and you are confident that the record is correct, but the image that displays is incorrect, open a ticket with SPARK support. Please provide:

  1. TCN for the record, noting that you have verified the ISBNs and UPCs on the record are correct.
  2. Link to the public catalog page where patrons see the incorrect image.
  3. Send a link to the image you expect it to display, based on your searches.
  4. Any other description of what you believe is incorrect.

SPARK support will investigate and open a ticket with Syndetics.

Bonus: If the item is missing cover art and you create an image or found one that you have rights to submit, please send the image to SPARK Support with the same information requested above and we will look into having it added to the database.

8.3. SHAREit: Correcting failed records

PaILS Support Staff complete a quarterly export of records to AccessPA which go through the full file replacement process so that your library's items are kept current and can be requested through statewide Interlibrary Loan.

  • The date the last full file update was accepted is February 24, 2020
  • The export included holdings received or weeded before January 2, 2020.  

After each export, it is a good idea to verify that things went as expected in the import.  Cataloging staff should take a quick look at Access Pennsylvania to make sure holdings seem correct.  It's a good idea to spot check a few new items, weeded/discarded items, and any others you have corrected since the last upload to make sure things are correct.  If there are problems, send the examples to SPARK Support so we can compile and send on to AccessPA. 

Why do records fail to upload?

When PaILS Support staff complete quarterly updates in SHAREit, we receive an email from HSLC with a link to the records that "failed" to load in the database. These records might fail for a number of reasons.

AccessPA will reject a record for upload if said record:

  1. Lacks a title (MARC tag 245); or,
  2. Lacks a publisher (MARC tag 260 $b, or MARC tag 264 $b); or,
  3. Contain fewer than six MARC fields in the entire record.

Some libraries have requested access to the failed records file so they can view and correct their records. Since the records are loaded as the combined catalog, it can be difficult to find and isolate records from a particular library.

Use this workflow to find your library's "failed" records:

1.  Download a copy of the fail file, Pscrl.fail.

  • A copy of the most recent fail file (2/24/2020) is attached to this post.
  • You can also go to https://agcloud.auto-graphics.com/index.php/s/wjH0bY9mbCM3xtC
  • Access is password-protected; please contact SPARK Support for the password. Open the folder named FAILRECORDS, and look for the file called Pscrl.fail 

2.  Download a propram to open the list of MARC records.  We recommend the application "MarcEdit", which is available for download here: https://marcedit.reeset.net/downloads

3.  Open MarcEdit, and click the "MarcEditor" icon.


4.  At the next window, go to "File --> Open".  Browse to the location where you saved the fail file.  Select "MARC Files (*.mrc)" from the dropdown box, and open the fail file.

5.  Press Control-F to bring up the find function.  In the space next to "Find what:", enter $b plus your library's SPARK short code (ie, $bSOC for Somerset).  Then click the "Find All" button.

6.  Select a line from the results, and click "Jump to Page" to view the failed MARC record.

Please remember:

Once you have your failed records, and you have identified why the record failed, you still must correct them in Evergreen!

Find the records in Evergreen, make corrections, and save the changes.  This way, the improved records will be included with the next quarterly upload to ShareIT.

When correcting your records, please adhere to the guidelines in Cataloging in SPARK.

8.4. SHAREit: Logging in to AccessPA in z39.50 in SPARK

Please contact SPARK support for the current login information.

8.5. Digital Bookplates (also known as Copy Tags / Item Tags)

Digital Bookplates (also known as Copy Tags / Item Tags in various screens and versions of Evergreen, so these terms are used inconsistently in documentation) allow your location to add a tag to draw attention to a feature of your particular copy.

SPARK Libraries have agreed on the following Digital Bookplate / Item/Copy Tag Types:

They can be searched in the catalog. They were designed for memorial, honor, and special item recognition for items in the catalog. 


In SPARK below are currently assigned to the Library Admin and Technical Services permission group.  As we look at scope of permissions, this may be revised so that Copy Tags can only be administered by User Group decision.

  • ADMIN_COPY_TAG_TYPES: required to create a new tag type under Server Administration→Copy Tag Types  (Only PaILS Support staff can add a new type: this is intentional to keep the list limited.)
  • ADMIN_COPY_TAG: required to create a new tag under Local Administration→Copy Tags
  • UPDATE_COPY is required to assign a tag to a copy

Library Settings: 

OPAC: Enable Digital Bookplate Search is set to True for the search option to be available in the catalog. This is set to true at the SPARK level; this is a system standard setting that the SPARK Community has agreed to.   This means that patrons can search the catalog by the Digital Bookplates

Create Copy Tag Types  (Only SPARK Support staff can create new types)

  1. Go to Administration→Server Administration→Copy Tag Types.
  2. In the upper left hand corner, click New Record. A dialog box will appear. Assign the following to create a new Copy Tag Type:

    1. Code: a code to identify the copy tag type.
    2. Label: a label that will appear in drop down menus to identify the copy tag type.
    3. Owner: the organizational unit that can see and use the copy tag type.
  3. Click Save and the new Copy Tag Type will appear in the list. Next create the associated Copy Tags.

