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OCLC Support

Procedures for cataloging agents

Discover procedures for cataloging agents to process cataloging bibliographic records in Connexion client.

Cataloging agent authorizations

  • Purpose - Cataloging agents are authorized to process cataloging records for library members of a Cataloging Agent group or other cooperative program. Agents also process data sync records for group members when the records cannot be processed automatically.
  • Request authorization - Request a Cataloging Agent authorization from your OCLC regional service provider or distributor. For existing Union List groups, the Cataloging Agent authorization must be assigned to the Union List agent. If the group does not have an agent, one must be assigned.
  • Cataloging activities - Cataloging Agent authorization capabilities are the same as Full.
  • Agent-specific privileges in Connexion - Cataloging agents can:
    • Cataloging - Update Holdings, Produce and Update Holdings, Alternate Produce and Update, Delete Holdings, and Export (Export is available for both bibliographic and authority records) and Replace WorldCat records, except those that contain field 951.
    • LC authority file - Edit an authority record and export the edited record; create authority records.

Use field 951

  • Purpose - Field 951 (Group Specific Data) supports processing records for multiple libraries by cataloging agents. Data in field 951 determines which institution holdings are set or deleted and which offline products are generated.
  • Validation - Field 951 ‡l (el) must contain valid data before a cataloging agent takes a final action on the record. The system verifies that institution symbols listed in field 951 ‡l are group members for which the agent is profiled.
  • Invalid symbol - For an invalid symbol, the system displays a validation error. The error must be corrected before retrying the final action.

     Note: Cataloging agents cannot process records for their own institutions using field 049. If the agent‘s group profile includes the agent’s institution, the agent can list the OCLC symbol in field 951 ‡l. Or the agent can log on with another Full cataloging authorization to process the records.

Characteristic Description
Field 951 Field 951 is repeatable. Only cataloging agents can enter field 951.
Indicators Both indicators are blank.
Subfields Subfields ‡a–‡k and ‡m–‡z are exported, but otherwise ignored.
‡a–‡k User-defined (Repeatable).
‡l OCLC institution symbol (Repeatable). Agent enters OCLC symbols for institutions in the group. The system sets or deletes holdings for each institution listed in 951 subfield ‡l.
‡m–‡z User-defined (Repeatable).
Retention Field 951 is not retained in WorldCat records or archive records.

Process records

  1. Log on with a Cataloging Agent authorization.
  2. Retrieve the bibliographic record you want to process.
  3. Edit field 951 as required to include symbols of the libraries for which you are acting.
    • Examples:
      • 951    ‡l abc ‡l mnopq ‡l trn 
      • 951    ‡l abc trn ocl ord obl
      • 951    ‡l acd abc ‡a fiction project
  4. (Optional) Move the mouse over a symbol to view institution names for OCLC symbols. The client displays the institution name in a small popup window.
  5. On the Action menu, select the action you want to take on the record.
    • Update Holdings or press <F8>
    • Produce and Update Holdings or press <Shift><F7>
    • Delete Holdings or press <Shift><F8>
    • Export or press <F5>

Offline products

  • The command the agent uses determines offline products for the OCLC symbols listed in field 951 ‡l.
  • Offline products generated for an institution depend on the institution's profile.
Command OCLC-MARC Records
Produce Appear in file or on tape if profiled
Update Appear in file or on tape if profiled
Delete Holdings Appear in file or on tape if profiled
Save Saved in agent’s bibliographic save file
Export Exported to a file on agent’s workstation or to agent’s local system

Local holdings records

  • A cataloging agent cannot delete holdings from a record for which a local holdings record (LHR) exists for the group. If an agent tries, the system displays an error message.
  • If authorized as a holdings agent, a cataloging agent can delete holdings and LHRs from bibliographic records by logging onto the Connexion browser interface or opening the browser interface from within the client using Tools > Launch Local Holdings Maintenance.

Archive records

  • Update, Produce, and Delete Holdings transactions are archived.
  • An archive record is written for each OCLC symbol in field 951 ‡l.
  • The record for each symbol contains field 049 (Local Holdings) with the institution’s default holding library code.
  • The archive record does not contain field 951.


Report characteristic Description
Format No-charge comma-delimited report in ASCII text.
Contents Agent activity by OCLC symbol

Actions reported: Update Holdings, Produce and Update Holdings, Alternate Produce and Update, Delete Holdings
Posted to OCLC Statistics
Frequency Monthly
Longetivity 90 days