Item Records and the Processing Workflow

Until now, the Cataloging Fundamentals video series has focused on understanding and creating bib records, which are the primary product of cataloging. However, many catalogers at small- and mid-sized libraries are responsible for additional cataloging-adjacent tasks, like adding item records and physical processing.

An item record is the record in your Integrated Library System, or ILS, that describes and tracks a particular copy of a resource as it moves through various workflows and circulation events. It is distinct from the bib record, which describes the resource at the title level.

This video tutorial, Item Records and the Processing Workflow, describes the information that is typically found in an item record, how an item record may be used on its own or in combination with a holdings record, and how it fits into the processing workflow. And while we’re in the realm of processing, we’ll look at some factors that impact the processing workflow, like staffing and vendor services.

This video is fifth in the ongoing Cataloging Fundamentals video series, one component of the Cataloging Fundamentals Program. If you have ideas for a future video or about how to support new catalogers in Colorado, please drop me a line at

Amy Hitchner
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