Create Copy Tags

  1. Go to Administration→Local Administration→Copy Tags.
  2. In the upper left hand corner, click New Record. A dialog box will appear. Assign the following to create a new Copy Tag:

    1. Copy Tag Type: select the Copy Tag Type with which you want to associate the new Copy Tag.
    2. Label: assign a label to the new copy tag.
    3. Value: assign a value to the new copy tag. This will display in the catalog.
    4. Staff Note: a note may be added to guide staff in when to apply the copy tag.
    5. Is OPAC Visible?: If a copy tag is OPAC Visible, it can be searched for and viewed in the OPAC and the staff catalog.
    6. Owner: select the organization unit at which this tag can be seen and used.
  3. Click Save and the new Copy Tag will appear in the list.

Creating and Applying a Copy Tag During Cataloging

Copy tags can be created in the Copy Editor on the fly while cataloging or viewing an item:

  1. In the Copy Editor, click on Item Tags. A dialog box called Manage Item Tags will appear.
  2. Select the Tag Type from the drop down menu and type in the new Tag you want to apply to the item. Click Add Tag, then click OK. The new tag will be created and attached to the item. It will be owned by the organization unit your workstation is registered to. The tag can be modified under Admin→Local Administration→Copy Tags.

Removing Copy Tags from Copies

  1. 1. In the Copy Editor, click on Item Tags. A dialog box called Manage Item Tags will appear.
  2. 2. Click Remove next to the tag you would like to remove,and click OK.
  3. 3. Click Save & Exit. The copy tag will now be removed from the catalog

Applying Copy Tags in Batch

Copy tags can be added to multiple copies in batch using Copy Buckets. After adding the items to a copy bucket:

  1.  Go to Cataloging→Copy Buckets→Bucket View and select the bucket from the Buckets drop down menu.
  2.  Select the copies to which you want to add the copy tag and go to Actions→Apply Tags or right-click and select Apply Tags
  3.  The Apply Copy Tags dialog box will appear.
  4.  Select the Tag Type and enter the Tag. Click Add Tag, then click OK. The copy tag will now be attached to the copies.


Editing Tags

Existing copy tags can be edited by selecting a tag and clicking Actions→Edit Record or right-clicking on a tag and selecting Edit Record. The dialog box will appear and you can modify the copy tag. Click Save to save any changes. Changes will be propagated to any copies that the tag has been attached to.

Deleting Tags

Existing copy tags can be deleted by selecting a tag and clicking Actions→Delete Record or right-clicking on a tag and selecting Delete Record. Deleting a tag will delete the tag from any copies it was attached to in the catalog.


8.6. Non Cataloged Types

Administration-->Local Administration-->Non-Cataloged Type Editor.

This is a very handy feature of Evergreen to track use counts in a different way. 

Libraries use it in many ways to count things used, events attended, people in attendance, to loan items that aren't cataloged (and won't be "checked in" on return), etc. 

Current uses in SPARK include: computers, password distribution for wi-fi, magazine, seeds,  community collections, ILLs, parking passes, bathroom keys, and other what-nots.  

There is not a Best Practice in the consortium for these, but there are many ideas.  Existing SPARK level non-cataloged types are under review for workflow effectiveness.

Make careful decisions about which non-cataloged types you enter:

  • In-House Use: Typically used for program attendance or tracking things used inside the building.  These are not attached to a specific patron account.
  • Non-Cataloged Circulations:  These items are charged to a patron barcode to track items you lend them that don't have a barcode.  These items don't get "checked in" but will appear as checkouts on their account and go away when the date due comes. 

Understand how Non-Cataloged types will be considered in your Evergreen Reports and other statistic collection workflows at your location.

To create Non-Cataloged Types:

Focus Location should be your Org Unit.   If you can see other ORG Units, do not Edit them.

Tips for Filling out the Form:  DO THIS ON THE TEST SERVERS FIRST unless you are experienced.  Try it out, test it works as you desire, then do it on production. 

