Decouple the bib-level material type of Music into Scores and Sound Recordings
The bibliographic material type of Music inexplicably combines scores (Leader/06 c or d) and sound recordings (Leader/06 i or j) into a single facet. This makes no sense and makes standard statistics reporting extremely difficult as scores are usually reported with books (they are, after all, pieces of paper bound between covers) whereas sound recordings are usually reported with other media. Scores should be separated out as its own bib-level material type.
Thank you for this ideas exchange request.
For the purpose of clarification:
Alma uses (among others) two levels of faceting the bibliographic records: Material type and Resource type.
Regarding the Material Type: There are seven different distinct bibliographic material types in Alma, and this corresponds to the seven different distinct bibliographic material types used by the MARC standard. These MARC standards are explained at https://www.loc.gov/marc/bibliographic/bdintro.html under section “Scope of the Bibliographic Format”. Ex Libris will leave these distinct seven formats, and not add or subtract from them. This is because there are seven distinct formats in the MARC standard. For this reason we will not add another format or change the name of an existing format. Each bibliographic record has one bibliographic material type. The Material Type is considered “Music” if the LDR pos. 6 is one of the following: c d i j. This is explained in the Ex Libris Knowledge center at https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Product_Documentation/010Alma_Online_Help_(English)/010Getting_Started/050Alma_User_Interface_%E2%80%93_General_Information/Searching_in_Alma#Material_Types_in_Search_Results under section “Fields that Identify the Bibliographic Material Type”. If there is a desired change in how the Material Type “Music” is determined please state exactly what is desired to be changed and we will gladly investigate and consider this change.
The Resource Type is much more specific than the Material Type, and uses a combination of fields to determine what the resource type is. Each bibliographic record has one resource type. The criteria for determining the resource type is explained in the Ex Libris Knowledge center at https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Product_Documentation/010Alma_Online_Help_(English)/010Getting_Started/050Alma_User_Interface_%E2%80%93_General_Information/Searching_in_Alma#The_Resource_Type_Field under section “Rules Used to Create the Resource Type Field”. There are currently nine different resource types related to music and audio resources: Braille Music – Physical, Notated music – Physical, Notated music – Electronic, Audio musical – Physical, Audio musical – Electronic, Audio nonmusical – Physical, Audio nonmusical – Electronic, Music – Component Part, and Audio nonmusical – Component Part. If there is a desired change in how the Resource Types related to audio and music are determined please state exactly what is desired to be changed and we will gladly investigate and consider this change.
Wade Guidry commented
One simple adjustment would be to change the MU material type icon in Alma from a treble clef to an ear, or something denoting audio in a more general way. The current icon of a treble clef can be misleading, since those titles are often actually audio books and other non-musical recordings.
Elizabeth Karges commented
@Yoel, for the material type, we'd like to see "Music" changed to "Audio Recording" or something more broad. We have a lot of lectures recorded on CDs that are being called Music, which is preventing us from accurately reporting on our collection. These are displayed as "Audio CD" in Primo, so I'm not sure why they would have a different designation in Alma. Shouldn't they match?
Manu Schwendener commented
Why are audiobooks not classified as Books given that MARC 21 says: "electronic ... monographic in nature"? Audio recordings are electronic.
"Books (BK) - used for printed, electronic, manuscript, and microform textual material that is monographic in nature."
This request is somewhat similar to "Add generic physical material types to the current table."
Lesli M Moore commented
Alma uses the LDR 06/07 and 007 for Material Type, not 008/006.
Notated music (007/00=q)
Sound recording (007/00=s)
So, no, ExL is not following the standard...based on their documentation.
Astrid Hellbusch commented
I agree and support this change.
Steve McDonald commented
I do not support this change. Alma follows the definitions in the MARC21 standard. See https://www.loc.gov/marc/bibliographic/bd006.html. It would be inappropriate for Alma to violate the standard definitions.
Use Resource Type for a better classification.
Simon Hunt commented
I agree that the Material Type index is largely worthless. However, the Resource Type index is much more granular, and is available as both an Alma search index and an attribute in the Bibliographic Details folder in Analytics. It has its quirks, but is much better for stats and other functions.
Here's the documentation on how the Resource Type is calculated:
(Cross-posted to Alma-L.)
Ulrike Joosten-Wilke commented
Leader Position 6 is clear:
c - Notated music = scores
d - Manuscript notated music = manuscripted scores
i - Nonmusical sound recording
j - Musical sound recording
Please use it to distinguish as you do with the other materials in this facet.
Moreover we (University of Arts Berlin) opened a case #00741773 because to our opinion this missing distinction is a failure or a bug.
Jane Daniels commented
I don't catalogue music at all but I'm all for anything that tells us (via Alma) and users (via Primo) what the resource that they are looking at is. It would be interesting to know how other LMSs (ILSs) allied to KBs and discovery layers perform in this regard. perhaps then we can design a solution so that the .mrc coding is used appropriately? Worth a Task & Finish Group approach? Perhaps the music libraries/archives could take the lead on this one?
Jenny Grasto commented
I agree. Designating an audiobook as 'Music' in Alma is confusing. Currently the designations for assigning the Alma Material Type is:
I would instead suggest using the OCLC definitions and terms for Type of Record, found here, which breaks up Alma's 'Music' category into Sound Recordings (musical OR non-musical) and Scores (notated music OR manuscript notated music): https://www.oclc.org/bibformats/en/fixedfield/type.html
This is the level of granularity needed for the various reports libraries are required to provide. It also would align better with the cataloging standards.
Lesli M Moore commented
Audiobooks and soundtracks are not the same kind of audio. There should be a lot better granularity for bib level material type.
Librettos should also be separated out as unique material types. They are related to music but have no musical notation.