  • You can Create a new one at the top or Edit which opens the current settings.
  • Enter a name for the type of Non-Cataloged material or thing you are tracking use of.
  • Choose the desired duration.  This period of time will be used to calculate a due date that is displayed to the patron for non-cataloged circulations.  The item will be is removed from the My Account view the day after the due date.
  • The Circulate In-House? checkbox makes it in-house circulation, if the box isn't checked it will be a non-cataloged circulation.

Deleting is not known to work easily.  If there is any data associated with that field, it won't delete.  
If you make an error in entry, it must be removed on the database side.  Be careful when entering numbers here. 
Permission Notes:
  LibAdmin can edit the Non-Cataloged Types at your location.

When Non-Cataloged Types are configured for your location, they are used from the Circulation Menu: Record In-House Use:

Enter or select the # of Uses in the first box and select from the dropdown menu to type of In-House Use or Non-Cataloged Use that you want to record.  Then use Submit.

8.7. Bib Source

Bibliographic Source Variables are used in our catalog. 

Bib source is set at Select a Source in the image from MARC edit below:

Items with some Bib Sources display in all local catalogs, whether there is an item or not. 

Example: Project Gutenberg as a Bib Source will make the record display in all location catalogs: 

When in doubt, use oclc or System Local.

Here's a clip from Evergreen Documentation about them:

9. Training, resources, and documentation

9.1. ABLE Cataloging Training

Knowledge of correct cataloging procedures is essential in maintaining the integrity of the SPARK catalog. Catalogers are asked to attach records to existing records whenever possible. Catalogers doing original cataloging should be knowledgeable in MARC and follow best practices for creating records.

Cataloging training is available for free through Idaho ABLE Course, Technical Services Sequence

(Adobe Flash Player is required to view the courses)

9.2. Documentation and Web tools


Web Tools

9.3. Library of Congress: ISBN field guidelines

Learn about the importance of the 020 Field in a proper MARC bibliographic record.


SPARK Cataloging guidelines suggest that you should remove ISBNs that are not the same item format, example, remove all audiobook or e-record or Large Print ISBNs if you are adding the record for a regular paper copy of the book.

Even if you are importing a record, you should check the ISBNs to make sure they are correct.

The ISBNs also help to populate the cover art that displays in the catalog.

Note: It is ok and expected to have multiple ISBNs for print books.  Children's materials are especially difficult because they wind up with different bindings and printings that are, essentially, the same book, just in a different wrapper/binding.  All of these can and should be included on the same bibliographic record.

9.4. Library of Congress: "MARC 21 format for bibliographic data"

Link to MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data 

MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data

9.5. Library of Congress: "Understanding MARC authority records"

Link to Understanding MARC Authority Records

Understanding MARC Authority Records

9.6. Library of Congress: Understanding MARC bibliographic

Link to Understanding MARC Bibliographic: Machine-Readable Cataloging

Understanding MARC

9.7. Library of Congress: Authority headings

Link to Library of Congress Authorities Search

Library of Congress Authorities

9.8. North Texas Libraries Consortium: "Cataloging Standards and Manual"

North Texas Libraries Consortium: "Cataloging Standards and Manual"

9.9. Cataloging parties

Cataloging Parties and SPARK: A (Very Loose) Proposal

written by Jonathan Moore, Cataloger, Wyomissing Public Library

Friday, May 24, 2019

When I attended the 2019 Evergreen International Conference, one of the most interesting events for me was a session led by Anna Goben of Evergreen Indiana. Her presentation was titled "Catalogers Know How to Party", and it described a unique process their cataloging community has developed to offer support to member institutions.

I believe the theory behind what Ms. Goben described could be very helpful to SPARK. In the following outline, I will attempt to describe how such a resource-sharing venture could be applied to our community, and what the inherent requirements and benefits would be.


  • A Cataloging Party would be a day-long event, where catalogers from multiple SPARK institutions gathered at one library and volunteered their services to help address specific cataloging needs.


  • At any SPARK library with significant quantities of items that needed either to be newly cataloged, or to have significant editing or review.
  • Smaller institutions, with fewer staff devoted to cataloging, would find particular benefit.
  • Institutions that recently migrated to our system, and discovered problems with their newly-transferred records, could also find this concept useful.


  • Catalogers of all skill levels could participate, as most work would be done on the copy cataloging level.
  • Considering that SPARK includes members from all parts of the state, the geographic location of the target library would probably play the largest part in determining which catalogers are involved.


  • Realistically, the timing for cataloging parties would need to be based around the availability of guests.
  • Once a date is established when the most number of catalogers could help, the host library would need to change its schedule to accommodate — setting aside a portion of the building to provide workspace, or even closing the doors to patrons for an afternoon if needed.


  • First and foremost, because the only real way to improve the collective SPARK catalog, is to improve individual SPARK member catalogs. Many of our institutions do not have the staffing necessary to meet even their basic cataloging needs. Many others have very limited cataloging staff, and cannot "do any more" than they are currently doing. Cataloging parties would provide at least a partial way to address each of these needs.
  • Secondly, because catalogers in SPARK have shown that they are more than ready to give of their time and services. We volunteer to participate on the Cataloging Committee, we volunteer to serve on special SPARK projects, we volunteer to train and help each other, and we volunteer our time to attend User Group meetings and conferences. Given the chance to help with a project like this that would provide such a clear benefit, I have no doubt that our catalogers would jump at the chance.
  • Finally, because the best way to convince someone that they should help support a group effort, is by showing them how much good that collective help can do. SPARK is built on community and member participation. If we show our members that we are willing to "go the extra mile" for them, they will be the most likely to return the favor.

In conclusion, I do not want to pretend that something like a Cataloging Party would be easy to make happen — the logistics of coordinating volunteers, providing equipment, and organizing the work would be significant. I also freely admit that one Party could not realistically solve all of a library's cataloging problems — even given a massive number of participants, there is only so much that can be accomplished in one day or one afternoon. But even considering the inherent difficulties, the collective benefits of a Cataloging Party would be more than worth the effort.




10. Video Guides

10.1. Video Guide: Workstation Configuration and Searching for Catalogers

Watch a bite-sized video about how to configure your workstation and how to Search the Catalog to find the best match for a bibliographic record to attach your library's item to.

If the video above doesn't stream or display properly, you can also download it.

10.2. Video guide: Adding and viewing copy alerts

Copy Alerts can be used to prompt staff to verify that a disc or multiple parts are present when you scan the barcode.  Examples: Use a copy alert to prompt staff to check for a DVD in the case when you scan the barcode at check in. Use a copy alert to count/verify multiple discs in a CD audio book at check in.

Here's a short video on working with Copy Alerts.

One thing not covered in the video--checking the Temporary Box will mean the alert is disabled after the initial alert and acknowledged takes place.


10.3. Video guide: Moving a volume from one bib to another

Instructions from Katie Martin at the Blair County Library System

1. Open both the record you want to move something TO and the record you want to move something FROM
2. On the record you want to move something TO, select "Mark For" and then click "Holdings Transfer"
3. On the record you want to move FROM, click Holdings View and locate the copy you want to move. Right Click on this copy and select either "Volumes ('call numbers' in 3.3) to Previously Marked Destination" (if moving all copies with that call number at your library) or "Items to Previously Marked Destination" (if moving only one copy) under Transfer
4. Refresh the record you want the item moved TO in order to confirm it has moved correctly 

https://bcl.tinytake.com/sf/MjgxODY3NV84NDYyNjU2 (updated for 3.3 at https://bcl.tinytake.com/tt/MzY5OTEyMV8xMTI0Mjk4MA)

10.4. Video guide: Fixing Fixed Fields

You can stream a 16 minute video that explains the importance and procedure for ensuring that Fixed Fields are correct on your catalog records here:  Fixing Fixed Fields Video

or download the video below.

10.5. Video guide: Adding an Item in Web Client on 3.1

Link to the video is here-

Webby Cataloging Video kgm

Associated documentation is attached on the right hand side of the page.

10.6. Video guide: Create a new copy alert type

Learn how to create a new Copy Alert types. Download and watch the very short video below.

10.7. Video guide: Overlaying a bibliographic record

View a bite-sized short video about how to overlay a record.

If you have problems streaming the video above, you can also download it for local viewing.

10.8. Video guide: Working with pre-cats

Here's a short video about Pre-Cats, otherwise know as items temporarily added to the TCN-1.

NEVER edit the bibliographic record for the TCN-1.  (Notify support right away if you may have done so by mistake.)

If the streaming video above is not working for you, download a local copy using the link below.

11. Cataloging Town Hall notes

11.1. 2019.10.23: "How SHARE-it gets SPARK records with your items"

A videorecording of the town hall is available here:

Notes for the presentation are attached.

MarcEdit is available for download here:

11.2. 2020.02.05: “Never Stop Questioning: Learning (and Reviewing) the Basics of SPARK Cataloging”

A videorecording of the Town Hall is available here:


Notes for the Town Hall are attached.

Deduplication Process after Migrations

1. Equinox After Migration Deduplication Process

Attached is a PDF that explains the deduplication process for migrations in general.

It was written by Rogan Hamby, MLIS, Data and Project Analyst for Equinox.


 I'm attaching a new draft document, Deduplication Overview Document, also by Rogan, that is an updated version.  He says it's not ready to share widely,  because it's still a draft, but its here for our reference.